Wednesday, August 3, 2011
PATANJALI = YOGA SUTRAS = POST-37 –VERSE 48,49,50,51 = WHY MUST YOU STUDY YOGA SUTRAS?
POST-37 –VERSE 48,49,50,51
CHAPTER.1 : SAMAADHI PAADHA
We have seen four types of Deep meditations or Samaadhis in this chapter, namely : (1) Savitharka Samaadhi (2) Nirvitharka Samaadhi (3) Savichaara Samaadhi and (4) Nirvichaara Samaadhi
Any Samaadhi happens only in the person in whom the Chittha Vritthis have weakened completely and he stays as the master. He can attain Samaadhi state by meditating on the self (gruheethru) or on the instruments of sense perception (Grahana) or on the perceived objects outside (Graahyam). He can attain oneness with them – when meditating on them – like a pure crystal which can take the colour of any object placed before it – but without any way getting affected by it.
The Sadhaka can either meditate on gross objects or on subtle objects. When he meditates on gross objects, Savitharka and Nirvitharka Samaadhis result. First comes Savitharka, in which Sabda (Sound),artha (Meaning), Jnaana (Knowledge) occur in an integrated way; Later by the dissolving of Sabda and Jnaana and the illumination of only artha - the Nirvitharka Samaadhi results.
Nirvitharka Samaadhi flashes to the Sadhaka the meaning without dependence on logic. The Sadhaka will know the object in totality – but doesn’t need logic for explaining his knowledge. In simpler terms – when he enters into Nirvitharka Samaadhi – all logic ends; but knowledge even beyond all logic becomes known to Sadhaka.
When Sadhaka meditates on subtle objects (instead of Gross objects) the Savithraka Samaadhi that results is called Savichaara Samaadhi.
Likewise, on meditating on subtle objects further – the Sadhaka gets into Nirvitharka Samaadhi (without the aid of Sabda and Jnaana now). Proceeding in meditation further, the Sadhaka gets into Nirvichaara Samaadhi. The ancient Vedantic and Yogic texts mention a few subtle objects – like Tanmaatras, Aham thathvam, Mahath, unmanifest Prakrithi (called Maya).The last mentioned, namely unmanifest Prakrithi is the subtlest entity that Sadhaka can meditate on.
The objects of meditation being the smallest and subtlest – the meditation that proceeds on them – will naturally and necessarily remove from us all bonds of gross objects. The 4 Samaadhis described do not give us final liberation – because, they do not destroy the seeds Samsaara completely. There is some object, to which we are still bound and therefore, past samskaaraas are not completely removed.
ritambharaa thathra prajnaa
Ø ritambharaa = filled with truth; highest level cognition
Ø thathra = there (when mind is totally peaceful)
Ø prajnaa = knowledge, wisdom, insight
In all these aphorisms – we are now referring to Nirvichaara Samaadhi – in which, the mind has become absolutely peaceful and the understanding that results to us is about the absolute level of truths – which do not depend on Sabda and jnaanam. Sabda and Jnaana give us relative truths – not absolute truths.
We understand every object in its totality of absolute truth. Rithanbharra prajnaa means the knowledge which is filled with the absolute, total truth. Since, we are not using the sense perception or memory to gain this knowledge – this knowledge itself is beyond sense perception and beyond past memories.
When we say, Sabda, it does not mean sound alone or ear perception alone. It means all sense perception. Jnaanam means mind filled with past memories. Both are useless – when we are accessing highest level of truths in Nirvichaara Samaadhi.
shrutha anumaana prajnaabhyaam
Ø shrutha = Knowledge resulting from hearing from others; from tradition; from Gurus etc
Ø anumaana = inference of the cause from the effect; reasoning; imagination
Ø prajnaabhyaam = from those kinds of knowledge
Ø anya-vishayaa = other subjects / objects / ideas etc; other types of
Ø vishesha-arthatvaath = beyond ordinary understanding ;
What are the methods through which we attain knowledge?
1. Through sensory experience – called prathyaksha pramaanam. In these verses, Sabda Jnaanam is mentioned as one, but it includes other valid sense perception like seeing with eyes etc.
2. Imagination :Many times, we do not have direct Proof; but an indirect proof is available. If an older man and an younger man are seen to be alike, we presume a father-son relationship: suppose we see smoke, we infer a fire. This is from our past knowledge and experience. This is called anumaana.
Sabda and anumaana do not give us direct knowledge. They can be some times wrong. Somebody telling us about any event is also not direct knowledge. This knowledge depends on the trustworthiness of the teller. Even when we see things with our own eyes - we only get some superficial knowledge of the object.
But, in this verse, we are talking of perceiving objects which are beyond sense perception and imagination.
A yogi can perceive many things – very subtle objects not visible to eyes, very subtle sounds not audible to ears, things which happened elsewhere, things which happened in the past and so on – through his meditative depth.
Nirvichaara Samaadhi brings such knowledge that is beyond sense perception and beyond what is stored in memory.
anya samskaara paribandhi
Ø tajjah = that born out of rithambhara prajnaa
Ø samskaarah = the deep impressions in the mind
Ø anya = other
Ø samskaara = deep impressions of the mind
Ø paribandhi = obstructs, inhibits
Nirvichaara Samaadhi is the Best of the 4 samaadhis – because Sadhaka’s mind becomes absolutely peaceful and pure. It becomes eligible to receive ultimate wisdom, because it contains absolute truths on the subtlest objects – beyond human logic.
When the mind contains such absolute truth in it – untruth cannot stay there. Likewise, till untruth is entrenched in the mind – the absolute truth will not enter into the mind.
When rithambharaa prajnaa enters into the purified mind – it removes all other samskaaraas entrenched in the mind. It does not allow any new samskaaraas also to enter into this purified mind.
The Sadhaka who has arrived into rithambahara prajnaa – has capabilities to access the purest, wholesome, absolute truths, which are beyond all other men who depend on sense capabilities and memory for their knowledge.
thasya api nirodhe
Ø tasya = of that (the mind filled with absolute truths of subtlest things)
Ø api = also
Ø nirodhe = control, obstructing from entering in
Ø sarva = all (other)
Ø nirodhaath = control, obstructing from entering in
Ø nirbeejah = seedless (nir = without; bijah = seed)
Ø samaadhih = deepest meditation
We have seen four Great meditations so far – ending in Nirvichaara Samaadhi – which enables Sadhaka to access knowledge directly without dependence on senses or memory. But, even in this Samaadhi, small traces of bondage are there – bondage to the subtlest things meditated on, which in turn, do not destroy the very deep rooted past samskaaraas (or mind impressions) from the mind. These very deep rooted samskaaraas or mental impressions have the capability to come to the fore at the slightest opportunity – and regain control over the Sadhaka.
Therefore, at the last stage – the Sadhaka destroys even these subtlest things from the mind, freeing himself from all bondages, freeing himself from all past samskaaraas, from all deepest rooted mind-impressions. This becomes the true liberation for the Yogi – as he has now attained to the ultimate possible success in yoga – the Nirbeeja Samaadhi.
Here Ends the First Chapter titled Samaadhi Paadha. The readers must be having several questions at the end of the first chapter. Basic Questions like – What is meditation? How to meditate? How to sit? What to do in meditation? How to progress in meditation? What real problems do I encounter? How to solve them? Patanjali addresses all of them in the second chapter titled Saadhana Paadham. The first chapter has 51 verses or Aphorisms – while second one has 55 verses.
The third chapter – vibhoothi Paadham has 56 verses and is devoted the description of certain special powers that Sadhaka gets in the practice of Yoga. The fourth is Kaivalya Paadham – the chapter on ultimate liberation and it has 33 verses.
Periodically – we will now discuss PRACTICAL ASPECTS – because, after all, the purpose of Yoga Sutras is to practice Yoga and not to understand Yoga academically.
Should Yoga be practiced only under a competent Guru? If so, what is the purpose of studying this Book?
The answer is both Yes and No.
Yoga is just the ideal way of life – in many of its aspects. Not knowing it, and not knowing the rationale for it – is the chief cause of suffering for all people.
One who studies Yoga Sutras and understands them – is capable of leading an infinitely more joyful life than others. Vedanthins, who do not give much credence to Yoga practices in attaining liberation - also read Yoga sutras because of the richness of its practical utility for daily life.
You may not be interested in final liberation. Many are not. Even so – the understanding of these Yoga Sutras is highly beneficial in enjoying our lives.
An accomplished Guru is absolutely necessary – when you want to perform certain higher practices. If you want to learn different varieties of Pranayama, please do learn from a Guru. But, Patanjali does not place too much importance on these multifarious methods of Pranayama. The simplest pranayama is enough for Patanjali. If you want to learn various asanas, kriyas, bandhas etc – please learn from a Guru. But, for Patanjali, the simplest Asana is enough.
What about meditation? However much a Guru teaches meditation – your success in meditation depends on what Patanjali has prescribed for purification of your mind. These are essentially in the nature of a Good, pure, life style. Nothing else. A Good man is a Good Sadhaka.
So, start practicing simple meditations – even from internet. Adopt a simple, virtuous life style. As we proceed further – we will examine, what to seek and what not to seek from meditations.
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