Srimad Bhagavat Geetha – Chapter 6 – ध्यान योगा – Yoga of Meditation (part 8)

युञ्जन्नेवं सदात्मानं योगी नियतमानसः ।
शान्तिं निर्वाणपरमां मत्संस्थामधिगच्छति ॥ १५ ॥ (6.15)

Concentrating the mind thus always, the yogi, whose mind is fully controlled, achieves the Peace that culminates in Liberation and the steadfastness in My true nature.

Let us see How this idea is supported in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra while continuing with the explanation of the words of Geetha.

अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥१२॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.12)

युज्ञ्जान, cocentrating, making absorbed in समाधि through practice (अभ्यास) and detachment (वैराग्य); आत्मानं, the mind; एवं, thus, by means of aforesaid rules of staying in a solitary place, etc.; सदा, always; योगी, the yogi, the one engrossed in Yoga; नियत-मानसः, whose mind is controlled, fully restrained, as a result of intense practice, or the one whose distractions in the form of thoughts are under control;

व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः॥९॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.9); तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.10)

becoming thus,अधिगच्छति, achieves; शान्तिं, Peace that is in the form of cessation of all thoughts, and the flow of which is steady; and निर्वाण-परमां, culminates in Liberation, which is of the nature of cessation of nescience together with its effects, as a result of the rise of direct experience of Reality, and मत्-समस्थाम्, steadfastness in the supreme Bliss which is My true nature.

तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥ (Yoga Sutra 3.3) (Those who are interested further must study Yoga Sutra 3.16 to 3.56)

But it is not that he attains the mundane yogic powers which are the fruits of समाधि (intense concentration) on objects other than the Self; for they are hinderances to the समाधि that is necessary for Liberaion.

And accordingly, after stating the results of the respective समाधि (intense concentration), the venerable Patanjali says: “These are obstacles to समाधि (Self-absorbtion), but they are powers in the worldly state.” and “The Yogi should not feel allured or flattered by the overtures of the स्थानि (celestial beings, gods) for fear of evil again.”

So Vasishtha narrates that Uddaalaka, even though coaxed by gods, did not feel allured thereby, nor did he feel flattered, and ignoring the gods, practiced निर्विकल्प-समाधि alone for warding off recrudescence of evil.

The kind of समाधि that has to be rejected by one seeking Liberation has been stated by Patanjali:

वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात्सम्प्रज्ञातः॥१७॥ Yoga Sutra 1.17) “When समाधि is reached with the help of वितर्क, विचार, आनन्द and अस्मिता it is called संप्रज्ञात-समाधि.

संप्रज्ञात-समाधि is a kind of meditation (भावना) through which the nature of objects of meditation is known clearly, specifically (प्र-ज्ञायते), in its totality (सम्यक्) as devoid of doubt, misapprehension and uncertainty.

Meditation (भावना), verily, is fixing repeately in the mind the objects thought of, to the exclusion of other objects.

And the object of meditation is of three kinds according to its difference as ‘an object of perception, ग्राह्य’, the means of perception, ग्रहण or the perceiver, ग्रहीत्र्’.

The object of meditation too is of two kinds, according to its difference as gross or subtle.

क्षीणवृत्तेरभिजातस्येव मणेर्ग्रहीतृग्रहणग्राह्येषु तत्स्थतदञ्जनता समापत्तिः॥४१॥ (Yoga Sutra 1.41)

So Patanjali says: “When the thoughts are weakened, mind acquires fixity in and identity with the perceiver, the means of perception or the object of perception as does a transparent crystal. This is called समापत्ति (absorption)”.

Of the mind in which the thoughts born of rajas and tamas have become weakened, there comes about ‘fixity in’ and ‘identity with’ those very perceiver, the means of perception and the perceived, (i.e.) the self, the organ of perception and the object (of perception).

That is to say, in the mind that has become subdued in which rajas and tamas have been completely suppressed, there follows prominence of the object of thought alone; there occurs that kind of absorption (समापत्ति), a transformation similar to that object of thought.

Just as a transparent crystal acquires various forms owing to its proximity with respective things, similarly a pure mind takes on the respective forms of the various objects of thoughts as a result of being colored by them.

This is called समापत्ति or समाधि, and these two terms are synonymous.

Though the Sutra says: “…with the perceiver, the means of perception or the object of perception”, still, it should be understood in a different order according to the succession of the level of समाधि.

So it has to be understood as “…with the objects of perception, the means of perception or the perceiver”, because in the beginning comes समाधि in the form of absorption in the object of perception itself, then follows absorption in the means of perception, thereafter the absorption in the perceiver.

The succession of the perceiver etc. will also be explained later on.


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