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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
6. The sense of personality is due to the identification of the knower with the instruments of knowledge.

This verse is the commentary upon the previous one. The student should remember that the knower, the spiritual man, has various instruments for contacting his environment and thus becoming increasingly aware:

1. His three sheaths or bodies which are his medium of contact on three planes:

    1. The physical body,
    2. The emotional or astral body,
    3. The mental body.

2. On the physical plane he has his five senses, hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. [134]

3. The mind, the great sixth sense which has a triple use. As yet for the majority of men it has but one use:

Its first and commonest use is a gathering of the realized contacts together and their transmission as information to the ego or knower, much in the same way as the nervous system telegraphs to the brain the external contacts it makes. It is this use of the mind which produces primarily the sense of personality which begins to fade out as the other uses become possible.

A second use of the mind is the one which the first five means of yoga bring about - the power to transmit to the brain the thoughts, wishes and will of the ego or soul. This brings into the personal self on the physical plane a recognition of the reality and the sense of identification with the not-self becomes steadily less.

The third use of the mind is its use by the soul as an organ of vision whereby the realm of the soul itself is contacted and known. The final three means of yoga bring this about.

It should be emphasized that this is a most important fact to note. If the aspirant will regard the development and full use of the sixth sense as his immediate objective, and will bear in mind the three purposes for which it is intended, he will make rapid progress, the sense of personality will fade away and identification with the soul will ensue. This is one of the greatest of the fetters which hold the sons of men captive. It is here that the axe must be laid to the root of the tree. [135]

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