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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
20. Other yogins achieve samadhi and arrive at a discrimination of pure spirit through belief, followed by energy, memory, meditation and right perception.

In the previous groups of yogins dealt with, perception was limited to the phenomenal world, [39] though we must understand by that only the three worlds of mental perception, astral perception and of the physical senses. The energies producing concretion and the motive power of thought as it produces effects on the physical plane are contacted and known. Here however the yogin translates himself into more spiritual and subtler realms and becomes aware of that which the self (in its true nature) perceives and knows. He enters into the world of causes. The first group might be regarded as comprising all who are treading the path of discipleship, and covers the time from their entrance upon the Probationary Path until they have taken the second Initiation. The second group is comprised of those higher disciples who - having controlled and transmuted the entire lower nature - make a contact with their monad, spirit or "Father in Heaven" and discern what that monad perceives.

The first form of realization comes to those who are in process of synthesizing the six lower centers into the head center, through the transmutation of the lower four into the higher three, and then of the heart and throat into the head. The second group - through a knowledge of the law - works with all the transmuted and purified centers. They know how to achieve the real samadhi or state of occult abstraction through their ability to withdraw the energies into the thousand petalled lotus of the head, and from thence to abstract them through the other two subtler bodies until all is centered and focused in the causal vehicle, the karana sarira, the egoic lotus. We are told by [40] Patanjali that this is produced by the following five stages. Students should bear in mind that these stages relate to soul activities, to egoic realization and not to the reactions of the lower man and the physical brain.

  1. Belief. On his own plane the soul rehearses a condition analogous to the belief of the aspirant in the soul or Christ aspect, only in this case the objective is the realization of that which the Christ or soul is seeking to reveal, the spirit or Father in Heaven. First the disciple arrives at a realization of the angel of His Presence, the solar angel, ego or soul. This is the achievement of the previous group. Then the Presence itself is later contacted and that Presence is pure spirit, the absolute, the Father of Being. The self and the not-self have been known by this group of initiates. Now the vision of the not-self dims and passes away and only spirit is known. Belief must ever be the first stage. First, the theory, then the experiment, and lastly realization.
  2. Energy. When the theory is grasped, when the goal is perceived, then activity ensues - that right activity and that correct use of force which will bring the goal nearer and make theory fact.
  3. Memory, or right mindfulness. This is an interesting factor in the process as it involves right forgetfulness, or the elimination out of the consciousness of the ego of all those forms which have hitherto veiled the Real. These forms are either self-chosen or self-created. This leads to a condition of true apprehension or the ability to register correctly that which the soul has [41] perceived, and the power to transfer that correct perception to the brain of the physical man. This is the memory referred to here. It does not refer so specifically to recollection of the things of the past, but covers the point of realization and the transference of that realization to the brain where it must be registered and eventually recollected at will.
  4. Meditation. That which has been seen and registered in the brain and which has emanated from the soul must be meditated upon and thus woven into the fabric of the life. It is through this meditation that the soul-perceptions become real to the man upon the physical plane. This meditation therefore is of a very high order as it follows upon the contemplative stage and is soul-meditation with the object of illuminating the vehicle upon the physical plane.
  5. Right perception. The experience of the soul, and the knowledge of the spirit or Father aspect begins to form part of the brain content of the Adept or Master. He knows the plan as it is to be found on the highest levels and is in touch with the Archetype. It is, if I might illustrate in this way, that this class of yogins have reached the point where they can perceive the plan as it exists in the mind of the "Grand Architect of the Universe." They are now en rapport with Him. In the other class of Yogins, the point reached is that in which they are able to study the blueprints of the great plan and thus can intelligently cooperate in the building of the Temple of the Lord. The perception referred to here is of such a high [42] order as to be almost inconceivable to any but advanced disciples, but in an appreciation of the stages and grades there comes to the aspirant, not only an understanding of what is his immediate problem and of where he stands, but also an appreciation of the beauty of the entire scheme.
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