Saturday, January 12, 2013




Samyama is the process of seeing your multi faceted self, from different angles – and ultimately realizing all of them. In Samyama, we start with Dharana on a particular Goal – and therefore, all wisdom pertaining to that Goal and it extensions -  comes to the Sadhaka in Samyama. We have seen that process in earlier sutras upto 3.35 – and we are continuing with the same further here.


Sattva purushayoh atyanta asankeernayoh pratyaya aviseshaadh bhogah paraarthatvaat  svaartha samyamaat purusha-jnaanam

Ø  sattva = Absolute intelligence or truth, Satva Guna in us
Ø  purushayoh = Absolute consciousness
Ø  atyanta = complete
Ø  asankeernayoh = pure, not mixed with others
Ø  pratyaya =  idea
Ø  aviseshaadh = without any special characteristic
Ø  bhogah = experience
Ø  paraarthatvaat = for the sake of others
Ø  svaartha = for the sake of the self
Ø  samyamaat = through samyama
Ø  purusha =  absolute consciousness
Ø  jnaanam = knowledge

Human beings are constantly exposed to different types of experiences as they do not differentiate between the Satva (the intelligence which resides in the self) and the  Purusha, the pure consciousness which is infinite.

There is a continuing confusion in our minds between these two distinct aspects.

We are constantly driven towards a stream of experiences because of this unending confusion between the Satva and the Purusha i.e., the pure intelligence in the self and the pure consciousness that is Purusha. All experiences we thus get relate to things, other than Purusha – so long as this confusion persists in us. Our  experiences do not even relate to the Satva or the self. They are a dream-like state, where nothing is real and every experience is untrue.

The infinity is Purusha. Our Satva, the pure intelligence in us must remain stable within the self, to realize and understand the Purusha. This is what is called svaartha samymaath Purusha jnaanam.

Remaining in the self and contemplating on it gives the much needed clarity that the experiences are just dreams and unreal. The reality is the Purusha, the pure consciousness, which is infiniteness.

“Svaartha” in normal usage, means selfish. In this sutra, it means, self-centredness or self-focuses. This again does not convey the exact connotation. We must withdraw from all worldly matters, including our own body and mind, and focus towards our innermost self and explore the self. Exploring the self is the Samyama that is needed. When the Self is explored and when we perform samyama on the self – it is called  Svaartha samyama. What do we achieve by that process? We attain Purusha Jnanam. We achieve the total understanding of the pure consciousness, that is called Purusha.

The whole Universe is the product of mixing of the three Gunas, Satva, Rajas and Tamas. When the yogi has performed all the initial Sadhanas, he has left his rajas and tamas behind and his Satva Guna is prominent in him. Satva Guna is the purest, brightest and the wisest. But, even the Satva Guna will yield way to the Sat, the pure existence, that is our real self.

Normally, all of our experiences are of the world which is a mixture of all the three Gunas –  and are neither of the pure self nor of the Purusha, the infinite. There is no way, we can easily meditate on the Purusha directly and do samyama on Purusha.

Dharana itself is on specific, identifiable objects or ideas. That is why, in India, we have so many symbols and gods. A linga is a symbol, A tree, a bird, a cobra, a stone shaped like your favorite god (Siva, Vishnu etc) –just about anything can be a symbol of God. If you see the god within that symbol, it is no more a stone for you; your god is there. If you cannot see the god there, it is just a stone, or bird, or tree. In the Anu (or atom), one can experience the Mahat or the Universe. That is why, the Sastra says, “anoraneeyaam, mahato maheeyaam”.

This is foolishly interpreted by some, saying that Indian culture has thousands of gods. Not thousands, it is actually trillions of gods. Everywhere, god is present, and everyone, who is determined to see him, can see him wherever he likes, in any form he likes. With the eyes, ears and touch that we possess, that is the only possibility. Even the mind cannot go beyond these.

The search for the infinity starts with the search in the self. This is the only possibility open to us. Searching the infinity is not really a possibility open to human mind.

The search starts – when we focus on our inner self. This self search is called, Svaartha Samyama, or Samyama on the self .This is the dharana-dhyana-samadhi , which one can perform, when one has advanced to some extent with the other samyamas, so far described.

Practically, one must withdraw from all experiences of outside world, withdraw from the experiences that mind itself creates within us and withdraw into the pure self. Perform samyama on the pure intelligence or the self. In the self itself lies the understanding of the Purusha, or the pure consciousness or the infiniteness.

It is not that, something which is not already there in the self comes in afresh there. The Purusha is there already. Now, he is revealed to us by the Samyama.Withdrawing from the Body-mind complex is something that advanced yogis and Jnanis have always done very effortlessly.

Yogis understand the self and the Purusha through the combination of dharana, dhyana and samadhi that is, Samyama. Many Sadhanas are needed before they can perform dharana and dhyana and then they can get into Samadhi. But, a stage comes, when samyama becomes effortless for the yogi.

Yogis have found ways of retaining the body and mind for any number of years, as much as they want. They can keep the body and mind healthy through the same samyama path, anywhere in the world. They are called Siddhas – who have achieved this siddhi.

Realization of the Infiniteness comes through the samyama on the self. This also is a vibhuti or siddhi – according to Patanjali.


tatah pratibha sravana vedana adarsha aasvaada vaartaa jaayante

tatah = thence, there
pratibha = higher level of knowledge
sravana = higher level of hearing
vedana = higher level of touch
aadarsha = higher vision
aasvaada = higher levels of taste
vaartaa = higher levels of smell
jaayante = arise, occur

This sutra is a continuation of sutra.3.36. By the knowledge of that pure consciousness which we achieve by the svaartha samyama, other siddhis like divine or intuitive hearing, touch, taste, smell and vision also arise in us.

In the path of yogi, many siddhis come from day one. Even when he is performing the initial Sadhanas like yama, niyama, asana and pranayama – the yogi is transforming himself from a restless, negative person into a peaceful, positive person with good health to back him up in advanced Sadhanas.

But, when his Sadhanas progress into pratyahara and dharana, which are more difficult, he will need to persist in his Sadhanas with consistency and devotion. Once, he achieves dharana, he will need to focus on different objects, ideas and concepts for dharana and persist in them. The dharana will move him on into dhyana gradually and dhyana will move him on into Samadhi finally.
The trio of Dharana-dhyana-samadhi , is called Samyama. Samyama on the self results in knowledge of Purusha, as we have seen. This Samyama results not only in the knowledge of Purusha but enhancement of the powers of the five senses of the sadhaka to the level of intuitive perception.


the samadhau upasargah vyutthane siddhayah

the = these (attainments)
samadhau = meditations in the samadhi level
upasargah =  impediments
vyutthana = to the outgoing mind
siddhayah =  achievements or attainments

The Siddhis and intuitive experiences which the Sadhaka attains to, through samyama are actually obstacles to his Samadhi. But, they will seem to be great attainments  when the mind is outgoing into the worldly activities. Patanjali is consistently warning the Sadhaka that all the offers and siddhis he gets, on  the way to Samadhi, are actually enticements to wean him away from his ultimate goal. They will come any way. But, unmindful of them, the Sadhaka must continue his Sadhana towards the ultimate Goal of Kaivalya.


No comments:

Post a Comment