॥३॥ विभूतिपाद - 3. Vibhūti Pāda - Manifestation

results: 1 - 10 of 56 from chapter 3

  • 3.1 : देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा॥१॥
  • 1. Deśabandhaścittasya dhāraṇā.
  • Fixing the consciousness on one point or region is concentration (dharana).
  • Dharana means focus of attention. Centreing the attention on a chosen point or area, within or outside the body, is concentration. By it the functions of the mind are checked and brought to one focal point. Once mastery of the five stages of yoga from yama to pratyahara is achieved, the art of focusing the mind and consciousness is guaranteed. Dharana is established when the mind learns to remain steady on its own, or hold on to an unmoving object. Through the practice of yama and niyama, the sadhaka develops emotional firmness. Through asana, he keeps his body, the abode of the soul, free from disease. In pranayama, he learns to stop the dispersion of energy by regularising its flow for proper distribution all through his body and mind. Through pratyahara, he develops will-power, detaches himself from the organs of senses and acquires precision in thought. This is the beginning of culturing the brain. Once he has become unresponsive to worldly matters, he is fit to continue on the inner quest, enriching the mind through dharana. Dhyana and samadhi lead the consciousness on the innermost quest (amaratma sadhana), to the soul itself. The eight components of astahga yoga are interwoven, though each is delineated individually for the sake of convenience. They are subdivided into the external quest (bahiranga sadhana), the internal quest (antarahga sadhana) and the innermost quest (antaratma sadhana), which facilitates even the naive to learn to concentrate, step by step, on concrete forms by systematic practice. Having readied maturity and refinement, they are able to fathom their inmost thoughts and feelings. Most people, even most yoga practicians, are under the impression that asanas are only external and physical. This sutra removes that misapprehension. Patanjali defines concentration as the centering of attention either within or outside the body. If, in performing an asana, one directs the organs of action and senses of perception towards the mind, and the mind towards the core, external sadhana is transformed into internal sadhana. If the limbs, the senses of perception, the mind and the discriminative intelligence are then repressed and merged with the energy of the soul, this becomes the innermost sadhana. If one performs each asana passionately, blending with integrated attention every part of the body, the digressing mind and the discriminative intelligence with the soul constitutes spiritual practice. In asana, the initial commitment or passion lifts itself, through concentration, to the level of total absorption. Such practice brings modesty, without which dissemination of the subtle levels is impossible. Dharana is the art of reducing the disturbances of the mind and ultimately eliminating them entirely, so that the knower and the known become one. Dharana may be focused on external or internal objects. External objects should be auspicious and associated with transparency. Internally, the mind penetrates the soul, the core of one's being - the object is, in reality, pure existence. For higher meditation, everything is within the mental and emotional energy fields. The paradox of it is this: the very same mental and emotional energy which caused us to become attached to this world, can also in turn, cause liberation. The gate for exiting this world is in the same mento-emotional energy (cittasya). Concentration (dharana) is holding the mind within a center of spiritual consciousness in the body, or fixing it on some divine form, either within the body or outside it. The mind has reached the ability to be directed [dharana] when direction toward a chosen object is possible in spite of many other potential objects within the reach of the individual. A perennial flow of dharana is called dhyana or meditation. If dharana is the drop, dhyana is the river. Many concentrations make a meditation. Qualitatively they are non-different, but functionally there is a distinction between them. When the student enters into dharana, he can know something of his personal structure. He becomes an observer of himself and an object of his study. The rationale behind the practice of dharana has been earlier explained under the context of pratyahara. The reason behind the effort at concentration of mind is the same as that underlying the need for pratyahara. It is a psychological necessity with a deep philosophical background. Unless the 'why' of concentration is properly answered, one will not have satisfaction within and hence cannot take to the practice wholeheartedly. Concentration is the channelizing of the chitta or the psychic structure within towards universality of being. This goal is achieved by many stages, with a graduated movement of the finite to the infinite. Sincere effort is necessary on the path to keep the mind in balance; for balance is yoga. It is only when the balance is upset, due to some factor in life, that worry sets in. Hence, the first step in yoga is not pratyahara or dharana, but a psychological disentanglement, or a stock-taking as people do in business, and a striking of the balance-sheet of the inner world. One has to find out where one stands. Yoga is a positive state, different from all moods of the day. There is nothing of the negative in the yoga way of life, neither in the mind nor in the perspective of one's vision. Misgivings about yoga are due to a want of proper understanding of its meaning. All anguish is to be set right. How to do this is a personal problem. It has to be dealt with on an individual consideration, as the answer varies from person to person. Just as a physician does not treat patients collectively but pays them all individual attention, each question has to be taken separately and solved, unless they are all of a similar character. Yoga techniques are based on natural laws of universal application and not on dogmatic or religious beliefs. It need not be emphasized that a Guru is necessary, and also one should be capable of practicing sense-control, especially sex-control. Treading the path of yoga always implies some loss in the eyes of the sense-world. The student should decide what he wants. Does he want comfort, praise, name and fame, etc., or is he honest in pursuing the way of self-restraint , concentration of mind and deep inner bliss ? Concentration of mind has much to do with inner satisfaction, there cannot be concentration of mind when there is unhappiness. An unhappy man cannot be a student of yoga. We do yoga because there is something substantial and positive in yoga. Psychological contentment brought about by self-analysis is a great help in concentration. Sometimes, when one is affected too much by thoughts of the contrary, thoughts pertaining to things and conditions opposed to or different from the aim of yoga, Patanjali says that one has to practice thinking or the feeling of the opposite (pratipaksha-bhavana). This is to affirm the opposite of what is happening. If a particular sense-organ is troubling the student, he gives intense work to the other organs so that the energy will be drawn by them, and the troublesome element is divested of strength. If one is sexually agitated one might think of Bhishma . The desire would slowly wane because of the higher thought occurring to the mind by continued contemplation. Daily practice will create in the mind samskaras or impressions which will in course of time prevent the rise of such negative thoughts and, even if they come, they will not be vehement or powerful enough to disturb internal peace. This is the method of 'substitution' which was lifted and patented by Western thieves as psychoanalysis. The three methods which the mind employs usually are repression, substitution and sublimation. Sublimation is the proper course to adopt, but it cannot always be done for obvious reasons. People repress desires into the subconscious due to social taboo, but later on this causes complexities. Repression is not a remedy. Gandhi achieved SHIT by sleeping under the blanket with underage girls and giving/ taking enemas from them. When one cannot fulfil one's desires, one swallows them, which, in the long run, become complexes that may turn into illness of various kinds. Nothing inspires murderous mayhem in human beings more reliably than sexual repression.If expression of sexuality is thwarted, the human psyche tends to grow twisted into grotesque, enraged perversions of desire. We know what the sexually repressed Catholic clergy does, right ? We know how many billions of dollars the pope has shelled out to buy silence. There's little question that the centuries-long campaign of child rape enabled by institutional cover-up is a direct result of the Church's inhumane teachings concerning human sexuality. If Catholic priests were allowed to form erotic connections of our wedlock or even with consenting adults, who can doubt that countless children would have been spared outrageous torture at the hands of these sick, distorted men? Suppression of core emotions and the denial of their resolution in healthy society accepted love always always leads to personal distortion, compulsion and loss of perspective. The moods of people are nothing but the occasional eruption of repressed emotions and attitudes. Repression is not the method prescribed by Patanjali, though he suggests substitution as a middle course leading to sublimation by yoga. Before starting the practice of concentration, the student has to establish a proper relation with the world and society by the practice of the yamas and niyamas. If the world is up in debauchery , arms and cudgels, one cannot practice yoga by being in it. For peace with the world and peace with oneself, Patanjali prescribes the yamas and niyamas, respectively. Asana and pranayama are intended for establishing peace and harmonious relations with the muscles, nerves and the vital force. Pratyahara establishes peace with the mind. Yoga is the science of peace. The world outside having been properly coordinated with our personality by the yamas and our having come to proper understanding of ourselves by the niyamas and by vichara or self-analysis, having also achieved some sort of control over the muscles by asana, the nerves and prana by pranayama, having brought compromise within by pratyahara, the student is face to face with the problem of concentration. What is one to concentrate upon? First of all, the point of concentration has to be external, so that one may concentrate with greater ease, because the mind has always a tendency to go outward. But this need not mean going senseward. We may give the mind some freedom, of course, but it should be within a limited circle. The ambit of the activity of the mind should gradually become smaller and smaller. One moves, but in more and more limited circles. The circle of the mind's work becomes smaller as it rises to higher states of concentration. In the most initial stage, the student can concentrate on any one point. A wide leash is given in the beginning as is done with a wild animal under training. Satsanga and svadhyaya are some of the methods which one can adopt in limiting the activity of the mind to smaller circles. Instead of going to any place at leisure, one attends Satsangas or visits holy places or shrines. And instead of browsing through all sorts of sick and dirty literature one reads philosophical and elevating scriptures. All this is an achievement in the concentration of mind by way of limitation of the circle of its activity. Instead of chatting with persons at any time, one restricts speech only to a necessity. The long leash has been cut short. The radius has been reduced in length. This practice is the beginning of a true religious life. Having lived a life of religiousness rather than that of worldliness one further tries to limit the circle of the mind in yoga. And now, the stage has come when, instead of going to holy places, one settles down in one place for a spiritual way of living, and one has pinned the mind to a still smaller circle. Having settled in a particular place, one chalks out a daily programme which should be such that it will not contain any item that is not directly connected with the practice of yoga. Occasionally, a few may be indirectly related, which, however, are to be slowly snapped later by gradual effort and only the direct connections with yoga be maintained. The programme of the day which the student chalks out for himself depends entirely upon the aim of yoga, which is the determining factor in the day's programme. What he will do during the whole day will depend on what he wishes to make of his entire life, for many days put together constitute life. The daily programme should therefore correspond to the life's programme. Nothing non-spiritual may engage the attention of the student on any occasion. In the programme of the day, certain items should be essential, such as study of scriptures (which one cannot dispense with until one gets so absorbed in the mind that there is no need for any study). Sacred study is necessary because in such study one keeps oneself open to higher thoughts, ennobling one's character. Simultaneously with this practice, there should be recourse to japa (repetition) of the mantra (mystic formula). Japa is directly connected with dhyana. The relation between svadhyaya, japa and dhyana is sequential and very significant and they form a complete course of yoga. Japa is a more intensive sadhana than svadhyaya and dhyana more intensive than japa. Dharana, dhyana and samadhi are considered as the internal and true yoga, while everything else is an external accessory to it. Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara constitute the external (bahiranga) yoga, while dharana, dhyana and samadhi are the internal (antaranga) yoga. The internal yoga is a pure activity of the mind-stuff (antahkarana), independent of the senses. While the senses had a part to play in pratyahara, they do not operate in dharana, any further. We have come nearly to the innermost point of the personality and the outer activities as well as relations are given up. The mind has become powerful because now it does not waste energy through sensory activity. Most people complain that the mind is weak, that the will has no strength, because much of the energy leaks out through the channels of the senses. The senses are factors of dissipation of the centralized energy in the human system and until this channelization of energy by way of sensory activity is stopped, the will would remain naturally weak and this is why so much emphasis is laid on the control of senses. The mind which conserves energy in itself becomes more powerful than it appeared earlier. It is now ready to gird up its loins for the ultimate steps in yoga, concentration and meditation. It has nothing to vex it, because it has severed all its connections outside by an inner withdrawal. Concentration now begins. Concentration does not come suddenly, in spite of all efforts on the part of a student. The mind has been habituated to think in terms of diversity and to turn it away from multitudinousness and to bring it to a point is really hard to achieve. The mind does not accept it. In the beginning, there is repulsion and later on there arises difficulty in the practice of concentration. But if the practice goes on with proper self-analysis and understanding, the mind will be able to appreciate what it is for and what it is expected to do. Any unintelligent activity is not easily taken in by the mind because thought is logically constructed. Before making preparations for chalking out a programme one should try to be methodical and logical in thinking, for the mind will not accept chaotic ideas. It appreciates only system, symmetry, harmony, beauty, order, etc. The mind dislikes any thing thrown pell-mell, because it is made in an orderly fashion. Without knowing the why of it one does not like anything spontaneously. The way in which the mind functions is what is known as logic. One should not hastily move to things and jump into any conclusion. Many people suffer from this travesty, because they cannot take all aspects of the matter into their judgements. All persons cannot consider every side of an issue, and this pinches the mind from various directions. A programme that one may have to change constantly is not a well-thought-out programme. Let there be no need to change what one has decided to do. Let it be thought and arranged well, even if it would take many days to make the decision. Let there be beauty in thinking, as there is beauty in the outer world. The more is one logical, the more is also one's happiness. Hence, it is necessary to prepare the ground with a thorough-going analysis of the situation of one's personality. 'I want God', should not be the student's sudden answer when he is asked what he is up to achieve. Logical thinking is, therefore, a help in bringing about concentration of mind. The test of logicality in thought is that one feels a delight the moment one arranges one's thoughts in a method. One feels a comfort within because of the completeness introduced by the system of logic in the mind. Logicality is a form of psychological perfection, and all perfection is joy. After having properly thought out the programme for life and for the day, the programme of one's sadhana has to be considered. 'What is my sadhana going to be?' Thus may the student of yoga cogitate seriously. Merely because one has heard a lecture on yoga, it does not mean one has a clear path set before oneself. After much hearing, there may still remain some fundamental difficulty, that of choosing a proper method of practice and coming to facts, not merely doctrines. When one touches the practical side, an unforeseen problem arises. This is an individual difficulty and cannot be cleared in a public lecture. It is, therefore, necessary to find out one's temperament, first, and decide upon the nature of one's case. In as much as every mind is special in its constitution, proclivity and temperament certain details peculiar to one's mind have to be thought out clearly for oneself. Though it is true that concentration is the purpose of all sadhana, the kind of preparation for this concentration varies in different types of yoga. Concentration is an impersonal action of the mind, because, in this inner adventure, the mind attempts gradually to shed its personality by accommodating itself, stage by stage, with the requirements of the law that determines the universe. Patanjali, in his aphorisms on yoga, has suggested varieties of concentration of the mind on points which can be external, internal or universal. A protracted and intensified form of concentration is called meditation. The sixth limb of yoga, dharana, is referred to as “concentration.” It’s a limb that can get overlooked as either unimportant or too difficult to bother with, especially since its fuller, less tangible translation is “the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea.” This conjures up images of master yogis staring at objects until they’re “one” with them. And while there can be some truth to this scenario, it’s not entirely accurate. Dharana, in reality, is one of the most important parts of yoga there is, and learning how to practice it (because it is definitely a practice) may be one of the most worthwhile things we can do for our brains. This is party because dharana and the next limb of yoga – dhyana, or meditation – are two sides of the same coin. Conceptually they can be separated, but in practice, that makes less sense. Dharana, at its very heart, can be thought of as the work it takes – the practice – to get your mind to the point where it’s ready for meditation. So dharana isn’t so much the state of concentration, but it’s more the act of brining your “monkey mind” back to whatever it is you’re focusing on. Again, and again, and again.Many yogis say that for beginners, choosing a thing to focus on, rather than an idea, is the way to go. The object can be a physical object, the breath, or an oral mantra. The idea is just to have something outside yourself that serves as a point to draw the attention toward. If you’re not using a mantra, though, and you’re practicing concentration with an image or an object, the most important thing to remember is that the goal is in the practice. The practice of dharana is not concentrating on a object – it’s the act of redirecting the mind, again and again. This very practice itself is called concentration: the mind running, your bringing it back; its running, your bringing it back. You are taming a monkey. Once it’s tamed, it will just listen to you.. Training your mind to meditate is what is called dharana. Dharana can help us with our focus in any walk of life, not just when we sit down to meditate. Concentration gets easier as you practice it. It’s joyous to concentrate on something, there’s pleasure in it. When you get familiar with dharana, the mind becomes a much less restless place to be.” While describing the eight aspects (angas) of Ashtang Yoga, Patanjali has stated Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi as the last three aspects. It is also stated by him that all the three aspects are collectively termed as " Sanyam" (Control). This implies that all the three aspects should be considered together. We should also bear in mind while studying that Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are progressively advanced stages of concentration. The highest stage of mental concentration described by the modern psychologists is more or less similar to the description of Dharana i.e. the primary stage of concentration as described by Patanjali. This indicates the thoughtfulness of Patanjali while describing the three stages. Another characteristic of these three stages is that there is no dividing line in between these stages. When certain progress is made in the studies of Dharana, Dhyana stage is automatically entered into and with the progress in Dharana stage, Sadhaka automatically enters in the Samadhi stage. The three stages mingle into each other as easily as three colours are mixed into each other on the canvass of an artist. Patanjali has stated the definition of Dharana in this sutra. Patanjali states the preliminary process of Dharana, a primary step in the lengthy process of controlling the mind. The restriction put on the mind is known as "Alamban". With the help of the "Alamban", the mind is fixed and engaged in a particular area.

    The study of Dharana is the study of concentration of mind. Hence, certain preliminary preparations are necessary. We get various perceptions, through the five sensory organs. The mind usually runs behind such sensory perceptions. To stabilise the mind, attention has to be paid as to how these perceptions can be reduced. The surroundings should be pleasurable to the mind and not repulsive or troublesome. There should not be any external disturbances. The general chaos, other sounds, strong breeze, different smells, extremely bright light are various disturbances that should be avoided. When these are removed, the causes, which seek the attention of the mind, get reduced. Then one should sit on a comfortable seat in a pose conducive to Dhyana such as Padmasan, Swatikasan or Siddhasan. One should have the practice of sitting firmly, yet comfortably in a particular pose for a longer duration. Otherwise, the mind will get diverted towards the signals from various muscles. The pose should be "samkay shirogreevam" and the eyes should be fixed on the picture of OM in the front. The picture should be at the eye level and placed under sufficient light. Whenever the eyes try to avert itself beyond the picture, an effort should be made to lock it on the picture again. The mind generally follows the eyesight, so fixing of the gaze will result in locking the mind too. Start the Japa of OM with calm attitude. The way with which the sound of OM is emitted through the mouth should be gradual and effective. The vocal cords or the lungs should not feel strained while doing the japa. The japa is automatically heard by the ears and as such again felt by the mind. Thus, the mind will be firmly kept onto the OM. Out of five sensory organs, the eyes, the tongue and the ears are concentrating on only one subject of OM, so the mind, which runs after the sensory perceptions, will also be firmly engaged on OM. Here, Om is an "alamban" and the dimension covered by Om is the restricted area in which the mind can move (deshbandh). After some period, stop the japa, close the eyes and try to concentrate the mind on the memories of OM sensed through the gaze, the tongue and the ears. This experience transcends the sensory organs and the engagement of mind in this is the real dharana. While practising this, the mind may sway beyond the experience towards other things. This discontinues the dharana. Then the mind has to be brought again into the experience. There will be several disturbances; however with practice, they get reduced. The concentration without any disturbances is dharana. In that stage, there is no other experience than the "Alamban". It is a soothing, pleasurable stage giving intense satisfaction and peace of mind. When Dharana is practised for half an hour or so, the stage is experienced only for a few minutes, the other moments spent in controlling the wandering mind. However, with continuous practice, the duration of the pleasurable stage increases and the sadhaka becomes prepared to enter into the next stage. With further practice, the area of the "alamban" or its limits is to be reduced. With the reduction of the area, the dharana will be more effective and the sadhaka will get nearer to the next stage of dhyana. If the "Alamban" is subject of only one sensory organ, then the other organs will choose their own subjects and try to pull the mind towards them. This will make mind unsteady further. All this should be considered while choosing the subject of the "alamban". Dharana is the stage of high concentration of the mind. The modern psychologists have described the highest stage of concentration of the human mind.

    The mind is kept firm at one place instead of letting it wander here and there. This reduces strain on the mind. The mental strength increases. The daily practice of dharana reduces the wavering attitude of mind and a different kind of peace can be observed throughout the day. The last three rungs of Yoga: Dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi are the final three rungs of Yoga.

    Dharana is concentration is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place. Dhyana or meditation is sustained concentration, whereby the attention continues to hold or repeat the same object or place. Samadhi is the deep absorption, wherein only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in the mind, as if the mind were devoid even of its own form.

    It is attention itself, which is progressively moving inward through these few stages: Attention leads to concentration (dharana). Concentration leads to meditation (dhyana). Meditation leads to absorption (samadhi).Dharana means ‘focused concentration’. Dha means ‘holding or maintaining’, and Ana means ‘other’ or ‘something else’. Each limb of the Eight limbs of Yoga prepares us for the next. Whereas Pratyahara teaches us to withdraw our focus from the external to the internal, the practice of Dharana teaches us to ‘zoom in’ so we’re able to focus on one thing alone. This, of course, is not an easy thing to do! Most of us have experienced what we call in yoga the ‘monkey mind’ - restless thoughts jumping around like clamorous monkeys leaping from from tree to tree - so it takes some discipline and patience to learn how to focus our attention on a single thing.

    It’s impossible to ‘empty’ the mind but we can train it to become so completely and utterly absorbed with one thing that we lose all sense of time and space and most significantly, Self. We all had the experience of ‘losing track of time’ because we’ve been immersed in something that has held our undivided attention. Often these moments are entirely unplanned.. One minute we’re tackling the task at hand, the next, 3 hours have flown by and we don’t know where the time went. However, it’s often when we consciously set out to focus our attention while sitting quietly that the mind decides it doesn’t want to play ball. Mantra chanting is a helpful practices of Dharana. One-pointed focused concentration needs intention, relaxation, softness, and ease - and for these to arise, we also need patience and practice. Antar darshan is a practice of pratyahara. Pratya comes from the word pratyaya. Pratyaya are the internal seeds, the basic tendencies in our nature which are there from birth to death. They are the basis of our personality. The word ahara means food or nutrition. Normally in our day-to-day lives, we are concentrated and extroverted in the outside world, so the mind, the senses and the pratyaya, these internal tendencies and seeds of consciousness, are receiving nutrition from outside, from objects, events, situations and interactions in the external world. So, pratyahara means a practice which internalizes the senses and the mind so that the mind begins to receive its nutrition from within. The pratyaya begin to receive nutrition from within. This is the first stage in mental training, when we can learn to internalize the senses and the mind at will. Pratyahara is not just one practice but a series of practices which aid the mind to complete this process and to be able to internalize at will. Perhaps at some point we will be able to internalize and externalize at the same time. This is total perfection of this stage, where we are aware internally and externally at the same time. Right now, however, we are only aware outside, and when we are aware outside then we are not aware inside. Sometimes we shut it all off, we go into a room and put on some music, or we sit in a chair, close our eyes, relax and go inside. Then we become aware inside, depending on the degree to which we have developed. Pratyahara means to go inside but to keep the awareness at the conscious level, around the level of manas. In the stage of pratyahara we are not attempting to go deep. Only when we have mastered pratyahara will we begin to dip into chitta, the subconscious mind. Dipping into the subconscious mind while we are still awake is actually an achievement. This can be done when the mind is in the alpha mode. When we practise meditation techniques, beginning with pratyahara, we gain the ability to go into this subconscious dimension consciously. This will come only in the last stages of pratyahara, not in the beginning. In the early stages we try to work on developing our internal conscious state and becoming aware of what is happening in manas. Watching the thoughts, watching the emotions, seeing how they interrelate, how a thought engenders an emotion and how that emotion engenders another emotion. This is the stage where the practice of antar darshan comes in. Antar darshan is not a kind of rebirthing technique where you go very deep into your subconscious and unconscious emotions and try to bring them up. That practice comes later when we have mastered and understood exactly what is happening at the conscious level. We have to clean out the area where we live – our bedroom, the living room, the sadhana room, the workplace. We do not try to clean out the attic or the cellar first; we have to start where we are. This all takes place within the area of manas, through the practices of pratyahara. In the practice of antar darshan we can expect to look at the more conscious feelings and emotions. We should not try to have intense experiences during this practice. If an intense experience arises, that is fine and we can just experience it, but that is not the aim of this practice. It is important to understand the development of the process. It is like learning to swim. First you go to the beach, enter the water and stay in the shallows. You walk in up to your knees, then up to your waist, then up to your shoulders and then you submerge yourself in the water. You submerge in the mind, and you start to swim in this shallow area. If at any time you feel a bit uneasy or unsafe, you can just put your feet down and touch the bottom and find your stability there. When we go out of pratyahara and into the next stages of dharana and dhyana, it is like going out of the shallow water into the depths. Dharana is like the first depths where you go in maybe ten to twelve feet over your head. When you go into dhyana you go deeper, maybe twenty-five or thirty feet. In order to swim in the depths you must be a good swimmer, you must be confident that you can swim, otherwise it is not safe. The same thing applies to the mind. You must first train your mind in the different stages and practices of pratyahara. You must develop a strong mind. A strong mind is a mind that is not afraid of itself, that can face the experiences that arise within without becoming unbalanced. In this way it is a mind which remains serene and balanced in all situations in life. If you are suddenly faced with a death in the family, the loss of a job, or a tremendous rejection from somebody that you love, what will happen to your mind then? What often happens is that we go out of control and we become weak suddenly because we are not able to face that situation. We are not able to face those emotions with equanimity. A strong mind is a mind that has been trained for years, or even a lifetime, to face itself in every situation. As the mind gets stronger this happens by itself, and even without practising concentration the mind becomes concentrated. As the mind becomes concentrated we become able to swim out into deep water and we are able to have more intense experiences in meditation. The perfection of antar darshan will lead us to hridaya-kasha dharana. Hridayakasha dharana comes when the mind and the emotions have become stable and steady, and when we have attained some degree of mastery within and without ourselves. The practice of dharana comes when we have become steady, stable and unshakeable. We are unshakeable because we understand ourselves. We understand our mind, our emotions and our thoughts. We have come to terms with them so we are unshakeable. Whatever faces us and whatever situation arises we can manage it without being affected. Dharana is a higher stage, not just in meditation but in life. Be passionate about your life and the experiences you fill it with. Remain open to as much input as possible. Don’t shut down the feedback loop with judgment, rigid beliefs, and prejudices. Don’t censor incoming data through denial. Examine other points of view as if they were your own. Take responsibility for making conscious choices. Work on psychological blocks like shame and guilt – they falsely color your reality. Free yourself emotionally – to be emotionally resilient is the best defense against growing rigid. Harbor no secrets – they create dark places in the psyche. Be willing to redefine yourself every day. Don’t regret the past or fear the future. Both bring misery through self-doubt. Awareness isn’t passive. It directly leads to action (or inaction). As you take steps to expand your awareness, you will naturally find yourself harnessing your mind’s infinite power to create greater health, happiness, and love in your life.

    ༺ ॐ ༻

  • 3.2 : तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम्॥२॥
  • 2. Tatra pratyayaikatānatā dhyānam.
  • A balanced, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyana).
  • The distinguishable feature of meditation (dhyana) is the sustenance of a continual flow of attention on a fixed point or region, without interference or interruption. In dhyana, psychological and chronological time come to a standstill as the mind observes its own behaviour. The strength of attention in the field of consciousness neither alters nor vacillates, remaining as stable, smooth and constant as oil being poured from a jug. Upholding the same strength of awareness, the attentive awareness moves from one-pointed concentration to no-pointed attentiveness. The dissimilarity between dharana and dhyana is that dharana is more concerned with the elimination of fluctuating thought-waves in order to achieve single-pointed concentration; in dhyana, the emphasis is on the maintenance of steady and profound contemplative observation. Ekatanata connotes an unbroken flow of contact between the sadhaka's consciousness and his sadhana. It can thus be seen that dhyana may be achieved in both asana and pranayama. In asana, there is a centrifugal movement of consciousness to the frontiers of the body, whether stretched vertically, horizontally or circumferentially, and a centripetal movement as the whole body is brought into single focus. If attention is steadily maintained in this manner, meditation takes place. Likewise, in pranayama, the flow of in- or out- breath is considerately measured and sustained, resulting in complete involvement with the self. During retention, when the breath, cells of the torso, consciousness and soul are brought into unison, meditation happens. In short, when attention, reflection and contemplation in action and observation are steadily sustained, dharana evolves into dhyana. The key term in this verse is pratayaya. Pratayaya, is an auxiliary cause, as distinguished from a direct cause (hetu). A seed, for example, is a direct cause of a plant, while sunshine, water, and earth are auxiliary causes of a plant. Mind is an inseparable part of the human being. It is distinct from brain, nervous system; it is distinct from all other physical organs, it is distinct from Pranic Force behind body activities. The mind is distinct from all these systems but at the same time, it is closely associated with all these systems of the body. Mind is very difficult to access directly but all these systems are relatively easier to access. So mind can be accessed through these systems.People have not been clear about dharana and dhyana. Both are not the same. Dharana is the contact, and dhyana is the connection. Dharana, which means "holding on", is the focusing and holding one's awareness to one object for a long period of time. Dhyana is contemplating, reflecting on whatever Dharana has focused on. Dharana must precede dhyana, because the mind needs focusing on a particular object before a connection can be made.. People frequently confuse concentration with meditation. In concentration, there is a subject and an object. You, the subject, are concentrating on a the bindu of Sri yantra candle, or an image of ishtadevata or the tip of your nose. These are objects of concentration. In meditation, the object disappears. The subject disappears. All becomes one. Rather than focusing on a mantra, you and the mantra become one. In meditation, all borders, boundaries, and separation between ourselves and the universe begin to disappear. We begin to realize the inherent oneness of all beings and all of creation. Dhyana is contemplation. If the concentration was on one object, Dhyana is non-judgmental, non-presumptuous observation of that object. Dhyana is uninterrupted train of thought, current of cognition, flow of awareness. In Patanjali's Raja Yoga, dhyana is "a refined meditative practice" a "deeper concentration of the mind", which is taken up after preceding exercises such as mastering pranayama (breath control) and dharana (mental focus). Dhyana is integrally related to Dharana, one leads to other. Dharana is a state of mind, Dhyana the process of mind. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana in that the meditator becomes actively engaged with its focus. 4000 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya, in his commentary on Yoga Sutras, distinguishes Dhyana from Dharana, by explaining Dhyana as the yoga state when there is only the "stream of continuous thought about the object, uninterrupted by other thoughts of different kind for the same object"; Dharana, states Shankara, is focussed on one object, but aware of its many aspects and ideas about the same object. Shankara gives the example of a yogin in a state of dharana on morning sun may be aware of its brilliance, color and orbit; the yogin in dhyana state contemplates on sun's orbit alone for example, without being interrupted by its color, brilliance or other related ideas. Dhyana is the continuous flow of the same thought or image of the object of meditation, without being distracted by any other thought. When the mind has been trained to remain fixed on a certain internal or external location, there comes to it the power of flowing in an unbroken current, as it were, towards that point, this state is called Dhyana. While Dharana was the stage in yoga where the yogi held one's awareness to one object for a long period of time, Dhyana is concentrated meditation where he contemplates without interruption the object of meditation, beyond any memory of ego or anything else. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana, in that the yogi contemplates on the object of meditation and the object's aspects only, free from distractions, with his mind during Dhyana. With practice, the process of Dhyana awakens self-awareness.. Let me jump the gun a bit-- when one has so intensified the power of dhyana as to be able to reject the external part of perception and remain meditating only on the internal part, the meaning, that state is called Samadhi. Patanjali distinguishes between Dharana which is effortful focusing of attention, Dhyana which is easy continuous one-pointedness, and Samadhi which is absorption, ecstasy, contemplation. A person who begins meditation practice, usually practices Dharana. With practice he is able to gain ease in which he learns how to contemplate in a sharply focussed fashion, and then "he is able more and more easily to give uninterrupted attention to the meditation object; that is to say, he attains Dhyana". With further practice, the yogi "ceases being detachedly vigilant" and enters "a state of fusion with the meditation object" which is Samadhi. Dhyana is contemplating, reflecting on whatever Dharana has focused on. Dhyana Yoga is the union of the individual self with the universal self. Yogic science does not demarcate where the body starts and the mind begins, but approaches both as a single, integrated entity. . If the concentration was on one object, Dhyana is non-judgmental, non-presumptuous observation of that object. If the focus was on a concept/idea, Dhyana is contemplating that concept/idea in all its aspects, forms and consequences. Dhyana is uninterrupted train of thought, current of cognition, flow of awareness. Contemplation is of three kinds: material (sthula dhyana), luminous (jyotir-dhyana) and subtle (sukshma-dhyana). (a) In "material contemplation", the image of a deity is thought of. (b) In "luminous contemplation", the radiance of Divinity or of Nature (Prakriti) is pondered. (c) In "subtle contemplation", the mind is concentrated on the point-limit (bindu) where the unmanifest becomes manifest, or on the basic coiled energy, kundalini. Contemplation is of two kinds, either on a perceptible form (sa-rupa) or without a perceptible form (a-rupa). Contemplation without a perceptible form is beyond the grasp of words and mind, it belongs to the unmanifest, is all-pervading and cannot be pointed to as 'this' or 'that'. It is only through a long process of identification that yogis can cognize it. 'Dhyana is the study of deep concentration, calmness and tranquility of the mind. It is the study of attaining complete control over ones mind. Meditation takes the consciousness beyond conscious, sub conscious and unconscious states to super consciousness. We all know that our mind is fickle, like a butterfly, which always flies from here and there and does not wait at one place for long. But the speed of our mind is far more than the butterfly or it is greater than the speed of light. Mind can recollect past experiences, keeps thinking about the future and experiences the present with all its might and we do not have any control over our minds journey. Mind has no physical existence. Existence of the mind can't be denied. The nature of the mind is to move from one point to another continuously. The mind has tremendous speed.. Mind doesn't remain stable at any particular point or any object. It keeps moving all the time. Mind runs after the objects it likes but runs away from the objects that it dislikes.You have already studied that the mind is essential in the process of acquiring knowledge. For example when you are listening to a speaker in lecture, you learn through your ears. But if your mind is not concentrating on the lecture then you won't understand anything there. As the mind is unstable, you cannot concentrate on lecture. So to learn what the speaker is telling, you must establish control over your mind and force it to listen to the lecture. Then only you'll be able to acquire knowledge. Hence you have to control movements of mind and make it stable whenever you want, as per your requirements. But this is the most difficult part because of unstable nature of mind. This process of making mind stable is called concentration.. If you want to remember a particular event, you will have to concentrate your mind till you remember that event. Only then, one can get what he wants. But controlling mind is the most difficult task. Efforts are being continuously made to find out the ways and means to establish control over mind. Meditation is one of the very effective ways to control the mind. This control can't be achieved in short period. Meditation is a systematically designed technique to achieve this step by step.In Dhyana Yoga, it is important to remember three things: one-pointedness of mind – controlling its movements; setting bounds to one’s life to help achieve this – doing actions after weighing and measuring them; and state of level-headedness or evenness of vision – having the nobility to think in terms of the whole world. A true yoga teacher is not one who merely instructs verbal cues or gives theoretical knowledge, but also one who guides and teaches mentally, spiritually and physically. The very basic of a yoga class is adjustments and lifestyle intervention, if a teacher does not engages in such, he is just a mundane physical instructor. Dhyana ensures that one does not grow with ego, the sense of self and feeling of being superior, no matter how much achievement you unlock. Practicing Dhyana Yoga allows the practitioner to calm his mind and allow him to look in the outside world without distractions. In doing so, he is able to reach a heightened level of awareness. Dhyana will help us to gain awareness of the happenings and ensure that we ultimately reach true bliss, but not indulge in momentary pleasures. Dhyana involves concentration upon a point of focus with the intention of knowing the truth about it. During dharana the mind is moving in one direction like a quiet river-nothing else is happening. In dhyana, one becomes involved with a particular thing - a link is established between self and object. In other words, you perceive a particular object and at the same time continuously communicate with it. Each time the mind evades you, runs here and there and you bring it back, that is called concentration. Concentration is trying to fix the mind on one thing. Meditation is when you have tried and are successful. To focus the attention to one point will not result in insight or realization. One must identify and become "one with" the object of contemplation, in order to know for certain the truth about it. In dhyana, the consciousness of the practitioner is in one flow; it is no longer fixed on one subject as in dharana. Vedanta holds that, since the universal divine Self dwells within the heart, the way to experience and recognize divinity is to turn one's attention inward in a process of contemplative meditation. Adi Shankaracharya dedicates an extensive chapter on meditation, in his commentary on the Brahma-sutras. The mind is like a lake, and stones that are dropped into it (or winds) raise waves. Those waves do not let us see who we are. (...) The waters must be calmed. If one remains quite, eventually the winds that ruffle the water will give up, and then one knows who one is. God is constantly within us, but the mind obscures that fact with agitated waves of worldly desires. Meditation quiets those waves (Bhagavad Gita V.28).

    There are different forms of Dhyana Yoga. The aim is to withdraw all senses from various objects of interest and focus on one object. Dhyana Yoga produces a state of tranquility. Its objective is to cleanse the subconscious, develop concentration, clear the mind, and bring about various stages of unified communion with God. The most important aspect for a successful meditation practice is regularity. The best time for practice is early morning. The great yogis recommend we practice during Brahmamuhurta, or the hours between 4 and 6 am. Find a quiet undisturbed place in your house to meditate and set up an inspiring and vibrationally uplifting meditation space or altar. If possible you should try to find a place that no one else will disturb -It is common practice to set on the altar some photos of your main deity, or the Om symbol. Many people cover the altar with a pleasing colour cloth and keep there fresh flowers, incense, oil lamp, and one or several deity figures. To be able to meditate well you have to be able to sit comfortably. Try to find a good, comfortable cross-legged posture. Your posture should be very steady and easy to maintain. The back should be straight to balance the spirit level inyour inner ear cochlea. and the whole body should be as relaxed as possible. Generally you should keep your hands on the knees or folded together in front of the body to help preserve energy. Try not to move. Keep your eyes closed unless you are practicing tratak (steady gazing). At this point it can be helpful to repeat the mantra OM several times, at first out loud and then gradually mentally. It will help to calm the mind in preparation for the remaining steps. Now that you are comfortably in your steady posture in your meditation space, you should make a sankalpa, or resolve, commanding the mind to be quiet for a specific length of time – this will give a powerful instruction to the subconscious mind. The resolve could be, ‘I will keep my mind quiet for 20 minutes’, or ‘I will meditate 15 minutes’. Whatever you choose for your sankalpa be sure to finish the resolve to give strength to the mind and set up a good pattern for your practice. It is important at this stage not to force the mind to be still. If you try to force it too much it will rebel, making your practice even more difficult. Be patient and persevere.. Work with your mind, not against it. Try to be a witness of the extraneous thoughts, not being affected by them, but letting them go by as though you are just watching and not engaging with them. This stage can be very difficult, but with proper patience and diligence can be overcome. Calm the bubbling emotions, sentiments, instincts and impulses through silent meditation. Once your mind starts to calm down you should select a focal point, or lakshya, to concentrate on. This is usually either the place between the eyebrows (ajna chakra), or in the heart center in the middle of the chest (anahata chakra). Center your mind in that point, concentrating all of your prana (energy) and attention at that place. As an aid to concentration, it can be helpful to envision in your lakshya a bright white light or your main deity, or OM symbol or the Bindu of Sri Yantra. Usually people will choose the space between the eyebrows and more emotional people will choose the heart center. Once you determine your focal point you should never change it. The last step is to concentrate on a mantra. This becomes your main object of concentration. Everything else should just be in the background of your mind. Keep repeating the mantra until you become totally immersed in it. You should coordinate the correct repetition of the mantra on the inhale, and the correct repetition of the mantra on the exhale. Some people don't have a mantra, and it is acceptable for them to use the universal mantra OM. In dharana, the mind is put through various rigors of trainings to restrain its waywardness and to refine its awareness to the ultimate degree of ‘one-pointedness’. Achieving this state is an ‘active process’ that requires much effort. But it is precisely when this ‘one-pointedness’ of mind ceases to be an ‘active effort’ and then just ‘happens naturally’, without any effort, that we have achieved the state of meditation.… notice that I refer to meditation as a ‘state’ (of being, or of mind), and not a techinique that we ‘practice’. So dhyana, as far as it can be described with words, is an unbroken stream of concentration, whereby very little ‘sense of self’ remains. At this level, it becomes increasingly more difficult to use words and the reasoning, conscious mind to describe the experiences of yoga. After all, the state of meditation, by its very nature transcends our material human experience and everything that is related to it. We could say that meditation (dhyana), is concentration (dharana) taken to ‘perfection’ — In other words, a meditative state is the natural result of ‘perfect concentration’. So it is prolonged concentration, then, that leads the sadhaka into this ‘spontaneous’ and ‘free-flowing’ meditative state, whereby nothing but the object of concentration fills the mental space; and whereby the observer and the observed merge into one. We could also say that it is the occasional appearance of ‘distractions in the mind’ that constitutes the essential difference between dharana and dhyana. Meditation is an exalted state of being which is produced by a moral and ethical, pure lifestyle; control of the body and breath through Asana and Pranayama; transcendence of and freedom from the imprisonment of the senses in Pratyahara. Practices of Dharana, exercises in concentrating and focusing the mind must be perfected. Only then is one able to even speak of meditation, let alone experience it. Prayer is NOT meditation. The former is a petition to God, and the other is a detached observation of one's own mind, and its processes. In the modern world, meditation is used as a non-religious technique for relaxation and stress reduction for long-term psychological improvements. Meditation is done to purify the mind and gain insight. It abstracts the self from conscious thought, and frees the mind from feelings that cause stress and suffering. It fosters creative intelligence, raise consciousness, and enables fuller use to be made of mental potential. The spiritual aims are peace of mind, wisdom, and, ultimately, a state of enlightenment or self-realization. It is a form of natural healing, and helps people cope with anxiety, depression, and drug dependence. The attention is focused on monitoring the breath, and noting thoughts crossing the mind, without any judgement or attempt at control, but as a silent and detached witness. If the mind throws up distractions, the meditator returns to simply observing the breath each time the distraction happens. A relaxed and unhurried attitude is important, since slowing down and observing the mind to see how it works is central to the philosophy behind meditation. Using the mantra technique, the meditator concentrates on a mantra to banish intrusive thoughts and thus achieve progressively quieter levels of thinking until thought itself is transcended. The subtle vitalizing frequencies of mantras activate psychic energies and awaken our intuitive faculties. Sonic frequencies interact with our cellular vibration levels and assist in maintaining a healthy resonant frequency in our bodies. Mantras still the activity of thought and helps you find a deeper level of consciousness. Meditation brings peace and allows us to raise our vibrational level. Digestion grounds us. Hence eat only after the meditation session. Eating engages the body’s digestive system , thus returning the body’s vibrational level back to normal. During meditation thinking is separated from perceiving, so that the individual can stand apart from the emotional self. The reason why people remain mired in negativity is because of the beliefs they have inherited over time. Beliefs are subconscious. We act in the way we do because we are not aware of our beliefs and the feelings that these beliefs generate. That is why it is important to obeserve yourself and look within. We can do it. That is why we are different from animals. We can use our conscious mind to observe ,to introspect and dip into the subconscious where our beliefs are embedded , in order to eliminate it. You can meditate to rewrite these negative programmes that cause you misery. To be a mystic or a seer is not the same thing as being a spectator on the fence. Mysticism provides an escape from a life of uninspired existence. It magnifies man and gives him a hope and destiny to fulfill. In the modern era the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action. A Mystic who is not of supreme service to the Society -- AINT NO MYSTIC AT ALL. -- Meditation is an exercise of the mind. What physical exercise is to the body, meditation is to the mind. Silencing the body is easy, but silencing the mind is difficult in this modern age. Silencing is about grace, harmony and tranquility. Exhaustion is NOT tranquility. In the modern age people get stressed, and they need to still the mind--the chattering monkey, which remains entangled in the past and the imagined future, but never in the present. Meditation is about holding your mind to the present. It is the search for inner strength. It is NOT a drill. It has to be done with grace. Your mind cant keep going round and round in circles, etching a deep groove and make the subject deep rooted. Beware of the spiritually arrogant, such persons cant be proper Gurus. A person stops thinking either when he is dead or when he has realised. When your ego powered mind is chattering like a monkey or the angry sea, you miss the truth. Truth can be communicated only in silence. For this deep silence you need to have harmony between the mind, body and soul. The aim of every form of meditation is to still the mind, or you cant purify it and get rid of deep rooted negativities , which affect your health and even give you severe migraines. Meditation is a surgical operation of your subconscious mind to remove and discard negativity / ego and improve tolerance, grace and kindness. Yoga uses the awareness of breath method. The meditator sees the cosmos as nothing but the tiniest packet of quantum energy. It makes you a watcher and a witness. Such a person cannot be an egoist. The art of observing is to help you feel separate from all that you are clinging to. For a layman-- you are stressed when your hands feel cold, your heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension increases. The result is that your immune system goes for a toss and you get depressed or burnt out.. Depression is a weird feeling of loss . Meditation teaches you to look inwards, with awareness , withing yourself and know the true nature of all sensations, and loosen the stranglehold of habits and vices.. he scans his own body and sees where the stress and tension is. He just witnesses , he does not react. His mind does not control him, rather he controls his mind. It is a universal remedy for all universal ills. Find a quiet place to sit for 15 minutes. place where you can sit comfortably, undisturbed, for at least 20 minutes. Background noises like the sound of a car horn or a ticking clock should not be considered hindrances, and in fact can be legitimate objects of mindfulness. Don't wear earplugs . Wear loose clothing and be bare feet. Sit with your back and head held straight. You may sit on the floor or in a chair. Keep your eyes closed. If you must move, notice how and why you are moving. Simply be mindful of in-and-out breathing. You may feel that your breathing is too short, too long, too gentle or too heavy. Do not try to control it. Stop judging. Just let it be, let it settle by itself as you watch. It is the process of watching which is the meditation, not what you are watching. When you become distracted, gently refocus your attention on your breathing. Keep watching. Just breathe... As the abdomen rises, observe the motion from beginning to end with your mind. When the abdomen falls, do the same. That's it. Just keep watching the rising-falling movements. You don't have to do anything to them. Just know the movements without judging or describing them. Restrict your attention to what is occurring in the immediate present moment. Don't think about the past or future— don't think about anything at all. Let go of worries, concerns, and memories. Empty your mind of everything except the movements occurring right now. But don't think about the motions; just know them.In insight meditation the aim is not to think, but only to know. As the abdomen expands, say the word "rising" in your mind. When it contracts, say "falling." Continue to note rising, falling, rising, falling, from one moment to the next. Ninety-percent of your attention should be on the actual movement instead of on the label. The aim in meditation is to know the object itself, not the word. The abdomen should not be visualized. You only have to know the movements. Be sure to breathe naturally; don't try to control the breath in any way. A mental note identifies the object in general but not in detail. For example, when a sound pulls your attention away, label it "hearing" instead of car horn," "voices" or "barking dog." If an unpleasant sensation arises, note "pain " or "feeling" instead of "knee pain" or "my back pain." Then return your attention to the primary object. When aware of a fragrance, say the mental note "smelling" for a moment or two. You don't have to identify the scent. The motto is: "Focus and forget it," or "know and let go."Healing is NOT a physical process, rather it is mental. Mind can wipe mistakes off the DNA blueprint and destroy any disease that has disturbed the design. DNA's ability to repair itself is affected adversely when a person is in depression. Meditation experiences silence, and is devoid of drives, wishes, fears , thoughts and emotions. Afterwards when the mind returns to its usual level of consciousness, it has acquired some freedom to move.. Grace and peace are the hallmarks of a healthy non-delusional mind in a healthy body.. The happiness is stable.There is NO medicine for jealousy, fear, greed and other toxic negativity. Only Yoga can save. Although there is a notable separation between dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) in yogic philosophy, there is also an intimate connection between the two. The ancient Vedic Indian psychology has a fourfold scale, which represents the degrees of the ladder of being by which man climbs back to the source, the absolute divine. The change, from “here” to “there,” is not an uneventful process at all. There come dry periods, deviations, violent alterations, and temptations. If there are raptures and azure heavens, there are anaconda agonies and absolute abandonments, howling hot deserts and “dark cold nights of the soul” to go through. Streaming tears of joy, horripilation (bristling of the hair), stigmata (bodily marks or pains), and parapsychological phenomena have been known to develop. The first stage of meditation achieves detachment from sensual desires and impure states of mind through analysis and reflection and thereby attains an emotional state of satisfaction and joy. In the second stage, intellectual activities are abated to a complete inner serenity; the mind is in a state of “one-pointedness” or concentration, joy, and pleasantness. In the third stage, every emotion, including joy, has disappeared, leaving the meditator indifferent to everything while remaining completely conscious. The fourth stage is the abandoning of any sense of satisfaction, pain, or serenity because any inclination to a good or bad state of mind has disappeared. The meditator thus enters a state of supreme purity, indifference to everything, and pure consciousness. There were no bounds to the magical powers that can be attained by great Hindu ascetics and yogis teaching the suppression of all activity of mind, body, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation.

    “Whatever great thing is known to men is known through meditation … the whole earth, middle space, the heaven, waters and even mountains are engaged in Dhyana”. ~ Chandogya Upanishad 5000 BC

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  • 3.3 : तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥
  • 3. Tad evārthamātra nirbhāsam svarūpa śūnyam iva samādhiḥ.
  • When the object of meditation engrosses the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. This is samadhi.
  • When the attentive flow of consciousness fuses with the object of meditation, the consciousness of the meditator, the subject, appears to be dissolved in the object. This union of subject and object becomes samadhi. When the object of contemplation shines forth without the interference of one's own consciousness, dhyana flows into samadhi. When a musician loses himself and is completely enwrapped in his music, or an inventor makes his discoveries when devoid of ego, or a painter surpasses himself with colour, shade and brush, they glimpse samadhi. So it is with the yogi - when his object of contemplation becomes himself, devoid of himself, he experiences samadhi. The dissimilarity is that the artist or musician arrives at this state by effort, and cannot sustain it; while the yogi, remaining devoid of ego, experiences it as natural, continuous and effortless. Therefore it is difficult for an artist to instill his vision of the sublime, which is associated with the performance and realisation of a particular art form, into his common daily existence. For the yogi, however, whose 'art' is formless and whose goal has no physical expression like a painting, a book or a symphony, the fragrance of samadhi imbues every aspect of his 'normal' behaviour, activities and state of being.

    Uninterrupted flow of attention dissolves the rip between the object seen and the seer who sees it. Consciousness appears to have ceased, and to have reached a state of silence. It is devoid of 'I', and unites into the core of the being in an unfathomed state of serenity. In samadhi, awareness of place vanishes and one ceases to experience space and time. When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. This is samadhi.

    In Samadhi, there is neither Dhyana nor Dhyata (neither meditation nor meditator). The meditator and meditated, the thinker and the thought, the worshipper and the worshipped become one or identical.. Samādhi is the highest state of consciousness that a human can reach in life. It is the goal of our spiritual journey on earth. Samadhi is the blissful return to our Divine origin. When the thousand-petalled Lotus of the Sahasrara Chakra opens and the Jivatma dissolves within it, the goal of its long, experience-rich journey is reached, and its lifelong thirst for the “nectar of immortality” (Amrita) is quenched. There is no longer any individuality. Consciousness and self-awareness continue to exist, but not in the previous duality of “that is mine” and “that is yours”. The person lives on, but from now on the inner Self remains with the Supreme Self. This means the end of all problems and pain, the end of suffering, of rebirth and death. The liberated one lives on the earth in eternal happiness and joy, and when the body is renounced the consciousness dissolves completely in the Divine Self. As in sleep, physical sensations such as heat, cold, hunger, thirst, etc., are strongly diminished in Samadhi. The state of Samadhi, however, is in no way detrimental to the body. The atma is at all times connected to the body, and is a witness to everything that occurs. Therefore, at any time one can return to “normal consciousness” just as one instantly awakens from a dream if touched or spoken to. Samadhi is the Supreme Consciousness in which knower, knowledge and object of knowledge unite. A peaceful nature, all-understanding goodness, purity, splendour and a quiet dignity radiate from a God-Realised soul. When all the “seeds” of the Vasanas (desires, wishes) have been roasted and burnt in the “fire of Yoga” can they no longer sprout. Only then does the door to liberation open to the aspirant. Because from then on one’s actions produce no new Samskaras in one’s consciousness, and therefore no more effects for subsequent lives. With the dissolution of the ego – when the distinction of “my I” and “your I” no longer exist – the Sanchitkarma ((Karma from earlier lives) also dissolves. He is so much established in that state of spiritual consciousness or awareness that even while he is moving and acting, he still remains in that state of inner awareness. He has no use for Guinness book of world records , dye for hair /beard , or faalthu limelight on TV. They no longer identify with body, mind, senses, emotions, qualities, worldly position or profession. Their inner bliss is unshakable. The last chains of Karma dissolve, and all associated attachments vanish. They discover the entire Universe within and also identify the Self with the Cosmos. Nirvikalpa Samadhi means "free from all sorts of modifications and imaginations." The mind completely melts in BrahmAn. A sudden stroke of mystic illumination puts an end to all the empirical existence altogether and the very idea or remembrance of such a thing as this world or the narrow individuality of the spirit in this world absolutely leaves the Self. When you enter into nirvikalpa samadhi, however, you not only feel bliss, but actually grow into that bliss. You see the universe as a tiny dot inside your vast heart. When the yogi can: (1) sustain focus on the pratyaya for an extended period of time, and (2) minimize his or her self-consciousness during the practice, then dhyana transforms into samadhi. In this fashion then, the yogi becomes fused with the pratyaya. Patanjali compares this to placing a transparent jewel on a colored surface: the jewel takes on the color of the surface. Similarly, in samadhi, the consciousness of the yogi fuses with the object of thought, the pratyaya. The pratyaya is like the colored surface, and the yogi's consciousness is like the transparent jewel. Samadhi is a spiritual state of consciousness. When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. When, in meditation, the true nature of the object shines forth, not distorted by the mind of the perceiver, that is absorption (samadhi). In samadhi the mind becomes still. It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment

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  • 3.4 : त्रयमेकत्र संयमः॥४॥
  • 4. Trayam ekatra saṁyamḥ.
  • These three together - dharana, dhyana and samadhi - make up integration or samyama.   In samyama the three are a single thread, evolving from uninterrupted attention to samadhi.
  • The word “samyama” is comprised of two parts: sam, meaning “together,” and yama, meaning “discipline.”. It is the tool used to reach the subtler levels of non-attachment. A sharp tool of discrimination used for deep introspection, it uncovers our true nature. The finest discrimination eventually leads to liberation, which then allows us to move past our ignorance and ego. The only prerequisit for this practice is to have some inner silence when we sit for meditation. The nervous system also goes to silence with the mind, and our metabolism slows way down. The yogi loses does NOT get a hop even if Miss World does a naked lapdance . Semen retention is a piece of cake –this is NOT the way Gandhi did it using naked teenage girls under the same blanket and mutual enemas. Samyama is the greatest synthesis of human consciousness, the smooth seamless synthesis of three: dharana, dhyan, samadhi. Samyama, is a state of immobility, and a samyami is one who represses his passions and stays motionless. The following analogy illustrates the organic relationship between dharana, dhyana and samadhi. When one contemplates a diamond, one at first sees with great clarity the gem itself. Gradually one becomes aware of the light glowing from its centre. As awareness of the light grows, awareness of the stone as an object diminishes. Then there is only brightness, no source, no object. When the light is everywhere, that is samadhi. Dharana brings stability in mind, dhyana develops maturity in intelligence and samadhi acts to disperse the consciousness. Dharana, dhyana and samadhi intermingle to become samyama, or integration. The intermingling of mind, intelligence and consciousness is samyama of the three. The vision of the seer is equivalent to nirbija samadhi. Advanced Yogis can reach this state by mere yoga nidra -- tip of forefinger meeting thumb. A yogi who is can do samyama defeats all 'cognitive obscurations' ( kleshas). Samyama means perfect control of the mind. Here it is a technical name for three inseparable processes of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi taken collectively. Samyama is the state of resting in deep inner silence (samadhi), along with the ability to pick up a thought (focus/dharana) and let it go inward (meditation/dhyana). If thoughts are coming, we just let them go without entertaining them. In samyama practice we do not entertain the mantra either. We start by not favoring anything but being easy in our silence, however much silence we have from our just completed meditation session, and naturally present in us from our months or years of daily meditation. This is the starting point for samyama — silence. The only prerequisite for doing samyama practice is having some inner silence. Because releasing into silence puts us in touch with our inner stillness, beyond the reflections and reactions of surface thinking. We suddenly have “broadband access” to our deepest levels of will and awareness, if only we will stay out of our own way by allowing our awareness to rest in silence, after we have released the thought or feeling, using the samyama technique. This can be difficult at first for a raw yogi aspirant, but with practice and faith (trusting the process and the answers that come up from this stillness) it gets easier and more natural.Samyama is a practice by which the yogi can gain tremendous knowledge and power. It can be applied with a focus on any one object at a time. When it is practiced on an object, the yogi practicing samyama is able to dive deep and find the truest knowledge of the object. The yogi should begin by focusing on tangible objects, then refining their practice as they shift to subtler objects. Regular practice of samyama will firm a yogi’s knowledge of samadhi, making it more natural and lucid. Don’t make the LUST emotion stronger by thinking about it, we just bring it up and before the mind can grab it and make it a full-fledged story, we drop it into stillness.

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  • 3.5 : तज्जयात्प्रज्ञालोकः॥५॥
  • 5. Tajjayāt prajñālokḥ.
  • From mastery of samyama comes the light of awareness and insight.
  • When mastery of integration (samyama) is achieved, the splendour of wisdom and insight shines brilliantly, harmonising the known with the knowable and revealing the soul. Awareness and cognition become firmer and sharper by direct spiritual perception. Ordinarily, human intelligence flutters from object to object and from place to place, making it impossible to interpenetrate fully into any one thing. In samyama, the knower comes closer and closer to the known and, unifying in it, loses his separateness. When one has succeeded in making this Samyama, all powers come under his control. Samyama should be first applied to gross things, when when you begin to get knowledge of the gross, slowly, by stages, it should be brought to finer things. Through the mastery of that three-part process of samyama, the light of knowledge, transcendental insight, or higher consciousness (prajna) dawns, illumines, flashes, or is visible. Prajña is used to refer to the highest and purest form of wisdom, intelligence and understanding. Pragya is the state of wisdom which is higher than the knowledge obtained by reasoning and inference. The Sanskrit word Praja is the combination of "प्र (pra-)" which prefix means – before, forward, fulfiller, and used as the intensifier but rarely as a separate word and "ज्ञ (jna)" which means - knowing or familiar with. The third chapter of the Aitareya Upanishad teaches – तत्प्रज्ञानेत्रम् प्रज्ञाने प्रतिष्ठितं प्रज्ञानेत्रो लोकः प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म (III.i.3) that all that exist, all phenomena cosmic and psychical, are rooted in Prajna i.e. Consciousness, and Consciousness is Brahman. The main theme of Kaushitaki Upanishad is that without Prajaā the senses do not work, which is knowledge, for by knowledge one sees clearly; Prajñā is Brahman and all things are rooted in Brahman. Prana is Prajna, self-consciousness. It is Prajna that takes possession of Speech, and by speech one obtains words; takes possession of the nose, and one obtains odours; takes possession of the eye, and one obtains all forms; takes possession of the ear, and one obtains all sounds; takes possession of the tongue, and one obtains all tastes of food; takes possession of the hands, and one obtains all actions; takes possession of the body, and one obtains pleasure and pain; takes possession of the organ, one obtains happiness, joy and offspring; takes possession of the feet, one obtains all movements and takes possession of mind, and one obtains all thoughts, without Prajñā, no thoughts succeed. The Vedantasara tells us that Brahman is to be thought of as being Nirguna, without attributes; Brahman is the sole reality, everything else is Anatman, non-existence and non-knowledge., Prajna (प्राज्ञ) – अस्य ज्ञात्वमस्पष्टोपाधितयानतिप्रकाशकत्वात् ||४४|| Intelligence in its invisible form refers to Brahman – आनन्दभुक् चेतोमुखः प्राज्ञः ("Prājña, the enjoyer of bliss, with Consciousness for its aid" (Mandukya Upanishad 5)), the all-knowing reality, in its visible form it is the parviscient Jiva which is able to differentiate itself from Ishvara – सता सोम्य तदा सम्पन्नो भवति ("Then (in dreamless sleep), my dear, he (Jiva) becomes one with Existence (Ishvara) " (Chandogya Upanishad VI.viii.1)).[14]

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  • 3.6 : तस्य भूमिषु विनियोगः॥६॥
  • 6. Tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogḥ.
  • Samyama can be applied in various spheres to derive its usefulness.
  • Patanjali explains that this insight and wisdom needs to be decently circularised in various spheres of one's life. One who has not mastered the lower stages cannot attain the higher, nor can he jump the intermediate stages. If eash stage is followed in turn, one becomes familiarised with them by degrees, and full insight develops. This sutra affirms that no one can expect success or mastery without regular practice, and also warns one not to jump to higher stages of practice without first establishing a firm foundation through the primary steps of yoga. Patanjali does not mention kundalini, but speaks of the energy of nature flowing abundantly in a yogi . Kundalini is a neologism. This energy of nature (prakrti shakti) was originally known as agni or fire. Later yogis called this fire kundalini (the coiled one) as its conduit in the body is coiled 3.5 times at the base of the spine. It is, however, clear that many who undergo an overpowering experience of fusion with the universal consciousness reap, through their unpreparedness, more pain than benefit. To the lucky, healthy few, such an experience can serve as an incite to begin a true spiritual search, but to many others it can bring ruthless physical and psychological disorders. The eightfold path, although it may appear mystical to the uninitiated, is ultimately a path of spiritual evolution whose motto might well be 'safety first'. The foundation must be secure, as Patanjali emphasises when he places yama and niyama first, and when he marks an explicit step up between asana and pranayama. Yoga is the teacher of yoga. The power of yoga manifests through yoga alone. He who does not become careless, negligent or inattentive, he alone rests in yoga and enjoys yoga. 'Yogena yogojhatavya yogo yogatpravartate yo pramattastu yogena sa yogo ramate dram.' That three-part process of samyama is gradually applied to the finer planes, states, or stages of practice. The finer states naturally come forward: When the practice of samyama is applied to the finer states, the subtler aspects naturally reveal themselves during the deeper practices. It does not necessarily mean that you will know the details of those ahead of time. Rather, the inner journey itself reveals the subtler aspects. Stages are usually not skipped: Typically, the stages are experienced one after the other, as they reveal themselves, without skipping any of the stages of subtle experience along the way. We need not experience all the stages: Even though the subtle states naturally come forward in a systematic order, it is not essential that we seek out and experience each and every one of the stages.  Samyama may not be needed on all of the stages because proficiency might be attained through the gift of grace. Samyama may be applied in various spheres to derive its usefulness. It must be applied stage by stage. Samyama must be developed gradually.  That three-part process of samyama is gradually applied to the finer planes, states, or stages of practice. This is a note of  warning not to attempt to go too fast.

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  • 3.7 : त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः॥७॥
  • 7. Trayam antaraṅgam pūrvebhyḥ.
  • These three aspects of yoga are internal, compared to the former five.
  • Compared to the former five aspects of yoga, it may he seen that dharana, dhyana and samadhi are more subtle, internal, intimate and subjective practices. The first five, which deal with the seen or cognisable sheaths, are called the external quest. Yama purifies the organs of action; niyama, the senses of perception; asana cleanses the physical and organic aspects of the body; pranayama stops wastage of energy and increases stamina; pratyahara cleanses the mind. More intimately, dharana develops and sharpens intelligence, dhyana purifies consciousness and samadhi leads consciousness towards the soul. These three are directly involved in the subtle sheaths of mind, intelligence and consciousness, and are very close to the spiritual heart. They directly affect the spiritual path, and are therefore called the inner quest, or sabtja samadhi, because the sadhaka now has one-pointed consciousness. In samadhi pada, Patanjali explained that truth-bearing wisdom (rtambhara prajna) is the threshold between sabtja and nirbija samadhis. Here he describes samyama as the penultimate step towards nirbija samadhi. In the next sutra Patanjali explains that samyama is external to nirbija samadhi, and then proceeds, in 111.9-16, to interpenetrate the transformations in the very substance of the consciousness, leading one to experience its finest state, which appears to be subtler than samyama. Outer awareness falls away: When asana (postures), pranayama (breath/prana), senses (pratyahara) are seen to be external, they have been left behind, and fall away from awareness. This is much like the way the external world seems to vanish for us when we are intimately involved with our body and breath awareness practices. It is as if the body, breath, and senses no longer exist for us; we have gone beyond them, now truly entering into the mind field. The mind field is now perceived in a very different way, compared to the noisy, monkey mind when earlier trying to just sit still.  Concentration, meditation, and samadhi are intimate: When asana, pranayama, and pratyahara (body, breath, senses) fall away, or are left behind, then concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and samadhi are seen as quite intimate or internal. The boundary line between out there and in here has significantly shifted; we are now ready to explore the subtler realities, and to begin the process of setting those aside as well (vairagya, non-attachment, 1.15-1.16), still seeking the eternal Self at the core of our being (1.3).  These three [dharana, dhyana and samadhi] are more internal than the preceding five limbs. These three are more direct aids to experience than the five limbs previously described. These three are nearer than those that precede. Before these we had the Pranayama, the Asana, the Yama and Niyama; these are external parts of these three— Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. Yet these latter even are external to the seedless Samadhi. When a man has attained to them he may attain to omniscience and omnipresence, but that would not be salvation. These three would not make the mind Nirvikalpa, changeless, but would leave the seeds for getting bodies again; only when the seeds are, as the Yogi says, “fried,” do they lose the possibility of producing further plants. These powers cannot fry the seed Antarangam has nothing to do with sexology as some Tamil Agama TV channels are propagating

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  • 3.8 : तदपि बहिरङ्गं निर्बीजस्य॥८॥
  • 8. Tad api bahiraṅgam nirbījasya.
  • Similarly, samyama is external when compared to seedless (nirbija) samadhi.
  • Even this perfection of dharana, dhyana and samadhi appears external to one who has experienced the seedless samadhi, the direct vision of the soul. Citta is divided into five states: 1. ksipta, a mental force, which is scattered, in a state of disarray and neglect 2. mudha, a foolish and dull state 3. viksipta, agitated and distracted, neither marshalled nor controlled 4. ekagra, a state of one-pointed attention 5. niruddha, where everything is restrained, for the sadhaka to reach the threshold of kaivalya. As samyama is dependent on a support or a form, it is called 'external' compared to nirbija samadhi. Once the vehicles of nature (body, organs of action, senses of perception, mind, intelligence, reason and consciousness) cease to function, the soul (atman) shines forth, and the sadhaka dwells in kaivalya and not on its threshold. Sleep comes naturally when mental activities cease without effort. In the same manner, perfection in sabtja samadhi takes one towards the seedless state of samadhi or kaivalya, as smoothly as falling asleep. The soul surfaces of its own accord.All eight rungs of the Yoga Sutras come to be seen as external practices, when considered in relation to nirbija samadhi. The state where the mind has no impressions of any sort and nothing is beyond its reach [nirbijah samadhi] is more intricate than the state of directing the mind towards an object [samadhi]. However, these three practices are external, and not intimate compared to nirbija samadhi, which is samadhi that has no object, nor even a seed object on which there is concentration.

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  • 3.9 : व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः॥९॥
  • 9. Vyutthāna nirodha saṁskārayor abhibhava prādurbhāvau nirodha kṣaṇa cittānvayo nirodha pariṇāmḥ.
  • Study of the silent moments between rising and restraining subliminal impressions is the transformation of consciousness towards restraint (nirodha parinamah).
  • Transformation by restraint of consciousness is achieved by study of the silent moments that occur between the rising of impressions and one's impulse to hold them back, and between the restraining impulse and the resurgence of thought. Sensory involvement leads to attachment, desire, frustration and anger. These usher in disorientation, and the eventual decay of one's true intelligence. Through the combined techniques and resources of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama and pratyahara one learns control. These are all external means of restraining consciousness, whether one focuses on God, or the breath, or in an asana by learning to direct and disseminate consciousness. All this learning develops in the relationship between subject and object. It is relatively simple because it is a relative, dual process. Cutting one's ties to sense objects within one's own consciousness carries immensely more weight than any severance from outside objects; if this was not so, a prisoner in solitary confinement would be halfway to being a yogi. Through the inner quest, the inner aspects of desire, attraction and aversion are brought to an end. Nirodha parinama is associated with the method used in meditation, when dharana loses its sharpness of attention on the object, and intelligence itself is brought into focus. In dharana and nirodha parinama, observation is a dynamic initiative. Through nirodha parinama, transformation by restraint or suppression, the consciousness learns to calm its own fluctuations and distractions, deliberate and non-deliberate. The method consists of noticing, then conquering and finally enlarging those subliminal pauses of silence that occur between rising and restraining thoughts and vice versa. As long as one impression is replaced by a counter-impression, consciousness rises up against it. This state is called vyutthana citta, or vyutthana samskara (rising impressions). Restraining the rising waves of consciousness and overcoming these impressions is nirodha citta or nirodha samskara. The precious psychological moments of intermission (nirodhaksana) where there is stillness and silence needs to be prolonged into extra-chronological moments of consciousness, without beginning or end. The key to understanding this wheel of mutations in consciousness is to be found in the breath. Between each inbreath and outbreath, one experiences the cessation of breath for a split second. Without this gap, one cannot inhale or exhale. This interval between each breath has another advantage - it allows the heart and lungs to rest. This rest period is called 'savasana' of the heart and lungs. The yogis who had discovered pranayama called this natural space kumbhaka, and advised humans to prolong its duration. So, there are four movements in each breath - inhalation, pause, exhalation and pause. Consciousness, too, has four movements - rising consciousness, a quiet state of consciousness, restraining consciousness and a quiet state of consciousness.Inhalation actually generates thought-waves, while exhalation helps to restrain them . The pauses between breaths, which take place after inhalation and exhalation are akin to the intervals between each rising and restraining thought. The mutation of breath and mutation of consciousness are thus identical, because both are silent periods for the physiological and intellectual body. They are moments of void in which a sense of emptiness is felt. Sadhakas are advised by Patanjali to transform this sense of emptiness into a dynamic whole, as single-pointed attention to no-pointed attentiveness This will become the second mode - samadhi pannama. In this process one often loses awareness on account of suppression and distraction. Having understood these silent intervals, one has to prolong them, as one prolongs breath retention, so that there is no room for generation or restraint of thoughts (Lord Krishna says in the Gita that 'What is night for other beings, is day for an awakened yogi and what is night for a yogi is day for others' (11.69) This sutra conveys the same idea. When generating thoughts and their restraint keep the seeker awake, it is day for him, but night for the seer. When the seer is awake in the prolonged spaces between rising and restraining thought, it is day for him, but night for the seeker. To understand this more clearly, one can imagine the body as a lake. The mind floats on its surface, but the seer is hidden at the bottom. This is darkness for the seer. Yoga practice causes the mind to sink and the seer to float. This is day for the seer. Just as one feels refreshed after a sound sleep, the seer's consciousness is refreshed as he utilises this prolonged pause for rejuvenation and recuperation. But at first, it is difficult to educate the consciousness to restrain each rising thought. It is against the thought current (pratipaksa) and hence induces restlessness, while the movement from restraint towards rising thought is with the current (paksa), and brings restfulness. To transform the consciousness into a pure sattvic state of dynamic silence, one must learn by repeated effort to prolong the intermissions . If no impressions are allowed to intrude, the consciousness will remain fresh, and rest in its own abode. This is ekagrata pannama. Consciousness has three dharmic characteristics - to wander, to be restrained and to remain silent. The silent state must be transformed into a dynamic but single state of awareness. Patanjali warns that in restraint old impressions may re-emerge - the sadhaka must train to react instantly to such appearances and cut them off in their source. Each act of restraint re-establishes a state of restfulness. This is dharma pannama. When a serene flow of tranquillity is maintained without interruption, then samadhi pari-qatna and laksana pannama begin. During this phase the sadhaka may become trammeled in a spiritual desert. At this point he must persevere to reach oneness with the soul and abide in that state (avastha pannama) eternally. This final goal is reached through ekagrata pannama. Letting go of the audience: Imagine that you are in a lecture hall several minutes before the speaker has come to give his  talk. All of the people are standing around the lecture hall, and the room is filled with a loud rumble of the collective voices of many conversations. You are watching this, taking it all in, with your mind pulling your senses here and there. Then, the speaker enters the hall, walks to the podium, and begins to speak. Two things happen simultaneously: your attention moves away from all of the other people, while at the same time, your attention becomes directed towards the speaker. Mastery over transitions: The transition away from the people in the audience is somewhat like nirodhah parinima (the transition of suspension), and the companion transition of attention moving towards the speaker is somewhat like samadhi parinima (the transition to absorption. When the attention repeatedly remains with the speaker, this is somewhat like ekagra parinima (the transition where the same absorption repeatedly arises and subsides.. It is the mastery over that process of transition itself that the Yogi is seeking. If you have mastery over these processes of transition, then you have mastery over all of the thought patterns, which might otherwise control your mind, thoughts, actions, and speech. There is a convergence with the transitions: The samskaras or deep impressions naturally arise through a transition phase between inactive and active. Those samskaras also naturally return from the active phase to the inactive. When there is a convergence (anyaya) of the attention with the rising and falling transitions, a high degree of mastery comes. This is an extremely subtle process of samyama . 

    The impressions which normally arise are made to disappear by the appearance of suppressive efforts, which in turn create new mental modifications. The moment of conjunction of mind and new modifications is nirodha parinama. Study of the silent moments between rising and restraining subliminal impressions is the transformation of consciousness towards restraint (nirodhaparinamah).

    When the vision of the lower samadhi is suppressed by an act of conscious control, so that there are no longer any thoughts or visions in the mind, that is the achievement of control of the thought-waves of the mind. The mind is capable of having two states based on two distinct tendencies. These are distraction and attention. At any one moment, however, only one state prevails, and this state influences the individual's behavior, attitudes, and expressions. That high level of mastery called nirodhah-parinamah occurs in the moment when there is a convergence of the rising tendency of deep impressions, the subsiding tendency, and the attention of the mind field itself. Vritti' means literally a 'whirlpool'. It is a thought-wave in the lake of Chitta. Modification of the mind is known as 'Parinama.' Why do Vrittis arise from the Chitta? Because of the Samskaras or Vasanas. If you annihilate all Vasanas or desires, all Vrittis will subside by themselves. If all the Vrittis subside, the mind becomes calm, serene and silent. Then alone you will enjoy peace and bliss. Therefore all happiness lies within. You will have to get it through control of mind and not by CHOPPING OFF YOUR OWN BALLS for semen retention.  Manas is Sankalpa-vikalpatmaka (willing and doubting).  It thinks: whether to go to a place or not; whether to do this or not; whether this is good or bad. The mind is of doubting nature. It is the Buddhi or the light that determines one way or other. Buddhi is Nischayatmaka. It is the determining faculty. The mind, intellect and egoism are various process in the mind-stuff. Ahamkara is the self-asserting principle. It does the function of Abhimana. It creates Mamata or mineness.  EGO is the root cause for all human sufferings. All Vrittis hang on this one Vritti, Aham Vritti.  It is the root cause for human ignorance. Nirodha. It means restraint or suppression. By suppressing the modifications of the mind-stuff or restraining of the thought-waves, a man obtains Yoga. Chitta Vritti Nirodha is the path of Raja Yoga. Suppression of thought waves is easily said. But it is very difficult indeed to practice

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  • 3.10 : तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥
  • 10. Tasya praśānta vāhitā saṁskārāt.
  • The restraint of rising impressions brings about an undisturbed flow of tranquillity.
  • By maintaining perfect awareness in the intervals between rising and restraining impressions, steadiness becomes effortless and natural. Then the stream of tranquillity flows without any ripples in consciousness.By adept, repeated efforts, consciousness is transformed, cultured, refined and polished. It produces freedom from all forms of fluctuations, so that undisturbed peace can flow. As each drop of water aids to form a lake, so one must continue to prolong each tranquil pause between rising and restraining impressions. An expert of abhyasa and vairagya keeps himself steady, so that calmness can flow uninterruptedly. Thus he released from all previous impressions of consciousness.

    The words used by Patanjali for the state of tranquillity constitute atia prasadanam, adhyatma prasadanam, svarasa vahini and ananla samapattih. When agitated, consciousness is brought to an undisturbed state; it is citta prasadanam (favourable disposition of citta). When sorrows are subdued, it is svarasa vahini (flow of the soul's fragrance). When exertion in search of the soul ceases, it is ananla samapattih (assuming the original and eternal form). Expertise in meditation is adhyatma prasadanam (manifestation of the light of the soul). All convey a similar meaning - that the seeker and the sought are one; that the seeker is the seer. That high level of mastery called nirodhah-parinamah occurs in the moment of transition when there is a convergence of the rising tendency of deep impressions, the subsiding tendency, and the attention of the mind field itself. The steady flow of this state (nirodhah-parinamah) continues by the creation of deep impressions (samskaras) from doing the practice. Nirodha parinama is an advanced stage in a yogi's spiritual journey. In this stage, the mind is liberated and no longer influenced by thought-waves, or citta vritti. The state of nirodha parinama is considered to be a transformational state because as the citta vritti cease, the mind is freed to connect with the moment as it appears. Reaching a state of nirodha parinama  takeS a lot of practice and concerted, continual effort. It requires the yogi to have the power to command and restrain their own mind. When they are in this state, the yogi can immediately recognize any samskaras that accumulate and be in control. The flow of nirodha parinama becomes steady through habit. The restraint of rising impressions brings about an undisturbed flow of tranquility. When this suppression of thought-waves becomes continuous, the mind's flow is calm. By constant and uninterrupted practice the mind can remain in a state of attention for a long time. The steady flow of this state (nirodhah-parinamah) continues by the creation of deep impressions (samskaras) from doing the practice. Nirodha parinama bringS about a free flow of peace, tranquility and spontaneous freeing of the mind, unencumbered by thought waves.  Nirodha parinama is the first state of the three parinamas, or great transformations, which together bring the complete liberation of the mind

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