Jun 28, 2013

Sutras 1.17 - 1.18. Samprajna. The Legend of Asamprajna Samadhi

Let us come back to the text of Yoga Sutras. The sloka 1.17 introduces the category of Samprajna(ta).

वितर्कविचारानन्दास्मितारूपानुगमात् सम्प्रज्ञातः ॥ १७॥
1.17 vitarka-vicāra-ananda-asmita-rūpa-anugamāt samprajñātaḥ  

The exact understanding of this line on the basis of translation taken “from the dictionary” shall be difficult since in fact the whole line is drawn of psycho-technical terms (but for the word anugamat meaning “to follow”) which translation, as we remember, can hardly be grounded on the dictionary only. Probably it is due to this that translation variants of this line, commentaries upon it and their consequences are very ambiguous. And it will be these ambiguities and consequences that we shall first of all deal with.

​In the first place, let us pay attention to the fact that this line does not contain the word Samadhi!

Jun 26, 2013

Samadhi, Assemblage Point and Gestalt Psychology

There is an interesting point of view that was published on the vKontakte page [a social network that is popular is CIS states – translator’s note] dedicated to Yoga Sutras that I mentioned in one of my winter posts, by the author of the said public who calls himself Igor Aleksandrovitch. I quote:

“Here is an interesting interpretation of the term "samādhi":

By the way, the most felicitous and accurate variant of translating the Yoga term samaadhi is by using Castaneda’s phrase “the assemblage point”, since Samadhi does mean the “assemblage” (this term in this very meaning can be found in texts dedicated to manufacture of chariots). From etymological point it looks the following way: the prefix sam- means “co-“, "jointly-", the prefix aa- means "to-", "at-" (i.e. it reveals the idea of attaching, fixing, bringing in correspondence), while the root dhaa- (with –i as a suffix) means "to put down”, “to place/make stand”. Thus “Samadhi” literally means putting together and attaching to each other some odd parts that were previously independent, uncoordinated or disharmonious.
Igor Aleksandrovitch”.

As one may easily see, the drawn clarification of the Samadhi term comes in perfect line with my explanation of Samadhi as the act of cognition (see here). Indeed, even in English there are such phrases as “I have FIXED the problem”,“I have PUT two and two TOGETHER” And they as if reflect that very experience of instantaneous comprehension of the problem that comes after long preliminary considerations (Dharana and Dhyana). However, the equivalence between the term Samadhi and Castaneda’s ‘assemblage point’ is not that obvious, despite the similarity between the words. Let us sort this issue out.