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Yoga Sutras 3.1-3.3 Concentration, Meditation, Samadhi

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras 3.1-3.3 DHARANA, DHYANA, SAMADHI (CONCENTRATION, MEDITATION, ABSORPTION) http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30103.htm ************************ YOGA
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 11, 2006
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      Yoga Sutras 3.1-3.3
      DHARANA, DHYANA, SAMADHI
      (CONCENTRATION, MEDITATION, ABSORPTION)
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30103.htm

      ************************
      YOGA SUTRAS 3.1-3.3:
      ************************

      Concentration (dharana) is the process of holding or fixing the
      attention of mind onto one object or place, and is the sixth of the
      eight rungs. The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of
      that one point of focus is called absorption in meditation (dhyana),
      and is the seventh of the eight steps. When only the essence of that
      object, place, or point shines forth in the mind, as if devoid even
      of its own form, that state of deep absorption is called deep
      concentration or samadhi, which is the eighth rung.

      THE LAST THREE RUNGS OF YOGA:
      Dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi are the
      final three rungs of Yoga.

      DHARANA:

      Concentration is the process of holding or fixing the attention of
      mind onto one object or place. (3.1)

      See also 1.30-1.32
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-13032.htm

      DHYANA:

      Meditation is sustained concentration, whereby the attention
      continues to hold or repeat the same object or place. (3.2)

      SAMADHI:

      Samadhi is the deep absorption, wherein only the essence of that
      object, place, or point shines forth in the mind, as if the mind were
      devoid even of its own form. (3.3)

      STAGES OF ATTENTION:

      It is attention itself, which is progressively moving inward through
      these few stages:

      Attention leads to concentration. (3.1)
      Concentration leads to meditation. (3.2)
      Meditation leads to samadhi. (3.3)

      RELATED ARTICLES:

      See also the following articles on the objects of concentration,
      meditation, and samadhi:

      50+ Yoga Meditation Methods
      http://www.swamij.com/meditationtypes.htm
      Types versus Stages of Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/types-stages-meditation.htm
      Five Universal Stages of Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/five-stages-meditation.htm
      4 Steps of Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/stepsmeditation.htm
      Seven Skills for Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/sevenskills.htm
      What is Yoga Meditation?
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-meditation.htm
      Short Course in Yoga Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/oneline-yoga-meditation-world.htm
      Bindu: Pinnacle of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra
      http://www.swamij.com/bindu.htm

      *******************
      YOGA SUTRA 3.1:
      *******************

      Concentration (dharana) is the process of holding or fixing the
      attention of mind onto one object or place, and is the sixth of the
      eight rungs.
      (deshah bandhah chittasya dharana)

      deshah = place, object, point, spot
      bandhah = binding to, holding, fixing, uniting
      chittasya = of the mind, consciousness
      dharana = concentration, focusing, directing attention

      PREPARATION FOR CONCENTRATION:

      Concentration comes more easily with the effort (1.20) to stabilize
      the mind (1.33-1.39), the minimizing of the gross colorings through
      kriya yoga (2.1-2.2), and the first five of the eight rungs (2.29).
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11922.htm#1.20
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-13339.htm
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-20109.htm
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-22629.htm#2.29

      WITHOUT PREPARATION:

      Without such preparation, the efforts to concentrate the mind often
      lead only to an inner battle. The noisy mind leads people to say they
      cannot meditate, and that they will meditate later in life, after all
      of their problems are gone. There is some truth in such intuition,
      but the key is not to merely delay meditation until some future time,
      which seems to never come. Rather, the truth of the intuition is that
      preparation is needed. With preparation, concentration comes much
      more naturally. Without the preparation, little or nothing happens of
      value.

      EVEN BRIEF CONCENTRATION IS SUCCESS:

      It is also easy to think that a meditation session was "not good"
      because it did not bring some deep sense of bliss. Actually, when one
      understands the tremendous value of simple concentration training,
      then even the brief, shallower practices are seen in a proper context
      of having positive value. Even the few minutes, or few seconds where
      the mind is gently focused on its chosen object are fruitful in the
      path of meditation. Each moment of positive experience leaves its
      positive trace in the depth of the mind field. It may seem invisible
      at first, but those moments add up over time, as concentration
      eventually begins to become meditation which in turn sets the stage
      for glimpses of samadhi.

      *******************
      YOGA SUTRA 3.2:
      *******************

      The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of that one point
      of focus is called absorption in meditation (dhyana), and is the
      seventh of the eight steps.
      (tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam)

      tatra = there, therein (in that place or desha of 3.1)
      pratyaya = the cause, the feeling, causal or cognitive principle,
      notion, content of mind, presented idea, cognition
      ekatanata = one continuous flow of uninterrupted attention (eka =
      one; tanata = continued directedness)
      dhyanam = meditation

      ABSORPTION IN THE OBJECT:

      The repeated concentration on the one object of concentration is
      meditation. Typically, there is a moment of concentration, when there
      are no distractions. Then, a moment later a distraction comes. Then,
      attention lets go of the distraction, and returns to the object of
      concentration. However, when that distraction does not happen, the
      continued concentration on the one object is called meditation.

      WHEN THE SAME OBJECT REPEATEDLY COMES:

      Another way of describing the process of meditation is that there is
      an ongoing series of individual concentrations, rather than one
      continuous concentration. If each of those concentrations is on the
      same object, that is called meditation. Whether you prefer to think
      of it as one continuous flow of concentration, or a series of
      individual concentrations on the same object, it is the unbroken or
      undistracted characteristic of attention that allows concentration to
      evolve into meditation.

      OBSERVER, OBSERVING, AND OBSERVED:

      With meditation, there is still an observer observing an observed.
      When the observer becomes extremely absorbed in the process of
      observing the object, the three collapse such that all there is only
      awareness is the object. This is when meditation becomes samadhi.
      http://www.swamij.com/types-stages-meditation.htm#threeaspects

      MEDITATION IS A TOOL:

      Meditation (along with concentration and samadhi) is a tool for
      examining the inner world, so as to experience the center of
      consciousness (1.3). Gross objects (2.1-2.9) and subtle objects (2.10-
      2.11) are systematically experienced, examined and set aside with non-
      attachment (1.12-1.16), gradually moving past the layers of ignorance
      or avidya (2.5).

      See also the article describing 50+ Objects of Meditation.
      http://www.swamij.com/meditationtypes.htm

      *******************
      YOGA SUTRA 3.3:
      *******************

      When only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in
      the mind, as if devoid even of its own form, that state of deep
      absorption is called deep concentration or samadhi, which is the
      eighth rung.
      (tad eva artha matra nirbhasam svarupa shunyam iva samadhih)

      tad = that
      eva = the same
      artha = object, place, point
      matra = only, alone
      nirbhasam = shines forth, appears
      svarupa = own form, own nature (sva = own; rupe = form, nature)
      shunyam = devoid of, empty
      iva = as if, as it were
      samadhih = meditation in its higher state, deep absorption of
      meditation, the state of perfected concentration

      OBSERVER, OBSERVING, AND OBSERVED:

      With meditation, there is still an observer observing an observed.
      When the observer becomes so absorbed in the process of observing the
      object that there seems to be only the object, that is the beginning
      of samadhi. It is as if the observer, the process of observing, and
      the object being observed all three collapse in such a way that the
      only thing remaining is the object. When this deep absorption
      happens, meditation becomes samadhi.
      http://www.swamij.com/types-stages-meditation.htm#threeaspects

      YOU'RE IN SAMADHI RIGHT NOW:

      This is a little hard to believe, but at the present moment you are
      in samadhi, and the object on which you are in samadhi is your
      perception of who you are (1.4), in the context of how you believe
      the world to be. In fact, you are pure consciousness, Self, Seer,
      etc. (1.3), but have difficulty experiencing this because of the
      clouding (1.5) of the mind field. The tool of meditation and samadhi
      is learned so as to be able to break these false identities.
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm

      STAGES OF SAMADHI:

      It is important to recall that there are stages of objects of samadhi
      (1.17-1.18, 1.42) and that samadhi is not the end in itself, but is a
      tool that is used along the way.
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-11718.htm

      See also the article, Five Universal Stages of Meditation
      http://www.swamij.com/five-stages-meditation.htm

      SAMADHI BECOMES A TOOL:

      The ability to allow concentration to go into meditation, and to then
      allow meditation to go into samadhi is a process called samyama,
      which is discussed in the upcoming sutras (3.4-3.6). This is used as
      the finer tool for the subtler practices.
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-30406.htm

      SEE ALSO the article:
      Bindu: Pinnacle of Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra
      http://www.swamij.com/bindu.htm

      http://swamij.com
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