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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.24
क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः
kleśa karma vipāka-āśayaiḥ-aparāmr̥ṣṭaḥ puruṣa-viśeṣa īśvaraḥ

God is a special Being who is free from afflictions, actions, fruits of actions and impressions

kleśa = afflictions
karma = actions, causes
vipāka = the fruits of actions, effects
āśayaiḥ = resting place, impressions
aparāmr̥ṣṭaḥ = untouched
puruṣa = Self, Atman, Consciousness, Spirit
viśeṣa = special
īśvaraḥ = God


God is defined in this Sutra.


Basically, you are a Purusa. I am a Purusa. We are identified with our body, not by Purusa. Purusa is the real identification and not the body. Ignorance is the cause of the false identification.  Because of this ignorance, I, the Purusa, who is located in a body, experience pain and grief because of the actions, the results of such actions and latent impressions thereof. Ordinary beings have these qualities.


God is a special kind of a Being who has no ignorance and hence no sufferings of pain and grief. He is not affected by the actions, its fruits and the latent impressions. 


Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

Untouched by the hindrances, actions, fruits, or by latent deposits, the Isvara is the special kind of Self.

Ignorance and the rest are the Hindrances. Actions are good and evil. Fruits are the consequences of these. These are all stored as impressions in the sub-consciousness. Though they are stored in the subconscious mind, they are attributed to Purusa who is experiencing them. as if Victory or defeat of soldiers is attributed to the Leader. Isvara is one who is not touched by this kind of experience.


Then there are those who have attained liberation. Liberated are many. They have reached this state by cutting off the three instruments of bondage. Isvaras liberation is not of this kind. It does not relate to either past or future, because we do not know about the preceding bondage which is not with him. No possibility of occurrence in the future, as the bondage is dissolved in nature. He is ever liberated and ever Isvara.


Does any proof exist for the eternal superiority of Isvara or not? Scriptures are the proof. What are the proofs that they have? The connection between the scripture and the supreme character of the God is eternal. From scriptures, it is derived that God is ever liberated and ever the Supreme Being. The supremacy is eternal because it is not equalled or came over by other Beings. If ever anything equals that, it becomes God Himself. If two things are equal, variations like new and old may result. The variation will result in the degree of supremacy. Besides, two equal Beings cannot belong to the accomplishment of the desired object- the objects being contradictory.


Hence He, whose supremacy is free from equality and excess, is God. Simply God is the Supreme Being ever.


Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

Isvara (the Supreme Ruler) is a special Purusa, untouched by misery, the results of actions, or desires.

We must again remember that this Patanjali Yoga Philosophy is based upon that of the Sankhyas, only that in the latter there is no place for God, while with the Yogis God has a place. The Yogis, however, avoid many ideas about God, such as creating. God as the Creator of the Universe is not meant by the Isvara of the Yogis, although, according to the Vedas, Isvara is the Creator of the universe. Seeing that the universe is harmonious, it must be the manifestation of one will. The Yogis and Sankhyas both avoid the question of creation. The Yogis want to establish a God, but carefully avoid this question; they do not raise it at all. Yet you will find that they arrive at God in a peculiar fashion of their own. They say: (continued in the Next Sutra)

Commentary by Sri Osho



God is a state of consciousness. It is not a person, really, but ”individual”, so you will have to understand the difference between personality and individuality. Personality is the periphery. As you look to others, that is your personality. You say, ”Nice personality, beautiful personality, ugly personality” – as you look to others. Your personality is the decision, the opinion of others about you. If you are alone on the earth, will you have any personality? No personality, because who will
say you are beautiful, and who will say you are stupid, and who will say you are a great leader of men? There is nobody to say anything about you. The opinion will not be there, you will not have any personality.

The word personality comes from the Greek word ”persona”. In the Greek drama, the actors had to use masks. Those masks were called persona. From that persona comes the word personality. The face that you wear when you look at your wife and smile, that is personality – persona. You don’t feel like smiling, but you have to smile. A guest comes and you welcome him, and deep down you never wanted him to come to you and deep down you are disturbed – ”Now what to do with this man?” – but you are smiling and welcoming and you are saying that ”So glad”. 


Personality is that which you pose, a face, a mask. But if there is nobody in your bathroom, you don’t have any personality unless you look in the mirror. Then immediately the personality comes because you yourself start doing the work of the other opinion. You look in the face and say, ”Beautiful”. Now you are divided, now you are two, giving opinion about yourself. But in the bathroom when nobody is there and you are completely unafraid, that nobody is looking from the keyhole... Because if somebody looks from the keyhole, personality comes in, you start behaving.

In the bathroom only you drop the personality. That’s why bathroom is so refreshing. Out of the bath you come so beautiful, fresh, no personality; you become an individual. Individuality is that which you are; personality is that which you show that you are. Personality is your face; individuality is your being. God, in Patanjali’s conception, has no personality. He is an individual unit.

If you grow, by and by, opinion of others becomes childish. You don’t bother about them; what they say is meaningless. It is not what they say that carries meaning. It is you, what you are, that carries the meaning, not that they say, ”Beautiful”. This is useless. If you are beautiful, that is the point.

What they say is irrelevant. What you are – the real, the authentic you – that is your individual. When you drop personalities, you become a sannyasin. When you renounce personalities, you become a sannyasin: you become an individual unit. Now you live through your authentic center.

You don’t pose. When you don’t pose, you are not worried. When you don’t pose, you are unaffected by what others say. When you don’t pose, you remain detached. Personality cannot remain detached. It is a very fragile thing. It exists between you and the other, and it depends on the other. He can change his mind; he can destroy you completely. You look at a woman and she smiles, and you feel so beautiful because of her smile. And if she simply turns with hatred in her eyes, you are simply crushed. In fact, you are crushed because your personality has been thrown under the shoes. She walked over you; she didn’t look even.

Every moment you are afraid somebody may crush your personality. Then the whole world becomes an anxiety. A god has an individuality, but no personality. Whatsoever he is, that’s what he shows. Whatsoever he is in, he is out. In fact, in and out have disappeared for him.


In English it is translated, GOD IS THE SUPREME RULER. That’s why I say there exists a misunderstanding about Patanjali. In Sanskrit he calls him purush-vishesh – a supreme being, not a ruler. I will like to translate God as the supreme. He is an individual unit of divine consciousness – individual, remember, not universal, because Patanjali says every individual is a god.


Why? Because the more you become individual, the more life takes a different quality. A new dimension opens – the dimension of play. The more you are concerned with the personality and the outer, the crust, the periphery... Your dimension of life is that of work: worried about the result, worried about whether you will attain the goal or not, always worried whether things are going to help you or not, what will happen tomorrow.

A man whose life has become a play is not worried about tomorrow, because he exists only today. Says Jesus, ”Look at the lilies. They are so beautiful,” because for them life is not a work. Look at rivers, look at stars. Except man, everything is beautiful and holy because the whole existence is a play. Nobody is worried about the result. Is the tree worried about whether flowers will come or not? 


Is the river worried whether she will reach to the ocean or not? Except man, there is no worry. Why man is worried? Because he looks life as work, not as play – and the whole existence is a play. Says Patanjali: when one becomes centered into oneself, one becomes a player; he plays. Life is a game and it is beautiful; no need to worry about the result. Result doesn’t matter, it is simply irrelevant. The thing which you are doing in itself has value. I am talking to you; you are listening to me. But you are listening with a purpose, and I am talking purposelessly. You are listening with a purpose, because through listening you are going to attain something – some knowledge, some clues, some techniques, methods, some understanding, and then you are going to work them out.

You are after a result. I am talking to you purposelessly; I simply enjoy. People ask me, ”Why you go on talking every day?” I enjoy; it is just like birds singing. What is the purpose? Ask the rose why it goes on flowering? What is the purpose? I am talking to you because this sharing of myself with you is in itself a value, it has intrinsic value. I am not looking at the result; I am not worried whether you are transformed through it or not. There is no worry. If you listen me, that’s all. And if you are also not worried, then transformation can happen this very moment.

Because you are worried how to use it – whatsoever I say, how to use it – what to do about it... You are already in the future. You are not here; you are not playing the game. You are in a workshop. You are not playing the game You are thinking to gain some results out of it, and I am absolutely purposeless. It is how I share myself with you. I am talking not to do something in the future: I am talking because right now, through this sharing, something is happening, and that’s enough.

Remember the words ”intrinsic value”, and make your every act an intrinsic value. Don’t bother about the result – because the moment you think about the result, whatsoever you are doing becomes the means and the end is in the future. Make the means themselves the end; make the path the goal.

Make this very moment the ultimate; there is no beyond it. This is the state of God and whenever you are playing, you have some glimpses of it. Children play, and you cannot find anything diviner than children playing. Hence, Jesus says,”Unless you become like children, you will not enter into the kingdom of my God.” Become like children. The meaning is not to become childish, because to be childish is totally a different thing; to be like children is totally a different thing. Childishness has to be dropped. That is juvenile, foolish. 

To be like children has to be increased. That is innocence – purposeless innocence. Profit brings the poison in; the result poisons you. Then innocence is lost.


You can become a god right now because you are already that – just the thing has to be realized. You are already the case. It is not that you have to grow into a god. Really, you have to realize that you are already that. This happens through surrender.

Patanjali says you believe in a God, you trust in a God there, somewhere, high in the universe, at the top, and you surrender. That God is just a prop to help surrender. When the surrender happens you become a god, because surrender means, ”Now I am not concerned with the result, I am not concerned with the future, I am not concerned with myself at all. I surrender.”


When you say, ”I surrender”, what is surrender? I – the ego And without the ego how can you think about purpose, result? Who will think about it? Then you are in a let-go. Then you go wherever it leads. Now the whole will decide; you have surrendered your decision. Patanjali says there are two ways. Make effort total. If you don’t accumulate ego, then that total effort will become a surrender initself. If you accumulate ego, then there is a way: surrender to God.

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