Sutra 1.19- Virāma-Pratyaya-Abhyāsa-Pūrvaḥ Saṁskāra-Śeṣo-‘Nyaḥ
OF THOSE WHO ARE VIDEHAS AND PRAKRTILAYAS BIRTH IS THE CAUSE
In this sutra, Patanjali describes yogis that are called Videhas (those that are bodiless form of divinity) and Prakrtilayas (advanced yogis). These yogis seem to easily achieve higher states and have a deep understand yogic knowledge at a young age, without much effort. These types of yogis may have done deep work in previous lives, therefore, in their current life, pick up from where they left off.
They often go straight in the philosophy and meditation of yogic practices because in previous lives, they completed the asanas. Patanjali warns of this because the practitioner still needs the asanas in this life to advance more quickly. Even though they are advanced, they still go through the cycle of birth & death because they haven’t reached the final stage of kaivalya.
Patanjali’s point of this sutra is to explain why some may grasp these deep philosophical truths more quickly than others. The practice is to not compare ourselves to these yogis. He also mentions that these yogis still go through the cycle of birth and death, so to warn them not to get over confident in their practice.
The next sutra will describe the yogis that have gained samadhi through the systematic practice of yoga (faith, energy, memory and high intelligence) through the normal manner adopted, through the means outlined in the Yoga Sutras.