Monday, August 1, 2011





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

In other words – the purified mind becomes 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 means 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.

In vs.42, Patanjali tells us about Savitharka Samaadhi. In savithraka Samaadhi, the sound, the meaning and knowledge of the object – which are actually separate from each other, mingle together when we meditate on them together – and savitharka samaaadhi results – in which all the three lose their individual identity and give us wholesome knowledge.

Now – we will see Vs.43, a progression from vs.42.


smrithi pari shuddhau

svaroopa-shoonya iva

artha-matra nirbhasaa nirvitarkaa

Ø  smrithi = memory
Ø  pari shuddhau = on purification
Ø  svarupa-shunyaa = devoid of its own nature (shunya = devoid; svarupa = its own nature)
Ø  iva = as it were
Ø  artha-matra = only the meaning
Ø  nirbhaasaa = illuminated
Ø  nirvitarkaa = without a gross thought

As we saw earlier - Savitharka Samaadhi results from meditating on the integration of sabda, artha and jnaana ( sound, meaning and the knowledge) of the object.

The sound and the meaning are both recorded in our memory about the object. The knowledge of the object also is recorded in memory. All chitta vritthis send some knowledge / experience to the memory.

In meditation, the Sadhaka integrates all the three  and achieve  Savitharka Samaadhi at the first stage of Samaadhi.

But – the Sadhaka shall not stop at the stage of the Savitharka Samaadhi. He will continue to meditate further, beyond the Savitharka stage

Beyond Savitharka Samaadhi – at some point of the Sadhaka’s meditation, comes the Nirvitharka Samaadhi. This is an advancement over the Savitharka. In Nirvitharka – the sound is not remembered. It fades away. The knowledge of the object also fades away.

The memory is purified and cleansed. Now – the mind or the memory, after purification, loses all of its identity or svaroopa.

When the memory loses all its identity – all tharka or logic is dissolved. All chittha vritthis fade away.

Nirvitarka Samaadhi is thus  – the stage where the Sadhaka transcends the sound, the knowledge of the object and all vritthis and thereby purifies the mind.

The meanings now appear as self evident truths – without flowing from the previously heard sounds or previously acquired knowledge. The meanings which are coming in as self evident truths do not require further proof or logic. They are more like the truths contained in great scriptures like the Upanishads, which don’t give any proofs – but are a proof in themselves.

So, in Nirvitarka Samaadhi, the knowing is without any reasoning. This Samaadhi is existential. As we can discern - savithraka to nirvitharka is a progression which happens when the sadhaka persists in his sadhana or meditation. No other special process is called for.

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