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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
32. To overcome the obstacles and their accompaniments, the intense application of the will to some one truth (or principle) is required.

It would be wise here, if the aspirant to yoga [73] would note that there are seven ways whereby peace may be achieved, and thus the goal be reached. These seven are next dealt with, and each has a distinct relation to the seven obstacles earlier considered.

 
Obstacle Remedy
 
1. Bodily disability Wholesome, sane living. (1.33.)
2. Mental inertia Control of the life force. (1.34.)
3. Wrong questioning One pointed thought. (1.35.)
4. Carelessness Meditation. (1.36.)
5. Laziness Self discipline. (1.37.)
6. Lack of dispassion Correct analysis. (1.38.)
7. Erroneous perception Illumination. (1.39)
 
These corrections of wrong conditions are of profound importance in the early stages of yoga and hence their emphasis in Book I.

But a theoretical understanding of the obstacles and their cure is of small avail as long as the intense application of the will is omitted. Only the constant, steady, enduring effort of the will, functioning through the mind, will suffice to bring the aspirant out of darkness into light and to lead him from the condition of death into immortality.

Once the principle is understood, then the disciple can work intelligently and hence the necessity of a right understanding of the principles or qualities where the truth regarding reality or God can be known.

All forms exist in order to express truth. By the steady application of God's will in the Whole is truth revealed through the medium of matter. When the truth or basic principle is known spirit will then stand revealed. When the disciple realizes [74] what principle his various forms, sheaths, or bodies are intended to express, then he will know how to direct his will with exactitude so as to bring about the desired conditions. The sheaths and vehicles are simply his bodies of manifestation on the various planes of the system, and those sheaths must express the principle which is the characteristic or quality underlying each plane. For instance, the seven principles with which man is concerned are:

1. Prana vital energy etheric body physical plane.
2. Kama desire astral body astral plane.
3. Lower Manas concrete mind mental body mental plane.
4. Higher Manas abstract mind egoic body mental plane
5. Buddhi intuition buddhic body buddhic plane.
6. Atma spiritual will atmic body atmic plane.
And that which corresponds to the "boundless immutable principle" in the macrocosm, the Monad (on its own plane) constitutes the seventh principle. There are other ways of enumerating the principles, for Subba Rao is correct in one respect when he says there are only five principles. The two highest, atma and the life monadic, are not principles at all.

Through the conscious utilization of the will on each plane, the vehicle is directed constantly into an increasingly accurate expression of the one truth. This is the true significance of the sutra under consideration and the clue to why the adepts are as yet still studying this treatise on yoga. Their understanding of truth in its [75] entirety is not yet complete on all planes and the basic rules hold good throughout, though they are variously applied. Principles are applicable to all differentiations and to all states of being.

As a man studies the spheres in which his consciousness is functioning, as he comes to an understanding of the vehicles he must use in any particular sphere, as he awakens to a knowledge of the specific divine quality which the body is intended to express as a part or aspect of the one truth or reality, he becomes aware of the inadequacies present, of the obstacles which hinder and of the difficulties which must be surmounted. Then comes the application of the will and its concentration upon the principle, or upon the quality seeking expression. Thus the lower manifestation is brought into line with the higher for "as a man thinketh so is he."

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