Friday, January 27, 2012

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = Verse.2.51,52,53 = when does mind become qualified for concentration or Dhaarana?



bahya abhyantara
vishaya aakshepi chaturthah

Ø  baahya = external
Ø  abhyantara = internal
Ø  vishaya =   realms
Ø  aakshepi = going beyond
Ø  chaturthah = is the fourth

The fourth pranayama goes  beyond the immediate spheres of external and internal Pranayama.

OSHO – gives a beautiful definition of pranayam – “breathe with the whole”.

It indeed is so – especially when it comes to going beyond the immediate spheres of the three pranayamas earlier mentioned.

The first three are body-mind oriented and most of the mechanics happen inside the body or in the immediate vicinity where the external retention happens.

But, though we call it external retention – the names given in yoga  treatises is baahya kumbhaka and antah kumbhaka.  Either you are filling your lungs with the inhaled air or with vacant space.

Pooraka is inhalation. Rechaka is exhalation. Kumbhaka is retention. If the air is inside, it is antah-kumbhaka; If it is outside, then, space fills the lungs and air (or praana) is outside and it is bahya-kumbhaka.

But, these processes of pooraka, rechaka and kumbhaka are done by sadhaka’s EFFORT in pranayama.

In the fourth type of Pranayama – the sadhaka needs to beyond these three. How? Watch the three processes. Become a witness to them. Become A Sakshi. Then, breathing of all three types occurs but, slowly the sadhaka goes beyond them. Pranayama happens – but he remains not the active doer – but the sakshi. It is true that pranayama is still done within his body-mind complex. But, he himself becomes a witness of the whole process. The mind-body complex totally becomes calm – and becomes prepared for Dharana and other steps of Yoga.

Patanjali – at the very beginning of yoga sutras has indirectly hinted – that becoming a witness, a drasta – is a key aspect of  reaching the ultimate goal. Becoming a Drasta – for the pranayama process is the fourth method of pranayama.

When he becomes a witness to the whole process – he is slowly  transcending the mind-body limits too – and is becoming a witness of the breathing process happening in the whole universe. The total movement of praanic energy is now witnessed by him. It is no more the Sadhaka who is breathing – but the Universe.


thathah ksheeyathe
prakasha avaranam

Ø  thathah = thereby
Ø  ksheeyathe = Gets destroyed
Ø  prakaasha =  illumination
Ø  avaranam = outer veil

What happens when the Sadhaka does Pranayama? This is explained now.

The manas (or mind) – which participates in the pranayama – is usually covered by a veil of maya; all negative qualities can be taken as maya for this purpose. All dualities can be taken as maya. These are destroying the clearsightedness, the focus of the mind, always – and distracting the sadhaka.

Pranayama can gradually reduce, and destroy this veil and make the mind shine in its original splendor. After practice of Pranayama – it is the experience of every sadhaka that mind rejects all dualities, becomes calmer and calmer  and settles down to a blissful period of internal peace.  The veil covering the mind now stands destroyed by the pranayama.


Dhaaranaasu cha
yogyathaa manasah

Ø  dharanasu = for concentration (dhaarana)
Ø  cha = and
Ø  yogyathaa =  qualifying, achieving capability
Ø  manasah = mind

When the mind has practiced pranayama – what further happens?

Mind becomes qualified and competent for performing  Dhaarana, the sixth step of Ashtaanga Yoga. Pranayama is the fourth step and Dhaarana is the six the step.

Though mind is now qualified to enter into the sixth step – there is yet another step between the two – called pratyaahaara. We will deal with pratyaahaara in the next Post.

*  *  *  E  N  D  *  *  *

No comments:

Post a Comment