Definition - What does Vinivritti mean?

Vinivritti is a Sanskrit feminine noun meaning "omission," "cessation" or "coming to an end." It is used in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to refer to what happens to the mind in the initial state of enlightenment. The text goes on to explain that vinivritti is the state of cessation, where all associations that the mind creates between events and awareness are severed. It is said that these associations are a false perception of reality and, as such, vinivritti is described as being an experience of “vast awareness.”

Yogapedia explains Vinivritti

Other translations of vinivritti include “to turn around,” “to undo,” “to reverse” or “to untangle.” Its precise meaning, like all Sanskrit terms, depends on the context in which it is used.

Vinivritti is part of Yoga Sutra 4.25, which is vishes̩a-darshina ātma-bhāva-bhāvanā-vinivr̩ttih. This can be taken to mean that when a yogi recognizes what he/she is seeing is from the universal consciousness of Brahman, not an individual entity, then the illusions of duality fall away. In this moment, the vrittis, or fluctuations of the mind, cease, which is the state of vinivritti and the realization of the yogi’s true nature. Yogis believe that this experience, which is the goal of yoga, is one of freedom and liberation from the false illusions of the small self.

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