Yoga Sutra 2.27 the ultimate state of the Knowledge is seven-fold

Sūtra II.27

Therein, the ultimate state of the Knowledge is seven-fold

The word Therein refers to the uprisen Knowledge (khyāti). Seven-fold: the Knowledge of the Knower-of the-difference, when no other ideas arise in the mind because the dirt of veiling impurity has gone, is of just seven aspects. They are:

(1)What is to be escaped has been fully examined and needs no more examining;

(2)The causes of what is to be escaped have dwindled away and need to be destroyed no more;

Now to show the characteristic conviction of his own experience in the man of right vision when that vision has awakened in him, he says: Therein, the ultimate state of the Knowledge (prajñā) is seven-fold. The word Therein refers to recalls the uprisen Knowledge the right vision now existing. Because the dirt (mala) of veiling impurity has gone: the veiling is merely impurity – taints and karma-s. They are dirt, and because that has gone, no other ideas arise in the mind no contrary ideas of other things such as ‘mine’ and ‘I’. Seven-fold: he explains that the Knowledge the mind of the Knower-of the-difference is of seven aspects. Now he lists the seven divisions in order.

(1) What is to be escaped has been fully examined: suffering of every kind is what is to be escaped, and it has been known as such by conclusive proof, and the question of pain needs no more examining.

(2) Its causes have dwindled away and need to be destroyed no more. The plural indicates taints and karma-s both. There is not the smallest part of the taints and karma-s which has not been roasted by the fire of Knowledge and reduced to a scorched seed, and which would need to be further destroyed. Here again it is to be called an ultimate state. There is nothing therefore to be destroyed in any idea, whether conformable or opposing, for its taints have dwindled away. Then the idea comes ‘I am one who has done what was to be done’, which is an idea marking maturity of right vision (saṃyagdarśana-paripāka), like the idea in one recovered from illness ‘The cause of the illness has been destroyed and I am well: no more treatment.’ Thus the second division of ultimate Knowledge has been explained.

(3)The samādhi of inhibition is release directly experienced:

(4)Knowledge-of-the-difference, the means to release, has been perfected.

These make up the four-fold freedom of Knowledge from anything left to be done.

(3) The samādhi of inhibition (nirodha samāpatti) is release directly experienced. As it is close to release and of like form to release, the samādhi of inhibition is itself called release. The release is directly experienced, made the object of actual feeling. This is realized to be the final state of Transcendental Aloneness, the aloneness that was to be achieved. This is called the third aspect of the Knowledge which has reached its final state.

(4) Knowledge-of the-difference, the means to release, has been perfected, rightly and intensely practised. When the Knowledge which arises in the Knower-of-the-difference has attained conviction that right vision is established in truth, that is the fourth aspect of Knowledge.

These make up the four-fold freedom from anything left to be done. It is freedom of the Knowledge from anything to be done, from any duty. This is the fourfold freedom of Knowledge from anything to be done, that is, from anything to be done for the purpose of Puruṣa.

Or again, freedom from anything to be done can mean freedom, that is to say cessation, of anything to be done. He sums up by saying that this is the freedom from anything to be done, and it is four-fold.

But freeing of the mind is three-fold.

Already described is the four-fold freedom from anything to be done, as being without any purpose of Puruṣa. Now comes cessation of the mind-guṇa-s. The freeing of the enlightened mind (Knowledge-mind) is dissolution of these, which had to fulfil the purpose of Puruṣa and now are without any purpose of Puruṣa. It is said to be three-fold.

(5)Having discharged their involvement, the guṇa-s as mind turn, like rocks dislodged from the top of a mountain peak, towards dissolution in its own cause, and along with it come to rest.

(6)Nor having dissolved do they again make an appearance, since there is no purpose for them.

(7)In that state, beyond any connection with the guṇa-s, Puruṣa is said to be the light of his own nature alone, solitary and pure.

(5) The guṇa-s as mind (buddhi-guṇa) sattva and the other two in their adopted form of mind, having discharged their involvement with nothing left for them to do, turn towards dissolution. Like what? Like rocks dislodged from the top of a mountain peak. As there is nothing left to do, they turn towards dissolution in its own cause, in the I-principle (ahaṅkāra) along with it along with their effect in the shape of mind, or else it may mean that mind along with its cause the I-principle comes to the causal state of being, where it is not manifest to the skilful Puruṣa, and come to rest. That is said to be the first freeing of the illumined mind (prajñā-citta).

(6) Nor having dissolved do they again make an appearance to Puruṣa, since there is no purpose for them. For, as has already been said, there is freedom from anything left to be done. This is called the second freeing of the illumined mind.

(7) In that state of dissolution of the guṇa-s with their purpose gone, beyond any connection with the guṇa-s, the connection with the guṇa-s which is a matter of the Seer and Seen, is transcended, and Puruṣa is the light of his own nature alone, in his own nature as sight alone and thus light, solitary and pure, is said to be the third freeing of the illumined mind.

The Puruṣa who sees this Knowledge in the seven-fold final state is called ‘skilful’. Though it is the mind that is dissolved, he is said to be skilful, but only in the sense of being beyond the guṇa-s, freed.

The Puruṣa who sees, who perceives the indications that right vision has reached maturity by the Knowledge in the seven-fold final state, final in that it has reached the limit of stages and states, is called ‘skilful’. The word ‘skilful’ is merely suggestive. Though it is the mind that is dissolved which comes to an end, he is said to be skilful, skilful only in the sense of becoming what he always was. Why skilful? He replies, In the sense of being beyond guṇa-s. For he who has transcended the guṇa-s is skilful.

Knowledge-of-the-difference, when perfected, is the means to release. Every perfection must have its own means, and so this topic is begun:

 

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