By Swami Harshananda
Vitarka in general means imagination or doubtful knowledge. However, the Yogasutras of Patañjali (200 B. C.) uses this word in a technical sense. It categorizes samprajñātasamādhi into four varieties, the first one being with vitarka (sa-vitarka).
Meanings as per Yogasutras are as follows:
- Vitarka is defined as the intense awareness that arises in the mind when it concentrates on a gross object.
- In another place, vitarka is identified with certain obstacles to the practice of Yoga.
- Samprajñātasamādhi means perfect concentration.
- Yogasutras 1.17
- Yogasutras 2.33.34
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore