Yoga Sutra (Chapter 1-5)

Yoga Sutra is one of the 6 Darshana(s) from India. Darshana(s) are the schools of thought that helps people to see the truth. Yoga is the 6th Darshana that has come with simplicity and suitable to all,with in built securalism. It has been given to mankind by Sage Patanjali.

It has 4 chapters, called as PAdA , meaning a chapter. 

  1. Samadhi pada has 51 sutras. This helps to contemplate and promotes the seeker , the student, to start looking deeply into himself or herself. This also is seen as a goal setter, to guide us towards spiritual life. 
  2. Sadhana pada has 55 sutras. This helps to practice. Sadhana means , to practice. 
  3. Vibhuti pada has 55 sutras. This chapter talks about properties and powers one may get by practicing, yet it also alerts the practitioner not to get distracted by these powers but to stay focussed on the final goal.
  4. Kaivalya Pada has 34  sutras. Kaivalyam is to get liberated and thus it talks about emancipation and freedom. Freedom from all bondages and freedom for the self. 

These 4 padas also has relationship to the four Varnas  and Asramas of one’s life. The trigunas and the stage where one crosses the trigunas ( that are discussed in our workshop on “ why should we learn and practice Yoga tools?”)

Here, I , UV do my pranam to our teachers and to my guru Sri Desikachar for his suksma presence always .

Also UV wish to add that the content is shared here , with whatever understanding , observation, experience is there as of today, as it is typed now. Thus it may change. Any view of your own is respected and appreciated. 

Samadhi Pada


Atha – Yoganus’asanam II

Word Meaning:

Atha- Now, auspiciousness, a good sign , blessing, sacred like Om or Sri

Yoga = Joining, union, yolking, result, a state

Anu= to follow

S’asanam= the one that is established, practiced, has shown results, Here it is a guidance to follow  to get united. ( anus’asanam)

Meaning as of today’s understanding:

With the blessings and auspiciousness , let us begin to follow the established, to get united, to be in a state of union. 

Further understanding, here

 “atha yoga” means the Yoga itself is auspicious, is a blessing. 

“Atha anu”- to follow that which is auspicious, that comes with the blessings and

“ atha anus’asanam”  means that which is well established by our forefathers, seers, sages, a method that is auspicious in itself.

It shows here a light for those students of Yoga, the beginners, to know that this method is already established , proven and shall help to achieve a state of union and experience auspiciousness. 

In this first sutra itself, the great sage Patanjali, shows his understanding of human mind and its expectations in learning ,practicing something. 

The human mind is ambitious to have , to benefit something and be sure about benefitting before even to begin. Thus the briliance of the Sage Patanjali is well seen here in the first sutra itself. 

( If sage Patanjali talks about the established method to follow and that shall give the auspiciousness of union , that also implies that he has practiced and seen results. Thus an authentication is implied)


Yogah Citta vritti Nirodahi II

Word by word meaning:

Yoga= Union, yolking, joining, a state

Citta= Consciousness , that is made of Buddhi, manas and ahamkaram

( buddhi= the intellect, lateral thinking, reasoning ability. Manas = a part of actions of the mind that has emotions of the heart, the heart oriented actions can be considered as manas, Ahamkaram= the ego, the I factor, I do, I have, I am so and so , etc)

Vritti= Functions, actions, movement, fluctuations of mind in context to here, 

Nirodhah= cessation, stall, no movement inside /outside.  A state where, and in which nothing comes in , nothing goes out.


Yoga is cessation of movement, actions of the consciousness ( mind).

Further understanding:

This sutra is a definition, in which sage Patanjali defines what is Yoga .This is much needed, as in the contemporary world, the word Yoga has been misguided as a form of exercise, to the body. There are many social media inputs to exhibit to reduce weight, to have a physical fitness or to have a slim face etc. 

They are not Yoga.  

Whereas here it is definite to make us understand that it is a state of mind where there are no actions of mind. The consciousness is put to cessation. No movement from inside to out and from outside to inside. 

I wish to add here, I get marvelled looking at the teacher’s mind in Patanjali, where he introduces something new and auspicious and anticipates our mind , the learner’s mind and its questions and thus answers them subsequent sutras or words in a sutra.

Thus, in the first sutra, he introduced an auspicious beginning by using the word Yoga. Now let us consider that we have never heard of that word at all. ( of course what we hear and how we use it in contemporary situation is predominantly pertaining to the body’s exercise)  

And the teacher Patanjali sage uses it as part of his class. And one student wonders at the word Yoga ,what could it be,he answers it in the second sutra. 

The brilliance of a teacher, an acharya,  to feed a student , a seeker gradually is seen within these two sutras.


Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam II

Word meaning:

Tada=then, at that time

Drastuh=  the seer, the one which is seeing, the soul, the atman

Svarupa=  its own, its own self 

( sva= self, rupa= usually,the form )

Avasthanam= abides, dwells


Then, the seer abides in itself. 

Further understanding:

When one reaches the state of Yoga, meaning cessation of activities of the mind, from then on the self, the seer, the atman,  abides in itself.

This sutra clearly makes us understand, if we are in a state of Yoga or not. Thus help us come out of all the wrong propaganda of Yoga in our contemporary level. WE cannot do yoga, but one can be in a state of Yoga where nothing comes in and nothing goes out. 

One can see where one.


Vrtti sArupyam itaratra II

Word meaning:

Vrtti= Activities , functions, movement ( of the mind)

sArupyam= identifying with the other forms. 

Itaratra= at other times. otherwise.

Meaning :

At other times ( when not in state of Yoga) the activities of the mind , the fluctuation of the mind is seen.

Further understanding:

What happens when one is not in a state of Yoga is answered here in this sutra.

When one is not in the state of yoga, the activities of the mind, the fluctuations of the mind are seen.

Thus here it implies that when there are activities of the mind ,one is not in the auspiciousness of the union with the self.


Vrttayah panchatayyah- klista-aklistAh

Word  meaning:

Vrittayah= the activities, functions, fluctuations

Panchatayyah= are of five ( five fold)

Klista=afflicting, painful, distressing, tormenting,

AklisAh=  unafflicting/non- afflicting, undisturbing, untroubling, not painful ( pleasant)


The activities , functions , movement of consciousness ( mind) is of five kind, five fold.

Further understanding:

Consciousness ( let us use the word mind to make it easier to understand)  is of five fold activities.

The mind is  not a physical entity in our body. But it is meta physical. Meta physical is felt by the activities of itself as it does not have any definite form to occupy a space. 

Yet it occupies energy, it moves, it acts. 

How do we know if there is mind if it is not physically present is answered in this sutra, by Patanjali, as he says it ( the mind)is of 5 types of activities.

What are they and other related questions are answered by him in following sutras.