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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.41

क्षीणवृत्तेरभिजातस्येव मणेर्ग्रहीतृग्रहणग्राह्येषु तत्स्थतदञ्जनतासमापत्तिः॥४१॥ 
kṣīṇa-vr̥tter-abhijātasy-eva maṇer-grahītr̥-grahaṇa-grāhyeṣu tatstha-tadañjanatā samāpattiḥ ॥41॥
kṣīṇa = weakened
iva= like
grahaṇa = the act of perceiving
vr̥tti = modifications
maṇeh= crystal
grāhyeṣu = object perceived
tad-añjanatā = taking the color of that 
abhijātasya = purifies
grahītr̥ = one who perceives
tat-stha = stabilising on that
samāpattiḥ  = become similar to

The crystal clear mind that has controlled-modifications and  that has stabilised in reflecting the color of  meditator, meditation and the object meditated appears as equal to them.

Crystal has no color of its own. It just reflects the colour of the objects around it. Such is the case with the perceiver, the act of perceiving and the object perceived. 

The Sanskrit word samāpattiḥ means 'the act of becoming similar to'. Hence the clear mind that has stabilised in reflecting the color of  meditator appears as meditator by itself. With reference to meditation, the mind assumes itself as meditation. The same is the case with the other objects.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

When the fluctuations of the mind are got rid off, the mind as the form like a gem with reference either to the knower, or to the process of knowing or to the object to be known, in the state of resting upon these and in the state of being tinged by these, is in the balanced state.

The crystal is tinged by the various color of the objects around it, mind is influenced by the objects to be known and comes into a state of balance with object and appears as having the form of object as it is in itself. Being influenced by the fine element, it comes into a state of balance with fine element and appears to be fine element itself. The same is the case with coarse element too. Similarly being influenced by the specific form of the world, it comes into state of balance with that specific form of world and appears as the specific form itself.

A corresponding situation also exists with regard to the process of knowing in the sense organs. Influenced by the process of knowing, it comes into the state of balance with the process of knowing and appears as the process of knowing.

Similarly influenced by the Seer, it comes into the state of balance with the Seer and appears as the Seer itself.

Thus, the mind like a crystal in the state of resting upon any of these, upon the knower or upon the process of knowing or upon the object of knowing, i.e. Seer or sense-organ or an element in s state of being tinged by these, while resting upon these, assumes their form. This is the state of balanced state.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

The Yogi whose Vrttis have thus become powerless (controlled) obtains in the receiver, receiving, and received (the self, the mind and external objects), concentratedness and sameness, like the crystal (before different coloured objects.)

What results from this constant meditation? We must remember how in a previous aphorism Patanjali went into the various states of meditation, and how the first will be the gross, and the second the fine objects, and from them the advance is to still finer objects of meditation, and how, in all these meditations, which are only of the first degree, not very high ones, we get as a result that we can meditate as easily on the fine as on the grosser objects. Here the Yogi sees the three things, the receiver, the received, and the receiving, corresponding to the Soul, the object, and the mind. There are three objects of meditation given us. Firs the gross things, as bodies, or material objects, second fine things, as the mind, the Chitta, and third the Purasa qualified, not the Purasa itself, but the egoism. By practice, the Yogi gets established in all these meditations. Whenever he meditates he can keep out all other thought; he becomes identified with that on which he mediates; when he meditates he is like a piece of crystal; before flowers the crystal becomes almost identified with flowers. If the flower is red, the crystal looks red, or if the flower is blue, the crystal looks blue.

Commentary by Sri Osho


When the activity of the mind is under control... Now you understand what I mean by ”under control”: that you are at the center and you look at the mind from there; that you are sitting inside the house and you look at the clouds, and the thunder, and the lightning and the rain from there; that you have dropped all your clothes – dusty clothes and dirty clothes – because in fact there are no clothes, only layers of dirt, so you cannot clean them. You have thrown them out, thrown them away. You are simply naked and nude in your being. Or, you have eliminated all that with which you have become identified. Now you don’t say who you are: form, name, family, body, mind, everything has been eliminated. Only that is there which cannot be eliminated.

That is the method of the Upanishads. They call it neti-neti. They say, ”I am not this, nor that,” and they go on and on and on... A moment comes when only the witness has remained, and the witness cannot be denied. That is the last stratum of your being, the very core of it. You cannot deny it because who will deny i Now two doesn’t exist, only one. Then there is control Then the activity of the mind is under control.


So it is not like a small child forced by the parents i the corner and they have told, ”Sit there silently” – looks under control, but he is not. He looks under control, but he is restless, forced, but inside – great turmoil.


A small child was forced by the mother. He was running all around, and then three times she told him to sit silently. Then for the fourth time – the last ultimate – she said, ”Now you sit silently or should I come and beat you?” – and children understand when the mother really means. So he understood. He sat there, but he told her that, ”I am sitting outsidedly, but inside I am still running.”


You can force your mind to sit outwardly; inside it will go on running. In fact, it will run faster because mind resists control. Everybody resists control. No, that is not the way. You can kill yourself in that  way but you cannot attain to the eternal life. That is a sort of crippling. When Buddha is sitting silently there is no inward running, no. In fact, inside he has become silent, and that silence has overflown to his outside, not the reverse.


You try to force yourself to be silent on the outside, and you think that by silencing the outside, the inner will become silent. You simply don’t understand the science of silence. Inside if you are silent, the outside will be overflowed by it. It simply follows the inside. The periphery follows the center, but you cannot make th center follow the periphery – that is impossible. So always remember the whole religious search is from the inside towards the outside, and not vice-versa.


When there is perfect silence, you are rooted and centered inside, just watching whatsoever is happening. The birds are singing, the noise will be heard; the traffic is there on the road, the noise will be heard. And just the same, your inner traffic of the mind is there – words, thoughts, an inner talk. The traffic will be heard but you sit silently, not doing anything – a subtle indifference. You just look indifferently. You don’t bother this way or that; whether thoughts come or not, it is the same for you. You are neither interested for nor interested against. You simply sit and the traffic of the mind goes on. If you can sit indifferently... will be difficult, will take time – but once you know the knack of being indifferent... It is not a technique, it is a knack. A technique can be learned, a knack cannot be learned. You have simply to sit and feel it. A technique can be taught, a knack cannot be taught; you have simply to sit and feel. Someday in the right moment when you are silent, suddenly you know how it happened, how you became indifferent. Even for a single moment the traffic was there and you were indifferent, and suddenly the distance was vast between you and your mind. The mind was at the other end of the world. That distance shows that you were at the center at that moment. If you have come to feel the knack, then anytime, anywhere, you can simply slip out to the center. You can drop in and immediately an indifference, a vast indifference surrounds you. In that indifference you remain untouched by the mind. You become the master.


Indifference is the way to become the master, and the mind is controlled. Then what happens? When you are at the center, the confusion of the mind disappears. The confusion is because you are at the periphery. Mind is not really the confusion; mind plus you at the periphery is the confusion. When you move inwards, by and by, you see that mind is losing its confusion. Things are settling, things are falling in line. A certain order arises.




All the disturbance, confusion, criss-crossing thought currents, they all settle. This is very difficult to understand that because of you at the periphery is the whole confusion. And you, in your wisdom, are trying to settle the confusion by remaining there at the periphery.


I have been talking about a small story many times: Buddha is moving on a road and it is noon and it is very hot and he feels thirsty. And he says to his disciple Ananda that, ”You go back. We crossed a small stream just two, three miles back. You bring some water for me.” So Buddha rests under a tree, Ananda goes to the stream. But now it is difficult because just when he was reaching near it, few bullock carts passed across the stream. The stream is very shallow and small. Because of the bullock carts passing it, it has become dirty. All the dirt that was settled underneath has surfaced – old dry leaves, and every type of dirt is there. The water is not drinkable. Ananda tries the same as you would try – he entered the stream and tried to settle things so that the water can become clean again. He dirtied it more. What to do? He came back and he said, ”That water is not drinkable, and I know a certain river ahead. I will go and fetch water from there.” But Buddha insisted; he said, ”You go back. I want the water from that stream.” When Buddha insists, what Ananda can do? Reluctantly he went again. Suddenly he understood the point, because by the time he reached half the dirt has settled again. Without anybody trying to settle it, on its own accord it has settled. He understood the point.


Then he sat under a tree and watched the stream flow by because half the dirt is still there, few dry leaves are still on the surface. He waited. He waited and watched and he did nothing, and soon the water was crystal clear, the dead leaves have gone and the dirt has gone back to the bottom. He came running and dancing. He fell in Buddha’s feet and he said, ”I understood – and that’s what I have been doing with my mind my whole life. Now I will just sit under a tree and let the stream of mind pass by, let it settle itself. Now I will not jump in the stream and try to make things... try to bring an order.”


Nobody can bring order to the mind. The very bringing of the order creates chaos. If you can watch and wait, and you can look indifferently, things settle by themselves. There is a certain law: things cannot remain unsettled for a long time. This law you have to remember. It is one of the foundations, very fundamental, that things cannot remain unsettled in a state for long because unsettled state is not natural. It is unnatural. A settled state of things is natural; an unsettled state of things is not natural. So the unnatural can happen for a time being, but it cannot remain forever. In your hurry, in your impatience, you may make things worse.


In Japan they have a certain method, in Zen monasteries, for treating mad people. In the West they have not yet been able to find anything. They are still groping in the dark. Even ordinary crazy people seem to be beyond help. And psychoanalysis takes three years, five years, seven years. And then too, nothing much comes out of it. You dig the whole Himalaya and you don’t find even a mouse coming out of it. So only very rich people can afford it, as a luxury. Psychoanalysis is a luxury. People brag about it, that they have been psychoanalyzed by a very great psychoanalyst – for five years continuously they were psychoanalyzed, as if it is something of an attainment – and nothing happens. People go from one psychoanalyst to another.


In Japan they have a very simple method. If somebody goes mad he is brought to the monastery. They have a very small cottage separate from the monastery, in a corner. The man is left there. Nobody takes much interest in him – never take much interest in a madman, because interest becomes the food – a madman wants the attention of the whole world; that’s why he is mad. In the first place, he is mad because he demands attention. That has led him to madness. So nobody takes much...


They care, but they don’t give attention. They give him food and they make him comfortable, but nobody goes to talk to him. Even the people who will bring food and other needs will not talk to him. He is not allowed to talk because mad people like talking. In fact, too much talking has led them to this state.


It is just the opposite of psychoanalysis: psychoanalyst goes on talking and he allows the patient to  talk for hours, and the mad people enjoy it very much – and somebody so attentively listening – it is beautiful!


Nobody talks in the Zen monastery to the madman. Nobody pays any attention, any special attention. In a subtle indifference, they take care, that’s all. For three weeks nobody talks to him, and because nobody talks he can talk to himself, that’s all. And he relaxes, sits or silently lies down on the bed, and does nothing – no treatment in fact – and within three weeks he is completely okay.


Now the western psychoanalysts have become interested, because this is impossible – just leaving the madman to himself. But this is the Buddhist attitude, the attitude of the yogis: to leave things, because nothing can remain unsettled for long if you leave it to itself. If you don’t leave it, it can remain unsettled for long because you will be continuously unsettling it again and again. Nature abhors chaos. Nature loves order. Nature is all for order, so chaos can only be a temporary state. If you can understand this, then don’t do anything with the mind. Let this mad mind be left to itself. You simply watch. Don’t pay any attention. Remember: in watching and in paying attention there is a difference. When you pay attention, you are too much interested. When you simply watch, you are indifferent. Upeksha, Buddha calls: indifference – absolute total indifference. Just sitting by the side, and the river flows by and things settle and dirt goes back to the bottom i, and the dry leaves have flown. Suddenly, the stream is crystal clear.


This is what Patanjali says:


And when the mind becomes like pure crystal, three things are reflected in it. ...



...the object, the subject, and the relation between the two.


When the mind is perfectly clear, has become an order, is no more a confusion, things have settled, three things are reflected in it. It becomes a mirror, a three dimensional mirror. The outside world, the world of objects is reflected. The inside world, the world of subjectivity, consciousness, is reflected. And the relationship – and between the two, the perception... and without distortion.


It is because of you meddling too much in the mind the distortion comes in. What is the distortion? Mind is a simple mechanism, just like the eyes; you look through the eyes and the world is reflected. But the eyes have only one dimension: they can reflect only the world, they cannot reflect you. The mind is a very three dimensional phenomenon, very deep. It reflects all, and without distortion. Ordinarily it distorts. Whenever you see a thing, if you are not different from the mind the thing will be distorted. You will see something else. You will mix your perception in it, your ideas. You will not look at it in a purity of vision. You will look with the ideas, and your ideas will become projected on it. In an African tribe if you are born, you think that thin lips are not beautiful; thick... In many African tribes they go on making lips thicker and thicker. They make all devices to make the lips thicker and thicker, particularly women, because thick lips are beautiful that is the idea. In the whole history of the race they have maintained it. If a girl is born with a thin lip, she feels inferior.


In India they love thin lips. If they are a little thicker you are thought ugly. And these ideas go inside the mind, and these ideas become so deep-rooted that they distort your vision. Neither thin lips nor thick lips are beautiful nor ugly. Beautiful and ugly are in fact distortions. They are your ideas, and then you mix them in the reality.


There have existed tribes which don’t value gold at all. When they don’t value gold at all, they are not gold-obsessed. Then the whole world is there, gold-obsessed: just the idea and the gold becomes very valuable. 

In the world of things, reality, nothing is more valuable or less valuable. Valuation is brought by the mind, by you. Nothing is beautiful, nothing is ugly. Things are as they are. In their suchness they exist. But when you are on the surface and get mixed with the ideas, and you start saying, This is my idea of beauty. This is my idea of truth” – then everything is distorted.


When you move to the center and the mind is left alone, and you watch from the center at the mind, you are no more identified with it. By and by, all ideas disappear. Mind becomes crystal clear. And in the mirror three dimensional mirror of the mind, the whole is reflected: the object, the subject, and the perception, the perceiver, the perception, and the perceived.

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