List Of Contents | Contents of An Introduction to Yoga
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astral plane, the plane of Varuna; beyond the physical plane, the
plane of Kubera. Beyond all these planes the Monad, the Self,
stands Self-conscious and Self-determined. He reigns in
changeless peace and lives in eternity. But as said above, he
appropriates matter. He takes to himself an atom of the Atmic
plane, and in that he, as it were, incorporates his will, and
that becomes Atma. He appropriates an atom of the Buddhic plane,
and reflects in that his aspect of cognition, and that becomes
buddhi. He appropriates an atom of the manasic plane and
embodies, as it were, his activity in it, and it becomes Manas.
Thus we get Atma, plus Buddhi, plus Manas. That triad is the
reflection in the fivefold universe of the Monad beyond the
fivefold universe. The terms of Theosophy can be easily
identified with those of other schools. The Monad of Theosophy is
the Jivatma of Indian philosophy, the Purusha of the Samkhya, the
particularised Self of the Vedanta. The threefold manifestation,
Atma-buddhi-manas, is the result of the Purusha's propinquity to
Prakriti, the subject of the Samkhyan philosophy, the Self
embodied in the highest sheaths, according to the Vedantic
teaching. In the one you have this Self and His sheaths, and in
the other the Subject, a reflection in matter of Purusha. Thus
you can readily see that you are dealing with the same concepts
but they are looked at from different standpoints. We are nearer
to the Vedanta than to the Samkhya, but if you know the
principles you can put the statements of the two philosophies in
their own niches and will not be confused. Learn the principles
and you can explain all the theories. That is the value of the
Theosophical teaching; it gives you the principles and leaves you
to study the philosophies, and you study them with a torch in
your hand instead of in the dark.

Now when we understand the nature of the spiritual man, or Triad,
what do we find with regard to all the manifestations of
consciousness? That they are duads, Spirit-Matter everywhere, on
every plane of our fivefold universe. If you are a scientist, you
will call it spiritualised Matter; if you are a metaphysician you
will call it materialised Spirit. Either phrase is equally true,
so long as you remember that both are always present in every
manifestation, that what you see is not the play of matter alone,
but the play of Spirit-Matter, inseparable through the period of
manifestation. Then, when you come, in reading an ancient book,
to the statement "mind is material," you will not be confused;
you will know that the writer is only speaking on the Samkhyan
line, which speaks of Matter everywhere but always implies that
the Spirit is looking on, and that this presence makes the work
of Matter possible. You will not, when reading the constant
statement in Indian philosophies that "mind is material," confuse
this with the opposite view of the materialist which says that
"mind is the product of matter"--a very different thing. Although
the Samkhyan may use materialistic terms, he always posits the
vivifying influence of Spirit, while the materialist makes Spirit
the product of Matter. Really a gulf divides them, although the
language they use may often be the same.


"Yoga is the inhibition of the functions of the mind," says
Patanjali. The functions of the mind must be suppressed, and in
order that we may be able to follow out really what this means,
we must go more closely into what the Indian philosopher means by
the word "mind".

Mind, in the wide sense of the term, has three great properties
or qualities: cognition, desire or will, activity. Now Yoga is
not immediately concerned with all these three, but only with
one, cognition, the Samkhyan subject. But you cannot separate
cognition, as we have seen, completely from the others, because
consciousness is a unit, and although we are only concerned with
that part of consciousness which we specifically call cognition,
we cannot get cognition all by itself. Hence the Indian
psychologist investigating this property, cognition, divides it
up into three or, as the Vedanta says, into four (with all
submission, the Vedantin here makes a mistake). If you take up
any Vedantic book and read about mind, you will find a particular
word used for it which. translated, means "internal organ". This
antah-karana is the word always used where in English we use
"mind"; but it is only used in relation to cognition, not in
relation to activity and desire. It is said to be fourfold, being
made up of Manas, Buddhi, Ahamkara, and Chitta; but this fourfold
division is a very curious division. We know what Manas is, what
Buddhi is, what Ahamkara is, but what is this Chitta? What is
Chitta, outside Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara? Ask anyone you like.
and record his answer; you will find that it is of the vaguest
kind. Let us try to analyse it for ourselves, and see whether
light will come upon it by using the Theosophic idea of a triplet
summed up in a fourth, that is not really a fourth, but the
summation of the three. Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkara are the three
different sides of a triangle,' which triangle is called Chitta.
The Chitta is not a fourth, but the sum of the three: Manas,
Buddhi and Ahamkara. This is the old idea of a trinity in unity.
Over and over again H. P. Blavatsky uses this summation as a
fourth to her triplets, for she follows the old methods. The
fourth, which sums up the three but is not other than they, makes
a unity out of their apparent diversity. Let us apply that to

Take cognition. Though in cognition that aspect of the Self is
predominant, yet it cannot exist absolutely alone, The whole Self
is there in every act of cognition. Similarly with the other two.
One cannot exist separate from the others. Where there is
cognition the other two are present, though subordinate to it.
The activity is there, the will is there. Let us think of
cognition as pure as it can be, turned on itself, reflected in
itself, and we have Buddhi, the pure reason, the very essence of
cognition; this in the universe is represented by Vishnu, the
sustaining wisdom of the universe. Now let us think of cognition
looking outwards, and as reflecting itself in activity, its
brother quality, and we have a mixture of cognition and activity
which is called Manas, the active mind; cognition reflected in
activity is Manas in man or Brahma, the creative mind, in the
universe. When cognition similarly reflects itself in will, then
it becomes Ahamkara, the "I am I" in man, represented by Mahadeva
in the universe. Thus wee have found within the limits of this
cognition a triple division, making up the internal organ or
Antahkarana--Manas, plus Buddhi, plus Ahamkara--and we can find
no fourth. What is then Chitta? It is the summation of the three,
the three taken together, the totality of the three. Because of
the old way of counting these things, you get this division of
Antahkarana into four.

The Mental Body

We must now deal with the mental body, which is taken as
equivalent to mind for practical purposes. The first thing for a
man to do in practical Yoga is to separate himself from the
mental body, to draw away from that into the sheath next above
it. And here remember what I said previously, that in Yoga the
Self is always the consciousness plus the vehicle from which the
consciousness is unable to separate itself. All that is above the
body you cannot leave is the Self for practical purposes, and
your first attempt must be to draw away from your mental body.
Under these conditions, Manas must be identified with the Self,
and the spiritual Triad, the Atma-buddhi-manas, is to be realised
as separate from the mental body. That is the first step. You
must be able to take up and lay down your mind as you do a tool,
before it is of any use to consider the further progress of the
Self in getting rid of its envelopes. Hence the mental body is
taken as the starting point. Suppress thought. Quiet it. Still
it. Now what is the ordinary condition of the mental body? As you
look upon that body from a higher plane, you see constant changes
of colours playing in it. You find that they are sometimes
initiated from within, sometimes from without. Sometimes a
vibration from without has caused a change in consciousness, and
a corresponding change in the colours in the mental body. If
there is a change of consciousness, that causes vibration in the
matter in which that consciousness is functioning. The mental
body is a body of ever-changing hues and colours, never still,
changing colour with swift rapidity throughout the whole of it.
Yoga is the stopping of all these, the inhibition of vibrations
and changes alike. Inhibition of the change of consciousness
stops the vibration of the mental body; the checking of the
vibration of the mental body checks the change in consciousness.
In the mental body of a Master there is no change of colour save
as initiated from within; no outward stimulus can produce any
answer, any vibration,๙in that perfectly controlled mental body.
The colour of the mental body of a Master is as moonlight on the
rippling ocean. Within that whiteness of moon-like refulgence lie
all possibilities of colour, but nothing in the outer world can
make the faintest change of hue sweep over its steady radiance.
If a change of consciousness occurs within, then the change will
send a wave of delicate hues over the mental body which responds
only in colour to changes initiated from within and never to
changes stimulated from without. His mental body is never His
Self, but only His tool or instrument, which He can take up or
lay down at His will. It is only an outer sheath that He uses
when He needs to communicate with the lower world.

By that idea of the stopping of all changes of colour in the
mental body you can realise what is meant by inhibition. The
functions of mind are stopped in Yoga. You have to begin with
your mental body. You have to learn how to stop the whole of
those vibrations, how to make the mental body colourless, still

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