Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Chapter 4 - Kaivalya Pada

Chapter 4, Sutra 1

जन्मौषधिमन्त्रतपःसमाधिजाः‌ ‌सिद्धयः‌ ‌॥‌ ४.१ ॥

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.

Chapter 4, Sutra 2

‌जात्यन्तरपरिणामः‌ ‌प्रकृत्यापूरात्‌ ‌॥४.२॥‌

In this sutra it is mentioned that transformation of a person is possible through yoga. In the earlier sutra, it is seen that the transformation can happen because of rebirth, medicines, mantra, practice, and samadhi.

In this sutra it is said that a new kind of person is born with yoga. the old person (personality) of a person goes away and a new personality of a person is born. This happens when the person looks inward. if a person is external seeking, then he will achieve external worlds. if a person is internal seeking, then he will achieve internal peace and achieve the goal of moksha.

Chapter 4, Sutra 3

निमित्तमप्रयोजकं‌ ‌प्रकृतीनां‌ ‌वरणभे‌दस्तु ‌ततः‌ ‌क्षेत्रिकवत्‌ ॥ ४.३ ॥

It is a powerful sutra from Patanjali. He says that transformation of a person does not happen because of actions/good deeds. we all think that we need to perform good deeds to be a transformed man or yogi. a person doing yoga and meditation for quite a long time is a transformed person. the practice of yoga and meditation are not the causes for transformation but they do remove the obstacles that prevent us from getting the transformation. we may think that we are practicing meditation for a long time but results are not coming and blame the meditation. Patanjali cautions us saying the fault is not of the practice. We should never blame the practice. the transformation happens when all the illusions/Maya /obstacles are removed by practice and it happens automatically. the example of a farmer is given to substantiate his statement. The action of removing obstacles is not the “ source” of getting water to the field. water gets into the field automatically if obstacles are removed. source of water is the river n (supreme soul) and ego, illusion is the obstacles.

Chapter 4, Sutra 4

निर्माणचित्तान्यस्मितामात्रात्‌ ‌॥४.४॥‌

In this sutra Patanjali says how the mind is made of. The mind is created by the ego. The “I” in the person creates the ego and it is also responsible for the creation of the mind. Once this “I” removed mind becomes a blank slate and will allow the reality to fill in, in that mind. “I” is the ego of a person, the obstacle in knowing the reality.

Chapter 4, Sutra 5

प्रवृत्तिभेदे‌ ‌प्रयोजकं‌ ‌चित्तमेकमनेकेषाम्‌ ‌॥४.५॥‌

In yesterday’s Sutra, we have seen that ego is the creator of the mind. In this sutra, Patanjali explains that the mind created by the ego is the one which will control all other activities of the mind. Modern-day science classifies mind into the unconscious mind, subconscious mind and conscious mind. The conscious mind is the basic one which controls all other minds. People basically try to escape from problems by taking alcohol, medicines etc. to destress the conscious mind. if we change the unconscious mind through yoga and meditation, we do not need to take alcohol and sleeping pills.

So, Patanjali says to fix problems in life we need to change the basic mind which stems from ego. all other changes may be superficial.

Chapter 4, Sutra 6

तत्र‌ ‌ध्यानजमनाशयम्‌ ‌॥४.६॥‌

Why should we resort to meditation? what is the need for meditation? this question is answered here. As it has been said that ego becomes the mind and controls everything and if the mind formed from ego is formed by meditation, then it will not have any impressions which will be carried to next birth. It is quite simple that if we involve our mind in activities of meditation, then there are no karmic impressions. all other activities a person does in his daily life will add to karmic impressions. If a person practice meditation, then the mind will be clean and will remove past experiences also.

it is just like a bucket. If we fill with water the bucket gets filled. if we keep it empty without filling anything then it remains empty. The memory of mind also works in the same manner. if we add new experiences memory keeps increasing, if we add lesser new experiences and spend more time in meditation then the mind stays pure

Chapter 4, Sutra 7

कर्माशुक्लाकृष्णं‌ ‌योगिनस्त्रिविधमितरेषाम्‌ ‌॥४.७॥

In this sutra it is said that all actions of people leave three kinds of impressions in the mind white, black, and grey. White impressions are usually classified as Good, black impressions are classified as bad and grey impressions are classified as mixed. As we think a thought, speak a thought, perform an action of a thought it is stored in memory. it’s just like typing on a keyboard of a computer, as we type it gets stored on the hard disk of a computer. It is up to us to fill the mind space, with the type of memory. white impressions, black impressions, or mixed impressions.

A yogi who has perfected samyama has only two types of impressions in his mind. and not the three impressions.

Chapter 4, Sutra 8

ततस्तद्विपाकानुगुणानामेवाभिव्यक्तिर्वासनानाम्‌ ‌॥४.८॥

In yesterday’s sutra, we studied the three kinds of actions and their impressions. Whereas a yogi is free from forming impressions rest all people form impressions by their actions, words, and thoughts. IN this sutra Patanjali says once these impressions form and are stored in the mind, they give rise or form similar thoughts. Similar impressions give similar thoughts. Like begets like. if we think positive thoughts and good thing about people the mind will gradually become good. This is called neuroplasticity. as we form new habits the mind will get used to these new habits and slowly and slowly the old habits recede from the horizon and thus a yogi is made slowly and slowly.

Chapter 4, Sutra 10

तासामनादित्वं‌ ‌चाशिषो‌ ‌नित्यत्वात्‌ ‌॥ ४.१०॥‌

These root cause for memory, impression, the action is the desire. Desire is the root cause of which everything comes forward. The desire to be happy, the desire to be eternal are the root causes from which everything else stems.

of all the desires the desire to live longer is the most basic desire. we have seen earlier in one sutra that “abhinivesha” the fear of death is one obstacle in the path of yoga. The desire to live longer causes many desires in a human being, the desire to be happy stems from it. the desire to be happy, makes us do all the actions in life which are intended to give pleasure to the mind.

Chapter 4, Sutra 11

हेतुफलाश्रयालम्बनैः‌ ‌संगृहीतत्वादेषामभावे‌ ‌तदभावः‌ ‌॥ ४.११॥

There are four things of which the impressions/samskaras are made of. if we know what the sub constituent are parts we can identify how we can control the impressions or remove the past impressions from the mind.

The impressions are made of cause: All impressions have a basic cause event for them. All the things that are happening in our life can be classified into few basic cause events like having sad causes, happy causes etc.

The impressions are also held together by motive. We need a desire or impulse or necessity for a memory to register in our mind. like we see many things while traveling on the road, we hear many sounds while we are moving on the road. We register in our memory only those sounds/ sights for which we have desire /impulse. all other things we see get just ignored and do not register in the mind.

  • Object: we need an object in the environment (real /imaginary) to form an impression. without the existence of an object either in reality or in thoughts, it is difficult to form a memory.
  • Substratum: I do not understand this subpart. more research is needed here.

The combination of these four parts will form an impression in our mind. we have seen that these impressions do not have a beginning or an end. once formed they are there and can come out by the will of the person.

Chapter 4, Sutra 12

अतीतानागतं‌ ‌स्वरूपतोऽस्त्यध्वभेदाद्धर्माणाम्‌ ‌॥ ४.१२॥‌

Patanjali says that the dimensions of past and future are true real entities. past was what has happened and future’s what is bound to happen. Past guides us to make corrections and in guiding us in removing the obstacles for the future of a yogi to unravel. The impressions we create in our minds which is made up of four parts has the potential to be in two states of time. we form impressions either about past or into the future.

Chapter 4, Sutra 13

ते‌ ‌व्यक्तसूक्ष्मा‌: ‌गुणात्मानः‌ ‌॥‌४.१३॥

We were studying about impressions/memories/samskaras and what it is made of and that impressions have a time dimensions to them called past and future. In this sutra, Patanjali says though the impressions look different (past impressions may look different from future impressions) (impressions made of sadness look different from impressions made of happiness) Patanjali says that all these impressions though look entirely different are made of same elements. The basic elements are the same for all the samskaras. The basic gunas are the tamas, rajas, and sattva. these three gunas balance themselves in different proportions and give rise to a different form of samskaras.

This knowledge makes the management of our samskaras easy to manage as we need to balance our three gunas to create different kinds of memories.

Chapter 4, Sutra 14

परिणामैकत्वाद्वस्तुतत्त्वम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१४॥

It is mentioned in this sutra that the Gunas appear as a whole and it is very difficult to divide them and see. we see the interplay of three gunas at any point of time and we cannot divide them into parts. for example, when a person is angry we can see that his sattva is reduced and the rajasic element has increased and tamasic stays constant as earlier. in the new state, the person has a high rajasic element and less satvik and tamsic element.

The usefulness if this is that we should act on all the three gunas at all the points of time and not only one guna. if we want to transform into a yogi we should strive to increase the sattvik element and at the same time try to reduce the tamasic and rajasic elements. We cannot act alone on one guna and expect results. we have to act on three.

Chapter 4, Sutra 15

वस्तुसाम्ये‌ ‌चित्तभेदात्तयोर्विभक्तः‌ ‌पन्थाः‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१५॥‌

Universe is the manifestation of our mind. this concept is explained here, stating that universe is not the same for every person. every person would like to look into the universe in quite different ways. for positive people (or on days when we are positive) universe looks like a great happy place and when we are sad/unhappy the same universe looks like a burden. this means that the tyre of the universe we manifest is purely in our mind and it is not external. The Guna’s of a person mix and produce a manifestation of the universe that the person would like to see. It’s the Guna’s in a person that makes his universe.

Chapter 4, Sutra 16

न‌ ‌चैकचित्ततन्त्रं‌ ‌वस्तु‌ ‌तदप्रमाणकं‌ ‌तदा‌ ‌किं‌ ‌स्यात्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१६॥

In yesterday’s sutra, it was mentioned that the outside material world exists because of the perception of an individual person. We may get a doubt that the outside world should change from person to person. Patanjali clarifies in this sutra that outside world exists as it is . the objects of outside world are same. The perceptions of these objects change. for example, we may see a painting in the museum. the object “painting” is same for everyone. people perceive the painting in a different manner. We go to a movie and we all take different meanings out of the movie. The messages or perception we have depends upon how we perceive the mixture of the Gunas of the object based on the Gunas of our own self.

Chapter 4, Sutra 17

तदुपरागापेक्षित्वाच्चित्तस्य‌ ‌वस्तु‌ ‌ज्ञाताज्ञातम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१७॥‌

The explanation why perceptions are reality are different is given here. perceptions happen as per the conditioning of human brain. if we have a positive bent of mind, we see even the most negative things as opportunities for improvement. if we have the negative bent of mind we see that even the happiest things happening around us, we will perceive them as negative. we can see that it’s our mind, the guna’s that make our mind are responsible for the perception of the world. Reality may be entirely different. NO two fingerprints are alike, in the same way, no two people’s personalities are alike and no two perceptions are alike. even the perceptions of a person change from time to time. As a child, we see some things and react to it differently when compared with our reaction when we are adults. perceptions keep changing, though reality may be constant. It’s all an action-reaction interplay. The action of guna’s of the mind interact with the Guna’s of objects and the interplay of these reactions is moving the universe.

Chapter 4, Sutra 18

सदा‌ ‌ज्ञाताश्चित्तवृत्तयस्तत्प्रभोः‌ ‌पुरुषस्यापरिणामित्वात्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१८॥

There is a concept which is superior to individual consciousness. The consciousness that rules over individual consciousness/mind. The supreme consciousness will know each and every thought pattern of the mind. It is not only actions of beings that are known to God but it is also the thoughts of minds that are known to God. That is why Patanjali put a lot of emphasis on changing the thought patterns so that we think good thoughts most of the time.

Chapter 4, Sutra 19

न‌ ‌तत्स्वाभासं‌ ‌दृश्यत्वात्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.१९॥‌

In this sutra, it is mentioned that mind /individual consciousness itself is not self-illuminating. It means that mind without purusa is basically non-functional. The mind is like a television and pusrusa its power. without power/energy, the TV cannot function alone. in the same way without consciousness, the mind cannot function alone. Here the concept of the difference of mind, and purusa is given. The mind is the material entity made of the three guna’s and purusa is the consciousness the energises the mind.

Chapter 4, Sutra 20

एकसमये‌ ‌चोभयानवधारणम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२० ॥

Here Patanjali introduces the concept of mind-consciousness duality. If a person perceives his mind he cannot perceive the consciousness and if he perceives consciousness he cannot perceive mind. It is like both cannot co-exist together. This concept in physics is known as wave-particle duality. The more a person concentrates on the mind & matter activities the less time he will have for consciousness. If more time is spent on consciousness he will have less time for material activities. This duality is at the heart of Prakriti and purusa distinction. The distinction between materialism and spiritualism.

Chapter 4, Sutra 21

चित्तान्तरदृश्ये‌ ‌बुद्धिबुद्धेरतिप्रसङ्गः‌ ‌स्मृतिसङ्करश्च‌ ‌॥४.२१॥‌

In this sutra, Patanjali makes a speculation of the second mind. In earlier sutras, he stated that consciousness and mind are separate. After a considerable amount of practice, the yogi is able to see his mind by consciousness. And in the earlier sutra, it is stated that the mind and consciousness cannot be seen at the same time. In this sutra, Patanjali makes a speculation of how we can see the mind. is it possible to perceive mind by another mind? are there two minds so that one mind is perceiving another mind? Patanjali says if we accept this logic then we need an infinite number of minds each mind perceiving another. This is not the case. The mind is perceived by the consciousness. The ultimate perceiver is the consciousness

Chapter 4, Sutra 22

चितेरप्रतिसंक्रमायास्तदाकारापत्तौ‌ ‌स्वबुद्धिसंवेदनम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२२॥

The distinction between consciousness and mind is made here. it is earlier made clear that both are two separate entities, but we confuse consciousness with the mind. Consciousness is the one that reflects light and energises the mind. I am copying in verbatim what was written at

“Like the reflection on a mirror: Think of the reflection on a mirror. There appears to be something there but try as you will, you cannot physically grasp the objects that appear in the mirror. They are there, yet are not there. However, by virtue of that reflection you are able to know, to experience. It is somewhat like that with consciousness or purusha. It provides the light or life force so that the subtlest aspect of mind-stuff can operate, yet like with the mirror, it cannot itself be grasped and is unchanging. It is as if the consciousness, though unchanged, wraps itself around the subtle object called mind, and, in turn, all of the objects of the mind. This has been described in the beginning of the Yoga Sutras as the essential obstacle to be transcended, or disidentified with. “

Chapter 4, Sutra 23

द्रष्टृदृश्योपरक्तं‌ ‌चित्तं‌ ‌सर्वार्थम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२३॥‌

This is an important shloka about the mind, its relation to the soul and how soul perceives things. In the last sutra, it is seen how the soul energises the mind so that the mind can see /perceive things. IN this sutra it is mentioned that the mind energises by soul will be able to perceive things and because of memory, it is able to identify things. The soul, which energises mind will be able to perceive things through the mind. The soul has information in it, and it gets transmitted to mind whenever a new creature is born. When a creature dies it leaves the memory of mind as an impression/information in the soul. Thus, we can see a dynamic relation between soul and mind.

Chapter 4, Sutra 24

तदसंख्येयवासनाभिश्चित्रमपि‌ ‌परार्थं‌ ‌संहत्यकारित्वात्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२४॥

The mind exists for consciousness. Both mind and the consciousness are a compound substance. They act together and they work together. the existence of one without another is meaningless. The mind gets the energy to work form the soul. The mind despite having so many memories of its own does not act for its own sake. it acts for the sake of consciousness.

Chapter 4, Sutra 25

विशेषदर्शिन‌ ‌आत्मभावभावनाविनिवृत्तिः‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२५॥‌

For the person who has seen the distinction between mind and the consciousness, for the person who has seen the difference between the material world and the consciousness, the person who discriminates between mind and atma, then that person will stop living for his mind and start living for consciousness. This is one of the powerful sutras I learnt in yoga sutras. The person who realizes the distinction and lives his life according to the distinction then he is a yogi.

Many people spend lives without knowing this subtle and fine difference between mind and atma. People spend lives thinking the mind is atman and try to nourish it with various works of the material world. Whereas we should nourish the mind with activities that nourish the consciousness.

Chapter 4, Sutra 26

तदा‌ ‌विवेकनिम्नं‌ ‌कैवल्यप्राग्भारं‌ ‌चित्तम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२६॥

In this sutra, Patanjali says how to achieve liberation or what is the path to liberation. He says as the person develops discrimination and starts identifying that mind and Atma are different will achieve liberation. two things are important in this, one is the practice of discrimination and other is the knowledge base for such discrimination.

The knowledge that what is the activity of the mind and what is the activity of the atman is important. if we can differentiate these two, then we cleared step 1.Next is applying that discrimination in daily life. after identification of activities into activities of mind and activities of consciousness, we should practice living life for the consciousness and not for the mind.

This practice of living a discriminated life is very important otherwise knowledge will remain mere knowledge and is of no use. practice discrimination at every step of life is the key to achieve liberation.

Chapter 4, Sutra 27

तच्छिद्रेषु‌ ‌प्रत्ययान्तराणि‌ ‌संस्कारेभ्यः‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२७॥‌

In this sutra Patanjali tells us how the samskaras/past habits take over a human being. In yesterday’s sutra it is clearly told that discrimination is the key for a person to progress in yoga. The person having discrimination and who knows what to pursue and what not to pursue will be successful in yoga. In today’s sutra Patanjali says that discrimination must be continually applied. If there are any breaks in discrimination then the old habits/thought patterns come up from those breaks/fissures. We must ensure that discrimination is continuously applied without any breaks.

Chapter 4, Sutra 28

‌‌हानमेषां‌ ‌क्लेशवदुक्तम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२८॥

The removal of the samskaras/ vasanas appearing from the breaches in discrimination is described here. Patanjali has described in detail in the earlier sutras the method to remove the kleshas/ colorings/chitt vritti/ thoughts. The technique is basically abhyasa-practice of yoga, vairagya-developing the feeling of non-possessiveness and meditation. If we can follow these three, we can increase our discrimination and reduce the samskaras.

Chapter 4, Sutra 29

प्रसंख्यानेऽप्यकुसीदस्य‌ ‌सर्वथा‌ ‌विवेकख्यातेर्धर्ममेघः‌ ‌समाधिः‌ ‌॥ ‌४.२९॥

A state of a person who maintains discrimination even in the highest state is called dharma Megha samadhi. We must see that discrimination has to be practiced even at the last stages of enlightenment. Life is all about making choices, as to which path to follow at what time. One part of mind always telling the easy path, which gives easy rewards and the other part of mind telling the difficult path giving rewards in future.

David Russel once said, “the hardest thing in life is which bridge to burn and which bridge to take”. Making a decision as to which path to follow becomes easy if our inner beliefs and value systems are clear. if we can practice yoga regularly every minute of our life and practice vairagya, this decision making becomes easy.

The saint Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi lived by this sutra. He always remained immersed in God even when temptations came near him. More about him

Chapter 4, Sutra 30

ततः‌ ‌क्लेशकर्मनिवृत्तिः‌ ‌॥ ‌४.३०॥

When the discrimination is maintained all the time 16*365 (number of hours*number of days in a year) then the actions of the person towards negative things will cease first and then gradually the kleshas will also cease. Actions and the internal afflictions of the mind cease when discrimination and action on discrimination is maintained. The important thing is not only maintaining the knowledge of discrimination, it’s also the action on discrimination that is needed.

Chapter 4, Sutra 31

‌तदा‌ ‌सर्वावरणमलापेतस्य‌ ‌ज्ञानस्यानन्त्याज्ज्ञेयमल्पम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.३१॥

Then when the kleshas and the actions of a person cease due to constant practice of a person then the so called knowledge of the sense world cease and the knowledge of the world which is devoid of impurities and personal afflictions will rise in the person.

Chapter 4, Sutra 32

ततः‌ ‌कृतार्थानां‌ ‌परिणामक्रमसमाप्तिर्गुणानाम्‌ ‌॥ ‌४.३२॥

In this sutra it is given that the Guna (qualities) of the person will stop mutation into different forms once they have achieved the purpose. Here we need to question as to what the purpose of the Guna’s is. the basic purpose of the quality is to teach the person the realities in life. the person must go through various manifestations of life, like happiness, activity and illusion. Once the person goes through all the “aspects” of life caused by three Guna’s he will know what exactly the purpose of life is. Once the knowledge beams on the person as to the basic purpose of life and when he starts working to achieve the main objective if his life (to unite prakriti and purusa) then the Guna’s will cease to change from one state to another.

Chapter 4, Sutra 33

क्षणप्रतियोगी‌ ‌परिणामापरान्तनिर्ग्राह्यः‌ ‌क्रमः‌ ‌॥‌ ‌४.३३॥

This is one of the powerful sutras of Patanjali. The concept of time is given here. He says that the concept of time is “series of the transformation of qualities, identified by the end of transformation”. it means when we are thinking we usually do not realize the sequence of events of the thought, we realize when the thoughts end. That realization when the thought has ended make us think a new thought. the new thought comes automatically in our brain, and it also ends with a realization that it has ended. This sequence of thoughts one after another forms the concept of time. The sequence arranged one after another make us think we are moving from one moment to another. this moving from one state to another state in the same space is called time.

(Quite a powerful concept so unable to explain/understand clearly). I need more reading on this concept.

Chapter 4, Sutra 34

पुरुषार्थशून्यानां‌ ‌गुणानां‌ ‌प्रतिप्रसवः‌ ‌कैवल्यं‌ ‌स्वरूपप्रतिष्ठा‌ ‌वा‌ ‌चितिशक्तिरिति‌ ‌॥ ‌४.३४॥

In this last Sutra, Patanjali explains liberation/moksha/nirvana/kaivalya in terms of qualities(Guna’s) of a person. He says that when a person has realized the nature of his personality and actions caused by Guna’s and starts practicing changing the nature of the qualities, there will come a state when the Guna’s resolve into themselves.

The person is no longer driven by the qualities but is driven by the goal of achieving Purusa. The qualities dissolve among themselves. The person moves beyond the concept of time and his existence is only for supreme consciousness.

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