Sūtra 1-24

क्लेशकर्मविपाकाशयैरपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः।।24।।
(क्लेश-कर्म-विपाक-आशयैः अपरामृष्टः पुरुष-विशेषः ईश्वरः।)
Kleśakarmavipākāśayairaparāmṣṭaḥ puruṣaviśeṣaḥ Īśvaraḥ (24)
(Kleśa-karma-vipāka-āśayaiḥ aparāmṣṭaḥ puruṣa-viśeṣaḥ Īśvaraḥ)
Īśvara in a special puruṣa untouched by afflictions, actions,
results of actions and (their) repository (of impressions)

In sūtra (1:23) Patañjali mentioned an alternate way to gain samādhi – by dedication to  Īśvara. In this and the following two aphorisms (1:24 – 1:26) he defines who this Īśvara is.
The sūtra has four words – Kleśa-karma-vipāka-āśayaiḥ, aparāmṣṭaḥ,  puruṣa-viśeṣaḥ and Īśvaraḥ.
The first word, Kleśa-karma-vipāka-āśayaiḥ is the third case plural of the compound Kleśa-karma-vipāka-āśaya. Kleśa is the noun form of the verb kliś (to be tormented, afflicted) with the suffix a, meaning affliction. Patañjali lists mental afflictions in sūtra (2:3). Karma, a noun derived from the verb kṛ (to do) with the suffix man, means action. Typically in almost all Indian scriptural and philosophical works, it means not just actions per se but the result of action as well. Note that here Patañjali uses another word to denote the results of actions, vipāka. This word is from the verb pac (to cook, ripen) with the prefix vi and suffix a, meaning fructified, that is, fruit of one’s actions. The word āśaya, from the verb śī (to lay down, to rest) with prefix ā and suffix a, means resting place, contextually it refers to subtle impressions in the mind that impels one to act. Use of the third case suffix has the force of the English preposition ‘by’.

The second word araparāmṣṭaḥ is the first case masculine gender singular of the word aparāmṣṭa. In brief, the formation of the word is with prefixes (a+para+a), and the past passive participial suffix ta added to the verb mṛṣ (to touch), and it means untouched.

Puruṣa-viśeṣaḥ, the third word of this aphorism is a compound comprising puruṣa and viśeṣaḥ meaning ‘special puruṣa‘. Patañjali does not define the two words that form the foundation of sāṅkya-yoga systems – prakṛti and puruṣa. One can say that the first word is what is normally understood as matter and the second consciousness. The adjective ‘special’ indicates that this puruṣa is unique in contrast to other puruṣa-s, that is us sentient beings. This speciality is ‘untouched by afflictions, actions, their results and impressions’.

The last word Īśvara (1:23) is popularly translated as God. Note that there are no anthropomorphic attributes ascribed to God in this definition of Īśvara.


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