Yoga Sutra 2.25 release is Transcendental Aloneness kaivalya of the power-of-sight

Sūtra II.25

Without it, there is no conjunction, and that release is Transcendental Aloneness (kaivalya) of the power-of-sight

Without that failure-to-see there is no conjunction of mind and Puruṣa. That means absolute cessation of bondage. This is release (hāna), the Transcendental Aloneness of the power-of-sight. It is the state of detachment of Puruṣa, and no further conjunction with the guṇa-s. Then Puruṣa is said to be established in his own nature. Cessation of pain and disappearance of its cause is release.

The subject-matter of the work was said to come under four headings (on sūtra 1.1). Of these, one heading, compared to the illness (in medical works) has been explained as Pain that is to be escaped, in the words ‘What is to be escaped is pain not yet come’ (sūtra II.16). Conjunction as the cause of what is to be escaped, and the cause of the conjunction, have been declared. This is the second heading, corresponding to the cause of the illness. The cause of what is to be escaped has been described in detail as the conjunction of pradhāna and Puruṣa, along with Ignorance which is the cause of that. The elaboration of the explanations was to dispel any doubt as to the correct view.

Now final release (paraṃ hānam) corresponding to the state of health, the goal of the classics on release, is to be spoken of. The declaration that something is to be said is to bring the hearer’s mind to concentration (samādhānam).

Without it, there is no conjunction, and that release is Transcendental Aloneness of the power-of sight. It refers back to the Ignorance already explained. Without that failure-to-see which is Ignorance there is no conjunction of mind and Puruṣa which is the cause of pain; that means absolute cessation of bondage. This is release, absolute cessation of bondage, Transcendental Aloneness of the power-of-sight Puruṣa. It is described further: It is the state of detachment of Puruṣa, and no further conjunction with the guṇa-s.

Having explained the meaning of the individual words, now he deals with the sentence as a whole. The cessation of pain on disappearance of its cause is release. Then Puruṣa is said to be established in his own nature. As it is going to be said (in sūtra IV.34): ‘The power-of-consciousness established in its own nature.’

(Opponent) But while there is karma of indeterminate fruition still in existence, how can there be release? A new body will be formed by that karma of indeterminate fruition.

(Answer) No; it has been shown already how this is obviated. It was explained that the karma-s are made inoperative by the scorching of the seeds of taint (kleśa-bīja) by right Knowledge (samyag-darśana), as in the example of chaff, rice, and grain reduced to the state of scorched seeds, and so to sterility. So for the Knower (vidvat) there is no taking on of a new body, for there is nothing to cause it.

Now what is the means to obtain release?

The third division, corresponding to the healthy condition, has been dealt with, namely release (hāna), and now the fourth, which is comparable to the medical treatment, is to be taken up: Now what is the means to obtain release?

(Opponent) How can there be a means to obtain release? Release is not a thing which can be obtained, for it is simply cessation of bondage.

(Answer) You are wrong. For Ignorance to cease, something has to be done, with effort, as in the breaking of a fetter. Though release is not a thing, inasmuch as it is cessation of Ignorance in the presence of right Knowledge (samyak-khyāti), it is figuratively spoken of as something to be obtained.

 

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