Patanjali Yoga Sutra Verse 4

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Meaning: In  other  states  there  is  assimilation  (of  the  Seer)  with  the  modifications (of the mind).

When the  Citta-Vrttis are not in the state of  Nirodha and the  Drasta is not established  in  his  Svarupa he  is  assimilated  with  the  particular  Vrtti which happens  to occupy  the field of his consciousness for the moment.

A simile will perhaps  help the student to understand this assimilation of consciousness with the transformation of the mind. Let him imagine a lighted electric bulb suspended in a tank full of limpid water. If the water is churned violently by some mechanical contrivance it will make all kinds of patterns in three dimensions round the bulb, these patterns being illuminated by the light  from  the  bulb  and  changing  from  moment  to  moment.  But  what  about  the  bulb itself?  It  will  disappear  from  view,  all  the  light  emanating  from  it  being  assimilated with  or  lost  in  the  surrounding  water.  Now,  let  him imagine  the  churning  of  water slowed  down  gradually  until  the  water  becomes  perfectly  still.  As  the  three  dimensional  patterns  begin  to  subside  gradually  the  electric  bulb  gradually  emerges  into view and when the water is quite at rest the bulb alone is seen. This simile illustrates in a rather crude way both the assimilation of the  consciousness of the  Purusa with the modification of the mind and its reversion to its own unmodified state when the mind comes to rest. The mind may come to rest either through  Para-Vairagya developed by Isvara-pranidhana or  through  the  practice  of  Samadhi the  result  in  both  cases  is  the same—Enlightenment—and Liberation.

This  Sutra, like the previous one, is meant to answer only in a general way the question ‘what happens to the  Purusa when he is not established in his  Svarupa?’ Its full  significance  can  be  understood  only  after  the  whole  book  has  been  studied  thoroughly, and the various aspects of the subject understood adequately.

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