2.45 Humility, relinquishing the illusion of control (ishvara pranidhana), enables integration into deep inner stillness and silence (samadhi) that facilitates extraordinary insight and effectiveness.
It is important to recognize that deep integration (samadhi) is a central concept in the Yoga Sutra. This is the reason Patañjali dedicated all of Chapter One to this idea. Here, sage Patañjali reminds us that the objective is modulating our inner life (sutra 1.3) and that we can accomplish it by practicing humility (ishvara pranidhana in sutras 1.23, 2.1 and 2.32); in other words, acknowledging that we are not in charge of life or the Universe. This sutra may contribute to the notion that samadhi, the exalted state of becoming a receptacle for wholeness and fullness, cannot be accomplished by effort, that it results only from grace. Through recognizing the pervading magnificence of life and of the expanse of the cosmos you gain an all-encompassing perspective that informs your understanding and your attitude. As a result, you can see your internal activities, including the storms brewing within, in their appropriate proportion so that you can adjust your tendencies away from personal drama. Noticing that there are thousands of factors that come together to create the circumstances you are in offers you insight to step outside your internal story to act decisively and effectively when and where is appropriate and needed. This same perspective of seeing yourself and your life in the wider context of life in space and time invites you to modulate your internal reactivity to fittingly appreciate life in its full magnificence. Expanding your perspective beyond the confines of your immediate field of vision opens a window that invites you to be in harmony with the miracle of life.
This same humility helps you recognize that many, if not all of your best ideas, quite likely have been the result of inspiration arising when you are not preoccupied with your personal stories. Inspiration has always been there, but many times being entangled in our own internal dialogue and reactivity precludes us from noticing the beauty and elegance of life. As with any of the other yamas and niyamas, it is helpful to give up expectations for potential results and instead it is more productive to focus on cultivating the guidelines fully. In this case, some guiding questions include:
How do you relate to what is beyond your control?
Are you aware of the limits of your understanding?
What do you consider your power?
How are you cultivating humility in your daily activities?
How do you invite inspiration into your life?
Can gratitude for everything, including what you dislike, open a door to see the magnificence of life?
Where does your inspiration come from?
How does it feel?
What attitudes are more conducive to attracting insight?
Do you take credit for the insights you have received?
What does it really mean to take something personally?
What happens when you apply intuition in your life?
How do you feel?
What are the results?
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:
2.45 samādhi siddhiḥīśvarapraṇidhānāt
समाधि सिद्धिरीश्वरप्रणिधानात् ॥४५॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast: