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Yoga Sutras 3.21-3.22: Invisibility and suspension of sensing-ability

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras 3.21-3.22 INVISIBILITY AND SUSPENSION OF SENSING-ABILITY http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-31737.htm#3.21 ************************ YOGA SUTRA 3.21
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9 9:24 PM
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      Yoga Sutras 3.21-3.22
      INVISIBILITY AND SUSPENSION OF SENSING-ABILITY
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-31737.htm#3.21

      ************************
      YOGA SUTRA 3.21
      ************************

      3.21 When samyama is done on the form of one's own physical body, the
      illumination or visual characteristic of the body is suspended, and is
      thus invisible to other people.
      (kaya rupa samyama tat grahya shakti tat stambhe chaksuh prakasha
      asamprayoga antardhanam)
      [Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.20]

      * kaya = body
      * rupa = form
      * samyama = dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi
      taken together (3.4)
      * tat = that
      * grahya = can be perceived, capable of receiving
      * shakti = power, capacity
      * tat = that
      * stambhe = to be checked, suspended
      * chaksuh = of the eye
      * prakasha = light, illumination, visual characteristic
      * asamprayoga = there being no contact, disconnected, separated contact
      * antardhanam = invisibility, disappearance

      SEE-ABILITY IS A CHARACTERISTIC ASSOCIATED WITH THE BODY:

      One way to hold this principle is to recall that objects are composed
      of five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. While the
      subject of this sutra is not directly the chakras, the element of fire
      operates from the manipura (3rd) chakra. So also does the jnanendriya
      of seeing relate to fire and that chakra. By reflecting on this for a
      while, you will come to see that there is a relationship between the
      element of fire, which builds the body (both subtle and gross), and
      the sense of seeing. Thus, we come to see that the physical body
      contains a characteristic that can be called see-ability.

      WITHDRAWING SEE-ABILITY:

      Through samyama (3.4-3.6) on that form (which contains the
      see-ability), that characteristic can be neutralized or withdrawn. In
      effect, this makes the body invisible to other persons. There is a
      sort of logic twist that is needed in understanding this. That is, the
      yogi is not adding the quality of invisibility; rather he is
      withdrawing the quality of see-ability. Thus, once again, we see the
      consistency of Yoga in encountering, examining, and setting aside
      qualities (1.2, 3.38), so as to experience that which is subtler.
      Gradually, this process, in its many forms, brings ever greater
      stability in being disconnected from false identities (1.4), and
      dwelling in our true nature.


      ATTAINMENTS AND OBSTACLES:

      As with the other subtle experiences this is seen to be both an
      attainment and an obstacle, and is set aside (3.38) with
      non-attachment (1.15).

      ************************
      YOGA SUTRA 3.22
      ************************

      3.22 In the same way as described in relation to sight (3.21), one is
      able to suspend the ability of the body to be heard, touched, tasted,
      or smelled.
      (etena shabdadi antardhanam uktam)
      [Note: This sutra is not included in all renditions]

      * etena = by this
      * shabdadi = sound and others
      * antardhanam = disappearance, suspend, arrest
      * uktam = is explained

      THE ABILITY TO BE PERCEIVED IS INHERENT IN THE OBJECT:

      In the same way that see-ability is an inherent characteristic of the
      body, as described in the last sutra, so too are hear-ability,
      touch-ability, taste-ability, and smell-ability inherent characteristics.

      THOSE INHERENT CHARACTERISTICS CAN BE SUSPENDED:

      Thus, these can also be suspended through samyama on the body in the
      context of those characteristics.

      ATTAINMENTS AND OBSTACLES:

      As with the other subtle experiences this is seen to be both an
      attainment and an obstacle, and is set aside (3.38) with
      non-attachment (1.15).
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