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Yoga Sutras 1.6: The Five Kinds of Thought Patterns

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.6: The Five Kinds of Thought Patterns http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10511.htm#1.6 (Useful graphics are shown at this link along with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2005
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      Yoga Sutras: Sutra 1.6:
      The Five Kinds of Thought Patterns
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10511.htm#1.6
      (Useful graphics are shown at this link along with text)

      YOGA SUTRA 1.6: The five varieties of thought patterns to witness
      are: 1) knowing correctly (pramana), 2) incorrect knowing
      (viparyaya), 3) fantasy or imagination (vikalpa), 4) the object of
      void-ness that is deep sleep (nidra), and 5) recollection or memory
      (smriti).
      (pramana viparyaya vikalpa nidra smritayah)

      PRAMANA = real or valid cognition, right knowledge, valid proof,
      seeing clearly

      VIPARYAYAH = unreal cognition, indiscrimination, perverse cognition,
      wrong knowledge, misconception, incorrect knowing, not seeing clearly

      VIKALPAH = imagination, verbal misconception or delusion, fantasy,
      hallucination

      NIDRA = deep sleep

      SMRITAYAH = memory, remembering

      THERE ARE ONLY FIVE KINDS OF THOUGHTS: Of all the countless thought
      impressions that come into the mind field, which form the matrix of
      the barrier or veil covering the true Self or center of
      consciousness, they all fall into one or more of these five
      categories. In other words, while there are many individual thought
      impressions, there are not countless types of thoughts to deal with,
      but only five. This can help greatly in seeing the underlying
      simplicity of the process of Yoga, not getting lost in the apparent
      multiplicity in the gross and subtle realms.

      [See the graphic on positioning the five kinds of thoughts on the
      fingers so as to remember them.]

      WITNESSING THE FIVE KINDS OF THOUGHTS: By learning to observe the
      thinking process, and then to discriminate between these five types
      of mental objects, we start to gain a mastery over them, and their
      ability to control our actions, speech, and thoughts.

      WITH MASTERY OF WITNESSING: As that mastery comes within reach, we
      gradually find a neutral, non-attached (1.15, 3.38) stance of
      witnessing, where we can observe the entire flow of mind, while
      remaining peacefully undisturbed, unaffected, and uninvolved.
      Meditation can systematically deepen.

      WITHOUT MASTERY OF WITNESSING: Without that mastery, we become
      victims to our own unconscious mental process, losing free choice in
      external life as well as the ability to experience deep meditation.

      PRAMANA IS THE ONE TO CULTIVATE: Of the five kinds of thought
      patterns, pramana, or correct knowledge is the one to cultivate. The
      process of continually seeing ever more clearly brings progress on
      the path of meditation. This process of seeing clearly, of seeing
      things as they are, is one of the ways of describing the inner
      journey, eventually revealing that absolute, unchanging True Self.
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