YOGA SUTRA 1.3: Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization. (tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam)
TADA = then, at that time; at the time of concentration and meditation
DRASHTUH = the seer’s, of the soul, witness, Atman, Self; from the root drsh, which means to see (It is significant to note that
Patanjali is not trying to define who is the seer, or the nature of that seer. This is left to be answered or resolved in direct
SVARUPE = in its own nature, own form or essence; (sva = own; rupa = form)
AVASTHANAM = stability, settling, remaining, being in a state, resting, standing, lying, abiding; the root stha means to stand
THEN THE SELF STANDS ALONE: As a result of having done the process of nirodhah, described in the last sutra, the true Self stands alone, unencumbered by our many false identities (described in the next sutra). This standing alone process is why the phrase Self-
realization uses the word realization, rather than a word like attainment. The process is not one of attaining something we do not
have, but rather is one of removing the clouds, so as to see the light that is already there.
THE WAVE FORGETS:
The wave forgets the truth that it is ocean, thinking itself to be the grand shape, which it has temporarily taken. For a while, it takes on the rupa (form) of wave. Finally, it remembers its true rupa (form) of ocean. The two coexist, though one is true, and the other, though beautiful, is only relatively true. So too, we humans forget our true nature, but, through yoga, can remember.
AWARENESS REMAINS UNCHANGED: In deep meditation, you come to see that while the thought patterns shift here and there, ever changing their shape, the way that the waves on the ocean keep shifting, the awareness itself never changes. There is a constant, ever flowing, ever being awareness that simply is, that observes or witnesses. In meditation, this same truth is realized over and over, as layer after layer, level after level of mental process is revealed and seen to be like the deeper shifting of the ocean waves. The awareness itself remains unchanged, and will become clearer and clearer as the center of consciousness that stands alone, though part of all the levels it permeates.
THE SEER: The word drastuh means seer or witness. The word seer does not give you a theological or metaphysical description or definition of who you are. This is one of the beautiful qualities of Yoga and the Yoga Sutras. There is nothing in the word seer to believe or not believe. By saying that the seer rests in its true nature after transcending the many forms of thought patterns in the mind field
(1.3), one can simply do the purifying practices and personally experience the results. In English translations, the word drashtuh is
often given meanings such as Self, Soul, or Atman (such as in the translations above). This provides some clarity or speculation of the
nature of this seer, but it is useful to remember that Patanjali is not actually telling you what is the nature of your true self, but that the
seer will be experienced in itself, in its true nature, whatever or however that is ultimately experienced and described by each person.
EXPERIENCING THE SEER IN ITS OWN NATURE: Similarly, the word svarupe means in its own nature. Here also, Patanjali is not giving a definition of your true nature. Once again, there is nothing to believe or not believe. Through practice and non-attachment (1.12-
1.16) and transcending the many mistaken identities (1.4, 2.5), you come to the direct experience of your own nature. Yet, most of us are curious and want to hear or read about the descriptions of this true nature, leading us to speak of, and to describe Self, Soul, or Atman, etc.. While we use, describe, and discuss these terms it is, again, most useful to keep in mind that Yoga actually refers to it simply as the seer, which is resting in its true nature, allowing direct experience to reveal what this is.
PURUSHA AND PRAKRITI: The process of realization through Yoga rests on the discovery of pure consciousness (purusha) as separate from all the many false identities, which are considered to be evolutes of primal matter (prakriti). These principles of purusha and prakriti are part of the philosophical system known as Sankhya. Yoga and Sankhya are two of the six systems of Indian philosophy.