The Science of Breath &
Philosophy of the Tatwas
(Translated from the Sanskrit with 15 Introductory &
Essays on Nature’s Finer Forces)
The Theosophical Publishing Society, London (1890)
I. The Tatwas
III. The Mutual
of the Tatwas & Principles ~
IV. Prana (I)
V. Prana (II)
VI. Prana (III)
VII. Prana (IV)
VIII. The Mind (I)
IX. The Mind (II)
X. The Cosmic Picture
XI. The Manifestations
XII. Yoga ~ The Soul
XIII. Yoga (II)
XIV. Yoga (III)
XV. The Spirit
The Science of
The Philosophy of the Tatwas
A word of explanation is necessary with regard to the book now
to the public. In the 9th and 10th volumes of the theosophist I wrote
Essays on "Nature’s Finer Forces". The subject of these essays
the readers of the Theosophist so much that I was asked to issue the
of Essays in book form. I found that in order to make a book they must
be almost entirely rearranged, and perhaps rewritten. I was, however,
equal to the task of rewriting what I had once written. I therefore
to publish a translation of the book in Sanskrit on the Science of
Breath and the Philosophy of the Tatwas. As, however, without these
Essays the book would have been quite unintelligible, I decided to add
them to the book by way of an illustrative introduction. This
has been done. The Essays in the theosophist have been reprinted with
additions, modifications, and corrections. Besides, I have written
more Essays in order to make the explanations more complete and
Thus there are altogether 15 introductory and explanatory Essays.
I was confirmed in this course by one more consideration. The book
a good deal more than the essays touched upon, and I thought it better
to lay all of it before the public.
The book is sure to throw a good deal of light upon the scientific
of the ancient Aryans of India, and it will leave no doubt in a candid
mind that the religion of ancient India had a scientific basis. It is
for this reason that I have drawn my illustrations of the Tatwic Law
There is a good deal in the book that can only be shown to be true
long and diligent experiment. Those who are devoted to the pursuit of
without prejudice will no doubt be ready to wait before they form any
about such portions of the book. Others it is useless to reason with.
To the former class of students I have to say one word more. From
own experience I can tell them that the more they study the book, the
wisdom they are sure to find in it, and let me hope that ere long I
have a goodly number of colleagues, who will with me try their best to
explain and illustrate the book still better, and more thoroughly.
5 November 1889
Nature’s Finer Forces
& Their Influence on Human Life & Destiny
I. The Tatwas
The tatwas are the five modifications of the great Breath.
upon prakriti, this Great breath throws it into five states,
distinct vibratory motions, and performing different functions. The
outcome of the Evolutionary State of parabrahma is the akasa
tatwa. After this come in order the vayu, the taijas,
the apas and the prithivi. They are variously known as mahabhutas.
The word akasa is generally translated into English by the word
ether. Unfortunately, however, sound is not known to be the
quality of ether in modern English Science. Some few might also have
idea that the modern medium of light is the same as akasa.
I believe, is a mistake. The luminiferous ether is the subtle taijas
tatwa, and not the akasa. All the five subtle tatwas
might no doubt be called ethers, but to use it for the word akasa,
without any distinguishing epithet, is misleading. We might call akasa
the sonoriferous ether, the vayu the tangiferous ether, apas
the gustiferous ether, and prithivi the odoriferous ether. Just
as there exists in the universe the luminiferous ether, an element of
mater without which it has been found that the phenomena of light find
no adequate explanation, so do there exist the four remaining ethers,
of refined matter, without which it will be found that the phenomena of
sound, touch, taste and smell find no adequate explanation.
The luminiferous ether is supposed by Modern Science to be Matter
a most refined state. It is the vibrations of this element that are
to constitute light. The vibrations are said to take place at right
to the direction of the wave. Nearly the same is the description of the
tatwa given in the book. It makes this tatwa move in an
direction, and the center of the direction is, of course, the direction
of the wave. Besides, it says that one whole vibration of this element
makes the figure of a triangle.
Suppose in the figure:
AB is the direction of the wave; BC is the direction of the
CA is the line along which, seeing that in expansion the symmetrical
of the atoms of a body are not changed, the vibrating atom must return
to its symmetrical position in the line AB.
The taijas tatwa of the Ancients is then exactly the
ether of the Moderns, so far as the nature of the vibration is
There is no exception, however, of the four remaining ethers, at all
in a direct manner, in Modern Science. The vibrations of akasa,
the soniferous ether, constitute sound; and it is quite necessary to
the distinctive character of this form of motion.
The experiment of the bell in a vacuum goes to prove that the
of atmosphere propagate sound. Any other media, however, such as the
and the metals, are known to transmit sound in various degrees. There
therefore, be some one thing in all these media which gives birth to
-- the vibration that constitutes sound. That something is the Indian akasa.
But akasa is all-pervading, just as the luminiferous
then, is not sound transmitted to our ears when a vacuum is produced in
the bell-jar? The real fact is that we must make a difference between
vibrations of the elements that constitute sound and light, etc., and
vibrations in the media which transmit these impressions to our senses.
It is not the vibrations of the ethers -- the subtle tatwas --
cause our perceptions, but the ethereal vibrations transferred to
media, which are so many modifications of gross matter -- the sthula
Mahabhutas. The luminiferous ether is present just as much in a
room as in the space without. The minutest space within the dimensions
of the surrounding walls themselves is not void of it. For all this the
luminosity of the exterior is not present in the interior. Why? The
is that our ordinary vision does not see the vibrations of the
ether. It only sees the vibrations of the media that the ether
The capability of being set into ethereal vibrations varies with
media. In the space without the darkened room the ether brings the
of the atmosphere into the necessary state of visual vibration, and one
wide expanse of light is presented to our view. The same is the case
every other object that we see. The ether that pervades the object
the atoms of that object into the necessary state of visual vibration.
The strength of the ethereal vibrations that the presence of the sun
to the ether pervading our planet is not sufficient to evoke the same
in the dead matter of the darkening walls. The internal ether, divided
from the eternal one by this dead mass, is itself cut off from such
The darkness of the room is thus the consequence, notwithstanding the
therein of the luminiferous ether. An electric spark in the vacuum of a
bell-jar must needs be transmitted to our eyes, because the glass of
jar which stands in contact with the internal luminiferous ether has a
good deal of the quality of being put into the state of visual
which from thence is transmitted to the external ether and thence to
eye. The same would never be the case if we were to use a porcelain or
an earthen jar. It is this capability of being put into the state of
vibrations that we call transparency in glass and similar objects.
To return to the soniferous ether (akasa): Every form of
matter has, to a certain extent, which varies with various forms, what
we may call auditory transparency.
Now I have to say something about the nature of the vibrations.
things must be understood in this connection. In the first place the
form of the vibration is something like the hole of the ear:
It throws matter which is subject to it, into the form of a dotted
These dots are little points, rising above the common surface so
to produce microscopic pits in the sheet. It is said to move by fits
starts (sankrama), and to move in all directions (sarvatogame).
It means to say that the impulse falls back upon itself along the line
of its former path, which lies on all sides of the direction of the
It will be understood that these ethers produce in gross media
similar to their own. The form, therefore, into which the auditory
throw the atmospheric air is a true clue to the form of the ethereal
And the vibrations of atmospheric air discovered by Modern Science are
Now we come to the tangiferous ether (vayu). The vibrations
this ether are described as being spherical in form, and the motion is
said to be at acute angles to the wave (tiryak). Such is the
of these vibrations on the plane of the paper:
The remarks about the transmission of sound in the case of akasa
apply here too, mutatis mutandis. The gustiferous ether (apas
tatwa) is said to resemble in shape the half moon. It is, moreover,
said to move downward. This direction is opposite to that of the
ether. This force therefore causes contraction. Here is the
of the apas vibrations on the plane of paper:
The process of contraction will be considered when I come to the
of the tatwas.
The odoriferous ether (prithivi) is said to be quadrangular
This is said to move in the middle. It neither moves at right
nor at acute angles, nor upwards, nor downwards, but it moves along the
line of the wave. The line and the quadrangle are in the same plane.
These are the forms, and the modes of motion, of the five ethers.
Of the five sensations of men, each of these gives birth to one,
(1) Akasa, Sonorifierous ether, Sound; (2) Vayu,
Tangiferous ether, Touch; (3) Taijas, Luminfierous ether,
Color; (4) Apas, Gustiferous ether, Taste; (5) Prithivi,
Odoriferous ether, Smell.
In the process of evolution, these co-existing ethers, while
their general, relative forms and primary qualities, contract the
of the other tatwas. This is known as the process of panchikarana,
or division into five.
If we take, as our book does, H, P, R, V and L to be the algebraic
for (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5), respectively, after panchikarana
the ethers assume the following forms:
One molecule of each ether, consisting of eight atoms, has four of
original principle ethers, and one of the remaining four.
The following table will show the five qualities of each of the tatwas
It might be remarked here that the subtle tatwas exist now
the universe on four planes. The higher of these planes differ from the
lower in having a greater number of vibrations per second. The four
(1) Physical (Prana); (2) Mental (Manas); (3)
(Vijnana); (4) Spiritual (Ananda)
I shall discuss, however, some of the secondary qualities of these
(1) Space ~ This is a quality of the akasa tatwa. It has
asserted that the vibration of this ether is shaped like the hole of
ear, and that in the body thereof are microscopic points (vindus).
It follows evidently that the interstices between the points serve to
space to ethereal minima, and offer them room for locomotion (avakasa).
(2) Locomotion ~ This is the quality of the vayu tatwa. Vayu
is a form of motion itself, for motion in all directions is motion in a
circle, large or small. The vayu tatwa itself has the form of
motion. When to the motion which keeps the form of the different ethers
is added to the stereotyped motion of the vayu, locomotion is
(3) Expansion ~ This is the quality of the taijas tatwa.
follows evidently from the shape and form of motion which is given to
ethereal vibration. Suppose ABC is a lump of metal:
If we apply fire to it, the luminiferous ether in it is set in
and that drives the gross atoms of the lump into similar motion.
(a) is an atom. This being impelled to assume the shape of the taijas,
vibration goes towards (a’), and then takes the symmetrical position of
(a'). Similarly does every point change its place round the center of
piece of metal. Ultimately the whole piece assumes the shape of A’B’C’.
Expansion is thus the result.
(4) Contraction ~ This is the quality of the apas tatwa.
been remarked before, the direction of this ether is the reverse of the
and it is therefore easy to understand that contraction is the result
the play of this tatwa.
(5) Cohesion ~ This is the quality of the prithivi tatwa.
will be seen that this is the reverse of akasa. Akasa
room for locomotion, while prithivi resists it. This is the
result of the direction and shape of this vibration. It covers up the
of the akasa.
(6) Smoothness ~ This is a quality of the apas tatwa. As
atoms of any body in contraction come near each other and assume the
shape of the apas, they must easily glide over each other. The very
secures easy motion for the atoms.
This, I believe, is sufficient to explain the general nature of
The different phases of their manifestation on all the planes of life
be taken up in their proper places.
II. Evolution ~
It will be very interesting to trace the development of man and
development of the world according to the theory of the tatwas.
The tatwas, as we have already seen, are the modifications
Regarding Swara, we find in our book: "In the Swara are
and the shastras, and in the Swara is music. All the
is in the Swara; Swara is the spirit itself." The
translation of the word Swara is "the current of the
It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic
matter into the differentiated universe, and the involution of this
the primary state of non-differentiation, and so on, in and out,
and ever. From whence does this motion come? This motion is the spirit
itself. The word atma used in the book, itself carries the idea
of eternal motion, coming as it does from the root at, eternal motion;
and it may be significantly remarked, that the root at is
with (and in fact is simply another form of) the roots ah,
and as, being. All these roots have for their original the
produced by the breathing of animals. In The Science of Breath
symbol for inspiration is sa, and for expiration ha. It
easy to see how these symbols are connected with the roots as
The current of life-wave spoken of above is technically called Hansachasa,
i.e., the motion of ha and sa. The word Hansa,
is taken to mean God, and is made so much of in many Sanskrit works, is
only the symbolic representation of the eternal processes of life -- ha
The primeval current of life-wave is, then, the same which in man
the form of inspiratory and expiratory motion of the lungs, and this is
the all-pervading source of the evolution and the involution of the
The book goes on: "It is the Swara that has given form to
first accumulations of the divisions of the universe; the Swara
causes involution and evolution; the Swara is God Himself, or
properly the great Power (Mahashwara)." The Swara is the
manifestation of the impression on matter of that power which in man is
known to us as the power that knows itself. It is to be understood that
the action of this power never ceases. It is ever at work, and
and involution are the very necessity of its unchangeable existence.
The Swara has two different states. The one is known on
plane as the sun-breath, the other as the moon-breath. I shall,
at the present stage of evolution designate them as positive and
respectively. The period during which this current comes back to the
from whence it started is known as the night of parabrahma. The
positive or evolutionary period is known as the day of parabrahma;
the negative or involutionary portion is known as the night of parabrahma.
These nights and days follow each other without break. The
of this period comprehend all the phases of existence, and it is
necessary to give her the scale of time according to the Hindu Shastras.
The Divisions of Time ~
I shall begin with a Truti as the least division of time.
26-2/3 truti = 1 nimesha = 8/45 second.
18 nimesha = 1 kashtha = 3-1/5 seconds = 8 vipala.
30 kashtha = 1 kala = 1-3/5 minutes = 4 pala.
30 kala = 1 mahurta = 48 minutes = 2 ghari.
30 mahurta = 1 day and night = 24 hours = 60 ghari.
30 days and nights and odd hours = 1 Pitruja day and
= 1 month and odd hours.
12 months = 1 Daiva day and night = 1 year = 365 days, 15",
365 Daiva days and nights = 1 Daiva year.
4,800 Daiva years = 1 Satya yuga.
3,600 Daiva years = 1 Treta yuga.
2,400 Daiva years = 1 Dwapara yuga.
1,200 Daiva years = 1 Kali yuga.
12,000 Daiva years = 1 Chaturyugi (four yuga).
12,000 Chaturyugi = 1 Daiva yuga.
2,000 Daiva yuga = 1 day and night of Brahma.
365 Brahmic days and nights = 1 year of Brahma.
71 Daiva yuga = 1 Manwantara.
12,000 Brahmic years = 1 Chaturyuga of Brahma, and so one.
200 yuga of Brahma = 1 day and night of parabrahma.
These days and nights follow each other in eternal succession, and
eternal evolution and involution.
We have thus five sets of days and night: (1) Parabrahma,
(3) Daiva, (4) Pitrya, (5) Manusha. A sixth is
day, and the Manwantara night (pralaya).
The days and nights of parabrahma follow each other
or end. The night (the negative period and the day (the positive
both merge into the susumna (the conjunctive period) and merge
each other. And so do the other days and nights. The days all through
division are sacred to the positive, the hotter current, and the nights
are sacred to the negative, the cooler current. The impressions of
and forms, and the power of producing an impression, lie in the
phase of existence. Receptivity is given birth to by the negative
After being subjected to the negative phase of parabrahma,
which follows parabrahma like a shadow, has been saturated with
evolutionary receptivity; as the hotter current sets in, changes are
upon it, and it appears in changed forms. The first imprint that the
positive current leaves upon Prakriti is known as akasa.
Then, by and by the remaining ethers come into existence. These
of Prakriti are the ethers of the first stage.
Into these five ethers, as now constituting the objective phase,
on the current of the Great Breath. A further development takes place.
Different centers come into existence. The akasa throws them
a form that gives room for locomotion. With the beginning of the vayu
tatwa these elementary ethers are thrown into the form of spheres.
This was the beginning of formation, or what may also be called
These spheres are our Brahmandas. In them the ethers
secondary development. The so-called division into five takes place. In
this Brahmic sphere in which the new ethers have good room for
the taijas tatwa now comes into play, and then the apas
Every tatwic quality is generated into, and preserved in, these spheres
by these currents. In process of time we have a center and an
This sphere is the self-conscious universe.
In this sphere, according to the same process, a third ethereal
comes into existence. In the cooler atmosphere removed from the center
another class of centers comes into existence. These divide the Brahmic
state of matter into two different states. After this comes into
another state of matter whose centers bear the names of devas
We have thus four states of subtle matter in the universe:
(1) Prana, life matter, with the sun for center; (2) Manas,
mental matter, with the manu for center; (3) Vijnana,
matter, with Brahma for center; (4) Ananda, spiritual
with parabrahma as the infinite substratum.
Every higher state is positive with regard to the lower one, and
lower on is given birth to by a combination of the positive and
phase of the higher.
(1) Prana has to do with three sets of days and nights in
above division of time: (a) Our ordinary days and nights; (b) The
and dark half of the month which are called the pitrya day and night;
The northern and southern halves of the years, the day and night of the
These three nights acting upon earth-matter impart to it the
of the cool, negative shady phase of life-matter. These nights imprint
themselves on the respective days coming in after it. The earth herself
thus becomes a living being, having a north pole, in which a central
draws the needle towards itself, and a south pole in which is centered
a for which is, so to speak, the shade of the north polar center. It
also always a solar force centered in the eastern half, and the lunar
the shade of the former -- centered in the western half.
These centers come, in fact, into existence even before the earth
manifested on the gross plane. So too do the centers of other planets
into existence. As the sun presents himself to the manu there come into
existence two states of matter in which the sun lives and moves -- the
positive and the negative. As the solar prana, after having
for some time subjected to the negative shady state, is subjected in
revolutionary course to the source of its positive phase, manu,
the figure of manu is imprinted upon it. This manu is,
fact, the universal mind, and all the planets with their inhabitants
the phases of his existence. Of this, however, more heareafter. At
we see that earth-life or Terrestrial Prana has four centers of
When it has been cooled by the negative current, the positive
imprints itself upon it, and earth-life in various forms comes into
The essays on prana will explain this more clearly.
(2) Manas: this has to do with manu. The suns
round these centers with the whole of their atmospheres of prana.
This system gives birth to the lokas or spheres of life, of
the planets are one class.
These lokas have been enumerated by Vyasa in his
the Yogasutra (III. Pada, 26th Sutra). The
"By meditation upon the sun is obtained a knowledge of the
On this, the revered commentator says: "There are seven lokas
(spheres of existence)."
(1) The Bhurloka: this extends to the Meru; (2) Antareikshaloka:
this extends from the surface of the Meru to the Dhru,
pole-star, and contains the planets, the nakstatras, and the
(3) Beyond that is the swarloka: this is fivefold and sacred to
Mahendra; (4) Maharloka: This is sacred to the Prajapati; (5) Janaloka;
(6) Tapas loka, and; (7) Satya loka. These three (5, 6,
7) are sacred to Brahma.
It is not my purpose to try at present to explain the meaning of
It is sufficient for my present purpose to say that the planets, the
the lunar mansions are all impressions of manu, just as the
of the earth are the impressions of the sun. The solar prana is
prepared for this impression during the manwantara night.
Similarly, Vijnana has to do with the nights and days of Brahma,
and Ananda with those of Parabrahma.
It will thus be seen that the whole process of creation, on
plane of life, is performed most naturally by the five tatwas
their double modifications, the positive and negative. There is nothing
in the universe that the Universal Tatwic Law of Breath does not
After this brief exposition of the theory of tatwic evolution
a series of Essays, taking up all the subtle states of matter one by
and describing more in detail the working of the tatwic law in those
and also the manifestations of these planes of life in humanity.
III. The Mutual
of the Tatwas and of the Principles ~
The akasa is the most important of all the tatwas.
must, as a matter of course, precede and follow every change of state
every plane of life. Without this there can be no manifestation or
of forms. It is out of akasa that every form comes, and it is
that every form lives. The akasa is full of forms in their
state. It intervenes between every two of the five tatwas, and
every two of the five principles.
The evolution of the tatwas is always part of the
a certain definite form. Thus the manifestation of the primary tatwas
is with the definite aim of giving what we may call a body, a Prakritic
form to the Iswara. In the bosom of the Infinite Parabrahma,
there are hidden unnumerable such centers. One center takes under its
a certain portion of the Infinite, and there we find first of all
into existence the akasa tatwa. The extent of this akasa
limits the extent of the Universe, and out of it the Iswara is
come. With this end comes out of this akasa the Vayu tatwa.
This pervades the whole Universe and has a certain center that serves
keep the whole expanse together, and separate as one whole, from other
It has been mentioned, and further on will be more clearly
that every tatwa has a positive and a negative phase. It is
evident on the analogy of the sun that places more distant from the
are always negative to those which are nearer. We might say that they
cooler than these, as it will be seen later on the heat is not peculiar
to the sun only, but that all the higher centers have a greater amount
of heat than even the sun itself.
Well then, in this Brahmic sphere of Vayu, except for some
near the parabrahmic akasa, every atom of the vayu is
upon by an opposite force. The more distant and therefore the cooler
reacts upon the nearer and therefore the hotter. The equal and opposite
vibrations of the same force cancel each other, and both together pass
into the akasic state. Thus, while some of this space remains filled up
by the Brahmic Vayu on account of the constant outflow of this tatwa
from the parabrahmic akasa, the remainder is rapidly turned
This akasa is the mother of the Brahmic agni tatwa. The
tatwa working similarly gives birth through another akasa
the apas, and this similarly to the prithivi. This
thus contains the qualities of all the preceding tatwas besides
a fifth one of its own.
The first stage of the Universe, the ocean of psychic matter has
come into existence in its entirety. This matter is, of course, very,
fine, and there is absolutely no grossness in it as compared with the
of the fifth plane. In this ocean shines the intelligence of Iswara,
and this ocean, with everything that might be manifest in it, is the
In this psychic ocean, as before, the more distant atoms are
to the nearer ones. Hence, except a certain space which remains filled
with the psychic prithivi on account of the constant supply of
element from above, the rest begins to change into an akasa.
second akasa is full of what are called Manus in their
state. The Manus are so many groups of certain mental forms,
ideals of the various genera and species of life to appear further on.
We have to do with one of these.
Impelled by the evolutionary current of the Great Breath, manu
comes out of this akasa, in the same way as Brahma did
of the parabrahmic akasa. First and uppermost in the mental
is the Vayu, and then in regular order the taijas, the apas,
and the prithivi. This mental matter follows the same laws, and
similarly begins to pass into the third akasic state, which is full of
innumerable suns. They come out in the same way, and begin to work on a
similar plan, which will be better understood here than higher up.
Everybody can test here for himself that the more distant portions
the solar system are cooler than the nearer ones. Every little atom of Prana
is comparatively cooler than the adjacent one towards the sun from
Hence equal and opposite vibrations cancel each other. Leaving,
a certain space near the sun as always filled up with the tatwas
of Prana, which are there being constantly supplied from the
the rest of the Prana passes into the akasic state.
It might be noted down here that the whole of this Prana
up of innumerable little points. In the future I shall speak of
points of as trutis, and might say here that it is these trutis
that appear on the terrestrial plane as atoms (anu or paramanu).
They might be spoken of as solar atoms. These solar atoms are of
classes according to the prevalence of one or more of the constituent tatwas.
Every point of Prana is a perfect picture of the whole
Every other point is represented in every point. Every atom has,
for its constituents, all the four tatwas, in varying
according to its position in respect of others. The different classes
these solar atoms appear on the terrestrial plane as the various
The spectrum of every terrestrial element reveals the color or
of the prevalent tatwa or tatwas of a solar atom of
substance. The greater the heat to which any substance is subjected the
nearer does the element approaches its solar state. Heat destroys for
time being the terrestrial coatings of the solar atoms.
The spectrum of sodium thus shows the presence of the yellow prithivi,
that of lithium, the red agni and the yellow prithivi,
of cesium, the red agni, the green admixture, the yellow prithivi,
and the blue vayu. Rubidium shows red, orange, yellow, green
blue, i.e., the agni, prithivi and agni, prithivi,
and prithivi, and vayu. These classes of solar atoms
make up all put altogether, the wide expanse of the solar prana,
pass into the akasic state. While the sun keeps up a constant supply of
these atoms, those that are passing into the akasic state pass on the
side into the planetary vayu. Certain measured portions of the
naturally separate themselves from others, according to the differing
that is to appear in those portions. These portions of akasa
called lokas. The earth itself is a loka called the Bhurloka.
I shall take up the earth for further illustration of the law.
That portion of the solar akasa that is the immediate
of the Earth, first gives birth to the terrestrial Vayu. Every
is now in the state of the Vayu tatwa, which may now be called
The Vayu tatwa is spherical in shape, and thus the gaseous
bears similar outlines. The center of this gaseous sphere keeps
round itself the whole expanse of gas. As soon as this gaseous sphere
into existence, it is subjected to the following influences among
(1) The superposed influence of the solar heat; (2) The internal
of the more distant atoms on the nearer ones and vice versa.
The first influence has a double effect upon the gaseous sphere.
imparts more heat to the nearer hemisphere than to the more distant
The superficial air of the nearer hemisphere having contracted a
amount of solar energy, rises towards the sun. Cooler air from below
its place. But where does the superficial air go? It cannot pass beyond
the limit of the terrestrial sphere, which is surrounded by the solar akasa
through which comes a supply from the solar Prana. It therefore
begins to move in a circle, and thus a rotary motion is established in
the sphere. This is the origin of the earth’s rotation upon its axis.
Again, as a certain amount of the solar energy is imparted to the
terrestrial sphere, the impulse of the upward motion reaches the center
itself. Therefore that center itself, and along with it the whole
moves towards the sun. It cannot, however, go on in this direction, for
a nearer approach would destroy that balance of forces that gives the
its peculiarities. A loka that is nearer to the sun than our
cannot have the same conditions of life. Hence, while the sun draws the
earth towards itself, those laws of life that have given it a
on which ages must roll on, keep it in the sphere they have assigned to
it. Two forces thus come into existence. Drawn by one the earth would
towards the sun; checked by the other it must remain where it is. These
are the centrifugal and the centripetal forces, and their action
in giving the earth its annual revolution.
Secondly, the internal action of the gaseous atoms upon each other
in the change of the whole gaseous sphere, except the upper portion,
the akasic state. This akasic state gives birth to the igneous
to the agni tatwa) state of terrestrial matter. This changes
into the apas, and this again into the prithivi.
The same process obtains in the changes of matter with which we
now familiar. An example will better illustrate the whole law.
Take ice. This is solid, or what the Science of Breath would call
the state of prithivi. One quality of the prithivi tatwa,
the reader will remember, is cohesive resistance. Let us apply heat to
this ice. As this heat passes into the ice, it is indicated by the
When the temperature rises to 78 degrees, the ice changes its state.
the thermometer no longer indicates the same amount of heat. 78 degrees
of heat have become latent.
Let us now apply 536 degrees of heat to a pound of boiling water.
is generally known, this great quantity of heat becomes latent while
water passes into the gaseous state.
Now let us follow the reverse process. To gaseous water let us
a certain amount of cold. When this cold becomes sufficient entirely to
counteract the heat that keeps it in the gaseous state, the vapor
into the akasa state, and from thence into the taijas
It is not necessary that the whole of the vapor should at once pass
the next state. The change is gradual. As the cold is gradually passing
into the vapor, the taijas modification is gradually appearing
of, and through the intervention of akasa, into which it had
during latency. This is being indicated on the thermometer. When the
has passed into the igneous state, and the thermometer has indicated
degrees, the second akasa comes into existence. Out of this
comes the liquid state at the same temperature, the whole heat having
passed into the akasa state, and therefore no longer indicated
When cold is applied to this liquid, heat again begins to come
and when it reaches 78 degrees, this heat having come out of and
the akasa, into which it had passed, the whole liquid had
into the igneous state. Here it again begins to pass into the akasa
state. The thermometer begins to fall down, and out of this akasa
begins to come the prithivi state of water --- ice.
Thus we see that the heat which is given out by the influence of
passes into the akasa state, which becomes the substratum of a
phase, and the heat which is absorbed passes into another akasa
state, which becomes the substratum of a lower phase.
It is in this way that the terrestrial gaseous sphere changes into
present state. The experiment described above points out many important
truths about the relation of these tatwas to each other.
First of all it explains that very important assertion of the
of Breath which says that every succeeding tatwic state has the
of all the foregoing tatwic states. Thus we see that as the gaseous
of water is being acted upon by cold, the latent heat of steam is being
cancelled and passing into the akasa state. This cannot but be
case, since equal and opposite vibrations of the same force always
each other, and the result is the akasa. Out of this comes the taijas
state of matter. This is that state in which the latent heat of steam
patent. It will be observed that this state has no permanence. The taijas
form of water, as indeed any other substance, cannot exist for any
of time, because the major part of terrestrial matter is in the lower
therefore more negative states of apas and prithivi,
whenever for any cause any substance passes into the taijas
the surrounding objects begin at once to react upon it with such force
as at once to force it into the next akasa state. Those things
now live in the normal state of the apas or the prithivi
find it quite against the laws of their existence to remain, except
external influence, in the taijas (igneous) state. Thus an atom
of gaseous water before passing into the liquid state has already
in the three states, the akasa, the gaseous, and the taijas.
It must, therefore, have all the qualities of the three tatwas,
and so it no doubt has. Cohesive resistance is only wanted, and that is
the quality of the prithivi tatwa.
Now when this atom of liquid water passes into the icy state, what
we see? All the states that have preceded must again show themselves.
will cancel the latent heat of the liquid state, and the akasa
will come out. Out of this akasa state is sure to come the
state. This gaseous (Vayava) state is evidenced by the gyrations
and other motions that are set up in the body of the liquid by the mere
application of the cold. The motion, however, is not of very long
and as they are ceasing (passing into the akasa state) the taijas
state is coming out. This too, however, is not of long duration, and as
this is passing into the akasa state, the ice is coming into
It will be easy to see that all four states of terrestrial matter
in our sphere. The gaseous (Vayava) is there in what we call the
atmosphere; the igneous (taijas) is the normal temperature of
life; the liquid (apas) is the ocean; the solid (prithivi)
is the terra firma. None of these states, however, exists quite
isolated from the other. Each is constantly invading the domain of the
other, and thus it is difficult to find any portion of space filled up
only with matter in one state. The two adjacent tatwas are found
with each other to a greater degree than those that are removed from
other by an intermediate state. Thus prithivi will be found
up to a greater extent with water than with agni and vayu,
with agni than with vayu, and vayu with agni
more than with any other. It would thus appear from the above,
to the science of tatwas, that the flame and other luminous
on earth are not in the terrestrial taijas (igneous) state.
are in or near the solar state of matter.
IV. Prana (I) ~
The Centers of Prana; The Nadis; The Tatwic
of Life; The Ordinary Change of Breath
Prana, as already expressed, is that state of Tatwic matter
surrounds the sun, and in which moves the earth and other planets. It
the state next higher than matter in the terrestrial state. The
sphere is separated from the solar Prana by an akasa.
is the immediate mother of the terrestrial vayu whose native
is blue. It is on this account that the sky looks blue.
Although at this point in the heavens, the Prana changes
which gives birth to the terrestrial Vayu, the rays of the sun
fall on the sphere from without are not stopped in their inward
They are refracted, but move onwards into the terrestrial sphere all
same. Through these rays the ocean of Prana, which surrounds
sphere, exerts upon it an organizing influence.
The terrestrial Prana -- the earth-life that appears in
of all the living organisms of our planet -- is, as a whole, nothing
than a modification of the solar Prana.
As the earth moves round her own axis and round the sun, twofold
are developed in the terrestrial Prana. During the diurnal
every place, as it is subjected to the direct influence of the sun,
forth the positive life-current from the East to the West. During the
the same place sends forth the negative current.
In the annual course the positive current travels from the North
the South during the six months of summer -- the day of the devas --
the negative during the remaining six months -- the night of the devas.
The North and East are thus sacred to the positive current; the
quarters to the negative current. The sun is the lord of the positive
the moon of the negative, because the negative solar prana
during the night to the earth from the moon.
The terrestrial prana is thus an ethereal being with
of work. The first is the northern, the second the southern. The two
of these centers are the eastern and western centers. During the six
of summer the current of life runs from the North to the South, and
the months of winter the negative current goes the other way.
With every month, with every day, with every nimesha this
completes a minor course, and while this current continues in this
the diurnal rotation gives it an eastern or western direction. The
current runs during the day of man from East to West, and during the
from West to East. The directions of the other current are respectively
opposite to the above. So practically there are only two directions --
the eastern and western. The difference of the northern and southern
is not practically felt in terrestrial life. These two currents produce
in the terrestrial prana two distinguishable modifications of
composing ethers. The rays of either of these ethereal modifications
from their different centers run into each other -- the one giving
strength, form and other qualities to the other. Along the rays
from the northern center, run the currents of positive prana;
those emerging from the southern, the currents of negative prana.
The eastern and western channels of these currents are respectively
and Ida, two of the celebrated nadis of the Tantrists. It will
better to discuss the other bearings of Prana, when we have
it in the human body.
The influence of this terrestrial Prana develops two
of work in the gross matter that is to form a human body. Part of the
gathers round the northern, and part round the southern center. The
center develops into the brain; the southern into the heart. The
shape of the terrestrial Prana is something like an ellipse. In
this the northern focus is in the brain; the southern in the heart. The
column along which the positive matter gathers runs between these foci.
The line in the middle is the place where the eastern and western
right and left -- divisions of the column join. The column is the
oblongata the central line is also susumna, the right and left
the Pingala and Ida. The rays of Prana that
either way from these nadis are only their ramifications, and
together with them the nervous system.
The negative Prana gathers round the southern center.
takes a form similar to the former. The right and left divisions of
column are the right and left divisions of the heart.
Each division has two principal ramifications, and each
again ramifies into others. The two openings either way are one a vein,
and one an artery, the four opening into four chambers -- the four
of the lotus of the heart. The right part of the heart again, with all
its ramifications, is called Pingala, the left Ida, and
middle part susumna.
There is reason to think, however, that the heart only is spoken
as the lotus, while the three foregoing names are set apart for the
system. The current of Prana works forward and backward, in and
out. The cause of this lies in the momentary of the being of Prana.
As the year advances, every moment a change of state takes place in the
terrestrial prana, on account of the varying strengths of the
and lunar currents. Thus, every moment is, strictly speaking, a new
of Prana. As Buddha says, all life is momentary. The Moment
is the first to throw into matter the germ that will develop the two
is the first cause of organized life. If the succeeding Moments are
in their tatwic effect to the first cause, the organism gains strength
and develops; if not, the impulse is rendered fruitless. The general
of these succeeding moments keeps up general life; but the impulse of
one moment tends to pass off as the others come in. A system of forward
and backward motion is thus established. One Moment of Prana
from the center of work goes to the farthest ends of the gross vessels
-- nerves and blood vessels -- of the organism. The succeeding moment
it, however, the backwards impulse. A few moments are taken in the
of the forward impulse, and the determination of the backward one. This
period differs in different organisms. As the Prana runs
the lungs inspire; as it recedes, the process of expiration sets in.
The Prana moves in the Pingala when it moves from
northern center towards the east, and from the southern towards the
it moves in Ida when it moves from the northern center towards
west, and from the southern center towards the east. This means that in
the former case the Prana moves from the brain, towards the
through the heart, to the left and back to the brain; and from the
to the left through the brain to the right back to the heart. In the
the case is the reverse. To use other terms, in the former case the Prana
moves from the nervous system to the right through the system of blood
vessels to the left, and back again to the nervous system; or, from the
system of blood vessels to the left through the nervous system to the
and back again to the system of blood vessels. These two currents
In the latter the case is the reverse. The left part of the body
the nerves and the blood vessels may be called Ida, the right
The right and left bronchi form as well the part respectively of Pingala
and Ida, as any other parts of the right and left divisions of
body. But what is susumna? One of the names of susumna
the place where the two -- Ida and Pingala -- join. It
really that place from which the Prana may move either way --
or left -- or, under certain circumstances, both ways. It is that place
which the Prana must pass when it changes from the right to the
left, and from the left to the right. It is therefore booth the spinal
canal and the cardiac canal. The spinal canal extends from the Brahmarandhra,
the northern center of Prana through the whole vertebral column
(Brahmadanda). The cardiac canal extends from the southern
midway between the two lobes of the heart. As the Prana moves
the spinal canal towards the right hand to the heart, the right lung
the breath comes in and out of the right nostril. When it reaches the
canal, you cannot feel the breath out of either nostril. As, however,
goes out of the cardiac canal to the left, the breath begins to come
of the left nostril, and flows through that until the Prana
reaches the spinal canal. There, again, you cease to feel the breath
of either nostril. The effect of these two positions of Prana
identical upon the flow of breath, and, therefore, I think that both
northern and southern canals are designated by susumna. If we
speak in this way, let us imagine that a plane passes midway between
spinal and cardiac canals. This plane will pass through the hollow of
But let it be understood that there is no such plane in reality. It
perhaps be more correct to say that as the rays of the positive Ida
and Pingala spread either way as nerves, and those of the
as blood-vessels, the rays of susumna spread all over the body
between the nerves and blood vessels, the positive and negative nadis.
The following is the description of susumna in the Science of
"When the breath goes in and out, one moment by the left and the
by the right nostril, that too is susumna. When Prana
in that nadi the fires of death burn; this is called vishuva.
When it moves one moment in the right, and the other in the left, let
be called the Unequal State (vishamabhava); when it moves
both at once, the wise have called it vishuva"
"[It is susumna] at the time of the passing of the Prana
from the Ida into the Pingala, or vice versa; and also
the change of one tatwa into another."
Then the susumna has two other functions. It is called vedo-veda
in one of its manifestations, and sandhyasandhi in the other.
however, the right and left directions of the cardiac Prana
with the left and right of the spinal current, there are some writers
dispense with the double susumna. According to them, the spinal
canal alone is the susumna. The Uttaragita and Latachakra
nirupana are works in this class. This method of explanation takes
away a good deal of difficulty. The highest recommendation of this view
is its comparative simplicity. The right side current from the heart,
the left side current from the spine may both be reckoned without
as the left side spinal currents, and so may the remaining two currents
be reckoned as the right side spinal currents.
One more consideration is in favor of this view. The nervous
represents the sun, the system of blood vessels the moon. Hence the
force of life dwells in the nerves. The positive and negative -- the
and lunar -- phases of life matter are only different phases of Prana,
the solar matter. The more distant and therefore the cooler matter is
to the nearer, and therefore, the hotter. It is solar life that
itself in the various phases of the moon. To pass out of
it is nervous force that manifests itself in various forms, in the
of blood vessels. The blood vessels are only the receptacles of nervous
force. Hence, in the nervous system, the real life of the gross body is
the true Ida, Pingala and susumna. These are,
a case, the spinal column, and the right and left sympathetics, with
their ramifications throughout the body.
The development of the two centers is thus the first stage in the
of the fetus. The matter that gathers up under the influence of the
center is the spinal column; the matter that gathers up round the
center is the heart. The diurnal rotation divides these columns or
into the right and left divisions. Then the correlative influence of
two centers upon each other develops an upper and lower division in
of these centers. This happens somewhat in the same way, and on the
principle, as a Leyden jar is charged with positive electricity by a
rod. Each of these centers is thus divided into four parts:
(1) The right side positive, (2) the left side positive, (3) the
side negative, and (4) the left side negative.
In the heart these four divisions are called the right and left
and ventricles. The Tantras style these four divisions the four petals
of the cardiac lotus, and indicate them by various letters. The
petals of the heart form the center from which proceed the positive
vessels, the arteries; the negative petals are the starting points of
negative blood vessels, the veins. This negative prana is
with ten forces:
(1) Prana, (2) Apana, (3) Samana, (4) Vyana,
(5) Udana, (6) Krikila, (7) Naga, (8) Devadatta,
(9) Dhavanjaya, (10) Kurma.
These ten forces are called vayu. The word vayu is
from the root va, to move, and means nothing more than a motive
power. The Tantrists do not mean to give it the idea of a gas.
I shall speak of the vayu as the forces or motive powers of prana.
These ten manifestations of Prana are reduced by some writers
the first five alone, holding that the remaining ones are only
of the former, which are the all-important of the functions of prana.
This, however, is only a question of division. From the left side
petal the prana gathers up into a nadi that ramifies
the chest into the lungs, and again gathers up into a nadi that
opens into the right side negative petal. This entire course forms
like a circle (chakra). This nadi is called in modern
the pulmonary artery and vein. Two lungs come into existence by the
workings of the positive and negative prana of the eastern and
Similarly, from the right side positive petal branch several nadi
that go both upwards and downwards in two directions, the former under
the influence of the northern, the latter under the influence of the
powers. Both these nadi open after a circular march throughout
upper and lower portions of the body into the left side negative petal.
Between the left side positive and the right side negative petal
one chakra (disk). This chakra comprises the pulmonary
the lungs, and the pulmonary vein. The chest gives room to this chakra,
which is positive with respect to the lower portions of the body, in
run the ramifications of the lower chakra, which latter joins
right side positive and the left side negative petals.
In the above chakra (in the cavity of the chest) is the
of prana, the first and most important of the ten
Inspiration and expiration being a true index of the changes of prana,
the pulmonary manifestations thereof have the same name. With the
of prana we have a corresponding change in the other functions
life. The lower negative chakra contains the principal seats of
some of the other manifestations of life. This apana is located
in the long intestine, samana in the navel, and so on.
Also, udana is located in the throat; vyana all
body. Udana causes belching; kurma in the eyes causes
to shut and open; krikila in the stomach causes hunger. In
proceeding from the four petals of the heart we have an entire network
of these blood vessels. There are two sets of these blood vessels side
by side in every part of the body, connected by innumerable little
We read in the Prasnopnisat:
"From the heart [ramify the] nadi. Of these there are 101
ones (Pradhana nadi). Each of these branches into 100. Each of
again into 72,000."
Thus, there are 10,100 branch nadi, and 727,200,000 still
ones, or what are called twig-nadi. The terminology is imitated
from a tree. There is the root in the heart. From these proceed various
stems. These ramify into branches, and these again into twig vessels;
these nadi put together are 727,210,201.
Now, of these the one is the susumna; the rest are divided
and half over the two halves of the body. So we read in the Kathopnishat,
6th valli, 16th mantra:
"A hundred and one nadi are connected with the heart. Of
one passes out into the head. Going out by that one becomes immortal.
others become the cause in sending the life principle out of various
This one that goes to the head, remarks the commentator, is the susumna.
The susumna then is that nadi whose nervous substratum
reservoir of force is the spine. Of the remaining principal nadis, the Ida
is the reservoir of the life force that works in the left part of the
having 50 principal nadi. So also has the right part of the
50 principal nadi. These go on dividing as above. The nadi
of the third degree become so minute as to be visible only by a
The ramifications of the susumna all over the body serve during
life to carry the prana from the positive to the negative
of the body, and vice versa. In case of blood these are the
The Vedantins, of course, take the heart to be the starting point
this ramification. The Yogis, however, proceed from the navel. Thus in The
Science of Breath we read:
"From the root in the navel proceed 72,000 nadi spreading
over the body. There sleeps the goddess Kundalini like a
From this center (the navel) ten nadi go upwards, ten
and two and two crookedly."
The number 72,000 is the result of their own peculiar reckoning.
matters little which division we adopt if we understand the truth of
Along these nadi run the various forces that form and keep
the physiological man. These channels gather up into various parts of
body as centers of the various manifestations of prana. It is
water falling from a hill, gathering into various lakes, each lake
out several streams. These centers are:
(1) Hand power centers, (2) Foot power centers, (3) Speech power
(4) Excretive power centers, (5) Generative power centers, (6)
and absorbing power centers, (7) Breathing power centers, and (8) the
sense power centers.
Those nadi that proceed to the outlets of the body perform
most important functions of the body, and they are hence said to be the
ten principal ones in the whole system. These are:
(1) Ghandari goes to the left eye; (2) Hastijihiva
to the right eye; (3) Pasta goes to the right ear; (4) Yashawani
goes to the left ear; (5) Alamhusha, or alammukha (as
is variously spelled in one ms.) goes to the mouth. This evidently is
alimentary canal; (6) Kuhu goes to the generative organs; (7) Shankini
goes to the excretive organs; (8) Ida is the nadi that
to the left nostril; (9) Pingala is the one that leads to the
nostril. It appears that these names are given to these local nadi
for the same reason that the pulmonary manifestation of prana
known by the same name; (10) Susumna has already been explained
in its various phases and manifestations.
There are two more outlets of the body that receive their natural
in the female: the breasts. It is quite possible that the nadi
of which no specific mention has been made, might go to one of these.
it may be, the principle of the division and classification is clear,
this is something actually gained.
Centers of moral and intellectual powers also exist in the system.
we read in the Vishramopnishat (The following figure will
to illustrate the translation):
"(1) While the mind rests in the eastern portion (or petal), which
white in color, then it is inclined towards patience, generosity, and
"(2) While the mind rests in the southeastern portion, which is
in color, then it is inclined towards sleep, torpor and evil
"(3) While the mind rests in the southern portion, which is black
color, then it is inclined towards anger, melancholy, and bad
"(4) While the mind rests in the southwestern portion, which is
in color, then it is inclined towards jealousy and cunning.
"(5) While the mind rests in the western portion, which is brown
color, then it is inclined towards smiles, amorousness, and jocoseness.
"(6) While the mind rests in the northwestern portion, which is
in color, then it is inclined towards anxiety, restless
"(7) While the mind rests in the northern portion, which is yellow
color, then it is inclined towards love and enjoyment and adornment.
"(8) While the mind rests in the northeastern portion, which is
in color, then it is inclined towards pity, forgiveness, reflection,
"(9) While the mind rests in the sandhi (conjunctions) of
portions, then disease and confusion in body and home, and the mind
towards the three humors.
"(10) While the mind rests in the middle portion, which is violet
color, then Consciousness goes beyond the qualities [three qualities of
and it inclines toward Intelligence."
When any of these centers is in action the mind is conscious of
same sort of feelings, and inclines towards them. Mesmeric passes serve
only to excite these centers.
These centers are located in the head as well as in the chest, and
in the abdominal region and the loins, etc.
It is these centers, together with the heart itself, that bear the
of padma or kamala (lotus). Some of these are large,
small, some very small. A tantric lotus is the type of a vegetable
a root with various branches. These centers are the reservoirs of
powers, and hence the roots of the padma; the nadi
these centers are their various branches.
The nervous plexus of the modern anatomists coincide with these
From what has been said above it will appear that the centers are
by blood vessels. But the only difference between the nerves and the
vessels is the difference between the vehicles of the positive and
The nerves are the positive, and the blood vessels are the negative
of the body. Wherever there are nerves there are corresponding blood
Both of them are indiscriminately called nadi. One set has for
center the lotus of the heart, the other the thousand-petalled lotus of
the brain. The system of blood vessels is an exact picture of the
system; it is, in fact, only its shadow. Like the heart, the brain has
its upper and lower divisions -- the cerebrum and the cerebellum -- and
its right and left divisions as well. The nerves going to very part of
the body and coming back from thence together with those going to the
and lower portions correspond to the four petals of the heart. This
too, has as many centers of energy as the former. Both these centers
in position. They are, in fact, the same: the nervous plexuses and
of modern anatomy. Thus, in my opinion, the tantric padma are
only the centers of nervous power -- the positive northern prana
-- but necessarily of the negative prana as well.
The translation of the Science of Breath that is now
to the reader has two sections enumerating the various actions that are
to be done during the flow of the positive and negative breath. They
nothing more than what can in some cases be very easily verified, that
certain actions are better done by positive energy, and others by
energy. The taking in of chemicals and their changes are actions, as
as any others. Some of the chemicals are better assimilated by the
for example, milk and other fatty substances), others by the positive Prana
(other food, that which is digested in the stomach). Some of our
produce more lasting effects upon the negative, others upon the
Prana has now arranged the gross matter in the womb into
nervous and blood vessel systems. The Prana, as has been seen,
made of the five tatwa, and the nadi serve only as
for tatwic currents to run on. The centers of power noticed above are
of tatwic power. The tatwic centers in the right part of the body are
and those in the left are lunar. Both these solar and lunar centers are
of five descriptions. Their kind is determined by what are called the
ganglia. The semi-lunar ganglia are the reservoirs of the apas tatwa.
Similarly, we have the reservoirs of the other forces. From these
reservoirs the tatwic currents run over the same lines, and do the
actions allotted to them in physiological anatomy.
Everything in the human body that has more less of the cohesive
is made up of the prithivi tatwa. But in this the various tatwas
work imprinting differing qualities upon the various parts of the body.
The vayu tatwa, among others, performs the functions of
birth to, and nourishing the skin; the positive gives us the positive,
and the negative the negative skin. Each of these has five layers:
(1) Pure vayu, (2) Vayu-agni, (3) Vayu-prithivi,
(4) Vayu-apas, (5) Vayu-akasa. These five classes of
have the following figures:
(1) Pure Vayu ~ This is the complete sphere of the Vayu:
(2) Vayu-Agni ~ The triangle is superposed over the
the cells have something like the following shape:
(3) Vayu-Prithivi ~ This is the result of the
the quadrangular Prithivi over the spherical Vayu:
(4) Vayu-Apas ~ Something like an ellipse, the semi-moon
over the sphere:
(5) Vayu-Akasa ~ The sphere flattened by the superposition
the circle and dotted:
A microscopic examination of the skin will show that the cells of
skin have this appearance.
Similarly, bone, muscle and fat are given birth to by the prithivi,
the agni, and the apas. Akasa appears in
Wherever there is any room for any substance, there is akasa.
blood is a mixture of nutritive substances kept in the fluidic state by
the apas tatwa of Prana.
It is thus seen that while Terrestrial Prana is an exact
of the Solar Prana, the human manifestation is an exact
of either. The microcosm is an exact picture of the macrocosm. The four
petals of the lotus of the heart branch really into twelve nadi
(K, Kh, g, gn, n, K’, Kh’, j, jh, n, t, the). Similarly the
has twelve pairs of nerves. These are the twelve signs of the Zodiac,
in their positive and negative phases. In every sign the sun rises 31
Therefore we have 31 pairs of nerves. Instead of pairs, we speak in the
language of the Tantras of a chakra (disk or circle). Wherever
31 chakra connect with the 12 pairs (chakras) of nerves
the brain, pass throughout the body, we have running side by side the
vessels proceeding from the 12 nadis of the heart. The only
between the spinal and cardiac chakras is that the former lie
while the latter lie lengthwise in the body. The sympathetic chords
of lines of tatwic centers: the padma or kamal. These
lie on all the 31 chakra noticed above. Thus from the two
of work, the brain and the heart, the signs of the Zodiac in their
and negative aspects -- a system of nadi branch off. The nadi
from either center run into one another so much that one set is found
side by side with the other. The 31 chakra are various tatwic
one set is positive, and the other is negative. The former owe
to the brain, with which they are connected by the sympathetic chords;
the latter owe allegiance to the heart, with which they have various
This double system is called Pingala on the right side, and Ida
on the left. The ganglia of the apas centers are semi-lunar,
of the taijas, the vayu, the prithivi, and the akasa
respectively triangular, spherical, quadrangular, and circular. Those
the composite tatwa have composite figures. Each tatwic center
ganglia of all the tatwa surrounding it.
Prana moves in this system of nadi. As the sun
into the sign of Aries in the Macrocosm, the Prana passes into
corresponding nadi (nerves) of the brain. From thence it
every day towards the spine. With the rise of the sun it descends into
the first spinal chakra towards the right. It thus passes into
It moves along the nerves of the right side, at the same time passing
by little into the blood vessels. Up to noon of every day the strength
of this Prana is greater in the nervous chakra than in the
At noon they become of equal strength. In the evening (with sunset),
with its entire strength has passed into the blood vessels. From thence
it gathers up into the heart, the negative southern center. Then it
into the left side blood vessels, gradually passing into the nerves. At
midnight the strength is equalized; in the morning (pratasandhia)
the prana is just in the spine; from thence it begins to travel
along the second chakra. This is the course of the solar
of prana. The moon gives birth to other minor currents. The
moves 12 odd times more than the sun. Therefore, while the sun passes
one chakra (i.e., during 60 ghari -- day and night),
moon passes over 12 odd chakra. Therefore we have 12 odd
of prana during 24 hours. Suppose the moon too begins in Aries;
she begins like the sun in the first chakra, and takes 58 min.
sec. in reaching the spine to the heart, and as many minutes from the
back to the spine.
Both these prana move in their respective course along the
centers. Either of them is present at any one time all over the same
of tatwic centers, in any one part of the body. It manifests itself
in the vayu centers, then in the taijas, thirdly in the
and fourthly in the apas centers. Akasa comes after
and immediately precedes the susumna. As the lunar current
from the spine towards the right, the breath comes out of the right
and as long as the current of Prana remains in the back part of
the body, the tatwa changes from the vayu to the apas.
As the current passes into the front part of the right half, the tatwa
changes back from the apas to the vayu. As the prana
into the heart, the breath is not felt at all in the nose. As it
from the heart to the left, the breath begins to flow out of the left
and as long as it is in the front part of the body, the tatwa
from the vayu to the apas. They change back again a
until the prana reaches the spine, when we have the akasa
of susumna. Such is the even change of prana that we
in the state of perfect health. The impulse that has been given to the
localized prana by the sun and moon forces that give active
and existence to its prototype Prana, makes it work in the same
way forever and ever. The working of the human free will and other
change the nature of the local prana, and individualize it in such a
as to render it distinguishable from the universal Terrestrial and
With the varying nature of prana, the order of the tatwa and
positive and negative currents may be affected in various degrees.
is the result of this variation. In fact, the flow of breath is the
indication of the changes of tatwa in the body. The balance of
positive and negative currents of tatwa results in health, and
disturbance of their harmony in disease. The science of the flow of
is therefore of the highest importance to every man who values his own
health and that of his fellow creatures. At the same time, it is the
important, useful and comprehensive, the easiest and the most
branch of Yoga. It teaches us how to guide our will so as to
desired changes in the order and nature of our positive and negative
currents. This it does in the following way. All physical action is
in a certain state. Without prana there is no action, and every
action is the result of the differing harmonies of tatwic currents.
motion in any one part of the body is the result of the activity of the
centers in that part of the body. In the same way, whenever there is
in the prithivi centers, we have a feeling of enjoyment and
The causes of the other sensations are similar.
We find that while lying down we change sides when the breath
out of that nostril. Therefore we conclude that if we lie on any side
breath will flow out the opposite nostril. Therefore, whenever we see
it is desirable to change the negative conditions of our body to the
we resort to this expedient. An investigation into the physiological
of prana on the gross coil, and the counter effects of gross
upon prana, will form the subject of the next essay.
V. Prana (II) ~
The Pranamaya Kosha (Coil of Life) changes into three
states during day and night: the waking, the dreaming, and the sleeping
(jagrata, swapna, susupti). These three changes produce
changes in the manamaya Kosha (the mental coil), and thence
the consciousness of the changes of life. The mind, in fact, lies
the prana. The strings (tatwic lines) of the former instrument
finer than those of the latter; that is, in the former we have a
number of vibrations than in the latter during the same space of time.
Their tensions stand to each other, however, in such a relation that
the vibrations of the one, the other of itself begins to vibrate. The
give to the mind, therefore, a similar appearance, and consciousness of
the phenomenon is caused. This, however, some time after. My present
is to describe all those changes of prana, natural or induced,
make up the sum total of our worldly experience, and which, during ages
of evolution, have called the mind itself out of the state of latency.
These changes, as I have said, divide themselves into three general
the waking, the dreaming, and the sleeping. Waking is the positive,
the negative state of prana; dreaming is the conjunction of the two (susumna
sandhi). As stated in the foregoing essay, the solar current
in a positive direction during the day, and we are awake. As night
the positive current has made itself lord of the body. It gains so much
strength that the sensuous and active organs lose sympathy with the
world. Perception and action cease, and the waking state passes off.
excess of the positive current slackens, as it were, the tatwic chords
of the different centers of work, and they accordingly cease to answer
to the ordinary ethereal changes of external nature. If at this point
strength of the positive current passed beyond ordinary limits, death
ensue, prana would cease to have any connection with the gross
the ordinary vehicle of the external tatwic changes. But just at the
the prana passes out of the heart, the negative current sets
and it begins to counteract the effects of the former. As the prana
reaches the spine, the effects of the positive current have entirely
of, and we awake. If at this moment the strength of the negative
passes the ordinary limit by some cause or other, death would ensue,
just at this moment the positive current sets in with midnight, and
to counteract the effect of the former. A balance of the positive and
currents thus keeps body and soul together. With excess in the
of either current, death makes its appearance. Thus we see that there
two kinds of death: the positive or spinal, and the negative or
In the former the four higher principles pass out of the body through
head, the brahmarandhra, along the spine; in the latter they
out of the mouth through the lungs and the trachea. Besides these there
are generally speaking about six tatwic deaths. All these deaths chalk
out different paths for the higher principle. Of these, however, more
At this stage, let us investigate the changes of prana more
There are certain manifestations of prana that we find
at work in all three states. As I have said before, some writers have
these manifestations into five heads. They have different centers of
in different parts of the body, from whence they assert their dominion
over every part of the physical coil. Thus:
Positive: (1) Prana, right lung; Negative: Prana,
lung. Prana is that manifestation of the life coil which draws
air from without into the system.
Positive: (2) Apana, the apparatus that passes off feces,
intestine, etc.; Negative: Apana, the urinary apparatus. Apana
is the manifestation that throws, from the inside, out of the system,
that are not wanted there.
Positive: (3) Samana, stomach; Negative: Samana,
is that manifestation which draws in and carries the juice of food to
part of the body.
Positive: (4) Vyana, all over the body, appearing in
states with different organs (on the right side); Negative: Vyana,
all over the body (on the left side). Vyana is that
which inclines the currents of life back to the centers -- the heart
the brain. It is, therefore, this manifestation that causes death,
Positive: (5) Udana, at the spinal and cardiac centers
side), and the region of the throat; Negative: Udana, the
and cardiac centers (left side).
If Prana recedes from any part of the body (for some
other), that part loses its power of action. This is local death. It is
in this way that we become deaf, dumb, blind, etc. It is in this way
our digestive powers suffer, and so on. General death is similar in its
operations. With the excess of the strength of either of the two
the prana remains in the susumna, and does not pass
The acquired power of work of the body then beings to pass off. The
from the centers (the heart and the brain), the sooner they die. It is
thus that the pulse first ceases to be felt in the extremities, and
nearer and nearer the heart, until we find it nowhere.
Again, it is this upward impulse that, under favorable conditions,
growth, lightness, and agility.
Besides the organs of the body already mentioned or indicated, the
of vyana serves to keep in form the five organs of sense, and
five organs of action. The organs of the gross body and the powers of prana
that manifest themselves in work have both the same names. Thus we
Active Organs & Powers: (1) Vak, the coal organs and
power of speech; (2) Pani, the hands and the manual power; (3) Pada,
the feet and the walking power; (4) Payu, anus; (5) Upastha,
the generative organs and the powers that draw these together.
Sensuous Organs & Powers: (1) Chaksus, eye and ocular
(2) Twak, skin and tangiferous power; (3) Srotra, ear
sonoriferous power; (4) Rasama, tongue and gustatory power; (5)
nose and odoriferous power.
The real fact is that the different powers are the corresponding
of the principle of life. It will now be instructive to trace the
changes and influences of these various manifestations of life.
Prana: During health prana works all over the
one class of tatwic centers at one time. We thus see that both during
course of the positive and negative current we have five tatwic
The color of prana during the reign of the positive and
current is pure white; during that of the positive, reddish white. The
former is calmer and smoother than the latter.
The tatwic changes give to each of these five new phases of color.
Positive ~ reddish white/ Negative ~ pure white:
(1) The vayu tatwa, blue; (2) The agni tatwa, red;
The prithivi, yellow; (4) The apas, white; (5) The akasa
It is evident that there is a difference between the positive and
tatwic phases of color. There are thus ten general phases of color.
The positive current (reddish white) is hotter than the negative
pure white). Therefore it may be generally said that the positive
is hot, and the negative cool. Each of these then undergoes five tatwic
changes of temperature. The agni is the hottest, the yellow
to it; the vayu becomes cool, and the apas is the
The akasa has a state that neither cools nor heats. This state
the most dangerous of all, and if prolonged it causes death, disease
debility. It is evident that, if the cooling tatwa does not set
in to counteract the accumulated effect of the latter in due time, the
functions of life will be impaired. The just color and the just
at which these functions work in their vigor will be disturbed, and
death and debility are nothing more than this disturbance in various
The case is similar if the heating tatwa does not set in in due
time after the cooling one.
It will be easy to understand that these changes of tatwic colors
temperatures are not abrupt. The one passes of easily and smoothly into
the other, and the tatwic mixtures produce innumerable colors -- as
in fact, as the solar prana has been shown to possess. Each of
colors tend to keep the body healthy if it remains in action just as
as it ought, but no sooner does the duration change than disease
There is a possibility, therefore, of as many and more diseases as
are colors in the sun.
If any one color is prolonged, there must be some one or more that
given the period of their duration to it; similarly, if one color takes
less time than it ought to, there must be some one or more that take
place. This suggests two methods of the treatment of diseases. But
speaking of these, it will be necessary to investigate as fully as
the causes that lengthen and shorten the ideal periods of the tatwas.
To return at present to Prana: This pulmonary
the principle of life is the most important of all, because its
furnish us with a most faithful measure of the tatwic state of the
It is on this account that the name prana has been given by
to this manifestation.
Now, as the prana works in the pulmonary taijas
(i.e., the centers of the luminiferous ether), the lungs are thrown
a triangular form of expansion, atmospheric air runs in, and the
of inspiration is complete. With every truti, a backwards
is given to the currents of prana. The lungs are thrown into
stationary state with this returning current, and the excess air is
The air that is thus thrown out of the lungs bears a triangular form.
some extent, the water vapor that this air contains furnishes us with a
method of testing this truth by experiment. If we take a smooth,
looking glass, put it under the nose, and breath steadily upon its cool
surface, the water vapor of the air will be condensed, and it will be
that this bears a particular figure. In the case of pure agni,
figure will be a triangle. Let another person look steadily at the
glass because the impression passes off rather quickly.
With the course of the other tatwas the lungs are thrown
their respective shapes, and the looking glass gives us the same
Thus, in apas we have the semi-moon, in vayu the
and in prithivi the quadrangle. With the composition of these tatwas
we may have other figures: oblongs, squares, spheroids, and so on.
It may also be mentioned that the luminiferous ether carries the
drawn from the atmospheric air to the centers of the luminiferous
and thence to every part of the body. The other ethers also carry these
materials to their respective centers. It is not necessary to trace the
working of the other manifestations one by one. It may, however, be
that although all the five tatwas work in all the five
each of these manifestations is sacred to one of these tatwas. Thus in prana
the vayu tatwa prevails, in samana the agni, in apana
the prithivi, in vyana the apas, in udana
I may remind the reader that the general color of prana is
and this will show how the apas tatwa prevails in Vyana.
The darkness of akasa is the darkness of death, etc., caused by
the manifestation of udana.
During life these ten changes are always taking place at the
of about 26 minutes each. In waking, in sleep, or in dream, these
never cease. It is only in the two susumnas or the akasa
that these changes become potential for a moment, because it is from
that these tatwic manifestations show themselves on the plane of the
If this moment is prolonged, the forces of prana remain
and in death the prana is thus in the potential state. When
causes that tended to lengthen the period of i, and thus cause death,
removed, this individual prana passes out of the potential into
the actual, positive, or negative state as the case may be. It will
matter, and will develop it into the shape towards which its
Something may now be said about the work of the sensuous and
It may be generally said that all work is tatwic motion. This work
capable of being carried on during the waking state, and not in sleep
dream. These ten organs have ten general colors, generally thus:
Sensuous Organs: (1) Eye, agni, red; (2) Ear, akasa,
(3) Nose, prithivi, yellow; (4) Tongue (taste), apas,
(5) Skin, vayu, blue;
Active Organs: (1) Hand, vayu, blue; (2) Foot, i, yellow;
Tongue (speech), apas, white; (4) Anus, akasa, dark;
Genitals, i, red.
Although these are the generally prevalent tatwas in these various
all the other tatwas exist in a subordinate position. Thus in
eye we have a reddish yellow, reddish white, reddish dark, reddish
and similarly in the other organs. This division into five of each of
colors is only general; in reality there is an almost innumerable
of colors in each of these.
With every act of every one of these ten organs, the organ
and the whole body generally assumes a different color, the color of
particular tatwic motion which constitutes that act.
All these changes of Prana constitute the sum total of our
experience. Furnished with this apparatus, prana begins its
pilgrimage, in company with a mind, which is evolved only to the extent
of connecting the "I am" of the ahankara or vijnana,
fourth principle from below, with these manifestations of prana.
Time imprints upon it all the innumerable colors of the universe. The
the tangible, the gustatory, the auditory, and the olfactory
in all their variety gather into prana just as our daily
carries many messages at one and the same time. In the same way do the
appearances of the active organs, and the five remaining general
of the body, gather up in this prana to manifest themselves in
A few illustrations will render all this clear:
Sexual Relations ~
The generative agni tatwa of the male is positive, and
the female is negative. The former is hotter, harsher, and more
than the latter; the latter is cooler, smoother, and calmer than the
These two currents tend to run into each other, and a feeling of
is the result if the two currents are allowed to take their course; if
not, a feeling of uneasiness is the result. The genesis of these
will be my subject under the head of the manomaya kosha (mental
principle). Here I shall only speak of the coloration of prana
the action or inaction of this organ. The positive agni tends
run into the negative, and vice versa. If it is not allowed to do so,
repeated impulses of this tatwa turn upon themselves, the
gains strength, and every day the whole prana is colored deeper
and deeper red. The centers of the agni tatwa all over the body
become stronger in their action, while all the others contract a
tinge of the red. The eyes and the stomach become stronger. This,
is the case only within certain limits and under certain circumstances.
If the agni gains too much strength, all the other centers of
remaining tatwas become vitiated in their action by an over-coloration
of agni, and disease and debility result. If, however, man
in this luxury more often than he should, and in more than one place,
male prana gets colored by the female agni, and vice
This tends to weaken all the centers of this tatwa, and gives a
feminine color to the whole prana. The stomach becomes cooled
the eyes grow weak, and virile manly power departs. If, however, more
one individual female agni takes possession of the male prana,
and vice versa, the general antagonistic tatwa becomes deeper
stronger. The whole prana is vitiated to a greater extent,
debility is the result, and spermatorrhea, impotence, and other such
colors take possession of the prana. Besides, the separate
of the male or female agni that has taken possession of any one
will tend to repel each other.
Suppose now that a man is given to walking. The prithivi tatwa
of the feet gains strength, and the yellow color pervades the whole prana.
The centers of the prithivi all over the body begin to work
briskly; agni receives a mild and wholesome addition to its
the whole system tends towards healthy equilibrium, neither too hot,
too cold, and a general feeling of satisfaction accompanied with vigor,
playfulness, and a relish of enjoyment is the result.
Let me take one more illustration from the operation of Vak
and I shall be done with the organs of action. The power (Sakti)
of speech (Vak, saraswati) is one of the most important
of the Hindu pantheon. The apas tatwa is the chief ingredient
that goes towards the formation of this organ. Therefore the color of
goddess is said to be white. The vocal chord with the larynx in front
the vina (musical instrument) of the goddess.
In the above figure of the vocal apparatus, AB is the thyroid, a
cartilage forming the projection of the throat, and much more prominent
in men than in women. Below this is the annular cartilage C, the
Behind this, or we may say on this, are stretched the chord a and b.
Atmospheric air passing over these chords in the act of breathing
these chords in vibration, and sound is the result. Ordinarily these
are too loose to give any sound. The apas tatwa, the milk-white
goddess of speech, performs the all-important function of making these
chords tense. As the semi-lunar current of the apas tatwa passes along
the muscles of these chords, they are as it were shriveled up and
are formed in the chords; they become tighter.
The depth of these curves depends upon the strength of the apas
current. The deeper these curves, the tenser are the chords. The
serves to vary the intensity of the voice thus produced. The thyroid
to vary the intensity of the voice thus produced. This will do here,
it is enough to show that the real motive power in the production of
is the apas tatwa or Prana. As will be easily
there are certain ethereal conditions of the external world that excite
the centers of the apas tatwa; the current passes along the
chords, they are made tense, and sound is produced. But the excitement
of these centers also comes from the soul through the mind. The use of
this sound in the course of evolution as the vehicle of thought is the
marriage of Brahma (the Vijana mayakosha, the soul)
the power of speech as located in man.
The apas tatwa of the vocal apparatus, although it is the
motive power in the production of sound, is modified according to the
by the composition of the other tatwas in various degrees. As far as
ken reaches, about 49 of these variations have been recorded under the
name of swara. First, there are seven general notes. These may
positive and negative (tivra and komala), and then each
these may have three subdivisions. These notes are then composed into
and each raga has several ragini. The simple ragini
may then be compounded into others, and each ragini may have a
many arrangements of notes. The variations of sound thus become almost
innumerable. All these variations are caused by the varying tensions of
the vocal chords, the Vina of Saraswati, and the
vary by the varying strength of the apas current, caused by the
superposition of the other tatwas.
Each variation of sound has a color of its own that affects the
in its own way; the tatwic effect of all these sounds is noted in books
of music. Various diseases may be cured, and good or bad tendencies
on the prana by the power of sound. Saraswati is an
goddess, and controls our prana for good or evil as the case
be. If a song or note is colored by the agni tatwa, the sound
the prana red, and similarly the vayu, the apas,
and the prithivi, blue, white, dark, and yellow. The red
song causes heat; it may cause anger, sleep, digestion, and redness of
color. The akasa colored song causes fear, forgetfulness, etc.
may similarly give our prana the color of love, enmity,
morality, or immorality, as the case may be.
Let us turn to another key. If the words we utter bear the color
the agni tatwa -- anger, love, lust -- our prana is
red, and this redness turns upon ourselves. It may burn up our
and we may look lean and lank and have 10,000 other diseases. Terrible
retribution of angry words! If our words are full of divine love and
kindness and morality, words that give pleasure and satisfaction to
hears them -- the colors of the prithivi and the apas
we become loving and beloved, adoring and adored, kind and moral,
and pleased, satisfying and ever satisfied. The discipline of speech
-- the satya of Patanjali -- is thus one of the highest
Sensuous impressions color the prana in a similar way. If we are
to too much of sight-seeing, to the hearing of pleasant sounds, to the
smelling of dainty smells, etc., the colors of these tatwas
be overly strengthened, and will gain a mastery over our prana.
If we are too fond of seeing beautiful women, hearing the music of
voices, heaven help us, for the least and most general effect will be
our pranas will receive the feminine coloration. If it were
for the love of women, man should avoid this over-indulgence, for
qualities in men do not obtain favor in the eyes of women.
These illustrations are sufficient to explain how the tatwic
of external nature gather up in prana. It may be necessary to
that no new colors enter into the formation of prana. All the
of the universe are present there already, just as they are in the sun,
the prototype of prana. The coloration I have spoken of is only
the strengthening of this particular color to an extent that throws the
others in shade. It is this disturbance of balance that in the first
causes the variety of human prana, and in the second those
diseases to which flesh is heir.
From this point it is evident that every action of man gives his prana
a separate color, and the color affects the gross body in turn. But
at what time, does the particular tatwic color affect the body?
it is under similar tatwic conditions of the external universe. This
that if the agni tatwa has gained strength in any prana
any one particular division of time, the strength will show itself when
that particular division of time recurs again. Before attempting a
of this problem, it is necessary to understand the following truths:
The sun is the chief life-giver of every organism in the system.
moment that a new organism has come into existence, the sun changes his
capacity in relation to that organism. He now becomes the sustainer of
positive life in that organism. Along with this the moon begins to
the organism in her own way. She becomes the sustainer of negative
The planets each establish their own currents in the organism. For the
sake of simplicity, I have as yet spoken only of the sun and moon, the
respective lords of the positive and negative currents of the right and
left halves of the body, of the brain and the heart, of the nerves and
the blood vessels. These are the two chief sources of life, but it must
be remembered that the planets exercise a modifying influence over
currents. The real tatwic condition of any moment is determined by all
the seven planets, just like the sun and the moon. Each planet, after
the general tatwic condition of the moment, goes to introduce changes
the organism born at that moment. These changes correspond with the
of that color of prana that rose at that time. Thus, suppose
red color has entered prana when the moon is in the second
of the sign of Libra. If there is no disturbing influence of any other
luminary, the red color will manifest itself whenever the moon is in
same position; in the other case, when the disturbing influence is
It may show itself in a month, or it may be postponed for ages. It is
difficult to determine the time when an act will have its effect. It
a good deal upon the strength of the impression. The strength of the
may be divided into ten degrees, although some writers have gone
(1) Momentary: This degree of strength has its effect then and
(2) 30 degrees strength: In this case the effect will show itself
each planet is in the same sign as at the time of the impression;
(3) 15 degrees strength: Hora; (4) 10 degrees strength: Dreskana;
(5) 200 degrees strength: Navaansha; (6) 150 degrees strength: Dwadasansa;
(7) 60 or 1 degree strength: Trinsansa; (8) 1" strength: Kala;
(9) 1’’’ strength: Vipala; (10) 1’’’’ strength: Truti.
Suppose in any prana, on account of any action, the agni
obtains the strongest possible prevalence consistent with the
of the body, the tatwa will begin to have its effect then and
until it has exhausted itself to a certain extent. It will then become
latent and show itself when at any time the same planets sit in the
mansions. Examples will illustrate better. Suppose the following
of the planets at any moment denotes the tatwic condition when any
color has entered the prana:
The 3rd of April, Tuesday ~
It is at this time, we suppose, that the act above referred to is
The present effect will pass off with the two hours’ lunar current that
may be passing at that time. Then it will become latent, and remain so
till the time when these planets are in the same position again. As has
been seen, these positions might be nine or more in number.
As soon as the exact time passes of when a color has obtained
in prana, the effect thereof on the gross body becomes latent. It shows
itself again in a general way when the stars sit in the same mansions.
Some of the strength is worn off at this time, and the force becomes
to show itself in greater minuteness when at any time the half-mansions
coincide, and so on with the remaining parts noticed above. There may
any number of times when there is only an approach to coincidence, and
then the effect will tend to show itself, though at that time it will
only a tendency.
These observation, although necessarily very meager, tend to show
the impression produced upon prana by any act, however
really takes ages to pass off, when the stars coincide in position to a
degree with that when the act was committed. Therefore, a knowledge of
astronomy is highly essential in occult Vedic religion. The following
may, however, render the above a little more intelligible.
As often remarked, the prana mayokosha is an exact picture
the Terrestrial Prana. The periodical currents of the finer
of nature that are in the earth pass according to the same laws in the
principle of life; just like the Zodiac, the prana mayakosha is
subdivided into mansions, etc. The northern and southern inclinations
the axis give us a heart and a brain. Each of these has 12
branching off from it; these are the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The daily
rotation than gives us the 31 chakras spoken of previously. There is
positive semi-mansion and the negative semi-mansion. Then we have the
the one-ninth, the one-twelfth, and so on to a degree, or the divisions
and subdivisions thereof. Each chakra, both diurnal and annual,
is in fact a circle of 360 degrees, just like the great circles of the
heavenly spheres. Through the chakra a course of seven
of life-currents is established:
(1) Solar, (2) lunar, (3) Mars, agni, (4) Mercury, prithivi,
(5) Jupiter, vayu, (6) Venus, apas, (7) Saturn, akasa.
It is quite possible that along the same chakra there may
passing all or any one or more of these differing currents at one and
same time. The reader is reminded of the telegraph currents of modern
It is evident that the real state of prana is determined by the
position of these localized currents. Now if any one or more of these
currents is strengthened by any act of ours, under any position of the
currents, it is only when we have to a degree the same position of the
currents that the tatwic current will makes it appearance at full
There may also be appearances of slight power at various times, but the
full strength will never be exhausted until we have the same position
these currents to the minutest division of a degree. This takes ages
ages, and it is quite impossible that the effect should pass off in the
present life. Hence rises the necessity of a second life upon this
The accumulated tatwic effects of a life’s work give each life a
tinge of its own. This tinge wears off gradually as the component
pass off or weaken in strength, one by one. When each of the component
colors is one by one sufficiently worn off, the general color of a life
passes off. The gross body that was given birth to by this particular
ceases to respond to the now generally different colored prana.
The prana does not pass out of the susumna. Death is
As already said, the two ordinary forms of death are the positive
the brain, and the negative through the heart. This is death through
In this all the tatwas are potential. Death may also take place through
the other nadis. In this case there must always be the prevalence of
or more tatwas.
The prana goes towards different regions after death,
to the paths through which it passes out of the body. Thus:
(1) The negative susumna takes it to the moon; (2) the
takes it to the sun; (3) the agni of the other nadi
it to the hill known as Raurava (fire); (4) the apas of
other nadi takes it to the hill known as Ambarisha, and
on, the akasa, the vayu, and the prithivi take
to Andhatanusra, Kalasutra, and Maha kala (See Yoga
Sutra, pada 111, Aphorism 26, commentary).
The negative path is the most general one that the prana
This path takes it to the moon (the chandraloka) because the
is the lord of the negative system, and the negative currents, and the
negative susumna the heart, which therefore is a continuation
the lunar prana. The prana that has the general
color cannot move but along this path, and it is transferred naturally
to the reservoirs, the centers of the negative prana. Those men
in whom the two hours’ lunar current is passing more or less regularly
take this path.
The prana that has lost the intensity of its terrestrial
energizes lunar matter according to its own strength, and thus
for itself there a sort of passive life. Here the mind is in a state of
dream. The tatwic impressions of gathered up forces pass before it in
same way as they pass before it in our earthly dreams. The only
is that in that state there is not the superimposed force of
to render the tatwic impressions so strong and sudden as to be
That dreamy state is characterized by extreme calmness. Whatever our
has in it of the interesting experiences of this world, whatever we
thought, heard, seen or enjoyed, the sense of satisfaction and
the bliss and playfulness of the apas and the prithivi tatwa,
the languid sense of love of the agni, the agreeable
of the akasa, all make their appearance one after the other in
calm. The painful impressions make no appearance, because the painful
when any impression forces itself upon the mind that is out of harmony
with its surroundings. In this state the mind lives in Chandraloka,
as will be better understood when I come to speak of the tatwic causes
Ages roll on in this state, when the mind has, according to the
general laws that obtain for prana, worn out the impressions of
a former life. The intense tatwic colors that the ceaseless activity of
had called into existence now fade away, until at last the mind comes
a chronic level with the prana. Both of them have now lost the
of a former life. It may be said of prana that it has a new
and of the mind that it has a new consciousness. When they are both in
this state, both very weak, the accumulated tatwic effects of prana
begin to show themselves with the return of the stars to the same
These draw us back from the lunar to the terrestrial prana. At
stage, the mind has no individuality worth taking account of, so that
is drawn by prana to wherever its affinities carry it. It comes
and joins with those solar rays that bear a similar color, with all
mighty potentialities that show themselves in the future man remaining
quite latent. It passes with the rays of the sun according to the
laws of vegetation into grain that bears similar colors. Each grain has
a separate individuality, which accounts for its separate individuality
from others of its brothers, and in many there may be human
giving it an individuality of its own. The grain or grains produce the
virile semen, which assumes the shape of human beings in the wombs of
This is rebirth.
Similarly do human individualities come back from the five states
are known as hells. These are the states of posthumous existence fixed
for those men who enjoy to an excessive and violent degree the various
impressions of each of the tatwas. As the tatwic intensity, which
the balance and therefore causes pain, wears off in time, the
passes off to the lunar sphere, and thence undergoes the same states
have been described above.
Along the positive path through the brahmarandhra pass
that pass beyond the general effects of Time, and therefore do not
to the earth under ordinary laws. It is Time that brings back prana
from the moon, when he is even the most general, and the least strong
condition comes into play with the return of identical astral
but the sun being the keeper of Time himself, and the strongest factor
in the determination of his tatwic condition, it would be impossible
solar Time to affect solar prana. Therefore, only that prana
travels towards the sun in which there is almost no preponderance of
tatwic color. This is the state of the prana of Yogin
By the constant practice of the eight branches of Yoga, the
is purified of any very strongly personifying colors, and since it is
that on such a prana Time can have no effect, under ordinary
they pass off to the sun. These prana have no distinct
colors; all of them that go to the sun have almost the same general
But their minds are different. They can be distinguished from each
according to the particular branch of science that they have
or according to the particular and varying methods of mental
that they have followed on earth. In this state the mind is not
as in the moon, upon the impressions of prana. Constant
of Yoga has rendered it an independent worker, depending only
the soul, and molding the prana to its own shapes, and giving
its own colors. This is a kind of Moksha.
Although the sun is the most potent lord of life, and the tatwic
of prana now has no effect upon the prana that has passed to
sun, the planetary currents still have some slight effect upon it, and
there are times when this effect is very strong, so that the earthly
in which they have previously lived are called back again to their
A desire to do the same sort of good they did the world in their
life takes possession of them, and impelled by this desire they
come back to earth. Snakaracharya has noticed in his commentary of the Brahmasutra
that Apantaramah, a Vedic rishi, thus appeared on earth as
about the end of the Dwapara and the beginning of the Kaliyuga.
VI. Prana (III) ~
As it is desirable that as much as possible should be known about Prana,
I give below some quotations on the subject from the Prasnopnishat.
They will give additional interest to the subject, and present it in a
more comprehensive and far more attractive garb.
Six things are to be known about Prana, says the Upanishad:
"He who knows the birth (1), the coming in (2), the places of
(3), the rule (4), the macrocosmic appearance (5), and the microcosmic
appearance of Prana becomes immortal by that knowledge."
Practical knowledge of the laws of life, i.e., to live up to them,
naturally end in the passing of the soul out of the shadowy side of
into the original light of the Sun. This means immortality, that is,
beyond the power of terrestrial death.
But to go on with what the Upanishad has to say about the
things to be known about Prana:
The Birth of Prana ~
The Prana is born from the Atma; it is caused in
like the shadow in the body.
The human body, or any other organism, becomes the cause of
a shade in the ocean of prana, as it comes between the sun and
portion of space on the other side of the organism. Similarly, the prana
is thrown as a shade in the macrocosmic soul (Iswara) because
macrocosmic mind (manu) intervenes. Briefly the prana is
the shade of Manu caused by the light of the Logos, the
center. The suns are given birth to in this shade, by the impression of
the macrocosmic mental ideas into this shade. These suns, the centers
become in their turn the positive starting point of further
The manus throwing their shade by the intervention of the suns, give
in those shades to planets, etc. The suns throwing their shades by the
intervention of planets, give birth to moons. Then these different
begin to act upon the planets, and the sun descends on the planets in
shape of various organisms, man included.
The Macrocosmic Appearance ~
This prana is found in the macrocosm as the ocean of life
the sun for its center. It assumes two phases of existence: (1) the prana,
the solar, positive life-matter, and (2) the rayi, the lunar,
life-matter. The former is the northern phase and the eastern; the
is the southern phase and the western. In every Moment of Terrestrial
we have thus the northern and southern centers of prana, the
from which the southern and northern phases of life-matter take their
at any moment. The eastern and western halves are there too.
At every moment of time -- i.e., in every truti -- there
millions of truti -- perfect organisms -- in space. This might
some explanation. The units of time and space are the same: a truti.
Take any one truti of time. It is well known that every
of time the tatwic rays of prana go in every direction from
point to every other point. Hence it is clear enough that every truti
of space is a perfect picture of the whole apparatus of prana,
all its centers and sides, and positive and negative relations. To
a good deal in a few words, every truti of space is a perfect
In the ocean of Prana that surrounds the sun there are
While essentially the same, it is easy to understand that the
items will make a difference in the general color, appearance, and
of these trutis: (1) distance from the solar center; (2) inclination
the solar axis.
Take the earth for illustration. That zone of solar life, taking
consideration both the distance and the inclination in which the earth
moves, gives birth to earth-life. This zone of earth-life is known as
ecliptic. Now every truti of space in this ecliptic is a
individual organism. As the earth moves in her annual course, i.e., as
the truti of time changes, these permanent truti of
change the phases of their life. But their permanency is never
They retain their individuality all the same.
All the planetary influences reach these trutis always, wherever
planets may be in their journey. The changing distance and inclination
is, of course, always causing a change of life-phase.
This truti of space, from its permanent position in the
while maintaining its connection with all the planets, at the same time
sends its tatwic rays to every other quarter of space. They also come
It is a condition of earth life that the positive and negative
the prana and the rayi, be equally balanced. Therefore,
the two phases of life matter are equally strong in this ecliptical truti,
the tatwic rays that come from it to the earth energize gross matter
The moment that the balance is disturbed by the tatwic influence of the
planets, or by some other cause, terrestrial death ensues. This simply
means that the tatwic rays of the truti that fall on earth
to energize gross matter, although they do fall there all the same, and
although the truti is there all the same in its permanent
abode. In this posthumous state, the human truti will energize
matter in that quarter of space whose laws of relative, negative and
predominance coincide with that state. Thus, when the negative life
the rayi, becomes overly strong, the energization of the truti
is transferred from the earth to the moon. Similarly it may pass to
spheres. When the terrestrial balance is restored again, when this
life has been lived, the energization is transferred to the earth
Such is the macrocosmic appearance of Prana, with the
of all the organisms of the earth.
The Coming In Of Prana ~
How does this prana maya kosha -- this truti of
-- come into this body? Briefly, "By actions at whose root lies the
says the Upanishad. It was explained previously how every
changes the nature of the prana maya kosha, and it will be
in the essay on the "Cosmic Picture Gallery" how these changes are
in the cosmical counterpart of our life-principle. It is evident that
these actions change is produced in the general relative nature of the prana
and the rayi, which has been spoken of previously. It is hardly
necessary to say that the mind -- the human free will -- lies at the
of those actions that disturb the tatwic balance of the life-principle.
Hence, "The prana comes into this body by actions, at whose
lies the mind."
The Places of Manifestation ~
"As the paramount Power appoints its servants, telling, ‘Rule such
such villages’, so does the Prana. It puts its different
in different places. The apana (this discharges faces and
is in the Payu (anus) and the upastha. The
known as sight and hearing (Chakahus and Srotra) are in
eye and ear. The prana remains itself, going out of mouth and
Between (the places of prana and apana, about the
lives the Samana. It is this that carries equally (all over the
body) the food (and drink) that is thrown in the fire. Hence are those
seven lights (by means of prana, light of knowledge is thrown
color, form, sound, etc.)
"In the heart is of course this atma (the pranamaya
and in it, of course, the other coils. Here there are a hundred and one
Of these there are a hundred in each. In each of these branch nadis
are 72,000 other nadi. In these moves the vyana.
"By one (the Susumna) going upward, the udana carries to
worlds by means of goodness, and to bad ones by means of evil; by both
to the world of men.
"The sun is, of course, the macrocosmic prana; he rises,
thereby helps the eyesight. The Power that is in the earth keeps up the
power of apana. The akasa (the ethereal matter) that is
heaven and earth, helps the samana.
"The ethereal life-matter (independent of its being between heaven
earth) which fills macrocosmic space, is vyana.
"The taijas -- the luminiferous ether -- is udana;
he whose natural fire is cooled down approaches death.
"Then the man goes toward the second birth; the organs and senses
into the mind; the mind of the man comes to the Prana (its
now ceasing). The prana is combined with the taijas;
with the soul, it carries her to the spheres that are in view."
The different manifestations of Prana in the body, and the
where they manifest themselves have been dwelt upon. But other
of interest appear in this extract. It is said that this atma,
maya kosha, with the other coils of course, is located in the
The heart, as has been seen, represents the negative side of life, the
rayi. When the positive prana impresses itself upon the rayi
-- the heart and the nadis that flow from it -- the forms of life and
actions of man come into existence. It is therefore, properly speaking,
the reflection in the heart that works in the world, i.e., is the
lord of the sensuous and active organs of life. If this being of the
learns not to live here, the sensuous and active organs both lose their
life; the connection with the world ceases. The being of the brain that
has no immediate connection with the world, except through the heart,
remains in unrestrained purity. This means to say that the soul goes to
the suryaloka (the Sun).
The next point of interest is the description of the functions of
External Prana, which lie at the root of, and help the working
the individualized prana. It is said that the Sun is the Prana.
This is evident enough, and has been mentioned man times before this.
it is meant to say that the most important function of life,
and expiration, the function of which, according to the Science of
is the One Law of existence in the Universe on all the planes of life,
is brought into existence and kept in activity by the sun in himself.
is the solar breath that constitutes his existence, and this reflected
in man producing matter gives birth to human breath.
The Sun then appears in another phase. He rises, and as he does,
supports the eyes in their natural action.
Similarly, the power that is in the earth sustains the apana
manifestation of prana. It is the power that draws everything
the earth, says the commentator. In modern language, it is gravity.
Something more might be said here about the udana
of prana. As everybody knows, there is a phase of microcosmic prana
that carries everything, names, forms, sight, sounds, and all other
from one place to another. This is otherwise known as the universal agni,
or the Tejas of the text. The localized manifestation of Prana
is called udana, that which carries the life-principle from one
place to another. The particular destination is determined by past
and this universal agni carries the prana, with the soul, to
VII. Prana (IV) ~
This Prana is then a mighty being, and if its localized
were to work in unison, and with temperance, doing their own duty, but
not usurping the time and place of others, there would be but little
in the world.
But each of these manifestations asserts its sole power over the
human soul. Each of these claims the whole life of man to be its own
"The akasa, the vayu, the agni, the prithivi,
the apas, speech, sight and hearing -- all of them say clearly
they are the sole monarchs of the human body."
The principal prana, he whose manifestations all these
"Be not forgetful; it is I who sustain the human body, dividing
If the five manifestations of Prana with all their minor
revolt against him, if each begin to assert its own lordship and cease
to work for the general benefit of the lord paramount, the real life,
makes its sad appearance to harass the poor human soul. "But the
of prana, blinded by ignorance," would not "put forth" in the
of their lord. "He leaves the body, and as he leaves, all the other
pranas leave it too; they stay there as he stays." Then their eyes are
opened. "As the bees follow the queen bee in every posture, so does prana;
these, speech, the mind, the eye, the ear, follow him with devotion,
thus praise him."
"He is the agni, the cause of heat; he is the sun (the
of light); he is the cloud, he is the Indra, he is the Vayu,
he is the prithivi, he is the rayi, and the deva,
the sat, and the asat, and he is the immortal.
[Rayi and asat are the negative, deva and sat
the positive phases of life-matter.]
"Like the spokes in the nave of a wheel, everything is sustained
the hymns of the Rik, the Yajur, and the Sama Veda,
the sacrifice, the Kshatriya, and the Brahmin, etc.
"Thou art the Progenitor; thou movest in the womb; thou art born
the shape of the father or the mother; to thee, O Prana, that
up in the body with thy manifestations, these creatures offer presents.
"Thou art the carrier of offerings to the deva, thou art
carrier of oblations to the fathers; thou art the action and the power
of the senses and other manifestations of life.
"Thou art, O Prana, in power the great lord, the Rudra
[the destroyer] and the Preserver; thou movest in the sky as the sun,
art the preserver of the light of heaven.
"When thou rainest, these creatures are full of joy because they
to have plenty of food.
"Thou art Prana, pure by nature; thou art the consumer of
oblations, as the Ekarshi fire [of the Atharva; thou
the preserver of all existence; we are to thee the offerers of food;
art our father as the Recorder [or, the Life-giver of the Recorder].
"Make healthy that appearance of thine which is located in the
the ear, the eye, and that which is stretched towards the mind; do not
"Whatever exists in the three heavens, all of it is in the power
Protect us like a mother her offspring; give us wealth and intellect."
With this I conclude my description of Prana, the second
of the Universe, and the human body. The epithets bestowed upon this
being in the above extract will be easy of understanding in the light
all that has gone before. It is now time to trace the working of the
Tatwic Law of Breath on the next higher pane of life, the mind (manomayakosha).
VIII. The Mind (I) ~
No theory of the life of the Universe is at once so simple and so
as the theory of breath (Swara). It is the one universal motion,
which makes its appearance in maya by virtue of the unseen
of the Cosmos, the parabrahma of the Vedantins. The most
expression for Swara in English is the "current of life". The
Science of Breath investigates and formulates the laws, or rather the
Universal Law, according to which this current of life, this motive
of Universal Intelligence, running (as Emerson so beautifully puts it)
along the wire of thought, governs evolution and involution and all the
phenomena of human life, physiological, mental and spiritual. In the
length and breadth of this universe there is no phenomenon, great or
that does not find its most natural, most intelligible, most apposite
in the theory of the five modes of manifestation of this universal
the five elementary tatwas. In the foregoing essays I have
to explain generally how every physiological phenomenon was governed by
the five tatwas. The object of the present essay is to briefly
over the various phenomena relating to the third higher body of man --
the manomaya kosha, the mind -- and note how symmetrically and
the tatwas bring about the formation and work of this
It is what is in general language called knowledge that
the mind from physiological life (prana), but it will be seen on
a little consideration that different degrees of knowledge might very
be taken as the distinguishing characteristics of the five states of
which in man we call the five principles. For what is knowledge but a
of tatwic motion of breath, elevated into self-consciousness by the
in a greater or lesser degree, of the element of ahankara
His is no doubt the view taken of knowledge by the Vedantic philosopher
when he speaks of intelligence as being the motive power, the first
of the universe. The word swara is only a synonym of
the one manifestation of the One descending into prakriti.
"I see something" means, according to our view of knowledge, that
kosha has been put into visual vibration. "I hear" means that my
is in a state of auditory vibration."I feel" means that my mind is in a
state of tangible vibration. And so on with the other senses. "I love"
means that my mind is in a state of amatory vibration (a form of
The first state, that of the anandamaya, is the state of
highest knowledge. There is then but one center, the substratum for the
whole infinity of parabrahma, and the ethereal vibrations of
breath are one throughout the whole expanse of infinity. There is but
intelligence, but one knowledge. The whole universe with all its
and actualities is a part of that knowledge. This is the highest state
of bliss. There is no consciousness of self here, for the I has only a
relative existence, and there must be a Thou or a He before there can
The ego takes form when, in the second plane of existence, more
one minor center comes into existence. It is for this reason that the
has been given to this state of matter. The ethereal impulses of those
centers are confined to their own particular domain in space, and they
differ in each center. They can, however, affect each other in just the
same way as the individualized ethereal impulses of one man are
by those of others. The tatwic motion of one center of Brahma
carried along the same universal lines to the other. Two differing
are thus found in one center. The stronger impulse is called the I, the
weaker the Thou or the He as the case may be.
Then comes manas. Viraj is the center, and manu
the atmosphere of this state. These centers are beyond the ken of
humanity, but they work under laws similar to those ruling the rest of
the cosmos. The suns move the virats in the same way as the
move around the sun.
The Functions of the Mind ~
The composition of the manu is similar to that of prana:
it is composed of a still finer grade of the five tatwas, and
increased fineness endows the tatwas with different functions.
The five functions of prana have been given. The following
the five functions of manas, as given by Patanjali and accepted
(1) Means of knowledge (Pramana), (2) False knowledge (Viparyaya),
(3) Complex imagination (Vikalpa), (4) Sleep (Nidra), (5)
All the manifestation of the mind fall under one or another of
five heads. Thus, Pramana includes:
(1) Perception (pratyaksha), (2) Inference (anumana),
(3) Authority (Agama).
(1) Ignorance (avidya, tamas), (2) Egoism (asinita, moha),
(3) Retention (raja, mahamoka), (4) Repulsion (tamisra, dwesha),
(5) Tenacity of life (abhinwesha, andhatamisra).
The remaining three have no definite subdivisions. Now I shall
that all the modifications of thought are forms of tatwic motion on the
Pramana (Means of Knowledge) ~
The word pramana (means of knowledge) is derived from two
the predicative ma, and the derivative root ana, with
prefix pra. The original idea of the root ma is "to
"to move", and hence "to measure". The Prefix pra gives the
idea of fullness, connected as it is with the root pri, to
That which moves exactly up or down to the same height with any other
is the pramana of that thing. In becoming the pramana
any other thing, the first thing assumes certain qualities that it did
not have before. This is always brought about by a change of state
by a certain kind of motion, for it is always motion that causes change
of state. In fact, this is also the exact meaning of the word pramana,
as applied to a particular manifestation of the mind.
Pramana is a particular tatwic motion of the mental body;
effect is to put the mental body into a state similar to that of
else. The mind can undergo as many changes as the external tatwas are
of imprinting upon it, and these changes have been classified into
general heads by Patanjali.
Pratyaksha (Perception) ~
This is that change of state which the operations of the five
organs produce in the mind. The word is a compound of "I", each, and "aksha",
sensuous power, organ of sense. Hence is that sympathetic tatwic
that an organ of sense in contact with its object produces in the mind.
These changes can be classified under five heads, according to the
of the senses.
The eye gives birth to the taijas vibrations, the tongue,
skin, the ear, and the nose respectively to the apas, the vayu,
the akasa and the prithivi vibrations. The pure agni
causes the perception of red, the taijas-prithivi of yellow,
of white, the taijas-vayu of blue, and so on. Other colors are
in the mind by mixed vibrations in a thousand varying degrees. The apas
gives softness, the vayu roughness, the agni harshness.
see through the eyes not only color, but also form. It will be
that a particular form has been assigned to every tatwic vibration, and
all the forms of gross matter answer to corresponding tatwic
Thus, form can be perceived through every sense. The eyes can see form,
the tongue can taste it, the skin can touch it, and so on. This may
appear to be a novel assertion, but it must be remembered that virtue
not an act. The ear would hear form, if the more general use of the eye
and skin for this purpose had not almost stifled it into inaction.
The pure apas vibrations cause an astringent taste, the apas-prithivi
a sweet, the apas-agni hot, the apas-vayu acid, and so
Innumerable other vibrations of taste are caused by intermediate
in various degrees.
The case is similar with the vocal and other changes of vibration.
is clear that our perceptive knowledge is nothing more than a veritable
tatwic motion of the mental body, caused by the sympathetic
of the vibrations of prana, just as a stringed instrument of a
tension begins to vibrate spontaneously when vibration is set up in
Anumana (Inference) ~
The word anumana has the same roots as the word pramana.
The only difference is in the prefix. We have here anu,
instead of pra. Inference (anumana) is therefore after-motion.
the mind is capable of sustaining two vibrations at one and the same
then if any one of these vibrations is set up and perceived, the second
vibration must also manifest itself. Thus, suppose a man pinches me.
complex vibrations that make up the perception of the action of man
me are produced in my mind. I recognize the phenomena. Almost
with these vibrations another set of vibrations is produced in me. I
this pain. Now here are two kinds of tatwic motion, one coming after
other. If at any other time I feel similar pain, the image of the man
will be recalled to my consciousness. This after-motion is "inference".
Induction and deduction are both modifications of this after-motion.
sun always appears to rise in a certain direction. The concept of that
direction becomes forever associated in my mind with the rising of the
sun. Whenever I think of the phenomenon of sunrise, the concept of that
direction presents itself. Therefore I say that, as a rule, the sun
in that direction. Inference is therefore nothing more than a tatwic
coming after another related one.
Agama (Authority) ~
The third modification of what is called the means of knowledge (pramana)
is authority (agama). What is this? I read in my geography, or
from the lips of my teacher that Britain is surrounded by the ocean.
what has connected these words in my mind with the picture of Britain,
the ocean, and their mutual relations? Certainly it is not perception,
and therefore not inference, which must by nature work through sensuous
knowledge. What then? There must be some third modification.
The fact that words possess the power to raise a certain picture
our minds is one of very deep interest. Every Indian philosopher
it as a third modification of the mind, but it receives no recognition
at the hands of modern European philosophy.
There is, however, little doubt that the color corresponding to
mental modification differs from that corresponding to either
or inference. The color belonging the perceptive modifications of the
is always single in nature. A certain phase of the taijas
must always prevail in the visual modification, and similarly the
of other tatwas correspond to our different sensuous modifications.
manifestation has its own distinctive color. The red will appear as
in the visual as in the auditory or any other vibration, but the red of
the visual will be bright and pure; that of the organ of smell will be
tinged with yellow; that of the organ of touch with blue, and the
ether will be rather dark. There is, therefore, not the least
that the vocal vibration will coincide with the pure perceptive
The coal vibrations are double in their nature, and they can only (if
all) coincide with the inferential vibrations; and here, too, they can
only coincide with the auditory vibrations. A little consideration
however, show that there is some difference between the vocal and
vibrations. In inference, a certain modification of sound in our mind
followed by a certain visual picture, and both these vibrations retain
an equally important position in our mind. We place two precepts
compare them, and then say that one follows the other. In the verbal
there is no comparison, no simultaneous consciousness, no placing
of the two precepts. The one causes the other, but we are not at all
of the fact. In inference the simultaneous presence for some time of
the cause and the effect brings about a change in the color of the
The difference is less great in the vocal as compared with the
vibration. Axiomatic knowledge is not inferential in the present, tough
it has no doubt been so in the past; in the present it has become
to the mind.
Viparyaya (False Knowledge) ~
This is the second mental modification. This word also is derived
a root meaning motion : i or ay. "to go", "to move".
prefix pari is connected with the root pra, and gives
same radical meaning as pramana. The word Paryaya has
same radical meaning as pramana. The word Viparyaya therefore
"a motion removed from the motion that coincides with the object". The
vibrations of pramana coincide in nature with the vibrations of
Certain acquired conditions of the mind imprint on the precepts a new
of their own, and thus distinguish them from the precepts of pramana.
There are five modifications of this manifestation.
Avidya (Ignorance) ~
This is the general field for the manifestation of all the
of false knowledge. The word comes from the root vid, "to
the prefix a, and the suffix ya. The original meaning
the vidya is, therefore, "the state of a thing as it is", or
in terms of the mental plane in one word, "knowledge". As long as in
face of a human being I see a face and nothing else, my mental
is said to be vidya. But as soon as I see a moon or something
not a face, when it is a face I am looking at, my mental vibration is
longer said to be vidya, but avidya. Avidya
is therefore not a negative conception; it is just as positive as vidya
itself. It is a great mistake to suppose that words having the
prefixes always imply abstractions and never realities. This, however,
is by the bye. The state of avidya is that state in which the
vibration is disturbed by that of akasa, and some other tatwas,
which thus result in the production of false appearances. The general
of avidya is akasa, darkness, and this is why tamas is
synonym of this word.
This general prevalence of darkness is caused by some defect in
minds, because, as we find from daily experience, a given object does
excite the same set of vibrations in all minds. What, then is the
defect? It is to be found in the nature of the stored-up potential
of the mind. This storing-up of potential energy is a problem of the
importance in philosophy, and the doctrine of transmigration of souls
its most intelligible explanation in this. The law might be enunciated
The Law of Vasana ~
If anything be set in any particular kind of tatwic motion,
or external, it acquires for a second time the capability of easily
set in motion, and of consequently resisting a different sort of
If the thing is subjected to the same motion for some time, the motion
becomes a necessary attribute of the thing. The superposed motion
so to speak, "second nature".
Thus, if a man accustoms his body to a particular form of
certain muscles in his body are very easily set into motion. Any other
form of exercise that requires the use of other muscles will be found
on account of the resistance set up by muscular habits. The case is
with the mind. If I have a deep-rooted conviction, as some do to this
that the earth is flat and the sun moves around it, it may require ages
to dislodge it. A thousand examples might be cited of such phenomena.
is, however, only necessary in this place to state that the capacity of
turning easily to one mental state and offering resistance to another
is what I mean by this stored-up energy. It is variously called vasana
or Sansakara in Sanskrit.
The word vasana comes from the root vas, "to
means the dwelling or fixing of some form of vibratory motion in the
It is by vasana that certain truths become native to the mind,
not only certain so-called truths, but all the so-called natural
moral, physical, spiritual, become in this way native to the mind. The
only difference in different vasana is their respective
The vasana that are imprinted upon the mind as the result of
ordinary evolutionary course of nature never change. The products of
human actions are of two kinds. If actions result in tendencies that
the evolutionary progressive tide of nature, the effect of the action
itself in time by the repellant force of the undercurrent of evolution.
If, however, the two coincide in direction, increased strength is the
The latter sort of actions we call virtuous, the former vicious.
It is this vasana, this temporary dominion of the opposite
that causes false knowledge. Suppose the positive generative current
in any man the strength a, if too it is presented a negative
current of the same degree of strength a, the two will try to
An attraction that we term sexual love will then be set up. If these
currents are not allowed to unite, they increase in strength and react
on the body itself to its injury; if allowed to unite, they exhaust
This exhaustion causes a relief to the mind, the progressive
current asserts itself with greater force, and thus a feeling of
is the result. This tatwic disturbance of the mind will, as long as it
has sufficient strength, give its own color to all perceptions and
They will not appear in their true light, but as causes of
Thus they say that true lovers see all things rose-colored. The
of a face we love to see causes a partial running of currents into one
another, and a certain amount of satisfaction is the result. We forge
we are seeing a face: we are only conscious of some cause resulting in
a state of satisfaction. That cause of satisfaction we call by
names. Sometimes we call it a flower, at others we call it a moon.
we feel that the current of life is flowing from those dear eyes, at
we recognize nectar itself in that dear embrace. Such are the
of avidya. As Patanjali says, avidya consists in the
of the eternal, the pure, the pleasing, and the spiritual instead of or
rather in the non-eternal, the impure, the painful, and the
Such is the genesis of avidya, which, as has been remarked, is
substantial rality, and not a mere negative conception.
This mental phenomenon causes the four remaining ones.
Asmita (Egoism) ~
Egoism (Asmita) is the conviction that real life (purusha
is one with the various mental and physiological modifications, that
higher self is one with the lower one, that the sum of our percepts and
concepts is the real ego, and that there is nothing beyond. In the
cycle of evolution and in the previous ones, the mind has been chiefly
occupied with these percepts and concepts. The real power of life is
seen making any separate appearance, hence the feeling that the ego
be the same with the mental phenomena. It is plain that avidya,
as defined above, lies at the root of this manifestation.
Raga (Desire to Retain) ~
The misleading feeling of satisfaction above mentioned under
is the cause of this condition. When any object repeatedly produces in
our mind this feeling of satisfaction, our mind engenders the habit of
falling again and again into the same state of tatwic vibration. The
of satisfaction and the picture of the object that seemed to cause that
satisfaction tend to appear together, and this is a hankering after the
object, a desire not to let it escape us -- that is to say, Raga.
Here may investigate more thoroughly the nature of this feeling of
and its opposite: pleasure and pain. The Sanskrit words for these two
states are respectively sukha and dukkha. Both come
the root khan, "to dig"; the prefixes su and dus
the difference. The former prefix conveys the idea of "ease" and it
this idea from the unrestrained easy flow of breath. The radical idea
is, therefore, unrestrained digging -- digging where the soil offers
little resistance. Transferred to the mind, that act becomes sukha,
which makes an easy impression upon it. The act must, in the nature of
its vibrations, coincide with the then prevailing conditions of the
vibrations. Before any percepts or concepts had taken root in the mind,
there was no desire, no pleasure. The genesis of desire and what is
pleasure -- that is, the sense of satisfaction caused by the
produced by external objects -- begins with certain percepts and
taking root in the mind. This taking root really is only an
of the original set of impressions arising out of evolutionary mental
When contact with the external object momentarily removes that cloud
the clear horizon of the mind, the soul is conscious of a feeling of
that avidya connects with the external object. This, as shown
gives birth to desire.
Pain & Dwesha ~
The genesis of pain and the desire to repel (dwesha) is
The radical idea of dukkha (pain) is the act of digging where a
good deal of resistance is experienced. Transferred to the mind, it
an act that encounters resistance from the mind. The mind does not
give place to these vibrations; it tries to repel them with all its
There arises a feeling of privation. It is as if something of its
was being taken away, and an alien phenomenon introduced. The
of privation, or want, is pain, and the repulsive power that these
vibrations excite in the mind is known by the name of dwesha
to repel). The word dwesha comes from the root dwesh,
is a compound of du and ish. Ish itself appears
be a compound root, i and s. The final s is
to the root su, "to breath", "to be in one’s natural state".
root i means "to go", and the root ish, therefore,
to go toward one’s natural state. Transferred to the mind, the word
a synonym of raga. The word du in dwesh
same function as dus in dukkh. Hence dwesh
mean "a hankering after repulsion". Anger, jealousy, hatred, etc., are
all modifications of this, as love, affection and friendship are those
of raga. By what has been said above, it is easy to follow up
genesis of the principle of "tenacity of life". I must now try to
these actions to their prevailing tatwas.
The general color of avidya is, as already said, that of akasa,
darkness. Otherwise, the agni tatwa prevails in anger. If this
accompanied by vayu, there will be a good deal of motion in the
body, prithivi will make it stubborn, and apas easily
will give a tinge of fear.
The same tatwa prevails in love. Prithivi makes it
changeable, agni fretting, apas lukewarm, and akasa
Akasa prevails in fear; it tends to produce a hollow in the
themselves. In prithivi the timid man is rooted to the spot,
he runs away, with apas he succumbs to flattery, and agni
tends to make one vengeful.
Vikalpa is that knowledge which the words imply or signify,
for which there is no reality on the physical plane. The sounds of
connected with its sight have given us names for precepts. With the
or subtractions of the percepts we have also had additions and
of the sounds connected therewith. The sounds constitute our words.
In vikalpa two or more precepts are added together in such
way as to give birth to a concept having no corresponding reality on
physical plane. This is a necessary result of the universal law of visana.
When the mind is habituated to a perception of more phenomena than one,
all of them have a tendency to appear again; and whenever two or more
phenomena coincide in time, we have in our mind a picture of a third
That something may or may not exist in the physical plane. If it does
the phenomenon is vikalpa. If it does, however, we call it Samadhi.
Nidra (Sleep) ~
This also is a phenomenon of the manomaya kosha mind.
philosophers speak of three states in this connection: waking, dream,
This is the ordinary state when the principle of life works in
with the mind. The mind then receives impressions of the external
through the action of the senses. The other faculties of the mind are
mental, and they may work in the waking as in the dreaming state. The
difference is that in dreams the mind does not undergo the perceptive
How is this? These changes of state are always passive, and the soul
no choice in being subjected to them. They come and go as a necessary
of the working of swara in all its five modifications. As has
explained in the articles on Prana, the different sensuous
cease to respond to external tatwic changes when the positive current
more than ordinary strength in the body. The positive force appears to
us in the shape of heat, the negative in the shape of cold. Therefore I
may speak of these forces as heat and cold.
The Upanishad says that in dreamless sleep the soul sleeps
the blood vessels (nadi), the pericardium (puritat), the
hollow of the heart. Has the system of blood vessels, the negative
of Prana, anything to do with dreams also? The state of dream,
to the Indian sage, is an intermediate one between waking and sleeping,
and it is but reasonable to suppose that there must be something in
system that accounts for both these phenomena. What is that something?
It is variously spoken of as the pitta, the agni, and
sun. It is needless to say that these words are meant to denote one and
the same thing. It is the effect produced on the body by the solar
in general, and the agni tatwa in particular. The word pitta
might mislead many, and therefore it is necessary to state that the
does not necessarily always mean lull. There is one pitta that
physiology locates specifically in the heart. This is called the sadhaka
pitta. It is nothing more or less than cardiac temperature, and it
is with this that we have to do in sleep or dream.
According to the Indian philosopher, it is the cardiac temperature
causes the three states in varying degrees. This and nothing more is
meaning of the Vedic text that the soul sleeps in the pericardium, etc.
All the functions of life are carried on properly as long as we have a
perfect balance of the positive and negative currents, heat and cold.
mean of the solar and lunar temperatures is the temperature at which
keeps up its connection with the gross body. The mean is struck after
exposure of a whole day and night. Within this period the temperature
subjected to two general variations. The one is the extreme of the
the other the extreme of the negative. When the positive reaches its
extreme the sensuous organs pass out of time with the external tatwas.
It is a matter of daily experience that the sensuous organs
to external tatwic vibrations within certain limits. If the limit is
either way, the organs become insensible to these vibrations. There is,
therefore, a certain degree of temperature at which the sensuous organs
can ordinarily work; when this limit is exceed either way, the organs
incapable of receiving any impression from without. During day the
life current gathers strength in the heart. The ordinary working
is naturally exceeded by this gathering up of the forces, and the
sleep. They receive no impression from without. This is sufficient to
the dreaming state. As yet the chords of the gross body (sthula
alone have slackened, and the soul sees the mind no longer affected by
external impressions. The mind is, however, habituated to various
and concepts, and by the mere force of habit passes into various
The breath, as it modifies into the five tatwic states, becomes the
of the varying impressions coming up. As already said, the soul has no
part in calling up these visions of its own free will. It is by the
of a necessary law of life that the mind undergoes the various changes
of the waking and the sleeping states. The soul does nothing in
up the phantasms of a dream, otherwise it would be impossible to
horrible dreams. Why, indeed, if the soul is entirely free in dreaming
does it sometimes call into being the hideous appearances that, with
terrible shock, seem to send our very blood back to our heart? No soul
would ever act thus if it could help it.
The fact is that the impressions of a dream change with the
As one tatwa easily glides into the other, one thought gives
to another. The akasa causes fear, shame, desire, and anger;
takes us to different places; the taijas shows us gold and
and the prithivi may bring us enjoyment, smiles, dalliance, and
so on. And then we might have composite tatwic vibrations. We might see
men and women, dances and battles, councils and popular gatherings; we
might walk in gardens, smell the choicest flowers, see the most
spots; we might shake hands with our friends, we might deliver
we might travel into different lands. All these impressions are caused
by the tatwic state of the mental coil, brought about either by (1)
derangement, (2) ordinary tatwic changes, (3) or some other coming
change of state.
As there are three different causes, there are three different
of dreams. The first cause is physical derangement. When the natural
of prana are disturbed so that disease results, or are about to
be so disturbed, the mind in the ordinary way undergoes these tatwic
The sympathetic chords of the minds are excited, and we dream of all
disagreeable accompaniments of whatever disease may be within our
atmosphere in store for us. Such dreams are akin in their nature to the
ravings of delirium; there is only a difference in strength and
When ill, we may in a similar way dream of health and its surroundings.
The second kind of dream is caused by ordinary tatwic changes.
the past, the present, and the future tatwic condition of our
is uniform in its nature, when there is no change, and when no change
in store for us, the stream of dreams is most calm and equable in its
flow. As the atmospheric and the healthful physiological tatwas glide
one into the other, so do the impressions of our minds in this class of
dreams. Ordinarily we cannot even remember these dreams, for in them
is nothing of special excitement to keep them in our memory.
The third kind of change is similar to the first; there is only a
in the nature of the effects. These we call the effects of disease or
as the case may be; here we might group the results under the general
of prosperity or calamity.
The process of this sort of mental excitement is, however, the
in both. The currents of life, pregnant with all sorts of good and
are sufficient in strength while yet potential and only tending towards
the actual, to set the sympathetic chords of the mind in vibration. The
purer the mind, and the freer from dust of the world, the more
it is to the slightest and the remotes tendency of prana
some change. Consequently we become conscious of coming events in
This explains the nature of prophetic dreams. To weigh the force of
dreams, however, to find out exactly what each dream means, is a most
task, and under ordinary circumstances quite impossible. We may make
mistakes at ever step, and we need nothing less than a perfect Yogi
for the right understanding of even our own dreams, to say nothing of
of others. Let us explain and illustrate the difficulties that surround
us in the right understanding of our dreams. A man in the same quarter
of the city in which I live, but unknown to me, is about to die. The
currents of his body, pregnant with death, disturb the atmospheric
and through their instrumentality are spread in various degrees all
the world. They reach me, too, and excite the sympathetic chords of my
mind while I am sleeping. There being no special room in my mind for
man, my impression will be only general. A human being, fair or ugly,
or female, lamented or not, and having other similar qualities, will
into the mid on his deathbed. But what man? The power of complex
unless strongly kept in check by the hardest exercise of yoga,
have its play, and it is almost certain that a man who has previously
connected in my mind with all these tatwic qualities will make his
in my consciousness. It is evident that I shall be on the wrong track.
That someone is dead or dying, we may be sure, but who or where is
for ordinary men to discover. And not only does the manifestation of vikalpa
put us on the wrong track, but all the manifestations of the mind do
The state of samadhi, which is nothing more than putting one’s
into a state of the most perfect amenability to tatwic surroundings, is
therefore impossible unless all the other manifestations are held in
check. Patanjali says, "Yoga is keeping in check the
of the mind."
The dreamy state is maintained as long as and when the cardiac
is not strong enough to affect the mental coil. But with increasing
strength, that too must be affected. The manas and the prana
are made of the same materials and are subject to the same laws. The
subtle these materials are, however, the stronger must be the forces
produce similar changes. All the coils are tuned together, and changes
in the one affect the other. The vibrations per second of the first one
are, however, larger in number than those of the lower one, and this
its subtlety. The higher are always affected through the immediately
principles. Thus the external tatwas will affect prana
but the mind can only be affected through the prana and not
The cardiac temperature is only an indication of the degree of heat in prana.
When sufficient strength is gathered up there, the prana
the mental coil. That too now passes out of tune with the soul. The
vibration can only work at a certain temperature; beyond that it must
to rest. In this state we have no more dreams. The only manifestation
the mind is that of rest. This is the state of dreamless sleep.
I pass on now to the fifth and last mental manifestation.
Smrite (Retention, Memory) ~
As Professor Max Muller has remarked, the original idea at the
(from which smrite) is "to make soft, to melt". The process of
soft or melting consists in the melting thing assuming a consistency
and nearer to the tatwic consistency of the melting force. All change
state is equivalent to the assumption on the part of the thing
of the state of tatwa that causes the change. Hence the
idea of the root, "to love". Love is that state of mind in which it
into the state of the object of love. This change is analogous to the
change that gives us a photograph on a sensitive plate. As in this
the materials on the sensitive plate are melted into the state of the
light, so the sensitive plate of the mind melts into the state of its
The impression upon the mind is deeper, the greater the force of the
rays and the greater the sympathy between the mind and the object
This sympathy is created by stored up potential energy, and the
rays themselves act with greater force when the mind is in a
Every percept takes root in the mind, as explained above. It is
more than a change of the tatwic state of the mind, and what is left
is only a capacity for sooner falling into the same state again. The
falls back into the same state when it is under the influence of the
tatwic surroundings. The presence of the same thing calls back the same
The tatwic surroundings may be of two descriptions, astral and
The astral influence is the effect upon the individual prana of the
of the terrestrial prana at that time. If this effect appears
the agni tatwa, those of our concepts that have a prominent
with this tatwa will make their appearance in the mind. Some of
these are a hankering after wealth, a desire for progeny, etc. If we
the vayu tatwa, a desire to travel may take possession of our
and so on. A minute tatwic analysis of all of our concepts is of the
interest; suffice it to say here that the tatwic condition of prana
often calls up into the mind objects that have made the objects of
in similar previous conditions. It is this power that underlies dreams
of one class. In the waking state too this phase of memory often acts
Local surrounding are constituted by those object which the mind
been accustomed to perceive together with the immediate object of
This is the power of association. Both these phenomena constitute
proper (smrite). Here the object comes first into the mind, and
afterwards the act and the surroundings of perception. Another very
kind of memory is what is called buddhi, literary memory. This
the power by which we call to mind what we have learned of scientific
The process of storing up these facts in the mind is the same, but the
coming back into consciousness differs in this, that here the act first
comes into the mind and then the object. All the five tatwas and the
mental phenomena may cause the phenomenon of memory. Literary memory
a good deal to do with yoga, i.e., the exercise of free will to
direct the energies of the mind into desirable channels. While those
that take root in the mind on account of natural surroundings make the
mind the unwilling slave of the external world, buddhi may lead
it to bliss and freedom. But will these tatwic surroundings always
related phenomena into consciousness? No! This depends upon their
strength. It is well known that when the vibrations per second of akasa
(sound) pass beyond a certain limit either way, they do not affect the
tympanum. It is, for example, only a certain number of vibrations per
of the taijas tatwa that affects the eye, and so on with the
senses. The case with the mind is similar. It is only when mental and
tatwic tensions are equal that the mind begins to vibrate as it comes
contact with the external world. Just as the varying states of the
organs make us more or less sensitive to ordinary sensation, so
men might not hear the same sounds, might not see the same sights, the
mental tatwas might not be affected by percepts of the same strength,
might be affected in different degrees by percepts of the same
The question is, how is the variation of this mental tatwic strength
By exercise, and the absence of exercise. If we accustom the mind, just
as we do the body, to any particular precept or concept, the mind
turns to those percepts and concepts. If, however, we give up the
the mind becomes stiff and ceases by degrees to respond to these
and concepts. This is the phenomenon of forgetting. Let a student whose
literary exercises is just opening the buds of his mind, whose mind is
just gaining strength enough to see into the causes and effects of
give up his exercise. His mind will begin to lose that nice perception.
The stiffer the mind becomes the less will the casual relation affect
and the less he will know of it, until at last he loses all his power.
Ceaseless influence and activity of one sort being impossible in
ordinary course of time, every impression tends to pass away as soon as
it is made. Its degree of stability depends upon the duration of the
But although activity of one sort is impracticable, activity of some
is always present in the mind. With every action the color of the mind
changes, and one color may take so deep a root in the mind as to remain
there for ages upon ages, to say nothing of minutes, hours, days and
Just as time takes ages to demolish the impressions of the physical
just as marks of incision upon the skin may not pass away even in two
so also it takes ages to demolish the impressions of the mind. Hundreds
and thousands of years may this be spent in devachan in order
wear away those antagonistic impressions that the mind has contracted
earthly life. By antagonistic impressions, I mean those impressions
are not compatible with the state of moksha, and have about
a tinge of earthly life.
With every moment the mind changes its color, whether the
be adding or subtracting. These changes are temporary. But there is at
the same time a permanent change going on in the color of the mind.
every little act of our worldly experience, the evolutionary tide of
is gaining strength and passing into variety. The color is constantly
But the same general color is maintained under ordinary circumstances,
during one earthly life. Under extraordinary circumstances we might
men having two memories. Under such circumstances as in the case of
death, the accumulated forces of a whole life combine into a different
color. The tension, so to speak, becomes different from what it was
Nothing can put the mind into the same state again. This general color
of the mind differing from that of other minds, and yet retaining its
character for a whole life, gives us the consciousness of personal
In every act that has been done, or that is, or might be done, the soul
sees the same general color, and hence the feeling of personal
In death the general color changes, and although we have the same mind,
we have a different consciousness. Hence no continuance of the feeling
of personal identity is possible through death.
Such is a brief account of the manomaya kosha, the mental
in the ordinary state. The influence of the higher principle (the vijnana
maya kosha) through the exercise of yoga induces in the mind a
of other manifestations. Psychic manifestations show themselves in the
mind and the prana, in the same way as mental manifestations
seen influencing and regulating the prana.
IX. The Mind (II) ~
As has been seen, the universe has five planes of existence (which
also be divided into seven). The forms of the earth, which are little
of the universe, also have the same five planes. In some of these
the higher planes of existence are absolutely latent. In man, in the
age, the Vijnana maya kosha and the lower principles make their
We have had an insight into the nature of the macrocosmic prana,
and we have seen that almost every point in this ocean of life
a separate individual organism.
The case is similar with the macrocosmic mind. Every truti
that center takes in the whole of the macrocosmic mind in the same way.
From every point the tatwic rays of the mental ocean go to every point,
and thus every point is a little picture of the universal mind. This is
the individual mind.
The Univesal mind is the original of all the centers of Prana,
in the same way as the solar prana is the original of the
of earth-life. Individual mind, too, is similarly the original of all
individual manifestations of the prana maya kosha. Similarly
soul, and the individual spirit on the highest plane, is the perfect
of all that comes below.
With the four higher planes of life there are four different
of consciousness, the waking, the dreaming, the sleeping, and the Tureya.
With these remarks the following extract from the Prasnopnishat
will be intelligible and instructive.
"Now Sauryayana Gargya asked him, ‘Sir, in this body, what sleeps,
what remains awakened? Which of these luminous beings sees dreams? Who
has this rest? In whom do all these [manifestations] rest in the
"He answered him, ‘O Gargya, as the rays of the setting sun are
collected in the luminous shell, and then go out again, as he rises
and again, so all that is collected in the luminous shell of mind
For this reason then, the man does not hear, does not see, does not
does not taste, does not touch, does not take, does not cohabit, does
excrete, does not go on. They say that he sleeps. The fires of prana
alone remain awakened in his body. The apana is the Garhapatya
fire; the Vyana is the right hand fire. The prana is
fire, which is made by the Garhapatya. That which carries
everywhere the oblations of food and air, is the samana. The
(manas) is the sacrificer (vajmana). The Udana is
the fruit of the sacrifice. He carries the sacrificer every day to Brahma.
Here this luminous being [the mind] enjoys great things in dreams.
was seen, he sees again as if it were real; whatever was experienced in
different countries, in different directions, he experiences the same
and again -- the seen and the unseen, the heard or the unheard, thought
or not thought upon. He sees all, appearing as the self of all
"’When he is overpowered by the taijas, then this luminous
sees no dreams in this state; then there appears in the body this rest
[the dreamless sleep].
"’In this state, my dear pupil, all [that is enumerated below]
in the ulterior atma, like birds that resort to a tree for
-- the prithivi composite and the prithivi
the apas composite and the apas non-composite; the taijas
composite and the taijas non-composite; the vayu
and the vayu non-composite; the akasa composite and the
non-composite; the sight and the visible, the hearing and the audible,
the smell and the smellable, the taste and the tasteable, the touch and
the tangible, the speech and the utterable, the hands and whatever
be grasped, the generative organ and the excrements, the feet and that
which may be gone over, the faculty and the object of doubt, the
and the object of egoism, the faculty and the object of memory, the
and that which might be enlightened, the prana and that which
"’The soul is the Vijnana atma, the seer, the toucher, the
the smeller, the taster, the doubter, the ascertainer, the agent. This
soul [the Vijnana atma] stays in the ulterior, unchangeable atma
"’So there are four atma -- the life, the mind, the soul,
spirit. The ultimate force that lies at the root macrocosmic Power of
the manifestation of soul, mind, and the life the principle, is the
By composite is meant that tatwa which has come into
after the division into five, noticed in the first essay. The
means a tatwa before the division into five.
The principal interest of this quotation lies in presenting in
fashion the views that have already been propounded. The next essay
one of the most important functions of the macrocosmic Power and Mind,
that of recording the human actions, and touches upon some other rather
X. The Cosmic Picture Gallery ~
We are directed by our Guru in the philosophy of tatwas to
into vacant space toward the sky, when the sky is perfectly clear, and
fix your attention there with the utmost possible strength.
We are told that after sufficient practice we shall see there a
of pictures -- the most beautiful landscapes, the most gorgeous palaces
of the world, and men, women and children in all the varying aspects of
life. How is such a thing possible? What do we learn by this practical
lesson in the science of attention?
I think I have described with sufficient explicitness in the
the ocean of prana with the sun for its center, and have given a hint
suggestive of the nature of the macrocosmic mental and psychic
It is of the essential nature of these atmospheres that every point
forms a center of action and reaction for the whole ocean. From what
already been said, it will be plain that each of these atmospheres has
a limit of its own. The terrestrial atmosphere extends only to a few
and the external boundary line of this sphere must, it will be readily
understood, give it the appearance of an orange, just like that of the
earth. The case is the same with the solar prana, and the
atmospheres. To begin with the terrestrial Prana, which has the
measured limits of our atmosphere. Every little atom of our earth, and
the most perfect organisms, as well as the most imperfect, makes a
of action and reaction for the tatwic currents of terrestrial Prana.
The prana has the capability of being thrown into the shape of
organism or, to use a different language, the rays of prana as they
upon every organism are returned from that organism according to the
laws of reflection. These rays, as is again well known, carry within
our pictures. Bearing these within them, they go up to the limit of the
terrestrial prana noted above. It will be easy to conceive that
within the imaginary sphere that surrounds our terrestrial prana, we
have a magnified picture of our central organism. Not one organism
but all the smallest points, the most imperfect beginnings of organized
life, as well as the most perfect organisms -- all are pictured in this
imaginary sphere. It is a magnificent picture-gallery; all that is seen
or heard, touched, tasted or smelled on the face of the earth has a
and magnified picture there. At the limit of this terrestrial prana,
the picture-forming tatwic rays exercise a double function.
Firstly they throw the sympathetic tatwic chords of the solar prana
into similar motion. That is to say, these pictures are now consigned
the solar prana, from whence in due course they reach step by
to the universal intelligence itself.
Secondly, these rays react upon themselves, and turning back from
limiting sphere, are again reflected back to the center.
It is these pictures that the attentive mind sees in its noonday
into vacancy, and it is these pictures, seen in this mysterious way,
give us the finest food for our imagination and intellect, and supply
with a far-reaching clue to the nature and working of the laws that
the life of the macrocosm and the microcosm. For these pictures tell us
that the smallest of our actions, on whatever plane of our existence,
that may be so insignificant to us as to pass unnoticed even by
are destined to receive an everlasting record, as the effect of the
and the cause of the future. These pictures again tell us of the
of the five universal tatwas that play so important a part in the
It is these pictures that lead us to the discovery of the manifold
of man and the universe, and of those powers of the mind that have not
yet received recognition at the hands of the official science of the
That these truths have found place in the Upanishad may be
from the following quotation from the Ishopnishat, mantra
"The Atma does not move: is one: is faster than the mind:
senses reach it not: as it is the foremost in motion. It goes beyond
others in rapid motion while itself at rest, in it the Recorder
In the above quotation it is the word Matarishwa that I
"Recorder". Ordinarily the word is translated as air, and so far as I
the word has never been understood clearly in the sense of the
My view, therefore, may be further explained with advantage.
The word is a compound of the words matari and swah.
word matari is the locative case of matri which ordinarily
mother, but which is rendered here as space, as the substratum of
from the root ma, to measure. The second word of the compound
the breather, coming as it does from the root Swas, to breathe.
Hence the compound means "he who breathes in space". In explaining this
word the commentator Sankaracharya goes on to say:
"The word ‘Matarishwa’, which has been derived as above,
the Vayu [the mover] which carries in it all the manifestations
of prana, which is action itself, that which is the substratum
all the groups of causes and effects, and in which all the causes and
are held like beads in a thread, that which is given the name of sutra
[the thread] inasmuch as it holds in itself the whole of the world."
It is further said that the "actions" in the above quotation which
holds in itself are all the movements of the individualized prana,
as well as the actions of heating, lighting, ruining, etc., of the
powers known as Agni, etc.
Now such a thing can by no means be the atmospheric air. It is
that phase of prana which acts as carrying the pictures of all
all motions from every point of space to every other point and to the
of the surya mandala. This phase of prana is nothing
or less than the Recorder. It holds in itself forever and ever all the
causes and effects, the antecedents and consequents of this world of
It is action itself. This means that all action is a change of
It is said in the above quotation that this Recorder lives in the atma.
Inasmuch as the atma exists, this Power always performs its
The prana draws its life itself from the atma, and
we find a similarity between the dualities of the two. It is said of
atma in the above extract that it does not move, and yet it moves
than the mind. These appear to be contradictory qualities at first
and it is such qualities that make the ordinary God of commonplace
the absurd being he always looks to be. Let us, however, apply these
to prana, and once understood on this plane, they will be quite
as clearly understood on the highest plane, the atma. It has been said
more than once that from every point of the ocean of prana the tatwic
fly in every direction, to every point within the surya mandala.
Thus the ocean of prana is in eternal motion. For all this, however,
one point of this ocean ever change its place? Of course not. Thus
every point keeps its place, every point at the same time goes and
itself in every other point.
It is the same simple way that the all-pervading atma is in
motion and yet always at rest.
The case is similar with all the planes of life; all our actions,
our thoughts, all our aspirations, receive an everlasting record in the
books of Matarishwa.
I must now notice these pictures in a little more detail. The
of photography tells us that under certain conditions the visual
can be caught on the plane of the sensitive film. But how can we
for the reading of letters at a distance of 40 miles or more? Such
are a matter of personal experience to me. Very recently, while sitting
abstracted, or it may be in a kind of dream, about 4 o’clock in the
I read a postcard written by a friend to a friend about me, the very
night, at a distance of almost 30 miles. One more thing must be noticed
here, I think. Almost half the card spoke about me, and the rest
to other matters that might have a passing interest for me, but could
be engrossing. Now this rest of the card did not come before my eyes
clearly, and I felt that with all my effort I could not even keep my
upon those lines or a sufficiently long time to understand them, but
irresistibly drawn towards the paragraph that spoke of me, and which I
could read very clearly. Four days after this, the addressee showed it
to me; it was exactly the same, sentence by sentence (so far as I could
remember), as I had seen before. I mention this phenomenon in
as in it the various prerequisites for the production of these
are clearly defined. We learn from an analysis of this incident the
(1) When he was writing, the writer of the card meant that I
read the card, and especially the paragraph that concerned me.
(2) I was very anxious to know the news about me that the card
(3) In the frame of mind mentioned above my friend wrote the card.
happened? The picture of his thoughts on the card, both on the physical
and the mental plane, flew in every direction along the tatwic rays of
the macrocosmic prana and mind. A picture was immediately made
the macrocosmic spheres, and from thence it bent its rays towards the
of the postcard. No doubt all minds in the earth received a shock of
current of thought at the same time. But my mind alone was sensitive to
the card and the news it contained. It was, therefore, on my mind alone
that any impression was made. The rays were, as it were, refracted into
my mind, and the result described above followed.
It follows from this illustration that in order to receive the
rays of the prana we must have a mind in a state of sympathy, and not
antipathy; that is to say, a mind free from all action or intense
for the time being is the fittest receptacle for the pictorial
of the cosmos, and so for a correct knowledge of the past and the
And if we have an intense desire to know the thing, so much the better
for us. It is in this way that the divine occultist reads the records
the past in the book of nature, and it is on this road that the
of this science must walk according to the direction of our Guru.
It must be understood that everything in every aspect that has
or is being n our planet has a legible record in the book of nature,
the tatwic rays of the prana and the mind are constantly
the outlines of these pictures back to us. It is to a great extent due
to this that the past never leaves us, but always lives within us,
many of its most magnificent monuments have been forever effaced from
face of our planet for the ordinary gaze. These returning rays are
inclined toward the center that originally gave them birth. In the case
of the mineral surroundings of terrestrial phenomena these centers are
preserved intact for ages upon ages, and it is quite possible for any
mind, at any time, to turn these rays towards itself by coming into
with any material remains of historic phenomena. A stone unearthed at
is pictured as part of the great event that destroyed the city, and the
rays of that picture naturally are inclined towards that piece of
If Mrs. Denton puts the stone to her forehead, a sympathetic and
condition is the only pre-requisite for the transference of the whole
to her mind. This sympathetic state of mind may be natural to a person,
or it may be acquired. It may be mentioned that what we are in the
of calling natural powers are really acquired, but they have been
in previous incarnations. Shiva says:
"There are some to whom the tatwas become known, when the mind is
by habituation, either by the acquired velocity of other births or by
kindness of the Guru."
It seems that two pieces of granite, the same to all intents and
externally, may have an entirely different tatwic color, for the color
of a thing depends to a very great extent upon its tatwic surrounding.
It is this occult color that constitutes the real soul of things,
the reader must by this time know that the Sanskrit word prana
It is no myth to say that the practiced yogi might bring
picture of any part of the world, past or present, before his mind’s
with a single effort of his will. And not only visual pictures, as our
illustration might lead the reader to think. The preservation and
of visual pictures is only the work of the luminiferous ether, the taijas
tatwa. The other tatwas perform their functions as well. The akasa
or soniferous ether preserves all the sounds that have ever been heard
or are being heard on earth, and similarly the remaining three other
the records of the remaining sensations. We see, therefore, that
all these pictures, a yogi in contemplation might have before
mind’s eye any man at any distance whatsoever and might hear his voice
also. Glyndon, in Italy, seeing and hearing the conversation of Viola
Zanoni in their distant home, is therefore not merely a dream of the
it is a scientific reality. The only thing necessary is to have a
mind. The phenomena of mental telepathy, psychometry, clairvoyance and
clairaudience, are all phases of this tatwic action. Once understood,
is all a very simple affair. It may be useful in this place to offer
reflections as to how these pictorial representations of a man’s
go to shape his future. I shall first attempt to show how complete the
record is. At the outset I may remind the reader of what I have said
the tatwic color of everything. It is this that gives individuality
to a piece of stone.
This pictorial whole is only the cosmic counterpart of the
maya kosha (the coil of life). It is possible that anyone who may
have thoroughly understood the manner of the storing up of tatwic
in the individual prana may more easily comprehend the
in its cosmic counterpart. In fact, the macrocosmic and microcosmic
are both links of the same chain, and both will conduce to the thorough
understanding of the whole. Suppose a man stands on a mountain, with
finest prospect of nature stretched out before his eyes. As he stands
contemplating this wealth of beauty, his picture in this posture is at
once made in the ecliptic. Not only is his external; appearance
but the hue of is life receives the fullest representation. If the agni
tatwa prevails in him at that moment, if there is the light of
in his face, if the look in his eyes is calm, collected and pleasant,
he is so much absorbed in the gaze as to forget everything else, tatwas
separate or in composite will do their duty, and all the satisfaction,
calmness, pleasure, attention or inattention will be represented to the
finest degree in the sphere of the ecliptic. If he walks or runs, comes
down or jumps up or forward, the tatwic rays of prana picture
generating and the generated colors with the utmost faithfulness in the
same retentive sphere.
A man stands with a weapon in his hand, with the look of cruelty
his eye, with the glow of inhumanity in his veins, his victim, man or
helpless or struggling before him. The whole phenomenon is instantly
There stands the murderer and the victim in their truest possible
there is the solitary room or the jungle, the dirty shed or the filthy
slaughterhouse; all are there as surely and certainly as they are in
eye of the murderer r the victim himself.
Let us again change the scene. We have a liar before us. He tells
lie, and thereby injures some brother man. No sooner is the word
than the akasa sets to work with all possible activity. There
have the most faithful representation. The liar is there from the
that the thought if the injured person throws into the individual prana;
there is the injured man also. The words are there with all the energy
of the contemplated wrong. And if that contemplated wrong is completed,
there is also the change for the worse that his mendacity has produced
in the victim. There is nothing of the surroundings, the antecedent and
the consequent postures -- the causes and effects -- that is not
The scene changes, and we come to a thief. Let the night be as
as it may, let the thief be a circumspect and wary as he can; our
is there with all its colors well defined, though perhaps not so
The time, the house, the wall, the sleeping and injured inmates, the
property, the subsequent day, the sorrowful householders, with all the
antecedent and consequent postures, are pictured. And this is not only
for the murderer, the thief, or the liar, but for the adulterer, the
the villain who thinks his crime is hidden from every human eye. Their
deeds, like all deeds that have ever been done, are vividly, clearly,
recorded in nature’s picture gallery. Instances might be multiplied,
it is unnecessary. What has been said is sufficient to explain the
and the application is useful and not very difficult. But now we must
our pictures back from our gallery.
We have seen that time and space and all the possible factors of a
receive an accurate representation there, and these tatwic rays are
to the time that saw them leaving their record on the plane of our
region. When, in the course of ages, the same Time throws its shade
upon the earth, the pictorial rays, stored up long since, energize
matter, and shape it according to their own potential energy, which now
begins to become active. It will be readily conceded that the sun dives
life to the earth -- to men as well as to vegetables and minerals.
life takes human shape in the womb of the mother, and this is only an
of some one set of our pictorial rays into the sympathetic life that
shows itself on our planet. These rays thus produce for themselves a
human body in the womb of the mother, and then having the now somewhat
different and differing maternal body, start on their terrestrial
As time advances, the pictorial representation changes it tatwic
and with it the gross body does the same.
In the case of the rebirth of the man we saw gazing on the
the calm, watchful, contented attitude of the mind that he cultivated
has its influence upon the organism now, and once more the man enjoys
beauty of nature and so is pleased and happy.
But now take the case of the cruel murderer. He is by nature
and he still yearns to murder and destroy, and he could not be
from his horrible practices; but the picture of the ebbing life of his
victim is now part and parcel of his constitution, the pain, the
and the feeling of despair and helplessness are there in all their
Occasionally he feels as if the blood of life were leaving his very
There is no apparent cause, and yet he suffers pain; he is subject to
fits of terror, despair and helplessness. His life is miserable; slowly
but surely it wanes away.
Let the curtain fall on this stage. The incarnated thief now comes
the stage. His friends leave him one by one or he is driven away from
The picture of the lonely house must assert its power over him. He is
to a lonely house. The picture of somebody coming into the house
some unfrequented part and stealing some of his property, makes its
with the fullest strength. The man is doomed to eternal cowardice. He
towards himself the same grief and heart-rending that he caused to
long ago. This posture of heart-rending grief has its influence upon
in the ordinary way, and it creates its surrounding under the same
These illustrations are sufficient to explain the law according to
these cosmic pictures govern our future lives. Whatever other sins may
be committed under the innumerable circumstance of life, their tatwic
can be traced easily through the pictorial representations of the
It is not difficult to understand that the picture of each
organism upon the face of the earth is pictured in prana, and
is these pictures, in my opinion, that correspond to the ideas of Plato
on the highest plane of existence. A very interesting question arises
this point. Are these pictures of eternal existence, or do they only
into existence after formations have taken place on the terrestrial
nihilo nihil fit is a well-known doctrine of philosophy, and I hold
with Vyasa that the representations (what we now call pictures) of all
objects in their generic, specific, and individual capacities have been
existing forever in the universal mind. Swara, or what may be
the Breath of God, the Breath of Life, is nothing more or less than
intelligence, as has been explained, or intelligent motion, if such an
expression is better understood. Our book says:
"In the swara are pictured, or represented, the Vedas
and the Sastras, in the swara the highest Gandharvas,
and in the swara all the three worlds; the swara is atma
It is not necessary to enter more thoroughly into a discussion of
problem; the suggestion is sufficient. It might be said, however, that
all formation in progress on the face of our planet is the assuming by
everything under the influence of solar ideas of the shape of these
The process is quite similar to the process of wet earth taking
of anything that is pressed upon it. The idea of anything is its soul.
Human souls (prana maya kosha) exist in this sphere just
the souls of other things, and are affected in that home of theirs by
experience in the manner mentioned above.
In the course of ages, these ideas make their appearance in the
plane again and again, according to the laws hinted at previously.
I have also said that these pictures have their counterparts in
mental and the higher atmospheres. Now it might be said that just as
solar pictures recur again and again, there are times at which these
pictures also recur. The ordinary deaths known to us are terrestrial
This means to say that the influence of the solar pictures is withdrawn
for some time from the earth. After some time, the duration depending
the colors of the picture, they throw their influence again upon the
and we have terrestrial rebirth. We may die any number of terrestrial
and yet our solar life might not be extinct.
But men of the present manwantara might die solar deaths
certain circumstances. Then they pass out of the influence of the sun
are born again only in the region of the second Manu. Men who
die solar deaths will remain in the state of bliss all through the
Their rebirth might also be delayed for more than one manwantara.
All these pictures remain in the bosom of Manu during the manwantarapralaya.
In the same way, men might undergo higher deaths, and pass their time
a state of even higher and more enduring bliss. The mental coil may be
broken, too, just as the gross, the terrestrial, and the solar might
and then the blessed soul remains in bliss and unborn until the dawn of
the second day of Brahma. Higher still and longer still is the
that follows Brahmic death. Then the spirit is at rest for the
and the Mahapralaya that follows. After this it will be easy to
understand the meaning of the Hindu doctrine, that during the night of Brahma
the human soul and the whole of the universe is hidden in the bosom of Brahma
like the tree in the seed.
XI. The Manifestations of
Psychic Force is the form of matter known as vijnana in
connection with the mental and life matters. In the quotation given
from the Ishnopnishat, it has been said that the deva
the macrocosmic and microcosmic manifestations of prana -- do
reach the atma, inasmuch as it moves faster than even the mind.
The tatwas of prana move with a certain momentum. The
has greater velocity, and psychic matter greater still. In the presence
of the higher, the lower plane always appears to be at rest, and is
amenable to its influence. Creation is a manifestation of the various
spheres with their various centers. In each of these spheres -- the prana,
the manas, and the vijnana -- the universal tatwic rays
birth to innumerable individualities on their own planes. Each truti
on the plane of prana is a life-coil (prana maya kosha).
The rays that give existence to each of these truti come from
and all of the other truti, which are situated in the space
to each of the five tatwas and their innumerable admixtures,
which represent therefore all the possible tatwic manifestations of
On the plane of manas each mental truti represents
individual mind. Each individual mind is given birth to by mental
rays from the other quarter. These rays came from all the other truti
situated under the dominion of each of the five tatwas and
innumerable admixtures and representing therefore all the possible
phases of mental life.
On the psychic plane, each truti represents an individual
brought into existence by the psychic tatwas flying from every
to every other point. These rays come from every truti situated
under the dominion of each of the five tatwas and their innumerable
and thus representing all the possible manifestations of psychic life.
The latter class of truti on the various planes of
are the so-called gods and goddesses. The former class are coils that
themselves in earthly life.
Each psychic truti is thus a little reservoir of every
tatwic phase of life that might manifest itself on the lower planes of
existence. And so, sending its rays downward just like the sun, these truti
manifest themselves in the truti of the lower planes. According
to the prevalent phase of tatwic color in these three sets of truti,
the vijana (psychic) selects its mind, the mind selects its
and in the end the life-coil creates its habitation in the earth.
The first function of the individual truti vijana is to
in the life of the mental truti just as the macrocosmic vijana
sustains the life of the macrocosmic mind. And so also does the mental truti
sustain the life of the individual truti of prana. In
state, the souls are conscious only of their subjectivity with
to the mind and the prana. They know that they sustain the
they know themselves, they know all the other psychic truti,
they know the whole of the macrocosm of Iswara, the tatwic rays
reflecting every point into their indvidual consciousness. They are
they are perfectly happy because they are perfectly balanced.
When the prana maya kosha enters the habitation of earth,
soul is assailed by finitude for the first time. This means a
or rather the creation of a new curtailed consciousness. For long ages
the soul takes no note of these finite sensations, but as the
gain greater and greater strength they are deluded into a belief of
with these finite impressions. From absolute subjectivity consciousness
is transferred to relative passivity. A new world of appearances is
This is their fall. How these sensations and perceptions, etc., are
and how they affect the soul, already has been discussed. How the soul
is awakened out of this forgetfulness and what it does then to liberate
itself will come further on.
It will be seen at this stage that the soul lives two lives, an
and a passive. In the active capacity it goes on governing and
the substantial life of the lower truti. In the passive
it forgets itself and deludes itself into identity with the changes of
the lower truti imprinted upon them by the external tatwas. The
consciousness is transferred to finite phases.
The whole fight of the soul upon reawakening consists in the
to do away with its passive capacity and regain this pristine purity.
fight is yoga, and the powers that yoga evokes in the mind and
are nothing more than tatwic manifestations of the psychic force,
to destroy the power of the external world on the soul. This constant
of phase in the new unreal finite coils of existence is the upward
of the life current from the beginnings of relative consciousness to
original absolute state.
There is no difficulty in understanding the how of these
They are there in the psychic reservoir, and they simply show
when the lower trutis assume the state of sympathetic polish and tatwic
inclination. Thus the spectrum only shows itself when certain objects
the polish and form of a prism.
Ordinarily the psychic force does not manifest itself either in
or the mind in any uncommon phase. Humanity progresses as a whole, and
whatever manifestations of this force take place, they take in races as
a whole. Finite minds are therefore slow to recognize it.
But all the individuals of a race do not have the same strength of
phase. Some show greater sympathy with the psychic force in one or more
of its component tatwic phases. Such organisms are called mediums. In
the particular tatwic phase of psychic force with which they are in
sympathy than the rest of their mind, makes its uncommon appearance.
difference of individual sympathy is caused by a difference of degree
the commissions and omission of different individuals, or by the
In this way, this psychic force might manifest itself in the shape
all the innumerable possibilities of tatwic combination. So far as
is concerned, these manifestations might cover the whole domain of
manifestations in the visible macrocosm (and also in the invisible,
however, we do not know). These manifestations may violate all our
notions of time and space, cause and effect, force and matter.
utilized, this force might very well perform the functions of the vril
of "The Coming Race". The following essays will trace some of
manifestations on the plane of the mind.
XII. Yoga -- The Soul
I have described two principles of the human constitution: prana
and manas. Something also has been said about the nature and
of the soul. The gross body was omitted as needing no special handling.
The five manifestations of each of the two principles (the prana
and the manas), it may be mentioned, may be either fortunate or
unfortunate. Those manifestations are fortunate which are consonant
our true culture, which lead us to our highest spiritual development,
bonum of humanity. Those that keep us chained to the sphere of
births and deaths may be called unfortunate. On each of the two planes
of life (prana and manas) there is a possibility of
existence. We might have a fortunate and an unfortunate prana,
happy and an unhappy mind. Considering these two to be four, the number
of principles of the human constitution might be raised from five to
The unhappy intelligences of the one plane ally themselves with the
ones of the other, the happy ones with the happy, and we have in the
constitution an arrangement of principles something like the following:
(1) The gross body (sthula sarira), (2) the unhappy prana,
(3) the unhappy mind, (4) the happy prana, (5) the happy mind,
the soul (vijana), and (7) the spirit (ananda).
The fundamental division in the fivefold division is upadhi, the
and distinct state of matter (prakriti) in each case; in the
division it is the nature of Karma with reference to its effect
upon human evolution.
Both the sets of these powers, the blessed and the unhappy, work
the same plane, and although the blessed manifestations tend in the
run towards the state of moksha, that state is not reached
and until the higher powers (the siddhi) are induced in the
by the exercise of yoga. Yoga is a power of the soul.
it is necessary to say something about the soul and Yoga before
the higher powers of the mind can be intelligibly described. Yoga
is the science of human culture in the highest sense of the word. Its
is the purification and strengthening of the mind. By its exercise is
with high aspirations, and acquires divine powers, while the unhappy
die out. The second and third principles are burnt up by the fire of
knowledge, and the state of what is called salvation in life is
By and bye the fourth principle too becomes neutralized, and the soul
into a state of manwantaric moksha. The soul may pass higher
according to the strength of her exercise. When the mind too is at
as in sound sleep (sushupti) during life, the omniscience of the
is reached. There is still a higher state: the state of ananda.
Such are the results of yoga. I must now describe the nature of
the thing and the process of acquirement.
So far as the nature of Yoga is concerned, I may say that
has reached its present state of development by the exercise of this
power. Nature herself is a great Yogi, and humanity has been,
is being, purified into perfection by the exercise of her sleepless
Man need only imitate the great teacher to shorten the road to
for his individual self. How are we to render ourselves fit for that
imitation? What are the steps on the great ladder of perfection? These
things have been discovered for us by the great sages of yore, and
little book is only a short and suggestive transcript of so much of our
past experiences and future potentialities as is recorded in the book
nature. This little book uses the word Yoga in a double
The first is a state of the mind otherwise called samadhi; the
is a set of acts and observances that induce that state in the mind.
definition given by the sage is a negative one, and is applicable only
on the plane of the mind. The source of the positive power lies in the
higher principle; the soul Yoga (it is said) is the keeping in
of the five manifestations of the mind. The very wording of the
is involved in the supposition of the existence of a power that can
and keep the mental manifestations in check. This power is familiar to
us as freedom of the will. Although the soul is deluded by the
of egoism (asmita) on the mental plane into regarding herself as
a slave of the second and third principles, that is not the fact, and
awakening takes place as soon as the chord of egoism is slackened to a
certain extent. This is the first step in the initiation by nature
of the race of man. It is a matter of necessity. The side-by-side
with each other of the second and third and the fourth and fifth
weakens the hold of natural mental asmita upon the soul. "I am
or of these mental manifestations", says Egoism. Such a state of
however, cannot last long. These manifestations are double in nature;
one is just the reverse of the other. Which of them is one with the
the unhappy or the blessed? No sooner is this question asked than the
takes place. It is impossible to answer any of these questions in the
and the soul naturally ends in discovering that she is a separate thing
from the mind, and that although she has been the slave, she might be
she naturally is) the Lord of the mind. Up to this time the soul has
tossed this way or that in obedience to the tatwic vibrations of the
Her blind sympathy with the mental manifestations gives her unison with
the mind, and hence the tossing. The chord of sympathy is loosened by
waking. The stronger the nature, the greater the departure from unison.
Instead of the soul being tossed by the mental vibrations, it is now
that the mind should vibrate in obedience to the vibrations of the
This assumption of lordship is the freedom of the will, and this
of the mind to the vibrations of the soul is Yoga. The
evoked in the mind by the external tatwas must now give way to
stronger motion coming from the soul. By and bye the mental colors
their very nature, and the mind comes to coincide with the soul. In
words, the individual mental principle is neutralized, and the soul is
free in her omniscience.
Let us now trace the acquirements of the mind step by step up to samadhi.
Samadhi, or the mental state induced by the practice of Yoga,
has two descriptions. As long as the mind is not perfectly absorbed in
the soul the state is called samprajnata. That is the state in
the discovery of new truths follows labor in every department of
The second is the state of perfect mental absorption. It is called asamprajnata.
In this there is no knowing, no discovering of unknown things. It is a
state of intuitive omniscience. Two questions are naturally suggested
the awakening stage:
"If I am these manifestations, which of them am I? I think I am
of them. What am I then? What are these?"
The second question is solved in the samprajnata samadhi,
first in the other. Before entering further into the nature of samadhi,
a word about habituation and apathy. These two are mentioned by
as the two means of checking mental manifestation, and it is very
to understand them thoroughly The manifestation of apathy is the
in the mind of the color of the soul when she becomes aware of her free
nature and consequently is disgusted at the mastery of the passions. It
is a necessary consequence of the awakening. Habituation is the
of the state so as to confirm it in the mind.
The confirmation of the mind in this state means a state of
mental inactivity. By this I mean that the five ordinary manifestations
are at rest for the first time. This being so, the mind is for the time
being left free to receive any influences. Here for the first time we
the influence of the soul in the shape of curiosity (Vitarka).
is this? What is that? How is this? How is that? This is the form in
curiosity shows itself in the mind. Curiosity is a desire to know, and
a question is a manifestation of such a desire. But how does man become
familiar with questions? The mental shape of curiosity and question
be understood easily by paying a little attention to the remarks I have
made on the genesis of desire. The process of the birth of
curiosity is similar to that of the birth of desire. In the latter the
impulse comes from the external world through Prana, and in the
former, directly from the soul. The place of pleasure in this is
by the reflection into the mind of the knowledge of the soul that self
and independence are better than non-self and the enslaving cords
The strength of the philosophical curiosity depends upon the strength
this reflection, and as this reflection is rather faint in the
(as it generally is in the present state of the spiritual development),
the hold of philosophical curiosity upon the mind bears almost no
in strength with the hold of desire.
Philosophical curiosity is then the first step of mental ascent
To begin with, we place before our mind every possible manifestation of
nature, and try to fit in every possible phase of it with every related
manifestation. In plain language, it is to apply ourselves to the
of all the branches of natural science one by one.
This is the natural result of curiosity. By this attempt to
the relations already existing or possible, essential or potential,
the phenomena of nature, another power is induced in the mind.
calls this power vichara, meditation. The radical idea of the
is to go among the various relations of the portions that make up the
subject of our contemplation. It is only a deeper hold on the mind of
philosophical curiosity noticed above. The third state of this samadhi
is what is called ananda, happiness or bliss. As long as there
curiosity or meditation, the mind is only assuming the consistency of
soul. This means to say that as yet the vibrations of the soul are only
making way into the mind; they have not yet entirely succeeded. When
third stage is arrived at, however, the mind is sufficiently polished
receive the full and clear image of the sixth coil. The mind is
of this image as bliss. Every man who has devoted himself to the study
of nature has been in that coveted state for however short a time. It
very difficult to make it intelligible by description, but I am sure
the majority of my readers are not strangers to it.
But whence does this bliss come? What is it? I have called it a
of the soul. But first of all, what is the soul? From what I have
up to this time, the reader will no doubt surmise that I understand the
to be only a picture of the gross body, the prana, and the
so far only as its constitution is concerned.
I have mentioned that in the macrocosm the sun is in the center,
the atmosphere of the second principle, and that the ecliptic marks the
shape of this principle. I have also mentioned that the individual
principle is only a picture of this macrocosmic whole. I have mentioned
again that in the macrocosm virat is the center and manu
the atmosphere of second principle. This atmosphere is made of the five
universal tatwas, just like prana, the only difference
that the mental tatwas undergo a greater number of vibrations
second than the tatwas of prana. I have also said that
individual mind is an exact picture of the macrocosmic mind, the aspect
differing with the surroundings of time, just as in the case of prana.
Now I have to say the same with regard to the soul. In the
there is Brahma for the center, and vijana for the
of this principle. As the earth moves in prana, as the sun
in manu, as the manu (or virat) breathes in vijana,
so the soul breathes in the highest atmosphere of ananda. Brahma
is the center of spiritual life, as the sun is the center of prana,
and virat the center of mental life. These centers are similar
luminosity to the sun, but ordinary senses cannot perceive them because
the number of tatwic vibrations per second is beyond their power.
The soul of the universe (the vijana maya kosha), with Brahma
for its center, is our psychic ideal.
The tatwic wires of this sphere extend over what we call a Brahmanda.
This they do in a way similar to the tatwic rays of prana with
we are familiar through the medium of gross matter. This center with
universe forms the self-conscious universe. All the lower centers exist
within the bosom of this atmosphere.
Under the influence of gross matter the mental macrocosm registers
external pictures; that is to say, it gains the power of manifesting
in the five ways I have described in the essay on mind. Under the Brahma,
however, the mental macrocosm (Manu) attains the higher powers
discussion. This double influence changes, after a time, the nature of Manu
itself. The universe has, as it were, a new mind after every manwantara.
This change is always for the better. The mind is ever spiritualizing.
The later the Manu the more spiritual. A time will come when
present macrocosmic mind will be entirely absorbed into the soul. The
is the case with the microcosm of man. Thus Brahma is by nature
omniscient. He is conscious of a self. The types of everything that was
or is to be in the process of time are but so many varying compositions
of his tatwas. Every phase of the universe, with its
and consequents, is in him. It is himself, his own self-consciousness.
One mind is absorbed in him in the space of fourteen manwantara.
The motion of the mental tatwas is so much accelerated that they become
spiritual. By the time that this takes place in the Universe the
of the tatwas of prana too are being accelerated under
influence of Manu until the prana itself is turned into
of the next period. And again, while this is being done, the gross
is similarly developing itself into prana.
This is the process of involution, but for the present let us
it here and resume the subject.
The human soul is an exact picture of this macrocosmic principle.
is omniscient like its prototype, and has the same constitution. But
omniscience of the human soul is yet latent on account of her
The sixth principle (absolute) has developed only a little. Humanity in
general has only a very dim notion of infinity, of Godhead, and of all
such subjects. This means that the rays of the infinite are only just
our sixth principle into active life at this stage of our progress.
in the process of time the rays of the infinite gather sufficient
our soul will come out in her true light. We might accelerate this
by vairagya (apathy), which gives strength to Yoga, as
The means of strengthening Yoga deserve separate
Some of them help to remove those influences and forces that are
to progress; others, such as the contemplation of the divine principle,
accelerate the process of development of the human soul, and the
absorption of the mind in the soul. At present I have simply to
the nature of the blissful samadhi, which I spoke of as being
by the reflection of the soul in the mind.
This reflection simply means the assumption by the mind of the
of the soul. The mind passes from its own ordinary state to the state
the higher energy of the soul. The greater number of tatwic vibrations
per second make their way in the matter of a lower number of tatwic
per second. The English language recognizes this rising up of the mind,
this passing out of itself, as elation, and this is the meaning of the
word ananda as qualifying the third state of the samprajnata
samadhi. The ananda maya kosha takes its name from its
the state of the highest upheaval. Every moment of ananda is a
towards the absorption of the mind as it changes its nature, passing
into a higher state of consistency. That state which in ananda
appeared in the moment of triumph now becomes part and parcel of the
This confirmation of the higher energy is known by the name of Asmita,
which may be translated by the word egoism, but means making part and
XIII. Yoga (II) ~
The object in view in this article is to mark the stages along the
of mental matter to its final absorption in the soul. In the last essay
I brought the mind to the state of samprajnata samadhi. It is
this state that the mind acquires the power of discovering new truths,
and seeing new combinations of things existent. As this state has been
attained in the long cycle of bygone ages, man has acquired a knowledge
of science to its present stage of development, and the attainment of
quantum of knowledge has been the means of raising our minds to our
pitch of perfection, when we have learned to say that these great
are native to the human mind. As I have shown, these powers have become
native to the mind only after long submission of the mind to the
of the soul.
By the constant exercise of this samadhi the mind learns
towards those cosmic influences that are in their very nature
to those bad powers of our constitution that check our progress. These
powers tend to die out naturally. The ultimate goal of this march is
the state of mind when its manifestation become entirely potential. The
soul, if she pleases, might propel them by her inherent power into the
domain of the actual, but they lose all power to draw the soul after
When this state is reached, or when it is about to be reached,
powers begin to show themselves in the mind, which in the present cycle
are by no means common. This state is technically called paravairagya,
or the Higher Apathy.
The word vairagya usually is rendered into English as
and is looked upon with disfavor by modern thinkers. This is, I
owing to a misconception of the meaning of the word. It is generally
that misanthropy is the only indication, or perhaps the highest
of this mental state. Nothing can be further from the intention of
sages who put vairagya down as the highest means of the
of bliss. Vairagya or apathy is defined by Vyasa in his
on The Aphorisms of Yoga as the "final state of perfected
It is that state in which the mind, coming to know the real nature of
would no longer be deluded into false pleasure by the manifestations of
When this upward inclination becomes confirmed, when this habit of
towards the divine becomes second nature, the name of paravairagya
is given to the complementary mental state.
This state is reached in many ways, and the road is marked by many
defined stages. One way is the practice of samprajnata samadhi.
By the constant practice of this samadhi, to which the mind
of itself when it once tastes the bliss of the fourth stage of that
the mind is habituated to a state of faith in the efficacy of the
This faith is nothing more than a state of mental lucidity in which the
yet unknown truths of nature begin to throw their shadows before them.
The mind begins to feel truth in any and every place, and drawn by the
taste of bliss (ananda), sets to work out the process of its
with greater and greater zeal. This faith has been called Sraddha
by Patanjali, and he calls the consequent zeal Virya.
Confirmed in this zeal and working on, the manifestation of memory
in naturally. This is a high state of evolution. Every truth becomes
before the mind’s eye at the slightest thought, and the four stages of samadhi
make their appearance again and again till the mind becomes very nearly
a mirror of Nature.
This corresponds to the state of paravairagya, which in
place would also be attained by the contemplation of the High Prototype
of the Soul. This is the Iswara of Ptanjali, the macrocosmic
that remains forever in that entity’s soul of pristine purity. It is
of that I have spoken as the self-conscious universe.
This Iswara, as I conceive it, is only a macrocosmic
similar in nature to the sun, though higher in function.
As the sun with his ocean of Prana is the prototype of our
maya kosha, so Iswara is the great prototype of our souls.
is the sixth principle of not only a phase of the existence of this
being prolonged as a separate phase into the lower principles, yet
to emerge again into its own true self? Just as I have shown that the
of life live in the sun after our terrestrial death, to recur again and
again into actual life, so too the soul lives in the Iswara in
similar fashion. We may look upon this entity as being the group of all
the liberated souls, but at the same time we must remember that the
souls also are his undeveloped reflections, destined in the long run to
attain their original state. It is therefore necessary to assume the
existence of Iswara, and of other souls in Iswara.
This macrocosmic psychic center, this ideal of the sixth principle
man, is the great reservoir of every actual force in the universe. He
the true type of the perfection of the human soul. The incidents of
and physical existence which, however perfect in themselves, are to His
more comprehensive nature mere imperfections, find no place in Him.
is no misery for Him -- the five comprehensive miseries of Patanjali
enumerated above -- for misery can arise only in the retrograde process
of the first awakening of the mind, only being caused by sensation, and
the human sixth principle not yet gaining sufficient strength in the
of time to draw the mind towards itself and out of the domain of the
to make it what its prototype originally is, the rod of dominion, and
as sensation has made it, the instrument of slavery.
By this conemplation of the sixth principle of the Universe, a
is established naturally between it and the human soul. That sympathy
only necessary for the Universal Tatwic Law to work with greater
The human soul begins to be cleansed of the dust of the world and in
turn affects the mind in a similar way, and therein the yogi
conscious of this influence by the slackening of the fetters forged by Prakriti,
and a daily, hourly strengthening of heavenward aspirations.
The human soul then begins to become a center of power for its own
universe, just as Iswara is the center of power in His
The microcosm then becomes a perfect little picture of the macrocosm.
perfection is attained, all the mental and physiological tatwas of the
microcosm, and to a certain extent of the surrounding world, become the
slaves of the soul. Whitherso it may incline, the tatwas are at its
He may will, and the atmospheric Vayu tatwa, with any amount of
strength he pleases or is capable of centering, will set in motion any
piece of furniture within the reach of his will. He may will, and at
instant the apas tatwa will slake your thirst, cure your fever, or in
wash off the germs of any disease. He may will, and any and every tatwa
on either of the lower planes will do its work for him. These high
do not wait to come in all of a sudden, but show themselves gradually,
and according to the special aptitudes in special forms.
But a description of these powers is not my present business. My
purpose is to show in what way, according to the universal law of
by contemplation of the macrocosmic sixth principle, that the human
becomes the means for the mind attaining the state called paravairagya.
Besides these two, the author of The Aphorisms of Yoga
five more ways in which the minds of those who are already by the power
of previous karma inclined towards the divine, are seen to work
out their way to the sate of paravairagya.
This first way is the habituating of the mind to the
of pleasure, sympathy, elation, and pity toward the comfortable, the
and the vicious respectively. Every good man will tell us that the
of joy at the comfort of another is a high virtue. Why, what harm is
in jealousy? I think no other science except the philosophy of the tatwas
explains with any amount of satisfaction the reason why of such
We have seen that in a state of enjoyment, comfort, pleasure,
and the like, the prithivi or the apas tatwa prevails in the prana
and the mind. It is evident that if we put our minds in the same, we
either of the two tatwas in our life and mental principles. What will
the result? A process of purification will set in. Both the principles
will being to be cleansed of any trace of defect that the excess of any
remaining tatwas may have given to our constitution.
All those physiological or mental causes that induce inattention
the mind are removed. Bodily distempers take their leave for they are
result of the disturbance of the balance of the physiological tatwas,
and comfort, pleasure and enjoyment are foreign to these. The one
the other. As the balance of the tatwas brings comfort and
of life, so the sense of comfort and enjoyment that colors our prana
and mind when we put ourselves in sympathy with the comfortable,
the balance of our tatwas.
And when the balance of tatwas is restored, what remains?
to work, doubt, laziness and other feelings of that kind can no longer
stand, and the only result is the restoration of the mind to perfect
As Vyasa says in his commentary, the White Law makes its appearance in
the mind. Such and in a similar way is the result of the manifestation
of the other qualities. But for such a result to beachieved, there must
be long and powerful application.
The next method is Pranayama, deep expiration and
This too conduces to the same end and in the same way. The drawing of
breaths in and out has to some extent the same effect as running and
hard exercise. The heat that is produced burns down certain elements of
disease, which if it desirable should be burnt. But the practice in its
effects differs for the better from hard exercise. In hard exercise the
begins to play, and that is not good for physiological health. Pranayama,
if properly performed, however, is beneficial from a physiological as
as from a mental point of view. The first effect that is produced in pranayama
is the general prevalence of the prithivi tatwa. It is
to remind the reader that the apas tatwa carries the breath
down, and that the Prithivi is the next. In our attempt to draw
deeper breaths than usual, the prithivi tatwa cannot but be
and the general prevalence of this tatwa, with the consequent
tinge of the circle of light round our heads, can never fail to cause
of purpose and strength of attention. The apas tatwa comes in
This is the silvery hue of innocence that encircles the head of a saint
and marks the attainment of paravairagya.
The next is the attainment of the two-fold lucidity -- the
and the cardiac. The sensuous lucidity is the power of the senses to
the changes of prana. The previously trained attention,
to special aptitudes, is centered on any one of the five senses or
If centered in the eyes, one can see the physiological and atmospheric
colors of prana. I can affirm this by personal experience. I
see the various colors of the seasons. I can see the rain coming an
two hours, and sometimes even two days before an actual shower. Bright
sheets of the green washed into coolness and purity by the white make
appearance anywhere about me -- in the room, in the heavens, on the
before me, on the wall in front. When this happens, I am sure that rain
is in the air and will come down soon. If the green is streaked with
it takes some time to come, but it is surely preparing.
These remarks are enough for color. The power can be made to show
by a sustained attempt to look into space, or anything else, as the
a star, a jewel, and so on. The remaining four senses also attain
powers, and sounds, smells, tastes and touches that ordinary humanity
perceive begin to be perceived by the Yogi.
The cardiac lucidity is the power of the mind to feel and also
of the senses to perceive thoughts. In the article on Prana, I
given a chart of the head, specifying the places and giving the colors
of the various kinds of mental manifestations. These colors are seen by
anyone who has or acquires the power, and they constitute the surest
in which to read the thoughts of any man. By sustained practice one
recognize the finest shades.
One can also feel these thoughts. The modifications of thought
along the universal tatwic wires affect any and every man. They each
a distinct impulse to the prana maya kosha, and thus a
impulse to the throbs of the brain and the more easily perceivable
of the heart. A man who studies these throbs of the heart and sits with
his attention centered into the heart (while it is of course open to
influence) learns to feel every influence there. The effect on the
of the mental modifications of other people is a fact that, so far as
is concerned, may be verified by the commonest experience.
This sensuous or cardiac lucidity, as the case may be, once
kills skepticism, and in the end conduces to the state of paravairagya.
In the next place, says Patanjali, one may rely upon the knowledge
through dreams and sleep. But this will do for the present.
XIV. Yoga The Soul
The five ethereal currents of sensation are focused in the brain,
motion is transmitted to the mental principle from these five centers
force. These various foci serve a connecting links between the mental
the life-principles. The visual currents produce in the mind the
of becoming conscious of color. In other words, they produce eyes in
mind. Similarly, the mind gets the capability of receiving the
of the four remaining sensations. This capability is acquired after the
exposure of ages. Cycles upon cycles pass, and the mind is not yet
of receiving these tatwic vibrations. The wave of life begins its
journey upon earth with vegetable forms. Since that time external
begin to affect the vegetable organism, and this is the beginning of
we call sensation. The modifications of the external tatwas through the
individualized vegetable life strike the chords of the latent mind, but
it will not yet respond. It is not in sympathy. Higher and higher
vegetable forms the life-wave travels; greater and greater is the force
with which it strikes the mental chords, and better and better is the
of that principle to respond to the tatwic calls of life. When we reach
the animal kingdom the external tatwic foci are just visible. These are
the sensuous organs, each of which has the capability of focusing its
peculiar tatwic rays into itself. In the lowest forms of animal life
are just visible, and this is a sign that the mental principle is then
in a comparatively high state of perfection: it has begun to respond
to the external tatwic call. It might be remarked here that this is the
superposed relative mind, and not the absolute original mental truti,
both of which I have already described. It is the uprising of this
finite structure on all the planes of life that has led a German
to the conclusion that God is Becoming. This is true of course, but it
is only true of the finite Universe of names and forms and not of the
towards which it is moving.
To resume: The exposure of this animal life to the external tatwas
longer and longer, and the strength becomes greater and greater in
various foci, the formation of these foci becomes higher and higher,
external call upon the mind is stronger and stronger, and the mental
is more and more perfect. A time comes in the progress of this mental
when the five mental senses are perfectly developed, as is marked by
development of the external senses. We call the action of the five
senses the phenomenon of perception. On the manifestation of this
is raised the mighty fabric of perception of those mental
that I have discussed in the essay on Mind. The way in which this
takes place is sketched there too.
The external tatwas of gross matter create gross foci in a gross
from whence to send their currents. The soul does the same. The tatwic
currents of the external soul, Iswara, create similar centers
action in connection with the mind. But the tatwic vibrations of the
are finer than those of the life-principle. The mental matter takes a
time to respond to the call of Iswara than it does to answer to
the call of Prana. It is not till the life-wave reaches
that the vibrations of the soul begin to show themselves in the mind.
foci of psychic currents are located in what is called the vijnana
kosha, the psychic coil. At the time of the beginning of human
the psychic foci go on gaining strength, race after race, till we reach
the point that I have called the awakening of the soul. That process
in the confirmation of the state of paravairagya. From this
there are only a few steps to the power of what has been called
or psychic perception. Our former perception may now be called animal
And just as the mighty fabric of inference and verbal authority has
raised on the basis of animal perception, a more mighty fabric of
and verbal authority has been raised on the basis of psychic perception
by ancient Aryan sages. We shall come to that by and bye.
As practice confirms the state of paravairagya in the Yogi’s
mind, it gets the most perfect calm. It is open to all sorts of tatwic
influences, without any sensuous disturbance. The next power that
shows itself is called samapatti. I define this word as that
state in which it becomes capable of receiving the reflection of the
and the objective worlds, and the means of knowledge at the slightest
Intuition has four stages: (1) Sa vitarka, verbal, (2) Nir
vitarka, wordless, (3) Sa vichara, meditative, (4) Nir
The state of intuition has been likened to a bright, pure,
colorless crystal. Place whatever you will behind such a crystal, and
will show itself in the color of that object. And so does the mind
in this state. Let the tatwic rays that constitute the objective world
fall on it, and it shows itself in the colors of the objective world.
these colors, and it is again as pure as crystal, ready to show in
any other colors that might be presented to it. Think of the elementary
forces of Nature, the tatwa, think of the gross objects where
work, think of the organs of sense and their genesis and the method of
their operations, think of the soul, liberated or bound, and the mind
falls into each of these states. It retains no particular color that
oppose or vitiate any other color entering it. The first stage of
is verbal. It is the most common in this age and therefore the most
intelligible. Let the reader think of a mind in which no color is
at the sound of scientific words. Let him think of thousands of those
in whose minds the sounds of their own language, full of high and great
ideas, is as strange as Hebrew. Take an uneducated English peasant and
teach him to read Comus. Do you think those beautiful words will carry
to him all they are intended to convey? But why an uneducated peasant?
Did the great Johnson himself understand the beauties of Milton? Take
a common schoolboy, and read to him in his own language the truths of
Does that language, even if you gave him its lexicographic meaning,
any idea to his mind? Take the Upanishad, and read it to any pandit
who can understand Sanskrit reasonably well. Does anyone doubt (I do
that he does not understand all that those noble words convey? With
a mind, let him compare the mind of a really educated man, a mind that
almost intuitively takes in the true sense of words. To take in the
sense that words are intended to convey is not an easy task, even for
highly educated. Prejudice, deep-seated antagonistic theories, the
of one’s own convictions, and perhaps some other characteristics of the
mind prove to be an insurmountable obstacle. Even a John Stuart Mill
not properly understand the philosophy of Sir William Hamilton. One of
the greatest Oriental scholars says that Patanjali’s system is no
at all! Another has expressed himself to the effect that Patanjali’s Aphorisms
on Yoga are mere fanaticism! There are many tantras of
though we might translate them into any language, very few of us really
know the meaning. This is a very grave shortcoming, and sometimes much
to be regretted. It disappears only with the manifestation of verbal
In this state the Yogi is at once en rapport with the
of the book, and this is because his mind is free from every blinding
and is in fact a pure, bright, colorless crystal, ready to show any
of color that might come in contact with it.
The next stage of intuition is wordless. In this you no longer
in need of books to initiate yourself into the secrets of nature. Your
mind becomes capable of serving these truths from their fountainhead:
pictures of everything in every state of the objective word which
the agency of prana are represented in the universal mind,
that are the souls of these things, their own true selves, pregnant
every state in which the thing has passed, or has to pass, the
of the various and varying phases of the phenomenal world, the thing
in a table, a glass, a pen, and in fact any and every thing, is hard or
soft, long or short, white or black.
These state have for their object the gross phenomenal world. The
two stages of intuition have for their object the world of forces that
lies at the root of the changes of the gross world, the world of subtle
bodies. The meditative intuition has for its object only the present
of the currents of the subtle body, the forces that are already showing
or going to show themselves. In this state, for example, the Yogi
knows intuitively the present forces of the atmospheric Prana
they are gathering strength enough to give us a shower of rain or snow,
but he does not know what has given them their present activity, or
the potential will ever become the actual, and if yes, to what extent.
He knows the forces that are working at the present moment in that
that horse, that man, the powers that keep these things in the state
are in, but he does not know the antecedents and consequents of that
The next state has for its object all the three states of subtle
The present state is know of course, but with it the Yogi draws
in the whole history of the object from beginning to end. Place before
him a rose, and he knows its subtle principle in all this states,
and consequents. He is familiar with the little beginnings of the bush
and its growth in various stages; he knows how the budding began, how
bud opened, and how it grows into a beautiful flower. He knows what its
end shall be, and when. Put before him a closed letter, and he knows
only what that letter contains, but he can trace those thoughts to the
brain whence they proceeded, to the hand that wrote the letter, to the
room in which they were written, and so on. It is in this state too
the mind knows mind, without the medium of words.
These four states constitute what is called the objective trance (savija
Occasionally these powers show themselves in many minds. But that
shows that the favored mortal is on the right track. He must make sure
of the point if he would win.
When the last stage of this samadhi is confirmed in the
our psychic senses gain the power of that amount of certain knowledge
is the portion of our animal senses. The authority of these senses is
with us, so far as the gross world is concerned. In a similar way there
is no room left for us to doubt the truth of the knowledge that our
senses bring us. The high power of knowing every supersensuous truth
perfect certainty is known as Ritambhara, or psychic
The knowledge that psychic perception gives us is by no means to
confounded with the knowledge obtained through inference, imagination,
or the records of others’ experience.
Inference, imagination, and verbal authority, based on animal
can only work upon knowledge obtained through animal senses. But
perception and inference based upon that has for its object things of
supersensuous world, the realities that underlie the phenomenal
with which we are familiar. That perception takes in the fact of the
and the nature of Prakriti, the most subtle state of matter,
as animal perception takes in gross matter.
Animal perception draws the mind towards gross matter, the world
has given it birth. So does psychic perception draw the mind towards
soul. The practice of objective samadhi destroys itself. The
takes in so much of the higher energy of the soul that it loses its
consistency. Down goes the entire structure of unreal names and forms.
The soul lives in herself, and not in the mind as now.
With this the greater part of my work is done. It is now clear
what we call man lives chiefly in the mind. The mind has two entities
affect it. The one is the life-principle, the other the psychic
the once producing certain changes in the mind from below, the other
above. These changes have been recorded, and it has been found that the
dominion of the soul is more desirable than that of the life principle.
When the mind loses itself entirely in the soul, man becomes God.
The object of these essays has been roughly to portray the nature,
and mutual relation of the principles; in other words, to trace the
of the universal tatwic law on all the planes of existence. This has
briefly done. A good deal more remains to be said about the powers
in the Prana and the mind, which show themselves in special
of the progress of man. That need not, however, form part of the
series, and therefore I close this series with some description of the
first and last principle of the cosmos: the Spirit.
XV. The Spirit ~
This is the anandamaya kosha, literally the coil of bliss
the Vedantins. With the power of psychic perception, the soul knows the
existence of this entity, but in the present stage of human development
it has hardly made its presence directly felt in the human
The characteristic difference between the soul and the spirit is the
of the "I" in the latter.
It is the dawn of the day of evolution. It is the first setting-in
the positive current of the great breath. It is the first state of
activity after the night of Mahapralaya. As we have seen, the
in every state of existence has three states: the positive, the
and the susumna. The susumna is pregnant with either of the two
states. This is the state that is described in the Parameshthi sukta
of the Rig Veda as neither Sat (positive) nor Asat
(negative). This is the primary state of parabrahma, in which
whole universe lies hidden like a tree in the seed. As billows rise and
lose themselves in an ocean, the two states of evolution and involution
take their rise in this state, and in due time are lost in the same.
is Prakriti itself in this state of potential omnipotence? The
of Prakriti owe their origin and existence to the modifications
of the great breath. When that great breath is in the state of susumna,
can we not say that Prakriti itself is held in that state by susumna?
It is in fact parabrahma that is all in all. Prakriti
only the shadow of that substance, and like a shadow it follows the
of His great breath. The first modification of the great breath is the
setting in of the evolutionary (positive) current) In this state, Prakriti
is ready to modify into the ethers of the first degree, which make up
atmosphere from which Iswara draws life. In the first state of
the Subject (parabrahma) whose breath causes these modifications
of Prakriti, is known as Sat, the fountainhead of all
The I is latent in this state. Naturally enough, because it is the
that gives birth to the I. But what is this state? Must man be
before he reaches this state of what from the standpoint of man is
or paranirvana? There is no reason to suppose that it is the
of annihilation any more than a certain amount of latent heat is
in water. The simple fact is that the color that constitutes the ego
latent in the spirit’s higher form of energy. It is a state of
or knowledge above self, not certainly destroying it.
The individual spirit bears the same relation to the Sat
the individual soul bears to the Iswara, the individual mind to
the Virat, and the individual life-principle to the Prana.
Each center is given birth to by the tatwic rays of that degree. Each
a drop in its own ocean. The Upanishad explains this state
many names. The Chhandogva, however, has a very comprehensive
on this subject between Uddalaka and his son Shwetakete.
Professor Max Muller has made some very questionable remarks on
assertions in this dialogue, calling them "more or less fanciful".
remarks could never have fallen from so learned a man had he known and
understood something of the ancient Science of Breath and the
of the Tatwas. The Upanishad can never be very intelligible
this comprehensive science. It must be remembered that the Upanishads
themselves have in many places clearly laid down that a teacher is
for the proper understanding of these divine words. Now the teacher
nothing else but the Science of Breath, which is said to be the secret
doctrine of all secret doctrines. It is, in fact, the key to all that
taught in the Upanishad. The little book that tries to explain
essays to the world appears from its very arrangement to be a
of various couplets on the same subject, inherited from various
circles. In fact, this handful of stanzas has its chief value as a key
to Aryan philosophy and occult science, but even this little book will
hardly serve to dispel the gloom of ages.
To return, however, to the dialogue between the father and the
it is contained in the sixth Prapathaka of the Chhandogya
"In the beginning, my dear, there was only that which is one only,
a second. Others say in the beginning there was that only, which is not
one only, without a second, and from which is not, that which is was
This is the translation of Professor max Muller. Notwithstanding
authority of his great name, and real scholarship, I venture to think
the sense of the Upanishad is totally lost sight of in this
The words of the original are:
"Sad eva saumyedamagre asit."
I cannot find any word in the translation giving the sense of the
idam in the original. Idam means "this", and it has been
as meaning the phenomenal world. This that is perceived, etc. Therefore
real translation of the text would be:
"This (world) was Sat alone in the beginning."
Perhaps in the translation of Professor Muller the word "there" is
by mistake for "this". If this is the case, the defect in the
is at once cured.
The text means that the first state of the world before
was the state known as Sat. From what comes afterwards, it
that this is the state of the Universe in which all its phenomena,
mental and psychic, are held in posse. The word eva,
in the translation stands for the word "alone" or "only", signifies
in the beginning of the Day of Evolution the universe had not all the
or even two or more of the five planes of existence together. Now such
is the case, but in the beginning the Sat existed alone.
The Sat is one only, without a second. There is no
of time in these two epithets. The Sat is one alone, not like
the Virat, and Iswara, having all three existing
a shadowy side of existence.
The next sentence goes on to say that in the beginning there was Asat
alone. As Professor Muller renders it, "There [?] was that only which
Now this carries no meaning, notwithstanding the Greek
That the word Asat is used in the sense of "that which is not"
briefly "nothing", there is no doubt. But there is also no doubt that
is not the meaning of the Upanishad. The words are used here in
the same sense in which they are used in the "Nosad asit" hymn
"Then there was neither the Sat nor the Asat."
This of course is a state quite other than the Sat of the Upanishad.
It is nothing more than the susumna of the Brahmic breath.
this in the beginning of evolution the Brahma became Sat.
This is the positive potential phase. The Asat is nothing more
the cooler negative life current that rules during the night of Maha
pralaya. When the shadowy Prakriti has undergone the
influence of the negative current, the day of evolution sets in with
beginning of the positive current. The dispute as to beginning is
of a technical nature. In reality there is no beginning. It is all a
in the circle, and from this point of view we may put whatever state we
like in the beginning.
But the Asat philosopher argues that unless the Maya
the preparatory influence of the Night, there can be no creation.
according to him, we must put Asat at the beginning.
The sage Uddalaka would not consent to this. According to him, the
impressive force is in the Sat, the positive state, just as all
the life-forms take their origin from Prana (the positive life
and not from Rayi (the negative life matter) -- see the Prasnopnishat.
It is only impressibility that exists I the Asat; the real
and forms of the phenomenal Universe do not exist there. In fact, the
has been given to the primary state of the evolving universe for this
reason. If we would translate these two words into English, we would
to coin two very unique compounds: Sat (that-in-which-is) and Asat
It is only such a rendering that would carry the true idea, and
it is advisable to retain the Sanskrit words and explain them as well
That actually existing state in which the names and forms do not
cannot very properly stand as the cause of the names and forms that do
not exist. Hence the Sat alone was in the beginning, etc.
The individual spirit has the same relation to the Sat as the soul
to the Iswara.
That will do for now. It is enough to show that there is no
anywhere in the Universe. Nirvana simply means the
(which is not extinction) of the phenomenal rays.
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