Sutra 1.7 – pratyakṣa-anumāna-āgamāḥ pramāṇāni
In the sutras 1.7- 1.11, each of the activities (correct knowledge, misperception , imagination, dreamless sleep, & memory) are defined.
Here, in 𝗦𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝟭.𝟳, Patanjali defines what is correct knowledge.
For November’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 1.7 in our personal yoga & meditation practice and beyond into our everyday lives.
pratyakṣa: direct cognition/ direct experience
āgamāḥ: testimony from scholars
pramāṇāni: the sources of right knowledge
Direct cognition/direct experience or pratyakṣa
This is when you directly have an experience, feeling it with all your senses of touch, smell, sight, hear, & taste. This is the best way to learn something. If someone wants to learn to ride a bike, they will not learn by reading about it, or listening to lecture about it, they must experience it to learn how to do it. In yoga, Pattabhi Jois said “Yoga is 1% theory and 99% practice.”
Inference or anumāna
This is when we perceive by use of our basic knowledge or logical reasoning. If we see smoke, we can assume there is fire somewhere.
Testimony from scholars or āgamāḥ
This is information from a wise source with many years of experience. This could be in written form or verbal. One should consider the qualifications the source of information to make sure that they are an expert. In yoga, an example of this type of source is BKS Iyengar for alignment in our postures.
The sources of right knowledge or pramāṇāni
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“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.”