Prekṣakāṇīndriyāṇi प्रेक्षकाणीन्द्रियाणि॥ (sūtra III.11)
Prekṣakāṇi – audience; indriyāṇi – senses (includes jñānendriyāṇi and karmendriyāṇi)
The senses of such an aspirant merely act as spectators. Audience do not partake in the action that unfolds in a stage. In the same way, an advanced spiritual practitioner merely acts as a witness to his own actions, not mentally partaking in the actions that unfold through his senses. If one is attached to his senses, he becomes bound by desires and attachments causing pleasures and pains. This is known as saṁsāra, the cause for repeated cycles of birth and death.
This is explained in Katha Upaniṣad (II.i.1). It says, “The Self-created Lord has created the sense organs with the inherent defect that are by nature outgoing. This is why beings see things outside and cannot see the Self within. Rarely is there found a wise man seeking immortality (becomes devoid of transmigration), who can withdraw his sense organs from external objects and see Self within.
Aphorisms III - 9, 10 and 11 convey the same concept in different stages. III.9 said that an aspirant, who has entered the stage of unmanā, carries out his actions, as if a dancer performing yet another show. III.10 said that the empirical soul is nothing but the manifestation of Śiva and realizing this truth is called Self realization. The present sūtra says that such a Self-realised person remains as a witness to his own acts, performed through his senses. This sūtra says that the aspirant though performs his duties, remains unattached to the end results of such actions.