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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
25. When ignorance is brought to an end through non- with the things perceived, this is the great liberation.

During the process of incarnation, the seer, the soul, is submerged in the great maya or illusion. He is imprisoned by his own thought forms and [170] thought creations and in those of the three worlds also. He regards himself as part of the phenomenal world. When, through experience and discrimination, he can distinguish between himself and those forms, then the process of liberation can proceed and eventually culminate in the great renunciation which once and for all sets a man free from the three worlds.

This process is a progressive one and cannot be effected all at once. It covers two stages:

1. The stage of probation, or, as the Christian expresses it, the Path of Purification,

2. The stage of discipleship in two parts:

  1. Discipleship itself or the steadfast training and discipline administered to the personal lower self by the soul, directed by his guru or master,
  2. Initiation, or the progressive expansions of consciousness through which the disciple passes under the guidance of the master.

Certain words describe this dual process:

  1. Aspiration,
  2. Discipline,
  3. Purification,
  4. The practice of the means of yoga or union,
  5. Initiation,
  6. Realization,
  7. Union.
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