Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Patañjali's yogasūtra 1:16 Vairāgya
तत् परं पुरुषख्यातेर्गुणवैतृष्ण्यम्
tat param puruṣakhāterguṇavaitṛṣṇyam
Analysis of the sūtra:
तत् परम् [अस्ति, यत्] पुरुषस्य ख्यातेः गुणानाम् वैतृष्ण्यम्
That is the highest [Vairāgya] where from the knowledge of puruṣa, there is freedom from the desire of [even] the guṇas.
तत् - That
परम् - highest
पुरुषस्य - of the Self, the spiritual element
ख्यातेः - from the knowledge of; ablative singular of ख्याति fem. noun
गुणानाम् - of the guṇas; genitive plural
वैतृष्ण्यम् - freedom from desires; indifference to; quenching of thirst
1:16 refers to what is called para-vairāgya which has been explained from a Bhakti perspective in Bhagvad Gita (BG 2:59)*. There are two levels of detachment - the lower, which involves cultivating detachment by suppressing desires. In the higher form of vairāgya, due to the perception, the knowledge of the spiritual principle, puruṣa, even the elements that constitute the material principle prakṛiti hold no charm for the adept yogi. It stands to reason, since puruṣa is now 'known' or perceived, this form of vairāgya appears only on the attainment of Kaivalya. But more about that when we get to Kaivalya....
*Taimini translated BG 2:29 as "The objects of sense, but not the relish for them, turn away from an abstemious dweller in the body; and even relish turns away from his after the Supreme is seen."
You can see an alternate translation of BG 2:59 here: