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.