--> Skip to main content

Patanjali Quotes - A Collection of Teachings from Yoga Sutras of Sage Patanjali

Memory is the recollection of an experienced condition.

Through practice and dispassion arises restraint.

Tireless endeavor is the constant effort to restrain the modifications of the mind.

When the object to be gained is sufficiently valued, and the efforts towards its attainment are persistently followed without intermission, then the steadiness of the mind is secured.

Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.

The consummation of this non-attachment results in an exact knowledge of the spiritual man when liberated from the qualities or gunas. (Yoga Sutra Samadhi Pada 11 to 16)

The peace of the chitta (or mind) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil.

The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath.
The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions.

By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved. The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged.

Peace (steadiness of the chitta) can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give.

Peace can also be reached through concentration upon that which is dearest to the heart.

In the presence of one that is being firmly established in non-violence any hostility ceases.
When truthfulness is firmly established in a person, there is accomplishment of actions without effort.

When honesty is firmly established, prosperity is obtained.

When continence is firmly established, vigor is obtained.

When lack of greed is firmly established, the knowledge of the purpose of life is obtained.

From purity (both physical and mental), there is non-attachment towards one's own body and the bodies of others.

From purity one is capable of mental clarity, cheerfulness, ability to concentrate, control of senses and vision of the Self

Unlimited happiness is obtained from contentment.

From performing austerities, impurities in the body are removed and the perception of the sense organs becomes strong.

By study of spiritual literature, the union with the presiding deity of that topic of study is obtained.

Awareness comes from complete surrender to God.

Discipline, study of the spiritual scriptures and surrender to God are the fountain for yogic Sadhana termed as Kriya Yoga.

Lack of understanding, pride, attachment to attractions, aversion to pains and fear of death are the five afflictions.

The mother of all affliction is want to understanding. It may remain dormant or attenuated, interrupted or full active.

Accepting mundane things as permanent, impure things as pure and sensual pleasures as spiritual is lack of knowledge.

Pride is assuming that the ego is the seer.

When the intelligence of the head and the intelligence of the heart are clean and clear, one develops to reach true renunciation.

Keeping the consciousness detached from desires helps one to practice with perseverance.

Pursue yogic discipline with faith, vigor, memory and keen intellect and power of absorption to experience the absolute consciousness.

Several ways are offered to restrain the consciousness. One is total surrender of oneself to God.

When consciousness is silent, the seer (atma) radiates in his own grandeur.

Correct knowledge is dependent upon direct perception, inference and authoritative scriptural testimony.

Incorrect knowledge is mistaking the identity of one thing for the other or one object for another.

Practice and detachment are the means to still the consciousness.

Practice is an effort to still the mind’s fluctuations in order to silence the consciousness.

Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for stabilizing the consciousness.

Ignorance is the identification of the seer with the instruments of seeing. Instead of witnessing the ego, we identify with it. Instead of witnessing suffering, we identify with it. And yet inevitably we are controlled by that with which we identify; we are tortured by all that we have not transcended.

We are to live so that no harm or pain is caused by our thoughts, words, or deeds to any other being.

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

These obstacles to self-knowledge disrupt and scatter the mind – they are disease, dullness, doubt, negligence, laziness, dissipation resulting from excess craving, delusion, lack of achieving the concentration necessary to achieve higher consciousness and instability.

Meditation is an unbroken flow of awareness toward the object of concentration.

Non-attachment is self mastery: it is freedom from desire for what is seen or heard.

Aversion is a form of bondage. We are tied to what we hate or fear. That is why, in our lives, the same problem, the same danger or difficulty, will present itself over and over again in various prospects, as long as we continue to resist or run away from it instead of examining and solving it.

The heart and mind can find peace and harmony by contemplating that transcendental nature of the true self as supreme effulgent light.

Undisturbed peace of mind is attained by the cultivation of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the happy, delight in the virtuous and indifference in the evil.

Practice is the repeated effort to follow the disciplines which give permanent control of the thought waves of the mind. Practice becomes firmly grounded when it has been cultivated for a long time, uninterruptedly, with earnest devotion.

Pain are of three degrees – mild, medium and intense, caused by three types of behavior – direct indulgence, provoked and abetted. They are motivated by greed, anger and delusion and they have to be countered and corrected with right knowledge and behavior.

Non violence in word, thought and action causes one to abandon one’s hostile nature.

Self discipline eradicates the impurities of body and mind and kindles the sparks of divinity.

A cleansed body with a purified mind becomes a fit instrument for self awareness.

Contentment brings immeasurable delight.

The cessation of the mind’s waves is liberation.

When you have learned to control your mind in the face of disturbances, then your mind has acquired one-pointedness.

Through practice and dispassion arises restraint.

Ignorance is seeing the non-eternal as eternal, the impure as pure, dissatisfaction as pleasure and the non-self as self.

Attraction is clinging to pleasure.

Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind.

When consciousness dwells in wisdom, a truth-bearing state of direct spiritual perception dawns.

The goal is near for those who are supremely vigorous and intense in practice.

Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness.

The five afflictions are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and the desire to cling to life.

Meditation on God with repetition of OM removes the obstacles to mastery of the inner self.

The mind becomes tranquil through the practice of friendliness toward the happy, compassion toward the miserable, joy toward the virtuous and equanimity toward the non-virtuous.

Consciousness becomes calm and serene by meditating on any desirable object that is spiritually uplifting.

The yamas are the great universal vows unlimited by place, time and class. The yamas are non-violence, truthfulness, non-greed, non-stealing and moderation.

Contentment brings supreme happiness.

The repetition (japa) of mantra 'OM' should be accompanied by a mental awareness of its significance. 

In so doing, the awareness (chetana) turns inwards, therefore (all) obstacles disappear. 

Obstacles of the mind to be overcome are:
  • disease
  • dullness
  • doubt
  • procrastination
  • laziness
  • desire for pleasure
  • delusion
  • lack of concentration
  • mind agitation
Symptoms of a distracted state of mind are pain and depression, trembling of the body and breath agitation.

For their removal, one should practice concentration on one point.

When one cultivates a feeling of friendliness for the happy, compassion for the miserable, cheerfulness for the virtuous and indifference for the evil, one attains inner peace and cleanliness.

Present and future and past correlations with objects result unavoidably in pain.

When one is confirmed in non-possessiveness, the knowledge of the why and how of existence is attained.

When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms.

By the lack of the sense of Ego, various creative minds are born within that person.
There exists only one higher mind (eka chitta) above all the differences in activities of the individual minds.

Out of all minds, the real one born out of meditation is free from impressions.

True knowledge is accomplished in the higher mind by resting in one's own nature and not passing from one impression to another one.

Liberation is that state in which the attributes/ qualities of nature (gunas) are absorbed in their cause, in so becoming devoid of any purpose. Pure consciousness is therefore established in one's own essential nature.

A Yogi who is established in the practice of non-stealing, all the precious wealth of the world will come.

Through abstinence, vigor is gained.

From contentment comes superlative happiness.

Repeatedly chanting the holy name of God enables the spiritual aspirant to eventually experience God.

By true resignation or surrender to God, one can even attain the deepest Samadhi – the acme of spiritual illumination.

Contrary thoughts and emotions such as those of violence – whether done, caused to be done, or even approved of – indeed, any thought originating in desire, anger or delusion, whether mild medium or intense – do all result in suffering. Neutralize such a state through its opposite.

When the mind loses all desire for objects seen or heard about, it acquires a state of utter desirelessness which is called dispassion.

The persistent practice of discriminative knowledge is the means to liberation.

Austerities destroy impurities; and with the ensuing purification of the body and sense organs, physical and mental powers awaken.

Practice becomes firmly grounded when continued for a long time with devotion and right action.

Practice is effort toward a steady and tranquil mind.

Restriction of the fluctuation is achieved by practice and non-attachment.

Memory is the direction recollection of a conscious experience.

Dreamless sleep is the cessation of external perceptions. It is a thought wave about nothingness.

Avidya – Lack of awareness of reality
Asmita – sense of I am ness
Raga – attractions and likes
Dwesha – Aversions or dislikes towards objects
Abhinivesa – clinging to life.
These are the great afflictions or causes of miseries in life.

Regular and continuous practice of meditation, over a long period of time, with great respect and importance given to it, results in firm abidance.

One who is content with what he has will not steal that which belongs to others. All the hidden wealth of the world is revealed to one well established in the virtue of ‘asteya’ (not stealing).

One established in continence gains immense power and brilliance.

To one established in non-hoarding previous lives become known.

One established in inner purity enjoys a sense of well-being, cheerfulness, concentration and control of the senses, which make one fit for self realization.

For achieving awareness, the obstacles have to be diminished first. Ignorance, the ego, passion, anger and aversion and clinging to life and fear of death are the obstacles.

It is because of ignorance that things appear to be inert, inconsistent, dispersed and endless.

Ignorance by mistake takes what is perishable as eternal, what is impure as pure, what is sorrow as happiness, what is not-Self as the Self or Atman.

Passion is accompanied by pleasure.

Anger is accompanied by pain.

When the mind gets disturbed by various sounds and words, one should use their opposites to counteract them.

Negative thoughts leading to violence are caused by greed, anger, and attachment, either to oneself or to others. They vary in intensity as mild, medium or intense causing endless pain and ignorance. They should be counteracted by thinking of their opposites.

The highest knowledge that is born of discrimination transcends all.

The mind of discriminative quality is inclined towards achieving liberation.

Yoga Sutras on Distractions of the Mind and How to Control the Distractions

… distractions of the mind, are: sickness, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sense addiction, false view, non-attainment of a stage, and instability.

A dissatisfied, despairing body and unsteady inhalation and exhalation accompany the distractions.

For the purpose of countering them, there is the practice of eka-tattva (Oneness).

Clarification of the mind results from the cultivation of friendliness, compassion, happiness, and equanimity in conditions of pleasure, dissatisfaction, merit, and absence of merit, respectively.

Or by expulsion and retention of breath.

Or steady binding of the mind-organ arises in activity of involvement with a condition.

Or having sorrowless illumination.

Or [on a] mind in a condition free from attachment.

Or resting on knowledge [derived] from dream or sleep.

Or from meditation as desired.

Mastery of it [extends] from the smallest to the greatest.

The accomplished mind of diminished fluctuations is like a precious (or clear) jewel assuming the color of any near object, has unity among grasper, grasping, and grasped.