[Advaita-l] A Peep into the Patanjali System

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Fri May 28 13:34:42 CDT 2010

> The question that I have is this: Is the Self that Maharshi
> Patanjali talks about in the sutra `tadA draShTuH svarUpe
> avasthAnam'( the realization of and establishment in, is the ultimate
> goal of his Yoga system,) an `effect' to be created by an effort
> called some samadhi? To put the question in simple terms: Is the Atma
> of Patanjali a `product' of some samadhi? Or is it an existing
> Atma that is to be realized, even in the system of Patanjali? (Note:
> All this is not to obliterate the essential differences that exist
> between the siddhAnta of Patanjali and the Aupanishada siddhAnta.)

The other yogasUtra to be referenced in this connection is drashTA drSi-
mAtraS Suddho'pi pratyayAnupaSyaH.


In the pAtanjala yoga school, the drashTA is not a product to be effected
by samAdhi. It is an existing purusha who is the drashTA, but wrongly
identifies with prakRti and its guNa-s. That is covered in the third yogasUtra
- vRtti sArUpyam itaratra, i.e. when the citta vRtti-s are not checked, the
purusha ascribes to himself the form of the vRtti. And finally, the pAtanjala
yoga school only talks of manaH-saMyama and vRtti-nirodha. It does not
talk of mano-nASa at all - that is a uniquely vedAntic analysis of mind.


Sankara bhagavatpAda's upadeSasAhasrI, verse chapter 12, needs to be 
studied carefully in this connection, particularly the following verses. 


prakASasthaM yathA dehaM sAlokam abhimanyate |
draShTrAbhAsaM tathA cittaM draShTAhamiti manyate || 1 ||




dRSeSchAyA yadArUDhA mukhacchAyeva darSane |
paSyaMstaM pratyayaM yogI dRshTa Atmeti manyate || 6 ||

taM ca mUDhaM ca yady anyaM pratyayaM vetti no dRSeH |
sa eva yoginAM SreshTho netaraH syAn na saMshayaH || 7 ||

Note that Sankara does not hesitate to label the one who knows the Atman
as the "best of yogI-s" - yoginAM SreshTha - here. Also see brahmasUtra
bhAshya 3.2.24 - here the Atman, which is only describable as "not this, not
this" is nevertheless "seen" during saMrAdhana (word used in sUtra), which 
is explained in the bhAshya as bhakti-dhyAna-praNidhAnAdy anushThAnam.
Note the highly yoga-centric word praNidhAna and the further usage of the
word yogI in the rest of this bhAshya passage too.


More details can be found in an old discussion thread on this list -







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