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  • Writer's pictureAnastasia

Error is false knowledge stemming from the incorrect apprehension [of something]

Viparyayo mithya-jnanam atad-rupa-pratistham (in Sanskrit)

The Yoga Sutras - Chapter 1, Sutra #8

Let us continue our study of the Yoga Sutras.

Five types of “vrttis” or changing states of mind such as right knowledge, error, imagination, sleep, and memory, constantly absorb the pure consciousness or our soul away from its pure nature. Today we will focus on the second vrtti - error (“viparyayah”).

Error means considering something to be what it is not, or a state that can be removed by true knowledge of the actual nature of the thing. The classic example of error, especially among Vedanta followers, is mistaking a rope for a snake.

Error is also considered to be the five “klesas” - the impediments to the practice of yoga which include ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion, and clinging to life.

Next time, we will discuss the third changing state of mind, which is imagination.

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