Blog SAMYAMA IN PATANJALI YOGASUTRA
July 4, 2020
SAMYAMA IN PATANJALI YOGASUTRA
‘Samyama’ is the synchronous exercising of three paramount sadhanas (spiritual practices) of Ashtanga Yoga in Patanjali Yoga sutra. These three uppermost sadhanas are Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (The highest state of consciousness). Practicing Samyama will help to attain firm and tremendous knowledge on any matter. If yogi practices and attains success in Samyama, he will experience the enlightenment of spiritual wisdom. This spiritual wisdom is termed as Adhyatmaprasadham (spiritual grace) in Patanjali Yoga Sutra. The first step for practicing Samyama is to focus on Sthula (tangible, substantial) objects and then shifting the focus to Sukshma (subtle, insubstantial) objects. In this way, a yogi must focus his mind step by step to practice Samyama.
Three limbs (practices) out of eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga namely, Dharna (concentration), Dhyana (meditational absorption), and Samadhi (The highest state of consciousness ) are internal practices and works to achieve ultimate power and highest wisdom; than other limbs namely, Yama (external discipline), Niyama (internal discipline), Asana (posture), Pranayama (breath control) and Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), which works preparation to do Samyama. A yogi attains Yoga siddhi (Supernatural power or abilities) by practicing these internal practices of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
When “Samyama” practices reach its heights, Samskaras (some components of all that we do and experience through our intelligence, mind and senses will remain with us. Such countless collection of good and bad experience components are called Samskaras) will unite with Samadhi in a way that it cannot reoccur and the Poorva Samskara will get refined. The mind will then shift from normal thinking to focused thinking, and thereafter enter into a state which will control all your thoughts. This transformation of the mind is called Parinama Samadhi. Whatever transformation the mind undergoes here is called Ekagratha Parinamam (transformation of one-pointedness). Then, only the weakened human thoughts and the thriving Samadhi thoughts will develop in mind.
The transformation state that Patanjali intends is not confined only to yogi but could be achieved by every substance in the world. This is because every substance is Thrigunamayam (the combination of three qualities) i.e. Thamass (darkness), Rajas (passion), and Sattva (pure) gunas (qualities). These qualities (gunas) have an evolutionary nature. According to Samkhya philosophy and Science of Yoga, no matter is created in the world. It exists as ‘pre-existing components’ before its creation. An object attains Dharm parinamam (transformation of characteristic quality) when it is converted from its elemental form to a material form. For example, clay (elemental matter) attains its dharm parinamam when it is transformed into a pot (material matter). Similarly, gold (elemental matter) attains its dharm parinamam when it is converted into a gold ornament (material matter). There will be exceptional changes in the physical appearance and beauty of the gold. In this way, when Samyama reaches its peak in a yogi, he will experience something that cannot be experienced with his sense organs.
For example, when a yogi attains the peak of Samyama he will be able to see microscopic organisms, gems under the ocean, treasures beneath the earth, objects at a faraway distance, etc, could be seen in actual reality. You will attained a power of perception that beyond the five senses. Practicing Samyama will drive one to answer questions about himself. A yogi who has practiced Samyama to its peak will be able to see his self one-to-one. He will gain deep and divine wisdom that will solve self-inquiries like ‘who am I?’, ‘where did I come from?’, ‘where am I heading to?’ etc. Yogi attains siddhi and perfection of oneself by constant practice of Samyama. He reaches the self-realization state where he will find the authentic meaning of life and his self.