Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The 'original' Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (?)

Oh my, talk about rabbit holes.

If you saw yesterday's post I was discussing this book The Gita as It Was: Rediscovering the Original Bhagavadgita Book by Phulgenda Sinha; 1987 where Sinha argues that most of the Gita was added later and that the original consisted of only 84 verses. My copy is still on the way from Amazon but Maya found one online at Scribd HERE. Now at the end of yesterdays post I wrote

'Oh and it seems there's an original Yoga Sutras too, all that about Ishvara, 100 slokas or so.... yep you guessed it, they added that too.......perhaps'.


Well flicking through Sinha's book on Scribd, I came across the section where he discusses the sutras and get this, the 'original' Yoga Sutras supposedly consisted of only 83 verses ( yes yes, i know begs the question... a lot of them in fact). You can forget about  Chapter one, which is a bit of a bugger because that's the chapter I'm most comfortable chanting. Forget chapter four as well ( that's OK it's commonly thought to be a later addition) but also the first 27 verses of chapter 2.

Sinha is quoting J.W. Hauer book DER YOGA ( p238-239) in German. It's supposedly translated by G. J. Larson as Classical Samkhya see p150

OK, if you've spent any time in academia you know this goes on a lot. For every academic arguing that a couple of Shakespear's plays were written by Marlow you get another hundred arguing against it. Still, it's often interesting and keeps the pasty faced scholars off the streets.

Interestingly though it perhaps doesn't matter. Chapter one wasn't really for us anyway, it's talking about the born yoga who doesn't have to work at it. Chapter two that was for us mere mortals who have to work at it along with Chapter three on the good stuff. Best of all we can chant it in ten minutes and catch last orders.

Here it is below Translated by BonGiovanni from HERE just to give us an idea before we hit our own editions which I'll be doing right after practice.

The Original Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (?)


2.28 On the destruction of impurity by the sustained practice of the limbs of Union, the light of knowledge reveals the faculty of discrimination.


2.29 The eight limbs of Union are self-restraint in actions, fixed observance, posture, regulation of energy, mind-control in sense engagements, concentration, meditation, and realization.


2.30 Self-restraint in actions includes abstention from violence, from falsehoods, from stealing, from sexual engagements, and from acceptance of gifts.


2.31 These five willing abstentions are not limited by rank, place, time or circumstance and constitute the Great Vow.


2.32 The fixed observances are cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and persevering devotion to God.


2.33 When improper thoughts disturb the mind, there should be constant pondering over the opposites.


2.34 Improper thoughts and emotions such as those of violence- whether done, caused to be done, or even approved of- indeed, any thought originating in desire, anger or delusion, whether mild medium or intense- do all result in endless pain and misery. Overcome such distractions by pondering on the opposites.


2.35 When one is confirmed in non-violence, hostility ceases in his presence.


2.36 When one is firmly established in speaking truth, the fruits of action become subservient to him.


2.37 All jewels approach him who is confirmed in honesty.


2.38 When one is confirmed in celibacy, spiritual vigor is gained.


2.39 When one is confirmed in non-possessiveness, the knowledge of the why and how of existence is attained.


2.40 From purity follows a withdrawal from enchantment over one's own body as well as a cessation of desire for physical contact with others.


2.41 As a result of contentment there is purity of mind, one-pointedness, control of the senses, and fitness for the vision of the self.


2.42 Supreme happiness is gained via contentment.


2.43 Through sanctification and the removal of impurities, there arise special powers in the body and senses.


2.44 By study comes communion with the Lord in the Form most admired.


2.45 Realization is experienced by making the Lord the motive of all actions.


2.46 The posture should be steady and comfortable.


2.47 In effortless relaxation, dwell mentally on the Endless with utter attention.


2.48 From that there is no disturbance from the dualities.


2.49 When that exists, control of incoming and outgoing energies is next.


2.50 It may be external, internal, or midway, regulated by time, place, or number, and of brief or long duration.


2.51 Energy-control which goes beyond the sphere of external and internal is the fourth level- the vital.


2.52 In this way, that which covers the light is destroyed.


2.53 Thus the mind becomes fit for concentration.


2.54 When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms.


2.55 In this way comes mastery over the senses.


End Part Two


Part Three
on Divine Powers
3.1 One-pointedness is steadfastness of the mind.


3.2 Unbroken continuation of that mental ability is meditation.


3.3 That same meditation when there is only consciousness of the object of meditation and not of the mind is realization.


3.4 The three appearing together are self-control.


3.5 By mastery comes wisdom.


3.6 The application of mastery is by stages.


3.7 The three are more efficacious than the restraints.


3.8 Even that is external to the seedless realization.


3.9 The significant aspect is the union of the mind with the moment of absorption, when the outgoing thought disappears and the absorptive experience appears.


3.10 From sublimation of this union comes the peaceful flow of unbroken unitive cognition.


3.11 The contemplative transformation of this is equalmindedness, witnessing the rise and destruction of distraction as well as one-pointedness itself.


3.12 The mind becomes one-pointed when the subsiding and rising thought-waves are exactly similar.


3.13 In this state, it passes beyond the changes of inherent characteristics, properties and the conditional modifications of object or sensory recognition.


3.14 The object is that which preserves the latent characteristic, the rising characteristic or the yet-to-be-named characteristic that establishes one entity as specific.


3.15 The succession of these changes in that entity is the cause of its modification.


3.16 By self-control over these three-fold changes (of property, character and condition), knowledge of the past and the future arises.


3.17 The sound of a word, the idea behind the word, and the object the idea signfies are often taken as being one thing and may be mistaken for one another. By self-control over their distinctions, understanding of all languages of all creatures arises.


3.18 By self-control on the perception of mental impressions, knowledge of previous lives arises.


3.19 By self-control on any mark of a body, the wisdom of the mind activating that body arises.


3.20 By self-control on the form of a body, by suspending perceptibility and separating effulgence therefrom, there arises invisibility and inaudibilty.


3.21 Action is of two kinds, dormant and fruitful. By self-control on such action, one portends the time of death.


3.22 By performing self-control on friendliness, the strength to grant joy arises.


3.23 By self-control over any kind of strength, such as that of the elephant, that very strength arises.


3.24 By self-control on the primal activator comes knowledge of the hidden, the subtle, and the distant.


3.25 By self-control on the Sun comes knowledge of spatial specificities.


3.26 By self-control on the Moon comes knowledge of the heavens.


3.27 By self-control on the Polestar arises knowledge of orbits.


3.28 By self-control on the navel arises knowledge of the constitution of the body.


3.29 By self-control on the pit of the throat one subdues hunger and thirst.


3.30 By self-control on the tube within the chest one acquires absolute steadiness.


3.31 By self-control on the light in the head one envisions perfected beings.


3.32 There is knowledge of everything from intuition.


3.33 Self-control on the heart brings knowledge of the mental entity.


3.34 Experience arises due to the inability of discerning the attributes of vitality from the indweller, even though they are indeed distinct from one another. Self-control brings true knowledge of the indweller by itself.


3.35 This spontaneous enlightenment results in intuitional perception of hearing, touching, seeing and smelling.


3.36 To the outward turned mind, the sensory organs are perfections, but are obstacles to realization.


3.37 When the bonds of the mind caused by action have been loosened, one may enter the body of another by knowledge of how the nerve-currents function.


3.38 By self-control of the nerve-currents utilising the lifebreath, one may levitate, walk on water, swamps, thorns, or the like.


3.39 By self-control over the maintenance of breath, one may radiate light.


3.40 By self-control on the relation of the ear to the ether one gains distant hearing.


3.41 By self-control over the relation of the body to the ether, and maintaining at the same time the thought of the lightness of cotton, one is able to pass through space.


3.42 By self-control on the mind when it is separated from the body- the state known as the Great Transcorporeal- all coverings are removed from the Light.


3.43 Mastery over the elements arises when their gross and subtle forms,as well as their essential characteristics, and the inherent attributes and experiences they produce, is examined in self-control.


3.44 Thereby one may become as tiny as an atom as well as having many other abilities, such as perfection of the body, and non-resistence to duty.


3.45 Perfection of the body consists in beauty, grace, strength and adamantine hardness.


3.46 By self-control on the changes that the sense-organs endure when contacting objects, and on the power of the sense of identity, and of the influence of the attributes, and the experience all these produce- one masters the senses.


3.47 From that come swiftness of mind, independence of perception, and mastery over primoridal matter.


3.48 To one who recognizes the distinctive relation between vitality and indweller comes omnipotence and omniscience.


3.49 Even for the destruction of the seed of bondage by desirelessness there comes absolute independence.


3.50 When invited by invisible beings one should be neither flattered nor satisfied, for there is yet a possibility of ignorance rising up.


3.51 By self-control over single moments and their succession there is wisdom born of discrimination.


3.52 From that there is recognition of two similars when that difference cannot be distinguished by class, characteristic or position.


3.53 Intuition, which is the entire discriminative knowledge, relates to all objects at all times, and is without succession.


3.54 Liberation is attained when there is equal purity between vitality and the indweller.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Perhaps just as interesting as what stays in is what gets discarded, forgetting about chapter four for now, here are the verses from Chapter one to verse 27 of Chapter Two. Any favourites?


1.1 Now, instruction in Union.


1.2. Union is restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind.


1.3. Then the seer dwells in his own nature.


1.4. Otherwise he is of the same form as the thought-streams.


1.5. The thought-streams are five-fold, painful and not painful.


1.6. Right knowledge, wrong knowledge, fancy, sleep and memory.


1.7. Right knowledge is inference, tradition and genuine cognition.


1.8. Wrong knowledge is false, illusory, erroneous beliefs or notions.


1.9. Fancy is following after word-knowledge empty of substance.


1.10. Deep sleep is the modification of the mind which has for its substratum nothingness.


1.11. Memory is not allowing mental impressions to escape.


1.12. These thought-streams are controlled by practice and non-attachment.


1.13. Practice is the effort to secure steadiness.


1.14. This practice becomes well-grounded when continued with reverent devotion and without interruption over a long period of time.


1.15. Desirelessness towards the seen and the unseen gives the consciousness of mastery.


1.16. This is signified by an indifference to the three attributes, due to knowledge of the Indweller.


1.17. Cognitive meditation is accompanied by reasoning, discrimination, bliss and the sense of 'I am.'


1.18. There is another meditation which is attained by the practice of alert mental suspension until only subtle impressions remain.


1.19. For those beings who are formless and for those beings who are merged in unitive consciousness, the world is the cause.


1.20. For others, clarity is preceded by faith, energy, memory and equalminded contemplation.


1.21. Equalminded contemplation is nearest to those whose desire is most ardent.


1.22. There is further distinction on account of the mild, moderate or intense means employed.


1.23. Or by surrender to God.


1.24. God is a particular yet universal indweller, untouched by afflictions, actions, impressions and their results.


1.25. In God, the seed of omniscience is unsurpassed.


1.26. Not being conditioned by time, God is the teacher of even the ancients.


1.27. God's voice is Om.


1.28. The repetition of Om should be made with an understanding of its meaning.


1.29. From that is gained introspection and also the disappearance of obstacles.


1.30. Disease, inertia, doubt, lack of enthusiasm, laziness, sensuality, mind-wandering, missing the point, instability- these distractions of the mind are the obstacles.


1.31. Pain, despair, nervousness, and disordered inspiration and expiration are co-existent with these obstacles.


1.32. For the prevention of the obstacles, one truth should be practiced constantly.


1.33. By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure.


1.34. Optionally, mental equanimity may be gained by the even expulsion and retention of energy.


1.35. Or activity of the higher senses causes mental steadiness.


1.36. Or the state of sorrowless Light.


1.37. Or the mind taking as an object of concentration those who are freed of compulsion.


1.38. Or depending on the knowledge of dreams and sleep.


1.39. Or by meditation as desired.


1.40. The mastery of one in Union extends from the finest atomic particle to the greatest infinity.


1.41. When the agitations of the mind are under control, the mind becomes like a transparent crystal and has the power of becoming whatever form is presented. knower, act of knowing, or what is known.


1.42. The argumentative condition is the confused mixing of the word, its right meaning, and knowledge.


1.43. When the memory is purified and the mind shines forth as the object alone, it is called non-argumentative.


1.44. In this way the meditative and the ultra-meditative having the subtle for their objects are also described.


1.45. The province of the subtle terminates with pure matter that has no pattern or distinguishing mark.


1.46. These constitute seeded contemplations.


1.47. On attaining the purity of the ultra-meditative state there is the pure flow of spiritual consciousness.


1.48. Therein is the faculty of supreme wisdom.


1.49. The wisdom obtained in the higher states of consciousness is different from that obtained by inference and testimony as it refers to particulars.


1.50. The habitual pattern of thought stands in the way of other impressions.


1.51. With the suppression of even that through the suspension of all modifications of the mind, contemplation without seed is attained.


End Part One.


Part Two
on Spiritual Disciplines
2.1 Austerity, the study of sacred texts, and the dedication of action to God constitute the discipline of Mystic Union.


2.2 This discipline is practised for the purpose of acquiring fixity of mind on the Lord, free from all impurities and agitations, or on One's Own Reality, and for attenuating the afflictions.


2.3 The five afflictions are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion, and the desire to cling to life.


2.4 Ignorance is the breeding place for all the others whether they are dormant or attenuated, partially overcome or fully operative.


2.5 Ignorance is taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the impure for the pure, evil for good and non-self as self.


2.6 Egoism is the identification of the power that knows with the instruments of knowing.


2.7 Attachment is that magnetic pattern which clusters in pleasure and pulls one towards such experience.


2.8 Aversion is the magnetic pattern which clusters in misery and pushes one from such experience.


2.9 Flowing by its own energy, established even in the wise and in the foolish, is the unending desire for life.


2.10 These patterns when subtle may be removed by developing their contraries.


2.11 Their active afflictions are to be destroyed by meditation.


2.12 The impressions of works have their roots in afflictions and arise as experience in the present and the future births.


2.13 When the root exists, its fruition is birth, life and experience.


2.14 They have pleasure or pain as their fruit, according as their cause be virtue or vice.


2.15 All is misery to the wise because of the pains of change, anxiety, and purificatory acts.


2.16 The grief which has not yet come may be avoided.


2.17 The cause of the avoidable is the superimposition of the external world onto the unseen world.


2.18 The experienced world consists of the elements and the senses in play. It is of the nature of cognition, activity and rest, and is for the purpose of experience and realization.


2.19 The stages of the attributes effecting the experienced world are the specialized and the unspecialized, the differentiated and the undifferentiated.


2.20 The indweller is pure consciousness only, which though pure, sees through the mind and is identified by ego as being only the mind.


2.21 The very existence of the seen is for the sake of the seer.


2.22 Although Creation is discerned as not real for the one who has achieved the goal, it is yet real in that Creation remains the common experience to others.


2.23 The association of the seer with Creation is for the distinct recognition of the objective world, as well as for the recognition of the distinct nature of the seer.


2.24 The cause of the association is ignorance.


2.25 Liberation of the seer is the result of the dissassociation of the seer and the seen, with the disappearance of ignorance.


2.26 The continuous practice of discrimination is the means of attaining liberation.


2.27 Steady wisdom manifests in seven stages.

17 comments:

  1. Woho... Rabbit hole indeed...

    I am going to be blasphemous, we talked it through with James, and maybe it makes sense this way.... Cause then it ONLY focuses on the 8 steps of ashtanga yoga.... And how to get to liberation....

    Maybe chapter one was another 'commentator' describing the goal so people would read it... And four was, as ramaswami says, just a Q&A....

    Guess more books to order now.... Grimmly you did it again! Always getting me curious

    ReplyDelete
  2. Profs Gavin Flood and Nick Sutton at the Oxford Center for Hindu Studies are all about this stuff. Might be worth grabbing one of their classes -- they have a class on yoga (& it's online). These guys are top notch scholars -- a treat to read/listen to.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Will look into them karen, thank you. Did you hear about them from those Oxford courses you were doing. Can't remember which ones you were considering

    Think your right Claudia, just focusses on the practical side.. Sorry to get you spending again but while your at it..... came across something interesting Yoga immortality and freedom by Mircea Eliade, looks interesting. here's the link

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0691017646/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_g14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=03CE511DSH84AJ14JKN4&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I know of them through the courses I took. Very impressed with how they live and breathe this stuff -- the culture, philosophies, practices, history. VERY comprehensive understanding. Made me want to mewl: "Well, I can do asana..." LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  5. http://www.archive.org/details/studyofpatanjali00dasgiala



    a study of Patanjali by Dasgupta, Surendranath, 1920 This book of more academic study of philosophy century from India who was master of Eliade mircia

    in my opionion fourth pada is after and which incorporates ideas pada 2 and 3 add Yogacharya Buddhist terminology to discuss with the Buddhists and keep track of Patanjali actually took the Buddhist Samkhya Yogacharya atheistic philosophies and Agege taking his dialectical concept of Ishvara as releasing all tattvas achieving samadhi as the Sanatana Dharma Brahmins had no philosophy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you Sadhaka, will look at that. I'd heard the reasons against the fourth pada before, the first was a surprise though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Claudia, the Sinha book just arrived, really nice book,nice layout if you see a copy going cheap on Amazon I'd snap it up, a whole field of Rabit holes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey everyone, have a look at the link Sadhaka provides in his comment. Apart from the fact the book looks interesting there is the best graphic. Click on read online in the top left hand conrner then play. The pages turn automatically, quite sweet. there's also a pdf version for ibooks

    ReplyDelete
  9. Grimmly, do you have a camera in my yoga room? I JUST ordered both, then see your comment, you have eyes everywhere mister! those siddhis are beginning to work... As per the link, yeah I tried then I forgot, frigging lyme, bout time I get healed also want to get on the frigging mat again, sorry bit angry there... Thanks for the reminder, will go check the link now

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah which siddhi is that III-19 or III-33 perhaps

    Your going to love the book, turn to Chapter 4 as soon as you get it, 'Consequences of changing the Gita''

    Tell me when yours turns up because I'm going to want to do a post on it but don't want to spoil the surprise, quite a bombshell.

    Your language since you got this lyme, tut tut, hadn't realised it was like Tourette's : )

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like the stripped down "original" sutras - clean, concise, simple guidepost to the practice and the goal. Less theory. Perfect! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi g, got the book today. Did not make it to chapter anything yet due to setback with this thing I'm going through. Thanks for the heads up, feel free to write, I will be reading. Long live the ipads

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Grimmly,

    Thanks for that cool post and the link. This will make for some good studying.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've read two distinct theories about it:

    THEORY A - EVOLUTION
    ====================

    The text would have evolved in this way:
    1.- Original Yoga Sutras: III.28 to III.55 (Ashtanga Yoga and siddhis)
    2.- Later Brahmanic additions: I.23 to II.27
    3.- Latest philosophical additions: I.1 to I.22 and IV.1 to IV.28


    THEORY B - MERGING
    ==================

    The text would be the merging of two different texts/traditions:
    1.- Kriyā Yoga: I, II.1-II.27, III.4-III.54 and IV.
    2.- Ashtanga Yoga: II.28-III.3 (or up to III.8) and III.55.

    However, IIRC Bryant said that we should not judge the organization of the book using Western standards (or something along those lines).

    I'd love to hear the opinions of Ramaswami and Mohan.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is what Edwin F. Bryant says:

    There is the widespread view that the continuity of the text comes to something of an abrupt end after II.27, with this sutra [II.28] typically deemed as initiating a new self-contained unit on the eight limbs. [...] our modern notions of discursive continuity might have put the eight-limbed section in a separate pāda of its own, beginning with this sutra.

    But, again, one must be wary of submitting the cryptic sutra style to modern notions of structural coherence.
    [...]
    It is likely that Patañjali drew upon an existing tradition of eight-limbed yoga when composing his text (or modified the older tradition of six limbs), as well as a distinct tradition featuring kriyā-yoga. In other words, as a systematizer of existing traditions, Patañjali might well have merged two distinct but overlapping systems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for theses Enrique, day off tomorrow can have a good think about it.

      Delete

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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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