Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Narrative style: The
narrative style below might make it easier to get an overview of the Yoga
Sutras. By clustering the 196 Sutras together into 39 groups, and presenting
them in paragraph format, most readers can study this in a familiar way that
is more like the many other books or papers we have studied. As you come to
understand the Yoga Sutra in this way, your further studies of more detailed
commentaries and Sanskrit translations might come more smoothly, especially
when done in conjunction with oral guidance and personal practices of
meditation. The text of the Sutras below is exactly the same as the text in
the numbered List of Sutras, as well as in
the links from the Summary page. (There is also
version of this page in pdf format.)
(Click on the sutra number below to go
to that page)
1: Concentration (Samadhi Pada)
is Yoga? (Sutras 1.1-1.4)
Now, after having done prior preparation through life and other practices, the study and practice of Yoga begins.
Yoga is the control (nirodhah, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, stilling, quieting, setting aside)
of the modifications (gross and subtle thought patterns) of the mind field.
Then the Seer abides in Itself,
resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization. At other times, when one is not in
Self-realization, the Seer appears to
take on the form of the modifications of the mind field, taking on the identity
of those thought patterns.
your thoughts (1.5-1.11)
Those gross and subtle thought
patterns (vrittis) fall into five
varieties, of which some are colored (klishta) and others are uncolored
The five varieties of thought
patterns to witness are: 1) knowing
correctly (pramana), 2) incorrect knowing (viparyaya), 3) fantasy or
imagination (vikalpa), 4) the object of void-ness that is deep sleep
(nidra), and 5) recollection or memory (smriti). Of these five, there are three ways
of gaining correct knowledge (pramana): 1) perception, 2) inference, and
3) testimony or verbal communication from others who have knowledge. Incorrect knowledge or illusion (viparyaya) is false knowledge
formed by perceiving a thing as being other than what it really is. Fantasy or imagination (vikalpa) is
a thought pattern that has verbal expression and knowledge, but for which
there is no such object or reality in existence. Dreamless sleep (nidra) is the
subtle thought pattern which has as its object an inertia, blankness,
absence, or negation of the other thought patterns (vrittis). Recollection or memory (smriti) is mental modification
caused by the inner reproducing of a previous impression of an object, but
adding any other characteristics from other sources.
and non-attachment (1.12-1.16)
These thought patterns (vrittis)
are mastered (nirodhah, regulated, coordinated, controlled, stilled, quieted) through practice
(abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya). Practice (abhyasa) means choosing,
applying the effort, and doing those actions that bring a stable and
tranquil state (sthitau). When that practice is done for a
long time, without a break, and with sincere devotion, then the practice
becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation. When the mind loses desire even for
objects seen or described in a tradition or in scriptures, it acquires a state of utter
desirelessness that is called non-attachment (vairagya). Indifference to the subtlest
elements, constituent principles, or qualities themselves (gunas), achieved through a knowledge of the nature of
pure consciousness (purusha), is called supreme non-attachment (paravairagya).
of concentration (1.17-1.18)
The deep absorption of attention on an
object is of four kinds, 1) gross (vitarka), 2) subtle (vichara), 3) bliss
accompanied (ananda), and 4) with I-ness (asmita), and is called samprajnata
The other kind of samadhi is asamprajnata samadhi, and has no object in
which attention is absorbed, wherein only latent impressions remain;
attainment of this state is preceded by the constant practice of allowing
all of the gross and subtle fluctuations of mind to recede back into the
from which they arose.
and commitment (1.19-1.22)
Some who have attained higher levels (videhas) or know unmanifest nature
(prakritilayas), are drawn into birth
in this world by their remaining latent impressions of ignorance, and more
naturally come to these states of samadhi. Others follow a five-fold systematic
path of 1) faithful certainty in the path, 2) directing energy towards the
practices, 3) repeated memory of the path and the process of stilling the
mind, 4) training in deep concentration, and 5) the pursuit of real knowledge,
by which the higher samadhi (asamprajnata samadhi) is attained. Those who pursue their practices with
intensity of feeling, vigor, and firm conviction achieve
concentration and the fruits thereof more quickly, compared to those of
medium or lesser intensity. Because the methods may be applied
medium, or speedy ways, even among those who have such commitment and
are differences in the rate of progress, resulting in nine grades of
route through AUM (1.23-1.29)
From a special process of devotion
and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara
pranidhana), the coming of samadhi is imminent. That creative source (ishvara) is a particular
consciousness (purusha) that is unaffected by colorings (kleshas), actions
(karmas), or results of those actions that happen when latent impressions
stir and cause those actions. In that pure consciousness (ishvara)
the seed of omniscience has
reached its highest development and cannot be exceeded. From that consciousness (ishvara)
the ancient-most teachers were taught, since it is not limited by the
constraint of time. The sacred word designating this
creative source is the sound OM, called pranava. This sound is remembered with deep
feeling for the meaning of what it represents. From that remembering comes the realization of the
individual Self and the removal of obstacles.
and solutions (1.30-1.32)
Nine kinds of
distractions come that are obstacles
naturally encountered on the path, and are physical illness, tendency of
the mind to not work efficiently, doubt or indecision, lack of attention
to pursuing the means of samadhi, laziness in mind and body, failure to
regulate the desire for worldly objects, incorrect assumptions or
thinking, failing to attain stages of the practice, and instability in
maintaining a level of practice once attained. From these obstacles, there are four
other consequences that also arise, and these are: 1) mental or physical
pain, 2) sadness or dejection, 3) restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and
4) irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath. To prevent or deal with these nine
obstacles and their four consequences, the recommendation is to make the
mind one-pointed, training it how to focus on a single principle or
and clearing the mind (1.33-1.39)
In relationships, the mind becomes
purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are
happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who
are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as
wicked or evil. The mind is also calmed by
regulating the breath, particularly attending to exhalation and the
natural stilling of breath that comes from such practice. The inner concentration on the
process of sensory experiencing, done in a way that leads towards higher, subtle sense
perception; this also leads to stability and tranquility of the mind. Or concentration on a painless inner
state of lucidness and luminosity also brings stability and
tranquility. Or contemplating on having a mind
free from desires, the mind gets stabilized and tranquil. Or by focusing on the nature of the
stream in the dream state or the nature of the state of dreamless sleep,
the mind becomes stabilized and tranquil. Or by contemplating or concentrating
on whatever object or principle one may like, or towards which one has a
predisposition, the mind becomes stable and tranquil.
of stabilizing the mind (1.40-1.51)
When, through such practices, the mind develops the power of
becoming stable on the smallest size object as well as on the largest, then the mind
under control. When the modifications of mind have
become weakened, the mind becomes like a transparent crystal, and thus can
easily take on the qualities of whatever object observed, whether that
object be the observer, the means of observing, or an object observed, in
a process of engrossment called samapatti. One type of such an engrossment (samapatti)
is one in which there is a mixture of three things, a word or name going
with the object, the meaning or identity of that object, and the knowledge
associated with that object; this engrossment is known
as savitarka samapatti (associated with gross objects). When the memory or storehouse of
modifications of mind is purified, then the mind
appears to be devoid of its own nature and only the object on which it is
contemplating appears to shine forward; this type of engrossment is known
as nirvitarka samapatti. In the same way that these
engrossments operate with gross objects in savitarka samapatti, the
engrossment with subtle objects also operates, and is known as savichara
and nirvichara samapatti.
Having such subtle objects extends all the way up to unmanifest prakriti.
These four varieties of engrossment are the only kinds of concentrations
(samadhi) which are objective, and have a seed of an object. As one gains proficiency in the
undisturbed flow in nirvichara, a purity and luminosity of the inner
instrument of mind is developed. The experiential knowledge that is gained in that
state is one of essential wisdom and is filled with truth.
That knowledge is different from the knowledge that is commingled with testimony
or through inference, because it relates directly to the specifics of the
object, rather than to those words or other concepts. This type of knowledge that is
filled with truth creates latent impressions in the mind-field, and those
new impressions tend to reduce the formation of other less useful forms of
habitual latent impressions. When even these latent impressions
from truth filled knowledge recede along with the other impressions, then
there is objectless concentration.
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2: Practice (Sadhana Pada)
gross coloring (2.1-2.9)
Yoga in the form of action (kriya
yoga) has three parts: 1) training and purifying the senses (tapas), 2)
self-study in the context of teachings (svadhyaya), and 3) devotion
and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara
pranidhana). That Yoga of action (kriya yoga) is
practiced to bring about samadhi and to minimize the colored thought
patterns (kleshas). There are five
kinds of coloring (kleshas): 1) forgetting, or ignorance about the
true nature of things (avidya), 2) I-ness, individuality, or egoism (asmita),
3) attachment or addiction to mental impressions or objects (raga), 4)
aversion to thought patterns or objects (dvesha), and 5) love of these as
being life itself, as well as fear of their loss as being death. The root forgetting or ignorance of
the nature of things (avidya) is the breeding ground for the other of the
five colorings (kleshas), and each of these is in one of four states: 1)
dormant or inactive, 2) attenuated or weakened, 3) interrupted or
separated from temporarily, or 4) active and producing thoughts or actions
to varying degrees. Ignorance (avidya) is of four types:
1) regarding that which is transient as eternal, 2) mistaking the impure
for pure, 3) thinking that which brings misery to bring happiness, and 4)
taking that which is not-self to be self. The coloring (klesha) of I-ness or
egoism (asmita), which arises from the ignorance, occurs due to the
mistake of taking the intellect (buddhi, which knows, decides, judges, and
discriminates) to itself be pure consciousness (purusha). Attachment (raga) is a separate
modification of mind, which
follows the rising of the memory of pleasure, where the three modifications of
attachment, pleasure, and the memory of the object are then associated
with one another. Aversion (dvesha) is a modification
that results from misery associated with some memory, whereby the three modifications of aversion, pain, and the memory of the object or
experience are then associated with one another. Even for those people who are learned,
there is an ever-flowing, firmly established love for continuation and a fear
of cessation, or death, of these various colored modifications (kleshas).
with subtle thoughts (2.10-2.11)
When the five types of colorings (kleshas)
are in their subtle, merely potential form, they are then destroyed by
their disappearance or cessation into and of the field of mind itself. When the modifications still have
some potency of coloring (klishta), they are brought to the state of mere
potential by meditation (dhyana).
the alliance of karma (2.12-2.25)
Latent impressions that are colored
(karmashaya) result from other actions (karmas) that were brought about by
colorings (kleshas), and become active and experienced in a current life
or a future life. As long as those colorings (kleshas) remains at the root,
three consequences are produced: 1) birth, 2) span of life, and 3)
experiences in that life. Because of having the nature of
merits or demerits (virtue or vice), these three (birth, span of life, and
experiences) may be experienced as either pleasure or pain. A wise, discriminating person sees
all worldly experiences as painful, because of reasoning that all these
experiences lead to more consequences, anxiety, and deep habits
(samskaras), as well as acting in opposition to the natural
qualities. Because the worldly experiences are
seen as painful, it is the pain, which is yet to come that is to be avoided
and discarded. The uniting of the seer (the
subject, or experiencer) with the seen (the object, or that which is
experienced) is the cause or connection to be avoided. The objects (or knowables) are by
their nature of: 1) illumination or sentience, 2) activity or
mutability, or 3) inertia or stasis; they consist of the elements and the
powers of the senses, and exist for the purpose of experiencing the world
and for liberation or enlightenment. There are four states of the
elements (gunas), and these are: 1) diversified, specialized, or
particularized (vishesha), 2) undiversified, unspecialized, or
unparticularized (avishesha), 3) indicator-only, undifferentiated
phenomenal, or marked only (linga-matra), and 4) without indicator,
noumenal, or without mark (alingani).
The Seer is but the force of seeing itself, appearing to see or experience
that which is presented as a cognitive principle.
The essence or nature of the knowable objects exists only
to serve as the objective field for pure consciousness. Although knowable objects cease to
exist in relation to one who has experienced their fundamental, formless
true nature, the appearance of the knowable objects is not destroyed, for
their existence continues to be shared by others who are still observing
them in their grosser forms. Having an
alliance, or relationship between objects and the Self is the necessary means
by which there can subsequently be realization of the
true nature of those objects by that very Self. Avidya or ignorance (2.3-2.5), the
condition of ignoring, is the underlying cause that allows this alliance to
appear to exist. By causing a lack of avidya, or ignorance there is then an absence of the alliance, and this
leads to a freedom known as a state of liberation or enlightenment for the
for the 8 rungs (2.26-2.29)
discriminative knowledge is the means of liberation from this alliance. Seven kinds of ultimate insight come to
one who has attained this degree of discrimination. Through the practice of the different
limbs, or steps to Yoga, whereby impurities are eliminated, there arises
an illumination that culminates in discriminative wisdom, or enlightenment. The eight rungs, limbs, or steps
of Yoga are the codes of self-regulation or restraint (yamas), observances
or practices of self-training (niyamas), postures (asana), expansion of
breath and prana (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara),
concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and perfected concentration
& Niyamas, #1-2 of 8 rungs (2.30-2.34)
Non-injury or non-harming
(ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), abstention from stealing (asteya), walking
in awareness of the highest reality (brahmacharya), and non-possessiveness
or non-grasping with the senses (aparigraha) are the five yamas, or codes of
self-regulation or restraint, and are the first of the eight steps of
Yoga. These codes of
self-regulation or restraint become
a great vow when they become universal and are not restricted by any
consideration of the nature of the kind of living being to whom one is
related, nor in any place, time or situation. Cleanliness and purity of
body and mind (shaucha), an attitude of contentment (santosha), ascesis or
training of the senses (tapas), self-study and reflection on sacred words (svadhyaya), and an attitude of letting go into one's source
(ishvarapranidhana) are the observances or practices of self-training
(niyamas), and are the second rung on the ladder of Yoga. When these codes of
self-regulation or restraint (yamas) and observances or practices of
self-training (niyamas) are inhibited from being practiced due to perverse,
unwholesome, troublesome, or deviant thoughts, principles in the opposite
direction, or contrary thought should be cultivated. Actions arising out of
such negative thoughts are performed directly by oneself, caused to
be done through others, or approved of when done by others. All of these
may be preceded by, or performed through anger, greed or delusion,
and can be mild, moderate or intense in nature. To remind oneself that
these negative thoughts and actions are the causes of unending misery and ignorance is the contrary
thought, or principle in the opposite direction that was recommended in
the previous sutra.
from Yamas & Niyamas (2.35-2.45)
As a Yogi becomes
firmly grounded in non-injury (ahimsa), other people who come near will
naturally lose any feelings of hostility. As truthfulness (satya)
is achieved, the fruits of actions naturally result according to the will
of the Yogi. When non-stealing
(asteya) is established, all
jewels, or treasures present themselves, or are available to the Yogi. When walking in the
awareness of the highest reality (brahmacharya) is firmly established,
then a great strength, capacity, or vitality (virya)
is acquired. When one is steadfast in
non-possessiveness or non-grasping with the senses (aparigraha), there
arises knowledge of the why and wherefore of past and future incarnations. Through cleanliness and
purity of body and mind (shaucha), one develops an attitude of distancing,
or disinterest towards one's own body, and becomes disinclined towards contacting
the bodies of others. Also through
cleanliness and purity of body and mind (shaucha) comes a purification of the
subtle mental essence (sattva), a pleasantness, goodness and gladness of feeling,
a one-pointedness with intentness, the conquest or mastery over the senses, and
a fitness, qualification, or capability for
self-realization. From an attitude of contentment
(santosha), unexcelled happiness, mental comfort, joy, and satisfaction is
obtained. Through ascesis or
training of the senses (tapas), there comes a destruction of mental
impurities, and an ensuing mastery or perfection over the body and the
mental organs of senses and actions (indriyas). From self-study and
reflection on sacred words (svadhyaya), one attains contact, communion, or
concert with that underlying natural reality or force. From an attitude of
letting go into one's source (ishvarapranidhana), the state of perfected
concentration (samadhi) is attained.
#3 of 8 rungs (2.46-2.48)
The posture (asana) for
Yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and motionless, as well as
comfortable, and this is the third of the eight rungs of Yoga. The means of perfecting
the posture is that of relaxing or loosening of effort, and allowing
attention to merge with endlessness, or the infinite. From the attainment of
that perfected posture, there arises an unassailable, unimpeded freedom from
suffering due to the pairs of opposites (such as heat and cold, good and
bad, or pain and pleasure).
#4 of 8 rungs (2.49-2.53)
Once that perfected
posture has been achieved, the slowing or braking of the force behind, and
of unregulated movement of inhalation and exhalation is called breath control
and expansion of prana (pranayama), which leads to the absence of the
awareness of both, and is the fourth of the eight rungs. That pranayama has three
aspects of external or outward flow (exhalation), internal or inward flow
(inhalation), and the third, which is the absence of both during the
transition between them, and is known as fixedness, retention, or
suspension. These are regulated by place, time, and number, with breath
becoming slow and subtle. The fourth pranayama is
that continuous prana which surpasses, is beyond, or behind those others
that operate in the exterior and interior realms or fields. Through that pranayama
the veil of karmasheya (2.12) that covers the inner illumination or light is
thinned, diminishes and vanishes. Through these practices
and processes of pranayama, which is the fourth of the eight steps, the
mind acquires or develops the fitness, qualification, or capability for
true concentration (dharana), which is itself the sixth of the
#5 of 8 rungs (2.54-2.55)
When the mental
organs of senses and actions (indriyas) cease to be engaged with the
corresponding objects in their mental realm, and assimilate or turn back
into the mind-field from which they arose, this is called pratyahara, and
is the fifth step. Through that turning
inward of the organs of senses and actions (indriyas) also comes a supreme
ability, controllability, or mastery over those senses inclining to go
outward towards their objects.
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3: Experiences (Vibhuti Pada)
Dhyana, & Samadhi, #6, 7, and 8 of 8 rungs 3.1-3.3)
(dharana) is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind
onto one object or place, and is the sixth of the eight rungs. The repeated continuation,
or uninterrupted stream of that one point of focus is called absorption in
meditation (dhyana), and is the seventh of the eight steps.
When only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in the
mind, as if devoid even of its own form,
that state of deep absorption is called deep concentration or samadhi,
which is the eighth rung.
is the finer tool (3.4-3.6)
The three processes of
dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, when taken together on the same object,
place or point is
called samyama. Through the mastery of that
three-part process of samyama, the light
of knowledge, transcendental insight, or higher consciousness (prajna)
dawns, illumines, flashes, or is visible. That three-part process
of samyama is gradually applied to the finer planes, states, or stages of
is seen to be external (3.7-3.8)
These three practices of
concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and samadhi are more intimate
than the previous five practices. However, these three
practices are external, and not intimate compared to nirbija samadhi, which
is samadhi that has no object, nor even a seed object on which there is
subtle transitions (3.9-3.16)
That high level of mastery called nirodhah-parinamah occurs in the moment
when there is a convergence of the rising tendency of deep impressions,
the subsiding tendency, and the attention of the mind field itself.
The steady flow of this state (nirodhah-parinamah) continues by the
creation of deep impressions (samskaras) from doing the practice.
The mastery called samadhi-parinamah is the transition whereby the tendency to
all-pointedness subsides, while the tendency to one-pointedness arises.
The mastery called ekagrata-parinamah is the transition whereby the same one-pointedness arises and subsides sequentially.
These three transition processes also explain the three transformations of
form, time, and characteristics, and how these relate to the material
elements and senses.
There is an unmanifest, indescribable substratum or existence that is
common or contained within all of the other forms or qualities.
Change in the sequence of the characteristics is the cause for the
different appearances of results, consequences, or effects.
By samyama on the three-fold changes in form, time, and characteristics,
there comes knowledge of the past and future.
from Samyama (3.17-3.37)
The name associated with an object, the object itself implied by that
name, and the conceptual existence of the object, all three usually
interpenetrate or commingle with one another. By samyama on the
distinction between these three, the meaning of the sounds made by all
beings becomes available.
Through the direct perception of the latent impressions (samskaras) comes
the knowledge of previous incarnations.
By samyama on the notions or presented ideas comes knowledge of another's
But the underlying support of that knowledge (of the other persons mind,
in 3.19) remains unperceived or out of reach.
When samyama is done on the form of one's own physical body, the
illumination or visual characteristic of the body is suspended, and is
thus invisible to other people.
In the same way as described in relation to sight (3.21), one is able to
suspend the ability of the body to be heard, touched, tasted, or smelled.
Karma is of two kinds, either fast or slow to manifest; by samyama on
these karmas comes foreknowledge of the time of death.
By samyama on friendliness (and the other attitudes of 1.33),
there comes great strength of that attitude.
By samyama on the strength of elephants comes a similar strength.
By directing the flash of inner light of higher sensory activity,
knowledge of subtle objects, those hidden from view, and those very
distant can be attained.
By samyama on the inner sun, knowledge of the many subtle realms can be
By samyama on the moon, knowledge of the arrangement of the inner stars
can be known.
By samyama on the pole-star, knowledge of the movement of those stars can
By samyama on the navel center, knowledge of the arrangement of the
systems of the body can be known.
By samyama on the pit of the throat, hunger and thirst leave.
By samyama on the tortoise channel, below the throat, steadiness is
By samyama on the coronal light of the head, visions of the siddhas, the
masters can come.
Or, through the intuitive light of higher knowledge, anything might become
By practicing samyama on the heart, knowledge of the mind is attained.
The having of experiences comes from a presented idea only when there is a commingling of the subtlest aspect of mind (sattva) and pure
consciousness (purusha), which are really quite different. Samyama on the
pure consciousness, which is distinct from the subtlest aspect of mind,
reveals knowledge of that pure consciousness. From
the light of the higher knowledge of that pure consciousness or purusha
(3.36) arises higher, transcendental, or divine hearing, touch, vision,
taste, and smell.
to do with experiences (3.38)
These experiences resulting from samyama are obstacles to samadhi, but
appear to be attainments or powers to the outgoing or worldly mind.
from Samyama (3.39-3.49)
By loosening or letting go of the causes of bondage and attachment, and by
following the knowledge of how to go forth into the passages of the mind,
there comes the ability to enter into another body.
By the mastery over udana, the upward flowing prana vayu, there is a
cessation of contact with mud, water, thorns, and other such objects, and
there ensues the rising or levitation of the body.
By mastery over samana, the prana flowing in the navel area, there comes
effulgence, radiance, or fire.
By samyama over the relation between space and the power of hearing, the
higher, divine power of hearing comes.
By Samyama on the relationship between the body and space (akasha) and by
concentrating on the lightness of cotton, passage through space can be
When the formless thought patterns of mind are projected outside of the
body, it is called maha-videha, a great disincarnate one. By samyama on
that outward projection, the veil over the spiritual light is removed.
By samyama on the five forms of the elements (bhutas), which are gross
form, essence, subtleness, interconnectedness, and it's purpose, then
mastery over those bhutas is attained.
Through that mastery over the elements, comes the abilities of making the
body atomically small, perfect, and indestructible in its characteristics
or components, as well as bringing other such powers.
This perfection of the body includes beauty, gracefulness, strength, and
adamantine hardness in taking the blows that come.
By samyama on the process of perception and action, essence, I-ness,
connectedness, and purposefulness of senses and acts, mastery over those
senses and acts (indriyas) is attained.
By that mastery over the senses and acts (indriyas), there comes quickness
of mind, perception with the physical instruments of perception, and
mastery over the primal cause out of which manifestation arises.
that brings liberation (3.50-3.52)
To one well established in the knowledge of the distinction between the
purest aspect of mind and consciousness itself, there comes supremacy over
all forms or states of existence, as well as over all forms of knowing.
With non-attachment or desirelessness even for that supremacy over forms
and states of existence and the omniscience (3.50), the seeds at the root
of those bondages are destroyed, and absolute liberation is attained.
When invited by the celestial beings, no cause should be allowed to arise
in the mind that would allow either acceptance of the offer, or the smile
of pride from receiving the invitation, because to allow such thoughts to
arise again might create the possibility of repeating undesirable thoughts
discrimination through Samyama (3.53-3.56)
By samyama over the moments and their succession, there comes the higher
knowledge that is born from discrimination.
From that discriminative knowledge (3.53) comes awareness of the
difference or distinction between two similar objects, which are not
normally distinguishable by category, characteristics, or position in
That higher knowledge is intuitive and transcendent, and is born of
discrimination; it includes all objects within its field, all conditions
related to those objects, and is beyond any succession.
With the attainment of equality between the purest aspect of sattvic
buddhi and the pure consciousness of purusha, there comes absolute
liberation, and that is the end.
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4: Absolute Freedom (Kaivalya Pada)
of attaining experience (4.1-4.3)
The subtler attainments
come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra, austerities or
concentration. The transition or
transformation into another form or type of birth takes place through the
filling in of their innate nature.
Incidental causes or actions do not lead to the emergence of attainments
or realization, but rather, come by the removal of obstacles, much like
the way a farmer removes a barrier (sluice gate), so as to naturally allow
the irrigation of his field.
use of mind (4.4-4.6)
The emergent mind fields springs forth from the individuality of I-ness (asmita).
While the activities of the emergent mind fields may be diverse, the one
mind is the director of the many.
Of these mind fields, the one that is born from meditation is free from
any latent impressions that could produce karma.
and karma (4.7-4.8)
The actions of yogis are neither white nor black, while they are threefold
Those threefold actions result in latent impressions (vasanas) that will later arise
to fruition only corresponding to those impressions.
Since memory (smriti) and the deep habit patterns (samskaras) are the same
in appearance, there is an unbroken continuity in the playing out of those
traits, even though there might be a gap in location, time, or state of
There is no beginning to the process of these deep habit patterns
(samskaras), due to the eternal nature of the will to live.
Since the impressions (4.10) are held together by cause, motive,
substratum, and object, they disappear when those deep impressions
Past and future exist in the present reality, appearing to be different
because of having different characteristics or forms.
and the 3 gunas (4.13-4.14)
Whether these ever-present characteristics or forms are manifest or
subtle, they are composed of the primary elements called the three gunas.
The characteristics of an object appear as a single unit, as they
manifested uniformly from the underlying elements.
perceiving objects (4.15-4.17)
Although the same objects may be perceived by different minds, they are
perceived in different ways, because those minds manifested differently.
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
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.
of the mind (4.18-4.21)
The activities of the mind are always known by the pure consciousness,
because that pure consciousness is superior to, support of, and master
over the mind.
That mind is not self-illuminating, as it is the object of knowledge and
perception by the pure consciousness.
Nor can both the mind and the illuminating process be cognized
If one mind were illumined by another, as its master, then there would be
an endless and absurd progression of cognitions, as well as confusion.
and liberation (4.22-4.26)
When the unchanging consciousness appears to take on the shape of that
finest aspect of mind-field (4.18),
then the experience of one's own cognition process is possible.
Therefore, the mind field, which is colored by both seer and seen, has the
potential to perceive any and all objects.
That mind field, though filled with countless impressions, exists for the
benefit of another witnessing consciousness, as the mind field is
operating only in combination with those impressions.
For one who has experienced this distinction between seer and this
subtlest mind, the false identities and even the curiosity about the
nature of one's own self come to an end.
Then the mind is inclined towards the highest discrimination, and
gravitates towards absolute liberation between seer and seen.
in enlightenment (4.27-4.28)
When there are breaks or breaches in that high discrimination, other
impressions arise from the deep unconscious.
The removal of those interfering thought patterns is by the same means by
which the original colorings were removed.
When there is no longer any interest even in omniscience, that
discrimination allows the
samadhi, which brings an abundance of virtues like a rain cloud brings rain.
After that dharma-meghah samadhi, the colorings of the kleshas and the
karmas are removed.
become few (4.31)
Then, by the removal of those veils of imperfection, there comes the
experience of the infinite, and the realization that there is almost
nothing to be known.
after liberation (4.32-4.34)
Also resulting from that dharma-meghah samadhi (4.29),
the three primary elements or gunas (4.13-4.14)
will have fulfilled their purpose, cease to transform into further
transformations, and recede back into their essence.
The sequencing process of moments and impressions corresponds to the
moments of time, and is apprehended at the end point of the sequence.
When those primary elements involve, or resolve themselves back into that
out of which they emerged, there comes liberation, wherein the power of
pure consciousness becomes established in its true nature.
Summary List Keys
Yoga Sutras links: HRIH,
Q. Judge, Raghagavan
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