Patanjali Yoga Sutra 2.7 (Parisamvad)

Patanjali Yoga Sutra Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 2, Sutra 7



Sukha: pleasure
Anusayi: sequential attraction to, closely following
Ragah: attachment, addiction

Attachment Is That Which Dwells Upon Pleasure.

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Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra:

“Pleasure is what we chase. What doesn’t give us pleasure we avoid. This is the fundamental idea. Conversely whatever pains us we avoid, so this is the structure of our mind and this binds us. We have to get out of this circle. Even though things are not pleasant we don’t bother. So this is the main Sutra.”

Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra:

“Wherever you get happiness, joy, you get attached to it. You want happiness again and again. And that is one of the main causes of our suffering. So we should not have attachment, no running after pleasure and happiness because what gives us happiness can give us unhappiness also. But our whole life we are chasing happiness. Anything we do, we want happiness and that is the whole problem with humanity and things are still going more and more in this direction. I’m surprised when people tell me that here is a meeting of all the doctors or experts and managing directors, and whenever any group of people come together, they keep a very good talk by some learned person and then have a good discussion. But everywhere I have heard that if they don’t keep food, people don’t come. Food is the attraction. So if there is no food, the attendence is much less. So this is a known fact that people chase pleasure and in the way if some knowledge comes, then okay.

So this is how the trend goes. In our tradition, the story where the Devas and Rakshasas are churning the ocean, when Goddess Lakshmi emerges, everybody wants Lakshmi because she was a beautiful Goddess and a Goddess of Wealth. So what more could one want? But there was only one person who didn’t want anything, who was satisfied with himself; Lakshmi goes to him and weds him. These are very strong messages in our literature that don’t run after money, don’t think money will give you pleasure, anything that gives you pleasure gives you pain.

Why do we get married? We get joy out of it, this is one concept, because the life will be more comfortable or because we want a child, what a lovely thing that would be. We want pleasure but we don’t realize that everything comes along with it. Somehow, there is no other thinking – experiencing, knowledge, spiritual growth – this kind of thinking is not there. Marriage and children lead to spiritual development because then you are totally selfless. So if we see it from that angle, things are different. Knowledge is available but we want pleasure.

Somehow in our life, everything is about pleasure. We have to be alert and aware about it. Yoga literature says that of course we will not go to a place where unhygienic things are available, naturally we will go to a place that is clean and so on. We may call it pleasure, but there should be some awareness behind it. Whatever we are doing, we should be levelheaded. Definitely we should eat good food, but we are eating because we are hungry, not just because we like it, it is required. If a patient will go to a doctor and demand a particular pink medicine because its taste is so good, but the medicine is not suited for him. We can’t behave like that. It would create problems. And that is why in life we have so many problems because we run after pleasure. So we have to give it a thought.”


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About Parisamvad

On every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, The Yoga Institute, Santacruz holds Parisamvad sessions – Free interactive sessions that are open to all. These session begin at 7:20 am and end around 7:45 am.

The Friday Parisamvad is dedicated to explanation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by our esteemed Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji.

All are welcome to attend.


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  • sejal pandya
    Posted at 08:40h, 03 December Reply

    we always want to continue things which give us pleasure…and when some obstacle comes in between our pleasure then mind used to get disturb and try to remove that ..some times mind can ….but when it cant then it gives lot pain and we swing between pleasure and pain…we have to work on it and train our mind to come out from this vicious circle….

    • Tanveer Nizam
      Posted at 00:59h, 07 December Reply

      i think as Hansaji explained in her writing on Pleasure and pain. The important area is to be detached and level headed then even pain can be experienced as pleasure. Eg: A father wring hard to put his children through a good education even of he has not received one.

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