Monday, February 27, 2012

Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Ch.3.Vs.14,15,16 - Knowing Past, Present and Future - through Samyama



Chapter 3

Vibhoothi Paadha


shaanta uditha


dharma anupaathee dharmee

Ø  shaantha = the one which subsided (recent past)
Ø  uditha = the one now arising (present)
Ø  avyapadesya = (that is) still unmanifest
Ø  dharma = (its own) characteristics
Ø  anupaathee = closely conforming to
Ø  dharmee = the object containing the characteristics, substratum, existence

Dharmee  points to a sub stratum, a a base, against which all changes can be recognized. A child, over a period of time and space, becomes a boy, then a youth, then a middle aged man and then an old man. But, we do recognize that the same person is changing.

There are changes occurring always. We see the changes that occurred in the past and  those that are occurring in the present; we also know that changes will occur in future as well. The old man may not be looking like the erstwhile child. But, we do know that there is a basic sub-stratum in the being against which all these changes are occurring. It is the same thing in any object, living or non-living. All things are changing constantly, but, all changes are occurring against a basic sub-stratum. Likewise, at a more macro level, at a more complex level, even earth, sun, stars are also changing – may be over much longer periods of time and space. Again, there also, we see a basic sub-stratum against which all changes can be seen and recognized.

The whole creation proceeds thus against a common sub-stratum – against which which we can spot all changes.


krama anyatvam 

parinamah anyatve hetuh

Ø  krama = orderly sequence
Ø  anyatvam = differences
Ø  parinamah = change, transformation
Ø  anyatve = for the differences
Ø  hetuh =  reason

Why do things change? Is there an orderliness in change? Or, is there a randomness in the process of change?

Patanjali, the extraordinary scientist, has identified why things change the way they do.

What we see  the final effect or the final transformation in anything or any being is naturally guided by the  causative processes, which are very much inherent in the seemingly orderly behavior of the things.

For instance, the child may look so innocent. But the growth processes are already ordered into him in a manner that each such process takes over at some point of time and produces a specific change. The Child may turn; may crawl; may get up; may stand; may walk or run;  The orderliness in the underlying processes is not visible to us; but, they go on producing the external transformation that  is visible to us.

It is the same with any living or non living thing in the world. It is the same at the level of the atom or at the level of the stars.

This is an absolute scientific statement of CAUSE & EFFECT. Simply put, it says – the causes produce the effects. It looks so simple. But, why is Patanjali saying this in the science of Yoga? The answers comes in succeeding verses.


Parinaama  thraya


atheetha anaagatha jnaanam

Ø  parinaama thraya =  the three transformations
Ø  samyamaath = by doing Samyama (on)
Ø  atheetha = past
Ø  anaagatha = what has not yet come, i.e., future
Ø  jnaanam = knowledge

There are three types of parinaamas or transformations that Patanjali has spoken of in earlier verses.

The first is - Nirodha Parinaama wherein Sadhak shifts his focus from the thoughts to the gaps. The gaps between the thoughts go on becoming bigger and bigger and the frequency of thoughts comes down gradually. Samadhi parinama happens when the sadhaka stays very calmly on the Gap which is now the main focus and it is rarely interrupted by a stray thought, if at all.

There are almost no thoughts at this stage and the mind is  in a state of awareness without thoughts.This is Samadhi Parinaama.

At this stage, the Sadhaka’s dharana and his Dhyanam – for which may have earlier selected an object, a goal, an idea, a person or anything  for his sadhana – comes into focus in a wonderful way. It is no more a sequence of thoughts on different objects, not staying on anything for some time.

The past, the present and the future – of the same object presses itself into the Gaps and into the focus of the Sadhaka now in succession. This is called Ekaagrata parinaama.

What does this mean for the sadhaka.

Now, the sadhaka is able to see the past, present and future of the object totally and clearly on the single canvass of his focus – i.e., the single uninterrupted gap in his focus.

Yogi who does Samyama on an object and goes through the three parinaamas -  thus knows the past, present and future of the object (or person) very clearly and instantly. For this, he just focuses on the underlying processes of change, which happen in the past, present and future. The external transformation is automatically revealed to him.

We must remember that the Yogi is already one with the object while doing his Dharana, Dhyanam and Samadhi – and the object is ready to reveal all its innermost secrets to him. The three processes, Dharana, Dhyanam and Samadhi, as we know, are together called samyama – and, they are one single, uninterrupted process. In Samyama, the three transformations go on happening in sequence from Nirodha to Samadhi to Ekaagrata – and  knowing the past, present and future becomes a result of samyama, when the focus is on the underlying processes of change

Samyama is an extraordinary process – and gives extraordinary skills and faculties to Yogi – though, it is up to the Yogi to use or not use any or all of them. 

If the Yogi focuses on some other aspect of the object, what happens? We will see more in next verses to come

*  *  *  E  N  D  *  *  *

No comments:

Post a Comment