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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 1 - The Problem of Union
22. Those who employ the will likewise differ, for its use may be intense, moderate or gentle. In respect to the attainment of true spiritual consciousness there is yet another way.

It would be wise here to make clear the two ways whereby men reach the goal, - knowledge of the spiritual life, and emancipation. There is the way of Yoga as outlined by Patanjali whereby, through the use of the will, discrimination between the self and the not-self is achieved and pure spirit is arrived at. This is the way for the fifth or Aryan race, for those whose function it is to develop the fifth principle or mind and thus become true sons of mind. It is their part to become the five-pointed star, the star of the perfected man, in all his glory. Through following this way the five planes of human and superhuman evolution are dominated and atma [44] (or the will of God, the Father aspect) stands revealed through the medium of buddhi (or the Christ consciousness), having for its vehicle, manas or higher mind.

The other way is the way of pure devotion. Through intense adoration and entire consecration the aspirant arrives at a knowledge of the reality of spirit. This is the way of least resistance for many; it was the method of attainment for the race preceding the Aryan. It largely ignores the fifth principle and is the sublimation of sensuous perception, being the way of intense feeling. Through following this method the four planes are dominated and buddhi (or the Christ) stands revealed. Students should differentiate clearly between these two ways, remembering that the white occultist blends the two and if in this life he follows the way of Raja Yoga with fervor and love it will be because in other lives he set his foot upon the way of devotion and found the Christ, the Buddhi within. In this life he will recapitulate his experience, plus the intense exercise of the will and control of the mind which will eventually reveal to him his Father in Heaven, the point of pure spirit.

Commentators upon this sutra point out that those who follow the method of Raja Yoga and use the will are divided into three main groups. These can correspondingly be divided into nine. There are those who use the will with such intensity that exceedingly rapid results are achieved, attended however with certain dangers and risks. There is the risk of uneven development, [45] of a negation of the heart side of nature, and of certain destructions which will later have to be remedied. Then there are those aspirants whose progress is less rapid, and who are exponents of the middle path. They proceed steadily and moderately and are called the "discriminative adepts" as they permit no excesses of any kind. Their method is to be recommended to men in this particular cycle. Again there are those gentle souls whose will may be regarded as characterized by an imperturbable pertinacity and who go steadily, undeviatingly forward, eventually arriving at their goal. They are distinguished by intense tenacity. Their progress is slow. They are the "tortoises" of the Path just as the first group are the "hares."

In some of the old books there are detailed accounts of these three groups of aspirants and they are portrayed under three symbols:

  1. The intense group are depicted as goats, and aspirants of this type are frequently found in incarnation under the sign Capricorn,
  2. The moderate group are depicted by a fish, and many born under the sign Pisces are found in this category,
  3. The gentle or slow group are pictured as crabs and often come into incarnation under the sign Cancer.

In these three groups are to be found various subdivisions and it is interesting to note that in the archives of the Lords of Karma, the majority of these three groups pass into the sign of Libra (or the balances) towards the close of their [46] endeavor. When in incarnation under this sign they balance the pairs of opposites with care, they equalize their one-sided development, modifying the unevenness of their efforts hitherto, and begin to "set an even pace." They frequently then enter the sign of Aquarius and become bearers of water, having to carry "on their heads the bowl of living water." Thus the rapidity of their climb up the mount of initiation has to be modified, or "the water will be spilt and the bowl be shattered." Because the water is intended to slake the thirst of the masses, they must hasten their progress for the need is great. Thus the "first shall be last and the last shall be first" and the hare and the tortoise meet at the goal.

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