Yoga Book Reviews
Work in ProgressAug 8-???, 2023
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Author: Sri Swami Satchidananda
Genre: Yoga, Eastern Religion, Spirituality, Philosophy
Pages: 272 pages
Publisher: Integral Yoga Publications
Publication date: September 14, 2012)
Rating: (5 out of 5 stars)
*** A lot of different words are thrown around, but they all mean the same thing:
Consciousness = Seer = Observer = Purusha = True Self = Atma = Absolute Truth = Moksha = Non-changing = Citta
Material World = Seen = Observed = Prakrti = Mind = Default World = Illusion = Maya = Ever-changing
As a general rule, I try to finish my current book (Yoga Yajnavalkya) before moving on to another book. But I was hitting an impasse with Yajnavalkya. I had to do something equally productive that excites me. Luckily, the one book I couldn't find free on the internet, I finally found - The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
It is my intention to learn from this book and add to my practice. It is not my intention to go deep into the rabbit hole of scholarly / intellectual domain of yoga - I'll leave that to the academics. As far as concepts go, it's enough that I learn the fundamental cornerstones to ground my practice.
If I don't understand an explanation or if I find it lacking, I go to the language A.I.s (ChatGPT4 OpenChat, Bard Google, Bing Microsoft, and Aria Opera) and supplement the information. Thus, what's written here could be an amalgamation.
Classic Yoga Reference
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali have been the classic reference and standard in the practice of Raja Yoga - yoga of the mind (other types of yoga are Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga). Beyond asana, this book underscores the importance of ethics/morality (Yama / Niyama) and meditation. In this book, Sri Swami Satchidananda gives his commentary.
Who is Sri Swami Satchidananda?
Sri Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002) comes from a long established lineage dating back to Shankaracharya (Shankaracharya > Patanjali > Vishwananda > Sivananda Saraswati > Satchidananda). He had many teachers along the way until he met Swami Sivananda who became his guru. He taught Integral Yoga - a holistic synthesis of all of man's aspects (body, mind, spirit, environment, etc.). In other interpretations, Integral Yoga is the synthesis of all the yoga traditions. In 1966, he was invited to the West by pop-culture icon, Peter Max. Satchidananda is best remembered at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 for giving a speech in front of all the hippies in attendance.
While yoga nowadays is practiced for fitness, the real essence of Raja Yoga is mastery of the mind. This book explores that through the experience of sages, seers and saddhus through milennia.
Sutra translates to 'thread' - thus the sutras are the distilled essence yoga. By itself, it is not comprehensible, thus the commentary of wise men to make it understandable and relevant to people of today. There are less than 200 sutras divided into 4 sections:
4 Sections of the Yoga Sutras.
- Kaivalya Pada - Absoluteness, discussing yoga from a more cosmic and philosophical point of view
Yoga was already in existence long before Patanjali. But he was the one who codified it into an accessible practice for the masses. The sutras is perhaps the earliest known text on yoga - thus, the Yoga Bible.
There are many books on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras authored by many teachers with their own commentaries. What makes Satchidananda's book unique is that Satchi didn't write this book as a written commentary for publication. This book is a compilation of his lectures and teaching in front of students and disciples, as he answered their questions and inquiries related to Raja Yoga. Thus, the book has a conversational feel with lots of analogies to make the abstract more concrete.
I: Samadhi Pada (Contemplation)
Portion on Contemplation
It's unusual to start this book on Samadhi, when it should be the pinnacle. However, perhaps it sets the goal in mind to establish that at this point.
1. Just practice
Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.
Practice...don't intellectualize yoga. It's a practice!
2. Controling the mind
Restraining the runaway-thoughts is Yoga.
If you can control the mind, then the yoga objective is met - so it's about controlling the mind and not letting it run loose. Citta is the totally of the mind. But the mind has many layers - the intellect, the part that desires, etc. (e.g., when the mind is still but you smell durian, your desires are stirred up and now you want that durian and will act on it. At that point, the mind has been derailed).
The world is based on your perception - it's only real to you and necessary of everytone else. Thus, it's useless to argue because their perception is also too real for them. Other people will see the same thing but their perception will be different. You see the glass as half full, but somebody will see it as half empty - but you're both looking at the same glass. Thus, reality as you see it, is not absolute - you just made it about you. Or, the guards are just as much prisoners as the inmates within the same prison walls, but both see their lot differently - again, it's perception.
This is the reason why yoga makes no attempt to change the outside world, but the world inside you.
3. Knower & the Seer
Then the Seer (Self) abides in Its own nature.
You are the Knower and the Seer. You are not the body or mind. For the Seer to see its true self, the mind must be still...in the same way that if you want to see a perfect image of your face, the mirror has to be flawless, otherwise, you only see distortion.
4. Identifying with labels
At other times the Self appears to be the runaway-thoughts.
We identify ourselves as the father, the son, the rich guy, the handsome guy, the fit guy, the intelligent one, etc. But all these things are not permanent and will go away. When all of that goes away, what is left? What's left is the same thing that is left with everyone else.
Everything is energy and the underlying consciousness behind that energy is the same consciousness that envelopes all of us - thus we are all the same...people, plants, animals and inanimate objects. When we internalize that, then we see everything as an extension of ourselves...thus we cannot hurt anyone or hurt the planet - that is yoga.
We cannot identify with the roles we play in life (father, son, friend). If we remove all those roles, we see ourselves one with everything as buildding blocks of the cosmic consciousness.
5. Runaway thoughts
There are five kinds of runaway-thoughts which are
either painful or painless.
Vrttis or thought forms come in 5 kinds. Instead of categorizing thought-forms as painful or pleasurable, it's more accurate to call it selfish or selfless. Even anger can be selfless...showing anger to a child to keep him from misbehaving. Or love can be painful...because if we don't get what we want from it, we end up broken hearted. So seeing mental forms in terms of pain or painless is not accurate.
We cannot make our minds empty - at least not until we become expert meditators. Until then, we can just be aware to choose being the Knower (observing our thoughts without reacting to them) or the Thinker (reacting with our thoughts). By making a wise choice, we end up less stressed and perhaps even happy. The key is catching our thoughts and making that choice: Knower or Thinker.
6. Thought forms
(p. 56) 5 thought-forms.
When a mental modification of an object previously experienced and not forgotten comes back to consciousness, that is memory.
Day dreaming, dreaming or just memories...these are thought-forms.
The above are the 5 thought forms that need to be transcended. We can rise above these when we control the mind. But how do we control the mind? That's almost impossible.
12. Restraining thoughts thru practice
These mental modifications are restrained by practice and
Keep practicing and all is coming. While practicing, be aware of these thought forms as they happen. Between practice and non-attachment, the non-attachment is more important!
13. Remaining aware
Of these two, effort toward steadiness of mind is practice.
Make the practice a 24/7 activity...remain vigilant, be aware of your thoughts. You could set up a timer that alarms every hour...just as a reminder for you to bring awareness back.
14. Practice without break but with love
Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for
a long time, without break and in all earnestness.
Patanjali specifies that the practice that to be for a loooong time without break - in short, 24/7. But practice with love and not feel that it's a burden or a burnout. If you feel impatience, it'll take longer (honestly, I would like to develop my Siddhis and the impatience is creeping up. I know, I should not even think about Siddhis to begin with).
15. For the greater good
The consciousness of self-mastery in one who is free from
craving from objects seen or heard about is non-attachment.
When the eyes see something, or the ear hears something, or the nose smells something, the mind is pulled away towards it (my craving is to develop my Siddhis...I can't help it). Be aware of what's happening. But it is ok to be attached to your desires if it's about the betterment of others and not about you. The key is unattached to your selfish desires. So, if you want to establish a Vipassana center, it's ok to have that desire. Even if you desire for enlightenment, it's still about you, so it's a selfish and unworthy desire.
In nature, you see existence for the greater good...the candle that burns itself to give light, the incense that turns to ashes so it can give fragrance. If you can give something for humanity without a quest for money, it's noble and righteous (I have to take exception at this. For many years, I was teaching free yoga as my service to humanity. But people don't value it...they show up late, don't show up at all, turn to their phones, etc. Why? Because if it's free, then it must be worthless! Now, I teach yoga for a fee. Because they paid for it, they take it seriously and learn).
There are people who have been meditating for years, or go to the temples and prostrate themselves and yet nothing happens. Why? Because the mind is not focused...it still wanders while praying, while doing yoga, etc. So, the practice becomes nothing more than a mechanical ritual (or perhaps there is an underlying selfish craving...like developing Siddhis).
The more we possess, the more we become attached...the more we feel the need to protect what we have. People with money are good examples - they have wealth and prosperity, but they are usually worried, minds always racing, and almost invariably, they are sick and taking medication (this brings me to a dilemma...I want to establish a yoga ashram that will outlive me. But to have that means I'm tethered to it...I'm no longer as free...an impediment to my mobility).
When there is non-thirst for even the gunas (constituents of
Nature) due to the realization of the Puruna (True Self), that is
It would be easier to say you're no longer attached to things that catch your senses. But it's harder to be non-attached to things you have already enjoyed before - these are the samskaras that leave in imprint on your psyche.
17. Samprajnata samadhi
Samprajnata samadhi (Distinguished, Savikalpa) is accompanied by reasoning, reflecting, rejoicing and pure I-am-ness.
(p95) Samadhi only becomes accessible when a person has achieved perfection in concentration and meditation (so, if you're still into bandhas and mudras, you're still a long way). The mind must already have a single-focus. In Samadhi the entire mind is used - thus the mind must have been sharpened through the practice of the first 7 limbs.
Thus the process of Samprajnata samadhi is involution, and not evolution. With involution, we reverse back the process of evolution until we arrive at the genesis. Thus, we begin with concrete objects (something from the outside). We apply reasoning to it. Then we reflect on subtle elements, then joy, then emptiness before anything began.
In Samprajnata samadhi, the buried seeds can still come into the conscious mind when the proper opportunity is given and pull you into worldly experience. That is why all the four stages should be passed before progressing into Asamprajnata samadhi.
18. Asamprajnata samadhi
Asamprajnata samadhi (Indistinguished, Nirvikalpa), by the firmly convinced practice of the complete cessation of the mental modifications, the impressions only remain. This is the other samadhi.
(p103) This samadhi is achieved when there is dedicated and unwavering commitment to the practice of meditation. A state where all mental activities, including thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, come to a complete stop - the mind is completely still. In this state, the mind is free from all distractions and is completely focused on the object of meditation - there is no sense of separation between the yogi and the object of their concentration. The yogi experiences a state of pure consciousness, free from all thoughts and distractions where there is no sense of self or individuality. This state is also known as Nirbija Samadhi or Seedless Samadhi. The Samskaras (impressions left by past thoughts, emotions, perceptions) remain, but the yogi is not affected by it nor thinking about it. He is just aware that they still exist.
Once achieved, the yogi is then liberated - this means he is still alive and functioning in the real world. But the real world becomes just a shadow or a past pre-liberation life where you are tossed and turned by events, places and people. Being liberated, these events, people and circumstances no longer have a hold on you - you have transcended them. You achieve a state of JivanMukta - someone who lives, but is liberated.
Thus, in summary, you must examine nature (don't deny it by isolating yourself, meditating in a cave), then learn how to control it, then push it aside and be liberated. Therefore, it is very important to master the 4 levels of Samprajnata first in order to experience Asamprajnata.
Those who merely leave their physical bodies and attain the
state of celestial deities, or those who get merged in Nature, have rebirth.
(p105) One who has achieved a certain level of Samadhi but dies before becoming liberated, is reborn as a celestial being (like Sri Yukteshwar Giri who came back a celestial being for Hiranyaloka after he died) in the higher planes (astral planes, etc) or goes back straight to earth as a human being. These celestial beings ultimately have to come back to earth also as a human being and again work their way towards liberation. However, since they have attained a level of Samadhi from a previous life, they may come back as a Siddha, a spiritual guru or an evolved soul. They don't start all over again, but continue where they left off before they died.
It's important to note that to be liberated, you have to be human. Thus the gods or celestial beings have to come back to earth as human beings in order to achieve liberation. Once they are liberated, they become Non-returners or Arahants. This means they are no longer subject to death and rebirth.
20. Triggers for Samprajnata samadhi
For the others, this Samprajnata samadhi could come through faith, vigor, memory, contemplation and/or by discernment.
(p108) In essence, there are other ways to achieve Asamprajnata other than meditation, namely: a strong conviction that this state-of-being exists, energetic zeal to pursue it, karmic blessings from the past, and wisdom to discern real and illusion. These are the other means by which an individual can progress along the path to spiritual realization, ultimately leading to the experience of Asamprajnata Samadhi.
21. Quick samadhi
To the keen and intent practitioner, samadhi comes very quickly.
22. Intensity of practice
The time necessary for success further depends on whether the practice is mild, medium or intense.
23. Devotion to Isvara
Samadhi is attained by devotion with total dedication
(p110) Self-surrender to the supreme consciousness also takes you to Samadhi.
24. Isvara is the ultimate reality
Isvara (Supreme Consciousness, Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality) is the supreme Purusa, unaffected by any afflictions, actions, fruits of actions or by any inner impressions of desires.
(p111) Isvara (Supreme Consciousness, Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality) has no desire, thus no action and no need to reap the fruits of action. Isvara is the universal consciousness that underlies all of creation. It is the source of all existence and the ultimate reality from which everything emanates.
25. Isvara is everything
In Isvara is the complete manifestation of the seed of
(p112) Isvara is everything. If we think we live in a finite reality, then we must accept that there is an infinite aspect of reality. How can there be a left without a right? One is simply a reference to the other. Thus, Isvara is both the finite and the infinite - the totality of everything.
26. Isvara is the root of all knowledge
Unconditioned by time, Isvara is the teacher of even the
most ancient teachers.
(p113) Aside from life experience, you get your knowledge from external sources - books, guru, etc. But these external sources got their knowledge from someone as well. If you trace the one source of all these knowledge, it leads you to Isvara - the source.
Emotional way is the easiest way to attain samadhi. All you have to do is surrender to the almighty. When you say, "I can", that is ego. When you say, "I can't , but I'll try and the rest is up to you." When you do that, you dissolve your ego. Thus devotion to Isvara is another way to achieve Samadhi. When we strive to be united with God, or the Universe, then we transcend nature and rise above our human limitations.
27. Isvara and OM
The word expressive of Isvara is the mystic sound OM. OM
is God’s name as well as form.
(p117) OM is the sound of God. It has the right vibration that encompasses all sound. We can chant OM and feel God within us - don't be mechanical...FEEL. God has been given thousands of names, but none exactly conveys God. If God is infinite, omnipresent and omniscient, then the only name that fits is OM. We can say "sugar", but you can't taste it. But when we chant OM, we feel God within. That is why the sound of OM is universal in many religions. The Christians say "Amen" and the Muslims say "Ameen".
There are 4 sounds to OM: A (ah), U (oo), M (mmmm) and the Anahata sound which is the vibration inherent in you (nada sound). Anahata is a continuous sound...so it doesn't end and repeat itself. It can be heard when all sounds cease - including the sound of thought. Yes, thought creates a sound, and that too must be silenced. Then you hear Anahata.
OM has a creative capacity like that of a seed. OM can manifest a reality you architecture. By chanting OM with intention, you co-create reality - for good or bad. You can use a mantra to bless or to curse.
28. Mantra and Japa
To repeat it with reflection upon its meaning is an aid.
(p126) OM is a mantra. A mantra is an utterance of sacred sounds. To chant a mantra repeatedly is japa. This repetition is practiced across many religions. In Christianity, they repeat the Hail Mary on the rosary, similarly to how a Hindu would chant on mala beads.
A mantra resides in your heart - thus you can chant it anytime, anywhere. You don't need a picture, token or be in a temple. You can half-silently chant as you wait your turn in a grocery checkout counter.
Your mantra must be kept secret (a guru usually gives you one) and regarded as sacred.
By repeatedly chanting a mantra, you develop an umbilical cord with your benevolent universe. You become tethered to divinity. When shit hits the fan, you just need to tug on that cord (chant your mantra) and divinity intervenes.
At first, there is no need to define the mantra - the vibrational frequency of the mantra is its meaning. Just chant, feel the reverberaton and remain aware. Feel divinity within as you chant.
As you chant, you feel divinity within. Your mind is focused on divinity. Where the mind goes, you invariably take that direction as well (as you think, so you become) - you head towards Godhead.
There are many mantras...some are just syllables while others are long elaborations. Different mantras serve different purposes. But any and all mantras have their basis in OM.
29. Removal of obstacles
From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self
(p131) As you are tethered to divinity when you chant, you hurdle all obstacles. You move through life with grace, unlike others who might be intelligent, muscular and imposing, but they hit a snag too often as they navigate themselves through life. You, as the meditator and the one who chants the mantra, you're like the surfer who found his 50-foot wave and simply enjoys the magical and struggle-free existence.
30. Many forms of obstacles
Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping
from the ground gained — these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles.
(p132) These obstacles usually develop as a domino-effect. A disease can create dullness of the mind. Dullness cause doubt, and you slide down this slippery path. Sometimes, you suffer a setback and you can't move on - you're energetically stuck. This is typical of the tamasic guna.
The yogic practice is full of obstacles and it's your challenge to navigate and hurdle them. If it were easy, then you're probably doing something wrong. My current obstacle is being in a yoga-rut. But it picks up again with continued practice. Now, I find excitement reading this book by supplementing it with input from the language AIs and my own insight, plus actually using my laptop time-break to practice it.
31. Keeping fit
Accompaniments to the mental distractions include distress, despair, trembling of the body and disturbed breathing.
(p135) At times, it's hard to meditate and concentrate. It happens. But sometimes, it could be because we are neglecting something more basic - exercise, enough sleep, healthy diet, etc. Meditation will not work if the body is weak and unhealthy.
32. Object of meditation
The practice of concentration on a single subject [or the use
of one technique] is the best way to prevent the obstacles and
(p137) Deliberate on what object to meditate on or the technique in meditation. Then stick to it no matter what. As you continue meditating on that object/method, you are akin to digging a deeper hole in the ground. If you keep changing the object/method, then you're like digging many shallow holes. Hmmm. I'm guilty of this. I do many types of meditation according to what suits me at the moment - nada, sambhavi, anapana, vipassana, mantra, etc. However, I don't feel that I should just stick to one. All of these methods are dear to me and they work for me. I don't know. I'm not ready to choose only one. Besides, objects of meditation or even mantras or any feature of yoga are just aids, like rungs on a ladder to help you climb up - they are not the goal unto themselves. The real goal is still mastery of the mind. Once you reach the roof, you don't need the ladder anymore.
33. Dealing with the 4 types of people
By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy,
compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and
disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff (citta) retains its
(p140) Satchidananda feels very strongly about this sutra. He says that if he can choose only one sutra, this is it. This refers to what we do or how we behave when we have to deal with these people. And nearly everyone falls in one of these:
It's important to note that the goal of the above is not to help people per se, but to behave in such a way that we keep the balance of the mind. People being helped in the process is just gravy.
34. Breath, Prana and Mind affect each other
Or that calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or
retention of the breath.
(p147) This sutra is about controlling the flow of prana - through Pranayama. This is done through our breathing. Patanjali didn't specify which Pranayama to do or what Kumbhaka to do. He simply said observe the breath as you regulate it.
Breath, prana and the mind directly influence each other. To control the mind, we can control prana through pranayama. By controlling the mind, breathing follows suit (when the mind is agitated, the breathing deepens and hastens). When the mind is in deep thought, the breathing almost stops. When we are angry, we can take a few deep breaths and that calms the mind.
35. Meditating on the sensation
Or the concentration on subtle sense perceptions can cause
steadiness of mind.
(p150) While in meditative concentration, you'll feel some isoteric sensations. You make these sensations as the object of the meditation. This is a good validation and leads to one-pointedness.
When you focus on the tip of the nose, at some point, you'll smell something fragrant. That means your mind reached single-pointedness. But it's just a test or a benchmark. Don't make 'nose-gazing and smelling fragrance' the objective of the meditation. Don't make it a game of sensation.
36. Envisioning Light
Or by concentrating on the supreme, ever-blissful Light
(p153) You can imagine Light on the Ajna chakra. At some point, the mind will be absorbed in it and it will be a pleasant experience. With continued practice, you won't have to imagine the Light. It will emanate.
37. Concentrating on someone's Light
Or by concentrating on a great soul’s mind which is totally
freed from attachment to sense objects.
(p154) If it is not possible to imagine a Light within (maybe you have a low self-esteem), try to imagine a Light on someone you hold in high regard - a guru, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Goraknath, etc. Concentrate on that person's virtues. Again, the mind can be absorbed in something lofty.
38. Dwelling on spiritual dreams
Or by concentrating on an experience had during dream or
(p155) When we experience spiritual dreams and feel exalted, try to dwell on that upon waking up. This instills serenity and one-pointedness. If you can't remember your dreams, but know you had a deep peaceful sleep, dwell on the peace in that sleep (not on the sleep per se).
39. Meditate on Anything
Or by meditating on anything one chooses that is elevating.
(p159) It's ok to meditate on anything that elevates you (not just make you feel good). There is no hard-and-fast rule that you should meditate on the guru, talisman or lingam. If you don't know, ask someone who knows - a teacher or guru. It's faster this way than to hit-or-miss.
40. Nothing is unknowable
Gradually, one’s mastery in concentration extends from the
primal atom to the greatest magnitude.
(p158) When meditation is mastered, nothing is unknowable. You gain access to the smallest particle to the entire universe. That's why sages knew about atoms thousands of years ago.
41. Everything merges into a singlularity
Just as the naturally pure crystal assumes shapes and colors of objects placed near it, so the yogi’s mind, with its totally weakened modifications, becomes clear and balanced and attains the state devoid of differentiation between knower, knowable and knowledge. This culmination of meditation is samadhi.
(p160) In yoga, as meditation becomes concentrated, thoughts and other sensory perceptions diminish until they all go away and the mind is single-pointed. In deep samadhi, you may not even be aware of what happens to your body. Such was the case of Ramana Maharshi who was in deep samadhi that he didn't realize his body was being devoured by insects. In Samadhi, the knowledge, knower and the knowing merge into one. Another way of putting it is, Consciousness, God and the Universe merge into one...into Emptiness.
42. Savitarka samadhi: name, form and knowledge of object
The samadhi in which name, form and knowledge of them is
mixed is called savitarka samadhi, or samadhi with deliberation
(p170) Going back to Savitarka samadhi from #, by meditating on an object, you can actually understand the sound, the meaning and the resulting knowledge of that object. While all these happen almost simultaneously, during samadhi, we can break it down to its anatomy.
43. Nirvitarka samadhi - only knowledge
When the memory is well purified, the knowledge of the
non-physical object of concentration shines alone, devoid of the distinction of name and quality. This is nirvitarka samadhi, or samadhi without deliberation.
(p172) In Nirvitarka samadhi, when the mind has become clear and free from distractions, the meditator experiences a pure, unadulterated state of awareness without the influence of conceptual distinctions or labels (name, form and quality are gone). In this deep state of samadhi, there is no active thinking, deliberation or analysis - there is just awareness.
44. Samadhi without active thinking or analysis
In the same way, both savicara (reflective) and nirvicara
(super or non-reflective) samadhi, which are practiced upon
subtle objects, are explained.
(p173) Savicara and Nirvitarka reveal finer qualities of the meditated non-physical object
45. Going beyond definition and concept
The subtlety of possible objects of concentration ends only
at the undefinable.
(p174) During samadhi, the finer (non-physical) objects (sound, touch, mind, ego) go into involution (reverts back to their unmanifested state where you cannot differentiate one from the other) - this is nature before form took place. The mind has the power to meditate on an object (Savitarka) and pierce through its involution before it came into its manifested form. Through the practice of yoga and meditation, one can go beyond the surface level of reality and experience the profound, tranquil, and unmanifested nature of existence - where there is no individual identity, form, or thought, only pure potential.
46. Strings attached
Each of the above kinds of samadhi are sabīja (with seed),
which could bring one back into bondage or mental disturbance.
(p175) In this state of Sabija samadhi, even though there is absorption of the mind, the mind is not completely free because there are still strings attached to the default world of desire, memory and attachment. One can still slide back unless the mind is pure. How to purify? It wasn't mentioned but the only logical process is Shatkriya.
47. Realizing the Atma
In the purity of nirvicara samadhi, the supreme Self shines.
(p178) In Nirvicara samadhi (no more strings - no thoughts, desires, memories, fluctuations, etc), the true nature of the self is experienced - no ego and no individual identity. This is not just an intellecutual understanding but a direct experience.
48. Tambhara prajna is the highest state of self-realization
This is tambhara prajna, or the absolute true consciousness
(p178) Tambhara is a state of consciousness in which there is an unqualified and direct experience of the true nature of reality. The practitioner experiences the ultimate truth without any distortions or limitations. This is the highest level of consciousness attainable through meditation and self-realization.
49. Truth is expereinced, not learned
This special truth is totally different from knowledge gained
by hearing, study of scripture or inference.
(p179) Tambhara prajna connects you with God and allows you to know and understand without study. This means you have transcended mind - because mind cannot access God. God can be accessed by silence, but not by a preacher or books.
50. An overwriting
The impression produced by this samādhi wipes out all
(p183) In this samadhi, the mind is focused and still, leading to profound insights or experiences that overshadow the previous thoughts and conditioning of the yogi. This transformation is foundational and irreversible - like going to Burningman and coming back a different person. You become a Jivanmukta - someone who is still alive but liberated. A Jivanmukta usually lives in the default world (not secluded in a cave), interacting with humanity but not attached. He is not affected by a rotting corpse or winning the lottery. He knows it's all an illusion...Praktri
51. Nirbīja samādhi
When even this impression is wiped out, every impression is
totally wiped out and there is nirbīja [seedless] samādhi.
(p185) The profound insights gained from lower samadhi are all overwritten by the highest samadhi. This is Nirbīja samādhi, the highest samadhi higher than Tambhara prajna. There is no more birth or death for you; you realize your immortality - an arahant.
II: Sadhana Pada (Practice)
Pantanjali now talks about the progressive practice of Kriya Yoga. This is not the same as Paramahansa Yogananda's Kriya Yoga (breathing and mantra). Kriya Yoga in reference to his Yoga Sutras are of 3 elements:
1. Tapas, Study and Surrender
Accepting pain as help for purification, study of spiritual
books and surrender to the Supreme Being constitute Yoga in practice.
(p189) Purification by pain (Tapas)
This means viewing challenges as a means to progress - don't focus on the discomfort but focus on the opportunity to learn. This is Tapas (austerity) where you do something the hard way instead of the easy way to develop toughness and strong mental resolve - tapas is not about self-torture. By enduring pain and hardship, you burn your impurities. We exist in this lifetime in human form to learn lessons specific to our karma. Life throws us a series of tests in order for us to learn these lessons. These tests can consist of hardship, betrayal, desperation, hunger, etc. How we deal with these tests determine if we have learned the lesson. If we fail, we are doomed to be reborn to go through that test again. This becomes a vicious cycle until we get it - just like Groundhog Day.
Another analogy is Super Mario. He tries to reach the end goal but early on, he fails a test and dies. He lives again (reincarnation) to try that test again. When he passes the test, he continues to live, goes on a higher level and is presented a more difficult test which he has to pass (or die and be reborn again). This goes on until he passes all the tests and there are no more tests (self-realization).
Brahmacharya doesn't mean suppress sex - no, because that will fail and turn priests into pedofiles. It means control.
Words can be manifested as tapas too. Words should be truthful, pleasant and beneficial. It shoud bring understanding. (I would like to add that words should also be spoken only when needed. Otherwise, it's best to just listen and understand. And when speaking, talk slowly. Unless needed, don't make it about you - nobody is interested).
Even with a guru, it is still best to keep reading and be educated by sacred text on anything about self-evolution (not just any book). Why? Because the guru cannot teach you everything - and doesn't know everything. Through books, you glean the wisdom of other teachers and develop a profound understanding of the principles of yoga. And once read, try to practice the teachings and read them again - new insights will emerge as your evolution needs it. (This is the same with going to a 10-day Vipassana course. It's the same video tape you listen to, but you always come away with something different that you need to learn. So it's always fresh even after so many sits).
You have to become the living embodiment of the book - don't just become a walking library or a talking head, impressing people with how much you know. In the same way, to fully understand God, you have to become God yourself, otherwise, you only understand him from your limited human bias - you have to transcend the mind, trusting that true knowledge lies beyond the mind. When the mind has been breached, then knowledge becomes experiential...not just concept. And the only thing worthy of being quoted is your experience (not any external reference).
You dissolve your ego and surrender to the bigger forces at play. Cover your bases and do your due diligence but keep humble for divine intervention to make things happen. Oftentimes, your thinking gets in the way of the process. Let go and let divinity do what it's supposed to do.
In doing an act of kindness, you'll know if you did it to stroke your ego. To be selfless, it helps to think, "May this act of kindness make me a worthy creation." Then you no longer think of how great you are.
In practising non-attachment, it helps to see your role as 'trustee' and not 'owner'. So yoga is not just asana but positive thinking/action in difficult times (tapas), pursuit of knowledge (svadhyaha) and subordination to the divine (isvara puja).
2. Obstacles to Samadhi (kleshas)
Kriya Yoga helps us minimize obstacles and attain samadhi.
(p198) /When Kriya Yoga is practiced (tapas, self-study/reflection, surrender to the divine), all obstacles to samadhi are removed.
3. Five Obstacles to Samadhi
Ignorance, egoism, attachment, hatred and clinging to
bodily life are the five obstacles (klesas).
(p200) These 5 obstacles to samadhi adhere to the domino-principle - one causes failure to the next. With ignorance, ego comes into play. With ego comes attachment to prop the ego. With attachment comes hatred to anyone who comes in between. And with attachment, you want to live forever to keep it forever after.
- Attachment to Life
4. Ignorance (Avidya)
Ignorance is the field for the others mentioned after it, whether they be dormant, feeble, intercepted or sustained.
(p201) Ignorance comes in 4 levels depending on the person's age and evolution.
5. Self and Non-Self
Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the
impure as pure, the painful as pleasant and the non-Self as the
(p204) Ignorance being the way it is, is operating on faulty assumptions based on limited human perception.
6. Ego (asmita)
Egoism is the identification, as it were, of the power of the
Seer (Puruṣa) with that of the instrument of seeing [body/mind].
(p209) This sutra suggests that egoism, or the sense of "I" and "mine," arises when the consciousness (True Self, Purusa, Seer, ATma, Boddhi Citta) becomes entangled or identified with the experiences and perceptions of the mind and body - happiness, sadness, prosperity, impoverishness. The practice of yoga involves disentangling Consciousness from external perceptions.
e.g. If you are good looking and became a star because of it, you identify yourself as this good looking guy. If you age and become wrinkled, it's very hard to accept this degeneration. It's very hard for the ego to take this. If you don't identify with this, then it's ok to age gracefully - you are unaffected by the aging process.
e.g. If you are intelligent and keep impressing others about your intellect, then you are constantly afraid of someone being smarter than you. You are also constantly afraid of looking stupid. There is so much invested on the ego that it becomes catastrophic to be made to appear dumb.
7. Attachment (Raga)
Attachment is that which follows identification with
(p211) Any desire or longing for something impermanent is attachement - flashy car, fame, wealth, popularity, etc. If it's hard for you to walk away from it, chances are, you are already attached to it. The mind is pulled towards these attachements and it can no longer remain still and focused - it now behaves like a junkie in search of his fix. It reinforces ego by saying, "I love this." The mind becomes entangled with the pleasures of the material world and fears its loss.
This doesn't mean you isolate yourself in a cave. As human beings functioning in the real world, we just need to be vigilant and aware of our attachment - when you own a fancy car, be aware that this car will not last forever. So when someone steals it, you can just say, "Ah that moment has arrived." It's still painful, but you get over it fast. You don't lose the balance of your mind.
8. Aversion (Dvesha)
Aversion is that which follows identification with painful
(p211) Aversion is a personal mental/emotional state of avoiding/rejecting/repulsing things, people, events, actions that cause unpleasantness or unhappiness. We develop an aversion to anger, resentment, pain, suffering, loss, fear, etc. It reinforces ego by saying, "I don't like this." As soon as we have this aversion, the balance of the mind is already compromised - thus samadhi is no longer possible. Like attachment, aversion distracts the mind from focus and thereby making samadhi impossible.
9. Clinging to life (Abhinivesa)
Clinging to life, flowing by its own potency [due to past experience], exists even in the wise.
(p214) This isn't so much as love of life as it is of fearing death and change - an aversion. With too much survival instinct in play (prepping, etc.), the mind cannot be still. To overcome this fear of death and fear of the unknown, one must develop a deeper understanding of impermanence. It also helps to understand that death is not the end but simply a transition for the Boddhi Citta to leave the current body and move to the next one - much like changing clothes. Consciousness does not die.
10. Ignorance: the root cause of Obstacles to Samadhi
In subtle form, these obstacles can be destroyed by
resolving them back into their primal cause [the ego].
(p218) ChatFPT4: These obstacles have their root cause in Ignorance. Through the practice of yoga (self-inquiry, discernment, cultivation of knowledge, tapas, reflection and surrender), then insights into the nature of reality, the true-self, and the interconnectedness of all things are revealed that ultimately dissolve ignorance. This paves the way to samadhi (deep meditative absorption and unification with the divine).
11. Removing Thought-Forms
In the active state, thought-forms can be destroyed by meditation
(p219) Author: There are 2 thought-forms:
- Manifested - when they are brought to the surface (you haven't acted on it...not yet). Once on the surface, you can observe it (vedania) without reacting. You can trace it down to its origin, which is always ego. When you relinquish ego through awareness, observation and meditation, all these thought forms vanish as well.
The womb of karmas (actions and reactions) has its root in these 5 obstacles, and the karmas bring experiences in the present life or in the future births
(p221) Bad karma is caused by the 5 obstacles to samadhi (ignorance, ego, attachment, craving, and clinging to life). Karma is causality - action (cause) and its result (effect). For every action, there is reaction. For every deed (good or bad), there is a corresponding result (parami or merits for a good deed and 'punishment' for a bad deed). If the corresponding result is not immediately manifested, it doesn't go away. It is stored for future manifestation - therefore, karma is debt you cannot escape. Not even death will break you free of your karma. If you die with unmanifested karma (unpaid debts), you will be reborn to pay for that debt. As you are reborn, you can cause more bad karma so you'll have more karma in the succedding life than in the previous life. The intention is to remove all bad karma.
As you pay your karma, it means you're also learning the lessons you need to learn in your human-life existence, making you a more evolved person. When there is no karma left, you must have already learned everything you needed to learn in your lifetime, thus no more rebirth (arahant). Your existence has served its purpose.
13. Reborn as a Non-Human
(p226) With the existence of the root (karmic action), there will be fruits (consequences) also:
namely, the births of different species of life, their life spans
Author: When you get reborn, you may not be born as a human being. If you tried to be cunning in your previous life, you could be born as a fox. If you were a glutton for food, you can be reborn as a pig. Even if it's a step-back from Darwinian evolution, the soul continues to grow and evolve.
ME: Some animals are not sentient. How can they evolve if they're not even self-aware? And really, how can an animal who acts on instinct ever be bad? So this rebirth as an animal doesn't make sense to me. It makes more sense to me that you are born as another human being, somehow being instinctive of your previous life's transgressions, so you can pick up where you left off and re-do life this time, hopefully, learning from your past mistakes so you don't suffer that same karma. My analogy to all this birth and rebirth is Super Mario - he dies so many times, but every incarnation makes him better than the last time, and he goes on living life until he gets realized (no longer being 'killed' in the game).
ChatGPT4: What we are now, is a result of what we did in the previous life. We cannot do anything about that. However, what we do now, determines what our next life will be - and we have full control over that. So, use this life wisely.
14. Be Aware of your Actions Now
(p228) The karmas bear fruits of pleasure and pain caused by merit and demerit.
For good actions, you get rewarded with prosperity, happiness and bliss. For bad deeds, you experience suffering. However you are in the current state, is all your making (even if the cause was a bad deed from a previous life) - no one else. Life is that simple. So, be aware of what you think, what you do and what you say because there will be repercussions - either immediately, later or in the next life.
15. Attachment and Suffering
(p230) To one of discrimination, everything is painful indeed, due to its consequences: the anxiety and fear over losing what is gained; the resulting impressions left in the mind to create renewed cravings; and the constant conflict among the three gunas, which control the mind.
ChatGPT4: This refers to the nature of suffering and the consequences of attachment. Anyone who can discern real/unreal, will see everything in this material world to cause anxiety (for fear of losing something you are attached to), craving (for the temporary sense pleasure it provides and more craving), mental agitation (the gunas or quality shifts and fluctuates - sattvic, tamasic and rajasic).
Thus attachment and craving lead to suffering. Question: What are you attached to?
Author: All experiences in the external world are temporary, no matter how painful or sweet. Attachment brings pain in the long term because you can't have it for all time. Even if you don't lose it, you fear losing it and this fear is also an obstacle to samadhi. It doesn't mean you walk away from the default world. No. If you don't fit into society, don't take refuge in an ashram. Deal with reality. Live life but be aware that anything you have is temporary and will go away. This way, when you do lose them, you still keep the balance of your mind.
16. Mindfulness and Awareness to Stay Present
(p235) Pain that has not yet come is avoidable.
ChatGPT4: This refers to living in the present moment and cultivating mindfulness to avoid unnecessary suffering associated with future events. Suffering is caused by attachment, craving and fear/worry about the future. But if we stay present and remain equanimous and reflect on the nature of impermanence and detachment, the attachment/craving/fear dissipate and suffering ceases. While suffering begins at the external, the mind amplifies it when it reacts and gets sucked into the game. But by becoming aware, the mind regains equanimity.
ME: Actually, any form of mental agitation is helped by awareness alone. Add breathing and it goes away. At least the mild ones. The very strong fluctuations are more challenging to neutralize.
17. Suffering results when Consciousness is sucked in the Material World
(p236) The cause of that avoidable pain is the union of the Seer (Purusa) and the Seen (Prakrti or Nature).
Author: Suffering is caused when the Seer identifies with the Seen - when the Observer thinks he is what he observes (he sees his jacked body in a mirror and he basks in his muscularity,"I am beautiful" instead of "this body is beautiful"). The observer is Consciousness and the observed is everything else.
Google Bard: There should be a stronger emphasis to actively disengage the entanglement of the consciousness and the material world as this is the root cause of suffering. Examples:
1. Observe your thoughts and emotions without judgment - when something pisses you off (barking dogs, garbage burning), instead of reacting, pause and observe your thoughts as they arise without changing or suppressing them - just observe.
2. Disconnect from external stimuli - in the default world can be a dysfunctional society with all its lights, noise and chaos. Step back from all of that - do an detox on social media, go to nature, meditate.
3. Cultivate a sense of equanimity - go to a place where it's noisy and chaotic. In the middle of all that, try to observe what's around you while keeping calm and balanced. By remaining non-reactive, you realize you have power over all these aberrations.
4. Engage in selfless service - volunteer in a clean-up drive, soup kitchen, or bring a sack and collect garbage. With selfless service, you don't make it about you. Your suffering becomes less important.
5. Remember your true nature - constantly remind yourself that you are not the body, the senses and the feeling. You are timeless and eternal - you are consciousness.
18. What exactly is the Seen (the observed, Prakrti, nature, observed, illusion)
(p238) The seen is of the nature of the gunas: illumination, activity and inertia; and consists of the elements and sense organs, whose purpose is to provide both experiences and liberation to the Purusa.
Author: The Seen (the observed, the material world) gives us our human experience. But what exactly is the Seen? The Seen is made up of the 5 elements, the qualities of nature, our senses. We experience them altogether as life and we react to it. But all of life is just a passing show - we observe and learn without being sucked into it.
ChatGPT4: This elaborates on what make up the external world. This external world (Prakrti, Nature, observed, illusion) is a manifestation of the 5 elements, the 5 perception senses, and the qualities inherent in nature. These elements interact and give rise to various forms and manifestations in the external world. As our sensory organs (nose, eyes, tongue, ear, flesh) interact with these forms, we get experience. The world is there for us to experience and learn from life. The external world is also the means to liberation - through the lessons we learn, we ultimately liberate ourselves. So, without the external world, no experience is gained, no lesson is learned and no liberation takes place.
ME: The Seen that gives us the human experience happens because we need to learn something in this lifetime - that is our purpose. We are not here to just occupy space. You have a different life experience from the other guy because the lessons you need to learn are unique to you. When you learn these lessons, you'll be reborn to learn other lessons. When you learn all these lessons, then your existence already served its purpose and there is no more reason for a rebirth. Again, it's like Super Mario - you keep dying and keep getting reborn, going through the same hurdles until you reach the ultimate destination.
19. Qualities of the Seen (nature, observed, material world, illusion)
(p250) The stages of the gunas are specific, non-specific, defined and undefinable.
Author: Nature (the Seen, observed, material world, illusion) is categorized into 4 stages:
ChatGPT4: (ME: here, ChatGPT4 presents a very different interpretation of this sutra. But this is quite powerful and presents a clear distinction between Purusa (consciousness) and Prakrti (the material world)) This sutra elaborates on the qualities of nature (gunas) and what make them up. All of creation have 3 inherent qualities to it - sattvic (clarity), rajasic (action) and tamasic (inert). These Gunas manifest in various ways to influence the Element, Sense Objects and Sense Organs.
3 Gunas (3 qualities inherent in nature)
The 3 Gunas influence the following:
By being aware and understanding how these Gunas influence the fluctuations of our sensory perception and experience of the default world, we develop a better sense of separation or the existing duality (that we are not what we identified ourselves with). This helps us transcend this external world and achieve a higher state of consciousness.
This Yoga sutra is aligned along the Samkhya philosophy (one of the 6 classical schools of Hindu philosophy)which presents that the universe as a interplay between two fundamental principles: Purusha (pure consciousness), and Prakriti (material world) with its qualities (Gunas) of clarity, activity, and inertia. It explains how the world evolves from the interaction of these principles (gunas, 5 sensory perceptions [+ ego, mind, intellect, cosmic existence], sense objects, 5 elements) and emphasizes that understanding this distinction leads to liberation. Samkhya is closely linked with Yoga, collectively known as Samkhya-Yoga, which combines philosophical insights (Samkhya) with practical techniques (Yoga) for spiritual growth and self-realization.
20. Qualities of the Seer (Purusha, True self, Consciousness, Observer)
(p252) The Seer is nothing but the power of seeing which, although pure, appears to see through the mind.
Author: The previous sutra talked about the Seen. In this sutra, the Seer is discussed. When the mind gains medical knowledge, it wants to be a doctor - this is how the Seer is sucked into the mind's world and begins to identify with the mind. Yoga aids in making the distinction that the Seer can break-away from its tether. E.g. instead of condemning sinners, yoga helps in seeing sinners as tomorrow's saints, that everyone was also a sinner at one point. This allows the Seer to escape the clutches of the mind.
"The Seer is pure vision; even though pure, it looks through the (mind's) ideas."
This sutra continues to explore the relationship between the Seer (Purusha, True self, Consciousness, Observer) and what is Seen (Prakriti, external world, including the mind). The Seer is distinct from the mind. The Seer sees reality as it is - it is not influenced by worldly experiences. The Seer is pure, eternal and unchanging. However, as pure as it is, the Seer is engaged with the experience of the mind. Thus, the Seer sees reality through the mental constructs of the mind - not reality as it really is. The Seer plays 2 roles - one as unchanging/pure, and the other one, largely influenced by what the mind experiences.
When the Seer realizes that it is dancing with the mind and then maintains a detached awareness, observing the activities of the mind without being entangled or identified with them, when it realizes the distinction between the unchanging Seer and the changing phenomena of the mind, then the Seer is aligned back to its true nature, leading to self-realization and liberation.
ME: Getting the Seer to rise up above the mental fluctuation is really hard because the Seer experiences reality through the mind. The Seer must remain aware while being inside the mind which means constant awareness. This is very difficult.
21. The Seer is Witness to the Mind
(p254) The seen exists only for the sake of the Seer.
Author: The Seer appears to be experiencing the fluctuation of the mind because that's how we see it from our human perspective. But the truth is, the Seer is simply the witness to what the mind is experiencing.
ME: The material world (Seen) is dormant without the interaction of consciousness (Seer). It is that interaction that gives us the human experience from which to learn the lessons we need to learn in this lifetime. It's up to us to be vigilant not to be caught up on the fluctuations of the mind so that consciousness remains unaffected by the mind.
22. Success and Exhilaration fades away as the New Normal
(p256) Although destroyed for one who has attained liberation, the Seen still exists for others, being common to them.
Author: To one who is evolved, he understands the illusion of reality and impermanence of achievement. A beauty queen so becomes wrinkled. A rich man can suffer losses and become poor. These are all fluctuations a yogi realizes and becomes aware of. But before the yogi becomes realized, he has to do his fair share of living life and learning from it. You have to face your fear or be reborn reliving that fear...until you finally get it.
"What has been accomplished is lost when its purpose is fulfilled ; what has not been accomplished is not lost. It is common to all."
This sutra addresses the nature of attachments and desires, highlighting the impermanence of fulfillment and the enduring nature of that which remains unfulfilled. When a desire has been fulfilled, the sense of achievement is temporary and soon fades away. For unfulfilled desires, the longing continues.
E.g. When you gain a much coveted promotion, you feel elated and gains a sense of heightened self-worth. But after a while, this feeling fades away since this now becomes the new normal. So this feeling of exhilaration does not last. Better to put your bet on something permanent...like reaching new heights in yoga. However, if you don't achieve your goal, you will remain motivated.
23. Seer and Seen are Co-dependents
(p260) The union of the Owner (Purusa) and Owned (Prakrti)
causes the recognition of the nature and powers them both.
Author: It is through the interaction of the Seer with the Seen that the Seer realizes its true nature. The Seer needs this interaction and experience to realize itself because the Seer alone cannot achieve this. By itself, the Seen is dormant. But together, they perform a dance.
"The union between the Seer and the Seen is the means of realizing one's true nature."
Self-realization happens when the Seer engages with the Seen and the Seer sees that it is timeless and spaceless while the Seen is a temporary illusion.
ME: Again, I go back to my position that the Seer needs to interact with the Seen for its human experience to learn whatever lessons need to be learned. This will not happen in the vacuum of non-interaction.
24. Ignorance and Maya
(p261) The cause of the Observer/Observed union is ignorance
Author: Ignorance is a late realization by the Observer. After havng united with the Observed, it realizes that it is sucked into the world of illusion (Maya) and snaps out of it. Thus there was ignorance for the union to take place in the first place.
ChatGPT4: The Observer (Purusha, consciousness, True Self) is caught in this cycle of birth, death and rebirth (Samsara) because of Ignorance (lack of true knowledge about the nature of reality, particularly the misidentification of the True Self with the fluctuations of the mind and the material world).
ME: Instead of calling it 'ignorance', I would simply call the union a 'process that needed to take place'. Again, I restate my position that the Observer needs to interact with the Observed for the human experience to take place, and thus learn the lessons that need to be learned for self-realization to happen. True, to someone who doesn't know any better (someone who lived a normal life toiling the 9-5 job and looking after family without any kind of spiritual awakening) this union (Consciousness mired in the default world) is a rite of passage that happens unbeknownst to the Observer - if you want to call that ígnorance. But after the realization, the Observer realizes it is much bigger than the Observed and thus breaks away from the union.
25. No Ignorance, No Union
(p263) Without this ignorance, no such union occurs. This is the independence of the Seer.
Author: As soon as ignorance is lifted, Purusha (Conciousness, Seer, Observer, True Self) reverts back to its true nature, unshackled by the fluctuation of mind and the world. Everything we experience is mental, no matter how painful, joyful or real. When the mind is shifted from its focus of pain, we don't feel the pain. E.g. You were pissed because you lost your watch. Then you heard your friend died. Suddenly, you are overcome with grief - you forgot that you were pissed. Same thing with the lifting of ignorance...the mental fluctuation dimishes in its intensity.
"By the absence of ignorance, the conjunction of the seer and the seen does not exist, and ignorance is dissolved; this is the isolation of the seer."
This emphasizes the profound impact of eliminating ignorance (avidya) through the practice of yoga. Ignorance is seen as the root cause of the union or entanglement of the seer (the true self or Purusha) with the fluctuations of the mind and the material world. Through the removal of this ignorance, the seer attains isolation or liberation, experiencing a state of pure consciousness independent of the external world.
ME: I disagree that the union should not happen to avoid ignorance - the union has to take place. Consciousness in human form cannot experience liberation independent of "reality". Ignorance must take place in order for lessons to be learned. We can look at human life as a microcosm of this bigger cosmic evolution. A baby is born ignorant and finds sustenance from the default world. It's very survival hinges on that interaction with reality. As the baby matures, it gets slapped around by life. And with mindfulness and deep insight, he comes to a realization that identifying with this default world is all bullshit. This begins his spiritual evolution that leads to liberation. But my whole point is that reaity has to be experienced first before any kind of realization to happen - union and ignorance must take place. This is the baby-step.
26. Discerning the Eternal and Non-eternal duality of matter
(p267) Uninterrupted discriminative discernment is the method for the removal of ignorance.
Author: This is about Discernment (Viveka). Everything can be classified as either non-changing and ever-changing. It is important to constantly discern what is non-changing from the ever-changing.
E.g. your self. The body is ever-changing since new cells are born as old cells die. In 12 years, all the cells in your body would have already been replaced. However, your Consciousness remains without change. Keep this discernment that even within you, there are elements of eternal and transitional. The same is true for everything else.
"Through the unwavering discernment comes the means of destruction of ignorance."
A constant and unwavering awareness of what is real vs unreal, eternal vs non-eternal, removes the tethering of the Oberser from the Observed.
ME: In thermodynamics, tree is turned to firewood and firewood becomes ash and ash reverts back to the elements and morphs into something else. This element keeps morphing, assuming many states and names. But its very essence remains there - the information is never lost. This is the cardinal rule of Thermodynamics - information is never lost. This mirrors this Sutra - that there are eternal elements (information) and there are non-eternal elements (wood, ash, etc.) existing in the same matter.
This is another convergence of mysticism and science - truth is universal. No matter where it comes from (from science, from mysticism or from someone's shithole), ultimately, it says the same thing.
27. Seven Stages to Final Wisdom
(p270) One’s wisdom in the final stage is sevenfold:
Note: It should be noted that the Sutra did not specify the 7 phases but the Author listed 7 down - perhaps this is from his yogic tradition
Author: These are the different stages along the Yogic path:
- Liberation - with the mind being absorbed, only the Perusha is left. Nothing else exists. Liberation has been attained.
You can read all the yoga books, go to all the pilgrimages, live in an ashram, wear the saffron robe, argue with the scholars, but realization will not take place because these are all external sources. All you have to do is find the answers within - close the senses to the outside world and look inside.
Books, yantras, etc are enablers. But once they serve their purpose, you move on and leave them behind. E.g. you use the breath to go into deep meditation. Once in meditative absorption, there is no longer any need to focus on the breath. Focus on the next thing. E.g. once you finish learning and practicing what's on the book, give the book to the next guy - don't perch the book on an altar.
I remember a good friend from Chiang Mai who makes a living being a guru. He has read 34 boxes of spiritual books and can recite a non-ending discourse on anything about spirituality. At the end, he confided that the books began to sound all the same - they were saying the same thing. Lesson here is you don't have to devour the world's knowledge - they get in the way of the process, stroke your ego (Oh, I'm so smart I know more than anyone else here). Work with an idea that caught your attention and dive deep into it. You'll know when the time to move on happens.
"The practitioner's consciousness reaches the ultimate stage of sevenfold knowledge."
This sutra suggests the progression of knowledge or consciousness through seven stages. Patanjali does not explicitly list the seven stages of knowledge.
28. Practicing the 8 Limbs of Yoga leads to Discernment
(p280) By the practice of the limbs of Yoga, the impurities dwindle away and there dawns the light of wisdom, leading to discriminative discernment.
Author: Patanjali describes another way to practice yoga - the 8 Limbs method.
"Indeed, through the practice of the limbs of yoga and with the destruction of impurities, there arises the light of knowledge, leading to discriminative discernment."
Through the practice of the 8 limbs of yoga, impurities are burned, true knowledge is gained leading to discernment of the Observer vs the Observed.
29. 8 Limbs of Yoga
(p281) The eight limbs of Yoga are:
31. Yoga is Universal
(p284) These great vows are universal, not limited by class, place, time or circumstance.
Author: These are Great Vows and cannot be broken by any excuse for any dedicated Yogi. Lesser mortals are allowed to modify.
"The great vow is universal and not restricted by birth, region, time, or tradition."
The practice of yoga is universal. No one is excluded regardless of age, sex, caste, or religion.
33. Replacing Negative Thinking with Positive Thinking
(p287) When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of. This is pratipaksa bhāvana
Author: If one is flooded by hatred, instead of immersing into it, think of the opposite - love. If we can't mentally do that, be with someone you love or change your environment. Hatred will not go to the surface. This is a good way to control the mind. If husband/wife are fighting, the tension dissipates when the baby crawls up to them.
34. Catching Negative Thoughts
(p290) When negative thoughts or acts such as violence, etc. are done, caused to be done or even approved of—whether incited by greed, anger or infatuation—whether indulged in with mild, medium or extreme intensity, they are based on ignorance and bring certain pain. Reflecting upon this is also pratipakṣa bhāvana.
Author: When we allow negativity inflicted to others, directly or indirectly, it ultimately leads to pain and misery. This is ignorance.
"When disturbed by thoughts of violence and others, whether done, caused, or approved, whether arising from greed, anger, or delusion, and whether mild, moderate, or intense, cultivate the opposite mental attitude. These thoughts, when they become infinite, result in infinite pain and ignorance. Thus, cultivate the opposite."
Negative thoughts can come from many sources, even external people. If left unchecked, it will manifest as violence and ultimately lead to pain and misery. With awareness, you can catch the negative thought early on and replace it with love, compassion or empathy.
35. Ahimsa (non-violence) and its Surrounding Resonance
(p292) In the presence of one firmly established in nonviolence, all hostilities cease.
Author: No violence happens around a person who vibrates ahimsa (through thought, words and deeds). It's like water that douses fire. Sages and seers in the jungle are not harmed by wild animals if they practice ahimsa. A person practising ahimsa vibrates peace, harmony and connectedness. This was practiced by Buddha, Gandhi, Mandela, etc.
"When non-violence (ahimsa) is established, hostility ceases in one's vicinity."
This sutra emphasizes the transformative power of non-violence (ahimsa) in cultivating inner peace and harmony. It states that when non-violence becomes firmly established within an individual, hostility or animosity (vaira) naturally subsides in those around them.
The sutra highlights the ripple effect of ahimsa, suggesting that our own actions and intentions have a profound influence on the environment and interactions we create. By embodying non-violence in our thoughts, words, and deeds, we foster a peaceful atmosphere that disarms hostility and promotes understanding.
Ahimsa is not merely about avoiding physical harm; it extends to the realm of thoughts and emotions. It encompasses cultivating kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, refraining from judgment and criticism, and extending empathy to all living beings.
When ahimsa becomes deeply rooted in our being, it radiates outwards, creating a magnetic field of peace that gently dissolves animosity in others. This transformative power of ahimsa is not forceful or coercive; rather, it operates through the subtle power of resonance, inspiring others to adopt a similar mindset of non-violence.
In essence, Sutra 2.35 underscores the interconnectedness of our actions and the impact we have on the world around us. By cultivating ahimsa within ourselves, we not only promote inner peace but also contribute to a more harmonious and peaceful world.
ME: I rememmber a time in Canada, I was walking towards home at around 2:30am. Most of the people still out at that time were either drunk, smashed already or warlike. There was a bloodied group of young guys walking in front of me who were openly looking for a fight. They yelled expletives at everyone they saw. Of course they saw me behind, but I was in a state of bliss, completely non-reative to their threatening presence. They completely ignored me, but yelled expletives at everyone else.
36. Satya (truthfulness) Leads to Manifestation
(p294) To one established in truthfulness, actions and their results become subservient.
Author: When someone practices truthfulness, his words manifest. This is almost magical. A person who speaks the truth is bestowed with almost magical power to manifest his words. He doesn't have to do any work because his words alone will ensure the task is done. When one is honest, there is no fear, there is nothing to hide and one experiences freedom. But if our honesty will cause harm or pain, it is best to be silent. When pushed, instead of saying, "I don't know" (which is a lie), you say, "I know, but I'll keep it to myself.". Once the benefit of being truthful is experienced, it gets addicting to be truthful because it produces a high.
"When truthfulness (satya) is established, the fruits of actions become dependent on truth."
Essentially, it highlights the idea that living truthfully in speech, action and thought leads to a harmonious alignment between one's actions and their consequences.
Truthfulness permeates every aspect of our lives, guiding our intentions and shaping our actions. The sutra suggests that when we act with truthfulness, our actions become aligned with the natural order of the universe (no self-interest, ego, or fear), and a genuine desire to contribute to the well-being of all. As a result, the outcomes of our actions become pure and unblemished, free from negative karma or unintended consequences. When we embrace truthfulness, we see the world with clarity and discern the right course of action. Our actions become aligned with dharma, the ethical and harmonious way of living, leading to positive and beneficial outcomes. By cultivating truthfulness in all aspects of our lives, we purify our intentions, enhance our actions, and pave the way for a life of fulfillment and meaningful results.
ME: As a general rule, I don't lie. By not lying, I feel a lightness of being - no baggage. Perhaps this is due to absence of guilt. You know you are aligned to virtue and the right way. Of course if my truthfulness will cause harm, I rather keep my mouth shut.
37. Non-stealing (asteya) leads to Abundance
"To one established in non-stealing, all wealth comes."
(p298) When you want to become rich, all you have to do is not steal. When we want to take everything without giving as much, it's stealing because it's greed. Nature is naturally benevolent to those who are not greedy and don't steal. When you hoard wealth and it's not shared, energy is stuck and there is a natural tendency for that wealth to 'escape'. But when used properly, it's an energy that moves and enriches. When surplus potatoes are dumped in the ocean to 'stabilize prize', this is theft to those who are hungry with nothing to eat. It's a sinful way to use what nature has endowed. The richest person is the one with a cool mind, free of tension and anxiety.
"When non-stealing (asteya) is established, all jewels come."
It suggests that when an individual adheres to the principle of non-stealing, not only in terms of material possessions but also in a broader sense of ethical conduct, they attain a state where all valuable and precious things come to them. This could be interpreted not only as material wealth but also as spiritual and ethical richness that manifests when one lives a life of integrity and honesty.
When non-stealing becomes firmly established within an individual, all wealth naturally comes to them. Non-stealing encompasses not only refraining from physical theft but also avoiding the exploitation of others, taking advantage of others' misfortune, and harboring greed. When non-stealing becomes deeply ingrained in our being, it cultivates a sense of contentment and abundance, eliminating the need for material possessions to fill a void within. The sutra suggests that when we live in accordance with the principle of non-stealing, we align ourselves with the natural flow of abundance and prosperity. We become magnets for wealth, not in the sense of material riches alone, but also in the form of knowledge, wisdom, and meaningful experiences. The transformative power of non-stealing lies in its ability to dissolve the illusion of scarcity and separation. When we embrace non-stealing, we recognize that abundance is not limited and that we are all interconnected parts of a vast and bountiful universe. We cultivate a sense of gratitude for what we have and a willingness to share our gifts with others. By cultivating non-stealing in our thoughts, words, and actions, we open ourselves to a life of abundance, not just in material possessions but also in love, compassion, and inner peace.
ME: By practicing asteya, even when no money is coming in, there is always food on the table and a roof over my head. I felt that there was an unseen hand looking after my well being. This was my way of life in the many years I traveled Southeast Asia with very little money. I know this to be true because I've lived it - it's not just a concept. But this abundance is also a result of many yogic practices, not just asteya.
38. Brahmacarya: controlling Sexual Energy
"By one established in celibacy, vigor is gain"
(p306) By releasing, man feels mentally and physically depleted - this is true in our human experience. Spiritual advancement cannot be gained with a depleted body and mind. Seminal fluid is stored properly and re-absorbed into the system it gets transformed into prana. Additionally, sexual energy that is preserved gets transformed into a subtle energy called ojas. It develops personality, builds the nerves, improves brain power and stills the mind. The person develops magneticism. When ojas is stored, it creates tejas - a glow or radiance that lights up a room.
"By the establishment of continence, vigor is gained."
By establishing continence or practicing self-restraint in the context of one's sexual energy, an individual can gain increased vigor or vitality. Energy is preserved and channeled for increased physical, mental, and spiritual strength.
"By establishing celibacy, one gains virility."
By practicing celibacy and controlling one's sexual energy, an individual can gain increased physical, mental, and spiritual power. When sexual energy is not dissipated through sexual activity (no ejaculation), it is believed to be channeled into other areas of life, leading to greater physical strength, mental focus, and spiritual awareness.
ME: True, by practicing "non-ejaculation" (you can still have sex, just don't 'come'), not only do you save energy, but you gain access to increased energy you can unleash. The method is to stop before that point of no-return, rest a bit, and then go for it again. By doing this, sexual energy gets pumped and pumped until your head feels like exploding. I could do about 5 sex-reps without coming before I stop. The following day, I could really feel my strength surge - even a yoga teacher noticed and commented on it. After some time of doing this repeatedly, I woke up one morning with an acute pain in that area. I had to have sex in order to come and release.
39. Aparigraha: Non-Greed
"When non-greed is confirmed, a thorough illumination of the how and why of one’s birth comes."
(p314) Non-greed can extend to being cautious about gifting. If you receiving a gift, there could be string. And if you give away a gift, you may not even be aware that you tied strings to it. When we see the cause and effect of relationships, you no longer see the bondage and thus can be free and clear of obligation.
"By non-attachment, one attains serenity. When one is not attached, there is the understanding of the wholeness of life."
The practice of aparigraha (non-attachment or non-grasping) encourages individuals to cultivate a mindset of detachment from material possessions and desires. By letting go of attachments, one is said to attain serenity and a deeper understanding of the true nature of life, gains insight into the continuity of life or the cyclical nature of existence.
"By establishing non-possessiveness, one gains knowledge of past and future lives."
Aparigraha is non-possessiveness, non-grasping, greedlessness, and freedom from attachments. By cultivating non-attachment to material possessions and desires, an individual can gain access to knowledge of their past and future lives, ultimately achieving enlightenment.
Clear perception: By letting go of attachments, one's mind becomes clearer and more discerning, allowing them to perceive the true nature of reality and understand the interconnectedness of all things, including past and future lives.
Transcending ego: Attachment can be seen as a manifestation of the ego, the false sense of self and ownership. By overcoming attachment, one transcends the ego and gains access to a deeper level of consciousness, where past and future lives are revealed.
Accessing karmic memory: Some interpretations suggest that non-attachment allows one to tap into the karmic memory, which holds the record of all past experiences, including those from previous lives.
Understanding the cycle of reincarnation: By understanding the cycle of birth and death, one can break free from its limitations and achieve liberation.
ME: I regard possession as being tethered to the burden of ownership. With ownership, I now have to guard against its loss or destruction. If it's land, I now have to build fences around it. If it's jewelry, I now have to insure it or keep it in a safe, etc. By only acquiring for my essential needs, I am free from that burden. And for the things I already own, it practically has no value that I can even leave it behind when I move on - no attachment. This gives me a feeling of freedom that is hard to just conceptualize. It needs to be experienced.
40. Saucha: cleanliness, inside and out
"By purification arises disgust for one’s own body and for contact with other bodies."
(p316) Sauca practice makes you realize that even your own body is impure - you get sick, you age, you get injured. Thus it's best to look after your body, but don't treat it like an altar and get attached to it. The union of 2 bodies (male and female) is not ideal as pursuing the yogic path of brahmacharya.
"Through cleanliness, there arises disgust for one's own body and a disinclination to contact with others."
This sutra emphasizes the importance of cleanliness (saucha) that goes beyond physical cleanliness and extends to purity of mind and spirit. By practicing saucha, one develops a sense of detachment or disinterest in one's own body and a reduced inclination for unnecessary contact with others.
"From purity arises aversion to one's own body and the company of others."
Sauca (purity or cleanliness) are both in a physical and internal sense. It encompasses practices like hygiene, bodily purification techniques (Shatkriya), and cultivating a clean mind free from negativity and impurities. It recognizes the limitations and temporary nature of the physical form. It encourages avoidance of unnecessary contact with others - a conscious choice to minimize distractions and interactions that may hinder spiritual progress, especially from people who don't vibrate with you.
ME: I fully subscribe to cleanliness - in the body, mind, spirit and in the external world. I bathe daily, mostly in a natural spring water source, I cleanse my mind by mantra chanting, and my spirit with meditation. As for the external world, I do not associate myself with drunks, addicts or obnoxious people. True to Desiderata, they are vexations to the spirit. Thus, I feel clean and I feel the lightness of being.
I disagree however, to feeling 'disgust' about the body. While in human form, my body is the interface to learn all the lessons that need to learn. I treat my body as an altar and hold inviolate of bad food, drugs or alcohol. I am also aware that this body is only temporary while this human life persists. I think it's a much healthier outlook - sorry Patanjali.
41. Purity in thought, word and deed
"Moreover, one gains purity of sattva, cheerfulness of mind, onepointedness, mastery over the senses and fitness for Selfrealization."
(p323) By being pure, you become honest and life becomes fluid and easy. You understand the body, the heart is uplifted and you become happy. Self-realization becomes accessible.
"Through the purity of the mind (sattva), one attains cheerfulness of mind (saumanasya), one-pointedness (ekāgrata), control over the senses (indriyajaya), and fitness for realizing the self (ātmadarśanayogyatvāni)."
By purifying the mind and cultivating sattva (the highest quality found in nature which is characterized by purity, clarity, and harmony.), positive attributes (positive and joyful mental disposition, ability to focus the mind and maintain one-pointed attention., mastery or control over the senses, e pursuit of self-realization) are attained.
"From the purification of sattva arise happiness, one-pointedness, mastery over the senses, and fitness for self-realization."
When we live a life of clarity, purity, joy, and peace, we invariably come to a state of well-being and emotional stability. We develop a one-pointedness of the mind and control over the senses. We become fit for self-realization.
Inner purification leads to outer manifestation: By purifying the inner self through practices like meditation and ethical conduct, one experiences positive changes in their emotions, thoughts, and actions.
ME: By remaining authentic, saying the truth even though it's easier to lie, you lift the burdens of life many people carry. You feel the lightness of being - no excess baggage. Without anything weighing you down, there is clarity of thinking and the path for realization seem visible.
42. Contentment: feeling satisfaction with what's on the table
"By contentment, supreme joy is gained."
(p325) Contentment means acceptance of the present without going to outside things for our happiness. If something comes, we let it come. If not, it doesn’t matter. Contentment means neither to like nor dislike.
"From contentment, unsurpassed joy is obtained."
Finding satisfaction with one's current situation, circumstances, and possessions. By adopting an attitude of contentment, one can experience a profound sense of joy that surpasses the happiness derived from external circumstances. It encourages practitioners to find fulfillment within themselves rather than relying solely on external factors for happiness. It involves appreciating what one has in the present moment rather than constantly seeking fulfillment in external achievements or possessions.
"From contentment arises the highest happiness."
By cultivating contentment, one can achieve a profound and enduring Inner peace that surpasses fleeting pleasures derived from external sources. Contentment arises from within, regardless of external circumstances. By developing this inner peace, one becomes less susceptible to external fluctuations and experiences a deeper sense of well-being. Contentment allows one to be free from cravings and attachments. Contentment involves accepting what life offers, both the pleasant and the unpleasant. By embracing all experiences with equanimity, one can find happiness even in the midst of challenges.
ME: I cannot say I have no desires but I can say I'm not attached to my desires. I think it's healthy to have desires - it acknowledges that you're still human. Just don't get attached to them. I am contented with what I have despite unmet desires. Sure, I have desires. I'd like to have a Lamborghini Diablo, a yoga ashram and a more comfortable living space. If I don't get any of that, it's ok. I'm just grateful that I have a spartan shelter that I got cheap, a bicycle that gives me a workout and a motorcycle that gets me to far places. The universe has been kind and benevolent. If it grants me my desires, a big thank you. If not, that's ok, thank you just the same.
I cannot say there is joy in me for being contented. Joy seems to be the wrong word. Contentment is simply acceptance of your present lot - neither happy nor sad for it. I'm just thankful for whatever is on the table.
Co-Creator of Reality
This is a yoga book but not so much asana and pranayama. The main focus of this book is the mind and its tethered relationship with 'reality'. As I read and re-read, and summarized and meditated, chapter after chapter of this duality - Consciousness and the illusion of Reality, there was something morphing inside me. I began to feel more that reality as we experience it is fluid and malleable. It's not objective and it can be shaped and sculpted. Who sculpts it? Consciousness! It's our thinking, our intention aided by our yoga practice that make this fluid reality, a manifestation. I see just how much power I wield as a co-creator of reality. This is not just an understanding of the concept but a profound internalization of the underlying concept that reality, as it takes shape, is entirely my own doing - therefore I can undo it, replace it or fine-tune it. This is emppowering. It's one thing to know, another thing to understand, and a higher level to actually internalize. What's next after this? Experience! In a deep meditative absorption, Consciousness can transcend the body, transcend the material world and all its trappings, and experience its eternal and timeless nature. I'm not there yet.
An Easier Read
This book is a much easier read, more 'grounded', and more relevant, but equally as compelling as the Autobiography of a Yogi and Yoga Yajnavalkya. The esoteric mysticism of Hatha Yoga Pradipika is not here. The incomprehensible hyper-literacy of Autobiography of a Yogi is absent here - just plain understandable English with compelling analogies to ground the matter.
What I found extremely helpful is to let the Language A.I.s explain the sutras in plain English like asking it to explain in plain English + examples, "...by the firmly convinced practice of the complete cessation of the mental modifications, the impressions only remain."? Since I get output from the 4 language AIs (ChatGPT4, Google Bard, Microsoft Bing and Opera Orca), I get a more comprehensive understanding of the sutras, more than if I relied on the author alone. A.I.s' commentaries are actually more concise, clearer, more accurate and to the point - and this is after comparing the author's commentaries and A.I.'s commentaries. Combining the output of the A.I.s, the author's commentary and my insight, I get a deeper understanding of the sutra. Sometimes, a single sutra of just a few words become a full day's workshop.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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More on Lazi:
Lazi Local Info
Lazi >> Iligan City by boat
Lazi to Iligan City route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early April 2023. Before, going to Iligan City meant going to Siquijor Port, 30 km away. This also meant that on the way back, you have to be in Siquijor before 2pm to catch the last jeep to Lazi. With this direct route, there is no 'last trip' to catch.
Lazi >> Cagayan de Oro by boat
Lazi to Cagayan de Oro route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Davao meant going to Iligan first, then bus to CDO and then bus to Davao City. Now, Iligan can be completely bypassed saving about 3 hours on the trip.
Lazi >> Dumaguete by boat
Lazi to Dumaguete route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Dumaguete meant going to Siquijor Port, 30 km away. This also meant that on the way back, you have to be in Siquijor before 2pm to catch the last jeep to Lazi. With this direct route, there is no 'last trip' to catch.
Lazi >> CDO >> Davao City by boat/bus
Lazi to Cagayan de Oro route by Kho Shipping was just opened up in early September 2023. Before, going to Davao meant going to Iligan first, then bus to CDO and then bus to Davao City. Now, Iligan can be completely bypassed saving about 3 hours on the trip.
Lazi >> Tagbilaran >> Cebu by boat
Lazi to Cebu entails a stopover at Tagbilaran - you only pay for one ticket (I've broken down the individual trips in case you're boarding from Tagbilaran). From the 5pm boat departure from Lazi, it would cost PHP 1000 (it's odd that it's cheaper to pay for the individual trips rather than paying for both...PHP 845 vs 1000) and take about 10 hours.
More on Siquijor Island:
Siquijor Island Local Info
Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.
Food - these were suggested by a local to me
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.
Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island
These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat
- Canghaling Cave November 14, 2023
- Kings and Queens November 13, 2023
- Barangay Vote-Buying October 22, 2023
- Real Estate Mapping October 1, 2023
- Learning Cebuano: Oct October 1-31, 2023
- Oct Food Hack: Pizza, Kinilaw, Coconut Bread, Fish Okuy, Carrot Omelette,Lemon-Grass Tea October 2023
- Sep Snapshots: Fisherman, Granny, Pedicure, Big Fish, Garbage September 1-30, 2023
- Sep Food Hack: Fish Tinola, Ratatouille, Chayote Omelette, Flat Bread September 2023
- Together Forever Sep 11, 2023
- The Cigarette Talk Sep 1, 2023
- Siquijor Star Meditation Center Aug 31, 2023
- The Lost Dogs of Siquijor Aug 27, 2023
- Moving to a Bungalow! Aug 22, 2023
- Aug Chronicles: CDO produce August 31, 2023
- Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023 [an error occurred while processing this directive]
- July Chronicles July 31, 2023
- July Snapshots July 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano: July July 1-31, 2023
- June Chronicles June 31, 2023
- June Snapshots June 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano: June June 1-31, 2023
- May Chronicles May 31, 2023
- May Snapshots May 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano May 1-31, 2023
- In Search of a Cool Climate May 25, 2023
- The 64 km Bike Ride May 16, 2023
- Lazi Fiesta May 15, 2023
- The Boulevard Opening May 5, 2023
- April Snapshots April 1-30, 2023
- Learning Cebuano...Again! April 1-30, 2023
- Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
- Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
- Siquijor Healing Festival April 5-8, 2023
- The Talk at United Church of Christ April 2, 2023
- Mar Snapshots Mar 1-31, 2023
- Vigil for the Ghost Ship of Siquijor March 31, 2023
- Judging an Essay on Gender Equality Mar 29, 2023
- The Thief, the Shaman, the Elves and the Police Mar 20, 2023
- Finally Acquiring the Motorbike Mar 18, 2023
- Bitcoin Blunder Mar 15, 2023
- Maria's Unsung Beaches Mar 11, 2023
- Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
- Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
- Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
- Reasons to Get a Wife March 1, 2023
- Feb Snapshots Feb 28, 2023
- Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
- Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
- Manifesting a Motorbike from Thin Air? Feb 18, 2023
- The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
- Amazement from Drivers License Renewal in Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
- Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
- Inguinal Hernia? Goodbye ABS! Feb 4, 2023
- Jan Snapshots January 31, 2023
- In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
- 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
- Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
- Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
- 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
- Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
- Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
- Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
- Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
- Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
- Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
- Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
- Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010
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