Stumped by sutra 4.19

The mind-stuff is not self-luminous because it is an object of perception by the Purusha.  sutra 4.19  (Purusha is known as the individual soul, divine Self in all beings)  

I knew there would come a time during my 2012 yoga sutra journey/writing when I would be completely stumped.  Well that day is here.  The truth is the day actually happened a couple of weeks ago.  I kept thinking if I held off on this posting something inspiring would show up in my life that could help me relate to sutra 4.19.  Unfortunately, I have yet to have an “aha!” moment.  Rather than waiting, I figured I would just be honest and say “I’m stumped”.

As I sat in my local Arlington/neighborhood coffee shop one morning (again, nearly two weeks ago), I decided I would randomly flip through one of my sutra texts with my eyes closed.  Where ever my finger landed that would be the sutra I would contemplate and blog about for that week.  As I did this, probably looking odd doing it in public, I recalled this was a tactic used with a Bible in the memoir Running with Scissors.  It seemed to work well in the book.  They even had a catchy name for it — Bible surfing???  So I figured what the heck, I’ll try sutra surfing.

As you may have already sensed, “sutra surfing” didn’t turn out so well for me.  Though I somewhat understand what sutra 4.19 means, I don’t know how to apply it or have yet to see/feel it in my everyday life.  Needless to say, I am totally stumped and don’t have any personal insight to share.

Add to this, I haven’t really delved deep into Book 4 of The Yoga Sutras.  All I can do is take my “stumpedness” (a made-up Melody word) as a sign…I need to get my head out of Books 1 & 2 and move on.  I’ve been so intrigued with the first two books of The Yoga Sutras.  Every time I venture further, I end up back in the beginning.  As my practice of concentration and meditation have deepened over this past year, I have dabbled in Book 3 and glanced through Book 4.  Yet it almost never fails…I end up back at the beginning (i.e. in either Book 1 or 2).

Personally, I believe the first two Books of The Yoga Sutras just have so much rich and applicable instruction to help us find peace with the obstacles we face daily on our journey in life.  I guess my message is if you’re overwhelmed (aka stumped!) by the sutras, stick with Books 1 & 2 for a while.  For many, including myself, that is probably enough in this lifetime.

Note to self:  The next time I attempt “sutra surfing”, it will be more towards the middle of the text-book while I cross my fingers on the other hand hoping I land in either Book 1, 2 or 3.

One response to this post.

  1. Love this! Especially since your stumpedness basically points to the fact that the mind looking at the mind (effectively) is always going to be…confused…at best. Keep going, can’t wait to read about your next sutra surfing adventure x


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