Yoga Sutras of Patanjali : Chapter 3 : Progressing (Vibhuti Pada)

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali : Chapter 3 : Progressing (Vibhuti Pada)

         When Maharshi Patanjali codified, or compiled the Yoga Sutras, it was not that a new system was created, but rather, the ancient practices were summarized in an extremely organized and terse way. While the Yoga Sutras are thought to be as old as 400 BCE, archaeological evidence and other texts suggest that the methods described in the Yoga Sutras were being practiced as early as 3000 BCE. Oral tradition states that the period may be even longer. Yoga Sutras of Maharshi  Patanjali Interpretive Translation Presented here by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati.

Patanjali divided his Yoga Sutras into four chapters or books (Sanskrit – Pada), containing in all 196 aphorisms, divided as mentioned below:

Yoga Sutras

Chapter 3: Progressing (Vibhuti Pada)

Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, rungs #6, #7, and #8 (3.1-3.3)

3.1.      Concentration (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.

(deshah bandhah chittasya dharana)

3.2.      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.

(tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam)

3.3.      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.

(tad eva artha matra nirbhasam svarupa shunyam iva samadhih)

Samyama is the finer tool (3.4-3.6)

3.4.      The three processes of dharana, dhyana, and samadhi, when taken together on the same object, place or point is called samyama.

(trayam ekatra samyama)

3.5.      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.

(tad jayat prajna lokah)

3.6.      That three-part process of samyama is gradually applied to the finer planes, states, or stages of practice.

(tasya bhumisu viniyogah)

Internal is seen to be external (3.7-3.8)

3.7.      These three practices of concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and samadhi are more intimate or internal than the previous five practices.

(trayam antar angam purvebhyah)

3.8.      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 concentration.

(tad api bahir angam nirbijasya)

Witnessing subtle transitions with Samyama (3.9-3.16)

3.9.      That high level of mastery called nirodhah-parinamah occurs in the moment of transition when there is a convergence of the rising tendency of deep impressions, the subsiding tendency, and the attention of the mind field itself.

(vyutthana nirodhah samskara abhibhava pradurbhavau nirodhah ksana chitta anvayah nirodhah-parinamah)

3.10.   The steady flow of this state (nirodhah-parinamah) continues by the creation of deep impressions (samskaras) from doing the practice.

(tasya prashanta vahita samskarat)

3.11.   The mastery called samadhi-parinamah is the transition whereby the tendency to all-pointedness subsides, while the tendency to one-pointedness arises.

(sarvarathata ekagrata ksaya udaya chittasya samadhi-parinamah)

3.12.   The mastery called ekagrata-parinamah is the transition whereby the same one- pointedness arises and subsides sequentially.

(tatah punah shanta-uditau tulya-pratyayau chittasya ekagrata-parinimah)

3.13.   These three transition processes also explain the three transformations of form, time, and characteristics, and how these relate to the material elements and senses. 

(etena bhuta indriyasau dharma laksana avastha parinamah vyakhyatah)

3.14.   There is an unmanifest, indescribable substratum or existence that is common or contained within all of the other forms or qualities.

(shanta udita avyapadeshya dharma anupati dharmi)

3.15.   Change in the sequence of the characteristics is the cause for the different appearances of results, consequences, or effects.

(krama anyatvam parinamah anyatve hetu)

3.16.   By samyama on the three-fold changes in form, time, and characteristics, there comes knowledge of the past and future.

(parinimah traya samyama atita anagata jnana)

Experiences from Samyama (3.17-3.37)

3.17.   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. 

(shabda artha pratyaya itaretara adhyasat samkara tat pravibhaga samyama sarva bhuta ruta jnana)

3.18.   Through the direct perception of the latent impressions (samskaras) comes the knowledge of previous incarnations.

(samskara saksat karanat purva jati jnanam)

3.19.   By samyama on the notions or presented ideas comes knowledge of another’s mind.

(pratyayasya para chitta jnana)

3.20.   But the underlying support of that knowledge (of the other persons mind, in 3.19) remains unperceived or out of reach.

(na cha tat salambana tasya avisayin bhutatvat)

[Note: This sutra is not included in all renditions]

3.21.   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.

(kaya rupa samyama tat grahya shakti tat stambhe chaksuh prakasha asamprayoga antardhanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.20]

3.22.   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.

(etena shabdadi antardhanam uktam)

[Note: This sutra is not included in all renditions]

3.23.   Karma is of two kinds, either fast or slow to manifest; by samyama on these karmas comes foreknowledge of the time of death.

(sopakramam nirupakramam cha karma tat samyama aparanta jnanam aristebhyah va)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.21 or 3.22]

3.24.   By samyama on friendliness (and the other attitudes of 1.33), there comes great strength of that attitude.

(maitri dishu balani)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.22 or 3.23]

3.25.   By samyama on the strength of elephants comes a similar strength.

(baleshu hasti baladini)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.23 or 3.24]

3.26.   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.

(pravrittyah aloka nyasat suksma vyavahita viprakrista jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.24 or 3.25]

3.27.   By samyama on the inner sun, knowledge of the many subtle realms can be known.

(bhuvana jnanam surya samyamat)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.25 or 3.26]

3.28.   By samyama on the moon, knowledge of the arrangement of the inner stars can be known. 

(chandra tara vyuha jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.26 or 3.27]

3.29.   By samyama on the pole-star, knowledge of the movement of those stars can be known.

(dhurve tad gati jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.27 or 3.28]

3.30.   By samyama on the navel center, knowledge of the arrangement of the systems of the body can be known.

(nabhi chakra kaya vyuha jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.28 or 3.29]

3.31.   By samyama on the pit of the throat, hunger and thirst leave.

(kantha kupe ksut pipasa nivrittih)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.29 or 3.30]

3.32.   By samyama on the tortoise channel, below the throat, steadiness is attained.

(kurma nadyam sthairyam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.30 or 3.31]

3.33.   By samyama on the coronal light of the head, visions of the siddhas, the masters can come.

(murdha jyotisi siddha darshanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.31 or 3.32]

3.34.   Or, through the intuitive light of higher knowledge, anything might become known.

(pratibhad va sarvam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.32 or 3.33]

3.35.   By practicing samyama on the heart, knowledge of the mind is attained.

(hirdaye chitta samvit)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.33 or 3.34]

3.36.   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. 

(sattva purusayoh atyanta asankirnayoh pratyaya avishesah bhogah pararthatvat svartha samyamat purusha-jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.34 or 3.35]

3.37.   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.

(tatah pratibha sravana vedana adarsha asvada varta jayanta)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.35 or 3.36]

What to do with subtle experiences (3.38)

3.38.   These experiences resulting from samyama are obstacles to samadhi, but appear to be attainments or powers to the outgoing or worldly mind.

(te samadhau upasargah vyutthane siddhayah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.36 or 3.37]

More attainments from Samyama (3.39-3.49)

3.39.   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.

(bandha karana shaithilyat prachara samvedanat cha chittasya para sharira aveshah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.37 or 3.38]

3.40.   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.

(udana jayat jala panka kantaka adisu asangah utkrantih cha)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.38 or 3.39]

3.41.   By mastery over samana, the prana flowing in the navel area, there comes effulgence, radiance, or fire.

(samana jayat jvalanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.39 or 3.40]

3.42.   By samyama over the relation between space and the power of hearing, the higher, divine power of hearing comes.

(shrotra akashayoh sambandha samyamat divyam shrotram)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.40 or 3.41]

3.43.   By Samyama on the relationship between the body and space (akasha) and by concentrating on the lightness of cotton, passage through space can be attained.

(kaya akashayoh sambandha samyamat laghu tula samatatti cha)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.41 or 3.42]

3.44.   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. 

(bahih akalpita vrittih maha-videha tatah prakasha avarana ksayah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.42 or 3.43]

3.45.   By samyama on the five forms of the elements (bhutas), which are gross form, essence, subtleness, interconnectedness, and its purpose, then mastery over those bhutas is attained.

(sthula svarupa suksma anvaya arthavattva samyamad bhuta-jayah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.43 or 3.44]

3.46.   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.

(tatah anima adi pradurbhavah kaya sampad tad dharma anabhighata cha)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.44 or 3.45]

3.47.   This perfection of the body includes beauty, gracefulness, strength, and adamantine hardness in taking the blows that come.

(rupa lavanya bala vajra samhanana kaya-sampat)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.45 or 3.46]

3.48.   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.

(grahana svarupa asmita anvaya arthavattva samyamad indriya jayah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.46 or 3.47]

3.49.   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.

(tatah mano-javitvam virarana-bhavah pradhaua jayah)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.47 or 3.48]

Renunciation that brings kaivalya or liberation (3.50-3.52)

3.50.   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.

(sattva purusha anyata khyati matrasya sarva-bhava adhisthatrittvam sarva- jnatritvam cha)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.48 or 3.49]

3.51.   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. 

(tad vairagya api dosa bija ksaya kaivalyam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.49 or 3.50]

3.52.   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 and actions.

(sthani upanimantrane sanga smaya akaranam punuh anista prasangat)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.50 or 3.51]

Higher discrimination through Samyama (3.53-3.56)

3.53.   By samyama over the moments and their succession, there comes the higher knowledge that is born from discrimination.

(ksana tat kramayoh samyamat viveka-jam jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.51 or 3.52]

3.54.   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 space.

(jati laksana desha anyata anavachchhedat tulyayoh tatah pratipattih)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.52 or 3.53]

3.55.   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.

(tarakam sarva visayam sarvatha visayam akramam cha iti viveka jam jnanam)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.53 or 3.54]

3.56.   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.

(sattva purusayoh suddhi samye kaivalyam iti)

[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.54 or 3.55]


Chapter-3 of Yoga Sutras : Progressing (Vibhuti Pada)

(Yoga Sutras of Maharshi Patanjali)

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