Yoga Sutras of Patañjali- Integration, Illumination and Freedom

Excerpted from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul

And “A Sanskrit English Translation” By Chip Hartranft

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 3 – Union achieved and its Results.

1. Concentration is the fixing of the chitta (mind stuff) upon a particular object. This is dharana.

We have now reached the part of the Yoga Sutras which deals specifically with mind control and with the effect of that control. The first fifteen sutras are given to the control of the mind and how it is to be attained and the remaining forty sutras concern the results which take place after this control has been gained. Twenty-four results are enumerated, and these are all along the line of expansions of consciousness and the demonstration of psychic faculties, both lower and higher.

The first step towards this unfoldment is concentration, or the ability to hold the mind steadily and unwaveringly upon that which the aspirant chooses. This first step is one of the most difficult stages in the meditation process and involves constant unremitting ability to keep bringing the mind back to that “object” upon which the aspirant has chosen to concentrate. The stages in concentration are themselves well marked and can be stated as follows:

  1. The choice of some “object” upon which to concentrate,
  2. The withdrawing of the mind-consciousness from the periphery of the body, so that the avenues of outer perception and contact (the five senses) are stilled, and the consciousness is no longer outgoing,
  3. The centering of the consciousness and its steadying within the head at a point midway between the eyebrows,
  4. The application of the mind, or the paying of close attention to the object chosen for concentration,
  5. The visualization of that object, imaginative perception of it and logical reasoning about it,
  6. The extension of the mental concepts which have been formed from the specific and particular to the general and the universal or cosmic,
  7. An attempt to arrive at that which lies back of the form considered, or to reach the idea which is responsible for the form.

This process gradually steps up the consciousness and enables the aspirant to arrive at the life side of manifestation instead of the form side. He begins however with the form or “object.” Objects upon which to concentrate are of four kinds:

  1. External objects, such as images of the deity, pictures or forms in nature,
  2. Internal objects, such as the centers in the etheric body,
  3. Qualities, such as the various virtues, with the intent to awaken desire for these virtues and thus to build them into the content of the personal life,
  4. Mental concepts or those ideas which embody the ideals lying back of all animated forms. These may take the form of symbols or of words.

In one of the Puranas the idea embodied in concentration is expressed most beautifully. The aspirant is told, after he has made use of the first five means of yoga (dealt with in Book II), that he “should make a localization of the mind stuff upon some auspicious support” and this localization is illustrated by a description of the fixing of the attention upon a form of God.

    “The incarnated form of the Exalted One leaves one without desire for any other support. This should be understood to be fixed, attention, when the mind stuff is fixed upon this form. And what is this incarnate form of Hari on which one should ponder, let that be heard by thee, 0 Ruler of Men. Fixed attention is not possible without something on which to fix it.” (Vishnu Purana V 1. 7. 75-85.)

Then follows a description of the incarnated form of the Exalted One, concluding with these words:

    “…upon Him let the yogin ponder; and lost in Him, concentrate his own mind until, 0, King, the fixed attention becomes firmly fixed upon Him only. While performing this or while doing, as he wills, some other action wherein his mind does not wander, he should then deem this fixed attention to be perfected.” (Naradiya Purana LXVII. 54-62.)

It is the realization of the necessity for “objects” in concentration that originated the demand for images, sacred sculptures and pictures. All these objects entail the use of the lower concrete mind and this is the necessary preliminary stage. Their use brings the mind into a controlled condition so that the aspirant can make it adjust what he chooses. The four types of objects mentioned above carry the aspirant gradually inwards and enable him to transfer his consciousness from the physical plane into the etheric realm, from thence into the world of desire or of the emotions, and so into the world of mental ideas and concepts. This process, which is carried on within the brain, brings the entire lower man into a state of one-pointed coherent attention, all parts of his nature being directed to the attainment of fixed attention or a concentration of all the mental faculties. The mind then is no longer scattering, unsteady and outgoing, but is fully “fixed in attention.” Vivekananda translates “dharana” as “holding the mind to one thought for twelve seconds.” This clear, one-pointed, still perception of an object, without any other object or thought entering into one’s consciousness is most difficult of achievement, and when it can be done for the space of twelve seconds, true concentration is being achieved.

55. When the objective forms and the soul have reached a condition of equal purity, then is At-one-ment achieved and liberation results.

That which veils the light of the soul has been rendered pure, and thus the light of God streams forth. That which proved a hindrance and an obstacle to the full expression of divinity in manifestation has been so dealt with that now it serves as an adequate expression and means of service. The soul can now function freely and intelligently in the three worlds because complete unity has been reached between the lower and the higher man.

The soul and its vehicles form a unit and are at one; complete alignment of the bodies has been achieved and the Son of God can function freely on earth. Thus has the great objective been reached and through a following of the eight means of yoga the soul can manifest through the lower threefold man, and in its turn form a medium of expression for the spirit. Matter has been brought into a state where its vibration can synchronize with that of the soul, and the result is that – for the first time – spirit can make its presence felt, for “matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of soul on this plane of experience and the soul is the vehicle for the manifestation of spirit on a higher turn of the spiral. These three are a trinity synthesized by life which pervades them all.” To the man who has achieved this there is no rebirth. He is free and liberated, and can say with full conscious realization of the significance of the words:

    My life (the lower physical life) is hid with Christ (the soul life) in God (the spirit.) (Col., III, 3)


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Book 4 – Illumination

1. The higher and lower siddhis (or powers) are gained by incarnation, or by drugs, words of power, intense desire or by meditation.

We have now come to the fourth book in which the powers and the results gained by the practice of Raja Yoga are carried forward into group realization and it is seen that they produce universal consciousness and not simply self-consciousness. It seems the part of wisdom to protest here against the use of the words “cosmic consciousness” as untrue and misleading, for even the highest adept (note this term with care) is only gifted with solar consciousness and has no contact with that which is outside our solar system. The planetary Logoi (the seven Spirits before the Throne), and the Lords of Karma (the “four wheels” of Ezekiel) have a realization beyond that of our solar system. Lesser existences may sense it as a possibility but it is not yet part of their experience.

The powers gained fall into two main groups called:

  • Lower psychic powers, the lower siddhis.
  • Spiritual powers or the higher siddhis.

The lower powers are the result of the consciousness of the animal soul in man being en rapport with the anima mundi or the soul of the world, the subjective side of all forms in the three worlds, of all bodies in the four kingdoms of nature. The higher powers are the result of the development of group consciousness, of the second aspect of divinity. They not only include the lesser powers but put a man en rapport with those existences and forms of life which are to be found in the spiritual realms, or, as the occultist would say, on those two planes which are beyond the three worlds, and which cover the entire scale of man’s evolution, human and superhuman.

The goal of the true aspirant is the unfoldment of these higher powers which can be covered by the terms direct knowledge, intuitive perception, spiritual insight, pure vision, the attainment of the wisdom. They are different from the lower powers, for they abrogate them. These latter are accurately described for us in Book III, Sutra 37:

    “These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realization, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.”

These higher powers are inclusive and are distinguished by their accuracy and infallibility when rightly employed. Their working is as instantaneous as a flash of light. The lower powers are fallible, the time element is present in its sequential sense and they are limited in their working. They form part of the great illusion and to the true aspirant constitute a limitation.

In the sutra we are considering, five means are given whereby the psychic powers are developed and it is interesting to note that we have in these words an instance of the fact that the Yoga Sutras can still be the study and teaching manual of even such advanced aspirants as the Masters of the Wisdom. These five methods are capable of application upon all the five planes of human evolution, which include the two higher planes whereon initiates of the Mysteries function.

 1. Incarnation                   The physical plane method.

2. Drugs                            The release of the astral consciousness.

3. Words of Power           Creation by speech, or the method of the mental plane.

4. Intense desire              The sublimation of aspiration or the method of the buddhic plane, the sphere of spiritual love.

5. Meditation                 The method of the atmic plane, the sphere of spiritual will.

 In this enumeration, it might be noted that just as intense desire of a spiritual kind is a sublimation of astral or emotional desire, so meditation, as practised by the initiates, is the sublimation of all the mental processes. Therefore the two final methods given as resulting in the unfoldment of the siddhis are the only ones that are practised by initiates, being the synthesis and sublimation of the realizations achieved on the astral and mental planes.

It might, therefore, be observed that (for the seeker after truth) incarnation, intense desire and meditation are the three permissible methods, and the only ones to be practised; drugs and words of power or mantric incantations are the tools of black magic and concern the lower powers.

The question might here be asked, is it not true that words of power and the use of incense form part of the ceremonies of initiation and therefore are used by initiates and aspirants. Certainly, but not in the sense understood here, or for the purpose of developing psychic powers. The Masters and their disciples use words of power in order to deal with the non-human existences, to invoke the aid of the angels, and to manipulate the building forces of nature, and they employ herbs and incenses in order to purify conditions, eliminate undesirable entities and so make it possible for those higher upon the ladder of evolution to make their presence felt. This is, however, a very different thing to their use in order to become psychic.

It is interesting to note here that the first cause producing the unfoldment of soul powers, whether higher or lower, is the great wheel of rebirth. This must ever be taken into account. Everyone is not yet at the stage where it is possible for him to unfold the powers of the soul. The soul aspect is still dormant for many because full experience and development of the lower nature has not yet been undergone. The forty years’ wandering in the wilderness with the Tabernacle and the conquest of Canaan, had to precede the rule of the kings and the building of the Temple of Solomon. Lives must be passed before the body, or the Mother aspect, is so perfected that the Christ Child can be formed within the prepared vessel. It should also be remembered that the possession of the lower psychic powers is in many cases a symptom of a low stage of evolution and of the close association of their owner with the animal nature. This has to be outgrown before the higher powers can blossom forth.

It is needless to point out that the use of alcohol and of drugs can and does release the astral consciousness, as also the practice of sex magic, but this is astralism pure and simple and with this the true student of Raja Yoga has naught to do. It is part of unfoldment on the left-hand Path. The gaining of the soul powers by intense desire (or fervent aspiration) and by meditation has been covered in the other books and need not be enlarged upon here.

32. The modifications of the mind stuff (or qualities of matter), through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose.

33. Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now.

34. The state of isolated unity becomes possible when the three qualities of matter (the three gunas or potencies of nature) no longer exercise any hold over the Self. The pure spiritual consciousness withdraws into the One.

That Infernal Internal Dialogue.

{Written in 2011}

Earlier on this year I was overcome by a very strong sense of how much apparent suffering there is in the world, and I mean that more in the sense of angst, fear and frustrated desire than in the sense of genuine suffering. For most people in the west life is relatively speaking, comfortable. Even if times are financially difficult the vast majority do not have to exist under the conditions in refugee camps such as Dafur; so many are unhappy and actually quite grumpy about their lot. The world then has to it a sense of malaise or disease, in which most are not at ease with themselves nor their life conditions. I was filled with a sense of deep love for my fellow humanity and the folly which creates and perpetuates this sense of malaise.

As such I was drawn to the word’s of Shantideva’s Bodhisattva vows:

As long as diseases afflict living beings

May I be the doctor, the medicine

And also the nurse

Who restores them to health.

Altruistic and life affirming as these sentiments no doubt are there are some people who do not want to change, nor lift themselves out of the apparent suffering in which they live.  I have pondered long and hard as to what causes most of this apparent suffering and it is fairly plain to see that it is that infernal internal dialogue which is causative of apparent suffering. Through what we say to ourselves we create our own sense of reality and for some that is infernal, or a living hell of sorts. So my premise for today is:

Our internal dialogue is the cause of most of our apparent suffering, as such it is not our friend rather our own self created enemy.

The basis or neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is that reality and behaviours can be changed by altering both what we say to ourselves about stuff and how we act within this self created framework. People live life in a manner which is very much akin to building a house. As we evolve, we lay the foundations in youth, the first bricks in early adulthood and leave a gap perhaps for cavity wall insulation. We then construct the rest of the house as life progresses. The nature of our construct does not change that much as it evolves and apart from a few variations the basic design is set at some point in the past. The extent to which our house differs from the others on the housing estate which is humanity speaks volumes on our individual tendency towards being avant garde or herd like. The house, the castle, is what ever we tell ourselves it is or aspire to.  We build our lives by telling ourselves all sorts of stories about ourselves, our capacities, our desires. These stories are often heavily influenced by our peers, the media and the times. In our talking both internally and with others we create our own “reality” and our shared “reality”.

Internal dialogue is very repetitive and as such it is our internal mantra. These dialogues of course vary, though perhaps not quite to the extent that one might first imagine. Some of the dramatic elements are common and shared, these might be related to house, children, jobs, careers, health, holidays, religion, sex, food, drinking and television based entertainment. These are the building blocks of the common dream, that larger housing estate upon which we build our own little houses. 

Our internal dialogue is often of a very comparative nature, discussing whether we are as good as our peers, better than them and whether our house matches up to our own expectations and the perceived expectations of others. Much of this dialogue creates an imaginary and self limiting reality in which we are forever unhappy because we fail to live up to expectations. In a very real sense we conspire with each other to limit and by and large strive towards the lower common denominator called social acceptance. My guess is that the self esteem, self confidence and self belief of many is way lower than any outer presentation to the world.  Most of all internal dialogue is the most fertile of grounds through which fears are propagated and amplified by the means of collective mind.  Internal dialogue provides for us all a justification as to why it is foolish to try something entirely new and perhaps even slightly unknown. It breeds an infernal fear of ill health, death and dying and a terror of complete social exclusion; and in so doing creates an earthly hell of sorts.  The desire for longevity is misplaced. When my sell by date is up I hope to be taken off the shelves and not to be left there to rot.

Internal dialogue bolsters the sense of shared victimhood and “it is not fair” mentality. When, if one is detached, it is easy to see that for most people in the western world, there is really not that much to be grumpy about. There are relatively few who face starvation and gang rape on a daily basis. That might be something to complain about!!

Much internal dialogue centres around the concept of physical beauty and sexual attractiveness in which access to horizontal jogging is placed a little too high on the great mantelpiece of life. The vast tracts of advertising imagery based upon idealised physical forms, fashion and lifestyle, acts as an accelerant to the fire of internal dialogue, through which the comparative fire of mind says we are not good enough. Very few stop to ponder on the fact that physical beauty can in it self be a real curse. Internal dialogue is mostly about the form side of life and where we may or may not stand in some imaginary pecking order.

The plethora of fears associated with diet, health, exercise and longevity fill the mind with a mass of bric-a-brac such that the thoughts and sounds of internal dialogue are like so many young birds in a nest clamouring for the parental worm. The internal dialogue needs and demands constant feeding, as such it is a harsh master. There is simply no space or room amidst all that noise to stand back and consider about where life is going. The apparent urgency of internal dialogue causes the days, months, years and decades to flash past like an express train. The desires of the internal dialogue appear paramount and are rarely, if ever, sated.

My experience of most internal dialogues is that they are filled with such words as you can’t, you should, you ought to, that is normal, you have failed, that is not what is done here and would daddy be proud of that? For many there is a relative cacophony of entirely negative thought forms which create a climate of some grim application to life.  This is so very familiar that, just like heroin, it is very addictive.  Internal dialogue needs a fresh score every morning and to be shared with all the other pushers within our social circle whom we might choose to call friends. The reality is that pushers are criminals and hence we the junkies and the pushers are all, partners in crime.

I am going to make another premise here:

You are not your internal dialogue

This might seem mildly radical but it is true. If you can examine your internal dialogue from a detached view then, you are not it. In any case much of what you say to yourself is a pack of lies with which you have created your own mythos, your precious self image. The internal dialogue does not like to be challenged and is very defensive. Most conversation is shared internal dialogue and is mutually bolstering.

For the reader of a religious bent I have a simple question which points directly at the folly of internal dialogue; does God care about whether you are pretty, have a large cock, a nice car, a fashionable wardrobe or if you achieve the national average of extended multiple orgasms each week? Is Buddha all that interested? I suspect not. Viewed from this angle the contents of most internal dialogue are “chitta” which is onomatopoeic and exactly like the sound of birds in a nest. If you were about to die, would you really be bothering as to whether Mr Jones’ new Audi looked better than your Volkswagen?

Perhaps as a beginning it might help to look at the interaction between internal dialogue and fear, which is the very basis of the corrupt and manipulative insurance industry. This plays directly on the fear of losing possessions, accidents etc. and is a part of the fabric of the blame culture which abounds today. If you are stupid enough to trip over a paving stone is it really the fault of the council for putting it there? I don’t think so. Deep down everyone knows this, but the litigious “victim” can these days seek recompense. “I didn’t deserve to trip up…”

The fear of litigation is a product of the internal dialogue which supports the blame culture. It is always someone else’s fault!! If you had not been stuck up in your mind, within the circles of your internal dialogue, you might have been sufficiently wide awake to look where you are going.

In what way does the chitta in the mind reinforce all your fears, how does it limit you and above all does it make you at ease and happy? The internal dialogue is one of humanity’s major diseases and my prescription is first of all to become aware of your own internal dialogue and then simply to stop doing it.

If you must have internal dialogue then your mantra might be; “I am a Magical Being of the Universe”. Try this and as the saying goes; “Trust me I am a Doctor!”


Juxtaposition Sakshi and Schizoid

Schizoid personality disorder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Schizoid personality disorder (/ˈskɪtsɔɪd, ˈskɪdzɔɪd/, often abbreviated as SPD or SzPD) is a personality disorder characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency toward a solitary or sheltered lifestyle, secretiveness, emotional coldness, detachment and apathy. Affected individuals may be unable to form intimate attachments to others and simultaneously possess a rich and elaborate but exclusively internal fantasy world.[6][12] Other associated features include stilted speech, a lack of deriving enjoyment from most activities, feeling as though one is an “observer” rather than a participant in life, an inability to tolerate emotional expectations of others, apparent indifference when praised or criticized, a degree of asexuality, and idiosyncratic moral or political beliefs.[13] Symptoms typically start in late childhood or adolescence.[6]

The cause of SPD is uncertain, but there is some evidence of links and shared genetic risk between SPD, other cluster A personality disorders (such as schizotypal personality disorder) and schizophrenia. Thus, SPD is considered to be a “schizophrenia-like personality disorder”.[4][14] It is diagnosed by clinical observation, and it can be very difficult to distinguish SPD from other mental disorders (such as autism spectrum disorder, with which it may sometimes overlap).[15][16]

The effectiveness of psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatments for the disorder have yet to be empirically and systematically investigated. This is largely because people with SPD rarely seek treatment for their condition.[6] Originally, low doses of atypical antipsychotics were also used to treat some symptoms of SPD, but their use is no longer recommended.[17] The substituted amphetamine bupropion may be used to treat associated anhedonia.[7] However, it is not general practice to treat SPD with medications, other than for the short-term treatment of acute co-occurring disorders (e.g. depression).[18] Talk therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may not be effective, because people with SPD may have a hard time forming a good working relationship with a therapist.[6]

SPD is a poorly studied disorder, and there is little clinical data on SPD because it is rarely encountered in clinical settings. Studies have generally reported a prevalence of less than 1%[4][11] (a few estimates, however, have been as high as 4%).[5] It is more common in males than in females.[11] SPD is linked to negative outcomes, including a significantly compromised quality of life, reduced overall functioning even after 15 years and one of the lowest levels of “life success” of all personality disorders (measured as “status, wealth and successful relationships”).[8][9][10] Bullying is particularly common towards schizoid individuals.[3][19] Suicide may be a running mental theme for schizoid individuals, though they are not likely to actually attempt it.[20] Some symptoms of SPD (e.g. solitary lifestyle and emotional detachment), however, have been stated as general risk factors for serious suicidal behaviour.[21]


Sakshi (Witness)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Hindu philosophy , Sakshi (Sanskrit: साक्षी or शाक्षी), also Sākṣī or Shakshi, “witness,” refers to the ‘Pure Awareness’ that witnesses the world but does not get affected or involved. Sakshi is beyond time, space and the triad of experiencer, experiencing and experienced; sakshi witnesses all thoughts, words and deeds without interfering with them or being affected by them, other than sakshi there is nothing else in the entire universe.[1]

Etymology and meaning

साक्षी or शाक्षी means ‘observer’, ‘eyewitness’ or the ‘Supreme Being’, is the Atman, the unchangeable eternal Reality, Pure Consciousness and knowledge.[2] It is the timeless Being which witnesses all this ceaseless flow and change in the world of thought and things,[3] the ‘Witness’ or the higher ‘Ego’, the faculty which perceives the individual personality.[4]

It lends its shine (Chitchhaya) to the “ego” part of the subtle body, which consists of the everchanging Mind, the decision making Intellect, the Memory & the Illusory Ego.[5] Mind (manas), Ego (ahankara) and Sakshi, all perform different functions but that difference of functions does not mean difference in nature or essence.[4]


With regard to the word, साक्षी (sākṣī), used in the following verse from Shvetashvatara Upanishad,

एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा |
कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ||
“The same Deity remains hidden in all beings, and is all-pervasive and the indwelling Self of all beings. He is the supervisor of actions, lives in all beings, (He is) the Witness, the bestower of intelligence, the Absolute and devoid of the (three) gunas.” (Shvetashvatara Upanishad Sl. VI.11)

The Varaha Upanishad (IV) refers to the Bhumika (‘stage of development of wisdom’) which is of the form of pranava (Aum or Om) as formed of or divided into – akāra, ukāra, makāra and ardhmātra, which is on account of the difference of sthula (‘gross’), sukshama (‘subtle’), bija (‘seed’ or ‘causal’) and sakshi (‘witness’) whose avasthas (‘states’) are – ‘waking’, ‘dreaming’, ‘dream-less sleep’ and ‘turiya’. Sakshi which is ‘turiya‘ is the essence.[6]


Panini states that the same indicates a direct seer or eyewitness (Panini Sutras V.ii.91),[7] Sakshi means Ishvara, the चेता (cetā), the sole Self-consciousness, who is the witness of all, who gives consciousness to every human being, thereby making each rational and discriminatory.[8]


Vedanta speaks of mind (chitta) or antahkarana (‘internal instrument’), and matter as the subtle and gross forms of one and the same reality; being the subtle aspect of matter, mind is not a tangible reality. The field of mind (Chittakasha) involves the duality of the seer and the seen, the observer (drg) and the observed (drshya), which duality is overcome in the field of pure Consciousness. Drg-drshya-Viveka tells us:-

“When form is the object of observation or drshyam, then the eye is the observer or drk; when the eye is the object of observation, then the mind is the observer; when the pulsations of the mind are the objects of observation, then Sakshi or the Witnessing-Self is the real observer; and it is always the observer, and, being self-luminous, can never be the object of observation. When the notion and the attachment that one is the physical body is dissolved, and the Supreme Self is realized, wherever one goes, there one experiences Samadhi. “

Sankara explains that knowledge does not destroy or create, it only illumines,[2] that the senses (indriyas) are not the mind, the mind uses them as an implement.[9]