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Yoga Sutra 2.12: The Origins of Our Actions

Sutra 2.12

Yoga Sutra 2.12 is about the origins of our actions. Every single action taken in our past contributes to where our life is now. And if our actions originate in the kleshas - ignorance, attachment, aversion, hatred or fear - then these actions are going to give us karma in our present life and future life.

This sutra asks us to look at the driving force of our actions - and view them through mindfulness. It asks us to cultivate a sense of awareness around every action we take. And with every action we take, we must check why we are doing it. Am I doing this out of spiritual ignorance? Am I doing this because of my ego? Am I doing this out of desire? Am I doing this to avoid something difficult or hard? Am I doing this out of fear?

Everything we do, we must check. Am I doing this out of a klesha?

If I am, then I shouldn’t do it.

When we start to make more mindful choices, we start to clear our side of the street.

This is the practice of yoga.

2.12: Latent impressions that are colored (karmashaya) result from other actions (karmas) that were brought about by colorings (kleshas), and become active and experienced in a current life or a future life. (klesha-mula karma-ashaya drishta adrishta janma vedaniyah)


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