The Transition Between Pada II and Pada III:
"If you keep the breath
at the root of your tongue,
you will be able to drink ambrosia
and will know true happiness.
By drawing it through the ida
and holding it between the eyebrows,
you will drink nectar and keep
your body in good health forever.
By using the two nadis
and guiding the air down to the navel,
you will be preserved from all sickness.
And if for a whole month,
you drink nectar drop by drop,
inhaling the air three times a day
and retaining it according to the rules
in a chosen part of your body,
any sickness deriving from wind or bile
will never be able to bother you.
Diseases of the eyes
are cured by breath held in the forehead
just as diseases of the ears are cured
by breath held in the ears,
and headaches by breath
held at the base of the head"
Yoga Darshana Upanishad, translated by J. Varenne, "Yoga in the Hindu Tradition", Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
Yoga as Practice as Distinct from Arm-chair Philosophy and Intellectual Speculation
The Yoga Sutras are presented as a mutually synergistic system where each sutra further elucidates and expands upon the other. It is not a series of disconnected and non-sequenced arcane terse threads that is unfortunately commonly misrepresented by the non-yoga tradition. In sequence, chapter one (Samadhi Pada) provides context and an overview to the purpose and process of yoga. Chapter two (Sadhana Pada) focuses on the practices (sadhana) of yoga, which we have found to be the elimination of afflictions (klesha), karma (past programming), dualistic tendencies (vasana), which allow the inner wisdom to shine forth naturally free from obstruction.
As we have seen toward the end of chapter two (Sadhana Pada), the first five limbs of ashtanga (eight limbed) yoga were introduced ending with pratyhara (the fifth limb). Thus here in Vibhuti Pada (chapter 3) we begin with dharana (concentration) which is the sixth limb of ashtanga yoga. Dharana, dhyana (the seventh limb), and samadhi (the eighth limb) taken together compose samyama (which is the dominant theme of Vibhuti Pada). As such chapter three acts as a continuation and completion of chapter two. Many historians postulate that the four padas (chapters) of the Yoga Sutras were first written down as one document of continuous sutras devoid of separate chapter titles, but then posthumously divided into four separate partitions (padas). What is devoid of controversy however is that the presentation of the Yoga Sutras become increasingly more subtle and inner as one proceeds in its sequential study as one sutra lays down the basis of the next; yet the Yoga Sutras do not reveal a contrived or artificial state of Reality, rather it reveals our true natural unadulterated state devoid of artifice, falsehood, ignorance, and delusion.
In that context, it is noteworthy that the title word for chapter three, vibhuti, does not appear once in the text of Pada III. "Vibhuti" can mean the extinction of the gross elements (bhuti) into their most subtle refinement or essence which is often symbolized by sacred ash that often mysteriously appears in the presence of a siddha (accomplished one). It can also mean that there is no distinguishable residue remaining whatsoever after being purified through the sacred fire of yoga. Some say that the appearance of vibhuti is itself a result of siddhi (perfection). Vibhutir is often translated as the personification/manifestation of powers, their fruition, and/or opulence; while bhutida is the giver of powers and opulence. Bhuti-vistara is the expander of powers and opulence. Note that Chapter 10 of the Bhagavad Gita is titled, "Vibhuti Yoga".
It is very valuable to keep in mind especially in vibhuti pada, that the central theme of the Yoga Sutras is how to realize samadhi, despite how many words scholars may use in an attempt to define, limit, or spin yoga to fit within their narrow perspectives. ultimately one will have to agree with Patanjali that words serve to obscure samadhi -- eventually they have to be given up (see I.9, I.49, and here in Vibhuti Pada in III.17). Vibhuti Pada expands upon practices which expand our ability to do just that.
It is difficult to use words to defeat or diminish words, but Patanjali does this very well. Patanjali says that samadhi appears when we are able to let go of our mental machinations, samskaras (past psychic imprints), klesha (afflictive emotions), karma (programming), vasana (habitual tendencies), and similar habitual impositions of conditioning and conditioned belief systems, which support the citta-vrtti (spinning or slant/tilt of the mindfield). Since samadhi is essentially nirvikalpa (beyond concepts), and since concepts are built upon words, then obviously the words have to be let go. Then one may well ask, why read the Yoga Sutras, which are after all composed of words? The simple answer is that the words are not an end in itself, but a vehicle to point the yogi to transverbal and transconceptual *practices* stating that the final goal (samadhi) can not be touched through the medium of concepts or words, but only through transconceptual and hence transverbal practices. The eternal teacher is inside, while a good external teacher will point the student inward so that they may access their innate light.
All the practices that Patanjali suggests reflect this transconceptual (nirvikalpa) truth, but the most obvious is found in silent sitting meditation (dhyana) beyond concentration (dharana) supports. Samadhi (as the eighth limb) is thus realized in meditation (dhyana), the seventh limb. Perhaps better said, dhyana as perfected is the meditation of no meditation where the yogi is doing nothing at all; where there is no separate self (meditator) doing a meditation (as in subject/object duality); where there is no asmita or egoic ownership at all; no false identification, but most simply unity consciousness -- complete integrity.
Thus dhyana (meditation) brings forth the dawning of an extraordinary transpersonal (more rarefied than the most subtle) consciousness which can not be brought about without the complete stilling (nirodha) of the ordinary mind which is constantly being modified, colored, and disturbed (yogash citta-vrtti-nirodah). The profound and sacred trans-rational (nirvikalpa), trans-cognitive (asamprajnata) and all encompassing non-dual truth of Reality-As-It-Is is self revealing once the doors of perception are opined -- once the practitioner gets in touch with the intrinsic light of wisdom within and the veil is lifted. This non-dual "Reality" which is not a separate "it", is inherent and indigenous beneath the citta-vrtti, which when dissolved (nirodha) shines forth on its own. Pada III thus starts off with the practice of dharana (concentration), dhyana (absorption meditation), and samadhi.
Similarly it is seductive (like taking the cart before the horse) to think that it is not necessary or important to practice yoga in order to understand the Yoga Sutras. Granted, the Yoga Sutras can not be understood without insight of which yoga practice provides, but more important we study the book (the Yoga Sutras) in order to practice yoga successfully so that we can realize the fruit and completion of yoga/union called samadhi, rather than to intellectually/conceptually understand the meaning of the "book" as an end in itself. This may seem like a small point to some, but actually states of spiritual alienation can be strengthened and reinforce the illusion of this dichotomy. Too many people are already attempting to find "god" in ancient books or rigid belief systems, whereby their apparent " spiritual practice" has become reduced and confined to studying and thinking "about" these books and concepts. In other words for an authentic yogi who actually practices what Patanjali taught, truth or spiritual realization is not found in some ancient scripture written down in a holy book, but rather the truth is living -- it is to be realized inside as swarupa-sunyam (III.3). Then we no longer see "self' as separate. Knowing our true nature of our mind non dually and transpersonally from our own intimate experience all boundaries are rendered and the boundless mind is known in ALL OUR RELATIONS -- in this very life. May it be so!
Thus it is emphasized that the Yoga Sutras are best approached as a guidebook, handbook, study guide, or laboratory book to aid the yogi in practice, where in turn the practice leads to yoga/samadhi experienced subjectively and fully. The words points one to a great roar of silence and self effulgent light.
Restated, the Yoga Sutras is a comprehensive compendium complied by Patanjali from the pre-existing ancient oral traditions of the mountain, forest and river valley yogis, all of which preceded his day. Although samadhi is not conditioned, artificial, nor contrived, the guidebook itself necessarily must address the yogi at first in the recognizable terms of language, symbolism, and prejudice of one's time and clime. It addresses the spiritual malaise and fragmented conditioned milieu of one's current condition, time, and place attempting to communicate timeless, eternal, and universal underlying Presence. It is to Patanjali's credit that he does not buy into cultural, nationalistic, religious, or racial bias, prejudices, traditions, or beliefs (pramana) which are themselves citta-vrttis (disturbances or modifications of the pure citta which create obstacles), but rather Sri Patanjali in his wisdom ("para-citta-jnanam"), addresses these obstacles and offers remediation. Those predisposed to over objectification processes and intellectual reductionist thought, tradition, and philosophy will necessarily attempt to box-in and limit Patanjali's non-dual spiritual portent, mistakenly assuming that Patanjali advocated an armchair philosophy, rather than an active yogic practice. Such a bias exists because that predilection was what those bent on philosophical propensities themselves were comfortable with (attached as most, to ownership and imprisonment to predicated view). Such a bias can only be overturned by surrendering wholeheartedly to the practice of yoga itself, and then after tasting its fruit, one;s subjective view will correspond in absolute integrity with universal non-dual view naturally in Sat-Chit-Ananda. .
All because Patanjali addressed the language, bias, culture, and conceptual ignorance of his day does not mean that he bought into it, desired to own it, nor wished to propagate it. Because he used some samkhya philosophical terminology (the preexisting philosophical terminology of the day), does not mean that he was a samkhya adherent. Rather, it is clear that Patanjali was a yogi, not a philosopher. He advocated integration not disintegration -- union not isolation --expansion not reduction, a universal all encompassing spiritual vision which is essentially a transpersonal realization free from asmita-raga, ego ownership, samyoga (false identification), transconceptual (nirvikalpa), and non-dual (asamprajnata) free from subject/object duality.
Still, intellectuals, academicians, and philosophers will not easily let go of their assertion that Patanjali's yogic system belongs under the aegis of philosophy and is subject solely to be explained via intellectual scrutiny. This self gratuitous and highly institutionalized tenacity by an entrenched self serving academia not only misrepresents Patanjali in an attempt to "own" and define/delimit yoga, but is also an abrogation to Patanjali's profound spiritual message. Therefore, the older prevalent institutionalized and traditional misinterpretations of the Yoga Sutras is explained, which in turn explains the prevalent morass of unreadable translations and its resultant inaccessibility to the practicing yogi. Fortunately of late this prejudice has become to be overturned by modern translations.
Grace too is a Practice albeit not willful.
Thus, we see that Patanjali starts off from the cultural time/place prejudice, framework, assumptions, bias, language, and milieu of his day and from there leads the reader into the increasingly more subtle -- into the "real" -- the universal and timeless, which can only be understood through inner experience from authentic spiritual yogic practice (sadhana). What is called self-luminous open space, which is the result of the cessation (nirodha) of the citta-vrtti and negative karma, is often called grace in the West. But grace is too often associated with an external and separate impersonal god or entity (ego), rather than as an intimate and intrinsic seed source taking root and blooming when causes and conditions have become ripe. ALL apparently so called "outside" actions which affect our lives, have causes (beneficial and/or destructive). Because one may be confused and not in control, events and conditions "appear" to occur because of grace or luck, but when Now Awareness is present, the yogi realizes the larger scheme of things albeit nirvikalpa (transconceptual), asamprajnata (non-dual), and transpersonal.
Sri Patanjali thus attributes all effects from causes (and thus are the results of practice or lack there from) leaving nothing to chance. Eventually this does lead to freedom from past karmic effects, but the latter exists at the end of practice -- the culmination of yoga. A step that can not be bypassed.
Thus, yogic practice comes down to creating the causes and conditions for samadhi, so that we can reside inside that self luminous space continually. The Sutras have value then as an aid to our practice, just as oral instructions were intended not as an end in itself but as an adjunct to the yogis practice. As such the Yoga Sutras describe an experiential practice; i.e., do the practices and the yogi will receive a result. Grace periods exist when the previous practices bear fruit and/or when the previous negative karma has burned itself out. This is not control freak yoga, but rather recognizing the truth of karma and the efficacy of yogic practice as taught by Patanjali. . At the same time the yogi recognizes outside causes which he has no control of -- like the course of the sun, the galaxies, and other events and people. Thus these outside forces can and do have an effect. In yoga, one minimizes or eliminates the potential negative outside effects while maximizing the positive outside effects. That is yogic practice. Even surrender and devotion to the inherent seed source within (isvara pranidhana) is a practice. It is the "practice" of surrendering the egoic mindset, mental habits, pramana-vrtti (and all the other citta-vrtti) for transpersonal infinite guidance. The first step is offering it up (sacrifice, yajna, or offering), but the second and completion stage is the actual exchange of the ego for transpersonal universal "S"elf direction -- one realizes the truth of that experience experientially.
Patanjali addresses an intrinsic self illuminating intimate transpersonal wisdom that is self instructing, but requires attention and cultivation (practice) in order to come forward. This exists in contradistinction to the concepts of a separate impersonal agency (god) acting on a separate ego (non-god). Hence, the idea of grace is inherently dualistic, while the experience of samadhi as swarupa-sunya is really quite simple, transpersonal, and experiential (can be experienced) via practice. Their resolution/integration is when grace becomes present, as an INNATE heart-felt presence. "Presence" thus encompasses and completes the idea of grace.
Although yoga can be interpreted or described in a limited sense through the filter of samkhya philosophical terms (just like the Old Testament can be paraphrased in English or Greek, or just like quantum physics can address Newtonian ideas), the yoga presented by Patanjali as he describes it, aims at going far beyond symbolic representation, philosophical concepts, words, or other manmade anthropocentric limitations.
So here, Vibhuti Pada begins with the profound non-dual context of samadhi. This pada completes the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga, by elaborating on the last three limbs (dharana, dhyana, and samadhi) and puts them together in what is called the three fold practice of samyama. Then it details how the various applications of samyama can lead to the siddhis (accomplishments, abilities, masteries, and powers), but they are not to be seen as attainments because no ego attains or possess it. Then the latter part of Pada 3 elevates the discussion to the ultimate spiritual accomplishment.
The Siddhis: The Boons, Proficiencies, Abilities, Talents, Powers, Perfections, and Adeptness
This chapter is often a stumbling block for many students mostly because of the numerous poor translations (see above). But there is also a controversy which at first appears as a dichotomy, because here, in Vibhuti Pada,, Patanjali tells us about the pitfalls of the siddhis (powers and abilities) that are presented to a yoga practitioner (sadhak). (See verses III. 37 III. 50, 51, and 52.) So at first glance it appears that Patanjali is advocating the siddhis and also warning yogis away from them at the same time
Much of the confusion stems from the lack of a coherent context of the word, siddhi. Here we are not talking about black magic, witchcraft, sorcery, exploitation of others, comparative advantage, or power over others in a Western dualistic/egoic sense. That is not the kind of power that Patanjali addresses. Here, we will consider siddhi to be the activation of our innate evolutionary potentiality.
It should be clear that by the word, siddhi, Patanjali does not mean comparative power as in control over others, comparative advantage, power as in the sense of black magic, or power in the separate sense of ego. Rather as the yogi's practice matures, so does our awareness. Expansive connection points extend and previously dormant energy circuits become activated. Hence evolutionary abilities that were previously repressed manifest. In yoga, power or ability is not bad, nor should it be feared, because it is not set in a dualistic or ego possessed context. As the veil and restrictions become lifted, new possibilities and abilities naturally mature. These siddhis are not something to strive for as an end in itself; rather most these siddhis come naturally by themselves as a result of yogic practice which we can also call yogic grace. They can have very useful applications; but also they can be misinterpreted and feed the affliction of pride (asmita). They should never be claimed by the individual, said to have been won, nor owned. That would reinforce fragmentation and egoic delusions, and as such, one would fall from samadhi. Even GOOD powers (like in the West we might see in White Magic such as in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy for example) can be dissipative and distracting.
In pada three then, we witness Patanjali addressing the natural latent innate powers within, while describing how to evoke them as tools for ultimate liberation. Of course without non-dual transpersonal wisdom, one can do much harm, so this invocation of the powers must go hand in hand with the development of the latent innate wisdom in order to realize true happiness and fulfillment. In other words, through a wise balanced practice (sadhana) we gradually realize the requisite wisdom, ability, and passion to succeed while heightened powers abilities, freedoms, and latent talents become progressively activated. Wisdom and wise practice leads to more wisdom and more effective practice, and so forth. Obstructions are removed and liberation eventually realized. So "siddhi" in the non-dual transpersonal context of yoga is simply intermediate fruits of yoga practice; i.e., various levels of perfections and adeptness naturally come forth, evolve, and manifest as a result of our sustained practice. We become more proficient and more able as our horizon upon self deepens and expands -- as we become more aware and conscious. Here we do not focus on attaining the powers as a goal; but rather in a balanced sadhana the seductive dangers of power misinterpreted by the dualistic ego are overcome by the antidotal activation of the non-dual transpersonal wisdom -- latent healing energy and compassion.
Although Patanjali warns us about the dangers of pursuing or becoming seduced by the siddhis, he does not say that they are bad or evil in and by themselves. As a matter of fact throughout the Yoga Sutras Patanjali never uses the dualistic terminology of good or bad (to his credit), but he does address distraction, dissuasion, dissipation, and fragmentation. To avoid the seduction of the siddhis we need to focus on and be dedicated to liberation itself, which discloses itself within the context of a transpersonal integrated context. This intent and bhava (mood) of our sadhana provides the directed vector and requisite focus in order to create success, thus avoiding the siddhis feeding the diversionary side trip of fragmentary existence (the illusory belief in ego or separate self).
This potential seduction of the siddhis is reinforced when this integral context of "ALL OUR RELATIONS " is diminished or forgotten. In that fragmented state, if we did (prematurely) succeed in obtaining some siddhis, it would feed our sense of separateness (asmita) or self pride (one of the kleshas) and thus hold our spiritual progress back (it would take us away from the whole). We will get into this more in detail later when we study verses III 37, 50, and 51, but suffice it to say, some siddhis will come by themselves, but how we deal with them (as a benefit or an impediment) will depend on the strength, intent, and sincerity of our practice and preparation.
All power (Shakti) comes from an Intelligent Source (source of All Intelligence) -- from "THAT" which can not be adequately named and which is ALWAYS present (doesn't change). When "connected" (in yoga) - in grace (or better said in experiencing samadhi) -- in alignment with siva/shakti, we then become those arms and legs -- fingers and toes -- eyes and voice. In that sense there are no individual siddhis that are capable of being possessed, but if one mistakenly "thinks" that an "I" (as a separate isolated self) have accomplished this, that this comes from "me" alone, that "I" own this, then they automatically disown the Great "Self" or Integrity and eventually (unless the self luminous transpersonal wisdom and integrity comes back to them), they continue to fragment (disintegrate) from the so-called fall from grace, which is nothing other than a corruption from the Great Integrity.
Thus, in this way, there is no problem or fear in manifesting the powers as long as we know where it is coming from -- as long our intent is clear, i.e., what we are doing in context with ALL OUR RELATIONS -- all of creator/creation (siva/shakti). Playing with fire is only dangerous to some one who does not understand its nature and the potential consequences. Thus it is due to fortunate karma that great powers are not given readily to men whose wisdom is insufficient to handle it -- who may use it for destruction which ends up in disastrous karmic consequences. Small errors have less negative consequences, than power which is exercised without wisdom. Such knowledge (of the siddhis) is thus better not possessed at all (saving one from this burden).
Now many people understandably feel disempowered/powerless and disconnected from their creative/evolutionary core dynamics. This is the everyday lot of the neurotic consumer mentality; and as such it is "normal" (but not natural) for these people to thirst for power. Fearful and confused they seek security, order, control, and power outside of themselves, but what they really need is "connection/yoga" inside --to live in harmony with the natural self existent order -- their true nature. THAT larger whole is empowering and fulfilling.
This transpersonal/non-dual type of "self" acceptance of our own inner natural power may seem like too large of a leap for many people who have been brought up dysfunctionally (to fear and disown their power). Thus authentic yoga should empower (bring us into self empowerment), not further lead one to dependence upon external authority, priesthood, or scripture. Inside we are linked to all "others" and "all-time". That is the experiential reality that yoga provides. These abilities, so accrued through practice and its insights, are neither good or evil, per se. "Good or evil" is a difficult conceptual trap for Westerners to release. It is mostly cross cultural in nature and rooted in the dualistic mind, as well as being deeply colored by conditioning factors (samskaras and vasana). The abilities by themselves, can be very helpful as long as they do not feed the ego, in which case they obstruct liberation.
Unfortunately if we formulate in our minds preferences, we can too easily get into the trap of "desire" and attachment; while in yoga practices, we learn (sooner or later) to focus our passionate love (compassion) away from the subtle limited attachments/desires, which impose bias/preference upon reality-as-it-is, while placing more energy toward liberation, integration, and divine universal boundless acceptance which supports continuous unimpeded flow. This is what Patanjali is saying; i.e., that liberation requires one pointed passion and dedication, when the entire/whole being is set into this direction, "there you go, flow, -- no problem". When we have inner conflict/resistance and tension/stress our energy (and success) is bounded and thwarted. Consequently progress in yoga becomes stagnant. Ultimately, we wake up to the simple and yet profound truth that elicits how we create our own dramas, problems, dysfunction, and have been stepping on our own toes. Then we surrender that on the altar of divine love. Simply sitting in meditation, the prejudicial mind becomes purified by itself -- preferential, prejudicial, and preconceived modalities of thinking gradually are gladly abandoned/surrendered. It is offered gladly as a sacred sacrifice in presence.
Patanjali says in Samadhi Pada chapter I verse 3: "tada drashtuh sva-rupe'vasthanam", which means that after the habitual churning mental formation processes (vrttis) of consciousness (cit) cease (nirodha), then Yoga is accomplished. Then, we abide into our natural (swarupa) true unconditioned original self-nature -- our natural form which is united with cit (pure consciousness) in sutra I.4. When the vrtti cease the mindfield is silent, liberated, and open, thus, allowing for the rarefied open space of a greater wisdom to dawn (grace if you like). In tantric terminology, here, the kundalini citta is activated as cit-shakti. Yoga thus is the liberation of the individual mind from its habitual illusory prison and conditioned fragmented imprints of the discontinuous experiences frame in duality and separateness; so it can fly again and dwell in its rightful pure original unconditioned natural abode (swarupa).
The practice of yoga evolved as the process of clearing out obstructions of the pathways (the psychic channels called nadis) within the body/mind and pranic sheaths, the false beliefs of the vijnanamaya kosha, the afflictive emotions based on negative beliefs (kleshas), the samskaras (past cellular imprints and negative conditioning), and negative karma through the purifying and vivifying agency of the cit-prana or cit-shakti, thus allowing a gradual opening up to and a communion with the source of consciousness and life -- of unconditioned citta or principle of primal consciousness to evolve and manifest. In the broader context of yoga (which is ALL OUR RELATIONS ) a three fold "potential" burden of the siddhis can thus be discerned and avoided (all of which are not necessary for the successful practice of yoga).
1) As above, we can become preoccupied in pursuing them, and thus ignore/miss where they really come from -- being distracted we remain imprisoned in the veil of suffering (the realm of citta-vrtti).
2) As above, we can misuse the powers and cause ourselves (and/or others) harm if we are not ready with most likely leading to further negative consequences. In Indian and Tibetan literature, there exists many stories of the misuse of power and the generation of negative consequences (bad karma)
3) A third negative consequence is that our intention may be relatively pure at first (or at least sattva may dominate) but after realizing a siddhi or two (minor or major) this may reinforce one's pride saying "I did this or that -- I am better than others", and so forth which will reinforce the negative tendency toward fragmentation (versus union/yoga), and thus such has the potential to act as a severe impediment toward final liberation (Kaivalya).
Patanjali says in III 37 "te samadhav upasarga vyuthane siddhayah" which is translated by Swami Venkatesananda, in his book, "Enlightened Living" as:
"But, even such excellent sensations and feelings and all the psychic powers discussed so far, which on the surface appear to be desirable and encouraging aspects of perfection are in fact impediments to enlightenment as they, too, distract and externalize the attention."
Finding Balance: On Dumbing Down and Keeping these Teaching Secret
Most students are coming from a materialistic and intellectually dominant system of thinking and values. Such might assume that the siddhis are imaginative or overstated, mainly because it either contradicts their own view of "self" and hence "the world", or simply because it isn't in their memory of self experience. In these situations, their practice has become afflicted by karmic obscurations manifesting in either half hearted, superficial, undisciplined, uninformed, dumbed down, or distracted practices; and hence, they declare that hatha yoga sadhana is mainly for health and beauty reasons, to relax stress and tension, and to enhance a feeling of wellness.
Because modern materialistic man in this age of constant want, craving, and strife often scoffs at the siddhis, it is my intent to show that they and even greater human potential abilities are available, but not as an end by themselves. It is merely egoic arrogance that says to man that he has reached the peak of evolutionary perfection; while it is also the ignorant egoic mindset that concludes that man will never amount to his creative/evolutionary potential. Rather yoga in its true form serves to activate the highest innate creative and evolutionary potential purpose in man which necessarily shakes apart the ego and fixated belief systems, rather than to further rigidify or adapt to it (the citta vrtti).
In fact, if human beings would align themselves in harmony with the creative/evolutionary principle underlying all, then that great power would be available as their natural self-expression. Then man would crave no longer for power and control over others. The truth is that humans have been lied to, dumbed down, and demeaned through institutionalized ignorance for millennia. This has taken a great toll upon human wellness, peace, abundance, and health. When man has become stripped of his own innate ability to know directly for himself, then having been separated from his innate authority, he seeks via compensatory mechanisms in external authority (such as parents, teachers, priests, religions, scripture, political leaders, and tight authoritarian/fundamentalist structures and/or seeks control and authority over others. Such activities are neurotic and depraved coming from deprivation and conflict. On the other hand nature bestows man with a vast innate capacity whose vast abilities are rarely realized let alone be put into manifestation to support ALL OUR RELATIONS as the union of compassion and wisdom -- love and light.
Modern cognitive science has confirmed many of the neurophysiological claims that the yogis have known for millennia, every thought has a neurological and bio chemic correspondence -- mind and matter are intimately linked as has spirit and nature ben linked since Beginningless time. Today yoga and meditation have proved the link between the mind and neurophysiology and hence mind/body wholism has been finally validated by modern science. Even though this is a scientific fact. many who consider themselves capable of being "scientific" have not integrated even one iota of such into their everyday life on a conscious level, let alone within a living life supporting weltanschauung. Even though science itself is just at a beginning stage in harnessing the power of the mind in relationship to physical healing and societal well being, the first step for man to cultivate, activate, and integrate the symphonic majesty of his inner/outer living matrix so that it can manifest in his daily life in harmony with ALL OUR RELATIONS. In yoga this seed potential (isvara) is within all, but rarely is it cultivated and allowed to blossom. In Buddhism it is our innate Buddha Nature. In isomer schools of Saivism it is our innate goodness which resides in all. In that context human beings possess a great natural innate calling to be a voice for nature -- for the evolutionary life force, to express the innate love of siva/shakti -- to be a healer and refection of Reality. It is in that sense that the yogi manifests his greater previously repressed or dormant evolutionary capabilities which have been held obscured through centuries of ignorance..
The Wisdom of Secrecy
Because of degenerate, egocentric, selfish, materialistic, greedy and foolish men, the specifics teachings of the siddhas have had to walk a fine line between secretiveness and exposure. This slight exposure is to encourage people that there is more to life than mere egoic flat plane reality. Sincere practice and steady practice of leading to samadhi and samyama will suffice for complete transparency. Siddhis are never to be reduced to mechanical formulae, will-power, and logic, without the danger of great harm being exacted to such a practitioner. Best then to avoid any desire for personal siddhi, while striving for samadhi onepointedly. Should siddhi's come, only know it as NOT being the work of egoic will-power, intellect, or skill. Please.
The need for secrecy is manifold. On one level many people simply are not ready; i.e., they would not be able to hold the teachings; hence, it would be a waste of time teaching them. Further, some would freak out and because of anger, hatred, fear, greed, delusion, desire, etc., they would tend to misuse these powers, thus causing more harm to others and themselves. They too are not ready. For example if these practices were given mechanically to people who would exploit or manipulate others, then great harm might occur to all involved. On the other hand, development through astanga yoga, and especially meditation (dhyana) reveals the transpersonal and non-dual awareness, whose nature is luminous compassion, where harmful intent and activity are eventually eliminated.
So on one hand Dharma teachings should be given out freely without fees, pretense, preconditions, or secrecy in order to avoid abuse, exploitation, or misrepresentation. However, at the same time, wise teachers realize that specifics have to be given only to qualified students that the master approves; i.e., who have achieved a certain state of non-dual wisdom, integration, transpersonal realization, compassion, and altruism. Hence, book knowledge alone will continue to provide limited results.
Let us keep in mind that only a few hundred years ago, that which is now considered common technology such as a light bulb, television, airplane, cell phone communication, or manned rocket ships to the moon, would be generally considered magic, witchcraft, a miracle, or impossible. However, today it is common. What will be the common technology of the future is anybody's guess, but one may suspect that it will involve the activation and integration of the evolutionary aspects of the man as a human biopsychic and energetic organism linked to primordial awareness without obscurations. The human being as the embodiment, vessel, and instrument of love, happiness,wisdom, healing, and peace.
Paramahansa Yogananda said in the "Autobiography of a Yogi", Chapter 30, the Law of Miracles
To surmount maya was the task assigned to the human race by the millennial prophets. To rise above the duality of creation and perceive the unity of the Creator was conceived of as man's highest goal. Those who cling to the cosmic illusion must accept its essential law of polarity: flow and ebb, rise and fall, day and night, pleasure and pain, good and evil, birth and death. This cyclic pattern assumes a certain anguishing monotony, after man has gone through a few thousand human births; he begins to cast a hopeful eye beyond the compulsions of maya.
To tear the veil of maya is to pierce the secret of creation. The yogi who thus denudes the universe is the only true monotheist. All others are worshiping heathen images. So long as man remains subject to the dualistic delusions of nature, the Janus-faced Maya is his goddess; he cannot know the one true God.
The world illusion, maya, is individually called avidya, literally, .'not-knowledge,' ignorance, delusion. Maya or avidya can never be destroyed through intellectual conviction or analysis, but solely through attaining the interior state of nirvikalpa samadhi. The Old Testament prophets, and seers of all lands and ages, spoke from that state of consciousness. Ezekiel says (43:1-2): 'Afterwards he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: and, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.' Through the divine eye in the forehead (east), the yogi sails his consciousness into omnipresence, hearing the Word or Aum, divine sound of many waters or vibrations which is the sole reality of creation.
Among the trillion mysteries of the cosmos, the most phenomenal is light. Unlike sound-waves, whose transmission requires air or other material media, light-waves pass freely through the vacuum of interstellar space. Even the hypothetical ether, held as the interplanetary medium of light in the undulatory theory, can be discarded on the Einsteinian grounds that the geometrical properties of space render the theory of ether unnecessary. Under either hypothesis, light remains the most subtle, the freest from material dependence, of any natural manifestation....
The masters who are able to materialize and dematerialize their bodies or any other object, and to move with the velocity of light, and to utilize the creative light-rays in bringing into instant visibility any physical manifestation, have fulfilled the necessary Einsteinian condition: their mass is infinite.
The consciousness of a perfected yogi is effortlessly identified, not with a narrow body, but with the universal structure. Gravitation, whether the 'force' of Newton or the Einsteinian 'manifestation of inertia,' is powerless to compel a master to exhibit the property of 'weight' which is the distinguishing gravitational condition of all material objects. He who knows himself as the omnipresent Spirit is subject no longer to the rigidities of a body in time and space. Their imprisoning "rings-pass-not" have yielded to the solvent: 'I am He.'
'Fiat lux! And there was light.' God's first command to His ordered creation (Genesis 1:3) brought into being the only atomic reality: light. On the beams of this immaterial medium occur all divine manifestations. Devotees of every age testify to the appearance of God as flame and light. 'The King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.'
A yogi who through perfect meditation has merged his consciousness with the Creator perceives the cosmical essence as light; to him there is no difference between the light rays composing water and the light rays composing land. Free from matter-consciousness, free from the three dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time, a master transfers his body of light with equal ease over the light rays of earth, water, fire, or air. Long concentration on the liberating spiritual eye has enabled the yogi to destroy all delusions concerning matter and its gravitational weight; thenceforth he sees the universe as an essentially undifferentiated mass of light."
Overview of the Rest of Vibhuti Pada
One could also say that the student of the Yoga Sutras could skip Vibhuti Pada entirely, as on the surface it may appear that it simply caters to those who thirst for siddhis, but careful analysis will prove its value. For example the beginning and the end of Pada III) can be considered both quintessential and profound and do not deal with mundane siddhis at all. Even in the middle part which undergoes the most misunderstanding (as long as the yogi does not get distracted) these abilities can help us on the path just as any of the other sadhanas are limbs of the great of tree of yoga.
For our purpose we will accept the entire traditional four chapters consisting of 195 sutras (threads) of the "Yoga Sutras" as being authentic; while acknowledging the existence of a controversy as to the possibility of an additional sutra being added post-humorously after III.22 to make the total sutras of Vibhuti Pada to be 56 sutras instead of 55 and hence raising the total yoga sutras to be 196 (instead of 195). See the discussion at the end of III.21 for more.
Pada III starts where Pada 2 leaves off, thus completing the first five limbs (angas) of ashtanga yoga with a terse exposition of dharana (concentration) in III.1, dhyana (meditation) in iII.2, and samadhi in III.3.
Sutras III.4-8 address samyama, which is commonly presented as the undivided application of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi taken together as a whole simultaneously. Samyama is the major underlying topic of pada 3 (taken up again after it is explicated as a series of parinama (perceptual shifts in consciousness) in sutras III.9-16). In other words, samyama can be applied to any phenomena, process, event, or activity (mental, energetic, or physical). Samyama is learned *after* samadhi is experienced. Samyama is practiced within the unbounded realm of spaciousness (swarupa-sunya). Samadhi is, the fruit of the other limbs of yoga, is the prerequisite. Then samyama utilizes the components of focus (dharana), absorption into the object (dhyana), and its integration (samadhi) all at once. That is a non-dual dhyana and dharana is implemented within the non-dual sacred space of Samadhi.
Samyama is not part of the eight limbs (astanga) yoga, but an additional inner-most limb that emanates from the house of samadhi itself and is unique because it is applied instantaneously, as an undivided integral whole. Samyama is an advanced yogic practice, whereupon one first goes into universal space (samadhi) and from there focuses on an object one pointedly in concentrated reflection (dharana), then one relaxes into the object and is absorbed into it while still maintaining awareness and focus (absorption/immersion as in dhyana). Now consciousness has permeated and is abiding inside of the object. The object is then *known" not from the point of view of a separate observer, but rather from the point of view of the undivided union of object and observer as-it-is in terms of everything else in non-dual space (in All Our Relations). Simultaneously consciousness resides in the samadhi-house, where the true nature of phenomena is known in relationship to the entire universe, evolution, and all-time, where nothing is excluded or is in need of being included. In a sense, the observer first focuses upon the object, becomes the object, and experiences the object as-it-is, but not in terms of samyoga, but rather in terms of the timeless all-mind (samadhi). Only then can the object of concentration be truly known universally as-it-is in an unbiased way.
Samyama is not only about how various abilities, siddhis, and knowledge can be obtained (of which Patanjali warns may wind up as an impediment and distraction, if we mistakenly take them as an end in themselves; rather, samyama is a means to liberate others. It is a modality in which to interact in an evolutionary way as a realized human being. Samyama is to be used for liberation of others or to increase ones own ability to liberate others. Samyama lets us commune with a chosen object or process of communion as-it-is without a filter. It allows to intimately know that process or object in an objectless (non-separate/non-dual way) way. Then we truly know -- from the eyes of all -- from the rainbow all pervading omniscient eyes of universal creativity.
The siddhis can be dangerous for two reasons. They are powerful, so powerful karma can be created. They can cause conceit and hence bring back separation (ego) if the yogi is not fully established ion samadhi. It is counterproductive to be seduced into wasting time/energy to attempt possessing siddhis willfully, as individual possessions in the ego sense, albeit it normal to be curious about them. because the ego is insecure, it is easy to understand why it craves power. These latter cravings must be let go completely or the aspiring yogi will suffer badly. It would be better then for those still so afflicted to not study samyama at all. For those who wish to liberate self and others please continue. With this warning the delineation of the three kinds of parinama (movement or change) i.e., nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama is usefully presented in III 9-12.
Parinama (transformational perceptual practices and experiences) continues from III.9 to III. 16 ending with samyama on parinama itself in III.16. Parinama especially may be a difficult term to understand, because in the institutionalized academic tradition change is judged as "bad" or undesired, while the ideal goal was an eternal reification, a steady unchanging state, where control over the vagaries of time and change was most highly valued. However, in the stages of yoga, change, transformation, and progress are valued as "auspicious" events and hence, welcomed. Liberation in samadhi is not seen as an isolation from, nor as an annihilation of, the world, but rather as a complete limitless all inclusive integrative shift in awareness and being.
The suffering of change, however only applies to human beings who are attached (raga-asmita-dvesa) klesha). To clarify, it may be helpful to distinguish between parinama (transformation) as a spiritual transformative/evolutionary process of consciousness from that of dualistic fluctuations/churning (vrtti) of the citta to its cessation. Yoga is accomplished by the cessation (nirodha) of the agitations, transformations, spinning, and disturbances (vrtti) of the citta; but change or transformation (parinama) from a pre-existing, limited, constricted, and prior obscured state of consciousness to an expanded state of clarity is beneficial and fortuitous in accomplishing yoga. Vrtti, thus is an entanglement that binds and patterns the ordinary or conditioned mind (citta); while parinama can be better defined as part of the process of disentanglement, unpatterning, and deconditioning of the pre-existing habitual mental patterns.
First then, it is useful to define parinama as positive transmutation, transformation, movement, shift, or change of state. So yes, in regards to the mindfield (citta), in meditation or in samadhi, such fluctuations are a disrupting disturbance (vrtti), which limit/condition and bias the mind. Therefore, in meditation practice these disturbances are disentangled. However the citta-vrtta -- the arising recurring thought patterns that bind the mind is are be distinguished as the opposite process. Parinama is a change in state, but in relation to samyama it is a part of the mastery process. So nirodha parinama includes the cessation (nirodha) of the vrtta, as the contents of the mind (pratyaya) are emptied, and more. Asamprajnata samadhi is itself a transformative procession from a limited/fragmented mental dualistic state of mind to a boundless or awakened mind.
For the beginning practitioner, their pre-existing mindsets are stuck and frozen (citta-vrtti), as they are locked into and attached to views, stasis, belief systems, recurring thought patterns, past memories, and/or habitual sleepiness. These mind-fields require transformation (parinama). Yoga practices will do just that. Such human beings find that their karma is a heavy burden that is smothering them. That has to be burned up as well. These practitioners need to utilize transformative practices. Ultimately in the absolute sense there is stillness (or intrinsic seed source as Maheshvara), but in the relative sense all things are interdependent, moving, and dynamic (or Shakti/Prakrti) -- the only constant is change and morph-ability. Stillness in the absolute ultimate unborn undifferentiated formless realm of Maheshvara the param-purusa; while in the relative world infinite diversity, differentiated consciousness, permeated by siva as shakti/siva. Siva is not shakti, and shakti is not siva, they are quite different, yet together they form a whole where siva is clothed in shakti's dress, either concealing or revealing him.
One may distinguish between favorable and unfavorable changes, but the process of judgment itself may get in the way. Judgment and preference is not necessary, because it creates fear of change (change being "bad" or undesirable). From our point of view movement and change by itself may or may not be "undesirable". However what is cogent is the object/referent that is being it is dependent upon, the correct identification of *what* is moving, and/or moreover what direction (where) the mindbody is moving, that which may be either deemed helpful or destructive (integrative or corrupting) to our work. Here, wisdom is evoked in parinama. Specifically we will see that Patanjali mentions parinama is relationship to samyama, and this will be our focus. Please see III.9-15 which definitively addresses this specific detail.
In III. 5. Patanjali says: " taj-jayat prajna-alokah". It is translated as "from the success in samyama (taj-jayat), true and authentic intrinsic vision and wisdom (prajna) without prejudice or bias bathes us in its pure effulgence (alokah) and illumines the world as-it-is".
Indeed to become frozen in fear, grief, trauma, the past, or immobility is not wise, but rather to mobilize the prior rigidity of the body or the mind will, if skillfully done, lead to liberation. To be able to become aware of these changes and to be able to effect (siddhi) and unconditional liberation (kaivalyam) is desired in yoga. A general rule is to not resist or fight change, rather embrace all. Flow like a river effortlessly with confidence is a indicator of inner trust guided by inner wisdom. That flow is constant and never ending. That is the rule of anicca (temporality or impermanence), and what we label as ever-newness. This acceptance will elicit the underlying all pervasive causal principle in all that is changing. Maya both clothes and reveals Brahman. Put another way, the truth of interdependence, reveals the truth of the emptiness of perceived seemingly solid and independent phenomena. Simply practice and yoga will provide its fruit so that the illusion is destroyed, as reality, clarity, and vivid aliveness become revealed.
The practitioner's point of view thus becomes key when it comes to understanding parinama. Thus in III-9-12 one may easily interpret that Patanjali describes parinama as a transformative technique to apply in samyama to still the wandering mind (nirodha parinama), then samadhi parinama is implemented either naturally or through conscious effort, and lastly ekgrata parinama as part of an integral method. Notice that the direction is one of refinement coming from the coarse (vitarka) and discordant state of citta-vrtti where cessation is applied, and then into the subtlest (vicara), and then beyond the most subtle (nirvitarka, non-dual, unitive, and innate empowerment). This direction of transformative energies accomplishes yoga (unification/integration). Thus it is noted here that even a practice that leads eventually toward stillness of the citta-vrtta, is itself transformative until the final conclusion is integrated in nirbij samadhi. In other words, when the Great Integral Continuity of the all pervasive mind is experienced in true gnosis (non-dual jnana), then no further transformational mental states need be applied as the ephemeral nature of phenomena are recognized "as-it-is"; i.e., unsubstantial by themselves, but extremely meaningful when experienced as part of ALL OUR RELATIONS as a whole (non-dual) in sacred presence (swarupa-sunyam).
Clearing up a common confusion between learning a practice and its application: preliminary practices
According to Sri Patanjali, samyama is to be applied all at once as a simultaneous union of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Thus, to APPLY samyama two preliminary practices are necessary. One is to apply the last three limbs of astanga yoga (dharana and dhyana, while becoming familiar with samadhi) all at once directed toward a phenomena/event (mental or physical). Samadhi is a pre-requisite entry point for the application of samyama.
The second aspect is to practice the three parinamas (nirodha and samadhi parinama, while synchronizing them as one practice as ekgrata parinama in alignment with the multiverse. Those preliminary practices can be learned individually or in sequential stages in order to learn how to apply samyama; however, samyama, itself, occurs singularly, all at once, as a whole, instantaneously, in the moment, while eventually being devoid of isolated stages, will-power, intellect, or force. Thus, it is helpful, but not always easy, to distinguish between the processes in "perfecting" samyama and seamlessly "applying" samyama. Samyama is learned through practice. But samyama itself is more than a yogic practice, rather it is a yogic power/ability or boon. Indeed, practice all the limbs, but in particular, the last three limbs and the parinamas, then apply samyama after doing samyama on parinama itself. This point is not always clarified. A more common interpretation is that the three parinamas (nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama) correspond to the dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, but such an interpretation will not be expounded herewith.
From Sutra 16 onward, Patanjali moves forward from assuming a different viewpoint that is no individual viewpoint at all, but rather a universal, transpersonal, non-dual, unbiased, changeless, eternal, and all encompassing perspective. From this unitive viewpoint of ALL OUR RELATIONS that is realized via nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama, then "isolated" changes of state can not independently exist as such, but rather all flows as a unified and liquid whole; i.e., no single thing changes. Samyama is spontaneously applied to all revealing a universal unbiased view. Thence, from the point of view of Sanatana Dharma or eternal law, nothing changes, but rather what appears as potential energy, manifest energy as matter, decay or even undefined and unclassifiable -- all reflect a unifying interdependent causality. This is the dance of Shiva/Shakti. A trans-rational one taste permeates the soup in that nothing changes, but at the same time everything is in flux. This might appear mystical to the probings of the intellect, but is familiar fare to the practitioner such as the frequent meditator. This is why Patanjali says in IV. 7, that the actions of yogis are inscrutable by the intellect -- the causes of their actions lie outside of linear time and space -- outside of duality. Because none of these yogic experiences can be attained through intellectual conjecture alone, let it suffice for the moment to explain that the secret of samyama is revealed through a deep understanding of interdependence, where form and awareness join in a profound non-dual context. In ordinary dharana, the practitioner is approaching the practice from a preexisting alienated I/it dualistic estrangement. In samyama the yogi concentrates upon a specific object of thought from the open/boundless space of non-dual interdependence (swarupa-sunyam).
As mentioned, many traditional translators conflate the word, parinama (transformation or change), with that of vrtti, thus projecting undesirable qualities such as the churning, mental instability, perturbation, vagaries, agitation, turmoil, disturbances, modifications, etc in the context of "the suffering of change" (see pada II), where an projected ego attempts to grasp onto that which is temporary and fleeting. However, it should be clear that vrtti refers to the variegated "patterns" of the various modified states of consciousness. The vrtta thus obstruct and color our perfected unbiased universal view of Reality as-it-is. But vrtti is not to be confused with change itself. Parinama is different, as it simply connotes the process of change or transformation itself, not the patterning upon the citta. Similarly, samskaras are the imbedded patterns of past experiences which activate latent tendencies or syndromes (called vasana). Samskaras are imbedded in the body/mind , cellular memory, psycho neuro-physiology, neuromuscular system, and energy body or as John Lilly says inside the programming of the "human bio-computer". As long as they are not deprogrammed they will create vrttis and other unfavorable changes of consciousness. Most effective yoga techniques aim at destroying and uprooting the samskaras (negative past conditioning) -- and as such yoga is designed to reprogram these patterns -- remediate conditioned consciousness back into its unconditioned natural state. This is not how Patanjali defines the three parinamas, but quite the opposite.
III 16-48 (the middle part of Pada III) is often characterized as a sketchy list of abilities/powers (siddhas) with their associated means of attainment (usually through samyama), however this translation will treat these as practical yoga sadhana.
Toward the end, Pada III becomes very lofty delineating such practices as a spiritual means for complete liberation (from sutra 49 onward); while the ending of chapter 3 leads us to the grandeur of kaivalyam (absolute liberation) as discussed in chapter four. So, yes, Vibhuti Pada (Chapter III) although generally judged to be the least important and least useful of the four chapters (it could be skipped entirely without lessening the purport of the sutras); it is strongly suggested that the profundity of samyama and parinama alone may well make the chapter well worth studying. The reader is always encouraged to do a deeper reading than what the most common translations offer. One finds that after abhyasa (consistent practice) that various insights and abilities come by themselves. Vibhuti Pada attempts to explain these as well. Thus refreshingly, this translation will not be based on the so called authoritative academic tradition, but rather on meditative experience and contemplation.
From Swami Venkatesananda ("Enlightened Living"): III -54 "Such wisdom born of intuitive understanding is the sole redeemer. It is everything. It has everything. It encompasses everything. It is the unconditioned and undivided intelligence spontaneously functioning from moment to moment in the eternal now, without sequential relationship."
III -55 "When thus there is pure equilibrium which is non-division between the indwelling consciousness and all objective existence, between the nonmoving intelligence and the ever moving phenomena, between the unconditioned awareness and the rise and fall of 'The thousand thoughts' -- there is freedom and independence of the infinite (kaivalyam)".
To summarize, extraordinary abilities (siddhis) are wisdom boons won from the samadhi-house. In short, all knowledge is available from nirbija samadhi; while samyama is its specific application utilizing prajna-alokah (the third eye). Through intimate knowledge of the workings of relativity, positive change can be effected by the wise. (see III.5)
After putting Vibhuti Pada (this chapter on the abilities/siddhis) aside, we can enter the last chapter, (Pada IV) Kaivalyam (Absolute Liberation), which is by far the shortest, but also the most lofty.
III. 1 desa bandhas cittasya dharana
Dharana (concentration) is a practice of continuous conscious attention (cittasya) focused (bandhas) upon a specific location or point (desa).
Bandha means to gather together, bond together, reconnect, seal a leak, to gate, re-direct, coalesce, or focus both internal dynamics and external dynamics. bandha as a procedure acts as a valve that directs the biophysical flow of biopsychic energy in the bodymind. Energy which may be leaking or out of synch is reconfigured back to its original natural alignment. A bandha acts a bond between two or more disconnected parts, thus precipitating flow. The process forms a bounded gate, a valve, levee, or opening as the leaking gateway is closed (see pratyhara). On a coarse general level it is accessed through a subtle physical movement such as mulabandha, uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha, etc. In more subtle energy body context, it connects, activates, gathers together, and integrates the energy circuits of the psycho-physical bodymind harmonizing the bodymind as a fit reservoir for unsurpassed creativity. Bandhas in hatha yoga in its coarse sense are the outward representations of pranayama, pratyahara, and dharana, but in its hidden and more subtle heart-felt sense, bandhas are an energy and awareness practice actively engaging the cit-prana. It remedies chronic distracted energetics, while allowing us to re-energize/reconnect to original nature and its source.
Desa: is a place or foci (meaning here the focus point or object of mental attention).
Dharana: Literally, to hold in place. Concentration, contemplation, or fixity of attention upon an object (physical or mental). Focused and single-pointed concentration.
Cittasya: Relating to the psyche; the vector, direction, or intention of the mindfield: flow of consciousness. Broadly speaking, a process of mentation relating to the flow of consciousness. The condition of the mindfield, the mindstream, or the direction of the active mindfield. In dharana the act of directing the mind/attention toward an object of attention is the direction that the cittasya undertakes by itself, where attention drives the attention. In this sutra, conscious attention is held, being fixated upon an object, otherwise it tends to wander.
Commentary: After pranayama and pratyhara is learned, the distractions of the mindstream become reversed. One becomes able to practice dharana one-pointedly.
Simply one places one's attention and energy onepointedly upon a single object (either mental or physical) of concentration/contemplation, where previously the mind and energy may have been distracted.. Concentration (dharana) consists of directing the power of consciousness (cittasya) with focused attention within a chosen field, place, or point of focus (desa), without distraction of the energy (bandha), but rather by means of concentrating ending up with laser like ability to focus the mind on a chosen object of concentration. The mindstream becomes bonded to the object of concentration and resides in that place. Dharana thus prepares the mind for dhyana, samadhi, and samyama..
Where we place the mind, we also place our energy (cit-prana). The advantage here is that we can remove our awareness from habitual thought patterns while doing so. When our awareness is concentrated upon a specific object onepointedly, then many powerful changes can occur; but if we are scattered or spaced out, we will will not be able to succeed in that desired direction. When our mind is scattered, our energy is scattered and not available for spiritual progress.
In everyday life, this is a matter of focus, priorities, and values. If we focus on love and peace, we will bring those elements to bear in ALL OUR RELATIONS. If our focus is only half hearted, easily distracted, or dissipated such values will be easily co-opted by other priorities or desires. Many people complain that they have not found God, but when queried one finds out that they were looking for God in their new car, in their business, in over eating large dinners, watching television, listening to music, drinking alcohol, all night partying and other such distractions. They might even argue that since God is everywhere, this part of their practice. Such is of course delusional thinking. It is not yoga. Truly they will need a miracle to not fall into negative places. Again results in dharana depend upon the quality of the practice and its quantity (amplitude) where our priorities, values, and focus are significantly interrelated..
In dharana (concentration) as the sixth limb of astanga yoga, first the yogi learns to relax and release the prior contents (pratyaya) of the scattered mind and redirect it inside (recollect it) through pratyhara and elementary dharana. Then the yogi learns to focus the mind and energy onepointedly on the object of concentration. What is most often labeled meditation is really dharana. In Patanjali's eight limbed system however it is dhyana, not dharana, which we will translate as meditation. In dharana, when all other objects are removed from the mind, and the mind is focused on one point or place (desa), then that focus is sustained through total absorption into that object of focus. It must be stressed that this can be of great benefit to those whose energy are scattered and spaced out, but it does not mean that dharana should be considered as an end in itself. Even sustained concentration is not always beneficial. For example, one may be entirely onepointedly focused on anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, etc. Thus dharana on a "wrong" object can generate kleshas, and thus have negative effects, while dharana on universal compassion can be beneficial toward moving the practitioner toward universal non-dual samadhi.
Outer, Inner, Mental, and Secret Dharanas.
There are many applications and levels of dharana. The most simple form is to focus on sense objects with the eye, ear, nose, etc. For example, the yogi may first learn dharana on a candle, a color, an aroma, yantra, photograph of a saint or teacher, mantra, etc. Of course all these sense objects will have energetic and psychic correspondences (for example red is heating, a mantra is vibratory, blue is cooling, rose is opening, vetiver is grounding, sandalwood is ... etc. All these sense objects may be consciously used to train the mind from wandering. Each one may have secondary effects other than training the mind. For example the blue color is also cooling and calming, and has emotional as well as healing characteristics. Gross physical sense objects are easier to focus upon by the beginner. Prayers are also forms of dharana, whereby dualistic worshippers focus their intent and emotions upon a chosen external outcome or deity. Reciting mantras are similar. One may simply recite a mantra repeatedly and mechanically, or one may recite it with full attention accompanied by visualization. Then after the mind is trained utilizing coarse objects, the more subtle dharanas may be practiced. The inner dharanas are more subtle of course, mindfulness of the breath, the energy circuits, mental formations arising and falling, the mind itself, etc. In tantra one works with inner transformational processes by dealing directly with moving energy channels (nadis), energy (prana), and endocrine processes (bindu) in an inner alchemical process. The more advanced dharana is to focus on primordial non-dual boundless universal awareness going beyond any idea of the limitation of the "individual" mind. Dharana is combined with dhyana, and samadhi in samyama as an advanced practice that requires complete egoic (individual) surrender.
Dharana as Contemplation
Another level of application is concentration on mental objects, such as contemplation. This is often the domain of what is called jnana yoga when performed properly. Instead of allowing the mind to wander discursively, one draws back the wandering mind and energy (through pratyhara and dharana combined) and focuses upon a a single object of thought, an internal inquiry as to the true nature of mind, etc. Any theme or mental object of attention/inquiry such as "what is life", "who am I", "where is the self", "where is the self", "when is the self", "when is the not self", "what is the not self", "what is selflessness", "what is mind", "what is the true nature of mind", "what is the true nature of nature and existence", "what is the meaning of "Tat Tvam Asi", "Sat-Cit-Ananda", "what is karma", time, god, space, compassion, love, Ram, Avalokitesvara, Kalachakra, the meaning of a Zen Koan, etc., taking only one theme at a time in a single session. If the mind wanders discursively, then bring it back to the object of focus. Eventually one simply abides in that focus until an answer arrives. One can do this for the stream of conscious evolution, and/or by visualizing/recollecting the evolutionary force and keeping that in focus. the three, four, or five kayas, the inter-relationship of the koshas, the nature of time and space, etc. Again whenever the mind wanders, one brings it back to the theme of the dharana session. Whenever the mind is focused upon an object or rather a form, there is a limited thought-form or self limiting conceptual construct, where the inquiry is focused. The only exception is an inquiry into the formless, the everchanging, the transconceptual, and non-dual. Only then will the limitations of dharana become liberated. This latter stage is not a trick of the mind, but the experiential birth of transconceptual and non-dual gnosis or prajna.
The Inner Dharanas or Vidyas
Another or second level of application is to focus inwardly upon the breath, energy, inner healing, chakras, energy body, nadis, progressive relaxation, yoga nidra, emotional states, mandalas, making fuller use of pratyhara. Here mantra may also be included as long as it is an energetic practice. Here one utilizes on gradually working toward the energetic, the mental, the most subtle, and inner (antar) concentrations such as kundalini, tummo, illusory body practices, tantric completion stage practices, dream yoga, bardo yoga, phowa, etc. There are many advanced dharani of this kind. Let it be said that hatha yoga asanas can be practiced at this level of awareness, as well as mudra, bandha, pranayama, and visualization. Even though asana, pranayama, and pratyhara precede dharana, dharana never-the-less can guide and complete its natural evolution, culmination, and eventual dissolution . In this sense dharana can be an action of intense devotion, dedication, and propitiation. It's most sublime form is intense and total surrender/love --samadhi. Here karma yoga and bhakti yoga as well as kundalini yoga, tantra yoga, and sahaj yoga all can be included.
Tantric Dharana-- Visualization
In tantra, similar to the above, first dharana is used as an external object of focus, like a deity (yidam, Tibetan), photo of a teacher, thanka, diagram, mantra, etc. This withdraws the bodymind energy from distracting body/mind tendencies, while providing fuel for the tantric foci. In some schools this tantric withdrawal is considered as an escape and negation, and hence an error while fabricating an artificial construct. However to go on, in the beginning the deity is simple and the novice is given a picture for visualization, prayers, and mantra. In intermediate tantric practices the yogi focuses on ever greater subtle details and meaning of the tantric deity, which can be made extremely intricate (not to be confused with complex), while demanding total concentration. During the practice there is also some dhyana (absorption) which may in some cases allow for glimpses into the primordial real (samadhi). Further in more advanced tantric practices, one becomes absorbed into the deity (as a representative/manifestation of the primordial Buddha), while from that state of transformative absorption, further interior visualizations/dharani are performed, which is essentially kundalini/hatha yoga practices in a samsaric free buddhic form body, which is held together by thought and energy. Here asana, pranayama, yoga of the channels and prana, pratyhara, dharana, and dhyana were integrated into we will consider tummo, kundalini yoga, illusory body, dream yoga, sleep yoga, bardo yoga, etc., to be different only in terms and minor procedures. These dharanis were widely practiced in the Himalayan region in a non-sectarian eclectic golden age of yoga predating the Moghul invasion of India. Essentially the advanced practices involved inner work activating the innate primordial wisdom found in all beings and things.
Secrets Involving Dharana
The secret dharana is experiential, and not capable of being understood by the intellect. If I tell some one about it who has not experienced non-dual realization or has a distorted or perverse memory of it, then they will be frustrated trying to understand it. Thus this knowledge remains blocked, filtered, and precluded due to prejudice. Rather when it is recognized as one's own direct transpersonal non-dual experience, which is very difficult to explicate with words, except in song or poetry, or expressed in music, dance, art, or gesture, then it self arises spontaneously and effortlessly. It involves the experiential practice of directly manipulating the bindu so that the true empty essence of the mind, the true empty essence of the universe, and one's true identity/essence are united as one essence. Hence the profound secret of the microcosm/macrocosm is revealed. Much of this Chapter Pada Three) will deal with various depths of dharana using the the technique called samyama. Samyama is learned through understanding dharana, but it is not just dharana, and not just absorption (dhyana) into the object, samadhi (as absorption into the all pervading hologram) in relation to an object or theme of concentration (dharana). Samyama involves a profound shift of dualistic consciousness to non-dual application in ALL OUR RELATIONS. As such, it could be said to be dharana taken to its extreme culmination/fulfillment. Samyama is like sublime non-dual dharana. However samyama should not be confused with dharana.
III 28. dhruve tad-gati-jnanam
Samyama on the polestar (dhruve) and the highest spiritual position (sahasrara) which lies within, provides access to the knowledge of the "causal movement and flows" of prana of the logos and their integration/harmonization with the patterns of the nadis inside and outside of the body.
Primordial awareness is intrinsic in all beings inside and out. Luminous emptiness pervades all space. The buddhanature matrix is all pervasive, although often obscured and repressed, it is never absent and can not be extinguished/killed. That reality recognizes itself devoid of contrivation. That is the secret.
"Always present to the Reality that he perceives as the play of his own nature, the tantrika is liberated at the very heart of life."
Stanza 30, "Yoga Spandakarika", translated by Daniel Odier, Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT, 2006
When the boundaries between the yogi, the object of concentration, and the process of concentration coalesce fully, then absorption into that object occurs as subjective gnosis. That process forms the basis of samyama (see III.4 below). What has to be emphasized here is that insight, although valuable, and understanding through intellectual perception is not samadhi. Conceptual analysis and dharana is a dualistic process that is provisional and supportive. It must be eventually dissolved beyond any conceptual processes where words are placed upon the infinite matrix of pure being. Dharana is a step on the path, but must be completed through dhyana and samadhi.
Eventually dharana (concentration upon an object (either physical, energetic, or mental object) allows the practitioner to focus their energy and attention (cit-prana) so that discursive thought (aimless wandering of the mind and energy) no longer occurs. The yogi after practice can then one-pointedly merge the mind beyond any limited objective focus, but rather focus on the unlimited, boundless, and self luminous beyond subject/object duality. That is the beginning of the practice of dhyana (the seventh limb). So through dharana, one progressively approaches beyond even the most subtle -- the formless -- devoid of time and place. It is in this latter practice that dhyana proper begins and dharana ends. There we find swarupa-sunyam (III.3) entering into samadhi where limitations end.
General Discussion on Dharana
If the place (desa) of concentration is in a bodily system, that allows the psychic energy (cit-prana) to flow into and activate the nadis (psychic energy channels) in that area. Such an area becomes activated and alive with cit-shakti and can be used for self healing as well as psychic evolution.. If the focus is upon a mental object of concentration such as in contemplation, then the mind is not allowed to wander from the mental object of contemplation/concentration. Thus dharana is purifying, unifying, focusing, collecting, and binding together (bandha) the powerful consciousness principle that exist in the mindfield (cittasya) and then directing it again and again (bandha) upon an object (desa). Again the place (desa) can be internal (antar) or external (bahya) or it can be very subtle (suksma) or secret (gupta).
Since the mind is directed by energy and energy is directed by mind, one follows the other, hence they are inter-related. We call that cit-prana or cit-shakti. This concentration of and focusing the cit-prana upon an external or internal object not only focuses the mind, but also the vital energy (prana) at the same time uniting the two. This focusing calms the mind and makes it fit for the next limb of astanga yoga, dhyana (meditation).
Physical focusing (dharana) with the eyes is often called dristhi or tratak of which the most subtle is on the internal light. Dharana may also be utilized upon listening to the eternal sound (as in sabda or nada yoga), visualizing mystic diagrams (yantras), or other such combinations of concentrative practices such as utilizing mantras, visualizations, breath, mudras, and/or combinations which is the subject of laya yoga and/or prana vidya. Later in this chapter, Patanjali discuss some of these laya yoga practices in combination with samyama (discussed further on in this chapter), however here he is describing dharana to steady, calm, and focus the mental distractions of the ordinary mind as a precursor to dhyana (meditation).
Since concentration requires an object (physical, energetic, or mental (inner or outer) to focus upon it starts from the dualistic assumption. In the Western sense it can be called, "focusing". This direction allows one to get in direct contact with two fundamental dynamics that are to be intimately linked; i.e., consciousness (cit) and energy (prana) or what is called the cit-prana or the union of cit-shakti and prana shakti. This depends on the mental principle that says that wherever our consciousness flows, so does our energy follow. Wherever our energy is directed, so does the physical also follow. As we will show later, this principle is put to work throughout chapter three and especially in healing work, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana practices.
In hatha yoga, directing the cit-prana in the body is accomplished through the energy valves (bandhas) and the mudras (which combine dristhi, asana, pranayama, bandha, and visualization all together. In hatha yoga pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana (as visualization) are utilized to direct the energy and consciousness (cit-prana) in the advanced practices which are called prana vidya or the dharanas. laya, tantra, hatha, and kundalini yoga take this sort of concentration internally often utilizing the internal energy circuits, nadis, chakras, yantras, and/or mandalas eventually creating a sympathetic resonance with the inter-dimensional realms or lokas. That is how the yogi moves the prana and kundalini. When energy patterns move, the physical body follows.
In functional hatha yoga practice, asana practice is more than exclusively physical exercise, but rather as an awareness practice -- a method of focusing on the life force (prana) and its linked awareness (cit-prana) with ultimate source, eventually allowing the yogi to link together (bandha) ultimate source (siva) and manifestation through the channel of the evolutionary energy (an activated sushumna). Thus by observing the evolutionary process consciously and directly, the yogi enters into direct gnosis allowing him/her to access the workings of karma within the body/mind and the universe. Pranayama of course is also a way of focusing (dharana) on the breath and life energy combing again the principles of cit-prana. So yes asana, itself most definitely utilizes dharana to an extent. Pranayama also has large elements of dharana, so too pratyhara, mudras, and mantra. Every limb of astanga yoga by itself could be called a focused practice or dhyana depending on what is emphasized, but for most powerful results, it is best to do dharana by itself in order to master it. Then it is extended (ek-tanata) by the practice of dhyana and samadhi and in the three fold practice of samyama (dharana, dhyana, and samadhi taken as a whole).
At first most practitioners are given elementary practices such as tratak or dristhi which first teaches us how to focus upon physical objects utilizing the eyes. Objects can be as simple as a candle, a color, symbol, or picture, or as complex as the Sri Yantra. This stabilizers the cit-prana and in the case of symbols and yantras directs the cit-prana. Practitioners may also be given sounds to listen to (such as the pranava (om), or mantras to repeat (japa) such as hamsa, soham, etc.). Later as one progresses in getting in touch with the more subtle (vicara) inner lights and chakras, one learns to effect profound change in the body/mind organism. Much of chapter three utilizes the powerful practice of samyama of which dharana is an essential ingredient.
Also contemplation on a mental object such as a mahavakya or spiritual saying or koan is for many an advanced formulation of dharana. So if we focus on an informed or inspired philosophical concept, esthetic, or spiritual principle, then that object of thought can also be classified as dharana and serve to act as a doorway to dhyana and samadhi. As this kind of concentration can also be called contemplation. Many people confuse contemplative techniques equivalent to meditation (dhyana), but contemplation on a specific theme, an object of thought, a specific idea, principle, focusing our intent, or formulating a concept is more correctly the practice of concentration/contemplation (dharana) being established within the context of subject/object duality, must supercede itself in order to enter non-dual, compassionate, wise, and transpersonal ground. Where dharana is the process of gathering up and objectifying upon an object within the framework of object relations. meditation (dhyana) on the other hand is the process that allows us to drop all such object relationships entirely -- all sense of I/it duality, all limited self-identifications including attachment to themes, concepts, ideas, or thought itself. It is simply a semantic trap (of inexact definitions), where one school of thought may define the English word, "meditation", as concentration practice (such as a chakra meditation, a meditation on some specific subject, mantra, yantra, prayer, etc.), while conflating the word, "contemplation" with meditation. So I hope that this short discussion will avoid those semantic confusions translating dharana as concentration ( contemplation with objects), while translating dhyana as meditation (without objectification or referents).
In raj yoga, dharana as concentration is learned in the beginning in order to collect, gather, and stabilize the cit-prana and still chronic mind wandering. As such it is an awareness technique. Secondly it builds up the gathered energy and moves it. Where then do we want to move it? Chakras, kundalini? It is best to move it to boundless infinite mind, which cannot be objectified, to samadhi, to swarupa-sunyam. But "where" is that? Dharana is the cultivation of a collected quiet space that meditation then can flourish. Thus dharana is used as a precursor to meditation (dhyana) where the "i-it" dualistic relationship between the one who knows and and the object which is known is eventually dissolved revealing the underlying transpersonal non-dual light of samadhi. So we focus inside to find the connection to Infinite Mind. When we get it inside, then it is revealed outside as the heartmind opens. In that opening the egoic self dissolves and is absorbed in the All Encompassing Mind without limit.
One of the most supportive dharanas to prepare for meditation (dhyana) is breath awareness. When the discursive mind arises, all the yogi has to do is to go back to noticing the breath.
"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.  Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long.  Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short.  He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body, and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body.  He trains himself to breathe in calming the bodily processes, and to breathe out calming the bodily processes. " He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to rapture, and to breathe out sensitive to rapture.  He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to pleasure, and to breathe out sensitive to pleasure.  He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to mental processes, and to breathe out sensitive to mental processes.  He trains himself to breathe in calming mental processes, and to breathe out calming mental processes. " He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the mind, and to breathe out sensitive to the mind.  He trains himself to breathe in satisfying the mind, and to breathe out satisfying the mind.  He trains himself to breathe in steadying the mind, and to breathe out steadying the mind.  He trains himself to breathe in releasing the mind, and to breathe out releasing the mind. " He trains himself to breathe in focusing on inconstancy, and to breathe out focusing on inconstancy.  He trains himself to breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading], and to breathe out focusing on dispassion.  He trains himself to breathe in focusing on cessation, and to breathe out focusing on cessation.  He trains himself to breathe in focusing on relinquishment, and to breathe out focusing on relinquishment."
"Anapanasati Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 118)", Mindfulness of Breathing, Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Commentary: A yogi grounds like as to a root of a tree and connects with the crown/canopy like a tree. Like an empty container, content, the yogi sits like on a lotus as mediator heaven and earth.
Always mindful of the breath, content in breathing in and breathing out.
Breathing in long and breathing out long, or breathing in short and breathing out short, the yogi is content and mindful. The yogi trains mindfully to breathe in and to breathe out sensitive to whole body during the entire process. The yogi trains in calmness and relaxes all bodily processes through breathing in and breathing out. The yogi breathes in rapture and breathes out in rapture. The yogi breathes in sensitive to joy, and breathes out joy and happiness. The yogi breathes in sensitive to mental processes, mindful of the mind, aware of awareness processes, and breathes out mindfulness of the mind. The yogi breathes in calm, and breathes out calm. The yogi breathes in mindfulness and breathes out mindfulness. The yogi breathes in contentment, and breathes out contentment. The yogi breathes in stability and strength, and breathes out stable, balanced,and strong. The yogi breathes in releasing the mind, the yogi breathes out releasing the mind. The yogi breathes in change like a river on fire, and breathes out plasma like a river of liquid lava. The yogi breathes in release without attachment, and breathes out release without attachment -- liberated. The yogi breathes in cessation and death, and breathes out fearless deathlessness in ego death. Breathing in and breathing out the yogi rests in calm and full abandon, non-attachment, contentment, rapture, liberation, balance, and awareness.
Having sat upon the root of the cosmic tree under its wide and spacious canopy, having emptied the mind with total abandon, the yogi fills with breath, contentment, awareness, non-attachment, rapture, calm, happiness, and liberation without any attachment or fear. Sit and breathe that way in full surrender for ten or minutes at a time.
Example: A Hatha Yoga Dharana
Lie down in shavasana (corpse position) and become aware of your breathing. Take tike to scan and relax the entire body. Release any tension by breathing fresh prana into the area and breathing out the hardness. Breathe in softness and light. .
Relax the mind and release any thoughts and the arising of any new thoughts as they might arise. Breathe out the tension and breathe in new light and space.
Focus upon the front of the sacrum area, Relax the area. Visualize it as a large four dimensional egg shaped sphere. Breathe in new light and energy while dissolving any tightness/tension or hardness. Activate the pelvic region, legs, and feet, and ground with the upward moving support of mother earth.
Then focus upon the pons and talu cakra, throat and root of the tongue, flooding the area where the spinal cord ends in the lower region of the cranial vault with light. Bridge the area between the pineal gland and the backbrain and breathe in new fresh prana and light while releasing any tension or obstructions.
Visualize the cranial vault also as a large four dimensional egg shaped sphere. Then visualize the cranial vault spreading up and rising away from the sacral vault which stays fixed and grounded. The sushumna (central column or trunk of the tree) stays rooted and connected, but is experienced as being gently stretched and elongated. Any blockage or knots along the sushumna are released with liquid rainbow light.Warm up the physical and energy bodies with the breath in this pleasant way.
Allow the potential stored energy to move up from the lower base vault to the cranial vault filling it or simply experience the connection elongating and stretching from one area to the next in a graduated manner. Either way you may desire to augment this process with deep but unforced diaphragmatic breathing, visualizing the breath as light which supports the entire process. Fill the upper vault while melting any hardness and the head , eyes, throat, heart, or navel, letting the over-flow spread downward as golden white light all the way to the toes, so that one breathes in calm and light and exhales calm and light. Breathe in rising, lengthening, extending, and filling. Breathe out softening, lengthening, extending, penetrating, and filling. When you are finished (10 minutes or more) gather love and peace in your heart and send it in all directions to all beings and things unconditionally. Breathe in infinite light and love. Breathe out infinite light and love.
That is only one small but powerful example of a hatha yoga dharana, which requires no books, no initiations, or special gadgets. Just a willing yogi, the body, breath, mind, and spirit.As the yogi becomes more acclimated and comfortable with the intelligence behind the innate and indigenous evolutionary energy, which is inside the body and also outside in all things and beings - all natural systems, then spontaneous bandhas, pranayama, kumbhaka, kriyas, yantras, and mandala palaces will spontaneously arise.
III. 2. tatra pratyaya-ekatanata dhyanam
Meditation (dhyana) is the onepointed extension (ekatanata) of rarifying out the contents of the mind (pratyaya) so that the true essence of the object is recognized in its true relationship to everything else, leaving nothing excluded or in need of inclusion.
tanata: A continuous, unbroken, and effortless stream or flow. Rarefaction: to thin, make fine, diffuse, spread out or stretch or extend to the extreme; to extend or rarify to the utmost/boundless -- without end. Timeless and boundless flow. To enlighten by transforming and recognizing what appears as coarse denseness into light and space. To clear out, empty, clarify, and pin point the true essence of an object in relationship to everything else.
ekatanata: continuous change or flow; uninterrupted succession, one after another, continuity as in one pointed extension. a causal stream of consciousness.
pratyaya: the contents of the mindfield. When the context becomes rarified and limitless, then the content (pratyaya) become empty of an separate self.
Dhyana: meditation, absorption, the process of the dissolution of the self, the observer and the object, all boundaries and limitations. The experiential process of emptying the contents of the mind. Non-dual and transpersonal contemplation. When dhyana (absorption process is complete, the yogi rests in samadhi (total absorption) or non-dual at-one-ment/union .
Commentary: From there (tatra) [after the mind and energy has been collected, focused, concentrated, and made continuous in dharana], then, the contents (pratyaya) of the mind (its objects) are one pointedly cleared out dissolved (ekatanata) in dhyana. Here the mind is clear and free. The I-it fixation between object and observer when dissolved, empties into a Great All Pervasive Empty Boundless and Limitless Space. It merges in perfect union with pure non-dual formless awareness, so that the duality or separation inherent in ordinary dualistic objective thinking processes (pratyaya) cease and vanish. This cessation process from pratyaya (which is samprajnata) to asamprajnata (transcognitive non-dual awareness), is called meditation (dhyana) proper. This experience occurs without effort (in unbroken flow) when the limited contents of the ordinary mind field (pratyaya) are dissolved so that the universal mind-essence (cit-prana) is recognized in all things universally, without boundaries, and at all times.
In the preceding sutra on dharana, attention has already become focused, excluding extraneous distractions. Now that the cit-prana has become gathered up upon a single object of concentration, then that very object is dissolved (ekatanata).
Swami Venkatesananda says on III.2
"When the cognition is entirely concentrated in that field thus becoming its own field of observation - that is, when the observer is observed - it is meditation."
Please note that Swami Venkatesananda is wisely making a distinction between concentration on the object (dharana), on one hand, and concentration upon the conscious field and the universal observer who is conscious of the universal intelligent conscious principle imbedded in all things. Hence, the attention is brought back to the mind itself -- one's own mind, its process, and its origin until union is accomplished. Such also supports Patanjali's definition of pratyhara, which is a process of refined introspection turning the mind back to watch the mental process itself, eventually reconnecting to the intelligent source consciousness (Cit). This jump starts the interiorized process where the mind first observes the mindfield or at the least we become mindful of the process, not just a sense object or contents of the mind (pratyaya). Later on, the mind field (citta-vrtti) becomes dissolved as the mind is absorbed into the innate intelligence underlying awareness itself (the universal being or param-purusa). Further, in the end stages of dhyana preceding samadhi, the yogi increasingly is able to focus upon the process of pure intelligent timeless all pervading awareness itself (cit), which is all at once everywhere and simultaneously translocal in that it is not isolated, disparate, or exclusive apart from.
Because of ambiguities due to language and variegated systems of thought, that which is often labeled as meditation (dhyana) is more often, strictly speaking, actually dharana (concentration upon objects/form). For example, while sitting in dharana, the mind will often wander onto objects or have visions. These objects and visions are then released, and the mind is drawn back to watching the body, scanning the body, observing the breath, observing the emotions, the mind, mental processes, arising and falling of thoughts, observing the observer, focusing on the subtle body (nadis, prana, chakras) etc. This is still not meditation as absorption leading to samadhi properly, as the mind is still focusing upon objects. Only when the mind no longer clings to form -- only in formless meditation where there is no object and no observer, and no supporting constructs, does meditation, as dhyana, occur. Here, one is training the mind to integrate with the ground of all existence and non-existence -- with the empty and formless nature underlying form, to the inseparability of space and form, the elimination of all clinging to any isolate, and hence, unalloyed/unconditioned boundless freedom (kaivalyam). In this sense meditation is not repressive, it is not control of the mind; rather it is a process of releasing slavery to habitual thought patterns and karmic propensities, shattering and abandoning them. It goes beyond redirecting the mind to provisional supports, but rather, the reintegration of continuous flow.
Various schools of thought have debated the issue of placing *emphasis* on formless (or unsupported emptiness meditation) versus contemplation (dharana) and in what circumstances one practice may be more effective than the other. Let it be said that dhyana is a step beyond dharana, where dharana is a provisional learning tool.
Form and formless meditation are used to establish tranquil stillness to understand Buddha nature for enlightenment
“Form meditation is practiced in the Sutra system by concentrating one-pointedly on the mind. Because it appears that there is no specific object of concentration and focus, it may seem as if there is no form. But until dualistic mind finishes, there is the object of mind and the subject that watches it. As long as we are focusing, there is still empty, formless form until all dualistic habit of concentrator and concentration vanishes.
Some people are only interested in practicing formless meditation. But it can cause dullness to practice without any positive wisdom Buddha phenomena, just sitting without any positive wisdom Buddha phenomena, just sitting without praying and without any point of view. Therefore, formless meditation must be done with mindfulness, clear awareness, and the instruction of wisdom teachers. The key is that wisdom is always inseparable from its qualities of undeluded awareness. In formless meditation, concentration is used especially to focus in order to purify our habit of scattered thoughts. To reach mind's formlessness, there are many methods of focus that use an ordinary form such as a pebble or an ordinary process such as breathing. Also, extraordinary form can be used, such as breathing with the recitation of the three-seed-syllable mantra of wisdom vajra body, speech, and mind [om, ah, hum], or such as a deity's image, including that of Buddha Sakyamuni.
As it says in The King of Sublime Samadhi Sutra: 'Stainless, golden-colored body, Always exquisite lord of the universe; Whoever beholds this Is in Bodhisattva's samadhi.' These methods are used to establish tranquil stillness, to realize actual, natural, sublime, inexpressible wisdom insight which is the blossoming of Buddha nature, and to continuously progress on the path of wisdom qualities until enlightenment is reached.” ~ Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, “White Sail”
Any method with an object of concentration and a concentrator, thus fall short of the realization of emptiness of self and object -- the integrative state where the formless buddha (dharmakaya and form (rupakaya) are experienced as inseparable/interdependent. Through meditation (dhyana) practice, as a process/technique, the yogi becomes increasingly aware of the emptying out of the contents of the dualistic mind (pratyaya). This emptying creates space and lightness to allow for the evernewness to breathe.
“Although each of the systems that define the borders of what can be recognized within meditation practice cannot be mentioned here, the basic methods, categories, and teachings of meditation can be synthesized from these traditions in a simple way into form meditation and formless meditation.”
~ Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, “White Sail”
Through dhyana we recognize how the egoic/dualistic mindfield tends to fabricate, form, construct, shape, and limit contents, and then we are able to then release the entire process of formulation, eventually abiding in Now Awareness -- perfect presence in the ground of all being. Then, the requisite space is created, or rather the obstructions have been released. In such a practice, the yogi becomes familiar how to effortlessly and spontaneously drop the further arising of new objects in the mindfield, or at least become mindful of the arising and cessation of these objects. Eventually through practice, the awareness becomes more finally attuned and the entire process of awareness itself becomes revealed and magnified, as awareness knows awareness, true self knows true nature of self, and with that an additional level of freedom ensues. Then we can rest deeper in that pure light of awareness that knows no separate object or separate observer, as light recognizing light in dhyana until the universal observer (purusa) is known in swarupa-sunyam; i.e., samadhi. That observer also has to vanish vanish as there is no thing to observe that is fragmented. All in all, this occurs in the progressive practice of dhyana sustained over time.
The Sanskrit word, tanata, starts at creating empty space, while eventually approaching the complete dissolution of the contents of the thought processes. It means absorption if one takes it as absorption into sunya (emptiness) or unlimited openness. Here, it is used as in the rarefaction and dissolution/absorption process of the ego (asmita). of all boundaries, citta-vrtti, and mental processes/contents. When the egoic self is dissolved, then the world as a dualistic separate phenomena also dissolves. Then absorption (dhyana) would be an emptying. So what are we emptying in dhyana? Thoughts and thought processes that have objects are emptied. We are not analyzing in dhyana, but emptying/letting go. We are becoming free from such limited attachments. We are becoming more open and absorbed in Limitless Mind. This boundless liberate mind has no limited object; rather it is a result of non-dual meditation, which is best defined as empty or emptiness (sunyam) meditation. When the mediation practice is over, Patanjali calls that samadhi (swarupa-sunyam). Hence dhyana is designed to move the meditator to swarupa-sunyam (samadhi). We resist because of past negative conditioning, which sustained dhyana dissolves. The difference between dhyana and samadhi is that the former is the PROCESS of absorption (of emptying the mind), while samadhi is its completion/culmination, where the context is boundless -- where the hologram is recognized everywhere at once. Samadhi is the end of context. It is all pervasive and inclusive.
So to reiterate, it is not uncommon that many "old school" interpreters have confused "dharana" with "dhyana". They mistake dhyana as a pointed concentration of attention on an object. But what object would that be? Indeed any object (be it of the senses, a mental object of contemplation, or mental formations themselves are limited to an object; and hence is dharana. As such it only withdraws and imprisons one's awareness into another limited field of activity no matter how absorbed one becomes. In that sense the danger is that one can become so fascinated, obsessed, and drawn into an "object" of absorption (as being absorbed into an object) that one loses (escapes from) the sense of separate self, but that is neither dhyana or samadhi. That is the confusion of samyoga (false identification) not asamprayoge, samadhi, nor samyama.
"Meditation and realization come easily for those with fortunate karma and gifted capacities for recognizing wisdom mind, so that any tradition can be practiced directly, including the high teachings of the Great Perfection. But since it is rare to be so gifted, the mind must first be made calm and clean. If a pond is stirred up with a stick, nothing can be seen in its clouded water; but it is left to settle, it becomes clear so that the pristine nature of the water can be seen. Likewise, we practice by settling and clarifying the mind to establish the state of tranquil stillness."
~ Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, “White Sail”
For the beginner dharana has been taught first; however it is not without pitfalls. Some practitioners because of their past good karma, strong aspirations, dedication, maturity, and ability are able to experience excellent results without sloth or dullness of mind in emptiness/formless meditation practice with little or no personal instruction. Following is the more traditional approach which starts with dharana, given by Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
“When we start to meditate, emptiness must be made into form. We use form in order to see the manifestation of primordial, natural wisdom appearance and to recognize emptiness, which is indivisible from wisdom appearance. Since we have already created the countless forms of existence, we have to concentrate on form in order to see that it is empty. It may seem that it is not right to do this because we will become attached to the object of our concentration, but it is actually correct. In practice, we have to start with attachment to a target or a focus, such as a pure, light, positive object of inspiration. Through sustaining this attachment, the natural quality of mind can be seen, from which nonattachment is born.”
~ Kyabje Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, “White Sail”
Since it is most often difficult for a beginner to focus on "emptiness"or "formlessness" without a direct experience, one can utilize tantric methods where the mind, speech/energy, and neurophysiology become intensely focused onepointedly upon an object; but eventually the object itself vanishes back into the empty boundless space wherein it arose. That is also the stress free way to perform contemplation devoid of clinging or any yoga practice. In order to avoid bondage to confusion (duality), onepointed devotion and dedication to the unitary boundless principle independent from concepts (vikalpa) of separate self and a separate object, while immune to any reification or objectification process, absorption into the Open Mind thus becomes the focus of (dhyana) meditation. Hence, the one-pointed devotion is on boundless/infinite mind, hence simultaneously the emphasis includes steadfast onepointed awareness of the emptiness of separate self (observer) and a separate object (object to be observed). That non-dual realization reveals swarupa. Swarupa is realized in samadhi as swarupa-sunyam which is empty of separate self or ego (See the next sutra III.3).
To put this another way, meditation (dhyana) onepointedly connects us up to infinite mind when dualistic and dysfunctional ideas of separate self and separate objects are released. Here one places one's consciousness and being fully into o samadhi and hence swarupa-sunyam occurs. That is meditation (dhyana) -- that is the process of waking up.
I have attempted to describe the deep processes that occur in meditation practice. Its benefits can be experienced through practice, while the description may help serve to guide the practice. One simply has to practice. In its natural state samadhi just happens (sahaj samadhi), because it is our natural state. A key thus, is to be open to that possibility and let it happen.
Many books are written about meditation and how to do it. There are many fine points to it, but the best instruction occurs in its practice. The practice is self-instructive. Another way of saying the same thing is that when any object is truly known onepointedly as-it-is in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), it is simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate/independent self. When mind is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality.
It is experienced by the yoga practitioner as a unique expression of the unitary wave emanating from the original acausal indestructible seed. Thus, it reveals the whole from which all originates, when the object is known *not* as a separate "thing", not within the dualistic milieu of fragmented existence, but within the interdependent continuous context of a profound non-dual realm of interdependence. In short, after one-pointedness of mind is concentrated, then one focuses it on no object, formless space, which is all pervasive and intelligent. It is not a blank unconscious emptiness or void lacking in any respect whatsoever. That process is dhyana, where the end result is samadhi, which occurs after the arising, falling, and fixations of thought formations are annulled.
To succinctly sum up sutras III.1 and III.2, dharana is the process of gathering together the mind and prana (cit-prana) and the process of focusing it; while dhyana is the process of taking that one-pointed focus and directing it to the non-dual boundless mind (free from subject/object duality), where "self" is dissolved. It is the dissolution of the contents of the mind (asamprajnata); so that all bounds are dissolved as well. That is the process of extending out to the boundless or infinite mind so that there are no limitations imputed or imposed upon our direct experience other than by what-is-as-it-is as-it-is in its natural uncontrived true form (swarupa-sunyam). That is the process/practice of dhyana as absorption where bias, old pictures, projections, mental formations, and citta-vrtti cease. When that ceases then the universal all-mind is listened to and guides us. After consciousness (citta) has become bound to an external object (physical) or internal object (mental), which is called pratyaya, becomes is stretched or rarefacted to its ultimate limit (tanata), then limited objectification processes (internal or external) cease. The process of replacing the limited for the unlimited, the fragmented now trumped by integrity is the process of dhyana (meditation). When that process is complete, then samadhi.
Thus dhyana expands and opens up dharana as a practice of meditative absorption (dhyana). It is not an absorption on any one object thus mandating a separate observer. In one sense then, dhyana could be considered as a formless -- as a dharana on emptiness, an uncontrived natural and luminous space. That formless empty space (as swarupa-sunyam) is empty of separateness. It is boundless and all pervading. Dhyana is *not* absorption on any separate thing/object (that's dharana). Rather dhyana is the process of absorption upon non-dual awareness itself -- awareness watching awareness onepointedly (ekatanata) dissolving any such subject/object dualistic tendencies. Dhyana thus occurs when dualistic processes of the mind cease such as when the citta-vrtti are stilled (nirodha), in pratyaya-eka-tanata or in virama-pratyaya (see I.18). These latter are all asamprajnata (transcognitive) meditations. There are no independent "objects" there to focus upon. Finally dhyana ends in samadhi (swarupa-sunyam).
“….Whatever thoughts arise, let them arise. Do not follow them, do not obstruct them. You may ask "then what should be done ? Whatever manifestations of the phenomenal world may arise, remain in a state of natural freshness, without grasping at them, like a small child looking inside a temple. If you do so, all phenomena remain in their own pace, their aspect is not modified, their color does not change, their luster does not vanish. Although the phenomenal world is present, if you do not contaminate it by wanting and clinging, all appearances and thoughts will arise as the naked primal wisdom of the radiant void. People of narrow intellect are puzzled by the great number of teachings that are said to be very profound and very vast. So if we were to point a finger at the essential meaning which emerges out of them all one would say: when past thoughts have ceased, and future thoughts have not yet arisen, in the interval is there not a perception of now-ness, a virgin, pristine, clear, awake and bare freshness which has never changed even by a hair? Ho! -This is awareness itself….” ~ H.H. Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche
Thus the pre-existing self-limiting habitual tendencies (vasana) and predilections of the ordinary dualistic conditioned mind (the citta-vrtti) with its apparent contents (pratyaya) vanish (no longer objectified as referents) into emptiness (sunya). Superficiality is replaced by a profound depth of being. Now they are understood only in the greater context of the whole (not as separate entities, objects, or self existing separate egos. "There are no entities other than the all encompassing Great Integrity -- the greater Whole", Those previously arising thought processes which direct consciousness to an object (pratyaya) also cease. This is the pathway that are opened in meditation, which bring forth the innate light of wisdom. Therein one resides for longer periods of time consciously aware in dhyana (meditative absorption) extending to non-dual samadhi, which is simultaneously realized both inside and outside (holographic).
Normally the average human being thinks of themselves as separate from the whole. With that assumption he blocks the flow of evolutionary energy to instruct/inform oneself by the One "Self without a second" (Ekam advitiyam). With that assumption human beings carry around "contents" in the mindfield which rattle around in their minds. That modality is called pratyaya, which fixates the prison. of samprajnata.
In meditation we can supercede that condition (of pratyaya) with pratyhara (II.54-55). Pratyaya refers to the ordinary dualistic cognitive functions (commonly carried out in the frontal lobes or cerebral cortex) where there was previously cognized an apparent object of observation, a separate observer, and the process of observation. But in effective *pratyhara*, the energetics of the senses now are directed by swarupa-sunyam (true empty self nature), not the ego. Just so, we now can go beyond the dualistic results of the non-integrated human neuro-physiology to the transpersonal non-dual synergistic intelligence that animates all of existence and non-existence (ekatanata) including the inner ecology of the brain, neuro-endocrine system, neurophysiology as well as the external ecology and all of externality. This is the non-dual bridge of simultaneous inner and outer synchronization that meditation (dhyana) affords. This is the non-dual and non-directional bridge which ekatanata indicates.
Where dharana (concentration/contemplation) in the previous sutra involved the gathering together and focusing of attention and energy upon an object, here in dhyana then we embark upon the process of the expansion of consciousness to the boundless/infinite. The field of consciousness is thus first gathered together and concentrated then it is extended (tanata) into non-dual unity (eka tanata) acognitive (asamprajnata) focus which eliminates the artificially dualistic separation of the fabricated mind that fragments the object of consciousness, the observer, and the process of observation dissolving ordinary dualistic "I-it" ego separations. So what is that non-dual focus that is both inside and outside -- that is essentially holographic. When we go deep enough inside the inner wisdom (prajna) lights up. With that light lit, then that illuminates simultaneously the external. The external and internal are seen as intimate parts of a greater whole -- a Great Integrity which is none other than samadhi. That is "self" knowing "self" -- love loving love -- gnosis. So meditation is first listening inside, opening up. How do we listen? By quieting and emptying the mind first. Then wisdom self liberates -- it is self effulgent.
Therefore, meditation (dhyana) is the process that allows us to move beyond a limited focused object of concentration (dharana) or any constructed/contrived artificial fixation or field of consciousness at all. In fact in successful meditation the very dualistic idea of an object and a separate observer is dissolved entirely. This does not mean that there is no consciousness, rather objects are perceived not as separate, but integral parts of a greater interdependent whole -- a Great Living Integrity. All is known and seen (omniscience is achieved), but not in the artificially imposed limitations of linear or sequential flat plane terms.
Here through dhyana the universal unbiased Infinite Mind is approached and entered. Indeed there is no object in dhyana except at the start. the process of dhyana is to empty the recurring patterns where the meditator field of consciousness (citta) identifies with the citta-vrtti. Those old patterns cease (nirodha) eventually, thus the contents of the mind (pratyaya) are emptied, and at the same time the space that the mind-fields occupied then become expanded in a boundless manner. Wisdom and compassion become limitless at the same time. Thus the I-it duality of that is produced by ordinary cognition (pratyaya) based on observed events or ordinary objectivity based on sense perception which is digested and processed by the frontal cortex of the brain) is eliminated. Rather through meditation we no longer remain addicted to pratyaya (apparent separate objects or contents of the mind), but extend our range of experiencing and knowing.
Thus there can be said to be three separate and distinct practices separating dharana and dhyana; i.e., concentration on external (bahya) objects and concentration on internal (antar) objects is dharana. Meditation (dhyana) however is one-pointed concentration on emptiness (sunya) which is the process of moving into the stillness and as such calming down the white noise of the mind,until the cessation of the objectification process entirely is voided completely. This opens up a doorway to a profound spaciousness -- the infinite mind.
How is this done? Dharana is useful in the beginning only to gather together the necessary concentration to meditate as most beginner's minds are scattered. in order to gather together the wandering outward flowing energy and consciousness and bring it back within to the heart the yam, niyam, asana, pranayama, the breath, and pratyhara all are synchronized and combine as one dharana. The synergistic combination of this evolution of pratyhara to dharana allows us to let go of the distracting and dissipating outflowing cit-prana, thus establishing a state of peaceful vairagya all at once accomplishing all the other limbs up to and including dharana. This dharana/pratyhara activates/synergizes a trans-dual state deep inside which establishes the steady base that ripens the mind for meditation (dhyana). HERE through pratyhara and dharana vairagya is accomplished instantaneously while at the same time an awareness of the presence of the All and Everything is approximated. Through this shortcut (of pratyhara/dharana) one can sit in meditation with far less wandering or monkeying of the mental processes. HERE consistent meditation (dhyana) for loosens up and removes the more subtle mental impediments and limitations.
As Patanjali indicates that dhyana is the process where all objects (contents) of the mind (pratyaya) are emptied -- where the artificial limits imposed by the limiting contents of the mind are freed. This is extension is thus obviously accomplished by emptying the contents. So where dharana was a process of gathering, there is an element of emptying and releasing in dhyana that is culminated in Sutra III.3 (samadhi). So part and parcel of the technique of dhyana involves learning how to drop all intent and object relations upon separate things (vairagya) -- HERE occurs simple but profound abiding.
The limited contents of the ordinary mind that was mired in duality and self limitation is extended out in all directions to the pure light of the great unconditioned true nature of mind which is allowed to shine forth. A circle is completed in the process, for it may be realized in the end that the underlying Source of the individual intelligence and consciousness resides in a transpersonal all inclusive and encompassing Reality simultaneously co-existing non-dually within and without. In other words dhyana leads us to samadhi. As a process it transcends itself and self liberates.
Meditation goes beyond the veil of ordinary knowledge, the process of differentiated thought, or ordinary mentation which creates a limited view and content (pratyaya). As we saw in chapter one, pratyaya pertains to the process of ordinary cognition a process of objectification governed by the cerebral cortex (frontal lobes). Such cognitive processes are useful in certain applications but are self limiting in the spiritual pursuit which yearns for direct communion with the innate transpersonal spirit with in all. Limited views are anchored in dualistic and comparative thought processes, reductionism, distinction, differentiation, a process of weeding out, analysis, and separation. When these thought processes, fixations, and ordinary mentation processes (the monkey mind) end as if all thoughts are gathered up as one large thought (pratyaya-ekatanata), then they can be surrendered and dissolved. HERE meditation is fructified -- the thoughts cease coming.HERE the intrinsic clear light of consciousness dawns in glimpses of samadhi.
While concentration requires an object or form to focus upon (a specific content of the mental field), it is structured and delimited. Dhyana on the other hand is the process of moving into a far more expansive (tanata) whole. When we get "there" at the end of meditation process itself, where both the meditation and the meditator no longer exist. Then the process of expansion itself stops by itself. Here universal non-dual consciousness itself, the unfabricated natural mind (or so-called Infinite Mind) overtakes the dualistic/fragmented mind as the great expanse of consciousness dawns as self-illumination (nirbhasam).
Through consistent practice of dhyana a deeper non-dual awareness is amplified eventually disclosing that even the objectification of a an apparent separate meditator who is meditating is dissolved as the hallucination of limited dualistic thinking, Even the process of meditation becomes a contradiction -- superficial and illusory. Dhyana is the gateway to transpersonal and universal supra-wisdom -- it is not conceived nor contrived, but trans-rational, natural, spontaneous, and unlimited. It is not dependent upon the artificially imposed activities of dualism and separation, but rather the cit-prana is now redirected and gains momentum toward the Great non-dual integrity -- toward union.
The key in understanding the intent of this sutra is to understand the specific limits of pratyaya (ordinary cognitive processes and their results), and the value of meditation that allows us the ability to extend beyond that limitation and bias. Thus dhyana goes beyond the inherent duality of pratyaya which always has an I/It referent or subject/object (duality). Here we define pratyaya as being the relational and comparative contents of the fixated dualistic mind-set -- the view of the ordinary dualistic mind in terms of external objects -- the "normal" realm of I-it separation -- the tendency for the cognitive functions to hold us prisoners in habitual objective extraction, abstraction,a nd spiritual self alienation where it appears that objects (mental or physical) are possessed or fixated by the mind. This is the realm of "normal" perception which occurs in the corrupted/fallen state where separate objects appear to be solid and real, while the observer appears to live in a chronically estranged and disconnected world detached from the apparent separate objects as a separate viewer which defines the biased context of ignorance of the true nature of mind -- Satchitananda.
Through authentic practice of virama-pratyaya-abhyasa (see Sutra 1.18) in meditation, we begin to see how this fragmented dualistic and relativistic view has become artificially acquired through negative conditioning and then we are able to let it go. It is of value to note that pratyhara is the transformative energetic remediation of pratyaya, thus this will give us a good preliminary feeling for how pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi all combine in the main practice of Vibhuti Pada, which is samyama. (See Sutra 12, 19, and 35 for more on pratyaya). Through meditation the citta-vrtti ceases, and what shines forth is pure unimpeded primordial consciousness as our natural unconditioned true nature (swarupa).
"Some great meditators say that mind's nature is difficult to grasp. It is not at all difficult. The error is in not understanding meditation. There is no need to seek meditation and there is no need to buy it. There is no need to make it and no need to go for it. There is no need to work at meditation. It is sufficient to remain in the state of allowing the free arising of whatever occurs in the mind. From the very beginning your mind has been present and so there is no need for losing or finding, having or not having. The mind has been present from the very beginning, so whether thinking when thinking or not thinking when not thinking, this mind is just itself. For whatever arises in the mind it is sufficient to remain without artificiality, calmly and unwaveringly on whatever is occurring. Happiness and ease will come without effort."
Patrul Rinpoche, Self-liberating Understanding, translated by James Low in "Simply Being. Texts in the Dzogchen Tradition", Vajra Press, London, 1994. pp 97-98.
So dhyana (meditation) can be also defined as the discipline of surrender to our true nature or unconditioned state beyond the the bias of the vrttis. Natural (sahaj) meditation as grace can and does happen, but it is not the work of an outside separate agency/ego (as it is commonly viewed in the West where grace is seen to be the work of an impersonal separate god). In yoga this thing called "grace" is the result of good karma and/or the remediation of negative karma and habits. This creates open luminous space. For most of us it occurs only after making an effort in practice, for example in sitting for meditation, where the vrttis are given opportunity to unwind and settle down, and dissolve and then the mind and heart are open to receive samadhi. Hence we are reminded again that even surrender (isvara pranidhana) is a practice leading to samadhi and stemming from it.
Dhyana becomes the process of moving into samadhi, falling out of it, moving back into it, and eventually learning how to recognize it. Eventually dhyana itself, is completed when samadhi becomes stabilized in All Our Relations, continuously and effortlessly.
All of us have experienced samadhi to some degree. Little children do so often subjectively and naturally, but they have no conscious awareness of themselves having experienced it, and hence lacking such a context consciously, lack the ability to integrate nor repeat it reliably. At first in meditation we get small instances of stillness, emptiness. and openness where the nadis, chakras, dna, body, and mind are aligned with the entire universe. Such grace periods bring us into a deep heart felt harmony which cause a positive imprint (samskara) which eventually can lead us to nirbij samadhi (samadhi without seed).
Practice: Allow the contents of the mindfield (pratyaya) to expand (ekatanata). Do not try to suppress it, limit, control, or deny the arising of mental contents (empty as they are of true independence). Rather allow the mind to expand to infinite boundless space and time, so that all is included, nothing needs to be excluded nor included. Here, where all possibilities co-exist, the boundless mind can rest in all-space and all-time -- in timeless primordial original awareness and everpresence now, in the timeless present that the yogi embodies and experiences (in the union of Sat-Cit-Ananda).
These moments increase in depth and moment through consistent meditation and samadhi experiences. Then samadhi may last two seconds, ten, 15 seconds, maybe 5 minutes, etc. Eventually this pathway into self luminous transpersonal space becomes broadened out and made more accessible via consistent meditation practice which leads to consistent samadhi experience. As the old programming becomes unconditioned, the pathway to open transpersonal non-dual space (sometimes called grace) becomes more effortless and more natural and spontaneous. Eventually through consistent practice (abhyasa) then, samadhi as open space and luminosity as in simply abiding in " nirbhasam svarupa-sunyam" (which then is not necessarily grace) becomes a natural and spontaneous (sahaj) inclination. Sutra I.39 describes spontaneous dhyana as being drawn into a natural agreeable meditation. Also see Sutra II.11 for more on dhyana as a practice for its benefits. This all comes together in the following tantamount sutra, III.3.
"Meditate. The moment the mind is free from thoughts you experience the love of the inner Self.”
So again to sum up, dharana is gathering/binding and focusing the mindfield. Dhyana is its rarefaction boundlessly in relationship to all that is. Then finally samadhi is abiding in that completion stage, where all there is -- as -- it is (as swarupa) in suchness (tathata) -- completely integrated as universal, non-dual, transpersonal true self as ALL OUR RELATIONS.
III. 3. Tad eva-artha-matra-nirbhasam svarupa-sunyam iva samadhih
Therefore (tad), the essence of yoga culminates (eva-artha-matra) in samadhi, as the self-luminous shining forth (nirbhasam) of one's own true nature being free from self-estrangement or definitions (svarupa-sunyam).
Thus, the precise point and sole purpose (arthamatra) of yogic practice is revealed when the effulgent intrinsic seed source as pure luminosity (nirbhasam) is fructified as a transpersonal self realization free of a separate self (in svarupa-sunyam) -- free from any limited localization within time and place -- transpersonal free from subject/object duality, universal and all pervading. That revelation is called samadhi (the intimate union of the true formless self inside and everywhere simultaneously). Thus samadhi is nothing less than the realization of svarupa-sunyam -- the transpersonal ego-free state empty of the concept of separate self.
Swami Venkatesananda deftly translates this sutra as:
"When the field of observation and the observing intelligence merges as if their own form is abolished and the total intelligence shines as the sole substance or reality, there is pure choiceless awareness without the divided identity of the observer and the observed – that is illumination."
Eva: indeed, similar to. precisely so.
Nirbhasam: Shining forth. Self luminous
Sunya: empty: void; objectless; formless; spacious; clear; infinity open: boundless
Swarupa: true nature of mind; Abiding in the "self's own true form
Swarupa-sunyam: the true nature of self is empty of selfness. If we defined Brahman as the all pervading selfless Self, as empty of a separate self, then that is the param-purusa, as the true self.
Arthamatra: sole meaning and purpose in life. Personal (jiva) code or personal dharma. Artha means purpose or meaning while matra means entire, only, unequivocal, lone, or sole.
Samadhi: Oneness realized when all barriers of the egoic mind have been dissolved. Everywhere Infinite or Boundless Mind. Union. Integration; universal presence -- swarupa-sunyam; An awakened/illumined experience which is felt as universal luminous compassion. Sama (wholeness or completion) plus dhi (dhyana) equals completion of meditation (dhyana). Where samadhi technically means the space/place (adhi) that is equal, the same, all pervading, or universal (sam) everywhere. Sam meaning a limitless equanimity that is all pervading. What is implied is a time/place all seeing conjunction. Adhi refers to a timeless, universal, and primordial space.
Samadhi is wholeness, wholesomeness, holographic integration on all levels which is the culmination of yoga (which means to join together and make whole). It is the experience of "everywhere Infinite Mind" in All Our Relations. Integration; universal presence as swarupa-sunyam with nothing left out - void of fragmentation/degeneration, corruption, or discrete taints of alienation or disparity. Similarly, it is the all equal (sam) primordial space (adhi) which is omnipresent throughout all space and time.
Samadhi is the realization of the culmination of union -- the end of yoga. If yoga is to connect together the apparently fragmented objects of thought, then a shift occurs where all our relations are experienced as aligned, interconnected, wholesome, wholographic, and complete. That experience is samadhi which occurs after the dissolution of the vrttis, false identification (sarupyam), ignorance (avidya), the egoic sense of separate self (asmita), and all the mental/emotional afflictions (kleshas). thus allowing the shift in consciousness which merges with primordial divine consciousness as that Great Integrity and as its expression in the NOW. Similarly, samyama is the process of maintaining/binding the relationship/connection between dharana, dhyana, and samadhi) while maintaining each one simultaneously. Its power (versus the power of samadhi alone) resides in maintaining spatial awareness of an object of focus, which is the wholographic doorway to everything else.
Patanjali specifically mentions two types of samadhi, sabija samadhi (samadhi with seed) and nirbija samadhi (seedless samadhi). Sabija samadhi is a temporary state of realization and less deep than nirbija samadhi which is continuous. Repeated practices of samyama in everyday life, helps to consummate a continuous samadhi, where everything, all events, all phenomena, all activity, and all thoughts emanate from and are taken into the samadhi house (the hologram).
Samyama and samadhi are not a state of limited subject/object union (such in samyoga or samapatti), but a full and complete transpersonal and non-dual non-exclusive all encompassing union with all including source where all questions eventually are fully resolved. Samadhi is a state of ultimate union and realization -- a total integration and oneness (singularity) of the body, mind, breath, universe, and intrinsic source seed awareness from beginningless time here in the Eternal Now devoid of attachment and aversion. The embodied union of undifferentiated consciousness (Maheshvara/Purusa) and differentiated consciousness (prakrti/shakti) as the sublime non-dual Self (Maya being the clothes that reveal the underlying all pervasive Brahman). This is not to say that Siva equals Shakti (that they are one and the same thing), rather as a whole (together) they form a singularity. Where Shakti can not be separated from Siva, Siva is independent. Siva can be said to be the only non-thing that is completely independent yet simultaneously Siva interpenetrates all of creation -- form, formation. Patanjali does not use the word, samadhi as interchangeable with samapatti, rather samapatti is dualistic and limited modality of awareness, albeit samkhya philosophers conflate the two. In addition, samadhi, as defined by Buddhist and samkhya philosophers is a limited modality of consciousness, not samadhi as described by Sri Patanjali.
Commentary: Here, Patanjali attempts to point out the experience of the true nature of self, which had been previously obscured by glomming together seemingly fragmented and incoherent phenomenal objects within what was previously a dualistic/fragmented milieu (defining objects and things in terms of a separate observer who apparently observed separate objects). In samadhi, clarity is established as one's own form (svarupa) is experienced as being inseparable with the space in which the form is experienced. One's awareness is no longer limited to an isolated object of attention and all phenomena are known as existing within formless unlimited space (sunyam), being empty (sunya) of any separate/limited essential nature (swarupa) -- boundless and holographic. In samadhi, there is no separate/isolated entity (no ego), apart from the great whole/integrity. Thus a profound shift of attention is experienced from subject/object dualistic isolation, into a sacred, timeless, all encompassing sphere (samadhi), which is not established conceptually.
In advaita terms, the concept of ego is resolved by the concept of atma, which is realized as inseparable from Brahman as sacred union--a universal transpersonal presence engulfs and permeates the yogi. This is not a mere intellectual conclusion, but a direct experience. Siva is known through shakti and they are inseparable, just as Brahman is known through the clothing that Maya adorns. All Time and All Space are profoundly clarified. Undifferentiated consciousness and differentiated consciousness are united as part of one momentous occasion. A deep feeling of wholeness, resolution, and completion is experienced and all the pervious limbs of astanga yoga are known as part of that integrity. Then the natural self-existing unbiased universal place (samadhi) as-it-is (swarupa) is known as effulgent clear light luminosity (nirbhasam) everywhere as our ultimate natural unconditional precondition. This is where the adept yogin abides in samadhi, while still embodied as if sitting under a waterfall of Dharma-megha -- bathed in liquid light and love.
Note that samadhi is self-luminous (nirbhasam). It is thus capable of revealing itself -- it is self liberating and not dependent upon prior causes. Sunyam means empty; while swarupa, is as we learned in Sutra I.3 is our own form. Here Patanjali in straight terms tells us beyond any doubt that the true nature of form and formless space is inseparable. The realization of swarupa-sunyam is samadhi. It shines forth (nirbhasam) naturally from the true nature of self (swarupa) in samadhi. "That's it"!
There is no need to go further than that when that is fully realized. Samadhi is completeness in completeness. That clear and complete statement says it all; but most people need more because we are still immersed in the world of causes and conditions (karma), we have old mental habits, we have become conditioned, we have become seduced into the dualistic world of citta vrtti (samsara). When emptiness is "understood" as not-self devoid of ownership of form, then true selflessness is joyfully experienced. That is devotion and transpersonal non-dual love. All beings and things are in their natural/unconditioned true state empty of self, while simultaneously reflecting a self luminous selfless compassion. That is the open secret.
In samadhi, all prejudice, chauvinistic tendencies, false identifications, and limited consciousness not only have become exposed, illuminated, and disclosed via a fructified viveka-khyater, but also dissolve and disappear in the implicate all encompassing self effulgent light of ultimate truth, which is our own true nature (natural precondition). The unity of ultimate truth (as undifferentiated reality or prajna) and relative truth (as differentiated reality or viveka-khyater) are, in reality, inseparable, being merged in samadhi. Undifferentiated formless primordial effulgence pervades infinite space as the essentially acausal causal-flow-of-mind, emanating in the adept's direct experience as pure being and experience (sat) -- as the direct experience of being an intimate part of that great integrity of what is-as- it-is, in swarupa. This great integrity has always been present as the underlying reality; because it is self luminous and all pervading love and bliss. However, because of kleshas, samskaras, vasana, and karmic obscurations, it has been hidden. Previously, the presence of this continuum was not recognized, because of the obstructions imposed by a self-perpetuating delusion or false-identification with fragmented existence of what had previously appeared as solid sense objects, as an imagined conceptualized ego, believing itself to be a separate observer/enjoyer in a disparate and alienated within a disenfranchised surrogate I/it dualistic ersatz belief system, which in turn blocked the natural flow of wisdom, healing energy, light, spaciousness, beauty, and love became a fixated operant. Just as sutra III.2, signaled the end of dharana (concentration) and the beginning of dhyana (meditation), sutra III.3 signals the end of dhyana and the dawning of samadhi. This is where dhyana leads -- it is the open doorway.
"Adhi" means place, or better, primordial unconstructed spaciousness, while "sam" means inseparably conjoined. Samadhi is the universal holographic junction point where true nature of self (purusa) is discerned in ALL OUR RELATIONS -- where the true nature of mind is known in and as the true nature of nature. This is where all pervading luminosity and clarity meet all pervasive spaciousness in Satchitananda, experienced as a simultaneous all-pervading blissful emanation of compassionate love and luminosity. HERE the true self (the param purusa) rests in its own true form (swarupa), while previously, because of limited egoic obstructions/afflictions, this expansive transpersonal potential was obscured/blocked (citta-vrtti). This is experienced in formless dhyana and samadhi. Samadhi is found while participating in universal NOW awareness.
Eva means precise, thus (tad) this is the precise and self effulgent (nirbhasam) true meaning and purpose (artha-matra) of samadhi, which is in Patanjali's own words, "nirbhasam-svarupa-sunyam" as the shining forth in clear lucidity and luminosity (nirbhasam) of one's own true nature (svarupa), which is devoid or empty (sunya) of a separate/fragmented self. Such occurs upon the non-dual realization that all objects are empty of separate self (svarupa-sunya). Put another way, all phenomena are interconnected/interdependent in a non-dual relationship. There is no separation in ALL OUR RELATIONS as everyone is kin in the larger family of Universal love. Here, there is no isolated reference point, no solid ground except in the vajra-like aspect of the ever-changing boundless and unlimited dimensions of samadhi-time/samadhi-space. There is no reality behind subject/object duality. Rather, the habitual ignorance of our true nature sets the ground of subject/object duality. Ego thus is the compensatory conceptual fabricated projection of a separate-self (the disconnected jiva); while atman, when connected to and integrated as one with Brahman, when samadhi is realized where the mental apparatus recognizes its own true nature, is swarupa, which is the fructification/completion of isvara -- as the timeless self (embodied or disembodied) See Sutra I.19 regarding videha-prakrti-layanam.
Sunya can be understood as empty and open, as the pathways of the nadis (psychic channels) are able to transport prana and light (cit-prana), where before they were blocked (dense, filled up, and obstructed). Sunya is experienced as the opening and flow of the central/middle path nadi (the sushumna) by the mahasiddhas. For them samadhi was that simple (allowing the central energy to open and permeate their alchemicalized vessel to its brimless brim). This indeed denotes the full extension of the rainbow bridge as the self- luminous (god-filled if you will) true nature of all phenomena as non-dual truth of ALL OUR RELATIONS.
Notice how this has integrity with Sutra I.3, where Patanjali defines the fruit of yoga as "tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam", which means; "Then the seer/observer rests in that profound light of our own true unconditioned original self nature" or "Suchness". Where else can this timeless union occur, if not throughout god-intoxicated boundless/formless space? There, in Sutra I.3, Patanjali tells us that the goal of yoga is to reside in our own true natural state -- swarupa/suchness; and that this occurs upon the cessation of the vrttis (spinning out of the mind). He did not (then in Sutra I.3) expand upon swarupa, but rather directed pada one toward nirbija samadhi as the summum bonum of yoga. Now however in this definitive sutra, Patanjali links samadhi and swarupa. Samadhi can be translated as complete absorption or mergence, versus dhyana which is the process of absorption. However, in the context of English, there is no suitable equivalent single word, because even mergence assumes two separate things in the first place, where yoga affirms that our true nature (in Reality) is non-dual, transconceptual, -- inseparable, unlimited, and eternal; hence, there is nothing separate to join. Thus, Patanjali uses the word, sunya (empty) where nothing exists by itself, but rather everything is real only in context with the whole -- when the obstructions are removed and pathways are open. This is not a nihilistic statement, but rather a non-dual affirmation of the fecund reality of ALL OUR RELATIONS. Samadhi places the practitioner into limitless/unconditioned context. It is the end of any fixed context, as there are no boundaries or limits of space or time. This is what is meant by entering the Samadhi House, the Hologram
From "The Lesser Discourse on Emptiness", The Collection of The Middle Length Sayings of the Buddha, Vol III, translated from the Pali by I. B. Horner
"And again, Ananda, a monk, not attending to the perception of the plane of no-thing, not attending to the perception of the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, attends to solitude grounded on the concentration of mind that is signless. His mind is satisfied with . . . and freed in the concentration of mind that is signless. He comprehends thus: ‘The disturbances there might be resulting from the perception of the plane of no-thing . . . from the perception of the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception do not exist here. There is only this degree of disturbance, that is to say the six sensory fields that, conditioned by life, are grounded on this body itself. He comprehends: ‘This perceiving is empty of the plane of no-thing . . . empty of the perception of the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. And there is only this that is not emptiness, that is to say the six sensory fields that, conditioned by life, are grounded on this body itself.' He regards that which is not there as empty of it. But in regard to what remains there he comprehends, ‘That being, this is.' Thus, Ananda, this too comes to be for him a true, not mistaken, utterly purified realization of (the concept of) emptiness.
And again, Ananda, a monk, not attending to the perception of the plane of no-thing, not attending to the perception of the plane of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, attends to solitude grounded on the concentration of mind that is signless. His mind is satisfied with, pleased with, set on and freed in the concentration of mind that is signless. He comprehends thus, ‘This concentration of mind that is signless is effected and thought out.[ 13 ] But whatever is effected and thought out, that is impermanent, it is liable to stopping.' When he knows this thus, sees this thus, his mind is freed from the canker of sense-pleasures and his mind is freed from the canker of becoming and his mind is freed from the canker of ignorance. In freedom is the knowledge that he is freed and he comprehends: ‘Destroyed is birth, brought to a close the Brahma-faring, done is what was to be done, there is no more of being such or so.' He comprehends thus: ‘The disturbances there might be resulting from the canker of sense-pleasures do not exist here; the disturbances there might be resulting from the canker of becoming do not exist here; the disturbances there might be resulting from the canker of ignorance do not exist here. And there is only this degree of disturbance, that is to say the six sensory fields that, conditioned by life, are grounded on this body itself.' He regards that which is not there as empty of it. But in regard to what remains he comprehends; ‘That being, this is.' Thus, Ananda, this comes to be for him a true, not mistaken, utterly purified and incomparably highest realization of (the concept of) emptiness.
And those recluses or brahmans, Ananda, who in the distant past, entering on the utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, abided therein . . . all these, entering on precisely this utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, abided therein. And those recluses or brahmans, Ananda, who in the distant future, entering on the utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, will abide therein . . . all these, entering on precisely this utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, will abide therein. And those recluses or brahmans, Ananda, who at present, entering on the utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, are abiding in it . . . all these, entering on precisely this utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, are abiding therein. Wherefore, Ananda, thinking: ‘Entering on the utterly purified and incomparably highest (concept of) emptiness, I will abide therein' . . . this is how you must train yourself, Ananda.
Thus spoke the Lord. Delighted, the venerable Ananda rejoiced in what the Lord had said."
HERE we go beyond the process, act, and/or technique of both dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) into samadhi (non-dual integration -- the intimate experience of transpersonal sacred integrity). Meditation becomes accomplished in a profound simple abiding, where the seer perceives herself in all that can be seen within a universal non-dual context -- when THAT smiles back at Self as Self. -- when the seen and the seer are recognized as one. Meditation (dhyana) is a technique, not the end. One must step out of the boat in order to step upon the further shore. Only when the distinction between the meditator and the meditation is removed -- when the meditator no longer looks down at himself as meditating -- when that becomes also voided (sunya) as a separate object -- then the dualistic veil of ego is dissolved --then one sees, thus all is known, the meditation is over and samadhi is achieved. That is grace and the end of karmic conditions, as samadhi -- as it becomes self actualized. Ho! It is sacred space!
It is not a coincidence that Patanjali uses nirbhasam-swarupa-sunyam as approximating (eva) samadhi here. The words in this sutra were carefully chosen. Everything else, in the Yoga Sutras, before or afterwards, pertains to this one purpose (artha-matra) designed to lead the practitioner back and from III.3 -- samadhi as swarupa-sunya. The true self is empty of self. That formless self is universal and omnipresent. It is known everywhere as imperishable and hence vajralike, yet carefully discerned as embedded in differentiated consciousness as undifferentiated consciousness. It is self effulgent as-it-is -- but being all pervading it is very subtle -- rarefied to the extreme. There is no place where it is not. As that light inside becomes brighter, it illumines/reveals the world as-it-is, as universal truth knowing itself. So sitting in that light -- we practice dhyana like receiving light from the timeless teacher, of even the most ancient of all teachers. (I.26), thus realizing samadhi. See I.43 where Patanjali first mentions swarupa-sunyam as purifying the memories and impressions of the past so that our true purpose (artha-matra) can shine forth (nirbhasa). I.3, I.19, I.43, I.48-I.51 all lead here.
Sutra I. 43 Smrti-parishuddhau svarupa-sunye va artha-matra-nirbhasa nir-vitarka
However when the mind stream, which is normally polluted and conditioned by past impressions (smrti) is completely purified (pari-shuddham) from any taint of the mental contents toward a coarse and limited objectivity (nirvitarka) is characterized by (iva) [the absence of wandering (vikalpa)], then the innate natural effulgent light (nir-bhasa) of inner realization devoid of the delusion of an independent or separate self (svarupa-sunya)naturally shines forth. This purification increases our alignment with our true purpose (artha-matra) allowing for the subtle light to brighten ever more.
So III.3 completes and encompasses Patanjali's teaching of astanga yoga. It should be obvious by now how dhyana (meditation) easily leads the yogi to samadhi.
It is indeed difficult if not impossible to describe that which defies philosophical description with words or concepts. Using “open mind”, true nature of mind, big mind, long body, or infinite mind, etc., all use the word, mind, which I think David or others may object to, as yoga is NOT solely mental NOR even a cognitive process. It is not a mental fabrication, artifice, nor artful contrivance, rather it is entirely natural and unconditioned.
Thus “NO Mind” or sunyata serves as a less dualistic referent. Indeed how much less dualistic a word can one imagine, but the fault is that it is stated in the negative and also from *the outside* it will have negative connotations to the non-meditator. Obviously to the practitioner, “samadhi” is not the result of thinking, words, or concepts but the opposite, an intelligent release of that via practices such as dhyana (emptiness meditation on swarupa-sunyam) which leads to objectless one pointedness in samadhi. Such does involve the dualistic mind in letting it go, but can also be said to invoke a non-dual consciousness which is beyond mind per se, but how can we describe that consciousness or awareness in Western terms? Best to just use samadhi? In the West especially we do not have the variegated and rich words for what is translated as “mind” from Sanskrit words. Hence I think we may be simply discussing a difficulty of word usage (semantics), rather than anything else.
Empty mind, open mind, or infinite mind denote the same thing as long as there are no separate individual contents of the mind – infinite being all inclusive. That is similar to the use of the Great Completion (Dzogchen) there appears to be a content but there is no subject/object duality implied. There the “self” is empty of separate existence, objects are empty of separate self – there is nothing but the whole – all things are known as intimate parts of the whole and deeper as wholographic. Both consciousness (CIT) and experience (beingness or SAT) are involved, not just consciousness, rather this profound integration is not the result of any thing ... it is unconditioned and natural. Here words fail but I assume we agree. This all inclusive Great Integrity which is not at all a mental fabrication is what Patanjali is describing. Those who do not practice u=yoga will certainly not understand any of it, but P just says practice and then you will experience it.
Regarding, the word, “God”, it depends on the contextual definition. Because of the widespread disparities in its definition (as a separate independent entity or ego), it is often less confusing to avoid its use, other than as an indicator toward pointing out a wise and compassionate higher Self beyond limited egoic ignorance. In this sense primordial universal now presence appears to be a more functional term in which to dedicate one's practice, while forming a living relationship. Because it is common in the West to see God as an external entity/operator separate from human beings versus an *intimate* or intrinsic seed potential (like isvara or buddhanature or bodhicitta), which grows into swarupa-sunyam (true empty nature of “self”) through practice, a spiritual alienation and dualism becomes needlessly reinforced when "god" is reified/objectified. The key is that isvara (the inner teacher) is *intimate and intrinsic* (not a separate self/entity). Thus, the common dualistic and self-alienating pitfalls regarding the concept of God disappears.
Samadhi can occur in gradual stages, or in some cases, all at once. Thus going in and out of samadhi through dhyana is a practice in itself. Unsupported, formless, dhyana practice is the most common means to realizing samadhi. Samadhi can occur naturally and spontaneously (sahaj samadhi), when causes for the old conditioning cease after running their course, and good causes have ripened into favorable conditions. Swami Kripaluananda says in chapter 11 of "Science of Meditation" the following regarding samadhi.
"It is true that a yogi attains omniscience, divine body, and miraculous powers by practicing samadhi, but the final fruit of samadhi or yoga is moksha or mukti (final liberation). He attains this final liberation after freeing himself completely from the bondage of the body, the mind and nature. To be free from the bondage of body and mind is, called mukti (liberation or salvation). There are two types of mukti: krama mukti (liberation by stages) and sadyo mukti (immediate liberation).
A seeker who is on the path of krama mukti (liberation by stages) goes into yogic swoon after reaching the stages of videhlaya (lower state of swoon) or prakrtilaya (higher state of swoon). Such a seeker gets close to sadyo mukti but cannot go further and attains liberation only after many births. The seeker who follows the path of sadyo mukti attains both savikalpa and nirvikalpa samadhi, which brings liberation in the present birth. A study of recent past about yogis who have lived in India reveals that there have been very few purna yogis, yogis who have reached perfection or the highest level of sadyo mukti. Such purna yogis are urdvareta and are considered to be the incarnation of God."
According to Patanjali, every moment and hence every experience is eventually to be experienced as an integral part (fractaless) of this integrative all-encompassing immeasurable whologram in synchronistic continuity (not separate) -- not independent from anything else, but as an integral relative part of a non-fragmented whole. This is to be realized now as the profound inseparable unity/integrity of differentiated and undifferentiated truth. After sabija samadhi is tasted through dhyana, it can be made continuous through concentrated practice and/or through samyama (see the next sutra on samyama) leading to nirbija samadhi.
Regarding another benefit of formless (undifferentiated) consciousness or establishing primordial awareness before death, such enhances life, because the primordial creative momentum can become a great ally when one is alive as one large timeless integrity. After physical death, then prakrti as the differentiating process ceases to exist in terms of a prepossessed condition via the six senses. That previous dominant preconception vanishes, .loses its meaning, and disappears in the primordial awareness of the yogi. The primordial undifferentiated consciousness (pure formless awareness or clear light) is eternally/constantly NOW and HERE and always has been/will be, in NOW awareness NOW. That Adamantine vajra NOW is all we ever have. That is for certain.
The Stage of Miracles of the Siddhas
"At that point (when one's own mind and appearances are mixed) then one is able to perform miracles, as were performed by the siddhas of both India and Tibet. They were able to touch fire but not be burned by it. They were able to walk on water and not sink in it. They were able to walk through the walls of buildings, and so forth. These miracles arise naturally at that level. At that point one has also purified the four elements of one’s physical body and is able to transform one’s body into such things as a large mass of fire or a large body of water. One is able to perform many different types of miracles and practice many different types of samadhi. At that level one has also purified the nadi, prana, and bindu of one’s own physical form and because of that one is able to arise in or manifest the form of many different yidams or deities, and one is also able to meet with these many various yidams. At that point it sometimes also occurs that one’s students are able to see one’s form as being that of the yidam.”
The Venerable Tenga Rinpoche’s Commentary on The Mahamudra of the Venerable Gampopa, the One Sufficient Path ... at the Kalachakra for World Peace program at Madison Square Garden in 1991, translated by Elizabeth Callahan.
Now we will begin the discussion of samyama, which begins in samadhi after dharana and formless dhyana are fructified. So in samyama, consciousness then retraces backwards permeating and absorbing with the meditator (dhyana), an object of concentration (dharana), so that one experiences the object simultaneously both subjectively (from inside) as an integral part of the whole) and objectively from the point of view of All Our Relations. That object becomes known from both inside and out simultaneously, when samadhi is invoked. That is when the fractualess fractals are known from the great non-dual completion of the hologram, then any specific task can be realized in samyama. We thus will introduce a new term, the samadhi house, to indicate where samyama takes place.
Practice: Samadhi, samadhi, samadhi. Swarupa-sunyam, swarupa-sunyam, swarupa-sunyam. Samyama on samadhi, samyama on samadhi, samyama on samadhi. Samadhi is all, samadhi is all, samadhi is all. All is samadhi, All is samadhi, all is...
The next sutras (III.4 - 8) thus address samyama, the threefold (trayam) practice of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi taken as a combined/integrated whole. Realize samadhi first and foremost!
III. 4. trayam ekatra samyamah
Taken together, as a three part integrated synchronized whole (trayam ekatra) constitutes the practice of samyama.
Trayam: three parts
Ekatra: as one single component -- synchronizing two or more processes.
Samyama: Samyama means the binding together or sealing (yama) of all-space and all-time -- all kalpas. Where yama, meaning to seal and bind together, and "sam" meaning limitless all pervading what is implied is a time/place all seeing conjunction (like the eye of Siva) as a powerful yogic application/instrument. Here samyama is the conjunction place, where samadhi is extended and conjoined together intimately to the whole of all our relations -- in all and any junctures of place and time.
Commentary: This sutra is self-explanatory. It is a concise outline of samyama; yet it does not yet detail samyama and its specific applications. Samyama is how the yogi once in samadhi approaches "phenomena" (both thought forms and physical phenomena/creation, all dimensions, from the fully integrated dimensionless realm, all yugas and kalpas, and so forth) during and after nirbij-samadhi. There is general misunderstanding of this sutra, precisely because samyama can't be reached through conceptual thought or academic methods. Hence, samkhya academia attempts to understand samyama from a dualistic context, which is utterly futile and foolish. It must be understood from samadhi, which is total nondual absorption. Samyama occurs AFTER samadhi. Samadhi is its precursor. Out of samadhi all is known, while the specific knowledge come from the union of that samadhi with dharana and dhyana. Be certain that this is not the ordinary dualistic dharana and dhyana that precedes samadhi.
"[These] three when practised [in regard] to one object, constitute samyama."
Swami Vivekananda, "Raja-Yoga"
Traditional samkhya interpreters define samyama as the seamless integration of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi taken altogether as a whole. This is adequate to a degree; however, it should be noticed that samyama is presented in III.4 after samadhi; thus something very special is herein being introduced. It cannot be reached by words, concepts, or the intellect. Samyama in a dualistic/egoic sense does look much like deep contemplation (dharana) at first. That combined with dhyana (as absorption) without an isolation between object and observer or unsupported meditation) is an excellent way of approaching sabij-samadhi once the yogi has fallen out of samadhi; but it is not samyama, which is approached *from* within samadhi, not as an approach *to* samadhi. To simplify, samyama is performed within the quiet spaciousness of unalloyed space, Then the practitioner, while holding that space, absorbs and focuses upon any object of thought from that all inclusive/non-dual space. One knows the object of samyama then from both inside out and outside in simultaneously in relationship to everything else (holographically).
Samyama is a practice whereupon one first goes into universal timeless space (samadhi) and from there focuses on an object one-pointedly and non-dually in concentrated reflection (dharana). Then one relaxes into the object and is absorbed into it while still maintaining awareness and focus (absorption/immersion as in dhyana). Now consciousness has permeated and is abiding inside of the object. The object is then *known" not from the point of view of a separate observer, but rather from the point of view of the undivided union of object and observer as-it-is in terms of everything else in non-dual space (in All Our Relations). To clarify in this non-dual context, what ian object is referred to, it may bring up an obvious contradiction; i.e., how could a separate object and observer appear in a non-dual state. . It cannot; however, when from the universal boundless space of samadhi the all objects are known both inside and out, one's awareness us absorbed into that object while maintaining its empty (nondual) integrity, then experiences a one-pointed view from within the object (dharana) after reentering it (dhyana), then special/specific knowledge is obtained. Where samadhi is non-specific translocal, boundless, and universal, samyama is specific, without sacrificing the wholistic integrity or distorting the hologram.
Simultaneously consciousness resides in the samadhi-house, where the true nature of phenomena is known in relationship to the entire universe, evolution, and all-time, where nothing is excluded or is in need of being included. In a sense, the observer first focuses upon the object, becomes the object, and experiences the object as-it-is, but not in terms of samyoga, but rather in terms of the timeless all-mind (samadhi). Only then can the object of concentration be truly known universally as-it-is in an unbiased way. Like all of yoga, this is to be learned through praxis. This explanation will be helpful only to practitioners. It will not make much sense to the philosophically inclined.
Later we will show how samyama itself has three additional components (nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama. Samyama is a practice outside of astanga yoga proper, but can be applied to astanga yoga and/or to any event, phenomena, or activity.
It can be applied in three steps. First, the yogi empties the mind completely and accesses samadhi. Nirodha parinama is the transformational process that frees the mind of any pre-existing thought patterns, mentations, or discursive thoughts.
Then, in samadhi-parinama frees the mind from any further distractions or wandering, either upon forms or formless dimensions. This is the transformation process of full equanimity and union. Finally, ekgrata parinama, synchronizes shiva and shakti (timeless awareness upon differentiated form) energetically, psychically, or in any pattern/realm so focused upon. The point is that the the three processes herein mentioned are the three parinamas, which employ elements of calm, focused concentration, and absorption, but from a nondual/wholistic approach, not as a dualistic approach. The three parinamas can be described as calming the mind (nirodha), maintaining one-pointed focus (samadhi), and synchronization (ekgrata). This is how sabija samadhi (temporary samadhi) becomes deep and continuous; i.e., by employing samyama consistently in All Our Relations. Everything is placed within the Samadhi House -- the hologram.
Its power (versus the power of samadhi alone) resides in maintaining spatial and timeless awareness of an object of focus (mental or physical), which is the wholographic doorway to everything else devoid of any dualistic distractions. The true nature of differentiated phenomena is known through sustaining focused intent in this non-dual interdependent context of all-mind, all-space, and all-time (samadhi).
Samyama, is the major practice in the rest of pada III, which is to be applied to all and everything as the way to know and interact effectively within the non-dual sphere true nature of phenomena. Skill and ability increases with practice and application. These abilities can also come from past meritorious karma (punya). Whether or not the "object" of focus of the samyama is first understood through the senses as physical (phenomenal) or an apparent mental phenomena, samyama begins when the practitioner enters samadhi first. If the samadhi informs the siddha that samyama may be beneficial, the samyama can occur as a boon, spontaneously and effortlessly. However one may train oneself in it when the vision is not clear or complete.
The three transformational shifts, stages, and processes of samyama will be described in the following sutras in phases as parinami (transmutations). However, the general, the elements of concentration (dharana), absorption (dhyana) of the observer with the object, and non-dual synchronization (in the central channel) in the samadhi-house as the open door/portal are involved. This must be approached from the non-dual perspective, where awareness looks at the object, the object looks back at the observer, as they recognize each other from an interactive vajra-like non-dual space. Moreover, the gateway is empty/formless space from which all knowledge (past or future) is known and experienced, but not objectified. This process has been explained by masters of the past as the process wherein the observer knows the wave of the ocean , the process of knowing, and the ocean as one great integrity -- where everything is recognized as inseparable waves of the boundless unbiased great ocean of consciousness set in vivid clarity. Thus, this is the only way that the objectless object can be truly known, where non-reified formlessness and form are inseparable, as-it-is, without bias (simultaneously from both inside out and outside in). It is known in universal unbiased holographic terms as none other than the acausal causal wave of wisdom light engaged within the base of infinite openness and spaciousness. As primordial undifferentiated awareness it is acausal as that it has not been created/fabricated by any outside cause. Yet, at the same time, such is the all creative essence underlying awareness and mental alertness.
When any object is truly known onepointedly (via the three stages of parinama), as-it-is, in terms of the uncaused causal flow of mind, it is known in relationship only to to the whole (devoid of any specific reference point) which includes ALL its parts. It is simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate self (intrinsic existence); hence, non-existent in terms of a fixed object in and by itself. When any phenomena are truly realized onepointedly as-it-is, in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), it is simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate/independent self. It is experienced as part of everything else (interdependent). When mind is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality.
It is both experienced as a unique expression of the unitary wave emanating from the acausal causal seed of consciousness and beingness and as all integratively all inclusive. Thus, it simultaneously reveals the whole from which it originates as it reveals its true empty nature, because the object can only be truly known *not* as a separate entity within the dualistic milieu of fragmented existence. It cannot be truly known as-it-is in terms of dualistic objects of perception or intellectually (through buddhi), but rather only as part of the Great non-dual Universal Integrity. Otherwise, it is biased or fanciful, a limited conjecture, and/or incomplete with untoward results. The authentic yogi abides in the refuge of a sacred non-dual primordial presence, where all things (relative phenomena) are viewed as ever-new and changing --as integral to with a great continuum/perfection of unborn/uncaused primordial presence. After one becomes totally absorbed in samadhi where all discursive thought processes have ceased, then samyama can be effected. Later we will see how the integration of samadhi, dhyana, and dharana corresponds to the unity of the three transformations (nirodha parinama, samadhi parinama, and ekgrata parinama).
In astanga yoga, the last three limbs, dharana (concentration), dhyana (absorption), and samadhi are practiced. However, in the application of samyama one assumes that these three are implemented as a whole altogether at once, *after* samadhi is realized, which means *after* one has passed through the portal of emptiness (svarupa-sunyam). If one is not stale in nirbij samadhi first, many difficulties can arise. Here, the component process can be analyzed in parts; but it is valuable to know that the process is entirely integrative/instantaneous in the moment of fruition/application. If this is attempted incompletely, without ego loss, without swarupa-sunyam being stabilized, without the focus of the three parinami, then visions may haunt the practitioner, forms will appear uncalled for, and other disturbances will arise. Beware the impediments, or forsake samyama. Samyama is not for personal power (ego). Samyama is a boon for those free from karma, a true yogi, saint, rishi, bodhisattva, and lover/servant of the truth. Samyama as defined by Patanjali is the boon of samadhi (swarupa-sunyam). It should not be conflated with unstable arisings and cessations of visions, prophecy, insight, or dreams.
The Practice of Samyama
The next few sutras discuss the transformative process (where form is transformed), becomes mutable, and malleable in samadhi (swarupa-sunyam). First, samadhi (as svarupa-sunyam) is entered, while duality dissolves/ceases. While the mind is cleared/emptied (nirodha-parinama) and a firm formless and boundless and timeless conscious state of wholeness is established, where the yogi abides in the holographic reality (samadhi-parinama), then a onepointed non-dual awareness is integrated and from that space an object of the samyama is delimited upon without objectifying/separating from it. As it is said, arising out of emptiness, the object of devotion arises magically from that formless space (samadhi-parinamah). The object of the samyama is then absorbed *back* into the non-dual integrated context of samadhi in ekagrata-parinama. That is the back and forth process of the three parinamas. One absorbs awareness into the object non-dually as if the object was a fractal of the hologram, a gateless gate into the hologram. Here the object groks the observer as much as the observer groks the object in a state of mutual non-dual transpersonal recognition. As one abides effortlessly in this state, simultaneously the non-dual object is baked in the oven of the hologram onepointedly, without breaking sacred communion, without breaking non-dual union, in samaya -- in the great non-dual integrity of completeness/wholeness -- into and out from the sacred jeweled limitless hologram.
In a perpetually open system such as a holographic reality, all relative parts (as fractals) lead back to the one great integrity (are traceable to the both its source and the whole as one process of both evolution and present being); and from the one, then back to "the many" simultaneously as a spontaneous and synchronistic a pulsatory movement. Likewise in samyama the advanced adept starts in samadhi, then in naked awareness abides with the object of contemplation encompassing it, merging with it (knowing it intimately), both losing oneself into it and at the same time knowing it from the inside out in terms of the whole, not in terms merely of associated fragmented parts. Through the direct practice of samyama, the adept experiences all objects of contemplation thoroughly as they truly exist (interdependently) without superficiality, bias, or slant -- from its own empty essence, as well as from the universal side, both at the same time. HERE we experience the apparent "object" fully and profoundly in a transpersonal non-dual way. That’s samyama. That is why it is not really a separate object, phenomena, nor could it be called truly existing, because it can only be known universally, in terms of everything else; because it is mutually interdependent having no intrinsic existence on its own; because it becomes an open doorway to everything else.
We normally (dualistically) think in terms of objects and empty space as unrelated, in regards to the physical world (phenomena or form). However, objects always appear in space and within any object that same space also appears. We also know that these so called phenomena are constantly moving and changing, but more interesting "they" can be known only in relationship; can be known only in relationship to the whole (holographically); only be known in terms of primordial wisdom, in terms of vast space, in terms of their vast potential. Such is the simplicity and vast profundity of samyama. When we limited space down, then our knowledge becomes limited, hence limiting space around an object is the first phase of samyama (called dharana). Effective dharana is the result of the previous five limbs. Then, we become absorbed in that object (dhyana) non-dually. Then, we bring in vast all pervasive limitless space (samadhi).
Hence, samyama is described as the implementation of the three highest limbs (dharana, dhyana, and samadhi) in harmonious equilibium. Eventually, when mastered, it occurs instantaneously and all at once. For example, we can look at a leaf on a tree, a branch, the entire tree, a clump of forest, the earth that feeds it, the air, rain, water table, other mutually dependent flora and fauna, sun, solar system, galaxies, and universe which all mutually co-create with that leaf-- which define that leaf. It may be a complete picture of that leaf or limited depending if we take into account how that leaf, branch, tree, earth, sun, ... universe was created and where the tree's potential is. The complete picture has integrity and approximates reality. The incomplete picture is limited and provides a distorted approximation of the whole story/hologram. Laya yoga uses samyama techniques as well.
As mentioned, the practice of samyama incorporates elements of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi applied all at once, but it's approach differs from ordinary dualistic dharana and dhyana practice when practiced as individual components. At first samyama is learned sequentially, but it is to be applied as an integrated union. It is assumed that one-pointed concentration has already been mastered in dharana. The first 6 limbs up to dharana focuses on objects. There, space converges upon and is limited to the object. The space defines the borders of the inquiry. It is limited and steadied intentionally. A limited space surrounds an object/form. Form and space are merged in dhyana. Samadhi (nirbija samadhi) is tasted, but is not continuous, except for those who have extinguished all past negative karma and have cultivated much insight and wisdom.
In ordinary dharana, one's consciousness is focused on the object and in the dhyana phase it is absorbed into the non-dual object as well as the hologram. Both the object, the observer, and the hologram are connected. Awareness is absorbed and penetrates inside the object of concentration; yet there is non-separate co-incident awareness of the intelligent space outside of the object also (samadhi). When cit (awareness) enters the space of the object, it is absorbed in it, while maintaining sustained awareness of the vast all pervasive space all around and at the core simultaneously. The cit of the object also enters into the consciousness of the observer. Cit meets itself, as Cit. Awareness recognizes awareness -- Cit Shakti and Shiva meet as one, and hence, its own form is recognized as well. Cit acts as a formless liquid and permeates all of so-called existence and non-existence. Form (rupa) both contains it and is contained by it. However in samyama one focuses upon the object from the universal samadhi state (the samadhi-house). The object is not known to any imputed separate observer, but rather know as oneself.
When the object is entirely permeated by cit, while being known in terms of the hologram, the samadhi stage is extended, where vast space of mind and the non-dual space of object co-emerge. That is to say, that the object becomes expanded into vast space, vast time, and vast knowledge, as it coalesces into self-luminous emptiness. The object acts as an interdependent doorway – an interface and link to all space, all time, and all knowledge. Then the object of the inquiry is known as it truly is from the POV of vast universal space and of specific space simultaneously. That specific object is truly known interdependently (non-dually) as-it-is -- as the true nature of phenomena. This likened to the opening of the third eye (prajna-alokah) in Sutra III.5. Simply the siddha has the ability to shine his/her wisdom light upon any phenomena with success.
In samadhi we abide in the great continuum -- the great integrity of being where nothing is excludes or needs to be included. From there the Mahasiddhas can focus on any object non-dually, such as a chakra, limb, organ, nadis, process, system, world system, or object of thought (such as an idea, riddle, or paradigm). As an example, in the sacrum, first we enter samadhi, then we enter into the empty nature of the object, doing dharana on the sacrum. When we have that in a steady and firm view (dharana), we let our consciousness penetrate it fully, and know it fully in dhyana. Then we bring in vast time, vast space, vast knowledge. Here we repeat this process until samyama is complete -- where we are both the object and the observer. There are many samyamas. We can apply it to any phenomena . Samyama is thus an application that triggers true gnosis, as a mode of seeing non-dually the true nature of nature.
Thus there can be differentiated three steps in practice. First is deep dhyana (meditation) wherein the mind is cleared of mental formations. After mastery, that sets the stage for entering into non-dual boundless space (samadhi). Thirdly, after abiding in this open unperturbed space one focuses upon the object of attention devoid of discursive analysis. SImply be absorbed and focused in simple awareness for a requisite period of time. Patanjali will suggest objects of samyama further on in Pada III.
We shall see how the practice of samyama can be applied to any event, situation, situation, physical phenomena, or mental phenomena, or it can also be applied to samyama itself and especially to samadhi itself, in order to trigger ekgrata parinama, which triggers nirbija samadhi. In order to clear up a common confusion on this subject, it is to be reiterated that although we will learn that in application, samyama incorporates the three parinamas, and is applied (all at once), it is learned in phases. Such is the practice of the practice. After the freeing of the mind (nirodha-parinama) and the cessation of any further distractions (samadhi-parinama) one then from samadhi focuses the beam of samadhi-light upon any object within the non-dual state of swarupa-sunyam. Thus, the three parinamas are descriptors of the activation of nirbija samadhi.
III. 5. taj-jayat prajna-alokah
From mastery of samyama, follows success in perfecting (taj-jayat) authentic, intrinsic, and effulgent vision (prajna-alokah).
taj-jayat: From that victory or success [from success in samyama practice]
Prajna: intrinsic wisdom shines forth as prajna. Innate, inner, inborn, intrinsic, or natural wisdom. Often translated as "wisdom", but in Sanskrit there are many words translated as wisdom because the word, wisdom, is not specifically defined. Prajna connotes natural inner wisdom, intuition, or insight. It is much more than objective knowledge (facts) or an egoic wisdom that can be possessed or owned.,Rather it connotes a subjective and experiential natural state of the non-dual mind which is in tune with universal reality. A transcendental and transconceptual non-dual wisdom beyond the intellectual processes, hence an implicate wisdom is implied because it lies hidden in all beings and things. It is transconceptional (nirvikalpa) natural wisdom, because it is not contrived, fabricated, or ideated by the human intellect, rather the intellect has to be suspended for the prajna to shine forth. The non-fabricated mind at its height of being natural, unaltered, uncontrived, and natural – completely left alone and thus capable of unbiased pure perception. Characteristic of the natural wisdom state of the yogi in samadhi.
Alokah: Light, radiance, and splendor not dependent upon temporal existence. Uncaused and uncreated emanating from the formless void.
Commentary: The yogi gains accesses to one's innate innermost wisdom (prajna), which is devoid of bias. One is anointed in pure splendorous effulgence (alokah), which self-illuminates even the most the minute details of the holographic world, as-it-is. One may say that "jayat prajna-alokah" refers to the victory of the third eye (the eye of supersensory wisdom). Everywhere the self-effulgent limitless wisdom shines forth in ALL OUR RELATIONS. independent of place, location, or time; however those whose vision is clouded (avidya) do not commonly perceive it. The yogi who is successful in jayat prajna-alokah is successful in samyama, and thus experiences inner radiant wisdom inside, while through this inner knowledge is able to recognize it illuminating the entire world.It is revealed to the wise naturally. Having mastered this, samyama is the spontaneous wise expression of the unconditioned/natural mind, which knows no bounds. Lacking that realization, natural synchronization (of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi) one practices samyama until it spontaneously arises in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Cit-shakti is present everywhere; yet it is ignored through negative conditioning. All of so called existence is disclosed as liquid rainbow love. All is love. Love is all. Love is. It is all.
Mastery, success, or victory (jaya) in samyama through jayat prajna-alokah, lights the way into a non-dual transpersonal and trans-rational wisdom space in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Here, the inner and outer dynamics are perfectly balanced, harmonized, and synchronized. In mature samyama practice mergence/communion with any object can be achieved by stepping out of the dualistic world of separateness. We can not truly know some thing from outside of it -- from a fragmented/partial view. Rather in dualism our perspective is biased and prejudicial. But through success in jayat prajna-alokah and samyama, we approach any specific object of attention in a different "light". Through success in samyama we see the reflection of the light of universal wisdom in all things/beings. That is called true insight (prajna).
Thus, through jayat prajna-alokah we are to apply samyama effectively as the synchronization of concentration (dharana), meditative dissolution, (dhyana), and absorption (samadhi), to any process or object. In that way, an intimate knowledge of "that" through direct union/communion is experienced without bias or distortion, in the great overall perspective of the great all encompassing integrity. Eventually, by mastering samyama, we are able to merge into the trans-rational and transpersonal holographic reality at will and from that realm, where the veil of duality has become lifted and dissolved, the true nature of nature is known in ALL OUR RELATIONS. A natural transconceptual self effulgent radiance is then perceived inherent in ALL OUR RELATIONS while illuminating ALL OUR RELATIONS.
Samyama is a powerful practice. First bathing in the light of samadhi after emptying the mind from fixations (nirodha and samadhi parinama). The mind is directed to concentrate on an object. Having penetrated that object non-dually, then consciousness resides in its original undivided universal true nature thus perceiving the object of concentration from all sides, from both within and outside entirely free from dualistic distractions. Graduated degrees in abiding in samadhi's depths where this conscious integration of the non-dual holographic light interacts with relative and changing formations can be experienced only within a timeless context.. In samyama it is from this specific samadhi, that a phenomena of concentration (dharana) upon an interdependent object is placed within this holographic primordial process. One enters samadhi through the doorway of dhyana by losing the sense of a separate self in total immersion and absorption, thus a joyous union is realized. One begins and ends in the holographic reality, which is self-luminous, limitlessly spacious (empty), and self-revealing/liberating.
Thus, from samadhi boundless non-dual awareness is experienced directly, while samyama is that applied to differentiated phenomena. In that nondual realm the yogi recognizes the buddha potential (true inner self) residing within all beings and addresses that transpersonally; as part of the great non-dual mandala. The third eye signifies non-dual awareness, not two eyes, no observer and no observed, and no subject/object duality. Although the third eye may correspond to endocrine glands (pineal and pituitary) as well as an energetic configuration, the third eye is not a thing, per se, but a way of seeing/knowing directly and transconceptually. Yogis know it in samadhi and utilize that knowledge experientially.
In that same non-dual vein is the third ear (sublime symphonic vibratory awareness), the amrita/soma (nectar), the flowered perfumed aroma, and sublime bhava (ecstatic bliss). None of these are things, per se; and all of them symbolize the transmutation of the ordinary dualistic sense organs/sensory object fixations. They are the gifts of yoga. This is called integrating the inner/outer non-dual offerings.Another similar offering is the non-dual self-generation of the inner medicine and the all pervading medicine and bliss. They are offered to our highest potential – our true nature of mind that supersedes the pain body. Such are part of yogic practices, utilizing prajna-alokah within the context of samyama. Utilizing this as samyama, is far more effective than ordinary (dualistic) dharana practice, albeit there are similarities.
In samyama, simply stated, first the portal of samadhi is realized, then the object is placed within the house of samadhi. Samadhi is experienced as it were as in its entirety, completely in union as a non-dual transpersonal emanation of the non-dual Whole, the Great Integrity. This is experienced as the integration of relative and absolute truths (differentiated and undifferentiated realities). Self-luminous compassionate light permeates the flux of the great continuum. The practitioner then experiences the object, as-it-is (tathata/dharmata) in its non-dual suchness in its completeness without bias or prejudice. Only from this, non-dual perspective samyama is possible. The separateness of the object self liberates. At that moment the duality of the object and the observer having been dissolved in non-dual oneness extending into ALL OUR RELATIONS success in samyama is realized as all things and thoughts are emanations from that great one whole. One having merged into absorption with the object non-dually, void of subject/object duality (samadhi), the virtuality of the object is known fully without bias emanating from a separate viewpoint. This is the way to know all things as they are without prejudice, coloring, or distortion caused by a fragmented mind-field (citta-vrtti)-- to know self as all and all as self in one's true primordial naked form *Swarupa) -- ahhh what a wonder! TAT TVAM ASI!
"When samadhi intervenes,
the breath whirls in every direction
like the molten gold
in the alchemist's crucible:
the body of flesh is transmuted at last
into its divine form!
Washed free of every strain,
liberated from the numb state
in which its captive condition maintained it,
the subtle body radiates splendor;
behold it made with pure consciousness;
it is the adept's very essence,
since he is the universal soul
present in all beings!
This, they say, is the liberation
that brings release from time and space!"
Yogakundalini Upanishad, I.76-78, trsl. By J. Varenne, "Yoga in the Hindu Tradition", Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
In short, that innate undifferentiated light of primordial awareness is recognized everywhere and in all. It is self-illuminating and effulgent.
III. 6. tasya bhumisu viniyogah
Tasya [prajna-alokah] is practiced seamlessly in any sequence (viniyogah) into all stages, planes, formations, and realms (bhumisu).
tasya: of it referring to success in prajna-alokah (inner light brought about by samyama)
bhumisu: stages, planes, multiverses. Ultimately applied to all multi-dimensional planes of relative reality.
viniyogah: an interconnected sequence that links two or more processes together seamlessly. Flow. Continuity
Commentary: Simply said, progress in samyama is gradual (dependent upon practice), where the inner light/vision (prajna-alokah) becomes ever more illuminating and penetrating accordingly. Similarly, the practice can be learned sequentially (viniyoga) upon all stages (bhumi), and can be applied to any object of inquiry or phenomena (mental or physical). samyama is preliminary, while the instantaneous nature of inner vision becomes a self-arisen, seamless, natural, and spontaneous instrument. It is a boon in itself, (a siddhi) as a spontaneous offering, when one abides in the holographic mandala (samadhi) directing third eye to any region, topic, or sphere.
In the beginning of samyama, the sadhak starts from samadhi. Conversely, after many glimpses of sabija-samadhi, this profound insight can be applied to the various other limbs of astanga yoga itself, albeit being limited as to the depth and intensity of the samadhi. Samyama can be activated and directed upon any activity, event, phenomena, or object of the mental field, as long as the non-dual holographic context is invoked and continuous. Samyama assumes attainment of samadhi, albeit sabija samadhi (samadhi with seed).
Mastery of samyama combines dharana, dhyana, and samadhi as an undivided integrated unity (ekatra). In astanga yoga, at first one gathers together the mind and energy (cit-prana) after mastering yam/niyam, asana, pranayama and pratyhara. Then abiding in a suitable asana, one practices dharana. Then, still concentrating the energy and citta in dharana, one learns to focus the energy, intent, and mind directing the flow of the cit-prana in a steady and stable ascending direction in stages, e.g., finally through sattva in the central channel (sushumna), which purifies, opens, and harmonizes the energy circuits (chakras/nadis/marmas) the crown chakra is activated in samadhi. That corresponds to ekgrata parinama (as we will see later).
Through repeated experiences in sabija samadhi (temporary samadhi or satori) dhyana is further supported (the dissolution of conceptual/discursive thought processing), wherein the dualistic tendencies vanish, being absorbed and sucked up into the non-dual middle pathway to the crown of yoga (nirbij-samadhi), wherein all is washed clean in the dharma-megha -- bathed in an everpresent boundless self-illuminating light and purified in non-dual space. Being accustomed to that experience through continual yogic practice, one can practice samyama effectively and naturally (sahaj). Samyama self-arises by itself, eventually. Thus, these practices all work in mutual harmony, up until nirbija samadhi, which is invoked in the final shift of ekgrata parinama (see below).
So, after having suspended the conceptual arising, cessation, and churning of karmically induced mental afflictions (nirodha parinama), ordinary dualistic mental consciousness ceases (nirodha). The citta-vrtti having ceased, the field of awareness is transformed in total non-dual union with the non-dual empty and open true empty nature of any observer or observed object through the process of emptying, which clears away all obstructions. The mind is cleared of any spurious objective content (objects), while being instantaneously brightened by the innate light of pure awareness -- merging with that intrinsic light, space, and bliss of the object as it permeates that form. Here the true nature of mind and the true nature of phenomena are interdependent and inseparable.
While all wavering limitations having ceased and become nullified, awareness is turned back into its own self-luminous seed-source (self), which by nature is universal. There in turn, it is magnified a billion fold -- infinitely, in samadhi, for it is no longer dissipated into the temporal world. That boundless self effulgent light illumines the entire cosmos uninhibited as innate lucidity, thus the state is set for samadhi. In samadhi the apparent separate distinctions between a separate object and observer is voided (sunya) while the universal all pervading rainbow light is discerned/recognized in ALL OUR RELATIONS -- everything is known as a wave from that continuous source. THAT is what bathing in samadhi is like. During and afterwards the way that phenomena (objects) are experienced cannot be described in dualistic terms successfully. Hence how a siddha experiences phenomena can be only inadequately described as samyama.
Although in the beginning practice, dharana is often practiced separately in discrete stages (for example mantra and/or visualization); then silent formless meditation (emptiness); then in meditation glimpses of samadhi (sabija samadhi) appear for longer or shorter periods having an accumulative effect creating its own positive seeds. After consistent practice these separate parts become more spontaneous, automatic, and natural, while occurring on their own as one interconnected instantaneous process -- displayed as a integrated whole occurring all at once. This samadhi is sufficient, but if samyama is of benefit then, the process is extended through the crown chakra, back down through the eye of shiva, the ether/akasha chakra, and heart of hearts, but such descriptions are necessarily incomplete. In short, samyama can be practiced in stages with success; but eventually, it is applied as a whole, all at once toward all beings and things. When mastered is not only appears by itself; but rather becomes one's natural state while dealing in relative/karmic realms
After regular and sustained practice of the last three limbs of astanga yoga, these limbs or segments of samyama (dharana, dhyana, and samadhi) naturally, spontaneously, and simultaneously arise in a deeply profound and integrated process -- as an instantaneous coherent self-instructing activity that is applied non-dually and effortlessly. This (tasya) wisdom light and luster (prajna-alokah) that is is seemingly produced by samyama practice is to be used and directed to all dimensions of our experience (bhumisu) thus acting as an infallible spiritual guide gradually becoming integrated as a continuous uninterrupted experience (nirbija samadhi) with consistent practice over time. Samyama also can occur naturally when old negative karma is annulled as the result of causes and conditions.
Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
At first one is mindful of the citta-vrtti, but as they are released the inner illumination becomes stronger. Continuous NOW awareness is to be continuously applied. Any lapse in "self" awareness is eventually to be rectified until natural continuity is won. Through successful samyama and its penetrating light (prajna-alokah) the "selfless Self" in all is revealed. Nothing else needs to be said. Just practice.
"Concentrate on the Chitta Vrtti. After the mastery over the Chitta Vrtti, the other subtle objects are concentrated upon and Meditation and Samadhi are also mastered. You attain yoga within yoga. Yoga leads to yoga. And yoga dwells within yoga."
III. 7. trayam antarangam purvebhyah
These subtle-most three components are to be synchronized together (trayam-antar-angam) as an inner-most component, when compared to the prefatory practices (purvebhyah).
Trayam: A three fold process
Angam: limbs or components of a whole system
Purvebhyah: Pertaining to a a prior event, precedent, preliminary practice; a preceding predecessor, precursor, or something due to a prior cause.
Commentary: Traditional commentators follow Vyasa's conclusion that this is referring to dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Here we are addressing samyama, of course. In samyama these three are taken together as an integrated whole, just as Patanjali states, a single process that is composed of three components. Thus, samyama, itself, can be said to be designated as the inner-most limb.
Various commentators suggest that Patanjali is referring that samyama should be applied in three stages, but, it should be made clear according to III. 4-6 that samyama, once mastered, is to be considered as one integrated instantaneous practice, which have three components. Although subtle and thus hidden to coarse ordinary awareness, samyama can be learned as a combination of three stages; however, as an effective application it is to be applied as a whole. Samyama, according to Patanjali is a most interior, subtle, and esoteric limb (antarangam). When accomplished, samyama should be applied as one, instantaneously. When learning it, it can be broken down in many ways. To be sure, this sutra is *not* advocating reification, objectification, or reduction of the process into a fragmented, disconnected sequential, dualistic, and mechanical process. Samyama consists as a completely integrated and undivided process. Just as it pertains to samadhi, dhyana, and dharana as an integrated procedure, so too we will find that it pertains to the three parinamas (nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata). We empty the mind (nirodha parinama) entering boundless samadhi (samadhi parinama), and then unite with the object free from subject/object duality (ekgrata).
The actual process becomes increasingly amorphous, robust, agile, liquid, fluid, interconnected, rarified, spontaneous, conscious, and interiorized (antar). Again as above, first the yogi invokes samadhi, and then proceeds with samyama, extending an additional beam of focused consciousness (prajna-alokah) from within the samadhi house (hologram). Even such a description remains somewhat dualistic, and hence incomplete. Rather everything is imbued with light and transformations occur within a vast and immeasurable formless/empty, timeless, and boundless space. Their distinctions as separate or disconnected limbs (angam) should not be held as isolated, distinct, or separate external practices one to the other. Thus "trayam antarangam purvebhyah" is referring to an even deeper and inner (antar) progressive shift (purvebhyah), which can be analyzed as a threefold synchronization. Eventually, samyama happens altogether as a whole effortlessly and naturally as an internal spontaneous process (antar) and natural progression emanating from the core wisdom center of the samadhi-house in nirbija samadhi. One may naturally ask, how could any limb be more interior or inner than samadhi? The answer, is that the stage of samadhi that is first realized is temporary and incomplete (sabija samadhi). Samyama thus connects the yogi internally to the inner most core/heart of nirbija samadhi (in accomplishing the shift which is known as ekgrata parinama). Remember that swarupa-sunyam contains the sanskrit word, rupa (form) and sunyam (empty), while parinama is trans-FORMmation. The short cut then is the realization that form (rupa) and sunyata (empty openness) are undivided, that is they are two sides of the same coin. Rupa discloses formless space, and formless empty space contains form (rupa). That is the holographic reality, which is the union of the two truths (relative and absolute).
To clarify, the distinguishing feature of samyama is *NOT* to be considered as a repeat of the last three limbs of ashtanga yoga (dharana, dhyana, and culminating in samadhi) with the first five limbs (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, and pratyhara) as being grosser, more physical, less subtle, less mental, or lacking in inner or esoteric aspects. ALL the components of the astanga tree have subtle, esoteric, mental, inner, hidden, secret, and esoteric meaning. ALL the limbs are concerned with harnessing and gathering together the "normal" outward and distracted flows of prana and mental energy/attention toward the center (inward), all the limbs should be integrated together (yoked) as a tree, albeit nirbija samadhi is the only stage where sadhana (practice) completes itself (as the crown of yoga), where yoga is fulfilled. Here it should be clear that the practice being elucidated by Sri Patanjali is samyama as an additional practice. See the next sutra, III.8, for further elaboration along these lines.
In conclusion, indeed, it has already been shown that asana, bandha, pranayama, and pratyhara complete dharana (concentration). Dharana leads to success in dhyana and samadhi. Samadhi actually completes all the other limbs, and integrates them. After that is mastered, having activated the inner flows through the nadis, so they stay aligned with the central channel; then the comparatively more subtle and inner (antar) practices of samyama become activated and successful. The inner light of wisdom (prajna-alokah) becomes activated. All these limbs are mutually synergistic;but these distinct phases (purvebhyah) are to seen in the light of ashtanga yoga as an integrated whole -- increasingly more subtle (antarangam), so that the sequenced distinctions (as independent/separate forms) fade away beyond all subtlety. For example, if pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana are practices that form a whole; and if dharana, dhyana, and samadhi form a whole in samyama, then it could be easily seen how asana, pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi taken together also form an integrated and spontaneous interconnected and synergistic whole as the tree of yoga (which is what Patanjali actually said in Pada II).
Here, specifically, however Sri Patanjali is referring to samyama since it is obvious that dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are more subtle and internal to the previous five limbs, it is not characteristic of Patanjali' to state the obvious. It seems more obvious that he is referring to samyama itself, stating that samyama is applied all at once as a whole through the sacred whologram (III.6). Indeed, samyama is easily applied all at once as an integral and extended shift. When samadhi is stable and deep, samyama is totally natural, effortless, and spontaneous. There is no ego (asmita) and no ignorance (avidya) in samadhi-sunyam. That is the open doorway wherein the true yogi abides, from which he acts and to where one's consciousness and being withdraws to and rests.
Taken simultaneously and continuously, samyama is the *applied instrument* of knowing all forms, formations, and formational processes from the pointless view of beyond everything else, looking back into itself —from that pointless, unbiased, unconditioned, boundless view of any conjunction of time/space, a flower, tree, or any "appearance" of focus/knowing, through that open doorway to and from an intrinsic holographic and interdependent "reality", empty of ignoring any thing. As it is said, once Shiva's third eye is opened through complete undistracted dedication, then knowledge of the entire universe throughout all the yugas are also known. Similarly, it is said that when the true nature of mind is known, then the true nature of phenomena without distortion or bias, like a magical amorphous display is also known -- the past entering the future, and the future the past. Entering the samadhi-house is like that, as it is the holographic reality, where reality is intimately perceived.
This goes beyond mere concentration where one focuses on an apparently other "object". In the application of samyama, the yogi simultaneously, but not exclusively, merges with the object in absorption, becomes the object, and also then abides in samadhi non-dually. From that integration of boundless impartial universal awareness, not only from the point of view of the object or observer, but simultaneously from the point of view of the selflessness of that object; i.e., its true empty relationship with all of creation and Beginningless time, the true nature of the object is known. When samyama becomes continuous, unforced, natural, and instantaneous it comes naturally from a deep holographic state of samadhi, where all points of view are recognized and honored -- where universal, boundless, non-dual, and unbiased view spontaneously arises.
III. 8. tad api bahirangam nirbijsya
In comparison to the seedless (nirbijsya), the unbound goal of enlightenment (nirbij-samadhi), samyama is to be viewed as an extended (bahir) component limb (angam).
bahir: external, outward, extended
nirbijsya: pertaining to a seedless state: a state of ultimate consummation or completion.
Commentary: Outside of nirbija samadhi any practice whatsoever is extraneous. For a yogi there are two reasons to practice samyama. One is as an aid to help complete the temporary state of sabija-samadhi (temporary or unstable samadhi), and thus reside in the samadhi-abode continuously. The other purpose is to effect the compassionate expression of such realized yogis, samyama is is extended into phenomena as an evolutionary act of love, for the selfless benefit of the evolution of all beings. At the same time, anything is possible in nirbija samadhi. There is no need then to invoke samyama.
All practices and previous limbs, even samyama, pale in regard to the final and most sublime realization of nirbija samadhi (samadhi without attenuation or loss), where the yogi continuously abides inside the great continuum -- of all completion. It is from this integrated state of sat-cit-ananda, where everything emanates, resides, and ceases, where such samyama emanates. This is also the realm of the Mahasiddhas, Rishi, saints, accomplished yogis, bodhisattvas, munis, and buddhas. Patanjali is attesting to the power of samyama, but also warning us that samadhi is enough. Samyama is not the end, only an interactive extension into the realms of form. Powers will come through yoga, but Patanjali always warns us not to become attached to them, do not identify with such, and do not let such reinforce the conceit of asmita (ego). As long as form is approached as inseparable with source -- as long as shakti is understood as inseparable with shiva, no difficulties will arise. Siddhas do not come from the ego, from one's personal will, individual efforts, genes, or intelligence; rather they come from samadhi (non-dual and transpersonal union) -- they are Shiva's boon. Otherwise such an egoic/dualistic misidentification will become a root downfall.
Swami Venkatesananda translates:
"But even these three are external to that enlightenment in which the very seed of duality ceases to exist."
In other words, in nirbija samadhi there are no objects of concentration and no need to cease individual mental activity. There is no effort needed in nirbij samadhi, as one is moved by the everpresent ongoing vajra-like acausal causal flow. One merely abides in the great Bejeweled Continuum, while samyama then becomes like an ornamental extracurricular enlightened activity or instrument designed to investigate specific relative appearances , which is no longer needed.
Nirbija samadhi tends toward timeless undifferentiated reality; while relatively speaking, samyama is more inclined to relative/differentiated reality in order to benefit/liberate others. When our only object is non-dual as swarupa-sunyam (samadhi itself), only then will it cease to have any ability to pull consciousness externally or superficially. All subtle state states thus fail.. Only nirbija-samadhi (seedless samadhi) goes beyond the most subtle, esoteric, and holistic effort by first going internal all the way until the heart within all hearts beat as one. At that point, the designators of internal and external fail in their dualistic meaning. As effort ceases and all processes cease (end) in citta-vrtti nirodha, then the reward of yoga is won. Nirbija samadhi is subtler than the most subtle (nirvicara). There is no "object or separate form to apply any application to, and no entity (ego) who applies it. That is the end of striving and practice; and it is here that we can talk of nirbija samadhi as sahaj samadhi (natural and spontaneous). In nirbij-samadhi there is no object, no samyama, no meditator, no effort and no separation. Practice falls away in deference to an all inclusive integrative experience devoid of even the most subtle object (nirvicara). The great river once crossed, the boat is left on the shore. Sabija samadhi is samadhi like a momentary flash of insight or satori,, while nirbija samadhi is likened to its continuous unbroken application. It is its extension into timeless boundless space.
Through prolonged sittings in unsupported non-dual formless dhyana leading to complete absorption (samadhi) one burns up the past negative seeds and purifies past karma, samskaras, conditioning, disturbances of the field of consciousness, and opens up the energy channels for the final great completion/wholeness (liberation) in nirbija samadhi. Dhyana is thus the most direct method to facilitate total dissolution of the boundaries that block entrance into the sacred mandala --the hologram. Just as positive results are won from punya, the other seven limbs, and other practices, there is no better remedy than nirbija samadhi, itself. There is no returning to duality -- the formations of dualistic thinking processes lose their hold, because the last negative samskara has vanished into space. There, experiencing the whologram, samyama is natural, spontaneous, and effortless. All things and beings are known as united in that loving space and wisdom, albeit one must recognize it as one's true nature and absorb this teaching. fully. It is then that our representative models or belief systems that serve as the maps for the known ("reality") dissolve into emptiness (sunyata). For such a fortunate yogi, everything becomes CIT (PURE consciousness) and SAT (PURE experience), whose quality is of the nature of ananda, in SAT-CIT-ANANDA. In Buddhist yoga this is described as the union of emptiness and bliss, or emptiness and clarity, or clarity and light. In short, samyama is not to be tinkered with as an end in itself. Such will spell sure disaster. Rather nirbija-samadhi is superior to samyama because it is the sublime portal of boundless space, devoid of any separate form (swarupa-sunyam) the magical portal to reality, the source of all wisdom, and peace and the absolute pre-requisite empty magical space where effective samyama occurs. If one is restless, experiencing uncomfortable visions, or are being experiencing undesirable formations, focus on swarupa-sunyam alone and rest in nirbija samadhi alone, whose nature is predominately undifferentiated all-encompassing illumination, which illumines the darkness and provides the requisite magical non-dual space for temporary conjunctions to arise and cease.
Commonly, this sutra has been interpreted as meaning that dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are more subtle and internal than the other five limbs (yam, niyam, asana, pranayama, and pratyhara), but here it is interpreted that Patanjali is saying that nirbija-samadhi is more subtle and internal than samyama -- it is the crown, and samyama is its interactive extension/instrument.
Making the Change: Being the Change: The Great Shift: Parinama
III. 9. vyutthana-nirodha-samskarayor abhibhava-pradurbhavau nirodha-ksana-citta-anvayo nirodha-parinamah
Nirodha parinama facilitates the stillness (nirodha) of the thoughts that normally ride the waves of coming and going, thus canceling each other out in a synchronized instant of time and space, that by itself destroys the appearance of sequential thought waves entirely as well as any further samskaric seeds.
vyutthana: outward emerging energy (centrifugal). The force toward externalization
nirodha: cessation, suspension, annulment, stillness, cancellation. or dissolution. From "nir" to be free and "rodha", imprisonment. Nirodha is passive. It does not indicate control, effort, or will power.
samskarayor: referring to past psychic or biopsychic imprints/impressions. Samskarayor is plural (more than one)
abhibhava: overpowering in the direction of whence it came. Disappearing, emanating. submergence
pradurbhava: emergence; to appear. manifested appearance: an emanation becoming visible or audible, manifestation.
ksana: instant, moment.
citta: the mindfield
anvayo: Connection; following in succession; a conjunction from one thing to the next; A pervasive association or continuum.
parinama: Shift or transformation. Here the transformational process, where afflictive samskaras are transformed into positive imprints. Here the shifting from a stuck mental fixation (samskara) to a more open and free state of NOW consciousness.
Commentary: Simply said, the major obstruction to samadhi that meditators experience is discursive thought; i.e., thought about the future or past that expropriate here-now attention. Thought formations appear to arise and fall away. Such thoughts exist because of the assumption of sequential time thought constructs (past, future, and an existential present). However, in nirodha parinama, the yogi engages the cessation vector vector and places it to cancel out the arising vector, thus abiding in non-sequential, non-linear, and atemporal space, commonly labeled as timeless now awareness. When new thoughts cease to arise, the grounds for samadhi becomes perfected.
Samyama can be broken down into three additional transformative stages, the first being nirodha parinama. Thus, begins the discourse on the three parinamas (transformative practices), that of nirodha-parinama, samadhi parinama, and ekagrata-parinama. Here will be described practices that helps one master samyama. Although the application of samyama is applied all at once as a whole, (as a result of samadhi) the process of learning it can be broken down into three successive transformational stages, where the mind empties and opens (nirodha parinama), where it is absorbed and filled with transpersonal love and light (samadhi parinama), and where this absorption becomes sustained uninterruptedly and continuously (ekgrata parinama). Hence, we are distinguishing between ordinary yogic practice, and the application and expression of enlightened living of an adept, where ordinary sadhana is over. Rather what occurs henceforth is applied instrumentally from the samadhi-house, it arises from it and recedes back into it. It never leaves it.
Birth and death no longer hold sway... rather this occurs within the timeless boundless continuum -- the Great Integrity of what-is-as-it-is (suchness or unbiased reality). All life is thus experienced here in timeless presence. As was mentioned, parinama, is transformation and samadhi is swarupa-sunyam. Rupa (all form) is known as empty of belonging to itself, devoid of self. This applied to all forms, the process of formation, and the process of transFORMation. In short form and the process of formation both ceaselessly change (fast or slow). In reality they appear as amorphous and malleable. From a dualistic relativistic perspective they are causal (karmic), but from a non-dual acausal perspective of the hologram they appear to arise and cease beyond the confines of linear time and space... cause and effect. Nirodha parinama discusses this process.
This is a description of how the arising and subsiding biopsychic mentations become synchronized in the central column (the bejeweled lotus stalk), thus, activating the supra-sensual circuits and man's evolutionary potential. Nirodha parinama transforms the samskaras (old imprints capable of being triggered from latent tendencies to kleshas) and vasana (bad habits) that block and suck the energy. This is done by annulling the conflicting imbalanced with the opposite force, thus, creating a shift of consciousness and beingness, that recognizes the unconditioned/liberated state free from obstruction, impediment, and preprogrammed tendencies. Thus embodied, man aligns with the momentum of evolutionary intelligence and primordial wisdom/awareness.
Through observation on how "change" and transformation of awareness functions, the yogi recognizes its nature and learns how to shift one's experience into nirodha-parinama. When all the samskaras and vasana are transformatively nullified, then nirbija samadhi (samadhi without seed) is stabilized, and there is no longer any return to dualistic striving/samsaric existence. This is also the main frame less framework of Pada IV.
Thought waves (citta-vrtti), which are the results of the manifestations (pradurbhava) of the imbalances between the emerging (vyutthana) and submerging (abhibhava) thought processes correspond to the apparent arising and disappearance of phenomena are shifted into voidness (are nullified in nirodha). Thus samskaric energy blockages are removed, and evolutionary energy rises. The yogi who stands free from samskaric dualistic imprisonment (experiencing the nirodha shift) recognizes the old samskaric connections (anvayo) as nothing other than misperceptions of the differentiated multihued permutations of the cosmic wave emanating from the great ocean of interdependent wholeness, and thus synchronizes with them at the moment (ksana) where they cancel each other out and converge in the subtle body, where they reside in stillness as as a still wave (nirodha), because the observer is no longer caught up in the permutation itself, standing outside of duality in universal non-dual space, in witness consciousness. The stance of the purusa is thus free from duality; yet at the same time it is totally integrated non-dually. Patanjali puts to rest the dualistic nature of outward rising extrinsic thoughts (external) and inward moving intrinsic thought processes (the interiorization process) and balances them as a sublime synchronization, where each arising is nullified by its cessation. Hence they perfectly cancel out the other (in voidness). They are recognized as belonging to an artificially estranged mindset. Here the greater overall and underlying intelligent process is acknowledged and experienced spontaneously.
Therefore, Patanjali brings up the powerful practice of nirodha parinama -- the parinama (transformation) that leads to cessation of the citta-vrtti,, and hence liberation. The monkey mind ceases to rise as one relaxes into unconditional (natural) openness. Through mastering nirodha-parinama one can instantaneously annul the outflowing of the mind waves (vyutthana) with their arising, as two waves cancel each other out in zero point stillness. Nirodha parinama is a practice that stills the mind that is normally applied in meditation. It occurs when the citta-vrtti and samskaras (mental imprints) which trigger the mind's outflowing distractive tendency (vyutthana) cease (nirodha). Simultaneously this supercedes and overpowers the further arising, cessations, and permutations (abhibhava-pradhurbhavau) putting an end to any further successive associative changes of the wandering monkey mind (nirodha-ksana-citta-anvayo). The mind opens and become clear.
Note that in this one sutra Patanjali uses the word, nirodha (cessation), three times. The movements (parinama) of consciousness (citta-anvaya) -- the monkey mind -- cease (nirodha). Changes in state (parinama) that are created by past programmed imbedded psychic impressions and latent tendencies (samskarayor) cease (nirodha) at the same moment (ksana) that the outward arising energy of consciousness (vyutthana) cease (nirodha). Thus when one sits in meditation one may allow for the still moment (ksana) wherein the arising thought wave and the receding thought wave cancel each other out (as in an absolutely still wave). There the mind is empty of thought. This is truly being present, while allowing for sacred presence. That could be termed the instrumental application of nirodha-parinama, where the transformations of the citta are stilled (nirodha), which in turn create the opposite wave of the samskaras (conditioned impressions, negative programming, and tendencies) that destroys/deprograms them over time. See III.18 below for more on samskaras. Followed back to the seed origin (samskara) of the movement of the mind (citta-anvayo) the emergence (vyutthana) of new thoughts cease (nirodha) by removing that root cause (the samskara). Nirodha parinama is a transformational practice that not only eradicates samskaras, but activates the subtle energy body. It is described as the first component of successful samyama. It becomes natural and effortless when recognized/mastered.
In another similar approach we can describe the process as occurring in the synchronized moment (ksana) where the outward (vyutthana) and inward moving waves are stilled (nirodha), where the ebb and tide of the citta-vrtti cease -- at that magical moment nirodha parinama is applied, by each ebb and tide canceling out the other in perfectly finessed synchronicity. The mind is no longer overwhelmed (abhibhava) by the uneven arising and going of thought waves. Rather the annulling wave that was created out of the arising and disappearing waves are utilized to overpower (abhibhava) in turn the primary psychic impression (samskara) which had been previously operating thus it is used to overwhelm and annul the samskara itself, producing a positive samskara of stillness in beauty. No new emanations arise or cease, ebb and recede, and even the underlying negative samskaras are annulled and transformed. One is moved into stillness through stillness, by stilling nirodha parinama (the transformation of stillness). Nirodha parinama can be applied anytime and anywhere in ALL OUR RELATIONS effectively, but here we will focus its use in the context of samyama.
This also prepares the mind for successful meditation, samadhi, and samyama. It is a two way street i.e., the pre-existing samskaras create the oscillations and permutations (parinama) of consciousness (citta-anvayo) which create the waves (citta-vrtti) in meditation, but through the instrumental application of nirodha parinama the wave process itself is stilled and the underlying samskara become annihilated (nirodha). As a result an impression (samskara) of stillness (nirodha) is created. This requires refined subtle sensitivity and finesse that comes from practice. This is what is meant by the application of nirodha parinama. Here ordinary karmic mentation ceases and the profound great silence and stillness spontaneously arises devoid of any cause. The yogi operates from the hologram and is thus able to reach limitlessly.
Nirodha parinama (the first transformative component of samyama) is itself first introduced and applied in meditation (dhyana) after dharana; but one eventually learns how to apply it at any time after samadhi is tasted. After sabija samadhi is known, then continued practices of samyama will consummate this stage of nirodha parinama., leading eventually to nirbija samadhi. Additionally, III.16 gives the first samyama application; i.e., samyama on parinama itself.
Through the transformational experience of nirodha parinama the monkey mind is totally quieted and ceases entirely and dhyana is perfected as open presence in samadhi is recognized. When one's mind is quiet and open we are able to hear the more subtle sounds and see the more than subtle clear light. We apply this increased awareness back into our own mental process itself. Thus honing, perfecting, and completing all practices. So nirodha parinama is likened to opening the gateless gate (sushumna) and lifting the veil of illusion, which in turn opens the heartmind. Samadhi parinama (the next component shift) is letting in that light and becoming filled and animated by it. The last parinama (ekgrata) is continuously and one pointed continuous immersion in samyama. It is walking in balance in a sacred way.
When the citta-vrtti are stilled the heart is open, and a profound shift occurs. An open Heartmind allows love and wisdom to be expressed spontaneously as one acts as an open channel for infinite Light and Love. As Sri Patanjali clearly states, when the arising and subsiding of discursive thoughts cease, there occurs a shift to a realm of all encompassing great silence beyond symbolic representations. The shift occurs as such are synchronized in the middle (non-dual) channel, where transpersonal realization naturally and effortlessly occurs -- self arises. Thus samskaras (past conditioning) no longer dominate, suck, or even operate.
This cessation (nirodha) is nothing less than the liberation of the mind from its previous conditioned dualistic mindset of objects and observers (subject/object duality). The contents of the mind are liberated, all phenomena are no longer overly objectified (reified) in a limited framework of isolated phenomena. Even "mind", as a discrete phenomena, no longer holds one's attention. Samsara is entirely liberated for the yogi.
Practice of Nirodha Parinama
Entering samadhi, empty the mind of any residues of objective fixation. Empty the mind of the mind. Do not attempt to look at the nature of mind from a mind (subtle duality), but rather join together with pure empty primordial awareness. Next, engage samadhi parinama.
III. 10. tasya prasanta-vahita samskarat
Tasya (through applying nirodha parinama) the negative samskaras are stilled, then the yogi abides in a tranquil still peace.
Tasya: Of this (referring to nirodha-parinama).
Nirodha: cessation, stillness, freedom. Nirodha is passive. It does not indicate control, effort, or will power.
Prasanta: A pacified and still quiescence
Vahita: an endeavor, application, vector, a force brought to bear, a stream or flow.
Commentary: Of which (tasya) from the previous practice of nirodha parinama, the samskaras are stilled and cease (nirodha). This naturally brings about an undisturbed state of consciousness. Nirodha-parinama not only causes a profound stillness in the mind-field eliminating the negative samskaras, but this stillness creates a positive impression itself. When nirodha is applied old samskaras are broken up and this open stillness of the mind, produces a beneficial/positive imprint (samskara), which was realized through the sustained implementation and mastery of nirodha parinama. With sustained practice a positive imprint (samskara) of calmness, evenness, balance, and continuity flows forth effortlessly (prasanta vahita). In terms of neuroscience, the neuroplasticity of the insula is physically changed as well as other parts of the neurophysiology. In Buddhist terms the innate compassionate seed to liberate all beings is recognized and allowed to express itself. For Patanjali the annulment of the samskaras corresponds to the activation of the innate param-purusa. Thus we can easily see where a peaceful mind flows forth. This is a characteristic of accomplishing nirodha parinama, otherwise disturbances will arise in partial samyama. In nirodha parinama, no new thought formations arise. Primeval now awareness which is all intelligent now is experienced. Past samskaras cannot arise; and consciousness is balanced and pacified.
This has instrumental application everywhere, but especially for the many who are not residing in nirbija-samadhi. Applied the beginning dhyana (meditation), when thoughts appear (as the result of past samskaras) the beginner will get lost in them and the ordinary dualistic mind will wander in agitation. These imprints must be annulled -- their disturbing thoughts cease. Normally by continued observation and the application of awareness in meditation, the average meditator will awaken to an awareness that their attention has drifted (viveka). Then at that point they go back to bearing witness, watching and pure abiding again -- cultivating purusha consciousness, until the mind usually wanders again upon another object of thought. Such is the common plight of the beginning meditator, but such is not to be his/her fate. After some practice, the meditator will begin to catch a thought at the beginning of the thought process (vrtti) and then let it go (vairagya) and cease (nirodha).
This phase of stilling the mind can be challenging to a beginner. At first, the mind will wander. Then maybe after a paragraph or two goes by, then after a sentence, then after a word. then before the first word, then even before the impetus of a thought -- such thoughts cease. In other words after some practice (sadhana) proficiency occurs. Then the subtle tendency of the ordinary discursive thinking process (cit-vrtti) itself is eliminated in nirodha parinama. Abiding in this stillness/cessation in itself creates a positive imprint. See III.18 below for more on the subject of samyama on specific samskaras.
After much sensitivity and subtle awareness is arrived at through a consistent practice, this awareness is intensified as finesse. Then the nirodha parinama is applied at the perfect instant after a sublime balance has been achieved. Like the oscillations of two finely tuned piezo electric crystals as oscillators the waves intersect like a laser bean dissolving the root of the citta-vrtti at its seed source. As perfection dawns nirodha-parinama becomes easy, effortless and more spontaneous eventually becoming instant and natural. Nirodha is not a restraint, repression, or restriction, but a moving into stillness -- a dissolution or rather a resolution.that comes from a coherence --a superimposition of two waves superimposed upon each other in such a way that it not only cancels out negative effects but in "zero point" extracts the samskaric seed itself.
This sutra thus explicitly attests to its application as such eventually to be applied instantaneously with no effort, not as a restraint, but as a method of moving into a natural uncontrived balance, harmony, resolution, and beauty naturally and all at once (instantaneously). No energy is thus wasted or dissipated in ceaseless wandering thoughts, but rather the energy is freed to uplift us, creating a feeling of completeness and tranquility (prasanta).
But here we go back to perfecting samyama as an extended practice. This accomplished component of nirodha parinama brings success (jaya). Not only is the citta-vrtti quieted and stilled, samskaras are not only annulled, but also effortlessly transformed, being replaced now by the positive imprint (samskara) left by peaceful abiding (prasanta-vahita), which is nothing other than the potentiation of isvara or buddhanature that is innate in all beings.
So here again a transcognitive shift occurs (parinama) by simply abiding in the true nature of all minds until its synchronization allows for the spontaneous emergence of love, creativity, and peace to be expressed and emanate in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Again, for the advanced yogi, this is experienced in the sushumna nadi (the true middle way), which destroys all duality and is applied in samyama by the yogi.
III. 11. sarva-arthata-ekagratayoh ksaya-udayau cittasya samadhi-parinamah
Samadhi-parinamah is the transformative application, where the fragmented/scattered appearances that normally occur in the dualistic mindfield (cittasya) are transformed into an integrated context (sarva-arthata ekagratayoh) by placing them within the all encompassing open-ended hologram (samadhi), thus onepointedly redirecting thought processes toward samadhi in non-dual integration/union, wherein one is onepointedly aware of that total integrative state. Thus the appearance of fragmented and limited thinking processes, that support the contrivance of isolated phenomenal reality (sarva-arthata) are destroyed (ksaya-udayau).
cittasya: mindfield; related psychic condition; The vector of conscious attention.
ksaya: destruction, annihilation, loss, diminution, dwindling
udayau: arisen, visible; apparent; having come into awareness
adhi: primordial space
Commentary: Here ALL OUR RELATIONS are experienced in the context of samadhi. Once the operations from past samskaras cease, then the mindfield naturally tends toward its true compassionate purpose onepointedly. All things are known as united and interconnected. No "thing" exists as a separate independent entity (ego). This may be known conceptually, but it is in practice that it is known directly and experientially. Here again, the apparent ebb and tide of the mind field are destroyed by onepointedly bringing out what appears as phenomena into the resting place of the samadhi house. After some proficiency in resting in samadhi for longer periods of time (onepointedly) then the ebb and flows are destroyed simply by remembering to abide in emptiness (swarupa-sunyam). Such is the positive impression samadhi makes on the accomplished biopsychic organism.
Every form is brought into the samadhi house and experienced there. That is the doorless open portal where boundless possibilities are encountered. Here, in accomplishing the second parinama (samadhi parinama) one abides firmly in holographic conscious awareness. Samadhi parinama is a transformative practice when unevenness in the causal flow of mind is redirected from a focus on subject/object dualistic phenomena and taken at once and placed in the transformative field of samadhi (NOW awareness). When phenomena are truly realized onepointedly as-it-is, in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), it is simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate/independent self. It is experienced as part of everything else (interdependent). When mind is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality.
This is like stepping under a waterfall of liquid light and love. First of course one needs to know how to get to the waterfall. That is where dhyana (meditation practice leads us as we get increasingly longer glimpses and experiences of samadhi). Then we learn what that feels like (making a positive impression) and then we can effectively place it. In a realized state this appears immediately (all at once) when all phenomena are experienced as manifestations from the uncreated original causal flow of mind -- as the ongoing flow of the only Reality -- the Great Integrity where all bias and coloring has become destroyed. Thus the healing conscious direction of "flow" is acknowledged and taken to heart; but it is not intact in itself. It is not yet the parinama (ekgrata parinama) that completes all parinamas. Here like in nirodha parinama a synchronization of the arising thoughts (udayau) and their destruction (ksaya) are balanced out, synchronized, and voided one to the other by the yogi's attention/ intention.
So when nirodha-parinama is applied toward eradicating the arising (ksaya-udayau) thought tendencies of the mindfield (cittasya) with its habitual tendency toward objectification of I-it duality (sarva-arthata fixation tendencies), then samskaras are cleared. Therein the mind is emptied and stilled. The breath and energy become even stilled. In practice one sits and places the mind in samadhi as continuously as possible. This assumes that one has gained some familiarity with dharana, dhyana, and samadhi via the previous practices (mainly through dhyana).
Now, samadhi parinama is applied through the gradual completing, settling out, and calming/stilling of the rising and receding waves of mental distractions, where the dualistic forces of alienation, extraction, or separation, which caused the milieu of objectiveness (sarvarthata) or primal split ceases altogether, so that the vrtti cease; the veil is lifted; and the light of samadhi enters. The yogi becomes one pointed in merging with the unborn source of consciousness and bliss (sat chit ananda) in complete integration union abiding in nirbija samadhi. Here, pure consciousness (cit) is no longer enslaved serving separate objects (citta-vrtti). The practitioner abides in continuous objectless formless awareness, which is afforded by the transpersonal non-dual integrative state of swarupa-sunya -- samadhi with universal integrity. This is the change of state (parinama), which when applied brings forth this samadhi and facilitates samyama. See Sutra III.53-55. Although being able to access this state for long periods of time; samadhi parinama moves us toward mastery of samyama. In each atom or form, one is able to perceive the entire universe. Form and space are known as inseparable. Limitless time, boundless mind, and awareness co-emerge as one in perfect balance (ekgrata). Accomplishing a balanced evenness of mind as an indicator of success in samadhi parinama.
Sarva-arthata (the tendency of the mind to objectify a separate I/it referent reality) is here destroyed (ksayah) through the transformative technique of directing the mindfield (cittasya) one pointedly (ekagratayoh) as samadhi parinama. Understanding samadhi as swarupa-sunyam (empty self) will greatly help break down any barriers that might occur. Eventually through proficient practice. the illusory apparent bondage to samsaric existence is thus destroyed as well. As we become more continuously aware that we can move our awareness into Infinite Mind -- the Great Integrity and abide there as home, thus we bring that awareness with us wherever we go -- in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Samadhi parinama destroys the dualistic tendency to objectify (sarva-arthata). Samadhi parinama when implemented consistently over a period of time -- with practice, creates a positive imprint on the mindstuff (citta) acting as a positive samskara that transforms old dualistic tendencies and samskaras, into positive non-dualistic tendencies, remaining in non-dual integration in nirbija samadhi, while simultaneously focusing/beaming in a specific vector of attention.
As the awareness extends into the true nature of mind, it simultaneously extends into the true nature of phenomena. Here we shift deeper into the holy-gram and abide HERE for longer periods, while recognizing that all objects/phenomena are mirror-like fractals of that whole. When the true nature of mind is realized, the yogi also realizes the true nature of nature. The true nature of mind (Cit) or primordial awareness is thus truly inseparable from nature as shiva is inseparable from shakti. Thus the artificial separation of observer and object (subject/object duality) is dissolved; and then automatically the very nature of dharana as contemplation upon and object of thought or any other objectified imputation is dissolved spontaneously as well. In reality, cit is mixed in phenomena naturally; and hence this profound non-dual mixture of samadhi-parinama affords direct knowledge to the yogi as well as confers many siddhis. Our true nature then becomes limitless, timeless, and boundlessly aware."As it is said in the Great Perfection tantras:
"Like the sky, realization is changeless.
This kind of Great Perfection practitioner appears to have an ordinary human form, but his or her mind is dharmakaya. He or she abides in wisdom mind free from effort and activity and, without doing anything, traverses all paths and stages. Finally, ordinary mind and phenomena exhausted, like the space of a broken vase, the body vanishes into atoms, and the mind vanishes into the nature of phenomena. This is called attaining the youthful vase body, which is the inner clarity of the original ground, stainless space. This will come about. Since this is the ultimate consummation of view, meditation and conduct, it is called “the fully manifest unattainable result.” The stages of spiritual experiences and realization arise either in a progressive order, without a progressive order, or all at once. This occurs according to the particular faculties of people, but there is no difference when the result is achieved.”
~ Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche
Overview: First the yogi establishes oneself in the samadhi with the intent to perform samyama on an aspect, event, phenomena, or specific manifestation. Then the yogi focuses conscious attention upon an object (cittasya), which can be analyzed in stages, but is best to allow this to happen all at once.
The object of concentration is first visualized. Then it is surrounded. Then it is penetrated. Then the penetrating consciousness is absorbed into it without subtracting from the whole -- the hologram. Then the yogi experiences the object from the inside out in ekgrata. The yogi may have to repeat this process many times. Each time the yogi frees the mind of all past disturbances (nirodha parinama) and roughness. Then the yogi remains focused and even minded by preventing distractions (invokes samadhi parinama). Finally the yogi synchronizes the object, the observer, the process of observing with the hologram and rests in pure awareness, pure beingness, and pure love until the object of the samyama is known. The universal Pure consciousness (Cit) is allowed to mix with the universal Pure consciousness embedded in all phenomena, and a profound shift (parinama) of being and consciousness is realized. This differs from samadhi, per se, as it extends the non-dual awareness of the timeless realm into the ever-changing realm of ever-changing form. Depending on any specific object of inquiry, the characteristics of the samyama will differ; yet, the underlying universal ground of being remains continuous and unmoved.
Specific Practice: Assuming that nirodha parinama has been accomplished deeply, then that primordial non-dual state of awareness , allow this mind-essence awareness to boundlessly penetrate into the nature of all phenomena. Coming from the universal mind back into phenomena from the the true nature of mind, allows the yogi to easily penetrate the true nature of phenomena where all phenomena act as two way open doorways as universal cit-shakti presence, in all times, dimensions, and buddhaverses. If nirodha parinama establishes the emptiness of all phenomena as well as the emptiness of the mind/observer; then, samadhi parinama establishes the boundless inclusivity the true nature of empty form swarupa-sunyam - the unity of form (rupa) and emptiness (sunyam). Samadhi parinama establishes access to ekgrata-parinama.
III. 12 tatah punah santa-uditau tulya-pratyayau cittasyai-ekagrata-parinamah
In this way (tatah) again (punah) by balancing out (in equipoise or canceling out the opposites) of the energy of the arising distracting centrifugal thoughts (udita) with the opposite dynamic of the subsiding (santa) centripetal thought, a wavelike mutual cancellation is effected, thus stilling and balancing wave transforms, while remediating (parinama) apparent phenomena of arising and cessation of thought formations (pratyaya). One abides in timeless presence created in the wake in the center of these two waves, in one-pointed unification/integration (ekgrata) consciousness (cittasya).
tatah: hence; in this way; thus.
santa: peaceful, quiet, calm, still, static.
punah: again; repeated
uditau: arisen; visible; apparent; having come into awareness.
pratiyayau: The contents of the mind
ekgrata: one-pointed focus.
ekgrata parinama: The shift into the continuous seamless marriage of omni-centric and omnipresent beingness and awareness- The shift into the multiverse, buddhaverse, the all encompassing Buddhafield.
cittsya: the vector, dynamic direction, condition, or intention of the mindfield: flow of consciousness. Broadly speaking, a process of mentation relating to the flow of consciousness. The condition of the mindfield, the mindstream, or the direction of the active mindfield. In dharana the act of directing the mind/attention toward an object of attention is the direction that the cittasya undertakes by itself, where attention drives the attention.
Commentary: Here the mindstream becomes completely integrated and united, as the three parinamas are integrated as samyama as a whole and all at once. The parinamas are transformative practices that we refine through practice until they become spontaneous (sahaj). They become manifest as the big "aahhh" in life and the large "Ohh", the transconceptual moment of integrated beingness and consciousness in Sat-Cit-Ananda -- beauty, insight, and liberation. -- the juice and whoosh or SHIFT where we become transformed into the realm pregnant with a profound open vast awareness, a sense of transconceptual wonder, wild wisdom, and delight. Here the yogi energetically balances out and integrates the centrifugal and centripetal forces into the central/middle way (sushumna). Here thoughts no longer arise and the yogi rests for as long as one desires in utterless and immeasurable great stillness. communing with the true nature of phenomena/form. Everything is approached and recedes into the one, all possibilities are recognized, and through positive intent positive outcomes are realized as the golden path where forms are transformed.
Patanjali rarely repeats himself, but here he uses the word, punah, which means again, summarizing the prior processes of nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama. At first glance he seems to be apparently restating nirodha-parinama, but here he uses the term ekgrata in its connection, whereby in III.9 he did not use the word, ekgrata. Hence, Patanjali brings up the powerful practice that achieves ekgrata parinama as a combination/integration of nirodha parinama and samadhi-parinama as accomplishing the same effect. Indeed put all together they complete the process of samadhi.
So to repeat, nirodha parinama balances, stills, and empties the contents of the mind. Samadhi parinama allows the yogi to invoke the all-inclusive samadhi (the holographic state) through focusing on it, through intimate knowledge of it non-dually. Residing in this all inclusive and non-fixated state devoid of fragmented referents, lastly, here, one invokes ekgrata parinama as one invokes a specific undivided and focused attention with the an associated onepointed object of focus to accomplish and complete the specific samyama as a whole. This is through the application of prajna-alokah, the perfected result of samyama. Let us consider ekgrata parinama as an undivided consummation of nirodha and samadhi parinama, utilizing the prajna-alokah, rather than as an independent/separate parinama by itself. All of this occurs within the samadhi-house.
As before consciousness is no longer conditioned by arising and receding thoughts or phenomena, but rather all is experienced as a uninterrupted all inclusive and boundless continuum -- as constant waves of flux ultimately arising from the big ocean of a timeless and boundless awareness, as manifestations from the causal flow of mind as it occurs in sacred presence, and simultaneously converging in the profound moment of Timeless Nowness. Settled firmly in this backdrop of non-sequential samadhi, one's primeval awareness remains unmoved and untouched, while simultaneously being aware of all and everything, devoid of fixation or reification. When phenomena are truly realized onepointedly as-it-is, in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), it is simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate/independent self. It is experienced as part of everything else (interdependent). When this primordial mind-essence is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality. This is the same as in Einstein's theory of relativity where the biased position of the observer is balanced out, in order to view any relative phenomena accurately.
In ekgrata parinama, one resides in the unbiased and universal mind beyond mere synergistic balance, which cancels out dualistic tendencies, thus allowing for true gnosis. Being embraced in non-dual harmony, one embraces the object of focus as sustained concentration. Here, one learns to integrate connection and continuity in ALL OUR RELATIONS as the manifestation of the Great Integrity. That bears repeating. Everything in reality becomes that Great Integrity -- everything stems from it and everything leads us back to it, in fact we never left it, but rather only ignored or had not recognized it consciously (in avidya). Although in reality, there are no solid boundaries, the three parinamas are utilized to effect sustained samyama.
Once ekgrata parinama (the third transformative process) is accomplished as the consummation of nirodha and samadhi parinama, as such it is the end of parinama (dualistic or fragmentary change) itself, as no other transformative processes are needed. HERE all phenomena is known as temporal, flowing like a river, but at the same time smiling back to self as self. Ekgrata occurs through the applied unified intent toward and as an inherent result of our authentic self nature -- our true transpersonal non-dual nature (swarupa-sunyam). It is like implementing an instant reminder or an instantaneous wake up call that transforms all opposites -- all dualistic and polar thought process and imbalances cease. Here there is nothing more to transform, because dualism itself has become transformed in the success (jaya) of ekgrata parinama. The citta-vrtti has become stilled (nirodha). Ekgrata parinama is a perfectly balanced state. For a yogi, this occurs as sacred balance, harmony, and synchronicity in the central nadi (sushumna), which is kept tall, long, straight, and narrow. Here the supra-mental psychic centers operate in a harmonious and healthy way.
"When the two movements of thought-arising and thought-subsiding, the movements of distraction and of restraint, are of equal force, the mind-stuff is in a perfectly balanced state, which is one of non-division or no-polarity. There is neither (volitional) thinking nor suppression of thought, and the intelligence has its natural, effortless unidirectional movement which is in fact no-movement." ~ Swami Venkatesananda
The sequential arising and falling of linear thinking has been completely quelled, balanced out, and synchronized. One enters into the ability to recognize and experience things as they are devoid of any subject/object duality or bias, while removing the last most subtle barriers between purusa and true-self (in sattva) -- between purusa and prakrti -- Maheshvara and shakti. Through this dissolution of all fragmented and isolated remnants, or rather their synchronized resolution, the yogi merges the observer and the observing awareness with the object. the yogi perceives the radiance of one's own mind essence emanating from the object, simultaneously. The origin and cessation of all thought phenomena are then known in clarity. The observer, the observed, and the processes of awareness itself becomes one integrated whole. This is *not* a limited samyoga (conjunction) of the small self with isolated objects, but rather the conjunction of swarupa-sunyam in samadhi -- total integration. Thus from this unbiased place the universal timeless unbiased true nature of any phenomena is revealed. Samyama is perfected, and so too is nirbija samadhi accomplished.
The following practice is the same as in III.12
General Practice: First the yogi establishes oneself in the samadhi having perfected the three parinamas with the intent to perform samyama on an aspect, event, phenomena, or specific manifestation. Then the yogi uses one's inner illumination focusing on any phenomena (cittasya), without being extracted from the holographic state.
Then the object of concentration is first visualized and established. Then it is surrounded. Then it is penetrated. Then the penetrating consciousness is absorbed into it without subtracting from the whole -- the hologram. Then the yogi experiences the object from the inside out in ekgrata. The yogi may have to repeat this process many times. Each time the yogi frees the mind of all past disturbances (nirodha parinama) and roughness. Then the yogi remains focused and even minded by preventing distractions (invokes samadhi parinama). Finally the yogi synchronizes the object, the observer, the process of observing with the hologram and rests in pure awareness, pure beingness, and pure love until the object of the samyama is known. The universal Pure consciousness (Cit) is allowed to mix with the universal Pure consciousness embedded in all phenomena, and a profound shift (parinama) of being and consciousness is realized. This differs from samadhi, per se, as it extends the non-dual awareness of the timeless realm into the ever-changing realm of ever-changing form. Depending on any specific object of inquiry, the characteristics of the samyama will differ; yet, the underlying universal ground of being remains continuous and unmoved. Ekgrata-parinama holds this state steady as long as is profitable.
Specific Practice: After nirodha and samadhi parinama phases have been applied, the the undivided state of void and form (swarupa-sunyam) is used as an open door to the specified concentration desired; but in this case not in the dualistic sense. As an analogy, it is like the yogi has a wave-like permeable spy-glass into the entire buddha-verse (multi-verse beyond the limitations of sequential time or boundaries), including states of minds, mental obstructions, bhumis, dimensions, all conditions, and causes in liquid form within an undivided holographic boundless expanse. In short to the world of form and formations (rupa), which are ruled by causal factors (karma). This fluid spy-glass is moved by the yogi's intent. Just as the yogi's spyglass is holographic, so is the field which it is viewing. In a non-dual sense it also can be said that the illumined field of vision moves across the spyglass. The spyglass is in itself, not an object or even a device; rather it is an analogy for the all knowing eye of mind-essence (emptiness). It is both like a telescope and a microscope, as applicable. It is realized through a practice of onepointed (ekgrata) intention. Hence, it can be stated as the unification (ekgrata) of form (rupa) and void (sunyata), the natural unconditioned state, which occurs in the great middle way, the sushumna.
III. 13. etena bhuta-indriyesu dharma-laksana-avastha-parinama vyakhyatah
From that is revealed (vyakhyatah) the knowledge of the true nature of phenomena, which succeeds and displaces the previously held dualistic notion notions, where ordinary limited mental frameworks label (laksana) and categorize (avastha) phenomena as perceived through the sense organs (bhuta-indriyesu).
Etena: From those
Dharma: the causative law; the truth: essential nature; one's spiritual duty dictated by eternal/spiritual law.
bhuta: the elements. Elemental phenomena as consisting of solid phenomena or particles. Basic constituents or essential building blocks.
indriyesu: the senses
laksana: designator, referent, indicator, sign.
vyakhyatah: fully or completely explained/revealed.
Commentary: Here all phenomena are known in terms of the whole -- as interdependent -- as ALL OUR RELATIONS. Duality and samskara are destroyed. The skandhas based on ego gives way to clear direct perception based on non-dual undivided knowledge. Cit is all pervasive and self-illuminating. Cit-shakti is intelligent animation itself. Phenomena are known as the magical dance and display of light and love -- as Shiva/shakti's (cit-prana) union, as the onepointed focus of the third eye reveals, as the union of form and void, as the non-dual unification of pure consciousness and pure being (cit and sat), of sahasrara and muladhara, etc. That unborn ever present self luminous light and love are reflected/revealed in all at all times. Nothing then distracts the accomplished yogi from residing in nirbija samadhi.
Samyama can be applied to all phenomena at all times with profound results. Samyama reveals the true unbiased nature of nature, because from samadhi (swarupa-sunyam) form itself is transformational, malleable, and amorphous. Form is not experienced as merely truly solid, self-existing, or solid in itself.. Although phenomena appear to take on myriad differentiated form, it also reflects the undifferentiated unborn primordial self-luminous universal self-effulgent light. When the instrument of knowing is boundless, then the true nature of time and space are known. "Things" (as a frozen momentary conjunction of time/space) are known as-they-are (as dharma), holographically -- illumined by open awareness. By experiencing that self-radiant wonder (etena) the causative laws (dharma) that underlie the processes of transformation (parinama) are revealed (vyakhyatah) even by the (elements) bhuta perceived by the sense organs (indriyesu) which serve as evidence revealing the essential true nature (dharma) of all creation as part and parcel of the Great Integrity as-it-is. The contact with the elements (bhuta-indriyesu) disclose the transformational sequences of events as indicators (laksana) pointing back to the Great Integrity (which is the primordial cause of all). More so, these elements (bhuta) are then revealed as open doorways revealing the whologram, rather than being understood as mere changes in state (avastha) emanating from the illusion of independent/separate elements (bhuta) in and by themselves. Rather dharma-laksana-avastha-parinama is the recognition that points back to the whologram -- the open doorway to samadhi -- and also within samadhi via swarupa-sunyam as the Great Integrity. Here the elements are revealed fully in context of the hologram.
All formations are due to karmic forces (causes and conditions). They differ only in their ever changing energetic circuitries, which are dynamic formations. When viewed from at truly universal non-dual objective vantage point (ekgrata parinama), their true nature is revealed. What is categorized as matte, physicality, the elements are mere categories of various energetic patterns that are vibrating intelligently within various configurations. The patterns which are slower, more dense, and coarse appear to the human five sense organs as sense objects, but we are also able to perceive more subtle energetic densities and patterns once the mind is balanced and quieted, so that more intelligence becomes recognized and embodied. The normal dualistic categories that the fragmented egoic mind projects are called skandhas, which are simply fragmented taxonomies in an attempt to "make sense" out of egoic existence (avidya). In pure perception (vidya), which is due to recognition of our true non-dual nature, these arbitrary groupings, labels, and taxonomies become seamless. Relativity is revealed because the bias of the observer has become removed.
Ordinarily (dualistically), human beings think that they are merely an egoic, separate, and independent observer of independent/discrete phenomena; but that is a self-limited, fragmented, and biased conception. Egoic dominated personalities normally think of the egoic isolated self through the senses and sense world, while missing the role the mind plays in coloring our perceptions. Normally, we remain insensitive to the underlying roles of the Universal All Mind, evolutionary intelligence, and its timeless primordial source. True spirituality is not attained as a denial or dissolution of the body, the senses, feelings, nature, or the world, but rather its non-dual integration with everything else. In truth (dharma), when the third eye is opened (the true non-dual transpersonal nature of self is recognized), then the true nature of nature is gleaned.
Here, the completion and integrity of the three parinamas are elements of one great integral process leading us into a profound direct experiential union beyond words or symbolic representation (laksana) and beyond limited temporal situations of categorization, Holographic reality defies being articulated in words. HERE the the experience through the sense organs (indriyas) upon making contact with the elements (bhutas) serve as the beginning signal representing a vast and immeasurable communication process where self salutes self -- love is loving love. The wave of bliss is the union of SAT and CIT -- pure existence and pure consciousness. The elements are in truth (dharma) unique expressions of the Great Integrity within the overall scope of the Great Continuum. They act as indicators pointing to the Great Ocean of Bliss where pure undifferentiated consciousness (CIT) is wedded to experience (SAT) in SATCITANANDA. Here the elements, the sense organs, and conditions are fully integrated serving as pointers (laksana) to the underlying causative wholographic truth of our essential nature (dharma). while their apparent discontinuity, fragmentation, discord, and unconnectedness are transmuted and remediated. Having fully understood (vyakhyatah) change within the framework of the Great Continuum, then one is free to change change -- transform transformation. One's entire being becomes spiritually integrated and united as the power of ekgrata parinama (as unified intent of the authentic self) shines forth HERE as a revelatory (vyakhyata) effect.
From the aspect of SAT (pure being or pure subjective experience) we can experience a sublime harmony and integration of the the sense organs (indriyesu), the elements (bhuta), all conditions as implicate order -- the natural unconditioned shining forth of the Great Integrity. Such an alignment becomes fully revealed as self effulgent luminosity.
This sutra is can be interpreted as presenting yet another parinama practice, the transformation of transformation, or just as well, one could say that this knowledge is the result of applying samyama upon dharma parinama, lakshana parinama, and avastya parinama as they relate to evolution and the dimensions of time. That is a needless elaboration. Since success in samyama is due to success in the practice of nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama, parinama is already mutually explicit. It may appear that Patanjali is restating in similar wording that the consistent application and accomplishment of the previous aforementioned three parinamas will effect these transformative results (dharma-laksana-avastha-parinama). One could just as easily say that dharma-laksana-avastha-parinama comprises a transformative lesson when taken as a whole. Rather, it seems more obvious that Patanjali is referring to a samyama practice which is non-dual, beyond dualistic referents, beyond measurement, and beyond conditions. Also samyama can be applied to any of the sutras, books, events, phenomena, or situations.
Regardless, on how this is restated, the yogi must non-the-less transform any pre-existing linear categorization or conceptually based scheme involving fragmented disparate elements consisting of fragmented or conditioned apparently separate, disconnected and independent entities, while placing all and everything within an overall unitive wholistic context of the Great Continuum or Great Integrity in ALL OUR RELATIONS. That is to say, that the accomplished yogi does not become distracted from the integrative state of samadhi. Increasingly, one learns to allow for this transformation to occur naturally, effortlessly, and spontaneously as one surrenders to samadhi onepointedly. Samadhi parinama, ekgrata-parinama, and nirodha-parinama occur more continuously, spontaneously, naturally and effortlessly as our practice matures. Better put one learns that all phenomena, events, and conditions (avastha) not only are interconnected, but more so evidence of the Great Integrity itself. Holographically, they open access doorways of the great integrity, which the yogi actively and naturally forges through practice that destroys artificial conditioning.
Thus, through the power effected by the previous parinama practices up to and including samadhi parinama (as unified intention), and ekgrata (the unification or state of complete integrity) all of creation and its intrinsic intimate seed source is known through that one universal all pervasive self-conscious spirit, which inter-connects us all. This not only occurs when we give up analytical and reductionist analysis of phenomena; it also obviates its need for the most part. Now this can become expressed in ALL OUR RELATIONS.
HERE Patanjali goes beyond even the need for any further implementation of parinama as a willful technique. After all parinama as a technique assumes that there exists something desirable to be transformed. Here however the need of parinama as an applied transformational technique, attainment, or practice is obviated. Dharma has become revealed. So from the perspective of ordinary dualistic consciousness the word, parinama, refers to the process of how apparently discrete "objects" which form the contents of the mind (pratyaya) are perceived as changing (parinama) -- as being in the process of flux; but when the dualistic mind is emptied and opened through yogic practice, then all temporal existence is viewed as the sacred river. Here purusa is known in sattva; that is the stainless eternal purusa looks out at the temporal world and recognizes itself in that great magical expanse.
Change or transformation is often defined in negative terms especially by those who favor the eternal unchanging, but also because it pertains to the wandering/discursive mind that is the bugaboo in meditation. It is that latter white noise of the citta-vrtti which itself is transformed. Absolutists also refer often to the suffering of clinging onto temporal existence, -- onto that which is ever changing and on fire. Such is only a problem of attachment after the fact when the observer imputes individual solidity and permanency to that which is really unsubstantial and devoid of separate self. that is called by the Buddhists the extreme error of eternalism or the suffering of change. In that situation, a mindset that is so attached fluctuates and spins in patterns of bias (vrtti). Of course in that stage of constant transformation, the ordinary plastic mind can not know the true nature of Reality as-it-is (swarupa). However once one's *connection* with their intrinsic deep core/heart center is established, then all temporary phenomena is known as changing, temporary, and on fire, but at the same time its rather very large but subtle momentous formless cause is further recognized as-it-is through the medium of the constant flow of the river everchanging. Thus the unceasing reveals the eternal unceasingly.
When the flow of the river appears to stop, we are stuck and holding on-- in a fixated stasis.That is called the error of imputing permanence and "reality" to that which is not permanent and not inherently solid. Rather its true nature is swarupa-sunyam. WE are THAT within the wholeness/hologram of our true nature. .
"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together"
"I Am the Walrus" ~ John Lennon,
The dualistic mind, which is fixated on spinning objects the mind grasps onto phantoms, images, symbolic fixations on objects, symbolic representations, various patterned sequences, projections, and all sorts of similarly agitated movements in inefficient dualistic and distracted "meditation". However, as one becomes more aware through refining the observation process, we can then approach sattva and rest inside it; the balanced state where the intrinsic underlying unitive Reality, which is our true nature (swarupa) is recognized both inside and outside -- as implicate in all things and beings at the same time. Here, then efficient practice becomes a positive transformative process where pre-existing negative samskaras (imprints) are transformed and dissolve back into the ground where they arose, through nirodha parinama, samadhi parinama, and ekgrata parinama.
From there (as a result of ekgrata parinama) everything (all temporal phenomena) appear to flow like a sparkling river when we are centered and focused in that universal still core center of the Heart (hridayam) --when our "viewpoint" no longer changes with that which is viewed, yet simultaneously is not separate from THAT. In this sacred place, the limits of relativity (of time and space) no longer constrain us in a flat line existence. In that sacred context of ALL OUR RELATIONS all the transformations of nature, the elements, of all of creation can then leave a positive imprint as well. All parinamas are now put to rest, hence the transformation of all transformations has been effected.
As one continues to practice samyama, one masters in sequence all the parinamas, up to ekgrata parinama where the yogi enters into and perceives any phenomena from the omni-centric mandala -- the whologram. This is the est way to deal with differentiated reality or form. Then various insights as to the true nature of the sense objects (indriyas), elements (bhuta), their essential nature (dharma), the process of qualitative distinctions, time, state, and evolution (laksana-avastha) become clear and revealed (vyakhyatah) through direct experience. As a practice either in dhyana or via samyama the rising and falling of appearances is known as interdependent upon how we perceive and view such occurrences and hence through increased mindfulness we have the opportunity to enter still and balance out the vrtti while focusing onepointedly on the objectless object (swarupa- sunyam). There is no need to go further than that. Simply put we see ALL OUR RELATIONS through awakened eyes. With that insight, we are empowered to interact more expediently, harmoniously, synergistically, and creatively, thus remaining free from error. Notice this ability does not arrive through intellection or analytical effort, but from first applying ekgrata parinama, in meditation, eliminating the negative samskaras, and then through that self luminous space then being able to apply/abide in it in ALL OUR RELATIONS as the play of the Divine Leela, whose sole function is to reveal Brahman, "the one without a second".
This is another confirmation of II.18-23.
III. 14 santa-udita-avyapadesya-dharma-anupati dharmi
[Thus through understanding change and the process of transformation (parinama)] the dharma holder (dharmi) beholds all processes as sacred correspondences (anupati) in the all inclusive dharmic realm of an interconnected whole, where each element reveals their true place and nature (dharma) as not independent or separate -- as interdependent parts of an integral network and integrity; whether or not they appear at rest (santa), arising (udita), or undetermined (avyapadesya), their movements reflect and mirror the one.
santa: peaceful, quiet, calm, still (see III.12) Also prasanta (III.10)
udita: arisen; visible; apparent; having come into awareness.Also see: III.11 (udayau) and III.12
avyapadesya: undetermined: undefined: unrevealed.
anupati: Corresponding to: related.
dharma: truth: reality: essential nature. See III.13, 14. In this case, the word, "dharma", is used as a designated or partial represented reality constructed out of aggregates by the mind. Hence it is valuable to note the various meanings of "dharma" to denote a partial or representational aspect of universal dharma on one hand, and the word, dharma" to denote the true nature of reality in its universal unlimited and direct sense.
Commentary: Phenomena/form may appear to move, change state, arise and fall away, but the dharma holder being focused in their own innate (empty of self) transpersonal heart-core is unmoved. When the mental formations are balanced and stilled, the entire universe becomes alive, vivid, and illumined. Form/phenomena moves, changes, dances, and sings, but only when truly perceived within the context of boundless empty space and time. Thus, if the perceiver rests in the non-dual state where there are no separate objects of perception, but rather all form swim in the great timeless boundless continuum, the true nature of form is both perceived correctly and is capable of being transformed for the greater good. The body may change, temporal reality morphs, but the source of the unborn causal flow of mind is untouched. When phenomena are truly realized onepointedly as-it-is, in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), they ares simultaneously experienced as being empty of a separate/independent self. It is experienced as part of everything else (interdependent) and relative. When mind is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality.
To the dharma holder (dharmi) so attuned, all phenomena are emanations of the Great Integrity and even deeper still they are holographic doorways or indicators back into it. All roads lead to and from the Great Integrity when the Great Continuum is revealed as-it-is in profound non-dual recognition. That firm and balanced centeredness allows the dharma holder to view phenomena as an everchanging flux thus the inner and outer -- the unmoved timeless and relative are balanced, aligned, and integrated (sattva) in dharma -- in the sushumna, the central way.
Having already experienced that the arising, abiding, and undetermined qualities of phenomena are all manifestations interconnected (anupati) in continuity with the true nature of reality as-it-is (dharma), then one who experiences this has arrived as the dharma holder (dharmi). Such a yogi also naturally manifests, expresses, and embodies it.
However, if the observer does not recognize the true nature of reality (dharma) as in the reality of relative truth, then individual phenomena will appear as if it possesses its own independent true and separate nature. Therein the dharma in ordinary fragmented dualistic perception is defined in the contextual terminology of limited dualistic assumptions because one's experience is limited, rather than in terms that recognizes the underlying causative integrity as indicators, pointers, and or open doorways to that one wholistic energetic integral pattern, wholesome principle, primordial blueprint or substratum that forms the underlying basis which inter-connects the all as-it-is.
The properties and qualities of temporal phenomena (prakriti's evolutes), whether they be latent or quiescent (santa), arisen and manifest (udita) or undenotable as impossible to describe or grasp through information provided by the senses or cognized (avyapadesya) as long as the observer is lost in dualistic space (confusion). Such is the dualistic definition of apparently "individual separate things" which reductionist schools of inquiry attempt to answer, explaining the parts in terms of other parts. But in truth -- in terms of the true nature of dharma, when one has cleared out the obstructions from the open doorway, then phenomena do not appear as separate things, but rather as evidence representing the on-going flow of Reality (Dharma) as the causal flow of mind within the context of the Great Integrity. Sri Patanjali discusses this extensively in pratyhara (II.54-55) and III.35, III.36, III.49,, III.55.
"Things" then are no longer cognized as separate entities apart *from* the primal cause, but rather their meaning becomes endowed by their relationship as "part of" a Great Wholistic Continuum --as profound holographic doorways. The one is recognized in the many while the many is recognized in the the one. Phenomena do not truly exist as separate independent things when they are seen in the light of dharma, rather they are empty of separate self. Then they express their true undistorted and unobstructed pure meaning. Reality as it is is no longer constructed, nor, contrived, or conditioned by our mental habits of organization (citta-vrtta). When the causes are really known, then we intimately intuit the underlying interdependent co-arising of all phenomena and hence karmic laws and principles of the universe are revealed in its natural original state as-it-is, the Santana Dharma -- as Natural Eternal Law within the context of ALL OUR RELATIONS. In this place (swarupa sunyam) there is no separate self, nor any separate object to be observed. Here one is fully awake -- fully conscious. This is the vast, natural, unconstructed, immeasurable, and unconditioned true nature of mind. That is the authentic operating focus of all yoga practice.
In the non-dual or extraordinary definition then, Dharma with a capital "D", is the essential underlying true nature of all phenomena in the unitive sense (not as a fragmented, disconnected, or separate entity). That Dharma is unbiased and universal truth and reflects the law of reality as it truly is in it's true nature- Suchness. Then from that perspective "things" are thus revealed and unmasked revealing the underlying (and may we add over-riding) Dharma -- as the underlying connective (anupati) causative agent of the apparent characteristic substratum, which is none other than the unitive app pervading true "nature", which does not change as the temporal world of sense objects go through their continuous changes (anupati).
Only through samadhi (not through objectification) can the true non-dual awareness of phenomena be known. Why do I say non-dual? Because non-duality is the nature of samadhi -- because samyama is doomed to failure if applied within s dualistic fragmentary approach. An object is known only by the entire constituents of its parts and how they differ from all other constituents in the entire universe. This is how reality is known.
Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
Swami Venkatesananda says of dharma:
"The dharma is the power underlying the principles of shanta, udita, and avyapdeshaya. The shanta nature is the state when the present characteristics have been transformed to the real nature of the objects; udita is the state when the real nature is transformed into a manifested form of the objects; and avyapdeshaya is the state when the manifestation has not yet taken place and exist in the form of an energy, and could not be stated in clear terms. In whatever state, the dharma of the object remains one undifferentiated."
"... a substance itself is put together and recognized as such, and is non-different from a particular characteristic, which may be in a dormant state, in an emerging state, or in an uncertain or potential state."
In general the word, "dharma" is used as the underlying, causal, and governing principle. Dharma is the characteristic that remains the same in the potential stage, in the manifesting stage, in the manifest stage, or in the undefined ineffable stage and as such as it relates; to nature, dharma is the substratum or matrix that has a seminal stage, a becoming stage, a manifest stage, and a mysterious stage and is also subject to dissolution. In the dualistic/materialistic view is not an immutable essence if such can be attributed to any one phenomena, it is the patterned result of causes (karma). This kind of temporal definition of dharma is subject to the rules of cause and effect itself. Although it appears to be causative, it is not ultimately causative, unless we trace it back to the causeless cause -- the Source. There Dharma then takes on a different meaning.
Another way of using the word, Dharma, can also be translated as our nature. For example, in India one may say: "there is no reason to say, 'thank you', rather it is my very nature to serve you, this is simply natural, it is my dharma". As such, the word, dharma, is meant to be taken as their karmic duty, as a natural manifestation or result of a cause, but in Yoga we look to the cause of the cause until all karma is annihilated (nirodha) and final liberation (mukti) is achieved. At that "time", what is it that manifests, but pure and eternal Dharma, is it not? Here Patanjali is getting to what is called Sanatana Dharma in Hinduism or simply "The Dharma" in Buddhism. So in the pure context, Dharma with the big "D" means the immutable law of Reality as-it-is -- natural law unconstructed or modified by the mind, and thus he/she who knows the true Dharma, knows Reality as the synergistic union of undifferentiated and differentiated reality, of crown and root, sky and earth, shiva and shakti, ayn soph and shekinah, sahasrara and muladhara, left and right, ida and pingala, frontal cortex and limbic systems, CNS and autonomic nervous systems, efferent and afferent, enteric nervous system, and so forth. Here the polarized energetics in the ida and pingala nadis no longer flow uncoordinated or discretely. Rather they have reached their destination having been channeled by the sushumna (middle or non-dual pathway) in perfect and complete integration.
Thus, parinama as a phenomena is thus overcome, balanced out, and stabilized. It is no longer necessary to break it up on pieces/parts.
It is noteworthy to point out that Patanjali in the next seven sutras talks about sequential activities (kramah), death, samskaras, and karma, which in turn can all be correlated to dharma. See discussion above on parinama for more.
This is another confirmation of II.18-23. Also see II.54, II.55, I.18, III.35, III.36, III.49, and III.55
III. 15. krama-anyatvam parinama-anyatve hetuh
The cause of these apparently separate reordering of the waves of change (parinama-anyatve hetu) is delimited by samyama on their successive and continuous sequencing from one phase to the other (krama-anyatvam). Similarly, these same variegated waves of change all point to a continuous succession stemming from the causal flow of mind through the purified mindstream -- the Cause of All, Everything, and No Thing, depending upon how one recognizes it as being aligned with a continuous sequence or dissociated from it.
hetuh: cause: reason
anyatva: difference; distinctions; distinct phases
krama: order of succession or sequence
Commentary: Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
"Many characteristics of a manifestation result in many successions, which in turn result in manifold evolution. This multiplicity of manifestations (of the one undifferentiated) leads to non-attachment to the phenomenal world" (and success in yoga)."
Commentary: Here the siddha beams light awareness (prajna-alokah) upon the very process of discrimination itself, revealing its processes and conditions. Thus the yogi is ale to perceive beyond causes and conditions, beyond karma, and linear vagaries of sequential time/space. Indeed the one undifferentiated clear light is all pervasive/omnipresent embedded in all beings and things, but also widely ignored by those who whose consciousness is obscured and confused. Maya can act as both the clothes and revealer of the apparently hidden Brahman (self luminous emptiness). The intrinsic primal seed source is everywhere present -- all pervasive, and is revealed in all phenomena, but not everyone recognizes their true nature (swarupa-sunyam), because of mental obscurations, fixated limited knowledge (citta-vrtti), obstructed nadis (energetic pathways), and karmic patterns. On a superficial level, the apparent rise and fall of phenomena of the temporal world might appear inscrutable or chaotic or fragmented due to the apparently varied (anyatva) sequences (krama) of what may look like unrelated rising and falling of all the myriad differentiations and variegations (anatve) imputed to the phenomenal/temporal world. But an inherent implicate order, vast knowledge, awareness, and integrity (recognized or not) underlies the differentiated relative world. It is revealed by such (krama-anyatvam) when the unitive cause of phenomena is revealed as evidencing a continuity of successions --as phases of a greater shift which is the primordial mind. Shakti/maya either hides Maheshvara or reveals him depending on the clarity of the perceiver's mind-stream.
Such evokes the knowledge of our inherent kinship with all of creation which many humans have ignored -- the wisdom that surpasses all understanding -- that which is the operating modality in ALL OUR RELATIONS, that which explains all, as it resolves all, as it is all encompassing, boundless, and all at once is-as-it-is the Open doorway to the hologram which is the Great Space of All Inclusive Integrity and All Time. Eventually the parinamas are to be applied instantaneously (at once).
The yogi is focused on liberation and as such he/she observes the underlying interconnectedness of all phenomena (dharma) underlying all changes of state -- all of creation/evolution (like a river on fire) when viewed from the still center of Source or samadhi, that source is both inside and out simultaneously. Abiding in that unitive place, we are instantaneously free from prisons of habit, limited identifications, and karmic waves and propensities. Differentiated reality can only be known in the integrity of its completion -- when it is married to the undifferentiated absolute -- when it is known unbiased from a universal viewpoint. This, when maintained, unswayed, and undismayed, is authentic brahmacharya and here all of nature instructs as the divine play (leela) of siva/shakti (creator/creation). HERE Maheshvara and shakti are united in the susumna.
Like the rest of yoga, accomplishments (siddhi) are also gained through practice. Avoiding a mechanical or formulated will-power approach, let it suffice to explain that the mastery of samyama is self-revealed through a deep understanding of interdependence, where all form (relative reality) and awareness (undifferentiated reality) join. In ordinary dharana, the practitioner is approaching the practice from an already self-alienated I/it dualistic estrangement where samyama is self-hidden. In samyama the yogi approach a chosen object of concentration from the open space of non-dual interdependence (swarupa-sunyam).
Learning to still the mind and rest onepointedly focused on samadhi in constant now awareness, samadhi becomes evermore continuous. Ever self-cognizant in Now awareness, the parinamas transform themselves spontaneously and naturally in rainbow wisdom waves of wonder, light, and delight. Thus nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata parinama occur more continuously and effortlessly as our practice matures and deepens. they occur as one unified movement, eventually without needing to be broken down in successive stages. As such they are understood as the natural expression of the ongoing causal flow of reality -- the causal flow of mind in harmony with our true nature and compassionate purpose. When the true nature of phenomena is accurately perceived, as-it-is, in terms of the causal flow of mind (parinispannasvabhava), it is simultaneously experienced as being empty of intrinsic ( separate/independent self) existence. It is experienced as part of everything else (interdependent). When mind is seen as it truly is, undisturbed by dualistic tendencies, the yogi experiences directly the undistorted truth, the parinispannasvabhava, the causal flow of mind devoid of subject/object duality.This is another confirmation of II.18-23.
So especially addressing nirodha, samadhi, ekgrata parinama (III.9-16), they are transformational practices, which at first required awareness, finesse, and sensitivity. As transformative stages, they are not restraints or repressive, but shifts into boundless Now awareness .
To sum up, virama-pratyaya is the first gateway to samadhi should we take it (I.18) Missing that we can take up other practices such as isvara pranidhana, then producing good karma as the way to counteract the samskaras), then astanga yoga, then asamprayoge, then samyama, and the parinamas, but ultimately we arrive at the deepest samadhi (swarupa-sunya) most often via dhyana (meditation), which is of course the seventh limb of astanga yoga. Discussing the fine points of samadhi is useless until one gets their bearings and understands the pitfall of samyoga (false identification) which is based on asmita-raga and asmita-dvesa which in turn is based on avidya (ignorance of our true essential nature). Speculation thus risks becoming a distraction -- merely an intellectual ego trip unless one has sincerely decided and willing to take yoga as their personal spiritual practice one pointedly.
In short, the three parinamas (nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata) practiced in stages/phases of an integrated practice that completes all needs for transformation, while empowering the yogi for successful samyama proper. Thus, we can at first understand that nirodha parinama opens up the HeartMind by releasing and clearing obscurations (citta-vrtti) , while eliminating disturbances. When the HeartMind opens, then the light of samadhi enters and floods our being as boundless space (in samadhi parinama). The final transformative practice then, is to concentrate upon the specific object of samyama one-pointedly in ekgrata parinama from both inside and out. This is not simple dharana (coming from a dualistic perspective. Rather, here we start at swarupa-sunyam (samadhi), then relaxing and clearing the mindfield, then receiving and entering into holographic guidance, then absorption into the object and abiding therewith both inside and outside simultaneously and non-dually. Eventually there is no need to transform or do anything; rather the trick is to be present abiding in sacred non-dual transpersonal presence.
Now begins a general outline of some specific samyama practices. Fittingly it is samyama on samyama.
III. 16 parinama-traya-samyamad atitanagata-jnanam
The siddhi of primordial knowledge, the knowledge of past and future (atitianagata-jnanam), is accomplished through samyama upon the three transformations (parinama-traya).
parinama: transformation or shift; Coalescence.
atita: ati is primordial, atita is past particle; this is not just knowledge of source/past or causal mind, but more over it is primordial wisdom or original true nature
anagata: future. endless or predictive.
atitianagata-jnanam: Knowledge beyond time
Commentary: This is samyama on the three transformative practices (parinama) itself. Change appears to happen in terms of time. The mystery of time then pertains to change and the nature of all transformations --. the transformative process by itself, or better on form and the process of transFORMation, where form/phenomena is made consciously altered. From samadhi all thought and phenomena are approached and recedes into the one, all possibilities are recognized, and through positive intent positive outcomes are realized as the golden path where forms as well as mental formations themselves are transformed.
This is a powerful practice that specifically reveals not only how thoughts arise and cease (permutates), but the timeless state unconditioned boundless state. This practice produces knowledge (jnanam) of the process of change and transformation itself, which includes how things come into being and cease, and as such the mystery of succession and the Great River of time is known for the observer has stepped outside of flat plane cause and effect and is able to view things from the open doorway of samadhi (swarupa-sunyam). Here, the open doorway of transformation itself is known and with it dimensionless time.
Just as samyama consists of an integration of the three fold processes of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi (traya-samyama), samyama on the three parinamas moreover completes the process of establishing samyama within the timeless limitless present Such is the consummation of the three parinamas (nirodha, samadhi, and ekgrata). Some may consider this a fourth parinama, but such would needlessly complicate and contradict the sutra without adding anything of value.
Here the yogi seals the deal by residing in non-dual holographic multi-dimensional space beyond the restraints of frozen concepts of time and place, knowledge of future, past, or other places are accessed in Now-primordial consciousness. Then, the true universal nature of any object of thought is known. Again, through the union of shiva/shakti in the sushumna nadi both the unborn uncreated original mind (Maheshvara) and the intelligent evolutionary force (shakti) are known as timeless ever-presence now. All time and space i contained in the hologram, while the hologram is void of any discrete or independent objects. No one and no thing can step outside the completeness of the hologram and hence it defies objectification/reification itself. Thus it is called empty of self or emptiness, for a lack of an adequate label. No being, object, or phenomena has created itself; rather they are conditions arising from past causes and conditions. Ordinary phenomena are ephemeral co-created and interdependent manifestations imbued with self-luminous awareness, light, and love, that can be traced back to the unborn source (Maheshvara). Thus, knowledge beyond the kinetic arising/becoming, cessation/death, and the potential state of phenomena are understood as parts of this wholographic interdependent co-evolutionary integrity. Nirodha parinama, as the transformational process where old thought fixations are dissolved and the mind is liberated; samadhi parinama, where new thoughts and distractions cease to arise; and ekgrata parinama as the transformational process where the practitioner is firmly placed into a perfectly balanced state where arising and cessation are synchronized correspond to the breath of Brahma, his breathing in and out of the yugas beyond all kalpas, as co-existing simultaneously in the seamless interconnection of beginningless presence and all-creativity in the present moment.
Here, Patanjali completes the explanation of samyama discussed in sutras 9-15. Patanjali is connecting everything together as-it-is, not just the past and the future, but also the nature of causes and conditions that becomes clarified as the fruits of proficient authentic sadhana become integrated. The past limitations of three dimensional time and space become replaced with the awareness of the holographic/wholistic fourth dimensional reality called turiya. The mystery of time is not revealed by reducing it infinitesimally, but rather by stepping outside of time and cause and effect. Succession is known by experiencing everything from the gateway of primordial Great Integrity --as the Great Integrity revealing itself. Thus one has to let go of grasping onto flat plane reality in order to experience the full dimension of being in SATCITANANDA.
Just as when ekgrata parinama siddha is realized, wherein the arising of linear thinking has ceased (nirodha), one abides in the ability (siddha) to know things as they are through focusing on an object or thing (dharana) be it an object of thought or a sensory object, then absorbing oneself into that object without distinction for subject/object duality (dhyana) -- becoming that so to speak, and thus through this dissolution of the illusion of separation separation, thirdly merges the observer with the object and the process of observation (awareness) non-dually as samadhi -- as one integral conscious process revealing the universal timeless unbiased true nature of any phenomena free from limitations of time/space bias or prejudice. These practices themselves require practice to bear their fruit. The most difficult part is to understand that the process is NOT intellectual, willful, forced, or dualistic. Rather it involves focus, balance, absorption, the dissolution of the egoic mind, and sustained onepointed integration all at once.
Swami Venkatesananda translates III.16 as:
"Therefore, knowledge of the past and of the future (and such knowledge as not already possessed) follows the practice of the three-fold inner discipline (concentration, meditation and illumination together) in relation to the fundamental principle of the three stages of the movement of thought – the movement of restraint [nirodha], the non-arising of distractions [samadhi], and the perfectly balanced state [ekgrata]."
Samyama is an advanced accomplishment for the siddha, in order to accomplish the great compassionate work in the universe. Here, the artificial/arbitrary three dimensional boundaries of time, place, and awareness are dissolved, while the true nature of phenomena are known as-they-are, without individual bias of a separate observer or objectified point of view as boundless space, limitless timeless space, and boundless illimitable awareness (the awakened heart of saints, siddhas, bodhisattvas, and buddhas). Phenomena are known from the universal timeless deathless all pervading limitless originless source where its true nature is revealed. Other wise, phenomena are partially and incompletely known (illusory). Once ekgrata parinama is mastered all things, phenomena, and events co-arise in harmony with one's awareness. The accomplished yogi (siddha) enters into other specific samyams that beckon, which reveal the timeless spirit in ALL OUR RELATIONS requiring little or no effort. This occurs when flow (vahita) is spontaneous and natural in sahaj samadhi -- when the evolutionary energy (shakti) flows freely and unimpeded in the sushumna (via ekgrata), and when the siddha aligns up the plasmic etheric dynamic intelligent energy at the core of the earth with the hridayam (the center/heat core of the multiverse) bestowing shaktipat, grace, and healing from a sublime state of timeless grace.
III. 17. sabda-artha-pratyayanam itara-itara adhyasat samkaras tat-pravibhaga-samyamat sarva-bhuta-ruta-jnanam
Words, their ascribed meanings, and our conceptualization processes based on such construed meanings can be untangled, deconstructed, decoupled, and distinguished by samyama on their presuppositions, thus, revealing the underlying meaning of all sounds and languages.
sabda: words, sound, voice. sound vibration.
adhyasat: Superimposition, displacement, entanglement, presupposition.
artha: purpose, meaning, object.
pratyayanam: of or pertaining to pratyaya (mental contents or objects)
itara: whereas. itara itara, when appearing together, means "this" contrasts with "that".
ruta: utterances, languages, speech
bhuta: element, constituent.
pravibhaga: distinction, separation
Commentary: The meaning of sacred sounds, prayers, mantra, and music of the spheres are empty in themselves, but when heard by the third ear, they are heard and understood through gnosis. The siddha of all sounds (ruta-jnanam) is accomplished through samyama on distinguishing (pravibhaga) and giving sounded/phonetic words and meaning to all individual objects and processes of attention that had previously become co-mingled, undifferentiated with sound, or confused (samskarah) creating a predisposed limited mental fixation (pratyaya), which had not yet been assigned a reciprocal relationships (itara-itara). Thus this is how one became deaf to the intrinsic ongoing and continuous sacred song and divine silent symphony residing continuously in all beings and things should we recognize it again. The divine sound (sabda) is all pervading, but the words of the conceptual monkey mind normally obscures its true meaning with representational reality, conceptual fabrications, mind-chatter, in short citta vrtta. Similarly, when words, sounds, elements, objects, language, and nuanced distinctions are experienced as pointers to the whole, as mirror reflecting the universal revelation of the larger integrity, then their essential reality can be experienced directly. However, when we take auditory, speech based, or conceptual objects as fragmented/isolated phenomena, then their mystery remains unrevealed/hidden.
The above translation attempts to be literal, but is difficult perhaps to access. Succinctly, the process of such phonetic naming clears confusion and provides clarity and liberation in relationship to sound and meaning. Here through samyama the adept yogi goes beyond the limitations imposed through limited conceptual impositions and analytical comparative relationships based on duality, separateness, fragmentation, and objectivism (pratyaya), but rather the sounds are seen as integral parts of the song -- the melody reveals the ongoing overall orchestra/orchestrator. So here again through samyama one doesn't only become absorbed in the sound or words as individual independent free standing entities ,but rather as holographic gateways into the whologram in that context. Thus, they are known from unconditional truth and in truth only. Songs and mantra are forms of energy and intention, and hence can be transformational instruments capable of influencing phenomena.
Some translators say that this sutra speaks to the knowledge of all languages of all species allowing the adept to converse with all animals who are capable of sound.
Discerned sound or words of course are only differentiated representatives of the Self; they are not the holy whologram itself. Underlying all sound vibrations, words, alphabets, and meaning is the pranava, the vibratory intelligence that re-presents primordial mind.
See also the commentary in sutra I.9 on on vikalpa, sutra I.28 on the pranava, sutra I.42 (on words), sutra I.43 on holding on, sutra I.7 (on pramana or belief systems), sutra I.17 on vitarka, sutra I.49, and sutra I.15.
III. 18 samskara-sakshatkaranat purva-jatijnanam
Samyama on past karmic residues (samskaras) will reveal unconditioned full knowledge of the arising of all phenomena (purva-jati-jnanam).
Samskara: residual mental pictures/impressions impinging upon one's psychic screen. Past karmic residues stuck in the karmic body awaiting liberation. The conditioned mind. Mental formations either latent/frozen or actively operating. Embedded latent triggers, which trigger biopsychic kleshic activities. Past frozen and non-integrated mental/energetic patterns that have become imprinted upon the bio-psychic organism. See the bhavacakra (the wheel of samsara) versus the dharmacakra, to understand how residual imprints are annulled.
Jati: referring to birth: genetics
Sakshat: the embodiment of the living law recognized here and now in this very body and inclusive of the planet and universe, not through negation. Divine sight (third eye), subtle hearing (nada), taste (ambrosia/amrita), smell (perfume), and ecstatic feeling of the one all pervading reality in final and complete realization being placed in front of one’s very eyes. Direct perception without subjugating/demeaning the senses. Supernatural or magical perception in contrast to pratyaksha (ordinary dualistic perception where objects are known as independent, fragmented, or isolated phenomena.
Sakshatkaranat: Literally the activity of direct seeing through one’s non-dual eyes. Direct all inclusive non-dual realization of the cause of all phenomena without negation/suppression of the senses. The non-dual union of form, clarity, and light of the illimitable all-mind where the five senses neither dominate/rule nor fragment/isolate. Direct perception of emptiness or Buddha nature as the ground of all phenomena in so far that it cannot be perceived as separate/isolated phenomena or "things" through the disorganized non-integrated state of the senses. Perception that defies subject/object duality.
Purva: A referent to former, the forerunner, prior, previous, predecessor, ancient, ancestor, original, or unborn (before birth) or primal precursor. More commonly the east (the place where the sun arises) and in yoga the front of the body.
Karana: Cause. Causal origin, motive force, the effective means, the causal means or reason. Especially as an attributable cause, measured cause, or an instrumental cause that is capable of being measured. In a gross materialistic world view, where physical objects are purported to be real and substantial independent from the position of the observer, the causal instrument is purported to be the sense organs; while in entirely mental frameworks, it is the individual mind which is purported to be the causal agent. In yoga, neither hypothesis holds true. In yoga, neither hypothesis holds true. In yoga, it is the condition itself that discloses its own cause, and which eventually leads to the primordial originless origin and great "uncondition" devoid of causes (see vikarana in Sutra III.48).
Commentary: Knowledge of the forerunner of birth (purva-jatijnanam) and knowledge of the arising of all is accomplished, when one applies samyama on the workings and causes of one's samskaras (imbedded latent tendencies and impression), which in turn activates the innate power of embodied penetrative awareness (divine seeing) as the innate activity of the divine insight (sakshatkaranat). Samyama on imbedded karmic seeds, will reveal the causes for the arising and cessation of thought. As before, the creation and the destruction of the samskaras are associated with kleshas, karma, and pain (duhkha). When samyama is applied to the samskaras we are able to know their cause, their arising, and their cessation thereby eliminating them, thus liberating our mind. See the discussion on applying nirodha parinama, samadhi parinama, and ekgrata parinama in order to create positive samskaras especially III.9 and III.10 above.
Applying the wisdom eye (III.5) to past biopsychic imprints reveals the arising of karmic patterns and biopsychic habitual formations,eventually melting them. When karmic seeds are melted, then an unconditioned awareness of direct perception becomes present as primordial presence. Success in nirbija samadhi is thus insured. This includes knowledge of prenatal karma and bioenergetic psychic impressions (samskaras) as well as those incurred since birth. That knowledge however, is useless without being melted by the fire of siva's eye. Having been burned up, then nirbija samadhi, the crown of yoga, is realized. In short, do not become restricted to mere knowledge of prenatal biopsychic patterns.
The true universal causal beginningless primordial mind (primordial wisdom) is always present and accessible for those who seek it. It is innate and when realized we embody (Sakshat) it. Those who have sought it, find it, and reflect that light selflessly and naturally-- the Self in the self, the self in the Self-- non-dually, effortlessly, and seamlessly -- without contradiction or friction. There is a secret buried in this sutra; i.e., that of vikarana (see III.48) where the innate causeless cause or primordial wisdom embedded in our genes as necessary cause to our birth and existence dispels the fragmented ideations of fixated beliefs and mental habituations (samskaras). That is spiritual knowledge (jnanam). A Mahasiddha knows this in his heart and communicates it to others who are open/seeking. This is how karma and samskaras are broken up, and how awakening is accomplished through the work of the Bodhisattvas and Rishis. It is never forced upon others; rather it is made available to those so devoted to the journey -- who ardently request it.
III. 19. pratyayasya para-citta-jnanam
Samyama on the contents of the mind (pratyaya) provides knowledge (jnanam) of the transpersonal, universal, non-dual infinite consciousness (para-citta), which when accessed provides knowledge of all minds.
Commentary: On an elementary level this begins as simply practicing self inquiry and mindfulness, by internal inquiry into the content of one's own mind now, what is the thinker thinking, what object of is the mind resting upon, what is the nature of the mind, and the nature of phenomena? Hence, when the mind investigates the mind, the observer observes the mental processes, a mini-samadhi is obtained once mindfulness is established. Further, however, this leads to self-understanding of the mind, its true nature, and its primordial non-dual ever-present origin. That awareness is the origin of all minds, and all beings reflect it. When it is known, then the contents of the operation of all minds are known as their samskaras become revealed as obscurations of the natural field of awareness. Para-citta-jnanam is the intimate knowledge of the ground of the Mind, hence insightful knowledge of the minds of "others" become revealed, because one's awareness is grounded in the basis of a universal non-dual reference free from subject/object duality.
When our field of consciousness is clear, lucid, open, and present, we are also able to notice the mind contents of others who are not fully conscious, because we now have a universal basis for reference. Starting at the hologram, by clearing out the contents of our own minds, its mental field and field of consciousness, etc., then those contents no longer will color our perception, i.e., clarity of perception. From that samadhi-house of all accomplishing mind then instantaneous awareness becomes available not only of the true nature of our own mind, but residing resting in the true universal transpersonal nature of the mind, then all boundaries are dissolved and we are able to know directly the operations at work in others as well -- what it is that is occupying and occluding their stream of consciousness. In that way of true universal awareness, the siddhas are able to avoid skew and bias. The bodhisattva through transpersonal non-dual wisdom can help bring others back home by being present --residing in their true home (the universal samadhi-house) . Then we can present others the opportunity to be fully present or clear as well just by our own presence. HERE we are able to avoid skew or bias because HERE also able to listen and see with clarity others. Thus the great work of the mahasiddhas are rendered.
Some interpret this sutra as a statement of the siddha of knowing the contents of other people's minds (clairvoyance) by the self knowledge of impartial clarity while observing from a universal unbiased, transpersonal, trans-cognitive, still, non-dual witness consciousness; however such is also addressed in III.36 and III.37. This is covered here, but stated in a more interactive and direct sense. Also see the commentary at the end of III.21
III. 20 na ca tat salambanam tasyavisayi-bhutatvat
And (ca) that (tat) [non-dual acognitive realization] is not (na) dependent upon support (salambanam) from objects, elements, karma, or conditions (tasyavishayi-bhutatvat).
salambanam: with support
tasya: of it
avisayi: devoid of any object of condition
bhutavat: element or constituent of the seemingly manifest world.
Commentary: This is a continuation of III.19. From III.19 we learn that samyama on pratyaya allows us to understand and know the contents of our own minds and thus get in tune with the infinite mind. Any content denotes the presence of a cognitive object ("it") and a separate observer ("I") fixated in cognitive filed of subject/object duality. In samadhi, one sits under the samadhi tree in swarupa-sunyam -- experiencing unity consciousness. there is no separate self nor object to cognize. All things are implicate parts of the greater whole and as such are open doorway or gates to the Whole -- the Great Integrity. However, we are told here that this "para-citta-jnanam" is itself beyond karma, conditioning, and duality. It is not dependent upon form, objects, phenomena, karma, or conditions. It does not arise or cease; rather it is timelessly ever-present and all pervading. It is not an individual/separate self; yet it is not separate from one's essential being. That is why non-dual recognition is unbiased, universal, and true as it does not suffer from a static observer placed within a limited framework of fragmented sequential time or temporal place. This consciousness is liberated from karmic obscurations; it is unconditioned, thus relativity is displayed accurately as any bias of the instrument of knowing (consciousness) has been adequately annulled. Thus this awareness is free from such supports.
The Infinite Mind is Universal Primordial and Original Omniscience that has no prior origin; and hence entirely independent of conditions, so then residing in transpersonal non-dual samadhi it being objectless (swarupa-sunyam) then conditions and objects will not color nor blemish this awareness. This boundless awareness from samadhi as swarupa-sunyam is impersonal and independent of conditions and limitation. Then we know that we can apply that knowledge to situations with others, we can be unbiased and recognize and understand the conditions operating in the minds of others from this still and uncolored place, thus we are able to understand the operating principle underneath the actions of others to an extent. The Mahasiddha resides in the samadhi-house of all being. It is described as swarupa-sunyam, as it is empty of self-existence. Being the all-ground, one only needs to be reminded of one's true nature. That is the job of the yogi's great work; i.e., always to abide in and reflect that.
Again some interpret III.19 and 20 as implying that such knowledge (para-citta-jnanam) gained through samyama on the contents of one's own the mind will allow the adept to know all the particular contents and facts in another person's mind and/or bodies. Here we take Sri Patanjali to mean "para" as in para-vairagyam, which is the acognitive state (asamprajnata). See I.18. here such knowledge is transpersonal, non-dual, natural, and spontaneous.
III. 21. kaya-rupa-samyamat tad-grahya-shakti-stambhe chakshuh-prakasha-asamprayoge antardhanam
Normally we look on only the outer form of bodies (kaya rupa); but, when.we look at the body of form with eye of the inner light (chakshuh-prakasha-asamprayoge) through samyama (kaya-rupa-samyamat) we know form as a non-dual referent, an indicator, reflection, symbol, or open/holographic doorway, inseparable from an imputed separate observer/self. Thus, we are allowed to suspend (stambe) the imposition of coarse mental projections upon phenomena/form limited by grasping onto a fragmented dualistic sense of the existence. Thus, we are able to perceive clearly the primordial causal intelligent underlying energy (shakti) shining forth (prakasa), which illumines and reveals itself permeating all phenomena.
kaya: body or dimension. For example the formless and eternal/timeless Buddha manifests in many forms and has many aspects depending on the dimension of the observer.
grahya: to be grasped
sakti: power: energy
akasa: ether: Nature's finest/most subtle substance
asamyoge: decoupling, disentanglement.
antardhanam: concealed; hidden.
Commentary: When we are not caught up in superficial appearances, but learn to look more deeply into the underlying power and light (prakasa) from unbiased universal eyes we utilize the ability to read between the lines, which means we perceive shakti (the evolutionary energy) with the physical eyes (caksus) as well, albeit such awareness depends upon the awakening of the third (inner) eye. This light of awakening illumines (prakasa) the world of form (rupa) so that the eye (caksus) having become decoupled (asamyoga) from its fixation (grahya) upon an apparently independent separate form body (kaya-rupa) is no longer concealed, but rather is suspended (stambe). The physical world is not seen as separate from the spiritual.
When we look at the form body (kaya -rupa) from the eye of wisdom via samyama, that light reveals what had been previously concealed -- shakti as an intimate part of siva is revealed. We see all things in an integral context with the whole of which we are also a part. This way of seeing reveals the living formless spirit (shiva) underlying all of creation (shakti) which becomes the magical and sacred display of Reality -- of "ALL OUR RELATIONS" and thus allows us to see through limited appearances. The whole world is alive and connected and this context all of creation is our kin.This way we see from the form body which is united to the light body, rather than from a place of disconnection (asamyoga). So at first the "I" has to decouple (asamyoge) from thinking that "I" is just an independent physical body apart from evolution and source. Such is the nature of dualistic grasping (grahya), Then after that error is corrected for and let go, we can relate to the larger creatrix of the physical body (annamaya kosha), energy body (pranayama kosha), and the mental/emotional body (manomaya kosha) as an inter-related (relational/relative) process. Eventually as the third eye opens up more (when the obscurations of the vijnanamaya kosha are lifted), we are able to perceive the innate light which establishes clarity and insight in ALL OUR RELATIONS as ALL OUR RELATIONS.
In Buddhism it is said that form is empty of self (everything is interdependent).Form and emptiness are inseparable but not the same. It is through form that emptiness is revealed, while form is illumined through the innate luminosity that is empty of self existence. Another way to say that is that form acts as a holographic mirror that reflects a universal light. This is the wholistic/holistic space (samadhi house), where the Mahasiddhas course. This knowledge is transmitted to all who meet them, as long as they are open and willing to let go (asamyoga) of their clinging (graha) upon preconceptions. Then the power (sakti) and light (prakasa) of liberation will flow through them.
Similarly, in Kashmir Saivism Brahma is both hidden (antardhanam) by the clothes of maya and is also decorated by her (revealing Brahma's self-luminous presence.
Some interpret this sutra as a statement that the adept can obtain the power of becoming invisible through kaya-rupa samyama, but perhaps more cogent and simply said, the adept learns how to perceive, acknowledge, relate to, and honor the multiple dimensions and kalpas that are beyond the limited purview of the dualistic/conditioned five or six human sense organs. Also some insert an extra sutra here which says the same, but in terms that it pertains to the inner sound and inner hearing such as the ability to hear the psychic sound, the sublime symphony of all universes, and vibrations (beyond the physical). Likewise, some say that through kaya-rupa samyama that psychic sight, sound, smell, taste, feelings, and clairvoyance can be achieved and transmitted to dedicated students. All of that is already contained in this sutra, albeit not in specific terms. Accepting an extra sutra here however would make Pada III contain 56 sutras. Please see III.36 and 37 which cover this type of thinking. For our purpose we will accept the entire traditional four chapters consisting of 195 sutras (threads) of the "Yoga Sutras" as being authentic; while acknowledging a controversy as to the possibility of an additional sutra being added post-humorously after III.22 to make the total 196 sutras. Thus, we will skip the added sutra as being extraneous.
Also see III.29 and III.42 .
III. 22 sopakramam nirupakramam ca karman tad-samyamat aparanta-jnanam arishtebhyo va
Or (va) from samyama on the sequences of past events, which are operating in the present, or which have not yet been set in motion, one can attain knowledge of the possibility of harm or death.
Karma may be dormant (nir-upakramam) or manifest (sa-upakramam); karma arises, is operational, and ceases. Samyama on how that arises, abides, and ceases and on the signs and omens of nature which portend good or ill (arishtebhyah), and of our own temporal nature will reveal knowledge of the end and final conclusion of the physical body (aparanta-jnanam).
sopakramam: sequences of events set in motion
nirupakramam: dormant sequences of events not in motion
karma: action: Karma is a force/vector consisting of a interactive network of causes and conditions.
Karman: one who effects karma: one who acts
aparanta: the western extremity: the end; result; death
arishtebhyah: signs or omens arising from natural phenomena that may indicate harm or death
Commentary: Our bodily life is shaped and influenced by karma. Therefore, also is its physical end. here we can practice samyama on these events in order to predict the future. It can also be shaped by unconditioned primordial realization once the past karma is extinguished, but that is not the specific subject of this sutra. Even though a yogi may have liberated one's mind and karma, the physical body being made out of both light and particles is temporal, impermanent, and hence subject to change and causation eventually unless one can redirect energy/force and matter.
Samyama addressed toward this process allows us to free up karmic ties for self and others, become free from karma, and hence consciously influence future conditions and causes. Through understanding its workings, liberation is experienced and transmitted. One can use this knowledge to extend one's own life and that of others when it is wise to do so; yet Patanjali does not indicate that physical immortality is possible, nor does he say that it is impossible. See III.45-46 as well as I.19).
The mahasiddha is able to distinguish the causes of all conditions. Such knowledge comes from performing samyama on it while abiding in the samadhi-house. This knowledge is used to help others avoid catastrophe, bad tidings, floods, harm, and death.
Through sitting under the samadhi tree we see the eternal spirit (that which never dies -- which was never born -- which always is) in all things and events as a practice which brings about joyful fulfillment and completion HERE and NOW. Practice allows us to increasingly identify with embodying that living eternal imperishable spirit and recognize its ever present presence which is eternal and universal HERE while embodied or otherwise.
III. 23. maitry-adishu balani
By communion with the nature of friendliness, loving kindness (maitri), and alike (adishu), those strengths (bala) and powers are greatly increased within us all.
Commentary: Thus accelerated spiritual purification can be promoted through samyama on maitri (loving kindness) because underlying loving kindness and the other boundless minds is the transpersonal non-dual portal of ALL OUR RELATIONS leading to the Great Integrity -- the Boundless Mind. Adishu refers the the other four boundless minds, Karuna (compassion), mudita (sympathetic joy), and upeksa (equanimity) See I.33,
Bodhisattvas and mahasiddhas cultivate the HeartMind -- the good heart as it has power to lead us all through the habituated prisons of conditioned ignorance all the way to transpersonal wisdom and realization. It shines rightly and illumines the path for self and others.
III. 24. balesu hasti-bala-adini
Samyama on strength (bala) itself, such as the strength and power of an elephant (hasti) and others (adini), the power of strength (bala) itself is known.
Commentary: Here (bala) strength, ability, and power is not limited to physical strength, but also mental, moral, artistic, psychic, and spiritual strengths, abilities, and powers are most likely more valuable to a yogi.
The elephant was given as a gross example. For example one could do samyama on Rama, Siva (according to the Puranas), Socrates, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Swami Muktananda, Ramana Maharshi, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Swami Sivananda, Mother Theresa, Padmasambhava, Samantabhadra, the ocean, the wind, an eagle, tree, herb, mountain, ant, anger, mental formations, or especially the power of breath. Physical strength is usually associated with tapas, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, and dharana; however samyama itself is a strength, and in turn can be utilized to cultivate the more subtle strengths. Siddhi, itself is a power/strength. The mahasiddha maintains his powers and strengths in order to use it for the benefit of others. Since the preceding and succeeding sutras deal with more subtle energetic, mental/emotional and spiritual abilities, III.24 has been translated accordingly. Again, all knowledge is available from nirbija samadhi; while samyama is its specific application utilizing prajna-alokah (the third eye).
Practice: Visualize sustained attention upon a very strong animal such as an elephant or a man or woman that appears to be very strong. Without analyzing or elaborating upon their specific qualities, simply focus non-discursive attention upon the object, while imbibing the essential quality of strength relating it to the whologram. Scan the object in this way from outside in, inside out, and as inside yourself as you appear inside it. Breathe it in and out. Taste, smell, and feel it.
III. 25. pravritti-aloka-nyasat sukshma-vyavahita-viprakristta-jnanam
Through samyama upon (nyasat) the process and activity of projecting out the inner lights (pravrtti-aloka-nyasat), knowledge (jnanam) of the subtle (sukshmah), the secret and hidden (vyavahita), and the remote (viprakrishta) is revealed.
pravrtti: Moving forward and outward, spinning forward, centrifugal, efferent as distinct from centripetal.
aloka: Light, radiance, and splendor not dependent upon temporal existence -- emanating from the formless void
nyasat: extending, projecting, casting, applying, putting forth.
vyavahita: concealed, hidden or obstructed
Commentary: Another way of translating this is that by calming down or settling out (nyasat) the mental processes that produce the agitations of the mind (pravrtti), then the innate radiance and light that becomes set free and can be directed to reveal knowledge (jnanam) of what has been previously very subtle, hidden, and remote.
Similarly another interpretation is by directing samyama upon (nyasat) the activities of the inner light (pravrtti-aloka-nyasat) knowledge of the subtle, veiled, and heretofore unobtainable becomes realized. This is knowledge of the subtle body sometimes called the light body.
Again Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
"Samyama on the inner light (by pranayam), one gets knowledge of sukshma (subtle), vyavahit (hidden) and viprakrishta (far distant) objects and phenomena."
Succinctly, the siddha attains the samadhi-house and the innermost (antar) limb (anga). Then after strengthening it as above, the mahasiddha shines forth that light upon all situations, thus illuminating all doubts. darkness, uncertainty, and confusion along the way.
III. 26. bhuvana-jnanam surye samyamat
Samyama on the solar principle (surya) within as well as the sun provides access to the universal order of all the elements -- the physical constellations -- or macrocosm -- both the outer and inner universe including the chakras (bhuvana-jnanam).
Bhuvana: The cosmos; the created world or universe: sky, heavens, atmosphere, phenomena, existence..
Surye (surya): The sun, Here pertaining to the sun or solar principle. Relating to heating activity and male energy (compare with III.27)
Commentary: Samyama upon the solar principle (surye-samyamat) brings forth bhuvana-jnanam, which literally means knowledge of the universe, the cosmos, or the macrocosm.
The human body and the entire world body are objects of investigation and in that sense are all external phenomena. Intricate knowledge of the cosmos Bhuvanam-jnanam is accomplished through samyama on the solar principle (surya). This realization is not possible until the organ of investigation is sharpened and refined. In the hatha yoga subtle body system, this is concentration upon the nabhi or manipura chakra, thus see also III.29.
Indeed there is a relationship between the sun, the God Surya, fire agni, the solar plexus, inner fire, and the solar inner principle. These correspondences are not well known to non-adepts. Although sun gazing has many benefits (when done correctly), yogis also learn about the solar principle working inside their bodies and mind. Here the hatha, tantric, or laya yogin may perform samyama on the function of the solar nadis (pingala) and solar energy, but it helpful to the yogi to note that in terms of non-duality -- the solar energy exists within the overall context of unity of both the macrocosm and microcosm -- the "both/and" non-dual reality where THAT which is outside is within as well. The solar energy flows in the pingala (surya) nadi and is associated with HA (in hatha yoga), the prana, the right side of the body, the right nostril, and the left brain functions (motor functions, willful activity, intellectual thought, external thought, outward motion, heat, centrifugal force, objective consciousness moving outward, and the like). Surya is thus the energy and consciousness directed toward objectified external or physical/material existence, so here the samyama focuses on the macrocosm, of which the body, the organs, nervous system, brain, and atoms are also included.
Through ekgrata parinama, the sun and moon, siva/shakti, form and emptiness, all are synchronized as absolute transpersonal mastery. The secrets of the elements, how they combine, how they are created, how they decompose and are transmuted, as well as this world system, all yugas, dimensions, and kalpas, specifically can be accessed when its singular great purpose is known at the core of one's heart.
III. 27. chandre tara-vyuha-jnanam
Samyama on the lunar principle (chandre) allows knowledge (jnanam) of the constellations of the stars (tara-vyuha-jnanam) both within and without accesses knowledge of order of the entire logos or divine Creatrix (vyuha-jnanam), which is the microcosm or blueprint/template which forms the structural underlay of all creation. This includes the space, nuclei, atoms, the cells, the dna, tissues, organs, the body, chakras, nadis, the elements, and nature, the entirety of the universe, and its dynamic intelligent and ordered process of creation.
Chandre: pertaining to the moon, lunar, reflective, cooling, receptive, female.
Tara: the stars; Also a Goddess.
vyuha: ordering, constellation or arrangement; relational associations and mutual interdependence..
Commentary: The moon (chandra) is the symbol of reflection. Just so, creation reflects and mirrors the creative spirit which underlies it. This lunar principle (chandra) is thus both the reflection and manifestation of formless, boundless, and timeless, creativity. It is the manifest mirror of the creative principle. Chandra symbolizes and reflects the quality of receptivity itself, which is always loyal to the creative impulse. In that way, the entire firmament represents, as a microcosm, an open doorway to the boundless and eternal infinite formless spark of creativity. Thus the moon (chandra) is always untied with the sun (surya); just as shakti is continuously in union with shiva; just as the surya nadi united with the chandra nadi at the mouth of the sushumna nadi (central channel) in perfect balance and harmony and dissolving all dualities and conflict. The Ha (sun) and THA (moon) are united within the alchemical vehicle of the adept where all the dimensions are unified and refined. Hence both surya and chandra must be recognized within each other -- balanced, activated, and integrated by the adept. Not one, but both united as one.
Chandra is visible and dominant at night (when surya no longer dominates). Just like the following sutra (Sutra III.28), the adept yogi can apply samyama inside to the ida nadi and its function as the lunar energy which is associated with the receptive side, right brain, the left nostril, the ida nadi, apana, and the left side of the body, which through pranayama and other methods is purified, opened, activated, allowed to flow, and synergistically harmonized. This is the right brain energy of receptivity, innate wisdom, intuition, instinct, microcosm, afferent sensory nerves, restfulness, absorption, para-sympathetic nervous system, feminism, earth, nature, and so forth. Here the operations of the inner constellations are recognized and revealed. There co-exist many simultaneous dimensions alongside termed the physical by ordinary sense object observation.
Again the yogi is reminded that in the great balance (sattva) which reveals the unity of the micro/macrocosm -- where yoga is accomplished at pralaya (the confluence of ida and pingala). The microcosm and macrocosm are intimately united together as siva/shakti in the state of being at one with ALL OUR RELATIONS, i.e., we are not separate, but rather intimate parts of the greater process of evolution -- united as family.
The Sun and Moon are simply used as methods of focus upon the polar opposites -- siva/shakti who are in terms of non-dual Reality eternally inseparable. Vyuha is a well discussed term in both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. The fundamentalists say that vyuha is not knowable by humans, but rather one must rely on scripture, however adept yogins say that all is accessible within and must be experienced directly. Such is true and authentic knowledge, as distinct from memorized book knowledge.
Vyuha connotes that in each "part" of the whole, the entire whole can be accessed and known -- within a holographic Realty (see for example the work of Dr. Stan Grof, M.D. author of "the Holotropic Mind" , founder of holotropic breathwork, and transpersonal training). Vyuha can be found to non-exclusive from the modern western idea of morphic resonance, morphic fields, and morphic genesis as presented by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake (See his dialogue with Matthew Fox (the founder of Creation Spirituality), the Physicist David Bohm (River of Truth) and also Bohm's dialogue with Krishnamurti, Joanna Macy, Fritjof Capra, Thomas Berry, Dean Radin from the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of The Conscious Universe, Dr. Fred Allan Wolfe, and many others. See IONS website here. See Bohm's website at http://www.david-bohm.net as well as Naseem Harimein's work on fractals at http://theresonanceproject.org. These represent thinking outside the box in an attempt at true reflection of the Grand Spark -- the original template of the intelligent evolutionary creative vector put in terms of relative reality -- time and space.
Chandra represents the creation story -- the manifest world of creation/nature and the body. This spirit/nature rend has to be integrated for a living spirituality to blossom in the continuum of the planet.
Thomas Berry in conversation with Derrick Jensen
"We need to regain our sense of the natural world as sacred. All that is left to us these days is the possibility of going to the seashore, or the mountains, or another wilderness area. But even this experience has become progressively less meaningful and more separate from our day-to-day existence. In our workaday world, we are no longer present to the natural world in any manner. We no longer see trees as other beings to commune with. We are not taught to make that connection, not encouraged to speak of trees this way. That's why we live in a world of concrete and steel, of wires and wheels and mechanisms. This is the tragedy of our civilization: our children don't see the stars because of light pollution; they play on grass poisoned with pesticides; they experience a world circumscribed by so much human-made material they are deprived of any normal relationship with the earth.
As adults, we maintain that disconnection. At one time, we depended directly on the earth for the necessities of life. We recognized this dependency and gave thanks and praise for it, as indigenous and agricultural peoples still do. But now most of us have no idea where our food comes from."
III 28. dhruve tad-gati-jnanam
Samyama on the polestar (dhruve) and the highest spiritual position (sahasrara) which lies within, provides access to the knowledge of the "causal movement and flows" of prana (gati-jnanam) of the logos and their integration/harmonization with the patterns of the nadis inside and outside of the body (tad referring to sutra 27).
dhruve: the polar star: the North star; In yoga the bright star directly above one's head (above the crown chakra), North being called in Sanskrit, uttar. Here we take dhruve to mean nadir or zenith.
tad: that, which refers to the constellations of stars in the previous sutra
gati: movement or motion
Commentary: Knowledge of the motion of inner configurations and constellations such as the nadis and chakras are known (tad-gati-jnanam) through samyama on the pole star. We will take Patanjali not as an astronomer, but rather, at the least, as a psychonaut, hence the polestar reference is not to "polaris" (the north star), just as the reference to surya and chandre in the last two sutras were rife with inner subtle, and esoteric meaning. Hence dhruve is taken to point toward the highest point, nadir, zenith -- overhead-- Maheshvara's eternal abode at Mt. Sumeru.
Pole star positions change over kalpas, but here we are addressing not just the celestial pole and celestial pole star, but more so, the zenith/highest point or nadir, both inside and outside (holographically) as will be explicated below. There are many stories in the Puranas and Agamic literature depicting this relationship as well as in the esoteric Hatha Yoga oral tradition. For example, see the commentary discussion in kurma nadi (III.31) below. In short we are not only addressing the celestial pole and celestial north polestar either, but the axis at the center of the universe, the magical tree of life in the center of the garden, the caduceus, the sushumna, and human spine, all as integral parts of Shiva's dance when so aligned and harmonized. This is the center axis wherefrom all creation moves. It thus is the only unbiased place in which to witness the movement of the spheres (tad-gati-jnanam).
To the hatha yogi and tantric the cosmic pole as the axis of the universe is a symbolic analog of the sushumna nadi (central channel), which connects north pole (the crown) with the south pole (the muladhara) or base (adhara). It is the sacred path and journey that unites heaven and earth, nirvana and samsara, shiva and shakti -- all at the same time. Thus, for an adept the celestial star is above the murdha (see III.32). In yoga symbolism the direction "north" (uttar in Sanskrit) symbolizes upward direction toward the head but also the left side of the body, pashima (Sanskrit) is West or the back of the body, purva is East (the front side of the body); and Dakshini, South (the root, ground, base, or center of the earth also called adhara in Sanskrit) which also corresponds to the right side of the body. Here the yogi may perform samyama also to the brahmarandhra (the vertex of the crown) and above-- the point where Source consciousness enters and leaves the physical body. This integration/harmonization of the causal principle through gati-jnanam is realized after sustained practice (abhyasa) as part of the manifestation of the non-dual unity of microcosm/macrocosm embodiment (the evolutionary process later called kundalini). Hence at the top of the magnetic north/south polar axis (represented in correct body alignment by the sushumna nadi) is the pole star. Do samyama on that highest sphere and draw up one's energy (tad-gati) into that in perfect alignment. Rest there for many minutes each day while lengthening the erect spine.
"At the top of the body, above the head,
there is the lotus with a thousand petals,
shining like the light of heaven:
it is the giver of liberation.
Its secret name is Kailasa,
the mountain where Siva dwells.
He who knows this secret place
is freed from samsara.
Shiva-Samhita, I.196, Trsl. By J. Varenne, Yoga in the Hindu Tradition, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
These directions must be translated from flat plane time and space conventions.
Uttar is both the direction to the North and also above. In yoga north is most often the direction of the left side of the body, the front the east (purva), the back is the west (pashima), and the right of the body dakshina or south. But in India North (uttar) can also mean up (urdhva), or toward the crown (murdha or sahasrara). South being daksini or right side is thus often associated with the root/base (adhara).
Here we will take Uttara as meaning both North and upward. In yoga it is also the left side of the body, but just as well associated with the superior or upward position. If Tara connotes the stars than uttara connotes the highest star above the head or pole star.
The Sanskrit word, uttarat, is comprised from tat- "from the left", and also means "from the north".
Uttara is the comparative of ud, -‘up’ or ‘above’ and as well as ‘north’ and ‘left’ means ‘later’, ‘last’, ‘higher’, and also can mean ‘superior’ or ‘chief’. For example Uttar Pradeśh, as in the Northern Region and the Upper Region; or Uttar Kashi as in Upper Kashi or Northern Kashi
Tara and tama are the comparative and superlative endings (like ‘-er’ and ‘-est’), so ut-tara means ‘higher’ and ut-tama means ‘highest’ or ‘best’ as in purush-ot-tama ‘best of men’ (a name of Srī Rama) or as examples "para-tara" as in ‘further’ from or "para" as in ;far;.
Another example is "Bindur uttara-rupam" (at the top center the dwelling place of the Adi Shakti) is literally translated as the bindu form (as a dot) on top. Bindu: meaning dot, spot, drop, or seed essence. The bindu is also the dot over a letter denoting the anuswara, or nasal sound. Note that "bindu" is also the name of the first chakra above Sahasrara as the seat of Sri Sadashiva – the Ultimate Spirit as the witness of this universe where the Adi Shakti also dwells. The crescent, ardha-bindu, is the second chakra above Sahasrara. Related, bindi: the red spot worn on the forehead (a Hindi word derived from Sanskrit). Uttara: upper, last, most excellent. Rupam: form as above. Uttara-rupa has a special meaning as the second of two combined vowels or consonants, purva-rupa being the first.
There is a tantric saying, "Anuswarah para-tarah", meaning, Sri Siva (Maheshvara) is the sublime all penetrating principle above all. Special thanks to the translator of the Ganesha Atharva Seersa and Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi.
So to further clarify, within the limits of ordinary flat plane reference frameworks, such as in order to read a flat map we normally set the map facing north which is also upward (on the flat sheet). However "upward" as in off the page (as in straight up) can not be depicted on a flat plane, but only by two intersecting flat planes. Similarly in India, the Himalayan mountains (the highest mountain range on the planet) are s both north and upward. It is considered the home of Adinath (Maheshvara). Since North then is straight upward hence uttara and urdva become relatively comparable, while south (dakshina) is associated with adhara and downward as well as to the right side. In India North (uttar) is both associated upwards and associated with left side of the body as we face the East (purva). Since we are speaking of a reality that is more than flat plane, in flat plane terms, to clarify, that if east is the front of the body (purva) then facing front (east), north would be to the left as well as up. Hence North, upward, uttar, and to the left are all closely associated Keeping in mind that the front of the body is east (purva) as we read the map, then the Himalayas and Mt. Kalias are both North and to the left at the same time -- the highest abodes associated with the highest Gods in the North. Of course "reality" is not a flat plane and thus words in order to convey fourth dimensional wisdom must be translated into the wholographic sphere beyond duality of north/south, up or down, crown or base --integrated, complete, and omnipresent.
From the Varaha Purana we have this story, where Mahatapa revealed how all the six directions came into existence-
"Six divine women manifested themselves from both the ears of lord Brahma during the initial phase of creation.The name of these six divine women were Purva (east), Dakshina (south), Paschima (west), Uttara (north), Urdhva (upwards) and Adhara (downwards). In course of time all of them got married to six different Lokpals. Lord Brahma assigned the auspicious day of dashami for their worship. One who worships all these six goddesses on the auspicious day of dashami is blessed and one who observes fast on this day gets absolved of all his sins."
The following is from the Mahabharata, Udyoga parva, Section CXI which describes the Great North
"Garuda said: O Brahmana, since this quarter saveth from sin, and since one attaineth to salvation here, it is for this saving (Uttarana) power that it is called Uttara (north). And, O Galava, because the abode of all the treasures of the north stretches in a line towards the east and the west, therefore is the north sometimes called the central region (Madhyama). And, O bull among the twice-born, in this region that is superior to all, none can live that is unnamable, or of unbridled passions, or unrighteous.
Hither, in the asylum, known by the name of Vadari, eternally dwell Krishna who is Narayana’s self, and Jishnu that most exalted, of all male beings, and Brahma (the Creator). Hither, on the breast of Himavat (the Himalayas) always dwelleth Maheswara (Siva) endued with the effulgence of the fire that blazeth up at the end of the Yuga. As Purusha, he sporteth here with Prakriti (the universal mother). Except by Nara, and Narayana, he is incapable of being seen by the diverse classes of Munis, the gods with Vasava at their head, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, and the Siddhas. Though invested with Maya, him the eternal Vishnu alone, of a thousand heads and thousand legs, can behold. It was in this region that Chandramas (the moon) was installed into the sovereignty of the entire regenerate order.
It was in this region, O thou foremost of all acquainted with Brahma, that Mahadeva first receiving her on his head, afterwards let (the sacred stream) Ganga (Ganges river) fall from the heavens to the world of men. It was here that the Goddess (Uma) underwent her ascetic austerities from her desire of obtaining Maheswara (as her Lord).
It was in this region that Kama, the wrath (of Siva), Himavat, and Uma, all together shone brilliantly. It was here, on the breast of Kailasa, O Galava, that Kuvera, was installed on the sovereignty of the Rakshasas, the Yakshas, and the Gandharvas. It is in this region that (Kuvera’s gardens called) Chitraratha lie, and it is here that the asylum of (the Munis called the) Vaikhanasas is situate. It is here, O bull among the twice born, that the celestial stream called Mandakini, and the mountain Mandara are to be seen. It is here that the gardens called Saugandhi-kanaka are always guarded by the Rakshasas. Here are many plains covered with grassy verdure, as also the plantain forest and those celestial trees called the Sautanakas. It is in this region, O Galava, that the Siddhas, with souls ever under control and always sporting at will, have their fit abode, abounding with every object of enjoyment. It is here that the seven Rishis with Arundhati may be seen.
It is here that the constellations Swati is to be seen and it is here that it first rises to the view. It is in this region that the Grandsire Brahma dwelleth in the vicinity of Yajna (sacrifice embodied). It is in this quarter that the sun, the moon, and the other luminaries are seen to revolve regularly. It is in this region, O foremost of Brahmanas, that those illustrious and truth-speaking Munis called by the name of Dharma, guard the source of the Ganga (Ganges). The origin and physical features and ascetic penances of these Munis are not known to all. The thousand dishes they use for serving the food offered in hospitality and the edibles also they create at will, are all a mystery. The man, O Galava, that passeth beyond the point guarded by these Munis, is certain, O foremost of Brahmanas, to meet with destruction. None else, O bull among Brahmanas, save the divine Narayana, and the eternal Nara called also Jishnu, succeed in passing beyond the point so guarded. It is in this region that the mountains of Kailasa lie, the abode of Ailavila (Kuvera)."
This is not narcissism, nor egocentricity, rather this addresses the whologram and its components, mainly the process of an integrated life in union with the creator and creation -- where Source is known in every thing and being.
III. 29. nabhi-chakre kaya-vyuha-jnanam
Through samyama upon the workings of the navel chakra (called variously nabhi or sometimes manipura), the inner knowledge (kaya-vyuha-jnanam) of how all the nadis (energy channels) of the body and their interrelated dynamics inter-relate are revealed.
vyuha: ordering: arrangement: constellation
nabhi-chakre: navel wheel, center or circle. Solar plexus. Also the manipura chakra.
kaya: body or dimension
Commentary: It should be pointed out that in yoga, chakra is an energy center symbolized by a churning wheel of fire and light. Also the nabhi or manipura chakra located in the navel region is the vital energy center from which all the nadis radiate. Hence what is revealed (vyuha-jnanam) is knowledge of the the light body, the energy body, the nadis, marmas, and chakra system which forms the underlying template of the physical body. On the physical level one such samyama on the nabhi center, brings forth knowledge of the body's physiology and metabolism.
In yoga and Ayurveda all the nadis and marmas (psychic energy channels and access points) come together at the nabhi/manipura center. This terse statement about the importance of the nabhi chakra (also called the manipura chakra) can be expanded as a system of actively performing energy healing not only in the well known and ancient eastern systems of Ayurveda, acupuncture, chi gong, hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, laya yoga, Tibetan medicine, psychic healing, and similar where energy is brought into the navel center, but also in the more modern day wholistic healing systems, of Chi Nei Tsang, Reiki, Pranic Healing, BMC work, Postural Integration, Core Energetics, Hakomi, and others where techniques are used to clear, energize, and direct the energy at the navel center so that it can be moved throughout the body for healing and activating our creative and evolutionary potential (kundalini).
Again the word, vyuha, means ordering, constellation or an associative arrangement/structure. This is where the energetic and vital template underlying and supporting the physical is accessed in the body. Hence (kaya-vyuha-jnanam) is realized. Manipura chakra literally translates, the churning vortex of the light emitting jeweled city. Also see sutra III. 40 as a further evolution of this process.
"The yogi conveys the prana
down into the muladhara;
the air thus drawn in awakens
the fire below that lay sleeping.
Meditating on the pranava
that is Brahman,
concentrating his thought,
he causes the breath to rise
mingled with the fire below
as far as the navel and beyond
within the subtle body"
Amritanada Upanishad, trsl. J. Varenne, Yoga in the Hindu Tradition, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976.
Swami Sivananda describes "kaya-vyuha" in his book "Pranayama":
"Kaya-Vyuha, a mystical process of arranging the various Skandhas [constituents] of the body and taking various bodies, in order to exhaust all his previous Karmas without the necessity of being reborn."
In that relation also see III.21. This refers to the ability of the yogi adept to enter into the jeweled city of one's energy body and rearrange his/her inner energy body constituents, so that the physical constituents will realign to new specified altered patterned formations. This is in reference to the inner, subtle, energetic, and esoteric meaning of this sutra whereas the adept yogin, through various energy body practices, rearranges the energetic constellations and matrices from which the physical body follows. This also bears meaning to the saying of the second coming, being reborn, as well as to life extension practices for the sole purpose of accomplishing the Great Work for the weal of all beings. This requires at least awareness of the functions at the nabhi cakra not from a purely physiological perspective, but from a direct experiential and energetic pulsatory awareness that emanates from a higher state of vibratory awareness.
The Vagus nerve terminates in the abdomen, hence forming a direct link between the navel (fire chakra) and the back brain and pineal gland through the throat/neck chakra. All the chakras, of course are inter-related, but we may draw a close and very direct vital link between the fire chakra (cauldron) at the navel, the heart chakra, and the thyroid gland at the throat, as well as powerful the regulatory centers in the back brain and pineal gland.
III. 30. kantha-kupe ksut-pipasa-nivrittih
By samyama on the throat chakra (vishudda), one is able to be liberated from thirst and hunger.
Kantha throat or neck. referring to throat chakra
Kupe: a hollow or well (in this case of the throat right above the sternum)
nivritti: cessation: to disappear
Commentary: Literally kantha is the throat and kupe is the notch above the sternum (though many say it is behind the Adam's apple). The energy of jalandhara (the abode of water) bandha is utilized to move the energy to connect body with head through the throat area where the nadis may be constricted or tight. By softening the throat, lengthening the cervical spine, and removing any obstructions at the vishuddha (throat) chakra the area becomes purified, stronger and more energy is able to flow. By preventing the outflow of energy at this chakra which connects the head with the heart, outward desire is turned inward toward divine passion and reunification.
On a physical level samyama on this area, hunger and thirst are eliminated. On a spiritual level thirst and hunger are symbols for desire, hence desire disappears (nivritti). The adept further recognizes the special synergistic resonance between the throat and navel centers (vishuddi and nabhi/manipura chakras) which facilitates a subtle free energy system allowing the adept yogin to live off of prana directly, or more correctly, animated directly by shiva/shakti in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Mouna is the act of tapas which silences the tongue and speech (located at the throat). But when the mind is silent and still (citta-vrtti-nirodha), then the fruits of tapas are fully -- there is no longer any outward dissipation of prana as one is fed to the hilt by the Divine Mother. Completeness, wholeness, fulfillment, and happiness is achieved by the drinking of such sublime ambrosia.
III. 31. kurma-nadyam sthairyam
The power of strength, steadiness, and balance (sthairyam) is revealed through samyama on the kurma nadi.
kurma: Tortoise. Literally turtle: A chakra located deep at the root of the tongue or below the Adam's apple.. Some say it is in front of the occiput toward the chin or half way between the chin and the occiput. Another name for Vishnu when he took the form of a tortoise. Vishnu's serpent (sesho) rested on top of Kurma and was churned by the devas and asuras to churn the ocean of milk creating nectar and poison (which Siva drank). Hence kurma is sometimes said to reside in Vishnu loka and its nadi (kurma nadi) loosens up the Vishnu Granthi. Kurma is also one of the ten principal pranas (vayus) that run in the body controlling the backbrain, neck, optic nerve, balance, hearing, and eye region according to both Ayurveda and yoga. Chapter 5 in the Siva Samhita. III.25.
nadyam: psychic nerve, the pathway of prana, energy channel.
kurma nadi: variously described as the nerve that links the eyes with the navel. Often simply the nerve or pathway that links the throat chakra (vishuddi chakra) with the third eye (ajna chakra). Sometimes associated as the nadi that runs from the talu chakra (at the upper end of spinal chord at the end of the cervical vertebra C1 to the ajna chakra (third eye). It is sometimes associated with the vagus or epigastric nerve, and hence includes the gastro0intestinal system. Just as easily one can state that the kurma nadi includes all the cranial nerves. Hence, it is also associated with gut feelings or intuition. Perhaps more importantly, it draws attention to the importance of the back-brain, under-brain, the medulla, the pons, and the autonomic nervous system, whose functions support life in the body automatically and is beyond conscious control, normally.
sthairyam: stability: groundedness, balance: centeredness: support.
Commentary: Through samyama on kurma nadis one is able to remain centered and connected to their core energy no matter how strong the external distraction (noise) may appear to others. Kurma literally means, turtle. In Ayurveda it refers to the pranic dynamic air associated with the eyeball movements and eyelid blinking, which strongly suggest that such are mere reflections of the energetic dynamics of the head energies in general. Kurma (as one of the ten primary pranas) residing inside the body in relationship is mentioned in relationship to Ayurveda. There are also the 10 yogic pranas inside the body which roughly corresponds to the Ayurvedic. Yogis do work with these consciously and so too does Ayurveda. There are many more pranas that regulate the body and nervous system. Kurma is one, while its function in yoga goes beyond Ayurveda.
Kurma is said to flow through a pranic tube connecting the head with the belly closely associated with the cervical nerves and the esophageal/pharynx, but more specifically in yoga it is generally associated with the energetic linkage between the throat/neck chakra and head once the pathway to the throat chakra has been opened from below.
Here the base (kurma) which supports the head (universe) is the occipital region and with it the pons, back brain, insula, medulla, thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and other crucial supports, which keep the brain and body supported, stabilized in homeostasis, and alive. The yogi performs samyama on the kurma nadi to connect the ajna chakra with the talu chakra, which is especially important in old age. The insula in particular has shown significant neuroplastic effects in advanced practitioners.
This energetic also has a subtle psychic aspect as well as physical. However in the tantras and agamas, but especially in the Bhavana Upanishad of the Sri Vidya tradition, kurma is associated with the muladhara chakra while in the Jnanasankalini Tantra, kurma is situated in the chakras. It is well worth mentioning that in Hindu wisdom stories (the Puranas) Vishnu assumed the form of a tortoise (as Lord Kurma) and took the newly created earth on his back in order to render stability to the trembling globe. It is believed that even to this day the earth is supported on the back of this tortoise, Perhaps not coincidentally the throat chakra is associated with Vishnu Loka -- Vishnu Granthi.
A more elaborate recount of the legend is that at a very remote period when the gods felt their powers weakened and were desirous of obtaining amrita the beverage of immortality, Vishnu directed them to churn, together with the demons, the ocean of milk. For this purpose they took the mountain Mandara as the churning stick. But they could succeed only when Vishnu himself consented to support the mountain on his back; after having assumed the shape of a gigantic tortoise.
So there are stories in the Puranas about Kurma (the cosmic tortoise) holding up the entire world) during the churning of the ocean of milk allegory. Here Kurma is none other than Vishnu who holds up the cosmic snake (shesha) who is none other than ananta (like anantasana). The spinning of the serpent creates both the nectar of immortality and also poison, the latter Siva drank and transmuted. This allegory is interpreted many ways. This is also interpreted that the kurma holds up the “head” (logos). Without a steady kurma, the head will wobble off its axis. Another approach is that the abode of Kurma is located at the Vishnu Loka and thus opening the Vishnu Granthi is associated with Kurma nadi.
From the churning of the ocean, in addition to the ambrosia of immortality, the following substances came forth:
1). Dhanvantri, the physician of the gods,
2). Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune,
3). Varuni, the wine goddess,
4). Soma, the sacrificial elixir,
5). Apsaras, the celestial nymphs,
6). Uccaihshravas, the divine horse,
7). Kaustubha, the celestial jewel,
8). Parijata, the celestial tree,
9). Surabhi, the wish cow,
10). Airavata, the royal elephant,
11). Panchajanya, the conch,
12). Sharanga, the bow, and
13). Halahala, the poison.
See Kurma, the second Avatar of Vishnu for more.
There thus exists a a correspondence to an American Indian story about the earth being represented as turtle island
The Siva Samhita in Chapter V 43-45 43 it is said:
"43. Let the Yogi seat himself in the padmasana, and fix his attention on the cavity of the throat, let him place his tongue at the base of the palate; by this he will extinguish hunger and thirst.
44. Below the cavity of the throat, there is a beautiful nadi (vessel) called kurma; when the Yogi fixes his attention on it, he acquires great concentration of the thinking principle (chitta).
45. When the Yogi constantly thinks that he has got a third eye – the eye of Shiva – in the middle of his forehead, he then perceives a fire brilliant like lightening. By contemplating on this light, all sins are destroyed, and even the most wicked person obtains the highest end."
Thus one differentiates between the kurma prana (in Ayurveda) and the kurma nadi (as mentioned in yogic texts).
In short through samyama on this nadi, kurma is activated. The pathway is opened between the throat and mind and in turn the pathway between the heart and crown is also completed. Then the entire biopsychic organism acts in harmony and resonance in terms of prana, body, and mind is synchronized (devoid of friction/resistance) in body, mind, and breath. Also know that the centers of balance physiologically such as the inner ear and back brain run through this area (between the throat chakra and the third eye (ajna). Indeed this is a very rich and intense area which is too often neglected. It is very worthy of intense dharana and samyama both in terms of releasing tension, restriction, and stasis, but also in terms of activation and regeneration.
The previous sutra (III.30) focuses on the throat chakra (kantha). The throat chakra connects the ajna with the heart chakra as well as the throat chakra with the ajna. So as an energetic center one may place kurma higher up from the throat, but lower than the ajna, near the talu chakra or base of the occiput. Emotional, energetic, and spiritual balance is found at Vishnu loka (the abode of Vishnu) by piercing Vishnu granthi at the between the kantha (throat) and crown (murdha).
A common question may be not only as to the exact location of kurma, but also does Patanjali refer to sthira as emotional/mental stability , energetic balance, merely physical balance, or all three? Patanjali says simply "sthairyam" which is commonly translated as steadiness. Steadiness connotes stableness which again connotes either balance (where the dominance of one force or vector is balanced out by the opposite vector). Or it can be the result of strength (in order to hold something (which tends to move) steady and stable (Sthira). In short sthairyam, as steadiness, is a result of certain conditions and causes (balance and/or strength). So one may suggest that Patanjali meant that the kurma nadi energetically connects the conscious mind (at the head or murdha) to the rest of the body through the throat chakra).
The back-brain area (between the throat/neck and the ajna) is where modern neurophysiology reveals a hot bed of activity and self regulation that mostly appears independent of willful conscious intervention. This area performs major roles involving the powerful and vital glands and organs such as the hypothalamus, thalamus, amygdala, pons, brain stem, and similar neurophysiological dynamics which regulate essential neurophysiological human life support function. Indeed modern neurophysiology often labels this region the emotional brain, hence the clearing out of obscurations here, might well correspond to the clearing of the kleshas and/or samskaras. Recent research by Allan Schore and other cognitive scientists reveal the extraordinary regulating support function of this region of the brain.
When the kleshas cease to arise as the heart and mind are integrated, then ignorance (avidya) ceases and samadhi is made available. Integration of the evolutionary energy pathways in this region is vital. albeit commonly neglected. In some later tantric texts (say in Kashmir Saivism) additional chakras are said to be situated between the throat and ajna such as the talu chakra.
Activating kurma nadi can be a practice by itself or very effective preceding or supporting meditation (dhyana). As a practice, one may start by closing the eyes and visualize a coiled serpent in the middle of the kantha (throat region) or choose to focus upon the feelings at the deep root of the tongue where it joins the throat. Relax the region and activate it. Place the hands in nivritti mudra (thumbs touching with the right palm placed on left palm), Focus there upon a rainbow hued coiled snake and gently touch it with your mind's eye, pressing it lightly like a button to activate it. Then allow the upward moving energy to rise through the region -- lifting and ascending. Feel your mind buoyant, opening up, releasing, and clearing out all thoughts and obstructions previously imprisoned in your head. Allow any congestion or darkness to be released and replaced with light. Repeat in this gentle upward thrust and extend it throughout the brain and crown. Allow this to recur for a set period of time while being receptive, listening, open, uplifted, relaxed. When finished sit and integrate with the resultant new awareness. Then withdraw the focus and integrate the area with all the other chakras from crown to seat and seat to crown or start your meditation.
There are many ancillary ways to access this area. Sarvangasana as well as jalandhara bandha are specific practices. Another practice is to take the right to the nape of the neck and the left palm to the third eye. Press and circle with the right and left palms while holding the neck long through upward movement of the palms. Allow the head to circle gently on the neck. Reverse hands and repeat. Such will bring more awareness and prana (cit-prana) into this area.
As kurma is associated with the blinking of the eyelids, With clean hands, very lightly place the three middle finger tips of each hand at the inner orbital ridge above the eyeballs gently raising the eyebrows while lower portion of the upper finger pad gently touches the eyelids. While keeping the eyelids open, stay here noting the subtle pulse at the eyelids, brows, and temples. Use your awareness to reduce any tension at the brows, temples, or eyelids while balancing the energy left and right. Go for equal balance and eventual integration while gazing at the third eye. It may be helpful to those with headaches, eye difficulties, tension, stress, and creative dullness to do these last two exercises daily in a gentle fashion. Yogic eye exercises, but especially antar tratak (inner gazing at the ajna chakra or third eye) is often very useful in that regard and as a support for meditation. The eyes go upward and inward so that one is looking at the ceiling or sky but with the chin down (jalandhara bandha) without any tension or stress.
Patanjali says simply "sthairyam" which is commonly translated as steadiness. Steadiness connotes stableness which again connotes either balance (where the dominance of one force or vector is balanced out by the opposite vector). Or it can be the result of strength (in order to hold something (which tends to move) steady and stable (stairam). In short stairam, as steadiness, is a result of certain conditions and causes (balance and/or strength). So that is what I think Patanjali meant in so far that the kurma nadi connects the conscious mind (at the head or murdha) to the rest of the body through the throat chakra). So here in the back-brain area (between the throat/neck and the ajna) neurophysiology is telling us about the major roles that the powerful and vital glands and organs such as the hypothalamus, thalamus, amygdala, and similar bodies play in human life. Indeed modern neurophysiology often label this region the emotional brain, hence the clearing out of obscurations here, would result in the clearing of the kleshas. When the kleshas cease to arise and the heart and mind combine, then ignorance (avidya) ceases and samadhi is made available. Indeed integration of the evolutionary energy pathways in this region is vital. albeit commonly neglected. In some later tantric texts (say in Kashmir Saivism) additional chakras are said to be situated between the throat and ajna. So we take note that in the previous sutra (III.30) the focus was the throat center (kantha) and the following sutra after III.31 is about the lights in the head (III.32, the murdha jyotisi).
So that is a very short few words that Patanjali has said about the kurma nadi, although in light of what we know of III.30 and III.31, more can be understood when the Yoga Sutras are read as an integrity (in context) and we also apply our combined knowledge of modern neurophysiology and our daily practice along with it. Nothing is better than practice – the experiential approach. By the actual application of samyama on the kurma nadi, then its value is known. So here sthairyam refers to emotional, mental, and physiological stability where kurma refers to the cranial base like connecting up with the root of a tree.
By placing one's awareness and being near the cranial base, this experiential practice should plasmically melt any rigidity, tension, and tightness while restoring natural function, pulsation, vibratory motility, openness, and flow to the region leaving one with an uplifting, supportive, buoyant, and ethereal (akashic) affect (the opposite of heavy headedness)or dullness. Indeed not only does the skull contain the emotional structures, organs, and glands of perception and cognition, but also in an extremely compact and concentrated deserving focused attention. Since these regions can not be observed through our unaided senses directly, we of course must resort to experiential or subjective methods of inner absorption such as samyama, thus being enabled to penetrate the area from the inside out (objectively subjective).
So to sum up as we take note that in the previous sutra (III.30) the focus was the throat center (kantha) and the following sutra after III.31 is about the lights in the head (III.32) (murdha jyotishi).
Samyama in this area is suggested as a great adjunct in propagating many valuable results.
III. 32. murdha-jyotishi siddha-darshanam
Samyama on the light (jyotishi) that appears in the crown of the head (murdha) during meditation, one has the vision (darshan) of the siddhas (realized beings -- those who have obtained perfection in union). The eternal ones are always HERE to help us.
This is samyama on the crown chakra which is the doorway to the formless, timeless, and uncreated. See also I.19, I.26, I.37, III.31, and especially III.28. One is admonished to become absorbed in that -- the self luminous place where divine darshan eternally occurs. There are many volumes that expound upon the benefits of residing in the crown chakra. From the crown, the Hridayam is successfully approached (see: III.34).
III. 33. pratibhad va sarvam
Or (va) all these can happen spontaneously and naturally all at once (sarvam) as an intuitive inner flash of light (pratibhad) emanating from intrinsic wisdom.
another common translation is:
Or (va) by samyama on the inherent intuitive wisdom, such blooms forward revealing all there is to know.
Commentary: Pratibhad is the innate wisdom shining through By opening the intuition the inner wisdom, teacher, and teachings are revealed -- HERE all is known. All such siddhas, knowledge, or abilities (sarvam) can appear through the activation of the inner light, inner wisdom, intuition, the normally dormant inner self abiding teacher in all which not only produces temporary flashes or glimpses into the true nature of the whole of creation/creator, but always exists in truth as the true nature of Universal Natural Mind when it shines forth uninterrupted in self luminous space. Everyone has this inner light inside, but few recognize it fully. When it shines forth all (sarva) is revealed.
Likewise samyama on the inner light, inner most teacher, inner wisdom (pratibhad), the true authentic self, etc., can augment and activate this process. All we need is for the inner wisdom/inner teacher to be activated transforming the cit-vrtti to zero. This is the goal of all the yoga teachings; i.e., to wake up the inner dormant teacher, but the question remains how? Often it is an external teacher who serves as the catalyst for this awakening. Also such can occur as a grace period through the fruition of past fortunate karma or punya where the negative past karma and kleshas dissolve.; or it can be the result of the exhaustion of past negative karma. as well. In any case it is the result of practice (actions), even though some theists may want to see it as the hand of an impersonal god or outside agency. Ripe karma fructifies when past causes and present conditions come together, so the wise yogi engages in expedient practice, such as samyama on the inner wisdom. In yoga this flash is "nirbhasam-swarupa-sunyam" which is none other than a glimpse of samadhi always accessible should we seek it. Through focused practice that sphere of samadhi is extended and stabilized into ALL OUR RELATIONS.
III. 34. hridaye citta-samvit
By the practice of samyama on the spiritual heart (hridaya), knowledge of the heart-mind (hridaye citta-samvit), the origin of transpersonal all inclusive consciousness, itself, is known.
Commentary: The hridayam center is the heart of hearts -- the holy of the holies -- the sacred temple -- the seat of God Source -- the holographic axis mundi, or what can be called our core heart center is realized when we arrive at an integrative realization (samvit) of the true nature of citta as the true nature of the inherent intelligent consciousness principle. It is the universal creative seed within all; hence such possesses no independent identity nor can such be ascribed to such.
This understanding is accompanied by true vision (samvit) and is beyond ordinary understanding based on words or objectification/cognition processes. It normally remains ineffable and elusive toward articulation, because it is not exclusively inside, outside, or both inside and outside, nor subject to any objectification of time or place. It is sometimes referred as the secret holographic center.
It is fitting that Patanjali brings up the hridayam after the crown chakra, which in turn is preceded by the central channel and the other higher chakras. The heart of hearts (hridayam) is thus distinguished from the personal heart (anahat chakra), which is associated with the air element and feelings. Rightly stated, hridayam is realized through the crown after samadhi through deep samyama.
III.34 is specific to referencing the core/heart center – the hridayam, but in I.23-29 the topic is isvara pranidhana – that’s Maheshvara’s abode. So in general when referring to the intrinsic heart/core seed origin, I am referring to the location of the undifferentiated seed consciousness which is the param purusa isvara/maheshvara who resides at hridayam. Here one is should also be able to make a distinction between the place (adhar) where the param-purusa abides, and the param-purusa (isvara). Likewise isvara is the potential of seed source or origin, while prajna is its flowering extension/completion when such flowers into fruition.
So we are also referring to param purusa (who is isvara) and swarupa in its undifferentiated form. This also extends and hence manifests as intrinsic wisdom/prajna. Boundless prajna is married to karuna (as boundless compassion) in the non-dual transpersonal sphere. Since this intrinsic seed source/origin is transpersonal and non-dual in nature; i.e., it simultaneously exists in all sentient beings as their intrinsic transpersonal seed source, so then when we realize hridayam at our own core we are able to acknowledge it in all others in the wholographic realm and remind them.
That is a large motivation for practicing. You could also say that this same indwelling seed potential (bodhicitta) residing at the heart core is one’s buddha-nature –some say Christ potential awaiting full ripening. It is just as easy to call it the innate absolute bodhicitta residing in the dharmakaya (eternal undifferentiated body of the buddha) or absolute thigle (seed potential) which ripens/manifests into a living buddha when we align up with the three bodies – dharmakaya (ultimate formless), rupakaya (form body) which includes the sambhogakaya (enjoyment energy body), and nirmanakaya (the physical or emanation body) of a realized/awakened buddha.
When we act from this heart center our actions embody the essence of all the yam/niyams -- all the limbs of yoga manifest naturally. This then is the heart of the practice -- to be centered in our core/heart energy -- to realize our true Self nature -- to embody that in ALL OUR RELATIONS.
Purusa-jnanam: Self Realization as the true and sublime purpose in life, it is none other than Kaivalyam (absolute liberation).
III. 35 sattva-purusayor atyanta-samkirnayoh pratyayavisesah bhogah pararthavat svartha-samyamat purusa-jnanam
Knowledge of the true "Self" (purusa-jnanam" is realized by samyama on the essential authentic self (svartha-samyamat) which is the sublime and ultimate purpose (pararthavat) and nature of existence (bhogah para-arthatvat). With this knowledge the confusion between the apparently disconnected contents of the ordinary mind-field (pratyayavisesah) are seen as a synergistic synchronicity of pure consciousness and pure existence (sattva-purusayor) coming together in harmony, are purified and revealed as the primordial continuity (atyanta-samkirnayoh of pure and ultimate undifferentiated consciousness and pure differentiated beingness (sattva-purusayor) coalesce as samyama on the union of sattva-purusayor.
sattva: balanced and pure; pure being; pure beingness; harmonious state; true state.
purusa: true self; pure consciousness; witness consciousness; the innate imperishable self; undifferentiated consciousness; unmanifested consciousness; the all observer.
atyanta: without end; boundless; perfectly boundless; unbroken and continuous
asamkirnayoh: unmixed, unblemished; not confused; pure; distinct from;
pratyaya: the contents of the mind; objects of thought; focused intent
avisesa: indistinct; undistinguished; unmeasured. (compare with avisesa)
bhoga: experience; in the tantric sense enjoying the universal self as wholly integrated in all its parts -- all is known as Self..
para: transcendental, supreme, free from limitation, sublime; ultimate
artha: purpose; object
para-arthatvat: ultimate purpose
svartha: self purpose (composed of sva and artha); innate purpose, inner purpose. true or essential meaning.
jnanam: awakened knowledge; acknowledgement of the unified integral state of the true nature of mind and true nature of reality as-it-is. Thusness where dharmata and dharmadhatu coincide in sattva.
Commentary: There exists an underlying primordial unity and continuity between eternal boundless (atyanta) awareness (purusa) and pure being (sattva) where the Self as universal objective unbiased observer forms the infinite body of the Great Integrity which includes all beings and things. Thus the content of the ordinary mindset is freed of subject/object duality (pratyayavisesah). The contents of the mind (pratyaya) are no longer confused or mistaken (avisesa) as false distinctions (asamkirnayoh) out of place or context with the whole. Realizing the Self knowledge of purusa-jnananam one's true life purpose is fulfilled. This is the way to experience primordial and boundless consciousness in ALL OUR RELATIONS continuously merging innate self purpose with ultimate self purpose in ALL OUR RELATIONS at each moment through the application of samyama on one's innate purpose (svartha-samyamat). This way the ultimate purpose of existence (bhogah pararthavat) is known (purusa-jnananam) at each intersection as a boundless all pervading continuity.
By samyama on the origin and true nature of the innate true nature of existence (svartha-samyamat), the false distinction (asamkirnayoh) between perfect sattva (absolute beingness) and pure purusha (absolute consciousness) ceases to be experienced (bhoga). Through this all pervading primordial continuity (atyanta-samkirnayoh) called purusa-jnananam, the realization of sattva-purusayor (pure beingness and consciousness) is everywhere at once experienced (bhoga) as the Eternal Self (as purusha) intrinsic within all things and beings, as it truly exists, and as it always has been (atyanta) -- as the true knowledge and untainted absolute consciousness (the realization of purusha-jnanam). Here our intentions directed toward objects or objects of thought (pratyaya) no longer wavers, tainted, or is colored (avisesa) from this realization of self (purusa-jnanam). Here beingness (sattva) and intrinsic primordial consciousness (purusa) are united as one overall harmonious experience (sattva-purusayor).
Although this sutra has many words, it states a simple truth. The omnipresent eternal true Self which abides in all things and beings is revealed in all beings and all things through samyama -- through first entertaining THAT possibility and then becoming THAT. . This is a holographic realization, but also at the same time recognition of omnipresent naked primordial awareness. Similarly stated true omniscient knowledge and untainted absolute consciousness as the realization of (purusha-jnanam) as samyama on our innate purpose reveals our ultimate purpose (pararthavat svartha-samyamat). Such is experienced as bhogah pararthavat svartha–samyamat), while the false distinction or apparent separation of (asamkirnayoh) between perfect sattva (absolute beingness) and pure purusa (absolute consciousness) is purified. THAT is purusa jnanam which is to be experienced via samyama (full absorption).
Through this realization (called purusa-jnananam) this unity of sattva-purusayor (the pure and balanced unadulterated Universal Self, is everywhere at once experienced (bhoga) as the Eternal True Self (as the Purusa) residing in all things and beings, as swarupa -- as it truly exists, and as it always has been (atyanta) as an inherent continuity. Here our intention and directions of thought (pratyaya) no longer wavers unto disparity and fragmentation. It is no longer discontinuous (avisesa) from this deeper realization of the underlying all pervading unity of all pervading (omniscient) eternal consciousness (purusa-jnanam). This is the unification of pure beingness (sattva) [as sattva-purusayor]. through successful samyama on our true self purpose -- the sacred bond which holds the world in place and which as human beings we must rejoin. Then all which needs to be recognized is known, revealed, our true purpose is revealed and fulfilled. Nothing can be more simple than that, yet how many are still open/looking... awakening?
By samyama on our innate purpose, then the highest (para) purpose and meaning in life (para-arthatvat) is experienced (bhoga) where we no longer confusedly make false assumptions and artificial arbitrary discrimination (asamkirnayoh) thus separating ourselves from the eternal true nature and flow of all things (atyanta) in the sacred space of ALL OUR RELATIONS. Then perfect beingness (sattva) and highest self (purusa) in sattva-purusayor is experienced (bhoga) as an embodied celebration of Now Awareness Now.
Atyanta means beyond any end or beginning, unbroken, beginningless, continuous, absolute, primordial, or perfect. Asamkirnayoh means no longer confused, mixed up, or rather pure. Svartha-samyamat means performing samyama for its own purpose (svartha). Thus one may say that by performing samyama upon samyama itself brings about the experience which resolves the confusion between the doer and the deed -- between pure beingness (sattva) and pure consciousness (purusha). In other words it reveals their unity in satchitananda -- pure beingness -- pure consciousness and pure bliss. This is another place which can't be experienced via the intellect, but only through experienced through practice. In a profound sense then purusha really exists only where there is no separation between beingness (sattva) and consciousness (in sat-chit-ananda). For example in that deep state of stillness -- of non-doing, only then do we rest in pure receptivity (non-doing) beingness. At the same time in this non-doingness, we are absolutely receptive. To be absolutely receptive is to merge with absolute awareness and consciousness. So here through perfect and absolute beingness (sat) we merge with absolute consciousness (cit) whose nature is bliss (ananda) -- in Satchitananda. HERE and only here does pure and absolute subjectivity and pure and absolute objectivity merge as one. HERE in purusha-jnanam, is purusha is at once absolute and universal Being and absolute and universal Consciousness.
Sattva (pure beingness) and purusa (intrinsic universal consciousness) are to be placed in harmony as a continuity of an all pervading unbounded reality which permeates all and is found inside all. In fact the “problem” (if one were said to exist at all) is where human beings lose sight of this continuous primordial (atyanta-asamkirnayoh) continuity in their relationships. The purpose of samyama in all cases is to help us gain integration/UNION as samadhi in swarupa-sunyam (as absolute liberation) and such involves PURUSA-JNANAM which is a rather large realization worthy of samyama.
Sri Aurobindo in his commentary to the "Isa Upanishad", states:
The one stable Lord and the multiple movement are identified as one Brahman of whom, however, the unity and stability are the higher truth and who contains all as well as inhabits all. The basis and fulfillment of the rule of life are found in the experience of unity by which man identifies himself with the cosmic and transcendental Self and is identified in the Self, but with an entire freedom from grief and illusion, with all its becomings
Swami Venkatesananda says in his commentary:
"The external object is totally distinct and different from what the experiencing personality thinks it is. When, in a state of ignorance, the personality forgets this, and as the object is imagined to be external for the enjoyment of another (which is the enjoyer), he experiences pain and pleasure. However when samyama is directed at the essence of this (false) self or personality, there (eventually) arises the knowledge (jnana) of the INDWELLING intelligence, (disclosing its previously) obscured conditioning (which is ignorance)."
See: III. 36, 49 and III.55 for more on sattva-purusayor, for in fact when sattva-purusayor are balanced in their pure state, kaivalyam (absolute liberation) is achieved. Also see all of Chapter 4 for more on kaivalyam.
III. 36. tatah pratibha-sravana-vedana-adarsa-asvada-vartah jayante
Since knowledge of ignorance is the antidote for ignorance, when the innate intuitive intelligence (pratibha) that comprehends the mental conditioning, which then becomes deprogrammed, then the innate self luminous flashes of psychic or transcendental hearing (sravana), feeling (vedana), seeing (adarsa), tasting (asvada), and smelling (vartah) self arise (jayante) -- free from the normal contaminating distortions, limitations, and dissuasions (perversions) that are the products of ignorance are liberated.
Hence (tatah) is born (jayante) spontaneously an evolved natural and intuitive non-dual and trans-personal (pratibha) form of hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, and smelling *FREE* from limited individual cognitive functions (such as pratyaya, samprajnata, anumana, vikalpa, pramana, etc.)
tatah: hence; from that
pratibha: intuitive illumination; a flash of inner wisdom.
sravana: supersensory hearing
vedana: supersensory feeling
adarsa: supersensory seeing
asvada: supersensory tasting
vartah: supersensory smelling
jayante: arising from; born from; occurs.
Commentary: Tatah (therefore) from, supersensory intuitive knowledge, super sensory hearing (such as hearing the divine sound, the divine rhapsody, sounds at a distance, knowledge of other languages. etc), divine sight (such as ability to see astral beings, the siddhas, the gods, divine beings, and gain darshan from the saints), divine feeling (such as ecstatic states of being), divine taste (such as tasting the amrita (divine nectar) or soma wine, smelling the divine ambrosia (the ability to distinguish subtle scents and divine perfume), and the like become easily accessed (jayante).
Naturally from purusa-jnananam (intimate knowledge of the all Self as the true natural self in the previous sutra), follows all knowledge of all things. This follows spontaneously as a result of such inner wisdom so realized in Sutra III.35. It is known without further thinking, but directly and instantly felt and known as pre- knowledge. Through this realization, the super-conscious channels are open, while we naturally act as natural vehicles in ALL OUR RELATIONS to accomplish this innate intelligent purpose.
Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
"By performing the above described samyama, the knowledge of the six super sensory perceptions are evolved:-
1. Pratibha = clairvoyance;
2. Shravan = super sensory hearing capability to hear divine sounds;
3. Vedana = super sensory sense of touch;
4. adarsha = ability to see the divine beings;
5. asvada = ability to sense subtle tastes;
6. Varta = super sensory capability to smell divine fragrances.
By doing the above samyama, all of these sensory perceptions become Nitya (permanent)." [as nitya-lila]
They are actions emanating from the all-creating primordial mind, which is unconditionally and eternally free (nitya). The sense organs have two aspects depending on how the sense information is received. The normal egoic way is that the sense organs are receiving data about an external environment (phenomena) that is perceived as being separate from the observer. That is the normal; egoic or dualistic way of "normal perception". This data is then filtered and processed by the intellect and belief system. That is called the citta-vrtti of pramana, vikalpa, etc. The other way of utilizing the sense organs is evolved. It is discussed in the process of pratyhara, which is the second step in raising the kundalini (evolutionary energy in the observer/man). Here, the sense organs are no longer limited by the intellect, will, or dualistic egoic processes, but rather they become extensions of the spiritual Self, purusa, Self sensing (seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, feeling) Self in a non-dual continuous way as pratyhara leads to samadhi (the unitive place of oneness). That is the superconscious and super-sensuous state at once. They are performed in conjunction with the primordial boundless all pervading mind.
"arva-dharman-parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja"
~ The Bhagavad Gita
Normally, modern man's senses remain diminished, repressed, demeaned, dissociated, and not well developed, rather their evolutionary creative potential remains underdeveloped and hence underutilized. In that diminished milieu the senses become merely a tool for the intellect to interpret rather than as creative tools for creativity and free expression.
Since mankind's move away from nature, wilderness, natural systems, nomadic, and agrarian ways of living and hence into urban centers his senses have generally become even more artificially conditioned and repressed. As people have become increasingly abducted from nature and natural function their sense functions also become perverted. Human's attempting to cope with a toxic environment of their own making often attempt to suppress, numb out, shield, or quarantine themselves from that environment by slowing down, insulating, or blocking out or subjugating their sense awareness/input from what is now perceived as the harshness of the environment. When human beings build an environment that is a threat to their own well being, then it is past time to question their sanity let alone evolutionary instinct. Unfortunately, like other addictions and habits, this self destructive way becomes resistant to change (as are all mental habits and addictions). So part of the evolutionary process is to reclaim our innate instinctual and intuitive powers which lay dormant in the body. That self knowledge is empowering while breeding true self esteem and self confidence. That awakened wisdom resists any further dumbing down once humans reclaim that birthright. The first job of a demagogue, tyrant, dictator, manipulator, exploiter, or slave master is to separate their slaves or opponents from their source of power. Such disenfranchisement and alienation will will convince them that their survival is not based on their own instinct and intuition, but rather upon satisfying the needs of their slave owner (the more valuable and loyal servants,, workers, and warriors become to the slave owner, the more the slave is ensured a good meal, shelter, and medicine).
Specifically for example, the majority of humans now are born and raised in modern urban centers which suffers from air pollution, haze, noise, bad smells, strong tastes, and lack of subtle sensitivity. For example one becomes endeared and even addicted to the mechanical cacophony generated by constant bombardment by television, radio, trucks, freeways, pumps, air conditioning, heating, ventilation, industrial, and other mechanical devices. Silence or subtle sounds become drowned out habitually or even dreaded as the urban dweller learns to identify with this noise as a familiar underdone. Soft sounds, bird calls, whispers of the breath, or other subtle sounds are not heard above the noise floor.
Similarly the urban dweller's sight becomes habitually limited to a few inches or feet in front of them, or normally less than a few meters, and hence their filed of awareness is delimited as compared to a country bumpkin whose field of awareness often includes an expanse of kilometers or more extending unto the mountain tops or great sky. Likewise the sense of smell are limited by the harshness of air pollutants, strong food, and artificial deodorants and perfumes, covering up the natural subtle smells of flora, water, rain, other animals, and more. Similarly our sense of taste suffers from the chemicals and other modifications in our water, preserved and old food, medicine, and overuse of spices.
These latter examples describes not only the normal egoic and dualistic sense functions, but also a severely conditioned and repressed state which requires deprogramming in the form of purification, activation, and reintegration.
The problem is even more compounded with "feeling" (vedana) which has a few extra levels. On the gross level it is the feeling of touch (normally with the fingers and hands, but also the feet, and other sensory awareness cells that are well known on the body as well as inside. When it becomes inner feelings like organ related feeling can be subtilized to "knowledge" of the neurophysiology, energy systems, prana, nadis, chakras, health, mental and emotional states. It is here in subtilized vedana (feeling) that inner knowing and intuition meet at the confluence of consciousness and being (sattva-purusayor).
But even on a gross dualistic level the normal sense of feeling has become demeaned in modern society rather than become developed to an evolved state. For example that even on a gross level the sensory nerves of the feet are mis-educated and abused by constant exposure to concrete pavements, flat and level floors and carpets, riding in machines, and excessive sitting. Rather feet are designed to navigate over uneven surfaces and even more so to ascertain vital information from the earth. On an energetic level they are more than mere sensory doorways limited to physical touch. The feet are just one glowing example, the daily sitting in classrooms twelve years or more, lack of exercise. over-eating (which is mostly overcompensation), repression of natural functions (including inhibition and palliation of defecation, urination, sneezing, coughing, spitting, itching, touch, sexuality, and other normally spontaneous function, creates the seeds of anger, violence, and self adversity. There exist many more examples in a society which widely abuses the physical body as a thing to exploit, compete against, control, made to adapt or conform to artificial standards based on convention and control.
But even if the social conditioning were to magically disappear, and one no longer had such inhibitions, fear, restraints, self adversity, and anger, still the child would require some training in developing their natural evolutionary "supersensory" powers. Ultimately the inhibited feelings of the HeartMind have to be liberated; then the liberated human being will interact wisely in health, harmony, and love on the planet. It is in the open HeartMind which is a transpersonal transconceptual non-dual source of knowledge and power which is most often shut down by artificially and intellectually dominated systems. Yogic practice teaches us to open the HeartMind which allows us to vibrate in resonance with the Hridayam (heart of Hearts).
It is the yogic assumption of the sahajyoga and sahajaya schools that pratibha and all the resultant abilities are natural and inherent (sahaj), but ordinarily remain inhibited, repressed and ignored through negative conditioning, unconscious habituated mental habits, fear, prejudice, distraction, culturally induced mass amnesia, and institutionalized ignorance. Such creates artificial barriers where reality contradicts prejudice, preconceived ideations, identifications, judgments, and dissociations, which create chronic ignorance, denial, avoidance, dead zones, numbness, insensitivity, inconceivable areas, utter disbelief, stupor, attention deficits, hyper-activity, hypervigilence, and collective amnesia. For example, in super-sensory vedana, our feelings have become shut down by fear and grossed out to search out coarse material objects of desire. That is because our natural and subtle awareness, connection, and sensitivity of the subtle/astral sheaths have become disrupted. demeaned, and shut down leaving a large neurotic compensatory gap that desires fulfillment. Similarly there is pain associated with feeling due to past trauma, hence a fear of being open/vulnerable has habitually arisen as a protective sheath which imprisons the "Self" inside. These mechanisms of fear, desire, "self" protection, alienation, and ignorance keep mankind enslaved until that mechanistic unfeeling shell is broken apart. If we are taught not to trust our transconceptual feelings, or worse that such feelings are bad, evil, or must be controlled and repressed, then we place a huge wall against pratibha. True awakening then is blocked. Pratibha (our natural and inherent wisdom) must be let through into everyday life.
For example pain is a good thing to heed/recognize. It should not be ignored. It behooves us to inquiry as to its cause and remedy, but too often it is ignored, avoided, or covered up, thus we lose an opportunity to know our own body-mind in jnana and wake up (in purusa-jnanam). Through basic awareness and self-inquiry we learn about the danger of fire, by getting too close. It burns and thus we learn not to hurt ourselves. The similar mechanism applies to many other potentially harmful experiences. Over-riding pain, not heeding it, ignoring it, numbing it out, or becoming insensitive to it is not wise; yet many do that. They learn to become insensitive and dissociate from pain. That may be an adaptive coping mechanism only if the pain can not be avoided, but it also can be the beginning of an entrenched/chronic ignorance and withdrawal.
Here we are not just addressing physical pain or affective insensitivity to the body and/or the life force alone, but also the mental/emotional mechanisms pain and disaffectedness. In natural yoga the ideal is not an insensitive robototron identification or escape, an android, an unfeeling machine that obeys orders given by the will and intellect, a dead indifference, nor an autonomous independent seemingly self-reliant separate self (ego). Rather, the goal is a profound unlimited and boundless union (yoga is). That can not be accomplished via withdrawal or closing down the nadis, the mind, feelings, chakras, or the body, but by unbounded openness -- spaciousness. Ignorance becomes stubbornly habituated when the subject attempts to avoid mental pain (stimuli that appear threatening to one's assumed ego identity. Hence avoiding mental/emotional pain (such as aversion) only reinforces the process of ignoring (ignorance). All predilection s, preferences, likes, and dislikes serve that same dysfunction and must be eliminated. The antidote is to accept everything as-it-is completely -- to be able to feel affectively completely; and hence, the beauty and bliss of being aligned with the evolutionary force will be yours forever.
Please see the discussion in chapter two on duhkha, as the co-dependent dysfunctional relationship between pain, the kleshas (avidya, asmita, raga and dvesa), and false identification (samyoga) for more on this mechanism that shuts down the super-sensory evolutionary organs -- our inherent evolutionary super-nature potential. Also check out Sri Aurobindo's treatise on super-nature and super-consciousness.
Be certain that the authentic teachings of yoga is not to shut down, close off, withdraw, negate, ignore, isolate, or deny; rather it is about integration, union, and reconnecting. Fear, aversion, neurotic self gratifying desires, greed, envy, attachment, and other kleshas are not the yogic path as taught by Sri Patanjali. The earth, the sun, galaxies, body, and Source are all pulsating NOW. Difficulties arise when the pathways of pulsations are blocked, unnoticed, or ignored. Shut off from this experiential and innate knowledge, one lives in habitual insensitivity and ignorance. When we wake up and extend our awareness into creation, then we see an entirely different constellation and intelligence that is imprinted in ALL OUR RELATIONS. Hence, as our eyes open, so too does our ability to see and interact in an awake manner as beings within a very large family field which indigenous people in North America have labeled ALL OUR RELATIONS.
If our connections with the intelligent evolutionary life force (kundalini) becomes blocked/inhibited or constricted, then our connection with all pervading Source is also blocked and ignored. Then there is no hope for liberation and sanity in this lifetime, until this conditioning becomes undone. We are inhibited to act as the vehicle for love, light, wisdom, and sanity on the planet, when the nadis (channels) are obstructed.
The beginning yogi can start with cultivating a good heart, self awareness, rhythmic pulsatory awareness, awareness of the life force (prana-shakti) within, and tracing that back through creation (shakti) to Source (Siva) -- the evolutionary energy (Shakti Kundalini) which is the mother of all life.
Although all the yoga practices augment success of this samyama on pratibha, but most closely associated with this process is the astanga yoga practice of pratyhara. As we have seen at the end of Pada II, pratyhara, correctly practiced leads to frictionless harmony of the sense organs and the higher powers. Instead of being governed by the intellect, the senses are then governed directly by the highest Self. Secondly the innate prana is no longer distracted or dissipated into an apparent exteriorized "world" is brought back to feed the inner fire and hence cleanse and activate the evolutionary energy in the nadis and chakra systems. The energy is available to cook the soup, by first purifying the elements (such as in the well known hatha yoga practice of bhuta shuddhi), and later to activate and integrate the inner circuits with the outer non-dually. Although with a cleaned out and highly sensitive human body the physical sense organs certainly can be made to function better in the three dimensional realm (such as in distant hearing, distant smelling, distant sight, heightened feeling, etc.), that is more subtle than the latter, there exists another dimension of this knowledge which parallels the physical organs but is considered inner or secret. It is secret because many who have not gained that experience of sensitivity might well scoff at it when it is mentioned, and hence they may do themselves some future harm (by prematurely deciding that it does not or can not be real).
Thus it is useful to differentiate between a merely heightened and refined sensual function pertaining to the physical world, from that of an inner and "secret" function, where the information does not correlate to physical phenomena directly, but is merely represented using their symbols. For example divine darshan of the saints does not occur merely on a physical plane, so too spiritual smells, divine taste, divine sound, feelings, etc. In short, we can and do gather information in ways which do not involve the actual sound frequencies, visible light spectrum, proximal touch, taste, or smell. This is the channel which communication occurs between humans and plants, humans and the siddhas, through the three dimensional barriers of time and space, etc. This is the space (akashic realm) where information for healing, for termas, for prophecy, or past knowledge comes from. This is the akashic gateway where practices such as classical hatha yoga yoga nidra takes place, first by deep relaxation and release of tension in perfect repose (asana), pranayama, purification of the nadis, pratyhara, visualization (dharana), activation of the astral/etheric body so that the adept yogin lets go of all obstructions (in param-vairagyam), conflicts, and bodily/egoic attachments that prevent him/her from entering into the supersensory astral realm while still awake. This is where so called lucid dreams, dream yoga, sleep yoga, yoga nidra, astral travel, bardo yoga, distant healing, and most of the other siddhas are accessed. That type of supersensory activation is not dependent upon third dimensional realms, but rather occurs in turiya, the fourth dimension and beyond. Samyama on these innate intuitive supersensory powers bring about such mastery
Also see: pratyhara I.18, II.54-55 and III.14 III.35, III.49,, III.55.
III. 37. te samadhav upasarga vyutthane siddhayah
Although to those immersed upon worldly exteriorized intentions (vyutthane) these (te) siddhis may appear to be unnatural perfections (siddhayah), such a judgment is an distracting impediment (upasarga); for the true yogi there is only an effortless natural onepointed passion to abide continually in samadhi.
samadhav: while in samadhi
upasarga: impediment, obstacle, distraction.
siddhayah: proficiencies, perfections. abilities.
Commentary: This is a warning not to pursue the siddhis as an end in itself. It is dangerous, because the ego can easily be seduced into thinking that such "attainments" come from self-effort (willfulness) rather from selfless absorption (swarupa-sunyam). In short, samyama can help us achieve stabilization in samadhi, as long as it does not feed egoic pride or ownership (asmita), personal selfish gain, greedy ownership, jealousy, distractions (raga), or any of the root downfalls.
Once we open up and awaken to the HeartMind by tasting the deeper coursings of samadhi, then the siddhis are instantly recognized as intimately natural aspects of the evolutionary process whose partnership and reintegration mankind must reclaim. Only because we have become closed down to living in conscious harmony with this evolutionary "Reality", then a sparse sense of scarcity, lack, envy, greed, attachment, and craving arise for "something else". In that sense the desire for more powers, is result of degenerated thinking and hence an aberration of Self.
It is because of our primary sense of estrangement, alienation, isolation, and separate self (ego) that such misconceptions, cravings, and poisonous thoughts arise. The latter are conditioned (not natural); but maintained as a result of alien belief systems based on a "self" apart "from" nature and natural systems; rather than as an "intimate part" of a wholistic non-dual transpersonal primordial evolutionary process. The former belief system alienate from their own creation story (and hence the creative/evolutionary force), inhibits and represses our natural evolution as human beings, while the latter which goes beyond artificial manmade belief systems entirely fosters our evolutionary abilities, while at the same time destroying neurotic compensatory desire.
Be certain that siddhis never can be possessed for long by a self defined individual ego without producing even greater suffering. Since the goal of yoga being total transpersonal integration, a wise yogi stays focused on the goal and avoids the possible temptation of the siddhis as mere side trips to be avoided. Egoic beings dominated by ignorance can become infatuated by them or worse mistakenly think that they do not come from universal Source, but rather from individual intellect and willpower. Such willful pride and confusion eventually creates a separation from Source and the Natural Mind and thus these aspirants eventually fall back into the hell realms through ignorance and the negative karma generated by acting on such ignorance. The more powerful the action, the more potential negative karma.
Here samyama is still a very useful tool, but not in order to gain what appears to the materialist person as an external siddhis by themselves. Rather samyama utilized in order to overcome impediments to samadhi (as an aid in self realization) are of value only within this latter context;i.e., within the context of the subtle body, energy body, or esoteric yogic context.
The siddhis as external powers thus are not a goal in themselves and some people have taken large falls (having become severely dissuaded from the path) in that direction. Samyama itself can be a useful practice on the PATH in order to realize samadhi, hence the siddhi not being the aim/goal, but rather samadhi is the contextual goal. Egos get attracted to the siddhis and hence if they "obtain" one, the ego may think that they (the ego) did it, hence ego pride and a sense of separateness is reinforced, and with that discontinuity, obstruction, impediments, and eventually disintegration. This is not just philosophical speculation, but rather a very real possibility to guard against.
If we are to realize the fullness of yoga we realize that in reality there is no individual person, entity, or ego who attains it – no separate self. Rather the purified vehicle simply opens to reality as-it-is like a flower in swarupa-sunya and dances their heart out quite naturally and beautifully. If the nadi connections are obstructed or repressed, then the music is not heard and the feet do not move freely. Those nadis open from practice as the obstructions are removed. Thus the adept becomes liberated.
The siddhis are revealed through awakening the yogi who walks between spirit and nature -- sky and earth-- as pure open channel for pure and ultimate love and wisdom -- for no separate one and not as a separate one (ego). If one thought that the love/wisdom thus received belonged to any person (ego), then immediately bad karma would accrue, At best the source will eventually dry up, but great falls into the lower realms have been known to occur. Many stories abound about those who have gained siddhis and mistakenly surmised that it belonged to them -- that they attained it because they were smarter, wiser, "better" or worked extra hard as egos for them. That spells their downfall, because such thinking blocks out the transpersonal non-dual interconnected universal flow. Patanjali warns against this pitfall here.
Either we grok *transpersonal non-dual* or we don't. If not we then must practice more. It's not a concept but direct experience. It is simply abiding in nirvikalpa and asamprajnata. When we get that, we get swarupa-sunya (II.3) -- the universal Self which abides inside every being and thing. That's not ego and that’s not attainable by the intellect either. Shooting for anything less is not what the Yoga Sutras teach.
Even the word, "attainment", is inadequate. Proficiency, skillfulness, or ability is a bit more accurate. How are they attained? They are revealed to the “media-ator” through dedicated and devoted practice. I like to call them the “real people” (ongwhehonwhe) because they have given up artifice -- the egoic ways that are known to be less than worthless and pretentious. Pada three again like most of pada II describes practices. But Pada I18 is all we needed really, if we can get it then.
No one can own these siddhis. As an example we can turn on a computer and with a modem one can access the internet, so too the computer is not the internet. If it was turned off or the connection to the internet was broken, the knowledge normally accessible would then no longer be accessed. Just so, like an electric switch, if the switch is turned off the bulb will not shine. So here we are addressing "systems" as a whole. Joanna Macy uses this approach extensively in her descriptions of interdependence.We are all part of a greater wholistic system, but if we try to define ourselves as separate, then a disconnect occur (according to Patanjali and Buddha is created). So since no one can own these things, then they are not attained in so far that an ego can put them in one's pocket, safe, or possess them, not that people have not tried that foolishness.
One may say that the siddhas are like gifts, but that would be like grace, and hence would risk being greatly misunderstood as the result of a favor bestowed by a separate entity called God. So again I think it is far better to see the siddhis as abilities and proficiencies realized through *practice* -- they are practices which clear away negative karmic propensities and open up the nadis and marmas so that the wisdom energy channels are clear. With this clarity these abilities appear (are revealed) when needed. Again they are not ends in themselves and not advised to obtain, except in special cases or as spiritual abilities useful for our own spiritual development like in the last few sutras. Samadhi is still the name of the game so we are reminded to stay focused and not to become dissuaded.
So siddhis are neither to be disowned, and neither to be sought as an end. If in doubt or if personal desire is suspected as a motive, it is best to avoid samyama and simplify one's practice by focusing on samadhi. Samyama however can be a useful tool when emotions and motivations are pure (like samyama on hridayam, the psychic centers, and especially at the end of pada III there are some abilities that are very beneficial for samadhi, but not as an end in themselves. The point is that dhyana is always the most direct and unencumbered open doorway to samadhi. Samyama should not be mixed with pure dhyana at the same time. If we view samyama in the yogic context they are useful toward realizing samadhi. If we interpret them through the ego context, they will look differently (as powers that the ego can possess, own, or use against “others”. That will cause negative karma and suffering.
Swami Venkatesananda warns us that little children should not play with matches.
"But, even such excellent sensations and feelings and all the psychic powers discussed so far, which on the surface appear to be desirable and encouraging aspects of perfection are in fact impediments to enlightenment as they, too, distract and externalize the attention."
from Swami Venkatesananda "Enlightened Living"
The highest boon is the fullness of nirbija-samadhi. As our awareness expands - as the heart opens, then the sadhak naturally gains more abilities as one interacts. As long as one does not seek out these abilities as an end in themselves, do not get seduced by them, do not get attached to them, and do not see them as signs or indicators, then there will be no impediments, aversion, nor fear when they arise. May all beings abide in perfect happiness, wisdom, and love. See also: III.51
III. 38. bandha-karana-saithilyat pracara-samvedanat ca cittasya para-sarira-avesah
Thus by loosening (saithilyat) the blocked pathways (bandhas) that generate the causes (karana) of bondage, the coming forth (pracara) of awareness (samvedanat), then consciousness (cittasya) flows penetrating all sheaths of the bodymind, flooding the entire body with that inner ascendant consciousness, and thus allowing awareness of all bodily processes in all bodies (cittasya-para-avesah) concomitantly (pracara).
bandha- bounded gate, levee, valve, net, bond.
karana: Cause. Causal origin, motive force, the effective means, the causal means or the underlying reason behind a condition/situation. Especially as an attributable cause, measured cause, or an instrumental cause that is capable of being measured. In a gross materialistic world view, where physical objects are purported to be real and substantial independent from the position of the observer, the causal instrument is purported to be the sense organs; while in entirely mental frameworks, it is the individual mind which is purported to be the causal agent. In yoga, neither hypothesis holds true. In yoga, it is the condition itself that discloses its own cause, and which eventually leads to the primordial originless origin and great "uncondition" devoid of causes (see vikarana in Sutra III.48).
pracara: that which comes forth and shows itself and manifests.
saithilyat: loosening, unwinding, unraveling, or relaxing
samvedanat: knowledge, awareness, perception.
cittasya: mental; relating to any state of conscious awareness.
para: transcendent/ascendant; beyond; more than; beyond; other
sarira: body; envelope, sheath. Sheath of the body. Bodily sheath.
avesah/avesa: entering, penetrating, piercing.
Commentary: Thus by loosening (saithilyat) the blocked energy which causes (karana) bondage, the yogi calls forth (pracara) knowledge (samvedanat) which allows consciousness to flow (cittasya) and penetrate the bodily sheath (sarira) filling the entire body with cit-prana. With that inner ascendant living consciousness flooding the yogi's mind-body, then knowledge of others cit-prana (cittasya-para-avesah) comes forth and can be transmitted concomitantly (pracara). In its simplest form this is heightened awareness of the mind and body of others or clairvoyance. In an extended form, it is clairvoyance of all bodies/forms. Similarly, clairsentience (feeling/touching), clairaudience (hearing/listening), clairalience (smelling), claircognizance (knowing), and clairgustance (tasting) can similarly be explained. we can call that "super-natural, but it is better to consider it as natural evolutionary power arising from the awakened evolutionary shakti (kundalini-shakti).
In a positive sense we can say that by loosening the causal gates that imprison and cover the body-mind, transcendent knowledge of its operation in oneself and all beings is revealed. Since in yoga and Ayurveda, the mental sheaths and the physical sheath are mutually interdependent, this opens up the possibilities of personal spiritual healing from the source (swarupa-sunyam), the psychic healing of others, knowledge of the causal bodymind operations of others, and shaktipat transmission. In yoga there are five or six sheaths (koshas) which are denoted as bodily (anandamaya), energetic (pranamaya), emoto-mental (manomaya), self-realized and knowledgeable (vijnanamaya), fulfilled and liberated from suffering (anandamaya), and the formless all potential (hiranyagarbha). Yoga practice is designed to integrate all these sheaths in harmonious embodied alignment.
Although transcendent knowledge (samvedanat) that penetrates bodily formations (para-sarira-avesah) can lead to control of an object, the idea or even hint of control is not mentioned nor intended. In short, knowledge of how the cit penetrates one's own body, allows the yogi knowledge of how cit-prana penetrates and operates in all other bodies.
Simply put, as the restricting bonds of knowledge are loosened, our third eye (higher intelligence) opens wider, sufficient consciousness floods in and becomes more available to a point of transcendent overflowing. Our view of self and other become larger and more clear. Here the Cit and Prana Shakti merge in every cell and space of the body, while the body itself is known as a movement of amorphous enlightened energy throughout boundless space and limitless time, before birth and after death -- NOW. From that prescience sense of aware presence, we understand our own mind and the minds of others in a profound holographic context. Eventually we see the true nature of our own Mind and the true nature of all minds as diverse variations of the Universal Original Mind -- as intricately interconnected. The universal Self becomes clarified in ALL OUR RELATIONS.
It is from this sutra that many interpret Patanjali as saying that this process pertains to the way of entering and controlling the consciousness and body of other beings; but although controlling/manipulating others through superior awareness is always a negative possibility used by exploiters and thieves, it is not a yogic trait and Patanjali is herewith teaching yoga, not black magic. A distinction must be made between knowledge of others and control of others. Clearly, the yogi, Patanjali, is saying that as one understands how to loosen one's own mental/energetic bondage by unraveling its causes, one's inner eye becomes sharpened. Through the awareness of the causes of the bondage operating in self and others, they are simultaneously illumined. Hence, the adept (siddha) is better able to to wisely advise and direct others toward liberation, when favorable karmic opportunities arise. Here, simply being in the presence of a highly realized yogi is often enough to directly resonate/harmonize and integrate with that vibratory state. Then a direct transfer of wisdom (cit-shakti) is effected, even if words are not used. It is from this siddhi, that shaktipat transmission is said to be made possible by a yogi so empowered. It is here that realized yogis can help others mature their karma and become liberated beings (jivanmuktis). There is but one all containing great body, which by definition is not separate from anything else. Since it is limitless, it fails in being defined by words, but it could be said that it alone is free and independent, as inextricably one with all and everything. In short, when one realizes samadhi and re-members who one is in relationship to the timeless boundless all, then one will naturally re-member everybody else, instantaneously. Such is the siddhis of the siddhas.
LAstly, in this context, bandha refers to a gate or levee process, which can either prevent something from entering, to hold, redirect, or let through some process that had been repressed, suppressed, dormant, and blocked previously. The ordinary dualistic mindfield (citta-vrtti) may wander off in distraction; but the yogi may gate it where cit-prana or specifically "cittasya para-sarira-avesah" is integrated and redirected. Here, it is used to let something operate inside, in order to relax previous held causal mental and energetic boundaries and conditions (bandha-karana-saithilyat). On an energetic level this refers to the loosening of the knots of the nadis at the chakras. Once that is successful, the adept acts as a finely tuned instrument which is capable of perceiving subtle and transcendent knowledge outside of the normal restraints of the physical body. Thus the adept is capable of manifesting knowledge (pracara-samvedanat) from the minds of others, the collective mind, from animals, trees, nature, creation, the evolutionary process, and even the unmanifest thus completely circumventing boundaries of physical borders. The six senses are extended much like radio waves, X-rays, or other energetic diagnostic technological devices are capable of ascertaining data from the stars and distant places, except that for the adept, his own finely attuned psycho-energetic matrix becomes the vehicle/channel.
This is another way of understanding shaktipat and kundalini arising in yogis and its transfer to another. Now Patanjali will discuss the rising of this energy in the adept's purified and activated energy body using similar symbology.
III. 39 udana-jayat-jala-panka-kantaka-adisu asanga utkrantis-ca
Through mastery [of that samyama] on the anti-gravitational vector regarding the energy of upward motion (udana vayu) in the body, success over (jayat) the downward gravitation energy and material and earthly attachments arise such as the ability to remain untouched (asanga) by rising above (utkrantih) mud (panka), water (jal), thorns (kantaka), and other earthly obstructions (adisu)..
udana: Literally the "up-breath". One of the five primary pranas or vayus in the body specifically associated with upward arising air. It's field of operation is variously described as existing in the neck and head areas, but often it is also often located as operation from the navel to the head.
jayat: victory in, mastery, or proficiency.
adisu: and so forth; other such similar.
asanga: freedom from attachment; to remain free or unimpeded
utkrantih: rising up or above
Commentary: Udana is the upward moving force/vector in the physical body operating from the region of the navel upwards to the head. Through samyama on udana, one becomes free from earthly attachments and its thorns. Through victory over udana, the adept can walk painlessly over and through physical obstructions such as water, mud, thorns, and so forth. Some say that this can lead to physical levitation (laghima) rather than just buoyancy and powers of lightness (utkrantih). See III.42-45 for further explication in that regard. Here one gains mastery over both the earth and water elements through samyama on the earth elementals (panka). There is a great truth in the synergistic relationship between body and mind, muladhara and sahasrara, shakti and shiva, sat and cit, prakrti and purusa. which this sutra hints at through the example of the ascending energy (udana).
One is to be reminded that all the energetic vectors of the body as well as all the sheaths (mentioned in III.38) must be kept in a synergistic life supporting state of sattva (balance) continually.
III. 40. samana-jayaj jvalanam
Self effulgent blazing radiance shines forth (jvalanam) by itself when the yogi masters (jayaj) samana (the knowledge of inner fire), which is responsible for the metabolic fire of digestion as well as the activation of cell metabolism.
jvalanam: self-effulgent blazing radiance
jayat: victorious joy or complete ease in mastery
samana: inner metabolic fire or heat centered in the navel (middle) region.
Commentary: Samana prana is one of the five chief pranas that function as supports inside the body. It is both the centripetal energy moving from the periphery of the body into and towards the innermost point of the navel chakra and as a result also charges the inner fires of light (jvalanam), which destroy all toxins according to Ayurveda and yoga. It is recognized as a life giving wavelike pulsation, both abides and emanates in and out from the navel region.
It is literally translated as "breath combined" or central energy center. In Ayurveda it is the name of the balancing and equanamous air (vayu) in the body. It is described as being centered at the nabhi-chakra (navel area), hence, it is again associated with digestive fire, nourishment, cell metabolism, and whole system energetic support. From adequate digestive fire there is left no toxic residues of digestion. It is said that toxins can be burned through increasing the inner fire. From there its equanamous life balancing and blazing radiance, which radiates throughout the body activates the evolutionary force in the body. Here nourishment and powerful (often charismatic) charm pervades the body and mind of such a wholesome being. For a adept yogin, it is the fire that cooks the soup (bindu) and opens the nadis. Ordinarily, its common form it is most often responsible for digestion. In medieval Indian and Tibetan yoga the activation of tummo/kundali (yogic heat) is basic for advanced energy body practices such as illusory body yoga, dream yoga, bardo yoga, etc.
On a multidimensional level for digestion and integration (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual), the inner fire is augmented by the yogi. Such kindles the alchemical (transformational) flames which cooks the juices (bindu) opening up and melting the knots that occlude the nadi and thus allow the prana (life force) to flow to its ultimate evolutionary/creative end. The purpose of food is to nourish and feed the life energy (prana) inside the vehicle (the human body) which is spirit's messenger here on earth once purified and stoked. Thus on another level, when the pranic gates are opened, there is less need for coarse forms of nourishment like physical food, water, etc.
Samana primarily involves the fire element. Here one has gained ascendancy over the fire (navel) chakra. Also see commentary on sutra 29 relating to the nabhi (navel) chakra).
III. 41. srotra-akasayoh sambandha samyamad diviam srotram
Samyama on both the connecting valve (sambandha) between the area behind the ear (srotra) and the seat of akasha (the ether/akasa center is located at the throat or vishuddi chakra), activation of the supra-mundane divine hearing (diviam srotram) or clairaudience thus becomes awakened.
srotra: hearing, listening, place of the ear. area behind the ears; back brain area.
akasayoh: seat of ether/akasha element (throat center/cakra)
Sambandha: A relationship or connection. A common bond, a common bandha (valve), or common gate.
diviam: sublime, sacred, divine, unparalleled.
srotram: ability or power to hear; sense of hearing
Commentary: In one sense, this sutra speaks to the importance of connecting the back brain functions (pons, insula, hypo thalamus, thalamus, amygdala, etc) to the rest of the body (through the throat chakra. In this region not only body/mind communication is facilitated, but also hearing and psychic hearing (clairaudience of the third ear).
Specifically we can hear the conversations of the enlightened ones, the subtle mental conversations of others, the celestial music, and receive messages through the ether both awake or while asleep, as if they were spoken or whispered whether or not they exist through the medium of sound waves as such. Likewise we can hear the language of all beings and things (past, future, or present), but not in the terms of the human language which we have learned, but rather they speak to us in their energetic/spiritual terms, which our subtle inner ear has to become attuned to. We are able to listen to the inner voice, transverbal instruction, most subtle, whispered teachings, and hear the inner instruction from the teacher of even the oldest of teachers. See I.28 (the pranava). the universal sound, just like the universal primordial light is everpresent, but we normally do not listen for it. One way to connect is to connect with the ether/space chakra. Many teachings are available elsewhere regarding sabda, nada, and mantra yoga.
This teaching has always been available to us, but because of avidya (non-recognition), it has become obscured and hidden. Ether (akasa) is all pervading. In some schools it is considered the most subtle element (more subtle than air); yet it may be devoid of any substance. Some schools hold it to be similar to having electromagnetic properties, while other schools consider it to be the all pervasive medium of all pervasive space. In illusory body yoga, the throat chakra is the abode of the pain free energy body (sambhogakaya) that aligns the buddha body (dharmakaya) with the physical emanation body (nirmanakaya). Here by activating this region mastery over akasha, time, and travel through space is achieved. Keep this region open and unobstructed.
Just as the activation of the third eye allows for the seeing of the non-physical realms and darshan of the saints, the activation of the spiritual nose for the supra-mundane ambrosial perfume, the amrita (divine nectar), etc. so too does the opening of the spiritual ear allow for the immersion into the divine sound energy (sabda), the realization of the divine name, and the rhapsody of the spheres. In hatha and laya yoga via methods of pranayama, pratyhara, visualization (dharana), and dhyana one utilizes the relationships of consciousness and energy (the cit-prana) to effect conscious energy flow through the specific nadis opening, purifying, activating, and integrating them into the divine body. Being absorbed into these areas one experiences the whole from all points of view; experiences all views from the whole. Nothing is distorted, occluded, left out, or excluded.
Here, ascendancy through activation of ether (akasa) and the throat regions/chakras are achieved. Healing of body/mind maladies between the throat and head are effected as the connections are opened and integrated. Maladies occurring between heaven and earth, the timeless body and the emanation body, head and heart, sahasrara and anahat chakras are remediated.
III. 42. kaya-akasayoh sambandha-samyamat laghu-tula-samapatteh ca akasagamanam
By communion (samyama) on the inter-connections (sambandha) within and between the etheric body (kaya-akashayoh) and the throat chakra (etheric center), the adept becomes absorbed (samapatteh) in the power of the upward (laghu) etheric motion (akasa-gamanam) like a single cotton fiber (tula) buoyantly conjoined with the etheric waves. Thus, the power of lightness and weightlessness is experienced -- levitation is then easily accomplished.
kaya: body or dimension
akasayoh: pertaining to aether
sambandha: connection; connecting two or more things together
laghu: easy: relaxed; light
samapatti: union: conjoined
gamanam: movement; going from or to.
This sutra integrates the previous four (III. 38-41). Lighter than air is the aether (akasa). Akasa is the plasmic interface between energy and matter -- between spirit and nature -- between pure consciousness and beingness. Because aether is the most subtle of all the five elements, samyama on it can bear many benefits/boons dissolving the barriers of space altogether. This sutra alludes to levitation (laghima), astral travel, and boundless space, hence it naturally leads us to the next noble sutra beyond the senses and sense objects. That is not to indicate that Patanjali is revealing a way of escapism, dissociation, avoidance, negation, or separation as "yoga"; but rather he is revealing an all inclusive (non-exclusive) interdependent and interconnected integral wholistic profound mutuality. All oppressive and coarse feelings of a dross heaviness or weight are lifted. Here III.41 is completed by connecting the throat center to the etheric/astral body. From there we easily understand III.43, the realm of the mahavideha or light body beings -- beings of light.
From Rama Prasad, "Nature's Finer Forces and the Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)", originally published in Sanskrit as "Science of the Breath and the Philosophy of the Tatwas").
The tatwas are the five modifications of the great Breath. Acting upon prakriti, this Great breath throws it into five states, having distinct vibratory motions, and performing different functions. The first outcome of the Evolutionary State of parabrahma is the akasa tatwa.
After this come in order the vayu, the taijas, the apas and the prithivi. They are variously known as mahabhutas. The word, akasa, is generally translated into English by the word, ether....
The akasa is the most important of all the tatwas. It must, as a matter of course, precede and follow every change of state on every plane of life. Without this there can be no manifestation or cessation of forms. It is out of akasa that every form comes, and it is in akasa that every form lives. The akasa is full of forms in their potential state. It intervenes between every two of the five tatwas, and between every two of the five principles.
The evolution of the tatwas is always part of the evolution of a certain definite form. Thus the manifestation of the primary tatwas is with the definite aim of giving what we may call a body, a Prakritic form to the Iswara. In the bosom of the Infinite Parabrahma, there are hidden unnumerable such centers. One center takes under its influence a certain portion of the Infinite, and there we find first of all coming into existence the akasa tatwa. The extent of this akasa limits the extent of the Universe, and out of it, the Iswara is to come.
The etheric body and travel through space has now been addressed. Now the yogi addresses the light body or rainbow light body (the maha-videha of the maha vratyas).
III. 43. bahir akalpita vrttir maha-videha tatah prakasa avarana-ksayah
From that samyama (tatah) the veil of the innate light is destroyed (prakasa avarana-ksayah), one is freed from habitually directed projections of conceptual thought (apparitional thinking) upon external and superficial appearances (bahir akalpita vrttir), thus one realizes freedom from mere bodily awareness and temporal attachments (maha-videha).
bahir: external, outer, superficial; an exteriorization.
akalpita: transconceptual; unfabricated; authentic, real, genuine.
vrtti: slant, bias, tilt, conditioned habitual mental pattern or overlay; most often to connote the modification to the mind-field (citta).
maha: great, profound, supra.
videha: free from and not limited by the body, the senses, sense objects, the cosmos, and temporality. Free and unrestricted from temporal concerns of linear time and temporal place/space. A vita-raga or jivamukti. One who is not limited by this cosmos or dimension, but one who has entered multidimensional reality (the multiverse). An adept of the rainbow light body -- a vratya (a yogi who has completed the great seal).
tatah: Hence, therefore, thus.
prakasa: inner light; self effulgent light. Light of inner wisdom.
avarana: covering, veil, sheath.
ksayah: removal; destruction from; the end of;
Commentary: In this way the etheric body (kaya-akashayoh of the previous sutra) provides the portal for the removal of the habitual processes of externally directed (bahir) conceptual thought (akalpita), which are the cause of the fluctuating patterns of thought waves (citta-vrtti) allowing them to be dissolved. Thus, the veil (avarana) that occlude the innate self effulgent light of consciousness (prakasa) is thus pierced asunder (ksayah) revealing and liberating the great formless incorporeal pain free body (maha-videha).
Mental and energetic dynamics on this level are becoming increasingly more subtle. All previous processes that were limited by the physical corporeal body are eliminated. The inner lights, radiance, and inner sounds now predominate as the innate inner voice, satsang like symphony, and cosmic wisdom take over. Our ability to see and listen on the most subtle spiritual spheres are greatly heightened.
By this samyama consciousness is liberated from both the fear of death and dissolution and attachment to a separate bodily identity. Hence this samyama goes a further step from the previous one as its practice grants astral travel (yoga nidra) more than simple levitation (laghima). Beyond even that is the great body -- Divine Universal Body -- which is not attached to any separate thing or "self".
Swami Venkatesananda says: "Beyond all these is the state of consciousness which is not the product of thought: and that is the cosmic intelligence which is independent of the body (or bodies - physical, astral and causal}. By communion (samyama) upon that, the veil that covers that light of cosmic intelligence is removed."
Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri translates this Samyama as:
"The externalized thought waves of the mind which is attached to the body and the ego is illusory, whereas the internalized thought waves generated in the mind without the attachment of the body and ego are called Mahãvidehã. By making a samyama in that Mahavideha, the shell obstructing the inner light is destroyed, and all hindrances are removed."
Consciousness, no longer limited to merely the immediate physical body, the ordinary external senses and sense objects, or any idea of separate self, attachment, or fear -- with all hindrances (kleshas) removed, then the yogic adept rests in the self effulgent light of boundless awareness and compassion -- all boundaries and veils have become broken and removed. This "interpretation will stand in contra-distinction to the common samkhya dualist interpretation which most often assumes that liberation involves dissociation, separation, isolation, and avoidance of their sense world, while leaving things at that. What they really mean is to abstain from any dualistic attachments involving the assumption of a separate limited observer and a separate independent limited object. Then yes, that error of perception is to be avoided as is all grasping of the citta-vrtti toward "phenomena". When that grasping is totally let go, then an open and vast and awesome framework will come into view. Many new possibilities become possible as the old prison bars melt before one's eyes in complete wonder and gratitude. .
From the "Isa Upanishad", translated by Sri Aurobindo
"Sunless are those worlds and enveloped in blind gloom whereto all they in their passing hence resort who are slayers of their souls.
One unmoving that is swifter than Mind, That the Gods reach not, for It progresses ever in front. That, standing, passes beyond others as they run. In That the Master of Life5 establishes the Waters.
That moves and That moves not; That is far and the same is near; That is within all this and That also is outside all this.
But he who sees everywhere the Self in all existences and all existences in the Self, shrinks not thereafter from aught.
He in whom it is the Self-Being that has become all existences that are Becomings, for he has the perfect knowledge, how shall he be deluded, whence shall he have grief who sees everywhere oneness?
It is He that has gone abroad — That which is bright, bodiless, without scar of imperfection, without sinews, pure, unpierced by evil. The Seer, the Thinker, the One who becomes everywhere, the Self-existent has ordered objects perfectly according to their nature from years sempiternal.
Into a blind darkness they enter who follow after the Ignorance, they as if into a greater darkness who devote themselves to the Knowledge alone.
Other, verily, it is said, is that which comes by the Knowledge, other that which comes by the Ignorance; this is the lore we have received from the wise who revealed That to our understanding.
He who knows That as both in one, the Knowledge and the Ignorance, by the Ignorance crosses beyond death and by the Knowledge enjoys Immortality.
Into a blind darkness they enter who follow after the Non- Birth, they as if into a greater darkness who devote themselves to the Birth alone.
Other, verily, it is said, is that which comes by the Birth, other that which comes by the Non-Birth; this is the lore we have received from the wise who revealed That to our understanding.
He who knows That as both in one, the Birth and the dissolution of Birth, by the dissolution crosses beyond death and by the Birth enjoys Immortality.
The face of Truth is covered with a brilliant golden lid; that do thou remove, O Fosterer,10 for the law of the Truth, for sight.
O Fosterer, O sole Seer, O Ordainer, O illumining Sun, O power of the Father of creatures, marshal thy rays, draw together thy light; the Lustre which is thy most blessed form of all, that in Thee I behold. The Purusha there and there, He am I.
The Breath of things is an immortal Life, but of this body ashes are the end. OM! O Will, remember, that which was done remember! O Will, remember, that which was done remember."
Please also see I.19 and II.31
III. 44. sthula svarupa suksma anvayarth-arthavattva samyamad bhuta jayah
Samyama on the underlying essential true self-nature (swarupa) of all the elements (bhuta), both gross (sthula) and subtle (suksma) taken together as an interdependent whole, will reveal their correlative interactive dynamic connections (anvaya) and their specific qualities and functional mutuality serving the purpose (arthavattva) to successfully understand the interactive dependent origination of the creative elements (bhuta) that constitute constructed what appears normally as a material aggregate held together by chemical and energy patterns; and hence, liberation from attachment (jayah) to the appearances of phenomena is achieved.
sthula: gross, coarse, outer
svarupa (swarupa): literally own form: true form as-it-is. True nature, true self-nature, . essential nature.
suksma: subtle inner
anvaya: interconnectedness; interdependence; mutuality; relationship.
arthavattva: the method of serving a purpose (artha)
jayah: victory: liberation; complete freedom from.
Commentary: The unbiased awareness brought forward by samyama on at first what is seen as coarse and then more subtle inter-connections between the elements discloses its workings and hence victory over the elements is achieved through understanding. Some translate jaya as mastery, but victory is the more suitable translation. By victory over identifications with mere elemental matter and coarse existence one becomes *aware* of the more subtle and energetic intricate inter-relationships underlying matter. Thus awareness moves beyond even the most subtle after successful samyama on the true nature which connects and underlies ALL OUR RELATIONS; i.e., the creative principle of shiva/shakti, expansion/contraction, pingala/ida, consciousness and nature, and so forth. Thus through this realization one is propelled beyond flat plane limited conditions of space and time which reinforce the illusion of the existence of separate isolated phenomena.
The tatwas are the five modifications of the great Breath. Acting upon prakriti, this Great breath throws it into five states, having distinct vibratory motions, and performing different functions. The first outcome of the Evolutionary State of parabrahma is the akasa tatwa.
After this come in order the vayu, the taijas, the apas and the prithivi. They are variously known as mahabhutas. The word, akasa, is generally translated into English by the word, ether....
It will be very interesting to trace the development of man and the development of the world according to the theory of the tatwas.
The tatwas, as we have already seen, are the modifications of Swara. Regarding Swara, we find in our book: “In the Swara are the Vedas and the Shastras, and in the Swara is music. All the world is in the Swara; Swara is the spirit itself.”
Rama Prasad, from "Nature's Finer Forces and the Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)", originally published in Sanskrit as "Science of the Breath and the Philosophy of the Tatwas").`Also see Swara Yoga: A Reference at
After much meditation one perceives that all coarse (sthula) matter is in motion -- dancing in its characteristic pattern in its place with all of nature. At the same time, as one look at the true nature of the elements there is no end -- no primal particle or base. Rather it is a black hole or open doorway (fractal) back into the universe -- the Whologram. A rock is a specific dynamic of dancing energy within the framework of that underlying empty and open system. The heretofore mystery of energy and matter is revealed as part of the Divine dance of shiva/shakti which is nothing more than an open doorway to boundless potential. As mentioned previously there are many hatha yoga practices such as tattva shuddhi, Bhuta shuddhi, or tummo (psychic heat which purifies the elements, opens the nadis and melts the bindu. These are traditional hatha yoga practices which aid in this samyama.
Thus the experienced adept no longer is fooled by gross physical three dimensional "appearances", subtle superficialities, apparent phenomena, but rather knows "Self" to be the unitive flow of that dance and dancer. It is said that such understanding will allow a yogic adept to change form/shape at will. HERE the adept has entered into the Tandava (Siva's dance which reveals the underlying emptiness of the constituents of material temporal existence which are always in the stage of flux, thus removing such obscurations.) As our consciousness becomes more clear, the more subtle (suksma) relationships occurring within the etheric body are revealed and hence also ALL OUR RELATIONS. This all comes about through practice such as this samyama or naturally and spontaneously by knowing our own true interconnected nature (not separate) as in swarupa-sunyam (III.3).
Swami Venkatesananda again states:
"By the practice of the threefold discipline on the gross (tangible, with form) and the subtle (intangible, formless), and their conjunction and the direct perception of their apparently substantial nature, there arises the perfect understanding of the elements that constitute that existence"
Bhuta Shuddhi (Swami Rama) or a presentation of Bhuta Shuddhi by Swami Satyasangananada Saraswati or sometimes modified as Tattwa Shuddhi.
III. 45 tatah anima-adi-pradurbhavah kaya-sampat-tad dharma-anabhighatas ca
From that (liberation over the elementals) follows (tato). The yogi realizes the perfect sublime body (kaya-sampat) which is invulnerable, unassailable, and impervious to the vagaries of dharma (dharma-anabhihatas); hence the opportunity for the gross physical appearances of the body (pradurbhava) can also change in alignment and thus the ability to become extremely small and even disappear (anima) and many other abilities (adi) become easily facilitated.
kaya-sampat: body of perfection. This generally not a referent to the physical body alone which is associated with the elements as independent from the energy body or source body, rather it is referring to the subtle body, energy body, rainbowbody, or vajra body associated with the causal body which underlies the physical and astral bodies, especially when taken as an interconnected whole. It shines through (manifests) on a vibratory physical level in degrees and levels depending on the awareness, karma, intent, and ability of the purified alchemicalized bodymind integrative construct to access and align to its vibratory frequency, pulsations, and communications -- to open up the pathways/channels (nadis). Also referred as the integration of the three four or five kayas in the manifestation of a living Buddha -- as the integration of the dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, svabhavakaya, and vajrakaya
anima: ability to become infinitesimally small or even invisible.
dharma: essential quality, characteristic, essential nature, or true nature. the truth or operating principle/law.
pradurbhava: superficial appearance: phenomena; temporal physical form.
anabhighatah: impervious: unassailability: invulnerability; vajra like; not capable of being afflicted or tarnished.
adi: and others. more.
Commentary: From that (tato), victory over phenomena (no longer being controlled by events past or future), the adept realizes the perfect body (kaya-sampat). From that place of freedom over the elements, our evolutionary potential becomes potenized. The true omniscient Self is everywhere -- in all things. Although Self has always manifested in the human body in a limited and often demeaned semi-conscious or unrecognized state, now its evolutionary conscious potential has been catalyzed and recognized. Having been now consciously recognized one is able to promote the various dynamics in which it manifests through the medium of the perfected body (even beyond the etheric body, the element ether, and beyond all elements). This refers to the perfected energy body impervious to decay yet capable of directing physical torque.
The dance continues -- large and small -- light and heavy, form and empty, visible and invisible, etc (adi). As a progression from the understanding and freedom gained in the previous three sutras about the etheric body, lightness, levitation (laghima), and victory over phenomena, all the previous sutras can be seen as a steady progression toward the realization of the kaya-sampat (perfect body) which we have seen occurs only after the elements (bhuta) have become purified beyond even the most subtle vibratory understanding. Thus the yogi is moving into increasingly more subtle stages of samyama.
Not that it is exactly the physical body which is perfected, but it is perfected by virtue of the opening up the channels and at the same time the activation of the energy body, the rainbowbody, or vajra body. Hence the adept is victorious to that extent accordingly to what is achieved regarding its adamantine and impervious freedom from destruction of the elements through the realization of the kaya-sampat. The physical body radiates according to its energetic/dynamic relationship to the kaya-sampat -- its harmonization with the energy body. That kaya-sampat is the extraordinary mediator/instrument between eternal formless Self and the great yantra-- divine creatrix seeing Self in all -- knowing Self as all and hence it takes the form of a rainbow hued fractal. Hence it is possible for the physical body to become invulnerable, The perfect body is achieved (kaya sampat) from where one remains free from the onslaught of the variegated laws of nature (dharma) such as the five elements etc. Hence a resonant relationship between the physical, energetic, mental, astral, and causal bodies (kayas) is established.
Obviously when the transpersonal non-dual self is realized as one's true self nature, then the identification of a separate self dissolves while one identifies increasingly with the true universal self (swarupa-sunyam) in samadhi. Here the mystery of the microcosm/macrocosm is revealed -- as inside so outside -- as above so below. These experiences that are obtained through various unpeeling of the coverings of the subtle, energy, causal and wisdom bodies that are placed in harmony with formless non-dual Source (underlying creative universal principle). In the beginning these openings appear randomly, but with practice they appear steady as the various depths of samadhi are integrated.
"So, what happens then to the ideal of complete unity and integration of perfect wisdom, love, and action of the body and mind in this world which is a sphere of relativity? What happens to that ideal? How can we accomplish that? This was the starting point of Sri Aurobindo's philosophical search and spiritual quest -- a search for complete integration of personality. Completely unifying -- harmonizing the indwelling spirit which is indeed an imperishable spark of the Divine and the body/mind structure which belongs to nature different from this space in a sense.
When Sri Aurobindo reports of his spiritual search eventually he makes a supreme discovery. That is the discovery of the Supermind which is the ultimate, unifying, harmonizing principle of the universe, of all existence, the Supermind. It is not only a unifying principle, it is a sovereign transforming power of the Supreme. It is an amazing power of transformation. So, says Aurobindo, that if we succeed in the course of our yoga, meditation -- spiritual search, in discovering the Supermind rising up to the supramental level and then coming down again into physical consciousness with the light and power and love and the transforming magic of the Supermind, then it will become possible to transform our material body also. Our body, our life, our mind also into a perfect image of the Divine. Into a perfect channel of expression of the Divine. This possibility of perfect transformation of our total being is the highest potential of man, the highest spiritual potential of man, according to Sri Aurobindo.
Then he goes into a very elaborate philosophical discussion why it is possible, because he says that Supermind, first of all, is a dynamic potential of the cosmic evolutionary process. If we do not succeed with our own efforts, evolutionary process is there which is going to do it; and then again, he points out that not only it is there in the structure of the universe as a potential of evolution, it is also within each one of us as our own basic most profound potential, the Supermind. Just as in the course of evolution the human mind one day evolved out of the matrix of animal consciousness, just as in the course of civilization our consciousness is evolving from the ethical level to the religious level to the spiritual level, so on and so forth, he says that the final moment, as he calls it the hour of God, as it is approaching there will be the emergence of this higher level and higher power of consciousness which is the Supermind. And that Supermind as it will be brought forth into manifestation and overt operation in the collective consciousness of humanity will lay the foundation for the transformation, not only of individual human beings, but the transformation of the entire human race and society leading to the establishment of mankind's ageless dream of the kingdom of heaven on this planet."
From a Sunday discourse presented at the Cultural Integration Fellowship of San Francisco in 1972, by Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri on "Supramental Meditation".
Besides the kaya-sampat (realizing the body of perfection) and dharma-anabhighatas siddhis listed in sutra III.45, it is *traditional* here to list the eight major siddhis which are referenced by the word "adi", meaning etc. The following list pertains just as well or even more so to sutra III.44 as to 45. There are many more siddhis as well, but these are classical..
1. Anima: power to become very small or invisible;
2. Laghima: power to become very light or levitate;
3. Mahima: power to become very large as the Universe. Consider anima and mahima to be analogous to shiva/shakti
4. Prapti: power to obtain anything. (These above four are achieved by samyama on the sthula or gross elements).
5. Prakamya: fulfillment of any desire at will; This is attained by the samyama on the swarupa (the true form of the gross elements).
6. Vashitva: control of all the gross elements and their material manifestations. This is attained by the samyama on the sukshma rupa (subtle bodies) of the elements.
7. Ishitritva: power to create and destroy the gross and material manifestations; This power is attained by the samyama on anvayaya.
8. Kamavashayitva: fulfillment of what is determined by the yogi. This power is attained by the samyama on the arthavatva.
*With thanks to Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri and Lahiri Mahasaya*
In similar Asian yogic tradition these and many more (adi) siddhis are elaborated. In fact there is no limit to the possibilities, keeping in mind that these possibilities open up to the sincere practitioner naturally, not as an end in themselves. Besides those abilities already mentioned other (adi) similar siddhis are lipi dristhi (the ability to read and/or write spiritual texts/instruction from the ether and various realms through subtle vision, and to receive these teachings/transmissions directly), terton (the ability to find secret or hidden teachings (termas) stored in nature, the ether, or other subtle realms), bi-location (the ability to physically appear in more than one location simultaneously), remote viewing (the ability to perceive events in various remote locations), remote healing, chakra and aura reading, the ability to know past and future events, the ability to change past events, the ability to change future events,, the ability to appear invisible, the ability to leave one's body at will and enter other bodies (phowa), the ability to walk very fast and lightly covering great distances in a short time, the ability to stay warm in very cold temperatures, the ability to fast for long periods of time, the ability to self heal and prolong life, the ability to not breathe for long periods of time; the ability to hibernate indefinitely, the ability to destroy poisons, the immutability of the physical body, the ability to bestow siddhis and boons, the spontaneous singing of wisdom songs that go directly to the heart of the listener, the ability to hear the celestial music of the entire creation, the ability to see in the dark, the ability to protect others from harm, the ability to warm and restore the hearts of cold hearted and estranged/deranged souls, the ability to float on water, the ability to not be harmed by fire; the power over tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, storms, tsunamis, lightening, and strong winds; the ability to change the weather, and so forth like that depending on the adept's karma, needs, strength of practice, and aspiration.
In Sutra III.46 will we take a look at what is behind this indestructible immutable form body which bestows all these siddhis as well as beauty and strength.
"When meditation of the subtle senses begins, the seeker attains divine sound (anahata nada-hearing the subtle inner sound), divine vision (jyoti darshana-seeing the light of the atman), divine taste (amrta pana-sipping the nectar), divine smell, and divine touch.
As the body is composed of five major elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether), a yogi purifies and conquers them through the practice of yoga. By conquering these elements, one gains extra-ordinary powers. Mastery of the earth element causes all the diseases of the body to vanish. By conquering the water element, one can walk on water, no poison of any kind may cause their death and all their sins are destroyed. One becomes free from the danger of fire by attaining command over the fiery element. Power to move in the air (astral traveling) is attained by conquering the airy element. One attains moksha (liberation) and the power to extract rasa (nectar) by conquering the ether element.
Finally, the yogi attains the eight highest miraculous powers:
1) anima, 2) laghima, 3) mahima, 4) prapti, 5) prakamya, 6) vasitva, 7) isitva, and 8) yatrakamavasayitva.
(a) Anima: by attaining this power, a yogi can reduce to the size of an atom, attain very minute form and go anywhere he likes without being noticed by anyone.
(b) Laghima: Through this attainment, a yogi can become as light as a cotton ball or a straw and can fly through the air.
(c) Mahima: With this power, a yogi can become as big as a mountain.
(d) Prapti: By attaining this power, a yogi can touch anything, however far away it may be. For instance, one can touch the moon while standing on the earth.
(e) Prakamya: Through this power, a yogi can realize or materialize anything he so chooses merely by applying his willpower. For instance, he cannot ordinarily dive into the earth, but if such a yogi decides to exercise his willpower, he can dive into the earth and again come out of it. His resolve never fails.
(f) Vasitva: With this power, a yogi can make inanimate objects move and animate objects behave as he wishes, but he himself cannot be controlled.
(g) Isitva: Attaining this power, a yogi can create, sustain and destroy any element or piece of matter at will.
(h) Yatrakamavasayitva: Through this power, a yogi can change the qualities of matter as he likes. For instance, he can revive a dead person by giving him poison.
These major miraculous powers are not attained by any or every yogi. They can be attained only by that yogi who has accomplished rtambara prajna (the highest wisdom divya sarira (divine body).."
Swami Kripalu, from Chapter 11, "Science of Meditation".
"The Sambhogakaya [light body] can be characterized by the eight types of power and enrichment, known as wang chuk gye. The first type is called kui wang chuk, which means the power and enrichment of the body. It is said that the power of the body becomes such that all things of samsaric and nirvanic nature become completely subdued and one is able to take full charge of them. Along with this power, one is enriched with many positive qualities.
The second is sung gi wang chuk, the power and enrichment of the verbal capacity or speech. In this case the capacity of speech or communication is such that all the essential verbal elements of both samsaric and nirvanic qualities become assimilated, and one is able to make full use of them. Thus one becomes enriched and empowered.
The third is called thuk gyi wang chuk. Here the power of the mind in relation to both samsara and nirvana becomes assimilated and integrated, and one becomes empowered and enriched with all the different possibilities of mental manifestation.
Fourth is zung thrul kyi wang chuk, or the power of miracle, whereby the person's capacity of expression is such that he or she is not confined by the three gates of body, speech, and mind, but is able to go beyond conventional modes of expression, thus being able to display his or her power in unusual ways.
Fifth is kun du wang chuk, the ever-going, ever moving empowerment and enrichment. One is constantly being impelled toward action, toward the intention to act and to accomplish things for the benefit of others. So in terms of doing, or acting, one becomes fully endowed with varieties of powers related to samsaric and nirvanic qualities.
The sixth one is called ne gyi wang chuk, the enrichment and empowerment of place. This means that the Sambhogakaya is situated in Akanishtha, which is basically the sphere of reality. One becomes enriched and empowered in this sense because Sambhogakaya is inseparably united with reality, and all the powers related with that can manifest.
Seventh is de pai wang chuk, the empowerment and enrichment of sensuality. This is connected with the idea that Sambhogakaya is inseparably in unison with its female counterpart, whether one calls that the mother of all Buddhas or the selfless one, Dag mema--or whether one calls it Vajravarahi or Vajrayogini. Whatever one might call it, the female counterpart is continuously in unison with the Sambhogakaya, and this experience continuously produces the great bliss of being in unison, which is the Mahamudra expression as well. Finally, one is empowered and enriched by the capacities to manifest prajna or sherab.
The eighth and last type is called chin de pai wang chuk which means the enrichment and empowerment to fulfill one's wishes. Sambhogakaya [body of light] is intrinsically endowed with all the worldly and supramundane boons. A worldly boon, or loka siddha, is the capacity to work with one's extrasensory capacities, such as clairvoyance, clear audience, telepathy, and so forth. The loka siddhi are the supernormal powers of different spiritual realizations." ~ Treleg Rinpoche
III. 46. rupa-lavanya-bala-vajra-samhananatvani kaya-sampat
Beauty (lavanya) and strength (bala) take their form (rupa) as attributes emanating from the coalesced indestructible and perfect supramental body (vajrasamhananatyani kaya sampat).
rupa: form, the appearance of phenomena. The clear seeing of form (lucency) discloses the vibratory aspect of its times true nature (svarupa).
lavanya: beauty as a reflection of the all pervasive timeless clear light true nature of phenomena
bala: the strength and power emanating from the clear connection with siva (samantabhadra) or primal original goodness through shakti.
vajra: indestructible, diamond like, immutable and atemporal.
Samhananatvani: put together or integrated into one steady construct; Durable, unmoving firmness; steady, coalesced
kaya: body or vehicle
sampat: sublime; perfected; ultimate
kaya-sampat: body of perfection. This is not a referent to the physical body alone ,which is associated with the elements as independent from the energy (light) body or source body, rather it is referring to the subtle body, energy body, rainbowbody, or vajra body associated with the causal body, which underlies the physical and astral bodies, especially when taken as an interconnected whole. It shines through (manifests) on a vibratory physical level in degrees and levels depending on the awareness, karma, intent, and ability of the purified alchemicalized bodymind integrative construct to access and align to its vibratory frequency, pulsations, and communications -- to open up the pathways/channels (nadis). Also referred as the integration of the three four or five kayas in the manifestation of a living Buddha -- as the undivided integration of the dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, svabhavakaya, and vajrakaya.
Commentary: As a natural result of the previous practices, accomplishments, balance, communion, and harmonization we become permeated with shakti's divine energy, strength, and form which is beauteous on a regular basis. This is not an end in itself but shines forth as a reflection of that inner beauty, strength, and grace -- signs or characteristics of the kaya-sampat (indestructible body) taking form. In samadhi the yantra of the integrative alignment on of body, mind, spirit, nature, and breath shines forth from the inside out reflecting the universal truth of non-dual integration of Creation/Creator as both eternal and omnipresent. As such in order to shine through the open sacralized vessel of the attuned/resonant yogic adept such is known to exist inside the body us as well as everywhere simultaneously and non-exclusively. Hence depending on our karmic and kleshic constellations a human being may appear ugly or beauteous according to their divine demeanor (bhava) or the lack of its self recognition -- on how well the yogi is open to and reflects that light and wisdom -- according to what is being transduced/passed through.the vehicle/instrument of the heart/mind and body. For example when an adept yogin or true devotee acts as a pure receptacle -- a dharma holder of truth, reflecting the transconceptual (nirvikalpa) non-dual (asamprajnata) splendor beyond mere words or three dimensional dualistic thinking, THAT communicates as great beauty and grace, while reflecting indestructible strength. Then the adept has become the embodied incarnation of THAT -- its virtual reflection on earth in the moment, even if the physical body be temporary.
Non-dually, the energy and consciousness simultaneously moves inward (withdrawing from seemingly individual objects of the senses) and outward far beyond the body, planet, galaxy, physical universe, and measurable form as a singular motion -- as a divine pulsation. How, because that is its original, natural, and true unconditioned wholistic condition. Inside that immeasurable space, all is contained in all.
Art, beauty, esthetic expression, and moral courage are reflected by attuning the human vehicle and spirit as close as possible in harmony with the causal body. As these pathways become purified, obstructions are removed, and pat dormant biopsychic circuits become energized, then this exhibition/expression from timeless source manifests spontaneously.
Here again (see III.45) Patanjali mentions the sublime indestructible (vajra) body of perfection (kaya-sampat). This teaching can not be given in detail or written down. It is mentioned in outline form in the works on Hatha Yoga such as in the "Siva Samhita" and others. Although the yogi works with the physical body, the breath, the mind, energy centers, nadis, bindu, and pure awareness, the goal is a working inter-relationship in pure vision with the divine creatrix or divine yantra underlying all of creation radiating from the primordial creator. THAT is transduced through the kaya-sampat, through functional yoga, and it often shines through as grace, strength, beauty, and vajra like imperviousness, but such are mere reflections. Also see anabhighatah in the glossary. the body that is created does not consist of the elements (matter), rather it is supramental, yet it influences matter. The elements align themselves around it like iron filings around a horseshoe magnet.
This is the result of para-vairagyam -- a non-dual state (asamprajnata). See Sutras I.17-19. This is the realm of the vita-ragas, the maha videhas and more..
"Ultimately, the seeker transcends even the state of ekagravastha (state of concentration) to reach the fifth and final stage of nirodhavastha, in which the mind ceases to think or becomes non-mind. This state of complete restraint of mind is called nirbija, nirvikalpa, or asamprajnata samadhi, in which there is no longer any distinction of knower, knowledge, and known. At this stage, the yogi becomes urdhavareta (a perfect celibate) and obtains divya sarira (divine body). He also attains para vairagya (total detachment) and final emancipation. "
Swami Kripaluananda from chapter 6, "the Science of MEditation".
Divine Body: Immortality in the body or body transcendence?
The immortal universal formless Self or Buddhanature resides within us. In fact it forms the basis of all of creation. For a realized yogic adept this is their experience realized from a sustained practice over many years. It is not the result of a conceptualized conclusion or belief, nor is it based on any thing but pure love and devotion -- the divine, natural, innate, and spontaneous passion for union and direct transmission.
Hence such an adept has realized her eternal self and exists in harmony with that AND with all her relations simultaneously. Most yogis accept that the physical body, being built on the five elements, is temporal, corporeal, and will morph and melt back into nature (layam) and become continuously recycled and transformed. In short the physical is constantly on fire and changing. As such in that framework, most yogis accept physical incarnation and corporeality without attachment as being part of their true essential eternal nature which never dies, and hence there is no fear/attachment to the body or the world. However that is necessarily a simplified description.
Historically there has been much speculation in almost all cultures whether or not immortality can be found on the physical plane or whether immortality exists in the non-physical (beyond the elemental realm) or even beyond the energetic realm (only in the formless realm). This speculation in India often centered on whether or not it is possible to perfectly attune the human body to be in complete resonance with the vajra body or body of perfection continuously. For the common man the speculation is how long can a human live in order to enjoy his possessions and pleasures. Such a quest is based on the assumption of an I/it duality or egoic delusion and much of that is based on the fear of the unknown and death. For a rich and greedy man, death may be very painful, but for a poor and humble man, it may not. In short if one's mindset and life is based on ignorance of one's true nature, the answer to that speculation is of course that one will not live very long at all. In Buddhist cosmology the gods are said to be very long lived, but they are preoccupied with pleasure and dalliance. Hence when their life span is ending they become very upset because they are losing "everything". Having not planned ahead or made allowances, they become aware that they are about to take a lower rebirth and hence are pained and frightened.
However for a yogi the question arises how long can a yogi live without attachment to the body or life (as a vita raga and mahavideha) free from fear of death. The rationale for such is to maximize their practice and gain enlightenment in order to help others (as most yogis gain attainment only after many years of sadhana). After gaining some contact/connection, the adept who has gone beyond boundaries of a separate independent "I" apart from all things/beings and hence beyond compassion, then joyously shares and reflects that integrative sphere whilst one abides. Thus one's intent and purpose becomes fructified over many years of practice where eventually the body becomes the vehicle. channel, and conduit for embodied love (karuna). Here raj, shakti, bhakti, karma, hatha, tantra, kundalini, and laya yoga all converge. In this case the yogis practice life extension practices, which involve the physical body, energy body, mental/emotional body, wisdom body (vijnanamaya kosha), and the anandamaya kosha (or bliss body). All these rae to be harmonized through various practices. As mentioned previously bhuta shuddhi or`tattva shuddhi is practiced as well as various dharanas (visualizations involving asana, bandha, mudras, pranayama, pratyhara, and so forth). These are not trivial matters.
This short discussion of the Divine Body will of course fall short in many ways. The following is taken from a larger exposition from "The Timeless Body of Infinite Light". at http://www.rainbowbody.com/newarticles/energybody.htm .
|Muladhara||Base of the spine||Lam||apana vayu||Sthula||Annamaya||smell||
|Swadisthana||Below Navel||Vam||vyana vayu||Sthula||Annamaya||taste||
|Manipura||Above Navel||Ram||samana vayu||Sukshma||Pranamaya||seeing||
|Vishuddha||Throat||Ham||udana vayu||Sukshma||Vijnanamaya||hearing speech||
We will start off then from normal dualistic perspectives where there appears to be an object, a separate observer, and a process of observing (in short a disconnection, separation, or disintegrated milieu) . Later we will see that this apparent physical reality or rather dualistic framework which we call our world of form and structure is based on an error of seeing; i.e., it doesn't exist as such.
Disclosed in this discussion will be the inter-relationships between the
The Five Koshas and Three Bodies
First there will be a discussion of the five chief koshas (sheaths) and their relationship to the three sharira. Classically they are the
1) Annamaya kosha which is translated as food sheath and corresponds roughly to the physical body. It has the most dense and slow vibrational frequency. It is the realm of the sthula sharira (coarse body). This is the realm of the manifest form body of the Buddha, the nirmanakaya.
2) The second sheath is composed of the pranamaya kosha or energy sheath. It interconnects the annamaya kosha (physical body) with the manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamaya koshas. It is associated with the suksmah sharira (subtle body).
3) Next there is manomaya kosha or mental and emotional sheath which also is included in the sukshma sharira (subtle body),
4) Next the vijnanamaya kosha or the prajna wisdom sheath of Gnosis (transconceptional knowledge) which also is included in the sukshma sharira (subtle body). Taken together, the annamaya, pranamaya, and vijnanamaya sheaths comprise the subtle body (sukshma sharira) which is the vehicle for Buddha's bliss body (sambhogakaya).
5) The anandamaya kosha (literally the bliss sheath) which is associated with the karana sharira or causal body. In some systems there is a sixth sheath, the Hiranyagarbha kosha (which here will be discussed as existing as one aspect inside the anandamaya kosha). This karana sharira corresponds to the vajra body or diamond heart -- the immutable changeless and indestructible body of the primordial eternal and formless Buddha vehicle which is the Dharmakaya. The vajrabody of a living Buddha, in order to manifest requires the integration of all three bodies (dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya).
The purpose of these classification systems is to consciously map out the causal dynamic interactions that occur between the mind, emotions, physical body, health, the breath, energy fields, nature, and Source, so that compulsive negative habits can be remediated -- so that conscious healing as purification, activation and integration spiritually, emotionally, and physically can be expedited. Even from the most gross standpoint of the physical body all five sheaths are intertwined ( present simultaneously) in space. To the degree that they intertwine harmoniously and without conflict or tension is the degree that they exist they produce health or disease in the body/mind."
In Hatha and tantra yoga most of the advanced practices involve the energy body, breath, nadis, chakras, bindu and especially the central nadi, the sushumna. where the activation and integration of the crown chakra with the root chakra occurs, formless spirit and nature, void and form (dharmakaya and rupakaya), the unification of consciousness and beingness, pure undifferentiated consciousness (prajna) with awakened differentiated consciousness (viveka-khyater), sahasrara and muladhara, purusa and prakrti, siva and sakti, mind and body, Ha with THA, microcosm and macrocosm, the ultimate absolute with relative form (dharmakaya and rupakaya), the unification of the three bodies of the Buddha as the self woven body of the Nirmanakaya (physical), Sambhogakaya (energy or bliss body) and Dharmakaya (formless body) in tantric Buddhism are intimately integrated. Sometimes the latter is broken down into the five or six kayas (the five or six dimensions of enlightenment) by adding the vajra kaya, bodhikaya (abhisambodhikaya), and svabhavikakaya.
The following is from a translation of "The Eight Flashing Lances" a song of realization sung by Gyalwa Gotsangpa (1189-1258), who was renowned as an emanation of the lord of yogis, Milarepa, translated by Jim Scott. The commentary is by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, translated by Ari Goldfield. From "Buddharma", Winter 2006
The Flashing Lance of Fruition
The kayas, five, pristinely
Directly manifest in your experience
Ambition for achieving
These are three which make fruition
Like a lance that flashes free
in the open sky
Commentary by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche:
"The five kayas -- the five dimensions of enlightenment—are the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya, plus, fourth, the undifferentiablity of these three kayas from the perspective of their true nature, called the vajrakaya, and, fifth, the three kayas’ distinct appearances in relative reality, called the kaya of manifest enlightenment.
These kayas are “pristinely self-occurring,” meaning that they are spontaneously present in your mind’s true nature and have been since the beginning. This is the most subtle explanation of the kayas: dharmakaya is mind’s emptiness; sambhogakaya is its natural luminous clarity; and nirmanakaya is mind’s ability to unimpededly manifest as and cognize an infinite variety of images. Furthermore, it is not that mind’s nature starts out as an ordinary composite thing and then transforms into the kayas. The kayas are mind’s nature itself.
When you realize the fruition, these five kayas “directly manifest in your own experience.” Then the fact that the true nature of mind is the five kayas is not just something you believe; it is your actual experience. When you have this realization of the natural presence of the five kayas as the true nature of your mind, you no longer have any ambition or longing to achieve an enlightenment that has not been present all along. You do not desire to become or turn into a buddha because you realize directly the enlightenment that is the true nature of your own mind.
You should free yourself from the wish to achieve enlightenment as if it were something newly created, because if it were like that, then, like all newly created things, it would be impermanent and decay. It would be unreliable. So train in recognizing this genuine buddha that is originally the true nature of your mind. When you do perfectly recognize that, when you have these three profound aspects to your fruition, it is like a lance flashing free in the open sky."
Indeed the realization of what is called the rainbowbody is to transform/transduce each of the five chakras through tattva shuddhi (tummo) practices involving the sushumna nadi and chakra system. Most Western yogis are not very interested in this, but again this is not trivial. According to Yogi Chen who used to live in Berkeley where I studied briefly with him.
"In the Buddha body first of all you have a median nerve. Most people make the mistake of thinking this is the spinal column; actually, it is not the spinal column, but the median nerve is the supporter of the whole body. This means all the bones will dissolve into it. Because the median nerve is the supporter of the Buddha body, you may ask, how can you stand up, if it is so soft? But this is not like in a common body. You know, in the median nerve, downside you visualize the tummo, the fire, and upside the HUNG, the white bodhi. Actually in the third initiation, the meditator not only uses himself, but the tummo to dissolve everything, to transform it with fire; like in cooking, to make something soft fire is the very important thing. In the male the tummo is less and the nectar is more; in the female, the tummo is more but the nectar is less. That is why there is the third initiation in which the male and female help each other, to exchange tummo and nectar to make transformation possible. In Chinese we say that the body is formed of two things, the blood and the energy, two principles. Energy is right, blood is left. Energy goes up in breathing we hold the energy so it goes up and out from the right so that all the bad things go out. But the blood becomes essence, becomes semen and through sexual intercourse it always goes down, that is why it corresponds to the left. The essence, the semen and ovum are in the middle. But first the bones must be dissolved. How to transform the human body into the Rainbow Body takes wisdom and many kinds of practice.
The first chakra corresponds to the brain and nervous system. You practice with HUNG and the tummo to transform all this nervous system so it dissolves into this chakra in the head. The second chakra corresponds to the respiratory system, the lungs and breathing system. With tummo, the respiratory system is transformed into this chakra, the throat chakra. We must control the breath and visualize it and bring the Tummo up to transform this system. The circulatory system relates to the blood and the heart. So we transform the circulatory system into the heart chakra with tummo breathing. Now the blood and heart organ is finished, the lungs are finished and the brain is finished. Next, the digestive apparatus is transformed into the navel chakra. All the intestines and digestive organs are transformed and burned up in the fire. In the procreative chakra are burned up all the reproductive organs which become this chakra. So instead of these five major organs and systems of the human body, we have the five chakras. When these five chakras are accomplished and all the organs are transformed, then we have the Rainbow Body. The transformation of the first four chakras is in the second initiation, and the transformation of the reproductive organs belongs to the third initiation. The third initiation involves the help of the opposite sex; the second initiation is done alone, working with the nerves and energy. The purpose of working with the opposite sex is to increase the force of transformation, the Tummo. You must not discharge, if you do so, you will just be born again in the body of a human. You must take the essence up, then it becomes fire, then with this fire force, you can dissolve anything of the flesh. Then you can really be transformed into a Rainbow Body...
...The Consequence of the Rainbow Body is connected with the 5th Kaya or Body; a living Buddha has 5 Kayas; Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya, Dharmakaya, Sahajakaya, and Mahasukhaprajnakaya. The 5th Kaya is just the Rainbow Body. Because he is in Mahasukha he can enjoy the Great Pleasures as well as a flesh body and he has gotten the highest wisdom connected with the Dharmakaya. For Prajna means Wisdom and achievement of the Mahasukha means that he was born in a fleshly human body which was transformed into the highest physical form, the rainbow. The light of the rainbow is this very greatest wisdom while the colors of the rainbow are the highest physical form-- both are harmonized together in the 5th Kaya. We say full enlightenment the highest wisdom is the Light. Sinful persons have no light, just darkness. Vidya, knowledge, is light; avidya, ignorance, is no light. The form and color of the rainbow reflected in the no-cloud blue sky is the physical aspect and the light is the wisdom. The physical flesh body is transformed into the form and color of a Rainbow Body while its light is the wisdom -- Mahasukha prajna. As there is form, so he can embrace all the dakinis and get the physical pleasure while at the same time still have the profound wisdom of non-egoism and of emptiness and of all the Buddhas philosophy. This is the Wisdom and the high Consequence. Physically, because he is a rainbow, there is no death. Because there is no death, there is no end of salvation; because there is no end of salvation, he can carry on his Great Compassion without end. So anywhere, any direction, any person on any occasion, can connect with Padmasambhava and get inspiration from him."
On a physical level, in Buddhism there is little evidence that an immortal physical body has been produced in the past mainly because the human physical body is dependent upon many things (the elements, the planet, sun, and cosmos) which is constantly morphing, interdependent, destructible. However Buddhist yoga does not rule it out, rather it also does not support the need for it other for purposes of life extension (in order to carry out good deeds). In Hindu yoga, there are many stories about Babaji of the Himalayan mountains who attained the siddha of the immortal body. Many adepts including Lahiri Mahasaya and Paramahansa Yogananda have claimed to have met him. These two great yogis passed on Babaji's teachings to humankind which are classical selected hatha yoga teachings suitable to householders.
III. 47. grahana-svarupasmita-anvaya-arthavattva-samyamad indriya-jayah
Samyama on the sense objects, on their grasping (grahana), their qualitative nature as they are (svarupa), their fragmentary appearance as separate objects (asmita), their mutual or comparative co-relationship (anvaya), and their projected or ascribed significance given to it (arthavattva) in relationship to the non-dual indwelling intelligence (without which they would be unable to function) will bring forth a complete direct non-dual realization and hence proficiency and mastery over the function of sense organs (indriya-jayah) i.e., freedom from their bias ensues.
Commentary: Although Patanjali is not traditionally categorized as being a tantric yogi, this sutra lays the foundation of tantric practice where the yogi investigates the created universe, the elements, the bodily functions, etc. all as an integral part of the all inclusive unbiased non-dual whole -- as a path back to total integration with creator/creator (siva/shakti). When perception through the human faculties of eye, ear, nose, throat, tongue, and touch becomes clarified through samyama (through their modalities) then the anthropocentric prejudice of such organs become refined so that we may see things as they really are without the ordinary limitations of the five senses -- through a multidimensional and holographic universal perspective (through the sixth sense), When we have understood the limitations of the five senses by practicing samyama on their functions then a deeper awareness (often called the sixth sense) arises -- beyond the temporal limitations of time/space. Then we are centered beyond bias or skew, but rather in the light of Universal Intelligence (Infinite Mind) -- the context of ALL OUR RELATIONS.
This sutra has essentially the same meaning as I.16, I.18, III.14, III.35-38, 48, and 49 as well as Pratyhara (II. 54-55)
III. 48. tato manojavitam vikarana-bhavah pradhana-jayash ca
Thus (tato) when such freedom has been realized, an integrated frictionless swiftness (javitvam) and quickening of the mental processes (manas) shines through. There is direct perception without the need of intermediary instruments impregnating the entire body, sense organs, and intercellular spaces creating supramundane sensory awareness and ability (vikaranabhavah) not limited by the means of perception, but even more importantly, a direct experience of victorious oneness with one's essential primordial nature (pradhana-jayash).
tato: from that; hence
manas: the ordinary mind, mind organ, or often the brain and accompanying neurophysiology.
javitvam: swiftness: heightened or quickened state: a sphere of a higher vibratory rate.
bhava: subjective state of being: attitude or intent: feeling demeanor: experience or disposition.
pradhana: primordial matrix: divine creatrix: prakrti; shakti; Mother Nature
vikarana: Beyond the limitations of the instrument, method, or means. Free from limitations imposed by the tools of measurement. Beyond the sense organs. Unlimited and acausal. Natural, beginningless, originless, original, primordial, self arising, immeasurable.
Commentary: Here the limitations of the five senses are liberated (vikarana) bestowing victory to the original primordial Source (pradhana-jayash) which in turn amplifies and quickens the mind (manojavitam) in a deep conscious revelry of universal pure consciousness itself. So it is said that one is functioning in a supersensory mode (vikarana-bhavah). Body, mind, spirit are HERE integrated. One is informed by the holographic matrix itself directly, through one's direct experience (bhava) directly experiencing it as the victory of Self. HERE in this transpersonal integrative state one has transformed the ordinary mind (javitvam) and instruments of perception (vikarana) which were rooted in the separateness (Sutra 47) and thus it is figuratively said that one is seeing with the sixth sense (or through third eye).
One is permeated by spirit and animated by shakti recognizing Self in all (and All in the Self)-- divine presence is experienced throughout unto the tips of the toes, the spaces between the atoms, and throughout the furthest reaches of the universe as if form and space were not separate). The whologram is interpenetrated by itself.
HERE one acts spontaneously, naturally, fully, completely, unrestrained, hindered, joyfully, and creatively. Not only is the timeless heart sensitivity awakened. but this awakening simultaneously amplifies the other five senses acting as a catalyst. Then (after Sutra 47) The non-dual transpersonal Reality of ALL OUR RELATIONS-- of Shakti shining through all of Creation becomes revealed and even apparent.
Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
Swami Venkatesananda translates III.48:
"By the mastery of the sense organs, one attains the mastery over the Nature by:
Manoja Vitvam = becoming as fast as the mind (by the samyama on Grahana);
Vikarana Bhavah = manifestation of the power of sensory perceptions in acquiring information which is beyond the scope of the body (by the samyama on Svarupa);
Pradhana Jayah = control over all manifestations of the Prakriti (by samyama on Asmit Manoja Vitvam. Vikarna Bhavah. Pradhana, Anvaya, and Arthavatva)."
"When such understanding has been gained, the senses function with the speed of the mind, and there is direct perception without the need of intermediary instruments (even the sense organs) and the realization of oneness with the entire cosmic nature."
III. 49. sattva-purusa-anyata-khyati-matrasya sarva-bhava-adhisthatritvam sarva-jnatrtvam ca
And (ca) [from samyama on the true functioning of the sense objects], an omniscience (sarva jnatrtvam) as the self knowledge of being a knower (self-realization) as in knowing oneself in luminous clarity (khyati) is realized, as the ability to make the distinction (anyata) between purusa (witness consciousness) and sattva (the pure and balanced intergration of pure beingness). These two poles of pure undifferentiated consciousness and pure beingness (differentiated consciousness) -- Self (as Cit) and Nature (as Sat) -- Original Timeless Source and Ever Changing Creation form between them the natural unitive basis of all knowledge (sarva-jnatrtvam). Siva/Shakti is indeed one as Sat-Cit-Ananda.
sattva: balanced and pure; pure being; beingness; harmonious state; true state.
purusa: The true self; pure absolute consciousness; witness consciousness; the innate imperishable true self; undifferentiated consciousness; unmanifested consciousness; the universal observer.
bhava: Sublime suchness/presence or in a demeaned/ordinary way, conscious intent. In bhakti yoga a loving/devotional intent or the setting of the mood or psychic atmosphere. Because intent is often causal in shaping conditions, and hence outcomes (in the process of becoming), it is also thus linked to the definition of the process of coming into existence/becoming, and hence even extended to the existence of a state of being (already having come into existence). Commonly our bhava (as a feeling intent) supersedes or shapes the physical circumstances, conditions, and/or our perception. When the bhava is aligned with the holographic reality of "All Our Relations", then consciousness and beingness come together as vikarana-bhavah (unlimited and acausal integration). Here one's will is aligned with the sublime universal will/momentum of shiva/shakti. (see III.48). Just so, the supramental overmind (sarva bhava-adhisthatritvam) as omniscience (sarva jnatrtvam) is realized as clarity (khyati), when the superficial differences between a dualistic and limited sense "self" is superceded by the all inclusive omni-present timeless sense of self (purusa), which harmonizes, balances, and integrates (sattva) all beings and phenomena inside and out. There is nothing left to know in "sarva-bhava-adhisthatritvam sarva-jnatrtvam". (See III.49)
At first, on a causal level, a feeling bhava is recognized as conscious intent, a spiritual mood, disposition, demeanor, a reflection of our present experience, feeling presence, or a spiritual aura, which ia generated or held by a devotee of truth or container of truth (a yogi). A powerful aspect of spiritual bhava is that it is transcognitive (asamprajnata) as it is capable of propelling one intravenously beyond subject/object dualism where objects or content of the mind (pratyaya) appear to exist. Thus, it is capable of destroying pratyaya as asamprajnata thinking. Spiritual bhava can be immediately accessed as an experiential and intelligent state or *feeling* -- as a spiritual intention coming from deep within the Heartmind or similarly as enlivening the Heartmind in a state of sublime resonance -- a shift into a state of transpersonal absorption, like the bhava of spiritual love, devotion, and purpose, not necessarily being capable of being articulated with words or explained through linear/logical concepts.
sarva: all, universal, all inclusive, non-exclusive
anyata: difference; distinction
khyati: illumination, clarity,
adhisthatritvam: the quality of mastery; literally, the quality of over-standing: the over-mind or supramental..
jnatrtvam: the quality stemming from being a knower;
bhava: state of being: existence; feeling intent
Swami Venkatesananda says about this esoteric sutra:
"The direct realization of the independence of the indwelling intelligence from the mind, that is, from the conditions to which the psychic and the physical nature is subject, brings with it superintendence over all states of being, an omniscience."
Commentary: The source of illumination is not dependent upon the intellect, conditioned mental states, external events, conceptual thought processes, belief systems, nor any rustling of the mind-field (citta-vrtti); rather, pure consciousness is eternally present even amidst the temporal everchanging display of nature. The observer should know this "self" as at one with the sourceless source (the sublime purusa), as Self and rest therein as Self knowing Self. That is Self Realization devoid of ego sense (asmita).
Here the sense organs and the sense objects no longer are directed by the dualistic mind. Rather, instead of the illusory and limited habit of imputing and reporting conditions and phenomena within the dualistic framework of separate "objects" within an assumed limited mindfield (as ordinary phenomena of aggregates constructed by the conditioned mind), the sense organs now operate as wholistic extensions of the true self in its unfabricated form (swarupa) or supramental over-mind (adhisthatritvam), which is free free of conjecture or limitation,, reporting back the all inclusive multiplicity of the integrated omni-present whole (sarva jnatrtvam). Ones bodymind becomes heart directed, in harmony with a non-dual transpersonal omnipresent intelligence.
In the previous sutra, a universal ethos or experience of suchness (sarva bhava) was established through samyama on the sense organs within a wholistic context, which resulted in a supramental overmind (vikarana-bhavah). Just so, the supramental overmind (sarva bhava-adhisthatritvam) as omniscience (sarva jnatrtvam) is realized as clarity (khyati), when the superficial differences between a dualistic and limited sense "self" is superceded by the all inclusive omni-present timeless sense of self (purusa) which harmonizes, balances, and integrates (sattva) all beings and phenomena inside and out.
"Everything" appears to exist between the two apparent poles of pure consciousness and pure beingness -- between unmanifest absolute witness consciousness (purusha) and manifest creation -- between creator and creation, through the merger of undifferentiated consciousness and differentiated consciousness. These are the two poles of existence which are married as one in the creative process -- the unity of siva/shakti -- the sky and earth, the crown and earth chakras -- the same uncreated self nature of the absolute undifferentiated and formless consciousness on one hand and the myriad forms of differentiated everchanging creation on the other. Within these poles all that can be grasped or known exists. The situation is not only (matrasya) purusa or sattva, not just undifferentiated consciousness or differentiated being, but both simultaneously as a differentiated unity -- a unity in an infinitely rich and varied multiplicity.
Reality is universal and true only when "things" (phenomena) are viewed from all angles (universally) at the same time (sarva-jnatrtvam). This is neither a dream, a delusion, nor a confused sameness (samyoga) where there is misidentification, confusion devoid of differentiation, or fragmentation, rather differentiation is infinitely enhanced when it is viewed in its universal completeness (in terms of everything else) -- through the all seeing eyes of the unconstructed infinite mind. This is a journey from corruption to integration -- from fragmentation to unity and wholeness -- that of recognizing the difference of the dualistic and non-dual context in terms of the larger integrity and wholeness as-it-is. Such comes from yogic practice and direct experience, not intellectual analysis..
In dualistic consciousness or conceptual thought processes the human being normally discriminates between the seemingly disparate "realities" of sat (pure being) and purusa (pure consciousness) in the mistaken assumption of a self existing and ordinary fragmented flat plane "existence" where the illusion of a known object and a separate knower apparently exists (are assigned identifiers). Rather that is the definition of illusion/delusion. This is our normal (but unnatural) pre-existing milieu where theory and practice do not harmonize and synergize, thus evolutionary potential is dammed up.
The error there is that the latter person (purusa) or self, is mistaken as the divine universal Purusa (large Self), while three dimensional reality is mistaken as dead, inanimate, and separate from the intelligent process of creation which is beyond the limitations of sequential time and space which conditioned/delusional consciousness imposes upon it. Once the yogi corrects that error and moves fortified with the recognition of the pre-existing fragmentation and disparity, the practitioner is able to let go of that snare and begin to see with increased clarity and light within a great and profound expanse, eventually becoming able to awaken from the dream and consciously consummate their divine marriage in absolute liberation (kaivalyam) as in Sutra 55.
The meaning of this sutra is inscrutable only when it is studied out of context with the following five sutras. Here the gross impediments of the fragmentary way of seeing and being are being purified, as we move from power struggles, projection, and attachment toward objects and toward things (from the dualistic fragmented world of separation) into the non-dual, non-linear, and egoless world of an unconditioned natural pre-existing unitive living consciousness -- where struggle, strife, attachment, possession, and slavery is nought.
In other words the separation or imbalance of of purusa/sattva (shiva/shakti) is the illusion, while in Reality purusa is balanced, harmonized, married and united as omnipresent consciousness (sarva-bhava-adhisthatritvam sarva-jnatrtvam). Only superficially separate "things" (which are merely constructed thought forms) "appear" superficially as real in an attempt to make a dualistic distinction/analysis between purusa and sattva. The seeker notably desires to figure out the mystery of existence and non-existence, but the tools applied there are inadequate to the task. In that way consciousness appears tainted and impure when mixed with existence, but really it is merely the mind who is lost in appearances -- which mistakes the pure as impure. In reality, beingness and consciousness, spirit and nature, creator/creation or just plain shiva/shakti form a balanced whole (sattva). In truth Purusa is the great being (Param Purusa or Jnanam Purusha (see III.35 above) which is both pure consciousness and omnipresent at the same time. It is the ALL INTELLIGENT. This realization leads to absolute liberation (kaivalyam). See below (III.50-55) and Kaivalyam Pada especially Sutra IV.34 (the final Sutra of the Yoga Sutras).
"Beware of the operations of dualistic assumptions/conclusions. The all inclusive Self is always close at hand. It is in hand always .Rather it is merely conditioned forces of ignorance which are nothing more than afflictive mental habits which prevent us from seeing through the veil clearly -- unveiling/revealing the truth.
The conditioned mind has become organized around these false designators and deceptive road signs. Simply let go of that mental habit. Give it a rest. In dhyana (meditation) or other yogic practice, as the citta-vrtta dissolve, the glow of inherent wisdom will shine forth illuminating the path most clearly -- where the conceptual mind must not tread upon.
The adept becomes increasingly familiar with this transconceptual space through authentic practice, but at first the practitioner may feel strangely alone. Such is the subtle-most path which leads beyond even the most subtle -- the "all at one-ment" -- ultimate liberation in nirbija samadhi. Here in "sarva-bhava-adhisthatritvam sarva-jnatrtvam", what else is there to know?"
Also see sattva-purusayor I.16, III.35. III.36, and III.55. Also pratyhara and related in II.54, II.55, I.18, III. 14, III.35, III.36, and III.55
III. 50. tad-vairagyad api dosa-bija-kshaye kaivalyam
Through non-attachment (vairagyat) [to the difference between sattva and purusa], then the seed causes (bija) of diseases and imbalances (dosa) cease (ksaye). What remains is absolute liberation as dissolution of self (kaivalyam) -- absorbed into complete timeless integration/unification in oneness without limitation -- the experiential Reality of ALL OUR RELATIONS.
Swami Venkatesananda says:
"When there is no craving or attraction (vairagya) even for such supremacy and for such omniscience, all of which suggest a division in consciousness, and when the sense of duality which is the seed (bija) for imperfection, impurity, or conditioned existence ceases (ksaye), there is total freedom and a direct realization of the indivisibility and hence the in-dependence of intelligence (kaivalyam)."
Likewise, Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri says:
"When one has vairagya (non attachment) even for these attainments, all the seeds of any sort of weakness are destroyed -- and then the Kaivalya is attained."
kaivalya: Sublime dissolution of the ego. Unconditional, natural, spontaneous, and unbounded freedom, where the mental elusion of "self/ego" dissolves into the unlimited transpersonal non-dual all pervading omnipresent omniscient living reality after absorption. Absorption occurs when something is taken "into" a medium and as a result disappears "from" something as a consequence. Absorb involves dissolution or diffusion usually into a larger medium. For example, dhyana (meditation) is the process of the absorption of the modalities of dualistic consciousness into universal all encompassing primordial consciousness. Here the ego-sense or dualistic sense of self is dissolved/absorbed. When that process of union/yoga is complete, it is known as samadhi which is unconditional sublime non-dual liberation. Paradoxically, the disintegration/dissolution of the ego, brings about the greater union/integration with the ultimate truth behind all phenomena. In a similar way, kaivalyam denotes the dissolution of the citta-vrtta.
Commentary: Kaivalya is defined by Patanjali in II.25. It is the dissolution or let go of the egoic delusion. The last residue of attachment occurs as the ultimate purification of the citta-vrtti, as it obscures the mindfield preventing the clear light of wisdom to shine forth on its own. The citta-vrtta are thus also dissolved. Thus attachment of the mind to a limited dualistic field of consciousness is an obscuration of the ordinary dualistic mindset, while vairagya in this case is wholy mental and ontological. The yogic adept does not let go of the world (phenomena), but rather of any attachment to distorted and limited dualistic "views" of the world as-it-is-not; i.e., illusion. Here the yogi has learned to cease the mental habit of the ordinary mind that attempts to discern the innate purity of the universal primordial mind through the processes of separation/reduction, but rather letting go of that limited mode of analysis, recognizes one's own innate harmony and integration as Self (purusa) balanced in its innate primordial purity in multiplicity. This is where the sense organs and sense objects are put into perfect balance and harmony with primordial Source and evolutionary will, and thus all inner conflicts, and disease (dosas) cease (ksaye). This is a heightened form of pratyhara and asamyoge where embodiment is (sat) is harmonized and balanced with pure consciousness (cit) -- where the evolutionary/creative will is allowed full expression in selfless service, full devotion, and wisest action.
It may be worth pointing out that Patanjali places an extremely high value on vairagya -- letting go (or non-grasping) -- as being capable of leading us to kaivalyam (ultimate liberation) as the summum bonum of yoga. Although it may be implied that Patanjali is referring to not being attached to the siddhis in general, it appears that he is referring to non-attachment to any object in general and specifically to any specific qualification whatsoever, especially it must be applied to the immediately preceding sutra (49) to the cessation of (non-grasping upon) the process of making distinctions (anyata) between sattva (beingness) and purusha (absolute consciousness). In other words Patanjali is saying that beyond the boundary called knowledge or "the known", there exists a non-dual unitive stage beyond the world of distinctions or dissonance between the cognitive state and our experiential state -- between theory and practice which he makes clear in sutra 55, stating quite clearly that one must transcend viveka in order to realize absolute liberation (kaivalyam) by realizing the pure unitive state (suddhi-samye) of sattva-purushayoh (the profound uncontrived marriage of absolute beingness and absolute consciousness) in Sat-Chit-Ananda.
Here Samkhya gets it right, that mukti (liberation) has to do with vairagya (non-grasping or non-attachment). By letting go of all attachments and fruits of egoic actions a great sense of freedom is realized; a profound sense of grace, peace and gratitude descends, and fills us, but they do not go far enough in letting go of "self/ego". it is important not to reify samadhi or kaivalyam. So the going away and ungrasping creates the necessary non-dual open space. When that space becomes infinite or empty, we connect with infinite and timeless Source, where the divine pulsation from Maheshvara (Source) moves forward again in evolution (with evolutionary energy or shakti). With this the fortunate adept resonates and dances the Tandava, as the dynamic interface of purusa and prakrti at Gangotri (the Headwater of the Ganga). It is this second evolutionary stage that remains unstated and unknown in samkhya philosophy.
Thus, an effective yoga practice affords a profound proficiency. It is the realization of uniting pure undifferentiated consciousness with full differentiated consciousness -- eternal unchanging spirit with everchanging nature, crown chakra with muladhara, pure consciousness and pure beingness. That is the Great Integrity which maintains the integrity of both nature and intrinsic seed source wisdom. Again Patanjali takes us back to Pada One Sutra 12-19 stating that vairagya-is the essential practice of yoga (abhyasa-vairgyabhyam). It effects the final release, once we have gained proficiency in viveka to discern what it is that needs to be finally released. Even the awareness to release something is effected by viveka. Viveka and vairagya being synergistic partners. (See I.16, I.18, III. 47-49 and the commentary III.52-55)
III. 51. sthany-upanimantrane sanga-smayakaranam punar anishta-prasangat
Decline (akaranam) invitations to display or identify (sanga) with any accomplishments in yoga, even when invited by (upanimantrane) a well known or respected source (sthani), because such has the potential of reinforcing one's sense of separate self -- the small self, ego sense, pride, or arrogance (smaya) which in turn (punar) is an impediment (anista) toward further spiritual unfoldment;
sthany: well established; Sure footed.
akaranam: causeless; originless; needless; unswayed; declination; refusal;
sanga: attachment: association
smaya: pride; arrogance; smugness.
anista: unwanted; undesired
prasangat: association: attachment.
Again Swami Venkatesananda:
"Invitations that involve the demonstration of such powers or of the characteristics of enlightenment, even when extended by those in authority whether on earth or in heaven are summarily rejected without being swayed by attachment or even curiosity. Otherwise, undesirable consequences may arise again, by the revival of duality, superiority, hope and despair, etc."
Again Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri:
"One should not get allured or flattered when tempted by the many, once the respective stages of yoga have been attained by yogis."
Commentary: Sri Patanjali again warns against identifying the siddhis as coming from a separate self (asmita). Rather such powers and abilities come from the yogi's ability to surrender to the boundless mind -- the opposite of a disparate separateness. Rather it is more productive to attribute it to the intervention/integration of pure presence -- the causeless Source of all. Although one may know Self as Self, one also will know its Source. Separated from that well spring, the practitioner will surely fall astray.
Siddhis come from one's ability to dissolve the ego and the kleshas, therein there can not exist any draw, seduction, attraction, pride, identification, or momentum back toward association (prasangat) into the realms of attachment (sanga) and pride (smaya) once one has become well established (sthani) -- once the taste of kaivalyam has been reached (see sutra 50). Rather any invitations (apanimantrane) by would-be flatterers, devotees, or fans are unwanted (anista) as snares and appropriately rejected because association (prasangat) with pride and attachment is well known (sthani) as undesirable (anista). Here one has become well established in kaivalya. The truly accomplished yogi, the adept, has no cause for pride or attachment in identification with the siddhis and no interest in falling out of grace by creating bad karma )acting upon kleshas).
Patanjali gives the yogi due warning that the powers do not come from separateness, fragmentation, attachment, pride, ego, or the small "self" -- avidya. Rather any such "proficiencies" remain outside the realm of ownership (asmita) or ego associations of any kind. Rather they are attributed to the opposite of separate self, but to union -- to the process of yoga and its completion. Instead of yogic proficiency being attributed to separation and fragmentation, it is attributed to a profound integration that simultaneously dissolves the ego and discloses the non-dual transpersonal reality -- the innate Sat Guru.
A trap that Patanjali is warning us about is that if a practitioner is seduced into attributing siddhi to individual effort, then that has the potential to reinforce or increase one's identification (sanga) to ego pride and arrogance (smaya), thus perpetuating an eventual fall into corruption (note that accomplishment in yoga by definition comes from integration, not fragmentation). Similarly even attributing success to your guru, lineage, teaching, cult, religion, or practice in many cases harbors the undesirable identification with a group pride or arrogance is a similar pitfall -- an attachment and imprisonment to separateness, aloofness, or similarly contribute toward fortifying arrogance and thus serves to holds the practitioner back from ultimate liberation. Thus it is best to consider the teacher as the transpersonal embodiment (vehicle of expression) of pure untainted undifferentiated universal awareness.
Here one must be clear to avoid reinforcing the insidious ossifications of pride or ego, yet still be able to be instructive to some one who is genuinely seeking instruction upon the spiritual path. To this end the application of the non-dual transpersonal wisdom and its realization is most helpful, while the one who instructs as well as animates us all is, in reality, the union of Source and Creation (siva/shakti). In the non-dual yoga framework then any such instruction is a gift to both the "instructor" and the "instructed" -- both can identify as a spiritual friends and fellow seekers who are dedicated to the process of spiritual exploration -- a further journey into the large all encompassing"Self".
So it is clear that to approach the siddhas as an end in itself is perverted as it reinforces the fundamental delusion of separateness (ego) and fragmented identifications which is the antithesis of yoga. Rather one may best see the siddhis as a natural evolution of consciousness in the transpersonal non-dual context of what is called the Long Body of the Iroquois Nation, or the Long Body of the Great Integrity which is the unification of consciousness and beingness, pure undifferentiated consciousness with awakened differentiated consciousness (viveka-khyater), sahasrara and muladhara, purusa and prakrti, siva and sakti, mind and body, Ha with THA, microcosm and macrocosm, spirit and nature, the ultimate absolute (dharmakaya) with form (rupakaya or form body), the unification of the three bodies of the Buddha (self woven body of the Nirmanakaya, Sambhogakaya and Dharmakaya) in tantric Buddhism.
Through proficient practices as considerable amounts of obscurations are removed from the field of consciousness (citta-vrtti), then simultaneously the wider transpersonal nondual (asamprajnata) field of unity consciousness (sat-cit-ananda) proportionately becomes illuminated and thus revealed. What previously was called extra sensory or super sensory perception and powers (siddhis) become revealed naturally in the light of the greater expanse as the underlying reality of "what-is". However these revelations are not revealed to the viewer in the framework of duality, i.e., they are not individual powers that can be possessed, owned, acquired, or even borrowed, because the very point of view of duality and separateness veils and obscures it. If samyama is the instrument, and emanates from samadhi, then the entire affair has to proceed from swarupa-sunyam.
Not only should the yogi avoid displaying or taking credit for any powers, but also refrain from demonstrating such powers by proving to oneself, one's ego, and/or in order to gain self-confidence/self-esteem thus validating the sense of separate identity and hence downfall. Rather, the siddhas come from an acausal non-dual realm, the samadhi-house. Forsaking that is a terrible mistake.
Traditionally and formerly, samyama has not been taught to beginners, mystified, and kept secret, because of the many untoward dangers that can only be overcome in sattva. But today, powerful yogis, rishis, and bodhisattvas are essential, so past tradition is being broken, while the highest tradition of sanatana dharma is invoked. Presented in the non-dual context, the greater good will triumph, while no doubt there will be casualties along the way. Everything is approached and recedes into the one, all possibilities are recognized, the yogis highest potential is activated, and through positive intent positive outcomes are realized as the golden path, where forms (mental. energetic, and physical) are transformed, now, in the past, and future.
Thus it becomes clear that in the non-dual context of yoga, seeking the siddhis as an end in itself is a counterproductive folly. So Patanjali says to avoid flattery or praise from anyone even if they claim high authority (even if they appear as gods). Avoid invitations by others (even if they appear to be well meaning) to show off your powers, list your qualifications, or even espouse your accomplishments or achievements for such has the potential to feed your sense of separateness and pride, and thus eventually create obstacles toward ultimate integration (samadhi) and liberation (kaivalyam). Patanjali's advice should be taken to heart on an every day basis as well. For example when some one asks you how long you meditate, how long you practice, can you wrap your legs around your head, who are your teachers, what books have you read, or any such questions that may be attributed to "personal accomplishments", Patanjali suggests that this possible snare/trap be set aside in order to avoid undesirable effects (anista). For additional support see commentary of Sutra III.37.
"An evolution of innate and latent but as yet unevolved powers of consciousness is not considered admissible by the modern mind, because these exceed our present formulation of Nature and, to our ignorant preconceptions founded on a limited experience, they seem to belong to the supernatural, to the miraculous and occult; for they surpass the known action of material Energy which is now ordinarily accepted as the sole cause and mode of things and the sole instrumentation of the World-Force. A human working of marvels, by the conscious being discovering and developing an instrumentation of material forces surpassing anything that Nature has herself organised, is accepted as a natural fact and an almost unlimited prospect of our existence; an awakening, a discovery, an instrumentation of powers of consciousness and of spiritual, mental and life forces overpassing anything that Nature or man has yet organised is not admitted as possible. But there would be nothing supernatural or miraculous in such an evolution, except in so far as it would be a super- nature or superior nature to ours just as human nature is a supernature or superior nature to that of animal or plant or material objects. Our mind and its powers, our use of reason, our mental intuition and insight, speech, possibilities of philosophical, scientific, aesthetic discovery of the truths and potencies of being and a control.of its forces are an evolution that has taken place: yet it would seem impossible if we took our stand on the limited animal consciousness and its capacities; for there is nothing there to warrant so prodigious a progression. But still there are vague initial manifestations, rudimentary elements or arrested possibilities in the animal to which our reason and intelligence with their extraordinary developments stand as an unimaginable journey from a poor and unpromising point of departure. The rudiments of spiritual powers belonging to the gnostic Supernature are similarly there even in our ordinary composition, but only occasionally and sparsely active. It is not irrational to suppose that at this much higher stage of the evolution a similar but greater progression starting from these rudimentary beginnings might lead to another immense development and departure.
In mystic experience, -when there is an opening of the inner centres, or in other ways, spontaneously or by will or endeavour or in the very course of the spiritual growth,new powers of consciousness have been known to develop; they present themselves as if an automatic consequence of some inner opening or in answer to a call in the being, so much so that it has been found necessary to recommend to the seeker not to hunt after these powers, not to accept or use them. This rejection is logical for those who seek to withdraw from life; for all acceptance of greater power would bind to life or be a burden on the bare and pure urge towards liberation. An indifference to all other aims and issues is natural for the God- lover who seeks God for His own sake and not for power or any other inferior attraction; the pursuit of these alluring but often dangerous forces would be a deviation from his purpose. A similar rejection is a necessary self-restraint and a spiritual discipline for the immature seeker, since such powers may be a great, even a deadly peril; for their supernormal may easily feed in him an abnormal exaggeration of the ego. Power in itself may be dreaded as a temptation by the aspirant to perfection, because power can abase as well as elevate; nothing is more liable to misuse. But when new capacities come as an inevitable result of the growth into a greater consciousness and a greater life and that growth is part of the very aim of the spiritual being within us, this bar does not operate; for a growth of the being into supernature and its life in Supernatural cannot take place or cannot be complete without bringing with it a greater power of consciousness and a greater power of life and the spontaneous development of an instrumentation of knowledge and force normal to that Supernatural. There is nothing in this future evolution of the being which could be regarded as irrational or incredible; there is nothing in it abnormal or miraculous: it would be the necessary course of the evolution of consciousness and its forces in the passage from the mental to the gnostic or supramental formulation of our existence. This action of the forces of Supernatural would be a natural, normal and spontaneously simple working of the new higher or greater consciousness into which the being enters in the course of his self -evolution; the gnostic being accepting the gnostic life would develop and use the powers of this greater consciousness, even as man develops and uses the powers of his mental nature."
Sri Aurobindo, "Latent Power"
III. 52. ksana-tat-kramayoh samyamad viveka-jam jnanam
Thus letting go of all that, one then practices samyama upon vivekajam jnanam itself allowing one to destroy the limitations of straight line reality, third dimensional thinking of time and place, and thus enter the sacred instantaneous moment (ksana) of the eternal now
ksana: the moment; instant. Open awareness.
viveka: discriminating wisdom or penetrative insight as interdependent knowledge devoid of a separate inherent sense of self. An integrative awareness or awareness pointing to the whole as the sum of its parts -- many known through non-dual meditation trans-rationally as the Great Integrity or Completeness.
jam: born of
Again Swami Venkatesananda
"Undistracted by these, one should proceed to transcend time. By the practice of the three-fold discipline in relation to the truth of the moment, without the interference of thought which creates the false sequence of time, there arises understanding which is born of the faculty to perceive the false as false and hence truth as truth."
Commentary: Samyama on apparent moment to moment sequencing gives rise to discriminating wisdom. Ordinary or coarse dualistic knowledge of apparently separate things (the dualistic I-It world) is an artificial imposition of sequential ordering upon the profound non-arisen and unobstructed instant presence. Such arises from ignorance of the great continuum. Samyama on the moment discloses the limitation of three dimensional time and place, thus giving rise to discriminating wisdom. This profound sacred presence not bound by flat plane sequential time and objective place, can not be talked about successfully with words, but must be experienced through functionally applied yoga practice.
This is not a mere intellectual concept or epistemological statement that can be reached through analytical or logical inquiry, memorization, or inference, but rather it is the result of the integrative summum bonum of concentration, meditation, and samadhi. Samyama on the profound instantaneousness of each moment -- being in the sacred moment -- being truly present --HERE --living in the moment, the profound knowledge (jnanam) of the processes that transcend the application of discriminatory knowledge (vivekajam) blossoms forth. HERE the moment itself is pierced through penetrative insight. HERE the mystery of time and place is destroyed by the continuity of knowledge born from penetrative wisdom. (See that realization expanded in III.53)
As an example, at the beginning of our meditation (dhyana), one practices watchfulness/mindfulness or viveka (watching the mind) in order to prevent it being distracted and dissipated is necessary. After a while through constant application of mindfulness we notice the very instant the mind tends to wander and even the beginning of the tendency. Hence viveka will greatly aid our meditative absorption. But samyama on vivekajam-jnanam is more than that, as then we also can apply samyama to achieve similar goals and even to direct the mental, physical, energetic, and wisdom bodies so that they align up with the holographic reality that is not bounded by linear time or three dimensional space -- turiya. HERE we can relax into the timeless depth of the moment and become liberated.
In short, if we do *not* experience a sequence of events (krama) as part and parcel of the Great Continuum of NOW awareness, then our experience is both fragmented and limited. Lost in an event, but not seeing the causal reason how or why one is experiencing it, nor the next step, is like a spiritual attack of Alzheimer's disease or schizoid behavior where one becomes stuck in an isolated experience of time and space without continuity -- devoid of spontaneous and natural instantaneous flow.
Within each moment there resides the Great Continuum which we can access if we chose to look for it (not just in meditation, but in ALL OUR RELATIONS). This is what we can bring into embodiment as sacred trans-flat plane non-dual presence if we choose.
It doesn't mean that we forget how to read clocks, but just not be dominated by linear thinking or linear time. In practice our awareness of synchronicity and appropriateness is sharpened by coming at it from the universal and integrated context. This can become profound like in some translations as being able to know the future and the past by being very present now (not that Patanjali encourages the attainment of such powers). Practically speaking, when we are consciously experiencing the unitive flow of "things", time doesn't seem to exist, but when we are bored or rigid, we might keep on hoping that the "recess bell" would ring. We can simply observe the fresh timeless wonder of a newly born child or when we first learned to read a clock. Time is an artificially imposed, conditioned, programmed, and learned process -- yet of course in one sense the sun appears to revolve around the earth and so do the stars, but in reality much more is happening. It depends how obsessed one becomes with that "framework" so it doesn't limit our potential experience. This awareness gives us the opportunity and choice to no longer limit our awareness and experience to three dimensional reality, but rather be able (ability) to entertain more dimensions, such is the depths made possible through effective dhyana or samyama.So once we get really present and recognize the Great Continuum in all things and beings, we are able to see and understand "things" and events as they NATURALLY are (in relationship to the universal whole) rather than in terms of fragmented isolated events. In short the sequences are put all together as an interdependent interactive whole as it truly is, and thus an unbiased reality is known (not just from my perspective, your perspective, the human perspective, the earthly perspective, California cuisine, or any provincial or biased view... rather things as they truly are known for what they are devoid of imputation, bias, or samskaric impositions... eventually.
Time is an artificial/fabricated construct made up by man and imposed upon reality in order to impose a linear analysis upon a preexisting Great Integrity/Continuity. There's no problem when using this filter or coloring if one realizes its limitations, but the average human being has become obsessed into linear time as a dominant flat plane way of thinking and existing while losing sight of the timeless all pervading ever present ever-newness in the moment. That's where I think Patanjali is heading toward (purusayoh sattva) - the conjunction where the never changing eternal meets to ever-newness in Now Awareness.
Some translate this as the realization of the siddhi of time travel through the seeing through (by samyama) of the illusion of time or the illusory and arbitrary ordering of sequential linear events. Thus this can also be translated as the observance of the eternal spirit or sacred unborn eternal unending presence. See also sutra 49.
Samyama on discriminatory awareness itself frees us from the limitations of linear straight line thinking. HERE we experience "phenomena" as part of the integrated universal unified field as-it-is, rather than approaching phenomena as isolated fragmented parts. HERE we enter into the holographic transpersonal inter-dimensional timeless realm called turiya-ALL OUR RELATIONS.
III. 53 jati-laksana-desair anyata-anavachchedat-tulyayos-tatah pratipattih
Hence (tatah) time or place are mere place holders (jati-laksana-desair) -- divine gate keepers -- revealing the profound mystery; they are open doorways disclosing (pratipattih) the boundless eternal (anyata-anavachchedat) in its apparent sameness.
jati: by birth; through birth; the generative or origination process.
laksana: designator, referent, indicator, sign.
desair: of place, setting, context, condition.
anyata: difference; differentiation
anavaccheda: unlimited. infinite. unbound, boundless, unbroken.
pratipattih: ascertained: known
From Swami Venkatesananda
"From such understanding flows knowledge or the natural ability to distinguish between reality and appearance, even where they do not have other obvious distinguishing marks related to their species, characteristics and location and hence seem to be similar. The possibility of confusion is thus completely overcome."
Commentary: Time and place and differentiation are open doorways to the boundless eternal. The yogi is less interested in analytical processes of understanding how one thing differs from another, rather than how all fits into the whole and hence can be understood universally having compensated for relativity, bias, and imitated ways of viewing.
Having first understood the difference between the object being observed and the one who observes it, then one understands the limitations of comparative knowledge itself (anyata) through realizing (pratipattih) that no two apparently individual things or objects can be fully known through mere reductionist comparative processes in regards to birth or place, (just as the blade of grass in the valley cannot be fully understood without the knowledge of the valley floor, the rain, the sunshine, photosynthesis, the air, the sun, stars, universe, the sequences of evolution, the process of consciousness itself, etc.) Thus the dualistic veil is lifted. A revelation between seemingly "limited appearances" and the underlying reality is bridged and realized (pratipattih). From the non-dual context "things" are not limited by differences (anyata) be it of:
Although the ability to separate and discern still is fully accessible, it no longer dominates or occludes the mind in pure awareness where both undifferentiated and differentiated consciousness form a unified whole. Through vivekajam-jnanam the practitioner is no longer seduced into the disparate dualistic linear temporal world of illusion/confusion, but rather observes the sacred in all -- residing in the non-dual all inclusive universal beginningless/never ending realm of ALL OUR RELATIONS (anavacchedat) in the eternal moment.
The placeholders (laksana) have been transformed as open doorways and experience is no longer limited by fragmented conditions (desair), rather au unbroken unitive wholeness supercedes and informs us (anyata-anavachchedat-tulyayos-tatah pratipattih) in ALL OUR RELATIONS
III. 54 tarakam sarva-visayam sarvatha-visayam-akramam ca-iti viveka-jam jnanam
Viveka-jam jnanam is a integrative (taraka) wisdom (jnanam) that allows us to go beyond viveka (the process of discriminatory awareness), which allows us to join up with a universal unitive perspective (which has no limitations in respect to place, setting, or time) --which is not limited by reductionist/analytical thought -- which simultaneously encompasses all objects (sarva visayam), processes, or conditions (visaya) -- reaching beyond all endings (sarvatha) where all impositions and limitations of sequential time or linear thinking (akrama) are liberated and unbound. (tarakam).
tarakam: liberating: transcendent: free from: unbound, protected from. From Tara, the protectoress and liberator.
visayam: distinct objectification processes.
sarvatha: in every way or respect: completely with no exceptions.
akramam: non-successive; discontinuous; does not follow.
jam: born of
viveka: divine mutuality wherein all is known through knowledge of the one; and the one is only known fully through knowledge of the all.
Swami Venkatesananda says:
"Such wisdom born of intuitive and immediate understanding is the sole redeemer. It is everything. It has everything. It encompasses everything. It is the unconditioned and undivided intelligence spontaneously functioning from moment to moment in the eternal now, without sequential relationship."
Commentary: Here we are not addressing ordinary discriminatory wisdom -- comparative knowledge of "things", dualistic objects of thought, or processes as compared to other things, objects, and processes to which those who are slaves to reductionist modes of logic are addicted, but rather the broadening (taraka) of ordinary discriminatory awareness (viveka) and three dimensional linear ways of thinking, toward an intimate, non-linear, multi-dimensional direct knowledge of the process of this awareness itself (viveka-jam jnanam).
HERE in this way we move from the fragmentary, corrupt, dual and linear straight line contexts of separate objects visayam akramam) into the circular open-ended boundless context of non-dual wisdom which provides in itself knowledge (jam jnanam) and understanding of the relativistic limitation of the processes of viveka (analytical discrimination). Thus this special liberatory wisdom (tarakam) provides its own remediation to to the boundaries of ordinary discriminatory thought (which is based on objective comparison and isolation) because it has lead us to abide in the intrinsic light which is all inclusive, non-sequential, non-linear, and unbounded. Risking repetitiveness, this nonlinear transcendental wisdom (tarakam) should not be confused with ordinary discriminatory knowledge (viveka), but rather the all inclusive integrative wisdom (taraka) which is the result of the direct non-dual experience of ALL OUR RELATIONS. In other words by applying viveka with pure awareness, we become aware of the principle of awareness itself which illumines the process of discrimination which obviates its need.
In a parallel way, in hatha, kundalini, laya, and tantra yoga, one practices pratyhara, by withdrawing attention and energy from the duality of "i-it" consciousness -- the "appearance" of independent sense objects -- the artificial dualistic illusion of a material reality, and then enter into a deeper non-dual awareness which binds all things together -- thus the practitioner abides inside of and is embraced by the Great Implicate Integrity of All things by embracing "IT". HERE as a separate object (visayam) the practitioner (as ego) must get out of the way in order to experience (bhoga) sacred presence -- enjoyment of the everpresent self by experiencing its inherent parts.. This and the next sutra are very profound. See commentary under Sutra 52.
III. 55 sattva-purusayoh suddhi-samye kaivalyam
By perfectly balancing (samye) pure beingness (sattva) with pure undifferentiated universal consciousness (purusa) the obstructions are removed (suddhi) thus disclosing and opening the gate to kaivalyam (absolute sublime dissolution of the self/ego which is nothing other than unconditional liberation).
sattva: Perfectly balanced and pure state: The profound balance and purity of pure objective universal consciousness (Cit) and pure subjective beingness (Sat) as purusa/prakrti or siva/sakti, in a perfect non-dual integrative experience. In sattva there is no imbalance, bias, discrepancies, or duality.
purusayoh: perfected self: true self; pure absolute consciousness; witness consciousness; the innate imperishable true self; undifferentiated consciousness; unmanifested consciousness; the universal observer.
samye: evenness, sameness; equilibrium
kaivalyam: Unconditional natural liberation and unconditional spontaneous bliss in Sat-Cit-Ananda. Sublime dissolution of the ego. Unconditional, natural, spontaneous, and unbounded freedom, where the mental elusion of "self/ego" dissolves into the unlimited transpersonal non-dual all pervading omnipresent omniscient living reality after absorption. Absorption occurs when something is taken "into" a medium and as a result disappears "from" something as a consequence. Absorb involves dissolution or diffusion usually into a larger medium. For example, dhyana (meditation) is the process of the absorption of the modalities of dualistic consciousness into universal all encompassing primordial consciousness. Here the ego-sense or dualistic sense of self is dissolved/absorbed. When that process of union/yoga is complete, it is known as samadhi which is unconditional sublime non-dual liberation. Paradoxically, the disintegration/dissolution of the ego, brings about the greater union/integration with the ultimate truth behind all phenomena. In a similar way, kaivalyam denotes the dissolution of the citta-vrtta.
"When there is pure equilibrium (shuddhi-sumye) which is non-division between the indwelling consciousness and all (objective) existence, between the nonmoving intelligence and the ever-moving phenomena, between the unconditioned awareness and the rise and fall of the 'The thousand thoughts' - there is freedom and independence of the infinite -- it is no longer confined, restricted, or bound."
Commentary: HERE Patanjali addresses the profound power of balance and synchronicity in yoga. HERE the purity (shuddhi) of purusha (as pure consciousness) and beingness (sattva) are synchronized (samye). This is kaivalyam (absolute liberation through the dissolution of subject/object duality). This is the point of III.35 and III.49 (the union of absolute beingness with absolute consciousness in Sat-Chit-Ananda). HERE all dissonance between the cognitive "reality" and experience is eliminated. HERE the vrttis are annihilated. Purusha (as pure universal witness consciousness) does not move and as such it is usually identified with Undiminished Source -- Siva -- Eternal and Absolute Reality. HERE , the word, shuddhi is used for, purity; while by sattva, Patanjali means the synchronistic ground of pure beingness, embodied existence, and/or creation which is always moving in harmony with purusa.
This becomes very clear in hatha or tantra yoga. When eternal spirit or pure undifferentiated consciousness (identified as purusa above) is allowed to merge into its natural state of balance, harmony, synchrony and unity (samye) with and as pure absolute beingness, pure existence, pure subjective experiential reality -- when nature/creation in the overall non-dual context of the unity of siva/shakti --- heaven and earth -- prana and apana, inhalation and exhalation, sahasrara and muladhara chakras are married into a profound synchronicity in authentic yoga, then ascension has occurred in a liberation that knows no bounds (kaivalyam) -- total or absolute freedom is realized while alive (jivamukti) as the perfected non-dual self (purusa-sattva). In tantric practice the yogi learns how to balance and synchronize the pingala and ida energies and thus allow them to meet at the mouth of the sushumna in the muladhara chakra thus activating one's highest creative/evolutionary potential symbolized by the awakened goddess, lady kundalini, or kundalini shakti. Aligning mother earth with father sky -- the divine will and individual will are in synch, heaven and earth. muladhara and sahasrara, consciousness and beingness, and as such the prana shakti reaches its highest state of expression (the goddess kundalini blossoms forth) manifesting in this very body as embodied love!
"I became united with the middle (sahaj way)
Where the thunderbolt and lotus flower met.
Here their union (of apana and prana) at the navel cakra has turned ordinary passion into the Candali (Kundalini) fire.
The body of the Dombi girl (purified avadhuti) burns as the passion of great bliss.
Taking the path of the moon (Bodhicitta), I sprinkle water on that fire so that neither scorching flame nor smoke is seen; but reaching the peak of Mt. Meru (the sushumna),
the flame bliss enters the sky (the chakra of Great Bliss). Orthodox religious practices and the dominion of doctrine and intellect has been entirely melted down. Dhama says clearly: 'Having understood simultaneously arisen bliss through the five channels, water rose up (Bodhicitta) from the lotus of great bliss to the jeweled pinnacle."
From the forty seventh poem of the Caryapadas of the 84 Siddhacharyas attributed to Dhamapa
This *unitive* and boundless all inclusive freedom that is referenced to as kaivalya is unconditional and natural, not dependent upon fabrication, concepts, beliefs, conditions and causes, and hence not dependent upon any process of deconstruction. Being all inclusive does not mean that it is dependent upon temporal existence.
Notice the similarity here with III.49. In modern philosophical terms, the word, deconstruction, refers to breaking down/reducing or analyzing concepts, beliefs, or principles into its parts. As such it can be related to the ancient Indian philosophy of samkhya (breaking apart), whereas yoga is integrative, knowing the parts from a natural and unconditional wholistic or wholesome non-dual viewpoint which is no separate viewpoint at all. This way all "things" (phenomena) are interdependent and have no separate existence (egos) of their own, are known truly as part of a greater interconnected whole -- a universal reality which is the unification of absolute consciousness, CIT, purusa, siva, or formless all pervading emptiness with differentiated consciousness, beingness, SAT, prakrti, shakti, or form. In that inter-penetrative unity of SATCITANANDA, we avoid confusing the formless as the form, or the form as formless.
We will find in Indian thought many different interpretations of the word, purusa. The most ancient Vedic meaning of the word, purusa, is integrative as it is found in the oldest Veda, the Rg Veda, Book X, Chapter 90 (Purusa Sukta) which defines the inter- penetrative quality of Ultimate Reality (purusa) and the universe as:
"Purusa alone is this entire world, both past and future: he is also the lord of immortality when he mounts above (to heaven) for food."
translated by Grace E. Curtis, "Man as Microcosm in Tantric Hinduism", Manohar Publishers, New Delhi, 1992.
See III.35, 36, and III.49 for more on sattva-purusayor. Also on pratyhara and related see II.54, II.55, I.18, and III. 14,
HERE Patanjali ends Pada III with the word, kaivalyam, which means ultimate unconditional liberation, where the dualistic egoic mindset is dissolved. It is not surprisingly the title of the loftiest and final chapter, Pada IV, upon where the subject of non-duality is brought forward.
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Swami Venkatesananda Source Page
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Sri Pungaliya on Patanjali and Jnaneshwar
Yoga Sutras Made Accessible: Extracted from the morass of over intellectualization
Professor Whicher's commentary on Prakrti and Purusa
Countering World-Negation: The World Affirming and Integrative Dimension of Classical Yoga by Ian Whicher
Alien Gods: Samkhya Interpretation of Nature (using Brahmacarya as the example)
A Review of S. N. A Re-appraisal of Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutras in the Light of the Buddha’s Teaching by Georg Feuerstein
A Review of Ian Whicher's. The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga by Georg Feuerstein