Navigate the Chapters of this Book


Plane  I.  Logoic
or divine

The Sea of Fire

God the






Plane II.  Monadic

The Akasha

God the Son






Plane III. Spiritual or atmic

The AEther

God the Holy-

Active Intelligence








Plane IV.  Christ or buddhic
















Plane V.   Mental



Reflection of
the Sea of Fire

Human will.






Plane VI.  Emotional or astral

Astral Light


Reflection of
the Akasha

Human love
and desire






Plane VII. Physical



Reflection of
the AEther

Human activity.


On all these planes, consciousness manifests and the senses, exoteric and esoteric, produce contacts.





The Breath.






The Sound


The Ear.






The Skin.






The Eye.






The Tongue.



Astral Light



The Nose.



The Physical counterparts to all of these.










Another method of working these out is as follows:




Physical Plane. .Smell







Astral Light.



























It will be apparent, however, that one gives the microcosmic standpoint, the other gives the macrocosmic, and as the aspirant is one who seeks to function as "free in the macrocosm" and to transcend his microcosmic limitations, it is the first category with which we will concern ourselves.

In considering this sutra and its clarification by an understanding of the nature of the planes, their symbols and substance, it becomes apparent that the man who understands the nature of the word and of the second aspect, arrives at the realization of hearing.

This might also be grasped mystically by the aspirant when he realizes that when the voices of desire (astral voices or vibratory response to the second aspect of the reflection, the three lower planes) are superseded by the Voice of the Silence or of the Christ within, then the word or sound is known and the second aspect of divinity is contacted.

1. The Akasha....The word....The sound....The second aspect in manifestation.

2. The Astral Light..The voices of desire..The reflection of the second aspect.


There are many sounds to be heard on all the planes but on the physical is the greatest diversity.  The aspirant has to develop the power to distinguish between:


1. The voices of earth








2. The voices of desire

3. The speech or formulated thoughts of the

4. The still small voice of the Christ within

5. The sounds of the Gods......The creative words

6. The word or sound...........The AUM

7. The breath

and in these distinctions are symbolically conveyed the problem of correct hearing on the various planes and in the various states of consciousness.  Only the true mystic and aspirant will comprehend the nature of these distinctions.

Just as all the substances of our manifested solar system are differentiations of the akasha, the first differentiation of the primordial stuff, so all these distinctions of sound are differentiations of the one sound; all are divine in time and space.  But all have to be heard correctly and all lead eventually to and form in their totality the AUM, the Word of Glory, the Macrocosmic Word.

With the student of Raja Yoga, however, there are three main voices or sounds with which he is temporarily concerned:

1. The speech of the Earth, so as to rightly use it,

2. The Voice of the Silence, so as to hear it.  This is the voice of his own inner God, the Christ,


3. The AUM, the Word of the Father, expressed through the Son, which will, when heard, put him in touch with the Word of God, incarnate in all nature.

When speech is rightly used and the sounds of earth can likewise be stilled, then the Voice of the Silence can be heard.  It might be noted here that clairaudience is awareness of the voice of the great illusion and gives a man power to hear on the astral plane.  This in its right place and when controlled from above through knowledge, opens the ear to certain aspects of divine expression in the three worlds.  It is not the divine hearing referred to in the sutra.  In Charles Johnston's comments on this sutra, he covers the ground beautifully as follows:  "The transfer of a word by telepathy is the simplest and earliest form of the 'divine hearing' of the spiritual man, as that power grows, and as, through perfectly concentrated meditation, the spiritual man comes into more complete mastery of it, he grows able to hear and clearly distinguish the speech of the great Companions, who counsel and comfort him on his way.  They may speak to him either in wordless thoughts, or in perfectly definite words and sentences."

42. By one-pointed meditation upon the relationship existing between the body and the akasha, ascension out of matter (the three worlds) and power to travel in space is gained.

The akasha is everywhere.  In it we live and move and have our being.  All is but one substance, [339] and in the human body are found the correspondences to the various differentiations.

When a man knows himself, and is aware of the relationship existing between the energies working through the seven centres and the seven states of matter and consciousness, then he is liberated and free and can contact at will and without time limitations all those states.  There is a relation between one of the seven states of matter and one or other of the centres; through each one of the centres is the door to a certain plane of the planetary spheres.  When the disciple has worked out into his life in correct realization the various means of yoga dealt with in the previous books, certain keys and knowledge, certain words and formulas, can be entrusted to him which will, through concentrated meditation give him the freedom of the heavens and the right to pass through certain gateways into the Kingdom of God.

43. When that which veils the light is done away with, then comes the state of being called discarnate (or disembodied), freed from the modification of the thinking principle.  This is the state of illumination.

Again, we have a free, rather than a literal translation, and in this the true sense of the archaic terms used is preserved instead of academic correctness.  The reason for this will be apparent if certain well-known translations are given.  They are correct translations but demonstrate [340] the ambiguity which is inevitable when a literal translation of the Sanskrit terms is used.

"An outwardly unadjusted fluctuation is the great Discarnate; as a result of this the dwindling of the covering to the brightness."  Woods.

"The external modification (of the internal organ) .  .  .  thoughtless is (called) the great incorporeal (modification); therefrom (results) the destruction of the obscuration of the illumination (of intellect)."  Tatya.

Vivekananda expresses the sutra in the following terms:

"By making sanyama on the real modifications of the mind, which are outside, called great disembodiedness, comes disappearance of the covering of light."

The great difficulties under which all translators labour is apparent from this and hence the frank paraphrasing of this passage.

There are two thoughts seeking expression in this sutra.  One refers to the veil or covering which prevents the illumination of the mind, and the other to the state of realization which is achieved when a man has freed himself from this veil.  That which covers up the light (the "bushel" referred to by the Christ in the New Testament) is the changing, fluctuating sheaths or bodies.  When they are transmuted and transcended the light of God (the second divine aspect) can flood the lower man and he knows himself as he is.  Illumination pours in and he knows himself as something different to the forms through which he is functioning.  He is no longer centred, no [341] longer polarized in his forms, but is actually in a condition of disembodiedness.  His consciousness is that of the man out of incarnation, of the true man on his own plane, the real discarnate thinker.  St. Paul, as has been pointed out by several thinkers, had a touch of this state of being.  He referred to it in these words:

"I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body I cannot tell, or whether out of the body I cannot tell; God knoweth); such an one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man  .  .  .  how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."  (I Cor. XII)

This "third heaven" can be understood in two ways:  first, as standing for the mental plane on which is the true home of the spiritual man, the thinker, or a more specific state to be understood as that found on the third or highest of the three abstract levels of the mental plane.

44. One-pointed meditation upon the five forms which every element takes, produces mastery over every element.  These five forms are the gross nature, the elemental form, the quality, the pervasiveness and the basic purpose.

It should be remembered that this will have a dual reference, to the macrocosm and to the microcosm.  It can refer to the five planes of monadic evolution, or to the five forms which every element [342] takes on each and every plane, bearing in mind that this is the case as regards the mind apprehension and the modifications of the thinking principle, for mind is the fifth principle, and man is the five pointed star and therefore can (as man) achieve only a fivefold illumination.  There are, however, two higher forms and two other modes of perception, i. e., the intuitional and spiritual realization.  With these, however, the present sutra has not to do.  The head centre is dual in itself and is composed of the centre between the eyebrows and the highest chakra, the thousand petalled lotus.

The study and understanding of this sutra would result in the complete equipping of the white occultist for all forms of magical work.  Students must remember that this does not refer to the elements as we have them, but has relation to the elemental substance out of which all gross forms are made.  According to the Ageless Wisdom there are five grades of substance having certain qualities.  These five grades of substance form the five planes of monadic evolution; they compose the five vibratory spheres in which man and superhuman man are found.  These five planes have each an outstanding quality, of which the five physical senses are the correspondence.









Base of spine




Solar Plexus















As pointed out in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, these senses and their correspondences are dependent upon the point in evolution of the man, just as H. P. Blavatsky stated in connection with the enumeration of the principles.

The above sutra therefore can be applied to the mastery of each plane as well as to the mastery of elements composing that plane.  It has reference to the mastery and utilization of all the subtler sheaths through which a man contacts a plane or peculiar rate of vibration.

Ganganatha Jha in his able commentary says:  "The specific qualities, sound and the rest belonging to the earth, together with the properties of shape and the rest, are named 'gross.'  This is the first form of the elements.  The second form is their respective generic characteristic: Shape for the earth, viscidity for the water, heat for fire, velocity for air and omnipresence for the akasa.  The specific forms for these generic ones are sound and the rest."  He gives a translation of this forty-fourth sutra which is analogous to all the others with the exception of Johnston's, and which runs as follows:

"Mastery over the elements, from the sanyama with the reference to grossness, character, subtlety, concomitance and usefulness."

1. Grossness, gross nature.

Sound and the other senses as they show forth on the physical plane.  We must bear in mind that this plane is the gross summation of all the others.  Spirit is matter at its lowest point.

2. Character, elemental form.


The nature of the specific characteristics of the elements.

3. Subtlety, or quality.

The basic atomic substance of any one element.  That which produces its phenomenal effect.  It is that which lies back of all sense perception, and of all the five senses.  Another word for this "subtle" form is tanmatra.

4. Concomitance, or pervasiveness.

This is the all-pervasive nature of every element; its inherence.  It is the sum total of the three gunas, tamas, rajas and sattva.  Every element according to its place in the manifested scheme is characterised by inertia, activity or rhythm.  It is inherent in substance.  Only the rate of vibration differs.  There is the correspondence to every element on every plane.

5. Usefulness, or basic purpose.

This is the right use of every element in the great work of evolution.  It is literally the power hidden in every atom of substance which drives it on (through all the kingdoms of Nature) to self expression, and enables it to perform its work in time and space and to proceed towards eventual fruition.

When, through concentrated meditation upon the five distinctive forms of all the elements, the knower has arrived at a knowledge of all their qualities, characteristics and nature, he can then cooperate intelligently in the plan and become a white magician.  For the majority it is as yet only possible for us to arrive at three of the forms, and this is touched upon in Light on the Path in [345] the words:  "Inquire of the earth, the air and the water, of the secrets they hold for you.  The development of your inner sense will enable you to do this."

45. Through this mastery, minuteness and the other siddhis (or powers) are attained, likewise bodily perfection and freedom from all hindrances.

Towards the close of each of these three books on Raja Yoga, there comes a sutra summing up results and giving a vision of that which is possible to the faithful intelligent aspirant.  They are as follows:

"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."  (Book I.  Sutra 40.)

"As a result of these means there follows the complete subjugation of the sense organs." (Book II.  Sutra 55.)

"Through this mastery minuteness and the other siddhis (or powers) are attained, likewise bodily perfection and freedom from all hindrances."  (Book III.  Sutra 45.)

It will be seen from this how, first there is the attaining of the vision and the inner realization of God; then the complete subjugation of the lower nature and the control of the senses and their organs so that the realization becomes fact in physical plane experience, and there comes the manifestation of that control by the display of certain powers.


The entire fourth book deals with the great consummation growing out of the three above results, producing:

1. Cessation of sorrow and toil.  (Sutra 30.)

2. Attainment of infinite knowledge.  (Sutra 31.)

3. Eternity entered.  (Sutra 33.)

4. Return of consciousness to its centre.  (Sutra 34.)

In connection with the sutra which is our present consideration, the eight siddhis or psychic powers are frequently called the eight perfections and with the two others make up the ten of perfection as it concerns the lower man.  These powers are:

1. Minuteness  .  .  .  anima.  This is the power which the yogi possesses to become as small as an atom, to identify himself with the smallest part of the universe, knowing the self in that atom to be one with himself.  This is due to the fact that the anima mundi, or soul of the world, is universally spread throughout all aspects of divine life.

2. Magnitude  .  .  .  mahima.  This is the power to expand one's consciousness and thus enter into the greater whole as well as into the lesser part.

3. Gravity  .  .  .  garima.  This concerns weight and mass and deals with the law of gravity which is an aspect of the Law of Attraction.

4. Lightness  .  .  .  Laghima.  This is the power underlying the phenomenon of levitation.  It is the capacity of the adept to offset the attractive [347] force of the planet and to leave the earth.  It is the opposite to the third siddhi.

5. The attainment of the objective .  .  .  prapti.  This is the capacity of the yogin to achieve his goal, to extend his realization to any locality, to reach anything or any place he desires.  It will be apparent that this will have an application on all the planes in the three worlds, as indeed all the siddhis have.

6. Irresistible will  .  .  .   prakamya.  This is sometimes described as sovereignty, and it is that driving irresistible force found in every adept which bring about the fruition of his plans, the attainment of his desires, and the completion of his impulses.  It is this quality which is the distinguishing characteristic of the black and the white magician alike.  It necessarily demonstrates with greatest force on that plane in the three worlds which reflects the will aspect of divinity, the mental plane.  All the elements obey this force of will as used by the yogin.

7. Creative power .  .  .  isatva.  This concerns the power of the adept to deal with the elements in their five forms and produce with them objective realities, and thus to create on the physical plane.

8. The power to command  .  .  .  vasitva.  The magician as he controls the elemental forces of nature, utilizes this power and it is the basis of mantra yoga, the yoga of sound or of the creative word.  Creative power, the seventh siddhi, concerns the elements and their vitalizing, so that they become "effective causes;" this siddhi, the [348] eighth, concerns the power of the Word to drive the building forces of nature into coherent activity so that forms are produced.

When these eight powers are functioning, then the ninth, bodily perfection, results, for the adept can construct a vehicle adapted to his need, can do with it as he will and through its medium attain his objective.  Finally, the tenth power will be seen in full manifestation and no form provides any hindrances or obstacles to the fruition of the yogin's will.  He is liberated from the form and its qualities.

46. Symmetry of form, beauty of colour, strength and the compactness of the diamond, constitute bodily perfection.

Though many commentators, give to this sutra a purely physical interpretation, a much wider concept is involved.  In it we have pictured for us in carefully chosen terms (of which the English is but a paraphrase, lacking the expression fully to convey the idea) the condition of the third or form aspect through which the second or Christ aspect is manifesting.  This third aspect is itself triple, yet forms one coherent whole and hence the use of four terms to express this lower personal self.  The occultist never concerns himself with the dense physical vehicle.  He considers the etheric body to be the true form and the dense as simply the material used to fill in the form.  The etheric body is the true substantial form, the framework, the scaffolding, to which the dense [349] body necessarily conforms.  This form must be symmetrical, or built truly according to number and design, and its basic distinction will be the geometrical exactness of its many units.  The emotional or astral body is, as is well known, distinguished by its colourfulness, and according to the stage of unfoldment so will the colours be beautiful, clear and translucent, or ugly, dark and cloudy.  The astral body of the adept is a thing of radiant loveliness, lacking all the colours of low vibration.  Then the highest aspect of the personal self, the mental body will vibrate to the highest aspect of the spirit, which is will, power or strength—any of these words suffice.  Strength, beauty and form, the reflections of power, love and activity, these are the characteristics of the body of manifestation of any son of God who has entered into his kingdom.  Then the fourth expression conveys the idea of the unity, the coherence of the three, so that they function as a whole and not independently and separately.  Man is thus the Three in One and the One in Three, as is his Father in Heaven, being "made in the image of God."

Two words are used by translators to convey this idea of compact cohering force, i. e., the diamond, and the thunderbolt.  The human being who has taken the highest of all our planetary initiations is termed "the diamond-souled"—the man who can perfectly transmit the pure white light and yet reflect equally all the colours of the rainbow, the seven colours of the chromatic scale.  His personality is here called by the same term [350] for it has become a transmitter of the inner light or radiance.

The term "thunderbolt" is equally expressive, conveying as it does the idea of electrical force.  All that we can know of God or of man is the quality of his energy as it demonstrates in force and activity, hence in the Secret Doctrine, the highest aspect of divinity is called electric fire.

47. Mastery over the senses is brought about through concentrated meditation upon their nature, peculiar attributes, egoism, pervasiveness and useful purpose.

Sutra 44, dealt very largely with objectivity and the nature of the five forms which every element assumes.  This sutra concerns itself with that which is subjective, and with the subtle apparatus through which forms are contacted and likewise turned to specific purposes.  We are dealing here with the indriyas, or senses, which are usually divided by Hindu philosophers into ten instead of five.  They divide the five senses into two groups, those which we call the organs of sense, such as the eye, the nose, etc., and then the faculty which makes it possible for the eye to see and the nose to smell.

In considering the senses, the student studies them, therefore, in five connections and this likewise in relation to their counterparts on the astral and mental planes.  The five divisions are as follows:

1. Their nature.  He studies each sense in its twofold condition, that of the external instrument [351] and the internal capacity of that instrument to respond to certain vibratory impacts.  He knows why, for instance, the organ of sense called the eye vibrates to those impacts which produce the condition of sight, but fails to respond to those impacts which cause scent or smell.  He discriminates therefore between the senses and learns thereby to follow a vibratory impulse back to its source along one or other of the five possible lines of approach, and this he does intelligently and not simply blindly.

2. Their peculiar attributes.  He studies then the quality of the senses, laying the emphasis not so much upon the particular sense concerned (this is covered above) as upon the peculiar attribute of the sense and of that to which it gives the key in the macrocosm.

3. Egoism, refers to the "I" making faculty which so predominantly distinguishes the human being and thus brings in the sixth sense, the mind, as the interpreter and synthesizer of the other five.  It is the capacity of the human being to say "I see," "I smell,"—a thing the animal cannot do.

4. Pervasiveness.  All the senses are capable of infinite extension and every sense when consciously followed and utilized can lead a man in three main directions:

a. To the centre of all things, back to the heart of God,

b. Into close communication with his fellow man, putting him en rapport with him, when so desired,

c. Into touch with all forms.


To the average man there is only that which he can hear, touch, see, taste and smell, only five ways in which he can know.  There are only five responses possible to him as he contacts vibration of any kind and in our solar system there is naught else but vibrating energy, God in active motion.  These five methods put him en rapport with the five elements and when this is realized, the infinite possibilities open to the aspirant, begin to appear.  Later to the advanced man another and higher range of vibration opens up when he can use the mind itself, not only as the unifier of all the five senses but as a sixth sense also.  This is the object of all Raja Yoga practice.  Through the mind, the soul realm is cognized, just as through the senses the objective world was contacted.

5. Useful purpose.  When the relation of the five senses to the five elements is understood, and the Law of Vibration is studied and mastered, the adept can then turn to useful purposes all the powers of his nature.  He not only can enter into communication with all parts of our planetary system but can also use discriminatingly and wisely all those parts of his own nature which are allied to, or correspondences of the nature of God as shown in the macrocosm.