Yoga Sutra 4.11 focal-point is resolved into cause and effect

Sūtra IV.11

They are held together by cause-effect-repository-focal-point. When these cease, they too cease

The compound ‘cause-effect-repository-focal-point’ is resolved into cause and effect and repository and focal-point. Since the saṃskāra-groups are held together by these, namely bound together by them, when the causes and the rest cease, the saṃskāra-groups also will cease along with them. And thereby the destruction of the saṃskāra-groups is effected.

As to cause: from righteousness, pleasure; following on (anuśayī) pleasure, desire. From unrighteousness, pain; following on pain, hate. From that, effort. Excited by that effort of speech and of body, he helps some and injures others. Then again from this, righteousness and unrighteousness. In this way there is a ceaselessly impelled revolving of this six-spoked wheel of saṃsāra. Ignorance is its driver. That Ignorance is the root of all taints.

What is this cause? He explains: first of all, righteousness belongs to minds that are subject to Ignorance (avidyā). From that righteousness, pleasure; following on (anuśayī) pleasure, desire. Thus there is Ignorance, and from that itself unrighteousness, committing sin. From unrighteousness, pain; following pain, hate. From that, effort to restore the happiness and remove the pain as previously mentioned. Excited by that effort of speech and of body, he helps some and injures others. Then again from this helping and injuring, there come righteousness and unrighteousness. From these, pleasure and pain, and from them desire and hate, just as before; and so to effort again. In this way there is a ceaselessly impelled revolving of this six-spoked wheel of saṃsāra. It is turning every instant. Ignorance is its driver, as it were a young horseman making the chariot wheels whirl. That Ignorance is the root of all taints: the six-spoked wheel driven on by Ignorance is the cause of the saṃskāra-groups, for they are created by its turning.

When Ignorance is not there, then like any wheel whose lashings (that hold the wheel together) have given way, the wheel of Causes consisting of righteousness and the others collapses. With its collapse, the saṃskāra-groups, which arose from the turning of the six-spoked wheel, lose all their effectiveness.

As to effect: the coming into being of something by recourse to something else, is the effect of that something else. It is not that it was previously non-existent.

As to effect, the coming into being of something by recourse to something else, is the effect of that something else. This too holds together the saṃskāra-groups, for when it is not there, they do not appear. It is effects like pleasure that lay down the saṃskāra-groups. It is not that it was previously non-existent, for nothing that is absolutely non-existent ever comes to be.

Mind still with its commitment is the repository of the saṃskāra-groups. For when the mind has fulfilled its commitment, the saṃskāra-groups have no repository and cannot maintain themselves.

When some object comes forward and makes some saṃskāra-group manifest, that object is called its focal-point. In this way, all the saṃskāra-groups are held together by causes, results, repositories, and focal-points. When these are not there, the saṃskāra-groups based on them are not there.

Mind still with its commitment, still having something it must do, and not yet clear of purposes of Puruṣa by Knowledge of his true nature as fulfilled, and without Ignorance, is the repository of the saṃskāra-groups. For it is in dependence on it that the causal wheel revolves. For when the mind has fulfilled its commitment, when there is no purpose of Puruṣa to be carried out, the saṃskāra-groups have no repository and cannot maintain themselves.

When some object comes forward and makes some saṃskāra-group manifest, that object is called its focal-point. In this way all the saṃskāra-groups are held together by causes, results, repositories, and focal-points. When these, causes and the others, are not there, the saṃskāra-groups based on them are not there, as when the parasol is taken away, no shadow is there.

The means of getting rid of them have been given in the Second Part. It was shown that when there is right vision (samyag-darśana), the saṃskāra-groups do not obstruct Aloneness, and when Ignorance goes, it is Aloneness that remains.

(Opponent) Of the non-existent there is no coming into being, and of the existent there is no destruction. As actual things, they (the saṃskāra-groups) will continue to be: how should they cease to exist?

(Opponent) It has been said that when there is absence of these causes, there is absence of the saṃskāra-groups. But this is giving up your own previous conclusion. How so? Because that conclusion was: Of the non-existent there is no coming into being no arising and of the existent there is no destruction. Now the saṃskāra-groups do exist. As actual things they will continue to be: how should they cease to exist? The point is, that they certainly cannot cease to exist.

(Answer) The question is, what was meant by saying that when the causes, etc. are not there, the saṃskāra-groups are not there either, and again how there can be Transcendental Aloneness if there are still births caused by the saṃskāra-groups which (on this reasoning) cannot have ceased? He goes on to explain:

 

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