The Ultimate Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Study Guide | Read All Sutras
Chapter One (Samadhi Pada – Enlightenment/Bliss/Liberation Foot | Section on Enlightenment)
An introduction to Yogic theory and an overview of Samadhi.
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- Now the exposition of Yoga is being made. [Now we will have a discourse/conversation that explains the meaning and purpose of the self-discipline/devoted practice of Yoga/Union.]
- The restraint of the modification of the mind-stuff is Yoga. [Yoga/Union is control over the changing nature of mind-stuff, ie. thoughts, memories, compulsions, delusions, etc.]
- Then the Seer (Self/Drashtuh) abides in Its own nature. [Once the mind-stuff is restrained, then a person can accept and express his/her True Self/nature.]
- At other times (the Self appears to) assume the forms of the mental modifications. [When one is not expressing his/her True Self, he/she has the appearance of over-identifying with his/her changing thoughts/distortions. Over-identifying with distortions creates a false sense of self.]
- There are five kinds of mental modification which are either painful or painless. [Whether painful or painless, distortions are distortions.]
- They are right knowledge, misconception, verbal delusion, sleep and memory.
- The source of right knowledge are direct perception, inference and scriptural testimony.
- Misconception occurs when knowledge of something is not based upon true form.
- An image that arises on hearing words without any reality (as its basis) is verbal delusion.
- That mental modification supported by cognition of nothingness is sleep.
- When a mental modification of an object previously experienced and not forgotten comes back to consciousness, that is memory.
- These mental modifications are restrained by practice and non-attachment. [You gain control of your thoughts through practice and non-attachment.]
- Of these two, effort toward steadiness of mind is practice. [Keeping your mind steady is considered practice.]
- Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness. [Your practice becomes second nature, and firmly ingrained within you, when you partake in it for a long time, without stopping, and with sincere dedication.]
- The consciousness of self-mastery in one who is free from craving from objects seen or heard about is non-attachment. [The consciousness of self-mastery is free from desire for things seen and imagined.]
- When there is non-thirst for even the gunas (constituents of Nature) due to the realization of the Purusa (True Self in elemental seed form), that is supreme non-attachment. [When there is no desire for even desirable qualities of being due to the attainment of True Self-expression beyond concrete form, then you have achieved supreme non-attachment/self-mastery.]
- Samprajnata samadhi is accompanied by reasoning, reflecting, rejoicing in pure I-am-ness.
- By the firmly convicted practice of the complete cessation of the mental modifications, the impressions only remain. This is the other samadhi [asamprajnata samadhi].
- Those who merely leave their physical bodies and attain the state of celestial deities, or those who get merged with Nature, have rebirth. [Transcending the body to achieve cosmic consciousness is rebirth.]
- For the others, this asamprajnata samadhi could come through faith [devotion], vigor [effort], memory [learning], contemplation [deep reflection] and or/by discernment [discernment here requires clear seeing which is absent of judgment in order to obtain True, uncolored, understanding].
- To the keen and intent practitioner, this (samadhi) comes quickly.
- The time necessary for success further depends on whether the practice is mild, medium or intense.
- Or (samadhi is attained) by devotion with total dedication to Isvara.
- Isvara is the supreme Purusa unaffected by any afflictions, actions, fruits of actions or by the inner impressions of desire.
- In Isvara is the complete manifestation of the seed of omniscience.
- Unconditioned by time, Isvara is the teacher of even the most ancient teachers.
- The word expressive of Isvara is the mystic sound OM. (OM is God’s name as well as form.)
- To repeat it [OM] with reflection upon its meaning is an aid.
- From this practice all the obstacles disappear and simultaneously dawns knowledge of the inner Self.
- Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, sensuality, false perception, failure to reach firm ground and slipping from the firm ground gained–these distractions of the mind-stuff are the obstacles.
- Accompaniments to the mental distractions include distress, despair, trembling of the body and disturbed breathing.
- The practice of concentration on a single subject (or the use of one technique) is the best way to prevent the obstacles and their accompaniments.
- By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.
- Or that calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or retention of the breath.
- Or the concentration on subtle sense perceptions can cause steadiness of mind.
- Or by concentrating on the supreme, ever-blissful Light within.
- Or by concentrating on a great soul’s mind which is totally freed from attachment to sense objects. [Christ or the Buddha, for example.]
- Or by concentrating on an experience had during dream or deep sleep.
- Or by meditation on anything one chooses that is elevating.
- Gradually, one’s mastery in concentration extends from the primal atom to the greatest magnitude.
- Just as the naturally pure crystal assumes shapes and colors of objects placed near it, so the yogi’s mind, with its totally weakened modifications, becomes clear and balanced and attains the state devoid of differentiation between knower, knowable and knowledge. This culmination of meditation is samadhi.
- The samadhi in which name, form and knowledge of them is mixed is called savitarka samadhi, or samadhi with deliberation.
- When the memory is well purified, the knowledge of the object of concentration shines alone, devoid of the distinction of name and quality. This is nirvitarka samadhi, or samadhi without deliberation.
- In the same way, both savicara (reflective) and nirvicara (super or non-reflective) samadhi, which are practice upon subtle objects, are explained.
- The subtlety of possible objects of concentration ends only at the undeniable.
- Each of the above kinds of samadhi are sabja (with seed), which could bring one back into bondage or mental disturbance.
- In the purity of nirvicara samadhi the supreme Self shines.
- This is rtambhara prajna, or the absolute true consciousness.
- This special truth is totally different from the knowledge gained by hearing, study of scripture or inference.
- The impression produced by this samadhi wipes out all other impressions.
- When even this impression is wiped out, every impression is totally wiped out and there is nirbija (seedless samadhi).
Chapter One Study Overview
Chapter One Introductions & Prompts
Chapter One Check-ins
Chapter One Reflections
Page 1: Introduction | Page 2: Overview | Page 3: Chapter 1 | Page 4: Chapter 2 | Page 5: Chapter 3 | Page 6: Chapter 4 | Page 7: Additional Learning