तत्र निरतिशयं सर्वज्ञ-बीजम् ॥
tatra niratiśayaṁ sarvajña-bījam ||
After the deep questioning about the nature of īśvara Patanjali generously gives our minds a rest with a (relatively) simple sutra. īśvara is unsurpassed in the knowledge of all, because īśvara is the seed of all knowledge.
tatra = in that (in this case in īśvara)
niratiśayaṁ = above all else, unsurpassed
sarvajña = sarva – all, jña (jñāna) – knowledge, knowing
bījam = seed
Bryant discusses the use of ‘seed’ in the context of there being different levels of knowing just as there are different levels of growth in the life of a plant. The seed contains all the knowledge of how to become a flower just as īśvara contains all the knowledge of how to become a universe.
In Bouanchaud’s beautiful book “the essence of yoga” he describes the relationship between the perceived individual self and īśvara beautifully.
“īśvara is a model for human beings – our essence is an identical spiritual entity. However…we are imprisoned in negative impulses and sentiments and bound by corporeal limits”
Bouanchaud, B. (2001). The essence of Yoga. Delhi: Sri Satguru, p.38.
It is the release from the prison of negative impulses and corporeal limits (see chapter three, probably wont get to this until 2025!) that a practice of yoga gives us, thus we unite with īśvara.