Yoga Sutra 3.08 Yoga without the five-fold means of restraints

Sūtra III.8

Even that is an indirect means as regards unseeded (yoga)

Even that triple method, though the direct means (to cognitive samādhi), is only an indirect method as regards the unseeded yoga. Why so? Because that comes about also without it.

Yoga can be effected even without going through the five-fold means of restraints, etc., from the mere accomplishment of the triad of concentration, meditation, and samādhi, by force of saṃskāra-s accumulated in a previous life, as in the case of the incorporeal gods, and those resolved into prakṛti.

But without that triad, yoga is not possible for anyone, because yoga is essentially associated with the operation of concentration and the other two. For the nature of yoga is perfection of the mind.

But when knowledge (jñāna) and detachment have been perfected, then there is no concern with concentration and so on. Thus we have cases of those like Maṅki and Piṅgalā who did attain full perfection from detachment alone.

Mastery of a firm sitting posture or other instructions of yoga, are not, in the case of distracted people, productive of yoga.

Getting rid of the defects, and samādhi – these two will certainly produce it, and nothing else will.

Even that is an indirect method (bahir-aṅga) as regards unseeded (yoga). Even that, though the direct means to seeded yoga, is an indirect means as regards unseeded yoga. Why so? Because that comes about also without it.

By discerning the distinction between mind-sattva and Puruṣa, the seedless yoga comes about, even in the absence of that triple direct means to the seeded; so the triad is only an indirect means (to the seedless). There are some who have exceedingly penetrating vision at their very birth, derived from saṃskāra-s (of past lives). In their case, unseeded samādhi will be produced by simple devotion to the practice of supreme detachment, and the idea of stopping (virāma-pratyaya), and they do not engage in concentration and meditation and samādhi. So it was said (Vyāsa on II.1): ‘The yoga for a concentrated mind has been described; now he turns to how one of extravertive mind may become steady in yoga’, and (I.19): ‘(It results from birth) in the case of the gods and of those who absorb themselves into nature.’

Now at times of inhibition of the mind, what then is that inhibitive transformation? For the mind is supposed to be something moving, as impelled by the guṇa-s.

Now at times of inhibition of the mind: it means at those times when the mind is inhibited by the practice of inhibition. The plural ‘times’ is used to show that it applies equally to mental processes whether of past, future, or present. At the time of inhibition, mind is imbued with the character of inhibition, and is (called) inhibited.

moving as impelled by the guṇa-s: as it consists of guṇa-s it is said to be impelled by guṇa-s. So he asks what then is that inhibitive transformation? There must inevitably be some transformation of the mind when it is inhibited from outer mental processes, because no inhibition could be postulated of a mind which was never transformed, but simply unchangeable like Puruṣa.

 

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