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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 2 - The Steps to Union
48. When this is attained, the pairs of opposites no longer limit.

The pairs of opposites concern the desire body and it is significant that in the preceding sutra [216] only the mind and the physical body were dealt with. In this sutra the emotional nature, expressing itself through desire fails to be influenced by the pull of any attractive force. The astral body becomes quiescent and non-assertive, unresponsive to any lure from the world of illusion.

There is a great mystery concerned with the astral body of man and with the astral light, and the nature of the mystery is still only known to advanced initiates. The astral light is thrown into objectivity by two producing factors, and the astral body of a man is responsive to two types of energy. They seem essentially in themselves to lack character or form but to be dependent for manifestation upon "that which is above and that which is below." The desire nature of man, for instance, seems to respond to the lure of the great world of illusion, the maya of the senses, or to the voice of the ego, using the mental body. Vibrations reach the astral body from the physical plane and from the mental world, and according to the nature of the man and to the point in evolution which he has reached, so will be the response to the higher or the lower call.

The astral body is either attentive to the egoic impression or swayed by the million voices of earth. It apparently has no voice of its own, no character of its own. This has been pictured for us in the Gita where Arjuna stands midway between the two opposing forces of good and evil and searches for the right attitude to both. The astral plane is the battleground of the soul, the place of victory or the place of defeat; it is the [217] kurukshetra, upon which the great choice is made.

In these sutras concerning posture, the same idea lies latent. The physical plane and the mental plane are emphasized and it is brought out that when they are adjusted rightly, when poise on the physical plane and one pointedness on the mental plane are attained, then the pairs of opposites no longer limit. The point of balance is reached and the man is liberated. The scales of a man's life are absolutely adjusted and he stands free.

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