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Attachment is that which follows identification with pleasurable experiences.
Translated - Swami Satchidananda
In this sutra, Patanjali introduces the concept of "rāga," which can be translated as "attachment" or "craving." Rāga arises from the human tendency to cling to pleasurable experiences, both external and internal, that bring a sense of happiness or satisfaction. This attachment is a result of identifying with and becoming emotionally invested in those experiences. The process of rāga begins when we encounter something that brings pleasure or happiness, such as a pleasant sensation, a desirable object, a rewarding experience, or a positive emotional state. When we become attached to these pleasurable experiences, we mentally and emotionally identify with them, seeking to possess or repeat them in the future. For example, if we have a delicious meal that brings us joy, we may develop an attachment to that particular food, craving it repeatedly. Similarly, we might become attached to certain possessions, relationships, achievements, or even states of mind, like love or excitement. These attachments can create a continuous cycle of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, as we strive to maintain or recreate those pleasant experiences. Rāga is considered an obstacle (klesha) because it binds the mind and perpetuates the cycle of suffering (samsara). The attachments create a sense of dependency on external circumstances and experiences, making us vulnerable to disappointments and anxieties when those desired experiences are unattainable or impermanent.
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