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The Importance of Purification and Mindful Eating in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra

Jun 28th, 2024 | 1 Min Read
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Category: Yog Sutra


Language: English

शौचात्स्वाङ्गजुगुप्सा परैरसंसर्गः।।
śaucātsvāṅga jugupsāparair asaṁsargaḥ || 2.40 ||
Translation:  By purification, one gets disgusted with one's own body and practices non-attachment towards others.

The first niyama that is recommended is śauca, or purification. By purification, we mean both external and internal purification. External purification consists of bathing and general cleanliness of the body. Internal purification refers to the maintenance of mental purity or purity of thoughts. 

Pure food for a pure mind

"If one eats pure food, one's mind becomes pure. If the mind is pure, one's memory becomes strong and steady. If the memory is good, one becomes free from all bondages."

According to Adi Shankaracharya, the human body is composed of seven substances: marrow, bone, fat, flesh, blood, skin, and the cuticle, all of which are derived from the food and drinks we consume. Understanding the body's composition sheds light on the profound connection between what we eat and our mental state. When we eat food, it undergoes three types of divisions, each contributing to the nourishment of not only the body but also the mind. This suggests that the mind is not just a metaphysical entity but also composed of material substance.

The human body comprises five subtle elements, each corresponding to a specific sense: sound is associated with ether, touch with air, colour with fire, taste with water, and smell with earth. Our experience of these senses is made possible by the functioning of their respective sense organs. It's believed that only those who have conquered their cravings for sensory pleasures can break free from the cycle of rebirth.

Moreover, it's crucial to comprehend the transient nature of the human body. The vital airs that sustain life can come to a halt at any given time, emphasising the importance of continual spiritual growth and self-improvement.

Summary: JKYog India Online Class- Patanjali Yoga Sutra [English]- 27.06.2024