top of page


Yoga Sutras
Sutra 1.10

abhāva-pratyayālambanā vr̥ttir nidrā

"The mental state characterised by the cognitive focus on absence is sleep."

Translated - Swami Satchidananda

This sutra discusses the nature of a mental state called "nidrā," which translates to "sleep" or "slumber." Let's break down the meaning of each part: bhāva-pratyayālambanā: This portion consists of several terms: abhāva: "non-existence" or "absence" pratyaya: "cognition" or "awareness" ālambanā: "object" or "focus" So, "abhāva-pratyayālambanā" could be understood as "cognition or awareness of absence" or "cognitive focus on non-existence." vr̥ttir: This term signifies "activity" or "mental modification." In this context, it refers to a specific mental state or thought pattern. nidrā: This term translates to "sleep" or "slumber." It refers to a state of unconsciousness or reduced awareness that occurs during rest. This phrase suggests that the mental state of sleep is characterised by a lack of cognitive awareness, where the mind's activity is focused on the absence of conscious thought or awareness. It points to the idea that during sleep, the mind is not engaged in its typical cognitive functions, leading to a state of reduced awareness and rest. In philosophical contexts, discussions about mental states like sleep often touch upon the nature of consciousness, the mind's activities, and the different levels of awareness experienced by individuals.
bottom of page