3.9 – The transformation into complete stillness arises when the restless psychic impressions in consciousness are overcome by the peaceful impressions created in samadhi.

व्युत्थाननिरोधसंस्कारयोः अभिभवप्रादुर्भावौ निरोधक्षणचित्तान्वयो निरोधपरिणामः ॥९॥

vyutthana nirodhah samskara abhibhava pradurbhavau nirodhah ksana chitta anvayah nirodhah-parinamah

  • vyutthana – uprising; causing to rise
  • nirodhah – stillness; cessation; quietude
  • samskara – psychic impressions; forming the mind; conditionings
  • abhibhava – overcoming; overpowering; defeating
  • pradurbhavau – manifesting; appearing; created in
  • nirodhah – stillness; cessation; quietude
  • ksana – an instant; the moment
  • chitta – consciousness; field of consciousness; reflecting; mind; thought
  • anvayah – connection; succession
  • nirodhah – stillness; cessation; quietude
  • parinamah – consequence; fruit; result; effect; transformation

3.10 – Those peaceful impressions create a tranquil, inward current.

तस्य प्रशान्तवाहिता संस्कारत् ॥१०॥

tasya prashanta vahita samskarat

  • tasya – of that; his; her
  • prashanta – calm; tranquil
  • vahita – flow; current
  • samskarat – psychic impressions; forming the mind; conditionings

3.11 – That transformation into deep absorption occurs as the inner-current draws consciousness out of a scattered state and into a concentrated one.

सर्वार्थताएकाग्रातयोः क्षयोदयौ चित्तस्य समाधिपरिणामः ॥११

sarvarathata ekagrata ksaya udaya chittasya samadhi parinamah

  • sarvarathata – all forms; all objects
  • ekagrata – one-pointed; intent; concentrated; focused
  • ksaya – termination; dissolution; end
  • udaya – arising; ascending; coming forth; emerging
  • chittasya – of consciousness
  • samadhi – unity consciousness; union of subject and object; bringing together; deep absorption
  • parinamah – consequence; fruit; result; effect; transformation

3.12 – As consciousness becomes concentrated, all the rising and falling contents within it begin to flow in the same direction.

ततः पुनः शातोदितौ तुल्यप्रत्ययौ चित्तस्यैकाग्रतापरिणामः ॥१२॥

tatah punah shanta uditau tulya pratyayau chittasya ekagrata parinimah

  • tatah – due to that; from that
  • punah – again
  • shanta – falling; abating; subsiding; peaceful; tranquil
  • uditau – rising; being produced
  • tulya – the same; equal
  • pratyayau – – contents of consciousness; mental content; notion; cognition; conception
  • chittasya – of consciousness
  • ekagrata – one-pointed; intent; concentrated; focused
  • parinimah – consequence; fruit; result; effect; transformation

Commentary on Sutras 3.9—3.12:

The more we experience the profound peace of samadhi states, the easier it becomes for us to enter them. That’s because we’re creating new, positive samskaras (impressions in consciousness) which overcome the samskaras of restlessness. In other words, we’re consciously reconditioning ourselves. We’re regrooving the mind and nervous system to create a pathway inward through which our energy and attention can flow.

Part of our practice is about dissolving and releasing the troublesome samskaras that form our restricting habits and tendencies. It’s like weeding a garden. Another part of our practice is about creating positive samskaras which support constructive behaviors and reinforce our higher states of consciousness. That’s like planting our crops.

Our repeated experiences of seeded samadhi (samadhi with the support of an object of meditation) create strong impressions in our psyche. Practicing daily, over months and years, creates a network of impressions forming an inward-flowing current of shakti.

Before our yoga practice began, all of our attention and energy was conditioned to flow outward through the senses and into activity. Now it’s being rewired to flow back inward toward its source. This gradual transition eventually leads to the state of seedless samadhi described in the last set of sutras.

When we first began meditating, we probably spent most of the session just trying to relax the body. Over time, we should have noticed that period of agitation growing smaller and smaller. For an advanced yogi, transitioning into stillness may only take a few moments. As soon as they settle in, their inner current takes over and draws their consciousness out of a scattered state into a concentrated one.

Going from a scattered state into a concentrated one means that all of the contents within our field of consciousness begin to flow in the same direction. All of our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and energies begin to move toward the object of meditation. It’s as if they’ve been magnetized and are being pulled toward the positive pole.

Those thoughts and emotions all take on a similar quality, meaning the ones arising are like those that just subsided. They’re all vibrating at the same frequency.

The primary purpose of this is to experience our true nature. But, as we’ll see throughout most of this third chapter, our practice has some interesting side effects.