9 disruptive forces experienced in your yoga sadhana

Experiencing any of the 9 disruptive forces in your yogic practice is an indication for you to return to the sadhana your guru has originally prescribed for you. There is a good reason why any prudent guru would prescribe, yes prescribe, a sadhana based on what he or she knows is best for you and your ‘constitution’. Deviating from it can only create problems.

keep to a single tattwa

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras highlight the fact that a yogi will experience one or other of 9 disruptive forces of consciousness on the yogic path. These disruptions are bound to come as our bodies and psyche undergo changes due to our yogic practices. The disruptions can manifest as different ailments and they are all caused by a change in one’s metabolism and biorhythms as we become increasingly alchemified. Stomach disorders, disrupted sleep patterns, and dullness are some of the ailments mentioned in the sutras. It seems these are due to changes in glandular secretions as we move consistently inwards in our meditation practices. There is a solution to these disruptions as you will discover. The 9 disruptive forces as mentioned in the sutras are:

disease – vyādhi

dullness – styāna

doubt – samśaya

procrastination – pramāda

laziness – ālasya

craving – avirati

erroneous perception – bhrāntidarśana

inability to achieve finer stages – alabdhabhūmikatva

instability – anavasthitatva

The sutras also included other accompanying symptoms, or sahabhuvaḥ:

pain – duḥkha

depression – daurmanasya

shaking of the body – aṅgamejayatva

distraction – vikṣepa

The most important takeaway from the sutras is that we need to understand these disruptions arise mostly because we have deviated from the prescribed sadhana given to us by our gurus. The only solution is to return to the original intended practice without altering any of the elements, definitely a no-no without first consulting the guru. One may think nothing much of altering a mantra that was given to you but you will find yourself coming under the influence of the disruptive forces soon enough. The solution is to return the practice to “a single tattwa” or, singular practice. Just like in meditation, changing the symbol ever so often isn’t going to bring us anywhere. It’s only by keeping to a single tattwa that we can go deeper and deeper and see the results that it’s meant to bring. Now you know why a prudent guru or teacher would exhort, just do it rather than running here, there, and everywhere, sampling every new teacher in town and getting nowhere in the end.

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