BKS Iyengar Light on the Yoga Sutras:
“The movements of consciousness are fivefold. They may be cognizable or non-cognizable, painful or non-painful”
Iyengar says that the consciousness causes the fluctuations. These thoughts can cause anguish. A live coal can burn (the klista state) but can be covered in ash so it doesn’t look painful to the touch, but is (aklista state). He says the citta is the wheel and klista and aklista are spokes in that wheel and they feed upon each other causing fluctuations. An example he gives is sleep- lack of sleep causes wrong perception but waking up from a solid sleep – that peace one experiences – gives us a glimpse of a higher state.
I.K.Tatami The Science of Yoga:
“The modifications of the mind are five-fold and are painful or not-painful.”
Tatami points out that this sutra is starting to classify the vrttis. And he says that most of our thoughts are neutral or not painful. Other bring pleasure or pain and anguish. Tatami says that this sutra says that even pleasurable things have pain and we should not pursue them but he says this is not pessimistic and to wait to study Pada 2!
Edwin Bryant, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:
“There are five kinds of changing states of the mind, and they are either detrimental or nondetrimental [ to the practice of yoga]”
A vrtti is any sensual impression and Bryant says this sutra starts the discussion of the vrttis (until 1.12). He describes the citta as the ociean and the vrttis are its waves – never-ending but always changing forms. These coming sutras define the vrttis to be eliminated and they are either conducive or detrimental.
Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras:
“There are five kinds of mental modifications, which are either painful or painless.”
The mind goes towards activities that are pleasurable and away from those that are painful. Note his use of the word “painless” in his translation which is different from pleasurable. With each spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, prayer), he says “adds force to the momentum of the painless rittis.. No yogic act is every wasted…”