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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