#yogasutrachallenge Patanjali Book II Sutra 13 – As long as the root of our afflictions exists, they will continue to bear fruit as the lives we lead – our birth, lifespan, and life experience.

After a wee break (ok, a few months) I'm back on the #yogasutrasofpatanjali. Today's sutra looks at, what can we learn from these ego-centric times?... #yogasutrachallenge Patanjali Book II Sutra 13 – As long as the root of our afflictions exists, they will continue to bear fruit as the lives we lead – our birth, lifespan, and life experience. Patanjali and his followers say that when we die, if we still have any mental afflictions i.e. ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion and clinging to life, then at the time of death the afflictions we have determine how our karma will play out in the next life. What gets determined is 1) how we are born – into which species, which kind of family, location etc. 2) our lifespan 3) the life experiences we are going to have. The idea being that the next life, and other lives to come, hold important lessons and opportunities for us to evolve our souls, to learn to liberate ourselves from the afflictions, and to generate positive karma. What lessons does this life have in store? Why are we born into this culture, into these bodies, at this time? It seems to me that the afflictions ego and attachment are especially present in our culture at the moment, and it’s a big challenge for many of us to not worry about how we’re perceived or overly identify with our bodies in a world where everything is read as a statement – where we live, which bars or gyms we go to, who we know, where we shop, the labels we wear. At the individual level there’s even more to think about (well, for me at least!) in terms of letting go of specific attachments. Of course, we don’t know the answers and reincarnation may not be true, but to ask the question from time to time and think about what we could learn in this lifetime that would be meaningful regardless of whether we believe in reincarnation or not is probably no bad thing.

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