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 as separate, and so the self (ātman) is called the separate consciousness. The realization of it is awareness of one’s own nature as it really is.

(Opponent) The Puruṣa is already realized in everyone in the feeling ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am sad’. This is a well-known fact; why the special mention of it?

(Answer) True, but it is not seen as distinct by the thought in the mind. In ‘I am happy’ or ‘I am sad’, the ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ have the same common referent, the idea ‘here I am’, and they are in the field of mental processes, so they are certainly merely ideas of Ignorance.

He realizes: As the Lord is a Puruṣa, pure free from the stains (mala) of the taints, etc., and therefore

radiant clear, and therefore

alone (kevala) without the three guṇa-s, and therefore

beyond evil without the three kinds of suffering, a perfect being, who is

witness, so this too, my own Puruṣa, is pure, radiant, alone, beyond evil, and witness of the buddhi.

With the words As and so, which point to an example and something like that example, he announces that there is a difference between the Lord and the individual selves (kṣetrajña). This is because they (unlike the Lord) are subject to bondage and release, and also because pradhāna serves their purposes (first experience and then release). For these reasons too the kṣetrajña-s differ among themselves.

Now what are the obstacles? They are what distracts the mind. Which are they, and how many are they?


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