How to Attain Perfection According to the Yoga Sutras 1.20

Let’s see here how Patanjali explains how to attain perfection in the Yoga Sutras, in sutra 1.20.

Watch my video on this topic here.

Here’s an excerpt from my book, “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Revolution: How Timeless Yoga Wisdom Can Revolutionize Our Lives Today” (

1.20 Perfection is attained by faith, vigorous endeavor, memory, trance, and discernment.

Whether the yogi is following the path of an enlightened life or of pure meditation, Patanjali suggests that there are five elements, or steps, in doing so.

First comes faith. Anything we do requires faith. We can’t get out of bed if we do not have faith that doing so will be better than staying in bed. Faith here is used in the sense of choosing our course of action in the belief it will give us the intended results. This faith gives us the clarity of mind to know what we want and what our strategy will be.

Once a life path has been chosen, we need to apply ourselves to it with vigor and prowess. The greater the goal, the greater the need for grit. Half-measures won’t cut it. And the goal of yoga is the greatest of all—ultimate bliss and eternal freedom from all suffering! It’s pretty lofty stuff, and it won’t come cheap. But it will come if we apply ourselves to it with determination and strength.

Memory here means keeping the goal in mind. In yoga, the biggest challenge is to keep trying, moment by moment. Our tendency is to fall asleep at the wheel and drift along life in forgetfulness of our ultimate spiritual nature and objectives. In the language of the 3T Path, we easily slip back into the Fantasy Paradigm, losing out on reality. Our minds are conditioned to live in lamentation or anxiety, and it takes a lot of effort to keep bringing the mind back to the here and now, to your dharma, to your spiritual identity and God. In the Bible, we find the recommendation to “watch and pray.” If you’re alert, “watching,” remembering your yogic goal, you can advance.

With the three previous elements in play, you can then experience samadhi, trance, or full absorption in your divine nature.

Finally, as you accumulate moments of samadhi, you’ll one day reach the finish line: viveka—discernment—which here means the ultimate ability to differentiate your true spiritual nature from matter, or, to use the Sanskrit terms, distinguish purusa from prakrti. At this point, you no longer need to be in a material body of any kind and thus need not live in the material world ever again. You’re ready to resume life in God’s abode of pure transcendental reality.

Look what they’re saying about my new book, Yoga Sutras Revolution: “Thoroughly enjoyed it and didn’t want it to end. Great read and inspiring realizations with lots of practical application to improve the inner quality of your life.” – Visnu-maya DD


Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/www/ on line 152