Yoga Sutra 44

Sutra 44

Self-study leads towards the realization of God or communion with one’s desired deity.

This sutra is talking about self-study in two ways: knowing our bodies and how each of us as individuals can be healthy, clean, and light, and also self-study of actions and thoughts, in relation to others and God. Asana helps to know our body- how it moves, feels, and reacts to situations. Asana also helps us to know our minds- where we waver from Godly thoughts and into earthly longings.

The Bible talks about self-study in relation to not judging others before you look at yourself.
Luke 6 41-42 Jesus says “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, brother let me take the speck out of your eye when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank our of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

We have to look at ourselves, admit our failings and repent our sins or we will not be able to change from our sinful nature to Godly sons and daughters of God. We must not judge others but study ourselves. How else will we know our own weaknesses? I believe Bible study with self-reflection and contemplation is vital to learn the difference between God guiding us and our own desires guiding us. Therefore I think the Bible and this sutra agree, but we are not the pure ones, we are seeking self to realize our sinful desires and actions that keep us separate from God. We have to know our flesh in order to repent and ask God for his grace to overcome our failures. Then we have to know ourselves so we can control ourselves to follow Gods law, study our relationship with God and recognize Gods word in us. That is most important to the Christian yogi.