Yokes
Yoga Sutta  (AN 4:10)

“Monks, there are these four yokes. Which four? The yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, the yoke of views, & the yoke of ignorance.

“And what is the yoke of sensuality? There is the case where a certain person doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality. When he doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality, then—with regard to sensual objects—he is obsessed with sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual attraction, sensual infatuation, sensual thirst, sensual fever, sensual fascination, sensual craving. This is the yoke of sensuality.

“And how is there the yoke of becoming? There is the case where a certain person doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from becoming. When he doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from becoming, then—with regard to states of becoming—he is obsessed with becoming-passion, becoming-delight, becoming-attraction, becoming-infatuation, becoming-thirst, becoming-fever, becoming-fascination, becoming-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality & the yoke of becoming.

“And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then—with regard to views—he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views.

“And how is there the yoke of ignorance? There is the case where a certain person doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from the six sense media. When he doesn’t discern, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from the six sense media, then—with regard to ignorance concerning the six sense media—he is obsessed with not-knowing. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, the yoke of views, & the yoke of ignorance.

“Conjoined with evil, unskillful mental qualities—defiling, leading to further becoming, unhappy, resulting in suffering & stress, and in future birth, aging, & death—one is said not to be at rest from the yoke.

“These are the four yokes.

“Now, there are these four unyokings. Which four? Unyoking from sensuality, unyoking from becoming, unyoking from views, & unyoking from ignorance.

“And what is unyoking from sensuality? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality. When he discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality, then—with regard to sensual objects—he isn’t obsessed with sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual attraction, sensual infatuation, sensual thirst, sensual fever, sensual fascination, sensual craving. This is unyoking from sensuality.

“And how is there unyoking from becoming? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, and the escape from becoming. When he discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, and the escape from becoming, then—with regard to states of becoming—he isn’t obsessed with becoming-passion, becoming-delight, becoming-attraction, becoming-infatuation, becoming-thirst, becoming-fever, becoming-fascination, becoming-craving. This is unyoking from sensuality & unyoking from becoming.

“And how is there unyoking from views? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then—with regard to views—he isn’t obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is unyoking from sensuality, unyoking from becoming, & unyoking from views.

“And how is there unyoking from ignorance? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from the six sense media. When he discerns, as it has come to be, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, and the escape from the six sense media, then—with regard to ignorance concerning the six sense media—he isn’t obsessed with not-knowing . This is unyoking from sensuality, unyoking from becoming, unyoking from views, & unyoking from ignorance.

“Disjoined from evil, unskillful mental qualities—defiling, leading to further becoming, unhappy, resulting in suffering & stress, and in future birth, aging, & death—one is said to be at rest from the yoke.

“These are the four unyokings.

“Joined with the yoke of sensuality

& the yoke of becoming,

joined with the yoke of views,

surrounded by ignorance,

beings go to the wandering-on,

heading to birth

& death.

But those who comprehend sensuality

& the yoke of becoming—entirely—

who have thrown off the yoke of views

and are dispassionate

toward ignorance,

disjoined from all yokes:

They—their yokes overcome—

are sages

indeed.”

See also: MN 13–14; MN 54; MN 60; MN 72; MN 75; SN 45:171; AN 1:329; AN 3:77—78; AN 6:63; AN 10:93