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Yoga Sutras of Patanjaly
Freedom is the first step
Freedom is in the beginning. It is not an end result of any endeavour or effort or ego-trips in any form. It is the energy of seeing and understanding, not seeking and undertaking. Enlightenment is not entanglement with any pre-concept or predetermined postulate, ‘it is’ – not ‘it will be’ or ‘should be’. Doing anything for freedom from the mind while using the mind is the very denial of this freedom. To be able to comprehend this, is the supreme confirmation of this freedom. To perceive this freedom directly by and for oneself, all pursuits and paradoxes about freedom must come to an end. Freedom exists in disembodied and non-mental intelligence and energy, not in the intellect and ego.
1.1 atha yogānuśāsanam
Yoga (the subtle disciplining of the apparent self, and thus being connected to the real self) is now i.e. in the energy of the presence of life and not in the past or in the future which is the residence of the mind. Mind is the expression of life, but not life’s euphoria or ecstasy. Mind is the bondage and burden of life, not its bliss and benediction.
1.2 yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ
Occasional pauses in the circulation of the traits and tendencies of the mind (gunas) leads to yoga – the connection of the personal intellect with universal intelligence.
1.3 tadā draṣṭuḥ sva-rūpe '-vasthānam
Sight of these discontinuities is the vision of the divine or real self i.e. being established in one’s natural self.
1.4 vṛtti-sārūpyam itaratra
All else is mind, the separative consciousness, and its forms and formulations.
1.5 vṛttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭā akliṣṭāḥ
The five constituents of the mind are responsible for suffering and non-suffering.
(The field of memory is the ground on which the other four constituents occur. Evidence is at the top since it causes no suffering because of its availability to direct derivations and deductions without giving scope to delusions or deceptions).
1.7 pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni
Evidence is direct perception and deduction therefrom.
1.8 viparyayo mithyā-jñānam atad-rūpa-pratiṣṭham
Belief systems are disastrous delusions and dogmas since they are based on false knowledge and what should be (fancies and fantasies).
1.9 śabda-jñānānupātī vastu-śūnyo vikalpāḥ
Choices (psychological ones not technical ones) are substance-less activities that occur in proportion to conventional, cultural and verbal inputs.
1.10 abhāva-pratyayālambanā vṛttir nidrā
Insufficient reliance on direct perception ensnares us in postulates and paradoxes. This is the dimension of the mind that is dull and non-wakeful.
1.11 anubhūta-viṣayāsaṃpramoṣaḥ smṛtiḥ
Memory does not allow what is experienced to escape. Natural memory does not get obsessed, it is not inhibited, nor does it have any psychological residues such as influences or involvement.
1.12 abhyāsa-vairāgyābhyāṃ tan-nirodhaḥ
Vairagya is perseverance in detachment. Vairagya is the refusal to be involved with attraction and aversion. This eventually leads to discontinuity in the constant churning of thought and to occasional pauses in the circulation of the traits and tendencies of the mind.
1.13 tatra sthitau yatno '-bhyāsaḥ
Thereby be established in a wholehearted and careful process (of detachment).
1.14 dīrgha-kāla-nairantarya-satkārāsevito dṛḍha-bhūmiḥ
This process of detachment is firmly grounded in a long, dedicated and uninterrupted reverential attitude.
1.15 dṛṣṭānuśravika-viṣaya-vitṛṣṇasya vaśīkāra-saṃjñā vairāgyam
Detachment (vairagya) comes through having complete attention (vashikara sanjna). This is a result of aloofness from sense objects (visaya vitrishna) i.e. when sensory perceptions are not converted into sensuality by classification as pleasant or unpleasant.
1.16 tat-paraṃ puruṣa-khyāter guṇa-vaitṛṣṇyam
The highest intelligence (purusha) is then understood as a consequence of maintaining aloofness (vitrishna) from the gunas (traits of the mind, chittavritti).
1.17 vitarka-vicārānandāsmitā-rūpānugamāt saṃprajñātaḥ
Equanimity in consciousness emerges when rationalisation and contemplation occur in an atmosphere of blissful uniqueness i.e. without conforming and becoming.
1.18 virāma-pratyayābhyāsa-pūrvaḥ saṃskāra-śeṣo '-nyaḥ
The process of perceiving discontinuity (in the churning of mind) precedes the ending of all kinds of conditioning (samskara-shesa-anyah).
1.19 bhava-pratyayo videha-prakṛti-layānām
Direct perception of disembodied intelligence (chaitanya or purusha) occurs with the dissolution of the traits and tendencies of the mind (gunas or prakritti).
1.20 śraddhā-vīrya-smṛti-samādhi-prajñā-pūrvaka itareṣām
Before the dissolution of the gunas occurs (leading to the natural state), the following merits are needed:
1.21 tīvra-saṃvegānām āsannaḥ
An intense urge (for the natural state) will now arise.
1.22 mṛdu-madhyādhimātratvāt tato '-pi viśeṣaḥ
The urge evolves from mild to medium to strong and to even more uniqueness and excellence.
1.23 īśvara-praṇidhānād vā
Leading to the direct and immediate perception of the wholeness.
1.24 kleśa-karma-vipākāśayair aparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣa-viśeṣa īśvaraḥ
In wholeness, the divinity is the highest intelligence (purusha vishesa), uncontaminated by suffering resulting from entanglement with, or expectation of the fruits of actions. The fragmented activities of the mind are suffering. The wholeness, the intelligence, is untouched by mind.
1.25 tatra niratiśayaṃ sarvajña-bījam
In wholeness (i.e. in no-mind) is the seed of limitless, holistic perception (purusha).
1.26 pūrveṣām api guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt
Holistic perception, free from time (mind), is the greatest teacher of all.
1.27 tasya vācakaḥ praṇavaḥ
If at all this holistic perception of the cosmic consciousness (purusha or chaitanya purna) can be given sound, it can only be OM (pranava).
1.28 taj-japas tadartha-bhāvanam
OM can be chanted and contemplated upon.
1.29 tataḥ pratyak-cetanādhigamo '-py antarāyābhāvaś ca
OM is the centring of consciousness that overcomes all obstacles (arising out of centrifugal tendencies).
1.30 vyādhi-styāna-saṃśaya-pramādālasyāvirati-bhrānti-darśanālabdha-bhuumikatvānavasthitatvāni citta-vikṣepās. te '-ntarāyāḥ
The following are obstacles to holistic perception:
1.31 duḥkha-daurmanasyāṅgamejayatva-śvāsa-praśvāsā vikṣepa-sahabhuvaḥ
The suffering that accompanies the separative consciousness (mind) is:
1.32 (I) tat-pratiṣedhārtham eka-tattvābhyāsaḥ
The antidote for obstacles to holistic perception (for freedom from mind) is to persevere towards freedom without any diversion whatsoever.
1.33 (II) maitrī-karuṇā-muditopekṣaṇāṃsukha-duḥkha-puṇyāpuṇya-viṣayāṇāṃ bhāvanātaś citta-prasādanam
Holistic consciousness is actually a benevolence that involves:
1.34 (III) pracchardana-vidhāraṇābhyāṃ vā prāṇasya
The regulation of breath also leads to stillness and thus to holistic awareness.
1.35 (IV) viṣayavatī vā pravṛttir utpannā manasaḥ sthiti-nibandhanī
Freedom from the state of mental bondage (which results in the natural functioning of sensory organs) leads to the ending of the infatuation of the mind with objects and obsessions.
1.36 (V) viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī
The ending of sorrow or inner illumination (insight) will also lead to freedom from time (i.e. mind).
1.37 (VI) vīta-rāga-viṣayaṃ vā cittam
Detachment from material possessions is also holistic consciousness (chaitanya chitta).
1.38 (VII) svapna-nidrā-jñānālambanaṃ vā
Understanding the true nature of sleeping and dreaming results in freedom from fragmented consciousness.
1.39 (VIII) yathābhimata-dhyānād vā
Any meditation in accordance with one’s own understanding and intuition would lead to the essential freedom. (There is no method of meditation).
1.40 paramāṇu-parama-mahattvānto '-sya vaśīkāraḥ
Meditation (which converts borrowed knowledge into one’s own knowing) brings about a mastery over everything from the highest to the lowest phenomenon.
1.41 kṣīṇa-vṛtter, abhijātasyeva maṇer, grahītṛ-grahaṇa-grāhyeṣutatstha-tadañjanatā-samāpattiḥ
In an accomplished one, wherein traits and tendencies (gunas and vrittis) are disappearing (ksina), the cogniser and the object of cognition become one unitary movement due to the purity of sensory perception that remains untouched by sensuality (mind), just as a clear crystal takes the colour of that on which it rests.
(A brief comment on the meaning of the word samapatti which is often substituted by samadhi: Samapattti = sama + apatti = equal/choice-less + aloofness. This means equally aloof from all centrifugality. In other words complete absorption in equanimity. The difference between choice-less awareness and choice-less aloofness is that in choice-less awareness one is still available to the exterior whereas ‘equally aloof’ indicates total absorption in the interior. So samapatti can be substituted by samadhi.)
1.42 tatra śabdārtha-jñāna-vikalpaiḥ saṃkīrṇā savitarkā samāpattiḥ
Thereafter, the shallow and argumentative consciousness, arising out of choices and flowing from words with their interpretation and associated concepts and conclusions, is completely absorbed.
1.43 smṛti nirvicāra-vaiśāradye '-dhyātma-prasādaḥ-pariśuddhau sva-rūpa-śūnyevārtha-mātra-nirbhāsā nirvitarkā
The ending of all images about oneself (svarupashunyeva) leads to deconditioning (smritiparishuddhau) and the ending of argumentative consciousness resulting in subtle simulation of reality (arthamatra-nirbhasa).
1.44 etayaiva savicārā nirvicārā ca sūkṣma-viṣayā vyākhyātā
Thus subtle matters of mind and ‘no-mind’ are explained and understood.
1.45 sūkṣma-viṣayatvaṃ cāliṅga-paryavasānam
Understanding these subtle matters leads to the ending of all forms and formulations of the mind (alinga).
1.46 tā eva sabījaḥ samādhiḥ
Even in all this freedom, the seeds of mind may still be present.
The excellence and perfection of ‘no-mind’ (pure intelligence) results in the benediction of knowing the ‘otherness’(adhyatma).
1.48 rtaṃbharā tatra prajñā
In ‘no-mind’ is the wisdom of cosmic intelligence – the otherness – ritam.
1.49 śrutānumāna-prajñābhyām anya-viṣayā viśeṣārthatvāt
This ritam has very special significance, it is beyond intellectual matters or the knowledge that the mind acquires through testimony and inference.
1.50 tajjaḥ saṃskāro '-nya-saṃskāra-pratibandhī
Cosmic intelligence (ritam) generates pure consciousness and this keeps us free from conditioning and fragmentation.
1.51 tasyāpi nirodhe sarva-nirodhān nirbījaḥ samādhiḥ
Absolute and unconditional freedom without any seed of the mind is the ending of all endings.Download the Message in PDF format: Message 55: Yoga Sutra – Samadhi Pada (English)