Chapter 7: The Witness Is Self-Illuminating
18. The modifications of the mind are always known by its lord, due to the constancy of the purusha, pure consciousness.
19. The mind is not self-illuminating, because it is itself perceptible.
20. It is impossible for the mind to know itself and any other object at the same time.
21. If it were assumed that a second mind illuminates the first, cognition of cognition would also have to be assumed, and a confusion of memories.
22. Knowledge of its own nature through self-cognition is obtained when consciousness assumes that form in which it does not pass from place to place.
23. When the mind is colored by the knower and the known, it is all-apprehending.
24. Though variegated by innumerable desires, the mind acts for another, for its acts in association.
The first sutra:
The modifications of the mind are always known by its lord, due to the constancy of the purusha, pure consciousness.
Patanjali takes the whole complexity of the human being into account - that has to be understood. Never before and never after has such a comprehensive system ever been evolved. Man is not a simple being. Man is a very complex organism. A rock is simple because a rock has only one layer, the layer of the body. It is what Patanjali calls annamay kosha: the most gross; only one layer. You go into the rock; you will find layers of rock but nothing else. Look at a tree and you will also find something else other than the body. The tree is not just the body. Something of the subtle has happened to it. It is not so dead as rock; it is more alive - a subtle body has come into existence. If you treat a tree like a rock, you mistreat it. Then you have not taken into account the subtle evolution that has happened between the rock and the tree. The tree is highly evolved. It is more complex. Then, take an animal - still more complex. Another layer of subtle body has evolved.
Man has five bodies, five seeds, so if you really want to understand man and his mind - and there is no way of going beyond if you don’t understand the whole complexity - then you have to be very patient and careful. If you miss one step, you will not be able to reach your innermost core of being. The body that you can see in the mirror is the outermost shell of your being. Many have mistaken it, as if this is all.