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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Atita-anagatam svarupatah-asti adhva-bhedat dharmanam.

Atita = past; anagatam = the future; svarupatah = in its own form; asti = exist; adhva-bhedat = because of different of paths; dharmanam = of properties.

The past and the future exist in their own form (in substratum, reality).
The difference of properties is on account of the difference of paths. (IV-12).

In previous sutras it was discussed that the desire, the factor that binds us to this world, the ignorance, has no beginning. We can't do anything with that past. But, applying Jnana (knowledge), we can surely come out of the bondage. We have to come out of it. There is no choice. Whether we want or not, one day or other we have to reach our ultimate goal-liberation, freedom. Before that there is no peace. That future, freedom, is destined to happen. Only question is the path that we adopt and the time we take. One may take very many births to come out of the cycle of life and birth, in usual, routine way, after a long suffering. Or kaschit dhira (some courageous one) may just step out of this cycle and be free! It depends upon the path adopted by us assured by the great monk Swami Vivekananda who declared that Yoga is a technique of condensing the process of evolution from many births to few births, to few days of bodily existence!

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha October, 2002 edition. This article has been published courtesy www.yogasudha.com

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