I am now explaining Sloka 6.15 of Bhagavat Geetha with a preamble for your full grasp of the import of the sloka.
The idea of meditation has to be clearly understood.
For that there must be an object to meditate for sure, then of course you and the medium or mode of meditation.
When you meditate on an object, you have to fully focus on it, which means all other objects have to be excluded from your purview.
The mode of meditation is of course the mind which should fully flow to the object that it sinks into the object that it takes the form of the object itself.
In this process there is an identity between you and the object is established. This is known as संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.
If you recall my tweets on Sri Chakra, there is a god, we use the word deva, occupying each object.
The object is that god’s स्थान.
The deva or devi as the occupier of the object is called a स्थानि.
Everywhere we see, we see gods, the devas and devis galore!
That is why we say god is everywhere not just in heaven or as atheist might claim nowhere.
Now back to the meditation, when you meditate, it is a भावना of actual devotion.
All gods grow in strength by the number of meditators devoted to them because this kind of meditation brings about the identity of the meditator and the deva of the object of meditation strengthening the Deva.
This in turn suggest that no god is willing to part with a devotee and protect him with all his might.
In this sloka of Bhagavat Geetha 6.15 Sri Krishna asks you to meditate on Him as your own Self.
In the commentary I drew attention to Vasishtha’s narration of Uddaalaka who was getting coaxed by the devas to whom he was devoted.
But Uddaalaka broke the bondage by going away from संप्रज्ञात-समाधि to निर्विकल्प-समाधि where the object is your own Self.
With this explanation let’s proceed to my commentary on Geetha 6.15
युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी नियतमानसः ।
शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति ॥ १५ ॥ (6.15)
“Concentrating the mind thus always, the yogi, whose mind is fully controlled, achieves the Peace that culminates in Liberation and the steadfastness in My true nature.”
Let us see how this idea is supported in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra while continuing with the explanation of the words of Geetha.
अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥१२॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.12)
युज्ञ्जान, concentrating, making absorbed in समाधि through practice (अभ्यास) and detachment (वैराग्य); आत्मानं, the mind; एवं, thus, by means of aforesaid rules of staying in a solitary place, etc.; सदा, always; योगी, the yogi, the one engrossed in Yoga; नियत-मानसः, whose mind is controlled, fully restrained, as a result of intense practice, or the one whose distractions in the form of thoughts are under control; व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः॥९॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.9); तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.10),
becoming thus, अधिगच्छति, achieves; शान्तिं, Peace that is in the form of cessation of all thoughts, and the flow of which is steady; and निर्वाण-परमां, culminates in Liberation, which is of the nature of cessation of nescience together with its effects, as a result of the rise of direct experience of Reality, and मत्-समस्थाम्, steadfastness in the supreme Bliss which is My true nature.
तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.3)
(Those who are interested further must study Yoga Sutra 3.16 to 3.56) though not necessary in this context so I omit them.)
But it is not that he attains the mundane yogic powers which are the fruits of समाधि (intense concentration) on objects other than the Self; for they are hindrances to the समाधि that is necessary for Liberation.
And accordingly, after stating the results of the respective समाधि (intense concentration), the venerable Patanjali says: “These are obstacles to समाधि (Self-absorbtion), but they are powers in the worldly state.” And “The Yogi should not feel allured or flattered by the overtures of the स्थानि (celestial beings, gods) for fear of evil again.”
So Vasishtha narrates that Uddaalaka, who even though coaxed by gods, did not feel allured thereby, nor did he feel flattered, and ignoring the gods, practiced निर्विकल्प-समाधि alone for warding off recrudescence of evil.
The kind of समाधि that has to be rejected by one seeking Liberation has been stated by Patanjali:
वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात्सम्प्रज्ञातः॥१७॥ Yoga Sutra 1.17)
“When समाधि is reached with the help of वितर्क, विचार, आनन्द and अस्मिता it is called संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.
Let’s do a summation of what we have learnt so far on this sloka 6.15.
प्रज्ञा means awareness. प्रज्ञा involves (1) the object, (2) you and (3) the medium viz. the mind.
Complete awareness is when there is nothing but you and the object and your mind is fully and completely engaged with that object. This is called समाधि (intense concentration).
In समाधि all objects other than the one meditated upon are excluded. Reaching such exclusive state is समाधि.
But remember all objects are devas, the objects themselves their स्तान (seat).
In meditation you are actually engaging yourself with a deva/devi.
In समाधि you commune with that deva/devi that strengthens him/her.
When you wake up from this समाधि there is संस्कार, the impression of such experience is attached to you.
Now we come to the nitty-gritty of meditation.
It involves युज्ञ्जान, concentrating.
It involves अभ्यास or practice in being engaged in समाधि (intense concentration).
It requires वैराग्य in the mind. It can’t be occasional but सदा, always.
It has to make you नियत-मानसः as full and complete controlled mind.
Then you are called योगी a qualified samadhi-wala!
We talked of अभ्यास i.e. Practice. Meditation of fixing repeatedly in the mind the objects thought of, to the exclusion of other objects is called भावना.
I ask you this question: Who knows you best?
The only person who can know you best is your own self and none other. Now who are you?
Any answer is good enough in any given circumstance. You can say you are the body, you are the mind, you are the breath and so on.
All these – body, mind, breath etc are objects and you call them yourself by identifying them with yourself such as I am the body, right?
As long as you can identify yourself with an object you can call that object as yourself, is it not?
So, answer me, can you call yourself an apple?
We talked of अभ्यास i.e. practice. This I said before. Meditation of fixing repeatedly in the mind the objects thought of, to the exclusion of other objects is called भावना.
Now what can be object of meditation?
Anything can be an object but we can divide the object into three on the basis of its difference in perception.
They are: (a) An object of perception is ग्राह्य; (b) the means of perception is ग्रहण; and (c) the perceiver himself is ग्रहीत्र्.
Again these three can be divided into two as (i) स्थूल (gross) and (ii) (सूक्ष्म) subtle.
Thus an object is viewed in six different ways. There is a purpose in viewing so as we shall see as we go along.
What is the result of भावना?
Patanjali says it results in समापत्ति (absorption).
What is समापत्ति (absorption)?
When the thoughts are weakened, mind acquires fixity and identity.
What is this fixity and identity?
Mind acquiring fixity in and identity with the perceiver, the means of perception or the object of perception as does a transparent crystal. This is called समापत्ति (absorption).
How do the thoughts get weakened?
The thoughts get weakened in समाधि (intense concentration).
What kind of thoughts are we talking about?
The thoughts born of रजस् and तमस्. They get subdued in the intense concentration known as समाधि resulting in समापत्ति (absorption).
What actually is समापत्ति (absorption)?
समापत्ति is the fusion of you the perceiver, your mind which is the means of perception and the object that is being perceived. In other words you become that by which you know it completely.
Now, again, can you think you are an apple?
We have so far dealt with the general understanding of समाधि leading to समापत्ति.
Because cause is in the effect we call both (समाधि and समापत्ति) as समाधि only.
Now we are going to get little more focussed from the general term.
This is not about merging but understanding the nature of the object – We call it संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.
संप्रज्ञात-समाधि is a kind of meditation (भावना) through which the nature of objects of meditation is known clearly, it is known specifically (प्र-ज्ञायते), in its totality (सम्यक्) as devoid of doubt, misapprehension and uncertainty.
Meditation (भावना), verily, is fixing repeatedly in the mind the objects thought of, to the exclusion of other objects.
If you are meditating on, say your Ishta Devata, there is a concentration by which you and the Devata alone are in existence.
This kind of meditation where only you and the object are related as seer and seen is called भावना.
In the above example we considered only two viz. you and the devata. However there are three entities involved in भावना.
The three kinds according to its difference as ‘an object of perception, ग्राह्य, the means of perception, ग्रहण or the perceiver, ग्रहीत्र्’.
The object of meditation, ग्राह्य, too is of two kinds, according to its difference as (i) स्थूल (gross) and (ii) (सूक्ष्म) subtle.
क्षीणवृत्तेरभिजातस्येव मणेर्ग्रहीतृग्रहणग्राह्येषु तत्स्थतदञ्जनता समापत्तिः॥४१॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.41)
So Patanjali says: “When the thoughts are weakened, mind acquires fixity in and identity with the perceiver, the means of perception or the object of perception as does a transparent crystal. This is called समापत्ति (absorption)”.
When a perception is involved you may not see the object because of तमस् (ignorance) or you may tend to see it differently by partiality or bias caused by रजस्.
By means of repeatedly engaging the object रजस् and तमस् are weakened causing loss of doubt, misapprehension and uncertainty.
By this भावना arises by the ‘fixity in’ and ‘identity with’ those very perceiver, the means of perception and the perceived, (i.e.) (a)the self, (b)the organ of perception and (c)the object (of perception).
That is to say the mind has now been subdued in which rajas and tamas have been completely suppressed.
There follows prominence of the object of thought alone.
There occurs that kind of absorption (समापत्ति), a transformation similar to that object of thought.
For example when you take a blue lotus to a transparent crystal it acquires the blueness of the lotus.
This is called समापत्ति or समाधि, and these two terms are synonymous.
Though the Sutra says: “…with the perceiver, the means of perception or the object of perception”, still, it should be understood in a different order according to the succession of the level of समाधि.
So it has to be understood as “…with the objects of perception, the means of perception or the perceiver”, because in the beginning comes समाधि in the form of absorption in the object of perception itself, then follows absorption in the means of perception, thereafter the absorption in the perceiver.
The succession of the perceiver etc. will also be explained later on.
वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात्सम्प्रज्ञातः॥१७॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.17)
As stated before संप्रज्ञात-समाधि is a kind of meditation (भावना) through which the nature of objects of meditation is known clearly.
This explains why two different words संप्रज्ञात-समाधि and भावना are used.
समाधि is reached with the help of वितर्क, विचार, आनन्द and अस्मिता and these are explained now.
It has already been pointed out that the objects are of two kinds, (i) स्थूल (gross) and (ii) (सूक्ष्म) subtle. They are part of प्रकृति, nature.
When meditation is undertaken on gross objects viz. the sixteen transformation of प्रकृति – nature consisting of five महाभूत (space, air, fire, water and earth) and eleven organs consisting of five ज्ञानेन्द्रिय and five कर्मेन्द्रिय plus the mind, along with the order of their succession and remembrance of their indicative words and their meaning, then come सवितर्क-समाधि.
In explaining this, what is known as समाधि here means “accompanied with reason or thought”.
So when you concentrate and meditate on the gross objects, on their nature and in relation to time and space, it is वितर्क समाधि.
वितर्क समाधि is समाधि with argumentation. It is स्थूल ध्यान.
Let’s take the ‘cat’ as a word, ‘cat’ as an object & the ‘cat’ as an idea, though different from one another, are cognised as indistinct.
You begin to analyse the word ‘cat’.
The characteristics of the word are different; the characteristics of the idea are different; and the characteristics of the object are also different.
Everything has a name which has some meaning.
When the mind apprehends a word and meditates on its meaning and form as well as on the understanding of both, and thus lose itself in the thing completely, it is called सवितर्क समाधि .
That is when the mind coalesces with the object, knowledge dawns resulting in perception or cognition of the object.
The mixture of these three, sound of the word, its meaning and its knowledge of what it is, constitute perception or cognition of an object. It is सवितर्क समाधि.
When meditation proceeds with regard to these three themselves, without considering the order of their succession (of word, meaning and knowledge) and
without remembering their indicative words and their meaning, then comes निर्वितर्क समाधि.
Both these are referred as वितर्क in the above Sutra of Patanjali.
When meditation proceeds with regard to subtle objects, consisting of the subtle elements as also the mind, as conditioned by time (काल), space (देश) and quality (गुण), then it is सविचार समाधि.
सविचार समाधि is a meditation on the subtle Tanmatras.
Tanmatras are five महाभूत of space, air, fire, water and earth.
सविचार समाधि is a meditation on Tanmatras on their nature and in relation to time, space and GuNa. This is सूक्ष्म ध्यान.
सविचार समाधि is सूक्ष्म ध्यान.
When the meditation proceeds with regard to these very objects as unconditioned by time, space and GuNa, and they are revealed only as objects, then it is निर्विचार समाधि.
Both are meant by the word विचार.
Vyaasa comments on this saying: “वितर्क is the mental realization of the true nature of objects; when this is with regard to subtle objects, it is विचार.”
This is called ग्राह्य समापत्ति (objective samaadhi).
When the mind which we refer to as internal organ, which is a product of सत्त्व गुण with a trace of रजस् and तमस् , is meditated upon then since the power of consciousness takes secondary position and the सत्त्व गुण, which is the object of meditation and is full of joy and light, becomes predominant, there comes सानन्द समाधि.
Those whose endeavour remains confined to this very सानन्द समाधि and who do not see any other reality in the form of प्रधान (प्रकृति, nature) or पुरुष (Person), they are referred to by the word विदेह, because they are devoid of self-identification with the body.
This is ग्रहण समापत्ति (समाधि with regard to the means of perception).
After that, when meditation proceeds by taking as the object of meditation the सत्त्व गुण that is pure and is not overcome by any traces of रजस् and तमस् , then since as a result of the सत्त्व गुण, the object of meditation, becoming secondary and the power of consciousness becoming dominant there remain one’s existence alone as a residue, it is called सास्मित समाधि.
And it should not be apprehended that अहंकार (egoism, awareness of one’s individuality) and अस्मिता are non-different;
because अहंकार occurs where the internal organ, the mind, perceives objects along with the awareness of “I”,
but that is अस्मिता which occurs when the idea of one’s mere existence flashes in the mind that has become merged in प्रकृति
as a result of a reverse transformation through an inward movement.
Those who remain satisfied in this very सास्मित समाधि, they, being unable to realize the supreme Purusha,
are said to be in प्रकृति लय (merged in प्रकृति) because their minds remain merged in प्रकृति.
This is known as ग्राहित्र् समापत्ति (समाधि in the perceiver),
for it is concerned with the perceiver in the form of an awareness of mere self-existence (अस्मिता).
Tweeted on 25th July 2017
1. We continue now with our next (5th) segment of the Bhaashyam on BHAGAVAT GEETHA– Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation
विवेकख्यातिरविप्लवा हानोपायः॥२६॥ (Yoga Sutra 2.26)
But in the case of those who engage in meditation after distinguishing the supreme Person (Purusha) (from Prakrti),
although even their discriminative knowledge (विवेक क्याति) of the Purusha alone is a ग्राहित्र् समापत्ति (समाधि in the perceiver),
yet it is not सास्मित-समाधि; because in it the अस्मिता (awareness of self-existence) is discarded through discrimination. yet it is not सास्मित-समाधि;
because in it the अस्मिता (awareness of self-existence) is discarded through discrimination.
Consider the order of the following awareness.
The awareness of the means of perception is certainly preceded by the awareness of the perceiver;
the awareness of the subtle objects of perception is preceded by the awareness of the means of perception; and
the awareness of the gross objects of perception is preceded by the subtle objects of perception.
Thus both kinds of वितर्क (i.e. सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क), which are with regard to gross objects, remain associated with the four kinds of समाधि.
when a yogi is meditating on some gross object what does not happen?
Its subtle cause, the means of perception and the perceiver do not get eliminated.
So there still remains a possibility of the yogi attaining समाधि with regard to any of these three
when he is practising to attain समाधि with regard to the gross.
The second viz. विचार समाधि (meditation with subtle objects) is without वितर्क and remain associated with three viz. सविचार, सानन्द and सास्मित समाधि.
When a yogi practises समाधि with regard to subtle cause of a gross effect after rejecting the gross through समाधि what is the effect?
Rejecting the gross makes it non-existant for him so much so there remains no possibility of समाधि on the gross object i.e सवितर्क समाधि.
The third सानन्द समाधि is devoid of वितर्क and विचार, and remains associated with two viz. सानन्द and सास्मित समाधि.
The fourth सास्मित समाधि is devoid of वितर्क, विचार and आनन्द and has अस्मिता alone.
Thus this संप्रज्ञात-समाधि has four states (see below).
In this way the समाधि is in the states of सवितर्क, सविचार, सानन्द and सास्मित.
They are the sources of such mystical powers as disappearing from view, etc.
Such mystical powers are not conducive but are opposed to that समाधि which is the cause of Liberation.
Therefore संप्रज्ञात-समाधि should certainly be rejected by the seekers of Liberation.
So long as they are objects of thoughts even the perceiver (ग्रहित्र् ) and the means of perception (ग्रहण ) comes under the class of ‘objects of perception (ग्राह्य ).
For the sake of stating the division between what is to be rejected and what is to be accepted, the author of Sutra has elaborated only the ग्राह्य समापत्ति.
ग्राह्य समापत्ति is the समाधि in the object of perception.
ग्राह्य समापत्ति is also of four kinds.
In this that concerning the gross objects of perceptions are two kinds–सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क; and
the ones concerning the subtle objects of perceptions are of two kinds–सविचार and निर्विचार.
शब्दार्थज्ञानविकल्पैः सङ्कीर्णा सवितर्का समापत्तिः॥४२॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.42)
Among them, that (समापत्ति, समाधि) is mixed up with विकल्प.
विकल्प is an an imaginary relationship, between a word, its meaning and the corresponding mental impression.
This समाधि mixed up with विकल्प and it takes the form of an awareness of the gross object known as सवितर्क समाधि.
It concerns gross objects and is a mental modification involving विकल्प (imaginary relationship, false notion).
This विकल्प समाधि is caused by both Rajo Guna and Thamo Guna.
स्मृतिपरिशुद्धौ स्वरूपशून्येवार्थमात्रनिर्भासा निर्वितर्का॥४३॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.43)
When complete concentration the memory becomes purified, and the mind seems to be devoid of its own nature and
appears only as an object then the state is called निर्वितर्क समाधि.
Tweeted on 26th July 2017
1.We continue now with our next (6th) segment of the Bhaashyam on BHAGAVAT GEETHA– Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation
The purification of the mind in this निर्वितर्क समाधि takes the following form.
The real nature of the object of perception becomes manifest after the elimination of the memory of the word and its meaning.
Then the corresponding ideation of the object becomes subordinate and as though itself nonexistent. This is निर्वितर्क समाधि.
That is to say, it has for its content the gross object and mental modification without विकल्प.
Once the argument as to whether the object is a man or monkey ceases by the determination of the object it results in निर्वितर्क समाधि
एतयैव सविचारा निर्विचारा च सूक्ष्मविषया व्याख्याता॥४४॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.44)
“By this much itself stands explained the सविचार and the निर्विचार समाधि which pertain to subtle objects.”
That समाधि which has for its object the subtle, uncompounded elements etc. is of two kinds–सविचार and निर्विचार.
These two kinds are according to the difference of their being with or without विकल्प.
विकल्प as already explained is the imaginary relationship between a word, its meaning, or object, and the corresponding ideation or mental impression.
These stand explained by this much itself, i.e. by सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क समाधि concerned with gross objects.
That is सविचार समाधि in which a subtle object becomes revealed, together with विकल्प,
and as conditioned by space, time, quality, etc.
By the specification that सविचार and निर्विचार समाधि are concerned with subtle objects, it stands explained ipso facto that the सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क समाधि they are concerned with gross objects.
सूक्ष्मविषयत्वं चालिङ्गपर्यवसानम्॥४५॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.45)
“The fact of having subtle objects as their content is inclusive of आलिङ्ग”.
It should be noted that what has been said about the सविचार and निर्विचार समाधि having subtle objects as their content extends up to the आलिङ्ग.
लिङ्ग means that by which anything is indicated, or which can be resolved into its cause, or source.
आलिङ्ग means that of which there is no cause, which cannot be resolved further into any other source, and which is not indicative of anything else.
Thereby सानन्द and सास्मित समाधि also, which concern the means of perception (ग्रहण )
and the perceiver (ग्रहित्र्), become included in the ग्राह्य समाधि itself.
That is to say ग्राह्य समाधि concerning the object of perception. This is the idea.
There are seven प्रकृति or sources.
They are the five monads of smell, taste, light, touch and sound and अहंकार and महत्.
सूक्ष्मविषयत्वं चालिङ्गपर्यवसानम्॥४५॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.45)
So has it been said: The earth-atom has for its subtle source the smell-monad; of the water-atom also the subtle source is the taste-monad; of the fire-atom, the subtle source is light-monad; of the air-atom, the subtle source is touch-monad; of the space-atom, the subtle source is sound-monad.
For all of the above the subtle source is the principle called अहंकार or egoism;
Of this अहंकार the subtle source is mere लिङ्ग.
Of this लिङ्ग the subtle source is महत् the Cosmic Intelligence.
Of even that महत् the subtle source आलिङ्ग or प्रधान.
And the subtlety of all the seven प्रकृति, the sources, culminate in the प्रधान itself.
Therefore it has been said, ‘the fact of having subtle objects as their content’ extend up to that प्रधान alone.
Then there is the पुरुष (Person) who is more subtle than प्रधान, still, but He is not the material cause (अन्वयी-कारण).
Therefore it has been explained that the utmost subtlety belongs to प्रधान alone which is the material cause of all things.
On the other hand, although the पुरुष exists as the efficient cause, He is still not fit to be called their subtle cause, because he is not the material cause.
However, if what is under consideration be not the fact of being the material cause, i.e. if the intention be not to state that subtlety belongs only to what is the material cause, then it should be noted that even the पुरुष is indeed subtle.
ता एव सबीज: समाधिः॥४६॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.46)
“These alone are the समाधि concerned with objects.
These four समाधि are called सबीज-समाधि since they occur in association with the बीज, literally seed i.e. object of perception.”
The four समाधिः viz. वितर्क, विचार, आनन्द and अस्मिता known as संप्रज्ञात-समाधि are also known as सबीज-समाधि since they occur in association with the बीज, i.e. object of perception.”
This was stated before in Yoga Sutra 1.17: वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात्सम्प्रज्ञातः॥१७॥ and Yoga Sutra 1.46: ता एव सबीज: समाधिः॥४६॥
सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क are concerned with gross objects while सविचार and निर्विचार are concerned with subtle objects.
निर्विचारवैशारद्येऽध्यात्मप्रसादः॥४७॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.47)
“When निर्विचार is perfected, there follows the purity of the internal organ (mind)”
Though both सवितर्क and निर्वितर्क have gross objects as their content, the निर्वितर्क, which has the nature of being free from विकल्प, is still superior to सवितर्क, which is mixed up with विकल्प between word, meaning and ideation.
Superior to that is सविचार, which is concerned with subtle objects and in which they are revealed in association with विकल्प.
Superior even to that is निर्विचार, which is concerned with subtle objects and in which they are revealed unassociated with विकल्प.
Among them, the preceding three, being meant to lead to the निर्विचार become fruitful by the fruitfulness of the निर्विचार itself.
However, when the निर्विचार समाधि becomes perfected through the power of intense practice, and the quality of सत्व unimpeded by रजस् and तमस्, becomes dominant, ‘there follows purity of the internal organ’ in that mind, which is devoid of the impressions of क्लेस (pain bearing obstructions), there arises the clear light of insight (प्रज्ञा) with regard to an object as it is in its totality, without any sequential comprehension.
On this Vyasa comments: “The sorrowless man of insight, after attaining the ‘clarity of insight’, looks upon all the sorrowful people as does a man on a mountain peak the people on the ground.”
ऋतम्भरा तत्र प्रज्ञा॥४८॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.48) “The insight gained there is called ऋतम्भरा (filled with truth).
‘There’, when the purity of the mind is gained, the insight (प्रज्ञा) that comes to the yogi whose mind is in the state of absorption is called ऋतम्भरा–that which contains truth only, in which there is not even a trace of error.
The term ऋतम्भरा is indeed a derivative term. And that निर्विचार समाधि is a high state of Yoga.
On this Vyasa states: “One attains the high state of Yoga by cultivating प्रज्ञा in three ways. “Through scriptural texts (i.e. through श्रवण, अनुमान i.e. inference–मनन,
“and a liking for the practice of meditation known as निदिध्यासन.”
श्रुतानुमानप्रज्ञाभ्यामन्यविषया विशेषार्थत्वात्॥४९॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.49)
But that ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा is different from the knowledge gained through hearing (श्रुत) and inference (अनुमान), because it relates to specific characteristics of objects.
श्रुत means scriptural knowledge. That relates to objects in a general way only.
For, it is not possible to comprehend any relationship between a word and the specific characteristics of the object denoted by that word.
Similarly, inference relates to objects in a general way only; for it is not possible to understand the specific characteristics of an object thru a knowledge of व्याप्ति (invariable concomitance).
For example, from the general knowledge that ‘fire exists wherever there is smoke’, one may infer that at a certain place ‘there is fire because smoke is also seen there’. But from this inference he will not know the particulars of that fire.
Therefore no specific characteristic can be an object of scriptural and inferential knowledge.
Besides, there is no direct knowledge of this subtle, hidden and remote entity through ordinary perception.
But that specific characteristic, be it of some subtle element or of the Person, does become clearly comprehended through insight gained in समाधि.
Therefore great effort has to be put in by a yogi for the ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा itself, insight that is filled with truth, which arises on the perfection of निर्विचार समाधि.
This निर्विचार समाधि is different from the knowledge gained from scriptural text and inference; and whose contents are all the specific characteristics, be they subtle, hidden and remote. This is the idea.
While discussing Geetha Sloka (4.26) ( http://ow.ly/L3sv7 ) we discussed about the latent impression of व्युत्थान.
These latent impression of व्युत्थान are two sets called (a) क्षिप्त (scattered), मूढ (stupified), विक्षिप्त (restless) and also (b) the impressions originating from the सवितर्क, निर्वितर्क & सविचार समाधि that persist even in the state of एकाग्र (one pointedness).
So how can ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा, which is attained through the purity of the mind resulting from perfection in निर्विचार समाधि, become established in a mind that is moved by those impressions?
तज्जः संस्कारोऽन्यसंस्कारप्रतिबन्धी॥५०॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.50)
Patanjali says: “The impression arising from that ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा opposes the other impressions.”
The impression formed by that ऋतम्भरा प्रज्ञा, being powerful on account of having been born of the insight into reality, obstructs, renders ineffective or destroys, the impressions that are born of व्युत्थान (i.e. born of the states of क्षिप्त (scattered), मूढ (stupified), विक्षिप्त (restless) and of the states of समाधि (viz. सवितर्क, निर्वितर्क and सविचार).
since they are weak on account of having been born of the knowledge of unreal objects.
When those impressions are overpowered, then the perceptions arising from them cease to occur.
From that comes समाधि; from that the insight (प्रज्ञा) born of समाधि; from that the impressions (संस्कार) arising from insight.
Thus the store of the newer and newer latent impressions increases.
From that, again, arises insight (प्रज्ञा); and from that, (newer) impressions (संस्कार) again.
Now let’s consider an objection.
(Objection:) “Well, granted that the impressions (संस्कार) of व्युत्थान, which arise from the knowledge of unreal objects, “are obstructed by the impressions created by the insight gained in the संप्रज्ञात-समाधि which relates only to reality. “However, since these later impressions do not have anything to obstruct them, “therefore there can occur सबीज-समाधि in the plane of एकाग्र itself, “not, however, निर्बीज समाधि in the plane of निरोध (full restraint).
In answer, let us see what Patanjali says. तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्बीज: समाधिः॥५१॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.51)
“On the restraint of even that (संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि), there follows the निर्बीज समाधि (the seedless समाधि) as a result of the elimination of all impressions (संस्कार).”
On the restraint, on the elimination through a special effort of the yogi, of that संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि which originates in the plane of एकाग्र–the word ‘even’ implies ‘of the संस्कार of the क्षिप्त , मूढ and विक्षिप्त states as well’–, there follows the निर्बीज, objectless, असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि, as a result of the elimination of all, of the संस्कार of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि as well.
And that निर्बीज समाधि together with its means, has been stated in the Sutra:
विरामप्रत्ययाभ्यासपूर्वः संस्कारशेषोऽन्यः॥१८॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.18).
(असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is the) other (type of समाधि) (अन्यः) that is preceded (पूर्वः) by the practice (अभ्यास) of stopping or rejection (विराम) of the mental fluctuations (प्रत्यय) (which is the natural fruit of the highest वैराग्य or Renunciation, but that) it (still) contains a residue (शेषः) of latent impressions (संस्कार).”
The other i.e. असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is that in which only the संस्कार remain and which is preceded by the practice of the means of rejection of mental activity.
विराम, rejection, stands for that through which the rejection is achieved; so it means the giving up of the mental activities in the form of वितर्क, विचार, अस्मिता etc.
The प्रत्यय, the means of that which is पर-वैराग्य, supreme detachment.
Or the meaning of विराम-प्रत्यय is that it is a विराम, rejection, and also प्रत्यय, a particular form of mental modification (i.e. rejection which is a particular form of thought.)
The अभ्यास, practice, of that विराम-प्रत्यय means getting it repeatedly fixed in the mind.
So the alternative translation of the Sutra is: “The other is that in which only the impressions remain and which is caused by the practice of fixing the thought process in the form of ‘rejection of mental activity’. That of which that very thing viz. विराम-प्रत्यय-अभ्यास is the पूर्वम्, cause, is the अन्यः, other, which is distinct from सबीज-समाधि mentioned before.
That is to say, it is the निर्बीज-असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि, संस्कार-शेष:, in which only the संस्कार, latent impressions, remain (शेष); it is totally without any mental modification.
Indeed अभ्यास, practice, and वैराग्य (detachment), have been mentioned as the two means to असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि.
Of them since अभ्यास, which is dependent on some object, cannot be the cause of the objectless समाधि, therefore पर-वैराग्य (supreme detachment) itself which is not dependent on any object, is said to be the cause.
But अभ्यास becomes helpful as an indirect means to असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि through the medium of संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.
So it has been said in Sutra 3.7 (त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः॥७॥ as explained in detail before).
To give in succinctly, as compared with the group of five disciplines viz. यम, नियम, आसन, प्राणायाम and प्रत्याहार , the three disciplines viz. धारणा (concentration), ध्यान (meditation) and समाधि (absorption), are more intimate practices for सबीज-समाधि.
The word समाधि, when it occurs among the group of disciplines, denotes अभ्यास itself; because समाधि in the primary sense of self-absorption is the goal and not a discipline.
तदपि वहिरङ्गं निर्वीजस्य॥८॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.8) “Even that group of three disciplines is an external practice in respect of निर्बीज-समाधि.
Even that group of three disciplines viz. धारणा, ध्यान and समाधि, however, is an external practice indirectly helpful with regard to निर्बीज-समाधि.
That is to say, for that निर्बीज-समाधि, however, पर-वैराग्य (supreme detachment) is absolutely the intimate practice.
This निर्बीज-समाधि, again, is of two kinds–भव-प्रत्यय and उपाय-प्रत्यय.
(भवप्रत्ययो विदेहप्रकृतिलयानाम्॥१९॥ Yoga Sutra 1.19).
“The समाधि of the विदेह and प्रकृति-लय has for its cause (प्रत्यय) the mundane state (भव).
Of the aforementioned विदेह, who have achieved the सानन्द-समाधि, the निर्बीज-समाधि that comes as a result of some particular birth, particular medicine, particular incantation, or particular austerity is a भव-प्रत्यय–it is that which has the भव, mundane state, for its प्रत्यय, cause; it is that of which the प्रत्यय, cause, is भव, the mundane state characterized by
the absence of discrimination between the Self and the non-Self.
भव-प्रत्यय means that which is caused by the mere fact of birth, as in the case of birds flying into the sky.
(The विदेह and the gods are from their very birth endowed with such mystic powers as ‘becoming subtle’ etc.)
The idea is that this kind of समाधि should be spurned by people seeking Liberation, because it is a cause of mundane state again.
श्रद्धावीर्यस्मृतिसमाधिप्रज्ञापूर्वक इतरेषाम्॥२०॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.20)
The समाधि of others who follow the prescribed path comes from श्रद्धा, the delight in Yoga, वीर्य, enthusiasm, स्मृति, recollection, समाधि, concentration, प्रज्ञा, insight.
That समाधि, however, which is attained by those who see the difference between the Self and the non-Self, and who are distinct from those that have succeeded through birth, medicine, incantation and austerity, comes from श्रद्धा etc.; it is that which has श्रद्धा etc. as its पूर्व, means.
That is, it is an उपाय-प्रत्यय–it has उपाय, the prescribed means, as its प्रत्यय, cause.
Among them the means, श्रद्धा implies delightfulness of the mind with regard to Yoga.
Indeed that protects the Yogi like a mother!
From that springs वीर्य, enthusiasm, in the man who delights in Yoga and is a seeker of discrimination.
In the person in whom वीर्य has arisen, there comes स्मृति, recollection, regarding the preceding stages he has passed over.
And from the recollection of the mind, becoming free from anxiety, attains समाधि. समाधि here means onepointedness.
In the person whose mind has become one-pointed, there arises, through discrimination, insight into the object of meditation.
From the practice of that insight and through supreme detachment, पर-वैराग्य, follows the असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि in the case of seekers of Liberation. This is the idea.
Samkhya Kaumudi says: “All objects other than the power of Consciousness (ie. Purusha) are indeed changeful every moment, even in that state of निरोध (total restraint) of all mental modifications there does surely exist a flow of transformation of the mind as such as also a flow of the impressions (संस्कार) caused by that flow of transformation.
Perhaps having this in mind Patanjali says: विरामप्रत्ययाभ्यासपूर्वः संस्कारशेषोऽन्यः॥१८॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.18),
“The other ie. the असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि is that in which only the impressions remain..”
To explain, the mind can undergo changes in two ways–either with a tendency towards producing its effects, viz. the modifications in the form of प्रमाण, विपर्यय, विकल्प, निद्रा and स्मृति, or towards merging into its cause viz. the प्रदान.
In असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि the second tendency is in evidence.
Patanjali states the usefulness of that संस्कार in Yoga Sutra 3.10: तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥
“As a result of that संस्कार, the mind comes to have a steady flow.”
प्रशान्तवाहिता, steady flow, means the cessation–through a reverse transformation–of the mind that is devoid of modifications, like a fire that is without any more fuel.
As for instance, a fire blazes up by increasing gradually with the supply of fuel and offering of oblations such as clarified butter etc.
But when the fuel etc. get exhausted, it becomes slightly less intense at the first instance.
In the succeeding moments, however, it becomes more and more pacified. Thus it becomes gradually more subdued.
Similarly, the cessation of the mind that has become fully restrained becomes successively more continuous.
As to that, the impression born from the previous cessation is itself the cause of the succeeding cessation.
And then, like a fire without fuel, the mind, gradually becoming inactive, merges into its own source, together with the impressions (संस्कार) of the state of व्युत्थान (ie. क्षिप्त, मूढ and विक्षिप्त), समाधि (onepointedness) and निरोध (total restraint).
After that, when from the perfection of the resulting असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि there follows full realization born of the hearing of the great Upanishadic sayings, then there comes about the cessation of nescience.
From that follows the eradication of the contact between the ‘Seer’ and the ‘seen’ which is due to that nescience.
As a consequence, when there comes the cessation of all the five kinds of mental modifications, then the Purusha established in his own nature, is said to be pure, absolute and liberated.
Thus Patanjali says in Yoga Sutra 1.3 तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥३॥ “Then there comes about the establishment of the Seer in His own nature.”
‘Then’ means ‘when all the mental modifications have been restrained.’
But when the modifications are present, then although the Seer is ever pure in His nature as the eternal, immutable, Consciousness, yet from the beginningless contact with, ‘the seen’, which is caused by nescience and which leads to the superimposition on him of the idea of identity with the mind, He comes to possess the characteristics of the modifications of the mind, and though a non-enjoyer, becomes as it were a sufferer of sorrows!
Patanjali says of this in Yoga Sutra 1.4: वृत्तिसारूप्यमितरत्र॥४॥ ‘At other times’ means ‘when the modifications are manifest’.
This very fact is elaborated in Yoga Sutra 4.22: द्रष्टृदृश्योपरक्तं चित्तं सर्वार्थम्॥२३॥
“The mind being colored (affected) by the Seer and the seen, is said to be representing all.”
The mind itself, being colored by ‘the Seer and the seen’, appears as the perceiver and the thing perceived, as identified with the nature of the Conscious and of the insentient, as not an object though it is an object by nature, as sentient though insentient.
Mind is like a crystal, and it is said to be representing all.
Hence some persons, become deluded by this identification of the mind with sentience, say that mind is itself conscious.
तदसङ्ख्येयवासनाभिश्चित्रमपि परार्थं संहत्यकारित्वात्॥२४॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.24)
“That mind, though diversified by innumerable impressions, is for the enjoyment of the Other because it acts unitedly with others.”
He Himself, for whose enjoyment and liberation that mind exists, is the Other ie. other than the mind, the ununited Conscious Person.
But the mind, which is like a pot acts in unison with others, is not sentient. This is the purport.
विशेषदर्शिन आत्मभावभावनाविनिवृत्तिः॥२५॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.25).
“For one who has realized the distinction, the enquiry into the nature of the Self ceases.”
For one who has thus realized the distinction between the mind and the Person, the enquiry into the nature of the Self, which enquiry existed previously in his mind, due to indiscrimination, ceases, because when the distinction is perceived the erroneous notion of identity cannot occur.
The realization of the distinction between the mind and the Person is achievable through selfless action dedicated to Easwara.
The indication of this has already shown on the commentary of verse 4.24 ( http://ow.ly/LgSEl ).
In the rainy season, from the sprouting of grass, the existence of its seeds can be inferred.
Similarly when in a person it is seen that due to love for the established conclusion of Vedanta there occurs horripilation of hair through thrill and shedding of tears of joy on hearing of the path of Liberation.
Here also it can be inferred that there exists in him the ‘seed’ of ‘perception of the distinction’ which is conducive to Liberation and which is accompanied through the performance of rites and duties.
On the other hand, take the case of one in whom that kind of ‘seed’ produced through rites and duties does not exist. For him, when he hears of the path of Liberation, there arises love for the anti-Liberation point of view.
He exhibits clear lack of love for the arguments on the side of the established conclusions of Vedanta.
But in him who has that ‘seed’, there arises a spontaneous enquiry into the nature of the Self–Who am I?
And this ceases once he has realized the distinction.
When this occurs, what follows?
The author of the Sutra gives the answer: तदा विवेकनिम्नङ्कैवल्यप्राग्भारञ्चित्तम्॥२६॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.26)
Then the mind, flowing along the channel of discrimination, ends on the highland of Liberation.
निम्न means a low land (channel) fit for the flow of water. प्राग्भार means a highland unfit for that flow.
And the mind, which ever flows on in the form of a running stream of modifications, is comparable to water.
That mind of this person, flowing before along the wrong channel in the form of indiscrimination between the Self and the non-Self, ended in the enjoyment of objects.
But now, flowing along the proper channel in the form of discrimination between the Self and the non-Self, it reaches up to Liberation.
And whatever hindrances there may be in this mind that flows along the channel of discrimination should be eliminated, together with their causes.
This is said in two Sutras: तच्छिद्रेषु प्रत्ययान्तराणि संस्कारेभ्यः॥२७॥ Yoga Sutra 4.27) & हानमेषां क्लेशवदुक्तम्॥२८॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.28).
“During the breaks that occur in that mind following the course of discrimination, there arises other perceptions originating from संस्कार.
“It is said that their elimination should be as in the case of क्लेश (affliction).”
In that mind that is following the course of discrimination there occurs during the breaks, during the intervening periods, other perceptions in the form of ‘I’, ‘mine’ etc. as are found in the state व्युत्थान (emergence from Samaadhi); they are born of the संस्कार formed by the experiences in the state of previous व्युत्थान, even though these संस्कार are fading.
The क्लेश viz. अविद्या etc. which through the fire of Knowledge are in a state like that of a burnt seed, do not sprout again in the ‘field’ of the mind.
Similarly the संस्कार which through the fire of Knowledge are in a state like that of a burnt seed, cannot give rise to other perceptions (different from the flow of discriminative knowledge).
The संस्कार which arising from the fire of Knowledge, however, continue so long as the mind lasts.
This point has been explained in great detail in the commentary to verse 5.22.
And thus when the mind following the course of discrimination becomes steady on account of the non-emergence of other perceptions, then प्रसङ्ख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य सर्वथा विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः समाधिः॥२९॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.29), to the one who, in spite of having attained the knowledge of the distinction (प्रसङ्ख्यान) between the intellect and the Person, is an अकुसीद (non-seeker of its fruits), comes धर्म-मेघ-समाधि from the discriminative knowledge of the highest degree.
Those transformations of the बुद्धि (intellect) in which the quality of सत्त्व alone predominates undertakes संयम on the सात्विक transformations of the intellect.
What is संयम?
To the one who, in that state, underakes संयम (self-control consisting of धारणा,concentration, ध्यान meditation and समाधि absorption).
This was explained in detail in my commentary to verse 4.26 ( http://ow.ly/Li6Bl )
One who undertakes संयम on the सात्विक transformations of the intellect, comes as a result of the power of control.
This power of control is like that of a master i.e. rulership, over all transformations of the गुण (सत्त्व, रजस् and तमस् ).
This power of control brings in omniscience–consisting in the discriminative knowledge of them just as they are.
This discriminative knowledge is with regard to those very transformations existing as the substrata.
शान्तोदिताव्यपदेश्यधर्मानुपाती धर्मी॥१४॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.14)
The substrata possessed of characteristics that are quiescent (शान्त, i.e. past), present (उदित, risen) or future (अव्यपदेश्य, unmanifested).
(विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती॥३६॥ Yoga Sutra 3.36).
The mastery over गुण and discriminative knowledge — these two are the mystic power called विशोका (free from afflictions).
And in the two Sutras it is said that Liberation comes from non-attachment (विशोका).
The Benefit of the discriminative knowledge is as follows:
“To the one who has only the realization of the difference between the intellect and the Person comes ruler-ship over all things and knowledge of everything.
तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्वीजः समाधिः॥५१॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.51)
“Form the renunciation of even that (the ruler-ship stated above) comes Liberation following the destruction of the seed of evil.”
Thus it has been said: Since in one who, even when he has that knowledge of the distinction between the intellect and the Person (प्रसङ्ख्यान) is an अकुसीद, a non-seeker of the mystic fruits, no other idea occur, therefore the knowledge of the distinction (between the प्रधान and पुरुष) becoming fully developed in every way, there follows धर्म-मेघ-समाधि.
In याज्ञवल्क्य स्मृति it is said: “As compared with sacrifices, good conduct, control of the external organs, non-injury, charity, scriptural study, and rites and duties, the highest virtue is this that is the realization of the Self through Yoga.
प्रसङ्ख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य सर्वथा विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः समाधिः॥२९॥ (Yoga Sutra 4.29)
It follows that धर्म-मेघ means that which showers धर्म, virtue, the realization of the identity between the inmost Self and Brahman.
It means that धर्म-मेघ is the means to the realization of Truth.
From that follows the cessation of the क्लेस and the stock of संस्कार of actions.
From धर्म-मेघ-समाधि comes Liberation, from Liberation comes the total cessation of the five kinds of क्लेस–अविद्या (ignorance), अस्मिता (egoism), राग (attachment), द्वेष (aversion) and अभिनिवेश (clinging to life)–and of the stock of संस्कार of actions.
These संस्कार of actions are of three kinds–dhaarmic, adharmic and misram or mixed and they are rooted in ignorance.
The Liberation destroys these संस्कार because the seeds of karma become destroyed when ignorance ceases.
For, it is appropriate that when the cause ceases the effect should cease absolutely. This is the idea.
This being so संप्रज्ञात-समाधि attained in the place of एकाग्र (onepointedness) has been spoken of before in explaining the concentrating the mind.
We also referred to the ‘fully controlling of the mind’ when we talked of असंप्रज्ञात-समाधि attained in the plane of निरोध (full restraint).
By ‘Peace’ is referred the steady flow of the mind (प्रशान्त-वहिता), which is the fruit of the संस्कार born of the समाधि in the plane of निरोध.
धर्म-मेघ-समाधि is the cause of Liberation through the experience of Truth; by ‘steadfastness in My true nature’ has been shown the Liberation approved by the Upanishads.
The idea is that, since Yoga has such great result, therefore, it should be accomplished with great diligence.