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 cognitive when it is accompanied with vitarka (verbal associations), vicāra (subtle associations), ānanda (joy), and asmitā (I-am-ness), and now it has to be explained what they are. He cannot describe what they are without reference to samādhi, because they are properties of it.

When the mental process has dwindled means, when the ideas have died down.

The ideas, of right knowledge of external things and so on, have died down.

(Opponent) The ideas must have died out altogether. Only when they have all ceased does the commitment of the mind end, and there must be no dependence on anything physical or subtle.

(The answer is that Vyāsa in his commentary has explained that the cognitive states, where there is still one idea remaining, are preliminary to the other samādhi which is ultra-cognitive – Tr.)

The illustration is given of a flawless jewel. As a crystal, according to the different things set near it, becomes tinged with their colours and appears in their respective forms, so the mind is coloured by the object of meditation, and in samādhi on the object appears in the form of that object. Coloured by a physical object, it appears to have the nature of a physical object; coloured by meditation on a subtle object, identified in samādhi with a subtle object, it appears to have the nature of a subtle object. Coloured by any particular thing, identified with that thing in samādhi, it appears as that particular form.

So also with the senses, which are the process of knowledge. Coloured by meditation on the process of knowledge, identified in samādhi with it, mind appears to have the nature of the process of knowledge.

So also, coloured by meditation on Puruṣa as knower, identified in samādhi with Puruṣa as knower, it appears to have the nature of Puruṣa as knower. And coloured by meditation on Puruṣa released, identified in samādhi with Puruṣa released, it appears to have the nature of Puruṣa released.

(No Vivaraṇa comment on first two paragraphs – Tr.)

Identified with Puruṣa as knower means Puruṣa in its nature as causing buddhi to know (buddhi-bodhaka); concentrated on that, mind appears in the form of the knower; identified with Puruṣa released when this very knower of buddhi is no longer a knower of ideas of objects, then its state is the bare knowledge that sattva and Puruṣa are distinct.

When it is said that in this detachment the Puruṣa is released, the sense is that the mind is released from all taints. Freedom of the mind from taints is what is called ‘release’ of Puruṣa. This is why in the sūtra it says only knower. And here Puruṣa released means only the knower aspect of Puruṣa, otherwise he would have said just Puruṣa. When the highest consciousness of mastery in detachment has arisen, there is never again any involvement with saṃsāra. So it has been said: though there be still a bare connection with mind, if there is no connection with taints, ‘he is ever freed, ever the Lord’ (comm. to I.24).

Therefore it is said coloured by meditation on Puruṣa released, identified in samādhi with Puruṣa released, it appears to have the nature of Puruṣa released. Here it would be wrong to think that by meditating on mere cessation of any connection with mind one will be identified in samādhi with Puruṣa released and will appear in the form of Puruṣa released, because that would mean that the mind itself would have been dissolved. Puruṣa is at the limit of subtlety. Pradhāna is equally subtle, and mind is an effect of an effect of an effect of it. Mind, identifying itself in samādhi with Puruṣa or pradhāna, could not maintain itself when making the identification, any more than a jar can be identified with the jar-form without giving up its previous condition of clay-form.

(Opponent) But it is said that the Great principle (mahat) and the cosmic I (ahaṅkāra) are knowable to the mind of the yogin, even though it is an effect of them.

(Answer) As to whether they are knowable or not, there is a distinction according to how far the knowledge is to go. If they are to be knowablc, there has to be some special relation involving a knower whose nature is apart (from them). They are both manifest, so a special relation is not inconceivable; they could be known by a special relation in the same way that it is known by a special mental idea that one’s own Puruṣa is a knower and is released. But they cannot be known as the self (ātman) of all, because that would be too great to comprehend. They would be the self of the very mind which sought to know them as the self of all, and as such they could not be known as an object by it. Pradhāna and Puruṣa, however, are essentially absolutely unmanifest, and there can be no perception of them in their own nature, or of any relation between them.

(Opponent) If pradhāna and Puruṣa and the relation between them are not to be directly perceived, it would mean that the Lord is not omniscient.

(Answer) There is no question that everything other than pradhāna and Puruṣa and the relation between them is capable of being perceived, for it is universally accepted that the range of direct perception is unrestricted; what is not within the range of our perception is knowable to the Lord. If there is a knowable then certainly somehow or other someone must know it; without a knower, it would not be a knowable.

Now if prakṛti (= pradhāna) and Puruṣa are to be knowable as objects in their own nature, they would be things experienced, like the mind. Then (being objects) they would exist-for-another, and that other would have to be supposed to be beyond them.

(Opponent) The Puruṣa-s could know each other, without supposing any further knower.

(Answer) Not so; the Puruṣa-s being identical, there would be nothing to determine which was subject and which was object. And two lamps can not each be subordinate to the other.

Moreover if Puruṣa is going to be known, it implies that there is happiness and so on in his nature, and this would involve many further difficulties, such as the fact that the happiness, etc., would not be dependent on pradhāna as cause.

(Opponent) But he does speak of Puruṣa as directly perceived (in 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.

(Answer) Yes, and it is rightly said. This is why we said that Puruṣa does not become an object in its own nature. In the commentary there it says, It is not that Puruṣa is seen by any idea of Puruṣa, which – because it is an idea – would be essentially mind. It is Puruṣa that sees the idea resting on his own self. And so it has been said: ‘By what indeed would one know the knower?’ (Bṛhad. Up. II.4.13)

(Opponent) The mind coloured by resting on Puruṣa is an object for Puruṣa, so in fact Puruṣa is directly perceived, for when an idea coloured by resting on a jar is perceived by Puruṣa, that is what is called the jar’s being perceived.

(Answer) The cases are not parallel. For Puruṣa is not pervaded by the mind, as the jar is. A thing like a jar is external and pervaded by the mind; not so Puruṣa, for it is infinite.

The limited mind, which would take Puruṣa as its object, cannot pervade that which is the infinite subject. If it could pervade Puruṣa, it should be able to pervade pradhāna too (which is impossible as it is only a remote effect of pradhāna).

Therefore, as the face is perceived in a mirror in the form of a reflection, so it is an idea transformed into the form of a reflection of Puruṣa which is seen by Puruṣa. Thus Vyāsa says, ‘As in the clearness of a mirror, one sees the self in the self (Mahābh. Śānti Parva 204.8).

There is no possibility of the mind’s taking on the form of some other released Puruṣa; though it might be the form of the other one, still it would be seen as one’s own. For it is nothing else than a transformation of the mind; it is only the mind which Puruṣa sees transformed into his own form. The possibility of the transformation is when there is a relation to the form of Puruṣa its owner, of whom the mind is the property.

(Opponent) Then how can it ever be known that any other Puruṣa even exists, when that other would not be related as owner?

(Answer) As another face can be seen by means of another mirror, so Puruṣa sees his own mind transformed into the form of another mind, corresponding to the second mirror, and so knows another Puruṣa.

But the distinction ‘This is his self, this is mine’ is known by inference alone, by the indication of the special attributes of a mind different from one’s own, for minds being composed of the three guṇa-s inevitably have attributes special to themselves. But Puruṣa-s being attributeless cannot conceivably be different in their own nature.

In this way the mind, like a flawless jewel, rests on and is coloured by the knower, or knowing process, or object of knowledge – Puruṣa, senses, or thing – and when it has become established in one of them, it takes on its form. This is called identification-in-samādhi (samāpatti).

It rests on the knower or on the knowing process or on an object, and it is coloured according to which one it rests on. When established there, it takes on that form.

The identification (sam-āpatti) is a complete assumption (samyag-āpatti) of the likeness in the form of an idea devoid of anything else. Though there are such identifications in the extravertive mind also, they are not very complete, because the mind is then predominantly under the control of rajas and tamas.


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