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The Yoga-Sutras


THE YOGA-SUTRAS of Pata˝jali (3th century A.D.)

Samadhi Pada

1.1. Now, an exposition of Yoga (is to be made). 1.2. Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind.

1.3. Then the Seer is established in his own essential and fundamental nature.

1.4. In other states there is assimilation (of the Seer) with the modifications (of the mind).

1.5. The modifications of the mind are five-fold and are painful or not-painful.

1.6. (They are) right knowledge, wrong knowledge, fancy, sleep, and memory.

1.7. (Facts of) right knowledge (are based on) direct cognition, inference or testimony.

1.8. Wrong knowledge is a false conception of a thing whose real form does not correspond to such a mistaken conception.

1.9. An image conjured up by words without any substance behind it is fancy.

1.10. That modification of the mind which is based on the absence of any content in it is sleep.

1.11. Memory is not allowing an object which has been experienced to escape.

1.12. Their suppression (is brought about) by persistent practice and non-attachment.

1.13. Abhyasa is the effort for being firmly established in that state (of Citta-Vrtti-Nirodha).

1.14. It (Abhyasa) becomes firmly-grounded on being continued for a long time, without interruption and with reverent devotion.

1.15. The consciousness of perfect mastery (of desires) in the case of one who has ceased to crave for objects, seen or unseen, is Vairagya.

1.16. That is the highest Vairagya in which, on account of the awareness of the Purusa, there is cessation of the least desire for the Gunas.

1.17. Sampraj˝ata Samadhi is that which is accompanied by reasoning, reflection, bliss and sense of pure being. 1.18. The remnant impression left in the mind on the dropping of the Pratyaya (content of the mind) after previous practice is the other (i.e., Asampraj˝ata Samadhi). 1.19. Of those who are Videhas and Prakrtilayas birth is the cause.

1.20. (In the case) of others (Upaya-Pratyaya Yogis) it is preceded by faith, energy, memory and high intelligence necessary for Samadhi.

1.21. It (Samadhi) is nearest to those whose desire (for Samadhi) is intensely strong.

1.22. A further differentiation (arises) by reason of the mild, medium and intense (nature of means employed).

1.23. Or by self-surrender to Isvara.

1.24. Isvara is a particular Purusa who is untouched by the afflictions of life, actions and the results and impressions produced by these actions.

1.25. In Him is the highest limit of Omniscience.

1.26. Being unconditioned by time He is Teacher even of the Ancients.

1.27. His designator is `Om'.

1.28. Its constant repetition and mediatation on its meaning.

1.29. From it (result) the disappearance of obstacles and turning inward of consciousness.

1.30. Disease, languor, doubt, carelessness, laziness, worldly-mindedness, delusion, non-achievement of a stage, instability, these (nine) cause the distraction of the mind and they are the obstacles.

1.31. (Mental) pain, despair, nervousness and hard breathing are the symptoms of a distracted condition of mind.

1.32. For removing these obstacles (there should be) constant practice of one truth or principle.

1.33. The mind becomes clarified by cultivating attitudes of friendliness, compassion, gladness and indifference respectively towards happiness, misery, virtue and vice.

1.34. Or by the expiration and retention of breath.

1.35. Coming into activity of (higher) senses also becomes helpful in establishing steadiness of the mind.

1.36. Also (through) serene or luminous (states experienced within).

1.37. Also the mind fixed on those who are free from attachment (acquires steadiness).

1.38. Also (the mind) depending upon the knowledge derived from dreams or dreamless sleep (will acquire steadiness).

1.39. Or by meditation as desired.

1.40. His mastery extends from the finest atom to the greatest infinity.

1.41. In the case of one whose Citta-Vrttis have been almost annihilated, fusion or entire absorption in one another of the cognizer, cognition and cognized is brought about as in the case of a transparent jewel (resting on a coloured surface).

1.42. Savitarka Samadhi is that in which knowledge based only on words, real knowledge and ordinary knowledge based on sense perception or reasoning are present in a mixed state and the mind alternates between them.

1.43. On the clarification of memory, when the mind loses its essential nature (subjectivity), as it were, and the real knowledge of the object alone shines (through the mind) Nirvitarka Samadhi is attained.

1.44. By this (what has been said in the two previous Sutras) Samadhis of Savicara, Nirvicara and subtler stages (Sutra 1.17) have also been explained.

1.45. The province of Samadhi concerned with subtle objects extends up to the Alinga stage of the Gunas.

1.46. They (stages corresponding to subtle objects) constitute only Samadhi with `seed'.

1.47. On attaining the utmost purity of the Nirvicara stage (of Samadhi) there is the dawning of the spiritual light.

1.48. There, the consciousness is Truth-and-Right-bearing.

1.49. The knowledge based on inference or testimony is different from direct knowledge obtained in the higher states of consciousness (Sutra 1.48) because it is confined to a particular object (or aspect).

1.50. The impression produced by it (Sabija Samadhi) stands in the way of other impressions.

1.51. On suppression of even that owing to suppression of all (modifications of the mind), `Seedless' Samadhi (is attained).

Sadhana Pada

2.1. Austerity, self-study and resignation to Isvara constitute preliminary Yoga.

2.2. (Kriya-Yoga) is practised for attenuating Klesas and bringing about Samadhi.

2.3. The lack of awareness of Reality, the sense of egoism of `I-am-ness', attractions and repulsions towards objects and the strong desire for life are the great afflictions or causes of all miseries in life.

2.4. Avidya is the source of those that are mentioned after it, whether they be in the dormant, attenuated, alternating or expanded condition.

2.5. Avidya is taking the non-eternal, impure, evil and non-Atman to be eternal, pure, good and Atman respectively.

2.6. Asmita is the identity or blending together, as it were, of the power of consciousness (Purusa) with the power of cognition (Buddhi).

2.7. That attraction, which accompanies pleasure, is Raga.

2.8. That repulsion which accompanies pain is Dvesa.

2.9. Abhinivesa is the strong desire for life which dominates even the learned (or the wise).

2.10. These, the subtle ones, can be reduced by resolving them backward into their origin.

2.11. Their active modifications are to be suppressed by meditation.

2.12. The reservoir of Karmas which are rooted in Klesas brings all kinds of experiences in the present and future lives.

2.13. As long as the root is there it must ripen and result in lives of different class, length and experiences.

2.14. They have joy or sorrow for their fruit according as their cause is virtue or vice.

2.15. To the people who have developed discrimination all is misery on account of the pains resulting from change, anxiety and tendencies, as also on account of the conflicts between the functioning of the Gunas and Vrttis (of the mind).

2.16. The misery which is not yet come can and is to be avoided.

2.17. The cause of that which is to be avoided is the union of the Seer and the Seen.

2.18. The Seen (objective side of manifestation) consists of the elements and sense-organs, is of the nature of cognition, activity and stability (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) and has for its purpose (providing the Purusa with) experience and liberation.

2.19. The stages of the Gunas are the particular, the universal, the differentiated and the undifferentiated.

2.20. The Seer is pure consciousness but though pure, appears to see through the mind.

2.21. The very being of the Seen is for his sake (i.e. Prakrti exists only for his sake).

2.22. Although it becomes non-existent for him whose purpose has been fulfilled it continues to exist for others on account of being common to others (besides him).

2.23. The purpose of the coming together of the Purusa and Prakrti is gaining by the Purusa of the awareness of his true nature and the unfoldment of powers inherent in him and Prakrti.

2.24. Its cause is the lack of awareness of his Real nature.

2.25. The dissociation of Purusa and Prakrti brought about by the dispersion of Avidya is the real remedy and that is the Liberation of the Seer.

2.26. The uninterrupted practice of the awareness of the Real is the means of dispersion (of Avidya).

2.27. In his case the highest stage of Enlightenment is reached by seven stages.

2.28. From the practice of the component exercises of Yoga, on the destruction of impurity, arises spiritual illumination which develops into awareness of Reality.

2.29. Self-restraints, fixed observances, posture, regulation of breath, abstraction, concentration, contemplation, trance are the eight parts (of the self-discipline of Yoga).

2.30. Vows of self-restraint comprise abstention from violence, falsehood, theft, incontinence and acquisitiveness.

2.31. These (the five vows), not conditioned by class, place, time or occasion and extending to all stages constitute the Great Vow.

2.32. Purity, contentment, austerity, self-study and self-surrender constitute Observances.

2.33. When the mind is disturbed by improper thoughts constant pondering over the opposites (is the remedy).

2.34. As improper thoughts, emotions (and actions) such as those of violence etc., whether they are done (indulged in) caused to be done or abetted, whether caused by greed, anger or delusion, whether present in mild, medium or intense degree, result in endless pain and ignorance; so there is the necessity of pondering over the opposites.

2.35. On being firmly established in non-violence there is abandonment of hostility in (his) presence.

2.36. On being firmly established in truthfulness fruit (of action) rests on action (of the Yogi) only.

2.37. On being firmly established in honesty all kinds of gems present themselves (before the Yogi).

2.38. On being firmly established in sexual continence vigour (is) gained.

2.39. Non-possessiveness being confirmed there arises knowledge of the `how' and `wherefore' of existence.

2.40. From physical purity (arises) disgust for one's own body and disinclination to come in physical contact with others.

2.41. From mental purity (arises) purity of Sattva, cheerful-mindedness, one-pointedness, control of the senses and fitness for the vision of the Self.

2.42. Superlative happiness from contentment.

2.43. Perfection of the sense-organs and body after destruction of impurity by austerities.

2.44. By (or from) self-study union with the desired deity.

2.45. Accomplishment of Samadhi from resignation to Isvara.

2.46. Posture (should be) steady and comfortable.

2.47. By relaxation of effort and meditation on the `Endless' (posture is mastered).

2.48. From that no assaults from the pairs of opposites.

2.49. This having been (accomplished) Pranayama which is cessation of inspiration and expiration (follows).

2.50. (It is in) external, internal or suppressed modification; is regulated by place, time and number, (and becomes progressively) prolonged and subtle.

2.51. That Pranayama which goes beyond the sphere of internal and external is the fourth.

2.52. From that is dissolved the covering of light.

2.53. And the fitness of the mind for concentration.

2.54. Pratyahara or abstraction is, as it were, the imitation by the senses of the mind by withdrawing themselves from their objects.

2.55. Then follows the greatest mastery over the senses.

Vibhuti Pada

3.1. Concentration is the confining of the mind within a limited mental area (object of concentration).

3.2. Uninterrupted flow (of the mind) towards the object (chosen for meditation) is contemplation.

3.3. The same (contemplation) when there is consciousness only of the object of meditation and not of itself (the mind) is Samadhi.

3.4. The three taken together constitute Samyama.

3.5. By mastering it (Samyama) the light of the higher consciousness.

3.6. Its (of Samyama) use by stages.

3.7. The three are internal in relation to the preceding ones.

3.8. Even that (Sabija Samadhi) is external to the Seedless (Nirbija Samadhi).

3.9. Nirodha Parinama is that transformation of the mind in which it becomes progressively permeated by that condition of Nirodha which intervenes momentarily between an impression which is disappearing and the impression which is taking its place.

3.10. Its flow becomes tranquil by repeated impression.

3.11. Samadhi transformation is the (gradual) setting of the distractions and simultaneous rising of one-pointedness.

3.12. Then, again, the condition of the mind in which the `object' (in the mind) which subsides is always exactly similar to the `object' which rises (in the next moment) is called Ekagrata-Parinama.

3.13. By this (by what has been said in the last four Sutras) the property, character, and condition-transformations in the elements and the sense-organs are also explained.

3.14. The substratum is that in which the properties - latent, active or unmanifest - inhere.

3.15. The cause of the difference in transformation is the difference in the underlying process.

3.16. By performing Samyama on the three kinds of transformations (Nirodha, Samadhi and Ekagrata) knowledge of the past and future.

3.17. The sound, the meaning (behind it) and the idea (which is present in the mind at the time) are present together in a confused state. By performing Samyama (on the sound) they are resolved and there arises comprehension of the meaning of sounds uttered by any living being.

3.18. By direct perceptions of the impressions a knowledge of the previous birth.

3.19. (By direct perception through Samyama) of the image occupying the mind, knowledge of the mind of others.

3.20. But not also of other mental factors which support the mental image for that is not the object (of Samyama).

3.21. By performing Samyama on Rupa (one of the five Tanmatras), on suspension of the receptive power, the contact between the eye (of the observer) and light (from the body) is broken and the body becomes invisible.

3.22. From the above can be understood the disappearance of sound etc.

3.23. Karma is of two kinds: active and dormant; by performing Samyama on them (is gained) knowledge of the time of death; also by (performing Samyama on) portents.

3.24. (By performing Samyama) on friendliness etc. (comes) strength (of the quality).

3.25. (By performing Samyama) on the strengths (of animals) the strength of an elephant etc.

3.26. Knowledge of the small, the hidden of the distant by directing the light of superphysical faculty.

3.27. Knowledge of the Solar System by performing Samyama on the Sun.

3.28. (By performing Samyama) on the moon knowledge concerning the arrangement of stars.

3.29. (By performing Samyama) on the pole-star knowledge of their movements.

3.30. (By performing Samyama) on the navel centre knowledge of the organization of the body.

3.31. (By performing Samyama) on the gullet the cessation of hunger and thirst.

3.32. (By performing Samyama) on the Kurma-nadi steadiness.

3.33. (By performing Samyama on) the light under the crown of the head vision of perfected Beings.

3.34. (Knowledge of) everything from intuition.

3.35. (By performing Samyama) on the heart, awareness of the nature of the mind.

3.36. Experience is the result of inability to distinguish between the Purusa and the Sattva though they are absolutely distinct. Knowledge of the Purusa results from Samyama on the Self-interest (of the Purusa) apart from another's interest (of Prakrti).

3.37. Thence are produced intuitional hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell.

3.38. They are obstacles in the way of Samadhi and powers when the mind is outward-turned.

3.39. The mind can enter another's body on relaxation of the cause of bondage and from knowledge of passages.

3.40. By mastery over Udana levitation and non-contact with water, mire, thorns etc.

3.41. By mastery over Samana blazing of gastric fire.

3.42. By performing Samyama on the relation between Akasa and the ear superphysical hearing.

3.43. By performing Samyama on the relation between the body and Akasa and at the same time bringing about coalescence of the mind with light (things like) cotton down (there comes the power of) passage through space.

3.44. The power of contacting the state of consciousness which is outside the intellect and is therefore inconceivable is called Maha-videha. From it is destroyed the covering of light.

3.45. Mastery over the Pa˝ca-Bhutas by performing Samyama on their gross, constant, subtle, all-pervading and functional states.

3.46. Thence, the attainment of Animan etc., perfection of the body and the non-obstruction of its functions (of the body) by the powers (of the elements).

3.47. Beauty, fine complexion, strength and adamantine hardness constitute the perfection of the body.

3.48. Mastery over the sense-organs by performing Samyama on their power of cognition, real nature, egoism, all-pervasiveness and functions.

3.49. Thence, instantaneous cognition without the use of any vehicle and complete mastery over Pradhana.

3.50. Only from the awareness of the distinction between Sattva and Purusa arise supremacy over all states and forms of existence (omnipotence) and knowledge of everything (omniscience).

3.51. By non-attachment even to that, on the very seed of bondage being destroyed, follows Kaivalya.

3.52. (There should be) avoidance of pleasure or pride on being invited by the super-physical entities in charge of various places because there is the possibility of the revival of evil.

3.53. Knowledge born of awareness of Reality by performing Samyama on moment and (the process of) its succession.

3.54. From it (Viveka-Jam-Jnanam) knowledge of distinction between similars which canot be distinguished by class, characteristic or position.

3.55. The highest knowledge born of the awareness of Reality is transcendent, includes the cognition of all objects simultaneously, pertains to all objects and processes whatsoever in the past, present and future and also transcends the World Process.

3.56. Kaivalya is attained when there is equality of purity between the Purusa and Sattva.

Kaivalya Pada

4.1. The Siddhis (supernormal powers) are the result of birth, drugs, Mantras, austerities or Samadhi.

4.2. The transformation from one species or kind into another is by the overflow of natural tendencies or potentialities.

4.3. The incidental cause does not move or stir up the natural tendencies into activity; it merely removes the obstacles, like a farmer (irrigating a field).

4.4. Artificially created minds (proceed) from `egoism' alone.

4.5. The one (natural) mind is the director of mover of the many (artifical) minds in their different activities.

4.6. Of these the mind born of meditiation is free from impressions.

4.7. Karmas are neither white nor black (neither good nor bad) in the case of Yogis, they are of three kinds in the case of others.

4.8. From these only those tendencies are manifested for which the conditions are favourable.

4.9. There is the relation of cause and effect even though separated by class, locality and time because memory and impressions are the same in form.

4.10. And there is no beginning of them, the desire to live being eternal.

4.11. Being bound together as cause-effect, subtractum-object, they (effect i.e., Vasanas) disappear on their (cause i.e., Avidya) disappearance.

4.12. The past and the future exist in their own (real) form. The difference of Dharmas or properties is on account of the difference of paths.

4.13. They, whether manifest or unmanifest, are of the nature of Gunas.

4.14. The essence of the object consists in the uniqueness of transformation (of the Gunas).

4.15. The object being the same the difference in the two (the object and its cognition) are due to their (of the minds) separate path.

4.16. Nor is an object dependent on one mind. What would become of it when not cognized by that mind?

4.17. In consquence of the mind being coloured or not coloured by it, an object is known or unknown.

4.18. The modifications of the mind are always known to its lord on account of the changelessness of the Purusa.

4.19. Nor is it self-illuminative, for it is perceptible.

4.20. Moreover, it is impossible for it to be of both ways (as perceiver and perceived) at the same time.

4.21. If cognition of one mind by another (be postulated) we would have to assume cognition of cognitions and confusion of memories also.

4.22. Knowledge of its own nature through self-cognition (is obtained) when consciousness assumes that form in which it does not pass from place to place.

4.23. The mind coloured by the Knower (i.e., the Purusa) and the Known is all-apprehending.

4.24. Through variegated by innumerable Vasanas it (the mind) acts for another (Purusa) for it acts in association.

4.25. The cessation (of desire) for dwelling in the consciousness of Atma for one who has seen the distinction.

4.26. Then, verily, the mind is inclined towards discrimination and gravitating towards Kaivalya.

4.27. In the intervals arise other Pratyayas from the force of Samskaras.

4.28. Their removal like that of Klesas, as has been described.

4.29. In the case of one, who is able to maintain a constant state of Vairagya even towards the most exalted state of enlightenment and to exercise the highest kind of discrimination, follows Dharma-Megha-Samadhi.

4.30. Then follows freedom from Klesas and Karmas.

4.31. Then, in consequence of the removal of all obscuration and impurities, that which can be known (through the mind) is but little in comparison with the infinity of knowledge (obtained in Enlightenment).

4.32. The three Gunas having fulfilled their object the process of change (in the Gunas) comes to an end.

4.33. The process, corresponding to moments which become apprehensible at the final end of transformation (of the Gunas), is Kramah.

4.34. Kaivalya is the state (of Enlightenment) following re-emergence of the Gunas because of their becoming devoid of the object of the Purusa. In this state the Purusa is established in his Real nature which is pure Consciousness.


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