Wednesday, February 20, 2013

PATANJALI - YOGASUTRAS - CH-3 vs55, 56 - Holistic Knowledge - Kaivalyam -



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


taarakam sarva visayam sarvathaa visayam

akramam cha iti viveka jam jnanam

Ø  taarakam = transcending
Ø  sarva = all
Ø  visayam = objects, including all aspects of them
Ø  sarvathaa = by all means
Ø  visayam = objects
Ø  akramam = beyond any sequence
Ø  cha = and
Ø  iti = this
Ø  viveka = discrimination, discernment
Ø  ja = born
Ø  jnanam = wisdom or knowledge

In the last sutra, Patanjali had talked of how Sadhaka’s perception is enhanced by his samyama on the factor of time and the succession of moments of time. The Sadhaka is now able to perceive any object without the limitations of category, characteristics and place.

This knowledge is much higher and deeper than all other knowledge of the objects. It transcends all limitations and Sadhaka can now see all objects at all times in all variations.

Past, Present and Future are no limitations for the Sadhaka now. We, ordinary people, can only see the present – what is, this moment; and that too, what is before our eyes.

Sadhaka can see what was, ten years ago, what is, at present and what will be, ten years into future, simultaneously. The Succession of moments of time is immaterial for the Sadhaka now.

The entire static and dynamic states of all objects at all points of time are now within his knowing. Samyama on succession of moments of time brings all this wisdom into his knowing.

Vs. 56

sattva purusayoh suddhi

saamye kaivalyam iti

Ø  sattva = purity aspect of mind
Ø  purusayoh = pure consciousness
Ø  suddhi = purity
Ø  saamye = equality
Ø  kaivalyam = absolute liberation
Ø  iti = this

This is the last sutra in Vibhuti Paada. Patanjali defines here, the ultimate goal of Yoga, the Kaivalya.

What is Kaivalya?

For understanding this, we must keep in mind both the seeker and the sought (or the goal).

The seeker here is the sadhaka, the Yogi. He has come through so many stages; so many steps; from yama, niyama, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and Samadhi – to a goal which Patanjali calls now as KAIVALYA. This is the ultimate goal for the Sadhaka; Kaivalya is the sadhyam, the goal that he has been seeking. His sadhana was for Kaivalya, not for physical strength; not for mental strength; not for enormous super human powers; and not also for the association with Godly angels.

He has passed all those earlier stages; now he is at a stage where his self is like the purest mirror that can ever be.

There are no angers, jealousies or any other negative qualities in him. There are no attachments in him towards any one on earth or anywhere in the Universe, including the Angels.

He sees the past, present and future of any and every object or being and therefore, knows their  static and dynamic states at all points of time. His detachment extends to his own body and mind too. The external impurities constituting the objects of Universe are freed from him. The internal impurities constituting the body-mind complex also is freed from him.

He is now the purest self. Sathva represents the pure self. In case of the Sadhaka, who has even spurned the offers and invitations of Gods and angels, and has refused to fall for the charms of super human powers, there are no more any desires  which can create any impurities in him.

At this stage there is a perfect parity or equality between his purest self and the purest Purusha or the all-pervading consciousness.

Is it a stage which other mortals can define or elaborate to give us a perfect idea of it? No. It is almost impossible to accurately define Kaivalya state. But, the readiness for it in the Sadhaka alone can be hinted.

The Most persistent Yogi who attains to the stage of his purest self – is ready for Kaivalya. The all pervading, supreme consciousness also now sees him as the equal.

Does this all pervading consciousness called Purusha now become one with the Suddha Satva Self or just reflect and shine through him or whatever else happens?

The Vedanta or Upanishadic Philosophy defines the purest self in three words : truth, consciousness and Bliss. The self is all these simultaneously and not one after another. This is it's real, original state of the Self, when the impurities do not touch the self.

The Yoga Philosophy tells the Sadhaka – become this purest sathva, the purest truth; Now,  the consciousness and bliss also become your qualities.

Sadhaka is not just truthful – he is the truth now. He knows the past, present and future so accurately, that, nothing misses him. Nothing is a wonder for him. Nothing is super human now. Nothing is beyond or below him.

If we are to express Kaivalyam in the words of the Upanishads, we may say – “that thvam asi” – That thou art. There is no becoming in that. There is only realization.

You are (always) that (which you are seeking)

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Tuesday, February 19, 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 3.51 – and we are continuing with the same further here.


sthaani upanimantrane sanga smaya

akaranam punah anista prasangaat

Ø  sthani = Devatas, those controlling natural Powers
Ø  upanimantrane = by invitation
Ø  sanga = by association
Ø  smaya = a smile arising out of pride
Ø  akaranam = not to entertain
Ø  punah = again
Ø  anista = undesirable
Ø  prasangaat = Getting involved

When the Sadhaka is becoming more and more proficient in his Sadhanas and Samyama; and when he is able to enter into Samadhi at will, many things start happening around him.

There are celestial angels or Gods, all around us who are controlling various powers of nature. They become interested in the Sadhaka now. They extend invitation to the Sadhaka to accept various Powers  – from them. Many Sadhakas will be instantly enamoured by receiving such solicitations and invitations from these heavenly beings.

Should the Sadhaka accept such invitations and solicitations proffered by the angels or Gods? No – says Patanjali.

The very fact of receiving such invitations from celestial beings will create a sense of achievement in the Sadhaka. Even this, says Patanjali, must be guarded against by the Sadhaka.

It is of course a fact that the Sadhaka has come a long way in his Sadhanas.

But, now, he is just a hair-breadth distance away from his Goal of Kaivalya. Therefore, many other Goals are presented before him as diversions, by the Celestial beings. Why do they do it?

It could be the vital, last test, before the Sadhaka is admitted to Kaivalya.

The super-human powers, however great, are not comparable at all with the Goal of  Kaivalya. On the other hand, their impact on Sadhaka is to take him again on the downward path – into ego and all ego based  thoughts, words and actions.

In the eyes of the world and other human beings, he may be considered as Great. But, he becomes a fallen yogi, having fallen at the final goal Post.

Vs. 3.53

ksana thath kramayoh

samyamaath viveka-jam jnanam

Ø  ksana = (present)moment
Ø  thath = its
Ø  kramayoh = succeeding moments
Ø  samyamaath = By samyama (dharana + dhyana +  Samadhi)
Ø  viveka = (from)discrimination
Ø  jam = born of
Ø  jnanam = wisdom

The last of the Samyamas is also the most difficult and least understood concepts for the Sadhaka.

What is time? How do we divide time into past, present and future?

We say, this moment is the PRESENT, all past moments put together is the past, and all future moments put together is the future.

This classification is not really as simple as it looks to the lay man. It is just not enough for the Sadhaka. He needs a complete understanding of time, which is the most enigmatic concept of all, that rules our life.

Too many questions arise in the Sadhaka and they need to be answered and their mysteries solved before the Sadhaka understands the concept of absolute time. It has nothing to do with the clock time that we are all accustomed to. It has nothing to do with the biological clock built into every living and non-living entity.

How small is the present moment?

How small is the just past moment, and how is the present moment connected with the just past moment?

How small will be the next moment? And where was this next moment before it came into our life as the present moment?

What links the past, present and next moments?

Can they be without a link? Is that our experience of them?

Where are the past moments going into ? Are they getting stored somewhere and are they available to us, when and if we want them?

Where are all the future moments right now and who is forcing them into our lives, one after another, and how?

There are many such answerless questions, which need answer. It is not easy for ordinary human beings to answer them at all.

Only the Sadhaka of the highest stature has access to this wisdom about the enigma of time.

The mystery of time dissolves before him when he performs samyama on this succession of moments.

This samyama on the succession of moments – is the ultimate samyama for the Sadhaka.

He has a huge reservoir of knowledge of the higher planes already, having done the Samyamas prescribed by Patanjali in earlier sutras. Now, Samyama on the succession of moments reveals him a new dimension of ultimate discrimination of the real from the unreal, of the steadfastness from the fleeting. 

Vs. 3.54

jaati laksana deshaih

anyata anavacchedaath

tulyayoh thathah pratipattih

Ø  jaati =  category of species
Ø  laksana = characteristics
Ø  deshaih =  place
Ø  anyata = distinctiveness
Ø  anavacchedaath = not separated
Ø  tulyayoh = of two comparable, similar objects
Ø  thathah = thereby
Ø  pratipattih = knowledge for distinguishing

As stated in previous sutra, Samyama on the succession of moments gives a unique knowledge to the Sadhaka. What is the Nature of that wisdom?

Normally any object , living or non living, is distinguishable from all other objects by three criteria.

1.   First is Jaati or category of the species. Cow is a Jaati. Man is a Jaati. Mountain is also a Jaati. The first distinction between objects is at this level of Jaati.

2.   Second is characteristics of the object. Has it two or four legs? Has it a tail or wings or just two legs?  Is it white or black or any other colour? How tall it is? Like this, there are infinite number of characteristics, to separately understand an object from others – within the same Jaati.

3.   Third is the location in space. Two cows can still look the same from the Jaati or characteristics points of view. Then, they are to be distinguished by the location they are at. Even a few inches away from each other, each can be differentiated by their location. These are the three criteria by which we understand and differentiate each object from others.

But, this is normal categorization and discrimination. What is so special about the Sadhaka’s discrimination between any two objects?

His perception or his wisdom goes beyond all these three criteria. Even if two objects cannot be discriminated form each other by all these three criteria, even in such case, the Sadhaka, through Samyama on succession of moments can still distinguish between them.

What does this mean?

Consider yourself. You are a man; Your characteristics are defined and same. You are sitting at the same place for an hour. An hour before, you were some thing. An hour later, you are a different thing; a different man! It becomes clear to you – if you consider that you sit at same place for 10 years. In 10 years, you are a different person. A Sadhaka can see how you looked like 5 years ago, and how you look now. He can also see into the future too.

So, the three criteria that normally define everything and enable us to discriminate that from all others can be surpassed by Sadhaka, to whom higher means are available through his Samyama.

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