In this series, Yogic terminologies will be taken up and their -
- Etymological analysis,
- Lexical descriptions and
- Textual occurrences in Yogic literature and their commentaries, as available, will be presented. And finally observations will be made on the references.
Three texts - Yogasūtra, Haṭha-yoga-pradīpikā and Bhagavad-gītā are consulted for textual occurrences portion.
Śabda-yoga is intended to help students, teachers, and professionals of Yoga to develop a sound grammatical, contextual, and thereby an authentic and immersive understanding of Yoga terminologies.
List of Words
The words that appear in the Yogasūtras will be sequentially dealt initially and then terms from other prominent Yoga texts will be taken up. Every śabda-yoga article will analyze three terms. The three terms for this article are –
अक्षम् + प्रति = प्रत्यक्षम्
akṣam + prati = pratyakṣam
The dictionary śabdārthakaustubha to gives the following derivative
प्रतिगतम् अक्षम् इन्द्रियं यत्र – pratigatam akṣam indriyaṃ yatra - that (knowledge) in which -
- the sense organ (akṣa)
- is in contact (pratigata) (with the object)
This is stated as a prādi-samāsa (compound) based on the vārtika - अत्यादयः क्रान्ताद्यर्थे atyādayaḥ krāntādyarthe - to the grammatical rule कुगतिप्रादयः kugatiprādayaḥ (aṣṭādhyāyī 2.2.18).
 Śabdārthakaustubha, Vol 4, pg.1892
There is one entry in the Amarakośa on this term
प्रत्यक्षं स्यादैन्द्रियकम् … (3.1.79)
pratyakṣaṃ syādaindriyakam …
Pratyakṣa refers to knowledge generated through the senses (through object contact)
This lexical entry is quite in line with the etymological derivation.
There is just one occurrence of this term
प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि ॥१.७॥
pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni ॥1.7॥
Among the five activities of the mind pramāṇa (right knowledge) – right knowledge is one and pratyakṣa (direct perception through the senses) is counted as one among the sources of correct knowledge as indicated by the Sūtra.
 Śabdārthakaustubha, Vol 4, pg.1892
There is just one reference to pratyakṣa in this text. It is found in the 9th chapter. It is as follows -
राजविद्या राजगुह्यं पवित्रमिदमुत्तमम् ।
प्रत्यक्षावगमं धर्म्यं सुसुखं कर्तुमव्ययम् ॥ ९.२ ॥
rājavidyā rājaguhyaṃ pavitramidamuttamam .
pratyakṣāvagamaṃ dharmyaṃ susukhaṃ kartumavyayam .. 9.2 ..
Rājavidyā is praised in this verse. Rājavidyā is the knowledge about the Brahman according to the commentary of śrīśaṅkarabhagavatpāda. Rājavidyā is praised as pratyakṣāvagamaṃ - directly experienced. It is not something which is abstract and to be inferred.
 राजविद्या विद्यानां राजा, दीप्त्यतिशयवत्त्वात् ; दीप्यते हि इयम् अतिशयेन ब्रह्मविद्या सर्वविद्यानाम् - https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Gita#BG_C09
Haṭhayogapradīpikā - The word pratyakṣa is not found in this text
It becomes evident based on the references above that among the Yoga texts – that in Haṭhayogapradīpikā, there is no discussion on epistemology. This seem to be true in the case of Bhagavadgītā also, where only a passing mention of the term pratyakṣa is found. Even in yogasūtra the epistemological discussions are minimal and restricted to only one Sūtra quoted above.
अनु + मा+ ल्युट् = अनुमानम्
anu + mā+ lyuṭ = anumānam
- Anu is the prefix – which means follows
- Mā is the root (माङ् माने) – to measure
- Lyut is the suffix that is used in the sense to indicate instrumentality – it is based on the grammar rule karaṇādhikaraṇāyośca ( aṣṭādhyāyī 3.117)
The derivative statement is – अनुमीयते अनेन इति अनुमानम् - anumīyate anena iti anumānam that (process) by which inference is done.
To explain - The process of inference is instrumental (lyut ) in knowing (Mā – to measure) about an object that follows (anu) sensory input and the grasp of concomitance of the major and minor terms. Hence it is called as Anumāna.
Lexicon – There is no reference to this term in Amarakośa
There are two occurrences of this term in this text and both are from the first chapter.
- प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि ॥ १.७ ॥ pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni .. 7 .. –
Here inference or anumāna is counted as one among the three modes of right knowledge
- श्रुतानुमानप्रज्ञाभ्यामन्यविषया विशेषार्थत्वात् ॥ १.४९॥
śrutānumānaprajñābhyāmanyaviṣayā viśeṣārthatvāt .. 1.49.. –
The second occurrence of term is in the context of stating that ṛtambharā prajñā (the truth bearing clarity that arises out of samādhi) is different from the clarity arising out of verbal testimony and inference.
Bhagavadgītā & Haṭhayogapradīpikā - The word is not used in these two texts.
As stated earlier – it becomes evident that Yoga texts do not have much epistemological discussions. It is also interesting to note that while inference is accepted as a valid source of authentic knowledge – there is higher state of clarity in Yogic tradition than that of inference. This also shows the relative position of inference in Yogic context.
आ+गम्+घञ् = आगमः
ā+gam+ ghañ = āgamaḥ
- ā is the prefix - here this prefix is used in sense of indicating towards oneself (आभिमुख्ये)
- gam is the root that means (गम् गतौ ) – to go
- ghañ is the suffix that is used to indicate instrumental case according to the grammatical rule - हलश्च halaśca (aṣṭādhyāyī 3.3.121)
The derivative statement would be - आगम्यते अनेन इति आगमः – āgamyate anena iti āgamaḥ - that by which (knowledge) is attained (knowledge arrives towards oneself). Though this is the derivation, conventionally it is used to indicate authentic knowledge attained through verbal testimony.
 avyayakośaḥ, pg.80
Lexicon – There is no reference to this word in the Amarakośa
There is just one occurrence to this term in this text.
प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि ॥ १.७ ॥
pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni .. 1.7 ..
As described earlier, through this sutra - verbal testimony is considered as one among the three modes of valid knowledge in the system of Yoga.
There are three occurrences of the term āgamā in this text. Though the word exists, as would be evident from references below - it is not used in the sense of verbal testimony.
- मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ॥ २.१४ ॥
mātrāsparśāstu kaunteya śītoṣṇasukhaduḥkhadāḥ .
āgamāpāyino'nityāstāṃstitikṣasva bhārata .. 2.14 ..
- अव्यक्ताद्व्यक्तयः सर्वाः प्रभवन्त्यहरागमे ।
रात्र्यागमे प्रलीयन्ते तत्रैवाव्यक्तसंज्ञके ॥ ८.१८ ॥
avyaktādvyaktayaḥ sarvāḥ prabhavantyaharāgame .
rātryāgame pralīyante tatraivāvyaktasaṃjñake .. 8.18 ..
- भूतग्रामः स एवायं भूत्वा भूत्वा प्रलीयते ।
रात्र्यागमेऽवशः पार्थ प्रभवत्यहरागमे ॥ ८.१९ ॥
bhūtagrāmaḥ sa evāyaṃ bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate .
rātryāgame'vaśaḥ pārtha prabhavatyaharāgame .. 8.19 ..
In all the three occasions the word āgama is used to indicate arrival.
In the first Gītā instance above (2.14) the sense-object contact is stated as āgamāpāyi – that which comes/experienced and perishes (transient).
In the next two references from chapter 8 (verses 18 & 19) - the process of cosmic creation and dissolution is described. In the both the verses, we find the expression rātryāgame – when the night time of Brahman comes all the beings get dissolved. The duration of day time and night time of the Brahman is indicated in verse 8.17 - as thousand Yugas each (one yuga here refers to one catur-yuga (64, 80,000 years) - commentary on the Gītā by Srīdhara svāmī[4).
 युगशब्देनात्र चतुर्युगमभिप्रेतम्चतुर्युगसहस्रं तु ब्रह्मणो दिनमुच्यते इति विष्णुपुराणोक्तेः। (https://www.gitasupersite.iitk.ac.in/srimad?language=dv&field_chapter_value=8&field_nsutra_value=17&scmad=1&scsri=1&ecsiva=1&etadi=1 )
There are two occurrences of the word āgamā in this text. Here also the two occurences do not indicate the meaning verbal testimony. As can be seen below - in the first occasion - āgama – refers to mere coming, in the second occasions it refers to a class of literature. The details in that regard are as follows -
- व्याधीनां हरणं जरान्तकरणं शस्त्रागमोदीरणम्
तस्य स्यादमरत्वमष्टगुणितं सिद्धाङ्गनाकर्षणम् ॥ ३.५० ॥
vyādhīnāṃ haraṇaṃ jarāntakaraṇaṃ śastrāgamodīraṇam
tasya syādamaratvamaṣṭaguṇitaṃ siddhāṅganākarṣaṇam .. 3.50 ..
In this first instance the compound term śastrāgamodīraṇam is found where the word āgama is used. The verse describes the benefits of the practice of khecarīmudrā. Here according the jyotsnā commentary the expression indicates that – the practice of khecarīmudrā helps in warding (udīraṇam) of the weapons (śastra) that his coming towards (āgama) oneself (being hurled by the enemies). Thus the word āgama is not used in the sense of verbal testimony.
 शस्त्राणामायुधानामागमः स्वाभिमुखागमनं तस्य उदीरणं निवारणम्
- केचिदागमजालेन केचिन्निगमसङ्कुलैः ।
केचित् तर्केण मुह्यन्ति नैव जानन्ति तारकम् ॥ ४.४० ॥
kecidāgamajālena kecinnigamasaṅkulaiḥ .
kecit tarkeṇa muhyanti naiva jānanti tārakam .. 4.40 ..
This is a verse that speaks of - people being distracted by the promises of material benefits made in the Āgamas and the Nigamas and they do not know about the ways to cross sufferings (through Yogic practices). The Jyotsna commentary here defines agama as- those that arrive and ascend the intellect (to clarify various practices and truths) –- the śāstras and Tantras.
 आगच्छन्ति बुद्धिमारोहन्ति अर्था एभ्यः इत्यागमाः शास्त्रतन्त्रादयः
In conclusion it can be stated that the word Āgama has been used in diverse sense in the Yoga texts consulted –
- Verbal testimony (yogasūtra)
- Arrival (bhagavadgītā & haṭhayogapradīpikā)
- Śāstras & Tantras (haṭhayogapradīpikā))
Hence one needs to be context conscious in using he terminology even for Yogic purposes.
To be continued...