God Ishvara, In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras


The ideal of pure awareness, pure devotion. With devotion become open, sensitive to the grace of Siva.

"Parameshvara as the original, uncreated soul, the creator of all other souls." Theism. The benefit of Saivism: Ishvara has the ability to communicate, provide spiritual teachings to us.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras Verses 1.23-1.26

[NOTE: there were some issues with the recording set up, but the talk was important, so despite the sound quality, we are adding it to the digital library.]

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning.

Good weather for a rainbow so take a look toward the mountain before you go; lots of rainbows.

Continuing again with Patanjali's Yoga Sutras; he's talking about Ishvara, remember? The verse was chapter 1, verse 23

"Or samadhi is attained through devotion to Ishvara."

We talked about that concept in Gurudeva's teachings, that devotion. If someone has devotion then they become open or sensitive to the grace of Siva. Without devotion we can't experience that, for we need to be open to the grace to, acquiring devotion.

So we'll read the next few verses and comment on them.

"Ishvara is a distinct purusha unaffected by the causes of affliction and the effects of ripening stored karma. "

So God doesn't have a problem with it. Problem free. No affliction and no karma.

"In Ishvara, the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed."

So that just means He's all knowing.

"Continuous throughout time, Ishvara was also the guru of those who lived earlier."

So you know how popular Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is. Sutras are. In the, presenting yoga to westerners. So this particular section of it creates some interesting translations.

The way I put it here is: "This statement drives the western translators crazy because there's no God in the way yoga is taught in the West. "

But it is to create translations.

"Realization..." (Well remember how it reads here.) " Or samadhi is attained through devotion to Ishvara."

Fairly straight-forward.

"Realization may also come if one is oriented toward the ideal of pure awareness."

What does that mean? Oriented in pure devotion; oriented in pure awareness for Ishvara.

There's another one:

"It is done with sincerity and dedication towards the untainted creative source or pure consciousness."

So created. Translations: Here's one that's from the Vedanta perspective. It's the one, it's the Hava Nogales; the name of the business. Prabo... Prabhavananda.

"Here for the first time, Patan..." Oh, it's the way he translates it.

"Concentration may also be attained through devotion to Ishvara." (Straight-forward.)

"Here, for the first time, Patanjali introduces the idea of God. According to Vedanta philosophy Ishvara is the supreme Ruler of the universe--it's Creator, Sustainer and Dissolver. Brahman, the ultimate Reality, cannot properly be said to create, sustain or dissolve, since Brahman is, by definition, without attributes. Ishvara is Brahman seen within Prakriti.

"What is important is the concept of devotion. Liberation as we have already seen, can be reached without devotion to God. But this is a subtle and dangerous path, threading it's way through the pitfalls of ambition and pride. (Nicely said.)

"Devotion to a personal ideal of God brings with it a natural inclination to humility and service."

Something we've been talking about regularly. Quotes the Vedic phase of the Theism, humility. It's the benefit of Saivism.

"It sweetens the dryness of intellectual discrimination and calls forth the highest kind of love of which man is capable. We can not even imagine Brahman until the moment of our liberation, but we can all imagine Ishvara, according to our different natures--for Ishvara has attributes which our minds can recognize. Ishvara is all that we can know of the Reality until we pass beyond Prakriti.

"If we set ourselves to serve Ishvara, if we dedicate our actions and surrender our wills to Him, we shall find that He draws us to Himself. This is the grace of God, which Sri Ramakrishna compared to an ever-blowing breeze; you have only to raise your sail in order to catch it."

To live an eternal life.

So in terms of definitions, from the Lexicon:

Isuvaran

1st meaning: Talaivar: Chief, leader, head, Lord.

2nd meaning: Kadavul: The Almighty.

3rd meaning: Siva.

So it's what Ishvara means getting in the Tamil lexicon.

I think Gurudeva's definition of Parameshvara really brings it all to life in a nice way.

"Parameshvara: (Means the same thing as Ishvara.) 'Supreme Lord or Ruler.'

"God Siva in the third perfection as Supreme Mahadeva, Siva-Shakti, mother of the universe. In this perfection as Personal, father-mother God, Siva is a person--who has a body, with head, arms and legs, etc. -- who acts, wills, blesses, gives darshana, guides, creates, preserves, reabsorbs, obscures and enlightens. In Truth, it is Siva-Shakti who does all. The term Primal Soul, Paramapurusha, designates Parameshvara as the original, uncreated soul, the creator of all other souls."

So that's a nice detailed description, isn't it? Gurudeva.

So this one, again back to the last verse we read:

"Continuous throughout time, Ishvara was also the guru of those who lived earlier."

So clearly, in saying that, Patanjali's telling us Ishvara has the ability to communicate with us. Can't be a guru, supposed to be guru if you can't talk to them in some way. So, showing that Siva's grace manifests in providing teachings, spiritual teachings to those who are advanced enough to receive them from.

In doing some research on this for another talk and noted with: "The teachings of hatha yoga relate to Siva as Ishvara."

So you don't normally relate hatha yoga to Siva, right?

"It is said that the first guru Matsyendranatha learned the hatha yoga practices from Siva himself in the form of Adinatha. This is made reference to in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the first verse of which reads: 'Salutation to Adinatha (Siva) who expounded the knowledge of Hatha Yoga, which like a staircase leads the aspirant to the high pinnacled Raja Yoga.'"

So that's interesting. Siva is responsible for it all.

Have a wonderful day.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Humility is intelligence; arrogance is ignorance. To accept one's karma and the responsibility for one's actions is strength. To blame another is weakness and foolishness.
—Gurudeva