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Yoga Practice

When the Yogin has mastered this state, he then directs his attention to finer and subtler objects, those from which the atoms have been derived. Things now appear before the mind of the Yogin not as the conglomeration of atoms, but of the diverse tanmatras of rupa, rasa, etc., under the limitations of time, space, and causality, and this is called the savicara stage. It differs from the savitarka stage in that here the objects of concentration are the tanmatra and not the gross bhuta. But this stage is also negated for the formation of the indeterminate tanmatric meditation called the nirvicara. The mind here does not feel in the savicara stage as perceiving the tanmatras as being associated with pleasures, pains, or any other characteristic qualities, but it becomes one with it, merged as it were, as in the nirvitarka stage with reference to gross objects.

These four stages are however often counted as two, vitarkanugata including as savitarka and nirvitarka and vicharanugata including savicara and nirvicara. The other two elevated stages that come after these are anandanugata and asmitanugata. In the anandanugata stage the mind is filled with supreme bliss or happiness; and in the asmitanugata the mind is in the state of pure being when the self is one with the buddhi. It will be seen therefore that the first two kinds called the vitarkanugata, and vicaranugata are those where it is the grosser and subtler forms of objects that are made the objects of meditation. The objects may no doubt vary from the bhutas up to the prakrti herself, but still these forms of meditation have this characteristic, that unity with them is effected with themselves as objects, grahyavishaya. In the anandanugata however the self has elevated itself from this objective meditation and is one with the pure sattva or blissful aspect of the senses, the apperceivers of sensitivity, and this type of samadhi is therefore called grahanavishaya.(1) The asmitanugata is the one where the buddhi turns back to itself, and the self being one with the buddhi there is only the steady light of pure being (sattva).(2) Samadhi thus comes to be of four kinds: vitarka, vicara, ananda. and asmita, and if we take each of the other varieties of vitarka and vicara, it becomes of six kinds and when with it the nirananda and nirasmita varieties are added, it becomes of eight kinds.(3) All these types however have an object on which the meditation is based, and as such are known as the samprajnata samadhi. The next stage is called the stage of nirodha when there is no actual mental stage of any kind. The mind in this state is in pure vacuity so to say; there are only some of the germs of thought in the form of potencies. The "I" of the mind remains long in this nirodha in a state of absolute objectlessness; all the potencies are destroyed, and at last the citta is annihilated in the sense that it returns back to prakrti, never again to bind the purusha.

(1) Bhikshu however does not take the pleasure or bliss belonging to the senses but ananda as a special object of meditation.
(2) Here also Bhikshu does not take it as any self-turning of buddhi but the shining of the proper nature of the purusha.
(3) Bhikshu differs from Vacaspati and says that samadhi can only be of six kinds.

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