As I have always been fascinated by the subtleties of different word choices, particularly in translations. Our perceptions can change just by how we define a word, or in sentence structure. I’m taking a class here on the Yoga Sutras. I have no less than eight books on the sutras at home, all giving subtle variations as well as some in depth analysis of the meanings behind each thread. However, there is something to be said in hearing, even the same words, that you’ve read out loud. The inflection in someone’s voice can make a world of difference. I really like the teacher at the shala, he has not only a vast amount of knowledge on Sanskrit and the sutras, but a great way of telling stories to explain what he means in a clear and entertaining fashion.
As an example, we were going over The Yoga Sutras 1.33-1.44, describing how it is not easy to keep the mind happy, in undisturbed calmness, and the various possible ways to go about it. One in particular struck a chord in me:
Sutra 1.36 Meditation by fixing the mind on the inner light, which is beyond sorrow, the lotus of the heart.
“The light within the heart is always there, no matter what you do, no matter where you go in consciousness.”
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami
I made the mandala above when I came home from sutra class. I love the process of painting and drawing, regardless of the outcome, it is definitely one of my meditative states. I only brought some water colors and a silver brush pen here to India. I am excited to head to the market and get some of the powdered pigment paints to experiment with! Maybe if I’m ambitious a class on kolam design.