Yoga Sutra 2.02 actualize samadhi and thin out the taints

Sūtra II.2

To actualize samādhi and thin out the taints

Practised hard, it actualizes samādhi, and thins out the taints. When the taints have been thinned out, it will by the fire of meditation practice make them like scorched seeds, inherently infertile. Then the subtle realization, the knowledge of the utter difference between sattva and Puruṣa, no more caught up in taints because they have been thinned out, its involvement at an end, tends towards dissolution.

What is the purpose of this yoga of action? To explain its final purpose he says: To actualize samādhi and thin out the taints. How it comes to have the two-fold purpose, the commentator explains: practised hard, it actualizes samādhi; when it is combined with the other yogic methods it actualizes samādhi and thins out the taints. As he will say: ‘With the destruction of impurity from following up the yoga methods, light of knowledge up to Knowledge-of-the-difference’ (II.28).

He says on this: When the taints have been thinned out, it will by meditation practice (prasaṅkhyāna) by constancy in right vision (samyagdarśana) arising from the thinning out of the taints make them like scorched seeds like seeds whose fertility has been destroyed by being scorched, and which are therefore inherently infertile, infertile because they are not found to have any power to propagate, and inherently so because that is now their quality. This yoga will make the taints without the power of propagation.

Then the subtle realization, knowledge of the utter difference between sattva and Puruṣa, no more caught up in taints because they have been thinned out, and with its involvement at an end, will tend towards dissolution; it will tend no more to turn to the course of the world.

Even if the Knowledge (khyāti) that sattva and Puruṣa are wholly different should be produced by instruction of the scripture and teacher without practice of the yoga methods, still as the taints and a-dharma and so on will not have been removed at all, it will not produce the realization (prajñā) with involvement at an end; again and again there will be re-involvement with them. This the commentator shows by the phrase no more caught up in taints.

Now what are the taints? And how many are there?

 

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