Sankara on the Yoga Sutras

Translation by Trevor Leggett

About the text

This is a ground breaking translation of a major work which surfaced only in 1952. It claims to be by S’ankara Bhagavatpada (700AD), India’s greatest philosopher and spiritual teacher. If accepted as authentic, which seems increasingly likely, it will transform S’ankara studies and parts of Indian philosophical tradition. There is a chapter on this text in Wilhelm Halbfass: Tradition and Relflection, which discusses the text and some main concepts, though not the yoga practices.
It is a sub-commentary on the Vyasa commentary (about 500 AD) to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (about 200 AD). This text will entail a re-thinking of S’ankara and his presentation of the Advaita Non-dual doctrine and practice.
In his Brahma Sutra commentary, S’ankara rejects two basic tenets of the Yoga school, but accepts yoga practice as authoritative for meditation, and indeed God-vision (sutra III.2.24). S’ankara’s Gita commentary has many of the technical terms of yoga as for instance samahita-citta (8 times); Madhusudana in his own later sub-commentary on the S’ankara, cites nearly all of the first 51 sutras of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra first part. Here in this massive newly discovered text, S’ankara comments exhaustively on the Sutras and the early Vyasa commentary, both of which he glosses word for word.
But as the translator illustrates in his Technical Introduction, S’ankara here swings the Yoga doctrine towards his own Advaita (as he does with similar semi-dualistic passages in the Gita) with copious citations from the Upanishads and the Gita itself.
The text is brilliantly written, and shows marked originality of thought. For instance, there are over two hundred similes and analogies, some of them apparently unique to this work, and therefore of exceptional interest. He does not hesitate to modify the Vyasa commentary, and even the implied meanings of the sutras themselves, in order to introduce Advaitic concepts.
As several reviewers have pointed out, the translation has been kept lucid and fully understandable for the general reader. It is important not merely academically but as an authoritative guide on meditation.
– Trevor Leggett

Reviews

…We are happy to have the first complete translation of this important work….
On the question of its authenticity, there is much work to be done … the author in his long introduction discusses briefly but effectively many points, textual and philosophical. Of interest even to the ordinary reader is, that S’ri S’ankara had an idea of gravitation as a pull (p.6) And this is vouched for by (his) observation under the Yogasutra I.25 (of the present text), the Prashna Upanishad 3.8 and the Taittiriya Upanishad 2.2…
It is a pleasure indeed to go through the lucid English translation…There are some critical points to be made, but of only minor nature. We heartily congratulate Mr. Leggett on his success in bringing out the first faithful and lucid translation of this difficult text.
Adyar Library Bulletin, 1991
…the author hereby completes his monumental translation work…a truly admirable piece of scholarly labour…a real help to students of comparative religion and philosophy, as to those involved in meditation…
The Technical Introduction gives the author’s textual analysis of the shifting positions of S’ankara and other commentators on the Yoga Sutra, as well as correspondences with his Bhagavad Gita commentary and some further arguments in favour of S’ankara’s authorship….
…translation itself is very readable as far as the difficult subject allows; its lucid style being no doubt the result of the author’s thorough acquaintance with the subject-matter; not only theoretically, but also practically through his own meditational practice, a rare combination of unbiased scholarship and personal involvement.
Dr. Karel Werner: The Middle Way
The present work is the first complete English translation of a highly significant historical find, an unknown early Sanskrit sub-commentary purporting to be by Sankara, on the Yoga sutras of Patanjali. It is judged to be a genuine work of Sankara, India’s greatest riligious and philosophical genius and architect of the non-dual Vedanta school.
This is a sub-commentary (vivarana) to the terse exposition of Patanjali by Vyasa, the earliest surviving classic of the Yoga school. That school differs from Sankara’s Vedanta on several philosophical points, but he regarded it as authoritative on meditation practice, which is central to both schools. The existence of this vivarana is of great importance to the study and reappraisal of Sankara’s thought and teaching. It is now clear that the many references in Sankara’s works to Yoga practice are not mere concessions to accepted ideas of the time, but that it was central to his practice.
The vivarana is written with great originality and confidence. The long commentary on God completely jettisons the narrow sutra definition in favour of a supreme Creator, as evidenced by many ingenious arguments on the lines of the present day cosmological anthropic principle. The doctrine that the future already exists, and that time is purely relative, anticipate the Einstein era.
This study consists of revised editions of Trevor Leggett’s two previous volumes, which presented Parts One and Two of the vivarana, and the new translations of Parts Three and Four. The complete work is thus published here for the first time. In the book, the Patanjali sutras (about AD 300) are accompanied by Vyasa’s commentary (about AD 540-650) and by the Sankara vivarana commentary (about AD 700) to allow full textual and philosophical comparison.

Extracts

Extracts from S’ankara on the Yoga Sutras

In these extracts the translator proposes to give some idea of the original material which this sub-commentary provides for the study of the Yoga Sutras. Purely technical discussions are not included. It is intended that the meaning should be lucid and clear to the general reader. General information about the book  The Parallel with Medical Treatment At the beginning of his sub-commentary, S’ankara compares the yogic methods to the four-fold classification of medical treatment. This is familiar in even early Buddhist texts, and it had been assumed that Buddhists adopted it from medical texts. But, as Wezler has shown, the four-fold classification does not appear in medical texts before about 200 AD. Vyasa in the second extract below reproduces the Buddhist simile, and S’ankara echoes it in the first two but the simile in the third one is perhaps original to this text. We can note that S’ankara uses the…

Sankara on the Yoga Sutras – About the text

                                                                   This is a ground breaking translation of a major work which surfaced only in 1952. It claims to be by S’ankara Bhagavatpada (700AD), India’s greatest philosopher and spiritual teacher. If accepted as authentic, which seems increasingly likely, it will transform S’ankara studies and parts of Indian philosophical tradition. There is a chapter on this text in Wilhelm Halbfass: Tradition and Reflection, which discusses the text and some main concepts, though not the yoga practices. It is a sub-commentary on the Vyasa commentary (about 500 AD) to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (about 200 AD). This text will entail a re-thinking of S’ankara and his presentation of the Advaita Non-dual doctrine and practice. In his Brahma Sutra commentary,…

Acknowledgements for Shankara on the Yoga Sutras

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Dr. Hajime Nakamura, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo and founder of the Eastern Institute, Tokyo, for help with the translation of the First Part. For errors that remain I am entirely responsible. The late Shankaracarya of Sringeri, H.H. Abhinava Vidyatirtha, showed much interest in this Vivaraṇa and encouraged the present translator to tackle this difficult text, which (he said) might be of great importance in the study of Śaṅkara. The trustees of the Trevor Leggett Adhyatma Yoga Trust wish to express their grateful thanks to Dr Kengo Harimoto of Mahidol University,Thailand, who kindly agreed to write a Foreword to this E-book edition of The Complete Commentary by Śaṅkara on the Yoga Sutras, translated by Trevor Pryce Leggett. Dr Harimoto’s most valuable and interesting Foreword reviews and puts in context some of the comments that have been made on the author’s translation since it…

Foreword to Shankara on the Yoga Sutras

Foreword by Dr Kengo Harimoto When Trevor Leggett published The Complete Commentary by Śaṅkara on the Yoga sūtra-s in 1990, it was the first full translation of the sub-commentary on the Yogasūtras, variously called the Yogasūtrabhāṣyavivaraṇa or the Pātañjalayogaśāstravivaraṇa, etc., into a modern language. The Sanskrit text (henceforth the Vivaraṇa) had attracted some attention from Western scholars from the time it was published in Madras in 1952 as part of the Madras Government Oriental Series, especially because the editors of the edition ascribed it to one of the most famous of Indian philosophers, Śaṅkara. Hajime Nakamura, by translating whose work from Japanese into English Leggett had become known among Indologists, was one of those who were interested in the Vivaraṇa. Nakamura wrote a few articles on the Vivaraṇa in the late 1970s, mainly concerned with its authorship. He also published a Japanese translation of its first chapter from 1979 to…

Yoga Sutras for Yoga Practice

Using Shankara on the Yoga Sutras for Yoga Practice You have to know enough theory for a working basis; there is no need immediately to read the subtleties of the intellectual background. (1) Read the Introduction for the General Reader Introduction for the General Reader The text translated here is an historical find: an unknown commentary on the Yoga sūtra-s of Patañjali by Śaṅkara, the most eminent philosopher of ancient India. Present indications are that it is likely to be authentic, which would date it about AD 700. The many references to Yoga meditation in his accepted works have sometimes been regarded as concessions to accepted ideas of the time, and not really his own views. If he has chosen to write a commentary on Yoga meditation, it must have been a central part of his own standpoint, although he was opposed to some of the philosophical doctrines of the…

Shankara on the Yoga Sutras Introduction for the general reader

Introduction for the general reader The text translated here is an historical find: an unknown commentary on the Yoga sūtra-s of Patañjali by Śaṅkara, the most eminent philosopher of ancient India. Present indications are that it is likely to be authentic, which would date it about AD 700. The many references to Yoga meditation in his accepted works have sometimes been regarded as concessions to accepted ideas of the time, and not really his own views. If he has chosen to write a commentary on Yoga meditation, it must have been a central part of his own standpoint, although he was opposed to some of the philosophical doctrines of the official Yoga school. One would expect a tendency to modify those unacceptable doctrines, if this text is really by Śaṅkara. This turns out to be the case. For those familiar with yoga meditation, who want to go straight into the…

Shankara on the Yoga Sutras Technical introduction

Technical introduction The text This is a pioneer translation of a text on Yoga, a vivaraṇa sub-commentary on the Vyāsa bhāṣya to Patañjali’s Yoga sūtra, claiming to be by Śaṅkara Bhagavat-pāda (definable as the author of the Brahma sūtra bhāṣya). It came to notice as No. 94 in the Madras Government Oriental Series published in 1952, having been put together, with impressive scholarship and patience, from a single defective manuscript. It has been unknown except for publication of a small portion in another context (Madras University Sanskrit Series, No. 6) in 1931, which context however seems to establish that it was already in existence in the fourteenth century. The editing, which involved rearranging, was done by two pandits: P. S. Rama Sastri and S. R; Krishnamurti Sastri, who judged that this was indeed a work by the great Śaṅkara. In 1968, Paul Hacker published an influential article accepting the identification…

Yoga Sutra 1.01 the exposition of yoga

Sūtra I.1 Now the exposition of yoga (Vyāsa) The word Now means here a beginning, and the topic now begun is understood to be an exposition of yoga. (Śaṅkara:) In whom are neither karma nor its fruition but from whom they come about, Whom the taints of humanity can never withstand nor touch, Whom the eye of Time that reckons all cannot encompass, That Lord of the world, slayer of the demon Kaiṭabha – to him I bow. Who is omniscient, all-glorious and all-powerful, Who is without taint, and who requites actions with their fruits, The Lord who is the cause of the rise, end, and maintenance of every thing, To him, that teacher even of teachers, be this bow. A sub-commentary is here begun on the yoga classic of Patañjali, from its first word Now. No one will follow through the practices and restrictions of yoga unless the goal…

Yoga Sutra 1.02 Yoga is inhibition of the mental processes

Sūtra I.2 Yoga is inhibition of the mental processes (Opponent) If the sūtra has been presented to give this definition, it should have been ‘Yoga has inhibition of the mental processes’; to put them in apposition is not right, for a definition should not be simply the thing defined. Or at any rate it should have been said, ‘The definition is, inhibition of the mental processes.’ (Answer) A definition is projected (adhyas) on to the thing defined. When we say ‘This person is Devadatta’ there is a projection (adhyāsa) of the definition on to the thing defined. So there is no fault. The omission of the word All shows that the cognitive (samādhi) too is yoga. (Opponent) (The commentator’s previous gloss) But the ultra-cognitive is when there is inhibition of all mental processes is also a definition of it, so the sūtra should have been ‘Yoga is inhibition of all…

Yoga Sutra 1.03 the Seer is established in his own nature

Sūtra I.3 Then the Seer is established in his own nature Then the power-of-consciousness rests in its own nature, as in the state of release. But when the mind is extraverted, though it is so, it is not so. It has been said that yoga is inhibition of the mental processes, by which inhibition the true being of Puruṣa as the cognizer (boddhṛ) is realized. In which case some might suppose that with inhibition of the thoughts of objects, there would be inhibition of the subject, the cognizer, the Puruṣa, also. Then they would assume that it would not be sensible to try to attain Knowledge-of-the-difference, the means to release, and that the exposition of yoga, which aims at that Knowledge, would be futile. To show that inhibition of the mental process is not inhibition of Puruṣa, and to point directly to the result of Knowledge, the commentator says: What…

Yoga Sutra 1.04 there is only one sight, and the sight is knowledge alone.

Sūtra I.4 Otherwise, it conforms itself to the mental process In the extraverted state, whatever the process in the mind, Puruṣa has a process not distinguished from it. As a sūtra says: There is only one sight, and the sight is knowledge alone. (Opponent) If though it is so means that power-of-consciousness does rest in its own nature even when mind is extraverted, and not so denies that it so rests, there is the contradiction that the same thing both is so and is not so, and our side asks in bewilderment, How can this be? (Answer) The answer from our side is, Otherwise, it conforms itself to the mental process. (Opponent) Well, why does it conform to it? (Answer) Because objects have been displayed to it. Though in the two cases there is no distinction as to the resting in its own nature, still there is a distinction according…

Yoga Sutra 1.05 the mental processes are of five kinds

Sūtra I.5 The mental processes are of five kinds; they are tainted or pure The tainted are caused by the five taints (kleśa); they become the seed-bed for the growth of the accumulated karma seed-stock. The others are pure and are the field of Knowledge. They oppose involvement in the guṇa-s. They remain pure even if they occur in a stream of tainted ones. In gaps between tainted ones, there are pure ones; in gaps between pure ones, tainted ones. It is only by mental processes that saṃskāra-s corresponding to them are produced, and by saṃskāra-s are produced new mental processes. Thus the wheel of mental process and saṃskāra revolves. Such is the mind. But when it gives up its involvement, it abides in the likeness of self (ātman) or else dissolves. The mental processes are to be inhibited, though they are many. In the extraverted state, Puruṣa conforms to…

Yoga Sutra 1.07 right knowledge is either direct perception, inference, or authority

Sūtra I.7 Right knowledge is either direct perception, inference, or authority The right knowledge called direct perception is the process when the mind is coloured by an external thing through a sense-channel, and takes as its field the determination mainly of the particular nature of the thing, which has however also the nature of a universal. What then are the five kinds of mental process, tainted or pure? They are right knowledge, illusion, logical construction, sleep, memory. All the mental processes are included in these. Right knowledge is either direct perception, inference, or authority. The process called right knowledge (pramāṇa, also proof) is divided into just these three, the first division of right knowledge being direct perception. Now the definition of direct perception is given. It is put first because the other two presuppose it. By a sense channel: the sense referred to is one of the five senses of…

Yoga Sutra 1.08 Illusion is false knowledge based on an untrue form

Sūtra I.8 Illusion is false knowledge based on an untrue form Illusion (viparyaya) is false knowledge (mithyā-jñāna) based on an untrue form. Having explained right knowledge, now is described the mental process called illusion: it is false knowledge based on an untrue form. (Opponent) Our subject is inhibition, and furthermore the release which comes from it, and furthermore the bondage to be escaped from, and furthermore the Ignorance (avidyā) which is the root of bondage. Ignorance is illusion, so this is the main thing to be inhibited. For it is the cause of bondage, and when the cause is inhibited, it follows that its effect is inhibited also. So illusion is the principal thing and should have been explained before right knowledge. (Answer) Certainly illusion is the first thing as regards needing inhibition. But human efforts at inhibition are based on knowledge of what is correct and what is faulty,…

Yoga Sutra 1.09 logical construction is something that follows on verbal knowledge

Sūtra I.9 Logical construction is something that follows on verbal knowledge but has no real object This (vikalpa) does not amount to right knowledge. Now he describes logical construction. Verbal knowledge means knowledge from words, and something that follows on verbal knowledge means something whose nature is to follow from the verbal knowledge, good or bad, which comes from the fixed relation between words and their meanings; but has no real object means that nothing is actually expressed, inasmuch as there is no actual (yathābhūta) thing as the meaning of those words from which that knowledge follows. Logical construction is thinking without reference to any actual thing. (Opponent) If it follows on verbal knowledge, it should be taken as authority. (Answer) It does not amount to right knowledge. It does not fall under authority because it has no real object. Authority does arise from verbal knowledge, but it relates to…

Yoga Sutra 1.10 the mental process which rests on the notion of non-existence is sleep

Sūtra I.10 The mental process which rests on the notion of non-existence is sleep This is a special notion arising from the recollection on waking in the form of ‘I slept well; my mind is calm and has cleared up my understanding’, or else ‘I slept badly, my mind is dull and wanders aimlessly’ or again ‘I slept sunk in stupor; my limbs seem heavy and my mind is limp and faint, as if some force had seized control of it.’ There would be no recollection on waking unless caused by an experience; without an experience there would be no memories based on it and corresponding to it. Therefore sleep is a particular notion, and like all the others it is to be inhibited in samādhi. Now the sūtra describes sleep: The mental process which rests on the notion of nonexistence is sleep (nidrā). Right knowledge, illusion, and logical construction,…

Yoga Sutra 1.11 memory is not letting slip away an object experienced

Sūtra I.11 Memory is not letting slip away an object experienced Now he explains memory. Memory is not letting slip away an object experienced. Memory is described at the end because it is the effect of all the other mental processes, beginning with right knowledge. The compound object-experienced means both what has been experienced and a particular object. That alone is the object which has been experienced, but what has been experienced is not necessarily an object. Otherwise a memory of another memory would be no memory, because a memory has no qualities like sound (as objects have). And since memory is intelligible to itself, it is necessary to have also memory of other memories. Not letting slip away means that there is no stealing away or disappearance (of any of it). Though the object itself is not present, memory is, by reason of similarity to it, an appearance as…

Yoga Sutra 1.12 inhibition is by practice and detachment

Sūtra I.12 Their inhibition is by practice and detachment Flowing both ways, the so-called stream of the mind flows to good or flows to evil. When it is borne on to release, down into the field of discrimination, that is the flow towards good: when it is borne on to saṃsāra, down into the field of failure to discriminate, that is the evil flow. By detachment the current towards objects is dammed, and by practice of discriminating vision the auspicious current of discrimination is made to flow. Thus inhibition of the mental process depends on both. He explains the means for their inhibition: Their inhibition is by practice and detachment. The characteristics of practice and detachment will be described in the coming sūtra-s. By these two the mental processes already described are inhibited, because they are opposed to them. Inhibition (nirodha) means cessation (upaśama). To show discrimination as the object…

Yoga Sutra 1.13 practice is the effort at steadiness

Sūtra I.13 Practice is the effort at steadiness in it Steadiness is the tranquil flow of the mind without mental processes. Practice is the effort thereto, the vigour, the enthusiasm, in undertaking the discipline to that end. To explain the practice for it, he says, Practice is the effort at steadiness in it. in it means in their inhibition. The word steadiness is in the locative case, to show causality. The steadiness which is the cause of the inhibition of the mind is the result of effort, and the effort which is its cause is practice, the tranquil flow as it were of a stream free from mud is a transformation into a pure form of a mind without mental processes, which have been inhibited. Effort: vigour, enthusiasm, are synonyms. Practice is undertaking the discipline, the yoga discipline of restraints and observances and the others listed in sūtra II.29, to…

Yoga Sutra 1.14 practised for a long time, uninterruptedly and with reverence, it becomes firmly grounded

Sūtra I.14 But practised for a long time, uninterruptedly and with reverence, it becomes firmly grounded Practised for a long time, practised uninterruptedly, practised with reverence – carried through with austerity, with brahmacarya, with knowledge and with faith, in reverence, it becomes firmly grounded. The meaning is that the purpose is not suddenly overwhelmed by an extravertive saṃskāra. But how does this become firm? He says, Practised for a long time, uninterruptedly. Unless it is for a long time, and unless it is uninterrupted, the practice does not become firmly grounded, and therefore both are mentioned. The practice is also specified as to be done with reverence. He explains that firmly grounded means that it is not overwhelmed by an extravertive saṃskāra suddenly in a rush.

Yoga Sutra 1.15 detachment is consciousness of self-mastery

Sūtra I.15 Detachment is consciousness of self-mastery, of one who has no thirst for any object either seen or heard about Detachment is the consciousness of self-mastery of one who has no thirst for any object either seen or heard about. It is that consciousness in one who is unmoved by visible objects like women, food and drink, or power, who is without thirst for objects heard about such as attainment of heaven or the state of the gods or of those absorbed into prakṛti, is inwardly aware of the defects in them by the power of his meditation, and who is wholly impassive – that consciousness of self-mastery which has nothing to avoid and nothing to accept, is detachment. To describe detachment (vairāgya) he says, Detachment is the consciousness of self-mastery of one who has no thirst for any object either seen or heard about. The word object has…

Yoga Sutra 1.16 from knowledge of Purusa there is no thirst for the gunas

Sūtra I.16 It is the higher detachment when from knowledge of Puruṣa there is no thirst for (even) the guṇa-s One who is aware of the defects in objects visible or heard about is detached from objects, but one who from practising the vision of Puruṣa has his mind pure like it and clear-seeing, is detached from even the guṇa-s, with their qualities manifest or unmanifest. Thus detachment is of two kinds. The second, higher one is nothing but pure Knowledge. When it rises, the yogin in whom this Knowledge has dawned thinks, ‘Attained is what was to be attained, destroyed are the taints which were to be destroyed; broken is the continuous chain of the cycle of being, bound by which men born will die, and having died will be born.’ Detachment is the highest peak of Knowledge: it borders on Transcendental Aloneness. Detachment is of two kinds, higher…

Yoga Sutra 1.17 something physical as the mind’s object of meditation

Sūtra I.17 It is cognitive because accompanied with verbal associations (vitarka), with subtle associations (vicāra), with joy (ānanda), and the form of I-am-ness (asmitā) The first (with vitarka) is an experience of something physical as the mind’s object of meditation. It is with subtle associations (vicāra) when the object of meditation is subtle. Joy means delight. I-am-ness is the feeling of being an individual self. It was explained under the second sūtra that inhibition is not the definition of cognitive samādhi. When the mental process has been inhibited by the two means described, namely practice and detachment, how is the resulting samādhi to be described? It is cognitive, because accompanied with verbal associations, with subtle associations, with joy, and the form of I-am-ness. The word accompanied goes with each of them, so it means that it is accompanied with experience of the physical, with experience of the subtle, with experience…

Yoga Sutra 1.18 samadhi follows on practice of the idea of stopping, and consists of samskaras alone

Sūtra I.18 The other (samādhi) follows on practice of the idea of stopping, and consists of saṃskāra-s alone The words follows on practice of the idea of stopping show the relation to the discipline, but consists of saṃskāra-s alone explains its nature. They both go with The other, which therefore follows on the practice, and consists of saṃskāra-s alone. It is the seed-less ultra-cognitive samādhi, which is other than the cognitive samādhi which has just been defined in the previous sūtra. When all the mental processes have stopped and only saṃskāra-s remain, the samādhi of the mind thus inhibited is ultra-cognitive. The means to it is the higher detachment. No meditation on an object can be a means to it, so the meditation is made on the idea of stopping, which is absence of anything. It is void of any object. The practice of this finally leads to a state…

Yoga Sutra 1.19 samadhi is of two kinds

Sūtra I.19 It results from birth in the case of gods discarnate, and in the case of those who absorb themselves into prakṛti In the case of the gods free from a physical body, they experience a state of seeming release by the mental experience of their own saṃskāra-s alone. And they pass beyond this state when the saṃskāra-s causing it have finished maturing. So also those who merge themselves into prakṛti; a commitment still remains in their mind in spite of the absorption, and though they experience a state of seeming release, it is only so long as their mind is not set whirling again by the force of that commitment. This without-seed samādhi is of two kinds: the result of a means, or the result of birth. The first is a result of, is attained by, a means, and it is for yogin-s. Though the gods discarnate are…

Yoga Sutra 1.20 faith, energy, memory, samadhi, and knowledge

Sūtra I.20 For the others, it comes after faith, energy, memory, (cognitive) samādhi, and knowledge The one resulting from a means is for yogin-s. Faith is a settled clarity of the mind: like a good mother, it protects a yogin. When he has that faith, and is seeking knowledge, there arises in him energy. When energy has arisen in him, his memory stands firm. When memory stands firm, his mind is undisturbed and becomes concentrated in samādhi. To the mind in samādhi comes knowledge by which he knows things as they really are. From practice of these means, and from detachment from the whole field of mental process, arises ultra-cognitive samādhi. The ultra-cognitive samādhi resulting from a means is that of the yogin-s, and it follows from faith, energy, memory, samādhi, and knowledge (prajñā). What is called faith is a settled clarity of the mind in regard to attaining release,…

Yoga Sutra 1.21 the yogis are of nine kinds

Sūtra I.21 For those who practise with ardent energy, it is near They soon attain samādhi and the fruit of samādhi. The yogin-s, who practise the four methods beginning with faith, are of nine kinds. As he explains, they are divided according to the methods which they follow, either mild or moderate or intense. Each of these classes is sub-divided into three. Progress in the application of the method may be slow, or it may be moderate, or it may be energetic, and so it is with each of the three methods without exception. For those who practise the intense methods with ardent energy, samādhi and the fruit of samādhi are near at hand.

Yoga Sutra 1.22 samadhi and the fruit of samadhi

Sūtra I.22 Even among the ardent, there is a distinction of mild or moderate or intense They may be mild or moderate or intense in their ardent energy, and so there is a further distinction. For the mildly ardent it is near: for the moderately ardent it is nearer: for the intensely ardent yogin who is practising intense methods, samādhi and the fruit of samādhi is nearest of all. Even among these ardent yogin-s there are distinctions corresponding to whether their progress is slow or moderate or ardent, and this is a distinction of the saṃskāra-s created by their previous practice of the discipline. For the highest of them, the attainment of samādhi is nearest at hand. The purpose of the sūtra is to fortify the enthusiasm of yogin-s in their practice. It is as in the world, where the prize goes to the one who runs fastest in the…

Yoga Sutra 1.23 special devotion to the Lord

Sūtra I.23 Or by special devotion to the Lord As a result of the special devotion which is bhakti (love of God), the Lord bends down to him and rewards him according to what he has meditated on. If the yogin has meditated on it, the attainment of samādhi and its fruit is near at hand. He explains that there is another way, Or by special devotion to the Lord. The meaning of the word Lord will be given later; here he describes devotion. It is the devotion which is bhakti, and the Lord bends down to him and rewards him. The Lord comes face to face with him and gives his grace to the yogin who is fully devoted to him, according to what the yogin has meditated upon; the grace is effortless, by the mere omnipotence of the supreme Lord. By that grace of the Lord, samādhi and…

Yoga Sutra 1.24 the Lord is a special kind of Purusa

Sūtra I.24 Untouched by taints or karma-s or their fruition or their latent stocks is the Lord, who is a special kind of Puruṣa The taints are Ignorance, I-am-ness, desire, hate, and clinging to life. Karma-s are good and bad. Their fruition is the results they bring. The corresponding latent impulses (vāsanā) are the latent stocks. All these exist in the mind but are attributed to Puruṣa, for he is the experiencer of their results. It is as when victory or defeat, which are events on the battle-field, are attributed to the ruler. Untouched by such experience is the Lord, who is a special kind of Puruṣa. Who is this Lord who is neither pradhāna nor Puruṣa? In the Sāṅkhya classics no proof of God is given, and one asks for some proof of the Lord, that he really exists, and again what is the special nature of this Lord…

Yoga Sutra 1.25 the seed of omniscience becomes transcendent

Sūtra I.25 In whom the seed of omniscience becomes transcendent All certain knowledge, of past or future or present or a combination of them, or from extra-sensory perception, whether that knowledge be small or great, is the seed of omniscience. He in whom it becomes transcendent is omniscient. The seed of omniscience attains the ultimate, because it is something which has degrees, like any measurable. He in whom knowledge attains the ultimate, is omniscient. And he is a special Puruṣa. A proof is added in demonstration of the Lord who has been described: In whom the seed of omniscience becomes transcendent. In whom in that Lord as described, it is proper that it should become transcendent. What should become transcendent? All certain knowledge whether from perception or from inference, with its field the past, with its field the future, or with its field the present, or with its field a…

Yoga Sutra 1.26 time as a measure does not apply to the Lord

Sūtra I.26 This teacher of even the first teachers, because not particularized by time The first teachers are particularized by time. But with the Lord, time as a measure does not apply to him who is the teacher of even the first teachers. It is to be understood that as he is proved to be in the state of perfection at the beginning of this creation, so too at the beginning of past creations. This highest Lord who has been described is the teacher of even the first teachers, those who teach all the related means and ends for material results and for the highest bliss (niḥśreyasa). The meaning is that he creates the knowledge and instruction which they give. For all the kinds of knowledge arise from him, as sparks of fire from a blaze or drops of water from the sea. We have mentioned that he is the…

Yoga Sutra 1.27 pranava

Sūtra I.27 Of him, the expression is praṇava (OM) What is expressed by praṇava is the Lord. It has been said Or from devotion to the Lord (sūtra I.23). How should one perform devotion to him, and what is the means of that devotion? To explain the form in which the devotee contemplates on him, the sūtra says Of him, the expression is praṇava (OM). Of the Lord who has been described, the expression the expressing word, is praṇava. In the same way the word cow expresses something which has a dewlap and horns and so on. Now the word praṇava is variously explained etymologically: pra stands for prakarśena, perfectly; nu (= nava) stands for nūyate, he is praised; praṇava the word OM, praises (praṇauti) the Lord; the Lord is devoutly worshipped (praṇidhīyate) through it by his devotees; they bow down (praṇam) to him through it; through it they worship…

Yoga Sutra 1.28 japa and bhavana on the Lord

Sūtra I.28 Repetition of it and meditation on its meaning Repetition (japa) of it and meditation (bhāvanā) on the Lord who is signified by OM. When the yogin thus repeats OM and meditates on its meaning, his mind becomes one-pointed. So it has been said: After OM repetition, let him set himself in yoga, After yoga, let him set himself to repetition. When OM repetition and yoga come to perfection The supreme self (paramātman) shines forth. When the yogin has thus understood the relation of the expression OM and its meaning, how does he attract the grace of the supreme Lord? The sūtra says, Repetition of it and meditation on its meaning. Practice of repetition of OM, which is the expression of the Lord, taken as consisting of three-and-a-half measures (mātra) or of three measures, is called japa; the repetition is either mental or in a low voice (upāṃśu). meditation…

Yoga Sutra 1.29 realization of the separate consciousness

Sūtra I.29 From that, realization of the separate consciousness, and absence of obstacles As a result of devotion to the Lord, there are none of the obstacles like illness, and he has a perception of his own true nature. As the Lord is a Puruṣa, pure, radiant, alone, and beyond evil, so the Puruṣa in him, witness of the buddhi, knows himself to be. The commentary introduces this sūtra with the words And what happens to him? The word And refers to the fact that one result, namely attainment of one-pointedness of mind, has already been mentioned in the previous sūtra. And is there some other result for him, or is it perhaps one-pointedness alone? The sūtra now says From that, realization of the separate consciousness and absence of obstacles. From that devotion to the Lord, there is realization of the separate consciousness: it is conscious of its own buddhi…

Yoga Sutra 1.30 distractions of the mind are the obstacles

Sūtra I.30 Illness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, failure to withdraw, misconceptions, failure to attain a state, instability (in the state) – these distractions of the mind are the obstacles There are nine obstacles which distract the mind. They appear only in conjunction with the mental processes described previously, and without the obstacles, the latter do not arise. Illness is loss of balance in the humours (dhātu), secretions (rasa) or organs. Apathy is mental ineffectiveness. Doubt is an idea embracing both alternatives, in the form ‘This might be so, or it might not be so’. Carelessness is lack of devotion to the means to samādhi. Laziness is inertia from heaviness physical and mental. Failure to withdraw is a hankering caused by past addiction to objects. Misconceptions are illusory knowledge (viparyaya jñāna). Failure to attain a state is not attaining any stage of samādhi. Instability is when a state has been attained…

Yoga Sutra 1.31 pain is that by which living beings are struck down,

Sūtra I.31 Pain, frustration, restlessness of the body, spasmodic breathing in or out are the accompaniments of these distractions The pain is that proceeding from the self, or proceeding from living creatures, or proceeding from the gods. Pain is that by which living beings are struck down, and which they struggle to end. Frustration is the mental agitation when a desire is obstructed. Restlessness of the body is what makes it unsteady and trembling. Spasmodic breathing is inhaling the air from outside, or exhaling the abdominal air. These are the accompaniments of the distractions; they occur in one whose mind is distracted, and do not occur in one whose mind is concentrated in samādhi. Pain is that by which living beings are struck down, and to end which they struggle, they strive. It is of three kinds, the first being that proceeding from the self (ādhyātmika). What is related (adhy)…

Yoga Sutra 1.32 practise meditation on one principle

Sūtra I.32 To prevent them, practice on one principle To prevent the distractions, let the mind practise meditation on one principle. It has been said that they are inhibited by detachment and practice; the first has been described, and now he deals with practice. To prevent them, these distractions practice on one principle, on a single truth. (Opponent) That one principle cannot be the object of meditation practice, because it is a real thing, and the fullness of real things like self (ātman) cannot even be spoken. They are established in their own greatness and not simply mental. He is going on to deny that such real things have any dependence on the mind, for instance in sūtra IV.16, A thing is not dependent on a single mind. (Answer) With this doubt in mind the commentator says, let the mind practise meditation on one principle. Here he is showing how…

Yoga Sutra 1.33 the mind is made clear by meditation

Sūtra I.33 The mind is made clear by meditation on friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the suffering, goodwill towards the virtuous, and disinterest in the sinful Let him practise friendliness towards all beings experiencing happiness, compassion to those in pain, goodwill to the habitually virtuous, and disinterest in habitual sinners. Such devoted meditations produce pure dharma, and thereby the mind becomes clear. When it is clear, it attains steadiness in one-pointedness. How is the mind to be trained? Practice on one principle has been taught; what is the one principle which is to be the object of the practice? He says, meditation on friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the suffering, goodwill towards the virtuous, and disinterest in the sinful. Friendliness is meditation on being a friend, one who rejoices in happiness when he sees it without anything like envy. So towards suffering, a kindly sympathy, and to the…

Yoga Sutra 1.34 expulsion and retention of prana

Sūtra I.34 Or by expulsion and retention of prāṇa Expulsion is emission of the abdominal air through the two nostrils by a conscious effort; retention refers to the process of prāṇāyāma. By these two means one can attain steadiness of the mind. The word Or means an alternative, so this is a means to steadiness other than meditations on friendliness, etc. The sense is that one should attain steadiness by some one of the means beginning with meditation on friendliness; a number of means are given, with the idea that one of them will be easier to a particular person and time and place. Expulsion and retention separately or together. The first is emission of the abdominal air up to the limit through the nostrils, not by the mouth. Retention is the full process of prāṇāyāma, to the limit. Though prāṇa is to some extent restrained even by expulsion (alone),…

Yoga Sutra 1.35 supernormal perception of a divine object brings the mind to steadiness

Sūtra I.35 Or achievement of supernormal perception of a divine object brings the mind to steadiness When one makes a concentration (dhāraṇā) on the tip of the nose, he will have a sensation (saṃvit) of divine fragrance; on the palate, of colour; on the middle of the tongue, of touch; and on the root of the tongue, of sound. These supernormal perceptions arising hold the mind in steadiness, remove doubts, and become a means to samādhi cognition (samādhi-prajñā). In the same way experiences like the moon, sun, a planet, a jewel, a light or a ray, are to be known as supernormal perceptions of actual objects. Although what is understood from the scriptures and inferences from them, and from instruction by a teacher, are real facts, since these are qualified to describe things as they really are, still until some one part of it has been known directly for oneself,…

Yoga Sutra 1.36 radiant perception beyond sorrow

Sūtra I.36 Or a radiant perception beyond sorrow The words ‘brings the mind to steadiness’ are to be supplied from the previous sūtra. When one concentrates on the heart-lotus, there is direct awareness of the buddhi. The buddhi-sattva is like shining space, but while the concentration is still wavering in stability, the perception takes the luminous form of a sun, or a moon, planet, or gems. When the mind reaches samādhi on I-am-ness, it is like the still ocean, serene and infinite, I-am alone. On which it has been said: Having discovered the self which is subtle as an atom, he should be conscious of I-am alone. There are thus the two sorrowless perceptions, one of divine objects, and one of self alone, by which the mind of the yogin attains steadiness. The sūtra has to be completed from the context, so that it runs: ‘Or where a radiant perception,…

Yoga Sutra 1.37 meditation on freedom from passion

Sūtra I.37 Or on a mind whose meditation is on freedom from passion Coloured by meditation on a mind free from passion, the mind of the yogin attains steadiness. He from whose thinking all passion has gone, is free from passion, namely dispassionate. It is well known what dispassion is: there must be freedom from desire even in the case of a naturally passionate man in the presence of objects of desire, for instance women or possessions. Let him practise with this idea in mind. But actual objects should not be part of the meditation, because of the evils in them. Thus coloured by meditation on a mind free from passion, the mind of the yogin attains steadiness. For a mind, once the bridle of passion has been set on it, runs like a horse driven by another.

Yoga Sutra 1.38 meditating on the knowledge of dream and sleep

Sūtra I.38 Or meditating on the knowledge of dream and sleep Either on the knowledge of dream or on the knowledge of sleep; the yogin’s mind in that form attains steadiness. Meditating, either on the knowledge of dream or on the knowledge of sleep, the mind becomes of that form alone. What the mind meditates on as its own being, that form indeed it becomes. In the dream state, there is knowledge without any physical objects like sound and so on, and the nature of that knowledge is pure illumination. Now he meditates on what that knowledge is, but not on the remembered objects themselves (which appear in the dream). For the mind can be caught by the bridle of an object even merely remembered. But the meditation on the knowledge of deep sleep, which is essentially non-perception of any particular objects, rests on the idea of non-existence, and is…

Yoga Sutra 1.39 meditation on what appeals to him

Sūtra I.39 Or by meditation on what appeals to him Let him meditate on whatever appeals to him. Having found some one thing on which he can steady his mind, he will be able to steady it on other things also. Let him meditate on whatever appeals with the aim of steadying the mind, for steadying the mind is the purpose here. It must not be to secure pleasures and so on, for there is the prohibition ‘Even if one should obtain objects, let him never dwell on them in any way’. Having found something which is a proper object for meditation on which he can steady his mind, he will be able to steady it on other things also, the things specifically prescribed for the training.  

Yoga Sutra 1.40 mastery extends right to the ultimate atom

Sūtra I.40 His mastery extends right to the ultimate atom and to the ultimate magnitude When he concentrates on it, he can steady his mind on anything subtle, right down to the ultimate atom; when he concentrates on it, he has steadiness of mind on anything substantial, up to the ultimate magnitude. When one can take his practice to either at will, it is full mastery; when he has full mastery, he does not require further practice in training. The words right to are to be taken with both the extremes. When he concentrates on something subtle, in the course of his practice the mind experiences things progressively smaller and smaller till he comes to the ultimate atom. By practice he becomes able to remain steady in that experience. When he can take his practice to either limit at will, it is full mastery. He has complete mastery who is…

Yoga Sutra 1.41 samapatti identification-in-samadhi samapatti

Sūtra I.41 Identification-in-samādhi (samāpatti) is when the mental process has dwindled and the mind rests on either the knower or the knowing process or a known object, and like a crystal apparently takes on their respective qualities (Opponent) He is going to speak about the objects of samādhi in the Third Part (sūtra III.35): by saṃyama on what-is-for-its-own-sake, (distinct) from what-is-for-the-sake-of another, there comes knowledge of Puruṣa. There he is going to explain the nature of identification-in-samādhi, namely the nature of saṃyama, by the resultant effect, so the present sūtra is superfluous. (Answer) Not so, because here he wishes to show the purpose of mastering the methods that have just been described. They have been properly mastered when the mind, identified in samādhi with the knower or with the process of knowledge or with a known object, assumes the appearance of it. Sūtra I.17 has already said that samādhi is…

Yoga Sutra 1.42 samadhi-identification is called sa-vitarka when it is mixed up with mental constructs

Sūtra I.42 The samādhi-identification is called sa-vitarka when it is mixed up with mental constructs of word, thing, and idea We see for instance that the process of knowing takes place without discriminating between the word Cow and the thing Cow and the idea Cow, though they are on different levels, for there are some properties distinguished as belonging to words and others to things, and still others to ideas. When a yogin makes the identification on a thing like a cow, if it arises in his samādhi-knowledge and manifests there full of mental constructs of word, thing, and idea, that confused identification is called sa-vitarka. There are four of the samādhi-identifications. The sūtra explains the first of them: the identification is called sa-vitarka when it is mixed up with mental constructs (vikalpa) of word, thing, and idea. There are verbal constructs, and constructs relating to things, and constructs relating…

Yoga Sutra 1.43 nir-vitarka samadhi

Sūtra I.43 When there is purification from memories, (that samādhi) apparently empty of its own nature of knowledge, with the object alone shining forth, is nir-vitarka Purified from memories, which are mental constructs of verbal associations, or knowledge from authority or inference, the samādhi-knowledge coloured by the object as it is, having given up seemingly its own nature of pure perception, is identified with the object, the nature of the thing alone. That identification is what is described as nir-vitarka (samādhi). When there is purification from memories of mental constructs of verbal association, authority, inference the mental construct of verbal association, the mental construct of ideas from authority, the mental construct of ideas from inference – this it is which is the memory, by which an alien quality from something else is illusorily projected (adhyāropyate). For a thing cannot in reality be projected into another thing. (Opponent) How can what…

Yoga Sutra 1.44 sa-vicara identification refers to subtle elements,

Sūtra I.44 In the same way, when it is on subtle objects, it is called sa-vicāra (with subtle associations) and nir-vicāra (without subtle associations) Of these two, the sa-vicāra identification refers to subtle elements, whose qualities are manifest, with a particular location, time, cause and experience as their features. The object of the meditation is the subtle elements, and then it is called sa-vicāra and nir-vicāra. The subtle elements (tan-mātra) are those of sound, etc. In the Sanskrit compound deśakālanimittānubhavāvacchinneṣu, the word for ‘particularized’ applies to each element separately, so the meaning is: featured by a particular location, a particular time, a particular cause, and a particular experience. For purposes of ordinary life, everything is taken as having a particular location and so on, as related to the knower of that object, its subject. Such being the case, sa-vicāra is when the mental-constructs (vikalpa) of location and the others are…

Yoga Sutra 1.45 subtlety of objects ends in pradhana

Sūtra I.45 The scale of (causal) subtlety of objects ends in pradhāna In the case of an atom of earth, the subtle element (tan-mātra) of odour is a subtler (causal) object (for the vicāra meditations); in the case of water it is the subtle element of taste; in the case of fire, light; in the case of air, touch; of space, it is the subtle element of sound. Subtler than these is the cosmic I (ahaṅkāra), and subtler than that is the Great Principle (liṅga); more subtle than that is pradhāna (a-liṅga – uncreated nature). There is nothing more subtle beyond pradhāna. (But) surely Puruṣa is at the limit of subtlety? Indeed it is, but it is not a subtle cause of the Great Principle in the same way that pradhāna is. Puruṣa is not the cause which produces it; it is only a cause which sets in motion. Hence…

Yoga Sutra 1.46 samadhi from a seed

Sūtra I.46 These are samādhi from-a-seed These four samādhi-identifications have external things as their seed, so the samādhi is from-a-seed (sa-bīja). When it is a physical object, the samādhi is sa-vitarka or nir-vitarka; when a subtle object, it is sa-vicāra or nir-vicāra. So the four categories of samādhi have been described. They are from-a-seed because their objects are external things. The samādhi is from-a-secd, namely cognitive, as was explained under sūtra I.17: ‘cognitive because accompanied with verbal associations (vitarka), subtle associations (vicāra), joy (ānanda), and the form of I-am-ness (asmitā)’. When it is a physical object, the samādhi is sa-vitarka or nir-vitarka: when a subtle object, it is sa-vicāra or nir-vicāra. So the four categories of samādhi have been described.

Yoga Sutra 1.47 skill in nir-vicara, a clearness in the self

Sūtra I.47 From skill in nir-vicāra, a clearness in the self When the mind-sattva whose nature is light, is freed from rajas and tamas, and has a clear steady flow, without any veiling contamination of impurity, that is the skill in nir-vicāra. When this skill in nir-vicāra appears, there is an inner clearness in the self of the yogin, which is a progressively (anurodhi) clearer and brighter light of knowledge of the object as it really is. The veiling impurity is a sort of contamination, consisting of the taints, etc. clearness in the self is the knowledge which can distinguish such things as the self (ātman). It is of this that it is now said that it is knowledge of the thing as it really is (bhūlārtha); it is a progressively clearer stage by stage corresponding to the progressive destruction of the taints and brighter very distinct light of knowledge…

Yoga Sutra 1.48 the knowledge is Truth-bearing

Sūtra I.48 In this, the knowledge is Truth-bearing The knowledge which appears in that clearness of the mind in samādhi has the special name of Truth-bearing, in the literal sense that it brings truth alone, and there is no trace of erroneous knowledge in it. So it is said: By scriptural authority, by inference, and by zest for meditation practice – In these three ways perfecting his knowledge, he attains the highest yoga. In this in the light of knowledge, the inner clearness of the mind in samādhi, the knowledge which appears born of discrimination (viveka) has the special name of Truth-bearing, in the literal sense that it brings truth alone and there is no trace of erroneous knowledge in this, which is born of discrimination. For it appears in the one in whom all taint of error has been destroyed, and being born, it dispels the obscurities associated with…

Yoga Sutra 1.49 the scripture that deals only with universals

Sūtra I.49 This knowledge is of a particular thing, unlike knowledge from authority or from inference Authority means the scripture, and that deals only with universals – scripture cannot point to individual things. Why not? Because an individual does not have the conventional association with a word. Inference too has only universals for its object. The example of inference has been given, that where there is getting to another place, there is motion, and where there is no such getting to another place, there is no motion. And the conclusion is reached by inference by means of a universal. So the object of authority or inference is never a particular thing. Ordinary perception gives no knowledge at all of some subtle or remote or hidden thing, but we cannot assert that the latter is not demonstrable and has no existence. A particular relating to subtle elements or to Puruṣa is…

Yoga Sutra 1.50 the samskara produced by truth-bearing knowledge

Sūtra I.50 The saṃskāra produced by it inhibits other saṃskāra-s The saṃskāra produced by truth-bearing knowledge removes the accumulated deposit of saṃskāra-s of extraversion. When the extravertive saṃskāra-s are overcome, no ideas arising from them appear. With inhibition of extravertive ideas, samādhi becomes habitual. Then there is knowledge from that samādhi; from that, more saṃskāra-s are laid down of knowledge, and so a fresh deposit of saṃskāra-s is built up. From that again knowledge, and from that more saṃskāra-s of it. When the yogin has attained samādhi-knowledge, a fresh saṃskāra made by the knowledge is produced. Knowledge must set up a saṃskāra. Each time the knowledge is renewed, its special saṃskāra is reinforced. But the renewal of the knowledge is from again taking up meditation on the object, different from itself. The saṃskāra produced by Truth-bearing knowledge removes the other accumulated deposit (āśaya) of saṃskāra-s of extroversion: it can do…

Yoga Sutra 1.51 the samskara of inhibition suppresses the samskaras produced by samadhi

Sūtra I.51 When that too is inhibited, everything is inhibited, and thus this samādhi is without-seed Thus ends the First Part, on Samādhi, of the Yoga sūtra-s composed by the great ṛṣi Holy Patañjali This suppresses not only samādhi-knowledge, but also the saṃskāra-s of it. For the saṃskāra of inhibition suppresses the saṃskāra-s produced by samādhi. That there is a saṃskāra formed in the mind by inhibition is to be inferred from the experience that the inhibition remains steady for progressively longer periods. And then when that too is inhibited, everything is inhibited, and thus this samādhi is without-seed. The word thus carries the sense of a conclusion. When that too is inhibited, the new saṃskāra produced by samādhi-knowledge. The word too shows that the samādhi-knowledge, which caused the saṃskāra, has also been inhibited. As has been said earlier (sūtras I.12, 18) the means to inhibition is two-fold: supreme detachment,…

Shankara on the Yoga Sutras Second Part: Means

Second Part: MEANS (Vyāsa) The yoga for a concentrated mind has been described; now he turns to how one of extravertive mind may become steady in yoga. (Śaṅkara:) Now the Second Part, on the means, is begun. Right vision (samyagdarśana) is the means to Transcendental Aloneness (kaivalya). The yogic means are only means to right vision through yoga, and as this Part is mainly concerned with them, it is called the Part of the Means. Then the Third Part, concerned mainly with the glories which attend on one who has been devoted to the practice of the yogic means, is called the Part of Glory. The Fourth Part, which deals mainly with Transcendental Aloneness, attained by the one who is detached from all yogic powers and glories in total renunciation, is called the Part of Transcendental Aloneness. The First Part, which at the beginning explained samādhi principally, was called the…

Yoga Sutra 2.01 tapas, self-study, devotion to the Lord, are the yoga of action

Sūtra II.1 Tapas, self-study, devotion to the Lord, are the yoga of action The means are listed: Tapas, self-study (svādhyāya), devotion to the Lord, are the yoga of action. (Opponent) But tapas, self-study, and devotion to the Lord are going to be given among the observances (II.32); why are they mentioned here? (Answer) The purpose is as has been said: to show how one of extravertive mind may become steady in yoga. (Opponent) Not so, because that purpose is declared along with the list of observances. And do not say that it is also taught here that they thin out the taints, because that too is taught in that place. ‘From following up the yoga methods, destruction of impurity’ (II.28), and impurity means such things as the taints. As to (the other effect mentioned here namely) that they take him towards samādhi meditation, that too will be given as the…

Yoga Sutra 2.02 actualize samadhi and thin out the taints

Sūtra II.2 To actualize samādhi and thin out the taints Practised hard, it actualizes samādhi, and thins out the taints. When the taints have been thinned out, it will by the fire of meditation practice make them like scorched seeds, inherently infertile. Then the subtle realization, the knowledge of the utter difference between sattva and Puruṣa, no more caught up in taints because they have been thinned out, its involvement at an end, tends towards dissolution. What is the purpose of this yoga of action? To explain its final purpose he says: To actualize samādhi and thin out the taints. How it comes to have the two-fold purpose, the commentator explains: practised hard, it actualizes samādhi; when it is combined with the other yogic methods it actualizes samādhi and thins out the taints. As he will say: ‘With the destruction of impurity from following up the yoga methods, light of…

Yoga Sutra 2.03 Ignorance, I-am-ness, desire, hate, instinctive self-preservation, are the taints

Sūtra II.3 Ignorance, I-am-ness, desire, hate, instinctive self-preservation, are the taints The word ‘taints’ means five illusions. What are the taints by nature and how many are they in number? The sūtra has been given to explain their number and nature. Ignorance, I-am-ness, desire, hate, instinctive self-preservation, are the taints. Their individual characteristics are to be given in the sūtra-s following, and the present sūtra makes no attempt to do more than list them. (Opponent) Right knowledge, illusion, logical construction, and the other mental processes have been distinguished from one another, but there is no differentiation of the taints from illusion. Why not? (Answer) Because they are themselves different forms of illusion. They exist only when illusion is there, and so the commentator says, The word means five illusions. (Opponent) In the sūtra-s which distinguished the classes of mental process, it was said, ‘Right knowledge is either direct perception, inference,…

Yoga Sutra 2.04 ignorance is the place of germination of I-am-ness

Sūtra II.4 Ignorance is the field of germination of the subsequent ones, whether dormant or thinned out or checked or active Here Ignorance is the field, the place of germination, of I-am-ness and the other subsequent ones, which can be in one of four states: dormant, thinned, checked or active. What is their dormant state? When implanted in the mind as a mere potentiality, reduced to the condition of a seed. It awakens when it confronts its object. Ignorance is the field of germination of the subsequent ones, which can be either dormant or thinned or checked or active. The sūtra itself shows how it is that I-am-ness and the others are called illusion. Ignorance is the field for their germination, where they produce themselves; like a piece of land supporting grass, creepers, bushes and plants not separate from itself, it is the field for I-am-ness and the others, not…

Yoga Sutra 2.05 Ignorance is the conviction of permanence

Sūtra II.5 Ignorance is the conviction of permanence, purity, happiness and self in what are really impermanent, impure, painful and not self (Opponent) But why does the nature of Ignorance have to be described? (Answer) The commentator himself is going to discuss it in the passage beginning ‘Ignorance is the root of the train of taints’, and that is why its nature has to be taught here; unless the root of the train of taints is known, it cannot be uprooted. Ignorance is the conviction of permanence in effects which are impermanent, as for instance the idea ‘Eternal is the earth, eternal the heaven with its moon and stars, immortal are the shining ones.’ Then in the body of very repulsive impurity: From its abode, from its origin, from its support, from its secretions, and from its end, And because it has to be purified, the wise know the body…

Yoga Sutra 2.06 purusa is the power of seer buddhi is the power of seeing

Sūtra II.6 The single selfhood, as it were, of the powers of seer and seeing is I-am-ness Puruṣa is the power of seer; mind (buddhi) is the power of seeing. The taking on of a single nature as it were, by these two, is called the taint of I-am-ness. Now the illusion called I-am-ness. Puruṣa is seer, his seeing being awareness, and he is a power; seeing, in the sense that by it something is seen, is also a power, whose nature is the determination of things by the mind (antaḥkaraṇa). Of these two powers of seer and seeing, whose natures are awareness and mental determination, the single selfhood as it were: single selfhood is the state where it is both one and this self; the word iva, as it were, shows that there is in fact absolute distinction between them. The taking on of a single nature as it…

Yoga Sutra 2.07 desire follows pleasure

Sūtra II.7 Desire follows on (anujanma) pleasure When one familiar with a pleasure now has a memory of it, his eagerness for the pleasure or for the means to it, that thirst or greed, is (called) desire. Desire follows on (anujanma) is the consequence of (anuśayī) pleasure. To follow on means to arise afterwards. There are other readings of this sūtra and the next as ‘the consequence (anuśayī) of pleasure’ and ‘the consequence of pain’. They read the sūtras as Desire is the consequence of pleasure and hate is the consequence of pain, meaning that the character of the one is to be a consequence of pleasure, and similarly with pain. In both readings the sense is simply following on, and that is its habitual character. So he will say, ‘From righteousness, pleasure; from pleasure, desire’ (comm. to IV.11). As to the nature of this following on, he explains: When…

Yoga Sutra 2.08 hate follows pain

Sūtra II.8 Hate follows on (anujanma) pain When one familiar with a pain now has a memory of it, that aversion towards the pain or what causes it, the desire to strike, the anger, is (called) hate. Hate follows on pain, is the consequence of pain. Pain has been described already, as that by which living beings are struck down and which they struggle to end (comm. on I.31). When one familiar with a pain as in the previous explanation in regard to pleasure has now a memory of the pain, that aversion towards the pain or what causes it such as a robber, the desire to strike the will to hit back, the anger, is hate. It is all as explained under desire in the previous sūtra.

Yoga Sutra 2.09 self-preservation is instinctive even in a Knower

Sūtra II.9 With spontaneous momentum, instinctive even in a Knower, is self-preservation The lust for life in every living being is in the form ‘Let me not experience death’, ‘may I live’. With spontaneous momentum instinctive even in a Knower, is self-preservation. Spontaneous because of what it is, pure Ignorance in the mind; momentum: ceaselessly operating to bear along, as a river is said to bear things along itself when it is seen that nothing is being done by any human agent. Or else, it is spontaneous because its very essence is to bear along perpetually. And this spontaneous momentum is instinctive even in a Knower (vidvat), even in one of right vision (samyagdarśana). The force of the word even is, that fear of death is logical only in the ignorant, who think of the self as destructible. It is illogical in those of right vision, who think that the…

Yoga Sutra 2.10 when the yogin’s mind has ended its involvement

Sūtra II.10 In their subtle state, they are to be got rid of by dissolution in their source When the yogin’s mind has ended its involvement and dissolves, the five taints, now like scorched seeds, come to an end with it. This sūtra is begun to distinguish the treatment of the cases: In their subtle state, they are to be got rid of by dissolution in their source. (The commentary adds:) When the yogin’s mind has ended its involvement and dissolves, the five taints, now like scorched seeds, come to an end with it. What is being said is this: the taints, reduced to the sterility of fire-scorched seeds by the practice (abhyāsa) of right vision (samyagdarśana), come to their dissolution by reason of that very dissolution, that dissolving, of the mind which has wholly fulfilled the purposes of Puruṣa; so they do not need any practice of meditation (dhyāna)….

Yoga Sutra 2.11 mental processes arising are got rid of by meditation

Sūtra II.11 Mental processes arising from them are got rid of by meditation Mental processes from the taints are in manifest form (sthūla), and are first thinned out by the yoga of action; then they are to be got rid of by contemplation (prasaṅkhyāna), by meditation (dhyāna), until having thereby been made subtle, they are then made like scorched seeds. (Opponent) Which are the ones then which do need practices like meditation? (Answer) As to those which persist, though reduced to the seed state, mental processes arising from them are got rid of by meditation. Mental processes from the taints are in manifest form, and are first thinned out by the yoga of action, consisting of tapas, self-study, and devotion to the Lord, this yoga being the opponent on the level of manifestation. Then from that thinning out they are reduced to the state of seed powers, when they are…

Yoga Sutra 2.12 the karma-stock to be felt in present or future lives

Sūtra II.12 Rooted in taints is the karma-stock to be felt in present or future lives That karma-stock of good and bad is produced from greed, delusion and anger. It is to be felt in the present or future lives. (Opponent) Why strive to get rid of the taints? (Answer) To this he says: Rooted in taints is the karma-stock to be felt in present or future lives. To say that the karma-stock is rooted in the taints means that its cause of origin is Ignorance and other taints. The karma-stock (āśaya), so-called because it is in stock (śaya) in the mind until (ā) it has brought forth its karma-fruit, is white or black in nature. It, that is, its fruits, has to be felt, has to be experienced, in either the present life or a future one. The sūtra means that the karma-stock whose fruit has to be karmically…

Yoga Sutra 2.13 while the root is there, it will bear the fruit of birth, life span and experience

Sūtra II.13 While the root is there, it will bear the fruit of birth, life span and experience While taints are there, the karma-stock will come to fruition, but not when the root of taints has been cut. It is like rice grains still encased in the husk, not having been scorched, which are seeds with the power of growth; not so when they have been husked, or have been scorched. While the root is there, it will bear the fruit of birth, life span and experience. The root is the taint of karma. While this root is there, meaning while the taints are there, it the karma-stock of good and bad, born of greed and anger will bear the fruit will come to full fruition. What is that fruition? birth, life span and experience. With the words While the root is there, the karma-stock will come to fruition, but…

Yoga Sutra 2.14 their fruits are joy and suffering caused by virtue and sin

Sūtra II.14 Their fruits are joy and suffering caused by virtue and sin The birth, life span, and experience of which virtue is the causal agent are happy fruits; those of which sin is the causal agent are painful. What is inherently adverse is pain, so for the yogin even at the time of pleasure there is only pain, because even pleasure is adverse to the yogin. Karma-stock has been further explained as: due to be felt in a present life, and due to be felt in future lives. Of it there are three fruitions: birth, life span, and experience. Their fruits are joy and suffering, caused by virtue and sin. Joy is happiness, suffering is pain. This pair of joy and suffering are the fruits of those (actions). Virtue and sin are also a pair, and these two are the respective causes. The causality of the two is a…

Yoga Sutra 2.15 to the clear-sighted everything is pain alone

Sūtra II.15 Because of the sufferings caused by changes and anxieties and the saṃskāra-s of them, and from the clash of the guṇa-s, to the clear-sighted, everything is pain alone In every case, experience of pleasure is pervaded with passion-desire, deriving from some source conscious or unconscious; the karma-stock therefrom is produced by passion-desire. How at a time when the object of experience is happiness, can it be pain? It has been said already (under II.5) that he is going to show that the experience of pleasure is pain. The answer is given now because in that place it was not explained. Because pain is the result of any action, and it has to be explained at length how it is reasonable that it (pain) should logically follow immediately on action. Changes, anxieties and saṃskāra-s are to be understood separately; anxieties and saṃskāra-s are pain, and in addition to that…

Yoga Sutra 2.16 the pain not yet come

Sūtra II.16 What is to be escaped is the pain not yet come Pain which has passed, which has been exhausted by being lived through, is not in the category of the escapable, and present pain has attained its moment of experience and is not to be escaped in some other moment. So it is only pain not yet come, which afflicts the yogin sensitive as an eyeball, that is to be escaped. Unless the patient too is included in the four-fold classification of disease, etc., the medical classic with its goal of health will not be complete in its four parts; here too, unless the one who escapes is included in the four-fold classification beginning with what is to be escaped, the work on right vision, whose fruit is release, will not be complete. Beginning with what is to be escaped, therefore, The four parts of the work are…

Yoga Sutra 2.17 the Seer is Purusa, witness of the mind buddhi

Sūtra II.17 The Seer-Seen conjunction is the cause of what is to be escaped The Seer is Puruṣa, witness of the mind (buddhi). The Seen is all objects (dharma) presented by mind-sattva. It has been said that the work is set out in four parts. One part out of the four has been explained: what is to be escaped is the pain which has not yet come. Now the second part, which is the cause, the reason, of the pain is again identified. (Opponent) But the cause of pain has already been pointed out, at the end of the summing up (in II.15) when it was said that Ignorance is the seed which produces that great mass of pain. (Answer) True, but what was indicated there was only the bare nature of pain and the bare nature of its cause. In the statement of the bare nature of these, the…

Yoga Sutra 2.18 the Seen consists of the elements and the senses

Sūtra II. 18 With a constant tendency towards light, action, and fixity, the Seen consists of the elements and the senses, being for the purpose of experience and transcendence Sattva tends towards light; rajas tends towards action; tamas tends towards fixity. With a constant tendency towards light, action, fixity, the Seen consists of the elements and the senses, being for the purpose of experience and transcendence. Light and action and fixity. Light is placed first as being the most important. There is no particular reason for the order of the words fixity and action, as they both apply indiscriminately to many things. The word ‘action’ has in fact been put first in the compound. With-a-constant-tendency (śīla) means with a tendency towards light and action and fixity (respectively). Light is illumination, and what has a constant tendency towards light is sattva. (Opponent) But illumination is an action, and in that case…

Yoga Sutra 2.19 the three gunas which make up the Seen

Sūtra II.19 What particularizes itself, and what does not, what goes (liṅga, the Great principle) and what does not (a-liṅga, pradhāna), are guṇa-implementers To determine the different phases the differentiation of the states of being of the three guṇa-s which make up the Seen whose nature has been described, the following sūtra is presented; What particularizes itself and what does not, what goes and what does not, are guṇa-implementers. (Grammatical excursus on the peculiar reading of the sūtra: viśeṣāviśeṣa-liṅgamātrāliṅgā guṇaparvāṇaḥ instead of viśeṣāviśeṣa-liṅgamātrāliṅgāni guṇaparvāṇi.) a-liṅga is a technical term for pradhāna, which does not go to dissolution (na liṅgati, see I.45), nor come from somewhere else. A masculine noun, a-liṅga, may be correctly derived from the root (liṅg, to go) by the extension (Mahābh. III.1.134) to any (qualified) root of the capacity of the pac- group roots to form a noun of agency by merely adding -a. The noun consequently…

Yoga Sutra 2.20 the Seer is sight alone; though pure, he looks on at the thoughts

Sūtra II.20 The Seer is sight alone; though pure, he looks on at the thoughts ‘sight alone’ means the power of the Seer alone, untouched by any qualification. This Puruṣa is the witness of mind. He is not like the mind, and not absolutely unlike it. The Seen has been explained it has been determined. Now he takes up the determination of the true nature of the Seer by whom these objects are seen. The Seer is sight alone; though pure, he looks on at the thoughts. The Seer: Puruṣa aware of the Seen as it has been described. His definition is sight-alone; though pure, he looks on at the thoughts. Here are being presented the same two points previously described in the sūtras ‘Then the Seer is established in his own nature’ (I.3) and ‘Otherwise, it conforms itself to the mental process’ (I.4). There is observation (anudarśana) of the…

Yoga Sutra 2.21 the essence of the Seen is to be for the purpose of him alone

Sūtra II.21 The essence of the Seen is to be for the purpose of him alone Since the Seen has its being as an object for Puruṣa, whose nature is sight alone, the essence of the Seen is to be for the purposes of him alone. It means that this is its true being. Therefore it has come to exist at all only through the being of that other, and when the purposes of experience and release have been effected, it is not seen by Puruṣa. Him refers back to the Seer, sight alone, pure, whose self is as has been described; for the purposes of him means for him, for his sake, for his purpose, for which it becomes the object of sight. The purposes are either as experience or as release. The essence of the Seen means the essence of pradhāna, what it is in itself. (Opponent) But…

Yoga Sutra 2.22 the Seen is ended

Sūtra II.22 For one whose purpose has been effected, it is ended, but not for others, because it is common In regard to a particular Puruṣa, the Seen is ended, but though it has come to an end, it is not ended for others, because it is common. For the skilful Puruṣa it comes to an end, but for the unskilful Puruṣa the purpose has not been effected, and for these it becomes their object of sight, given that nature by the nature of the other. In regard to a particular Puruṣa, one for whom the Seen has fulfilled its purpose, the Seen as an object would not be appearing: Losing its character, it comes to an end. Yet it does not end for all. How so? Why is this? There are many pradhāna-s, one for each Puruṣa, and it is only the one which has fulfilled its purpose that…

Yoga Sutra 2.23 awareness of the natures of the two powers, the property and its possessor

Sūtra II.23 The conjunction causes awareness of the natures of the two powers, the property and its possessor Puruṣa is the possessor who is joined to his own seen object for the purpose of seeing. Awareness of the seen object, arising from that conjunction, is experience; but awareness of the nature of the Seer is release. The Seen has been determined; the Seer has been determined. It has been said that the conjunction of Seer and Seen is the cause of what-is-to-be-escaped, and now it has to be determined what sort of conjunction this is. The sūtra says, The conjunction causes awareness of the nature of the two powers, the property and its possessor. The two powers, property and its possessor, are the mind and Puruṣa, and the conjunction causes, effects, awareness of their natures. That by whose existence the two natures – as of a face and mirror, as…

Yoga Sutra 2.24 its cause is Ignorance avidya

Sūtra II.24 Its cause is Ignorance (a-vidyā) This means the saṃskāra-complex (vāsanā) of illusory knowledge (viparyaya-jñāna). The conjunction of each Puruṣa with the guṇa-s is the same. The conjunction of all of them with the guṇa-s is the same in each case. It is common, but what is individual is the conjunction of the separate consciousness (pratyak-cetana), the witness of the ideas of the mind (bauddha-pratyaya) with its own mind. And it is the failure-to-see by which this individual conjunction with its own mind comes about. Its cause the cause of the conjunction which makes it take the relation of possessor and possessed as its own true nature is Ignorance; this means the saṃskāra-complex (vāsanā) of illusory knowledge (viparyaya-jñāna). (Opponent) But it has been said, ‘Illusion is false knowledge based on an untrue form’ (I.8), and it has been said that Ignorance is ‘conviction of permanence, purity and happiness and…

Yoga Sutra 2.25 release is Transcendental Aloneness kaivalya of the power-of-sight

Sūtra II.25 Without it, there is no conjunction, and that release is Transcendental Aloneness (kaivalya) of the power-of-sight Without that failure-to-see there is no conjunction of mind and Puruṣa. That means absolute cessation of bondage. This is release (hāna), the Transcendental Aloneness of the power-of-sight. It is the state of detachment of Puruṣa, and no further conjunction with the guṇa-s. Then Puruṣa is said to be established in his own nature. Cessation of pain and disappearance of its cause is release. The subject-matter of the work was said to come under four headings (on sūtra 1.1). Of these, one heading, compared to the illness (in medical works) has been explained as Pain that is to be escaped, in the words ‘What is to be escaped is pain not yet come’ (sūtra II.16). Conjunction as the cause of what is to be escaped, and the cause of the conjunction, have been…

Yoga Sutra 2.26 unwavering Knowledge-of-the-difference is the means of release

Sūtra II.26 Unwavering Knowledge-of-the-difference is the means of release Knowledge-of-the-difference is the idea that (mind-)sattva and Puruṣa are different. But this wavers, until illusory knowledge has ceased. When illusory knowledge is reduced to the condition of sterility like scorched seed, the sattva, cleansed of the taints of rajas, reaches the highest purity of consciousness of mastery; its flow of the ideas of Knowledge-of-the-difference becomes without taint. Unwavering Knowledge-of-the-difference (viveka-khyāti) is the means of release. As to what that Knowledge-of-the-difference is which is being referred to, he says: Knowledge-of-the-difference is the idea that (mind-)sattva and Puruṣa are different, namely a correct awareness of where sattva and Puruṣa are similar and where they are distinct. But this Knowledge-of-the-difference wavers is not firm (sthira), is not effective, until illusory knowledge (mithyā-jñāna) has ceased. As it is said: As gold unrefined does not shine, So the knowledge of an immature man attached to the…

Yoga Sutra 2.27 the ultimate state of the Knowledge is seven-fold

Sūtra II.27 Therein, the ultimate state of the Knowledge is seven-fold The word Therein refers to the uprisen Knowledge (khyāti). Seven-fold: the Knowledge of the Knower-of the-difference, when no other ideas arise in the mind because the dirt of veiling impurity has gone, is of just seven aspects. They are: (1)What is to be escaped has been fully examined and needs no more examining; (2)The causes of what is to be escaped have dwindled away and need to be destroyed no more; Now to show the characteristic conviction of his own experience in the man of right vision when that vision has awakened in him, he says: Therein, the ultimate state of the Knowledge (prajñā) is seven-fold. The word Therein refers to recalls the uprisen Knowledge the right vision now existing. Because the dirt (mala) of veiling impurity has gone: the veiling is merely impurity – taints and karma-s. They…

Yoga Sutra 2.28 destruction of impurity and a growing light of knowledge

Sūtra II.28 From following up the methods of yoga, destruction of impurity and a growing light of knowledge up to Knowledge-of-the-difference Knowledge-of-the-difference when perfected, Knowledge-of-the-difference when mastered, attaining its ultimate fruit in the seven-fold ultimate state of knowledge, is the means to release. Every perfection must have its own means. He introduces the subject of the means to perfection of Knowledge-of-the-difference: From following up the methods of yoga, destruction of impurity and a growing light of knowledge up to Knowledge-of-the-difference. This does not mean to say that Knowledge-of-the-difference comes about from practice of the yoga methods alone; perfection in it is in fact only for those who begin with worship of a guru, and practice of virtue (dharma). What he wishes to say is, that without this yoga as a means, it does not come about. The practice of the yoga methods is not the means by itself, but it…

Yoga Sutra 2.29 the eight methods

Sūtra II.29 Restraints, observances, posture, restraint of vital currents, dissociation, concentration, meditation, samādhi are the eight methods (Opponent) But in other yoga scriptures there are only six methods – the ones from posture onwards. They say, ‘The yoga of six methods is now expounded’, and so on. For posture and those which follow it do directly help towards samādhi; not so the restraints and observances. (Answer) The objection does not hold, because following the restraints and observances is the basic qualification to practise yoga. The qualification is not simply that one wants to do yoga, for the holy text says: ‘But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self (even) by knowledge’ (Kaṭha 1.2.24). And in the Atharva text, ‘It is in those who have tapas and brahmacarya, in…

Yoga Sutra 2.30 harmlessness, truth-speaking, no stealing, brahmacarya, not holding possessions

Sūtra II.30 Of these, harmlessness, truth-speaking, no stealing, brahmacarya, not holding possessions, are the restraints Of these, harmlessness means, in no way and at no time to do injury to any living being. The other restraints and observances are rooted in this, and they are practised only to bring this to its culmination, only for perfecting this. They are taught only as means to bring this out in its purity. For so it is said: Whatever many vows the man of Brahman would undertake, only in so far as he thereby refrains from doing harm impelled by delusion, does he bring out harmlessness in its purity. Of these methods, first of all the restraints are described: Harmlessness, truth-speaking, no stealing, brahmacarya, not holding possessions, are the restraints. Of these, harmlessness (a-hiṃsā) means in no way in no capacity and in no fashion to do injury to any living being, to…

Yoga Sutra 2.31 the Great Vow

Sūtra II.31 When practised universally without qualification of birth, place, time, or obligation, they are called the Great Vow For instance, harmlessness qualified by birth would be that of a fisherman, where he does injury to fish alone but to nothing else. It may be qualified by place, ‘I will not kill anything at a place of pilgrimage’, or by time, ‘I will not kill on the fourteenth day,’ ‘I will not kill on an auspicious day’. Even where not limited in these three ways, it may be qualified by obligation. Harmlessness and the others are to be maintained all the time and in all circumstances and in regard to all objects without any conscious lapse. Restraints so practised are said to be universal, and are termed the Great Vow. But these: this is to rule out the idea that qualifications like birth, place, and time, which distinguish other dharma-s,…

Yoga Sutra 2.32 purity, contentment, tapas, self-study, and devotion to the Lord

Sūtra II.32 Purity, contentment, tapas, self-study, and devotion to the Lord are the observances Of these, external purity is attained by using earths and such like, and by purity of diet and so on also. The internal is washing away stains of the mind. Purity, contentment, tapas, self-study, and devotion to the Lord, are the observances. Of these, external purity is attained by using earths and such-like, this last phrase indicating water, and by purity of diet and so on, meaning foods such as butter and milk; the word also implies purity in seeing and listening. This is the external purity. Now the internal, namely washing away stains of the mind such as desire and anger, by the waters of meditation (bhāvanā) on their opposites. Contentment is being satisfied with the resources at hand and so not desiring more. As a result of the satisfaction with what is at hand,…

Yoga Sutra 2.33 if there is obstruction by contrary ideas, meditation on their opposite

Sūtra II.33 If there is obstruction by contrary ideas, meditation on their opposite When in a Brahmin, contrary ideas arise, such as harming others (in forms like) ‘I will kill him who offends me’, ‘I will tell lies about him’, ‘I will take his wealth for myself, ‘I will take my pleasure with his wives’, ‘I will make myself master of all he has’ – thus opposed by the blazing fire of the contrary ideas which carry him out of his path, let him meditate on the opposite of these: ‘Roasted on the cruel fires of saṃsāra, I have sought refuge in the yoga path of causing fear to none. Yet this same I, having given up the contrary ideas, am taking to them again, acting like a dog. As the dog licks his own vomit, so am I taking again to what had been given up’ – so should…

Yoga Sutra 2.34 meditation on their opposite

Sūtra II.34 The contrary ideas, violence and the others, done or caused to be done or approved of, preceded by greed, anger or delusion, mild, medium, or intense – all result in endless pain and Ignorance. This is the meditation on their opposite Of these, violence is taken as the example. It is threefold: done, or caused to be done, or approved. And each one of these too is threefold: from greed, as by one desiring meat and skin; from anger, as by one believing himself injured; from delusion, as by one who thinks that thereby he will acquire merit. Then greed, anger, and delusion are again threefold, namely mild, medium, and intense, so that violence has twenty-seven divisions. Again these three last have three further sub-divisions, mildly-mild, medium-mild, and intensely mild; then mildly-medium, medium-medium, and intensely medium; then mildly-intense, medium-intense, and intensely intense. In this way there are eighty-one…

Yoga Sutra 2.36 with establishment of truth, events confirm his words

Sūtra II.36 With establishment of truth, events confirm his words When he says, ‘Be righteous’, that man becomes righteous; told by him, ‘Do you attain heaven’, that one attains heaven. His word is infallible. With establishment of truth, events confirm his words. When truth is firm in him, events confirm his words. The confirmation of the results of actions like sacrifices consists in the fact that they are actually attained, and it is to be understood that here these results follow something said by a truth-speaker. How so? When he says to an evil man, ‘Be righteous’, from those words, that man becomes righteous; as when it was said by the gods, ‘Let his mind delight in virtue’ and Kuṇḍadhārārādhī became a righteous Brahmin (Mokṣadh. 271); told by him, ‘Do you attain heaven’, that one attains heaven. Just so Triśaṅku was told by Viśvāmitra, ‘Attain heaven’ (Viṣṇu Pur. etc.) and…

Yoga Sutra 2.38 with establishment in brahmacarya, attainment of energy

Sūtra II.38 With establishment in brahmacarya, attainment of energy From that attainment, he draws out invincible good qualities from himself And when perfected in it, he becomes able to confer knowledge on pupils. With establishment in brahmacarya, attainment of energy. From that attainment of brahmacarya, he draws out invincible good qualities, he brings them out without limit from himself. He has irresistible energy for all good undertakings. The sense is, that he cannot be thwarted by any obstacle. He becomes able to confer knowledge on pupils; to proper and virtuous pupils he can pass on his knowledge, as holy Vyāsa has enjoined.

Yoga Sutra 2.39 with firmness in not possessing property, clear knowledge of the conditions of birth

Sūtra II.39 With firmness in not possessing property, clear knowledge of the conditions of birth … becomes his. What is this birth? How does it take place? What do we become (after death), who shall we be and in what circumstances shall we be? Any such desire of his to know his situation in former, later and intermediate states is spontaneously gratified. Clear knowledge of the conditions of birth: knowledge of how one is born. What is this birth? what is the truth about this birth of mine? How does it take place? by what process? What do we become? after death do we not exist, or do we exist? Who shall we be and in what circumstances shall we be? Any such desire to know his situation in former, later and intermediate states past, future and present is spontaneously gratified, as a foreshadowing of right vision (samyagdarśana). Since he…

Yoga Sutra 2.40 from purity, distaste for his own body and no intercourse with others

Sūtra II.40 From purity, distaste for his own body and no intercourse with others When by practising purity and seeing the defects in the body, he becomes disgusted with his own body, he becomes free from obsession with the body; seeing what the body essentially is, he has no intercourse with others. So seeing, the renunciate finds no purity in the body even after he has washed it with earth and water and other things; how should he engage in intercourse with the absolutely unpurified bodies of others? The perfections of the restraints have been stated, and now the observances are taken up. From purity, distaste for his own body and no intercourse with others. When by practising purity and seeing the defects in the body, he becomes disgusted with his own body he sees how contemptible the body is and becomes a renunciate, free from obsession with the body….

Yoga Sutra 2.41 fitness for vision of the self

Sūtra II.41 Purity of mind-sattva, cheerfulness, one-pointedness, conquest of the senses, and fitness for vision of the self The words ‘There arise’ should be supplied at the beginning of the sūtra. There arises purity of mind-sattva, and from that arises cheerfulness; from that, one-pointedness; from that, conquest of the senses; and from that, fitness of mind-sattva for vision of the self which thus is attained from firmness in purity. What else happens? There arise purity of mind-sattva, cheerfulness, one-pointedness, conquest of the senses, and fitness for vision of the self. As each earlier one becomes firm, the succeeding one appears. From purity there arises purity of mind-sattva, and from that arises cheerfulness; from that, one-pointedness; from that, conquest of the senses; and from that, fitness of mind-sattva for vision of the self It is all attained from firmness in purity, and it is this which is the perfection of purity.

Yoga Sutra 2.42 from contentment, attainment of unsurpassed happiness

Sūtra II.42 From contentment, attainment of unsurpassed happiness So it is said: ‘Whatever sex pleasure there may be in the world, whatever supreme happiness may be enjoyed in heaven, they cannot be accounted a sixteenth part of the happiness of destruction of craving.’ (From a Pūrāṇa – Madhusudana) So it is said: ‘Whatever sex pleasure there may be here and now in the world; whatever supreme happiness may be that of gods and others in heaven, they are not to be compared with a sixteenth part of the happiness of destruction of craving.’

Yoga Sutra 2.43 from destruction of impurity by tapas, perfection of body and senses

Sūtra II.43 From destruction of impurity by tapas, perfection of body and senses As tapas becomes complete, it destroys the veiling taint of impurity; when the veiling taint is removed, there are perfections of the body like the ability to become minute, and perfection of the senses in such forms as hearing and seeing things which are remote. From destruction of impurity by tapas, perfection of the body and senses. As tapas becomes complete, it destroys the veiling taint of impurity. The sense is that some particular practice of tapas has been perfected. When the taint (mala) of that covering is removed, there are perfections of the body like the ability to become minute (aṇimā). The taints (mala) of the physical body, born of the conjugation of mother and father, of seed and womb and food, etc., are entirely removed by tapas. Thereby comes perfection of the body in such…

Yoga Sutra 2.45 from devotion to the Lord, perfection in samādhi

Sūtra II.45 From devotion to the Lord, perfection in samādhi The samādhi of one who has devoted his whole being to the Lord, is perfect. By this he knows unerringly whatever he desires, even in other places and times and bodies. The knowledge from that knows the thing as it really is. From devotion to the Lord, perfection in samādhi. The samādhi of one who has devoted his whole being to the Lord, is perfect. By this perfection in samādhi he knows unerringly whatever he desires. His knowledge (prajñā) knows the thing as it is (yathābhūta), even in other places and times and bodies. Having set out the restraints and observances, with their perfections, we go on to posture and the further steps.

Yoga Sutra 2.46 Posture is to be firm and pleasant

Sūtra II.46 Posture is to be firm and pleasant (Postures) such as the Lotus, the Auspicious, the Hero, the Svastika, the Staff the Support, the Throne, the Curlew, the Elephant, the Camel, the Confirmed, the Favourite, and others. Having set out the restraints and observances, with their perfections, we go on to posture and the further steps. Posture is to be firm and pleasant. It is to be both firm and pleasant. Let him practise a posture in which, when established, his mind and limbs will become firm, and which does not cause pain. Let it be a posture such as the Lotus posture; he will go on to give the names of postures well-known from other authoritative works (śāstra). (First) let him go to a pure place, such as a cave in a holy mountain or an islet in a river, but not right beside a fire or running…

Yoga Sutra 2.47 samadhi (samapatti) on infinity

Sūtra II.47 By relaxing effort and by samādhi (samāpatti) on infinity The words ‘it comes about’ are to be supplied at the beginning of the sūtra. By withdrawal of effort, a posture is perfected, in which the limbs do not shift. Or when the mind is in samādhi on the infinite, the posture is perfected. Now methods of mastering the posture are given. By relaxing effort and by samādhi (samāpatti) on infinity – the words ‘it comes about’ are to be supplied. The corollary is that the posture becomes completely firm. By withdrawal of effort after getting locked into position, or (when it is familiar) by not exerting effort at all; by this withdrawal of effort a posture is perfected in which the limbs do not shift, for it is effort that disturbs the limbs. So the posture thus becomes unmoving. Or by samādhi (samāpatti) on infinity. The universe is…

Yoga Sutra 2.48 he becomes immune to the opposites

Sūtra II.48 From that, he becomes immune to the opposites When a posture has been mastered, he is not overwhelmed by opposites like heat and cold. From that, he becomes immune to the opposites. From that, from becoming firm in a posture. He gives an example of what he means: not overwhelmed by opposites like heat and cold.

Yoga Sutra 2.49 cut off the flow of in-breath and out-breath

Sūtra II.49 Prānāyāma is to sit in the posture and cut off the flow of in-breath and out-breath The posture has been mastered. Now when he inhales outside air, it is called the in-breath (śvāsa); when he exhales the air from within, that is the out-breath (praśvāsa). Cutting off the flow of these two, so that they both cease, is prāṇāyāma. He is now ready for prāṇāyāma. Prāṇāyāma is to sit in the posture and cut off the flow of in-breath and out-breath. When sitting in that posture made quite firm, he inhales outside air, it is called the in-breath (śvāsa). As water is sucked up through a tube by a continuous action, so by a continuous action through the two tubes of the nostrils, the external air is drawn in, in association with the downward-going current (apāna), and this drawing in is called the in-breath. Then when he exhales…

Yoga Sutra 2.50 the fixating operations become long and fine

Sūtra II.50 The external, internal, and fixating operations, practised in terms of place, of time and of number, become long and fine Of these, stopping the flow after (a full) inhalation is the external; next, stopping the flow after (a full) exhalation is the internal. The third is the operation of fixation, not preceded by either of the other two, and effected by a single effort. As water thrown on a heated stone shrivels up on every side, so the flow of both ceases simultaneously. All three are practised in terms of place – by how far the field of each extends; in terms of time – how many moments each can be maintained; and in terms of number – how many inhalations and exhalations it takes till the first upstroke, and when that has been achieved, how many more till the second, and similarly how many more till the…

Yoga Sutra 2.51 the fourth pranayama

Sūtra II.51 The fourth prāṇāyāma comes when both external and internal fields have been felt into The field of the external operation, as measured in terms of place, time, and number, has been practised and felt into. (The second prāṇāyāma) was practice in feeling into the field of the internal operation, as measured similarly. In both practices, the breath became long and fine. The fourth prāṇāyāma comes after the stages (mild, medium and intense) of these two practices have been gradually mastered, and it consists of cessation of both the operations. Whereas the third prāṇāyāma was stopping the breath without having previously brought to awareness the fields (of external and internal objects), the breath becoming long and fine simply by this practice according to place, time, and number; but the cessation in the fourth one comes only after having already brought to awareness those fields, feeling into them by gradually…

Yoga Sutra 2.52 it destroys the karma which covers up Knowledge-of-the-difference

Sūtra II.52 Thereby is destroyed the covering of the light It destroys the karma which covers up Knowledge-of-the-difference in the yogin who has not practised prāṇāyāma. As it is declared: ‘When the ever-bright sattva is covered over by Indra’s net of great illusion, one is impelled to what is not to be done.’ By the power of prāṇāyāma, the light-veiling karma binding him to the world becomes powerless, and moment by moment is destroyed. So it has been said: ‘There is no tapas higher than prāṇāyāma; from it come purification from taints and the light of Knowledge.’ Thereby is destroyed the covering of the light. It is karma by which the light is covered. In the yogin who has not practised prāṇāyāma, the Knowledge-of-the-difference is covered by karma which covers up Knowledge-of-the-difference. It is declared in another scripture that when the ever-bright sattva is covered over by Indra’s net of…

Yoga Sutra 2.53 fitness of the mind for concentrations

Sūtra II.53 Fitness of the mind for concentrations Furthermore, simply from the practice of prāṇāyāma (comes fitness for concentrations). For it was said: ‘Or by expulsion and retention of prāṇa.’ And there is something else from prāṇāyāma practice: Simply from the practice of prāṇāyāma comes fitness of the mind for concentrations which are to be explained. As has been said (sūtra I.34): ‘By expulsion and retention of prāṇa’ – from these two, steadiness of the mind is attained. Now what is dissociation?

Yoga Sutra 2.54 the senses assume as it were the nature of mind itself

Sūtra II.54 Dissociation is when the senses, disjoined from their respective objects, assume as it were the nature of mind itself When there is no conjunction with their respective objects, they assume as it were the nature of mind itself. When mind is inhibited, the senses are inhibited like the mind, without needing any other means for their subjection. As when the royal bee rises, the swarm rises, and when it settles they settle, so when the mind is inhibited the senses are inhibited. This is dissociation. Now what is dissociation (pratyāhāra)? He introduces the exposition by way of a question. It is withdrawing the senses from their respective objects which is (the true pratyāhāra) among all the others. Next are given its characteristics: Dissociation is when the senses, disjoined from their respective objects, assume as it were the nature of mind itself The word respective refers to the particular…

Yoga Sutra 2.55 supreme mastery of the senses

Sūtra II.55 From that, supreme mastery of the senses. With this sūtra ends the Second Part, on Means, of the Yoga Sūtra-s composed by the great ṛṣi Holy Patañjali Some hold that conquest of the senses means not being addicted to sound or other objects. Addiction (vy-asana) is attachment, in the sense that it impels (as-) him away (vy-)from his highest good. Such is addiction. Some think that conquest of the senses means acceptance of what is not forbidden; it is approved sense-contact with the objects according to his own will. Others again say that conquest of the senses is to experience objects without desire or aversion, and void of pleasure or pain. Jaigīṣavya holds that sense mastery is only the nonperception of objects resulting from one-pointedness. This mastery is the highest. When mind is inhibited, senses are inhibited; unlike the other conquests of the senses, yogins having practised this,…

Shankara on the Yoga Sutras Third Part: Glory

Third Part: GLORY (Vyāsa bhāṣya:) The five outer methods of the means have been explained. Now dhāraṇā (concentration) is to be spoken of. (Śaṅkara vivaraṇa:) The five outer methods of the means to the cognitive (samprajñāta) yoga have been explained. Now the triad of dhāraṇā (concentration), dhyāna (meditation), and samādhi, the inner methods to that end, is explained. There is a division between inner method and outer method, and so the previous Part, the Part of the Means, was concluded with explanation of the outer methods. The triad of inner methods is now given separately from that, to preserve their unity. Presenting the inner methods as means immediately after explanation of the outer ones makes clear the connection of the Parts. Now in this Part the main topic is the glories, and therefore a new and separate Part is begun; the reason for the title is thus explained. Dhāraṇā is…

Yoga Sutra 3.01 dharana is binding the mind to a place

Sūtra III.1 Dhāraṇā is binding the mind to a place Dhāraṇā is binding the mind to a place. It is binding the mind, as a purely mental process, to the navel circle, the heart lotus, the light in the head, the tip of the nose, the tip of the tongue, and other such locations; and to external objects. Dhāraṇā (concentration) is binding the mind to one place. Binding to one place means binding it there, and it is the mind that is to be bound. The commentator gives details, binding to the navel circle all the vital currents meet there in the form of a circle, so it is called the circle of the navel. On the form of the heart lotus, the light in the head. The door of the nāḍī nerve-channel of the head is radiant, and so it is called a light. To the tip of the…

Yoga Sutra 3.02 meditation is continuity of the idea of the meditation

Sūtra III.2 Continuity of the mind there is dhyāna (meditation) Meditation is continuity of the idea of the meditation-object in that place – a stream of similar ideas untouched by any other idea. Continuity of the idea in that place is meditation, in that place; for instance the navel circle and the other objects of dhāraṇā. continuity of the idea of the meditation-object, such as the place previously selected for meditation, means a stream of similar ideas, a stream of like ideas as a unity, a continuity of ideas untouched not disturbed by any other idea of opposite kind. That is dhyāna. Whereas dhāraṇā is touched by other ideas imagined about the object, even though the mind has been settled on that object of meditation alone – if made on the sun, its orbit and extreme brilliance are also the object of the concentration, for the mind is functioning on…

Yoga Sutra 3.03 it comes to shine forth as the object alone

Sūtra III.3 That same (meditation – dhyāna), when it comes to shine forth as the object alone, apparently empty of its own nature as knowledge, is called samādhi That same (dhyāna), when it comes to shine forth in the form of the meditation-object alone, apparently empty of its own nature as an idea, and having entered the being of the meditation-object, becomes it – is called samādhi. That same, when it comes to shine forth as the object alone, apparently empty of its own nature as knowledge, is called samādhi. That same dhyāna, consisting of the idea-stream, having apparently (iva) given up being a stream of one idea comes to shine forth in the form of the meditation-object is radiant as the form of that object, apparently empty of its own nature of itself as an idea as perceiving, just as a clear crystal shines out as the material on…

Yoga Sutra 3.04 the triad – concentration, meditation, and samadhi

Sūtra III.4 The triad (held) at the one place is saṃyama The triad – concentration, meditation, and samādhi – held at the one place, is called saṃyama. The triple means directed on to a single object is called by the technical name of saṃyama. What has been explained as the triad – concentration (dhāraṇā), meditation (dhyāna), and samādhi, held at the one place brought to completion at a single location, is called saṃyama. So he says: The triple means directed on to a single object is called by the technical name of saṃyama. The triad, thus perfected stage by stage, is for the purposes of this work called by the technical name of saṃyama. In the various passages, when it is a question of grasping something desired to be known, or mastering something desired to be mastered, it is taught that some appropriate saṃyama should be known, and in all…

Yoga Sutra 3.05 the light of knowledge prajna

Sūtra III.5 From mastery of that, the light of knowledge (prajñā) From mastery of that saṃyama, there comes the light of knowledge. On whatever the saṃyama is set firm, of that very thing the samādhi-knowledge becomes firm. From mastery of that, the light of knowledge. From mastery of that saṃyama from securing firmness in it, there is the power of manifesting the desired object, as if a light were being shone on it, there comes the light of samādhi-knowledge. On whatever the saṃyama is set firm, of that very thing the samādhi-knowledge becomes firm. By that light of samādhi-knowledge, which can illuminate anything even hidden or remote, the yogins see clearly what they have in mind, as if it were set on the palm of their hand.  

Yoga Sutra 3.06 samadhi has to be done by stages

Sūtra III.6 Its application is by stages Its application is by stages. Its application the practice of that samādhi as it has to be done is by stages: external things are taken as objects of the meditation (dhyāna), and then internal things, and then such things as the three-fold changes of which he is going to speak (III. 16). That saṃyama is to be practised by moving on to the next stage only when the first stage has been mastered. For if an early stage is not mastered, but missed out in favour of jumping on to the next stage, he will not attain saṃyama on the later stages at all. And without that, how will the knowledge-light ever arise? (But) for one who has mastered later stages, saṃyama practice on earlier stages such as telepathy would not be right. Why not? Because the purpose will have been attained already…

Yoga Sutra 3.07 concentration, meditation, and samadhi

Sūtra III.7 Compared to the previous means, this triad is the direct means Compared to the previously given five means beginning with restraints, this triad of concentration, meditation, and samādhi is the direct means to cognitive samādhi Compared to the previous means, this triad is the direct means. Compared to the previously given five means beginning with restraints, this triad of dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi is the direct means to cognitive samādhi-yoga. In thus calling them the direct (literally, inner) means, he wishes to show that even though the previous ones may not have been perfected, effort should be made at these three.  

Yoga Sutra 3.08 Yoga without the five-fold means of restraints

Sūtra III.8 Even that is an indirect means as regards unseeded (yoga) Even that triple method, though the direct means (to cognitive samādhi), is only an indirect method as regards the unseeded yoga. Why so? Because that comes about also without it. Yoga can be effected even without going through the five-fold means of restraints, etc., from the mere accomplishment of the triad of concentration, meditation, and samādhi, by force of saṃskāra-s accumulated in a previous life, as in the case of the incorporeal gods, and those resolved into prakṛti. But without that triad, yoga is not possible for anyone, because yoga is essentially associated with the operation of concentration and the other two. For the nature of yoga is perfection of the mind. But when knowledge (jñāna) and detachment have been perfected, then there is no concern with concentration and so on. Thus we have cases of those like…

Yoga Sutra 3.09 extravertive saṃskara is overcome

Sūtra III.9 The inhibitive transformation of the mind is when extravertive saṃskāra is overcome and the saṃskāra of inhibition is predominant, and mind itself is in a temporary state of inhibition The extravertive saṃskāra is a characteristic of the mind: it is not of the nature of an idea. The saṃskāra of inhibition is also a characteristic of the mind itself. Of the two, there are subjection and predominance respectively (in the state of inhibition): extravertive saṃskāra-s are excluded and saṃskāra-s of inhibition are in possession. At the time of inhibition, the mind accords with the subjection and predominance. During the continuance of the change in the saṃskāra-s of the one mind, there is the inhibitive transformation. The inhibitive transformation of the mind is when extravertive saṃskāra is overcome, and saṃskāra of inhibition is predominant, and mind itself is in a temporary state of inhibition, extravertive: going out in various…

Yoga Sutra 3.10 there comes about a peaceful flow of the mind

Sūtra III.10 It has a peaceful flow, by reason of the saṃskāra-s From habituation of saṃskāra-s of inhibition, there comes about a peaceful flow of the mind. Beginning with the inhibitive saṃskāra, it lasts as long as it is not overcome by a saṃskāra of the character of extraversion. It mind assuming the inhibitive change has a peaceful flow, by reason of the saṃskāra-s. From habituation of saṃskāra-s of inhibition in view of the habituation, the firmness, of the saṃskāra-s of inhibition there comes about a peaceful flow a calmness of the mind. As to how long that peaceful flow lasts, he says: The peaceful flow which begins with the inhibitive saṃskāra lasts as long as it, the inhibitive saṃskāra, is not overcome by a saṃskāra with the character of extraversion: having been produced by extraversion, that saṃskāra will have the character of extraversion. The peaceful flow, however, arises from…

Yoga Sutra 3.11 the destruction of the mind’s dispersiveness

Sūtra III.11 The destruction of the mind’s dispersiveness, and rise of its one-pointedness, is the samādhi transformation Dispersiveness is a characteristic of mind: one-pointedness also is a characteristic of mind. Destruction means disappearance: the rise of one-pointedness means its appearance. Because they are its characteristics, the mind conforms to each of them, since the mind possesses both the states as its own: it can be concentrated by the passing away (of extraversion) and coming forth (of one-pointedness). This is called the samādhi transformation. Dispersiveness (sarvārthatā) of mind is its multifarious capacity for worldly experiences and also for release, that capacity being a characteristic of mind. It will be said (IV.23): ‘The mind coloured by the seer and the objects of sight has all purposes (sarvārtham).’ one-pointedness also is a characteristic of mind. The sameness of the dying down and the following uprising process of a mind in samādhi is the…

Yoga Sutra 3.12 transformation of one-pointedness

Sūtra III.12 In that (samādhi) the sameness of the idea which has subsided and the newly risen idea in the mind is its transformation of one-pointedness In the concentrated mind, the earlier idea having subsided, the next idea which rises is similar to it. The mind in samādhi assumes the form of both of them. This is repeated in just the same way till the breaking of the samādhi. Of the mind which possesses that characteristic: this is the transformation of one-pointedness. In that time of samādhi the sameness of the idea which has subsided and the newly risen idea in the mind is its transformation of one-pointedness. In the concentrated mind whose mental process is inhibited from going out the earlier idea subsides is subdued: the next idea which rises appears is the same. The concentrated mind means a mind in the state of samādhi, which is distinguished by…

Yoga Sutra 3.13 transformations of dharma time-phase

Sūtra III.13 By (analogy with) that, are explained the transformations of dharma, time-phase, and basis (avasthā) in the elements and in the senses That just described mental transformation, in the form of dharma, time-phase and basis, is to be taken as extending to change of dharma, change of time-phase, and change of basis, in the elements and in the senses. By (analogy with) that are explained the transformations of dharma, time-phase, and basis, in the elements and in the senses. That just described mental transformation – of what kind? – in the form of dharma, time-phase, and basis in the form of dharma, in the form of time-phase, and in the form of basis, in the elements and in the senses in physical elements like the earth and in the senses such as hearing where there is no change into a different principle (tattva). Change once recognized in the unsteadiness…

Yoga Sutra 3.14 indeterminable dharmas is the dharmin

Sūtra III.14 What conforms to the subsided, uprisen, and indeterminable dharma-s is the dharmin The dharma itself is the appropriate particularization of the mere potentiality of the dharmin. This potentiality of the dharmin is the dharma itself. It is inferred as an actual existence from the difference in effects to which it gives rise, one after another in the one (dharmin). Of these, one that is visible is the present, exercising its own special function, and it is distinguished from other dharma-s which are either subsided or indeterminable. But when it accommodates itself to the common basis, being then simply the true nature of the dharmin, what is there to be distinguished, and by what? What, then, is the dharmin? In an enduring basis, with the cessation of one dharma, another rises up, and this is called change. What conforms to the subsided, uprisen, and indeterminable, what is always conforming…

Yoga Sutra 3.15 difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes

Sūtra III.15 Difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes Difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes. If it is said that there can be only one change in one dharmin (the answer is): difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes. Thus with clay particles, there is the sequence of particle clay, lump clay, jar clay, shard clay, fragment clay. When one dharma follows immediately on another, it is its successor. When it is said that the clay lump is reborn as the jar, that is a sequence of dharma-change. The sequence of change of time-phase is, the jar’s coming into the present from its future state, and the lump’s going from the present to the past. There is no sequence from the past. Why not? Because there is immediate succession only when there is before and after, and there is none in the case…

Yoga Sutra 3.16 knowledge of what is past and future

Sūtra III.16 From saṃyama on the three changes, knowledge of what is past and future From saṃyama on the changes of dharma, time-phase, and condition, knowledge of past and future things comes to the yogin. When dhāraṇā, dhyāna, and samādhi are made on the same thing, it is called saṃyama. By that, the three changes being directly perceived, there is produced knowledge of things past and future which are in them. From saṃyama on the three changes, knowledge of what is past and future. The saṃyama is to be carried on up to the illumination of samādhi-prajñā. Whatever object it is fixed on, it brings direct perception of that object as it really is. On whatever subtle or concealed or past or future or remote object the saṃyama is made, with the conscious intention to attain it, his purpose brings its fulfilment to the yogin. From saṃyama on the changes…

Yoga Sutra 3.17 understanding of the cries of all beings

Sūtra III.17 There is confusion from the mutual projection of word, meaning and idea on to each other. From saṃyama on their distinctness (comes) understanding of the cries of all beings Now, another object for saṃyama is presented, directed towards word, meaning, and understanding. There is confusion from the mutual projection of word, meaning, and idea on to each other. From saṃyama on their distinctness, understanding of the cries of all beings is attained. Of these, what is word, and what again are the meaning and the idea? What is the cause of the confusion, and how are they to be distinguished? With regard to these, speech has its function only in (uttering) letter-sounds. Hearing has as its field merely transformations of sound. With regard to these: what can be uttered by speech, and heard by ear, is word. The further point is examined, as to whether it is the…

Yoga Sutra 3.18 knowledge of previous lives

Sūtra III.18 From direct perception of the saṃskāra-s, knowledge of previous lives From direct perception of the saṃskāra-s, knowledge of previous lives. The saṃskāra-s referred to here are the saṃskāra-groups called vāsanā, caused by memory and taints. The observable bring about fruition as righteousness and unrighteousness: the unobservable are mental dharma-s which have been laid down in previous existences as change, activity, inhibition, power, life, and righteousness. Saṃyama on these (two kinds) has the power to give direct perception of saṃskāra-s. They can never be perceived apart from the place, time, cause, and experience: so it is with those associations that the yogin attains knowledge of previous births from direct perception of saṃskāra-s. This kind of saṃyama can be applied to other living beings also. From direct perception of the saṃskāra-s, knowledge of previous lives. The saṃskāra-s referred to here are the saṃskāra-groups called vāsanā, both observable and unobservable, caused…

Yoga Sutra 3.19 knowledge of the mind of another

Sūtra III.19 (From direct perception, through saṃyama) of his thought, knowledge of the mind of another From saṃyama on his thought, direct perception of the thought, and from that, knowledge of the mind of another comes about. (From direct perception) of his thought, knowledge of the mind of another. From saṃyama on the thought of the other, direct perception of the thought of that other; with that direct perception knowledge of the mind of another who possesses that thought. (Opponent) But if the ideas of someone else are directly perceived, will it not mean that the yogin will become an enjoyer when that other is happy, and a sufferer when he suffers?

Yoga Sutra 3.20 not the field of the samyama

Sūtra III.20 But not the subject of those ideas, because that was not the field of the saṃyama He knows the idea which has been entertained. He does not know in what sort of subjective state that has been entertained, because that was not the only subject of the yogin’s concentration. It was only the idea that was the subject of the concentration by the yogin’s mind. (Answer) But not the subject of those ideas, because that was not the field of the saṃyama. He the yogin knows the idea which has been entertained. He does not know in what sort of subjective state that idea has been entertained by the other person. He does not know in what subjective state the other person’s idea is held, whether it is happiness or suffering, so that he himself might become an enjoyer or a sufferer. (Opponent) But if he does not…

Yoga Sutra 3.21 samyama on the form of the body

Sūtra III.21 From saṃyama on the form of the body, its potentiality of being seen is nullified. Being disjoined from the light of the eye, it disappears From saṃyama on the form of the body, its potentiality of being seen is interrupted. When it is thus nullified, the body is disjoined from the light of the eye, and the yogin disappears. Similarly it is implied that he disappears from the field of other sense perceptions such as sound. From saṃyama on the form of the body, its potentiality of being seen is nullified. The form of the body refers to the yogin’s own body, its potentiality of his body of being seen by the eyes of others is nullified, interrupted, is inhibited. As a result, the light of the eye of others is not in contact with the form of the body of the yogin, and the yogin disappears. Similarly…

Yoga Sutra 3.22 foreknowledge of death

Sūtra III.22 Karma is rapid or slow. From saṃyama on it, or on omens, there comes foreknowledge of death The karma which fructifies as life-span is of two kinds. Just as a wet cloth when spread out would dry in a shorter time, so is the rapid karma. And as the same cloth when screwed up would take a long time to dry, so is the slow. Or as fire in dry grass, with a following breeze, is carried everywhere and burns it up in a very short time, so is the rapid. And as the same fire, brought near to the pile of grass only gradually, would take a long time to burn it up, so is the slow. This karma which determines the length of life in one particular birth is of the two kinds: rapid or slow (in fructifying). Karma is rapid or slow. From saṃyama on…

Yoga Sutra 3.23 from samyama on friendliness there arise powers

Sūtra III.23 (From saṃyama) on friendliness and the others (compassion and goodwill, sūtra I.33) (there arise) powers (From saṃyama) on friendliness and the others (compassion and goodwill) (there arise) powers. Friendliness, compassion, and goodwill are the three meditations (bhāvanā, sūtra I.33). Of these, he who practises meditation on friendliness towards happy beings obtains the power of friendliness; he who practises meditation on compassion towards the suffering obtains the power of compassion; he who practises meditation on goodwill towards those of virtuous conduct obtains the power of goodwill. (Vivaraṇa repeats without comment.) The samādhi which is produced from the meditation is saṃyama; from that, powers of unbounded energy arise. In regard to the habitually sinful, there is indifference (I.33) but not meditation. There is thus no samādhi on that, and therefore no power from indifference is mentioned, because there is no saṃyama on it. The samādhi which is produced from meditation…

Yoga Sutra 3.24 powers like the power of an elephant

Sūtra III.24 Powers like the power of an elephant (come from saṃyama) on them From saṃyama on the power of an elephant, there comes to him the power of an elephant; from saṃyama on the power of the king of the birds (Vainateya), there comes to him that power of the king of the birds; from saṃyama on the power of the wind, there comes to him the power of the wind. Similarly in other cases. Powers like the power of an elephant (come from saṃyama) on them. A yogin endowed with the powers from meditation on friendliness, etc., comes to powers like those of an elephant, etc. if he makes saṃyama on them.

Yoga Sutra 3.25 supernormal radiant perception

Sūtra III.25 By projecting the light of supernormal radiant perception (I.36) on to what is subtle, hidden or remote, (he comes to) knowledge of that The supernormal perception referred to is one called Radiant (jyotiṣmatī), and when the yogin projects its light on to something subtle or hidden or remote, he discovers it. The supernormal perception referred to is the one called Radiant, and when the yogin projects focuses its light a ray of it on to something subtle or hidden or remote, he discovers it.

Yoga Sutra 3.26 from samyama on the sun knowledge of the worlds

Sūtra III.26 From saṃyama on the sun, knowledge of the worlds The worlds are listed as seven: (1)The terrestrial world, from the point called Avīci to the summit of Mount Meru; (2)From the summit of Meru up to the Pole Star, being the world of stars called Antarīkṣa or intermediate region; (3)Beyond that, the world of heaven, consisting of five planes beginning with the world of great Indra; then (4)the Great world of Prajāpati, and then the three-fold world of Brahmā, namely: (5)The Jana world (of divine beings), (6)The Tapas world (of power), (7)The Satya world (of truth). They are summarized in the verse. The world of Brahmā three-fold, Below it the Great world of Prajāpati, Then that of great Indra – all this is called heaven. In the sky (intermediate region) are the stars, And on earth, the creatures. From Avīci one after another are six great hells constituted…

Yoga Sutra 3.27 samyama on the moon

Sūtra III.27 (From saṃyama) on the moon, knowledge of the dispositions of the stars If he makes it on the moon, he will apprehend the dispositions of the stars. (From saṃyama) on the moon, knowledge of the dispositions of the stars. Having come to know the extent of the worlds from saṃyama on the sun, If he then immediately makes it on the moon, he will apprehend the dispositions of the stars. From the sun-saṃyama the knowledge obtained is only of the extent of the worlds – the worlds and rivers and oceans and mountains spread out as described. But how the stars are disposed is not within its range. From the moon-saṃyama, however, there is understanding of the various dispositions of the stars.

Yoga Sutra 3.28 samyama on the Pole Star

Sūtra III.28 (From saṃyama) on the Pole Star, knowledge of their motions Making saṃyama on the Pole Star, he would apprehend the motions of the stars. Then if he made saṃyama on the celestial chariots, he would come to know them. (From saṃyama) on the Pole Star, knowledge of their motions. And thereafter (after making the moon-saṃyama) immediately Making saṃyama on the Pole Star, he will apprehend the motions of the stars – how they converge and how they separate. How at this time this planet is opposed by that one, and how it comes thus to be subdued, and then in that way it rises again – by these means he comes to know, for instance, the good and bad fortune of the living beings. And similarly with other things. If he made saṃyama on the celestial chariots, he would come to know them, their various kinds, and courses,…

Yoga Sutra 3.29 on the navel circle, knowledge of the plan of the body

Sūtra III.29 On the navel circle, knowledge of the plan of the body By making saṃyama on the navel circle, he apprehends the plan of the body. There are three humours (doṣa, which harm by excess): wind, bile, and phlegm. The corporeal elements (dhātu) are seven: skin, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow, and semen; the order of the list is, that each is exterior to the one which it precedes. … wind, bile, and phlegm, and their proportions and their seats, etc. become knowable to him. Then The corporeal elements (dhātu) are seven, in fixed relations of exterior and interior to each other. Skin is outside them all; next within is blood, and then flesh, and then fat, then bone, then marrow, and then semen, which is the most interior of all. The order of the list is, that each is exterior to the one which it precedes. Similarly he…

Yoga Sutra 3.30 at the pit of the throat, cessation of hunger and thirst

Sūtra III.30 At the pit of the throat, cessation of hunger and thirst At the pit of the throat, cessation of hunger and thirst. Below the tongue is a cord; below the cord is the throat; below the throat is the pit. From saṃyama on it, hunger and thirst do not oppress him. At the pit of the throat, cessation of hunger and thirst. Below the tongue is a cord, visible when the tongue is turned up; below the cord is the throat; below the throat is the pit. From saṃyama on it, hunger and thirst do not oppress him.

Yoga Sutra 3.31 on the tortoise nerve, rigid steadiness

Sūtra III. 31 On the tortoise nerve, rigid steadiness Below the throat-pit, in the chest, is a nerve-channel called the Tortoise. Having made saṃyama on it, he attains a state of rigid steadiness, like that of a snake or lizard (when gripped). Below the throat-pit, in the chest, is a nerve-channel called the Tortoise. Having made saṃyama on it, he attains a state of rigid steadiness, steadiness of the mind, like a snake or lizard which becomes absolutely rigid from being gripped by the neck.

Yoga Sutra 3.32 vision of the perfect ones

Sūtra III.32 On the Light in the head, vision of the perfect ones Within the hollow on the crown of the head there is a radiance (called) the Light. Having made saṃyama on it, there comes about the vision of the perfect ones moving between heaven and earth. On the Light in the head, vision of the perfect ones. Within the hollow on the crown of the head there is a radiance which is accordingly called the Light. From saṃyama on it there comes about the vision of the perfect ones moving between heaven and earth.

Yoga Sutra 3.33 by supernormal knowledge he knows everything

Sūtra III.33 By the prātibha supernormal knowledge too (he knows) everything The supernormal knowledge called prātibha helps the yogin across, it being the first phase of knowledge-born-of-discrimination – like the glow of the sun at dawn. From this too the yogin-s know everything, namely from the rise of the supernormal knowledge called prātibha. By the prātibha supernormal knowledge too (he knows) everything. When the yogin makes saṃyama on the self (ātman), or is supremely devoted to the Lord (īśvara), the knowledge which rises spontaneously in his mind is supernormal and helps him across, it being the first phase of knowledge-born-of-discrimination which is going to be described. like the glow of the sun at dawn: becoming to some extent visible at daybreak as the reddening, when it is about to rise. This is the first phase. From this too the yogin-s know everything, namely from the rise of the supernormal knowledge…

Yoga Sutra 3.34 on the heart, awareness of the mind

Sūtra III.34 On the heart, awareness of the mind In this city of Brahman is the small lotus which is the palace; in it is the consciousness. From saṃyama on it, awareness of the mind. On the heart, awareness of the mind. In this city of Brahman the body, is the small little lotus, the lump of flesh in the form of a lotus with its head turned down, which is the palace, like a palace in that it is the many-channelled meeting-place of the various nerves. In it is the consciousness (vijñāna) the mind (citta). From saṃyama on it, on the lotus which is strung on the tube that hangs in the lake of the breast, and which is the meeting-place of the life currents (prāṇa), comes awareness of the mind the sattva.  

Yoga Sutra 3.35 knowledge of Purusa comes from what-is-for-the-sake-of-another

Sūtra III.35 Experience is an idea which does not distinguish between sattva and Puruṣa, though they are absolutely separate; by saṃyama on what-is-for-its-own-sake, (distinct) from what-is-for-the-sake-of-another, there comes knowledge of Puruṣa Experience is an idea which does not distinguish between sattva and Puruṣa, though they are absolutely separate; by saṃyama on what-is-for-its-own-sake, (distinct) from what-is-for-the-sake-of-another, there comes knowledge of Puruṣa. Sattva is the mind (citta), Puruṣa is the experiencer (bhoktṛ); of these two which are absolutely separate, of absolutely opposed character and altogether separate existences, an idea which does not distinguish them, which takes them as the same, is experience of Puruṣa. By saṃyama on what-is-for-its-own-sake whose nature is pure consciousness, having distinguished it from what-is-for-the-sake-of-another, from sattva which by the idea of its being Puruṣa has the experience of being identical, comes knowledge of Puruṣa. (Opponent) In what way is the mind-sattva for-the-sake-of-another, so that by making the distinction…

Yoga Sutra 3.36 supernormal knowledge

Sūtra III.36 From that arise supernormal knowledge and hearing, touch, sight, taste, and awareness of events From supernormal knowledge (prātibha) arises knowledge of what is subtle, hidden, or remote, in the past or future. From supernormal hearing comes hearing of divine sounds: from supernormal touch, he experiences touch of the perfect ones and others. From supernormal sight he perceives divine forms. From supernormal taste he experiences divine savours. From supernormal awareness of events (vārtā), he discovers the truth about worldly matters as they are. From that from samādhi (samādhāna) on what-exists-for-its-own-sake arise supernormal knowledge (prātibha) and hearing, touch, sight, taste, and awareness of events. From prātibha supernormal knowledge from the knowledge in the mind coming out of saṃyama on the self, comes knowledge of what is subtle, hidden or remote, in the past or future. From supernormal hearing comes hearing of divine sounds: from supernormal touch tactile awareness, touch of…

Yoga Sutra 3.37 obstacles in samadhi but perfections in the extravertive state

Sūtra III.37 They are obstacles in samādhi, but perfections in the extravertive state They – supernormal knowledge and the others – are obstacles when they appear in a mind concentrated. When they appear in a mind extraverted, they are perfections. They are obstacles in samādhi, but perfections in the extraverted state. They – supernormal knowledge and the others – when they appear in a mind concentrated (samāhita) on Puruṣa are obstacles, because they are antagonistic to vision of Puruṣa. When they appear in a mind extraverted, they are perfections: they appear from saṃyama on Puruṣa, but not in a concentrated mind (samāhita citta) which is detached.  

Yoga Sutra 3.38 the mind can enter another body

Sūtra III.38 From loosening of the cause of tying, and awareness of how the mind moves, the mind can enter another body The mind is not (inherently) fixed, being constantly agitated. The point is, that it is held fixed in the body by the ties of its karma-stock. Loosening of that cause-of-tying comes about by force of samādhi; awareness of how the mind moves is from samādhi alone. From the thinning out of the karma-ties, and awareness of how his own mind moves, the yogin draws out the mind from his own body and installs it in other bodies. As his mind flies out, the senses go with it. As the bees swarm after the flying royal bee and settle when it settles, so the senses follow the mind in its entry into another body, and are distributed there. From loosening of the cause of tying, and awareness of how…

Yoga Sutra 3.39 mastering the upgoing vital current udana

Sūtra III.39 By mastering the upgoing vital current (udāna), he passes untouched over water, mud, thorns and so on, and at death he takes the upward course Life is the operation of the totality of the senses, as prāṇa, etc. Its activity is five-fold. Prāṇa has its operation passing through the nostrils of the face as far as the heart; the samāna life-current, so-called because it evenly (sama) guides (āna), i.e. functions, as far as the navel; apāna is so-called because it guides (āna) down (apa), operating down to the soles of the feet; udāna leads upward (ūrdhvam), having its operation from the soles to the top of the head; pervading all is the vyāna life-current. Of them, prāṇa is the principal one. By mastering the udāna, he passes untouched over water and thorns and so on. Having mastered it, at death he takes the upward course. By mastering the…

Yoga Sutra 3.40 blazing light

Sūtra III.40 From mastery of samāna, blazing light He who has mastered samāna effects an arousal of the fire and causes a blaze of light. From mastery of samāna, blazing light. He who has mastered samāna effects an arousal of the fire (tejas) of the udāna (sic) fire which has its location in the samāna life-current, and as the performer of the act, the yogin thereby causes his navel to blaze with light.  

Yoga Sutra 3.41 divine hearing

Sūtra III.41 From saṃyama on the relation between hearing and space, divine hearing Space is the basis of hearing and sound. So it has been said: ‘Among hearers similarly placed, what is heard is the same for all.’ That very fact is the mark of space. It is said to be by nature free from obstruction. So it is seen that things with a form are opposites of space, since they are clearly obstructions. A sense of hearing is inferred from the perception of sound; among deaf and the not-deaf one perceives it and the other does not perceive it. Hence sound is the field of the sense of hearing alone. Divine hearing comes into operation in the yogin who has made saṃyama on the relation between hearing and space. From saṃyama on the relation between hearing and space, divine hearing. What is this relation on which the saṃyama is…

Yoga Sutra 3.42 he travels through space

Sūtra III.42 From saṃyama on the relation between the body and space, followed by identification-in-samādhi (samāpatti) with the lightness of a thread, he travels through space When there is the body, there is space. Its relation to the body is by the fact that it gives that scope to the body. When his saṃyama has mastered the relation between the two, if the yogin then makes identification-in-samādhi with light things, from cotton thread down to the ultimate atoms, he becomes light. He treads upon the waters with his feet, he walks on strands of spiders’ webs, he goes on the sunbeams. Thereafter he takes any course through space as he wills. When there is the body, there is space. The necessarily inherent relation to the body is by the fact that it space gives that scope to the body. When a yogin’s saṃyama has mastered the relation between the two,…

Yoga Sutra 3.43 the mind functioning outside the body

Sūtra III.43 The Great Bodiless is a mental process (vṛtti) functioning exterior (to the body), and not imaginary; from this comes dwindling away of the covering of the light A process of the mind (functioning) outside the body is the concentration (dhāraṇā) called Bodiless. If it comes to be (functioning) in some outside objects only as a process of a mind (still) wholly fixed in the body, it is called Imaginary Bodiless; but when it is the external process of a mind which has itself become external and unconnected with the body, it is Not-Imaginary. By the Imaginary, they practise for the Not-Imaginary, which is the Great Bodiless. The Great Bodiless is a mental process (vṛtti) exterior (to the body), and not imaginary; from this comes dwindling away of the covering of the light. A process of the mind outside the body, which is produced resting on a definite object…

Yoga Sutra 3.44 samyama on their physical form

Sūtra III.44 From saṃyama on their physical form, essential nature, subtle form, inherence, and purposefulness: conquest of the elements Here, the earths, having as particulars sound, etc., together with attributes like shape, etc., are defined as physical (sthūla). Each one of the elements (bhūta) is five-fold: physical, essential, subtle, inherent, and with-a-purpose. Here, the earths have as particulars sound, etc.: sound, touch, form, taste, and smell. They are earth because of the operation of the subtle elements (tan-mātra) of the five kinds. together with attributes like shape etc. In regard to the earths, these (attributes) are the shape, etc., which means shape, rough texture, impermeability, saltiness, rigidity, exclusiveness, endurance, dark colour. Then, liquidity, clearness, subtlety, softness, weight, conservation, purification, adsorption, etc., are attributes of the watery. Then the fiery are: rising, consuming, purifying, burning, cooking, lightness, brilliance, etc. Then the gaseous are: transverse motion, purification, impulsion, strength, dispersion, etc. The…

Yoga Sutra 3.45 becoming minute, and perfection of the body

Sūtra III.45 From it (the saṃyama) manifest a set of eight powers like becoming minute, and perfection of the body, with freedom from impediment for its (bodily) attributes Of these powers, becoming minute is to be like an atom. Lightness – he becomes light; greatness – he becomes great; range – he could touch the moon with a fingertip; irresistible will – he can dive into the solid ground and move about there as if it were water; mastery – by this he can master the elements and elementals, and himself is not mastered by any others; sovereignty – he can will the production, absorption and disposition of them; omnipotence – his purposive idea becomes true, so that whatever that purpose, so the states of the elements and their natures become. Now he describes the effects of saṃyama on himself. From it, manifest a set of eight powers like becoming…

Yoga Sutra 3.47 conquest of the senses

Sūtra III.47 From saṃyama on their perception, essential nature, I-am-ness, inherence, and purposefulness, (comes) conquest of the senses Sound and the others, comprising both universal and particular, are the sense-objects, and the operation of the senses on those objects is their perception (grahaṇa). The nature of the perception is not the universal aspect alone. If the particular instance (also) of its own object were not apprehended by the sense-organ, how would any object be accurately determined by the mind? From saṃyama on their perception, essential nature, I-am-ness, inherence and purposefulness, (comes) conquest of the senses. All this is to be taken on the same basis as the earlier sūtra (III.44), except that pure I-am-ness is the particular corresponding to the tan-mātra-s in the case of the elements. Sound and the others, comprising both universal and particular, are the sense-objects, and the operation (vṛtti) of the senses on those objects, which…

Yoga Sutra 3.48 the body can travel with unsurpassable speed

Sūtra III.48 From that, speediness as of the mind, independence of physical organs, and conquest of nature From that (mastery of the senses), the body can travel with unsurpassable speed like that of the mind. Then, the senses can operate independent of a body in regard to any determined place, time and object. Conquest of nature (pradhāna) is mastery of all effects of prakṛti-causes. These three perfections are called Honey-formed, and they are acquired by conquering the five aspects (of the senses). From that, speediness as of the mind, independence of physical organs, and conquest of nature (pradhāna). From that, from mastery of the senses the body can travel with unsurpassable speed like that of the mind, unsurpassable in that nothing can go faster than that. Independence of physical organs means that the senses independent of a body, dissociated from a body, can operate in regard to any determined place…

Yoga Sutra 3.49 sattva and Purusa are different

Sūtra III.49 Having simply the knowledge that (mind-)sattva and Puruṣa are different, one has omnipotence over all beings and is omniscient One whose mind (buddhi-sattva) has been purified of the taint of rajas and tamas so that he is now in the highest purity and in the consciousness of mastery, firmly set simply in the knowledge that sattva and Puruṣa are different, has omnipotence over all beings. As the essence of all, which all is essentially determination of guṇa-s, the guṇa-s in their entirety are presented to their Lord, the witness of the field, as the field of the seen – this is the meaning. Omniscience means instant discriminative knowledge of the guṇa-s which are the essence of all, whether determined as qualities subsided or uprisen or (as yet) indeterminable. This perfection described is called Beyond Sorrow, and when he has attained it, the omniscient yogin whose taints and bonds…

Yoga Sutra 3.50 the taints and karmas are destroyed

Sūtra III.50 From indifference to that too, the seeds of imperfection are destroyed, and there is Transcendental Aloneness When, in one who has become like this, the taints and karma-s are destroyed, there arises an idea of his (mind-)sattva which discriminates (as follows): sattva too is consigned to the side of what-is-to-be-escaped, and Puruṣa is unchanging and pure, quite different from sattva. In one who is thus indifferent to that (aforesaid perfection) too, whatever seeds of taint (kleśa) there may be, become like scorched rice-grains, incapable of germination, and they pass away along with the mind. When they have been dissolved, Puruṣa never again experiences the threefold suffering. From indifference to that too, the seeds of imperfection (doṣa) are destroyed, and there is Transcendental Aloneness. When, in one who has become like this omnipotent over all states of being, the taints and karma-s are destroyed, there arises an idea of…

Yoga Sutra 3.51 divine regions like heaven

Sūtra III.51 No reaction of attachment or pride in case of invitations from rulers of celestial realms, for undesirable consequences follow The realms are divine regions like heaven, and their rulers are gods like Indra. There are invitations by them, such as: ‘Noble Sir, pray take this seat …’ and so on. In such case, let him remember and understand the essential meanness of individual selfhood, and let him not react with attachment or pride. Reaction of attachment or pride will entail undesirable consequences. There are four classes of yogin: (1)the beginner (prathama-kalpika) (2)in the Honeyed stage (madhu-bhūmika) (3)with the light of knowledge (prajña-jyotis) (4)one who has passed beyond all that was to be practised (ati-krānta-bhavanīya) Of these, the first is one who having roused the light of one of the supernormal perceptions of a divine object (I.35) is engaged in practising it; The second has the truth-bearing knowledge (I.48);…

Yoga Sutra 3.52 knowledge born of discrimination

Sūtra III.52 From saṃyama on the instant, and on the two sequences of instants, comes knowledge-born-of-discrimination Just as the ultimate particle of matter is the atom, so the ultimate particle of time is the instant. Alternatively, an instant is (definable as) the time taken by an atom to pass from one point to the next one. A sequence is continuity of the unbroken flow of the instants in it. There is no real aggregation of the two: instants and their sequence. Hours and days and nights appear from mental aggregation. This time is empty of reality and has been set up by the mind, according to the nature of the words used. To the extravertive view of the people of the world, it merely seems to have reality. But the instant (itself) does have reality, being the support of the sequence. The sequence is essentially a continuity of instants. From…

Yoga Sutra 3.54 there is clear knowledge of two things

Sūtra III.53 From this (knowledge) there is clear knowledge of two things (seemingly) equivalent because they cannot be distinguished by class, characteristic, or position A difference in class may be the ground of differentiation, as for instance, ‘This one is a cow, this one is a mare’. When the class is the same, a characteristic differentiates them: ‘This cow has black eyes, that cow has lucky markings’. If there are two myrobalan fruits, of the same class and with the same characteristics, then difference in position may differentiate them: ‘This is the front one, that is the one behind.’ But if the fruit in front is moved, while the observer is attending to something else, to the position behind, then since the positions are as they were, he cannot detect rightly which is which; that (detection) would have to be through an infallible knowledge of truth, and so it was…

Yoga Sutra 3.55 there is Transcendental Aloneness

Sūtra III.55 When the (mind-) sattva is like Puruṣa in purity, there is Transcendental Aloneness. So it is. When the taints of rajas and tamas have been shaken off, the mind-sattva (buddhi-sattva), its seeds of taints scorched, becomes no more than the idea of the apartness of Puruṣa, and then it attains as it were purity like that of Puruṣa. The purity of Puruṣa means absence of experience being imputed to it. In that state there is Transcendental Aloneness, whether he has acquired the divine powers or has not, whether he is possessor of Knowledge-born-of-discrimination or he is not. For when the seeds of taints have been scorched, there is no dependence at all on any further knowledge. Through the purification of the sattva, the power and knowledge arising from samādhi-s are indeed attained, but the highest truth is this: by Knowledge, failure-to-see comes to an end, and when that…

Shankara on the Yoga Sutras Fourth Part: Transcendental Aloneness

Fourth Part: Transcendental Aloneness (Śaṅkara vivaraṇa:) In the First Part the main teaching was samādhi, and in the Second, the means to it were set out. In the Third Part were listed the forms of knowledge and power which are side-effects of the performance of the yoga methods, whose aim (however) is right vision (samyagdarśana), and they were disposed of with the comment of Jaigīṣavya: ‘All that, is nothing but pain.’ It was said (II.25) that escape from pain is absolute disjunction from guṇa-s. So it has just been declared: ‘From indifference to that too, the seeds of imperfection are destroyed, and there is Transcendental Aloneness’ (kaivalya) (III.50), and whether he has attained Knowledge-of-the-difference or has not attained Knowledge-of-the-difference, ‘When the purity of mind-sattva and of Puruṣa is the same, there is Aloneness’ (III.55). Now, that kaivalya has to be determined by refuting objections, and so this Part, on Transcendental…

Yoga Sutra 4.01 Perfections siddhi arise

Sūtra IV.1 Perfections (siddhi) arise from birth or from drugs or from mantra-s or from tapas or from samādhi The perfections from birth are (enjoyed) in a different body. From drugs – such as an elixir of the demon realms; by mantra-s are attained levitation, the power of becoming minute and the other (seven); by tapas (are attained) such abilities as taking on any form, and going anywhere at will. The perfections from samādhi have been described. The perfections from birth are in a different body, being attainment of another body in heaven or some similar region, by yoga or by other means. From drugs – such as an elixir of the demon realms: here the original body is not discarded, but by taking drugs like soma or the amalaka plant (some perfection is attained), by mantra-s being murmured are attained levitation, etc.; by tapas (are attained) such abilities as…

Yoga Sutra 4.02 the transformation into another life

Sūtra IV.2 The transformation into another life is implemented by prakṛti The change of body and senses into another life, when they are transformed into the other life, is implemented by their prakṛti-natures. With the disappearance of the earlier transformation, the corresponding rise of the later transformation comes about by an integrating pervasion of the new parts. With the disappearance of the earlier transformation, of the previous specific causal condition as established, the corresponding rise of the later transformation comes about by an integrating pervasion of the new parts. How so? Because from a cause of light import, there cannot come about a result of great import: from a raw lump of iron weighing 10 pala-s, can an 80–pala spearhead be produced? The prakṛti-natures of the body and senses promote their respective forms, by implementing them in accordance with the motivating cause, of righteousness, etc. The prakṛti-natures of the body…

Yoga Sutra 4.03 a breach in the retaining barrier of the natures

Sūtra IV.3 That cause is not the impelling drive itself, but it makes a breach in the retaining barrier of the natures, as does a farmer (for irrigation) Righteousness, etc., though cause, cannot be the impelling drive of the natures. What happens, then? It makes a breach in the retaining barrier as does a farmer. The farmer, to irrigate a terraced field by flooding it with water from another (higher) field, does not take the water in his cupped hands, but makes a breach in its retaining barrier; when that is breached, the water pours into the lower field of itself. Similarly, righteousness breaches unrighteousness, the retaining barrier of the natures. When it is breached, the natures flow out into their respective forms. Righteousness, etc., though cause, cannot be the impelling drive of the natures. A cause cannot be powered, in a reversal of the cause-effect relation, by an effect…

Yoga Sutra 4.04 the minds are projected from bare I-am-ness

Sūtra IV.4 The minds are projected from bare I-am-ness Taking up this I-am-ness as the cause of the minds, he makes minds for the projections. Thus they have each a mind. The minds are projected from bare I-am-ness (asmitā). Taking up this I-am-ness the I-notion (ahaṅkāra) he the yogin makes minds for the projections – projected minds, new, not formed by nature, and so independent of anyone. The word ‘mind’ is used as the example; senses and so on are also projected out of I-am-ness alone. Thus they have each a mind and senses. Without mind and senses, a body would be almost a corpse, and meaningless. With just a single mind, there is no capacity for existence of auxiliary and principal, or differences in activity. But with the power, the creation of many bodies becomes possible to an individual consciousness (kṣetrajña). Difference in the instruments is needed for different…

Yoga Sutra 4.05 it is the one mind that impels the several minds

Sūtra IV.5 In the variety of activities, it is the one mind that impels the several minds Though there is variety in their activities, it is one mind that impels all the minds which it has projected. From it come the differences in activity. In the variety of activities, it is the one mind that impels the several minds. Though there is variety in their activities, it is one mind that impels all the minds which it has projected, as it were superintending the results in each different body. And that complies with the will of the yogin. The other projected minds with their many different activities are obedient to the controller mind. From it, their bare activities are supervised, and further, the differences in activity, like the different activities which arise from the fact of one’s being kind. So it is right that the activities of the projected minds…

Yoga Sutra 4.06 the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation

Sūtra IV.6 Of those (minds with perfections), the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation (dhyāna) has no karma-stock A mind is endowed with perfections in one of the five ways. Of those, only the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation has no karma-stock. Only of this one is there no such stock, no functioning of passion and the rest, and so there is no connection with good or ill, because the taints are eliminated from that yogin. Of those (minds with perfections) the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation (dhyāna) has no karma-stock. A mind is endowed with perfection in one of the five ways: by birth, drugs, mantra, tapas or samādhi. Of those among those, it is only the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation that has no karma-stock. It is free from any stock of taint or karma. Only of this one is there…

Yoga Sutra 4.07 the karma of the yogin is neither white nor black

Sūtra IV.7 The karma of the yogin is neither white nor black; of the others, it is of three kinds (Opponent) Why is it only for yogins that there is no karma-stock, while there is for others? (Answer) Because The karma of the yogin is thus neither white nor black; of the others, it is of three kinds. This sūtra is a general statement covering the perfect and the imperfect. (Opponent) But the previous sūtra too was just a general statement. (Answer) No, because it had a purpose, namely to praise the perfections arising from samādhi; and praise of samādhi-perfections is not a general statement. On the contrary, through the reference there to meditation practice giving siddhi-perfections (parisankhyāna), it related to a special field; it was mentioned along with the undesirability of the four kinds of similar siddhi-perfections arising from birth, etc., so it is a praise of perfections arising…

Yoga Sutra 4.08 the cessation of karma and of samskara groups

Sūtra IV.8 Therefore their consequent manifestation is of those saṃskāra-groups (vāsanā) that are compatible with it Aloneness has been praised, and now the taints and karmas and saṃskāra-groups (vāsanā), which are causes of the obstructions to it, have to be set out. But the working of the taints, their antagonist, and their cessation, have already been described in detail. The next sūtra-s therefore are begun in order to explain similarly in detail the workings, the states, the antagonists and the cessation, of karma and of saṃskāra-groups, because it is when they cease that Aloneness is attained, and not otherwise. Therefore, because there are the three kinds of result of the karmas, their consequent manifestation is of those saṃskāra-groups alone that are compatible with it. The fruition is like whatever kind of karma caused it; it is only saṃskāra-groups consonant with it that follow from the karma-fruition. The manifestation is of…

Yoga Sutra 4.09 there is sameness of form of memory and saṃskaras

Sūtra IV.9 Because there is sameness of form of memory and saṃskāra-s, there is consequent succession between them, even though separated by class and place and time Fruition of karma in cat birth, for instance, is brought about by its own spontaneous drive, even if separated by a hundred classes or a hundred distances or a thousand aeons. Further, when the spontaneous drives towards actualization arise, very quickly they are made manifest, along with the saṃskāra-groups laid down for fruition as a cat, etc. Why? Because though they may be remote, a manifesting karma of the like kind has become an operative cause for them. So there is consequent succession. Fruition of karma in cat birth, for instance, is brought about by its own spontaneous manifesting drive, its own manifesting capacity, even if separated by a hundred classes or a hundred distances or a thousand aeons. (Opponent) The time-separation has…

Sutra 4.10 hope of self-preservation

Sūtra IV.10 They are beginningless, because hope is eternal This hope of self-preservation is seen in all, in such forms as ‘May death not come’ or ‘May I survive’. It is not something spontaneous. Why not? How is it that there is fear of death, caused by memory of its hatefulness or of its pain, in a new-born animal which can never have had any experience of death? What is spontaneous would not need a cause. They are beginningless, because hope is eternal. This hope of self-preservation is seen in all, in such forms as ‘May death not come’ or ‘May I survive’. It is not something spontaneous, arising and developing of its own accord. Why not? How is it that there is fear of death, caused by memory of its hatefulness or of its pain, in a new-born animal which can never have had any experience of death? If…

Yoga Sutra 4.11 focal-point is resolved into cause and effect

Sūtra IV.11 They are held together by cause-effect-repository-focal-point. When these cease, they too cease The compound ‘cause-effect-repository-focal-point’ is resolved into cause and effect and repository and focal-point. Since the saṃskāra-groups are held together by these, namely bound together by them, when the causes and the rest cease, the saṃskāra-groups also will cease along with them. And thereby the destruction of the saṃskāra-groups is effected. As to cause: from righteousness, pleasure; following on (anuśayī) pleasure, desire. From unrighteousness, pain; following on pain, hate. From that, effort. Excited by that effort of speech and of body, he helps some and injures others. Then again from this, righteousness and unrighteousness. In this way there is a ceaselessly impelled revolving of this six-spoked wheel of saṃsāra. Ignorance is its driver. That Ignorance is the root of all taints. What is this cause? He explains: first of all, righteousness belongs to minds that are subject…

Yoga Sutra 4.12 what are past and future do actually exist

Sūtra IV.12 What are past and future do actually exist, but there is difference of time-phase in their dharma-s So it is, but the commentator does not simply reiterate this conclusion, for he goes on to explain that when it was said that ‘when the causes are nonexistent the saṃskāra-groups also are non-existent’, it is not an absolute non-existence. What is it then? Of the non-existent there is no coming into being; and of the existent there is no destruction. As actual things inasmuch as they are facts, they will continue to be; how should the saṃskāra-groups cease to exist? The words allow some choice in interpretation, and the sense here is, that the saṃskāra-groups do not absolutely cease to be: they do actually exist, but as things in the past. That whose manifestation is yet to come is future; that whose manifestation came (and went) is past; when a…

Yoga Sutra 4.13 they consist of the gunas

Sūtra IV.13 They are manifest or subtle, and consist of the guṇa-s These three time-phases are present when of manifest nature. Past and future are essentially subtle, being the six Unparticularized. All this is, from the highest point of view, simply to be distinguished as a conglomerate of the guṇa-s, and so it says in the holy classic: The ultimate form of the guṇa-s is not within the range of perception; What can be perceived of it is but slight, like māyā. They are manifest or subtle, and consist of the guṇa-s. These three time-phases coming up in the three forms of past, future and present, are present coming up in the present mode when of manifest nature. Their essence is, that they have become objects of public awareness. Past and future are essentially subtle and not objects of public awareness, being of the nature of the six Unparticularized (II….

Yoga Sutra 4.14 a thing is what it is by the fact of a unitary change

Sūtra IV.14 A thing is what it is by the fact of a unitary change The guṇa-s are ever tending towards light, activity, and stasis respectively. When they have the nature of perception, a unitary change as an instrument (of perception) is the sense-organ of hearing. Then a unitary change in their nature as object is a sound, and that is the perceived sound. Then a unitary change of sounds and other objects of a class compatible with that form is an ultimate atom of earth, with the subtle element as component. Of these (atoms) are the unitary changes called earth, cow, tree, mountain and so on. The guṇa-s are ever tending towards light, activity, and stasis respectively. When they have the nature of perception from predominance of light, essential awareness grounded in I-am-ness, a unitary change as an instrument (of perception) is the sense-organ of hearing, just as light…

Yoga Sutra 4.15 since there is difference of the minds the two must be distinct categories

Sūtra IV.15 Since there is difference of the minds, while the object is the same, the two must be distinct categories A single thing becomes an object of many minds, to which it is common. It is not dependent on any one mind, nor determined by a number of minds. The thing stands by itself. How so? The object is the same: there is difference of the minds. Though the thing be the same, when the mind regarding it looks to righteousness, from that very thing there is knowledge of happiness. From that very thing, when the mind looks to unrighteousness, it is knowledge of pain. Similarly, looking to ignorance, it is delusive knowledge. From that very thing, looking to right knowledge, there comes unbiased knowledge. Therefore, object and knowledge are distinct categories, because they are different as object known and the knowledge of it; there is not even a…

Yoga Sutra 4.16 it is not dependent on a single mind

Sūtra IV.16 It is not dependent on a single mind, for when it was not giving rise to valid cognition in that mind, what would it be? If the thing were dependent on a single mind, when that mind was not focused on it, or was inhibited, the thing would not be in contact with it and would not be an object to any other mind either. So that thing would not produce any valid cognition, and would be essentially unknown. What would it be at that time? Again, why would it rise again to be connected with that mind? (Further) its parts which were not being cognized, would not exist. As the back would not exist, the front ought not to exist either. It is not dependent on a single mind, for when it was not giving rise to valid cognition in that mind, what would it be? To…

Yoga Sutra 4.17 according to whether the mind is coloured by it, a thing is known or unknown

Sūtra IV.17 According to whether the mind is coloured by it, a thing is known or unknown According to whether that object causes a colouring of the mind corresponding to its existence, the thing is known or unknown. By whatever thing mind is coloured, that thing is known; by whatever thing it is not so coloured, that is unknown. And this colouring corresponds to a change of the mind. For mind is changed into the outer form when conjoined with that, through the channel of the senses. As to what causes the change, he says: The objects are comparable to a magnet, and the mind corresponds to iron. The object draws to itself and colours the mind. By whatever object the mind is coloured, that object is known; furthermore, another is unknown. From the fact that its objects have the character of being known and also not known, the mind…

Yoga Sutra 4.18 to the Lord mental processes are always known.

Sūtra IV.18 To Him, the Lord, the mental processes are always known, from the fact of the unchangeability of Puruṣa To Him, the Lord, Puruṣa, the mental processes are always known. There is direct perception of them, and it is unquestionable that they are always known as objects. Again, the mental processes, as directly perceivable, are in fact remembered as having been known directly, like a jar, and not on the basis of authority or of inference. In the same way their form is known exactly, and they are never objects of uncertainty. If the mental process were never directly perceived, then like outer objects, some of them would appear uncertain at some time. But never are any of them found to be in the realm of uncertainty. (Opponent) Still, if an object is known at any time at all, it is said to be known. (Answer) No mental process…

Yoga Sutra 4.19 the mind is not self-illumining

Sūtra IV.19 It (mind) is not self-illumining, because it is itself something perceived The other senses, and sound and so on, are not self-illumining. Just so the mind too is to be taken. It is not self-illumining, because it is itself something perceived. The other senses like the ear, and their objects sound and so on are not self-illumining. Neither the senses nor again their objects like sound are self-illumining, because they are themselves things perceived. Just so the mind (manas) too is to be taken: the mind (citta) is to be understood as not self-illumining, because it is something perceived. (Opponent) Let it be like fire, which is self-illumining and also illumines objects. Perceivables like jars do indeed look to an outside illumination to be revealed as they are, but not so a light. As a light illumines itself and illumines objects, so let mind too be an illuminer…

Yoga Sutra 4.20 it takes some instants to discriminate objects,

Sūtra IV.20 They cannot both be clearly ascertained at the same time They cannot both be clearly ascertained at the same time, for it takes some instants to discriminate objects, and it is not reasonable that it should then be discriminating oneself. Then again, when it clearly ascertains oneself, it is not then turned to objects, because it would take several instants to discriminate the self. (Opponent) There is just a single discrimination – of both. (Answer) No, because a discrimination has no parts. A mental operation which has no parts cannot reasonably illumine a number of things, as a light does. The light has different parts (rays), and so it can light up a number of things. But even our opponents do not think that knowledge has parts. Further, acceptance that a single knowledge in a single instant should determine both, entails differentiation of action and agency. The determination…

Yoga Sutra 4.21 further and yet further ideas will be required.

Sūtra IV.21 If it is to be seen by another idea, further and yet further ideas will be required. And there will be confusion of memories If the idea is to be seen by another idea, then by whom is that idea of the idea known? It would have to be known by another, and that too by yet another, endlessly. If it is to be seen by another idea, further and yet further ideas will be required. And there will be confusion of memories. If the idea the earlier idea which has perished of itself is to be seen by another idea which has arisen immediately afterwards in the stream of instants, then by whom is that idea of the idea known? The idea which knows the jar is here called the ‘idea’, and the idea for which it is itself an object is the ‘idea of the idea’….

Yoga Sutra 4.22 awareness of the idea of the self

Sūtra IV.22 In assumption of its (the mind’s) form on the part of the unmoving consciousness, is awareness of the idea of the self In when there is assumption of its (the mind’s) form on the part of the unmoving consciousness, there is comes to be awareness of the idea of the self. The consciousness is awareness, Puruṣa, which as it never changes, is unmoving. There is assumption on the part of the consciousness, though unmoving, of its form. It refers back to the familiar mind (citta), and assumption of its form means assumption of the form of that mind. In the assumption of its form by that consciousness, there comes to be awareness of the idea of the self (sva). In the mind, there comes about a perception of the notion (bauddha-pratyaya) of the self. It is for this that the mind (buddhi) transforms itself into notions of objects…

Yoga Sutra 4.23 Mind, coloured by Seer and seen, has the various purposes

Sūtra IV.23 Mind, coloured by Seer and seen, has the various purposes Mind (citta) is coloured by an object cognizable to the mind, and by the fact of being (itself) an object, it is bound up with the subject, Puruṣa, by a mental function of belonging (to Him). It is this very mind alone that is coloured by the Seer and the seen. It assumes the appearance of object and subject, the unconscious becoming conscious. The mind, being insentient, essentially an object – conscious as it were, on the analogy of the crystal – is said to comprehend everything. By that assumption of form by the mind, some have been misled into thinking: it is only mind which is conscious. Others hold that all this is mind alone, and that this world with its cows and jars and so on does not exist as self-sufficient. They are pathetic. Why? The…

Yoga Sutra 4.24 it must exist for the purposes of another, because it is a construct

Sūtra IV.24 Though it is a mélange of countless saṃskāra-groups, it must exist for the purposes of another, because it is a construct Though it is a mélange of countless saṃskāra-groups, it must exist for the purposes of another, namely experience or release of that other, like a house. For no construct exists as an end in itself The mind, being a construct – (what it effects) is done not for itself. For a happy mind is not for the purpose of happiness itself Nor is a mind with knowledge simply for the purpose of knowledge. Both are for the purposes of another. Though it is a mélange of countless saṃskāra-groups (vāsanā), it must exist for the purposes of another, because it is a construct. Even though that very mind is a mélange, implying that it causes delusion, of countless saṃskāra-groups laid down from time without beginning, still it recognizably…

Yoga Sutra 4.25 cessation of meditation on his own being

Sūtra IV.25 For him who sees that One apart, cessation of meditation on his own being For him who sees that One apart, cessation of meditation on his own being. Puruṣa is apart (viśeṣa), not in the same category as manifest or unmanifest or universal, and he who sees that one apart is he whose vision always distinguishes Him clearly from manifest or unmanifest or universal. For him, once he has brought about the circumstances for release through right vision, the meditation on his own being ceases. How is it known when there is this meditation on his own being? He replies: As by the sprouting forth of grass in the rainy season, the actual existence of seed is inferred, so when someone is seen with a thrill, or perhaps tears, of joy, on hearing about the path to release, it is inferred that some good karma has been performed…

Yoga Sutra 4.26 the mind is inclined to discrimination

Sūtra IV.26 Then the mind is inclined to discrimination, and is borne on towards Aloneness His mind, that was inclined to objects, borne on to Ignorance, now in his case has changed, and is borne on to Aloneness. And when the vision of the One apart has arisen, Then the mind is inclined to discrimination (viveka) and is borne on towards Aloneness (kaivalya). His mind that was inclined to objects, on the slope towards objects borne on to Ignorance, taking its stand on Ignorance and turned to saṃsāra, now in his case, namely when there is vision of the One apart, has changed and is borne on to Aloneness, and is inclined to discrimination. So it is clear that a counter-current to the former stream is now flowing.  

Yoga Sutra 4.27 ideas arise from samaskaras

Sūtra IV.27 At intervals in it, other ideas arise from saṃskāra-s His mind is being borne on towards discrimination, carried along on the current towards Knowledge-of the-difference. But at intervals, other ideas arise, in the form ‘I am’ or ‘It is mine’. From where? From previous saṃskāra-s, whose seed-power is fading away. At intervals in it, other ideas arise from saṃskāra-s. His mind his consciousness of Puruṣa the Knower is being borne on towards discrimination further and further moving down towards discrimination, carried along on the current towards Knowledge-of-the-difference (viveka-khyāti), impelled by the stream towards the difference between Puruṣa and mind-sattva. But at intervals, in gaps of the current of discriminative ideas, other ideas of delusive character arise, in the form ‘I am’ or ‘It is mine’. From where do they come? From previous saṃskāra-s of an opposite kind laid down previously, whose seed-power in the form of taints, etc….

Yoga Sutra 4.28 the escape is like that described in the case of the taints

Sūtra IV.28 The escape from these is like that described in the case of the taints As the taints, reduced to scorched seeds, cannot germinate, so the previous saṃskāra-s, having become seeds scorched by the fire of knowledge, cannot bring forth ideas – this is the meaning. The escape from these is like that described in the case of the taints. As the taints, reduced to scorched seeds, cannot germinate as was explained here previously (sūtra II.10): ‘in their subtle state, they are to be got rid of by dissolution in their source’, so the previous saṃskāra-s laid down by ideas in the form ‘I am’ and ‘It is mine’, having become seeds scorched by the fire of knowledge (jñāna) become unable to sprout forth, like scorched rice grains, cannot bring forth ideas – this is the meaning. (Opponent) But saṃskāra-s of knowledge (jñāna) are not opponents (i.e. taints), so…

Yoga Sutra 4.29 the samadhi called Raincloud of Dharma

Sūtra IV.29 For one who is through and through a man of discriminative knowledge, but is not grasping over his meditation practice, there comes about the samādhi called Raincloud of Dharma This Brahmin is not grasping over his meditation, and does not seek for anything even from that. Detached even from that, through and through he is a man of discriminative Knowledge alone. Because the saṃskāra-seed of taint is destroyed, for him no other ideas are created. Then, for that one, there comes about the samādhi called the Raincloud of Dharma. When a Brahmin has a mind moving towards Knowledge-of-the-difference, For one, who is through and through a man of discriminative knowledge but is not grasping over his meditation practice (prasaṅkhyāna), there comes about the samādhi called Raincloud of Dharma. This Brahmin is not grasping over, not seeking profit from his meditation, which is practice of discriminative vision, and does…