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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.42

तत्र शब्दार्थज्ञानविकल्पैः संकीर्णा सवितर्का समापत्तिः॥४२॥
tatra śabdārtha-jñāna-vikalpaiḥ saṁkīrṇā savitarkā samāpattiḥ ॥42॥
tatra = in there, among these
śabda = sound
artha = meaning
vikalpah= with choices
jñāna = wisdom, concept
saṁkīrṇā= mingled with
savitarkā = with deliberation
samāpattiḥ= Samadhi, engrossment 

Among the balances of the mind so achieved, modifications with regards to the choices of the word, its meaning and concept are associated with Samadhi with deliberation.

In Samapatti so achieved,  the Samapatti having thoughts with choices of the word, its meaning and the concept of the word are associated with Savitarka Samapatti or Savitarka SamadhiIt is the Samadhi with thoughts associated with the names of objects, their meaning and philosophy.

The term Samapatti is used in the sense Samadhi. Samapatti is the act of becoming similar to. Alternatively the act of merging with the object as explained earlier. There is the union of the Meditator and the object meditated which is the meaning of the term Yoga. Patanjali uses the word yoga and Samadhi as equal terms.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

Of these, the state of equilibrium with deliberation is associated with the modifications of the words, meaning and the understanding.

For example, the word "Cow", the meaning of the word "Cow" and the idea behind the word "Cow" are really distinct from one another. Though they are distinct, we have an undifferentiated joint perception. When they are differentiated, the properties of the word "Cow" are differed from the properties of the meaning "Cow" and the idea behind the word "Cow". 

When the yogi attains Samapatti in any of these, he happens to be affected by the modifications of the word, its meaning and the idea, then that confused balance of state is said to be the balance of state associated with deliberation. This is the deliberative balanced state.


When the mind is free from conventional use of the word and the meditative insight is free from the predicate relations of the ideas of inference or testimony, the mind has only the object it already has and nothing more. This is the non-deliberative-balanced state. It is the higher state wherein both valid testimony and inference arises. Such a deliberative balanced state does not arise in association with objective relations of testimony and inference.  Moreover the knowledge of yogi is not confused with any source of notions. The non-deliberative balanced state is explained by the Author in the next Sutra.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

Sound, meaning, and resulting knowledge, being mixed up, is (called Samadhi) with reasoning.

Sound here means vibration; meaning, the nerve currents which conduct it; and knowledge, reaction. All the various meditations we have had so far, Patanjali calls Savitarka (meditations with reasoning). Later on he will give us higher and higher Dhyanas. In these that are called “with reasoning,” we keep the duality of subject and object, which results from the mixture of word, meaning, and knowledge. There is first the external vibration, the word; this, carried inward by the sense currents, is the meaning. After that there comes a reactionary wave in the Chitta, which is knowledge, but the mixture of these three makeup what we call knowledge. In all the meditations up to this we get this mixture as object of meditation. The next Samadhi is higher.

Commentary by Sri Osho


There are two types of samadhis: one Patanjali calls savitarka, the other he calls nirvikalpa, or nirvitarka. These are two states. First one achieves savitarka samadhi, that is, the logical mind is still functioning – samadhi, yet based on the rational attitude – the reason is still functioning, you are making discriminations. This is not the highest samadhi, just the first step. But that too is very, very difficult because that too will need a little going towards the center.


Just for example: the periphery is there, where you are right now, and the center is there, where I am right now, and between the two, just in the middle, is savitarka samadhi. It means you have moved away from the surface, but you have not reached the center yet. You have moved away from the surface, but still the center is far away. Just in the middle you are; still something of the old is functioning, and something of the new has entered – halfway. And what will be the situation of this halfway state of consciousness?


He will not be able yet to differentiate what is real because the real can be known only from the center. There is no other way to know it. He cannot know what is real knowledge. Something of the real is filtering in, because he has moved from the surface, has come closer to the center, not yet centered, yet has come closer. Something of the center is filtering in – some perceptions, some glimpses of the center, but the old mind still is there, not completely gone. A distance is there but the old mind still goes on functioning. The yogi is still unable to differentiate between the real knowledge...


Real knowledge is that knowledge when the mind does not distort at all, when the mind has completely disappeared in a sense. It has become so transparent that whether it is there or not makes no difference. Ir t e mid-state, the yogi is in a very deep confusion. The confusion comes: something from the real, something from his knowledge that he has gathered in the past from words, scriptures, teachers – that too there. Something from his own reasoning what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false, and something from his sense perceptions – eyes, ears, nose – everything Is there, mixed.


This is the state where the yogi can go mad. If there is nobody to take care in this state, the yogi can go mad because so many dimensions meeting and such a great confusion and chaos... It is a greater chaos than he was ever in when he was on the surface, because something new has come in.


From the center now some glimpses are coming towards him, and he cannot know whether it is coming from the knowledge that he has gathered from the scriptures. Sometimes he suddenly feels aham brahamasmi ”I am God.” Now he is unable to differentiate whether this is coming from the Upanishad that he has been reading, or he himself has reasoned it out. It is a rational conclusion that, ”I am part of the whole and the whole is God, so of course I am God”... whether it is a logical syllogism or it is coming from sense perceptions.


Because sometimes, when you are very quiet and the doors of the senses are clear, this feeling arises of being a go. Listening to music, suddenly you are no more a human being. If your ears are ready and if you have the musical perception, suddenly you are elevated to a different plane. Making love to a woman you love – suddenly, in the peak of the orgasm, you feel you have become a god. It can happen through sense perceptions It can happen through reasoning. It may be coming from the Upanishads, from the scriptures you have been reading, or it may be coming from the center. And the man who is in the middle doesn’t know from where it is coming. From all the directions millions of things are happening – strange, unknown, known. One can be in a real mess.


That’s why schools are needed where many people are working. Because these are not the only three points. Between the periphery and the center, there are many. A school means where many people of many categories live together. Just a school: the first grade people are there, the second grade people are there, the third grade people are there; the primary school, the middle school, the high school, then the university. A perfect school is from the kindergarten to the university. Somebody exists there at the very end, on the center, who becomes the center of the school. And then many people, because they can be helpful... you can help somebody who is just behind you. A person from the high school can come to the primary school and teach. A small boy from the primary school can go to the kindergarten and help. A school means: from the periphery to  the center, there are many stages, many points. A school means: where all types of people exist together in a deep harmony, as a family from the very first to the very last, from the beginning to the very end, from the alpha to the omega. Much help is possible that way, because you can help somebody who is behind you. You can say to him, ”Don’t be worried. Just go on. This comes and settles by itself. Don’t get too much involved in it. Remain indifferent. It comes and it goes – somebody to stretch a hand to help you. And a Master is needed who can look through all the stages, from the very top to the very valley, who can have a total perception of all the possibilities.


Otherwise, in this stage of savitarka samadhi, many become mad. Or, many become so scared they run away from the center and start clinging to the periphery, because there is at least some type of order. At least the unknown doesn’t enter there, the strange doesn’t come there. You are familiar; strangers don’t knock at your door.


But one who has reached to savitarka samadhi if he goes back to the periphery, nothing will be solved never he can be the same again; never he can belong to the periphery now, so that is not of much help. He will never be a part of the periphery. And he will be there more and more confused, because once you have known something, how can you help yourself not to know it? Once you have known, you have known. You can avoid, you can close your eyes, but it is still there and it will haunt you your whole life.


If the school is not there and a Master is not there you will become a very problematic case. In the world you cannot belong, the market doesn’t make any sense to you; and beyond the world you are afraid to move.



Nirvitarka samadhi is reaching to the center: logic disappears, scriptures are no more meaningful, sense perceptions cannot deceive you. When you are at the center, suddenly everything is self evidently true. This word has to be understood – ”self-evidently true”. Truths are there on the periphery, but they are never self-evident. Some proof is needed, some reasoning is needed. If you say something, you have to prove it. If on the periphery you say ”God is,” you will have to prove it, to yourself, to others. On the center God is, self-evidently. You don’t need any proof. What proof is needed when your eyes are open and you can see the sun rising? But for a man who is blind, proof is needed. What proof is needed when you are in love? You know it is there; it is self-evident. Others may demand proof. How can you give them any proof? The man at the center becomes the proof; he doesn’t give any proof. Whatsoever he knows is self-evident. It is so. He has not reached towards it as a conclusion of a reasoning. It is not a syllogism, he has not concluded; simply it is so. He has known.

That’s why in Upanishads there are no proofs, in Patanjali there are no proofs. Patanjali simply describes, gives no proof. This is the difference: when a man knows, he simply describes; when a man doesn’t know, first he proves that it is so. Those who have known, they simply give the description of that unknown. They don’t give any proofs.

In the East, we have never tried, we have never given any proof. Look at the Upanishads – not a single proof exists. They simply say, ”God is.” If you want to know, you can know. If you don’t want to know, it is your choice. But there is no proof for it.

That state is nirvitarka samadhi, samadhi without any reasoning. That samadhi becomes for the first time existential. But that also is not the last. One more final step exists. We will be talking about it later on.

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