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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.20
श्रद्धावीर्यस्मृतिसमाधिप्रज्ञापूर्वक इतरेषाम्
śraddhā-vīrya-smr̥ti samādhi-prajñā-pūrvaka itareṣām

For others, dedication, potential energy, mindfulness, samaadhi and self-awareness leads to asamprajnaata. 

sraddha = dedication
veerya = power with determination, will power
smrti = memory, mindfulness
samaadhi = the advanced stage of meditation
prajna = conciousness, awarness of being
poorvaka = happens before
itaresaam = others

Earlier Sutra states that Samprajnaata happens to Vidhehas and Prakrti Layas by birth. In this Sutra, it is stated that others attain asamprajnaata by dedication, potential energy, mindfulness and Samadhi and self-awareness.


Sraddha is the dedication with unconditional faith and commitment. Veerya is the unexhaustive energy directed towards the goal. Smrti literally means memory. Smrti is mindfulness also. Sri Vacchaspati Misra calls Smrti as Dhyana. The preoccupation of the mind by the yogic path is Smrti here. Samadhi  here means samprajnaata, because it could not be asamprajnaata which is being defined here. Prajna denotes self-awareness. By the last two Samadhi and Prajna, we get Samprajnaata Samadhi which is a precedence to Asamprajnaata.


By Shraddha comes Veerya. By Veerya comes Smrti. By Smrti comes Samprajnaata Samaadhi. By Samprajnaata comes Asamprajnaata.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

Asamprajnaata Samaadhi of others, preceded by faith, energy, memory, meditation and discrimination.

To the yogis belongs to Upayapratyaya (attained through means), faith like the confidence of the loving mother supports the yogi. Energy comes to one who has faith. The energetic attains memory. By this, the mind rests in contemplation and calmness. By calmness, one reaches discrimination. By this, he sees things in their colours. By constant practice of this with dispassion, one reacehes asamprajnaata samaadhi.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

To others (this Samadhi) comes through faith, energy, memory, concentration, and discrimination of the real.

These are they who do not want the position of gods, or even that of rulers of cycles. They attain to liberation.

Commentary by Sri Osho



It is almost impossible to translate it, so I will explain rather than translate, just to give you the feel, because words will misguide you.

Shraddha is not exactly faith. It is more like trust. Trust is very, very different from faith. Faith is something you are born in; trust is something you grow in. Hinduism is a faith; to be a Christian is a faith; to be a Mohammedan is a faith. But lo be a disciple here with me is a trust.


And to be religious doesn’t mean to be Christian, Hindu, or Mohammedan, because trust has no name; it is not labelled. It is like love. Is love Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan? Marriage is Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. Love? Love knows no caste, no distinctions. Love knows no Hindus, no Christians.With birth how religion is associated? Birth cannot give you religion; it can give you a society, a creed, a sect.


Remember, you are not born in a religion, religion has to be born in you. Then it is trust. Again and again. You cannot give your children your religion. They will have to seek and find their own. Everybody has to seek and find his own. It is adventure – the greatest adventure. You move into the unknown. shraddha, Patanjali says, is the first thing, if you want to attain asamprajnata samadhi. For samprajnata samadhi, reasoning, right reasoning. See the distinction? For samprajnata samadhi, right reasoning, right thinking are the base; for asamprajnata samadhi, right trust – not reasoning.


Shraddha is right trust; faith is wrong trust. Don’t take religion from somebody else. You cannot borrow it; it is a deception. You are getting it without paying for it, and everything has to be paid. And it is not cheap to attain to asamprajnata samadhi. You have to pay the full cost, and the full cost is your total being.


Shraddha, trust, is the first door, second is virya. That too is difficult. It is translated as effort. No, effort is simply a part of it. The word virya means many things, but deep down it means bio-energy. One of the meanings of virya is semen, the sexual potency. If you really want to translate it exactly, virya is bio-energy, your total energy phenomenon – you as energy. Of course, this energy can be brought only through effort; hence, one of the meanings is ”effort”. But that is poor – not so rich as the word virya. virya means that your total energy has to be brought into it. Only mind won’t do. You can say yes from the mind that will not be enough. Your totality, without holding anything back: that is the meaning of VIRYA. And that is possible only when there is trust. 


This word recollection is smriti: it is remembrance – what Gurdjieff calls self-remembering. That is smriti. You don’t remember yourself. You may remember millions of things, but you go on continuously forgetting yourself, that you are. smriti is neither in the market nor in the monastery. smriti is a phenomenon of self-remembering, when subject and object both are together in consciousness. That is the most difficult thing in the world. Even if you can attain for a single moment, a split moment, you will have the glimpse of satori immediately. Immediately you have moved out of the body, somewhere else. 


Try it. But, remember, if you don’t have trust it will become a tension. These are the problems involved. It will become such a tension you can go mad, because it is a very tense state. That’s why it is difficult to remember both – the object and the subject, the outer and the inner. To remember both is very, very arduous. If there is trust, that trust will bring the tension down because trust is love. It will soothe you; it will be a soothing force around you. Otherwise the tension can become so
much, you will not be able to sleep. You will not be able to be at peace any moment because it will be a constant problem. And you will be just in anxiety continuously. 


The difficult thing is to be conscious of the both. And when you are conscious of the both and the energy is simultaneously aware, arrowed in the diametrically opposite dimensions, there is a transcendence. You simply become the third: you become the witness of both. And when the third enters, first you try to see the object and yourself. But if you try to see both, by and by, by and by, you feel something is happening within you – because you are becoming a third: you are between the two, the object and the subject. You are neither the object nor the subject now.


Shraddha, trust, virya, total commitment, total effort, total energy has to be brought in; all your potentiality has to be brought in. If you are really a seeker after truth, you cannot seek anything else. It is a complete involvement. You cannot make it a part-time job and that, ”Sometimes in the morning I meditate and then I go.” No, meditation has to become your twenty-four-hours continuity for you. Whatsoever you do, meditation has to be there in the background continuously. Energy will be needed: your whole energy will be needed.shraddha – trust; virya – your total bio-energy, your total commitment and effort; smriti – selfremembrance; and samadhi. Samadhi word means a state of mind where no problem exists. It comes from the word samadhan – a state of mind when you feel absolutely okay, no problem, no question, a non-questioning, non-problematic state of mind. It is not concentration. Concentration is just a quality that comes to the mind who is without problems. That is the difficulty to translate.

Concentration is part – it happens. Look at a child who is absorbed in his play; he has a concentration without any effort. He is not concentrating on his play. Concentration is a by-product. He is so absorbed in the play that the concentration happens. If you concentrate knowingly on something, then there is effort, then there is tension, then you will be tired.

Samadhi happens automatically, spontaneously, if you are absorbed. If you are listening to me, it is a SAMADHI. If you listen to me totally, there is no need for any other meditation. It becomes a concentration. It is not that you concentrate – if you listen lovingly, concentration follows. In asamprajnata samadhi, when trust is complete, when effort is total, when remembrance is deep, samadhi happens. Whatsoever you do, you do with total concentration – without any effort to do the concentration. And if concentration needs effort, it is ugly. It will be like a disease on you; you will be destroyed by it. Concentration should be a consequence. You love a person, and just being with him, you are concentrated. Remember never to concentrate on anything. Rather, listen deeply, listen totally, and you will have a concentration coming by itself.

And discrimination – prajna. Prajna is not discrimination; discrimination is again a part of prajna. Prajna means in fact wisdom – a knowing awareness. Buddha has said that when the flame of meditation burns high, the light that surrounds that flame is prajna. Samadhi inside, and then all around you a light, an aura, follows you. In your every act you are wise; not that you are trying to be wise, it simply happens because you are so totally aware. Whatsoever you do it happens to be wise – not that you are continuously thinking to do the right thing.

A man who is continuously thinking to do the right thing, he will not be able to do anything – even the wrong he will not be able to do, because this will become such a tension on his mind. And what is right and what is wrong? How you can decide? A man of wisdom, a man of understanding, does not choose. He simply feels. He simply throws his awareness everywhere, and in that light he moves. Wherever he moves is right.

Right does not belong to things; it belongs to you – the one who is moving. It is not that Buddha did right things – no! Whatsoever he did was right. Discrimination is a poor word. A man of understanding has discrimination. He doesn’t think about it; just it is easy for him. If you want to get out of this room, you simply move out of the door. You don’t grope. You don’t first go to the wall and try to find the way. You simply go out. You don’t even think that this is the door.

But when a blind man has to go out, he asks, ”Where is the door?” And then too he tries to find it. He will knock many places with his cane, he will grope, and continuously in the mind he will think, ”Is it the door or the wall? Am I going right or wrong?” And when he comes to the door, he thinks, ”Yes, now this is the door.”

All this happens because he is blind. You have to discriminate because you are blind; you have to think because you are blind; you have to believe in right and wrong because you are blind; you have to be in discipline and morality because you are blind. When understanding flowers, when the flame is there, you simply see and everything is clear. When you have an inner clarity, everything is clear; you become perceptive. Whatsoever you do is simply right. Not that it is right so you do it; you do it with understanding, and it is right.

Shraddha, virya, smriti, samadhi, prajna. Others who attain asamprajnata samadhi attain through trust, infinite energy, effort, total self-remembrance, a non-questioning mind and a flame of understanding. 

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