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Book 1, Sutra 46: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra

“THESE STATES OF SAMAPATTI CAN BE CALLED ‘SABIJAH SAMADHI,’ OR SAMADHI WITH SEED.”

 

Samadhi with seed is the state of complete stillness that is still anchored to a center, or a seed. It is not yet a completely liberated mind. It still has a reference point and so, assumably, is still subject to the possibility of being disturbed or distracted. In samadhi with seed we have yet to reach a state that is beyond the possibility of being either disturbed (conforming to the “vrtti,” as sutra 4 describes) or distracted (“viksepah” from sutra 30). In other words, at that point none of the potential distractions listed in sutra 30 could possibly lead to any negative states listed in sutra 31. That is, such a yogi could never fall into a state of depression, pain or anxiety due to the occurrence of sickness, apathy, indecision, heedlessness (lack of mental focus to do the work), laziness, lust, wrong ideas or a perceived failure of any type. Even if these obstacles did arise the mind of the yogi could not waver. That is the goal of “yogas citta vrtti nirodhah.”

At this point, with sabijah samadhi, the yogi is almost there. His or her concentration is established and correct, focusing only on the underlying purpose of both objects existing and their related thoughts. But that concentration is still dependent on a center and so is not yet unassailable.

This book 1 of the Yoga Sutras is entitled “On Samadhi” but it is only now, at sutra 46, that we have reached the beginning of the description of “samadhi.” Only one earlier sutra (20) even mentions the word, itself. So we have been building up to the goal of yoga so far with the sutras. But it is important to remember that “samadhi,” although it is now a widely recognized word socially, is not the end goal of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. He first mentions “samadhi” in sutra 20 as ONE of the necessary components of the goal. In sutra 20 Patanjali told us that faith, energy, a purified memory, “samadhi,” and profound wisdom (“prajna”) lead us to the goal of yoga.

For this reason, and a few others I will go into later, I doubt that the individual chapter titles are part of Patanjali’s original text. I believe that they were added later in order to make the text easier to digest and understand. They are simplifications of the topics covered but they are not entirely accurate.