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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
49. The man who can discriminate between the soul and the spirit achieves supremacy over all conditions and becomes omniscient.

The condition of the man who can do this has been well described in the comment of Charles Johnston on this sutra and the beauty of his [357] thought will be seen by the study of his words as follows:

"The spiritual man is enmeshed in the web of the emotions; desire, fear, ambition, passion; and impeded by the mental forms of separateness and materialism. When these meshes are sundered, these obstacles completely overcome, then the spiritual man stands forth in his own wide world, strong, mighty, wise. He uses divine powers, with a divine scope and energy, working together with divine Companions. To such a one it is said: 'Thou art now a disciple, able to stand, able to hear, able to see, able to speak, thou hast conquered desire and attained to self-knowledge, thou hast seen thy soul in its bloom and recognized it, and heard the voice of the silence.' "

The wonderful synthesis of the teaching is nowhere more apparent than in this sutra, for the point reached here is of a higher order again than the one referred to in Book II. Sutra 45, and intermediate to the condition mentioned there and that referred to in Book IV. Sutra 30 to 34.

in Book I. Sutra 4, we find the true man entangled in the meshes of the psychic nature and the light in him veiled and hidden. By learning to discriminate between the true self and the lower personal self he disentangles himself, the light which is in him is seen and he is liberated. Having achieved liberation, developed the soul-powers and attained mastery, there opens up before him a still vaster and wider experience and realization. He can begin to expand his consciousness from the planetary to the solar, and group [358] consciousness can be developed into God consciousness. The first step towards this is stated in the sutra we are now considering, which is more fully dealt with and hinted at in the final book. The rules for this expansion are not given, for they concern the development of the Master and the unfoldment of the Christ into that higher state of being which is for Him possible, but the fourth book touches on the preparatory stages and hints at further possibilities. Here the first basic requirement is touched upon, discrimination between the soul, the Christ within and the spirit or Father aspect. Intelligent activity has been demonstrated, based upon an unfoldment of the love nature. With safety now the spirit or will aspect can be developed and power delivered into the hands of the Christ.

Three terms serve to throw light on this process of unfoldment.

The first great realization which the aspirant has to achieve is that of omnipresence; he has to realize his unity with all, and the oneness of his soul with all other souls. He has to find God in his own heart and in every form of life. Then, as an initiate, he arrives at omniscience or all-knowledge, and the Halls of Learning and of Wisdom render up to him their secrets. He becomes a Christ, a knower of all things, knowing what is in the heart of the Father and in the hearts of men. Finally, he can eventually achieve omnipotence or all-power, when the keys of Heaven will be handed to the Son of Man and all power will be his. [358]

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