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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
7. These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means.

The first five means of yoga have for their primary objective the preparation of the would-be yogi. Through keeping the Commandments and the Rules, through the achievements of poise and rhythmic control of the energies of the body, and through the power to withdraw his consciousness and center it in the head, the aspirant is enabled to take full advantage of, and safely to cultivate the powers of concentration, meditation and contemplation.

Having contacted the subjective in himself and become aware of that which is interior, he can begin to work with the interior, internal and intimate means.

The entire eight means of yoga themselves only prepare a man for that state of spiritual consciousness which transcends thought, which is apart from any of the seeds of thought, which is formless, and which can only be described (and then inadequately) by such terms as unification, realization, identification, nirvanic consciousness, etc.

It is useless for the neophyte to attempt to comprehend until he has developed the internal instrument for comprehension; it is fruitless for the man of the world to question and seek to be shown unless at the same time he is willing (as in the acquirement of any science) to learn the A.B.C. and graduate in the technique. [257]

Johnston in his commentary says:

"...The means of growth previously described were concerned with the extrication of the spiritual man from psychic bondages and veils; while this threefold power is to be exercised by the spiritual man thus extricated and standing on his feet, viewing life with his open eyes."

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