The witness cannot be witnessed.
– Yoga Sūtra C4 v21
Thus Yukti Anumāna or skilful inference through the process of ne’iti, ne’iti or not this, not that, is seen as a means to understand all except that, which cannot be identified, yet still expresses the essence of existence.
It is also interesting to observe that nowhere in the Yoga Sūtra does Patañjali look at Puruṣa or Cit (awareness) as a direct choice for a Dheya (to be meditated on), for Dhyāna (the process of mediation), for the Dhyāta (one who is meditating).
Thus in the spirit of the Indian method of Jijñāsā (the desire to ‘know’ what is understanding), the self-inquiry is only on the nature of the relationship, not on the Cit or Puruṣa as an entity, nor on whether Awareness ‘exists’ in isolation or otherwise, as a means to realise ne’iti ne’iti.
The nature of this relationship is known as Saṃyoga:
draṣṭṛ-dṛśyayoḥ saṃyogaḥ heya-hetuḥ
“The cause of what must be avoided is the conjunction of the seer and the seen.”
– Yoga Sūtra C2 v17
The nature of the process to realise this distinction of conjunction is known as Prakṛti-Puruṣa-Viveka:
“Yoga is about cultivating a profound discernment (Viveka) of the difference between the Nature of our Being (Puruṣa) and the Nature of our Nature (Prakṛti).”
– Yoga Sūtra C1 v12-17
The nature of the process to recognise this distinction involves a ‘giving up’:
“Unwavering recognition of discrimination is the means for giving up.”
– Yoga Sūtra C2 v26
It may be interesting to note here that Patañjali is inferring that something needs to be given up rather than something be acquired. A very common theme throughout the Yoga Sūtra as an aspect of the paradox of looking for that which is looking for that which is looking for that which is looking for that which…..
Furthermore Cit cannot be known by the ‘I’ because what we are looking for cannot be ‘seen’ and basically at a certain point the ‘I’ has to ‘move over’ from thinking it is doing the looking to allow space for expression of that which fulfils all space.
“One who has seen the distinction ceases from the cultivation of becoming the essence.”
– Yoga Sūtra C4 v25
Such is the conundrum of what we are looking for also happening to be where we are looking from.