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BOOK III. - UNION ACHIEVED AND ITS RESULTS - Part 1

BOOK III.

UNION ACHIEVED AND ITS RESULTS

a. Meditation, and its stages

b. Twenty-three results of meditation

Topic:  The powers of the soul

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THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

BOOK III.

UNION ACHIEVED AND ITS RESULTS

1. Concentration is the fixing of the chitta (mind stuff) upon a particular object.  This is dharana.

2. Sustained concentration (dharana) is meditation (dhyana).

3. When the chitta becomes absorbed in that which is the reality (or idea embodied in the form), and is unaware of separateness or the personal self, this is contemplation or samadhi.

4. When concentration, meditation and contemplation form one sequential act, then is sanyama achieved.

5. As a result of sanyama comes the shining forth of the light.

6. This illumination is gradual; it is developed stage by stage.

7. These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means.

8. Even these three, however, are external to the true seedless meditation (or samadhi) which is not based on an object.  It is free from the effects of the discriminative nature of the chitta (or mind stuff).

9. The sequence of mental states is as follows:  the mind reacts to that which is seen; then follows the moment of mind control.  Then ensues a moment wherein the chitta (mind stuff) responds to both these factors.  Finally these pass away, and the perceiving consciousness has full sway.

10. Through the cultivation of this habit of mind there will eventuate a steadiness of spiritual perception.

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11. The establishing of this habit, and the restraining of the mind from its thought-form-making tendency, results eventually in the constant power to contemplate.

12. When mind control and the controlling factor are equally balanced, then comes the condition of one-pointedness.

13. Through this process the aspects of every object are known, their characteristics (or form), their symbolic nature, and their specific use in time-conditions (stage of development) are known and realised.

14. The characteristics of every object are acquired, manifesting or latent.

15. The stage of development is responsible for the various modifications of the versatile psychic nature and of the thinking principle.

16. Through concentrated meditation upon the triple nature of every form, comes the revelation of that which has been and of that which will be.

17. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver.  By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life.

18. Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.

19. Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.

20. As, however, the object of those thoughts is not apparent to the perceiver, he sees only the thought and not the object.  His meditation excludes the tangible.

21. By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between form and body, those properties of the body which make it visible to the human eye are negated (or withdrawn) and the yogi can render himself invisible.

22. Karma (or effects) are of two kinds:  immediate karma or future karma.  By perfectly concentrated [239] meditation on these, the yogi knows the term of his experience in the three worlds.  This knowledge comes also from signs.

23. Union with others is to be gained through one-pointed meditation upon the three states of feeling—compassion, tenderness and dispassion.

24. Meditation, one-pointedly centered upon the power of the elephant, will awaken that force or light.

25. Perfectly concentrated meditation upon the awakened light will produce the consciousness of that which is subtle, hidden or remote.

26. Through meditation, one-pointedly fixed upon the sun, will come a consciousness (or knowledge) of the seven worlds.

27. A knowledge of all lunar forms arises through one-pointed meditation upon the moon.

28. Concentration upon the Pole-Star will give knowledge of the orbits of the planets and the stars.

29. By concentrated attention upon the centre called the solar plexus, comes perfected knowledge as to the condition of the body.

30. By fixing the attention upon the throat centre, the cessation of hunger and thirst will ensue.

31. By fixing the attention upon the tube or nerve below the throat centre, equilibrium is achieved.

32. Those who have attained self-mastery can be seen and contacted through focussing the light in the head.  This power is developed in one-pointed meditation.

33. All things can be known in the vivid light of the intuition.

34. Understanding of the mind-consciousness comes from one-pointed meditation upon the heart centre.

35. Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusa (or spirit).  The objective forms exist for the use (and experience) of the spiritual man.  By meditation upon this, arises the intuitive perception of the spiritual nature (the purusa).

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36. As the result of this experience and meditation, the higher hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell are developed, producing intuitional knowledge.

37. These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realisation, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.

38. By liberation from the causes of bondage through their weakening and by an understanding of the mode of transference (withdrawal or entrance), the mind stuff (or chitta) can enter another body.

39. By subjugation of the upward life (the udana) there is liberation from water, the thorny path, and mire, and the power of ascension is gained.

40. Through subjugation of the samana, the spark becomes the flame.

41. By the means of one-pointed meditation upon the relationship between the akasha and sound, an organ for spiritual hearing will be developed.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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48. As a result of this perfection, there comes rapidity of action like that of mind, perception independent of the organs, and mastery over root substance.

49. The man who can discriminate between the soul and the spirit achieves supremacy over all conditions and becomes omniscient.

50. By a passionless attitude towards this attainment and towards all soul-powers, the one who is free from the seeds of bondage, attains the condition of isolated unity.

51. There should be entire rejection of all allurements from all forms of being, even the celestial, for the recurrence of evil contacts remains possible.

52. Intuitive knowledge is developed through the use of the discriminative faculty when there is one-pointed concentration upon moments and their continuous succession.

53. From this intuitive knowledge is born the capacity to distinguish (between all beings) and to cognize their genus, qualities and position in space.

54. This intuitive knowledge, which is the great Deliverer, is omnipresent and omniscient and includes the past, the present and the future in the Eternal Now.

55. When the objective forms and the soul have reached a condition of equal purity, then is At-one-ment achieved and liberation results.

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THE YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

BOOK III.

UNION ACHIEVED AND ITS RESULTS

1. Concentration is the fixing of the chitta (mind stuff) upon a particular object.  This is dharana.

We have now reached the part of the Yoga Sutras which deals specifically with mind control and with the effect of that control.  The first fifteen sutras are given to the control of the mind and how it is to be attained and the remaining forty sutras concern the results which take place after this control has been gained.  Twenty-four results are enumerated, and these are all along the line of expansions of consciousness and the demonstration of psychic faculties, both lower and higher.

The first step towards this unfoldment is concentration, or the ability to hold the mind steadily and unwaveringly upon that which the aspirant chooses.  This first step is one of the most difficult [244] stages in the meditation process and involves constant unremitting ability to keep bringing the mind back to that "object" upon which the aspirant has chosen to concentrate.  The stages in concentration are themselves well marked and can be stated as follows:

1. The choice of some "object" upon which to concentrate,

2. The withdrawing of the mind-consciousness from the periphery of the body, so that the avenues of outer perception and contact (the five senses) are stilled, and the consciousness is no longer outgoing,

3. The centering of the consciousness and its steadying within the head at a point midway between the eyebrows,

4. The application of the mind, or the paying of close attention to the object chosen for concentration,

5. The visualization of that object, imaginative perception of it and logical reasoning about it,

6. The extension of the mental concepts which have been formed from the specific and particular to the general and the universal or cosmic,

7. An attempt to arrive at that which lies back of the form considered, or to reach the idea which is responsible for the form.

This process gradually steps up the consciousness and enables the aspirant to arrive at the life side of manifestation instead of the form side.  He begins however with the form or "object."  Objects upon which to concentrate are of four kinds:

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1. External objects, such as images of the deity, pictures or forms in nature,

2. Internal objects, such as the centres in the etheric body,

3. Qualities, such as the various virtues, with the intent to awaken desire for these virtues and thus to build them into the content of the personal life,

4. Mental concepts or those ideas which embody the ideals lying back of all animated forms.  These may take the form of symbols or of words.

In one of the Puranas the idea embodied in concentration is expressed most beautifully.  The aspirant is told, after he has made use of the first five means of yoga (dealt with in Book II), that he "should make a localization of the mind stuff upon some auspicious support" and this localization is illustrated by a description of the fixing of the attention upon a form of God.

"The incarnated form of the Exalted One leaves one without desire for any other support.  This should be understood to be fixed attention, when the mind stuff is fixed upon this form.  And what is this incarnate form of Hari on which one should ponder, let that be heard by thee, O Ruler of Men.  Fixed attention is not possible without something on which to fix it."  (Vishnu Purana VI.  7.  75-85.)

Then follows a description of the incarnated form of the Exalted One, concluding with these words:

".  .  .  upon Him let the yogin ponder;  and lost in Him, concentrate his own mind until, O, King, the fixed attention becomes firmly fixed upon Him only.  While [246] performing this or while doing, as he wills, some other action wherein his mind does not wander, he should then deem this fixed attention to be perfected."  (Naradiya Purana LXVII.  54-62.)

It is the realization of the necessity for "objects" in concentration that originated the demand for images, sacred sculptures and pictures.  All these objects entail the use of the lower concrete mind and this is the necessary preliminary stage.  Their use brings the mind into a controlled condition so that the aspirant can make it do just what he chooses.  The four types of objects mentioned above carry the aspirant gradually inwards and enable him to transfer his consciousness from the physical plane into the etheric realm, from thence into the world of desire or of the emotions, and so into the world of mental ideas and concepts.  This process, which is carried on within the brain, brings the entire lower man into a state of one-pointed coherent attention, all parts of his nature being directed to the attainment of fixed attention or a concentration of all the mental faculties.  The mind then is no longer scattering, unsteady and outgoing, but is fully "fixed in attention."  Vivekananda translates "dharana" as "holding the mind to one thought for twelve seconds."

This clear, one-pointed, still perception of an object, without any other object or thought entering into one's consciousness is most difficult of achievement, and when it can be done for the space of twelve seconds, true concentration is being achieved.

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2. Sustained Concentration (dharana) is meditation (dhyana).

Meditation is but the extension of concentration and grows out of the facility a man achieves in "fixing the mind" at will on any particular object.  It falls under the same rules and conditions as concentration and the only distinction between the two is in the time element.

Having achieved the capacity to focus the mind steadily upon an object, the next step is developing the power to hold the mind stuff or chitta unwaveringly occupied with that object or thought for a prolonged period.  The Purana quoted above continues:

"An uninterrupted succession of presented ideas single in intent upon His form, without desire for anything else, that, O King, is contemplation.  It is brought about by the first six aids of yoga."

The word contemplation here is synonymous with meditation.  This meditation is still with seed or with an object. 

Dvivedi says in his comment on this sutra:

"...  Dhyana is the entire fixing of the mind on the object thought of (to the extent of making it one with it).  In fact, the mind should, at the time, be conscious only of itself and the object."  The man's attitude becomes pure fixed attention; his physical body, his emotions, surroundings, and all sounds and sights are lost sight of and the brain is conscious only of the object which is the topic or seed of meditation, and the thoughts which the mind is formulating in connection with that object.

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3. When the chitta becomes absorbed in that which is the reality (or idea embodied in the form), and is unaware of separateness or of the personal self, this is contemplation or samadhi.

The simplest way in which to comprehend this sutra is to realize that every form or object is a manifested life of some kind or another.  In the early stages of the meditation process, the student becomes aware of the nature of the form and of his relation to it.  The two states in which he is conscious of himself and of the object of his meditation are entirely mental conditions; they exist within his mind.

This condition is followed by one in which his realization travels inward on to the subjective plane and he becomes aware of the nature of the life which is expressing itself through the form.  Quality and subjective relationships engross his attention and the form aspect is lost sight of, but still the sense of separateness or of duality persists.  He is still aware of himself and of that which is the not-self.  Similarity of quality and response to analogous vibration are his, however.

In the two stages of dharana and dhyana, of concentration and of meditation, the mind is the important factor and is the producer in the brain.  A great Hindu teacher, Kecidhvaja, expresses this idea in the following words:

"The soul has the means.  Thinking is the means.  It is inanimate.  When thinking has completed its task of release, it has done what it had to do and ceases."  (From the Vishnu Parana.  VI.  7:90.)

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The truth of this makes any description or explanation of the high state of samadhi or contemplation exceedingly difficult, for words and phrases are but the effort of the mind to submit to the brain of the personal self that which will enable it to appreciate and comprehend the process.

In contemplation, the yogi loses sight of:

1. His brain consciousness or the physical plane apprehensions as to time and space.

2. His emotional reactions to the subject of his meditation process.

3. His mental activities, so that all the "modifications" of the thinking process, all the emotional reactions of the desire-mind (kama-manas) vehicle are subdued and the yogi is unaware of them.  He is, however, intensely alive and alert, positive and awake, for the brain and the mind are held by him in a steady grip, and are used by him without any interference on their part.

This literally means that the independent life of these forms through which the real self is functioning is still, quieted and subdued, and the real or spiritual man, awake on his own plane, is able to function with full use of the brain, sheaths and mind of the lower self, his vehicle or instrument.  He is, therefore, centred in himself or in the soul aspect.  All sense of separateness or of the lower personal self are lost sight of, and he becomes identified with the soul of that form which has been the object of his meditation.

Unhindered by the mind stuff, or by the desire [250] nature he "enters into" that condition which has four outstanding characteristics:

1. Absorption in the soul consciousness and therefore awareness of the soul of all things.  Form is no longer seen, and the vision of the reality, veiled by all forms, is revealed.

2. Liberation from the three worlds of sense perception, so that only is known and contacted which is free from form, from desire and from lower concrete mental substance.

3. Realization of oneness with all souls, subhuman, human, and superhuman.  Group consciousness somewhat expresses the idea, just as separated consciousness, or realization of one's own individual identity, characterizes consciousness in the three worlds.

4. Illumination or perception of the light aspect of manifestation.  Through meditation the yogi knows himself to be light, a point of fiery essence.  Through facility in the meditation process he can focus that light on any object he chooses and come "en rapport" with the light which that object is hiding.  That light is then known to be one in essence with his own light-centre, and comprehension, communication and identification then become possible.

4. When concentration, meditation and contemplation form one sequential act, then is sanyama achieved.

This is a most difficult idea to express for we have not in the English language the equivalent [251] of the Sanskrit term "sanyama."  It is the synthesis of the three stages of the meditation process and is only possible to that student who has learnt and mastered the three states of mind control.  Through that mastery he has produced certain results, which are as follows:

1. He has freed himself from the three worlds of mind, emotion and physical plane existence.  They no longer attract his attention.  He is not concentrated upon, or engrossed by them.

2. He can focus his attention at will and can hold his mind steady indefinitely, whilst working intensively in the mental world, should he so choose.

3. He can polarize or centre himself in the consciousness of the ego, soul or spiritual man, and knows himself as separate from the mind, the emotions, desires, feelings and form which constitute the lower man.

4. He has learnt to recognize that lower man (the sum total of mental states, of emotions and physical atoms) as simply his instrument for communicating at will with the three lower planes.

5. He has acquired the faculty of contemplation or the attitude of the real Identity towards the realm of the soul and can look out on the soul-realm in a sense corresponding to the way a man can use his eyes to see on the physical plane.

6. He can transmit to the brain, via the controlled mind, that which he sees, and can thus impart knowledge of the self and of its kingdom to the man on the physical plane.

This is perfectly concentrated meditation and [252] the power so to meditate is called sanyama in this sutra.  It is the attainment of the power of meditation which is the objective of the Raja Yoga system.  Through this achievement, the yogi has learnt to differentiate between the object and that which the object veils or hides.  He has learnt to pierce through all veils and contact the reality behind.  He has achieved a working knowledge of duality.

There is yet a higher consciousness than this, that realization which is covered by the term unity, but as yet it is not his.  This is, however, a very high stage and produces in the physical man astounding effects and introduces him to various forms of phenomena.

5. As a result of sanyama comes the shining forth of the light.

There are several terms used here by various commentators and translators and it might be of interest to consider some of them, for in the various interpretations will come a full understanding of the Sanskrit terms.

Briefly, the idea involves the conception that the nature of the soul is light, and that light is the great revealer.  The yogi, through steady practise in meditation, has reached the point where he can at will, turn the light which radiates from his very being, in any direction, and can illumine any subject.  Nothing can therefore be hid from him and all knowledge is at his disposal.  This power is therefore described as:

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1. Illumination of perception.  The light of the soul pours forth and the man on the physical plane, in his brain consciousness, is thereby enabled to perceive that which before was dark and hidden from him.  The process may technically be described in the following concise terms:

a. Meditation,

b. Polarization in the soul or egoic consciousness,

c. Contemplation, or the turning of the soul-light upon that which is to be known or investigated,

d. The subsequent pouring down of the knowledge ascertained, in a "stream of illumination" into the brain, via the sutratma, the thread-soul, silver cord, or magnetic link.  This thread passes through the mind and illumines it.  The thoughts engendered in the automatic response of the chitta (or mind stuff) to the knowledge conveyed, are then impressed upon the brain and the man, in his physical consciousness, becomes cognizant of what the soul knows.  He becomes illumined.

As this process becomes more frequent and steady, a change takes place in the physical man.  He becomes more and more synchronized with the soul.  The time element in transmission recedes into the background and the illumination of the field of knowledge by the light of the soul and the illumining of the physical brain, becomes an instantaneous happening.

The light in the head increases in a corresponding degree and the third eye develops and functions.  On the astral and mental plane a corresponding [254] "eye" develops, and thus the ego or soul can illumine all the three planes in the three worlds as well as the soul realm.

2. Lucidity of consciousness.  A man becomes lucid and clear sighted.  He is conscious of a growing power in himself which will enable him to explain and solve all problems, and not only this, but "lucidly to speak" and thus become one of the teaching forces of the world.  All knowledge, consciously acquired by self illumination must be shared, and clearly imparted to others.  It is the corollary of illumination.

3. The shining forth of insight.  This gives a new angle on the subject and a most important one.  It is the definition of the capacity to "see into" a form, to arrive at that subjective reality which has made the objective sheath what it is.  This insight is more than understanding, sympathy or comprehension.  They are but the effects of it.  It is the capacity to pierce through all forms and arrive at that which they veil, because that reality is identical with the reality in oneself.

4. The illumining of the intellect.  Unless the mind or intellect can grasp and transmit that which the soul knows, the mysteries remain unexplained to the physical brain and the knowledge possessed by the soul must remain nothing more than a beautiful and unattainable vision.  But once the intellect is illumined, it can transmit to and impress upon the brain those hidden things which only the sons of God on their own plane know.  Hence the need for Raja Yoga or the [255] science of union through mind control and development.

6. This illumination is gradual; it is developed stage by stage.

The evolutionary nature of all growth and unfoldment is dealt with here and the aspirant is reminded that nothing is accomplished at once but only as the result of long and steady effort.

One thing that every aspirant to the mysteries should remember is that growth that is gradual, and relatively slow, is the method of every natural process and this soul unfoldment is, after all, but one of the great processes of nature.  All that the aspirant has to do is to provide the right conditions.  The growth then will take care of itself normally.  Steady perseverance, patient endurance, the achievement of a little every day, are of more value to the aspirant than the violent rushing forward and the enthusiastic endeavour of the emotional and temperamental person.  The undue forcing of one's development carries with it certain most definite and specific dangers.  These are avoided when the student realizes that the path is long and that an intelligent understanding of each stage of the path is of more value to him than the results achieved through the premature awakening of the psychic nature.  The injunction to grow as the flower grows, carries with it a tremendous occult truth.  There is an injunction in Ecc.  VII. 16, which carries this thought, "Be not righteous over much,  .  .  .  why shouldest thou die?"

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7. These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means.

The first five means of yoga have for their primary objective the preparation of the would-be yogi.  Through keeping the Commandments and the Rules, through the achievements of poise and rhythmic control of the energies of the body, and through the power to withdraw his consciousness and centre it in the head, the aspirant is enabled to take full advantage of, and safely to cultivate the powers of concentration, meditation and contemplation.

Having contacted the subjective in himself and become aware of that which is interior, he can begin to work with the interior, internal and intimate means.

The entire eight means of yoga themselves only prepare a man for that state of spiritual consciousness which transcends thought, which is apart from any of the seeds of thought, which is formless, and which can only be described (and then inadequately) by such terms as unification, realization, identification, nirvanic consciousness, etc.

It is useless for the neophyte to attempt to comprehend until he has developed the internal instrument for comprehension; it is fruitless for the man of the world to question and seek to be shown unless at the same time he is willing (as in the acquirement of any science) to learn the A.B.C. and graduate in the technique.

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Johnston in his commentary says:

".  .  .  The means of growth previously described were concerned with the extrication of the spiritual man from psychic bondages and veils; while this threefold power is to be exercised by the spiritual man thus extricated and standing on his feet, viewing life with his open eyes."

8. Even these three, however, are external to the true seedless meditation (or samadhi) which is not based on an object.  It is free from the effects of the discriminative nature of the chitta (or mind stuff).

In all the previous stages the thinker has been aware of both himself, the knower, and of the field of knowledge.  In the earliest stages he was aware of triplicity, for the instrument of knowledge was likewise recognised, later to be transcended and forgotten.  Now comes the final stage, the object of all yoga practices, where unity is known and even duality is seen to be a limitation.  Naught remains but awareness of the self, of that omniscient, omnipotent knower who is one with the All, and whose very nature is awareness and energy.  As has been well said:

"There are therefore these two types of perception:  That of living things and that of the Life; that of the soul's works and that of the soul itself."

The expounder of yoga is now desirous of describing the results of meditation (some along the line of the higher psychism and some along the line of the lower); the next seven sutras, therefore, [258] deal with the nature of the objects seen and the control of the mind as the real man seeks to focus the illuminating ray of his mind upon them.

In studying these results of meditation in the psychic realm, it should be borne in mind that the eight means of yoga do produce definite effects in the lower nature and that this causes certain unfoldments and experiences to take place; these put the aspirant more consciously en rapport with the interior planes in the three worlds.  This is a safe and necessary process provided it is the outcome of the awakening of the man on his own plane, and the turning of the eye of the soul, via the mind and the third eye, upon these planes.  The presence of the lower psychic power may, however, mean that the soul is (from the physical plane standpoint) asleep and unable to use its instrument, and that these experiences are therefore only the result of the activity of the solar plexus producing awareness of the astral plane.  This type of psychism is a reversion to the animal state and to the child stage of the human race.  It is undesirable and dangerous.

9. The sequence of mental states is as follows:  the mind reacts to that which is seen; then follows the moment of mind control.  Then ensues a moment wherein the chitta (mind stuff) responds to both these factors.  Finally these pass away, and the perceiving consciousness has full sway.

If the student will look at any of the translations of the sutras he will find that this one is [259] variously translated and most of the translations are exceedingly ambiguous.  This can be illustrated by giving the translation of Tatya:

"Out of the two trains of self-reproductive thought resulting from the Vyutthana and the Nirodha (respectively), when the former is subdued and the latter is manifested, and, at the moment of manifestation the internal organ (Chitta) is concerned in both of the trains, then such modifications of the internal organ is the modification in the shape of Nirodha."

The others are still more vague, with the exception of Johnston's translation.  He gives us the following which throws much light upon the thought involved:

"Out of the ascending degrees is the development of control.  First there is the overcoming of the mind-impress of excitation.  Then comes the manifestation of the mind-impress of control.  Then the perceiving consciousness follows after the moment of control.  This is the development of control."

Perhaps the simplest way to understand this thought is to realize that the man in his physical brain is aware of three factors as he attempts to meditate:

1. He is aware of the object of his meditation.  This excites or impresses his mind, and throws into activity the "modifications of the thinking principle," or stimulates the tendency of the mind to create thought-forms, and throws the chitta or mind stuff into shapes corresponding to the object seen.

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2. He then becomes aware of the necessity to subdue this tendency and so brings in the action of the will and steadies and controls the mind stuff so that it ceases to modify itself and take on shape.

By dint of steady persevering endeavour the sequential nature of these two states of consciousness are gradually offset, and in time they become simultaneous.  Recognition of an object and the immediate control of the responsive chitta occur like a flash of lightning.  This is the state technically called "nirodha."  It must be remembered that (as Vivekananda says):

"If there is a modification which impels the mind to rush out through the senses and the yogi tries to control it, that very control itself will be a modification."

The impress of the will upon the mind will naturally lead to the mind assuming the shape that controls it and it will be thrown into a modification, dependent largely upon the point in evolution the aspirant has reached, the trend of his daily thought, and the extent of his egoic contact.  This is not the true and highest form of contemplation.  It is but one of the earlier stages, but it is much higher than concentration and meditation with seed as usually understood, for it is inevitably succeeded by the third stage which is one of great interest.

3. He then slips suddenly out of the lower state of consciousness and realizes his identity with the perceiver, with the thinker on his own plane, and because the mind is controlled and the [261] object seen excites no response, the true identity is able to perceive that which has hitherto been veiled.

It should be made clear, however, that the perceiver on his own plane has always been aware of that which is now recognized.  The difference lies in the fact that the instrument, the mind, is now in a state of control, it is therefore possible for the thinker to impress the brain, via the controlled mind, with that which is perceived.  Man on the physical plane simultaneously also perceives, and true meditation and contemplation for the first time become possible.  At first this will only be for a brief second.  A flash of intuitive perception, a moment of vision and of illumination and all has gone.  The mind begins again to modify itself and is thrown into activity, the vision is lost sight of, the high moment has passed, and the door into the soul-realm seems suddenly to shut.  But assurance has been gained; a glimpse of reality has been registered on the brain and the guarantee of future achievement is recognized.

10. Through the cultivation of this habit of mind there will eventuate a steadiness of spiritual perception.

The point of balance between excitation of the mind and control can be achieved with greater frequency by constant repetition, until the habit of stabilizing the mind is acquired.  When this is accomplished two things occur:

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1. An instantaneous control of mind at will, producing

a. A still mind, free from thought forms,

b. A quiescent responsive brain.

2. A downflow into the physical brain of the consciousness of the perceiver, the soul.

This becomes increasingly clearer, more informative and less interrupted as time elapses, until a rhythmic response is set up between the soul and the physical plane man.  The mind and brain are completely subdued by the soul.

It should be remembered here that this condition of the mind and brain is a positive one, not a negative state.

11. The establishing of this habit, and the restraining of the mind from its thought-form-making tendency, results eventually in the constant power to contemplate.

Little need be said in explanation of this sutra owing to its clarity.  It is in the nature of a summation of the previous sutras.

The idea conveyed is that of the achievement of a constant state of meditation.  Though periods in which definite work is done at certain specific and stated hours are of exceeding value, particularly in the early stages of soul unfoldment, yet the ideal condition is that of being in a state of realization all day every day.  The ability at will to draw upon the resources of the ego, the constant recognition that one is a Son of God incarnate [263] upon the physical plane, and the ability to draw down, when needed, the power and the force of the soul, is one which will be eventually achieved by every aspirant!  But first, however, the habit of recollection has to be instituted and the instantaneous ability to restrain the modifications of the thinking principle has to precede this desirable state of being.

12. When mind control and the controlling factor are equally balanced, then comes the condition of one-pointedness.

The Sanskrit term used is difficult to explain clearly.  Such terms as one-pointed, single in intent, fixed, synthesized, perfected concentration, all give some idea of the mind condition under consideration.

The aspirant is now deliberately unconscious of all states of mind relating to the three worlds.  His attention is focussed upon a specific object, and primarily upon the reality or subjective life, veiled by the form of the object.  He is likewise unconscious of himself, the thinker or knower, and only that which is contemplated is realized in the true sense of the term.  This is the negative aspect.

It should be remembered, however, that this is a very active mental state, for the perceiving consciousness is aware of the object in a most comprehensive manner.  The sum of its qualities, aspects and vibration is revealed to him, as well as the essential central energy which has called that [264] particular object into manifestation.  This is revealed by the illuminating light of the mind being steadily directed upon that object.  The perceiving consciousness is also aware of its identification with the reality behind the form.  This is the true occult realization, but it is not the realization of the object so much as a realization of unity with, or identification with the life it veils.

This is in itself a dual condition but not in the ordinarily accepted sense.  There is, however, a still higher state of consciousness when the unity of the life in all forms is realized, and not simply unity with the life in one specific object.

13. Through this process the aspects of every object are known, their characteristics (or form) their symbolic nature, and their specific use in time-conditions (stage of development) are known and realised.

It should here be borne in mind that every form of divine manifestation has three aspects and hence is made truly in the image of God with all divine potentialities.  In the human kingdom this is recognised.  It is equally true of all forms.  This triple nature is grasped by the truly concentrated yogi and the three are seen as they exist and yet are recognised as constituting one whole.  In his commentary, Johnston gives us a picture of the ideas involved, in the following words:

 ".  .  .  we get a twofold view of this object, seeing at once all its individual characteristics, [265] its essential character, species and genus; we see it in relation to itself and in relation to the Eternal."

In a curious way these three aspects cover the three aspects of the time equation or of the relationship of the object to its environment.

1. Characteristics of the form.  In this phrase the tangible outward aspects of the form are seen.  The matter-side of the manifesting idea is dealt with, and that which can be contacted through the medium of the senses is first considered and dismissed.  This form is the result of the past, and the limitations due to the point in evolution are recognised.  Every form carries in itself the evidence of the previous cycles and this can be seen in:

a. Its rate of vibration,

b. The nature of its rhythm,

c. The amount of light which it permits to manifest,

d. Its occult colour.

2. Symbolic nature.  Every object is but the symbol of a reality.  The difference in the development of the forms which symbolize or embody that reality is the guarantee that at some future date all the symbols will achieve the fruition of their mission.  A symbol is an embodied idea, the working out in objective existence of some life.  This is the consciousness aspect and two great revelations are latent in every symbol or form.

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a. The revelation of full consciousness, or the streaming forth of that response to contact which is potential or differing as yet in all forms but which can and will be carried forward to the full flood-tide of awareness.

b. The revelation of that which the consciousness aspect (the second aspect) is in its turn veiling.  The unveiling of the soul leads to the manifestation of the one life.  The manifestation of the Son of God leads to a knowledge of the Father.  The shining forth of the higher self, through the medium of the lower self, produces the revelation of the divine or spiritual self.  The matrix holds the diamond and when the matrix reveals its hidden gem, and the work of cutting and polishing is accomplished, the glory of the jewel will be seen.  When the lotus plant has grown to maturity, the flower comes to fruition and in the centre of its petals the "Jewel in the Lotus" (Om mani padme hum) can be seen.

This symbolic aspect of forms is true of all, and whether the symbol is the atom of substance, the mineral, or a tree, an animal or the "form of the Son of God" the jewel of the first aspect will be found hidden.  It will make its presence known through the quality of consciousness in one or other of its many states.

3. Specific use in time conditions.  As the yogi one-pointedly concentrates on the form, or object, meditates on its quality (the subjective aspect or symbolic nature), and contemplates the life veiled by the form but testified to by the factor of consciousness, he becomes aware of the present stage [267] of development, and thus the future, past and present, stand revealed to his intuition.

It will be apparent therefore to even the casual reader, that if meditation in its three above mentioned stages is carried forward correctly, all knowledge becomes possible to the yogi, the Eternal Now is a realized fact in nature and intelligent cooperation with the evolutionary plan becomes possible.  Service is then based on complete understanding.

14. The characteristics of every object are acquired, manifesting or latent.

Much the same idea is covered in this sutra as in the previous one.  In time and space all characteristics have relative values.  The goal is one; the origin is one, but owing to the differing rates of vibration of the seven great breaths or streams of divine energy, every life borne forth upon them differs and is distinctive.  The stage of development of the seven Lords of the Rays is not equal.  The unfoldment of the life of the various planetary Logoi, or of the seven Spirits before the Throne of God, is not uniform and the atoms in Their bodies, or the monads who constitute Their vehicles are therefore not uniform in unfoldment.

This is a vast subject and cannot be more than touched upon here.  Students will find it of interest to search for information given in the different presentations of the one truth anent the great Lives in whom we "live, and move and have [268] our being."  They can be studied under the following names:

1. The seven Rays,

2. The seven Spirits before the Throne,

3. The seven planetary Logoi,

4. The seven great Lords,

5. The seven Aeons,