July 2018


Y.S 1.3

Tada Drashtuh

Svarupe Vasthanam              


Tada- then, at that time; at the time of concentration and meditation

Drashtuh-  the root drsh, which means to see- the seer's, of the soul, witness, Atman, Self

Svarupe- in its own nature, own form or essence; Sva - own; Rupa - form

Avasthanam- the root stha means to stand- stability, settling, remaining, being in a state, resting, standing, lying, abiding          


Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization, the path, purpose and practice of Yoga. 


Most of this content is referenced from www.swamij.com


Then the Self stands alone

As a result of having done the process of nirodhah- stilling, training or Self-mastery, the true Self stands alone, unencumbered by our many false identities. 

This standing alone process is why the phrase Self-realization uses the word realization, rather than a word like attainment. 

The process is not one of attaining something we do not have, but rather is one of removing the clouds, so as to see the light in the sky that is already there.  

The wave forgets the truth that it is the ocean, thinking itself to be the grand shape, which it has temporarily taken.  For a while, it takes on the rupa (form) of wave.  Finally, it remembers its true rupa (form) of ocean.
We humans forget our true nature, but, through yoga, can remember.         


Awareness remains unchanged

In deep meditation, you come to see that while the thought patterns shift here and there, ever changing their shape, the way that the waves on the ocean keep shifting, the awareness itself never changes. There is a constant, ever flowing, ever being awareness that simply is, that observes or witnesses. In meditation, this same truth is realized over and over, as layer after layer, level after level of mental process is revealed and seen to be like the deeper shifting of the ocean waves. The awareness itself remains unchanged, and will become clearer and clearer as the center of consciousness that stands alone, though part of all the levels it permeates.



The seer

The word drastuh means seer or witness. The word seer does not give you a theological or metaphysical description or definition of who you are. This is one of the beautiful qualities of Yoga and the Yoga Sutras. There is nothing in the word seer to believe or not believe. By saying that the seer rests in its true nature after transcending the many forms of thought patterns in the mind field, one can simply do the purifying practices and personally experience the results. In English translations, the word drashtuh is often given meanings such as Self, Soul, or Atman. 


This provides some clarity or speculation of the nature of this seer, but it is useful to remember that Patanjali is not actually telling you what is the nature of your true self, but that the seer will be experienced in itself, in its true nature, whatever or however that is ultimately experienced and described by each person. 


Some false identity characteristics

Referenced from Matt Kahn

Matt Kahn refers to the false identity as inflamed egos.  Inflammation being defined as different ways that bodies respond or react to their environment.  Think of it as humans having an allergic response to their past conditioning, or reacting to their false identity.  The inflammation of the personality is what creates the ego to go awry.  Kahn’s opinion is a different perspective than Yoga stating the personality is a component of the soul (not of the mind) and carries on with you after you pass. Kahn goes on to say the inflammation of the personality arises when the nervous systems gets out of whack, which then creates an allergic reaction to life.


When you start to see ego as the inflammation of the personality, you notice how often you get “puffed up”.  Inflamed personality creates an exaggerated perception of life.  When living with an allergic reaction to the vibration of the planet, an exaggerated level of consciousness causes you to oscillate from spiritual highs and emotional lows.  This can create much suffering.

Sound familiar?

The four types of inflammation are a guided exploration to recognize what you resonate with, how you judge others which will lead you to witnessing the true Seer, instead.


Four types of Inflammation

1.    Righteous- An ego structure that needs to be right by making others wrong.  Lives to have the upper hand and the final word.  Theme- “I am always right”.  Often skeptical of everyone’s view but its own.  An ego that believes that the way it sees the world is the way everyone should see it.  To balance this ego, cultivate insightfulness.

2.    Victimized-  An ego that believes it is always a victim of circumstance.  Even when life is going right, there will always be something turned upside down.  It holds tightly to judgements, beliefs and opinions as the reasons life is in chaos.  Often holds belief in superstition.  Victims tend be hurt by the way others respond or do not respond to it.  This ego stays in stagnation unable to change in a world that’s constantly changing.  Theme- “life is unfair”.  To balance this ego, cultivate discernment.

3.    Entitled- An ego structure that believes it is their right to have whatever they want, when they want, even at the cost of others.  Lives in an exaggerated worthiness, believes everyone must fulfill their every whim, even at the cost of others.  Even when served by others there is never an end of requests or expectations. It believes it controls all the characters in its life.  Theme- “what about me”? To balance this ego, cultivate worthiness.

4.    Needy- An ego structure that no matter how much it receives, feels like it is never filled up.  Often feels invisible, undervalued, or misunderstood.  These personalities can be draining, like energy vampires.  It feels like they are going to be abandoned or lose everything.  Theme- “it’s never enough”.  To balance this ego, cultivate openness.



Experiencing the seer in its own nature

Similarly, the word svarupe means in its own nature. Here also, Patanjali is not giving a definition of your true nature. Once again, there is nothing to believe or not believe. Through practice and non-attachment and transcending the many mistaken identities you come to the direct experience of your own nature. Yet, most of us are curious about the descriptions of this true nature.


Purusha and Prakriti

The process of realization through Yoga rests on the discovery of pure consciousness Purusha- the Seer.  Prakriti primal matter or substance from which the physical and mental universe evolves which is under the influence of purusha.  These principles of purusha and prakriti are part of the philosophical system known as Samkhya.  Yoga and Samkhya are two of the six systems of Indian philosophy.


Discriminating between Purusha and Prakriti

The entire process of Yoga rests on discriminating between Purusha and the false identities of Prakriti. This process of discrimination permeates the whole of the Yoga Sutras.

Self-contemplation, discrimination, and realization is the basis of Yoga. 

As you recognize the truth of your nature life will become sweeter and easier because the practice of detachment happens naturally.  If you find you are still upset in response to external circumstances, just smile and honor your humanity.  For the path of Liberation from these false identities is a forever process. 

Good luck!