Yoga Sutra 1.3

 In Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutra 1.3:  तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपे अवस्थानम् 

tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe ʻvasthānaṁ

(tadah drasht-ah-hu swah-roo-pei vas-tha-nam)

“Then the impartial witness abides in its own nature.”

Once the thoughts cease to grab a hold of the mind’s attention there is no longer room for inner mental turmoil. The mind can observe the natural stillness that exists without the typical disturbances that seek to attract the mind’s attention and drain energy. In this state we experience the true nature of consciousness.

  • तदा tadā – then
  • द्रष्टु drashtu –  of the seer, the one with insight inner insight, perceive, understand
  • स्व sva – own
  • रूपे rūpe –  form, shape, figure
  • अवस्थानम् avasthānaṁ – standing, dwelling, abiding (living and residing in)

The Impartial Witness

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the thoughts that we have seem to control our attention rather than us controlling our thoughts? Perhaps you’ve started to experience a distracting thought and brushed that thought away only to later realize that you are thinking about it!  We have an ability to watch the thoughts that are taking place in our mind. It is almost as if we are a third person observing the thoughts that are out of our full control. The Impartial Witness is the Watcher. Observing with impartiality the events of the mind, without judgment, without trying to change or control anything. 

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