The Ultimate Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Study Guide | Read All Sutras


Chapter Four (Kaivalya Pada – Solitude/Absoluteness Foot | Section on Spiritual Liberation)


A discussion of cosmic philosophy.


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  1. Siddhis are born of practices performed in previous births, or by herbs, mantra repetition, asceticism or by samadhi.
  2. The transformation of one species into another is brought about by the inflow of Nature.
  3. Incidental events do not directly cause natural evolution; they just remove the obstacles as a farmer (removes the obstacles in the water course running to the field).
  4. A Yogi’s ego sense alone is the cause of (other) artificially created minds.
  5. Although the functions in the many created minds may differ, the original mind-stuff of the Yogi is the director of them all.
  6. Only the minds born of meditation are free from karmic impressions.
  7. The actions of the Yogi are neither white nor black; but the actions of others are of three kinds: good, bad and mixed.
  8. Of these (actions), only those vasanas (subconscious impressions) for which there are favorable conditions for producing their fruits will manifest in a particular birth.
  9. Although desires are separated from their fulfillments by class, space, and time, they have an uninterrupted relationship because the impressions (of desires) and memories of them are identical.
  10. Since the desire to live is eternal, impressions are also beginningless.
  11. The impressions being held together by cause, effect, basis and support, they disappear with the disappearance of these four.
  12. The past and future exist in the real form of objects which manifest due to difference in the conditions of their characteristics.
  13. Whether manifested or subtle, these characteristics belong to the nature of the gunas.
  14. The reality of things is due to the uniformity of the gunas’ transformations.
  15. Due to differences in various minds, perception of even the same object may vary.
  16. Nor does an object’s existence depend upon a single mind, for if it did, what would become of that object when that mind did not perceive it?
  17. An object is known or unknown depending on whether or not the mind gets colored by it.
  18. Due to Its changelessness, changes in the mind-stuff are always known to the Purusa, who is its master.
  19. The mind-stuff is not self-luminous because it is an object of perception by the Purusa.
  20. The mind-stuff cannot perceive both subject and object simultaneously (which proved it is not self-luminous).
  21. If the perception of one mind by another mind is postulated, we would have to assume an endless number of them and the result would be confusion of memory.
  22. The consciousness of the Purusa is unchangeable; by getting the reflection of it, the mind-stuff becomes conscious of the Self.
  23. The mind-stuff, when colored by both Seer and seen, understands everything.
  24. Though having countless desires, the mind-stuff exists for the sake of another [the Purusa] because it can act only in association with It.
  25. To one who sees the distinction between the mind and the Atman, thoughts of mind as the Atman cease forever.
  26. Then the mind-stuff is inclined toward discrimination [meaning discernment] and gravitates toward Absoluteness.
  27. In-between, distracting thoughts may arise due to past impressions.
  28. They can be removed, as in the case of the obstacles explained before.
  29. One who, due to his or her perfect discrimination, is totally disinterested even in the highest rewards, remains in the constant discriminative discernment, which is called dharmamegha (cloud of dharma) samadhi. (Note: The meaning of dharma includes virtue, justice, law, duty, morality, religion, religious merit and steadfast decree.)
  30. From that samadhi all afflictions and karmas cease.
  31. Then all the coverings and impurities of knowledge are totally removed. Because of the infinity of this knowledge, what remains to be known is almost nothing.
  32. Then the gunas terminate their sequence of transformations because they have fulfilled their purpose.
  33. The sequence (referred to above) means an uninterrupted secession of movements which can be recognized at the end of their transformations.
  34. Thus, the supreme state of Independence manifests while the gunas reabsorb themselves into Prakrti, having no more purpose to serve Purusa. Or (to look from another angle) the power of pure consciousness settles into its own nature.

Chapter Four Study Overview

Chapter Four Introductions & Prompts

Chapter Four Check-ins

Chapter Four 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

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