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Cognitive Samadhi in the Yoga-Sutra-s

Cognitive Samadhi in the Yoga-Sutra-s
Item Code: IDF379
Author: Ian Whicher
Publisher: The Adyar Library and Research Centre
Edition: 1997
ISBN: 818514124X
Pages: 125
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.4" X 5.6"

This monograph on 'Cognitive Samadhi in the Yoga-sutra-s' is a reprint from the Diamond Jubilee Volume of The Adyar Library Bulletin. Patanjali distinguishes between two kinds of samadhi: the first is cognitive samadhi, covering all those ecstatic states connected with objects of cognition and the second is devoid of objects and thus transcending all mental content. The former is extrovertive and is termed Samprajnata samadhi; it constitutes a range of ecstatic experiences that have an operative with which the mind becomes identified, and are associated with yogic insight. The other type is objectless, acognitive. Samprajnata denotes illuminated Yogic experiences external to purusa-realization and may be termed enstasy.

Cognitive samadhi refers to the discipline used to attain the highest levels of yogic insight. It does not entail an escape from the phenomenal world, but a mastery over it. It is not getting lost in self-hypnotism, or having drug-induced experiences. Released from its rajasic and tamasic functioning, the mind in samadhi is accompanied by acute 'wakefulness', overcoming the egoic limitations of consciousness. The claim of an egoless knowing in the state of samadhi was rejected by C. G. Jung who said that the thing-in-itself cannot be experienced. Patanjali claims obstructions can be removed through yogic discipline. In yogi-pratyaksa the final states of perception arise in Samprajnata cognition.

Patanjali maintains that in cognitive samadhi there are still thought constructs which hinder our realization of intrinsic identity. Samprajnata samadhi is 'with seed', concentration on realities perceived within the composite person, and exterior to Purusa, and yet contains the seed of ignorance. The supra-cognitive samadhi (asamprajnata) at the highest level of realization is said to be seedless (nirbija) . In Samprajnata the yogin is established in a one-pointedness of mind which removes the barriers separating subject from object. The purest and most illuminated state of mind-one in which the yogin is no longer dependent on objects of contemplation for the sake of liberation is yet to be attained.

This concentrated study of cognitive samadhi is based on a deep examination of the latest works in the field and is fully documented. It is intended for the serious students of yoga.

K. Kunjunni Raja


Introduction to Cognitive Samadhi1
Samadhi: The Heart of Patanjali' Stereological Methodology
An Analysis of YS I, 4124
Vitarka-Samadhi 35
Vicara-Samadhi 46
Asmita-Samadhi 70
A Further Look at Cognitive Samadhi87
Primary Sources:
A. Editions, Commentaries and Translations of the
Yoga-Sutra-s and Other Classical Yoga Texts
B. Other Primary Source Material98
Secondary Sources98

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