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13Yoga Sutras 1.11: Memory (smriti) as one of five kinds of thoughts

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Jul 16, 2005
      Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.11:
      Memory (smriti) as one of five kinds of thoughts
      (Scroll up to review the five kinds of thoughts)

      YOGA SUTRA 1.11: Recollection or memory (smriti) is mental
      modification caused by the inner reproducing of a previous impression
      of an object, but without adding any other characteristics from other
      (anubhuta vishaya asampramoshah smritih)

      ANUBHUTA = experienced

      VISHAYA = objects of experience, impressions

      ASAMPRAMOSHAH = not being stolen, not being lost, not having addition

      SMRITIH = memory, remembering

      MEMORY CAN TAKE ON ASSOCIATIONS: Memory is something with which we
      are all familiar. Some previously stored impression simply awakens,
      stirs in the unconscious, and then springs forth into the conscious
      awareness, having pierced the veil between conscious and unconscious.
      However, a rising memory often brings along with it many other
      memories that then get linked in such a way that the original memory
      is not seen in its pure form. In other words, the memory is being
      distorted; it is commingled with the other types of thought patterns.

      described here is the pure memory, without having stolen, or had
      additions from other memories or the creative, fantasizing,
      hallucinating process of mind. It is quite natural for these thought
      impressions to rise in the mind field. By discriminating between the
      types of thoughts, we can see which are simply memories, and which
      are memories that have become distorted and effectively turned into
      fantasies, which are vikalpa, described in sutra 1.9. Mere memory is
      not so disturbing to our natural peace of mind, whereas when
      associated with all of the other inner process, leads to the
      troublesome mental process that blocks deep meditation.