Word Breakdown: yog (union) chit (mind) vritti (wave) nirodh (do not arise)
Translation: Yog is the state of consciousness which is beyond the waves of the mind [which are thoughts].
In the waking and dream states of consciousness, self is inseparable from thought, and the movement of thoughts is similar to that of waves, for they rise and fall. Since self—in the states of waking and dream—is inseparable from thought, thought composes our reality at any given moment. Thus, we rise and fall with our thoughts. To experience being the observer of our thoughts, we have to reach a deeper state of consciousness, which is union of the divided self/consciousness with the consciousness that is behind every thought. The consciousness that is behind thought, or is the basis of thought, is comparable to the ocean from which waves appear. When we dive below the surface of the ocean of consciousness, we are no longer on the level of the waves and riding each one as it comes along. From a depth, we observe the waves but are not in them or tossed around by them. This deeper state of consciousness is not revealed in the waking, dream, or deep-sleep states. It is the fourth state of consciousness, and that is what needs to be awakened.
Through meditation, we reach this deeper aspect of self/consciousness. Experience of the deeper aspect of self is “yog”, or union with our inner self. Permanent union—the final state—(which will be discussed in more detail later in this book) is when one is established as the observer, never tied to or limited by thoughts. From that union come natural wisdom and the sense of unity with all thought and form—individually and universally. Through permanent union with the deeper aspect of consciousness, one gains the ability to be an observer of the other three states of consciousness and not lose equilibrium and higher awareness when functioning in those states.