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Samyama

Samyama (from Sanskrit संयम saṃ-yama—holding together, tying up, binding[1]). Combined simultaneous practice of Dhāraṇā (concentration), Dhyāna (meditation) & Samādhi (union). A tool to receive deeper knowledge of qualities of the object. It is a term summarizing the "catch-all" process of psychological absorption in the object of meditation.[2]

Samyama, as Patanjali's Yoga Sutras states, engenders prajñā. Adi Yoga or Mahasandhi discusses the 'mūla prajñā' of "listening/studying, investigation/contemplation, realization/meditation" which are a transposition of the triune of Samyama. These are activated subconsciously in non-structured form (thus producing fragmented spontaneous Samyama-like effects) by any thinking activity or contemplative absorption (particularly the Catuskoti and Koan[2]) and deep levels of trance. Any kind of intuitive thinking at its various stages of expression is strongly related to Samyama-like phenomena as well.[3]

Samyama is practiced consistently by Yogin of certain schools (Raja Yoga, Adi Yoga e.g.).[4] Described in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it comprises the three upper limbs of Raja Yoga. Following Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, a yogin who is victorious in samyama vanquishes all 'cognitive obscurations' (Sanskrit: klesha). The Sutras describe various 'powers' or 'perfections' (Sanskrit: siddhi) a yogin may attain through the conduit of Samyama.[5]

Yoga Sutras

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali[6]
Pada (Chapter) English meaning Sutras
Samadhi Pada On being absorbed in spirit
51
Sadhana Pada On being immersed in spirit <center>55
Vibhuti Pada On supernatural abilities and gifts <center>56
Kaivalya Pada On absolute freedom <center>34

Samyama is defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali verses 3.1 through 3.6 as follows where the Sanskrit in Devanagari and IAST were sourced from Little[7] and the English from Iyengar (1993: pp. 178–183):[8]

देशबन्धश्चित्तस्य धारणा ॥ १॥
deśabandhaścittasya dhāraṇā .. 1..
Fixing the consciousness on one point or region is concentration (dhāraṇā).

तत्र प्रत्ययैकतानता ध्यानम् ॥ २॥
tatra pratyayaikatānatā dhyānam .. 2..
A steady, continuous flow of attention directed towards the same point or region is meditation (dhyāna).

तद् एवार्थमात्रनिर्भासं स्वरूपशून्यम् इव समाधिः ॥ ३॥
tad evārthamātranirbhāsaṃ svarūpaśūnyam iva samādhiḥ .. 3..
When the object of meditation engulfs the meditator, appearing as the subject, self-awareness is lost. This is samādhi.

त्रयम् एकत्र संयमः ॥ ४॥
trayam ekatra saṃyamaḥ .. 4..
These three together [dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi] constitute integration or saṃyama.

तज्जयात् प्रज्ञालोकः ॥ ५॥
tajjayāt prajñālokaḥ .. 5..
From mastery of saṃyama comes the light of awareness and insight.

तस्य भूमिषु विनियोगः ॥ ६॥
tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ .. 6..
Saṃyama may be applied in various spheres to derive its usefulness.

See also

References

  1. ^ Sanskrit-English Dictionary by Monier-Williams, (c) 1899
  2. ^ a b Sansonese, J. Nigro (1994). The Body of Myth: Mythology, Shamanic Trance, and the Sacred Geography of the Body. Inner Traditions. ISBN 978-0-89281-409-1. Source: Google Books (accessed: Friday March 6, 2009), p.26.
  3. ^ "Experiences from Samyama". http://www.swamij.com. 
  4. ^ Ishafoundation.org
  5. ^ Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms: Powers, Ramakrishnavivekananda.info
  6. ^ Stiles 2001, p. x.
  7. ^ Little, Alan (n.d.). The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Source: Alanlittle.org (accessed: Wednesday March 17, 2010)
  8. ^ Iyengar, B.K.S. (1993). Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Hammersmith, London, UK: Thorstons (an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers). ISBN 978-0-00-714516-4, pp.178-183.

External links