Friday, June 18, 2010




The Patanjali sutra quoted as authority for spreading this bluff is:

(III-43) बहिरकल्पिता वृत्तिर्महाविदेहा ततः प्रकाशावरण क्षयः

This sutra appears to be the source of many diverse thought processes of spiritualism. The crux of the interpretation of this sutra is the same for all. And that is that MIND can be separated from the BODY. They differ in technique of separating only which they all call as SAMADHI (समाधि). They survive by using all fair and unfair means propagating the excellence and superiority of one’s technique over the other and collecting as many followers as possible. They all have to interpret this sutra in terms of existence of two separate, independent entities of a human being i.e. MIND (मन) and BODY (शरीर). Because then only it is possible in their opinion to gain entire knowledge by roaming around in the entire universe through the abstract MIND (मन) and by stuffing the concrete BODY (शरीर) in some inaccessible, safe and secure place for the period of such sojourn.


The mechanics of arriving at this spiritualistic interpretation of this sutra is an interesting example in twisting and stretching.
a) BAHIR (बहिर) – a thing that is outside the human body and has to be understood as MIND (मन MAN) only.
b) AKALPITA (अकल्पिता) – a thing that cannot be imagined by the human body and, therefore, has to be understood as MIND (मन MAN) only.
c) VRITTI (वृत्ति) – is a ‘vritti’ and has to be understood as MIND (मन MAN) only. (So what if Patanjali calls it a VRITTI).
d) MAHAVIDEHA (महा विदेहा) – and is called achievement of the stage MAHAVIDEHA (महाविदेहा) i.e. a thing that is without body (विदेहा) and is more capable (महा) and hence has to be understood as MIND (मन MAN) only that has been separated from the body
e) TATAH (ततः) – and then i.e. after achieving MAHAVIDEHA (महा विदेहा) i.e. achieving separation of MIND from the BODY
f) PRAKASHAVRAN (प्रकाशावरण) – every veil covering the knowledge
g) KSHAY (क्षयः) – is destroyed; and thus entire knowledge is gained.


Patanjali, throughout in his YOGSHASTRA has maintained consistency of explaining CHITT and VRITTI (वृत्ति), in order to bring out the difference between the two as it is absolutely essential and basic requirement for grasping his philosophy of YOG. In this sutra he is explaining that aspect of VRITTI (वृत्ति) that he calls MAHAVIDEHA and is pervading the entire universe and is the cause of all happening. He is comparing it with that aspect of VRITTI (वृत्ति) which is responsible for the actions of human body. The knowledge of MAHAVIDEHA is thus bound to destroy the veil hiding the knowledge. And that is what the entire history of human progress is. It revolves round unveiling the secrets of nature only. Such probable explanation is arrived at by word to word analysis of the sutra as given below:
a) BAHIR (बहिर) – the things that are outside the human body and these are innumerable and cannot be restricted to one thing and never MIND (मन MAN) only as imagined by the spiritualistic explanations as mind will turn out to be a concept represented by a physical organ known as brain and very much a part inside human body and not outside it. The word BAHIR (बहिर), therefore, must mean the entire nature outside and around the human body.
b) AKALPITA (अकल्पिता) – things that do not owe their existence to human imagination but exist independently irrespective of human acceptance and these things have their own properties (गुण), and tendencies (प्रवृत्ति) that are responsible for all happenings. The human behaviour is mainly the outcome of VRITTIS (वृत्ति) born out of imagination (कल्पना). These imagined (कल्पित) VRITTIS reside in human body only and not outside (BAHIR बहिर) and can, thus be called as KALPITA (कल्पिता) when compared to AKALPITA (अकल्पिता) VRITTIS that are manifest all around. It has already been recommended by Patanjali to study human VRITTIS (वृत्ति) under five groups namely PRAMAN (प्रमाण), VIPARYA (विपर्य), VIKALP (विकल्प), SMRITI (स्मृति) and NIDRA (निद्रा). Therefore, AKALPITA (अकल्पिता) cannot be “a thing that cannot be imagined by the human body” as explained by the spiritualistic translations but have got to be all those things that do not owe their existence to human imagination at all.
c) VRITTI (वृत्ति) – it has to be a kind of VRITTI (वृत्ति) only that is qualified as BAHIR (बहिर) and AKALPITA (अकल्पिता) and clearly written as such by Patanjali. It cannot be and should not be called MIND as imagined by the spiritualistic explanations. It must represent properties (GUN गुण) and tendencies (PRAVRITTI प्रवृत्ति) only
d) MAHAVIDEHA (महा विदेहा) – the name of this VRITTI (वृत्ति) is MAHAVIDEHA as given by Patanjali. The name has been aptly chosen as the word MAHA (महा) denotes the greater expanse of the universe and nature and the word VIDEHA (विदेहा) stands for that is different from the behaviour pattern of human body as it is BAHIR (बहिर) and AKALPITA (अकल्पिता)
e) TATAH (ततः) and then i.e. when the approach is to find out all that is BAHIR (बहिर) and AKALPITA (अकल्पिता)
f) PRAKASHAVRAN (प्रकाशावरण) every veil meaning IGNORANCE covering the knowledge
g) KSHAY (क्षयः) – is destroyed and human mind keeps on accumulating knowledge / awareness. And that is what the history of human civilization is so far.


Since spiritualism is a free for all concept many words that are completely non-existent in the sutra and still have been manipulated and justified to be present. ‘Mind’ (मन MAN) is not the only such word. Its variants like ATMA (soul आत्मा), SUKSHM SHARIR (सूक्ष्म शरीर) and CHITT (चित्त) etc. were also introduced as per convenience of the sect, the entire aim being glorification of practitioner of fake YOGA. Awe was created towards a person who was painted as one who had complete control over his soul (ATMA आत्मा). He could make it fly, make it take birth at will, make it enter another physical body and an epitome of all those excellences discussed as bluffs so far. None dared ask the basic question. With the help of what equipment / apparatus in his physical body could he establish this supremacy over his heavenly soul? The apparatus then must be stronger than all powerful soul that is the reflection and part of ALMIGHTY as propagated. Spiritualistic explanations cannot have answers to such queries because the precepts are false and so the conclusions. On the other hand Patanjali’s philosophy does not rest on some ethereal soul or SUKSHM SHARIR (सूक्ष्म शरीर) but on solid recognizable CHITT (चित्त) having a definite place in the body and definite properties that need to be explored. Such an exhortation by Patanjali is evident in each sutra after sutra. The irony is that Patanjali only, in spite of his taking all the precautions and the unique techniques of presentation; has been quoted as authority for the outright bluffs spread by the spiritualistic explanations. Strange is the human mind that accepts these bluffs as miracles but Patanjali never had any doubts about this human approach and had clearly analyzed this behaviour emanating from five groups of VRITTIS (वृत्ति) as unreliable and invalid being a sure sign of ignorance.

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