Yoga Sutra 1:1
Now, therefore, complete instructions regarding yoga. Patanjali
Baseball Sutra 1:1
Now, therefore, complete instructions regarding the Bhagavad Gita in baseball. Barbrahma
In his commentary on Yoga Sutra 1:1 (Four Chapters on Freedom), Swami Satyananda Saraswati notes “Those instructions on yoga which follow will become intelligible, fruitful and also palatable to those whose hearts are pure and whose minds are at rest, otherwise not.” He traces the roots of the Sanskrit, Atha yoganusasanam, to the word shasan, which means…a ruling. What is baseball if not rulings?
And so we come to Baseball Sutra 1:1. It may be perfectly illustrated in the approach of Cy Young winner, San Francisco Giant ace (he of Justin Bieber scale magnetism), Tim Lincecum. In the March 11, 2011 New York Times blog post , “Little Big Man,” author Jonathan Mahler writes:
Most of all, Lincecum had to come to terms with the fact that every pitcher struggles. All he could do was to try to relax and find his way through it. “It’s about accepting it,” he says. “That’s hard to tell people, just because they’re like, ‘What the hell? He’s accepting that he sucks?’ No, it’s like, ‘I can’t do anything about the past. I’m going to get better from here, stop trying to reinvent myself, trust my stuff and move on.’ ”
Or, in the words of no less than Lord Krishna himself in the Gita (4:22, Eknath Easwaran translater),
They live in freedom who have gone beyond the dualities of life. Competing with no one, they are alike in success and failure and content with whatever comes to them. They are free, without selfish attachments; their minds are fixed in knowledge.
Such is my advise, Tim Arjuna. Perhaps not complete instructions, but easily contained within your words.
Now, dear boy, on with your karma. The path of action is better than renunciation. Play ball.
Addendum: This is a continuation of a post I wrote during the 2009 World Series, from Helena, Montana. May the baseball commissioner be with me in this becoming a fully formed treatise on How Baseball is Like Yoga.