||Vitarka vichara ananda asmita rupa anugamat samprajnatah||17||
Samprajata yoga constitutes associations respectively with reasoning, reflection, bliss and sense of individuality.
English meaning of Sanskrit Terms:
vitarka = reasoning; vichara = reflection; ananda = bliss; asmita = sense of individuality; rupa = appearances, nature, form; anugamat = by association; samprajnatah = samadhi with prajna
This sutra speaks of Samadhi, the Samprajnata Samadhi. State where mental bodies do not function. There is no trace of physical or pranic awareness. Only a level of pure awareness or atmic level, functions. In Samprajnata Samadhi come all the powers of controlling nature. There is no liberation with attaining these powers. Patanjali while points out the possibilities of this science, he never misses an opportunity to warn us against these powers. The practitioner could meditate either on 24 inanimate categories of nature or on sentient Purusha. The five spheres of consciousness are entangled with Prakriti. Annamaya kosha is the grossest, followed by Pranamaya, manomaya, vijyanamaya (finer states), and anandamaya kosha (the finest sphere of consciousness = bliss and no physical content). Ultimate awareness beyond these five spheres is known as Purusha, the essence of intelligence. The practitioner could start his meditation on manifested impressions of the mind, with vitarka questioning and when questioning the insentient categories- savitarka- within the contours of time and space, and realizes the truth, it gives man the power over the element. [Reasoning] The practitioner could also start meditation taking the element out of time and space. This is Nirvitarka, without question- as it is. One can meditate on elements as in time and space- Savichara or without time and space, Nirvichara i.e. with or without discrimination. [Reflection] And when the elements both gross and fine are given up and the mind itself is the object of meditation, mind as it is, it is saananda the blissful Samadhi. [Bliss and sense of individuality] When the mind itself is the object of meditation, with concentrated meditation when all ideas of the gross and fine materials are given up, when only the sattva state of ego remains differentiated from all other objects it is called Saasmita Samadhi. Those that in this state get merged in nature without attaining the goal are called prakritilayas but those who do not stop even there reach the goal, which is freedom.
||Virama pratyaya abhyasa purvah samskara shesha anyah||18||
English meaning: The other Samadhi (Asamprajnata) is preceded by continuous study of stopping the content of mind (pratyaya) and it will still have the traces of pratyaya.
English meaning of Sanskrit terms:
virama = stopping; pratyaya = content of mind; abhyasa = practice; purvah = coming before; samskara = in which only the traces remain; shesha = residual, subliminal; anyah = the other Samadhi
There are two types of Samadhi. Samprajnata and Asamprajnata- sabeeja and nirbeeja Samadhi. Both Samprajnata and asamprajnata are varieties of sabeeja Samadhi. Spiritual aspirant rises above dhyana to enter Samadhi it is vitarka samrajnata. When it is perfected it will be followed by asamprajnata. Then comes vichara samprajnata. This is again followed by asamprajnata Then comes ananda followed by asamprajnata And asmita samathi culminates in nirbeeja Samadhi. All these states are not stabilized but fluctuating. Samprajnata Samadhi leans on pratyaya or symbol (eg aum). When a symbol is not required it is virama pratyaya and asamprajnata. Please stand clarified that non-dependence on symbol is not asamprajnata but it is the dynamic state of consciousness. It comes between vitarka and vichara and between vichara and ananda. It has traces of dormant and past impressions. So Asanorahnata Samadhi is sabeeja Samadhi. While in Samprajnata Samadhi there is effort by the practitioner to acquire the powers of nature, Asamprajnata Samadhi leads to super-consciousness wherein the mind is made a vacuum (with due preparation and not just vacant) killing every thought that comes in it. Asamprajnata has two distinct characteristics – dropping of the symbol and the presence of a latent impression. Asamprajnata Samadhi is not a permanent state; it is only an intermediate state in which the consciousness is trying to transcend into a different plane. Now we stand with clarity that in dharana the object appears as the formulated pattern of gross consciousness; in dhyana, there is a concentrated pattern of consciousness, in vitarka Samadhi there is a supramental pattern of consciousness in vichara it s a contemplative pattern, in ananda it is the bliss pattern. The symbol does remain till the end. It drops but temporarily. What is seedless or nirbeeja samadhi? The explanation for seed is – when thoughts of the mind are held down, they are seeds that could become active again. Seedless means when mind in itself is destroyed, when there is no need for consciousness and so becomes void of thoughts and seedless. Nirbeeja Samadhi is not a state at all; it is a state devoid of awareness, devoid of consciousness. It involves stillness. Does this mean in a seedless state there is no knowledge, for mind is the manufacturer of knowledge and when it gets destroyed the knowledge too get ruined? This concept is clarified thus – when gold is smelted down using chemicals (constant practice), the dirt (bad/old tendencies) is destroyed. Also the other alloys (good tendencies) too are destroyed. So good and evil tendencies both suppress each other leaving the soul (pure gold) in its own splendor. While low vibration of ether is darkness, high vibration too is darkness. What is of the middle is knowledge and knowledge too is manufactured and thus not a reality. The practitioner internalizes the realization that it was nature, which was moving, and that movement was reflected upon the soul thus binding the soul. Remove the nature and all delusions vanish. Are we to understand such free Souls merge with nature? Yogis admit that those, whom the Sankhyas call “the merged in nature”, exist. They are ruler of parts of the universe (Gods). Sage Kapila reiterates that many should though nearly attain perfection; fall short because they cannot perfectly renounce all powers. Their mind for a time merge in nature to re-emerge as its masters and in the Vedas, the God mentioned is the one of these free souls.
||Bhava pratyayah videha prakriti layanam||19||
English meaning: The videha and prakritilaya yogis have birth as the cause of asamprajnata Samadhi.
The English meaning of Sanskrit words: bhava = becoming; pratyayah = cause; videha = disembodied yogis; prakriti = nature; layanam = merged into
Patanjali says that yogis who are disembodied and those who are merged into prakriti can attain asamprajanata Samadhi right from birth, with out having to practice any preliminary states like dharana, dhyana, vitarka, vichara, ananda, asmita. Such yogis are rare.
||Shraddha virya smriti samadhi prajna purvakah itaresham||20||
English Meaning: Others come to asamprajnata Samadhi through faith, energy, memory, concentration and discrimination of real.
The English meaning of Sanskrit words: shraddha = faith; virya = energy, strength of will; smriti = memory, samadhi, deep absorption of meditation; prajna = intelligence; purvakah = preceded by; itaresham = of others.
Other than those rare ones born to attain asamprajnata samadhi right at birth, other attain asamprajnata samadhi through faith, strong will, memory and intelligence derived from samprajnata samadhi. Shraddha- glimpse of the truth; Virya- courage and energy both physical and mental to overcome the hassles on the path of yoga. Smriti-memory- remembering the symbol thus bringing the realisation of consciousness into the conscious field. Samadhi prajna- a peculiar intelligence (distinct from worldly intelligence needed to pass a day) of spiritual attitude or vision that is developed through sat sang and by constant self-purification.
||Tivra samvega asannah||21||
English meaning: Success is quick for extremely energetic.
The English meaning of Sanskrit words: tivra = intense; samvega = urge; asannah = very close, near
Success in attaining asamrajnata Samadhi is speedy to those who are extremely energetic. Intensity of speed depends on one’s earnestness and sincerity. Patanjali clarifies earnestness as a mental attitude. Not just eagerness of urge but intense samvega. Impatience shown is not indication of intensity of speed. The next sutra discusses the stages of earnestness.
||Mridu madhya adhimatra tatah api visheshah||22||
English meaning: The success of yogis reaching asamprajnata samadhi depends on the speed of the means adopted.
The English meaning of Sanskrit words: mridu = mild; madhya = medium; adhimatra = extremely strong; tatah = from that; api = also; visheshah = special, peculiar
The intensity of urge to reach asamprajnata Samadhi is discussed as the mental attitude in this sutra. The intensity is categorized into three – mild, medium and intense. The success of yogis reaching asamprajnata Samadhi is said to depend on the speed of the urge they adopt. The speed depends on the earnestness and sincerity in their urge. It is observed that while every one exert the same; some seem to reach the goal quicker than others. Earnestness and sincerity are the ingredients that make the difference. With the intensity of urge rising through the mild, medium and strong conditions, asamprajnata Samadhi can be achieved sooner.