Obstacles for the progress in the practice of yoga

Obstacles for the progress in the practice of yoga

||Tatah pratyak chetana adhigamah api antaraya abhavash cha||29||

Meaning: From that (constant repetition and contemplation of Om) consciousness turns inwards and the obstacles are removed.  

The English meaning of the Sanskrit terms:  tatah = from that; pratyak = turned in; chetana = consciousness; adhigamah = attainment; api = also; antaraya = of obstacles; abhavash = absence; cha = and  

Patanjali teaches Ishwara Pranidhana from Sutra 23 to Sutra 29. He teaches the complete Sadhana for an average person who has unsteady and vacillating mind, has attachments to the lower things of life.   Through these sutras Patanjali reiterates that constant repetition and contemplation on Om leads human awareness to introvert and the obstacles- physical and mental- that block the path of yoga are removed.

||Vyadhi styana samshaya pramada alasya avirati bhranti-darshana alabdhabhumikatva anavasthitatva chitta vikshepa te antarayah||30|| 

English meaning: Disease, dullness, doubt, procrastination, laziness, craving, erroneous perception, inability to achieve finer stages and instability are the obstacles.  

English meaning of the Sanskrit terms:  vyadhi = disease; styana = dullness; samshaya = doubt; pramada = procrastination; alasya = laziness; avirati = craving  for enjoyment; bhranti-darshana = erroneous perception; alabdha-bhumikatva = inability to achieve a finer state; anavasthitatva = instability; chitta-vikshepa = distractions of the mind; te = they; antarayah = obstacles

Nine disruptive forces of consciousness are pointed out in this sutra. They will have to be removed through japa that will help the mind to introvert and so the obstacles removed. These obstacles are part of consciousness and are definite points in our consciousness. All of these disruptions (Disease, dullness, doubt, procrastination, laziness, craving, erroneous perception, inability to achieve finer stages and instability) are sure to occur during the practice. But being aware of these disruptions will help the practitioner stick to his practice through rise and fall.

||Duhkha daurmanasya angam-ejayatva shvasa prashvasah vikshepa sahabhuva||31||

English Meaning: Pain, depression, shaking of the body and unrhythmic breathing are accompanying symptoms of mental distraction.  

English meaning of Sanskrit Words:   duhkha = pain mental or physical; daurmanasya = depressio; angam-ejayatva = shaking of the body; anga = limbs or body; shvasa = inhalation; prashvasah = exhalation; vikshepa = distractions; sahabhuva = accompanying symptom

Whatever be the nature of distraction, perseverance is fundamental necessity for practice. Practice will perfect the concentration. Concentration will bring order to mind and body. The last sutra brought to light the nine obstacles. They could be accompanied by symptoms of pain, depression, shaking of the body and non-rhythmic breathing. The practitioner has to ascertain whether these obstacles are natural or caused due to practice. All the said distractions in 30th sutra and this one are psychic manifestations and not mental processes. An average person may get these conditions naturally but in a practitioner these could manifest due to their inward turning and introspection. 

 

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