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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
45. Through devotion to Ishvara the goal of meditation (or samadhi) is reached.

The goal of meditation is ability to contact the divine inner self, and through the contact, to come [212] to a realization of the unity of that self with all selves and the All-Self, and this, not just theoretically, but as a fact in nature. This comes about when a state called "samadhi" is achieved wherein the consciousness of the thinker is transferred out of the lower brain consciousness into that of the spiritual man or soul on its own plane. The stages of this transfer might be stated to be as follows:

  1. Transfer of the consciousness of the body, the outgoing instinctual consciousness of the physical man, into the head. This necessitates a conscious withdrawal of the consciousness to a point within the brain in the neighborhood of the pineal gland, and its conscious definite centering there.
  2. Transfer of the consciousness out of the head or brain into the mind or mental body. In this transfer, the brain remains keenly alert and the withdrawal is consciously undertaken via the etheric body, using the brahmarandra or opening at the top of the head. At no point is the man in trance, unconscious or asleep. He actively undertakes and carries forward this abstracting or withdrawing process.
  3. Transfer of the consciousness from out of the mental body into that of the ego, the soul, lodged in the causal body or egoic lotus. There is then brought about a condition in which the brain, the mental body and the egoic body form a coherent quiescent unit, alive, alert, positive and steady.
  4. The state of samadhi or spiritual contemplation [213] can then be entered, when the soul looks out upon its own world, sees the vision of things as they are, contacts reality and "knows God."

Following upon this comes the stage in which the spiritual man transmits to the brain via the mind that which is visioned, seen, contacted and known; and in this way, the knowledge becomes part of the brain contents and is available for use upon the physical plane.

This is the goal of the meditation process, and the results in their many distinctions are the subject of Book III. and are produced by conformity to the eight means of yoga dealt with in Book II. Only devotion to Ishvara or true love of God, with its accompanying qualities of service, love of man, and patient endurance in well-doing, will carry a man along this arduous path of discipline, purification and hard work.

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