The third chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras instructs us about the progression of our practice - Vibhuti Pada.



Sentence 16

parinamatraya-sanyamat-atitanagata jnanam ||16||

परिणामत्रयसंयमाततीतानागत ज्ञानम् ॥१६॥

pariṇāmatraya-saṁyamāt-atītānāgata jñānam ॥16॥

Meditation (samyama) on the three types of change (parinama-traya) gives rise to knowledge of the past and future. ||16||

pariṇāma = (iic.) change; evolution
traya = (iic.) the three
saṁyamāt = (abl. sg. m. from saṁyamā) concentration; contemplation; samyama; meditation
atīta = (nom. sg. f.) past
anāgata = (voc. sg. m./voc. sg. n.) future
jñānam = (acc. sg. n. / nom. sg. n. from jñāna) knowledge; insight

Samyama, or meditation, is composed of three successive steps, namely dharana (concentration), dhyana (contemplation) and samadhi (absolute knowledge). With each step, we gain deeper knowledge of the object of our contemplation. What matters here is (a) which object we choose as a focus for samyama; (b) the nature of our insight; and (c) what we experience on the way there. Patanjali suggests a series of subjects for meditation (samyama) (ys 3.16-3.34).

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