Navigate the Chapters of this Book


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.

Method II.  Sutra 34.  Centre at the base of the spine.

The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana.

Method III.  Sutra 35.  Centre between the eyebrows.

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

Method IV.  Sutra 36.  Head centre.

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


Method V.  Sutra 37.  Sacral centre.

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

Method VI.  Sutra 38.  Throat centre.

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

Method VII.  Sutra 39.  Heart centre.

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

These should be carefully considered, even if no details of procedure can here be given.  Only the principle and the law involved can be considered by the student.  It should be remembered also that all these centres have their correspondences in the etheric matter found in the region of the head and that it is when these seven head centres are awakened that their counterparts are also safely awakened.  These seven head centres correspond in the microcosm to the seven Rishis of the Great Bear, the prototypes of the seven Heavenly Men, and the centres above enumerated relate to the energy of the seven Heavenly Men Themselves.

It is not necessary to enlarge here upon these centres beyond indicating the following:

1. The aspirant may regard each centre symbolically as a lotus.

2. This lotus is formed of energy units moving or vibrating in a specific manner and these vibration-waves assume the forms we call the petals of the lotus.


3. Each lotus consists of:

a. A certain number of petals,

b. A pericarp or supporting calyx,

c. A centre of pure white light called the "jewel."

4. Each centre corresponds to a sacred planet, the body of manifestation of one of the seven Heavenly Men.

5. Every centre has to be developed through the use of the Word.  This word is AUM and it must appear in the vibrant centre eventually.  When it shines forth perfectly within the wheel then that centre has perfectly awakened.

6. Certain of the qualities of the sun are the qualities of the centres.


a. Quality of the solar plexus


b. Quality of centre at base of spine

kundalini fire.

c. Quality of the ajna centre between the eyebrows

illuminating light.

d. Quality of the head centre

cold light.

e. Quality of the sacral centre


f. Quality of the throat centre

red light.

g. Quality of the heart centre

radiant or magnetic light.


In this sutra meditation upon light and radiance is enjoined and we learn that through this light and the ability to use it, knowledge of the spirit can be arrived at.  At the centre of the "heart chakra" dwells Brahma, says the old Scripture and He reveals Himself in the light.  The aspirant has therefore to become aware of the "point of light within become aware of the wheel with twelve [84] spokes" and as that point of light is dwelt upon, it reveals a road which must be travelled should the aspirant seek to arrive at his goal.  The first thing which is revealed is darkness.  This should be remembered.  In terms of occidental mysticism this brings about the "dark night of the soul."  We will not, however, dwell upon the mystical aspect as it is necessary for us to keep our conclusions as much as possible along the occult line.  The truth, as expressed in terms of Christian mysticism, has been frequently and adequately covered.

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

This translation is a particularly free one, as the words used in the Sanskrit are somewhat difficult of exact interpretation.  The thought conveyed is that as the organs of perception and as the sense contacts are continually negated by the real man (who no longer seeks to identify himself with them), then he becomes "free from passion."  Heat, or desire for all objects, is overcome.  He stands then free from his lower sense nature.  This results in a corresponding mental stability and in an ability to concentrate, for the mind stuff is no longer subject to the modifications produced by sense reactions of any kind, either those we call good or those we call bad.

This has been strongly advocated in many of the systems and one of the methods suggested [85] is constant meditation upon such great identities as Krishna, the Buddha and the Christ, who have freed Themselves from all sense reactions.  This thought is brought out in some of the translations, but though indicated from one point of view, does not seem to be the main idea intended.  Freedom from attachment is brought about as the fires of desire are overcome, and though the sacral centre is depicted as having specific relation to the sex nature, yet that sex nature (as it expresses itself on the physical plane) is symbolic of any attachment between the soul and any object of desire other than the spirit.

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

The significant words in Sutra 38 are the phrase "the knowledge which dreams give" and in this connection the commentary on Sutra 10 is of interest.  The oriental occultist uses the word "dream" in a much more technical sense than does the westerner and this must be fully grasped by the aspirant.  To the oriental, the deepest dream condition is that in which the real man is sunk when in physical incarnation.  This corresponds to that dream state which we recognize as caused by the vibration of the cells of the physical brain.  Chaos, lack of continuity and ill regulated eventualities are present, coupled with an inability to recollect truly and accurately when awake.  This condition is physical plane dreaming.  [86] Then there is the dream condition in which the man participates when immersed in sensuous perception of one kind or another, either of pleasure or of pain.  This is experienced in the astral or emotional body.  The knowledge given by the physical plane condition is largely instinctual; that achieved through the astral dream condition is largely sensuous.  One is racial and group realisation, the other is relative to the not-self and to man's relation to the not-self.

There comes in again a higher state of dream consciousness in which a faculty of another kind comes into play, and this might be called the imagination, bringing its own form of knowledge.  Imagination involves certain mental states such as:

a. Memory of things as they have been known, as states of consciousness,

b. Anticipation of things as they may be known or of states of consciousness,

c. Visualisation of the imaginary conditions and then the utilisation of the invoked image as a form, through which a new realm of realisation may be contacted, once the dreamer can identify himself with that which he has imagined.

In these three dream states we have the condition of the thinker in the three planes in the three worlds, from the state of ignorant savagery to that of the average enlightened man.  It leads on then to a much higher state of dream consciousness.

The true use of the imagination necessitates a high degree of control and of mental power and [87] where this is present leads eventually to what is called the "state of samadhi."  This is that condition wherein the adept can put the entire lower man to sleep, and himself pass into that realm wherein the "dreams of God" Himself are known, and in which knowledge of the "images" which the Deity has created can be contacted and seen.  Thus the adept can intelligently participate in the great plan of evolution.

Beyond this state of samadhi lies the dream state of the Nirmanakayas and of the Buddhas, and so on up the scale of hierarchical life till that great Dreamer is known, who is the One, the only Narayana, the Lord of the World Himself, the Ancient of Days, our Planetary Logos.  The student can only arrive at a very dim understanding of the nature of these dream states as he studies the idea conveyed in the earlier statement to the effect that, to the occultist, life on the physical plane is but a dream condition.

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

Sutra 39 in its very simplicity carries with it, its own powerful appeal.  In it can be traced the various stages of acquirement—desire, longing, concentrated determination to possess, the negation of all that does not meet that requirement, the emptying of the hands so as to be free for new possession, then possession itself, satisfaction, peace.  But with all things pertaining to [88] the lower desires, the peace is but temporary, a new desire awakes and that which has been held so joyously is relinquished.  Only that which is the fruition of the ages, only that which is the regaining of an old possession fully satisfies.  Let the student therefore study and ascertain whether that which is dearest to his heart is temporal, transitory and ephemeral, or whether it is, as the great Lord has said, "treasure laid up in heaven."

We now come to the most comprehensive sutra in the book: (40).  It might be pointed out here that these "seven ways to psychic peace," as they have been called, cover the seven methods of the seven rays in connection with the control of the psychic nature.  It is important to emphasise this.  These seven ways have a direct relation to the four initiations of the threshhold, for there is no major initiation for any son of God who has not achieved a measure of psychic peace.  Students will find it of interest to work out these seven ways to peace in relation to one or other of the seven rays, assigning the way to the ray wherever it seems to them appropriate.

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

This translation does not adhere to the exact Sanskrit terms.  It conveys nevertheless the exact meaning of the original which is the one thing [89] of vital importance.  An old verse from one of the hidden scriptures runs as follows and serves to elucidate the idea of this sutra:

"Within the speck God can be seen.  Within the man God can reign.  Within Brahma both are found; yet all is one.  The atom is as God, God as the atom."

It is an occult truism that; as a man arrives at a knowledge of himself, under the great law of analogy he arrives at the knowledge of God.  This knowledge covers five great aspects:

1. Forms,

2. The constituents of form,

3. Forces,

4. Groups,

5. Energy.

Man must understand the nature of his body and of all his sheaths.  This concerns his knowledge of form.  He discovers that forms are made of atoms or "points of energy" and that all forms are alike in this respect.  This knowledge concerns the constituents of form.  He arrives next at an understanding of the aggregate of the energy of the atoms which constitute his forms, or, in other words, at a knowledge of the varying forces; the nature of these forces is determined by the rhythm, the activity and the quality of the atoms which form the sheath or sheaths.  This knowledge concerns forces.  Later he discovers analogous forms with analogous vibration and force demonstration, and this knowledge concerns groups.  Consequently he finds his place and knows his work.  Finally he arrives at a knowledge [90] of that which concerns all forms, controls all forces and is the motive power of all groups.  This knowledge concerns energy; it has to do with the nature of spirit.  Through the medium of these five realisations man arrives at mastery, for realisation entails certain factors which might be enumerated as follows:

1. Aspiration,

2. Study and investigation,

3. Experiment,

4. Discovery,

5. Identification,

6. Realisation.

The adept can identify himself with or enter into the consciousness of the infinitesimally small.  He can identify himself with the atom of substance and he knows what is as yet unknown to modern scientists.  He realizes also that as the human kingdom (composed of human atoms) is the midway point or station on the ladder of evolution, therefore the infinitely small is as far away from him relatively as the infinitely great.  It is as far a road to travel to embrace the consciousness of the minutest of all God's manifestations as it is to embrace the greatest, a solar system.  Nevertheless, in all these ranges of consciousness, the method of mastery is the same—perfectly concentrated meditation, leading to perfected power over the mind.  The mind is so constituted that it serves the purpose of both a telescope, bringing the seer into touch with the macrocosm, and a microscope bringing him into touch also with the minutest atom.


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 realised.  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.

This sutra grows naturally out of the previous one.  The perfected seer in his consciousness embraces the entire field of knowledge, from the standpoint of onlooker or perceiver and from the standpoint of identification.  He is one with the atom of substance, he is able to cognize the minutest universe; he is one with the solar system, the vastest universe he is permitted to cognize in this greater cycle.  His soul and their soul are seen to be identical—potentiality is seen in one, and (from the human standpoint) incomprehensible order leading to ultimate perfection is seen in the other.  The activity which holds the electrons gathered around their centre is recognized as identical in nature with that which holds the planets in their orbits around the sun, and between these two divine manifestations the whole range of form is found.

The occult student has to realise that forms are diverse and many, but that all souls are identical with the Oversoul.  The complete knowledge of the nature, quality, key and note of one soul (whether of a chemical atom, a rose, a pearl, a man or an angel) would reveal all souls upon the ladder of evolution.  And the process is the same [92] for all:  Recognition, the use of the sense organs, including the sixth sense, the mind, in appreciation of the form and its constituents; Concentration, an act of the will whereby the form is negated by the senses and the knower passes behind it to that which vibrates in tune with his own soul.  Thus knowledge is arrived at,—knowledge of that which the form (or field of knowledge) is seeking to express,—its soul, key or quality.

Then follows Contemplation, the identification of the knower with that within himself which is identical with the soul within the form.  The two are then one and complete realisation is the case.  This can be cultivated in a most practical way between human beings.  There must be recognition of the contact that comes between two men who can see, hear and touch each other.  A superficial form-recognition is the result.  But another stage is possible wherein a man can pass behind the form and arrive at that which is the quality of his brother; he can touch that aspect of the consciousness which is analogous to his own.  He becomes aware of the quality of his brother's life, of the nature of his plans, aspirations, hopes and purposes.  He knows his brother, and the better he knows himself and his own soul, the deeper will be his knowledge of his brother.  Finally, he can identify himself with his brother and become as he is, knowing and feeling as his brother's soul knows and feels.  This is the meaning behind the occult words of St. John's Epistle "We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is."


It may be of value here if certain synonyms are again enumerated, which will, if borne in mind, clarify much of the teaching of the sutras, and enable the student to apply these thoughts in practical fashion to his own life.








Divine Self

Higher Self

Lower Self.



That which is perceived.



The field of knowledge.



The mind (this is the crystal,



 reflecting the thought of the thinker).


It aids also to remember:

1. That on the physical plane the perceiver uses the five senses in order to arrive at the field of knowledge.

2. That all our three planes in the three worlds constitute the dense physical body of that One in Whom "we live and move and have our being."

3. That on the astral or emotional plane, the lower powers of clairvoyance and clairaudience are used by the perceiver and when misused reveal the serpent in the garden.

4. That on the mental plane psychometry and symbology (including numerology and geometry) are used by the perceiver to arrive at an understanding of the lower mental levels.

5. That only when these three are seen as lower and as constituting the form aspect does the perceiver arrive at a condition where he can begin to understand the nature of the soul and [94] comprehend the true significance of Sutras 40 and 41.

6. That, having reached that point, he begins to discriminate and to use the mind as the sixth sense, arriving thereby at that subjective quality or life which lies back of the field of knowledge (or form).  This constitutes the nature of the soul within the form, and is, potentially and in fact, omniscient and omnipresent.

7. Having reached the soul in any form and contacted it through the medium of his own soul, he finds that all souls are one and can put himself with ease in the soul of an atom or of a humming bird, or he can expand his realisation in another direction and know himself one with God and with all superhuman existences.

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

In this sutra and the following one, Patanjali is enlarging upon an earlier formulation of the truth.  (See Sutra 7.)  He teaches that meditation is of two kinds:

1. With an object or seed, and therefore employing the rationalising judicial mind, the mental body with its concretising faculty, and its ability to create thought forms,

2. Without an object or seedless, and therefore employing a different faculty, and one which is only possible when the concrete mind is understood, and utilised with correctness.  This correct [95] use involves the ability to "still the modifications of the mind," reduce the "chitta" or mind stuff to quietude so that it can take on the colouring of the higher knowledge and reflect the higher realities.

The perceiver has to arrive at a knowledge of subliminal things by the process, first of all, of awareness of the external form, then a passing beyond the external form to the internal state of that form, to that which produces externality (being force of some kind), until he arrives at that which is the cause of both.  These three are called in this sutra:


The idea

The cause back of the objective form.

The word

The sound which produces form.

The object

The form produced by the sound to express the idea.


Students should realise that this covers the earlier meditative state and, because the lower mind is utilised in the process, is the separative method.  Things become separated into their component parts and are found to be—as all else in nature—triple.  Once this is grasped the occult significance and importance of all meditation becomes apparent and the method whereby occultists are made becomes clear.  Always in the process of arriving at an understanding of nature, the occultist works inwards from the external form in order to discover the sound which created it, or the aggregate of forces which produced the external shape; every aggregate of forces has [96] its own sound, produced by their interplay.  Having discovered that, he penetrates still further inwards till he touches the cause, idea or divine thought (emanating from the Logos, planetary or solar), which gave rise to the sound, thus producing the form.

In creative work, the adept starts on the inside and—knowing the idea which he seeks to embody in form—he utters certain words or sounds and thus calls in certain forces which produce (through their interplay) a form of some kind.  The higher the level on which the adept works the more elevated the ideas touched and the simpler or more synthetic the sounds uttered.

Students of Raja Yoga have, however, to grasp the elementary facts concerning all forms and to familiarize themselves in their meditation with the work of separating the triplicities, so as to be able eventually to contact any of the component aspects as they will.  In this way the nature of consciousness is understood, for the perceiver (who is trained in these differentiations) can enter into the consciousness of the atoms composing any tangible form, and can advance further and enter into the consciousness of the energies who produce the objective body.  These are literally what has been called the "Army of the Voice."  He can also contact eventually the consciousness of that Great Life who is responsible for the initial word.  These are the great landmarks, but in between are many grades of lives responsible for the intermediate sounds and these can therefore be contacted and known.


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.

This condition is the state of "meditation without seed," free from the rational use of the mind, and its faculty to concretise.  The object (which is brought into the mind consciousness through recollection or memory) is no longer considered, and the word which designates it and expresses its power is no longer heard.  Only the idea of which the other two are expressions is realized, and the perceiver enters into the realm of ideas and of causes.  This is pure contemplation, free from forms and thought.  In it the perceiver looks out upon the world of causes; he sees with clear vision the divine impulses; then having thus contemplated the inner workings of the kingdom of God, he reflects back into the quiescent mental body or mind that which he has seen, and that mental body throws down the knowledge gained into the physical brain.

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

This sutra is clear without much explanation.  The word "subtle" has a wide meaning, but (from the standpoint of Patanjali) is most frequently applied to the essential something which we become aware of after we have employed the five [98] senses; i.e., the rose is the objective tangible form; its scent is the "thing subtle" back of the form.  This expresses its quality to the occultist and is the result of the subtler elements producing its manifestation.  The grosser elements produce the form; but within that gross form is a subtler one which we can only contact through acute perception or clarified sense.  In the commentary found in Woods' translation the following words may serve to elucidate, and, if meditated upon by the more advanced students, will be found to be of profound occult significance:

"...  the atom of earth is produced by the five fire elements, among which the fire element of odour predominates.  Likewise the atom of water is produced from the four fire elements among which the fire element of taste predominates.  Likewise the atom of fire is produced from the three fire elements, excluding the fire element of odour and of taste, and among which the fire element of colour predominates.  Likewise the atom of wind is produced from the two fire elements beginning with odour and of which two the fire element of touch predominates.  Likewise the atom of air from the fire element sound alone."

If this idea is extended to the macrocosm, we will find that we can meditate upon the external form of God in Nature both with and without judicial action of the mind.  Then, experience in meditation having been gained, and by an act of the will, the student can meditate on the subtle subjective nature of God as manifested under the great Law of Attraction, to which the Christian [99] refers when he says "God is Love."  The nature of God, the great "love" or attractive force, is responsible for the "things subtle" which are veiled by the things external.

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

Let the student remember here the following degrees or stages through which he must pass as he penetrates into the heart of the innermost:

1. The gross ..........form, bhutas, rational tangible sheaths.

2. The subtle .........the nature or qualities, the tanmatras, the indryas, or the senses, the sense organs and that which is sensed.

These can be applied to all the planes of the three worlds with which man is concerned, and have a close relation to the pairs of opposites which he has to balance on the emotional plane.  Behind all these is found that balanced state, called Pradhana, which is the cause of what is contacted physically and sensed subtly.  This balanced state can well be called unresolvable primary substance, matter united with spirit, undifferentiated yet without form or distinguishing mark.  Behind these three again is found the Absolute Principle but these three are all that man can know whilst in manifestation.  Vivekananda in his commentary says as follows:

"The grosser objects are only the elements and everything manufactured out of them.  The five [100] objects begin with Tanmatras or five particles.  The organs, the mind (the aggregate of all senses) egoism, the mind stuff (the cause of all manifestation) the equilibrium state of sattva, rajas and tamas (the three qualities of matter.  A. B.),—called Pradhana (Chief) Prakriti (nature) or Avyakta (unmanifest) are all included in the category of five objects.  The Purusa (the soul) alone is excepted from this definition.)."

Vivekananda apparently here translates purusa as soul, but it is usually translated spirit and refers to the first aspect.

46. All this constitutes meditation with seed.

The last four sutras have dealt with those forms of concentration which have been built up around an object.  That object may concern that which is subtle and intangible from the physical plane standpoint, nevertheless (from the standpoint of the real or spiritual man) the fact of the not-self is involved.  He is concerned with that which (in any of its aspects) may lead him into realms which are not primarily those of pure spirit.  We need, however, to remember here that all these four stages are necessary and must precede any more spiritual realization.  The mind of man is not in itself so constituted that it can apprehend the things of spirit.  As he passes from one stage of "seeded" meditation to another, he ever approaches nearer to the seat of all knowledge, and will eventually contact that upon which [101] he is meditating.  Then the nature of the thinker himself, as pure spirit, will be apprehended, and the steps, stages, objects, seeds, organs, forms (subtle or gross) will all be lost sight of and only spirit be known.  Both feeling and mind will then be transcended and only God Himself be seen; the lower vibrations will no longer be sensed; colour will no longer be seen; only light will be known; vision will be lost sight of, and the sound or word will alone be heard.  The "eye of Shiva" will be left and with that the seer will identify himself.

In the above fourfold elimination, the stages of realization are hinted at—those stages which lead a man out of the world of form into the realm of the formless.  Students will find it interesting to compare the four stages whereby "seeded meditation" progresses, with the four above.  It might be pointed out also that in any meditation wherein consciousness is recognized, then an object is present; in any meditation wherein the perceiver is aware of that which is to be seen, then there is as yet a condition of form perception.  Only when all forms and the field of knowledge itself are lost sight of, and the knower recognizes himself for what he essentially is (being lost in contemplation of his own pure spiritual nature), can ideal, formless, seedless, objectless meditation be arrived at.  It is here that the language of the occultist and mystic both fail, for language deals with objectivity and its relation to spirit.  Therefore this higher condition of meditation is likened to a sleep or trance condition, [102] but is the antithesis of physical sleep or the trance of the medium, for in it the spiritual man is fully awake on those planes which transcend definition.  He is aware, in a full sense, of his direct Spiritual Identity.

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

The Sanskrit words employed in this sutra can only be adequately translated into clear terms by the use of certain phrases which make the English version clearer.  Literally, the sutra might be stated to run as follows "Clear perspicuity follows through the quiet chitta."  It should be remembered here that the idea involved is that of purity in its true sense, meaning "freedom from limitation," and therefore signifying the attainment of pure spiritual realization.  Contact by the soul with the monad or spirit is the result, and knowledge of this contact is transmitted to the physical brain.

This is only possible at a very advanced stage of yoga practice, and when the mind stuff is utterly still.  The Father in Heaven is known, as revealed by the Son to the Mother.  Sattva (or rhythm) alone becomes manifest, rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia) being dominated and controlled.  We should remember here that sattva has reference to the rhythm of the forms in which the yogi is functioning, and only as they express [103] the highest of the three gunas (or qualities of matter) is the highest or spiritual aspect known.  Only as rajas controls is the second aspect known; only as tamas holds sway is the lowest aspect known.  There is an interesting analogy between the inertia (or tamas) aspect of matter and the condition of the bodies of the yogi when in the highest samadhi.  Then the sattvic or rhythmic motion is so complete that to the eye of the average man a condition of quiescence is achieved which is the sublimation of the tamasic or inert condition of the densest substance.

The following words from the commentary dealt with in Woods' translation of the sutras will be found helpful:

"When freed from obscuration by impurity, the sattva of the thinking-substance, the essence of which is light, has pellucid steady flow not overwhelmed by the rajas and the tamas.  This is the clearness.  When this clearness arises in the super reflective balanced-state then the yogin gains the internal undisturbed calm (that is to say), the vision of the flash (sputa) of insight which does not pass successively through the serial order (of the usual processes of experience) and which has as its intended object the thing as it really is  .  .  .  Impurity is an accretion of rajas and tamas.  And it is the defilement which has the distinguishing characteristic of obscuration.  Clearness is freed from this."  (P. 93.)

The man has succeeded (through discipline, through following the means of yoga, and through perseverance in meditation) in dissociating himself [104] from all forms, and in identifying himself with the formless.

He has arrived at the point at the heart of his being.  From that point of pure spiritual realisation, he can increasingly work in the future.  Through practice, he strengthens that realisation, and all life, work and circumstances are viewed as a passing pageant with which he is not concerned.  Upon them, however, he can turn the searchlight of pure spirit; he himself is light and knows himself as part of the "Light of the World," and "in that light shall he see light."  He knows things as they are and realizes that all which he has hitherto regarded as reality is but illusion.  He has pierced the great Maya and passed behind it into the light which produces it and for him mistake is in the future impossible; his sense of values is correct; his sense of proportion is exact.  He no longer is subject to deception but stands freed from delusion.  When this point is realized, pain and pleasure no longer affect him; he is lost in the bliss of Self-Realization.

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

Both translations are here given, as they seem to give together a truer idea than either does alone.  The word "exact" is used in its occult sense and deals with the outlook of the Perceiver upon all phenomena.  The world of illusion, or the world of form must be "exactly known."  This means, literally, that the relation of every form to [105] its name or originating word must be appreciated as it is.  At the summation of the evolutionary process every form of divine manifestation must respond exactly to its name, or to the word which set up the original impulse and so brought a life into being.  Therefore the first translation emphasises this idea and the three factors are hinted at.

1. The idea,

2. The word,

3. The resultant form.

They also inevitably bring with them another triplicity,

1. Time which connects the three,

2. Space which produces the three,

3. Evolution, the process of production.

One result of this is the demonstration of the law and the exact fulfilling of the purpose of God.  This is realized by the yogi who has succeeded in eliminating all forms from his consciousness and has become aware of that which lies back of all forms.  How he does this is revealed by the second translation.  The mind stuff, being now perfectly still and the man being polarized in that factor which is not the mind nor any of the sheaths, can transmit to the physical brain unerringly, accurately and without mistake, that which is perceived in the Light of the Shekinah which streams from the Holy of Holies into which the man has succeeded in entering.  The truth is known and the cause of every form in all the kingdoms of nature stands revealed.  This is the revelation of [106] the true magic and the key to the great magical work in which all true yogis and adepts participate.

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

The meaning here might be stated to be that the mind of man in its various aspects and uses can reveal those things which concern objectivity, but only identification with the spirit can reveal the nature and world of the spirit.  "No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him."  Until a man knows himself as a Son of God, until the Christ in each man is manifesting and the Christ-life has full expression, and until the man is one with that internal spiritual reality which is his true self, the particular knowledge dealt with here (knowledge of God and of spirit, independent of matter or form) is impossible.  The testimony of the ages points to a spiritual force or life in the world; the inference to be garnered from the life experience of millions is that spirit exists; the deduction to be gathered from the consideration of the world or of the great maya is that a Cause, self-persisting and self-existing, must be back of that maya.  Only the man, however, who can pass behind all forms and can transcend all the limitations in the three worlds (mind, emotion and the things of sense, or the [107] "world, the flesh and the devil") can know, past all controversy and argument, that God is, and that he himself is God.  Then he knows the truth, and that truth makes him free.

The field of knowledge, the instruments of knowledge and knowledge itself are transcended and the yogi comes to the great recognition that there is nothing except God; that His life is one and is to be found pulsating in the microscopic atom and in the macrocosmic atom also.  With that life he identifies himself.  He finds it at the heart of his own being and can there merge himself with the life of God as it is found in the ultimate primordial atom, or expand his realization until he knows himself as the life of the solar system.

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

Previous to attaining this true perception, the onlooker has been dependent upon three other methods of ascertaining truth, all of them limited and imperfect.  They are:

1. Sense perceptions.  In this method the dweller in the body ascertains the nature of the objective world through the medium of his five senses.  Objectivity or tangibility becomes known to him and he hears, sees, touches, tastes and smells the things of the physical world.  He deals, however, with the effects produced by the subjective life, but has no clue to the causes or to the subjective energies of which they are the product.  His interpretation of them is consequently false, [108] leading to wrong identification and an erroneous set of values.

2. Mental perception.  Through the use of the mind the onlooker becomes aware of another grade of phenomena and is put en rapport with the thought world, or with that condition of substance in which is registered the thought impulses of our planet and its inhabitants, and with forms created by those vibratory impulses which express certain ideas and desires,—primarily at present the latter.  Owing to the erroneous perception brought about through the use of the senses and the wrong interpretation of the things sensed, these thought forms are in themselves distortions of the reality, and express only those lower impulses and reactions which emanate from the lower kingdoms in nature.  Students should remember that it is only when man is really beginning to use his mental body (and is not used by it) that he contacts the thought forms created by the guides of the race and justly perceives them.

3. The super contemplative state.  In this condition perception is unfailingly accurate and the other modes of vision are seen in their right proportions.  The senses are no longer required by the onlooker except in so far as he utilizes them for purposes of constructive work on their respective planes.  He is now in possession of a faculty which safeguards him from error and of a sense which only reveals to him things as they are.  The conditions governing this stage might be enumerated as follows:


1. The man is polarized in his spiritual nature,

2. He recognizes himself and functions as the soul, the Christ,

3. He has the chitta or mind stuff in a state of quiescence,

4. The sutratma or thread is functioning adequately and the lower bodies are aligned upon it, producing a direct channel of communication with the physical brain,

5. The brain is trained to serve only as a delicate receiver of truth impressions,

6. The third eye is in process of unfoldment.  Later, as the centres are awakened and brought into conscious control, they place the man en rapport with the various energy septenates in the seven planes of the system, and because the truth-perceiving faculty is developed, the man is thereby safeguarded from error and from danger.

This has been very clearly and ably stated by Charles Johnston in his commentary on this sutra as follows:

"Each state or field of the mind, each field of knowledge, so to speak, which is reached by mental and emotional energies, is a psychical state, just as the mind picture of a stage with the actors on it, is a psychical state or field.  When the pure vision, as of the poet, the philosopher, the saint, fills the whole field, all lesser views and visions are crowded out.  This high consciousness displaces all lesser consciousness.  Yet, in a certain sense, that which is viewed as part, even by the vision of a sage, has still an element of illusion, a thin psychical veil, however pure and luminous that [110] veil may be.  It is the last and highest psychic state."

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