Patanjali Yoga Sutras
Chapter 3 - Vibhooti Pada
Chapter 3, Sutra 1
देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा ॥ ३.१॥
In this sutra Patanjali introduces us to the concept of Dharana or modern-day English word Meditation. From this sutra, we will be moving from outside of our body to completely internal side of our body. First four ( Yama, niyama,asana,pranayama) are activities to be done externally, or which require us interaction with external things. Pratyahara is in between, it’s both internal and external. Now we move to the internal realm of the mind. Though all other activities are connected to mind ultimately, they need other parts of the body to execute them.
This sutra talks about concentration. If we can concentrate the mind on a space in our mind, it is called Dharana. That space can be God, nature, flame, Bindu or anything the person chooses. It can be work too. The mind should occupy that space for a prolonged period of time.
It’s like when we watch a good interesting movie, our mind is occupied in the space of the movie for three hours. in the same way, if we can concentrate our mind in a small space of our mind that is called Dharana.
Chapter 3, Sutra 2
तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम् ॥ ३.२॥
We learnt in the previous sutra about Dharana, which means concentration. Dharana is utilizing mental faculties to concentrate on an object. If that object of concentration becomes the mind if the perception of object envelopes the mind it is called dhyana. Dhyana can also be called as deep meditation. when we start meditation, we start with dharana. We withdraw the mind from many objects to one object. And when the meditation gets deeper, that one object becomes the whole mind. I have never experienced this state so I cannot comment more, except that I endeavour to reach that state. More information can be found at
Chapter 3, Sutra 3
तदेवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यमिव समाधिः ॥ ३.३॥
This is the eight limb or stage of Yoga and the final stage. After fixing the point of concentration on a space in the mind (dharana) and continuously meditating on it (dhyana) we reach a stage of complete absorption in the object. This is Samadhi. That’s why we should choose the object of meditation carefully, as it becomes everything in Samadhi. I think with persistent practice we can reach this stage.
Chapter 3, Sutra 4
त्रयमेकत्र संयमः ॥ ३.४॥
The word samyama comes many times in Bhagwat Geetha. Now I understand the real meaning of it through this sutra. Samyama is the practice of 6th,7th and 8th limbs of yoga together. If concentration, meditation and deep meditation (contemplation) are done about one object , this leads to samyama. In Geetha it is said samyama has to be followed as a discipline.
Chapter 3, Sutra 5
तज्जयात्प्रज्ञालोकः ॥ ३.५॥
When we succeed in samyama, then we get insights into the deepest truths. As we keep practicing samyama (concentration+meditation+contemplation) what will we get? What is the benefit? Patanjali says the benefit we get is of knowledge. The real knowledge that is available in the universe, the knowledge that was available for very few people. The knowledge of insight, the knowledge of light. The knowledge that is free of maya/illusion will be known to the person.
Chapter 3, Sutra 6
तस्य भूमिषु विनियोगः ॥ ३.६॥
How does this insight happen? Does it happen in an instant? Patanjali says it happens in stages. As we keep practising samyama we keep crossing from grossness to subtleness. We have discussed earlier in sutras how we proceed gradually from outside world to inside world and then reach the state of Samadhi. Savitarka Samadhi and nirvitarka Samadhi. In the same way, insights do happen to people gradually stage by stage. As illusion keeps clearing it of itself, insights keep happening one by one.
Chapter 3, Sutra 7
त्रयमन्तरङ्गं पूर्वेभ्यः ॥ ३.७॥
These three limbs are internal when compared to other 5 limbs which are external. This we have discussed earlier that Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi are related to the subtler inner aspects of the mind. As we keep perfecting the outside world the internal world also keeps getting perfect and vice versa. As the internal world keeps getting better our external life keeps getting better. So we should keep acting in both ways as both are related strongly. We should keep practicing both ( yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara) and (dharana,dhayana, Samadhi).
Chapter 3, Sutra 8
तदपि बहिरङ्गं निर्बीजस्य ॥ ३.८॥
In this sutra, Patanjali says that even the three limbs ( Dharana,dhayana and Samadhi) which are considered internal to other 5 limbs, are considered external to nirbija Samadhi. The concept of nirbija Samadhi was introduced in sutra 1.51. It is a seedless Samadhi, where concentration does not have a seed. In dharana we concentrate on an object, and when we meditate deep and contemplate on that object it becomes Samadhi which has a seed. (the object of concentration). Whereas in nirbija samadhi, there is no object of concentration and we move beyond objects. Its just mind and consciousness that’s there in that Samadhi.
Chapter 3, Sutra 9
व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोरभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः ॥ ३.९॥
We started with these yoga sutras saying that yoga will help us in stopping the modification of the mind. The stopping of the modification happens when the past impressions of actions subside because of control of mind, and new good modifications start appearing due to new practices that have been adopted and when these are observed intently than the results of modification can be achieved.
This junction of the action taking place in mind is the result of Samadhi. The past impressions go away and new impressions are formed during meditation. Actually, samadhi helps in cleaning the hard drive of the computer of the mind of all the junk that has been accumulated and clears the space in the mind.
Chapter 3, Sutra 10
तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारात् ॥ ३.१०॥
How can the state of calmness or tranquility be maintained for a long time? Patanjali says it can be maintained for a long time by making it a habit. If we keep practicing the three limbs dharana, dhyana and Samadhi regularly and at each and every time available then the old samskaras get washed away and the new habit of calmness is formed.
This habit formation of the new habits is the key, which occupies the space of old habits.
Chapter 3, Sutra 11
सर्वार्थतैकाग्रतयोः क्षयोदयौ चित्तस्य समाधिपरिणामः ॥ ३.११॥
The advantage of the last limb of Yoga is given here. It is said that the result of Samadhi is one-pointedness. The different manifestations of the mind subside and it will become one-pointed. The one-pointedness is the ultimate goal of the person. Unity of the individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness, the ultimate purpose of yoga. This can be done by practicing Samadhi for a long period of time.
Chapter 3, Sutra 12
ततः पुनः शान्तोदितौ तुल्यप्रत्ययौ चित्तस्यैकाग्रतापरिणामः ॥ ३.१२॥
- From sutra 3.09 till this sutra Patanjali basically explains the mental process that keeps happening in our mind due to samadhi. in 3.09 it is said that due to samadhi there will be a break in our thought patterns.
- In 3.10 it is said that the stoppings of modifications of mind can be maintained for a long period of time by making samadhi a habit and practicing it regularly.
- At 3.11 it I said what advantage we will be getting by samadhi. The mind becomes one-pointed.
In this sutra is described as what happens inside of the mind during the process of one-pointedness.one-pointedness basically destroys the past samskaras and allow the new samskara of one-pointedness grow. As we practice samadhi more and more, the modifications also become one-pointed more and more. There is a smooth transition from one moment to another in thoughts. From one-pointedness to one-pointedness the mind moves. Thus we can see that our concentration keeps on increasing as we keep practicing samadhi day by day.
Chapter 3, Sutra 13
एतेन भूतेन्द्रियेषु धर्मलक्षणावस्थापरिणामा व्याख्याताः ॥ ३.१३॥
This is quite a difficult sutra for me to understand. I feel that Patanjali is telling us more about what happens in a state of samadhi. He is saying that the form, space and time of the object vanish in the state of one-pointedness and all these three will become one. all material objects are usually manifested in these three ways – form, space, and time.
one-pointedness basically leads to the vanishing of the physical material nature of the objects. These changes in one-pointedness happen both for the material things and also in the sense organs.
Chapter 3, Sutra 14
शान्तोदिताव्यपदेश्यधर्मानुपाती धर्मी ॥ ३.१४॥
In the previous Sutra, it is described that all modifications have basically three states: modification of space, modification of time and modification of form which happen physically and mentally in sense organs.
in this sutra, Patanjali says there is a common substratum beneath the form, time and space.Though to the external eye and sense perception, we may feel that all the three are different but beneath these three there is a common core which has all the three elements in it. Science has not reached that stage where they could see all these in one state but it will definitely find it one day. Patanjali says in Samadhi we can be able to see that common core of time, space, form.
Chapter 3, Sutra 15
क्रमान्यत्वं परिणामान्यत्वे हेतुः ॥ ३.१५॥
I have seen in internet very good interpretation that resonates with my thought. Here is the link to that website regarding this sutra. hope you all like it. http://centeringyoga.blogspot.com/…/yoga-sutra-study…
It is stated that the basic substratum keeps changing from past present and future. The human beings have the potential to design their future by changing the present. The choices we make in the present will determine what we will be in future. What we did in our past determine our present and we may follow the past to lead the same lives. if we want to make a change then we should change our present. The present creates future.
Chapter 3, Sutra 16
परिणामत्रयसंयमाद् अतीतानागतज्ञानम् ॥ ३.१६॥
In earlier sutra, from 3.1-3.6 the concept of samyama was introduced. when the three activities(Dharana+dhyana+samadhi) are performed simultaneously this will result in samyama.
It as also seen that samyama results in gaining the real knowledge: Pragya. IN this sutra Patanjali states that through samyama we can see for ourselves the cause and effects of various things happening in our lives. we can see clearly what we have done in past and how it is affecting us now and what we can do now to change the future. Samyama helps in knowing the transformations of the objects with respect to form, space and time. Why an object “x” transformed to “Y”? what are the reasons for it etc. if we have samyama we will look for real reasons instead of relying on interpretations given by others.
Chapter 3, Sutra 17
शब्दार्थप्रत्ययानामितरेतराध्यासात् सङ्करस्तत्प्रविभागसंयमात्सर्वभूतरुतज्ञानम् ॥ ३.१७॥
In this Sutra Patanjali talks about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). This sutra talks about how words, meanings and perceptions interact with each other.
The language was introduced in human beings to enable communication so that humans beings can complete a task, repeated tasks with utmost efficiency. Over a period of time language has become so important that we started thinking everything in terms of language, words etc. we talk with ourselves(inner voice) as a dialogue of words.
Patanjali says we need to distinguish clearly what words, meanings and perceptions mean. The word snake can cause an uncomfortable feeling because of its meaning and perception to us. Patanjali says we should not infer about the character/perception immediately when we hear a word/sound.
With the practice of samyama, we can clearly distinguish the three and make proper conclusions about the sounds uttered by human beings and animals. Once we can get the proper meaning of any communication we can also reach properly instead of reacting impulsively.
Chapter 3, Sutra 18
संस्कारसाक्षात्करणात्पूर्वजातिज्ञानम् ॥ ३.१८॥
The more we practice samyama, patanjali says we will come into direct contact with the samskaras. samskaras are those mental impressions that are deep in our mind in conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. These impressions form our nature and guide our behavior. Whatever thought comes to our mind is because of these samskaras. The more strong samskara is, the more recurring it is in our mind.
Patanjali says as we master samayama we go into the samskaras of our past lives also. even in the present life, there are a lot of past memories that keep surfacing during meditation. Instead of enjoying the samskaras if we just are a witness of those thoughts, gradually and slowly we will master samyama.
Chapter 3, Sutra 19
प्रत्ययस्य परचित्तज्ञानम् ॥ ३.१९॥
In this Sutra , Patanjali says by careful practise of Samyama we will be able to see what is in other people’s mind.We can see that with samyama our own thoughts gets cleared. the ego of a person , a person’s own bias towards others disappears. Modern psychology has come out with the concept of cognitive bias. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias)
With the practise of samyama our biases will be reduced to a clear extent so that we will be able to see clearly what’s in other people mind. It is not my mind interpreting other person’s mind, it is reading other person’s mind as it is like reading a book.
Chapter 3, Sutra 20
न च तत्सालम्बनं तस्याविषयीभूतत्वात् ॥ ३.२०॥
In this sutra it is said that a person practicing samyama can read other person’s mind as it is, but he can’t read what are the samskaras in other person’s mind.
it is like we can read a book written by a author but we cannot read what’s deeply hidden in authors mind. another example is we can know clearly what the other person meaning when he says something. but we cannot know what’s the reason why a particular person said or did something. We have access to people’s words and actions not their deep rooted samskaras.
Chapter 3, Sutra 21
कायरूपसंयमात्तद्ग्राह्यशक्तिस्तम्भे चक्षुःप्रकाशासंप्रयोगेऽन्तर्धानम् ॥ ३.२१॥
We all know how we perceive with our eye. Bodies in the universe either release light or reflect light. the image of the light of the body is captured by the eye’s retina. From retina, the message goes to brain as nerve impulses. in the brain, the decoding function occurs to interpret what the object is. The light rays (reflected and released) from the object will create images in the mind. Light from objects only makes us see the outer form. Light from objects only makes us see the outer form.
Patanjali says when a person is in samyama, light is no longer needed to see the objects. Bodies become invisible to him. he doesn’t see the gross bodies anymore. whatever he sees, he goes deep and sees the real nature of bodies. He can clearly make out that differences are superficial. inside everyone is the same.
Chapter 3, Sutra 22
सोपक्रमं निरुपक्रमं च कर्म तत्संयमादपरान्तज्ञानमरिष्टेभ्यो वा ॥ ३.२२॥
We have seen in the previous sutra that with samayama the connect between light energy and bodies disappear. In this sutra, Patanjali explains that through samyama, even the sound energy and words also disappear. We always feel that sometimes the best feelings cannot be expressed. we fall short of words to explain great feelings. In the same way in samyama, the bodies not only disappear in terms of light they disappear in terms of sound too.
In one of the earlier sutra’s it is given that one of the kleshas affecting human mind is fear of death. because of fear of death, Human being performs different actions for his survival of both physical selves and of his ego, social identity.
Patanjali says if Samyama is practiced carefully then a person will come to know both his dormant and fast acting karmas. though this a person will gain the knowledge of the time of death. Lord Buddha and many saints could predict when they will be dying.
Chapter 3, Sutra 23
मैत्र्यादिषु बलानि ॥ ३.२३॥
In sutra 1.33, different qualities which will purify the mind are given : maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhka punya apunya vishayanam bhavanatah chitta prasadanam. if we practice samyama on these virtues the mind becomes more and more active and strengthened. If we want to develop an virtue, the concentration, meditation and contemplation on that virtue will help in developing it.
Chapter 3, Sutra 24
बलेषु हस्तिबलादीनि ॥ ३.२४॥
Here Patanjali says that by having samyama on strength, a person can attain the strength of an elephant. Here I feel that not only thinking and meditating a person should also practice what he thinks in samyama. if a person practices strength training with the samyama of getting strength then he will get the strength of an elephant. Here it can be said that samyama can be practiced even during activities and in the work. the only prerequisite is we should be totally involved in it. The conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind should be totally devoted to the cause.
Chapter 3, Sutra 25
प्रवृत्त्यालोकन्यासात्सूक्ष्मव्यवहितविप्रकृष्टज्ञानम् ॥ ३.२५॥
In this sutra, Patanjali elaborates what was said in Sutra 1.36. In sutra 1.36 it is said that we can concentrate on the inner light. Samyama on inner light of the people will lead to illuminating the hidden dark spots of people. If we concentrate on the light of the heart, the divine light it starts showing us the deepest corners of the consciousness, subconsciousness, and unconsciousness.
Sometimes things are hidden in our plain sight. we usually do not observe their existence because of our ignorance. If we can concentrate on the inner light all these things start showing up.
Chapter 3, Sutra 26
भुवनज्ञानं सूर्ये संयमात् ॥ ३.२६॥
Upon having Samyama on the Sun, we can have the knowledge of the universe. Meditating, concentrating and contemplating on the Sun then the secrets of the universe will be revealed slowly and slowly. The secrets will be manifested in the mind of the person and he will be understand the workings of the universe . This is what happened to Arya Bhatta, Newton, Einstein. Their intense concentration to know the causes of the universe lead them to have profound realizations about the universe. Patanjali says any person can achieve this provided they have samyama on the Sun.
Chapter 3, Sutra 27
चन्द्रे ताराव्यूहज्ञानम् ॥ ३.२७॥
In this sutra, it is explained that by concentrating on the moon we can know the working of the stellar systems. I do not understand perfectly the meaning of these sutras as to why a person would like to know the solar system or the stellar system. there should be some deep meaning in this.
Chapter 3, Sutra 29
नाभिचक्रे कायव्यूहज्ञानम् ॥ ३.२९॥
Samyama on Navel will lead to an understanding of the organization of the body. we can see that Patanjali uses the word chakra for the first time. if we concentrate on navel we can understand the organization of body and also the strategy behind the constitution of the body.
Chapter 3, Sutra 30
कण्ठकूपे क्षुत्पिपासानिवृत्तिः ॥ ३.३०॥
By having Samyama over the pit of the throat we can have relief from throat and hunger. both thirst and hunger are the basic needs of a human being. it is very difficult to conquer them.Hunger and thirst are essential for the survival of a person. These survival needs however affect our practice of yoga as they divert the mind. Patanjali says they can be conquered by Samyama on the throat.
Chapter 3, Sutra 31
कूर्मनाड्यां स्थैर्यम् ॥ ३.३१॥
By having samyama on the tortoise plexus ( Kurma nadi) the energy centre at the trachea(wind pipe) , a person can attain steadiness. we know very well that steadiness is one of the most important virtue and having a steady and stable mind are quite important to progress in yoga.
Chapter 3, Sutra 32
मूर्धज्योतिषि सिद्धदर्शनम् ॥ ३.३२॥
By concentrating, meditating, contemplating on the centre of the forehead, the divine light can be seen and experienced. That is why in India since old times it is emphasised to meditate on the forehead so that we can achieve the divine sight.
Chapter 3, Sutra 33
प्रातिभाद्वा सर्वम् ॥ ३.३३॥
By samyama on the forehead, the knowledge of everything will come to the person. We can observe that in this sutra, Patanjali says that not only visions of great masters but also knowledge of the matters in the world will come to the person. All this happens by an increase in an intuition of the person to know things how they happen. What is the exact cause for a particular effect so that there will not be any confusion in the mind of a person as to what is the real cause. we sometimes do mistakes because our actions are quite often misguided as we do not know the real cause of a problem.
Chapter 3, Sutra 34
हृदये चित्तसंवित् ॥ ३.३४॥
By samyama on heart, the knowledge of mind can be attained. though this sutra looks counter-intuitive we need to do a lot of probing to understand how exactly this happens. does the heart lead the mind or mind leads the heart? It is said that there are two brains within our brain. the basic brain which is impulsive and animal in nature and the higher brain which is reason making part of the brain. maybe Patanjali is referring to the concentration on the impulsive nature of our brain ( called and expressed as the heart) so that we can know the functioning of the brain in total.
Chapter 3, Sutra 35
सत्त्वपुरुषयोरत्यन्तासंकीर्णयोः प्रत्ययाविशेषो भोगः परार्थत्वात्स्वार्थसंयमात्पुरुषज्ञानम् ॥ ३.३५॥
To understand this sutra the concepts of Purusa, Prakriti has to be clear first. Purusa is the ultimate reality, the supreme consciousness. it can exist on its own and it doesn’t need anyone/ anything to exist. Prakriti is the material part of the universe. Prakriti needs purusa to realise itself. Prakriti with the help of intellect/buddhi ultimately realizes the purusa the supreme consciousness.
What usually happens is that Prakriti and buddhi in their interactions think only about the existing pleasures and forget about the purusa the final objective. Patanjali says with samyama on purusa we can have the knowledge of purusa and the various interactions of Prakriti with buddhi and the sattva nature of a person. The concept of Prakriti and purusa are taken from Samkhya yoga. Patanjali tries to say that the full knowledge of purusa can be attained only by samyama. once we have knowledge of purusa achieving purusa would be easy.
Chapter 3, Sutra 36
ततः प्रातिभश्रावणवेदनादर्शास्वादवार्ता जायन्ते ॥ ३.३६॥
From the knowledge of Purusa which is obtained by contemplation on Purusa, there arises knowledge of the sense organs. What will happen if we have knowledge of sense organs? the modern science has given us knowledge of these sense organs. The eye is like a camera and in fact, it functions like a camera. the image is captured by the eye where it falls on retina like a photograph. it is processed on the retina and electrical impulses travel from retina to brain to interpret the image.
In the same way, inner ear ( ear is made of three parts-inner, middle and outer) is filled with calcium carbonate crystals. They vibrate to external sounds and when they vibrate they cause electrical impulses which are carried to brain and brain decodes what the impulses are.
The same happens with tongue and skin. The knowledge of sense organs will ultimately lead us to the firm belief that sense organs are just carriers of messages and nothing else. without this knowledge, we tend to attach to the sense organs and the objects that cause good feelings to sense organs. we are attached to people because of the feeling of touch etc. Patanjali says this knowledge of the sense organs will help us dissociate from the objects and lead us towards Purusa, the supreme consciousness.
Chapter 3, Sutra 37
ते समाधावुपसर्गा व्युत्थाने सिद्धयः ॥ ३.३७॥
Though this shloka says we get powers to enter other’s body, i feel that it may be wrong. I feel that others body (para sharira) in this sutra can be interpreted as the new body a yogi can develop when compared to the old body he already has. The old body and mind are slave to the bondage of desires. though the practice of samyama and attaining knowledge of Purusa, we calm the mind and the bondage of mind and body gets removed slowly and slowly. in the process the old body goes away and new body forms for the yogi. New cells form in the body that no longer craves for the desires. the mind with knowledge will be ready for union with the supreme consciousness. ( this is all purely my interpretation)
Chapter 3, Sutra 38
बन्धकारणशैथिल्यात्प्रचारसंवेदनाच्च चित्तस्य परशरीरावेशः ॥ ३.३८॥
Though this shloka says we get powers to enter other’s body, i feel that it may be wrong. I feel that others body (para sharira) in this sutra can be interpreted as the new body a yogi can develop when compared to the old body he already has. The old body and mind are a slave to the bondage of desires. though the practice of samyama and attaining knowledge of Purusa, we calm the mind and the bondage of mind and body gets removed slowly and slowly. in the process, the old body goes away and new body forms for the yogi. New cells form in the body that no longer craves for the desires. the mind with knowledge will be ready for union with the supreme consciousness. ( this is all purely my interpretation)
Chapter 3, Sutra 39
उदानजयाज्जलपङ्ककण्टकादिष्वसङ्ग उत्क्रान्तिश्च ॥ ३.३९॥
Here Patanjali talks about Udana. A form of subtle energy around the throat. More description about Udana can be found at https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/6280/udana-vayu
When a yogi contemplates on the Udana Vayu and perfects his visuddha and Ajna chakras then the energy from the bottom of the spine slowly rises to the top. this will help in clear communication, lightness in the body.
This will help the yogi in getting over the water element, earth element of his body. when these elements (water and earth ) are not balanced it will not lead to a good and happy life. The balance can happen with Udana Vayu. Also when the body feels light the yogi can also have the feeling of levitation in the body.
Chapter 3, Sutra 40
समानजयाज्ज्वलनम् ॥ ३.४०॥
In this sutra, Patanjali talks about Samana. in the earlier Sutra, he talked about Udana. Samana is the concentration of energy in the centre of the navel. Samana is the energy that helps in the assimilation of not only food but also thoughts, emotions etc. A yogi who can win over samana can get the energy that is equal to a fire. Yoga is about the balance of Udana and Samana, the energy flows in the body. one going down and other coming up.
Chapter 3, Sutra 41
श्रोत्राकाशयोः सम्बन्धसंयमाद्दिव्यं श्रोत्रम् ॥ ३.४१॥
By the practice of samyama on the relation between hearing and space ( one of the five elements), the person can be blessed with supranormal hearing. (I really do not know how to interpret this sutra.
By samyama on the relationship between body and space, the feeling of the body becoming light happens. when the body is light it acquires the power to travel anywhere in the universe. These are the special powers that acquire for a yogi who is performing practices diligently. In the normal stage, the mind goes here and there, to the paces we have visited in the past, to the places where we want to visit in future, but the body cannot go. Through samyama on the relationship between body and space, the body becomes so light that laws of gravity will no longer work and body can go anywhere.
Chapter 3, Sutra 42
कायाकाशयोः सम्बन्धसंयमाल्लघुतूलसमापत्तेश्चाकाशगमनम् ॥ ३.४२॥
This sutra is another philosophical gem from Patanjali. It basically says thoughts can be removed from the body. consciousness can be separated from the body. Once the thoughts are separated from the body, the covering over the light of knowledge, the covering over the pure consciousness is removed. once this covering the light of consciousness is removed there will be pure consciousness which is not at all associated the body. the body becomes absent in such a scenario and the absence of body causes the ego to dissolve. So Patanjali says samyama on the thoughts where the body is not associated is important.
Chapter 3, Sutra 43
बहिरकल्पिता वृत्तिर्महाविदेहा ततः प्रकाशावरणक्षयः ॥ ३.४३॥
In this sutra, it is said that by the contemplation of the five elements the connection with them can be broken. if we read the earlier sutra with this sutra, complete meaning can be made. In the earlier sutra, it is said that thoughts have to be broken with the body. in this, it is said that by the contemplation of the five elements with which the body is made of, the bondage with the five elements can be broken. body is made of five elements (earth,fire,water,space,air). every call of the body is made up of these elements. the cells come together to form tissues and tissues together form organs and organs together form the body. if we go to the smallest element of existence it is the minute elements that make the body. if we contemplate on the five elements of the body then we gradually separate the consciousness from the body.
Chapter 3, Sutra 45
ततोऽणिमादिप्रादुर्भावः कायसम्पत्तद्धर्मानभिघातश्च ॥ ३.४५॥
Through samyama on the five elements, we can make the body go to the smallest level of existence. Modern science says that body is made up of atoms. Subatomic particles like quarks make electrons, protons and neutrons. These subatomic particles make atoms, and atoms make molecules, molecules make cells, cells make tissues, tissues make organs. Thus deep contemplation of the minutest elements will make us go deeper and deeper into the minutest form of the body. In the deepest state, we can reach the final point with which out elements are made of.
Chapter 3, Sutra 46
रूपलावण्यबलवज्रसंहननत्वानि कायसम्पत् ॥ ३.४६॥
What are the qualities of a perfected body? and what is a perfect body? the perfect body is one which embodies the perfect soul. The consciousness which achieves samyama happens in a perfect body. Modern science talks about body also having a psyche and the name that is coined is psychosomatic responses. Which says that the mind and body has a very close relationship. When the body is in samyama and when there is samyama on the elements, then there is beauty, gracefulness and absolute strength on such a body. people spend lot of time in maintaining beauty, grace, and strength in the body. All these things can be achieved by having samyama in the mind. it’s not that we become beautiful in the eyes of others, we become beautiful in the eyes of consciousness. we achieve great strength for the consciousness.
Chapter 3, Sutra 47
ग्रहणस्वरूपास्मितान्वयार्थवत्त्वसंयमादिन्द्रियजयः ॥ ३.४७॥
In this sutra, the method of winning over the sense organs is given. we all know that sense organs are the organs of perceiving the world. through them, we perceive the material world. we use eyes to see, ears to listen, nose to smell, tongue to taste and skin to feel the world. In the process, we get addicted to all the supposedly “feel good”things of the world and we start craving for them. this craving ultimately drives us from being ignorant of our true selves. Patanjali gives an objective solution to having control over sense organs.
He says if we understand the real nature of “asmita” ego of ourselves if we know the real nature, purpose, and functioning of sense organs, what feelings the sense organs cause in the human body when they perceive things? all these understandings will allow a person to have control over sense organs.
Chapter 3, Sutra 48
ततो मनोजवित्वं विकरणभावः प्रधानजयश्च ॥ ३.४८॥
What happens when mastery over sense organs is obtained? It is answered in this sutra. It is explained that the body becomes so light and independent of sense organs. It becomes akin to mind. It’s already said in another sutra that body has its own consciousness. That consciousness never comes out because it is highly dependent on sense organs. once the body is set free then it becomes light, returns back to the primary state from which it arose. The primary state is the state of subatomic particle stage, the Prakriti. we know that prakriti + ego + sense organs= material body. once the body loses ego and sense organs it returns to its primary state.
Chapter 3, Sutra 49
सत्त्वपुरुषान्यताख्यातिमात्रस्य सर्वभावाधिष्ठातृत्वं सर्वज्ञातृत्वं च ॥ ३.४९॥
To one who knows the difference between individual mind and consciousness then there comes supremacy over everything. As we know that initially there is prakriti. to prakriti if we add consciousness then arises a new material being. if we add sense organs and ego to it forms a new person. if we can distinguish this knowledge then we will be unattached to anything in the universe. it is all the union of prakriti and consciousness that create everything. if we can separate the two the whole of knowledge is attained. if we can lead our lives with the knowledge of these two aspects and develop vairagya climbing the ladder of yoga will be easy.
Chapter 3, Sutra 50
तद्वैराग्यादपि दोषबीजक्षये कैवल्यम् ॥ ३.५०॥
Here the word kaivalya is used for liberation. Kaivalya, nirvana, moksha they all connote the same meaning. we can attain kaivalya/moksha by non-attachment. non-attachment towards what? non-attachment towards any forms or powers that accrue with samyama. NOn attachment with even the knowledge that is gained. non-attachment with ego, non-attachment with prakriti and non-attachment with each and everything will lead us to moksha. Moksha is attained when the seeds of non-attachment are used for renouncing all desires.
Chapter 3, Sutra 51
स्थान्युपनिमन्त्रणे सङ्गस्मयाकरणं पुनरनिष्टप्रसङ्गात् ॥ ३.५१॥
As the practice of Yoga advances, the experiences keep getting subtler and subtler. From gross we mover to subtle experiences. During this time we may face many tests. the tests are everywhere. while walking on the road, while driving, while working in office etc. How we take those challenges and remain in Yoga is the real challenge. we should not yield to any temptations that come in our path.
Chapter 3, Sutra 52
क्षणतत्क्रमयोः संयमाद्विवेकजं ज्ञानम् ॥ ३.५२॥
In this sutra, the procedure for developing knowledge of discrimination is given. we need discrimination to decide what path to follow and what path not to follow. Robert Frost said “ the most difficult thing in life is to decide which bridge to burn and which bridge to take” meaning it is the eternal debate in mind to decide what decision the person has to take. The decision making becomes easy with the development of “Viveka”. Viveka can be developed by practicing samyama on the present moment and thinking about the consequences that will follow in time by following a particular path. We usually take decisions based on our impulse without thinking about consequences. Patanjali says that while fully living in the present we should make an effort to decide future consequences.
Chapter 3, Sutra 54
तारकं सर्वविषयं सर्वथाविषयम् अक्रमं चेति विवेकजं ज्ञानम् ॥ ३.५४॥
Here Patanjali talks about gaining higher knowledge.The real knowledge or pragna as it is called is attained by continuous discrimination towards truth.As we keep on moving one step after another with discrimination ass to what truth is, ultimately we will reach a point of real truth. at this point, there is no acquired knowledge. whatever it is, the constructed knowledge vanishes and truth manifests to the person. At the point of truth there is no acquired knowledge and whatever it is revealed is all by intuition coming from a higher center. after-acquired knowledge fades away it is all institutional.We should strive to move from illusion to reality through discrimination.
Chapter 3, Sutra 55
सत्त्वपुरुषयोः शुद्धिसाम्ये कैवल्यमिति ॥ ३.५५॥
In this sutra patanjali talks about Kaivalya. in sutra 3.50 also he talks about kaivalya. It is reproduced here for convenience.
“Here the word kaivalya is used for liberation. Kaivalya, nirvana, moksha they all connote the same meaning. we can attain kaivalya/moksha by non-attachment. non-attachment towards what? nonattachment towards any forms or powers that accrue with samyama. Non-attachment with even the knowledge that is gained. non-attachment with ego, non-attachment with Prakriti and non-attachment with each and everything will lead us to moksha. Moksha is attained when the seeds of non-attachment are used for renouncing all desires.”
In this sutra, it is mentioned that kaivalya is attained when the mind becomes equal to atma or in other words when there is equality between sattva and purusa. We should understand that purusa is the supreme power of universe and sattva is the purest form of human intelligence. when our intellect becomes pure because of samyama, then then it is ready to be merged with the supreme soul which will cause moksha or liberation.