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 Aloneness, is presented.

Then as means for that, the ways have to be explained of cutting off the saṃskāra-groups (vāsanā) accumulated over many previous births. Then another perfection (siddhi) not already given is taken up, to praise samādhi-perfections as an auxiliary to Aloneness. Criticism of some things in a category implies praise for the others in it. So when he will say: ‘Of those, the mind whose perfections arise out of meditation has no karma-stock’ (IV.6) and ‘karma of yogin-s is not white nor black, but of others it is of three kinds’, the intention to praise is clear.