Burn. Know. Surrender.

Language: Sanskrit
Poet: Patanjali
Translator: Kanya Kanchana

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Burn. Know. Surrender.

A translation from the Patanjala Yoga Sutrani by Kanya Kanchana

Sadhana Pada: The Chapter of Doing It is an excerpt from my experimental translation of a Sanskrit text called Patanjala Yoga Sutrani (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali).

Estimated to be around 2,400 years old and attributed to the eponymous Indian sage, it is a braid that weaves together 196 sutras or aphoristic verses on yoga. It has four chapters: Samadhi Pada (51 verses),Sadhana Pada (55 verses), Vibhuti Pada (56 verses), and Kaivalya Pada (34 verses). Each verse is subsequent and consequent to the one before.

This taut, vital text has its lovers and its dissenters. It begins with the assumption that you have already done everything necessary to practice yoga. Cryptic yet bright, exacting yet liberal, it endures as a technical manual for the mind.

Its translations and commentaries, however, are prosaic and verbose, scholarship notwithstanding (or perhaps as a result thereof). In my translation, I want to come back full circle to the original text, regaining some of the terse, textured quality of these multilayered sutras in a modern idiom.

This text is also called Yoga DarshanDarshan means vision, a higher form of seeing beyond the senses and the mind. In Sanskrit, one word can have many layers of meaning, yet convey a precise idea in context. I choose my words carefully—simple, strong, capable of deeper meaning. I cut everything superfluous and keep the tone light. I pay attention to the sonics of the chant, with emphasis on certain elements. Mostly, I just have fun.

Kanya Kanchana

Patanjali was an Indian sage. Many stories, both mythical and historical, are told about him, and it is often hard to disentangle them. He is said to have been from Kashmir in the north of India, Sri Lanka to the south of India, and an assortment of places in between, and to have lived sometime around 400 BCE, give or take a few hundred years. Not much is certain and theories abound. Some historical accounts hail Patanjali as one of the eighteen Siddha saints, a master of Samkhya, Yoga, Ayurveda, and Sanskrit grammar, who wrote authoritative works on each. Others are unsure that he is a single person and not a composite. What we do know is that the body of work he left behind is as intriguing as the man himself.

Kanya Kanchana is an emerging writer, translator, and sometimes-photographer. Her work has appeared in Asymptote Journal, The CommonHobart, and Buffalo Almanack and is forthcoming in Aldus JournalTrinityJoLT, and Paper Darts.

She is interested in interpreting old texts in a relevant, contemporary idiom without compromising their essence and subtle complexity. She explores ideas and connections in visual, sonic, and technological ways.

Kanya is also an itinerant practitioner/teacher of yoga and allied subjects and founder of a non-profit that develops community yoga programs for women, children, and those with special needs, often in remote or rural areas.

साधना पाद

तपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः॥१॥

समाधिभावनार्थः क्लेशतनूकरणार्थश्च॥२॥

अविद्यास्मितारागद्वेषाभिनिवेशाः क्लेशाः॥३॥

अविद्याक्षेत्रमुत्तरेषां प्रसुप्ततनुविच्छिन्नोदाराणाम्॥४॥

अनित्याशुचिदुःखानात्मसु नित्यशुचिसुखात्मख्यातिरविद्या॥५॥

दृग्दर्शनशक्त्योरेकात्मतेवास्मिता॥६॥

सुखानुशयी रागः॥७॥

दुःखानुशयी द्वेषः॥८॥

स्वरसवाही विदुषोऽपि तथारूढोऽभिनिवेशः॥९॥

ते प्रतिप्रसवहेयाः सूक्ष्माः॥१०॥

ध्यानहेयास्तद्वृत्तयः॥११॥

क्लेशमूलः कर्माशयो दृष्टादृष्टजन्मवेदनीयः॥१२॥

सति मूले तद्विपाको जात्यायुर्भोगाः॥१३॥

ते ह्लादपरितापफलाः पुण्यापुण्यहेतुत्वात्॥१४॥

परिणामतापसंस्कारदुःखैर्गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच्च दुःखमेवसर्वं विवेकिनः॥१५॥

हेयं दुःखमनागतम्॥१६॥

द्रष्टृदृश्ययोः संयोगो हेयहेतुः॥१७॥

प्रकाशक्रियास्थितिशीलं भूतेन्द्रियात्मकं भोगापवर्गार्थं दृश्यम्॥१८॥

विशेषाविशेषलिङ्गमात्रालिङ्गानि गुणपर्वाणि॥१९॥

द्रष्टादृशिमात्रः शुद्धोऽपि प्रत्ययानुपश्यः॥२०॥

तदर्थ एव दृश्यस्यात्मा॥२१॥

कृतार्थं प्रति नष्टमप्यनष्टं तदन्यसाधारणत्वात्॥२२॥

स्वस्वामिशक्त्योः स्वरूपोपलब्धिहेतुः संयोगः॥२३॥

तस्य हेतुरविद्या॥२४॥

तदभावात्संयोगाभावो हानं तद्दृशेः कैवल्यम्॥२५॥

विवेकख्यातिरविप्लवा हानोपायः॥२६॥

तस्य सप्तधा प्रान्तभूमिः प्रज्ञा॥२७॥

योगाङ्गाऽनुष्ठानादशुद्धिक्षये ज्ञानदीप्तिराविवेकख्यातेः॥२८॥

यमनियमासनप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणाध्यानसमाधयोऽष्टावङ्गानि॥२९॥

अहिंसासत्यास्तेयब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहा यमाः॥३०॥

जातिदेशकालसमयानवच्छिन्नाः सार्वभौमा महाव्रतम्॥३१॥

शौचसंतोषतपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि नियमाः॥३२॥

वितर्कबाधने प्रतिपक्षभावनम्॥३३॥

वितर्का हिंसादयः कृतकारितानुमोदिता लोभक्रोधमोहपूर्वका मृदुमध्याधिमात्रा दुःखाज्ञानानन्तफला इति प्रतिपक्षभावनम्॥३४॥

अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायां तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्यागः॥३५॥

सत्यप्रतिष्ठायां क्रियाफलाश्रयत्वम्॥३६॥

अस्तेयप्रतिष्ठायां सर्वरत्नोपस्थानम्॥३७॥

ब्रह्मचर्यप्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः॥३८॥

अपरिग्रहस्थैर्ये जन्मकथंतासंबोधः॥३९॥

शौचात्स्वाङ्गजुगुप्सा परैरसंसर्गः॥४०॥

सत्त्वशुद्धिसौमनस्यैकाग्र्येन्द्रियजयात्मदर्शनयोग्यत्वानि च॥४१॥

संतोषादनुत्तमसुखलाभः॥४२॥

कायेन्द्रियसिद्धिरशुद्धिक्षयात्तपसः॥४३॥

स्वाध्यायादिष्टदेवतासंप्रयोगः॥४४॥

समाधिसिद्धिरीश्वरप्रणिधानात्॥४५॥

स्थिरसुखमासनम्॥४६॥

प्रयत्नशैथिल्यानन्त्यसमापत्तिभ्याम्॥४७॥

ततो द्वन्द्वानभिघातः॥४८॥

तस्मिन्सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः॥४९॥

बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिर्देशकालसंख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः॥५०॥

बाह्याभ्यन्तरविषयाक्षेपी चतुर्थः॥५१॥

ततः क्षीयते प्रकाशावरणम्॥५२॥

धारणासु च योग्यता मनसः॥५३॥

स्वविषयासंप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः॥५४॥

ततः परमा वश्यतेन्द्रियाणाम्॥५५॥

Sadhana Pada

        Burn. Know. Surrender.

Clean up. Hurt less.
Know not—suffering.

Much I—suffering.
Like much—suffering, dis-

like much—suffering.
And death—oh, suffering.

All four—suffering.
Know what’s what.

What’s real. What’s pure.

                  Eternal. 

What’s what. This I.
That I. See clear.

Good stuff, like it.
Bad stuff, dislike it.

Dying, fear it.
All right.   

                   Stop it.

Draw in. Go in.
Feel it. Cut down.

Store it. No way.
Feel it. Go through.

Born how. Born where.
How long. Get what.

Good stuff/ bad stuff.
Sow seed. Reap fruit.

Change—painful.
Burn—painful.

Habit—painful.

See it.
                   Hurt less.

All done. Close it.
Mix up. See how.

Doer. Done to.
Seer. One seen.

One seen. Light up.
Move it. Steady now.

Mental. Astral.
Causal. No mark.

See clear, colour.
Unveil. Know it.

See how. For what.
See link. Free up.

This one, goes out.
That one, goes on.

See Self. Unfold.
Inside, outside.

Know not. Tie up.
Know it. Free up.

See through. Know it.
All seven. Go through.

Go on. Clean up.
Rise up. See through.

Eight limbs, five out,
three in. Do it.

Hurt none. Hold true.
Hold clear. Hold back.

Hold loose. That’s one.
Hold all. For all.

Clean up. Just right.
Burn up. Know Self.

Surrender. That’s two.
See across. Calm down.

See through. See true.
Clear heart. Stay down.

Hold true. Take fruit.
Hold clear. Take gems.

Hold back. Stay brave.
Hold loose. Know how.

Clean up. Cut loose.
Focus. Take reins.

Just right. Take joy.
Burn up.

                   Perfect.

Know self. Meld with.
Surrender. Merge in.

Sit still. Solid.
Sit still. Feel good.

Loosen. Lighten.
Focus. Easy.

Opposites. No worries.
Inhale. Exhale.

Stop it. Stay still.
Outside, inside.

See where. See when.
See how. See fine.

Inside, outside.
Go up. Over.

Unveil. See light.
Clear mind. Focus.

Turn in. Master.
Turn in. Master.

Turn in. Master.
Higher. Highest.