Sutra 1.16: Tatparam Purusakhyateh Gunavaitrshnyam
- tat = that
- param = (parama) absolute, highest, supreme, superior
- purusha = soul, man, spirit, source of universe,
- khyateh = through knowledge, vision, discernment, well-known
- Guna = virtues, qualities, talents, attributes, (Three Gunas; Sattva, Rajas, Tamas)
- vaitrsnyam = freedom from thirst, desires or craving
Translated loosely into English;
Absolute knowledge of the soul of the universe (purusha) is obtained when the qualities of nature (Gunas) are understood and surpassed.
Yoga Sutra 1.15 describes non-attachment; a process that progressively leads to supreme non-attachment, which is described here. From gross physical material objects, thoughts, desires, to the body, organs, senses, energy fields, to the most subtle forms of manifestation which are the Gunas. Non-attachment of all realms. An understanding arises of the interconnection that exists in the soul of every person, Purusha, every animate and inanimate (sentient) being (Prakriti) during this process.
What is Purusha? What is Prakriti? causal matter manifested. Prakriti being matter manifest has qualities, called Gunas, which can be classified into 3 specfic types. These are ‘tamas’, inertia or lethargy; ‘rajas’, or passion and activity; and ‘sattva‘, purity.
Where did the Gunas come from? According to Vedic tradition, the ancient seers listened to the hum of the universe very carefully and could discern three very distinct tones. The first guna is called sattva, the second-raja and the third-tamas. Sattva is a very clear, pure quality, filled with intelligence and light. Rajas is a fiery active quality moved by energy and force, and tamas is a slow, lethargic, heavy quality that is inert and dull. We are all a soup of these three qualities, as is everything around us. At certain times in our life and even parts of our day one of these qualities may dominate. When the source of all knowledge is understood to be the Self, the nature of all, we have surpassed the 3 qualities of Prakriti.
Continuous meditation on supreme love, supreme knowledge and understanding, supreme happiness and enjoyment, gradually becomes a natural experience. The mind becomes entranced on thoughts of supreme existence. All other objects are of no value. This is the supreme vairgyam or renunciation.