Yoga Sutra Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Liberation (Kaivalya Pada) NIRVANA,MOKSHA

Means of attaining experience


1 The subtler attainments come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra,

austerities or concentration.

(janma osadhi mantra tapah samadhi jah siddhyayah)

janma = birth

ausadhi = herbs

mantra = sound vibrations, incantations, divine word

tapah = training the senses, austerities

samadhi = deep concentration or entasy

jah = born

siddhyayah = attainments, powers, perfections, subtle experiences, psychic

abilities


2 The transition or transformation into another form or type of birth takes place

through the filling in of their innate nature.

(jatyantara parinamah prakriti apurat)

jatyantara = to another type of birth

parinamah = transition or transformation

prakriti = creative cause, subtlest material cause

apurat = by the inflow or filling in process


3 Incidental causes or actions do not lead to the emergence of attainments or

realization, but rather, come by the removal of obstacles, much like the way a farmer

removes a barrier (sluice gate), so as to naturally allow the irrigation of his field.

(nimittam aprayojakam prakritinam varana bhedas tu tatah ksetrikavat

nimittam = incidental cause or instrument

aprayojakam = which do not bring to action

prakritinam = creative cause, subtlest material cause

varana = obstacles

bhedas = breaking through, removing

tu = but

tatah = that

ksetrikavat = like a farmer


Emergence and mastery of mind


4 The emergent mind fields springs forth from the individuality of I-ness (asmita).

(nirmana chittani asmita matrat)

nirmana = produced, created, constructed, forming, arising, emerging

chitta = minds, fields of consciousness

asmita = I-ness

matra = alone, individuality


5 While the activities of the emergent mind fields may be diverse, the one mind is

the director of the many.

(pravritti bhede prayojakam chittam ekam anekesam)

pravritti = activity,

bhede = difference, distinction, diverse

prayojakam = causing, directing

chitta = mind field

eka = one

anekesa = other, many, numerous


6 Of these mind fields, the one that is born from meditation is free from any latent

impressions that could produce karma.

(tatra dhyana jam anasayam)

tatra = of these

dhyana = meditation

jam = born

anasayam = without stored impressions, free from karmic vehicles, without

deposit of past influences, without latency


Actions and karma


7 The actions of yogis are neither white nor black, while they are threefold for

others.

(karma ashukla akrisnam yoginah trividham itaresam)

karma = actions stemming from the deep impressions of samskaras

ashukla = not white

akrisnam = nor black

yoginah = of a yogi

trividham = threefold

itaresam = of the others


8 Those threefold actions result in latent impressions (vasanas) that will later arise

to fruition only corresponding to those impressions.

(tatah tad vipaka anugunanam eva abhivyaktih vasananam)

tatah = from that, thence

tad = that, their

vipaka = fruition

anugunanam = following, corresponding to, accordingly

eva = only

abhivyaktih = manifest

vasananam = latent potencies, potentials, subliminal imprints


Subconscious impressions


9 Since memory (smriti) and the deep habit patterns (samskaras) are the same in

appearance, there is an unbroken continuity in the playing out of those traits, even

though there might be a gap in location, time, or state of life.

(jati desha kala vyavahitanam api anantaryam smriti samskarayoh eka rupatvat)

jati = type of existence, state of life, category of incarnation

desha = of locality, space, place

kala = of time, moment, point

vyavahitanam = being distinct, separated, in between, gap

api = even, although

anantaryam = uninterrupted sequence

smriti = of memory

samskarayoh = deep impressions, imprints in the unconscious, deepest habits,

subliminal activators, traces

eka-rupatvat = because of their sameness, similarity (eka = one; rupatvat =

formless)


10 There is no beginning to the process of these deep habit patterns (samskaras),

due to the eternal nature of the will to live.

(tasam anaditvam cha ashisah nityatvat)

tasam = for these

anaditvam = no beginning

cha = and

ashisah = will to live, desire for life

nityatvat = eternal, permanent, perpetual


11 Since the impressions (4.10) are held together by cause, motive, substratum,

and object, they disappear when those deep impressions disappear.

(hetu phala ashraya alambana samgrihitatvat esam abhave tad abhavah)

hetu = cause

phala = motive

ashraya = substratum

alambana = object resting upon

samgrihitatvat = held together

esam = of these

abhave = on the disappearance of

tad = them

abhavah = disappearance


12 Past and future exist in the present reality, appearing to be different because of

having different characteristics or forms.

(atita anagatam svarupatah asti adhva bhedat dharmanam)

atita = past

anagatam = future

svarupatah = in reality, in its own form

asti = exist

adhva = of the paths, conditions

bhedat = being a difference

dharmanam = characteristics, forms

Objects and the 3 gunas


13 Whether these ever-present characteristics or forms are manifest or subtle, they

are composed of the primary elements called the three gunas.

(te vyakta suksmah guna atmanah)

te = they, these

vyakta = manifest

suksmah = subtle

guna = elements, prime qualities, constituents, attributes; (three gunas of

sattvas, rajas, tamas)

atmanah = the nature of, composed of


14 The characteristics of an object appear as a single unit, as they manifested

uniformly from the underlying elements.

(parinama ekatvat vastu tattvam)

parinama = of change, transformation, result, consequence, mutative effect,

alteration

ekatvat = due to oneness, uniformity, sameness, coordinated

vastu = a reality, real object, existent

tattvam = essence, reality, that-ness

Mind perceiving objects


15 Although the same objects may be perceived by different minds, they are

perceived in different ways, because those minds manifested differently.

(vastu samye chitta bhedat tayoh vibhaktah panthah)

vastu = a reality, real object, existent

samye = sameness

chitta = minds, of the consciousness of the mind-field

bhedat = diversity, difference

tayoh = their, of the two

vibhaktah = separation, division

panthah = paths, levels of being, ways of perceiving


16 However, the object itself does not depend on any one mind, for if it did, then

what would happen to the object if it were not being experienced by that mind?

(na cha eka chitta tantram ched vastu tat pramanakam tada kim syat)

na = not

cha = and

eka = one, single

chitta = mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

tantram = dependent

ched = if

vastu = a reality, real object, existent

tat = that

apramanakam = not cognized

tada = then

kim = what

syat = exists, becomes


17 Objects are either known or not known according to the way in which the

coloring of that object falls on the coloring of the mind observing it.

(tad uparaga apeksitvat chittasya vastu jnata ajnatam)

tad = that, these, thereby

uparaga = coloring, conditioning, reflection

apeksitvat = due to need

chittasya = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

vastu = a reality, real object, existent

jnata = known

ajnatam = unknown

Illumination of the mind


18 The activities of the mind are always known by the pure consciousness, because

that pure consciousness is superior to, support of, and master over the mind.

(sada jnatah chitta vrittayah tat prabhu purusasya aparinamitvat)

sada = always

jnatah = are known

chitta = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

vrittayah = operations, activities, fluctuations, modifications, changes, or

various forms of the mind-field

tat = their, that

prabhu = master, superior, support of

purusasya = pure consciousness

aparinamitvat = changelessness, immutable


19 That mind is not self-illuminating, as it is the object of knowledge and perception

by the pure consciousness.

(na tat svabhasam drishyatvat)

na = is not

tat = it

svabhasam = self illuminating (sva = own; abhasa = illumination)

drishyatvat = knowability


20 Nor can both the mind and the illuminating process be cognized simultaneously.

(eka-samaye cha ubhaye anavadharanam)

eka-samaye = at the same time, simultaneously (eka = one; samaye = time,

condition)

cha = and, nor

ubhaye = both

anavadharanam = cannot be cognized


21 If one mind were illumined by another, as its master, then there would be an

endless and absurd progression of cognitions, as well as confusion.

(chitta antara drishye buddhi-buddheh atiprasangah smriti sankarah cha)

chitta = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

antara = another

drishye = seen, perceived

buddhi-buddheh = knower of knowledge, perceiver of perception

atiprasangah = endless, abundance, ad infinitum

smriti = memory, remembering

sankarah = confusion

cha = and

Buddhi, discrimination, and liberation


22 When the unchanging consciousness appears to take on the shape of that finest

aspect of mind-field (4.18), then the experience of one’s own cognition process is

possible.

(chitteh apratisamkramayah tad akara apattau sva buddhi samvedanam)

chitteh = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

apratisamkramayah = unchanging, not moving

tad = that

akara = form

apattau = assumed, transformed into, reflection

sva = own

buddhi = knowing, knower

samvedanam = knows, identifies, experience


23 Therefore, the mind field, which is colored by both seer and seen, has the

potential to perceive any and all objects.

(drastri drisya uparaktam chittam sarva artham)

drastri = seer

drisya = seen

uparaktam = colored

chittam = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

sarva = any, all

artham = objects


24 That mind field, though filled with countless impressions, exists for the benefit of

another witnessing consciousness, as the mind field is operating only in combination

with those impressions.

(tad asankheya vasanabhih chittam api parartham samhatya karitvat)

tad = that

asankheya = countless

vasanabhih = latent potencies, potentials, subliminal imprints, impressions

chittam = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field

api = though, also

parartham = for another

samhatya = in combination with

karitvat = action


25 For one who has experienced this distinction between seer and this subtlest

mind, the false identities and even the curiosity about the nature of one’s own self

come to an end.

(vishesa darshinah atma bhava bhavana vinivrittih)

vishesa = distinction

darshinah = of one who sees

atma = Self

bhava = in the nature of, in relation to

bhavana = projection, feeling, reflection

vinivrittih = complete cessation


26 Then the mind is inclined towards the highest discrimination, and gravitates

towards absolute liberation between seer and seen.

(tada viveka nimnam kaivalya pragbharam chittam)

tada = then

viveka = discrimination, discernment

nimnam = incline towards

kaivalya = liberation, independence from

pragbharam = gravitate towards

chittam = of the mind, of the consciousness of the mind-field


Breaches in enlightenment


27 When there are breaks or breaches in that high discrimination, other impressions

arise from the deep unconscious.

(tachchhidresu pratyaya antarani samskarebhyah)

tachchhidresu = in the intervals, breaks, gaps, between

pratyaya = the cause, the feeling, causal or cognitive principle, notion, content

of mind, presented idea, cognition

antarani = other

samskarebhyah = deep impressions, imprints in the unconscious, deepest

habits, subliminal activators, traces


28 The removal of those interfering thought patterns is by the same means by which

the original colorings were removed.

(hanam esam kleshavat uktam)

hanam = removal

esam = their

kleshavat = like the previous colorings

uktam = as has been described


Perpetual enlightenment


29 When there is no longer any interest even in omniscience, that discrimination

allows the samadhi, which brings an abundance of virtues like a rain cloud brings rain.

(prasankhyane api akusidasya sarvatha viveka khyateh dharma-meghah samadhih)

prasankhyane = highest knowledge, omniscience

api = even

akusidasya = having no interest remaining

sarvatha = constant, in every way, always

viveka-khyateh = discriminative knowledge (viveka = discriminative,

discernment; khyateh = knowledge, correct cognition, clarity, awareness)

dharma-meghah= rain cloud of virtues (dharma = form, quality, virtues;

meghah = cloud)

samadhih = deep absorption of meditation, entasy


30 After that dharma-meghah samadhi, the colorings of the kleshas and the karmas

are removed.

(tatah klesha karma nivrittih)

tatah = thereafter

klesha = colored, painful, afflicted, impure

karma = actions stemming from the deep impressions of samskaras

nivrittih = cease, discontinue, remove


Knowables become few


31 Then, by the removal of those veils of imperfection, there comes the experience

of the infinite, and the realization that there is almost nothing to be known.

(tada sarva avarana mala apetasya jnanasya anantyat jneyam alpam)

tada = then

sarva = all

avarana = veils, coverings

mala = imperfections

apetasya = removed

jnanasya = knowledge

anantyat = infinite

jneyam = to be known

alpam = little, almost nothing


Gunas and liberation or Kaivalya


32 Also resulting from that dharma-meghah samadhi (4.29), the three primary

elements or gunas (4.13-4.14) will have fulfilled their purpose, cease to transform into

further transformations, and recede back into their essence.

(tatah kritarthanam parinama krama samaptih gunanam)

tatah = then, by that

krita = fulfilled

arthanam = purpose

parinama = transition, transformation, of change, result, consequence,

mutative effect, alteration (2.15, 3.9-3.16)

krama = sequence, succession, order (3.15)

samaptih = terminate, end

gunanam = elements, prime qualities, constituents, attributes; (three gunas of

sattvas, rajas, tamas)


33 The sequencing process of moments and impressions corresponds to the

moments of time, and is apprehended at the end point of the sequence.

(ksana pratiyogi parinama aparanta nigrahyah kramah)

ksana = moments

pratiyogi = uninterrupted succession

parinama = transition, transformation, of change, result, consequence,

mutative effect, alteration

aparanta = end point, at the end

nigrahyah = recognizable, apprehensible, comprehensible

kramah = succession, process, course, order, series


34 When those primary elements involve, or resolve themselves back into that out

of which they emerged, there comes liberation, wherein the power of pure

consciousness becomes established in its true nature.

(purusha artha sunyanam gunanam pratiprasavah kaivalyam svarupa pratistha va

chiti shaktih iti)

purusha = pure consciousness, Self

artha = purpose, meaning

sunyanam = devoid

gunanam = elements, prime qualities, constituents, attributes; (three gunas of

sattvas, rajas, tamas)

pratiprasavah = involution, resolve, recede

kaivalyam = absolute freedom, liberation, enlightenment (2.25)

svarupa = own form

pratistha = established

va = or

chiti = consciousness

shaktih = power

iti = the end, finis (to denote the end of the teachings)