Pain: according to the Yoga Sutras

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Lets face it, Pain is real. And nobody likes it. Nobody wants it, but it continues to perpetuate in our daily lives.

Yoga philosophy has methods for understanding, and working with pain, and even has methods for allowing your pain to become alleviated by admitting that pain can become a valuable teacher on the path of self realization.

Nobody wants to suffer. But our means for going about NON suffering, aren’t working. Most people try to avoid pain by utilizing methods which create much more pain and suffering. This leads to addiction & disease. Looking at whats happening in our society today, it is evident that we need new methods for true pain management.

Here is what the Yoga Sutras states about pain.


1.Yoga sutras of Patanjali

“The pain (dukha) which is yet to come is to be¬†avoided.” (2.16)
Building a Better Future Through Present Moment Awareness

The crisp statement quoted above is simple enough. It
is however, loaded with profound philosophical import,
encapsulating within itself, the entire karma theory and its subtle

This sutra implies that the fruits of our former deeds
have been exhausted by the suffering we have already undergone.
Therefore, nothing can be gained by thinking about it. The pain
we are experiencing at the present moment has already passed
into the past, even as we are reading this. Hence, it is only
the sorrow which is to come in the future that we can avoid, by
ensuring the ethical purity of the karma we are performing now.

Patanjali’s scripture not only provides yoga with a
thorough and consistent philosophical basis, but in the process,
also clarifies many important esoteric concepts (like
karma), common to all traditions of Indian thought.

Patanjali himself is believed to be an incarnation of
the serpent Ananta (Skt: endless), well known in Indian mythology
as the thousand-headed naga who serves as a couch for Lord
Vishnu and is also the guardian of the world’s treasures.

Pain is real. Suffering is optional. If you feel pain, perhaps life is suggesting that you adjust something. Maybe how you are sitting, or adjust something in your life, but to feel pain and do nothing about it, that is true suffering.

Evaluate your pain. Is it self inflicted? Can the environment shift? Can you avoid it? or do you have to embrace it, learn from it, and use it as your teacher on the path of yoga.