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 Learning Sanskrit - Aṣṭāṅgayoga (English)

The Eight-limbed Yoga


 Introduction

Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka once again. The core of the Patañjali's teachings in his Yogasūtra-s is Aṣṭāṅgayoga or Eight-limbed Yoga. Patañjali's Yogasūtra-s also constitute the core of the traditional Yoga system. I have explained Aṣṭāngayoga in First Steps (2) to a certain extent, according to my limited knowledge of it. Remember that my specialty is Trika (Non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir). Knowing my inherent conditionings, I did not want to go deeper into the subject. However, I return now to expound in detail on Aṣṭāṅgayoga. As a matter of fact, it will not be me but divine Vyāsa who will comment on Aṣṭāṅgayoga. Celebrated Vyāsa composed a crucial work dealing with Sāṅkhya-Yoga called "Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra" (the aphorisms dealing with Sāṅkhya). Within this renowned scripture, we may found his superb commentary on the entire Yogasūtra-s. Although I have only extracted the portion in which he comments on the focal point of Aṣṭāṅgayoga, you may find the entire commentary of Vyāsa here.

In other words, although all aphorisms in the Yogasūtra-s speak of Aṣṭāṅgayoga directly or indirectly, the "core" of the teaching is displayed, according to my viewpoint, from Aphorism 29 (Section II - On practice) to Aphorism 8 (Section III - Supernatural powers). Therefore, the amount of 35 aphorisms along with the Vyāsa's commentary will be studied here. Vyāsa's Sanskrit is beautiful but really difficult to translate. It is an intricate scholarly Sanskrit which he uses to comment on the Pātañjalayogasūtra-s. However, with Vyāsa's grace I will be surely able to accomplish the hard mission to translate his exquisite commentary.

Of course, I will also insert the Patañjali's aphorisms on which Vyāsa is commenting. Even though I will not comment on either the original sūtra-s or the Vyāsa's commentary, I will write some notes to make a particular point clear when necessary. Vyāsa's Sanskrit will be in dark green color while the original Patañjali's aphorisms will be shown in dark red color. In turn, within transliteration, the original aphorisms will be in brown color and have their correct number at the end. Note that the very Vyāsa's commentary will have a number similar to the commented aphorism. Finally, the translation of the original aphorisms by Patañjali will use deep red and black colors, while the commentary by Vyāsa will contain words in both black and red color.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.

Aṣṭāṅgayoga is upon us, get ready!

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 Aphorisms II-29 to II-35

भाष्यम् — तत्र योगाङ्गान्यवधार्यन्ते —

यमनियमासनप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणाध्यानसमाधयोऽष्टावङ्गानि॥२९॥

यथाक्रममेतेषामनुष्ठानं स्वरूपं च वक्ष्यामः॥२९॥

Bhāṣyam - Tatra yogāṅgānyavadhāryante -

Yamaniyamāsanaprāṇāyāmapratyāhāradhāraṇādhyānasamādhayo'ṣṭāvaṅgāni||29||

Yathākramameteṣāmanuṣṭhānaṁ svarūpaṁ ca vakṣyāmaḥ||29||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Therefore (tatra), the limbs (aṅgāni) of Yoga (yoga) are being ascertained (avadhāryante) -

Yama (yama), Niyama (niyama), Āsana (āsana), Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāma), Pratyāhāra (pratyāhāra), Dhāraṇā (dhāraṇā), Dhyāna (dhyāna) (and) Samādhi --samādhi-- (samādhayaḥ) (are) the eight (aṣṭau) limbs --aṅga-- (of Yoga) (aṅgāni) --after this statement, Patañjali will describe each of them in detail--||29||

We will describe (vakṣyāmaḥ) their (eteṣām) practice (anuṣṭhānam) and (ca) nature (sva-rūpam) in due succession (yathākramam)||29||


भाष्यम् — तत्र —

अहिंसासत्यास्तेयब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहा यमाः॥३०॥

तत्राहिंसा सर्वथा सर्वदा सर्वभूतानामनभिध्रोहः। उत्तरे च यमनियमास्तन्मूलास्तत्सिद्धिपरतया तत्प्रतिपादनाय प्रतिपाद्यन्ते तदवदातरूपकरणायैवोपादीयन्ते। तथा चोक्तं स खल्वयं ब्राह्मणो यथा यथा व्रतानि बहूनि समादित्सते तथा तथा प्रमादकृतेभ्यो हिंसानिदानेभ्यो निवर्त्तमानस्तामेवावदातरूपामहिंसां करोतीति। सत्यं यथार्थे वाङ्मनसे यथा दृष्टं यथानुमितं यथा श्रुतं तथा वाङ्मनश्चेति। परत्र स्वबोधसङ्क्रान्तये वागुक्ता सा यदि न वञ्चिता भ्रान्ता वा प्रतिपत्तिबन्ध्या वा भवेदिति एषा सर्वभूतोपकारार्थं प्रवृत्ता न भूतोपघाताय यदि चैवमप्यभिधीयमाना भूतोपघातपरैव स्यान्न सत्यं भवेत्पापमेव भवेत्। तेन पुण्याभासेन पुण्यप्रतिरूपकेण कष्टं तमः प्राप्नुयात्तस्मात्परीक्ष्य सर्वभूतहितं सत्यं ब्रूयात्। स्तेयमशास्त्रपूर्वकं द्रव्याणां परतः स्वीकरणम् तत्प्रतिषेधः पुनरस्पृहारूपमस्तेयमिति। ब्रह्मचर्यं गुप्तेन्द्रियस्योपस्थस्य संयमः। विषयाणामर्जनरक्षणक्षयसङ्गहिंसादोषदर्शनादस्वीकरणमपरिग्रह इत्येते यमाः॥३०॥

Bhāṣyam - Tatra -

Ahiṁsāsatyāsteyabrahmacaryāparigrahā yamāḥ||30||

Tatrāhiṁsā sarvathā sarvadā sarvabhūtānāmanabhidrohaḥ| Uttare ca yamaniyamāstanmūlāstatsiddhiparatayā tatpratipādanāya pratipādyante tadavadātarūpakaraṇāyaivopādīyante| Tathā coktaṁ sa khalvayaṁ brāhmaṇo yathā yathā vratāni bahūni samāditsate tathā tathā pramādakṛtebhyo hiṁsānidānebhyo nivarttamānastāmevāvadātarūpāmahiṁsāṁ karotīti| Satyaṁ yathārthe vāṅmanase yathā dṛṣṭaṁ yathānumitaṁ yathā śrutaṁ tathā vāṅmanaśceti| Paratra svabodhasaṅkrāntaye vāguktā sā yadi na vañcitā bhrāntā vā pratipattibandhyā vā bhavediti eṣā sarvabhūtopakārārthaṁ pravṛttā na bhūtopaghātāya yadi caivamapyabhidhīyamānā bhūtopaghātaparaiva syānna satyaṁ bhavetpāpameva bhavet| Tena puṇyābhāsena puṇyapratirūpakeṇa kaṣṭaṁ tamaḥ prāpnuyāttasmātparīkṣya sarvabhūtahitaṁ satyaṁ brūyāt| Steyamaśāstrapūrvakaṁ dravyāṇāṁ parataḥ svīkaraṇam tatpratiṣedhaḥ punaraspṛhārūpamasteyamiti| Brahmacaryaṁ guptendriyasyopasthasya saṁyamaḥ| Viṣayāṇāmarjanarakṣaṇakṣayasaṅgahiṁsādoṣadarśanādasvīkaraṇamaparigraha ityete yamāḥ||30||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Consequently (tatra) -

Non-injury --harmlessness-- (ahiṁsā), Veracity --truthfulness-- (satya), Abstention from stealing (asteya), Continence --dwelling in Brahma-- (brahmacarya) and Non-possession --abstinence from avariciousness|covetousness; aparigraha-- (aparigrahāḥ) (are the five) Yama-s or Restraints (yamāḥ)||30||

Of those (tatra), Non-injury or Harmlessness (ahiṁsā) is avoiding to harm (anabhidrohaḥ) all (sarva) beings --bhūta(s)-- (bhūtānām), always (sarvadā) (and) in every possible way (sarvathā)|

And (ca) the subsequent (uttare) Yama-s or Restraints (yama) (and) Niyama-s or Observances --Niyama(s)-- (niyamāḥ) are based (mūlāḥ) on that --i.e. on Non-injury-- (tad). (Yama-s and Niyama-s,) being quite devoted (paratayā) to perfection (siddhi) of that (Non-injury) (tad), have been propounded or established (in the scriptures) (pratipādyante) for attaining (pratipādanāya) it (tad). (They are) indeed (eva) considered (upādīyante) (to be tools) for making (karaṇāya) that (virtue of Non-injury) (tad) pure-natured (avadāta-rūpa)|

(It has been) said (uktam) so (tathā ca) (in the scriptures):

"Certainly (khalu), the more (yathā yathā) this very (saḥ... ayam) brāhmaṇa1  (brāhmaṇaḥ) desires to take (samāditsate) many (bahūni) pious prescribed acts (vratāni) (upon himself), the more (tathā tathā) he desists (nivarttamānaḥ)2  from careless and negligent (pramāda) deeds (kṛtebhyaḥ), whose cause or origin --nidāna-- (nidānebhyaḥ) is injury and violence (hiṁsā), (and) thus (eva) purifies (avadātarūpām... karoti) (the good quality of) Non-injury (ahiṁsām) within himself (tām... iti)"|

Veracity or Truthfulness (satyam) (is) concordance (yathā) of speech (vāc) (and) mind --manas or manasa-- (manase) as regards the fact (arthe). Just as (yathā... yathā... yathā) (it has been) seen (dṛṣṭam), inferred (anumitam) (and) heard (śrutam), so (tathā) (should) speech (vāc) and (ca) mind (manaḥ... iti) (be; that is, one should speak and think of exactly as he has seen, inferred and heard)3 |

Hereafter (paratra), that (sā) word (vāc) (is true which is) uttered (uktā) for the sake of transferring (saṅkrāntaye) one's own (sva) knowledge (bodha) (to other people), if (yadi) (it) is (bhavet) not (na) deceitful (vañcitā), confusing (bhrāntā) or (vā... vā) senseless (pratipattibandhyā... iti). This (word) (eṣā) serves (pravṛttā) for (artham) the benefit (upakāra) of all (sarva) beings (bhūta-s), (and) not (na) for harming (upaghātāya) (those very) beings (bhūta). And (ca) thus (evam api), if (yadi) (that) spoken word (abhidhīyamānā) would have as its chief object (parā eva syāt) to damage (upaghāta) the beings (bhūta), it would not be (na... bhavet) truth (satyam)... it would be (bhavet) only (eva) sin (pāpam)|

Through that (tena) pretended (ābhāsena) virtue (puṇya), (which) only has the appearance (pratirūpakeṇa) of (real) virtue (puṇya), one gets (prāpnuyāt) to the painful (kaṣṭam) darkness of hell (tamaḥ). For that reason (tasmāt), after having investigated (parīkṣya), one should speak (brūyāt) the truth (satyam) that is beneficial (hitam) to all (sarva) beings (bhūta)|

Stealing (steyam) (is) illegally (aśāstra-pūrvakam)4  appropriating (svīkaraṇam) things --dravya(s)-- (dravyāṇām) belonging to others (parataḥ). Abstention (pratiṣedhaḥ) from that (tad) (constitutes) Asteya (asteyam iti), whose nature (rūpam) (is) a repeated (punar) absence of (that) desire (aspṛhā) (of stealing)|

Continence (brahmacaryam) (is) restraint or control (saṁyamaḥ) of the secret (gupta) Indriya --power-- (indriyasya) (known as) Upastha (upasthasya)5 |

Non-possession or abstinence from avariciousness/covetousness (aparigrahaḥ) is not appropriating (asvīkaraṇam) things --viṣaya(s)-- (viṣayānām) seeing that (darśanāt) acquiring (arjana) (and) preserving (them) (rakṣaṇa) (involve) attachment (saṅga), injury and mischief (hiṁsā), fault (doṣa), (and that) they are subject to decay (kṣaya). These (are) then (iti ete) the (five) Yama-s or Restraints (yamāḥ)||30||

1  The word "brāhmaṇa" literally means "one who has divine knowledge", that is, "a knower of Brahma or the Absolute". However, it is also possible that Vyāsa is using this term here as "a man belonging to the first of the four original castes", as it is usually translated. The first cast is traditionally associated with priests.Return 
2  This word may also be written "nirvartamānaḥ").Return 
3  Final "iti" in "ca-iti" (ceti) does not stand for inverted commas now, but it indicates that the previous paragraph contains a definition. In this case, Veracity or Truthfulness has been defined by Vyāsa.Return 
4  Literally: "not previously prescribed by the scriptures".Return 
5  "Upastha" or sexual power also means "a well surrounded or sheltered place, secure place, inner part of something", hence it is considered to be a secret Indriya or power. Remember that Upastha is one of the five Karmendriya-s (Karma-indriya-s) or Powers of action.Return 


भाष्यम् — ते तु —

जातिदेशकालसमयानवच्छिन्नाः सार्वभौमा महाव्रतम्॥३१॥

तत्राहिंसा जात्यवच्छिन्ना — मत्स्यबन्धकस्य मत्स्येष्वेव नान्यत्र हिंसा। सैव देशावच्छिन्ना — न तीर्थे हनिष्यामीति। सैव कालावच्छिन्ना — न चतुर्द्दश्यां न पुण्येऽहनि हनिष्यामीति। सैव त्रिभिरुपरतस्य समयावच्छिन्ना — देवब्राह्मणार्थे नान्यथा हनिष्यामीति यथा च क्षत्रीयाणां युद्ध एव हिंसा नान्यत्रेति। एभिर्जातिदेशकालसमयैरनवच्छिन्ना अहिंसादयः सर्वथैव परिपालनीयाः सर्वभूमिषु सर्वविषयेषु सर्वथैवाविदितव्यभिचाराः सार्वभौमा महाव्रतमित्युच्यते॥३१॥

Bhāṣyam - Te tu -

Jātideśakālasamayānavacchinnāḥ sārvabhaumā mahāvratam||31||

Tatrāhiṁsā jātyavacchinnā - matsyabandhakasya matsyeṣveva nānyatra hiṁsā| Saiva deśāvacchinnā - na tīrthe haniṣyāmīti| Saiva kālāvacchinnā - na caturddaśyāṁ na puṇye'hani haniṣyāmīti| Saiva tribhiruparatasya samayāvacchinnā - devabrāhmaṇārthe nānyathā haniṣyāmīti yathā ca kṣatrīyāṇāṁ yuddha eva hiṁsā nānyatreti| Ebhirjātideśakālasamayairanavacchinnā ahiṁsādayaḥ sarvathaiva paripālanīyāḥ sarvabhūmiṣu sarvaviṣayeṣu sarvathaivāviditavyabhicārāḥ sārvabhaumā mahāvratamityucyate||31||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - But (tu) they (te) -

(Those Yama-s or Restraints turn into) a great (mahā) vow (vratam) (when they become) universal (sārvabhaumāḥ) and unrestricted (anavacchinnāḥ) by (any consideration of) class (jāti), place (deśa), time (kāla) or customary duty --"established custom and conventional rule or usage" are also valid translations for "samaya"-- (samaya)||31||

Under those circumstances (tatra), Non-injury (ahiṁsā) distinguished (avacchinnā) by class (jāti) (is, for example,) injury or violence (hiṁsā) on the part of a fisherman (matsyabandhakasya) regarding the fishes (matsyeṣu eva), (but) not (na) regarding other (beings) (anyatra)|

(In turn,) that (sā eva) (Non-injury) distinguished (avacchinnā) by place (deśa) (is, for example,) "I will not kill (na... haniṣyāmi) in a place of pilgrimage (tīrthe... iti)"|

(And) that (sa eva) (Non-injury) distinguished (avacchinnā) by time or period (kāla) (is, for example,) "I will kill (haniṣyāmi) neither (na) on the 14th day in a lunar fortnight (caturddaśyām)1  nor (on any other) sacred (puṇye) day (ahani... iti)"|

(Finally), that (sā eva) (Non-injury) distinguished (avacchinnā) by customary duty (samaya) of one who has desisted from sensual enjoyment (uparatasya) through the (former) three (ways of Non-injury) (tribhiḥ), (might be, for instance,) "I will kill (haniṣyāmi) (only) for the sake of (arthe) gods (deva) (or) Brāhmaṇa-s (brāhmaṇa)2 , (and) not (na) otherwise (anyathā... iti)". Another example (yathā ca) (would be that) of Kṣatriya-s' injury or violence (kṣatriyāṇām... hiṁsā)3  only (eva) (present) in war (yuddhe) (and) not (na) on any other occasion (anyatra-iti)|

Non-injury (ahiṁsā), etc. --i.e. Truthfulness, Abstention from stealing, and the remaining Yama-s-- (ādayaḥ) (should) not be distinguished (anavacchinnāḥ) by these (ebhiḥ), (that is,) by class (jāti), place (deśa), time (kāla) (and) customary duty --samaya-- (samayaiḥ) in every respect (sarvathā eva). It is said (iti ucyate) (that when those Yama-s) are observed and protected (paripālanīyāḥ) in every (sarva) stage or situation (bhūmiṣu), on all (sarva) subject matters (viṣayeṣu) without failing --lit. "without any known fail"-- (a-vidita-vyabhicārāḥ) in any way (sarvathā eva), (they become) universal (sārvabhaumāḥ) (and) a great (mahā) vow (vratam)||31||

1  This word may also be written "caturdaśyām".Return 
2  "For the sake of gods or Brāhmaṇa-s" means "(to sacrifice animals) to worship and propitiate gods, and to feed priests".Return 
3  The Kṣatriya-s are the members of the second caste in the traditional scheme of castes. They represent the governing and warrior caste.Return 


शौचसन्तोषतपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि नियमाः॥३२॥

भष्यम् — तत्र शौचं मृज्जलादिजन्तिं मेध्याभ्यवहरणादि च वाह्यम्। आभ्यन्तरं चित्तमलानामाक्षालनम्। सन्तोषः सन्निहितसाधनादधिकस्यानुपादित्सा। तपः द्वन्द्वसहनं द्वन्द्वश्च जिघत्सापिपासे शीतोष्णे स्थानासने काष्ठमौनाकारमौने च। व्रतानि चैव यथायोगं कृच्छ्रचान्द्रायणसान्तपनादीनि। स्वाध्यायः मोक्षशास्त्राणामध्ययनं प्रणवजपो वा। ईश्वरप्रणिधानं तस्मिन्परमगुरौ सर्वकर्मार्पणं शय्यासनस्थोऽथ पथि व्रजन् वा स्वस्थः परिक्षीणवितर्कजालः। संसारवीजक्षयमीक्षमाणः स्यान्नित्यमुक्तोऽमृतभोगभागी। यत्रेदमुक्तं ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च इति॥३२॥

Śaucasantoṣatapaḥsvādhyāyeśvarapraṇidhānāni niyamāḥ||32||

Bhaṣyam - Tatra śaucaṁ mṛjjalādijanitaṁ medhyābhyavaharaṇādi ca vāhyam| Ābhyantaraṁ cittamalānāṁ kṣālanam| Santoṣaḥ sannihitasādhanādadhikasyānupāditsā| Tapaḥ dvandvasahanaṁ dvandvaśca jighatsāpipāse śītoṣṇe sthānāsane kāṣṭhamaunākāramaune ca| Vratāni caiva yathāyogaṁ kṛcchracāndrāyaṇasāntapanādīni| Svādhyāyaḥ mokṣaśāstrāṇāmadhyayanaṁ praṇavajapo vā| Īśvarapraṇidhānaṁ tasminparamagurau sarvakarmārpaṇaṁ śayyāsanastho'tha pathi vrajan vā svasthaḥ parikṣīṇavitarkajālaḥ | Saṁsāravījakṣayamīkṣamāṇaḥ syānnityamukto'mṛtabhogabhāgī| Yatredamuktaṁ tataḥ pratyakcetanādhigamo'pyantarāyābhāvaśca iti||32||


Cleanliness (śauca), Contentment (santoṣa), Austerity or Penance (tapas), Study and Recitation of Sacred Scriptures (svādhyāya), and Devotion --praṇidhāna-- (praṇidhānāni) to the (Supreme) Lord (īśvara) (are the five) Niyama-s or Observances (niyamāḥ)||32||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Of those (tatra), external (vāhyam)1  Cleanliness (śaucam) (is) produced (janitam) by purificatory (mṛj) wash (jala), etc. (ādi), as well as (ca) by taking food (abhyavaharaṇa) which is pure (medhya), and so on (ādi)|

(On the other hand,) internal (Cleanliness) (ābhyantaram) (is) washing (ākṣālanam) of the mental (citta) impurities --mala(s)-- (malānām)|

Contentment (santoṣaḥ) (is) absence of desire (anupāditsā) for abundance --i.e. excessive amount of possessions-- (adhikasya) aside from the immediate (sannihita) means (of support) (sādhanāt)|

Austerity (tapas) (is) endurance or forbearance (sahanam) of (such) pairs of opposites (dvandvam) (as) hunger (jighatsā) (and) thirst --pipāsā-- (pipāse), cold (śīta) (and) heat --uṣṇa-- (uṣṇe), by standing firmly (sthānam) (seated) in a (yogic) posture (āsane) while (ca) (practicing at the same time) Kāṣṭha-mauna (kāṣṭhamauna) (and) Ākāra-mauna (ākāramaune)2 |

(It might) also (ca eva) (include), according to circumstances or requirements (yathāyogam), (the observances of) Kṛcchra --a kind of bodily mortification-- (kṛcchra), Cāndrāyaṇa --fast regulated by the moon-- (cāndrāyaṇa)3 , Sāntapana --a kind of penance practiced with or without Kṛcchra-- (sāntapana), etc. (ādīni) as regards (various) religious vows (vratāni)|

Svādhyāya (svādhyāya) (is) study (adhyayanam) of scriptures (śāstrāṇām) (dealing with) Mokṣa or Liberation (mokṣa), or (vā) muttering (japaḥ) of Om̐ or Praṇava (praṇava)|

Īśvarapraṇidhāna (īśvara-praṇidhānam) (is) offering (arpaṇa) all (sarva) actions (karma) to that (tasmin) Supreme (parama) Guru (gurau). (It has been said regarding this:) "(Whether) resting (śayya)4 , seated (āsanasthaḥ), or (atha... vā) going (vrajan) on a road (pathi), a person established (sthaḥ) in his own Self (sva), whose net (jālaḥ) of doubts and uncertainties (vitarka) has been dispelled (parikṣīṇa)...| (the sentence continues below)5 

... beholds (īkṣamāṇaḥ) the destruction (kṣayam) of the seed (vīja) of Saṁsāra or Transmigration (saṁsāra)6  (and thus) he is (syāt) always (nitya) Liberated (muktaḥ) (and) entitled (bhāgī) to enjoy (bhoga) the Nectar of Immortality (amṛta)"|

This (idam) has been said (by Patañjali himself) (uktam) regarding that (subject) (yatra):

"From that (practice of Īśvarapraṇidhāna or devotion to Īśvara --Lord--) (īśvaraḥ) (also comes) the realization (adhigamaḥ) of one's own true Self (pratyakcetana) as well as (api... ca) the removal (abhāvaḥ) of obstacles (antarāya... iti)."

(Yogasūtra-s I, 29)

||32||

1  This word may also be written "bāhyam".Return 
2  "Kāstha-mauna" is a kind of silence vow in which, besides to be silent, one does not indicate anything through gestures or signs. In turn, "Ākāra-mauna" is a silence vow that permits to use gestures or signs.Return 
3  "Cāndrāyaṇa" is a type of fast regulated by the moon, in which one diminishes the food every day by one mouthful during the dark fortnight, and increases it in like manner during the light fortnight.Return 
4  This word may also be written "śaya".Return 
5  The characters | and || indicate "short" and "long" pause respectively in Sanskrit and not necessarily full stop or period within a paragraph or at the end of it. Thank God, they indicate that for the most part, but sometimes | and || may even indicate a comma or semicolon. This is the situation right now with that unfinished sentence before | and continuing below.Return 
6  "Saṁsāra" is the wheel of birth and death. Yogī-s attempt to get out of that wheel and not return this worldly existence anymore. Saṁsāra may also be translated as "transmigration" in the sense of "transmigration of souls from one existence to the other".Return 


भष्यम् — एतेषां यमनियमानाम् —

वितर्कबाधने प्रतिपक्षभावनम्॥३३॥

यदास्य ब्राह्मणस्य हिंसादयो वितर्का जायेरन् हनिष्याम्यहमपकारिणम् अनृतमपि वक्ष्यामि द्रव्यमप्यस्य स्वीकरिष्यामि दारेषु चास्य व्यवायी भविष्यामि परिग्रहेषु चास्य स्वामी भविष्यामीत्येवमुन्मार्गप्रवणवितर्कज्वरेणातिदीप्तेन बाध्यमानस्तत्प्रतिपक्षान्भावयेत् — घोरेषु संसाराङ्गारेषु पच्यमानेन मया शरणमुपागतः सर्वभूताभयप्रदानेन योगधर्मः स खल्वहं त्यक्त्वा वितर्कान्पुनस्तानाददानस्तुल्यः श्ववृत्तेन इति भावयेत्। यथा श्वा वान्तावलेही तथा त्यक्तस्य पुनराददान इत्येवमादि सूत्रान्तरेष्वपि योज्यम्॥३३॥

Bhaṣyam - Eteṣāṁ yamaniyamānām -

Vitarkabādhane pratipakṣabhāvanam||33||

Yadāsya brāhmaṇasya hiṁsādayo vitarkā jāyeran haniṣyāmyahamapakāriṇam anṛtamapi vakṣyāmi dravyamapyasya svīkariṣyāmi dāreṣu cāsya vyavāyī bhaviṣyāmi parigraheṣu cāsya svāmī bhaviṣyāmītyevamunmārgapravaṇavitarkajvareṇātidīptena bādhyamānastatpratipakṣān bhāvayet - Ghoreṣu saṁsārāṅgāreṣu pacyamānena mayā śaraṇamupāgataḥ sarvabhūtābhayapradānena yogadharmaḥ sa khalvahaṁ tyaktvā vitarkānpunastānādadānastulyaḥ śvavṛttena iti bhāvayet| Yathā śvā vāntāvalehī tathā tyaktasya punarādadāna ityevamādi sūtrāntareṣvapi yojyam||33||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Of these (eteṣām) Restraints --Yama-s-- (and) Observances --Niyama-s-- (yamaniyamānām) -

On the inhibition (bādhane) (of those Yama-s and Niyama-s) by (erroneous) ways of thinking and feeling (vitarka), (a Yogī should cultivate) contemplation (bhāvanam) on the opposites (pratipakṣa)||33||

When (yadā) the mental contents (vitarkāḥ) of this (asya) Brāhmaṇa (brāhmaṇasya)1  (are oriented to) injury or violence (hiṁsā), and so on (ādayaḥ), (and) burn (jāyeran) (in the following way, for example): "I (aham) will kill (haniṣyāmi) him who harm (me) (apakāriṇam)", "I will tell (vakṣyāmi) even (api) lie(s) (anṛtam)", "I will appropriate (svīkariṣyāmi) even (api) his (asya) thing(s) (dravyam)", "and (ca) I will become (bhaviṣyāmi) lustful (vyavāyī) after his (asya) wives (dāreṣu)2 ", "I will become (bhaviṣyāmi) the owner (svāmī) of his (asya) possessions (parigraheṣu) too (ca... iti)"; (in other words, when) such a person is thus bound (evam... bādhyamānaḥ) by the extremely blazing (atidīptena) fever (of ignorance) (jvareṇa) (appearing in the form of perverse) thoughts (vitarka) that lead (pravaṇa) to the wrong way (unmārga), (then) he should contemplate and encourage (bhāvayet) the opposites (pratipakṣān). He should contemplate (in this manner) (bhāvayet): "Burnt (pacyamānena) in the terrible (ghoreṣu) live coals (aṅgāreṣu) of Saṁsāra or Transmigration (saṁsāra), I (mayā) had taken (upāgataḥ) refuge (śaraṇam) in the virtue (dharmaḥ) of Yoga (yoga), (thus) giving (pradānena) security (abhaya) to all (sarva) beings (bhūta). Having abandoned (tyaktvā) (such wicked) thoughts (vitarkān), I myself (saḥ... aham) am accepting (ādadānaḥ) them (tān) again (punar) indeed (khalu). (My behavior) is like (tulyaḥ) that (vṛttena)3  of a dog (śva... iti)"|

(Why?, because) "Just as (yathā) a dog (śvā) licks (avalehī) (what it has) vomited (vānta), so (tathā) (I am) taking (ādadānaḥ) again (punar) what had been abandoned (by me) (tyaktasya)", and so forth (iti evam ādi). (This method of contemplate the opposites is) to be also employed (api yojyam) with relation to (what has been taught in) other (antareṣu) aphorisms (sūtra)||33||

1  See note 1 under stanza 30 of this section.Return 
2  Before drawing your sword from sheath, keep in mind the time and culture in which Vyāsa wrote his commentary.Return 
3  "Vṛttena" is the instrumental case of "vṛtta" (behavior). I preferred not to repeat the word "behavior" once again in the translation, for the sake of good writing. Thus, I substituted "that" for it.Return 


वितर्का हिंसादयः कृतकारितानुमोदिता लोभक्रोधमोहपूर्वका मृदुमध्याधिमात्रा दुःखाज्ञानानन्तफला इति प्रतिपक्षभावनम्॥३४॥

भाष्यम् — तत्र हिंसा तावत्कृता कारिताऽनुमोदितेति त्रिधा। एकैका पुनस्त्रिधा लोभेन — मांसचर्मार्थेन क्रोधेन — अपकृतमनेनेति मोहेन — धर्मो मे भविष्यतीति। लोभक्रोधमोहाः पुनस्त्रिविधाः मृदुमध्याधिमात्रा इति। एवं सप्तविंशतिभेदा भवन्ति हिंसायाः। मृदुमध्याधिमात्राः पुनस्त्रिधा मृदुमृदुः मध्यमृदुः तीव्रमृदुरिति तथा मृदुमध्यः मध्यमध्यः तीव्रमध्य इति तथा मृदुतीव्रः मध्यतीव्रोऽधिमात्रतीव्र इति एवमेकाशीतिभेदा हिंसा भवति। सा पुनर्नियमविकल्पसमुच्चयभेदादसङ्ख्येया प्राणभृद्भेदस्यापरिसङ्ख्येयत्वादिति। एवमनृतादिष्वपि योज्यम्। ते खल्वमी वितर्का दुःखाज्ञानानन्तफला इति प्रतिपक्षभावनं दुःखमज्ञानञ्चानन्तफलं येषामिति प्रतिपक्षभावनम्। तथा च हिंसकः प्रथमं तावद् वध्यस्य वीर्यमाक्षिपति ततः शस्त्रादिनिपातेन दुःखयति ततो जीवितादपि मोचयति। ततो वीर्यक्षेपादस्य चेतनाचेतनमुपकरणं क्षीणवीर्यं भवति दुःखोत्पादान्नरकतिर्यक्प्रेतादिषु दुःखमनुभवति जीवितव्यपरोपणात्प्रतिक्षणं च जीवितात्यये वर्तमानो मरणमिच्छन्नपि दुःखविपाकस्य नियतविपाकवेदनीयत्वात्कथञ्चिदेवोच्छ्वसिति। यदि च कथञ्चित् पुण्यादपगता — पुण्यावापगता इति पाठान्तरम् — हिंसा भवेत् तत्र सुखप्राप्तौ भवेदल्पायुरिति। एवमनृतादिष्वषि योज्यं यथासम्भवम्। एवं वितर्काणां चामुमेवानुगतं विपाकमनिष्तं भावयन्न वितर्केषु मनः प्रणिदधीत। प्रतिपक्षभावनाद्धेतोर्हेया वितर्काः॥३४॥

Vitarkā hiṁsādayaḥ kṛtakāritānumoditā lobhakrodhamohapūrvakā mṛdumadhyādhimātrā duḥkhājñānānantaphalā iti pratipakṣabhāvanam||34||

Bhāṣyam - Tatra hiṁsā tāvatkṛtā kāritā'numoditeti tridhā| Ekaikā punastridhā lobhena - māṁsacarmārthena krodhena - Apakṛtamaneneti mohena - Dharmo me bhaviṣyatīti| Lobhakrodhamohāḥ punastrividhāḥ mṛdumadhyādhimātrā iti| Evaṁ saptaviṁśatibhedā bhavanti hiṁsāyāḥ| Mṛdumadhyādhimātrāḥ punastridhā mṛdumṛdurmadhyamṛdustīvramṛduriti tathā mṛdumadhyo madhyamadhyastīvramadhya iti tathā mṛdutīvro madhyatīvro'dhimātratīvra iti evamekāśītibhedā hiṁsā bhavati| Sā punarniyamavikalpasamuccayabhedādasaṅkhyeyā prāṇabhṛdbhedasyāparisaṅkhyeyatvāditi| Evamanṛtādiṣvapi yojyam| Te khalvamī vitarkā duḥkhājñānānantaphalā iti pratipakṣabhāvanaṁ duḥkhamajñānañcānantaphalaṁ yeṣāmiti pratipakṣabhāvanam| Tathā ca hiṁsakaḥ tāvad vadhyasya vīryamākṣipati tataḥ śastrādinipātena duḥkhayati tato jīvitādapi mocayati| Tato vīryakṣepādasya cetanācetanamupakaraṇaṁ kṣiṇavīryaṁ bhavati duḥkhotpādānnarakatiryakpretādiṣu duḥkhamanubhavati jīvitavyaparopaṇātpratikṣaṇaṁ ca jīvitātyaye vartamāno maraṇamicchannapi duḥkhavipākasya niyatavipākavedanīyatvātkathañcidevocchvasiti| Yadi ca kathañcit punyādapagatā - puṇyāvāpagatā iti pāṭhāntaram - hiṁsā bhavet tatra sukhaprāptau bhavedalpāyuriti| Evamanṛtādiṣvaṣi yojyaṁ yathāsambhavam| Evaṁ vitarkāṇāṁ cāmumevānugataṁ vipākamaniṣṭaṁ bhavayanna vitarkeṣu manaḥ praṇidadhīta| Pratipakṣabhāvanāddhetorheyā vitarkāḥ||34||


(Such actions as) injury (hiṁsā), etc. (ādayaḥ) proceeding from (erroneous) ways of thinking and feeling (vitarkāḥ) (are as follows): (I) those which are performed by oneself (kṛta), got done by another (kārita) or approved --anumodita-- (anumoditāḥ); (II) those which are preceded (pūrvakāḥ) (either) by covetousness (lobha), wrath (krodha), or delusion (moha). (Moreover, the aforesaid actions can be either) mild (mṛdu), moderate (madhya) or intense --adhimātra-- (adhimātrāḥ). "(They are) the unending (ananta) fruits or consequences (phalāḥ) (resulting from) pain (duḥkha) (and) ignorance (ajñāna)" --"iti" stands for inverted commas-- is the opposite (pratipakṣa) thought (bhāvanam)||34||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Of those (tatra), injury (hiṁsā) (is) of three kinds (tāvat... tridhā): (1) (directly) done (by oneself) (kṛtā), (2) got done or caused to be done (by another) (kāritā) (or) (3) approved --i.e. approved when that injury has been done by another-- (anumoditā)|

Each of these (ekaikā) (is) again (punar) of three kinds (tridhā): (1) through greed or covetousness (lobhena) - (to kill an animal) for (arthena) meat (māṁsa) (and) skin (carma) -, (2) through wrath (krodhena) - ("there has been) an offense or injury (apakṛtam) on the part of this (person) (anena... iti), (and I will take revenge)" - (and) (3) through delusion (mohena) - "virtue o merit (dharmaḥ) will be (bhaviṣyāti) mine (me... iti) (by killing this animal in a sacrifice)" -|

Covetousness (lobha), wrath (krodha) (and) delusion --moha-- (mohāḥ) (are also) again (punar) triple (trividhāḥ): "(1) mild (mṛdu), (2) moderate (madhya) (and) (3) intense --adhimātra-- (adhimātrāḥ... iti)"|

Thus (evam), there are (bhavanti) twenty-seven (saptaviṁśati) varieties (bhedāḥ) of injury (hiṁsāyāḥ)|

Mild (mṛdu), moderate (madhya) (and) intense --adhimātra-- (adhimātrāḥ) (are) again (punar) of three kinds (tridhā): "(1) softly (mṛdu) mild (mṛduḥ), (2) moderately (madhya) mild (mṛduḥ) (and) (3) intensely (tīvra) mild (mṛduḥ... iti)"; as well as (tathā), "(1) softly (mṛdu) moderate (madhyaḥ), (2) moderately (madhya) moderate (madhyaḥ) (and) (3) intensely (tīvra) moderate (madhya... iti)"; as well as (tathā), "(1) softly (mṛdu) intense (tīvraḥ), (2) moderately (madhya) intense (tīvraḥ) (and) (3) excessively (adhimātra) intense (tīvraḥ... iti)". In this way (evam), injury (hiṁsā) has eighty-one (ekāśīti... bhavati) varieties (bhedā)|

That (injury) (sā) again (punar) (becomes) innumerable (asaṅkhyeyā) on account of varieties (bhedāt) due to Niyama-s or observances of usual fixed rules (niyama)1 , vikalpa or option (vikalpa)2  (and) samuccaya or collective (samuccaya)3 , because the varieties --bheda(s)-- (bhedasya) supporting (bhṛt) life (prāṇa)4  (are also) innumerable (aparisaṅkhyeyatvāt iti)|

In such a manner (evam), (this way of classifying "hiṁsā" or injury) is to be also employed (api yojyam) in respect of falsehood or untruth (anṛta), etc. (ādiṣu)|

Contemplation (bhāvanam) of the opposites (pratipakṣa) (would be, in this case): "Those very (te... amī) (perverse) thoughts (vitarkāḥ) (bring about) the endless (ananta) fruits (phalāḥ) of pain (duḥkha) (and) ignorance (ajñāna... iti)". (And,) "Pain (duḥkham) and (ca) ignorance (ajñānam) (are) the endless (ananta) fruit(s) (phalam) of those (perverse thoughts) (yeṣām... iti)", (would also be another example of) contemplation (bhāvanam) of the opposites (pratipakṣa)|

Accordingly (tathā ca), the injurer (hiṁsakaḥ) first (prathamam) takes away or removes (ākṣipati) the vigor (vīryam) of the victim (badhyasya) to a certain extent (tāvat). Next (tatas), he inflicts pain (upon the victim) (duḥkhayati) by the stroke of a sword (śastra), etc. (ādi). Then (tatas), (he) even (api) deprives (mocayati) (the victim) of life (jīvitāt)|

After that (tatas), due to the removal (ākṣepāt) of vigor (vīrya) (of the victim), the sentient (cetana) (and) insentient --acetana-- (acetanam) instrument(s) (upakaraṇam)5  of this (injurer) (asya) lose (ksīṇa... bhavati) (their) vigor (vīryam). Due to the act of causing (utpādāt) pain (duḥkha), he experiences (anubhavati) pain (duḥkham) (either) in hell (naraka), (or by being born in the form of) an animal (tiryak), (or becoming) an evil spirit (preta), etc. (ādiṣu). For constantly (pratikṣaṇam) extirpating (vyaparopaṇāt) life (jīvita), (the injurer) is (vartamānaḥ) also (ca) (constantly) in risk or danger (atyaye) of life (jīvita). Although (api) (the injurer) desires (icchan) death (maraṇam), (he) somehow or other (kathañcid) keeps breathing (eva ucchvasiti), since (such a person) must feel or experience (vedanīyatvāt) the fruition during his present lifetime (niyata-vipāka) of the consequence(s) (vipākasya) (of having inflicted) pain (duḥkha). But if (yadi ca), somehow (kathañcid), injury or violence (hiṁsā) is (bhavet) gone (apagatā) because of virtue (puṇyāt) [another (antaram) reading (pāṭha) (would be) "gone (apagatā) by the favor (ava) of virtue (puṇya... iti)"], then (tatra), on (his) attainment (prāptau) of happiness (sukha), he is (bhavet) short-lived (alpa-āyus iti)6 |

Thus (evam), (this way of thinking and analyzing) is also to be employed (api yojyam) with relation to falsehood or untruth (anṛta), etc. (ādiṣu), as far as possible (yathāsambhavam)|

And (ca) thus (evam) thinking (bhāvayan) of that (amum) corresponding (anugatam) undesirable (aniṣṭam) consequence (vipākam) of (those wicked) thoughts (vitarkāṇām), the mind (manaḥ) should not turn or direct (na... praṇidadhita) (its attention) to (such perverse) thoughts (vitarkeṣu)|

(Wicked) thoughts (vitarkāḥ) are (therefore) abandoned (heyāḥ) on account of (hetoḥ) the contemplation (bhāvanāt) of (their) opposites (pratipakṣa)||34||

1  Vyāsa is not referring here to Patañjali's Niyama-s or "yogic" Observances, but the aggregate of usual fixed rules existing in a particular culture.Return 
2  Vyāsa is not referring to "thoughts" (vikalpa-s) here (as the term "vikalpa" is generally translated), but to the option (vikalpa) an injurer has before killing. For example, he may choose which kind of animal to sacrifice firstly.Return 
3  Vyāsa is now referring to injury without choosing or collective (samuccaya). For example, the injurer will kill all animals.Retornar 
4  In other words, "because the varieties of living beings...".Return 
5  That is to say, body, mind and senses. Body is essentially insentient or inert, as it were, while mind and senses are considered to be "sentient". In fact, Prāṇa or vital energy in the body makes that which is inherently insentient (e.g. the body itself), "apparently" sentient. In turn, mind and associated senses are sentient, as they are pure Śakti, who is only "consciousness".Return 
6  Through virtue, he has attained real happiness, and thus no karmic residue is left. In other words, he will not enjoy a long life as there is no karmic fruition to be experienced. According to Vyāsa, a sinful person has a long life to experience the fruits of his bad actions.Return 


भाष्यम् — यदास्य स्युरप्रसवधर्माणस्तदा तत्कृतमैश्वर्यं योगिनः सिद्धिसूचकं भवति तद्योथा —

अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः॥३५॥

सर्वप्राणिनां भवति॥३५॥

Bhaṣyam - Yadāsya syuraprasavadharmāṇastadā tatkṛtamaiśvaryaṁ yoginaḥ siddhisūcakaṁ bhavati tadyothā -

Ahiṁsāpratiṣṭhāyāṁ tatsannidhau vairatyāgaḥ||35||

Sarvaprāṇināṁ bhavati||35||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - When (yadā) his (asya) (perverse thoughts) become (syuḥ) unproductive (aprasavadharmāṇaḥ), then (tadā) that (tad) superhuman power (aiśvaryam) obtained (kṛtam) (by him), indicates (...sūcakam bhavati) the success (siddhi) of the Yogī (yoginaḥ), namely (tad yathā) -

On the establishment (pratiṣṭhāyām) of Ahiṁsā or Non-injury (ahiṁsā) (in a Yogī, there is) cessation (tyāgaḥ) of hostility (vaira) (in one) coming close (sannidhau) to him (tad)||35||

There is (bhavati) (cessation of hostility) in all (sarva) living beings (prāṇinām) (coming near him)1 ||35||

1  That is, all living beings coming near that Yogī cease being hostile.Return 

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 Aphorisms II-36 to II-42

सत्यप्रतिष्ठायां क्रियाफलाश्रयत्वम्॥३६॥

भाष्यम् — धार्मिको भूया इति भवति धार्मिकः स्वर्गं प्राप्नुहीति स्वर्गं प्राप्नोत्यामोघास्य वाग्भवति॥३६॥

Satyapratiṣṭhāyāṁ kriyāphalāśrayatvam||36||

Bhāṣyam - Dhārmiko bhūyā iti bhavati dhārmikaḥ svargaṁ prāpnuhīti svargaṁ prāpnotyāmoghāsya vāgbhavati||36||


On the establishment (pratiṣṭhāyām) of Satya or Truthfulness (satya) (in the Yogī), a state of connection (āśrayatvam) between (his) actions --as the general idea expressed by any verb-- (kriyā) and the (resulting) fruits or consequences (phala) (arises) --i.e. "all that the abovementioned Yogī says will come true in the long run"--||36||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - His (asya) word (vāk) becomes (bhavati) unfailing (amoghā). (For example, if he tells somebody) "Be (bhūyās) virtuous (dhārmikaḥ... iti)", (that person) becomes (bhavati) virtuous (dhārmikaḥ); (or if he tells him) "Arrive (prāpnuhi) at heaven (svargam... iti)", (that very person) arrives (prāpnoti) at heaven (svargam)||36||


अस्तेयप्रतिष्ठायां सर्वरत्नोपस्थानम्॥३७॥

भाष्यम् — सर्वदिक्स्थान्यस्योपतिष्ठन्ते रत्नानि॥३७॥

Asteyapratiṣṭhāyāṁ sarvaratnopasthānam||37||

Bhāṣyam - Sarvadiksthānyasyopatiṣṭhante ratnāni||37||


On the establishment (pratiṣṭhāyām) of Asteya or Non-stealing (asteya) (in the Yogī), all (sarva) jewels (ratna) stand near in order to serve (upasthānam) (him)||37||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Jewels (ratnāni) from (sthāni) all (sarva) directions (dik) come near (upatiṣṭhante) him (asya)||37||


ब्रह्मचर्यप्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः॥३८॥

भाष्यम् — यस्य लाभादप्रतिघान् गुणानुत्कर्षयति सिद्धश्च विनेयेषु ज्ञानमाधातुं समर्थो भवतीति॥३८॥

Brahmacaryapratiṣṭhāyāṁ vīryalābhaḥ||38||

Bhāṣyam - Yasya lābhādapratighān guṇānutkarṣayati siddhaśca vineyeṣu jñānamādhātuṁ samartho bhavatīti||38||


On the establishment (pratiṣṭhāyām) of Brahmacarya or Continence (brahmacarya) (in that Yogī, there is) acquisition (lābhaḥ) of Vīrya --lit. "energy, vigor, stamina, strength, etc."-- (vīrya)||38||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - On the attainment (lābhāt) of that (continence) (yasya), (the aforesaid Yogī) increases (utkarṣayati) the unimpeded (apratighān) qualities (guṇān)1 , and (ca) being a perfected sage (siddhaḥ), he is (bhavati iti) able (samarthaḥ) to instill (ādhātum) knowledge (jñānam) in (his) disciples (vineyeṣu)||38||

1  That is, the supernormal powers or Siddhi-s.Return 


अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथन्तासम्बोधः॥३९॥

भाष्यम् — अस्य भवति। कोऽहमासं कथमहमासं किंस्विदिदं कथंस्विदिदं के वा भविष्यामः कथं वा भविष्याम इति एवमस्य पूर्वान्तपरान्तमध्येष्वात्मभावजिज्ञासा स्वरूपेणोपावर्त्तते। एता यमस्थैर्ये सिद्धयः॥३९॥

Aparigrahasthairye janmakathantāsambodhaḥ||39||

Bhāṣyam - Asya bhavati| Ko'hamāsaṁ kathamahamāsaṁ kiṁsvididaṁ kathaṁsvididaṁ ke vā bhaviṣyāmaḥ kathaṁ vā bhaviṣyāma iti evamasya pūrvāntaparāntamadhyeṣvātmabhāvajijñāsā svarūpeṇopāvarttate| Etā yamasthairye siddhayaḥ||39||


When (that very Yogī) stands firmly (sthairye) in Aparigraha or Non-possession (aparigraha), full knowledge (sambodhaḥ) of "the how, the what state?" (kathantā) about (his past, present and future) existences (janma) (arises)||39||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - (That knowledge fully) belongs to him (asya bhavati). In this manner (evam), the desire of knowing (jijñāsā) of this (Yogī) (asya) about the states (bhāva) of the individual self (ātma) during past (pūrva-anta), present --madhya-- (madhyeṣu) (and) future (para-anta) [(e.g.) "Who (kaḥ) was (āsam) I (aham)? How (katham) was (āsam) I (aham)? What (kim svid) (was) this (body) (idam)? How (katham svid) (did) this (body) (idam) (come into existence)? Or (vā) what (ke) will we be (bhaviṣyāmaḥ), or (vā) how (katham) will we be (bhaviṣyāmaḥ iti)?"] turns back (upāvarttate) by itself (sva-rūpeṇa). These (etāḥ) superhuman powers (siddhayaḥ) (are perfected) when (that Yogī) becomes established (sthairye) in Yama-s or Restraints (yama)||39||


भाष्यम् — नियमेषु वक्ष्यामः —

शौचात्स्वाङ्गजुगुप्सा परैरसंसर्गः॥४०॥

स्वाङ्गे जुगुप्सायां शौचमारभमाणः कायवद्यदर्शी कायानभिष्वङ्गी यतिर्भवति। किञ्च परैरसंसर्गः कायस्वभावावलोकी स्वमपि कायं जिहासुर्मृज्जलादिभिराक्षालयन्नपि कायशुद्धिमपश्यन् कथं परकायैरत्यन्तमेवाप्रयतैः संसृज्येत॥४०॥

Bhaṣyam - Niyameṣu vakṣyāmaḥ -

Śaucātsvāṅgajugupsā parairasaṁsargaḥ||40||

Svāṅge jugupsāyāṁ śaucamārabhamāṇaḥ kāyavadyadarśī kāyānabhiṣvaṅgī yatirbhavati| Kiñca parairasaṁsargaḥ kāyasvabhāvāvalokī svamapi kāyaṁ jihāsurmṛjjalādibhirākṣālayannapi kāyaśuddhimapaśyan kathaṁ parakāyairatyantamevāprayataiḥ saṁsṛjyeta||40||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - As regards Niyama-s or Observances (niyameṣu), we will say (vakṣyāmaḥ) -

From Śauca or Cleanliness (śaucāt), dislike (jugupsā) toward one's own (sva) body (aṅga) (arises, and consequently) unconcernedness to contact (asaṁsargaḥ) with other (bodies) (paraiḥ) (is also developed)||40||

When dislike or disgust (jugupsāyām) to his own (sva) body --aṅga-- (aṅge) (arises, the Yogī) who commences resolutely (ārabhamāṇaḥ) (the practice of) Śauca or Cleanliness (śaucam), seeing (darśī) the imperfections (avadya) of the body (kāya), develops an intense detachment (anabhiṣvaṅgī) to the body (kāya) (and) becomes (bhavati) a Yati --i.e. a dispassionate ascetic-- (yatiḥ)|

Moreover (kiñca), there is (also) absence of association --unconcernedness-- (asaṁsargaḥ) with other (paraiḥ), because one who sees (avalokī) the true nature (sva-bhāva) of the body (kāya), (and) even (api) desires to give up (jihāsuḥ) his own (svam) body (kāyam), (can)not see (apaśyan) bodily (kāya) purity (śuddhim) (even) by cleaning (it) (ākṣālayan) with clay --to rub the skin-- (mṛt), water (jala), etc. (ādibhiḥ). How (then) (katham) is he going to come excessively into contact (atyantam eva... saṁsṛjyate) with the impure (aprayataiḥ)1  bodies --kāya(s)-- (kāyaiḥ) of other (people) (para)?||40||

1  The term "aprayataiḥ" is the instrumental case plural of "aprayata". "Aprayata" literally means, "not intent on devotion, not prepared in mind for any important action or performance". In other words, this word is here being used to designate the bodies of common people. On the contrary, the body of a great being is completely intent on devotion and prepared for any important action or performance. The translation "impure" is also valid, as "prayata" (the opposite term) means "pure" (and many other things, of course), specially for performing rituals.Return 


भाष्यम् — किञ्च —

सत्त्वशुद्धिसौमनस्यैकाग्र्येन्द्रियजयात्मदर्शनयोग्यत्वानि च॥४१॥

भवन्तीति वाक्यशेषः। शुचेः सत्त्वशुद्धिस्ततः सौमनस्यं तत एकाग्र्यं तत इन्द्रियजयस्ततश्चात्मदर्शनयोग्यत्वं बुद्धिसत्त्वस्य भवति। इत्येतच्छौचस्थैर्यादधिगम्यत इति॥४१॥

Bhaṣyam - Kiñca -

Sattvaśuddhisaumanasyaikāgryendriyajayātmadarśanayogyatvāni ca||41||

Bhavantīti vākyaśeṣaḥ| Śuceḥ sattvaśuddhistataḥ saumanasyaṁ tata aikāgryaṁ tata indriyajayastataścātmadarśanayogyatvaṁ buddhisattvasya bhavati| Ityetacchaucasthairyādadhigamyata iti||41||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Moreover (kiñca) -

(Besides, from Śauca or Cleanliness,) purity (śuddhi) of nature or disposition (sattva), satisfaction of mind (saumanasya), one-pointedness (aikāgrya), conquest (jaya) of the Indriya-s --5 Jñānendriya-s or powers of perception, and 5 Karmendriya-s or powers of action-- (indriya) (and) fitness or ability --yogyatva-- (yogyatvāni) for perceiving (darśana) the Self (ātma), (are) also (ca) (developed)||41||

(The word) "Ensue" (bhavanti iti)1  is to be supplied to the aphorism to complete the sentence (vākya-śeṣaḥ)|

From purification (śuce), purity (śuddhiḥ) of nature or disposition (sattva)2  (is acquired; and) from that (purity of nature or disposition) (tatas), satisfaction of mind (saumanasyam) (is gotten; and) from that (satisfaction of mind) (tatas), one-pointedness (aikāgryam) (is obtained; and) from that (one-pointedness) (tatas), (there is) conquest (jayaḥ) of the Indriya-s (indriya)3 ; and (ca) from that (conquest of the Indriya-s) (tatas), fitness or ability (yogyatvam) of Buddhisattva (buddhisattvasya)4  to perceive or realize (darśana) the Self (ātma) appears (bhavati)|

Thus (iti), this (etad) is attained (adhigamyate iti) through the establishment (sthairyāt) of Śauca or Cleanliness (śauca)||41||

1  That is, "those good qualities come to a Yogī". I chose to insert "are... developed" in my translation of the aphorism to complete the sentence, while Vyāsa chose to add "ensue" to it. Both of them act in a similar way. Choose the option you like better.Return 
2  "Purity of nature or disposition" can also be translated as "purity of heart". In short, it is "internal and natural purity".Return 
3  Even though the term "Indriya" is commonly translated as "senses", the technical meaning is the aggregate of 5 Jñānendriya-s (Powers of perception: powers of hearing, feeling by touch, seeing, tasting and smelling) and 5 Karmendriya-s (Powers of action: powers of speaking, handling, locomotion, excreting and sexual activity-restfulness).Return 
4  "Buddhisattva" is simply the sattvic or pure Buddhi (intellect). By means of this "special" intellect that results from the yogic practice, one can realize the Self.Return 


सन्तोषादनुत्तमसुखलाभः॥४२॥

भाष्यम् — तथा चोक्तं यच्च कामसुखं लोके यच्च दिव्यं महत्सुखम्। तृष्णाक्षयसुखस्थैरे नार्हतः षोडशीं कलामिति॥४२॥

Santoṣādanuttamasukhalābhaḥ||42||

Bhāṣyam - Tathā coktam yacca kāmasukhaṁ loke yacca divyaṁ mahatsukham| Tṛṣṇākṣayasukhasyaite nārhataḥ ṣoḍaśīṁ kalāmiti||42||


From Santoṣa or Contentment (santoṣāt); (there is) acquisition (lābhaḥ) of unsurpassed (anuttama) happiness (sukha)||42||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Accordingly (tathā ca), it has been said (uktam): "(There are) both (yad ca) the happiness (sukham) (which is obtained by fulfilling) desires (kāma) in (this) world (loke) and (yad ca) the great (mahat) heavenly (divyam) happiness (sukham)|

These (kinds of happiness) (ete) are not (na) worth (arhataḥ) one-sixteenth (ṣoḍaśīm) part (kalām) of the happiness (sukhasya) (coming from) the cessation (kṣaya) of desires (tṛṣṇā... iti)"||42||

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 Aphorisms II-43 to II-49

कायेन्द्रियसिद्धिरशुद्धिक्षयात्तपसः॥४३॥

भाष्यम् — निर्वर्त्त्यमानमेव तपो हिनस्त्यशुद्ध्यावरणमलं तदावरणमलापगमात्कायसिद्धिरणिमाद्या तथेन्द्रियसिद्धिर्दूरच्छ्रवणदर्शनाद्येति॥४३॥

Kāyendriyasiddhiraśuddhikṣayāttapasaḥ||43||

Bhāṣyam - Nirvarttyamānameva tapo hinastyaśuddhyāvaraṇamalaṁ tadāvaraṇamalāpagamātkāyasiddhiraṇimādyā tathendriyasiddhirdūracchravaṇadarśanādyeti||43||


Perfection (siddhiḥ) of body (kāya) and Indriya-s --5 Jñānendriya-s or powers of perception, and 5 Karmendriya-s or powers of action-- (indriya) (is acquired) through Tapas or Austerity (tapasaḥ), which brings about destruction (kṣayāt) of impurities (aśuddhi)||43||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - (When) the austerity (tapas) is performed (nirvarttyamānam eva), it destroys (hinasti) the veil (āvaraṇa-malam) of impurity (aśuddhi). Then (tadā), with the "departure" (apagamāt)1  of (that) veil (āvaraṇa-mala), the bodily (kāya) perfection or siddhi (siddhiḥ) (in the form of) Aṇimā --minimization-- (aṇimā)2 , etc. (ādyā), as well as (tathā) the perfection or siddhi (siddhiḥ) of the Indriya-s (indriya)3  (in the form) of clairaudience (dūrāt śravaṇa), clairvoyance (dūrāt... darśana), etc. (ādyā-iti) (arise)||43||

1  In other words, "removal".Return 
2  The supernatural power that allows a Yogī to become small like an atom and to be invisible thereby.Return 
3  See note 3 under stanza 41 of this section.Return 


स्वाध्यायादिष्टदेवतासम्प्रयोगः॥४४॥

भाष्यम् — देवा ऋषयः सिद्धाश्च स्वाध्यायशीलस्य दर्शनं गच्छन्ति कार्ये चास्य वर्त्तन्त इति॥४४॥

Svādhyāyādiṣṭadevatāsamprayogaḥ||44||

Bhāṣyam - Devāḥ ṛṣayaḥ siddhāśca svādhyāyaśīlasya darśanaṁ gacchanti kārye cāsya varttanta iti||44||


Union or communion (samprayogaḥ) with the desired or chosen (iṣṭa) deity (devatā) (is obtained) from Svādhyāya or Study and Recitation of Sacred Scriptures (svādhyāyāt)||44||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Gods (devāḥ), seers (ṛṣayaḥ) and (ca) siddha-s (siddhāḥ)1  become visible (darśanam gacchanti) to one who practices (śīlasya) Svādhyāya (svādhyāya), and (ca) (those very beings even) are intent on (fulfilling or accomplishing) (varttante2  iti) the purposes or goals (kārye) of this (Yogī) (asya)||44||

1  By "siddha", Vyāsa is not referring to the "perfected or enlightened beings", but a kind of celestial beings.Return 
2  This word may be written "vartante" too.Return 


समाधिसिद्धिरीश्वरप्रणिधानात्॥४५॥

भाष्यम् — ईश्वरार्पितसर्वभावस्य समाधिसिद्धिर्यया सर्वमीप्सितमवितथं जानाति देशान्तरे देहान्तरे कालान्तरे च ततोऽस्य प्रज्ञा यथाभूतं प्रजानातीति॥४५॥

Samādhisiddhirīśvarapraṇidhānāt||45||

Bhāṣyam - Īśvarārpitasarvabhāvasya samādhisiddhiryayā sarvamīpsitamavitathaṁ jānāti deśāntare dehāntare kālāntare ca tato'sya prajñā yathābhūtaṁ prajānātīti||45||


Perfection or complete attainment (siddhiḥ) of Samādhi or Perfect Concentration (samādhi) (is achieved) through devotion (praṇidhānāt) to the Lord (īśvara)||45||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - (There is) achievement or perfection (siddhiḥ) of Samādhi or Perfect Absorption (samādhi) to (a Yogī) who offers (arpita) all (his) (sarva) states --bhāva(s)-- (bhāvasya) to the Lord (īśvara). Through (that achievement or perfection) (yayā), (such a Yogī) knows (jānāti) all (sarvam) that is truly (avitatham) desired (to be known) (īpsitam). (For instance, he can know all that occurred) in another (antare) place (deśa), in another (antare) body (deha) and (ca) at another (antare) time (kāla). Thereby (tatas), his (asya) wisdom and deep understanding (prajñā) knows (prajānāti iti) (the things) just as (tathā) they are (bhūtam)||45||


भाष्यम् — उक्ताः सह सिद्धिभिर्यमनियमा आसनादीनि वक्ष्यामः। तत्र —

स्थिरसुखमासनम्॥४६॥

तद्यथा पद्मासनं वीरासनं भद्रासनं स्वस्तिकं दण्डासनं सोपाश्रयं पर्यङ्कं क्रौञ्चनिषदनं हस्तिनिषदनमुष्ट्रनिषदनं समसंस्थानं स्थिरसुखं यथासुखञ्च इत्येवमादीति॥४६॥

Bhaṣyam - Uktāḥ saha siddhibhiryamaniyamā āsanādīni vakṣyāmaḥ| Tatra -

Sthirasukhamāsanam||46||

Tadyathā padmāsanaṁ vīrāsanaṁ bhadrāsanaṁ svastikaṁ daṇḍāsanaṁ sopāśrayaṁ paryaṅkaṁ krauñcaniṣadanaṁ hastiniṣadanamuṣṭraniṣadanaṁ samasaṁsthānaṁ sthirasukhaṁ yathāsukhañca ityevamādīti||46||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Restraints (yama) (and) Observances --Niyama-- (niyamāḥ) have been described (uktāḥ) together with (saha) (their) perfections or siddhi-s (siddhibhiḥ). (Now,) we will speak (vakṣyamāḥ) of Āsana or Posture (āsana), etc. (ādīni)|

Regarding that (tatra), (Patañjali states the following) -

Posture (āsanam) (should be) firm (sthira) and agreeable --pleasant-- (sukham)||46||

(The main postures are) as here follows (tad yathā): Padmāsana (padmāsanam), Vīrāsana (vīrāsanam), Bhadrāsana (bhadrāsanam), Svastika (svastikam), Daṇḍāsana (daṇḍāsanam), Sopāśraya (sopāśrayam), Paryaṅka (paryaṅkam), Krauñcaniṣadana (krauñcaniṣadanam), Hastiniṣadana (hastiniṣadanam), Uṣṭraniṣadana (uṣṭraniṣadanam) (and) Samasaṁsthāna (samasaṁsthānam). (When those postures are) firm (sthira) (and) agreeable --i.e. pleasant-- (sukham), and (ca) (they can be held) at will (yathāsukham), (they are known as true Yogic Postures), and so forth (iti-evam-ādi iti)||46||


प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्तसमापत्तिभ्याम्॥४७॥

भाष्यम् — भवतीति वाक्यशेषः। प्रयत्नोपरमात् सिध्यत्यासनं येन नाङ्गमेजयो भवति। अनन्ते वा समापन्नं चित्तमासनन्निर्वर्त्तयतीति॥४७॥

Prayatnaśaithilyānantasamāpattibhyām||47||

Bhāṣyam - Bhavatīti vākyaśeṣaḥ| Prayatnoparamāt sidhyatyāsanaṁ yena nāṅgamejayo bhavati| Anante vā samāpannaṁ cittamāsanannirvarttayatīti||47||


By means of relaxation (śaithilya) of effort (prayatna) and absorption --samāpatti-- (samāpattibhyām) in the infinite --i.e. "in the infinite space around"-- (ananta) (Āsana or Posture is perfected)||47||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - "(Perfection in Āsana) occurs (bhavati iti)1 ", is to be supplied to the aphorism to complete the sentence (vākya-śeṣaḥ)|

By cessation (uparamāt) of effort (prayatna), Āsana or Posture (āsanam) is perfected (sidhyati). Through that (cessation) (yena), there is (bhavati) not (na) shaking (ejayaḥ) of the limbs or body (aṅgam)|

Or (on the other hand) (vā), a mind (cittam) concentrated (samāpannam) on the infinite (space) (anante) accomplishes (nirvarttayati2  iti) Āsana or Posture (āsanam)||47||

1  I added "Āsana or Posture is perfected" in my translation of the aphorism. The same thing after all.Return 
2  This word may also be written "nirvartayati".Return 


ततो द्वन्द्वानभिघातः॥४८॥

भाष्यम् — शीतोष्णादिभिर्द्वन्द्वैरासनजयान्नाभिभूयते॥४८॥

Tato dvandvānabhighātaḥ||48||

Bhāṣyam - Śītoṣṇādibhirdvandvairāsanajayānnābhibhūyate||48||


From that (tatas), (there is) immunity (anabhighātaḥ) with regard to the pairs of opposites (dvandva)||48||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Through the conquest (jayāt) of Āsana or Posture (āsana), (the Yogī) is not (na) overcome (abhibhūyate) by pairs of opposites (dvandvaiḥ) (such as) cold (śīta) (and) heat (uṣṇa), etc. (ādibhiḥ)||48||


तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः॥४९॥

भाष्यम् — सत्यासनजये वाह्यस्य वायोराचमनं श्वासः कौष्ठ्यस्य वायोर्निःसारणं प्रश्वासस्तयोर्गतिविच्छेद उभयाभावः प्राणायामः॥४९॥

Tasminsati śvāsapraśvāsayorgativicchedaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ||49||

Bhāṣyam - Satyāsanajaye vāhyasya vāyorācamanaṁ śvāsaḥ kauṣṭhyasya vāyorniḥsāraṇaṁ praśvāsastayorgativiccheda ubhayābhāvaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ||49||


Once that (tasmin) (Āsana or Posture) has been (perfected) (sati), Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāmaḥ), (which) is the suspension (vicchedaḥ) of the flow (gati) of inhalation (śvāsa) and exhalation --praśvāsa-- (praśvāsayoḥ), (should be developed)||49||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Having conquered (jaye) the genuine (satya) Āsana or Posture (āsana), suspension (vicchedaḥ) of the flow or movement (gati) of those two (tayoḥ) (or) absence (abhāvaḥ) of them both (ubhaya), (that is, of) inhalation (śvāsaḥ) [absorption (ācamanam) of external (vāhyasya) air --vāyu-- (vāyoḥ)] (and) exhalation (praśvāsaḥ) [expulsion (niḥsāraṇam) of internal (kauṣṭhyasya)1  air --vāyu-- (vāyoḥ)] (is) Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāmaḥ)||49||

1  The term "kauṣṭhyasya" literally means "of (something) contained in the abdomen", air in this case.Return 

top


 Aphorisms II-50 to II-55

भाष्यम् — स तु —

वाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिः देशकालसङ्ख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः॥५०॥

यत्र प्रश्वासपूर्वको गत्यभावः स वाह्यः यत्र श्वासपूर्वको गत्यभावः स आभ्यन्तरः। तृतीयः स्तम्भवृत्तिर्यत्रोभयाभावः सकृत्प्रयत्नाद्भवति यथा तप्ते न्यस्तमुपले जलं सर्वतः सङ्कोचमापद्येत तथा द्वयोर्युगपद् भवत्यभाव इति। त्रयोऽप्येते देशेन परिदृष्टाः — इयानस्य विषयो देश इति। कालेन परिदृष्टाः — क्षणानामियत्तावधारणेनावच्छिन्ना इत्यर्थः। सङ्ख्याभिः परिदृष्टाः — एतावद्भिः श्वासप्रश्वासैः प्रथम उद्घातस्तद्वन्निगृहीतस्यैतावद्भिर्द्वितीय उद्घात एवं तृतीय एवं मृदुरेवं मध्य एवं तीव्र इति सङ्ख्यापरिदृष्टः। स खल्वयमेवमभ्यस्तो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः॥५०॥

Bhaṣyam - Sa tu -

Vāhyābhyantarastambhavṛttirdeśakālasaṅkhyābhiḥ paridṛṣṭo dīrghasūkṣmaḥ||50||

Yatra praśvāsapūrvako gatyabhāvaḥ sa vāhyaḥ yatra śvāsapūrvako gatyabhāvaḥ sa ābhyantaraḥ| Tṛtīyaḥ stambhavṛttiryatrobhayābhāvaḥ sakṛtprayatnādbhavati yathā tapte nyastamupale jalaṁ sarvataḥ saṅkocamāpadyeta tathā dvayoryugapad bhavatyabhāva iti| Trayo'pyete deśena paridriṣṭāḥ - iyānasya viṣayo deśa iti| Kālena paridṛṣṭāḥ - kṣaṇānāmiyattāvadhāraṇenāvacchinnā ityarthaḥ| Saṅkhyābhiḥ paridṛṣṭāḥ - etāvadbhiḥ śvāsapraśvāsaiḥ prathama udghātastadvannigṛhītasyaitāvadbhirdvitīya udghāta evaṁ tṛtīya evaṁ mṛdurevaṁ madhya evaṁ tīvra iti saṅkhyāparidṛṣṭaḥ| Sa khalvayamevamabhyasto dīrghasūkṣmaḥ||50||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - But (tu) it (i.e. Prāṇāyāma) (saḥ) -

(Prāṇāyāma) has (three) Operation(s) (vṛttiḥ): (1) External (vāhya), (2) Internal (ābhyantara) and (3) Suppression (stambha). (And when Prāṇāyāma is) observed (paridṛṣṭaḥ) according to space (deśa), time (kāla) and number --saṅkhyā-- (saṅkhyābhiḥ), it becomes long (dīrgha) and subtle (sūkṣmaḥ)||50||

Where (yatra) (there is) absence (abhāvaḥ) of flow or movement (gati), after (pūrvakaḥ) exhalation (praśvāsa), that (saḥ) (is) an External (Operation or Vṛtti) (vāhyaḥ). (In turn,) where (yatra) (there is) absence (abhāvaḥ) of flow or movement (gati) after (pūrvakaḥ) inhalation (śvāsa), that (saḥ) (is) an Internal (Operation or Vṛtti) (ābhyantaraḥ)|

The third (tṛtīyaḥ) (Operation or Vṛtti is) Stambhavṛtti or Suppression (stambha-vṛttiḥ), in which (yatra) (there is) absence (abhāvaḥ) of both --i.e. External and Internal Operations-- (ubhaya). (This Suppression or Stambhavṛtti) is (bhavati) (accomplished) by an only (sakṛt) effort --prayatna-- (prayatnāt). Just as (yathā) water (jalam) dropped (nyasta) on a hot (tapte) stone (upale) shrinks (saṅkocam āpadyeta) from all sides (sarvatas), so (tathā) there is (bhavati) absence (abhāvaḥ iti) of the two --i.e. External and Internal Operations-- (dvayoḥ) simultaneously (yugapad)|

These (ete) three (Operations) (trayaḥ) (are) also (api) (1) observed (paridṛṣṭāḥ) according to space (deśena) [(i.e.) "so much (iyān) space (deśaḥ) (is) its (asya) sphere of influence or activity (viṣayaḥ... iti)"]|

(2) Observed (paridṛṣṭāḥ) according to time (kālena) ["extent (iyattā) distinguished (avacchinnā) by an accurate calculation or determination (avadhāraṇena) of moments (kṣaṇānām)", this is the meaning (iti arthaḥ)]|

(3) Observed (paridṛṣṭāḥ) according to number (saṅkhyābhiḥ)1  ["the first (prathamaḥ) udghāta or stroke (udghātaḥ)2  (is calculated or determined) by so many (etāvadbhiḥ) inhalations (śvāsa) (and) exhalations --praśvāsa(s)-- (praśvāsaiḥ); similarly (tad-vat), the second (dvitīyaḥ) udghāta or stroke (udghātaḥ)3  (is calculated or determined) by so many (inhalations and exhalations) (etāvadbhiḥ) of restrained or regulated (flow of air) (nigṛhītasya); (and) in such a manner (evam) the third (udghāta or stroke) (tṛtīyaḥ)4  (proceeds the same way; these three are known as) mṛdu or mild (mṛduḥ), madhya or moderate (madhyaḥ) (and) tīvra or intense (tīvraḥ), respectively (evam... evam... evam... iti)". (Therefore, as it was stated previously, this is Prāṇāyāma) observed (paridṛṣṭaḥ) according to number (saṅkhyā)]|

(When) this very (saḥ... ayam) (Prāṇāyāma is) certainly (khalu) thus (evam) practiced (abhyastaḥ), (becomes) long (dīrgha) (and) subtle (sūkṣmaḥ)||50||

1  "Saṅkhyābhiḥ" literally means "according to numbers" (plural), but I chose the singular form to keep a good sentence structure.Return 
2  One "mātrā" is a "normal" cycle of inhalation/exhalation (about 4 seconds). The first udghāta or stroke comprises 12 mātrā-s (about 48 seconds). This is the time in which a "beginner" in Prāṇāyāma does not feel uneasiness while practicing it.Return 
3  One "mātrā" is a "normal" cycle of inhalation/exhalation (about 4 seconds). The second udghāta or stroke comprises 24 mātrā-s (about 96 seconds). It should not be practiced by a beginner.Return 
4  One "mātrā" is a "normal" cycle of inhalation/exhalation (about 4 seconds). The third udghāta or stroke comprises 36 mātrā-s (about 144 seconds). This is intended only for "advanced" practitioners.Return 


वाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः॥५१॥

भाष्यम् — देशकालसङ्ख्याभिर्वाह्यविषयः परिदृष्ट आक्षिप्तस्तथाभ्यन्तरविषयः परिदृष्ट आक्षिप्त उभयथा दीर्घसूक्ष्मः। तत्पूर्वको भूमिजयात्क्रमेणोभयोर्गत्यभावश्चतुर्थः प्राणायामः। तृतीयस्तु विषयानालोचितो गत्यभावः सकृदारब्ध एव देशकालसङ्ख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः। चतुर्थस्तु श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्विषयावधारणात्क्रमेण भूमिजयादुभयाक्षेपपूर्वको गत्यभावश्चतुर्थः प्राणायाम इत्ययं विशेषः॥५१॥

Vāhyābhyantaraviṣayākṣepī caturthaḥ||51||

Bhāṣyam - Deśakālasaṅkhyābhirvāhyaviṣayaḥ paridṛṣṭa ākṣiptastathābhyantaraviṣayaḥ paridṛṣṭa ākṣipta ubhayathā dīrghasūkṣmaḥ| Tatpūrvako bhūmijayātkrameṇobhayorgatyabhāvaścaturthaḥ prāṇāyāmaḥ| Tṛtīyastu viṣayānālocito gatyabhāvaḥ sakṛdārabdha eva deśakālasaṅkhyābhiḥ paridṛṣṭo dīrghasūkṣmaḥ| Caturthastu śvāsapraśvāsayorviṣayāvadhāraṇātkrameṇa bhūmijayādubhayākṣepapūrvako gatyabhāvaścaturthaḥ prāṇāyāma ityayaṁ viśeṣaḥ||51||


The fourth (kind of Prāṇāyāma) (caturthaḥ) transcends or excels (ākṣepī) the sphere of influence (viṣaya) of External (vāhya) and Internal (ābhyantara) (Operations)||51||

(When) the external (Vṛtti or Operation) (vāhya-viṣayaḥ)1 , observed (paridṛṣṭah) according to space (deśa), time (kāla) (and) number --saṅkhyā-- (saṅkhyābhiḥ), is transcended (ākṣiptaḥ), (and) in like manner (tathā), (when) the internal (Vṛtti or Operation) (ābhyantara-viṣayaḥ)2 , (similarly) observed (paridṛṣṭaḥ), is (also) transcended (ākṣiptaḥ), in both cases (ubhyathā) (Prāṇāyāma becomes) long (dīrgha) (and) subtle (sūkṣmaḥ)|

After (pūrvakaḥ) (that initial) stage (of Prāṇāyāma) (bhūmi), gradual (krameṇa) absence (abhāvaḥ) of flow or movement (gati) in both (Vṛtti-s or Operations) (ubhayoḥ) (is) the fourth (caturthaḥ) Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāmaḥ)|

But (tu), the third (Prāṇāyāma) (tṛtīyaḥ), (which consists of) absence (abhāva) of flow or movement (gati) attained (ārabdaḥ eva) with only one (effort) (sakṛt), regardless (anālocitaḥ) the spheres of influence and activity --i.e. space, time and number-- (viṣaya), (becomes) long (dīrgha) (and) subtle (sūkṣmaḥ) (when) observed (paridṛṣṭaḥ) according to space (deśa), time (kāla) (and) number --saṅkhyā-- (saṅkhyābhiḥ)|

However (tu), the fourth (Prāṇāyāma) (caturthaḥ) (is as follows:) "Having conquered (jayāt) the stage (constituted by the first three Prāṇāyāma-s) (bhūmi) by ascertaining and accurately determining (avadhāraṇena) the sphere of influence and activity (viṣayaḥ) of inhalation (śvāsa) (and) exhalation --praśvāsa-- (praśvāsayoḥ)3 , the fourth (caturthaḥ) Prāṇāyāma (prānāyāmaḥ) (is) gradual (krameṇa) absence (abhāvaḥ) of flow or movement (gati) after (pūrvakaḥ) transcending (ākṣepa) them both --i.e. inhalation and exhalation-- (ubhaya... iti)". This (ayam) (is) the difference (viśeṣaḥ) (between the third and the fourth Prāṇāyāma-s)||51||

1  Literally: "whose sphere (viṣayaḥ) is external (vāhya)".Return 
2  Literally: "whose sphere (viṣayaḥ) is internal (ābhyantara)".Return 
3  In sum, by practicing the three first Prāṇāyāma-s according to space, time and number.Return 


ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्॥५२॥

भाष्यम् — प्राणायामानभ्यस्यतोऽस्य योगिनः क्षीयते विवेकज्ञानावरणीयं कर्म यत्तदाचक्षते महामोहमयेनेन्द्रजालेन प्रकाशशीलं सत्त्वमावृत्य तदेवाकार्ये नियुङ्क्ते इति। तदस्य प्रकाशावरणं कर्म संसारनिबन्धनं प्राणायामाभ्यासाद्दुर्बलं भवति प्रतिक्षणं च क्षीयते। तथा चोक्तं तपो न परं प्राणायामात्ततो विशुद्धिर्मलानां दीप्तिश्च ज्ञानस्येति॥५२॥

Tataḥ kṣīyate prakāśāvaraṇam||52||

Bhāṣyam - Prāṇāyāmānabhyasyato'sya yoginaḥ kṣīyate vivekajñānāvaraṇīyaṁ karma yattadācakṣate mahāmohamayenendrajālena prakāśaśīlaṁ sattvamāvṛtya tadevākārye niyuṅkta iti| Tadasya prakāśāvaraṇaṁ karma saṁsāranibandhanaṁ prāṇāyāmābhyāsāddurbalaṁ bhavati pratikaṇaṁ ca kṣīyate| Tathā coktaṁ tapo na paraṁ prāṇāyāmāttato viśuddhirmalānāṁ dīptiśca jñānasyeti||52||


Through that (tatas), the veil (āvaraṇam) over Prakāśa --i.e. "over the revelation of true knowledge"-- (prakāśa) is attenuated (kṣīyate)||52||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - To this (asya) Yogī (yoginaḥ) who practices (abhyasyataḥ) the (abovementioned) Prāṇāyāmā-s (prāṇāyāmān), the Karma (karma) veiling (āvaraṇīyam) discriminative (viveka) knowledge (jñāna) is diminished (kṣīyate). (The sages) describe (ācakṣate) that (tad) very (Karma) (yad) (in the following manner:) "That (Karma) (tad), after having veiled (āvṛtya) Buddhisattva (sattvam)1 , whose nature (śīlam) (is) light (prakāśa), through the illusive magic (indrajālena)2  consisting (mayena) of the great (mahā) (mental) confusion or infatuation (moha), indeed (eva) directs (that very Buddhisattva) (niyuṇkte) to improper actions or deeds (akārye... iti)"|

By means of the practice (abhyāsāt) of Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāma), that (tad) Karma (ācamanam) veiling (āvaraṇam) the light (prakāśa) of this (Buddhisattva) (asya) (and) causing (nibandhanam) Saṁsāra or Transmigration (saṁsāra)3 , becomes (bhavati) weak (durlabam) and (ca) is continually diminished (pratikṣaṇam... kṣīyate)|

Accordingly (tathā ca), it has been said that (uktam): "There is no (na) Tapas or Austerity (tapas) superior (param) to Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāmāt). From that (Prāṇāyāma) (tatas), (a Yogī experiences) purification (viśuddhiḥ) of impurities (malānām) and (ca) the light (dīptiḥ) of knowledge (jñānasya iti)"||52||

1  See note 4 under stanza 41 of this section.Return 
2  Literally, "through the net of Indra".Return 
3  See note 6 under stanza 32 of this section.Return 


भाष्यम् — किञ्च —

धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः॥५३॥

प्राणायामाभ्यासादेव। प्रच्छर्दनविधारणाभ्यां वा प्राणस्य इति वचनात्॥५३॥

Bhaṣyam - Kiñca -

Dhāraṇāsu ca yogyatā manasaḥ||53||

Prāṇāyāmābhyāsādeva| Pracchardanavidhāraṇābhyāṁ vā prāṇasya iti vacanāt||53||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Moreover (kiñca) -

Mental (manasaḥ) fitness or aptitude (yogyatā) for the dhāraṇā-s or concentration practices (dhāraṇāsu) (is) also (ca) (developed)||53||

(That fitness is achieved) through the practice (abhyāsāt) of Prāṇāyāma (prāṇāyāma) indeed (eva)|

"Or (vā) by exhalation (pracchardana) (and) retention --vidhāraṇa-- (vidhāraṇābhyāḥ) of prāṇa or vital energy (prāṇasya iti)", according to a (previous) statement (vacanāt)||53||


भाष्यम् — अथ कः प्रत्याहारः —

स्वविषयासम्प्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः॥५४॥

स्वविषयसम्प्रयोगाभावे चित्तस्वरूपानुकार इवेति चित्तनिरोधे चित्तवन्निरुद्धानीन्द्रियाणि नेतरेन्द्रियजयवदुपायान्तरमपेक्षन्ते। यथा मधुकरराजं मक्षिका उत्पतन्तमनुपतन्ति निविशमानमनु निविशन्ते तथेन्द्रियाणि चित्तनिरोधे निरुद्धानीत्येष प्रत्याहारः॥५४॥

Bhaṣyam - Atha kaḥ pratyāhāraḥ -

Svaviṣayāsamprayoge cittasya svarūpānukāra ivendriyāṇāṁ pratyāhāraḥ||54||

Svaviṣayasamprayogābhāve cittasvarūpānukāra iveti cittanirodhe cittavanniruddhānīndriyāṇi netarendriyajayavadupāyāntaramapekṣante| Yathā madhukararājaṁ makṣikā utpatantamanupatanti niviśamānamanu niviśante tathendriyāṇi cittanirodhe niruddhānītyeṣa pratyāhāraḥ||54||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Now (atha), what (kaḥ) (is) Pratyāhāra (pratyāhāraḥ)? -

Pratyāhāra or the Withdrawal (pratyāhāraḥ) of Indriya-s --5 Jñānendriya-s or powers of perception, and 5 Karmendriya-s or powers of action-- (indriyāṇām) (is), as it were (iva), a following (anukāraḥ) the essential nature (sva-rūpa) of mind (cittasya) (by those very Indriya-s), when separated (asamprayoge) from their (corresponding) (sva) objects (viṣaya)||54||

(In short:) "When there is absence (abhāve) of contact (samprayoga) with their own (sva) objects (viṣaya), there is an 'anukāra or following' (anukāraḥ) the true nature (sva-rūpa) of the mind (citta) (by the Indriya-s), as it were (iva iti)". (Thus,) when there is suppression (nirodhe) of the mind (citta), the Indriya-s (indriyāṇi) (are) suppressed (niruddhāni) like (vat) the mind (citta), (and the Yogī-s) do not (na) need (apekṣante) other (antaram) means (upāya) (to be) victorious (jayavat) over the different (itara) Indriya-s (indriya)|

Just as (yathā) the bees (makṣikāḥ) fly (anupatanti) after the queen bee (madhukararājam) that flies upward (utpatantam), (and) they come to rest (niviśante) after (anu) she comes to rest (niviśamānam), so (tathā), the Indriya-s (indriyāṇi) are suppressed (niruddhāni) when there is suppression (nirodhe) of the mind (citta). This (iti eṣaḥ), (is) Pratyāhāra (pratyāhāraḥ)||54||


ततः परमा वश्यतेन्द्रियाणाम्॥५५॥

भाष्यम् — शब्दादिष्वव्यसनम् इन्द्रियजय इति केचित् सक्तिर्व्यसनं व्यस्यत्येनं श्रेयस इति। अविरुद्धा प्रतिपत्तिर्न्याय्या। शब्दादिसम्प्रयोगः स्वेच्छयेत्यन्ये। रागद्वेषाभावे सुखदुःखशून्यं शब्दादिज्ञानमिन्द्रियजय इति केचित्। चित्तैकाग्र्यादप्रतिपत्तिरेवेति जैगीषव्यः। ततश्च परमा त्वियं वश्यता यच्चित्तनिरोधे निरुद्धानीन्द्रियाणि नेतरेन्द्रियजयवत्प्रयत्रकृतमुपायान्तरमपेक्षन्ते योगिन इति॥५५॥

इति श्रीपातञ्जले साङ्ख्यप्रवचने वैयासिके साधनपादो द्वितीयः।

Tataḥ paramā vaśyatendriyāṇām||55||

Bhāṣyam - Śabdādiṣvavyasanam indriyajaya iti kecit saktirvyasanaṁ vyasyatyenaṁ śreyasa iti| Aviruddhā pratipattirnyāyyā| Śabdādisamprayogaḥ svecchayetyanye| Rāgadveṣābhāve sukhaduḥkhaśūnyaṁ śabdādijñānamindriyajaya iti kecit| Cittaikāgryādapratipattireveti jaigīṣavyaḥ| Tataśca paramā tviyaṁ vaśyatā yaccittanirodhe niruddhānīndriyāṇi netarendriyajayavatprayatrakṛtamupāyāntaramapekṣante yogina iti||55||

Iti śrīpātañjale sāṅkhyapravacane vaiyāsike sādhanapādo dvitīyaḥ|


From that (Pratyāhāra or Withdrawal) (tatas), supreme (paramā) mastery or control (vaśyatā) of the Indriya-s --5 Jñānendriya-s or powers of perception, and 5 Karmendriya-s or powers of action-- (indriyāṇām) (arises)||55||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Some (kecid) (opine that:) "the conquest (jayaḥ) of the Indriya-s (indriya) (is) 'Avyasana' or absence of attachment (avyasanam) to sounds (śabda), etc. (ādiṣu... iti)". (The term) 'Vyasana' (vyasanam) (or) attachment (saktiḥ) drives (vyasyati) him --i.e. the Yogī-- (enam) away from "what is good" (śreyasaḥ iti)1 |

(In turn, some say that,) inclination (to the objects of the senses) (pratipattiḥ) which is not incompatible (with the scriptural statements) (aviruddhā) is the right way (nyāyā). (In other words, this would be conquest of the Indriya-s according to them)|

Others (anye) (say that:) "Contact (samprayoga) with (objects such as) sound (śabda), etc. (ādi) out of one's own (sva) will (icchayā iti) (is conquest of the Indriya-s)"|

(Again,) some (kecid) (declare that:) "Knowledge (jñānam) of sound (śabda), etc. (ādi), without (śūnyam) (feelings of) pleasure (sukha) (and) pain (duḥkha) because of absence (abhāve) of attachment (rāga) (and) aversion (dveṣa), (is) conquest (jayaḥ) of the Indriya-s (indriya... iti)"|

(The great sage) Jaigīṣavya (jaigīṣavyaḥ) (states that:) "Through mental (citta) concentration or one-pointedness (aikāgryāt), disinclination (to the objects of the senses) (apratipattiḥ) (is attained) indeed (eva iti)". (And this would be conquest of the Indriya-s according to him)|

Thence (tataḥ ca), this (iyam) (definition by Jaigīṣavya indicates) certainly (tu) the supreme (paramā) control (vaśyatā) (in) which (yad) when there is suppression (nirodhe) of the mind (citta), the Indriya-s (indriyāṇi) (are also) suppressed (niruddhāni). (Then,) the Yogī-s (yoginaḥ iti) do not (na) require (apekṣante) other (antaram) means (upāya) (or forms of) effort (prayatna-kṛtam) (to be) victorious (bhāṣyam) over the different (itara) Indriya-s (indriya)||55||

Thus concludes (iti) the second (dvitīyaḥ) section (pādaḥ) (dealing with) practice (sādhana) in the (commentary) composed by Vyāsa (vaiyāsike) (known as) "Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra" (sāṅkhyapravacane) on venerable (śrī) Patañjali's Yogasūtra-s (pātañjale)|2 

1  The word "śreyasaḥ" means "of śreyas". The term "śreyas" indicates all that is good as well as righteousness, welfare, etc.Return 
2  Of course, Vyāsa concludes the second section of his commentary (Sāṅkhyapravacanasūtra, which includes Pātañjalayogasūtra-s) coincidentally with the conclusion of the second section of the Patañjali's Yogasūtra-s.Return 

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 Aphorisms III-1 to III-8

भाष्यम् — उक्तानि पञ्चवहिरङ्गानि साधनानि धारणा वक्तव्या —

देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा॥१॥

नाभिचक्रे हृदयपुण्डरीके मूर्द्ध्नि ज्योतिषि नासिकाग्रे जिह्वाग्र इत्येवमादिषु देशेषु वाह्ये वा विषये चित्तस्य वृत्तमात्रेण बन्ध इति धारणा॥१॥

Bhaṣyam - Uktāni pañcavahiraṅgāni sādhanāni dhāraṇā vaktavyā -

Deśabandhaścittasya dhāraṇā||1||

Nābhicakre hṛdayapuṇḍarīke mūrddhni jyotiṣi nāsikāgre jihvāgra ityevamādiṣu deśeṣu vāhye vā viṣaye cittasya vṛttimātreṇa bandha iti dhāraṇā||1||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - The five (pañca) external (bahis) aṅga-s --i.e. limbs-- (aṅgāni) (or) accessories (sādhanāni) (have been) described (uktāni) (in the previous section. Now,) Dhāraṇā --i.e. the sixth aṅga or limb-- (dhāraṇā) must be described (too) (vaktavyā) -

Concentration (dhāraṇā) is the mind's (cittasya) fixation (bandhaḥ) on one point (deśa)||1||

Dhāraṇā (dhāraṇā) (is) "fixation --i.e. Concentration-- (bandhaḥ) only (mātreṇa) of the mental (cittasya) vṛtti-s or modifications (vṛtti), (either) on the navel (nābhi) cakra (cakre), (or) on the lotus (puṇḍarīke) of the heart (hṛdaya)1 , (or) on the (effulgent) light (jyotiṣi) in the head (murddhni)2 , (or) on the tips (agre... agre) of the nose or tongue (nāsikā... jihvā), and so forth (iti evam ādiṣu), (or) on external (vāhye) spots (deśeṣu) (in the body, or) on an (external) object (viṣaye... iti)"||1||

1  These two lotus or cakra-s are technically known as "Maṇipūracakra" and "Anāhatacakra" respectively.Return 
2  This word may also be written "murdhni".Return 


तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम्॥२॥

भाष्यम् — तस्मिन्देशे ध्येयालम्बनस्य प्रत्ययस्यैकतानता सदृशः प्रवाहः प्रत्ययान्तरेणापरामृष्टो ध्यानम्॥२॥

Tatra pratyayaikatānatā dhyānam||2||

Bhāṣyam - Tasmindeśe dhyeyālambanasya pratyayasyaikatānatā sadṛśaḥ pravāhaḥ pratyayāntareṇāparāmṛṣṭo dhyānam||2||


In that --in Dhāraṇā-- (tatra), the continuous flow of similar (ekatānatā) mental modifications (pratyaya) is Meditation (dhyānam)||2||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Dhyāna --i.e. Meditation or the seventh limb or aṅga-- (dhyānam) (is) an "ekatānatā" (satya) (or) a continuous and coherent (sadṛśaḥ) flow (pravāhaḥ) of pratyaya(s) or mental modification(s) (pratyayasya) untouched --i.e. uninterrupted-- (aparāmṛṣṭaḥ) by other (antareṇa) pratyaya-s or thoughts (pratyaya) on the support (ālambanasya) of an object (of meditation) (dhyeya) (while it --i.e. the flow-- is confined) to that (tasmin) place (deśe) (mentioned by Vyāsa on the previous aphorism, that is, navel cakra, etc.)||2||


तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥

भाष्यम् — ध्यानमेव ध्येयाकारनिर्भासं प्रत्ययात्मकेन स्वरूपेण शून्यमिव यदा भवति ध्येयस्वभावावेशात्तदा समाधिरित्युच्यते॥३॥

Tadevārthamātranirbhāsaṁ svarūpaśūnyamiva samādhiḥ||3||

Bhāṣyam - Dhyānameva dhyeyākāranirbhāsaṁ pratyayātmakena svarūpeṇa śūnyamiva yadā bhavati dhyeyasvabhāvāveśāttadā samādhirityucyate||3||


Perfect Concentration (samādhiḥ) is just (eva) that (condition) (tad) in which only (mātra) the object (of concentration) (artha) shines forth (nirbhāsam), and the self (sva-rūpa) is absent (śūnyam), as it were (iva)||3||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - It is said that (iti ucyate) when (yadā) meditation (dhyānam) becomes (bhavati) (one in which only) the form (ākāra) of the object (dhyeya) shines forth (nirbhāsam) (and) is devoid (śūnyam), as it were (iva), of the self (sva-rūpeṇa) whose nature (ātmakena) (is) pratyaya or thought (pratyaya), then (tadā), by penetrating (āveśāt) into the essence (sva-bhāva) of the object (dhyeya), (that meditation is transformed into) Samādhi or Perfect Concentration (samādhiḥ)||3||


भाष्यम् — तदेतद्धारणाध्यानसमाधित्रयमेकत्र सम्यमः —

त्रयमेकत्र संयमः॥४॥

एकविषयाणि त्रीणि साधनानि संयम इत्युच्यते तदस्य त्रयस्य तान्त्रिकी परिभाषा संयम इति॥४॥

Bhaṣyam - Tadetaddhāraṇādhyānasamādhitrayamekatra saṁyamaḥ -

Trayamekatra saṁyamaḥ||4||

Ekaviṣayāṇi trīṇi sādhanāni saṁyama ityucyate tadasya trayasya tāntrikī paribhāṣā saṁyama iti||4||


Commentary (bhāṣyam) - This very (tad etad) triad (trayam) (composed of) Fixity or Concentration (dhāraṇā), Meditation (dhyāna) (and) Perfect Concentration (samādhi), (when) taken together and applied to a single object (ekatra) (is called) Saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ) -

The (abovementioned) triad --i.e. Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna and Samādhi-- (trayam) on a single object (ekatra) is Saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ)||4||

It is said that (iti ucyate) the three (trīṇi) (aforesaid) practices (sādhanāni), when directed to a single object (ekaviṣayāni) (are known as) Saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ). Therefore (tad), the technical (tāntrikī) definition (paribhāṣā) of this (asya) triad (trayasya) (is) "Saṁyama" (saṁyamaḥ)||4||


तज्जयात्प्रज्ञालोकः॥५॥

भाष्यम् — तस्य संयमस्य जयात् समाधिप्रज्ञाया भवत्यालोको यथा यथा संयमः स्थिरपदो भवति तथा तथा समाधिप्रज्ञा विशारदी भवति॥५॥

Tajjayātprajñālokaḥ||5||

Bhāṣyam - Tasya saṁyamasya jayāt samādhiprajñāyā bhavatyāloko yathā yathā saṁyamaḥ sthirapado bhavati tathā tathā samādhiprajñā viśāradī bhavati||5||


Through the conquest (jayāt) of that --i.e. Saṁyama-- (tad), the Light (ālokaḥ) of Wisdom (prajñā) (dawns)||5||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Through the conquest (jayāt) of that (tasya) Saṁyama (saṁyamasya), the light (ālokaḥ) of Prajñā or Wisdom (prajñāyāḥ) shines forth (bhavati). The more (yathā yathā) firmly rooted (sthira-padaḥ) Saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ) becomes (bhavati), the more (tathā tathā) serene and clearer (viśāradī) Prajñā or Wisdom (prajñā) (obtained in) Samādhi (samādhi) becomes (too) (bhavati)||5||


तस्य भूमिषु विनियोगः॥६॥

भाष्यम् — तस्य संयमस्य जितभूमेर्यानन्तरा भूमिस्तत्र विनियोगो न ह्यजिताऽधरभूमिरनन्तरभूमिं विलङ्घ्य प्रान्तभूमिषु संयमं लभते तदभावाच्च कुतस्तस्य प्रज्ञालोकः। ईश्वरप्रसादात् -ईश्वरप्रणिधानात्- जिहोत्तरभूमिकस्य च नाधरभूमिषु परचित्तज्ञानादिषु संयमो युक्तः कस्मात् तदर्थस्यान्यत एवावगतत्वात्। भूमेरस्या इयमनन्तरा भूमिरित्यत्र योग एवोपाध्यायः कथम् एवमुक्तं योगेन योगो ज्ञातव्यो योगो योगात्प्रवर्त्तते। योऽप्रमत्तस्तु योगेन स योगे रमते चिरमिति॥६॥

Tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ||6||

Bhāṣyam - Tasya saṁyamasya jitabhūmeryānantarā bhūmistatra viniyogo na hyajitā'dharabhūmiranantarabhūmiṁ vilaṅghya prāntabhūmiṣu saṁyamaṁ labhate tadabhāvācca kutastasya prajñālokaḥ| Īśvaraprasādāt -īśvarapraṇidhānāt- jitottarabhūmikasya ca nādharabhūmiṣu paracittajñānādiṣu saṁyamo yuktaḥ kasmāt tadarthasyānyata evāvagatatvāt| Bhūmerasyā iyamanantarā bhūmirityatra yoga evopādhyāyaḥ katham evamuktaṁ yogena yogo jñātavyo yogo yogātpravarttate| Yo'pramattastu yogena sa yoge ramate ciramiti||6||


(There must be) application (viniyogaḥ) of that (tasya) to the stages (of the practice) (bhūmiṣu)||6||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - Consequently (tatra), there is application (viniyogaḥ) of that (tasya) Saṁyama (saṁyamasya) (regarding a) stage (bhūmiḥ) other than --i.e. that follows-- (yā antarā) (that) stage (bhūmeḥ) which has been conquered (jita). (In other words, one must practice Saṁyama as regards the stage next to the one which has been mastered1 . One) does not (na) attain (labhate) to Saṁyama (saṁyamam) in the final (prānta) stages (bhūmiṣu) undoubtedly (hi) by (merely) rising up (vilaṅghya) to another (antara) stage (bhūmim) (if) the lower (adhara) stage (bhūmiḥ) has not been conquered (ajita). And (ca), in the absence (abhāvat) of that --i.e. of the previous stages before the last one-- (tad), how (kutas) (will) the (brilliant) light (ālokaḥ) of Wisdom (prajñā) (arise) in him --i.e. in the Yogī-- (tasya)?|

Besides (ca), he who has conquered (jita) a latter (uttara) stage --bhūmikā-- (bhūmikasya) by the favor (prasādāt) of the Lord (īśvara) -through devotion (praṇidhānāt) to the Lord (īśvara)- does not (na) (need to) make use of Saṁyama (saṁyamaḥ yuktaḥ) in respect of the lower (adhara) stages (bhūmiṣu) such as (acquiring) knowledge (jñāna) of the mind (citta) of another (para) --i.e. thought-reading--, etc. (ādiṣu). Why (kasmāt)? Because that (tad) goal --i.e. accomplishment of the lower stages-- (arthasya) has been attained or known (eva avagatatvāt) through other (means) (anyataḥ)|

A teacher (upādhyāyaḥ) in this (atra) Yoga --i.e. Samprajñātayoga, See note 1 below-- (yoge) truly (eva) (knows thus:) "This (iyam) stage (bhūmiḥ) comes immediately (anantarā) after this (asyāḥ) (other) stage (bhūmeḥ... iti)". How (katham)? (It has been) so (evam) declared (uktam): "Yoga (yogaḥ) is to be known (jñātavyaḥ) by Yoga (yogena) (and) Yoga (yogaḥ) conduces (pravarttate)2  to Yoga (yogāt)|3 

He (saḥ) who (yaḥ) (remains) attentive and vigilant (apramattaḥ), indeed (tu), by means of Yoga (yogena), delights (ramate) in Yoga (yoge) for a long time (ciram iti)"||6||

1 There are four stages in Samprajñātayoga (or the Yoga in which one gains and retains the knowledge of tattva-s --categories of Creation-- through intense concentration), viz. (1) Grāhyasamāpatti or absorption in the objects of concentration, (2) Grahaṇasamāpatti or absorption in the instruments of concentration, (3) Grahītṛsamāpatti or absorption in the perceiver or knower, and (4) Vivekakhyāti or stage in which one attains Discriminative Knowledge leading to Asamprajñātayoga (the Yoga beyond Samprajñātayoga), and finally to Enlightenment. One cannot reach the second stage without having conquered the first one and so on.Return 
2  This word may also be written "pravartate".Return 
3  This bar means a short pause but not the end of the quote, as it continues below as you can see.Return 


त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः॥७॥

भाष्यम् — तदेतद्धारनाध्यानसमाधित्रयम् अन्तरङ्गं सम्प्रज्ञातस्य समाधेः पूर्वेभ्यो यमादिसाधनेभ्य इति॥७॥

Trayamantaraṅgaṁ pūrvebhyaḥ||7||

Bhāṣyam - Tadetaddhāraṇādhyānasamādhitrayam antaraṅgam samprajñātasya samādheḥ pūrvebhyo yamādisādhanebhya iti||7||


The triad (of Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna and Samādhi) (trayam) (are more) internal (practices) (antaraṅgam) than the previous ones --i.e. Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma and Pratyāhāra-- (pūrvebhyaḥ) (within the framework of Samprajñātayoga)||7||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - This (etad) very (tad) triad (trayam) of Fixity or Concentration (dhāraṇā), Meditation (dhyāna) (and) Perfect Concentration (samādhi) (is more) internal (antaraṅgam) regarding Samādhi (samādheḥ) of Samprajñātayoga (śvāsaḥ)1  than the previously mentioned (pūrvebhyaḥ) accessories (or limbs) (sādhanebhyaḥ iti), (viz.) Yama (yama), etc.(ādi)||7||

1  See note 1 under stanza 6 of this section.Return 


तदपि वहिरङ्गं निर्वीजस्य॥८॥

भाष्यम् — तदपि अन्तरङ्गं साधनत्रयं निर्वीजस्य योगस्य वहिरङ्गं कस्मात्तदभावे भावादिति॥८॥

Tadapi vahiraṅgaṁ nirvījasya||8||

Bhāṣyam - Tadapi antaraṅgaṁ sādhanatrayaṁ nirvījasya yogasya vahiraṅgaṁ kasmāttadabhāve bhāvāditi||8||


(In turn,) that very triad (tad api) is external (vahiraṅgam) in respect of Nirvīja or seedless concentration --i.e. Asamprajñātayoga-- (nirvījasya)||8||

Commentary (bhāṣyam) - That (tad) triad (trayam) of accessories (or limbs) (sādhana) (which was previously considered to be) internal (antaraṅgam), (is) even (api) external (vahiraṅgam) regarding seedless (nirvījasya) Yoga (yogasya)1 . Why (kasmāt)? Because (that seedless Yoga) occurs (bhāvāt iti) when that (triad) (tad) is absent (abhāve)||8||

1  Seedless Yoga is Asamprajñātayoga or Yoga beyond Samprajñātayoga (See note 1 under stanza 6 of this section).Return 

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 Concluding Remarks

Oh, my God... this translation has been really a long one! I have spent an insane amount of time translating the Vyāsa's commentaries. Well, I think that it was worth the effort because you can now read what Vyāsa had to say about those Patañjali's aphorisms dealing with Aṣṭāṅgayoga. As you could see, the commentary by Vyāsa is profound but simple at the same time. I tried to explain all I could without getting to write a complete commentary myself. Even though Pātañjalayoga is not my specialty, I have wanted to contribute with this translation because I know that Patañjali has a lot of "fans" out there. Through Vyāsa's grace, I was able to understand his words, no doubt. Without his grace, I would not have could even to press a key, let alone publishing a page containing a translation of his teachings on the Eight-limbed Yoga. Vyāsa is one with the Supreme Self residing in everybody. Only the Supreme Self is doing all everywhere. Nobody does nothing individually, because it is just Him who is everyone and does all. "To do individually something" implies the possibility of present or future suffering, but when you realize that He is the Divine Doer, you only derive happiness from your actions. Surrender all your actions to this Lord living right in you as You and be happy forever. Let Him bear the heavy cross of your individual life. See you.

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 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

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