List Of Contents | Contents of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Charles
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thus suggesting a profound relation between the moral powers and the
powers that rule the worlds. So in this Sutra the fixed polestar is the
eternal spirit about which all things move, as well as the star toward
which points the axis of the earth. Deep mysteries attend both, and the
veil of mystery is only to be raised by Meditation, by open-eyed vision
of the awakened spiritual man.

29. Perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the
lower trunk brings an understanding of the order of the bodily powers.
We are coming to a vitally important part of the teaching of Yoga:
namely, the spiritual man's attainment of full self-consciousness, the
awakening of the spiritual man as a self-conscious individual, behind
and above the natural man. In this awakening, and in the process of
gestation which precedes it, there is a close relation with the powers
of the natural man, which are, in a certain sense, the projection,
outward and downward, of the powers of the spiritual man. This is
notably true of that creative power of the spiritual man which, when
embodied in the natural man, becomes the power of generation. Not
only is this power the cause of the continuance of the bodily race of
mankind, but further, in the individual, it is the key to the dominance
of the personal life. Rising, as it were, through the life-channels of the
body, it flushes the personality with physical force, and maintains and
colours the illusion that the physical life is the dominant and
all-important expression of life. In due time, when the spiritual man
has begun to take form, the creative force will be drawn off, and
become operative in building the body of the spiritual man, just as it
has been operative in the building of physical bodies, through
generation in the natural world.

Perfectly concentrated Meditation on the nature of this force means,
first, that rising of the consciousness into the spiritual world, already
described, which gives the one sure foothold for Meditation; and then,
from that spiritual point of vantage, not only an insight into the
creative force, in its spiritual and physical aspects, but also a gradually
attained control of this wonderful force, which will mean its direction
to the body of the spiritual man, and its gradual withdrawal from the
body of the natural man, until the over-pressure, so general and such
a fruitful source of misery in our day, is abated, and purity takes the
place of passion. This over pressure, which is the cause of so many
evils and so much of human shame, is an abnormal, not a natural,
condition. It is primarily due to spiritual blindness, to blindness
regarding the spiritual man, and ignorance even of his existence; for
by this blind ignorance are closed the channels through which, were
they open, the creative force could flow into the body of the spiritual
man, there building up an immortal vesture. There is no cure for
blindness, with its consequent over-pressure and attendant misery and
shame, but spiritual vision, spiritual aspiration, sacrifice, the new birth
from above. There is no other way to lighten the burden, to lift the
misery and shame from human life. Therefore, let us follow after
sacrifice and aspiration, let us seek the light. In this way only shall we
gain that insight into the order of the bodily powers, and that mastery
of them, which this Sutra implies.

30. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of f orce in the
well of the throat, there comes the cessation of hunger and thirst.

We are continuing the study of the bodily powers and centres of force
in their relation to the powers and forces of the spiritual man. We have
already considered the dominant power of physical life, the creative
power which secures the continuance of physical life; and, further, the
manner in which, through aspiration and sacrifice, it is gradually raised
and set to the work of upbuilding the body of the spiritual man. We
come now to the dominant psychic force, the power which manifests
itself in speech, and in virtue of which the voice may carry so much of
the personal magnetism, endowing the orator with a tongue of fire,
magical in its power to arouse and rule the emotions of his hearers.
This emotional power, this distinctively psychical force, is the cause
of "hunger and thirst," the psychical hunger and thirst for sensations,
which is the source of our two-sided life of emotionalism, with its
hopes and fears, its expectations and memories, its desires and hates.
The source of this psychical power, or, perhaps we should say, its
centre of activity in the physical body is said to be in the cavity of the
throat. Thus, in the Taittiriya Upanishad it is written: "There is this
shining ether in the inner being. Therein is the spiritual man, formed
through thought, immortal, golden. Inward, in the palate, the organ
that hangs down like a nipple,-this is the womb of Indra. And there,
where the dividing of the hair turns, extending upward to the crown
of the head."

Indra is the name given to the creative power of which we have
spoken, and which, we are told, resides in "the organ which hangs
down like a nipple, inward, in the palate."

31. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the
channel called the "tortoise-formed," comes steadfastness.

We are concerned now with the centre of nervous or psychical force
below the cavity of the throat, in the chest, in which is felt the
sensation of fear; the centre, the disturbance of which sets the heart
beating miserably with dread, or which produces that sense of terror
through which the heart is said to stand still.

When the truth concerning fear is thoroughly mastered, through
spiritual insight into the immortal, fearless life, then this force is
perfectly controlled; there is no more fear, just as, through the control
of the psychic power which works through the nerve-centre in the
throat, there comes a cessation of "hunger and thirst." Thereafter,
these forces, or their spiritual prototypes, are turned to the building of
the spiritual man.

Always, it must be remembered, the victory is first a spiritual one;
only later does it bring control of the bodily powers.

32. Through perfectly concentrated Meditation on the light in the head
comes the vision of the Masters who have attained.

The tradition is, that there is a certain centre of force in the head,
perhaps the "pineal gland," which some of our Western philosophers
have supposed to be the dwelling of the soul,-a centre which is, as it
were, the door way between the natural and the spiritual man. It is the
seat of that better and wiser consciousness behind the outward
looking consciousness in the forward part of the head; that better and
wiser consciousness of "the back of the mind," which views spiritual
things, and seeks to impress the spiritual view on the outward looking
consciousness in the forward part of the head. It is the spiritual man
seeking to guide the natural man, seeking to bring the natural man to
concern himself with the things of his immortality. This is suggested
in the words of the Upanishad already quoted: "There, where the
dividing of the hair turns, extending upward to the crown of the
head"; all of which may sound very fantastical, until one comes to
understand it.

It is said that when this power is fully awakened, it brings a vision of
the great Companions of the spiritual man, those who have already
attained, crossing over to the further shore of the sea of death and
rebirth. Perhaps it is to this divine sight that the Master alluded, who
is reported to have said: "I counsel you to buy of me eye-salve, that
you may see." It is of this same vision of the great Companions, the
children of light, that a seer wrote:

     "Though inland far we be,
     Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
     Which brought us hither,
     Can in a moment travel thither,
     And see the Children sport upon the shore
     And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore."

33. Or through the divining power of tuition he knows all things.

This is really the supplement, the spiritual side, of the Sutra just
translated. Step by step, as the better consciousness, the spiritual
view, gains force in the back of the mind, so, in the same measure, the
spiritual man is gaining the power to see: learning to open the spiritual
eyes. When the eyes are fully opened, the spiritual man beholds the
great Companions standing about him; he has begun to "know all

This divining power of intuition is the power which lies above and
behind the so-called rational mind; the rational mind formulates a
question and lays it before the intuition, which gives a real answer,
often immediately distorted by the rational mind, yet always
embodying a kernel of truth. It is by this process, through which the
rational mind brings questions to the intuition for solution, that the
truths of science are reached, the flashes of discovery and genius. But
this higher power need not work in subordination to the so-called
rational mind, it may act directly, as full illumination, "the vision and
the faculty divine."

34 By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the heart, the interior
being, comes the knowledge of consciousness.

The heart here seems to mean, as it so often. does in the Upanishads,
the interior, spiritual nature, the consciousness of the spiritual man,
which is related to the heart, and to the wisdom of the heart. By
steadily seeking after, and finding, the consciousness of the spiritual
man, by coming to consciousness as the spiritual man, a perfect
knowledge of consciousness will be attained. For the conscious ness
of the spiritual man has this divine quality: while being and remaining
a truly individual consciousness, it at the same time flows over, as it
were, and blends with the Divine Consciousness above and about it,
the consciousness of the great Companions; and by showing itself to
be one with the Divine Consciousness, it reveals the nature of all
consciousness, the secret that all consciousness is One and Divine.

35. The personal self seeks to feast on life, through a failure to
perceive the distinction between the personal self and the spiritual
man. All personal experience really exists for the sake of another:
namely, the spiritual man. By perfectly concentrated Meditation on
experience for the sake of the Self, comes a knowledge of the spiritual

The divine ray of the Higher Self, which is eternal, impersonal and
abstract, descends into life, and forms a personality, which, through
the stress and storm of life, is hammered into a definite and concrete
self-conscious individuality. The problem is, to blend these two
powers, taking the eternal and spiritual being of the first, and blending
with it, transferring into it, the self-conscious individuality of the
second; and thus bringing to life a third being, the spiritual man, who
is heir to the immortality of his father, the Higher Self, and yet has the
self-conscious, concrete individuality of his other parent, the personal
self. This is the true immaculate conception, the new birth from above,
"conceived of the Holy Spirit." Of this new birth it is said: "that which
is born of the Spirit is spirit.: ye must be born again."

Rightly understood, therefore, the whole life of the personal man is for
another, not for himself. He exists only to render his very life and all
his experience for the building up of the spiritual man. Only through
failure to see this, does he seek enjoyment for himself, seek to secure
the feasts of life for himself; not understanding that he must live for
the other, live sacrificially, offering both feasts and his very being on
the altar; giving himself as a contribution for the building of the
spiritual man. When he does understand this, and lives for the Higher
Self, setting his heart and thought on the Higher Self, then his sacrifice
bears divine fruit, the spiritual man is built up, consciousness awakes
in him, and he comes fully into being as a divine and immortal

36. Thereupon are born the divine power of intuition, and the hearing,
the touch, the vision, the taste and the power of smell of the spiritual

When, in virtue of the perpetual sacrifice of the personal man, daily
and hourly giving his life for his divine brother the spiritual man, and
through the radiance ever pouring down from the Higher Self, eternal
in the Heavens, the spiritual man comes to birth,-there awake in him
those powers whose physical counterparts we know in the personal
man. The spiritual man begins to see, to hear, to touch, to taste. And,
besides the senses of the spiritual man, there awakes his mind, that
divine counterpart of the mind of the physical man, the power of
direct and immediate knowledge, the power of spiritual intuition, of
divination. This power, as we have seen, owes its virtue to the unity,
the continuity, of consciousness, whereby whatever is known to any
consciousness, is knowable by any other consciousness. Thus the
consciousness of the spiritual man, who lives above our narrow
barriers of separateness, is in intimate touch with the consciousness of
the great Companions, and can draw on that vast reservoir for all real
needs. Thus arises within the spiritual man that certain knowledge
which is called intuition, divination, illumination.

37. These powers stand in contradistinction to the highest spiritual
vision. In mani- festation they are called magical powers.

The divine man is destined to supersede the spiritual man, as the
spiritual man supersedes the natural man. Then the disciple becomes
a Master. The opened powers of tile spiritual man, spiritual vision,
hearing, and touch, stand, therefore, in contradistinction to the higher
divine power above them, and must in no wise be regarded as the end
of the way, for the path has no end, but rises ever to higher and higher
glories; the soul's growth and splendour have no limit. So that, if the
spiritual powers we have been considering are regarded as in any
sense final, they are a hindrance, a barrier to the far higher powers of
the divine man. But viewed from below, from the standpoint of
normal physical experience, they are powers truly magical; as the
powers natural to a four-dimensional being will appear magical to a
three-dimensional being.

38. Through the weakening of the causes of bondage, and by learning
the method of sassing, the consciousness is transf erred to the other

In due time, after the spiritual man has been formed and grown stable
through the forces and virtues already enumerated, and after the
senses of the spiritual man have awaked, there comes the transfer of
the dominant consciousness, the sense of individu- ality, from the
physical to the spiritual man. Thereafter the physical man is felt to be
a secondary, a subordinate, an instrument through whom the spiritual
man works; and the spiritual man is felt to be the real individuality.
This is, in a sense, the attainment to full salvation and immortal life;
yet it is not the final goal or resting place, but only the beginning of

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