Sunday, July 31, 2011





In Vs.41 – we have seen that the mind in which the Vritthis are mastered is like a crystal which takes on the colours of any thing placed before it – but in reality , remains without any change in itself.

In other words – the purified mind can become one with any thing it concentrates on, in its meditation – whether it is the self itself, or the bodily instruments through which the self accesses the rest of the world, or the objects which it accesses in the world outside.

This purified mind, like the clear crystal,  is capable of absorbing and reflecting , without distortion – the perceiver, the perceiving instruments and the perceived objects. This is one type of Samaadhi (samaapatthi).

Samaadhi is a state attained through deep meditation, where, the chittha vritthis ( mind-modifications) are weakened completely and therefore, the knowledge acquired in Samaadhi is very pure and clear, and is not modified / tainted by the vritthis. The increasing depth of Samaadhi goes on altering the quality of our understanding and our consciousness.

This Samaadhi state has a few variations, which Patanjali explains below :


thathra shabdha artha jnaana

vikalpaih sankeernaa savitharkaa


Ø  thathra = there
Ø  shabdha = sound, word
Ø  artha = meaning
Ø  jnaana = knowledge
Ø  vikalpaih = options
Ø  sankeernaa = mixed together; becoming one
Ø  savitarkaa = combined with gross thoughts
Ø  samaapatthih = samaadhi, absorption

There are three processes which are continuously happening to/in us which give us the knowledge of all objects / persons in the world around us.

First, we listen to a sound. Every object is represented by a sound in us. Without being represented by such a sound – the object cannot create any impression in us. No knowledge of it can be stored in us.

The second thing that happens is that – the meaning of the sound strikes our mind. The meaning is different from the sound, but, is associated with the sound, in our mind.

For instance, if you listen to your name being uttered by some one, first the sound strikes your ears. From the ears, it reaches your mind. There, the meaning is deciphered and some identity between the sound and the meaning is established.

Now, you know, the sound has referred to you. In the last phase, the sound and meaning lead us to the knowledge of the thing that the sound refers to. The knowledge of the object may be already  associated with the sound and meaning in our mind. Or, it may be created now – by contact with senses.

Sabda, artha, jnaana will all combine very quickly to infuse into us  the total idea of the object indicated by the sound.  The sound (or word) arises outside. It must reach the ears – else, no further use arises of the sound.

From the ears, it must travel to the mind and its meaning must be deciphered. This too must happen. Else, again, the sound becomes useless for us. The sound is some thing which comes from outside in waves, while the meaning is what we have given to objects associated with those sounds.

Third, the sabda and artha together must invoke the knowledge of the object which may be already inside us, or, which may be gained even at this point by the contact of the senses with the object. Sabda, artha, jnana put together become useful to us.

All these require a certain level of attentiveness in us - for combining the sabda, artha and Jnaana effectively and giving us the knowledge of the object.

But, we are moving a little beyond mere understanding or knowledge of the object. We are now meditating on the Sabda, artha, jnaana combination of processes about any object.

This meditation on the three processes put together leads us to savitharka Samaadhi. While sabda, artha, and Jnaana are three different entities or concepts – in savitharka smaadhi, through our meditation, we go deeper into them – to a point where the three merge together and become a single entity giving us total understanding.

Savithraka is the first or lower stage of Samaadhi – since, the mind is still functioning on gross or finer objects in a logical way. We have not crossed the borders of logical knowledge. Sense perceptions are still important in savitharka Samaadhi. Logical reasoning by mind is still a part of this process, which leads to the Samaadhi.

But, Savitharka Samaadhi unifies the benefit we get from the three concepts – and gives us the totality of knowledge of the object.

Can only the object be there in us – without the aid of the three entities of sabda, artha, jnaana? The answer comes in the next verse.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011



POST-32 –VERSE 40,41




parama mahattva

antah asya vashikaarah

Ø  paramaanu= from the minutest / smallest things
Ø  parama mahattva = largest / biggest things ;infinite things
Ø  antah = upto the end, extending up to
Ø  asya = of this, of his or hers (who has
Ø  vasheekaarah = mastery, power

Through the various yoga practices described in these Yoga sutras, when the Sdhaka keeps his mind in peace, steadiness and under control, the mind develops the power of mastery over all objects – from the smallest sized to  the largest ones in the Universe.

Mind begins to  understand everything which it wants to,  in the Universe – in its totality. Total understanding of any object – gives the mind, mastery over it.

There is a Beautiful Biblical saying also in this context.

"You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."

Faith really means – control over one’s own mind. Faith in one’s own self – which is where the Eeshwara, the almighty, truly resides. When the faith in this inner self becomes total, nothing is impossible for the Yogi.

That level of faith comes to the Sadhaka – through constant, consistent Yogic practices as prescribed in Yoga Sutras by Patanjali.

But, will you ask this mountain to move? You know its purpose where it is. You know the purpose of everything where they are. Therefore – the Yogi becomes almost desire-less. He won’t ask any thing to move, from here or there.

For the Yogi – his basic requirements get provided by Nature itself in some form or other. The Universe loves the Yogi, who understands itself and is always at his beck and call.


ksheena-vrittheh abhijaathasya
 iva maneh
graheethru grahana graahyeshu
thath-stha thath-anjanatha

Ø  ksheena-vrittheh =  purified mind – in which all types of mind- modifications are weakened and all of them stay under the control of the mind
Ø  abhijaathasya = naturally pure
Ø  iva = like
Ø  maneh = a precious stone / crystal of very great value
Ø  graheethru = the knower, the witness / observer
Ø  grahana = process and instruments of knowing
Ø  graahyeshu = the knowable objects
Ø  thath-stha = remaining stable in them;
Ø  thath-anjanatha = taking on the coloring / shape of the object
Ø  samaapatthih = total absorption, total  likeness, (like Samaadhi)

A purified mind – in which all the modifications of mind are completely weakened  and in which mind becomes the master, and not the vritthis -  is like a pure and invaluable precious stone (Crystal / Diamond) which is naturally very pure.

The crystal which is pure is colourless by itself – but can  take on the colours of any objects placed before it and reflect the same through all of its faces.

In the same manner, the pure mind, which is its own master, can take on the qualities of the objects on which it dwells.

The purified mind can focus attention on three different types of things as follows :

(i)                  Graheethru = This is - meditating on the self. Here – it is not the Atman / Brahman stated in the Vedanta, which is the purest self. At this point of time – we are not yet identifying with this Atman self. We are more in tune with our identification with the Ahankara (the egoic self) and asmita (the egoless self). Since, the ahankara has been subdued by mastering the vritthis, what is meant here is the asmita, or egoless self, which comes to the fore in Samprajnaatha Samaadhi, as we have seen earlier.

(ii)                 Grahana  = What are the Instruments that the mind can use – for focusing on any object? There are 13 instruments available to it through the body/mind; We can meditate on these 13 instruments also. Now – we have travelled from the inner self to the instruments it uses. The 13 instruments are - 5 karmendriyaas; 5 Jnanendriyas; mind; Buddhi; ahamkaara; Readers may note that Ahamkara is taken as an instrument here. It is truly an instrument. We try to meditate on any or all of these instruments. Actually – we are not meditating on the physical organs themselves. We are meditating on their subtle powers. For instance, we don’t meditate on the eye, but on the power of the eye. The power of the eye is not merely residing in the organ of the eye – but throughout the Universe. When we meditate on this Power – the power of seeing anywhere in the universe comes within the mastery of the Sadhaka.

(iii)                Graahyam =  From self – to the instruments that self uses – and now to the external objects that the self perceives through the Instruments. Graahyam refers to these external things. These are things which we can receive and understand; things that are outside of us; The Sadhaka must preferably focus on a noble object, name, form or sound. If the Sadhaka keeps his purified mind focused on such external things  and meditates on them – so that his mind lives on it, then, his mind perceives all the knowledge associated with it. Such external thing may be a huge, gross object like earth, mountain, water, fire, air etc. Or we may meditate on very subtle things; or on a God form or sound. We then master the status of that.

In all these three cases – the Sadhaka, whose mind has become pure – must meditate on them – without diverting his mind on to any thing else, and just concentrating on one thing at any time. In such meditation, the Yogi becomes the master of the thing that the mind is meditating on. He will understand all the characteristics of the thing meditated upon.

We can also say – the Yogi can become what he meditates on! But – we are yet to understand what Samaapatthi or Samaadhi means fully. For the present – let us understand that Yogi is the master of all that he meditates on

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