2.23 The reason for awareness and experiences to come together is to recognize what is permanent and what isn’t.
In the previous sutras Patañjali explored the complementary aspects of existence, awareness, experiences and their relationships. This verse states that awareness and experiences come together to clarify the distinction between what is enduring and what is temporary. Notice the direct connection of this idea to the definition of ignorance (avidya) in sutra 2.5. Your experiences are in constant change. You can always choose what you identify with, and what you make important in your life. Without experiences, there would be no opportunity for human beings to participate in the endless flow of life. It would not be possible to feel the wide range of sensations that life offers and there would be no lessons to learn. As it was mentioned in sutra 2.18, all that can be experienced can be seen as an end in itself, or it can serve as a vehicle to release the misidentifications that lead to suffering. Consider the following questions to explore te usefulness of this sutra for you and your life. How are awareness and experiences coming together in your life? What is your objective when you approach any project? How do you decide what is worth your attention, time and energy? What in you is permanent? What in you is impermanent? Are your experiences contributing to clarify the distinctions between what is permanent and what is impermanent?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
2.23 svasvāmiśaktyoḥ svarūpopalabdhihetuḥ saṃyogaḥ
स्वस्वामिशक्त्योः स्वरूपोपलब्धिहेतुः संयोगः ॥२३॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast: