Sunday, 27 January 2013

Patañjali's yogasūtra 1:17 samprajñātaḥ samādhi

The Yoga Publications Trust, Mungher, Bihar begins it's commentary on Patañjali’s Yogasūtras with a delightful story in which a heated debate is going on between some pundits on the definition and correspondence of the types, or stages of samādhi. Of savitarka, nirvitarka, nirbīja, sabīja saṃprajñatā asaṃprajñatā and so on. The pundits start yelling at each other and nearly come to blows. Just then a fat, contented cow ambles into the lawn, sits behind them and suddenly bellows M-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- making them jump in fright. The author says that the moo-ing of the cow was the most intelligent contribution to the debate - because Patañjali’s Yogasūtras are meant to be experienced rather than intellectualised. 

I.K. Taimini adds another insight. He says, reading Patañjali’s Yogasūtras is like holding a paper map in your hand. Everything is marked out - the hills, the rivers, the boundaries, the distances - but till you visit that land and see it for yourself, you'll never know what it's really like.

With this in mind, we move to one of the most complex couple of sūtras, regarding the nature of samādhi.Difficult in themselves, and difficult because we have to understand them without the support of key yogic concepts which we will only meet in Chapter 2, the Sādhanā Pāda. 


वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितानुगमात् संप्रज्ञातः  

vitarkavicārānandāsmitānugamāt samprajñātaḥ

वितर्क विचार आनन्द अस्मिता अनुगमात् संप्रज्ञातः 

saprajñatā is [that state of mental concentration] which is accompanied by reasoning, reflection, bliss and a sense of individuality. 

वितर्क:  -  deliberation, consideration, reasoning; masc noun
विचार: -thought, idea; masculine noun 
आनन्द: - pleasure, delight, happiness; masc noun
अस्मिता - ego, sense of self; fem noun 
अनुगमात्  - going after, following, accompanying; ablative singular of अनुगम masc. noun
संप्रज्ञातः - state of samādhi ; lit. accompanied by intelligence, insight, wisdom.

No comments: