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Dhyāna (Limb 7)
Part 2 of the Three Part
saṃyama

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The second of the limbs discussed in Book III of the Yoga Sūtra---the 7th of the 8 limbs---is  dhyāna---abstract, transformative reflection. It is the second of the three limbs described in Book III as what one does 'with yama' --- saṃyama. These last three limbs are sometimes presented as something one does cross legged, with eyes closed. But the actual description of these three limbs together depict them as the activity of power building and research that allow a yogi to be prosperous.  

 

tatra pratyayaika-tānatā dhyānam

 

tatra = in that (location), there

pratyaya = condition (from the verb root  = ‘to go’ + prati ‘against, back’)

eka = one

tānatā = continuous, uninterrupted succession

dhyānam = reflection, especially profound and abstract

In that is the condition for the singular, uninterrupted reflection of a an abstract and transformative character. 

(YS III.2)

Translation by Dr. Shyam Ranganathan. All Rights Reserved.

Book III where these three limbs are discussed is often depicted as one of the most confusing portions of the Yoga Sūtra. This has more to do with the assumptions people bring to the topic than the topic itself. If you wish to delve deeply into these three limbs, the practice of power and knowledge building, and the creation of prosperity, join Yoga Philosophy, Level 1, 100 Hour Certification Training. The training consists in four courses, which one can take at one's own pace. These courses count for Continuing Education Hours through various governing bodies, like Yoga Alliance. The salient outcome is your increased knowledge, success and competence.  This program is ongoing. Sign up any time.

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