Yoga-sutras (with Vyasa and Vachaspati Mishra)

by Rama Prasada | 1924 | 154,800 words | ISBN-10: 9381406863 | ISBN-13: 9789381406861

The Yoga-Sutra 3.43, English translation with Commentaries. The Yoga Sutras are an ancient collection of Sanskrit texts dating from 500 BCE dealing with Yoga and Meditation in four books. It deals with topics such as Samadhi (meditative absorption), Sadhana (Yoga practice), Vibhuti (powers or Siddhis), Kaivaly (isolation) and Moksha (liberation).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Sūtra 3.43:

स्थूलस्वरूपसूक्ष्मान्वयार्थवत्त्वसंयमाद् भूतजयः ॥ ३.४३ ॥

sthūlasvarūpasūkṣmānvayārthavattvasaṃyamād bhūtajayaḥ || 3.43 ||

sthūla—the gross, svarūpa—the substantive, sūkṣma—the astral, anvaya—conjunction, arthavattva—purposefulness. saṃyamād—by Saṃyama. bhūta-jayaḥmastery over the elements.

43. By Saṃyama on the gross (sthūla), the substantive (svarūpa), the astral (sūkṣma), conjunction (anvaya) and purposefulness (arthavattva), is obtained mastery over the elements (bhūtas).—149.

The Sankhya-pravachana commentary of Vyasa

[English translation of the 7th century commentary by Vyāsa called the Sāṅkhya-pravacana, Vyāsabhāṣya or Yogabhāṣya]

[Sanskrit text for commentary available]

Here the word Sthūla, gross, is used to denote the specific forms of Pṛthvī, Apas, Tejas, Vāyu and Ākāśa, which appear as sound, colour, taste and odour, and have the qualities of conjoint action, &c. This is the first appearance of the elements.

The second appearance is that which is common to the others too. The Pṛthvī has forms, the Apas smoothness, the Tejas heat, the Vāyu impulsion, the Ākāśa motion in every direction. This is denoted by the word substantive appearance (svarūpa), sounds, touches, tastes, colours are the specific manifestations of these common qualities. And so it has been said:—‘These manifested together in one species manifest their own distinguishing characteristics.’ A group of the generic and specific qualities is here considered a substance (dravya).

A group is of two descriptions. The first is that in which the distinction oof individuals disappears in die whole, such as the body, the tree, the herd, the forest. The second is where the word shows the distinction between different individuals of the same group, as for example, a group of both gods and men. Of this group the gods are one portion, and the men the other. Both make one group. Tn this the distinction of individuals may or may not be mentioned as in a grove of mangoes, a crowd of Brāhmaṇas; a mangoe grove, the Brāhmaṇa class.

This again is of two descriptions; where the parts of the whole are separate from each other and where they are not. A forest and a class are groups where the parts are separate from each other. A body, a tree, an atom are all groups whose parts are not separable from each other Substance, according to Patañjali, is a group whose parts are not meant to be distinguished from each other, and cannot be separated from each other. This has been called the etheric or substantive appearance (svarūpa).

And now what is their subtle appearance? It is the Tanmātra (the astral atom), the cause of the elements. The atom is one part thereof. It is a group, a composite substance, which consists of generic and specific qualities, and whose parts are not distinguished from each other, and which cannot be separated from one another. All the Tanmātrās are similar to this. This is the third appearance of the elements.

Now as to the fourth appearance of the elements. These are the ‘qualities’ whose characteristics are essence, activity and inertia, and which follow the nature of effects. These are denoted by the word conjunction (anvaya).

And now the fifth appearance of purposefulness (arthavattva). The purpose of experience and emancipation is apparent in conjunction with the qualities. The qualities are to be found in Tanmātrās, in the elements and in things made of elements. Hence all these are full of purpose. Now by Saṃyama over the five elements, with their five

appearances, the nature of every appearance over which Saṃyama is performed, becomes apparent and conquest over it is obtained. Having obtained conquest over the five appearances he becomes the Lord of elements. The powers of the elements begin by this conquest to follow his thought, as the cows follow their calves.—149.

The Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra

[English translation of the 9th century Tattvavaiśāradī by Vācaspatimiśra]

‘By Saṃyama on gross, the substantive appearance, the subtle, the conjunction and purposefulness, is obtained mastery over elements.’ Mastery is obtained by Saṃyama over each separately, the gross, the substantive, the subtle, the conjunction and purposefulness. The Commentator describes the gross ‘The word Sthūla here, &c.’ The sounds, the touches, the colours, the tastes, and the odours of Ākāśa, Vāyu, Tejas, Apas, and Pṛthivī are their specific forms so far as may be.

The notes of the gamud, DO and MA, etc., cold and heat, etc., blue and yellow, etc., sweet-smelling, &c., all these differ from each other in name, appearance and object. For this reason they are specific. Of the qualities, five are the specific forms of the Pṛthvī; four (except smell) of the Apas; three (besides odour and taste) of the Tejas; two (besides odour, taste and colour) of the Vāyu and only one of the Ākāśa. These specific forms together with the characteristics of conjoint action, &c., are termed Gross in this philosophy.

Among those, the characteristics of the Pṛthvī are:—Form, heaviness, roughness, obstruction, stability, manifestation (vritti), difference, support, turbidity, hardness, enjoyability by all.

The characteristics of the Apas are:—Smoothness, subtlety, clearness, whiteness, softness, heaviness, coolness, preservation, purification, cementation.

The characteristics of the Tejas are:—Going upward, cooking, burning, lightness, shining, destruction, power; possessed of such qualities is the Tejas different from the previous ones.

The qualities of the Vāyu are:—transverse motion, purification, throwing, pushing, strength, movability, throwing no shadow, roughness; these are the various characteristics of the Vāyu.

The characteristics of the Ākāśa:—Motion in all directions, non-agglomeration, and non-obstruction: these three are said to be the characteristics of Ākāśa, different from the characteristics of the preceding ones.

It is together with these characteristics that they are called gross.

Form (mūrti) is hardness brought about (samsiddhikam), stability of the lines of action and manifestation.

Tejas is heat, stomachic, solar, terrestrial; everywhere heat exists along with Tejas.

The whole of this terminology makes no distinction between the characteristic and the characterized.

The. Vāyu is changing; has the nature of constant motion. By movements of straw, &c., and by the movements of the body, the Vāyu is inferred to be everywhere possessed of the quality of motion.

The Ākāśa is motion in all directions, because the perception of sound is found everywhere. It has been established above that the sounds of terrestrial objects, &c., are only perceived on account of the sound-quality of Ākāśa, which resides in the power of hearing.

This is meant by the word Svarūpa, substantive appearance. It is of this generic form that the sounds of the notes DO, &c. heat, &c., Whiteness, &c., astringent and sweet smell, &c., are the specializations. The generic qualities of form, &c., too, such as Jambīra, Panas and emblic fruit, &c., differ from each other on account of the differences of taste, &c. For this reason these tastes, &c., are specific modifications of these. And so it has been said Of those that fall under a common genus, i.e., those each of which possesses one generic quality of form, smoothness or flow, &c., the differences are due to the characteristics possessed by the individual appearances of DO. &c.

Thus the generic qualities of form, &c., and the specific qualities of sound, &c., have been described.

Now he speaks to those who say that a substance (dravya) is the substratum of the generic and the specific: ‘In this philosophy a substance is a collection (samudāya) of the generic and specific qualities.’ Even those who desire to establish that substratum of the qualities, cannot possibly conceal the fact of their existence in one group together. And if they do conceal it, it cannot be that a substratum of theirs may be possible of existence as substance. Hence let even that be the substance. We, however, do not find a substratum separate from the collection of qualities, and existing as substance.

As a collection of stones differs from the stones, and as further a different kind of their collection in the shape of a mountain is called a substance, the doubt arises that a mere collection is a substance. For the purpose of removing that doubt and for establishing that it is only a particular kind of collection that is called a substance, he now describes the variety of groupings:—“A collection is of two descriptions.” Because of this a substance is not a mere collection. This is the meaning. ‘Two descriptions’ mean two different sorts of collections. He describes the first mode:—‘The first is that, in which the distinction of individuals disappears altogether in the whole.’ They are so called because the distinction between the different parts has disappeared. It is so called because the separation has disappeared. This is the meaning: A collection is understood by the words body, tree, herd, forest. These words denote a collection, but do not denote the different parts of the collections. That is no word denoting these individual parts is used. Hence it is the collection that is understood. Four illustrations are given with reference to the parts being joined or separate and with reference to intelligence and non-intelligence. The meaning of the joined and separate parts will be described further on.

He describes the second mode:—‘A collection, the distinction cf whose parts is understood by the words as both gods and men.’

‘Gods and men This collection signifies an account of the parts being indicated by separate words, the two separate parts of the group.

But the question is that inasmuch as the distinction of parts is not conveyed by using the word both, how is it said that the idea of the collection carries with it the idea of the distinction of parts? For this reason he says:—And it is by these two parts that a collection is signified. The word ‘both’ together with the words signifying the different parts forms the collection, since the sentence as such denotes the meaning to be conveyed by it. This is the meaning.

Again he says that they are two-fold ‘This again, &c.’ With reference to whether the distinction is or is not intended to be conveyed. He describes where the distinction is intended to be conveyed:—‘A grove of mangoes, a crowd of Brāhmaṇas.’ There must be distinction because the genitive case is actually used (not only implied.) As in the case of the phrase, ‘the cow of the Gargas.’

He describes where the distinction is not intended to be conveyed:—‘Mango grove, Brāhmaṇa class.’ The meaning is that the mangoes are the same as the grove; it is not intended that there should be difference understood between the collection and the individuals that go to make up the collection. They both imply a common object.

He mentions another division:—‘That again is twofold. Where the parts of the whole are separate from each other.’ This means that there is space between the individuals that go to make up the collection. Such groups are signified by the words, a herd, a forest.

Their parts have spaces between them, the trees and the kine.

The groups whose parts are not separate from each other are such as a tree, a cow, an atom. Their parts have no space between them. Whether they are taken to be the generic or the specific qualities, or the udders, &c., they have no spaces between.

Now he establishes which of these collections is what is called a substance:—‘Whose parts are not meant to be distinguished from each other, &c.’

Having thus described a substance as the context demanded, he now comes to the subject in hand:—‘This has been called the substantive appearance.’

He puts a question with the object of describing the third appearance:—‘And what is their subtile appearance?’ and gives the answer:—‘It is the Tanmātra, &c.’ One of its parts is an atom possessing dimension. The generic quality thereof is form (mūrti). Sound, &c., are its specific qualities. It consists of the generic and specific qualities. It is a group which follows the difference of the generic and specific qualities, its parts existing without any intervening space. Further as an atom has subtlety in appearance, so are the Tanmātras subtle in appearance. He summarizes:—‘This is the third.’

Now the fourth appearance of the elements consists of the qualities which have respectively the characteristics of illumination, activity and inertia and whose characteristics too follow the nature of effects. For this reason are they described by the word Conjunction (anvaya). Now he describes their fifth appearance, purposefulness ‘The purpose of enjoyment and emancipation is apparent in conjunction with the qualities.’

Well, even if it be so, if the qualities be purposeful, how are the effects of the qualities purposeful? For this reason he says:—‘The qualities are to be found, &c.’ The things made of elements are such as a cow or a jar.

Having thus described the Saṃyama and that upon which the. Saṃyama is to be performed, he now describes the Saṃyama and its fruit:—‘Now by Saṃyama over the elements, &c.’ The powers (prakṛtis) of the elements are their natures.—43.

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