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Home arrow Yoga Lifestyle arrow Theory arrow The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Massimo   
Sunday, 10 August 2008

"The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are in themselves exceedingly brief, less than ten pages of large type in the original. Yet they contain the essence of practical wisdom, set forth in admirable order and detail.

Through the Sutras of the first book, Patanjali is concerned with the first great problem, the emergence of the spiritual man from the veils and meshes of the psychic nature, the moods and vestures of the mental and emotional man. Later will come the consideration of the nature and powers of the spiritual man, once he stands clear of the psychic veils and trammels, and a view of the realms in which these new spiritual powers are to be revealed."

 

A translation of the first part of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali from Charles Johnston.

 

BOOK 1.
 
 1. OM: Here follows Instruction in Union (Yoga).

2. Union (Yoga), spiritual consciousness, is gained through control of the versatile psychic nature.

3. Then the Seer comes to consciousness in his proper nature.

4. Heretofore the Seer has been enmeshed in the activities of the psychic nature.

5. The psychic activities are five; they are either subject or not subject to the five hindrances (Book II, 3).

6. These activities are: Sound intellection, unsound intellection, predication, sleep, memory.

7. The elements of sound intellection are: direct observation, inductive reason, and trustworthy testimony.

8. Unsound intellection is false understanding, not resting on a perception of the true nature of things.

9. Predication is carried on through words or thoughts not resting on an object perceived.

10. Sleep is the psychic condition which rests on mind states, all material things being absent.

11. Memory is holding to mind-images of things perceived, without modifying them.

12. The control of these psychic activities comes through the right use of the will, and through ceasing from self-indulgence.

13. The right use of the will is the steady, effort to stand in spiritual being.

14. This becomes a firm resting-place, when followed long, persistently, with earnestness.

15. Ceasing from self-indulgence is conscious mastery over the thirst for sensuous pleasure here or hereafter.

16. The consummation of this is freedom from thirst for any mode of psychical activity, through the establishment of the spiritual man.

17. Meditation with an object follows these stages: first, exterior examining, then interior judicial action, then joy, then realization of individual being.

18. After the exercise of the will has stilled the psychic activities, meditation rests only on the fruit of former meditations.

19. Subjective consciousness arising from a natural cause is possessed by those who have laid aside their bodies and been absorbed into subjective nature.

20. For the others, there is spiritual consciousness, led up to by faith, valour right mindfulness, one-pointedness, perception.

21. Spiritual consciousness is nearest to those of keen, intense will.

22. The will may be weak, or of middle strength, or intense.

23. Or spiritual consciousness may be gained by ardent service of the Master.

24. The Master is the spiritual man, who s free from hindrances, bondage to works, and the fruition and seed of works.

25. In the Master is the perfect seed of Omniscience.

26. He is the Teacher of all who have gone before, since he is not limited by Time.

27. His word is OM.

28. Let there be soundless repetition of OM and meditation thereon.

29. Thence come the awakening of interior consciousness, and the removal of barriers.
 
30. The barriers to interior consciousness, which drive the psychic nature this way and that, are these: sickness, inertia, doubt, lightmindedness, laziness, intemperance, false notions, inability to reach a stage of meditation, or to hold it when reached.

31. Grieving, despondency, bodily restlessness, the drawing in and sending forth of the life-breath also contribute to drive the psychic nature to and fro.

32. Steady application to a principle is the way to put a stop to these.

33. By sympathy with the happy, compassion for the sorrowful, delight in the holy, disregard of the unholy, the psychic nature moves to gracious peace.

34. Or peace may be reached by the even sending forth and control of the life-breath.

35. Faithful, persistent application to any object, if completely attained, will bind the mind to steadiness.

36. As also will a joyful, radiant spirit.

37. Or the purging of self-indulgence from the psychic nature.

38. Or a pondering on the perceptions gained in dreams and dreamless sleep.

39. Or meditative brooding on what is dearest to the heart.

40. Thus he masters all, from the atom to the Infinite.

41. When the perturbations of the psychic nature have all been stilled, then the consciousness, like a pure crystal, takes the colour of what it rests on, whether that be the perceiver, perceiving, or the thing perceived.

42. When the consciousness, poised in perceiving, blends together the name, the object dwelt on and the idea, this is perception with exterior consideration.

43. When the object dwells in the mind, clear of memory-pictures, uncoloured by the mind, as a pure luminous idea, this is perception without exterior or consideration.

44. The same two steps, when referring to things of finer substance, are said to be with, or without, judicial action of the mind.

45. Subtle substance rises in ascending degrees, to that pure nature which has no distinguishing mark.

46. The above are the degrees of limited and conditioned spiritual consciousness, still containing the seed of separateness.

47. When pure perception without judicial action of the mind is reached, there follows the gracious peace of the inner self.

48. In that peace, perception is unfailingly true.

49. The object of this perception is other than what is learned from the sacred books, or by sound inference, since this perception is particular.

50. The impress on the consciousness springing from this perception supersedes all previous impressions.

51.When this impression ceases, then, since all impressions have ceased, there arises pure spiritual consciousness, with no seed of separateness left.






The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, by Charles Johnston, [1912]

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 June 2010 )
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