Hurdles on the Path of Yoga
Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Knowledge Sheet 24
What are the obstacles on the path to discovery? They add up to nine.
"Vyadhistyanasamshaya pramadalasyavirati bhrantidarshanalabdhabhoomikatvanavasthitatvani chittavikshepaste antarayaha"
= inability to comprehend;
= non-attachment towards the senses;
= non-attainment of any state;
= these are;
“Illness, inability to comprehend, doubt, carelessness, laziness, non
-attachment towards thesenses, hallucination, non-attainment of any state, or instability, these are the distractions of themind which cause obstacles on the p
or illness in the body is the first obstacle.#2.
or the illness in the mind that is either mentally challenged and inability to
comprehend, listen, understand, follow or practice anything. For example, you will be perfectlyalright but when you get to start meditating, sickness befalls you! If you are watching television,nothing happens, but if you sit down to meditate, the body grows restless. This is an obstacle inyour path.#3.
or doubt. The mind is bogged by three types of doubts:
Doubt about oneself: “Am I good enough? I don’t think I can do it”. You see everyone else
meditating and everyone else very happy and sitting in a pleasant mood and you feel thatthe
y are all enjoying and blissful. “It is only me who is suffering. I am no good. I do notthink that I can ever make it.” So, doubt about yourself.
Doubt about the technique: “Is this alright? Will this technique do any good to me? I don’t
think so. May be
I should do some other technique. It is not for me.”
Doubt about the teacher: “What is he up to? What does he want?” These three types of
doubts can hamper the progress. Doubt about yourself begins like this. That is an
obstruction.You understand doubt properly. Your doubts are always about something that is good. You neverdoubt negativity. Instead, you always doubt positivity. Has anyone ever doubted their depression?
You never ask yourself, “Am I really depressed?” But if you are happy, you doubt, “Am I reallyhappy? Is this what I want? I am not so sure.” You keep asking yourself if you are tru
means doing something wrong knowing that it is very wrong. You know that certainthings are not good for you and knowing this too well, you do it. Or, knowing too well that you haveto do something and not doing. You know that if you do not do a certain job you will be in troubleand knowing that you will be in trouble, still you get into trouble. Knowing that you have sugarproblem and you should not eat much sugar, still you go on eating sugar or chocolate whatever
knowingly. This is pramāda. So, careless
ness, not being alert and attentive is another obstacle.#5.
is laziness; a heaviness in the body. You may do a lot of things, but when it comes to
doing little asanas, postures or exercise, you simply don’t. This laziness can creep up in any aspect