स्मृतिपरिशुद्धौ स्वरूपशून्येवार्थमात्रनिर्भासा निर्वितर्का॥४३॥
smrti-parisuddhau svarupa-sunya-iva-artha-matra-nirbhasa nirvitarka
When the memory is purified (parisuddhau) it’s as if (iva) the mind is empty and the object of meditation (artha) radiates (nirbhasa) and its own nature (svarupa) is seen: this is a state of meditation free of logic/memory (nirvitarka).
PRACTICAL LIVING In the previous sutra, Patanjali described the first stage of meditation: one where the individual is completely absorbed with an object, though different thoughts concerning the object may be flowing in the person’s mind. Now Patanjali describes the next state of meditation. Nirvitarka happens when we can see something without ‘remembering’ it. In other words, usually we perceive the world based on past experiences. For example, we go to an amazing yoga class and have a positive experience. So we decide to return. Our past experience will color the present one. Our expectation based on the past influences the moment we are living now. Like a child going to Disney World or like an adult going to Burning Man for the first time, this sutra describes the ability to live a moment without the influence of the past, but completely absorbed in the present moment. How refreshing would life be if we could live like that? Watch a child and notice that every time they see snow they see an opportunity to jump on it, throw it, touch it, explore with it. By reaching this state of nirvitarka there would not be any boredom!
IN THE YOGA WORLD In addition to not being influenced by memory, the individual is also free from fear, the ego, attachment or avoidance (the sources of suffering we will be talking about in more detail in the future). This makes the mind so pure that our storage of deep memories (samskaras) is also gone and our true nature can shine through, allowing us to experience a specific object exactly how it is, without the drama or the delusional interpretations we normally have. In other words, the rajas (anxiety, drama and stress) and the tamas (inertia, depression and doubt) are gone and sattva (balance, clarity and luminosity) predominates. This is the result of LOTS and LOTS of work, which requires consistent discipline and commitment. But it CAN happen 🙂
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON Mark is this remarkable person who has dedicated himself to certain projects and succeeded immensely. His ability to imagine something and put all of his energy and attention into that is inspiring! He is an ‘idea machine’ – a creative mind who is constantly thinking of new ideas, new possibilities, new horizons to travel to. Not reaching his destination does not seem to trouble him. He does not see it as a failure, but as a life experience. That requires a level of detachment that I find admirable. His ‘objects of meditation’ remain strongly in his mind until they are no longer needed. Thank you Mark for teaching me through our conversations, through our interactions, through your actions 🙂
Do you have any experiences you would like to share? Please interact as much as you like – everyone will learn from your personal experiences!
Thanks and next week we will look even deeper into meditation next week!