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:
“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 process 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 insights 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 profligate children of Avidyā.”
“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.”