Patanjali Yoga Sutra Ch 1 Sutra 11 (Parisamvad)

Patanjali Yoga Sutra
Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 1, Sutra 11

Recollection is the mental modification caused by the reproduction of the previous impressions of an object without adding anything from other sources.
Anubhut : experienced
Vishay : objects of experience , impressions
Asamprosha : not being lost , not having addition
Smriti : memory, remembering
The Sutra tells us about the mechanism that can help or harm. Things are seen, heard, felt and somehow this gets retained. This is called as Smriti, memory. Some exciting fact registers, not everything is registered. Once it is retained it repeats again. This is the first stage. In case what is registered is helping us – that’s a better position. We see mistakes, we decide on some good things – this can also happen. As a result, good habits get formed, life proceeds on a better path. Otherwise the retention is of bad things. They keep repeating and strengthen themselves and spiritually they weaken us. So it is a mechanism that is there. If we can understand and handle it, it can help. If you don’t, like children, just remember things that were pleasing, they are retained and forgotten. A person who has taken to yoga will have to be careful – what is it that is getting registered? Things that are good, try and see if you can retain them and repeat. That is the way of yoga. So Smriti is an important part of our mental construction. A French psychologist made a famous sentence that he wanted everyone to repeat every morning if they wanted to improve. The sentence was, ‘Everyday, in every way, life is getting better and better,’ and he promised good results. So this is based on the same principle.”

Q : Can one have control over what is registered in the mind?
A : If a person has a certain attitude, a certain value, naturally the thing he selects or indulges is going to be different. A musician will recollect some pleasant notes. This is the way the mind works.
If there is something bad – for example, we like to read news. If a dog bites a man it’s no news. If a man bites a dog, it’s big news and we want to remember it, and tell others. Unfortunately that’s the way we are made.
Q : How to eradicate past traumas, suffering?
A : Don’t mention it – that’s the first step.
“Whatever we discussed in the last few weeks, Pramana, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidra – we are creating new new memories. It’s like black box of an aircraft. Whatever happens gets registered in the black box . The same is with our mind. You can’t stop memories. You can create much less memories by living in the present. Past thoughts will come but keep them aside. Now, there is a chair on which some family member used to sit. Now that person meets with the accident and dies. Whenever that chair is seen, the memory of that person will come. You see someone who has spoken harshly to you in the past, that old memory will come. The memories are dormant but when the situation arises, the old memory surfaces. We should be alert. Each and everything, every person has a memory. Through memory you keep a person alive, although he may not be there.

Memories could be positive or negative, worthwhile or worthless. The same bad memory can make you suffer again and again, which is stupidity. That time also we suffered, now also we are suffering and in the future also we will suffer – what nonsense! One has to create new thoughts in the mind; have a new way thinking. Whatever has happened in the past, there was a reason – somebody was ignorant so he spoke like that, somebody was angry so he spoke like that, somebody was frustrated so he spoke like that. We should give some logic to what happened. We don’t blame anybody as to why he behaved like that or spoke like that. That doesn’t have any meaning in my present life. Let’s not even talk about it or think about it. Thoughts will come but we should be able to laugh at it. If we got hurt in the past it was our stupidity. Now we should become wise and not get hurt. We should become matured. The past is there for our learning. Don’t hate anyone. According to our Karmas all the people are around us. Don’t blame, learn.”
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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