• Dipanshu

1.23 Trump Card

YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI | CHAPTER 1 - SAMADHI PADA | VERSE 23 | COMMENTARY


Ishvara-pranidhanadva.


ईश्वरप्राणिधानाद्वा ॥१.२३॥


I̅śvarapraṇidha̅na̅dva̅ ||1.23||


Or by total surrender to the Lord (one can attain success on this path).


Image by PanBrodacz from Pixabay


Some people achieve the goal at birth or early in life due to Sadhana of the past lifetimes. Some achieve it by the Grace of the Guru – a glance of the Master is enough to take the devotee to the highest plane if the Guru wishes. Others must put in effort for a long time with sincerity and honor.

But some people’s minds are not constituted for effort, or their circumstances do not allow them to focus on their spiritual practices. They must not feel unlucky, for Maharishi Patanjali says even these people have hope to achieve success on the path of Yoga. These people must surrender themselves totally to God.


Before the debate begins, I must clarify God. I personally believe the entire cosmos has an inherent intelligence, a consciousness that pervades through it. We can call it Brahman, God, The Supreme Lord or Self – whatever name you assign it is undisputable. If you believe in Jesus, surrender to Jesus. If you believe in Lord Buddha, surrender to him. Yoga has nothing to do with religion. Every religion aims to take the person to a higher state of awareness and a more joyful living. The highest entity you believe in is your God. Surrender to that entity. Be completely devoted to them in both thought and action.


The last sutra was in context with Karma Yoga. This sutra combines Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. It asks the aspirant to perform all actions and fulfill all responsibilities and dedicate all these actions to God. This is to make sure the aspirant does not drop everything and just sit in the temple. All responsibilities are to be fulfilled. Simultaneously, believing whatever is happening is the will of God, and performing actions without any expectations will surely take the aspirant into Samadhi. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna:


सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।

अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥


Abandon all Dharmas and surrender to me alone.

I shall liberate you from all sins; do not fear. (Chapter 18, verse 66)


Shri Krishna gives Arjuna a sure shot way. He asks him to forget all that he has learned from the scriptures, forget the code of life he believes is the right way to earn merit for it can be confusing and requires effort. All Arjuna needs to do is to devote himself wholly to Him, and he shall be liberated.


They say Bhakti Yoga is the sweetest path to Liberation. The intoxication of experiencing God leaves no space for any practice and knowledge and neither it is needed. Famous examples are Mirabai, Tulsidas, Kabirdas, Surdas, etc. My yoga teacher Yogacharaya Krishan Vermaji tells to experience oneness with God. All other yoga practices are just attempting to provide this experience only. Remembering God is the most powerful practice.

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