Patanjala Yoga Sutras

Nanda Chandran Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM
Tue May 26 09:12:19 CDT 1998

I have a translation of Patanjala Yoga Sutras by Swami Satchidananda.
We've been having discussions on the mind, the Ego and the relation of
the Self with them. It's generally said that the "I" feeling is a
reflection of the Self. Swami Satchidananda puts it in a different
perspective :

He doesn't say that the "I" is a reflection of the Self. He used the
analogy of a person seeing his reflection in a flawed mirror. The
reflection doesn't present a true picture. He equates the flawed mirror
to the mind (chittam) with it's modifications (vrittis) and says that we
see our distorted reflection on this flawed mind. So to rid the mind of
the vrittis thus making it clean and smooth is to see our true form.

Note that in this argument, there's no concept of relating the mind to
the Self, thereby giving it a seperate and independant identity. The
stance is that the mind just is, but without trying to explain it's
origin. This I think is quite in tune with Shankara ignoring the
empirical world as acknowledging it would prove it's reality (as Rama
stated earlier). Any thoughts?

Another interesting point in the book is that the Swami while explaining
sleep as a form of mental modification, doesn't think that Susushpti is
a state where the mind is absent. On the contrary he states that we just
have a state of mind where the thought is to have no thoughts! Is this
faithful to Pananjali?

Relating to GMurthy's thread on defining the mind, the Swami defines the
whole contraption (not physical) as chittam which is made up of 1.
ahamkara (Ego) 2. buddhi (Intellect) and 3. manas (that out of which
desires arise).

Relating to the means of valid knowledge, the sutras seem to consider
only direct perception, inference and the scriptures (guess they pass
the astika test :-). I remember Vidya explaining in detail the pramana
as per Advaitam sometime back. Does anybody remember the thread?

Swami Satchidananda is supposed to have been a student of Ramana
Maharishi and Swami Sivananda and has an ashram in Virginia.

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