tongue to understand Yoga better
In studying psychology
anyone who is acquainted with the Sanskrit tongue must know how
valuable that language is for precise and scientific dealing with
the subject. The Sanskrit, or the well-made, the constructed, the
built-together, tongue, is one that lends itself better than any
other to the elucidation of
psychological difficulties. Over and over again, by the mere form
of a word, a hint is given, an explanation or relation is suggested.
The language is constructed in a fashion which enables a large number
of meanings to be connoted by a single word, so that you may trace
all allied ideas, ,or truths, or facts, by this verbal connection,
when you are speaking or using Sanskrit. It has a limited number
of important roots, and then an immense number of words constructed
on those roots.
the root of the word yoga is a word that means " to join,"
yuj, and that root appears in many languages, such as the English--of
course, through the Latin, wherein you get jugare, jungere, "to
join"--and out of that a number of English words are derived
and will at once suggest themselves to you: junction, conjunction,
disjunction, and so on. The English word "yoke" again,
is derived from this same Sanskrit root so that all through the
various words, or thoughts, or facts connected with this one root,
you are able to gather the meaning of the word yoga and to see how
much that word covers in the ordinary processes of the mind and
how suggestive many of the words connected with it are, acting,
so to speak, as sign-posts to direct you along the road to the meaning.
In other tongues, as in French, we have a word like rapport, used
constantly in English; " being en rapport," a French expression,
but so Anglicized that it is continually heard amongst ourselves.
And that term, in some ways, is the closest to the meaning of the
Sanskrit word yoga; "to be in relation to"; "to be
connected with"; "to enter into"; "to merge
in"; and so on: all these ideas are classified together under
the one head of "Yoga".
you find Sri Krishna saying that "Yoga is equilibrium,"
in the Sanskrit He is saying a perfectly obvious thing, because
Yoga implies balance, yoking and the Sanskrit of equilibrium is
"samvata--togetherness"; so that it is a perfectly simple,
straightforward statement, not connoting anything very deep, but
merely expressing one of the fundamental meanings of the word He
is using. And so with another word, a word used in the commentary
on the Sutra I quoted before, which conveys to the Hindu a perfectly
straightforward meaning: "Yoga is Samadhi." To an only
English-knowing person that does not convey any very definite idea;
each word needs explanation. To a Sanskrit-knowing man the two words
are obviously related to one another. For the word yoga, we have
seen, means "yoked together," and Samadhi derived from
the root dha, "to place," with the prepositions sam and
a, meaning "completely together". Samadhi, therefore,
literally means " fully placing together," and its etymological
equivalent in English would be " to compose " (com=sam;
posita= place). Samadhi therefore means "composing the mind,"
collecting it together, checking all distractions. Thus by philological,
as well as by practical, investigation the two words yoga and samadhi
are inseparably linked together. And when Vyasa, the commentator,
says: "Yoga is the composed mind," he is conveying a clear
and significant idea as to what is implied in Yoga. Although Samadhi
has come to mean, by a natural sequence of ideas, the trance-state
which results from perfect composure, its original meaning should
not be lost sight of.
Thus, in explaining
Yoga, one is often at a loss for the English equivalent of the manifold
meanings of the Sanskrit tongue, and I earnestly advise those of
you who can do so, at least to acquaint yourselves sufficiently
with this admirable language, to make the literature of Yoga more
intelligible to you than it can be to a
person who is completely ignorant of Sanskrit.
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