(Last Updated on : 25/03/2010)
The twenty-fifth yogic sutra speaks about the elusive effects of the knower and the known. One is always inclined to worldly desires and cravings. These can never be avoided, and one gradually is entangled within the pleasures and pains. However, one can come out from these shackles by understanding the attributes of nature and gain truest knowledge and understanding.
from non-existence, from non-occurrence, from absence, from non-entity
union, association, conjunction
act of leaving, stopping, removing, remedying
of the knower, seer
absolute freedom, emancipation, absorption in the
The destruction of ignorance through right knowledge breaks the link binding the seer to the seen. This is kaivalya or emancipation.
This sutra explains the effect of breaking down the link that binds the knower to the known.
At this point, the seen loses its hold and influence on the seer, miseries terminate and the soul is heightened to experience perfect freedom.
The core of Patanjali's message in these tough sutras is - yoga is specifically designed to help one avert the sort of slips and errors in one's conduct which store up future sorrows, and it builds up one's strength, vitality and valour to deal with the inevitable problems of life.
One is aware that one's mind turns more gladly to the world's pleasures than to the vision of the soul. It is a bridge between the senses and the spirit; it is a secret enemy, and a deceitful friend, which can change one's conduct without giving one time to consider. Patanjali advises the sadhaka to train the mind and encourage discrimination, so that objects and events are seen only for what they are, then they cannot gain power over one. This is exceedingly difficult, but an understanding of nature will help. Humans are matter (temporarily) and live surrounded by matter. Interaction with matter or nature is the condition of one's life. Without discrimination one cannot break free, but with understanding and practice one can use this interaction to reach highest peace and bliss.
If one wants to experience heaven on earth, one has to grasp the qualities of nature, the gunas, i.e., the polarity of rajas and tamos, the eternal pulse of nature between movement and stillness, and the higher balancing state of sattva. Nature has degrees of subtlety. Sometimes it is more densely or unmistakably manifest than at others, and Patanjali analyses as follows. The four parts are - distinguishable (visesa), unspecified or universal (avisesa), phenomenal (lihga) and, beyond this, noumenal (alihga). The five energetic qualities of nature, the elements, are, with the senses of perception and organs of action, distinguishable; while the five counterparts of the elements, sound, touch, taste, sight and smell are without specific signs (alihga); so also is the ego (asmita).
All these are subject to the gunas, which intermingle the behavioural patterns of an individual. If one understands the flow of these forces, one can reach balance, and from balance go on to true freedom. If not, one is swayed from one extreme to another, between pleasure and another pain. Yoga, says Patanjali, is the way to harmonise oneself at every level with the natural order of the universe, from the physical to the most subtle, to reach the total state of health which brings stability, to cultivate the mind with real understanding, and to reach out ultimately to undifferentiated infinity.
The seer is an absolute knower - awareness personified. Though pure, it becomes entangled in the illusions of the mind, which are part of nature. Yet the vehicles of nature are all there to help the seer to experience serene, pristine, divine purity. Then, the elements of nature and their counterparts ebb and unite in the root of nature, mula-prakrti.