List Of Contents | Contents of An Introduction to Yoga
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is by diving into yourself. There you will find Him, and know
that He is without as well as within you; and Yoga is a system
that enables you to get rid of everything from consciousness that
is not God, save that one veil of the nirvanic atom, and so to
know that God is, with an unshakable certainty of conviction. To
the Hindu that inner conviction is the only thing worthy to be
called faith, and this gives you the reason why faith is said to
be beyond reason, and so is often confused with credulity. Faith
is beyond reason, because it is the testimony of the Self to
himself, that conviction of existence as Self, of which reason is
only one of the outer manifestations; and the only true faith is
that inner conviction, which no argument can either strengthen or
weaken, of the innermost Self of you, that of which alone you are
entirely sure. It is the aim of Yoga to enable you to reach that
Self constantly not by a sudden glimpse of intuition, but
steadily, unshakably, and unchangeably, and when that Self is
reached, then the question: "Is there a God?" can never again
come into the. human mind.

Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter

It is necessary to understand something about that consciousness
which is your Self, and about the matter which is the envelope of
consciousness, but which the Self so often identifies with
himself. The great characteristic of consciousness is change,
with a foundation of certainty that it is. The consciousness of
existence never changes, but beyond this all is change, and only
by the changes does consciousness become Self-consciousness.
Consciousness is an everchanging thing, circling round one idea
that never changes--Self-existence. The consciousness itself is
not changed by any change of position or place. It only changes
its states within itself.

In matter, every change of state is brought about by change of
place. A change of consciousness is a change of a state; a change
of matter is a change of place. Moreover, every change of state
in consciousness is related to vibrations of matter in its
vehicle. When matter is examined, we find three fundamental
qualities--rhythm, mobility, stability--sattva, rajas, tamas.
Sattva is rhythm, vibration. It is more than; rajas, or mobility.
It is a regulated movement, a swinging from one side to the other
over a definite distance, a length of wave, a vibration.

The question is often put: "How can things in such different
categories, as matter and Spirit, affect each other? Can we
bridge that great gulf which some say can never be crossed?" Yes,
the Indian has crossed it, or rather, has shown that there is no
gulf. To the Indian, matter and Spirit are not only the two
phases of the One, but, by a subtle analysis of the relation
between consciousness and matter, he sees that in every universe
the LOGOS imposes upon matter a certain definite relation of
rhythms, every vibration of matter corresponding to a change in
consciousness. There is no change in consciousness, however
subtle, that has not appropriated to it a vibration in matter;
there is no vibration in matter, however swift or delicate, which
has not correlated to it a certain change in consciousness. That
is the first great work of the LOGOS, which the Hindu scriptures
trace out in the building of the atom, the Tanmatra, " the
measure of That," the measure of consciousness. He who is
consciousness imposes on his material the answer to every change
in consciousness, and that is an infinite number of vibrations.
So that between the Self and his sheaths there is this invariable
relation: the change in consciousness and the vibration of
matter, and vice versa. That makes it possible for the Self to
know the Not-Self.

These correspondences are utilised in Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga,
the Kingly Yoga and the Yoga of Resolve. The Raja Yoga seeks to
control the changes in consciousness, and by this control to rule
the material vehicles. The Hatha Yoga seeks to control the
vibrations of matter, and by this control to evoke the desired

changes in consciousness. The weak point in Hatha Yoga is that
action on this line cannot reach beyond the astral plane, and the
great strain imposed on the comparatively intractable matter of
the physical plane sometimes leads to atrophy of the very organs,
the activity of which is necessary for effecting the changes in
consciousness that would be useful. The Hatha Yogi gains control
over the bodily organs with which the waking consciousness no
longer concerns itself, having relinquished them to its lower
part, the " subconsciousness', This is often useful as regards
the prevention of disease, but serves no higher purpose. When he
begins to work on the brain centres connected with ordinary
consciousness, and still more when he touches those connected
with the super-consciousness, he enters a dangerous region, and
is more likely to paralyse than to evolve.

That relation alone it is which makes matter cognizable; the
change in the thinker is answered by a change outside, and his
answer to it and the change in it that he makes by his. answer
re-arrange again the matter of the body which is his envelope.
Hence the rhythmic changes in matter are rightly called its
cognizability. Matter may be known by consciousness, because of
this unchanging relation between the two sides of the manifest
LOGOS who is one, and the Self becomes aware of changes within
himself, and thus of those of the external words to which those
changes are related.


What is mind ? From the yogic standpoint it is simply the
individualized consciousness, the whole of it, the whole of your
consciousness including your activities which the Western
psychologist puts outside mind. Only on the basis of Eastern
psychology is Yoga possible. How shall we describe this
individualized consciousness? First, it is aware of things.
Becoming aware of them, it desires them. Desiring them, it tries
to attain them. So we have the three aspects of consciousness--
intelligence, desire, activity. On the physical plane, activity
predominates, although desire and thought are present. On the
astral plane, desire predominates, and thought and activity are
subject to desire. On the mental plane; intelligence is the
dominant note, desire and activity are subject to it. Go to the
buddhic plane, and cognition, as pure reason, predominates, and
so on. Each quality is present all the time, but one
predominates. So with the matter that belongs to them. In your
combinations of matter you get rhythmic, active, or stable ones;
and according to the combinations of matter in your bodies will
be the conditions of the activity of the whole of these in
consciousness. To practice Yoga you must build your bodies of the
rhythmic combinations, with activity and inertia less apparent.
The yogi wants to make his body match his mind.

Stages of  Mind

The mind has five stages, Patanjali tells us, and Vyasa comments
that "these stages of mind are on every plane". The first stage
is the stage in which the mind is flung about, the Kshipta stage;
it is the butterfly mind, the early stage of humanity, or, in
man, the mind of the child, darting constantly from one object to
another. It corresponds to activity on the physical plane. The
next is the confused stage, Mudha, equivalent to the stage of the
youth, swayed by emotions, bewildered by them; he begins to feel
he is ignorant--a state beyond the fickleness of the child--a
characteristic state, corresponding to activity in the astral
world. Then comes the state of preoccupation, or infatuation,
Vikshipta, the state of the man possessed by an idea--love,
ambition, or what not. He is no longer a confused youth, but a
man with a clear aim, and an idea possesses him. It may be either
the fixed idea of the madman, or the fixed idea which makes the
hero or the saint; but in any case he is possessed by the idea.
The quality of the idea, its truth or falsehood, makes the
difference between the maniac and the martyr.

Maniac or martyr, he is under the spell of a fixed idea. No
reasoning avails against it. If he has assured himself that he is
made of glass, no amount of argument will convince him to the
contrary. He will always regard himself as being as brittle as
glass. That is a fixed idea which is false. But there is a fixed
idea which makes the hero and the martyr. For some great truth
dearer than life is everything thrown aside. He is possessed by
it, dominated by it, and he goes to death gladly for it. That
state is said to be approaching Yoga, for such a man is becoming
concentrated, even if only possessed by one idea. This stage
corresponds to activity on the lower mental plane. Where the man
possesses the idea, instead of being possessed by it, that
one-pointed state of the mind, called Ekagrata in Sanskrit, is
the fourth stage. He is a mature man, ready for the true life.
When the man has gone through life dominated by one idea, then he
is approaching Yoga; he is getting rid of the grip of the world,
and is beyond its allurements. But when he possesses that which
before possessed him, then he has become fit for Yoga, and begins
the training which makes his progress rapid. This stage
corresponds to activity on the higher mental plane.

Out of this fourth stage or Ekagrata, arises the fifth stage,
Niruddha or Self-controlled. When the man not only possesses one
idea but, rising above all ideas, chooses as he wills, takes or
does not take according to the illumined Will, then he is
Self-controlled and can effectively practice Yoga. This stage
corresponds to activity on the buddhic plane.

In the third stage, Vikshipta, where he is possessed by the idea,
he is learning Viveka or discrimination between the outer and the
inner, the real and the unreal. When he has learned the lesson of
Viveka, then he advances a stage forward; and in Ekagrata he
chooses one idea, the inner life; and as he fixes his mind on
that idea he learns Vairagya or dispassion. He rises above the
desire to possess objects of enjoyment, belonging either to this

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