शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः ॥१:९॥
śabda-jñāna: verbal knowledge
anupātī: followed in sequence, pursued, phased in regular succession
vastu-śūnyo: devoid of things, devoid of substance or meaning
vikalpaḥ: imagination, fancy
Verbal knowledge devoid of substance is fancy or imagination
Via: Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, by B.K.S. Iyengar
Patanjali’s opening words are on the need for a disciplined code of conduct to educate us towards a spiritual poise and peace under all circumstances.
A gentle reminder to those who are showering words, words, and more words, without substance or awareness of what they speak.