Yoga Sutra Ch 1, Sutra 8 (Parisamvad)

Patanjali Yoga Sutra
Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 1, Sutra 8

Viparayaya-Mithya-Jnanam-Atad- Rupa-Pratistham

Viparyaya or illusion is false knowledge formed of a thing as other than what it is.
Viparyaya : wrong knowledge ; not seeing things clearly
Mithya : unreal , false
Jnanam : knowledge
Atad : not its own
Rupa : form , nature
Pratistham : based on , established

Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra:

This is a technical word, Viparyaya – more like imagination. It’s wrong but sometimes it can be right also. What is considered as definitely wrong – wrong knowledge; remains wrong. Illusions, misapprehensions happen in our life because we are not quite exact. We get some words, imagination and build up a story, this happens a lot. Sometimes it is for the good also. Here they distinguish, Viparyaya i.e. misapprehension from ignorance which is something that stays on. It doesn’t get corrected. Misapprehension means while passing, not seeing something clearly, which gets corrected. It is also one of those mental activities which are not healthy. We are discussing about those tendencies. Mithya Gyan is wrong knowledge, Atad Rupa Pratistham – not exactly tallying with the object.
So we are understanding how the mind works. Mind works in various ways. We don’t try and analyze and understand. A lot of mistaken things get into our mind and we believe they are right; and all our life we hold on to them. This is the problem. In yoga we are trying to become very exact, very clear, very sharp; see things as they are and build up on that basis. That needs time, energy, thinking, belief but we are in a hurry. Hence, most of our calculations are not very correct, but still we carry on. These kind of mistakes are part of our life. In yoga, we are interested in exact understanding. In exact understanding at the highest level, even thinking is wrong.
Today, we have become so very lazy; mistakes are accepted. We used the word, Chalao, carry on. We know something is not correct but we say carry on. This has got into our system and we are functioning even though knowing there are certain wrong people, wrong thinking, wrong belief, but we have no time. We are in a hurry and we want to carry on. We don’t want to go into the details. Some broad ideas we catch, but this is not correct. Things done like that go wrong. So Viparyaya is Mithya Gyan.
The common example given is that, there is a rope and you believe it is snake. In life, so many such things happen. We don’t even put in effort to get right knowledge, to get a little more detail about the thing, but we believe in that. That same Viparyaya can be Klista or Aklista. Here is a man who is reading philosophy and feels that the body is useless, nonsense. It is not right knowledge. Only through the body we can do everything in life. If with this knowledge, Vairagya (detachment) is increasing, understanding comes, then only is it an Aklista tendency.
Whatever we hear and see, first ascertain the fact. In law they say ascertain the fact before you believe it. A friend comes to Socrates and asks him, ‘Have you heard something about so and so’? Socrates stops him and tells him, ‘Have you ascertained that what you are going to speak is the truth?’ The friend says, ‘No, nothing like that.’ Socrates again asks, ‘By knowing what you are going to say, will it help in understanding life in anyway?’ The friend says, ‘No.’ Again Socrates asks, ‘Is it something good about him?’ The friend says, ‘No.’ Finally Socrates says ‘Then, I don’t want to listen.’ Do we have that clarity? We do thing anything, believe anything, listen to any gossip.
Another strong example is of a place called Shani Shignapur in Nasik. The people believe Lord Shani protects each one and so no homes have locks; the houses are open. They are simple people. If such belief can free us from tension, it’s fine. The solution of Viparyaya is Pramana.
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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