Self-Realization through Yoga Meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra

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Yoga Sutras 3.50-3.52: 
Renunciation that brings
Kaivalya or Liberation
(Previous Next Main)

Click here to return to the main page of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.Reaching the finest level of mind: In the preceding sutras (3.17-3.37, 3.39-3.49), many types of experience were described. As these are encountered, the yogi goes ever deeper into the levels of his or her own being. Each is encountered, explored, experienced, and set aside, so as to go still deeper (3.38). Finally comes the finest of the levels of individuality, the sattvic buddhi. (3.50)

Distinction between sattvic buddhi and purusha: Here, in this sutra, one not only experiences the discrimination between the subtlest aspect of mind and consciousness itself (purusha), this distinction becomes well established. (3.50)

With that comes mastery: When that subtle-most distinction has happened, and is well established, there comes mastery over all forms or states of existence, as well as over all forms of knowing. (3.50)

Renouncing that subtlety brings liberation: When even this finest distinction between sattvic buddhi and purusha is set aside (1.15, 3.38), there comes absolute realization or kaivalya (3.51).

Declining celestial invitations: The invitations of the disembodied or celestial beings for experiences or powers are declined (3.52).

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3.50 To one well established in the knowledge of the distinction between the purest aspect of mind and consciousness itself, there comes supremacy over all forms or states of existence, as well as over all forms of knowing.
(sattva purusha anyata khyati matrasya sarva-bhava adhisthatrittvam sarva-jnatritvam cha)
[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.48 or 3.49]

  • sattva = purity aspect of mind field or chitta, subtlest individuation, purest aspect of buddhi
  • purusha = pure consciousness
  • anyata = distinction between, difference
  • khyati = through knowledge, vision, discernment, correct cognition, clarity, awareness
  • matrasya = only, merely
  • sarva-bhava = over all states or forms of existence, omnipotence (sarva = all; bhava = states or forms of existence)
  • adhisthatrittvam = supremacy
  • sarva-jnatritvam = all knowingness, omniscience (sarva = all; jnatritvam = knowingness)
  • cha = and

Reaching the finest level of mind: In the preceding sutras (3.17-3.37, 3.39-3.49), many types of experience were described. As these are encountered, the yogi goes ever deeper into the levels of his or her own being. Each is encountered, explored, experienced, and set aside, so as to go still deeper. Finally comes the finest of the levels of individuality, the sattvic buddhi.

Distinction between sattvic buddhi and purusha: Here, in this sutra, one not only experiences the discrimination between the subtlest aspect of mind and consciousness itself (purusha), this distinction becomes well established.

With that comes mastery: When that subtle-most distinction has happened, and is well established, there comes mastery over all forms or states of existence, as well as over all forms of knowing.

Subtlest level of discrimination: Initially, buddhi is utilized as the means that decides, judges, and discriminates (2.26-2.29). When this discrimination is clouded, we act out of our habit patterns, not from choice. Eventually, we come to see that it was buddhi who carved up consciousness and the universe in the first place, experiencing the many dualities. Here, when the sutra speaks of discriminating between buddhi and purusha, this is what is being addressed. It is not referring to buddhi at the surface level, such as deciding what is useful and not useful in our life activities. Rather, it is the subtlest aspect of buddhi that is being discriminated as different from purusha. This is the discrimination that leads towards liberation (3.51).

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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3.51 With non-attachment or desirelessness even for that supremacy over forms and states of existence and the omniscience (3.50), the seeds at the root of those bondages are destroyed, and absolute liberation is attained. 
(tad vairagya api dosa bija ksaya kaivalyam)
[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.49 or 3.50]

  • tad = that
  • vairagya = desirelessness, non-attachment, dispassion 
  • api = also, even
  • dosa = impairment, bondage, defect, imperfection
  • bija = seed
  • ksaya = with the elimination, destruction
  • kaivalyam = absolute liberation, independence, freedom

That mastery is subject to attachment: Recall that the fundamental trap is of becoming entangled with the fluctuations of the mind field (1.4). Even this mastery over all forms and states of existence and omniscience forms impressions in the basement of the mind, and these are also subject to becoming colored (klishta) with attraction (2.7). The degree to which the yogi develops non-attachment becomes ever subtler (1.15-1.16), all the way up to this finest level.

This non-attachment brings liberation: When the coloring (klishta) of this attachment to mastery over all forms and states of existence and omniscience is surrendered, and non-attachment ensues, there comes liberation. At the lesser levels of attainment, the non-attachment opens the door to the next subtler layer, for which the process must be repeated. However, at this subtlest level, there is no more level, so there is final liberation between consciousness and the many fluctuations of the mind field (1.3).

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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3.52 When invited by the celestial beings, no cause should be allowed to arise in the mind that would allow either acceptance of the offer, or the smile of pride from receiving the invitation, because to allow such thoughts to arise again might create the possibility of repeating undesirable thoughts and actions.
(sthani upanimantrane sanga smaya akaranam punuh anista prasangat)
[Note: In some renditions this is sutra 3.50 or 3.51]

  • sthani = celestial beings, those of high spiritual position, presiding deities, devas
  • upanimantrane = invitation, on being invited by
  • sanga = association, coming together with, acceptance, attachment
  • smaya = pride, smile of happiness
  • akaranam = no cause, no reason for action, not entertain
  • punuh = again, repeat, renew, revive
  • anista = undesirable
  • prasangat = possibility of being caught or having connection

Declining celestial invitations: As discrimination becomes increasingly finer, the levels of the subtle realm are experienced, including encounters with the disembodied or celestial beings. They might invite the sadhaka (practitioner) with the experiences of the subtle realm. These invitations, experiences, or powers are distractions, which block (1.4) the realization of the true Self (1.3), which is beyond all experiences. Therefore, the invitations are declined in a spirit of non-attachment (1.15), as are the other subtle experiences (3.38).

Greater experience brings greater attachment: Think of enjoyable experiences in the external world. Is it not true that the more enjoyable the experience, the more we cling to it and want to repeat it? One of the heights of the subtle experiences is the encounter and welcome of the celestials, however you may personally conceptualize such beings. Thus, it is one of the stronger distractions that we face on the inner journey. We might feel a strong visceral response to the suggestion that we turn away from such experiences. For this reason it is essential that we continue to cultivate the discrimination to properly choose what path to follow and what to let go of (2.26-2.29, 3.4-3.6).

 

The next sutra is 3.53 

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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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