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Samyama on Internal Centres

by Swami Sivananda


By Samyama on the three modifications of mind, comes the knowledge of the past and future.


The threefold changes are mentioned in Sutra III-13. When direct knowledge of the threefold changes is obtained by means of Samyama, knowledge of their past and future is obtained.

The Yogi plunges deep into the source, i.e., the Samskaras by Samyama, and gets the knowledge of the past and future. He can do it in the twinkling of an eye. When once you know the technique, you can acquire the knowledge through Samyama. This is given in Sutra III-18.


The great Videha (bodiless) is passing out of the body and functioning there, and by that comes the destruction of the veil of light.


By practising Samyama on the real modifications of the mind when it is separated from the body - the state known as the 'the great bodiless' - all coverings can be removed from the light of knowledge. In ordinary persons the mind is confined to this little body only. He identifies himself with this body only. In a Yogi this mind goes outside the body and feels all-pervading nature (omnipresence). The mind feels that it is independent of the physical body. This is called 'Maha-videha' or 'great bodiless'. The Yogi can do Parakaya Pravesa (entering another body) with this mind. The Yogi can enter another body without the Samyama mentioned in Sutra III-39. In this state knowledge of any and every description is within his easy reach.

His mind is full of Sattva as the covering of light is destroyed. Rajas and Tamas constitute this covering.

This Sutra is the quintessence of the meditational technique described by Patanjali, by which we are introduced to the very heart of the matter so pithily and crisply. This Sutra makes out that there are two ways of the functioning of the mind, one in the form of a thought of an external object and another as a total and comprehensive operation in which the object in meditation becomes inseparable from its thought. Usually such an exercise is not humanly possible. Who can think in such a way that the object enters the mind itself and the object becomes the thought and the thought becomes the object! This is a staggering suggestion given by the Sutra that the entire world can enter into the process of thinking. If the universe enters the mind and the mind enters the universe, this exercise is said to lead to immediate liberation.


By Samyama and direct perception of the Samskaras (impressions of mind), comes the knowledge of the previous births.


All actions, enjoyments and experiences leave the impressions in the subconscious mind in the form of subtle impressions or residual potencies. The Samskaras are the roots for causing again Jati, life and experiences of pleasure and pain (vide <|Sutra II-13). Revival of Samskaras induce memory. The Yogi dives deep inside and comes in direct contact with these Samskaras. He directly perceives them through his inner Yogic vision. By Samyama on these Samskaras, he acquires knowledge of previous lives.

Samskaras are of two kinds, those appearing as habits and causing memories and afflictions; and those appearing as virtue and vice and bringing fruits. The direct knowledge of the Samskaras is not possible without the knowledge of space, time and operative cause. The Yogi gets help from Parinama, Chesta, Nirodha, Sakti, Jivana and Dharma (mind-change, activity, suppression, ideation in action, physical life and characteristics respectively). By doing Samyama on the Samskaras of others he gets the knowledge of their past lives also.


By Samyama on the power of cognition, the essential own nature, egoism, qualities and purposefulness or condition of senses, comes the mastery over senses (organs).


Just as there are five conditions for the elements (vide Sutra III-45), so also there are five states or conditions for the organs. The power of cognition is the power which every organ possesses such as seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting and touching; their nature refers to the knowledge which each brings from the object of cognition; egoism refers to the individual consciousness that is present in all the acts; qualities are Sattva, Rajas and Tamas; purposefulness is Bhoga and Apavarga, enjoyment and emancipation.

If the Indriyas remain quiet without moving towards objects, and if they are fixed in their respective places, the Yogi enjoys a peculiar, indescribable Ananda. This is Sananda Samadhi.


Thence comes to the body the power of quick movement like mind and perception without the Indriyas (senses) and mastery over nature.


Madhu-patrika is the name given to the mastery over Bhutas, Indriyas and Pradhana (the combined Bhuta Jaya, Indriya Jaya and Pradhana Jaya). In this state the Yogi attains Ritambara Prajna. 'Tatah' means from the mastery of Indriyas. Mastery over the elements brings the eight Siddhis and Kaya Siddhi. Indriya Jaya brings Manojavitam, independent power of the organs and mastery over the first cause i.e., Pradhana Jaya. 'Madhu-patrika' means as sweet as honey. The body gets the power of quick movements as the mind and the Indriyas to grasp the movements of the body independently.


By acquiring mastery over Udana Vayu, the Yogi will not have any contact with water, mud, thorns and others, and can die at will.


It is Udana Vayu that separates the astral body from the physical body at the time of death. By control over this current he becomes very, very light. In conjunction with Prana Vayu, Udana plays an important part in governing the motion of lungs. Udana helps the function of deglutition or swallowing of food stuffs also. Jalasthamba and Vayusthamba are also done by control over Udana. By Samyama on this, the Yogi is not at all affected by water, thorns, etc.


By mastery over Samana Vayu, comes effulgence.


The body of the Yogi who has mastered the current Samana Vayu is effulgent. He can create fire out of his body. Sage Sarabhanga after having Darshan of Sri Rama, created fire out of his physical body, burnt his physical body in this Yogic fire and with the Divya body (luminous body) entered Brahmaloka (vide Aranya Kanda of the Ramayana). Light flashes out from the body of the Yogi who has mastery over this Samana Vayu.

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