Yoga dictionary. Purusha
This is the original pure consciousness of the universe, which contemplates the female aspect-Prakriti. Purusha in interaction with Prakriti and under the influence of the gunas begins to create the material universe. Purusha in its original state is beyond the influence of the gunas. This state is called Nirguna.
“Purusha” in Sanskrit means ‘spirit’. In the Yoga sutras, Patanjali Purusha is represented as the original pure consciousness of the living entity, the attainment of which is the goal of yoga. In this case, it is not quite correct to talk about the attainment of this state as the achievement of something. The original nature of the living entity is not something that can be achieved or cannot be achieved. This primordial state of consciousness is already present in everyone, and it is only under the influence of the modes and individual karma of each living being that the illusion of Ego is created.
In Chapter one, Patanjali reveals the essence of yoga and describes what happens after all the Vrittis of the mind are eliminated. This is described in the Sutra of the third first Chapter. The translation of this Sutra version of Swami Vivekananda says:”at this time (in the period of concentration) the observer (Purusha) is in his own (unchanged) state.” An interesting interpretation of this Sutra is offered by Krishnamacharya :” then the ability to understand the object fully and correctly becomes apparent.”
If we compare these two versions of translation, we can come to the conclusion that when the yogi reaches the original state of consciousness, he is able to see reality as it is. Svensson’s translation of this Sutra says, ” Then, when the vrittis are restrained, the observer focuses on his own nature.” That is your true self knows the difference of this state from which the living entity is situated, being in ignorance, written in the Sutra 4 of this Chapter.
In A. Bailey’s version of the translation, it reads as follows:”Before that, the inner man identified himself with his forms and their active modifications.” Thus, before attaining the state of yoga, the Purusha identifies himself with the accumulated Samskaras and the Vrittis of the mind generated by them.
How the mind and Purusha interact is described in detail in Sutra 35 of Chapter three. In Krishnamacharya’s version of the translation, it reads: “the Mind that changes and the Perceiver that does not change are similar, but have a different and distinct character. When the mind is directed outward and automatically reacts to objects, either pleasure or pain arises. However, when at a certain point the individual begins to explore the very nature of the connection between the Perceiver and the perception, the mind disconnects from external objects, and then the understanding of the Perceiver itself increases.”
Thus, the mind, conditioned by previously accumulated karma, is forced to react to objects with feelings of either attachment or dislike. And when the mind is attached to external objects, attachment or dislike arises constantly. If one begins to observe these projections, which the mind conditioned by the Samskaras imposes on external objects, only then does the nature of the Purusha manifest itself and it becomes possible to attain pure perception, without mind projections. In the translation Of this Sutra E. Ostrovsky and V. Rudogo said: “when thinking about the distinction between pure consciousness and intelligence, which are completely different, will come the understanding of the state of infinity.”
Again, after the disidentification of the Citta and the Purusha, there is a state of freedom from the conditioning of the material world, or so — called “Kaivalya” – Liberation.
The fruits of this state described in Sutra 3.35 are further described in Sutra 36 of the same Chapter. A. Bailey’s version of the translation says:”as a result of this experience and meditation, higher hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell develop, producing intuitive knowledge.” In this Sutra we are talking about the so — called Siddhas-mystical superpowers, which often acquire yoga as practice. However, these are very dangerous manifestations and are a temptation on the way to Samadhi. This is stated in Sutra 37 of the same Chapter.
In version of translation A. Bailey said: “These forces represent obstacle to tertiary spiritual knowledge, but serve magic forces in material worlds apart.” Learn more about gain a yogi siddhis written in the following sutras of this Chapter.
Thus Purusha is the spirit, the primordial consciousness of the Universe, which is also manifested in every living being. Purusha is the observer, the beholder, the perceiver, and so on. The state of yoga-connection with the Supreme — based on the one-pointedness of the mind, allows to disidentify the Citta and the Purusha.
Their different natures are described in Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s translation of Sutra 3.35: “Chitta and Purusha are fundamentally different…”. But a theoretical understanding of this is not enough. To gain this knowledge in practice, it is necessary, as stated in Sutra 3.35, to investigate the nature of the connection between Purusha and perception itself. This allows us to know the nature of Purusha and perceive the world without projections of the mind conditioned by accumulated karma. This state leads to Samadhi if the yogi is not tempted by the manifested Siddhas.