Here are 4 suggestions we find in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to achieve mental clarity, that state of awakefulness and understanding sought after in yoga.
Watch my video on this topic here.
We find an interesting sutra, in the famous yoga scripture, the Yoga Sutras, about how to achieve mental clarity, in sutra 1.33. Below you’ll find an excerpt from my new translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras.
“Mental clarity will come to those who 1) are friendly toward those who are happy, 2) show compassion to those who are suffering, 3) experience joy in regards to piety, and 4) neglect impiety.”
In this section, Patanjali raises the topic of mental clarity, which is a state of mind necessary for yoga.
In our day-to-day lives, we will seldom experience deep, intense meditation, but we should seek to live in a state of mental clarity. This means having the vision to know what is good for you and what is not, what is to be done, what is to be avoided, and generally to have a lucid mental map. This mental map should show you both spiritual and material dimensions of life, reveal God and the presence of God in everything and everyone, and highlight the importance of seeking the well-being of others. Without mental clarity, we doom ourselves to endless blunders and frustration.
The recipe for mental clarity presented in this sutra is simple enough. First, we should appreciate and approach those who already have mental clarity, classified here as “the happy.” We should seek their association by any means necessary – in the form of personal contact, books, video channels, mailing lists, and social media. The more you appreciate and emulate the qualities of the happy, the happier you’ll become.
Second, we should practice compassion, which here is in the sense of helping others live better. As you experience your spiritual awakening, remember those who are still asleep, missing out on life. As you progress, help those who are behind you. Do this without pride, and you’ll benefit yourself in the process.
Last, take an active stance in living piously. Commit and work toward being pious, truthful, and kind; doing the right thing; and living your dharma. At the same time, Patanjali warns, remain indifferent to impiety. Don’t judge, don’t be preachy, and don’t consider yourself superior to others. Don’t look for faults in others’ behavior. Here’s a simple rule to avoid becoming a nuisance: give advice only to those who either request it or are under your care. Let the laws of physics and the laws of the land limit what others do. It’s not your concern. Focus on yourself. Plenty to work on and improve right there, I guarantee you.
Learn more about how this 2000-year old text, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, can do for you, with my new book, “Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras Revolution: How Timeless Yoga Wisdom Can Revolutionize Our Lives Today”.
Look what they’re saying about my new book, Yoga Sutras Revolution: “In Revolution, his relatable translation of and commentary on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Giridhari Das shares with us a lifetime of research and experience in ancient yoga traditions and guides us through the sutras one by one, helping us understand them from our contemporary perspective and apply their wisdom to our day-to-day lives.” – Dr. Carl Herzig, Professor of English, St. Ambrose University