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a. The higher and lower natures defined.

b. The obstacles and their removal considered.

c. A summation of the Raja Yoga system.

Topic:  The versatile psychic nature.





1. AUM.  The following instruction concerneth the Science of Union.

2. This Union (or Yoga) is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature, and the restraint of the chitta (or mind).

3. When this has been accomplished, the Yogi knows himself as he is in reality.

4. Up till now the inner man has identified himself with his forms and with their active modifications.

5. The mind states are five, and are subject to pleasure or pain; they are painful or not painful.

6. These modifications (activities) are correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, fancy, passivity (sleep) and memory.

7. The basis of correct knowledge is correct perception, correct deduction, and correct witness (or accurate evidence).

8. Incorrect knowledge is based upon perception of the form and not upon the state of being.

9. Fancy rests upon images which have no real existence.

10. Passivity (sleep) is based upon the quiescent state of the vrittis (or upon the non-perception of the senses.)

11. Memory is the holding on to that which has been known.

12. The control of these modifications of the internal organ, the mind, is to be brought about through tireless endeavour and through non-attachment.


13. Tireless endeavour is the constant effort to restrain the modifications of the mind.

14. When the object to be gained is sufficiently valued, and the efforts towards its attainment are persistently followed without intermission, then the steadiness of the mind (restraint of the vrittis) is secured.

15. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.

16. The consummation of this non-attachment results in an exact knowledge of the spiritual man when liberated from the qualities or gunas.

17. The consciousness of an object is attained by concentration upon its fourfold nature:  the form, through examination; the quality (or guna), through discriminative participation; the purpose, through inspiration (or bliss); and the soul, through identification.

18. A further stage of samadhi is achieved when, through one pointed thought, the outer activity is quieted.  In this stage, the chitta is responsive only to subjective impressions.

19. The samadhi just described passes not beyond the bound of the phenomenal world; it passes not beyond the Gods, and those concerned with the concrete world.

20. Other yogins achieve samadhi and arrive at a discrimination of pure Spirit through belief, followed by energy, memory, meditation and right perception.

21. The attainment of this state (spiritual consciousness) is rapid for those whose will is intensely alive.

22. Those who employ the will likewise differ, for its use may be intense, moderate, or gentle.  In respect to the attainment of true spiritual consciousness there is yet another way.

23. By intense devotion to Ishvara, knowledge of Ishvara is gained.

24. This Ishvara is the soul, untouched by limitation, free from karma, and desire.

25. In Ishvara, the Gurudeva, the germ of all knowledge expands into infinity.


26. Ishvara, the Gurudeva, being unlimited by time conditions, is the teacher of the primeval Lords.

27. The Word of Ishvara is AUM (or OM).  This is the Pranava.

28. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found.

29. From this comes the realisation of the Self (the soul) and the removal of all obstacles.

30. The obstacles to soul cognition are bodily disability, mental inertia, wrong questioning, carelessness, laziness, lack of dispassion, erroneous perception, inability to achieve concentration, failure to hold the meditative attitude when achieved.

31. Pain, despair, misplaced bodily activity and wrong direction (or control) of the life currents are the results of the obstacles in the lower psychic nature.

32. To overcome the obstacles and their accompaniments, the intense application of the will to some one truth (or principle) is required.

33. The peace of the chitta (or mind stuff) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil.

34. The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath.

35. The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions.

36. By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.

37. The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged.

38. Peace (steadiness of the chitta) can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give.

39. Peace can also be reached through concentration upon that which is dearest to the heart.


40. Thus his realization extends from the infinitely small to the infinitely great, and from annu (the atom or speck) to atma (or spirit) his knowledge is perfected.

41. To him whose vrittis (modifications of the substance of the mind) are entirely controlled, there eventuates a state of identity with, and similarity to that which is realized.  The knower, knowledge and the field of knowledge become one, just as the crystal takes to itself the colours of that which is reflected in it.

42. When the perceiver blends the word, the idea (or meaning) and the object, this is called the mental condition of judicial reasoning.

43. Perception without judicial reasoning is arrived at when the memory no longer holds control, the word and the object are transcended and only the idea is present.

44. The same two processes of concentration, with and without judicial action of the mind, can be applied also to things subtle.

45. The gross leads into the subtle and the subtle leads in progressive stages to that state of pure spiritual being called Pradhana.

46. All this constitutes meditation with seed.

47. When this super-contemplative state is reached, the Yogi acquires pure spiritual realisation through the balanced quiet of the chitta (or mind stuff).

48. His perception is now unfailingly exact (or his mind reveals only the Truth).

49. This particular perception is unique and reveals that which the rational mind (using testimony, inference and deduction) cannot reveal.

50. It is hostile to, or supersedes all other impressions.

51. When this state of perception is itself also restrained (or superseded), then is pure Samadhi achieved.





1. AUM.  (OM) The following instruction concerns the Science of Union.

AUM. is the Word of Glory; it signifies the Word made flesh and the manifestation upon the plane of matter of the second aspect of divinity.  This blazing forth of the sons of righteousness before the world is achieved by following the rules herein contained.  When all the sons of men have demonstrated that they are also Sons of God, the cosmic Son of God will likewise shine forth with increased intensity of glory.  The great initiate, Paul, had a vision of this when he said that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain . . . waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God."  (Rom.  VIII.)

Raja Yoga, or the science of Union, gives the rules and the means whereby:

1. Conscious contact can be made with the soul, the second aspect, the Christ within,

2. Knowledge of the self can be achieved and its control over the not-self maintained,


3. The power of the ego or soul can be felt in the daily life and soul powers manifested,

4. The lower psychic nature can be subdued, and the higher psychic faculties demonstrated,

5. The brain can be brought en rapport with the soul and its messages received,

6. The "light in the head" can be increased, so that a man becomes a living Flame,

7. The Path can be found and man himself become that Path.

The following triplicities may be found of value to the student, especially if he remembers that it is the central column which contains the terms applicable to the soul or second aspect.  The union to be achieved is that of the third and second aspects.  This is consummated at the third initiation (in Christian terminology, the Transfiguration).  A later synthesis is then effected between the united third and second aspects and the first:


1st Aspect

2nd Aspect

3rd Aspect





Son (Christ)

Holy Ghost




Divine self

Higher self

Lower self







The Presence

The Angel of
the Presence

The human being


A clear distinction should be made between the Christ Principle as indicated above, which is a high spiritual aspect to which each member of humanity must attain, and the same term applied to a personage of exalted rank representing that [9] Principle, whether in the historical reference to the Man of Nazareth or otherwise.

2. This Union (or Yoga) is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature and the restraint of the chitta (or mind).

The follower after union has two things to do:

1. To gain control of the "versatile psychic nature,"

2. To prevent the mind from assuming the many forms it so easily does. These are frequently called "modifications of the thinking principle."

These two produce control of the emotional body and therefore of desire, and control of the mental body, and therefore of lower manas or mind.  The student should remember that uncontrolled desire and an unregulated mind shut off the light of the soul and negate spiritual consciousness.  Union is impossible as long as the barriers exist, and the Master therefore directs the attention of the student (at the beginning of his instruction) to the practical work to be done in liberating this light so that it may "shine forth in a dark place;" i. e., on the physical plane.  It should be borne in mind that, occultly speaking, when the lower nature is controlled it can manifest the higher.  When the second aspect of the lower personal self, the emotional body, is subjugated or transmuted then the Christ light (the second aspect egoic) can be seen.  Later, in its light, the Monad, the Father, the One, will stand [10] revealed.  Equally, when the first aspect of the lower personal self, the mental body, is restrained, then the Will aspect of the ego can be known, and through its activities, the purpose of the Logos Himself will be cognized.

There are certain lines of least resistance in the spiritual life and along them certain forces or energies are released.


a. Emotional ………

intuitional or buddhic ……

monadic ……

to the heart of the aspirant.

b. Mental ………….

spiritual or atmic ………...

Logoic ……...

to the head of the aspirant.


The student is therefore given the WORD of restraint or control as a key to all his endeavors.

The chitta is the mind, or mind-stuff, the mental body, the faculty of thought and of thought-form making, the sum total of the mental processes; it is the material governed by the ego or soul out of which thought forms are made.

The "psychic nature" is kama-manas (desire-mind), the emotional or astral body, tinged faintly with mind, and is the material clothing all our desires and feelings.  Thereby they are expressed.

These two types of substance have their own line of evolution to follow and they do so.  Under the logoic plan, the spirits or divine sparks are imprisoned by them, being first attracted to them through the mutual interplay of spirit and matter.  By the control of these substances and the restraint of their instinctual activities, these spirits gain experience and eventually liberation.  Thus union with the soul is brought about.  It is [11] a union known and experienced in the physical body upon the plane of densest manifestation through the conscious intelligent control of the lower nature.

3. When this has been accomplished, the Yogi knows himself as he is in reality.

This might be described in the following way:  The man who knows the conditions and has fulfilled them as indicated in the preceding sutra,

1. Sees the self,

2. Realises the true nature of the soul,

3. Identifies himself with the inner Reality, and no longer with the concealing forms,

4. Dwells in the centre and no longer upon the periphery,

5. Achieves spiritual consciousness,

6. Awakes to recognition of the God within.  In these three verses, the method and the goal are described in clear and certain terms and the way prepared for the more detailed instruction to follow.  The aspirant faces his problem, the clue to its solution is given to him, and the reward—union with the soul—is held before his seeking eye.

The past is briefly covered in the next verse.

4. Up till now the inner man has identified himself with his forms and with their active modifications.

These forms are the modifications mentioned in the various translations, conveying the subtle [12] truth concerning the infinite divisibility of the atom; these are the veiling sheaths and rapidly changing transformations which prevent the true nature of the soul becoming manifest.  These are the externalities which hinder the light of the inner God from shining forth, and which are occultly spoken of as "casting a shadow before the face of the sun."

The inherent nature of the lives which constitute these active versatile forms has hitherto proved too strong for the soul (the Christ within, as the Christian puts it) and the soul-powers have been prevented full expression.  The instinctual powers of the "animal soul," or the capacities of the aggregate of lives which form the sheaths or bodies, imprison the real man and limit his powers.  These lives are intelligent units on the involutionary arc of evolution, working towards self-expression.  Their objective is, however, different from that of the Inner Man and they hinder his progress and self-realization.  He becomes "enmeshed in their activities" and must free himself before he comes into his heritage of power and peace and bliss.  He cannot attain "unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ" (Eph. 4:13) until there are no modifications to be felt, until the forms are transformed, their activities quieted, and their restlessness stilled.

The student is urged to bear in mind the nature of this aspect of evolution which is proceeding concurrently with his own.  In his right apprehension of this problem comes realization of [13] the practical work to be done, and the embryo yogi can begin his work.

The lower forms are constantly and ceaselessly active, endlessly assuming the forms of impulsive desires or dynamic mental thought forms, and it is only as this "form-taking" is controlled and the tumult of the lower nature stilled that it becomes possible for the inner ruling entity to liberate himself from thraldom and impose his vibration upon the lower modifications.

This is achieved through concentration—the concentrated effort of the soul to hold steadily the position of observer, or perceiver and of seer.  When he can do this the lower "spectacle" of the rapidly changing forms of thought and desire fades away, and the realm of the soul, the true field of soul knowledge, can be seen and contacted.

5. The mind states are five, and are subject to pleasure or pain; they are painful or not painful.

In the original the word "pleasure" does not occur; the thought conveyed is more technical, and is usually translated as "not painful."  Nevertheless, the underlying thought is the hindrance to realization caused by the pairs of opposites.  The student must remember that in this sutra it is the chitta or mind-stuff which is under consideration, with the modifications it undergoes as long as its versatility and activity are controlling factors.  He must not lose sight of the fact that we are [14] dealing with the lower psychic nature, which is the term occultly applied to the lower mind processes as well as to the astral or emotional reactions.  All activity in the lower nature is the result of kama-manas, or of mind tinged with feeling, of the desire-will of the lower man.  The goal of the Raja Yoga system is that these impulses should be replaced by the considered intelligent action of the soul or spiritual man, whose nature is love, whose acts are wise (occultly understood) and whose motive is group development.  Therefore that reaction called pain must be transcended and likewise that termed pleasure, for both of these are dependent upon identification with form.  Non-attachment must supersede them.

It is interesting to note that the modifications of the internal organ, the mind, are five in number.  Manas, or mind, the actuating principle of the chitta, or mind-stuff, is the fifth principle, and like all else in nature, manifests as a duality.  This duality is:

1. Lower concrete mind, demonstrating as the activity of the mental body.

2. Abstract mind, demonstrating as the lowest aspect of the ego.

In the microcosm, man, this duality becomes a triple modification upon the mental plane, and in these three we have in miniature a picture of the macrocosmic manifestation.  These three are:

1. The mental permanent atom, the lowest aspect of the spiritual Triad or of the soul,

2. The egoic body, the causal body, or the karana sarira,


3. The mental body, the highest aspect of the lower personal self.

The mental body itself has five modifications or activities, and thus is a reflection, or correspondence of the fifth principle, as it manifests upon the fifth plane, the mental.  The modifications are the lower shadow of manas (or mind in the microcosmic manifestation), and this mind is a reflection of mahat (the universal mind), or mind manifesting in the macrocosm.  This is a great mystery but will reveal itself to the man who overcomes the five modifications of the lower mind, who through non-attachment to the lower, identifies himself with the higher, and who thus solves the mystery of the "Makara" and treads the Way of the Kumaras.  Herein lies a hint to the more advanced students of this science as to the esoteric problem of the Makara, hinted at in the "Secret Doctrine" by H. P. Blavatsky.

6. These modifications (activities) are correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, fancy, passivity (sleep) and memory.

There exists a vast field of knowledge which the seer must cognise at some time or another.  It is generally conceded among occult psychologists, that there are three modes of apprehension:

1. Direct cognition through the avenue of the senses, each sense, when in use, putting its user into contact with a distinct range of vibrations, demonstrating as form manifestations.

2. Deduction or inference, the use by the cogniser of the reasoning powers of the mind in relation [16] to that not directly perceived.  This is, for the occult student, the use of the Law of Correspondences or of Analogy.

3. The direct cognition of the yogi or seer, centered in the consciousness of the self, the ego on its own plane.  This is achieved through the right use of the mind as an organ of vision and transmission.  Patanjali says:

"The seer is pure knowledge (gnosis).  Though pure he looks upon the presented idea through the medium of the mind."  Book II.  Sutra 20.

Deduction is not a sure method of ascertaining knowledge and the other modifications refer primarily to the wrong use of the image making faculty (imagination), to the self-induced passivity of the mind, a condition of semi-trance, and to the retention of thought forms within the mental aura, through the use of the memory.  Each of these is now dealt with in a separate sutra by Patanjali.

7. The basis of correct knowledge is correct perception, correct deduction and correct witness (or accurate evidence).

One of the most revolutionary realizations to which the occult student has to adjust himself is the appreciation that the mind is a means whereby knowledge is to be gained.  In the west the idea has mostly been held that the mind is that part of the human mechanism which utilizes knowledge.  The "process of turning things over in the mind," of striving to solve problems by hard mental labor has no part ultimately in the [17] unfoldment of the soul.  It is only a preliminary stage and has to be superseded by a different method.

The student of Raja Yoga has to realise that the mind is intended to be an organ of perception; only thus will he arrive at a right understanding of this science.  The process to be followed in relation to the mind might be described somewhat as follows:

1. Right control of the modifications (or activities) of the thinking principle.

2. Stabilization of the mind and its subsequent use by the soul as an organ of vision, a sixth sense, and the synthesis of all the five other senses.

Result:  Correct knowledge.

3. Right use of the perceiving faculty, so that the new field of knowledge which is now contacted is seen as it is.

4. That which is perceived is rightly interpreted through the subsequent assent of the intuition and the reason.

5. Right transmission to the physical brain of that which has been perceived; the testimony of the sixth sense is correctly interpreted, and the evidence is transmitted with occult accuracy.

Result:  Correct reaction of the physical brain to the transmitted knowledge.

When the process is studied and followed, the man on the physical plane becomes increasingly aware of the things of the soul, and the mysteries of the soul realm—or the "Kingdom of God."  All group concerns and the nature of group consciousness are revealed to him.  It will be noted [18] that these rules are even now regarded somewhat as essential premises where all accurate testimony is under consideration in world affairs.  When these same rules are carried forward into the world of psychic endeavor (both lower and higher) then we shall have a simplification of the present confusion.  In an old book written for disciples of a certain degree these words occur and are of value to all probationary and accepted disciples.  The translation gives the sense, and is not literal.

"Let the one who looks out take care that the window through which he gazes transmits the light of the sun.  If he use it in the early dawn (of his endeavor.  A. B.) let him remember that the orb is not yet risen.  The clear cut outlines cannot be perceived, and wraiths and shadows, gloomy spaces and areas full of darkness as yet confuse his vision."

At the close of this sentence is found a curious symbol, which conveys to the disciple's mind the thought of "Keep silent and reserve your opinion."

8. Incorrect knowledge is based upon perception of the form and not upon the state of being.

This sutra is somewhat difficult to paraphrase.  Its significance consists in this:  Knowledge, deduction and a decision which is based upon externals, and upon the form through which any life in any kingdom of nature is expressing itself, is (to the occultist) false and untrue knowledge.  [19] At this stage in the evolutionary process no form of any kind measures up to, or is an adequate expression of, the indwelling life.  No true adept judges any expression of divinity through its third aspect.  Raja Yoga trains a man to function in his second aspect and through that second aspect to put himself en rapport with the "true nature" latent in any form.  It is the "being" that is the essential reality, and all beings are struggling toward true expression.  All knowledge therefore which is acquired through the medium of the lower faculties and which is based upon the form aspect is incorrect knowledge.

The soul alone perceives correctly; the soul alone has the power to contact the germ or the principle of Buddhi (in the Christian phraseology, the Christ principle) to be found at the heart of every atom, whether it is the atom of matter as studied in the laboratory of the scientist, whether it is the human atom in the crucible of daily experience, whether it is the planetary atom, within whose ring-pass-not all our kingdoms of nature are found, or the solar atom, God in manifestation through the medium of a solar system.  Christ "knew what was in man" and therefore could be a Saviour.

9. Fancy rests upon images which have no real existence.

This means that these images have no real existence in so far as they are conjured up by men themselves, constructed within their own mental auras, energized by their will or desire [20] and are consequently dissipated when attention is directed elsewhere.

"Energy follows thought" is a basic tenet of the Raja Yoga system and is true even where these images of fancy are concerned.  These fancied images fall primarily into three groups, which the student would do well to consider.

1. Those thought forms which he constructs himself, which have an evanescent life and which are dependent upon the quality of his desires; being therefore neither good nor evil, low nor high, can be vitalized by low tendencies or idealistic aspirations, with all the intermediate stages to be found between these extremes.  The aspirant has to guard himself in order that he may not mistake these for reality.  An illustration might well be given here, in respect to the facility with which people judge they have seen one of the Brothers (or Masters of the Wisdom), whereas all they have perceived is a thought form of one of Them; the wish being father to the thought they are the victim of that form of incorrect perception called by Patanjali, fancy.

2. Those thought forms which are created by the race, the nation, the group or the organization.  Group thought forms of any kind (from the planetary form to that constructed by any band of thinkers) form the sum total of the "great illusion."  Herein lies a hint to the earnest aspirant.

3. That thought form created by a man since his first appearance in physical form, and called the "Dweller on the Threshold."  Being created [21] by the lower personal self and not by the soul, it is impermanent and is simply held together by the man's lower energy.  When the man begins to function as the soul this "image" he has created, through his "fancy" or his reaction to delusion, is dissipated by a supreme exertion.  It has no real existence once there is nothing in the aspirant to feed it, and the realization of this enables him to free himself from its thraldom.

This is one of the sutras which, though apparently short and simple, is of the most profound significance; it is studied by high initiates who are learning the nature of the creative process of the planet, and who are concerned with the dissipation of planetary maya.

10. Passivity (sleep) is based upon the quiescent state of the vrittis (or upon the non-perception of the senses).

Some explanation as to the nature of the vrittis is perhaps necessary here.  The vrittis are those activities of the mind which eventuate in the conscious relation between the sense employed and that which is sensed.  Apart from a certain modification of the mental process or an assertion of the I-am-I realization, the senses might be active yet the man be unaware of them.  The man is aware that he sees, tastes or hears; he says, "I see, I taste, I hear," and it is the activity of the vrittis (or those mental perceptions which have relation to the five senses) which enables him to recognize the fact.  By withdrawing himself from active sense perception, by no longer [22] utilising the "outward-going" consciousness, and by abstracting that consciousness from the periphery to the centre, he can bring on a condition of passivity,—a lack of awareness, which is not the samadhi of the yogi, nor the achievement of one-pointedness such as the student of yoga aspires to, but which is a form of trance.  This self-imposed quieting is not only a detriment to the achievement of the highest yoga but is excessively dangerous in many cases.

Students will do well to remember that right activity of the mind and its correct use is the goal of yoga, and that the state called "a blank mind" and a condition of passive receptivity, with the sense relations cut off or atrophied, is not part of the process.  The sleep here referred to is not the passing of the body into the state of slumber, but the putting to sleep of the vrittis.  It is the negation of the contacts of the senses without the sixth sense, the mind, superseding their activities.  In this condition of sleep, a man is open to hallucination, to delusion, to wrong impressions and to obsessions.

Sleep is of several kinds, and only a short tabulation is possible in such a commentary as this is.

1. The ordinary sleep of the physical body, where the brain does not respond to any sense contacts;

2. Sleep of the vrittis, or of those modifications of the mental processes which correlate the man with his environment, through the medium of the senses and the mind;


3. The sleep of the soul, which, occultly speaking, covers that part of human experience which dates from a man's first human incarnation until he "awakens" to a knowledge of the plan, and endeavors to bring the lower man into line with the nature and will of the inner spiritual man;

4. The sleep of the ordinary medium, wherein the etheric body is partially extruded from the physical body, and is likewise separated from the astral body, bringing in a condition of very real danger;

5. Samadhi, or the sleep of the yogi, the result of the conscious scientific withdrawal of the real man from his lower threefold sheath in order to work on high levels, preparatory to some active service upon the lower;

6. The sleep of the Nirmanakayas, which is a condition of such intense spiritual concentration and focussing in the spiritual or atmic body that the outward going consciousness is withdrawn not only from the three planes of human endeavor but likewise from the two lower expressions of the spiritual Triad.  For purposes of his peculiar and specific work the Nirmanakaya "sleeps" to all states save that of the third, or atmic plane.

11. Memory is the holding on to that which has been known.

This memory concerns several groups of realizations, either active or latent; it deals with certain congeries of known factors, and these might be enumerated as follows:

1. The thought images of that which is tangible, [24] objective and which has been known by the thinker upon the physical plane.

2. Kama-manasic (or desire-lower mind) images of past desires and their gratification.  The "picture making faculty" of the average man is based upon his desires (high or low desires, aspirational or degrading, in its sense of pulling down) and their known gratification.  This remains equally true of the memory of a gluttonous man, for instance, and his latent image of a satisfactory dinner, and the memory of the orthodox saint, based upon his picture making of a joyous heaven.

3. That memory activity which is the result of mental training, the accumulation of acquired facts, the consequence of reading or of teaching, and which is not purely based upon desire, but which has its basis in intellectual interest.

4. All the various contacts which the memory holds and recognises as emanating from the five lower sense perceptions.

5. Those mental images, latent in the memory making faculty, which are the total of the knowledge contacted and the realisations evoked by the right use of the mind as a sixth sense.

All these forms of the memory faculty have to be dropped and no longer held; they must be recognised as modifications of the mind, of the thinking principle, and therefore as part of that versatile psychic nature which has to be dominated before the yogi can hope to attain liberation from limitation and from all lower activity.  This is the goal.


6. Finally (for it is not necessary to enumerate more intricate subdivisions) memory includes also the accumulated experiences gained by the soul through the many incarnations, and stored up in the true consciousness of the soul.

12. The control of these modifications of the internal organ, the mind, is to be brought about through tireless endeavour and through non-attachment.

A few brief explanations are all that is necessary with a sutra as easy to apprehend as this one; intellectually its meaning is clear; in practice, however, it is difficult to carry out.

1. The internal organ is of course the mind.  Occidental thinkers should remember that the Eastern occultist does not consider the organs to be the physical organs.  The reason for this is that the physical body in its dense or concrete form is not regarded as a principle, but simply as the tangible outcome of the activity of the real principles.  The organs, occultly speaking, are such centres of activity as the mind, the various permanent atoms, and the centres of force in the various sheaths.  These all have their objective "shadows" or results, and these resultant emanations are the external physical organs.  The brain, for instance, is the "shadow" or the external organ of the mind, and it will be found by the investigator that the contents of the brain cavity have a correspondence to the aspects of the human mechanism found upon the mental plane.  This latter sentence should be emphasised; [26] it conveys a hint to those capable of taking advantage of it.

2. Tireless endeavour means literally constant practice, ceaseless repetition and the reiterated effort to impose the new rhythm upon the old, and to efface deep seated habits and modifications by the institution of soul impression.  The yogi or Master is the result of patient endurance; his achievement is the fruit of a steady effort which is based upon intelligent appreciation of the work to be done and the goal to be reached, and not upon spasmodic enthusiasm.

3. Non-attachment is the one thing that eventually brings all sense perceptions to perform their legitimate functions.  Through non-attachment to those forms of knowledge with which the senses put a man in contact, they continuously lose their hold over him; the time eventually comes when he is liberated, and is the master of his senses and of all sense contacts.  This does not involve a state wherein they are atrophied and useless, but is one in which they are useful to the yogi when and as he chooses and in so far as he chooses; they are utilized by him in increasing his efficiency in group service and in group endeavour.

13. Tireless endeavour is the constant effort to restrain the modifications of the mind.

This is one of the most difficult sutras to translate so as to give its real significance.  The idea involved is that of the constant effort made by the spiritual man to restrain the modifications or [27] the fluctuations of the mind and to control the lower psychic versatile nature in order fully to express his own spiritual nature.  Thus, and only thus, can the spiritual man live the life of the soul each day upon the physical plane.  Charles Johnston in his translation seeks to give this meaning in the words "the right use of the will is the steady effort to stand in spiritual being."

The idea involved is that of applying to the mind (regarded as a sixth sense) the same restraint that the five lower senses are subjected to:  their outward going activities are stopped and they are held from responding to the pull or attraction of their particular field of knowledge.

14. When the object to be gained is sufficiently valued, and the efforts towards its attainment are persistently followed without intermission, then the steadiness of the mind (restraint of the vrittis) is secured.

All followers of Raja Yoga must first be devotees.  Only intense love of the soul and of all that knowledge of the soul entails will carry the aspirant with sufficient steadiness toward his goal.  The objective in view—union with the soul, and consequently with the Oversoul and with all souls—must be justly appraised; the reasons for its achievement correctly judged, and the results to be gained most earnestly desired (or loved) before the aspirant will make that sufficiently strong effort which will give him his hold upon the modifications of the mind and consequently upon his [28] entire lower nature.  When this appreciation is true enough and his ability to go forward with the work of subjugation and control is without intermission, then the time will come when the student will know consciously and increasingly what is the meaning of restraint of the modifications.

15. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter.

Non-attachment can also be described as thirstlessness.  This is the most correct occult term to use as it involves the dual idea of water, the symbol of material existence, and desire, the quality of the astral plane, whose symbol is also water.  The idea of man being the "fish" is curiously complete here.  This symbol (as is the case with all symbols) has seven meanings; two are of use in this place:

1. The fish is the symbol of the Vishnu aspect, the Christ principle, the second aspect of divinity, the Christ in incarnation, whether it is the cosmic Christ (expressing Himself through a solar system) or the individual Christ the potential saviour within each human being.  This is the "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  (Col. I:27) If the student will also study the fish Avatar of Vishnu he will learn still more.

2. The fish swimming in the waters of matter, an extension of the same idea only carried down to its more obvious present expression, man as the personality.


Where there is no longing for any object whatsoever, and where there is no desire for rebirth (ever the outcome of longing for "form-expression" or material manifestation) then the true thirstlessness is attained, and the liberated man turns his back upon all the forms in the lower three worlds and becomes a true saviour.

In the Bhagavad Gita the following illuminating words are found:—

"For the possessors of wisdom, united in soul-vision, giving up the fruit of works, freed from the bondage of rebirth, reach the home where no sorrow dwells.

"When thy soul shall pass beyond the forest of delusion, thou shalt no more regard what shall be taught or what has been taught.

"When withdrawn from traditional teaching, thy soul shall stand steadfast, firm in soul-vision, then shalt thou gain union with the Soul."  (Gita II, 51, 52 and 53.)

J. H. Woods makes this clear in his translation of the comment by Veda Vyasa which is here appended:

"Passionless is the consciousness of being Master on the part of one who has rid himself of thirst for either seen or revealed objects."

"The mind stuff (chitta)—if it be rid of thirst for objects that are seen, such as women, or food or drink or power, if it be rid of thirst for the object revealed (in the Vedas) such as the attainment of Heaven or of the discarnate state or of resolution into primary matter—if even when in contact with objects either supernormal or not, it be, by virtue of elevation, aware of the inadequateness of objects—will have a consciousness of being Master..."