CHAPTER 1: 1 – 5 – 10 – 15 – 20 – 25 – 30 – 35 – 40 – 45 – 50
1. Now concentration is explained.
2. Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Chitta) from taking various forms (Vrittis)
3. At that time (the time of concentration) the seer (the Purasa) rests in his own (unmodified) state.
4. At other times (other than that of concentration) the seer is identified with the modifications.
5. There are five classes of modification, painful and not painful.
6. (These are) right knowledge, indiscrimination, verbal delusion, sleep, and memory.
7. Direct perception, inference, and competent evidence, are proofs.
8. Indiscrimination is false knowledge not established in real nature.
9. Verbal delusion follows from words having no (corresponding) reality.
10. Sleep is a Vritti which embraces the feeling of voidness.
11. Memory is when the (Vrittis of) perceived subjects do not slip away (and through impressions come back to consciousness).
12. Their control is by practice and non-attachment.
13. Continuous struggle to keep them (the Vrittis) perfectly restrained is practice.
14. Its ground becomes firm by long, constant efforts with great love (for the end to be attained).
15. That effort, which comes to those who have given up their thirst after objects either seen or heard, and which wills to control the objects, is non-attachment.
16. That extreme nonattachment, giving up even the qualities, shows (the real nature of) the Purusa.
17. The concentration called right knowledge is that which is followed by reasoning, discrimination, bliss, unqualified ego.
18. There is another Samadhi which is attained by the constant practice of cessation of all mental activity, in which the Chitta retains only the unmanifested impressions.
19. (This Samadhi, when not followed by extreme non-attachment) becomes the cause of the remanifestation of the gods and of those that become merged in nature.
20. To others (this Samadhi) comes through faith, energy, memory, concentration, and discrimination [discernment] of the real.
21. Success is speeded for the extremely energetic.
22. They again differ according as the means are mild, medium or supreme.
23. Or by devotion to Isvara.
24. Isvara (the Supreme Ruler) is a special Purusa, untouched by misery, the results of actions, or desires.
25. In Him becomes infinite that allknowingness which in others is (only) a germ.
26. He is the Teacher of even the ancient teachers, being not limited by time.
27. His manifesting word is Om.
28. The repetition of this (Om) and meditating on its meaning (is the way).
29. From that is gain (the knowledge of) introspection, and the destruction of obstacles.
30. Disease, mental laziness, doubt, calmness, cessation, false perception, non-attaining concentration, and falling away from the state when obtained, are the obstructing distractions.
31. Grief, mental distress, tremor of the body and irregular breathing, accompany non-retention of concentration.
32. To remedy this practice of one subject (should be made).
33. Friendship, mercy, gladness, indifference, being thought of in regard to subjects, happy, unhappy, good and evil respectively, pacify the Chitta.
34. By throwing out and restraining the Breath.
35. Those forms of concentration that bring extraordinary sense perceptions cause perseverance of the mind.
36. Or (by the meditation on) the Effulgent One which is beyond all sorrow.
37. Or (by meditation on) the heart that has given up all attachment to sense objects.
38. Or by meditating on the knowledge that comes in sleep.
39. Or by meditation on anything that appeals to one as good.
40. The Yogi's mind thus meditating, becomes unobstructed from the atomic to the Infinite.
41. The Yogi whose Vrittis have thus become powerless (controlled) obtains in the receiver, receiving, and received (the self, the mind and external objects), concentratedness and sameness, like the crystal (before different coloured objects.)
42. Sound, meaning, and resulting knowledge, being mixed up, is (called Samadhi) with reasoning.
43. The Samadhi called without reasoning (comes) when the memory is purified, or devoid of qualities, expressing only the meaning (of the meditated object).
44. By this process (the concentrations) with discrimination and without discrimination, whose objects are finer, are (also) explained.
45. The finer objects end with the Pradhana.
46. These concentrations are with seed.
47. The concentration "without reasoning" being purified, the Chitta becomes firmly fixed.
48. The knowledge in that is called "filled with Truth."
49. The knowledge that is gained from testimony and inference is about common objects. That from the Samadhi just mentioned is of a much higher order, being able to penetrate where inference and testimony cannot go.
50. The resulting impression from this Samadhi obstructs all other impressions.
51. By the restraint of even this (impression, which obstructs all other impressions), all being restrained, comes the "seedless" Samadhi.
1. Mortification, study, and surrendering fruits of work to God are called Kriya Yoga.
Vivekananda: "The first step, the preliminary step, is called Kriya Yoga. Literally this means work, working towards Yoga.
2. (They are for) the practice of Samadhi and minimising the pain-bearing obstructions.
3. The pain-bearing obstructions are - ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and clinging to life.
4. Ignorance is the productive field of all them that follow, whether they are dormant, attenuated, overpowered, or expanded.
5. Ignorance is taking that which is non-eternal, impure, painful, and non-Self, for the eternal, pure, happy Atman (Self).
6. Egoism is the identification of the seer with the instrument of seeing.
7. Attachment is that which dwells on pleasure.
8. Aversion is that which dwells on pain.
9. Flowing through its own nature, and established even in the learned, is the clinging to life.
10. They, to-be-rejected-by-opposite-modifications, are fine.
11. By meditation, their modifications are to be rejected.
12. The receptacle of works has its root in these pain-bearing obstructions, and their experience in this visible life, or in the unseen life.
13. The root being there, the fruition comes (in the form of) species, life, and expression of pleasure and pain.
14. They bear fruit as pleasure or pain, caused by virtue or vice.
15. To the discriminating, all is, as it were, painful on account of everything bringing pain, either in the consequences, or in apprehension, or in attitude caused by impressions, also on account of the counter action of qualities.
16. The misery which is not yet come is to be avoided.
17. The cause of that which is to be avoided is the junction of the seer and the seen.
18. The experienced is composed of elements and organs, is of the nature of illumination, action and intertia, and is for the purpose of experience and release (of the experiencer).
19. The states of the qualities are the defined, the undefined, the indicated only, and the signless.
20. The seer is intelligence only, and though pure, seen through the colouring of the intellect.
21. The nature of the experience is for him.
22. Though destroyed for him whose goal has been gained, yet is not destroyed, being common to others.
23. Junction is the cause of the realisation of the nature of both the powers, the experienced and its Lord.
24. Ignorance is its cause.
25. There being absence of that (ignorance) there is absence of junction, which is the thing-to-be-avoided; that is the independence of the seer.
26. The means of destruction of ignorance is unbroken practice of discrimination.
27. His knowledge is of the sevenfold highest ground.
28. By the practice of the different parts of Yoga the impurities being destroyed knowledge becomes effulgent, up to discrimination.
29. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, are the limbs of Yoga.
30. Non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-receiving, are called Yama.
31. These, unbroken by time, place, purpose, and caste, are (universal) great vows.
32. Internal and external purification, contentment, mortification, study, and worship of God, are the Niyamas.
Vivekananda: Internal purity is of greater value that external.
33. To obstruct thoughts which are inimical to Yoga contrary thoughts will be brought.
Vivekananda: This is the way to practice all these virtues that have been stated, by holding thoughts of an opposite character in the mind. When the idea of stealing comes, non-stealing should be thought of. When the idea of receiving gifts comes, replace it by a contrary thought.
34. The obstructions to Yoga are killing etc., whether committed, caused, or approved; either through avarice, or anger, or ignorance; whether slight, middling, or great, and result is innumerable ignorances and miseries.
35. Non-killing being established, in his presence all enmities cease (in others).
36. By the establishment of truthfulness the Yogi gets the power of attaining for himself and others the fruits of work without the works.
37. By the establishment of non-stealing all wealth comes to the Yogi.
38. By the establishment of continence energy is gained.
39. When he is fixed in non-receiving he gets the memory of past life.
40. Internal and external cleanliness being established, arises disgust for one's own body, and non-intercourse with other bodies.
41. There also arises purification of the Sattva, cheerfulness of the mind, concentration, conquest of the organs, and fitness for the realisation of the Self.
42. From contentment comes superlative happiness.
43. The result of mortification is bringing powers to the organs and the body, by destroying the impurity.
44. By repetition of the mantram comes the realisation of the intended deity.
45. By sacrificing all to Isvara comes Samadhi.
45. Posture is that which is firm and pleasant.
47. By slight effort and meditating on the unlimited (posture becomes firm and pleasant).
48. Seat being conquered, the dualities do not obstruct.
49. Controlling the motion of the exhalation and the inhalation follows after this.
50. Its modifications are either external or internal, or motionless, regulated by place, time, and number, either long or short.
51. The fourth is restraining the Prana by directing it either to the external or internal objects. This is the fourth sort of Pranayama. Prana can be directed either inside or outside
52. From that, the covering to the light of the Chitta is attenuated.
53. The mind becomes fit for Dharana.
54. The drawing in of the organs is by their giving up their own objects and taking the form of the mind-stuff.
NOTE. There are 55 sutras in many versions of this part of the book. The 55th Sutra is "Pratyahara results in the absolute control of the sense organs". Swami Vivekananda has not commented on this sutra.
1. Dharana is holding the mind on to some particular object.
2. An unbroken flow of knowledge to that object is Dhyana.
3. When that, giving up all forms, reflects only the meaning, it is Samadhi.
4. (These) three (when practised) in regard to one object is Samyama.
5. By the conquest of that comes light of knowledge.
6. That should be employed in stages.
7. These three are nearer than those that precede.
8. But even they are external to the seedless (Samadhi).
9. By the suppression of the disturbed modifications of the mind, and by the rise of modifications of control, the mind is said to attain the controlling modifications - following the controlling powers of the mind.
10. Its flow becomes steady by habit.
11. Taking in all sorts of objects and concentrating upon one object, these two powers being destroyed and manifested respectively, the Chitta gets the modification called Samadhi.
12. The one-pointedness of the Chitta is when it grasps in one, the past and present.
13. By this is explained the threefold transformations of form, time and state, in fine or gross matter, and in the organs.
14. That which is acted upon by transformations, either past, present or yet to be manifested, is the qualified.
15. The succession of changes is the cause of manifold evolution.
16. By making Samyama on the three sorts of changes comes the knowledge of past and future.
17. By making Samyama on word, meaning, and knowledge, which are ordinarily confused, comes the knowledge of all animal sounds.
18. By perceiving the impressions, knowledge of past life.
19. By making Samyama on the signs in another's both knowledge of that mind comes.
20. But not its contents, that not being the object of the Samyama.
21. By making Samyama on the form of the body the power of perceiving forms being obstructed, the power of manifestation in the eye being separated, the Yogi's body becomes unseen.
22. By this the disappearance or concealment of words which are being spoken is also explained.
23. Karma is of two kinds, soon to be fructified, and late to be fructified. By making Samyama on that, or by the signs called Aristha, portents, the Yogis know the exact time of separation from their bodies.
24. By making Samyama on friendship, etc., various strength comes.
25. By making Samyama on the strength of the elephant, etc., that strength comes to the Yogi.
26. By making Samyama on that effulgent light comes the knowledge of the fine, the obstructed, and the remote.
27. By making Samyama on the sun, (comes) the knowledge of the world.
28. On the moon, (comes) the knowledge of the cluster of stars.
29. On the pole star (comes) the knowledge of the motions of the stars.
30. On the navel circle (comes) the knowledge of the constitution of the body.
31. On the hollow of the throat (comes) cessation of hunger.
32. On the nerve called Kurma (comes) fixity of the body.
33. On the light emanating from the top of the head sight of the Siddhas.
34. Or by the power of Pratibha all knowledge.
Vivekananda says pratibha is enlightenment from purity.
35. In the heart, knowledge of minds.
36. Enjoyment comes by the non-discrimination of the very distant soul and Sattva. Its actions are for another; Samyama on this gives knowledge of the Purusa.
This power of non-attachment acquired through purity gives the Yogi the enlightenment called Pratibha.
37. From that arises the knowledge of hearing, touching, seeing, tasting, and smelling, belonging to Pratibha.
38. These are obstacles to Samadhi; but they are powers in the worldly state.
39. When the cause of bondage has become loosened, the Yogi, by his knowledge of manifestation through the organs, enters another's body.
40. By conquering the current called Udana the Yogi does not sink in water, or in swamps, and he can walk on thorns.
41. By the conquest of the current Samana he is surrounded by blaze.
42. By making Samyama on the relation between the ear and the Akasa comes divine hearing.
43. By making Samyama on the relation between the Akasa and the body the Yogi becoming light as cotton wool goes through the skies.
44. By making Samyama on the real modifications of the mind, which are outside, called great disembodiness, comes disappearance of the covering to light.
45. By making Samyama on the elements, beginning with the gross, and ending with the superfine, comes mastery of the elements.
46. From that comes minuteness, and the rest of the powers, "glorification of the body," and indestructibleness of the bodily qualities.
Vivekananda: This means that the Yogi has attained the eight powers. He can make himself as light as a particle, he can make himself huge, as heavy as the earth, or as light as the air; he will rule everything he wants, he will conquer everything he wants, a lion will sit at his feet like a lamb, and all his desires be fulfilled at will.
47. The glorifications of the body are beauty, complexion, strength, adamantine hardness.
48. By making Samyama on the objectivity, knowledge and egoism of the organs, by gradation comes the conquest of the organs.
49. From that comes glorified mind, power of the organs independently of the body, and conquest of nature.
50. By making Samyama on the Sattva, to him who has discriminated between the intellect and the Purusa comes omnipresence and omniscience.
51. By giving up even these comes the destruction of the very seed of evil; he attains Kaivalya.
52. The Yogi should not feel allured or flattered by the overtures of celestial beings, for fear of evil again.
53. By making Samyama on a particle of time and its multiples comes discrimination.
54. Those which cannot be differentiated by species, sign and place, even they will be discriminated by the above Samyama.
55. The saving knowledge is that knowledge of discrimination which covers all objects, all means.
56. By the similarity of purity between the Sattva and the Purusa comes Kaivalya.
1. The Siddhis (powers) are attained by birth, chemical means, power of words, mortification or concentration.
2. The change into another species is by the filling in of nature.
3. Good deeds, etc., are not the direct causes in the transformation of nature, but they act as breakers of obstacles to the evolutions of nature, as a farmer breaks the obstacles to the course of water, which then runs down by its own nature.
4. From egoism alone proceed the created minds.
5. Though the activities of the different created minds are various, the one original mind is the controller of them all.
6. Among the various Chittas that which is attained by Samadhi is desireless.
7. Works are neither black nor white for the Yogis; for others they are threefold, black, white, and mixed.
8. From these threefold works are manifested in each state only those desires (which are) fitting to that state alone. (The others are held in abeyance for the time being.)
9. There is connectiveness in desire, even though separated by species, space and time, there being identification of memory and impressions.
10. Thirst for happiness being eternal, desires are without beginning.
11. Being held together by cause, effect, support, and objects, in the absence of these is its absence.
12. The past and future exist in their own nature, qualities having different ways.
13. They are manifested or fine, being of the nature of the Gunas.
14. The unity in things is from the unity in changes. Though there are three substances their changes being co-ordinated all objects have their unity.
15. The object being the same, perception and desire vary according to the various minds.
16. Things are known or unknown to the mind, being de-pendent on the colouring which they give to the mind.
17. The states of the mind are always known because the lord of the mind is unchangeable.
Note. Swami Vivekananda does not comment on the sutra which is the 16th sutra in most versions of Patanjali Yoga Sutra: "An object exists independent of its cognizance by any one consciousness. What happens to it when that consciousness is not there to perceive it?"
18. Mind is not self-luminous, being an object.
19. From its being unable to cognise two things at the same time.
15. Another cognising mind being assumed there will be no end to such assumptions and confusion of memory.
21. The essence of knowledge (the Purusa) being unchangeable, when the mind takes its form, it becomes conscious.
22. Coloured by the seer and the seen the mind is able to understand everything.
23. The mind through its innumerable desires acts for another (the Purusa), being combinations.
24. For the discriminating the perception of the mind as Atman ceases.
25. Then bent on discriminating the mind attains the previous state of Kaivalya (isolation).
26. The thoughts that arise as obstructions to that are from impressions.
27. Their destruction is in the same manner as of ignorance, etc., as said before.
28. Even when arriving at the right discriminating knowledge of the senses, he who gives up the fruits, unto him comes as the result of perfect discrimination, the Samadhi called the cloud of virtue.
29. From that comes cessation of pains and works.
30. Then knowledge, bereft of covering and impurities, becoming infinite, the knowable becomes small.
31. Then are finished the successive transformations of the qualities, they having attained the end.
32. The changes that exist in relation to moments, and which are perceived at the other end (at the end of a series) are succession.
33. The resolution in the inverse order of the qualities, perfect of any motive of action for the Purusa, is Kaivalya, or it is the establishment of the power of knowledge in its own nature.
There are many Yoga Sutras translations today. Here are some:
Hartranft, Chip. 2003. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Sanskrit-English Translation and Glossary. Boston: Shambhala. ⍽▢⍽ Helpful to many.
Isherwood, Christopher and Swami Pranabhananda. How To Know God: the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali. Mentor. New York, 1969. ⍽▢⍽ A rendering written for a Western audience. The translation of the verses is altogether held in higher esteem than the commentary.
Jha, Ganganatha, tr. The Yoga-Darshana: The Sutras of Patanjali with the Bhasya of Vyasa. Bombay: Tattva-Vivecha Press, 1907. ⍽▢⍽ Unadulterated.
Leggett, Trevor. The Complete Commentary by Sankara on the Yoga-Sutras. Kegan Paul. New York, 1990. ⍽▢⍽ A complete English translation of an early Sanskrit sub-commentary purported that is judged to be a genuine work of Adi Sankara. Sankara regarded Vyasa's work as authoritative on meditation practice. In the book, the Patanjali sutras (perhaps AD 300) are accompanied by Vyasa's commentary (about AD 540-650) and by the Sankara sub-commentary (perhaps AD 700) to allow comparison.
Prasada, Rama, tr. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: With the Commentary of Vyasa and the Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra Reprint ed. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1998 (1912). ⍽▢⍽ A good Yoga Sutra translation, with the first two recorded commentaries, by Vyasa and Vacaspati Misra.
Roach, Michael, and Christie McNally. The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga. New York: Doubleday/Three Leaves Press, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ Special. The ancient 195 yoga aphorisms are supplied with short commentaries by an ordained lama of Tibetan Buddhism and his wife at the time. (Wikipedia, "Michael Roach")
Vivekananda, Swami. 1920. Raja Yoga: Being Lectures by the Swami Vivekananda, with Patanjali's Aphorisms, Commentaries and a Glossary of Terms. New ed. New York: Brentano's.
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