Yoga Sutra 3.47 conquest of the senses

Sūtra III.47

From saṃyama on their perception, essential nature, I-am-ness, inherence, and purposefulness, (comes) conquest of the senses

Sound and the others, comprising both universal and particular, are the sense-objects, and the operation of the senses on those objects is their perception (grahaṇa). The nature of the perception is not the universal aspect alone. If the particular instance (also) of its own object were not apprehended by the sense-organ, how would any object be accurately determined by the mind?

From saṃyama on their perception, essential nature, I-am-ness, inherence and purposefulness, (comes) conquest of the senses. All this is to be taken on the same basis as the earlier sūtra (III.44), except that pure I-am-ness is the particular corresponding to the tan-mātra-s in the case of the elements.

Sound and the others, comprising both universal and particular, are the sense-objects, and the operation (vṛtti) of the senses on those objects, which is essentially an apprehension of the particular, is their perception (grahaṇa). The nature of the perception is not the universal aspect alone, it is not the appearance in the mind simply of the universal aspect of sound etc. Why not? If the particular instance (also) of its own object were not apprehended by the sense-organ, if its own object-particular were not grasped, how indeed would any object be accurately determined by the mind? It could never be perceived.

The case is like the accurate determination, or failure of it, in the case of those free from the timira eye-disease, and those suffering from it. So there is no determination by the mind of any object which has not been apprehended by a sense-organ. It is on this operation (vṛtti) of the senses, whose essence is the particular, that the first saṃyama is to be made.

Next, the essential aspect: a sense is a substance which is a combination of universal and particular of the nature of light, whose parts are neither of them self-sufficient in isolation.

Next, the essential aspect, the second aspect of the senses. It is a combination of universal and particular of the nature of light: the illumination of a particular object is the particular (application) of the senses, as lighting up the form of a particular like a jar is a particular application of a lamp. The universal is pure light. So a sense is a substance which is (a combination) whose parts are neither of them self-sufficient in isolation. Just as a universal like the quality of form has corresponding instances in things like physical objects, so a sense with its nature of light has a particular corresponding instance in the operation of perception, which is essentially a particular of the substance that is the sense. He should perform saṃyama on this, the second aspect of the senses.

The third aspect of them is the I-feeling, characterized as I-am-ness: it is a universal, and the senses are particular instances of it.

The fourth aspect is the guṇa-s, which are determined as always tending towards light, activity and stasis respectively; the senses with I-feeling are a transformation of them.

The fifth aspect is the purposefulness which runs throughout the guṇa-s.

The third aspect of them the senses is the I-feeling, characterized as I-am-ness. Of that universal, the I-feeling, the senses which are combinations whose parts are neither of them self-sufficient in isolation, and whose pervading aspect is perception, are particulars. The saṃyama is to be made on them.

The fourth aspect is the guṇa-s, which are determined as always tending towards light, activity, and stasis respectively. The senses with I-feeling are a transformation of them. Saṃyama is to be made on the guṇa-inherence.

The fifth aspect is the purposefulness which runs through the guṇa-s, with the corollary that purposefulness runs through everything, as explained previously.

From saṃyama on these five aspects of the senses, mastering them one by one in the order given till all five have been conquered, mastery of the senses appears in the yogin.

Then saṃyama is made on these five aspects of the senses, keeping strictly to the order; mastering them one by one, each separate one of the five in the order given keeping to the sequence, he conquers the five aspects. Then when all five aspects have been conquered, mastery of the senses appears in the yogin, with results to be described. Whereas what was previously said, ‘From that, supreme mastery of the senses’ (II.35) referred simply to mastery of the mental process of perception of objects, in the form of shutting out perception of them of any kind (through mental one-pointedness).

 

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