5 Yoga Sutras

Patanjali describes many of the various facets of consciousness in the sutras, particularly within part four, Kaivalya Pada:

  1. Consciousness is one, but it branches into many different types of activities and innumerable thought-waves
  2. The existence of past and future is as real as that of the present. As moments roll into movements which have yet to appear in the future, the quality of knowledge in one’s consciousness and intellect is affected
  3. Due to the variance in the quality of mind-content, each person may view the same object differently, according to his own way of thinking
  4. The yogi who has no interest in the highest state of evolution, and maintains supreme attentive, discriminative awareness, attain dharmeghah samadhi: he contemplates the fragrance of virtue and justice.
  5. Kaivalya, liberation, comes when the yogi has fulfilled the purusarthas, the fourfold aims of man (dharma, artha, kama, and moksa), and has transcended the gunas. Aims and gunas return to their source, and consciousness is established in its own natural purity.

Patanjali is great at creating paradoxes, which this is full of. Consciousness after all, is both one pointed and many and its nature is paradoxical because it mirrors itself and others simultaneously. The Gunas are natural qualities; transcending them means to transcend human nature to realize the divine. So must the aims of life be complete in order for one to leave the material plane of the body to enter into the realm of the energetic and divine.

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