Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 5

प्रवृत्तिभेदे प्रयोजकं चित्तमेकमनेकेषाम् ॥५॥

pravṛtti-bhede prayojakaṃ cittam-ekam-anekeṣām ||5||

Although division in finer cognition,
one psyche is the initiator of many.

pravṛtti - activity, exertion, efficacy, function; finer cognition, special cognition, sensuous cognition; moving onwards, advance, progressbheda - dividing, breaking, splitting, cleaving, rending, tearing, piercing; distinction, difference, kind, sort, species, variety; separation, division, partition, part, portionprayojaka - effective, essential; initiating, occasioning, causing, effecting, leading to, inciting, stimulating, deputing; prompting, instigating, instigator, promotercitta - psyche (the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious); mind; hearteka - one; alone, solitary, single, happening only once, that one onlyaneka - other; not one, many, much

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

Changes are according to
the predisposition of the
Saṃskāra of the person,
and therefore not identical,
and therefore may not be
what the source desires.”

Commentary by S Ramaswami:

“One Citta makes use of the activities of many Citta.
How does an individual acquire the power of creation of minds.
How does he control them?
The first three Sūtra talk about new body, new birth. Here they talk about a new mind.
Patañjali wants to show these things are possible without an external cause. Even though these things are extraordinary they are still within the rearrangement of Prakṛti into a new body or new mind.
For the latter only Asmitā is essential to make it happen.
When one Citta controls many Citta, his own Citta is called the leading Citta.
Each Citta has different kinds of activities but the leading Citta controls them.
Some people interpret this as the leading Citta being able to control other people’s Citta, people who have weak minds.
This could be done so the leading Citta can rid himself of Karma to be able to experience through other minds.
The people who do this are not necessarily Yogi, but an individual with a strong Asmitā and willpower acquired through previous births, drugs, Mantra or austerities.
Bhoja compares it to the Citta being able to control the Indriya and Prāṇa.
So the Nirmāṇa Citta or leadership Citta is able to coordinate many other Citta.
The Yogi has these capabilities but does not choose to use them.
He only uses his Asmitā to impart knowledge.
Like a person who has seen what is on the other side of the river and describes it before crossing himself.
Or like a plane landing, there are a few bumps before it becomes smooth.
So with the Yogi, Kaivalya and teaching.
Krishnamacharya relates it to the Sāṃkhya and Tamas Ahaṃkāra from which it is possible for you to create minds. But there is no distinction between Puruṣa and Prakṛti. Thus Yoga is to know the distinction.
Also by changing food and the place the mind can be altered.
Thus the Puranic view is the creation by one mind in order to work out Karma either towards Mokṣa or some personal end.
To understand how mind acts on another in another body it should be understood that the mind is naturally all pervading, thus questions on spatial distance or proximity are meaningless.
As the mind of the magician, which acts like the dominant mind, work on the minds of the spectators and producing mass-hypnotism, so does the dominant mind of the Yogin act on other secondary created minds.
The minds so created will have latencies in them and the ability to create minds could be without gaining discriminative knowledge. Thus they are superior and inferior leading Citta.
Supernormal powers coming with birth and gained through herbs and drugs are of a lower order. Powers acquired through austerity or incantation observed with the specific object of acquiring supernormal powers, though a little superior to others, produce latencies.
But the actions of such devotees will no doubt be more Sattva in nature than those of others.
The constructed mind with discriminative knowledge and without any latency, is endowed with the highest efficiency and with that only best work in the shape of imparting instructions on virtue and piety is possible. Such minds are not assumed for the purpose of enjoyment or for destroying the effects of past deeds.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

Chapter Four verses 4 and 5 talk about the medium
and potential of the link both to and from Nimitta.
This link is through Asmitā, though the openness
and motive within the link determines its quality.
Asmitā is the common channel of communication.
However the quality of the link depends on how much
Asmitā is coloured by Kleśa, or uncoloured by Jñāna.
Thus, when Asmitā Kleśa dominates, the link and the
quality of the communication are potentially impaired.”

“The influences are not uniform,
they vary according to the recipient.
It depends on each person,
what they are seeking,
their background and interests,
and the person who is influencing.”

“The teaching to a group of students is the same,
but each student’s response may be different,
and these can also differ at different times.
Thus, this multiplicity of expectations within
a group is an important and additional factor.”

“The motive and state of mind of the teacher can
also vary and therefore produce varying results.
Thus the influence may or may not be for good,
depending on the person who is influencing and
the source of their powers; except in the case of Yoga,
because the actions of a Yogin are free of selfinterest.
Thus, the motivation and intention of the teacher are
important in helping the student illuminate their Nimitta.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verses 5-6