Meditation is Not Dhyana
1. I want to respond to certain queries and… some inquisitiveness as well. I welcome that.
We have been discussing the meditation aspect [of dhyana]. Let me remind you I often said that meditation is not dhyana. The meditation that we were discussing is an aspect of dhyana; dhyana is a wider concept. We tend to equate dhyana with meditation and meditation with dhyana, which is not proper.
2. The meditation that we were discussing was in reference to Guruji’s mention that his practice was a dynamic meditation. Dynamic meditation is one of the prerequisites of meditative practices. You need to have dynamic meditation where the higher faculty functions of the brain have to come in.
Now in the worldly business activity of life we don’t need [higher mental functions]. We just need to have perception, …cognition, …memory, …imagination, …analysis, logic, and reasoning. So this is what we need in the business activity of life.
But the human brain has been endowed with… higher faculty functions, which the normal man doesn’t need in the normal walk of life. However, [the higher faculty functions] are there. Meditation, as I said, is a psychological term. It’s a psycho-mental act, and, therefore, it deals with thought, thinker, and thinking which we saw during couple of sessions.
3. But…, once again, I repeat, do not confuse dhyana with meditation.
There has been a lot of mixing-up of terms…. Also, the need of the hour [requires] translating the words into English. A hundred, two hundred, three hundred years ago, it was not necessary to translate everything into English. But today it is very necessary to use English, make English expressions, and communicate in English. Therefore we have to take care.
4. Now, this meditation that we spoke of, and of which Guruji said that… his practices were dynamic meditative practices, were at Guruji’s hierarchy. We have not really felt the need of meditation while we are in Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, Urdhva Dhanurasana, or Trikonasana.
Today the word meditation has come into the consumer market and [become]… just something where one seeks relaxation, dis-tension…. We are under lot of stress, and we feel the need of having some stress management. [When] we are “de-[less] stressed…” by some measure, the mind quietens, and [becomes] serene, we tend to say that it is meditation. So meditation has one connotation in the consumer realm.
5. Meditation has another connotation in the philosophical realm. Sometimes when the philosophers speak of meditation, it’s a different realm. They want transcendence. You can’t be stuck in the mundane mire, and then try to meditate to escape the mundane gravity. Therefore, for philosophers, it is another connotation.
It is not just relaxed mind. Merely relaxing the mind by certain measures, which is so-called meditation, is not really precisely meditation.
Meditation should be a higher thought process. The higher faculty functions of the brain must be in place — pensivity, reflectivity, and meditativity. There are certain thoughts, which are reflectable, certain thoughts can be reflecting, certain thoughts can be reflected.
Thought Reflectivity +6.45
1. So at this juncture, let me tell you, there are so many classifications of thought. We say that thoughts are delighting and sorrowing; stressing, tensing and relaxing; activating and pacifying; good and bad; noble and ignoble; worldly and sublime, ethereal, transcendent; virtuous and vicious; and good and bad. We are familiar with these classes of thought. As students here, trying to get an education in the subject of yoga, I would like you to take a piece of paper and jot down these various classes of thought with which we are familiar — good, bad, noble, ignoble, activating, [pacifying], delighting, and sorrowing thought.
2. So certain thoughts are philosophical thoughts. They have philosophical potential…, philosophical material. Those thoughts can be reflected, and those thoughts can be reflecting.
What kind of surface is required if it has to be reflecting? There should be sheen on it; it should be shiny…. All surfaces don’t reflect…. So there should be sheen on the surface, [so that] it will reflect.
Similarly, there are certain thoughts, but not all thoughts… which are opaque, that don’t allow you to enter…. Confusing and incomprehensible thoughts don’t [allow] any [way] to break through to [enter].
3. There are certain opaque thoughts. There are certain transparent thoughts…. So thoughts have opacity, transparency, and sometimes translucency. Try to collect this class of thought because these translucent… and transparent thoughts are also needed and [helpful]… for meditativity.
4. So, make a survey of thoughts. Classify the thoughts if you want to develop meditativity potential. Certain thoughts make you pensive, certain thoughts make you reflective, and certain thoughts make you meditative. We must have a sufficient [storehouse] of such thought for meditation and meditativity. Because the word meditation, meditativity, literally implies these kinds of thoughts: Reflection-worthy, reflective rather than refractive thought.
Qualifications for Meditation +11.00
1. Understand that this meditation is not the common man’s cup of tea. It is not the cup of tea for you and me…. Basically, we don’t need meditation in the business of life’s activity, worldly activity, or mundane activity. If there were no requisition for it, why would we collect it? But…, if you are a philosophically minded… student of yoga, you must feel the need of such thoughts, and then you must collect such thoughts.
2. If you read a text, such as Baghavad Gita, or the Upanishads…, you need a lot of reflection. If you read a newspaper… or a novel, you don’t need reflection. Some… poems make you philosophical… because of the content. The content of the literature is so important; the thought material is so important.
3. Meditation is not the cup of tea for you and me, and the commoners, but, as students of yoga, we do need it.
Now let me come to the point. As I have repeatedly said, dhyana is not meditation. We require a qualification for meditation. We must have repository of certain thoughts, which are philosophical in nature, and… substance. The material of thought… is philosophical. So it’s a qualification: unless we have such thoughts, and unless we have developed some higher faculties of the brain, we will not be able to meditate. So there’s no doubt that meditation needs qualification. But we are mixing up that meditation with yoga today. And with dhyana.
4. Yoga speaks of dhyana. Again, the meditation that we spoke about — thought, thinker, thinking, the triad, the trisection of the three, then the rotation of the three, etc. — is one aspect of dhyana. There are other facets, factors, and aspects of dhyana. So dhyana is a wider concept.
5. Today we are going to commence a little discussion on dhyana to remove the confusion between meditation and dhyana. When Guruji said, “my practice is dynamic meditation,” it [pertained to] his hierarchy. Now, none of us are on his hierarchy to [be able to] say that our practice is also done with meditation.
It’s a qualification. If I may say so, a BKS [Iyengar] qualification. If that qualification is there, then, our asanas also will become dynamic meditation. So that is a qualification. We have to attain that qualification, caliber.
6. However [because] dhyana is a wider concept, we will try to understand the many factors and facets of dhyana. There are certain dhyanas, basic dhyanas, fundamental dhyanas,which need no qualification whatsoever. Absolutely no qualification whatsoever.
They don’t need higher faculty functions of the brain. Normal faculty functions of the brain is enough…. You can even be subnormal. [If] dhyana cancome even for a subnormal mind, where is the question of qualification?
So, Patanjali, in his treatise, has spoken about dhyana of three classes, in three places…, for three calibers. And one such caliber is that you don’t need any caliber.
Dhyana is for one and all. Now dhyana is a multifaceted term. One of the facets dwells on philosophical matters, which we saw earlier. That needs qualification, and caliber. So we are not going to consider that [facet] at this juncture.
Dhyana in Hindu Chants +16.50
1. Let us try to consider Patanjali’s scheme of dhyana. Dhyana comes in so many different ways. There are certain stotras (hymn of praise), which eulogize one’s personal deity for worship purpose.
If you want to worship your personal deity, there are stotras. One familiar to most of the Indians is Rama Raksha Stotram [prayer that seeks protection of Lord Rama to overcome spiritual obstacles]. In Rama Raksha Stotram, if you carefully read it, it mentions
The personal deity is Shri Rama. What is dhyana?
belonging to – regarding arm: long-armed
Rama is ajanu-bahu so if you recite Rama Raksha you will [encounter] a passage near the beginning:
| dhayed-ajanubhahu, dhrtashara-dhanusham baddha-padmasanastham |
I meditate on [he] whose arms reach his thighs, who carries a bow and arrows, who sits in Padmasana,
pitam vaso-vasanam, nava-kamala-dala-sparthi-netram prasannam |
Who is dressed in yellow cloth, whose eyes are like the petals of the newly opened lotus flower
vaman-karudha sita mukha-kamala-millalt-lochanam niradabham |
Who is always pleasant-looking, who is the color of the black cloud, whose sight is fixed on the lotus-eyed Sita, sitting on his left thigh,
nana-alankara-diptam dadhatamuru-jata-mandalam Ramachandram |
And who shines in various decorations, who has a matted hair around his face, I meditate on that Ramachandra.
iti dhyanam |
Dhyana is in this manner.
That is dhyana. We just chant it and recite it like the other parts of the Rama Raksha…. It is a description of Rama for dhyana. Rama, being a personal deity, we must meditate on the meaning and purport of those verses.
2. Another verse, which you are familiar with, is about Lord Vishnu [Shanta-karam Bhujaga-shayanam]. It is also a dhyana mantra.
shanta-akaram bhujaga-shayanam padmanabham suresham
Who has a serene appearance, who rests on a serpent (Adishesha), who has a lotus on his navel and who is the Lord of the gods
vishva-adharam gagana-sadrsham megha-varnam shubha-angam |
He who holds the universe in his hands, who is boundless and infinite like the sky, whose color is like the clouds, who is filled with goodness in all his limbs.
lakshmi-kantam kamala-nayanam yogibhir-dhyana-agamyam
Who is the husband of Devi Lakshmi, whose eyes are like the open lotus, who the yogis yearn to reach by dhyana….
Then [there are also] dhyana mantras in the Vishnu-Sahashranama (thousand names of Vishnu), and Rudra Prashna. When there is a stotra (hymn of praise) for a deity, there is a dhyana. That is also a meaning of the word dhyana — a description for one to meditate on the personal deity. We must know the purport of those verses, the description of those verses, what they say, and that must be inscribed, or depicted, in our minds.
3. Even Patanjali’s shloka (verse), that we recite, is a shloka for dhyana. In the second verse…,
with arms of a human form
is a depiction of the figure….
So that is the dhyana shloka. That is the configuration of Patanjali, that must be depicted in our mind. We must meditate on that form which is described by the verses. This is implied in that shloka. That is also the meaning of dhyana.
4. The Rama Raksha Stotram starts with atha (now) dhyana and ends with iti (in this manner) dhyanam. So if you look into the various [verses] of Ganapati, Dattatreya, Shiva, Shakti, Lakshmi, you will get these shlokas for dhyana.
That is one meaning — the figure of the personal deity must be depicted in the mind. That must be the focus of your attention, when you draw your mind in. That’s one meaning of the dhyana. Just get the mind inside.
Dhyana in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali +21.20
1. Now let’s come to another meaning of dhyana, which Patanjali mentions. He mentions dhyana when the mind is subnormal, disturbed, …vexed, agonized, tormented, in fear, trauma, etc.
Traditionally, we have been given instructions, which have come from time immemorial. You can’t call that mind a meditative mind — there’s no meditativity — yet there is meditation. There is dhyana, there is meditation of the nature of dhyana, even if you are not meditative. So that is one dhyana which Patanjali has mentioned in PYS II.11.
The vrttis (created by gross and subtle afflictions) are to be silenced by dhyana [PYS II.11]
When you are agonized by vrttis coming out of shadripus (six enemies), [arising from] the fear, timidity, worry, anxiety, anger, various negative states of mind, take recourse to the name of the personal deity. Even if you are not meditative, it is dhyana, in the sense that it is meditation. Without being meditative, it is meditation.
2. So actually you are not qualified, you are disqualified, under-qualified, yet you can be doing the dhyana and you are supposed to be doing that dhyana.
Now why is there a mention in the science or shastra of yoga? That you don’t require calibration, yet you can be doing dhyana?
Japa Nourishes Esoteric Body +23.20
1. For this you will have to understand your embodiment. For your corporeal body, whether you like [a remedy] or [not]…, you say, “I must take it….”
There are supplements — iron, vitamins, proteins, calcium — that are good for skin, …muscles, …bone, and …blood….
Although you don’t like supplements, you take them because your body needs them. The corporeal body needs them, because they [nourish] skin, flesh, muscles, bones tissues, cells, fibers, blood cells, corpuscular particles, and body matter. You need it, and, therefore, you take it.
2. Similarly, there are certain aspects of esoteric (subtle) anatomy and physiology where dhyana is needed. Japa (repetition of mantra) is needed for some aspect of our body and mind, which is unknown in exoteric (external, gross) anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
But the esoteric anatomy, physiology, psychology need japa…. When the heart… [or] liver needs [a pill], you take it. If liver needs [something], you say it is your need, if the heart needs ir, you say it is your need, if the blood needs it, you say it is your need.
3. There are certain unidentified aspects of exoteric anatomy, physiology, psychology…. that need japa. The sukshma sharira (subtle body), that is called the astral body, or electronic body, needs it. So japa is a must, whether you are a yogi or not a yogi, whether you are practitioner of yoga or not practicing yoga. Just as everyone needs proteins and vitamins, and all those nutrients, whether strong or weak, you need [japa] whether you are in a physical…, intellectual…, or mental culture, whether a wrestler or a painter. And we take it.
Similarly, the subtle body…, that is called sukshma sharira — astral body, electronic body — needs japa. Therefore everyone should take recourse to japa. Japa will do everything for that subtle body.
4. The gross body needs bath, sleep, rest, exercise, activity, food, respite, and recreation. Make a list of what your gross body and mind need from food, sleep, activity, respite, to recreation. [If] you make a list of all that, then you will understand that body and mind need so many things. Recreation doesn’t [nourish]; [nourishment] doesn’t give recreation.
So, the gross body and gross mind need an enormous variety of things for their purpose, from rest to exercise, activity to passivity, nourishment to purification, bath to excretion. The gross body needs… a bathroom. In the bathroom you bathe, and you excrete in the toilet. The gross body has an enormous list of needs…. which you are catering to.
All those needs are there for subtle body as well…. It also needs food, nutrition, relaxation, activity, bath, excretion, exercise…, everything. All those gross body needs… are catered by one single means: japa is its bath, exercise, rest, recovery, recreation. It may not be your recreation. It is its recreation. It may not be rest to you, it is rest to it. You don’t sleep, it sleeps.
5. Although many times when people get engaged in japa they fall sleep — early morning practices with a japa mala, and… then soon they will be sleeping. So, sometimes the gross body also sleeps by japa, but that is not implied. That is not expected. It is the astral body, the electronic body, the subtle body, which needs to have all of that.
6. And just one act of japa, the mode of japa will do everything. So it’s a great scheme of adhyatma. You don’t need any qualification. Bhagava-nama or the nama (name) of your personal deity that will do it. It is needed for everyone.
All other religions say that you must remember God…. What is remembering God? You [can only] remember something that you have seen, something that you have experienced. What is remembering God if you haven’t seen God, or experienced God?
[If] you must remember God, the only means is nama. Name. So that’s a lot of work on nama, lot of tradition is there for the sake of nama. In our sadhanas (practices), nama has enormous importance. It is because we can take recourse to japa, which is dhyana. So that is dhyana.
7. Just being in japa is dhyana, whether you are distracted, whether you are not in it, whether the mind is rambling, whether the mind is flirting. Just continue that mentally and orally.
There are options — it can be oral japa, …mental japa, …silent japa, …murmur japa. So in some form or the other japa can be coming, it should come. It is for the subtle body, it is for the astral body. Therefore, no qualifications are required.
8. So Bhagavanama (Lord’s name) is japa. Bhagavata smaranam (remembering the Lord) is japa. Therefore, Patanjali also brings japa in three places.
PYS I.27 tasya vachakah pranavah
He is represented by (vachaka) his (tasya) pranava (the sacred syllable AUM).
PYS II.1 tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhanani kriya-yogah.
Austerity (tapas), self study (svadhyaya) and the surrender (pranidhana) of all the fruits of one’s labor to God (Ishvara) are the acts (kriya) of yoga.
The svadhyaya there is japa.
PYS II.32 In niyamas there is saucha, santosha, tapah, svadhyaya, ishvara pranidhana.
Cleanliness, contentment, self discipline, self study, self surrender to God are the observances.
Svadhyaya is japa there. So dhyana has come.
This is the dhyana, which needs no qualification.
Dhyana Without Qualification +32.40
1. [Whereas] in the [meditative aspect of] dhyana that we saw earlier, meditation needed caliber and qualification, here it is not needed. Dhyana is something which everyone should do, can do, and may do. There is no bar of any qualification. Therefore we should not confuse dhyana with meditation. Meditation is term from psychology. Dhyana is term in religion, or worship modes, worship forms, ritualistic worships, etc. So that dhyana is for one and all.
Let us try to understand this dhyana in greater detail in the next session.
2. As I said there are three types of dhyanas which Patanjali has mentioned. Let’s try to understand the dhyana in scheme of Patanjali.
Mano-vrtti Nirodha is Not Chitta-vrtti Nirodha +34.20
1. Now, before concluding the session today… I received a kind of query from some listeners and watchers. The most important thing that we are trying to do with this education is [dispel misconception].
2. You know what Yoga is—
Yogah chitta vrtti nirodhah [PYS I.2]
Yoga is the cessation of (nirodha) the movements (vritti) of consciousness (chitta).
It is rendered in English as
restraining the mind is yoga.
No, it’s a fumble! Restraining the mind [manas] is not chitta vrtti nirodhah. He has not said mano vritti nirodhah yogah, he has said chitta vrtti nirodhah yogah. He could have used the phrase mano vritti nirodhah. Chitta vrtti is totally different. Mano vrtti is, if I may say so, the tip of the iceberg. Chitta vrtti is the iceberg. This mano vritti nirodha will not evolve us.
3. Everyday, when we have our half an hour or one hour nap, or maybe four, five, six, seven, eight hours of sleep, there is mano vrtti nirodha. Our mental modulations cease. There is a restraint of the mental modulations in our deep sleep, in our dreamless sleep. [But,] we are not reformed at all.
When we get up in the morning, we are back to square one. So we will never evolve by mano vritti nirodha because mano vritti nirodha is coming on regular basis, every day. Does it reform us, does it evolve us? Not at all.
If sleep could evolve a person, a human being, then that would have been the only purusha-artha (aim of man) — a human being would take birth and go on sleeping. If the sleep ends, he would swallow a pill and go back to sleep. Again, when it [wore off], he would take another dose and go [back] to sleep. If that could have been our evolving agent…. Mano vritti nirodha doesn’t evolve us. That is why Patanjali is not speaking about mano vritti nirodha. He is speaking about chitta vrtti nirodha.
4. [Patanjali]… has explained that there are five chitta vrttis: pramana (valid cognition), viparyaya (error), vikalpa (illusion), nidra (sleep), smrtayah (memory)…, but those vrttis are not to be…, and cannot be, restrained unless you go to sleep (nidra). Unless you become unconscious, can you stop those vrttis? Can you restrain those vrittis? That is why wakeful state vrttis are not referred to in chitta vrtti nirodha.
5. The wakeful-state vrittis are pramana, viparyaya, vikalpa, nidra, smrti. To understand those vrittis, we have been [taught that] these vrittis [exist] on a wakeful plane, but actually they are to be restrained on the internal plane. So that’s a different class of chitta vrttis, which have to be restrained in yoga. Not these class of vrttis — which we all think that we want to stop to be in yoga. These vrttis are stopped when you go to sleep. Its easy if you don’t get sleep to swallow… a pill to go to sleep. If you go to sleep these vrttis will be stopped.
6. [Otherwise,] why would you need abhyasa (practice) and vairagya (detachment) [as a means]? So therefore, chitta vrtti nirodha and mano vrtti nirodha should not be confused. Sometime we will have to see what chitta is, how it is distinct from the mind. What is chitta? What is a chitta vritti? What is manas? We will have to also develop clarity in regard to this in our education.
Transparency of the Thought Process +38.40
1. Q: Srineet Sridharan: Can you summarize the physics of thought process again? You mentioned the transparent, translucent, and opaque thoughts. It’s interesting but can you summarize it for us?
2. A: Some thoughts are so opaque that you can’t really penetrate the thought at all. Something that is agnostic [unknown] to you…, which you can’t find any breakthrough to get into the thought. So it’s a locked thought for you, there’s a lock that you cannot open… and get into the thought…. There are certain agnostic matters that are closed doors to our intelligence. So we can’t cut through them, we can’t see through them. Absolutely nil, that’s why they are opaque thoughts. So this happens when we encounter agnostic thoughts.
3. There are certain thoughts which are transparent, that you can see through. The thought is simple to our intelligence, simple to our caliber. It’s almost transparent and we can also get a conviction about what the thought is about.
What is the matter of the thought, why the thought? What is the purpose of the thought? All this is very transparent, because you can see through it. Some thoughts are transparent where your intelligence… can not only penetrate…, but also see through them. Those are transparent thoughts.
4. Some thoughts are reflecting thoughts, like [how] some surfaces reflect, where there’s a sheen on it, and, therefore, you get reflection. If you hold a stainless steel plate in front of your face, you will see your reflection. It casts a reflection. So there are certain thoughts, which reflect, and then re-reflect and then re-re-reflect.
When we keep two mirrors [facing] each other, both the mirrors will cast endless reflections into each other. Both the mirrors will be… reflector and reflection, reflected and reflecting. So, both the mirrors will be reflecting and reflected, [resulting in] endless [recursive] reflections…. If you hold the mirror in front of your face your face will be reflected, but your mirror will not be reflected on your face, because your face is not a mirror. Your face will not reflect, it will cast reflections. A mirror will show reflections.
5. [When] there are certain thoughts that are reflecting thoughts, you become pensive, …inwardly, …very, very thoughtful. You say something thought provoking and you become thoughtful. You become thoughtful, you become pensive, and then reflective.
So there are certain thoughts, which are reflective thoughts, which can reflect, which can be reflecting — which are reflections of your own mind. Some thoughts reflect your own mind. So there are certain thoughts…. Those thoughts are required for meditativity rather than opaque thought. Or there are certain translucent thoughts…. Then, reflecting thoughts.
6. So these are various kinds of thoughts. As students of yoga, I think you should go for a study, a survey and try to identify these kinds of thoughts. Because for meditativity… opaque thought will never work. Not a transparent thought; it won’t work. It should take reflection and give reflection. Only then will that kind of thought work.
Personal Deity is Neither Universal Nor Religious +43.00
1. Q: Srineet Sridharan: In the context of dhyana you mentioned, you gave an example of Rama raksha, later you also said it’s a personal deity. This goes beyond religions, doesn’t it? It’s a global audience.
2. A: Personal deity [ishta devata] is not a universal concept, it doesn’t come in religion.
Basically, we are confusing… dharma and religion. Religion is not dharma, dharma is not religion. In our dharma, we have the personal deity.
3. Anyone can have a personal icon. If the personal icon is reverential, it’s a different kind of interaction, or function of the mind for an icon. Whether you are profane, or whether you are of… any faith, you will have an icon.
4. Now that icon should be a revered, reverential icon…. What is your thought with regards to that reverential icon? So that is something like a personal deity. The personal deity is like a reverential icon for an individual mind. So we have a concept of personal deity.
The personal deity within family also will change. If there are ten people in a family, ten people might have ten personal deities. This is allowed. Because who someone will love, cannot be regularized that way. That’s why we have ‘n’ number of personal deities and we have the freedom… to easily connect to a personal deity…. That’s an advantage, a concession given to the mind in Sanatana (eternal) dharma, in dharma, [but] not in all religions. Religion is not dharma, which I have discussed several times in previous sessions. That’s the personal deity which is a great concession given to the mind, those in Sanatana dharma, [and] those in dharma.
 Meditation… is a psychological term. …it deals with thought, thinker, and thinking which we saw during couple of sessions: See 1) “Thought, Thinking, Thinker +22:00,” Adhyatmika Sadhana 5-3-20; 2) “Asana — Meditative Activity +25.25,” Virtue of Ahimsa in Asana 5-2-20; 3) “What is Meditation? +11.20” Dynamic Meditation 4-25-20.
 certain thoughts… which are opaque, that don’t allow you to enter…. Confusing and incomprehensible thoughts don’t [allow] any breakthrough to [enter]: See “Transparency of the Thought Process +38:40” for further clarification.
 Reflection-worthy, reflectable rather than refractable thought: Reflective light rays bounce off of an object, such as a mirror. Refractive light rays are partially absorbed by an object and are bent at various angles, such as light passing through water to form a curved rainbow of component colors.
 as I repeatedly said, dhyana is not meditation: See “Meditation is Not Dhyana” at the outset of this lesson with footnoted cross references.
 Patanjali in his treatise has spoken about dhyana of three classes, in three places…, coming for three calibers. And one such caliber is that you don’t need any caliber: 1) PYS III.2 The uninterrupted flow (eka-tanata) of attention directed towards (pratyaya) the same point or region is dhyana. 2) PYS II.11 The vrttis are to be silenced by dhyana. 3) PYS I.39 Or, by meditation (dhyana) on any desired object (conducive to steadiness of consciousness). 4) Prashant also interprets svadhyaya as dhyana: PYS II.32 Cleanliness, contentment, self discipline, self study (svadhyaya), self surrender to God (Ishvara pranidhana) are the niyama. Svadhyaya is japa and dhyana. See “Japa Nourishes Esoteric Body +32:00.”
 The personal deity is Shri Rama: “ See Personal Deity is Neither Universal Nor Religious +43:00” for clarification.
 long-armed: long-armed is the characteristic of gods, saints, the Buddha, kings, and Jain saints.
 agonized by vrttis coming out of shadripus (six enemies): These negative states of fear and anger reflect the kleshas (afflictions). So long as one continues to live with the six enemies (shadripus) in the form of desire (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), delusion (moha), arrogance (mada) and jealousy (matsarya), even if one retires to a forest, one will continue to be fear-ridden and cannot hope to have any peace of mind. (Bhagavatam 5.1.17) Guruji objectified the mind by superimposing mental states onto body matter: aggressive (himsaka) wrist; greedy (parigraha) knee and toe; fear (abhinivesha) in ribs. See B.K.S. Iyengar & The Dalai Lama: Paths to Happiness +28:30.
 The sukshma sharira (subtle body), that is called the astral body, or electronic body: sukshma sharira is synonymous with the avishesha (universal) evolutes of asmita (egoism) plus the five tanmatras (subtle elements). Anusthana sharira is the intermediate body between the subtle and gross bodies.
 [Whereas] in the [meditative aspect of] dhyana that we saw earlier, meditation needed caliber and qualification: See “Qualifications for Meditation” +12.25.
 vrttis are not to be…, and cannot be, restrained unless you go to sleep (nidra): PYS I.10 Nidra (dreamless sleep) is the non-deliberate absence (abhava) of vrttis or knowledge (pratyaya).
 vrittis [exist] on a wakeful plane, but… are to be restrained on the internal plane: “You are merely a being when in dreamless sleep. You have no name or form, no namarupa…. You lack class, caste, creed…. You are then a nobody, which is your essential state…. Another chance [to go to your essential state] is samadhi or moksha.” See: Srineet Sridharan, “Learning the Yoga Sutras with Clarity and Rigour,” Pune: RIMYI, 28 Oct 2018. Yoga Sutra lecture with insights from Prashant S. Iyengar. <http://yogasutras-rimyi.blogspot.com/2018/11/05-sutra-17-part-1.html> +1:04:40 Audio Notes by Bruce M. Roger.
 some thoughts are so opaque that you can’t really penetrate the thought at all: This was raised at the outset, “Thought Reflectivity +06.45”
 Personal deity [ishta devata] is not a universal concept, it doesn’t come in religion: I believe, despite the label deity, it allows an individual to emulate a god, using virtue as an inner guide. For instance, some Hindus honor the compassion of Jesus, without the necessity of becoming Christian. He will go on to state that the personal deity is a unique feature of the Sanatana (eternal) dharma (duties) [Hinduism].
 Religion is not dharma, which I have discussed several times in previous sessions: “Dharma is that which helps one realize… what tattva jnana (knowledge of principles of prakrti) divulges…. the realization of the truth.” See: “What is Dharma? +12.00,” Yama and Niyama — Ethico-Religious Practice 4-19-20.