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Samadhi Pada | The Yoga Sutras | Book I

Photo by Karsten Winegeart


Book I - Samadhi Pada - Absorption

I.1 Now, the teachings of yoga.

I.2 Yoga is the stilling of the fluctuations of the mind.

I.3 When that happens, the seer abides in its own true nature

I.4 At all other times, the seer is absorbed in the fluctuations of the mind.

I.5 There are 5 mind states or vrittis that can be beneficial or detrimental to the practice of yoga.

I.6 The 5 vrittis are right knowledge, error, imagination, sleep, and memory.

I.7 Right knowledge consists of sense perception, logic, and verbal testimony.

I.8 Error is false knowledge that comes from misunderstanding.

I.9 Imagination is the usage of words that are not connected to an object in reality.

I.10 Sleep is a mind state in the absence of conscious thought.

I.11 Memory is the retention of the senses during previous experiences.

I.12 The vrittis are stilled by practice and non-attachment.

I.13 Practice is the effort of concentrating the mind.

I.14 Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated without interruption and with devotion over a long period of time.

I.15 Non-attachment is the controlled consciousness of one who is no longer craving for sensory objects, real, perceived, or heard about.

I.16 Higher than this is lack of craving is indifference to the gunas themselves, which comes from the true perception through the purusha or soul.


I.17 Samprajnata, another word for samadhi, consists of various mental stages of absorption with physical and subtle awareness, absorption with bliss and with the ego.

I.18 Samprajnata-samadhi, the other samadhi, is preceded by cultivating the determination to cease all thoughts. When this happens, only latent impressions remain.

I.19 For those who do not have physical bodies and those who are merged in matter, Samprajnata is characterized by absorption in the subtle aspects of prakriti.

I.20 But for others, the state of latent impressions comes from faith, vigor,memory, absorption in samadhi, and discernment.

I.21 Samprajnata is near for practitioners who are applying themselves with full effort.

I.22 Even among committed practitioners, some may practice with mild, moderate, or enthusiastic intensity.

I.23 This state can also come from devotion to God.

I.24 The Lord is a unique soul, untouched by the kleshas, karma, and the fruits of karmic action.

I.25 The seed of God's omniscience is unsurpassed.

I.26 And was the original guru to the ancients because The Lord is not limited by time.

I.27 The Lord's name is the mystical syllable Om.

I.28 Repeat this and contemplate its meaning.

I.29 From this comes the recognition of the inner consciousness and freedom from all disturbances.

I.30 These disturbances are disease, apathy, doubt, carelessness, laziness, over-attachment, misperception, inability to concentrate, and mental unbalance. These are distractions.

I.31 Physical expressions of these disturbances are suffering, dejection, trembling of the limbs, trembling during inhalation and exhalation.

I.32 Practice eliminating these distractions by fixing the mind on a single object.

I.33 One develops clarity of mind by cultivating an attitude of celebration and friendship for people who are happy, and compassion toward people who are in indifferent, sweetness to people who are suffering, an example of equanimity to those who are non-virtuous.

I.34 Or by exhaling and retaining the breath.

I.35 Or when focusing the mind on a sense object, steadiness of mind arises.

I.36 Or when the mind is pain free and luminous.

I.37 Or when the mind is free from desire as its object.

I.38 Or through direct knowledge, supported by dreams and sleep.

I.39 Or from meditation on anything that is agreeable.

I.40 From the largest to the smallest particle, the yogi's mastery extends to the totality of matter.

I.41 When free of the vrittis, the mind becomes clear like a jewel, taking the form of the knower, the instrument, and the object taking the form of whatever object is placed before it, totally absorbed in it. This is samapatti.

I.42 In Samapatti, the knowledge of the meaning of words and concepts mixes with physical experience.

I.43 Upon the purification of the memory, with the mind empty and of its own nature, the object of meditation shines forth alone.

I.44 By this, subtle awareness beyond reflection and subtle objects are described.

I.45 The subtle nature of things become increasingly physical terminating in prakriti, the physical world.

I.46 These above-mentioned states are forms of samadhi with seed.

I.47 In the superreflective clarity of nirvana, there becomes lucidity upon the inner self.

I.48 Here, there is truth bearing wisdom.

I.49 Inference from the wisdom of sacred scripture is different from using the particularity. fothings as its object.

I.50 Imprints or samskaras born from that prevent other samskaras from emerging.


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