Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1.45 (Parisamvad)

Patanjali Yoga Sutra Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 1, Sutra 45



Suksma: subtle
Visayatvam: of having as objects
Ca: and
Alinga: without a mark or trace, unmanifest Prakriti (subtlest matter)
Paryavasanam: extending up to, ending at

The Subtle Objects (Of Concentration) End With Primary Matter

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Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra:

“We are discussing about Samadhi, and this whole idea is not only new to us but very difficult to understand. It is concentration, not on elephants and bulls but on subtle things going right up to the minutest atoms and molecules and all that. So when the mind is trained to look at these objects, concentrate on them, then an understanding arises – about this world, about life, and decisions are made. We have a mind which is not able to grasp these areas so we are unable to make correct decisions. We only know the table and the chair and the hundred rupee notes. So this is what this Sutra tells us. The object is ‘Sukshma‘ (subtle) and has no marked signs, no external way to know that it is purely at a subtle range. So when the mind is that trained, then it can go into the highest spirituality. Otherwise this word ‘spirituality’ also has no meaning.”

Smt. Hansaji J. Yogendra:

“This is the theory we have to understand because practically, we have not experienced. These are all Samadhi techniques. In yoga, techniques are there to help you to train your mind. Prolonged concentration is meditation and prolonged meditation is Samadhi. So the point is that the mind has to be put in concentration on an object. So the object in the beginning can be gross, something which you can actually see, understand and put your mind to, etc. Then later on it can be subtle. If we don’t go to the subtle, just gross is not going to take you to the highest state. So in all the activities of our life we have to go from gross to subtle.

So here they are talking about Sukshma Vishaya, some objects which are subtle. Which are those subtle subjects? The word used is Alinga which means Prakriti (Nature). So all the elements of Prakriti can be used as subjects, like Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. Now these are not just at the gross level, they are subtle, so we call them as Tanmatras – sense of smell, sense of taste, sense of sight, etc. So these are the subtle objects that we have to concentrate on. For example when we talk of Earth, it means sense of smell, etc. So we have to see that we get into the sense and not the object per se. So we have to concentrate on any one and then see if we can go still deeper and concentrate on Ahamkara or Ego or on Mahat i.e. the intellect. Then we move on to Prakriti by itself and then Purusa by itself. So we have to move in that direction. So this is the theory and we have to see that we stay with one idea or experience in mind.

So how should we apply this in our practical life? Now suppose you are doing Puja (prayer ritual), you are bringing actual flowers, lighting incense, etc. Now these are gross objects. Now do that mentally and you come to a stage where you have just the smell of incense sticks or just the sight of a flame. So it goes from gross to subtle and from external to internal and this is how we are supposed to progress in life.”

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About Parisamvad

On every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, The Yoga Institute, Santacruz holds Parisamvad sessions – Free interactive sessions that are open to all. These session begin at 7:20 am and end around 7:45 am.

The Friday Parisamvad is dedicated to explanation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by our esteemed Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji.

All are welcome to attend.

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