Savitarka Samapattih

Sutra 1.42 tatra shabda artha jnana vikalpa sankirna savitarka samapattih

One type of engrossment (samapattih) during observation is one in which conceptual or linguistic knowledge provides modifications due to these pre-conceived notions, such as the name or sound (shabda), identity (artha), or knowledge (jnana), and also mixed (sankirna) with other factors (vikalpa) such as experiential knowledge accompanied with reason or thought (savitarka); regarding object being observed.

What you are doing in this process is breaking down all the information you have about your object of meditation and determining the reasons for your attachments or aversions to it. Our inclination to lean towards a bias needs to be investigated regarding all our truths.

Pre-concieved notions arise in the mind as a result of past learning. These learning experiences reinforced, are stored in the mind as emotions towards our attachments and aversions regarding all things we have interacted with and gathered information about through any of our five sense - taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound.

Savitarka Exercise

In Savitarka samapattih exercises, we meditate on an object or introspect on thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we felt through the course of the day and reflect on how the object or feeling got its name (sabda), what is its meaning (artha) to us in the context we experienced it, how and where did we the knowledge about this object (jnana) we are reflecting upon and what the psyche(mind and body) imagines and feels when thinking of this object (vikalpaih).

It is the word as name, that triggers a certain feeling and all the associated memories of it in our mind. Then according to the experiences we had undergone at the hands of this particular named object, including people, emotions floods our being.

The first order of business for any Yogi is to isolate and understand all their thoughts, emotions, intentions, and reactions associated with the attachments and aversions of their beliefs and prejudices. An accurate and complete cognitive map is needed before the Yogi can advance further in the study of Yoga.

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  • 1.42 tatra shabda artha jnana vikalpa sankirna savitarka samapattih
  • tatra - there, among these, in that

  • shabda - sound, word

  • artha - meaning

  • jnana - knowledge, idea

  • vikalpah - with options

  • sankirna - mixed with, commingled, interspersed

  • savitarka - accompanied with gross thoughts (sa = with; vitarka = gross thoughts)

  • samapattih - engrossment, coincidence, complete absorption, transmute into likeness