Removing obstacles and making mind steady

Removing obstacles and making mind steady

||Tat pratisedha artham eka tattva abhyasah||32||  

English Meaning:   For removal of obstacles and accompanying symptoms the practice of concentration on one principle is to be made.  

English meaning of Sanskrit Words:   tat = those, pratisedha = for removal; artham = for, eka = one; tattva = principle, abhyasah = practice.    

This sutra reiterates on applying the mind to one tattwa (that which helps one most, has to be chosen by individual practitioner) helps remove the obstacles and accompanying symptoms. The sutra orders that the tattwa should not be constantly changed. If one practices mantra, the practitioner should choose one mantra, if one is practices dhyana, it should be one symbol. Method, technique and symbol should not be changed, as the chosen tattwa is only a basis for the consciousness to go deeper and deeper. There will be confusion if the basis is changed time and again. Any obstacle or accompanying symptom can be removed from the way of an aspirant only when his mind does not allow change in tattwa but fixes on one single tattwa, come what may. 

||Maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhka punya apunya vishayanambhavanatah chitta prasadanam||33||  

English Meaning:   By cultivating opposite virtues Chitta is pacified.  

English meaning of Sanskrit Words:     maitri = friendliness; karuna = compassion, mudita = gladness, upekshanam = indifference, sukha = happy, duhka = misery, punya = virtuous, apunya = vice, vishayanam = of the objects bhavanatah = attitude, chitta = mind; prasadanam = purification ,making peaceful.     

A mind that is not stead cannot concentrate. Previous sutra stressed on focusing on one principle. This sutra teaches cultivating of an attitude that helps mind become free from disturbing influences and become peaceful. Mind does not have the habit to look inside; it is more attracted to the world outside. To turn inside or concentrate is not possible without purifying the mind. Patanjali in this sutra shows a way of overcoming the disturbances of the mind through developing four fold attitude, practice of which leads to inner peace from the deepest parts of the subconscious. The four attitudes are: – friendliness to the happy, compassion for the unhappy, gladness about the virtuous and indifference to those who are full of vice.  

||Prachchhardana vidharanabhyam va pranasya||34||  

English meaning of the verse: Or one can control the mind by exhalation and retention of breath.

English meaning of the Sanskrit terms: prachchhardana = expiration or rechaka; vidharanabhyam = holding or kumbhaka; va = or; pranasya = of breath  

This sutra explains ‘Pranayama’. A practice that can be selected for Sadhana if found suitable to the practitioner.   The energy in the universe that aids motion, work, manifests life is called Prana. The whole universe is a combination of Prana and Akasa. So is the human body. Prana is the vitality of breath. It is the motion of the breath. While akasa gives materials that help us feel and see, prana gives out various forces. The subtle prana is in the form of energy and the gross prana has the form of breadth. There are five major pranas and minor pranas that are responsible for different activities in the human body.     Prana has three main currents- Ida left side of spinal column, pingala on the right side of the spinal column and in the middle of the spinal column is the sushumna, an empty channel. While Ida and Pingala help normal functioning of human life, sushumna, which is also present in all, works only in the Yogi. Practice of Yoga changes the body. Prana tries to make new channels in the body against great resistance from the brain.    

Throwing out and restraining Prana is called Pranayama. While the former is called prachchhardana the later is vidharana. Prachchhardana means exhalation and vidharana is holding the breath outside. Breathing in pranayama should be done very slowly. Deep and slow breathing makes one live longer. The tortoise breathes 5 times a minute and lives for 3000 years and a hare breathes eighty times per minute and lives for only 8 years.   This sutra speaks of Kumbhaka that is of the outer type in which the breath is held outside after rechaka. 

||Vishayavati va pravritti utpanna manasah sthiti nibandhani||35||  

English Meaning: Mind can be made steady by those forms of concentration that heighten sense perceptions and bring perseverance of mind.    

English meaning of the Sanskrit terms: vishayavati = sensuous; va = or; pravritti = functioning; utpanna = arisen; manasah = of the mind, sthiti = steadiness, nibandhani = which binds.  

Patanjali recommends concentration or Dharana on sense perceptions as a means to steady one’s mind. Here the practitioner is made to observe his own mind through senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching. By concentrating the mind on the tip of the nose, one is said to smell wonderful perfumes and this can be utilised for controlling the mind. By concentrating on the tip of the tongue, one is said to taste wonderful flavours. Taste consciousnesses, colour visions, psychic touch or psychic sound all these psychic processes become the basis of self-control. When they are developed, concentrated upon by the practitioner, in due course his mind is said to transcend them and go deeper and attain a state of complete mental control. If the practitioner has doubts in the use of this method, it is said that these doubts are set at rest when after a little practice, one is able to experience these actually happen and this will make the practitioner persevere the path of attaining the state of complete mental control. 

||Vishoka va jyotishmati||36||

English Meaning Or (by the meditation on) the effulgent light, which is beyond all sorrow  

English meaning of Sanskrit words:  vishoka = without sorrow; va = or; jyotishmati = luminous  

Patanjali says that, with the mind, concentrating and experiencing the inner serene light that is quiet and not sharp, the mind can be made steady and controlled. To experience the serene light, one can be concentrate on nada, also called Bhrumadhya- the centre of the eyebrows, or Concentrate on the lotus of the heart with petals downwards and inhale and exhaling imagine the lotus with the petals turned upwards and experience the inside of the lotus as an effulgent light and meditate on it. 

||Vita raga vishayam va chittam||37||  

English meaning: Meditate on persons who are passionless.  

English meaning to Sanskrit words:   vitaraga = passionless person who has transcended raga; vishayam = objects; va = or; chittam =mind  

By concentrating the mind on Vitaraga- a person who has renounced raga- the human passion, the mind can be brought under control.   Ancient meditative traditions have advised symbols of ishta devata, guru to concentrate upon in order to control the mind. Passion is uncontrolled energy that can alter the normal state of perception either negatively or positively.  By concentrating on persons who we know are perfectly non-attached, we can control our mind. Meditating on the heart of such a person who has transcended the human passions, one may control one’s mind. 

||Svapna nidra jnana alambanam va||38||  

English meaning of the sutra:   Or, by meditating on the knowledge that comes in sleep, the mind can be made steady.  

English meaning of Sanskrit terms:   svapna = dream; nidra = sleep focusing on the state itself, as an object; jnana = knowledge; alambanam = having as support; va = or

Patanjali recommends another method of concentrating the mind especially directing to Psychics, through this sutra. The usual unconscious dreams are experienced and but never witnessed. Patanjali gives a method of dreaming and sleeping consciously, by developing the conscious states of dream and sleep.   Here the aspirant is able to introduce dreams and control them consciously. Through this process one is made to control the actions done consciously, intellectually and subconsciously.   Awareness of the two states – dream and sleep –  is made the support on which the mind is concentrated. Dreams that make an impression when one wakes up, can be meditated upon in order to steady the mind. This could prove dangerous if the conscious inducement of these states is not well understood, that is why this method is recommended only to the psychics. 

||Yatha abhimata dhyanat va||39||  

English meaning of the sutra: Or by meditation on anything that appeals to one as good  

English meaning of Sanskrit terms:   yatha = as, abhimata = desired, dhyanat = by meditation; va = or  

This sutra gives complete freedom to the practitioner to choose an object- anything agreeable (abhimata) to meditate in order to make his mind to concentrate. Patanjali allows meditating on anything good, any place, scenery, idea,object of devotion, that one likes best one can concentrate the mind.  

||Parma-anuparama-mahattvaanthosya vashikarah||40||

English meaning of the sutra: Yogi gains mastery over all objects of meditation from the finest to the largest.

‪‎English meaning of Sanskrit words: parmaanu‬= ultimate atom: most minutest, smallest; paramamahattva‬ = ultimate/maximum, largeness infinity magnitude; antah = end;  asya = of his; vashikarah‬ = mastery

All the sutras 32-39 discussed so far, on attaining fainter mind waves do not help the practitioner attain ‪‎Samadhi‬. They only help the yogi attain the spiritual or psychic power necessary for the finer states of Samadhi.

The practices prepare yogi get mastery of understanding the name, the form and the object meant by the name as separate factors. It is a preparation for practice of meditation. For, practice of meditation requires meditation on the object without the intervention of the word or the form.

Yogi becomes capable of practicing concentration on the subtle and infinite thoughts, the finest atom to the largest forces by choosing any of the recommended practice. These practices introvert the mind at will and refine the consciousness. The training helps the mind to concentrate properly. This is the first psychic power in yoga when the mind can be fixed on any object-gross or subtle.

 

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