Swati: Swamiji,i am a student of engineering and interested in spiritual life and want to know about myself and Patanjali Yog Darshan. So please give me complete description of Patanjali Yog darsan’s first, second, third and fourth sutra. I belong to Arya Samaj.
Swami Ram Swarup: My daughter Swati, my blessing to you. Your views regarding to spiritualism are highly appreciated. Actually this is the main motto of the human life. I paste my following articles, it will give you immense knowledge about yourself that you are not a human body but an immortal soul. And resides within body. The Patanjali Yoga Sutra 1,2, 3, and 4 are explained below. You are also advised to read detailed comments in Hindi of my book Patanjal Yog Darshan.
Who am I and what is the purpose for which I have received this birth?
Relationship is always made at least within two matters which are always separate from each other. One says that this is his house. So house is separate and person is separate. Another says that this is my house, my son, my wife etc. So person is separate, his house, son and wife are also separate from each other. That is why the relation was made. Similarly when someone says that this is his head and leg, ear and eyes etc., so here also it is clear that the person who is making relation with head, eyes etc., is separate and the said organs and the whole body are separate. Otherwise relation can not be made.
No one on the earth says that he is eye, he is head, he is leg, he is body etc., but always says that all the organs of body belong to him. So naturally question arises that who, “He” is to say that this is his head. So “He” means “SOUL” who resides in the body.
Rigveda mantra 1/164/20 says that this body is like a tree. Tree is destroyed one day. So body made by prakriti’s five matters (earth, air, water, space, fire) is destructible, prakriti being non-alive. In said tree, God and soul also reside and both are alive matters. God is omnipresent but soul is not omnipresent and resides at only one place at one time.
Suppose we are sitting in a dark room in the night then we are unable to do any task like studying but in the light of electric bulb we become able to do job. Similarly human body only works when the soul resides in it. That is soul works like an electric bulb otherwise we daily see so many deaths of youngsters also whose healthy body is there but does not work, eye can not see, ear can not listen etc., so which matter (tatv) had left the body. Yes it is only soul. Purpose of human life is to overcome the sorrows, tensions and to attain salvation by worshipping God under the guidance of an Acharya.
Death and birth according to the deeds are eternal until the whole good or bad deeds are burnt by doing hard practice of ashtang yoga and study of Vedas, the same are not stopped. Human beings mostly take birth to face the result of previous sin/pious deeds. In the present life due to illusion they do several sins or other deeds to face in the future births.
Yajurveda mantra 40/2 states that we should discharge our moral duties and while doing pious deeds according to Vedas we get salvation. So deeds are to be done. The aspirant who gains knowledge of Vedas, ashtang yoga philosophy etc., he usually preaches the people also. So it is up to the people whether they are desirous of worshipping to kill the past deeds to get salvation or not. Mostly people are after materialistic articles/pomp and show etc. mere talking will do nothing. Why the voice of kings and the voice of learned Yogis are listened? Because they struggled for their motto and became an appropriate person.
Patanjal Yog Darshanam (Samadhi Paad)-
“ATHA YOGANUSHASANAM” (Sutra 1)
Meaning- (Atha) Now start (Yoga) of Yoga (Anushasanam) Preach of yoga knowledge.
Idea- The pious word “Atha” symbolizes beginning, auspiciousness, bliss, prosperity, command etc. Its meaning also signifies “after that” i.e., when a disciple for a long time renders services to his acharya with sincere dedication and exercises strict control over his senses then ‘after that’ he becomes capable and deserving to gain knowledge from his acharya. Infact ancient Rishis have considered the pronunciation of the word “Atha” as blissful comparable to the auspicious echo of conch (shankha). It is also pertinent to mention here that out of the six shastras, five shastras written by Rishis begin with the word “Atha”.
Rishi who has attained full command over the knowledge preaches it further to aspirants. In the sutra above, the word “Atha” symbolizes both command and auspiciousness/bliss and indicates the beginning of knowledge of yoga. The word “Yoga” is derived from the root word “Yuj” which means “Samadhi”. Vyasmuniji while explaining the given sutra states that Anushasan is the means of giving complete knowledge along with its secret, means and result. The word “Anu” implies “After”. To elaborate, knowledge is gained/realized afterwards, before this the knowledge is attained by way of words (verbally) then it is practised sincerely and later realized in heart. The verbal knowledge lies in Ved mantras.
Bheeshma Pitamah states to Yudhisthir in Shanti Parv of Mahbaharat- “Oh! Yudhishthir know about two forms of Brahma- Shabda Brahma (Vedas) and par Brahma (God). He who attains perfection in gaining knowledge of Vedas, is able to realise Parbrahma i.e., God.
The word “Anushasan” used in the sutra also signifies the fact that Maharishi Patanjali first himself attained the knowledge of Yoga described in Vedas, in a Gurukul, then he did hard tapasya of Ashtang Yoga, attained the highest stage of Yoga- Kaivalya Pad and it was after the realisation that he gave the superb knowledge in the form of “Yoga Shastra”.
Infact, the underlying meaning of this sutra is that mere reading, listening or cramming up about Yoga or practising few asans is an insult to this eternal knowledge of Yoga. The eternal yoga knowledge described in Vedas is given traditionally.
The word ‘Anu’ has also occured in Yajurveda mantra 40/7- “Ekatvam Anupashyataha” i.e., a yogi sees “Pashyataha” God but “Anupashyataha” i.e., (anu) after doing hard practice of Ashtang Yoga methodically and traditionally.
Hence, realisation of God is possible after gaining Vedas’ knowledge traditionally and practising Ashtang Yoga. Such knowledge can only be gained under supreme guidance of a Yogi.
As stated earlier, Yoga means Samadhi. Vyas Muniji while commenting on this sutra states that Samadhi is a special quality of chitta in all its stages. There are five stages of Chitta- Kshipt, Moord, Vikshipt, Ekagra and Nirudh. When the chitta is under the effect of Rajo quality of prakriti then it wanders in worldly matters and this stage of chitta is referred to as “Kshipt stage” which is not fit to give Yoga education. While being entangled in Tamo quality of Prakriti, chitta becomes lazy, unindustrious and is oblivious to its responsibilities, this is ‘Moord’ stage of chitta which is also unfit to gain Yoga knowledge. While harbouring various worldly desires when the certain desires do not get fulfilled due to some or the other hinderance then such stage of chitta is “Vikshipt” where in chitta remains restless and puzzled. This stage is also not fit to gain yoga knowledge.
Ekagra stage of chitta is the one when chitta refrains itself from all worldly matters and concentrates on one fact – the truth. The aspirant possessing this stage of chitta actually deserves to enter Yoga and in this stage he gets enlightened about all true matters, his sufferings are removed and binding of karma get loosened. The chitta now prepares to reach Nirudh stage. This is called “Sampargyat Yoga” which is of Vitarkanugat, Vicharanugat, Anandanugat and Asmitaanugat types. It is when hard practice is done to completely control all the chitta vrittis at Ekagra stage that Asampragyat Samadhi is attained.
“YOGASHCHITTAVRITTINIRODHAHA” (Sutra 2)
Meaning- (Yogaha) Yoga= Samadhi (Chitta) combination of intellect i.e., buddhi, ahankar (ego), mann [mind] (vritti) effect of various forms (Nirodhaha) stoppage.
That is to say, stoppage of various forms of chitta is called Yoga.
Idea- When the chitta dissociates itself from worldly matters and does not grasp the good or bad effect of worldly happenings through five senses i.e. eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin while looking, listening, smelling, tasting or touching then such stage is called “Yoga”. Hence, to restrain chitta vritti from outer-worldly matters is called Yoga. Question arises as to what “Chitta” is? Our body made of five matters has five kosh or cells viz- Annamaye, Prannamaye, Manomaye, Vigyanmaye and Ananadamaye.
Rigveda mandal 10, sukta 129 and Sankhya shastra sutra 1/26 states that first matter which is made from Prakriti is “Mahat” or intellect. Second is Ahanakar from which originates “Mann”. Yajurveda mantra 34/1-3 describes mann to be of five types-
(i). Devmann (ii) Yakshamann (iii) Pragyanmann (iv) Chetasmann (v) Dhritimann.
Out of five, Chetasmann is actually the chitta wherein the effects of various deeds done by souls are imprinted. However, in Yog shastra, Buddhi (intellect), Ahankar (ego) and Mann (mind) together comprise chitta.
It is the nature of chitta to reflect over past events of life and to think about future. Hence, it invariably remains attached to worldly matters. It also has the ability to stabilize over any matter. Vyasmuni while commenting over the given sutra states that since “Sarva” word has not been used in the sutra hence it does not connote “Complete Chitta Vritti Nirodhaha”. In the given sutra it signifies ekagra stage of Chitta which is “Sampragyat Yoga”. When complete Chitta Vritti is stopped and chitta becomes totally dead then this stage is called “Asamparagyat Samadhi”.
In Sampargyat Yoga few Chitta Vrittis still remain, aspirant is aware about himself and the fact that he is concentrating in God. However, all this ends in Asampargayat Yoga wherein soul completely indulges in pleasure of realisation of God. This stage is comparable to mixing of salt and water where the separate identities of salt and water disappears. Hence, the aspirant first needs to end the Kshipt, Moord, vikshipt stage of chitta through sadhna, reach at Sampragyat Yoga by attaining Ekagra stage of Chitta and finally attain Asampragyat samadhi.
Since chitta originates from three qualities viz. Raj, Tam and Satva tatva of Prakriti. Hence, all theses three qualities exist in chitta. Sato gunn indicates enlightenment, Rajo gunn connotes being industrious and Tamo Gunn indicates stagnation.
Chitta dominated by sato Gunn is enlightened/knowledgeable, that chitta which has the effect of Rajo gunn along with Tamo gunn aspires for glory and chitta under the influence of Tamo Gunn is lazy, ignorant and irreligious so becomes wretched.
Idea behind is that in unstable water of pond reflection of moon or one’s own reflection can’t be seen but when water becomes calm then the same can be seen. Similarly, vrittis of chitta are unstable, outwardly then one can’t see the form of God within him. When all the Chitta Vrittis are controlled by Yogabhyas then soul realises God in Asampragyat Yoga.
“TADA DRASHTUHU SWARUPEYVASTHANAM” (Sutra 3)
i.e., when the aspirant attains Asampragyat Samadhi (final liberation) then the soul establishes himself in his own true form.
The given sutra gives the knowledge that when the aspirant practises hard and attains perfection in all the seven stages of Ashtang Yoga viz Yam, Niyam, Asan, Prannayam, Pratyahar, Dharnna, Dhyan then he attains Asampragyat Samadhi as a result. Then there no more remains any effect of three qualities of Prakriti over the aspirant and the soul stablizes in its true form. Soul is alive, unchangeable/eternal, devoid of death and birth, pure and is free from any binding. It is due to ignorance that soul has forgotten his true form on getting entangled in three qualities of prakriti. Hence, soul is forever free but has forgotten his true form. It is in Asampragyat Samadhi that he realises his true self.
“VRITTISARUPYAMITRATRA” (Sutra 4)
(Vritti) Various forms of chitta (Sarupayam) remains same as is Chiita’s Vritti (Itaratra) except.
Meaning:- Except the stoppage of Chitta Vritti attained by Ashtang Yoga Practice (Asampragyat Samadhi), the soul, due to the contact with Prakriti, acts like Chitta Vritti i.e., no difference appears between soul and Chitta’s Vritti.
Idea:- Itaratra means when soul is not in the stage of Asampragyat Samadhi. Without Samadhi, Chittta Vritti is completely entangled in worldly attachment and illusion and soul like its Chittta Vritti suffers happiness and sorrows according to its deeds. It means that soul considers himself like the chitta which is under the influence of three qualities of Prakriti. So, soul forgetting his alive and chitta’s non-alive form becomes unwise/ignorant/injudicious .
At this stage when soul is ignorant, chitta feels happiness, sorrows, wants to weep, laugh, gets depressed, sick etc., and the same effect is felt by soul having forgotten its above said real characterstics on account of making contact with prakriti. That is, whatever the qualities chitta of Rajo, Tamo and Satva guna holds, the soul realises himself to be of same nature.
Soul says this is my house, my family etc. If we deliberate over this fact then we would realise that a relationship has been established between two entities- one is soul and another is house or family. Hence, soul is distinctly separate from house or family. Soul can’t be house. Similarly, a person says this is my eye. Hence, person is not the eye although eye belongs to the person. In the same manner, everyone says this is my body but nobody says I am body. So, who am I? I am distinctly separate from non-alive body made of five matters and I am alive soul. However, this is verbal knowledge which can’t liberate the soul from sufferings unless practice of Ashtang Yoga is done along with it.
The conclusion of the above is that after taking birth in human body, it is our duty to do pious deeds and discharge duties towards family and nation. One should strive to attain Asampragyat Samadhi by hard practice of Ashtang Yoga, as was done by our ancient forefathers in previous three yugas. Vedas and Shastras have taught the best way of getting final liberation by adopting traditional Yoga Philosophy under the divine guidance of learned, alive Yogi.
Lalit: Why does God ask his creation, that is man, to pray to him. it seems a little odd that first You create and than you ask Your creation to pray to You?
Swami Ram Swarup: Almighty God has unlimited pious, qualities, knowledge and power etc. Unlimited means, there is no limit and thus are countless. Amongst the unlimited qualities like He is formless, omnipresent, omniscient, creates, nurses and destroys the creation etc. He is also ever desireless. The theory of spiritualism is beyond the calculation description too, which is briefed in Vedas that God also does not creates the Universe. He is only NIMIT UPADAN reason, Yajurveda Mantra 31/4 states PADAH ASYA ABHAWAT PUNAHA i.e., only a part of Divine power of God (and not God Himself), acts in non alive Prakriti and creation starts. Secondly the process of creation is eternal i.e., never starts and never ends. As stated above God is desireless so He never asks for His prayer etc., but only for our benefit He advices us to do prayer and worship so that the sorrows, problems, tensions, sickness etc., are destroyed and the person enjoy long happy life. So it is our requirement to pray him to kill our sorrows etc. God states in Yajurveda Mantra 7/48 that persons are free to do good or bad deeds but result is awarded in the shape of happiness and sorrows by God.
The creation is eternal and automatic. There is no date of creation of the following:
(A) Almighty God who is alive, immortal, formless, creates, nurses and destroys the universe. He never indulges in any maya, mahamaya, illusion and deeds (good or bad. Yajurveda Mantra 40/8 and Yog shastra Sutra 1/26 also refer)
(B) Soul: Soul is alive, the purest, away from sins etc. but illusion covers the soul due to which soul forgets his original form and hence remains in sorrows, problems etc.
C) Prakriti: Non-alive and has three qualities. i.e., Raj, tam, Satva. At a proper time, the power of God acts in prakriti and the universe is created. So the creation is eternal and automatic.
Raj, Tam and Satva are the three qualities of prakriti. When the said gunnas remain idle dormant i.e., do not work, then combination of these three gunnas(qualities) in dormant stage is called prakriti and this time is called “final destruction” of the universe. When an appropriate time comes, the creation is to be started again. Then the power of God works in the above three gunnas i.e., in the prakriti and immediately the creation starts. Rajo gunn is a sign of sensuousness etc., Tamo gunn signifies laziness and sato gunn signifies ego, pride. Our human body is also made of the said three gunnas.
Vedas tell that there are three eternal/immortal matters- first: Almighty God, second: souls, third: prakriti. Almighty God creates, nurses and destroys the universe and again creates it. The said process of creation is eternal/immortal/everlasting. Almighty God creates the universe from prakriti. When the raj, tam and satva gunnas of prakriti remain idle (dormant condition/inactive) then creation does not take place. At an appropriate time, a power of Almighty God acts in prakriti (i.e., in Raj, tam and satva gunnas). Immediately the process of creation starts and the first matter of prakriti is made which is called –Mahat i.e., mind; from Mahat- ahankar is made, from ahankar panch (5) tan matrayein, from panch (5) tanmatrayein, panch (5) mahabhoot are created. From panch mahabhoot, the entire matter of universe i.e., Sun, Moon air, water , our bodies, bodies of other living beings etc., are created. The whole creation is thus created from prakriti
and remains still (in active) like a statue. This creation is called non-sexual creation. In the said creation, the young human bodies are created which are neither old nor babies. Then by the power of God, in the said bodies, breathing system (prann vaayu) starts operating. At last, God enters into the universe and immediately all the humans and other living beings become alive and start functioning. Similarly, the non-alive matters like Sun, moon, earth, air, water etc., start their respective functions.
Creation, Science, worldly matters etc., is not possible until the same is created by someone. Secondly, knowledge is attained when knowledge is imparted by someone.
Rigveda mantra 10/129/ 1-6 throw light about creation that at that time, there was nothing and no living beings did exist. So there was no learned acharya who could give the knowledge to the newly created living beings like parents who educate the children to make them able to speak language and to know about the matters like crow, animals, chapati, ghee, sun, moon i.e., all matters of the world. See, if a newly born baby is managed to live in dense jungle and nursed well but he is not given education about the worldly matters etc. i.e., mathematics, science, animals, sun, moon etc., then even at the young age of 20-25, 30 years, he will not be able to speak any language and when he will be brought out of the cave of dense jungle and will be asked about the sun, moon, animals, birds before him, then he will not be able to reply because he was not given the said knowledge.
When we see towards sun, moon, air, space, human body etc. It is clearly understood that the said creation has not been made by any human being but Almighty God, from whom the knowledge of four Vedas emanates. In Vedas, the knowledge right from straw to Brahma has been mentioned. So in the beginning of non-sexual earth, the Vedas originated in the heart of four rishis: Agni, Vaayu, Aditya and Angira, and from the rishis the knowledge of science, deeds and worship along with every matter is being given to the public by which the public became educated scientist and wrote books, etc.
In Vedas as well as in fourth chapter of Yog Shastras of Rishi Patanjali, it is mentioned that those who do not believe in God are provided more and more facilities by nature and such people get spoiled etc.
On the contrary those who worship God, they naturally try to kill their desires and accordingly under the law, nature, help them to follow the true path to realize the God.
It is also pertinent to mention here that in Vedas, there is no mention of avtarwad or any proper noun, please. Vedas do not even contain any story or past, present or future life of anyone. Vedas contain knowledge i.e., entire science, form of deeds/duties and worship of God. Actually Vedas give knowledge right from straw to Brahma (God) of entire universe.
All four Vedas tell to worship a formless, Almighty, omnipresent, omniscient God who creates, nurses and destroys the universe. God was one, is one and shall ever remain one. He is unchangeable, unchallengeable and beyond description. He has unlimited qualities and thus unlimited names but is one. Because He is Almighty and needs no help of anyone to create, nurse and destroy the universe therefore no need to take avtar.