Sutra of the Month

Sutra 1.8 – viparyayah mithyajñânam atadrüpa pratistham

In this sutra, Patanjali explains to us that our perception is not fact and that it can lead us to misperception.

For December’s Sutra of the month, we will look at the following:

1. Translation of the Sanskrit;

2. Further discussion and analysis of each Sanskrit word to show you what they mean today;

3. Practical, real-world discussion of how we can use Sutra 1.8 in our personal yoga & meditation practice and beyond into our everyday lives.



viparyayah: misperception 

mithyā: false, illusory

jñānam: knowledge

atat: not its own

rūpa: form

pratiṣṭham: based

sutra 1-8

To understand, in depth, the ultimate reality we need to first understand what is unreal and what is real.

Unreal as anything that is transient. Transient objects are things that arise and pass away and that are always changing: 
Our thoughts
Our bodies
Our emotions
Our jobs
Our relationships
We have a tendency to identify with these things, believing that this is who we are. If we believe that this is who we are, and these things are always changing, this causes suffering and anxiety. We can still honor these things but see it for what it is…not the ultimate reality of who we are.
Who we are is beyond anything that is transient. We are the soul, the Atman, that is unchanged, unmoved, and ever present.
This misperception tends to be the most frequent activity of our mind and the core of all of our suffering…the inability to understand in depth ultimate reality. We may be able to notice the misperceptions later on, and sometimes, not at all.
The aim of yoga is to recognize and control the causes misperceptions. 
Please share your thoughts and reflections on Sutra 1.8 below!

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Ayako DeRuby

Ayako DeRuby


“Prior to my practice of Yoga & Meditation, I was often companioned by Anxiety, Insecurity and Fear. I would use all sorts of substances to give me a false sense of confidence, easy to blame people and situations for emotional disturbances, and felt like a hamster in a turning wheel with no real direction. Yoga & Meditation were the tools I used to face these narratives, helping me find my true self. As the dark night sky helps us see the light of the stars, I was able to now see the light of who I was against the dark narrative of this false self. My rock bottom became my springboard to my highest potential.

I believe that we all have been blessed to walk this earth to wake up to our true selves. We have the potential to reach for our dreams and to let go of the narrative that holds us back.. we all have a guru inside leading us to greatness. All we need to do is quiet the narrative long enough to hear and feel the light of pure awareness and pure love. This is what Yoga & Meditation can do for you.”