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The Yoga-Sûtra of Patañjali

पतञ्जलि योगसूत्र (Patanjali Yogasutra)

समाधि पदा Samadhi Pâdah (Chapter on Enlightenment)

1. Integration 

1.1: Now, the teachings of yoga

1.2: Yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness. 

1.3: Then, pure awareness can abide in its very nature. 

1.4: Otherwise, awareness takes itself to be the patterns of consciousness.

1.5: There are five types of patterns, including both hurtful and benign. 

1.6: They are right perception, misperception, conceptualization, deep sleep, and remembering. 

1.7: Right perception arises from direct observation, inference, or the words of others.  

1.8: Misperception is false knowledge, not based on what actually is.

1.9: Conceptualization derives from linguistic knowledge, not contact with real things. 

1.10: Deep sleep is a pattern grounded in the perception that nothing exists. 

1.11: Remembering is the retention of experiences. 

1.12: Both practice and non-reaction are required to still the patterning of consciousness. 

1.13: Practice is the sustained effort to rest in that stillness. 

1.14: And this practice becomes firmly rooted when it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long  time. 

1.15: As for non-reaction, one can recognize that it has been fully achieved when no attachment arises in regard to anything at all, whether perceived directly or learned.

1.16: When the ultimate level of non-reaction has been reached, pure awareness can clearly see itself as independent from the fundamental qualities of nature. 

1.17: At first, the stilling process is accompanied by four kinds of cognition: analytical thinking, insight,  bliss, or feeling like a self. 

1.18: Later, after one practices steadily to bring all thought to a standstill, these four kinds of cognition fall  away, leaving only a store of latent impressions in the depth memory.

1.19: Once the body is gone, and these latent impressions are dissolved in nature, they are inclined to be reborn. 

1.20: For all others, faith, energy, mindfulness, integration, and wisdom form the path to realization. 

1.21: For those who seek liberation wholeheartedly, realization is near.

1.22: How near depends on whether the practice is mild, moderate, or intense. 

1.23: Realization may also come if one is oriented toward the ideal of pure awareness, îsvara

(îsvara = divine ideal of pure awareness)

1.24: Isvara is a distinct, incorruptible form of pure awareness, utterly independent of cause and effect, and  lacking any store of latent impressions.

1.25: Its independence makes this awareness an incomparable source of omniscience. 

1.26: Existing beyond time, îsvara was also the ideal of the ancients. 

1.27: Isvara is represented by a sound, om

1.28: Through repetition its meaning becomes clear.

1.29: Then, interiorization develops and obstacles fall away. 

1.30: Sickness, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, hedonism, delusion, lack of progress, and inconstancy  are all distractions which, by stirring up consciousness, act as barriers to stillness.

1.31: When they do, one may experience distress, depression, or the inability to maintain steadiness of  posture or breathing. 

1.32: One can subdue these distractions by working with any one of the following principles of practice.

1.33: Consciousness settles as one radiates friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity toward all  things, whether pleasant or painful, good or bad. 

1.34: Or by pausing after breath flows in or out. 

1.35: Or by steadily observing as new sensations materialize.

1.36: Or when experiencing thoughts that are luminous and free of sorrow. 

1.37: Or by focusing on things that do not inspire attachment. 

1.38: Or by reflecting on insights culled from sleep and dreaming. 

1.39: Or through meditative absorption in any desired object.

1.40: One can become fully absorbed in any object, whether vast or infinitesimal. 

1.41: As the patterning of consciousness subsides, a transparent way of seeing, called coalescence, saturates consciousness; like a jewel, it reflects equally whatever lies before it – whether subject, object, or act  of perceiving.

1.42: So long as conceptual or linguistic knowledge pervades this transparency, it is called coalescence with thought

1.43: At the next stage, called coalescence beyond thought, objects cease to be colored by memory; now formless, only their essential nature shines forth.

1.44: In the same way, coalesced contemplation of subtle objects is described as reflective or reflection-free

1.45: Subtle objects can be traced back to their origin in undifferentiated nature. 

1.46: These four kinds of coalescence – with thought, beyond thought, reflective, reflection-free – are called integration that bears seeds of latent impressions.

1.47: In the lucidity of coalesced, reflection-free contemplation, the nature of the self becomes clear. 

1.48: The wisdom that arises in that lucidity is unerring. 

1.49: Unlike insights acquired through inference or teachings, this wisdom has as its object the actual  distinction between pure awareness and consciousness.

1.50: It generates latent impressions that prevent the activation of other impressions. 

1.51: When even these cease to arise, and the patterning of consciousness is completely stilled, integration bears no further seeds.


साधना पदा Sâdhana Pâdah (Chapter on Practice)

2. The Path To Realization 

2.1: Yogic action has three components – discipline, self-study, and orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness. 

2.2: Its purposes are to disarm the causes of suffering and achieve integration. 

2.3: The causes of suffering are not seeing things as they are, the sense of ‘I’, attachment, aversion, and  clinging to life.

2.4: Not seeing things as they are is the field where the other causes of suffering germinate, whether  dormant, activated, intercepted, or weakened. 

2.5: Lacking this wisdom, one mistakes that which is impermanent, impure, distressing, or empty of self for permanence, purity, happiness, and self. 

2.6: The sense of ‘I’ ascribes selfhood to pure awareness by identifying it with the senses.

2.7: Attachment is a residue of pleasant experience. 

2.8: Aversion is a residue of suffering. 

2.9: Clinging to life is instinctive and self-perpetuating, even for the wise. 

2.10: In their subtle form, these causes of suffering are subdued by seeing where they come from.

2.11: In their gross form, as patterns of consciousness, they are subdued through meditative absorption. 

2.12: The causes of suffering are the root source of actions; each action deposits latent impressions deep in the mind, to be activated and experienced later in this birth, or lie hidden awaiting a future one. 

2.13: So long as this root source exists, its contents will ripen into a birth, a life, and experience.

2.14: This life will be marked by delight or anguish, in proportion to those good or bad actions that created its store of latent impressions. 

2.15: The wise see suffering in all experience, whether from the anguish of impermanence, or from latent impressions laden with suffering, or from incessant conflict as the fundamental qualities of nature vie for ascendancy. 

2.16: The preventable cause of all this suffering is the apparent indivisibility of pure awareness and what it  regards. 

2.18: What awareness regards, namely the phenomenal world, embodies the qualities of luminosity,  activity, and inertia; it includes oneself, composed of both elements and the senses; and, it is the  ground for both sensual experience and liberation. 

2.19: All orders of being – undifferentiated, differentiated, indistinct, distinct – are manifestations of the fundamental qualities of nature.

2.20: Pure awareness is just seeing, itself; although pure, it usually appears to operate through the  perceiving mind. 

2.21: In essence, the phenomenal world exists to reveal this truth. 

2.22: Once that happens, the phenomenal world no longer appears as such; it continues to exist as a common reality for everyone else, though.

2.23: It is by virtue of the apparent indivisibility of the phenomenal world and pure awareness that the  former seems to possess the latter’s powers. 

2.24: Not seeing things as they are is the cause of this phenomenon. 

2.25: With realization, the appearance of indivisibility vanishes, revealing that awareness is free and  untouched by phenomena.

2.26: The apparent indivisibility of seeing and the seen can be eradicated by cultivating uninterrupted discrimination between awareness and what it regards. 

2.27: At the ultimate level of discrimination, wisdom extends to all seven aspects of nature. 

2.28: When the components of yoga are practiced, impurities dwindle; then, the light of understanding can  shine forth, illuminating the way to discriminative awareness.

2.29: The eight components of yoga are external discipline, internal discipline, posture, breath regulation, concentration, meditative absorption, and integration. 

2.30: The five external disciplines are not harming, truthfulness, not stealing, celibacy, and not being acquisitive.

2.31: These universals, transcending birth, place, era, or circumstance, constitute the great vow of yoga. 

2.32: The five internal disciplines are bodily purification, contentment, intensity, self-study, and orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness. 

2.33: Unwholesome thoughts can be neutralized by cultivating wholesome ones.

2.34: We ourselves may act upon unwholesome thoughts, such as wanting to harm someone, or we may cause or condone them in others; unwholesome thoughts may arise from greed, anger, or delusion;  they may be mild, moderate, or extreme; but they never cease to ripen into ignorance and suffering.  This is why one must cultivate wholesome thoughts. 

2.35: Being firmly grounded in non-violence creates an atmosphere in which others can let go of their  hostility.

2.36: For those grounded in truthfulness, every action and its consequences are imbued with truth. 

2.37: For those who have no inclination to steal, the truly precious is at hand. 

2.38: The chaste acquire vitality. 

2.39: Freedom from wanting unlocks the real purpose of existence.

2.40: With bodily purification, one’s body ceases to be compelling, likewise contact with others. 

2.41: Purification also brings about clarity, happiness, concentration, mastery of the senses, and capacity for self-awareness. 

2.42: As intense discipline burns up impurities, the body and its senses become supremely refined. 

2.44: Self-study deepens communion with one’s personal deity. 

2.45: Through orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness, one can achieve integration. 

2.46: This occurs as all effort relaxes and coalescence arises, revealing that the body and the infinite universe are indivisible. 

2.48: With effort relaxing, the flow of inhalation and exhalation can be brought to a standstill; this is called  breath regulation.

2.50: As the movement patterns of each breath – inhalation, exhalation, lull – are observed as to duration, number, and area of focus, breath becomes spacious and subtle. 

2.51: As realization dawns, the distinction between breathing in and out falls away. 

2.52: And the mind’s potential for concentration is realized. 

2.54: When consciousness interiorizes by uncoupling from external objects, the senses do likewise; this is called withdrawal of the senses. 

2.55: Then the senses reside utterly in the service of realization.


विभूति पदा Vibhûti Pâdah (Chapter on Power)

3. The Extraordinary Powers 

3.1: Concentration locks consciousness on a single area. 

3.2: In meditative absorption, the entire perceptual flow is aligned with that object. 

3.3: When only the essential nature of the object shines forth, as if formless, integration has arisen.

3.4: Concentration, meditative absorption, and integration regarding a single object comprise the perfect discipline of consciousness. 

3.5: Once the perfect discipline of consciousness is mastered, wisdom dawns. 

3.6: Perfect discipline is mastered in stages. 

3.7: These three components – concentration, absorption, and integration – are more internalized than the preceding five.

3.8: Even these three are external to integration that bears no seeds. 

3.9: The transformation toward total stillness occurs as new latent impressions fostering cessation arise to prevent the activation of distractive, stored ones, and moments of stillness begin to permeate consciousness. 

3.10: These latent impressions help consciousness flow from one tranquil moment to the next.

3.11: Consciousness is transformed toward integration as distractions dwindle, and focus arises. 

3.12: In other words, consciousness is transformed toward focus as continuity develops between arising and subsiding perceptions.

3.13: Consciousness evolves along the same three lines – form, timespan, and condition – as the elements and the senses. 

3.14: The substrate is unchanged, whether before, during, or after it takes a given form. 

3.15: These transformations appear to unfold the way they do because consciousness is a succession of distinct patterns. 

3.16: Observing these three axes of change – form, timespan, and condition – with perfect discipline yields insight into the past and future. 

3.17: Word, meaning, and perception tend to get lumped together, each confused with the others; focusing  on the distinctions between them with perfect discipline yields insight into the language of all beings.

3.18: Directly observing latent impressions with perfect discipline yields insight into previous births. 

3.19: Focusing with perfect discipline on the perceptions of another yields insight into that person’s consciousness. 

3.20: But not insight regarding the object of those perceptions, since the object itself is not actually present in that person’s consciousness.

3.21: When the body’s form is observed with perfect discipline, it becomes invisible: the eye is disengaged  from incoming light, and the power to perceive is suspended. 

3.22: Likewise, through perfect discipline other percepts – sound, smell, taste, touch – can be made to disappear.

3.23: The effects of action may be immediate or slow in coming; observing one’s actions with perfect  discipline, or studying omens, yields insight into death. 

3.24: Focusing with perfect discipline on friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity, one is imbued  with their energies. 

3.25: Focusing with perfect discipline on the powers of an elephant, or other entities, one acquires those powers.

3.26: Being absorbed in the play of the mind’s luminosity yields insight about the subtle, hidden, and distant.  

3.27: Focusing with perfect discipline on the sun yields insight about the universe. 

3.28: Focusing with perfect discipline on the moon yields insight about the stars’ positions. 

3.29: Focusing with perfect discipline on the polestar yields insight about their movements.

3.30: Focusing with perfect discipline on the navel energy center yields insight about the organization of  the body. 

3.31: Focusing with perfect discipline on the pit of the throat eradicates hunger and thirst. 

3.32: Focusing with perfect discipline on the ‘tortoise channel’, one cultivates steadiness. 

3.33: Focusing with perfect discipline on the light in the crown of the head, one acquires the perspective of  the perfected ones.

3.34: Or, all these accomplishments may be realized in a flash of spontaneous illumination. 

3.35: Focusing with perfect discipline on the heart, one understands the nature of consciousness. 

3.36: Experience consists of perceptions in which the luminous aspect of the phenomenal world is mistaken for absolutely pure awareness. Focusing with perfect discipline on the different properties of each yields insight into the nature of pure awareness.

3.37: Following this insight, the senses – hearing, feeling, seeing, tasting, smelling – may suddenly be  enhanced. 

3.38: These sensory gifts may feel like attainments, but they distract one from integration. 

3.39: By relaxing one’s attachment to the body, and becoming profoundly sensitive to its currents, consciousness can enter another’s body.

3.40: By mastering the flow of energy in the head and neck, one can walk through water, mud, thorns, and  other obstacles without touching down, but rather floating over them. 

3.41: By mastering the flow of energy through the solar plexus, one becomes radiant. 

3.42: By focusing with perfect discipline on the way sound travels through the ether, one acquires divine hearing.

3.43: By focusing with perfect discipline on the body’s relationship to the ether, and developing coalesced  contemplation on the lightness of cotton, one can travel through space. 

3.44: When consciousness completely disengages from externals – the ‘great disembodiment’ – then the veil  lifts from the mind’s luminosity.

3.45: By observing the aspects of matter – gross, subtle, intrinsic, relational, purposive – with perfect discipline, one masters the elements. 

3.46: Then extraordinary faculties appear, including the power to shrink to the size of an atom, as the body attains perfection, transcending physical law.

3.47: This perfection includes beauty, grace, strength, and the durability of a diamond. 

3.48: By observing the various aspects of the sense organs – their processes of perception, intrinsic natures, identification as self, interconnectedness, purposes – with perfect discipline, one masters them. 

3.49: Then, free from the constraints of their organs, the senses perceive with the quickness of the mind, no longer in the sway of the phenomenal world. 

3.50: Once one just sees the distinction between pure awareness and the luminous aspect of the phenomenal world, all conditions are known and mastered. 

3.51: When one is unattached even to this omniscience and mastery, the seeds of suffering wither, and pure awareness knows it stands alone.

3.52: Even if the exalted beckon, one must avoid attachment and pride, or suffering will recur. 

3.53: Focusing with perfect discipline on the succession of moments in time yields insight born of discrimination. 

3.54: This insight allows one to tell things apart which, through similarities of origin, feature, or position, had seemed continuous.

3.55: In this way, discriminative insight deconstructs all of the phenomenal world’s objects and conditions,  setting them apart from pure awareness. 

3.56: Once the luminosity and transparency of consciousness have become as distilled as pure awareness, they can reflect the freedom of awareness back to itself. 


कैवल्य पदा Kaivalya Pâdah (Chapter on Liberation)

4. Freedom

4.1: The attainments brought about by integration may also arise at birth, through the use of herbs, from intonations, or through austerity. 

4.2: Being delivered into a new form comes about when natural forces overflow. 

4.3: The transformation into this form or that is not driven by the causes proximate to it, just oriented by  them, the way a farmer diverts a stream for irrigation.

4.4: Feeling like a self is the frame that orients consciousness toward individuation.

4.5: A succession of consciousnesses, generating a vast array of distinctive perceptions, appear to consolidate into one individual consciousness.

4.6: Once consciousness is fixed in meditative absorption, it no longer contributes to the store of latent  impressions.

4.7: The actions of a realized yogi transcend good and evil, whereas the actions of others may be good or  evil or both.

4.8: Each action comes to fruition by coloring latent impressions according to its quality – good, evil, or  both.

4.9: Because the depth memory and its latent impressions are of a piece, their dynamic of cause and effect flows uninterruptedly across the demarcations of birth, place, and time.

4.10: They have always existed, because the will to exist is eternal.

4.11: Since its cause, effect, basis, and object are inseparable, a latent impression disappears when they do.

4.12: The past and future are inherent in an object, existing as different sectors in the same flow of experiential substances.

4.13: The characteristics of these sectors, whether manifest or subtle, are imparted by the fundamental  qualities of nature.

4.14: Their transformations tend to blur together, imbuing each new object with a quality of substantiality.

4.15: People perceive the same object differently, as each person’s perception follows a separate path from  another’s.

4.16: But the object is not dependent on either of those perceptions; if it were, what would happen to it when nobody was looking? 

4.17: An object is only known by a consciousness it has colored; otherwise, it is not known.

4.18: Patterns of consciousness are always known by pure awareness, their ultimate, unchanging witness.

4.19: Consciousness is seen not by its own light, but by awareness. 

4.20: Furthermore, consciousness and its object cannot be perceived at once. 

4.21: If consciousness were perceived by itself instead of awareness, the chain of such perceptions would regress infinitely, imploding memory.

4.22: Once it is stilled, though, consciousness mirrors unchanging pure awareness, and can reflect itself being perceived. 

4.23: Then, consciousness can be colored by both pure awareness and the phenomenal world, thereby  fulfilling all its purposes. 

4.24: Even when colored by countless latent traits, consciousness, like all compound phenomena, has  another purpose – to serve awareness.

4.25: As soon as one can distinguish between consciousness and awareness, the ongoing construction of the  self ceases. 

4.26: Consciousness, now oriented to this distinction, can gravitate toward freedom – the fully integrated knowledge that pure awareness is independent from nature. 

4.27: Any gaps in discriminating awareness allow distracting thoughts to emerge from the store of latent impressions.

4.28: These distractions can be subdued, as the causes of suffering were, by tracing them back to their origin, or through meditative absorption. 

4.29: One who regards even the most exalted states disinterestedly, discriminating continuously between pure awareness and the phenomenal world, enters the final stage of integration, in which nature is seen to be a cloud of irreducible experiential substances. 

4.30: This realization extinguishes both the causes of suffering and the cycle of cause and effect.

4.31: Once all the layers and imperfections concealing truth have been washed away, insight is boundless, with little left to know. 

4.32: Then the seamless flow of reality, its transformations coloured by the fundamental qualities, begins to break down, fulfilling the true mission of consciousness. 

4.33: One can see that the flow is actually a series of discrete events, each corresponding to the merest instant of time, in which one form becomes another.

4.34: Freedom is at hand when the fundamental qualities of nature, each of their transformations witnessed at the moment of its inception, are recognized as irrelevant to pure awareness; it stands alone, grounded in its very nature, the power of pure seeing.  

That is all.


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