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Samadhi on the atmic plane " When a Jivan-mukta enters into
Samadhi, he begins it on the atmic plane. All planes below the
atmic are one plane for him. He begins his Samadhi on a plane to
which the mere man cannot rise. He begins it on the atmic plane,
and thence rises stage by stage to the higher cosmic planes. The
same word, samadhi, is used to describe the states of the
consciousness, whether it rises above the physical into the
astral, as in self-induced trance of an ordinary man, or as in
the case of a Jivan-mukta when, the consciousness being already
centred in the fifth, or atmic plane, it rises to the higher
planes of a larger world.

The Literature of  Yoga

Unfortunately for non-Sanskrit-knowing people, the literature of
Yoga is not largely available in English. The general teachings
of Yoga are to be found in the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita;
those, in many translations, are within your reach, but they are
general, not special; they give you the main principles, but do
not tell you about the methods in any detailed way. Even in the
Bhagavad-Gita, while you are told to make sacrifices, to become
indifferent, and so on, it is all of the nature of moral precept,
absolutely necessary indeed, but still not telling you how to
reach the conditions put before you. The special literature of
Yoga is, first of all, many of the minor Upanishads, "the
hundred-and-eight" as they are called. Then comes the enormous
mass of literature called the Tantras. These books have an evil
significance in the ordinary English ear, but not quite rightly.
The Tantras are very useful books, very valuable and instructive;
all occult science is to be found in them. But they are divisible
into three classes: those that deal with white magic, those that
deal with black magic, and those that deal with what we may call
grey magic, a mixture of the two. Now magic is the word which
covers the methods of deliberately bringing about super-normal
physical states by the action of the will.

A high tension of the nerves, brought on by anxiety or disease,
leads to ordinary hysteria, emotional and foolish. A similarly
high tension, brought about by the will, renders a man sensitive
to super-physical vibrations Going to sleep has no significance,
but going into Samadhi is a priceless power. The process is
largely the same, but one is due to ordinary conditions, the
other to the action of the trained will. The Yogi is the man who
has learned the power of the will, and knows how to use it to
bring about foreseen and foredetermined results. This knowledge
has ever been called magic; it is the name of the Great Science
of the past, the one Science, to which only the word " great "
was given in the past. The Tantras contain the whole of that; the
occult side of man and nature, the means whereby discoveries may
be made, the principles whereby the man may re-create himself,
all these are in the Tantras. The difficulty is that without a
teacher they are very dangerous, and again and again a man trying
to practice the Tantric methods without a teacher makes himself
very ill. So the Tantras have got a bad name both in the West and
here in India. A good many of the American " occult " books now
sold are scraps of the Tantras which have been translated. One
difficulty is that these Tantric works often use the name of a
bodily organ to represent an astral or mental centre. There is
some reason in that because all the centres are connected with
each other from body to body; but no reliable teacher would set
his pupil to work on the bodily organs until he had some control
over the higher centres, and had carefully purified the physical
body. Knowing the one helps you to know the other, and the
teacher who has been through it all can place his pupil on the
right path; but it you take up these words, which are all
physical, and do not know to what the physical word is applied,
then you will only become very confused, and may injure yourself.
For instance, in one of the Sutras it is said that if you
meditate on a certain part of the tongue you will obtain astral
sight. That means that if you meditate on the pituitary body,
just over this part of the tongue, astral sight will be opened.
The particular word used to refer to a centre has a
correspondence in the physical body, and the word is often
applied to the physical organs when the other is meant. This is
what is called a " blind," and it is intended to keep the people
away from dangerous practices in the books that are published;
people may meditate on that part of their tongues all their lives
without anything coming of it; but if they think upon the
corresponding centre in the body, a good dealÄmuch harmÄmay come
of it. " Meditate on the navel," it is also said. This means the
solar plexus, for there is a close connection between the two.
But to meditate on that is to incur the danger of a serious
nervous disorder, almost impossible to cure. All who know how
many people in India suffer through these practices,
ill-understood, recognize that it is not wise to plunge into them
without some one to tell you what they mean, and what may be
safely practiced and what not. The other part of the Yoga
literature is a small book called the sutras of Patanjali. That
is available, but I am afraid that few are able to make much of
it by themselves. In the first place, to elucidate the Sutras,
which are simply headings, there is a great deal of commentary in
Sanskrit, only partially translated. And even the commentaries
have this peculiarity, that all the most difficult words are
merely repeated, not explained, so that the student is not much

Some  Definitions

There are a few words, constantly recurring, which need brief
definitions, in order to avoid confusion; they are: Unfolding,
Evolution, Spirituality, Psychism, Yoga and Mysticism.

"Unfolding" always refers to consciousness, "evolution" to forms.
Evolution is the homogeneous becoming the heterogeneous, the
simple becoming complex. But there is no growth and no
perfectioning for Spirit, for consciousness; it is all there and
always, and all that can happen to it is to turn itself outwards
instead of remaining turned inwards. The God in you cannot
evolve, but He may show forth His powers through matter that He
has appropriated for the purpose, and the matter evolves to serve
Him. He Himself only manifests what He is. And on that, many a
saying of the great mystics may come to your mind: "Become," says
St. Ambrose, "what you are"--a paradoxical phrase; but one that
sums up a great truth: become in outer manifestation that which
you are in inner reality. That is the object of the whole process
of Yoga.

"Spirituality" is the realisation of the One. "Psychism" is the
manifestation of intelligence through any material vehicle.[FN#5:
See London Lectures of 1907, "Spirituality and Psychism".]

"Yoga" is the seeking of union by the intellect, a science;
"Mysticism" is the seeking of the same union by emotion.[FN#6:
The word yoga may, of course, be rightly used of all union with
the self, whatever the road taken. I am using it here in the
narrower sense, as peculiarly connected with the intelligence, as
a Science, herein following Patanjali.]

See the mystic. He fixes his mind on the object of devotion; he
loses self-consciousness, and passes into a rapture of love and
adoration, leaving all external ideas, wrapped in the object of
his love, and a great surge of emotion sweeps him up to God. He
does not know how he has reached that lofty state. He is
conscious only of God and his love for Him. Here is the rapture
of the mystic, the triumph of the saint.

The yogi does not work like that. Step after step, he realises
what he is doing. He works by science and not by emotion, so that
any who do not care for science, finding it dull and dry, are not
at present unfolding that part of their nature which will find
its best help in the practice of Yoga. The yogi may use devotion
as a means. This comes out very plainly in Patanjali. He has
given many means whereby Yoga may be followed, and curiously,
"devotion to Isvara'' is one of several means. There comes out
the spirit of the scientific thinker. Devotion to Isvara is not
for him an end in itself, but means to an endÄthe concentration
of the mind. You see there at once the difference of spirit.
Devotion to Isvara is the path of the mystic. He attains
communion by that. Devotion to Isvara as a means of concentrating
the mind is the scientific way in which the yogi regards
devotion. No number of words would have brought out the
difference of spirit between Yoga and Mysticism as well as this.
The one looks upon devotion to Isvara as a way of reaching the
Beloved; the other looks upon it as a means of reaching
concentration. To the mystic, God, in Himself is the object of
search, delight in Him is the reason for approaching Him, union
with Him in consciousness is his goal; but to the yogi, fixing
the attention on God is merely an effective way of concentrating
the mind. In the one, devotion is used to obtain an end; in the
other, God is seen as the end and is reached directly by rapture.

God Without and God Within

That leads us to the next point, the relation of God without to
God within. To the yogi, who is the very type of Hindu thought,
there is no definite proof of God save the witness of the Self
within to His existence, and his idea of finding the proof of God
is that you should strip away from your consciousness all
limitations, and thus reach the stage where you have pure
consciousness--save a veil of the thin nirvanic matter. Then you
know that God is. So you read in the Upanishad: "Whose only proof
is the witness of the Self." This is very different from Western
methods of thought, which try to demonstrate God by a process of
argument. The Hindu will tell you that you cannot demonstrate God
by any argument or reasoning; He is above and beyond reasoning,
and although the reason may guide you on the way, it will not
prove to demonstration that God is. The only way you can know Him

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