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PRACTICE Of

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YOGA
Swmi Sivananda
Pblished b
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. SHIVANANDANAGAR-249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, India
2006
[ 95/-
Eighth Edition:
[ 2,000 Copies ]
The Divine Life Trust Society
ISBN 81-7052-013-4
/ .
Published by Swami Vimalananda for
The Divine Life Society, Shivanandanagar, and printed by him
at the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy Press,
P.O. Shivanandanagar, Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttaranchal,
Himalayas, India
PUBLISHERS' NOTE
The work, Practice of Yoga, is one of the earliest productions
from the pen of Hi s Hol i ness Sri Swami Si vanandaji Maharaj and,
perhaps, the oldest. It appeared many years back in two vol umes
and has been out of pri nt for a long ti me. It i s now bei ng released
agai n in a si ngle, complete vol ume.
The contents of the book wi II show that it covers varied fiel ds
and can, thus, form an excel l ent i ntroduction to the spiritual way
of l i vi ng. The force and the compel l i ng expressions of the Swamij i
are a novel feature especial l y i n hi s wri ti ngs whi ch he i ntended to
be a general di rective to everyone. Al l hi s earl ier wri ti ngs were
characterised parti cularly by an enthusi ng admoni ti on on the
necessity of leadi ng a l i fe of the quest of the Spi rit, with which the
book commences. This rousi ng preface is usual l y fol l owed by the
phi losophy, ethics and practical i nstructions which al ways fnd a
promi nent place in every one of hi s writi ngs. Here is an
outstanding example of a sai nt speaking from experience with a
direct address to people who hunger and thirst for a permanent
remedy and solace in a worl d of dreary expectati ons and hopes
that offer l i ttle sati sfacti on. Man has to gi rd up his l oi ns to do
somethi ng rather than merely expect a mi racle to happen i n the
course of Nature' s evol uti on. Thi s doing i s an outcome of one's
wholesome being, the reconstruction of whi ch on a sound and
rational basi s i s the phi l osophy of spiri tual l i fe and the Leachi ng of
al l adepts i n Yoga.
We are confident that thi s edition wi l l be a source of inspirati on
to begi nners and remai n as a general gui de even to advanced
seekers of Truth.
-THE DIVINE Lire SOCIETY
v
INTRODUCTION
The summum bonum of exi stence, the end and ai m of human
l i fe, i s u
-
ni versal l y accepted by al l right-thi nki ng men and women
as the real i sation of God-consci ousness and, as such, a clear and
comprehensi ve knowledge of the various ways and means to that
end wi l l not be quite unwel come. Unl ess the aspirants know i n
unmistakable terms this exact science as understood and practised
by the sages and sai nts of yore, it wi l l be extremel y di ffi cul t if not
i mpossi bl e for them to attai n peace, joy, bl i ss, i mmortal i ty and
God-consci ousness.
It i s my si ncere conviction that thi s book wi l l b of i mmense
help to al l types of aspirants. This contai ns many practical lessons
on Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga i n a
nutshel l . This book wi l l doubtless help the aspirants i n the path of
Jnana to enjoy the supreme bl i ss of i ntense medi tati on. Followers
of Raja Yoga of Patanjal i Maharshi wi l l find i n thi s book equal l y
i nteresting and valuable lessons for the attai nment of perfect
concentration and the bl i ssful state Ni rvi kalpa Samadhi . Again it
serves as a di vi ne l i ght to all Bhaktas to fi x their mi nds on the
effulgent glory of thei r lshta Devata. Students of Karma Yoga and
Hatha Yoga wi l l fnd a wealth of i nformation and knowledge
which wi l l be of inestimable use to them. To the spiritual aspirants
thi s book wi l l be a gi ft from the land of gods.
If a si ngle i ndi vi dual is real l y profted by the use of thi s book,
my !incere efforts to serve Brahman (Brahma-Karma) i n
expression-humani ty and the world at l arge-wi l l be more 'than
amply repaid.
The ul ti mate i mport of Vecanta i s that the Ji va i s identical wi th
Brahman whose essential nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda. But owi ng to
the force of Avidya ( i gnorance) the i ndi vidual soul identi fies itself
with the body and thinks that it l i ves onl y for the l i fe-term of the
physical body. Cooped up by the brai n, it i magines that its
knowledge is onl y so much as can be circumscribed by the brai n.
Carried away by the pleasures of the senses i t whi rls about i n the
mi dst of them as though they constituted the real bl i ss. When it
wakes up from the dream of l ower things of the body and l o
o
ks
upwards to the hi gher world of Spi rit, it di scovers i ts del usions
Vll
and finds itself identi cal wi th Brahman. This discovery has to be
made by each soul i n the human body in which it is functi oni ng
through the three mai n gates of head, heart and Muladhara. It cuts
asunder the heart-knot (Hri daya-Granthi ), and real i ses i ts
al l -pervading character; it raises beyond the brai n through
Sah<lsrara and attai ns omni science and mastery over the
mysterious force cal l ed Kundal i ni which is l yi ng at the Mul adhara
Chakra.
Psychologi sts tel l us that desire when control led leads to the
devel opme
;
nt of the wi l l " whi ch when devel oped to an enormous
extent feads to great power of omnipotence. Kundal i ni when
conquered leads to unl i mi ted powers like Anira, Mahi ma, etc.
Thi s conquest can be easi l y made by ri sing above the desires of
senses. Thi s again can be best done by constant medi tati on,
incessant Yogi c practice and contemplati on. All these will help the
aspirant i n the

conquest of Deha-Adhyasa, in the removal of the
veil of ignorance and in the fi nal establ i shment in Sat-Cit-Aanda
Brahman.
There are mai nl y four paths and all of them lead to the same
goat- the attai nment of God-consciousness. Roads are different
but the destination is the same. The four paths i nculcated from
different standpoi nts are termed Karma Yoga for the man of
acti on, Bhakti Yoga for the man of devoti on, Raja Yoga for the
mystic'rmin and Jnana Yoga for the man of reason. The four paths
are not at al l antagoni stic to each other but are complementary.
They i ndi cate the various methods of Hi ndu rel igion and show that
they are i n h<lppy harmony wi th each other. Reli gion ' must educate
and develop the whole man,-his head, heart and hand. One-si ded
development i s not commendabl e. One should .have _the head of
Sankara, the heart of Buddha and the hand of Janaka. Karma Yoga
removes the i mpurities of the mi nd and develops the heart. Jh
.
akti
.
Yoga destroys the tossi ng of the mi nd. Raja Yoga steadies the
mi rd and devel ops concentrati on.
"
Jnana Yoga remo
V
es the vei l of
i gnorance. and 'bri ngs knowledge of Self. Therefore one' should
practi se all the four Yogas. Jnana Yoga should b the central basi s
and the other Yogas should be treated as auxi l i aries for the apid
development and progress of the aspirant on the' spiritual path.
Action, emotion and i ntel l i gence are the three horses that are
l i nked to this body-chariot. They should work i n perfect uni son.
Then alone the chariot can run smoothly . . There must be i ntegral
development.
.
Vedanta without devotior is dry. Hence Bhakti
Vlll
wi thout Jnana is i mperfect. How can one who has real i sed hi s
oneness of Atman remai n wi thout servi ng the world whi ch i s onl y
Atman i n manifestati on? Bhakti i s not at al l di vorced from Jnana
but i s rather exceedi ngl y helpful for i ts perfect attai nment.
Bhakti i s not antagoni sti c to Jnana. There i s mutual dependence
between the two. Both l ead to the same desti nati on. Bhakti and
Jnana are not i ncompati bl es l i ke acids and al kal i s. One can
combi ne Bhakti Yoga with Jnana Yoga. The frui t of Bhakti i s
Jnana. Para Bhakti and Jnana are one. Perfect knowl edge i s l ove.
Perfect l ove i s knowl edge. Sri Sankara, the Advaita Kevala Jnani
was a great Bhakta of Lord Hari, Hara and Devi . Jnana Deva of
Alandi, a great Yogi , was a Bhakta of Lord Kri shna. Sri Gauranga
was a refi ned Advaita Vedantic scholar and yet he danced in the
streets si ngi ng Hari ' s name. Bhakti can, therefore, be combined
along wi th Jnana with much advantage.
"The scriptures are endless; there is much to be known; time i s
short; obstacles are many; that which i s the essence shoul d be
grasped, j ust as the swan does i n the case of mi l k mi xed with
water."
0 readers, nectar' s sons ! Wake up. Open your eyes now. Do not
waste your whole l i fetime in studyi ng the ocean of scriptures. I am
your wel l -wi sher. I am a cosmic friend. I can hel p you in your
object. Assi mi l ate what you have learnt. Put them i nto practice.
Ascend the Yogi c l adder step by step and attai n the supreme
God-conscious state. Never, never forget the l ast word of the
Vedas: Tat Tvam Asimy dear brothers, Thou art That.
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah!
Om Santih, Santih, Santih!
IX
CONTENTS
Publi shers' Note
Introduction . .
Chapter One
OBJECT OF YOGA
Yoga Defi ned . . . .
Yoga and Joana . . .
Mi serable Mundane Life .
The Goal of Life .
God-reali sation . . . . .
Chapter Two
FOUNDATION OF YOGA
Necessity for a Guru .
Selection of Aspirants
Faith in Scriptures . .
Brahmacharya . . . .
Lack of Brahmacharya .
Mi tahara . . . . . . . .
Gi ve up Sal t . . . . . .
Renunciation-Its Service to Brahma-j nana
Secl usi on for Three Years . . . . . . . . .
Sadhana Chatushtaya . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter Three
ETHICAL CULTURE
Lead a Moral Life .
Dharma and Adharma
Bui l d Your Character
Control Evi l Habi ts .
Eradicate Negative Qual i ties
Conserve Your Energy . . . .
Ill
i v
3
3
6
1 0
1 0
1 1
1 2
13
1 3
1 8
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3 1
36
40
Purification . . .
Chapter Four
PREPARATION FOR YOGA
Ethical Trai ni ng . . . . . . . . n
Importance of Yama and Ni yama
Destroy the I mpuri ti es
Culti vate Vi rtues . . . . . . . . n
Devel op Patience . n . n n n . . n
Medi cal Ai d for Chi tta-Suddhi `n
Trataka . . . . .
What i s Bhakti? . . . . . .
Frui ts of Bhakti . . . . . .
Characteri sti cs of a Bhakta
Japa . . . . . . . . . . . . n
Chapter Five
a _ .
YOGIC PHYSICAL EXERCISES AND PRANAYAMA
Benefit of Yogi c Exerci ses .
Padmasana
Si ddhasana . .
Si rshasana . .
Sarvangasana .
Paschi mottanasana
Sukhapurvaka Pranayama
Bhastri ka Pranayama .
Si tal i Pranayama .
Maha Mudra . . .
Uddi yana Bandha
Chapter Six
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
Essence of Sadhana .
Evol uti on of Mi nd . . .
Theory of Percepti on . a
Pure and I mpure Mi nd .
Mi nd i n a Jnani . . . .
Mi nd-A Frightened Bi rd
Mi nd-A Mi schi evous Monkey .
Mi nd-A Pl ayi ng Chi l d . . .
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Mi nd-A Wi l d Bul l
Mi nd-A Wi l d Horse =
Ever Control the lndriyas
Control the Wandering Mi nd
Thought-cul ture
Mental Factory o s
Memory-cul ture o
Important Exercises
I nstructions on Memory
Wi l l -cul ture s s s
How to Develop the Wi l l
Instructions on Wi l l -Cul ture
Chapter Seven
THE LAW OF KARMA
Nature o o s s
The Law of Karma o
Man Is the Master of His Desti ny
Man Can Outgrow Envi ronments
Chapter Eight
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
Moha-Attachment
Poor Health s
Impure and I mmoderate Food o
I nfl uence of Tamas a
Doubt
Vishaya-Asakti
Manorajya
Di l ly-dal l yi ng
Shi l l y-shal l yi ng
Evil Company s
The So-called Friends
Ji l l y-jal l yi ng s s s
Name and Fame
Irregul arity and Cessation of Sadhana
Lack of a Preceptor
Fear o
Anger s
Force of Samskaras
Xlll
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Samskara-Raksha a
Danger of Mi xi ng =
Prati paksha-Bhavana
Places for Meditation
Brahmamuhurta
Meditation Room
Time for Medi tation
Chapter Nine
MEDITATION

How Many Hours t o Meditate
Three I nstrumental Causes
Meditation and Action
Elementals
Real Rest i n Meditation


Remembrance i n Meditation
Hi nts on Medi tati on
I nstructi ons on Meditation
Practi cal I nstructi ons
Meditati on on Rose
Meditation on a Buffal o
Meditation on Mahatma Gandhiji
Meditation on Vi ratPurusha
Meditation on Di vi ne Songs
Meditation on the Gita Sl okas
Meditation on Gayatri
Meditation on Mahavakyas
Concentration on Breath
Meditati on on Soham
Saguna Medi tati on
Ni rguna Meditation
Pos iti ve Meditation
Negative Meditation
Saguna and Ni rguna Meditation
Mauna a
Antaranga Sadhana e
S vara Sadhana
Chapter Ten
SPECIAL SADHANA
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wakening the Kundal ini
Laya Yoga . . .
Auto-suggestion .
Chapter Eleven
THE YOGA OF WISDOM
Theory of Vedanta
Important Qual ifications .
Jnana Yoga Sadhana . .
Your Real Nature . . . .
Residuum of Ignorance
The Fi ve Sheaths .
Ji va in Sl eep . :
Sat-Chit-Ananda .
Svarupa Jnana . .
Nature of Moksha
Cosmi c Consciousness .
Omniscience . . q
Ajati-Vada . . . . . . .
Brahmakara Vritti . .
Fate of Brahmakara Vritti
Nature of a Ji vanmukta
Who is a Jnani . . . . . .
Vedanti c Medi tation . . .
Savi kalpa and Ni rvi kalpa Samadhi
Chapter Twelve
MYSTIC EXPERIENCES
Anahata Sounds .
Mind Moves . . .
Feel i ng of Separation
Material i sati
.
on . . .
Astral Journey . . .
Lights in Medi tation
Dazzl ing Lights .
e
APPENDICES
Appendix One
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS .
XV
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1 98
. 200
. 202
. 203
. 204
. 204
. 206
. 2 1 0
. 21 1
. 2 1 3
. 2 14
. 2 1 6
. 2 1 7
. 2 1 8
. 2 1 9
. 222
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. 223
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. 226
. . . . 23 1
Appendix Two
GARLAND OF YOGA
A Real Guru o o o
Pseudo-Gurus o o _
The Ashram Li fe o
Advice to Sannyasa Students
Health and Yoga o
Yogic Powers o o
Special I nstructions
Appendix Three
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
Sankaracharya and Hi s Di sci pl e
Ekanath o o o o o o
Jada Bharata o o o
Kabi r' s Method of Sadhana
Tiruval l uvar's Wi fe o & &
Orona and Hi s Di sci ples
Gl adstone and Bal four o
Ranti Deva o
Nama Deva
Tukaram
Damaj i o
Nandana o o
Swami Kri shna Ashram
Si ddharudha Swami o o
Appendix Four
ANECDOTES
A Brahmi n Pri est o
A Sol di er Bhakta
A Sai nt o o
GLOSSARY = o o
XVI
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& 243
o 246
248
o 25 1
o 254
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o 265
. 266
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270
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& 27 1
272
. 272
. 273
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275
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276

o
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& 278
o 279
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o 282
About the Author:-
SRI SWAMI SIVAADA
Bor on the 8th September, 1887, in the illustrious
family of Sage Appayya Dikshitar and several other
renowned saints and savants, Sri Swami Sivananda had a
natural fair for a life devoted to the study and practice of
Vedanta. Added to this was an inbor eageress to serve all
and an innate feeling of unity with all mankind.
His passion for service drew him to the medical career;
and soon he gravitated to whre he thought that his service
was most needed. Malaya claimed him. He had earlier
been editing a health joural and wrote extensively on
health problems. He discovered that people needed right
knowledge most of all; dissemination of that knowledge he
espoused as his own mission.
It was divine dispensation and the blessing of God upon
mankind that the doctor of body and mind renounced his
career and took to a life of renunciation to qualif for
ministering to the soul of man. He settled down at
Rishikesh in 1924, practised intense austerities and shone
as a great Yogi, saint, sage and Jivanmukta.
In 1932 Swami Sivananda started the Sivanandashram.
In 1936 was bor The Divine Life Society. In 1948 the
Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy was organised.
Dissemination of spiritual knowledge and training of
people in Yoga and Vedanta were their aim and object. In
1950 Swamiji undertook a lightning tour of India and
Ceylon. In 1953 Swamiji convened a 'World Parliament of
Religions'. Swamiji is the author of over 300 volumes and
has disciples all over the world, belonging to all
nationalities, religions and creeds. To read Swamiji's
works is to drink at the Fountain of Wisdom Supreme. On
14thJuly, 1963 Swamiji enteredMahasamadhi.
PRCTICE OF 'OG/
CHAPTER ONE
OBJECT OF YOGA
Yoga

Defned
The term 'Yoga' comes from the Sanskrit root ' Yuj ' whi ch
means ' to j oi n. ' I n its spiritual sense, i t i s the process by which the
identity of the Ji vatman and Paramatman is realised by the Yogi .
Yoga means uni on wi th the Lord. This i s the goal of human l i fe.
Yoga is the Adhyatmi c science that teaches the method of joi ni ng
human spirit with God. Yoga i s the divine science which
disentangles the Jiva from the phenomenal world of sense-objects
and l i nks hi m wi th the Absol ute.
Harmony i s Yoga. Yoga is oneness wi th Brahman. Yoga i s uni on
with Brahman. Dwel l i ng i n Brahman i s Yoga. Yoga is uni ty,
homogeneity, sameness wi th Brahman. In Patanjal i ' s Yoga Sutras
it is stated: "At the ti me of union, the Seer (Purusha) rests in Hi s
own unmodi fed state."
In Dattatreya Samhi ta, you wi l l fi nd: "Sarvachinta parityagat
nischinta yoga uchyatethe state wherei n there is no
Sankal pa-Vi kal pa, as a resul t of renounci ng the formati ve wi l l ,
i s termed Yoga. " Agai n i t i s defi ned: " Yoga-samadhih
samatavastha jivatmaparamatmanohJi vatman becoms
i dentical with Brahman. That is Yoga. " The Bhagavad Gi ta says:
" Yogah karmasu kausalam_Yoga i s ski l l i n acti on" and
"Samatvam yoga uchyateequi l i bri um i s cal l ed Yoga. " How
thi s Yoga i s attai ned i s descri bed i n the subsequent pages.
Yoga i n a generic sense refers to Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga,
Raja Yoga, Jnana Yog', Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga and Laya Yoga.
In a restricted sense it means the Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga of
Patanjal i Maharshi .
The word Yoga is al so appl i cable i n a secondary sense to al l
those factors that go to constitute _oga, that are conduci ve to the .
final achievement or ful fi l ment of Yoga. A Yogi is one who has
reached the hi ghest Samadhi .
Yoga and Joana
Jnana Yoga is th( royal road and is described in every practical
treatise of Vedanta. The point of starti ng i s the heari ng of Vedanta
texts from a profound and sympathetic teacher. It is onl y the
4 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Upani shads that can give accurate knowledge of Brahman. The
proper heari ng from begi nni ng to end wi l l convi nce the hearer that
the ul ti mate i mport of al l the holy texts is i n establ i shi ng the
identity of i ndi vidual soul wi th Brahman. The doubt as regards the
val i di ty of the Vedanta texts, the recognised source of Brahma
Jnana, i s removed by heari ng. The second step i s ratiocination of
what i s heard. Reason is al lowed to exami ne from all sides the
i mport of Vedanta texts. Al l possi bl e doubts wi th respecr to the
nature of Brahman, the subject of i nquiry, are set aside by
ratioci nation. The conviction of the absolute nature of Self brought
about by h
e
ari ng and ratiocination is verified by experience based
upon deep meditation of Sel f. Constant meditation does away with
al l

forms of perverse knowledge and obstructions (Viparita
Bhavana) in the form of i mpressions of acti ons, and reveals the
true nature of Sel f. The moment the absol ute character of Self i s
real i sed, the phenomenal world subsi des together wi th its
generati ng cause, Maya. The destination i s now reached and the
aspirer becomes a perfect Paramahamsa. "When seei ng Brahman
as the hi ghest and the l owest everywhere, al l knots of our heart are
broken, al l sorrows are spl i t, al l doubts vanish and our works
become nothi ng. " -Mundaka Upani shad, III-ii , 8.
The same goal can be reached by Yogi ns al so by contemplation
of Brahman devoid of qual i ties. Holy texts l ike the fol lowi ng
evidentl y show that contemplative devotion to the Absol ute i s
another means of l i berati on
"That Cause can be comprehended by reflection over Its nature
.
through Vedanta texts as wel l as by contemplation of Its absolute
nature."
"The goal whi ch is reached by phi l osophical enquirers i s also
attained by contempl ators ."
The Sruti text whi ch denies the contemplation of Brahman
shoul d be understood i n the sense that Brahman as such is
i mpossi bl e to contempl ate. In l i ke manner, the text which shows
the i mpossi bi l i ty of knowi ng It, means that It can never become
the object of knowl edge in Its absol ute nature. Ai l the methods of
knowi ng and contempl ati ng Brahman are based upon that aspect
of Brahman, whi ch is qui te cl ose to the Absol ute. That aspect
vani shes when the knower or contempl ator ceases to exist as an
i ndependent enti ty.
No sharp i ntel l ect is requi red of the aspirer in Yoga l i ne. It i s
suffi cient i f he i s perfectly moral , sel f-control led and devoted to
OBJECT OF YOGA 5
hi s teacher. The teacher too need not be as learned and profound
as i n the first case. He must be pure i n conduct and thoroughl y
conversant wi th the tradi tional lore.
A perfect sage of Jnana Yoga, who i s learned and moral, can
gi ve l essons in phi l osophy and contemplation to hi s two discipl es
of different
.
mental cal i bre.
It may be noticed in concl usion that though contemplation is a
means of l i berati on, i t i s not as efcacious and prominent as
phi losophical i nvesti gati on; because a man whose obstructi ng si ns
are washed off real i ses Brahman by the l atter more easi l y than by
the former. An aspirer for real i si ng Brahman, who works through
contempl ati on, is advised to proceed by the scientific method of
Patanjal i :
IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE
Yoga is restrai ni ng the mental modifications. Now, a Yogi pl ugs
his mi nd, as it were, through efort; just as you pl ug a cork. He
tries to make the mi nd qui te bl ank.
A Jnani does not care a bi t about the mi nd duri ng meditation or
Nididhyasana stage, though he has tranqui l l i sed i t through effort,
Sara, in the begi nni ng. He rests i n Brahman thr
o
ugh
Rrahmakara-Vritti generated through the hearing of Mahavakyas
as 'Tat Tv am Asi ' or ' Aham Brahma Asmi . '
This Brahmakara-Vri tti i s a Sattvic modification, Pari nama of
Sattvic Antahkarana whi ch envelops, envi rons and embraces
Brahman. A Jnani remai ns as a Sakshi n or si l ent wi tness of the
mental modifcations (he does not pl ug the Vri tti s, as a Yogi does)
and uses the mi nd and body as i nstruments. A Jnani is al ways i n
Samadhi, even at work also, whereas a Yogi can enter i nto
Samadhi onl y i n closed rooms, i n an Asana (Jada Samadhi ). A
Yogi is afected by Maya, during waki ng state, when he is out of
trance or out of Samadhi . A Jnani does not want an Asana. He i s
in Samadhi whi l e wal ki ng al so (Chai tanya Samadhi ). A Yogi
cannot work whi l e i n Samadhi , whereas a Jnani can. The method
differs. A Yogi has a control led mi nd. A Jnani has a dual
consciousness, j ust as a trai ned man typewri tes, pl ays on the
piano, and a lady does kni tti ng and embroidery work, at the same
ti me both are tal ki ng to their neighbours. There is no 'in trance'
and ' out of trance' for a Jnani . He is al ways in Samadhi . He i s not
affected by Maya whi le at work.
There i s a difference in the start also between Yoga and
6 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Vedanta. A Raja Yogi starts with Buddhi and wi l l ; to be more
correct, he starts directly wi th Atman
A Jnana Yogi rati oci nates, reasons out, reflects, discri mi nates,
anal yses and synthesi ses. Thi s ,is Savitarka method. He uses the
'Neti-Neti ' doctrine-not thi s, not thi s; I am not the body; I am
not the mi nd; I am Sat-Chi t-Ananda-Aham Brahma Asmi . As he
thi nks, so he becomes. According to the Bhramara-kita Nyaya, he
constantly and i ntensely thi nks that he i s Brahman and becomes
Brahman. A Raj a Yogi converts all Vrittis i nto one Vri tti,
Savi kalpa Samadhi , and by gi vi ng up this last Vritti al so, enters
i nto Ni rvi kalpa Samadhi and then realises that he is Brahman.
A Jnani gets i nstantaneous Mukti . A Yogi passes through
di ferent stages, from Chakra to Chakra scientifical ly. He crosses
plane after pl ane. They both meet at the j unction pl atform, Suddha
Brahman.
Miserable Mundane Life
Bei ng much hemmed i n on all si des and whirl ing in different
conditions . in this fluctuating world, you are ever tossed
.
i n
del usi on and afl icted wi th pai ns, l i ke dust of sand floati ng i n the
mi dst of a l arge stone. Now reflecti ng upon ti me which is eternal
in its true nature, you cannot but term, as a moment, the hundred
years of your l i fe. Whi l e so, how is it that you estimate your l i fe
greatly and fal l i nto al l sorts of despondencies through the
powerful desires? Who is there so debased i n l i fe as you who are
spoi led through your gross mi nd? Fie on your uneven l i fe which
cannot be considered as of any moment. Compari ng this earth to
the countless uni verses, you cannot but consider it as an atom. It i s
real l y surpri si ng that you should rate high this uni verse full of
pai ns. I ndeed you are unable to fi nd one object i n thi s archaic
uni verse whi ch is sweet and beneficent for one twi nkl i ng of the
eye at least. Whi l e so, it is real l y marvel l ous to see the
heterogeneities of the uni verse. Even the greatest of petsons wi l l
i n course of time become the lowest of the low. Al l enjoyments,
great men, and thei r ki ndred have appeared i n the past- Where then
i s the certitude of exi stence of all objects now? The i nnumerable
earths wi th thei r rulers and their wealth have all perished l i ke fine
sands; the Devalokas with their Indras and wealth have al l
di sappeared l i ke flash i n the sky above: no l i mi t can be i mposed
upon the number of uni verses, Brahmas, mundane eggs and Ji vas
that have come and gone. Where then are al l the objects that have
vani shed out of si ght? Where then is the permanency of this
OBJECf OF YOGA 7
earthl y l i fe? I t is only by bestowing your desires on the i l l usion of
long dream of bodi l y del usi on i n the sable night of the unreal
Maya that you have debased yourself to thi s ignorant state.
E nough, enough with all the deaths you had undergone i n previous
l i ves. Not one benefcent object exi sts on this earh, ei ther in the
begi nni ng, middle or end. Are not all created objects coated with
the varni sh of destruction? You enact in your dai ly l i fe with your
body dire si nful acts, forbidden deeds and i l l i mi table vi ces. In
youth, you are envel oped with ignorance; in adul t age, you are
enta
.
ngled in the meshes of women; i n ol d age, you groan under
the burden of S amsara and debi l i ty. You eventual l y die. Bei ng thus
always occupied, when wi l l you fi nd time to devote yourself to the
commi ssion of vi rtuous deeds? How did this Maya come to pl ay
and dance i n this world? This ghost of your mi nd dances i n the
theatre of this uni verse to the music of the sense-organs. If in the
opening and the cl osi ng of the eyel i ds, many Brahmas are created
and destroyed, what are you, a puny sel f, before them?
You are but repeati ng the same actions as yesterday yieldi ng but
momentary hap pi ness and enjoyed thi ngs do recur again. Thi ngs
seen yesterday do agai n present t hemsel ves today. Ornaments
worn wi th exul tation yesterday are again donned by you. And yet,
even i ntel l i gent persons do not becom e disgusted wi th them and
are not ashamed of enjoyi ng them agai n and agai n. Like ignorant
chi l dren that do taste agai n and agai n sweetmeats whi ch impart
sweetness for the time being, you are al so afficted, ignorant of the
true path. Days, fortni ghts, months, years and Yugas do cy
C
l e
again and agai n as formerly, and nothi ng new crops up. Wealth
which only makes hosts of thoughts to whi rl in the brai ns wi l l not
confer you bl i ss. This wealth which the mi nd covets and is very
ephemeral in i ts nature is utterly useless l i ke a flower-bed i n a
creeper growi ng i n a wal l and enc i rcled by a serpent. The Prana
which is l i ke a drop of rainwater dri ppi ng from the end of a leaf
turned overhead fl i ts out of the body, at unseasonal ti m es. Thi s l i fe
is ephemeral l i ke autumnal cl ouds or a gheeless lamp or
ocean-waves. Life and death are two acts in the s cene (drama) of
the Juggler (Brahman). Real l y nobody comes or goes. The l i ves of.
those who have feed themselves f rom rebirth are the true ones
and the noblest; but others ' l i ves are l i ke those of old asses. There
is nothi ng so baneful as this l i fe whi ch is peri shable in its nature
and fl eeting i n the bestowal of pleasures. The fire of desi res has
scalded you enough. In the present state, even a bath in ambro

i a
8 PRACTICE OF YOA
wi l l not cool you. It is these everwexi ng desires that bring on the
pain of rebi rth, t he heaviest of al l pai ns. This body which , i s
composed of muscles, i ntestines, uri ne and faecal matter and i s
subject t o changes, bei ng at one time fat and at another ti me lean,
shi nes in this mundane exi stence si mply to undergo pai ns. What
beauty then is to be enjoyed i n this body which i s composed of
bl ood, fl esh and bone, whi ch has the tendency to rot, which is the
same for the ri ch and the poor, and which is subject to growth and
decay? Thi s body is a fal se air- bag, fi l led with rotten vegetable,
urine, faecal matter and various ki nds of i mpurities.
What happi ness i s there to b derived from the string-tossed
puppets of female bodies composed of joi nts, muscles, bones and
flesh? Where is the beauty i n a female? The real beauty is the
emanation from the Atman i nsi de. Look at the condition of the
eyes, face and the body of a woman after an attack of seven days'
fever. Where has the beauty gone? What is the state of the body, if
a bath is not taken for three days? The sti nk is abominable. Look
at the seni l e woman aged 85 who is si tti ng at the corner wi th
rotten eyes, shrunken cheeks and ski n. Where is the beauty in thi s
seni l e wri nkl ed state? Anal yse the parts of a woman, realise their
true nature and abandon total l y. If you begin to analyse thi s body
i nto f esh, bl ood, bone, your desi re towards females wi l l become
i ni mical to you in a short ti me. Love and attachment for a woman
destroy Buddh i , Mukti and vi rtuous deeds and cause contraction of
heart.
If the l ust for women, whi ch is the source of al l enjoyments
ceases, then al l worl dl y bondage which has i ts substratum in the
mi nd wi l l ceas e. E ven the most vi rulent of poisons is no poison;
but the sensual objects are trul y so; the former defi les one body
onl y whereas the l atter adul terates many bodies in successive
rebirths. You are the sporti ng l ap-dog of the caprice of a woman.
You are a sl ave of desires, emotions and passions. When are you
goi ng to rise up from thi s mi serable state? Those persons who, in
spite of the knowled ge of the non-exi stence of happiness both in
the past and the present in the baneful objects of the world, do yet
entangle themsel ves i n them with their thoughts cl i nging to them,
deserve the appel l ation of an ass, i f not a worse one. If you do not
posse ss Viveka, i f you do not try your best for sal vati on, if you
spend your l ifetime in eati ng, dri nki ng and sl eeping, you are a
bi ped ani mal . I shoul d say, you are worse than an animal . Because,
OBJECT OF YOGA 9
you wi l l have to learn some lessons from the ani mal s whi ch
possess self-restraint.
There are scorpion-sti ngs on one side. Fl i es, bugs, mosquitoes
and thorns troubl e you from one corner. Sun scorches you i n
summer; cold stings i n wi nter. Influenza, pl ague, appendicitis,
pyorrhoea, smal lpox and other diseases are ready to devour you.
Fear, del usion, gri ef, sorrow and mi sery kil l you every moment.
Desires, anger, jeal ousy, worries, anxieties and cares torment
you every second. Deaths of persons whom you loved most give
you severe shock. Yet, you wi l l never renounce these momentary
pleasures of senses of this unreal , mundane existence. Such is the
decepti ve depth of sensual enj oyment. You wi l l speak through
Ahankara: "Oh, I am a powerful man. I am very i ntel l igent. I can
do anythi ng. There is no Isvara." You wi l l twist your gl ued
moustache and when the scorpion stings you sharp, you wi l l cal l
out bi tterl y: "0 Narayana, hel p me. " If the hair becomes grey, you
wi l l i nvent various dyes to bl acken i t. You wi l l i nvent
' monkey-gland grafti ng' for rej uvenation. If the teeth have fal l en,
you wi l l put on a new fal se dental set. You wi l l never l eave the
' wi l l to l i ve and enjoy. ' Mi serable wrecks i ndeed! Hopeless
speci mens !
.
Think deeply. Cogitate. Refect. Have constant Satsanga. Do
sel fless service, Nishkama Yaj na. Develop the four means of
qual i fications, Sadhana Chatushtaya. Study the Gi ta, the Brahma
Sutras, the twel ve cl assical Upanishads, the Yoga-Vasishtha and
the Viveka Chudamani of Sri Sankara. Remove your doubts by
approachi ng l earned Sannyasi ns. Have recourse to Sravana,
. Manana, Nidi dhyasana. Remove the veil of i gnorance and rest i n
Satchidananda

state. "Atma va are drashtavyah shrotavyo
mantavyo nididhyasitavyah. The Sel f mus be seen, heard, thought
upon and deepl y pondered over."-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad,
IV-5.
Note: Lust is a potent force, very difficult to be got rid of. So, I
have to place. this mental picture before the minds of the vast
majority. Really, a woman should be adored as Mother or Sakti.
She is the Creatrix, Generatrix and Nourisher of the universe. She
must be revered. In India, Religion is preserved and maintained
only through the devotional element of women. Devotion is a
fundamental characteristic of Hindu women. Hate lust, but not
women.
1 0 PRACTICE OF YOGA
The Goal of Life
Atman, our real Self, i s
.
Brahman. It is pure, i ndivisible,
omni present, omnipotent, pure, perfect. It i s Existence, Knowledge
and Bl i ss Absolute. It is ti meless, spaceless, causeless, free and
self-l umi nous.
.
I n the movement of nature, the Self represents itself variously.
In the physical consciousness, Atman becomes the material Bei ng,
Annamaya Purusha. In the vi tal consciousness, It becomes the
Pranamaya Purusha. I n the mental consciousness, It becomes the
-Manomaya Purusha. I n the supramental consciousness which i s
domi nated by the Truth, It becomes the Vij nanamaya Purusha. I n
the consciousness of uni versal beatitude, It becomes the
al l -bl i ssful , al l -enjoyi ng Anandamaya Purusha. In the conscious
n
e
ss proper to the di vine Sel f-awareness, It becomes the al l
conscious Soul , Source and Lord of the uni verse, Chaitanya
Purusha. I n the consciousness proper to the state of pure, di vi ne
exi stence, It is Sat Purusha. Man can have any one or al l of these
experiences, as essential l y he is Di vi ne.
God-realisation
Raja Janaka realised God i n the twi nkl i ng of an eye. Raja
KhatVanga real i sed wi thi n a Muhurta. Raja Parikshit reali sed
wi thi n a week. Swami Rama Tirtha realised withi n two years.
Real i sation is not at al
i
difcul t. It is as easy as anything. It i s
even easier than learni ng logic or mathematics. Once you have
discipl i ned the mi nd and fixed i t on the Lakshya, i t wi l l simply
remai n fi xed wi thout any trouble. Mi nd i s a good fel l ow. It
depends upon the way in which you train him. He i s quite a
wi l l i ng and obedient servant. There is nothing so pl easant as
medi tati on. It is al l Ananda. It is al l Joy. It is al l happi ness. You
must make a frm start. That is what is wanted. Draw i nspiration
from the l i ves of Mahatmas l ike Sri Aurobindo, Sri Ramana
Maharshi , or Si ddharudha Swamij i . There are many earnest
Sadhakas al so, al l educated and noble Sannyasi ns. Move with
them. Clear your doubts. Get the method. Have i ntel l ectual
convicti on, i ntel lectual grasp of Atman, Brahman. Practise
Nidi dhyasana. March courageousl y with Sraddha banner, Vairagya
coat-of-arms and Pranava Omkara band, in the Brahmic fiel d
o
f
Ni didhyasana. You wi l l get sangui ne victory in the attai nment of
Brahma Sakshatkara. Make efort. Awake, arise, and stop not ti l l
the goal i s reached. You can real ise wi thi n two or three years, if
you have earnestness and sincerity.
CHAPTER TWO
FOUNDATION OF YOGA
Necessity for a Guru
Tadviddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya;
Upadekskhyanti te jnanam jnaninastattva drshinah.
"Learn thou this by discipleship, by i nvestigation and by
service. The wi se, the seers of th
e
essence of things, wi l l i nstruct
thee in wi sdom." - Gi ta, IV-34.
Hear the words of the Yoga-Vasi shtha: "To the real enquirer
afer knowledge, the Guru' s words wi l l enable him to know hi s
own Self. An Acharya' s grace, if it becomes en rapport with hi s
disciple, wi l l of itself i n a mysterious manner enable the disciple
to perceive directly the Brahmic principle

wi thi n, though i t i s
impos
s
i bl e for the Guru t o point out Brahman as this or that or for
the disciple to understand how It i s prior to his direct perception. It
is i ndeed very rare to attai n that state wi thout the hel p of a Guru
and spiritual books. Should al l the three combi ne,

vi z. , an
.
Acharya, Jnana-Sastras and a true disci ple, then it is certain that
the seat beyond al l

bondage wi l l be attained."
It i s the Guru who removes the Avarana or vei l of i gnorance.
Before you approach the Guru, you should possess the devotion to
Guru, you ought to have removed Mala or dirt by Nishkama
Karma Yoga and the practice of Yama and Ni yama, and Vikshepa
or di straction by Upasana and Yoga. You ought to be establ i shed i n
mental truth and mental Brahmacharya. You should be free fom
Ji va-Bhavana. Then the Guru wi l l start with Sravana and i nstruct
you with the mystery of 'Tat Tvam Asi ' Mahavakya. It must be
remembered, however, that Guru can gi ve you Paroksha Jnana,
can remove your doubts and your own si ncere individual efort i s
i ndispensably requi site. Do not be under the false mpression that
by bri nging five pots of water from the Ganga, Mukti can be
gained through the grace of Guru. In one sene, no Guru, no I svara
can gi ve Mukti . It is l eft to your own efort. The Sastras show the
way, the Guru points out the face of Brahman and jt is your efort
to become personal l y acquainted wi th Brahman through constant
Nididhya
s
ana. Do not make this serious mi stake that by keeping
quiet, Mukti wi l l come to you through Guru's grace, by sham
1 2 PRACTICE OF YOGA
service. You must taste Sat-Chit-Ananda yourself through your
Di vya Dri shti : "Pasyanti jnana chakshusah" (Gita, XV-10) . The
Sastras prescribe Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana. If one can
gai n Mukti by Sravaria alone from the mouth of the Guru, then i t
i s superfl uous to add Manana and Ni didhyasana. Manana and
Nididhyasana are l eft for the aspirant for his own exertion.
U ddharedatmana-atmanam,
Naatmanam avasadayet.
"One shoul d raise the lower self by the Hi gher Self; one should
not depress the sel f. " -Gita, VI-5.
Hearken careful l y to the fol lowi ng i n the Yoga-Vasishtha, to
support the above vi ew: "Each should cognise It withi n hi mself
through his own Jnana, with the ai d of an Acharya and an
understandi ng of the true si gnificance of the Sruti s. "
Selection of Aspirants
You can do nothi ng i n the case of a man whose goal is money,
whose thoughts are concentrated in woman or pleasure. You can
do nothi ng, nothi ng at al l , in the i nstance of a man in whom the
Vishaya-Samskaras are predominant and powerful , in whom there
is Bahirmukha-Vritti ad in whom the ideal i s
Kama-Krodha-Parayana, the soul refuge i n l ust and wrath (Gi ta,
XVI- 1 2) . You can do nothi ng in the case of a man who i s perfectly
sati sfied with the shal l ow pleasures of this petty, poor mundane
exi stence. If you hand over a copy of the Avadhuta Gi ta of Sri
Dattatreya or a copy of Vivekachudamani by Sri Sankara, which
contai n gems of i ncal culable value, to a young man of 25 years,
who has j ust returned from England with British qual ifications,
who has just married a young lady in whom the Vasanas are fil l i ng
up the system with a tremendous force, he wi l lsi mpl y throw the
book i nto the waste paper basket. It wi l l never i nterest hi m. Hi s
thoughts are absorbed i n Anatmi c objects. Hi s mental current i s
runni ng i n a di fferent di recti on. Jnana-Sastras l i ke the Yoga
Vasi shtha, the Gi ta, the Upanishads, etc. , are useless for this man.
But i f you give the same book to the same man after 20 years,
when he is sufferi ng from chronic consumption, when he has l ost
his wife and the onl y one son, doubtless he wi l be much
i nterested. You can i nfluence a man whose angle of vi sion has
been changed entirel y. (I) Vedanta Samskaras (the i mpressions
caused by heari ng and study of Vedantic books), (2)
Antarmukha-Vritti (when the mi nd has a tendency towards
FOUNDATION OF YOGA
i ntrospection and i ntrovi sion), and (3) Moksha-Parayanata or resort
to the objective of l i beration alone, are the three i mport
a
nt
qualifications for an aspirant of Brahma-Jnana. You can qui te
easi ly i nfluence a man who possesses these three qual ifications, as
his mi nd is receptive to know.
Faith in Scriptures
Brahman is to be l earnt through the Sruti s; i ndependent
thi nki ng and reasoni ng have nothi ng to do wi th i t. Badarayana
seeks shel ter al ways in the letter of the Vedas. Sruti s are
i nfal l i bl e and authori tative. Sruti Pramana . is superior to
percepti on. Percepti on l eads to errors. Perception of a j ar i s
real l y percepti on of j ar mi nus the rest of t he worl d. The j ar and
the rest of the worl d are di rectl y presented before the mi nd.
Then onl y perception i s possi bl e. How can the atomi c mi nd see
the rest of the worl d? It is i mpossi bl e. Therefore perception i s
not s o authori tati ve and rel i abl e as Sruti s. You see a bl ue col our
i n Akasa. It i s a fal se attri buti on, Adhyasa. You cannot depend
on the Pramana of percepti on. Srutis are revelati ons. They are
the di rect superi ntui ti ve experiences of Ri shi s or sages. Srutis
give an accurate knowl edge of Brahman. Sruti s remove your
Pramanagata-Sandeha, doubt about the val i di ty of the Vedanti c
texts. God or Brahman i s Ati ndri ya, beyond the reach of the
senses; Avang-mano-gochara, beyond the reach of mi nd and
speech. Sruti i s the basi s of Ni di dhyasana. The Brahmakara
Vritti is generated from the heari ng of the Mahavakyas: 'Tat
Tvam Asi ', ' Aham Brah
m
a Asmi' of the Sruti s. Joana Yoga is
i mpossi bl e without Sravana and Manana. Some l earned fool s,
wi se fool s who pose to possess reason, whi l e they real l y
mi stake their fanci es and preferences for reason, decl are that
they wi l l accept only that portion of the S
r
uti s, which appeals to
reason. They wi l l never get out of thi s Samsara-Chakra.
Independent reasoni ng and thi nki ng alone wi l l not do i n the
spiritual path. Fai th is i ndi spensabl y requi si te.
Brahmacharya
0 Saumya! Spi ritual darlings, nectar' s sons, chi l dren of
Immortal i ty ! Today my heart i s fil led with exuberant joy. I rej oi ce
agai n and agai n ami dst you al l . I have got now a rare and splendid
opportunity to serve you al l .
*A lecture delivered in Dharma Sabha High School,
Lakhimpur-Kheri on 9.12.1932.
1 4 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Today I want to address you on a most i mportant subject, a vi tal
subject, vi z. , Brahmacharya. Brahmacharya is purity in thought,
word and deed. Brahmacharya is cel i bacy, continence.
Brahmacharya i ncl udes the control

of not only the sex or
reproducti ve organ but al so al l the other organs. This is the
defi ni ti on of Brahmacharya i n a broad sense of the term.
Brahmacharya i ncl udes character-bui l di ng or right moul ding of
character. Brahmacharya is a ine qua non, most i mportant. It is a
great desideratum, a thi ng mostl y desired. It is of vi tal i mportance.
They say that knowl edge is power. But I assert boldly wi th great
assurance and practical experience that character is power and that
character is far superior to even knowledge.
Everyone of you shoul d endeavour your l evel best to mould
your character propedy. Your whole l i fe and the success in l i fe
enti rel y depends upon the formation of your character. Al l the
great persons i n this world have achieved thei r greatness through .
character, and character al one. The bri l l iant l uminaries of the
world have won their l aurel s of fame, reputation and honour
through character alone.
God is Rasa or essence. "Rasa vai sah",Rasa i s Virya. You
can get eternal bl i ss by the attai nment of Rasa,-"Rasam hi eva
a yam labdhva anandi bhavati. "
Virya or the vi tal force is attained by your bei ng establi shed i n
Brahmacharya, and vi ce versa. Brahmacharya i s the Acha
r
a or
conduct by whi ch you attain or reach Brahman (God, Existence)
and so it is sai d: "Acharah prathamo dharmah-The frst and the
foremost duty o_f a Brahmachari is the attainment of Achara."
It i s on the mere attai nment or establ i shment of Achara, that you
may be able to attai n ful l age, eternal happiness, fame and
manl i ness. You can attain ful l age even if you are devoid

f al l
other qual i ties, by the establ i shment of Achara onl y. Achara i s
character-bui l di ng. You must have good character. Otherwise you
wi l l lose your Brahmacharya or Virya, the vi tal energy, and
thereby attai n early death. Srutis decl are ful l l i fe of one hundred
years for a man. Thi s you can attai n by the establ i shment of
Brahmacharya only.
You have to remember one thing more: "The secrets of
l ongevity may be based chiefl y upon di scretion i n the choice of
food and dri nk, temperance, sobriety, chastity and a hopeful
opti mi sti c olilook on l i fe and so neither gl uttons, drunkards, the
idl e, nor di ssipated can reasonably hope to attain ful l age."
FOUNDATION OF YOGA
.
And so India's first l aw-gi ver, Manu, says that the students, as
long as they are i n school - life, must get i nto the habit of
control l i ng thetr sense-organs by gi vi ng up dri nk, meat, scents,
garlands, l iquor and sex, hot things, and al l acts of violence, oi l ,
col l yri um, the use of shoes, umbrel l as, etc. , gambli ng, gossips,
l i es, looki ng at females, hitti ng at each other, and sl eepi ng wi th
others. The student shoul d never, not even i n dream try to let go
his Virya. If he does it wi l l i ngl y or knowi ngl y, he fai l s i n hi s duty.
It is death to hi m. It is a si n. He is a fal len vi ctim. If it so happens
i n dream, he shoul d pray to God and thereby establ i sh hi mself i n
the attai nment of Virya. Through Brahracharya only you can get

the physical , mental and the spiritual advancements i n l i fe. You
shoul d, with ful l heart and devotion, pray to God.
The fol l owi ng are the eight Angas, l imbs of Brahmacharya.
They are eight ki nds of breaks so to say in the Akhanda or
unbroken current of Brahmacharya practice. You must avoid these
eight i nterruptions wi th great care, si ncere exertion and vi gi lant
circumspection.
I . Darsana-looki ng at a girl or woman wi th a l ustful heart.
2. Sparsana-touchi ng her.
3. Keli-pl ayi ng wi th her.
4. Kirtana-praisi ng her qual i ti es to one' s friends.
5. Guhya-Bhashana-tal ki ng to her i n pri vate.
6. Sankalpa-thi nki ng or remembering her always.
7. Adhyavasaya-strong desire to have a caral knowledge
with her.
8. Kriya Nivritti-sexual enj oyment.
*
A Jnani or knower of Brahman who is established i n hi s own
Svarupa i s the onl y

real Brahmachari of the first cl ass type or
superior order.
.
Even a householder who copulates wi th hi s Dharmapatni on
Ritu days onl y for the sake of conti nui ng the progeny, and keepi ng
up the l i neage, is al so ri ghtly consi dered as a true Brahmachari ,
according to fami l y ethi cs.
My dear brothers, the vi tal energy, the Virya which supports
your l i fe, whi ch is the Prana of Pranas, whi ch shines i n your
sparkl i ng eyes, which bams in your shi ni ng cheeks, is a great
treasure for you. Remember this point wel l . It is the qui ntessence
.
of bl ood. One drop of semen is manufactured out of 40 drops of
*These rules also apply to women in relation to men.
16 PRACTICE OF YOGA
. blood. Mark here how val uabl e this fl ui d i s ! How precious this
Virya i s! Have you ful l y grasped the i mportance and val ue of this
vital essence of l i fe? Virya i s al l power. Virya is
"
al l money. Virya
is God. Virya is Si ta. Virya is Radha. Virya is Durga. Virya is God
in motion. Virya is dynamic wi l l . Virya is Atma-Bal a (Soul -force).
Virya i s God' s Vi bhuti . Gita says: "Paurusham Nrishu-I am the
seed or vi ri l i ty i n men. " Virya i s the essence of l i fe, thought,
i ntel l i gence and consciousness.
When once l ost, i t can never be recouped i n your l ifeti me by
your taki ng any amount of al monds, nervi ne tonics, mi l k, cream,
cheese or Chyavana-Prasha or Makaradhvaja. This fl ui d, when
preserved careful l y, serves as a master-key for you, to open the
door of the real ms of God ur el ysian bl iss and for al l sorts of
hi gher achi e
v
ements i n l i fe.
Bad memory, premature ol d age, i mpotence, various sorts of
eye-diseases and vari ous nervous di seases are attri butable to heavy
l oss of thi s vi tal fl ui d. It is greatly shocking i ndeed to see many of
our youths wal ki ng wi th tottering steps, with pale bloodless faces,
owi ng to l oss of this vi tal fl ui d, i nstead of jumping hi ther and
thi ther with agi l e, ni mbl e steps wi th vi gour and vi tal i ty l i ke the
squirrel .
Preserve this vi tal fl ui d very, very careful l y, my dear brothers.
Become an Urdhvaretas Yogi through purity in thought, word and
deed. An Urdhvaretas is one i n whom the semi nal energy fl ows
upwards the brai n and is stored up as Ojas Sakti which is used for
contempl ati ve purposes i n the practice of medi tation
In an Urdhvaretas the semi nal energy is transmuted
.
i nto
spi ri tual energy, Ojas. The process of transmutation is termed as
' sex-subl i mati on. ' An Urdhvaretas wi l l have no wet-dreams. The
Urdhvaretas Yogi not onl y converts the semen i nto Ojas but
checks through hi s Yogi c power, through purity in thought, word
and deed, the very formation of semen by the secretory cel l s of the
testes or seeds. Thi s i s a great secret. Al l opaths bel i eve that even
in Urdhvaretas cel i bates the formation of semen goes on
i ncessantly and that the fl ui d is reabsorbed in the bl ood. This is a
mi stake. They do not understand the i nner Yogic secrets and
mysteries . They are i n the dark. Their vi sion concerns wi th the
gross things of the uni verse. The Yogi penetrates i nto the subtle,
hi dden nature of thi ngs through Yogi c vi si on or Yogic Chakshus
( i nner eye of wi sdom). The Yogi gets control over the astral nature
of semen and thereby prevents the formation of the very fl ui d
FOUNDATION OF YOGA 17
itsel f. The semen comes out of the very marrow that l i es concealed
i nside the bones. It is found i n a subtle state in all the cel l s of the
body.
Brahmacharya is of two ki nds, vi z. , physical and mental .
Physical Brahmacharya is control of body. The mental
Brahmacharya is control of evi l thoughts. In mental Brahmacharya
no bad thoughts wi l l enter the mi nd. The mental Brahmacharya i s
a l i ttle more di ffi cul t than the physical Brahmacharya; but through
si ncere exerti on, you can be wel l -establ i shed 1 11 mental
Brahmacharya. You mus| keep up the idea of mental
Brahmacharya before you. Then you wi l l real i se it soon. There i s
no doubt of thi s.
1apa, thc practice of Asanas, Mudras, Pranayamas, Pratyahara.
Oharana, San:a, Oama, study of the Gi ta, Ramayana, and other
scriptures, Sattvi c food, Kirtana (si ngi ng the Lord` s Name),
keepi ng the mi nd ful l y occupied by some work or other, prayer,
meditati on, Vichara, avoidance of evi l company, al l wi l l go a long
way i n the attai nment or establ i shment of Brahmacharya.
I shal l give you a l i st of Sattvi c arti cl es of diet. Take mi l k.
|rui ts, rice, green gram, barley, wheat bread, al monds, sugar-candy.
cream, cheese, butter, green vegetables, bl ack-pepper, etc.
Give up oni ons and garl i c. Onions and garlic are worse than
meat. Gi ve up meat, fi sh, l i quors and smoki ng. Meat can make a
scientist but never a phi l osopher, a sage or a Sattvi c person. Meat
excites the passi ons. Gi ve up mustard, oi l , asafoetida, chi l li es,
highly seasoned di shes, hot curries, chutneys, tea, cofee, etc.
Si rshasana and Sarvangasana wi l l help you a lot i n maki ng you
an Urdhvaretas. They are also termed as Vi parita-Karani Mudras.
They are special|y designed by our Ri shi s of yore. such as
Gheranda, Matsyendra and Goraksha to make us Urdhvaretas
Yogi ns.
Amongst you al l there may be a hi dden Shakespeare or
Kal idasa, a hi dden Wordsworth or Val mi ki , a potential sai nt, a
saint Xavi er, an Akhanda Brahmachari l i ke Bhi shma, a Hanuman,
a Lakshmana, a Swami Oayananda, a Visvami tra or a Vasi shtha, a
great scientist l i ke Dr. J. C. Bose, or a Faraday, a Yogi l i ke Jnana
Deva or Gorakhnath, a ph l osopher lke Socrates, Kant, Sankara or
Ramanuja, a Bhakta l i ke Tul asi Das, Ram Das or Ekanath.
Awaken, then, your hdden facul t es, potenti al energes of al l
description through Brahmacharya, and attain God-consciousness
18 PRACTICE OF YOA
qui ckl y and get over the mi series of this mundane l ife with i |s
concomitant evi l s of birth, death, fear, sorrow, etc.
Lack of Brahmacharya
Lack of Brahmacharya is a serious trouble. No spiritual progress
is possi ble wi thout the practice of cel i bacy. The semen i s a
dynamic force. lt should be converted i nto Ojas Sakt i . Those who
are very eager to have God-real i sation should observe unbroken
celi bacy strictly. Householders break their vows of Brahmacharya
owi ng to their weakness and hence they do not fi nd any
advancement i n the spiritual practi ces. They place two steps in the
spiritual l adder and i mmediately fal l down to the ground by lack
of Brahmacharya. Wastage of semen brings nervous weakness,
exhaustion and premature death. Sexual act destroys vigour of
mi nd and body, anni hi lates memory, understanding and i ntell ect,
and retards spiritual progress. l need not mention much about the
i mportance of Brahmacharya and the evi l s of lack of
Brahmacharya, as l am always hammering you on this subject i n
al l my writi ngs. Here al so l wi l l tell you some i mportant methods
by whi ch one can preserve this semi nal power and convert i t i nto
Ojas-Sakti.
Observe the vow of Brahmacharya strictly. Let husband and
wi fe understand and real i se the i mportance and glory of
Brahmacharya. Remember the Brahmachari sai nts and draw
i nspiration. Fasting controls passi on. lt cal ms emotions. When you
fast, do not al low the mi nd to thi nk of eatables and del i ci
o
us
di shes. Avoid too much fasti ng. lt wi l l produce weakness. Dietetic
adj ustment is of paramount i mportance. Take Sattvic food such as
mi l k, wheat, green gram, etc. Gi ve up hot curries, chutneys,
l i quors, meat, smoking, etc. Do not keep company with ladies. Do
not look even at a picture of a lady. Do plenty of Japa. Practise
concentration, Asana and Pranayama. Keep up your mind very
busy in some useful work or i n Yogi c practices. You wi l l be able
to control your passion i f you strictly fol low the above i nstructions
to the very letter. You can l augh at me if you do not succeed.
Blessed i s the man who has control led his passion, for he wi l l
have God-real i sation qui ckly.
Mitahara
Mi tahara is moderation i n food and dri nk. Heavy !ood leads to
Tamasic state and i nduces sleep onl y. A sl i ght overloadi ng i n the
stomach wi l l upset medi|ati on. The mi nd has direct connection
with the gastric nerves of the stomach. You wi l l feel great
FOUNDATON OF YOGA 19
uneasiness i n the Asana wi th a heavy stomach. You wi l l get
drowsi ness also. In the Gi t
a
you wi l l fnd:
Natyasnatastu Yogoasti na chaikantamanasnatah;
Na chatisvapnasilasya jagrato naiva cha Arjuna.
"Veri l y Yoga i s not for hi m who eateth too

much, who
abstaineth to excess, who is too much addicted to sleep, or even to
wakeIul ness, 0 Arj una." (VI- 1 )
Yuktaharaviharasya yuktacheshtasya karmasu;
Yuktasvapnavabodhasya yogo bhavati duhkhaha.
"Yoga ki l leth out al l pai n for hi m who is regul ated i n eati ng and
amusement, regul ated in performing acti ons, regul ated in sleepi ng
and waki ng. " (VI- 1 7)

.
Mi tahara consists i n the fl l i ng up of half of the stomach with
sol i d food, a quarter wi th water and the rest free for expansion of
gas. Hal f a seer of mi l k wi th some rice and sugar i s an i deal food,
Yogi c menu, absol utel y Sattvic in the daytime. Take half a seer of
mi l k onl y at bedti me. This wi l l do beautiful l y wel l for Sadhana.
Night meal s must be very, very l i ght.
There is a popul ar mi sapprehensi on that a l arge quantity of food
is necessary |or health and strength. Much depends upon the
power of assi mi l ati on and absorption. General l y most of the food
in the vast maj ority of persons passes away undigested along with
the faeces. There i s a habit to load the stomach in a l arge number
of persons. After al l , man wants very l i ttle on thi s earth. Mi l k,
almonds, ghee, curd, etc., are not at al l necessary for growth,
health and strength. Ri ch people run aer these stufs bl i ndl y and
are sl aves of cravi ngs. Look at the hardy peasants of 83 i n
Maharashtra and Punjab who l i ve on bread and a l i ttle bi t of
chutney or Dhal . They do not take ghee, mi l k or curd. Fool i sh
doctors make a lot of fuss about calorie, food val ue of di ferent
stufs, vitami n theory, etc. It is al l mental i magi nati on. It is more
Prati bhasika than real . If you do not take mi l k and ghee, you wi l l
have to take a large quantity of bread and Dhal . Dhal i s much
more nutri tious than mi l k. It i s very, very substanti al . As mi l k
contains a l arge quantity of protei ns, i t can supply nutrition i n
lesser bul k. Whereas i n the case of bread, you wi l l have t o take a
larger number. If you take 2 breads with mi l k and ghee, you wi l l
have t o take 5 or breads wi th 4 spoonful s of Dhal . That s all .
The addition of 4 breads more wi l l substitute for mi l k and ghee. It
is si mpl y a pure mental weakness to go i n for milk and ghee. You
20 PRACTICE OF YOGA
shoul d not dcvelop any habit at al l . Habit means sl avery. Habit
means weak wi l l , sl ave mental i ty. People of sl ave mentality are
abso utely unfi t for freedom, for l i beration.
Tongue i s your greatest enemy. It is a great fri end of the
reproducti ve sense. Because both are born from the same parent,
water Tanmatra. Control of tongue means control of al l the senses.
That is the secret. Once an aspirant had been to Lord Si va for
i nstructi on. Lord Si va did not say a word. He caught hold of the
tongue fi rml y wi th one hand and the reproductive organ with the
other hand and showed these two senses to the aspirant. The
aspi rant understood the si l ent i nstructions of Lord Si va and
control led these two organs perfectly. Thi s led hi m to the control
of al l the other senses and thereby he attained control of mi nd,
i ntenal peace and final Moksha.
Give up Salt
Salt is a great enemy. It exci tes emotions and passions. Sandilya
Ri shi , i n Yogatattva Upani shad, advi ses us to gi ve up salt. Those
who practise Khechari Mudra are not al l owed to take salt. They
are not al l owed even to l i ve near seashore as the sea-breeze wi l l
affect the fi ne mucous membrane of the throat. Such i s the
di sastrous i nfl uence of salt. Snake-bite and scorpion-sti ng wi l l
have no i nfl uence on a man who has given up salt. If you consul t
an al l opathic doctor on the subject of ' gi vi ng up sal t' he wi l l
unnecessari l y al arm you. He i s a fool i sh man. He has no i dea of
Yogi c pri ncipl es and practi ces. He wi l l bring forth the theory of
gastric di gesti on. He wi l l say: "Sal t enters i nto the composition of
hydrochloric acid of the gastric jui ce of the stomach and so i f you
give up salt, you wi l l get dyspepsia." Absol ute nonsense. Mahatma
Gandhij i gave up sal t for many years. Yogananda, ' Bengali
Sannyasi n of Lucknow, l eft salt for several years. Both were
heal thy and strong. There are i nnumerable i nstances. I have myself
put some persons under sal tless diet. They were al l doi ng wel l .
Di sconti nuation of sal t helps a |ot i n meditation. I t keeps the
nerves and mi nd cool . You may suffer a bi t i n the begi nni ng for a
month on account of the ol d habit. Aherwards you wi l l be al l
right. You may take vegetabl es, Dhal and other thi ngs wi thout salt.
You wi l | rel i sh them ni cel y after some ti me. Those who have
gi ven up sal t can add sugar to their bread. This is a useful
digression.
Renunciation-Its Service to Brahma-jnana
As to qual i fication for renunci ation, a man should have attai ned
FOUNDATION OF YOGA 2 1
perfect purity of mi nd, stabi l i ty of i ntel lect, discri mi nation
between nature and spirit, di sgust towards worl dly pl easures of all
ki nds, Shad-Sampatti (six ki nds of moral riches), and keen desi re
for l i beration. Unl ess a man has attained these qual i fi cations,
renunci ation of acti ve duties of l i fe does not produce the desirable
effect. There is, however, one exception. If a man has reached
seventy-five years of hi s age, he is al lowed to renounce the world
notwi thstandi ng the want of these qual i ficati ons. But even there,
his ol d age is a suffi ci ent guarantee of hi s never fal l i ng a prey to
the p| casures of the senses. He may pass hi s endi ng days
peaceful l y in contemplation and obtai n a new l i fe of better ethical
development. For the rest of the world the Vedi c rel i gi on provides
a ki nd of i nward renunci ati on whi ch is of di rect service to gnosi s.
The first ki nd of renunci ation, whi ch consists i n aband

ni ng al l
active duties and gleasures of the senses, is subdi vi ded i nto two
cl asses. ( I ) Vi vi di sha Sannyasa, or renunciation wi th the i ntention
of knowi ng Brahman, (2) Vidvat Sannyasa, or renunci ation of the
knower of Brahman. The second kind of renunci ation is open to
al l . When a man has real i sed his identity wi th Brahmun, he i s
enti tled t o renounce the world not i n pursuance of Vedic
i nj uncti on, but i n conformi ty wi th the Absol ute Nature of the Sel f.
Some are of opi nion that si ns whi ch prevent the rise of
knowledge are of two ki nds. ( | ) those whi ch can be destroyed by
the performance of hol y duties and (2) those whi ch can be
dispel led by their renunci a! on. Thus both are necessary for
attai ni ng purity of mi nd. It must be assured here that the purity of
mi nd whi ch precedes renunci ation ought to be of a di fferent
nature, because ardent love of sensual pl easures, di shonesty and
such other vi ces whi ch are condemned by the science of ethics,
lose their soverei gnty over the mi grati ng ego i n consequence of
the destruction of the l atent i mpressions of evi l , whi ch form, as i t
were, a second nature, by the honest and straightforward
performance of the active duties of l i fe.
Tranqui l l i ty, recogni ti on of our i nnate freedom, self-sacrifice,
and such other superior vi rtues e the resul ts of renunci ati on.
Thus both acti on and i naction i n their accurate sense are
serviceable to gnosi s, through the same channel, puri ty of mi nd.
Th

uphol ders of thi s view see the utmost necessity of
renunci ation and consequently presume that Raj a Janaka, and
others who have been regarded as I i berated in the l ifc of perpetual
22 PRACTICE OF YOGA
acti vi ty, ought to have renounced the world i n some antecedent
l i fe.
Others, however, hol d that renunci ation i s useful t o gnosi s, not
because i t produces purity of rind essential for the rise of
knowl edge, but because i t i s one of the essential qual i fications of
an aspirer for absol uti on enunci ated by the word Uparati (absolute
ca| m) i n the Vedi c text prescri bi ng the qual ifications of the
contempl ator of Brahmun.
A third view i s that no ki nd of secret merit, whi ch the
Mi mamsakas call Apurva, either in the form of purity of mi nd or
cal mness, resul ts from renunci ati on. Perfect knowl edge requi res
i ncessant heari ng, consi deration and contemplation, which can
only be secured in the fourth stage of l i fe.
Seclusion for Three Years
Ekanath l i ved in the world wi th wi fe and chi l dren, practised
devotional Yoga and attained Sayujya. Raj a Janaka ruled over
Mi thi l a and attained !nana amidst royal activities. Swami
Vidyaranya, the author of the reputed Panchadasi, was the Oi van
of Vijayanagaram. He worked as Mi ni ster of the State, practised
meditation, and real i sed God by remai ni ng in the world. The
central teachi ng of the Gi ta is to real ise i n and through thc world.
The obstacles to Yoga do not come from outsi de, but hom
wi thi n. lf you have succeeded in perfect Pratyahara,

you
,
can
remai n wherever you l i ke. Tl)is is all doubtless true. But just hear
the other part of the story. Oo not be one-sided. Look to the other
si de of the shi el d.
Thi s is pl ausi bl e, sounds al l ri ght, but not feasible i n the vast
majority. It i s easicr said than done. Sri Aurobindo preached
rea| isation amidst acti vi ty, but he shut hi mself i n a closed room for
years. How many Janakas, Ekanaths and Vidyaranyas you have

had! These people were real l y Yoga-Bhrashtas. That i s the reason
why they were able to practise meditation i n the world. lt i s
absolutely i mpossi bl e for the vast majority. To serve God and
mammon at the same ti me is extremel y difhcul t. Mi nd can take up
only one thi ng. Lord Jesus was mi ssi ng for eighteen years. Lord
Buddha went to secl usi on for eight years i n Uruvala forest, the
modern Buddha Gaya. Swami Rama Tirtha was a recl use i n
Brahmapuri for two years. Many had taken up to secl usion during
Sadhana period. Gautama Ri shi writes in his Nyaya Sutras that a
cave i n mountai n, sandy bed near ri ver-si de and mountai nsi de are
FOUNDATION OF YOGA 23
al l very favourable for meditati on. You can make a beginni ng i n
the world but when you have advanced, you must shift to suitable
pl aces with mountain sceneries, seaside, pl aces along the banks of
beautiful ri vers l i ke Narmada or Ganga. They i nduce a beni gn,
elevati ng i nfluence. In the world, the envi ronments are qui te
unfavourable. They excite, i gnte and ki ndl e the nerves,
Samskaras, desires and the senses. Hear the words of Svetasvatara
Upanishad. "At a l evel pl ace, free from pebbles, fire and gravel ,
pleasant to the mi nd by i ts sounds, water and bowers, not pai nful
to the eye and repairi ng to a cave, protected from the wind, | e

t a
person appl y hi s mi nd to God." Retiring i nto a forest is l ike
entering a Uni versity for execution of higher col lege studies.
Real i se, and di stri bute knowledge to the world. This is real Jnana
Yajna. This i s the best of all helps. If you can remove Avidya, the
root cause of human suferi ngs, i f you can change the psychology
of fty persons, that is the real service you can render to the
country. Bui l ding hospi tal s, runni ng Kshetras are al l soci al
scavengeri ng. You cannot eradi cate the evi l . You shi ft i t from one
corner to anot
_
er just as you shift the pai n and swel l i ng i n gout
from ankle to knee.
Sadhana Chatushtaya
FOUR MEANS OF SALVATION
An aspi rant shoul d have these four qual ifications, vi z. , Viveka,
Vairagya, Shat-Saripatti and Mumukshutva.
The discri mi nati ng power between Atman (Self) and Anatman
(not-self), Sat (real) and Asat ( unreal ) , Ni tya (eternal ) and Anitya
(non-eternal ), changi ng and unchangi ng, and Drik (subject) and
Dri shya (object), i s termed Viveka. Viveka i s a resul t of purity of
heart (Chitta-Suddhi) through Ni shkama Karma, di si nterested
works.
Vairagya is i ndi fference to the enj oyments of objects both i n
this world and the higher. What i s wanted i s Viveka
.
Purvaka-Vai ragya (Vairagya as the resultant product of Viveka)
which i s:
"Brahma satyam jagat mithya,
Jivo brahma eva na aparah. "
"Brahman i s real , the worl d is phenomenal, the Ji va is i d
e
ntical
with Brahman and not di ferent. " This ki nd of Vairagya alone wi l l
real l y help a Sadhaka.
24 PRACTICE OF YOGA
' ' Vairagyasya phalam bodham
Bodhasya uparatih phalam. "
' 'The lru| | of |hi s real Vai ragya is Brahma-Jnana; and |he frui | of
|hi |nowledge | s ex|reme sa|i sfac|ion, a s|a|e of remai ni ng ful l
( Pari puma) . ` There i s en|i re des|ruc|ion of sense desires. There is
no rcmembrance of pas| sensual i ndul gence.
1here are four ki nds of Vairagya: | . Mridu (mi l d), 2. Madhyama
( medi um), 3. Adhi ma|ra ( i n|ense) and 4. Para ( highes|).
Para-Vai ragya IS |ha| di spassion which comes af|er
Brahma-Jnana.
Al l |hc fol l owi ng six vi r|ues (Sha|-Sampa|) are |aken
col l cc|ivel y as one qual i fi ca|i on:-
( a) 'onm--ui escence, cal mness of mi nd. This refers |o con|rol
of mi nd.
( b) Oonm-self-res|rai n|. This refers |o con|rol of senses.
(c ) Upar/isa|ie|yo
(d) 1//laho-power of endurance, cons|an| balance of mi nd
duri ng pleasure, pai n, hea| and cold, e|c.
(e) Sroduhofai |h in |he scrip|ures and in Guru' s words.
(f Somodhono-balanced s|a|e of mi nd, self-se||ledness and
power of concen|ra|i on.

The lour|h qual i fi ca|ion, Mumukshu|va, is |he i n|ense longi ng
whi ch one develops for l i bera|i on.
CHAPTER THREE
ETHICAL CULTURE
Lead a Moral Life
The Atman i s the basis for everythi ng. There i s an i nti mate
relation between Atman and wi l l . Wi l l is onl y Atman or God i n
motion or mani festati on. No spiritual or wi l l cul ture i s. possi bl e
wi thout ethi cal cul ture. Ethical culture wi l | resul t i n ethical
perfecti on. An ethical man is more powerful than an i nte| lectual
man. Ethical cul ture brings in various sorts of Si ddhi s. If you
study the Yoga-Sutras oI Patanj al i Maharshi , you wi l l fi nd a cl ear
description of the powers whi ch mariifest by the observance of
Yama or the practice of Ahi msa, Satya, Ast

ya, Brahmacharya and


Aparigraha. Yama i s the fi rst step i n Raja Yoga. Thi s i s the very
Ioundation of Yoga.
A phi l osopher need not necessari l y be a moral or ethical man,
but a spiri tual man must necessari l y be moral . Morality goes hand
i n hand with spiri tual i ty. Moral i ty coexists with spirituality. The
three ki nds of Tapas (austerity) vi z. , physical , verba| and mental
that are pre~ ribed in the seventeenth chapter of the Gi ta, the
practice of Yama in Raja Yoga, the noble eightfol d path of the
Buddhists-are all best cal cul ated to develop the moral side of
man. Sadachara

or right conduct aims at maki ng a man moral , so


that he may be a Uttama Adhi kari for the reception of Atma-Jnana,
the supreme Tattva, or Sel f-rea| i sati on.
You should al ways try your leve| best to speak truth at al l
costs. You may l ose your i ncome i n the begi nni ng. But i n the
|ong run you wi l l become vi ctori ous. You wi l l real i se the truth
of the Upani shads. "Satyameva Jayate na anritamTruth alone
tri umphs, but not fal sehood." Even a | awyer who speaks truth in

courts, who does not coach up fal se wi tnesses, ray lose his
practice i n the begi nni ng, but l ater on he wi l l be honoured by the
judges and the cl i ents. Thousands of cases wi l l fl ock to hi m. He
wi l l have to make some sacrifice i n the begi nni ng. Lawyers
general l y complai n: What can we do? Our profession is such. We
must tel l | i es. Otherwise we wi l l lose our cases." These are al l
false excuses. There was an advocate i n the Uttar Pradesh. He was
a mental Sannyasi n, practi si ng law. He was a fri end and benefactor
Z6 PRACTICE OF YOGA
of Sannyasi ns and the publ i c. He never coached fal se witnesses.
He never took up cri mi nal cases and yet he was the l eader of the
bar and was much revered by the judges, cl ients and hi s
coll eagues. He was a rich man, too. 0 my friends, barristers and
advocates ! Wi l l you fol l ow the noble example of the advocate

referred to above? Be truthful . You wi l l attai n peace, wealth and
everythi ng. Do not ki l l your soul (Atmahatya) in earni ng money
by unl awful means in order to have a comfortable l i vi ng and to
please your wi fe. Li fe i n this world i s evanescent, l i ke a bubble.
Aspi re to become di vi ne. Satya i s the most i mportant i tem if you
want to be moral .

The vari ous formul ae: "Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah-Noni nj ur
i ng i s the hi ghest of al l vi rtues; Satyam tndnSpeak the truth;
Dharmam chnr-Do vi rtuous acti ons; Love thy neighbour as
thyself,``-al l the>e are best cal cul ated to develop the moral
aspect of a human bei ng. Morality is the basis for the real isation
of Atmi c unity or oneness of l i fe or Advaitic feel i ng of sameness
everywhcre. Ethical cul ture prepares a man for Vedantic reali sa
tion oI: "Sarvam khalvidam Brahma-AI I i ndeed is Brahman."
Aspirants make mi stakes nowadays in j umping to Dhyana and
Samadhi all at once, as soon as they l eave thei r houses, without
having any ethical purifi cati on. The mind remains i n the same
condition although they have practised meditation for 1 5 years.
They have the same hatred, desire, jealousy, idea of superiority,
Dambha, egoi sm, etc. No meditation or Samadhi is possibl
e
wi thout ethi cal cul ture. Samadhi wi l l come by itsel f when one has
cthical perfecti on. There are many occultists in forei gn lands. They
do not have any spiritual i mprovements, as they do not have moral
or ethi cal cul ture.
Dharma and Adharma
Dharma and Adharma (right and wrong) are relative terms. It i s
very diffi cul t to dene them precisely. Sometimes even sages are
bewi l dered i n fi ndi ng out what i s right and what i s wrong i n some
special ci rcumsIances. Ri shi Kanada, author of the Vai seshi ka
Sutras, says: "That whi ch brings Ni sreyasa and Abhyudaya
(supreme bl i ss and exal tati on) i s Dharma. That which el evates you
and bri ngs you nearer to God is right. That which bri ngs you down
and takes you away from God is wrong. That which is done in
strict accordance wi th the i nj uncti ons of the Sastras i s right and
that whi ch is done agai nst the i njunctions of Sastras is wrong. This
ETHICAL CULTURE 27
is one way of deni ng these terms. To work in accordance wi th
the di vi ne wi l l i s right; to work in opposi ti on to the di vi ne wi l l i s
wrong.
It is very difcul t to find out by the common run of manki nd
what exactly the di vi ne wi l l is i n certai n acti ons . That is the reason
why wi se sages decl are that people should resort to Sastras,
lcarned Pundits and real i sed persons for consul tati on. A pure man
who has done Ni shkama Karma Yoga for several years and who i s
doi ng worshi p of God for a long ti me can readi l y fi nd out the
di vi ne wi l l when he wants to do certai n acti ons. He can hear the
i nner, shri l l , smal l voice. Ordi nary people cannot properly hear
this di vi ne voi ce from wi thi n. They may make mi stake in taki ng
the voice of the i mpure mi nd for the di vi ne voice. The lower
i nsti ncti ve mind wi l l delude them.
That work which gi ves el evati on, joy and peace to the mi nd i s
right; that whi ch brings depression, pai n and restlessness to the
mi nd is wrong. Thi s i s an easy way to fi nd out right and wrong.
Selfishness cl ouds understandi ng. Therefore, i f a man has got even
a ti nge of selfi shness, he cannot detect what i s right and wrong. A
pure, subtl e, sharp i ntel lect is needed for this purpose. You wi l l
find i n the Gi ta. "That which knoweth energy and abstinence,
what ought to b done and what ought not to be done, fear and
fearl essness, bondage and l i beration, that reason is pure (Sattvi c).
That by whi ch one wrongl y understandeth right and wrong and
also what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, that
reason i s passi onate (Rajasi c). That whi ch, enwrapped in darkness,
thi nketh the wrong to be the right and seeth all things subverted,
that reason is of darkness (Tamasi c). "
Vari ous other defi nitions an gi ven by wi se men to hel p the
students in the path of righteousness. In the Bi bl e we are asked to
do unto others i n the same way as we wi sh others do unto us. Thi s
is a very good maxi m. The gi st of Sadachara is here. If one
practi ses thi s very careful l y, he wi l l not commi t any wrong act. If
one i s wel l -establ i shed in Ahi msa, i n thought, word and deed, he
can never do any wrong. That is the reason why Patanjal i
Maharshi has gi ven a great promi nence to Ahi msa. Ahi msa comes
first in the practice of Yama. To gi ve pleasure to others i s right. To
spread mi sery and pai n to others i s wrong. One can fol l ow this i n
his dai l y conduct towards others and can evol ve i n hi s spiri tual
path. Do not perform any act that bri ngs to you shame and fear.
You wi I I b qui te safe if you fol l ow thi s rul e. Stick to any rule that
28 PRACTICE OF YOGA
appeal s to your reason and conscience and fol l ow i t wi th fai th and
attention. You wi l l evol ve and reach the abode of eternal
happi ness.
Now | shal | tel l you another i mportant poi nt. I have already
poi nted out tha| ri ght and wrong are relative terms. They vary
accordi ng to ti me, speci al circumstances, Varna (caste) and
Ashrama (stage). Moral i ty i s a changi ng, relative term. That
passi onate man who molests hi s legal l y married wi fe frequently to
gra|ify his passion is more i mmoral than a man who vi si ts the
house of a woman of i l l -fame once i n a year. That man who
dwel l s constantly on i mmoral thoughts is the most i mmoral man.
Do you cl early see the subtle di ference now? To ki l l an enemy i s
right for a Kshatriya ki ng. A Brahmi n or a Sannyasi n should
practise strict forbearance and forgi veness. To speak an untruth,
for savi ng the l i fe of a Mahatma or one' s Guru who has been
unjust| y charged by the offi cer of a state is ri ght. Un|ruth has
become a truth in thi s parti cul ar case. To speak a truth which
bri ngs harm to many i s untruth onl y. To ki l l a dacoi t who is
commi tti ng murder on the wayfarers dai l y i s only Ahi msa. Hi msa
becomes Ahi msa under certai n ci rcumstances . You must thi nk over
and di scri mi nate on every poi nt. Di scri mi nate between right and
wrong and then do the right thi ng only. Thi s wi l l hel p you in the
achi evement of ethical perfecti on.
Build Your Character
A man may die, but hi s character remai ns. Hi s thoughts remai n.
I | i s the character that gi ves real force and power |o man.
Character i s power. Without character the attai nment of knowledge
is i mpossi bl e. That man who has no character is practical l y a dead
man in thi s wor| d. He is i gnored and despised by the community.
|f you want success i n l i fe, if you want to i nfluence others, if you
want to get progress in the spiritual path, if you want to have
God-real i sati on,

you must possess an unbl emi shed, spotless


character. The qui ntessence of a man i s hi s character. The
character of a man survives or outl i ves hi m. Sri Sankara, Buddha,
Jesus are remembered even now, because they had wonderful
charac|er. They i nfl uenced people and converted others through
|hei r force of character.
Money is nothi ng before character. Character is a mi ghty
soul -force. It i s l i ke a sweet flower that wafts i ts fragrance far and
wi de. A man of nobl e traits and good character possesses a
tremendous, magnetic personal i ty. Personal i ty is character onl y. A
ETHICAL CULTURE 29
man may be a ski l ful arti st. He may be a clever songster. He may
be a great poet. He may be a great scientist. If he has no character,
he has no real posi ti on i n society. People wi l l spi t at hi m.
Character i s a broad term. In a restricted sense i t means moral
character. When we say that Mr. Ram Narayan i s a man of
character, we mean that he i s strictly a moral man. In a broad
sense, a man of character i s expected to be ki nd, merciful , truthful ,
generous, forgi vi ng and tolerant. He i s expected to possess al l the
Sattvic qual i ti es. He may be strictly moral . Thi s is one of the great
qual i ficati ons. But if he speaks del i berate l ies, if he i s sel sh and
greedy, if he hurts the feel i ngs of others, then al so he i s cal l ed a
man of bad character. A man who wants to develop hi s charactcr
must be an al l -round man. He should possess al l the qual i ties
which are mentioned in the thi rteenth and si xteenth chapters of the
Gi ta. Then he i s a perfect man. Then he i s a man of perfect
character. A man of perfect character should possess the fol l owi ng
virtues : humi l ity, harmlessness, forgi veness, service of the teacher,
puri ty, teadfastness, self-control , i ndi fference to the objects of
senses, absence of egoi sm, i nsight i nto the pai n and evi l of bi rth,
death, ol d age and si ckness, fearl essness, cleanl i ness of l i fe,
al ms-gi vi ng, study of scriptures, austerity, straightforwardness,
renunci at|on, peaceful ness, compassion to l i vi ng bei ngs,
uncovetousness, mi l dness, modesty, vi gour, forti tude and absence
of envy, pride, crookedness and wrath.
You sow an action and reap a habi |. You sow a habi t and reap a
character. You sow a character and reap a destiny. The i mpressi ons
of thoughts, feel i ngs and acti ons are i mpressed in the subconscious
mi nd, Chi tta. Whatever you thi nk and act are i ndel i bl y i mpressed
there. You may die, but the i mpressions are there. It is these
impressions that bring you back to thi s uni verse.
A rogue i s not an etcrnal roue. A prostitute is not an etemal
prostitute. Put these people in the company of sai nts. They wi l l be
newl y mou| ded and wi l l be

transmuted nto sai nts wi th vi rtuous


qual i ties. Dacoit Ratnakar was changed i nto sage Val mi ki . Jagai
and Madai who pelted stones at Ni tyananda, became his si ncere
devotees. Their mental i mages, ideals and thoughts were changed.

1hei r habits were changed completel y. It is i n the power of every
man to change hi s bad character and thoughts. If good thoughts
and good ideal s are suppl anted i n the place of vi ci ous thoughts and
wrong feel i ngs, the man wi l l grow in the path of vi rtues. A l i ar
30 PRACTICE OF YOGA
wi l l become a truthful man. A scoundrel wi l l become a saintly
man.
The method of Prati paksha Bhavana or thi nki ng of the opposite
qual i ty can change the habits, qual i ties and character of the man.
By a steady practice, one can get success. It will take some ti me.
Think of courage and truth. You wi l l become a courageous and
truthful man. Fear and the habit of tel l i ng l ies will vanish
gradual l y. Thi nk of contentment and Brahmacharya. Greed and
l ust wi l l vanish completel y. Thi s method is quite scientific.
General l y ignorant people, who have no knowledge of the
subconscious mi nd and Yogi c method of changi ng the habits and
character, thi nk that they wi l l have their old evi l traits throughout
their whole l i ves. This is a sad mi stake. The character i s the
outcome of your thoughts, i deals and mental pictures. If you
change your thoughts and

mental pi ctures, your character also wi l l
be changed. Have a fi rm conviction and fai th i n thi s statement.
Here I shal l give you a practice. Suppose you want to develop
courage. I have al ready told you that the subconscious mi nd i s
your wi l l i ng servant and you must know how t o extract work from
it. |t wi l l establ i sh new character, new ideal s, new mental pictures
and new habits in the mi nd. Now the first thing

i s that you must


have a strong desi re to possess this vi rtue-courage. Then onl y the
attai nment is easy. The suppl y can come onl y if there is the
demand. Thi s is the l aw. If there is no desi re i n you for developi ng
this qual i ty, first try to create a desire. This desire you can create
by thi nki ng agai n and agai n the i mmense advantages that you can
get by the possession of this nob

qual i ty. Si de by si de you wi l l


have to i magine the di sadvantags of the qual i ty, fear. When the
i ntensc desire has manifested, you wi l l get hel p from wi l l . Wi l l
fol l ows the desi re, just as the dog fol l ows the master. Feel that you
actual l y possess thi s vi rtue. Mental l y repeat the words YOM
COURAGE" several ti mes. Feel that you are in actual possession of
i t. I magi ne that you have got this vi rtue and try to express it in the
dai l y actions and tryi ng conditions. Have a clear-cut mental i mage
of this vi rtue. Sl owl y this vi rtue wi l l develop. Wait cool ly. Do not
be di scouraged if you do not get success in the practice of a few
days. The force. of ol d wrong Samskara of ti mi di ty and fear i s
there. Eventual l y the new Samskara of courage wi l l wi n the day.
Al ways positive overcomes the negative. This is a l aw of nature.
Have strong faith and confident expectation that you wi l l possess
courage soon. Devel op your attention i n this direction. You are
ETHICAL CULTURE 3 1
bound to succeed i n a short ti me. Li kewi se you can develop any
good vi rtue or character.
Bui l di ng up of character is bui l ding up of habits. The changi ng
of character i s changing of habi!. It can be changed at any
moment through wi l l , i nterest, attention and fai th. New, heal thy,
strong, vi rtuous habits wi l l replace ol d, morbid, abnormal , vicious
habits. Yoga ai ms at changing the old habits. Habits of worldl y
nature can be changed i nto di vi ne

vi rtuous habits through selfless
service wi th the spirit of renunciation, devotion, prayer and
Vichara. Development oI other vi rtues such as friendshi p, mercy
and the practice of thc three Tapas (austerity) mentioned in the
seventeenth chapter of thc Gita wi l l pave a long way for the
moul di ng of character.
Here is another effecti ve method for bui l di ng up your character.
Remain in the company of sages and sai nts. You wi l l be changed
|hrough thei r strong spiritual currents. Never compl ai n: "I cannot
get good Mahatmas in these days. " This i s your mi stake onl y.
Fol low me wi th faith and i nterest. I wi l l show you thousands of
good Mahatmas. Gi ve up your audacity and obsti nacy. Be humble
and si ncere. Bui l d up your character properly. Thi s wi l l gi ve you
success in l i fe. Character is the mark of sai ntl i ness. Remove the
ol d evi l habits. Establ i sh vi rtuous, healthy habits. Character wi l l
help you t o attai n the goal of l i fe. Character is your very bei ng.
Control Evil Habits
This is Kal i Yuga. This is the age of scientifc di scoveries . Thi s
is the age of new fashi on and style. There i s modern ci vi I i sati on.
Thi s is thc age of aeroplanes, ci nemas and radios. Dharma has
become a decrepit. People are acti ng accordi ng to their whi ms and
|ancies. There is no check. Every man i s a Guru. He does not want
any rcl i gious instructions . Passi on i s swayi ng over everybody.
Di scri mi na| i on, right thi nki ng and Vichara have taken to their
heel s. Ea| i ng, dri nki ng and procreation are the goa| of l i fe.
Moksha has become a non-entity and a visionary dream. Evil
habits of a| l sorts have cropped up i n al l .
A friend greets another fri end not wi th the names of God. "Jai
Sri Kri shna or Jai Ramj i ," but wi th a ci garette or a peg of brand.
He says. Come along Mr. Naidu ! Have a smoke. Have a dri nk of
gi n squash. ` Al cohol is such a devi l that if i t once enters the
system of a man, i t never leaves hi m and he becomes a confrme0
drunkard. Even our Hi ndu ladies of bi g fami l ies have taken to
l i quor and smoke. They take smal l doses to excite their passi on i n
32 PRACTICE OF YOGA
the begi nni ng and develop the habit soon. Al cohol is a deadly

poison that destroys the brai n-cel l s and nerves. Many nervous
di seases crop up in a short time. It becomes very diffi cul t to
correct and bri ng round a drunkard. The habit becomes very
strong. No amount of hypnotic suggestion can do any good. A
drunkard is a wreck and a menace to society. The Temperance
Associ ation has not done much good to the country. One shoul d be
very careful in the begi nni ng. He should avoid the company of
drunkards.
Then comes another evi l habit, smoki ng. Smokers bri ng a l ittle
bit of phi l osophy and medical opi nion in support of their evi l
habi t. They say: Smoki ng keeps bowel s free. I get a good motion
in the morni ng. It is very exhi l arati ng. It is good for the l ungs,
brai n and heart. When I sit for meditation after a smoke I can
medi tate ni cely. "
Ni ce phi losophy ! They bri ng i ngeni ous arguments to support
thei r evi l habi t. They cannot leave thi s i nveterat habi t. They are
heavy smokers who wi l l ni sh a ti n of ci garettes wi thi n a few
mi nutes. Thi s habit starts from early boyhood. A l i ttl e boy gets a
curiosity for smoki ng. He stealthi l y removes a ci garette from the
pocket of hi s uncl e and tries a first smoke. He gets l i ttl e ti ckl i ng of
nerves and continues the theft dai l y. fter some ti me he cannot
manage wi th a few ci garettes. He begi ns to steal money to get a
big ti n for smoki ng i ndependently. Hi s father and brothers are
heavy smokers . They are the Gurus for these l i ttle boys for
learni ng the art of smoki ng. What a nasty state of affairs ' Horri ble!
These parents are entirel y responsi bl e for the bad conduct of their
chi l dren. Any i ntoxi cant bri ngs in a bad habit soon, and the man
fi nds i t diffi cul t to gi ve up the habi t. He becomes a sl ave to
smoki ng. Maya havocs through habits . This is the secret of her
worki ng. You wi l l not get an iota of benefit from smoki ng. Gi ve
up thi s wrong and fool i sh i magi nati on. Smoki ng brings an i rritab|e
heart, 'tobacco hcart, ' amblyopia and other diseases of the eyes
and nicoti ne poi soni ng of the system. Vari ous nervous di seases and
i mpotence develop gradual l y.
Now comes i n another evi l habit-betel -chewi ng. Votaries of
this evi l habi t bnng i n their phi losophy al so l i ke the smokers.
They say: "Betel is a good sti mul ant of the stomach. It digests
!ood and gi ves good appetite." Look at their beautiful red teeth
and ways of talk

i ng wi th betel in their mouths! Their tongues


become thi ck. They cannot pronounce the words properly. They
ETHICAL CULTURE 33
wan| a vessel by |hei r si de | o |hrow |he spi|. Thi s is a dirty habit.
Thcy al ways keep the pl aces very dirty. Money is simply wasted.
|| can be wel l u|i l i sed in the purchase of Upanishads and other
phi losophical books. People becom

sl aves of be|el . They canno|
remain even for a few mi nutes wi |hou| chewi ng. They |ake
|obacco along wi|h be|el s. This is ano|her evi l habit. Some
Bengal i s |ake cocai ne along wi|h betcl s. This i s a sti l l worse habi|.
I t is vcry difficult |o leave cocaine habit. Some use snuffs of
sccn|ed kinds |o |i ckl e thei r olfactory nerves. This i s also a nasty
habi|. Thcy havc |o carry a sti nki ng l atrine in thei r pockets. Their
wholc hody and dresses s|ink abomi nably. You canno| approach
|hem. Thcy loose |hei r self-respec| whcn their s|ock of snuIf i s
|i ni shed. Thcy wi l l s|retch |heir hands | o anybody i n |he street to
gc| a pi nch o| snuh. They become dul l . They cannot work wi |hou|
snuf|. How weak a man bccomes |hrough |his evil habi t ! Pi ti able
indccd' Ganja ( Cannabis Indica), opium, Charas are other
in|ox ican|s. Somc Sadhus |ake |hem in abundance. People eat
opi um al so |o kcep up their spiri|s and get excitement before
copul a|ion. Sadhus cl ai m tha| Ganja makes the mi nd one-pointed.
This is si mplc fool i shness. He who i s under i ntoxication cannot
wa|ch |he movemen|s of |he mi nd. I| i s not one-poin|edness. They
gc| somc cxhi l ara|ion of spirit as i n alcohol . This is al so an evi l
habi | o| |hc wors| ki nd. Al l these i ntoxicants poison |he system
and make a man unfi | for spiritual prac|ices. They have become
sl avcs of | hese in|oxi can|s . They have devel oped evi l habits. They
was|c |he |)oney in wrong channel s.
Pcople who dri nk strong |ea and coIfee very often i n barrel s
develop a bad habit. They have become sl aves of tea and coffee.
|n happy modera|ion |hey hel p hard workers. Bu| the |hing i s |hat
man loses his wi l l -power and finds it hard |o resist his fal l i ng i n|o
i mmodera|ion. There comes |hc |rouble. He becomes a sl ave. If
you can rcmai n as a mas|er and if you can gi ve i | up at any | i me,
|hcn |hcrc i s no harm.
Novel -readi ng i s ano|her evi l habi |. Those who are i n the habit
or readi ng novel s | ha| deal wi th passion and love cannot remain
cvcn ror a singl c second wi |hou| novel in |heir hands. They always
wan| thei r ncrvcs |o be |i ckled wi |h some sensa|i onal fcel i ngs.
Novel -readi ng |i l l s | he

mi nds wi |h base, l ustful thoughts and
exci |cs passion
.
| | i s a great enemy of peace.
Many pcoplc have s|ar|ed now l i braries for distribution of
novel s on a s|al l subscrip|ion of four annas per mensem. They
34 PRACTICE OF YOGA
have not real i sed how much harm they are doing to the country. It
is better that they chal k out another avocation to make out their
l i vel i hood. They spoi l the mi nds of young men by the di stribution
o| the worthless novels which exci te the passion. The whole
atmosphere is pol l uted. Severe

puni shment i s wai ting them in


some form. Newspaper-readi ng also is an evi l habit. People cannot
leave thei r papers even whi le they are taking food. They always
l i ke to hear some sensational news. They feel quite dul l when they
do not read papers. They cannot get sl eep without readi ng the
dai l y news . They are qui te unIit for a l i fe of meditation and
secl usi on. Place them i n sol i tude for three days. They wi l l feel l i ke
|i sh out of water. The readi ng of newspapers makes the mi nd
al ways outgoing, bri ngs i n revival of worldly Samskaras and
makes man forget God.
Ci nemas produce an ev l habit in man. He cannot remai n even
|or a si ng| e day wi thout attendi ng the show. His eyes want to see
some half-nude pictures, lotus dances and some ki nds of colours.
He is pleased with sweet musi c. Young girls and young boys
bccome passi onate when they see the actors i n l\ lms kissing and
cmbraci ng. Those who want to develop themselves in the spiritual
l i ne shoul d enti rel y shun ci nemas. They should not attend the
so-cal l cd rel i gi ous fi l ms al so. There are no real l y rel i gious fi l ms. It
is a li nd of tri ck to attract people and col lect money. What is the
spiri tual cal i bre oI the actors there? Spi ri tual people only can bring
out i mpressive stories wi th good morals that can thri l l the mi nds
of the spectators.
Sl ecping in the daytime is another evi l habit. It shortens l i fe.
Time i s wasted considerubl y. It bri ngs i n l azi ness and lethargy. It
devcl ops gastri tis, dyspepsia and a host ofother ai l ments. I

hould
be ent i rel y gi ven up, i f you want to grow qui ckl y. Snatch every
second and u|i l i se it properly. Li fe is fl eeti ng, time is short, death
is wai |i ng. How happy i s the man who is thoroughl y destitute of a
si ngle evi l habi t ! He can attai n great success i n l ife and apply
hi msel | di l i gentl y to Yoga Sudhana.
A vast majority of persons ave got the evi l habit of usi ng sl ang
tcrms and abuses every second during their conversation. When
they

bccom exci ted and angry they pour forth a continuous
shower of all sorts of foul words. It cannot be described. There are
people who use such words as, ' Sal a' , every second. It wi l l come
ou| l i kc the words : ' you see' in some people. ` Sal a' means
brother-i n-law in Hi ndi . If you cal i anybody by the term ' Sala' he
ETHICAL CULTURE 35
wi l l become very furi ous. People have a vulgar habit and use these
sl ang terms. A man of refi ned taste, cul ture and pol i sh can never
utter any such words. Engl i sh people very often use the words.
"Damn fool , the son of bitch. " The Engl i sh mi l i tary people use the
word `damn' every second. They cannot tal k wi thout a 'damn' i n a
sentence. This is al so a very bad habit. See the chi l dren i n the
streets. They fight, quarrel and use obscene words. When any
Engl i shman comes to India or to any new country, he first tries to
learn some obscene words. Look at human nature! He does not
want to learn the names of God. When the cart-driver twists the
tai l of the bul l , when the Tongavala whi ps the horse, there comes
the words : "Sala, Badmash, Suvarka-Baccha (the son of a pi g). "
Parents should check thei r chi l dren when they utter any bad
words. They themsel ves shoul d not use any bad words. They
themselves become the Gurus for these chi ldren. Chi l dren si mply
i mitate. Chi l dren have got a strong power of i mitati on. Practise to
use the words such as. "Hare Ram, Hare Krishna, Hae Prabhu"
al ways, even when you tal k. Bri ng these words every second.
Train your chi l dren also. This i tself wi l l form a ki nd of Japa or
rcmembrancc of God. Trai n your mi nd. Check al so al l people who
often use vul gar words through bad habit. Thi s is thc most
i mportant duty of the parents. Any healthy habit

sown in the mi nds
of chil drcn becomes I| rml y rootcd.
Therc are somc who are unconscious of thei r bad habits and
many who do not recogni sc it as bad. I f they recogni se it to be bad
then thc correction is vcry
.
simpl e.

An advocatc was a terri ble


smokcr for a period of fifteen years. With one strong wi l l i ng he
lcft i | off enti rel y. There was a police Inspector in Madras. He had
dri nki ng, nd smoki ng habits. With a strong determi nati on, he l eft
thc habits. Hc did not touch them from that day. Fi rst, real i se that
you havc got an evil habi t, and then i ntensel y desi re that you
should gi vc it up at any cost. Your success has already come. Wi l l
strongl y: ' ' I wi l l .i ve up this bad habit from this very second. " You
wi l l succeed. Gi vi ng up any bad habit at once is better. The habit
of slowly gi vi ng up by gradual reduction general l y does not turn
out to bc succcssful . Bcware of recurrences. Resol utel y turn your
|acc when a l i ttlc temptation tries to reappear. Keep the mind ful l y
occupicd in your work. Be busy. Entertain a strong desire. "I must
bccomc a great man presently. " All these habits wi l l fl y away. Fee
strongl y: ' ' I must become a spi ri,tual man." Al l these bad habits
will disappear.
36
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Use your subconsci ous mi nd for eradication of your habits. It i s
your i nti mate friend and thick chum. Keep companionship wi th
hi m. He wi l l make matters al l right. Establ i sh new healthy habits.
Dcvelop your wi l l also. Gi ve up bad company. Al ways have
Satsanga. Li ve ami dst Mahatmas. Thcir strong currents wi l l
overhaul your cvi l habits. There is nothi ng impossi bl e under the
sun.
Where there i s a wi l l , there is a way. I have recei ved many
lctters from those who have gi ven up the bad habits of taki ng
mut|on, fi sh, al cohol , smoke, etc. In the begi nni ng they wi l l feel i t
di f|icul t bu| when they succeed, they wi l l real i se the i mmense
bcncfit and happi ness.
Eradicate Negative Qualities
Shyncss is a great hi ndrance in the path of success in l i fe. Thi s
is a |orm of ti midity or low fear. Al most al l boys have this
weakness. Thi s is a femi ni ne qual ity. This is the Svabhava of
ladies
.
Shyness manifests i tself when one i s i n the wrong path.
Everyonc knows that the goal of l i fe i s God-real i sation and yet
one engages onesel f in sexual matters. Thi s wrong action creates
shyness when one appears before anyone. A shy boy or man
cunnot express hi s thoughts boldly before any person. He cannot
look di rectly at the eyes of another man. He wi l l tal k to you
looki ng at the ground. He cannot approach any stranger freely. A
shy man cannot get on wel l i n any kind of busi ness or offi ce.
Modes|y is not shyness. Modesty is decency or chastity. This
comes out of pol iteness and pol ish of character. Some Ranis are
very shy in
t
he begi nni ng to talk to men when they come outside,
a|ter the death of their husbands. Gradual l y they become bold and
the shyness vanishes. Those who are shy should try to tal k wi th
others bol dl y. They shoul d look directly at the face of others.
Shyncss i s a great wcakness . It should be eradicated qui ckl y by
cul ti vati ng courage.
Ti mi di ty is another weakness. This is fai nt-heartedness. This is
a form of fear. This i s aki n to shyness. A timid man has a
chi cken-heart. He is unfit for publ i c acti vi ties and any kind of
adventurous work: He i s a toad that l i ves i n a smal l wel l . He
c

nno| be

ome a successful man i n l i fe. He cannot tal k boldly to


ht s supcnors. He cannot deal boldly wi th hi s customers i n
busi ness. How can he then expect prosperi ty? He i s afraid of
l osi ng hi s l i f. He is much attached to hi s wife, chi l dren and
property. He is afraid of publ i c opi ni on. He cannot tal k cven a few
ETHICAL CULURE
37
words with emphasi s and force. A timid man i s more or l ess l i ke a
woman. Timidity must b eradicated by developing courage.
Ti midity i s a curse. It weakens a man. It checks growth. It hi nders
in the success of a man.
Pessi mi sm i s another undesirable negative qual i ty. Thi s i s a
temper of mind that looks too much on the dark si de of thi ngs. It
is the doctrine i n whi ch the whol e world i s bad rather than good.
This i s a depressi ng view of l i fe. Buddhists preach pessi mi sm.
Yedanti ns are wonderful opti mists, though they say that the world
i s unreal . They talk on Vai ragya to create a di staste for the
worthless l i fe of thi s world, and to create a taste for the i mmortal ,
bl i ssful l i f i n Brahman. The opposite of pessi mi sm i s opti mi sm. I t
al ways l ooks at | he bright si de of the picture. A pessi mi st i s
al ways gloomy, depressed, lazy and lethargi c. Cheerful ness i s
unknown t o hi m. He i nfects others. Pessi mi sm i s an epidemic,
i nfcctious di sease. A pessi mi st cannot get success i n this world.
Become a powerful opti mi st and rej oi ce i n the al l -pervading
Atman. Try to be cheerful under any condition of l i fe. Practise
thi s.
Some people are over-credulous. Thi s is also bad. They are very
easily cheated by others. You must ful l y understand the man. You
must know hi s nature, qual i ties, hi s antecedence and hi s behaviour.
You must try and test hi m on several occasions. When you are
full y sat isficd, |hen you can place ful l confidence in hi m. He may
be a dcep man. He may put on a false appearance and turn out to
be qui te reverse after some ti me. You wi l l have to watch him very
cl oscl y and movc wi th hi m cl osely and hear about hi m from
several other persons with whom he has moved. Man cannot hi de
his nature |or a very l ong time. His face is the adverti semen| board
|hat regi s|ers al l hi s i nncr feel i ngs and thoughts and in short al l
| ha| take place i n the inner mental factory. After cl ose exami nation
and tes| onc should placc confidence in another man.
Too much of a suspicious nature is al so bad. Thi s i s the
opposite of over-crcdulousness. The mi nd al ways moves in
ex|remes. The husband suspects his wi fe always. The wi fe
suspcc|s hcr husband. Al ways there is a fi ght and trouble i n the
house. The proprietor suspects hi s servants. How can busi ness go
on? The world runs on fai th. The Di rectors of the biggest Rai l ways
in India wcre i n Engl and. They di d not know i n detai l what was
exactly goi ng on in I ndi a. Yet the Rai l ways ran smoothly. The
Directors bel i eved the Agents, the Traffi c Managers and other
38 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Offi ci al s. These people in turn bel i eved the subordi nate staff.
Many sharehol ders of the coffee and tea estates i n Ceylon are i n
America and Engl and, and the busi ness goes on wel l . Busi ness
runs on fai th. If people are too much suspicious, friction and
rupture wi l l be al ways going on. Gi ve a margin and try the man.
Do not go to extremes. Do not be over-.credul ous or over
suspi ci ous. Keep to the golden mean.
Then comes another undesirable qual i ty-intolerance. There i s
rel i gi ous i ntolerance. There i s communal
.
i ntol,erance. There i s
i ntol erance of al l sorts. Intolerance i s petty-mi ndedness. It i s
unreasonable di sl i ke for l i ttle thi ngs. The Si kh can dri nk alcohol.
There is no harm i n thi s. But he becomes i ntolerant when h sees
anybody smoki ng. A Maharashtra Brahmi n can do any ki nd of
wrong but he wi l l be i ntolerant of a Kashmere Pundit who takes
meat. A Madrasi Brahmi n can take anythi ng in the restaurant, but
he is i ntolerant of a Bengal i who takes fi sh. The whole of the
restlessness and fight in thi s world takes i ts ori gi n in i ntolerance.
An Engl i shman is i ntolerant towards an Irishman or a German. A
Hi ndu is i ntolerant towards a Mohammedan, and vice versa. An
Arya Samaj i st is i ntolerant towards a Sanatanist, and vice versa.
Thi s is due to i gnorance. How can a man who sees the one Truth
be i ntol erant? Al l these smal l di fferences are purely a mental
creati on. Expand. Embrace al l . Incl ude al l . Love al l . Serve al l .
Behol d the Lord i n al l . Uni te wi th al l . See God i n everythi ng, i n
cvery face. Feel the i ndwel l i ng presence i n al l . Change the angle
of vi si on or mental attitude. Be l i beral and cathol ic in your views.
Destroy al l the barriers that separate man from , man. Dri nk the
etcrnal Atmi c bl i ss. Become perfectly tolerant. Excuse the baby
soul s who are struggl i ng in the path and who are maki ng mi stakes.
Forget and forgi ve.
.
Many worry themsel ves too much that they are i nferior to
others. The i dea of superi ority and i nferiority is agai n a mental
creati on. The i nferior man may become superior if he exerts,
struggles and devel ops vi rtues. The superior man may become an
i nfcrior r:an if he loses hi s property. and develops vi ces. Never
thi nk that you are i nferior or superior to anybody. If you thi nk you
are superi or to nybody, you _ wi l l begi n to treat others -ith
conte_mpt. The ideas of superiority and i nferiority are the products
of i gnorance. Develop equal -vi si on. Li ve in the true spirit of the
Gi ta. Hear what the Gi ta says: "Sages look equal l y on a Brahmi n
adored wi th learni ng and humi l ity, a cow, an elephant and even a
ETHICAL CULTURE 39
dog or an outcaste:" Namadev ran wi th a cup of ghee behi nd a dog
to appl y ghee to the bread. He said: "0 Dog, you are a form of my
Kri shna. This dry bread wi l l hurt your throat. Pray, al low me to
apply this ghee over the bread. " Sri Ekanath gave the Ganga
water, which he carried from Kasi on his shoul der for Abhi sheka
at Ramesvar, to an ass. Where i s superiority and i nferiorit) when
you behold the one Self everywhere? Change your angle of vi si on
and rest in peace.
.
Then comes another evi l qual i ty-depression. People have
plenty of money and yet they are al ways depressed. They put on a
morose, peevi sh appearance. They are al ways gloomy. It i s a
dangerous epidemic di sease. The gloomy man spreads gl oom and
depression everywhere. He cannot appl y hi mself to any kind of
work. He i s idle and lethargi c. Depression wi l l depl ete al l energy.
Thi nk of the virtue, cheerful ness. Have a mental picture of joy and
the habit of cheerful ness wi l l develop around this mental picture.
Smi l e and l augh. Gi ve a smi le to everybody whom you meet on
the road. That man who al ways keeps a cheerful countenance
radiates joy to others.
Some are not able to decide anythi ng defi nitely in certain
important matters. They have not got i ndependent power of
judgment. They wi l l si mpl y prolong the matter. They wi l l not
come to a defi ni te positive deci si on. A man who is prone to
indeci si on wi l l never succeed i n any attempt. He wi l l b ful l of
doubts and fears. Procrasti nation is the fri end of i ndeci si on. The
opportunity wi l l sl i p away. It wi l l b too l ate to gather honey i n
winter: You must think over a matter for some time and then come
|o defi ni te deci si on. At once you must appl y your wi l l and try to
put the matter i nto executi on. Then onl y you wi l l succeed. Too
much thi nki ng wi l l upset the matter. In i mportant maters you can
conult some of your el ders who have got experience i n the l i ne,
and who are your real wel l -wi shers.
Carel essness and forgetful ness are other two evi l qual ities that
stand i n the way of success of a man. A careless man cannot do
any action in a proper manner. These are qual i ties born of Tamas.
Appli cati on and tenacity are unknown to a man of carelessness.
The superi ors get displeased with a man who is careless and
forgetful . There i s l ack of attention in a carel ess and forgetful man.
A forgetful man general l y loses his key, shoes and umbrel l a. He
cannot produce the papers and records to the offi cer in time. He
bl i nks. Fol l ow the l essons i n memory-cul ture that are given in the
40 PRACTICE OF YOGA
subsequent pages, and you can have a good memory in no ti me.
Develop a strong desi re to remove these two defects, and to
develop careful ness and good memory. Thi s i s i mportant. Then the
wi l l and subconsci ous mi nd wi l l do the work for you. Tie the key
al ways at the end of your cl oth as soon as you l ock the door. Keep
the money i n the i nsi de-pocket. Keep your spectacles i n the
si de-pocket. Al ways count the packages whenever you go for a
tour. Keep accounts regularly. Dai l y make a small note of the
i tems you have to attend to.
.
Many people are al ways di ffi dent. They have no sel f
confidence. They have energy, capacity and faculti es. But they
have no confidence in thei r own powers and faculties and i n
getti ng success. Thi s i s a ki nd of weakness that brings fai l ures i n
al l attempts. A man appears on the pl atform to del i ver a lecture.
He is a capable man. He is learned. But he is di ffident. He thi nks
fool i shl y that he cannot produce an i mpressi ve speech. The
moment thi s ki nd of negati ve thought occupies hi s mi nd, he
becomes nervous, staggers and gets down from the pl atform. Thi s
fai l ure is due to hi s l ack of self-confidence. You may have a l i ttle
capaci ty and yet you must have ful l confidence that you wi l l
succeed i n your attempt. There are people who have very l i ttle
materi al s and capacity and yet they thri l l the audience. Thi s is due
to their conIidence. Confidence i s a ki nd of power. Confidence
devel ops wi l l . Al ways thi nk: "I wi l l succeed. I am ful ly confident
in my success. " Never gi ve room for the negative qual i ty,
di ffidence, to enter your mi nd. Confidence i s half-success. You
must ful l y know your real worth. A man of confidence i s always
successful i n hi s attempts.
Conserve Your Energy
The conservation of energy in thi s body is of paramount
i mportance. The subject of conervati on of energy mai nly
concers the col lege students, the professors, doctors, l awyers,
engi neers and all busi nessmen and, in short, one and al l . Many do
not know how to conserve the energy and regul ate i t accordi ng to
he needs. Th
_
ey do not now how to transmute one form of energy
| 11to another form. That IS why the vast majority of persons are not
able to become prodi gi es or geni uses i n the world. If you really
want to become a great man, i f you want to achieve somethi ng
grand and subl i me, conservati on of energy wi l l hel p you a l ot. You
must know the di fferent ways by whi ch the energy i s wasted and
then |he way by whi ch it can be transformed to some useful
ETHICAL CULTURE
purposes, or for spiritual pursui ts and development of hi gher i nner
Yogic facul ties. An agri cul turist tries to save every drop of water
and uti l i ses it properly i n his fiel ds and garden. An Engi neer tries
to uti l i se the energy of a waterfal l for various purposes and
converts i nto electri ci ty. When such is the case wi th the physical
energy, what to speak of the spiritual and mental energy that are
dormant or l atent i n men.
A great man i s not one who possesses enormous weal th. One
who possesses a good, lovi ng heart and the spirit of service, who
has knowl edge of Sastras, who possesses the vi rtues of Ahi msa,
Brahmacharya, Satya, etc. , i s real l y a great man. He may be very
poor. He may appear ugly. Nobody mi ght care for hi m. He may be
clad in rags. Yet, he is a very great man in this world. He i s dear
to one and al l .
A Yogi or a 1nani does not al low even a very small amount of
energy in hi m to be wasted in useless directi ons. He uti l i ses al l
conserved energy i n Atma-Vichara and spiritual pursuits. Mr. Ford
of great repute knew this science wel l . That is the reason why he
became one of the richest men of this worl d. Si r J. C. Bose, was
ful l y aware of this art. He util i sed the conserved energy i n hi s
laboratory i n i nventions and discoveries.
General l y many people waste their energy in the fol l owi ng
channel s. These are the i mportant ones. There are many other
mi nor items. If you do not al low the energy to be wasted through
these i mportant channels, then it wi l l be easy for you to check the
waste |hrough mi nor ones, or they wi l l be automati cal l y checked.
Shutting up of these main channels wi l l bri ng about the cl osi ng of
the other channel s. 1 ust as the overseer who is i n charge of the
canal i rrigation department puts the shutters in the canal and turns
the water i nto the lands of l andl ords for agri cul tural purposes, so
also the Yogi shuts out al l the apertures i nto which the physical
and mental energy l eaks out and transmutes them i nto Oj as-Sakti
and spends the conserved energy i n spiritual pursui ts. The main
channels by which energy i s wasted are as fol l ows :-
1 . The reproducti ve organs.
2. Thc tongue.
3. The mi nd.
Now J shal l tel l you the various means by which the above
channels spend the energy. You wi l l find also useful suggestions
and exercises to effecti vel y conserve al l the energy. If one method
42 PRACTICE OF YOGA
is not sui abl e o you, selec any oher method. First of al l the
reproduci ve organ drai ns he energy enormousl y by excessive
sexual i nercourse. Young men do not real i se the val ue of the vital
fl ui d. They waste this dynami c energy by i mmoderate copulation.
Their nerves are ti ckled much. They become i ntoxicated. Wha

t a
serious bl under' I is a crime which deserves capital puni shmen.
They are sl ayers of the Atman. When this energy is once wased, i
can never be recouped by any oher means. It is the mos valuable
energy in the whole worl d. One sexual ac completely shatters he
brai n and nervous system. They fool i shl y i magi ne that they can
recover the l os energy by taki ng mi l k, almonds and
Makaradhvaja. This is a misake. You mus try your best o
preserve every drop of semen, although you are a married man.
Sel f-real i sation i s the goal of l i fe. The i dea of keepi ng up he
l i neage is a Puranic story. Srutis emphai cal l y say: "The moment
you get Vairagya, at once, renounce he world." Sadasiva
Brahman, one of the greates Yogi ns, lef his young wife the
momen he had Vai ragya. He has not seen her after her puberty.
Nothi ng affeced hi m. No one coul d compl ai n hat he fai led in hi s
duty. The hi ghest duty for you i s Self-real isation. That man who
has real i sed he Atman purifies his l i neage up to 1 08 generaions.
This i s he hi ghest service he can do for hi s ancesors. Compared
to thi s, service o father wi h money, or shampooi ng hi s feet, are
mere pl ayhi ngs of a chi l d. Thi s sor of physical service is puerile.
My friend Mr. Iyer, Advocae of he Madras High Cour, the first
son of a big Sastri , wi l l stand up now and speak in emphatic terms
wi th rhetoric and hi gh-fl owi ng bombasic syl e: "Thi s Swamiji
does not know anythi ng of Manu Smrii or Yaj navalkya Smriti .
My faher knows everyhi ng. He is a famous Sastri . We should
remai n as householders i l l 75 years of age. Then we should lead a
l i fe of Vanaprasha, and a he ti me of death we should ake
Sannyasa. " Mr. Iyer i s afer al l he son of an orhodox Brahmi n.
He i s a book-worm and i s l i ke he frog of a smal l wel l . He has a
very smal l hear. Hi s ci rcl e of l ife i s around hi s si x daughers and
fi ve sons. He wi l l talk of hi gh phi l osophy. He wi l l quote
scriptures. But his mi nd i s ful l of Vasanas. His phi losophy i s in hi s
ki tchen onl y. As he vast majority of persons are no abl e o
control passion, Ri shi s have chal ked out the Grihastha Ashrama. If
a man from hi s very birth is spiriual l y i ncl ined and his mi nd i s
ful l of Vairagya and srong discri minati on, he canno remain i n the
Gri hastha Ashrama even for a second. He wi l l ake Sannyasa
i mmediatel y and spend hi s time i n he forests in Sravana, Manana
ETHICAL CULTURE 43
and Nididhyasana. He wi l l get double promotion from Nai shthi ka .
Brahmacharya. He need not enter the l i fe of a householder and
waste hi s precious energy. That man who has control l ed hi s
seminal power and
t
ransmuted i t i nto Ojas-Sakti is the most happy
and powerful man on this earth.

He can command the five
el ements. He is a proof agai nst all temptations of thi s world. He
can get success i n any department of l i fe. He wi l l have ful l
concentration of mi nd.
For savi ng thi s vi tal energy, many Yogic methods are suggested
in detai I in this book under th headi ng: "Brahmacharya .. "
However, I shal l tell you some i mportant poi nts. Keep the mi nd
ful l y occupied. Thi s is the best panacea or soverei gn remedy 'for
keepi ng up Brahmacharya. Do 1apa, meditation, readi ng of
rel i gious books, Ki rtan, prayer, Satsanga, selfless service, rel i gious
discourses, etc. Al ways wear a Kaupi na or suspendary bandage.
This is scienti fc and spi ri tual , too. If you are a married man, sl eep
i a separate room, away from your wife. Change your habit
immediately.
Be careful i n the selection of your compani ons. Gi ve up dramas,
tal kies, reading novels and other love-stories. Do not use soaps,
scents and flowers. Observe Mauna. Do not mi x with any one.
Read good, i nspiring, rel i gious books. When desires arise in the
mi nd do not fulfil them. Crush them i mmediately. Avoid the
company of women. No joki ng and laughing. These are al l
outward manifestations of l ust onl y. When you wal k i n the street,
do not look hi ther and thither l i ke a monkey. Do not look at a
woman-ven her photo or picture.
Energy leaks through the mouth by i dle tal ks, gossi pi ng,
censure, scandal mongeri ng and all sorts of useless worl dl y tal ks.
Vain Pundits engage themsel ves in hot .discussions to exhi bi t their
pedantry. They do not gai n anythi ng. But they waste their energy
unnecessari l y. 1ust as a greedy man is careful i n the accumulation
of hi s wealth and does not l i ke to waste even a si ngle pie and
considers money as his very blood, so al so aspirants conserve even
a mi nute quantity of energy and uti l ise it for good purposes.
Energy i s all money. People do not understand the val ue of energy.
They waste it very carelessly. They squander it l i ke a profl i gate
son. They repent and become weak in their old age. It is too l ate to
gather honey in the wi nter. They wi l l never hear the words of
elders and sages when they are ful l -bl ooded, when their chee
k
s are
rosy, when their moustach
e
s stand twisted wi th gl ue, when thei r
.
44 PRACTICE OF YOGA
hearts throb wi th ful l energy. They become arrogant, self-wi l led,
stubborn and hot-headed. You should never enter i nto unnecessary
discussions . Di scussions end i n hostil ity. Too much laughter is
another way f
o
r the wastage of energy through mouth. A man who
bursts i nto l aughter al ways cannot i nfluence peopl e. Sereni ty,
seriousness and a dignified attitude are necessary if you want to
i mpress and i nfuence peopl e. Idl e people and loafers who sit on
wayside and publ i c i nns l augh wi thout rhyme and reason l i ke wi l d,
j ungl e peopl e. The l aughter of a spiritual man is of qui te a
different nature. It has a sense of awe and grandeur. It produces a
thri l l and j oy i n others. But the l aughter of those loafers i s
disgusting and heart-rendi ng. Note the difference careful l y. Try to
be seri ous and gi ve occasional smi l e. But do not attempt to put on
the Sunday faces of a clergyman. Be qui te natural . Medi tate on the
Atman. Devel op vi rtuous qual i ties. You need not assume and put
on anythi ng unnatural . Hypocrisy or pretending to be some|hi ng
whi ch you are real l y not is a most dangerous. or hei nous crime. It
is most detestable. A Jnani l aughs and smi l es through hi s eyes. It
is onl y a fool i sh man that bursts i nto l aughter. The smil e and
l aughter through the eyes wi l l infl uence people tremendously. You
wi l l have
,
to cul ti vate i t gradual l y. No energy leaks i f you smil e.
This may be a new thi ng for you. It belongs to the spiritual men.
Use measured words in tal ki ng. Do not tal k much. Try to fi nish
a conversation wi thi n a few mi nutes. Understand the nature of the
man rightly when he enters your compound for i nterview. Speak
pol itel y wi th great respect for the man and send hi m i mmediately
and conserve the energy. Do not i ndul ge in long, unnecessary talks
and discussions. Man i s a social animal . He is prone to much
|al ki ng. He is very garrul ous. Thi s talkative habit i s i ngrai ned i n
hi m. He is much troubled when he cannot get any company. He
cannot go in for secl usi on. The observance of Mauna is death and
a great capital puni shment for hi m. Ladies are sti l l more garrulous.
They al ways create some kind of unnecessary quarrel i n the house.
The peace of the house is di sturbed through too much tal king. I
al ways prescribe the practice of Mauna for one and al l , as this
helps i n the preservati on of energy, development of wi l l and
enjoyment of peace. Al l sorts of quarrel s, misunderstandings,
anger, etc. , can be easi l y avoided by Mauna. Mauna gi ves the
greatest strength. Al l members i n the house should observe Mauna
for two hours dai l y and for six hours on Sundays and for one ful l
week on

l ong hol idays. Even during other periods they should talk
ETHICAL CULTURE
a very few words. Speak gently. During Mauna you must l i ve
alone. Do not mi x wi th peopl e. Do not even express your i deas by
gestures.
The other channel i s the mi nd, by whi ch much energy i s wasted.
The wastage i s due to loose thi nki ng, worry, anger and fear. 1 ust as
energy i s wasted in too much tal k, so al so energy i s wasted i n
loose thi nki ng. I f thi s mental energy is conserved by avoi di ng
loose thi nki ng and worries, you wi l l have at your di sposal a
tremendous store of energy and you can uti l i se i t for various
purposes. I f thi s energy i s conserved, you wi l l feel that you are
very powerful . You wi l l feel no exhaustion even if you turn out
tremendous work. You wi l l have to watch your thoughts very
careful l y by i ntrospection and medi tati on. You wi l l have to di vert
the mental energy in useful thi nki ng. There wi l l be some struggle
| n the begi nni ng. After some time, the mi nd wi l l natural l y thi nk of
auspicious, useful items .
The next item is worry. A man knows pretty wel l that he wi l l
get a money-order on the coming Thursday onl y and yet he wi l l
worry hi mself dai l y and vi si t the Post Offi ce four times a day and
ask the Postman several ti mes. Thi s is all worry. Man knows that
everythi ng is already fixed up through Prarabdha. He k
n
ows that
God gi ves food for the frog that remains hi dden between the strata
of rocks and the chi l d in the womb. He wi l l tal k on this subject for
hours together and yet he wi l l worry about hi s next day' s food,
cl othi ng and other things. He has got very l i ttle faith. He has a
worryi ng habit. Energy l eaks tremendousl y through thi s channel .
Too many desi res bri ng worry. A busi nessman entangles hi mself
by openi ng too many branches in di fferent pl aces. His worry
| ncreases by leaps and bounds. This is hi s own creation. Many
people develop worry by fal sely i magi ni ng that they are i nferior to
others. The idea of i nferiority and superi ority brings i n troubles
and worri es. Jdeas of superiority and i nferiority are mental creation
only. It is i l l usory. Al l differences are unreal . Never thi nk that you
are i nferior to anybody. Never thi nk al so that you are superior to
anybody. You wi l l begi n to treat others wi th contempt when you
think you are superior to them. Remove these i deas from your
mind. These are the causes for useless worry. By constant
medi tati on and concentrati on, you wi l l have to di vert the mind
from al l unnecessary worry. If you have contentment, then the
worry can be easi l y destroyed. You must get ri d of all sorts of
mental weaknesses, supersti tions, fal se and wrong i magi nati ons,
46
PRACTICE OF YOGA
fear and wrong Samskaras. When desi res arise i n the mind do not
try to fulfi l them. By gradual practice desires can be reduced. If
you stop desires, you can destroy worry and conserve energy.
Now comes i magi nary phobias or fears of al l sorts. Energy
leaks i n thi s di rection. Man thi nks: "I wi l l develop pneumonia. I
have got fever and cough now." He gets unnecessary fear. A
di sease is i ntensified by thi nki ng. An ordinary ai lment becomes
severe by entertai ni ng unnecessary fear. Another man is afraid of
cri ti ci sms. What i s cri ti ci m after al l ? It i s mere sound. It i s merely
a vi bration in the ether. Why do you bother yourself much? If any
man cal l s you a dog, why d you become furious? You do not
develop four l egs at once. Do you? You begi n to fi ght with hi m.
Your eyes b
e
come red. You retal i ate hi m. You cal l hi m a donkey.
He gets i rri tated. He fights wi th you. Both become deadly
enemies. When you do Vichara, i t i s nothi ng. Thi s is the way by
whi ch man creates troubl e and mi sery. Gi ve up al l fears. Stand up
l i ke a l i on. Assert: "I am an embodi ment of courage. Nothing can
affect me. I am i nvi nci bl e. I am i mmortal Atman. " Draw courage
from wi thi n. There are many peopl
e
who are so ti mi d that they
wi l l not come out at ni ght for passi ng uri ne. They wi l l not move
about at ni ghts in bazaars. Even when they see a cat at ni ghts,
they trembl e. What a shame ' They are so ti mi d that they do not
l i ke to get any l ucrati ve appoi ntment in other di stricts or states.
They wi l l rot on a smal l sal ary in their own nati ve pl ace. They
are embodi ments of t i mi di ty and femi ni ne nature. They are
moustache-l adi es. There are some Sannyasi ns who repeat:
"Sivoham, Sivoham, " but they trembl e with fear when they are
put to a l i ttle test. They perspi re and qui ver when there i s any
i mpendi ng danger. They are Zenana-Vedanti ns. Poor mi serable
speci mens. I al ways say that a dacoit can

become a good Vedantin


i f his energy is turned in the spiritual direction, because he is
absol utel y fearless and has no Deha-adhyasa. This is the greatest
qual i fication for an aspirant. Al l fears are i magi nary. They have no
real basi s: When you begi n to thi nk seriously, they wi l l melt away
l i ke snow before the sun. Thi nk that a tiger or l ion has come i n
front of you and you wi l l have t o face i t . Thi nk that you are pl aced
in front of a machi ne-gun and you wi l l be bl own up now. Draw
courage now. Thi nk of Atman. Thi nk of the Slokas in the second
chapter of the Gi ta that deal wi th i mmortality of the Soul . Again
and agai n, thi nk of the subl i me Sl okas of the Avadhuta Gita that
ETHICAL CULTURE 47
treat of Akshara-Atman. You wi l l sl owl y become courageous,
though not al l at once. You wi l l fi nd that you are gai ni ng courage.
Man wastes much energy by becomi ng angry very often for
l i ttle things. The whol e nervous system i s agi tated and shattered. If
this anger is control led by Brahmacharya, Kshama, love and
Vichara, a man can move the world. Anger manifests i tself so
suddenl y that he fnds it diffi cul t to check i t. The i mpul ses are
very powerful and he is swayed by these i mpul ses. If a man i s
careful , i f he preserves hi s Virya, i f he develops Kshama, i f he i s
al ways on the al ert, i f he watches hi s thoughts and acti ons, he can
gai n i mmense strength and control anger. Anger is the greatest
enemy of man on this earth. He who has controlled anger has
already control l ed his mi nd. Three-fourth of the Sadhana i s over
now.
Al most al l people are in the habit of shaki ng unnecessari l y
some part of the body even whi l e they are sitti ng cal mly. Prakri ti
wants movement. This i s Her Svabhava. The man who i s seated in
the chair for readi ng any book, shakes hi s thighs and legs. They
are moved unconsciousl y. He cannot check the movement. It has
become a strong habit. Energy leaks through this channel also. I t
must be checked. Watch the di ferent parts of the body and check
them. Some people rock the body from side to si de or forward and
backward. A Yogi wi l l never do thi s. He wi l l sit calm and serene
and no part of the body wi l l unnecessari l y move in any di rection.
He can remain as a perfect statue.
Sadhus have got a wanderi ng habit and energy is wasted in too
much wal ki ng. They cannot practi se any meditati on. As soon as
they reach a vi l lage, they wi l l feel qui te tired and begi n to sleep.
No Sadhana is possi bl e. An aspirant i n the pure Ni vritti -Marga
should stick to one place and practise concentration and
medi tati on. Too much wal ki ng must be avoided. It exhausts any
man and renders him unfi t for active work.
I have gi ven in the above pages a detail ed descri pti on of al l the
sources through which energy leaks out and the practical , easy
methods for conscrvation of energy. In the subsequent pages al so
you wi l l fi nd many other i nstructions useful for you to conserve
your energy. You wi l l have to put these i nstructions in dai l y
practice. You must conserve al l energy and uti l i se i t for hi gher
spiritual purposes and achievements in l i fe. You must know how to
regul ate the energy. Some people spend the energy too much i n the
begi nni ng in uni mportant afai rs, and j ust at the time when they
PRACTICE OF YOGA
are wanted to mani fest their ful l powers and ful l energy, they feel
qui te exhausted. You should have far-sight and deep thi nki ng.
Understand ful l y the purpose and aim of l ife. Do not be carried
away by temptati ons. Maya i s very powerful . Live in the company
of Mahatmas. Thi s is a strong fortress to protect you in your i ni ti al
stages of growth. Devel op your i nner facul ties. Conserve your
energy. Acqui re knowl edge of the Self. The Atman is
sel f-contai ned. You can get . everythi ng here. Oevelop vi rtues.
Remember the basi s and source. Have the i deal al ways before
your mi nd. Real i se the i deal . Ri se above worl dl i ness. Become a
magnani mous soul . Wi sh eagerly and fervently to attai n the goal
of l i fe. Have a defi ni te purpose and ai m. You are bound to
succeed.
|n the spi ri tual path there are many stumbl i ng obstacles which
prevent the aspirants. In the next chapter, I wi l l tel l you the
vari ous ki nds of obstacles and sui table methods to destroy them.
For si ncere aspirants, thi s subject wi l l be of great help.
CHAPTER FOUR
PREPARATION FOR YOGA
Purification
Purifica|ion is |he fi rs| par| of Yoga. The means differ in Raja
Yoga, Bhak|i Yoga, Ha|ha Yoga and Karma Yoga. In Raja Yoga,
Pa|anj al i Maharshi cal l s |his Kriya Yoga, whi ch he defnes |hus.
" Tap1 h s vadhyayesvarapranidhanani kri ,o-,ogch-Mortifica|ion,
study and surrenderi ng |he frui |s of work |o God, are called Kriya
Yoga.`` The rules of Yama, Ni yama, Asana, Pranayama come under
mor|ifica|ion or Tapas. In Ha|ha Yoga, |here are six purifica|ory
ac|i ons, vi z. , Dhau|i , Bhas|i, Ne|i , Tra|aka, Nauli and Kapalabha|i .
Purifica|ion is of |wo kinds: i n|ernal or men|al , and ex|ernal or
physical . Men|al puri|y is more i mpor|an|. Physical puri|y is al so
needed. By |he es|abli shmen| of in|ernal , men|al puri |y,
cheerful ness of mi nd, one-poin|ed mind, conques| of |he senses
and fi |ness for |he real i sa|ion of |he A|man are ob|ai ned. The
prac|ice of Kriya Yoga des|roys |he ami c|i ons and dis|rac|ions o
|he mi nd and prepares |he mi nd for en|eri ng i n|o Samadhi . In |he
Gi|a Sl okas 1 4 |o 1 6 of Chap|er XVII, |here i s a defi ni |i on of
Tapas of |he body, speech and mi nd.
Ethical Training
Yama and Niyama are |he founda|ion of Yoga. They puri fy |he
hear|, Chi ||a and mi nd. They remove |he cruel na|ure of man.
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are absol u|el y impossi ble wi |hou|
this primary qual ifica|i on. If you are es|abl i shed in |hese, Samadhi
wi l l au|oma|ical l y fol l ow.
"1\himsa-satya-asteya-brahmac/zarya-aparigraha yamah: Yama
is |he prac|ice of non-inj uring, |ru|hful ness, non-s|eal i ng, con
ti nencc and non-recei vi ng gifts conducive |o l uxury." "Saucha
santosha-tapalz-svadhyaya-/sva rapranidhanani Niyamah: Ni yam a
is |he prac|ice of i n|ernal and ex|emal puri |y, con|en|men|, mor-
|i hca|ion, s|udy and worshi p of God."
Among all |hese, Ahi msa, Sa|ya and Brahmucharya are very,
very impor|an|. In Brahmacharya, |he very idea of l us| should no|
en|er |he mind. A real Brahmachari wi l l no| have |he leas|
difference in feel i ng when he |ouches a s|one, a book, a |ree or a
woman. Thi s is |he si gn of perfec| cel i bacy.
50
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Importance of Yama and Niyama
A certai n doctor neglected to study physiology properly, which
treats of functions of the various i nternal vi scera or organs . As he
neglected physi ology, he was not able to understand pathology,
whi ch i s physi ology in di sease. He neglected to learn pathology
properly. He was not able to understand diagnosi s properly,
through whi ch he can di fferenti ate vari ous diseases. He neglected
to study careful l y the di fferenti al di agnosi s and medi ci ne. He was
not able to do treatment properly.
If you want to treat a case properly, you must know diagnosi s
and medi ci ne wel l . If you want to diagnose a di sease, you must
know pathology properly. If you want to know pathology, you
must know physi ol ogy wel l .
General l y i gnorant people try t o take up meditation t o start wi th
and then try to enter i nto Samadhi i n vai n. They have no proper
ethi cal trai ni ng. They have not got the four means or
qual i fi cati ons. They have no Titi ksha and other physical trai ni ng.
Yama and Ni yama are the foundation of Raja Yoga. Viveka and
Vai ragya are the foundation of Jnana Yoga.
If you want Samadhi , you must know the process of Dhyana
wel l . I f you want Dhyana, you must know accuratel y the method
of Dharana. If you want Dharana, you must know perfectly the
method of Pratyahara. If you want Pratyahara, you must know
Pranayama. If you want Pranayama, you must know Asana wel l .
Before goi ng i nto the practice of Asana, you shoul d practise Yama
and Ni yama. There i s no use of j umpi ng i nto Dhyana wi thout the
vari ous prel i mi nary practices. You wi l l be in the same position as
that of the mi serabl e doctor who was not able to di agnose and
treat a case properly owi ng to hi s neglect i n studyi ng physiol ogy,
pathology and medi ci ne.
Si mi l arly, i n Jnana Yoga, i f you want Sakshatkara or
Sel f-real i sati on, you must know the process of Ni di dhyasana wel l .
I f you want Nididhyasana, you must know Manana. I f you want
Manana, you must have Sravana. If you want Sravana, you must
have Mumukshutva. If you want Mumukshutva, you must have
Samadhana, Sraddha and Uparati . If you want Uparati , you must
have Ti ti ksha, Dama and Sara. If you want these, you must have
Vairagya. If you want Vairagya, you must have Vi veka. Viveka
and Vai ragya are the foundation upon whi ch the superstructure of
Ni di dhyasana is bui l t up. You can do nothi ng wi thout Yama,
Ni yama, Vi veka and Vai ragya.
PREPARATION FOR YOGA
Destroy the Impurities
The m. nd has got three ki nds of Doshas or i mpunt| es, vi z. ,
Mala, Vi kshepa and Avarana. The si x passions are termed Mal a.
Mal a is the i mpurity of the mi nd. They are: Kama, Krodha, Lobha,
Moha, Mada and Matsarya. Removal of Mala is purification of the
Antahkarana, Chi tta-Suddhi . Purification i s the frst part of Yoga.
When the Antahkarana is purified, there is a natural tendency for
l i beration and Si ddhi . Extinction of Mal a alone i s Moksha. It i s
desire that moves the senses. Sattva-Suddhi consists i n the
el i mi nati on of these passions and control of the senses. These si x
passi ons are the posi ti ve obstacles to Yoga. They

hould be
thoroughl y eradicated. They should be exhaustively swept out. You
must not al l ow a bi t of i t to l urk secretl y. Besi des the above si x
passi ons, there are seven other ki nds of i mpurities vi z. , Dambha,
Darpa, Asuya, Irshya, Ahankara, Raga and Dvesha.

Kama is desi re of al l sorts. In the specific sense it denotes l ust.
Krodha i s anger. Lobha i s covetousness. Moha is d
_
l usi on and
infatuation. Mada is pride. Matsarya i s jealousy. Dambha i s
arrogance. Darpa i s that vai n demeanour when a man thi nks he i s
superior t o al l . Asuya i s jealousy when one i s excited on seei ng
another man in happiness and enjoyment equal to his state. I rshya
is that state when a man wi shes that other people should get
mi sery. Ahankara is egoi sm. Raga is attachment. Dvesha is hatred.
Mala can be removed by Ni shkama Karma and by the
development of the various vi rtues mentioned. Vikshepa i s
osci l lation or tossi ng of mi nd. Thi s can be removed by Upasana,
Pranava-Japa, concentration and medi tati on. Avarana is the veil of
ignorance, whi ch can

be removed by study of Vedantic l iterature,
meditation and Sel f-real isati on.
Cultivate Virtues
Development of vi rtues helps considerabl y in the attai nment of
cal mness of the Chi tta. This i s the effective method for destroyi ng
the evi l Vri tti s. "Maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhkha
punya-apunya vishayanam bhavanataschitta-prsadanam: Fri end
ship, mercy, gl adness and i ndi fference bei ng thought of i n regard
to subjects which are happy, unhappy, good and evi l respecti vel y,
pacify the Chi tta. ' ` These qual ities destroy hatred, jealousy, anger,
etc. Any vi rtue can be culti vated i n heart, j ust as roses are pl anted
i n the garden. If you begi n to practise chari ty, your covetousness
wi l l vani sh. The development of humi l i ty wi l l destroy self-conceit.
Ti ti ksha, tolerance, pati ence, perseverance, a qual i ty of vi tal wi l l ,
52
PRACTICE OF YOGA
sel |-rel iance, are al l necessary for Sadhakas. You can conquer the
whol e world through l ove, humi l ity and ki ndness. Nobi l i ty,
benevolence, uni versal l ove and subtl e i ntel lect are four i mportant
qual i ti es found in a man who has reached the hi gher states i n
Yoga. Such a man wi l l be a centre of attraction for thousands, j ust
as the sweet musi c of the flute is attractive for the cows .
A mi sr is very far from God. God is as much near to a mi ser as
the north pole i s to the south. You must develop uni versal l ove,
spontaneous generosity and l i berali ty, equal vi si on, constant
bal ance of mi nd, spirit of service, etc. , before you are ready for
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi .
Develop Patience
Here is a form of pl ay at cards to devel op patience of mi nd.
This i s pl ayed by a single i ndi vi dual . Everyone of you shoul d
know thi s pl ay. There are 9 rows of cards . You can shift the cards
from one row to another. You can reduce or open new rows, but
|he number shoul d not exceed 9. You must try to bri ng them i n a
serial order from ki ng, queen, Jack, I 0, 9, 8, etc. , in 4 rows of
Diamonds, Odds, Spades and Cl ubs. This i s the technique of the
pl ay.
An aspirant wi l l not be l onel y in the aosence of fri ends if he has
some such di versions, he is not al l owed to have vain tal k. He must
l i ve al one. In the begi nni ng when he i s deprived of the sources of
hi s pl easure, he is pai ned. So i n the early days of hi s Sadhana,
when he feel s ti red after meditation, when

he wants a l i ttl e
recreation and rel axation of mi nd, he can take recourse to this
pl ay. Ordi nary people may not be able to understand the
uscful ness of thi s pl ay. Thi s is i ntended for the development of
patience, concentration and as useful substitute for congenial
company.
The pl ay is a sort of di version, a form of mental recreation for
the mi nd aHer Japa, Svadhyaya and long meditation. Thi s i s
serviccable i n t he case of householders. You cannot study or do
Japa al l the 24 hours. The mi nd feel s disgusted, feel s tired. It
wants variety, new sensati ons. Instead of having vain talk wi th
people of different mental i ty and uncongeni al company,
househol der-aspirants can spend a short ti me in this pl ay. When he
gets real i nterest and pl easure in meditation, when he is used to
l ong hours of meditati on, Japa, etc. , he can dispense wi th this play.
PREPARATION FOR YOGA
Medical Aid for Chitta-Suddhi
53
Keep a few medici nes, a smal l homeopathic box or a smal l box
of 1 2 biochemical tissue remedies or an al lopathic chest contai ni ng
Epsom Sal t, Aspirin tablets, Amritanjan, Qui nine tablets, Boric
powder, Boric oi ntment, Ti ncture Iodi ne, Vasel i ne, Acid Tartaric,
Potassi um Permanganate, bandage cl oth, cotton, etc. Learn the
doses and the method of treatment of di seases and the use of the
above medi ci nes. Di stri bute the medi ci ne free to the poor. Thi s i s
|he best form of Nishkama-Karma for Chi tta-Suddhi or purifi
cation of mi nd.
Uni versal love, spontaneous generosi ty, supreme selfless service
|owards the poor and sai nts, a spirit of never-caring for the future,
sacrifice or sharing wi th others what one has, extreme humi l i ty,
dispassi onate nature, perfect knowl edge of Sastras and of
phi l osophy-these are the rare vi rtues of a sai ntly man.
These vi rtuous qual i ties are essenti al for spiritual progress.
Develop them sl owly one by one. Di stri bute a few paise per rupee
oI your income as charity. Do this wi thout fai l . Charity is a great
purifier. |t expands the heart. Serve the sai nts, the decrepit, the
sick, aged persons, the bl i nd. Never approach a si ck man or a
Sannyasi n wi th an empty hand. Do not hoard money. It i s a great
si n. Money is for cosmic use. Do not eat anythi ng before
distributi ng a portion to others. To keep more than what i s
necessary i s a si n. Serve al l . Scrve the Lord i n al l . Be ki nd t o al l .
Serve the poor Narayanas.
The world is not different from Brahman. In Brahma-Bhava, the
world does not cease to exist but the idea that the worl d i s a
different entity from Brahman vanishes and a new consciousness
that Brahman is Sarvatva is generated. Mark this i dea careful l y:
`'Al l is Self. Al l is One. Al l i s Brahman." You wi l l be perfect i n
sel f!ess service i f you entertai n thi s idea.
Trataka
Trataka is steady gazi ng at a parti cul ar poi nt or object wi thout
wi nki ng. Thi s is speci al l y i ntended for developi ng concentration.
Though | hi s is one of the Shat-Karmas (si x purificatory exercises)
of | he Hatha Yoga, yet it is very useful for the students of Jnana
Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga, al so. There i s no other effective
method for the control of mind. A steady gradual practice wi l l
i mprove eyesight. I t removes al l eye-troubles. Many have thrown
away their spectacles after taki ng to thi s practice. Wi l l -power i s
54 PRACTICE OF YOGA
developed. Vikshepa is destroyed. It steadies the mind.
Clairvoyance, thought-reading, psychic Powers and other Siddhis
are obtained.
Keep a picture of Lord Krishna, Rama, Narayana, Devi or your
chosen Deity in front of you. Look at it steadily without winking.
Gaze at the head; then at the body; then at the legs. Repeat the same
process again and again. When your mind calms down, look at a
particular place only. Be steady til l tears begin to fow. Then close
the eyes and mentally visualise the picture.
Trataka can be done on a black dot on a white wall in front of you.
Draw the picture OM() on a piece of paper and do Trataka. It can
be done at the space between the two eyebrows, the tip of the nose,
the interal Chakras, the sun, a star, or a lamp. For the description of
the other fve purifcatory exercises ofHatha Yoga, you may refer to
my book ' Kundalini Yoga. '
Al l these are types of Tapas mentioned as a preparatory process in
what Patanj ali calls Kriya Yoga. Tapas is intense austerity.
Sense-control in any degree is austerity. Control of speech and mind
is the greatest austerity.
What is Bhakti?
lsvara-Pranidhana is a form ofBhakti Yoga. Bhakti is the slender
silken thread of Prema that binds the heart of a devotee with the
lotus-feet of the Lord. Bhakti is intense devotion and supreme
attachment to God. Bhakti is supreme love towards God. It is the
spontaneous outpouring of Prema towards the Beloved. It is pure,
unselfsh, divine love or Suddha Prema. It is love for love' s sake.
There is not a bit of bargaining or expectation of anything here. This
higher feeling is indescribable in words. It has to be sincerely felt by
the devotee. Bhakti is sacred higher emotion with sublime
sentiments, that unites the devotee with the Lord.
Fruits of Bhakti
Bhakti sofens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust,
anger, egoism, pride, arrogance, etc. It infses joy, divine ecstasy,
bliss and knowledge. It helps the devotee to be always in
communion with the Lord. All cares, worries, fears, anxieties,
mental torments and tribulations entirely vanish. The devotee is
freed from the Samsaric wheel of births and deaths. He attains
the immortal abode of everlasting peace, bliss and knowledge.
PREPARATION FOR YOGA
Characteristics of a Bhakta
55
A devotee has these characteristics. He has equal vi si on for al l .
He has no enmi ty for anybody. He has exempl ary character. He
has no attachment for anythi ng. He has not got the i dea of
' mi neness. ' He has a balanced mi nd in pai n and pl easure, heat and
cold, praise and censure. He regards money as pi eces of stone. He
has neither anger nor l ust. He regards all l adies as his own mother.
The name of Lor
d
Hari is al ways on hi s l i ps. He has al ways i nner
l i fe or Antarmukha Vritti . He is ful l of Santi
,
and bl i ss.
Japa
Japa is the repeti tion of any Mantra or the name of God. There
are three varieties of doi ng Japa vi z. , Vai khari (verbal ), Upamsu
(whi spering) and Manasi c (mental ) . The frui ts of Upamsu Japa are
one thousand ti mes more than the Vai khari .
Thc e|fi ci ency of the Japa is accentuated accordi ng to the
degree of concentration. The mi nd should b fi xed on the Dei ty.
Then only you wi l l real i se the maxi mum benefits of a Mantra.
Every Mantra has got tremendous force. A Mantra is a mass of
Tej as or radi ant energy. It transforms the mental substance by
produci ng a parti cul ar thought movement. The rhythmical
vi brations produced by repeati ng the Mantra, regul ate the unsteady
vi brations of the Pancha Koshas | fve heaths). It checks the
natural tendencies of objecti ve thoughts of the mi nd. It helps the
Sadhana-Sakti and rei nforces it. Sadhana-Sakti is strengthened by
Mantra-Sakti . Mantra awakens superhuman powers, when the
Mantra-Chai tanya i s awakened.
|t purifies the mi nd, removes Mal a or i mpurities and si ns. It
purifies the Nadis and the Pranamaya-Kosha. Japa of any Mantra
for one or two years is necessary i n the vast majority of persons
for effecti ng Chi tta-Suddhi . The Mantra fi nally takes the aspirant
to his Ishta Devata.
Make i t a poi nt to repeat a Mantra some thousands dai l y.
Accordi ng to your i ncl i nation and taste, select any one of Ihe
fol lowi ng Mantras. Have Sraddha and a keen desire for l i berati on.
Repeat the Mantra wi th concentration as much as you can. Use a
Maala of I 08 beads. Japa should be done neither very sl owl y nor
quickly. Prahl ada had Darshana of Hari by repeati ng the Mantra of
Narayana, Dhruva by repeating the Mantra of Lord Rama. Why
not you also cross thi s terri bl e Samsara by the method of Japa?
CHAPTER FVE
YOGI C PHYSI CAL EXERCI SES AND PRANAYAMA
Beneft of Yogic Exercises
The practice of Yogic exerci ses is conduci ve to health and
l ongevi ty. It regul ates the action of heart, l ungs and brai n. I t
promo|es di gestion and ci rcul ation of blood. it removes al l sorts of
di seases. Its object i s to enable one to possess a hi gh standard of
heal th, vi gour and vi tal ity.
These exerci ses constitute the practice of Asanas, Pranayamas,
Mudras and Bandhas. As a prel i mi nary course, the students have
to pract i se Sha| Karmas or the si x purificatory exercises, vi z. ,
Dhauti , Basti , Neti , Naul i , Trataka and Kapal abhati . For higher
advancements in the spi ritual path, one has to take up to Dharana,
Dhyana and Samadhi . To ensure success and perfection, a
beauti ful combi nation of vari ous exercises of Bhakti Yoga, Raja
Yoga and 1nana Yoga i s desi rable.
Patanjal i Maharshi defi nes that "Sthirasukham Asanam. " Any
steady, comfortable posture is Asana. The practice of Asanas i s
i mportant for Hatha Yogi ns, Raja Yogi ns and Bhaktas who
medi tate on Saguna Brahman. For a 1 nani , no Asana of a specific
nature is needed. He cun medi tate even i n sl eepi ng posture
(Murdhasana) , l yi ng in an easy-chai r or whi l e wal ki ng. General l y
persons after 40 years of age wi l l fi nd it di ffi cul t to si t i n
Pad|nasana conti nuousl y for three hours. The bones and muscles
have become rigid. El derly persohs, when they get tired after an
hour, can l ean agai nst the wall and can stretch their legs. A comer
of a room shoul d be sel ected for this purpose. They can get
support from the si des of the two wal l s. Thi s is a most comfortable
posture. When they medi tate in a sleepi ng posture, sleep
supervenes . Thi s is the troubl. They must be on the alert. Young
people shoul d practise Padma or Si ddha Asana for meditative
purposes and various other Asanas that are i ntended for keepi ng up
Brahmacharya and good health.
Asana 1aya or Asana Si ddhi is gai ned if you are able to sit
steadi l y l i ke a statue for ful l three hours conti nuously. I prescribe
the practice of Asana for three hours duri ng the first year` s course
of practice. When you get pai n in the legs whi l e practi si ng Asana
YOGI C PHYSI CAL EXERCISES AND PRANAYAMA 57
for t hree hours. st retch your l egs for a few mi nutes and agai n si t
on thc Asana. In the course of a year. you wi l l be perfect i n t he
pract i ce of Asana.
Padmasana
Padmasana means ' l ot us-pose' . Thi s is known as Kamal asana.
Padrasana and Si ddhasana are best sui ted for purposes of Japa,
medi t at i on. and for the pract i ce of Pranayama.
Si t on t he ground by spreadi ng |he legs forward. Then pl ace the
ri ght loot ovcr the l eft thigh and the l ef| foot over the right thi gh.
Keep |hc hands on the knee-joi nts.
You can make a fi nger-l ock and keep |he locked hands over t he
kf't ankl e. Face the north or east.
Siddhasana
Next t o Padrnasana comes Siddhasana i n i mportance. If you get
mastery over t hi s Asana, you wi l l acqui re many Si ddhi so Lven
fat t y persons wi th big t hi ghs can pract i se t hi s Asana very easi l y.
Young Brahmachari ns who attempt to get establ i shed i n cel i bacy
shoul d pract i se t hi s Asana.
Pl acc one heel at the anus and keep the other heel at the root of
the gcnera|i ve organ. The feet or legs shoul d be so nicely arranged
that the ankle-joi nt s should touch each other. Hands can be pl aced
as i n Padrasana.
Books on Hatha Yoga eul ogi se the merits and advantages of
Padina and Si ddha Asanas |o a very hi gh degree. He who si ts on
any one of the Asanas even for 1 5 mi nutes dai l y with cl osed
eyes, concentrati ng on God, destroys all si ns and gets Moksha.
These Asanas are useful to cure rheumati sm and to keep the
system in proper order. They puri fy and strengthen the nerves of
t he legs and thi ghs. They are sui tabl e very much for mai ntai ni ng
Brahmacharya.
Sirshasana
Spread a fourfol ded bl anket. Si | on the two knees. Make a
finger-lock by i nterweavi ng the fingers and pl ace it on the ground
upto |he el bow. Keep the top of your head on thi s finger-lock or
between thc two hands. Sl owl y raise the legs ti l l they become
vertical . S|and steadi l y as l ong as you can and then sl owl y bri ng
the legs down. Do the Asana very sl owl y wi thout any jerks. Whi le
standi ng on the head, breathe sl ow| y through the nose and never
thrugh the mouth.
58 PRACTICE OF YOGA
When you begi n to learn thi s Asana, you can pl ace the pal ms on
the ground one on each si de of the head. You wi l l fi nd this easy to
practi sc. When you have learnt balanci ng, then you can take to
fi nger-l ock method. Ask your friend to assi st you to keep the l egs
stcady or get the help of a wal l , in the begi nni ng stage of your
practice.
Pundit Raghunath Shastri at Badari Narayana is very fond of
| hi s Asana and does it for 2 to 3 hours at a stroke. He says that this
lcads to natural Pranayama and Samadhi by itself. No other effort
is neccssary. There is one Yogi at Varanasi who enters i nto
Samadhi i n thi s Asarna. If you watch the breath, you wi l l notice
that i t bccomes fi ner and fi ner. In the begi nni ng of practice there
wi l l bc sl i ght di I1i cul ty in breathi ng. As you advance in practice,
| hi s vani shcs. You wi l l fi nd real pl easure, exhi l aration of spirits in
thi s Asana. Sri P.V. Acharya does thi s Asana for 45 mi nutes
mori ng and eveni ng j ust before his medi tati on. He fi nds thi s
h| ghl y bcnefi ci al for meditative purposes because the brai n centres
are suppl i ed wi th a l arge quantity of blood. He has expressed thi s
vcry often to me. They work very efficiently. In this Asana alone
thc brai n can draw pl enty of Prana and blood. You can hear the
Anahata sounds qui te di stinctly whi l e practi si ng. Mark these
sounds careful l y. Words wi l l fai l to descri be adequately the
bcneficial rcsul ts and effects. This is a panacea, a cure-al l , a
sovcrci gn specific for al l di seases . Memory admirably i mproves. |t
hci ghtcns the psychi c facul ti es. Great benefit is derived by si tti ng
for meditation after Si rshasana. I t transmutes the sex-energy i nto
Ojas-Sakti, spi ritual energy. I t energises, i nvi gorates and vi vifies.
|n Yogatattva Upani shad i t is said: "On the first day, the Yogi
shoul d stand on his head wi th the feet raised up for a moment. He
shoul d i ncrease thi s period gradual l y every day. Wri nkles and
greyncss of hai: wi l l di sappear wi thi n 3 mont hs. He who practises
onl y lor a period of 3 hours every day conquers ti me. "
|t hel ps Brahmacharya a lot. It awakens the Kundal i ni Sakti . I t
rel i eves congesti on i n the semi nal bags and checks wet-dreams,
spermatorrhoea. Eyesi ght i mproves . Sri Takore Dwarak Si nghji of
Si tapur, has consi derabl y i mproved hi s eyesight by practi si ng thi s
Asana. Al l di seases of the eye, ear, nose, head, throat, stomach,
geni to-uri nary system, l i ver, spleen, l ungs are removed. It removes
dcafness, gonorrhoea, di abetes, pi les, asthma, consumption,
pyorrhoea, consti pati on, renal col i c, syphi l i s, etc. It is a powerful
bl ood-puri f\ er, brai n and nervi ne toni c. It augments the digestive
YOGIC PHYSICAL EXERCISES AND PRANAYAMA 59
|ire. 1atharagni . I have i ntroduced thi s Asana | n Si tapur. There i s a
Si rshasana atmosphere now in Si tapur. Many are practi si ng
systematical ly and real i si ng i ts mi racul ous effects. Lawycrs,
occul ti sts and thi nkers wi l l hi ghl y appreci ate thi s Asana.
Sarvangasana
1his i s another i mportant Asana. Lie on the back at. Sl owl y
rai se. the l egs qui te vertical . Support the back wi th the two hands.
This is an easy Asana. Si rshasana

i s a l i ttl e

more di ffi cul t.
Concentrate | he mi nd on the thyroid i n |he neck. Practi

e thi s
Asana |rom 5 |o 20 mi nutes, twi ce dai l y. Press the chi n agai nst the
chest. Thcn sl owl y bri ng down the legs .
I am very fond o| these two Asanas. I general l y recommend
these two Asanas, combi ned with Paschi mottanasana i nvari ably to
|hose persons who approach me. I have started a Si rsho-Sarvanga
propaganda. These three Asanas alone can keep you in perfect
heal th. You necd not take any long walk or physical exerci se.
|hys ical cxcrci sc draws the Prana out. Asanas send the Prana i n.
Asana di stri butes Prana qui te evenl y throughout the different
systems of
.
the body. So t he effects are di ffernt i n t wo cases.
Asana is not only physical but al so spi ri tual , as it awakens the
serpent power, Kundal i ni Sakti , and as i t forms the thi rd Anga of
the Raa Yoga. A parti cul ar Asana removes a part icular di sease.
Mark |he wonderful power of Asanas. Sarvangasana central i ses the
blood i n spi nal col umn and nouri shes beauti ful l y al l the spi nal
roots of nerves. But Ior thi s Asana, there is no scope for these
nerve-n:ots to draw a suffi ci ent bl ood-supply.
|n this pract ice, the t hyroid gland which i s si tuated a l i tt l e above
the root of the neck is nouri shed properly. Thyroid gl and is a
ductl css, endocrine gl and
.
wi th a mysteri ous i nternal secretion
which is absorbcd di rectl y i nto the blood. Thyroid takes a
wonderful part in metabol i sm of the body, in growth, structure and
dcvelopment. Metabol i sm i s the sum total of constructi ve and
des|ruc| i vc changes whi ch go on, in the body. This thyroid
operates i n con unction wi t h other ductless gl ands, such as
pitui tary. pi neal i n the brai n, supra-renal above the ki dneys, l i ver,
spleen, tcstes, etc. If t hi s thyroid is di seased, al l other gl ands
suffer. A vi ci ous ci rcl e i s formed. Sarvangasana keeps a heal thy
thyroid. Hcal thy thyroid means heal thy functi oni ng oI all thc
organs of the body.
Sarvangasana keeps thc spi ne very el asti c. Elast i ci ty of the
spi ne means everlasti ng youth. Sarvangasana awakens Kundal i ni ,
60 PRACTICE OF YOGA
chcck- wc| dreams, removes consti pati on, hel ps digestion,
cxhi l arutcs the heart, purifies the blood, tones the nerves and brain
and rcmoves all di seascs. Sarvangasana energi ses. i nvigorates and
vi vi fi cs. A course of Si rsho-Sarvanga powerful l y rejuvenates the
hody and di spcnses wi th monkey-gland grafti ng.
Paschimottanasana
Si t on the ground. Stretch the two legs sti ff l i ke a sti ck. Catch
the |oc wi th the hands. Place the forehead on the two knees
sl owly. You can bend sti l l further and keep the head between the
thi ghs al so. Thi s reduces fat, and sti mul ates the di gesti ve fire. This
i s uscful i n all di seases of the stomach, and for curing the
cnl argcment of spleen.
Sukhapurvaka Pranayama
( EASY COMFORTABLE PRANAYAMA)
Si t on Padmasana or Si ddhasana in your medi tation-room,
bcforc |he pi cture of your I shta Devata (tutel ary Dei ty) . Close the
ri gh| nostri l wi th the thumb. Draw i n the air very, very sl owly
through the l cf nostri l . Then cl ose the left nostri l also with l i ttl e
and ri ng fingers of the ri ght hand. Retai n the air as l ong as you
can comfortably do. Then exhale very, very sl owl y through the
nostri l after removi ng the thumb. Now half the process is over.
Then draw ai r through the right nostri l . Retai n the air as before
and cxhal e it very, very sl owl y through the left nostri l
.
Al l these
si x processes constitute one Pranayama. Do 20 rounds in |he
morni ng and 20 rounds in the eveni ng. Gradual l y i ncrease the
number. Have a Bhava (mental attitude) that all the Daivi Sampat
(di vi ne qual i ties) , c. g. , mercy, love, forgi veness, peace. joy, etc. ,
are enteri ng your system along wi th the i nhaled air and al l Asuri
Sampat (demoni acal qual i ti es) such as l ust, anger, greed, etc. . are
bei ng thrown out al ong wi th the exhaled ai r. Repeat OM or
Gayatri or any Mantra mental l y duri ng Puraka ( i nhalation l ,
Kumbhak<i ( retention) and Rechaka (exhalati on). Hard-working
Sadhakas can do 320 Kumbhakas dai l y in Iour sitti ngs at the rate
ol 80 in each sitti ng.
Thi s Pranayama removes al l di seases. purifies the Nadi s,
steadi es the mi nd i n concentrati on, i mproves digestion, i ncreases
digestive fi re and appetite, helps to mai ntain Brahmacharya and
awakens the Kundal i ni that is sl eepi ng at the Mul adhara Chakra.
Purification of Nadi s wi l l set in rapidly. You wi l l have l evi tation
(ri si ng above the groundl al so.
.
YOGI C PHYSICAL EXERCISES AND PRANAYAMA 6 1
Bhastrika Pranayama
As the bel l ows of the bl acksmith constantly di l ate and contract,
si mi l arly, sl owl y draw in the air by both the nostri l s and expand
the stomach; then throw i t out guickl y (produci ng the sound l i ke
that of bel l ows). Inspire and expire guickl y ten to twenty times.
Then perform Kumbhaka as l ong as you can, after a deep
i nhalation and expel it sl owl y. Perform this Bhastrika three times.
You wi l l never sufer from any disease. You wi l l al ways be
healthy. This rel ieves i nflammation of the throat, i ncreases the
gastric fire, destroys phlegm, removes diseases of nose and chest
and eradicates asthma, consumption, etc. It gi ves a good appetite.
Sitali Pranayama
Draw in air through the mou|h (with l ips contracted and tongue
thrown out) wi th the hi ssi ng sound of Su and fi l l the l ungs sl owl y.
Retai n i t as long as you can comfortabl y do. Then exhale sl owl y
through both nostri l s. Practise this dai l y. It purifies the blood and
guenchcs thirst and hunger. It destroys diseases l i ke indi gestion,
bi l i ous di sorders, phlegm, Gul ma, Pl i ha, consumption, fever and
other diseases.
Maha Mudra
Press the anus wi th the left heel . Strctch the right l eg. Take hold
of |he toe by the two hands. Pres the chin against the chest.
Contract the throat ( not expel l i ng the breath) and fi x the gaze
between the eyebrows . The practice

of thi s Mudra cures


consumpti on, constipation, enl argement of spleen, i ndigestion and
fever. In fact, it cures all diseases.
Uddiyana Bandha
Exhale. Draw the muscul ar wall of the bel l y backwards wi th
great force, so that it may touch the spi nal col umn. Practise five or
six ti mes dai l y. Thi s reduces fat, rel i eves constipati on, i ncreases
digestive fire, reduces the enl argement of spl een and tones the
bowel s. He who practises this conguers death. It forces the
combi ned Prana-Apana i nto the Sushumna. Thi s i s the best of al l
Bandhas. Thi s is very good for heal th. Practisc this dai l y. It gi ves
good appetite.
CHAPTER SI
MI ND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
Essence of Sadhana
A Raja Yogi sl owl y ascends the Yogic l adder al ong the eight
stcps, vi z. , Yama, Ni yama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara,
Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi . He gets ethi cal trai ni ng in the
begi nni ng to purify hi mscl f by the practice of Yama and Ni yama.
Then he steadies hi s posture, Asana. Then he practises Pranayama
to steady his mi nd and to puri fy the Nadi s. Then by the practice of
Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana he gets Samadhi . Through
Samyama he gets di fferent Si ddhi s. He restrai ns al l the mental
modifications that arise from the mi nd.
Hatha Yoga concerns with the physical body and control of
breath. Raja Yoga deal s with the mi nd. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga
are i nterdependent. Raj a Yoga and Hatha Yoga are the necessary
counterparts of each other. No one can become a perfect Yogi
wi thout a knowl edge of and the practice of both. Proper Raja Yoga
bcgi ns where properl y practised Hatha Yoga ends . A Hatha Yogi
starts hi s Sadhana with his body and Prana, whi l e a Raja Yogi with
hi s mi nd, a 1nana Yogi wi th hi s Buddhi and wi l l . This i s the chief
di fferencc. 1o get success in Raj a Yoga, one shoul d have a
thorough knowl edge of the mysteries of the mi nd and the way by
whi ch i t is control l ed.
The student of Hatha Yoga shoul d try to awake| the Kundal i ni
Sakti that l ies dormant i n the Mul adhara Chakra by Asana,
Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha. He shoul d try to uni |e the Prana
and Apana, and send the uni ted Prana-Apana through the
Sushumna Nadi . Heat is i ncreased by retention of breath and Vayu
ascends up along wi th Kundal i ni to the Sahasrara Chakra through
the di fferent Chakras. When Kundal i ni is uni ted wi th Lord Si va at
the Sahasrara Chakra, the Yogi attai ns Samadhi and enjoys
supreme peace, bl i ss and i mmortal i ty.
Evolution of Mind
Mi nd presents i tsel! in 3 di fferent phases. It bcgi ns wi |h
common-sense, and takes thi ngs as they appear to senses. It does
not i ngui re whether they are real or ideal , whether solated i n
themsel ves or connected by some underl yi ng principle. The
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 63
majority of mankind never go, and are i n fact, i ncapable of goi ng
heyond the common-sense-view of the worl d. Jhey are of opi ni on
that al l knowl edge comes from wi thout and the human brai n
passi vely recei ves i mpressions of the external thi ngs.
Af

er

ommon-sens

has attained suffci ent growth, scientific
reason or scientifi c understanding awakes in a few who are
i ntel | i gent. The world, which appeared to common-sense as a
series of events comi ng one after another wi thout any essential
connection among themsel ves, now comes to be regarded as a
constant series of di fferent phenomena l i nked together by the Law
of Causati on. Nothi ng is Iree: everythi ng is bound up in necessi ty.
Gi ve the necessary causes, the desi red effect wi l l fol l ow. Scientists
hold that the human mi nd cannot go beyond these phenomena and
|hei r uni fyi n

l aws. What b the noumenon, the l i fe-gi vi ng
princi pl e of those |aws, is a point where the scientific
understanding stops. Anythi ng beyond these i s terra incognita.
Viveka or the phi l osophical sense then comes to the rescue of
the scienti I\ c despai rer, consequent upon the thi nki ng ego bei ng
tied down by the shackles of necessi ty. The reflecting ego-the
subjcct-has i nner conviction that it is free, although it moves in a
circ| e of external objects bound, as it were, by the law of
necessi ty. The want of Ireedom under whi ch it seems to l abour i s
imposed upon i t by an external pri ncipl e cal |ed mi nd, which, as a
rule, makcs no di scri mi nation between subject and object. The
phi losophical sense or reason tries to i nvestigate the pri nci pl e of
uni ty, which i s the poi nt of reference of al l different exi stences and
which transcends the apparent di versity of thi ngs. All di herences
derive their meani ng, thei r very exi stence, from that truth of
identity of subject and object,

which have been held up as
antagonisti c pri ncipl es.
The mi nd (as Antahkarana or the Chi tta) has parts. It i s not
therefore eteral , has a begi nni ng and has a l i mited extension, that
i s, it i s a thi ng of finite di mensions. It i s radi ant, transparent and
l i ght, l i ke the sol ar rays, and mobi l e. It is a ki nd of radiant matter.
Mi nd, in its essential nature, is consciousness. Raj asi c mi nd i s
atomic. Sattvic mi nd i s al l-pervadi ng. So mi nd i s both atomic
(Anu) awl ' s poi nt and al l -pervadi ng (Vi bhu). Mi nd i s atomi c,
because it can know onl y one thi ng at a ti me. It i s a door-keeper
that can al l ow onl y one person, one i dea to enter at a time. When
the Mal a or i mpurity i s removed, i t becomes Sattvi c and
al l -pervadi ng. Sattva i s the mi nd of Yogns. Super-mi nd i s
PRACTI CE OF YOGA
Brahman. Mental I |fe | one. w| ng to Vr| tt| Bheda (funct|on| ng
apcc| . one m| nd aume four names, v| z. , M| nd, Buddh| , Ch| tta
and Aham|ara. M| nd | not r| g|d, that |s hav| ng the same
conf| gura|| on al way. but el at| c. It actual l y goes out l | ke a ray
( | houph not | n the act of |nowl edge al together leav| ng the body),
to t he object of pcrcept | on, envel ops |t and takes | ts form. Vedanta
hol d not that m| nd | der|ved from matter |n the phys| cal sense,
but they arc fundamental ly, and essent| al l y one, that | s pure
conci oune ( Ch| t ) , tress| ng or energ| | ng one way or the other.
They are d| fferent modes of the one power (Sakt| ) as
ubt ancc-cnergy. '
Theory of Perception
The m| nd ( Antahkarana) |s w| th part and can move | n space.
M| nd | a chang| ng and d| ffer| ng t h| ng. M| nd |s capable of mov| ng
from pl ace to pl ace and assum| ng the form of the objects of
perccpt| on. Th| go| ng out to an object and tak| ng | ts hape | s
actual . There | noth| ng tat|c | n nature. The m| nd, | n part| cul ar, | s
al way undergo| ng conc| ou or unconsc|ous mod|f| cat| on. The
m| nd | a rad| an|, transparent and l | ght substance and can travel
l | ke a ray of l | ght t hrough a sene-organ. M| nd |s thus an act| ve
force, a form of the general act| ve power or Sakt| . As the bra| n,
the organ of m| nd, | encl oed | n an organ| c, ol | d envel op. and | n
appcarance cl oed, t he | mag| nat | on has a tendency t o p| cture | t a
bc| ng | ol ated from the exter|or worl d, though |n truth | t | | n
contant contact w| th | t through a ubtle and contant exchange of
ecret act | v| t| c. The m| nd | s not someth| ng stat| c, pass| ve and
merel y rccept| ve. It take an act|ve part |n pcrcept| on both by
reaon of | t act| v| ty and the nature of that act | v| ty as caused by | ts
l atent t cndenc| c, Sam|ara. The fol l ow| ng wel l -known passage
from Vcdantapar| bhasha g| ve an account of percept| on.
"A water from a tank may tlow through a channel | nto a pl ot
of l and and aume | t shape ( square, tr| angul ar or any other
form) , o the rad| ant m| nd (Ta|jasa Antahkarana) goes out through
the eye or any other ene-organ to the pl ace where an object | s
and become tranformed | nto the hape of that object. Th|
mod| f| cat| on of the Antahkarana-tuff | cal l ed Vr| tt | . " Profor
P. N. Mukopadhyaya observes: "Wester psychology g| ve us a
one-|ded v| ew of percept| on: an external st| mul us act | ng upon a
ene-organ, e. g. , an ether-wave act| ng on the rct| na. The m| nd
goe out a a rad| ant energy and takes the shape of the object. The
Antah|arana | bel | eved to be a stuff that be| ng Sattv|c
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 65
(consc ousness-reveal ng) and Tajasa (radant) can go out and
nvade the Tamasc ( ve l ng crust of conscousness n the form of
object, Vshaya Chatanya), envelope and nfuse t by ts own
l um nosty (somewhat l ke the X-rays whch are themsel ves
ord nar ly nvs ble, but make opaque thngs transparent) and
thereby dscover the essental dentty between tself and the
object; t s the nd ng out of ths essental dentty between
conscousness as knower (Pramatr Chatanya) and conscousness
as the known (Vshaya Chatanya) and that between conscousness
as knowng (Pramana Chatanya), and conscousness as object
(Vshaya Chatanya), whch makes the substance of percepton
accordng to Vedanta."
Pure and Impure Mind
There are two k nds of m nds or rather two aspcts of the mnd,
the hgher Manas and the lower Manas. Theosoph sts term the
lower Manas as Kama Manas, the desre m nd. The lower Manas
s known by the names, Asuddha Manas, mpure mnd, nst nctve
m nd, vegetatve m nd, etc. The hgher Manas goes by the name
Sattvc m nd, Suddha Manas or the superconscous mnd. By
ann h l aton of the m nd s meant the destructon of the lower
Manas or nstnctve m nd. The Sattvc m nd always rema ns even
n Jnan also. Jnan uses the m nd and body as nstruments. There
s destructon of the m nd wth form (Svarupanasa) and wthout
form (Arupanasa). Svarupanasa or compl ete annih laton of the
mnd takes pl ace n Vdeha Ka valya. Destructon of the mnd wth
form and wthout form goes by the names Gauna Manonasa and
Mukhya Manonasa also. Sr Rama says to Sr Hanuman n
Mukt kopanshad: "The destructon of Manas s of two k nds, that
wth form and that wthout form. The destructon of that wth form
s of the J vanmukta; the destructon of that w thout form be ng of
the Vdehamukta." When the Mala s completely removed, the
nstnctve mnd des away, and the Sattvc m nd, hgher Manas
rema ns. When the J vanmukta leaves the body, the hgher Manas
.
s completel y ann h l ated. It s absorbed n Brahman, as t s beng
converted nto Chatanya. A pure m nd s Brahman tself. Just as
camphor n the presence of fire s turned nto fre and absorbed n
fire when burnt, so also a mnd when purfed becomes of the
nature of Brahman. Just as water n the presence of sal t, when a
l ump s pl aced n a bas n of water, becomes saltsh, so also m nd
n the presence of Brahman, when purfed, becomes of the nature
of Brahman.
6( PRACfiCE OF YOGA
M| nd, when pur|f|ed by the removal of s| x pass| ons, becomes,
your Guru. There | s a vo| ce from the m| nd for every doubt that
occurs | n your Buddh| . Tra| n yoursel f to hear m| nutel y w| th care
the subtl e, s| l ent vo|ce. Al l knowledge comes from w| th| n .
. Mind in a J nani
1 ust as the m| nd assumes a fner state | n deep sl eep, so also | n
the case of a 1nan| , the m| nd | s | n subtle state.
In N| rv| kalpa Samadh| , m| nd |s not destroyed thoroughl y. It
assumes a f| ne state j ust as | n deep sleep. Otherw| se, the var|ous
acts as done by a 1nan| as eat| ng, bath| ng, defaecat|on, etc. , cannot
be properl y expl a| ned. A 1nan| n' s body |s kept up for enjoyment of
Prarabdha. Enj oyment can b done onl y through Vr| tt| s. Pleasure
and pa| n can be exper|enced onl y through Vr| tt| s. So the 1nan| has
these Vr| tt| s to exper|ence h| s Prarabdha. He may not be affected,
as he | s | dent| fy| ng h| msel f al ways w| th the Svarupa, Brahman and
not w| th th| s body. That |s a d| fferent guest|on al together. But the
body |s sure to be afected, |f a carbuncle develops.
M| nd, m| nus Vr|t
t
| s, w|th Samskaras, only |s termed potent| al
m| nd. M| nd keeps company w| th two th| ngs, e| ther w|th the
objects through Vr| tt| s dur| ng percept|on or w|th Samskaras .

In
Sav| kal pa Samadh| , th| s form of potent| al m| nd ex| sts. A Raja
Yog| , | n h| s Sav| kalpa Samadh| operates through th| s potent| al
m| nd. If th| s potent| al m| nd | s al so destroyed, you enter | nto pure
Ni rv| kal pa Samadh| .
A 1 nan| enters | nto N| rv| kalpa Samadh| or
A
sampraj nata
Samadh| or N| rb|ja Samadh| (Samadh| w| thout seeds or
Samskaras) through s| mpl e thought. A Hatha Yog| enters | nto
Samadh| by awaken| ng Kundal | n| . To enter | nto Samadh| by
s| mpl e thought | s far more d| ff| cul t than by awaken| ng Kund
a
l | n| .
A wasp secures a caterp| l l ar, puts | t | n the comb, g| ves a severe
st| ng on the worm several t| mes and cl oses the comb. The
caterp| l l ar cannot forget the pa| nful st| ng of the wasp. It constantly
remembers the wasp and by constant th| nk| ng of the wasp
devel ops | nto a wasp and emerges out of the comb. So, an asp|rant
of the 1 nana Yoga, has the mental p| cture of the Upan| shad|c
Brahman formed through Sravana and Manana, constantly
med| tates
.
on th| s p| cture and becomes that p|cture, Brahman,
accord| ng to th| s anal ogy. As he th| nks, so he becomes. The m| nd

becomes that on wh| ch | t | ntensel y med| tates. It | nfm| tel y expands


and merges | n Brahman. The m| nd |s both atom| c and
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 67
al l -pervadi ng al so. Mi nd can onl y attend to one message at a t me
recei ved through the senses. It cannot see, hear, smel l at the same
ti me. So the mi nd is atom c. When purified by Samadhi , i t
expands, and becomes al l -pervad ng.
When you stand on the sea-shore and survey the i mmense sea,
the mi nd expands. You feel hghl y del ghted. A si m l ar pl easure i s
experi enced wi th expanson of mi nd when you have a look around
from the top of Mussorie h l l s. When you have a view of the vast
pla ns of Rajasthan, the mi nd expands. When you come out fom
the medi tati on-room and l ook at the i nfni te bl ue sky, the mi nd
expands. Mark these experiences careful l y.
Mind-A Frightened Bird
A hungry hawk chases a brd for i ts prey. The brd runs away
and enters a room n a house for protecti on. It comes out. It s
agai n chase
d
by the hawk. Agai n i t enters the room. Agai n, i t
comes out. Agai n i t s chased by the hawk. The bi rd gets fear and
restlessness. Si mi l ar is the case w th the mnd i n the beg nn ng of
medtaton in the begi nners. It tries to go to the Yathasthana, agai n
comes out, flutters l ke the fr ghtened brd from objects to objects.
Agai n i t moves a bt towards i ts orig nal seat. Agan t comes out.
By constant and steady practice, you wi l l have to wi thdraw the
m nd away from the sensual objects and fi x it f rml y on the Atman
by i ncessant Ni di dtyasana. Thnking, concentrati on, efort to
separate from the body and the Bhavana of your beng the si lent
wi tness of the mental modfcatons should go hand i n hand. A
subtle i ntel l ect sharpened by meditaton, strength and exerton are
the three essenti al factors n success. Patience of a strong type,
Dhri ti , Utsaha, a gual ty of the vi tal wi l l are absol utel y
i ndi spensable for reachi ng the goal . These vrtues shoul d be
cul ti vated sl owl y and stead l y. Avod unnecessary worry. Be not
troubl ed. Be not anxi ous. Do not b dl e. Do not waste ti me. Do
not worry yourself i f there i s del ay n further progress Wait cool l y.
You are bound to succeed if you are si ncere, if you have a strong
Mumukshutva, i f you have a strong Varagya. A brd tried to
empty the waters of the ocean wi th the bl ade of grass. It went on
w| th redoubled energy n the act of emptyi ng. Such must be the
case wi th you with reference to strong patence, and strong
perseverance.
Mind-A Mischievous Monkey
You must remember that y
o
ung Brahmacharis are always
m schi evous. They w l l pl ay the truant. A Brahmachar! was once
68 PRACTICE OF YOGA
crossi ng the Ganga in a boat with some peop|e from Swargashram
to Muni -ki -Reti . There was a young monkey a|so i n the boat.
There was a toddy-se| | er a|so wi th hi s pot of toddy. The monkey
drank some toddy out of the pot to its heart' s content. The
mi schievous Brahmachari was p|ayi ng wi th the monkey. A
scorpion i n the boat gave a sharp sti ng i n the monkey's feet. The
Brahmachari took a piece of broom-stick and pricked the monkey
in its face. Now, see what happened. The monkey i s by Svabhava
very mischievous. It drank a good quantity of toddy, an i ntoxicant.
lt had a scorpion sting to boot. The Brahmachari fretted with the
sharp broom-stick. Just i magine what wou|d have been i ts menta|
state. The monkey became extreme|y turbu|ent and boi sterous. It
jumped from one corner of the boat to another. It created a |ot of
mi schief. A| | the passengers moved to one si de of the boat and the
boat was capsi zed.
Si mi | ar i s the case with the human, emotive mi nd. The mind i s
a| ready saturated with passions, emoti ons, Vasanas, Samskaras,
sensations, sentiments. You shove in a variety of passion-exci ti ng
stufs, foods, sti mu| ants, etc. You | i ve amidst exciti ng environ
ments, theatres, shows, ci nemas. You engage yourse|f in the study
of exciting nove| s. You ta|k on Anatma subjects. So, your position
i s in no way better than that of the monkey that capsized the boat.
You have no menta| peace even for a second. Cares, worries,
anxi eti es and troub| es ki | | you. You are tossed about hi ther and
t hi ther by Kama, Krodha, Raga and Dvesha. You revo|ve in the
eterna| Samsara Chaka. Acqui re menta| Vai ragya, menta|
Sannyasa. Practi se Yoga, medi tati on, Ni didhyasana. Secure
Sadhana Chatushtaya fi rst. Medi tati on a|one can save you to
destroy the monkey-nature of your mi nd.
Mind-A Playing Child
"Watch and Pray." This is the advice of Lord Jesus. Watch the
mi nd. Watch the Vri ttis or t
h
oughts. Dri ve them. Extirpate them.
Anni hi | ate the thoughts. Ki| | them. This method i s done by Yoga
or by the Wi | | of the phi| osopher. If you are devotiona|, pray to
God by tota| unreserved, ungrudgi ng se|f-surrender or Saranagati,
Atmani vedana, Atmasamarpana. Your Ishta Devata wi | | he|p you.
If you watch the mi nd duri ng meditation, you wi|| observe it
exact|y behaves l i ke a s ma| | chi|d. The chi | d goes to eat charcoa| .
Remove the chi | d and give sweetmeats. When sweetmeats are
fi ni shed, it agai n runs towards eati ng ashes. Si mi | ar|y, the mi nd
runs about towards the o|d objects that were enj oyed previous|y. It
MIND AND ITS FNCTIONS 69
thinks of them constantly, i ntensely. That is i ts old habit. It wi l l
never leave. It tries to wal k i n the ol d groove. I t wal ks for a short
time, say fve mi nutes i n the begi nni ng of meditation, i n the new
groove, in the new channel , i n the new path of Saguna Murti or
Nirguna, i nni te l ight, and agai n runs for old objects. The chi l d
that i s tryi ng to wal k, moves a few paces and fal l s down. I t again
gets up, agai n fal l s down. Even so, the mi nd meditates on the
Lakshya (lsvara or Brahman), for a few mi nutes and agai n fal l s on
the mi re, muddy pond of objects. Agai n, you wi l l have to l ift the
mi nd from the dirty, muddy mi re, i n which it has fal l en. Coax and
make i t gay, cheerful , hi l arious, by posi ti ve subl i me thoughts. You
wi l l have to elevate and expand the mi nd by subl ime thoughts, j ust
as a boy elevates in his game Gul l i Oanda, the smal l stick by
gi vi ng a blow wi th his long stick and drives i t in the air. Elvate
the mi nd by subl i me, spiritual thoughts and expand it by
Brahmakara Vritti and fx i t on Atman by steady constant practice.
Mind-A Wild Bull
A certai n l andlord had a very wi l d bul l . It woul d never eat grass
or anythi ng in hi s house. It wi l l move about in hi s neighbours'
fields, spoi l thei r cul ti vation and graze on thei r pl antations. The
landlord tried his best to feed this wi l d bul l in his own compound
and fed i t wi th good palatable cotton seed extracts, gram, bran,
fresh grass, etc. As soon as i t was let loose, i t woul d i mmediately
run to the old fields. The landlord woul d agai n bring back the bul l
and feed nicely i n hi s compound. After some days, the bul l began
to relish the food in his compound, never moved about to the
fields.
Si mi l arly, the wandering mi nd can b quite easi l y control led.
There i s no great di fficulty for a steady Sadhaka. The mi nd i s l i ke
the wi l d bul l . Fi x it on Saguna Murti at first, ei ther Krishna, Rama
or Chaturbhuj a Maha Vi shnu. As son as the mind runs away,
bring it back and fx it agai n on the Murti , j ust as the l andl ord did
with hi s wi l d bull. When you are perfect i n Oharana by constant
practice, you can take up Ni rguna Meditation-meditation on an
abstract idea such as: ' I am i nfi ni te, al l -pervading Light. ' In course
of ti me, by repeated practice, the mi nd wi l l not run towards
objects. It wi l l find real happi ness from wi thi n, and merge itself i n
Brahman.
Mind-A Wild Horse
Suppose there is a wi l d, untamed horse i n your stable. It was
brought , out for grazi ng, etc. It refuses to re-enter the stable. I t
70 PRACTICE OF YOGA
jumps out vi ol entl y here and there i n the compound of your
Bungalow. There are two methods to make the horse enter the
tabl e. One is a vi ol ent, brutal method of whi ppi ng severely. The
other is a gentle method of showi ng a l i ttl e grass or boi l ed gram
just near i ts mouth. Do not al l ow i t to eat. Si mpl y show. It wi l l try
to eat. It wi l l fol l ow you. Take to the stable. Lock the gate.
Si mi l arly, the undi sci pl i ned mi nd is l i ke a wi l d horse.
Pranayama and other Hatha Yogi c Sadhanas are vi ol ent and brutal
in one sense. The gentl e method is the development of Samata
statc of
.
mi nd. When you are establ i shed i n Samata state you wi l l
have a novel pl easure, an i nf ni te bl i ss. Samata state should be
obtained by sl ow mental trai ni ng. The two currents i n the mi nd.
Raga-dvesha, attracti on and repul si on, shoul d be destroyed.
Samata state i ncreases the devel opment of the wi l l . Al l varieties of
emotions emanate from thi s si ngl e emotion, Raga-dvesha. It i s
these currents that drag you out to acti vi ty. They are the enemi es
of self-surrender. Destroy desi res and egoi sm. Ki l l out the
Abhi ni vesa, thi rsti ng for l i fe, objects and sense-enjoyments.
Develop Vi veka, Vai ragya, Ti ti ksha, Udasi nata, Vi chara. Have
constant Satsanga. These currents wi l l di e out. It is these currents
that create the i deas of pl easure and pai n, fri end and enemy, heat
and col d, good and bad, the di fferent Dvandvas. Dvandvas are
i l l usory. You can convert pl easure i nto pai n and pai n i nto pl easure.
A vegetari an goes to Engl and to prosecute hi s studi es. By mi xi ng
wi th people who take meat, he begi ns to taste meat. It gi ves hi m
pai n, di staste, nausea to start wi th. He conti nues taki ng meat for
some days. After the l apse of some weeks, he l i kes meat hearti l y.
In si x months he can take 4 l bs. of raw meat at one stroke and
becomes an i nveterate meat-eater. So i s the case wi th dri nki ng
al so. A teetotal l er becomes an i nveterate, Pukka, establ i shed
drunkard. Here, in these two i nstances, the objects, meat and
al cohol , whi ch were once objects of hatred and pai n, now gi ve
pl easure and l ove, and have become objects of pleasure and
attachment. You have con
v
erted pai n i nto pl easure by changi ng
your i dea, mode of thi nki ng of these two objects.
Suppose you are fond of tea, and you have taken up the spi ri tual
l i ne. Your Guru says: "Po not take tea. It spoi l s the system. It
causes spermatorrhoea, wet-dreams. It i s not good for sp
i
rtual
practi ce. " As soon as you have heard these i deas, you gi ve up the
tea. You have changed your i deas about tea. The same thi ng that
was gi vi ng you pl easure, now gi ves you pai n. You have converted
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 7 1
pleasure i nto pai n-. Mi l k gi ves pleasure to some, pai n to others.
Mi | k gi ves pleasure duri ng heal th, pai n duri ng fever. Mi l k gi ves
pl easure when you take the first cup. The second and thi rd cups
cause vomiting. What is al l this? This i s Maya. Pl easure and pai n
are relative terms. Pleasure and pain are not i n the objects, but are
in the mi nd (due to Raga, Dvesha). Mango i s not sweet. The idea
about the mango i s sweet. Remember this al ways. Maya dupes
you. Senses decei ve you wholesal e. Mi nd tricks, tempts, cheats,
magnifies, exaggerates, unnecessari l y al arms. Be always on the
al ert. Good and bad are in the mi nd only. Virtue and sin are in the
mi nd only. Friend and enemy are in the mi nd only. A person, who
is an enemy to you, i s a fri end of another. The same person who
was a fri end before, i s an enemy now. Raga, Dvesha have no real
Svarupa. They are i l l usory. Destroy them. Rest in Samata state.
Acgui re Ni rdvandva st
a
te. Rest i n peace.
Ever Control the lndriyas
This is very, very i mportant. You can do nothi ng i n the spiri tual
l i ne without perfect control of the senses. He is a Sthi ta Praj na
who has mastery over the Indriyas. You can never go above
body-consciousness, wi thout perfect Pratyahara. Pratyahara is onl y
possibl e through self-restrai nt, through control of the Indriyas. You
cannot make Dharana wi thout control of the senses. A rudimentary
Viveka is l i kel y to be anni hi l ated, if you l et loose again the
I ndriyas. The spiritual Samskaras also wi l l be wiped out, by a
Rajasic revolt of the lndriyas. Great care shoul d, therefore, be
exercised al ways i n subdui ng these enemies of peace. Even Jnana
Yogi s should control the l ndri yas. Control of l ndriyas i s Dama.
Dama is one of the si x gual i fications of the students of Jnana
Yoga. Tongue is a worst enemy. Control of tongue means control
of all I ndriyas. Gi ve up salt for 3 years. The tongue can be easi l y
control led. Take mi l k, rice, frui ts, saltless Dhal , sal tless vegetable,
sugar, etc. Observe Mouna for 2 years. You can control
Vag-Indriya. Try to si t on Asana for 3 hours continuousl y. You can
control the legs which give rise to conti nuous movement of the
body. Pranayama, fasti ng, Si rshasana, Sarvangasana, Si ddhasana
all help in the control of reproducti ve organ. Trataka wi l l not al l ow
the eyes to run about wi l dl y. Do Trataka on the tip of the nose
whi le movi ng about. Yoni Mudra wi l l help in the control of ears i n
the begi nni ng. Sl eep on a rough mat. Thus you can control al l the
organs of the body.
72 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Control the Wandering Mind
You must know the habits and the ways of the mi nd. Then it
wi l l be easy for you to control the mi nd, to develop the wi l l and
memory. One of the i mportant habits of the mi nd is the wandering
habit. It cannot sti ck to one poi nt. It is l i ke ai r. Arjuna says in the
Gi ta: "Chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramathi balavad dridham,
tasyaham nigrham manye vayoriva sudushkarm. For the mi nd i s
very restl ess. 0 Kri shna! i t i s i mpetuous, strong and dificult to
bend; I deem it as hard to curb as the wi nd." Lord Kri shna gives
his repl y: "Without doubt, 0 mi ghty-armed, the mind is hard to
curb and restl ess; but i t may be curbed by constant practice and by
di spassi on. " Chap. VI-34, 35. Lord Kri shna describes in cl ear
terms the ways to check the wandering habits of the mi nd.
Destruction of desires and the control of the senses are necessar
for the control of the mi nd. It is the desire that makes the mi nd
ever restl ess. The senses run after the objects and the mi nd al so
fol l ows the senses, j ust as a dog fol l ows the masteF. The rays of
the mi nd get scattered i n sensual objects. Al l the mental rays are
dissi pated i n the acqui si ti on, possession and enjoyments of sensual
objects. Now the mind thi nks of hearing some pleasant music. At
once it gives a command to the Karma-lndriyas and
Jnana-Indriyas. The feet say: "Dear si r, Mr. Mi nd, we are ever
ready to take you to the radi o. We are waiti ng onl y for your
orders. Come al ong. Start." The ear al so joi ns now: "Now sir, I am
onl y wai ti ng for your company. I am more keen and anxious than
you. I am eagerly expect ng when you wi l l give me the
command. " Thi s l i ttl e hopeless Jiva fal l s i nto the meshes of thi s
mi nd. Afer a l ittle whi le, tongue says: "Why are you cruel and
parti al to me? I am also as much a dear friend to you as the ears
and feet. Now let us go to the Ci ty Restaurant or Taj Mahal Hotel .
You can have first-cl ass Harri son's bun and Kashmi ri appl es. "
After someti me the reproductive organ, gets exci ted, because he is
the friend of Mr. Tongue. Both the organs are born of the same
source, the same water-Tanmatra. Tongue is born of Sattvic
porti on; hence i t is J
.
nana I ndriya or organ of knowledge. Organ of
reproducti on i s born of Rajasi c porti on and so it i s a Karma
Indriya or organ of acti on. After you have fni shed a rich
sumptuous Rajasi c meal, the reproductive organ gets excited and
you become very passionate. Mr. Tongue says: "Do not ignore me.
I am also your best friend. I onl y keep the l i fe of this body. If I do
not take any food, this body wi l l perish and you wi l l have to leave
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
thi s body." Reproducti ve organ says : "I only keep up this world
show. This world wi l l come to an end had i t not been for my
acti vity. It is through me al one people procreate. So c.ome along.
Joi n wi th me and sati sfy me, j ust as you did wi th the ears and
tongue." In this way man runs after the five ki nds of sensual
pleasures and has no rest even for a second. The mi nd runs i n
these grooves i n company of the five Jnana I ndriyas and thi s l ittl e
Ji va.
Therefore, if you want to check this wandering habit of the
mi nd, you wi l l have to renounce al l sorts of desi res and control the
senses
.
first. Then you wi l l be successful i n your practice of
concentrati on, meditation and wi l l -cul ture. I care across several
educated people duri ng the course of my lecturing campaign i n the
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh. They asked
me: "Dear Swamiji , how to concentrate and meditate? We are
meditating for the last twel ve years. We have found no
improvement. " The si mpl e reason is that they are not doi ng
meditation i n the right, scientifi c manner. They have not purified
themsel ves. They have not renounced the desi res of this worl d.
They have not discipl i ned the senses. Without having these
prel i mi nary trai ni ng and disci pl i ne they are trying to concentrate.
Is this possi bl e?
T
hi s is something l i ke trying to tie an i nfuri ated
el ephant wi th a sl ender piece of si l ken thread. So Lord Krishna
gi ves the method to curb the wandering hSbits of the mi nd:
"Abandoning wi thout reserve al l desires bor of the i magi nation,
by the mind curbing the aggregate of the senses on every side,
l i ttle by l i ttle, l et him gain trangui l l i ty by means of reason
control led by steadiness; having made the mi nd abide i n the Sel f,
l et him not think of anythi ng. As often as the wavering and
unsteady mi nd goeth forth, so often rei ni ng it, l et hi m bring i t
under the control of the Sel f. '.'
Now mark careful l y the words of Lord Kri shna' s i nstructions :
"Al l desi res shoul d b abandoned wi thout reserve.'' Most of the
Sadhakas keep some desi res for their satisfaction. Some desi res
l urk i n the mi nd. Househol ders who practise concentration cannot
leave some of their desires. They keep them for their secret
gratificati on. Hence energy leaks
.
and they do not get any
improvement. They rise up fi ve steps and suddenl y fal l from the
spi ri tual l adder. Perfect dispassion i s necessary for checki ng the
wanderi ng mind or mental oscil lation or tossing. The senses must
be curbed on every si de. Mark the words 'on every si de. ' Control
74 PRACTICE OF YOGA
of one sense al one wi l l not do, Al l the senses must be control led
from every side. This is another i mportant point. As the practice is
diffi cul t and tedious, you must not be discouraged. You wi l l have
to wait pati entl y for resul ts. Some peopl e do Sadhana by fts and
starts. They practise concentration for six hours dai l y for three
months. When they see that they have not found any tangibl e
resul ts in the shape of Si ddhi s they gi ve up the practice. So Lord
Kri shna says: "Little by l i ttl e do the practice and be steady in the
practi ce:: Abhyasa coni sts in bri ngi ng the mi nd agai n and again
back to the poi nt and fi xi ng it there. Thi s is cal l ed Dharana in
Yoga phi l osophy. Dharana means fi xi ng or concentrating the mi nd
on a poi nt or Lakshya. When the wandering mind becomes
one-poi nted, the state is cal l ed Ekagrata or one-pointedness of the
mi nd.
The subject of concentration is di sgusting and tiri ng for the
ncophytes. But it is the most i nteresting and beneficial science in
the world. When one advances in concentrati on, when one takes
real i nterest, when one has real i sed some benefits, he cannot leave
the practi ce. He cannot remai n even for a day without
concentrati on. He becomes restless when he fai l s to have the
practice even for a day. Concentration bri ngs supr
e
me joy, spiritual
strength, unal l oyed fel i ci ty and i nfi nite eternal peace:
Concentration bri ngs profound knowledge of the Truth, deep i nner
sight, i ntuition and communi on wi th God. It is a wonderfu"l
science. 1 cannot adeguatel y descrfbe i ts benefits.
Concentration on a chair real l y means getting ful l , detailed
knowl cdge of the chai r, its different parts, the parti cul ar wood out
of which it i s manufactured such as Devadaru, Rosewood, etc. , its
workmanshi p or fi ni sh, its durabi l i ty, its cost-price, the degree of
comfort it gi ves for the back, anns, etc. , whether it is l ight or
heavy or portabl e for travel l i ng purposes, whether the parts can be
detached and fixed agai n, whether it is n'anufactured on modern
l i nes and made bug-proof, what sort of pol i sh or varnish is used to
make it durabl e, etc. When you concentrate on the chair, these
sorts of i deas onl y shoul d occupy your mi nd. Mi nd general l y
wanders wi l dl y at random. When i t thinks of one object, in a
second it l eaves the present object and runs to another object l i ke a
monkey. then to a third object and so on. It cannot stick to one
poi nt or object for someti me.
If you careful l y watch the wandering mi nd you wi l l fi nd that
there is connection though the mi nd wi l dl y roams about l i ke an
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
unchained monkey. The l aw of association operates always, tho ugh
the l i nks are broken. The mi nd may thi nk of a book, then the
bookstal l from where he has purchased the book, then a fri end
whom he met at the rai l way station when he was purchasi ng, then
of rai l ways, of the Di rectors of the Rai l ways, who l i ve i n London.
The thought of London may bri ng in the idea of skati ng. From
skating it may jump to Alps . . lt may thi nk of pi ne-trees,
consumpti ve hospi tal , open air treatment. The thought of a
pine-tree wi l l bri ng i n the remembrance of Al mora and its vici ni ty
where pi ne-trees grow. The thought of Al mora wi l l bri ng in the
thought of Swami Vi vekananda, who founded the Advaita Ashram
at Mayavati near Al mora. It may entertai n some di vi ne ideas of
concentration and meditation on Advaita Brahman. Suddenl y it
may drop down to base sensual grooves. It may thi nk of the
prosti t utes of Al mora. It wi l l entertain l ustful thoughts.
All these wi l l take pl ace wi thi n the twi nkl i ng of an eye. The
mi nd works and moves wi th a tremendous speed that is not
i magi nable. It catches one object and fabricates one i dea and
through association, it l eaves this obj ect and this idea and j umps to
another object and another idea. There is a sort of concentration al l
throughout i ts wanderi ngs, though the concentration i s not a
conti nuous one. When the thought runs i n one defi nite groove
conti nuousl y, on one subject alone, l i ke the fl ow of oi l , then i t
becomes concentrati on. The aspirant should wi thdraw tl) .mi nd
whenever it runs outsi de and put it i n the same groove, i n the
same l i ne of thought on one subject, on one idea. This is spi ri tual
Sadhana. This i s Yoga-Abhyasa. Thi s is Dharana and Dhyana. Thi s
wi l l resul t i n Samadhi or superconsi ous state.
The mai n aim in concentrati on is to bri ng the mi nd to the same
poi nt or object agai n and agai n by l i mi ti ng i ts movements in a
smal l ci rcl e i n the begi nni ng. A ti me wi l l come when the mi nd
wi l l sti ck to one poi nt alone. Thi s i s the frui t of your constant and
protracted Sadhana. The joy i s i ndescri babl e now. When you
medi tate on a chai r bri ng all thoughts connected with the chair and
dwel l on these ideas. Do not al low any other thought connected
wi th some other object. There must be one l i ne of thought as
conti nuous as the sound of a bcl l . There may be several ideas
connected with one subject. This does not matter. You can reduce
the number of i deas and come to one idea of one subject. When
|his one idea al so dies you get Samadhi . When there is one i dea it
i s Savi kalpa Samadhi-a lower stage. When there i s not even a
PRACTICE OF YOGA
.si ngl e i dca, the mi nd becomes bl ank. There is mental vacui ty. This
is the stage of thoughtlessness of Raja Yoga phi l osophy. You wi l l
ha
v
e to rise above thi s blank Vritti and i dentify yourself with the
Supreme Purusha or Brahman, the si lent wi tness of t
h
e mi nd who
gi ves power and l ight to this mi nd. Then alone you reach the
hi ghest goal of l ife. The mi nd is Jada (i nsentient) but it appears
l i ke Chaitanya by borrowi ng the l ight fom the Adhi shthana or
source-Atman, j ust as water exposed to the sun <mows the
h
eat
from the sun. Because there is refection of i ntel l igence in the
mi nd from the background, the source of this mi nd, this i nsentient
mi nd appears as i ntel l i gent. Thi s i s the real truth. This i s the bold,
genui ne phi losophy of the Hi ndu . sages. Western psychologists and
occul tists are stil l ignorant. They are gropi ng in utter darkness.
They say: '.'There i s nothi ng beyond mi nd and reason. Reason i s
the ul ti mate." Let them have their .own convictions. Sooner or l ater
they wi l l have to admi t the above truth. There is no other go.
There are some phi l osophers and psychologists who bel i eve that
mi nd is a secreti on of the brai n. What a wrong and wi l d
conception ! They have come to admi t the presence of the
subconscious mi nd, the "dual mi nd theory," whi ch is known to the
Hi ndu sages from ti me i mmemori al . Mi nd is not self-l uminous
l i ke the self-ehul gent Atman or the Supreme Spirit. It shines i n
borro
w
ed feathers. It i s l ike a gl ow-worm of . the rainy season.
Atman is the Sun of suns, Light of l i ghts. It is Param Jyotis,
Ananta Jyoti s and Svayam Jyoti s. When you concentrate on a
chai r, do not al l ow any thoughts of any other object. Again and
agai n bri ng the mi nd to the object of concentration. When you
medi tate on a rose, thi nk of rose and rose alone. When you thi nk
of a person and hi s gual i ties, thi nk of that person alone. When you
thi nk of a book, thi nk of all matters connected wi th the book only.
When you thi nk of the radio or talkie, thi nk of radio or talkie
alone. Exhaust all matters connected wi th the subject on hand. You
can take any subject that i s pl easing to the mi nd for concentration.
Sl owl y you can take up any object that i s di spl easi ng to the mi nd
by creating i nterest i n it agai n and agai n. Even when you take p
any work appl y your whol e heart, ful l mi nd and soul whol l y and
sol el y on the work. Oo it wi th perfect concentration. What another
can do in si x hours you can do it wi thi n half an hour smoothl y and
i n ,a perfect, orderly manner. This i s Yogic activity. You wi l l be
taken for an accompl i shed Yogi . Even when you study, study the
subject wi th perfect concentration. Do not al low the mi nd to
wander. You must shut out al l external sounds. Oo not al l ow the
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
77
ears to pay attention to the externa| sounds. Fi x the gaze at one
poi nt. Do not a| | ow the eyes to wander. When you

tudy one
subject, do not thi nk of a ta| ki e or sweetmeats or a fnend. Jhe
who|e wor|d must be dead for you for the time being. Such . must
be the concentration. It wi | | come to you after some steady and
constant practice
The ever-rest|ess mi nd becomes guiescent when a| | desircs
vani sh. Desire raises Sanka|pas. Man performs acti ons for
acguiri ng the desi red objects. Thus he i s caught up i n the whee| of
Samsara. Thi s whee| stops when Vasanas peri sh.
Ahankara, Sanka|pa, Vasana and Prana havc i ntimate connection
with the mi nd. There cannot be any mnd wi thout these four. Prana
is the | i fe of the mi nd. Ahankara is the root of the mi nd. Sanka| pas
are the branches of the tree of mi nd. Vasana is the seed of the
mi nd. This deep-rooted tree of Samsara of dire Ajnana has the
mi nd as its root. It rami fies in various directions with branches fu| |
of flowers, tendri | s, fruits, etc. If thi s root-mi nd-i s destroyed,
the tree of Samsara, thi s tree of bi rth and death wi | | a|so be
destroyed. Cut this rootmindwith the axe of Brahma-Jnana.
Chop off the branches-the Sanka|pas-with the kni fe of Vi veka
and Vairagya.
Thought-culture
This is a vi ta| subject. Very few peop|e know thi s a. Even
educated peop|e are not aware of this fundamcnta| educati on. A| |
have random thi nki ng. ^| | sorts of | oose thoughts of various kinds
come and go in the menta| factory. There i s nei ther order nor
harmony. Thcre i s neither rhythm nor reasoni ng. There i s neither
concord nor

organi sed worki ng. There is neither system nor
disci p| i ne. Everythi ng is in chaos and utter confusi on. There is no
c| arification of i deas. You cannot thi nk on one subject even for
two mi nutes i n an order|y and systematic manner. You have no
understandi ng of the |aws of thought and the |aws of menta| p|ane.
There i s a perfect menagerie i nsi de. A|| sorts of sensua| thoughts
f| ght amongst themse| ves to cnter the mi nd of a sensua| i st and
gai n the upper hand. The eye-Indriya strugg|es to bri ng its own
thoughts. It wants to have sight-seei ng. The ear-Indriya wants to
hear radio musi c and so on. In the vast majority of persons, on| y
base thoughts, | ustfu| thoughts, thoughts of hatrd, jea| ousy and
fear exist i n thei r mi nds. They cannot entertain even a si ng| e
sub| i me di vi ne thought even for a second. Thei r mi nds are so
framed that the menta| cnergy runs i n sensua| grooves.
78 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Every man has got h| s own mental world, h| s own mode of
th| nk| ng, h| s own way of understand| ng th| ngs and h| s own way of
act| ng. Just as the face and vo| ce of every man d| ffer from
another` s, the mode of th| nk| ng and understand| ng al so d| ffer |n
every | nd| v| dual . That |s the reason why m| sunderstand| ng eas| l y
occurs between fr|ends. One | s not able to understand r|ghtly the
v|ews of another. Hence, fr| ct| on, rupture and guarrel occur w| th| n
a m| nute even amongst fast fr| ends. The fr| endsh| p does not l ast
for a long t| me. One should be | n tune w| th the mental v| brat|ons
or thought-v| brat| ons of another man. Then only one can eas| l y
understand another. Lustful thoughts, thoughts of hatred, jealousy
and sel |\ shness produce d| storted | mages | n the m| nd and cause
cl oud| ng of understand| ng, pervers| on of | ntell ect, loss of memory
and confus| on |n the m| nd.
Every thought has got | mage, form, d| mens| on, we|ght, shape,
col our, etc. Thought |s as much a matter as a p| ece of stone.
Thought moves and passes from one man to another. Thought
i n

|uences peopIe. A man oI powerful thought can | nfl uence


readi l y peopl e of weak thoughts. Tel epathy |s the branch of occul t
sci ence whcre| n the Yog| can transm| | messages to any man | n any
par| of the worl d. Telepathy was the f|rst rad|o system |n th| s
world known to Yog| ns and occul t| sts of anc| ent days.
A thought of anger or hatred sends arrows from the mental
factory towards the person a| med at, harms the | nd| v| dual , sets up
d| scord and d| sharmony |n the thought-world, and comes back
aga| n to |he sender and harms the sender al so. If one can
understond the e|fect and power of thought, he w| l l be very careful
|n | he manu|acture of h| s thoughts |n h| s mental l aboratory. One
shoul d devel op the facu|ty of produc| ng pure, Sattv| c thoughts by
pro|racted mental d| sc| pl | ne, d| etet|c adjustment, good company.
study of d| v| nc b oks, Japa, med| tat| on, Pranayama, prayer, etc. A
good man can h lp h| s fr| end even though he l | ves at a long
d| s|ance by good | houghts. You must not al l ow any ev| l thought to
cntcr your mental lactory. Al ways watch your thoughts. Avo|d
usel ess und base th| nk| ng and reserve or conserve your mental
encrgy. |nergy |s wasted |n |dle th| nk| ng.
Kcp yoursel f al ways occup|ed | n do| ng v| rtuous act|ons and
study of re l | g| ous books. You can thcreby cul t| vate good, subl | me
thoughts . Destroy random th| nk| ng. Take a subject and th| nk on | ts
d| fferent aspects and bear| ngs. When you th| nk on one subject
never al low any other thoughts to enter the consc|ous m| nd. Aga|n
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
w| thdraw the m| nd t o the subject on hand. Take for | nstance,
you beg| n to t h| nk on the l | fe and teach| ngs of Sr|
Sankaracharya. Th| nk of h| s b| rthpl ace, h| s early l | fe, h| s
character, h| s personal | ty, h| s v| rtues, h| s preach| ngs, h| s
wr| t| ng, h| s ph| l oophy, some of h| s | mportant passages, the
S| ddh| s that he exh| b| ted from t | me to t| me, h| s O| gv|j aya, h| s
four d| sc| pl es, h| s four Muths, h| s commentary on the G| ta, the
Upan| shads and the Brahma-Sutras . Th| nk of these | tems one by
one |n order. Exhaust them. Aga| n and aga| n br| ng the m| nd to
the po| nt . Then take up another subject. By th| s pract| ce you
w| l l devel op organ| sed th| nk| ng. The mental | mages w| l l ga| n
| ntene trength and force. They w| l l become cl ear-cut and
wel l -def| ned. In ord| nary persons the mental | mages are
d| torted and undef| ned. Every thought has got an | mage. A
table | a mental | mage pl u some external somet h| ng. Al l
outs| de objects have got the| r counterparts | n the m| nd. The
pup| l | s a smal l round th| ng |n the eye. Ret | na |s a smal l
tructure. How | s | t that the | mage of a b| g mounta| n seen
through a mal l aperture or structure |s cat on the m| nd? How
doe the b| g form of a mounta| n enter a t | ny hol e | n the eye?
Th| | a great marvel and wonder. The | mage of the mounta| n
a| ready ex| ts | n the m| nd. The m| nd | l | ke a b| g, vast, sheet of
canva-c| oth that conta| ns a| l t he p| ctures of the objects seen
ou|| de.
You mut have |nowledge of the mental | aws, v| z. , l aw of
aoci at| on, law of rel at| v| ty and l aw of cont|gu| ty. Then you can
dcvelop |hought-cul ture eas| ly. You can . remember th| ngs through
thc | aw o| aoc| at| on. Brahmacharya and pure Sattv|c d| et are
eent|a| for thought-cul ture.
M| nd | noth| ng but a col l ect| on of Samskaras. It |s noth| ng but
a collect|on of de| re ar| s| ng from contact w| th d| fferent objects.
I| | al o a col lect|on of feel | ngs aroued by wor| dl y botherat| ons.
I | | s a col l ect| on of |dea gathered from d| ffcrent objects. Now
thee de| re, |dea and feel | ngs contantly change. Some of the
o| d de| re arc contantly depart| ng from the|r storehouse of thc
m| nd and new ones are replac| ng them. If all the thoughts are
cl | m| nated, then there rema| ns noth| ng wh| ch can be called the
m| nd. Therefore thoughts are the m| nd. There |s no such th| ng as
the wor|d, | ndependent of and apart from thoughts. Two thoughts,
however cl oely related to one another, cannot exi st at the same
t| me.
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Mentl Factory
Now, I wi l l take you to the description of the most wonderful
mental factory whi ch i s very cl os to you, whi ch i s the wonder of
wonders. Even a rank materi al i st, if he is very si ncere, wi l l be
turned wi thi n a second i nto a perfect thei st i f he cl oses hi s eyes for
a second and seri ousl y refl ects on the working of thi s marvel lous
factory.
There is a Oi rector of thi s mental factory and the di rect
percepti on of thi s Oirector, through the purification of mi nd and
spi ri tual practi ces of concentrati on and meditati on, can bri ng
Sel f-real i sati on, freedom, perfection and i mmortal i ty. I have to
hammer on your mi nd Very often about the i mportance of
Sel f-real i sation whi ch alone can gi ve real bl i ss, and about the
exi stence of God who is the source for thi s mi nd, wi l l and
memory. It is He
p
ho gi ves l i ght and power tp thi s l i ttl e mi nd. Oo
not forget thi s poi nt. Brahman (Absol ute) i s the si lent wi tness of
thi s factory. Hi ranyagarbha is the supreme Oi rector of thi s factory.
Hi ranyagarbha i s the sum total of al l mi nds. He has to manage and
supervi se the whole cosmi c factory. Every man has hi s own
i ndi vi dual me

tal factory. He who dwel l s i n the mi nd, who i s


wi thi n t hi s mi nd, whom the mi nd does not know, whose body i s
the mi nd, and who rules the mi nd from wi thi n i s your Self
(Atman), Inner Ruler (Antaryami ) , Immortal (Amri tam).
Sal utations unto thi s I nner Ruler who i l l umi nates the mi nd and the
mental factory.
Just as the i ron-pi ece moves i n the presence of a magnet, so
al so thi s i nsentient mi nd moves and works i n the presence of the
Inner Rul er. Thi s poi nt has not been properly understood by the
western psychologi sts, rati onal i sts, free-thi nkers, communi sts and
soci al i sts. Hence they are restless and are gropi ng i n utter
darkness. The vi brati on of psychi c or subtle Prana manufactures
thoughts in the mi nd.
If you can cl ai rvoyantly vi sual i se the i nner w
o
rki ng of thi s
mental factory, you wi l l be dumbfounded. Just as the operator i n
the tel ephone-omce pl ugs, connects and di sconnects the di herent
sw| tches when he recei ves messages from vari ous centres, so also
the mi nd puts pl ugs, connects and di sconnects. When you want to
see a thi ng, the mi nd puts a pl ug i n the other four centres of
heari ng, smel l i ng, tasti ng and feel i ng. When you want to hear, i t
pl ugs the other four centres. The mi nd does an action wi th
tremendous l i ghtning speed. You can clearly see the numberless
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
8 1
pigeon holes i n the subconscious mi nd or Chitta, where various
sorts of thi ngs are recorded i n perfect order. They are cl assified,
grouped and l abel l ed with accurate and preci se denomi nations.
You wi l l see that the subconsci ous mi nd works with tremendous
acti vity and preci seness just as the head-sorter works in the mai |
train. One i mpression rises up as a thought-wave and comes to the
surface of the mi nd for ti ckl i ng the Ji va for action. You wi l l see
various colours of thoughts. If there is a spiri tual or hol y thought,
you wi l l fi nd that the thought is ti nged wi th beautiful yel l ow
colour. If there is a thought of anger, dark red arrows wi l l shoot
out from the mi nd. Vari ous shades of colours wi l l be seen
accordi ng to the nature of thought. You wi l l fi nd perfect order i n
cosmos. The worki ng i s very smooth and harmonious, because
there i s the Antaryami behi nd. He directs and gui des. Just as i n the
presence of a King the Di van and other ofhcers work smoothly, so
al so in the mere presence of the Inner Ruler, the i ndwel l i ng,
i nterpenetrati ng Presence, the mi nd and other i nner facul ties work
without any fri ction.
The eyes and the ears are the gatekeepers of this magnani mous
mental factory. They are the ' way i n' for the entry of the vi brations
from outside. Mouth is the ' way out. ' The eyes and ears bri ng
matters i nside the mental factory for manufacture. Li ght vi brati ons
and sound vi brations are brought i nsi de through these two
avenues. The mi nd wi l l make them as percepts and then present
these percepts to the Buddhi ( i ntel l ect). Then the Buddhi converts
these percepts i nto concepts or ideas. These ideas are expressed by
the outside gate-keeper, Vak-lndriya, the organ of speech. Just as
the raw sugar-cane j uice is treated wi th so many chemi cal s Ior
purificati on, passed through various settl i ng tanks, cooled,
sol idified, transformed as pure crystal s, and i s packed i n bags for
del i very at the rai l way station, so al so mere l i ght-vi brati ons and
sound-vi brati ons are turned i nto powerful ideas ol d ' concepts' of
various descri ptions in this mental factory.
The external physical eyes and physical ears are onl y Bahya
Karanas (external i nstruments). But the real vi sual and audi tory
centres are i n the brain and in the astral body. These centres are
the real I ndriyas. Understand this poi nt wel l . The Buddhi receives
the materi al s from the mi nd and presents them to the Purusha or
Atman who is behi nd the screen. Buddhi is the Prime Mi nister to
Purusha. He is more close to Purusha than the mind, as he is the
Prime Mi ni ster. Mind i s the Commander and has the five sol di ers
82
PRACTICE OF YOGA
( |i vc Karma-l ndri yas) to execute hi s orders. He is the advocate
who pl accs the facts bfore the 1udge, Buddhi . Mi nd i s the
head-cl erk ol the mental factory. He has ten clerksfi ve
1nana-| ndri yas to bri ng news and matter from outside and five
Karma- l ndri yas to execute hi s orders. As soon as the facts are
pl aced by i ntel lect before Purusha there flashes out Ahankara. The
Buddhi recei ves back the message from the Purusha, decides,
dctermi nes and gi ves back to the mi nd for executi on. The five
Karma- l ndriyas Yak, Pani , Pada, Upastha and Guda (speech,
hands. fect, geni tal s and anus) execute the orders of thei r master,
|hc mi nd.
Antahkarana or the i nner i nstrument i s a broad term which
i ncl udes mi nd, i ntel l ect, memory and Ahankara. The one
Antahkarana assumes four forms accordi ng to the various
functi ons i t performs, j ust as one man assumes the name of a
1udge hen hc wor
g
s in the court; Presi dent, when he serves in a
soci ety or associ ati on; Chai rman, when he presides i n a meeti ng;
and a storekeeper when he is in charge of a store. When you pass
al ong a mango garden, the mi nd does Sankal pa-Vi kal pa (wi l l and
doubt). It thi nks whether it is a good mango or not. The Buddhi
comes to its ai d. It determines and says : "Thi s is a good mango."
The Chi tta docs Anusandhana (engui ry) . It says: "I wi l l find out
methods to get mangoes. I wi l l find out the owner of the garden. I
wi l l purchase from hi m.`` Ahankara self-arrogates: "I must have
thi s mango at any cost . Then the mi nd gi ves the executi on to the
Karma-| ndri ya, feet. The feet take the man to the gardener.
Ahankara purchases thc mango and eats. The i mpression of the
mango remai ns in the mi nd and a Vasana is formed in the mi nd.
The thought of enjoyment comes back to the mi nd l ater on
through memory i n the form of a subtl e Vasana. Vasana produces
Sankal pa and the man wants to enj oy the taste of mango agai n.
Thi s cyclc ol thi ngs, vi z. . desi rc, thought and acti on, i s goi ng on
from etcri ty and has brought bondage for man. When the Vasana
is repeated several ti mes, it becomes a strong passion or strong
dcsi re. The man fi nds it di |fi cul t to control passion and becomes a
sl avc of passion and Indriyas. A strong sense-hankcri ng is cal led
Tri shna. The di lference between a desi re and a Vasana is that the
Vasana is sub| l e and hi dden i n the subconsci ous mi nd, whereas
desi re is gross. The pleasure deri ved from the enjoyment of
scnsual objects brings attachment. Attachment is death.
Attachment is Moha. The man, who i s ful l of sense-Vasanas, i s
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
tied to various objects. Escape becomes diffi cul t for hi m. Escape i s
tnly possi ble by destroyi ng these knots by knowledge of the
Director of t hi s mental factory who has kept up thi s show i nside.
There are di fferent regions for senti ments, emotions, i nsti ncts
and | mpul ses. There are hi ghl ands and l owl ands in the mi nd.
There are subtle real ms and gross regi ons . There are the pl ane of
i nsti ncti ve mi nd, pl ane of i ntellect and spiritual pl ane. There is the
regi on of Suddha Manas, pure mi nd and the regi on of the Asuddha
Manas, the i nsti ncti ve or l ower mi nd. On one si de the wi l l-power
wi l l step in to execute certai n strong desi res of the mi nd and the
various other facul ti es such as memory, Dharana Sakti , etc. , wi l l
stand behi nd i n a di sci pl i ned array t o hel p thei r master-wi l l .
After wi l l has executed one order, i magination wi l l come forward
and specul ate another scheme. Memory wi l l hel p the i magi nation.
The three Gunas, various moods, the thi rteen evi l Vri ttis (l ust,
anger, ctc. ) wi l l show thei r faces in di fferent colours. Just as in a
tal ki e actors come and go in an el ectric speed, the vari ous facul ti es
come to the scene, work and retir to thei r respective guarters and
rooms Ior rest. The scene i s si mpl y thri l l i ng and magni ficent.
Words cannot describe. You wi l l have to develop thi s cl airvoyant
astral sight through purification and concentrati on. If you practise
i ntrospection and self-anal ysi s, you wi l l ful l y understand the
worki ng of thi s mental factory and the ci rcus that goes on in the
menagerie of the mental pl ane. Do not forget t he Di rector of thi s
mcntal Iactory, who i s your own Inner Sel f. He i s waki ng up even
whcn this mental factory i s temporari l y cl osed at mi dni ght. Try to
meet Hi m by purifyi ng the mi nd and by the practice of regul ar
concentration. Develop al l powers or facul ti es of the mi nd and get
sangui ne success in your l i fe and eventuall I I I lrge 1 11 Hi m
Memory-culture
Memory-cul t ure i s very, very i mportant, because it bri ngs
success i n God-real i sation as wel l . A forgetful man al ways fai l s in
any endeavour. The manager gets di spl eased wi th a forgetful cl erk.
A forgetful man makes serious mi stakes agai n and agai n. A man
with strong and retenti ve memory gets success in all hi s
endeavours. He who has good memory can conduct hi s busi ness
successful l y, can remember credi ts, debi ts and can keep correct
accounts. A student who has retenti ve memory wi l l get success in
evcry exami nation. Intel l igence i s only ni ne-tenth of memory.
The functions of Chi tta are Smri ti (remembrance), Dharana
(attenti on) and Anusandhana (engui ry). When you repeat the
84 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Mantra in 1apa, it i s the Chi tta that does Smriti or Smarana. It
turs out better work than mi nd or Buddhi . Smriti i s a separate
|acul ty or ca|egory i n Vedanta. Someti mes it is Antargata ( hidden).
In Sankhya phi l osophy, it i s i ncl uded in Buddhi .
The Sanskri t term for memory i s Smri ti . Smarana i s
rememberi ng. Thi s i s the function of the subconscious mi nd or
Chi tta. The Samskaras of thi nki ng and acting are deepl y i mpressed
in the Chitta. The Chitta is l i ke the sensi tive pl ate of a camera. Al l
the i mpressi ons are i ndel i bl y recorded there. Whenever you make

an attempt to remember past events or thi ngs, they come back to
the surface of the conscious mi nd through the trapdoor. Just as the
man enters the stage from the si de curtai ns, just as the prisoner
comes outsi de the jai | through a smal l door i n the big mai n gate,
so al so the i mpressi ons come out through the trapdoor in the form
of a bi g wave of thought or mental i mage.
The term memory is used in two senses. We say: "Mr. John has
got a good memory. Here i t means that Mr. John`s capacity of the
mi nd to store up hi s past experiences i s very good. Someti mes you
say. "I have no memory of that i ncidence. " Here it means you
cannot bri ng up to the surface of the conscious mi nd in i ts ori ginal
form the i nci dent that took place some years ago. It i s an act of
rememberi ng.
If the experience i s fresh, you can have a complete recal l of
your past experiences through memory. You do not get any new
knowledge through memory. It is onl y a reproduction.
In ordi nary recol l ection there is a temporal coeffi cient. In
personal memory there is a specific coefficient. That which acts
together wi th another is a coeffi ci ent. In mathematics the
numeri cal or l i teral Iactor prexed to an unknown guantity in an
al gebrai c term is a coeffi ci ent.
Suppose you have recei ved a ni ce fan as a present from your
ami able fri end. When you use the fan, it sometimes remi nds you
of your friend. You thi nk of hi m for a short ti me. This fan serves
as Udbodhaka or Smri ti hetu (cause of memory).
A knowledge of the worki ng of the subconscious mi nd i s
necessary for those who want t o develop their memory. Most of
the mental operations take pl ace i n the subconsci ous mi nd. The
conscious mi nd takes some rest, but the subconscious mi nd works
throughout twenty-four hours. It is the subconscious mi nd that
bri ngs the answer l i ke a fash i n the early morni ng when you fai l
to get a sol uti on i n the ni ght, even thoug

you raked your brai n for
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
85
hours together. It i s the subconscious mi nd that wakes you up i n
the morni ng when you go t o sleep wi th a resol ve: I should catch
thc trai n at 3.00 a. m. " It is a most faithful servant, if you know the
technigue of mani pul ati ng it i n a masterly manner. You can extract
tremendous work from i t. Al l the prodi gies and geni uses know the
art of handl i ng this portion of the mind. The Chi tta analyses, sorts,
arranges and takes out al l old records from the various pi geon
holes oI the mi nd and produces a balance-sheet or a clear
statement of facts for your perusal and review w henever you want.
Before you go to bed, give orders to Chi tta to do any ki nd of
work. It wi l l keep ready the answer in t
,
he early morni ng. When
you are i n a di lemma, when you are confused, when you do not
know what to do in a serious problem, pl ace before it the nature of
your diffi cul ty and gi ve orders to the Chi tta for a defi ni te sol ution.
I n the next early morni ng you wi l l have a cl ear-cut answer. Try to
do this practice. Then you wi l l have wonderful conviction and
strength. You wi l l find this subconscious mi nd to be your very
rel i able friend.
A man of strong and retenti ve memory can turn out tremendous
work in a twi nkl i ng of an eye. He can master any subjcct in a
short ti me. Mr. Johnson used to repeat passages after passages i n a
few mi nutes by committi ng them to memory. Hi s mother was
guite astonished. Hi s mother woul d ask hi m: My dear chi l d, get
this passage by heart." Before she ascends the upstairs, Johnson
woul d fol l ow her and say: Mamma! Mamma! I know this by
heart. " He would repeat the passage correctly. Look at the
wonderful mem

ry of the boy ! If you read the i ntroduction of


Pranava-Vada written by Sri Babu Bhagawan Das of Benares, you
wi l l Iind that he col lected all the m

tter of his bi g book i n four


vol umes by hearing the reci tations from a Pundit. He was bl i nd
from hi s very birth. He knew the contents of many books by heart.
He knew the. numbers of the pages also. There was one person
named Bhakshi Sur who l i ved i n a vi l l age near Lakhi mpur-kheri.
He had a wonderful memory. He was a bl i nd man from hi s very
birth. He used to guote al l the verses of Surdas and Tul asidas.
How he l earnt this and how he committed this to memory is a
great wonder. In ol den days Sanskri t schol ars got by heart al l the
Vedas. The Gurukul a-system of ed

cation has got i ts own


advantages. It develops memory marvel l ousl y. Even now there are
Sanskrit Pundits i n Varanasi who have committed to memory the
whole of the Upanishads, the Gita, the Brahma-Sutras, the
. JRACTICE OF YOGA
Chi tsukhi . the Advaita Si ddhi , etc. There are smal l boys in the
|urshan Maha Vidyalaya of Sri Raghavachari, Muni -ki -reti,
Ri shi kesh, who have commi tted to memory the ei ghteen chapters
o| the Gi ta. Gurukul a-system of education is wonderful . Our
students of uni versities cannot remember even a si ngl e passage.
You can rcproduce a passage ni cel y after readi ng it onl y once. You
can prcserve a fact of a passage for a considerable period and
reproduce it at once wi thout any di fficul ty whenever i t is needed.
Thcsc are the characteri stics of good memory. Sri Chi ntamani of
Al lahabad had a good memory. He could describe in detail any
event or i nci dent that occurred several years back. He could
descrihc the l i fe hi story of i mportant men of the world i n detail
wi thout any omi ssi on.
I f your hrother is a tal l man, the si ght of a si mi lar man i n
another placc wi l l bri ng to your mi nd the memory of your brother.
Thi s memory is due to the si mi larity of obj ects.
Supposc you have seen a dwarf at Madras. When you see a very
tall man at Bombay, thi s wi l l remi nd you of the dwarf whom you
saw at Madras. The si ght of a big palace wi l l remi nd you of a
peasant` s hut or a Sannyasi n `s grass-hut on the bank of the Ganga.
1hi s mcmory is due to di ssi mi larity in objects .
Whcn you wal k al ong the road on a stormy day, if you happen
to sec a fal l en tree, you concl ude that the tree has fal l en owi ng to
the storm. | n thi s case the memory is due to the relation between
cause and elfect.
Suhconsci ous mi nd is termed ' Chitta` i n Vedanta. Much of your
subconsci ousncss consi sts of submerged experiences, memories
thrown i nto the background but recoverable. When you show
symptoms of losi ng your memory, as you grow old, the fi rst
symptom is that you fi nd it di hi cul t to remember the names of
persons. The reason i s not far to seek. Al l the names are arbi trary.
Thcy are l i ke label s. There are no associ ati ons al ong with the
namcs. The mi nd general l y remembers through associ ation, as the
i mprcssi ons become deep thereby. Even in old age you can
remcmber old events as there are associations with events. You
can remember wel l i n ol d age some passages that you have read i n
school s and col leges. But you fi nd i t di I1i cul t to remember i n the
eveni ng a new passage you have read in the morni ng. The reason
is that the mi nd has l ost i ts Dharana Sakti (power of grasping
idcas). The brai n-cel l s have been degenerated. Those . who
overwork mental l y, who do not observe the rules of Brahmacharya
MI ND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
87
and who are affl icted wi th much cares, worries and anxieties, l ose
their power of memory soon.
The mental processes are not l i mi ted t o the hel d of
consciousness al one. The fi el d of subconscious mentation is of a
much greater extent than that of conscious mentati on. Message
when ready, comes out l i ke a flash from the subconsci ous mi nd to
the surface of the conscious mi nd through the trapdoor in the
subconsci ous mi nd or Chi tta. Onl y ten per cent of mental acti vi ties
come | nto the fi el d of consciousness.
At least ni nety per cent of our mental l i fe is subconsci ous. We
si t and try to sol ve a probl em and fai l . We wal k around, try agai n
and again fai l . When the subconscious processes are at work,
suddenl y an idea dawns that leads to the sol ution of the probl em.
Al l acti ons, enj oyments and experiences leave the i mpressi ons
| n the subconscious mi nd i n the form of subtle i mpressions or
residual potencies. The Samskaras are the roots for causi ng agai n
1ati, l i fe and experiences of pl easure and pai n. Revi val of
Samskaras i nduces memory. The Yogi di ves deep i nsi de and
comes in d| rect contact wi th these Samskaras. He di rectly
percei ves them through the i nner Yogic vi si on. By Samyama
,concentration, meditation and Samadhi ) on these Samskaras, he
acqui res knowl edge of previous l i ves. By doi ng Samyama on the
Samskaras of others, the Yogi gets the knowl edge of thei r past
l | ves al so.
When you desi re to remember a thi ng you wi l l have to make a
psychi c exerti on. You wi l l have to go up and down i nto the depths
of the di fferent l evels of subconsciousness and then pi ck up the
r|ght thi ng from a curious mi xture of mul ti fari ous, irrelevant
matter. 1ust as the rai l way mai l sorter takes up the right letter by
movi ng the hand up and down al ong the different pi geon-hoIes, so
al so the subconsc| ous mi nd bri ngs the right thi ng to the level of
normal consciousness. The subconscious mi nd can pi ck up the
right thi ng from a heap of vari ous matters.
A Sa|uskara of an experience is formed or developed in the
Chi tta at the very moment that the mi nd is experienci ng
somethi ng. 1hcre is no gap between the present experience and the
formation of a 5amskara in the subconscious mi nd.
With the help of subconscious mind you can change your
vicious nature hy cul ti vati ng healthy and vi rtuous qual i ti es that are
opposed to the undesi rable ones. If you want to overcome fear,
mental l y deny that you have fear and concentrate your attention
88 PRACTICE OF YOGA
upon the opposite gual i ty, the i deal of courage. When courage i s
developed fear vani shes away by itself. The positive always
ovcrpowers the negative. Thi s i s Pratipaksha Bhavana. This is an
infal l i ble l aw of nature. You can acguire a l i ki ng for distasteful
tasks and duties by cul tivati ng a desi re and taste for them. You can
establ i sh new habits, new i deal s, new i deas, new tastes and new
character in the subconscious mi nd by changi ng the old ones.

Important Exercises
I . Cl ose your eyes. I magi ne that there is a big garden. In one
corner there are jessami nc flowers, in another roses, i n another
champakas, i n another l i l ies. First thi nk of the jessamine flowers,
then rotate the mi nd to roses, then to Champakas, and then to
l i l i es. Agai n bri ng back the mi nd to jessami ne fowers. Revolve
the mi nd l i ke this for 2 or 3 mi nutes.
2. Look at

the sky at ni ght and count the stars i n a smal l
l ocal i sed area.
3. On Thursday morni ng try to remember the dietetic
preparations-vegetabl es, ki nd of Dhal , etc.- that were prepared
on Wednesday.
4. Study one i mportant Sl oka from the Gi ta, fi nd out parall el
l i nes i n the Ramayana, the Bhagavata, the Upanishads, the
Yoga-Vasishtha and the Bi bl e, and connect al l th

se passages and
keep them in your mental disposi tion or pi geon-holes of the brai n.
5. Bri ng back to memory the word 'VIBGYOR' and try to
remember the various col ours such as violet, i ndigo, bl ue, green,
yel l ow, orange and red. Coi n your code-words to hel p you for
rememberi ng these seven col ours. Every one of you can have your
own code-words.

6. Try to remember synonymous terms. This wi l l i ncrease your
vocabul ary of words and you wi l l be able to wri te beautiful essays
and del i ver excel l ent lectures. You wi l l become an able journalist.
You can wri te good books. Take for i nstance the word compassion.
Try to bri ng out the synonymous terms such as pity, mercy,
l i beral i ty, generosi ty, etc.
7. The sight of a wrist-watch bri ngs the recol lection of your
friend lrom whom you received thi watch as a present. The law
of association is of great help i n devel oping your memory.
8. The remembrance of a word that ends i n ' ity' , l i ke cupidity,
wi l l bri ng i n through association the words stupidity, avidity, etc.
The remembrance of the word that ends in ' ti c, ' l ike romantic, wi l l
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
89
bring to memory other words such as fantastic, etc. , that have a
si mi l ar endi ng. I n this way you can remember thi ngs. You wi l l
have to group things l i ke thi s i n your various pi geon-h
O
les of the
brai n or mi nd. Connect one thi ng or event with another of same
nature. Then all these thi ngs wi l l come back to your memory qui te
readi l y.
9. Coin your catch-words, some that start wi th A, some wi th B,
some wi th R, so
_
e that end with 'tion, ' some with ' ness, ' etc.
Here are some sentences: "An Austral i an army arri ved at
Aurangabad. Be bol d but be benevolent. Cunni ng camels carried
caravans. Doctor Dadabhai died during Dipaval i . Exami nation is a
great botheration among the Hi ndu nation whose sole occupation
is cul ti vati on. If you do not want to study, hang that matricul ation,
take to meditation and attain sal vati on. Ni didhyasana or medi tati on
wi l l give you Sel f-real i sation. This i s my firm conviction after
mature del i beration and careful consi derati on. ' This i s onl y a
specimen for you. You can do it i n your own way. Every one of
you has creative power.
1 0. Assertions and afirmations are very useful for devel opi ng
your memory. Meditate and assert with the fol l owi ng formul as.
Remember them several ti mes a day.
I have a very strong memory OM OM OM
I can remember thi ngs now ni cel y OM OM OM
My memory has very much i mproved OM OM OM
I have a strong retenti ve memory OM OM OM
I I . I shall speak a word on keepi ng a memorandum notebook.
Dai l y j ot down in the notebook as soon as you get up fom the bed
i n the early morni ng the var ous ki nds of works that you have to
attend in the course of the day and see whether all have been
carried out. Give a tick to each item as soon as it is ni shed.
Again in the ni ght, before you go to bed, try to remember all the
acti vities you have done during the course of the day.
1 2. Take si x cards from a p
g
cket and see them very careful l y.
Then pl ace them i n front of you wi th the face downwards.
Through memory jot down in a piece of paper thei r exact
description in the same order as you saw. You can s lowl y i ncrease
the number to twelve.
1 3. Li e down in an easy-chair comfortably. Take the photo of
your father and mi nutel y see it. Cl ose your eyes. Just try to bri ng
out a cl ear description of some of hi s disti nct physical
90 PRACTICE OF YOGA
characteristics and marks on the body, such as hi s agui l i ne nose,
curly hair, the condition of hi s eyes, forehead, l i ps, ears, chest,
whether broad or pi geon-breast, arms whether si newy or thi n,
whether there is symmetry i n hi s l i mbs, the condition of hi s teeth,
hi s gai t and physiognomy, hi s speci al gual i ties that attract people,
his nature of voice, special marks or moles on the different parts
of the body. AIter seei ng once any great man, try to bri ng out the
special gual i ti es and features that have arrested your attention.
1 4. Through law of associ ation connect one idea wi th several
other i deas. The i dea of coffee wi l l bri ng the i dea of the Ni l agiri
Hi l l s whcre i t is grown and the i dea of the Stane' s Company who
sell coffee-powder and the idea of the founder of this company.
Through the law of si mi l arity, you may remember the other pl aces
in the world where coffee i s cul ti vated. You can remember the
advantages and di sadvantages of coffee. The i dea of cohee wi l |
bri ng i n the idea of si mi l ar beverage l i ke tea and the name of
Li pton and hi s vast busi ness i n tea. A| l these ideas wi l l fl ash out i n
the mi nd i n the twi nkl i ng of an eye. Keep a small notebook i n
your pocket. Whenever good ideas flash i n your mi nd, then and
there jot them down. Take hi nts. Later on you can develop them.
1ot down in your di ary the lessons you have recei ved from great
Mahatmas.
1 5. 1 ust wal k bri skl y al ong the busy road i n your town. Have a
keen acute percepti on. See what is goi ng on i n this centre of
busi ness. As soon as you reach home, jot down on a piece of paper
the names of fi rms and the i mportant arti c|es that are exposed i n
the show-room outsi de and other parti cu|ars. Next day wa|k along
the same road and verify your jotti ngs whether you have omi tted
any item.
1 . Try t o remember the di fferent makes of motor-cars such as
Studebaker, Ford, Chevro|et, Rol l s Royce, Baby Si nger, Austi n,
etc. , wi th their prices. Reco||ect the names of different
phi l osophers of the worl d i n the East and the West and their
i mportant books and teachi ngs. Compare the Eastern and Western
phi losophi es. The memory of gross thi ngs i s more easy than the
memory of events or phi l osophi cal i deas. Events can be more
easi l y remembered than names of persons because there are
associations for events. Names are arbi trary. There is i nti mate
connection between memory and keen observation and acute
heari ng. Mi nd thi nks on objects that are seen or heard. One who
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS
has developed hi s power of hearing and seei ng can have better
memory.
1 7. There is another exerci se. 1ust i magi ne that there is a
canvas-sheet i n front of you that contai ns the pi ctures of ni ne
ani mal s. In the first top row, there are l i on, leopard and cow. In the
second l i ne, there are horse, zebra and bear. In the thi rd row, there
are el ephant, buffalo and ti ger. Fi rst try to remember the ani mal s
in the first row, then i n the second row, and then i n the thi rd row.
Now try to remember i n this order from above downwards, vi z. ,
l i on, horse, el ephant, l eopard, zebra, buffal o, cow, bear and ti ger.
You can change the order i n many other ways l i ke algebraical
formul a or permutation and combi nati on. Exercises on the memory
of different ki nds of gross and subtl e sounds, on different ki nds of
tastes of food, on di fferent ki nds of touch of vari ous arti cl es, on
shades of col ours, etc. , can al so be practised.
I 8. Read one or two pages i n a book. Then cl ose the book.
Remember the important i deas and try to reproduce them in your
mi nd. Write down in a notebook the contents either in your own
way or bring out an exact reproducti on. Compare and contrast
these passages wi th other passages contained in other books. Draw
concl usi ons and i nferences. Thi s practice wi l l devel op your
memory wonderful l y and you wi l l remember for a l ong ti me
whatever you have studied. Mark the i mportant passages wi th red
penci l on the si des of the book and have bl ue or red underl i ni ng
wherever it is necessary. In underl i ni ng do not blot out the words.
Make thin underl i nes. Keep the penci l sharp. Take down notes of
what you have read and turn over the pages of the notebook whi ch
contai n al l the i mportant poi nts i n a nutshel l once i n a week. From
these notes try to reproduce the passages in ful l .
I 9. Practise sel f-anal ysi s or self-exami nation for 1 0 mi nutes
before you go to bed. Si t comfortabl y i n a chair. Close your eyes.
Thi nk of al l the good and bad actions that you have done duri ng
the course of the day. Thi nk of all the mi stakes that you have done
consci ousl y or unconsci ousl y, wi tti ngly or unwi tti ngl y. On the frst
day you may not be able to f nd out even two or three actions or
mi stakes. Because you are not in the habit of doi ng so. By dai l y
practice you wi l l be abl e to vi sual i se cl early the actions and
mi stakes of the day. Even an hour wi l l not be suffi ci ent to revi ew
the acti ons. The mi nd becomes subtl e and sharp by practice of
i ntrospecti on. It goes more i nward. It di ssects, analyses, groups,
classifies and brings the l i st of actions in the twi nkl i ng of an eye.
92
PRACTICE OF YOGA
This practice wi l | deve
|
op your memory wonderful l y and reduce
the number of m stakes and wrong acti ons. A t me wi l l come when
you wi l l do onl y good acti ons and you wi l l not commit even a
si ngl e mi stake. Benj ami n Frankl i n had thi s ki nd of practice. You
can note down i n your di ary al l thc actons and m stakes the same
ni ght or on the fol |owi ng morni ng.
20. Study several times the ei ghteen chapters of the Gi ta. Try to
remember the Sl okas accordi ng to different headings such as those
Sl okas wh ch treat of Vveka, Ti ti ksha, Varagya, Sadachara,
devel opment of gual i ti es, as descrbed i n the thirteenth and
si xteenth chaptrs, three k nds of Tapas mentioned in the
seventeenth chapter, the three k nds of food described in the
seventeenth chapter, Sl okas whi ch concern the practice of
Pranayama, concentrati on, Bhakti, Jnana, Hatha and Raja Yogas,
control of mi nd, etc. You must group them, in your m nd. Thi s i s
another exercise for your memory-culture. After some time, you
can reproduce the whol e Gi ta n any order you l i ke wthout
omi tti ng even a l i ne.
2 1 . Devel op the power of descri bi ng exactl y a cricket, football
or a tennis match. Observe a match. As soon as you reach home
gi ve a compl ete detai led descripton of the match. When you
return from your long vacaton from your native p| ace, make out a
statement of how you spent your time there and your everyday
programme in detai l wi thout referr ng to your d ary.
22. Try to remember the richest persons of the world such as
H.E. H. The Ni zam, Rockfe| l er, Ford, the bi ggest ri vers i n the
world such as the Mi ssi ssi ppi , Mi ssouri, Amazon, Ni l e,
Brahmaputra, Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari , Sarasvati , Narmada,
Si ndhu, Kaveri . In thi s way you can try to reco||ect the greatest
musi ci ans, poets, pol i ti ci ans, scentists, the bi ggest mounta ns,
l akes, waterfal l s, ci ti es, pl ai ns and temp|es of the whol e world.
Instructions on Memory
I . Al ways keep a piece of paper and a penc l i n your pocket or
a d ary. Busy people and those who want !o grow i nto a prodigy
shoul d al ways take down notes then and there even wh l e wa|king.
They can take hi nts or shorthand notes in their own way and can
develop them at ther l ei sure hours. Whenever good ideas rol l n
your mi nd, at once jot down i n your pocket notebook. Ths is the
secret of success. Practse, feel and enjoy. Mere theori s ng wi l l not
do. Become a practcal man. I al ways hammer on this pont
several times and I am not tired of doing so. I want you to become
MIND AND ITS FNCTIONS
great man of high ideal s, not i n the unknown future but rght now
in this very second. Gi ve your ful l heart to me. I can rase you to
lofty heights in the twi nkl i ng of an eye. I have got my own way of
developing a man gui ckl y and perfectly. I have a strong desi re for
service but I do not get the right type of asprants. Attend a
conference and reproduce the speeches or lectures in your own
way and send them to newspapers. You can become a frst-class
reporter and an abl e journal st. Vi sit Badar Naranaya or Gangotr
and take down notes. Gi ve a ful l descripton after you come to
your pl ace. Al l these practices wi l l develop your memory.
2. You must know the art of extracting work from the
subconscous mi nd. If you want to remember forgotten passages n
Shakespeare, just gi ve a def n te command to the subconscous
mind before going to bed. On the fol l owing morning it wi l l pl ace
them l i ke a flash before you. Even if i t fai l s to bri ng in the next
moming, agai n gi ve the command on the next day. In the
fol lowi ng day you may get the answer.
3. Somet mes a judge has to wri te summary of the evidences
and has to prepare j udgments. His brai n sometmes gets confused.
He gets bewi ldered. He is not able to arrve at a proper concl uson ..
ln such cases the subconscious mi nd wi l l beautful ly work for hi m.
| t wi l l arrange the facts and fi gures i n order and pl ace before hi m
a clear summary. He wi l l have t o si mpl y reproduce them on paper
i n the fol l owing morni ng. In matters which demand too much
thinking and long del i berati on, you wi l l have to wai t for some
days for getting an answer from the subconscous mind.
4. A doctor has got good memory in the remembrance of drugs,
because he has great i nterest in the treatment of dseases. He
cannot remember even a si ngle i tem i n pol i t cal matter, because he
has no interest i n thi s subj ect. A lawyer can remember al l the
rul i ngs of the Al l ahabad Hi gh Court, Bombay Hgh Court and
Madras High Court. He cannot remember a few things i n the
cricket match, because he has no i nterest in cricket. You wi l l have
to create interest frst i n a certa n subject and the memory of
things wi l l come automati cal l y. One should be perfect n one
subject and shoul d have a general knowledge of al l subjects . A
versati le or al l -round nature i s hi ghl y creditable or l audable. Try to
become a versati l e gcn us. A strong and retentive memory, a
powerful wi l l and the practice of dai l y concentration and
medtation wi l l certai nl y develop your wi l l and memory.
5. A strong ma

n wi l l have a very good memory. A weak


94 PRACTICE OF YOGA
del i cate man of poor heal th wi l l have a bad memory. Health plays
an i mportant part in memory-cul ture. Therefore, try to keep a hi gh
standard of heal th, vigour and vi tal i ty by proper food, exercise,
etc.
. Organs deteriorate if you do not use them properly, j ust as
hands and legs get atrophied by di suse and are devel oped by
muscul ar exerci ses and acti vi ty. There i s i nti mate connection
between sight and memory, and hearing and memory. He wi l l have
very good memory, who has an acute si ght, a keen perception, a
keen power of observation and an acute heari ng. There are
counterparts of these external organs i n the i nternal astral body.
They are cal led astral senses. A Yogi hears through astral ears and
sees through astral eyes and thus develops cl ai rvoyance and
cl ai raudience. He can hear sounds from di stant pl aces and see
objects that are in di stant local i ti es.
7. General l y people are very careless. They have no i nterest to
learn hi gher thi ngs and knowl edge. There are mi l l ions of people i n
I ndi a who cannot si gn thei r names even. I ndi a, the land of Ri shi s
and sages, sti l l abounds i n ignorance when compared wi th
America and the continent. Even a smal l boy who brushes the
boots and appl i es pol i sh i n the streets of London knows politics,
reads newspapers and can di scuss thi ngs ni cely. The masses of
Indi a are steeped i n i gnorancc and darkness. The root cause i s
carelessness, i ndi fference and cold apathy.
8. To get success in l i fe, to become an able doctor or a l awyer
or a good busi nessman, the ears and the eyes shoul d be
consi derabl y developed. A bl i nd man or a deaf and dumb man i s
practi cal l y a dead man i n the worl d. Al l wealth and knowledge
come from the ears, cyes and the organ of speech. These l ndriyas
are the Ayatana (receptacles) for riches and knowledge. The
knowledge of the sense-uni verse comes through these two
channel s and is expressed by speech to others.
9. Whenever you move about, you should be very alert. You
must keep the eyes and ears sharp. You must try to remember al l
thi ngs and news that you have seen and heard. You must develop
the power of observati on. Be very attentive. Attention helps
observati on. Interest and attention wi l l come through attention.
Whenever a man tal ks to you gi ve hi m a very patient heari ng. If

there are useful and i nteresti ng points, then and there note down i n
your pocket di ary. Go through the pages of the di ary once a week.
I 0. Keep a watch very cl ose to the ear and hear the "Tic Tic
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 95
sound careful ly. On the second day keep i t at a l i ttle dstance and
hear the sound. Every day ncrease the di stance and trai n yoursel f
|o hear the sound.
1 1 - 1 2. Keep your ears keen. Try to d ferenti ate the sounds of
various ki nds, of brds, ani mal s, chi l dren, the sounds of factori es,
cars, aeroplanes, motor-cycles, shrieks, yel l i ng, snori ng, sobbing,
cryi ng, l aughi ng, mocki ng, joki ng, and the cry of anmals, bi rds,
etc. Si t i n a qui et room. Cl ose your eyes and try to concentrate on
thse sounds. Di sti ngush them. You must be able to find out from
heari ng the voi ce of a person at a di stance from wi thi n your room
that such and such a man has come. There are people whose
vo|ces have some resembl ance. You must be able to fnd out that
the vo| ce of Mr. R. Banerjee resembles the voce of your cousi n
Mr. Ganga Ram. You must be able to fi nd out the nature of
different Ragas (tunes) from the nature of vbrati ons and
undul ations, such as Kal yani , Thodi, Bharavi , Durbar, Mal kose,
etc.
1 3. Try to hear the sounds of the heart by appl yi ng your ear to
the chest of another man. You wi l l hear two sounds: "Lub-Dhub. "
Pay heed to the sounds of sparrows and other brds and try to
different| ate ther sounds. Someti mes they si ng . . At other times
they gve a sound of al arm to i nvi te thei r mates and friends when
there is i mpendi ng danger. Animals and bi rds have got their own
languages. Yogi ns can understand their languages. There i s a
parti cul ar techni que i n Samyama on sounds. Some males have the
voice of a femal e and some femal es have the voce of a mal e. You
must be able to di fferenti ate. You must be abl e to know the h ss ng
sound of a cobra, i ts nature, strength of vi bration, etc. Even at a
distance you can say: "There s a cobra i n that room. " Dogs,
horses and el ephants are very ntel l i gent. They have got s mpl e
consciousness. They l augh and sm lc and express thei r feel i ngs of
joy and gratitude by certai n sounds. You must be able to
understand the nature of the sounds. By these practces and careful
observati on you wi l l have a wonderful power of hearng and
memory. You can get on well n your bus ness and avocati on.
Sharp ears and kecn sight brng good resul ts.
1 4. Whenever you meet a person look at hi s figure careful l
)
from top to toe and mi nutel y note down hi s varous features,
condton of hs eyes and eyebrows, teeth, arms and hi s voi ce,
behaviour, look, gat, etc. There are many people who are not abl e
to gi ve a description of thei r frends wth whm they are movi ng
96 PRACTICE OF YOGA
for several years. The son is not able to describe exactly the
physiognomy or marks on the face of his father though he is living
with hi m in close cortact for a numbr of years. The obvious
reason is that the son has not developed the power of observation,
sight and memory. One cannot become a skilful scientist unless he
has an acute power of observation. He has to observe the various
phenomena of nature and draw conclusions and i nferences. He has
to col l ect facts and figures to study the l aws of nature.
1 5. Enter the drawing room of your friend and notice careful ly
what all things you fi nd in the room. Then close your eyes and
refl ect. Then come out of the room and note down in your
notebook all the things i n the same order i n. which they are kept i n
the room. Then enter the room and verify your statement. Practise
this for some months. You wi l l develop wonderful power of sight.
1 6. Enter a li brary room and note carefully all the books that
are placed i n two rows of the al mirah or shelf. Close your eyes
and reflect. Then note down in your diary and then verify. Let
there be mistakes. It does not matter much. A time will come
when you will not make a si ngle mistake. You should be able to
pick out a fri end i n a big crowd by noticing the nature of his gait
and. movement of his l imbs at a distance.
1 7. There was a blind man at Sri nagar in Kashmir, who could
tell the nature of colours by si mply feel i ng the cloth. What a
wonderful development of the power of touch he had! It is all a
question of trai ning. At night you cannot see nicely. The power of
seei ng becomes dul l , but the power of hearing i s intensified. This
is compensation in nature. There are some deaf and dumb people
who are very i ntell igent. They do good work i n composing i n the
press. When one organ becomes defecti ve, another organ gets
more developed. The energy of the organ that is not in use is
uti l i sed by the other organ and it grows rapidly. Nature is very
merciful and i ntelli gent. There are people who cannot remember
more than two things at a time. There was a soldier who could not
remember the ingredients of gun-powder even though he was in
the cordite factory for months together. This is due to the
il l-development of the faculty of memory.
1 8. A j udge in the court should have an acute hearing. Then
only he wi l l become an able j udge. He can write down quickly all
evidences without any mi stake. A commander-in-chief should have
an acute sight. Then only he can have survey of al l the i nfantries
and cavalries. He can have a clear vision . of the enemies on the
MIND
.
AND ITS FUNCTIONS 97
other side even at a very long distance. One wi l l have t o devel op
the power oI hearing and power oI attention. The development oI
these two organs i s oI a great hel p i n the practice of
memory-cul ture. In some the organ oI hearing is more devel opd.
In others the power oI sight i s more developed. Oogs have got an
acute nose. Prakriti has shown marked i ntel l igence in the creation
of bei ngs. Cobras have got acute hearing. They hear through

their
eyes. They have not got separate ears. Tigers have

acute nos.
They can smel l bl ood at a very long distance. There i s pl ay of
intel l igence in every i nch oI di vi ne creation. Songsters have acute
heari ng. They have developed it. They wi l l have to Iind out
various ki nds oI undul ations in the vi brations of sounds whi ch
make di IIerences i n Ragas. The very profession i tsel f forces
peopl e to develop the parti cul ar organ which hel ps them i n the
development oI their science.
1 9. Take up any exercise that sui ts you best in memory-cul ture
and put it in dai l y practice. Keep dai l y
.
record. This is very
i mportant. Mere skipping over the pages wi l l not do. You wi l l not
be benefited. II you real l y want rapid i mprovement, i f you want to
become a real man, take down notes and put the lessons i n dai l y
practice. You can watch your progress and correct your mi stakes. I
want to make yoll a practical man guickly. Keep a speci al
notebook. Every month send me a copy of the exerci ses that you
havc done. I wi l l give you val uable suggestions on advanced
courses Ior your success. I wi l l put you in the right path. If you are
very earnest and si ncere you can Ii nd considerable i mprovement
within three months.
20. For developi ng memory-power, you can select and practi se
some oI the exercises gi ven above. When you are a bi t advanced,
you must uti l i se the memory-power onl y i n remembering the 1 i n
items i n which you are concerned. I f you are a Sannyasin, you
need not remember your younger days and schqo) -l i Ie. II you are a
lawyer, you need not remember the di IIerent medici nes and their
prices. II you are a man oI concentration and meditation, you need
not remember the Dhal that you took on Friday l ast. A Tyagi wi l l
remember many thi ngs and the several passages Irom the
scriptures, but he cannot remember the exact number oI coi ns he
has in hi s purse. Energy and memory-power shoul d be uti l i sed i n
useful channel s. Real i se the i mportance of memory-cul ture and use
.he memory-power in useIul directi on. Thi s wi l l be of great help i n
your everyday l i fe. Thi s wi l l hel p you a l ot i n the development of
98 PRACTICE OF YOGA
your

wi l l . Now I wi l l pass on to wi l l -cul ture, which pl ays a
promi nent role i n the practice of Raj a Yoga.
Will-culture
Wi l l -cul ture is another i mportant Sadhana. This is useful to al l
spiri tual aspirants. Wi l l i s Atma-Bal a. Wi l l i s a dynamic
soul -force. Wi l l can work wonders and mi racles if it i s rendered
pure and i rresi sti bl e. There is nothi ng i mpossi bl e for a man of
strong wi I I to achieve in the three worlds. The vast majority ' of
persons have no consci ousness of a wi l l or mind or i ntel l ect,
though they tal k much on wi l l and mi nd. The wi l l has become
i mpure and weak through Vasanas. When a desire i s control led i t
becomes changed i nto wi l l . The sexual energy, muscul ar energy,
anger, etc. , are al l transmuted i nto wi l l -force when they are
control l ed. Fewer the desires, stronger the wi l l i s.
,
Wi l l is the ki ng of al l mental powers . Wi l l is Iccha-Sakti. Prana
is Kri ya-Sakt i . Intel lect is Jnana-Sakti . When the wi l l operates al l
the mental powers such as power of j udgment, power of memory,
Dharana-Sakti, power of grasping, reasoning and discri mi nati ng,
power of i nference, power of reflection, etc. , come i nto pl ay
wi thi n the twi nkl i ng of an eye. They come to aid the wi l l -power,
their master.
Di vi ne wi l l is al l -powerful . God wi l l s and everything comes
i nto bei ng the very second. Man wi l l s, but i t takes a l ong time for
attai ni ng a thi ng or materialisation of the desired object as his wi l l
i weak. Man thi nks, wi l l s and gets the desi red objects after some
ti me. If the wi l l is pure and strong, man al so gets the object in the
twi nkl i ng of an eye. Mere wish wi l l not suffice for attainment. You
must have defi ni te ai m and purpose. Wish or desire is a smal l
rippl e i n the mi nd-l ake, but wi l l is that power that executes the
desi res. Wi l l i s vol i ti on. It i s the power of choosing or
determi ning.
Sat-sankal pa i s the pure wil l of Jnani ns. They can do anything
by Sat-sankalpa. Chudala wanted to test her husband Si khidhvaja.
She wi l led and created an i magi nary husband for her. She wi l led
and stood up in the air to convi nce her husband of her powers.
Immedi atel y Si khidhvaj a accepted her as his Guru.
Ni mbarka Acharya wi l led that the sun shoul d not pass beyond
th ni m tree that was i n front of hi s house. The sun obeyed the
orders. Shams Tabriez, a Yogi of Mul tan, wi l led that the sun
shoul d come down to roast his meat. The sun obeyed hi s orders
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 99
i mmediately. These people had strong wi l l-power. If you also wi l l
l i ke this i n the begi nni ng when you are a neophyte, when you have .
developed your wi l l to a very smal l extent, you cannot succeed.
Vi svamitra had a strong wi l l . Therefore he created a thi rd world
for Trisanku. Sri Dattatreya had a strong wi l l and so he created a
woman by mere wi l l i ng. J nana Dev had a strong wi l l by whi ch he
made the Maszid to move. All Jnanins and Yogi ns have very
strong wi l l . Look at Sri Mahatma Gandhij i . He i nfuenced the
whole world in a tremendous way by hi s irresi sti ble wi l l -power.
Unrufled state of the mi nd, poise, cheerful ness, i nner strength,
capacity to turn out diffcul t works in a mi raculous manner in a
short ti me, success i n al l undertaki ngs, power to i nfuence people,
a magnetic dynamic personali ty, magnetic aura i n the face,
sparkl i ng eyes. steady gazi ng, powerful voice, a magnanimous
gait, unyieldi ng nat ure, fearlessness are some of the signs of a man
of great wi l l -power.
How to Develop the Will
Attention, power of endurance, forti tude in sufering, Tapas
(austerity) such as standi ng on one foot, si tti ng i n the hot sun or
standing in cold water in wi nter, rai si ng the hands above and
keepi ng them in the same position for a ong time, fasting,
patience, command of temper, forbearance, clemency, firmness in
meeti ng danger, power of resi stance of attack, Satyagraha, keeping
up daily di ary, 1apa of any Mantra-al l pave a l ong way in
developing the wi l l . Uni nterrupted steady practice of the above
with frm fai th wi l l enable you to develop your wi l l to a high
degree.
One should patiently hear the words of others even though they
are not interesti ng and attracti ve. He shoul d not fret hi msel f.
Patient hearing develops wi l l and wi ns the hearts of others. One
should do actions or tasks that are not i nteresting. Thi s also wi l l
develop the wi l l -power. The actions that are not i nteresti ng wi l l
become i nteresting after some time.
Try to l i ve happi l y i n any pl ace under any condition. Your wi l l
wi l l become strong and dynami c. This i s a great secret. Keep thi s
in your pocket and unlock the el ysi an regions of the spiri tual
real ms and the i mmortal abode. You can get success in any
undcrtaki ng. You can conguer any difficul ty .

The practice of concentration is of great help to strengthen the
wi l l . You must have an i ntel l igent understanding of the nature of
1 00
PRACTICE OF YOGA
the mi nd, how it wanders and how i t operates. You must know
easy and effective methods to control the wandering mi nd. The
practice of concentration and memory-culture are al l ied subjects.
Al l these are of great help in . the development of wi l l -cul ture. You
cannot draw a demarcation-l i ne to denote where the practice of
concentration or memory-cul ture ends and the practice of
wi l l -cul ture begi ns. There i s no hard and fast rul e. The force of
Brahmacbarya i s at the back of the wi l l . No wi l l -culture i s possi bl e
wi thout Brahmacharya. Wi l l i s another name for the force of
cel i b
a
cy (Vi rya-Sakti ) . Every drop of semen i s a magnetic force.
Constant repetition and meditation on the fol lowi ng formulas
wi l l doubtless develop your wi l l -power.
My wi I I is pure, strong and i rresi sti bl e
I can do anythi ng through my wi l l now
I have an i nvi nci bl e wi l l
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
You must real l y feel as you repeat the above formul as.
Meditation on the i mmortal Atman wi l l develop the wi l l-power.
Thi s i s the best method. Do not use the wi l l i n wrong di recti ons.
You wi l l have a hopeless fal l . Do not test the strength of your wi l l
i n the begi nni ng. _
W
ait t i l l i t becomes strong, pure and irresi sti ble .
. Instructions on Will-Culture
I . One who wants to become a magnetic and dynamic
personal i ty or a prodigy or a geni us should uti l i se every second to
the best possi bl e advantage and should try to grow mental l y,
moral l y and spi ri tual l y every second. Idl e gossiping should be
gi ven up entirely. Every one of you should real i se the value of
ti me. Wi l l i s bound to become dynamic, if one uti l i ses one' s time
very proftabl y. Appl i cation and tenacity, i nterest and attention,
patience and perseverance, faith and -el f-rel i ance can make a man
to be a worl d-f gure.
2. You wi l l have to appl y your wi l l accordi ng to your capacity.
Otherwise your wi l l -power wi l l deteriorate and you wi l l be
di scouraged. Thi s is one i mportant point. Make a programme of
work accordi ng to your capacity and see that i t is carried out dai l y.
Keep onl y a few items. If you keep several items which cannot be
executed in a day, which are beyond your capaCity, your i nterest
wi l l sl owl y fai l and your enthusi asm wi l l gradual l y decl ine. Your
energy wi l l be di ssipated and scattered. Ypu wi l l get brain-fag.
Whatever you wi sh to do dai l y must be carried out to the very
letter.
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 1 01
3 . Thnkng too much s a hndrance on the executon by the
w l l . It brngs confus on, dffdence and procrastnaton. There s
sl ackenng of the force of w l l . The opportun ty w l l sl p away.
You may hes tate to put the th ng n act on. Th nk for some t me
correctl y and then decde. As soon as you have resolved, you must
w l l mmedately. There must not be any unnecessary del ay.
Sometmes you w l l , but you do not succeed. Ths s due to l ack of
rght thnkng and r ght feel ng. You must th nk r ghtl y and at the
same tme feel r ghtl y. Then the w l l s bound to succeed. R ght
feel ng shoul d nvar ably accompany r ght th nk ng.
4. He who s attemptng to develop the w l l shoul d always try
to keep up a cool m nd. He shoul d keep up a balanced m nd under
al l condt ons. He w l l have to prfectly dsc pl ne the m nd. It s
worth pract s ng. Bal ance of m nd s one of the mportant
characterj stcs of a devel oped Yog . That Yog at al l tmes s real l y
a strong and happy man who can keep up a bal anced m nd. He
w l l get success n al l undertakngs. You may fa l to keep up the
balance n f fty attempts. But from the ffy-frst endeavour you
w l l gan strength of w l l . You w l l sl owly manfest bal ance of
mnd. You should not be dscouraged n the beg nn ng.
5. If a ser ous cal amty occurs, your m nd shoul d not be upset.
1ust keep the m nd cool and cal m. Have presence of m nd. Do not
cry over spl t m l k. Anyhow t has come to pass. You w l l have to
face t wth cheerful countenance. Try to make the best of th ngs.
Fnd out methods to

tde over the dffcul ty, to make matters
smooth. Keep al ways an unrufed m nd. Do not be carred away
by undue sentments and bubbl ng emot ons. Control them. Reflect
how the cal am ty or troubl e or catastrophe has come. Devse
sutable, effect ve, easy methods to tde over the cr ss or try ng
stuaton. Many obstacles and calamtes can be obvated gu te
eas l y. Do not brood over fa l ures, defects and m stakes. Th s w l l
weaken your w l l . Let the defects reman there. They w l l be
removed guckly when the w l l becomes purer and purer, stronger
and stronger.
6. 1ust refect for a wh l e why you have fa l ed n the attempt
and try to be careful n the second attempt. Try to remove those
factors that led to your fa l ure n the prevous attempt. Fortfy
yourself now. Be careful and vg l ant. Be on the alert. You must be
guck and at the same tme efficent and capabl e. You shoul d not
make m stakes.
7. Whenever you are n a dl emma or dfcul ty, never get
1 02 PRACTICE OF YOGA
discouraged. Never lose your heart. Use your ski l l ni cely. Devise
i ntel l i gent pl an or scheme. Cal l forth all your l atent energies or
dormant facul ties. When the house i s on fire, how al ert you are!
How promptl y and ski l ful l y you act at that particul ar moment! You
do not know wherefrom the energy and power are fl owi ng at that
time. You are ful l y concentrated. You contrive ski l ful methods then
and there to save your property as much as possi ble and to save
the l i ves of your ki nsmen who are dwel l i ng in the house.
Marvel lous actions you do. Then you say at your lei sure, when the
di ffi cul ty passes away: "Some mysterious power of God has
worked through me. "
8. Unwavering fi rmness and patience (Dhriti and Dhairya) are
needed to tide over critical si tuations and to get success. Dhriti i s
spi ri tual patience. Dhairya i s presence of mi nd. Samata (balanced
state of mi nd) develops the wi l l to a considerable degree.
9. Do not be troubl ed at al l if there is delay in the development
of the wi l l . The wi l l i s bound to carry out all your orders in the
long run. You can treat any ai lment of other people by mere
wi l l i ng: "Let the patient be free from this disease." This wi l l real l y
come to pass i mmediately. You wi l l be real l y astoni shed. You can
treat any di sease i n your body by mere wi l l i ng. Wi l l strongl y: "I
must see Mr. Bal akrishna at 8.00 a. m. " The man wi l l be at your
door in the exact ti me. Wi l l is your obedient and wi l l i ng servant. It
wi l l fetch anythi ng you want. If there is del ay, apply the wi l l once
more wi th patience. In the begi nni ng you wi l l find it a bit dimcul t
to apply the wi l l , because i t i s a new practice for you. Gradual l y
you wi l l know how to appl y the wi l l . You wil l understand the
knack and techni gue. Wi l l can be appl i ed in the twi nkl i ng of an
eye aQd the object al so wi l l be real i sed i n no time. Stronger the
wi l l , the gui cker the real i sati on i s. Practice wi l l make you perfect.
Experiences wi l l teach you.
I 0. You wi l l have to b very careful i n the use of the wi l l . It i s
al ways advi sabl e to reserve the wi l l -force for the achievement of
hi gher spiritual success. Worl dl y success i s nothi ng. This l ife i s
l i ke a bubbl e. It i s a l ong dream. Worl dl y success wi l l not give you
everlasti ng peace and happi ness. Try your wi l l in one or two
i nstances i n worl dl y matters. You wi l l understand and real i se its
power. Then apply the wi l l in Sel f-real i sati on. Ignore the mundane
affairs. They are w
O
rthl ess l i ke straw or dung. Become a Yogi n.
Thi s al one wi l l gi ve you absol ute sati sfaction.
I I . Practi se the assertions boldly and cal ml y. Ful l y understand
MIND AND ITS FUNCTIONS 1 03
the meanng of every asserton and try to feel . The feel ng w l l
sl owly manfest. You w l l have t o fght aganst your ol d enemes,
the old Samskaras. Wa t cool l y. Try to develop patence, attenton,
power of endurance, bal ance of mnd and presence of mnd. These
gual tes are very necessary to develop your w l l . Develop
attenton also. Practse w l l -cul ture for three months. You w l l feel
your nner strength. The th ngs that appeared dff cul t some t me
ago can be done w th ease now. You w l l feel that you now have
an unruffled m nd. Thngs that woul d eas l y upset your m nd
prevously cannot do so now. You can turn out mmense work
gute smoothl y. Your wal k s graceful . Your speech s powerful .
You are gute a changed man. There s a gl ow n your cheeks and
a pecul ar charm n your sm l e. You are able to nfl uence many
persons now. Your frends notce a magnetc aura n your face.
1 2. The practce of concentraton should go hand n hand w th
the memory and w l l -cul ture. Concentraton s an aux l ary n al l
cultures. No cul ture s poss bl e w thout concentraton. Have
regular concentrat on-exercses da l y n the mornng and evenng.
Have a sprtual bas s n your concentrat on. You practse
concentraton not onl y for devel op ng your memory and w l l but
ma| nl y for Self-real sat on. That s the chef a m. Never, never
forget ths pont. Th s s the fundamental dfference between my
system and the varous other systems. Brahmacharya and
Self-real saton are the keynotes n my system. I harp on these two
ponts n varous pl aces. I want you to develop your memory and
wll for success n l fe and achevement of the Brahmc bl ss
eventual ly. The practce of concentraton w l l mmensely hel p your
memory and w l l -culture also. Keep a record of your experences
n concentraton n your dary and send me a copy of t every
month.
1 3. Develop Sattvc vrtues al so. You w l l understand the
method of develop ng var ous v rtues. Develop that v rtue whch
you are hopel essl y l ack ng. Courage, mercy, un versal l ove,
nob l ty, compasson, contentment, frankness, honesty must be
devel oped to a hgh degree. If you develop one mportant v rtue,
al l other vrtues w l l cl ng to you. If you have hum l ty and
courage, al l . other v rtues w l l come by themsel ves. You shoul d
spend da l y some t me for the development of v rtues.
1 4. Eradcate ev l gual tes. The development of vrtuous
qual tes wll tself remove the negatve gualtes. But t s better to
make a pos t ve attempt n the eradcaton of these ev l gual tes.
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Then the progress wi l l b rapi d. It i s doubl e attack on the enemy.
Then success becomes easy and sure. If you coul d remove l ust or
anger or egoi sm, al l other evi l gual i ties wi l l di sappear by
themsel ves. Al l evi l gual i ties are the attendants of egoi sm. If
cgoi sm is destroyed, if the commander is ki l led. al l the soldiers or
reti nues wi l l take to the heel s out of fright, belause they have l ost
thei r head. All vi ces ori gi nate from anger. If anger is destroyed, a| l
sorts of vi ces wi l l vani sh. Therefore concentrate your attention i n
|i l l i ng egoi sm or anger. Then the whole work i s done.
1 5. You must have di sci pl i ne of the Indriyas. Conserve energy.
Thi s is most i mportant. I
f
the Indri yas are turbulent, you cannot
have concentrati on. Watch every Indriya careful l y and correct it by
ui tablc methods such as Mauna, Trataka, fasting, cel i bacy,
rcnunci ati on of sensual enjoyments, Dama and Pratyahara.
Indri ya draw you out and make your mi nd outgoi ng. Curbing of
|hc | ndriyas real l y means curbi ng of the mi nd. The I ndriyas cannot
do any i ndependent work wi thout the direct help of the mi nd.
1 6. Another i mportant poi nt i s physi cal col ture. I agai n remind
you tha| no cul ture is possi bl e if you do not possess a sound and
heal thy body. Keep your body strong and healthy by regular
cxerci e.
1 7. Tf you want rapid progress, if you want substantial growth,
|eep a dai l y di ary. Let thi s b a true di ary wi th a clean conscience.
Havi ng armcd yoursel f with the above Sadhana you can become a
mi ghty emperor of thi s world. You can enjoy health, wealth,
spi ritual bl i ss and l ongevi ty. I have shown graduated exerci ses
accordi ng to the capacity of the student. Now it is left for you to
expand and grow. You wi l l have to appl y yourself di l igently. A
hungry mar wi I I have to eat for hi mself. A thi rsty man wi l l have
to dri nk for hi msel f. Become a spi ritual hero. Get success i n every
department of your l i fe. These practices wi l l become now part and
parcel of your nature after some practice. You can go on
devel opi ng them ti l l you attai n perfecti on.
1 8. There i s a great di fference between the eastern way of
cul ture of the Hi ndu sages and Ri shi s, and the method of cul ture
of the western occul ti sts. The fundamental di fference i s that i n the
west, people trai n thei r wi l l and memory for attai ni ng materi al
progress and worl dl y prosperity onl y. They have i gnored
completely thc l i fe beyond. Thi s i s a serious bl under i ndeed.
Whereas the Yogi ns of Indi a do develop thei r wi l l for attai ni ng
Sel -real i sati on. They exhi bi t psychi c Si ddhi s to make their
MIND AND ITS FNCTIONS
students cl earl y understand that there is a hi gher super-sensual l ife
i n the Atman, whi ch al one can gi ve real bl i ss and i mmortali ty.
They clearly i mpress their students in emphatic terms: "Na
karmana-na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amritatam anasuhNot
by actions, nor by progeny, nor by riches but by renunci ation alone
can on
'
e attai n i mmortality." "There i s no happiness in the
peri shable, fi ni te objects. The real peace is i n the Absol ute al one.
The Absol ute must b sought and understood. " This one ri ngi ng
note is blown i n their ears dai ly.
1 9. Therefore, the western occul tists shoul d not negl ect the
spiritual cul ture and shoul d not forget the spi ri tual basis of al l
other cul tures. One can have material prosperity to a certai n
extent. He shoul d develop the spiritual si de al so. There shoul d be a
spiritual basis for al l sorts of cul tures and undertaki ngs. Thi s i s the
most i mportant point. If this si de is ignored completely, then that
cul ture is no cul ture at al l . There shoul d be the practice of a l ittl e
Tapas (austerity) al ong w_th the wi l l -cul ture. Saunaka, a wi se
householder, approached the Sage Angirasa and asked: "0
venerable Sir, what is that supreme cul ture by knowi ng whi ch al l
other cultures are known?" Angirasa repl ied: "It i s Brahma-Vidya
or the spiritual cul ture or the Science of the Sel f. " Therefore I
draw the attention of western cul turists i n this direction. Then they
wi l l have wonderful success and i mmense joy. Some Hi ndu Yogi ns
completely ignore the material side and practise Tamasi c Tapas.
This i s al so not advisabl e. This i s condemned by Lord Kri shna i n
the Gita. Extremes are al ways ,.bad. A healthy combination i s
highl y desirabl e. Chudal a and Janaka had this happy combi nation .
. 20. I want to pl ace before you another i mportant point. Those
who are attempti ng to devel op their wi l l -power shoul d remove the
words ' Cannot' ' Diffi cul t, ' ' I mpossi bl e, ' etc. , from their mind.
These are the expressions of a weakl i ng or an efemi nate prson.
These are the expressions of a timid l ady. Become a l i on. Become
a spiritual hero. Become a champion i n the Adhyatmic (iel d. By
mere wi l l i ng or chanti ng of OM, the mountains should be crushed
into powder. By mere wi l l i ng, mountains shoul d move. By mere
wi l l i ng, the ocean shoul d recede. By mere wi l l i ng, al l the waves of
ocean should subsi de. Lord Jesus did thi s and you can al so do.
Whatever one has achi eved can be attained by all i f they wi l l . Thi s
is the grand J aw of nature. Speak wi th force. Tal k wi th emphasis i n
a Gambhira manner. Gambhira i s not pride. It i s the quality of
magnani mi ty.
PRACfiCE OF YOGA
2 1 . Therefore never entertain any negative terms in your mind.
Understand the glory, splendour and power of the Self which i s at
the back of your mi nd, thought, wi l l and memory. Understand the
magnani mity and i mmortal nature of that hidden, i nterpenetrati ng,
i ndwel l i ng essence. Know that thi s Self is the storehouse of al l
knowledge, bliss, power, beauty, peace and joy. Feel that the sun,
moon, stars and the fire do their respective functions at your
command. Feel that the air moves, rain fall s, fre burns, ri vers
flow, sun shi nes, stars gl itter, at your bi dding. Thou art the Glory
of gl ories, Sun of suns, Light of l ights. Thou art the, Truth. Thou
art the imperishable, undecayi ng, undying Atman that pervades
this whole uni verse. Assert your Oi vi ne Maesty. Recognise the
Brahmi c Gl ory. Real ise your freedom.
CHAPTER SEVEN
THE LAW OF KARMA
Natur
Every man should have a comprehensive understanding of the
laws of Nature and their operations. Then he can pull on smoothly
and happily in thi s world. He can utilise the helping forces to
serve his ends in the best possible manner. He can neutralise the
hostile forces or antagonistic currents. Just as the fsh swims
against the current, so also he will be able to go against the hostile
currents by adj usting himself properly and safeguarding through
suitable prcautionary methods. Otherwise he becomes a slave. He
is tossed about hither and thither helplessly by various currents.
Various hostile forces drag him i n diferent comers. He is drifted
like a wooden plank i n a river. He i s very miserable and unhappy
al ways .
.
A taptain of a steamer who has mariner's compass, who has
knowledge of the sea, the routes and the oceanic currnts can sail
smoothly. Otherwi se his steamer will be drifed here and there and
wrecked by some icebergs. Likewise, a wise sai l or in the ocean of
this life, who has a detailed knowledge of the l aws of Karma and
Nature can sail smoothly and reach the goal of his life psitively.
Understanding the laws of Nature you can mould or sttape your
character in any way you l ike. "As you think, so you come.u
This is one of the great laws of Nature. Think that you are pure,
pure you will become. Think that you are noble, noble you wi l l
become. Think that you are a man, man you wi l l become. Thip
that you are Brahman, Brahman you will become.
Become an embodiment of good nature. Do always good
actions. Serve, love, give. Make others happy. Live to serve others.
Then you will reap happiness. You wi l l get favourable
circumstances or opportunities and environments. If . you hurt
others, if you do scandal-mongering, mischief-making, backbiting,
talebearing, if you exploit others, if you acquire the proprty of
others by foul means, if you do any action that can give pain to
others, you will reap pain. You will get only unfavowable
circumstances, opportunities and evironments. This i s te law of
Nature. Just as you can prepare your good or bad charaeter. by
1 08 PRACTICE OF YOGA
subl i me or base thi nking, so also you can prepare your favourable
or unfavourable circumstances by doing good or bad actions. A
man of discrimi nation i s always careful , vigilant and circumspect.
He always watches careful l y hi s thoughts. He introspects. He
knows exactly what i s going on i n hi s mental factory, what Vritti
or Guna is prevai l i ng at a particular time. He never allows any evil
thought to enter the gates of mental factory. He at once nips them
in the b_ud.
When the mi nd raises its hood of Vritti , he takes the rod of
Viveka and strikes at the hood. Just as the soldier ki l ls his enemies
one by one wi th hi s sword when they enter the fort, so also the
man of discri mi nation ki l l s the evil thought with his sword of
Viveka when i t tries to enter the fort of mind. Thus he builds hi s
nobl e character.
He prepares hi mself to get always favourable circumstances. He
who spreads happiness, wi ll always get such favourable circum
stances as can bring happiness. He who spreads pain to others
wi l l , doubtless, get such unfavourable circumstances as can bring
mi sery and pai n accordi ng to the law of Nature. Therefore, man
creates hi s own character and circumstances. Bad character can be
transmuted i nto good one by good thoughts. Unfavourable
circumstances can b changed i nto favourable circumstances by
doing good acti ons . 0 Ram! Understand the laws of Nature and
become wise and happy.
According to the nature of your desires you get a birth and
environments. Prarabdha pl aces you i n such_suitable environments
as are favourable for the gratification of your desires. The man i s
dragged to pl aces where he can get his objects of desire. Suppose
there is a poor i ntell i gent boy in India. He has an i ntense desire to
go to England for his hi gher education. Hi s desire cannot be
ful fi l led in this birth. There is one rich l ady in London who has no
son. She has i ntense desire to get an i ntelligent son. This poor,
intelligent boy may get hi s next birth i n London as the son of the
rich lady accordi ng to the l aw of coincidence and may have his
old strong desire of hi s previous birth gratified now. God gi ves
suitable surroundings accordi ng to the nature of the desires of the
man for hi s growth and evolution.
Suppose a shepherd-boy gave a tumbler of water to drink to a
rich man, when he was very thirsty and when he could not get any
water in a thi ck jungle. This boy may get hi s next birth as the son
of thi s rich man for thi s li ttle good action that he has done. But he
THE LAW OF KARMA
may be ignorant, because he was a shepherd-boy in hi s previous
birth. Accordi ng to the nature of desire, the man gets
environments. The desire drags hi m to such pl aces where the
desired objects can be obtained. This i s the l aw of Nature.
Entertain holy desires. You wi l l b placed in the holy surroundings
such as Uttarakasi , Himal ayas, Prayaga, etc. , where you can
perform Tapas, Sadhana, meditation amidst holy persons and can
have Self-real i sation. Entertai n unholy qesires. You wi l l be pl aced
in pl aces l i ke Paris, Holl ywood where you can have cinemas,
restaurants, bal l rooms, etc. It i s left for you to select ' the desires,
ei ther hol y or unhol y. If you want to move as a man-beast in the
streets of Pari s, select the unholy desires. If you want to shine i n
divine gl ory and move as a man-god, select the holy desires.
The three aspects of the Jaw of Karma should clearly be
grasped. The frst i s the Sanchita Karma, the sum total and
storehouse of al l our actions, good or bad, in the i nnumerable past
l i ves that we have left behind or from the time we began to
discrimi nate right from wrong and thus started acting on our own
responsi bil ity and wi th our own i ni tiative. The whole of it i s
recorded and preserved. How coul d i t be otherwise when we l i ve
under the reign of an i mmutable law? The second is Prarabdha
Karma, the inevitable Karma. It i s that portion of our Karma
which i s assigned to us to be worked out i n a si ngle l i fe in rel ation
to men and things we met and experienced in previ ous J i ves. Thi s
is also called ripe Karma because it is a debt which i s overdue and
it is time that it should be paid i n the form of sorrow and
sufering, gai n and Joss, to the uttermost farthing, whether we l i ke
it or not. The thi rd form is that of Kriyamana Karma. It is that
Karma which is .in the course of making. It is that which preserves
our fee-wi l l with certai n l i mi tations and ensures our future
success. Because man is made in God's image and shares divine
l i fe, he is free to act i n any way he l i kes. In virtue of the same
principle whatever he i ntensely desires he i s sure to accompl i sh in
the course of time. Whatever is true in the case of an i ndividual i s
also true in the case of a nation, for, i ndividuals make a nation.
The col l ective Karma of a race or a nation is as much a fact i n
nature as an i ndi vidual one. The same principle underl yi ng the
Karmic Jaws applies without much wide diference, to national
and col lected Karma. The nations rise and fal l , empi res flourish
and are dismembered on the same ground. The wise heads of
nations should not neglect the dominating sway of thi s J aw.
1 1 0
PRACTICE OF YOA
In the midst of a national calamity it is well to remember that
nothing can come to us which we have not deserved. We may not
be able to see the immediate cause of a catastrophe, but it dos not
fol low that it took pl ace without suficient cause.
During the l ast thousand years and more many heart-rending
and humi liating events occurred on the soil of Mother India,
devastati ng the whole land, robbing her sons of their precious
property and even more precious l i ves.
The i ncidents of our own times are too fesh i n our memories to
need any repetition. Have these soul -scorching incidents and
catacl ysms taken place without any rhyme or reason? No. There i s
nothing that can happen to us beyond the scope of the good and
utterl y j ust l aw. Everything has i ts own time and pl ace. In our
ignorance we may not be able to trace out the immediate cause
with certai nty, definiteness and accuracy, but thi s much is certain
beyond the least shadow of doubt that nothing unmeri ted can .
happen to us or to our country.

Our own apathy, indifference, lack of patriotism, communal and
caste dissensions, mutual hatred, suspicion and strife have ben the
main cause of our present and past degradation.
As our collective Karma brought on us the wrath of divine
justice and ft retri bution closely fol l owed in the wake of our evil
deeds and we deservedly sufered and paid for them heavily, so we
can agai n exert our collective will in the right direction and lear
to be wise and circumspect in the l ight of our past bitter
experience and deep humi l i ation. In the course of time we shall
begin to see the eclipse of downfall, servitude and thraldom
gradual l y di sappearing fom the soil of our motherland and we
shall once more be free and great as our forefathers were.
The Law of Karma
Al l the phenomena of Nature are govered by one important
law, the universal law of causation, which is also known by the
name, the Law of Karma. The law of causation is a universal law
that keeps up the inner harmony and the logical order of the
universe. Man' s deeds are subject to this law. Karma is a Sanskrit
term that comes from the rdot, "Kri-to act" and signifies action
or deed. Any physical or mental action is Karma. Thought i s
Karma. Reaction that fol l ows an action i s also Karma. Karma i s a
broad term. Attraction, repulsion, gravitation, breathing, talking,
walking, seeing, heari ng, eati ng, feel ing, wi l l i ng, desiring, thinking
THE LAW OF KARMA

1 1 1
and al l the acti ons of the body, mi nd and the senses constitute
Karma. Karma incl udes both cause and effect.
Al l other l aws of Nature are subordinate to this fundamental
Jaw. The sun shines, the fire bums, the ri vers flow, the wind blows,
the trees blossom and bear fuits, the mind thinks, feel s and wil l s,
the brai n, the heart, the l ungs, spleen and kidneys work i n
harmony in strict obedience to thi s grand J aw of cause and effect.
This grand Jaw operates everywhere in the physical and mental
planes. No phenomenon can escape fror the operation of this
mighty law.
The seed has its cause in the tree and the seed itself becomes in
turn the cause for the tree. The cause i s found i n the efect and the
effect is found in the cause. The efect i s similar to the cause. This
i s the universal chain of cause and efect which has no end. This
world runs on this fundamental, vital law. This l aw i s inexorable
and immutable.
Scienti sts are careful l y observing the phenomena of Nature and
are trying to fi nd out the exact causes for all that takes pl ace i n
Nature. The astronomer sits with hi s long, powerful telescope in
his observatory and watches the map of the heavens, studies the
stars and pl anets very careful l y and the phenomena that take pl ace
in the astronomical world. He tries to find out the exact causes
that bring out the phenomena. The reflective philosopher sits in a
contemplative mood and tries to fnd out the cause for this world,
the cause for the pains and miseries of this Samsara and the cause
for the phenomena of birth and death.
No event can occur without having a positive, defi nite cause at
the back of it. The breaking of a war, the rise of a comet, the
occurrence of an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, an epidemic,
thunder, l ightning, floods, diseases, fortune, mi sfortune, etc., have
got definite causes behind them.
If you develop a carbuncle or get a fracture of the bone of the
leg, this is obviously due to some bad Karma in your previous
birth. The bad Karma was the cause; the carbuncle 6r the fracture
is the effect. If you get some fortune i n thi s birth, the cause is that
you did some good action i n your previous birth.
There is no such thing as bl i nd chance or accident. The cause i s
hidden or unknown i f you are not able to trace it out for the
parti cular accident. Thi s Jaw of cause and effect is quite
mysterious. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says: "Gahana
karmano gatih-Mysteri ous is the path of action" (Gita, IV- 1 7). If
1 1 2
PRACTICE OF YOGA
your fi ni te mi nd is not able to fi nd out the cause i n an accident or
chance, i t does not mean that thi s accident has occurred wi thout a
cause.
Al l the physical and mental forces in Nature obey this grand
law of cause and efect. Law and the Law-giver are one. Law and
God are one. Nature and Nature's l aws are one. The l aws of
gravi tation, cohesi on, adhesi on, attraction and repul si on, the l aw of
l i ke and di sl i ke, the l aws of rel ati vity, conti gui ty, and associ ation
on the mental pl ane operate in strict accordance wi th thi s l aw of
cause and effect. From the vi bration of an electron to the
revol ution of a mi ghty pl anet, from the fal l i ng of a mango to the
ground to the powerful wi l l i ng of a Jnani or a Yogi , fom the
motion of a runner in the postal department to the movement of
the radi o-waves in the subtl e ether, from the transmi tti ng of a
telegraphi c message to the telepathic communication of a Yogi i n
the thought-worl d, al l these are the effects of some i nvi si bl e force
that works i n happy concord and harmony with the l aw of cause
and effect.
A cl ose study of thi s l aw gi ves encouragement for the hopeless
r:an. for the desperate and the ai l i ng. Desti ny i s created by man' s
thoughts, habits and character. Ther i s every chance for hi s
correc|i on and i mprovement by changing hi s thoughts and habits.
The scoundrel can become a saint, the prostitute can become a
chaste woman, and a beggar can become a ki ng. This mi ghty l aw
provides thi s. The l aw of Karma onl y can expl ai n beautiful l y the
i nequali ties of this worl d such as one man is very rich, another i s
extremel y poor, one i s wi cked, another i s a sai nt, one is very dul l ,
another i s a geni us or a versati l e prodigy, one i s a born decrepit,
another is a handsome man, one i s always sick, another is strong
and heal thy. How can you expl ai n these inequalities? It i s al l
Karma. God can never be unj ust or parti al .
Thi s world is a rel ati ve pl ane. It contai ns good, evi l and mi xture
of good and evi l . That is the reason why Lord Krishna says :
"Anishtamishtam misram cha trividham karmanah phalam-Good,
evi l and mi xed-three-fol d i s the fruit of action hereafter for the
non-rel inqui sher" (Gita, XVIII- 1 2) . There can be neither absol ute
good nor absol ute evi l in thi s world. That whi ch gi ves you comfort
and pleasure, that whi ch i s benefi ci al to you, to the world and to
your nei ghbour is good. That which gi ves you discomfort,
uneasi ness, pai n and mi sery to the worl d and to your nei ghbour i s
THE LAW OF KARMA 1 1 3
evil . That which gi ves mi sery and pai n to some, pleasure to others
is a mi xture of good and evi l .
Every action that you do produces a twofol d efect. It produces
an i mpression i n your mi nd and you carry the Samskara when you
die i n the Karmasaya (receptacle of works) i n your subconscious
mi nd. It produces an i mpression on the world of Akasic records.
Ahy action i s bound to react upon you wi th equal force and effect.
If you hurt another man, you real l y hurt yourself. This wrong
action is bound to react upon you and i njure you. It wi l l bri ng
mi sery and pai n. If you do some good to another man, you are
real l y hel pi ng yourself. You are real l y doi ng good to yourself.
Because there i s nothi ng but the Sel f. "Atma eva idam sarvam. "
Thi s is the emphatic declaration of the Srutis. This vi rtuous action
wi l l react upon you wi th equal force and efect. It wi l l bring you
joy and happi ness. That i s the reason why sages and Ri shi s,
prophets and moral i sts harp on the note: "Love thy neighbour as
thyself. Never hurt the feel i ngs of others. Ahimsa paramo
dharmah. Do good to others." He who has rightly understood thi s
law can never do any harm to anybody. He wi l l be ever doi ng
virtuous actions onl y. He wi l l become an embodi ment of vi rtues.
If you do a wrong action to an i ndi vi dual , i t disturbs the whole
atmosphere. If you entertai n an evi l thought, i t pol l utes the whole
thought-world. Therefore you should cul ti vate good thoughts and
eradicate al l evil thoughts. Every thought has got a cause behi nd
i t. Every acti on, every thought, however tri vi al and i nsignificant i t
may be, affects the whole world directly or i ndi rectly. That noble
soul who al ways does good to the world and entertai ns subl i me
di vi ne thoughts i s a blessing to the world at l arge. He purifies the
whole world.
Suppose for a moment that you write some sensational article i n
the paper. It arouses the emotions and sentiments of the readers.
They begin to do somethi ng agai nst the Government. A seri ous
fi gh| ensues. Pol i ce forces are brought in. Many people are shot.
Many new rules are framed to check and repress the peopl e. The
parents of those who were ki l led sufer. This fi ght produces an
effect i n the mi nds of the people of other parts of the world also.
In fact the whol e world i s affected by a single event. A si ngl e

sensational article has wrought such disastrous resul ts. One event
may be both a cause and effect at the same time. The endless
chai n of cause and effect is kept up al l throughout. You cannot
1 1 4
PRACTICE OF YOGA
separate one l i nk from the chain. You cannot say that this l ink i s
useless or unnecessary.
You have now a comprehensive understanding of this grand law
of cause and effect. You can change your thoughts and habits and
moul d a new character. You can become a righteous man and a
saint by doing virtuous actions and entertaining noble divine
thoughts. When you attain knowledge of
.
the Self, when you
annihil ate thi s l ittle mind, when you transcend the three Gunas and
the three Avasthas, you can rest i n your own Svarupa. You can
become identical with the Law-gi ver. Then the l aw of cause and
effect wi l l not operate on you. You have conquered nature. May
that i nvisible Law-gi ver, Brahman, guide you in your attain"?ent of
final beatitude of l ife!
Man I s the Master of His Destiny
Some ignorant people say: "Karma does everything. It is al l
destiny. If I am destined by my Karma to be l ike this or l ike that,
why then should I exert? It is my destiny only." This is fatali sm.
This wi l l bri ng i nertia, stagnation and mi sery. This is perfect
misunderstanding of the law of Karma. This is a fal lacious
argument. An intel l igent man wi l l certainly not put such a
qestion. You have made your own destiny from within by your
thoughts and actions. You have a free-wi l l to choose now. A rogue
is not a rogue for al l times. Put him in the company of a saint. He
wi l l change in no time. He wi l l think and act now in a different
way and wi l l change his destiny. He will become saintly in
character. Dacoit Ratnakar was changed i nto sage Valmiki by the
current of Rishi Narada. You wi l l hve to think and act. You can
make your Karma in any way you l i ke. You can become a Yogi or
Jnani by right desire, by right thinking and by right action. You
can attai n the position of Indra or Brahma by good Karma. Man i s
not a helpless being. He has a fee-wi l l of his own.
Man sows an action and reaps a destiny. Man has made his own
desti ny by thinking and acti ng. He can change his destiny. He i s
the master of hi s own destiny. There is no doubt about this. By
right thinking and Vichara and strong Purushartha, he can become
a master of his destiny. Markandeya changed his destiny through
Tapas and worship of Lord Siva. Visvaritra became a Brahmarshi
through vi gorous Tapas and changed his destiny. You can also do
so, if you have a strong wi l l and iron determination. Vasishtha
preaches Purushartha to Sri Rama in the . Yoga-Vasishtha. Just as
you can change your way of writing in a slanting manner i nto a
THE LAW OF KRMA 1 1 5
vertical manner, so also you can change your destiny by changing
your mode of thinking. Now you are thinking: "I am Mr. So and
so," by identifying with the body and other Upadhis. Now start the
anti -current. Think: "I am Brahman. I am the i mmortal Self in al l .
I am the all -pervadi ng Light, Intel ligence or pure Consciousness. "
Your destiny wil l be changed. This i s the Sadhana. This is the
Ahamgraha Upasana. Practise it steadil y. Feel and real ise.
An advocate of Lahore once asked me: "Swamiji , you say that
the law of Karma operates without unerring precision in all men. A
man desires, thi nks and acts. If the actions that I perform now are
the outcome of my past thoughts, and if my past thoughts are the
resul tant of my past desires, am I not helplessly bound? I am l i ke
a piece of straw tossed about hither and thither. I must act i n
accordance with my thought. I must . think i n accordance with my
desire. There i s no hope for my freedom of action and thinking.
This does not appeal to my reason at al l . Kindly . throw light on
this important subject."
I replied: "Look here, Mr. Si vasankar! Man i s gai ning new
eweriences and new knowledge every day. Mind is evolving every
second. There is every possi bi l ity for him to change his desires,
thoughts and .ctions. Suppose there is a thief. He does pi l fering.
He knocks away the things of other peopl e without their
knowledge. He is put in jail . People hate him. He gains many
experiences. He always feel s that he is very miserable. He now
decides to give up pi l fering. He changes his desires. He now wants
to lead an honest l ife. His old Samskaras, his old thoughts wil l try
.
to resist him and wi l l recur again and again. But through resolute
eforts he can change his thoughts, desires and acti ons, can
become a very good charitable man and can attain perfection,
freedom and immortal ity."
Man Can Outgrow Environments
It is often said that man is the resul tant product of his
environments. This i s not true. We cannot believe this, because the
facts always prove the contrary. Many of the world' s greatest men
have been born in poverty and in adverse circumstances. Many
who have been born in the slums and in fi lthy surroundings have
risen to the highest status in the world. They have won l aurel s of
fame and distinguished themselves in politics, l i terature and
poetry. They have become bril li ant geniuses and beacon-l ights of
the world. How do you account for thi s?
Sir T. Muthuswamy Aiyar, the first Indian Hi gh Court Judge in
1 1 6
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Madras, was born i n absol ute poverty. He had to study at ni ght
under muni cipal l anterns. He had no sufficient food. He was clad
in rags. He struggled hard and achieved greatness. He rose above
the envi ronments by his strong wi l l and i ron determi nation.
I n |he West, sons of cobblers and fi shermen have risen to very
hi gh posi ti on. Boys who did pol i shi ng of boots i n the streets, who
were sel l i ng beer in bars and who were cooking in hotel s have
become famous poets and able journal i sts. Johnson was pl aced in
qui te adverse envi ronments. Si r Walter Scott was very poor. He
had no pl ace to l i ve i n. The l i fe of James Ramsay MacDonald i s
worth mentioni ng. He was a man of great Purushartha. He rose
from poverty to power, from a fel d-l abourer to the status of Prime
Mi nister of Britai n. His fi rst job was addressing envelopes for 1 0
shi l l i ngs a weel . He was too poor to buy tea; so he drank water
i nstead. Hi s mai n meal every day for months was a three-penny
beef-steak:puddi ng. He took great i nterest in pol i ti cs and science.
He was a journal i st. He gradual l y through Purushartha (right
exerti on) rose to t
h
e position of a Prime Mi ni ster.
Sri Sankaracharya, the exponent of Advaita phi losophy, a
spiri tual gi ant, a bri l l i ant geni us, was born i n poor, unfavourable
environments and ci rcumstances. There are many other i nstances
l i ke these. It is qui te obvious, therefore, that unfavourable
envi ronments cannot anni hi l ate the potential greatness and
exccl l ence of the future geni uses and that one can outgrow
envi ronments by di l igent appl i cation, patience, perseverance,
truthful ness, honesty, i ntegrity, si ncerity of purpose, i ron wi l l and
strong determi nati on.
Every man is born wi th hi s Samskaras. The mi nd i s not a blank
sheet of paper. It contai ns the i mpressions of thoughts and actions
of the previous births. Samskaras are the latent potentialities.
These good Samskaras are val uable assets for a man. Even though
he is pl aced in unfavourable envi ronments, these Samskaras give
him protection from extraneous, undesirable hosti l e i nfl uences.
They help his growth and evol uti on. In the Gita Lord Krishna
says: "There he recovereth the characteri sti cs belongi ng to his
former body and with these he agai n J aboureth for perfection. "
Mi ss not any opportuni ty. Avail yourself of all opportunities.
Every opportuni ty i s meant for your upl i f and development. If you
see a sick man l yi ng down on the roadside in a helpless condition,
take hi m to the nearest hospi tal . Nurse hi in. Shampoo his legs
wi th Di vi ne Bhava. Feel the al l -pervadi ng, al l -permeati ng,
THE LAW OF KARMA 1 1 7
i nterpenetrati ng, i ndwel l i ng God i n hi m. See Di vi ni ty i n the gl ow
of hi s eyes, i n hi s cry, i n hi s breath, i n hi s pul sation and motion of
his l ung.. God has gi ven this opportuni ty for you to develop
mercy and love, to purify your heart and to remove Ghri na, hatred
and jealousy. Sometimes if you are very ti mi d, God wi l l place you
i n such ci rcumstances wherein you wi l l b forced to exhi bi t
courage and presence of mi nd by ri ski ng your l i fe. Those
world-figures who have ri sen to emi nence have al l uti l ised al l
opportuni ties t o t he best advantage.
Remember that in your weakness l ies the strength; because you
wi l l be al ways on your al ert to safeguard yourSelf. Poverty has got
its own vi rtues. Poverty i nfuses humi l i ty, strength, power of
endurance and the spi ri t of struggl i ng and perseveri ng. Whereas,
l uxury begets l azi ness, pride, weaness, i nertia

and al l sorts of evi l


habits.
Therefore, do not grumbl e of bad envi ronments. Create your
own mental world and envi ronments. That man who tries to
evol ve or grow i n adverse environments wi l l be a very strong man
indeed. Nothi ng can shake hi m. He wi l l be of a sterner stuf. He
wi l l have strong nerves. Man i s certainl y not a creature of
environments or circumstances. He can control and modi fy them
by his capacities, character, thoughts and actions. Ri ght exertion
can change the destiny. Dear brothers, exert. Conquer the nature.
Rejoice in the eternal Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman.
In the Yoga-Vasi shtha the fol l owi ng description is given: "There
is nothi ng l i ke desti ny other than the efect of our previous efforts.
Our previous eforts are cal led our desti ny. Our achievements are
determi ned by our efforts. Our effort is therefore our destiny. Our
previous and present efqrts, in case they are in contrary
directions, are l i ke two rams fi ghti ng against each other. The more
powerful of the two al ways overthrows the . other. Whethe
r
they are
the past or the present eforts, i t i s the stronger ones that determi ne
our destiny. In ei ther case, i t i s man's own efort that determi nes
hi s destiny by vi rtue of its strength. Man determines his own
destiny by his own thought. He can make those thi ngs al so
happen, whi ch were not destined to happen. The soul of man i s
powerful enough. Onl y those thi ngs happen i n this world whi ch i t
creates by i ts own free efort and not others. One should, therefore,
overcome one's unfavourable desli ny (the efect of one's past
efforts), by greater efort in the present. There i s nothi ng in the
world which cannot b achieved men by right sort of effort."
1 1 8 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Prof. Radhakri shnan writes as fol lows: "We have a good deal of
the present constrai nt and previous necessity in human life. Bot
necessity i s not to be mistaken for destiny which we can neither
defy nor delude. Though the self is not free from the bonds of
determination, it can subjugate the past to a certain extent and tum
it i.nto a new course. Choice i s the assertion of freedom over
necessity by which it converts necessity to its own use and thus
frees itself from it. The human agent is free. He is not the
pl aything of fate or dri ftwood on the tide of uncontrolled events.
He can actively mould the future instead of passively sufering the
past. The past may become an opportunity or an obstacle.
Everything depends on what we make it and not what it makes of
us."
Dr. Hafiz Syed, M. A. , Ph. D. , writes i n the Hindu Mind as
fol lows: "There is nothing which has wrought so much havoc in
the practical life of the Hi ndus, as the misconception of the l aw of
Karma-the eternal l aw of cause and efect-that works. with
unerri ng precision in all the departments of human life. It is said
that it is a gloomy doctrine and that it tends to paral yse human
efort, and closes the spring of all right action. In popular language
this doctri ne means predestination, pure and Siilple. It is believed
that a man is a creature of his past actions and all his present life
with its varied activities, joys, sorrows, pain and pleasure, success
and fail ure, gain and loss, are predetermined by his past doings
over which he has no control, and therefore he should be utterly
resigned and waste no time in improving his or his neighbour's
lot.


"There is only an element of truth i n this attitude: in other
words, it is only half a truth that is understood and followed;
unless the whole truth is .grasped with regard to thi s doctri
n
e, it
wi l l al ways prove a source of confusion and cause a great deal of
harm. If Indian people are to rise

from their present state of


degradation and shake of the fetters of their thraldom, it is time,
that they should clearly try to understand the true meaning and
phil osophy of actions and the reign of the l aw of Karma under
which the whole of the human race has to evolve.
"It is true that a man'5 present abil i ties or disabilities are the
direct outcome of his own thoughts and actions in the past: his
congenital endowments, his physical heredity, . his moral and
i nstincts and capacities are the results of his own thoughts
feeli ngs of hi s previous births. A farmer reaps rich harvest
THE LAW OF KARMA 1 1 9
only when he labours in his field for a long time. Unless he cares
to ti l l the ground, sow the seeds, water and manure it, he would
not be in a position to enjoy the fruit of his toi l . What he sowed
yesterday, he i s reaping today and what he sows today he wi l l reap
tomorrow. Thi s is an immutable law and holds good in every thing
without an exception. To say that one's capacity for fesh efort,
and new lines of action, i s paralysed or doomed by one's past
doings is as futile and groundless as to say that because one sowed
yesterday one cannot sow fresh seeds in new grounds today. The
fact of the matter is that free-wi l l is never choked and stifled by
any past action. The only thing is that a man cannot achieve what
he wants al l at once, without any delay. The good law pays every
person according to his need and i n due
.
time. The law runs its
own course. The results of past actions, thoughts and feeli ngs
appear to us as efects of causes we set up from our own free
choice and similarly we are equally fee and unfettered to choose a
l ine of action which is sure to bring its fruit in due time. A man i s
bound by the past debts he incurred or contracts he made: As soon
as he pays up his liabil i ties he is once more free to choose whether
he should i ncur fresh debt or not. Over the i nevitable he has no
control and if the law is to be justifed, he should have no reason
to complain against it. It is always open to him to mould the
Karma which is in the course of making in any way he l i kes.
Under the security of the changeless law of cause and efect a man
can serenely procee to achieve anything he desires to accompl ish.
Sooner or l ater he is sure to succeed in his well-directed eforts. In
nature nothing i s lost."
Karma i s Jada. There must b a dispenser to allot the fuits for
the thoughts and actions of Jivas. An overseer knows how much
wages are to be given to various workers in the contract-work
according to the abil ity and nature of work tured out by the
coolies. Even so, the Lord of the universe knows the actions and
moti ves of the Jivas and accordingly al lots fruits for their actions.
CHAPTER EIGHT
OBSTACLES I N YOGA
Moha-Attachment
Moha i s one of the greatest obstacles for the spiritual aspirants.
Moha is i nfatuated love for one' s own body, wi fe, chi ldren, father,
mother, brothers, si sters and property. Mi nd al ways gets attached
to one form or other. When i t i s taken from one form, i t cl i ngs to
another form. No one is free from some ki nd of attachment. Aaskti
(attachment), Kamana ( l ongi ng), Raga (attracti on) and preference
|o certai n thi ngs are the various methods by whi ch this great
power Moha bi nds the Ji va to the Samsara-Chakra. A ran i s
attached t o ri ce. He has a l ongi ng for eati ng rice when he has
gi ven up rice on account of his diabetes. This is Kamana. If rice
and bread are served, a Bengal i or a Madrasi wi l l certai nl y have
preference for rice. Thi s also you should gi ve up i f you want to
destroy Moha. Moha is the greatest weapon of Maya. Mysterious
i s Maya. Mysteri ous is Moha. Moha i s a ki nd of powerIul l i qu
?
r
that bri ngs i ntoxication i n the twi nkl i ng of an eye.
You woul d have never come i nto thi s world, had it not been for
the i nfl uence of Moha. The first attachment starts wi th this
physi cal body. Then al l other attachments crop up. Then comes the
rel ati onshi p of father, mother, brother, si ster; wi fe, son, etc. One
may have attachment to a pl ace, person or object. Wherever there
is attachment, there is the i dea of Mamata (mi neness). Attachment
is a sort of very strong gl ue that bi nds the mi nd wi th the sensual
objects. Why does the mi nd get attached to objects or persons?
Because it fi nds pleasure i n them. Wherever there i s pl easure, the
mi nd gets attached there.
Attachment i s the root cause for human suferi ngs. It is the
product of. Avi dya. It is a modification of nescience. The husband
weeps on the death of his wi fe, because he i s attached to the
physi cal body of hi s wi fe. The wi fe weeps on the death of her
husband, not because of pure l ove for hi m, but because she coul d
not get now any sexual pl easure and other comforts which she had
when he was al i ve. Infatuated l ove, del usi on and fear are the
ol d-standi ng associ ates of attachment. The cause of fear i s the
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
attachment to this physical body and property. Attachment and fear
are i nseparable. They are l i ke fire and heat.
You are not at all affected when one says. "That house is on
fire. The horse is dead." Because there is nei ther attachment nor
identification here. But if one says: "The house of Mr.
Ramnarayan is on fire; The horse of Ganga Shankar i s dead," at
once the hearts of these people are affected si nce they have got
identifcation or attachment wi th the house or horse. It i s this ki nd
of attachment that bri ngs sorrow.
Paramahamsa Sannyasi ns al ways wander about. They should
not stay for more than three days i n a pl ace. The main object i n
this discipl i ne i s to cut of attachment. By l ong stay i n one pl ace,
Raga and Dvesha wi l l gradual l y develop. Real renunciation
consists i n renounci ng the idea: 'I am the body.' Real renunciation
consi sts i n abandoni ng the attachment for this body. Sarva Sanga
Porityago--Gi vi ng up al l sorts of attachments" is the key for
attaining the bl i ss of Atman. It does not mean that one shoul d
reti re i nto the forest. Si khidhvaja sti l l had attachment to hi s body
and Kamandalu though he l i ved in forest, whereas hi s wi fe Queen
Chudal a was absol utely free from any sort of attachment

even
though she ruled a domi ni on.
Thousands .of wi dows from Bengal and Madras are stayi ng i n
Benares wi th the i dea that they wi l l get Mukti i f they die i n
Benares. But thei r mi nds are fxed on thei r grandchi l dren. They
are attached to the huge bundles of cow-dung cakes which they
have accumul ated i n the backyard of their houses for starting fi re.
Some people are attached to pal try things such as notebooks,
books, wal ki ng sticks, pictures and smal l handkerchi efs. The
friendship of several years comes- to a termination i f Mr. Rajan
fai l s to return a smal l book which he borrowed from Seshu. Fi ght

ensues. I t begi ns wi th a showeri ng of hot words and abuses. They


do not tal k and see each other from that moment. Ladies fght for
li ttle things, as they have great attachment for meagre thi ngs al so.
In Madras a boy was accidently drowned i n a tank. Hi s mother
who was nearby and who had an i ntense attachment to her onl y
son, i mmedi atel y j umped i nto the tank and drowned hersel f. Her
husband was very much attached to his wi fe
.
and chi l d. He al so
jumped and drowned hi msel f. I nstances l i ke these dai l y occur i n
vari ous parts of the world. Several people become nervous and get
shocks when they lose the thi ngs to whi ch they are attached very
much. Such is the havoc done by the power of attachment. If a
1 22 PRACTICE OF YOGA
man recei ves a telegram that hi s onl y son is dead, he gets a shock
and fai nts. Some people i mmedi atel y die when they hear such
news.

Look at the Moha of monkeys. If the baby monkey dies, the


mother-monkey wi l l carry the dead body for one or two months
even. Such i s the great power of Moha. Cows have great Moha for
thei r cal ves .
.
Moha wi I I not spare even Sannyasi ns who have renounced
everythi ng. Moha troubled even Sri Sankara. He had t
o
attend the
si ck bed and funeral of hi s mother, though he was a S<nnyasi n.
The great sai nt Patti nathuswami says at the funeral of hi s mother:
"There was at frst fire at Tri pura: then at Lanka (Ceyl on). Now
there is fire in my stomach caused by the death of my mother. Let
me al so apply fre to this corpse of my mother." Sannyasins get
sl owl y attached to their Ashrams and disciples. This is more
di Ifi cul | for eradicati on. This attachment i s stronger than the
attachment of worl dl y persons. Many are attached to their
Kamandal us and sticks and small tumblers. Even at the ti me of
death they entertain thoughts of petty articl es. The mi nd i s so
framed that i t sticks to the ol d ruts and grooves. It demands drastic
and ri gorous di sci pl i ne and Sadhana to get rid of al l sorts of
attachment . One has to struggle hard to destroy Moha.
I t is Moha that bri ngs us agai n to this Mrityu-loka. The seed of
attachment i s i ngrained i n the subconscious mi nd. The mind tries
its l evel best to get attached to some form or other. It cannot
remai n wi thout cl i ngi ng to one form. I t l eaves one form and
i mmedi atel y cl i ngs to another form. Thi s i s i ts Svabhava. This i s
due to the qual ity of Rajas. If Rajas i s eradcated, al l attachments
wi l l die by themsel ves. One shoul d always be on the alert to detect
the subtl e worki ngs of Moha.
Moha creates del usi on and perverted i ntel lect. Through the
force of Maya, you mi stake the unreal , di rty body for the real,
pure Atman. You take the unreal worl d as a sol i d real i ty. These are
the functi ons of Moha. You never wept when mi l l ions died i n the
Great War. But you weep bi tterly when your wife is dead. Why?
Because you have Moha for her. Moha creates the idea
of
' mi nene s. ' Therefore you say. "My wife, my son, my horse, my
house. " Thi s i s bondage. This i s death.
You wi l l have to trai n your mi nd dai l y in all deal i ngs and
acti ons. Do not get attached to your wi fe, chi l dren and property.
The worl d is l i ke a publ i c i nn. People are uni ted for sometime and
OBSTACLES IN YOGA 1 23
they are separated i n a short time. Turn the mi nd towards God and
do dai l y 1apa and meditation. Study books on Vedanta and
Bhartri hari Vai ragya Satakam. The seeds of Moha are i ngrained i n
the subconscious mi nd. You have t o obl i terate or fry up al l these
seeds through ri ght thi nki ng and Vichara. You wi l l havc to cut al l
these i l l usory attachments through the sword of Vairagya
(non-attachment). Gi ta says: "Asangasastrena dridhena chittva
Cut this tree of Maya with the sword of non-attachment. " Develop
internal Vai ragya by understandi ng the i l l usory nature of thi s
world. Remember the pai ns of this Samsara, birth, death, ol d age,
disease and mi series of this world. Place before the mi nd the
glorious l i fe in Atman and the i mmense bl i ss of a spiritual l i fe.
Remember the sai nts, sages and Yogi ns. Get i nspiration from
them.
Learn to discri mi nate between the real and the unreal . Have no
inti matc connection with anybody. Lead a l ife of non-attachment
in thi s world. The man who has no attachment to this world i s the
most happy man. He is God Hi mself. Do not bother a bit when
you lose l i ttle things. Thi nk al ways that the peri shable objects are
worthless. Repeat the formul as mental l y several t i mes: "Al l
objects are Vishtavat ( l i ke dung). Al l objects are Vishavat ( l i ke
poi son)." You can destroy Moha if you mental l y repeat i n al l
ci rcumstances. "Even t hi s wi l l pass away."
Moha bri ngs mani fold mi series, bondage, discord and rupture.
Moha is your dreadful enemy. It i s real death. Non-attachment
raises you to Godhead, l i fts you up to the lofty heights of
Brahman. Non-attachment bri ngs unal loyed bl i ss, eteral l i fe,
freedom, independence, perfection, concord and harmony.
Moha i s the greatest of all obstacl es. Al l other obstacles i n the
practice of Yoga emanate from this Moha. If you can gradual l y
destroy thi s, then the whol e spiritual Sadhana and Self-real i sation
is very, very easy. We can even say that the whole spiri tual
Sadhana is i ntended for destroyi ng this dreadful enemy .

Poor Health
God-reali sation is not possi bl e wi thout Sadhana. Spi ri tual
practice is not possi bl c wi thout good heal th. A si ckl y, di l api dated
body stands in the way of Yoga-Abhyasa. The aspirant should try
hi s level best to keep good health al ways by regular exercise,
Asana, Pranayama, moderation in diet, wal ki ng, runni ng in open
air, regul arity in hi s work, meal s, sleep, etc. He should avoid
druggi ng as much as possi bl e. He must take recourse to nature' s
1 24 PRACTICE OF YOGA
cure, such as fresh ai r, whol esome food, cold bath, dietetic
adjustment. He shoul d al ways keep up a cheerful attitude of mi nd
undcr al l conditions of l i fe. Cheerful ness is a powerful mental
toni c. There is i nti mate connection between body and
,
mi nd. If
mi nd i s cheerful , the body also i s healthy. That i s the reason why
doctors now prescribe l aughi ng three times dai l y i n the treatment
of di seases.
Some fool i sh aspirants refuse to take medicine when they are
ai l i ng seri ousl y. They say. "!t is Prarabdha. We shoul d not go
agai nst Prarabdha. Tmi ng medi ci ne i s agai nst the wi l l of God.
Body is Mi thya. If I take medi ci ne, it wi l l i ncrease Deha-Adhyasa
and body-i dea. Thi s is a fool i sh phi l osophy. Take medi ci ne. Do
Purushartha. Leave the results to Prarabdha. Thi s is wi sdom. These
fool i sh people unnecessari l y torture the body, al l ow the disease to
take a deep root and spoi l their heal th. They cannot do any
Sadhana. They rui n this i nstrument by wrong conception of
Vedanta. Vcdanta says. "Have no attachment for this body. But
keep it cl ean. strong and healthy for constant, ri gid Sadhana. Thi s
body i s a boat to cross over to the o|her shore of I mmortal i ty. It i s
the horse to take you to the desti nati on. Feed the horse wel l but
gi ve up ' mi neness. ` When you are i l l , take some medicine for a
couple of days, ti de over the difi cul ties in a few days and start
agui n the Sadhana qui ckl y. Do not al l ow the di sease to assume a
gravc form, and m

ke i t chroni c and i ncurabl e.


Impure and Immoderate Food
Mi nd is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. If the food i s
i mpure, the mi nd al so becomes i mpure. This i s the dictum of sages
and psychol ogi sts. Food pl ays an i mportant part i n the evol ution of
the mi nd. l t has di rect i nfluence on the mi nd. Meat, fi sh, eggs,
stale unwhol esome food, oni ons, garl i c, etc. , shoul d be avoi ded by
spi ri tual practiti oners, as these thi ngs exci te passion and anger.
The food shoul d be si mpl e, bl and, l i ght, whol esome and nutritious.
Li quors and narcotics shoul d be strictly abandoned. Chi l l i es,
condi ments, p| ced di shes, pungent stuff and food that i s too sour
and sweet must be rejected.
l n the Gi |a you wi l l li nd: "The foods that augment vi tal i ty,
energy, vi gour, heal th, joy and cheerful ness, del i ci ous, bl and,
substanti al and agreeabl e, are dear to the pure." Aspirants should
not overload the stomach. Ni nety per cent of di seases take their
ori gi n in i mmoderation of diet. People have devel oped a strong
habit of eat i ng more food than what is actual l y necessary. This is a
OBSTACLES IN YOGA 1 25
habit from thei r very boyhood. I ndian mothers stuff their chi l dren
with too much food. Thi s is not the way of caressi ng and lovi ng
thei r chi l dren. Overloadi ng bri ngs drowsi ness and sl eep
immediately. If there is no hunger, you must not take any food.
The night mea|s shoul d be very l i ght for Sadhakas. Half a seer of
mi | k with one or two pl antains i s qui te sufficient.
Infuence of Tamas
Tamas is another obstacl e. A microscopic mi nority onl y are fit
for wholc-ti med meditati on. People l i ke Sadasiva Brahman and Sri
Sankara can spend the whole time i n meditation. Many Sadhus
who take to Ni vritti-Marga (the path of renunciation) have become
completely Tamasic. Tamas is mi staken for Sattva. This is a great
b| under. ne can evol ve beautiful l y by doing Karma Yoga in the
wor|d if he knows how to spend hi s time profitably. A householder
shou| d seek the advice of Sannyasi ns and Mahatmas from ti me to
ti me, draw a dai l y routine and adhere to it strictl y ami dst worl dl y
acti vi ties. Raj as can be converted i nto Sattva. Intense Rajas takes a
Sattvic turn. It is i mpossi bl e to convert Tamas al l on a sudden i nto
Sattva. Tamas shoul d fi rst b turned i nto Rajas.
Young Sadhus who take to Ni vritti -Marga do not stick to any
routi ne. They do not hear the words of elders. They do not obey
the orders of the Guru. They want absolute i ndependencc from the
very begi nni ng. They lead a happy-go-l ucky l ife. There is no one
to check. They have their own ways. They do not know how to
regu| ate the energy and how to chalk out a dai l y programme. They
ai mlessl y wander about from pl ace to pl ace. They become Tamasi c
within si x months . They si t for half an hour i n some Asana and
i magine |hat they are having Samadhi . They i magi ne to be real i sed
soul s. If an aspirant who has taken to Ni vritti-Marga fi nds that he
i s not evol vi ng, that he i s not i mprovi ng in meditation, that he i s
going into Tamasic state, he should at once take up some ki nd of
service for some years and work vi gorousl y. He should combi ne
work along wi th meditation. Thi s is wi sdom. Thi s i s prudence.
This is sagacity. Then he should go in for Secl usi on. One should
use hi s commonsense al l throughout hi s Sadhana. It i s very
difficul t to get out of Tamasi c state. A Sadhaka should be very
cautious. When

Tamas tries to overtake hi m, he should
i mmediately do some sort of bri sk work. He can run in the open
air, draw water from wel l s, etc. He should drive it of by some
intel l igent means or other.
Al asya, Tandri and Ni dra are the products of Tamas. Al asya i
1 26 PRACTICE OF YOGA
lazi ness. Tandri is half-sl eepy state. Ni dra is sleep. These three are
great obstacles i n the path of real i sati on. Sleep i s a powerful force
of Maya. It is Nidra-Sakti . You

wi l l be i magi ni ng that you are
meditati ng. The mi nd wi l l i mmediately run through the old
grooves, i nto the Mul a-Ajnana for resting i n the twi nkl i ng of an
eye. You wi l l be doubti ng i f it is sleep or meditation. Sleep is the
greatest obstacle as it is very powerful . Even though a Sadhaka i s
very careful and vi gi l ant, sl eep overpowers hrm somehow or other.
This is a very strong habi t. It takes ti me and demands great
strength of wi l l to destroy this ol d habit.
A| una i s cal l ed Gudakesa or conqueror of sl eep. Lord Krishna
addresses hi m. "0 Gudakesa." Lakshmana also had mastery over
sl eep. Besi des these two persons, we have not heard of anyone
who has conquered hi s sleep. There are people who have reduced
the sl eep to two or three hours. Even Yogi ns and Jnani ns sleep for
two or three hours. Sl eep i s a psychol ogical phenomenon. Brain
needs rest at l east for a short time. Otherwise man feel s drowsy
and tired. He can neither work nor

meditate. The sl eep of a Jnani
is different from the sl eep of a worldly man. In a Jnani the
powerful Samskaras of Brahma-Abhyasa are there. It is somethi ng
aki n to Brahma-Ni shta. One should be careful in reduci ng hi s
sleep. It shoul d be done gradual l y. Go to bed at I 0.00 p. m. and get
up at 3. 30 a. m. Gradual ly reduce half an hour in each month.
Sadhakas can gain time for their Sadhana by reduci ng sl eep.
The practice of reduci ng sleep wi l l be very troublesome in the
begi nni ng. When the habi ts are changed; it wi l l be pleasant. When
drowsi ness. tries to mani fest, stand up and do Japa. Dash cold
water on the face and head. Take mi l k and frui ts only at night.
Avoid overl oadi ng the stomach at night. Take the ni ght meals
before sunset. Do I 0 to 20 Pranayamas just before starti ng
medi tati on. Do Si rshasana and Sarvangasana. Run for ve mi nutes
in your compound. Drowsi ness and sl eep wi l l vanish. Aspi rants do
meditation i n the morni ng for one hour from 4. 0 to 5.00 a. m.
Then they are overpowered by sleep. They begi n to sleep again
after 5. 00 a. m. Thi s i s a general compl ai nt. Do 1 0 to 20
Pranayamas. Do some Asanas for a few mi nutes. Again you wi l l
be fresh for meditati on. Use your commonsense al ways. The old
habit may recur agai n and agai n. Tear i t also agai n and again by
sui table practices and strength of wi l l . Asana, Pranayama, brisk
wal k, Mi tahara, Satsanga, Japa and Dhyana are the active means
for removi ng Al asya, Tandri and Ni dra.
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
1 27
Aspirants get moods of depression occasi onal ly. These moods
may be due to i ndigesti on, cl oudy weather, i nIluence of Tamas or
lower astral entities or revi val of old Samskaras 1rom withi n. Fi nd
out the cause and remove i t by sui table Sadhana. Do not allow
depression to overpower you. I mmediatel y take a bri sk, l ong wal k.
Run i n the open air. Si ng di vi ne songs. Chant OM l oudl y for half
an hour. Wal k al ong the seashore or riverside. Pl ay on the
harmoni um i f you know the art. Do some Pranayamas. Dri nk a
smal l cup of orange-j uice or hot tea or l i ght coffee. Read some of
the el evati ng portions of Avadhuta Gi ta or the Upani shads .
Doubt
The aspirants begi n to doubt whether God exi sts or not, whether
he w

i l l succeed in his God-real i sation or not, whether he is doi ng


hs practices ri ghtly or not. This is a dangerous obstacle in the
spiritual path. The student sl ackens his eforts when these doubts
crop up. Maya is very powerful . It mi sl eads people through
doubti ng and forgetful ness. Mi nd del udes people through
doubti ng. Sometimes he gi ves up his Sadhana al together. Jhis is a
serious mi stake. Whenever doubt tries to overpower the Sadhaka,
he should at once take recourse to the company of Mahatmas anq
reman with them for some time under the i nfluence of their
currents. He should cl ear his doubts by conversing wi th them.
Vishaya-Asakti
This is the greatest of all obstacles. The mi nd refuses to leave
completely the sensual pl easures. Through the force of Vairagya
and meditation, the desi res get suppressed for some ti me. Al l on a
sudden the mi nd thi nks of sensual pl easures through the force of
habit and mcmory. There arises mental disturbance. The mi nd
moves outwards i n sensual objects. I n Gita Lord Kri shna says:
"The excited senses of even a wise man, though he be stri vi ng
i mpetuousl y carry away his mi nd. "

Some desires. l urk i n the corners

of the mi nd. Just as ol d dirt
from the corners of the room comes out when you sweep, so al so
through the pressure of Yogic practices, these ol d l urki ng desi res
come out to the surface of the mi nd wi th redoubled force. The
Sadhaka should be very careful . He shoul d be ever watchi ng the
mi nd vi gi l antly. He must ni p the desires i n the bud by developi ng
hi s Vairagya, Viveka and i ncreasi ng the period of 1apa and
meditation. He must observe Akhanda Mauna and do vi gorous
meditation and Pranayama. He shoul d l i ve on mi l k and fruits for
40 days. He should observe fas on Ekadasi days. He should give
1 28 PRACTICE OF YOGA
up mi xi ng with anybody completely. He should never come out of
the room. He should pl unge hi mself deep i n hi s Sadhana. Kashaya
means hi dden Vasanas. Thi s comes under the category of
Vi shaya-Asakt i . Worldly ambition of al l sorts can be incl uded
under this headi ng. Ambi ti on makes the mi nd very restless. Man
shou| d have the one l audable ambition of getting Self-real isati on.
Manorajya
Manoraj ya i s bui l di ng castles in the air. This is a tri ck of thc
mi nd. Look at this wonder. Thc aspirant is meditati ng i n an
i solated cave in the Hi malayas. He plans in the cave: "After
fi ni shi ng my meditation, I must move about in San Francisco and
New York and del i ver lectures there. I must start a centrc of
spi ri tual acti vi ty in Col umbi a. I must do somethi ng new to the
worl d. I must do somethi ng whi ch no one has done up to this
ti me. ' ` This i s ambition. This is egoi sti c i magi nati on. This i s a
great obstacl e. Thi s wi | l not al l ow the mi nd to rest even for a
second. Agai n and again there wi l l be resurrection of some
scheme, specu| ation or pl an. The aspirant wi l l be thi nki ng that he
is having deep meditation, but if he closel y watches hi s mi nd
through i ntrospection and self-analysis, it wi l l be a pure case of
bui l di ng castles i n the ai r. One Manorajya wi l l subside and another
wi l | crop up in |he twi nkl i ng of an eye. It wi l l be a smal l Sankalpa
or ripple i n the mi nd-l ake. But i t wi l l gai n tremendous force wi thi n
a few mi nutes by repeated thi nki ng. The power of i magination i s
tremendous . Maya havocs through the power of i magination.
I magi nati on fattens the mi nd. The power of i magi nation wi l l not
a| | ow the mi nd to keep qui et even for a second. Just as swarms
of l ocusts or fl i es come forth i n a conti nuous stream, so also
currents of Manorajya wi l l stream forth i ncessantly. Vichara,
di scri mi nati on, prayer, Japa, Pranayama, Dhyana, Satsanga,
fasti ng, etc. , wi l l obvi ate thi s obstacl e. Pranayama checks the
vel oci ty of the mi nd. It cal ms the bubbl i ng mi nd. A young
ambi ti ous man i s unfi t to rema| n in a sol i tary cave. He who has
?one some ki nd of Sadhana in control l i ng the mi nd, can remai n
| n a cave.
Dilly-dallying
(AIMLESS WANDERI NG)
Some aspirants have got a habit of wandering ai mlessly. They
cannot stick to one pl ace even for a week. The wandering habit
must be checked. They want to see new pl aces, new faces and
OBSTACLES IN YOGA 1 29
want to tal k wi th new peopl e. A rol l i ng stone gathers no moss. A
Sadhaka should stick to one pl ace at l east for a period of twelve
years. If hi s hea|th i s del icate, he can stay for six months in one
pl ace duri ng summer and rai ny season and i n another pl ace for six
months during wi nter. Duri ng win!cr he can stay either at Rajpur
(Dehra Dun) or at Ri shi kesh. Duri ng summer he can go to
Badrinath or Uttarakasi . Sadhana sufers if one wanders constantly.
Those who want to do rigorous Tapas (austerity) must stay in one
place. Too much wal ki ng produces weakness and fatigue. It causes
Vikshepa.
Shilly -sh
.
allying
(VI KSHEPA)
There are three Doshas in the mi nd, vi z. , Mala, Vikshepa and
Avarana. Shi l l y-shal l yi ng is Vikshepa or mental osci l l ation. If you
remove the osci l lations of the mi nd, you get one-pointedness or
Ekagrata. Ekagrata is a thi ng unknown to many. Max Muel ler
wri|es. "It is i mpossi bl e for us (Westerners), when our mi nds are
di verted i n various di recti ons through newspapers, telegrams,
postal communi cations, etc." Ekagrata

i s an i ndi spensable
condition in all rel i gious and phil osophical specul ations, and i n
Nididhyasana.
"Vyadhi-styana-samsaya-pramada-alasya avirati-bhranti-
darsana-alabdha-bhumikatva-anavasthitatvani chitta-vikshepaste
antara,ahDi sease, mental i nact| vi ty, doubt, i ndi ference,
laziness, the tendency to go after sense-enjoymcnts, stupor, fal se
perception, non-attai ni ng concentration, and fal l i ng away from that
when attained on account of restlessness, are the obstructing
distracti ons" (Patanj al i Yoga Sutras, I-30).
Destroy all subtle and gross desires by constant efforts and
Vichara. Remove Vikshepa through Upasana, Yoga, Trataka and
Pranayama.
.
Vikshepa is tossi ng or osci l l ation of mi nd. This is an ol d habit
of mind. All Sadhakas general l y compl ai n of this troubl e. The
mi nd never stays at a fi xed poi nt for a l ong ti me. It jumps hi ther
and thither l i ke a monkey. It i s al ways restless. This i s due to the
force of Rajas. Whenever Sri Jeya Day

l Goenka came to me for


an i |terview he used to put al ways two questi ons : Swamij i , what
is the remedy

to control sl eep? How to remove Vikshepa? Gi ve
me an easy and efecti ve method." My answer was: "Take l i ght
diet at ni ght. Do Si rshasana and Pranayama. Have deep
1 30 PRACTICE OF YOGA
meditation. Sl eep can be conquered. Trataka, Upasana and
Pranayama wi l l remove Vi kshepa." Patanjal i Maharshi prescribes
|ranayama for destroyi ng Rajas whi ch i nduces Vikshepa and for
getti ng one-poi nted mi nd.
I n the Gi ta ( VI-24 to 2), Lord Krishna prescribes a Sadhana
for removi ng Vi kshepa. It is the method of Pratyahara and
Dharana. Trataka is an effecti ve method i n destroyi ng Vikshepa.
Practise this for half an hour on a picture of Lord Kri shna or on a
bl ack point. I nstructions on the practice of Trataka are gi ven
el sewhere i n this book.
Evil Company
The effects of evi l company are hi ghl y disastrous. The aspirant
shoul d shun al l sorts of evi l company. The mi nd is fi l l ed with bad
i deas by contact wi th evi l compani ons. The l i ttle fai th they have i n
Cod and scri ptures wi l l vani sh. A man i s knoWn by the company
he keeps. 1 us| as a nurs

ry is to be wel l -fenced in the begi nni ng


for prxtection agai nst cows, etc. , so al so a ncophyte shoul d protect
hi mself very careful l y from evi l i nfl uences from without.
Otherwise he i s rui ned total l y. The company of those who speak
Ii es, who commi t adul tery, theft, cheating, double-deal i ng, who are
greedy, who i ndulge in idl e tal ks, backbi |i ng, talebeari ng, who
have no faith i n God and in the scri ptures etc. , should be stri c|ly
avoi ded. The company of women and of those who associ ate with
women is dangerous for a Sadhaka.
Bad surroundings, obscene pictures, vulgar songs, novels that
deal wi|h l ove, ci nemas, theatres, the sight of pairi ng of animals,
words which gi ve rise to bad i deas i n the mi nd, in short, anything
that causes evi l thoughts in the mi nd can be termed as evi l
company.
The So-called Friends
The so-cal l ed friends are your real enemies. You cannot fi nd
even a si ngl e, unsel fi sh friend i n thi s uni verse. Your real fri end in
need who attends on you si ncerel y is God, the lndwel l er of your
heart. Worl dl y friends come to you to get money and other

comforts when you are rol l i ng i n Rol l s Royce, when you have got
pl en|y of money. When you are i n adverse circumstances no one
wi l l care to l ook at you. Even your sons and wife wi l l forsake you.
1his worl d is ful l of avarice, hypocrisy, doubl e-deal i ng, flattery,
untruth, cheating and selfi shness. Be careful . Friends come to have
idl e tal ks wi th you and they waste your t me. They want to pul l
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
1 3 1
you down and make you a| so wor|dly. They wi l l say: "Dear ! what
are you doing? Earn as much money

as possi bl e. Li ve comfortably
now. Eat, dri nk and be merry. Let us go to tal kies. Today there i s a
good new American Hol l ywood production runni ng at the Royal
thcatre. There i s a beautiful American dance. Who knows about
the future? Where is God? Where i s heaven? There i s no rebi rth.
There i s no Mukti . I t i s al l gup and gossip of pundits. Enjoy now.
Why do you fast? There is nothi ng beyond thi s world. Give up al l
Sadhana and meditati on. You are wasting your time. " You wi l l get
such sorts of advice from your worldly friends. Do not be carried
away by the flowery speech of such friends. CuI off al l
connections ruthl essl y. Do not tal k to any of your friends, howcver
si ncere they may b. Hide yourself al ways. Li ve alone at al l times.
Trust i n that i mmortal Friend, who dwel l s i n your heart. Then
alone you are perfectly safe. He wi l l gi ve you whatever you want.
Hear Hi s sweet counsel from within with one-pointed mi nd and
fol l ow.
Jilly-jallying
(LI NGUAL DI ARRHOEA)
Too much tal ki ng i s Ji l l y-j al lyi ng. I f a man tal ks too much, he
suffers from di arrhoea of the tongue. There are persons who tal k i n
a speed of fi ve hundred words per second. There i s an electric
tal ki ng dynamo in their tongues. They are restless peopl e. If you
lock these people for a day in a soli tary-room, they wi l l die. Much
energy is wasted by too much tal ki ng. The energy that is spent i n
tal ki ng must be conserved and uti l i sed for di vi ne contempl ation.
1he Vak-Indriya distrats the mi nd considerably and retards
spiritual progress. A tal kati ve man cannot dream of having peace
even for a short time.
This is another obstacle for the aspirants. By observance of
Mauna, you shoul d gradual l y di mi ni sh the habit of tal ki ng. Japa,
meditation, study and soli tude are the efecti ve means to remove
this obstacl e.
Name

and Fame
{ KI RTI AND PRATI SHTHA)
One can renounce even wife, son, property, etc. , but it i s
difficul t t o renounce name and fame. Prati shtha i s establ i shed
name and Iame. Tbi s i s a great obstacle in the path of
God-real i sation. This brings downfal l in the end. This dos not
al low the aspirant to march forward in the spiritual path. He
PRACTICE OF YOGA
becomes a sl ave of respect and honour. As soon as the aspirant
gets some purity and ethical progress, ignorant people flock to him
and pay homage and sal utati ons. The aspirant gets puffed up with
pride. He thi nks that he is a great Mahatma now. He becomes
eventual l y a sl ave of hi s admirers. He cannot notice hi s slow
downfal l . The moment he mixes up freely with householders, he
l oses what l i ttl e he has gai ned during his Tapas of eight or ten
years. He cannot i nfluence the publ i c now and bri ng spiritual good
to the publ i c. The admi rers al so wi l l l eave hi m in the end because
they do not find any sol ace, peace or spiriIual i nfl uence in hi s
company.
The people i magi ne that the Mahatma has got Si ddhis and they
can get chi l dren, weal th and remedy for removal of diseases
through his grace. They al ways approach a Sadhu wi th various
moti ves. The aspirant through bad association l oses his Vairagya
and Viveka. Attachment and desires wi l l crop up. Therefore an
aspirant shoul d hide hi mself al ways. Nobody shoul d know what
sort of Sadhana he i s doi ng. He shoul d never attempt to exhi bi t
any Si ddhi . He shoul d be very humbl e. He shoul d pass for qui te

an ordinary man. He shoul d not accept any rich present from
househol ders. He wi l l be affected by the bad thoughts of those
who offer presents. He should treat respect, honour, name and
fame as dung or poi son. He shoul d wear disrespect and dishonour
as a golden neckl ace. Then onl y he wi l l reach the goal safel y.
Bui l di ng of Ashrams and i ni ti ati ng di scipl es bring about the
downfal l of the aspirant as they bri ng name and fame. They are
al so stumbl i ng bl ocks i n the path of God-real i sation. The aspi rant
becomes another sort of househol der . He develops i nstitutional
cgoi sm. He gets attached to the Ashram and disciples. He has the
same cares, worries and anxiety for runni ng the Ashram, pri nting a
magazine and feedi ng hi s disciples. He devel ops sl ave-mentality
and weak wi l l . Thoughts of the Ashram revolve in hi s mind when
he is i n a dyi ng condition. Some Ashrams are nicel y conducted by
their ` spi ritual heads' whi l e they are al i ve. When they pass away,
the discipl es who are petty-mi nded fi ght amongst themsel ves.
Cases are fi l ed i n courts. Ashrams become fi ghti ng centres
aherwards. Ashram owners have to flatter the donors and have to
appeal for the funds very often. How can thoughts of God remain
i n their mi nds, when they have thei r mi nds fixed in col l ection of
moncy and developi ng the Ashrams? Those who have started the
Ashrams may say now: "We are

doi ng good to the people i n
OBSTACLES I YOGA
1 33
various ways. We are havi ng rel i gi ous cl asses dai ly. We feed the
poor peopl e. We are gi vi ng free education to poor boys. ` These
acti vi ti es may be purel y for name and fame. Even i f they do not
have this desi re in the begi nni ng, gradual l y they wi l l get name and
fam
e
. They wi l l ignore their Sadhana and forget the goal-
God-reali sati on. Aspirants shoul d ruthlessly shun name and fame.
Irregularity and Cessation of Sadhana
This is al so a great obstacle in the path of real isation. Just as
you are regul ar i n taki ng your food so also you must be very
regul ar i n your Sadhana. You must chal k out a dai l y routine
(Di nacharya) and fol l ow i t regul arly. Irregul arity in Sadhana
. cannot produce the desi red resul t. Leniency to the mi nd wi l l upset
|he whole programme. You must be regul ar in your Sadhana wi th
asi ni ne patience, adamantine wi l l , firm determi nation and
unshakable fai th. Then success is certai n.
General l y the Sad

aka is very enthusi asti c i n hi s Sadhana i n t


q
e
begi nni ng. He is ful l of zeal . He takes a great deal of i nterest. He
expects to get some resul ts. When he does not get any resul t, he
gets discouraged. He l oses his i nterest i n his Abhyasa and sl ackens
his cfforts . He gi ves up his Sadhana completely. He loses hi s faith
in the efIi cacy of the Sadhana. Sometimes the mind gets disgusted
with one parti cul ar ki nd of Sadhana. Just as mi nd wants some
variety i n food and other thi ngs, so al so it wants variety i n the
mode of Sadhana also. It rebels agai nst monotonous practice. The
aspirant should know how to coax the mind on such occasions and
to extract work from i t by a l i ttle relaxation of mi nd. The cessation
of Sadhana is a grave mi stake. Evil thoughts wi l l be ever waiti ng
to re-cnter the gates of the mental factory. I the aspirant stops hi s
Sadhana, hi s mi nd wi l l be a Satan's workshop. Do not expect
anythi ng. Be si ncere and regul ar in your dai l y routine, medi tation
and Tapas. The Sadhana wi l l take care of itself. Spiritual practices
should never be gi ven up under any ci rcumstance. Stop not (the
Sadhana) ti l l the Goal is reached.
The Sadhaka gets some experience duri ng the course of hi s
Sadhana. He sees wonderful vi si ons of Kishis, Mahatmas, astral
entities of various descri pti ons, etc. He hears various melodious
Anuhata-sounds. He smells Di vya Gandha (divine odour). He gets
the powers of thought-readi ng, foretel l i ng, etc. He fool i shl y
imagi ne: now that he has reached the highest goal and stops hi s
further Sadhana. This i s al so a serious mi stake. He gets fal se
Tushti or sati sfaction. Vi si ons and Anahatasounds are al l
PRACTICE OF YOGA
auspi cious si gns that mani fest on account of a l i ttle purity and
concentrati on. These are al l encouragements whi ch God gi ves as a
sort of i ncentive for further progress and i ntense Sadhana. The
aspirant gets

more strength of
.
convi ction by having these
experi ences. Thi s is not the Goal. Sadhana must be conti nued.
Rasasvada is another kind of experience. It i s bl i ss that comes
from lower Savi kal pa Samadhi . The Sadhaka who has experienced
thi s super-sensual bl i ss i magi nes that he has reached the fi nal
desti nation and gi ves up his Sadhana. Just as a man is not sati sfied
wi th the petty thi ngs he has found out just beneath the surface of
the ground and goes on di ggi ng the earth very deep to fi nd out the
most preci ous hi dden treasures and gems, so also the Sadhaka
shoul d not be sati sfied wi th Rasasvada but continue his Sadhana
t i l l he gets the unconditi oned Bhuma, the highest goal of l i fe. He
shoul d never be sati sfied wi th Al pa or lower experiences. He
shou| d compare his experiences wi th the hi ghest experiences of
sages that are described i n the Upani shads and fi nd out whether
they exactl y tal l y wi th them or not. He should exert ti l l he reaches
the eventh 1nana-Bhumi ka, ti l l he becomes a Brahma-varishtha.
He houl d struggle hard and conti nue Sadhana ti l l he gets the
inner feel i ng of. "Apta-Kama, Krita-Kritya, Prapta-prapya-1
have obtai ned al l desi res, I have done everythi ng, I know
everythi ng. There is nothi ng more to be known. Thcre is nothing
more to be obtai ned. "
.
Lack of a Preceptor
The spiritual path is thorny rugged and prect pt tous. It is
enveloped by darkness. The gui dance of a Guru who has already
trodden the path i s i mperati vely necessary. He wi l l be able to
|hrow li ght on the path and to remove the obstacles of the
Sadhuka. The knowl edge of the Sel f is revealed through
Parampara and handed down from Guru to the disciple in
successi on. Matsyendranath taught Brahma-Vidya to Ni vrittinath.
Ni vri tti nath guve the knowledge to 1nana Dev and so on.
Gaudapada i ni ti ated Govi ndapada i nto the mysteries of K

aivalya.
Govi ndapada i nstructed Sankaracharya. Sankaracharya i nstructed
Suresvaracharya and so on.
The spiri tual path is qui te a different l i ne al together. It is not
l i ke wri ti ng thesi s for M. A. exami nati on. The hel p of a teacher i s
necessary at cvery moment. Young aspirants become
self-suIficient, arrogant and self-assertive in these days. They do
not care to carry out the orders of a Guru. They do not wi sh to
OBSTACLES I YOGA
have a Guru. They want i ndependence fom the very begi nni ng.
They apply the Neti-Neti doctrine and Bhaga-Tyaga-Lakshana i n
selecting a Guru and decl are: "Na Gurur na Sishyah Chidanand
Rupah Sivoham Sivoham. " They thi nk that they are in the
Turiya-Avastha when they do not know even the ABC of
spirituality or truth. They mi stake l icentiousness or "having their
own ways and sweet wi l l " for freedom. This i s a serious,
l amentable mi stake. That i s the reason why they do not grow.
Jhey lose faith in the efficacy of Sadhana, and i n the existence of
God. They wander about i n a happy-go-l ucky manner wi thout any
ai m from Kashmi r to Gangotri and from Gangotri to Ramesvaram,
tal king some nonsense on the way, somethi ng from the
Vicharasagara, the Panchadasi and the Gita. They pose as
Jivanmuktas.
He who l i ves under the guidance of a Guru for a long t i me and
who carries out i mpl i ci tly the i nstructions of the Guru can real l y
i mprove i n the spiritual path. There i s no other way for spiritual
progress. As long as there i s world, there are spiritual teachers and
spiritual books. If you cannot get an i deal Guru, you can take as
your Guru any man who i s treading the path of reali sation for
some years, who is straightforward and honest, who i s selfless,
who is free from pride and egoi sm, who has good character and
knowledge of Sastras . Li ve wi th hi m for some time. Study hi m
careful ly. I f you are sati sfied; take hi m as your preceptor and
fol l ow his i nstructions strictly. After you have accepted him once
as your Guru, never suspect him and never find faul t wi th hi m. Do
not change the Guru al so very often. You wi l l be bewi l dered. You
wi l l get different conIli cti ng ideas. Everybody has got his own
Sadhana. You wi l l Ii nd no i mprovement if you change frequently
your method of Sadhana. Stick to one Guru and carry out his
instructi ons.
Fear
This l ittle ' I ' is the pivot on which fear, anger, del usion, desires,
ctc. , are revol ving from begi nni ngless ti me. There i s not the least
hope of getti ng rid of this fear, unless you completely root out thi s
| i ttle T which cl i ngs to the physical body of flesh and bone.
Fear is Maya' s decepti on. It i s a mental creation. It is
.

an
imaginary zero. It i s an effect of ignorance. It i s a Vri tti that
emanatcs from the Chi tta when one has lost his power of Vichara.
I t is a dark wave that proceeds from the ocean of Antahkarana
when one has i ntense attachment to the body. It is a Parinama of
1 36 PRACTICE OF YOGA
the mi nd when one i dentifies hi mself wi th the body and cal l s
hi mself: "I am Mr. So and so. " When t hi s l i ttle ' I' manifests, there
comes Moha. From this fear comes i n. Fear is the product of
Moha.
How can a man expect happi ness i n this world if he is a victim
of fear even though he i s a mul ti mi l l i onaire or

an emperor of thi s
whole world? Fear is a ki nd of fre that consumes man sl owly.
Some make no progress in l i fe becase of a hi dden fear. They do
not avail themsel ves of opportuni ties on account of some hi dden
fear, whi ch, if seized, wi l l lead to a much better and harmonious
l i fe.
Al most al l arc victims of fear. Some are afraid of disease,
i l l -heal th, loss of property, old age and death. Others fear that they
wi l l lose their posi ti on, prestige, respect, honour, rank

in l i fe, and
are afrai d of publ i c opi ni on, criti ci sm, di sgrace, calumny and
scandal . Those who have got a l eani ng mentality are very much
afraid when thei r dear rel ati ves are seri ously ai l i ng. Some fear that
poverty and di saster may come to them. There are some who are
afraid of even a cat at ni ght. When anybody taps the door at night,
some are al armed terri bl y. Maya wi l l never spare anybody from
fear.
The student has fear for hi s teacher. The mi nister has fear for
hi s ki ng. A woman i s afraid of her husband. One power i s afraid of
another power. A thief i s afrai d of the police. A banker is afrai d of
robbers. Even a very healthy, strOng man i s afaid o! some
i magi nary di seases. Even in dreams people are afficted wi th
terribl e fear. Just hear what Bhatrihari says:
"I n enj oyment, there is the fear of di sease; i n rank, the fear of
downfal l ; i n ri ches, the fear of adverse ki ngs; i n honour, the fear
of dishonour; i n power, the fear of enemies; in beauty, the fear of
ol d age; i n learni ng, the fear of opponents; i n righteousness, the
fear of sl anderers; and in body, the fear of death. There is fear i n
al l things of the world-but there i s no fear i n renunciation alone."
Fear drai ns the energy qui ckl y. It destroys the vital i ty. It
produces poverty of bl ood. It produces i ndi gesti on, headache and
debi l i ty. It paral yses the brai n and nerves. It makes one morose
and gl oomy. It retards growth, structure and nutrition. Extreme
fear bri ngs i mmediate deah by causi ng heart fai l ure. When one
meets a ti ger face to face in the forest, the body becomes ri gid and
paral ysed and the mi nd becomes l i ke a log of wood. Thi nki ng and
reasoni ng vani sh. The vi cti m becomes dumb.
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
One may not bc afrai d of the kni fe of a surgeon. One may
submit hi msel f fearlessl y to extraction of a strong tooth without
cocaine i njection or to any operation wi thout chloroform. One may
not have any fear for wi l d ani mals i n thick forests. He may move
about fearl essl y in thi ck jungl es. One may not be afrai d of the
machine-gun in the battlefi el d. He may fearlessl y expose his chest
to the bul lets. But such fearless people may be afraid of sl ight
public criti ci sm or sl ight disease or the si ght of a centi pede or a
snake.
Auto-suggestion wi l l hel p you a l ot i n removing fear. By
devel oping couragc you can destroy fear. Pray and make perfect
self-surrender. Have no attachment for this body. Cast i t off j ust
l i ke a snake throws away i ts sl ough. Make up your mi nd to gi ve
up the body at any moment. Become absol utel y fearless. Exhi bi t
courage aid manl i ness. Fearl essness i s one of the i mportant si gns
of a 1i vanmukta. How blessed are they who have victory over
fear ' How pcaceful and strong are they who have tri umph over
fright '
Anger
Anger is another chief obstacl e. It i s born of Rajas. It is the
gre

atest enemy of peace. It is a modification of l ust. When a desi re


is not gratified a man becomes angry. Hi s mi nd becomes confused.
He loses his memory and understanding. Resentment, i ndi gnation,
fury, wrath, irritation, etc. , are all varieties of anger according to
intensity. Control anger by the practice of Kshama, Dhairya, l ove
and absence of egoi sm. Dri nk a l i ttle water when you become
angry. It wi l l cool the brain and cal m the excited nerves. Repeat.
"Om Santih" several ti mes . Count twenty, one by one, sl owl y. By
the ti me you fi ni sh counti ng twcnty, anger wi l l subside. If you fnd
it extremel y di Ifi cul t to control anger, l eave the pl ace i mmediatel y
and take a long wal k for half an hour. Pray to God. Do 1apa.
Meditate. Meditation gi ves i mmense strength to destroy anger and
al l other obstacl es.
From Moha, Kama (passion, desi re) comes. From this, anger
manifests . From anger, all other evi l qual ities such as greed, pride,
jcalousy, hatred, prejudice, bi gotry, faul tfi ndi ng, backbi ti ng,
hypocrisy, , se| f-j ustification, etc. , emanate.
A man thirsts for name, fame and applause. A sub-j udge desires
|o bccome a Hi gh Court 1udge. A Sadhu wants to get psychic
powers. A Sannyasi n wants to open several Ashrams in different
centres. Al l these are only forms of greed. Di sl i ke, contempt,
PRACTICE OF YOGA
prej udice, sneering, taunti ng, redicul i ng, mocki ng, frowni ng,
showi ng wry faces, are al l forms of hatred. If the father disl i kes a
man, hi s sons and daughters al so begi n to hate that man without
any reason whatsoever. Such i s the power of hatred. An
Engl i shman hates an I ri shman; a Cathol i c hates a Protestant and a
Mohammedan hates a Hi ndu and vi ce versa. This is communal
hatred. A son fi l es a suit agai nst his own father. The wi fe di vorces
her husband. These are al l the mani festations of hatred havi ng
selfi sh moti ves at the back.
Hatred ceases not by hatred but by pure love onl y. It l urks in
di fferent corners. It needs i ntense and constant medi tation and
selfless service for a number of years. Vedanta in dai l y l i fe when
put i nto actual practice and service wi th Atma-Bhava can eradicate
hatred and al l other vices and bri ng in Advaitic real i sation of
oneness of I if e.
I have tol d you i n several pl aces that these evi l qual ities should
be destroyed completely. Many i nstructions to destroy al l these are
al ready gi ven. If you want spi ritual progress, you should remove
al l these. These are all obstacles in the path of Self-reali sation.
Stand up now l i ke an undaunted spiritual soldier in the Adhyatmic
battlefi el d and destroy these enemies. Become a spiritual hero.
Overcome the obstacles one by one and manifest di vi ne gl ory,
spl endour, purity and sancti ty.
Force of Samskaras
Some ti me ago, there l i ved in Karur, a bi g mercantil e town i n
Tiruchi rapal l y Di strict, a ful l y developed Raja Yogi , by name
Sadasiva Brahman. He was as
.
famous as Tri l i nga Swami of
Varanasi . He used to si t i n Samadhi for si x months. He was a great
Ti ti kshu and a Vairagi . He used to have a Kaupi na onl y and sl eep
on bare ground. Once, there was a huge fl ood in the Kaveri Ri ver,
and Sadasi va Brahman, who was i n Samadhi , was carried away by
the ood and deposited i n some other pl ace. One day, he was
l yi ng on the bare ground and had two pieces of bricks as hi s
pi l l ow. Some boys who were tending the cows mocked at hi m
sayi ng: "I.ook at this Mahatma! He has nothi ng except a Kaupi na
and yet, he wants comforts. He wants a pi l low. Can he not l ie
down wi thout pi l l ow?" Thi s l i ttle word produced a vi bration i n hi s
mi nd and affected hi m a bi t. He i mmediately threw away the
bricks.
Thi s goes to show that even great sai nts who can remain i n
Samadhi even for months together are l i ablc to be affected by
OBSTACLES m YOGA
praise or censure. Such is the force of Samskaras. lrom ti me
i mmemori al , praise and censure have produced thei r i mpressions
oI exhi l arati on and depression on the mi nd. Yajnavalkya al so once
cursed a man to death. It i s said he had also mi nute trace of anger,
subtle desi re for money and cattle as was shown i n the court of
Janaka, despite hi s Brahma-Jnana. There is a popul ar view that
Jnani ns also wi l l have a sl ight trace of Raga, Dvesha, anger, etc.
But this is Abhasamatra, for name's sake only. Not real. The
difference between a Jnani and a worl dly man i s that in the case of
the Iormer, it wi l l be momentary as i n the case of chi l dren, whi le
in the l atter, it wi l l be continuous. A Jnani wi l l forget i t
immediately, but a worl dly man wi l l keep it i n the heart for a very
long | i me. The i mpression of anger that is produced i n the mi nd of
a Jnani may be compared to the i mpression produced i n water by a
stroke oI a wal ki ng stick. It is not lasti ng. The wave dies very
soon.
Most oI the difficul ties in our dai l y l i ves come from bei ng
unable to hold our mi nds i n proper check. l
_
r i nstance, if a man
does evi l to us, instantly we want to react evi l , to revenge, to pay
him i n the same coin, to extract tooth for tooth-ti t for tat
pol i cy-|o return anger for anger. Every reaction of evil shows
that we are not able to hold the Chitta down. It comes out i n
waves |owards the object and we l ose our powcr. Every reaction i n
the form oI hatred or evi l i s so much l oss to the mi nd and every
evil thought or deed of hatred, if it is control led, wi l l be l ai d i n our
lavour. It i s not that we l ose by thus restrai ni ng ourselves but we
gain i nIi ni tel y. Each ti me we suppress hatred, or feel i ngs of anger,
i| is so much good; energy is stored up in our favour and that
energy wi l l be converted nto hi gher power. Anger, when
control led properly, becomes transmuted i nto an energy so
powerful as to move the worl d.
The sum total of i mpressions al ways remains i n the mi nd.
Imprcssions, though they become l atent for a time, remai n in the
mi nd al l the same and as soon as they get the right ki nd of
sti mul us, mani fest themsel ves. The vi brations of the Chi tta subsi de
external l y, after each di rect perception, but conti nue to go on in i t
l i ke atomi c vi brations, and when they get the ri ght ki nd of
i mpulse, come out agai n.
A word is uttered and we do not ait to consi der its meani ng,
but j ump to a concl usi on i mmedi ately. I t i s a sign of weakness.
1 40 PRACTICE OF YOGA
The weaker the man i s, the l esser he has the power of restrai nt.
Measure yourself al ways with the standard of restraint.
When you are goi ng to be angry or mi serable on hearing

somc
news, reason it out, and see how it has thrown your mi nd i nto such
Yritti s. Restrai nt does not come i n a day, but by long continued
practice. Suppose, when you are passi ng through the bazaar, a man
comes and takes away forci bl y your nice wal ki ng stick. 1hat
throws your Chi tta i mmediately i nto the form of a wave, termed
angcr. Do not al l ow that wave to develop. If you can prevent the
formati on of that wave, you wi l l have strong wi l l -power,
renunci ati on and Vai ragya.
Samskara-Raksha
( PROTECT SPI RI TUAL I MPRESSI O
N
S)
Though through the purity of mi nd derived from the
performance of hol y duties in last births, you feel confidence that
the Veda is the source of true knowledge, and you are anxious to
attai n the summum bonum through knowledge, yet you are drifted
here and there in objects of pleasure, bei ng i nfluenced by the
l atent i mpressi ons of evi l s, Vishaya Samskaras. This attachment to
worl dl y thi ngs, whi ch acts as a barrier in the attai nment of Truth,
must be crushed down by proper Vichara, Yiveka and
wel l -di rected strenuous efforts. For some months, you remain i n
c| osed rooms and you progress wel l with good concentration and
medi tati on. Al l on a sudden, some disturbance or other comes and
upsets your medi tati on. Your fri ends are your real enemies i n one
way. They drag you

for some busi ness or other i nto the world. You
are dragged forci bl y through moral sentiments. It i s i rresisti bl e. It
i s of course, i nevi tabl e. You should cal l this as a form of
weakness. To sacrifice your ideal , for the sake of pleasi ng some of
your i nti mate fri ends i s real l y far from commendable. By your
mi xi ng with these worldl i ngs, your new spiritual Samskaras wi l l
be obl i terated, wi l l be efaced and you wi l l fi nd i t extremely
diffi cul t to rega|n your ori gi nal state, despite your redoubled
efforts.
Danger of Mixing
Mi xi ng with worl dy-mi nded persons is highl y di sastrous for a
Sadhaka. The two currents are diametrical l y opposite. A
worl dl y-mi nded man and a Sadhaka move i n diametrical l y
opposi te pol cs. A worl dl y man i s very fond of tal ki ng. He i s
garrul ous. He suffers from l i ngual di arrhoea. Gossiping, i dl e talk,
OBSTACLES IN YOGA 1 41
l ong tal k, big tal k, tal l tal k, al l afford h i m great pleasure, whereas
a Sadhaka is a man of few words, to the poi nt and that a|so on
spiri tual matters. Worl dl y topics do not i nterest hi m at al L On the
contrary they give hi m acute pai n. The mode of thi nki ng al so
differs i n two cases. I n the i nstance of a worl dl y man thi nki ng
consists of wi fe, chi ldren and the ways to amass weal th, the mea
g
s
of sensual enjoyment. The thinki ng is very shal low. A Sadhaka has
subli me thi nki ng of Brahman. A worldly man does an action
always wi th a selfi sh moti ve. A Sadhaka does anythi ng unsel fi shl y
with a strong feel i ng that the whol e world i s nothi ng but hi s own
Self. lf a worl dl y man has Rs. 1 0/- wi th him, he always thi nks of
savi ng for the future. A Sadhaka spends the whol e amount on the
same day. A worldly man is a man of complexity and mul ti pl i ci ty.
A Sadhaka is a man of si mpl i ci ty. A worldly man wants company.
A Sadhaka wants entire sol i tude. You must al ways remai n alone.
This is a very, very i mportant matter. I havc to agai n rei terate that
this is i ndi spensabl y req

ui si te. I have to emphatical l y assert agai n


that sol i tude i s a sine qua non. I have to agai n i mpress upon your
mi nd that sol i tude for Sadhana i s a great desideratum.
"0 oli tude! Where are thy own charms? Thi s was the
spontaneous flow of expression from a poet when he was one wi th
thc naturesenti ments of the subl i me and the beautiful . If you
havc once tasted properly to the very depth the happi ness of
sol i|ude, you wi l l never leave it at any cost. It i s only those who
have a preponderati ng Vishaya Samskara that fl utter about from
Brindavan to Benares, from Benares to Jagannath Puri, l i ke a wi l d
butterfly. Sol i tary places l i ke Swargashram, Ri shi ke
s
h and
Uttarakasi havc a beautiful charm of their own. It i s i ndescri bable.
It is to be Ielt and understood by the subtle Nididhyasana-Buddhi .
A gross, worl dl y practical Buddhi can never discri mi nate and
undcrstand thc beauty and peace of such remarkable pl aces, the
suprcme abodes of sagcs and Ri shi s. The spiritual vi bratory
conditions that are present in these pl aces can, by themselves, take
a man to Samadhi without any efforts. The Hi malayan vi brati ons,
soothing and soul -cl evating i nfl uence of hol y Ganga can turn an
invctcrate atheist and a materi alist i nto a staunch spiritual ist. Li ve
lor thrcc months in these pl aces. Real i se the charm, grandcur and
bcnign i nII ucnce of sol i tude.
Bac| to the poi nt. I n the world, there are mi nds in various
stages or growth. There are people of di verse mental i ties. There i s
mul | i pl i ci ty of mi nds. There are two sets of currents, attraction and
1 42 PRACTICE OF YOGA
repul si on in the mi nd. When you mi x wi th people of diferent
mentali ty, you are natural l y attracted towards some and repel led
by others. Secondly, there i s the jealousy-current al so. When you
see other persons who are i n the possession of hi gher vi rtues, etc. ,
you wi l l be natural l y affected duri ng your earl ier stages of
Abhyasa. These hosti l e currents are unfavourable, as they disturb
the peace of

mi nd. So medi tation wi l l suffer. Further when you
mi x, you wi l l have to tal k much. You. wi l l be forced to tal k. That
means wastage of energy. Al l energi es must be very careful l y
conserved by a Sadhaka. Al l the doors must be entirel y shut out,
through compl ete Pratyahara. Thi rdl y, i f you do not know how to
protect yourself, your val uable Prana wi l l pass away to other
persons. Your magnetic aura, your mental aura, your Pranic aura
wi l l pass to other weak persons. Thi s is termed as vampi ri sm.
There wi l l be consi derable l oss of Prana. You must know the
process of protecti ng yourself by developi ng an aural shel l . A
young mango nursery has to be fenced properly in the begi nni ng.
A smal l I\re started by the col lection of few dried leaves or bi ts of
straw wi l l doubtless be exti ngui shed i f you suddenl y i ntroduce a
bi g log of wood in the fi re. You are l i ke the mango nursery or l i ke
the smal l fire in Sadhana stage. How can you wi thstand against the
hosti l e currents of the worl d? What you have gai ned in fi ve years
through hard practice wi l l be i rrecoverably lost i n a month by
promi scuous mi xi ng wi th worl dl i ngs. Several persons have
compl ai ned to me that they have l ost the power of concentration
by mi xi ng and they cannot attain the same state they had duri ng
.the secl usi on.
You shoul d not enter the world before fi ve or si x years of
secl usi on. You must test how you fare when you enter the world.
If you are not a bit affected, i f you can keep the constant bal ance
of mi nd, i f you can rest i n the Atman, you can move i n the world.
Otherwi se wai t for some ti me more in secl usion and conti nue
Sadhana.
There i s no harm in your mi xi ng wi th a congeni al person who i s
al so devoted to medi tation, study and other spiritual pursui ts, for
one hour dai l y, and i n whose company you notice pl easure and
el evati on of thought. You can di scuss on various abstruse and
phi losophical poi nts. You wi l l fi nd thi s useful . You can be in the
company of hi gher, spi ri tual personages who enter i nto Samadhi .
Jhei company i s. hi ghl y benefi ci al . Insti nct wi l l speak aloud from
wi thi n that such and such company is elevati ng and such and such
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
company is depressi ng. If you fi nd that the company of a certain
person gi ves even the least depression, shun hi m the very moment.
I know of several persons who have had a terri bl e downfal l
from their spi ri tual hei ghts, owi ng to i ndi scri mi nate and
promi scuous mi xi ng. They have entered the world hasti l y wi thout
testi ng. They have been reduced to a level worse than a worl dl y
man. Ol d, evi l Samskaras are onl y wai ti ng for an opportuni ty to
crush you down. Al l the ol d Vasanas return and attack you wi th a
tremendous force. The cravi ngs become accentuated and
i ntensified duri ng the period of downfal l . You wi l l fi nd i t difhcul t
to rise agai n.
Al ways protect your Samskaras. Do not al l ow them t o be
obl iterated. It is di ffi cul t to regai n what is lost. Exercise Vichara
and Viveka al ways. Uti l i se your Vi l l to resi st evi l i nflucnces. Ever
control the lndri yas. Have perfect Vai ragya. Dul l type of Vairagya
is of no use. It must be sharp and sharper too. If you al l ow the
senses to run riot, Viveka and the spiritual Samskaras wi l l be
anni hil ated. Li ve i n secl usion. Do not mi x. Observe Mauna. You
can be qui te safe. You wi l l be far away from the danger-zone.
When you have become a Si ddha, enter the worl d and give
spiri tual upl if to the humanity.
Sri Aurobindo Ghosh h

d shut hi mself up in one room i n


Pondicherry for many years. He had never come out for a wal k
outside even for a si ngl e day. Thi s i s truth. Thi s i s not
exaggeration. His brother Sri Bhari nder, M. A. , a devel oped Yogi
al so had shut hi msel f up i n a room for some years. Mahatma
Kri shna Ashram i s in secl usi on with Kaashtha Mauna, in Dharal i
vi l l age near Gangotri si nce many years. Lord Buddha shut hi mselI
up i n !ruval a forest for six years . Lord 1esus Christ was in
secl usi on for ei ghteen years (the mi ssi ng period). Swami Rama
Tirtha had secl usi on in Brahmapuri near Ri shi kesh for a couple of
years. Why not you al so become a 1esus or Buddha of world-wide
celebrity?

Everythi ng should be done sl owly. It s very, very diffcul t for a
man who was i n the world to shut himsel f up now completely i n
the room and observe Mauna al so. I t i s very pai nful and
troublesome for a begi nner. He. shoul d sl owl y trai n hi msel f. He
should gradual l y trai n the mi nd by observi ng Mauna once a
week and remai ni ng i n the room for certain number of hours .
He shoul d have wal k i n the eveni ng al ong the Ganga or al ong
the seus i de or any sui tabl e pl ace. For a Sadhu, fresh air,
1 44 PRACTICE OF YOGA
i nvi gorati ng col d baths, eveni ng strol l , moderate exerci se are very
essenti al . He cannot afford to have mi l k, ghee, etc. , and he has to
depend upon hel p from Nature i n a variety of ways. Al l throughout
the Sadhana-peri od, strong common-sense should be used. After a
peri od of two or three years, you wi l l be able to remai n al one in a
cl osed room al l throughout the day. Because, you now know the
process of Manana (refl ecti on) and Ni di dhyasana (profound
medi tati on). You can spend si x hours i n meditation and si x hours
in Svadhyaya. The mi nd has now properly adj usted to the new l i fe.
There wi l l be no troubl e. You wi l l be hi ghl y del i ghted to remai n
al one al ways. You do not l i ke to be di sturbed even for a day. You
do not want to l ose the peace and bl i ss of sol i tude. Now you
depend on the Atman wi thi n for your hel p, strength and happi ness
and not wi thout. You are now ful l y aware that all knowl edge
comes from wi thi n . You are now a changed bei ng. You have a
changed psychol ogy. Worl dl y-m
.
i nded perso
g
s cannot properly
comprehend your metamorphosed nature.
Pratipaksha-Bhavana
Evi l tendencies are very deepl y i mbedded in our nature. They
requi re the most heroic efforts to di sl odge them and the onl y
way to di sl odge them i s to repl ace them by hi gher mental states
and opposi te good tendenci es. A bad habi t of thought or action
i - more easi l y eradi cated by suppl anti ng i t wi th a good
habi t-one that is di rectl y opposed to the habi t whi ch you desi re
to get rid of. To tear out a bad habi t by the roots requi res al most
superhuman strength of wi l l , but to crowd i t out by nursi ng a
good habi t i n its pl ace is far easier and seems to be nature's
pl an. The good habi t wi l l gradual l y crowd the bad one unti l i t
cannot exi st, and then after a fi nal struggl e, i t wi l l expi re. Thi s
i s the easi est way to ki l l out undes i rabl e habi ts and trai ts. Evi l
| hi nki ng and evi l acti ons can be counteracted by subl i me
thi nki ng and vi rtuous acti ons.
Love i s eternal and natural . Hatrcd i s temporary and is a Vikara
or unnatural modifi cati on. Courage is eternal md natural . Courage
is a vi rtue. Fear is temporary and is an unnatural moditication.
Dayu i s a vi rtue. It is eternal and natural . Ghri na or weak pi ty is an
unnatural modificati on. Hatred shoul d be checked by rai si ng an
opposi te wave of l ove. Al ways l ook i nto the good poi nts or bright
side of a man. Train the mi nd sl owl y in this direction by repeated
cfforts. You may fail fifty times, but you wi l l succeed i n the
fifty-fi rs| attempt. It is sure and doubtless. The natural tendency of
OBSTACLES IN YOGA
u Rujusi c mi nd is to fii1d out the defects or weak poi nts of u man,
to rui se u wuve of deep hutred, to cri ti ci se, bl ame and condemn, to
fi ght and quarrel . Sattvi c nature wi l l al ways l ook i nto the bri ght
side of u man, i gnore the Doshas (defects), bear the ri di cul e of the
cuvi l lers, scepti cs and scandal -mongerers, excuse, forgi ve, pi ty,
und sympathi se wth others.
When a wo
g_q
is quurrel l i ng wi th her husband, her chi l d
ful l s down i n her l up. She ki sses the chi l d and forgets the
di spute. She l uughs hearti l y. The presence of her chi l d has
rui sed an oppos i te modi fi cati on of l ove to counteract the evi l
effects of unger und hatred. Si mi l arl y, al l

ad tendencies und
Yusunus cun be compl etel y eradi cated by t he cul ti vati on of
opposi te, pos i ti ve vi rtues. 1ust as a gardener pl ants i n hi s garden
vuri ous ki nds of flowers by proper efforts and care, we can al so
grow i n our heurt vari ous vi rtues whi ch are i ndi spensabl y
requi si te for spi ri tual growth. We wi l l have to watch every
month as to how far these qual i ti es have been devel oped. Al l
ol d bud quul i ti es wi l l try thei r l evel best t o resi st evi cti on, they
wi l l try to persi st und recur, to re-enter the system. We must
ul wuys be on the ul ert. I n the l ong run, we can have compl ete
self-mastery. Combat desi re through Yi chara, control of senses,
renunci uti on of thought, Si voham Bhavana. There i s no desi re i n
Bruhmun. Do not pl an. Do not make false i magi nati ons. Do not
bui l d custl es in the air l i ke Al naskar. Do not attempt to ful fi l the
desi res. Destroy al l emoti ons. The desi res wi l l dwi ndl e and di e
by themsel ves. Control anger by Kshama, by devel opi ng
uni versal l ove and feel i ng of uni ty. Where i s the second person
on whom to exhi bi t anger? It is al l i gnorance. "Ekam eva
advitiyam: One onl y wi thout a second. " Have these thoughts
constantl y i n your mi nd.
Destroy Lobhu by spontaneous churity and l i beral ity (Udarata).
Anni hi l ute egoi sm by 'Aham Brahmasmi ' Bhavana. There i s
nothi ng but Bruhman. Crush self-concei t through humi l i ty.
Remove pride by Ni shkama Kurma. Destroy fear by developi ng
couruge, by feel i ng of uni ty, by Si voham Bhavana. Destroy
passions by Tupus. Purify the emotions through Maitri, Karuna and
Arjuvu. Orive out jealousy by Mudi ta. Develop your wi l l -power by
dri vi ng desi res, by Ti ti ksha and strong patience. Acqui re peace by
Suttvic contentment, Santosha, Yi chara, Satsanga strong patience,
Sunnyusu und Samudhi .
CHAPTER NINE
MEDITATION
Par One
AUXILIARIES
Places for Meditation
The world wi l l not sui t you for meditation. There are many
di s|urbi ng causes. The envi ronments are not elevati ng. Your
Iriends are your worst enemi es. They take away al l your ti me
through vain talks. It is i nevi tabl e. You are puzzled. You are
worri ed. Then you try to get out of the envi ronments. To save
ti me, money and wanderings, I shal l mention some good places.
You can select one of these pl aces. The pl ace must be of a
temperate cl i mate and must sui t you during summer, rainy season
and wi nter. You must stick to one pl ace for three years with firm
determi nati on. As al l pl aces combine some advantages and
di sadvantages, you wi l l have to select that pl ace which has more
advantages and less di sadvantages. Everything is relative in thi s
worl d. You can hardly get a pl ace that can sati sfy you from al l
viewpoi nts. It i s an i mpossi bi l i ty. You must not shift when you get
some i nconvenience. You must put up
p
ith it. There is no benet
in frequent wanderi ngs. Do not compare one pl ace wi th another.
Maya |empts you i n vari ous ways. Use your Viveka and reason.
Mussoorie wi l l appear to you most charmi ng when you are at
Si ml a. Si ml a wi l l appear more del i ghtful when you are at
Mussoori e. Do not bel ieve the mi nd and senses any more. Enough,
enough of their tri cks. No more. Be on the watch, to guard
yourself from sense-deceptions and temptations.
Fi rst, I suggest Ri shi kesh and Swargashram. They are wonderful
places for medi tati on. They are admi rably adapted. Charm and
spiri tual i nfl uence are si mpl y marvel l ous. You can put up your
cottage. Uttarakasi , Brahmapuri, Garuda Chetty and Ni l akanth
near Rishi kesh are other nice pl aces. Al mora and Nai ni tal are al so
good. Any vi l l age on the banks of Ganga, Narmada, Yamuna i s
beautiful . Kul l u val l ey and Champa val l ey i n Kashmi r are qui te
sui table. I f you want a cave-l i fe, go i n for Vasishtha-Guha,
.
lourteen mi les from Ri shi kesh. It is a beautiful cave, where Swami
Rama Tirtha l i ved for some ti me. Mi l k is avai lable from the
MEDITATION
ne|ghbouri ng v| l lage. Ram Guha | n Brahmapur| near R| shi kesh i s
another good and charm| ng pl ace. You can get dry rations for
f|fteen days from Kal | Kaml | val l a' s Kshetra. Bamrughi Guha, near
Tehr|, H| mal ayas, | s a good cave. You w| l l fi nd many v| l l ages near
Tehr| for contemplati on.
+
Mural | Dhar has bu| l t a f| ne, Pukka Kutir w| th a fi ne garden.
You can have th| s al so. Mount Abu | s a beautiful cool pl ace. Cool
places are needed for med| tat|on. The bra| n gets t|red very soon | n
a hot place. I n a cool pl ace, you can med| tate al l twenty-four
hours. You w| l l not feel exhaustion. Maharaj as of Al war and
Limbd| have bu| l t nice caves | n Mount Abu and arranged food and
other conven| ences for good, educated Sadhus only. Lakshman
jhula |s an other good pl ace. There | s ample space for erection of
new cottages. Brahmavarta, near Kanpur is a sui table pl ace. There
are many good pl aces seven m| les beyond Mathura on the banks
of Yamuna. Uttarakas| has beaut|ful , sp|ritual v| bratory conditions.
You can stay | n a sol| tary pl ace cal led Lakshesvar.
Brahmamuhurta
0 asp|rant ! Get up at Brahmamuhurta. Do not fai l at any cost.
Brahmamuhurta | s th_e morn| ng per|od fom 3. 30 to 6.00. It i s very
favourable for med| tat| on. The m| nd is qu| te refreshed after good
sleep. It |s qu| te cal m and serene. There | s a preponderance of
Sattva |n the system. In the atmosphere also, Sattva predomi nates
at this hour. |n the w| nter, |t |s not necessary that you should have
a cold bath. A mental bath wi l l sumce. Answer the cal l s of nature.
Cleanse the teeth. Wash the face. Dash cold water on the face and
on top of the head. Si t in Padma Asana or S| ddha Asana. Try to
cl | mb to the he|ghts of Brahman wi t
g
v| brati ons. Even i f you are
not |n the hab|t of getti ng up earIy, have an al arm timep| ece. Once
the hab|t |s establ | shed, there |s no diff| culty. The subconscious
m| nd or Ch| tta becomes a w| l l | ng -ervant of the wi l l . If you are
subject to chron| c consti pat|on you can dri nk some cold water, say
one tumblerful , as soon as you get up, after cl eans| ng the teeth.
Th|s | s the Ushapana treatment |n the sc|ence of Hatha Yoga. Thi s
w| l l g| ve a good mot| on. Persons of hard guts can use Tr| phal a
water. Soak 2 Harads (myrobal l um), 2 Amal akas and 2
Thandr|kkais | n half a tumblerful of cold water at n| ght. Dr| nk the
water |n |he morni ng after wash| ng the teeth.
Meditation Room
Everyone of you should have a separate room for mcditati on.
Th| s | s a sine qua non. Pl ace your lshta Devata i n the room. Keep
1 48
PRACTICE OF YOGA
in the room al so a few phi l osophi cal books such as the Bhagavad
Ci ta, |he Yoga-Vasi shtha, 1 2 cl assi cal Upani shads and the
Vi vekachudamani . Do not al l ow anybody to enter the room--ven
your wi fe, chi l dren or fri ends. You al so shoul d enter the room after
a bath. Burn i ncense and camphor as. offeri ng to the Ishta Devata
twice dai ly-morni ng and eveni ng. Practise meditation in the
room in the morni ng 4 to 5 and at ni ght 8 to 9 systemati cal l y.
Whenever you feel depressed, enter the room. Study the books for
half an hour. Si l ence the thoughts. Sti l l the mi nd. Thi nk of the
auspi ci ous qual i ti es of God-Santam, Si vam, Subham, Sundaram,
Kantam, etc. Repeat the Mantra "Om Santih Santih Santih "
several ti mes. You wi l l be doubtless i mmediatel y i nvigorated.
Practi se. Try. Feel . Experi ence. Do much. Tal k l i ttl e. Make it a
poi nt to si t at least for hal f an hour dai l y in the room although you
have pressure of work. Where there is a wi l l , there is a way. If you
have thi s ki nd of practice systemati cal l y, you wi l l fi nd a better
Mussoorie, Ooty, Darjeel i ng or Si ml a in your meditation room.
You need not go for a change. Real i se what I say. Do not waste
the ti me. Avoid a| | i dl e ta| ks . Time is al l money. Do not waste
even a si ngl e second. Very few know the val ue of time and l i fe.
Remember the death-warrant from Yamaraj al ways.
Time for Meditation
At the commencement, have two si ttings only, once in the
morni ng 4 to 5 and at ni ght 6 to 8. After si x months or one year,
accordi ng to your mental cal i bre, you can have three si tti ngs, wi th
a thi rd si tti ng i n the afternoon 4 to 5. In the Ashram of Sri
Aurobi ndo at Pondicherry, Yogi c students have three si ttings. You
can i ncrease the period of concentration to two hours at each
si tti ng. I n summer, it is rather i rksome and dif|cul t owi ng to
perspirati on. So, have onl y two si tti ngs duri ng summer. The loss
can be made up i n
.
wi nter. Wi nter is very favourable for
medi tati on. You wi l l fi nd Ri shi kesh, Swargashram admirably
sui tabl e for contempl ati ve purposes. Wi nter and early part of
spri ng are the best seasons for beginners to commence meditation.
I n wi nter, the mi nd is not ti red at al l . You can meditate even for 24
hours wi thout the least exhausti on. That i s the reason why Sadhus
select Ri shi kesh for meditation in wi nter. The period of meditation
shoul d be gradual l y i ncreased with caution. The meditation should
not be by fi ts and starts. It shoul d be wel l regul ated and steady.
You must use al ways your commonsense and reason al l throughout
thc Sadhana period. You shoul d ascend the summi t of Yoga
MEDITATION 1 49
gradual l y, s l owl y, stage by stage, step by step. You must not gi ve
up the practice even for a few days.
How Many Hours to Meditate
To start with, you can meditate f

r hal f an hour in the morni ng,


4 to 4.30 and for hal f an hour at night 8 to 8.30. Morni ng time is
the hest for medi tati on. The mind i s refreshed after sound sl eep.
Furthcr, Sattva predomi nates in the system as i n the surrounding
atmosphere. In the Yoga-Vasishtha, Sri Vasishtha says: "0 Rama,
give '4 mi nd for meditation i n the begi nni ng, '4 mi nd for
rccreati on, '4 mi nd for study, '4 mi nd for service of Guru. Then
Y mind for meditati on, 's for recreati on, 3/s mi nd for study, 's
mi nd for service of Guru." Here recreation means acts | i ke
washi ng, c|eani ng, etc. It does not mean Gol f p| ay or Rugby. Thi s
recrcation i s meant for rel axation of mi nd or di version of mi nd
after concentration and meditation. Otherwise the mi nd feel s tired
and refuses to work. Then gi ve ' mind for meditati on, ' mi nd
for study. I ncrcase the ti me of meditation gradual l y. After two
months, increase the period to one hour, each time, 4 to 5 a. m. and
8 to 9 p. m. After a year, i ncrcase the time to | '2 hours i n the
moring and I ' hours at ni ght. In the third year two hours in the
moning and two hours in the eveni ng, in the fourth year three
hours in the morni ng and three hours at ni ght. Thi s is for the vast
majority of persons. An earnest Sadhaka with strong vi tal i ty and
subtl e intel l ect can medi tate for si hours i n the fi rst year of hi s
Sadhana. Yo must study congcni al books as the Upani shads, the
Yoga-Vasi shtha, the Gi ta, the Vivekachudamani , the Avadhuta-Gita
ol ong wi th meditati on. Such study i s el evating. Si x hours' study
and six hours` meditation i s very benefici al . That i s Sri
Aurobindo` s method. That is his brother Sri Barinder ' s method.
That is Swami Advaitanandaj i ' s method. That is my method al so.
This wi l l cventual l y push you on to Ndidhyasana for twenty-four
hours .
Three Instrumental Causes
Some say that meditati on,-series of thoughts on the same
object cal led Prasamkhyana,-i s the regui red i nstrumenta| cause.
I t corresponds to Ni di dhyasana which consi sts i n the unbroken
flow of ideas wi th respect to Brahman. Vedic text decl ares that a
man sees Brahman by the unceasi ng flow of thoughts, i .c. ,
meditation. Badarayana has proved i n thc Brahma-Sutras that
medi tation i s thc i nstrument by whi ch the condi ti oned Brahman
is real i scd. The rul e hol ds good i n the real i sation of the
1 50 PRACTICE OF YOGA
uncondi ti oned Brahman. Meditation of Brahman i s based upon
Vedantic texts whi ch are admi tted to be the means of right
knowl edge-ei ther careful l y comprehended or casual l y perused,
und consequentl y the knowledge of Brahman whi ch fol lows from
i t i s thc rcsul t of the operation of the means of right knowledge.
Meditation i s based upon the thorough comprehension of the
Vedantic tcxts.
Others maintain that meditation by itself is not the i nstrumental
cuuse, for i t bei ng u perpetual stream of ideas flowing from mi nd
is unable to grasp the thi ng when cut off from i ts source. Mere
mi nd, too, is not the i nstrument, for wi thout the streams of ideas i t
is i ncompctent to envi ron the object of knowledge. Thus mi nd,
accompunied by an unceasi ng flow of ideas of Brahman, is the
requi red i nstrumental cause. A Vedic text al so corroborates thi s
theory: "Thi s mi nute Sel f is to be known by means of mi nd which
i s mudc sharp by meditation. `
A third view i s that the great sentence: "Tat Tvam Asi-Thou
urt Thut" is the i nstrumental cause. Fi xi ty of mi nd is undoubtedly
requi red for the real i sation of Brahman. But thi s requi rement does
not provc the sol e i nstrumental i ty of mind, for however fi xed the
mi nd may be, Brahman wi l l not be revealed unl ess the mi nd i s
directed i n the path described by the Vedantic sentence. The direct
i nstrument is therefore that great sentence to which substantial
service is rendered by mi nd and meditati on. Thus there i s a ki nd of
uni ty in di fference of opi nions, i .e. , a. are at one that the great
Veduntic text, mi nd and meditation hel p one another in the
real isation of Brahman. -Siddhanta Lesha
Meditation and Action
Mun consi sts of Atman, mi nd and body. The Atman has two
aspects-changeless and changing. The l atter is cal led the world
and thc former God. Worl d al so is nothi ng but God i n
mani fcstuti on. God i n movement is the worl d. Not that i t does not
cxi st. It has a rel ati ve existence.
The Atman i s al l -pervadi ng, al l -bl i ssful , al l -powerful , al l
knowledge, eternal l y perfect and pure. I t assumes these names and
forms cal l ed the world (Nama-Rupa-1agat) of its own free-wi l l .
There i s no desi re, because there i s no outside object. This wi l l i s
cal l ed Sakti . I t i s the Atman i n acti on. I n Ni rguna Atman, the Sakti
i s stati c. In Saguna Atman, i t is dynamic. The Atman has no
desi re, because It is perfect, and because there i s nothi ng which i s
objecti ve t o the Atman. Desire i mpl ies attraction which
MEDITATION I 5 1
presupposes i mperfecti on. It is the very negation of wi l l whi ch i s
deci sion for action from wi thi n. The Atman wi l l s and the uni verse
comes into bei ng. The wi l l of the Atman upholds and governs the
uni verse. Human bei ngs are driven hither and thi ther by egoi sm,
desires and fears due to identification wi th the l i mi ti ng adjuncts of
mi nd and body. Thi s i dea of l i mitation is called egoi sm.
The real i sati on of oneness i n al l exi stences, manifested and
unmani fested, i s the goal of human l ife. This uni ty already exi sts.
We have forgotten i t through i gnorance. The removal of this veil
of i gnorance-the idea that we are confi ned wi thi n the mi nd and
the body-is our chief effort in Sadhana. It logical l y fol l ows that
to real i se unity, we must give up di versity. We must constantly
keep up the idea that we are al l -pervadi ng, al l -powerful , etc. There
is no room here for desi re becausc in uni ty there is no emotional
attraction, but steady, persi stent, cal m, eternal bl i ss. Desire
.
for
l i beration is termi nol ogical i nexactitude. Liberation means
uttai nment of the state of i nfi ni ty. It al ready exi sts. It i s our real
nature. There can be no desi re for a thi ng which is your very
nature. Al l desi res for progeny and weal th, for happiness in thi s
world or i n the next and lastly even the desi re for l i berati on should
be completely anni hi l ated and al l actions gui ded by pure and
disi nterested wi l l .
This Sadhana,-the constant attempt t o feel that you are the
Al l-can be practised or rather ought to be practised i n the mi dst
of i ntense acti vi ty. That i s the central teachi ng of the Gi ta. It
stands to reason al so, because God is both Saguna and Nirguna,
with form and wi thout form. Let the mi nd and the body work. Feel
that you are above them, their control l i ng wi tness. Do not i dentify
yoursel l with the Adhara or the support (for mi nd and body), even
when it is employed in acti vi ty. Of course meditation in the
begi nni ng has to be resorted to. Only an exceptionall y
strong-wi l l ed man can dispense with i ts necessity. For ordinary
human bei ngs, it is an i ndi spensable necessity. I n meditation, the
Adhara is steady. So the Sadhana, the effort to feel unity i s
comparati ve| y easy. In the midst of acti vi ty, thi s effort i s di fi cul t.
Karma Yoga is more di ffi cul t than pure 1nana Yoga. We must,
however, keep up the practi c
_
at al l ti mes. That i s absol utely
essential as otherwise the progress i s slow; because, a few hours'
meditation on the idea of the Al l and identification wi th mi nd and
body for a greater portion of the day do not bri ng about rapi d or
substantial advance.
1 52 PRACTICE OF YOGA
It is much better to associ ate some word-symbol, OM, with the
i dea. From ti me i mmemori al , this symbol has been used for
expressi ng the i dea oI uni ty. So the best method is to repeat this
word OM and medi tate on i ts meani ng at al l times. But we must
set apart some hours Ior meditation morni ng and eveni ng.
1he Atman i s eternal l y Iree. The mi nd and body are in bondage.
As long as we are gui ded by mental attractions and repulsions, we
are the s| aves of Iate or di vi ne wi l l . But, when we completely Iree
oursel ves Irom their cl utches and real i se our oneness wi th the
Atman, we are Iree. In Sel I-knowl edge, our wi l l and the di vi ne
wi l l become one. Unti l then, we are certai nl y bound by fate.
But i n proporti on as we rise above the mi nd and body, our wi l l
becomes stronger and Iree and mani Iests greater and greater
di vi ni ty.
Elementals
( BHUTA KOTI-BHUTA GANAS)
Someti mes, these elementals appear duri ng meditation. They are
strange fi gures, some wi th long teeth, some with big Iaces, some
wi th big bel l i es, some wi th Iaces on the bel l y, some wi th Iaces on
the head. 1hey are i nhabi tants oI the Bhu-Loka. They are Bhutas.
They are supposed to be the attendants oI Lord Si va. They have
terriIyi ng Iorms. 1hey do not cause any harm at al l . They si mpl y
oppear on the stage. They come to test your strength and courage.
1hey can do nothi ng. They cannot stand beIore a pure and ethical
aspi rant. Repeti ti on oI OM wi l l throw them at a di stance. You
must be Iearl ess . A coward is absol utel y unft Ior the spiritual l i ne.
Develop courage by constantly Ieel i ng that you are the Atman.
Oeny and negate the body-idea. Practise Nididhyasana al ways, al l
| hrough the day and ni ght. That i s the secret. That i s the key. That
i s the master-key to open the treasury oI Sat-Chit-Ananda. That i s
the comerstone oI the ediIice oI bl i ss. That i s the pi l lar oI the
mansi on oI Ananda.
Real Rest in Meditation
Fati gue oI the I ndri yas demands rest. Hence sl eep supervenes at
ni ght rhythmi cal ly. Motion and rest are rhythmi cal processes in
| i Ie. The mi nd moves about in the avenues oI the senses through
the Iorce oI Vasana. Stri ctly speaking, Dridha Sushupti is very,
very rare. There is subtl e worki ng oI the mi nd i n sl eep also.
Hence, you do not get good rest in sl eep. Real rest is secured i n
medi tation and meditation onl y. I t i s onl y Dhyana-Yogi ns who
MEDITAlION 1 53
practise meditation that can feel real rest i n Asana. The mi nd i s
|ul l y concentrated duri ng meditati on. I t i s far away from objects
and very near the Atman. There are no Raga-Dvesha currents
duri ng medi tation owi ng to the absence of objects. Consequently,
there is mani festation of sol i d, lasting, real spiritual Ananda wi th
complete, genui ne rest. You must practise meditati on. You must
feel i t yourself. Then, you wi l l agree wi th me. In Varanasi , there
was a Hatha Yogi who had the power of l evi tati on. He never used
to sleep at ni ghts. He used to sit on the Asana duri ng the whole
night. He got the real rest from medi tati on. He had di spensed wi th
sleep. You may not enjoy the rest ful l y i n the begi nni ng of your
practi ce. Because at the outset, there is a good deal of wrestl i ng
between the wi l l and Svabhava, the ol d Samskaras and the new
Samskaras, the old habits and the new habi ts, Purushartha and the
old conduct. The mi nd revolts. When the mi nd is thi nned out,
when you have reached the Tanumanasi stage, thi rd Jnana
Bhumi ka, you wi l l enjoy l i ke anythi ng. You wi l l fi nd 1 0,00
Bengali Rasagul las in the supreme rest in meditati on. You can then
cut short your sl eep to three or four hours gradual l y.
Remembrance in Meditation
When a person contempl ates the form of Vishnu, the
contempl ati ng soul ( i .e. , the ego, or practical Jiva) is ful l y
engrosscd i n the meditation unaware of hi s i ndi vi dual i ty. Then
natural l y a question arises: "What pri ncipl e was waking at the
ti me of medi tation which afterwards produced remembrance in the
ego that he was engaged in contemplation?" The plai n answer i s
that i t was the noumenal Sel f known as Sakshi (wi tness).
It may be objected here that the i l l umi nation of the ideas of
Vi shnu and of thei r fabricated, the contemplati ng soul , by Sakshi ,
cannot account for the remembrance of the meditation by Ji va. At
the most it can j ustify remembrance i n Sakshi who formerl y
observed that occurrence. Thi s objection may be answered on the
ground that there is mutual fal se attri bution of i denti ty, Paraspara
Adhyasa. The Kutastha whi ch is i nexplicably mi ngled with Ji va,
al though different from hi m, i s the i nner Soul , as i t were of Ji va.
Consequently, the experience by Kutastha may l ead to the
rcmembrance by Ji va who i s thought to be one wi th the former.
Hints on Meditation
Rcti re |o a quiet pl ace or room from where you do not fear
i nterruption, so that your mi nd may feel qui te secure and at rest.
The ideal condition cannot al ways be obtai ned, in w
g
i ch case, you
1 54 PRACTICE OF YOGA
shoul d do the best you can. You should be alone yourself i n
communi on wi th God or Brahman.
`Keepi ng the upper parts (the chest, neck and the head) erect
and equal |o the (other parts of the) body, subdui ng wi thi n the
heart the senses together with the mi nd, let the wi se by the raft of
Brahman (OM) cross over al l the fearful torrents of the world.
"Keepi ng down the senses and Pranas, subduing his desires, and
gently respiring by the nostri l s, l et the wise di l igently attend to the
mi nd, as the charioteer to a car, drawn by vicious horses.
"When in the Yogi n' s body, composed of earth, water, l i ght, ai r
and ether, the fi vefol d qual i ties which mark concentration as
dcscribed bel ow, are manifest, then there is no disease or age or
pai n for hi m who has obtained the body burni ng with the fi re of
concentration.
` `When the body i s l i ght and wi thout disease, when the mind i s
wi |hout desi re, when the colour i s shi ni ng, the voice sweet and the
smel l pl easant, and when the excrements are few, they say, the
first degree of concentration is gained. "
Never wrestle with the mind. Do not use any violent eforts in
concentrati on. Relax al l muscles and nerves. Relax the brai n.
Gently thi nk of your Ishta Devata. Slowly repeat your
Guru-Mantra wi th Bhava and meani ng. Sti l l the bqbbl i ng mi nd.
Si lence the thoughts.
Make no vi ol ent efforts to control the mind but rather al l ow it to
run al ong for a whi l e and exhaust i ts efforts. It wi l l take advantage
of the opportunity and wi l l j ump around l i ke an unchai ned monkey
at fi rst, unti l it gradual l y sl ows down and looks to you for orders.
| | may take some time to tame it down at frst, but, each time you
try, it wi l l come around you in a shorter time.
Have a background of thought, ei ther a concrete background of
your | sh|a Murti al ong wi th the Mantra or an abstract background
of the i dea of i nfi ni ty wi th OM i f you are a student of 1nana-Yoga.
Thi s wi l l des|roy al l worl dl y thoughts and take you to the goal .
Through force of habit the mi nd wi l l at once take shelter in this
background the moment you release it from worldly acti vi ties.
Agai n and agai n wi thdraw the mi nd from the worldly objects
when it runs away from the Lakshya and fi x it there. Thi s sort of
combat wi l l go on for some months.
| f evil thoughts enter the mind do not use your wi l l -force in
dri vi ng them. You wi l l lose your energy onl y. You wi l l tax your
MEDITATION 1 55
wi | | on|y.

ou wi | | fatigue yourse|f. The greater the efforts you


make, the more the evi| thoughts wi | | return with redoub| ed force.
They wi | | return more qui ck| y a| so. The thoughts wi | | become
more powerfu| . Be i ndifferent. Keep quiet. They wi | | pass off
soon. Or substitute good counter-thoughts, through Pratipaksha
Bhavana method. Or think of the picture of God and the Mantra
agai n and agai n forci b| y and pray.
Dash co| d water on the face to drive off drowsi ness. Stand up
for 1 5 mi nutes. Ti e the tuft of hair on the head wi th a pi ece of
string to a nai | above. As soon as you begi n to doze, the stri ng wi | |
pu| | you up and wi | | wake you up. I t serves the part of your
mother. Or |ean upon an i mprovised swi ng for I 0 mi nutes and
move yourse| f to and fro. Do 1 0 or 20 mi|d Pranayamas. Do
Si rshasana or Mayurasana. Take on| y mi | k and frui ts at ni ght. By
these methods you can combat agai nst s| eep. Stro| | about for 1 0
mi nutes. Keep the | i ght burni ng before your face if s| eep comes.
Be carefu| in the se| ection of your compani ons. Give up ta| ki es.
Ta| k | i tt|e. Observe Mauna for two hours dai | y. Do not mi x wi th
undesirab|e persons. Have Satsanga. Read good, i nspi ri ng re| i gious
books. Thi s i s negati ve good company, i f you do not get posi ti ve
good company. These are a| | auxi | i aries i n meditati on.
When desires ari se i n the mi nd do not try to fu| fi | them. Reject
them as soon as they ari se. Thus by gradua| practice the desi res
can be reduced. The modi fi cations of mi nd wi | | a| so di mi ni sh a
|ot, because when the fue| of desi re is exhausted, the fi re of
thought a| so wi | | s| ow| y get extingui shed.
Do not shake the body unnecessari | y. By shaki ng the body very
often, the mi nd a| so is di sturbed. Do not scratch the body a| so
every now and then. Asana shou| d become as firm as a rock.
Breathe s| ow| y. Do not change the seat very often. Si t i n the same
pl ace at the same time every day i n the begi nni ng period of your
Sadhana. Have the ri ght kind of menta| attitude as taught by your
Curu.
Every i dea whi ch exc| usi ve| y occupies the mi nd i s transferred
i nto an actua| physi ca| or menta| state. lf you fi | | up your mi nd
with the idea of God and God a| one you wi | | enter i nto Ni rvi ka| pa
Samadhi state qui ck| y. Saturate the mi nd wi th thoughts of God.
A piece of iron remai ns red-hot as | ong as i t is kept in the fire.
When i t i s taken out, i t becomes co|d and |oses i ts red co| our. If
you want to keep i t a| ways red-hot you must a| ways keep it in the
fire. Even so, if you want to taste the di vi ne consciousness a| ways,
1 56 PRACTICE OF YOGA
you must keep the mi nd al ways in contact with Brahman. You
must di ssol ve and melt it i n Brahman.
1ust as you saturate the salt or sugar with the water, you wi l l
have to saturate the mi nd with thoughts of God, wi th di vi ne gl ory,
di vi ne presence, and wi th subl i me soul -awakeni ng spiri tual
|houghts. Onl y then wi l l you be establ i shed i n the di vi ne
consciousness al ways.
Before saturati ng the mi nd with thoughts of Brahman, you wi l l
have to assi mi l ate the di vi ne ideas fi rst. Assi mi l ation first and then
saturati on. Then comes real i sation at once wi thout a moment's
delay. Remember this 'Triplet' al ways: Assi mi l ation, Saturation,
Real i sati on.
There i s al ways a compl ai nt

amongst aspirants : "I am


medi | ati ng for the l ast twel ve years. I have not made any
i mprovement. I have no real isati on. " Why is it so? What i s the
reason? They have not pl unged themsel ves i n deep meditation into
|he i nnermost recesses of the heart. They have not properly
assi mi l ated and saturated the mi nd with thoughts of God. They
have not done regul ar systematic Sadhana. They have not
disci pl i ned the Indriyas perfectly. They have not col l ected al l the
outgoi ng rays of the mi nd. They have not made the
self-determi nati on: "I wi l l real i se this very second." They have not
gi ven the ful l l 0% of the mi nd to God. They have not kept up an
unceasi ng flow of di vi ne consciousness, Tailadharavat, l i ke the
flow of oi l .
1ust as the man, w!o fool i shl y runs after two rabbits, wi | l not
catch hold of any one of them, so al so a meditator who runs after
two confl i cti ng thoughts wi l l not get success in any one of the two
thoughts. If he has di vi ne thoughts for ten mi nutes and then
worl dl y confl i cting thoughts for the next ten mi nutes, he wi l l not
succeed in getti ng at the di vi ne consciousness. You must run after
one rabbi t onl y wi th vi gour, strength and one-pointed mi nd. You
are sure to catch i t. You must have only divine thoughts at al l
ti mes. Then you are sure t o real i se God soon.
No more words. Enough of di scussions and heated debates.
Reti re i nto a sol i tary room. Cl ose your eyes. Have deep si l ent
medi tati on. Feel His presence. Repeat His name, OM, wi th
fervour, joy and l ove. Fi l l your heart with Prema. Destroy the
Sankal pas, thoughts, whi ms, fancies and desi res when they come
up to the surface of the mi nd. Withdraw the wandering mi nd and
fi x it on the Lord. Now meditation wi l l become deep and i ntense.
MEDITATION
Do not open your eyes. Do not stir from the seat. Merge in Hi m.
Dive deep i nto the recesses of the heart. Pl unge i nto the shi ni ng
Atman. Dri nk the nectar of i mmortal i ty. Enjoy the si lence now. I
shall leave you alone there. Nectar' s son, rej oi ce. Rejoice i n
Supreme Si l ence.
Instructions on Meditation
Meditation is the keepi ng up of one i dea of God onl y al ways
l i ke the conti nuous fow of oi l . Yogi ns cal l this as "Dhyana."
Jnani ns term thi s as "Nididhyasana." Bhaktas style this as
"Bhajana. "
Put a piece of i ron-rod i n the bl azing furnace. It becomes red
l i ke fire. Remove it. It loses its red colour. If you want to keep i t
al ways red, you must al ways keep i t i n re. So also, if you want to
keep the mi nd charged wi th the fire of Brahmic wi sdom, you must
keep it al ways i n contact or touch wi th the Brahmic re of
knowledge through constant and i ntense meditati on. You must
keep up an unceasi ng ow of the Brahmic consciousness. Then
you wi l l have the Sahaja Avastha (natural state).
I f you can meditate for half an hour, you wi l l be able to engage
yourself wi th peace and spiritual strength i n the battle of l i fe for
one week through the force of this meditatio
n
. Such is the
beneficial resul t of meditation. As you have to move wi th diferent
mi nds of pecul iar nature in your da l y l i fe, get the strength and
peace from meditation. Then you wi l l have

no trouble and worry.
Asana sIeadies the body. Bandhas and Mudras make the body
rm. Pranayama makes the body l ight. Nadi-Suddhi efects
Samya-Avastha of the mi nd. Having acquired these qual ifications
you wil l have to x the mi nd on Brahman. Qnly then wi l l
meditation go on steadi l y wi th happiness.
The banks of the Ganga or Narmada, Hi malayan scenery, lovely
fower garden, sacred temples-these are the pl aces which el evate
the mi nd i n concentration and meditation. Have recourse to them.
A sol i tary pl ace where the cl imate i s cool wi th spiritual
vibratory conditions i s best sui ted for concentration of mi nd.
When you are a neophyte i n meditation, start repeati ng some
subl i me Sl okas or Stotras ( hymns) for ten mi nutes as soon as you
sit for meditation. Thi s wi l l elevate the mi nd. The mind can be
easi l y wi thdrawn from the worldl y objects. Then stop this kind of
thinking also and fix the mi nd on one i dea only by repeated and
strenuous efforts . Then Ni shtha wi l l ensue.
1 58 PRACTICE OF YOGA
You must have a mental i mage of God or Brahman (concrete or
abstract) before you begi n to meditate. When you see the concrete
Iigure of Lord Kri shna with open eyes and meditate, it is the
concrete form of meditati on. When you reflect over the i mage of
Lord Kri shna by cl osing your eyes, it is also concrete form of
meditation but it is more abstract. When you meditate on the
i nfi ni te abstract l i ght it is sti l l more abstract meditation. The
former two types belong to Saguna form of meditation and the
l atter to Ni rguna form. Even i n Ni rguna meditation there is an
abstract form in the begi nni ng for fxi ng the mi nd. Later on thi s
form vanishes and the meditator and the medi tated becom e one.
Medi tati on proceeds from the mi nd.
It is the acti ons of the mi nd that are truly termed Karmas. True
l i berati on resul ts from the disenthralment of the mi nd. Those who
have freed themselves from the fluctuations of their minds come
i nto possessi on of the supreme Ni shtha. Shoul d the mind be
purged of al l i ts i mpuri ties, it wi l l become very calm and al l the
Samsaric d

l usion wi l l be soon destroyed.


Concentration of the mi nd on God aer purification can gi ve
you real happi ness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose
onl y. You are carried away to external objects through Raga and
Moha. Concentrate upon God in the heart. Di ve deep. Merge
wi |hi n.
When you start a fire you heap up some straw, pieces of paper
and thi n pieces of wood. The fire gets exti ngui shed qui ckl y. You
bl ow i t agai n several ti mes through the mouth or the blow-pipe.
After some time it becomes a smal l confagration. You can hardly
exti ngui sh it now even wi th great efforts. Even so, in the
begi nni ng of meditation the begi nners fal l down from meditation
i nto their old grooves. They wi l l have to l i ft up thei r minds again
and again and fix it on the Lakshya. When the meditation becomes
deep and steady they get establ i shed in God eventual l y. Then the
meditation becomes Sahaja. It becomes habitual . Use the
bl ow-pipe of Tivra Vairagya and i ntense concentration to ki ndle
the fire of meditation.
Duri ng meditati on, when your mi nd i s more Sattvic, you wi l l be
i nspi red. The mi nd wi l l be composing fine poems and sol vtng
i ntricate problems of l i fe. Stamp out these Sattvic Vri ttis al so. This
is al l dissipation of mental energy. Soar higher and higher to
Atman only.
If the mind constantly dwel l s on sensual objects, the conception
MEDITATION
of the real i ty of the uni verse wi l l surel y i ncrease. If the mi nd
ceaselessly thi nks of the Atma|1, the world appears l i ke a dream.
Free yourself from the base thoughts of the mi nd and the various
useless Sankal pas ( i maginations). Make ceaseless enquiry of the
Atman. Mark the word "ceaseless." This i s i mportant. Then onl y
there wi l l b the dawn of spiritual knowl edge.
You wi l l get the ful l Ananda of the di vi ne gl ory onl y when you
dive deep and merge i nto siIent meditation. When you are on the
borderland of di vi ni ty of God, when you are at the gate or
threshold of God, and when you are on the outer ski rts, you wi l l
not get the maxi mum peace and bl i ss.
During meditation note how l ong you can shut out al l worl dl y
thoughts. Watch the mi nd very careful l y. Jf i t i s for twenty
mi nutes, try to i ncrease the period for thi rty or forty mi nutes and
so on. Fi l l the mind wi th the thoughts of God agai n and agai n.
You wi l l have to note very careful l y whether you remai n
stationary i n the spiri tual path even after many years of spiri tual
practice or whether you are progressi ng. Sometimes you may go
downwards al so if you are not very vi gi l ant a
.
nd careful , if your
Vai ragya wanes and if you are sl ack in meditation. Reaction may
set in. Some practise meditation for a period of fifteen years and
yet they have not made any real progress at al l . Why? This i s due
to l ack of earnestness, Vai ragya, keen longi ng for l i beration and
intense Sadhana.
When you advance in the spiri tual practice it wi l l be very
difficul t for you to do meditation and ofice-work at the same time
dai l y. Because the mi nd wi l l undergo doubl e strai n. I t fi nds i t very
diffi cult to adj ust to different ki nds of uncongeni al acti vi ties. It
behoves, therefore, that advanced Grihastha Yogic students wi l l
have to stop al l the worldly acti vi ties when they advance i n
meditation i f they desi re to progress further. They themsel ves wi l l
be forced t o gi ve up work i! they are real l y si ncere. Work i s a
hi ndrance i n meditation for advanced students.
In Vcdanta or the path of Jnana, the terms "Manana" (reflection)
and ` ' Nididhyasana" are very Irequently used. Manana is
Vijatiya-Vri tti-Ti raskara (dri vi ng away al l the thoughts of worl dl y
objects), and Sajatiya-Vritti-Pravaha ( i ncreasing the thought-
currents of God or Brahman l i ke a steady stream). Nidi dhyasana is
deep and i ntense contempl ati on. It is Anatma-Vritti-Rahita or
Atmakara-Vritti -Sthi ti . The mi nd i s perfectl y establ i shed i n the
1 0 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Absol ute. No worl dly thought wi l l i ntrude now. The contemplation
is l i ke a steady fl ow of oil (Tailadharavat).
Train the mi nd i n a variety of ways in concentration i n the
begi nni ng. Concentrate on any concrete i mage. Concentrate on the
blue sky. Concentrate on the al l -pervading l i ght of the sun.
Concentrate on the breath with Soham repetition. Concentrate on
the various Chakras of the body. Concentrate on the abstract ideas
of Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam, Ekam, Ni tyam, etc. Lastly sti ck to
one thi ng only.
In meditation do not strain the eyes. Do not strai n the brai n. Do
not struggle or wrestle wi th the mi nd. Relax. Gently al low the
di vi ne thoughts to flow. Steadi l y thi nk of the Lakshya, object of
medi tati on. Do not vol untari ly drive away i ntruding thoughts.
Have subl i me Sattvic thoughts. Vi cious thoughts wi l l themselves
vani sh away.
When the mi nd becomes steady in meditation the eyebal l s also
become steady. A Yogi whose mi nd is calm wi l l have a steady eye.
There wi l l be no wi nki ng at al l . The eyes wi l l be red or pure
whi te.
I n | he begi nni ng when you are a neophyte, you can cl ose your
eyes to remove the di straction of mi nd, as you are very weak. But
later on you must meditate wi th eyes open, even during walking.
You must keep your balance of mi nd even when you are i n the
bustl e of the ci ty. Onl y then are you perfect. Think strongly that
the world is unreal , that there is no world, and that there is Atman
onl y. I f you can medi tate on the Atman even when the eyes are
open you wi l l be a strong man. You wi l l not be easi l y di sturbed.
Al l the vi si bl e thi ngs are Maya. Maya wi l l vanish through
Jnana, or meditation on the

tman. One shoul d exert hi mself to


get rid of Maya. Maya havocs through the mi nd. Destruction of
the mi nd means the anni hi l ati on of the Maya. Meditation i s the
onl y way for conquering Maya.
Al l acti ons whether i nternal or external, can b done only when
the mi nd is uni ted wi th the organs. Thought is the real acti on. If
you have control over the mi nd by steady practice and if you can
regul ate your emoti ons and moods, you wi l l not do fool i sh and
wrong acti ons. Meditation wi l l help a lot in chccki ng various
emotions and i mpul ses.
Leadi ng a vi rtuous l i fe i s not by itself sufh cient for
God-real i sati on. Constant meditation i s absolutely necessary. A
MEDITATION 1 6 1
good and vi rtuous l i fe onl y prepares the mi nd
.
as a ft i nstrument
for concentration and mcditation. It i s concentration and
meditation that eventual l y l ead to Sel f-real i sati on.
Duri ng meditation some of the vi si ons that you see are your
own materi al i sed thoughts, whi l e some others are real objective
vi si ons.
Real peace and happi ness mani fest onl y when the Vasanas are
thi nned out and Sankalpas extingui shed. When you fx the mi nd
ei ther on Sri Kri shna, Si va or the Atman even for fve mi nutes,
Sattva Guna i s i nfused i nto the mi nd. Vasanas are thi nned out. You
wi l l feel peace and bl i ss duri ng these five mi nutes. You can wi th
the subtle Buddhi compare thi s Ananda from meditation wi th the
transi tory sensual pl easure. You wi l l fi nd that thi s Ananda fom
meditation is mi l l i on times superior to sensual pleasure. Meditate
and feel thi s Ananda. Then you wi l l know the real val ue.
Concentrate and medi tate on the expansi ve sky. Thi s i s al so
another ki nd of Ni rguna, Nirakara medi tati on. By thi s method of
medi tation, the mi nd wi l l stop thinking of fni te forms. I t wi l l
slowly begi n to mel t i n the ocean of peace, as i t i s deprived of i ts
contents, vi z. , the forms of vari ous sorts. It wi l l become subtler
and subtler.
+
Some students l i ke to concentrate wi th open eyes, whi l e some
others wi th cl osed eyes, whi l e some others wi th hal f-opened eyes.
If you medi tate with cl osed eyes, dust or forei gn particles wi l l not
fal l i n your eyes . Some students in whom l i ghts and jerks trouble,
prefer concentration wi th open eyes. In some who meditate wi th
closed eyes, sl eep overpowers them wi thi n a short ti me. If the eyes
are open, the mind wanders to objects in the begi nners. Use y

ur
commonsense and adopt that whi ch sui ts you best. Overcome
other obstacles by sui table, i ntel l i gent methods.
You must be regul ar in your practice of meditation. Regul arity
in meditation is a great desideratum. Rapid progress and great
success can bcattained if regul arity is observed by the practi ti oner.
Even if you do not real i se any tangi bl e resul t i n the practice, you
must pl od on in the practice with si ncerity, carestness, patience
and perseverance. You wi l l get success after some time. There i s
no doubt of thi s. Do not stop the practice even for a day, under
any ci rcumstance.

If the aspirant has the nature of bei ng ofended easi l y for trifl i ng
thi ngs, he cannot make any progress i n meditati on. He should
c
ul ti vate
.
ami abl e, lovi ng nature and adaptabi l i ty. Then thi s bad
1 62 PRACTICE OF YOGA
habit wi l l vani sh. Some aspirants get easi l y ofcnded if their bad
qual i ties and defects are poi nted out. They become i ndignant and
begi n to fi ght wi th the man who shows the defects. They thi nk that
that man is concocting them out of jeal ousy or hatred. This is bad.
Other people can very easi l y find out our defects. A man who has
no l i fe of i ntrospecti on, whose mi nd is of outgoing tendencies,
cannot find out his own mi stakes. The self-conceit acts as a vei l
and b l urs the mental vi si on. lf an aspirant wants t o grow, he must
admi t his defects i f they are poi nted out by others. He must try hi s
level best to eradicate them and must thank the man who points
ouI his defects. Onl y then can he grow in spirituali ty.
I f an aspirant i n Kashmi r medi tates upon hi s Guru or spiritual
guidc at Uttarakasi , Hi mal ayas, a defi ni te connection is establi shed
between hi m and the teacher. The Guru radi ates power, peace, oy
and bl i ss to the student i n response to hi s thoughts. He is bathed i n
the powerful current of magneti sm. The stream of spiritual
el ectricity llows steadi l y from the preceptor to hi s disciple, j ust as
oi l fl ows from one vesse to another. The student can draw grace
from hi s teacher in proportion to the degree of hi s fai th. Whenever
the student si ncerel y medi tates upon his teacher, the teacher also
actual l y feel s that a current of prayer or subl i me thoughts proceeds
from hi s student and touches hi s heart. Ile who has the i nner astral
sight can cl early vi sual i se a thi n l i ne of bright l i ght between the
discipl e and the teacher, whi ch is caused by the movement of the
vi bration of Sattvic thoughts in the oc

an of Chi tta.
General l y when you have dreamless or deep, sound sleep it i s
ei ther you do not remember what you dreamt of or you fel l i nto

absol ute unconsciousness whi ch is al most death-a taste of death.


But there i the possi bi l ity of a sl eep in whi ch you enter i nto an
absol ute si l ence, i mmortal i ty and pcace i n al l parts of your bei ng
and your consciousness merges i nto Sat-Chit-Ananda. You can
hardly cal l i t sl eep, for there is perfect awareness. In that condition
you can remain for a few mi nutes. It wi l l gi ve you more rest and
refreshment than hours of ordi nary slcep. You cannot have it by
chance. It requi res a long trai ni ng.
When your meditation becomes deep, you general l y operate
through the subtle Karana Sarira (causal body) onl y. The Karana
Sarira consciousness becomes your normal consciousness. Yogi ns
have a normal Karana Sarira consciousness. Bhaktas l ike Lord
Gauranga, Tuka Ram, Tul asi das i dentified themselves wi th their
Karana Sari ra and had normal Karana Sari ra consciousness. A
MEDITATION
Bhakta too becomes one with Brahman. He has di vi ne Ai svarya;
yet he has a thin ethereal body. He keeps up his i ndi vi dual i ty. A
whirl pool is one wi th the whol e mass of the water. I t has a
separate exi stence al so. Si mi l ar is the case with the Bhakta

who
has a l ife with hi s Karana Sarira.
A sudden stroke of mystic i l l umi nation puts an end to al l the
empirical exi stence al together and the very i dea or remembrance
of such a thi ng as thi s world or the narrow i ndi vi dual i ty of the
spi rit i n this world absol utel y leaves.
When the Yogi has reached the l ast perfect stage of meditation
and Samadhi all the residual acti ons are burnt completely. He gets
| i beration in this very l i fe. Then he i s a Jivanmukta.
Practical Instructions
I . If evi l thoughts return back, do not make viol en( efforts to
drive them oIf. Al l ow the waves pass of quietl y. Never al low
sentiments to overcome you in any way. Wisel y uti l i se every .
condition for the upl i fting of the soul and Chi tta-Suddhi .
2. Do not thi nk any more of your worldl y concerns than i s
necessary t o determi ne your duty. Do your duty and leave the rest
to God.
3. When you are tired by too much meditation, suspend the
meditation for some time. Gentl y f x your mi nd on al l that is hol y
and subl i me, on the l ofty acts of sai nts and sages. You wi l l
gradual l y regain the normal tone of mi nd.
4. Unless you are prepared to gi ve up al you have for the
service of the Lord and the manki nd, you are qui te unfit for the
spiritual l i ne. Bal ance of mi nd, Samata state, i s a necessary
qualification of an aspirant. Try your l evel best t
o keep cool and
calm i n diffi cul ties, adversi ties and tryi ng conditions of l ife. Pray
ferventl from the bottom of your heart and wai t. Hel p i s bound to
come. God l ends hi s gracious ear. Do not |ose heart, fai th or
courage. Have fi rm, perfect, one-poi nted fai th i n God. He wi l l gi ve
you suffi ci ent strength to bear the pai n. He wi l l remove al l
obstacles and diffcul ties.
5. Devel op the power of endurance, Titiksha. Learn to bear
happiness and mi sery evenl y and to pass through al l phases of l i fe,
al l experiences, however pai nful or joyous, wi thout fi nchi ng,
wi thout l osi ng the tranqui l l ity of the spirit. Gi ve up shoes,
umbrel l a, wal ki ng stick, turban, ghee, Basmati rice. These are al l
your enemies. Sl owl y gi ve them

up one by one. This i s the secret


1 64 PRACTICE OF YOGA
of Yoga. The cravi ng for al l sensual objects wi l l die one by one.
You wi l l get i ncresi ng feedom and strong indi vi dual i ty. There i s
no l oss i n gi vi ng up sensual objects. You gain a lot. There is pain
i n the beginni ng. Get yourself prepared. Everything wi l l be al l
ri ght.
6. You wi l l see for yoursel f in a . short time the particul ar
benefits you derive from parti cul ar ki nds of tri al s. {o not give
way to the feel i ng that you are lost or have been deserted, when
these waves of dark and depressing thoughts prevai l . Know these
to b tri al s gi ven by the Lord for your own teaching, education
and learni ng experience and knowledge for your own growth.
7. Cul ti vate to an emi nent degree the facul ty of srong patience.
You` must possess s uch strong patience as that of that sparrow
whi ch ventured to exhaust the waters of the ocean with a blade of
grass.
8. God shows j ustice in puni shi ng those who transgress His
Laws. He i s thus hi ghl y merciful . He does not want His chi ldren
to repeat the mi stakcs agai n. Punishmcnt is for correction and
education. When the parents chide, the fool i sh chi ldren see in the
act an absence of afection; but
_
hen they grow up, do they not
recogni se that, had it not been for that chi di ng there woul d have
_rown up in them many a bad habit and vi cious tendency and do
they not thus trace the chasti semen|s of thei r parents to their most
di si nterested l ove and ki ndness and fee

grateful in their hearts for
what they characterised as merci l ess and rigorous i n their earlier
years of ignoranc
c
?
9. You can never, never real i se God, if you have not got rid of
Kami ni -Kanchana (l ust and desire for gold), if you are not
establ i shed i n mental Satya, mental Brahrnacharya and mental
Ahi msa. In mental Satya the very id of l i e does not enter the
mi nd. In mental Brahmacharya the very idea of l ust does not enter
the mi nd. Even in dreams, you must be free fom l ustful thoughts.
It requi res l ong practice and careful watch over the mind. Fool ish .
people hasti l y j ump up to the practice of meditation in vai n,
wi thout having these virtuous qual i ties whi ch ar v

ry essential for
spiritual Sadhana. Brahman i s pure. You can real i se It onl y if you
are pure in mi nd and body. You can know Brahman onl y by
becomi ng Brahman. "Brahmavid Brahmaiva BhavatiHe who
knows Brahman becomes Brahman. ' Practise Yama-Niyama first.
You wi l l get everythi ng.

1 0. Remeqber that the utmost sacrice i s demandcd of you and
MEDITATION 1 65
that your own progress should be a matter of secondary
importance, while work for others who are your own selves,
should b the chief aim of your life. If you look for Siddhis or for
any personal rewards, you can better stand aloof. Siddhis are
obstacles. They wi l l pull you down. Never care for- them. Shun
them ruthlessly even if they show their grimaces.
I I . The reason why your trial is more severe than that of others
is simply because you have taken a more earnest and determined
stand agai nst the Asura Vrittis, evil Vasanas and Samskaras which
assert themselves far more forcibly when battle i s waged against
them than under ordi nary circumstances. They are all brought to
the surface and laid bare before your eyes, so that you may know
them fully at the very threshold of your journey and disarm them
one by one as you proceed onward. As to what your particular
weakness is at the present moment, the best thing is to allow
yoursel f to di scover that for yourself; help will come to you from
inside; so that you may have no doubts and mistakes about the real
enemy and know for certain his nature and strength and the means
to disenthrone him from your heart.
1 Z. A nouri shment or special power comes from God to those
who have a pure and steady love to all humanity, an unfaltering
devotion to the laws of compassion and unswerving wish to serve
God above and the world below.
1 3. Do not act under the influence of personal impulses. Do not
be carried away by the force of emotions, however noble they may
be.
1 4. The endurance of all thi s pain and torture with patience,
with contentment, without fetting, without complaint, means the
exercise of a distinct force which spiritualises the whole nature.
The greater this force, the speedier the spiritual growth. The
patience and faith should continue undimi nished al l throghout the
practi ce. The real test of growth is the inner unaffected attitude
towards the outer ' surroundings, no matter whatever be their
nature.
1 5. Remember that the world do not vanish in Samadhi . The
idea that the world is diferent from Brahman vanishes. A new
idea that the Brahman is the all,- a new consciousness,-is
generated. The objectivity, Nama-Rupa, remains the same . i n
Ji vanmukta. A change is efected in subjectivity. The viewpoint
changes. The angle of vi sion changes. The watertight
compartments that were causing separateness through Adhyasa,
1 66 PRACTICE OF YOGA
vani sh. For example, there is a bungalow i n front of your house
bel ongi ng to a Rajah. You purchase thi s bungalow now. At first,
your view was that the bel onged to the Rajah. After
your purchasi ng it, the vi ew (i n the subjective side). The
bungalow (Nama-Rupa) remai ns the same. Now, the view is that i t
belongs t o you. The same i s the case wi th the vision of the
Ji vanmukta. Do not stretch the analogy too much. It aptly
i l l ustrates our poi nt and purpose.
1 6. A mother knows who the father of her son i s. So also, the
Antaryami n, the i nner rul er, knows everythi ng that goes on in your
mi nd. He hears the sound of the fal l of a pi n. So do not try to
cheat Hi m. I t is i mpossi bl e. You may tel l l i es to ni nety-nine

persons, but you must have one at least to whom you should tel l
the truth. Develop Arjava (straightforwardness).
.
1 7. Cl arify your ideas agai n and agai n. Thi nk clearly. Have deep
conccntrated right thi nki ng. Introspect i n soli tude. Purify your
thoughts to a considerable degree. Sti l l the thoughts. Si l ence the
bubbl i ng mi nd. Just as i n a surgical cl i ni c the assistant surgeon
al l ows onl y one pati ent to enter the consul tation room and the
operati on theatre of a hospi tal , so also you wi l l have to al l ow onl y
one thought-wave to ri se from the mi nd and scttle down cal ml y.
Then al l ow another thought to enter. Dri ve of al l extraneous
thoughts that have nothi ng to do with the subject-matter on hand.
An effi ci ent control over the thoughts through long practice i s
absol utel y necessary for the successful concentrati on and
meditati on. Note this poi nt careful l y.
1 8. Devel op uni versal sympathy and cosmi c l ove of a pure
nature. Sympathy mi ti gates your pai n. Love of humanity destroys
your l i ttl e, personal sel f. Love of humani ty is l ove of God. Service
of humanity is service of God. For there is nothi ng but God,
nothi ng but Brahman, nothi ng but your own self. It is i gnorance to
thi nk that they are di fferent fom you. You and
.
J, subject and
object, are essenti al l y one. Remember this al ways. Feel thi s. You
wi l l derive a novel , i nfi ni te happi ness. In servi ng others, you serve
your own self. In hel pi ng others, you help your own self. In
feedi ng others, you feed your own self. This i s a great secret. It
takes mi l l i ons of bi rths to l earn and feel thi s supreme l esson. You
forgct this fac| very often, through the i l l usory force-Maya. A
Vivcki , Vicharavan constantl y remembers i t. The greater and purer
your |ove, and the more you can feel for others, the higher is your
station in the spi ri tual regions and the dearer you are to the
MEDITATION
Supreme. You are no l onger a man. You are of di vi ne nature
-Oaivi Sampat, Dai vi Prakriti .
1 9. Develop cosmi c l ove (Visva-Prema
}
. I denti fy yourself wi th
the Vi sva-Atman. Destroy selfishness and petty-mi ndedness.
Expand. Awake. Ari se. Throw off your lethargy, i ndi fference. Lead
the l i fe of oneness and uni ty. Manifest the hidden powers. Assert.
Affrm. Real i se the Sel f. A glorious future i s awaiti ng you.
20. Even though you become the Emperor o
j
the whol e world,
you can hardly enj oy real peace and bl i ss, as l ong as you have
care, worry, anxi ety, fear, l ust, greed and desire. Causes of grief by
|housands, and causes of fear by hundreds, day by day overwhel m
the i gnorant. Knowledge of the Atman alone can gi ve real peace,
happiness and i mmortality. Therefore conquer Maya. Real i se the
Atman through meditation. Then you wi l l become the real
Emperor of emperors.
Par Two
EXEHLISES
Meditation on Rose
Dharana or concentration is fi xi ng of the mi nd on a concrete
object or on an abstract i dea. Meditation fol lows concentration.
Meditation is an unbroken, uni nterrupted or i ncessant flow of idea
of the object that i s bei ng concentrated upon. Concrete meditation
on an object is necessary for an untrained mi nd in the begi nni ng.
Si t i n Padma, Si ddha or Sukha Asana in a room set apart onl y for
meditation and medi tate on the colour, form, the various parts of
rose such as petals, stal k, pol l en, etc. , on the various ki nds of
roses, as whi te rose, yel l ow rose, red rose, cabbage ros

; o
q
the
various preparations as rose water, rose syrup, scents as Otto de
Rose, essencc of rose, confections as Gul kand. etc. ; on the di verse
uses of rose as rose water for cl eaning the eyes i n ophthal mi a,
Gul kand as a laxative i n consti pation, the fl owers and garlands for
worshi p of God, for weari ng, etc. ; On the various vi rtuous
properties such as its cool i ng effectOn the system, i ts carmi nati ve
properties; the price of rose and garlands of roses; the pl aces
where they are found in abundance and various other items
connected with rose. You must excl ude any other forei gn thought
associ ated wi th other objects. By this concrete method the mi nd
becomes ft for abstract meditati on. Practise for half an hour dail y
i n the morni ng at 5 o' cl ock for a month.
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Meditation on a Bu alo
Kri shna Chaitanya, a Brahmachari i n Omkar Ashram, on the
bank of the hol y Narmada, went to Ram Acharya and prayed to
hi m to teach hi m the methog of meditation. Ram Acharya said to
Kri shna: "0 Krishna, meditate on Lord Krishna havi ng crossed
legs and fl ute in hand, located in the mi dst of a big sun i n Ihe lotus
of your heart and repeat mental l y the famous Krishna antra: Om
Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. " Kri shna Chaitanya sai d: "Guruji ! I
am qui te dul l -headed. I cannot do thi s. This is too dificul t for me.
The Mantra is very, very l ong. Ki ndl y suggest an easy method."
Ram Acharya said. "0 Krishna Chaitanya! Do not be afraid. I
wi l l tel l. you an easy way. Hearken. Pl ace a beautiful , smal l brass
idol of Sri Kri shna in front of you. Si t in Padmasana. Look at this
idol steadi l y. See the various parts of the i dol , hands, legs, etc.,
wi th attenti on. Do not l ook at any other object." Kri shna repl ied:
"0 Guruji , thi s is sti l l more di fi cul t. Si tti ng wi th crossed legs wi l l
gi ve svere pai n on the hi ps and knees. If I thi nk of the pai n I
cannot l ook at the idol . I have to si t steadi l y, look with attention
and mark careful l y the various parts. I cannot do more than one
action at a time and I cannot remember more than two thi ngs at a
time. 0 Guruji Maharaj , ki ndl y show me a very, very easy way."
Ram Acharya said. "0 Chaitanya! Place the photo of your
father in front of you. Si t i n front of the photo i n any way you
l i ke. Si mpl y look at the fi gure for a short time." Krishna
Chaitanya repl i ed: "0 Guruj i ! my protector, this is al so dificult.
Because, I am very much afrai d of my father. He i s a terribl e man.
He used to beat me severely. I tremble the very moment I thi nk of
hi s form, my legs quiver. Thi s wi l l never sui t me. I should say, this
method i s more diffi cul t than the previous ones. I pray, Guruji .
Ki ndI y suggest a very, very si mpl e method thi s time. I wi l l surely
fol l ow. "
.
Ram Acharya sai d: "0 Kri shna, tel l me now, whi ch thi ng you
l i ke best?" Kri shna repl i ed. "0 Guruji , I have tendered a bufalo i n
my house. I nave taken plenty of mi l k, curd and ghee fom that
buffal o. I l i ke it best of al l . I constantly remember this. " Ram
Acharya sai d: "Kri shna, now go to this room, lock thc door, sit in
a cornc
,
on a mat and constantl y thi nk and meditate on thi s
bufalo onl y to the exclusi on of al l other objects. Do not think of
anythi ng el se. Do thi s presently. "
Now Kri shna Chai tanya was very much pl eased. With a gay and
cheerful mind he went i nside the room, fol l owcd the i nstructions
MEDITATION 1 69
of the Guru i mpl i ci tl y and began to meditate on the buffal o wi th
one-pointed mi nd i ntensel y. He did not get up from the seat for
three days conti nuousl y.
He forgot al l about hi s food. He was unconscious of hi s body
and surroundi ngs. He was depl y absorbed i n the form of the
buffal o. Ram Acharya came on the third day to the room of
Kri shna to see his condition and found Krishna absorbed in
medi tati on. Wi th a loud voice, Guru cal led out: " Krishna, how
do you feel ? Come outsi de to take your food." Kri shna repl i ed. "
Guruji , I am very grateful to you. I am i n deep meditation now. I
cannot come out now. 1 am very big. Horns have grown out of my
head. I cunnot get out of the smal l door. I l i ke the buffal o very
much. I have become myself a buffal o also. "
Ram Acharya found out that Kri shna's mi nd has attained
Ekagrata state and was qui te fit for attai ni ng Samadhi . Ram
Acharya said: " Kri shna, you are not ` a buhal o. Now change your
meditati on. You are not a bu!fal o. Forget the form of the buffalo
(Nama and Rupa) and medi tate on the underl yi ng essence of the
buffal o, Sat-Chi t-Ananda, whi ch is your real nature." Kri shna
Chaitanya changed hi s method, adhered to Guru' s i nstructions and
attained Kaivalya Mukti, the goal of l i fe.
The above story goes to i l l ustrate that meditation on any object
which the mi nd l i kes best is very easy.
Patanja|i Maharshi suggests various methods for meditation as:
"Medi tate on the Efful gent One in the

l otus of the heart, who i s


beyond sorrow. MedItate on the heart that has gi ven up al l
attachment to sense-objects. Medita

u on the knowl edge that


comes in sleep. " And l astly he has i ntroduced the Sutra No. 39:
!cthchhimc/c-JhycncJtc-meditate on anythi ng that appeals to
you us good." I t wi l l be easy to concentrate on a thi ng whi ch the
mi nd l i kes best.
Meditation on Mahatma Gandhiji
Retire to your meditation room. Si t in Padmasana. Meditate on
the form, stature, height and colOr of Gandhij i ; his educational
career in Engl and, hi s l egal practice in Africa; hi s pol itical
activities to raise the conditon of Indians i n Africa; his energetic
activities in non-cooperati ve movement in I ndi a; his famous
Charkha and Khaddar; hi s wi de-spread preachi ng throughout I ndi a
for popul ari si ng Khaddar; hi s strenuous efforts to uni te the Hi ndus
and Musl i ms; hi s exertions to upl i ft the degraded position of
1 `0 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Harijans, (the untouchables); hi s noble ideals and laudable
prinCiples; his life of absolute renunciation, Tyaga and Sannyasa;
his life of severe Tapascharya; his abstemious nature in diet; his
incessant struggle i n the achievemet of mental Brahmacharya; his
ideals of Ahimsa and Satya in thought, word and deed; his facile
pen i_n journalism; his various useful pubJications i n English, Hindi
and Gujarati ; his establishment of a useful Ashram which trains
good Karma Yogins; his strong will and various other noble
qualities. Do not allow any other thought to enter. If the mind
runs, draw i t and fx on the above thoughts. Practi se this for half
an hour dai l y for two months. You will learn the right technique of
medi tation.

Meditation on Virat-Purusha
Sit in Padma or Siddha Asana in your meditation room and
medi tate on the foll owing thoughts for half an hour daily. This is a
gross form of meditation for beginners for six months.
1 . Heaven is Hi s head.
2. Earth is His foot.
3. Quarters are His hands.
4. Sun and Moon are His eyes.
5. Fire i s His mouth.
6. Dharma is His back.
`. Grass and herbs are His hairs.
8. Mountains are His bones.
9. Sea i s His bladder.
0. Rivers are Hi s arteries and veins.
The mi nd wi l l expand now. Afterwards take to Saguna
meditation on a form of God such as Rama, Kri shna or Siva. Have
this kind of meditation for a year. Then have recourse to Nirguna
meditation on Brahman. By the practice of these various methods,
the mind becomes a ft i nstrument to take up abstract
medi tatiunmeditation on an abstract idea.
Meditation on Divine Songs
If you are wel l-versed in music, go to a lonely place, sing
beautifully o your heart's content, develop the Raga and agini
luxuriantly from the. bottom of your heart. Forget yourself, forget
the past and environments. This i s an easy method. Select some
fine Stotras, prayers pr philosophical portions: Tukaram's
Abhangas, Akhow's songs i n Guj arati , Tayumana Swami's Songs
and Thevaiam in Tami l ; Brahmanandamala in Hindi are admirably
MEDITATION 1 7 1
suitable for this purpose. Kam Prasad, a reputed saint of Bengal,
real i sed i n thi s way. Ram Prasad's songs are very famous
!hroughout Bengal . Ravana pl eased Lord Si va through hi s Sara
Gana pl ayed with nerve-stri ngs removed out of hi s body. Hear
what Shakespeare says on music: "The man |hat hath no music i n
him nor i s not moved with concord oI sweet sounds, i s ft for
tr

ason, stratagem and spoi l s. The motions of hi s spirit are dul l as


night, hi s affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. "
Mark the musi c.
You can quite easi l y wi thdraw the mi nd fmm the objects
through si ngi ng. Si ngi ng i mmediatel y elevates and expands the
mind. To fix an expanded mi nd on the Saguna or Ni rguna
Brahman i s very easy. What i s wantcd here is good taste and ski l l
i n musi with purity of heart and stcady practice of concentration.
Meditation on the Gita Slokas
Learn by heart some important Sl okas in the Bhagavad-Gita.
Repeat them mental l y after sitt| ng in the Asana. ( 1 ) There are
some i mportant Slokas which dwell on the ' immortal ity of the
soul ' in the second chapter. You can concentrate and meitat

on
these series of ideas. You wi l l fi nd this practice very, very useful .
( 2) Medi tate on the series of ideas from the Sl okas which describe
the Sthitapraj na state in the second chapter. (J) Meditate on the
series of ideas from the Slokas which describe the efects of Yoga
i n the sixth chapter. (4) Meditate on the series of i deas from the
Slokas which describe the Samata state of mind in the sixth
chapter. (5) Meditate on the series of ideas from the Sl okas which
deal with the a|tributes of a Jnani in the thi rteenth chapter. (6)
Meditate on the series of ideas fom the Sl okas which describe the
nature of Daivi-Sampat in the sixteenth chapter. (7) Meditate on
Visvarupa-Darsana ideas in the eleventh chapter. (8) Meditate on
the . Slokas : devotee dear to Me" in the twelfth chapter. (9)
Meditate on "Gunatita" i deas in the fourteenth chapter. I have
given

you a Iew sets of ideas. Select any sct that appeals to you
most. You can al l ow the mind to move fom one set to another.
Meditation on Gayatri
Gayatri is the ' Blessed Mother' of the Vedas. It is a symbol of
God, the Lord oI created bei ngs. |pa of Gayatri Mantra produces
Chitta-Suddhi, without whi ch you can do nothi ng in the spiritual
l i ne. You can never effect an iota of spi ri tual progress. Gayatri
i s an effecti ve uni versal prayer. This is al so known as
Brahma-Gayatri .
1 `Z PRACTICE
.
OF YOGA
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
Om-Para Brahman
Bhur-Physical pl ane
BhuvuhAntariksha
Stuh-S varga-Loka
1tt-Brahman, Paramatman
Suti/urIsvara, Creator
Varenyam-Fi t to be worshi pped
Bhurgoremover of si ns, ignorance, etc.
Devasya-glory
Dhimahi-we medi tate
Dhiyo-i ntel lect (Buddhi )
Y-whi ch \
Nahour
Prachodayat-nl i ghten.
"Let us medi tate on Isvara and Hi s Gl ory, who has created thi s
uni vere, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the remover of al l
si ns and ignorance. May He enl ighten our Buddhi . "
Reti re i nto the meditation room after bath j ust before sunrise.
Si t i n your Asana and repeat the Mantra mental l y as many ti mes as
you can, but not lcss than 1 08 ti mes and constantly feel that you
are recei vi ng l i ght, purity and wi sdom from Gayatri . Concentrate
on the meani ng of the Gayatri . Thi s is i mportant. Have your gaze
at the Tri kuti , the space between the two eyebrows.
GAYATRI PURASCHARANA
This Gayatri Mantra has twenty-four Sanskrit letters. So, one
Gayatri Purascharana constitutes the Japa of 24 l akhs of times of
Gayatri Mantra. There are various rules for Purascharana. If you
repeat 3000 ti mes dai l y, you should keep up the same number
dai l y al l throughout ti l l you fi ni sh the ful l 24 l akhs. Cl eanse the
mi rror of Manas of its dirt and prepare the ground for the sowi ng
oI the spiri tual seed.
The Maharashtrians are very fond of Gayatri Purascharana. In
Poona and other pl aces, there are persons who have performed
Purascharana several ti mes. Pundi t Madan Mohan Mal avi yaji is a
votary of Gayatri Purascharana. The success in hi s l i fe and i n the
establ i shment of the grand Hi ndu Uni versity at Varanasi i s al l
MEDITATION 1 73
attri butable to Hi s Gayatri Japa and the benign grace of the
Bl essed Mother Gayatri .
Swami Vidyaranya, the reputed author of the celebrated
Panchadasi , performed Gayatri Purascharana. Mother Gayatri gave
him Darshan and asked Vidyaranya for a boon. Swami Vidyaranya
asked. Mother ' There is a great fami ne in Decan. Let there be
a shower of gol d to rel i eve the i mmense distress of the peopl e. "
Accordi ngly, there was a shower of gol d. Such i s the power of
Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri 1apa cl eanses the Pranamaya Kosha,
puriI\es the mi nd, gi ves Ekagrata state, bestows Ishta Si ddhi s and
makes a man powerful and highly i ntel l igent. Gayatri eventual l y
gives l i beration or emanci pation from the wheel of bi rth and death .
GLORY OF GAYATRI
"Brahman mi l ked out, as it were, from the three Vedas, the
letters A, U and M, which form by their coal i ti on thc tri l i teral
monosyl l abl e, together with three mysterious words; Bhur (earth),
Bhuvah (sky) and Svah (heaven).
"From the three Vedas, al so, the Lord of creatures
i ncomprehensi vel y exal ted, successi vel y mi l ked out the three
measures of that ineffable text, begi nni ng with the word Tat, and
enti tled Savi tri or Gayatri .
"The three great i mmutable words, preceded by the tri l iteral
monosyl l abl e and fol l owed by Gayatri which consists of three
measures

, must b considered as the mouth or the pri ncipal part of


the Vedas.
"Whoever shal l repeat day by day for three years without
negli gence that sacred text, shal l hpreafter approach the di vi ne
essence, move as freel y as ai r and assume an ethereal form.
"The tri l i teral monosyl l able is an embl em of the Supreme; the
suppressions of breath with a mi nd fi xed on God are the hi ghest
devotion, but nothi ng is more exal ted than the Gayatri . a
declaration of truth is more excel lent than si lence."
-Manu Smriti, 11-76 to 83.
Meditation on Mahavakyas
Mahavakyas are the sacred sentences of the Sruti s. They are
four in number:-
1 . Prajnanam Brahma.
2. Aham Brahma-Asmi .
3. Tat Tvam Asi .
4. Ayam Atma Brahma.
PRACTICE OF YOGA
The first i s i n the Ai tareya Upanishad of Ri g-Veda. The second
is i n the Bri hadaranyaka Upani shad of Yajur-Veda. The third is i n
the Chhandogya Upani shad of Sama-Veda. And the fourth i s i n the
Mandukya Upani shad of Atharvana-Veda.
First is a Lakshana-Vakya whi ch gi ves a defi ni ti on of Brahman
and i
g
parts Tadbodha-Jnana. Second is an Anubhava-Vakya which
gi vcs Sakshi-Jnana. Third i s an Upadesa-Vakya which bstows
Si va-Jnana. Guru i nstructs the disci pl e. Fourth is Sakshatkara
Vakya whi ch confers Brahma-Jnana. You can take any Mahavakya
and meditate on it as you do on OM.
MEDITATI ON ON AHAM BRAHMA-ASMI
Constantl y feel that you are the Suddha Sat-Chit-Ananda
Vyapaka Atman (Pure, existencc absol ute, knowl edge absolute,
bl i ss absol ute, al l -pervadi ng Brahman), when you repeat mental l y:
' Aham Brahm -Asmi ' . Li p repeti tion is of no use. You must
i ntensely feel from the subj ecti ve heart. Gradual l y, you wi l l be
taken to higher emoti ons through deep feel i ngs.
Sit i n your Asana on a fourfol ded bl anket. Face the north Or the
east and constantly feel that:
1 . I am the i nfini tc l i ght.
2. I am omnipotent.
3. I ,am omni scient.
Concentration on Breath
Si t i n Padma, Si ddha or Sukha Asana. Face the north or the
east. Sal ute the Guru and Sri Ganesa (Om Sri Sat-Gurave Namah;
Om Sri Ganesaya . Namah). Be steady i n the Asana. Now, x the
:mind on the breath. The Ji va is uttering the ' Soham' Mantra
2 | ,600 ti mes dai l y. A man' s l ife is real l y made up of so many
' boham' breaths accordi ng to Yoga and not of so many years. By
Pranayama, you save the ' Soham' breaths and thus prolong your
l i
J
e, extend your longevity. If you watch careful l y, the breath
produces the sound ' So' duri ng i nhal ation, and the sound ' Hum'
duri ng exhal ation. ' Soham' i s the breath of l i fe. OM i s the soul of
breath. That i s the difference. El i mi nate ' H' and i ntroduce ' I ' .
Soham wi l l become "So I am. ' ' Soham' means "I am He. I am
that Brahman. ' El i minate the consonants S and H, it becomes OM.
Now then, concentrate on the breath. Do not thi nk of anything
el se. You wi l l notice that the breath wi l l gradual l y become very,
very sl ow, when concentration progresses. Utter the word ' So'
mental l y, when you i nhal e and ' Hum' during exhalation.
MEDITATION
Gradual ly, the word ' Soham' also wi l l drop when there is deep
concentration. You wi l l be i n peace. You wi l l be cal m, serene and
joyful . You wi l l enter i nto si lence.
Meditation on Soham
This is same as meditation on OM. Some take a compound
Mantra as: Hamsah Soham-Soham Hamsah. Before you practi se
Soham Dhyana, you must negate, deny, (Neti -neti) by repati ng:
Na Aham_J am not (thi s. body). Soham i s an i mportant Mantra.
Soham means "I am He. I am Brahman:" Repeat this Mantra
mentally. Your whole soul should feel you are the all-pervadi ng
Atman. You should feel wi th
.
all your heart, wi th all your mi nd
with al l your i ntellect and with all your soul . Then only ful l
benefts of Soham Mantra wi l l be real ised. The meditation should
.run for twen.ty-four hours. If Buddhi feel s: "I am Brahman, I am
omnipotent," and Chi tta feel s: "I am a clek in the High court. I
am weak. I am hopeless. What shal l I do for money for my
daughter's marriage? I am afraid, the judge wi l l fne me,"
real i sation i s i mpossi ble. You must destroy all wrong Samskaras,
all false i maginati ons, all weaknesses and all superstitions. Even i f
you are i n the mouth of a tiger, you must powerfl l y say: "Soham,
Soham, Soham. I am not thi s body." You are then a real Vedanti n.
You are spoiled by the mi nd, through Avidya. It i s not the mi nd
that has l i mi ted you. It i s Avi dya that has brought out this
li mitation through i dentification with the mi nd. Draw the curtain
of ignorance. Rest in Sat-Chit-Anaoda Brahman through the force
of Soham Mantra;
Sagona Meditation
Saguna meditation i s" editation on a form. Select any Murti
you l i ke best, either Si va, Vishnu, Rama or Krishna, accordi ng to
your i ncli nation or taste. Or fol l ow the directions of your Guru. He
wi l l select for you the lshta-Devata or tutel ary deity. The Ishta wi l l
guide you. An archer first ai ms at a grosser and bigger
.
object.
Then he takes up a medium object. Finally he shoots at finer and
subtle objects. Even so, one should take to Saguna meditation to
start with and when the mi nd is trai ned and disciplined wel l , he
can have Nirakara, Nirguna meditation. Saguna meditation i s
meditation on a concrete object. Ni rguna meditation i s meditation
on an abstract idea. Saguna Upasana removes Vikshepa. For three
or si x months, practise Trataka on any picture.
Afer si x months' practice of Trataka, meditate on the mental
picture of the Murti fom half to two hours in the Trikuti (the
1 ` PRACTICE OF YOGA
space between the two eyebrows). See and feel that the Ishta i s
present i n every object of the uni verse. When you meditate,
mental l y repeat the Mantra of the Devata. Thi nk of the attri butes
of the deity, such as omni potence, omni science, etc. Feel that
S
attvic quali ties fom the Ishta fl ow towards you. Feel that you
possess these Sattvic qual i ties. This i s Sattvic or Suddha Bhavana.
You wi l l have Darshan of your Ishta in one or two years, i f you
are si ncere in your Sadhana. Fol l ow thi s plan. This wi l l help
concentration. Move the mi nd on the various parts of the Murti.
Take, for i nstance, the picture of idol of Lord Vi shnu with four
hands and meditate as fol l ows. The pn
k
tice of Trataka is of great
use in this Saguna meditati on.
Dhyeyah sada savitru-mandala-madhyavartee
Narayanah sarasijasana-sannivishtah,
Keyuravan makara-kundalavan kiritee
Haree hiranmayavapur dhrita-sankha-chakrah.
Gada-Padmadharo devo dvaraka-nilayochyutah.
"Meditate al ways on Narayana seated i n the Asana of Lotus
fl ower in the midst of a l ustrous sun in the lotus of heart or in the
Tri kuti wi th golden armlets set with diamonds, with ear-ri ngs, with
golden crown set with diamonds, with golden necklace set with
Kaustubha gem, and with golden colour, with disc, conch, mace
and lotus fl ower in four hands-that i ndestructible Achyuta of
Dvaraka."
Duri ng meditation, move the mind on the various parts of
Vi shnu. See with the mi nd, His feet first, then His legs, then Hi s
yel l ow si l ken cl oth, then His golden Haara set with diamonds,
Kaustubha gem, etc., on the breast, then the ear-ri ngs,
Makara-Kundalas, then the face, then the crown on the head, then
the disc on the ri ght upper hand, then the conch on the upper left
hand, then the mace on the lower right hand, then the lotus-flower
on the left lower hand. This i s the order. T
h
en come down to the
feet and start agai n to the upper parts. By this method, the mi nd
wi l l not run towards objects.
First medi tate on Virat-Purusha. Then take up Saguna
meditati on. Lastly, have Nirguna meditation.
Nirguna Meditation
This is meditation on Nir
guna Brahman. This is meditation on
OM. This i s meditation on an abstract i dea. Sit i n Padmasana.
Repeat OM mental l y. Keep the meaning of OM al ways in the
MEDITATION 1 77
mi nd. Feel that you are the al l -pervadi ng, i nfni te l i ght. Feel that
you are the Suddha Sat-Chit-Ananda Vyapaka Atman, Nitya
Suddha Si ddha Buddha Mukta, eternal l y free Brahman. Feel that
you
a
re Chaitanya .
.
Feel that you are the Akhanda Pari puma;
Ekarasa, Santa, i nfi nite, eternal , unchangi ng exi stence. Every
atom, every molecule, every nerve, vein, artery shoul d powerful l y
vi brate with these ideas. Li p repetition of OM wi l l not produce
much benefi t. It shoul d be through heart, head and soul . Your
whole soul shoul d feel that you are the subtle al l -pervadi ng
intel l i gence. Thi s feel i ng shoul d be kept up continuously.
Negate the body-idea when you repeat OM mental l y. When you
chant OM, feel :
I nfni ty I am,
Al l Li ght I am,
Al l Joy I am,
Al l Gl ory I am,
All Power I am,
All Knowl edge I am,
Al l Ananda I am,
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
O
M
OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
Meditate on the above ideas constantly. Constant efort wi th
zeal and ethusiasm i s i ndispensably requi si te. Repeat mental l y
the above i deas i ncessantly. You wi l l real i se. You wi l l have
Atma-Darsana withi n two or three years.
Wi l l and Manana are two i mportant factors which pl ay a
conspicuous part in Ni rguna meditation or Vedantic Sadhana.
Manana i s preceded by Sravana or hearing of Srutis and fol l owed
by Nididhyasana of a constant nature wi th zeal and enthusiasm.
Ni didhyasana i s profoud meditati on. Sakshatkara or Aparoksha
real i sation fol l ows Nidi dhyasana. Just as the drop of water when
dropped on a hot iron-piece becomes absorbed in the hot i ron, the
mi nd and the Abhasa Chaitanya (refected consciousness,) become
absorbed in Brahman. The balance l eft is Chi nmatra, Chaitanya
Matra or Consciousness Absol ute per se. Sravana, Manana and
Nididhyasana of the Vedantic Sadhana correspond to Dharana,
Dhyana and Samadhi of Raja Yoga of Patanjal i Maharshi .
By worshi p, meditation and Japa of Mantras, the mi nd i s
actually shaped i nto the form of the object of worshi p and is made
pure for the time bei ng through the puri ty of the object (namely
Ishta Devata). By conti nual practice, the mi nd becomes ful l of the
obj

ct to the exclusion of all el se, steady i n its purity and does not
1 78 PRACTICE OF YOA
wander i nto impurity. As long as the rind exists it must have an
object and the object of Sadhana is to present it wi th a pure one.
The sound repeatedly and harmoniously uttered in Japa of
Mantra, must create or project i nto perception the corresponding
thing, Devata. The Mantras gather creative momentum by
repeti tion through the force of Samskaras.
.
In Samadhi, the mind loses its own consciousness and becomes
identifed with the object of meditation, Tadakara-Tadrupa. The
meditator and meditated, the worshipper and worshipped, the
thinker and the thought become one. The subject and the object,
Aham and Idam (I and this), Drik and Drishya (seer and seen), the
experiencer and the experienced become one. Prakasha and
Vimarsha get blended i nto one. Unity, identity, homogeneity,
oneness, sameness refer to Nirvikalpa Samadhi .
There are two kinds of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, vi z. , one i n which
the Jnani sees the whole world within hi mself as a movement of
ideas, as a mode of being or a mode of his own exi stence, like
Brahman, by resti ng in Brahman (Svarupa-Visranti). Brahman sees
the worl d withi n Himself as His own Sankalpa or Vivarta. So dos
a Jnani also. This is the highest state of realisation as in the case
of Lord Kri shna, Lord Dattatreya, Sri Sankara, Jnana Dev and
others.
Sarvabhutastham atmanam sarvabhutani chatmani
Ikshatae yogayuktatma sarvatra samadarsana.
"The sel f, harmonised by Yoga, seeth the self abiding in al l
beings, al l beings in the self, everywhere he seeth the same" (Gita,
VI-29). But in the case of the man who has not realised, he sees
the worl d as something outside, diferent and independent. This i s
due to Avidya.
In the second variety, the world vanishes from view and the
Jnani rests on Suddha Nirgua Brahman, according to Rajju Sarpa
Nyaya (analogy of snake i n the rope}. When a Raja Yogi gives up
his Savikalpa Samadhi, he meets the Jnani in Nirguna Brahman
through Brahmakara-Vritti .
Positive Meditation
I . I am the Al l (Sarvatva).
2. I am Al l in all (Sarvatmi ka) .
Medi tate on the above i deas. In this meditation, the body and
the world are taken as Brahman, . as expressions of Brahman. It is
MEDITATION
highly preposterous t9 thi nk that Brahman is by Itself fl l of
Ananda and that which is expressed out of Brahman i s ful l of
mi sery, pain and sorrow. Pessi mi sm shoul d be shunned. It is the
Ji va-Srishti that i s at the bottom of all pain and mi sery. There i s
nothing wrong i n Isvara-Srishti . Isvara-Srishti does pot gi ve the
least pai n. On the contrary, it is a helper ' of salvation .
.
Ji va-Srishti
constitutes egoism, Kama, Krodha, mine, thine, 'I am the doer,'
etc. This causes al l trouble. This is due to Ajnana which causes
identifcation wi th the l i mited mind.
Repeat the atove idea mentally at all times. Fe.el that you are
the Al l . Feel that your Sakti is worki ng i n all bodies. Constantly
dwel l on these ideas: "The whole world is my body. All bodies are
mi ne. Al l l i ves are mine. Al l pai ns are mine: Al l joys are mine. "
Jealousy, anger, hatred, egoism, etc. , will vanish. In the Samadhi
of positive meditation, the Jnani sees withi n " himself the world as a
movement of ideas. He is both Saguna and Nirguna.
Negative Meditation
"I am not the body. I am not the mind. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda
Svarupa." Meditate on the above ideas constantly. Feel that you
are the Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa always, all thr9ugh twenty-four
hours. Negate the body-idea. Incessant Sadhana is necessary to
remove Deha-Adhyasa which i s due to Anadi Samskaras
(begi nni ngless i mpressjonsj If you can go above the
body-consciousness, if you can leave the body at wi l l , three-fourth
of your Sadhana is over. There is a l ittle balance onl y. Then, there
remains only the "drawi ng of the curtai n; removal of the veil of
Avidya." That can be done quite easil y. Even when you move
about, even when you are at work, al ways feel that you are
al l-pervading, i nfni te Brahman. This i s i mportant. Thinking,
conentration and effort to separate yourself fom the body should
go together. In negati ve meditation, the Jnani dwel l s in Suddha,
Nirguna Brahma'l. He has no consciousness of the world.
Saguna and Nirguna Meditation
Isha, Prasna, Katha, Tapaniya and the other Upanishads
el aborately treat the method of contemplation of Brahman, as
devoid of qual ities. Baarayana, i n a chapter of Brahma-Sutras,
which deals wi th the nature of quali ties of Brahman, mentions
positive attri butes l i ke j oyful , i ntel l igent, etc. , as wel l as negative
attri butes l i ke measureless, colourless, etc. Both kinds of attri butes
are referred to the absolute and yet the contemplation of such a
Brahman can be called Nirguna Upasana or meditation on
1 80 PRACTICE OF YOGA
condi ti onl ess Brahman. The chi ef di sti nction between the
contempl ati ons of the conditi oned (Saguna) and unconditi oned
(Ni rguna) Brahman i s that i n the former the devotee looks upon It
as real l y connected wi th those attributes, whi l e i n the l atter,
posi ti ve and negative qualjties are not viewed as essenti al l y
connected wi th It, qut as suggesti ng Its absolute nature. Hence,
joyful , etc. , do not enter i nto the essence of the contempl ated
Brahman, but act as a gateway for graspi ng Its true nature. In the
contemplati on of the condi t i oned Brahman those and si mi lar other
properti es form a part of the contempl ati on.
The term Ni rguna does not mean that Brahman i s a negative
concept, that Brahman is a non-enti ty or zero. It means that the
qual i ti es found here in l i mi tati on, are found i l l i mi table i n
Brahman. I t means that the attri btes are Brahman's essenti al
nature or Hi s Svarupa. It means that Brahman does not possess
peri shable qual i ti es of matter l i ke the bl ue colour of a cl oth but
possesses all auspi ci ous qual i ties (Sarva Kalyana Gunas). Brahman
is Ni rguna-Guni . So also, by Ni rakara, it- does not mean that
Brahman i s formless. It means: He has not got a l i mi ted form as
that of objects, but has a form uni magi nable. What form can you
attribute to i nfi ni ty? Many have a crude idea of Brahman. They
say: "Brahman i s a bl ock of stone, because He has no qual i ties. He
i s a regul ar' voi d, a zero." No, no. They are entirely mi staken.
They have not made Sad-Vichara. They have vari ous doubts. They
have a gross i ntel lect which is unfi t for phi losophical i nvestigation
( Vi chara), di scri mi nati on, reflecti on, rati oci nation, etc. They have
not studied the i nfal l i ble Upani shads, the right means of
knowledge, the right source of wi sdom, whi ch gi ve an accurate
knowledge of Brahman. The Upani shads are i nfal l i bl e, because
they appeal to the reason of every thi nker, every phi l osopher. They
tal l y wi th the experiences of real i sed soul s. Hence they are
i nfal l i ble. Thei r authority i s more val i d than that of perception or
i nference. Brahman i s extremel y subtle. He is finer than
thousandth part of a poi nt of a hair di vi ded i nto a thousand parts.
A subtle, cal m, pure, sharp-poi nted, clear and one-poi nted Suddha
Buddhi is needed for understandi ng and medi tati ng on Brahman.
They suffer from Samsaya-Bhavana-doubts regardi ng the val i di ty
of the Upani shads and the true nature of Brahman. They should
purify the mi nd by sel fless service, should study the Upani shads,
should develop the four means of qual i fi cations and should have
constant Satsanga. Then, they wi l l have i ntel lectual conviction and
MEDITATION 1 8 1
i ntel lectual grasp of Brahman. By Sravana, Manana and
Nididhyasana, they can reach Brahman. This i s the ryal road. So,
Brahman is ful l of auspi cious Gunas. He i s a l ump of lumi nosity.
He is Prajnana-Ghana. He i s a sol i d mass of knowledge. He is
real ly more solid than Hi malayas. Knowledge i s more heavy and
more concrete than a huge block of stone.
[n Saguna meditati on, the devotee considers hi mself . as entirely
di fferent from the object of worship. The worshipper makes a
total , unreserved, ungrudgi ng, sel f-surrender to the Lord. He
respects, honours and adores the Lord and depends on Him for
everythi ng,-for food, protection and hi s very exi stence. He looks
al ways for help of any sort from the Ishta-Devata. There is nothi ng
indepndent for hi m. He i s an i nstrument in the hands of the Lo
r
d.
His hands, legs, senses, mi nd, Buddhi , physi cal body-all belong
to the Lord. A devotee does not l i ke at all the idea of Jnana or
merging. He l i kes to have his separate entity as a servant and to
serve, worship and l ove the Lord always. He does not l i ke to
become sugar as a Jnani , but l i kes to taste sugar and eat sugar.
This method of worship is one of contraction. Suppose there is a
ci rcle. You have a position i n the centre. You contract yourself to a
poi nt and merge i n the ci rcumference. This is Saguna meditation.
This is suitable for people of emotional temperament. Vast
majority of persons
'
are ft for this l i ne of worship onl y.
[n Ni rguna medi tation, the aspirant takes hi mself as Brahman.
He denies and subl ates; the false adjuncts or fi cti tious
environments as egoi sm, mi nd and body. He depends upon hi mself
al one,-absolute sel f-rel i ance. The aspirant asserts boldly. He
reflects, reasons out, i nvestigates, discrimi nates and meditates on
the Self. He does not want to taste sugar but to become a solid
mass of sugar itself. He wants mergi ng. He l ikes to be identical
with Brah:nan. Thi s method i s one of expansi on of l ower sel f.
Suppose there is a ci rcle. You have a position i n the centre. You
expand by Sadhana to such a great extent that you occupy the
whole ci rcle, and envel op the ci rcumference. This method of
meditation is suitable for persons of fine i ntellect, bold
understandi ng, strong and accurate reasoni ng and powerful wi l l .
Only a microscopic mi nority of persons are fit for this l i ne of
medi tati on.
It is comparati vely easy to meditate on Aham Brahma Asmi
when you are seated in a steady posture in a sol i tary, closed room.
But it is very, very difficult to keep up this idea ami dst crowded
1 82 PRACTICE OF YOGA
surroundings, while the body moves. If you meditate for one hour
and feel that you are Brahman, and if you feel for the remaining
twenty-three hours that you are the body, the Sadhana i s perfectly
useless, and it cannot produce the desired result. So, at all times,
you must try to keep up the idea that you are Brahman. Thi s i s
very, very i mportant.
.
A worldly mi nd needs thorough overhauling and a complete
psychological transformation. Concentration and meditation bring
about the construction of a new mind, with a new mode of
thi nking. Contemplative l ife i s diametrically opposite to worldly
l i fe. It is an entire change al together. Old Vi shaya . Samskaras have
to be thoroughly aimihilated through constant and intense practics
carried on with zeal for a long time
.
and thereby new spiritual
Samskaras have to be created.
r
CHAPTER TEN
SPECIAL SADHANA
Mauna
Mauna is the vow of silence. It is absolutely necessary for a
spiritual l ife. Much energy is wasted by idle gossiping and tall
tal k. All energies must be conserved and transmuted i nto
Ojas-Sakti. This wi l l help you in meditation.
If circumstances prevent you to observe Mauna, strictly avoid
long talk, big tal k, tall talk, all unnecessary talks, all sorts of vain
debates and discussions etc. , and wit
h
draw yourself from

soiety
as much as possible. If thi s energy is conserved by Mauna, i t wi l l
be transmuted i nto Ojas-Sakti, which wi l l be of immense use i n
your Sadhana. Speech i s Tejomaya according to Chhandogya
Upanishad. The gross portion of fre goes to constitute bone; the
middle portion to form marrow; and the subtle portion to form
speech. So speech i s a very powerful energy. Remember this.
Remember this always.
Observe Mauna for one year or si x months. If you cannot do for
months conti nuously, observe the vow of silnce at least for a day
in the week, j ust as Mahatma Gandhiji does. You must draw _ the
i nspiration fom . Mahatmas l ike Sri Kri shna Ashram Maharaj who
is now l i ving absolutely nude for the last eight years i n the icy
regions of Hi malayas. He i s observi ng Kaashtha Mauna, a rigid
vow of si l ence, for the l ast eight years. In Kaashtha Mauna, you
should not communicate your thoughts to others even in writing or
by signs. Why not you also become a Krishna Ashram of wide
reputation and glory?
When the Indriyas are sil ent, it is termed Indriya Mauna or
Karana Mauna. When you keep the body steady and i mmovable, it
is termed Kaashtha Mlna. In Sushupti (deep sl umber) there i s
Sushupti Mauna. The real Mauna comes only when there is
a
bsence of dual i ty and separation, when al l mental modifcations
cease. This is Maha Mauna. It is Para Brahman.
Antaranga Sadhana
Nishkamya Karma Yoga or the prformance of disinterested
1 84 PRACTICE OF YOGA
works is Bahiranga Sadhana, which leads you to meditation on
Aham Brahma Asmi . Karma is more .external than the four means
of sal vation and the Sadhana Chatushtaya. The four means are
more external than Sravana. Sravana is moe external than Manana
or reflection of what i s heard through teacher or books. Manana is
more external than Nididhyasana. Antaranga Sadhana is
Nididhyasana or deep meditation on Aham Brahma-Asmi and its
meani ng. In Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjal i Maharshi al so you have
the Bahi ranga and Antaranga Sadhana. Yama, Niyama, Asana,
Pranayama and Pratyahara constitute the Bahiranga Sadhana;
whi l e Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi comprise Antaranga
Sadhana.
Svara Sadhana
By knowi ng the nature of i nspiration and expi rati on, by havi ng
a comprehensi ve nderstanding and practice of the Svara Sadhana
(science of breath), comes i nto bei ng the knowledge of the past,
present and future. This science, the hidden of the hidden, the
secret of the secret, the revealer of Satya or Brahman, the
bestower of bl i ss and supreme knowledge i s a pearl , a precious
gem on the head of the wi se. This knowledge is easi l y understood
if fai th, i nterest and attention are si ncerel y bestowed on the part of
aspi rants. It exci tes wonder i n the unbeli evers. I n the Svara are the
Vedas and Sastras. The Svara is the reflection of Para Brahman. A
knowledge more secret than the science of breath, wealth more
useful than the science of breath, has never been seen or heard of.
riends are brought together by the power of breath.
I n the body are the Nadi s having many forms and extensions.
They ought to be known by the wise and the aspirants for the sake
of knowledge. Branching off from the root, Kanda, i n the navel ,
72,000 Nadi s extend i n the body. Kundal i ni Sakti i s sleeping l i ke a
serpent in the Mul adhara Chakra. From here 1 0 Nadis go upwards
and 1 0 downwards. Of al l these, three Nadis vi z. , Ida, Pi ngal a and
Sushumna are the most important.
Ida is i n the left part; Pi ngal a is i n the right part and Sushumna
is i n the middle of the vertebral column. Prana passes through al l
these Nadi s to the different parts of the body. Ida flows through
the left nostri l , Pi ngal a through the right and Sushumna through
both. Ida is the l unar, moon or the Chandra Nadi . Pingala is the
sol ar, sun or the Surya Nadi . The Ji va i s ever repeating the Soham
SPECIAL SADHANA 1 85
Mantra. Watch the breath careful ly. You wi l l notice that the sound
SO i s produced duri ng i nhal ation and HAM duri ng exhalation.
Watch very careful l y the motion of the Ida and Pingala. Keep the
Prana and mind cal m. To those men who keep the sun and moon
in proper order, knowledge of the past and future becomes as easy
as if they were in thei r hands.
In Ida, the appearance of the breath is that of Amrita. It i s the
great nourisher of the world. In the right, the world is
a
l ways born.
In the midst, the Sushumna moves. Do calm acts during the flow
of moon. Do harsh acts during the flow of sun. Do acts resulting
i n the attai nment of psychic powers, Yoga and salvati on, during
the flow of Sushumna.
The moon and the sun have duration of fve Ghatis (two hours).
They flow i n order during the 60 Ghatis of a day. Then by a Ghati
each, the fi ve Tattvas fl ow. The qays begin with the Pratipada (the
first lunar day). When the order is reversed, the efect is reversed.
In the bright fortni ght, the left is powerful . In the dark fortnight,
the right is powerful . If the breath rises by Ida at sunrise and flows
throughout the day and
.
Pi ngala rises at sunset and flows
throughout the ni ght, it confers considerable good results.
Let the breath flow through Ida, the left nostri l , throughout the
whole day from sunrise to sunset, and through Pi ngala, the right
nostri l , throughout the night from sunset to sunrise. Thi s is the
practice of Svara Sadhana. He who practises thus i s veri l y a great
Yogi . Practse thi s. Practise thi s. Practise this, my dear chi ldren.
Now, wake up to dri nk the nectar of i mmortal ity. Shake of your
habitual sloth, i ndolence, i nertia and all aspects of Tamas. Leave
off your idle talks, gossipi ng and the obno

ious habit of criti ci si ng


others. Do something useful . Do something practical .
Wrong Svara i s the cause of a host of ail ments. Observance of
right Svara as described above confers health and longevi ty. Thi s
wi l l doubtless bestow on you wonderful benefits.
HOW
i
O CHANGE THE FLOW
The fol lowing exercises are for

changing the flow of Ida to


Pi ngala. Sclect any one of the methods that suits you best. For
changing the fl ow from Pingala to Ida, just do the same exercise
on the opposite side:
1 86 PRACTICE OF YOGA
I . Pl ug thc lcft nostri l with a smal l piccc of cotton or fi nc cloth
for a fcw mi nutcs.
2. Lic down on thc lcft si dc for tcn mi nmcs.
3. Sit crcct. Draw thc l cft kncc up and kccp thc lcft hccl ncar
thc lcft buttock. Now prcss thc l cft armpit on thc kncc. In a fcw
scconds thc flow wi l l bc through Pi ngala.
4. Kccp thc two hccl s togcthcr ncar thc right uppcr buttock. Jhc
right kncc wi l l bc ovcr thc l cft kncc. Kccp thc l cft pal m on thc
ground a foot away and l ct thc wcight of thc trunk rcst on thc lcft
hand. Jurn thc hcad also towards thc lcft sidc. Jhis is an cffcctivc
mcthod. Catch hold of thc l cft ankl c wi th thc right hand.
5. Jhc flow of brcath can bc changcd by Naul i Kriya also.
. Pl acc thc "U" shapcd cnd of thc Yoga Danda (woodcn stick
of about 2 fcct l ong) at thc lcft armpit and l can on it by thc lcft
sidc.
7. Jhc most cffcctivc and i nstantancous rcsul t is produccd in
changing thc flow !hrough Khcchari Mudra. Jhc Yogi turns thc
tonguc i nsidc and blocks thc passagc by thc tip of thc tonguc.
Awakening the Kundalihi
Kundal i ni , thc scrpcnt-powcr or thc mysti c firc, is that
pri mordi al cncrgy or Sakti that l i cs dormant in thc basal
Mul adhara-Chakra. It is cal l cd thc scrpcntinc powcr. It is an
cl cctric occult powcr, thc grcat pristinc forcc which undcrl ics al l
organi c and i norgani c mattcr. Chakras arc ccntrcs of spiritual
cncrgy situatcd in thc Li nga Sarira, (astral body). Thcy havc
corrcsponding ccntrcs in thc Sthul a Sarira (physical body) also,
j ust as Buddhi , undcrstandi ng, i ntcl l i gcncc, ctc. which arc rcal l y i n
thc Li nga Sarira, havc corrcspondi ng ccntrcs i n thc brain also.
Kundal i ni can bc awakcncd through conccntration and control
of Vri ttis by Raja Yogi ns, through thc gracc of thc Guru and
dcvotion by Bhaktas, through thc analytical wi l l by thc Jnana
Yogi ns, and through Mantras by Mantra Yogi ns.
As soon as i t is awakcncd, i t picrccs thc Mul adhara Chakra. It
shoul d bc takcn up to thc Sahasrara Chakra through various
Chakras. Whcn thc Kundal i ni is awakcncd, thc Yogi sccs mcntal l y
a hugc mass of goldcn l i ght cnvcloping hi s body as if t o consumc
hi m. Hc shoul d not at all bc aIrai d. Thc Yogi cxpcricnccs difcrcnt
gradcs of Ananda and Si ddhi s at diffcrcnt Chakras. Suprcmc
SPECIAL SADHANA
fcarl cssncss, astral vi si ons, mcntal vi si ons, Vijnana visions,
Siddhi s and spiritual Ananda arc thc signs to dcnotc thc awakcni ng
of thc Kundal i ni . Thc Sadhana for thi s Kundal i ni Yoga shoul d bc
donc carcful l y and thc spacc in thi s book wi l l not pcrmit mc to
dcal wi th this subjcct in dctai l gi vi ng thc dcscriptions of thc
various Nadis and Chakras. Rcadcrs arc rcqucstcd to rcfcr to my
book "Kundal i ni Yoga. "
Laya Yoga
Dharana is thc i ntcnsc and pcrfcct conccntration of thc mi nd
upon somc i ntcrnal ccntrc or cxtcmal objcct or sounds l i kc
Anahata sounds or any abstract dca, accompanicd by a complctc
abstraction from cvcrythi ng pcrtai ni ng to thc cxtcrnal uni vcrsc or
thc world of scnscs. Dharana i s absol utcl y ncccssary i n Laya Yoga.
Sit i n Padma or Si ddha Asana. lractisc Yoni Mudra by cl osi ng
thc cars through thc thumbs. Hcar thc i ntcmal sound through thc
right car. Thc sound which you hcar wi l l makc you dcaf to al l
cxtcrnal sounds. Havi ng ovcrcomc al l obstaclcs, you wi l l cntcr thc
Turiya statc withi n ftccn days by thc practicc of Laya Yoga. In
thc bcgi nni ng of your practicc you wi l l hcar many loud sounds.
Thcy gradual l y i ncrcasc in pitch and aftcr stcady practicc, thcy arc
hcard morc and morc subtlc. You should try to disti nguish sounds
that arc morc subtlc. You may changc your conccntration from thc
gross sound to thc subtlc or from thc subtlc to thc gross sound, but
you should not al l ow your mind to bc di vcrtcd from thcsc to any
othcr objcct.
Thc mi nd, havi ng at first conccntratcd itsclf on any onc sound,
fi xcs fi rml y to that and i s absorbcd i n it. Thc mind bccomi ng
inscnsi blc to thc cxtcrnal i mprcssions, bccomcs onc with thc sound
as mi l k with watcr and thcn bccomcs rapi dl y absorbcd i n
Chidakasa. Bci ng i ndiffcrcnt towards al l objccts, havi ng control l cd
thc passions, you shoul d by continual practicc conccntratc your
attcntion upon thc sound which dcstroys thc mi nd. Havi ng
abandoncd all thoughts and bcing frccd from al l actions, you
should al ways conccndatc your attcntion on thc sound, and thcn
your Chitta bccomcs absorbcd in it. Just as thc bcc whi ch i s
dri nking thc honcy docs not carc for thc odour, so al so thc Chi tta
which is al ways absorbcd i n sound docs not long for scnsual
objccts, as it is bound by thc swcct smcll of Nada (Anahata sound)
and has abandoncd i ts hi tti ng naturc. Thc scrpcnt Chitta, through
1 88 PRACTICE OF YOA
l i steni ng to the Nada, is entirely absorbed in it. The ChiUa
becomes unconscious of everythi ng and concentrates itself on the
sound. The sound serves the purpose of a marp goad to control the
maddened el ephant-Chitta which roves in the pleasure garden of
sensual objects . It serves the purpose of a snare for binding the
deer-Chitta. It also serves the purpose of a shore to the ocean
wavcs of Chitta.
Anahata sound that is heard is of ten ki nds. The first is Chini
(l i ke the sound that is produced when you utter this word Chini);
the second is Chi ni-chi ni ; the third i s the sound of bel l ; the fourth
is that of conch; the fifth i s
.
that of l ute;

the sixth is that of Tal a
(cymbal s); the seventh i s that of |lute ; the eighth is that of Bheri
(drum), the ni nth i s that of Mridanga (double drum) and the tenth
is that of thunder. You can experience the tenth sound without the
first ni ne sounds

through the i nitiation of a Guru.


The sound proceeding from Pranava which i s Brahman is of the
nature of eHul gence. The mind becomes absorbed in it. That is the
supreme seat of Vi shnu. The mind ei sts as long as there is sound,
but wi th the cessation of it there is that state termed Turiya. This
sound i s absorbed in Brahman and this soundless state is the
supreme seat. The mind which along with Prana has its Karmic
affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon Nada, is
absorbed i n Brahman. There is no doubt of it. Being freed from al l
states and al l thoughts, the body wil l appear l i ke a dead body or
l i ke a log of wood and does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow.
When the spiritual sight becomes fxed without any object to be
seen, whcn the Prana becomes sti l l without any effort, and when
the Chitta becomes frm without any support, you become
Brahman. When Manas is destroyed, when virtues and sins are
burnt away, you shi ne as the eHulgent, i mmacul ate, eternal,
stai nl ess, Suddha Brahman. You are a Mukta now.
Auto-suggestion
Every one of you shoul d know and practise this, as it has
marvel l ous benefits. Whatever medicine can do, this. psychic
mcthod powerful l y accomplishes in getti ng rid of diseases and
eslabl i shing admirable health, power, energy and vitality. This
practice i s an of|shoot of Vedantic Sadhana. This is nothing new to
India. The term auto-suggestion is a new colouring and a new

garb. This consists of powerful assertions. The formula is. I am
SPECIAL SADHANA
becoming better and better every day, in every way." Constantly

rcpeat thi s mentally. Constantly dwel l on these thoughts. As you
think, so you become. Think that you

are strong, strong you
become. Thi nk that you are weak, weak you become. Think that
you are a si nner, si nner you become. Think that you are Brahman,
Brahman you become. Mi nd makes the hell of heaven and heaven
of hel l .

"Mana eva manushyanam karanam bandhamokshayoh
mind onl y is the cause for bondage and l i beration." Never give
room for dark, negati ve thoughts. Drive them. Ki l l them on the
spot.
Even if you are the poorest of the poor, the dul lest of the dul l ,
never move a fraction of an inch fom your real poston. Tat
Tvam Asi-Thou art That (Brahman). You are the sun. The whole
world moves around you. There is nobody superior to you in the
whole world. Assert strongly. Affirm. You wi l l feel tremendous
strength and power.
Suppose you want

to get rid of any disease, j ust fol l ew any one


of the fol l owing four methods:
. I . Personify the di sease. Assert. Command: "0 dsease! Get out
of my system.` The disease wi l l die. The vital force nsi de wi l l
bring about repai r and renewed energy. This method demands
strong wi l l -power.
2. Ignore and do not thi nk of the disease. Di vert the mi nd when
thoughts of the body arise. Do thi s several times. The disease wi l l
disappear. The chi l dren do not feel cold or heat whi l e at play.
Sl eep vanishes when you are keenl y attending a ci nema show.
Hungcr passes when you are i nterested i n a music-party. Why?
Because the mi nd i s di verted and kept occupied i n something el se.
Thi s is an easy method. Combine No. 1 wth No. 2. Thi s i s '
healthy combi nation. .
3. Deny the exi stence of disease. Thi s corresponds to Ajati-Vada
of Vedanti ns.
4. Truce method. Make al l ance and friendship wi th 1he disease.
Praise the di sease: "0 disease, you are Sakti. You are a great

power of Brahman. It is enough you have troubled me. I know
your potency Ki ndl y get out of my sys|em. " The disease wi l l be
cured. The vital force i nside wi l l attend to the wear and tear, and
i nduce renewed energy and vi tal i ty. This i s an easy method. In the
1 90 PRACTICE OF YOGA
treatment of cobra-poi soni ng cases, those who use Mantra, praise
the ki ng cobra and the patient is cured.
You cannot derive the benefi ci al resul ts in a couple of days. You
must cal ml y wait for some ti me. Have constant practice till you
establ i sh a mental habit. Then the subconscious mind wi l l do the
work for you.
^uto-suggestion i s a powerful , cheap agent to dcvelop your
wi l l -power. You can get over any di Hi cul ty. You can tide over
despai ri ng si tuati on. You can smi l e over any adverse
ci rcumstance. Before the mi nd al ways have the word-i mage.
Power-Strenyth-Vi tal i ty.
CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE YOGA OF WISDOM
Theory of Vedanta
There is no phi l osophy so bold and sublime as the phi l osophy
of Vedanta. It is Vedanta alone that can total l y eradicate human
sufferings and bring everlasting peace and happi ness. Even a l i ttle
understanding and practice of thi s subl i me phi l osophy can raise a
man to magnani mous heights of Brahman, God-consciousness, and`
can remove all sorts of fears, worries and anxieties of this
mundane l i fe. Even some western phi l osophers say now. We are
Christian by birth. But we are Vedanti ns by fai th, because we f nd
genui ne solace and real peace which the soul hankers aher onl y i n
the Lpanishads of the East. Thanks to the Vedanta phi losophy and
salu!ations to the Seers of the Lpanishads.`
The goal of l i fe is Sel f-real i sation which confers immortality,
highest bli ss, unl i mi |ed knowledge and supreme peac. Fi xi ng the
mi nd on the source or the i nner Self and getting it absorbed there
is the highest Yajna, hi ghest charity, highest Karma, highest
Bhakti, hi ghest Yoga or the hi ghest knowl edge. The l i ttle
self-arrogating nature vani shes now. !ust as the river joi ns the
ocean, the l i ttle self becomes one with the ocean of bl i ss. With the
di sappearance of the l i ttle i l l usory ego, comes the disappearance of
' mine' and ` thi ne, ` 'this' and 'that, ' time, space and causation, the
pairs of opposites, the ideas of Ji va, Isvara, Prakriti , etc. Jhe
whole world presents tself as the Atman. This grand vi si on, this
magnanimous Samadhi or superconsciousness i s Atma-Darshana
or vi si on of the Ll ti mate Reality which is

beyond descri ption.
Many have attained this vsion and l i ke some al l can experience
this hi ghest state.
The Atman is Brahman, absolute, i nfi ni te or supreme Bei ng. It
is exi stence absolute, knowledge absolute and bliss absolute. It is
eternal , perfect, pure and self-l umi nous. It is sel f-del i ght and

self-knowledge. It is bodi less and formless (Nirakara). It i s
al l -pervadi ng, al l -ful l and i mperi shable. I t has neiIher beginni ng
nor end. It exi sts i n the past, present and future. It i s self-existent
(Svayambhu). It is the source for this body, mi nd, Prana, Indriyas,
1 92 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Vedas and the uni verse. No one can deny It, because It is the i nner
Self of all bei ngs.
Atma-Jnana or knowledge of the Sel is the real isation of the
identity between the

i ndividual soul and the supreme Soul, Jiva
and Brahman. Jhis is the Gnosis of the Greeks. Jhis is attained
through discrimination, dispassion, self-restraint and constant
meditation on the signifcance of the "Jat Jvam Asi'' Mahavakya.
We have come to this worl d to l earn lessons and diferent
experiences. Jhis world i s a great school . Man evolves from
mi neral kingdom to vegetable kingdom, from vegetable kingdom
to animal kingdom, fom anmal kingdom to human kingdom.
Jhere are four classes. Humanity is the fnal class of this vast
world-school. If he gets success i n thi s cl ass by rigorous training,
uiscipline and Sadhana, he becomes a ful l -blown Yogi or Jnani . He
attains eternal l i fe

and immortality.
Jada Bharata, Vamadeva, Sankara, MadaIasa, Yaj navalkya,
Svetaketu-all have attained perfection and freedom. Jhe
possibility of reachi ng their level is withi n the rcach of al l who are
ready to struggle hard with patience, perseverance, iron
determi nation and strong wi l l . A man under normal conditions has
to take countless births before he attains perfection or knowledge
of the Self. If a man is sincere in his spiritual Sadhana, he can
evolve quickly, and can hasten hi s spiritual progress in a few
births whi ch otherwise would take many thousands of years. He
can cut shor| the cycle of births by drastic Sadhana, great

self-control and determi ned efort. He can have Self-realisation
withi n the twinkling of an eye in one birth, if he is a first-class
aspirant with ful l Brahmacharya and good spiritual Samskaras.

Just as one thread penetrates al l flowers i n a garland, so also
one Self penetrates al l these l iving beings. Behold thi s one SeIf in
al l . Give up the idea of diversity. Love al l . Be kind to al l . Serve
al l . You wi l l be established i n Brahman. When one Atman dwell s
i n al l l i ving beings, then why do you hate others? Why do you
sneer and frown at others? Why do you use harsh words? Why do
you try to rule and domineer others? Why do you exploit others?
Why are you i ntolerant? Is thi s not sheer ignorance?
Jnana (knowledge of the Self) alone is eternal . !t is without
begi nning, middle or end. Jnana alone exists even after the lralaya
or the cosmic deluge. Jnana is immortal . Jnana is one. Jnana i s
THE YOGA OF WISDOM 1 93
bl i ss. !nana is supreme peace. ! nana is Atman or Brahman. Jnana
is the real essence or substance.
Avidya, Mul a-Prakriti or Ajnana constitutes the causal body or
seed-body oI man. Just as you wear an i nnermost vest, over it a
si l k shirt, and over it a thick coat, so also this A|man has three
coveri ngs or bodies,-the i nnermost causal body, over it the subtl e
Linga Sarira, and over i t the gross physical body.
Just as there i s death Ior the physical body, so al so there i s
death Ior the Li nga Sarira and Karana Sarira. Destruction oI
egoi sm, thoughts, Vasanas, Raga, Dvesha etc. , bri ngs about death
oI the mind (Manonasa). Destruction oI Aj nana causes the death oI
Karana Sarira.
Di versities or heterogenei ties which you notice i n this world are
mental creati ons. When the mi nd i s anni hi l ated by the destruction
oI Sankalpas, desi res and egoi sm, all diversities vanish. Jnana.
a| one remai ns. Jnana alone shi nes i n i ts pristine gl ory i n
Nira| amba state (wi thout any suppOrt).
' his Atman (Sel [ wi thi n the body, resplendent and pure, can
be reached by truth and Japas, by sound knowledge and by
absti nence I.om sexual pleasures constantly practised; He i s wi thi n
the body, resplendent and pure. Hi m assiduous Sannyasi ns see,
their Iaul ts (oI anger, l ust, etc.) bei ng removed.'
-Mundakopanishad, !I!- | , 5.
Jhis body i s not meant Ior the satisIaction oI petty ends. It i s
Ior rigorous penance here and i nni te happiness hereaIter. I t i s an
instrument Ior achieving the goal oI human l iIe, i .e. , attai nment oI
Brahma-Jnana. It serves the purpose oI a boat to cross this ocean
oI Samsara to the other si de, the abode oI bl i ss, peace and
immortal ity.
Important Qualifcations
Jhc cause Ior the pain i +pl easure. Sensual pleasure i s as much
an cvi | as pai n. It should be shunned ruthlessly. One unna oI
pleasure is mi xed wi th IiIteen annas oI pai n. Pleasure that is mi xed
wi th pain, Iear, worry, anxiety, si n and exertion is no pleasure at
al l . Enjoyment cannot bri ng about sati sIaction oI a desire. Just as
ghee when poured over Iire i ntensi Iies i t, so al so enjoyment
aggravates the desire and makes the mi nd more restless through
cravi ng. Jhe sensual pleasure ia transi tory, momentary or
evanescent. When you seri ousl y ponder over, you wi l l fnd that the
PRACTICE OF YOGA
scnsual pl casurc is no pl casurc at al l . It is Bhranti-Sukha. It i s
mcrc mcntal i magination. I t is mcrc ti ti l l ation of thc ncrvcs. I t i s
mcrc itching of thc ncrvcs or thc lndriyas. Just as you fccl somc
momentary scnsation whcn you scratch an itching part, so al so you
fi nd somc ncrvous scnsatiOn whcn you put somc Ji lcbi or orangc
in your tonguc.
For a scrious thi nkcr, a man of discrimination, or Vicharavan,
thcrc is no pl casurc in scnsual objccts. It is all pain "Sarvam
Duhkham Vivekinah. Jhc world is a bal l of !irc. Jhcrc is a bal l of
firc withi n thc Antahkarana. Jcalousy, passi on, hatrcd, angcr, ctc. ,
arc burni ng you cvcry sccond. On account of ignorancc or Maya-
Moha-Jala, pain is mistakcn for plcasurc by thc worldly-mi ndcd
pcrsons.
Ncvcr say, 'My body. My son. My wifc. My housc."
Attachmcnt is thc root causc of all thc mi scrics and troublcs of thi s
world. Discipl i nc thc mi nd carcful l y. Jhc old habits wi l l crccp i n.
Dcstroy thcm to thc vcry root. Lcad a l i fc of mcntal non-
attachmcnt. Jhis i s thc mastcr-kcy to opcn thc rcalm of Brahmic
bl iss. Non-attachmcnt i s dispassion or indifcrcncc to thc scnsual
cnjoymcnts.
Hc who has acquircd thc four mcans of sal vation such as
Vi vcka (di scri mi nation bctwccn thc Rcal and thc unrcal ), Vairagya
(i ndiffcrcncc to scnsual cnjoymcnts hcrcin and hcrcaftcr),
Shat-Sampat (sixfol d

virtucs) viz. , Sama (tranqui l l ity of mind
through cradication of Vasanas or subtlc hi ddcn dcsircs), Dama
(scl f-rcstrai nt or control of thc Indriyas), Uparati (rcnunciation),
Jiti ksha (powcr of cndurancc), Sraddha (faith in Sastras and
Guru` s words), Samadhana (contcntmcnt) and Mumukshutva
(l ong ng for l i bcration), who is profcicnt in Srutis and
Upanishads, who i s of good qual itics, straightforward, i ntcnt upon
thc wcl farc of al l bci ngs, and an occan of compassi on, who has thc
vi rtuc of Brahmacharya is a qual i fcd pcrson for thc attai nmcnt of
Scl f-knowl cdgc. Hc shoul d approach a Curu wih prcscnts i n his
hand, should scrvc him wi th obcdicncc and humi l i ty and hcar thc
Upani shads, Vcdanta-Sutras and Mahavakyas (thc grcat scntcnccs
of thc Upani shads).
.
Jhat man i s fit to trcad thc path of Jnana who has shakcn off
carthl y i mpuritics, who has rcmovcd worl dl i ncss and al l sorts of
THE YOGA OF WISDOM
worldly attachments. He must have puri ty of nature and
cleanl i ness oI l i Ie al so.
Joana Yoga Sadhana
You should reflect and meditate. Sravana is hearing of Srutis.
Manana is thi nki ng and refecti ng. Nididhyasana is constant and
proIound meditation. Then comes Atma-Sakshatkara or direct
SelI-real isation.
Thi s i s al so known as Brahmanubhava or Aparokshanubhuti.
Then all doubts and del usions mel t away. The knot of ignorance
(Hridaya-Granthi ) is cut asunder. Al l Karmas (Sanchita and
Prarabdha) are destroyed. The Jnani attai ns Sat-Chit-Ananda state.
He is Ireed Irom the wheel oI Samsara, from bi rths and deaths
with its concomitant evi l s.
A student i n the path of Jnana Yoga repeats OM or Soham or
Si voham or Aham Brahma Asmi or OM Tat Sat and associates
wi th the ideas oI purity, perection, i nfni ty, eternity, i mmortali ty,
Sat-Chit-Ananda.
A beginner in Vedanta should study Atma-Bodha, Drik
Drishya-Viveka, Tattva-Bodha, select works of Sri Sankara, Laghu
Vasudeva Manana, Panchi karana and Vivekachudamani . Engl i sh
transl ati ons are avai l able. He should have a comprehensive
understanding of the Vedantic Prakri yas. He should have an
intel l i gent grasp of the three bodiys, five sheaths and their
Dharmas or Iunctions, and the three states oI consciousness, vi z. ,
Jagrat, Svapna and Sushupti . He shoul d know the various Yukti s
such as Anvaya-vyatireka, Adhyaropa-apavada, Neti-neti,
Laya-Chi ntana, Bhaga-Tyaga-Lakshana, etc. He should have a
cl ear knowledge oI Vi varta-Vada, Kevala-Advaita-Vada, Dri shti
Sri shti -Vada, Svaprakasha-Vada, Ajati-Vada, etc.
Advanced students should study the Upanishads, Brahma
Sutras, Panchadasi, Vichara Sagara, Naishkarma Siddhi , Chit
Sukhi, Khandana Khadyam, Advaita Siddhi , the monumental
works oI Vedanta, etc. Advanced books should be studied under a
Brahma-Srotri, Brahmani shtha. The aspirant should repeat
mental l y Pranava (OM) at least 2 1 ,600 ti mes dai l y. He should start
hi s Sadhana, Japa and Ni rakara meditation early in the morning at
4 a. m. He should possess the four means oI salvation.
Even if you have nothing to eat, even i f you have no cl othing to
PRACTICE OF YOGA
wcar, rcmcmbcr that you arc i n csscncc thc l iving Truth, thc l i vi ng
Rcality. Dcstroy thc sl avc-mcntality. Roar OM OM OM, Ram
Ram Ram and comc out of thc cagc of flcsh, Satyakama, l ovcr
of truth ! Asscrt, affirm, rccognisc and rcalisc thc Truth.
Sclfishncss rctards spiritual progrcss. If anyonc can dcstroy hi s
sclfi shncss, half of his spiritual Sadhana is ovcr. No Samadhi or
mcditation is possiblc wi thout cradication of this

undcsirablc
ncgativc quality. Aspirants should dircct thcir wholc attcntion
towards thc rcmoval of thi s dirc malady by protractcd sclflcss,
disintcrcstcd scrvicc.
"Ahamta' and "Mamata" arc thc two poisonous fangs of thc
mi nd-scrpcnt. Extract thcsc two tccth and thc scrpcnt-mind i s
tamcd. Thcrc can bc no bondagc. It is thc mind that crcatcs the
idcas of "I-ncss" and "mi nc-ncss. " It is thc mind that l i nks thc Jiva
with thc body and crcatcs intcnsc Dcha-adhyasa and thc man
thinks "I am thc body." It is thc mind that causcs attachmcnt to
wifc, chil drcn and propcrty. If thc binding l i nk in thc mind is
dcstroycd, you can rcmai n whcrcvcr you l i kc. You can roam about
pcaccful l y in any part of thc world, unattachcd l i kc watcr on thc
lotus-l caf. Nothi ng can bi nd you. Thc wholc mischicf is wrought
by thc mind. A man may rulc a vast dominion and yct hc can bc
non-attachcd.
Thc old Samskaras of vanity, cunni ngncss, crookcdncss,
arrogancc, jcalousy, pctty-mi ndcdncss, fighting naturc, boasting or
braggi ng, scl f-cstccm or thinki ng too much of onc's own sclf,
spcaking i l l of othcrs, bcl ittl ing othcrs may bc sti l l l urking in your
mi nd. You cannot shinc unlcss you rcmovc thcm thoroughl y.
Succcss in mcditation is not possiblc without cradicating thcsc
undcsirablc ncgativc qualitics of thc l owcr naturc.
Enquiry of ' who am I?' , mcditation on OM, Soham, Si voham or
on thc significancc of Mahavakyas arc all the samc. Thcy al l
constitutc Brahma Abhyasa or Jnana Yoga Sadhana.
In thc bcgi nning for six

months mcditatc on ( 1 ) thc bluc
cxpansi vc sky, thc al l -pcrvading air, cthcr, l ight, Himalayas or thc
i nfini tc occan; (2) thc abstract qual itics such as mcrcy, paticncc,
gcncrosity, ctc; (3) thc abtract idcas such as Akhanda,
Aparicchi nna cxi stcncc, wisdom, . bl iss, truth, ctcrnity, infnity,
i mmortality, purity, ctc. This wi l l rcndcr thc mind subtlc and sharp,
and prcparc it for dccp abstract mcditation on thc Afman.
THE YOGA OF WSDOM
When you are in the company of women, say wi thi n and feet
Eka Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman in al l these names and forms.
Names and forms are fal se. They have no i ndependent exi stence.
Their support or Adhi shthana i s Sat-Chi t-Ananda Atman. Lust wi l l
vani sh. Sex-idea wi l l di sappear. This i s the best Sadhana for
eradication of sex-i dea and l ustful propensi ty. Practise, feel and
real i se the truth of the above statement.
Saumya! Dear Immortal Self! Be bold and cheerful even
though you have nothi ng to eat, though you are cl ad i n rags. Thy
essential nature i s Sat-Chi t-Ananda (exi stence absolute, knowledge
absolute, bl i ss absolute). The outer cl oak, thi s mortal physi cal
sheath i s an i l l usory Mayaic producti on. Smi le, whi stle, laugh,
jump, dance in joy and ecstasy. Si ng Om. Thou art not thi s

peri shable body. Thou art the i mmortal Soul . Thou art the sexless
Atman. Thou art the Ki ng of ki ngs, Emperor of emperors,
Brahman of the Upani shads, the Atman who dwel l s in the
chambers of your heart. Feel as such. Cl ai m your birthright not
from tomorrow or the day after, but right now, from thi s very
second. "Tat Tvam Asi. Thou art That." Feel . Assert. Recogni se ..
Real i se.
Lead a l i fe of au

sterity and meditation. Thi s worl d i s nothi ng.


Al l objects of this worl d are worthless, because they are trans ient,
ephemeral and peri shable. Understand the nature of Brahman.
It is i mpossi bl e for a man who has i ntense Deha-Abhi mana
(attachment for the body) to attai n Atma-Jnana or real i se oneness
of l i fe. Do not identify yourself wi th body, wi fe, chi l dren, objects,
etc. Gi ve up all ideas of possessi ons. Never cal l anythi ng: Thi s i s
mi ne. " Be establ i shed i n the one idea: Brahman al one shi nes and
exi sts. I am Brahman. " Become a Jivanmukta. Enjoy the firal
Beatitude.
Your Real Nature
Your real nature is Sat-Chi t-Ananda. You are Exi stence
Absol ute, Knowledge Absol ute and Bl i ss Absol ute. You are
identical wi th Brahman. You are one with Brahman. "Tat Tvam
Asi-Thou art That." Never, never forget thi s. You are the creator
of this uni verse. You are the Lord of Nature. The whole world i s
your handicraft. Sun, moon and stars al l speak of your glory. There
is not the least doubt about thi s. Desi re, weakness, pai n, anger,
i nabi l i ty, etc., are al l Upadhi-Dharmas. They are al l wrong
1 98 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Samskaras, due to Aj nana or Avi dya. Jhe Upadhi-Dharmas do not
belong to the thing-in-itself. You are i nfni te, eternal , unchanging,
al l -pervadi ng exi stence. You are Anandamaya. You are
Sat-Chit-Anandamaya. You are Chi nmaya. You are Tanmaya. You
are Jnanamaya. You are Tejomaya. You are Satyam. You are
Pari purna. You are Akhanda Eka Rasa Paripuma Sat-Chi t-Ananda
Para Brahman. You are Kaivalya. You are Keval a. You are Turi ya.
You are Dri k. You are Sanmatra. You are Chinmatra. You are
Nitya, Suddha, Si ddha, Buddha, Mukta. You are Ni ranjana. You
are Chaitanya. You are Santam, Si vam, Subham, Sundaram,
Kantam.
You are Akhanda, Aparicchi nna, Advitiya Brahman. You are
Asanga, Akarta, Abhokta, Asakta, Ni rl i pta. You are the source of
al l things. You are the source of Vedas. You are the source of all
knowledge. You are the Sakshi n. You are the Mayavi n. You are the
i l l umi ner. You are the Supreme. You are Purushottama. You are
Si va, Vi shnu and Brahma.
.
Moksha is not something to be achieved. You are already free.
You are ever free. It is al ready achieved. Every being is one with
the Absol ute, and is, in fact, the Absolute. What is to be achieved
is the destructi on of the sense of separateness, which being
accompl ished, Moksha is easily real i sed. As mi l k poured into
mi l k, oi l into oi l or water i nto water, becomes uni ted and one with
it, so you become one wi th Brahman after real i sati on. Bondage
and li berati on which are conjured up by Maya, do not really exist
in Brahman, as the appearance and exist of the snake do not abide
in the rope which suffers no change. There is nei ther death nor
birth, neither bondage nor stri ving for freedom, nei ther seeker after
l i berati on nor li berated-thi s is the ul ti mate truth (transcendental
view).
Remove the vei l of ignorance (Avarana), vhich i s hiding your
real Svarupa. Destroy egoi sm, the sense of dual i ty and the sense of
separateness. You wi l l shine i n your own Glory. You wi l l rest i n
Sat-Chit-Ananda state. "Tat Tvam Asi" dear readers !
Residuum of Ignorance
This is the sustainer of l i beration in a l i ving state. The sham
appearance of body and its activity of a released soul can only be
accounted for by the admission of a portion of i gnorance, which
subsists for a while even after the rise of knowledge. When the
THE YOGA OF WSDOM
1 99
influence of fructescent works comes to an end, that appearance
also ceases and the l i berated sage is merged for ever i n -the
i l l imitable ocean of pure Sat-Chit-Ananda. The former state i s
called Ji vanmukti or l i beration i n a l ivi ng body; the latter,
Videhamukti or l i beration after the destruction of body. The
difference between the two kinds of l i berati on is rather i n name
than in essence, for the identity of the i ndi vidual soul wi th the
Supreme Soul whi ch transcends all dif|erence is vividly manifest
i n both the states. Even ftuctescent works, the sustainer of the
body and i ts acti vity, do not exist apart from the Brahman in the
eye of the rel eased sage. They explain, however, the harmless
acti vity of the perfect sage to the unreleased bei ngs. Vidyaranya,
therefore, in his Jivanmukti-Viveka does away with all distinction
between the two ki nds of l i beration.
I . Some are of the opinion that Mul a Ajnana or primitive
ignorance which i s possessed of the two powers of conceal i ng and
projecting, retains a l i ttle of the l atter after the rise of knowledge
owi ng to the presence of fructescent works. This degree of the
projecting power of pri mitive i gnorance expl ains the possibi l i ty of
l i beration in a l i vi ng body.
2. Otners mai ntain that the i mpression of ignorance which
survives the destruction of ignorance i s the sustainer of
Jivanmukti . That such an i mpression i s possible to exist even after
the removal of the substance of which it i s the i mpression i s
proved by the scent of garl i c coming out of the vessel even afer i t
has been thoroughly cl eansed.
3. A third view i s that pri mi tive ignorance itself which exists i n
a l i feless state l i ke a burnt piece of cl oth i s the cause of
Ji vanmukti .
4. Sarvaj natma Muni , however, throws oH the burden of
explai ni ng the nature of the portion of i gnorance which keeps up
Ji vanmukti by di strusting that kind of absolution. He is of the
opinion that the moment the essential unity of i ntel l i gence i s
comprehended, the world, i ncl uding body and i ts activity, ceases to
exist in te eyes of the released soul. The sage i s no. longer
existing in the ordinary sense of the term. He i s all Existence and
Bl i ss. Thus there is onl y one ki nd of absolution in which
everythi ng is reduced to Brahman. -Siddhanta sha
200
PRACTICE OF YOGA
The Five Sheaths
Accordi ng to Vedanta thcrc arc thc fol l owing fvc Koshas or
Shcaths
1 . Annamaya Kosha
2. Pranamaya Kosha
3. Manomaya Kosha
4. Vij nanamaya Kosha
5. Anandamaya Kosha
Food shcath
Vital shcath
Mind shcath
Intcl lcct shcath
B I iss shcath
Annamaya Kosha is i n thc physical body. Pranamaya,
Manomaya and Vij nanamaya Koshas arc i n thc mcntal body or
astral body. Anandamaya Kosha is i n thc causal body or Karana
Surira. Thi s is accordi ng to Vcdanta.
Sri Aurobindo Ghosh puts down Pranamaya Kosha in thc
physical body, Manomaya Kosha in thc mcntal body and.
Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Koshas i n thc Karana Sarira. Thcrc
arc thrcc bodics and fvc Koshas accordi ng to Vcdanta. This is
morc popul ar.
Thcosophists makc distinctions as astral and mcntal bodics.
Thcy havc as many bodics as thcrc arc pl anes. Thcy havc cthcric
doublc in thc physical body which scparatcs aftcr dcath and itsclf
dics aftcr somc timc,
.
during thc asccnt of thc migrating soul to
highcr pl ancs.
Swami Vivckananda cl assificd only two bodics, physical and
mcntal , and ignorcd thc causal body whcn hc prcachcd in thc Wcst
to make mattcrs casy for forcigncrs and avoid confusion.
Thc Annamaya Kosha undcrgocs thc six kinds of changcs, i .c. ,
cxi stcncc, birth, growth, modification, dccay and dcath. It i s
providcd wi th thc cxtcrnal Karanas or instrumcnts, not lndriyas
through whi ch thc soul works. Thc Pranamaya Kosha contains thc
physical Prana. It movcs thc Karanas into action. It causcs hungcr
and thirst. Hungcr and thirst arc scnsations bcl onging to thc
Pranamaya Kosha and not to thc Atman. Thc Manomaya Kosha
has Sankalpa. Vij nanamaya Kosha thinks, rcflccts, considcrs thc
pros and cons (for and against; to do or not to do; to do this or
that), ratioci natcs, comparcs, contrasts, dcduccs, infcrs, dccidcs,
dctcrmi ncs, concl udcs and j udgcs. It has a widc rangc of activity.
The Anandamaya Kosha causcs cnj oymcnt, happincss through
Pri ya, Moda and Pramoda. Thcsc arc thc thrcc attributcs of thc
THE YOGA OF WSDOM
Anandamaya Kosha. A desre comes to you as soon as you see a
lovel y mango. That s Prya. You purchase a mango and have
possesson of t. That s Moda. You eat t to heart's content. That s
Pramoda: The mpresson left n the Chtta of these processes,
acton and enj oyment s Samskara. The cravng n the m nd for
furthel repetton of enjoyment of this kind s Trishna. A subtle
form of desre whch gves rse to the actual desre tself s Vasana.
Vasana s a subtle form. Desre is gross form. That s the
dference.
Annamaya Kosha s made up of the fve quntuplcated
elcments. Pranamaya Kosha contans the fve organs of acton and
five Pranas. Manomaya Kosha contans the m nd and the fve
organs of sensaton, Jnana Indryas. Vjnanamaya Kosha contans
Buddh and five organs of sensaton, Jnana lfdryas. Anandamaya
Kosha is made up of Prakrt or Avdya or Avyakta. Chtta comes
under mnd and Ahankara under Buddhi . There are no Pranas n
Sankhya system. Sankhyas beleve that the concurrent actvty of
mnd, Buddh , Ahankara and the Indriyas s Prana.
The fve Yoga-Vrtts descrbed n Patanjal 's Yoga Sutra 6 of
Chapter I, vz., "Pramana-Viparaya- Vkalpa-Nidra-Smritayah, "
correspond to the fve Koshas.
Pramana corresponds to Annamaya Kosha. Vparyaya
corresponds to Pranamaya Kosha. V kalpa corresponds to
Manomaya Kosha. Ndra corresponds to Anandamaya Kosha. And
Smrt corresponds to Vjnanamaya Kosha.
Each Kosha v brates and s n touch wth a plane, ts objects and
bengs. The objects and bengs of a plane constantly attack and
pour fo!1h ther vbratons on the correspondng Kosha. Annamaya
Kosha s n touch wth the physcal plane; the Pranamaya Kosha
wth . the Bhuvar-Loka, astral world; Manomaya Kosha wth
Svarga Loka; Vj nanamaya Kosha wth Mahar and Janaka Lokas;
Anandamaya Kosha with Tapo and Satya Lokas.
There s the Annamaya Purusha Of the physcal conscousness,
n Annamaya Kosha; Pranamaya Purusha n nervous conscousness
of the Pranamaya Kosha; Manomaya Purusha n mental
conscousness of the Manomaya Kosha; Vj nanamaya Purusha n
the supra-mental conscousness of the Vjnanamaya Kosha;
Anandamaya Purusha n the conscousness of the unvrsal
beattude n the Anandamaya Kosha.
202
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Panchakosha Para: Atman i s above the Panchakoshas. Atman i s
Panchakosha Vi lakshana. it i s distinct from the five Koshas.
Atman is Sariratraya Vi lakshana. It i s distinct from the three
bodi es. Atman i s Avasthatraya Sakshi , the witness of the three
states.
Jiva in Sleep
Ji vatman or reflection of Kutastha Brahman and mi nd are

i nseparably l i nked togetlier. The name Jivatman is given to a
human bei ng after the development of Vrittis i n the mind. There
was no Jiva before the formation of Vritti s. The mind i s
enveloped, surrounded and fl led i n with the reflection. Both Jiva
and mind roam. about in the sensual objects through the force of
Vasana. There i s no Jiva minus mind.
In sl eep, the Jiva rests along with the mind in the Prakriti or
Karana Sarira. The Vikshepa Sakti which is causing numerous
mental osci l lations no l onger operates in the Ji va during sleep. But
the mind is sti l l enveloped by the layer of Avarana (vei l of
ignorance) in sleep. He is i n peace, as he i s destitute of Vikshepa
force. He is not dragged hither and thither, l ike a Chinaman who i s
pul led around by hi s fi ve wi ves. The Karana Sarira i s Anandamaya
Kosha. So the Ji va enjoys Ananda in sl eep. He is the Anandamaya
Purusha. He is Prajna. This is one view.
During sl eep, the mind separates from the reflection. The mi nd
enters the coronary artery, the Nadi of the heart, thence the
pericardium, thence the interior of the heart and fnally rests on the
Mukhya Prana. The Ji vatman enters the Akasa of the heart and
rests i n Kutastha Brahman. He pl unges hi mself in Brahman, i n
Ananda, just as one pl unges hi msel f i n the Ganga i n Triveni at
Ri shi kesh. He takes a jol l y fne dip i n Brahman, his normal
Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa, j ust as a weary pi l grim enj oys his dip at
the holy Prayaga. This is a second view.
It is then a natural question: "What pri nciple was waking at the
time of sleep which afterwards produces remembrance i n the ego,
practical Ji va, that he had nicely enjoyed a sound sleep?` The
pl ai n answer i s that it was the noumenal Self, Kutastha, known as
Sakshi. It may be objected that the

remembrance of the enjoyment
in sleep by Kutastha cannot account for the remembrance of the
enjoyment by Ji va. At the most, it can justify remembrance in
Sakshi who was formerly the wi tness of the three states. This
THE YOGA OF WISOOM
objection may be answered on the . ground that there is mutual
(Paraspara Adhyasa) false attribution of identity. The Kutastha
which is i nexpl icably mingled wi th Jiva, al though diferent fom
him, is the i nner soul , as it were, of Jiva. Consequentl y, the
experience by Kutastha may lead to the remembrance by Ji va who
is thought to be one wi th the former.
As soon as you get up from sleep, you say: "I had a very nice
sleep last ni ght. I enjoyed it hearti l y. There was good breeze. I did
not know anythi ng. " Now then, what is that pri nciple which says:
"I had a nice sleep," and what i s the second pri nciple that says: "I
do not know anythi ng. " According to a school of thought the
answer is that Avidya Vritti says: "I do not know anything. "
Accordi ng to the text of Saririka Upanishad: "Jagrat i s the state
having the pl ay of the fourteen organs,-the fve organs of senses,
the five organs of action and the four interal organs. Svapna is
the state associated wi th the four i nternal organs. Sushupti i s the
state where the Chitta is the onl y organ. Turiya is that state havi ng
Ji va alone." There i s Chi tta in the deep sl eep state. There is subtle
working of this pri nciple, Wherei n all the Samskaras are imbedded,
even during deep sleep state. So, Chitta is the principle that
remembers the enjoyment in deep sleep state. Smriti Jnana of the
pl easures of deep sl eep is attri butable to this pri nciple, Chitta,
which was al l along working i n deep sl eep. This is the third view.
Sat-Chit-Ananda
NOT THREE, BUT ONE
Sat-Chit-Ananda are the three highest attributes of Nirguna
Brahman whi ch the human i ntellect can conceive of. Water has got
in itself three
.
essential attributes-l iquidity. sweet taste and
l ustrous colour. They do not appear as di fferent. They are one. In a
candle flame, you wi l l fi nd heat, l umi nosity and redness. These
three attri butes coexist in the flame. They are not distinct and
di fferent. Si mi l arly, Sat-Chit-Ananda are not three attri butes, but
one. They cocxi st in Brahman. They are the Svarupa, essential
nature of Brahman. They are l ike Haata-Pani-Kara-which are the
Paryaya Sabdas for hand Hasta, Pani and Kara are not three
distinct thi ngs. They al l denote hand. In the phenomenal uni verse
you fi nd Asat, Jada, Duhkha. It is to diferentiate these three
negative attributes of Anatma, three positive attributes are .
introduced i n the Atman. Sat i s Chi t. Chit is Sat. Chit is Ananda.
204
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Sat is Ananda. That which is Chit only, can be

Sat-which exists
at all times in the past,

present and future and which has no
beginni ng or end. Chit i s that which i s self-l uminous,
self-eful gent, self-radiant, Svaprakasa, Svayam Jyotis. At the
same time, it i l luminates everything. Al l shine afer Him. "Tam
eva bhantam, anubhati sarvam, tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati:
It is the i l l uminator of all . It , is the source of all knowledge.
Buddhi, Manas and Indriyas borrow their l i ght from Brahman, j ust
as water exposed to the sun, oorrows heat from the sun.-Katha
Upanishad.
Svarupa Jnana
The .world does not exist apart fom Brahman. Isvara, Jiva and
the world are three diferent aspects of Brahman. Svarupa is
Isvara. Svarupa i s Ji\a. Svarupa i s Jagat. Svarupa i s Mauna or
1 nana-sil ence where there i s no sound. Attainment of Jnana i s
lhat state wherein the Jnani or Jivanmukta experiences Ihat
Brahman, Isvara, Jiva and the world are one. He fnds Aikya
amongst those four cl assical categories of Vedanta. Nothing exists
outside Brahman. The world is Mithya in the sense that it i s
phenomenal . It i s relatively real . The world becomes nothing when
compared with the infnite Brahman. The world i s not so real as
the unchanging Brahman. From the transcendental or metaphysical
standpoi nt the world does not exist. When comparcd with the
Absol ute, the world is l i ke the footprint of a calf. This i s
Vasi shthaj i ' s view i n hi s celebrated Yoga-Vasi shtha. When
compared wi th the i nfni ty, the world is a dot, a pi n's point, a
mustard grain, a bubbl e, a s traw floati ng i n a ri vr. t i s al so
Sri Sankara' s vi ew that the . worl d has a phenomenal
exi stence. You wil l 1nd thi s ti nying note throughout hi s famous
Vi vekachudamani .
Nature of Moksha
\ne m:ght argue that if cessation of ignorance be a momentary
condition and not a continuous state, absolution would not be a
permanent end of l ife. In other words, absolution consists i n
absence of ignorancc, now this absence must be conti nuous; else
absoIution would not b an eternal heedom fom mundane
existence.
It was a fundamental tenet of one of Sankara's direct disciples,
Padmapada who concludes his long argument as regards the nature
THE YOGA OF WSDOM
of l i berai on wih he senence: "Tasmat tnithya-jnana-nivritti
matrah mokshah: Absoluion consiss solely i n he cessaion of
false knowledge.'
I may be repl i ed ha he cessaion of i gnorance by iself dos
no consiue he chief end of l i fe, because i is nei her absence of
pain nor aai nmen of bl i ss. I is he complee desrucion of
worl dl y pai n and he real i saion of unceasi ng bl i ss ha i s regarded
o be he mai n end of l ife. The cessaion of i gnorance i s, no doub,
useful i nasmuch as i resuls in he absence of all pai n and
real isaion of al l bl i ss.
Chisukhacharya proceeds one sep furher. He holds ha no
only he cessaion of ignorance, bu even he absence of al l pai n
does no consiute he end of l i fe. The summum bonum consiss
only in he real i saion of al l bl i ss, whi ch s a synonym for
Self-bl iss. The absence of pai n i s an i nvariable aneceden o! he
man fesai on of Self-bl iss, jus as he cessaion of i gnorance
i nvariablv precedes he absence of pai n. He esabl i shes hi s own
heory b he fol l owi ng argumens.
All ki nds of human aciviy are di reced owards only one end,
viz. , aainmen of happi ness. Now happi ness is he essenial
naure of Self, which is hi dden by pain, he resul of nescience.
The absence of pai n whi ch fol lows he desrucion of i gnorance
means he a
p
sence of ha whi ch prvens
g
e mani fesaion of
happiness, whi ch forms he essence of Self. Thus he absence of
pain is coveed i nsofar as i leads o he mani fesai on of supreme
bl i ss. In oher words, he absence of mi sery i s subordinae o
happi ness, because i is desired no for isel f bu for he realisaion
of happi ness.
The converse of Chi sukha's heory, ha he absence of pai n i s
coveed for iself and he aai nmen of bl i ss i s subordinae o i, i s
unenable. I f he cessaion of pai n were he sole end of human
aci viy, he gra ficaion of sexual appeie, for i nsance, woul d be
coveed by none. Because ha appeie, i f i b ml awful , woul d be
mi ngl

d wi h numerous cares and anxieies which none would


undergo, had he cessaion of pain alone been he sole end of he
aci viy o graify i. Bu as he momenary pleasure accrui ng hom
he graificaion of lus, hough haugh wi h excessive cares, i s
sough for wih me umos eageress and vehemence by some
besial persons, i fol l ows ha hey se before heir eyes, no he
206 PRACTICE OF YOGA
mcrc abscncc of pai n, but thc attainmcnt of plcasurc as thc cnd of
thcir acti vitics.
Thc momcntari ncss of ths pl casurc docs not in thc lcast show
thc absurdity of thc cnd proposcd by Chitsukha, bccausc pl casurc
is a positivc i dca and conscqucntly admits of i ncrcasc and
dccrcuc. Thc i ndividual may, thcrcforc, vol untari l y sufcr a
numbcr of anxi ctics for attaini ng a statc rcplctc with joy. Thc
vicious pcrson, thcrcforc, scts a hi gh valuc cvcn upon thc
momcntary pl casurc, and hcncc wi l l i ngly undcrgocs all kinds of
troublcs. If abscncc` of pain wcrc thc cnd of hum an activity, varicty
of mi scrics would not bc vol untari l y acccptcd, as that ultimatc
abscncc of pain cannot outwcigh thc antcccdcnt miscrics.
It shoul d not bc supposcd, howcvcr, that Vcdanta scts thc
plcasurcs of thc scnscs, cithcr l awful or unl awful , as thc chicf cnd
of human l i fc. For i t condcmns cvcn i ntcllcctual plcasurcs which
arc fi ncr than thosc of thc scnscs, whcn comparcd with thc
immcasurablc bl i ss of thc Sclf. It is thc csscncc of moral wcakncss
that i t forms a mi stakcn cstimatc of prcscnt good, and a want of
proporti on wi l l , thcrcforc, bc found of ncccssity bctwccn thc
objccts of dcsirc and thc mcans cmploycd to obtain thcm. Thc
Upani shads tccm wi th thc i dca that thc hi ghcst phcnomcnal
plcasurcs rcal isablc in thc world of Brahman arc mcrc drops whcn
comparcd wi th thc occan of Sclf-bl iss in which a rcalscd soul
fcarlcssly swi ms. It is wi th thc vicw of rai sing thc i dcal oI
happincss that Vcdanta l ays so much strcss upon thc moral culturc
of thc aspircrs. Thc bl i ss of thc Sclf is noumcnal and has no
bounds .

Thus thc ccssation of worldly pai n docs nqt, l i kc thc ccssation
of ignorancc, constitutc thc chicf cnd of human l i fc. Thc
rcal i sation of purc Sclf-bl iss i s and ought to bc thc guiding
pri nciplc of our activity. -Siddhanta Lesha
What is thc Svarupa of Moksha? Sarva Duhkha Nvri tti and
Paramananda Prapti . What is Sarva Duhkha Nivritti? Rcmoval of
.
al l kinds of pai n, Avidya and its cfccts, birth and dcath, ctc. What
is Paramananda Prapti? Nitya, Ni rupadhika, Niratisaya Ananda.
Cosmic Consciousness
Thc four ki nds of Mukti and thc Bhava Samadhi of Bhaktas,
and thc l owcr Samadhi s of a Raj a Yogi , and thc lowcr Savikalpa
Samadhi s al1 lcad to thc cxpcricncc of cosmic consciousncss. Thc
THE YOGA OF

WSDOM 207
ways of approach may be dif|erent but the frui t is the same. The
experiences are common. Intuition, revelati on, i nspirati on, ecstasy
are synonymous terms.
The state of cosmic consciousness i s grand and subl i me. It
induces awe, supreme joy and the highest, unal l oyed fel i ci ty, free
from pain, sorrow and fear. Thi s state of cosmi c consciousness i s
below the absol ute consciousness (Ni rguna-Brmc conscious-
ness) wherei n the seer, sight and the thi ngs seen, or the knower,
knowable and the knowledge, or the subj ect and object bcome
one. In the cosmic consciousness there is yet the seer and the seen.
It i s doubtless a very subtle experience. It i s divine experience. It
i s a revel ation of the Karana Jagat. Whi l e Brahmic consciousness
is te experience of Mahakarana wherein there i s neither time and
space nor causation. It i s unconditioned, i nefable state. Sruti s
describe it negati vel y. Neti, Neti-not thi s, not thi s. "Yato vacho
nivartante aprapya manasa saha; Anandm Brahmano vidvan na
bibheti kadachana-The mind and speech retum back from it
bafled, as they are not able to grasp and describe It: the wi se who
knows the Brahman, which i s bl i ss, i s not afraid of anythi ng at any
time."
The pure Brahmic consciousness i s to be fel t by the Sadhaka. It
cannot be described by words. The language i s imperfect. The
cosmic consciousness i s the experience of Brahmaloka. It
.
i s the
consciousness of Hiran yagarbha. He who experiences the cosmic
consciousness attains many Siddhi s.
In the West al so people have come to recogni se the truth about
cosmic consciousness when one rises above body-consciousness.
Some have also tasted and experienced thi s state. In France,
Professor Bergson has preached about i ntuition whi ch transcends
reason but does not contradi ct it. Buck describes cosmi c
consciousness as fol l ows: "The cosmic consciousness, as its name
implies, is the l i fe and order of the uni verse. Al ong

with the
consciousness of the cosmos there occurs an intllectual
enlightenment wich al one woul d pl ace the i ndi vi dual on a new
plane of exi stence. To thi s i s added a state of moral exaltation, an
i ndescribable feel i ng of el ation and j oyousness and a quickeni ng
of the moral sense, whi ch is ful l y as striki ng and more i mportant,
both to the race and the i ndividual, than is the enhanced
i ntellectual power. With these comes what may be call ed a sense
208 PRACfiCE OF YOGA
of immortal i ty, a consciousness of eternal l i fe, not a conviction
lhat he shal l have i t, but the consciousness that he has it already.`

' The celestial eye usually comes to a Yogi who has advanced much
in mystici sm. But it is not possible for everyone to get thi s
celestial eye, as each and every one cannot be a mysti c.
The world i s a mental creation. It i s a mere impression only.
There i s no worl d during sl eep. You may argue that the world
exists for the waki ng man. Yes, qui te true. If there is mi nd there i s
world. What i s mind then? I t )s a bundle of i mpressions, i deas and
habits. The two currents, Raga and Dvesha, keep up the l ife of the
mi nd. If these two currents are .destroyed, there is death for the
mi nd. It is call ed Manonasa. That Yogi who has achievd
Manonasa cannot percei ve the

world. If you can consciously


destroy the mind through Samadhi , this world di sappears. Just as
you sec the rope onl y when the Bhranti of snake has vanished, so
also you see Brahman onl y when the Bhranti of world and body
has disappeared by knowl edge of the Self.
My dear scientists and students of science may not belicvc me.
Do this practice now. Shut yoursclf up in a room for a week. Cut
of all connections. Observe perfect Mauna (si lence) also. Then
feel how !ar the impressions of the world remain i n your mind.
You wi l l feel that the world i s a dream. If you practise for a long
ti me, you wi l l real i se the truth of qy statement. The world i s a
sol i d reality for a man of passion and greed, for a sensualist who
has a gross mind. For a Yogi of cosmic consciousness, there is no
world.
Cosmic consciousness is the fuit of Chaitanya Samadhi where
the Yogi feel s perfect awareness of a supersensuous plane of
knowledge and i ntuition. He feel s hi s exi stence "Ahm Asmi-1
exi st," whereas the Jada Samadhi of a Hatha Yogi cannot bring i n
thi s superconscious state. It i s something l ike deep sl eep
.
There i s
no divine knowledge i n thi s state. The breathi ng stops completel y.
The Prana i s fxed up somewhere i n the Mul adhara Chakra. Even
if you cut hi s leg, he wi l l not feel any pai n. There wi l l b no
blodi ng. But the Samskaras and Vasanas are not burnt here.
Whereas i n Brahmic consciousness, the

Vasanas and Samskaras
are fried i n tolo. The Jada Samadhi cannot give l i beration. One can
enter i nto Jada Samadhi wi thout any moral perfection, whereas
THE YOGA OF WSDOM
cosmic consciousness can never be had wi thout ethical perfection.
Note |his point very careful l y.
Absolute fearlessness, Oesirelessness, thoughtlessness, anger-
lessness, Brahmic aura i n the face, freedom from Sukha, Duhkha,
are some of the signs that indicate that the man has reached the
state of superconsciousness. He i s al ways i n a state f perfect
bliss. You can never see anger, depression, sorrow in his face. You
wi l l fnd elevation, j oy and peace in hi s presence.
Just as a wi ne-intoxicated man is not conscious whether he has
cloth on his body or not, so al so the Yogi who is experienci ng
supracosmic consciousness is not conscious of his body.
Just as a man doubts whether hi s ol d rotten shoe is cl inging to
.
hi s feet or not when he is sometimes absent-minded, so al so the
Jivanmukta doubts whether this body is hanging l ike an old rotten
shoe or not. That Sannyasin or an Avadhuta, who ful l y rests i n
Brahman and has no idea at al l of th slightest diference between
a male and a female, is entitled to throw of hi s Kaupina
al together. That Kaupina wil l drop by itsel f without his
knowledge.

He who is naked should not l i ve in an Ashram or a town or a
vi l l age. He should roam about unknown, not caring for food and
cast of his body as a sl ough in a dunghi l l or di l apidated house. To
l i ve naked i n an Ashram but to have al l sorts of comforts, to have
disciples and to take interest in thc development of the Ashram
does not look nice. It dos not appeal to some sections of people
at least. Thal Sannyasin or a Mahatma who wants or keeps
something for his body in an Ashram can also wear a smal l cloth
along with his Kaupina. Thi s wi l l not go against his realisation,
Vairagya and Jyaga. Physical nudity alone wi l l not constitute real
Tyaga. Some persons study the description of a Jnani in the
seventh Jnana-Bhumi ka i

n the Yoga-Vasishtha and try to i mi tate


this external state wi thout having any i nternal development or
attainment of that highest sIate of consciousness. This is a mistake.
This is hypocrisy. Some Sannyains falsely assume the state of a
Jivanmukta.
You wi l l fi nd in Kumbha Mela at Haridwar batches of Naga
Sadhus, young boys, marching in procession in a nude state. Are
these boys Jitendriya-Yogins who have perfect control of Indriyas
and the feel i

ng of cosmic consciousness?
2 1 0 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Yogi Ramacharaka writes about cosmic consciousness in his
.
book, Raja Yoga, as fol l ows.
"Cosmic consciousness is described as an awareness of the
Oneness of Life, that i s, a consciousness that the uni verse is fl led
with one Life-an

actual perception and ` awareness
,
that the
universe is ful l of l i fe, motion and mind, and that there is no such
thing as bl ind force, or dead matter, but that all is al ive, vi brating
and i ntel l i gent. That is, of course, that the Real Uni verse, which is
the essence or background of the uni verse of matter, energy and
mi nd is as they describe. In fact, the description of those who have
had gl i mpses of this state would i ndicate that they see the uni verse
as all mind-that al l is mind at the l ast. This form of
consciousness has been experienced by men here and there-only
a few-in moments of ' i l l umi nation, ' the period l asting but a very
short space of ti me, then fading away, leaving but a memory. In
the moment of the ' i l l umination` there camc to those experiencing
it a sense of ' i n-touchness` with universal Knowl edge and Life,
impossi bl e to describe, accompanied by a joy beyond
understanding.'
He who gets the experience of supracosmic consciousness, has
the feel ing of 'Apta Kama ' (one who has obtained all that he
desires) and feel s: "There is nothing more to b known by me."
When onc has reached the stage to feel the cosmic
consciousness the diHerentiating mind that splits up has vanished.
All barriers, all sense of duality, diferences, separateness have
disappeared. There is no idea of time and space. There is onl y
eternity. The Ji va has real i sed his identity with Brahman. The
ideas of caste, creed and colour have gone now. The world
completely disappears for him.
.
The subj ect ' Samdhi ' i s dealt with in detai l in my book ` Raja
Yoga' and so I wil l proceed to some other i mportant items of this
book.
Omniscience
A normal Nirvi kalpa consciousness is a very, very rare
conditi on. You may remain i n Nirvikalpa Samadhi for some time,
but it is extremely dificult to have a normal, Nirguna, Brahmic
consciousness al ways. It was onl y persons l i ke Sri Sankaracharya
and Sri Dattatreya wi th special lsvara-kala, who had attained a
perfect, normal, Nirguna consciousness.
THE YOGA OF WISDOM 2 1 1
Brahman is the knower of al l . Brahman is the author of al l
knowledge, He throws l ight upon all
.
objects of the world. Al l
shine after Hi m. Brahman i s not a knower i n the ordinary sense of
the term. He is not all-knowing but all-knowledge itself. He is not
a1 1 -powerful , but power itself. Sat-Chit-Ananda i s His Svarupa or
essential nature but not a perishable attribute, l i ke the blue colour
of a cloth. Ananda i s His body. Knowl edge i s His body. Brahman
is all i n all. He has neither form nor i nstruments. Omni science and
omnipotence constitute His very nature.
Sarvendriyagunabhasam sarvendriyavivarjitam
Asaktam sarvabhricchaiva nirgunam gunabhoktricha.
"Shini ng with all sense-faculties without any senses; unattached,
supporting everythi ng; and free from qualities, enjoying gual ities.`
Gi ta. XIII- | 4.
The head of Brahman is all-bliss; the trunk is all-joy; right hand
is al l -satisfaction; leh hand i s al l-contentment. His ears can see;
His eyes can hear; His legs can eat; His nail s can speak and
deliver lecture because, He has knowledge as His Svarupa.
A Jnani does not see thc world j ust as you do. He does not see
the various objects outside himself. He sees everythi ng in himself.
A Jnani through Jnana exercises direct omniscience and has
perfect cosmic consciousness.
The second method i s that a Jnani has i ndirect omniscience
through the medium of Samskaras or modifications in Maya. The
modifications of Maya are nothi ng but the totality of the fnest
states of i ndividual minds. The subtle i mpressions of the minds of
all creatures, which have the universe of things for their objects
float about in Maya. The fi ne Samskaras which are lodged in the
individual Karana Sarira of men are l i nked in Maya. A Jnani
operates through the Mayaic Samskaras and obtains indirect
omniscience.
Ajati-Vada
Accordi ng to Sri Sankara, Maya i s Anirvachaniya
(i ndescribable), neither Sat nor Asat, neither distinct nor identical .
This doctri ne i s being hopelessly miscOnstrued by many
present-day Vedantins who say that

there is no world and

who
bring forward the analogy of Sasha Vshana (hom of a hare),
Vandhya Putra (barren

woman' s son), and Gaganaravind


(sky-ower) in support of their argument. The theory of
2 1 2 PRACfiCE OF YOGA
Ajati -Vada, absol ute non-existence of the world l i ke the barren
woman' s son, is absolutely untenable. It has no pl ace in the
domai n of phi losophy. No phi losopher has accepted this theory.
The uni verse runs on well -establ i shed defi nite |aws. There is an
!svara who gui des the Ji vas and afords the fruits according to
their Karmas (acti ons). There is positive, rational phi l osophy
which deals logical l y wi th al l cosmological, psychological,
theol ogical and eschatological problems. If you take up
Ajati -Vada, al l these things wi l l have to go to dogs. Thi s theory
has wrought serious disaster i n India. Onl y a very, very few
people, a microscopic minority a e ft for Jnana Yoga. For the vast
majority, either Karma Yoga excl usi vely or Karma and Jnana
combi ned or Karma and Bhakti Yoga combi ned i s conducive and
suitable.
+
This theory of Ajati-Vada has made several of our young men
retire i nto forests for contemplative l i fe aimlessly. Thy have not
properl y understood the Vcdanta phil osophy and the rationale of
medi tati on. They have ignored the world total ly on the ground that
it is absolutely non-exi stent. They have neglected the proper
maintenance of the physical body al so. Meditation is a very
diffi cul t process. Onl y Ihose who are able |o medi tate for
twenty-four hours can take up to absolute seclusion for a long
ti me. A novice can hardly keep the mi nd ful l y occupied durng
secl usion. He does not know how to handle (he mind and fx i t
properly on the Lakshya. Al l physical neglecl of the body leads to
gradual debil ity. In the long run, owi ng to debi l i ty and mental
lethargy consequent on the i rrational secl usion, many Sannyasins
bccome Tamasic, which is mi staken for Sattvic (while Sattva is
i ntcnse acti vity). They become absolutely useless either for
themsel ves or for the world. ^l l possi ble care should be taken to
keep the body i n a healthy condition. A Sadhaka shoul d take more
care than a worldly man, because it i s with thi s i nstrument that he
has to reach the yoal . At the same time, he shoul d be quite
unattached to the body and be prepared to gve it up at any
moment. That i s the proper ideal . When he finds that af|er some
years of secl usi on he has made no i mprovement, and that he is
passi ng i nto Tamas, he should come up to the world, and combine
both congeni al action and medi tati on. He can evolve through
acti vity,
.
but Tamas wi l l total l y anni hi l ate spiritual growth.
Brahman has withi n Hi mself thi s world as a `movement of ideas'
THE YOGA OF WISDOM 21
or a ` mode of bei ng' without being least afected by phenomena.
You, as a poor, insignifcant Jiva, have withi n yourself a dream
world of phenomena and you arc not a bit afected by these
changes. When such is the case why not, an omnipotent Brahman
have this phenomenal world within Himself? Brahman i s
omnipotent. He can do anything He l ikes. He can be Nirvikalpa.
He can be Savikalpa also. He can be Nirakara.
_
e can be Sakara

also. He can be Nirguna. He can be Saguna also. You cannot
comprehend transcendental matters with the l i mited, gross i ntellect
in time, space and causation. Jhat is the trouble. You cannot
rightly understand the principle: "Jo bc a witness of the mental
modifications and at the same time to uti l ise mi nd and body as
instruments in the performance of al l worldly activities." Why?
Because your Buddhi i s i mpure owi ng to worldly attachments and
passions. If you are unable to b a witness and at the same time a
doer also wi thout being least afected by these actions, you bring
down Brahman also to your own level from anthropomorphic
viewpoint and argue that Brahman also cannot be a Sakshi and
also . an actor at the same time. You i magine tht what is
impossible for you i s i mpossible for Brahman aIso. Jhis i s si mpl y
pueri le and anthropomorphic. Brahman i s Sarva-Sakshi . He i s the
witness of al l . He works in al l bodies.
Brahmakara Vritti
When the Antahkarana is rndered pure (Chitta Suddhi) by
Sadhana Chatushtaya, thi s Brahmakara Vritti i s generated out of
ths SaItvic Antahkarana through hearing of the Mahavakyas: Tat
Tvam Asi or Aham Brahma Asmi. Jhis is a modifcation of the
Sa|tvic Antahkarana-Antahkarana Pari nama. Jo put i n Vedantic
terminol ogy, Brahmakara Vritti is Mahavakya Janya, Sattva Guna
Karya or Antahkarana Parinama. It i s generated tmough the
hearing of Srutis. It is the efect of Sattva Guna. It is the
modifcation of the Antahkarana. Other names for thi s Brahmakara
Vritti are. ^khandakara Vritt, Jadakara Vritti, Atmakara Vritti,
Svarupakara Vritti . When thi s Vritti shines, Vishayakara Vritti s
stop. Sadhana consists i n not allowing

the mi nd assume 1he


Vishayakara Vrittis but in retaini ng the Brahmakara Vritti , by
fixing the mind in Brahman. Brahmakara Vritti Sthiti is Samadhi
o! a Jnani . Jhis i s achieved through constant Nididhyasana. It i s
21 4 PRACTICE OF YOGA
this Brahmakara Vritti that destroys the Mula Ajnana (pri mitive
nescience).
Convert Vi shayakara Vritti i nto Brahmakara Vritti . Brahmakara
Vritti is generated when you try during Nirguna meditation to feel
i nfi nity by repeating OM mental ly.
Fate of Brahmakara Vritti
This is the last modifcation of mi nd generated by the Vedic
tex). Tat Tvam Asi or Aham Brahma Asmi anni hi l ates primitive
ignorance, Mul a Ajnana, and through it the whole phenomenal
world. This modification, or in other words, the direct knowledge
of Brahman, ought to subside i n order to leave Brahman i n its
native secondless character. What i s, then the cause of the
destruction of that modifcation?
Some answer the question as fol l ows: Just as the powder of
Kataka fruit, when thrown i n i mpure water, carries down all its
i mpurity and at the same time goes itself to the bottom of the
vessel , so also the knowledge of Brahman, while dispel l i ng the
whole phenomenal world, al so dispels i tself.
Others explai n away the diHcul ty by the fol l owi ng i l l ustration:
A drop of water thrown on a red hot iron ball quel l s the heat of it
to a certai n extent and di sappears of i ts own accord. In l i ke
manner, the knowledge of Brahman si mul taneousl y brings about
destruction (destruction here means not the physical anni hi l ation,
but the metaphysical non-being) of the whole world and its own
nature.
A si mi l ar i l l ustrati on i s gi ven by others i n the solution of thi s
probl em. Fire after burni ng a heap of grass, is exti ngui shed of
itsel f; so the knowledge of Brahman having destroyed the whole
world also destroys i tself.
In al l the preceding views the principle on which the destruction
of the knowledge of Brahman takes place i s the same, viz. , it
becomes the cause of its own destruction. To fol low the
arguments, in detai l , which establish thi s principle of
self-destructi on, woul d be beyond the scope of the present vol ume.
Another view is that the knowledge of Brahman i n the form of
. the modi fication of mi nd i s not the destroyer of primilive
ignorance and its effects, for ignorance can only be destroycd by
the l i ght of i ntel l i gence. The
.
modification of mi nd being itself
THE YOGA OF WISDOM 2 1 5
non-intel l igent cannot destroy that ignorance. Jhe i ntel l igent
aspect of the modification is due not on account of its essential
intel l igent nature, bu| i s derived from pure Self-consciousness
which i s the Noumenon of al l thi ngs. Hence Self-consciousness,
which in i ts generic form i s not hosti l e to ignorance as it proves i ts
very existence, is destructive to it when it speci al l y shi nes i n the
modification embraci ng the Absolute or the i ndivi sibl e homo
geneous element. Jhi s fact may be i l l ustrated by the rays of the
sun, which though in thei r ordi nary character i l l umi ne grass, etc. ,
actually burn them when reflected on them through a sun-stone.
Agai n, j ust as fire catching a small shrub bums the whole forest
together with the shrub, so the l ight of i ntel l i gence or
consciousness re!lected in the modifcation of mi nd destroys the
whole phenomenal world, together wi th that modification which i s
cal led the knowl edge of Brahman.
-
In thc l ast precedi ng view the cause of the destruction of the
knowledge of Brahman was thought to be the light of i ntel l i gence
i its reflected character. Jhe fifth view is that the final
modi!ication of mi nd embracing Brahman, which goes by the
name of knowledge, i s destroyed after ignorance is destroyed. In
other words, the destruction of the latter becomes the cause of the
destruction of the former. Knowledge destroys ignorance. Jhis
destruction of i gnorance bri ngs about the destructi on of the
modi!ication of mi nd.
It t s a rule that a direct contradiction subsi sts between
knowledge and i gnorance, . and no| between knowledge and the
products of i gnorunce. But when i gnorance, the materi al cause of
the world, is destroyed, the world can no longer exi st. Jhe
knowledge of Brahman as the form of modification of mind fal l s
wi thi n the world and i s destroyed subsequent to the destruction of
ignorance.
Jhe world does not turn out to be real from its non-destruction
by knowledge, i .e. , al l thi ngs that are not destroyed by knowledge
are real ; the world is not destroyed by knowledge; thercfore i t i s
real . Jhis concl usi on i s not val id, for the destruction of the world
is i ndirectly due to knowledge. Jhe knowledge of Brahman puts
down the world-evol vi ng fiction, the destruction of that fiction
leads to the destruction of the world. Jhus the knowledge of
21 6 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Brahman bei ng at least the i ndirect cause of the destruction of the
world, the latter is undoubtedly unreal .
There i s one advantage i n the admission of the rule that a direct
contradiction subsi sts between knowledge and ignorance only. If
the knowl edge of Brahman be admitted to be the destroyer of both
ignorance and its products, the theory of l i beration i n a l i vi ng state
would be i nexpl icabl e. The perfect sage, on the opposite theory,
should be total l y unconscious of hi s body and mind, since they are
anni hi l ated by knowledge. But when knowledge i s the direct
opposite of i gnorance only body, etc. , may appear in a semblance
state to the released soul in consequence of the presence of
fructescent works whi ch sustai n hi s l i fe ti l l they come to an end.
The state of a released soul in a l i vi ng body i s descri bed i n
Vedanta wi th i ts usual fertil ity of metaphors. Fire burns a piece of
cl oth, which conti nues to exist i n a semblance-state for a short
time; so a l i berated bei ng seems to have been engaged in a mortal
frame unti l fuctescent works come to an end.
Nature of a Jivanmukta
Let us i magi ne a person, who has reali sed this ideal state of l iJe
by treadi ng patiently the practical path of Vedanta. We are not i n a
position to fathom hi s conditionless character, being tied down
.
by
the l i mitations i mposed upon us by the forms of our i ntcllect. But
although a young
.
bi rd whi ch tries i ts wi ngs cannot soar high l ike
its parents, it can form a di stant idea of the expansive sky in which
its parents del ightful l y roam. Thus, in the absence of out direct
experience, we shal l try to form an idea, however remote it may
be, of the state of the released soul , by the hel p of our two wings,
the scri ptures and tcacher.
There are onl y two possible al ternati ves: either he becomes
total l y absorbed i n Brahman, unconscious of hi s i ndi vi dual i ty, or
becomes one wi th God-uali fed Brahman-and attains omni
science, omnipotence, ctc. It should be borne n mi nd, however,
that i n the secOnd al ternati ve the released soul , though possessed
of al l di vi ne powers, is not unconscious of his essential oneness
wi th pure Brahman.
In the fourth chapter of Brahma Sutras, too, the nature of the
released soul is i nquired unto. Jai mi ni maintai ns that the soul
a
ttai ns complete identity with the Supreme Bei ng, and hence
partakes of al l di vi ne attributes such as heedom hom si ns, old age,
THE YOGA OF WISDOM
death, sorrow, hunger, thirst, Satkama, ful fi l ment of desire,
Satsankalpa. Audul omi , on the contrary, holds that the soul whose
essential nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda becomes total l y absorbed i n
pure i ntel l i gence devoid of al l duali stic concepti ons. The fi nal and
correct view i s a compromi se between the preceding two views.
Both the antecedent views are correct i nas much as the released
soul being conscious of his essential nature is one wi th pure
Brahman, and bei ng absorbed pri mari l y in the qual i ficd Brahman
is possessed of al l di vi ne powers. This compromi se i s endorsed by
Badarayana wi th hi s own name. Sankara too agrees with the
Sutrakara, for he has not advanced a si ngle objection agai ns| the
doctrine of Badarayana. Bhamati and other commentaries explain
thc Bhashya thereon i n the same spirit, wi thout a note of dissent.
For hi m who knows the identity of Jiva and Brahman, there is
no mi gration, nor even l i berati on; for he i s already l i berated; the
continued exi stence of the world and of hi s own body appears to
him only as an i l l usi on, the appearance . of which he cannot
remove, but which cannot further deceive hi m, ti l l the ti me when
after the disease of the body, he wanders not forth, but remai ns
where he is and what he i s and eternal l y was, the first pri nciple of
al l things, the ori gi nal , eternal , pure, free Brahman.
Who is a Jnani
A ful l -blown Jnani has a different angle of vi si on. He has
different eyes. He looks upon everythi ng from an absolutely
different point of view. Just as the man who wears the green
spectacles, sees green objects everywhere, so also
.
a Jnani sees the
Atman everywhere through hi s new eye of wi sdom. There i s
absolutely no personal element i n hi m. He has not a bit of selfish
interest. The lower sel f is completely anni hi l ated. He l i ves for
servi ng al l . He feel s the world as hi s own sel f. He actual l y feel s
that al l i s hi mself only. There i s not a si ngle thought or feel i ng, for
a personal l i ttle sel f. He has cosmi c vi si on and cosmic feel i ng. Just
as the river has joi ned the ocean, he has joi ned the ocean of bl i ss,
knowledge and consciousness. He thi nks and fcels and works for
others.
A Jnani is absolutely free from wones, difficulties, troubles,
tri bulations, sorrow and anxieties under all circumstances and
conditi ons. He is al ways cheerful and happy. He i s not a sl ave or
` l b PRACTICE OF YOGA
victim oI different mods. He is not moved a bit by sonow, grief
or persecuti on.
A Jnani has got al l -round development. He has spotless or
unbl emi shed character. Al l Sattvic virtues shine in hi m. He is an
embodi ment of mercy, sympathy, love, patience, serenity, etc. He
has high excel l ence in everythi ng in al l qual ities. The whole nature
has been perfectl y unfolded. Al l di vine attributes are ful l y
awakened i n hi m.
The gl ory of a Ji vanmukta, a l i berated sage i s i ndescribable. He
is Brahman hi msel f. Eight Sddhi s and nne Riddhis rol l under hi s
feet. Through Satsankalpa (true resol ve), hc can work wonders or
mi racles. Gl ory, gl ory to such Jivanmuktas who are blessed soul s
on earth. May thei r blessi ngs be upon you al l !
Vedantic Meditation
I am the Al l
| am Al l in al l
| am the I mmortal Sel f i n al l
I am the l i vi ng Truth
[ am the li ving Real i ty
I am the Witness of the three states
(Aham Sakshi Avasthatraya Sakshi )
I am the Li ght of l i ghts (Nirakara
Jyoti s Svarupoham)
I am Sun of suns
I am the Exi stence, Knowledge, Bl i ss
Absol ute (Satchidananda Svarupoham)
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
OM OM OM
Even i n Ni rakara (formless) Vedantic meditation of Advai ti ns,
there wi l l be an abstract mental i mage i n the begi nning of
Sadhana. The abstract i mage wi l l vanish eventual l y. When you
medi tate or assert, negate the three bodies and feel the identity of
yoursel f wi th the i ndwel l i ng Essence. Deny the names and forms.
Do not mi stake either the physical body or the mi nd, the Prana,
the i ntel l ect or the lndriyas for the pure eternal Atman. The highest
Self i s enti rel y disti nct from these i l l usory vehicles or Mayaic
products. Remember this poi nt wel l . Meditate on the above ideas
and bri ng the Bhava duri ng work al so. You can take up any one of
thc above formul as according to your taste. Bring bac the mi nd to
the poi nt agai n and agai n if the mind wanders. You can rotate the
mi nd from one formul a to another if the mi nd runs and fi nal l y fi x
THE YOGA OF WISDOM
i t on onc formul a onl y whcn thc mi nd has bccomc stcady. Thc
mind wi l l bccomc now l i kc thc stcady fl amc of a lamp i n a
wi ndlcss pl acc. Thc onc formula al so wi l l drop by itsclf. You wi l l
rcst in your own Svarupa, thoughtlcss statc of purc bl i ss. Samadhi
or supcrconsciou statc wi l l cnsuc now. Enjoy thc Atmic bl i ss.
Rcjoicc i n thc i nncr Immortal Scl f.
Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa Samadhi
Samadhi is supcrconsci ous statc. It is union wi th Brahman. It i s
of two ki nds: vi z. , Savi kalpa and Ni rvikalpa. Whcn thc mi nd i s
fi xcd i n Brahman along with Triputi , viz. , JnaIa (knowcr), Jnana
(Knowlcdgc), and Jncya (knowablc), it is Savikalpa Samadhi .
Thcrc i s rccognition of subj cct and objcct in thi s Samadhi .
I n Nirvikalpa Samadhi , thc mi nd i s fxcd i n Advitiya Brahman
without any Tri puti, i .c. , thc i dca of knowcr, knowlcdgc and
knowablc and i s wi thout rccognition of subjcct and obj cct.
Savkalpa Samadhi i s a mcans (Sadhana) o thc cnd-Nirvikalpa
Samadhi . Nirvikalpa Samadhi i s thc frui t or thc rcsul t of Savi kalpa
Samadhi .
Though thcrc i s a pcrccption of duality i n thc Savi kalpa
Samadhi, i nasmuch as thcrc i s disti nct rccognition of subjcct and
objcct, yct thc duality only hclps to know thc Advitiya Brahman;
in thc samc way as i n an carthcn jar thcrc is a pcrccption of cl ay,
though thcrc may bc an appcarancc of a jar. So also, thcrc is thc
pcrccption of thc sccondlcss Brahman alonc, cvcn though thcrc
may bc an appcarancc of duality."
Nirvi kalpa mcans frcc from all sorts of Vikalpas. Vikalpas arc
modifications and i maginations of thc mind. Thcrc is a diffcrcncc
bctwccn thc Ni rvikalpa statc of a Yogi and thc Ni rvi kalpa statc of
a Vcdanti n. Thc formcr is conccrncd with thc mi nd. Thc l attcr i s
conccrncd wi th thc purc Atman or Brahman onl y.
If you can fx thc mi nd for tcn scconds on a particul ar obj cct or
Murti , it is Dharana (conccntration). Tcn such Dharanas bccomc
Dhyana. Tcn such Dhyanas bccomc a Samadhi. This is accordi ng
to Hatha Yoga.
Prana and Apana that movc in thc chcst and anus rcspccti vcly
arc uni tcd by Yogic proccsscs and Bandhas. Thc uni tcd
Prana-Apana is drivcn into thc Sushumna Nadi of thc spinal canal .
Thc Prana whcn thus drivcn draws up thc mi nd also along with thc
220 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Sushumna Nad . When the m nd s n the Sushumna, the Yog s
shut out from the object ve conscousness of the world. He s
practcal l y dead t o the world, sees varous v s ons and moves n
the Ch dakasa.
A l i fe n the Atman s not ann h l aton. Samadh s not a
stone-l ke, nert state as many fool sh persons magne. When the
Self s bound down n ts emprcal accdents, ts act v tes are not
ful l y cxercsed and when the l m tatons of the emprcal
ex stences are transcended, the un versal l fe s ntensfied and you
have enrchment of the Self. You w l l have a rch nner l fe. You
w l l have an expanded cosm c l fe and supracosmc l fe too.
When all the Vrtt s de, Samskaras and the frame of the m nd
rema n. Samskaras can onl y be fred up by the h ghest N rv kalpa
Samadh .
The mov ng of a bul l ock-cart can be compared to Sav kalpa
Samadh . When t stops, t can be compared to Nrvkal pa
Samadh . As soon as the bul l s are detached, then t can be termed
as Sahaj a Avastha.
The ground uoor of a bu l d ng represents the l fe of passon n
the sense-un verse. The frst storey corresponds to Sav kalpa
Samadh . The second storey s tantamount to Nrvkalpa Samadh .
The th rd storey represents the Sahaj a Avastha of a J vanmukta.
In Sav kal pa Samadh there s Trput . In Nrvkalpa Samadh
th s Trput van shes. The mnd completel y merges n Brahman.
The happ ness or bl ss that you get n Sav kal pa Samadh s
termed Rasasvada. Th s s also an obstacle (Prat bandha) for
further sp r tual progress. It makes you stop here. It cannot l berate
you. You must further march onwards to atta n the hghest
N rv kal pa state where n l es your whole freedom.
A Hatha Yog draws al l h s Prana from the dferent parts of h s
body and takes t to the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head.
Thcn he enters nto Samadh . Therefore t s very d fficult to brng
hm down to object ve conscousness by mere shak ng of hs body.
Hatha Yog ns have rema ned bured underneath the earth n
Samadh for several years. They pl ug the posteror nostri l s through
Khechar Mudra.
You can br ng a Raja Yog or a Bhakta or a Jnan down to
normal object ve consc ousness by mere shakng of the body or by
THE YOGA OF WISDOM 22 1
blowing a conch. Chudala brought down her husband Sikhidhvaja
from Samadhi by shaking his body. Lord Hari brought Prahl ada
down from hi s Samadhi by blowing Hi s conch.
A Bhakta gcts Bhava Samadhi through Prema of the Lord. A
Raj a Yogi gets Nirodha Sarnadhi through Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha (by
rcstraining the mental modifications). A Vedantin gets Nirvikalpa
Samadhi through Ni didhyasana.
Intuition i s spiritual Anubhava. It i s direct perception or
immcdiatc knowl cdge through Samadhi . Professor Bergson has
preachcd about i ntuition in France to make the people understand
that thcrc is another higher source of knowl edge than i ntellect. In
intuition thcre is no reasoni ng process at al l . It is Pratyaksha.
Intuition transccnds reason but does not contradict it. Intellect
takes a man to the door of i ntuition and returns back. Intuition i s
Di vya Dri shti . I t is Jnana Chakshus. Spiritual fl ashes and gl i mpses
of truth come through i ntuition. Inspiration, revelati on, spiritual
insight come through i ntuiti on.
CHAPTER TWELVE
MYSTIC EXPERI ENCES
Anahata Sounds
Anahata sounds or the mel ody, are the mystic sounds heard by
thc Yogi at thc bcgi nni ng stage of hi s meditati on. Jhis subject i s
tcrmed Nada-Anusandhana, an enquiry i nto the mystic sounds.
Jhis is a si gn of purification of the Nadis due to the practice of
Pranayama. Jhe sounds can al so be heard after the utteri ng of the
Aj apa Cayatri Mantra, "Hamsah Soham _ a lakh of ti mes. Jhe
sounds are heard through the right ear wi th or wi thout closing the
ears . Jhe sounds are distinct when heard through cl osed ears. Jhe
ears can be cl osed by i ntroducing the two thumbs i nto the ears
through the process of Yoni -Mudra. Si t i n Padma or Siddha Asana.
Cl osc the cars wi th right and left thumb and hear the sounds very
attenti vel y. Occasi onal l y you can hear the sounds through the left
car al so. Practise to hear from the right ear onl y. Why you hear
through the right ear onl y or hear disti nctl y through the right ear?
Because of the i nIuence of the solar Nadi , Pi ngal a. Jhe Anahata
sound is al so cal l ed Omkara Dhvani . It is due to the vi bration of
Prana in the heart.
Mind Moves
After a short practice of meditation you wi l l feel that the body
gets l i ghter in a short time, say fifteen or thirty mi nutes after you
have taken your seat on Padma, Si ddha or Sukha Asana accordi ng
to your taste and temperament. You may be semiconscious of the
body and surroundings or may become quite unconscious of the
body. Jherc is a great deal of happiness owi ng to concentration.
Jhis i s happi ness resul ti ng from concentration which i s quite
di sti nct from sensual pleasurc. You must be ablc to differenti ate
these two plcasures through the i ntel l ect, rendered subtle by
constant meditati on. Dharana and Dhyana have a power to sharpen
the i ntel l ect. A trai ned i ntel l ect can comprehend subtlc, phi l o
sophical and abstruse problems beautiful l y wel l . A discipl i ned
i ntel l cct that can careful l y differentiate the happiness derived from
concentration and that of sensual objects wi l l natural l y run dai l y to
enjoy this ki nd of new happiness derived from concentration. Such
MYSTIC EXPERIENCES 223
a mi nd wi I I loathe at sensual pleasures. There wi l l be extreme
detesting abhorrence and positive aversion to objects. It is but
natural. Because this kind of happin ss is more lasting, sustained,
sel f-contained and real as it emanates from the Atman. You can
distinctly feel that the mind is moving, that it is leaving i ts seat on
the brai n, and that i t is tryi ng to go to its Yatha Sthana (original
seat). You know that i has left its old groove and now passi ng in
the new groove, in the new avenue. As a result of meditati on, new
channels are formed i n the brai n, new thought-currents are
generated, new brai n-cells are formed. There i s a transformed
psychology al together. You have got a new brai n, a new heart, new
feel ings, new sentiments, new emotions and new sensations.
Feeling of Separation
During the course of meditation, one day you will feel that you
have separated yourself from the body. You will have immense joy
m xed with fear; joy in the possession of a new li ght, astral body;
and fear owing to the entry in a foreign, unknown plane. At the
very outset, the new consciousness is very rudimentary in the new
plane, just as i n the case of a pup wi th newly opned eyes on the
eighth or tenth day on the pysical plane. You wi l l feel that you
have a li ght airy body and wi l l perceive a rotati ng, vi bratory,
l i mited, astral atmosphere with i l l umi nation of golden l i ghts,
objects, bei ngs, etc. You may feel that you are rotating or floating
in the air and consequently there is the fear of a fal l .
You wi l l never drop down; but the new experience of subtlety
generates novel feelings and sensations in the beginning. How you
leave the body, remains unknown at the outset. You are suddenly
startled, when you have completely separated, and when you enter
into the new plane, somettmes with bl ue-coloured sphere around,
sometimes wi th partial i l l umi nation mi xed with darkness, whi le at
other ti mes with extremely bri ll iant, golden, yellow, diffused
il l umi nation. The new joy is i nexpressible and i ndescribable in
words. You wi l l have to actually feel and experience it yourself
(Anubhava). You are unaware of how you left the body, but you
are ful l y conscious of your returning. You gently feel as if you
enter smoothly, gently through a small hole or fine tube with an
airy, li ght body. You have an airy, ethereal feel ing. Just as air
enters through the crevices of a wi ndow, you enter with the new
astral body back i nto the physical body.
224 PRACTICE OF YOGA
I thi nk I have expressed the idea lucidly. When you have
returned, you can cl early di f|erenti ate the l i fe in the yross and
subtle pl anes. Jhere i s an i ntense cravi ng to regain the new
consci ousness and to remai n i n that state al ways. You are not able
to s1ay Ior a period of longer than fve to ten mi nutes in the new
regi on. Further you can, i n the begi nni ng, hardly leave the body at
wi l l , through si mple wi l l i ng. By chance, through ef|orts, you are
able to separate from the body once i n a month i n the course of
Sadhana. I f you plod on wi th patience, perseverance and frmness,
you wi l l be able to leave the body at wi l l and stay i n the new
plane for a lonyer period wi th the new subtle body. You are qui te
safe from i denti fication wi th the body. You have made conquest of
Deha-Adhyasa, only i f you can leave the body at wi l l and stay i n
the new regi on for a longer time, say for two to three hours. Your
position wi l l be qui te secure then only. Jhe practice of Mauna and
steady regul ar meditation is absolutel y necessary to achi eve thi s
end. After conti nuous, hard practice, you wi ll be able to separate
yourself from the body very frequently. As soon as you si lence the
thoughts and cal m the mi nd, the mental habit of sl i ppi ng from the
physical body supervenes automatical l y. There wi l l b no
di f1i culty then.
Materialisation
You first separate yourself from the body; then you identify
yourself wi th the mi nd and then you function on the mental plane,
wi th thi s fi ne body j ust as you do on thi s physi cal plane. Through
concentrati on, you ri se above thc body-consci ousness; through
medi tati on, you ri se above mi nd; and fi nal l y through Samadhi , you
hccome one wi th Brah.man. These are the three i mportant
cxerci ses of Antaranga Sadhana in the achievement of Kaivalya,
the fi nal beatitude.
Astral Journey
You can, by mere wi l l i ng alone, travel to any pl ace you l i ke
wi th the astral body and there materi al i se by drawi ng the
necessary materi als ei ther from Ahankara or the uni versal
storehouse, the ocean of Janmatras. Jhe process is ver, very
si mple to occulti sts and Yogi ns who know the rati onale, the
detai led technique of the various operati ons, al bei t i t scems to be
extraordinary to poor mundane creatures wi th di verse emotions,
passi ons and attachments. Jhought-readi ng and thought-
MYSTIC EXPERIECES 225
transIrcncc too can bc quitc casi l y pcrformcd by thosc who can
function with thc astral body. Conccntratcd mcntal rays can
pcnctratc opaquc wal l s, j ust as X-rays pass through opaquc body.
This is onc oI thc Si ddhi s. Si ddhis arc not thc goal of l i fc. Do not
cntanglc yoursclf in thc-c Si ddhi which mar your furthcr spiri tual
progrcss. Shun thcm cntircl y. Conti nuc your Sadhana and stop not
ti I I you rcach thc goal .
. .
Lights in Meditation
Vari ous ki nds of li ghts mani fcst duri ng

mcditation owi ng to
conccntrati on. In thc bcgi nni ng, a bright, whitc l i ght, thc si zc of a
pin` s poi nt wi l l appcar in thc forchcad i n Tri kuti which
corrcsponds tcntati vcl y to Aj na Chakra of thc astra| body. Whcn
|hc cycs arc cl oscd, you wi l l noticc di ffcrcnt col ourcd l i ghts such
as whitc, ycl low, rcd, smoky, bl uc, grccn, mi xcd colour, flashcs
l i |c l i ghtni ng, l i kc fi rc, burni ng charcoal , firc-Il ics, moon, sun and
s|ars. Thcsc l i ghts appcar i n thc mcntal spacc, Chi dakasa. Thcsc
arc al l Tanmatric l i ghts. Each Tanmatra has i ts own spccific
colour. Pri thvi (carth) Tanmatra has an ycl low l i ght; Apas (watcr)
Tanmatra has a whi tc l i ght; Agni (frc) Tanmatra has a rcd li ght;
Vayu (air) Tanmatra has a smoky l i ght; and Akasa (cthcr)
Tanmatra has a bl uc l ight. Ycl l ow and whitc l i ghts arc vcry
commonly sccn. Rcd and bl uc l i ghts arc rarcl y noticcablc.
|rcqucntl y thcrc i s a combi nation of whitc and ycll ow l i ghts. In
thc bcgi nni ng, smal l bal l s of whi tc light float about bcforc thc cyc.
Whcn you first obscrvc this, bc assurcd that thc mind i s bccomi ng
morc stcady and that you arc progrcssi ng in conccntrati on. A(tcr
somc months thc si zc of thc l i ght wi l l i ncrcasc and you wi l l scc a
ful l blazc of whitc l i ght, biggcr than thc sun. In thc bcgi nni ng
thcsc l i ghts arc not stcady. Thcy comc and disappcar i mmcdi atcly.
Thcy fl ash out from abovc thc forchcad and from thc si dcs. Thcy
causc pccul i ar scnsati ons of cxtrcmc joy and happi ncss and thcrc
|s an intcnsc dcsi rc for a vi si on of thcsc l i ghts. Whcn you havc
stcady and systcmatic practicc of two or thrcc hours ' mcditation at
a strctch, thcsc l i ghts appcar morc frcqucntly and rcmain stcadily
|or a long timc. Thc vi si on of thc l i ghts is a grcat cncouragcmcnt
in Sadhana. It i mpcl s you to stick stcadi l y to mcditati on. I t givcs
you strong faith | n supcrphysical mattcrs. Thc appcarancc of thc
l i ght dcnotcs that you arc transccndi ng thc physical consciousncss.
You arc in a scmiconscious statc whcn thc li ght appcars. You arc
226 PRATICE OF YOGA
between the two pl anes. You must not shake the body when these
|ights mani fest. You must be perfectl y steady i n thc Asana. You
must breathe very, very sl owl y.
One whos food is moderate, whose anger has been control led,
who has given up all love for society, who has subdued hi s
passions, who has overcome al l pairs of opposites (Dvandvas) and
who has gi ven up hi s egoism, gets a vision of a triangular l i ght
duri ng medi tati on.
Sometimes duri ng meditation you wi l l see a bri l l iant dazzl i ng
l i ght. You wi l l !ind it difficul t to gaze at thi s l i ght. You wi l l be
compel led to wi thdraw your mental vision of thi s l i ght. This
dazzl ing l i ght is the l ight emanati ng from the Sushumna.
You wi l l see some forms in the l i ghts-ei ther the l ustrous forms
of Devatas or physi cal forms. You wi l l see your I shta Devata or
tutelay deity i n handsome dress wi th four hands and weapons.
Siddhas, Rishi s and other Devatas appear bfore you to encourage
you . . You wi II fi nd a huge col lection of Devatas and celestial

ladies
wi th various musi cal instruments in their hands. You wi l l also see
beutiful flower-gardens, fi ne palatial bui ldings, rivers, mountains,
golden temples, sceneries so lovely and picturesque as cannot be
adequately described.
The experiences vary wi th di fferent i ndi vidual s. What one man
experiences, may not be experienced by another man. Many
erroneousl y bel ieve that they have real i sed the Self when they ge
these experiences stop their Sadhana and try to move in the
society to preach a new cul t and rel i gion in the name of
Loka-sangraha. Thi s is a serious bl under. This i s not real i sation at
al l . These are si mpl e encouragements from your lshta Devata to
convince you of a hi gher spi ri tual J ife and push you on i n your
stady, systematic and i ncessant practice of meditation with zeal
and enthusi asm. You wi l l have to ignore these things and drive
them away. You must not care a bit for the vi sion of l ights. You
must fix . your attention qn the Lakshya, vi z. , the goal , Brahman.
These vi si ons appear in some persons wi thi n a few days, while i n
others wi t hi n si x or ni ne months. I t depends upon the state of the
mi nd and degree of concentrati on.
.
Dazzling Ligh
Sometimes, during meditation, you wi l l ; get very powerful and
azzl i ng l i ghts, bi gger than the sun. They are whi te. In the
MYSTIC EXPERIENCES 227
bcgi nni ng, thcy comc and disappcar quickly. Latcr on, thcy arc
stcady and thcy bccomc fixcd for tcn to fftccn mi nutcs accordi ng
to thc strcngth and dcgrcc of conccntration. For thosc who
conccntratc at thc Tri kuti, thc l i glit appcars in thc forchcad; whi l c
for othcrs who conccntratc at thc Sahasrara Chakra, thc l ight
manifcsts itsclf on thc top of thc hcad. Thc l ight is so powcrful
and dazzl ing somcti mcs that you havc to wi thdraw yoursclf fom
looking at i t and brcak thc mcditati on. Somc peoplc arc afraid and
do not know what to do and how to procccd furthcr. Thcy comc to
mc for i nstructions. I tcl l thcm that this is a ncw scnsation, which
thcy havc not hi thcrto cxpcricnccd. By constant practicc, thc mi nd
cngagcd i n conccntration wi l l bc uscd to it and thc fcar wi l l
vanish. I ask thcm to go on wi th thc practicc. Somc pcoplc
conccntratc at thc hcart, somc at Tri kuti , and somc at thc Sahasrara
Chakra. It is a qucstion of pcrsonal tastc. It is casy to control thc
mi nd by conccntrat i ng at thc Tri kuti . If you arc uscd to fx at thc
Trikuti, stick to it always. Do not makc frcqucnt changcs.
Stcadi ncss is vcry ncccssary. Thc bci ngs and objccts with whom
you arc i n touch during thc carl y pcriod of mcdi tati on bcl ong to
thc astral world. Thcy arc si mi l ar to human bci ngs mi nus a
physi cal ovcrcoat. Thcy havc dcsi rcs, cravi ngs, l ovc, hatrcd,
ctc. , just as human bci ngs havc. Thcy havc a fi nc body. Thcy
can movc about frccly. Thcy havc powcrs of matcri al i sati on,
dcmatcrial i sati on, mul ti pl yi ng and cl ai rvoyant vi sion of an i nfcrior
ordcr. Thc l ustrous forms arc highcr Dcvatas of mcntal or hi ghcr
plancs, who comc down to gi vc you Darshana and cncouragc you.
Vari ous Saktis manifcst thcmsclvcs i n lustrous forms. Adorc thcm.
Worship thcm. Do mcntal Puja as soon as thcy gi vc you Darshana.
Angcl s arc bcings of mcntal or hi ghcr pl ancs. Thcy also appcar
bcforc your mi nd' s cyc.
Somctimcs, you wi l l fccl an i nvi si bl c hclp, possibly from your .
Ishta Dcvata whcn you arc actual ly pushcd from thc physical body
into thc ncw pl anc. That i nvi si blc powcr assists i n your scparating
from thc body and going abovc body-consciousncss. You will havc
to mark carcful l y al l thcsc opcrations.
Do not wastc your timc in looki ng at thcsc vi si ons. This is only
a curiosi ty. Thcsc arc all cncouragcmcnts to convi ncc you of thc
cxi stcncc of supcr-physical , mctaphysi cal rcal itics and thc sol id
cxi stcncc of Brahman. Dri vc thcsc picturcs. Fi x your mi nd on thc
228 PRACTICE OF YOGA
goal , Lakshya. Advance. Proceed seri ousl y and energeti cal l y wi th
your medi tati on.
As soon as you retire for sleep, these l i ghts mani fest themselves
wi thout any exertion on your part. Just when you are goi ng to
transcend the physi cal consci ousness, j ust when you are getti ng
drowsy, these l i ghts appear wi thout your effort. In the morni ng,
before you get up, in the transi ti onal stage of half sleep, hal f
waki ng, you wi l l get agai n these l i ghts by themselves without any
attempt.

.
Someti mes duri ng medi tation, you wi l l see an i nfi ni te, blue sky,
ethereal space. You wi l l see yourself in the bl ue space as a bl ack
dot. Your form wi l l appear in the centre of the l i ght someti mes.
Someti mes you wi l l notice hi ghl y vi bratory, rotati ng parti cles i n
the l i ght. You wi l l see physi cal forms, human bei ngs, chi ldren,
mal es, females, Ri shi s wi th beards, Si ddhas and lustrous Tejomaya
forms al so. Vi si ons are ei ther subjecti ve or objective, your own
mental reacti ons or of real i ties on finer pl anes of matter. Lni verse
consi sts of pl anes of matter of vari ous grades of densi ty.
Rhythmi cal vi brati ons of Tanmatras i n various degrees, gi ve rise to
the formation of vari ous pIanes. Each pl ane has i ts bei ngs and
thi ngs. Vi si ons may b of these thi ngs or bei ngs. They may be
purel y i magi nary. They may be the crystal l i sation of your own
i ntense thi nki ng. You must di scri mi nate in Yogi c practi ce. Reason
and common-sense must be used all throughout.
w
APPENDICES
APPENDIX ONE
QUESTI ONS AND ANSWERS .
QUESTION. Is it advisable to meditate afer meals at nght? A
man in the worl d has to b busy i n the eveni ng hours n attend ng
to household affairs, meeting fri ends, etc.
ANSWER. After a sumptuous meal , generally people feel
drowsy. You may i magine that you are medtati ng, but t may be
purely sleep in a stting posture. If you fol l ow the rules of
Mi tahara and take meals before 7 p. m. , you can sit and medi tate
from 9 to I 0 p. m. Eveni ng meditation s absolutely necessary. You
must adj ust the ti me i n such a way that after attendng to all
important items, you must b able t.
o spare at least an hour for
eveni ng prayers and medi taton. Medi taton before goi ng to bed at
night wi l l gi ve you considerable good results. Spritual Samskaras
wi l l i ncrease. You wi l l have no bad dreams . The di vi ne thoughts
wi l l be in the mi nd even duri ng sleep.
Q.. Can a man of my type at the age of 45 enter nto the Hatha
Yogic practices?
A. : Yes. You must have si ncerty, earnestness, fath, vi gour and
vitality. You must proceed cautously, step by step. Overexerton
should be avoided. The Yogic practices wi l l give you success i f
you observe Mauna, Mtahara and practice of Japa and medtati on.
Success in Asana, Pranayama, etc. , depends upon the constitution.
There are di fferent exercises to suit dfferent people.
Q. : How can I get ful l vgour and vtal ity at th s stage?
A. : Become a true Brahmachar fom th s very moment. Be
establi shed i n mental and physcal Brahmacharya. Take Sattvic
food. Develop Vai ragya. Study my book "Practice of
Brahmacharya. " You wi l l nd practical exercises there for keepi ng
up Brahmacharya.
Q. . Is it real l y possi ble to enter i nto Nirvkalpa Samadh and be
free from the worldly afairs?
A. . It i s qui te possble i f you have mastery over your mind and
Indriyas and if you have regular and systematc medtation n the
midst of worldly acti vi ti es. You should also be perfect n ethical
culture and possess all di vi ne qualites. Study of Vedantc texts, a
proper guide, good Samskaras are al l necessary. You must reman
232 PRACTICE OF YOGA
in the world wi th Akarta-Bhava. You must be unattached l i ke the
water on the lotus l eaf.
Q. . Can I take Sannyasa (renunci ation) when I have my wife
and young chi l dren. Is it not a si n to avoid these dependants when
they are in hel pl ess condi ti on?

A. : If you have i ntense and real Vairagya born of Vi veka and if


you have strong Ti ti ksha and Mumukshutva, you can take
Sannyasa. Sruti s decl are: `Renounce the worl d on the very day
you get Vai ragya. ' ' If you have Moha for them, you cannot get any
spi ri tual progress, as your mi nd wi l l be al ways thi nki ng of your
wi fe and chi l dren. Therefore destroy Moha fi rst. Iossess real
Vai ragya. When you are in the world, do a l ot of Japa and
medi tati on. When you advance a bi t, go to a far off pl ace, l i ve in
secl usi on, sec the strength of your mi nd and see if you have sti l l
any Moha l urki ng i n your mi nd. Then you can take Sannyasa. You
wi l l get success. Before you renounce, see that your wife and
chi l dren are wel l -provided. Otherwise they wi l l constantly be
thi nki ng of you und you wi l l be drawn by their mental currents.
When you l i ve with her, teach her the i mportance of Sannyasa and
ask her to do Japa and meditati on. She must l ead a spiri tual l i fe.
Then onl y she wi l l not i nterfere with you after your Sannyasa.
Bhartri hari , Gauranga, Sadasi va Brahman and others deserted their
wi ves. After their Sannyasa they di d not think of thei r wi ves. Did
they not attai n Sel f-real isation? Did any sin or curse touch them?
Even i f you do not provide your fami l y wel l , you can take
Sannyasa if you have real Vai ragya. Just i sol ate yoursel f from your
fami l y and see whether your chi l dren are l ooked after or not.
Rama Tirtha left hi s wi fe wi th two young chi l dren without
provi di ng anythi ng. But his el der son became an engi neer and the
other a professor. Have perfect fai th i n God.
Q. : Whenever I try to concentrate on the Tri kuti , I get sl ight
headache. I s there any remedy?
A. : I f concentrati on at the Tri kuti produces headache, have
Nasi kagra Dri shti , gazi ng at the tip of the nose. This wi l l relieve
you. Do not struggl e with your mi nd. Take rest for half an hour.
Sti l l if you feel headache, cl ose your eyes and then medi tate.
Q. . Can I practise Iranayama by consul ti ng books?
A. . Yes. You must read the i nstructions several ti mes and
understand thc techni que thoroughl y. If you have doubts, consul t
some experienced men and then begi n the practice. Have regul ar
and systemati c practice. If you want qui ck progress, you must
QUESTONS AND ANSWERS 233
fol |ow my i nstructions gi ven i n the rst two chapters of my book
"Science of Pranayama." You can gradual l y i ncnase the permd of
Kumbhaka to two mi nutes. In the advanced stages of practice, i t
wi l l be better t o have the hel p of a Guru.
Q. . The mi nd is fickle in me and the f|esh is weak. Attempts at
concentration are sometimes successfu| but often end m
disappoi ntment. Ki ndl y help me.
A.: First of a|| take care of your hea|th. Become strong by
proper food, mi | d exercises of Asana and Ptanayama. Observe
Brahmacharya. Then destroy desires, wones, anxieties, bui |di ng
castles and vi ci ous gual i ti es. Lead a contented | i fe. Reduce your
Vyavahara. Li ve i n spiritua| atmosphere | ike Haridwar, Ri shi kesh,
Uttarkasi , etc. Observe Mauna for fu| l three months. You can
easi l y control the mi nd.
.
Q. : I am practi si ng Si rshasana for ful l half an hour. I am not
able to cure wet-dreams. What i s the faul t in my

Sadhana? How
can I destroy passion?
A. : The practice of Si rshasana for a long ti me wi | | doubt|ess
help you a l ot in destroyi ng your passion. Your thoughts al so
should be pure. You shoul d not entertai n any | ustful thoughts.
Have Satsanga. Take Sattvic food. Do not |ook at |adies. Deve|op
Vairagya. Control the Indriyas. Al l these i nstructions shoul d be
fol lowed i f you wanl sure success. If you happen to entertai n
lustful thoughts, i f you l i ve i n the company of | ustful persons, and
if you do not take Sattvic food, how can you destroy your passion
even if you practi se Si rshasana for ful l three hours?
Q.. What i s the di ference between 1i vatman and Paramatman?
A. : 1i vatman is i ndi vi dual soul , reection of Brahman in Avi dya
or the mi nd. Paramatman i s Supreme Sou|, Brahman, or the
Atman. From the empirical viewpoi nt, 1i vatman is a fi ni te and
conditioned bei ng whi l e Paramatman is i nfini te, eterna|,
Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman.

In essence 1ivatman i s identica| wi th
Paramatman when Avidya is destroyed.
Q.: I feel buring sensation i n my eyes and mind i s restless, and
so I am unable to meditate. Is there any effective remedy?
A. : It is a si gn to show that your system is heated. Appl y
Amalaka oi l or butter for fifteen mi nutes i n the early morni ng and
then take a bath. Take Sattvic food. Whenever you feel thirsty,
dri nk a cup of Mi sri Sharbat ( water i n whi ch sugar-candy i s
dissolved). Take a cup of pure cow' s mi | k i n the ear|y morni ng
234 PRACTICE OF YOGA
and at ni ght before goi ng to bed. Regulate your food. Take bath
twice a day. That wi l l cool the system.
Q. : How to get peace?
A. . Destroy all desires

and control the mi nd and Indriyas. Have
study of scriptures and i ntense meditation. Observe Akhanda
Mauna. Live in secl usi on.
Q. : I took Sannyasa recently. Can I have a Pari vrajaka l i fe or
shoul d I l i ve i n secl usion?
A. . For a new student of Sannyasa, strict secl usion for si x years
wi th i ntense Sadhana is essential . It depnds upon the condition of
your mi nd. In Parivraj aka l ife, you cannot have a regular and
systematic Sadhana. There is distraction everywhere. For some
years you should b away from the sensual objects. Strict
secl usi on wi l l bri ng i mmense benefi t. Once i n a year . for a Iew
days you can go to a pl ace for change of cl i mate. If you find that
you are enteri ng i nto Tamas, you should combi ne active service.
For a beginner, Ni shkama Karma for two or three years wi l l prove
good. Then strict secl usi on. Occasional l y you can have a
Pari vraj aka l i fe for a few days to test the strength of your mi nd.
Q. . One Vritti arises from the mi nd. "Let me renounce the
world and practise Yoga i n secl usi on." Immediately another Vritti
ari ses. "Let me remai n as a Grihastha and practise Yoga l i ke
Janaka. " How can I know, Swamiji , whether this parti cul ar Vri1ti
comes from the Atman or the mi nd or the Buddhi ? I am perplexed.
A. . An ordinary worl dl y-mi nded man can hardly hear the i nner
voice of the Atman. He cannot have pure thoughts of Vichara also.
Any Sattvic thought emanates from Sattvic Buddhi . In the case of
worl dl i ngs al l thoughts emanate from the mi nd only. He who does
Ni shkama Karma Yoga for a l ong time and has purity of mi nd,
begi ns to entertai n thoughts of God. General l y the mi nd raises
vari ous sorts of curi ous, fantastic thoughts. It del udes al l . It may
pretend to do Vi chara. When it comes to practical l i fe, it wi l l do
nothi ng. If there is a strong determi nation i n you to concentrate
and meditate, and if you put it i nto actual practice for months
steadi l y, and i f the l ongi ng for Darshana of God becomes keen and
acute, then alone thi nk that al l these ki nds of thoughts proceed
from your Sattvic Buddhi . When the Vritti emanates from the
Atman, there wi l l be onl y one defi nite Vri tti . There wi l l b no
antagoni sti c thoughts i n the next moment.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q. . I am retired Irom service. I have Iixed up my sons i n
service. What shoul d I do now to lead a l i Ie oI a Yogi ?
A. . Moha i s very di fi cul t to be eradicated. I t i s a trong weapon
oI Maya. It is Moha that creates the idea oI ' mineness' and the
Ieel i ng oI egoi sm. It creates i nIatuated love Ior children. You have
not destroyed Moha in your heart oI hearts. Lut of all connections
with your wi Ie, chi l dren, Iriends and relatives. Do not write letters.
Go i n Ior a Yatra and vi si t Mahatmas in the pl aces oI pi l gri mage.
Devclop Vairagya. You have Iound out Irom your own experience
that you cannot get the supreme peace and happiness in the
worldly l iIe. lI you real l y have no Moha and i I you have a strong
desire to become a Sannyasi n then become a Sannyasi n . .
Lead a
glorious l i Ie oI renunciation and attai n Sel I-real i sation by the
practi ce oI Yoga. From the experience oI your Yatra, select a Guru
who wi l l guide you, and Iol low his i nstructi ons i mpl i ci tl y.
Q. . How to start spiritual Sadhana with wi l l ?
.
A. . You wi l l have to puriIy your mi nd and Chitta by getti ng rid
'
oI desires. When a desi re i s checked, i t is transmuted i nto wi l l . A
strong and pure i rresi sti bl e wi l l i s the dynamic aspect oI Brahman.
You wil l have to appl y your wi l l by repeated assertions. This is
pure Vedantic Sadhana .

Kumbhaka, Pranayama, Asana, etc. , are
not necessary. Thi s method is sui table Ior men oI bol d
understanding and sharp i ntel lect. Apply your wi l l Ior getti ng
SelI-reali sati on.
'
Q. . As per your suggesti ons wi th a great wi l l -power iI I say: -"I
um a King," wi l l I become a K ng? In the same way, i I I say:
"Aham Brahma Asmi," how can ! become Brahman?
A. . Besi des sayi ng. "I am a King," you wi l l have to prepare
yourselI. You wi l l have to gather a l arge number oI sol diers and
win the battle. I n the same way, i I you utter. "Aham Brahma
Asmi , " you wi l l have to destroy the enemies (Kama, Krodha, etc. )
and do spiri tual Sadhana. Then you wi l l doubtless become
Brahman.
Q. . Why shoul d we devote ti me Ior prayers and meditation?
God is not desirous oI our prayers.
A. . The goal oI l i Ie is God-real i sati on. Al l our mi seri es, birth,
death, old age, etc. , can end only through God-real i sati on.
Realisation can be had through deep meditation and si ncere
prayers. There is no other way. ThereIore every one shoul d
236 PRACTICE OF YOGA
practi se medi tation. God prompts us to do prayers, bcause He i s
the Preraka ( i nspirer) of our mind.
Q. : When I was at
_
warga Ashram, you tol d me that we should
never hesi tate to take food even from Mohzmmedans. But our
Sastras teach us that we should not accept eatable thi ngs fom
si nners whose thoughts and actions are ful l of evil . Mohammedans
eat beef. Why shoul d we accept eatable thi ngs from thei r hands?
A. . If you thi nk that a man i s ful l of vicious deeds, do not take
the food from hi s hands, even if he happns to be a Brahmi n by
bi rt h. If you thi nk that Lord Si va or Hari dwel l s even i n an
evi l -mi nded man, a Mohammedan, a Chandala (a low caste man),
then you can eat from anyone. Your Drishti is very l i mi ted now.
You are a begi nner i n the spiritual l i ne. Your heart is not expanded
now. You have a strong anti-Mohammedan i nfluence i n your heart.
Move with hi m very cl osel y. Serve hi m with great devotion. Do
spiri tual Sadhana and medi tati on. Gradually al l diHerences wi l l
disappear from your mi nd. Then an

then alone you are t for
advanced courses of spiritual practi ces. OHer the food to God rst
and then take i t as Prasad. Thus you can purify and spiritual i se any
ki nd of i mpure food.
Q. . I read your writi ngs i n ' My Magazi ne' . "Woman is onl y c
rotten leather bag contai ni ng urine, pus, wool , bl ood,
.
etc." How
can we condemn and depreciate womank nd. I thi nk that there i s
nothi ng unhol y i n thi s uni verse.
.A. : Too much study and a l i ttle practice bring bewi l derment. To
i nduce Vairagya i n the passionate peopl e, I pl ace such a negative
mental picture of women. Reall y women are manifestations of
Sakti . Yes, all is hol y. Al l is sacred. Al l is bcautiful . This can be
real ised and fel t onl y by advanced people in the spiritual l i ne.
Begi nners can merely repeat these formulas l i ke a parrot. Their
experi ence, Qri shti and mode of Sadhana are entirely differenf
from the expressions of real i sed persons. Begi nners should be very
careful , as they wi l l be easi l y duped by Maya.
Q. : How can I gi ve up anxieties and worries?
A. . It is very easy. Destroy desires and fear. Enter i nto deep
meditati on. Stop bui l di ng castles i n the ai r. Do not expect or hope.
Do your duty and leave the rest to God.
Q.: Can I have the mental Santi and fe

l the spiritual vibrations


i f I come to Ri shi kesh?
A. : Yes. You can. Whn you come here, come alone. 1f you
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
come here wi th your company of friends, you wi l l create the same
worl dl y atmosphere with all sorts of talks. Come and have
Darshana of Mahatmas. Hear their spiritua| nstructions. Li ve wi th
them. Observe Mauna and practise concentration and meditati on.
Then only you wi l l enjoy the peace.
Q. : I am suferi ng fom cold and runni ng in the nose fom my
boyhood. I had an operation for deflected septum i n the nose two
years ago wi th no i mprovement of the si tuation. Can you suggest
any Yogic exercises?
A.: If you practise the easy comfortable lranayama regul arl y,
. the cold and the dimcul ty i n breathi ng wi l l disappear. Practise
Sirshasana, for a long time. It i s the best exercise for cold.
Occasional l y do Bhastrika Pranayama.
.
Q. . Last eight years I have spent my days i n studyng thc
Vichara Sagara, the Panchadasi , the Gita, the Upanishads, etc. , and
I have mastered them in a way.

But I do not feel the oneness of
l i fe in al l . Are the scriptures for mere study alone?
A.:

re study of the Vichara Sagara or the Panchadasi cannot


bring i n the experience of pure Advaitic consciousness. Vedantic
gossiping and dry discussion on scriptures cannot help a man i n
feel i ng the uni ty and oneness of l ife. You should destroy ruthlessly
al l sorts of i mpuri ties, hatred, jealousy, envy, idea of superiority
and al l barriers that separate man fom man. This can be done by
incessant, selfless service of humani ty with the right mental
attitude. Practical Vedanta is rarc in these days. There are dry
discussions and meani ngless ghts over the non-essentials of
rel i gions. People study a few books and pose themsel ves as
Ji vanmuktas. Even if there i s one real Ji vanmukta, he i s a great
dynamic force to gui de the whole world . He can change the
destiny of the world. The present-day Ji vanmuktas are mere
bookworms. Many i magi ne that they can become Jivanmuktas by
a l i ttle study of Laghu Si ddhanta Kaumudi and Tarka. Oneness of
l i fe can be had onl y by Self-real i sation through constant spiritual
practice. Study of scriptures can help you a bit, but it cannot make
you a Jivanmukta.
Q.: The mi stakes and sins in my l i fe are countless and the l i mi t
of my i gnorance i s i nfi ni te. I have not learnt Sanskrit. Ki ndl y l et
me know if I can tread the path of spirituali ty.
A. : Ignorance is a mental Kalpana (i maginati on). Thou a an
embodi ment of wisdom . When the vei l drops, you wi l l shi ne i n
your own Svarupa. Al l ow the Vasanas and egoism to pass. Break
238 PRACTICE OF YOGA
the cl ouds. Behi nd the cl ouds, there is the l umi nous sun. Behind
the mi nd, there is the Sel f-radiant Atman. Purify yourself. Destroy
the evi l Vri tti s. Plod on i n the spiritual path. You have taken thi s
l i fe for this purpose onl y. For Sel f-real i sation and spi ri tual path,
Sanskri t is not at all necessary. You wi l l have to understand the
theory and essence onl y. Al l Sanskrit books are rendered i nto
Engl i sh and other l anguages. Be not troubled on this score.
Sanskrit may help you a bi t. That is al l . If you fi nd time, you can
learn the al phabets so that you can read some Stotras, Gita Sl okas

nd Upani shads.
Q. . Someti mes due to cold or some such reason one of the
nostri ls gets cl ogged and the breath does not fow cl ear and there
comes some diHicul ty i n doing Pranayama. What shall I do to
make the breath flow freel y?
A. . Insert t he end of a thread i nto the nostri l . You wi l l begin to
sneeze. Thi s wi l l clear the passage. Or l i e down for ve mi nutes
on the l eft si de i f the right nostril is cl ogged. This also wi l l rel ieve.
Do four rounds of Bhastrika Pranayama. You wi l l be all right.
Q. : When and how wih I be able to see Him i n every l i vi
_
g
bei ng, nay even i n i nani mat objects?
.
A. . You can, by spiritual Sadhana. You can have that this very
second or after ten ears or after some births. It depends upon the
condition of your heart, mi nd, degree of purity, earnestness and
Sadhana.
Q. : I am observi ng fast on Ekadasi days. I hear that fasting will
cut short the l i fe of man. Is it a fact?
A. . Certai nl y not. By fasti ng, the body, mi nd, Prana and nerves
wi l l be renovated, vi vi fied. Al l i mpurities wi l l be destroyed. One
can develop easi l y Sattvi c qual i ties. Mi nd becomes calm and
peaceful . All the di seases can be destroyed by fastng. If a gl utton
takes to fasti ng, he wi l l fi nd it dihicul t. A man of Mi tahara wi l l
take great pl easure i n fasti ng. He can l i ve for a l onger period.
Constant conti nuous fast for a l ong period should be avoided.
Gradual practice is necessary. In the begi nni ng observe fast for a
day i n a month. Then once i n 1 5 days. After some time, ou can
fast once a week.
Q. . I am a married man. I have a great desi re to become a
Sannyasi n. I am disgusted wi th the fami l y l i fe. I recentl y lost my
chi l d. My wi fe too is a pi ous l ady. Suppose I take Sannyasa, can I
l i ve wi th her and do spiritual Sadhana?
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
A. . Now you are not t for Sannyasa though you mi ght have a
mi nute trace of Vai ragya due Io the death of your chi l d. After
Sannyasa you shoul d not l i ve wi th your wi fe. You shoul d not even
remai n even in your own pl ace as Moha wi l l be l urking i n a corner
of your mi nd. Cld worl dl y Samskaras wi l l b ever wai ti ng to dupe
you at every moment. Maya is powerful . You wi l l have to spend
al l your energy in wagi ng gueri l l a war against old Samskaras and
temptations. You wi l l have no energy for spiritual practices.
Though you may think that you possess a high degree of Vairagya
and that your wi fe al so i s pious, yet you should b far away hom
her. You should not even thi nk of her. That is real Sannyasa. What
is the meani ng of taki ng Sannyasa and l i vi ng wi th your wi fe and
chi l dren? How can you destroy Moha, worl dl y Samskaras and
Vasanas'!
Q. : In spite of my thorough search, l am not i n a position to
fi nd out a real Guru. Can you suggest one?
A.. To fi nd out a real Guru who may si ncerely l ook after the
disciple i s a very di Hicul t task in this world. lt is gui te true. But to
fi nd out a true disciple who may si ncerel y fol low the i nstructions
oI a Guru is i ndeed a very, very diHicul t task in this worl d. Have
you thought over this poi nt? Do not use your reason too much i n
|he selection of a Guru. I f you fai l to get a Guru of a first-cl ass
type, try to get one who i s treadi ng the spiritual path for some
years, who has right conduct and other vi rtuous gual i ti es
.
, and
some knowl edge of the scriptures. Just as a Sub-assi stant Surgeon
wi l l be able to attend on a patient when the Ci vi l Surgeon is not
avai lable, so also the second cl ass type of Guru wi l l be of great
help to you in the absence of a fi rst-class Guru.
Q. : Is it absol utel y necessary to do Ni shkama Karma Yoga for
Self-real isati on. If so how i t shoul d be done?
A. : Yes. You cannot understand and real i se the spi rit and object
of Vedanta i f you neglect to practise Ni shkama Karma Yoga for
the eradication of i mpurities of the mi nd. Ni shkama Karma Yoga
gi ves you Chi tta Suddhi and eventual l y cul mi nates in the
real isation of uni ty of Sel f.
Serve everyone with i ntense love, wi thout the i dea of agency,
without expectation of fruits, reward or appreciation. Feel that you
are only Ni mi tta (i nstruments) in the hands of God. Worshi p God
i n the poor and the si ck. Have no attachment to any pl ace, person
or thing. Keep up the mental poise ami dst the changes of the
world wi thout considerati on of success or fai l ure, gai n or l oss,
240 PRACTICE OF YOGA
pleasure or pai n. Have the mi nd always rooted i n the Self amidst
acti vi ti es. Then you wi l l become a true Karma Yogi . Work el evates
when done in the right spirit. Even if people scof at you, beat and
ki l l you, be i ndi ferent. Conti nue your Sadhana.
Q. : l read your article in ' My Magazi ne' : "Fly from the
company of worl dl y-mi nded persons. Those who tal k of worldly
afairs wi l l pol l ute you. Your mi nd wi l l waver. Run, run, run
gui ckl y to sol i tary pl aces l i ke Ki shi kesh. You wi l l be safe in the
spiri tual path. " May l come to you and l ead a l i fe of a Sannyasi n?
A. . Do not be hasty. Thi nk wel l . Look before you leap. Mere
emotion wi l l not do i n the spiritual l i ne. The above i nstructions are
for those who were already doi ng some ki nd of Sadhana. They
wi l l have to go in for secl usi on for advanced practices. lt wi l l be
better for beginners l i ke you to perform Ni shkama Karma Yoga for
three years i n the world by disi nterestedly servi ng the si ck and the
aged persons.
Suppose you remai n wi th me as a Sannyasi n, have you got the
real strength of heart to face your mother when she weeps bi tterly
before you wi th a broken heart? Wi l l you stick to this l i ne i f your
father comes and threatens you? Wi l l you be unafected in your
mi nd i f a young l ady tempts you? Wil l you be steady i f you are
affected by a di sease? Have you prepared to sacrifice this body
and l i fe i n the cause of Truth? Have you understood the glory and
i mportance of Sannyasa and secl usion? Have you got an idea of
the diffi cul ti es that Sannyasins have to face? Are you prepared to
go from door to door and l i ve on Bhi ksha? How wi l l you spnd
thc whol e day and n ight when you l i ve in secl usi on? Just decidc

l l these poi nts before you come to me. lf you are sure that you
are fit for Sannyasa, you can ore here. l wi l l serve and help you
wel l . l wi l l take care of your spiritual welfar

. l wi l l make you

a
Ki ng of ki ngs. There i s nothi ng so pleasant as the l ife of
renunciati on. lt i s best s uited for gui ck Self-reali sation. Glory to
al l Sannyasi ns !
Q. . ls i t absol utel y necessary for a Sannyasi n to wear coloured
.
cl oth?
A. : The glory and l iberty of a Sannyasi n can hardly b i magined
by householders. lf there is change i nsi de the mi nd there must be
change outside also. Weari ng the ochre-coloured cl oth, the orange
rob, i s very necessary for one who has a changed mi nd. Due to
the forc
c
of Maya or habi t, when the senses go to the objects of
enjoyment, the moment you look at the coloured cloth you wear, i t
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 241
wil I remind you that you are a Sannyasi n. It wi l l give you a kick
and save you from vi ci ous acti ons. It has got i ts own gl ory and
advantages. A real Sannyasin only can cut oH al l connections and
ties and completel y get rid of Moha. Hi s fiend and relatives wi l l
not trouble hi m. The robe i s of great service when one appears on
the pl atform for preachi ng. It has got its own sanctity in the mi nds
of Hi ndus. Common people wi l l receive the ideas from
Sannyasi ns.
APPENDIX TWO
GARLAND OF YOGA
A Real Guru
Here are the characteristics of a real Guru. If you fi nd these
qual i ficati ons in any man accept hi m at once as your Guru. A real
Guru is one who i s a Brahma Ni shtha and a Brahma Srotri . He has
ful l knowledge of the Sel f and Vcdas. He can remove the doubts
of aspi rants. He has equal -vi si on and a bal anced mi nd. He is free
from Raga, Dvesha, Harsha, Soka, egoi sm, anger, l ust, greed,
Moha and pride. He is an ocea
q
of mercy. In hi s mere presence
one gets Santi and el evation of mi nd. In hi s mere presence al l
doubts of aspirants are cleared. He i s absolutely fearless. He dos
not expect anything from anybody. He has exempl ary character.
He is ful l of joy and bl i ss. He i s in search of real aspirants.
Sal utations to the Lotus-feet of a Guru. I ful l y bel ieve i n a real
Guru. I have great adorations for a Guru. My heart longs to serve
hi s lotus-feet for ever. I bel i eve that there is no purifier more
power

ul than the service of a Guru in removing the i mpurities of


the mi nd. I ful l y bel ieve that the onl y safe boat that can take us to
the
o
ther shore, I mmortal i ty, is thc constant company of a Guru.
Indi a, the sacred l and of Advaita phi l osophy, the l and which
produced Sri Sankara, Dattatreya, Vara Deva, and others who
preached oneness of l ife and uni ty of consciousness, i s ful l of
sectari ans now. What a great pi ty it is ! What a lamentable state
you see now! You can even count the grai ns of sand on a seashore.
But it i s diffi cul t to count the number of sects that are prevai l i ng
now i n India. Every day some ki nd of -i sm is croppi ng up l ike
mushroom to swel l up the di scord that i s already present here.
Hopeless di scord and di sharmony reign everywhere. Fi ghting i s
goi ng on between di fferent sects. Di ssensions and spl i ts, sui ts i n
courts, ski rmi shes, hand t o hand fghts and scandal-mongering
prevai l everywhere. There is nei ther peace nor harmony. The
disciples of one Guru fght wi th the discipl es of another Guru in
the streets and market-places.
Lord Chaitanya, Sri Guru Nanak, Swami Dayananda, were al l
cathol i c, exal ted soul s. Al l their teachi ngs were subl i me and
Uni versal . They never wanted to establ i sh sects or cul ts of their
GARLAND OF YOGA
own. Had th
e
y l i ved now they would have wept at the actions of
their foll owers. The fol lowers only make serious mi stakes and
blunders . They have not got a l arge heart. They are petty-mi nded.
They create dissensi ons, party-spi ri t and troubles.
A spiritual leader shoul d never establ i sh a sect of his own. He
should have a far-reachi ng i nsi ght. Foundi ng a sect means creation
of a fi ghti ng centre to di sturb the peace

of the world. He does
more harm than good to the country. He can have a branch of
.
Sanatana Dharma Sabha with broad, Uni versal pri nciples and
doctrines that wi l l not conflict wi th the pri nciples of others and
that can be uni versal l y accepted and fol l owed by al l .
Some l i ke Jada Bharata, Vara Deva, Dattatreya, Sadasi va
Brahman and others l ed the l i fe of a Paramahamsa or Avadhuta.
They made no Ashrams. They gave no platform lectures. They
made no disciples. And yet their names are handed down to
posteri ty, and present generations do take these people as Adarsha
Purushas ( i deal , spiritual personages). They have created such an
indel i bl e i mpressi on on the mi nds of people by their exempl ary
l i ves. They were spiri tual gi ants i ndeed. The vi brations of a
real ised soul do purify the whole world even if he remai ns i n a far
off cave i n the Hi malayas. Hi s very l i fe i s a l i vi ng assurance for
others for God-real i sati on. Hi s l i fe i s an embodiment of teachi ng .
He need not speak at al l . Such i s the glory of a real Guru.
Young aspirants should always l i ve under the gui dance of a
perfect Guru for some years . hey should be under subjection.
They should |earn perfect obedience and humi l i ty. If they have
their own ways, they wi l l become arrogant and conceited. They do
not make even an i ota of progress i n spirituali ty.
Aspirants compl ai n that they could not find a Guru. Can a
pati ent gauge the merits of a doctor as soon as he enters the
consul tation room? Ignorant disciples who have not even an iota
of experience in the spiritual path at once begi n to test and
exami ne thei r Guru. They make some hasty wrong concl usions
and i nferences fom external appearances and ways of l i ving.
Paramahamsas have mysterious ways of l i vi ng. Even though you
l i ve wi th them shoulder to shoulder for twelve years, you can
hardly understand their hearts and depth of knowledge. Jnana and
spiritual experiences are qui te i nternal states.
Pseudo-Gurus
Beware of pseudo-Gurus. They are knocking about i n
244 PRACTICE OF YOGA
abundance in these days. They wi l l exhi bi t some tricks or feats to
attract people. Thi nk that those are fal se i mpostors who are proud,
who are roami ng about to make disciples and to amass money,
who talk of worldly matters, who speak untruth, who boast of
themsel ves, who are talkative, who keep company with worldly
people and women, and who are l uxuri ous. Do not be deceived by
their sweet tal k and lectures.
A young man wi th a l i ttle trai ni ng i n harmoni um and a l i ttle
power of speech ascends the platform, poses for an Acharya or a
Guru, i n a couple of years publ i shes a few rubbi sh pamphlets of
songs, and establ i shes a sect of hi s own. I ndia sti l l abounds i n
profoun stupi dity and any man can have hi s own fol l owers i n a
short ti me.
A young man with some trai ni ng in Asana, Pranayama, shuts
hi mself up i n an underground cel l with some eatables that are
secretly kept to l ast for forty days. He eats some roots which
destroy thirst and hunger for some days. God only knows what he
i s doi ng in the cel l . He sleeps in th
e
cel l . He then comes out wi th
pretended Samadhi . Thi s i s a l i ttle practice of Titiksha only. Hi s
Samskaras and Vasanas are not destroyed. He i s the same worldl y
man. He knocks about hither an

thi ther to col lect money and
make disciples. He poses for a Guru. lgno
.
rant worldly people are
decei ved. People wi l l lose fai th even i n real Gurus who enter i nto
real Samadhi on account of the fool i sh actions of such posing
young men who have no responsi bi l i ty and who have not
understood the gravity of Yoga and spiritual l i fe. Samadhi i s
certai nl y not meant for demonstration on publ i c roads. Samadhi i s
a sacred act. I t i s no jugglery or ndrajal am. Thi s practice has
become contagi ous. Many young men have started thi s show or
feat.
Beware of these Yogi c Charlatans, dayl ight dupes, posing
Gurus, who are i nfecti ous

parasites and burden on society, who are
a menace to the country, and who are vul tures that prey on the
resources of the ignorant and the credul ous.
Some make disciples to get services when they become old.
They do not care for the i mprovement of thei r students. You
shoul d not accept these people as your Gurus.
A man at Calcutta exhi bi ted the feats of drinking pure Nitric
aci d, swal l owi ng nai l s, and chewi ng gl ass pieces. People were
struck wi th wonder. He l icked the ni tric acid l i ke

honey. But he
was a purel y commerci al man. He made a demonstration of these
GARAND OF YOGA 245
acts to any one who coul d pay Rs. 30l-. Can there be any iota of
spirituality or real Yoga where busi ness transactions are made? I
leave this for the readers to judge. There i s nothi ng real l y
extraordi nary i n these feats. It i s mere Samnohana Vidya or
Indrajalam. There are some herbs to destroy the evi l eHects of
acids and gl ass-pieces.
Li vi ng for four hundred years al so is not a sure criterion of
advanced spi ritual ity. Through I ndrajal am one can erect a splendid
palace wi th el ectric l i ghts and other fittings. One man used to emi t
l i ght from hi s anus. He had thi s Si ddhi . Possession of Siddhi s i s
not a sign of Sel f-real i sati on. I do not deny the true powers of a
developed Yogi . Sri Dattatreya created a woman through hi s Yogi c
powers. Queen Chudalai created a fal se husband to test her
husband. Sri Jnana Deva, Tril i nga Swami , Sadasi va Brahman had
tremendous Yogi c powers. But there are some Yogi c charlatans
who deceive the publ i c wi th some !al se exhi bi ti ons for getti ng
money, name and fam. A real l y spiritual man wi l l never
demonstrate any Siddhi . But he may at times ex
h
i bi t some powers
just to convi nce hi s students.
A Hatha Yogi gets himself buried i n a box underneath the
ground. He does this by plugging the nostril s through Khechari
Mudra. This is no doubt a diHi cul t Kriya. He gets Jada Samadhi .
This is a state l i kc deep s leep. The Samskaras and Vasanas are not
fried by this Samadhi . He does not return with superi ntuitional
knowledge. Thi s cannot gi ve Mukti . This i s a ki nd of feat onl y.
This is not a si gn of spiritual i ty. People use this Kriya for
acquiring money, name and fame. When they come out of the box
they stretch thei r hands for money. They make transaci ons before
they enter the box.
Tie the hands and l egs of a man with iron-chains and shut hi m
i n a room. Before you l ock the door he wi l l stand before you. Get
i nside the room. He wi l l be again there. No doubt this is very, very
astoni:hi ng. It i s a mere trick. It i s a kind of Jal am. Some people
can sit on a pl ank studded wi th sharpened nai l s and can chew
snakes l i ke chocolates. If you pierce a long needle in thei r arms no
bl ood wi l l come out. Some can draw water from stone. A real Yogi
and a Yogi , charl atan can perform al l thse things. A real Yogi
does through hi s Yogi c power but a charlatan does through some
trick or Jalam.
The public wi l l take a man to be . a Guru onl y i f he exhibits
some Si ddhi s. It is a seri ous mi stake. They must not be
246
PRACTICE OF YOGA
over-credul ous. They wi l l be easi l y duped by these Yogic
charl atans. They must use their power of discri mi nation and
reasoni ng. They must study the ways, habits, nature, conduct,
Yritti , Svabhava, antecedence, etc. , of the Gurus and test their
knowl edge of scriptures, before they come to any defi ni te
concl usi on.
I strongly resent at the actions of hypocrites who pose for Gurus
and Acharyas and move about i n making disciples and i n
col l ecti ng money. You al l wi l l al so agree with me on this poi nt.
They are the pests of society. These charlatans must be thoroughly
eradicated from the soi l of India. They are doing great havoc and
terrible harm to the people of I ndi a. They are creati ng a very bad
i mpression in the mi nds of the people of di ferent countries. India
i s losing its spiritual gl ory on account of this posi ng busi ness.
Drastic steps should be taken i mmediately to nip this serious
mal ady and destroy i t to the root. Gurudom busi ness has become a
pandemi c di sease. It has become very contagi ous. Many have
taken to thi s Gurudom busi ness as an easy means of decent
l i vel i hood. Poor ignorant l adies and i gnorant young

men are
seri ousl y exploited by these Pseudo-Gurus .

May the glorious Indi a abound wi th real Gurus l i ke Sri Sankara
and Dattatreya! May the gl orious Indi a be absol utel y free from
Pseudo-Gurus. May the spiritual leaders try their level best to
unite the vari ous sects and cul ts. Let them not establ i sh new sects.
May the glorious I ndi a al ways keep up the prestige of a spiritual
country wi th sai nts, seers, Yogi ns and Sannyasi ns wi th Tyaga,
Vai ragya and Sel f-reali sation as the goal .
The Ashram Life
It is qui te true that an Ashram that is run by a sel fless Yogi and
a real i sed Ji vanmukta, is a dynami c centre of spiritual i ty. lt is

a
centre for the spiritual upl ift of thousands of peopl e. Such centres
are needed in al l parts of the worl d. Such Ashram can do i mmense
spiri tual good to the country. But such ideal Ashrams wi th i deal
spiri tual heads to run the i nstitution are very, very rare nowadays.
Money is col lected in variety of ways. Some portion is spent i n
some useful purposes. The rest goes to the comforts of the
founders of the Ashram.
Gosalas are not rcal l y meant for the protection of the cows. The
real i nner motive is for getting pure fresh mi l k in the early
morni ng for their own use. Mi l k is not shared cgual l y wi th the
workers of the Ashram. It is the sole monopoly of the president
GARLAND OF YOGA
Saheb. Hence trouble comes in the Ashram. The workers feel the
wide gulf of separateness which the founder keeps between
hi mself and Ihe i nmates. Where is the feel i ng of uni ty or oneness
even in smal l triHng matters? After getting name, fame, an
Ashram and a few di sciples, the Ashram founders forget their
origi nal motto. "Sarva Bhuta Rite Ratah."
The founders of the Ashram, i n course of time, become
unconsciousl y sl aves of worship and Pooja. Maya works i n various
ways. How con a man, who has the Bhava that he should be
worshi pped as an Avatara, serve the publ i c? Workers also are
petty-mi nded. 1hey fight amongst themselves for trifl i ng matters
and disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the Ashram. Where i s
peace i n the Ashram then? How can outsiders who vi si t the
Ashram for getti ng Santi , enjoy peace there?
The foundcrs of the Ashram should l i ve on dai l y Bhi ksha from
outside. They shoul d l ead an i deal l i fe of absolute sel f-sacrifice, a
l i fe of an ideal si mpl i ci ty l i ke the late Kal i Kambl i Wal a of
Rishikesh who carried water-pot on hi s head for the Ashram and
who l i ved on Bhi ksha from outsi de. Then only they can do real
good to the peopl e. Founders of the Ashram should never appeal
for the funds to the publ i c. It brings great discredit to those who
tread the path of God-real i sati on .
.
The habi t of bcgging destroys
the subtle, sensiti ve nature of the i ntel lect and those who appeal
for funds freguentl y do noI know what thcy are exactly doing j ust
as the l awyers and those who visit the houses of i l l -fame have lost
the discri mi nati ve facul ty of fi ndi ng out truth from untruth, purity
from i mpuri ty. Beggi ng ki l l s Atma Ba| a. It produces wrong
i mpressions on the mi nds of the publ i c. Where is freedom for a
beggar? People

have l ost fai th on the founders of the Ashram. If


anything comes by itself without aski ng, it can be accepted. Then
you can do some work i ndependently. Househol ders who conduct
Ashrams can appeal for funds.
I t i s very di hi cul t to get good workers for the Ashram. Then
why do you bother about in bui l di ng Ashrams when you have
neither money nor workers nor dynamic, spiritual force? Keep
guiet . , Do meditati on. Evol ve yourself. Mi nd your own busi ness.
Reform yourself first. How can you help others, when you
yourself grope i n darkness, when you are bl i nd? How can a bl i nd
man l ead another bl i nd man? Both wi l l fal l i n the deep abyss and
break thei r legs. There is such a heavy loss and utter rui n for
spi ritual progress by bui l di ng an Ashram for name and fame.
248 PRACTICE OF YOGA
In concl usi on, I have to poi nt out that though we have not got at
present the fi rst-cl ass type of Ashrams, yet there are many good
Ashrams of the second-class type that are run by noble, Sattvic
soul s, who do some service to the country i n a way or other. They
bri ng out val uable phi l osophi cal books and train students in the
practice of medi tati on and Yoga. They render seless services.
They di ssemi nate thei r message of love, service and peace. My
.
si lent homage and sal utations to these rare, exal ted, selfess soul s!
They shoul d be careful about name and fame i f they want reaI
spiritual good.
Advice to Sannyasa Students
It may be urged that the i gnorant, seei ng that their obl i gation i s
not discharged, cannot consistently turn Sannyasi ns. Thi s i s not
right for there can be no obl i gation i ncurred before one enters the
order of a householder. If even he, who is not competent to
perform Karma, can be under an obl i gation, then the undesirable
resul t wi l l fol l ow vi z. , that all wi l l remai n under obl i gation. The
order of a Sannyasi n is enjoi ned even on one i n the householder's
order, as an ai d to the realisation of Atman.
You can say: "How can the world go on i f al l go to take
absol ute secl usi on, and if al l take to Sannyasa?" The obvious
answer i s that al l cannot leave the world. Even i f they remai n i n a
secl uded pl ace for a few days they wi l l feel l i ke fsh out of water.
They wi l l go back soon to their own place. Ordi nary people have
got much attachment to wife, children, money, home and various
sorts of passi ons. They cannot l eave the world at al l . It i s only
those who have got Chi tta-Suddhi , Vairagya and discpl i ne of
body, mi nd and Indriyas and the four means of salvation that can
pul I on i n secl usi on. They onl y can be beneted. Even supposi ng
al l people l eave the world what is it for you? Isvara i s
al l -powerful . He can fl l thc world wi th new creati on. Do not
bother yoursel much on this score.
A neophyte has to pass through a state of prel i mi nary di scipl i ne
whi ch strengthens hi s character and enables hi m to rise above
selfi shness of every ki nd. When he vol untari l y embraces the l i fe of
a Sannyasi n, it is not that he undervalues the needs of the
parti cul ar society to whi ch he belongs to or of the l arger world. Al l
that t hi s new l i fe means i s a new attitude. Hi s ai m now i s t o reach
the Hi ghest Real ity. He has passed through the lower stages
o
f
spiri tual evol ution
a
nd whi le he appars to be not toi l i ng wi th the
rest ot hi s brethren, it shoul d not be forgotten that he exercises an ,
GARLAND OF YOGA
i rresi sti bl c i nfl uence for good upon them. That itselI is the service
hc is rendering to the society around him and that i s the hi ghest
and the most beneIl cent service that one could do to humanity. He
may scem to be hidi ng Irom the publ i c vi sion but hi s i s the
si ghtless song oI the l ark. " Baseless too i s the charge l evel led
against Sannyasa that i t i s l i abl e to lead one astray. The very Iact
that the aspirant has renounced the world argues an amount oI
Sel f-rcstrai nt which wi I I stand Ioursquare to al l the temptations oI
the fl esh. Li berty and not l i berti ni sm (Yathakamatva) is hi s rul e oI
l i |c.
Some hypocri tes say: "We have gi ven colouring to our mi nds.
We nced not change the cl othes. I do not bel i eve these men. Even
thc famous Mandana Mi sra, Avatara oI Brahma, who Iought wi th
Sri Sankara bccame a Sannyasi . He was known as
Surcsvaracharya. The great Rishi Yajnaval kya became a Sannyasi .
Sri Ramakri shna Paramahamsa was i ni ti ated i nto the order oI
Sannyasa by Swami Tota Puri . It is onl y those who have cravings,
passi ons, Moha. Asakti and who are timid, dread to change the
cl oth and bri ng forth fal se, i ngenious and unsound arguments . It i s
a pity that even some great persons of the present day who are
|readi ng the spiritual path have not recognised the gl ory and
i mportance of changing the cl oth.
Thc idea of pure Ni vritti can never get entry i nto the brai n oI a
man who i s ful l oI Karmic tendenci es. Swami Sankaranandaj i has
writtcn that a Sannyasi shoul d be a man oI Nididhyasana
Pranayama (who takes sol e reIuge i n meditation only on
Brahman). He can do bathi ng, Saucha and Bhi ksha onl y. It is a
pity that many people thi nk that meditation is onl y wasti ng time.
When you have attained Chi tta Suddhi , you must gi ve up al l
works ruthl essl y. You must not hesi tate at al l . You must go i n Ior
compl cte secl usion. Work is a menace Ior a man oI Chi tta Suddhi .
I t stands in thc way of hi s attai ni ng 1nana. Study very careIul l y Sri
Sankara `s writ ings. He very strongly i mpresses on thi s point. Work
causes Vi kshepa and induces Dvaita Bhava and Tri puti . When you
do Karma there i s every l i kel i hood oI your downIal l in course oI
| i me by contact with Vishaya. Gradual l y Vairagya wanes away.
Smriti or Smarana of Brahman disappears. Real i ty oI the world
creeps in. Work is Avidya or i gnorance. It is an enemy oI Jnana.
Havc strong determi nation and i ron-wi l l . Never thi nk oI
returi ng back home, aIter taki ng up to Ni vritti Marga. Look
beIore you l eap. Have courage, Ii xi ty oI mi nd and deIi ni te purpose
250 PRACTICE OF YOGA
in l i fe. Be not waveri ng. Are you ready to give up al l possessions
i ncl uding body and l i fe? Then al one come to me. Then al one take
to Ni vritti Marga and embrace Sannyasa. Thi nk thrice before you
come . |o defi ni te concl usi ons. Thi s is not a rosy path as you
i magi ne. It is ful l of thorns. It is beset wi th countless difficul ties.
Be humbl e, patient and perseveri ng. Never care for Si ddhi s or
quick awakeni ng of Kundal i ni . I shal l serve you. Be not troubled.
Be not anxi ous. I am thy servant al ways. Be noble-mi nded. Mere
emo| i onal bubbl i ng wi l! not hel p you much. Some young men
havc rctuned back to |hei r homes. Di ffi cul ties are many in thi s
path. A man of pa|iencc. perseverance, i ron-wi l l , al one can tread
thi s path. 1hi s path can make one Ki ng of ki ngs. Thi s path i s easy
for a man of determi nation, patience, endurance, self-sacrifice,
di spass ion. di scri mi na|ion and strong wi l l -power.
Those who want to take to secl usi on and Ni vritti Marga shoul d
observe Mauna |vow of si lence), non-mi xi ng and disci pl i ne of the
| ndri yas. mi nd and body, whi l e l i vi ng i n the world. They should
trai n themsel vcs to l abori ous hard l i fe, coarse food, sleeping on the
ground or a rough cl oth wi thout pi l l ows, wal ki ng barefooted,
wi thout usi ng umbrel l as. Then they can bear the rigorous
austeri ties of an ascetic l i fe. They shoul d gi ve up ti mi di ty and
shyness i n getti ng al ms. Those who want to have an i ndependent
l i vi ng shoul d bri ng some money for their expenses . Times have
changed now. It is di ffi cul t to get Bhi ksha for Sannyasi ns. There i s
a cry for work everywhere. Even Sannyasi ns shoul d keep money
now for the mai ntenance of Sannyasa i tsel f. They must have
econon cal i ndependence. Then onl y they can get on smoothl y
wi th thei r spi ri tual Sadhana.
By continence, devoti on to Guru, and steady practice, success i n
Yoga comes after a l ong ti me. The aspirant shoul d al ways be
pati ent and perseveri ng.
Aspi rants who take up to Ni v! .ti Marga general l y become l azy,
after some ti me, as they do not know how to uti l i se thei r mental
energy, as they do not keep up a dai l y routine, and S they do not
fol l ow the i nstructi ons of thei r

Guru. They get Vai ragya but they


have no experi ence in the spi ri tual l i ne. They do not make any
spi ritual progrcss in the end. I ntense and constant meditation i s
necessary for enteri ng i nto Samadhi .
The student and the teacher shoul d | i ve together as father and a
devoted son or as a husband and wi fe wi th extreme si ncerity and
devoti on. The aspirant shoul d have an eager, recepti ve attitude to
GARLAND OF YOGA
i mbi be |he |eachi ngs of |he mas|er. Then onl y |he aspiran| wi l l be
spi ri |ual ly benefi|ed, o|herwise |here is no| |he leas| hope of |he
spi ri |u<i 1 l i fe and spi ri|ual progress of |he aspiran| and comple|e
regenera|ion of hi s ol d Asuric na|ure.
A long s|ay i n caves makes a man Tamasi c and unfi| for
cnerge|ic, ac|i ve service |o humani |y. A recl use i s afraid when he
sees a big crowd or a bevy of l adies. A l i ||le sound |hrows hi m ou|
of balance. A recl use i n fores| wi l l have |o |es| hi s real i nner
s|reng|h by occasional visi|s |o |he plains and services |o
humani|y. Proper unders|anding of Maya Vada is very necessary.
The presen| deplorable condi |ion of I ndia is due |o lack of righ|
unders|anding of Maya Vada. If some ba|ches of Sannyasi ns
occasional l y come ou| from |hei r re|rea|s and work in |he world
vi gorousl y in a sys|ema|ic way according |o |hei r capaci|y,
|emperamen| and |as|e, we wi l l have i ndeed a new and gl orious
India ful l of new rel i gious l i fe, spi ri|ual and moral upheaval .
A |horough overhaul i ng of |he organi sa|ion of |hi s four|h order
of l i fe. Sannyasa, is an i mpera|ive ne
c
essi|y. Mere social service i n
some form or o|her and a l i ||l e Ka|ha or preachi ng here and |here
wi l l no| bri ng abou| sa|isfac|ory resul |s. A dras|ic form of service
is i ndi spensably requi si |e. How ac|ive was Sri Sankara hi mself, |he
propounder of Maya Vada! Look a| |he Magnani mous work |urned
ou| by hi m! He preached agains| sclfish Karmas onl y. He was no|
agai ns| selfless ac|ions. He hi msel f was a wonderful Karma Yogi .
Le| us al l fol l ow in hi s foo|s|eps and hi s ideal and remove |he
wrong impressions |ha| are formed in |he mi nds of our
coun|rymen. I | is only Sannyasi ns bold, who have worked wonders
in |he pas|. They can do wonders now also. They are whole-|i med
free men. They are ful l of energy, concen|ra|ion, s|reng|h, puri|y
and capaci|y. They have spi ri|ual and e|hical powers. They can
undoub|edly |hri l l and el ec|rify |he whole worl d i n |he |wi nkl i ng
of an eye. Gl ory, gl ory |o such exal |ed Sannyasi ns, chi l dren of Sri
Sankara and Da||a|reya, |he real spi ri|ual kings and spi ri|ual
|eachers of |he |hree worlds.
Health and Yoga
Wha| is heal |h? I| is |ha| s|a|e of equi l i bri um of |he |hree
humours of |he body vi z. , Va|a, Pi ||a, and Kapha (wind, bi l e and
phlegm) wherei n |he mi nd and al l |he organs of |he body work i n
harmony and concord, and man enjoys peace and happi ness and
performs hi s du|ies of l i fe wi|h comfort and ease. I | is |ha|
condi|ion in which man has good diges|ion and appe|i |e, a normal
252 PRACTICE OF YOGA
brcathi ng and normal pul se, good quantity of pure bl ood, strong
ncrves. a cal m mi nd, a free movement of the bowel s, normal state
o| uri nc, rosy cheeks, shi ni ng face and sparkl i ng eyes. It is that
s| atc in whi ch a man jumps, si ngs, smi les, l aughs, whi stl es and
moves about wi th joy and ecstasy. It is that condition i n whi ch he
can thi nk, speak and act properly.
A l i fc with good health is a great bl essi ng i ndeed. What i s the
carthl y usc of wealth and possessi ons i f a man cannot eat wel l on
account of di sease of the stomach, if he cannot wal k on account of
rheuma| i sm or paral ysi s. if he cannot see the beautiful sceneries of
naturc on account of cataract or any defective vi si on. Life wi thout
good heal th i s a mi serable condi ti on, even i f he i s the l ord of the
whol e earth.
Man gets good hcalth on account of good Karmas done in hi s
previ ous bi rth. He who has done meritorious services i n hi s
prcvi ous i ncarnati on, he who has shared what he had with others.
he who has hel ped the poor and the needy, he who has done
worshi p. medi tation and Yogi c Kriyas i n his previ ous bi rth enjoys
sound heal th i n thi s bi rth. The l aw of causati on is i nexorable and
unrel en| i ng.
What i s |hc hi ghest thi ng which a man can achieve i n thi s
worl d? It i s Sel f-real i sati on. What are the advantages or benefits of
thi s Sel f-real i sati on? Why shoul d we attempt for Self-real i sation at
al l ? The attai nment ol Atma-1nana or real i sation of the identity of
1i va and Brahman al one can put an end to the wheel of bi rth and
death and i |s concomi tant evi l s of di sease, old age, pai n,
sufleri ngs, mi scries, worries and vari ous sorts of troubl es. It i s
Atma-inana, al one that can gi ve unal l oyed eternal bl i ss, supreme
peace, hi ghest |nowl edge and i mmortal i ty.
The next question i s, why shoul d we have good heal th? We
shoul d have good heal th to achieve the four ki nds of Purushartha
vi z .. Oharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (righteousness, wealth,
desi res and l i berati on). Wi thout good health you cannot achieve
anythi ng. Without good health you cannot perform any service or
Ni shkama Karma Yoga. Without good health you cannot pray and
medi tate. Without good health you cannot do any Asana and
Pranayama. That is the reason why scri ptures decl are that thi s
body i s a boat to cross thi s ocean of Samsara. It is an i nstrument
for doi ng vi rtuous deeds and attai ni ng Moksha.
An aspi rant shoul d be free from Adhi and Vyadhi , di seases of
the mi nd and the body, i f he wants to do Yoga and attain
GARLAND OF YOGA
knowledge of the Sel f. Accordi ng to the science of Yoga al l
physical di seases take thei r ori gi n from the di seases of the mi nd,
from an unheal thy state of mi nd. The Western psychologi sts al so
corroborate thi s fact. They say that the di seases of the body are
attributable to hatred, anger, worry, depression, etc. , which corrode
the mi nd and react on the body and bring about various sorts of
physical di seases by destroyi ng the cel l s of the body.
A student of Karma Yoga shoul d have an el ementary knowledge
of Raja Yoga, Vedanta, physiol ogy, Ayurveda, fami l y medici ne and
hygiene. Then he wi l l be abl e to turn out more real work easi l y.
He can have a knowl edge of the l aws of the mi nd, and al so the
nature, habi ts and ways of the mi nd. He wi l l be i n a position to
keep a cal m and heal thy mi nd al ways. No one can work smoothl y
wi th a ruffl ed mi nd. A ruf|led mi nd di sturbs the three humours of
the body and brings about al l sorts of di seases i n i ts turn. Thi s i s
the theory of Ayurveda whi ch qui te tal l i es wi th the theory of Raja
Yoga and the theory of western psychol ogi sts. He can have an
undetstanding of the l aws of the uni verse and the operation of the
wor|d by havi ng a knowl edge of the Sankhya phi losophy of Kapi l a
Muni .
At every second vari ous ki nds of vi brations from the various
ki nds o| objects of the physi cal uni verse outs ide enter the mi nd of
a man, and produce vari ous ki nds of i nl!uence. Body i s a part of
the uni verse. So is mi nd. What is cal led world is onl y mi nd,
Mano-matram Jagat, Manah-kalpiwm Jagat. The mi nd of a man
is affected by the thoughts and opi ni ons of others. There i s
pressure of thought from outside. Al l people entertai n personal
thoughts and the Karma Yogi shoul d have i mmense strength to act
agai nst these outside thoughts . He shoul d have courage. He shoul d
have patience and perseverance. Even if he fai l s twenty ti mes, he
must sti ck to hi s work wi th determi nation and leech-l i ke tenacity,
as i ni ne patience and adamantine wi l l . Then onl y he wi l l have real ,
sanguine success i n the end. He wi l l come out of the fi el d wi th
spi ritual l aurel s, Atmi c vi ctory and Atmi c Svarajya.
Good physi cal heal th can be achieved and mai ntai ned by
observing ri gi dl y the l aws of heal th and the rul es of hygiene, by
taki ng wholesome l i ght, substanti al , easi l y digesti bl e, nutri ti ous,
bl and food or Sattvic di et, by i nhal i ng pure ai r, by regul ar physi cal
exerc| se, by dai l y cold bath,
.
by observi ng moderation i n eati ng
and dri nki ng. Good mental heal th can be attained and mai ntai ned
by 1apa, medi tation, Brahmacharya, practice ofYama, Ni yama and
254 PRACTICE OF YOGA
r| gh| conduc|, r| gh| |h| nk| ng, r| gh| feel | ng, r| gh| speak| ng and righ|
ac| i on. A| m| c Y|chara, change of |hough|, relaxa|ion of mi nd by
dwel l | ng |he m| nd on pl easan| |hough|s, men|al recrea|ion and |he
prac|ice of cheerful ness, e|c.
Yogic Powers
T| be|an Yog| can d| e for a day or |wo and |hen come |o l | fe
aga| n. They can s| | naked | n deep snow and keep warm by spec| al
v| bra|ory brea|hi ngs. They can si | cross-legged on a rug, and |hen
r| se scveral fee| | n|o |he air wi |h no vi s| bl e means of suppor|. They
can dr| nk deadl y po| sons w| |hou| suffer| ng hur|. They can exercise
hypno||c | nfl uence over men and women. They can l | ve beyond
|he na|ural |erm of l | fe. Raspu| | n, whom |he Russ| an nobles so
many | | mes fa| l ed |o k| l l , was said |o b a Yogi . Hi s|ory |el l s of
o| hcrs jus| as amaz| ng. Al l |he above fac|s are |es|ified |o by many
famous w| |nesses of al l na||ons. Bu| |he Yogi s cl ai m s|| l l s|ranger
powers .
Rel | abl e |ravel l ers s|a|e |ha| |hey have seen Yogic exper|s i n
T| be| br| ng| ng corpses |emporar| l y |o l | fe. The process | s a |err| bl e
one. The body, |he fi rs| n| gh| aher dea|h, | s |aken |o a graveyard.
A| m| dn| gh| |he Yog| pl aces crushed gra| ns of whea| in i|s mou|h,
mu||ers a secre| | ncan|a|| on, pu|s h|s l i ps |o those of |he dead,
brea|hes | n|o | |s mou|h and |hen l i f|s || by |he hands. I| is sa|d |o
r|se from |he ground and dance, exh| b| || ng |remendous phys|cai
power for a se| number of m| nu|es. Unless |he Yog| can duri ng
|hesc m| nu|es se| ze and hol d || s|| l l , mu||er| ng i n|o ||s mou|h |he
spel l s whi ch release | | aga| n | n|o |he hands of dea|h, |he rai sed
sp| r| | w| l l wander |he ear|h for as many years as |here are m| nu|es
s|| l l unexp| red of | |s unhol y resurrec|ion. Dur| ng |hose years i|
becomes a veh| cl e for |he devi l , and goes abou| do| ng ev| l and
caus| ng sorrow.
The Yog| s never rise corpses in |h| s way excep| |o ga| n from
|hem some secre|, and i| |s a rul e of |he Order |ha| |he secre| mus|
be one wh| ch w| l l benef|| l | v| ng people in some spiri|ual way. This
| s cal led as "Pre|a V|dya."
Yog| s can | nduce a |rance-l | ke s|a|e wh| ch |s i nd| s|| ngui shable
from dea|h. Thc body grows col d and s|iff, and can be ac|ual l y
bru| sed. Yog| s prac||se |h| s ar| for |wo reasons. One | s |ha| |hey
cl a| m, wh| l e |he body is qu| escen| |o be abl e |o send |heir spiri|s
anywhere |n |he world, obl i |era|| ng d| s|ance in a few seconds: and
wha| |he sp| r| |s see-|hey can pass |hrough sol id obs|acl es-|he
Yogi s remember when |hey awake. The o|her reason is |ha| |he
GARLAND OF YOGA 255
body rests as completcl y when i n thi s trance as i f i t were bei ng
bathed in the wel l of l i fe itself. Thus old age i s al most
permanentl y staved off. Yogi s cl ai m to l i ve several centuries and
to keep strong and heal thy al l the time due to periodic trances of
this sort, when the wastage and wear of age is all made good. But
| he Yogis even ha\e not di scovered the secret of eternal l i fe.
I f doctors coul d discover the Yogi s' secrets the whol e science of
Western medi ci ne might be revol uti oni scd. For even the most
| ncredul ous peop| e agree that there are some thi ngs known |o the
Yogis, that make thcm able to perform al most mi racul ous physical
feats.
A Mantra Yogi can wal k over fire wi thout any hurt by repeati ng
some incantations which coo the fire. He can stop the train by
cool i ng the boi l er. He can put hi s f ngers i n boi l i ng oi l . By eati ng
Ni m-leaves for some time anyone can have i mmuni ty from the
bites of cobras, scorpi ons, etc. If you give up salt for si x or twel ve
years the bite of cobras and stings of scorpions wi l l not have any
effect on you. A Mantra Yogi can al l ow poi sonous snakes to bite
him and yet can remain al i ve. A Yogi can read a book even if hi s
eyes are bl i ndfol ded wi th a towel . He can ti e a big stone of 80 l bs.
to hi s eyel i ds. A Yogi can transfer hi s disease t o a pi l l ow or a
wi ndow. Sri Sankara and Ramdas transferred their fever to a
pi l l ow. The pi l l ow was shi veri ng. Mi l arepa, Tibetan Yogi
transferred hi s di sease to a door. The door trembl ed. A Yogi can
wal k over water. He can remain unseen; can ever remain as a
young man; can pl ay wi th snakes; can tame wi l d tigers and
el ephants. He can shut p the mouths of bears and l ions. He can
give l i fe to dead peopl e. Tul asidas and Hastamalaka did thi s. He
can pass from one body to another. Sri Sankara and Ti rumoolar
di d |his.
A Yogi can stop hi s heart and the pul sation of any artery at his
wi l l . He can bury hi mse| f for months underneath the earth. He can
al low the body to be cut wi thout al lowi ng any drop of blood to
come out. He wi thdraws the Prana from the part that is cut. He can
shed l i ght by rai si ng hi s hand. He can make a dumb man tal k. He
can gi ve sight to a blind man. He can wal k in the sky. He can
mu| tipl y hi msel f. He can bring nstantaneous cure of many
di seases. He can remain for six months underneath the water. He
can take any form he l i kes.
Any Yogi , by practice, can have these Si ddhi s. Some Si ddhi s
are passed from Guru t o di sci pl es. The Siddhis shoul d not be
256 PRACTICE OF YOGA
demonstruted for muter| ul benef|t or sel f| sh i nterest. S| ddh| s ure
the greutest obstacl es for Sel f-reul i suti on. W|th a des| re to possess
somc S| ddh| s und to umuss weal th, worl dl y people run to
Hi mal ayus and tuke Sunnyasa. After a stay of some days they go
back. Thesc Si ddh| s ure not poss| bl e for ord| nary people. One
shoul d undergo r|gorous Sadhana for a l ong per|od. Even after
uttu| n. ng S| ddhi s, one shoul d not demonstrate them for gett| ng
fame or sel f| sh ends.
S| ddhi s shoul d be performed very careful l y as there i s dunger ut
every stcp. ne must muster the techn| que thoroughly under an
cxperi cnced Yogi Guru. Si ddhi s shoul d not be performed | n a
carel ess manner.
nce u mun leant the Si ddh| by wh| ch he could transform
h| msel f to any form by i ncuntat| ons of Muntrus. He demonstrated
th| s i n Bengul by gi vi ng two cups of enchunted water to the
publ i c. Hc asked the onl ookers to spr| nkl e u few drops of wuter on
h| m. He becume u crocod| l e. The other cup of enchanted water
thut wus i ntended to br| ng hi m back to human form, when
spr| nkled on hi m, wus powerl ess. So, the man rema|ned |n a
crocod| l c form ever si nce und the publ | c often thought of shooting
i t .
ne |un ubi Sadhu cl ui med t o have |he control l i ng power over
ani mal s. He had a tamed l | on. To demonstrate hi s Yogi c power
over wi l d ani mul s, he toured al l the provi nces wi th h| s l i on. In
Uttar Pradcsh, he wus asked to stand before a c| rcus l i on. The l | on
sprang on hi m und the poor mun lost h| s l | fe. The peopl e who
posscss Yogi c powers shoul d be careful . The powers ure not
i ntendcd for publ i c demonstrat| ons and to earn a decent l i vel i hood.
A Lamu i n Ti bet had the power to make a man as a statue by a
mere l ook. A Brahmuchar| who was runni ng after Si ddh| s, went to
1i bet und found t h| s Yogi to learn thi s Si ddhi . Hi s des| re, perhaps,
was to enter uny house and by maki ng the i nmates as statues, to
knock awuy the weal th. At the s| ght of th| s Brahmachari , the Lama
mude h| m us a stutue. The boy never thought of th| s resul t. |eople
shoul d behuve very cureful l y wi th the Yog| who has Yogi c powers.
1he Yogi s cun cl eurly understand the | nner mot|ve of others.
Special Instructions
I . |f the asp| runt has the nuture of be| ng offended easi l y for
tr| fl | ng th| ngs he cannot make any progress | n meditation. He
shoul d cul t i vate um| abl e, l ovi ng nature and adaptab| l |ty. Some
GARLAND OF YOGA
aspirants get easi l y offended if their bad qual i ti es and defects are
poi nted out. They become i ndi gnan
[
and begi n to fight with the
man who shows the defects. They thi nk that the man i s concocting
them out of jeal ousy and hatred. This i s bad. Other people can
very easi l y find out our defects. A man who has no l i fe of
i ntrospcction whose mind is of outgoi ng tendencies (Bahi rmukha
Vri tti ) cannot fi nd out his own mi stakes. The self-conceit acts as a
vei l and bl urs the mental vi si on. If an aspirant wants to grow, he
must admi t hi s defects i f they are poi nted out by others. He must
try his l evel best to eradicate them and must thank the man who
points out hi s defects. Then only he can progress in the spiri tual
path.
2. |t becomes a di f|icul t task to eradicate the self-assertive
nature. Every man has bui l t his personal ity from Anadi kal a
(beginni ngless ti me). He has given a long rope to the Rajasic mi nd
to have i ts own ways.
3. Man fi nds it di f|icul t to adj ust to the ways and habits of
others. His mi nd is fi l l ed wi th prejudice of the caste, creed and
colour. He is qui te i ntolerant. He thi nks that his views, opi nions,
and way of l i vi ng are right and vi ews of others are i ncorrect. The
faul tfi ndi ng nature is i ngrained in hi m. He j umps at once to fi nd
the faul ts of others. He has morbid eyes. He cannot see the good
in others. He cannot appreci ate the meritorious actions of others.
Hc can brag of his own abi l i ties and acti ons. That i s the reason
why he Iights wi th al l people and cannot keep up the friendship
with others for a long ti me. Aspirants do not make any progress i n
the path, because they too have these defects to a great degree.
They shoud eradicate them by devel opi ng tolerance, pure l ove,
a

d other Sattvic qual iti es.


4. You have
.
heard several eloquent l ectures del i vered by leared
Sannyasi ns. You have heard Kathas, di scourses and exposi tions on
the Gi ta, the Ramayana, the Bhagavata and the Upanishads. You
have heard several val uabl e, moral and spiritual i nstructions. But
you have not at al l endeavoured t o put anythi ng i n earnst practice
and to do protracted Sadhana. Mere i ntel lectual assent to a
rel igious idea, a l i ttle cl osi ng of the eyes i n the morni ng and at
night, just to deceive oneself and the l ndwel ler, a l i ttl e endeavour
. t stick to the dai l y spiri tual routine and to develop some vi rtues
in
.
a half-hearted careless manner, some mi l d efort to carry out the
nstructions of your spiri tual preceptor wi l l not suffice. This ki nd
of mentality shoul d be entirely gi ven up. Airants should fol l ow
258
PRACTICE OF YOGA
the i nstructi ons of hi s Guru and the teachi ngs of the scriptures to
the very letter. No l eniency for the mi nd. There can be no half
measures on the spi ritual path. You cannot say. "I wi l l see to them
l ater on. I can devote more ti me when I retire. l have fol l owed tm s
i nstructions more or l ess, as far as possi bl e. ' This ' more or less' or
' as far as possi bl e' busi ness i s disastrous for an aspirant. There i s
nei ther exception t o t he general rule nor 'any al lowi ng margi n' i n
spi ri tual i nstructi ons. Exact, i mpl i ci t, strict obedience to the
i nstructions is expected of you.
5. Do not make any thoughtless remarks. Do not speak even a
si ngl e i dl e word. Give up i dl e tal k, tal l tal k, l ong talk, bi g talk, and
loose tal k. Become si l ent. Do not assert and f ght for rights in this
physical i l l usory pl ane. Thi nk more about your duties and less
about your rights. Asserti ng for rights comes out of Rajasic
egoi sm. These rights are worthl ess. lt i s wasting of ti me and
energy. Assert for your bi rthright viz. , God-consci ousness. Thou
art Bra
h
man. Assert thi s real bi rthri ght. Then you are a wi se man.
6. I f you remai n i n the company of a devel oped sai nt, you wi l l
be i mmensely benefted by hi s magnetic aura an
d
spiritual
currents. His company wi l l be l i ke a fortress for you. You wi l l not
be affected by evi l i nIl ucnces. There is no fear of downfal l . You
can have rapi d spiritual progress. The company of a sai nt
remarkably hastens the growth of Sattvi c vi rtues i n the aspirant
and gi ves hi m greater strength, energy and power to awaken all hi s
dormant powers and to eradicate undesirable negative gual i ties and
vari ous defects. Young aspirants :houl d remain in the company of
thei r Guru or sai nts t i l l they are firmly moul ded or establ i shed i n
the spiri tual path and deep meditation. ln these days many young
aspirants wander ai ml essl y 1rom pl ace to place. They do not hear
the i nstruction of thei r teachers or experienced sai nts. They want
i ndependence from the very start. Hence they do not make any
progress in spi ri tual i ty. They remai n as burdens on society. They
have not el evated themsel ves. They are of no use to others also.
They are free gentlemen at l arge.
7. Never rest contented \i th a l i ttl e achevement or
.
success i n
the path, a l ittle serenity of mi nd, a l i ttl e one-pointedness of mi nd,
some vi si ons of angel s or Siddhis, a l ittle facul ty of thought
readi ng, etc. There are sti l l higher summits to ascend, higher
regi ons to cl i mb. Continue the spiritual practices.
8. Li ve a l i fe of utter devotion to service. Fi l l your heart wi th
fervour and enthusi asm for service. Li ve onl y to be a blessing to
GARLAND OF YOGA
others. lf you want to achi eve thi s, you wi l l have to refine your
mi nd. You wi l l have to pol i sh your character. You wi l l have to
mould or bui l d your character. You shoul d develop sympathy,
affection, benevolence, tolerance and humi lity. Do not fght wi th
others if their viewpoints di fer from you. There are many types of
mi nd. There

are various modes of thinking. There are honest
differences in opi ni ons. There are various ki nds of opi ni ons.
Everyone i s correct from hi s viewpoint. Adj ust yourself wi th thei r
views. Hear their vi ews al so wi th sympathy and attention, and give
them a pl ace. Come out of thc centre of your smal l narrow
egoistic ci rcl e and have a broad vi sion. Be cathol i c and l i beral i n
your views. Give a pl ace for the views of all . Then onl y you wi l l
have an expanded l i fe and a very large heart. You must speak
gently and sweetly in a courteous manner. You must tal k a l i ttl e.
You must eradicate undesi rable thoughts and feel i ngs. There must
not be the least ti nge of pride or irritabi l i ty. You must forget
yourself entirely. You must not reserve even a trace of personal
element or feel i ng. Complete dedication to service is needed. lf
you are equipped wi th the above qual i cati ons, you are a beacon
l i ght and a rare bl essi ng to the world at l arge. You are i ndeed a
rare sweet flower whose delicious aroma wi l l permeate and
pervade throughout the length and breadth of the l and.
9. Be on the alert when you do service to the society. Unsel fi sh
service

of any kind, pl atform lectures or any ki nd of publ i c


acti vity wi l l surel y bri ng i n name and fame. Name and fame wi l l
destroy you l i ke a canker i n a bl ossom or a young pl ant. Treat
name and fame as poison. Become very, very humble. Let this
vi rtue be i ngrai ned i n your heart, every cel l , every nerve, every
fibre of your bei ng. Many have had thei r downfal l by becomi ng
victims to this powerful i ntoxicant, name and fame. Thei r progress
was stopped. So l am seri ousl y warni ng you.
I 0. You must develop to a remarkable degree di scri mi nation,
discernment, alertness, and the facul ty of Daksha (expertness)
which wi l l help yot: to decide a ri ght l i ne of action when you are
in a di l emma. Then onl y you wi l l be able to find out what i s
exactly requi red at the critical juncture or at the right time but not
an hour afterwards. You wi l l not regret afterwards in any way.
I I . It i s extremel y difcult to have a cal m and pure mi nd. But
you must have such a mi nd, if you want to have progress i n
medi tati on, i f you desi re to do Ni shkama Karma Yoga. Then onl y
you wi l l have a perfect i nstrument, a wel l -control led mi nd at your
. 260 PRACTICE OF YOGA
di sposal . Thi s is one of the most i mportant qualifications for the
aspirant. You wi l l have to struggle hard for a l ong ti me with
patience and perseverance. Nothi ng is i mpossi bl e for a Sadhaka
who has i ron wi l l and strong determi nation.
1 2. Introspect. Look wi thi n. Try to remove your defects. This is
the real Sadhana. Thi s is the most di hi cul t Sadhana. You will have
to do it at any cost. Intehectual development is nothi ng. It is more
easy. Regul arly read some books for some years wi th a dictionary
by your side. You can develop your i ntellect. But the former needs
a great deal of struggle for many years. Many old vi cious habits
have to be rent asunder. There are big Mandaleshwaras and
Mathadhi pati s who can del i ver l ectures for a week on one Sloka of
the Gi ta or the Upanishads. They command respect and yet they
are di sl i ked by the publ i c, because they sti l l have great ,defects.
They have not done much i n|rospection. They have not done
drastic Sadhana to remove their defects. hey have devel oped only
thei r i ntel lect. What a great pi ty !
1 3. Thi s worl
d
is nothi ng but sex and ego. Ego i s the chief
thi ng. It i s the basi s. The sex is hangi ng on the ego. If the ego is
destroyed by the Vichara or enqui ry of ' Who am I ' , sex-i dea takes
to its heel s by i tself. Man, the master of hi s destiny, has lost hi s
di vi ne glory and has become a sl ave, a tool i n the hands of sex
and ego on account of i gnorance. Sex and ego are the products of
Avidya or nescience. The dawn of knowl edge of the Self
anni hi l ates the two enemi es of Atman, the two dacoits who are
pl underi ng the helpl ess i gnorant l ittl e Ji va.
1 4. The practice of cel i bacy i s not attended wi th any danger or
any di sease or any undesirable results such as the various sorts of
' complex' , whi ch are wrongl y attri buted by the Western
psychologists. They have no practical knowledge of the subject on
hand. They have got a wrong, i l l -founded i magi nation that the
ungratified sex-energy assumes the various forms of ' complex' i n
disgui se such as touch-phobi a, etc. The 'compl ex' is due t o some
other causes. It is a morbi d state of mi
g
d due to excessive
jealousy, hatred, anger, worry and depression brought about by
vari ous causes.
1 5. It is qui te possi ble for a man to practise cel i bacy whi l e
remai ni ng i n the world, al bei t there are various sorts of
temptations and di stracti ons. Many have achieved this i n times of
yore. There are many even at the pre

ent moment also. A


wel l -disci pl i ned l i fe, study of rel i gi ous scriptures, Satsanga, Japa,
GARAND OF YOGA
261
Ohyana, Pranayama, Sattvic and moderate diet, dai l y i ntrospection
and enquiry, self-anal ysi s and self-correction, Sadachara, practice
of Yama, Ni yama-al l wi l l pave a long way in the attai nment of
Brahmacharya. People have an i rregul ar, unrighteous, i mmoderate,
irrel i gi ous, undiscipl i ned l ife. Hence they sufer and fai l i n the
achievement of the goal of l i fe. Just as the e|ephant throws dust on
i ts own head, so also the worldly people themsel ves bri ng
difficulties and troubles on thei r own heads on account of their
fool ish ness.
1 6. Varna-ashrama-dharmas are practi cal l y exti nct now. Every
one is a Vai shya or Bani ya onl y wi th greed for accumul ati on of
wealth by hook or crook by beggi ng, borrowi ng, steal i ng or
swindl i ng. Al most all Brahmi ns and Kshatri yas are Baniyas or
Vai shyas only. There is no real Brahmi n or Kshatri ya i n these
days. They want money anyhow. They do not attempt to practise
the Oharmas of their order of l i fe. Thi s i s the fundamental cause
for the downfal l of man. If the householder discharges strictly the
duties of his stage of l i fe, i f he is an ideal Grihastha, there is no
necessity for him to take Sannyasa. The swel l i ng up in the number
of Sannyasi ns at the present moment i s due to fai l ure on the
householders in the discharge of their duties. The l i fe of an i deal
householder is as much diffi cul t and ri gi d as that of an i deal
Sannyasi . Pravritti Marga or the path of Karma Yoga i s as much
diffi cul t and rigid as that of Ni vritti Marga or the path of
renunci ation.
.
1 7. There are people who waste days and nights i n i dl e t

l k, i n
playing cards and chess. There are people who waste weeks i n
dri nki ng and chi tchatti ng. There are people who waste months i n
the company of the si sters of i l l fame and i n gambl i ng and various
other licentious acti ons.
1 8. Man has come here for a defi ni te purpose. Li fe i s not meant
for eati ng, dri nki ng, dressi ng and procreati ng. There i s somethi ng
grand and subl i me behi nd. There i s an eteral l i fe of bl i ss beyond.
Every second must be well uti l i sed for the achievement of thi s
goal of l i fe. Ti me i s most preci ous. I t can never come back. I t i s
rol l i ng on with tremendous speed. When the clock strikes, bear i n
mi nd that one hour i s cut off from your span of l i fe. You must
tremble wi th fear and say. "Death i s drawi ng nigh. I am wasti ng
my time. When shal l I real i se the goal of l i fe? When shal l I have
Hi s Darshan. When shal l I meet Hi m? When shall I free myself
from this wheel of Samsara?'
262 PRACTICE OF YOGA
1 9. Vai ragya and renunci ation (Sannyasa) are mental states only.
To remai n in the world and at the same ti me to be out of it, is the
true test of renunci ati on. Real renunci ation i s in the mi nd. Real
Sannyasa is a mental state. One may give up his wi fe, wealth,
chi l dren and positi on. and yet he may not be a Sannyasi for he
may be attached to them in his mi nd, in his heart of hearts.
20. The vul ture soars high up i n the sky but i ts mi nd is directed
towards carcasses. The fly si ts on sweetmeats and on dung as wel l .
Even so many persons talk about very hi gh phi l osophy but i n their
heart of hearts they cl i ng to sensual enj oyments. These mi nds are
saurated with l ust and al l sorts of Tri shnas (cravi ngs).
2 1 . Vast majority of peopl e, even educated people, have no
defi ni te ai m in l i fe. Hence they are drifted here and there l ike a
log of wood i n a ri ver. They do not know what to do. Some
students fi ni sh their B. A. , or M. A. , course. Jhey do not know how
to proceed further. They have not got the power of j udgment to
sel ecI any good avocation that is sui table to thei r temperament,
that can bri ng them prosperity and success in l i fe. They become
lazy. They are not fi t for any adventurous enterprise or any
specul ative busi ness or any kind of acti vi ty that demands knack
and ski l l .
22. They waste their ti me and fi ni sh thei r l i fe-career i n gloom,
despair and sorrow. The energy is there. The i ntel lect i s there.
They have no defi ni te ai m or purpose. They have no i deal . They
have no clear-cut programme for l i fe. Hence their l ife becomes a
fai l ure. Evcryone of you should clearly undcrstand the ai m of your
l i fe. Then you shoul d chal k out the l i ne of work that is congenial
to your ai m. You should work hard to real se the ai m. You shoul d
have your i deal and you should try every second to l i ve up to the
ideal . You can real i se the i deal , right now in this very second or
afer ten years by wal ki ng with fal tering steps. It does not matter
much. The i deal and ai m must be there.
23. When one has successful l y ni shed his duties as a
householder, when hi s sons are all fi xcd up i n l i fe,

when hi s
daughters are gi ven i n marriage, he should devote the remai ni ng
porti on of hi s l i fe i n spiritual pursuits, study of rel igious books and
di vi ne contempl ati on. Many people have no deI ni te programme i n
l i fe. After retirement from Goverment service, they enter State
service or act as canvassing Agents. They are sti l l greedy. Til l the
end of l i fe they count money and entertain thoughts of
grandchi l dren. Pitiabl e i s the l ot of such peopl e! Bl essed i s he who
GARAND OF YOGA
263
spends the whol e ti me in study and meditation i n a sol i tary pl ace
after retiring from servi ce.
24. Some people i n whom the reason has devel oped, have got
the habit of enteri ng i nto unnecessary controversi es and
discussions. They have got Tarka Buddhi . They cannot remai n
guiet even for a second. They wi l l create opportuni ti es for heated
debates. Too much discussion ends i n enmi ty and host i l i ty. Much
energy i s wasted i n usel ess discussions. Intell ect i s a hel p i f
.
i t i s
used i n the right direction of Atmic Vichara. I ntel lect I S a
hi ndrance if i t is used i n unnecessary di scussions. Intel l ect !akes
the aspirant to the threshold of i ntui ti on. So far and no further.
g
eason hel ps i n i nferri ng the exi stence of God and fndi ng out
sui table methods for Self-reali sation. Intui ti on transcends reason
but does not contradict reason. Intui ti on is drect perception of
truth. There is no reasoni ng here. Reasoni ng concers matters of
the physical pl ane. Wherever there is ' why?' and ' wherefore?'
there i s reasoni ng. In transcendental matters which are beyond the

reach of reason, reason i s of no use.
25. You must not be discouraged even a bit by repeated fai l ures.
You wi l l gai n experience through fai l ures. You wi l l know the
causes which brought out the fai lure and wi l l be careful i n future
to avoid them. You wi l l have to fortify yourself carefu l l y. In your
weakness l i es your strength. You wi l l have to stick frml y to your
pri nciples, ideal s, convictions and Sadhana despite repeated
fai l ures, and march bol dl y in the spirtual path. Say. "Let anythi ng
come. I wi l l surel y come out wi th sangui ne success. I wi l l real i se
the Sel f i n this bi rth, nay i n this very second. Fai lures are descents
or sl i ps that cannot in any way afect me."
26. Intel lect helps a l ot in reflection and rati oci nati on. But
peopl e, i n whom reasoni ng has hi ghl y developed, become
sceptical . Their reason becomes perverted al so. They l ose fai th i n
Vedas and i n the teachings of Mahatmas. They say. "We are
rati onal i sts. We cannot bel ieve anythi ng whi ch does not appeal to
our reason. We do not bel ieve the Upanishads. We reject anythi ng
that does not come wi thi n the domain of reason. We have no fai th
i n God and Sat-Gurus. '' These so-cal led rational i sts are a type of
atheists onl y. It i s very di fi cul t to convi nce them. They have an
i mpure, perverted reason. Thoughts of God cannot enter their
brai ns. They wi l l not do any ki nd of spiritual Sadhana. They say.
"Show us your Brahman of the Upanishads or I svara of the
Bhaktas." Those who are of doubti ng nature wi l l per sh. Reason i s
PRACTICE OF YOGA
a fi nite i nstrument. It cannot explai n many mysterious problems of
l i fe. Those, who are free from the so-called rational i sm and
scepti ci sm, can march in the path of God-real i sati on.
27. I am al ways ready to hel p you. My sympathies are ever with
you. I wi l l radiate joy, peace, thought-currents of love to you. I
wi l l i nspire you. But I cannot do the work for you. You yourself
. wi l l have to do the work. The struggle and exertion must come
from your side. You wi l l have to pl ace yourself each Iootstep in
the spi ritual l adder. Al ways remember thi s poi nt wel l .
28. Hey Saumya! Dear I mmortal Sel f! Be bol d. Be cheerful ,
even though you are i n the role of unemployment, though you
have nothi ng to eat, though you are cl ad in rags. Thy essential
nature i s Sat-Chi t-Ananda. The outer cl oak, this mortal physical
sheath i s an i l l usory production of Maya. Smi le, whi stle, laugh,
jump, dance i n joy and ecstasy. Si ng OM OM OM! Ram Ram
Ram' Come out of thi s cage of flesh. Thou art not this peri shable
body. Thou art i mmortal soul . Thou art sexless Atman. Thou art
the Atman who dwel l s i n the chambers of your heart. Act as such.
Feel as such. Claim your birthright-not from tomorrow or the
day after, but right now from this very second. "Tat Tvam
Asi-Thou art That.` Feel . Assert. Recognise. Real i se. My beloved
Ram!
. APPENDIX THREE
LI VES OF GREAT SAI NTS
Sankaracharya and His Disciple
( DESI RE MULTI PLI ES)
Sankaracharya left his discipl e Govi nda in Mount Abu with ful l
i nstructions about Sadhana and proceeded to Varanasi . Govinda
kriew pretty wel l pri nciples of Sannyasa and Varagya.

He l i ved
guite a si mple l i fe i n a thatched Kutia. One day, hs Kaupi na was
torn i nto pieces by the rats. He asked the vi l l agers to provide hi m
with a Kaupi na. They suppl ied hi m one. Thi s wa
s
al so damaged
by the rats. He agai n asked the vi l l agers for another whi ch was
supplied to hi m. This sort of thi ng conti nued for some days. Then
the vi l l agers suggested. " Govi nda, to ask dai l y for a Kaupi na i s
very troublesome. Keep thi s cat i n your Kuti a.' Govinda took the
cat. When he went for hi s Bhi ksha, he asked for a l ittle mi l k for
the cat. Everyday he troubled them for mi l k. Now the v l l agers
advised hi m " Govi nda, thi s is al l troublesome. We wi l l gve you
a cow. You need not come here dai l y for mi l k. ' Govi nda took the
cow to his Kutia. When he went for hi s Bhi ksha to the vi l l agers,
dai l y he asked for grass for the cow. The vi l lagers then sai d: "
Govinda, to supply you every day grass i s very, very troublesome.
Do one thing. You can have a small pl ot of l and. You can ti l l , put
on paddy, vegetables and have plenty of grass al so. ' Govi nda had
the plot of l and. He agai n asked the vi l l agers for some coolies to
plough and to manure the l and. He had some cool i es also. He had
to put up a bi g compound, erect a storehouse, central bungalow,
sheds for cows, outhouses for servants, two wel l s, etc. He did
everythi ng. He was dri nking plenty of good mi l k and taki ng
Basmati rice. Gradual l y he had ni ce complexion and a stout body.
He entirel y forgot all the nstructions of hi s Guru about Tyaga,
Vairagya, !apa, meditation, Mi tahara, etc. He had a ni ce Haridwar
Harkipedi l i fe wi th Fal l uda, Rasagul la, Khir, etc.
.
After some

i me Sankaracharya returned from Varanasi. He was


unable to trace Govi nda's Kutia, because Govi nda is now l i vi ng i n
a bungalow with compound-Val l . One of the vi l l agers pointed out
the bungalow. Sankaracharya went i nside and could not recognise
Govi nda. Govi nda was not the same l ean Brahmachari who l ived
266 PRACTICE OF YOA
on al ms. Sankaracharya found much ghee in Govinda's pot bel l y,
whi ch could onl y be removed by rigorous practice of Chandrayana
Kri chra Vratas` and Uddi yana and Naul i Kriyas. Govinda
prostrated before Guruji and said: "Guruj i Maharaj , i t is all for the
sake of one Kaupina only. " He narrated in detail the whole story.
Sankarachary
a
pi tied hi m as he was onl y a boy, and i mpressed i n
hi s
.
mi nd that he ought to be very careful i n future i n the
destruction of al l Sankalpas and desires which are the root causes
of all mi sery, pai n, del usi on, bi rth and death.
Note careful l y how a si ngle desire for one Kaupi na mul ti pl i ed
i nto desires for cat, mi l k, cow, grass, paddy, bungalow, servants,
etc. Thi s is Maya. Maya

works havoc through loopholes and
weaknesses of men. One desire mul ti pli es i nto: mi l l i ons of desires.
"It is i nsati abl e l ike flame. " These are the words from the Gita. A
si ngl e cravi ng mul ti pli es i nto thousands of cravi ngs. Crush them.
Nip them in thc bud. You wi l l rest in Yogarudha state
"Sarva-sankalpa-sannyasi yogarudhastadochyate-He is said to
be enthroned i n Yoga when he has renounced al l thoughts." You
shoul d not al l ow any desi re to crop up even though it may appear
to be a sheer necessi ty and very si mple in the begi nni ng.
Ekanatb
( DESTROY ANGER)
Ekanath Maharaj i s a wel l -known Maharashtra sai nt. He has
wri tten a very useful book, Ekanath Bhagawatam, which you wi l l
fi nd i n every house i n Maharashtra. Look at hi s fervent devotion.
Even Lord Kri shna himsel f assum

d the form of a poor Brahmi n


boy under the name Kandi a and l i ved i n hi s house for a period of -
1 2 years renderi ng services, such as bri ngi ng water for Puja,
maki ng sandal paste for worshi p, removi ng the leaves after di nner,
etc. Afer 1 2 years Kandia di sappeared mi racul ously.
Thi s saint was very peaceful , cal m, serene and trangui l always.
Anger was unknown to hi m. Some of the mischievous people of
the vi l l age wherei n Ekanath was l i vi ng, wanted to excite hi m by
some way or

other. The vi l l agers bribed a Mohammedan and


asked hi m to exci te Ekanath i n any way. The Mohammcdan
agreed. He went to the banks

of the river and waited i n the place
when Ekanath used to take hi s bath. When Ekanath came after hi s
bth, the Mohammedan spat

n hi s face. Ekanath di d not speak a


these Vratas the aspirant gradually diminishes and completely
gives up his food in the course of 45 days.
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
word, s.i mply laughed and went agai n to take anoher bah. When
he came agai n, he Mohammedan spat. Ekanah smiled and wen
for another bath. Thi s process went on 1 08 i mes. Ekanah was no
at al l ahected. He was an embodi ment of patience isel f. When be
Mohammedan found ha Ekanath was absoluely serene, he
thought to hi mself. "Ekanah is not a man. He is a God." The
Mohammedan was very much afrai d. He hought that Ekanath
would curse hi m to death. He trembled and prostrated before
Ekanath and begged pardon. Then the Mohammedan narraed he
whole story and said ha he was bribed by the vi l l agers o exci e
hi m.
Once again the vi l l agers bri bed a poor Brahmi n and i nduced
him to excite Ekanath. The _ Brahmi n hought withi n himxelf.
"Which wi l l be the better way o exci te Ekanath? Le me cach
hold of his wi fe i n his presence. He is much aached o his wife.
This will surely irri tate hi m. I wi l l succeed i n my aempt. This
the best method." So, he decided to make hi s experimen. One
day, when Ekanath' s wife was servi ng food, this mi schievous
Brahmi n entered Ekanath' s house and caught hold of his wife.
Can a flood i n the Ganga uproot the rocky mountain-ranges of
Hi malayas? Can an attack of diarrhoea do anythi ng i n a Si ddha
who has Kaya Si ddhi ? Can poison have any i nfuence over a man
who possesses the proper anti doe and who has a knowledge of he
herbal plant whi ch can neutralise the poisonous efecs. Never.
Never. Ekanath Maharaj stood as a sol i d rock, gui e smi l i ng. He
laughed heari l y. He raher exhi bi ed a fi of gramophone laugher.
What is this to a man, who has no identifcaion wi h he body,
wife and other thi ngs? Wha is hi s for a man who has crossed the
ocean of i gnorance? What is this for a man who i s ful l of Sattva?
What i s this for a man, I should say God, l ike Ekanath who i s
beyond the three Gunas, body, mi nd and Buddhi ? Raja Janaka
says: "Mithilayam pradiptayam na me dahati kinchanaEven i!
the whole Mi thi l a is burt, i t i s nothi ng, nohi ng to me."
In thi s si tuati on, Ekanath asked his wi fe: "Lakshmi Bai , the
chi ld has caught hold of you. Jhe chi l d i s very hungry. Gi ve hi m
mi l k profusely. " When his poor Brahmi n noiced tha Ekanah
was no a bit moved, and heard he sympaheic words, hi s hear
mel ted. He fel t a l ot for hi s wicked ac. Tears were Howi ng
abundantly from his eyes. He repened ha he had done a heinous
cri me. He prosrated before Ekanah and said: "Maharaj, forgi ve
me. Forgi ve me. I have done a fool i sh act. I am a poor man. I have
268 PRACTICE OF YOGA
no money for my mai ntenance. These vi l l agers bribed me to do
this act, to make you angry i n any way. As I was very poor, I was
rather attracted by this offer of money, I have done a capital si n.
Forgi ve me. " Ekanath excused, forgave that poor i gnorant
Brahmi n. He pi tied and sympathised with hi m. He asked hi m to
study t
g
e hagavata and to repeat the Mantra of Lord Krishna. He
gave hi m a Tul asi Mala al so. The vi l l agers were certei n that this
time they woul d succeed in thei r pl an. They saw the poor Brahmi n
returni ng wi th a Tulasi Mal a i n hi s neck. They were gui te
di sappointed. The Brahmi n told them. "I did my best. I caught
hold of his wi fe. Thi s di d not in any way affect hi m. He was
smi l i ng all the whi l e. He is a God. Now I am his disciple. He has
given me Mantra. From thi s t i me I have left al l my mi schievous
acts. I am now tryi ng my bst to have Darshan of Lord Krishna.
Hereafter, I wi l l not joi n wi th you al l .'
When you get exci ted and i rritated, you wi l l be able to control
the anger, i f you remember these two i ncidents of Ekanath' s l i fe.
You may fai l 50 times. But each t i me, you wi l l gai n some

ki nd of
strength to control and restrai n. After repeated efforts you are sure
to succeed. Remember the story of the spider that made ni ne
attempts and ul ti matel y succeeded i n the nrnth endeavour. Bri ng to
memory the mental pi cture of Ekanath, hi s strong patience i n the
above two i nci dents. You wi l l draw i nspiration and new strength.
Jada Bharata
( BE HUMBLE)
A certai n ki ng was passi ng in a pal angui n carried by four
persons. One of the carriers fel l i l l on the way and was not able to
carry the pal angui n. The ki ng saw Jada Bhar
.
ata, who was moving
i n the street as an Avadhoota wi th a robust, stal wart figure. The
ki ng thought that he was a proper person for the purpose, and
asked the Avadhoota to carry the palangui n. Jada Bharata reflected
that this was a certai n portion of hi s Prarabdha to carry a
palangui n and most wi l l i ngl y agreed to do the work. After Jada
Bharata has taken charge of the service, there was a great deal of
jol ti ng of the palangui n and the ki ng was much upset and i rri tated.
Because Jada Bharata used to wal k very slowl y, looki ng down at
various smal l creaturcs, ants, worms, etc. He did not wi sh to crush
them under hi s feet. He had a very gentle heart ful l of i ntense
compassi on. So, the ki ng asked the palangui n-carriers. "Why there
is much jol ti ng now?' The other carriers repl ied "Maharaj, the
new man is gui te usel ess. He onl y appears to be strong. But he i s
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
very lazy and pl umpy. He pl aces the footsteps very sl owl y. He
cannot keep company wi th us." The king became very angry and
spoke in harsh words . " stout, pl umpy man ! Keep company w th
the other carrers. Do your work properl y." Jada Bharata dd not
mi nd the ki ng's words a bit. He was wal kng as before.
Agan there was j ol tng and when the k ng guestoned, the
carriers sai d: "We do our work properly. We are not to be bl amed.
The new man is sti l l mov ng sl owly. He dd not m nd the word of
your Hi ghness. He seems to be very mpertnent. " The k ng was
much enraged and sa d. " new, stout, pl umpy ass. You are very
l azy. You do not do your work properly. You are mpertnent too. I
wi l l whi p you f you st l l persst n your own way." Jada Bharata,
who was not at al l affected by the k ng' s words, repl ed as fol lows
wi th a desre to teach the k ng

a lesson. " K ng, f you wh p,
on| y thi s physical body w l l be affected. I w l l not be afected n
the least . I am Kutastha. I am Atman. I am Asanga. I am
Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahman. You cal l ed me stout, pl umpy. Fatty
condtion or lean state belongs to the body. Atman s nether fatty
nor | ean. Hunger and thrst belong to Prana. Desre, l ust, anger,
pai n be| ong 1o m nd and not to Atman. What to do? What to
accept? What to reject? Who s to abuse whom? Who s to respect
whom? Who s to l ove whom? Who s to command whom? Who
is to obey w hom?` You commanded that you w l l whp me. When
a man sees sameness, oneness, dentty and homogenety
everywhere, where s gref, fear, del uson, sorrow, d stress, pai n
for h m.
When the k|`ng heard these w se words of Jada Bharata, he was
very much startled. He thought ths man was a Jnan and not a
cool i e. He i mmedatel y got down hom the pal angu n, prostrated
before 1ada Bharata and begged pardon, and prayed that he shoul d
be i ni tiated i nto the secrets of Vedanta. Jada Bharata tol d. " k ng,
this i s not Oharma on your part to ask a wayfarer to carry your
palanqui n and i nsul t hm severel y. Ths s not justce. I n future,
you must be careful .` Then Jada Bharata gave h m ful l i nstruct ons
on Vedanta.
You can draw a great deal of nspraton, hel p and strength from
the above i nci dent. Jada Bharata can crush the k ng n no t me.
But sages l i ke h m wi l l never do t. They are al l -mercful . They
are ocean of grace. They arc ful l of hum l ty. If a sck man or any
other person asks you to carry a pot of water, you thnk that he s
dherent from you, wh l e n real ty he s your own self. You
PRACTICE OF YOGA

become proud. You begi n to abuse hi m. This i s not right. There i s
no l oss i n
.
service. Be humbl e. By humi l i ty you can destroy
self-conceit. Behave l i ke Jada Bharata, the greatest saint. Use your
body as an i nstrument as he di d. Do not i dentify yourself wi th the
body.
Kabir's Method of Sadhana
(DETACH AND ATTACH)
Somebody asked Kabir: " Sai nt, what kind of Sadhana are you
doi ng?" K
_
bi r repl i ed. "I am detachi ng and then attachi ng, as i s
done i n the Rai l way Junctio
p
. Trucks are detached from one trai n
on a l i ne and then attached to another trai n on another l i ne. Even
so, I detach the mi nd from sensual objects and attach it to
Brahman, the al l -pervadi ng Sat-Chit-Ananda Paramatman. " Fol low
Kabi r' s method:
1 . Detach-Attach.
2. Pump out-Pump i n.
3. Forget-Remember.
The same process is mentioned by Lord Kri shna in the
Bhagavad Gita:
Yato yato nischarati manaschanchalamasthiram
Tatastato niyamyaitadtmanyeva vasam nayet.
"As ofen as the wavering and unsteady mi nd goeth forth, so
often rei ni ng i t, l et hi m bring i t under the control of the Self."
Repeat the above formulae mental l y several ti mes. Then the
process of fixi ng the mi nd on Atman wi l l come by itself
automatical l y.

Detach your mi nd hom the sensual obj ects and attach i t to
Brahman. Pump out i mpuriti es and pump i n al l the vi rtuous
gual i ti es. Forget al l the surroundi ngs. Al ways remember God. Thi s

i s the method of Kabir' s Sadhana.


Why have you forgotten your essential nature? Because you are
al ways remembering your body, wi fe, chi l dren, world, objects and
property. Now make an attempt to forget the body, wife, chi ldren
and sensual objects. Forget the past, the surroundings and al l that
you have l earnt. Then onl y you can remember Atman. Forgetting
i s an i mportant Sadhana.
Tiruvalluvar's Wife
.(CONCENTRATED MI ND)
Tiruval l uvar, the untouchable Tami l sai nt of South Indi a, one
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
day pl acd on the head of hi s wife a s

all ow pl ate contai ni ng


water and asked her to move al ong a procession with dance, musi c
and a variety of pl ays wi th i nstructions that her head woul d be cut
off if a si ngl e drop of water fel l to the ground. The procession
started from the front door of the grand templ e of Srirangam, near
Tiruchirapal l y. Tiruval l uvar' s wife accompanied the processi on
with the pl ate of water on her head. Her whol e Prana, ful l mi nd
and whole heart werc perfectly centred on the plate of water. The
processi on marched through the four streets, three ti mes and at last
termi nated in the front gate wherefrom it commcnced. The sai nt' s
wife brought back the pl ate of water i n ful l wi thout al l owi ng even
a si ngl e drop to fal l on the ground. Ti ruval l uvar asked hi s wife: "
Sarasvati ! Did you hear the band, music, pl ay of flute and the
dance party that accompanied the procession?" She said. "No. I
heard nothing. I knew nothi ng. I remembered nothi ng. I saw
nothi ng. My whol e mi nd was on the pl ate of water onl y.`
Now, look here. The saint's wi fe had the deep concentration and
so she did not hear, see, feel and remember anythi ng. That must be
the condition of your mi nd during medi tation al so. It is termed
Ekagrata of mi nd. There must be undi vi ded attenti on, undi vi ded
energy, everythi ng bing centred upon God. Then only you wi l l
see God. Then onl y you wi l | be able t o solve dihi cul t probl ems of
l i fe.
Drona and His Disciples
(CONCENTRATI ON)
You will fi nd the fol l owi ng conversation to be very i nteresti ng
between Drona and hi s disciples.
Drona: Yudhi shthira, what do you see there?
Yudhishthira. Acharyaj i , I see the bird to be aimed at, the tree
on which the bird is sitti ng and I see you standing by my side.
Drona: What do you see, Bhi ma?
Bhi ma. I see th
e
bi rd, the tree, yourself, Nakul a, Sahadeva, the
trees and pl ants on the ground.
Drona: What do you see, Nakul a?
Nakul a. I see the bird, the tree, Arj una, Bhi ma, the garden, the
streaml et, etc.
Drona: What do you see Sahadev?
Sahadev: I see the bird to be ai med at, yourself, Aquna, Bhima,
272
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Yudhi shthira, the horses, carri ages, al l the onl ookers and several
cows.
Drona: Arj una, what do you see?
Arj una. Revered Guruji , I see nothi ng but the bird to be ai med
at.
From the above lesson it is clear that when your mi nd i s
concentrated upon a particular thi ng, you are not able t o see or
hear anythi ng else. You must have the one-pointed concentration
of Arjuna for purposes of meditation by removi ng Vikshepa
through Upasana and Yoga. Trataka and Pranayama are other aids
to develop concentrati on. From this i l l ustration i t i s clear that
Arjuna onl y had the deep concentrati on.
Gladstone and Balfour
Hon' bl e Messrs. Gl adstone and Bal four had a great deal of
concentrati on of mi nd. They had perfect control over sl eep. They
woul d never toss about for | 5 to 20 mi nute
s
in the bed as in the
case of al l persons save Yogi s. Does this not astonish you? Think
over this seri ousl y. How di fcul t i t i s to enter i nto sl eep the very
moment you l ie down. They had perfect control over thoughts.
They could get up the very moment they wi shed. This is very
diHi cul t. Thi s is easy also. Thi s i s not a logica paradox. Di fcul t
for those who are l azy and who do not practise concentration.
Easy for those who have Yogi c practices of Dharan

, Dhyana and
Samadhi . Napoleon Bonaparte al so was a man of great
concentrati on. He coul d get up from sl eep to the very second he
desired. He coul d sl eep soundl y even in the mi dst of war. He
would never worry even a bi t. He had hi ghl y devel oped Ekagrata
of Chi tta. These men were unconscious Raja Yogi s wi th thi s
di fference that they were not i ntrospecti ng on the Atman wi th
Antarmukha Vri tti , but used their powers on the physical plane
wi th Bahi rmukha Vri tti .
Ranti Deva
In Bhagavata a description i s gi ven of Ranti Deva. He starved
for 48 days and when he was about to break hi s fast on the
morni ng of the 49th day wi th a l i ttle flour, sugar and water, a
guest came i n. He gave a portion of the flour. After the first guest
departed, a second guest came i n. He gave another porti on of the
flour. A thi rd guest came i n. He gave the rest of the fl our and
sugar. When he was about to dri nk the water, a fourtb guest came
in and asked for some water to dri nk. He gave the water al so. He
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS 273
had nothi ng. He said: "Let me take on my shoul ders al l the pai n

and sufferi ngs of humani ty. Let me bri ng joy to others. let me not
have any selfi sh desi re. Let me take del i ght in sacrifi ci ng my al l . "
You can draw i nspiration and get renewed strength from Ranti
Deva. Hi s Yaj na or self-sacrifice was far superior to the Raj asuya
Yaj na of Yudhishthira. Thi s i s an example of i deal sacrifice. You
can evol ve or expand through self-sacrice, very quickly. You can
polish the mi nd thoroughl y. You can completely remove Mal a and
get cosmic consciousness easi l y.
You must fol l ow the example of that King Si bi of ol d who gave
out of hi s bosom a mass of flesh equal i n weight to that of the
pigeon for whi ch he gave shelter when chased by the hawk under
extreme pai ns of hunger. This is a real self-sacrifice, laudable,
commendable i ndeed. Fol l ow the footsteps of Dadhichi Maharshi ,
who l i ved near Nai mi saranya, modern Ni msar. He gave hi s bones
to Indra to make his Vajra weapon.
There are various degrees i n self-sacrifice. A man may have 50
lakhs of Rupees. He may donate 2 l akhs to the Varanasi Hi ndu
Uni versity. Thi s is also a ki nd of self-sacrifice. A Tongawal l ah of a
rel i gious turn of mi nd, of a pious nature, gi ves 8 annas for charity,
which i s the whole earning of that day, and starves. Surely this i s
far superior to the previous one, where the man
:
kept 48 l acs for
hi s own enjoyment, and out of the surpl us, gave 2 l akhs for
chari ty. You wi l l have to gauge the degree of self-sacrifice. He
who distri butes everythi ng to others and does discri mi nate charity
(charity done to deservi ng persons), is the best of all sacrifi cers.
He is to b highl y revered and worshipped.
Some persons get one rupee. They keep i t for themsel ves and
give nothing in charity. There are others who distri bute 8 annas in
charity. There are some others who keep 2 annas for thei r own use
and gi ve the balance 1 4 annas in charity. There are very few who
do not keep anythi ng for themsel ves, but di stri bute the whole
amount to others. Mark here the various degrees of sel f-sacrifi ce.
Persons who belong to the first type are pi gs, not onl y pigs but
stout Chi nese pigs, who are to be condemned ruthlessly. Others are
al l sacrificers. But the last type of man, who gi ves hi s al l i n
charity is superior to al l . Gandhij i ' s example i s very nobl e. Hi s
sacrifice i s of a superior degree.
Nama Deva
Nama Deva was a sai nt of Pandarpur in Maharashtra. He was a
274
PRACTICE OF YOGA
tai lor by proIessi on. It is supposed that he was an i ncamation oI
Val mi ki . When he was a boy, he took some eatabl es as oIIeri ng to
Lord Kri shna-Vitthala o
J
Pandarpur templ e, pl aced them beIore
the dei ty and asked Lord Kri shna to eat them. Everything
remained in the pl ate. Nama Deva wept bitterly and prayed. Lord
Kri shna appeared beIore hi m i n human Iorm, took the pl ate and
ate the contents. When the boy returned wi th an empty pl ate,
parents asked the boy. "What became oI the contents?" Nama
Deva repl ied. "Mother, Vitthala came personal l y and ate them. "
Parents were gui te astoni shed. On the Iol l owi ng day, hi s Iather
accompanied the boy to the templ e wi th the oHeri ng. The Iather
hi d hi mselI. The boy pl aced the pl ate beIore Vitthala. Vitthala
appeared in the human Iorm as beIore and ate the contents. Nama
Deva's Iather was cl osel y watchi ng. He was much surprised. He
thought that Nama Deva was a Deva and not a man. When Nama
Deva was si tti ng on the bank oI thc river Chandrabhaga wi th some
bread and ghee, Vi tthal a wanted to test Nama Deva. He assumed
the Iorm oI a dog and snatched the bread out oI his hands. Nama
Deva sai d. " my Lord i n the Iorm oI a dog, I see Vitthala i n
everythi ng. Do not eat the pl ai n, dry bread. Al l ow mc t o apply
ghee to the bread. " Vi tthal a thought that Nama Deva was gui te
advanced i n his devoti on. He showed Hi s Chaturbhuja Maha
Vi shnu Iorm out oI the dog. Nama Deva attai ned Sayujya Mukti .
Tkaram
Tukaram was a Maharashtra sai nt who l i ved i n Dheo, a vi l l age
on the banks oI I ndrayani . He had a cruel wi Ie l i ke that oI
Socrates. She was cruel but vi rtuous. She would never take her
Iood beIore oHeri ng to Tukaram .
.
He was a contemporary oI Ram
Das. Once Si vaj i sent a pl ate oI pearl and jewels to Tukaram.
Tukaram reIused to accept and returned the jewels Ior which, he
had a good scol di ng Irom hi s wi Ie. She said to Tukaram. We
have many chi l dren. We are too poor. We can uti l ise the ki ng's
present. Why have you returned them?" Tukaram was an ordinary
cool i e Who used to drive bi rds i n Jwari el ds. He was not
educated. Hi s Iorm oI worshi p or mental pi cture was the deity oI
Pandarpur wi th hands on waist. He was very Iond oI Bhajan. Hi s
Mantra was Vitthala, Vitthal a,-another name Ior Lord Krishna.
One day he tol d his Iriends that he would b going to Vaikuntha.
He asked his wi Ie al so whether she woul d accompany. She
reIused. Al l people di d not believe. One day as he was taking hi s
bath i n the river Chandrabhaga, a dazzl i ng celesti al Vi mana came
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
from Vai kuntha. Tukaram entered the Vimana and reached Lord
Narayana's Lotus Feet.
Damaji
Damaj i was a great devotee of Lord Kri shna at Pandarpur. He
was the Di van in a Mohammedan state. A severe fami ne occurred.
Damaj i opened the treasury and di stri buted a l arye sum of money
for the poor without obtai ni ng permi ssion from the Nawab. When
the Nawab came to know of this act of Damaj i , he was much
enraged an

ordered that Damaj i must be executed. When he was


bei ng taken for execution, Damaj i asked the executi oner to pss

through Pandarpur, as he wanted to have hi s l ast Dars|an of


Vitthala. They agreed. In the meanti me Lord Kri shna, assumed the
form of a low caste man, went to the Nawab and sai d: " Nawab,
I am a messenger from Damaj i , your Di wan. Here is the money to
replace the sum he uti l i sed. Gi ve me a receipt now and release the
Di van. " The Nawab was very much puzzled and astonished at this
i nci den| There was so much l ustre and attraction i n the messenger
that the Nawab thought that this man was a di vi ne being. The
Nawab sent people i mmediatel y to release the Di van. Lord
tri shna did some more fun also. He took the receipt and kept i n
te Gi ta owned by Damaj i . Damaj i took hi s bath i n Chandrabhaga
river, wanted to go through a few Slokas before his executi on. In
his great astoni shment, he saw a receipt Irom the Nawab. He knew
this was all the grace of Lord Kri shna. He extremely fel t for
having been the root cause of al l these troubles to Lord Kri shna.
He cursed hi mself that he had not the fortune to have
_
i s Darshan.
He i ntensely gave up hi s mi nd to Lord Kri shna. The Lord gave
hi m Darshan and Sayujya Mukti . People visit now Damaj i 's
birthplace, 1 2 mi les off from Pandarpur. If you have sincere,
Avyabhichai ni Bhakt i , you can get Mukti in no time.
Nandana
Nandana belongs to the depressed cl asses of South India. He
was servi ng a Brahmi n in the cul ti vation of hi s l ands . He was a
great devotee

of Lord Si va. Chi dambaram represents a southern
Benares. It has a big temple. Nataraja i s the name of Lord Si va. If
you rcmain in Chi dambaram for

som

time, your si n wi l l be
destroyed. This is a popul ar bel ief. When Nandana asked hi s
master permi ssion t o go to Chi dambaram f

r havi ng Darshan of
Lord Si va, the arrogant Brahmi n abused hm, sayi ng: "You
low-caste Pari ah, you want to worship the deity of Brahmi ns. Go
and worship the ghosts (Bhutas), your fami l y deities. " Nandana
276 PRACTICE OF YOGA
was a great devotee of Si va. He was always prayi ng with
devoti on. On i ncessant reguest of Nandana, the Brahmi n promi sed
to send Nandana as soon as the cul ti vation was over. Nandana was
very anxi ous about the long period that woul d take for cul tivating
the vast l ands of the Brahmi n. Lord Si va did a miracle to help
Nandana. The dry l ands of the Brahmi n which remained
unculti vated were fi l led wi th green paddy in a day. The Brahmi n
was gui te astonished. He thought that thi s Nandana was a great
devotee. He i mmediately al lowed Nandana to go to Chi dambaram.
Nandana had Darshan of Nataraja and attained Mukti . God gi ves
His hel pi ng hand to all His si ncere devote

es.
Swami Krishna Ashram
Swami Kri shna Ashram is a l i vi ng sai nt at Daroli vi l l age, 1 4
mi les down below Gangotri . He i s l i vi ng there for the l ast several
years i n an absol utel y nude state, in an icy region, where an
ordi nary man may regui re a wool l en sweater and si x bl ankets. He
i s a Maharashtra Brahmi n. He was l i vi ng on the banks of
Narmada. He was a Si va Bhakta. He threw away al l hi s Puja
utensi l s, went to Varanasi , took Dandi Sannyasa and remained i n
Varanasi for a year.
He then came to Haridwar, threw off the Danda and became an
Avadhuta. For sometime he l i ved in Uttarakasi . When sharp fl ies
were bi ti ng his body, when bl ood was emergi ng profusely, he
woul d never dri ve away the ies . Such was his power of
endurance. Once i n the Kshetra an arrogant servant i nsul ted hi m
for not bri ngi ng any vessel for Dhal and poured very hot Dhal on
the hand. The sai nt drank the Dhal though the l ips and hands were
scalded. There is another Swami by name Bhuma Ashram at
Darol i i n a nude state. He is a friend of Kri shna Ashram. He has
great power of endurance.
Titi ksa i s an essential attri bute of a Sannyasi . You can do
nothi ng i n the spiritual l i ne wi thout Ti tiksha. This is one of the
Shat-Sampat. Practise this vi rtue. Draw i nspirations from Swami
Kri shna Ashram. Even in thc Gita, you wi l l find.-
Matrasparsastu kaunteya sitoshnasukhaduhkhadah
Agamapayino-anityastan titikshasva Bharata.
"The contacts of matter, son of Kunti, gi vi ng heat and cold,
pleasure and pai n, they come and go. They are i mpermanent.
Bharata, endure, them bravel y. "
LIVES OF GREAT SAINTS
Yun hi na vyathayantyete purusham purusharshabha
Samaduhkhasukham dhiram so-amritatvaya kalpate.
277
"The man whom these torment not, chief of men, balanced i n
pai n and pl easure, steadfast, he gets i mmortal i ty. "-Gita II- 1 4, 1 5 .
Siddharudha Swami
Si ddharudha Swamiji is a l i vi ng veteran sai nt of great
reputation. He is in Hubl i . He has exhi bi ted many mi racles,
thought-readi ng, etc. He has Trikala Jnana, si mul taneous
consci ousness where there is only the present. In deep
concentration, you do not know how time passes. Hours rol l on
quickl y. Past and future become blended i n the present. Thi s is a
si gn of progressi ve, i ntense concentrati on. If time is hangi ng on
you, that shows that the mi nd i s wandering about. Large number
of prsons go about for Darshan of Siddharudha. People hae bui l t
a huge temple for hi m. ` He holds eveni ng cl asses i n the Yoga
Vasishtha, it is a valuable book on Vedanta. It is a book for the
ardent Mumukshus for constant study. You must study it as many
ti mes as possi ble. Then you wi l l have good Samskaras. You must
not only study, but l i ve i n the spirit of the Yoga-Vasi shtha. Al l
people i n the Ashram of Si ddharudha Swami constantly repeat thi s
Mantra: "Si vaya Nama OM, Si vaya Namah; Si vaya Nama OM,
Namah Si vaya." Even a pl oughman utters this Mantra when he
works i n the fi elds. A mi l l -grinder repeats this Si va Mantra when
hc grinds the fl our. The whole Ashram, the whole Hubl i , i s fl led
up with the powerful vi brati ons of this Si va Mantra.
APPENDIX FOUR
ANECDOTES
A Brahmin Priest
You are aware, I bel ieve, that the Brahmi ns are Iond oI
eati ng, and the Mohammedans are very Iond oI showy dress.
There is a proverb that a Brahmi n l ost al l hi s property through
eati n and a Mohammedan through dressi ng. There was a
Brahi n priest by name, Lakshmi narasu Shastri i n
Raj ahmundry, East Godavari Di stri ct. He wi l l come under the
hierarchy oI Kumbhakarna and Hiranyakasi pu. Kumbhakarna,
brother oI Ravana, used to eat at one stroke, at one si tt i ng si x
months' s uppl y oI Iood. Thi s was a sl i ght ti Ifn or Chota Hazri
Ior Kumbhakarna. Thi s was hi s very, very l ight diet, Yogi c
Mi tahara. The Brahmi n priest al so wi l l not i n any way l ag
behi nd Kumbhakarna wi th reIerence to eating. He wi l l assuredl y
keep pace wi th hi m Irom al l viewpoi nts i n thi s l i ne.
ne day thi s Brahmi n was i nvi ted Ior di nner by a Sub-j udge
Narayana Pantul u Garu on the Sraaddha day oI hi s Iather.
General l y, a Brahmi n who takes Iood on a Sraaddha day i s
consi dered as Vi swedeva Devata, and i s treated wi t h very great
respect a
n
d reverence. Lakshmi narasu Shastri was very Iond oI
good cow' s ghee and Laddu. Laddu was meat and dri nk to the
Shastri . He woul d Iorget hi msel I i n the presence oI Laddu and
ghee. The Sub-j udge had engaged that day a Laddu expert to
prepare Laddu i n a most ski l Iul manner. The Brahmi n priest sat
Ior di pner. Two bi g pl antai n l eaves were pl aced beIore the
Shastri . !iIteen addus and hal I a seer oI cow's ghee were
pl aced to start wi th. Wi thi n 3 mi nutes, the Shastri Ii ni shed thi s
porti on oI Laddu and drank t he ghee l ike water. Another l ot oI
IiIteen Laddus and hal I a seer oI ghee were pl aced. Thi s process
conti nued t i l l the Shastri was sati sed. He was able to take onl y
220 Laddus and 4 seers oI ghee. That was al l . The quanti ty
consumed came out oI the stomach and regurgitated back i nto
the oesophagus and was touchi ng the back part oI the throat. I n
t hi s condi ti on, t he Shastri was not abl e t o get up. He was
pant i ng Ior breath as the

contents i n tbe gul l et were pressi ng
upon the l arynx and trachea. He was turni ng Irom si de to si de.
At l ast, two servants carri ed the Shastri to the verandah to wash
ANECDOTES
his hands. Now, his condi ti on became worse. There was
nauseati ng tendency and retchi ng wi th severe pai n i n the
stomach. Some of the passers-by pi ti ed at the mi serabl e
condi ti on of the pri est and enqui red hi m. The Shastri repl i ed:
"I am fond of Laddu and cow' s ghee. Today the Laddu was
ni cel y prepared i n 1udge Saheb' s house. I ate onl y 220
Laddus and drank 4 seers of ghee. My stomach appears to be
overl oaded. There i s

severe gri ppi ng pai n . Thcre is a
tendency to vomi t . Thi s i s al l my troubl e. "
One of the passers-by extremel y sympathi sed wi th the Shastri
and suggested: "Shastrij i , why not you i ntroduce two fi ngers
i nto the throat and ti ckl e it. This wi l l bri ng out i mmediate
vomiti ng. You wi l l be greatl y rel ieved. " Now Shastrij i sai d:
"My dear fri end, you are enti rel y mi staken. Had there been a
space to admi t two fingers more, I woul d have eaten another l ot
of fifteen Laddus and hal f a seer of cow' s ghee. I feel very
much |hat I have lost such good chance. Where to get such
ni cel y prepared Laddus and fresh ghee?'
This is also Mi tahara for peopl e who come under the category
of the famous Laddu Shastri of Raj ahmundry who l i ve to eat
onl y. Thi s is epgcuri ani sm. Such people are absoutel y unfi t for
Yoga and meditati on. Even for the worl dl y acti vi ti es such
people are qui te usel ess.
A Soldier Bhakta
Havc you not heard of a recent Punj ab i nci dence? A sol di er, a
si ncerc Rama Bhakta, was on patrol duty at ni ght. At that t i me a
fine Bhajana party were movi ng about qui te cl ose to the sol di er.
The sol di er was much moved by the Ki rtan, left hi s duty and
joi ned the si ngi ng party. In the depth of hi s hi gher emoti ons, he
entered i nto Bhava Samadhi , the ecstati c state of Bhaktas. When
he returned to duty at 6 a. m. , he enqui red the Subedar Major
Surdhar Bahadur, whether anythi ng happened duri ng hi s
absence. The Sube

ar sai d: "Not hi ng happened. I saw you


al ways on patrol duty. " The Bhakta sol di er was very much
astoni shed. He thought i t was al l the grace of Lord Rama. Rama
Hi msel f was on the guard.
A si mi l ar i ncidence occurred in Fyzabad. An I nspector of
Schools on the i nspection day styed at home for Puj a and
meditation. When he came the fol l owi ng morni ng to the school for
i nspecti on, the teachers told hi m that he was present al l along the
previous day in ]he school , and that the i nsp
"
ction was over. The
280
PRACTICE OF YOGA
headmaster showed hi m the i nspection report wi th the si gnature of
the Inspector. Rama Hi msel f assumed the form of the Inspector,
just to help hi s devotee. The Inspctor i mmediatel y resigned hi s
job and went to Ayodhya to spend the rest of hi s l ife i n
communi on wi th Rama. If you are si ncere and devoted, nothi ng i s
i mpossi ble. Secure the lotus-feet of Rama. You wi l l have
everythi ng. You wi l l be free from al l sorts of trouble. Say always.
Rama, Rama, Rama, wi th si ncere devoti on.
A Saint
A sai nt was passi ng in a thi ck forest. Two thi eves met hi m,
cut off hi s two arms, and threw hi m i r a dry wel l . A l i ttl e l ater,
a

thi rsty wayfarer came to the wel l to dri nk some. water and saw
the mi serabl e sai nt wi th amputated hands. He helped the sai nt to
get out of the wel l . The sai nt was under the care of a surgeon
for some days. Afterwards he proceeded to a Maharaj a o! a rich
state. The Maharaja entrusted him with the chari ty secti on. The
saint was very vi rtuous, nobl e-hearted and generous. After he
took charge, he di stri buted a consi derable sum of money i n
charity. Hi s name and

fame spread far and wi de. The two
thieves who amputated hi s hands, came i n for charity. The sai nt
recei ved them wi th great respect and hospi tal i ty and tol d the
servants to gi ve speci al accommodation and serve them wi th
great care as they are very good and learned peopl e. The thieves
remai ned there in a royal styl e. Wi thi n thei r hearts, they had the
greatest fear that thi s sai nt mi ght revenge at any moment. After
a few days, the thi eves asked the sai nt permi ssi on to go away.
The sai nt gave them a cart-l oad of presents and decent articl es
and sent speci al messengers to escort them to thei r nati ve pl ace.
In hal f way the messengers asked the two guest-thievcs : "How
i s i t that the sai nt showed speci al courtesy and favour to you?"
The thi eves repl ied: "Thc sai nt i s known to us before. He is our
fri end. We hel ped hi m very much. "
When they uttered these words, even the Mother Earth coul d
not bear; t he earth gave way and t he thieves were destroyed by
the wrath of Sakti . The messengers returned and narrated the
sad occurrence to the sai nt. The sai nt fel t very much. At once,
he gave up food, made severe Tapas, prayed to God: " Rama,
you have gi ven Mukti to Ravana, your own enemy. Why cannot
you gi vc Mukti to my enemi es, the two thi eves who removed
my hands. " God pi ti ed the sai nt, restored the thieves from the
cl oven earth, and gave them l i berati on.
ANECDOTES 28 1 .
You wil l fi nd an echo of si mi lar i ncidents i n Tolstoy's l i fe and
teachings. Tolstoy says: "Bless, pray and do good to the man who
does the greatest harm to you. " You wi l l fnd the same teachi ng i n
the whole of Bi bl e. Do not revenge. Do not return anger for anger.
Do not displease anybody. Pray to God that He may purify the
heart of a vi cious man. I f you remember the above i l l ustrati ons,
you can easi l y destroy hatred, jeal ousy, anger and other i mpurities.
When these Vri tti s are anni hl ated, peace fol l ows automati cal l y.
The virtues Ti ti ksha, Kshama and Karuna should be developed to
a maxi mum degree.
GLOSSARY
AHlMANA-Egoi sm
Abhi ni vesa-Thirsting for l i fe
Abhokta-Non-enjoyer
Abhyasa-Spi ritual practice
Achara-Right conduct
Adhara-Support, basi s
Adharma-U nri ghteousness
Adhyasa-Superimposition, fal se attri bution
Adhyatmic-Pertai ni ng to the Atman
Advai ta-Non-dual i ty, monism
Agni-Fire
Ahamkara-Egoi sm
Ahanta-' I` -ness
Ahi msa-Non- i nj uring, non-ki l l i ng
Ajati vada-Theory of absol ute non-exi stence
Aj nana-lgnorance
Akarta-Non-doer
Akasa-Ether
Akhanda-Unbroken, conti nuous
Akshara-Sacred syl l able, word
Al asya-Lazi ness
Anahata Sound-Mystic sound heard by Yogi s.
Ananda-Bl i ss, happi ness
Anga-Li mb
Ani rvachani ya-Indescri bable
Antaranga-Internal
Anu-Atom
Anubhava-Personal experience
Apari graha-Non-recei vi ng of things
Arj ava-Strai ghtforwardness, frankness
Asana-Posture, seat
Asat-U nreal
Ashrama-A hermi tage, order of l i fe
GLOSSARY
Asteya-Non-steal i ng
Asti-Bhati -Priya-Same as Sat-Chi t-Ananda
Atindri ya-Beyond the reach of the senses
Avarana-Vei l of i gnorance
Avatara-l ncarnation of God
Avidya-Ignorance
AHIRANGA-External
Bahi rmukha-External , outward
Bhakta-Devotee
Bhakti-Devotion
Bhavana-Feel i ng
Bhi ksha-Al ms
Bhoga-Enjoyment
Bhranti-Il l usion
Bhuma-Unconditioned
Bhuta-Spirit
Brahmachari-Celi bate
Brahmacharya-Cel i bacy, chastity
283
Brahmamuhurta-The period from morni ng 3 a.m. to 6 a. m.
favourable for spiritual practices.
Buddha-Al l -knowi ng
Buddhi-lntellect
lHAITANYA-Absol ute consci ousness
Chakshus-Eye
Chit-Knowl edge absol ute
Chi tta-Shuddhi-Purification of mi nd
Chi tta-Subconscious mi nd
DAMA-Control of Indriyas
Darshana-Direct perception
Dhairya-Bol dness, fi rmness
Dharana-Concentration
Dharma-Ri ghteous duty
Dhriti-Patience
Dhyana-Meditation
Dridha-Firm
Dri k-Seer
Dri shya-Seen
Duhkha-Pai n, mi sery
284
PRACfiCE OF YOGA
Dvesha-Hatred, di sl i ke, repul si on
KAGRATA-One-poi ntedness of mi nd
GHRlNA-Aversion
Gri hastha-Householder
G una-Attri bute
GuruSpi ritual preceptor
HARSHA-Exhi l aration
lDAM-Thi s
I ndri yasSense-organs
Irshya-Jealousy
l shta-Favourite
I svara Prani dhana-Sel f-surrender
)ADA-Insentient, l i fel ess
JapaRepetition of the name o God
Jaya-Mastery
Jijnasu-Spi ri tual aspirant
Ji va-|ndi vi dual soul
Ji vanmukta-Li berated soul
Jnana-l ndri yas-The organ of ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose
J nana-Know ledge
Jyoti-I | | umi nati on, l umi nosi ty
KAlVAlA-Fi nal beatitude, isolation
Kalpana-I magi nati on
Kama-Passi on, desi re
Kamandal u-The Sannyasi ' s vessel made up of goard
Kantam-Magnetic power
Karana-Sari ra-Causal body
Karana-lnstrument
Karma-I ndriyas-Speech, hands, l
c
gs, geni tal s and anus
Karma-Work, deal , action
Karuna-Mercy, sympathy
Kashaya-Hidden Vasanas
Kaupi na-Loi n cl oth
Kcvala-Ai one, absol ute
Kirti-Name and fame
Koshas-S heaths
Kshama-Forgi veness
LAKSHA-Poi nt, object of meditation
Langoti-Loi n cl oth
Laya-Di ssol uti on
GLOSSARY
Li nga Sarira-Astral body
Lobha-ovetousness
Loka-SangrahaSol i darity of the world
Maala-Rosary
285
MAHAVAKYAS-Great sentences of the Vedas, vi z. , raj nanam
Brahma; Aham Brahma Asmi ; Tat Tvam Asi ; Ayam Atma
Brahm a
Mala-Impurity
Manana-ReIl ection
Manas-Mi nd
Manasic-Mental
Manonasa-Anni hi l ation of mi nd
Mantra-Sacred syl l abl e or group of syl l abl es
Mauna-Vow of si l ence
Maya-Il l usi ve power
Mitahara-Moderati on of food
Mi thya-Unreal
Moha-Attachment
Moksha-Emancipation, l i beration
Mukhya-Important
Mukta-The l i berated man
Mukti-Liberation
Mul a-Root, basi s, pri mi ti ve
Mumukshutva-In
t
ense l ongi ng for l i berati on
Murti-Idol , the form of God
NADA-Mystic sound
Nadi-Astral tubes by whi ch the Prana moves i n the sky
Nama-Name
Ni
d
idhyasana-Profound meditation

Nirguna-Without attributes
Nishkama-Di si nterested, selIless
Nishtha-Faith
Ni tya-Eternal
Nivri tti-Marga-Path of renunciation
.
OJAS-SAKTl-Spi ri tual energy
PARAMA-Supreme
Prakriti-Nature
286
PRACTICE OF YOGA
Pralaya-Di ssol ution
Pramada-Carelessness
Prana-Vital encrgy
Pranava-The sacred monosyl l abl e OM
Pranayaina-Control or regul ati on of Prana
Prarabdha-Fructescent actions
Pratyahara-Abstracti on, drawi ng the senses from objects
Pratyaksha-Direct perception
Prema-Love
Prithvi-Earth, undifferenti ated matter
Purna-Ful l
Purushartha-Ri ght exertion
RAGA-Attraction, l i ke, attachment
Rajas.Passi on, motion
Rajasi c-Passionate
RasaVir a
Rechaka-Exhalation
Rupa-Form
SADACHARA-Right conduct
Sadhaka-Spi ri tual aspirant
Sadhana Chatushtaya-Four qual ifications of the aspirants, viz. ,
Vi veka, Vai ragya, Shat

Sampat and Mumukshutva


Sadhana-Spi ri tual practice
Sakshatkara-Direct perception
Sakshi-Witness
Sakti-Power
Samadhi-Superconscious state
Samata-Bal anced state, equi l i bri um
Samskara-Mental i mpressions
Samyama-Combi ned course of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi'
Sankal pa-Formative wi l l , i magi n
a
ti facul ty
Sannyasa-Renunci ation
Sannyasi n-One who has renounced everythi ng, an ascetic
Santi-Peace
Santosha-Contentment, happi ness
Sari ra-Body
Sarva-A| |
S astras-Scri ptures
GLOSSARY
287
Sat-Chit-Ananda-Existence absolute, Knowledge absol ute and
Bl i ss absol ute
Sat-Rcal, exi stence
Satsanga-Association wi th the wi se, Sadhus, Sannyasins and
Bhaktas
Sattva-Purity
Sattvi c-Virtuous
SatyaTruth, Brahman
Saucha-Purity
Shat-Karmas-Si x purifcatory exerci ses of Hatha Yogis, vt z. ,
Dhauti , Basti , Tratak, Naul i and Kapal abhati .
Shat-Sampat-Si xfol d vi rtues: Sara, Dama, Uparati, Ti tiksha,
Sraddha and Samadhana
Si ddh(-Perfected soul , a man of psychic powers
Si ddhi-Perfecti on, psychic power
Sl oka-Verse
S marana-Remembrance
Smriti-Memory
Soka-Grief, depression
Sraddha-Bel ief, fai th and i nterest
Sravana-Heari ng of the hol y texts
Stotras-Hymns
Subham-Auspicious
Suddha-Pure
Sukha-Comfortabl e
Sukshma-Subtle
Sundaram-Beauti ful
Sushupti-Deep sl

ep
Sutra-Verse, Aphori sm
Svadhyaya-Study of scri ptures
Svapna-Dream
Svara-Sound, tone, accent
TAMAS-Inertia, darkness
Tamasi c-Dul l
Tanmatras-El ements
Tapas-Austerity, penance, mortication
Tattvas-Elements
Tejas, Taijasa or Tejomaya-Radiant
1itiksha-Forbearance, power of e
n
durance
288 PRACTICE OF YOGA
Titi kshu-One who has the power of forbearance
Tri kuti-The space between the two eyebrows
Tripti-Sati sfaction
Trishna-Intense cravi ng
T
x
aga-Renunci ation
UPADHl-Vehi cl e, l i mi ti ng adj unct
Upamsu 1apa-Semi -verbal repeti ti on of a Mantra
U parati-Absol ute calmness, tranqui l l i ty
Upasana-Worshi p
Urdhvaretas-One who i s perfectly establ i shed i n Brahmacharya
U tsaha-Perseverance
V AIKUNTHA-The abode of Lord Vishnu
Vairagya-Di spassion to sensual enj oyment
Vasana-Incl i n
a
tion, tendency and i mpul se; subtle form of desircs;
i mpressi on of an action
Vedanta-Moni sm, non-dual i ty
Vedanti-A 1 nana Yogi
Vibhu-Ai l -pervadi ng
Vichara-Ri ght enqui ry, di scri mi nation
Vikara-Unnatural modification of mi nd
Vikshepa-Osci l lation or tossi ng of mi nd
Vipari ta-Contrary
Vis va-Cosmi c
Vi veka-Di scri mi nati on, know ledge
VivekiA man of discri mi nation
VrittiThought-wave, mental modification
Vyadhi-Di sease
V
ya vahara-\orldJy acti vi ties
Y AJNA-Sucrificc
.
Yathasthana-Orgi nal seat
Yoga-Union wi th God
Yogi-One who prac

ises Yoga
Yukti-Common-sense