i am

A few days ago, I was out early and saw a barefoot runner in the rain. The image stayed with me until I got back home and sat sipping my coffee. There sprung a few lines as I sat in the balcony full of the moment.


Fast forward to today, my reading was focused on the Bhagwad Geeta 13:25. Part of the commentary in that shloka spoke about vichara and my mind went to the sutra that talks about vitarka, vichara, ananda and asmita. So, I did what any good student would do and opened up my books. 🙂 I now see the value in memorising and why the Indian system of study has always been heavy on rote learning.

If I had to take it step by step, it would begin with the Geeta shloka that goes, “Some, by meditation, behold the Self in the Self by the Self; others by the “YOGA-OF-KNOWLEDGE” (by SANKHYA YOGA); and others by KARMA YOGA.

The Yog Sutra reads as “Practice and detachment develop four types of samadhi: self-analysis, synthesis, bliss and the experience of pure being.”

For ease of use, I have stuck to the translations by Swami Chinmayananda and B.K.S.Iyengar respectively.

The sutra looks deceptively simple but is like waves upon waves of brilliance. It is the culmination of the previous 5 sutras beginning with Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tannirodhah (1:12). The commentaries have been pretty extensive on this one and this tasting is just that, a tasting. There are so many layers packed into its wisdom. All I sense now is an intuitive sense of light and I hope it will reveal itself. It’s interesting that the first pada is Samadhi pada and it weaves around the theme of abhyasa and vairagyam be it in the means, effects or obstacles.

It’s interesting how the four stages of samadhi are not just progressive but also integrative. It is clear in the kosas, one enveloping the other or the overlapping elements, gross and subtle or then the construct of the embodiment and all its systems. Progressive in it’s faculty of making available only what one is ready for and integrative in that we already have all that we need to behold the Self within.

My instinctive reaction to anything to do with samadhi is that it is way off my league, I’m most comfortable being a mridu student. And yet, there are moments, like in today’s limitless savasana when there is only space. The frailties of body and mind do not exist there. But, it doesn’t happen often and a day like today feels like a benediction. Outwardly, things are in flux with Amma recovering slowly from a surgery and a limbo in all other areas of life. I haven’t been able to get to class and even home practice was in shambles with hospital duty but I could manage a little today. I don’t know about tomorrow. For now, I am grateful for yoga through study. There is a yoga for everyone.

Hari Om



7 thoughts on “i am

  1. Very nice post Sonia. You got me thinking about my post a while back where I wondered if Samadhi is a lofty goal, or something we experience every day. I’ve also been thinking about the mrdu to tivra continuum of studenthood. Maybe I’ve been reading too many of Nisargadatta Maharaj’ books to think that these are just concepts. Some days we are tivra. Some days we are mrdu. But is the fact that we are aware that we are mrdu or tivra that actually make us tivra?

    Tivra leads to a “speedy” path to samadhi. Does asana attainment make us speedy toward samadhi, or is just another obstacle for the ego to overcome? With age and injury we realize how much of a gift it is to attain asana with effortless effort. Each year it seems more effort is needed.

    If I were to grant diplomas of yoga attainment, I would give you Tivra. But knowing you, I feel that you would not feel satisfied unless you granted that diploma to yourself. I’m learning the greatest part of that sutra lies not in the abhyasam, but in the vairagyam, the dispassion. For me that means I am happy just to be practicing when I can practice, and not so in my head when life demands other things from me. I get a sense that watching that barefoot lady run down the street, you had similar thoughts.

    Many blessings,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for a thoughtful exploration and your kind words. Your posts are a slice of life’s realities with the challenges of work, caring for elderly as well as your teaching and studentship. It gives me hope when things sometimes spiral out of control. One of the lessons I had to learn was to let go of fixed notions about asana and learn to embrace yoga as here and now. I learnt that through your sharing and my own situation.
      Thank you for the ‘tivra’ badge and you’re right about my ‘mrudu’ness 😁
      Much love and gratitude for your sadhana.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “I could manage a little today. I don’t know about tomorrow” … Is not this true for every one of us, every day of our lives – ? We never really do know where the path will lead tomorrow, or in the next breath, for that matter.
    Sending love,

    Liked by 3 people

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