the opening page of the second Bright Spiral book.
This is the first sutra in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Best possible starting point for a story about a yogi. In modern practice this is where it all begins, here, verse 1.1.
Each yogic text, the sutras, the karakas the samhitas, the puranas etc. were essentially written to be commented upon. Normally there are one or two canon commentaries and then each individual author/translator/pandit adds additional commentary. What results can be a dauntingly swollen volume that contains very few lines, essentially.
The yoga sutras were more than likely compiled by Patanjali (or a group of yogis) in an old university (if my memory serves me the place was called Kariya, but I could be mistaken) between the 3rd and 6th century.
The canon commentary of the yoga sutras of Patanjali tends to be attributed to Vyasa Bhashya’s a sage/yogi/ascetic who lived around 600BCE
Samkyhya-yogacharya Swami Hariharinanda Aranya’s translation of Vyasa Bhashya who lived around 600BCE. Allegedly immortal, but more than likely (as is the custom of many lineages) the name was passed on from head of lineage to head of lineage, etc. I don’t know of a firm historical date for his commentary, so if anyone else knows, please chime in.
Samkyhya-yogacharya Swami Hariharinanda Aranya’s translation of Vyasa Bhashya’s commentary on this verse reads thus:
"The word ‘Atha’ (now then) indicates the commencement of the subject which is under discussion. It is to be understood that the Shastra dealing with the regulations relating to yoga is now going to be explained. Yoga means concentration (Samadhi). It is a feature of the mind in all its habitual states, i.e. concentration or Samadhi is possible in whatever state the mind may be. Such states are five in number, viz. Ksipta (restless), Mudha (stupefied), Viksipta (distracted), Ekagra (one-pointed), and Niruddha (arrested). Of these, in the concentration that is attainable by a distracted mind the moment of concentration is subordinated to the moments of unrest. Such concentration cannot, therefore, be regarded as pertaining properly to Yoga. But the concentration attained by a mind which is one-pointed, i.e. occupied with one thought, which brings enlightenment about a real entity, weakens the Kleshas (pains), loosens the bonds of Karma, and paves the way to the arrested state of the mind, is called Samprajnata-yoga […] The concentration that is attainable when all the modifications of the mind-stuff are at rest is called Asamprajnata."
Under this sutra lies the wrathful offering of the five senses.
Ohmnath’s path would be considered a razor’s edge, essentially anything to get that single pointed concentration, and to attempt that arrested state of mind. Not fighting fear, but learning to be terrified as a means to this end. Not succumbing to stupefaction during indulgence, but learning to use such stupefaction as a means to this end, etc.