List Of Contents | Contents of An Introduction to Yoga
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around you; desert your wife and children, your father and
mother, and fly to the desert or the jungle; put a wall between
youself and all objects of desire; then dispassion will be
yours." It is true that it is comparatively easy to acquire
dispassion in that way. But by that you kill more than desire.
You put round the Self, who is love, a barrier through which he
is unable to pierce. You cramp yourself by encircling yourself
with a thick shell, and you cannot break through it. You harden
yourself where you ought to be softened; you isolate yourself
where you ought to be embracing others; you kill love and not
only desire, forgetting that love clings to the Self and seeks
the Self, while desire clings to the sheaths of the Self, the
bodies in which the Self is clothed. Love is the desire of the
separated Self for union with all other separated Selves.
Dispassion is the non-attraction to matter--a very different
thing. You must guard love--for it is the very Self of the Self.
In your anxiety to acquire dispassion do not kill out love. Love
is the life in everyone of us, separated Selves. It draws every
separated Self to the other Self. Each one of us is a part of one
mighty whole. Efface desire as regards the vehicles that clothe
the Self, but do not efface love as regards the Self, that
never-dying force which draws Self to Self. In this great
up-climbing, it is far better to suffer from love rather than to
reject it, and to harden your hearts against all ties and claims
of affection. Suffer for love, even though the suffering be
bitter. Love, even though the love be an avenue of pain. The pain
shall pass away, but the love shall continue to grow, and in the
unity of the Self you shall finally discover that love is the
great attracting force which makes all things one.

Many people, in trying to kill out love, only throw themselves
back, becoming less human, not superhuman; by their mistaken
attempts. It is by and through human ties of love and sympathy
that the Self unfolds. It is said of the Masters that They love
all humanity as a mother loves her firstborn son. Their love is
not love watered down to coolness, but love for all raised to the
heat of the highest particular loves of smaller souls. Always
mistrust the teacher who tells you to kill out love, to be
indifferent to human affections. That is the way which leads to
the left-hand path.

Meditation With and Without Seed

The next step is our method of meditation. What do we mean by
meditation? Meditation cannot be the same for every man. Though
the same in principle, namely, the steadying of the mind, the
method must vary with the temperament of the practitioner.
Suppose that you are a strong-minded and intelligent man, fond of
reasoning. Suppose that connected links of thought and argument
have been to you the only exorcise of the mind. Utilise that past
training. Do not imagine that you can make your mind still by a
single effort. Follow a logical chain of reasoning, step by step,
link after link; do not allow the mind to swerve a hair's breadth
from it. Do not allow the mind to go aside to other lines of
thought. Keep it rigidly along a single line, and steadiness will
gradually result. Then, when you have worked up to your highest
point of reasoning and reached the last link of your chain of
argument, and your mind will carry you no further, and beyond
that you can see nothing, then stop. At that highest point of
thinking, cling desperately to the last link of the chain, and
there keep the mind poised, in steadiness and strenuous quiet,
waiting for what may come. After a while, you will be able to
maintain this attitude for a considerable time.

For one in whom imagination is stronger than the reasoning
faculty, the method by devotion, rather than by reasoning, is the
method. Let him call imagination to his help. He should picture
some scene, in which the object of his devotion forms the central
figure, building it up, bit by bit, as a painter paints a
picture, putting in it gradually all the elements of the scene He
must work at it as a painter works on his canvas, line by line,
his brush the brush of imagination. At first the work will be
very slow, but the picture soon begins to present itself at call.
Over and over he should picture the scene, dwelling less and less
on the surrounding objects and more and more on the central
figure which is the object of his heart's devotion. The drawing
of the mind to a point, in this way, brings it under control and
steadies it, and thus gradually, by this use of the imagination.
he brings the mind under command. The object of devotion will be
according to the man's religion. Suppose--as is the case with
many of you--that his object of devotion is Sri Krishna; picture
Him in any scene of His earthly life, as in the battle of
Kurukshetra. Imagine the armies arrayed for battle on both sides;
imagine Arjuna on the floor of the chariot, despondent,
despairing; then come to Sri Krishna, the Charioteer, the Friend
and Teacher. Then, fixing your mind on the central figure, let
your heart go out to Him with onepointed devotion. Resting on
Him, poise yourself in silence and, as before, wait for what may

This is what is called "meditation with seed". The central
figure, or the last link in reasoning, that is "the seed". You
have gradually made the vagrant mind steady by this process of
slow and gradual curbing, and at last you are fixed on the
central thought, or the central figure, and there you are poised.
Now let even that go. Drop the central thought, the idea, the
seed of meditation. Let everything go. But keep the mind in the
position gained, the highest point reached, vigorous and alert.
This is meditation without a seed. Remain poised, and wait in the
silence and the void. You are in the "cloud," before described,
and pass through the condition before sketched. Suddenly there
will be a change, a change unmistakable, stupendous, incredible.
In that silence, as said, a Voice shall be heard. In that void, a
Form shall reveal itself. In that empty sky, a Sun shall rise,
and in the light of that Sun you shall realise your own identity
with it, and know that that which is empty to the eye of sense is
full to the eye of Spirit, that that which is silence to the ear
of sense is full of music to the ear of Spirit.

Along such lines you can learn to bring into control your mind,
to discipline your vagrant thought, and thus to reach
illumination. One word of warning. You cannot do this, while you
are trying meditation with a seed. until you are able to cling to
your seed definitely for a considerable time, and maintain
throughout an alert attention. It is the emptiness of alert
expectation. not the emptiness of impending sleep. If your mind
be not in that condition, its mere emptiness is dangerous. It
leads to mediumship, to possession, to obsession. You can wisely
aim at emptiness, only when you have so disciplined the mind that
it can hold for a considerable time to a single point and remain
alert when that point is dropped.

The question is sometimes asked: "Suppose that I do this and
succeed in becoming unconscious of the body; suppose that I do
rise into a higher region; is it quite sure that I shall come
back again to the body? Having left the body, shall I be certain
to return?" The idea of non-return makes a man nervous. Even if
he says that matter is nothing and Spirit is everything, he yet
does not like to lose touch with his body and, losing that touch,
by sheer fear, he drops back to the earth after having taken so
much trouble to leave it. You should, however, have no such fear.
That which will draw you back again is the trace of your past,
which remains under all these conditions.

The question is of the same kind as: "Why should a state of
Pralaya ever come to an end, and a new state of Manvantara
begin?" And the answer is the same from the Hindu psychological
standpoint; because, although you have dropped the very seed of
thought, you cannot destroy the traces which that thought has
left, and that trace is a germ, and it tends to draw again to
itself matter, that it may express itself once more. This trace
is what is called the privation of matter-- samskara. Far as you
may soar beyond the concrete mind, that trace, left in the
thinking principle, of what you have thought and have known, that
remains and will inevitably draw you back. You cannot escape your
past and, until your life-period is over, that samskara will
bring you back. It is this also which, at the close of the
heavenly life, brings a man back to rebirth. It is the expression
of the law of rhythm. In Light on the Path, that wonderful occult
treatise, this state is spoken of and the disciple is pictured as
in the silence. The writer goes on to say: "Out of the silence
that is peace a resonant voice shall arise. And this voice will
say: 'It is not well; thou hast reaped, now thou must sow.' And
knowing this voice to be the silence itself, thou wilt obey."

What is the meaning of that phrase: "Thou hast reaped, now thou
must sow?" It refers to the great law of rhythm which rules even
the Logoi, the Ishvaras --the law of the Mighty Breath, the
out-breathing and the in-breathing, which compels every fragment
which is separated for a time. A Logos may leave His universe,
and it may drop away when He turns His gaze inward, for it was He
who gave reality to it.

He may plunge into the infinite depths of being, but even then
there is the samskara of the past universe, the shadowy latent
memory, the germ of maya from which He cannot escape. To escape
from it would be to cease to be Ishvara, and to become Brahma
Nirguna. There is no Ishvara without maya, there is no maya
without Ishvara. Even in pralaya, a time comes when the rest is
over and the inner life again demands manifestation; then the
outward turning begins and a new universe comes forth. Such is
the law of rest and activity: activity followed by rest; rest
followed again by the desire for activity; and so the ceaseless
wheel of the universe, as well as of human lives, goes on. For in

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