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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
24. Meditation, one-pointedly centered upon the power of the elephant, will awaken that force or light.

This sutra has given rise to much discussion and its usual interpretation has given the idea that meditation upon the elephant will give the strength of the elephant. Many commentators infer from these words, that meditation upon other animals will give their characteristics.

It should be remembered that this is a scientific textbook, having for its objective the following:

  1. Training the aspirant so that he can enter into subtler realms.
  2. Giving him power over the mind, so that it is his instrument to use as he will as an organ of vision into the higher worlds and as a transmitter or intermediary between the soul and the brain.
  3. Awakening the light in the head so that the aspirant can become a radiant center of light and illumine all problems, and through its light see light everywhere.
  4. Arousing the fires of the body so that the centers become active, luminous, connected and coordinated.
  5. Producing a coordination between:
    1. The ego or soul on its own plane,
    2. The brain via the mind,
    3. The centers. By an act of the will they can then all be thrown into uniform activity. [290]
  6. This effected, the fire at the base of the spine, dormant hitherto, will be aroused and can proceed upward with security, blending ultimately with the fire or light in the head, and so pass out, having "burned out all dross, and left all channels clear" for the use of the ego.
  7. Developing thus the powers of the soul, the siddhis, higher and lower, so that an efficient server of the race is produced.

When these seven points are borne in mind, it is interesting to note that the symbol of the center at the base of the spine, the muladhara center, is the elephant. It is the symbol of strength, of concentrated power, of the great moving force, which once aroused, carries all before it. It is for our fifth root race, the symbol of the most powerful and mighty of the animal kingdom. It is a picture of the transmutation or sublimation of the animal nature, for at the base of the spine is the elephant and in the head is the thousand petalled lotus hiding Vishnu, seated in the center. Thus is the animal nature carried upward into heaven.

By meditation upon this "elephant force," the power of the third aspect, the energy of matter itself and therefore of God the Holy Ghost or of Brahma, is aroused and conjoined to that of the second or consciousness aspect, to soul energy, that of Vishnu, the second aspect, the Christ force. This produces the perfect at-one-ment, or union between soul and body, which is the true goal of Raja Yoga.

Will the students of this science remember here, [291] however, that these forms of one-pointed meditation are only permitted after the eight means of yoga (dealt with in Book II) have been followed.

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