1.7 The sources of right knowledge are direct experience, inference, and verbal testimony.

Sutra 1-7 card

“We must not mistake right knowledge for absolute truth.”

–Devadatta Kali, Managing the Mind

“The mind can register an object directly through the senses. When the information available is inadequate or incomplete, for sensual perception, other faculties such as logic and memory may enable a more complete comprehension of the object to be inferred. When no direct comprehension is possible, reference to reliable authorities, such as written texts or a trusted individual, can enable comprehension directly.”

– TKV Desikachar, Reflections on Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali

“Perception is superior to any other sources of knowledge — indeed, the other sources of knowledge are based on it…. Anumana and agama are forms of knowledge, but mediate forms, the truths of which are indirect, where the Yoga tradition bases its claims to authoritativeness on direct, personal experience.”

–Edwin F. Bryant , The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“The principle here is that there must always be an absolute and invariable relationship…between the thing inferred…and the reason the inference is made…. If exceptions to the rule can be found…then the inference is invalid.”

–Edwin F. Bryant , The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“Although it applies to any testimony, the word agama primarily designates the sacred texts, both written and orally translated. It concerns the testimony of someone who is an authority in the matter.”

–Bernard Bouanchaud, The Essence of Yoga

“You are going to dispose of all the thoughts as garbage, no doubt, whether they are good or bad, right or wrong, so that the mind will be free from modifications. But before we come to that, it makes it easier to dispose of them if we sort them first. Why? Because we still have a little clinging. We can’t just throw everything away so easily…. For the satisfaction of the mind, we are trying to analyze how many kinds of thoughts there are. ‘Oh, she is not going to empty me completely; at least she is giving something back to me.'”

–Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali