Yoga-sutras (with Vyasa and Vachaspati Mishra)

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

The Yoga-Sutra 4.9, 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 4.9:

जातिदेशकालव्यवहितानाम् अप्य् आनन्तर्यं स्मृतिसंस्कारयोर् एकरूपत्वात् ॥ ४.९ ॥

jātideśakālavyavahitānām apy ānantaryaṃ smṛtisaṃskārayor ekarūpatvāt || 4.9 ||

jāti—of life state. deśa—of locality. kāla—of time, vyavahitānām—these being distinct, api—even. ānantaryam—sequential non-interruption. smṛti—of memory, saṃskārayoḥ—and of potential residue, ekarūpatvāt—because of their being the same in appearance.

9. Memory and potential-residua being the same in appearance, there is sequential non-interruption, even when there is distinction of life-state, locality and time.—169.

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]

The rise of fruition in the shape of a cat takes place by virtue of the powers competent to show them forth. Even if that rise is separated even by a hundred life-states, or by distance in space, or by a hundred kalpas, it will rise whenever it does, by the operation of its own appropriate cause. Thus will it appear again by taking up the residua which are present in the mind on account of the experience of the feline state in some former life. Why? Because even if there be an interval between them, the residua are manifested by the similar manifesting karma becoming the operative cause thereof. Thus there is but sequential appearance. And for what other reason? Because memory and residual potency are but one in appearance. As are the experiences, such are the residual potencies; and they are of the nature of the residua of actions. And memory is similar to the residua. Memory comes by the residual potencies separated therefrom by life-state and by time and space. From memory come again residual potencies. Thus it is that memory and residual potency are manifested by virtue of the vehicle of action coming into manifestation. Thus even though separated in time, &c., there is sequential non-interruption, inasmuch as the relation of cause and effect does not break.

The Vāsanas (aroma) are residual potencies, the vehicles.—169.

The Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra

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

Let that be. But, when the state of a cat is put on after the death of a man, it must be due to the manifestation of the residua of the human state of existence, inasmuch as the one immediately follows the other. It is not possible that the experience of the day immediately preceding be not remembered, but that the experiences of another day more distant therefrom be remembered. For this reason he says:—‘There is sequential non-interruption, even when there is separation in time, life-state and space, on account of the memory and residual potency being the same in appearance.’ There may be separation in life-state, &c., from the life of a cat. Still there is non-interruption on account of the fruit thereof, because the same memory is generated when the manifestation is according to its own fruit and in consonance with karma which must fructify into the feline state. ‘The rise of a state’ is the vehicle of action, because it is from this state that the fruition arises. Further it takes its rise in accordance with its own manifesting cause.

‘Manifestation’ means tending towards the beginning of fruition.

‘Thus will it rise again by taking up the residua which are, &c.’ The meaning is that if it does manifest, it would manifest by taking up the residua which manifest its own fruition.

Having established the absence of interruption through the operation of the cause, now he establishes the same through the operation of the effect:—‘And for what other reason?’

‘One in appearance’ means similarity. He says the same:—‘As are the experiences, &c.’

The question is that if the experiences are of the same appearance as the residual potencies, then inasmuch as the experiences are seen disappearing very soon, the potencies also must be taken as disappearing very soon. That being the case, how is it possible that the potencies, being subject to speedy dispersion, should be competent to-bring about experiences, after a great lapse of time?

For this reason he says:—‘And they are of the nature of the residua of actions.’ As the new residuum brought about by momentary action is permanent, so also is the potency generated by momentary experience. There must always be some difference in similarity. If it were otherwise and there were no difference, there would be no similarity, The rest is easy.—9.

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