Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PATANJALI - YOGASUTRAS - CH-3 - VIBHUTI PAADHA - vs.44,45 - power over 5 elements, samyama on maha-videha




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 3.43 – and we are continuing with the same further here.


bahih akalpitaa vrittih maha-videhaa
tatah prakasa aavarana kshayah

Ø  bahih = external
Ø  akalpitaa = unimaginable
Ø  vrittih = activities of mind
Ø  maha-videha = the great body-less existence
Ø  tatah = by that
Ø  prakasa = brightness; light
Ø  aavarana = covering
Ø  kshayah = destroyed

Deha means the physical body; Videha means one without (or not limited by) physical body. Maha-videha is the boundless consciousness or existence beyond the boundaries of physical bodies.

The light inside is our real self. But this is covered by several layers like annamaya kosa, pranamaya kosa, manomaya kosa, vijnana maya kosa and ananda maya kosa. The dehi or the person, i.e., you and I, generally identify with the annamaya kosa or the physical body.

We are also conscious of the pranamaya kosa and manomaya kosa, to some extent. For most of us, when we talk of our self – the identification is with annamayakosa and to some extent and manopayakosa, that is, physical body and mind. As a person evolves further, some more identification may come with pranamayakosa, vijnana maya kosa and ananda maya kosa. 

This identification is because – we always operate with our five senses for this purpose. All five senses and the mind operating through them go by the sensory input. What is beyond sensory perception remains beyond their capability to understand. Consciousness within and without is beyond sense-perception.

When we understand the sensory inputs and the five coverings are not our real self, we start examining the bound-less consciousness everywhere. In this process, the activities of the mind will begin to appear to us as mere objects or coverings and we begin to dis-identify with the mind-field activities. 

We now perform samyama on the maha-videha, or the bound-less consciousness. By this Samyama, the layers of ignorance covering the light of our inner consciousness are removed and we discover our real-self.

The process here is two-fold. The Sadhaka’s identification with the five coverings mentioned above, which are the causes and manifestations of ignorance, must end. Second, the Sadhaka must identify with the bound-less consciousness pervading the universe, which is called here as maha-videha. With such identification, the Sadhaka must perform Samyama on it. Then, the coverings on the real self dissolve and it will now shine out brightly, beyond its coverings. This means, knowledge of the self and identification with the self happens now.

Vs. 45

sthoola svaroopa sookshma anvaya
arthavattva samyamaath bhoota-jayah

Ø  sthoola = gross
Ø  svaroopa = own form
Ø  sookshma = subtle
Ø  anvaya = conjunction
Ø  arthavattva = purposefulness
Ø  samyama = dharana + dhyana + samadhi
Ø  bhoota = the five elements
Ø  jayah = mastery over

The five great elements of nature are - akasa, vayu, agni, water and earth. Each element is identified by (i) its Gross form (ii) its subtle form (iii) its purpose and (iv) its essence (or its basic character).

For each element, all these four characteristics need to be first understood clearly. Then, it is also necessary to understand how all these are interconnected to each other.

Performing Samyama on all these and their interconnectedness for each element - gives the Sadhaka enormous power over the element itself.

This way, Sadhaka can perform samyama on all the five great elements (Pancha Bhootas) and gain mastery over them.

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