The New Renderings,
New Ordering

The Summary Verses


Now a discussion of yoga.


Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.


So that the Seer, Purusha, comes to know Itself and abide in Its own real, fundamental nature.


 Whereas in the normal state (of human suffering) the Seer is assimilated with the mind, its transformations and products.


Yogic activity consists of purification by asceticism (tapah), japa, and devotion to The Lord.

The Essence of Yoga


The yogic observances are purity, contentment, austerities (tapah, tapas), japa,and devotion to the Lord.


These are practiced for reducing impurities, afflictions, and distractions and acquiring samadhi.


By svadhyaya is produced communion with the deity in the form favored by the devotee.

The Problem


Those who develop wisdom come to see all creation, externals, and perceivables as unsatisfactory, containing inherent suffering (such as anxiety). This on account of constant change, conditioning (karma), and due to the unstable, dualistic nature of the natural forces that underly phenomena and the movement of the mind itself. This is the problem that yoga is pursued to solve.


Samsara (worldly experience) is the result of inability to distinguish between creation and God though they are absolutely separate. By samyama on God (Purusa) as distinct from even the most attractive aspects of creation one gets knowledge of God.


The afflictions/distractions are: Ignorance, asmita (the sense of "I exist"), desire, aversion, and attachment.


Ignorance is the substrate of the other four, whether the four are in a dormant, reduced, controlled, or expanded state.


Ignorance is taking the non-eternal, impure, evil, and non-atman to be eternal, pure, good, and atman.


Asmita, or the sense "I exist," arises when Pure Consciousness, the power-of-knowing, gets associated with a body and its senses.


The afflictions are to be suppressed by meditation.


The suppression of distracting vrittis is attained by abhyasa and non-attachment.


That suffering which has not yet come can be warded off.


The cause of that suffering which should be warded off is the entanglement of the Seer with the seen.

10:1 (A.O.)

The problem is solved by getting established in samadhi, which is liberation.


The seen consists of the elements and the sense organs. It is of the nature of Prakriti. Its purpose is experience and liberation of the jiva.


The seen is for the purpose of serving Purusha.

On Preparation


Vairagya is the self-mastery in which one does not crave for objects, whether seen, unseen, or heard about.


The mind is assisted towards stillness and samadhi by responding with benignity, compassion, delight, and indifference respectively towards these four types of people: The fortunate, the suffering, the virtuous, and the sinful.


"Self-restraints, fixed observances, posture, pranayama, abstraction, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are the eight limbs of yoga.

"The self-restraints are abstention from harming others, from falsehood, from theft, from incontinence, and from greed."


The necessary virya is obtained when the devotee gets established in continence.

On Meditation


Fixing the mind on one thing is dharana.


Continuous concentration on the object is dhyana.


When the meditator gets true realization of the meditation object, penetrating and knowing the object's real nature, unconscious of himself as mind or knowledge, it is samadhi.


The three taken together are called samyama.


The mind is said to be in the inhibited or intercepted state when moment-by-moment the mind is continuously inhibited (by the meditation object) and a samskara of inhibition is created.


The mind's flow becomes steady by samskaras.


Abhyasa is the effort towards becoming established in that state (of suppression).

Abhyasa becomes firmly-grounded when continued a long time without interruption and with reverence.

Samadhi comes soonest to those who desire it intensely.


Even among the ardent, there is the distinction of mild, medium, or intense means.

By svadhyaya is produced communion with the deity in the form favored by the devotee.

On Meditation Objects


By bhakti for the Lord (samadhi is attained).


Perfection of samadhi is attained by God-devotion.


The Lord God, Isvara, is a particular purusha (individual soul) in His own category, untouched by afflictions, works, the results of actions, or samskaras. 


He is omniscient.


Unconditioned by time. All greatness is His.


His evidence is the pranava, Aum.  


Or meditation on the mind of one who is free of desire.


In general on the dawning of transcendental perceptions the mind can be brought to stillness by fixing the mind on one of those.


Such as meditation on a radiant perception beyond sorrow.


One can meditate on the knowledge of dream or dreamless sleep.

10:2 (A.O.)

Meditation on akasa.


Or even on what appeals to him.


Samadhi is certainly attained by meditation on the richness of the pranava.


By mergence in pranava obstacles are destroyed, the consciousness turns inward.


Pranayama is to sit and cut off the flow of inbreath and outbreath. 


The inbreathing, outbreathing, and held operations, in terms of place, length, and number become progressively longer and more subtle. 


The fourth kind of pranayama is beyond the sphere of internal and external, and comes when the essential acts of puraka and rechaka have been comprehended. 

From that is dissolved the covering over light.


And fitness of the mind for dharana.

On Samadhi

In the highest vairagya, because of contact with Purusha, there is cessation of the least desire for any experience of the created world.


Then pratyahara, in which the senses finally imitate and follow the mind, likewise withdrawing themselves from their objects.


From pratyahara, supreme mastery over the senses.


Sabija samadhi is accompanied by gross thought, subtle thought, bliss, and the sense of "I am."


In sabija samadhi exists thought, knowledge related to words, and based on further sense perception, plus divine knowledge in mixed states and the mind alternates between them.


The other variety is Nirbija samadhi which contains only the subtle impressions (samskaras) of the first.


In one whose citta-vrittis are almost annihilated, fusion and entire absorption in one another of the cogniser, the cognition and the cognised occurs, as a transparent jewel placed near an object takes on that object's colors.


In Nirbija samadhi, all forms have vanished, memory is purified, the essence of the object alone shines forth.


By what has been said, the same two experiences, in the cases of meditation on subtle objects have also been revealed.


The province of subtle objects extends all the way up to the indissoluble level of prakriti.


The purity of Nirbija samadhi being attained, one knows pure light and prasad.


He has direct knowledge of things, different from knowledge based on testimony, inference.


His consciousness is truth- and right-bearing.


The samskaras produced by nirvikalpa samadhi overwrite other samskaras.


With the suppression of even the samskaras of sabija samadhi, one becomes established in Nirbija samadhi.

On Siddhis

10:3 (A.O.)

Siddhis, performed or experienced, are a fruit of either individual karma or grace.


By samyama on God as apart from creation, i.e. verse 3:35,  the faculties of divine hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell arise.

On destruction of impurities in the body and senses by tapas, occult powers arise.


By getting knowledge-of-the-difference, that is, the difference between God (Purusa) and even the highest aspects of creation (satva), one gets both omniscience and omnipotence over all things.


Siddhis can arise from birth, from drugs, mantra, tapas, or samadhi.


By samyama on the pit of the throat, the cessation of hunger and thirst.


By samyama (perfect meditation) on the heart, knowledge of the mind (of another).


The Great Bodiless is when the yogi's consciousness can exit the body and function outside of it, this real, not imaginary. From this comes destruction of the covering over the light.


When the mind's tie to the body is loosened, and he develops knowledge of how his mind moves, he can enter other bodies.


By samyama on the pit of the throat, the cessation of hunger and thirst.


By samyama (perfect meditation) on the heart, knowledge of the mind.


By samyama on the relationship between his body and akasa, then merging with the idea of a light and floating things like feathers, cotton or dandelion tufts, he can move throughout space.


By mastering the udana he can float over water, mud, thorns, the earth, etc.


By samyama (perfect meditation) on the light in the head (bindu), the yogi gets the vision of the Siddhas.


By samyama on one's own bodily form, invisibility, because the connection between light and the body is disjoined.


His intuition develops and with it he can know anything.


When he is established in speaking constant truth his mere words get the power to actualize.


These are obstacles in the way of samadhi, powers when the mind is  outward-turned.


Siddhis are a fruit of samskaras, are endlessly varied, and are experienced in the realm of karma.

The State of the Sage


When he is a thoroughly discriminating man (knowing always the difference between God and creation), and when, fully contented by God, he no longer seeks even siddhis or any external fulfillment from his meditation, then dawns the samadhi called Raincloud of Goodness.

Metaphysics Of the Yoga-Sutra


The functions of the mind can always be known because of the constant nature of the Seer, the Lord, Purusha.


The transformation into another body (for another incarnation) is effected by the flow of prakritis; the jiva gets the body natural and appropriate to it.


Actions are neither white nor black in the case of sages, in the case of others they are of three kinds.


Having the three kinds of samskaras, they fruit variously as conditions become appropriate.


Even among the samskaras there is relationship
and they affect each other, though they may be
different, and though they may be separated by class, space, or time on account of correspondences.


And samskaras are without beginning because the will to live and desire for well-being are eternal.


But as they are bound together by cause, effect, substratum and support, samskaras are destroyed when those are destroyed.

Logo for "The Yoga Sutras, A New Commentary" by Julian Lee 

  The Yoga-Sutra on Continence (Brahmacharya)

The Yoga-Sutra contains 195 verses. They are short sentences. Yet it seeks to cover every important aspect of the quest for God-knowledge and liberation from suffering, the vastest realm of knowledge and, for the one who would conquer his own ego-mind, source of multifarious exterior dreams, the most abstruse.

Thus the Sutra tends to touch on topics once, and in the sparest way, and never repeat any matter. It is thus highly significant that continence (brahmacharya) is prescribed and cited explicitly in three separate verses of the Sutra. These arise not in one discussion but in three separate areas of the text. Then chastity can be said to be referenced indirectly an additional four times.

I place this material first in my commentary because, the truth is, no spiritual knowledge can be penetrated or grasped without continence. Moreover, this principle is where religion and spiritual knowledge have had their greatest collapse. By restoring understanding of this principle, beneficial religion will be restored to mankind. The Yoga-Sutra contains, in fact, the very essence of religion. This the outstanding, God-sent fact about it.

Now, the direct cites of continence in the Yoga-Sutra:


"Self-restraints, fixed observances, posture, regulation of breath, abstraction, concentration, contemplation, trance [samadhi] are the eight parts (of the self discipline of Yoga).


  Ahimsa-satyasteya-brahmacaryaparigaha yama.

"Vows of self-restraint comprise abstention from violence, falsehood, theft, incontinence and acquisitiveness."

I.K. Taimni Translation

The word brahmacarya appears. Modern dissemblers look for every imaginable pretext or post tex for turning brahmacharya to mean something other than celibacy. Respectable older translators did not have the temerity for such monkey-business. They translated it correctly as "continence." Continence is an old English word for male chastity and means nothing lost from the body; himself kept in. Though modern potato heads would like to creatively reassign the term to ideas that are non-sexual, broad, nebulous like "staying to your purpose" or "loving Brahman --- brahmacharya is indeed the direct Sanskrit word for sexual celibacy, and the only one. 

Celibacy is what brahmacharya means. Notice that the other self-restraints, in the verse above, relate to very definite acts. To steal something is a definite act. The Yoga-Sutra says 'don't perform the act of stealing.' To tell a lie is a particular act. The sutra says 'don't do that act.' To commit violence, also, is a specific act. The Sutra says 'don't do that harmful action.' But when arriving at brahmacharya  modernes and W.A.B.Y practitioners want brahmacharya -- Sanskrit's word for sexual celibacy and sexual continence -- to become something nebulous, non-specific, non-physical, not difficult, and far less fruitful. And of course, they want to continue to have their 'fun' in life. Such obscurations and dumbing-down attempts on brahmacharya -- and I see them written everywhere from "Wikipedia" to Twitsville, U.S.A. -- are callow chicanery of the inexperienced, the unadventurous, and the weak. And you can't get Yoga if you are unadventurous or weak. Doesn't every man bleed? Even monkeys in the zoo? Nobody said it was easy, but dissimulating the meaning of brahmacharya is simply modern degeneracy. It is an abandonment of the one thing that can assure progress in the task laid out by the Yoga-Sutra.

I would say, moreover, that of the four incontinence stands far above the rest as the most damaging. That is, the most damaging to yogic progress and yogic knowledge such referenced in the Yoga-Sutra and Sanatana Dharma generally. Incontinence destroys your interior. It destroys your power of concentration, or even the motivation to do things much less the most difficult act of meditation. It takes away the creative being within that is capable of interacting with the creative Being of purusha. It's not even in the same category as those others.In terms of its impact on the yogin's capacities, incontinence stands far above stealing and even tough doings that might be called violent. (Arjuna on the battlefield was involved in tough doings and seemed to do very well with the Lord, but he would have had nothing without brahmacharya.) As I show here, continence even gets three direct mentions in the Yoga-Sutra. Thus the dissimulation of modernes and attempt to hustle it into the wings is all the more deplorable.

The strict definition for brahmacharya for the male is no seminal emission. When you have that, you have brahmacharya and only then. It is only through brahmacharya that men can write worthwhile religious texts containing positive and regenerate spiritual knowledge. And it only through the non-loss of that biological and spiritual substance that the next verse has any meaning at all:


  Brahmacarya-pratisthayam virya-labhah.

"On being firmly established in sexual continence vigour is gained."

I.K. Taimni Translation

By this brahmacharya something definite is acquired. Most translators call it "energy" or "vigor." But note the original Sanskrit is virya. This virya, with its clear relationship to our English words virility and virtue, is not simple energy in the sense of physics -- like crass heat or electricity, aspects of mere natural elements. It is energy, but more. Our word virility implies manhood, fundamental virtue, and an essence both humanly beautiful and lofty.

Sexual debauchery (read: sexual discharge in the case of the male) in old European language was a loss of virtue. So virya refers to a fundamental virtue built up and now resident in a man.

A continent man, acquiring virya, has virility in the way we usually understand it, yes. But such virility has esoteric qualities. His interior has been made sacred and the pure creativity of the Purusha-Father is resident in him. Virya attained by chastity is virtue itself, intelligence, and an emanation of consciousness. Consecrated to God it is divine. It shows in the religious person as a radiance, attractiveness, and righteousness. That virya both strengthens the mind and develops it, gives power to the movement of his mind, and makes his mind a penetrator. Virya both strengthens, and sanctifies, the interior of the yogi so he can both cope with, and be suitable for, divine interaction.

Now listen to it again:

"By getting established in continence he attains virya."

The physical and spiritual quality called virya in a male is only acquired by non-loss of his creative substance by celibacy. This begins to be sublimated throughout all his tissues, his brain, and finally as a subtle substance that the yogis call ojas. It powers the mind, makes it strong and capable of concentration, and gives it penetrating power. The sexual energy is indeed a penetrating power, and the male can choose to either empty himself of mental power with many penetrating pelvic thrusts, or have a penetrating mind for yoga and every other attainment.

As the female does not suffer a loss of biological or cosmic material on the sex act but receives a gain from the male, the question arises: What are the implications of yogic continence for women? Do they gain from it or not? Are they fundamentally different vis-a-vis yoga or are her pathways to it unique? Let this suffice for the moment: Because the female perforce by nature can only have the loss of physical creative substance only once per month, women are already far more continent than the average male today. Which men are willing to climb onto the continence platform of even the average woman? Truly, men are the real "bleeders" today, and to an egregious extent beyond women, and bleeding something more valuable. I will explore this topic, and the questions it raises, more thoroughly later in this text, and the fact that women incline toward bhakti (devotional development) and service, while men taken naturally to austerities and meditation. Simply let it suffice for the moment for me to point out: Bhakti-Yoga is the highest yoga, is complete yoga, and through it a woman gets the power to receive whatever the male acquires by austerity and meditation. 

Now, the famously terse Yoga-Sutra, which rarely touches the same topic twice, has an unusual three direct listings for continence. Yet these are not the only ones! Chastity is also referenced indirectly another four times. The best of these is Verse 1:20, in the section describing the levels of samadhi. It lists the traits of those who attain the highest level of conscious awareness, nirvikalpa samadhi. Most commentators miss it, but the verse references continence, and in a highly significant context:


  Śraddhā-vīrya-smrti-samādhi-prajñā-pūrvaka itaresām.

"In others it [samadhi] is preceded by faith,
energy, memory, discrimination."

Dvivedi Translation

The verse says that those who attain to the higher stage of samadhi, the nirvikalpa state, have those four things. Commentators steadily miss the chastity message of this particular verse. What does "energy" mean here? Is it that a yogi gets energetic? Starts taking long hikes? Building sheds? Thus gets the highest samadhi? No. Is it that he meditates more intensely? Intensity of practice is significant and mentioned in another verse. But the kinetic word "energy" is not the kind of word we associate with meditation practice, which is a sedentary activity physically.The problem's solved by simply noting that the original Sanskrit word is, again,virya. We already know from verse2:38 that virya is obtained by getting established in continence. If "energy" wanted to be used, it would have been more correct to write "buildup of energy." Thus the verse is saying that those who attain the highest samadhi are those who have a buildup of virya from continence -- and the three other things.

I've never seen any commentator point to this in Verse 1:20, or even note the relative profusion of chastity cites in the Yoga-Sutra. The pre-eminent cause of western non-penetration of the Yoga-Sutra, and why they remain so far from samadhi and the attainments of both Christian and yogic saints, is nothing but the collapse of the chastity ideal once promulgated by Christianity. Now a 2nd indirect reference, in three sampled translations:


"From purity, distaste for his own body
and no intercourse with others."


"From purity (arises) disgust for one's own body,
and non-intercourse with others."


"From physical purity (arises) disgust for one's own body and disinclination to come in physical contact with it."


Note: Are modern practitioners of yoguh hoping to become disgusted with their bodies, and those of others? Or quite the opposite?

As with many Sutra verses, the "non-intercourse" has more than one significance. It refers to both aversion to sexual intercourse, and aversion to interacting with other people generally. This verse refers to an earlier phase of yogic development. When a man first renounces, it is natural and inevitable that he comes to despise the thing that debauches him and makes him lose his inner light. The "charge" of lust submerged where it belongs and not distorting his mind, he also gets a more clear vision of the sensual world and the bodies. He finally sees clearly, as when a child, the animalistic, crude, and absurd aspects of sexuality. But later, the religious person in the higher state has neither attraction or aversion to anything, including the bodies. This is the 2nd verse indirectly listing the chastity imperative in spiritual development and God-knowledge. The last two indirect references are in Sutra 2:1 where tapas is mentioned, and 2:32 where purity is mentioned. Sexual or moral purity is one of the forms of purity, and one of the most significant ones for God-aspirants. After all, Brahman is pure. Brahman is the "pure consciousness, untouched, like virgin snow.  By making ourselves pure we are able to finally mix with the purity of Brahman. And there is no more significant purity, in these paths, as purification from lust. Then later, the mind itself. (Thus it is that God-seeking men love most anything that reminds them of purity because it reminds him of God: Whether an untouched newly fallen snow, wild untouched places of nature, the innocence of children, unbruised fruit, or a woman made as God made her with no mark or tattoo.) 

These are the four indirect references that the Yoga-Sutra makes to chastity.

Remember that the Yoga-Sutra arose out of Hinduism, that is,the Vedas and Upanishads. References to chastity (brahmacharya) are very abundant in the Upanishads!

Now commences a re-ordering of the verses of the Yoga-Sutra, with commentary, so that White Europeans, those of India, and those of other deserving Peoples, can well-understand them and regain religious knowledge.

  The Fundamental Path to God-Knowledge

Now In the bhakti-yoga called Christianity, the sat-guru Jesus Christ stated that love of God is the "greatest law" or most important principle for Christians. Since bhakti-yoga is nothing but a felt love-of-God which stills the mind and brings samadhi, it is 100 percent valid to call Christianity bhakti-yoga. Now, Christ says that the highest law is "to love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and strength."

The fact is nobody can truly love what they do not know or what they have never experienced. One can begin to offer up love based on simple faith. But in human terms we cannot love much a thing that we do not actually know. We have much more love for things we actually know and experience. It is my impression that the average man who calls himself Christian today has palpable love for rock groups much more than for God. That is because he has not sought out -- and known -- God. God is still at the level of a mere concept for him. Thus it is that the "First Law" of Christianity must be to "seek the Lord your God." If we seek God, we can then experience God and finally have genuine love for God. To apply all one's mind to God (as in the words of Christ) is the most difficult of all endeavors. The mind is recalcitrant, the mind is fickle and changing, spreading out in all directions but God. Gathering up the whole mind toward God is also the very thing, the thing altogether, that the Yoga-Sutra teaches how to do. That is its very subject. Gathering up the whole being and directing it to God is the central subject of the Yoga-Sutra and nothing else.

Thus there is complete complementary and parity between Christianity and the Yoga-Sutra. It is also my belief that Jesus Christ spent his missing years in India and that this was His very study. This based on the many yoga-like things He said and also his siddhis, which are inherent to God-knowledge and the yogic path. The Yoga-Sutra is like the technical manual for enabling a man or woman to "love the Lord with all your mind, heart and strength" as Christ described, through coming to know God directly within. God is not located out in space or inert external matter. God is living right behind our own minds. The Yoga-Sutra teaches us how to dissolve the mind and see God, who is the source of mind and who gives us perception, behind it.

COPYRIGHT 2011 Julian Lee. All Rights Reserved.