Powers of Transformation


iii. 21-34 Transformational Capacities

3.21 Through sustained sanyama on the Rūpakaya, the Yogi is rendered indiscernible by the carnally refracted-eye of the perceiver.

Perception of phenomena requires light that is filtered and refracted by the observer’s eye. The ancient Yogins discovered that by intercepting light and rendering it barely visible to the carnal eye, one’s Rūpakaya (physical body) as well as one’s samsaric-(personalized) energy-signature can be rendered totally unperceivable. This is not the same technique employed by H.G. Wells in his book, “The Invisible Man”—wherein flesh and blood, through chemical means, fades away. Rather it is a technique that renders the “perceivers” senses off- kilter—thus clouding their vision—much like “The Shadow” radio-character. In the 1994 movie, “The Shadow”, the nemesis in the story could also render “physical structures” unperceivable as well. One of my resources in this series is the 1927 publication of the Yoga Sutras by James Haughton Woods. The language employed is highly technical, but if one is earnest enough the true treasure of this translation shines through. This particular commentary of sutra 3.21 is most constructive:

A body has its essence in five [coarse elements]. And as having form it comes under the eye. For as having form the body and the colour of the body pass through the experience of being the object-of-action of the process-of-knowing by the eye. Thus when the yogin performs a special kind of constraint upon the [external] form, then the power of being known, which belongs to the colour and which is the source of the direct-perception of a body having form, is stopped. Therefore when the power to be known is stopped, the yogin becomes indiscernible. In other words, the body of the yogin does not become the object of the thinking [coming from] the eye. The meaning is that when this is done, indiscernibility is the cause.–<<In this way.>> When as a result of constraint upon sound or touch or taste or smell with reference to the body the power of these [four objects of senses] to be known is stopped, and when there is no connexion between the light [that is, of the other person, the observer] and the [other’s] organ of hearing or of touch or of taste or of smell,–then [the yogin] becomes indiscernible to these [organs]. Such, mutatis mutandis, is the meaning of the sutra. (The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, James Haughton Woods, pg. 250)

3.22 Karmic fruits, as observed through the sanyamic enterprise, can relay the time of the yogin’s death as well as portend the future (through omens).

Through sanyama the yogin can discern, through the karmic fruits dispersed throughout the yogin’s life, what actions led to this present rebirth and what forthcoming actions will reveal the completion of this life-cycle. If sufficient Buddha-gnosis and Deep Samādhis has been procured through faithful abidance in the Unborn, then the Yogin is primed to meet and merge with the Luminative Light of the Dharmakaya of their own Mind in the Bardo of Dharmatā (see Bardo 5: The Bardo of Dharmatā in The Lankavatarian Book of the Dead). If the Karmic time is not ripe and one is in need of further Spiritual Growth, then the yogin has a portent for the shape of things to come in the next reincarnation.

3.23 Compassionate Union with Others can be sealed through the sanyamic enterprise, in particular through one-pointed empathy which yields fruits of tenderness and dispassion towards the false no-self.

Engaging in the sanyamic enterprise the yogin gains enough insight into the nature of Self-realization that empathy with one’s samsaric peers occurs naturally; this is a safeguard that helps to dispel the evil influence of the no-self beast who yearns for yogins to inwardly destroy themselves through the false-light, that shines only on the self-empty hole of Mara’s darkest designs for the unwary spirit.

3.24 Continuous sanyama on the Strength of an Elephant or other such creature yields untold inner-strength.

This is a metaphor for the Yogin to Self-Realize that the infinite wonders of the Unborn are always at hand to deepen insight and one’s Recollective Resolve.

3.25 Persistent Recollection on the Great Inner-Illuminative Light of the Unborn induces untold insights into the hidden-secrets of the cosmos.

Direct and One-Pointedness of Mind on the Great Inner-Illuminative Light of the Unborn empowers the Yogin to remove the veil that separates the hidden wonders of the cosmos; in the words of the Poet Yeats, “He Completes his partial [divided, inclusion mine] mind”.

[*The remaining sutras in this section utilize microcosmic terminologies that balance the macrocosmic spectrum; essentially, Patañjali’s referring to the subtle body, or the chakras as well as the corresponding nadis, or energy channels.]

3.26 With sanyama on the Solar Principle, the yogin realizes gnosis on Pingala and all corresponding Yang energies.

The Solar Principle encompasses all active attributes that generate the life-force within both macro and microcosmic levels. Here the emphasis is on the Pingala Nadis, or the right psychic nerve extending from the right side of the body, through the right nostril, and routed directly to the left hemisphere of the brain. The energies produced emphasize active Yang energies, like motor and intellectual functionality that are engaged in the brain’s left hemisphere. The corresponding chakra is the solar plexus. Within Unborn Mind Zen this is referred to as the Sugata-garbha Chakra, located just above the navel. This chakra sustains satisfaction and contentment. It is also the center that empowers one’s Spiritual Ascent in the Unborn.

3.27 With sanyama on the Lunar Principle, the yogin realizes gnosis on Ida and all corresponding Yin energies.

The Lunar Principle encompasses all the receptive attributes that are a source of regeneration and re-unification with the Illuminative Light of the Unborn. Here the emphasis is on Ida, or the left psychic nerve channel extending from the left side of the body, through the left nostril, and then routed directly to the right hemisphere of the brain. The energies produced are now Yin in nature, like pure-intuition, wisdom, playful creativity and instinctual receptivity that are characteristic of the brain’s right hemisphere. The corresponding chakra is known as the Bindu, or Moon-centre:

Bindu = point, drop The Bindu Chakra is situated beneath the whirl of hair at the tip of the head. In the picture of the Bindu is a Lotus with twenty-three petals. Its symbol is the moon, which supports the growing of vegetation. Lord Krishna said: “Becoming the nectarine moon I nourish all plants” (Bhagavad Gita XV/13). Its Divinity is Lord Shiva, who is always portrayed with the crescent moon in his hair. The Mantra is SHIVOHAM. This Chakra is colourless and transparent. The Bindu Chakra is an important centre for health, giving us the power for physical and mental recuperation. This Chakra benefits eyesight, quietens the emotions and promotes inner harmony, clarity and balance. With the help of this Chakra we are capable of controlling hunger and thirst and gain the ability to overcome unhealthy eating habits. Concentration on the Bindu relieves anxiety and depression, nervousness and also feelings of oppression in the heart. (http://www.yogaindailylife.org/esystem/yoga/en/180700/chakras/bindu-chakra/)

3.28 With Sanyama upon the Soul Star, the yogin realizes gnosis on the eye of the spirit.

The Soul Star is recognized in some esoteric systems as the “Eighth Chakra” It is situated a few inches above the Crown Chakra and is a direct link with the Unborn Spirit. The Light-Force emanating from the Star indicates a unification of contemplation and activity; thus the Tathatic-Eye and the Eye of the Beholder are as One. As mentioned elsewhere within these blogs, Eckhart once wrote, “The eye with which I see God is the same eye God sees me. 

3.29 With Sanyama upon the navel, the yogin realizes gnosis on the Dantien.

The Dantien, or in Unborn Mind Zen, the Bodhi-Chakra, is the vital energy center that focuses upon the Primordial Prajna as well as the Primordial Energy (Qi) of the Unborn within us. Being thus attuned with the Dantien the yogin learns to turn a deaf-ear (de-tune) to all phenomenal distractions that are created by the carnal, discriminatory mind; the yogin then “Un-creates” dukkha by gently returning again and again to this primordial center.

3.30 With Sanyama on the Throat-centre, the yogin enjoys equilibrium of spirit.

The Throat-centre, or in Unborn Mind Zen, the Dharmasota Chakra, is the chakra wherein the yogin attains the Dharma-ear That always expresses the sound (Parato ghosa) of deathlessness; thus, all “hunger and thirst” for spiritual liberation is quenched.

3.31 With Sanyama on the “tortoise vein”, the yogin develops motionlessness.

Also known as the kūrma nerve, this vein that is shaped like a tortoise is located in the chest region and runs throughout the whole body. In perfect poise on this region, the yogin, like the tortoise remains steady and calm and can withdraw from phenomena at a moment’s notice.

3.32 With Sanyama at the crown of the head (Crown Chakra), the yogin master’s direct one-pointedness of Spirit.

Known as the Dharmamegha Chakra in Unborn Mind Zen, the yogin, through direct one-pointedness of mind, unites with the Unborn Spirit. Regular meditation with this chakra will affect Undivided and full Self-realization of Noble Wisdom.

3.33 Through Perfect Intuitive-Clarity in the Unborn, Supreme Gnosis is Realizable.

Once these other siddhis have been mastered, the Yogin intuitively yokes with the Unborn Mind. In such an undivided Spirit-Union, Supreme Gnosis is fully realizable since the yogin no longer depends on one’s former will, but on the Divine Will of the Unborn Spirit Itself; this Divine Will is Omniscient.

3.34 With Sanyama on the Heart (Chakra), the yogin yokes with the purity of the Spirit-Mind.

Through regular meditation on the Heart Chakra, the yogin comes to the full realization that the Unoriginated Self is eternally Pure (Pure Mind) and unaffected from defiled sensate phenomena. All former karmic-conditioning now fades away in the ecstasy of this Dharmameghic Union.

This entry was posted in The Yogasūtras of Patañjali and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image