Yoga Sutra 1.17 Samadhi Contemplation

In this Sutra, Patanjali talks about the characteristics of Samadhi’ (Becoming the Being, more correctly to revert to the original State of Being).

Samadhi is ‘ a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object.’

After discussing Knowledge, instruments of Knowledge,Patanjali goes straight down to Samadhi.

But the narration of the Sutras are not being followed by him here  in the order Astanga Yoga is to be practiced.

The reason is that, like all Vedic Mantras, these slokas are not made after deliberation, noting points to write.

These are Revelation,Apauresheyam,not created by Man and are Anaadhi(Timeless)

The sound waves are intuitively grasped by the Seers and are expressed.

At the mundane level, anything creative is born this way, be it Newtons’ Laws or the Dramas of Shakespeare, they are expressed spontaneously with out deliberation).

As this is good place as any let me say a few words about the Eight Limbs of Yoga-Ashtanga(Eight Limbs)

The Eight Limbs or steps of Yoga Are.







Dhyana  and


These are the eight steps to be followed in that order.

Now I find people have Meditation Courses(?) as if it is an ordinary text-book subject  straight without going through the earlier steps of Yama, Niyama, Asana,Pranayama(some times they teach you Asanas as though it is a simple physical exercise and Pranayama is just a matter of regulating Breathing).

This is incorrect and has no sanction from Patanjali’s Yoga.

I am also amused by the people who tell me that they are doing meditation half an hour Daily.

If one were to Meditate and achieve it for 30 seconds, I tell people, He/She would have become a Ramana Maharishi.

Jumping to Meditation is akin to joining Post Graduate Course without going through LKG to Degree.

And Yoga, I repeat, is not a Physical exercise., though Physical fitness is a spin-off of Yoga.

It is a Spiritual exercise,has to be practiced over years by following the Rules of Ashtanga Yoga.

I ca guarantee those who do not follow the correct procedures to develop backache,Spinal Problems and in extreme cases, mental disturbances.

Please do not take Yoga lightly for we are dealing with something very fragile as Mind and something that is an expression of Ourselves, Consciousness.


The Five Don’ts.

  • Ahimsa – Non-violence
  • Satya – Truthfulness
  • Brahmacharya – Control of the senses and celibacy
  • Asteya – Non-stealing
  • Aparigraha – Non-covetousness and non-acceptance of gifts

Each of these require a detailed analysis.

Niyama, Five Do’s:

  • Saucha – Purity, cleanliness
  • Santosha – Contentment
  • Tapas – Austerity
  • Swadhyaya – Self-study, study of scriptures
  • Ishwara Pranidhana – Surrender to God’s will.
  • I shall post on each of these as we go along at the appropriate places.

In Sutra 1.17, Patanjali speaks of Samadhi as one which is accompanied or coexistent with or fully conversant with  Contemplation.

Right Contemplation is what is required,one with the sole intention of Realizing the Self.

This will be dealt in Detail when we discus Pratyahara, Dhyana and Dharana, the various levels of Concentration.

vitarkavicharanandasmitaroopanugamat sanprajnatah

vitarka = reasoning;
vichara = reflecting;
ananda = rejoicing;
asmita = pure ego;
anugamat = accompanied by the forms of;
samprajnatah = distinguished;

yoga sutra 1.17

Samprajnata samadhi [distinguished contemplation] is accompanied by reasoning, reflecting, rejoicing and pure I-am-ness.

The concentration called right knowledge is that which is followed by reasoning, discrimination, bliss, unqualified ego.

The realisation of the unconditioned being is at times associated with logical reasoning or examination, deep a-rational enquiry, an experience of bliss or of pure I-am-ness. Yet even at those times there is consciousness of the subject-object relationship, and knowledge of the physiological and psychological states, experiences and deeds.

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