3.26 Meditative integration (samyama) on the inner light reveals the subtle, hidden, and distant.
This aphorism echoes the idea of focusing your attention on the light of awareness at the core of your being presented in sutra 1.36. It is also related to the effects of pranayama, uncovering the effulgent light of awareness at the center of your chest (2.52). Samyama on your own internal light provides a way to find answers to questions that seem to escape your reasoning, inference, and existing testimony from bona fide sources. By attuning to your inner light, you gain greater clarity that enables you to see people, situations, and interactions without interference from your opinions and beliefs. As it was mentioned in the comment on sutra 1.40, many discoveries in human history arose when our way of perceiving became clearer, often when we let go of our preconceived ideas about what we should find or how things “should” work. To apply this sutra, you can begin by noticing, when you feel worried, upset, or frustrated how does your internal environment feel?
Do you feel the clarity and evenness known as sattva?
Or do you feel the internal agitation and reactivity called rajas?
Or, perhaps you feel the torpidity and heaviness named tamas?
Which emotional state is most conducive to revealing the answers that are more life affirming and supportive of your life experiment?
Does it ever happen to you that you are trying to solve a problem and you keep thinking about it or making lists of pros and cons and you seem to get more confused?
Does it ever happen that right after you have been brainstorming and you shift activity then an insight seems to suddenly illuminate your awareness delivering an unexpected, simple and effective solution that was beyond your reach before?
This sutra is an invitation to cultivate the clarity of sattva to guide your participation in life. The first step is to relax deeply by releasing worries and tension. The second step is to focus on the inner light, either in the space behind your forehead or at the center of your chest. The third step is to formulate a meaningful question to reveal something relevant to you and your life. Focus on the question with gentle firmness and gradually soften your grip on the question until you eventually release it. As you release it, release all expectations. This is where the practice of vairagya comes in handy. Then stay with the clarity, spaciousness, and silence inside. What happens when you give this a try?
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:
3.26 pravṛttyālokanyāsāt sūkṣmāvyāvahitaviprakṛṣṭajñānam
प्रवृत्त्यालोकन्यासात् सूक्ष्माव्यावहितविप्रकृष्टज्ञानम् ॥२६॥
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast:
This is an excerpt from the book Unravel the thread: Applying the ancient wisdom of yoga to live a happy life