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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
34. Thoughts contrary to yoga are harmfulness, falsehood, theft, incontinence, and avarice, whether committed personally, caused to be committed or approved of, whether arising from avarice, anger or delusion (ignorance); whether slight in the doing, middling or great. These result always in excessive pain and ignorance. For this reason, the contrary thoughts must be cultivated.

It will be noted that the five Commandments deal specifically with those "thoughts contrary to yoga" or union, and that the keeping of the Commandments will bring about:

  1. Harmlessness instead of harmfulness,
  2. Truth instead of falsehood,
  3. Abstention from theft instead of stealing,
  4. Self-control instead of incontinence,
  5. Contentment instead of avarice or covetousness.

No excuse is left to the aspirant, and the truth is borne in on him that transgression of the Commandments is equally productive of results whether the violation is trifling or very great. A "contrary thought" must produce its effect and the effect is dual; pain, and ignorance or delusion. There are three words which the occult student associates ever with the three worlds: [194]

  1. Maya or illusion, having reference to the world of forms in which the true self finds itself when in incarnation, and with which it ignorantly identifies itself for long aeons;
  2. Delusion, the process of wrong identification, in which the self deludes itself, and says "I am the form;"
  3. Ignorance or avidya, the result of this wrong identification and at the same time the cause of it.

The self is clothed in form; it is deluded in the world of illusion. Every time, however, that "thoughts contrary to yoga" are knowingly entertained, the self submerges itself still more in the illusory world and adds to the veil of ignorance. Every time that the "weight of the imagination" is thrown on the side of the real nature of the self and turned away from the world of the not-self, the illusion is lessened, the delusion becomes weakened, and ignorance is gradually superseded by knowledge.

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