anavasthitatva

(‘instability’)

Patañjali, in his famous work, the Yogasūtras (1.30), describes nine anta-rāyas or obstacles to the attainment of yoga. Anavasthitatva is the last in the list and also the most formidable one to overcome. With assiduous practice, a yogi can succeed in raising his mind to certain higher states but very soon it slides back to lower ones or reverts into the old rut. Deep-rooted evil tendencies like inordinate lust and love of lucre or mercurial irri-tability or crass selfishness are often responsible for this fall. By dispassionate and deep introspection, consultation with the guru and prayer to God, one can discover the root-cause and eliminate it.

See also ANTARĀYAS.