Patanjali Yoga Sutras: Sutra 2-9

Published: 24.10.2015
Updated: 25.10.2015

3. तदा द्रष्ट्ु स्वूऩऽवस्थानभे ॥् ३॥

tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe-'vasthānam ||3||

At that time (the time of concentration) the seer (the Purasa) rests in his own (unmodified) state.

As soon as the waves have stopped, and the lake has become quiet, we see the ground below the lake. So with the mind; when it is calm, we see what our own nature is; we do not mix ourself but remain our own selves.

4. वणत्तसाूप्यभृ इतयत्र् ॥ ४॥

vṛtti sārūpyam-itaratra ||4||

At other times (other than that of concentration) the seer is identified with the modifications.

For instance, I am in a state of sorrow; someone blames me; this is a modification, Vrtti, and I identify myself with it, and the result is misery.

5. वत्तम्ृ ऩञ्चतय्य् णिष्टा अणिष्टा्॥ ५॥

vṛttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭākliṣṭāḥ ||5||

There are five classes of modification, painful and not painful.

6. प्रभािणवऩममणवकल्पणनद्रास्मयतम्ृ ॥ ६॥

pramāṇa viparyaya vikalpa nidrā smṛtayaḥ ||6||

(These are) right knowledge, indiscrimination, verbal delusion, sleep, and memory.

7. प्रत्य ानभानागभा्ु प्रभािाणन ॥ ७॥

pratyakṣa-anumāna-āgamāḥ pramāṇāni ||7||

Direct perception, inference, and competent evidence, are proofs.

When two of our perceptions do not contradict each other we call it proof. I hear something, and, if it contradicts something already perceived, I begin to fight it out, and do not believe it. There are also three kinds of proof. Direct perception, Pratyaksham, whatever we see and feel, is proof, if there has been nothing to delude the senses. I see the world; that is sufficient proof that it exists. Secondly, Anumana, inference; you see a sign, and from the sign you come to the thing signified. Thirdly, Aptavakyam, the direct perception of the Yogi, of those who have seen the truth. We are all of us struggling towards knowledge, but you and I have to struggle hard, and come to knowledge through a long tedious process of reasoning, but the Yogi, the pure one, has gone beyond all this. Before his mind, the past, the present, and the future, are alike one book for him to read; he does not require to go through all this tedious process, and his words are proofs, because he sees knowledge in himself; he is the Omniscient One. These, for instance, are the authors of the Sacred Scriptures; therefore the Scriptures are proof, and, if any such persons are living now, their words will be proof. Other philosophers go into long discussions about this Apta, and they say, what is the proof that this is truth? The proof is because they see it; because whatever I see is proof, and whatever you see is proof, if it does not contradict any past knowledge. There is knowledge beyond the senses, and whenever it does not contradict reason and past human experience, that knowledge is proof. Any madman may come into this room and say that he sees angels around him, that would not be proof. In the first place it must be true knowledge, and, secondly, it must not contradict knowledge of the past, and thirdly, it must depend upon the character of the man. I hear it said that the character of the man is not of so much importance as what he may say; we must first hear what he says. This may be true in other things; a man may be wicked, and yet make an astronomical discovery, but in religion it is different, because no impure man will ever have the power to reach the truths of religion. Therefore, we have first of all to see that the man who declares himself to be an Apta is a perfectly unselfish and holy person; secondly that he has reached beyond the senses, and thirdly that what he says does not contradict the past knowledge of humanity. Any new discovery of truth does not contradict the past truth, but fits into it. And, fourthly, that truth must have a possibility of verification. If a man says “I have seen a vision,” and tells me that I have no right to see it, I believe him not. Everyone must have the power to see it for himself. No one who sells his knowledge is an Apta. All these conditions must be fulfilled; you must first see that the man is pure, and that he has no selfish motive; that he has no thirst for gain or fame. Secondly, he must show that he is super-conscious. Thirdly, he must have given us something that we cannot get from our senses, and which is for benefit of the world. And we must see that it does not contradict other truths; if it contradicts other scientific truths reject it at once. Fourthly, the man should never be singular; he should only represent what all men can attain. The three sorts of proof, are, then, direct sense perception, inference, and the words of an Apta. I cannot translate this word into English. It is not the word inspired, because that comes from outside, while this comes from himself. The literal meaning is “attained.”

8. णवऩममोय णभथ्या ानभ अतद्र्ूऩप्रणतष्ठभ ॥् ८॥

viparyayo mithyā-jñānam-atadrūpa pratiṣṭham ||8||

Indiscrimination is false knowledge not established in real nature.

The next class of Vrttis that arise is mistaking the one thing for another, as a piece of mother-of-pearl is taken for a piece of silver.

9. शब्द ानानऩातीु वस्तशुन्योू णवकल्प् ॥ ९॥

śabda-jñāna-anupātī vastu-śūnyo vikalpaḥ ||9||

Verbal delusion follows from words having no (corresponding) reality.

There is another class of Vrttis called Vikalpa. A word is uttered, and we do not wait to consider its meaning; we jump to a conclusion immediately. It is the sign of weakness of the Chitta. Now you can understand the theory of restraint. The weaker the man the less he has of restraint. Consider yourselves always in that way. When you are going to be angry or miserable, reason it out, how it is that some news that has come to you is throwing your mind into Vrttis.

Sources
Patanjali Yoga Sutras Edition: 1896

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Chitta
  2. Concentration
  3. Nidrā
  4. Omniscient
  5. Pramāṇa
  6. Viparyaya
  7. Vrtti
  8. Vṛtti
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