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BOOK I. - THE PROBLEM OF UNION - Part 3

II. The Sacred Word.  This is the Word of Glory, the AUM.  This is the Pranava, the sound of conscious Life itself as It is breathed forth into all forms.  It is the Word of the second aspect, and just as the Word of Nature when rightly [55] emanated provides the forms which are intended to reveal the soul or second aspect, so the Pranava, when rightly expressed, demonstrates the Father or Spirit through the medium of the soul.  It is the Word of the incarnated sons of God.  In such a short commentary as this, it is not possible to write a treatise on this secret of secrets, and this great mystery of the ages.  All that can be done is to collate certain facts about the AUM, and leave the student to extend the concept and grasp the significance of the brief statements made according to the state of his intuition.

III. The Lost Word.  The idea of this Lost Word has been preserved for us in Masonry.  It is the Word of the first aspect, the spirit aspect, and only the initiate of the third degree can truly begin the search for this word for only the freed soul can find it.  This word concerns the highest initiations and it is profitless for us further to consider it.

The following statements about the Sacred Word can therefore be made and should be studied with care:

1. The AUM is the Word of glory, and is the Christ in us, the hope of glory.

2. The Word when rightly apprehended causes the second, or Christ aspect of divinity to shine forth resplendently.

3. It is the sound which brings into manifestation the incarnated soul (macrocosmic or microcosmic), the ego, the Christ, and causes the "radiant Augoeides" to be seen on earth.

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4. It is the Word which is the releaser of consciousness and when correctly understood and used, releases the soul from the limitations of form in the three worlds.

5. The AUM is the synthesiser of the three aspects and therefore is primarily the Word of the human kingdom in which the three lines of divine life meet—spirit, soul and body.

6. It is also the Word of the fifth, the Aryan race, in a special sense.  The work of that race is to reveal in a newer and fuller way the nature of the inner Identity, of the soul within the form, the son of mind, the solar angel, the fifth principle.

7. The significance of the Word only becomes apparent after the "light within" is realised.  By its use the "spark" becomes a radiant light, the light becomes a flame, and the flame eventually becomes a sun.  By its use the "sun of righteousness arises" in the life of every man.

8. Each of the three letters has relation to the three aspects, and each can be applied to any of the known triplicities.

9. The Master, the God within, is indeed the Word, the AUM, and of this Master (found at the heart of all beings) it is true that "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (thus duality) and the Word was God."  Through its use man arrives at a realisation of:

a. His own essential divinity,

b. The purpose of the form-taking process,

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c. The constitution and nature of those forms,

d. The reality of consciousness, or the relation of the divine self or spirit to the form, its polar opposite.

This relation, in its evolutionary working out, we call consciousness and the essential characteristic of this consciousness is love.

10. The Guru or Master who leads a pupil up to the door of initiation and who watches over him in all the initial and subsequent tests and processes likewise represents the Word, and through the scientific use of this great sound He produces a certain stimulation and vitalisation in the centres of the disciple, thus rendering certain developments possible.

More about the Sacred Word is not advisable to add here.  Enough has been given to indicate to the aspirant its purpose and potency.  There will have to be communicated in other ways and at other times further information as the student—through study and self initiated effort—arrives at just conclusions.  It might be added, that this great Word, when meditated upon, gives the clue to the true esoteric meaning of the words in the Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky:

"Life we look upon as the One Form of Existence, manifesting in what we call Matter; or what, incorrectly separating them, we name Spirit, Soul and Matter in man.  Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of Soul on this plane of existence, and Soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the [58] manifestation of Spirit, and these three are a Trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all."

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

This is a very general paraphrase but conveys nevertheless the correct significance of the terms used in the Sanskrit.  Only Vivekananda, among the many translators, gives this interpretation, putting it as follows:

"The repetition of the OM and meditating upon its meaning (is the Way)."

The other translators omit the final three words, though the inference is clear.

The expression "the sounding of the Word" must not be too literally interpreted; the esoteric "sounding forth" is based upon a study of the Law of Vibration, and the gradual tuning of the lower vibrations of the sheaths or vestures of consciousness so that they synchronise with the note or sound of the conscious indweller.  Speaking correctly, the Word is to be sounded by the soul or the ego on its own plane, and the vibration will subsequently affect the various bodies or vehicles which house that soul.  The process is therefore a mental one and can only really be done by those who—through meditation and discipline, coupled with service—have made a conscious at-one-ment with the soul.  Aspirants to this condition have to [59] utilise the potent factors of the imagination, visualisation and perseverance in meditation to reach this initial stage.  It should be noted that this stage has to be reached, even if only in a relatively small degree, before the aspirant can become an accepted disciple.

The process of sounding the Word is dual, as is emphasized here.

There is, first of all, the act of the ego, solar angel, higher self or soul, as he sounds out the Word from his own place, on the abstract levels of the mental plane.  He directs that sound, via the sutratma and the vestures of consciousness to the physical brain of the man in incarnation, the shadow or reflection.  This "sounding forth" has to be constantly repeated.  The Sutratma is that magnetic link, spoken of in the Christian Bible as the "silver cord," that thread of living light which connects the Monad, the Spirit in man, with the physical brain.

Secondly, there is the earnest reflection of the man in his physical brain upon that sound as he recognizes it.  The two poles of being are hinted at here:  the soul and the man in incarnation, and between these two is found the thread, along which the Pranava (or word) vibrates.  Students of the esoteric science have to recognize the technique of the processes outlined.  In the case of the sounding forth of the Word we have the following factors:

1. The soul who sends, or breathes it forth,

2. The sutratma or thread along which the sound vibrates, is carried or transmitted,

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3. The vestures of consciousness, mental, emotional and etheric which vibrate in response to the vibration or breath and are stimulated thereby,

4. The brain which can be trained to recognize that sound and vibrate in unison with the breath,

5. The subsequent act of the man in meditation.  He hears the sound (called sometimes the "still small Voice," or the "Voice of the Silence"), he recognizes it for what it is and in deep reflection he assimilates the results of his soul's activity.

Later when the aspirant has passed on into the mysteries and has learnt how to unify the soul and the lower man so that they function as a coordinated unit on earth, the man learns to sound the Word on the physical plane with the object of awakening the forces which are latent within him and thereby arouse the centres.  Thus he participates increasingly in the creative, magical and psychical work of manifestation, with the object ever in view of benefiting his fellow men and thus furthering the plans of the planetary hierarchy.

29. From this comes the realization of the Self (the Soul) and the removal of all obstacles.

When the Master within is known, the assertion of his power becomes increasingly felt, and the aspirant submits his entire lower nature to the control of that new ruler.

It should be noted here that the eventual complete [61] removal of all obstacles transpires after the initial flash of realization.  The sequence of happenings is as follows:

1. Aspiration after knowledge of the soul,

2. Realization of the obstacles, or an understanding of the things which prevent true knowledge.

3. Intellectual comprehension as to the nature of those obstacles,

4. Determination to eliminate them,

5. A sudden flash or vision of the soul Reality,

6. Fresh aspiration and a strong determination to make that fleeting vision a permanent reality in the lower plane experience,

7. The battle of Kurukshetra, with Krishna, the soul, heartening Arjuna, the aspirant, on to steady and continuous effort.  The same thought is to be found in the Old Testament, in the case of Joshua before the walls of Jericho.

It might be well here to conclude this comment with Sutras 31, 32, 33 and 34, of Book IV:

31. When, through the removal of the hindrances and the purification of all the sheaths, the totality of knowledge becomes available, naught further remains for the man to do.

32. The modifications of the mind-stuff (or qualities of matter) through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose.

33. Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now.

34. The state of isolated Unity becomes possible when the three qualities of matter (the three gunas or potencies of Nature.  A.B.) no longer exercise any hold over the Self.  The pure Spiritual Consciousness withdraws into the One.

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

Obstacle I.  Bodily disability.

It is interesting to note that the first obstacle has relation to the physical body.  Aspirants would do well to remember this and should seek to adjust the physical vehicle to the demands later to be made upon it.  These adjustments will be great and they fall into four groups:

1. The rendering of the body immune to the attacks of disease or indisposition.  This is in itself a triple process involving:

a. The eradication of present disease,

b. The refining and the purifying of the body so as to rebuild it eventually,

c. The protection of the body from future attack and its utilization as a vehicle of the soul.

2. The strengthening and refining of the etheric body in order that it may be finally tuned up so that the work of force direction may be safely undertaken.  The disciple has to pass the forces used in his work through his body.

3. The unfoldment and awakening of the centres in the etheric body, the centralization of the fires of the body and their just progression up the [63] spine, in order to make union with the fire of the soul.

4. The coordination of the physical body in its two divisions and its subsequent alignment with the soul via the sutratma or the thread, which is the magnetic link.

The third adjustment spoken of can only safely be undertaken after the first three means of yoga have been used and developed.  These are:

1. The five commandments, (See:  Book II.  Sutras 28 and 29.)

2. The five rules, (See:  Book II.  Sutras 32 to 46.)

3. Right poise.  (See:  Book II.  Sutras 46 to 48.)

This is a point often forgotten by aspirants to yoga, and hence the disasters and trouble so often seen amongst those who prematurely occupy themselves with the awakening of the centres and the arousing of the serpent fire.  Only when the entire relation of the aspirant to the social economy (as dealt with in the commandments), only when the task of purifying and regulating the threefold lower nature has been worked at (as outlined in the rules), and only as a balanced and controlled condition of the emotional nature has been brought about and right poise achieved, can the aspirant to Raja Yoga safely proceed to the more esoteric and occult work connected with the fires of his little system.  This point cannot be too strongly emphasized.  Only at a very advanced stage of discipleship will it be safe for the man to deal consciously with the vital fires and direct [64] their right progression up the spine.  Few there are as yet who have "kept the law and the commandments."

Obstacle II.  Mental inertia.

The next great basic obstacle (for these obstacles are given in the order of their relative power over average man) is inability to think clearly about the problem of attainment.  Unless clear thinking precedes action, insufficient momentum will be found coupled with failure to appreciate the magnitude of the problem.  Mental inertia is due to the lethargic condition of the "vesture of consciousness" which we call the mental body and to the heavy rate of rhythm found in most people.  That is the reason why Raja Yoga necessarily makes a greater appeal to mental types than to pure devotees, and it accounts for the fact that those whose mental bodies are well equipped and actively used can more quickly be trained in this sacred science.  For the majority of people, the awakening of the mental body, the development of an intellectual interest, and the substitution of mind control in place of control by the emotions has to precede any later realisation of the need of soul culture.  The apparatus of thought must be contacted and used before the nature of the thinker can be intelligently appreciated.

When this is realised, the contribution to human development by the great schools of thought we call Mental Science, Christian Science, New Thought and other groups which lay the emphasis upon the mental states will be more justly appraised.  [65] The human family is only now becoming aware of the "vesture of consciousness" which we call the mental body.

The majority of men have as yet to build that vesture which occult students call the mental body.  From among those who are so doing, the true raja yogins will be gathered.

Obstacle Ill.  Wrong questioning.

This is the next stage and is also dependent upon a certain amount of mental development.  Some translators call this 'doubt.'  This wrong questioning is that which is based upon lower perception and the identification of the real man with that illusory instrument, his mental body.  This leads him to question the eternal verities, to doubt the existence of the fundamental realities and to seek for the solution of his problems in that which is ephemeral and transitory, and in the things of the senses.

There is a questioning which is right and proper.  It is that "asking of questions" spoken of by the Christ in the words "Ask and ye shall receive."  This faculty of enquiry is deliberately cultivated in their disciples by all true Masters in the Orient.  They are taught to formulate questions about the inner realities and then to find the answer for themselves through a search for that source of all knowledge, latent at the heart of all beings.  To ask intelligently and to find the answer, they must first free themselves from all outer imposed authority and from all tradition and from the imposition of every theological [66] dogma, whether religious or scientific.  Only thus can the reality be found and the truth be seen.

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

When withdrawn from traditional teaching thy Soul shall stand steadfast, firm in soul-vision, then thou shalt gain union with the Soul."  Gita II.51.52.

Obstacle IV.  Carelessness.

The attitude of mind dealt with here has been translated by some as "light-mindedness."  It is really that versatile mental attitude which makes one-pointedness and attention so difficult to achieve.  It is literally the thought-form-making tendency of the mind stuff which has also been described as the "mind's tendency to flit from one object to another."  See Book III, Sutra 11.

Obstacle V.  Laziness.

All the commentators agree as to this translation, employing the terms, sloth, languor or laziness.  This refers not so much to mental inertia (for it may accompany acute mental perception) as to that slothfulness of the entire lower man which prevents him from measuring up to the intellectual recognition and the inner aspiration.  The aspirant has been told what he has to do, the "means of yoga" have been clear to him.  He has glimpsed the ideal and is aware of the obstacles; he knows theoretically just what steps he has to take but there is no correspondence between his activity and his knowledge.  There is a gap between his aspiration and his  performance.  [67] Though he longs to achieve and to know, it is too hard work to fulfill the conditions.  His will is not yet strong enough to force him forwards.  He permits time to slip by and does nothing.

Obstacle VI.  Lack of dispassion.

This has been well translated by some as "addiction to objects."  This is the desire for material and sensuous things.  It is love of sense perceptions and attraction for all that brings a man back again and again into the condition of physical plane existence.  The disciple has to cultivate "dispassion" or that attitude which never identifies itself with forms of any kind, but which is ever detached and aloof, freed from limitations imposed by possessions and belongings.  This is covered in many places in the various sutras and need not be enlarged upon here.

Obstacle VII.  Erroneous perception.

This inability to perceive correctly and to vision things as they really are, is the natural outcome of the six previous obstacles.  As long as the thinker identifies himself with form, as long as the lesser lives of the lower vestures of consciousness can hold him in thrall, and as long as he refuses to separate himself from the material aspect, just so long will his perceptions remain erroneous.  Vision is of various kinds and these might be enumerated as follows:

1. Physical vision reveals the nature of the physical plane, and is achieved through the medium of the eyes, photographing through the lens of the eye, the aspect of the tangible form, upon [68] the wonderful film which every man possesses.  It is circumscribed and limited.

2. Etheric vision.  This is a rapidly developing faculty of the human eye which ultimately will reveal the health aura of all forms in the four kingdoms of nature, which will bring about recognition of the vital pranic emanations of all living centres and will make manifest the conditions of the centres.

3. Clairvoyance.  This is the faculty of sight upon the astral plane and is one of the lower "siddhis" or psychic powers.  It is achieved through a surface sensibility of the entire "body of feeling," the emotional sheath, and is sensuous perception carried to a very advanced condition.  It is misleading and, apart from its higher correspondence, which is spiritual perception, is the very apotheosis of maya or illusion.

4. Symbolic vision.  This is a faculty of the mental body and the factor which produces the seeing of colours, of geometrical symbols, fourth dimensional sight, and those dreams and visions which are the result of mental activity, and not of astral sight.  Frequently these visions have a quality of prevision.

These four types of vision are the cause of wrong perception and will only produce illusion and error until that time when the higher forms of vision, enumerated below, supersede them.  These higher forms of sight include the others.

5.  Pure vision.  This is spoken of by Patanjali in the words:

"The seer is pure Knowledge (gnosis).  Though [69] pure, he looks upon the presented idea through the medium of the mind."  (Book II, Sutra 20.)

The words "pure knowledge" have been translated "pure vision."  This vision is the faculty of the soul which is pure knowledge, and is manifest when the soul uses the mind as its instrument of vision.  Charles Johnston translates the same Sutra as follows:  "The seer is pure vision  . . . .  He looks out through the vesture of the mind."

It is that clear apprehension of knowledge and a perfect comprehension of the things of the soul which is characteristic of the man who—through concentration and meditation—has achieved mind control.  The mind then becomes the window of the soul, and through it the spiritual man can look out onto a new and higher realm of knowledge.  Simultaneously with the development of this type of vision, the pineal gland becomes active, and the third eye (in etheric matter) develops with a paralleling activity.

6. Spiritual vision or true perception.  This type of vision opens up the world of the intuitional or buddhic plane, and takes its possessor beyond the abstract levels of the mental plane.  The things of pure spirit, and the basic purposes underlying all manifestation are thus realised, just as pure vision permitted its owner to tap the resources of pure wisdom.  With the development of this vision the alta major centre becomes active, and the thousand-petalled lotus unfolded.

7.  Cosmic sight.  This is of a nature inconceivable to man and characterises the realisation of those Existences Who manifest through the [70] medium of a planetary scheme in a solar system just as a man manifests through his bodies.

By the study of these types of perception, the student will arrive at a just appreciation of the work he has to do.  He is thus aided to place himself where he at present stands, and consequently to prepare intelligently for the next step forward.

Obstacle VIII.  Inability to achieve concentration.

The two last obstacles indicate the way whereby "old things can pass away" and the new man come into his heritage.  The method of the disciple must not only include self-discipline or the subjugation of the vestures or sheaths, nor must it only include service or identification with group consciousness, but it must also include the two stages of concentration, focussing or control of the mind, and meditation, the steady process of pondering upon what the soul has contacted and knows.  These two will later be dealt with and will not be further touched upon here.

Obstacle IX.  Failure to hold the meditative attitude.

It will be apparent therefore that the first six obstacles deal with wrong conditions and the last three with the results of those conditions.  They contain a hint as to the method whereby liberation from the wrong states of consciousness can be effected.

The next sutra is most interesting as it deals with the effects produced in each of the four bodies [71] of the lower nature, in the case of the man who has not overcome the obstacles.

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

Each of these four results expresses the condition of the lower man; they deal with the effects of wrong centralisation or identification.

1. Pain is the effect produced when the astral or emotional body is wrongly polarised.  Pain is the outcome of failure to balance correctly the pairs of opposites.  It indicates lack of equilibrium.

2. Despair is an effect of remorse, produced in the mental body and is itself a characteristic of what may be called "the unregenerated mental" nature.  The aspirant has a perception of what might be, though the obstacles as yet overcome him; he is ceaselessly conscious of failure, and this engenders in him a condition of remorse, of disgust, despair and of despondency.

3. Misplaced bodily activity.  The inner condition works out on the physical plane as an intense activity, a violent seeking for solution or for solace, a constant running hither and thither in search of peace.  It is the main characteristic at this time of our mental Aryan race and is the cause of the aggressive intensity of endeavour found in all walks of life.  To this the educational processes (as they speed up the mental body) have been largely contributory factors.  The [72] great contribution of education (in schools, colleges, universities and other allied activities) has been to stimulate the mental bodies of men.  It is all part of the great plan, working ever towards the one objective—soul unfoldment.

4. Wrong directions of the life currents.  This is the effect produced in the etheric body by the inner turmoil.  These life currents (for the student of occultism) are two in number:

a. The life breath or prana,

b. The life force or the fires of the body.

It is the misuse of the life breath or wrong utilisation of prana that is the cause of eighty per cent of the present physical diseases.  The other twenty per cent is produced through ill directed life force through the centres, and attacks primarily the twenty per cent of humanity which can be called mentally polarised.  The clue for the student of occultism who aspires to liberation is not to be found in breathing exercises, however, nor in any work with the seven centres in the body.  It will be found in an intense inner concentration upon rhythmic living and in the careful organisation of the life.  As he does this, coordination of the subtler bodies with the physical body on the one hand, and with the soul on the other, will eventuate in the automatic subsequent adjustment of pranic and vital energies.

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

It would be wise here, if the aspirant to yoga [73] would note that there are seven ways whereby peace may be achieved, and thus the goal be reached.  These seven are next dealt with, and each has a distinct relation to the seven obstacles earlier considered.

 

Obstacle

 Remedy

1. Bodily disability

Wholesome, sane living.  (1.33.)

2. Mental inertia

Control of the life force.  (1.34.)

3. Wrong questioning

One pointed thought.  (1.35.)

4. Carelessness

Meditation.  (1.36.)

5. Laziness

Self discipline.  (1.37.)

6. Lack of dispassion

Correct analysis.  (1.38.)

7. Erroneous perception

Illumination.  (1.39.)

 

These corrections of wrong conditions are of profound importance in the early stages of yoga and hence their emphasis in Book I.

But a theoretical understanding of the obstacles and their cure is of small avail as long as the intense application of the will is omitted.  Only the constant, steady, enduring effort of the will, functioning through the mind, will suffice to bring the aspirant out of darkness into light and to lead him from the condition of death into immortality.

Once the principle is understood, then the disciple can work intelligently and hence the necessity of a right understanding of the principles or qualities where the truth regarding reality or God can be known.

All forms exist in order to express truth.  By the steady application of God's will in the Whole is truth revealed through the medium of matter.  When the truth or basic principle is known spirit will then stand revealed.  When the disciple realises [74] what principle his various forms, sheaths, or bodies are intended to express, then he will know how to direct his will with exactitude so as to bring about the desired conditions.  The sheaths and vehicles are simply his bodies of manifestation on the various planes of the system, and those sheaths must express the principle which is the characteristic or quality underlying each plane.  For instance, the seven principles with which man is concerned are:

 

1. Prana

vital energy

etheric body

physical plane.

2. Kama

desire, feeling

astral body

astral plane.

3. Lower Manas

concrete mind

mental body

mental plane.

4. Higher Manas

abstract mind

egoic body

mental plane.

5. Buddhi

Intuition

buddhic body

buddhic plane.

6. Atma

spiritual will

atmic body

atmic plane.

 

And that which corresponds to the "boundless immutable principle" in the macrocosm, the Monad (on its own plane) constitutes the seventh principle.  There are other ways of enumerating the principles, for Subba Rao is correct in one respect when he says there are only five principles.  The two highest, atma and the life monadic, are not principles at all.

Through the conscious utilisation of the will on each plane, the vehicle is directed constantly into an increasingly accurate expression of the one truth.  This is the true significance of the sutra under consideration and the clue to why the adepts are as yet still studying this treatise on yoga.  Their understanding of truth in its entirety [75] is not yet complete on all planes and the basic rules hold good throughout, though they are variously applied.  Principles are applicable to all differentiations and to all states of being.

As a man studies the spheres in which his consciousness is functioning, as he comes to an understanding of the vehicles he must use in any particular sphere, as he awakens to a knowledge of the specific divine quality which the body is intended to express as a part or aspect of the one truth or reality, he becomes aware of the inadequacies present, of the obstacles which hinder and of the difficulties which must be surmounted.  Then comes the application of the will and its concentration upon the principle, or upon the quality seeking expression.  Thus the lower manifestation is brought into line with the higher for "as a man thinketh so is he."

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

In this sutra we are dealing with the physical body, which undergoes experiences on the physical plane and which utilises the brain consciousness.  The tendency of that body is towards all other objective forms, and it is apt (in its unregenerate state) to gravitate with facility towards material objects.  The nature of those objects will be dependent upon the point in evolution of the experiencing ego.  This must be carefully remembered [76] when studying this sutra, otherwise there will be a misapprehension of the final clause.  Discriminative action must ever be taken with reference to all demonstrations of good and evil force, and the law works in this connection, but emancipation from all the physical forms which that energy may take, eventuates when dispassion towards these objective forms is practiced.  It might be useful if we note that the sympathy dealt with concerns our relation to all other pilgrims, or towards the fourth kingdom in nature; tenderness covers our relation to the animal or third kingdom; steadiness of purpose deals with our relation to the Hierarchy of the planet, and dispassion concerns our attitude to all the reactions of the lower personal self.  The comprehensiveness of this sutra is therefore apparent and concerns all the brain vibrations of the disciple.

The physical body is consequently looked upon as a vehicle for the expression of:

a. Helpfulness to our fellow men,

b. Tender handling of the animal kingdom,

c. Service on the physical plane in cooperation with the Hierarchy,

d. Discipline of the physical appetites and dispassion in regard to all forms which appeal to the appetites and to the senses, whether called harmful or not.  All alike must be transcended.

Thus peace is achieved, peace of the chitta or mind stuff, peace of the brain reactions and eventually complete quiet and calm.  The idea is well covered by Charles Johnston in the words of his translation of this sutra, "The psychic nature [77] moves to gracious peace," and the man expresses wholesomeness, a rounded out nature, and complete sanity of thought and act.  All bodily disability is in this way overcome, and wholeness expresses the nature of the manifestation.

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

Students will do well to note that Patanjali includes Pranayama (or the science of the breath or of pranic energy) among other methods for arriving at the "peace of the chitta."  He does not however lay any special emphasis upon it.  As has been earlier pointed out, pranayama is a term which can be used to cover three processes, all interrelated and allied.

1. The science of rhythmic living, or the regulation of the acts of daily life through the organisation of time and the wise utilisation of space.  Through this the man becomes adept, a creator on the physical plane and a cooperator in the plans of the hierarchy as they demonstrate in cyclic evolution.

2. The science of the breath, or the vitalisation of the lower man through inhalation and exhalation.  Man knows himself occultly to be a "living soul," and utilizes the factor of the breath.  Through this he becomes aware of the unity of life and the relationship existing between all forms wherein the life of God is found.  He becomes a brother as well as an adept and knows [78] that brotherhood is a fact in nature and not a sublime theory.

3. The science of the centres, or laya yoga; this is the application of the law to the forces of nature and the scientific utilisation of those forces by the man.  It involves the passing of certain septenates of energy through the centres up the spine and into the head by a certain specified geometrical progression.  This makes a man a master psychic, and unfolds in him certain latent powers which—when unfolded—put him in touch with the soul of all things and with the subjective side of nature.

It is significant to note that this mode of arriving at peace follows upon the method of sane wholesome living and its consequent result—a sound physical body.  Later on, when Patanjali again refers to the regulation of the breath and of the energy currents, he places it as the fourth means of yoga and states that only when right poise has been achieved (the third Means) as a result of keeping the Commandments and the Rules (Means one and two) is this regulation to be attempted.  Students would do well to study these means and note how interest in the centres is only permissible after a man has so balanced his life and purified his nature that danger is no longer possible.

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

We are dealing with those forms of unfoldment [79] and of control which eventuate in what has been called "gracious peace."  We have seen that correct group relations and rhythmic living will produce that condition wherein stillness of the vehicles or of the sheaths is attained, and the lower man can then adequately reflect the higher or spiritual man.  Now we touch upon certain aspects of the Raja Yoga philosophy and the key to the understanding of this sutra is found in the word detachment.  The aspirant (as he makes his sense contacts and through the medium of the five senses comes into touch with the phenomenal world) will gradually assume more and more the position of onlooker.  His consciousness therefore shifts slowly out of the realm of the sense vehicles into that of the "dweller in the body."

It is interesting to note here, the Hindu teaching upon the uses of the tongue and the entire region of the nose and the palate.  The orthodox oriental teaching gives the following suggestions:

 

Method

Sense

Result

1.  Concentration upon the tip of the nose

smell

perfumes.

2.  Concentration upon the root of the tongue

hearing

sounds.

3.  Concentration upon the tip of the tongue

taste

flames.

4.  Concentration upon the middle of the tongue

touch

vibration.

5.  Concentration upon the palate

sight

pictures, visions.

 

The aspirant must not literalise these things nor seek blindly to meditate, for instance, upon [80] the tip of the tongue.  The lesson to be learnt, under the law of analogy, is that the tongue typifies the creative faculty, the third aspect in its five fold nature.  The relation of the five senses (as synthesised here in the region of the mouth) to the five rays forming the synthesis governed by the Mahachohan (director of the third ray aspect upon our planet), will be found illuminating.  Students would find it valuable to work out the analogy between these five rays and the five senses and the mouth as the organ of speech.  As the study is carried forward it will be seen that two other physical organs, the pituitary body and the pineal gland, correspond to the remaining two aspects, love wisdom and organising power, will or purpose.  These seven points in the head (and all are found within a comparatively small area) are the symbols in physical matter of the three great aspects manifesting as the seven.

As the aspirant therefore assumes the position of the ruler of the senses and as the analyser of all his sense perceptions, he gradually becomes more mentally concentrated, and the advanced yogi can identify himself at any moment with any one of the ray energies to the exclusion—where desired—of the others.

The student is warned not to imagine that this "gracious peace" can be achieved through definite meditation upon any specific sense.  Through an understanding of the laws of creation and of sound, through a consideration of the sounding board of the mouth and the method whereby speech becomes possible, a knowledge of the world [81] creative processes can be arrived at, and the man can achieve an understanding of the laws whereby all forms come into being.  The senses of all yogis are naturally abnormally acute and this fact should be remembered.

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

The student should here note that each of the methods outlined above concerns certain centres.  There are seven methods of attainment mentioned and therefore we can infer that the seven centres are involved.

Method I.  Sutra 33.  Solar plexus centre.