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Dawning of the Spiritual Light

Sutras 47 and 48 of Book One of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • 47. On attaining the utmost purity of the Nirvichara stage (of Samadhi) there is the dawning of the spiritual light [adhyatma prasadah].
In contrast to the samadhi spoken of in the prior sutra, nirvichara samadha is nirbija: “without seed,” without attributes and without the production of samskaras or subtle karmas. Nirbija samadhi is nirvikalpa samadhi wherein the seeds of samskaras or karmas are destroyed (“fried” or “roasted”) by Jnana, and which produces no samskaras or karmas. When the utmost purity (shuddha sattwa) of the buddhi is attained, then even pradhana in its highest form is transcended and the light of the Self is perceived.
  • 48. There, the consciousness [prajna] is Truth-and Right-bearing [ritambhara].
According to A Brief Sanskrit Glossary, Ritam is “Truth; Law; Right; Order. The natural order of things, or Cosmic Order/Law. Its root is ri, which means ‘to rise, to tend upward.’” When a yogi reaches the nirvichara stage his consciousness henceforward reflects the divine order and is oriented solely toward ultimate Reality. Therefore Vyasa comments:
“The knowledge which appears in that clearness of the mind in samadhi has the special name of Truth-bearing in the literal sense that it brings truth alone, and there is no trace of erroneous knowledge in it. So it is said: ‘By scriptural authority, by inference, and by enthusiasm for meditation practice–in thee three ways perfecting his knowledge, he attains the highest yoga.’”
Shankara says that the consciousness spoken of in this sutra is born from viveka (discrimination between reality and unreality). Patanjali’s standards must be applied to us first of all, but also to any who claim to have realization of the Truth (Sat). Previously: What Happens to the Yogi in Samadhi? Next: The Final Stages of Samadhi
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