Friday, February 17, 2012

PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS = Ch 3.8,9,10 = Nirbeeja Samaadhi = when all waves die down and Tranquility reigns

Chapter 3

Vibhoothi Paadha


thath api bahir angam nirbeejasya

Ø  thath = these, they
Ø  api =  (are) also
Ø  bahir = external
Ø  angam = parts, constituents
Ø  nirbeejasya = seedless Samadhi

Now, Patanjali is talking of the last stage in the Ashtanga Yoga. Samadhi is mentioned by him as a single constituent of the 8-part yoga. But,  Samaadhi itself has two distinct phases, though they are not taken as two different  parts of Ashtanga Yoga.

Through Dharana and Dhyanam, Sadhaka enters into Samadhi in which he becomes one with the object of Dharana. Now, the Object and the Sadhaka are not two different things, but are one single entity. The object gives out all of its innermost secrets to Sadhaka in this Samadhi itself.

This Samadhi was dealt with in Samadhi paadha in vs.1.42 onwards up to Vs.1.50. Initially, in this Samadhi, the sabda, artha and jnana are all together. Sabda means the wave that the object creates in the Chittha. Artha refers to the innermost secrets of the object. Jnana refers to what the Chittha perceives. All these are available to Sadhaka in this Samaadhi. It is called Savitharka Samadhi. 

Next comes Nirvitharka Samadhi – in which Sabda and Roopa both become absent. Only the artha is present. These Samadhis can again be either Savichara or Nirvichara. All these are beyond common human logic. What happens in them do not need  proof. The Sadhaka gets their prajna ( wisdom, which is much beyond ordinary scientific or logical  knowledge) in the Samadhi state. While Patanjali mentions different Names for different phases of the Sabeeja samaadhi – they actually happen at different points of time – in Dhyanam, and hence are a continuum.

In Sabeeja Samaadhi, for all practical purposes, Sadhaka has become one with the object of Dharana and Dhyanam. While all other Samskaras become absent, one samskara, of, the “I” the receiver of this Prajna,  is still present in Sabeeja Samaadhi. The oneness with the object does not erase this one Samaskara completely.

But, soon, the Sadhaka attains also, to NIRBEEJA SAMAADHI, or the SEEDLESS Samadhi State, in which all samskaras including the last “I” Samskara also dissolves totally. The Chittha is now totally absent.

This means - that Dharana, Dhyanam and Samadhi, though internal compared to the first five constituents of Yoga, also become external to the Sadhaka once the Nirbeeja Samadhi is attained.


vyutthaana nirodha samskaarayoh
abhibhava pradurbhaavou
nirodhah kshana chitta anvayah

Ø  vyutthaana = the arising of
Ø  nirodha = restraining
Ø  samskaarayoh = subtle,deeply ingrained impressions and habits
Ø  abhibhava = not appearing; disappearing
Ø  praadurbhavou = appearing again
Ø  nirodhah = restraining
Ø  kshana = moment
Ø  chittha = of Chittha or the mind-field
Ø  anvayah = associated or connected with
Ø  nirodhah = restraint or mastery
Ø  parinaamah = Consequence or effect

Nirodha parinama is a particular condition which the chittha experiences or becomes associated with – when on one side, the deep impressions or samskaras are disappearing and some are re-appearing – but are again getting restrained – and the chittha is active in the moments of restraining the samskaras as they appear, disappear and re-appear.

The Samskaras are not staying in Chittha because of the restraining. But, some are re-appearing. But, there is a gap, which occurs between the restraining and re-appearing.

In other words, Sadhaka is now an active, conscious witness of the thought processes and is capable of restraining the deep impressions as they appear. But, they do tend to re-appear with some gap. Again, they are restrained. All these happen by watching them consciously, which weakens them and make them disappear.

In between the Nirodha parinama, gaps which appear are akin to Samadhi, in which the Chittha has no thoughts at all. These are of course small gaps initially.

Initially, the Sadhaka is watching the thoughts or the Samskaras; but, now, he can shift to watching these gaps between the thoughts or Samskaras. This is the significant step needed.

Nirodh parinama is thus, when the mind dwells on the gaps between the disappearance of one samskara and reappearance of another. The thoughts don’t matter. The samaskaras do not interest the chittha any more.. Therefore, their disappearance is much faster, but their re-appearance becomes much slower; the gaps between them become longer and longer.

The gaps give the Sadhaka his Samadhi experience. The gap is the bliss. The gap is the sadhaka’s reality, while the samskaras are his acquired traits, which masquerade as his reality all his life.


thasya prashaantha vaahithaa samskaraath

Ø  thasya =  In that (mind frame)
Ø  prashaanta = peaceful, calm
Ø  vaahithaa = flowing
Ø  samskaaraath = subtle impressions, deepest imprinted habits

Initially, the gaps are small (between any 2 thoughts), but as the Sadhaka focuses attention on the gaps leaving out the Samskaras, the gaps become longer and longer and the gap becomes a flow, instead of the thoughts being a flow.

At this stage, the mind has no more (thought) waves. All waves die down. A serene tranquility reigns; the gap is now a long flow; this is the nirbeeja Samaadhi; This tranquility is the finest  accomplishment of  Samyama.

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