||Ishvara pranidhana va||23||
English meaning: Or by devotion to Ishvara (Lord) asamprajnata Samadhi can be achieved.
Sanskrit word meaning: ishvara = lord; pranidhana = devotion; va = or
The previous sutras explained that asamprajnata Samadhi can be attained by making effort of stopping the content of mind, by birth, through faith, energy, memory, concentration or discrimination of real. When it is achieved depends on the speed adopted and the extremely energetic are said to achieve it the fastest. But, what of those who do not have the necessary faculties to put in the required effort?
Patanjali gives hope to them too. He says practitioners can achieve asamprajnata Samadhi through ‘Pranidhana’. Pranidhana means placing completely, absolutely, thoroughly one’s awareness, one’s mind, one’s thought and consciousness into Ishwara.
Ishwara/ God/Lord is words that have to be understood as pure spiritual consciousness. It is important to understand this, as God is differently in different religions.
This sutra explains placing one’s awareness in God, self-surrender to the pure consciousness, fixing the mind on the lord as one of the ways of reaching asamprajnata Samadhi.
||klesha karma vipaka ashayaih aparamristah purusha-vishesha ishvara||24||
English Meaning: The Supreme ruler is a special consciousness untouched by afflictions, actions, their results and desires.
Sanskrit word meaning: klesha = afflictions; karma = actions; vipaka = fruits of acts; ashayaih = storage of traces of past karma; aparamristah = untouched; purusha-vishesha = a special or distinct purusha; purusha =a consciousness; vishesha = special, distinct; ishvara = God
This sutra discusses the nature of God.
Here an understanding on the spirit of Indian Sadhana is necessary, to understand God. The Indian Sadhana is ‘surrender’ to the supreme reality. Surrender comes with awareness of one’s limitations. This can also be understood as understanding one’s nature and being sure of it. Surrender comes easy when one is sure of his nature and is ready for a continuous process of self-analysis for a long time through the selected Sadhana.
Sadhana could be any variety of Yoga. It could be Raja yoga, hatha yoga, mantra yoga, karma yoga, laya yoga and tantra yoga.
To Patanjali, Ishvara or the God, is a pure spiritual consciousness. Not touched by five afflictions, three kinds of action, three kinds of fruits of action and the seeds of karmas.
Five afflictions are ignorance, I-feeling, raga, dwesha and fear of death;
Three kinds of action or karma are good, bad and mixed;
Fruits of action of our past determine the present favourable and unfavourable circumstances and addition of new traces of our deeds- and the seeds of karma is karmashaya- that goes on increasing and one has to enjoy its good or bad effects in future lives.
Purushavishesha is a special state of consciousness, which is beyond all that, as said above and yet manifests itself in every human being on earth, giving a possibility for every individual human being to become purusha-vishesha.
||Tatra niratishayam sarvajna bijam||25||
English Meaning: In him there is the seed of limitless omniscience.
Sanskrit word meanings: tatra = there, in; niratishayam = limitless; sarvajna = omniscient; sarva = all; jna = knowing; bijam = seed
Our mind feels comfortable to think within two points. It is the same with our perception of time. Yet we know that these are infinite, unlimited. So is knowledge. While knowledge is like a seed in man, there is infinite knowledge around and our very mind shows us that there is unlimited knowledge and Yogis call it ‘God’.
||Purvesham api guruh kalena anavachchhedat||26||
English Meaning: Not being limited by time he is the guru of the earliest gurus.
English Meaning of the Sanskrit words: purvesham = of those who came before; api = even; guruh = teacher; kalena = by time; anavachchhedat = unlimited by time
It is true that each of us have knowledge within us. However most times, it has got to be identified and activated. Not many can identify the ‘knowledge within’ by themselves. Help of another with knowledge is needed to bring out that knowledge. It is said that the world was never without the knowing beings. No knowledge could have come to surface without them. Everyone is limited by time- be it gods, angels etc., and as God is not limited by time, God is concluded as the Teacher of all teachers. It was understood previously that while our mind thinking is limited, mind also realizes the presence of the unlimited. It is also true that certain environments are necessary to call out the knowledge in us. So the one not limited by time has been the teacher of even the ancient teachers. One with infinite knowledge and without a beginning or an end- is GOD.
||Tasya vachakah pranavah||27||
English meaning of the sutra: Aum is the word denoting God.
English meaning of Sanskrit words: tasya = of that; vachakah = designator, signifier, indicator, term; pranavah = the mantra AUM or OM
This sutra shatters the belief that man treated language to express his ideas. Patanjali conveys that thought that is internal and the word the external expression are not separable. Yet same thought may be expressed through different words. The sounds behind the words are also different. So, one cannot establish a rigid relationship between one sound and one idea. Symbol is quintessence of the idea and the sound. Om is the symbol of God. Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda explains – “Om (Aum) is a generalization of all words and a common ground for all symbols. A, is the root sound, the key, pronounced without touching any art of the tongue or palate; M, represents the last sound in the series, being produced by the closed lips , and the U rolls from the very root to the end of the sounding board of the mouth. Thus, Om represents the whole phenomena of sound-producing.”
||Tat japah tat artha bhavanam||28||
English Meaning: Repetition and mental dwelling on the meaning of Om is the way.
English Meaning of the Sanskrit terms: tat = that; japah = repetition of the word; tat = that; artha = meaning; bhavanam = dwelling upon mentally
Repetition of ‘Om’ gives the power of association. The vibrations generated by repeating ‘Om’ activate the good impressions that are latent in us. By repeating Om and thinking of it’s meaning we keep good company in our mind. By continual study and meditating on the studied, light will come and the self will become manifest. Previous sutra said that God is Om, the supreme consciousness and this is formless. Yantra, mantra and tantra are the vehicles that express God. Mantra is in the form of sound. Supreme consciousness is designated by a sound formula that is ‘Om’. Om is both mantra and Yantra where Yantra is a psychic symbol. Om has two forms: a sound and a form. It is subject to perception and hearing. Mantra Japa of ‘Om’ is a new approach of bhakti introduced by Patanjali in Yoga Sutras.