Chapter 3 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

March 1, 2009

This morning I took some time out to read a translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and I’m blown away by some of the verses I read in the third chapter. (I learned about this chapter of the Yoga Sutras while reading a book titled Tree of Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. In his book, Iyengar mentions that Chapter 3 of the Yoga Sutras discusses some of what appear to be “supernatural” side effects of yoga practice, though he says these are really not supernatural at all, just very natural.)

Without any further introduction, here are some lines from this interpretation of Chapter 3 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. More accurately, the lines I’m showing below seem to discuss some of the effects that I have experienced personally, and written about on this blog:

Therefore, knowledge of the past and of the future (and such knowledge as not already possessed) follows …

In an intimate knowledge of the ground of the Mind, there is what at first sight appears to be a supernatural knowledge of “other” minds.

By correctly directing and focusing the light of perception in which the senses and their objects (the whole of nature) function, knowledge can be gained of the subtle, the hidden, and even the remote objects or phenomena.

By the practice of the threefold discipline on the spiritual heart there arises knowledge concerning the mind-stuff or the undivided intelligence.

When there is loosening of the bondage of the consciousness to the body, as also an understanding of the proper channel of the consciousness entry into and its withdrawal from the body, the mind acquires the ability to enter another body.

I read these lines and thought to myself, “It’s nice to know that other people have found a systematic way of developing these skills, and it’s also nice to know that I’m not crazy for having experienced them myself.”

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