MEDITATION WITH THE RADIANCE SUTRAS BY DR. LORIN ROCHE
“From purity arises dislike for one’s body,”
says Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.
What? Run that by me again. Who would have thought that purity would be a
problem? The full verse from the Sutras, translated by Christopher Chapple, is
“From purity arises dislike for one’s body and noncontact with others.” (Yoga
and the Luminous). Dropping the diacritical marks, the Sanskrit looks like this:
Saucat sva anga jugupsa parair asamsargah.
Sauca - purity; sva - own; anga - body, limb, member; jugupsa - dislike, abhorrence, disgust; parair - others; asamsargah - noncontact, nonassociation.
Jugupsa is an intense word, and Sanskrit texts tend to mean exactly what they
say. “Dislike, abhorrence, and disgust” can grab us unexpectedly, as a side
effect of yoga practice. When I first started practicing yoga and meditation, I
quickly developed an aversion to meat. This took me by surprise, because as
a teenager in the 1960s, I had never heard of vegetarianism. After doing my
afternoon practice, though, I just didn’t like the smell of meat cooking, and
instead, found myself craving salads. So I would eat a big salad at the beginning of dinner and fill myself up. It was an instinct. I just found myself taking
great pleasure in green crunchy vegetables. Soon I was driving long distances
to find the one place in Orange County that had fresh carrot-celery-parsley
juice. Next I developed disgust for cigarette smoke. Back then, in the previous
century (1968), cigarettes were everywhere. People smoked on airplanes; there