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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
41. By the means of one-pointed meditation upon the relationship between the akasha and sound, an organ for spiritual hearing will be developed.

To understand this sutra, it is essential that certain relationships are comprehended - relationships between matter, the senses and the one who experiences.

The Christian believes that "all things were made by the word of God." The oriental believer holds that sound was the originating factor in the creative process and both teach that this word or sound is descriptive of the second Person of the divine Trinity.

This sound or word threw into peculiar activity the matter of the solar system, and was preceded by the breath of the Father which started the original motion or vibration.

First, therefore, the breath (pneuma or spirit) impinging upon primordial substance and setting up a pulsation, a vibration, a rhythm. Then the [334] word or sound, causing the pulsating vibrating substance to take form or shape, and thus bringing about the incarnation of the second Person of the cosmic Trinity, the Son of God, the Macrocosm.

This process eventuated in the seven planes of manifestation, the spheres wherein seven states of consciousness are possible. All of these are characterized by certain qualities and differentiated from each other by specific vibrating capacities and called by certain terms.

The following tabulation may prove useful if the student will bear in mind that the first triplicity of planes are those of divine manifestation and the lower triplicity constitute the reflection of that divine process and are the three planes of our normal experience. These two triplicities of God and man are connected by the middle plane of at-one-ment or union whereon God and man are made one. This is the Christ plane in Christian phraseology, the buddhic plane in the eastern terminology.

 
The Divine Planes
 
Plane I. Logoic or divine The Sea of Fire God the Father Will.
Plane II. Monadic The Akasha God the Son Love-Wisdom.
Plane III. Spiritual The Ether God the Holy-Ghost Active Intelligence.
 
Plane of Union or At-one-ment
 
Plane IV. Christ or buddhic Air Union Harmony,
At-one-ment
 
Planes of Human Endeavor
 
Plane V. Mental Fire Reflection of the Sea of Fire Human will.
Plane VI. Emotional or astral Astral Light Reflection of the Akasha Human love and desire.
Plane VII. Physical Ether Reflection of the Ether Human activity.
 
On all these planes, consciousness manifests and the senses, exoteric and esoteric, produce contacts.
 
Plane I. Fire The Breath
Plane II. Akasha The Sound Hearing The Ear.
Plane III. Ether Vibratory-response Touch The Skin.
Plane IV. Air Vision Sight The Eye.
Plane V. Fire Discrimination Taste The Tongue.
Plane VI. Astral Light Desire Smell The Nose.
Plane VII. The physical counterparts to all of these.
 
Another method of working these out is as follows: [336]
 
VII. Physical Plane Smell Ether.
VI. Astral Taste Astral Light.
V. Mental Sight Fire.
IV. Buddhic Touch Air.
III. Atmic Hearing Ether.
II. Monadic Mind Akasha.
I. Logoic Synthesis.
 
It will be apparent, however, that one gives the microcosmic standpoint, the other gives the macrocosmic, and as the aspirant is one who seeks to function as "free in the macrocosm" and to transcend his microcosmic limitations, it is the first category with which we will concern ourselves.

In considering this sutra and its clarification by an understanding of the nature of the planes, their symbols and substance, it becomes apparent that the man who understands the nature of the word and of the second aspect, arrives at the realization of hearing.

This might also be grasped mystically by the aspirant when he realizes that when the voices of desire (astral voices or vibratory response to the second aspect of the reflection, the three lower planes) are superseded by the Voice of the Silence or of the Christ within, then the word or sound is known and the second aspect of divinity is contacted.

 
1. The Akasha The Word The sound The second aspect in manifestation
2. The Astral Light Light The voices of desire The reflection of the second aspect.
 
[337] There are many sounds to be heard on all the planes but on the physical is the greatest diversity. The aspirant has to develop the power to distinguish between:
  1. The voices of earth - physical,
  2. The voices of desire - astral,
  3. The speech or formulated thoughts of the mind - mental,
  4. The still small voice of the Christ within - buddhic,
  5. The sounds of the Gods, The creative words - atmic,
  6. The word or sound, the AUM - monadic,
  7. The breath - logoic,

and in these distinctions are symbolically conveyed the problem of correct hearing on the various planes and in the various states of consciousness. Only the true mystic and aspirant will comprehend the nature of these distinctions.

Just as all the substances of our manifested solar system are differentiations of the akasha, the first differentiation of the primordial stuff, so all these distinctions of sound are differentiations of the one sound; all are divine in time and space. But all have to be heard correctly and all lead eventually to and form in their totality the AUM, the Word of Glory, the Macrocosmic Word.

With the student of Raja Yoga, however, there are three main voices or sounds with which he is temporarily concerned:

  1. The speech of the Earth, so as to rightly use it,
  2. The Voice of the Silence, so as to hear it. This is the voice of his own inner God, the Christ, [338]
  3. The AUM, the Word of the Father, expressed through the Son, which will, when heard, put him in touch with the Word of God, incarnate in all nature.

When speech is rightly used and the sounds of earth can likewise be stilled, then the Voice of the Silence can be heard. It might be noted here that clairaudience is awareness of the voice of the great illusion and gives a man power to hear on the astral plane. This in its right place and when controlled from above through knowledge, opens the ear to certain aspects of divine expression in the three worlds. It is not the divine hearing referred to in the sutra. In Charles Johnston's comments on this sutra, he covers the ground beautifully as follows:

"The transfer of a word by telepathy is the simplest and earliest form of the 'divine hearing' of the spiritual man, as that power grows, and as, through perfectly concentrated meditation, the spiritual man comes into more complete mastery of it, he grows able to hear and clearly distinguish the speech of the great Companions, who counsel and comfort him on his way. They may speak to him either in wordless thoughts, or in perfectly definite words and sentences."

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