Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.21

tivra samveganam asannah

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.21

tivra = vigorous
samvaganam = enthusiasm, passion
asannah = brings nearer

This one seems to say that if there is vigorous enthusiasm then you will get nearer to illumination. The fire is to represent vigorous enthusiasm and the people (and dog) around the fire are illuminated by it.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.20

sraddha virya smrti samadhi prajna purvaka itaresam

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.20

sraddha = faith
virya = vigour
smrti = memory
samadhi = contemplation
prajna = wisdom
purvakah = precedes
itaresam = for the others

Did a slightly abstract drawing, where I tried to include aspects of faith, vigour, memory, contemplation and wisdom.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.19

bhava pratyayo videha prakrti layanam

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.19

bhava = birth
pratyayo = cause, seed
videha = bodiless beings
prakrti layanam = merged with nature

I drew a picture of mount Fuji to represent the feeling when you see something beautiful and it takes your breathe away and you disappear for a moment and only the beautiful view exists – maybe that’s touching the edge of merging with nature.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.17

vitarka vicara ananda asmita rupa anugamat samprajnatah

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.17

vitarka = reasoning
vicara = reflecting
ananda = bliss
asmita = oneness
rupa = form
anugamat = happens
samprajnatah = [samadhi] with consciousness

I drew a flower to represent the kind of consciousness described in this sutra.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.16

tat param purusa khyateh guna vaitrsnyam

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.16

tat = that
param = supreme
purusa = clear consciousness
khyateh = realization
guna = the three qualities
vaitrsnyam = free from desire

For this one I thought it would be a kind of freedom so I drew a picture to try and represent that 🙂

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.15

drsta anushravita visaya vitrshnasya vasikara samjna vairagyam

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.15

drsta = seen
anushravita = heard
visaya = objects
vitrshnasya = who has control over desires
vasikara = mastery
samjna = consciousness
vairagyam = aligning with what is

I feel that this isn’t just about asceticism and renouncing things we want, and could also be something we naturally grow into or already are without realising it. Similar to the unconditional love that a parent has for a child that is just giving, doesn’t need anything in return and just flows out without any effort.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.14

Over time continued earnest practice becomes firmly grounded

sa tu dirgha kala nairantarya satkara sevito drdha bhumih

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.14

sa = this
tu = and
dirgha = long
kala = time
nairantarya = continuous
satkara = earnestness
asevito = well attended to
drdha = firm
bhumih = ground

I drew the tree roots to represent firm grounded-ness and the people are doing a balance pose, to represent continued earnest practice.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.13

Practice is efforts to settle your thoughts

tatra sthitau yatnobhyasa
तत्र स्थितौ यत्नोऽभ्यासः

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.13

tatra = there
sthitau = situate, settle
yatna = effort
abhyasa = practice, repetition

This is much easier said than done!
As well as yoga and exercise, I find drawing seems to help..
What helps you settle your thoughts?

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.12

Repeated practice and aligning with what is settles thoughts

abhyasa vairagya abhyam tan nirodah

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.12

abhyasa = practice, repetition
vairagya = aligning with what is
abhyam = together
tan = they
nirodah = supress, restrain

This could be interpreted in so many ways.

I quite like the idea that it means take repeated action towards what you think you want, but without attachment to the result of the action. While trusting that even if it doesn’t work out the way you hoped, it somehow brought you closer to what you ultimately want.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.11

Memories are things we’ve experienced that are not completely gone

anubhuta visaya asampramosah smrtih
अनुभूतविषयासंप्रमोषः स्मृतिः

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.11

smrtih = memories

anubhuta = experienced
visaya = objects of sense perception
asampramosah = not fully lost

I drew the photo to represent memory triggered by a place where it was taken, even though the person in it isn’t around.

Even when we aren’t with someone because they’ve died or because they just aren’t around, I feel that we aren’t completely separated.

At the very least we’re connected to them through memory.

John Donne points to it in his poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning”: –

Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

Yoga Sutra Illustration 1.10

Deep sleep is the non existent impression rooted in still thoughts

abhava pratyaya alambana tamo vrttir nidra
अभावप्रत्ययाअलम्बना तमोवृत्तिर्निद्र

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 1.10

nidra = sleep

abhava = non-existent
pratyaya = impression
alambana = based (on)
tamo (tamas) = void, inertia, darkness
vrttir = thought

I love sleeping people – they look so calm and at peace.
The translations I read described this as being about deep, dreamless sleep.
It’s interesting that it gets included as a “thought”. I find sleep fascinating – it’s almost as mysterious as infinity and thinking about the edge of the cosmos.