A Commentary on Sutra 32 of Book Two of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga Sutras 2: 32. Purity [shaucha], contentment [santosha], austerity [tapas], self-study [swadhyaya] and self-surrender [ishwarapranidhana] constitute observances [niyama].
- Shaucha: purity, cleanliness
Shaucha means purity and cleanliness within the context of attaining unobstructed clarity of consciousness.
“This Brahman, this Self, deep-hidden in all beings, is not revealed to all; but to the seers, pure in heart, concentrated in mind–to them is he revealed” (Katha Upanishad 1:3:12). “When through discrimination the heart has become pure, then, in meditation, the self is revealed” (Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.8). “When the senses are purified, the heart is purified; when the heart is purified, there is constant and unceasing remembrance of the self; when there is constant and unceasing remembrance of the self, all bonds are loosed and freedom is attained” (Chandogya Upanishad 7:26:2).
Which is why Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). And Saint John: “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (I John 3:2 ,3).
“Internal shaucha is the washing away of the stains of the mind” according to Vyasa. “Shaucha implies purity in seeing and listening…and washing away the stains of the mind, such as desire and anger, by the waters of meditation,” adds Shankara.
Physical cleanliness is important for it eliminates bodily toxins and prevents disease. Inner purification is [Read more…]