heyam duhkam anaagatam (Yoga Sutras, II.16)
(Pain, not yet come, is to be ended. — Vyaas Houston‘s translation seems the best as is typical.)
This was my favorite sutra for many years. I had a lot of pain to end.
It’s also a good beginner’s suutra not just for being so simple and succinct.
It’s message is A-number-one for those just starting out, reading the second chapter on saadhana or practice of yoga.
Connection to present pain is discussed in the immediately preceding suutra,
duhkam eva sarvam
(“all is but pain”)
But what about future pain?
It can and IS to be ended.
The message is not for beginners only.
The TM movement uses this suutra in its advertisements for offerings of Jyotishclasses.
I think the idea here is to remind people that one of the fundamental uses ofastrology is to see the future, frankly, and see what can be averted, not only what can be ended, but is to be ended.
The pain is there perhaps, but in the future, so in a sense now, and to end it, dosaadhana, which is fairly complex. Saadhana is then described in perfect recipes in the rest of the slim perfect scripture.
I just want to interject here an account of the first time my class chanted the Yoga Sutras. Just saying them seemed to create their content in us. It was a collective experience by fellow accounts and an experience, in this moment, that defies words.
I highly recommend, if you are interested in the Yoga Sutras at all, that you chant them.
Chant them often.
The present leader of the TM movement wrote an amazing treatise where he, a neuroscientist, showed that the Yoga Sutras map on to the folds of the brain perfectly.
I felt that map personally on my brain and hence, in my body. A friend calls Sanskrit yoga for the mind. I’m sure of it.
Indeed, the syllables of Sanskrit are linked directly with parts of the body.