Yoga-sutras (with Vyasa and Vachaspati Mishra)

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

The Yoga-Sutra 4.15, 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 4.15:

वस्तुसाम्ये चित्तभेदात् तयोर् विभक्तः पन्थाः ॥ ४.१५ ॥

vastusāmye cittabhedāt tayor vibhaktaḥ panthāḥ || 4.15 ||

vastu—in the case of the external object. sāmye—in the being the same, citta—of mentality. bhedāt—there being difference, tayoḥ—their, vibhaktaḥ—different, panthāḥ—ways of being.

15. There being difference of mentality in the case of the external-object being the same, their ways-of-being are different.—175.

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]

And how otherwise is it untrue? ‘There being difference of mentality in the case of the external object being the same, their ways of being are different.’

One thing coming within the sphere of many minds is common to them all. It has certainly not been imagined by one mind. Nor yet has it been imagined by more minds than one. It is established in itself. How is this? There being difference of mentality when the external object is the same. Even though the external object be the same the mind feels pleasure on account of virtue. The same object excites a feeling of pain on account of vice. The same causes forgetfulness on account of Nescience. The same causes the feeling of indifference on account of right knowledge. Now by whose mind has all that been imagined? Further it is not proper that another mind be coloured by an object which has been imagined by another. For this reason the lines of existence of the external objects and the ideas are different, as they exist as objective and instrumental appearances. There is not even the least suspicion of confusion between them.

Further in the Sāṅkhya philosophy, an object is made of the three qualities, and the functioning of the qualities is ever changeful. The object comes into relationship with the minds on account of the exciting causes of virtue, &c.; and it becomes the cause of the notions as they are produced, each as such, in accordance with the exciting causes.

Some say that the object is co-existent with the idea, inasmuch as it is to be enjoyed thereby like the feelings of pleasure and pain. They do away by means of this conception, the common nature of the object with reference to minds, and this but do away with the being of the object in previous and subsequent moments.—175.

The Gloss of Vachaspati Mishra

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

Having now mentioned the reasons for believing that the object is different from and independent of the idea, the Commentator now introduces another reason given in the aphorism to establish the same:—And how otherwise is it untrue?

‘There being difference of mentality, even though the external object remains the same, their paths of existence are different.’ When a certain thing remains the same although the other changes into many states, they both differ from each other altogether. As the one idea of Caitra differs from the different ideas of Devadatta, Viṣṇumitra and Maitra, and although the ideas are different the object remains the same, the object must be different from the idea. And the identity of the object even in the case of the difference of ideas, is ascertained by the knowers by comparison of notes. If one woman is beloved, hated, ignored and approached with indifference by many different people, they can always compare notes that the object of all these varying feelings is the same. For this reason, there being difference of mentality, i.e. of feeling, the paths of being of the two, i.e., of the object and the idea, are different. The path of being means that by which one thing differs from another in nature. The lover feels pleasure in the society of the beloved. The co-wife feels pain. Caitra who has not been able to possess her, feels disappointed and forgets himself.

Let it be so. But wherever an object in the shape of a beautiful woman has been fancied by the mind of one man, the minds of others also admit of being coloured by the same fancied object, and it is for this reason that the object even though fancied, becomes the common object of all the minds.

For this reason says:—‘It is not proper that the object fancied by one mind, &c.’ If that were so, then in case one of them possessed the knowledge of blue, all would come to possess the knowledge of the blue.

The question arises that inasmuch as there is but one object in the opinion of those, who believe in the independent existence of objects, how is it that one object becomes the cause of different feelings of pleasure and pain, &c. It is not proper that the cause remaining the same, the effects should be different. For this reason says:—‘In the case of the Sāṅkhya philosophy, &c.’ Even a single external object changing according to the three qualities, admits of three-fold appearance. But in this way too, all without distinction would have the three-fold knowledge of pleasure, pain and forgetfulness with reference to the same object. For this reason says ‘Depends upon the operative causes of virtue, &c.’ The Sattva together with the Rajas gives birth to the feeling of pleasure which depends upon virtue. The same Sattva when free of the Rajas, creates the feeling of indifference which depends upon knowledge. And these virtues, &c., do not exist, all of them, in all the Puruṣas everywhere. It is only any one of them that exist anywhere at any time. Therefore the difference is proper.

Some talkers say on this subject The object certainly co-exists with the idea, because it is enjoyable by the Puruṣa like pleasure and pain. The meaning is this. Let an object be different from the idea. Still it being non-intelligent, does not admit of being known without the idea. The idea it is that illuminates it. Similarly it exists at the time of being known only. It Cannot be said to be existing at any other time, because there is no authority for its existence at a time when it is not the object of immediate knowledge.

This the Commentator refutes without the help of the aphorism:—‘They by this, &c.’ An object is certainly common to all minds. It keeps on being cognized for a succession of more moments than one as possessed of the characteristic of change. If that co-exists with the idea, it will be thus, it is such. Now what check is there upon the portion ‘It, that this may not disappear too?’—15.

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