Sutra 1.17

Sep 15, 2023 | Blog | 0 comments

TRANSLATION: Samprajnata Samadhi is that which is accompanied by reasoning, reflection, bliss and pure being.

1. vitarka: unpleasant thought,
2. vicāra: pleasant thought, reflection
3. ānanda: bliss, ecstasy
4. asmitā: sense of individuality
5. rupa: form, nature
6. asmitā-rūpa: feeling of oneness with nature and with one’s own form
7. anugamāt: accompanied by, associated with
8. saṁprajñātaḥ: samadhi with prajna, absolute knowledge
In this sutra Patanjali explains to us that all the information inside makes up these four sub sections:
vitarka: repressed or bad thought, reasoning;
vicāra: subtle good thought, reflection; ānanda: bliss, ecstasy;
asmitā: sense of individuality, sense of “I”

  • As we start to meditate, we start to draw our awareness inward, and we experience these 4 stages. Patanjali is giving us an idea of what is to come when we start our inward journey. In this way, we are better prepared for what is to come, and can recognize it as it arises.
  • This first stage, vitarka, are the memories & thoughts, that we were repressed. These tend to be the more intense experiences, therefore, they tend to come up first and can feel uncomfortable. As we learn to observe these thoughts and memories from a birds-eye view, we can process them, we can rise above them.
  • The next stage is vicāra which are the more pleasant thoughts. This stage comes after we have learned to process and move on from the unpleasant memories and thoughts that we were pressed in the previous stage. This is often what people refer to when they come out of meditation and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
  • After we have moved through the first two stages, then we move into the experiential stage of ānanda, bliss. This is when we move beyond thoughts, and able to simply feel and experience the present moment.
  • In the final stage, the meditator goes from being separate from the experience, to merging with the experience. And this stage the meditator, feels the sense of the ego, and then goes beyond it. In this stage, there is no “I”, the meditator and the experience is one and the same.