I’ve been going along with my blog theme A Sutra a Day now for five months. Picture me every night sitting down at my messy desk, thumbing through up to eight Patanjali Sutra texts by various translator/commentators.
After reading each interpretation, I think about what I’ve read and then overlay a map of my life to see if there are any points of intersection. Sometimes I’m lucky and, bingo, the fit is serendipitous. Other times I feel like I’m trying to pull on a too-tight jumper shrunken in the wash.
Why am I doing this to myself? I started out thinking I wanted a challenge. I also wanted to make myself sit still and study Patanjali; it was about bloody time, I thought.
How’s it going? Yes, it is challenging. More than that, it’s been rewarding. Some of the wisdom is coming in via osmosis. Hang around with enough brilliant writers and something is bound to come through.
I don’t even mind that I’m just scratching the surface. I remember my first exposure to Patanjali was more than a decade ago. A traveling yoga teacher named John Evans asked if he could lead a few discussions group sessions on the Sutra at my Sydney centre. He told the story of how he studied with a group of 25 participants that dwindled down to only 3 stalwarts after five years. Five years!
Well, what else might I be doing? Playing tennis or bridge or bike riding. Been there. Now I’m thinking wouldn’t it be great to learn to chant all the Sutra.
One substratum contains past, present, and future characteristics.*
*The Essence of Yoga – Reflections on the Sutras of Patanjali, Bernard Bouanchaud.