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1. Sitting with the feet stretched out and crossed so as to touch the thighs, with the right hand (stretched out and) resting upon the left, with the tongue fixed in the palate, and without bringing the one row of teeth in contact with the other, with the eyes directed to the tip of the nose, and without glancing at any of the (four) quarters of the sky, free from fear, and with composure, let him meditate upon (Purusha), who is separate from the twenty-four entities,

[XCVII. 1. Y. III, 198-200.--9. Y. III, 111, 201. This chapter treats of the means for obtaining that knowledge of the Âtman or Self, which has been declared at the end of the last chapter to be the road to final emancipation. (Nand.)

1. 'The twenty-four (it should be twenty-five) entities are stated in the Sânkhya to consist of the root-principle (mûlaprakriti), the seven productions evolved from it (vikritayah), the sixteen productions evolved from these, and Purusha (the soul), who is neither producer nor produced. (1) The "root-principle" is composed of the three qualities in equipoise: sattva, ragas, and tamas (the most accurate rendering of these terms is perhaps that proposed by Elliot, "pure unimpassioned virtue," "passion," and "depravity inclining to evil." See Fitz-Edward Hall, Preface to Sânkhyapravakanabhâshya, p. 44 (2) The "great entity" (Mahat) is the cause of apprehension. (3) The "self-consciousness" (ahamkâra) is the cause of {p.188} referring all objects to self. (4-2) The "subtile elementary particles" (tanmâtras) are identical with sound, tangibility, form, taste, and odour. (9-19) The eleven senses (i. e. the organs of perception and action enumerated in CXVI, 94, 95, and manas, "the mind"), and (20-24) the five "grosser elements" (ether, air, fire, water, and earth) are productions (from the former entities). Purusha, who is neither producer nor produced, is the twenty-fifth entity.' (Nand.)]

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2. He who is eternal, beyond the cognisance of the senses, destitute of qualities, not concerned with sound, tangibility, form, savour, or odour, knowing everything, of immense size,

3. He who pervades everything, and who is devoid of form,

4. Whose hands and feet are everywhere, whose eyes, head, and face are everywhere, and who is able to apprehend everything with all the senses.

5. Thus let him meditate.

6. If he remains absorbed in such meditation for a year, he obtains the accomplishment of Yoga (concentration of the thought and union with the Supreme).

7. If he is unable to fix his mind upon the being

[2, 3. According to Nand., all the properties of Purusha mentioned in this Sûtra are such as distinguish him from the rest of the entities, the first two distinguishing him from 'self-consciousness' (ahamkâra), the voidness of quality distinguishing him from the 'root-principle' (mûlaprakriti), which is composed of three qualities, &c.

4. The properties of Pûrusha here mentioned are faculties only, so that there is no contradiction to the 'voidness of form' and the other properties enumerated in the preceding Sûtras. (Nand.)

6. The external signs of the accomplishment of Yoga, as stated by Yâgñavalkya (III, 202 seq.), are, the faculty of entering another body and of creating anything at will, and other miraculous powers and qualities. (Nand.)]

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destitute of form[1], he must meditate successively on earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, self[2], the indiscrete[3], and Purusha[4]: having fully apprehended one, he must dismiss it from his thoughts and fix his mind upon the next one in order.

8. In this way let him arrive at meditation upon Purusha.

9. If unable to follow this method also, he must meditate on Purusha shining like a lamp in his heart, as in a lotus turned upside down.

10. If he cannot do that either, he must meditate upon Bhagavat Vâsudeva (Vishnu), who is adorned with a diadem, with ear-rings, and with bracelets, who has the (mystic mark) Srîvatsa and a garland of wood-flowers on his breast, whose aspect is pleasing, who has four arms, who holds the shell, the discus, the mace, and the lotus-flower, and whose feet are supported (and worshipped) by the earth.

11. Whatever he meditates upon, that is obtained by a man (in a future existence): such is the mysterious power of meditation.

12. Therefore must he dismiss everything perishable

[7. 1 The term nirâkâra, 'the being destitute of form,' evidently refers to Purusha here (cf. Sûtra 3), though Nand. interprets it as an epithet of 'Brahman.'--2 Intellect' (buddhi) and 'self' (âtman), according to Nand., mean 'the great entity' (mahat) and 'self-consciousness' (ahamkâra), cf. note on Sûtra 1.--3 'The indiscrete' (avyaktam) means 'the chief one' (pradhânam), i. c. the Sânkhya 'root-principle' (see XCVI, 96).--4 Nand. takes Purusha, in this Sûtra and in 13, 15 to mean 'the twenty-sixth entity;' but it appears clearly from Sûtra 1, as from 16 also, that the Vishnu-sûtra, like the Sânkhya system, assumes twenty-five entities only, not twenty-six, like Yama, upon whose authority Nand.'s statement is based.

9. 1 Nand. interprets the term Purusha here by âtman. 'self.']

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from his thoughts and meditate upon what is imperishable only.

13. There is nothing imperishable except Purusha.

14. Having become united with him (through constant meditation), he obtains final liberation.

15. Because the great lord pervades the whole universe (pura), as he is lying there (sete), therefore is he denominated Puru-sha by those who reflect upon the real nature (of the Supreme Spirit).

16. In the first part and the latter part of the night must a man bent on contemplation constantly and with fixed attention meditate upon Purusha Vishnu, who is destitute of (the three) qualities (sattva, ragas, and tamas[1]) and the twenty-fifth entity.

17. He (or it) is composed of the entities, beyond the cognisance of the senses, distinct from all the (other) entities, free from attachment (to the producer, &c.), supporting everything, devoid of qualities and yet enjoying (or witnessing the effect of) qualities.

18. It exists without and within created beings (as being enjoyed and as enjoyer), and in the shape both of immovable things (such as trees or stones) and of movable things (such as water or fire); it is undistinguishable on account of its subtlety; it is out of reach (imperceptible), and yet is found in the heart.

[16. 1 See Sûtra 1, note.

17. Thus according to the reading asaktam, which is mentioned and explained as a var. lect. by Nand. He himself reads asaktam, 'independent of Sakti, power, i. e. the producer, the power of creation (prakriti), or illusion (mâyâ).' Mâyâ and prakriti are occasionally used as synonymous terms in the Sânkhya.]

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19. It is not distinct from creation, and yet distinct from it in outward appearance; it annihilates and produces by turns (the world), which consists of everything that has been, that will be, and that is.

20. It is termed the light of the sidereal bodies and the enemy of darkness (ignorance), it is knowledge, it should be known, it may be understood (by meditation), it dwells in every man's heart.

21. Thus the 'field,' knowledge (or meditation), and what should be known[1] have been concisely declared; that faithful adherent of mine who makes himself acquainted therewith, becomes united to me in spirit.