Feb 24, 2020

Samadhi in the Text of Patanjali


If we take a closer look at the Yoga Sutras text we’ll see at least three different contexts that the given term is used in there. Moreover, it is not one but three heterogeneous definitions of samadhi that we can find in the Sutras. The said situation might have happened due to the text initial inconsistency that according to my theory resulted from successive “seaming” together of at least five heterogeneous texts, as well as “insertion” of lines that have been either borrowed from Buddhism or argue with its philosophy. The traditions incorporated within the Sutras varied in their definition of samadhi, and this conceptual inhomogeneity can be traced down throughout the entire text.    

Samadhi in Samkhya

Samkhya Karika, the 4th cent. AD text, contains neither the term “samadhi” nor any of its derivatives. If we proceed to analyze later texts of the Samkhya tradition, we might notice inconsistency in their representation of samadhi. Samkhya Sutra, a late text of the 15-16th cent. AD which is attributed to Kapila in terms of mythological textography, uses this term in two different meanings. In Chapter 4 it expresses the idea of ultimate concentration on a rather mundane activity:
iṣukāravannaikacittasya samādhihāniḥ | KapSs_4.14 |
 He whose mind (chitta) is “unidirectional” loses no concentration (samadhi) – like the one who manufactured arrows (14)