I, 38-39 ? SPECIFIC METHODS OF DHARANA FOR OVERCOMING OBSTACLES ? SUBJECTIVE MEDITATION
I, 38 svapna nidra jnana alambanam va
I, 39 yatha abhimata dhyanat va
can come by
letting the mind be grounded
that has arisen from dreams
or from the dreamless state of deep sleep.
Or another way
is persistent meditation
The point of all of the various ways of dharana is to find a way for the mind to come a quiet and peaceful state. If one has had that experience, then one can meditate on that experience to achieve that state. For many, deep sleep is a quiet and peaceful state as are the experiences of serene and comforting dreams.
Iyengar explains that the dream state and the dreamless states are different levels of consciousness. Dreamless sleep is the unconscious state whereas the dream-filled state or nidra is the subconscious state. The wakeful state is consciousness whereas samadhi is the superconscious state. By contemplating the dream and dreamless states, one becomes aware of and understands the different states of consciousness.
Iyengar recommends focusing on the thought of the soul prior to sleeping, so that ?the same thought flows uninterruptedly whether he is awake, dreaming or asleep. This supports progress towards the attainment of spiritual bliss.? (p. 84)
?Real dream vision is an awareness, on the part of the rational soul in its spiritual essence, of glimpses of the forms of events. While the soul is spiritual, the forms of events have actual existence in i, as is the case with all spiritual essences. The soul becomes spiritual through freeing itself from bodily matters and corporeal perceptions.? Ibn Khaldun (d.1406), The Muqaddinah, trans. Franz Rosenthal from ?Travels with a Tangerine?.
The last sutra in this section is an example of, as Iyengar explains, how Patanjali is open to all and enables ?people of all creeds and walks of life to aspire to life?s spiritual goal?. (p. 85) Patanjali simply suggests for the sadakha to focus on an object that is uplifting and elevating and in doing so the obstacles in controlling the mind will be overcome.
Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993
Mackintosh-Smith, T. Travels with a Tangerine. London: Picador. 2002
Stiles, M., Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Boston, MA: Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. 2002
Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham, VA: Integral Yoga Publications. 2004
Swami Shyam, Patanjali Yog Darshan, India: International Meditation Institute, 2001, 3rd. edition.