Patanjali Sutras (Chapter 1)

patanjali_yoga_sutras

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

(1:01 – 1:04)

Patanjali states that the ideal state is the Seer being established in his own essential and fundamental nature.

Modifications to this nature bring about a departure from the ideal state.

Yoga restores the Seer to his ideal state by reducing those modifications.

.

(1:05 – 1:11)

Patanjali then describes the nature of such modifications.

The modification appears as knowledge, which is further modified by misconceptions, and then added to by speculations and assumptions. 

One either becomes oblivious of them or retains them in memory.

.

(1:12 – 1:16)

The resolution of these modifications comes from perceiving things objectively without attachment.

This is mindfulness (seeing things non-judgmentally as they are).

One establishes oneself in this practice by applying it uninterruptedly over a long period of time with dedication.

One then becomes free of cravings and is able to control one’s desires.

Knowing the ideal state one develops indifference toward all desirable and undesirable aspects of nature.

.

(1:17 – 1:22)

With this detachment comes cognitive Samadhi, which is accompanied by reasoning, reflection, bliss and self-absorption.

Then continued resolution of modifications brings one to non-cognitive Samadhi in which only impressions remain.

Some attain this non-cognitive Samadhi easily because of the nature they are born with.

For others it requires lot of effort in terms of faith, perseverance, reasoning and reflection.

How fast one attains non-cognitive Samadhi depends on the intensity of urge and the nature of means (mild, medium and strong) employed.

.

(1:23 – 1:28)

Alternatively, one may simply surrender to Ishvara.

Ishvara is that ideal untouched by the afflictions of life, actions, results and impressions.

It is the basis of all knowledge. It is the teacher of all teachers.

Ishvara is denoted by the word “Om.” Repetition of “Om” and meditation over its meaning shall bring one to Samadhi.

.

(1:29 – 1:32)

This provides true and dispassionate perspective of life; establishes one in objective introspection; and removes obstacles in the path of yoga.

These obstacles are illness, sloth, indecision and carelessness, laziness, clinging to sense enjoyments, delusional thinking, failure to attain Samadhi, and failure to retain Samadhi.

The accompanying symptoms are pain, despair, physical restlessness and irregular breathing.

To remedy these, the constant practice of one truth or principle is recommended.

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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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