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Sutra 2.19

2.19 Visesa avisesa lingamatra alingani gunaparvani.

In this yoga sutra, Pantanjali helps us to understand the evolution of Prakriti.

The three qualities in nature exist in four stages.

1. Alingani - this is the beginning of anything. This is like the darkest and quietest part of the night, which is just before the dawn. This is like the time period before the entire universe was created with the big bang.

2. Lingamantra. This is when nature comes together, this is pure matter with a soul. In living things, this is the combination of sperm and egg and the beginning of another being. This is as each day begins - the sun rises and living beings begin to wake up.

3. Avisesa - This is the ego and the five senses. In human beings, this is when toddlers begin to develop awareness around their external world, and they develop emotions and reactions to what is happening around them.

4. Visesa. These are the five elements that make up our world and our bodies - space, air, fire, water, and earth.

The goal of yoga is to develop awareness around all of these states - and the relationship between them all. The goal of yoga is to understand that all of us start somewhere. All of us are on this constant evolution, moving from gross to manifest. It’s an involution. When we start, we won’t necessarily be in a state of samadhi or be able to do a handstand on day one (or ever!) But we can’t get discouraged from where we are and how far it seems we need to go. We just have to start.

We just have to start where we are, practice with what is, and move from the gross to the subtle.

This is the practice of yoga.


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