Yoga Sutras

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Waves do not merely disturb the surface of the water, they also, by their continued action, build up banks of sand or pebbles on the lake bottom.  Such sandbanks are, of course, much more permanent and solid than the waves themselves.  They may be compared to the tendencies, potentialities and latent states which exist in the subconscious and unconscious areas of the mind.  In Sanskrit, they are called samskaras.

patanjali yoga sutras samkaras thought emotions

The samskaras are build up by the continued action of the thoughtwaves, and they, in their turn, create new thoughtwaves – the process works both ways.  Expose the mind to constant thoughts of anger and resentment, and you will find that these anger-waves build up anger-samskaras, which will predispose you to find occasions for anger throughout your daily life.

Let us never forget, however, that, just as a sandbank may shift and change its shape if the tide or current changes, so also the samskaras may be modified by the introduction of other kinds of thought-waves into the mind.


 Translation by Swami Prahavananda

& Christopher Isherwood

One can apply the metaphor of the wave and the concept of samskaras to depressive, anxious, or angry thought patterns.

Using this visual metaphor as a more concrete method of understanding how important it is to become aware of thought patterns, and to change them.  It also provides a tangible model for understanding how it may be difficult as you initially change your thought patterns.  The sandbanks of encourage one manner of thinking, it will take practice to change your banks of sand to then encourage the new thought wave pattern.

Practice changing your Samskaras

Catherine Cloutier, M.A., RCC is trained in Yoga Philosophy and draws upon this ancient wisdom within Counselling Sessions.

 Call Sandstone Counselling Centre today, located in Kamloops.

In the heart of beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

Remote sessions are available (telephone or multimedia).

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