Sutra 1.6

स्केल उलट विकल्प सो

pramana viparaya vikalpa nidra smritayah

pramana- real or valid cognition; right knowledge; viparyayah- unreal cognition, perverse or wrong knowledge, misconception; vikalpah- imagination, misconception or delusion, fantasy; nidra- deep sleep; smritayah- memory, remembering

There are five thought patterns that we all have, and Sutra 1.6 breaks this down. A way to remember these is to place each one on a finger. They are: 

Pramana- Right          Viparyaya-Wrong         Vikalpa- Imagined
Nidra- Deep Sleep     Smriti- Memory

By witnessing our thoughts, and filing them into one of the five categories, we can begin to master our thoughts, and the control they have over our lives through our actions, words, and thoughts. When we master our thoughts this way, we can observe the world without attachment, with a neutral mind. This will allow our meditations to deepen. If we don’t make an effort to master our thoughts, then they control our lives, unconsciously becoming victims to our thoughts. The one to cultivate is Pramana, right knowledge; cultivating the ability to see things clearly as they are, revealing the unchanging True Self.

This is a difficult thing to do in the beginning, categorizing your thoughts and tracking them, watching how they affect our daily lives. I have to remind myself some days to pay close attention, otherwise I will be walking around with my head in the clouds. I definitely have a tendency to stick around in Vikalpa, letting my imagination run wild most of the time. It takes a real effort to drag my mind back, put it in check, and begin processing more clearly. This isn’t to say imagination is bad, but if I allow myself to stay here I wont get any work done, and we can’t have that, can we?!


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I am an eclectic woman who LOVES a good book, strong tea, and loud music. Writing is the expression of the soul. As a yoga instructor my focus is always on proper alignment of the asana, stability of the pranayama, and the deepening of our connection with Spirit. My intention is to share my passion and love for books and reading with wonderful people everywhere. May you all live beautifully and authentically. Namaste

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