We had a small but rich sutra discussion today. We began with the teacher-student mantra which is a lovely invocation for mutual protection, nourishment, courage and effectiveness in our studies together. We then tried out a cd recording of the sutras by Sri Brahmananda Saraswati. It is nicely paced for beginners to follow. It is a little less personal than struggling through on our own. We felt we would use it occassionally for instruction.
Last time we had discussed sutras 1.17 through 1.19 which address attainment of samadhi and the role of detachment in doing so. Frankly, these are somewhat esoteric for us though we all acknowledge that samadhi is not so far off, that we each have some experience of it, but that through practice and detachment, we can develop the ability to sustain samadhi.
Today we discussed sutras 1.20 through 1.22. 1.20 Bhavani refers to as the “yoga vitamins”: shraddha (faith), virya (courage or energy), smriti (memory), samadhi (concentration) and prajna (wisdom) that assist us in developing samadhi. We talked about each of these qualities and how we experience them in our practice both physical and mental. Sutra 1.21 states that those who have an intense drive or motivation for practice, get results more quickly. This and sutra 1.22 discuss the various levels of intensity of practice and drive that determine how quickly the sadhana (aspirant) will progress. We looked at the term “samvega” which Baba Hari Dass defines as “a technical term in yoga philosophy that means strong detachment combined with full enthusiasm and energy.” Ponder this and join us for our next sutra discussion on May 16, New Moon from 6:30 to 7:30. Sherry.