Sutra 1:15 drista anushravika vishaya vitrishnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam

When awareness (sanjna) is illumined by the light of dispassion(vairagyam), perceived(drista) objects(vishaya) cease to have any control on the mind(vitrishnasya) and the nature of reality is revealed(anushravika). That which you come into contact with cease to have any power over you. You cease to be influenced by Maya, or all that exists in nature.


Unlike insight or intuition, awareness is a conscious act. Awareness refers to the quality of your consciousness at the moment you deliberately engage in the act of perceiving something. In awareness, the trees and landscapes that usually seem matter of fact and boring, come alive and begin vibrating with sentience. But remember that as long as one is attached to something, the truth about that thing will be swayed by their opinions and biases.

Awareness is always being influenced by your past. When awareness breaks free from past influences, one perceives reality as pure energy vibrating at different frequencies; even at infinite speeds. One will be able to see, feel, and manipulate this energy when not influenced by experiences of past conditioning. When one starts evolving, Universal wisdom begins to advise that person to work within the guidelines of Universal spiritual principles when working with energy. If one does not abide by the laws of mother nature, she shall quickly take away all gifts she had previously deemed one worthy of. Ignorance at any level has dire consequences.

The soul does not need to reason in order to see what is real. Reality is its nature since it is an exact image of the Divine Spirit. There is a veil of ignorance that distorts reality as it is, and this distortion is the result of our experiences that has given birth to our current mode of thinking - the mind. If our awareness falls on something we desire, the desire begins to stimulate our senses and thoughts, and these thoughts awaken our instinctive passionate, or repulsive tendencies associated with attachments and aversions. Then we get busy using our mind to scheme how we will obtain our desires, or run away from our fears. The means involved in the process of this pursuit degrades awareness and is the cause of all the darkness and suffering in our lives.

No innovative solution of any kind is possible with a conditioned mind. Einstein had pegged this well when he said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them.” What is interesting here is the fact that the same intellect that is used to create our suffering, is the power to eliminate it through regular and scrupulous analysis of our thoughts, emotions, and intentions. In this sutra, we come to realize the importance of non-attachment.


The word Vairagya is derived from the word Raga which has been defined in Sutra II-7 as the attraction which arises due to pleasure derived from any object. Vairagya therefore means the absence of any attraction towards objects which give pleasure.

It is only when we are detached from the results of our goals and objectives does clarity ensue. Clarity makes its entry because there are no desires obscuring reality anymore. With clarity comes the power to discern correctly.

Vairagya finds its full expression when there remains no attraction towards what we like, nor any repulsion against our dislikes.

Our attractions and repulsions induce tremendous driving and disturbing force which is perpetually producing mental agitation.

As the power of discernment dawns, where in the past the mind used to instinctively take the path of misery making desires, now with love in the heart, and light within the soul, the feet embarks on the path of compassion. We begin working on things that help others, as opposed our own self-centered wants. Just like that, what seemed impossible will come naturally, provided you persist. The important thing is to stay detached of all outcomes otherwise your efforts will become a toil and you will get discouraged.

Today this discouragement is known as compassion fatigue in the scientific community. Compassion fatigue is emotional and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations. Please become mindful here that real compassion never fatigues, it is our capacity to empathize that tires simply because empathy precedes compassion. When empathy fatigues, we do not want to hear and understand the suffering of both, others, and self.

At this stage we begin to judge and punish the ones who seek an empathetic ear from us. For example, you see a child dying of hunger, the mind reasons, "None of my business, I have a family of my own to take care of..." or You are a profssional in the Mental Health and Addictions sector and an addict comes to you for help. As you go through the motions your mind revolts, "Get your act together you loser. There are people who are in real crisis." Then we begin accompanying people who believe just like us never realizing that in such company, we fail from evolving. What happened to your resolve to change the world for the better?

Question: Why is it important to carefully discern what is happening. For example, in the above case, the difference between compassion and empathy?

All states of emotion, intentions, and inclination have their own unique energy signature. If you misdiagnose the ailment, the remedy shall continue to elude you. This is especially true in the case of misdiagnosing energy. Self-study is an arduous, but the most rewarding undertaking one can ever embark upon. Initially, it is painful, but when one personally experiences an intentional transformation, they become hooked to the discipline of Yoga. Joy knows no bounds, and bliss overflows.

All energies have a certain feel. A Yogi, or a highly sensitive individual will not be able to spend five seconds in the same room that is filled with negative energy of envy, greed, hatred, and aggression without detecting it. If you are unable to discern lower energies such as anger, anxiety, and depression, you remain stuck in the slow vibration these emotions create. These vibrations is what determines what you create and contribute towards personal and universal evolution.

If you desire for love and tranquility while surrounded by this negative energy, the Universe will not allow it. One cannot bring into existence peace and harmony out of hate, lack, and chastisement. You will need to know accurately what you are feeling, what thoughts lead to those feelings, and when did those get embedded in your psyche. This is the only way out of suffering and anguish.

  • Sutra-1.15 drista anushravika vishaya vitrishnasya vashikara sanjna vairagyam
  • drista - seen, perceived

  • anushravika - revealed, scriptural, heard in tradition

  • vishaya - objects, subjects, matters of experience

  • vitrishnasya - of one who is free from desire or craving

  • vashikara - supreme, mastery, total control

  • sanjna - awareness, consciousness, knowing

  • vairagyam - non-attachment, desirelessness, dispassion, neutrality or absence of coloring, without attraction or aversion