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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
34. The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath.

Students will do well to note that Patanjali includes Pranayama (or the science of the breath or of pranic energy) among other methods for arriving at the "peace of the chitta." He does not however lay any special emphasis upon it. As has been earlier pointed out, pranayama is a term which can be used to cover three processes, all interrelated and allied.

  1. The science of rhythmic living, or the regulation of the acts of daily life through the organization of time and the wise utilization of space. Through this the man becomes adept, a creator on the physical plane and a cooperator in the plans of the hierarchy as they demonstrate in cyclic evolution.
  2. The science of the breath, or the vitalization of the lower man through inhalation and exhalation. Man knows himself occultly to be a "living soul," and utilizes the factor of the breath. Through this he becomes aware of the unity of life and the relationship existing between all forms wherein the life of God is found. He becomes a brother as well as an adept and knows [78] that brotherhood is a fact in nature and not a sublime theory.
  3. The science of the centers, or laya yoga; this is the application of the law to the forces of nature and the scientific utilization of those forces by the man. It involves the passing of certain septenates of energy through the centers up the spine and into the head by a certain specified geometrical progression. This makes a man a master psychic, and unfolds in him certain latent powers which - when unfolded - put him in touch with the soul of all things and with the subjective side of nature.

It is significant to note that this mode of arriving at peace follows upon the method of sane wholesome living and its consequent result - a sound physical body. Later on, when Patanjali again refers to the regulation of the breath and of the energy currents, he places it as the fourth means of yoga and states that only when right poise has been achieved (the third Means) as a result of keeping the Commandments and the Rules (Means one and two) is this regulation to be attempted. Students would do well to study these means and note how interest in the centers is only permissible after a man has so balanced his life and purified his nature that danger is no longer possible.

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