- Beings with out a body, like gods and spirits, who have merged with nature, are reborn. -CT
- Those who merely leave their physical bodies and attain the state of celestial deities, or those who get merged in Nature, have rebirth. – SS
- For some, those who are un-embodied and those who are merged in matter, the state of samprajnata is characterized by absorption in subtle states of prakrti. – EBF
bhava—becoming, existing, birth, coming into existance
vi-dehas—subtle beings, un-embodied, bodiless (gods, spirits)
prakṛti-layas— beings who have been absorbed in unmanifest nature, of those entities merged in matter(nature)
With this new knowledge about samadhi, you may think “I will just skip ahead and practice the highest form of samadhi first.” Patanjali warns against this. Each level of prakrti must be mastered sequentially. You must start with the most material aspects of nature and then, after gaining mastery, move to the next, more subtle aspect. This is like a video game you cannot move on to the next level until you complete the first.
This sutra if understood can release our impatience, our tendency to want to move ahead before we are ready.
Patanjali is suggesting that the yogin doesn’t have to transcend all of the aspects of Prakrti at once or even in one lifetime.
For instance, say someone achieves samadhi over the gross elements and then passes away. Though the body of this being is gone, the unchanging soul of the being remains. This soul goes back into the ocean of consciousness, keeping its attainments until it is returned to a body. At this time it reclaims the practice, starting where it left off. These beings are in the spiritual or celestial realm, they still remain absorbed in the aspects of Prakrti, until birthed or existing again.
We can see examples of this in child protégées, saints, and those we might call genius. This sutra also explains how Indic culture understands Gods and Deities. For instance, Agni the God of fire can be understood as a being who mastered the element of fire or was absorbed in the element of fire. After the death of the body, this being has returned to earth in a new body as an avatara. Avatara is a Sanskrit word meaning decent and is often used to refer to an incarnation or material appearance of a soul.
Mantra Practice-Keep it up!
- OM or AUM
- I am love.
- I am abundant.
- I am truth.
- Everything is as it should be.
- I determine my own experience.
ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ।
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः ॥
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो मवन्तु ॥
Lokāḥ Samastaḥ Sukhino Bhavantu॥
May all beings everywhere attain happiness and freedom.
Oṁ Asato Mā Sad Gamaya
Tamaso Mā Jyotir Gamaya
Mṛtyur Ma Amṛtam Gamaya
Oṁ Śāntiḥ Śāntiḥ Śāntiḥ
Lead me from the unreal to the real
From darkness to the light
From mortality to immorality
Om Peace Peace Peace
Watch for changes in the Pranayama/Meditation Section of Practice!
Guide me to that which is in my highest good. Help me to distinguish what nourishes my soul and what deteriorates my being. Lead me down the path of wisdom so that I may show up fully in each moment. Let my study be enlightening and fruitful. Allow my practice to benefit all beings. – Namaste
- Lie on you back, with your knees bent and heels close to the hips.
- Place your palms on your belly between the navel and bottom ribs with the tips of the middle fingers touching.
- Start Ujjayi Pranayama.
- Start to breath deep into the belly. Let the tips of the fingers move apart on inhalation. Hold the breath comfortably.
- Exhale completely, let the finger tips come back together. Pause, hold the breath comfortably.
- Continue for 5 Minutes.
Get comfortable in Savasana and listen to the Yoga Nidra audio file. You can practice Yoga Nidra anytime that you feel tired and need a quick recharge or when you want to relax, like before bed.
- Have I seen examples of avataras in my own life?
- Can I think of examples of avataras from other traditions?
- Is this concept comforting or discouraging to me and why?
- How do I feel about my mantra practice now, after practicing for a few days?
What does this remind me of? Other stories, scriptures, or teachings.