Self-Realization through Yoga Meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra

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Yoga Sutras 4.15-4.17: 
Mind Perceiving Objects
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Click here to return to the main page of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.Minds perceive differently: Although the same objects may be perceived by different minds, they are perceived in different ways, because those minds manifested differently. (4.15)

Objects are independent of minds: However, the object itself does not depend on any one mind, for if it did, then what would happen to the object if it were not being experienced by that mind? (4.16)

The coloring of mind determines perception: Objects are either known or not known according to the way in which the coloring of that object falls on the coloring of the mind observing it. In other words, it is the coloring of one's own mind that determines perception. (4.17)

Reduce coloring to see clearly: In the previous sutras (4.13-4.14) the very subtle building blocks (gunas) of the subconscious mental impressions are dealt with. Even these most subtle elements, like the more surface thought patterns, are subject to the same principle and practice of uncoloring (aklishta) the colored (klishta) thought patterns (1.5-1.11). This process of uncoloring is a core principle of the science of Yoga and has been described throughout the Yoga Sutra. (1.5, 2.1-2.9, 2.10-2.11, 2.12-2.13)

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4.15 Although the same objects may be perceived by different minds, they are perceived in different ways, because those minds manifested differently.
(vastu samye chitta bhedat tayoh vibhaktah panthah)

  • vastu = a reality, real object, existent
  • samye = sameness
  • chitta = minds, of the consciousness of the mind-field
  • bhedat = diversity, difference
  • tayoh = their, of the two
  • vibhaktah = separation, division
  • panthah = paths, levels of being, ways of perceiving

Think of meditating on a flower: Imagine that four people are sitting together, meditating on the same object, a flower, for example. One person is meditating on the beauty of the flower. A second person is meditating on the molecular structure of the flower. A third person is meditating on the subtle essence of light that forms the flower. A fifth fourth is meditating on the primal elements, the gunas, out of which the flower manifested. 

The flower is the same, while the minds differ: In this example, it is not the flower which has changed. Rather, it is the nature of the four different minds that determines the way the flower is experienced. Each of the four minds in this example are operating from progressively deeper levels of being, and thus, the object perceived is experienced at its different levels of manifestation.

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4.16 However, the object itself does not depend on any one mind, for if it did, then what would happen to the object if it were not being experienced by that mind?
(na cha eka chitta tantram ched vastu tat pramanakam tada kim syat)

  • na = not
  • cha = and
  • eka = one, single
  • chitta = mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field
  • tantram = dependent
  • ched = if
  • vastu = a reality, real object, existent
  • tat = that
  • apramanakam = not cognized
  • tada = then
  • kim = what
  • syat = exists, becomes

The flower does not depend on a mind: The flower that was used as an object of meditation in the last sutra (4.15), is not dependent on any one mind. The significance of this sutra is that in the last section (4.13-4.14) explained that the characteristics of an object manifest from the gunas (4.13), and that, although they manifest through many levels, they appear as a single unit. Because of that fact, it can sound like the nature of the object is necessarily dependent on the person doing the observing. This current sutra clarifies the practical point that the object is independent. (Philosophers might have metaphysical debates about this point, but Yoga focuses on the practical path of going beyond the levels of reality, so as to experience the eternal center.)

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4.17 Objects are either known or not known according to the way in which the coloring of that object falls on the coloring of the mind observing it.
(tad uparaga apeksitvat chittasya vastu jnata ajnatam)

  • tad = that, these, thereby
  • uparaga = coloring, conditioning, reflection
  • apeksitvat = due to need
  • chittasya = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field
  • vastu = a reality, real object, existent
  • jnata = known
  • ajnatam = unknown

The coloring of mind determines perception: Objects are either known or not known according to the way in which the coloring of that object falls on the coloring of the mind observing it. In other words, it is the coloring of one's own mind that determines perception.

Reduce coloring to see clearly: In the previous section (4.13-4.14) the very subtle building blocks (gunas) of the subconscious mental impressions are dealt with. Even these most subtle elements, like the more surface thought patterns, are subject to the same principle and practice of uncoloring (aklishta) the colored (klishta) thought patterns (1.5-1.11). This process of uncoloring is a core principle of the science of Yoga and has been described throughout the Yoga Sutra. (1.5, 2.1-2.9, 2.10-2.11, 2.12-2.13)

 

The next sutra is 4.18 

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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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