View Full Version : A bit more light on yoga

25 September 2015, 09:22 PM
hariḥ oṁ


A question one might ask: yajvan, where have you been ? We are instructed to withdraw, then withdraw from the withdrawal. That is where I have been, following the instruction.

So, I thought to offer this to the reader on yoga. It is known by many as a general term, but only few are aware of some of the subtleties , and very few
are aligned (yuj - united , connected , combine , bring or put together) as a direct personal experience.

Let's start here
From a hatha yoga point of view, the 1st verse of the haṭhayogapradīpikā by yogī svātmarāma says the following:

atha haṭhayogapradīpikā|
śrīādināthāya namo'stu tasmai yenopadiṣṭā haṭhayogavidyā |
Vibhrājate pronnatarājayogamāroḍhumicchoradhirohiṇīva||1

now then (atha) offering light (pradīpikā) on haṭhayoga (haṭhayoga) |
let there be (astu) salutation (namas) to that (tasmai) splendid/ radiant (śrī) principle/first (ādi) lord (nāthāya) whom (yena) has been taught
(upadiṣṭā) haṭhayoga knowledge (haṭhayoga-vidyā) |
shining forth (vibhrājate) in the form (iva) of a stairway (adhirohiṇī) who wishes (icchoḥ) to ascend (āroḍhum) to the superior (pronnata) rājayoga (rājayogam)||1

So, beginning here, this very first kārikā (concise statement) informs us that haṭhayoga is offered for those that wish to ascend to rājayoga. It is a preparatory offering to make one fit (adhikārin ¹) for rājayoga.

Poise and Silence
Now what then is this rājayoga ? It is none other than the offering of aṣṭāṅga yoga ( the 8 limbs) found in patañjali’s yogadarśana. In the west this haṭhayoga is taken ( mostly) as an exercise regime which I will assume this is fine, but misses the preparedness of the approach. And what is that? What occurs between each āsana.

Note that āsana is a term for posture, this is so. Yet too it is defined as halting, stopping, staying, abiding. It is akin to aśrama meaning without fatigue. Those may see this term within āśrama, a hermitage, but more importantly ‘a halting place’. The beauty of these two words i.e. āśrama and aśrama is rooted in the term śrama which = fatigue. By adding the ‘a’ in front of it , it becomes ‘not’ or without fatigue.

Why then am I making a big deal out of āsana aligned to āśrama and aśrama ? It is because between each posture there is this halting place, without fatigue , that prepares one for rājayoga. And this halting place is referred to as the middle or madhya. It is not only a pause that would occur physically, but mentally also. This gap is the ~between point~. This between point is also found between each breath, this rest between jīva and prāṇa.

Jīva is the ‘code’ used by the wise for inward breath and prāṇa for outward breath. It is the inward breath that sustains the human condition thus jīvā (living , existing , alive) is apropos to this inward breath.
Now the question: What then is being prepared? Two things - poise and silence. Poise comes from making/culturing the body to sit (āsana) in aśrama ( without fatigue) and to become accustomed to the silence of madhya ( or silence of the gap between two breaths).
I offer the above to bring the following to one’s attention and consideration - that of yoga, and jui found in the various practices. We can consider patañjali’s yogadarśana vivekaja mārga; some too consider saṃkhyā ( some write saṇkhyā) darśana (aligned in part to vedānta and the 6 schools or darśana ) as vivekaja mārga also.

And, there is another . That of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s that is a subset/chapter of the rudrayāmalasāraḥ āgama. It too deals with yoga, and is considered yogaja mārga. So, to get a handle on the conversation, the offer, and to compare and contrast vivekaja mārga to yogaja mārga some definitions will be needed i.e. viveka, yogaja, etc. We well take this up and continue the conversation in the following post.

iti śivaṁ

1. adhikārin - fit for; a rightful claimant ; entitled to

26 September 2015, 02:40 PM
hariḥ oṁ


to get a handle on the conversation, the offer and to compare and contrast vivekaja mārga to yogaja mārga
definitions will be needed i.e. viveka, yogaja, etc. We well take this up and continue the conversation in the following post.

vivekaja - produced or arising from discrimination
yogaja -produced by or arising from yoga or yuj
mārga - passage , channel; journey, seeking , search , tracing out , hunting ; some may call it patha -a path , road , course

Within patañjali’s yogadarśana we find vivekaja mārga, and within the of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s we find yogaja mārga. It must be said that these are not opposing or competing views.

Within vivekaja mārga offered by patañjali¹ we are presented with the knowledge to recognize/experience the distinction (viveka) between puruṣa and prakṛti; Specifically the distinction between buddhi (intellect) and puruṣa ( transcendent) Being. This comes out in chapter 2 ( 6th śutra) and chapter 3 (35th śutra)

Before going on to yogaja mārga one must first ask, why is there need to comprehend the distinction between buddhi and puruṣa ?
It is my humble opinion this question properly answered & comprehended can remove much doubt, to the point of considering it a concrete example of śāmbhavopāya
(śāmbhava + upāya = śambhu or śiva + a means ,technique, way or approach).

We will take a look in the next post.

iti śivaṁ


Patañjali is also known as śeṣa patañjali as was more aligned to the śāṁkhya dṛṣṭa (view) as it deals with puruṣa and prakṛti. He also wrote the paramārthasāra. Why mention this? This is brilliant (prakāśa) work to say the least consisting of 85 verses.

Abhinavagupta-ji saw this brilliance, expanded it to 105 verses, and adapted it to the advitīya (~ non dual~, without a second) kaśmir śaivism POV for one's kind use.

26 September 2015, 03:00 PM

Welcome back!


26 September 2015, 07:49 PM
hariḥ oṁ


why is there need to comprehend the distinction between buddhi and puruṣa ?

Because buddhi has taken on the condition of being the self. The intellect poses as the Self , where it is not. It, buddhi is ( in the final analysis) an object. The Self is the final subjective level of Being in which no other tattva has it as an object of experience. That is why many call Self¹ anuttara, or Supreme because nothing else is beyond It to have It as an object of experience. This ( IMHO) is a big deal. We engage the intellect often
in our spiritual endeavors – it can take us so far as a vehicle, yet the SELF is not something that is acquired by ~reasoning~ of the intellect.

This intellect acts as the psychological empirical (depending on experience) self (puryaṣṭaka) , an object to the SELF. This term puryaṣṭaka is the 8 parts/components ~limbs~ some may say of the body + mind; some call the group of 8 which are the tanmātra-s¹, buddhi, anaṁkāra ¹, and manas¹. Also there may be a few reading this saying that the human condition is called out as the city of 9 gates, 10 gates, some even suggest 11. Yes, this remains so, yet for this conversation the most appropriate verbiage is puryaṣṭaka.

So, if we step back the notion of the intellect that we engage every day ‘plays’ as being the Self, which it is just a spark of it. That is why one needs to ‘get’ the difference between buddhi and puruṣa. This puruṣa is very much a śāṁkhya view as this darśana groups all of Reality ( manifest and unmanifest) as puruṣa and prakṛti ( pure Being and nature or the manifest field). Some too call this avyakta (unmanifest) and pradhāna (primary un-evolved as yet creation or nature where the 3 guna-s are there but are in balance).

Do we have any śastra’s that support this view ( other then yajvan saying it is so) ? Yes. I encourage the reader to look to the bhāgavad-gītā , 3rd chapter 42nd & 43rd śloka for one view; another (one of my favorites) look to the kaṭha upaniṣad, section 1.3 śloka-s 10 and 11. Are there more? Many more, but for now let’s use these two authoritative śastra-s for verification.

If the reader (praghaṭāvid¹) has been giving thought to this conversation there should be an observation that one is painted in the corner. , If I cannot depend on the intellect to get me to this Self, and it plays as the self ( as ‘i’ ) how then am I capable of coming to this notion of being established in the Self ( Being, Presence, pure awareness) ? Said from a kaśmir śaivism POV how do I re-recognize my real essence (sāraḥ) or Being, Self, svātman? This is a good question. We will need to take this up after the next post because we still need to look at the yogaja mārga notion talked about in post 1 above.

iti śivaṁ


Self (svātman) used here is the ultimate final, sattā, samvit; some may call brahman, yet this term is not exactly equal to the notion found in trika (kaśmir śaivism);
for now we will not split hairs on this matter.
tanmātra-s – considered śabda ( sound), sparśa (touch), rūpa (form) , rasa ( taste) & gandha (smell)

buddhi – intellect ; the power of forming and retaining conceptions and general notions , intelligence , reasoning abilities
ahaṁkāra – ego that is connected with objectivity
manas – mind in its widest sense; many see this organ as ‘thought production’
praghaṭāvid – a general reader

27 September 2015, 04:18 AM
Welcome back, Yajvan ji ! :)


27 September 2015, 01:01 PM
hariḥ oṁ


We need to address the following so there’s a clear run way for comprehending yogaja mārga mentioned in posts 2 and 3 above.
This part may be a little thick , so bear with me as I try to lay out this POV.

I wrote,

Because buddhi has taken on the condition of being the self. The intellect poses as the Self , where it is not.

Who confirms this ? It is found in the 4th chapter, 2nd śloka of the īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā¹ .
Let me offer 3 views – the actual śutra and 2 translations on the matter and the assistance of abhinavagupta-ji:

tatra svasṛṣtedaṃ -bhāge buddhyādi-grāhakātmanā |
ahaṃkāra parāmarśa-padam nitam anena tat || 2

PN Pandit’s view
The active knowing entity ‘the intellect’ or buddhi and others in relation to the self-created objective existence has been manifested of the ego ‘i’.

Said from one of svāmī lakṣman-jū's sisya-s , (Jaideva Singh) he translates it this way :
In His light of consciousness the Lord makes in the objective world , created by Himself, buddhi, (prāṇa, body, etc.) function as subject – the substratum of pseudo I consciousness because they can function as limited subjects.

This is saying in a fancy way that the substratum of pseudo ( or stand-in) I consciousness is buddhi , it is made as the ‘stand-in’ final subject ( a sort of fractional Self).

Who can bring more clarity to these word ? Abhinavagupa-ji , one of the luminaries of the trika darśana. (My words and not abhinavagupta-ji’s are in parenthesizes), He says, The Lord manifests within Himself by His power of perfect freedom (svatantra – complete perfect freedom and independence) the objective world ( we know as the total universe) which is limited in nature. ( Limited because it is time and space bound, size, form, duration, color, etc.).
In the mist of this creation there are objects such as buddhi, prāṇa, body, etc. They are objects and are referred to as ‘this’. But they can appropriately function (as within the notion of the intellect or buddhi) as subjects in relation to objects that are separate from them.
( Due to this) they cannot completely cast off objectivity, so they shine illumined with (less than full or condensed) imperfect Self-consciousness and appear as a finite (limited) ‘I’ ,
(and then say) I am devadatta, I am caitra ( I am yajvan, I am Billy, I am going, I am coming, I am hot, I am cold, I am this, I am that, I want this , I want that).

What then does this suggest? The ‘i’ we experience is the throttled-down version of universal I or ahaṁ and it is recognized as ahaṃkāra. This term ahaṃkāra is ahaṃ+kāra or ‘I’ maker or ‘I’ making of ‘self’. It is this ahaṁ that ~makes~ a subset of itself, a scale model. Universal Self is now the individual bound self (ahaṃkāra) .
Bound within the constraints of space-time, size, matter, likes and dislikes, size/shape/colors, feelings and the like - it is not in a ‘penalty box’ but it is something the Supreme does on its own volition ( iccha śakti) to become finite as human beings and all the other diversity found in the universe. Hence based upon this throttling down it, buddhi takes on the roll of Self in a limited way.

Within trika, the human condition is a condensed version of the Supreme. This throttled down I ( or Self appearing as ‘i’ ego or the limited me) allows the Supreme by
Its own free will (svatantra) says our trika āgama-s and śastra-s to enter into finiteness, into individuality, to aṇu ( atomic, minute, small, limited).

Hence this now sets the stage to explain yogaja mārga: yogaja = produced by or arising from yoga or yuj + mārga - passage , channel. It is the re-union of the 'i' with its fullness of 'I'. It is self once again taking on its universal Self. One is not becoming something that it is not all ready. That is why trika uses the term pratyabhijñā – it is the re-recognition of one’s full nature.

iti śivaṁ

1. īśvarapratyabhijñākārikā (īśvara-pratyabhijñā-kārikā) = concise statements (kārikā-s) on the recognition (pratyabhijñā) of the Lord (īśvara) is authored by utpaladeva; it would be considered the brahmasūtra-s of trika or kaśmir śaivism. There is substantial weight of drawing logical conclusions and inferences ( called anumāna) about proving the fact of eternal and Supreme consciousness , we know to be in this doctrine as śiva or paramaśiva, which in term is applied as īśvara – the final and authoritative Ruler, Being, anuttara, unsurpassable.

28 September 2015, 03:33 PM
hariḥ oṁ


So, once again we end up in this quandary… what is one to do if they wish re-recognize their fullness, wholeness ( called purṇāhantā ¹) ?
For many there is no issue, all is well and I am fine being within this human construct. My desires are somewhat fulfilled, I am somewhat
happy, I am somewhat content. Yet for others these things too are within their purview ( somewhat happy, content, etc), yet there
is this feeling of non-fullness, of something lacking.

For them the wise tell us the Slayer of the real ( of Self, of Being) is the mind; slay the slayer. For them the īśvāsya upaniṣad holds
true: ātma-hano janāḥ¹ , humans have become the slayers of the Self.

What is one to do?
magnaḥ svacittena praviśet || 21 śiva-sūtras
(magnaḥ) plunge/sink being immersed + (sva+cittena ) one’s own mind + (praviśet) one should enter || 21

What is one entering? That which was called out in the 20th sutra , caīturthaṁ , or the 4th, turīya.

One view of this 21st śloka by kṣemarāja¹ suggests:
One has to enter the divine consciousness by thought-free non-relational awareness. How? By dissolving the personal self,
consisting of body (awareness), prāṇa, ego ( ‘i’ of me-ness condition) into the sap of universal consciousness (saṃvit).

Why should that work ? Because śiva Himself says there is neither bondage or liberation for me. This liberation and
bondage is just an attribute to the jīva ( or human condition), a refection in buddhi ( intellect), and these two notions
make him vibhīṣikā ( frightened)¹.

This means one’s alignment to divine consciousness drops away the limitations of ‘me’ness, ego, ‘i’ – all of the limitations
And one bathes in fullness (purṇāhantā).

Another view from patañjali’s yogadarśana would be the following from chapter 2:
te pratiprasavaheyāḥ sūkṣmāḥ||10
Those (te) acute/subtle (sūkṣmāḥ) (kleśa-s or ~afflictions~ which was called out in the 3rd sūtra¹) are to be abandoned/removed (heyāḥ) by (pratiprasava)||10
The key word is pratiprasava which means ‘returning to the original state’ , ‘counter order’. The wise say reversing the birthing process.

But what birth ? In this case , for simplicity, and to align to patañjali’s 2nd sūtra of his book, it is the birth of thoughts. If thoughts come-and-go all day
long, it suggests there must be some start to them i.e. their original state. And the way to get to them is by ‘counter order’ , going back within.
Some may call this atyuttama ; at = to walk + uttama = the highest; others call it transcending.

Hence the notion of ātma-sākṣātkāra ( direct sight of Self) from a few points of view.

iti śivaṁ


purṇāhantā is the perfect ‘I’ ahaṃ consciousness of īśvara or śiva ; purṇā = full, whole + aha = certainty, granted + anta = nature or condition
kṣemarāja – this is from his commentary of the 21st sloka of the śiva-sūtras.
vibhīṣikā - from the of vijñānabhairava kārikā-s 135th verse
ātma-hano janāḥ - from the 3rd śloka of the īśvāsya upaniṣad
The kleśa-s called out in the 3rd sutra: avidyāsmitārāgadveṣābhiniveśāḥ pañca kleśāḥ||3

Ignorance (avidyā) confusing the non-Self as Self, egoism (asmitā) thinking/acting as if ’I’ is the intellect/buddhi) attachment (rāga), aversion (dveṣa), fear of death (abhiniveśāḥ)
abhiniveśāḥ = abhi+niveśāḥ = fearlessly staking claim, residing, camping; Hence this means intencely clinging to life are the five (pañcakleśāḥ) kleśa-s

sākṣāt – with one’s own eye

30 September 2015, 12:05 PM
Namaskar yajvan-ji,

You have given us a great wealth of knowledge here. Thank you very much for your efforts; you have definitely shed more light on the subject of yog for me. I can't help but feel an immense amount of peace and gratitude when I read your entries here. Please, if you have time and are willing, share more of this knowledge; I continue to thirst for more and more of it. Oh, and by the way, welcome back! _/\_


03 October 2015, 07:03 PM
hariḥ oṁ


I wrote the following from post 6 above,

What then does this suggest? The ‘i’ we experience is the throttled-down version of universal I or ahaṁ and it is recognized as ahaṃkāra. This term ahaṃkāra is ahaṃ+kāra or ‘I’ maker or ‘I’ making of ‘self’. It is this ahaṁ that ~makes~ a subset of itself, a scale model. Universal Self is now the individual bound self (ahaṃkāra) .
Bound within the constraints of space-time, size, matter, likes and dislikes, size/shape/colors, feelings and the like - it is not in a ‘penalty box’ but it is something the Supreme does on its own volition ( iccha śakti) to become finite as human beings and all the other diversity found in the universe. Hence based upon this throttling down it, buddhi takes on the roll of Self in a limited way.

Why would the Supreme what to come within ( or manifest ) the finite world of things, places, people, feelings, animate and inanimate objects, time, space, directions, cause and effect ?
Because of this one thing: The Supreme is so complete, so whole and full it must also contain all that is not full, not whole.
Let's say you are the total and absolute ruler of a land; your rule must include all the complete and full towns with proper laws, good people, ethics, pure air, health and wealth, and all those
towns that filled with thief's, brutes, impure air, lawlessness, and the like. It is because your rule is complete it includes everything, not one thing within that space of possibilities is left out.

Like that, the Supreme's purṇāhantā ( wholeness and completeness¹) must encompass the finite, the infinite and absolute simultaneously. For the Supreme holds within Itself the field of all possibilities; nothing is outside of It, so every possibility ( even the impossible) must be contained within this Being. Hence our world that is the 'impossibility' of the whole being to be viewed as parts. 'As if' you can cut-up the infinite and view it as a finite entity.

iti śivaṁ

1. wholeness - another term for this is niḥśeṣa – finished, complete, totally; some say without remainder

04 October 2015, 12:43 PM
Namaskar yajvan-ji,

This is how I see this cosmic manifestation as well. The Supreme Being is the Fullness, the Wholeness, the IS and This includes Everything, not one thing is left out, not even so-called 'nothingness'. As soon as we wake up to this (that we are the Supreme in a minute form experiencing itself through a unique possibility) we begin to truly LIVE. I have spent years trying to become something when all the while I already was IT. I knew this as a child but for some reason as I grew older I became severely deluded. However, your words bring me back to Reality. I appreciate the way you explain these things and the way you reference scriptures and various school of thought. You are a great asset to this forum.


04 October 2015, 04:20 PM
hariḥ oṁ

vivekaja mārga & yogaja mārga were reviewed above….
Is there another mārga ? Yes. One must recognize that of bhakti mārga, or the path of devotion. It is very popular and people gravitate to it most often, and it is my humble opinion it is not fully comprehended. That is, its depth, breath, profundity, and in many cases ( that I view) its ~casual application~ by many, missing it’s a essential nature of approach.

Let me offer a few ideas on this matter.
Bhakti is known as devotion. We must revisit ‘devotion’ in a bit to bring clarity to this term; yet bhakti in the feminine gender use means separation, partition or division. This makes sense when on thinks of it. There needs to be some sense of ‘2’ for bhakti to apply. There needs to be a worshiper and the worshiped. And with this 2 then bringing them together or at a minimum closer ‘yoga’ or union is applied. Hence the path or approach (mārga) of bhakti yoga, and its relevance to this string I have been posting .

So there must be one who practices it, bhakta. Sometimes this bhaktaka¹ poetically (sāhitya or kavitā) considered the dāsa or śliku (slave); that is, the master-slave concept
or the adored and adorer.

Devotion and some building blocks

I am selecting a few terms for devotion to hopefully round-out its true meaning ( as I have been taught).

The first is kāsū. This term kāsū is defined as devotion, but also as a spear or lance; it is also defined s light, luster, and as understanding. So, it ( devotion) is that one-pointed approach, that is filled with light.
The second is caraṇasevā. This term is defined as ‘service on one’s feet’. If you read it too quickly you will read service to one’s feet, and your mind will think ‘ oh yes , service to the master or to the Lord’s feet’. This is not the case. The point here is ‘service on one’s feet’ suggesting all the time, occupied all the time with this service/devotion of kāsū i.e. always attentive to devotion.
The third is spṛhā. It is longing, eager desire. It is the notion of ‘active longing’; that perpetual desire for the Supreme.
The fourth is akṣamā . This is aligned to the third notion just mentioned. This term akṣamā is unable to endure , impatient Hence ‘longing’. But why these last two terms of spṛhā and akṣamā? It tells you what is on the bhaktaka’s mind all the time.
The fifth: when svāmī lakṣman-jū talks of this notion of devotion he always seems to mention passion… the passion of devotion , where devotion and passion are on equal terms. It seems to me that ‘passion’ is a very good one as it suggests both heart and mind.

​When I think of passion the term māḍhi also arises. One definition of it is in fact ‘passion’ , yet too it is rooted in ‘mah’. This is defined as ‘to magnify , esteem highly , honor , revere’. See the point ? It is that ~passion~ that magnifies, honors and reveres.

With bhakti, worship goes hand-and-hand… some terms considered:

upāsana – the act of service, homage , adoration , worship

yajatha – worship, sacrifice

pūjā - honor , worship , respect , reverence , veneration , homage to superiors or adoration

Most are immersed in some rigor of worship e.g. pūjā, offering flowers, prayer, japa ( muttering sacred śloka-s) or ajapa ( muttering in the mind, these śloka-s ), some may clean the temple, others may donate, etc. These are all well and good, and are considered supports (bahusādhāra or having many supports) that one may take delight in doing.

We are informed and encouraged by utpaladevacāra¹ and his writings of the śivastortāvalī which he says, wherever one finds the Supreme, His presence ( in this case Lord śiva) it is worth having; he continues and says, wherever you (Lord śiva) are not found, that is worth abandoning. This is from the chapter called rahasyanirdeśanāma dvādaśaṁ stotram. This says, the 12th stotra or hymn (dvādaśaṁ stotram) revealing of a secret (rahasyanirdeśanāma). This is one of the secrets utpaladevacāra offers us.

It seems simple enough. Within your practice of devotion gravitate to that which the Supreme is most abundant to you , abandon the others.
So, where is the ‘secret’ ? It is, iteyaṁ sārasaṅgrahaḥ - this in essence is saṃgraha, the summary, the epitome, the marrow of what is offered in this view. Pending one’s comprehension this can be viewed as mildly interesting or profoundly insightful.

This says, in very terse words to put all your attention on that where the Supreme is most near, closest. This is at the core the secret of blooming devotion. The gravity of the words deserves another look… let me explain.

Being immersed in devotion is substantial. It is not a fashion; something that is put-on and taken off later. It is kratu, a resolve, that 'this is so, not otherwise'. When this is complete we have niṣpatti avastha.

Niṣpatti avastha

niṣpatti = completion + avastha = state

The highest level ( most bathed-in, immersed, as one would say) is the continuous and perpetual condition of bhakti that occurs every second of every day.
But one must ask, how can this even occur? In between worship I need to shop, pick up food, get my dry cleaning; oh, I have to go pay my bills, I have to….

In this state of doing ( some call kalā śarīra¹) the native is in a differentiated/fractionalized level of awareness. The mind at times is surrounded by devotion, the temple, pūjā and in a millionth
of a second the mind is off doing grocery shopping in the mind; running here and there. There must be more to this, there must be something deeper and more robust to comprehend.
In viśiṣṭādvaita vedānta¹ this view would be called out as a continuous stream of remembrance of God, uninterrupted – like a flow of oil from one vessel to another. There is no break or pause; it is continuous, pure, unending (niḥśeṣa without remainder).

What then is this ? It is bhagavat-cetana (god consciousness). This is undifferentiated awareness… it is without break or pause. Yet one must be mindful that this is not the next stop in consciousness… that is, wake – dream – sleep - bhagavat-cetana. There are plenty of posts¹ on HDF regarding this matter so I will not go deeper.

What are some of the qualities of this is bhagavat-cetana ? Let’s take up in the next post.

iti śivaṁ


kalā śarīra - śarīra= body, that which is easily destroyed + kalā which has many definitions : A division of time, ignorance, weak, crude, undigested, 1/16th division; a small part of anything. In this use it means a body of actions as kalā also means ‘skills’.
Utpaladevācārya – utpala+deva+ācārya utpala = blossoming, any flower + deva = divine, of highest excellence + ācārya is the master, knowing or teaching the ācāra or rules, the spiritual guide Utpaladevācārya was a luminary within kaśmir śaivism. This work I am quoting from is the śivastortāvalī is devotional to its core.

ācāra – conduct, manner, established rule of conduct , ordinance , institute , precept

Plenty of posts for other views on consciousness :


niḥśeṣa – finished, complete, totally; some say without remainder

04 October 2015, 04:31 PM
Namaskar yajvan-ji,

This is golden knowledge that you are sharing. I am getting a lot out of your posts here. Much gratitude to you; keep them coming and I will continue to read.



05 October 2015, 03:25 PM
hariḥ oṁ

What then is this ? It is bhagavat-cetana (god consciousness). This is undifferentiated awareness… it is without break or pause.
There is a few śloka-s that utpaladevācārya offers in his work śivastortāvalī that I find most interesting on this matter of undifferentiated awareness with the notion of ‘without break or pause’. In the 3 chapter, called praṇaya pr​asādākhyaṁ tṛtīyaṁ stortam¹ , utpaladevācārya calls out this ‘break or pause’ as anusmṛti. This term is defined as ‘a cherished recollection , recalling some idea to the exclusion of all others.’
The verse says, for those that possess one dose for getting rid of the worldly (bhava) disease (roga) which cannot be cured by any medicine, then one is to apply this anusmṛti of your svārupa ( your form śiva) which is khacita (studded, prominent, filled or aśeṣa) with your viśva (universal) beautiful\wonderful being (bhavadvapur¹).

First one must ask, what is this dis-ease utpaladevācārya mentions ? The worldly dis-ease or bhavaroga ( written in the śloka as bhavarujā) is bhinnavedyatā¹ . This bhinnavedyatā is differentiated knowledge or awareness ( fractionalized perception). It is the dis-ease of the constant view of every and all things of differences, items, localized and totally unconnected things.
This causes one dis-ease on this earth. The dis-ease of not feeling whole and seeing wholly.

He says the cure is anusmṛti, the constant memory without break or pause, some call nirantara or having no interval in space or time, of your universal Being relieves one from this affliction.
Now to the unaided sevaka ( worshipper, servant, devotee, bhaktaka) they begin the quest. They think of Supreme ( in this case lord śiva) the best they can… yet every time they do, they end up thinking Him within the human construct – a moon over His head, a cobra around His waist. If it is viṣṇu then one may think of his blue 4-armed form. They commit to memory the best they can
for as long as they can but then all the noise begins – time to shop, time to get dressed, oh I am out of clean clothes, time to wash, time to pay my rent, time to ( fill in the blank). One’s best intentions come smashing into the rocks of differentiated knowledge and awareness. It even creeps in during pūjā.

This continuous memory of the supreme without break or pause (nirantara) is that awareness that occurs 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The point to be made is this – if there is effort, with a brute force of trying to do this, then it will fade. While it is noble that one tries to hold that memory as best one can, it still is not the Supreme’s universal form of being. Well what is this universal form then? It is pure awareness, pure being, pure sattā. AND the secret is, it is not outside of you – you need not go fetch it somewhere. It does not need to be ‘developed’ it only needs to be re-recognized once again.

The beauty of this re-recognition is our author utpaladevācārya who not only sings¹ devotion within the hymns and stotra-s of this great work (śivastortāvalī) it too is littered with hints
of how to unfold this level of being within ourselves… He too was the author of the īśvarapratyabhijñā-kārikās. So within this work of devotion is woven the knowledge of the Supreme –
a devotional (bhakti) and jñāna (knowledge) approach well balanced within full, pure devotion.

iti śivaṁ


utpaladevācārya – utpala+deva+ācārya utpala = blossoming, any flower + deva = divine, of highest excellence + ācārya is the master, knowing or teaching the ācāra or rules, the spiritual guide
utpaladevācārya was a luminary within kaśmir śaivism. This work I am quoting from is the śivastortāvalī is devotional to its core
praṇaya prasādakhyaṁ tṛtīyaṁ stortam praṇaya = friendship , favor, affectionately + prasādākhyaṁ = graciousness , kindness , kind behavior made known + tṛtīyaṁ stortam = the 3rd storta ; svāmī lakṣman-jū calls this 3rd chapter 'pleasing the Lord in humble ways'
bhavadvapur = bhavad+ vapur = bhavat + vapas = having form or a beautiful form , embodied , handsome , wonderful
bhinnavedyatā= bhinna+vedyatā bhinna = distinct , different from or other, ~differentiated~ + vedyatā = restrained or held ( yata) knowledge (veda)
nirantara = having no interval (in space or time) , close , compact , dense , uninterrupted , perpetual , constant

sings – it is said that utpaladevācārya use to be brought out on to Dal Lake by his sevaka’s ( disciples); there he would voice the hymns that came to him, the outpouring of a śiva-bhakta; this came to be the śivastortāvalī.

The hymns where in no particular order . his śiṣya-s (students) wrote down the verses/hymns and re-arranged them accordingly into 20 chapters.
One of utpaladevācārya’s śiṣya-s was lakṣmaṇagupta. He was abhinavagupta’s master for learning the pratyabhijñā ( re-recognition of one’s Self) sytem. Utpaladevācārya was considered the leading exponent of pratyabhijñā which was extracted ( properly considered the nector) from the īśvarapratyabhijñā-kārikās .

20 October 2015, 12:58 PM
hariḥ oṁ

I wrote in post 11 above,

What then is this ? It is bhagavat-cetana (god consciousness). This is undifferentiated awareness… it is without break or pause. - bhagavat-cetana.
Utpaladevācārya writes in his śivastortāvalī ( chapter 13) that bhagavat-cetana ( he does not use this term specifically) is that state of being, god-consciousness
that is pūjana mahotsavaḥ or the greatest festival of worship that is continual ( sarvadhā) or perpetual. What an intriguing and wonderful way of expressing this.

Just to mention this using utpaladevā-ji's words is a delight! These words of utpaladevā-ji's equals and surpasses the statement I offered in the quote above:
‘it is without break or pause’. But what does that mean to the developed and blossomed person that has this experience ? We will look in the next post.

iti śivaṁ

21 October 2015, 03:14 PM
hariḥ oṁ


pūjana mahotsavaḥ or the greatest festival of worship that is continual ( sarvadhā) or perpetual

When one attends a festival it is a celebration. The mind and senses ( eyes, hearing, etc. the indriya-s¹ as they are called) are engaged in wonderment of what is occurring. Within the realm if bhagavat-cetana or god-consciousness everything takes on ( or is revealed) as Self-luminous or ( svaprakāśa ) Being. That is, what one sees, touches, hears, smells, all that from the indriya-s is experienced in this manner.
No-thing is seen other then an expression of that Divine svaprakāśa. This is why utpaladevācārya says it is like a festival. But why is it worship?
It is the blossoming of Self that allows all that is experienced to land on the entryway of the Divine. It is the Divine experiencing the world though Self…
it is an offering to the Divine via our indriya-s, it is ‘worship’ in the highest sense as there are no intermediaries (paṇḍita, priests, pūjākara, etc.) acting on our behalf.
In the West they would say it is from lip-to-cup. Nothing is in the way of tasting what is contained within the ‘cup’ – the environment around us. And it is without break or pause (sarvadhā).

What does utpaladevācārya say this is like? He gives us many-many hints and ideas . He calls this out in the 8th chapter. I wish to perceive all these worldly things as
one with You (being śiva); I do not want to reject the world, I want to see it only as an extension of You ( this is another definition of bhagavat-cetana). Now this also includes
during wake-dream-sleep.
Utpaladevācārya wishes to see You śiva (code for staying united , undivided) in all states of awareness; this god consciousness of awareness is never lost – it is in continuity.
This occurs when turīya the 4th which is beyond wake-dream-sleep ‘the 3’, is stable and does not waiver in one’s consciousness whether eyes are open or closed.
This is called Self-Awareness. Hence the prerequisite for bhagavat-cetana is Self-awareness, the direct experience of Being/turīya.

This bhagavat-cetana is then one’s frame of reference. It is not, oh I think I will check-in and view the world from
bhagavat-cetana for a while, then return back to this differentiated/fragmented level of existence. This is not the case.

This bhagavat-cetana is now how one conducts his/her business. If there is happiness being viewed is filled with this svaprakāśa ( self-luminous) wholeness;
if there is sadness it is filled with this wholeness; if there things broken or crated around this person it is filled with this wholeness.
This is utpaladevācārya’s request I want to see it as tavaśarīra ( your body).

The Supreme’s ‘body’ within the field of vision is just this wholeness and fullness of Being. Utpaladevācārya says when I get entry into Your nature (śiva’s nature)
during worldly sensations ( that is with the orgrans engaged in perceiving) and that ‘nature’ is soft, white, pure, light ( as in laghu¹), and cooling (śītala¹). We can
see there is an overall easiness, gentleness, purity to what is being viewed. Hence one can see being flooded with this as one’s mode of being is easy, effortless,
yet delightful and light.

iti śivaṁ


indriya-s - are the the five organs of perception ; I am using the term to also include karmeindriyāṇi + antar-indriyāṇi (action related + mind related)
laghu - light , easy , not heavy or difficult; easy on the mind; causing easiness or relief
śītala is cooling but also means free from passion , calm , gentle
alauka – splendor
balana – act of strengthening

21 October 2015, 07:37 PM
hariḥ oṁ

Hence one can see being flooded with this as one’s mode of being is easy, effortless, yet delightful and light.

In the 13th chapter of the śivastortāvalī, called saṃgrahastotranāma¹ , utpaladevācārya informs us
that those within this god consciousness this splendor of Self –luminius Being (svaprakāśa) is akutobhayam,
or has no fear, alarm or dread (bhayam). This person is always sukhinaḥ¹ or happy, joyful, pleasant, comfortable , easy.
Why so ? It is the residual effect of seeing the Supreme everywhere… from what direction can fear come from if all
is perceived as Him ?

iti śivaṁ


saṃgrahastotranāma = saṃgraha+stotra+nāma

saṃgraha = drawing together , making narrower , narrowing , tightening i.e. summing it up
stotra = hymns of praise
nāma = can mean a few things : however, of course; it also can mean name, by name or named
So saṃgrahastotranāma means however, summing up the named hymns aforementioned ( the last 12)

sukhinaḥ = sikhin = possessing or causing happiness or pleasure , happy , joyful , pleasant , comfortable , easy

17 February 2016, 07:10 PM
hariḥ oṁ

So, here is the part of kaśmir śaivism that I find most delightful and attractive.
Svāmī lakṣman-jū informs us ( within his commentary on the śiva sutra-s) of
the following ( and for me, this concurs with my teacher’s commentaries and his lectures):

What if, for the time being we were to say that the veil of ignorance exists before you are realized,
and that afterwards, when you are realized , it ( ignorance ) does not exist ?Then, if ignorance does
not exist after realization, it is the truth that is did not exist at all. Why so ? Because at the time
of realization the aspirant realizes and knows that ignorance does not exist at all. Whatever he/she
called ignorance was actually not ignorance but really non-fullness ( wholeness, pūrṇatvan) of knowledge.

So, many-a-teacher uses the example of a knot in a rope. Remove (untie) the knot and ask where did it go?
Like that, ignorance, once realization occurs never existed.

iti śivaṁ

1. pūrṇatvan - the power of fullness/wholeness when limited is turned in to the power of being incomplete, feeling individual, separate from the whole.

22 March 2016, 03:01 PM
hariḥ oṁ

If one reads patañjali’s¹ yogadarśana, it is clear that samādhiḥ is one of the key offerings as a part of a yoga practice (abhyāsa) found within this work. I thought to offer a few ideas on this matter. It is first hinted at in chapter 1, rightly called samādhi pāda¹.

This first sūtra sets the stage for one to begin to appreciate the notion of samādhiḥ

स्मृतिपरिशुद्धौ स्वरूपशून्येवार्थमात्रनिर्भासा निर्वितर्का॥४३॥
smṛtipariśuddhau svarūpaśūnyevārthamātranirbhāsā nirvitarkā||43

memory (smṛti) is pure/clean (pariśuddhau) devoid (śūnyā) as it were (iva) of its own nature (svarūpa), that (state or condition ~samāpatti~) the simplest condition (mātra), shines forth (nirbhāsā) and is nirvitarkā, the substance (artha) (some say object) on which the mind is concentrated on , or rests in ||43

Hence this nirvitarkā is something to know.

nirvitarkā = nir+ vitarkā
nir = =nis = free from, away from
vitarkā = reasoning, deliberation

Yet to know it, one may intellectually comprehend it as we are doing now via a description and discussion. Yet to know it the way patañjali muni is suggesting is to become it. That is why I do not prefer or recommend the term ‘artha’ in this sūtra be deemed ‘object’. Why so? If there is and object then there is a subject that is inferred to view the object, no ?
The sutra informs us that nirvitarkā is beyond thought, hence one does not hold it as an object in one’s mind to inspect. The mind is left to itself ( some say is no more for this period) in a condition beyond the mechanics of reasoning ( free from it).

So, why do people use the term ‘object’? It is ~as if~ what one is experiencing is the ‘object’ of their experience. In terms of words this makes sense, but is not equal to the actual experience. If one’s memory (smṛti) is pure/clean then one is not using it or is engaged in it. One therefore cannot say, ‘oh this nirvitarkā is like this, or like that ‘ . ‘Like this or that’ is predicated on recalling a past idea , feeling, tought, etc. If one’s memory at this time of nirvitarkā is pure/clean then there is no database to go to , to make an comparison. See the point ?

What then is this samādhiḥ, based upon patañjali’s instruction/darśana ? Let’s look to chapter 3:

तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥
tadevārthamātranirbhāsaṁ svarūpaśūnyamiva samādhiḥ||3

We will review it in the next posting….

iti śivaṁ


abhyāsa - repeated or permanent discipline , use , habit; in yoga is is considered the practice of th mind to remain in its unmodified condition , some say purity of mind or sattva.
patañjali - some say the derivation of his name comes in this manner pata + añjali

añjali = open hands placed side by side and slightly hollowed
pata – falling

The legend says that śeṣa ( the divine serpent) incarnated and fell (pata) into open hands (añjali) of a brahmin (realized being) no less; and this incarnation was none other than patañjali. We can see why he would be called śeṣa-patañjali. We can even get fancier than this for the derivation of his name but will leave it here.

4 chapters of patañjali’s yogadarśana or yogasūtra-s

samādhi pāda

sādhana pāda

vibhūti pāda

kevala pāda

22 March 2016, 09:09 PM
hariḥ oṁ

So, what then is this samādhiḥ, based upon patañjali’s instruction/darśana ? Let’s look to chapter 3:
तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः॥३॥
tadevārthamātranirbhāsaṁ svarūpaśūnyamiva samādhiḥ||3

There are a few ways of looking at this śloka:

One view
samādhiḥ is truly/really (eva) that (tad), the only (mātra) substance ( some use ‘object’) (artha) that shines forth (nirbhāsam), and the self (svarūpa) is absent (śūnyam), as it were (iva)||3

mātra is one key term and means measure , quantity , sum , size , duration , measure of any kind; the whole or totality , the one thing and no more i.e. there is no parts, it is the whole.

​The term ‘only’ is used for mātra and carries much weight. It is ‘only’ from the standpoint of being all inclusive, undifferentiated, without parts.

Another key term is tad ( or tat) – it is pure Being; another name for brahman. It is this that shines forth in wholeness, unobstructed.

What is absent (śūnya) ? One’s self (svarūpa). In this case ‘self’ means condition , peculiarity , character , nature, and suggests the relative field of life, differentiated/fractured awareness of one’s ‘in the world of doing’ nature.

So, in this definition, samādhiḥ is where ‘tad’ or brahman only shines.

Another view
samādhiḥ is truly/really (eva) that (tad) only (mātra) substance ( some use ‘object’) (artha) that shines forth (nirbhāsam) when empty (śūnyam) of one’s own form (svarūpa) as it were (iva)||3

See the slight difference? You may need to read it a few times. It suggests when your nature is out of the way (śūnyam) as it were (iva), then samādhiḥ 'that substance' (or artha) only (mātra) shines forth (nirbhāsam) or remains.

Some too can argue that truly that when one is empty then one’s true form or essential form (svarūpa) shines forth. But that begs the question, empty of what ? Of vṛtti or modes of the mind; conditions of the mind, moods, actions, impressions ( vāsana-s or impressions) and then stored as memory (smṛti, suggested in post 18 above). But where does this vṛtti come from within patañjali’s instruction yajvan ? We find it in chapter 1, the 2nd sūtra:

yoga (yogaḥ) is the destruction (nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of mind (citta)||2

Some use the term suppression for nirodhaḥ of which I am not a fan. Suppression suggests that the modifications will then return, they are only suppressed.
What leads me to this view of ‘destruction' ? It is the words of abhinavagupa found in the parātrīśikāvivaraṇa tantra¹:
Just as by washing the dirt or impurity lying in the inner fold of a cloth, the dirt lying on the upper portion ( the outer folds) gets automatically washed or cleansed ; even so, by the removal of the dirt (mala) lying at the subtle levels, the dirt residing at the madhyamā ( central ) levels get automatically removed.

Now a logical question can be asked: what then needs to be ‘cleaned’ ? We will take a look in the next post.

iti śivaṁ

1. This work is also known by the name anuttarasūtra-s or the essence of the Unsuprassable. Some to refer it as the trikasūtra-s.

23 March 2016, 02:34 PM
hariḥ oṁ

what then needs to be ‘cleaned’ ?
How can we think about this ? When we clean do we work on the level of dirt ? What is done ? We take the dirt to a higher level of cleanliness for its purification. Let’s take an example.
Take a white cloth we use for dusting. All the dust particles cling to this cloth, yet it really is not the cloth. Now take this cloth and immerse it into pure water. We just leave it there. What occurs ? The particles are released; the cloth is purified, returning to its original purity of white.
All we needed to do is bring it to a higher level of purity for this to occur.

That was the example. But one must ask, what in us needs to be purified ? In a word 'limitation'. This is saṃkoca , defined
as diminution , limitation , restriction.

A bit more knowledge, at the expense of being a bit more technical... for some this may be too much, for others just right.

The upaniṣads say the Self realizes itSelf to itSelf. We find this reviewed in the kaṭha and muṇḍaka upaniṣads.
So what to do if this happens , what are we suppose to do? Prepare. We prepare the soil just like the farmer does so a rich harvest can take place.
We are that soil. Our actions are the seeds that are dropped in. The water is our behavior. Our meditations is our yajñya.
The sprout that begins from one's yajñya is a more rested composure and point of view, more relaxed and insightful. The fertilizer we use is the knowledge from the śāstra-s and āgama-s.

But one must ask how is this even possible? This Self realizing itSelf ? This Self or ātman , the Supreme or anuttara ( using śaivāgama words ) is filled with vimarśa-śakti. What is vimarśa ? It is defined as deliberation , examination. We know what śakti is, energy, vibration, liveliness. Yet let's take a closer look at vimarśa, as an important construct mainly in kaśmiri śaivism.

Vimarśa is composed of vi + mṛś . This mṛś is defined as to touch mentally , consider , reflect , deliberate ; vimṛś is to touch (mentally), be sensible or aware of , perceive , consider , reflect on , deliberate about. Yet the beauty here is in this phoneme vi (वि) and stems back to dvi , meaning " in two parts " apart , in different directions , to and fro.

Here is the point to offer
The Supreme (aforementioned as anuttara or unsurpassable) is not only filled with light (prakāśa) or luminous consciousness it also exhibits vimarśa - the ability of its own Self-reflection, Self-awareness, my teacher called Self-referral.
This anuttara is aware of its own Being. We can appreciate then this notion of vi + mṛś as reflecting on its own Self , to and fro.
The Supreme is not stagnent, but lively in its own Self. This is why it can realize itSelf by itSelf because of its nature to be conscious of its own Being.

Why then is the Self/Supreme/anuttara not part of our daily experience? It goes 'as if' unnoticed , yet no one could exist for a moment without It. What then do we need to do?
śodhaka शोधक - purifier
śodhana शोधन - the act of cleaning , purifying
śodhya - शोध्य - the purified ( the native)

This then is a good subject that we can turn back onto patañjali’s instruction/darśana for guidance...

iti śivaṁ

28 March 2016, 02:32 PM
hariḥ oṁ

If you recall, back in post 19 we were reviewing samādhiḥ and its definition found in chapter 3…
Yet patañjali-muni sets the stage for this in chapter 1:
ता एव सवीजः समाधिः॥४६
tā eva savījaḥ samādhiḥ||46

eva – indeed , truly , really - some say ‘only’
savījaḥ is sa+vījaḥ - sa = meditation, knowledge, and is also a name for viṣṇu or śiva + vījaḥ (vīja) is another way of writing bīja or seed.
samādhiḥ - we know as absorption , sometimes too called samāpatti defined as conclusion, coming together, assuming the original form.

sama + āpatti = wholeness, fullness, even-ness + occurring, happening. Hence samādhiḥ is sama + āpatti because it occurs or happens in wholeness, fullness of one’s own Self.

tā - I left this term to the end… many do not give this simple word much thought. Yet it helps ( me) appreciate how insightful patañjali’s brevity is in using words in the most economical way.

Some say tā = ‘they’, others say it means ‘constitute’ and still others suggest ‘these’. I take no issue with this¹. How do others get to these definitions? By the term eta or etā which is defined as ‘variegated color’ ( 2nd derivative of the term). It suggests ‘varying’ or a variety and this applies to the sūtra-s patañjali is talking of prior to this one. You did not miss anything, they were not reviewed as yet.
Hence we can see then that a variety of things could be called collectively ‘these’ or ‘they’ – it makes perfect sense. Yet this term eta also means ‘shining, brilliant’; and the the term ‘tā’ also means a jewel, virtue. So, if we collectively look at this, tā means ‘those’ jewels, ‘those’ gems of brilliance ( mentioned in the past sūtra-s).

What then does the sūtra say?
Truly, indeed, those gems of meditation (sa) with seed (vījaḥ or writing it as bīja) ~brings about~ samādhiḥ.
Some say those (gems) bring about or ~support for~ one pointed ( as a seed is condensed) samādhiḥ.

Two questions must be asked:
a. What are ‘those’ etā gems (tā)
b. And what if any does it have to do with what you said yajvan in your last post:
This then is a good subject that we can turn back onto patañjali’s instruction/darśana for guidance...

Point a.
Let’s start with ‘those’ etā, that are previously mentioned by patañjali ( chapter 1, starting with the 17th & 18th sūtra-s and going forward to
the 46th sūtra just reviewed above). There are two major categories of samādhiḥ:

saṃprajñāta – with distinction
asaṃprajñāta – without distinction

To make this simpler think of saṃprajñāta as ‘ with support’ and asaṃprajñāta as ‘without support’. I can get more granular when the conversation demands it, but for now this will be a good entry point.

But what does this mean ? Saṃprajñāta ‘with support’ are those appoaches ( means, or methods or upāya-s¹) that are engaged in to bring about the calming and balancing ( some say arresting) of the mind… to bring about engrossment or absorption (sama + āpatti ) and a one pointed mind. Yet in this case the one pointedness is on the means, method or upāye that one is engaged in.
One may use a mantra, a notion to contemplate on, japa or ajapa, one can use the pure intellect, feeling of joy, others can rest in the sense of presence or ‘I’ feeling. But ‘I’ feeling of what? Just ‘I’ and nothing else. Not many are aware of this as it is so intimate and part of one’s being, it is rarely separated out to be considered.

Point b.
What if any does this have to do with past posts i.e patañjali’s instruction/darśana for guidance?
Saṃprajñāta samādhiḥ leads to (grooms) asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ. Said another way :
why not, on day one, of practicing saṃprajñāta samādhiḥ spill into asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ ? For some rare types this could be the case . Yet for most abhyāsa and abhyāśa are instituted… that is, practice (abhyāsa) and reach (abhyāśa); We practice an approach (upāya or method) and many reach (abhyāśa) or extend to expand one’s practice. Yet within this practice past impressions (vasāna-s) continue to surface. Yet here is my point. In posts 19-20 above a ‘cleaning process’ was discussed. This saṃprajñāta samādhiḥ is the cleaning process that patañjali reviews. It is that approach that brings steadiness of mind ( 13th sūtra) and removes kliṣṭa-s ( 5th sūtra).

More on asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ in an upcoming post as a bit more information is needed.
Now to really gain insight, it would be good to outline the 4 sub-categories of saṃprajñāta – with distinction, in the next post.

iti śivaṁ

upāya – to reach one’s aim; an approach, method, technique
kliṣṭa - afflictions , distress
tā - some too can see this as tān or them; others as tanā - 'uninterrupted succession , one after another' suggesting the past offerings.

31 March 2016, 12:04 PM
hariḥ oṁ

Now to really gain insight, it would be good to outline the 4 sub-categories of saṃprajñāta – i.e. with distinction
The 4 called out in chapter 1, 17th sutra are:

vitarka - reasoning , deliberation , consideration; imagination, conjecture, juxtaposition and the like.(yet worthy of note, this term also means a teacher , instructor in divine knowledge; again patañjali’s brilliance in selecting the proper words to apply)
vicāra - pondering , deliberation , consideration , reflection; this is slightly different than the 1st term used and needs a bit of explaining , which I will get to in a moment.
ānanda – joy, some call bliss
asmita – ‘I’ sense , the core of ‘me’.

The ‘march’ of the mind is from vitarka to asmita. This vitarka is savitarkā or accompanied with reason or thought:

savitarkā - accompanied with reason or thought, is that type of samādhiḥ in which one’s practice includes name, form, and knowledge of that which is being used as a vehicle of collecting the mind ( meditation). It could mean one is using contemplation on a particular subject. The point is, it is ONE subject not many. That makes it mediation… see the point? The category of prayer would fit into this entry level approach.

This aligns nicely to the 42nd sutra of chapter 1 for those that wish to read it.

Next is vicāra and we use the term reflection , or reflecting upon. It is one step below the grosser approach of vitarka. ‘Grosser’ here means more engagement with the faculties of the mind – a broader capturing of ideas therefore more differentiated vs. vicāra which is a bit more refined and considered savicārā - that to which consideration is given. Consideration may be given to one thing, one element, say sound. Using a sound/mantra may be in order.One is ‘giving consideration’ i.e. practice to one thing, sound-mantra. I say it differently – one is ‘given in’ to one element. It becomes one’s vehicle to manage and collect the mind. I hope this makes sense.
The next one is ānanda – joy. We have transferred from reflection and contemplation to the level of feeling. It is more subtler than thinking and contemplating. It is a ‘feeling’ , on an emotional level. We can use the term ‘joy’ that is verbal, yet the techniques are on the level of feeling this joy as an emotion.
Next is even subtler than feeling – it is one the level of ‘I’ sense. Most do not know this condition and only live it. It is that ‘me’ ness that one resides in. If one is very still, silent, innocent yet attentive at the time of waking in the morning one can experience this. To look for it will ‘break’ it. That is why one is innocent ( non-engaging) about it. It too can be experienced just before falling into sleep; and for those with refined awareness this can be experienced at the transition from dream to sleep. It is there. It is that most refined level BEFORE entering Self, Being.

If Self is the basement floor, then this ‘I’ feeling is just prior to it. It is below the 1st floor on its way to the basement floor ( if one were in an elevator).

Why are these samadhi’s called saṃprajñāta ? Because there is some ~object~ , some vehicle albeit gross to subtle that is being engaged in.
This is now a good time to offer the simplest definition of asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ. It is that samādhiḥ without a vehicle. This allows one to compare and contrast saṃprajñāta samādhiḥ to asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ. One has vehicles, the other does not.

For many the term samādhiḥ suggests a particular condition of experiences… some have a pre-conceived idea of what this samādhiḥ may be. When they hear of different ‘flavors’ of samādhiḥ it can be distracting to confusing. That is why samāpatti as a term works well. Many use the term ‘engrossment’ for samāpatti and that is fine. I’d prefer ‘absorption’ myself, as one is absorbed ( as if nothing else was occurring) in one vehicle or in the case of asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ, no vehicle at all. This too is sometimes referred to as ‘seedless’ or without a vehicle. The term seedless also has other meanings but to introduce that at this point is only ‘piling on’ new ideas.

So, if one stands back there is the 2 camps one can characterize:
1. savitarkā - accompanied with reason or thought
1.1 savicārā - that to which consideration is given

2. nirvitarkā - unreflecting
2.1 nirvicārā - not reflecting or considering

We can see two groups above… there is the sava (savi) group and the nir or niś group

sava - one who sets in motion or impels , an instigator , stimulator
niś - to be absorbed in

The beauty of this knowledge and the wisdom of śeṣa-patañjali is , camp 1 leads one to camp 2. Said differently, camp 1 is the doorway, the entry point to camp 2. And said from an of advitīya kaśmir śaivism point of view the 20th kārikā of the vijñānabhairava tantra bhairava serves us well:

tatdāsau śivarūpī sayāt śaivī mukhamihocyate ||20
This says that śakti ( which is another way of saying śaivī) is the entry point (mukha is used, meaning, opening, mouth) to śiva ( the Supreme).
In laymen's terms, śiva is known through śaivī (śakti).

In our application of patañjali’s yogadarśana and the present conversation at hand, it is the various vehicles found within the saṃprajñāta list aforementioned that is the entry point to asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ.

This asaṃprajñāta samādhiḥ is the central theme of patañjali’s 4th chapter of his yogadarśana called kaivalya pāda. We will look at this in a future post.

iti śivaṁ

31 March 2016, 08:24 PM
hariḥ oṁ

Yajvan, remind me again – why is this samādhiḥ such a big deal or so important?
We only need to look to śeṣa-patañjali’s 2nd chapter and its 2nd sūtra, it says:

समाधिभावनार्थः क्लेशतनूकरणार्थश्च॥२
samādhibhāvanārthaḥ kleśatanūkaraṇārthaśca||2
infusing (bhāvanā) samādhiḥ is the cause/reason (arthaḥ) for making thin/attenuating (tanūkaraṇa) kleśa-s.

Note that the term bhāvanā is defined as infusing; it is also means manifesting, saturating. It is important to note that this saturation does not come from outside one’s self , it is already there, yet not in full bloom. Just as a huge oak tree resides within an acorn, this samādhiḥ is within you.
tanūkaraṇa = tanū+ karaṇa

karaṇa – doing, causing
tanū = tanu = thin, minute, small, and the term attenuate is used meaning to make (something) weaker or less in its effect or force.

In this case it is revisiting samādhi ( via one’s practice) that attenuates kleśa-s and śeṣa-patañjali calls out 5:

avidyā - ignorance; this is not scholastic ignorance but the inability to differentiate the Self from non-Self termed viveka or discrimination , distinction between Self and non-Self.
asmitā , ‘egotism’ or the notion of me-ness ; One identifies ‘me’ as the body and senses; as a limited being.
rāga - desires ; that which does not allow the mind to rest or be balanced
dveṣa - aversion but to what ? of death; fear of death
abhiniveśa – one’s tenacity to cling to mundane existence

Yet one must ask , where do I engage/begin to infuse (bhāvanā) this samādhiḥ ? It is addressed in patañjali’s 2nd chapter and its 1st sūtra, as it says:
तपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः॥१॥
tapaḥsvādhyāyeśvarapraṇidhānāni kriyāyogaḥ||1
(samādhiḥ is inferred here as it occurs in the next verse)

tapas, svādhyāya, praṇidhāna to the Supreme (īśvara) is kriyāyogaḥ||1
Then starts the 2nd verse which we just reviewed in the paragraphs above that say via this approach (kriyāyogaḥ) the infusing (bhāvanā) of samādhiḥ occurs
and the kleśa-s are thinned/broken up/ attenuated. This approach is considered kriyā yoga.

I wish to only define one term that was offered in this śloka, that of tapas. I have read many definitions and it caused me pause to read some of the variants on this term.
Tapas is from tapa and is fire, heat, warmth; we know fire purifies. Industrialist use the highest heat available to purify metals and make them pure as the impurities are removed via intense heat. Tapas is that practice that purifies.
One definition that I am fond of comes from svamī hariharānaṇda of the kāpali maṭha (published in 1911).
He translates tapas as ’sturdy self-discipline’. I think this is insightful because it supports the notion of the 8 limbs of yoga.
Most know patañjali’s yogadarśana as the yoga sūtras , yet there is also another name – asṭāṅga yoga-sūtras or the 8 limbs of yoga. It refers to the 30th sūtra of
chapter 2 ( which we are in with this discussion). It calls out the yama-s and niyama-s which total 8 (or asṭāṅga). Now why is this relevant? These 8 can be considered ’sturdy self-discipline’.

What I am not fond of and is off-the-mark, is to view tapas as painful austerity. To my dismay I have read this on a few occasions and do not see our śastra-s aligning to this notion. In fact within chapter 2 of the yoga sutras we’re reviewing it says:
heyaṁ duḥkhamanāgatam||16
pain (duḥkham) that has yet to come (anāgatam) is to be abandoned/forsaken/avoided (heyam)||16
Why on earth would any one wish to inflict more pain on themselves? This view is also supported by the bhāgavad gītā, chapter 17, 5th and 6th śloka-s.

This view on tapas that has been offered ( and as I see it ) is supported by several schools:
the school of yoga - śeṣa-patañjali’s knowledge
the school of saṁkhya - svamī hariharānaṇda of the kāpali maṭha is from this darṣana and therefore taken as support
the school of vedānta ( some say jñāna-kāṇḍa) – of which I use the bhāgavad gītā and kṛṣṇa-jī as my proxy
the school of kaśmir śaivism where svāmī lakṣman-jū teaches and advocates ahimsa ; non-harm of all things (using common sense ) must also apply to one’s self.

More to come, yet I lay this notion of tapas to rest.

iti śivaṁ

05 April 2016, 05:37 PM
hariḥ oṁ

From post 23 above:
समाधिभावनार्थः क्लेशतनूकरणार्थश्च॥२॥
samādhibhāvanārthaḥ kleśatanūkaraṇārthaśca||2
infusing (bhāvanā) samādhiḥ is the cause/reason (arthaḥ) for making thin/attenuating (tanūkaraṇa) kleśa-s.
In this case it is revisiting samādhi ( via one’s practice) that attenuates, reduces, manages kleśa-s ; śeṣa-patañjali calls out 5:

· avidyā - ignorance; this is not scholastic ignorance but the inability to differentiate the Self from non-Self termed viveka or discrimination ,
distinction between Self and non-Self.
· asmitā , ‘egotism’ or the notion of me-ness ; One identifies ‘me’ as the body and senses; as a limited being.
· rāga - desires ; that which does not allow the mind to rest or be balanced
· dveṣa - aversion but to what ? of death; fear of death
· abhiniveśa – one’s tenacity to cling to mundane existence

We are now told by śeṣa-patañjali:

सति मूले तद्विपाको जात्यायुर्भोगाः॥१३
sati mūle tadvipāko jātyāyurbhogāḥ||13

remains (sati) at the root (mūle), the result (vipākaḥ) is birth (jāti), duration of life (āyus) and experience (bhogāḥ)||13

What are we being told by śeṣa-patañjali? That as long as the kleśa-s ( 5 in number from the list above) remain (avaśeṣa) or are acquired (sati = sāti = gained, acquired)
the result is birth, duration-of-life, and experience.

This is quite interesting (to me)… in the school of yoga birth takes on several meanings other than the birth of the body. It also infers ‘birth’ of thought-after-thought,
it infers ‘birth’ of arising from a deep sleep in which the mind was at rest yet once again begins its modifications ( the 2nd sūtra of the the yoga-sūtras , 1st chapter)
again. This continues through one’s span-of-life, and the notion of experience i.e. experiencing , feeling , perception (of pleasure or pain) (bhogāḥ) continues.

What does this mean ? If one misses the finer point here, it is this: One remains within the field of the 3 guṇa-s thinking they are actually the doer of actions. This is erroneous knowledge and is supported by kṛṣṇa-jī within the bhāgavad gītā¹. This no doubt is one-leg of ignorance. And, this is what we wish to get rid of.
Now, what is this ignorance in light of the present conversation ? Let’s rely on śeṣa-patañjali’s definition:

अनित्याशुचिदुःखानात्मसु नित्यशुचिसुखात्मख्यातिरविद्या॥५
anityāśuciduḥkhānātmasu nityaśucisukhātmakhyātiravidyā||5

avidyā or ‘not knowledge’- ignorance, is the assertion, opinion (khyātiḥ) viewing that which is perpetual , eternal ‘everlasting’ (nitya) as not everlasting (anitya), pure (śuci) as impure (aśuci), pleasant (sukha) which is pain (duḥkha¹) and Self (ātma) as non-Self (anātmasu)||5

In a nutshell (for me) it’s holding the opinion of Self as non-Self. That is, the ego as SELF. When one says this is ‘me’ – it is the notion of a limited view of one’s SELF as the ego – and this ego comes about via the intellect standing in for the SELF. It (buddhi) doing the best it can to be SELF to such an extent that people/humans come to think of themselves as this ego-intellect
bundle of limitations i.e. likes, dislikes, choices that make them feel happy or condem them to sadness. They think ‘I am what I do’ – a baker, mom, dad, farmer, grocer, priest, baseball player, yajvan, sally suzie, billy, johnny, etc.

But why care ( only for those that care to unfold Self-realization) ? Ignorance/ avidyā is the breeding ground, the field (kṣetra), for the kleśa-s that are presently part-and-parcel of this conversation.

Recall that ignorance is Not the lack of scholastic information (math, science, physics) but the inability to discern that the intellect (buddhi) as distinct from puruṣa (Self, Being). That is, the intellect engaged in being SELF is really not SELF. At best it is one ray of the SELF and this is why many call it out as self ( note the small ‘s’ used here); It is subordinate to
SELF at best.

This is the core of why śeṣa-patañjali offers this knowledge to the aspirant:
1. self is not SELF
2. there are methods to come to realize this SELF; the practice is called kriyā yoga
3. note some of the bumps along the way i.e. kleśa-s
4. they are managed by the infusion of samādhi

iti śivaṁ

duḥkha – properly written duṣkha, based on the rules of grammar
bhāgavad gītā 3.27 – actions in every case are performed by the 3 guṇa-s.

13 April 2016, 03:23 PM
hariḥ oṁ

In the second chapter (sādhana pāda) of pātañjalayogasūtra-s (pātañjali’s yoga-sūtras) we find this gem:

विवेकख्यातिरविप्लवा हानोपायः॥२६
vivekakhyātiraviplavā hānopāyaḥ||26

This says, discriminative knowledge/perception (vivekakhyāti) is the means (upāya) for its removal (hāna).
I left out one term and that is aviplavā which = uninterrupted, uncorrupted ( my word would be ‘continual’).
Some translate this term to be ‘without confusion or dis-order’. This comes from looking at it this way: a+viplavā = ‘a’ = not + viplavā = distress, tumult, disarray.
The point offered is the ‘continual’ realization between Self and non-Self is the means for it’s removal (hānopāyaḥ¹).
And we know from the posts above that we are removing ignorance.

Pātañjali informs us , with this uninterrupted discrimimative knowledge (vivekakhyātiraviplavā) the native ( or yogi or yoginī i.e. man or woman),7 final insights are revealed… said this way:
तस्य सप्तधा प्रान्तभूमिः प्रज्ञा॥२७॥
tasya saptadhā prāntabhūmiḥ prajñā||27

What are these 7? Let’s review in the next post.

iti śivaṁ

1. Note that hānopāyaḥ = hāna +upāyaḥ ( a+u=’o’ guṇa by the rules of grammar)

14 April 2016, 02:53 PM
hariḥ oṁ
from the previous post...

तस्य सप्तधा प्रान्तभूमिः प्रज्ञा॥२७॥
tasya saptadhā prāntabhūmiḥ prajñā||27
Of it, its (tasya) seven (sapta) placing, holding (dhā) final (prānta) stage (bhūmiḥ)
discern , distinguish , know about , knowing (prajñā) or ‘insights’.

This says, its final stage has (or offers) 7-fold knowledge or discernment's.
(regarding the final stage of vivekakhyātiraviplavā reviewed in post 25 above)

What are these 7 ‘insights’ ? Some suggest 2 groups are found in the 7:
Liberation from action – this accounts for 4 of the 7.
Liberation of the mind – this accounts for 3 of the 7.

Liberation from action

There is nothing more to know – the SELF is the final conclusion; running here-and-there for knowledge outside of one’s SELF is no more.
The desire to stay away from anything is no more ( do’s and don’ts of the world); one is at home all the time settled in the SELF.
The desire to gain/acquire anything is no more ( some say the desire to gain anything new)
The desire to do anything has subsided – that is, the motivation of doing is at rest; One realizes the Ultimate Doer of the World. Anything that is carried out ( say the wise) is from a universal level acting through this realized being here on earth.

Liberation of the mind
There are several views on this matter… some just keep things light and say sorrow, fear, and delusion are no more ( are exterminated/exhausted).
Others say the 3 are:

buddhi has fulfilled its function
traiguṇa-s are tyajati ( pertaining to the 3 guna-s , they are abandoned )
puruṣa resides within itSELF i.e. there is no co-mingling of the triguṇas ( 3 guṇa-s)

This native (yogi or yoginī , man or woman) can now be called kuśala or competent ( some say proficient). The term kuśala is rooted in ās and means ‘to inhabit or dwell-in, to make one’s abode in’. And this no less is the abode of SELF i.e. ātmāste – he sits in the SELF.

iti śivaṁ

15 April 2016, 02:06 PM
hariḥ oṁ

from the previous post...

This native (yogi or yoginī , man or woman) can now be called kuśala or competent ( some say proficient). The term kuśala is rooted in ās and means ‘to inhabit or dwell-in, to make one’s abode in’. And this no less is the abode of SELF i.e. ātmāste – he sits in the SELF.

What then occurs for this person 'resting in the SELF' ? One can look at the words offered many places yet I thought this śloka resonated the best ( with me):

This is from the ṛg veda saṁhita 1.158.6 . I only wish to address the 2nd stanza to keep things simple.

dīrghatamā māmateyo jujurvān daśame yughe |
apāmarthaṃ yatīnāṃ brahmā bhavati sārathiḥ ||1.158.6

apāmarthaṃ - apa+am+arthaṃ -

apa – away, back, off ( not to be confused with ‘āpa’ and the quality of water)
am – can be defined as ‘quickly’; it’s 3rd derivation is ‘ to be afflicted’
artha has many uses and definitions; in this application I see artha ( by one definition) used as object of the senses
Hence apa+am+arthaṃ is to back off quickly (from) , or not afflicted with the objects of the senses.


​yati - 'a striver', the ascetic , devotee , one who has restrained his passions and abandoned the world ( code for one absorbed in SELF)
nā – unbroken; knowledge; it also can mean a jewel, pearl. ( suggesting aviplavā which = uninterrupted, uncorrupted from post 25 above)

sārathiḥ - a charioteer , driver of a car , coachman ( think of kṛṣṇaḥ in the chariot with arjuna)
bhavati – bhava+ti = the state of Being ( rooted in bhū , to be , to become , to be engaged with) + ‘ti’ is a grammar termination that is in the 3rd person (prathama¹) for ‘he’ or ‘she’.
brahmā – universal Being or creator

What then does this śloka say as I see it ?
He ( or she) that is established in that unbroken/continual Being or SELF (yatīnāṃ bhavati), brahmā is his/her sārathiḥ or charioteer.

Now what does that mean ?

This person who has moved away from, or is unafflicted by the objects of the senses, established in the SELF has brahmā as his charioteer that now does all actions...it is brahmā that guides and brings him or her here or there. This person, established in the SELF has nothing left to accomplish ( post 26 above); He or she is now in the hands of the Supreme, and lets His work be done. Some would argue ( and rightly so) that there is no '2'. That this person , this identification with a personage of 'me' or quality of 'ego' is no more. The only thing that remains is the Supreme.


iti śivaṁ
1. within saṃskṛt grammar there is a 1st person (uttma) , second person some call middle or madhya, and 3rd person (prathama); Some call singular, dual and plural. In the English language usually there is singular and plural, middle or madhya is grouped into the plural condition.

26 May 2016, 01:54 PM
hariḥ oṁ

I thought to add/extend just a few more ideas found in posts 24 to 26…

Note to the reader that the following is on the cusp of being an advanced subject. If you do not ‘get’ it, no worries;this information is more aligned to one who is practicing these methods and are ( or may) have these experiences. It can be intellectually understood, but better comprehended if the reader in-fact has had the direct personal experiences themselves… that said, let me offer the following from the 3rd chapter of patañjali’s yogadarśana called vibhūti pāda.

This sutra has great interest to me , as an ‘ahhh-ha!’ piece of knowledge… Let me explain.

व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्राद र्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः॥९
vyutthānanirodhasaṁskārayorabhibhavaprādurbhāvau nirodhakṣaṇacittānvayo nirodhapariṇāmaḥ||9

This is talking about defeating or abhibhava (some use the term subjugation meaning to gain control, to conquer and gain the obedience) the latent impressions (saṁskārayoḥ) that rise up (vyutthāna ) as mental fluctuations. This is done by the arrested state of mind nirodha ( restraint , check , control , suppression , destruction). This alteration , transformation (pariṇāmaḥ) of nirodha is also considered considered a mutation or ~form~ of this arrested state (nirodha).

What is occurring is via this arrested condition ( nirodha) the latent impressions are still there but are ~altered~ for lack of a better term by the ‘time out’ caused by this pariṇāmaḥ ( or transformation ) of nirodha.

Two impressions are in the works… the past impressions (saṁskārayoḥ) or the term I used above was latent ( dormant and in some cases developed, undeveloped or awaiting to mature) and this impression of nirodha ( or the arrested state). Isn’t interesting that even the arrested state is an impression that is occurring? Two impressions are in the works… one is to arise and be the mind again full of change ( this is the 3 guṇa-s) and the other is to suppress this change and fluctuation (nirodha-pariṇāmaḥ). It is like a metal spring being held down from a weight on top of it. The spring wants to throw off the weight.

The ahhh-ha! here is that there are two impressions that want to dominate… The fluctuating mind wishes to wander in the forest of the senses, within the world ( this is how the wise explain it, the roaming of the mind in the field of objects); It is being held in check by one’s practice (abhyāsa). In the beginning the metal spring is able to push off the weight of one’s practice without much effort. Yet over time and with yogī yuñjīita satatam or ‘one’s practice is done in continuity’ then the weight (guru – heavy, weighty) of one’s nirodha portion begins to gain position.

It is no different than purifying gold ( this is bhojarāja-ji’s¹ example) with heat; As gold (considered a noble metal) is commingled with various other alloys as it comes out of the ground, such as lead, it is purified with heat – the dross (waste matter) of lead burns out along with and other the dross, leaving pure gold.

In this example the heat is the tapas from one’s practice (abhyāsa) that introduces nirodha-pariṇāmaḥ; The lead = impressions (saṁskāra); the gold = pure awareness of samādhi ( this term was reviewed in posts 24-26 above).

Now do we get any confirmation from śeṣa patañjali¹ that is indeed occurs ? Yes. He offers this in two steps or 2 sūtra-s:

तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात्॥१०॥
tasya praśāntavāhitā saṁskārāt||10

सर्वार्थतैकाग्रतयोः क्षयोदयौ चित्तस्य समाधिपरिणामः॥११॥
sarvārthataikāgratayoḥ kṣayodayau cittasya samādhipariṇāmaḥ||11

this says, ( in a nut shell ) that praśānta-vāhitā or mental peace (śānti) is cultured though that arrested state of mind || 10
the rising up or emergence (udaya) of one-pointedness (ekāgratā) & it’s transformation (pariṇāmaḥ) is called samādhi ||11


iti śivaṁ


Bhojarāja was one of several commentators on patañjali’s yogadarśana – his work is called rājamārtāṇḍa-vṛtti; Other commentators are vyāsa, śaṅjara-ji, vivaraṇa-ji, vijñānabhikṣu-ji, etc.
patañjali - some say the derivation of his name comes in this manner pata + añjali

añjali = open hands placed side by side and slightly hollowed
pata – falling
The legend says that śeṣa ( the divine serpent) incarnated and fell (pata) into open hands (añjali) of a brahmin (realized being) no less; and this incarnation was none other than patañjali. We can see why he would be called śeṣa-patañjali.

​This process of metal purification is called cupellation

07 June 2016, 12:42 PM
hariḥ oṁ

This is a continuation of post 24’s theme… please read that one again as it will bring a better understanding to this post.

Within the kaṭha upaniṣad (kaṭhopaniṣat¹) we find the following:
उत्तिष्ठत जाग्रत
प्राप्य वरान् निबोधत ।
क्षुरस्य धारा निशिता दुरत्यया
दुर्गं पथस् तत् कवयो वदन्ति ॥१।३।१४

uttiṣṭhata jāgrata
prāpya varān nibodhata |
kṣurasya dhārā niśitā duratyayā
durgaṃ pathas tat kavayo vadanti || 1.3.14

this says, in general…
arise, awake (uttiṣṭhata jāgrata ) approach (varā¹) the best of masters , do become seated in the Self¹ (ni+bodhata¹);
Difficult ( durgaṁ¹) to cross ( some say difficult is the path) like a razor's edge¹ (niśitā) so the wise (kavi) proclaim or speak (vadanti).

What can one take from this is immense… yet what I wish to offer alignment to the notion of niśita - sharpened , sharp , and how it applies to
these two sūtra-s from śeṣa-patañjali’s 2nd & 3rd chapters. First I need to lay them both out:

dṛgdarśanaśaktyorekātmatevāsmitā|| 2.6

In this sūtra śeṣa-patañjali informs us that the ego (asmitā) comes about when the Seer or dṛg ( which is another way of saying Puruṣa ) comes about when the 2 powers (śaktyoḥ) are co-mingled or are identified as one (ekātmatā). Said simpler, it is when the Seer and the instruments within the process of seeing & discerning or the cognitive power (darśana¹) are /confused as the same. That is, Puruṣa and buddhi (the intellect) are assumed to be one-and-the same, and this produces the experience of asmitā / ego.
To be ‘pure’ on this term of asmitā , it means egoism… The notion of ‘me-ness’ or limited being that thinks I am the assembly of this body & mind – the city of 8 ( the 5 senses + the 3 inner ‘organs’ of mind, intellect, ego). The Western experts tell us “egoism should be distinguished from egotism, which means a psychological overvaluation of one’s own importance, or of one’s own activities”.
Yet no matter how you slice it whether you undervalue or over-value your individuality you are stuck with the misapprehension of the Seer (SELF) being co-mingled with the organs of cognition & discernment.

Let’s go to the next sūtra , in chapter 3:
sattvapuruṣayoratyantāsaṅkīrṇayoḥ pratyayāviśeṣo bhogaḥ parārthatvātsvārthasaṁyamātpuruṣajñānam||3.35 ( some books have this as the 36th sūtra)

In very simple terms this informs and confirms that the intellect ( identified here as sattva, as in buddhisattva) is atyanta ‘beyond the limit’ of asaṅkīrṇayoḥ, not being mixed or filled together. In the West people would use this term atyanta as ‘not even close’. So śeṣa-patañjali is reminding us that the intellect and the Seer (Puruṣa/Self) are in fact ‘no way’ the same, no even close.
In fact he tells us in this verse that the intellect (buddhi or sattva) exists for the sake of Puruṣa alone, and ( by the way) Puruṣa exists for its own sake ( It is Self-sufficient, completely independent).

...but yajvan, why then did you offer this sūtra when it was established with the 6th sūtra above that buddhi and Puruṣa are different ?
Well in this sūtra śeṣa-patañjali says if you can ‘see’ or experience or cognize the difference between the two , you will then gain knowledge of Puruṣa itself. Now ‘gain knowledge’ is not used here in this verse – it is said one attains Self (svārtha) knowledge (jñānam) of Puruṣa (puruṣa). It is this ability to discriminate (viveka) between the two that one comes to ‘know’ Puruṣa.

Now the question... what does this have to do with the razor's edge niśita ? We will address this in the next post.

iti śivaṁ


kaṭha – a pupil or follower of or follower of kaṭha; the term is also defined as distress. This notion of distress within the kaṭha upaniṣad (kaṭhopaniṣat¹) can be assigned to nacakitas the son of vājaśravā.
kaṭha + upaniṣad = kaṭhopaniṣat. This is done via the rules saṁdhi (sandhi)
varā - choose, 'select' ; also means precious , best , most excellent, best , most excellent or eminent among
Self – this term always gives one a brain cramp. I am using it as non-personal all-inclusive Being or pure Awareness, without boundaries ( time, shape, size, origin or birth). This is clearly distinct from ‘self’ small ‘s’ which suggests a constrained, limited experiencer of time, shape, size, with origins, that comes and goes).
durgaṁ or durga - difficult of access or approach , impassable , unattainable
razor's edge - niśita - sharpened , sharp ; also means steel or iron

ni as an indeclinable = within, into ;
this term ‘ni’ also expresses kṣepa (throwing, casting tossing), dāna (the act of giving, and giving up) , uparama (stopping, arresting) , āśraya (seated, annexed) , mokṣa (re-recognition of SELF,Being)
bodha = becoming or being awake , consciousness
Hence ni+bodha = going ‘within’ going ‘into’ + being awake. The ‘ni’ term suggests mokṣa or liberation; ‘waking up’ to the re-recognition of SELF. Seated (āśraya) in the SELF.

darśana - seeing , observing , looking , noticing , observation , perception ; apprehension , judgement , discernment , understanding , intellect

13 June 2016, 03:26 PM
hariḥ oṁ

Now the question... what does this have to do with the razor's edge niśita ?

Think how sharp a razor’s edge is... very clean, pointed, with the ability to cut with ease. It is the notion ( from 3.35 sūtra reviewed in the last post) that one’s ability to discriminate (viveka) is that sharp, that pure, that one pointed , that it will cognize the difference between buddhi and Puruṣa (Self, Being, pure awareness).

It like a seed being able to discriminate between its actual core seed (endosperm) and the layers that cover it ( the bran). Not only the gross 'bran' cover but the nucellar tissue cover that is shown in the picture below.


That is , our discrimination becomes razor sharp. Over time and practice one is getting to the notion of distinguishing between Self and non-Self. One hears ‘you are not the body’ , not the arm, the legs the head, etc.' from others or from books. Sure we get that ( I hope). But then one needs to go further in ( the march inward – pratiprasava¹) and discriminate that the essential 'you' is also not the mind, ego and intellect.
It is this final stop between intellect (buddhi or sattva as it is identified in the sūtra-s) and Puruṣa (Self, Being, pure awareness) that one needs this razor’s edge of sharp cognition.This is why ‘purity of awareness’ is such a big deal. It is the tool for discriminating.

There is a ‘practice’ that śeṣa-patañjali offers in the 3rd chapter that is called out:

क्षणतत्क्रमयोः संयमाद्विवेकजं ज्ञानम्॥५२
kṣaṇatatkramayoḥ saṁyamādvivekajaṁ jñānam||52

this says,
with the practice of saṁyamāt ( which I have not reviewed here as yet ) on a moment (kṣaṇa) and its sequence, its progression kramayoḥ discrimination (viveka) knowledge (jñānam) is born (jaṁ) or developed/gained/honed.

What is a moment? We are talking time-frames. A kṣaṇa is a moment, also called the ‘twinkling of the eye’ or nimeṣa , a wink of an eye. A moment is a minimal amount of time. So, a sequence of moments make up a thing we call time. The key here is moment 1 does not occur during moment 2. They are discrete and different. To be able to distinguish between moment 1 and 2 yields discriminating power. See the point?
Even if you say it is now ( moment 1), the next moment (2) is now + some very small portion of time (kṣaṇa or nimeṣa) that brings you to moment 2. Cognizing that slight difference is what is being discussed here.

What occurs ? Indistinguishable differences become distinguishable. In a gross example you see identical twins, the yogin ( even the miti yogin – the one practicing yet full elevation has not occurred as yet) would discern the difference; so says the 54th sutra found in chapter 3:
jātilakṣaṇadeśairanyatānavacchedāttulyayostataḥ pratipattiḥ||53

in general this says ,
there is distinguishable knowledge (pratipattiḥ - some say clear perception) between objects looking alike (tulyayoḥ); the differences (anyatā) are comparatively (tulya) indiscernible (anavacchedāt).
Now does this say more? Yes, it talks of class; say a species of bird. Bird A verses bird B of the same species; or something with the same markings ( a stroke of a pen), or by position ( something being closer or further away). The discernment/differences will be apparent to the yogin.

This carried to the highest level the yogin will differentiate between the intellect and pure Being (Puruṣa). This is the razor’s edge being honed... Final discriminating knowledge has no sequence (akramam). It is considered tāraka ( liberating) and comprehensive of all (sarva) things (viṣayam) i.e. it is intuitive knowledge (jñānam). This is pointed out here:
tārakaṁ sarvaviṣayaṁ sarvathāviṣayamakramaṁ ceti vivekajaṁ jñānam||54

And what is the fruit of this?

सत्त्वपुरुषयोः शुद्धिसाम्ये कैवल्यमिति॥५५
sattvapuruṣayoḥ śuddhisāmye kaivalyamiti||55

when there is equality of purity (śuddhisāmye) between the intellect ( here called sattva) and Puruṣa (puruṣayoḥ) thus ( iti) kaivalyam or absolute independence (code for mokṣa) results. One now lives the SELF as their Reality.

iti śivaṁ

1. pratiprasava – ‘counter-order’ or marching inward; return to the orginal state or condition

24 June 2016, 03:54 PM
hariḥ oṁ

Over time and practice one is getting to the notion of distinguishing between Self and non-Self. One hears ‘you are not the body’ , not the arm, the legs the head, etc.' from others or from books. Sure we get that ( I hope). But then one needs to go further in ( the march inward – pratiprasava¹) and discriminate that the essential 'you' is also not the mind, ego and intellect.

(This is extending the conversation found in posts 29 & 30 )
Why is the razor sharp discrimination required? We get a hint here in the 4th chapter 22nd sūtra :

citerapratisaṅkramāyāstadākārāpattau svabuddhisaṁvedanam||22
In a nutshell this says,
When consciousness (citeḥ) takes the form of buddhi (intellect), that ( buddhi) becomes intelligence.

That is, this pure awareness ( code here for Puruṣa, Being,) takes on the role of intellect and makes it intelligence. It is like saying buddhi is inert and pure awareness invigorates it to become intelligence. From our point of experience the intellect seems to be awareness in-and-of- itself ( self sufficient) , yet this is made possible by another ( that is how the wise say it); this other is Puruṣa, Being.

So, the human condition thinks buddhi is the real Self and goes on to say I am joe, I am mary, I am happy, sad, big small. Yet in every case this ‘I am’ belongs to another. It just so happens to think it is joe, mary, happy, sad , and this is the confusion the ignorance of not knowing who is behind this intellect that powers it to be intelligence.

Many of us do not get this ( it took me some time for this to soak in); so if you do not get it, no worries. But if you do nothing about it ( that is, not ponder it , look to understand and experience the difference) , then one will stay stuck in the everyday understanding of identifying your Self (Being, pure awareness) with what you do ( a student, homemaker, father, brick layer, good, bad, happy , unhappy, etc) to your original status of awareness itself, playing a role , or being engaged in, being human identifying with his/her actions.

Now one can see ( I hope) on how delicate yet how razor sharp one’s discrimination needs to be to look ‘under the hood’ and see this difference.

iti śivaṁ

25 June 2016, 08:29 PM
hariḥ oṁ

one can see ( I hope) on how delicate yet how razor sharp one’s discrimination needs to be to look ‘under the hood’and see this difference
But what is the impact of this ? Let me offer 3 śloka-s. The first two are from śeṣa-patañjali’s yogasūtra-s ( chapter 4, 25th and 26th sūtra), and the last one is from the the spandakārikā-s by vasugupta-ji.

विशेषदर्शिन आत्मभावभावनाविनिवृत्तिः॥२५॥
viśeṣadarśina ātmabhāvabhāvanāvinivṛttiḥ||25

there is cessation , coming to an end (vinivṛttiḥ) of reflection , contemplation (bhāvanā) regarding one’s nature\true condition (bhāva) his SELF (ātma) to the one who knows (darśinaḥ) this distinction (viśeṣa) ||25

that is, one needn’t wonder about what this SELF (ātma) is anymore because one is delivered to this re-recognition of SELF.

And what then is the result?
तदा विवेकनिम्नङ्कैवल्यप्राग्भारञ्चित् म्॥२६॥
tadā vivekanimnaṅkaivalyaprāgbhārañcittam||26

via this discrimination (viveka) one’s aim\intent (cittam) sinks (nimnam) or is directed towards (prāg= prāñc) the mass (bhāram) of isolation (kaivalya) ||26

There are a few terms within this sūtra that require more light:

kaivalya comes from kévala and means ‘isolation’; yet it is not the definition of the mundane world. Both terms have ‘val’ within them. It is defined as ‘to return, to come back home’, ‘to be drawn or attached to’ . But to what? to ‘ka’ another name for Brahman, another name for SELF. One has returned or drawn back to brahman, to SELF. But why ‘isolation’? Because that is all there is, there is only brahman. One is removed from all other distractions and ‘isolated’ in the one-ness of brahman, one’s own Self. That is why kaivalya is also termed liberation. You are liberated from the differentiated world of the many and ‘isolated’ in the wholeness of the undifferentiated Self/brahman.
The notion of mass (bhāram) comes from this idea :
Turyātīta –literally means beyond the fourth state of consciousness ( code for one that has stabilized their awareness and reside in the fullness of Being, their own Self, kaivalya); this turyātīta is also called mahāpracayam¹ or mahā + pracayam = a great (mahā) heap or mass (pracaya). Of what ? consciousness. This is the ‘fragrance’ of one’s own SELF. It is called out in the spanda sandoha¹ as cidāndaghanasya ātmanaḥ - or a heap/compact mass (ghana) of consciousness (cit) and ānanda (joy pure happiness).
Next the term cittam
Many use the term as ‘thinking , reflecting , intelligence, reason, reflecting , imagining , thought’, and therefore can be summed up as mind. Yes, I see this and do not question this definition at all. Yet the other definition for citta is ‘aimed at’ ,’ longed for’. I chose this definition as it seems ( to me only) that it brought more value to the sūtra being reviewed.

Now the last idea for the reader's consideration and I take it again from the spandakārikā-s by vasugupta-ji ... he says , smayamāna iva .

iva = indeed , smaya = wonder, amazed, astonishment + māna = likeness, form.
smayamāna iva = you will indeed be wonderstuck/amazed/astonished when he/she observes or is possessed by one’s own Being (Self) ~form~.

iti śivaṁ


mahāpracayam – from the Mālinīvijayottaratantra , chapter 2 :
pracayaṁ rūpātītaṁ ca samyak turyamudāhṛtaṁ|
mahāpracayamicchanti turyātītaṁ vicakṣaṇāḥ||38

spanda sandoha of by kṣemarāja – this is ‘doha’ or the milking ( doha = the milking of the whole herd); it is the ‘milking’ , extracting the most nourishing knowledge from the 1st kārikā offered in this great work. It is so much so that we are told that all of the śāstra’s essence ( milk) can be found in this one kārikā (concise statement)

25 September 2016, 03:58 PM
hariḥ oṁ

From the post above:

विशेषदर्शिन आत्मभावभावनाविनिवृत्तिः॥२५॥

viśeṣadarśina ātmabhāvabhāvanāvinivṛttiḥ||25

there is cessation , coming to an end (vinivṛttiḥ) of reflection , contemplation (bhāvanā) regarding one’s nature\true condition (bhāva) his SELF (ātma) to the one who knows (darśinaḥ) this distinction (viśeṣa) ||25
There is one thing to be aware of when talking of cessation (vinivṛttiḥ - ceasing) within one’s practice (abhyāsa repeated discipline). It is that of manaḥ laya , manaḥ naśa , and yoganidrā . Manaḥ laya ( or combined together is manolaya) is the cessation of thoughts, but a temporary stillness or calmness of thought-waves. Manaḥ naśa ( or combined together is manonaśa) – the cessation of thoughts that is permanent i.e. the destruction of ‘mind’. Mind here is the bundle of, and regeneration of, thought waves that bubble up again and again.

Thoughts ( good/bad or indifferent) feeds mind and therefore supports ego. It takes ego here-and-there and mind expands with more thoughts. Therefore manolaya ≠ manonaśa. Note that manolaya is still progress for one with many-many thoughts as one comes to understand ‘oh, this is what calmness of mind is about’. This is all well and good . Yet one should not confuse the road for the destination.

Now there is one more – this manolaya can also lead to yoganidrā or ‘meditation sleep’ some call twilight sleep. It is not the deep sleep one knows that comes in the middle of the night, but it brings this absence of thoughts. Some even say it occurs when one’s practice of manolaya occurs, but the practice does not continue or cannot be supported – you are deposited into this yoganidrā āvasatha¹ (dwelling/state) , and the body is in a deep state of rest. Hence:

manolaya ≠ manonaśa and,
manonaśa ≠ yoganidrā but,
manolaya may lead to yoganidrā.

Thoughts that ebb-and-flow continue upon one’s exit or completion of being in manolaya or yoganidrā. Simply put, thoughts startup again once one’s practice period is done. Some call it ‘getting-up¹’ from one’s practice, so do thoughts.

We are told of a story offered by rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi of a sādhuḥ that attained a high degree of concentration. He was of the opinion that this prolonged period of manolaya constituted liberation and hence continued in this way.
On a given day practicing by the side of a river & before going into manolaya āvasatha (dwelling/state) he asked a passer-by if he could fetch some water for him. Before the person returned the sādhuḥ withdrew into manolaya. So much so ( goes the story) some hours passed and the passer-by left the water gourd by the side of the sādhuḥ for his use upon ‘getting up’ from his practice. Yet after hours, days, weeks, and months the sādhuḥ remained by the side of the river within his practice. Seasons past, they cycled again and again, they came and went. Finally the sādhuḥ rustled from his practice and upon samutthānati¹ , he said, ‘where’s my water ? ’ . It was the last thought he had and the 1st to bubble up again.
First one can ask ‘where did this thought arise from ? ’ and that would get us into vāsanā-s and saṁskāra-s ; I will not go into this but owe the reader a definition ( by our HDF rules we do not use terms that may be foreign to the reader):

saṁskāra – impression(s) on the mind of acts done in a former state of existence; that is past actions , as opposed to vāsanā-s. Note that ‘past’ is often thought of as ‘past’ lives but this also could be last week, last season or longer.
vāsanā-s – are impressions, yet come from ( or are deposited) from feelings, ideas, false notions and the like

Back to the story at hand... we take note that the sādhuḥ stayed within the realm of practice called manolaya āvasatha, all well and good. Yet one must know that this is not ‘completion’ or samāpatti. Completion occurs with manaḥ naśa (manonaśa).

What then is the lesson ? Be mindful of this crossroad of thinking manolaya (temporary suspension) as being the destination, that is settling-in to this condition as if it were final.
What then is the ārurukṣormuneryogaṁ¹ ( the one that wants to rise in yoga) to do ?

Ever refreshed ( refreshed = snānaṁ) awareness in one’s practice; both in practice (sitting) and samutthāna (rising up).
Continuity of practice
madbhakta – devoted to one’s pursuit ( more weight given to this side of the equation than other pursuits)

net-net: uddharedātmanatmānaṁ - elevate yourself by your Self¹.

iti śivaṁ

terms used

āvasathati (dwelling/state) - he (ti) that dwells in (vas) or has favor (avas) or left off in (asta)
samutthāna - rise or springing from; active operation; some call autthānika – getting up or setting up; (ti) he - so he is rising.
ārurukṣormuneryogaṁ is the first line of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā , 6th chapter 3rd verse.
uddharedātmanatmānaṁ - from the 5th verse, 6th chapter of the śrīmad bhāgavad gītā