8 Limbs, 9 Obstacles – Patanjali Yoga Sutras

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they are supposed to help you discover who you are”.

There is no any path without any obstacles. We feel discourage due to obstacle in our way, but truth is if we find a path with no obstacles, it probably does not lead us anywhere. One famous old Zen saying is “The obstacle is the path”. Means the obstacle isn’t something standing in our way; It’s the way itself. We know the Eight Limps of Yoga, but we rarely discussing nine obstacles in the path of Ashtanga Yoga which mentioned by Sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra.
Here, nine major obstacles that get in the way of our sadhana or Spiritual journey:

व्याधिस्त्यानसंशय प्रमादालस्याविरति भ्रान्तिदर्शनालब्ध भूमिकत्वानवस्थितत्वानि चित्तविक्षेपास्तेऽन्तराया: ।
vyādhistyānasanśaya pramādālasyāvirati bhrāntidarśanālabdha bhūmikatvānavasthitatvāni cittavikṣēpāstē̕ntarāyāḥ |
– Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, 1.30

Vyadhi: Physical illness
Styana: Lack of interest or enthusiasm
Samshaya: Doubt or indecision
Pramada: Carelessness or negligence
Alasya: Physical laziness
Avirati: Desire for sense objects
Bhrantidarshana: Living under illusion or wrong understanding
Alabdhabhumikatva: Missing the point or inability to hold on to what is achieved
Anavasthitatva: Inability to maintain the achieved progress

Principle is becomes clear: obstacles are not optional. It will be there, but don’t run from it. Accept it. Go into it. work with it. once you explore it you will go beyond it.

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