Yoga-sutras (with Bhoja’s Rajamartanda)

by Rajendralala Mitra | 1883 | 103,575 words

The Yoga-Sutra 4.7, 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 4.7:

कर्माशुक्लाकृष्णं योगिनस्त्रिविधमितरेषाम् ॥ ४.७ ॥

karmāśuklākṛṣṇaṃ yoginastrividhamitareṣām || 4.7 ||

7. The work of a Yogī is neither white nor black: those of others are of three kinds.

The Rajamartanda commentary by King Bhoja:

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

[Sanskrit text for commentary available]

To show that the thinking principle of the Yogī is distinct in its work, even as it is distinct from other thinking principles in being devoid of pain, &c., he says:

[Read Sūtra 4.7]

That work which produces good fruit, such as sacrifices, &c., is “white” (śukla). That which produces a bad result, such as Brāhmaṇicide, is “black” (kṛṣṇa). That which is mixed up of the two, is white-black (śukla-kṛṣṇa). Thereof, the white work belongs to wise people, to those who are engaged in charity, asceticism, the study of the Vedas, &c.; the black belongs to the vicious; and the white-black (or mixed kind) to ordinary men. As regards Yogīs, who have performed the Saṃyama, work is of a different character to these: their work produces no fruit, for they undertake it after renouncing all desire for fruition.

Notes and Extracts

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

[In the first three kinds of work fruition is inseparable. The wise give alms, perform penances, read the Vedas, display their benevolence, &c. &c. and derive the fruits thereof; the vicious commit wicked actions and suffer for the same; ordinary mortals are sometimes engaged in good actions and sometimes in bad ones, and suffer or enjoy accordingly. The Yogīs, who renounce the fruits of all actions, can neither suffer nor enjoy from what they do, and hence their work is declared to be distinct from the works of others. They are, in the language of the Bhagavadgītā, like the lotus-leaf which, lying on water or having water on it, is never wetted.]

Now he describes the fruit of such works.

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