Yoga Sutra 3.15 difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes

Sūtra III.15

Difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes

Difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes. If it is said that there can be only one change in one dharmin (the answer is): difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes.

Thus with clay particles, there is the sequence of particle clay, lump clay, jar clay, shard clay, fragment clay. When one dharma follows immediately on another, it is its successor. When it is said that the clay lump is reborn as the jar, that is a sequence of dharma-change.

The sequence of change of time-phase is, the jar’s coming into the present from its future state, and the lump’s going from the present to the past. There is no sequence from the past. Why not? Because there is immediate succession only when there is before and after, and there is none in the case of the past. Therefore the time-phase sequence is of the two times alone.

Now the cause of the change-difference is given; it is when the differences are perfectly clear that it is possible to undertake a saṃyama meditation on the three changes.

For an idea about past and the others can only be produced by way of some indicatory mark, and not in any other way. Difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes. If it is said that there can be only one change in one dharmin (the answer is): there are dharma-differences among the dharma-s, etc., and for these differences there is a cause: difference of sequence causes the differences of the changes.

Sequence means immediate following, and change in it makes a difference. For each of the three sequences is observed to be marked off from the others. The dharma sequence is other than the sequences of time-phase and of condition; the time-phase sequence is other than those of dharma and of condition; and the condition sequence is other than those of dharma and time-phase. So the difference between them, thus clearly brought out, leads to the inference that sequence is the cause of the differences in the changes which are effects of sequence.

Thus there is the sequence, as regards a clay dharmin of the clay particles and the others listed; it changes according to the dharma-s, such as particle state, which do not appear simultaneously, but go into operation in sequence.

By using the word ‘clay’ with each, he demonstrates that it is the dharmin called clay which conforms to the dharma-s, such as particle, lump, jar, shard, and fragment, which are observably different from each other. The immediate successor to the particles is the lump; the immediate successor to the lump is the jar; the immediate successors to the jar are the broken pieces, and fragments are the immediate successors to the shards. So it is of dharma alone that there is the sequence of particle clay, lump clay, jar clay, shard clay, and fragment clay: this is a sequence of changes of dharma, not of time-phase, nor of condition. Then, When one dharma follows immediately on another, it is its successor. How is this? When it is said that the lump is born again as the jar, the sense is that the clay in the lump form becomes the jar. Figuratively they are non-different, and so it is said that the lump is reborn as the jar. It is not that the lump dharma does assume the nature of a different dharma. The succeeding dharma, called the jar dharma, destroys the lump dharma; having overcome it, it is born.

Dharma-change is of two kinds: change into something similar, and change into something dissimilar. When the lump is reborn as the jar, the dharmin called clay changes, in accordance with the dharma-s beginning with those of the jar, from the quite different lump, and this is a change of dharma-s which are dissimilar. But from the origin of the jar up to when it is broken, it changes only in accordance with the jar form alone, and this is change into the similar.

So with mind during inhibition. In the state of one-pointedness it changes in accordance with ideas similar in quality, as they are subdued and arise respectively; and mind also changes in accordance with dharma-s that are dissimilar, namely extraversion and inhibition. Then during periods of extraversion it undergoes change in accordance with ideas of dissimilar quality, namely peaceful, violent, or dull. All these are what is called the sequence of dharma-change.

Now he goes on to speak of the sequence of time-phase change. The sequence of change of time-phase is the jar’s coming into the present from its future state, and the lump’s going from the present to the past, corresponding to the rise of a dharma opposed to it. There is no sequence from the past: for the sequence of time-phase for the dharma was a time-phase immediately following on the present one, but there is no further time-phase following in immediate succession on a past one.

Why not? Because there is immediate succession only when there is before and after, and there is none in the case of the past. And therefore the time-phase sequence is of the two times alone, namely future and present. It is to show that there is no sequence in the past that he will say (in the sūtra III.52): From saṃyama on the instant and the two sequences of instants …’

Then the sequence of change of condition: it is observed that a new jar in the end becomes old. It is inferred from the sequence which runs concurrently with the chain of moments, and has come into manifestation at the end. This third change is distinct from changes of dharma and of time-phase.

While there is the difference of dharma and dharmin, these sequences take on their respective natures. In regard to another dharma, a dharma itself is a dharmin. But when from the highest standpoint it is shown that the non-different dharma is in the dharmin only figuratively, then this sequence appears as a simple unity.

Then the sequence of change of condition: it is observed that a new jar in the end becomes old comes to its termination. It is inferred from the sequence which runs concurrently with the chain of moments; by the continuous erosion of its newness every moment, age will come upon it. And this at the very end, has come into manifestation at the end. But in the middle it is so subtle that it is not apparent, and so it is that in the middle stage the sequence is not observed, though it is there. It is to be inferred from the fact of its manifestation in the final stages: ‘There must have been this sequence by which the ageing has brought about this final manifestation’, for while the jar remained perfect, no ageing from moment to moment was observed. He will say (IV.33): ‘The sequence is conjoined with every moment, (but) recognizable (only) at the very end.’ So this third change of condition-sequence is distinct different from changes of dharma or time.

While there is difference of dharma and dharmin, these sequences take on their respective natures; so without difference of dharma and dharmin, there are no differences of sequence. In regard to another dharma, a dharma itself is a dharmin. Apart from guṇa-s, there is no dharma-dharmin relation. In relation to unparticularized, the Great principle is the dharmin, and so with unparticularized in relation to particulars, and particulars in relation to quiescence or uprising. But when from the highest standpoint it is shown that the non-different dharma is in the dharmin only figuratively, then this sequence appears as a simple unity.

The dharma-s of the mind are two: observable and unobservable. Of these, the observable consists of ideas: the unobservable are things-in-themselves. The existence of the things-in-themselves is given to us through inference: inhibition, righteousness (dharma), saṃskāra-s, change; then life, activity, power. These are the dharma-s of the mind which are not open to observation.

Now The dharma-s of mind are two of two sorts: observable and unobservable, perceptible and imperceptible. As to what they are, he explains: Of these, the observable consist of ideas, namely passion, aversion, delusion and so on. The unobservable are things-in-themselves existing in their own nature, but connected with effects.

And those imperceptible ones are just seven, existing functioning in their own sphere. How then are they known about? The existence of the things-in-themselves is given to us through inference. Their existence is known through the indications of their effects, but in themselves they are not accessible to any perception except divine perception. They are now listed:

Inhibition, dharma (righteousness), saṃskāra-s: inhibition has been explained already; righteousness means righteousness and unrighteousness both; saṃskāra-s, in the form of groups (vāsanā). Change is as defined above. Then he goes on: life, which comes to exist by a mental dharma characterized by the vital principle, engaging with all the senses in righteousness and the other purposes (of life), and this is what is called life, activity, functioning; power, potentiality, are the dharma-s of the mind which are not open to observation, not visible. This list of seven beginning with inhibition is given to describe the mental dharma-s which are not observable.

These (changes) are adduced as an object of saṃyama for a yogin who has acquired all the means for attaining the desired object (of knowledge of past and future).

These three changes, in the form of dharma, time-phase, and condition, are adduced as an object of saṃyama for a yogin who has acquired all the means, who has become proficient in the whole range of them from restraint onwards, and whose saṃyama is very firm, for attaining the desired object, knowledge of what is past and future. Though three-fold, it is a single object of saṃyama.

 

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