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Yoga is the art of befriending the mind and living in harmony with ourselves

Swami Tattwamayananda


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Sat 08 Aug 2020

6:30 AM - 8:30 PM

Event Type: Date

Introduction to Patanjali’s Yogasutras

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali contain 195 sutras organized into four chapters. It gives a complete analysis of the mental system, how to transcend mental conflicts by linking the mind to a transcendental spiritual reality and how to become established in our true nature. Patañjali takes it for granted that the students of his system accept that life is not just one chance; life is a continuous cycle. We are born, we live, we die, we are reborn again to enjoy or suffer the fruits of those actions of this life. Our mind is conceived to be a lake with different layers, different layers constituted by different actions, vrttis, tendencies, vasanas, impressions, that we accumulated over innumerable lives. When the external circumstances are helpful or conducive to spiritual life, then the accumulated tendencies coming from the lowest layer of that mental lake will come to the surface as units – not individually. In fact, one main area of difference between Western psychology and Patañjali’s system is this. Western psychology doesn’t make a clear distinction between vrtti – the modifications that arise out of individual actions and thought currents – and the accumulated samskaras, which become a positive tendency, which drives you toward certain actions. Patañjali says when vrttis become samskaras, they become a tendency. The tendency becomes a tendency to do certain things and that tendency to do certain things leads to the formation of will, which is sankalpa. That will force you to do certain things and again that produces modifications. This cycle continues. The whole cycle can be stopped by constant practice of dispassion.

This is part of Advaita Academy’s weekend initiative ‘Weekend with Wisdom’.


Swami Tattwamayananda


Swami Tattwamayananda, currently the Minister- in -charge of the Vedanta Society of Northern California, San Francisco, served in various centers of the Ramakrishna Order in India as editor, publisher,and teacher of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy before coming to the United States in January, 2012. He had traditional training in Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit and Vedic literature from his early days. He served in various centers of the Ramakrishna Order in India as editor, publisher, and teacher of Sanskrit, Advaitic texts such as Sri Shankaracharya’s commentaries on the Prasthanatraya and Indian philosophy.