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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
33. All things can be known in the vivid light of the intuition.

There are three aspects of knowledge associated with the light in the head.

First, there is that knowledge which the [316] ordinary man can possess, which perhaps is best expressed in the word theoretical. It makes a man aware of certain hypotheses, possibilities and explanations. It gives to him an understanding of ways, means and methods, and enables him to take the first step towards correct ascertainment and achievement. This is true of that knowledge which Patanjali deals with. By acting upon this knowledge and by conforming to the requirements of the intended investigation or development, the aspirant becomes aware of the light in the head.

Secondly, discriminative knowledge is the next type utilized by the aspirant. The light having been contacted, is used, and the result is that the pairs of opposites become apparent, duality is known, and the question of choice comes in. The light of God is cast upon either side of the razor edged path the aspirant is endeavoring to tread, and at first this "noble middle" path is not so apparent as that which lies on either side. By the addition of dispassion or non-attachment to discriminative knowledge, hindrances are worn away, the veil which hides the light becomes increasingly thin until eventually the third or highest light is touched.

Thirdly, the "light of the intuition" is one of the terms which can be applied to this type of illuminative knowledge. It results from the treading of the path and the overcoming of the pairs of opposites, and is the forerunner of complete illumination and the full light of day. Ganganatha Jha in his brief commentary touches on all these three. He says: [317] "Intelligence is the emancipator - the forerunner of discriminative knowledge, as the dawn is of sunrise. On the production of intuitional insight, the yogi comes to know everything."

These flashes of intuition are at first simply vivid flashes of illumination, breaking forth into the mind consciousness and disappearing almost instantaneously. But they come with increasing frequency as the habit of meditation is cultivated and persist for increasingly long periods as stability of the mind is achieved. Gradually the light shines forth in a continuous stream until the aspirant walks in the full light of day. When the intuition begins to function, the aspirant has to learn to utilize it by turning the light which is in him upon all matters "obscure, subtle and remote," and thus enlarging his horizon, solving his problems, and increasing his efficiency. What he sees and contacts through the use of this spiritual light has then to be registered, understood and adapted for use by the man upon the physical plane, through the medium of the brain. Here is where the rational mind plays its part, interpreting, formulating and transmitting to the brain that which the true spiritual man on his own plane knows, sees, and understands. Thus this knowledge becomes available in full waking consciousness to the incarnated son of God, the man on the physical plane.

Another side of this, equally true and necessary, is pictured for us by Charles Johnston on page 123 of his edition. He says:

"This divining power of intuition is the power [318] which lies above and behind the so-called rational mind; the rational mind formulates a question and lays it before the intuition, which gives a real answer, often immediately distorted by the rational mind, yet always embodying a kernel of truth. It is by this process, through which the rational mind brings questions to the intuition for solution, that the truths of science are reached, the flashes of discovery and genius. But this higher power need not work in subordination to the so-called rational mind, it may act directly, as full illumination, the 'vision and the faculty divine.' "

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