Duḥkha - difficulty, suffering – from dus and kha; as in difficult (dus) to attain, or reach, or access spirit-Brahma (kha) – contrast to sukha or happiness that is to impel, incite, go to Bramha (God, or Pure Consciousness)
Daurmanasya – depression, dejection, despair from daur (dur & dus) meaning bad, very difficult and manasya: pertaining to mind
Aṇgam-ejayatva – trembling of the body from: aìga meaning limbs or body and ejaya: causing to shake or tremble
ßvåsa – praßvåsåḥ – labored breathing; from śvāsa, breathing and praśvāsā, inhaling
vikṣepa – throw away, cast aside, scatter, disperse, disturb
saha-bhuvaḥ – a sign or indication, accompanied by, from saha, near, at hand, and bhuva associated with… so something that accompanies or is associated with something, as in a symptom
The symptoms of a disturbed and scattered mind are
uneven (or ineffective) breath
After describing the nine behaviors that scatter and disturb the mind Pataïjali goes on to list an additional four symptoms that indicate the mind is in a disturbed or out of control state.
Interestingly the first one on the list is often translated as suffering. This does not referring to objective suffering (the encountering of uncontrollable difficulties) but rather to subjective suffering, which is a matter of perspective. For example you grieve for someone bitterly when you think death is final; but when you realize no one dies then grief although sad can become beautiful and even a celebration of the physically departed.
According to Sanskrit philosophy any soul trapped in a body (you or I) will experience uncontrollable difficulties from three sources: ādhyātmika, ādibhautika, and ādi-daivika. The prefix ādhi in this context means pain, anxiety, or more specifically, mental agony as in a perceived distress. So this distress (or the perception of it will come from three sources over which the entity has no control:
- ātmika – material self: the body, mind complex which is designed to degrade and be limited
- bhautika – all others: the aggregate of material beings (including the disembodied)
- daivika – mother nature (all of the controlling demi-gods of the material universe)
Of course it takes an extraordinary level of consciousness to not experience these various difficulties as physical pain. But with practice the experiencer of the body/mind gains increasing subjectivity and consequently distance from the influence of the pains (and pleasures) of the material world.
A major pitfall is when out of ambition (or anxiousness) to reach this state of freedom from the influence of matter people (aka brahma bhuta) use mental tactics of repression and rationalization to imagine that they have attained this elevated status. It’s an understandable impulse because getting to that state requires titikṣava, which means the willingness to feel everything and embrace all the experiences of the body/mind with equal willingness. That is a challenging process that requires courage. Shortcuts are tempting but they are very inefficient and sometimes even create more problems.
So if you are suffering then you know you are still identifying with the body/mind and your task is to become the willing experiencer of the body/mind rather than the victim; which is identifying as the body-mind.
If depression is present then it is even clearer that you are the victim of identifying as a body/mind being instead of as a spirit based experiencer. Depression, depending on its depth, can be very difficult to overcome. Ultimately both forgiveness of tormentors, or past enablers and the ability to take total accountability for your circumstances is required. This is not easy but with sufficient determination (as in a burning desire) to get to the bottom of the issue at all costs it is possible. Whether it is persons or circumstances that led to your depression the key to escaping their influence is forgiveness and accountability. These can create a powerful shift in perception.
A restless body is an indicator of over-stimulation within the body/mind complex. This can range from the inability to sit still, to constant motion of the limbs. To overcome this restlessness requires a willingness to face the internal afflictions that are driving what is basically an avoidance mechanism. What is being avoided is some subconscious disturbance or pain. This can manifest as grief, abandonment issues, or parentally inflicted narcissism; i.e. receiving love based on performance and needing ‘always having to be on, not realizing who you are because you are nurtured based on what you do as opposed to who you are. These issues require self-honesty (acknowledging the issues) combined with deep and real forgiveness.
Disturbed or irregular breathing is another clear indicator of a disturbed nervous system. Improper breathing leads to gross inefficiencies in the way your body regulates itself. One example is paradoxical breathing in which the individual inhales and depresses the chest or draws in the diaphragm and then upon exhalation expands the chest. These are exactly the opposite movements of what should be happening. The resulting distress it puts on the nervous system exacerbates an increasing state of over stimulation and anxiety. Left unchanged bad breathing can lead to restlessness, depression, anxiety attacks, and facilitate disease.
The correct way to breath is in balanced, smooth, uninterrupted breaths that only engage the diaphragmatic muscle.
Of course all of these conditions can be expected if you fail to hold in check the behaviors listed in the previous verse.