A Yoga Sutras Chapter 4 Summary
We have made it to the final Chapter, Kaivalya Pada.
Kaivalya Pada is the 4th and last chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
What does Kaivalya mean?
Sage Patanjali speaks about the attainment of the state of Kaivalya, a state of liberation in this chapter.
Supernatural powers called siddhis may be inborn in some people.
It is possible to attain them by means of chemical materials, with the power of words mantras (sacred syllables), concentration, or contemplation.
There are people who observe austerities in life to gain the same. Some people may carry these powers from previous births.
Sage Patanjali claims that this is possible in this very birth with the help of chemical materials.
The reason for choosing this way is to extend the lifetime of the seeker by making the body strong and perfect so that it is possible to reach the highest goal in this life itself.
In the second sutra of the second chapter, Patanjali states the reason for the cause of change in the human body to a different species, after death.
He says that it is because of the filing of nature.
As per Patanjali’s words, all human beings have the spiritual power within. It is always there with all of us.
It is also said that the Samadhi or perfection to be attained, is the very nature of man.
The reason for not manifesting this perfection is that man never tries to reach that stage.
With yoga practice, it is possible for humans to unveil this potential already within.
Any ancient scripture strongly believes in the law of karma. It is simply called a “cause and effect relationship”.
What you do to others, returns to you in one form or the other creating the same effect.
Every good deed from humans will bring such results, same with the bad ones. There is no such law for the soul.
Good deeds will always help you in manifesting the true nature within by removing the obstacles in the path. After manifestation, it remains unchanged.
Both matter and mind are boundless storehouses. The ways to control both of these can be mastered once the seeker becomes a Yogi.
Though it is within, it has to be manifested in the very same birth. Manifestation happens only with the help of yogic practices.
A yogi attains a state where he can manufacture any number of bodies and minds.
The difference is made up of egoism, the inherent nature of man, and the human mind.
There is only one mind and one controller. We have lost it over years and lives.
The Yogic path is to recollect and return to the source.
Once you become a yogi, you are no more an individual or individual mind.
A Yogi becomes one with the universal consciousness.
There is no “I” or ego. He is the all-pervading consciousness not more an individual mind.
Patanjali says different minds and people are our own creations. There is a point at which one will see part of all these, whatever is perceived.
That state is called “Samadhi”, the highest level of concentration.
As mentioned in previous sutras, it can be attained through mortification, chanting of the mantra, etc.
Such a man who has attained that state will not have any desires to fulfill.
He continues to say that the yogi who has reached that state of perfection will not have any kind of bindings on the actions and activities as he will not have any desires or motive behind doing such actions.
He does only good things without expecting any results.
Patanjali firmly says that those who have not reached that state will have black or evil desires, white or good desires, or mixed ones.
In a nutshell, the objective of the yogi is to reach that state where there are no desires behind the actions.
All the desires manifest according to the environment & situation.
Desires which never manifest because of the non-conducive environments are stored within.
As per the law of Karma, desires will manifest according to the body.
The environment has a high influence on the law of karma – the actions, reactions, and activities that manifest from the mind and body.
All our experiences are stored as impressions in the mind and recollected later.
That is the reason why we are able to connect with past experiences without much awareness.
Manifestation of desires is always linked with the bodies taken in past lives.
If we look at the experiences closely, we will find that there has been no beginning for them.
New experiences arise out of the past ones, where we can say that both are connected.
Cause and Effect are one of the important reasons for the desires.
The cycle of generating new desires and those unfulfilled ones becoming dormant as latent impressions in the mind will continue as long as we are unable to get rid of these.
Latent impressions are called samskaras. They will burst up when there is a conducive atmosphere.
There are three gunas, – qualities manifested in human beings.
The three gunas are the Rajas, Tamas & Sattva.
Rajas is like being energetic, aggressive; Tamas is inertia; Sattva is purity, calmness, and peace. It is highly dependent on the individual who manifests these qualities, depending on the situation & environment.
It is a known fact that different individuals perceive the same object from different points of view.
Here, individuals shall be equated with the mind and not as physical human beings.
If we watch the mind and the thoughts flowing through the mind closely, we notice and experience that the thoughts keep changing.
When compared with the physical body, this physical substance as seen in yoga, it is stated that the mind is much faster.
The mind can travel to any extent.
Behind both of these, there is something called Purusha (seen as the changeless in yoga). This is Sattvic or pure. There is no identity.
Purusha cannot be identified with anything, including name, fame, etc. Not even individual mind.
Patanjali says that Purusha is self-luminous, hence it is changeless. Purusha when called as changeless is the essence of knowledge.
Mind is formed with consciousness when it comes near to Purusha. If the mind is closely watched, one can experience that world is on one side and the changeless on the other.
Mind is the intermediary between these two.
The Mind is just a flow of thoughts. These thoughts arise when your mind is in contact with something external.
At some point, the mind realizes the difference between right and wrong, with analysis of experiences from the past.
This establishes the fact that the mind cannot work by itself. It is only through intellectual discrimination that the Yogi can understand what Purusha is.
It is evident from Patanjali’s yoga sutras that the intellectual discrimination attained by the yogi will make one realize what is real and unreal.
With the clarity of vision and clairvoyance, one can realize that one is the eternal, and the witness to all the changes created by the mind.
A most important fact to be believed is that Purusha, the changeless itself is the purest, happiness and peace.
There is absolutely no need to have anything external to experience happiness. The Yogi comes to realize this and finds that Purusha is the eternal.
The Yogi now realizes that the occult powers earned through the practices is nothing, but just an illusion when compared with the highest state of ultimate consciousness.
One then experiences and realizes Samadhi.
The mind, the changing one that was a like a wrapping on the knowledge is now removed.
The Yogi realizes that he is one with the infinite bliss, referred to as the state of Kaivalya!.