YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI | CHAPTER 1 - SAMADHI PADA | VERSE 21 | COMMENTARY
An intense desire for Liberation shortens the path to Liberation.
I remember listening to a story when I was a little boy. A young ambitious boy went to a saint and asked him the secret to success. The saint was in Silence and did not answer. This continued for many days. Then one day, the boy decided to follow the saint in the morning and ask him the question when there were no disciples around.
He followed the saint to the river, and as the saint was coming out after bathing, he repeated his question. The saint beckoned the boy towards him. The boy happily entered the river, thrilled with anticipation of the answer. As soon as the boy reached the saint, he grabbed him by his neck and pushed his head under the water. The boy thrashed; his lungs burned. When he finally thought he would black out, the saint pulled him up and said "The day you want to be successful as badly as you wanted to breathe, you will be successful."
The last sutra gave the qualities a Sadhaka must cultivate to achieve success on the path of Yoga. Here Maharishi Patanjali talks about the power of Sankalpa.
Many modern life-coaches and psychologists talk about the power of visualization in life. One of the most famous books is the “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne which is based on the Law of Attraction. The basic premise is that what you think, that energy is manifested by the universe. Similarly in our Pujas and Yajnas, we take Sankalpas – we meditate on our desire, make it strong and surrender into the sacrificial fire (give it up to the universe). Then no more time is spent thinking about the fulfillment of the desire, but only on efforts. There is a component of Karma Yoga here – the fruit is surrendered to the universe, and when that is done, action becomes more efficient and effective.
If you have an intense desire to achieve success in anything in your life, you make it your top-most priority. You give it your best portion of energy and time. That intense desire makes the success manifest faster. Hence, here too Maharishi Patanjali mentions that if the qualities have been cultivated, and a Sadhaka has an intense desire to achieve the highest state of Yoga that is Kaivalya or Liberation, he shall achieve it earlier than others. Eagerness, combined with Faith is necessary, perhaps even more necessary than the correct application of the technique for Grace follows Faith and Eagerness. But it must be taken care that the Eagerness does not transform into feverishness. There is a thin line and it must not be crossed – Vairagya must be developed simultaneously.