Yoga-sutras (with Bhoja’s Rajamartanda)

by Rajendralala Mitra | 1883 | 103,575 words

The Yoga-Sutra 3.38, English translation with Commentaries. The Yogasutra of Patanjali represents a collection of aphorisms dealing with spiritual topics such as meditation, absorption, Siddhis (yogic powers) and final liberation (Moksha). The Raja-Martanda is officialy classified as a Vritti (gloss) which means its explanatory in nature, as opposed to being a discursive commentary.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Sūtra 3.38:

बन्धकारणशैथिल्यात्प्रचारसंवेदनाच्च चित्तस्य परशरीरावेशः ॥ ३.३८ ॥

bandhakāraṇaśaithilyātpracārasaṃvedanācca cittasya paraśarīrāveśaḥ || 3.38 ||

38. From slackness of the cause of bondage and from a knowledge of the process, the entrance of the thinking principle into another body.

The Rajamartanda commentary by King Bhoja:

[English translation of the 11th century commentary by Bhoja called the Rājamārtaṇḍa]

[Sanskrit text for commentary available]

He describes another perfection.

[Read Sūtra 3.38]

The consciousness which results of the experiencer and the experience, acting from the constant relation existing between the soul and the intellect residing inside the body and from pervasion, is called corporeal bondage (śarīrabandha). When through meditation the cause of bondage, which is work in the twofold form of virtue and vice, becomes slack, or attains attenuity,and when a Yogī knows the process, i.e., the way in which the thinking principle issues from the heart through the organs towards worldly objects, knowing full well this is the tube called cittavahā through which the thinking principle circulates, and it differs thus from the tubes through which the vital airs and the rest circulate, and also knows the passages in his own body and that of others, he can enter, by the passage through which the thinking principle circulates, into the body of another, whether it be dead or alive. The thinking principle, after entering another body, follows the bent of the senses even as honey-bees follow the queen bee, (lit. king bee). And the Yogi who has entered another body uses it as his own body. Since work is the cause of circumscribing the fruition of the pervading soul and the thinking principle, if that circumscription be weakened or destroyed by meditation, fruition may result everywhere from the independence of the thinking principle.

Notes and Extracts

[Notes and comparative extracts from other commentaries on the Yogasūtra]

[The transfer of one’s own soul into another body plays a prominent part in the legendary lore of India, and the idea was not unknown at one time in Europe. How this transfer is effected is explained in this aphorism. The bondage of the soul to the body is due to works and their deserts, works having been performed their deserts must be borne by the soul in association with the body; but when through meditation the residua of works are obliterated and the bond is loosened, and the Yogī knows the way in which the soul goes out and comes into a body, he can, at will, make the soul travel by that way and enter another body, whether dead or alive, and again, at will, withdraw it from that body, and bring it back to its own. And wherever the soul rests there it works upon the organs, and enjoys their experiences, or in other words, the organs follow the soul as do working bees their queen.]

Another perfection.

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