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Yoga Meditation

When the mind has become pure the chances of its being ruffled by external disturbances are greatly reduced. At such a stage the yogin takes a firm posture (asana) and fixes his mind on any object he chooses. It is, however, preferable that he should fix it on Ishvara, for in that case Ishvara being pleased removes many of the obstacles in his path, and it becomes easier for him to attain success. But of course he makes his own choice, and can choose anything he likes for the unifying concentration (samadhi) of his mind. There are four states of this unifying concentration namely vitarka, vicara, ananda and asmita. Of these vitarka and vicara have each two varieties, savitarka, nirvitarka, savicara, nirvicara.(1) When the mind concentrates on objects, remembering their names and qualities, it is called the savitarka stage; when on the five tanmatras with a remembrance of their qualities it is called savicara, and when it is one with the tanmatras without any notion of their qualities it is called nirvicara. Higher than these are the ananda and the asmita states. In the ananda state the mind concentrates on the buddhi with its functions of the senses causing pleasure. In the asmita stage buddhi concentrates on pure substance as divested of all modifications. In all these stages there are objects on which the mind consciously concentrates, these are therefore called the samprajnata (with knowledge of objects) types of samadhi. Next to this comes the last stage of samadhi called the asamprajnata or nirodha samadhi, in which the mind is without any object. By remaining long in this stage the old potencies (samskaras) or impressions due to the continued experience of worldly events tending towards the objective world or towards any process of experiencing inner thinking are destroyed by the production of a strong habit of the nirodha state. At this stage dawns the true knowledge, when the buddhi becomes as pure as the purusha, and after that the citta not being able to bind the purusha any longer returns back to prakrti.

(1) Vacaspati, however, thinks that ananda and asmita have also two other varieties, which is denied by Bhikshu.

This reading on Yoga meditation is Chapter I:VII:24 of Surendranath Dasgupta's A History of Indian Philosophy.

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