Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54
स्वविषयासंप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकारैवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः ॥५४॥
sva-viṣaya-asaṃprayoge cittasya svarūpa-anukāraḥ iva-indriyāṇām pratyāhāraḥ ||54||
The disengagement from the own object of the psyche,
as if imitating the own character of the senses,
is withdrawal from the senses.
Commentaries and Reflections
Commentary by TKV Desikachar:
“Prāṇāyāma leads to this.
to see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind,
and Dhāraṇā, to see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.
Dhyānam arises out of this.”
Commentary by Paul Harvey:
“The Das Indriya or ten senses of experience and action,
whilst seen as belonging to the Bāhya Aṅga or five external limbs
in the eight limb Aṣṭa Aṅga Yoga of Patañjali,
are also the gateway to the Antar Aṅga or three internal limbs.”
“The ten senses or Das Indriya are the gateways
between our inner and the outer experiences,
in the twin roads of the worldly phenomena
that we call sensory knowing or bodily action.
The five senses that transport knowing from
the outer to the inner are called the Jñāna Indriya,
or the senses through which we perceive the world.
The five senses that transport action from
the inner to the outer are called the Karma Indriya,
or the senses through which we act out into the world.
The coordinator of this remarkable interface is Manas,
often referred to as the eleventh sense or internal organ.
The identifier in this remarkable process is Ahaṃkāra.
The discerner in this remarkable trinity is Buddhi.
The source of perception within this remarkable play
of knowing and action is known as Cit or Puruṣa.”
“Pratyāhāra is not feeding the tendency of the Citta
to automatically form a positive, negative, or neutral
identification with whatever stimuli the senses present to it.
From that, we can begin to understand how their external gathering
activities stimulate our conscious and especially, unconscious choices.
From this, we can begin to understand how the impact
of this sensory knowing can lead us to travel in different directions
and trigger different levels of response, often without us being really
conscious of how deeply their input stimulates our psychic activities.
From these responses, there will be the inevitable re-actions,
again quite possibly unconscious and multilevelled,
according to our psychic history in terms of our memory,
habit patternings and deeper memory processes.
From those initial insight, we can begin to understand
and interact in how we can resist unconsciously slipping
into the trance states that can so often culminate with
the Kleśa manifesting fully in the entrancing dance of
Udārā Rāga, or Udārā Dveṣa, or Udārā Abhiniveśa,
the potent and profligate children of Avidyā.”