Saturday, February 25, 2012

Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Ch.3.Vibhuti Paadha - How does samadhi occur - a multi-pointed mind becomes single-pointed - How?


Chapter 3

Vibhoothi Paadha


Sarvaarthathaih ekagrathayoh
kshaya udhayau
chitthasya Samadhi-parinamah

Ø  sarvaarthathaih =  (from) looking at all points; experiencing of all points
Ø  ekaagratha =  (comes) single-pointedness
Ø  kshaya =  depletion or gradual decay
Ø  udhayau = arising; coming up
Ø  chittasya =  in the  mind-stuff; in the consciousness;
Ø samaadhi-parinamah = transformation into Samadhi or deepest meditative state

In the earlier transformation, called nirodha parinaama, we have seen how the consciousness or chittha goes on looking for gaps between thoughts, instead of looking at thoughts. It is initially a difficult process – because, generating thoughts in succession and flowing along with them has been the main avocation of chittha all of our life.

Now, as Sadhakas, first we started watching the thoughts, thus slowing down their speed of flow in the mind. Next, we started watching the gaps between one thought and its succeeding thought.

It is definitely difficult for a mind which is accustomed to flowing with the thoughts. But, gradually, the sadhaka becomes accustomed to watching the gaps instead of the thoughts. The attention has now shifted to the Gaps between thoughts - from the thoughts themselves. Sadhaka no more watches the thoughts.  The gaps therefore start becoming bigger and bigger now.

Ordinary experience of each of us shows that - thoughts arise in respect of so many things in the world. Therefore, so far, sadhaka was shifting from one thought to another to another – in quick succession. One moment, he may be happy. Next, he may be morose. After some time, he may be angry. Next, he may get into a deep discussion. Love, jealousy, greed, money, learning – so many things go on passing through the chittha in some random, uncontrolled way.

The thought which occupies the Chittha this minute is gone in the next moment in which another entirely different thought comes and occupies it. That also will flow away leaving the Chittha filled with a next thought. This flow of different thoughts, disjointed and flowing in different directions – makes the Chittha multi-directional, multi-pointed at all times. It has no real focus or concentration on any single thought.

But, when the Chittha starts observing the Gaps between the thoughts,  slowly the thoughts reduce and the gaps increase. Then each gap becomes larger and larger, and if we carefully watch understand what is happening - the witness is actually looking at one and only gap, periodically interrupted by thoughts. The gaps are not several different gaps but they are a single canvass – on which the thoughts are appearing and vanishing. Gap watching gives the Chittha a single pointedness. There are no two or three or more gaps. Gap is just one. It is the one single flowing gap, which is the real canvass of the self on which the thoughts , diverse and different are flowing in intervals. Gap is continuous and thoughts are intermittent. Therefore,  chittha moves from multi-pointedness or diverse-pointedness to single pointedness gradually.

The gap becoming larger and larger - ultimately becoming just one single gap with no thought coming up in the Chittha after the last thought .This is called Samadhi-parinama. The nirodha parinama is now leading towards Samadhi parinama. The multi-pointedness is now becoming single pointedness.

All distractions and all thoughts are now settling down and only the thoughtless gap is rising up in the Chittha.


thathah punah shantha-uditau tulya-pratyayau chittasya ekaagrataa-parinimah

Ø  thathah = then
Ø  punah = again
Ø  shantha-uditau = coming down and again arising (one in the past and then in the present – again and again)
Ø  tulya-pratyayau = having equivalent or similar
Ø  chittasya = of the mind-field or consciousness
Ø  ekaagrathaa-parinamah = transition of one-pointedness

Now, the Sadhaka is attaining single-pointedness. Hitherto, his chittha could never retain one object, one thought or one idea for more than a fleeting moment. It was getting replaced by a different idea, different object or different thought in the next moment.

But, now, the Sadhaka is becoming capable of so doing, which is called Ekaagrathaa-parinamah. No doubt, thoughts do get replaced even now. But, the same or similar thought or the same object of the thought arises in the chittha again and again – which means, the same thought remains in the chittha, giving single pointed attention to the object of the thought.

This is Ekaagrataa-parinaamah.In this process, the Past constantly merges into the present. This merger of the past constantly into the present has deep implications for the perception faculties of the Sadhaka as we can see further.


ethena bhutha indriyeshu
dharma lakshana avasthaa parinamah 

Ø  ethena = by this
Ø  bhutha =, (in) all the elements
Ø  indriyeshu = (in) all sense organs
Ø  dharma = characteristics or qualities
Ø  lakshana = time (and form) characteristics
Ø  avasthaa = condition (old and new)
Ø  parinamah = transformation or change
Ø  vyaakhyaathaah = are described

Now, the Sadhaka is able to see how things change over periods of time very easily. This includes all of their characteristics, form and shape etc and how they are perceived by the sense organs at each period of their change and over a time period. The constant merger of the past into the present – presents before the Sadhaka all the changes that occur in the object of his focus.

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