Markandeya Puranam

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DATTATREYA said: – There are many obstacles to the Yogin’s realization of the spirit. Hear I shall describe them briefly. (1) He longs for actions of desire, objects of human enjoyment, women, fruits of charity, learning, magical powers, wealth, heaven, the dignity of the celestials, the station of the king of celestials, chemical works, the raising of winds, sacrifices,

1 It is metaphorical Soil here means bodily faculties. Patanjali observes that a man cannot accomplish the union with God, which is the summum bonum of his life without restraining the bodily faculties.

entrance into fire and water, the fruits of all sorts of gifts and Sraddhas, religious regulations, and as well as that of fasting, the performance of Purta acts, the adoration of the deities and all other pious observances. He longs for all these being surrounded by those impediments. (2-4) If his mind is inclined towards this the Yogin should withdraw it; and then uniting his mind with Brahman he should liberate it from all these evils. (5) All these impediments being remedied, other evils again overtake a Yogin originating from the qualities of goodness, passion and ignorance. (6) There are five dreadful impediments which the Yogin meets with in (the way of his) Yoga – they are Pratibha, relating to intellect; Sravana, relating to the organ of hearing, Daivi, belonging to gods, Bhrama or wandering, and Avartta or whirlpool. (7) That by which the meanings of the Vedas, of the Kavyas (poetical literature) and endless learning and mechanical arts are unfolded to the Yogin is called Pratibha. (8) That by which one understands the endless meanings of the sounds, and catches sound even from a distance of a thousand Yoyanas is called Sravana. (9) The wise designate that state as Daiva in which, he, equal to a deity, sees completely the eight quarters like a mad-man. (10) The shortcoming by which the mind of the Yogin wanders about without definite object and trangressing all sacred injunctions, is called Bhrama. (11) The whirlpool of knowledge, agitated like that of water, destroys (the equanimity of his) mind and this impediment is called Avartta. (12) All those born in the order of deities, having their Yoga destroyed by these dreadful obstacles, repeatedly turn round and round. (13) Thus covering himself with the white blanket of his mind, the Yogin, fixing his mind upon Him, should meditate upon the Great Brahman. (14) Restraining his senses and living on restricted food, the Yogin, intent on practising Yoga, should conceive in his head the seven subtile elements1 such as earth etc.. (15) Let the Yogin meditate upon the earth and he would attain to felicity. He should first conceive himself as earth and then shake off its fetters. (16) In the same way he should comprehend the property of savour or taste in Apas or water, the property of form or colour in Tejas or fire or light, the property of tangibility in Vayu or air, and sound in Akasa or ether and he should afterwards cast off these conceptions from his mind. (17-18) When again by his mind (Manas)2 he enters into the minds of all creatures, his mind by such steadying becomes subtle. (19) After attaining the intellectual perception of all creatures and then the most subtle intellect, one versed in Yoga should cast it off. (20) O Alarka, the Yogin, who, after duly comprehending these seven elementary particles, drives them away from his mind, does not suffer from rebirth. (21) Observing gradually the subtlety of the seven elementary particles by Dharana or steadying of mind and dismissing them gradually, the self-controlled Yogin attains to the most accomplished state. (22) O king, by being excessively attached to things which he holds dear, he is deceived. (23) Thus after comprehending that these subtle elementary particles are connected with each other, the man, who dismisses them, attains to a great state. (24) The distaste for elemental creation, engendered in the mind of a man conversant with the knowledge of truth, by the perception of seven elementary particles, leads to his liberation.

(25) If he becomes attached to smell, etc., he is ruined and is born again and again as a man, remote from Brahman, O king. (26) Having thus fixed his mind upon these seven elementary particles, the Yogin, O king, can become absorbed in whatever subtile element he likes. (27) He can become absorbed in the bodies of deities, Asuras, Gandharvas, serpents or Rakshasas – but he never becomes attached to anything. (28) O king, he attains to eight-fold divine attributes3 leading to annihilation -namely, Anima, Laghima, Mahima, Prapti,

1 These are the five Tanmatras or subtle elements, particles out of which, the grosser elements are evolved-together with Buddhi or intellect and Ahankara or the sense of individuality. The first production is the intellectual perception, which again is the source of Ahankara or sense of individuality which again produces the five Tanmatras which are: 1. Akasa, ‘ether’ or the substratum of sound; 2. Vayu, air with the property of tangibility; 3. Tejas fire or light with the property of form or colour; 4. Apas, water with the property of savour or taste; 5. Prithivi, earth with the property of odour or smell. Truly does Sir Monier Williams observe “that Akasa must not be exactly identified with the modern ether. In some of its properties and functions it more corresponds with the inane vacant space of Lucretius.” 2 The Manas can be better rendered by mind or mental faculties. It is with Ahankara or self consciousness the production of Mahat or intellectual perception. Manas, which is an internal organ of perception, volition and action, according to the Sankhya teachers, stands between the five organs of sense and five organs of action. 3 A Yogin may acquire eight great powers viz. he will have the power of shrinking into the form of the minutest atom; that of assuming a gigantic body; that of becoming extremely light; that of becoming extremely heavy; that

Prakamya, Ishitya, Vashitya and Kamavasayitya. (29-30) The state in which one becomes subtler than subtle is called Anima, that by which one becomes light-handed and quick is called Laghima; that by which one becomes worshipped of the world is called Mahima; that by which everything is obtained is called Prapti. (31) That by which one becomes omnipresent is Prakamya, that by which one becomes the lord of all is called Ishitya; that by which one can keep all under his control is called Vashistya – this is the seventh attribute of a Yogin. (32) That, which one can move about and do according to his will, is called Kamavasayita. By these eight-fold, qualities a Yogin can act like the God. (33) (The appearance of these qualities) O king, indicates (a Yogin’s) liberation and the annihilation of self and that he will neither be born nor increase nor meet with decay. (34) He will meet with no metamorphosis or end, and he will not be afflicted by galling pain, burning heat and drying up through elements such as earth, etc. (35) The five elements, sound and other properties, shall not be able to subdue him; he shall not enjoy them nor will be attached to them. (36) O king, as a piece of gold, when melted in fire and freed from impurities like a bad metal, is joined with another piece of gold, so when all the evils are consumed by the fire of Yoga, the Yogin attains to unification with Brahman and has no separate existence. (37-38) As fire, when it is thrown into fire, is united with it, becomes identical with it, receives the same appellation (of fire) and does not present any distinction, so when the Yogin, O king, having his sins consumed, becomes unified with the great Brahman, he presents no difference. (39-40) As water, when it is thrown into water, is united with it, so the soul of the Yogin becomes at one with the Supreme soul. (41)