‘Direct Experience ‘ Yoga Sutra Explains

Patanjali ,in his Yoga Sutra 1.7, suggests  these three instruments of Knowledge.

Direct Experience-Pratyaksha



Direct Experience.

How do we experience?

Through the instruments , the senses.

Indian Philosophy categorizes  Five Senses,

Eyes, Ears,Nose,Mouth,Touch(Tactile )

These are called Gnadendriyas.

Jñānendriyas are the five sense organs.

1. ghrāṇa – nose 2.rasanā – tongue 3.cakṣu – eye 4.tvak – skin 5.śrotra – ear

And it includes Mind as a sense organ.’unlike Western Philosophy where Mind is categorized as an entity along with Matter.

The senses alone will not provide us with experience,

One may have eyes, but can not see,Blind.

So the ‘act of seeing’ is a  separate function.

Organs of Perception.
Organs of Perception.

Same with the other senses.

Therefore, Indian Philosophy ascribes these actual acts, as additional Instruments for Direct experience.

These are called Karmendriyas (That perform’ the action of’seeing’ etc)

1.pāyu – the excretory organ.
Is the organ of excretion. Associated with the mooladhara chakra and the earth element.
2.upastha – the sexual organs
This is the generative organ.
3.pāda – the locomotion organ
Legs are the locomotory organs.
4.pāni – the organ of apprehension
Hands are the most complex organ of action as they can express,feel and touch.
5.vāk – the speech organ

With these we experience.

This is at the individual level, that is, it is for each individual.

For experiencing the world, the world has to exist(‘Exist’ is being used here in the normal meaning, not with Philosophical connotations).

Like the individual, the World has the following.

The Five Elements.

a)Prithivi (earth)
b)Apas or Jala (water)
c)Agni (fire)
d)Vayu (air)
e)Akasha (ether)

These elements by themselves can not be experienced;they have certain qualities, corresponding to each of these.

These are called Tanmatras,

The five tanmātras – subtle mediums of the sensations
gandha – is the olfactive impressions, smell. Is the quality of earth.
rasa – is the the taste sensations. Is the quality of water element.
rūpa – is the visual sensations. Is the quality of fire element.
sparśa – is the touch sensations. The quality of air element.
śabda – is the auditive sensations.The quality of ether.

These two groups are linked by The Mind.

We shall take this up in the next post.




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