Yoga sutras I, 44-45 ? Types Of Samadhi- Savichara / Nivichara



I, 44 etayaiva savichara nivichara ca suksma visaya vyakhata
I, 45 suksma visayatvam ca alinga payavasanam

Specifically by this process
of absorption with reflection
and absorption beyond reflection
the perception of
subtle objects can be accurately described.

The process of subtle perception
extends to that
which is without form
and is pure consciousness.
M. Stiles

In both savichara samapatti (absorption with reflection) and nivichara samapatti (absorption beyond reflextion) one has knowledge or understanding of the subtle aspects of objects or experiences.

Iyengar explains that savichara samapatti is ?contemplation on subtle objects such as the ego (ahamkara), intelligence (buddhi) or the counterparts of the elements or tamatras (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell), or the qualities of luminosity, vibrancy, and dormancy conditioned by space, time, and causation.? (p. 91) Swami Satchidananda explains that the perception of subtle objects ultimately ends in ?the primal force called the Prakriti, or the primordial basic substance in its unmanifested condition. In that condition there is no name, no form, no thought, only the fully balanced, tranquil unmanifested state of nature. So the mind has the power to go to the very root of unmanifested nature.

Nivichara samapatti, is a ?state without verbal deliberation. All subtle objects reflected in savichara are extinguished. He (the sadhaka) is free from memory, free from past experiences, devoid of all past impressions. This new state of contemplation is without cause and effect, place or time.? (p.91)

I suppose in nivichara samapatti, the sadhaka is one with the subtle aspect in the same way that in nivitarka samapatti, the sadhaka is one with the object.

Iyengar, B.K.S., Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. New Delhi, India: Harper Collins Publications India. 1993

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


You always humble me with these posts of yours. For that, thank you.


Another interpretation I have for sutra 44 is that it says that any object can be the focus of concentration except (as sutra 45 says) the source of perception. Is this interpretation the opposite of Mukunda’s? I am confused!.