Keep the faith

Shraddhveerya smrutisamadhiprajnapurvaka itaresham meaning “By faith, by vigour or courage, by memory of having experienced the self and through the deep state of equanimity, a state of heightened awareness is gained.”


This is a vital sûtra. Shraddha means faith. Faith makes your consciousness stable, steady and solid. Doubt in the consciousness makes you vulnerable, fearful and uncertain. Faith brings out the totality in you. It pulls together all loose ends of consciousness. It integrates your whole personality. Doubt scatters you. Doubt destroys you. Doubt disseminates you and your energy. Doubt is something that pulls you apart. Dissemination of energy is doubt. Consolidation of your energy is faith. Are you getting what I am saying? The very feeling of your having faith is a sort of consolidation.


That is why Jesus always said that faith is your strength. They are synonymous — faith and strength. When you are strong and bold, you have faith. When you are weak and feeble you have doubts. Doubt is a sign of weakness. When there is faith, then samâdhi (Equanimity or meditative ness) is also achieved.


Veerya is vigour or valour. For example, the force with which a soldier marches on is Veerya. Have you not noticed how valour rises in people when they say, “We fight for our country, my country. My country is in danger, my religion is in danger.” You think they simply do it without getting any joy out of it? In that moment of valour or extreme sense of patriotism, they get such a tremendous joy. That is why this world is facing wars again and again. If people would completely condemn war, if nobody liked war, then war cannot and would not happen.


Though the result of war is not palatable, the process of war is very thrilling for people. Every cell of your body becomes united and the whole defense system in you gets awakened. That is again strength. When defense against fear comes to its peak, it is joyful because there is also equanimity there. There is a sense of gratitude. So, a sense of patriotism or valour or vigour also takes you to the state of meditation.


Smruti is the memory of it.


Once you have had a very peaceful, beautiful state of mind, the very memory of it will come back again and again and make you relive the moment. Memory of samâdhi reproduces memory of one’s being. It brings the memory of self, memory of freedom and memory of devotion. Memory of surrender, memory of love, memory of joy brings you back to yourself. Often, we do not remember nice things. What we keep remembering is bad things. We do not remember compliments but we remember somebody’s insults.


But yoga is turning the wheel full circle. Remember those wonderful moments you have had. Sit and be with that very memory. Your entire being gets back to the state. Then through samâdhi, through deep meditation, through deep equanimous mind, awareness is gained. Pragna or heightened awareness is the result of samâdhi. So these many ways, these many avenues are there so that you can blossom in life.


And that beings us to the next Sûtra — Teevrasamvëganamasannaha meaning “The spiritual path is very easy for one who gives first preference to it, who gives it supremacy over all other things.”


What do we often do? We give priority to worldly things or survival and anything spiritual features last in our list. Patanjali says, Teevra samvegânâm âsannaha. When you give first preference to your spiritual practice, then it is easier. If the focus of your life is spiritual growth, then all other things will be around that. Your first and foremost commitment in life is to be with the truth, to evolve in truth. So, it is very easy for one who gives first preference to it, for one whose mind really wants to move in this direction.