Patanjali Sutras (Chapter 1)

patanjali_yoga_sutras

This is a very brief summary of Patanjali Yoga Sutras from the chapter on Samadhi Pada.

What is Yoga? (1.1-1.4)

A person normally identifies himself with his turbulent thought patterns. When Yoga is practiced it helps  integrate thoughts and settle that turbulence. The person then realizes his true nature and becomes established in it.

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Types of thought patterns (1.5-1.11)

There are five types of thought patterns: demonstrably correct, misconceived, conjectured, vacant, and remembered.  A thought pattern is demonstrably correct when it is directly perceived, well-reasoned and consistent. It  is misconceived when it is perceived differently from what it really is. It is conjectured when nothing about it corresponds to reality. It is vacant when there is nothing associated with it. It is remembered when an impression exists of what was perceived.

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Practice and non-attachment (1.12-1.16)

The turbulence of thought patterns is settled through practice and non-attachment. Practice consists of doing those actions that bring a stable and tranquil state.  As one perseveres with this practice without break, one becomes firmly grounded in it. The mind becomes free of attachment to ideas and objects, and gains objectivity toward anything perceived.

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Types of absorbed attention (1.17-1.18)

There is a kind of absorbed attention that involves reasoning and discrimination and it is accompanied by a feeling of bliss and a sense of individuality. The other kind has no object of absorbed attention; it is characterized by absence of turbulence of thought patterns, where only latent impressions remain.

NOTE: The latter kind of absorbed attention is achieved after many passes through the former kind with respect to all objects.

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Efforts and commitment (1.19-1.22)

Some attain absorbed attention of contemplation and objectivity naturally and easily. Others need conviction, inner strength, retentive power, an all-consuming focus, and clear understanding. Success comes from the intensity of one’s approach.

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Contemplation on AUM or OM (1.23-1.29)

One gets absorbed quickly when one simply surrenders to the natural process of creativity. The natural creative process is immune to the afflictions of distortions, reactions, outcomes and impressions. It is the source of all knowingness. It is the teacher of all teachers. It is manifested in the word AUM, which when repeated with deep longing brings one to self-realization and removal of obstacles.

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Obstacles and solutions (1.30-1.32)

The obstacles are illness, sloth, indecision, carelessness, laziness, clinging to sense enjoyments, delusional thinking, and failure to attain and retain absorbed attention. The symptoms that accompany these obstacles are pain, despair, physical restlessness and irregular breathing. The remedy is the practice of focusing the mind on a single principle or object.

NOTE: One should focus on discovering the deepest and broadest principle and aligning everything that follows to it.

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(1:33 – 1:39)

The mind becomes clarified by cultivating friendliness towards happiness, compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue,

and indifference towards vice; or by the expiration and retention of breath; or by generating extraordinary sense-perceptions;

or by meditating on the Effulgent Light beyond all sorrow; or by focusing the mind on those who have given up all attachment to sense-objects;

or by developing proper perspective for dreams and sleep; or by meditating on anything that appeals to one.

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(1:40 – 1:45)

So the yogi brings the understanding of all physical (gross) and mental (fine) objects to an overall state of consistency.

With the reduction of modifications the yogi becomes in reality the observer, means of observation, and objects all together.  

In the questioning stage of Samadhi, objects, their perception and essential knowledge is mixed together. When consistency is obtained all subjectivity is reduced to complete objectivity of Samadhi without question.

Similarly, other samadhis may be explained that address finer objects ranging all the way to formless, elemental nature (Prakriti).

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(1:46 – 1:51)

These stages of samadhi are with seed.

At the conclusion of the final stages there is illumination and events are seen as they are actually unfolding.

This knowledge is different from the knowledge acquired through testimony and inference because it is direct and specific.

Impressions born of it prevent further impressions. The resolution of even these final impressions then leads to the seedless samadhi.

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Comments

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    I shall be commenting on Patajali Yoga Sutra chapter on Sadhana Pada from the following translation and commentary

    Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
    .

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    (2:01)
    Tapas – austerity, endurance, strenuous effort
    Swadhyaya – detailed study of oneself
    Ishvara pranidhana – placing the mind at the disposal of inner self.
    Kriya Yoga – Practical or Technical Yoga
    .

    • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      “The organs are the horses, the mind is the rein, the intellect is the charioteer, the soul is the rider, and the body is the chariot. The master of the household, the King, the Self of man, is sitting in this chariot.” ~ Vivekananda

    • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      “There is an old Indian legend that if you place a cup of milk and water before a Râja-Hamsa (swan), he will take all the milk and leave the water. In that way we should take what is of value in knowledge, and leave the dross.” ~ Vivekanada

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    (2:02)
    Klesha – affliction; tension (inconsistency)

    • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

      Yoga is basically a system to remove kleshas (inconsistencies).

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    (2:03)
    Avidya – Ignorance.

    • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Ignorance lies in mistaking one part of a dichotomy for the other. The only way to spot this error is by keeping alert to inconsistencies.

    • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      Matter is simply a condensed form of awareenss. Body is a condemsed form of atman.

      The actual dichotomy is simple-complex, or uncondensed-condensed. Seeing spirit and matter as separate is an incorrect view. Those two do not form a dichotomy

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    (2:01 – 2:04) Yoga is a system to remove afflictions and inconsistencies and achieve the ideal state of one’s nature. The technology consists of strict discipline, devotion to study of self, and letting inner awareness control the mind. The key afflictions are I-feeling, attachment, aversion and clinging to life. The source of these is ignorance of reality. These afflictions could be dormant, attenuated, manifested intermittently or fully.

  • vinaire  On October 29, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    (2:05 – 2:09) Ignorance is to mistake the non-eternal for eternal, impure for pure, pain for pleasure, and non-self for self. I-feeling is narrowing of universal consciousness to consciousness as human self. Attachment is fixation on pleasure. Aversion is dispersal from pain. Clinging is the deep-seated desire of self to sustain itself.

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