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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
51. There should be entire rejection of all allurements from all forms of being, even the celestial, for the recurrence of evil contacts remains possible.

Rama Prasad's translation is illuminating and should be quoted here. It runs as follows:

"When the presiding deities invite, there should [360] be no attachment and no smile of satisfaction, contact with the undesirable being again possible."

And Dvivedi's interpretation gives still another angle:

"There should be entire distinction of pleasure or pride in the invitations by the powers of various places, for there is possibility of the repetition of evil."

The yogin or disciple has achieved his objective. He has (through dispassion and discrimination) freed himself from the trammels of form and stands free and liberated. But he needs to be on his guard for "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Form life ever beckons, and the allurements of the great illusion are ever present. The emancipated soul must turn his eyes away from the invitation of the "presiding deities" (those lives who in the three worlds form the sum total of plane life) and fix them on those more spiritual aspects which constitute the life of God Himself.

Even the realm of the soul itself, and the "Voice of the Gods," as it is called, are seen to have latent in them the seeds of attachment; therefore, turning his back upon all that he has gained, and putting behind him all thought of the perfections achieved and the powers developed, the Son of God, the Christ in manifestation, again presses forward towards a higher goal. At every stage of the path, the injunction sounds forth: "Forgetting the things which are behind, press forward" (Phil: IV.), and every new initiation but marks [361] the commencement of a new cycle of endeavor.

Commentators upon this sutra point out that there are four classes of chelas or disciples. These are:

  1. Those whom the light is just beginning to illumine. They are called "observant of practice," and are those who are just entering the Path. These are the probationers, the aspirants
  2. Those whose intuition is awakening and who demonstrate a corresponding development of psychic power. This is a stage of great danger for such disciples are apt to be allured by the possibilities of power which the possession of psychic faculty opens up. They are apt to be deluded and to consider that psychic power is an indication of spiritual growth and unfoldment. Such is not the case.
  3. Those disciples who have overcome all sense attractions and cannot be deluded by the form aspect in the three worlds. They have conquered the senses and are victors over the form nature.
  4. Those who have passed beyond all the above and who stand firm in the true spiritual consciousness. These are the illuminated ones, who have progressed through the seven stages of illumination. See Book II., Sutra 27.

If the student will here study Book III. Sutra 26, and the commentary upon it, he will gain some idea of the nature of these worlds of form and their presiding deities whose voices seek to lure the aspirant off the path into the realm of illusion. He will find it also of interest to contrast and compare the first four classes of spirits enumerated [362] there with these four types of disciples. Everything in the three worlds is a reflection of that which is found in the heavenly realms and much may be gained through a comprehension of the great Hermetic aphorism, "As above, so below." That reflection is what constitutes evil; that reverse aspect of reality forms the great illusion, and with these the sons of God have no concern. It is evil where they are concerned but in no other sense. The forms of life in these worlds, and the lives animating those forms are good and right in themselves and are pursuing their own evolutionary path, but their immediate objective and their state of consciousness is not synchronized with that of the evolving disciple and therefore with them there must be no trafficking.

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