Week 24: The 9 Main Obstacles To Samadhi On Your Eightfold Path [And How To Avoid/Overcome Them] (Sutra 30)

“Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from firm ground gained–these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Sutra (Thread) or Lesson 30: Vyadhi Styana Samsaya Pramadalasyavirati Bhrantidarsanalabdhabhumikatvanasthitatvani Chittaviksepaste’ntarayah

Vyadhi: disease | Styana: dullness | Samsaya: doubt | Pramada: carelessness | Alasya: laziness | Avirati: sensuality, intemperance | Bhranti: false | Darsana: perception | Alabdhabhumikatva: failure to reach firm ground | Anavasthitatva: slipping down from ground gained | Ani (an ending to the nine words that groups them together) | Citta: mind-stuff | Viksepah (Viksepas): distraction | Te: these | Antarayah (‘Ntarayah): obstacles

According to Patanjali, there are 9 main hurdles that Yogis encounter and may, therefore, have to overcome on their journey towards Samadhi and Asamprajnata Samadhi.

These 9 hindrances include 1) disease-illness (of the mind, body, and spirit), 2) dullness-boredom or lack of enthusiasm, 3) doubt-lack of confidence, 4) carelessness-indifference, 5) laziness-neglect of practice, sensuality-overindulgence of the senses, 6) false perception-incorrect thinking/views, 7) failure to reach firm ground- failure to gain security in maintaining your practice/goals, 8) slipping from any firm ground gained-losing sight of your practice/goals, and 9) distractions-mental confusion that may turn you away from your practice, goals, and learning altogether.

This list serves as both a warning, and somewhat of a guideline, in any Yogi’s practice since being inflicted by one or more of these 9 issues can become problematic for practicing individuals, but, having awareness of these issues also helps those on the Eightfold Path to be better prepared on their voyage.

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