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Asian Traditions of Meditation$
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Halvor Eifring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855680

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855680.001.0001

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Samādhi in the Yoga Sūtras

Samādhi in the Yoga Sūtras

(p.48) 3 Samādhi in the Yoga Sūtras
Asian Traditions of Meditation

Edwin F. Bryant

University of Hawai'i Press

The Indic Traditions have a rich two and a half millennia long variegated history of meditational and contemplative practices. Patañjali’s systematization of these techniques, as expressed in the Yoga Sūtras, eventually emerged as the recognized and generic model of meditative praxis for the Yoga traditions, and it was accommodated within the theologies and metaphysics of the heterogeneous sects. The basic principle of yoga practice lies in stilling the mind. From there, the yogī goes through various states of consciousness that lie beyond everyday experience. Patañjali presents a highly schematized version of this development, gradually moving from gross to subtle awareness, and eventually to a state in which consciousness is detached from all objects, including the mind itself, and becomes purely self-aware. This essay examines the seven ultimate states of consciousness that culminate from progressive stages of meditative focus outlined in this text.

Keywords:   citta, vṛtti, nirodhaḥ, sattva, ātman, nirbīja, sabīja, puruṣa

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