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BOOK III. - UNION ACHIEVED AND ITS RESULTS - Part 3

1. Through the subjugation of the lower nature which transfers the activity of all the life below the solar plexus and including the solar plexus, into the three centres above the diaphragm, the head, heart and throat.  This is done through life, love and service, not through breathing exercise and sitting for development.

2. Through the practice of love, the focussing of the attention upon the heart life and service, and the realization that the heart centre is the reflection in man of the soul, and that this soul should guide the heart issues from the throne or the seat between the eyebrows.

3. Through a knowledge of meditation.  Through meditation, which is the exemplification of the basic yoga aphorism "energy follows thought," all the unfoldments and developments [295] which the aspirant desires are brought about.  Through meditation, the heart centre, which in undeveloped man is pictured as a closed lotus turned downwards, is reversed, turned upwards and unfolded.  At its heart is the light of love.  The radiance of this light, being turned upwards, illumines the path to God, but is not the Path, except in the sense that as we tread upon that which the heart desires (in a lower sense) that path leads us on to the Path itself.

Perhaps clarity will come if we realize that part of the path is within ourselves and this the heart reveals.  It leads us to the head, where we find the first portal of the Path proper and enter upon that part of the path of life which conducts us away from the body-life, to the fullest liberation from experience in the flesh and in the three worlds.

It is all one path, but the Path of Initiation has to be trodden consciously by the thinker functioning through the central organ in the head, and from there intelligently traversing the Path which leads through the three worlds to the realm or kingdom of the soul.  It might be stated here that the awakening of the heart centre leads a man to consciousness of the source of the heart centre within the head.  This in turn leads a man to the twelve-petalled lotus, the egoic centre on the higher levels of the mental plane.  The path from the heart centre to the head, when followed, is the reflection in the body of the building of the antaskarana on the mental plane.  "As above, so below."

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4. Through perfectly concentrated meditation in the head.  This carries on automatically the increased stimulation and awakening of the centres up the spine, five in number, arouses the sixth centre, the one between the eyebrows, and in time reveals to the aspirant, the exit at the top of the head, which can be seen as a radiant circle of pure white light.  This begins as a mere pin point and passes through various stages of increasing glory and radiant light until the Portal itself stands revealed.  More along this line is not permissible.

This light in the head is the great revealer, the great purifier, and the medium whereby the disciple fulfills the command of the Christ, "Let your light shine."  It is the "path of the just which shineth ever more and more until the perfect day."  It is that which produces the halo or circle of light seen around the heads of all the sons of God who have come or are coming into their heritage.

Through this light, as Patanjali here points out, we become conscious of that which is subtle, or of those things which can only be known through a conscious use of our subtle bodies.  These subtle bodies are the means whereby we function upon the inner planes, such as the emotional or astral plane and the mental.  At present the majority of us function on these planes unconsciously.  Through this light we also become conscious of that which is hidden or as yet unrevealed.  The Mysteries are revealed to the man whose light is shining and he becomes a knower.  [297] That which is remote or the future is likewise unfolded to him.

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

This passage has been commented upon at length by many writers for many centuries.  Simply for the sake of clarity let us modernize the statement and reduce its terms to those of modern occultism.

"By constant steady meditation upon the emanating cause of our solar system will come a realization of the seven states of being."  The various terms used here serve frequently to confuse the student and it might be wise if we used only two sets of terms, one conveying the orthodox oriental terminology as found in the best commentaries, and the other the one most easily recognizable by the western investigator.  Using Wood's translation we find the following:

 

 

  |

  |   7. Satya....the world of those Gods who
are unmanifest.

 

  | 

  |                     

 

  | Brahma

<    6. Tapas...the world of the self-luminous Gods

 

  |

  |                     

Svar

  |   5. Jana.....the lowest of the Brahma world

 

  |

4. Mahar Prajapatya.........the great world

 

  |
  |     

3. Mahendra.....................the home of the Agnishvattas
(the Egos).

 

 

2. Antariksa......................the intermediate space.

 

 

1. Bhu..............................the earth world.

This differentiation of the world into seven [298] great divisions is also interesting in so far as it demonstrates the equal accuracy of the fivefold division which some of the commentators hold.

These seven worlds correspond to the modern occult division of our solar system into seven planes embodying seven states of consciousness and enfolding seven great types of living beings.  The analogy will be seen as follows:

 

1. Physical Plane

Bhu

Earth world. 
Physical consciousness

2. Astral Plane

Antariksa

World of the emotions. 
Kamic or desire consciousness

3. Mental Plane

Mahendra

World of the mind and of the soul  
Mind consciousness. 

4. Buddhic Plane

Mahar Prajapatya

Christ world. 
Intuitional or Christ consciousness.  
Group consciousness.

5. Atmic Plane

Jana

Spiritual world. 

 

 

Planetary consciousness. 
World of the third aspect.

6. Monadic Plane

Tapas

Divine world. 
God-consciousness.
World of the second aspect.

7. Logoic Plane

Tatya

World of the emanating cause. 
Absolute consciousness. 
World of the first aspect.

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It is interesting to note certain comments of Vyasa on this differentiation, for they blend in with modern Theosophical thought.

The earth plane is described by him as "supported respectively by solid matter, by water, by fire, by wind, by air and by darkness .  .  .  wherein living creatures, having been allotted a long and grievous length-of-life, feeling the misery incurred as the result of their own karma, are born."  Comment here is needless.

In connection with the second plane, the astral, reference is made to the fact that the stars (the lives), on that plane are "driven by the wind as cows are driven by the ploughman in a circle around the threshing floor" and that they are "regulated by the steady impulsion of the wind."  We have here a wonderful picture of how all lives are driven by the force of their desires on the wheel of rebirth.

Vyasa notes that the mind world is peopled by six groups of Gods (the six groups of egos and their six rays, the six subrays of the one synthetic ray, which is apparently inferred).  These are the sons of mind, the Agnishvattas (referred to at length in the Secret Doctrine and in A Treatise on Cosmic Fire) and they are portrayed as:

1. Fulfilling their desires, therefore driven by desire to incarnate,

 2. Endowed with atomisation and other powers, therefore able to create their vehicles of manifestation,

3. Living for a mundane period, therefore in incarnation during a world period,

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4. Goodly to behold, for the sons of God are luminous, radiant and full of beauty,

5. Delighting in love, for love is the characteristic of the soul, and all sons of God, or sons of Mind reveal the love of the Father,

6. Possessing bodies of their own "not caused by parents," that body "not made by hands, eternal in the heavens" mentioned by St.  Paul.

In connection with the fourth world, Vyasa notes that it is the world of mastery, therefore the home of the Masters, and all liberated souls whose "food is contemplation" and whose lives are "for a thousand mundane periods," therefore who have immortality.

Then he describes the three highest planes, with the great existences who are the lives of those planes and in whom we "live and move and have our being."  These correspond to the three planes of the Trinity and of these existences in their various groups, the following comments by Vyasa are illuminating.  He states:

1. "Their lives are chaste," i. e., free from impurity, or the limitations of the lower forms.

2. "Upwards there is no impediment to their thinking and in regions below there is no object obscure to their thought."  They know all things within the solar system.

3. "By them no laying down of foundations for a dwelling is made," therefore they have no dense bodies.

4. "They are grounded in themselves and live as long as there are creations."  They are the great lives back of all sentient existence.

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5. They delight in contemplation of varying kinds.  Our worlds are but the reflection of God's thought; and they are the sum total of the mind of God.

The ancient commentator sums up by making two basic statements which should be noted by the student.  He says:

"This whole well-founded configuration stretches out in the midmost part of the (World) Egg.  And the Egg is a minute fragment of the primary cause, like a firefly in the sky."

This means that our solar system is but a cosmic atom and is itself only a part of a still greater spheroidal whole.  Then he states:

"By performing constraint upon the door of the sun, the yogin should directly perceive all this."  Constraint is a term frequently used in translating phrases which mean "the harnessing or restraining of the modifications of the thinking principle;" in other words, perfect one-pointed meditation.  By meditation upon the door of the sun full knowledge can be achieved.  This means very briefly that through a knowledge of the sun within one's own heart and, through the light emanating from that sun, having found the portal of the path, one enters into relationship with the sun which is at the heart of our solar system and eventually finds that portal which admits a man to the sevenfold cosmic path.  Of this no more need be said, as the object of Raja Yoga is to enable a man to find the light within himself and in that light see light.  It enables him also [302] to find the door to life and subsequently to tread the path.

Only one more point need be touched upon.  Esoterically the sun is regarded as triple:

 

1. The physical sun

body

intelligent form.

2. The heart of the sun

soul

love.

3. The central spiritual sun

spirit

life or power.

 

In man, the microcosm, the correspondences are:

 

1. The personal physical man

body

intelligent form.

2. The ego or Christ

soul

love.

3. The monad

spirit

life or power.

 

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

There are two translations permissible here, the above and the following:

"A knowledge of the astral world comes to him who can meditate upon the moon."  Either is correct and probably a true understanding of the Sanskrit is only arrived at through combining the two.  It might suffice here to give a simple English paraphrase which will give the essence of the significance of this sutra:

"One-pointed concentration upon the mother of forms (the moon) will reveal to the aspirant the nature and purpose of form."

If the student will remember that the moon is the symbol of matter, whereas the sun in its aspect of light is the symbol of the soul, he will have no difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of the two sutras we have just considered.  One deals with the soul and the various states of consciousness; the other deals with the body, the [303] vehicle of consciousness.  One concerns the body incorruptible, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  The other deals with the "lunar mansions" (as one translator calls it) and with the home of the soul in the three worlds of human endeavour.

We must be careful however to remember that the moon aspect is the governing one in all the kingdoms below the human, whilst the sun aspect should dominate in the human.

A knowledge of the lunar mansions or of forms would give an understanding of the physical body, of the astral or desire vehicle and of the mental sheath.

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

This sutra is of small significance to the ordinary student, but is of profound use to the initiate or pledged disciple.  Suffice it here to say that this sutra forms the background for all astrological investigation and from an appreciation of its meaning will eventuate an understanding of:

1. The relation of our solar system to the other six constellations which (with ours) form the seven force centres of which the seven great spiritual influences of our system are the reflections and agents.

2. The path of our sun in the Heavens and the twelve signs of the Zodiac through which our sun apparently passes.  Therefore it will be apparent that this sutra is the key to the purpose of the [304] seven and the twelve upon which all our creative processes are built.

3. The meaning of the twelve labours of Hercules in their relation to man, the microcosm.

4. The purpose of our planet, gained by the adept through an understanding of the triplicity formed by:

a. The Pole Star,

b. Our Earth Planet,

c. The Great Bear.

Other meanings are available to those who hold the key, but the above will suffice to show the deep, though esoteric significance attached to these brief words.

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

In the commentary upon Book I Sutra 36, the various centres were enumerated and their qualities given.  In this section of the book, five of these centres are mentioned and they are the five which most closely concern the aspirant, and which are the most dominant in the fifth or Aryan race, being awakened but not unfolded in the fourth race.  These are:

 

1. The centre at the base of the spine

4 petals,

2. The solar plexus centre

10 petals,

3. The heart centre

12 petals,

4. The throat centre

16 petals,

5. The head centre

1000 petals.

 

With these five, the aspirant is primarily concerned.  The centre called the spleen was dominant [305] in Lemurian days but is now relegated to the domain of the fully functioning and therefore automatic centres, and has sunk below the threshold of consciousness.  The centre between the eyebrows is the one through which the light in the head is cast upon things "subtle, obscure, hidden or remote" and is a result of the unfolding of the head and heart.

The three major centres are so powerful in the most unevolved person even in their unopened state that they have produced physical correspondences or glands. Their vibration is such that already in all men they sound, and through sounding attract and consequently produce a form.  In the disciple or initiate these three centres not only sound but form words; they therefore command the building of vital forces and take the entire man under control.

The glands corresponding to the three centres are:

 

1. The pineal gland and pituitary body

Head centre,

2. The thyroid gland

Throat centre,

3. The spleen

Heart centre.

 

"Out of the heart are the issues of life"; from it the current of the life blood circulates; from its development in the Atlantean race and the consequent coordination and growth of the astral or emotional body, the heart centre has become the most important in the body.  Its activity and development has been paralleled by the spleen, which is the organ of vitality, of prana or physical sun force, in the body.

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There are other glands having a close relation to the various centres but the subject is too vast to be more than hinted at here.  There is not, however, the same close relation existing between the glands associated with the centres below the diaphragm as with those connected with the major centres, situated above the diaphragm.

In the sutra under consideration we are dealing with one of the five most important centres, and this for the reason that:

1. It is situated in the centre of the trunk.  It is therefore a correspondence of the middle principle.  In man in Atlantean days the three major centres for that race were:

 

a. The Head

Father or spiritual aspect,

b. The Solar Plexus

The Son or soul aspect,

c. The Base of the Spine

The Holy Ghost or matter aspect.

 

The soul was not then so individualized as it is now.  The animal soul controlled, and consequently full contact with the anima mundi was the dominant factor.  As time elapsed, the soul became more individualized in each human being, and more and more separative, as the mind aspect (the great dividing factor) dominated.  At the close of this race, the three main centres will be the head, the heart, and the base of the spine.  In the sixth race we shall have, the head, the heart, and the throat.

In the final race of the illuminated sons of God, the seventh, we shall have as the centres through which they work:

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a. The thousand petalled head center

life or spiritual aspect,

b. The centre between the eyebrows

Son or consciousness aspect,

c. The throat

The Holy Ghost or creative aspect.

 

Through the first, spiritual life will pour in from the monad; through the second, the Christ principle, the light of the world, the soul will work, pouring light and life on all things, and using it as the great organ of awareness. Through the last, the work of creation will be carried on, and the creative word sent forth.

This general view is given so as to present to the student the vision of what lies ahead.  It is, however, of no present value; most aspirants are concerned with the solar plexus and hence the necessity of our present consideration.

2. It is the organ of the astral nature, of the emotions, moods, desires and feelings and hence is most active in all.  It is through it that the lower bodily functions are aroused—desire to eat, to drink, and to procreate, and through it the lower centres are contacted and work with them is carried forward.  In the disciple, the heart supersedes the solar plexus; in the Master, the head.  All the centres, however, are the expression of the life and love of God, and in their totality and perfection express the Christ life.

3. It is the centre wherein is carried forward the great work of transmuting all the lower and animal desires into the higher. Through it literally [308] must be passed the forces of the lower nature.  It gathers up the forces of the body below the diaphragm and directs them upward.

4. In the solar plexus, the animal soul becomes merged in the soul of man, and the Christ consciousness is seen in germ.  Taking the analogy of the antenatal state and the germinating of the Christ in each human being, students who have their intuition developed will see the correspondence between the activity of the solar plexus and its function, and the first three and one-half months of the antenatal period.  Then comes what is called the "quickening" and life makes itself felt.  A rising up takes place, and the correspondence can then be seen between the natural physiological process and the birth of the Christ in the cave of the heart.  Herein lies the deep mystery of initiation, and it is only revealed to those who tread the Path of Discipleship to the end.

We are told in this sutra that knowledge as to the condition of the body comes through meditation upon this centre.  The reason is this:  when man arrives at an understanding of his emotional body and of the force centre through which it functions upon the physical plane, he finds that all that he is (physically and etherically) is the result of desire, of kama, and that it is his desires which chain him upon the wheel of rebirth.  Hence the emphasis laid by the yogi upon that basic discrimination through which a man develops the capacity to choose between the real and the unreal and which cultivates in him a just [309] sense of values.  Then follows dispassion which, when developed, gives him a distaste for the life of sensuous perception.

When the aspirant can grasp the place that desire plays in his life, when he realizes that it is his emotional or astral body which produces the greater part of the trouble in his lower nature, and when he can grasp the technical side of the process which desire-energy follows, then the work of the solar plexus is understood and he can begin the great dual work of transference and transmutation.  He has to transfer the energy of the centres below the diaphragm into those above, and in the process transmute and change the energy.  The centres are to be found up the spine, but it aids the student considerably if he can grasp the idea of the relative localities in the body which are energized and affected by these centres.  All these centres have physical plane organs which are the result of the response of dense substance to their vibration.

The Three Major Centres.

 

1. Head centre

brain. pineal gland and pituitary body,

2. Throat

larynx. vocal cords and palate, thyroid gland,

3. Heart

pericardium, ventricles, auricles with spleen affected.

 

The Four Minor Centres.

 

4. Solar plexus

stomach.

5. Spleen

spleen.

6. Sacral

generative organs.

7. Base of spine

eliminative organs, kidneys, bladder.

 

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These physical organs are results or effects; the centres are their physical cause and they are produced through the activity of the etheric centres.

These details have been given and the above information collated, owing to the importance of the solar plexus in this fourth round of the fourth creative Hierarchy (the Hierarchy of human monads or spirits), the fourth centre in man whether considered upward or downward.  One more technical point might here be given.  In the process of transmutation the student should remember that:

a. The energy at the base of the spine must go to the head,

b. The energy of the sacral centre must go to the throat,

c. The energy of the solar plexus must go to the heart.  Splenic energy concerns solely the physical body.  It goes to all the centres.

30-31. By fixing the attention upon the throat centre, the cessation of hunger and thirst will ensue.  By fixing the attention upon the tube or nerve below the throat centre, equilibrium is achieved.

It should be remembered that all the sutras which deal with psychic powers are capable of a lower and a higher interpretation.  This is nowhere more apparent than in this sutra.  Through an understanding of the nature of the throat centre and a steady meditation upon it, the yogi can arrest the pangs of hunger and of thirst and thus [311] do without food indefinitely, whilst through directing energy to that portion of the great nerve in the throat which lies just below the throat centre (found in the well or pit of the throat) he can achieve absolute immobility and rigidity of the human form.  Similarly through concentration upon the solar plexus he can become aware in full consciousness of every part of his physical body.  But these concern the lower siddhis or powers and with these the student of Raja Yoga is not concerned, regarding them as the secondary effects of soul development.  He knows them to be the result of the correct following of the eight means of yoga, and therefore automatic and inevitable results.  He knows too the danger to the physical organism when their lower or physical aspect is emphasized.

The true significance of the above sutras which are here bracketed together, grows out of an understanding of the transmutative process and the transference which is effected in the solar plexus.

The energy of the sacral centre which feeds the generative organs is in due course of time transferred into the throat centre.  The creative process is then carried on by thought, sound and the spoken Word.  Hunger and thirst are the two aspects of desire, the one, hunger, being positive, masculine and grasping; the other, thirst, being negative, feminine and receptive.  Those two words are but symbols of the two great impulses underlying the sex impulse.  When these impulses are dominated and controlled, then the energy of the centre lying behind the organs concerned, can [312] be carried upward to the throat, and hunger and thirst are arrested in the esoteric sense.  It should be borne in mind here that these two words are the physical plane analogies to the great pairs of opposites which the yogi has to balance and which he does balance when the solar plexus is performing its highest function.

On the astral or desire plane, within the astral body of the aspirant, must this balancing process be wrought out to completion.  This is the great battleground, symbolized so beautifully for us in the human body, with its three higher centres, its lower energy focal points and that great middle centre, the solar plexus, typifying the astral plane and its work. It will now be apparent why the two sutras are read as one, for they cover one completed work.

After achieving some measure of equilibrium, the aspirant learns to perfect that balancing process and gains the power to stand firm and immovable, preserving an unshakable equilibrium between the pairs of opposites.  The nerve, called "kurma-nadi" or the "tortoise tube" is the physical correspondence to the point the aspirant has reached.  He stands erect and unshaken before the entrance to the path; he is at the point in his evolution where he can "escape upward" and function in the head.

The tortoise has from the earliest ages been the symbol of the slow creative process, and of the long evolutionary road travelled by the spirit.  Hence the appropriateness of this term, as applied to what is considered the lowest of the three major [313] centres, and the one which represents the Creator or Brahma aspect of divinity, of God, the Holy Ghost, with His function as the energizer of matter or body.

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.

This is a paraphrase of a very general nature, but gives the exact sense of the terms employed.  In the twenty-fifth sutra we considered the nature of the light in the head.  Here it might briefly be stated that when the aspirant is aware of the light in the head, and can utilize it at will, turning its radiance upon all that he seeks to know, the time comes when he can not only turn it outward on to the field of knowledge wherein he functions in the three worlds, but can turn it inward and direct it upward into those realms wherein the saints of God, the great "Cloud of Witnesses" walk.  He can, therefore, through its medium, become aware of the world of the Masters, Adepts and Initiates and thus contact them in full waking consciousness, registering those contacts with his physical brain apparatus.

Hence the necessity of becoming aware of one's own light, of trimming one's lamp and of using the light that is in one, to the full.  By use and care, the power of the spiritual light grows and waxes and develops a dual function.

The aspirant becomes a light or lamp set in a [314] dark place and illumines the way for others.  Only thus can the light within be fanned to a flame.  This process of lighting others and being a lamp must always precede that wonderful experience wherein the mystic turns his lamp and light into other realms and finds the "way of escape" into those worlds where the Masters work and walk.

This point needs emphasis for there is too strong an inclination among students to search for the Masters or some Guru or Teacher who will "give" them light.  They can only be found by the one who has lit his own light, trimmed his own lamp and thus provided himself with the means of penetrating into Their world.  The more technical side of this matter has been well covered in the words of W. Q. Judge:

"There are two inferences here which have nothing to correspond to them in modern thought.  One is, that there is a light in the head; and the other, that there are divine beings who may be seen by those who thus concentrate upon the 'light in the head.'  It is held that a certain nerve, or psychic current, called Brahmarandhra-nadi, passes out through the brain near the top of the head.  In this there collects more of the luminous principle in nature than elsewhere in the body and it is called jyotis—the light in the head.  And, as every result is to be brought about by the use of appropriate means, the seeing of divine beings can be accomplished by concentration upon that part of the body more nearly connected with them.  This point—the end of Brahmarandhra-nadi—is [315] also the place where the connection is made between man and the solar forces." 

It is this light which causes the "face to shine" and is responsible for the halo depicted around the head of all saints and Masters and which is seen by those with clairvoyant vision around the head of all advanced aspirants and disciples.

Dvivedi also gives the same teaching in the following words:

"The light in the head is explained to be that collective flow of the light of sattva which is seen at the Brahmarandhra which is variously supposed to be somewhere near the coronal artery, the pineal gland, or over the medulla oblongata.  Just as the light of a lamp burning within the four walls of a house presents a luminous appearance at the keyhole, so even does the light of sattva show itself at the crown of the head.  This light is very familiar to all acquainted even slightly with Yoga practices and is seen even by concentration on the space between the eyebrows.  By Samyama (meditation) on this light the class of beings called siddhas—popularly known in theosophic circles as Mahatmas or high adepts—able to walk through space unseen, are immediately brought to view, notwithstanding obstacles of space and time."

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

There are three aspects of knowledge associated with the light in the head.