The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Three Vibhūti Pādaḥ
A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter three of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapter as well as a combined version.
For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter three verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”
“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”
“Not everyone needs Pūrva Aṅga.
Some extraordinary people, because of merits in the past,
do not need this preparation. Quite a few examples exist.
However, if we try to emulate them we are in trouble.”
“We must recognise the necessity of preparation,
the need to work so we can come to a level where we are able to fix the question.”
“Thus, the ability to fix the question is a requisite for Dhyāna.
One who cannot is not ready for meditation.”
“One need not fix the question first.
Instead, one must do the preliminary preparation.
If that is done properly, one does not have to decide: the question will come.
You just rise to the level where questioning is possible.”
“Sometimes, a question may arise when you are not ready.
How to reach the question requires preliminaries,
for there must be a freshness in your approach.
If the approach is habitual, the response will be wrong.”
“When we equip ourselves better,
we will know the right question.
Only then can we say,
‘It is MY question’.”
“Patañjali does not mention this once.
He also says that if a person thinks about Īśvara and its presence and omnipotence
he will avoid problems and not get sick.
It sounds odd that such a practice will make you avoid sickness.
It means you will not suffer like others with the Antarāya.
You will reduce the obstacles, the suffering that accompany sickness.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“If there is not a strong link to that which is inside,
the stronger force becomes the outside,
and we are pulled by and to that.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
This post introduces a verse by verse interpretation of Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra.
I see this presentation as a Yoga Mālā or a thread of pearls on Yoga from Patañjali’s Sūtra eventually arranged over four chapters. I am endeavouring to stay close to my studies, but allow a little more freedom of expression in terms of choice of rendering to facilitate a more cohesive teachings thread for the reader.
For a fuller word by word Saṃskṛta study of the Yoga Sūtra readers are advised to follow the full online edition of the Yoga Sūtra wherein every word is translated and cross-linked along with a verse translation. This online Yoga Sūtra resource is also gradually accumulating commentaries from Krishnamacharya, Desikachar, Ramaswami from my own study notes along with personal reflections.
“In India the Purohita (person appointed to be in charge of the teaching)
has the authority to say:
Anuloma – What goes with what the person wants.
Viloma – What goes against what the person wants.
Pratiloma – What is different from what the person wants.
In the West too much Anuloma.
In India more Viloma and Pratiloma.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1998
“It is not possible for everyone to reach the same level of meditation (Dhyānam),
even meditation should be taught or presented in stages (viniyoga).
It should be used at a level suitable to the student and gradually increased,
start simply and increase in complexity.
This is dependant on the growth of the student and according to the purpose.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992
A lesser known facet of the Yoga Texts and Freenotes section of the Yoga Studies Website is the Yoga Texts Saṃskṛta Word Index. It started life as word by word linked index for the online Yoga Sūtra verses offering a meaning for each word and a cross Sūtra reference resource when exploring related contexts.
However as more Yoga Related Texts were added to the online Database it was obvious that the glossary needed to expand beyond the Yoga Sūtra to include Yoga related terms from other textual sources that matched or correlated with those in the Yoga Sūtra. So the glossary has expanded to include terms from Yoga related sources such as the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, the Bhagavad Gītā, the Gītārtha Saṃgraha and Haṭha Yoga Texts, though inevitably these will expand further over time.
“All mental distractions arise from the free play of the senses
and only through continuing practice can one keep their power in check.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18
From meditating on the Heart,
we come to know the habits of the Mind.
From coming to know the habits of the Mind,
we come to know the Intrinsic Nature of the Mind.
– Personal Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter 3 verse 34