Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Book 1 On Concentration

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Book I, On Concentration

1. Now then Yoga is being explained.

2. Yoga is the suppression of the modifications of the mind.

3. Then the Seer abides in Itself.

4. At other times the Seer appears to assume the form of the modification of the mind.

5. They (modifications) fall into five varieties, of which some are 'Klista' and the rest 'Aklista'.

6. (They are) Pramana, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, (dreamless) sleep and recollection.

7. (Of these) Perception, inference and testimony (verbal communication) constitutethe Pramanas.

8. Viparyaya or illusion is false knowledge formed of a thing as other than what it is.

9. The modification called 'Vikalpa' is based on verbal cognition in regard to a thingwhich does not exist. (It is a kind of useful knowledge arising out of the meaning of a word but having no corresponding reality. ).

10. Dreamless sleep is the mental modification produced by the condition of inertia as the state of vacuity or negation (of waking and dreaming).

11. Recollection is mental modification caused by reproduction of the previous impression of an object without adding anything from other sources.

12. By practice and detachment these can be stopped.

13. Exertion to acquire Sthiti or a tranquil state of mind devoid of fluctuations is called practice.

14. That practice when continued for a long time without break and with devotion becomes firm in foundation.

15. When the mind loses all desire for objects seen or described in the scriptures it acquires a state of utter desirelessness which is called detachment.

16. Indifference to the Gunas or the constituent principles, achieved through a knowledge of the nature of Purusha, is called Paravairagya (supreme detachment).

17. When concentration is reached with the help of Vitarka, Vichara, Ananda and Asmita, it is called Samprajnata-samadhi.

18. Asamprajnata-Samadhi is the other kind of Samadhi which arises through constant practice of Paravairagya which brings about the disappearance of all fluctuations of the mind, wherein only the latent impressions remain.

19. While in the case of the Videhas or the discarnates and of the Prakrtilayas or those subsisting in their elemental constituents, it is caused by nescience which results in objective existence.

20. Others (who follow the path of the prescribed effort) adopt the means of reverential faith, energy, repeated recollection, concentration and real knowledge (and thus attain Asamprajnata-samadhi).

21. Yogins with intense ardour achieve concentration and the result thereof quickly.

22. On account of the methods being slow, medium and speedy, even among those Yogins who have intense ardour, there are differences.

23. From special devotion to isvara also (concentration becomes imminent).

24. Isvara is a particular Purusha unaffected by affliction, deed, result of action or the latent impressions thereof.

25. In Him the seed of omniscience has reached its utmost development which cannot be exceeded.

26. (He is) The teacher of former teachers because with Him there is no limitation by time (to His omnipotence).

27. The sacred word designating Him is Pranava or the mystic syllable OM.

28. (Yogins) Repeat it and contemplate upon its meaning.

29. From that comes realisation of the individual self and the obstacles are resolved.

30. Sickness, incompetence, doubt, delusion, sloth, non-abstention, erroneous conception, non-attainment of any Yogic stage, and instability to stay in a Yogic state-these distractions of the mind are the impediments.

31. Sorrow, dejection, restlessness of body, inhalation and exhalation arise from (previous) distractions.

32. For their stoppage (i.e. of distractions) practice (of concentration) on a single principle should be made.

33. The mind becomes purified by the cultivation of feelings of amity, compassion, goodwill and indifference respectively towards happy, miserable, virtuous and sinful creatures.

34. By exhaling and restraining the breath also (the mind is calmed).

35. The development of higher objective perceptions called Visayavati also brings about tranquillity of mind.

36. Or by perception which is free from sorrow and is radiant (stability of mind can also be produced).

37. Or (contemplating) on a mind which is free from desires (the devotee's mind gets stabilised).

38. Or by taking as the object of meditation the images of dreams or the state of dreamless sleep (the mind of the Yogin gets stabilised).

39. Or by contemplating on whatsoever thing one may like (the mind becomes stable).

40. When the mind develops the power of stabilising on the smallest size as well as on the greatest one, then the mind comes under control.

41. When the fluctuations of the mind are weakened, the mind appears to take on the features of the object of meditation-whether it be the cogniser (Grahita), the instrument of cognition (Grahana) or the object cognised (Grahya)-as does a transparent jewel, and this identification is called Samapatti or engrossment.

42. The engrossment, in which there is the mixture of word, its meaning(i.e. the object) and its knowledg is known as Savitarka Samapatti.

43. When the memory is purified, the mind appears to be devoid of its own nature (i.e. of reflective consciousness) and only the object (on which it is contemplating) remains illuminated. This kind of engrossment is called Nirvitarka Samapatti.

44. By this (foregoing) the Savichara and Nirvichara engrossments, whose objects are subtle, are also explained.

45. Subtlety pertaining to objects culminates in A-linga or the unmanifest.

46. These are the only kinds of objective concentrations.

47. On gaining proficiency in Nirvichara, purity in the inner instruments of cognition is developed.

48. The knowledge that is gained in that state is called Rtambhara (filled with truth).

49. (That knowledge) Is different from that derived from testimony or through inference, because it relates to particulars (of objects).

50. The latent impression born of such knowledge is opposed to the formation of other latent impressions.

51. By the stoppage of that too (on account of the elimination of the latent impressions of Samprajnana) objectless concentration takes place through suppression of all modifications.

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