'The wise, by means of an inner
concentration on the "ātman" ('adhyātmayoga'), thinking him who is
placed in the cavity (in the heart), whose abode is impervious, who
exists from times of old, leaves both grief and joy.'
'Verily, there is no merit higher than Yoga, no good higher than
Yoga, no subtlety higher than Yoga ; there is nothing that is higher
than Yoga !' Yogashikhā-Upanisad, I.67.
'With mindfulness of the body established, controlled over
contact's sixfold base, a bhikkhu who is always concentrated can
know Nirvāna for himself.'
The Udāna, 3:5.
The Yoga-Sūtra of Patañjali
in English, French and Dutch
Completely Revised Edition
Book I, II, III & IV
English, French & Dutch
Table of Contents
Five Fluctuations & Kriyā-Yoga
Union : Seedless & Seeded
Alternative Paths to Union
From Seeded to Seedless Union
The Causes of Sorrow & their Mechanics
The Seer & the Seen
The Morality of the Yogic Path
The Outer Limbs Completed
The Vision of Discernment
Nature's Will & Conscious Action
Karma and the Yogi
1.2 Yoga is the restriction of the flux of
1.3 Then the seer stands in his own form.
1.4 At other times, there is conformity with this
1.5 This flux is fivefold ; afflicted or
1.6 They are : valid cognition, misconception,
conceptualization, sleep and memory.
1.7 Valid cognition is based on perception, inference
1.8 Misconception is false knowledge not based on the
appearance of its object.
1.9 Conceptualization is without perceivable object,
following verbal knowledge.
1.10 Sleep is a fluctuation resting on the thought of
1.11 Remembering is not being deprived of the
1.12 Restrict this flux through practice and
1.13 Practice is the effort to gain stability in that
1.14 This is firmly grounded only when cultivated
properly and for a long time uninterruptedly.
1.15 Dispassion is the smart volition of one without
thirst for sensate and revealed objects.
1.16 Superior to that is non–thirsting for the strata
of Nature resulting from the vision of purusa.
1.17 Seeded union is called ‘cognitive’ by being
connected with cogitation, reflection, joy and I–am–ness.
1.18 The other (seedless union) has a residuum of
reactors and follows the former when the thought of cessation is
1.19 The union of those who have merged with Nature
and those who are bodiless is due to their focus on the thought of
1.20 Seedless union is preceded by faith, energy,
mindfulness, (seeded) union and supra–cognition.
1.21 This is near to him who is extremely vehement in
1.22 Because this can be modest, medium or excessive,
the result differs.
1.23 Or union through devotion to the Lord.
1.24 The Lord is a special purusa untouched by the
causes of sorrow, karma and its fruition and the deposit in the
1.25 In Him the seed of all–knowing is unsurpassed.
1.26 He was also the mentor of the ancients by virtue
of His temporal non–boundedness.
1.27 His word is OM.
1.28 Recite it to realize its meaning.
1.29 Hence the attainment of inwardmindedness and
also the disappearance of the get betweens.
1.30 Sickness, idleness, doubt, carelessness, sloth,
lack of detachment, false vision, non–attaining the stages (of yoga) and
instability are the distractions of consciousness ; these are the
1.31 Pain, depression, tremor of the limbs, wrong
inhalation and exhalation jointly become with the distractions.
1.32 Counteract these by practice on a single object.
1.33 To show friendliness, compassion, gladness and
equanimity –be they joyful, sorrowful, meritorious or demeritorious– pacifies consciousness.
1.34 Or through controlled expulsion and retention of
1.35 Or it comes about when a heightened sensoric
activity has arisen holding the mind steady.
1.36 Or by the sorrowless and illuminating.
1.37 Or when consciousness is directed to those who
1.38 Or when resting on knowledge arising from dream
1.39 Or through contemplation as desired.
1.40 His mastery extends from the most minute to the
1.41 And when fluctuations have dwindled,
consciousness is like a transparent jewel ; there results with reference
to the ‘grasper’, ‘grasping’ and the ‘grasped’ a coincidence with that on
which consciousness abides and by which it is ‘anointed’.
1.42 So long there is conceptual knowledge based on
the meaning of words, the state is called ‘coincidence mixed with
cogitation’, or conceptual union.
1.43 When the depth–memory is purified, as it were
empty of its essence and the object alone is shining forth, the state is
empty of cogitations, or non–cogitative union.
1.44 Thus by these forms the other two types of
union, subtle and ultra–subtle are explained ; they use subtle objects.
1.45 And the subtle objects terminate in the
1.46 These forms of coincidence (cogitative,
non–cogitative, subtle and ultra–subtle) verily are with seed.
1.47 When there is a autumnal brightness in
ultra–subtle union, the state is the clarity of the inner being.
1.48 In this state of lucidity, insight is
1.49 The scope of this differs from that gained from
what one heard and inferred ; this owing to its particular purposiveness.
1.50 The reactor born from that binds all others.
1.51 When also this is restricted, owing to the
restriction of all, seedless union ensues.
(Thus ends the first chapter on union of the Yoga Sūtra composed by Patañjali)
2.1 Ascesis, self–study and devotion to Īshvara constitute the yoga of
2.2 This yoga aims at cultivating union and
attenuating the causes of sorrow.
2.3 Nescience, I–am–ness, attachment, aversion, the
will–to–live are the five causes of sorrow.
2.4 Nescience is the field of the other causes ; they
can be dormant, weak, intermittent or aroused.
2.5 Nescience is the seeing of the eternal, pure,
joyful and the ātman in the ephemeral, impure, sorrowful and in what is
2.6 I–am–ness is the identification as it were of the
seer and the capacity of seeing.
2.7 Attachment rests upon pleasant experiences.
2.8 Aversion rests opon sorrowful experiences.
2.9 Thus the will–to–live, flowing along by its own
inclination, is rooted even in the sages.
2.10 The subtle form of these (causes of affliction,
namely the reactors and thoughts during union), has to be overcome by the
process of (spiritual) counter–flow.
2.11 The crude form of these causes of sorrow are to
be left behind by contemplation.
2.12 The causes of sorrow are the root of the
action–deposit and this may be experienced in this or in future lives.
2.13 So long as the root exist, there is fruition
from it in the form of birth, a span of life and enjoyment.
2.14 These have delight or distress as results,
according to the meritorious or demeritorous causes.
2.15 Because of the sorrow present in the
transformation of Nature, in its anguish, in its reactors and due to the
conflict between the movements of Nature, to the discerner all is merely
2.16 What is to be abandoned is the sorrow yet to
2.17 The correlation made between the seer and the
seen is the cause of what is to be overcome.
2.18 The seen has the character of brightness,
activity and inertia ; is embodied in elements and sense–organs and serves
the purpose of enjoyment and emancipation.
2.19 The strata of Nature are : the particularized,
unparticularized, differentiate and undifferentiate.
2.20 The seer is sheer seeing, but though pure, sees
the mind (and its thoughts).
2.21 The essence of the seen is only for the sake of
2.22 Although the seen has ceased to exist for he who
has accomplished his purpose, it has nevertheless not ceased to exist,
since it is a common experience to all others.
2.23 The correlation allows to apprehend the own form
of the power of the owner and of the owned.
2.24 The cause of this is ignorance.
2.25 When this disappears, the correlation ceases ;
this is cessation, the aloneness of seeing.
2.26 The means of cessation is the unceasing vision
2.27 For he who possesses this there arises, in the
last stage, prajñā, which is sevenfold.
2.28 Through the performance of the members of yoga
and with the dwindling of impurity, the radiance of true knowledge comes
about, up to the vision of discernment.
2.29 Restraints, observances, posture,
breath–control, sense–withdrawal, concentration, contemplation and union
are the eight.
2.30 Non–harming, truthfulness, non–stealing,
chastity and greedlessness are the restraints.
2.31 Valid in all spheres, irrespective of birth,
place, time and circumstance are these. They are the great vow.
2.32 Purity, contentment, austerity, self–study and
devotion to the Lord are the observances.
2.33 For the repelling of unwholesome thoughts
cultivate their opposites.
2.34 Thoughts such as harming etc., whether done,
caused to be done or approved, whether arising from greed, anger or
delusion, whether modest, medium or excessive – these find their unending
fruition in nescience and sorrow ; so cultivate their opposites.
2.35 When grounded in non–harming, all enmity is
abandoned in one's presence.
2.36 When grounded in truthfulness, one masters
action and its fruition.
2.37 When grounded in non–stealing, all jewels
2.38 When grounded in chastity, vitality is obtained.
2.39 When settled in greedlessness one secures
knowledge of the whys and wherefores of one's births.
2.40 Purity gives a distance towards one's limbs and
the desire of non–defilement by others.
2.41 Furthermore, also purity of beingness, gladness,
one–pointedness, mastery of the sense–organs and the capability of seeing
one's ātman are achieved.
2.42 Through contentment unexcelled joy is gained.
2.43 Through austerity, as impurity dwindles, power
over body and sense–organs.
2.44 Through self–study, contact with the chosen
2.45 Through devotion to the Lord, union.
2.46 Posture is steady and comfortable.
2.47 This is accompanied by the relaxation of tension
and the coinciding with the endless.
2.48 Hence, the pairs of opposites are unable to
2.49 When this is achieved, breath–control (the
cutting off of the flow of inhalation and exhalation) should be practised.
2.50 Breath–control is external, internal and fixed
in its flux, it is regulated by place, time and number, it can be
protracted or contracted.
2.51 Transcending the external and the internal
sphere is called ‘the fourth’.
2.52 Then, the covering of the light (of knowledge)
2.53 And the mind is fit for concentration.
2.54 Sense–withdrawal occurs
when the senses disunite from their respective sense organs, corresponding
to the own form of consciousness.
2.55 Hence the supreme obedience of the sense–organs.
ends the second chapter on realization of the Yoga Sūtra
composed by Patañjali)
3.1 Concentration is the binding of consciousness to a single spot.
3.2 Here, the one–directionality of the thoughts
related to the object of concentration is contemplation.
3.3 That, shining forth as the object of
concentration –as it were empty of its own form– is union.
3.4 The three together are constraint.
3.5 Through mastery of that prajñā flashes forth.
3.6 Its progression is gradual.
3.7 Compared with the previous members these three
3.8 Yet in relation to seeded union they are outer
3.9 The restriction–transformation connected with
consciousness in its moment of restriction is the subjugation of the
reactors of emergence and the outgoing of that of restriction.
3.10 The calm flow of this is effected through
3.11 Union–transformation is the dwindling of
all–objectness and the uprising of one–pointedness.
3.12 Then, when the quiescent and the uprisen
thoughts are similar, the one–pointedness–transformation of consciousness
3.13 By this are explained the transformations of
form, time–variation and condition with regard to the elements and the
3.14 The form–bearer is that which follows the
quiescent, the uprisen or the indeterminable.
3.15 The cause of the difference in the
transformations is the differences in the sequence.
3.16 Through constraint on the three forms of
transformation comes knowledge of past and future.
3.17 The sound, the object and the thought are
superimposed on one another in a confused way. Through constraint on the
distinction of these, there arises knowledge of the sounds of all living
3.18 Through a perception of the reactors, knowledge
of previous births.
3.19 Through the thoughts of another, knowledge of
3.20 But not of the object suporting this, for it is
absent from it.
3.21 Through constraint on the form of the body, upon
the suspension of the capacity to be perceived, meaning the disruption of
the light travelling from that body to the eye, invisibility.
3.22 Karma is acute or deferred. Through constraint
thereon, or from omens, knowledge of the time of death.
3.23 Through constraint on friendliness etc., the
powers of that quality.
3.24 Through constraint on the power of the elephant
etc., the strength of it.
3.25 By focusing the light of cognition on any
object, knowledge of its subtle, concealed and distant aspects.
3.26 Through constraint on the Sun, knowledge of the
3.27 Through constraint on the Moon, knowledge of the
arrangement of the stars.
3.28 Through constraint on the pole–star, knowledge
of their movement.
3.29 Through constraint on the navel wheel, knowledge
of the organization of the body.
3.30 Through constraint on the throat wheel, the
cessation of hunger and thirst.
3.31 Through constraint on the tortoise channel,
3.32 Through constraint on the light in the head,
vision of the perfected ones.
3.33 Or in a flash–of–illumination all is known.
3.34 Through constraint on the heart, understanding
3.35 Experience is a thought based on the
non–distinction between absolutely unblended purusa and beingness.
Knowledge of purusa comes from constraint on the own–purpose of purusa,
apart from the other–purposiveness of Nature.
3.36. Hence, a flash–of–illumination in hearing,
sensing, sight, taste and smell.
3.37 These are obstacles to union, but attainments in
3.38 Consciousness can enter another's body on
relaxation of the cause of attachment and through the experience of going
3.39 Through mastery of the up–breath, one gains the
power of non–adhesion to water, mud and thorns and levitation.
3.40 Through mastery of the mid–breath one acquires
3.41 Through constraint on the relation between ear
and ether, the Divine ear.
3.42 Through constraint on the relation between body
and ether and through the coincidence with light objects such as cotton,
the power of traversing the ether.
3.43 An external, non–imaginary state of mind is the
‘great incorporeal’ from which comes the dwindling of the coverings of the
3.44 Through constraint on the coarse, the own form,
the subtle, the connectedness and the purposiveness of objects, mastery
over the elements.
3.45 Hence, the manifestation of powers such as
atomisation etc., the perfection of the body and the indestructibility of
3.46 Beauty, gracefulness and adamant robustness are
the perfection of the body.
3.47 Through constraint on the process of perception,
the own–form, I–am–ness, connectedness and purposiveness, mastery over the
3.48 Hence, speed of mind lacking sense–organs and
mastery over the matrix of Nature.
3.49 For he who has merely the vision of discernment
between purusa and beingness the supremacy over all states and omniscience
3.50 Through dispassion even to that, with the
dwindling of the seed of the defects, aloneness.
3.51 The invitation of the high–placed gives no cause
of attachment or pride, because the renewed and undesired inclination can
once again manifest.
3.52 Through constraint on the moment and its
sequence, knowledge born of discernment.
3.53 Hence the awareness of the difference between
similars which cannot normally be distinguished due to the continuity of
the distinctions of class, appearance and position.
3.54 The knowledge born of discernment is a liberator
and is omni–objective, omni–temporal and non–sequential.
3.55 Thus, with the equality in purity of the sattva
and purusa, aloneness.
(Thus ends the third chapter
on power of the Yoga Sūtra composed by Patañjali)
4.1 The powers are the result of birth, herbs, mantra, ascesis or union.
4.2 The transformation into another category of
existence is possible because Nature is superabundant.
4.3 The cause–without–measure does not create Nature
but –as a farmer– singles–out possibilities.
4.4 Individualized consciousness proceeds from the
4.5 These individualized consciousnesses are engaged
in distinct activities, but the one consciousness is the originator of the
4.6 Of these individualized consciousnesses, that
born out of contemplation is without subliminal deposit.
4.7 The karma of the yogi is neither black or white ;
that of the others is threefold.
4.8 Thence follows the manifestation only of those
subliminal traits corresponding to its fruition.
4.9 On account of the uniformity between the
depth–memory and the subliminal activators there is a causal relation,
even though separated in terms of place, time and birth.
4.10 These are without beginning because of the
perpetuity of the primordial will.
4.11 Because of the connection (of subliminal traits)
with cause, fruit, substratum and support, it follows that with the
disappearance of these, the disappearance of those is brought about.
4.12 Past and future as such exist, because of the
difference in the paths of the forms.
4.13 These are manifest or subtle and composed of the
4.14 The ‘that–ness’ of an object derives from the
homogeneity in the transformation.
4.15 In view of the multiplicity of consciousness as
opposed to the singleness of an object, both belong to separate levels.
4.16An object is not dependent
on a single consciousness. If so, what would happen to it when not
perceived (by that mind) ?
4.17 An object is known or not by reason of the
required coloration of consciousness by it.
4.18 Because of the immutability of purusa, the
fluctuations of consciousness are always known by its superior.
4.19 That fluctuating consciousness has no
self–luminosity because of its seenness.
4.20 And so it is impossible to cognise both
consciousness and its object simultaneously.
4.21 If consciousness were perceived by another this
would lead to a regress from cognition to cognition, confusing memory.
4.22 When the unchanging awareness assumes the shape
of that consciousness, experience of one's own cognitions becomes
4.23 Provided consciousness is coloured by the seer
and the seen, it can perceive any object.
4.24 That consciousness, though speckled with
countless subliminal traits, has its own other–purpose due to (being
limited to) its collaborate activity.
4.25 For him who sees the distinction, there comes
about the discontinuation of the cultivation of the false self–sense.
4.26 Then consciousness –inclined towards
is borne onwards towards aloneness.
4.27 In the intervals of that consciousness, other
thoughts may arise from the reactors.
4.28 Their cessation is achieved in the same way as
described for the causes of sorrow.
4.29 Always non–usurious even in that consciousness
and through the vision of discernment, a union designated as ‘cloud of
4.30 Hence the discontinuation of the causes of
sorrow and of karma.
4.31 Then, when all coverings of imperfection are
removed, little remains to be known because of the infinity of knowledge.
4.32 Hence the termination of the sequences in the
transformation of the gunas, whose purpose is fulfilled.
4.33 ‘Sequence’ means that which is correlative to
the moment, apprehensible at the terminal point of a transformation.
4.34 The process–of–evolution of the gunas, devoid of
the purpose for purusa, is aloneness, the establishment of the power of
awareness in its own form. End.
ends the fourth chapter on aloneness of the Yoga Sūtra
composed by Patañjali)
Nick Evans in Viranchyâsana A
With thanks to Yogi Nick Evans who
was so kind and generous to share his chanting of the Yoga-Sûtra.
The chanting of the book is
preceded by an invocation and ends with a short prayer.
Mistakes are due to my own ignorance and not to
May all who encounter the Dharma accumulate compassion & wisdom.
May sentient beings recognize their Buddha-nature and find true peace.