This is the first time that an attempt to render the Yogavarttika into English has been made. Its syncretic nature and the difficulty of understanding it without the aid of the sutra and bhasya has always deterred the undertaking of this work for a study in such detail. The present work gains added importance due to the critical notes give under every varttika. The Bringing together of all the three-the sutra, bhasya and varttika-will serve the scholar and layman alike and will fulfil the need long felt for such a work.
This is the first time that an attempt to render the Yogavarttika into English has been made. Its syncretic nature and the difficulty of understanding it without the aid of the sutra and bhasya has always deterred the undertaking of this work for a study in such detail. The present work gains added importance due to the critical notes given under every varttika. The bringing together of all the three-the sutra, bhasya and varttika-will serve the scholar and layman alike and will fulfil the need along felt for such a work.
The first volume in this series dealing with the Samadhipada has had a very good response. The Hindu dated 21st December 1982 while reviewing the book mentions 'Dr. T.S. Rukmani has achieved tremendous success in her endeavor and has also made the world of scholars deeply indebted to her for bringing out this immaculate edition and translation of the Yogavarttika pertaining to Samadhipada. The splitting of the Bhasya and the Varttika topic wise, provision of accurate and lucid English translation with copious explanations and footnotes and an erudite glossary of technical terms make this work extremely useful...The author has promised the release of the remaining three padas of the Yogavarttika and it is hoped that they will be released fairly soon on the same model as the present meticulous edition'.
This is the first time that an attempt to render the Yogavarttika into English has been made. Its syncretic nature and the difficulty of understanding it without the aid of the sutra and bhasya has always deterred the undertaking of this work for a study in such detail. The present work gains added importance due to the critical notes given under every varttika. The bringing together of all the three-the sutra, bhasya and varttika-will serve the scholar and layman alike and will fulfil the need along felt for such a work. The first two volumes in this series, the Samadhipada and the Sadhanapada have had a very good response and have been well received by scholars both in India and abroad.
The splitting of the Bhasya and the Varttika topic wise, provision of accurate and lucid English translation with copious explanations and footnotes and an erudite glossary of technical terms make this work extremely useful.
An English rendering of the Yogavarttika of Vijnanabhiksu in its entirety has never been attempt so far. This need has been fulfilled by the four-volume series on the Yogavarttika of which this is the fourth volume. The text of the Patanjala Yogasutra and the Vyasabhasya with a new translation are also included in all the four volumes. It is therefore a unique contribution to the world of philosophical literature. It affirms the continuity of religious and metaphysical thought in the unbroken Indian tradition down the ages. A fresh look has also been given to the sutra and the bhasya and the translations are in the current idiom so that it is intelligible to the modern reader, both layman and scholar alike. Its syncretic nature and the difficulty of understanding it without the aid of the sutra and the bhasya has always deterred the undertaking of this work for a detailed study The present work gains added importance due to the critical notes given under every varttika.
Dr. T.S. Rukmani is presently chairperson, Hindu Studies, Department of Religion, University of Concordia, Montreal, Canada. Her published works are: A Critical Study of the Bhagavata Purana, with special reference to bhakti (Varanasi, 1970); Yogavarttika of Vijnanabhiksu, 4 vols. (New Delhi, 1981-89); and Sankara: The Man and His Philosophy (New Delhi, 1991). She also contributes research papers regularly in both Indian and International journals.
Vijnanbhiksu’s name figures prominently in all works dealing with sankhya yoga philosophy. His magnum opus on the yoga system the Yogavarttika throws light on a number of yogic points. This important work has not been rendered into English so far which was the main inducement begin this work.
A work of this kind cannot possibly be undertaken without discussions on intricate points with other scholars working in the same areas. I have received help and encouragement from a number of my friends and colleagues I thank each one of them sincerely for whatever help they could give be it in the understanding of a single word in the Varttika or a lengthy discussion on the significance of a particular statement in the Varttika. All these discussions have helped me to understand the Yogavarttika better and I do hope those who read it will find it useful.
My special thanks are due to Dr. Bimal Krishna Motilal Spalding professor of eastern religions and ethics university of Oxford for finding time to read the wrokd and also write a foreword to it.
Thanks are also due to Mr. Devendra Jain of Munshiram Manoharlal publishers for undertaking the publication of this work.
There has been a long delay in publishing the third volume of the Yogavarttika series due to certain compelling commitments both professional and personal. But the constant demand by scholars for the remaining volumes has finally demand by scholars for the remaining volumes has finally resulted in the publication of this volume after a gap of three and a half years. I would like to assure the readers that the fourth and a half years. I would like to assure the readers that the fourth volume will be out within the next six months. In that way I hope to make amends for the long gap between the second and the third volumes.
The enthusiasm with which the first two volumes have been received by the world of scholars has given me the strength to complete the other volumes as well. I thank them for the encouragement and hope that this volume also meets with the same response.
I am happy that the fourth and last volume of the Yogavarttika series is now completed. This would not have been possible without the constant encouragement from my scholarly friends who saw to it that I did not relax after the publication of the third volume in 1987. my very special thanks to each one of them whom it is difficult to name individually.
In all such undertakings spanning over a period of years, (in this case ten years) there are times when one is tempted to give up due to the pressures in one’s family. There have been many such moments in the past ten years when I have lost the courage and will power to continue with what seemed an endless task. Had it not been for my mother now in her late seventies who never lost hope and goaded me on whenever I despaired this work may not have been completed. Along with my mother another person who shared the enthusiasm and was able to transmit it to me was my husband. He took the responsibility of typing the entire manuscript of all the four volumes which considerably redacted my burden. It is not possible to express in words the sacrifice that these two individuals have voluntarily undergone to see that the work is published as soon as possible.
Mr. Devendra Jain of Munshiram Manoharial Publishers shared the enthusiasm and joy at every stage in the progress of the work and in the process became more personally involved than a publisher normally does. My special thanks are due to him.
My only wish is that this last volume on the Yogavarttika also meets with the same response in the world of scholars that the other three volumes have received.
Vijñanabhiksu holds a very significant position in the history of Indian Philosophy. But it is a pity that both orthodox Sanskrit’s and Western scholars have been less than enthusiastic about the philosophic contribution made by him to the SAipkhya-Yoga school. It is not out of place to speculate about the possible reason or reasons for such neglect. First, Advaitic monism championed by Samkara and his followers held such a sway over the intellectuals and the orthodox mind that an anti-Advaita metaphysical scheme was regarded at worst a distortion and at best a pseudo-Advaita scheme for the monks and yogis. Second, the Bhakti movement in Vedãnta beginning with Rämnuja onwards, constituted the other side of the coin. Reaction against Advaita turned invariably into a form of devotional monotheism, which engaged the other half of the orthodox mind, and hence Vijnãnabhiku’s system appeared to it as dry, cold and lusterless.
Modern scholarship has looked upon Vijnãnabhiku as a syncretist who mixed Vedänta with Sämkhya-Yoga. Hence credit for his originality has been counterbalanced by a dubious feeling that surrounds such syncretism. In the midst of such a complex situation, a systematic study of Vijnanabhikshu has not been taken up for a long time. It is therefore a pleasure to note that some modern scholars are turning their attention to Vijnãnabhiku. Dr. T.S. Rukmani should be congratulated for selecting an important work of Vijnanabhiku, the Yogavãrttika for intensive study and research. She has prepared an annotated translation of the text along with the Yogasusras of Patajali and the Bhasya of Vyäsa.
The present volume is one of the projected four volumes dealing with the four chapters of the Yogasütra-bhasya-varttika. Although numerous translations of the sütras and the bhasya exist, I think Dr. Rukmani has done agrest service to the scholarly world by presenting the text as well as the annotated translation of all the three works in one volume. For one thing, translation of only the Yogavarttika would have been opaque and unintelligible without the sütra and the bhãsya. For another, a fresh translation of the sutra and bhasya means a fresh attempt at understanding the underlying meaning of these texts, and this is always useful when such ancient texts are concerned.
Dr. Rukmani has added a very useful ‘Introduction’ where she has discussed the problems of date and authorship. Besides she has discussed in a synoptic fashion, the philosophic position of Vijnãnabhiku. She has noted not only the significant points of difference between Vijnanabhiksu’s own position and that of the traditional Samkhya system but also his trenchant criticism of the Advaita Vedanta of Samkara. The readers are invited to consult the introduction for a concise account of these issues.
Modern creative research in classical Indian philosophy seems to be often hindered by a lack of readable and reliable translations of important Sanskrit texts. Hence it has long been felt by scholars and intellectual alike that a series of annotated translations of critically edited texts should be produced and published for both academic scholars and general readers Dr. Rukmani has made a significant contribution to this trend.
This is the third volume in the series on the ‘Yogavarttika of Vijnanabhiksu’ covering the Vibhi3tipäda. This volume has the same plan of separating the three texts (the Yogasutras, the Yogas Utrabhaya and the Yogavarttika through 14 Pt. black, 12 Pt. black and 12 Pt. white respectively as has been done in the earlier two volumes- The texts consulted for the preparation of this volume have also been the same i.e. the Calcutta edition (Cal. edition) published by Jivananda Vidyasagara Bhattacarya in 1897, the Chowkbamba Sanskrit Series text (CSS. edition, Varanasi) published in 1935 and the Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan edition (BVP edition) published in 1971.
Since the introduction to Vol. 1. (Samadhipada) covers many points related to Vinanabhiksu such as his date, works and general philosophical views, the interested reader can consult that volume for such details. In this volume whenever volumes I and H have been referred to in the notes, the author’s name (Rukmani) has been left out. Thus Vol. 1 Samadhipma and Vol. II Sadhanapada in the notes refer to the first two volumes in this series.
While the Samidhipada concerns itself mainly with samadhi for the superior aspirant and the Sâdhanapada de9ls with the means to yoga for any aspirant, the Vibhutipada mainly elaborates on the various powers which come to one who practices dharaua, dhyana and samadhi (Sam. yama) in the prescribed manner.
The second pada (Sadhanapada) dealt with the first five aids or external aids to yoga i.e., yama, niyama, ñsana, praãyãma and pratyähära. It is in the VibhUtipada that the last three aids or internal aids have been defined and explained. Dharaga, dhyana and samadhi are defined in sütras 1-3 (111.1-3). The special spots for fixing the mind (dharaoa) are given. Bhiku, quoting from the Garwja Puräna, points out that only when concentration (dharana) lasts as long as it takes to complete twelve Pranayamas can it be called ‘dharanã’. So also only that is ‘dhyana’ when ii is qualified by the time taken to complete twelve ‘dharauas’ and ‘samadhi’ is that qualified by the time taken for twelve ‘dhyanas’ (111.1-3).
In sutra 4 (111.4) the technical word ‘sarpyama’ is defined and in sütra 5 (111.5) the rise of the effulgence of prajiia (prajiialokab) through mastery of ‘sarpyama’ is mentioned. Sütras 13-15 (111.13-15) contain repetition of many ideas found already in the second pida in the context of the definition of a substance (dharmi).
From sutra 16 onwards to the end of the chapter (141.16-54) are dis- cussed the various powers (siddhis) that come to a yogi by the practice of ‘samyama’ on various objects. Sütra 17 (111.17) is significant as it clearly assumes the sphoa theory. Bhiku discusses at length the ‘sphota’ theory under this sütra which is not surprising, as it was well established much before Bhikus’s time. But Bhiksu is mainly concerned in this sutra with the erroneous and indiscriminate superimposition on each other of a word, its meaning and the thought it conveys, when a word is uttered. Since the three are distinct from each other ‘sarpyama’ practiced on each of them separately (taipravibhagasarpyamat) results in knowledge of the sounds of living beings. In this context Bhiksu not only accepts ‘sabdasphota’ but ‘vákyasphota’ as well.
Amongst the various ‘siddhis’ which can be acquired by the yogi are knowledge of earlier births (Purvajatijnanam, III.18), knowledge of other peoples minds (paracittajilanam, 111.19), being invisible to others (antardhãnam, 111.21), knowledge of death (aparäntajnanam. 111.22), knowledge of various worlds (bhuvanajnänam, 111.26), cessation of hunger and thirst (ksutpipasanivrttiti, 111.30), omniscience (sarvamjãnãti, 111,33), knowledge of one’s own mind (cittasaipvit, 111.34), one’s mind entering another’s body (paraariraveab, 111.38), movement in space (akaagamanam, 111.42) mastery over the elements (bhütajayab, 111.44), and mastery over the sense-organs (indriyajay4, 111.47). But these powers are obstructions in ‘samadhi’ as they hinder the realization of the ultimate truth obtained in that state (samadhavupasarga, 111. 37).
From sutra 49 onwards there is a description of that yogi who is fit for ‘kaivalya’. The various stages in ‘samadhi’ like prathamakalpika, madhumati, prajñajyoti and atikrãntabhãvanlyal3, are described in 111.49, 50 and 51. These stages are also known as madhumati, madhu pratika vioka and saipskiiraesa. Discriminate-discernment or insight (vivekajnanam, 111.52) and the powers which accrue to such a yogi are described in sutras 111.52-54. In fact this state is described as the deliverer (tarakain) and is identified with ‘pratibhajñana’ (III. 33) and is the stage just before liberation (kaivalya) takes place. And in III. 55 the state of liberation is described as the equal state of purity of both the purua and the sattva- intellect (sattvapurusayob suddhisamye).
The third pada is thus devoted mainly to the ‘siddhis’ or ‘vibhitis’ which accrue to one practicing ‘sarpyama’. As in the previous adas, in this pada also, l3hiksu continues his attack on the Vedantins calling them ‘adhunikavedñntibruva’ (111.13, 35), At many places Bhiksu differs from Mira in his interpretation of many a yogic idea. (cf. 111.16, 18, 23, 36, 48). Bhiksu’s theistic commitment comes out clearly at various places in this pada. Thus even though dharaijii, dhyana and samadhi are indispensable in a yogi’s progress towards liberation, Bhiksu says that if there is grace of Isvara there is no need for these aids (111. I). Not only can one devoted to Isvara dispense with these aids he is also able to reach the higher stage of Discriminate-discernment without having to go through samyama on the lower stages. While Kaivalya is a stage of isolation and abiding in a oneself as defined by Patanjali Bhiksu defines it alternatively as a stage when the yoga remains undivided in Isvara which is very much a theistic concept.
This is the fourth and last volume in the series on the Yogavarttika of Vijnanabhiksu covering the Kaivalyapada. The same format for distinguishing the three tex’s (the Yogasutra, the Yogasutrabhasya and the Yogavarttika) through different types like 14 pt. black, 12 pt. black and white respectively, has been used. The same texts i.e. the Calcutta edition (Cal. ed.) published by Jivananda Vidyasagara Bhattacarya in 1897, the Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series text (CSS. ci) published in 1935 and the Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan edition (BVP. ed.) published in 197 I have been consulted in preparing the text for this volume. What is different about this volume is the bringing together of some important papers related to the Yogavarttika published in different journals, in the nine appendices, at the end of the work. These papers were written by the author while working on the Yogavarttika and cover a period of nine years, the first paper having been published in 1979 and the last in 1988. These papers even when read independently of the work will enable the reader to form an idea of Vijuianabhiku’s philosophy and general approach to philosophical problems. Thus they form a useful supplement to the body of the work.
The introduction to vol. I deals with many points related to Vijnañabhiksu like his date, his works and his general philosophical outlook. Thus anyone interested can refer to vol. I for such details. The attempt here is only to highlight some important points raised in the Kaivalyarada. In this volume whenever volumes 1, II and 111 have been referred to in the notes the author’s name (Rukmani) has been left out. Thus vol. 1, Samadhipada, vol. II, Sadhanapada and vol. III, Vibhutipda in the notes refer to the first three volumes in this series.
The Kaivalyapäda discusses many points not mentioned earlier in the first three ‘padas’. It starts off by making an interesting statement that ‘siddhis’ can be acquired through birth, through various medicinal herbs, through incantations, through austerities and through ‘saniadhi’. (IV.1) Praktyapura’ is the process by which evolution or creation takes place. The factors that govern this process and the importance of ‘dharma’ and ‘adharma’ in removing the obstacles to the creative causes coming into operation form an important topic in the Kaivalyapada. (IV 2 and 3). It is in this ‘pada’ that there is a discussion on the siddhi’ of creating other minds from one’s own mind (nirmailacitta) (IV.4 and I). While other means can achieve various ‘siddhis’, the Kaivalyapada establishes the supremacy of meditation (samadhi) In acquiring ‘siddhis’ as it is free from ‘karmisaya’. As the yoga continues to act till he gives up the body it is made clear that his karma’ is neither white (ukla) nor black (krsa) and therefore does not give rise to ‘dharma’ and ‘adharma’ or ‘karmaaya’ which binds (IV.6 and 7).
An interesting discussion on how specific ‘vãsanãs’ pertaining to the life of an animal, a human being, a god and e., come into operation in those specific births even after the intervention of many births and after a long time, forms the topic from sütra IV.8 onwards. While asserting that the substance is one the ‘satkaryavada’ of the system is established in the discussion on the past, present and future states of being of any object (IV.l2-14). Opposing the Buddhist Vianavada school, sütras IV. 14 onwards (IV. 14-24) establish the separate identity of the mind and the outside object. In the process the characteristic of the mind to be affected or not to be affected by an outside object is contrasted with the unchanging purua knowing the modifications of the mind at all times (IV.17, 18, 22 and 23). The nature of a yogi and the attainment of‘lcaivalya’ form the subject matter of sutras IV.25-34. This set of sutras deal with the state of mind of a yogi who is moving towards ‘kaivaiya’, The attainment of ‘dharmameghasamãdhi’ and ‘omniscience’ is the prelude to ‘kaivalya’ which dawns almost immediately afterwards, it is interesting to note that ‘kaivalya’ or isolation in described as the attainment of its own nature by both ‘prakrti’, and ‘purua’ in sütra IV.34.
Vijiiauabhiksu continues his attack on a8kara’s Advaita Vedanta in this pada as well calling them ‘ädhunikavedantibruya’ (IV,19, 21) as in the other padas. Nhiksu’s own ‘dual reflection theory’ finds mention in a number of places (IV.19, 21, 22, 23) along with the kartrkarma. virodha’ argument (IV.19, 23). Bhiku’s habit of going to the root of any matter in hand comes out clearly when he discusses in the context of ‘nirmãoacitta’ ((V.4) whether there are many selves (atman) or one self associated with the many created minds. Bhiksu comes up with the theory of ‘nirvikalpajnana’ and ‘savilcalpajnana’ in the context of knowledge and memory (IV.21, 22) and argues that ‘nirvikalpajnana’ or bate knowledge or consciousness belongs to ‘purua’. This then leads to ‘savikalpajnatta’ in the form ‘I am. angry’ and so on. Even when ‘kaivalya’ is defined in the last sutra (IV.34) Bhika makes it a point to repeat that there is ‘kaivalya’ for both ‘prakrti’ and ‘purua’ each reaching its respective natural state. Bhiksu differs from Vacaspati Mira on many a yogic point. Thus his understanding of the stages in ‘moka’ differs from that of Mira (IV.25). His habit of explaining things leaving nothing to the imagination of the reader is evident throughout this pada as well. (1V.2, 4, 13, 14, 21). He thus translates the ‘bhaya’ word by word (IV.6, II, 12, 13, 14, 21, 24, 23), repeats the same argument with different examples and resorts to etymological derviations and analysis of compound words in order to achieve his purpose. Bhiksu quotes profusely from many texts and his great learning is evident throughout the pada.
Vijnanabhikshu a committed theist concludes his Yogavarttika with the prayer that Isvara who is the self in all living being may be pleased with his work.
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