Self-Realization through Yoga Meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra





Yoga Sutra 4.31: 
Knowables Become Few
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Click here to return to the main page of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.Seeing there is little to know: After the journey of self-exploration through the gross and subtle levels of our being, there comes a point of realizing that there is really little to know. Everything we know, every object we perceive is seen to have arisen by the veiling process that covers over some subtler object. 

There never was much to know: The yogi comes to see that, not only is there little more to know after having tread this journey, there was, in fact, little to know in the first place. The construction of our being was not so complicated after all.

This simplicity is inspiring: The recognition of this simplicity can be very inspiring for the sadhaka (one who treads the path of sadhana, spiritual practices). It gives a comforting reassurance that, while this world of names and forms appears to be vast, with many, many things to learn, there is an underlying simplicity. Enlightenment or Self-realization is not so far away; there is little to know. 

Great ones say it is close: All of the great teachers have said this throughout human history, in one voice, that the goal of the journey is not so far away. The path may not be easy, but it is seen to be simple. As Swami Rama has said, "You really do not need to know many things, but you definitely need to practice what you know."


4.31 Then, by the removal of those veils of imperfection, there comes the experience of the infinite, and the realization that there is almost nothing to be known.
(tada sarva avarana mala apetasya jnanasya anantyat jneyam alpam)

  • tada = then
  • sarva = all
  • avarana = veils, coverings
  • mala = imperfections
  • apetasya = removed
  • jnanasya = knowledge
  • anantyat = infinite
  • jneyam = to be known
  • alpam = little, almost nothing

By the removal of karma comes the infinite: Then, by the removal of those veils of imperfection or karma (4.30), there comes the experience of the infinite, and the realization that there is almost nothing to be known.

Integrating direct experience: When those veils are only temporarily removed or set aside, the process of purifying continues, recalling that instructions were even given on how to deal with breaches in enlightenment (4.27-4.28):

  1. Experience of the infinite: First comes the direct experience of the infinite. It might be only a glimpse, but even that glimpse may qualitatively reveal the height of Truth (1.3).
  2. Then comes knowledge: One of the results of that direct experience is the knowledge of the simplicity of things, that there really is little to know.
  3. Then keep purifying: After that realization, we then continue with renewed conviction the process of removing karma, etc.
  4. Karma is removed: Finally, all karma is removed through the coming of the rain cloud of virtues described in the previous sutra (4.30).

The joy of seeing there is little to know: The realization that there is little to know is deliciously amusing, amazing, wonderful, and filled with joy. To see that there never was so much to know is seen to be quite hilarious. These insights come because of seeing the nature of the gunas (4.13-4.14), the way the subtle mind operates (4.15-4.17, 4.18-4.21), and realizing the higher discrimination (4.22-4.26).


The next sutra is 4.32 

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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.









Yoga Nidra Meditation CD by Swami Jnaneshvara
Yoga Nidra CD
Swami Jnaneshvara