3.54 Consequently, the essential difference between two otherwise seemingly identical objects (by species, characteristics, and location) can be discerned.
Continuing the idea in the previous sutra that the advanced yoga practitioner can notice the minute changes from one instant in time to the next, this sutra states that the practitioner can notice the minute changes that make an object unique, even when there are two otherwise identical objects. The typical example is that if there are two gold rings that are identical in all their characteristics, including their shape, color, weight and appearance, a yogi can tell if somebody switches the positions of the rings. This knowledge results from being able to discern the smallest changes taking place in an instant. Each identical ring has different atomic interactions with its surroundings, and the yogi can notice these infinitesimal differences. This is part of omniscience, the complete knowledge, awareness and understanding of the world mentioned in sutra 3.50. Another way of understanding this aphorism is that the yogi is completely attuned to whatever can be perceived.
To what extent are you able to notice the very subtle aspects of the phenomena that surround you?
How does that enable you to be uplifting and life affirming?
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:
3.54 jātilakṣaṇadeśaiḥ anyatānavacchedāt tulyayoḥ tataḥ pratipattiḥ
जातिलक्षणदेशैः अन्यतानवच्छेदात् तुल्ययोः ततः प्रतिपत्तिः ॥५४॥
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
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