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Yoga Sutras 1.42-1.46: Only four types of meditation on an object

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 1.42-1.46: Only four types of meditation on an object http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-14051.htm#1.42 (Useful graphics are shown at
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 14, 2005
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      Yoga Sutras: Yoga Sutra 1.42-1.46:
      Only four types of meditation on an object
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-14051.htm#1.42
      (Useful graphics are shown at this link, as well as further
      explanations and discussion)

      YOGA SUTRA 1.42-1.46: One type of such an engrossment (samapatti) is
      one in which there is a mixture of three things, a word or name going
      with the object, the meaning or identity of that object, and the
      knowledge associated with that object; this engrossment is known as
      savitarka samapatti (associated with gross objects). When the memory
      or storehouse of modifications of mind is purified, then the mind
      appears to be devoid of its own nature and only the object on which
      it is contemplating appears to shine forward; this type of
      engrossment is known as nirvitarka samapatti. In the same way that
      these engrossments operate with gross objects in savitarka samapatti,
      the engrossment with subtle objects also operates, and is known as
      savichara and nirvichara samapatti. Having such subtle objects
      extends all the way up to unmanifest prakriti. These four varieties
      of engrossment are the only kinds of concentrations (samadhi) which
      are objective, and have a seed of an object.


      FOUR LEVELS OF MEDITATION ON AN OBJECT:

      There are only four levels of meditation on an object. These are
      systematically experienced, all the way to the level of unmanifest
      matter:

      1) With gross thoughts, savitarka samapattih (1.42)
      2) Without gross thoughts, nirvitarka samapattih (1.43)
      3) With subtle thoughts, savichara samapattih (1.44)
      4) Without subtle thoughts, nirvichara samapattih (1.44)


      YOGA SUTRA 1.42: One type of such an engrossment (samapattih) is one
      in which there is a mixture of three things, a word or name going
      with the object, the meaning or identity of that object, and the
      knowledge associated with that object; this engrossment is known as
      savitarka samapattih (associated with gross objects).
      (tatra shabda artha jnana vikalpah sankirna savitarka samapattih)

      tatra = there, among these, in that
      shabda = sound, word
      artha = meaning
      jnana = knowledge, idea
      vikalpah = with options
      sankirna = mixed with, commingled, interspersed
      savitarka = accompanied with gross thoughts (sa = with; vitarka =
      gross thoughts)
      samapattih = engrossment, coincidence, complete absorption, transmute
      into likeness


      YOGA SUTRA 1.43: When the memory or storehouse of modifications of
      mind is purified, then the mind appears to be devoid of its own
      nature and only the object on which it is contemplating appears to
      shine forward; this type of engrossment is known as nirvitarka
      samapattih.
      (smriti pari-shuddhau svarupa-shunya iva artha-matra nirbhasa
      nirvitarka)

      smriti = of memory
      pari-shuddhau = upon purification (pari = upon; shuddhau =
      purification)
      svarupa-shunya = devoid of its own nature (shunya = devoid; svarupa =
      its own nature)
      iva = as it were
      artha-matra = only the object (artha = object; matra = only)
      nirbhasa = illuminative, shining brightly
      nirvitarka = without a gross thought (nir = without; vitarka = gross
      thought)


      YOGA SUTRA 1.44: In the same way that these engrossments operate with
      gross objects in savitarka samapattih, the engrossment with subtle
      objects also operates, and is known as savichara and nirvichara
      samapattih.
      (etaya eva savichara nirvichara cha sukshma-vishaya vyakhyata)

      etaya = by this
      eva = also
      savichara = accompanied by subtle thoughts (sa = with; vichara =
      subtle thoughts)
      nirvichara = devoid of subtle thoughts (nir = without; vichara =
      subtle thoughts)
      cha = and
      sukshma-vishaya = having subtle for their objects (sukshma = subtle;
      vishaya = objects)
      vyakhyata = are explained, described, defined


      YOGA SUTRA 1.45: Having such subtle objects extends all the way up to
      unmanifest prakriti.
      (sukshma vishayatvam cha alinga paryavasanam)

      sukshma = subtle
      vishayatvam = of having as objects
      cha = and
      alinga = without a mark or trace, unmanifest prakriti (subtlest
      matter)
      paryavasanam = extending up to, ending at


      YOGA SUTRA 1.46: These four varieties of engrossment are the only
      kinds of concentrations (samadhi) which are objective, and have a
      seed of an object.
      (tah eva sabijah samadhih)

      tah = these, those, they
      eva = only
      sabijah = with seed, seeded
      samadhih = deep absorption of meditation, entasy


      RELATING TO GROSS OBJECTS:

      Savitarka Samapattih (1.42):

      1) Four categories of meditation were mentioned above (Savitarka,
      Savichara, Sananda, and Sasmita). When the mind becomes concentrated
      and the extraneous thought patterns begin to subside (as a result of
      the persistent practice of one-pointed meditation), the mind can then
      be not only concentrated, but also more thoroughly engrossed in the
      object of meditation. It is a sort of inner expansion of attention on
      the object of meditation, and that engrossment is called Samapattih.
      The first level of that engrossment is Savitarka Samapattih, meaning
      that Vitarkas, or gross thoughts, still exist while the engrossment
      increases.

      Nirvitarka Samapattih (1.43):

      2) Nirvitarka is concentration on a gross object in which there are
      no longer any extraneous gross level activities in the mind because
      of the memory having been purified. Notice that with Savitarka, there
      was not only meditation on the object, but also there were the other
      thought streams in the mind, though these were not distracting due to
      vairagya (non-attachment). Here, in Nirvitarka, these thought
      patterns have subsided.

      RELATING TO SUBTLE OBJECTS:

      Savichara Samapattih (1.44):

      3) Beyond both Savitarka and Nirvitarka is Savichara. With Savichara,
      the gross thoughts (Vitarkas) have subsided, but there are still
      subtle thought patterns, which are called Vichara. Savitarka
      Samapattih and Savichara Samapattih are similar processes, though one
      is on gross thoughts, while the other relates to subtle thoughts.

      Nirvichara Samapattih (1.44):

      4) Nirvichara is concentration in which there are no longer any
      extraneous gross or subtle activities in the mind This purity of mind
      comes through the processes of meditation and non-attachment. In
      Nirvichara Samapattih, the engrossed mind completely takes on the
      coloring of the subtle object of meditation, much like a pure crystal
      will take on the coloring of whatever color it is near. With
      increasing mastery of Nirvichara, the eternal Self begins to shine
      for the aspirant.

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