Word of the Week "Isvarapranidhana"
Though all of the yamas (restraints) and niyamas (ethical observances) have the potential to draw us into the various levels of samādhi mentioned in sūtra 1.17, īśvarapraṇidhāna is the only one that is mentioned as being specifically capable of creating “perfection in samādhi” (samādhi-siddhiḥ), and is indeed the only one that mentions samādhi at all. By focusing all of our energy into our highest ideal, a state of enhanced relationship with that ideal will undoubtedly ensue, just as when we focus all of our energy on any goal in life and come to a level of mastery and understanding with it never before imaginable. Īśvara is the shortcut to samādhi (meditative absorption). Īśvara can be a chosen deity, a mentor, a supreme ideal, etc. When one wholeheartedly devotes themselves to the Īśvara of their choice, the commentators say, they will overcome the activity of the mind and efficiently achieve the samādhi state.