1.24 – Awareness is the pure Self, untouched by any afflictions, actions, the effects of actions, or their imprints.

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैःपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः ॥२४॥

klesha karma vipaka ashayaih aparamristah purusha vishesha ishvara

  • klesha – afflicting; pain causing; troublesome; distressing; the painful barriers to samadhi
  • karma – actions; work; deeds; the fruits of actions
  • vipaka – ripening; maturing; effect; result
  • ashayaih – seat of feelings and thoughts; of desires; receptacle; resting place; latent imprints of actions which lead to desires
  • aparamristah – untouched; not coming into contact with
  • purusha – soul; spirit; Pure Awareness; the true Self
  • vishesha – distinction; difference; special
  • ishvara – Awareness Itself; God; Spirit; Supreme Being

1.25 – Awareness is the source of limitless knowledge.

तत्र निरतिशयं सर्वज्ञबीजम् ॥२५॥

tatra niratishayam sarvajna bijam

  • tatra – there; therein; in that
  • niratishayam – limitless; unsurpassed; perfect
  • sarvajna – all-knowing
  • bijam – seed; source; origin

1.26 – Not bound by time, Awareness is the teacher of the ancient ones.

स एष पूर्वेषामपि गुरुः कालेनानवच्छेदात् ॥२६॥

purvesham api guruh kalena anavachchhedat

  • purvesham – ancient; before; yesterday
  • api – even; also; too; though
  • guruh – teacher; master
  • kalena – by time; in the course of time
  • anavachchhedat – unbounded; not limited; uninterrupted; indistinguishable

Commentary on Sutras 1.24—1.26

Awareness is the one supreme reality. It is beyond thoughts and emotions and transcends all form. It is changeless, boundless, unlimited Presence.

God, or Spirit, is not something outside of us—It’s our eternal Self. That Self is what sees through our eyes and hears through our ears. It’s our immortal Heart, the timeless, spaceless witness of time and space.

Remember what Patanjali tells us in the opening lines of the first chapter. Yoga—union—is experienced when the fluctuations in the field of consciousness are still. When we identify as the movements in consciousness, we are affected by change and all the suffering and karmic influences it brings.

If we were to bring all of the movements in consciousness to rest, we would see that nothing happening on this side of the manifest field could ever harm the essence of our being. The Bhagavad Gita tells us that “weapons cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, nor wind dry it.” Even a taste of that truth would instantly dispel all our fears.

The unmanifest, changeless source is aware of all manifestations and changes within it. In other words, it is omniscient. Therefore, as Patanjali states in 1.25, it is the source of limitless knowledge. Being the timeless source of limitless knowledge, it’s the true guru—the teacher of the most ancient ones.