Finally, the fourth chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is about liberation - Kaivalya Pada.

Yoga-Sutra

Kaivalya-Pada

Sentence 32

tatah kritarthanam parinama-krama-samaptir-gunanam ||32||

ततः कृतार्थानं परिणामक्रमसमाप्तिर्गुणानाम् ॥३२॥

tataḥ kr̥tārthānaṁ pariṇāma-krama-samāptir-guṇānām ॥32॥

In this way is the purpose of change accomplished and all change (krama) in the physical realm (guna) comes to an end. ||32||


tataḥ = (adv. from tatas) then; by that
kr̥ta = (nom. sg. f.) fulfilled; accomplished
arthāna = (iic. from ārtha) purpose
pariṇāma = (iic.) change
krama = (iic.) change; succession; process
samāptiḥ = (nom. sg. f. from samāpti) terminate; end
guṇānām = (g. pl. m. from guṇa) gunas; the three basic constituents of matter; all matter

Human beings as mice

Imagine for a moment that we are mice on a treadmill, just in front of which a piece of cheese is suspended and which we try to reach by continuously running on our treadmill. We’re able to make the treadmill go ever faster, but fail to get any closer to the cheese. Ultimately we get worn out, without having attained our goal of reaching the cheese. We human beings are often trapped on such a treadmill, in that we believe that we’ll be happy if we achieve a specific goal. But having attained what we yearned for, we soon begin yearning for something else. The world’s mutability keeps us in a state of perpetual motion – a state in which we are constantly trying to attain one goal or another, or avoid something. But unfortunately, this approach to life never leads to inner contentment and happiness. Kaivalya is the state of liberation from constant change, seeking and avoidance. In this state, figuratively speaking we step to the side of the treadmill and obtain the cheese without any difficulty.

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