Chapter 4 of the Yoga Sutras: Absolute Freedom (Kaivalya Pada) extract from ”Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The 196 Sutras”
Yoga Sutras Interpretive English Translation by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
Chapter 4 of the Yoga Sutras: Absolute Freedom (Kaivalya Pada)
Means of attaining experience (Yoga Sutras 4.1-4.3)
4.1 The subtler attainments come with birth or are attained through herbs, mantra, austerities or concentration.
4.2 The transition or transformation into another form or type of birth takes place through the filling in of their innate nature.
4.3 Incidental causes or actions do not lead to the emergence of attainments or realization, but rather, come by the removal of obstacles, much like the way a farmer removes a barrier (sluice gate), so as to naturally allow the irrigation of his field.
Advanced use of mind (Yoga Sutras 4.4-4.6)
4.4 The emergent mind fields springs forth from the individuality of I-ness (asmita).
4.5 While the activities of the emergent mind fields may be diverse, the one mind is the director of the many.
4.6 Of these mind fields, the one that is born from meditation is free from any latent impressions that could produce karma.
Actions and karma (Yoga Sutras 4.7-4.8)
4.7 The actions of yogis are neither white nor black, while they are threefold for others.
4.8 Those threefold actions result in latent impressions (vasanas) that will later arise to fruition only corresponding to those impressions.
Subconscious impressions (Yoga Sutras 4.9-4.12)
4.9 Since memory (smriti) and the deep habit patterns (samskaras) are the same in appearance, there is an unbroken continuity in the playing out of those traits, even though there might be a gap in location, time, or state of life.
4.10 There is no beginning to the process of these deep habit patterns (samskaras), due to the eternal nature of the will to live.
4.11 Since the impressions (4.10) are held together by cause, motive, substratum, and object, they disappear when those deep impressions disappear.
4.12 Past and future exist in the present reality, appearing to be different because of having different characteristics or forms.
Objects and the 3 gunas (Yoga Sutras 4.13-4.14)
4.13 Whether these ever-present characteristics or forms are manifest or subtle, they are composed of the primary elements called the three gunas.
4.14 The characteristics of an object appear as a single unit, as they manifested uniformly from the underlying elements.
Mind perceiving objects (Yoga Sutras 4.15-4.17)
4.15 Although the same objects may be perceived by different minds, they are perceived in different ways, because those minds manifested differently.
4.16 However, the object itself does not depend on any one mind, for if it did, then what would happen to the object if it were not being experienced by that mind?
4.17 Objects are either known or not known according to the way in which the coloring of that object falls on the coloring of the mind observing it.
Illumination of the mind (Yoga Sutras 4.18-4.21)
4.18 The activities of the mind are always known by the pure consciousness, because that pure consciousness is superior to, support of, and master over the mind.
4.19 That mind is not self-illuminating, as it is the object of knowledge and perception by the pure consciousness.
4.20 Nor can both the mind and the illuminating process be cognized simultaneously.
4.21 If one mind were illumined by another, as its master, then there would be an endless and absurd progression of cognitions, as well as confusion.
Buddhi and liberation (Yoga Sutras 4.22-4.26)
4.22 When the unchanging consciousness appears to take on the shape of that finest aspect of mind-field (4.18), then the experience of one’s own cognition process is possible.
4.23 Therefore, the mind field, which is colored by both seer and seen, has the potential to perceive any and all objects.
4.24 That mind field, though filled with countless impressions, exists for the benefit of another witnessing consciousness, as the mind field is operating only in combination with those impressions.
4.25 For one who has experienced this distinction between seer and this subtlest mind, the false identities and even the curiosity about the nature of one’s own self come to an end.
4.26 Then the mind is inclined towards the highest discrimination, and gravitates towards absolute liberation between seer and seen.
Breaches in enlightenment (Yoga Sutras 4.27-4.28)
4.27 When there are breaks or breaches in that high discrimination, other impressions arise from the deep unconscious.
4.28 The removal of those interfering thought patterns is by the same means by which the original colorings were removed.
Perpetual enlightenment (Yoga Sutras 4.29-4.30)
4.29 When there is no longer any interest even in omniscience, that discrimination allows the samadhi, which brings an abundance of virtues like a rain cloud brings rain.
4.30 After that dharma-meghah samadhi, the colorings of the kleshas and the karmas are removed.
Knowables become few (Yoga Sutras 4.31)
4.31 Then, by the removal of those veils of imperfection, there comes the experience of the infinite, and the realization that there is almost nothing to be known.
Gunas after liberation (Yoga Sutras 4.32-4.34)
4.32 Also resulting from that dharma-meghah samadhi (4.29), the three primary elements or gunas (4.13-4.14) will have fulfilled their purpose, cease to transform into further transformations, and recede back into their essence.
4.33 The sequencing process of moments and impressions corresponds to the moments of time, and is apprehended at the end point of the sequence.
4.34 When those primary elements involve, or resolve themselves back into that out of which they emerged, there comes liberation, wherein the power of pure consciousness becomes established in its true nature.