I.3 तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्

tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe ‘vasthānam
tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe avasthānam

“Then there is a standing in the true form of the seer.”

Patañjali elaborates on the purpose of yoga: to reach draṣṭṛ, the seer that is within, described by Mr. Iyengar in his commentary as the soul, by Rohit Mehta as the original nature. Svarūpa (sva, self + rūpa, form) means identity, but it also carries a sense of being the true identity. Yoga is a path of discovering Who am I? The practice leads us to question, How do I identify myself?

“Patañjali says that when the very centre of reaction or habit is broken up there comes to view the original nature of man.” –commentary by Rohit Mehta, Yoga, the Art of Integration, p. 11

“Let us imagine [citta] to be like an optical lens, containing no light of its own, but placed above a source of pure light, the soul. … worked upon by the desires and fears of turbulent worldly life, it becomes cloudy, opaque, even dirty and scarred, and prevents the soul’s light from shining through it.”–commentary by B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

• Does yoga take you toward inner illumination? How?
• Does your practice feel like a return, a journey forward, or a discovery of something new?
 • Where is home?





masculine noun, 6th case sing., “of”

the seer


neuter noun, 7th case sing. “in”

true form, essence, own nature (from sva, “own, self,” + rūpa, “form”)


neuter noun, 1st case sing.

standing (from ava, “away” + sthā, “to stand” + an, suffix that means “act of”)

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