Sutras 1.19 to 1.22: The Path of Effort.

1.19. For those beings who are formless and for those beings who are merged in unitive consciousness, the world is the cause.
1.20. For others, clarity is preceded by faith, energy, memory and equal minded contemplation.
1.21. Equal minded contemplation is nearest to those whose desire is most ardent.
1.22. There is further distinction on account of the mild, moderate or intense means employed.

These four sutras speak about effort.  Effort, while doing Yoga, is the true determining factor in how we progress on the spiritual path.

I like hiking.  There is this trail about a block away from my house that I use when I walk my dog. Depending on the time of year, the trail will change.  In the winter, it tends to either be muddy with packed snow or iced over.  During the spring season, the trail will dry out after the winter snow melts, becoming dusty.  Next comes the summer monsoon, which will wash out the trail, littering it with rocks.  Finally, in fall, the trail is alive with flowers, tall grass and yellow jacket hornets that like to chase me.

You see, the context of the path will change, but it still leads to the same destination.  Yoga is a path, set out by the guide posts of the sutras.  The path takes on a different look depending on who walks it. If we try to walk in the path of others, our path will become theirs.  One of my favorite Gurus, even though he would not call himself that, is named Yogani.  He wrote a great, straight to the point step by step guide to Kundalini Yoga:

At the end of every lesson he states:  "The Guru Is Inside You".  You are your own Guru and you take your own path.

1.19 refers to causality in the sense that in our general perceptions we see the world as the cause of our actions an reactions.  We simply don't pay attention.  Awareness is key.  When we are aware, we are likely to see what WE do in the world to cause the world to react to US.

1.20 states four ways that one can achieve a clear mind.   Having faith, even if blind faith in a concept or deity, will mold the consciousness through trials brought upon it by the world.  When we have the energy to practice Yoga, there will be results.  Memory, in the form of awareness of Samskaras and Chitta allows one to change actions as they arise, giving differing results.  In a later article I will explain the concept of time in Yoga.  Equal minded contemplation is a result of effort.

1.21 One big contradiction in Yoga is the transcending desire, yet in order to accomplish that goal, you need the desire to transcend desire.   Don't get too caught up in this concept.  As you work to remove the attachment to Samskaras, your desires will naturally change.

1.22 Intensity times Duration equals results.  That was the formula given to me by Goswami Kriyananda.  This sutra states that there are three kinds of effort: mild, medium, and intense.  So how do you like your salsa?