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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
46. The posture assumed must be steady and easy.

This sutra is one that has led our occidental students into a great deal of trouble for they have interpreted it in an entirely physical sense. That it has a physical meaning is true but taken in reference to the lower threefold nature it might be said that it refers to a steady immovable position of the physical body when in meditation, a firm steadfast unwavering condition of the astral or emotional body in the passage through worldly existence, and an unfluctuating steady mind, one [214] that is absolutely under control. Of these three, it might be said that the physical posture is of the least importance, and that the position in which the aspirant can the soonest forget that he possesses a physical body is the best. It might be generally laid down that an upright position in a comfortable chair, with the spine erect, the feet crossed naturally, the hands folded in the lap, the eye closed, and the chin a little dropped is the best posture for the occidental aspirant. In the East there is a science of postures and about eighty-four different positions, some of them most intricate and painful, are listed. This science is a branch of hatha yoga and is not to be followed by the fifth root-race; it is a remnant of that yoga which was necessary and sufficient for the Lemurian root-race man, who needed to learn physical control. Bhakti yoga, or the yoga of the devotee was the yoga of the Atlantean or fourth root-race man, plus a little hatha yoga. In this fifth root-race, the Aryan, hatha yoga should fall into desuetude altogether where the disciple is concerned, and he should occupy himself with Raja Yoga plus bhakti yoga - he should be a mental devotee.

The Lemurian disciple learned to control the physical body and to devote it to the service of Ishvara through hatha yoga, with aspiration towards emotional control.

The Atlantean disciple learned to control the emotional body and to devote it to the service of Ishvara through bhakti yoga, with aspiration towards mental control. [215]

The Aryan disciple has to learn to control the mental body and devote it to the service of Ishvara through Raja Yoga, with aspiration towards knowledge of the indweller, the soul. Thus in this root-race, the entire lower man, the personality is subjugated and the "Transfiguration" of humanity takes place.

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