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 Learning Sanskrit - Pronunciation 6

Aphorisms (Section I of Pātañjalayogasūtra-s)


Hi, this is Gabriel Pradīpaka once again. Here you are 51 aphorisms, which form the first out of four sections of the Patañjali's Yogasūtra-s (the primordial scripture in Yoga). You will be able to listen to Sanskrit language directly. Try to repeat the aphorism along with me. Besides, you will find a complete translation of the aphorism. So, this important document will help you to write and pronounce Sanskrit properly. Additionally, if you wish, you will start learning a celebrated scripture belonging to Yoga system. But remember that the meaning of these abstruse aphorisms is not given here. Only their translation is shown. If you are not interested in Yoga or even in Indian philosophy, just use the aphorisms to practice Sanskrit.

There is a measure unit called 'mātrā' or "time gap needed to pronounce a short vowel (like 'a')". Short vowels (a, i, u, ṛ, ḷ) last 1 mātrā, while long vowels (ā, ī, ū, ṝ) and diphthongs (e, ai, o, au) last 2 mātrā-s. In turn, Anusvāra ('ṁ') and Visarga ('ḥ') last 1/2 mātrā.

Have three documents at hand (print them if you can): Transliterating (2) (English), Sanskrit Alphabet and Conjuncts. You will need them very often.

To download the sounds, click on the respective icon placed below each of the aphorisms and then select the adequate choice. If you have the Quick Time plugin installed, it is possible that you cannot download the sound directly. To work this problem around, right-click on the icon and select "Save link as..." or something like that (the statements vary according to the different browsers). That is it! Obviously, you can alternately uninstall the Quick Time plugin, but maybe you might need it for some other things. So, it is your choice, not mine.

The sound files are "properly" named, of course, so that you can create, say, four folders (one for every section of this scripture), and quickly find the right sound you need to hear.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.


 First Section: On concentration

अथ योगानुशासनम्॥१॥
Atha yogānuśāsanam||1||

And now begins (atha) the instruction (anuśāsanam) regarding Yoga (yoga)||1||


Yoga (yogaḥ) is the suppression (nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of mind (citta)||2||

तदा द्रष्टुः स्वरूपेऽवस्थानम्॥३॥
Tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe'vasthānam||3||

Then (tadā), there is an abiding (avasthānam) in the essential nature (sva-rūpe) of the Seer (draṣṭuḥ)||3||


On other occasions (itaratra), there is identity (sārūpyam) (between the Seer and) the modifications (of mind) (vṛtti)||4||

वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टा अक्लिष्टाः॥५॥
Vṛttayaḥ pañcatayyaḥ kliṣṭā akliṣṭāḥ||5||

The (mental) modifications (vṛttayaḥ), which form a group of 5 (pañcatayyaḥ), may be or may not be based upon Kleśa-s --afflictions-- (kliṣṭāḥ akliṣṭāḥ)||5||


Correct knowledge (pramāṇa), false knowledge (viparyaya), verbal knowledge about something that is nonexistent (vikalpa), (deep) sleep (nidrā) and recollection --smṛti-- (smṛtayaḥ) (are the five modifications of mind)||6||

प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि॥७॥
Pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni||7||

Direct perception (pratyakṣa), inference (anumāna) and testimony --āgama-- (āgamāḥ) are the Pramāṇa-s (pramāṇāni)||7||

विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानमतद्रूपप्रतिष्ठम्॥८॥
Viparyayo mithyājñānamatadrūpapratiṣṭham||8||

Viparyaya (viparyayaḥ) is illusory (mithyā) knowledge (jñānam) based (pratiṣṭham) on mistaking a particular form for something completely different (atad-rūpa)||8||

शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः॥९॥
Śabdajñānānupātī vastuśūnyo vikalpaḥ||9||

Vikalpa (vikalpaḥ) proceeds (anupātī) from a verbal (śabda) cognition (jñāna) about something which is devoid (śūnyaḥ) of reality (vastu)||9||

 अभावप्रत्ययालम्बना वृत्तिर्निद्रा॥१०॥
Abhāvapratyayālambanā vṛttirnidrā||10||

The modification (vṛttiḥ) (known as) Nidrā (or deep sleep) (nidrā) is based (ālambanā) upon the mental state (pratyaya) of nonexistence (abhāva)||10||

अनुभूतविषयासम्प्रमोषः स्मृतिः॥११॥
Anubhūtaviṣayāsampramoṣaḥ smṛtiḥ||11||

Smṛti (or recollection) (smṛtiḥ) is the reproduction, without taking anything from any other sources (asampramoṣaḥ), of the thing (viṣaya) that was (previously) experienced (anubhūta)||11||

अभ्यासवैराग्याभ्यां तन्निरोधः॥१२॥
Abhyāsavairāgyābhyāṁ tannirodhaḥ||12||

There is suppression (nirodhaḥ) of that (i.e. "of the previous five mental modifications") (tad) by means of Abhyāsa --practice-- and Vairāgya --renunciation-- (abhyāsavairāgyābhyām)||12||

तत्र स्थितौ यत्नोऽभ्यासः॥१३॥
Tatra sthitau yatno'bhyāsaḥ||13||

Abhyāsa or practice (abhyāsaḥ) is the effort (yatnaḥ) to attain to that (tatra) Sthiti or mental peace (sthitau)||13||

स तु दीर्घकालनैरन्तर्यसत्कारासेवितो दृढभूमिः॥१४॥
Sa tu dīrghakālanairantaryasatkārāsevito dṛḍhabhūmiḥ||14||

And that (practice) (saḥ), when endowed (sevitaḥ) with a uninterrupted (nairantarya) and true (sat) devotional attitude (kārā) for a long (dīrgha) time (kāla), (has) certainly (tu) firm (dṛḍha) foundations (bhūmiḥ)||14||

दृष्टानुश्रविकविषयवितृष्णस्य वशीकारसञ्ज्ञा वैराग्यम्॥१५॥
Dṛṣṭānuśravikaviṣayavitṛṣṇasya vaśīkārasañjñā vairāgyam||15||

Vairāgya or Renunciation (vairāgyam) is known (sañjñā) as the act of subjugating (vaśīkāra) the desire (vitṛṣṇasya) for objects (viṣaya) seen (dṛṣṭa) or repeatedly heard from the scriptures (ānuśravika)||15||

तत्परं पुरुषख्यातेर्गुणवैतृष्ण्यम्॥१६॥
Tatparaṁ puruṣakhyāterguṇavaitṛṣṇyam||16||

Indifference (vaitṛṣṇyam) to the Guṇa-s, (the qualities of nature) (guṇa), because of a knowledge (khyāteḥ) of Puruṣa (puruṣa) is called the highest (Vairāgya or Renunciation) (tad param)||16||


Samprajñātasamādhi (samprajñātaḥ) (is achieved) by means of (anugamāt) Vitarka, Vicāra, Ānanda and Asmitā (vitarkavicārānandāsmitārūpa)||17||

विरामप्रत्ययाभ्यासपूर्वः संस्कारशेषोऽन्यः॥१८॥
Virāmapratyayābhyāsapūrvaḥ saṁskāraśeṣo'nyaḥ||18||

(Asamprajñātasamādhi is the) other (type of Samādhi) (anyaḥ) that is preceded (pūrvaḥ) by the practice (abhyāsa) of stopping (virāma) the mental fluctuations (pratyaya) (which is the natural fruit of the highest Vairāgya or Renunciation, but that) it (still) contains a residue (śeṣaḥ) of latent impressions (saṁskāra)||18||

भवप्रत्ययो विदेहप्रकृतिलयानाम्॥१९॥
Bhavapratyayo videhaprakṛtilayānām||19||

(There are two types of causes for Nirvījasamādhi --a Samādhi without an object to meditate on--: "upāyapratyaya" --the mental condition that is the outcome of a conscious effort by using a method-- and "bhavapratyaya" --the mental condition that is the outcome of latent impressions of ignorance--. The first type produces "Asamprajñātasamādhi", while the second one brings about a similar but not identical state).

(Thus, Nirvījasamādhi is caused by) the mental condition (pratyayaḥ) (that is the outcome) of latent impressions of ignorance (bhava) in the case of both the Videha-s or (discarnate) Deva-s (videha) and the Prakṛtilaya-s or those who have dissolved themselves in the primeval constituent principle (prakṛtilayānām)||19||

 श्रद्धावीर्यस्मृतिसमाधिप्रज्ञापूर्वक इतरेषाम्॥२०॥
Śraddhāvīryasmṛtisamādhiprajñāpūrvaka itareṣām||20||

(However,) in the case of those who tread the path of the conscious effort by using a method --upāya-- (itareṣām), (Nirvījasamādhi --which is now "real Asamprajñātasamādhi"--) is preceded (pūrvakaḥ) by faith (śraddhā), vigor (vīrya), recollection (smṛti), full concentration (samādhi) (and) true knowledge (prajñā)||20||


(That very Nirvījasamādhi is quickly) reached (āsannaḥ) by those people having an intense (tīvra) desire of spiritual emancipation (saṁvegānām)||21||

मृदुमध्याधिमात्रत्वात्ततोऽपि विशेषः॥२२॥
Mṛdumadhyādhimātratvāttato'pi viśeṣaḥ||22||

Because of (the methods or means) being mild --slow-- (mṛdu), moderate --medium-- (madhya) and excessive --"adhimātra" or speedy-- (adhimātratvāt), (there is) consequently (tatas) difference(s) (viśeṣaḥ) even (among those people who have an intense desire of spiritual emancipation) (api)||22||


Or else (vā) (one can achieve Nirvījasamādhi) through profound devotion (praṇidhānāt) to Īśvara (īśvara)||23||

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः॥२४॥
Kleśakarmavipākāśayairaparāmṛṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣa īśvaraḥ||24||

Īśvara (īśvaraḥ) is a particular (viśeṣaḥ) Puruṣa (puruṣa) who is not affected (aparāmṛṣṭaḥ) by Kleśa-s --afflictions-- (kleśa), actions (karma), fruit of the actions (vipāka) or the resulting latent impressions --āśaya-- (āśayaiḥ)||24||

तत्र निरतिशयं सर्वज्ञवीजम्॥२५॥
Tatra niratiśayaṁ sarvajñavījam||25||

In Him (tatra), the Omniscient (sarvajña) Seed (vījam) (has attained to a state which) cannot be exceeded or surpassed (niratiśayam)||25||

पूर्वेषामपि गुरुः कालेनानवच्छेदात्॥२६॥
Pūrveṣāmapi guruḥ kālenānavacchedāt||26||

(That Īśvara is) the Guru (guruḥ) even (api) of the former (guru-s) (pūrveṣām), because He is not determined or limited (anavacchedāt) by Time (kālena)||26||

तस्य वाचकः प्रणवः॥२७॥
Tasya vācakaḥ praṇavaḥ||27||

The word (vācakaḥ) to (designate) Him (tasya) is Praṇava or Om̐ (praṇavaḥ or praṇavaḥ)||27||


(Those who have finally understood the intrinsical relationship between Praṇava and Īśvara will perform) the muttering (japaḥ) of that (Om̐) (tad) (and) the contemplation (bhāvanam) on its (tad) meaning (artha)||28||

ततः प्रत्यक्चेतनाधिगमोऽप्यन्तरायाभावश्च॥२९॥
Tataḥ pratyakcetanādhigamo'pyantarāyābhāvaśca||29||

From that (practice of Īśvarapraṇidhāna or devotion to Īśvara --Lord--) (tatas) (also comes) the realization (adhigamaḥ) of one's own true Self (pratyakcetana) as well as (api... ca) the removal (abhāvaḥ) of obstacles (antarāya)||29||

 व्याधिस्त्यानसंशयप्रमादालस्याविरतिभ्रान्तिदर्शनालब्धभूमिकत्वानवस्थितत्वानि चित्तविक्षेपास्तेऽन्तरायाः॥३०॥
Vyādhistyānasaṁśayapramādālasyāviratibhrāntidarśanālabdhabhūmikatvānavasthitatvāni cittavikṣepāste'ntarāyāḥ||30||

Sickness (vyādhi), mental inefficiency (styāna), doubt (saṁśaya), negligence (pramāda), idleness (ālasya), non-abstention --lack of control-- (avirati), erroneous perception (bhrānti-darśana), the state of not attaining (alabdha) to any yogic stage (bhūmikatva) (and) unsteadiness --anavasthitatva-- (anavasthitatvāni). Those (te) mental (citta) projections (vikṣepāḥ) (are) the obstacles (antarāyāḥ)||30||

दुःखदौर्मनस्याङ्गमेजयत्वश्वासप्रश्वासा विक्षेपसहभुवः॥३१॥
Duḥkhadaurmanasyāṅgamejayatvaśvāsapraśvāsā vikṣepasahabhuvaḥ||31||

Pain (duḥkha), feeling of wretchedness and miserableness (daurmanasya), shakiness or trembling (ejayatva) of the body (aṅgam), inhalation (śvāsa) (and) exhalation --praśvāsa-- (praśvāsāḥ) appear or arise (bhuvaḥ) together with (saha) the (aforesaid) projections (vikṣepa)||31||


For (artham) keeping that back --i.e. for stopping those mental projections-- (tad-pratiṣedha), the practice (abhyāsaḥ) of (concentration on) a single (eka) principle (tattva) (is recommended)||32||

मैत्रीकरुणामुदितोपेक्षाणां सुखदुःखपुण्यापुण्यविषयाणां भावनातश्चित्तप्रसादनम्॥३३॥
Maitrīkaruṇāmuditopekṣāṇāṁ sukhaduḥkhapuṇyāpuṇyaviṣayāṇāṁ bhāvanātaścittaprasādanam||33||

Peace (prasādanam) of mind (citta) (is achieved) by (internally) contemplating (bhāvanātaḥ) on (the feelings) of friendship (maitrī), compassion (karuṇā), sympathy in joy (muditā) or indifference --upekṣā-- (upekṣāṇām) regarding (viṣayāṇām) (beings who are) happy (sukha), suffering pain or distress (duḥkha), virtuous (puṇya) (or) impure (apuṇya), (respectively)||33||

प्रच्छर्दनविधारणाभ्यां वा प्राणस्य॥३४॥
Pracchardanavidhāraṇābhyāṁ vā prāṇasya||34||

Or (vā) (that very peace of mind can also be achieved) by exhalation (pracchardana) and retention --vidhāraṇa-- (vidhāraṇābhyām) of Prāṇa --the vital energy contained in the breath-- (prāṇasya)||34||

विषयवती वा प्रवृत्तिरुत्पन्ना मनसः स्थितिनिबन्धिनी॥३५॥
Viṣayavatī vā pravṛttirutpannā manasaḥ sthitinibandhinī||35||

Or (vā) a higher perception (pravṛttiḥ) relating to objects (viṣayavatī), (at the moment that) it emerges (utpannā), causes (nibandhinī) calm (sthiti) of mind (manasaḥ) (too)||35||

विशोका वा ज्योतिष्मती॥३६॥
Viśokā vā jyotiṣmatī||36||

Or (vā) (a higher perception) that is luminous (jyotiṣmatī) and free from sorrow (viśokā) (can also brings about peace of mind)||36||

वीतरागविषयं वा चित्तम्॥३७॥
Vītarāgaviṣayaṁ vā cittam||37||

Or (vā) (the contemplation on) the mind (cittam) belonging (viṣayam) to a sage who is free from passions (vītarāga) (can also produce tranquility of mind)||37||

स्वप्ननिद्राज्ञानालम्बनं वा॥३८॥
Svapnanidrājñānālambanaṁ vā||38||

Or (vā) the support (ālambanam) of the knowledges --in the form of words and/or images-- (jñāna) (experienced) in dreams (svapna) or in the state of dreamless sleep (nidrā) (can also bring peace and steadiness to the mind)||38||


Or (vā) by meditating (dhyānāt) on whatsoever suitable --from a yogic viewpoint, of course-- thing one may like (yathā-abhimata) (he can also attain to peace of mind)||39||

 परमाणुपरममहत्त्वान्तोऽस्य वशीकारः॥४०॥
Paramāṇuparamamahattvānto'sya vaśīkāraḥ||40||

(When the mind gets stabilized on different realities at will, from one as minute as) an atom --in the sense of the minutest conceivable particle which cannot be further divided-- (paramāṇu) up to (antaḥ) (other that is) infinitely great (paramamahattva), (then, complete) mastery or dominion (vaśīkāraḥ) over it (asya) (has been achieved)||40||

क्षीणवृत्तेरभिजातस्येव मणेर्ग्रहीतृग्रहणग्राह्येषु तत्स्थतदञ्जनता समापत्तिः॥४१॥
Kṣīṇavṛtterabhijātasyeva maṇergrahītṛgrahaṇagrāhyeṣu tatsthatadañjanatā samāpattiḥ||41||

When a weakened (kṣīṇa) fluctuation of mind (vṛtteḥ) (finally) arises consequently --that is, when the mental fluctuation is lastly weakened and the mind attains stability-- (abhijātasya), (this fluctuation behaves) like (iva) a (transparent) gem (maṇeḥ) in respect of the knower (grahītṛ), the instrument of knowledge (grahaṇa) and the knowables --grāhya-- (grāhyeṣu) --which are all objects of mental concentration--. (This, as it were,) act of assuming the color --nature-- of any near reality (tad-stha-tad-añjanatā) (by that gem-like weakened fluctuation of mind, is known as) Samāpatti or Engrossment (samāpattiḥ)||41||

शब्दार्थज्ञानविकल्पैः सङ्कीर्णा सवितर्का समापत्तिः॥४२॥
Śabdārthajñānavikalpaiḥ saṅkīrṇā savitarkā samāpattiḥ||42||

Savitarkā Samāpatti (savitarkā samāpattiḥ) (is that Engrossment which is) combined (saṅkīrṇā) with ideas or thoughts (vikalpaiḥ) of (sameness) between word (śabda), (its) meaning (artha) and (the resulting) knowledge (jñāna)||42||

स्मृतिपरिशुद्धौ स्वरूपशून्येवार्थमात्रनिर्भासा निर्वितर्का॥४३॥
Smṛtipariśuddhau svarūpaśūnyevārthamātranirbhāsā nirvitarkā||43||

When memory (smṛti) is completely purified (pariśuddhau), (and the intuitive cognition is), as it were (iva), devoid (śūnyā) of its own essential nature (sva-rūpa), (that Samāpatti or Engrossment) in which only (mātra) the object (on which the mind is concentrated) (artha) shines forth (nirbhāsā) (is called) Nirvitarkā (nirvitarkā)||43||

एतयैव सविचारा निर्विचारा च सूक्ष्मविषया व्याख्याता॥४४॥
Etayaiva savicārā nirvicārā ca sūkṣmaviṣayā vyākhyātā||44||

By means of this --i.e. by the previous explanation-- (etayā) (the Samāpatti-s or Engrossments known as) Savicārā (savicārā) and (ca) Nirvicārā (nirvicārā), whose objects (viṣayā) are subtle (sūkṣma), are also (eva) explained (vyākhyātā)||44||

सूक्ष्मविषयत्वं चालिङ्गपर्यवसानम्॥४५॥
Sūkṣmaviṣayatvaṁ cāliṅgaparyavasānam||45||

And (ca) the character or condition of being a subtle (sūkṣma) object (viṣayatvam) (regarding a previous one which is less subtle) ends or culminates (paryavasānam) in Aliṅga --the Unmanifested Prakṛti-- (aliṅga)||45||

ता एव सवीजः समाधिः॥४६॥
Tā eva savījaḥ samādhiḥ||46||

Only (eva) those (four varieties of Samāpatti or Engrossment --Savitarkā, Nirvitarkā, Savicārā and Nirvicārā--) (tāḥ) (constitute) Savījasamādhi (savījaḥ samādhiḥ) (or the perfect concentration in which one uses a gross/subtle object or "vīja" as a support for his mind to become one-pointed)||46||


On getting skill or proficiency (vaiśāradye) in Nirvicārasamādhi --also known as Nirvicārā Samāpatti or Engrossment-- (nirvicāra), clearness or purity (prasādaḥ) in the inner instruments of knowledge --specially Buddhi or Intellect-- (adhyātma) (is developed as a result)||47||

ऋतम्भरा तत्र प्रज्ञा॥४८॥
Ṛtambharā tatra prajñā||48||

The deep understanding or knowledge (prajñā) (obtained) in that (state of Nirvicārasamādhi or Nirvicārā Samāpatti) (tatra) (is called) Ṛtambharā (ṛtambharā)||48||

श्रुतानुमानप्रज्ञाभ्यामन्यविषया विशेषार्थत्वात्॥४९॥
Śrutānumānaprajñābhyāmanyaviṣayā viśeṣārthatvāt||49||

(And that Prajñā or deep knowledge gained in Nirvicārasamādhi) is different (anyaviṣayā) from knowledges (prajñābhyām) gotten through oral transmission (śruta) or inference (anumāna), because it relates to the particular characteristics (viśeṣa) of objects --artha-- (arthatvāt)||49||

तज्जः संस्कारोऽन्यसंस्कारप्रतिबन्धी॥५०॥
Tajjaḥ saṁskāro'nyasaṁskārapratibandhī||50||

The latent impression (saṁskāraḥ) born (jaḥ) of that (special Prajñā arisen in Nirvicārasamādhi) (tad) obstructs (pratibandhī) the other (anya) latent impressions (saṁskāra)||50||

तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्वीजः समाधिः॥५१॥
Tasyāpi nirodhe sarvanirodhānnirvījaḥ samādhiḥ||51||

On the cessation (nirodhe) of that --i.e. of the latent impression born of the aforesaid Prajñā-- (tasya) too (api), there is Nirvījasamādhi --or the perfect concentration which is objectless or "nirvīja", i.e. no object or "vīja" is utilized as a support for one's own mind to become one-pointed-- (nirvījaḥ samādhiḥ) through the suppression (nirodhāt) of all (mental modifications or fluctuations) (sarva)||51||

Here concludes the First Section dealing with concentration


 Concluding remarks

A first document full of Yoga aphorisms in Sanskrit. Use it to keep learning Sanskrit language. Listen to the aphorisms over and over again, and then repeat them along with me. This practice will make sure that you are pronouncing Sanskrit in a proper way.

This is the first document of the series dedicated to the Pātañjalayogasūtra-s. Next document will deal with the Section II known as "On practice". Best wishes to you and be happy.


 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.