The Chidakasha Gita
Of Nityananda and Commentary


The Yoga-Sutra On Kumbhaka and The Breathless State

Julian C. Lee Mickunas



Devotion, love of God, emotional feeling directed to God.


The Yoga-Sutra's word for God or Saguna Brahman, the Supreme Soul, original Person, all-powerful creator of the manifest universes.

Individualized consciousness, all the separate "I"s other than God, like the Christian idea of soul.

Affliction, impurity, taint

Nirguna Brahman
God as pure consciousness, with the only attributes being sat-chit-ananda or being, consciousness, and bliss. Human beings merge with Nirguna Brahman nightly in dreamless sleep, covered by a film of nescience or unconsciousness. Often when "Brahman" us used alone it refers to Nirguna Brahman.

rishi or rsi
Yogic sage, holy man of India, literally "forest sage."

Saguna Brahman
God in a manifested form with other attributes, such as creatorship, etc. Conceptualizations of Saguna Brahman include Vishnu, Shiva, the all western ideas of God, Isvara, etc.

Complete stoppage of thoughts and absorption in one of the levels of consciousness above waking, while in the waking state. Samadhi can be savikalpa or nirvikalpa. The first is awareness of the dream state while awake. The 2nd is awareness of the bliss of the dreamless state while awake. Mergence in God. Saguna Brahman or Isvara is considered to pertain to the dreaming state; Nirguna Brahman to deep dreamlessness or pure consciousness.

"Impression." A mark on consciousness "This happened, I was this." Similar to memory.

Miraculous power.

Austerities, penances, practices of bodily mortification and renunciation.

The inner energy or potency that is gained by celibacy. Similar to the concept of ojas built up by chastity. Fundamental inner virtue from celibacy.

...this glossary is under construction. 


So that the student doesn't have to wait and may have a quick bird's eye view of the Yoga-Sutra I have selected these five verses as an ideal summary of the text

Thus the Yoga-Sutra begins:


Now a discussion of yoga.


  Yogaś citta-vritti-nirodah.

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.


  Tada dratuh svarupe vasthanam.

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

By ending the vrittis of the mind, the divine, all-sufficient, immutable God within is known, and known as the only Reality.

"Citta" means mind or the thinking principle. A "vritti" is a thought;movement or change in the mind. "Nirodha" means cessation, stoppage, dissolution. Yoga is an entirely an address to the mind, not to the body. Since the body is only an emanation or vesture of the mind, all mastery of the body is given automatically by mastery of the mind. Perfection of the body is likewise given by perfection in citta-vritti-nirodha because then the perfection of Brahman, or Pure Consciousness, shines through.

Yoga is actually the work of bringing the mind to stillness. An amazing thing happens when yoga is mastered: One attains samadhi. Success in chitta-vritti-nirodha equals samadhi. Samadhi is the central subject of the Yoga-Sutra: How it is attained, the stages or levels of samadhi, and the fruits and implications of it. An oddity of the text is that we find the verses speaking directly about samadhi long before the word "samadhi" is actually used. It's as if the Sutra assumes that the reader understands the subject of the book. One of the venerable ancient Indian commentators, Vyasa, went so far as to say "Yoga is samadhi." Entymology has "yoga" coming from"yuke" or to yoke together. The reference, then, is to joining the individual soul, or jiva, with the Supreme Soul. Thus the sage was making sense.

In practical terms, then, the Yoga-Sutra turns out to be an expose on meditation. A great many of its verses are directly on the subject of meditation and meditation technique. Chapter One contains a list of meditation focci, from meditation on one's guru ("on one who is free from passion") to meditation on an experience from dreams. Meditation is the means of attaining samadhi. This is an implicit central message of the Yoga-Sutra. Thus one could easily say "Yoga is meditation."

And meditation is the direct grappling with the mind, the directing of the mind to one thought for the cessation of the movement of the mind, just as Verse 2:2 states. Thus one focused on the body and doing bodily postures, but not striving to still the mind: Are they really doing yoga in the genuine sense of the word? No, especially if stilling the mind is not their purpose anyway, but getting a differently shaped rear end etc.

Now let's return to the ancient Yoga-Sutra and find out what yoga really is, and always shall be. The next verse is the first in the chapter on practice, often called "Sadhana Pada." Sadhana means the basic moral and spiritual disciplines of an aspirant.



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

The divine seer within, Purusha, looking out through the karmic morass of the body, projects worlds and conditions. This is a delicate statement. Much can be unfolded from it. It bears directly on the metaphysics of world-erection found in Non-Dualistic Vedanta and Upanishads such as the Mandukya and Gaudapada-Kirika Upanishad.

How do we project delusive and transient worlds?

The Divine Seer within gets mixed up with them, temporarily both seeing them as real and making them "real."

When did this start?

A long time ago, as soon as we began forming a jiva and body having a "I-ness" borrowed from Purusha, conceptualizing "other" and "things." The Seer is not just assimilated with the mind and its movement, but the conditioning inherent in the mind and body, thoughts and experiences past, comparable to writing on a hard drive.

Why does He remain assimilated with the mind and its movement and samskaras?

Long habit by the jiva in believing in the projection; believing it as real.

Does the Seer (Purusha) ever get free of this situation and know Itself?

It does so each night in dreams and also deep, dreamless sleep. If a yogi and religious person, he or she can get free of this state during the waking life via austerities, chastity, concentration, and bhakti which leads to samadhi which is knowledge of the divinity while conscious.

When does the Seer become assimilated and entangled again?

Each morning in a trice, the moment you begin to stir from sleep and consciousness directs itself again to your body and senses. Immediately the world is resurrected and immediately, by conditioning and habit, you believe it is real again. The external things, at the original root, are nothing but consciousness, so the Seer is really seeing Itself, or the products of the jiva-mind's creativity, which creativity was channeled from the Purusha. The Seer is then assimilated with its own creations, enmeshed in them.

The question arises: Is it my jiva or particular mind that is deluded and mixed up with the outer samsara? Or is God himself, Purusha, also deluded? Sankara likes to say that Isvara is Himself deluded and that is why he has worlds and universes. This is incorrect. Both Saguna and Nirguna Brahman is ever enlightened and ever free. The Jiva has separated itself from Him, especially during the waking state. Each night we re-unite with the Perfect Purusha. But 'sitting on Daddy's lap,' and realizing again nothing's ever been lost, we get a hankering, like a child, to run off and play games of pretend again. Thus we wake. The yogi seeks to become aware of the divine untouched Father, at least in increasing measure, during the waking state by continence, austerities, meditation, and bhakti-yoga.



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

This verse will be repeated, then discussed at length in the section "Essence of Yoga."

Introduction |  The YS: Path To God-Knowledge  |  The Summary Verses
Western Confusion About Yoga  |  On Brahmacharya
The Essence of Yoga |  The Problem  |  On Preparation
On Meditation  |   On Meditation Objects |  On Inner Divine Light
On Aum  |   On the 4th Pranayama
 |   On Samadhi  |  On Siddhis |  The State Of The Sage  |  Yoga-Sutra Metaphysics  |  APPENDIXES
COPYRIGHT 2011 Julian Lee.
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