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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
9. The sequence of mental states is as follows: the mind reacts to that which is seen; then follows the moment of mind control. Then ensues a moment wherein the chitta (mind stuff) responds to both these factors. Finally these pass away, and the perceiving consciousness has full sway.

If the student will look at any of the translations of the sutras he will find that this one is [259] variously translated and most of the translations are exceedingly ambiguous. This can be illustrated by giving the translation of Tatya:

"Out of the two trains of self-reproductive thought resulting from the Vyutthana and the Nirodha (respectively), when the former is subdued and the latter is manifested, and, at the moment of manifestation the internal organ (Chitta) is concerned in both of the trains, then such modifications of the internal organ is the modification in the shape of Nirodha."

The others are still more vague, with the exception of Johnston's translation. He gives us the following which throws much light upon the thought involved:

"Out of the ascending degrees is the development of control. First there is the overcoming of the mind-impress of excitation. Then comes the manifestation of the mind-impress of control. Then the perceiving consciousness follows after the moment of control. This is the development of control."

Perhaps the simplest way to understand this thought is to realize that the man in his physical brain is aware of three factors as he attempts to meditate:

1. He is aware of the object of his meditation. This excites or impresses his mind, and throws into activity the "modifications of the thinking principle," or stimulates the tendency of the mind to create thought-forms, and throws the chitta or mind stuff into shapes corresponding to the object seen. [259]

2. He then becomes aware of the necessity to subdue this tendency and so brings in the action of the will and steadies and controls the mind stuff so that it ceases to modify itself and take on shape.

By dint of steady persevering endeavor the sequential nature of these two states of consciousness are gradually offset, and in time they become simultaneous. Recognition of an object and the immediate control of the responsive chitta occur like a flash of lightning. This is the state technically called "nirodha." It must be remembered that (as Vivekananda says):

"If there is a modification which impels the mind to rush out through the senses and the yogi tries to control it, that very control itself will be a modification."

The impress of the will upon the mind will naturally lead to the mind assuming the shape that controls it and it will be thrown into a modification, dependent largely upon the point in evolution the aspirant has reached, the trend of his daily thought, and the extent of his egoic contact. This is not the true and highest form of contemplation. It is but one of the earlier stages, but it is much higher than concentration and meditation with seed as usually understood, for it is inevitably succeeded by the third stage which is one of great interest.

3. He then slips suddenly out of the lower state of consciousness and realizes his identity with the perceiver, with the thinker on his own plane, and because the mind is controlled and the [261] object seen excites no response, the true identity is able to perceive that which has hitherto been veiled.

It should be made clear, however, that the perceiver on his own plane has always been aware of that which is now recognized. The difference lies in the fact that the instrument, the mind, is now in a state of control, it is therefore possible for the thinker to impress the brain, via the controlled mind, with that which is perceived. Man on the physical plane simultaneously also perceives, and true meditation and contemplation for the first time become possible. At first this will only be for a brief second. A flash of intuitive perception, a moment of vision and of illumination and all has gone. The mind begins again to modify itself and is thrown into activity, the vision is lost sight of, the high moment has passed, and the door into the soul-realm seems suddenly to shut. But assurance has been gained; a glimpse of reality has been registered on the brain and the guarantee of future achievement is recognized.

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