Yoga-sutras (with Vyasa and Vachaspati Mishra)

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

The Yoga-Sutra 4.12, 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 4.12:

अतीतानागतं स्वरूपतोऽस्त्य् अध्वभेदाद् धर्माणाम् ॥ ४.१२ ॥

atītānāgataṃ svarūpato'sty adhvabhedād dharmāṇām || 4.12 ||

atīta—the past. anāgatam—the future, svarūpataḥ—in reality. asti—exist. adhva—of the paths of being, bhedāt—there being difference. dharmāṇām—of the characteristics.

12. The past and the future exist in-reality, there being difference of the paths of being of the characteristics.—172.

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]

There is no existence for that which exists not, and no destruction for what exists. How then can residua which exist as substances be destroyed? ‘The past and the present exist in reality, there being difference of the paths of being of the characteristics.’

The future is the manifestation which is to be. The past is the appearance which has been experienced. The present is that which is in active operation. It is this three-fold substance which is the object of knowledge. If they did not exist in reality, there would not exist the knowledge thereof. How could there be knowledge in the absence of anything that might be known. For this reason the past and the present exist in reality. Further, if the fruit of either the actions which cause experience, or those which cause absolute freedom were impossible of being defined for the aspirer, the actions of the wise with that aim and object would not be proper. And the means has the power of only bringing into the present state the actually existing though as yet unmanifested fruit, not of creating it anew. The means when in full manifestation specifically favours the sequential manifestation of its object; it does not create it anew.

Besides, the substratum exists as characterized by more characteristics than one; and its characteristics have a distinct order of existence in consequence of the distinctions of the paths of being.

It is not that the past, and the future states of the object exist in substance in the same sense in which the specific appearance of the present exists. How then? The future exists as an appearance in itself to be manifested. The past exists by an appearance of its own which has been experienced. The present path of being alone is that which shows its own appearance as such. The same does not happen with reference to the past and the future paths of being. Of course at the time of one of these paths of being, the others remain conjoined with the substratum. Hence the existence of the three paths of being does not come out of non-existence.—172.

The Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra

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

With the object of introducing the next aphorism the Commentator expresses a doubt:—‘There is no existence for the non-existing, &c.’

There is no existence for the non-existent:—This may either be taken as a necessary sequence of the preceding, or, it may be taken as having been introduced anew as an illustration.

‘The past and the future really exist, there being difference of the paths of being of the characteristics.’

The non-existent is not born and the existent is not destroyed. The meaning of the aphorism is that the change of the path of being of the existing characteristics alone

means the rise and disappearance of the characteristics. The appearance which has been experienced, means the appearance which it has taken up already, or in other words, that of which there is no manifestation in the present. Thus the characteristic is existent in all three times.

He says this:—‘If they did not exist in reality, &c. The non-existent does not become the object of knowledge: it is therefore indefinable.’

Knowledge is but the shining out of its object in consciousness. It cannot exist in the absence of the object. Whether it be the knowledge of the Yogī which has all the three times for its sphere of operation, or the knowledge of men like ourselves, it cannot be born in the absence of the object. But the knowledge is born. For this reason, the knowledge of him who feels that the past and the future ordinarily exist along with the present, is said to be a reason for the existence of the object itself.

Now he says that even on account of its being the aim (the object of action) the yet unmanifested exists:—‘Further, the fruit of either the action which causes experience, &c.’

The wise are those who can distinguish. And even in the case of what is to be done, whatever may be the cause of whatever, becomes specialized in case of the existence of the object alone. As is the case with the farmer and the student of the Veda, so is the case here. They do not certainly create non-oxisting things. Similarly, the potter, &c., are the causes of the coming into present existence of the jar which already exists. He says this:—‘And the means lias only the power of bringing the future into present existence, &c.’ If, however, the past and the future do not exist because they do not exist in the present, why then, the present also docs not exist, because it does not exist in the past and the future. The existence of all the three, however, is unqualified, on account of there being no specialization of the substratum, and the paths of being. With this object he says:—‘Besides a substratum exists, &c.’

Have a distinct order of existence:—This means that each exists established in itself.

In reality: means the real object, the substratum.

If the past and the future did not exist as such in the past and the future, they would not exist even in the present, because then, they would bo nothing in reality. For this reason he says:—‘Of course at the time of one of these paths of being, &c.’

Ho summarizes the subject:—‘Hence the existence of the three paths of being, &c.’—12.

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