Many people have desire to live eternally. Why this desire to live long? Because, they want to enjoy life. Desire is endless and difficult to say when it originated and when it would end; Desires are always anādi (existing from eternity). Desires percolate into the mind and manifest as actions through organs of perception and action. When we indulge in actions, our karmic impressions go on accruing, leading to transmigration. Liberation can be attained only through human birth due to the presence of antaḥkaraṇa. Actions cause impressions in the mind, which manifest as desires, which in turn induce organs to act. Any practice to control antaḥkaraṇa and bāhyakaraṇa is known as yoga. This is further explained in the next aphorism.

How desires originate? Cause, effect, situation and object are the four that are responsible for the origin of desire. When these four are destroyed, there is no question of desire. These four, if not removed, cause deep impressions in our mind pave way for saṁskāra-s, which will metamorphose as karmic impressions over a period of time. All karmic impressions manifest either through the mind or bāhyakaraṇa-s. Success of yoga purely depends upon our efforts to make these impressions disappear. (When a person begins his spiritual path, there will be many impediments. Success in spiritual life purely depends upon one’s ability to go past these impediments and reach the ultimate goal.)

In every object, both past and future are present. Past is in the form of a shape and form and future is formless (arūpajña). Present is between past and present. It is a link between the two periods of time. In every object, one can see three periods of time – past, present and future.

Similar to three periods of time, there are three types of guṇa-s – sattva, tamas and rajo guṇa-s. Sattva is light and tamas is dark and the mixture of these two guṇa-s is rajo guṇa. As long as these three guṇa-s remain in equilibrium, there will be no creation and when the equilibrium is disturbed, creation begins. These three guṇa-s are like three period of time, as discussed in the previous aphorism.

Reality of an object depends upon its evolution (pariṇāma). One guṇa evolves into another guṇa, causing changes in the object. Typical example is growth of a child into an adult. What is the cause of this evolution? Prakṛti is the cause and evolution takes place in Prakṛti itself. Innate ignorance of a jīva is known as āṇava mala, which causes imperfection. When āṇava mala is destroyed, one attains right kind of knowledge for true spiritual evolution. Along with āṇava mala, gross body (sthūlaśarīra) and mind (relating to subtle body) are also purified. When bāhyakaraṇa and antaḥkaraṇa are purified, true nature of the object is understood. Patañjali calls this concept as vastu tattva (the one real substance or essence which has no second). During this process, all dualities are destroyed and one understands that he is the Self.

Different people look at the same object differently, mainly due to the difference in their perception. Such differences can be perceived only from visible objects and not from invisible objects. For example, a rope is mistaken for a snake. Seer is different and the object seen is different. Seer is a man and seen is a rope. Always, knowledge, the object and the knower are different. Jñāna is knowledge, the essential nature of the Brahman. Jñeya is a qualifying word, with intent to reveal that the primary duty of a man is to know the Self.  It means that Self is to be learnt or understood or ascertained or investigated or perceived or inquired about.

It is wrong to say that objects depend upon the mind; it is also wrong to say that objective world is due to perception. During meditation, mind becomes inactive, proves that mind is not the cause of appearance. Existence is due to three factors – world (Prakṛti), life and God (Brahman or the Self); first two depends upon the Self. Since everything happens due to will of the Brahman, realizing Brahman is important.

When on object creates impression in the mind, mind realizes that object. The question is about existence of soul. When the mind is fixed on the invisible soul, it is realized. When the mind is allowed to wander in the external world, where is the question of Self-realization? That is why, meditation is repeatedly emphasized. Under normal condition, a soul experiences three types of consciousness – active, dream state and deep sleep state. When the mind is withdrawn from the external world, soul also experiences turya and turyātīta. These two can be experienced only in meditation.

Soul presides over three types of bodies – gross, subtle and causal. These three bodies are always active. But the soul, which rules over these bodies is only inert. This soul is also known as Self, God, Brahman, etc. In order to realize the non-changing Brahman, one has to go past his mind. A person realizes or feels the changes only to due to continuous changes in his antaḥkaraṇa.

(IV: 10 – 18)