VRITTIS OPERATING IN HUMAN BEINGS
ONLY YOG – (केवल योग) THE ENDLESS
ULTIMATE FOR ALL ‘UltimatES’
PREPARATION STAGE – UNDERSTANDING VRITTIS OPERATING IN HUMAN BEINGS
The permutation and combination of the above mentioned VRITTIS (वृत्ति) of natural elements resulted into creation of not only human beings but the entire creation as sequential stages as per LAW OF APARINAMI with innumerable respective VRITTIS (वृत्ति). The impression that human beings are unique with VRITTIS (वृत्ति) like intelligence, compassion, love, and resolution etc. is actually a misnomer. In fact each creation is unique because it is a sequential stage (AWASTHA) with its own proportion of the VRITTIS of SWARUP, STHUL, SUKSHM, ANVAYA and ARTHVATTVA groups and manifesting as intelligence etc. There cannot be another stage with the same proportion as a different stage has got to be with different proportion. These may be just the manifestations of the SUKSHM constituents of the structure (SWARUP) of say FIRE and WATER: the initial elements chosen to begin our study. Patanjali now advises to study the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) operating in human beings under two groups to be further sub-classified in five subgroups each.
A. SENSES – VRITTIS of INDRIYA GROUP (इन्द्रिय जाति )
B. GENERAL – VRITTIS of human beings (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति)
(A) CLASSIFICATION – VRITTIS UNDER SENSES GROUP
These VRITTIS have been classified to be studied under five groups (जाति) as under:
• GRAHAN (ग्रहण जाति).
• ASMITA (अस्मिता जाति)
• SWARUP (स्वरूप जाति)
• ANVAYA (अन्वय जाति )
• ARTHVATTVA (अर्थवत्त्व जाति)
Besides the three common groups of VRITTIS of SWARUP (स्वरूप), ANVAYA (अन्वय) and ARTHVATTVA (अर्थवत्त्व) discussed under VRITTIS of NATURE, Patanjali introduces two highly significant VRITTIS of GRAHAN (ग्रहण जाति) and ASMITA groups (अस्मिता जाति) under this group and considers animal and inanimate world also vested with these VRITTIS and the word SENSE there denotes various properties. So the word SENSE has been used by Patanjali in a very wide sense covering inanimate (JAD जड़) as well as animate (CHETAN चेतन) world. The literal meanings of the words GRAHAN and ASMITA convey the sense of ACCEPTANCE and REJECTION respectively. These VRITTIS in a way decide the limits of tolerance and capability. The inanimate world reflects the presence of these VRITTIS in the form of properties when we talk about elasticity, refraction, reflection, absorption, effects of temperature, pressure, gravity, magnetic properties of attraction and repulsion etcetera. The animal world is buzzing with these with its unique capabilities of various senses of smell, taste, hearing, seeing and touch etc. For human beings also these decide the limits of our various senses. These VRITTIS deal with not only how and what of that we accept and reject but give birth to the next discussed VRITTIS of GENERAL group also that is unique to human being only and determines the entire human behavior pattern where acceptance and rejection become actually interwoven and main criteria for our very survival. We accept something because we reject something and vice versa. The spiritualists have added angle of good and evil that classifies their self created flawless GOD and HIS creation also into good and evil compartments. The argument of good and evil besides being self contradictory has caused irreparable damage to the human psyche by the arbitrary definitions of these dualities in various religions.
VRITTIS OF GRAHAN GROUP (ग्रहण जाति)
It means again a directive principle that all sense VRITTIS (वृत्ति) have a definite receiving capability. The nearest English word conveying the sense of GRAHAN is SENSITIVITY. We all know that we are sensitive because of our senses and we react differently under different situations and many times differently under situations presumed as same. Here is a directive principle acceptance of which opens innumerable vistas of finding out ‘why’. How? Acquiring a stage (AWASTHA अवस्था) exhibiting a property (DHARM धर्म) of definite receiving capability (GRAHAN ग्रहण) by our senses has got to be the result of a process explained by the LAW OF APARINAMI (अपरिणामी). All that is to be done is to find out the VRITTIS responsible for this stage. This in turn will lead to pinpointing the VRITTIS responsible in animal world for better senses of hearing, vision and smell etc. as per the standards of measures invented by us. This will also help us in understanding that there is no spiritualistic reason of some GOD laying such dispensation to achieve some egalitarian or purpose of justice and compensation in his kingdom. This will also help us in discarding wrong reasons of ‘survival of the fittest – struggle for existence’ and ‘natural selection’ as postulated by Darwin. This will further help in understanding the inadequacy of nomenclature of better and worse standards of our judgment. Lastly, this will also help in making use of those identified VRITTIS that increase or decrease the receiving capability (GRAHAN ग्रहण) of our senses as per needs of objectives. All this will happen because we happen to come to know the real reason behind all acceptances is hidden in rules of presence of VRITTIS
VRITTIS OF ASMITA GROUP (अस्मिता जाति)
It means that all sense VRITTIS (वृत्ति) have a definite will not only to accept (GRAHAN) but to reject (ASMITA अस्मिता) also. In English it is translated as ego sense having favorable and unfavorable connotations. In vernacular also, as a routine word it conveys the same sense. But for Patanjali it is well defined technical word and is considered one of the reasons as well as symptoms of NE-SCIENCE (AVIDYA अविद्या). To be aware of the genesis, functions and contents of AVIDYA is equally important for realizing an objective or reaching the stage of KNOWING (विद्या). Otherwise an unknown enemy will cause disaster only as it is the enemy within. To remain blissfully ignorant of the VRITTIS of ASMITA GROUP (अस्मिता जाति) is, therefore, not acceptable in Patanjali scheme of YOG (योग) that aims at:-
a) Complete elimination of flawed premises i.e. AVIDYA (अविद्या) – ASHUDDHI KSHAYE (अशुद्धि क्षय) – Sutra II-28, II-43;
b) Complete elimination of the self created imaginary seeds of AVIDYA (अविद्या) – DOSH BEEJ KSHAYE (दोष बीज क्षय) – sutra III-50;
c) Disarming the dualities of good and evil (SHUCHI ASHUCHI शुचि अशुचि); pleasure and pain (SUKH DUKH सुख दुःख); permanence and transitory (NITYA ANITYA नित्य अनित्य) and mine and not mine (ATM ANATM आत्म अनात्म ) so that these do not cause any harm TATO DWANDA ANABHIGHAT (ततो द्वंदाऽ नभिघातः) – sutra II-48, and
d) Making VRITTIS flow naturally and peacefully – TASYA PRASHANT VAHITA SANSKARAT (तस्यप्रशांतवाहिता संस्कारात्) – sutra III-10.
And all this is possible only when we know about the cause of ASMITA. It must be diagnosed and put to effective use by rejecting the cause. ASMITA is a condition of inability to distinguish between the properties of acceptance (GRAHAN ग्रहण) of vision and the properties of acceptance (GRAHAN ग्रहण) of the objects perceived. Such a symptom (LAKSHAN लक्षण) of inability in such a situation (AWASTHA अवस्था) has got to be due to interaction of some VRITTIS only as per the LAW OF APARINAMI (अपरिणामी). Is this inability due to the conditions of laziness or carelessness created by some combination of VRITTIS? If so, then steps can be taken to overcome these.
Freud touches the fringe only of the above mentioned concepts in his psycho-analysis when he tries to analyze the structure (SWARUP स्वरूप) of mind (A VRITTI in Patanjali parlance ) in three parts of id, ego and super-ego with respective functions (ANVAYA अन्वय).
(B) CLASSIFICATION – VRITTIS UNDER GENERAL GROUP – (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति)
वृत्तयः पंचतय्यः क्लिष्टाऽक्लिष्टाः
VRITTYA PANCHTAYYA KLISHTA AKLISHTA
These are the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) of human mind (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति) responsible for all actions performed by us. These distinguish us from animals as a semblance of reasoning is introduced. These are of five types and are born out of our senses of perception (GYAN INDRIYAN ज्ञानेन्द्रियाँ) and the senses of action (KARM INDRIYAN कर्मेन्द्रियाँ) as a result of interaction with the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) operating in nature. Any information received voluntarily or involuntarily by any of our senses is straightaway bracketed under any of the following groups of VRITTIS (वृत्ति) under direction from the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) OF SENSES mentioned at (A) above. These directions are mainly from the group of VRITTIS coming under the groups of acceptance (ग्रहण जाति) and rejection (अस्मिता जाति).
• PRAMAN (प्रमाण PROOF)
• VIPARYAYA (विपर्यय FALSE KNOWLEDGE)
• VIKALP (विकल्प IMAGINATION)
• NIDRA (निद्रा SLEEP)
• SMRITI (स्मृति MEMORY)
The above mentioned VRITTIS have been clearly defined by PATANJALI. All definitions revolve round the use or the absence of use of three parameters of recognition of reasoning introduced in the definition of PROOF (प्रमाण). Patanjali uses the words KLISHT (क्लिष्ट) and AKLISHT (अक्लिष्ट) for these VRITTIS of reasoning and conveys a sense of primitiveness by using these words. In other words it is just the beginning of development of reason (VIVEK विवेक) and humanity is completely helpless in projecting it as ultimate as these are the only symptoms (LAKSHAN लक्षण) of MANOVRITTI stage (मनोवृत्ति अवस्था) of sequential existence as per LAW OF APARINAMI. I feel since the words are undefined by him these can convey the routine meanings or sense only as per rules of grammar mentioned earlier and help in understanding the definitions better as will be borne out in succeeding paragraphs. There are two probable routine meanings that ultimately convey the sense of unreliability as well as inescapability of this classification. First is whether you find it difficult (KLISHT क्लिष्ट) to accept or find it not difficult (AKLISHT अक्लिष्ट) to accept but the VRITTIS of human mind (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति) behave as if having such a classification of five compartments. Second is whether you like it because you get pleasure (AKLISHT अक्लिष्ट) or you don’t like it because you get pain (KLISHT क्लिष्ट) but human VRITTIS (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति) behave as if having such a classification of five compartments. Overall these words convey a sense of inevitability and helplessness.
PRAMAN (प्रमाण PROOF)
This is the compartment where human mind considers any information as truth if he happens to place it here. Any information is classified by human mind as PROOF because it is based on any of the following three parameters:
• OBVIOUS (PRATYAKSH प्रत्यक्ष) – strange it may seem but anything obvious can be so deceptive and lacking in details that it cannot be taken as a sure sign of proof. Two and two is never four for many in real life; a curve becomes a straight line and a straight line on earth becomes a curve; a star becomes a dead entity billions of years ago and who does not know that “one may smile and smile and be a villain”. And still we consider obvious doesn’t need a proof. PRATYAKSHAM KIM PRAMANAM (प्रत्यक्षम किम प्रमाणं). All that Patanjali is saying by using the words KLISHTA / AKLISHTA for the VRITTIS of mind that we always remain under illusions; obvious may not be proof and we must know that.
• DEDUCED OR INFERRED (ANUMAN अनुमान) – it is our routine to draw inferences by observation. If we see clouds we infer it is about to rain. If we shiver or sneeze it is cold and if there is sudden death on the roadside it is heatstroke or heart attack. That way we keep on inferring and reach ludicrous conclusions. If a cat crosses the path it is doomed mission or meeting an accident. Twitching of right or left eye decides our course of action. Days, nights, weeks, months, years, directions become auspicious or taboo. All superstitions and rituals fall in this category and we become resigned to destiny – a concept thus created. Patanjali simply reminds that if inferences become KLISHT / AKLISHT these in no way confirm a test of proof but a sure sign of unreliability but we still keep on considering our inferences as the measure of PROOF (प्रमाण)
• CORROBORATED BY THE AUTHORITIES ON THE SUBJECT (AGAM आगम) – we tend to consider anything as proof if it is backed by the religious diktats and scriptures. This criterion of proof has been exploited to the hilt by the encyclopedias (AGAM आगम) of all the religions to the extent that the literal meaning of the word AGAM i.e. “anything that has come to be known” which can be in any subject of knowledge, has been substituted by the ordinances of religious books only having subjective interpretations. While all branches of knowledge keep on assimilating and incorporating new discoveries and rejecting the old, religion keeps on rotting by sticking obstinately in the name of finality of its AGAM (आगम). Patanjali again reminds such dependence on AGAM will always lead to inferences that become KLISHT / AKLISHT and therefore unreliable.
All these three parameters of judgment are so subjective that a consensus is well nigh impossible mainly due to directions from GRAHAN (ग्रहण) and ASMITA (अस्मिता) groups of VRITTIS under SENSES of an individual. To accept something as proof may give happiness to an individual but sorrow to another. Some other time exactly opposite may happen for the same proof. Further whatever is proof today for an individual becomes false knowledge tomorrow and vice versa. But nobody stops accepting proofs as defined by the standards above howsoever unreliable or invalid these might be. Patanjali’s insistence is on the awareness of the fact that the standards set by the PROOF are accepted because these are essentially definite symptoms (LAKSHAN लक्षण) with definite properties of defense mechanism at mind (MANOVRITTI मनोवृत्ति) stage of sequential existence as per LAW OF APARINAMI. Absence of these symptoms is the CHITT stage of sequential existence (AWASTHA)
VIPARYAYA (विपर्यय FALSE KNOWLEDGE)
विपर्ययो मिथ्याज्ञानम तद् रूप प्रतिष्ठम
VIPARYAYO MITHYAGYANAM TADRUP PRATISHTHHAM
As opposed to truth of the first compartment an individual stores that information here that he does not consider as proof from his standards of judgment and therefore for him it is false knowledge (MITHYAGYANAM मिथ्याज्ञानम). The same parameters of PRATYAKSH (प्रत्यक्ष), ANUMAN (अनुमान) and AGAM (आगम) as given in PROOF are used to classify the information as false knowledge and it is subject to same movement to other compartments. Whatever is false knowledge today may become proof tomorrow
VIKALP (विकल्प IMAGINATION)
शब्द्ज्ञानाऽनुपाती वस्तु शून्यो विकल्पः
SHABDGYANANUPATI VASTUSHUNYO VIKALPAH
Very interesting facts emerge from the analysis of Patanjali’s definition of IMAGINATION (VIKALP विकल्प).If information is neither proof nor false knowledge for an individual he places it in the compartment of IMAGINATION (विकल्प) by making use of such words that do not reflect at all the intended content of either accepting or rejecting it as PROOF or FALSE KNOWLEDGE respectively. In other words the same standards given by PROOF are not used but some other words of imagination are used to justify the same sense as conveyed by obvious (PRATYAKSH प्रत्यक्ष), inferred (ANUMAN अनुमान) and authority (AGAM आगम).These words can be new coinages, derivations, abbreviations, pedantic and twisted meanings of the existing words Such words lack in content (VASTU SHUNYA वस्तु शून्य) and do not convey the intensity of argument of three words of parameter as used by the VRITTIS of PROOF and FALSE KNOWLEDGE. Such words are always paraded as unique achievements of human intelligence. Even the word ‘intelligence’ is a coinage of such imagination. Such words of imagination, therefore, become either difficult / not to the liking (KLISHT क्लिष्ट) or not difficult / to the liking (AKLISHT अक्लिष्ट). All the concepts of dualities like pleasure pain, virtue vice, permanent impermanent and heaven hell etc and the spiritualistic concepts of monism, dualism, pluralism and even the finest and inspiring classic or romantic literature etc and the jargoned terms of modern management, business and industry are the results of the VRITTIS of this category and are again not trustworthy being KLISHT / AKLISHT. It is interesting to note here that the technique employed by the present day knowledge based economy to make itself acceptable that is aptly reflected in the terms and words used in business, management and industry world is exactly the same as is being done by the spiritualist world by twisting the existing words, manufacturing pedagogic words, phrases and abbreviations as discussed earlier in a paragraph under the head HOW IS THIS ANALYSIS DIFFERENT?. In other words no human civilization would have been possible without this compartment of human mind. But this civilization will be as reflected in the questions put in the beginning of the present discussion under the paragraph THE QUESTIONS THAT HAVE ONLY ONE ANSWER and any sane answer is a resounding NO.
NIDRA (निद्रा SLEEP)
अभाव प्रत्ययालम्बना वृत्तिर्निद्रा
ABHAV PRATYAYALAMBANA VRITTIRNIDRA
It is the dependence (आलम्बना) on awareness of the absence (ABHAV अभाव प्रत्यय) of three parameters of judgment that pushes the information into this compartment. Three kinds of information come in this compartment. These are as under:
• If the information does not fit into any of the above three compartments of PROOF (प्रमाणं), FALSE KNOWLEDGE (विपर्यय) and IMAGINATION (विकल्प) it is placed in this compartment. It is the conclusion that it is not possible to analyze the information received through senses on the basis of three parameters of obvious (PRATYAKSH प्रत्यक्ष), inferred (ANUMAN अनुमान) and authority (AGAM आगम) and therefore, the information cannot be placed in any of the three compartments as mentioned above.
• Besides, there are innumerable pieces of information that our senses keep on receiving involuntarily all the time and which are either not required or need not go through the tests of three parameters. Such information is also placed in this compartment.
• It is not only the fresh information that comes in this compartment but the information already stored in the compartments of proof, false knowledge and imagination is also transferred to this compartment if the group of ASMITA VRITTIS concludes that the information is no more required or supported by the three parameters.
SMRITI (स्मृति MEMORY)
अनुभूत विषयाऽसम्प्रमोषः स्मृतिः
ANUBHUTVISHAYA ASAMPRAMOSHAH SMRITIH
Nothing is ever kicked out of memory.
This is the most significant and all inclusive compartment of storing information. Patanjali defines this as compartment of those VRITTIS that ensure whatever has been experienced (ANUBHUT अनुभूत) is not abandoned (ASAMPRAMOSHAH ऽसम्प्रमोषः).Experience cannot be anything else except going through the above mentioned processes of considering and assessing the why and how of PROOF (PRAMAN प्रमाण), FALSE KNOWLEDGE (VIPARYAYA विपर्यय), IMAGINATION (VIKALP विकल्प) and SLEEP (NIDRA निद्रा). In a way it functions as an archive in which all the compartments merge ultimately and that is the reason we keep on sticking to an idea and don’t want to abandon it. Patanjali delves deep into the genesis and functioning of this concept and concludes that this compartment is capable of genetic mutation under some conditions when memory (SMRITI स्मृति) becomes the same as SANSKAR (संस्कार) – a genetic tendency. It all begins with a simple wish (ICHCHHA इच्छा) that is born out of either seeing or hearing something. More of it is converted into unquenchable desire (TRISHNA तृष्णा) that gives birth to craving (VASNA वासना) and that in turn is converted into SANSKAR (संस्कार) becoming equivalent to memory and capable of genetic mutation.
CONCLUSIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF THESE VRITTIS
• These are the VRITTIS (वृत्ति) of any individual
• Being individual these differ in concepts from one individual to the other. Whatever is proof for one is false knowledge for the other.
• For an individual also the classification is not permanent. Whatever is proof today does become false knowledge tomorrow
• Classification for an individual is thus neither reliable nor valid but the dictum that that’s how human mind behaves cannot be faulted. We therefore keep on trusting our judgments
• All our actions are since based on this unreliable and invalid premise, are therefore bound to fail and we must keep on hopping from one presumed ultimate to anther presumed ultimate or in other words from one failure to another failure till we understand the inbuilt fallacy and take precautions to not to get into this quagmire..
WHY THIS CLASSIFICATION?
If the above classification of VRITTIS by the human mind is so unreal that it cannot be trusted then why does it follow the same classification over and over again? The answer to this question is hidden in the counter premise formation as is done in solving geometrical theorems. It just cannot help doing so. In the language of Patanjali these are the symptoms and properties at MANOVRITTI STAGE of existence. The human mind is all the time exposed to such a vast ocean of information all around and is being bombarded so heavily through various senses that it is next to impossible to escape. If an outlet to release the pressure is not found then the damage will be irreparable. The entire functioning may collapse. In a way it is an excellent defense mechanism. Further it does give flexibility of approach that distinguishes human beings from animals. This classification works as a safety valve. In spite of being unreliable and unreal it is essential. If we compare it with image formation in a concave lens or a plane mirror it might be unreal image-wise but very much virtual and indisputably factual that has got its own existential role to play. It will be interesting to compare the Freudian concept of three functioning levels of mind i.e. conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious with the classification of five levels as given by Patanjali. Helplessness of classification of VRITTIS in above mentioned five groups unlike animals is the only possible natural behavior pattern of VRITTIS at MANOVRITTI STAGE of human existence. If we don’t do so we have not evolved to the so called civilized human stage. This also means that we are willing to achieve the next stage after understanding the inbuilt necessary and inescapable flaws of the present civilized stage. For animals there is no helplessness exhibited in expressions of sex, hunger or thirst etc. Human beings only exhibit helplessness of expressing these as desirable / non-desirable or essential / non- essential or ethical / non-ethical or virtue / vice, depending upon our so designed and accepted levels of arbitrarily set standards of civilization. No civilization would have been possible if we had not indulged into classifying our experiences into the above mentioned groups of PRAMAN, VIPARYA etc.