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The Purpose of Life, and How to Attain It

shining Om-purpose of LifeSutras 23 through 26 of Book Two of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yoga Sutra 2: 23. The purpose of the coming together of the purusha and prakriti is the gaining by the purusha of the awareness of his true nature and the unfoldment of powers inherent in him and prakriti.

This is an expansion on what has been already said, the new point being that there are powers (shakti) inherent in both the purusha and prakriti that are to be discovered and developed in them. That prakriti has inherent powers is not surprise–it could not be otherwise–but the idea that there is anything inherent in the individual consciousness (jiva) to be revealed is surprising because consciousness is always just what it is, perfect and unchanging. Nevertheless, in some way experience must affect–but not change–consciousness. For that reason there is discussion of evolving, altering, elevating, or lowering consciousness. The next verse makes everything clear.

Yoga Sutra 2: 24. Its cause is the lack of awareness [avidya–ignorance] of his real nature.

So now we know. Through ignorance the changes in prakriti are attributed to the purusha, and the changes of prakriti are believed to also take part in consciousness as well as in vibratory matter. Consequently:

Yoga Sutra 2: 25. The dissociation of purusha and prakriti brought about by the dispersion of avidya is the real remedy and that is the liberation of the seer.

It has already been stated that ignorance brings about the identity, the seeming contact, of the purusha with prakriti. When avidya is dissolved, illusion is also dispersed, and the purusha is liberated. This is why Shankara continual emphasizes jnana, the sole cure for avidya.

Yoga Sutra 2: 26. The uninterrupted practice of the awareness of the Real is the means of dispersion (of avidya).

Jnaneshvara Bharati: “Clear, distinct, unimpaired discriminative knowledge is the means of liberation from this alliance.” Vivekananda: The means of destruction of ignorance is unbroken practice of discrimination.”

Viveka-khyati is not very well translated as “awareness of the Real.”

Viveka: Discrimination between the Real and the unreal, between the Self and the non-Self, between the permanent and the impermanent; right intuitive discrimination; ever-present discrimination between the transient and the permanent.

Khyati: Apprehension; discernment; knowledge; vision.

So viveka-khyati is the constant awareness-insight into the difference between reality and unreality, between the purusha and the prakriti. And it is not an intellectual exercise, but a state of intelligent illumination resulting from yoga practice, as sutra 28 indicates.


Om Yoga cover-The means to attain the purpose of life After years of preparation, we are now ready to publish Abbot George’s book on this subject: Om Yoga Meditation: Its Theory and Practice.

On February 25th we plan to have the printed and digital versions of this book available at, Smashwords, and other online retailers. We have set up pre-order pages for the Kindle version at Amazon, and epub and other digital versions at Smashwords. Until publication, you can order these digital versions for only 99¢.

Reviewers wanted

Would you like to read a pre-publication PDF of Om Yoga Meditation: Its Theory and Practice and publish a review on Amazon or other book sites when it is published? Email us at simeon(@) (remove the parentheses when addressing the email) and we will send you the file. When the book is available for sale, we will email you and ask you to place your review.

The more reviews this new book gets, the easier it will be for Amazon viewers to find and share this valuable information.

Update: You can now get Om Yoga Meditation: Its Theory and Practice in print and Kindle format from Amazon, and as an ebook from SmashwordsBarnes & NobleApple Bookstore (U.S.), Kobo, and other online channels. Remember, this week only the ebook is 99¢, and the print version is only $14.99!

get your kindle ebook now

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