This edition of Yoga Darsana comprises of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali with the commentary of Vyasa. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are foundational text of yoga. Though brief the yoga Sutras an enormously influential work on Yoga philosophy and practice. In recent decades the yoga Sutras has become quite popular worldwide for the percepts regarding practice of Raja Yoga and its philosophical basis. The most authoritative commentary is that of Vyasa.
Ganganatha Jha was an eminent scholar of Sanskrit Indian philosophy Buddhist philosophy and Pandit of Nyaya Sastra.
This revised and entirely re-written translation is presented before the world of scholars, in liquidation of the fourth, and I hope, the last debt due from me. This is the last of my works which I myself regarded as imperfect ; and it was therefore due to the scholarly world that it should be revised. I got the requisite opportunity for fulfilling this obligation when the Theosophical Publishing House asked me to revise the work for its second edition. It was a source of satisfaction to me that imperfect as it was, the first edition had secured enough readers to render it ‘out of stock, ’though in twenty-five years. In this revised edition, I have made the work as good as it lay in my power to make it. I trust and hope that readers of this work will be more numerous than those of the first edition, and they will also derive greater benefit from it.
The Yoga-bhasya is an admittedly obscure and difficult text. There may be some people, therefore, who may not have the courage to read through it. For their benefit a brief resume of the teachings is here appended.
Yoga’ has been defined as the nirodha, ‘inhibition’of the vrtti ‘function’ of the citta ’Mind,’ brought about by ‘Practice’ and ‘Freedom from Attachment In reality, l the ‘citta’ of the original is something different from ‘mind,’ and ‘nirodha,’ by which is meant ‘with drawal’ or ‘inhibition,’ is different from ‘control.’ But all the accurate renderings of the definition that have been attempted in English have only helped to make the original less intelligible. This ‘inhibition’ or ‘control’ of the ‘mind` becomes yoga only when the ’mind’ is s0 far‘ inhibited` that the presiding Spirit becomes free from its shackles and abides in its own pure nature.
The ‘functions’ or ‘operations’ of the Mind are fivefold—Right Cognition, Misconception or Wrong cognition, Fancy, Sleep—cognition, and Remembrance. Right Cognition is of three kinds—Perceptional, Inferential and Verbal. Wrong Cognition is mistaken conviction brought about by some defect either in the cognitive agency or in the cognized object. Fancy is distinguished from Wrong Cognition by the fact that, while the latter is rectified by subsequent Right Cognition, the former is such that it persists all through worldly existence, just as tenaciously as any ordinary cognition ; to this class belong all those popular errors of regarding sentience as a quality of the Spirit and soon. Remembrance is cognition brought about by impressions left by previous cognitions. By ‘Sleep’—cognition is meant the cognition of pleasure, etc., that we have during sound sleep.
Yoga, ‘Communion’ is of two kinds—unconscious or abstract, and conscious or concrete. In Concrete Communion, the object meditated upon is distinctly and directly apprehended; that is to say, in this meditation the inhibition of the mind enables the agent to directly apprehend the object on which he is meditating—for instance, some form of personal divinity. In Abstract Communion, on the other hand, there is a complete inhibition of all the functions of the mind, wherein the agent loses all consciousness of things outside himself; he is literally self—conscious, not indeed conscious of his self as apart from other selves, but of the Self, and that alone as One, Absolute, Eternal, Unchanging. The effect of the former is visible or perceptible, consisting of the experiencing of desirable pleasures, and finally actually `Perceiving the Divinity; this last perception puts a stop to all kinds of pain, and thereby gradually leads to final Liberation. Abstract Communion also leads to final Liberation ; but immediately and directly ; and it does not stand in need of any intervening processes.
This raises an interesting question : When the man has reached the stage of concrete Communion, what becomes of the man’s past Karma—lf he obtains final Liberation all at once, is all his past Karma wiped off atone stroke F lf not, how can he obtain perfect Liberation? The answer to this lies in the fact that Karma is divided into three classes—(l) the Prarabdha or operative, those whose machinery has been set in motion towards their fruition in the present life; (2) the Sancita or Accumulated-those that are lying latent, like seeds stocked up in the granary, for fruition in future lives; and (3) Kriyamana or Being Done,—those that are being done in the present life. Now there is nothing that can stop the machinery that has been set going; the tree that has sprouted must grow, to some extent at least, - the effects of the Prdrabdha or Operative karma must be experienced. With regard to the Accumulated Karma however, the case is different: the seeds may be deprived of their germinating power under the influence of extreme heat or cold ; in the same manner the accumulated karma maybe rendered ineffective by the force of wisdom. Lastly, over the Kriyamana, the act being done, the agent has full control. Hence, when the man reaches the stage of Concrete Communion, he accelerates the fruition of his ‘Operative’ karma, renders ineffective the accumulated, and being entirely free from personal desires, does not acquire any dharma (merit) or adharma (demerit), and thus has no kriyamana ; thus then, the Operative Karma being only limited, as soon as that has become exhausted, Liberation is attained. This is what happens in the case of concrete Communion. Abstract Communion, on the other hand, is so powerful in its action that it tends to exhaust the Operative karma also, not indeed, by wiping it off, but by making it ineffective by depriving it of such auxiliaries and aids during present life without which it cannot bring about its results. In fact this is what is meant by Karma being destroyed or burnt. As a matter of fact, in bringing about its results the Prarabdha stands in need of the aid of such auxiliaries as Ignorance, Egotism, Attachment and Yearning for Life, on the part of the agent; hence when the agent has by practice of meditation become free from these ‘Impediments’,—he renders his Prarabdha entirely ineffective ; and so attains Final Liberation immediately. In Concrete Communion, there is some personal motive present, however pure, it may be; and so long as this is so, Egotism is there ; and hence Prarabdha remaining effective, Liberation is obtained, it is true,-but only after Prarabdha has become exhausted by the actual experiencing of its results.
Of Concrete Communion there are four kinds —which have been regared as four stages in the advancement towards Communion. All the four are not necessary for all men. If the aspirant has succeeded in reaching the higher stage, he need not revert to the lower; and this for the simple reason that ‘the ends of the latter will have been served by the former’ (Yoga-Bhasya). Then again, all these four stages are to be practiced with reference to one and the same ‘object of meditation’; for if one wavers from one to the other object, the process will lose much of its force. With regard to the same object, however, the aspirant must proceed from the grosser or more easily perceptible aspects of it to the subtler or imperceptible aspects ; and thus by the time he has passed through the four stages, the object becomes present before him in all its aspects.
These four kinds are—(l) the ‘Vacillating,’ where by the aspirant is enabled to apprehend all the past, present and future aspects of the ordinary perceptible kind, of the object of his devotion—such, f.i.., as the material
Preface substances and the sense-organs; (2) the ‘Deliberative’ •whereby he is enabled to apprehend the ordinarily ,imperceptible aspects of that object ; as for instance, Primordial Matter, Cosmic Mind, I—principle and Rudimentary Elements g (3) the ‘Joyous’—-where by meditating 0n the object of devotion, the aspirant feels a peculiar blissful sensation ; and (4) the ‘Self conscious t’-whereby the aspirant comes to look upon himself as one with the object of devotion.
A distinction is made between what is called the human »self,-which forms the twenty-fifth ‘principle’ in the constitution of the Universe, whereof Primordial Matter, Cosmic Mind, l-principle, the eleven organs, the five _rudimentary elements and the five material substances are the other twenty-four ‘principles ’—and the Supreme Self,-on the ground that the latter is far more subtle than the former ; as the human self is directly perceived in the aforesaid fourth stage of Concrete Communion, while that of the Supreme Self we can have no direct knowledge; the only conception that we can have of it is what we may form out of our ideas of such qualities (if ‘qualities’ they can be called) as Absolute Unchangeability, and the like. The contemplation of the self (human) is possible during the aforesaid ‘Self-conscious’ Communion ; this is what is spoken of in Sankhya and Yoga works as Sattvapurusanyatakhyati (the discernment of the distinction between the Self and the other principles). The meditation of the supreme Seqhowever is spoken of only in sutra I. 23.
It is not very easy to understand what part this ‘Supreme Self’ or ‘God’ plays in the cosmogony of Yoga. He is nowhere spoken of as the ‘creator’; nor even as the ‘Consciousness’ permeating through all existence. He is spoken of only as an object of devotion, devotion to whom leads to highest results. In this respect the ‘god’ of the Yogin appears to hold the same position, as the ‘devata’ of the Mimamsaka, who posits the devata, only
as one to whom the prescribed sacrifices can be offered. He has no other function. Later writers on Yoga were conscious of this; hence when dealing with the sutra defining God simply as ‘that Self which is ever untouched by the five kinds of Impediments, Illusion and the rest, as also by Merit, Demerit and their modifications they proceed to supplement this by additional accounts of the Godhead obtainable from other sources, chiefly Vedantic. For instance, Vijnana Bhiksa gives the following description: "His powers and omniscience are equaled or excelled by none; He is the Lord or Spiritual Chief and father of all deities, Brahma., Visnu and Rudra ; He is the imparter of spiritual vision to the deities, in his character of the Inner Guide (Conscience ?) and also through the Vedas. Pranava—‘Om,—is His name, Devotion to Him consists in contemplation of Him, beginning with the reciting of the Pranava, and ending in the direct perception of His Effulgence." (Yogasarasangraha, pp. 27-280).
The ‘concrete’ Yogin also has been classed under four heads, in accordance, it would seem, with the above-mentioned four stages of Concrete Communion : viz.,(1) The Prathamakalpika, one who is at the first stage, still practicing the ‘vacillating’ form of meditation, wherein he looks upon all ordinary things of the world as true under ordinary conditions, and so forth; (2) the Madhubhumika—one occupying the ‘honeyed’ or sweet stage—is one who has come to realize that the character that he is generally accustomed to attribute to things is not real, but merely imposed upon them by usage; he looks upon the very essence of things, as free from all such impositions; for this reason he is called Rtambharaprajna (of truth-supporting wisdom); and this stage is called ‘Madhumati’ (Honeyed) because it makes the aspirant feel extremely happy;—(3) the Prajnajyotis—-of ‘Effulgent Wisdom’ —who has won complete control over all subtle entities from Primordial Matter downwards it is into this state that the aforesaid Joyous meditation enters (4) the Atikratabhavaniya one who has passed beyond all that has to be experienced is one who has reached the aforesaid self conscious meditation. The highest stage of this has been called Dharmamegha Samadhi cloud of virtue which is thus described all desire for powers having been renounced there immediately follows the discernment of the spirit from matter and thus all illusion and consequent evils having disappeared there appears in the mind of the aspirant a feeling of satiety a sense of enough with regard to all external things gross and subtile alike this is the step that leads to the highest abstract communion and hence has been called Dharmamegha that which showers dharma i.e. Such Virtue as omniscience and the like when arrived at this stage the aspirant becomes a Jivamukta Liberated while living a living adept.
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