Use These 5 Principles by Patanjali to Lead a Better Life


Patanjali is one of the most revered sages who lived in ancient India and wrote the Yoga Sutras, on the basis of which, yoga is taught around the world.

He is known to be a master of yoga, grammar, and medicine. His works describe the true meaning of yoga and not the one that happens every week at your local gym.

While his world lost popularity for almost 700 years from the 12th to the 19th century, they’ve made a comeback in the past 100 years to show the path to humanity.

Here are a few important principles that can help you live a better life.

“There is always a light within us that is free from all sorrow and grief, no matter how much we may be experiencing suffering.”

Life will present you with difficult situations every day. There will be times when you suffer more than you think you deserve.

And these are the times when the strength of our character is tested. You have to dig deep inside to find your eternal source of happiness.

The root of happiness and light is present in all of us but the problems is that we’re not in tune with it. We’re so busy doing that we don’t have the time to be.

We’ve been trained to turn to outward sources of joy all our lives. What do you do when you’re stressed? Watch TV? Listen to music? Have a drink?

All of these provide counterfeit joy. The joy is fleeting — takes you high and crashes you down further.

There’s only one solution to it — meditation. I know you’ve heard this a hundred times. But seriously, it is the only way to uplift our consciousness individually and as a species.

Once you raise your consciousness, you start to go deep. You can find the latent light inside you. It opens up a whole new world. You rise above your problems. Because when you’re in this beautiful state, the problems melt away.

I’m not saying that the problems will vanish. But they would not have an emotional hold on you. So that finally, you can deal with them calmly and even-mindedly.

“Be happy for those who are happy, have compassion towards the unhappy, and maintain equanimity towards the wicked.”

It is sad to say but all of us often do the opposite. We feel jealous from those who are happy, contempt for the unhappy, and hateful towards the wicked.

This traps us in ego consciousness. It reinforces the false illusion that we’re separate. That if others succeed, they’re taking it from you. If others are down, then you’re better than them. And if others are wicked then you ought to give them a piece of your mind.

The truth is that the world is abundant and the only thing that matters is Love. We have to purify ourselves and our tendencies. We have to expand out limited, conditional love and make an effort to love unconditionally.

There’s no religion that doesn’t say this. And if it does, it isn’t worth following. Love is our sole religion and the only savior.

“Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded Consciousness. Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind.”

The goal of Yoga is simple — to still the vortices of thoughts in the mind. Divine perceptions cannot be realized when the mind is controlled by distractions.

Imagine the mind as an ocean. When the weather is rough, the waves are enormous. But the calmer it gets, the lesser waves you see. The aim is to be so still that not even a ripple if thought enters the ocean of our mind.

Once you’ve accomplished this herculean task, only then can you realize Who You Truly Are — Unbounded Consciousness. This is our eternal reality. This is where we’ve come from. And this is where we all will go back. There’s nothing else.

I know it’s difficult for you to understand this. You may think it’s another woo-woo metaphysical theory. But I’ve had glimpses of such experiences which is beyond our imagination of expectancy.

The only reason it’s difficult to get this, we’re overshadowed by the activity of the mind. Stilling the activity is what the goal of Yoga is. Because once you realize your real nature, you’ll be ever-free from the suffering of life.

“Aversion is a form of bondage. We are tied to what we hate or fear. That is why, in our lives, the same problem, the same danger or difficulty, will present itself over and over again in various prospects, as long as we continue to resist or run away from it instead of examining it and solving it.”

What we resist, persists. And what we fear, only grows.

Carl Jung contended that “what you resist not only persists but will grow in size.”

When you’re running away from your problems, you’re complaining about it, resisting it, irritated by it, shying away from it, etc. Basically you’re trying to avoid it at all costs.

Without realizing this, all your energy is focused on that problem. In your effort to resist it, you are only giving it more energy and thought. And the more you focus on it, the more it grows. And almost always in an exaggerated, negative context.

Think of it like this. You have a lion inside your house. You managed to lock it inside a room. Now, you’re afraid to let it go because as soon as it comes out, it’ll attack you. So you try to forget about its existence. But every now and then, the thought keeps coming back to you.

In other words, you’re bonded by it forever. You neither can let it go nor can you stop thinking about it. The only solution is to confront it, take the hit, but free yourself from the continuous pain.

Many diseases and physical pains occur from negative emotional energy that is stored inside of you. You have to let it out. Solve it, analyze it, and then move beyond.

“The characteristics of an object are presented differently depending on the various states of mind of the observer.”

We often think that our reality is objective. That the image of a thing is more or less the same for everyone. The truth is, that it’s laughably different.

David Eagleman makes a compelling case about this. According to us, the reality is ‘out there’ and we’re just picking it up as is.

But the fact is that we’re just picking a small percentage of the information to construct our own reality in our small heads.

Yet we are so confident in our views that we can kill other people to prove our point. It also highlights how little we know about life. Even in the 21st century with our advanced technology, we do nothing but attest to what our scriptures have said thousands of years ago.

Realizing that our reality is completely different from how others see it is the first step to resolve conflict and enlarge your perspective. Until one day, you start to perceive things beyond your tiny reality

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Written on July 31, 2020