Yoga - Theory and Practice
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Your life is your own. You have only yourself to thank for what you are, have been and will be. Take your present into your own hand. Consciously shape out of it your future. Direct your forces along lines of study and endeavour that have the strongest attraction for you. Such attraction is the indication of need. It is the hand pointing out your Life-purpose. What your heart desires earnestly and clamours for incessantly is attracted to you out of the invisible supply, i.e., the means, the environments, the right sort of persons, books and thought-forces are drawn to you and then you are expected to work out your desire. This is in perfect accord with the great Law of Attraction. Some call it God: since it answers all sincere prayers. Prayer, remember, is the sincere desire of the heart. I take it that you hunger for Truth and Spiritual Growth—else you and I would not be here. The instructions given you hereunder are meant to give you a strong body and a strong will. They will also tend to your Soul-Unfoldment. Talk not of them. Keep your mouth closed. Be serious, earnest and thoughtful. Then work at them confidently and with perseverance. Do not be daunted by apparent failures. Failure is the stepping-stone to Success. He fails who gives up a thing in final despair. Go on, I say. You will improve from the very first day, and in a short time you will be another man. All the leaders of humanity, past or present, have studied and investigated with tireless zeal along the special lines and, in Spiritual culture, you must do the same. But you must have health, a strong will and a steady brain, and I will enable you to have these positively. Keep these instructions strictly privately. Master them by constant meditation upon same.
Concentration signifies the state of being at a centre (con and centrum). Applied to thought, it is the act of bringing the mind to a single point. Each human being must practise concentration subjectively and objectively. In other words, each human being aims with more or less precision at concentration on a point within and a point without his own world. Concentration "without" is illustrated when you devote all your attention upon Nature, such as learning a trade, a profession, a science, an art or some form of business. This is Evolution, outgoing or positive mental energy. I shall call this Objective Concentration. Concentration "within" implies the withdrawing of attention from the external world and the placing of mind on "God," "Spirit," "Heaven," "Religion," "Peace," "Nirvana," "Eternity," etc. This is Involution, i.e., incoming or negative energy.
When Objective Concentration alone is practised, you develop into a hard-headed, practical man of the world or a successful man of business. You are keen and shrewd. The world is a very matter-of-fact thing to you. You cannot think of anything else beyond money-making and pleasures and worldly affairs. You are a "worldling of the world," very clever, rich, and a master along your own lines. But spiritually you are an imbecile, worse than a baby. This is the Objective Mind—the "deepest immersed in matter, literally made of the dust." "It is the brain of worldly wisdom, common sense, prudence, methodical arrangement, order, discipline, classification, the skill and knowledge of the expert in any branch or department of art or science." This side of the mind is well developed in Scientists, Mathematicians and Businessmen, etc. Where it is not guided by the Subjective Mind, it can only see diversity and difference and is the slave of Maya—the slayer of the Real.
Subjective Concentration is seeking the Kingdom of Heaven within you. "God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth." LAPLACE, the great astronomer, asserted that he had swept the heavens with his telescope and found neither God nor Heaven. Yes, poor LAPLACE! He looked for God objectively instead of subjectively.
The Kingdom of God comes not with 'observation' but it is 'within' you. The be-all and the end-all of religion is the practice of Subjective Concentration. The performance of objective work by the human organism necessitates expenditure of energy and at last death, because all Objective Concentration means 'going from' the Absolute centre—God—and hence it expends Spiritual Energy. Subjective Concentration means 'coming to' the centre and hence it husbands and recuperates this energy. Now nature is motion to and from, and Spirit—the centre of Life. This two-fold motion constitutes what is known as polarity—Evolution and Involution—negative and positive. At the negative pole life becomes involved, i.e., 'wrapped up' in form. At the positive pole life 'evolves' or becomes expressed in nature. In Subjective Concentration you return for fresh supplies to the inexhaustible storehouse of force—the Absolute Will. Jesus healed the sick, exhibited control over external nature by raising the dead, because his chaste soul could receive nothing negatively from God and could give it out positively to the objective world. All power comes from God. I would impress upon you the all-important necessity of placing yourself in a magnetically passive attitude towards the Universal Will and then of taking up a calm, positive attitude towards the phenomenal world—which is a projection of the lower nature and hence must be handled masterfully, fearlessly and confidently. Be positive to the external world. Be negative and receptive to the Lord's Will-force. Remember this. This brings me to the supremest and most solid truth contained in the Science of prayer. The praying mind, by its mere attitude of faith and earnest expectation, opens itself out to the tremendous inflow of Divine Energy. It draws close to the centre of all-power, wisdom and love, and drinks deep of the living waters of life so that even the very face or flesh begins to shine under the influence of this self-polarization—if I may be permitted to use this word—through prayer. Do you remember what Lord Rosebery said of the great Puritan Mystic Oliver Cromwell? If not, please let me quote: "The secret of his extraordinary success—he was a practical mystic—the most formidable and terrible of all combinations. The man who combines inspiration, apparently derived—in my judgment, really derived—from close communion with the Supernatural and the Celestial, a man who has that inspiration and adds to it the energy of a mighty man of action, such a man as that lives in communion on a Sinai of his own; and when he pleases to come down to this world below, seems armed with no less than the terrors and decrees of the Almighty Himself." Now both forms of concentration must be practised so as to hold the two poles in the even balance of harmonious growth.
You will perform the daily work to which you are naturally adapted in the common weal (Objective Concentration) and after the daily task is finished, retire to the bosom of the Universal Spirit by the regular practice of Subjective Concentration.
Now will you realise the ideal of peace in the very midst of the toil and sweat of the day.
The foregoing diagram, if closely and thoughtfully studied, will show the stages the mind has to 'grow into' in objective and subjective concentration.
In order to acquire knowledge of the laws of external nature the mirror you require is accurate observation and you must focus your attention and push objective concentration to its final stage of perfect knowledge or illumination in order to master any special branch of science.
In Objective Concentration, Pratyahara and Dharana are the preparatory stages. Take a scientist, for instance. He knows that when the mind is engaged with several things, mind force is scattered. He cannot be a politician, a musician, etc., and at the same time an expert scientist. He gradually abstracts his attention from all other subjects and pauses it on one subject or one set of subjects.
Pratyahara is the continued effort of the mind to so abstract itself.
Dharana is reached when this effort is finally successful and the mind becomes steadfast and one-pointed. Dhyana is an extension of this steadfastness. When Dhyana is reached, the student is beyond the range of books. His mind is occupied with original researches and experiments and his knowledge becomes more and more definite. Going on and on always on the one line complete knowledge of that subject is attained. This is the objective view of Samadhi. All these stages when completed make one Samayana. The subjective view of Samadhi no books or writings can teach you. As you go deeper and deeper into Yoga, you will understand these things in the light of your Soul-Vision. It will come to you if you follow my subsequent instructions. Despair not.
WHAT IS MAYA?
Now, first of all, what is Maya (ignorance of the real)? Take the dial-plate of a watch. You know quite well that the hands of the watch are governed by the mechanism behind. Both are necessary. Ignorance exists in thinking that the hands of the watch move by themselves. This visible universe is the dial-plate of the Invisible. Maya (ignorance) blinds you to this fact, i.e., mere objective knowledge blinds you to the subjective side of life and you see nothing beyond a material universe. But you, who realize both, objective as well as subjective, need not be afraid of such a danger. For a danger it is to develop the objective mind die neglect of the subjective. In order to round yourself out, practise both. But first, last and always, let the subjective guide, govern and illumine the objective. Also remember this: If your mind is at all attached to the objective world, try your very best to disattach it and fix it on the subjective side of life, else will you bring untold suffering on yourself. The half-wordly and half-spiritual man who wants to lead a spiritual sensual life eventually brings about a conflict between the laws and forces of the two planes of being. He is overwhelmed with pain and at last with cries of suffering, disease and loss, he is made to open his eyes. Understand the world for what it is but do not lower your soul to the point of being attached to its small thoughts, things and ways.
HOW TO CONCENTRATE OBJECTIVELY.
(a) In all undertakings whether of small or great importance shut off all thoughts and ideas except such as have any immediate and direct bearing upon the thing in hand. Pay attention. Bend all the energies of your mind and will upon it till it is completed to your satisfaction. Divert your attention from one thing to another only when you sanction by a resolve and understand why you do so. Your daily work which you must choose according to the special bent of your mind, will present you opportunities.
(b) Control impulse. Suppose an idea enters your mind. Compose yourself quietly before carrying out its purport. Consider it. Turn it over in your mind. Contemplate it. Weave your mental energies around it, as it were, till at last the idea with your final decision stands out clear-cut and well-defined. Then proceed to act it out physically with your mental concentration cutting a way for you straight on to the execution of your designing. This is forethought.
(c) In perfect concentration time vanishes. In working out a design on which you have set your heart dispense altogether with the element of time and work at it concentratedly for days, months and years with confident expectation of success.
(d) Take a picture, representing a landscape, the interior of a building, an assembly of persons, a square, a triangle or a more complicated geometrical figure. Look at it well. Then lay it aside. Close your eyes. Reproduce the picture mentally in detail. Then repose your mind on the same image to the exclusion of all other thoughts. This is a more fixed and meditative method and will sharpen the mind wonderfully. It will also develop the power of conscious Mental Imagery. The key to Objective Concentration is Conscious Attention, remember.
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE MENTATION.
These terms imply two different distinct functions of the human mind. The active function performs the volitional, voluntary thinking. It is the conscious focusing of the mind on some mental problem. Banishing from the mind all thoughts and ideas not in harmony with your special subject of study implies Active Mentation. This function is used by the active, wide-awake man in his busy and energetic moments. It is the key to the development of Will-Power and a vigorous intellect. You are conscious of effort when you are exercising this function. The mind becomes exhausted after a great deal of such effort and cries out for rest, because conscious attention implies close concentration of thought and can be exercised only by the conscious use of Will-Power. You ought to be able to concentrate upon one subject of thought, study and observation with undivided attention and then take your mind off that subject and put it on something else, at your will. Train your mind to 'give' perfect attention to any subject you like and also to 'shut off' or inhibit all attention on that subject. The mind is a restless thing darting from one thing to another, and, like a spoilt child, tiring of continued attention. But you must, by Will-Exercise, get control over this tendency. 'Exercise develops power. Practice makes perfect.' This you must bear in mind and, by patience and perseverance, train your mind to 'pay attention' where it ought to do so and not to pay attention where it ought not to. At first your mind will rebel like an unbroken horse at the imposition of such restraint. But really all greatness results from mind-control. Remember active mentation is conscious, deliberate concentration. Passive mentation represents automatic, involuntary thinking. This includes the subconscious or 'habit' mind. When a certain thought-groove has been formed in your mind, energy flows into it involuntarily, i.e., by itself and without any conscious effort on your part. This is passive mentation. It is automatic mental activity. Take an example. Some school-boys find Mathematics, Science and Geography easy to master from the very start. They feel quite in sympathy with the teacher of Mathematics. But History and Language are their abomination. There are others who simply cannot 'take an interest' in any Mathematics but who shine brilliantly in Language, Recitation, Composition, History. As a matter of fact neither of these students is superior to the other, but each is great in his own line. In one set, you have an example of automatic mentation in Mathematics, Science and Geography; in the other in Literature and Art. But suppose the first set tried to master Literature and Art and the second grappled with Mathematics and Science, each would then be practising actual concentration. In each set the active function would be exercised and will-power would develop on both sides. Do you see? Occultists say that all power results from the continual exercise of active mentation and all weak-mindedness is the direct outcome of this wool-gathering, castle-building, inattentive habit which is an extension of passive mentation into useless channels of thought-force. Conscious attention concentrates and even specializes mental energy as the sun-glass concentrates and intensifies the heat of the rays of the sun. Focus your full attention upon the thing to be done, take a keen interest in its accomplishment to the exclusion of all else, and you will obtain wonderful results. The man of developed, concentrative power holds in his hand the key to success, with the results that all his actions, voluntary or involuntary, are pointed to the accomplishment of his object. Remember therefore in conclusion:
(1) Concentration is perfect attention consciously directed to a given point of achievement either objectively or subjectively.
(2) Concentration is consecration.
"Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Do one thing at a time and do it well." By concentration is meant the directing of all your energies along a special line of achievement. For instance, if you would be a perfect Yogi, you must concentrate, concentrate, morning, noon and night, at all times, along that line of endeavour. You must study all the vast literature on Yoga, Psychology, Metaphysics, Mentalism, etc., and form your own synthesis on same. You must think hard and work hard for Yoga. "Genius is the power to bear infinite pain." Nothing ought to be too great a sacrifice, including your own life, for the right understanding and achievement of Yoga.
All half-heartedness, all insincerity, weakens your nature, and weakness has no place either in heaven or in hell. For the half-hearted man is a traitor unto the Divine within him and must pay dearly for his treachery.
SUBJECTIVE CONCENTRATION—HOW PRACTISED.
This is a vast subject. If you practise earnestly my instructions on Thought-Control, Will-Culture, and take the Meditation Exercise I am going to give you, you will realize greater strength than average humanity. But you must study and think hard for yourself before any considerable benefit can be derived from even these. Remember please, you alone can teach yourself through intuition. Intuition is tuition from within. Follow strictly the general rules I give you and you cannot but unfold your Inner Soul Vision which includes intuition in its fullest sense.
(a) What is Thought-Force?
"Thoughts are things." Thought is a dynamic energy. Just as the food that you eat feeds your body, exactly similarly your thoughts and feelings nourish your soul. Matter is nothing but a concentration of Thought-Force or Mind-Substance. The entire universe is seen objectively. This is on the cosmic scale.
Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG
Texte: RITTIK CHANDRA
Bildmaterialien: RITTIK CHANDRA
Lektorat/Korrektorat: RITTIK CHANDRA
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 05.12.2013
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