We discussed the nine types of obstacles in the path of yoga. There is no tenth obstacle. Every possible obstacle has been counted and included in these nine categories. Patanjali is such a scientist.
With a few words, he has said all that has to be said. Along with these nine obstacles, the five indications or signs of the disturbed mind. Which brings us to Sûtra : Dukha dourmanasyangamejayatva shwasaprashwasa vikshepasahabhuvaha, which means “Sorrow, bitterness, body not listening to you, shaky and irregular inspiration and expiration are the companions of these distractions”.
In the previous Sûtra, we discussed the nine obstacles on the path. What come with these obstacles are dukha or sorrow and “Dourmanasya”, which means bitterness of the mind. Angamejayatva means the body is not listening to you. It is like a man who has drunk too much wants to go left but starts moving to the right. He wants to walk straight but his body goes won’t comply. Angamejayatva is the lack of co-ordination between the body and the mind where the body wins.
Shwasa prashwasa means irregular, shaky and uncomfortable breathing. If you have observed your breath, when you are happy or excited, the incoming breath is longer. You are more aware of the incoming breath in the state of excitement. When you are unhappy, your exhalation is longer and there is a total imbalance of breath. Have you noticed this?
These are the vikshepas or distractions that come along with this obstructions. Question is, what do we do to rid ourselves of them?
The next Sûtra says Tatpratishedharthamekatattvabhyasaha, meaning “For their prevention, practice one principle”.
Patanjali says that the way to get rid of the obstacles is by doing one thing at a time. What does that mean? That way your attention is focused on that one thing only. But what happens when you do just that one thing? There is boredom, restlessness. But it is that restlessness and boredom that will take you to the peak of clarity. This is the only way out.
The mind is always troubled because it dwells on duality. It has choice, so it is confused. The divided mind is a miserable mind. Have you noticed that all the moments you have been happy, your mind was whole?
Duality causes fear and misery. It is not eka tattvabhyasa or one practice.
So what is the eka tattva? It means attending to one principle. That one principle can be God, it can be the Guru, it can be self. It can be anything but eka tattva abhyasa — practice one thing. It is the only way to overcome these obstacles.
All these nine obstacles can be gotten rid of only if there is certain amount of calmness in the mind. Holding on to one principle means seeing oneself or God or the Master in everybody. There is nothing other than this. Life is holding on to one principle and seeing that one principle in everything.
But our lives are lived in the realm of multiplicity. In the world you live with many people and not everybody is the same. So how can you see the same in everybody? It will be explained in the next Sûtra.