The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga
A. P. Mukerji
Part 1 out of 2
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The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga
Including the Practices and Exercises of Concentration, both Objective
and Subjective, and Active and Passive Mentation, an Elucidation of Maya,
Guru Worship, and the Worship of the Terrible, also the Mystery of
BY SWAMI MUKERJI
YOGI OF THE SOUTH INDIA ORDER
In studying these Lessons please remember 3 points:--
1. Not one useless or superfluous sentence is written. Every word is full
of meaning. They are highly condensed. Think deeply over them.
2. They are meant as a practical supplement to the 'Spiritual
Consciousness,' 'Soul-Force' and 'Inner Forces.' Studied side by side,
these lessons will yield a great deal of benefit. You are expected to
think hard and long.
3. Let none expect speedy or miraculous results. _All spiritual training
calls for infinite patience and deep reverence unto the Guru. Constant
rise and fall accompanies all progress_.
CONCENTRATION AND THOUGHT-CONTROL.
Student! Your life is your own. You have only yourself to thank for what
you are, have been and will be. Take your present into your own hand.
Consciously shape out of it your future. Direct your forces along lines
of study and endeavour that have the strongest attraction for you. Such
attraction is the indication of need. It is the hand pointing out your
Life-purpose. What your heart desires earnestly and clamours for
incessantly is _attracted_ to you out of the _invisible supply, i.e._,
the means, the environments, the right sort of persons, books and
thought-forces are drawn to you and then you are expected to work out
your desire. This is in perfect accord with the great _Law of
Attraction_. Some call it God: since it answers all sincere prayers.
Prayer, remember, is the sincere desire of the heart. I take it that you
hunger for Truth and Spiritual Growth--else you and I would not be here.
The instructions given you hereunder are meant to give you a strong body
and a strong will. They will also tend to your Soul-Unfoldment. Talk not
of them. Keep your mouth closed. Be serious, earnest and thoughtful. Then
work at them confidently and with perseverance. Do not be daunted by
apparent failures. Failure is the stepping-stone to Success. He fails who
gives up a thing in final despair. Go on, I say. You will improve from
the very first day, and in a short time you will be another man. All the
leaders of humanity, past or present, have studied and investigated with
tireless zeal along the special lines and, in Spiritual culture, you must
do the same. But you must have health, a strong will and a steady brain,
and I will enable you to have these positively. Keep these instructions
strictly privately. Master them by constant meditation upon same.
Concentration signifies the state of being at a centre (_con_ and
_centrum_). Applied to thought, it is the act of bringing the mind to a
single point. Each human being must practise concentration _subjectively_
and _objectively_. In other words, each human being aims with more or
less precision at concentration on a point _within_ and a point _without_
his own world. Concentration "without" is illustrated when you devote all
your attention upon Nature, such as learning a trade, a profession, a
science, an art or some form of business. This is _Evolution_, outgoing
or positive mental energy. I shall call this _Objective Concentration_.
Concentration "within" implies the withdrawing of attention from the
external world and the placing of mind on "God," "Spirit," "Heaven,"
"Religion," "Peace," "Nirvana," "Eternity," etc. This is _Involution_,
_i.e._, incoming or negative energy.
When _Objective Concentration_ alone is practised, you develop into a
hard-headed, practical man of the world or a successful man of business.
You are keen and shrewd. The world is a very matter-of-fact thing to
you. You cannot think of anything else beyond money-making and pleasures
and worldly affairs. You are a "worldling of the world," very clever,
rich, and a master along your own lines. But spiritually you are an
imbecile, worse than a baby. This is the _Objective Mind_--the "deepest
immersed in matter, literally made of the dust." "It is the brain of
worldly wisdom, common sense, prudence, methodical arrangement, order,
discipline, classification, the skill and knowledge of the expert in any
branch or department of art or science." This side of the mind is well
developed in Scientists, Mathematicians and Businessmen, etc. Where
it is not guided by the Subjective Mind, it can only see diversity and
difference and is the slave of Maya--the slayer of the Real.
_Subjective Concentration_ is seeking the Kingdom of Heaven _within_
you. "God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship in Spirit
and Truth." LAPLACE, the great astronomer, asserted that he had swept
the heavens with his telescope and found neither God nor Heaven. Yes,
poor LAPLACE! He looked for God objectively instead of subjectively.
The Kingdom of God comes not with 'observation' but it is 'within' you.
The be-all and the end-all of religion is the practice of Subjective
Concentration. The performance of objective work by the human organism
necessitates expenditure of energy and at last death, because all
Objective Concentration means 'going from' the Absolute centre--God--and
hence it expends Spiritual Energy. Subjective Concentration means 'coming
to' the centre and hence it husbands and recuperates this energy. Now
nature is motion to and from, and Spirit--the centre of Life. This
two-fold motion constitutes what is known as polarity--Evolution and
Involution--negative and positive. At the negative pole life becomes
involved, _i.e._, 'wrapped up' in form. At the positive pole life
'evolves' or becomes expressed in nature. In Subjective Concentration you
return for fresh supplies to the inexhaustible storehouse of force--the
Absolute Will. Jesus healed the sick, exhibited control over external
nature by raising the dead, because his chaste soul could receive nothing
negatively from God and could give it out positively to the objective
world. All power comes from God. I would impress upon you the
all-important necessity of placing yourself in a magnetically passive
attitude towards the Universal Will and then of taking up a calm,
positive attitude towards the phenomenal world--which is a projection of
the lower nature and hence must be handled masterfully, fearlessly and
confidently. Be positive to the external world. Be negative and receptive
to the Lord's Will-force. Remember this. This brings me to the supremest
and most solid truth contained in the Science of prayer. The praying
mind, by its mere attitude of faith and earnest expectation, opens itself
out to the tremendous inflow of Divine Energy. It draws close to the
centre of all-power, wisdom and love, and drinks deep of the living
waters of life so that even the very face or flesh begins to shine under
the influence of this self-polarization--if I may be permitted to use
this word--through prayer. Here is the _causa nuxus_ between a prayer and
its sure reply. Do you remember what Lord Rosebery said of the great
Puritan Mystic Oliver Cromwell? If not, please let me quote: "The secret
of his extraordinary success--he was a practical mystic--the most
formidable and terrible of all combinations. The man who combines
inspiration, apparently derived--in my judgment, really derived--from
close communion with the Supernatural and the Celestial, a man who has
that inspiration and adds to it the energy of a mighty man of action,
such a man as that lives in communion on a _Sinai_ of his own; and when
he pleases to come down to this world below, seems armed with no less
than the terrors and decrees of the Almighty Himself." Now both forms of
concentration must be practised so as to hold the two poles in the even
balance of harmonious growth.
You will perform the daily work to which you are naturally adapted in the
common weal (Objective Concentration) and after the daily task is
finished, retire to the bosom of the Universal Spirit by the regular
practice of Subjective Concentration.
Now will you realise the ideal of peace in the very midst of the toil
and sweat of the day.
The foregoing diagram, if closely and thoughtfully studied, will show the
stages the mind has to 'grow into' in objective and subjective
In order to acquire knowledge of the laws of external nature the mirror
you require is accurate observation and you must focus your attention and
push objective concentration to its final stage of perfect knowledge or
illumination in order to master any special branch of science.
In Objective Concentration, _Pratyahara_ and _Dharana_ are the
preparatory stages. Take a scientist, for instance. He knows that when
the mind is engaged with several things, mind force is scattered. He
cannot be a politician, a musician, etc., and at the same time an expert
scientist. He gradually abstracts his attention from all other subjects
and pauses it on one subject or one set of subjects.
_Pratyahara_ is the continued effort of the mind to so abstract itself.
_Dharana_ is reached when this effort is finally successful and the
mind becomes steadfast and one-pointed. _Dhyana_ is an extension of
this steadfastness. When _Dhyana_ is reached, the student is beyond the
range of books. His mind is occupied with original researches and
experiments and his knowledge becomes more and more definite. Going on
and on always on the one line complete knowledge of that subject is
attained. This is the objective view of _Samadhi_. All these stages when
completed make one _Samayana_. The subjective view of _Samadhi_ no books
or writings can teach you. As you go deeper and deeper into Yoga, you
will understand these things in the light of your Soul-Vision. It will
come to you if you follow my subsequent instructions. Despair not.
WHAT IS MAYA?
Now, first of all, what is Maya (ignorance of the real)? Take the
dial-plate of a watch. You know quite well that the hands of the watch
are governed by the mechanism behind. Both are necessary. Ignorance
exists in thinking that the hands of the watch move by themselves. This
visible universe is the dial-plate of the Invisible. Maya (ignorance)
blinds you to this fact, _i.e._, mere objective knowledge blinds you to
the subjective side of life and you see nothing beyond a material
universe. But you, who realize both, objective as well as subjective,
need not be afraid of such a danger. For a danger it is to develop the
objective mind die neglect of the subjective. In order to round yourself
out, practise both. _But first, last and always, let the subjective
guide, govern and illumine the objective_. Also remember this: If your
mind is at all attached to the objective world, try your very best to
disattach it and fix it on the subjective side of life, else will you
bring untold suffering on yourself. The half-wordly and half-spiritual
man who wants to lead a spiritual sensual life eventually brings about a
conflict between the laws and forces of the two planes of being. He is
overwhelmed with pain and at last with cries of suffering, disease and
loss, he is made to open his eyes. Understand the world for what it is
but do not lower your soul to the point of being attached to its small
thoughts, things and ways.
HOW TO CONCENTRATE OBJECTIVELY.
(_a_) In all undertakings whether of small or great importance shut
off all thoughts and ideas except such as have any immediate and direct
bearing upon the thing in hand. Pay attention. Bend all the energies
of your mind and will upon it till it is completed to your satisfaction.
Divert your attention from one thing to another only when you sanction
by a resolve and understand why you do so. Your daily work which you
must choose according to the special bent of your mind, will present you
(_b_) Control impulse. Suppose an idea enters your mind. Compose
yourself quietly before carrying out its purport. Consider it. Turn
it over in your mind. Contemplate it. Weave your mental energies
around it, as it were, till at last the idea with your final decision
stands out clear-cut and well-defined. Then proceed to act it out
physically with your mental concentration cutting a way for you straight
on to the execution of your designing. This is _forethought_.
(_c_) In perfect concentration time vanishes. In working out a
design on which you have set your heart dispense altogether with the
element of time and work at it concentratedly for days, months and
years with confident expectation of success.
(_d_) Take a picture, representing a landscape, the interior of a
building, an assembly of persons, a square, a triangle or a more
complicated geometrical figure. Look at it well. Then lay it aside. Close
your eyes. Reproduce the picture mentally in detail. Then repose your
mind on the same image to the exclusion of all other thoughts. This is
a more fixed and meditative method and will sharpen the mind wonderfully.
It will also develop the power of conscious Mental Imagery. The
key to Objective Concentration is _Conscious Attention_, remember.
ACTIVE AND PASSIVE MENTATION.
These terms imply two different distinct functions of the human
mind. The active function performs the volitional, voluntary thinking.
It is the conscious focusing of the mind on some mental problem.
Banishing from the mind all thoughts and ideas not in harmony with your
special subject of study implies Active Mentation. This function is used
by the active, wide-awake man in his busy and energetic moments. It
is the key to the development of Will-Power and a vigorous intellect.
You are conscious of effort when you are exercising this function. The
mind becomes exhausted after a great deal of such effort and cries out
for rest, because conscious attention implies close concentration of
thought and can be exercised only by the conscious use of Will-Power. You
ought to be able to concentrate upon one subject of thought, study and
observation with undivided attention and then take your mind off that
subject and put it on something else, at your will. Train your mind to
'give' perfect attention to any subject you like and also to 'shut off'
or inhibit all attention on that subject. The mind is a restless thing
darting from one thing to another, and, like a spoilt child, tiring of
continued attention. But you must, by Will-Exercise, get control over
this tendency. 'Exercise develops power. Practice makes perfect.' This
you must bear in mind and, by patience and perseverance, train your mind
to 'pay attention' where it ought to do so and not to pay attention where
it ought not to. At first your mind will rebel like an unbroken horse
at the imposition of such restraint. But really all greatness results
from mind-control. _Remember active mentation is conscious, deliberate
concentration. Passive mentation represents automatic, involuntary
thinking._ This includes the subconscious or 'habit' mind. When a certain
thought-groove has been formed in your mind, energy flows into it
involuntarily, _i.e._, by itself and without any conscious effort on your
part. This is passive mentation. It is automatic mental activity. Take an
example. Some school-boys find Mathematics, Science and Geography
easy to master from the very start. They feel quite in sympathy with the
teacher of Mathematics. But History and Language are their abomination.
There are others who simply cannot 'take an interest' in any
Mathematics but who shine brilliantly in Language, Recitation,
Composition, History. As a matter of fact neither of these students is
superior to the other, but each is great in his own line. In one set, you
have an example of automatic mentation in Mathematics, Science and
Geography; in the other in Literature and Art. But suppose the first set
tried to master Literature and Art and the second grappled with
Mathematics and Science, each would then be practising actual
concentration. In each set the active function would be exercised and
will-power would develop on both sides. Do you see? Occultists say that
all power results from the continual exercise of active mentation
and all weak-mindedness is the direct outcome of this wool-gathering,
castle-building, inattentive habit which is an extension of passive
mentation into useless channels of thought-force. Conscious attention
concentrates and even specializes mental energy as the sun-glass
concentrates and intensifies the heat of the rays of the sun. Focus your
full attention upon the thing to be done, take a keen interest in its
accomplishment to the exclusion of all else, and you will obtain
wonderful results. The man of developed, concentrative power holds in his
hand the key to success, with the results that all his actions, voluntary
or involuntary, are pointed to the accomplishment of his object. Remember
therefore in conclusion:
(1) Concentration is perfect attention consciously directed to a
given point of achievement either objectively or subjectively.
(2) Concentration is consecration.
"What ever you do, do it with all your might. Do one thing at a time and
do it well." By concentration is meant the directing of all your energies
along a special line of achievement. For instance, if you would be a
perfect Yogi, you must concentrate, concentrate, morning, noon and night,
at all times, along that line of endeavour. You must study all the vast
literature on Yoga, Psychology, Metaphysics, Mentalism, etc., and form
your own synthesis on same. You must think hard and work hard for Yoga.
"Genius is the power to bear infinite pain." Nothing ought to be too
great a sacrifice, including your own life, for the right understanding
and achievement of Yoga.
All half-heartedness, all insincerity, weakens your nature, and
weakness has no place either in heaven or in hell. For the half-hearted
man is a traitor unto the Divine within him and must pay dearly for
SUBJECTIVE CONCENTRATION--HOW PRACTISED.
This is a vast subject. If you practise earnestly my instructions on
Thought-Control, Will-Culture, and take the Meditation Exercise I am
going to give you, you will realize greater strength than average
humanity. But you must study and think hard for yourself before any
considerable benefit can be derived from even these. Remember please, you
alone can teach yourself through intuition. Intuition is tuition from
within. Follow strictly the general rules I give you and you cannot but
unfold your Inner Soul Vision which includes intuition in its fullest
_(a) What is Thought-Force?_
"Thoughts are things." Thought is a dynamic energy. Just as the food that
you eat feeds your body, exactly similarly your thoughts and feelings
nourish your soul. Matter is nothing but a concentration of Thought-Force
or Mind-Substance. The entire universe is seen objectively. This is on
the cosmic scale. On the individual scale--"As a man thinketh in his
heart, so he is." This is a literal truth. Your body is nothing but a
Thought-Form. Control your modes of thinking and shape them to lofty
ideals. So will you infallibly, positively and immediately control your
destiny. Control your thoughts and you can control the thoughts of all
other men. The tone of your thoughts must always be lofty. You must
change your Thought-Habits and shift your plane of consciousness from the
lower to the higher life. I am going to give you hints on same. Pay
Every one of us, as he thinks, feels and wills, sends forth Thought-Forms
and Thought-Waves of greater or lesser intensity. This force once set
into motion persists, for a greater or lesser period of time, in
Ether. Thought-Force is the concentration of a high form of vibratory
energy in the Akasa (universal ether) and the ether, as you know,
permeates all space, interpenetrates and pervades all forms of matter,
from atom to the sun and the stars. Just as the light-waves of a star
exist and move on centuries after the star has ceased to be, just as the
heat-vibrations remain in a room even after the producing cause has been
removed, similarly mentative energy and its corresponding Thought-Forms
persist in the ether even after the originating impulse has been
In this way places, houses, cities and temples have peculiar
Thought-Atmospheres of their own, imparted by those living there,
exerting an influence upon every one living or going there. These are
positive, animating, purifying and exalting Thought-Atmospheres, and
there are negative, weakening and unholy, morbid Thought-Atmospheres.
The higher and loftier your tone of general Thought-Activity, the
finer and more powerful the vibrational nature of the energy emanating
from you. The quality of the thought determines the rate of vibration.
For instance, photographs have been taken through highly-sensitized
plates, indicating the nature of the energy generated. Tongues of flame,
brilliant and flashing with golden-yellow, were photographed from prayer
and devotion. Rotary forms spreading out in ever widening circles of
intense power appeared from lofty enthusiasm in a noble cause. Dark,
murky, cloudy forms resulted from fear, morbidness and worry, and so on.
_(d) The Human Aura._
Similarly each human organism has an 'Aura' of Thought-Force around it,
having its own peculiar rate of vibration, its peculiar forms of colour,
etc. This 'Aura' is an extension of our physical, mental and spiritual
_(e) The Adductive Power of Thought._
Now as you think, the quality of your thoughts and feelings sets up
a magnetic centre within your Aura, vortices are created, attracting to
yourself similar forms of thought and mentative energy and combining
with other similar forms of energy, reacting upon you and your
circumstances and also wielding an influence upon all such as may come
within its area, radius or field of Force. Thus you see thoughts of the
'I can and I will', 'I do and I dare' type draw similar ones to you, ever
increasing your own stock and at the same time stimulating and energising
all others vibrating in the same key throughout the world. Hence you see
we owe it to ourselves as well as to humanity in general to generate only
positive, loving and lofty thoughts. Just brace up and send forth
fearless, 'I can and I will' thoughts into the world's great reservoir of
thought forces, and you will be surprised at your power to attract
influence, and energise others.
There are four special classes of thoughts that are poisoning the
lives of almost all humanity. They are:--(1) Fear-thoughts, (2)
Hate-thoughts, (3) Sensual-thoughts, (4) Selfish-thoughts. All worry,
doubt, timidty, lack of self-respect, jealousy, spite, malice, envy,
slander, dirty, vicious, will-weakening, health-destroying,
poverty-breeding, soul-killing influences radiate from one or all of
these four. You must cut at their roots and utterly destroy them. In your
efforts follow assiduously the following four rules. They alone can give
you absolute thought-control. They are infallible:
(1) You can break up old thought-habits and build up new ones
by sheer force of Will.
(2) You can easily become great by associating with some strong-willed,
holy, wisdom-steeped soul. This is absolutely necessary and
means the finding of your Guru.
(3) By auto-suggestion, _i.e._, by impressing upon your passive
mind the particular change you would have it work out.
(4) By thought-absorption, _i.e._, by constant meditation on that
one line of thinking.
Now let me give you a few valuable hints on the above four in detail:
(1) & (3). _Character Building_.
You can accomplish this result by tensing the will and by strengthening
the active function of your mind and thus enabling it to "step in"
and simply 'command' the passive function to drop the old thought-habit
and take up the new one. This is a magnificent feat and in it only the
strongest succeed. You can obtain good results by combining this with
auto-suggestion. Silently concentrate upon your passive mind and impress
upon it your order. Say to it earnestly, confidently, and masterfully:
'You, my mind, I want you to be fearless, pure, loving and unselfish!'
Picture to yourself in imagination as if you were already these,
and again command and impress your will upon your mind. Do so silently
and constantly and never neglect a chance of expressing these qualities
in action because, at first your mind will rebel, but if 'you' keep up
your efforts determinately and firmly and avail yourself of all
opportunities to 'act out' your will, your mind will end up by accepting
your suggestion and manifesting same naturally as a habit. Some of you
will actually go out of your way to 'act out' a thought when you realise
that the easiest and surest way to check and utterly 'destroy' a
thought-habit is to refuse deliberately to let it manifest in action and
to 'create' a new one all you have got to do is to equally deliberately
'express' it in action and thus clinch it into permanent strength. Also
you must aim at 'thoroughness' and guard against all compromise with your
lower nature. Chastity must be perfect chastity and nothing short of
that, and so on in all development.
i. Go away by yourself to some place where you will not be disturbed.
Of course, not always and very rarely can you obtain this condition.
Never mind. Do your best where you are and the great law will at least
find for you all necessary conditions. Shut out all distracting
conditions and impressions from the outer world. After a little effort
you will be able to do so anywhere, at any time, and under any condition.
All mental disturbance is within you.
ii. Now relax, go passive, and draw off all tension from your nerves.
Just you relax your mind and your body will follow suit. A few deep slow
breaths will help the beginner.
iii. Concentrate upon your mind inward steadily, calmly and with
iv. Fix your thought firmly upon your passive mind and mentally
say, 'You, my mind, are quite _pure_.' Think of this word (with all the
ideas associated therewith) as sinking deeply into your mind and making
a deep impress upon it as a die upon a wax. Let the outward form of
the words 'pure,' 'fearless,' etc., sink into your mind.
v. Form a mental picture of yourself as if you already possessed
all 'purity' and 'courage' and act them out in imagination. Make of it
a pleasant 'day dream.'
vi. Intensify your relaxed condition of mind. Grow as 'limp' as a
rag. Then mentally open yourself out to the inrush of all the
Thought-Forces existing in the ether and connected with positive
thoughts. The effort of this imagination to see this tremendous force
pouring into your brain and body will actually put you _en rapport_ with
vii. Now change from negative to a positive condition and say
vigourously I am '_pure_' and '_strong_' Say it distinctly several times.
Actually speak them out.
viii. Then go out and _live your thoughts out_. This last is the most
ix. Practise this daily at the same hour and if possible at the same
place, morning and evening. In fact hold the thought in your mind as
often as possible till it becomes second Nature.
x. Use your power for good or you shall weep eternally. To misuse
occult powers for mean, selfish, or low ends and to prostitute it into
enslaving others weaker than yourselves mentally and physically is the
greatest 'sin' man can commit against man.
(2) _Guru Worship_.
You grow by absorption and assimilation. In order to quicken your
progress you need abstract as well as concrete ideals. The secret of all
rapid and startling spiritual development is man-worship. By man-worship
I mean devotion to, reverence, and intense and all-absorbing passion for
the perfect individual man of realization--a Mahapurusha. Christ, Buddha
and Vivekananda were all such-type men. You must constantly and
thoughtfully meditate upon the lives and writings of saints and heroes.
The formative influence and valuable powers of study and meditation upon
lofty ideas and ideals are incalculable. Man grows by the deepening of
consciousness and the acquirement of wisdom. All study, subjective and
objective, is a _Tapashya_ or Austerity directed to the acquirement of
wisdom. It is the worship of Saraswati--the Goddess of Wisdom. This
worship is definable as perfect emotional solitude, close study, absolute
chastity and celibacy, and at last the merging of the personal into the
impersonal. This austere life is the secret of all greatness. You know
how Archimedes when threatened with death by the vandalistic invaders of
his country raised his head and said 'Please do not disturb my circles'
and nothing more. This man was practising Yoga unconsciously. You must be
able to lose all consciousness of this relative personality, the sure
victim of death and impermanence. You must give up the personal ego that
in the words of Walt Whitman 'is contained within your hat and boots' and
then alone will you realise an infinite individuality. Truly in losing
himself man finds Himself. 'Ye must be born anew'. Herein, apart from its
formative and moulding influence lies the greatest value of study. Study
and direct aural influence of a perfected soul are the two objective
means of instilling powerful suggestions into the subjective self or the
inner soul. All knowledge is within the deeps of the eternal subjective.
But the gate is locked. Your Guru gives you the master-key with which to
unlock the door and enter the gate of wisdom and power. Once you are
there all pain and death shall be conquered. You can then help yourself.
Man can only worship such a God as is greater than himself in degree and
not in kind. Such a God he can "grow into." It is the impersonal God of
the Hindu Philosophy that gives you the abstract ideas and the living
Guru (God) in human form that gives you the concrete ideal. The one is
necessary for the soaring intellect; the other for the rousing and
enkindling of tremendous and indomitable motive-power. Seek both and when
you find them worship and serve them with all your heart and soul. 'My
worship for my master is the worship of a dog. I do not seek to
understand his nature. It ever startles with its newness and profound
depth'. So spoke Vivekananda of Ram Krishna. Need I tell you of the
tremendous and world-conquering power that awoke in Vivekananda through
mere Guru worship? In India the Guru asks for nothing short of absolute
worship, obedience, and submission to his will although none values and
appreciates individual freedom more than the master. So long as you are
at the feet of your master be as submissive as a lamb. So will you open
yourself to his great batteries of inner power. Serve him. Please him.
Obey him. Be his slave. No matter what contradictions you may see.
A great and profound nature is full of contrary ways and his character
is a paradox impossible for you to read through reason and observation.
You can only understand him by having perfect faith in him, loving
and serving him like a faithful dog. So will you tap on to his inner
forces. And when he sends you away into the broad world to live out the
great ideal he has set before you, you shall be astonished at your
courage and power. You shall take fearless possession of this world
and every minute you shall realise how only he can command who has
learnt to obey. By commanding I do not mean dominating any one and
forcing your views on others. This is the sign of fools. But you will
find your influence radiating and circling out naturally and
irresistibly, winning souls to the higher life, and you yourself shall
thus stand as a tower of strength, a redeemer of the race, an inspiration
and a living benediction unto humanity. Peace be with you! May you
realise strength of soul!
PERSONAL MAGNETISM, WILL-CULTURE, SELF-CONTROL.
Personal Magnetism is the individual expression of a subtle irresistible
and dynamic _Force_ in man, which enables him to exert an unusual
influence upon others. You all have come into contact with men of this
type. They are endowed with marvelous, almost miraculous powers of
influencing, persuading, attracting, fascinating, ruling and bending to
their own Will-Force men of widely varying mental peculiarities and
temperaments. Men actually go out of their way to please them. They
attract others without any visible effort and others feel drawn to them
in spite of themselves. Various are the examples of such power as
afforded by history.
Now what is this power due to? How to develop it within yourself?
Is it possible for everyone to acquire it? Has it or can it be put to any
higher and nobler use than merely to enslave others' minds in order to
make them subservient to your selfish purposes on the relative plane
of existence? If so, what is that higher use? I know of a Christian
gentleman, Mr. K. by name, who had been smitten with the young
governess of a Magistrate in Benares. This grown-up man sought out
a young College student who was a born leader of men and who was
adored, admired and universally respected by all students, teachers and
professors. "I wish you would teach me Mesmerism so that I may
_fascinate_ that girl"--this was the application of Mr. K. Well, the
upshot of it all was that Mr. K. got a severe and stern rebuke from the
young mesmerist, who in all truth was a born Yogi and cared not for the
petty ways and small thoughts and attainments of men of this world. I
find that nearly all modern Western writers on and teachers of this
subject are much, in fact solely, taken up with the idea of
sensationalism through Occultism, so much so that when a really
thoughtful man investigates their writings he feels utterly disgusted,
repelled and horrified at the very name of Occultism. "_It is sin to
manifest power_," said Vivekananda. The man who studies Yoga and
Occultism simply with a view to develop, display and demonstrate Psychic
and Super-normal Powers and _Siddhies_ always ends in _Lust_ and is
caught up in a psychic machinery of law and destructive thought forces
that effectually grind him to pieces. His spiritual progress is thrown
back over ages and he is made to retrace his steps slowly and painfully.
I cannot too strongly condemn the modern tendency to "impress" others, to
"strike terror" into others, to "psychologize" others towards the
accomplishment of our personal motives. If you are one such, do, for
heaven's sake, open your eyes to your gross ignorance and low
propensities or be not surprised if one day you find yourself face to
face with some powerful scoundrel who would not scruple to crush you in
all possible ways. "Harm watch, harm catch." I am going to give you in
practical form what constitute the real cause at the back of a "Magnetic"
personality--that which when developed makes a god-like man of any human
This power is by no means the especial and peculiar possession of some
divinely gifted individuals. _Everyone can cultivate it_. It is in you
and needs vigorous stirring up as a condition of its awakening. There
are some men who are born great; others are made so by certain unforeseen
circumstances; a third class becomes great through conscious and
Now, what are the causes behind Personal Influence?
(1) Some say that the right control of the Sex-Force or Celibacy
is the cause.
(2) Others say that vegetarianism leads to it.
(3) Still others assert that it is physical energy and nerve force.
(4) A fourth class has it that there emanates a current of magnetism
from the human body and influences everyone coming within its
Taking the last view point first, I should say, with certain other
leading mental Scientists, that the human dynamic force is different from
"magnetism" as the latter bears direct reference to the loadstone.
Again, my own personal observations as well as those of others prove
conclusively that although "magnetic" personalities have remarkably
well-disciplined and highly trained physical energies, it is rarely or
never a huge gigantic physique with large, unsightly muscles that exerts
this force. No, it is decidely something other than mere physical energy
and brute strength. A light, active, vigorous physique is desirable and
any one can have it. Again, the principle value of a non-flesh diet lies
in the fact that fruits, nuts, corn and vegetables are possessed of
rhythmic qualities and go to build up a fine, sensitive physique capable
of greater powers of endurance and sustained mental effort than the
'carcass' of any animal ever can. Matter does affect mind in the lower
stages of organic evolution but the process is largely reversed as soon
as CONSCIOUS evolution commences. Therefore vegetarianism, although
highly commendable, from a strictly scientific point of view for the
development of an active and energetic, refined organism, is by no means
a rigid and indispensable necessity in this respect. In fact, some most
"magnetic" individuate make 'graveyards of their stomachs' as a Mental
Scientist puts it.
Lastly, Bramhacharya or Celibacy, as practised by Sannyasis in India, has
a strictly spiritual significance although it certainly has much as
everything to do with Personal Magnetism. To the average man I would say:
"Strive for CONTINENCE, chastity and control in this direction." Do not
emasculate, as that would be a waste of force. The stronger this force,
the better. All Sannyasis learn consciously or unconsciously to transmute
this energy into mental and spiritual force and generally their minds
dwell on a plane of mental and spiritual effort where there cannot be
even a breath of sensuality or grossness. They have gone beyond such
things utterly; the same statement applies to all advanced thinkers,
philosophers and workers, whether married or unmarried. To me the very
name of philosophy carries with it an atmosphere of Chastity, Solemnity,
But although there is some measure of truth in all the above four
statements, they all miss the real thing. The question resolves itself
into this: "_What makes one man superior to another_?" The study of
nature shows us that the higher form of intelligence controls the lower.
All leaders of mankind, such as Napoleon, Alexander, etc., were clearly
ahead of the times. But they strove for low things and their SUCCESS
from our point of view is doubtful. Let us take higher ground. Buddha,
Christ, Zoroaster, etc., etc., of ancient times and Vivekananda and a few
others in modern times exhibited tremendous powers of influencing men.
You study their lives and writings and try to find out just those things
that constituted the basic cause of their heroic fibre.
If I were asked to sum up the secrets of their Power I would say:
1. "_Their Intelligence_ and _Thought-Power._ 2. Awakened _Will-Power_
1. It was by their intelligence that they could take fearless possession
of the world, handle men and women easily, read human nature at a glance
and "be all things to all men," _i.e._., put their fingers direct on the
spiritual, mental, and physical _necessities_ of widely varying
temperaments and help each right where he stood in the ladder of
2. It was by their developed thought-force that they drew the whole world
to themselves. The positive thinker generates a force that draws all such
as are _negative_ to him. Nearly the whole world was negative to these
Masters and hence felt attracted to them. _These were the human
3. It was by their strong, manly, marvellous Will-Power that they
drove their suggestions into other minds and gained an immediate
ascendency over whatever environments they were placed in. The whole
man is summed up in his Will. Every other power in man is subservient
to the Will. And say what you will, it is this power more than any other
that we respect in others. It is the central staff in our character.
Intelligence is the directive energy. Will-Power is the propulsive
energy. And the latter when wielded under the guidance of the former
makes of man a veritable God.
4. It was by their unusual power of _Self-control_ that they could stand
square upon their feet and could remain unshaken by the waves of
conflicting opinions and the hostile attacks that continually dashed up
against them. _Master yourself_, i.e., your personal, relative and lower
self, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, _the mastery of others is already
yours._ But the world will teach you bitter lessons and rend you to
pieces if you try consciously to control it while you are still a slave
to your lower self. Be great. Strive for Perfection. So will you be
recognised by others. And according to the transcendent energy of the
highest law of our Being it is the consciousness of heights scaled,
accomplishments achieved and consequent dawning of a Loftier Ideal upon
our intellectual horizon that fills us with Strength and Peace rather
than the recognition of our worth by others. It is a serious mistake to
care for fame, praise and admiration. You get them only when you do not
care for them in the least, when your soul has outgrown all such clinging
to the relative in the light of _eternal thought_, when you have risen to
the Absolute and learnt to read the meaning of the "LARGER WORLD" of
life. Do not pass by this lightly. In it is the key to Peace, Power and
Poise. All that is Real and Permanent, is on the plane of the Absolute.
Now we are drawing to the practical side of our Lesson. The four
principal points, you will please remember, are: (1) Intelligence. (2)
Thought-Force. (3) Will-Power. (4) Self-Control. You might feel
surprised at my retailing this "ancient history" instead of teaching you
how to approach a man, make him your slave and command him to fall
down at your feet and do your bidding. Perhaps you expected me to
tell you how to sail through the air, pass through solid walls,
materialize and dematerialize at will and like Appolonius of Tyana vanish
in the flash of an eye from the court of Ionysius and appear elsewhere at
a distance of 19,000 miles at the same moment. No, no. I will take it
for granted that you are made of different stuff and _an earnest seeker
after the truth_. If you strive to build yourself on the basis of the
simple principles as laid down in this series of lessons you will in time
grow into the Higher Self and at last become one with it. Moreover, your
daily life will be the Occasion for the practical application of these
principles, thus enabling you to pursue your way through life calmly,
earnestly, independently and with the quiet dignity of a man "who knows
what he is about". I cannot and would not speak of "get-rich-quick"
methods of self-development because they are the veriest rot imaginable.
Now then: (1) Intelligence and (2) Thought-Force are the natural
results of an organised brain.
Concentration is the key to such development. Concentration has been
fully explained in Lesson No. 1. By the constant exercise of
concentration, objectively and subjectively, in your daily life you
will in a short time become conscious of growing Strength. The
exercises I give you in this lesson on Self-Control, Will-Culture and
Memory-Culture if gone through with perseverance will further develop
Concentrative ability. In fact, this entire series of lessons will call
for Effort and Concentration. "Rome was not built in a day"--nor can you
achieve real greatness in a few months. No. All I can do is to indicate
the line and the nature of the effort required of you and if clearly
followed, Progress and Growth will commence from the first day. In
connection with this, a little digression would be necessary. The
Occultist says: Nature, unaided, fails. The purposiveness of Deity,
manifesting in nature an evolution, is present in all individual centres
but it has the way to full expression opened out to itself only when the
more evolved centres of life consciously cooperate with it. Evolution is
started and carried only by the creation of centres within the GREAT
CONSCIOUSNESS and by preserving and enlarging or expanding these centres.
So long as the race had not reached "SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS" (see Yoga
Lessons) the sub-conscious forces of nature had entire control over
evolutionary processes, but this stage was reached by the race according
to the LAW OF AVERAGES in the seventeenth century and you are now
expected to take your progress in your hands and consciously direct your
inner forces along such lines as best correspond to the stage of your
growth. So independent study and steady thinking form the secrets of a
keen and broad intelligence. You will always find that the man who is
more powerful than yourself and moves you at his will has an intelligence
and understanding far superior to yours and he can read your whole nature
as he would an open book, although you find him quite beyond your
depth. Learn to regard earnestly the workings of different mentalities
around you. Become a student of human nature. To you, each man
ought to be only a partial expression of his mind. Examine closely into
the motives acting behind each personality. Learn to respond more
quickly to the _Thoughts_ and _Feelings_ of a man than to his outer
speech and action. The latter are objective expressions of the subjective
self. The study of Phrenology and Physiognomy are good things to start
with in your efforts to acquire knowledge of human nature. _Mind is One_
and at the same time, _Many_. Subjectively, it is ONE. Objectively; many.
So by looking _impartially_ into "yourself" in the calm light of the
intellect and through silent introspection, you will always find a clue
to the working bases of other minds. Each man is a puzzle and most of all
are _YOU_ a puzzle unto yourself. Solve either and you have solved both.
"MAN, KNOW THYSELF."
THE MYSTERY OF THE WILL-FORCE.
Will-Force is the power of Re-action. It can render all the other
mental functions _active_ or _passive_. It is the DETERMINATIVE faculty
and is affected most of all by the JUDGMENT. On the lower plane
of mind, Will-Power manifests as Desire and is reciprocally influenced
by outside attractions as well as repulsions. On this plane the Will is
not free. But when it draws the volition for externalizing itself from
_Within_ in the light of the Higher Reason, then indeed is it
_Will-Power. On the material the human will is a slave; on the spiritual
plane it is the sovereign. It may then be called the "awakened" will_. It
is my conviction that the eternal crossing of swords between the
Determinists and the Libertarians can be set at rest only by a right
understanding of the _spiritual_ makeup of man, otherwise the arguments
of both sets of thinkers are equally strong. Each side has got hold of
half the truth, but requires the reconciling light of transcendental
Psychology in order to enable us to see the _whole_ truth as it is.
However, the point I am driving at is that your will is free only when it
is _self-determined_ i.e., when it has risen above the impulses of the
Lower Personal Self and acts under the direction of the Higher Impersonal
Self_. In order to fix this most important truth in your mind, let us
give you a brief idea of the "I AM" consciousness. Do not pass this by as
so much dry rot. No one will ever or can ever manifest genuine Will-Force
of a distinctly spiritual type who does not understand the "I AM"
consciousness. So please listen attentively and think over the following.
THE "I AM" CONSCIOUSNESS.
If you just turn in and examine the report of your consciousness
regarding the _self_-dwelling within, you will become conscious of the
"I". But if you press your examination a little closer you will find that
this "I" may be split up into two distinct aspects which, while working
in unison and conjunction, may nevertheless be set apart in thought.
There is an "I" function and there is a "me" function and these mental
twins develop distinct phenomena. The first is the "MASCULINE" principle;
the second is the "FEMININE" principle. Other terms used in current
writings on New Psychology are Conscious Mind, Active Mind, Voluntary
Mind, Objective Mind and so forth. These all refer to the "I" principle.
And the "me" form of mind corresponds to the Sub-Conscious Mind, Passive
Mind, Involuntary Mind, Subjective Mind and so on. Ninety-nine p. c. of
humanity mean this "me" when they say "I". Now let us examine what this
"me" implies. It consists largely of our consciousness, of our body and
physical sensations as associated with touch, taste, smell, sight and
hearing. The consciousness of some of us is largely bound up in the
physical and carnal side of life. We "live there." There are some men who
consider their "clothes" too as being a part of themselves. But as
consciousness rises in the scale of evolution, man begins to "dissociate"
his idea of "me" from the body and he begins to regard his body as a
beloved companion and as "belonging to" him. He then identifies himself
with his mental states, emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes, habits,
qualities and characteristics. But, by and by, he begins to realize how
even these moods also are subject to change, born and die and are subject
to the Principles of Rhythm and Polarity. He realizes faintly that he can
change them by an effort of will and "transmute" them into mental states
of an exactly opposite nature. Then he again begins to "dissociate"
himself from his emotions and feelings and at last through mental
analysis, introspection and concentration, he sets them apart into the
"not I" collection. He begins _then_ to realize that he is something
_above_ his body and emotions. So also with the intellectual
functions. The intellectual man is very apt to think that although his
_physical_ and _emotional_ selves are something different from him and
under his control, _still his intellect is himself_. This is the stage of
"Self-Consciousness". "I control my body and emotions." But as
consciousness unfolds intellectual man finds that he can practically
stand aside and see (mentally, of course) his mind going through various
processes of intellection. Study of Psychology and Logic will enable
you to see how all your intellectual processes may be held at arm's
length, examined, analysed, labelled and discussed quite with the same
ease as the professor talks of a solid, liquid and acriform substances in
his laboratory. So at last he finds that even the wonderful powers of
the Intellect must go into the "not I" collection. This is almost as far
as the average man can realize. You can realize and say "I am not the
body, not the emotions, not the intellect." Therefore you see, that side
of consciousness which is the sum-total of your physical, emotional and
intellectual functions comprises the "me" or Feminine or Passive mental
principle. That which can separate itself in thought from all the above
is the "I" or the Masculine Function. But another step must be taken.
That which you have been taught to regard as the Spiritual Consciousness
(see "Spiritual Consciousness") will also eventually go into the
"Not-I" or "me" collection. In brief, the spiritual mind may be said to
comprise all that is GOOD, NOBLE and GREAT in the field of consciousness.
It is the "Super-Conscious" mind, just now. But, mark this, when through
further evolution, the "I" has mastered this field of consciousness also
and is able to regard it as being the last of the "me" collections, then
it will lose its sense of _relativity_ and _separation_ and the real
individuality, the "I AM" consciousness, will have been realized.
What do I mean? This "I AM" is not the petulant self-assertion of the
relative ego. "I" but really means GOD CONSCIOUSNESS as perfect
Existence, perfect Knowledge or perfect Bliss. It means the realization
of an Infinite and Eternal Self or Individuality. "He that has lost the
self has gained the SELF". Here is the explanation: this little self or
"I" so long as it is attached to the PERSONALITY which is the product
of the "me" consciousness is bound down to the relative plane. It can
think only through only one brain, enjoy through one body and such
happiness as it gets is transitory, short-lived and impermanent because
this world of relative existence is itself essentially changeable. It is
permanent only in its impermanence. So long as the "I" thinks and while
only for the benefits of its personal self, both thinking and willing are
limited and not free. But when it has succeeded in joining itself to the
Spiritual mind and works for, aspires after the Larger Self--the "I
AM"--it has to renounce or "disattach" itself from the personal self and
work under the guidance of the impersonal Higher Self. "I refuse to
be contained within my hat and boots," said Walt Whitman. When the
Vedantist says "Aham Brahmasmi"--"I am the absolute"--he does not mean
this lower "I". No, no. He is not built that way. For him the moorings of
self-consciousness are out. He has lost all sense of his particular
relative "I" and has _one-d_ himself with the absolute "I AM"--the
impersonal, intangible, immortal, omnipotent Self of and over all.
This "I am" is Spirit or Atman. There can be but one Individuality--that
of the Absolute. It becomes objectively expressed in man as Cosmic
Consciousness. Subjectively it is God. Now then you have an idea of
the "I am" Consciousness. Hold fast to it. It is your real, Larger Self.
In the understanding and the exercise of the Will-Power the "I" or the
Positive Mental Principle is the chief factor. To use the one you must
understand the other. Will is a Soul-Power. This "I"--as I have explained
it above--is negative to the "I AM" or God--both meaning the
same thing. It is positive in relation to the Higher Self. This "I" is
the future promise of the "I AM". It is true it shall lose itself in
finding its Self, but so does the child when it grows into full manhood.
Christ was one with his Father-in-Heaven (i.e., on the spiritual plane)
and therefore he could still the waves and raise the dead. Yet just you
examine the nature of Lord Christ's Will-Force. Think of his constant
retirement into the Silence in order to obtain inspiration for his work
in the objective universe. Again, note his utter indifference to and
absolute control over his personal self. Did he care whether his body
would live or die? Did he live for the enjoyments of the flesh? Did he
"play to the gallery" and act and speak for any worldly gain or low
considerations? No! He had forgotten the interests of the flesh in his
earnest enthusiasm in the cause of the Eternal Spirit. He was not moved
by any dammed sense of prudence and caution. He drew the "Motives" that
energised his Will-Power in the life of Action from _Within_. Nothing
from outside, nothing from the world of lower attractions could in the
least swerve his inner determination or unbalance his brain. Do you or
can you prepare yourself to follow in his steps? Then my first point and
the most infallible method of awakening your Will-Power is this:
(_a_) Teach Thy Will to "Resist and Renounce." Strengthen your Will-Power
by Renunciation. By Resistance is not meant outer resistance or
aggressiveness. I find that all the modern teachers of Hypnotism advise
their students to develop Will-Power by exercising it upon others. This
is placing the cart before the horse. We Hindus know better. No; by
Resistance to and Repression of your lower Desire-Nature is meant letting
the more difficult choice exercise its compelling and restraining power
over the easier one. Says Sister Nivedita: "The Indian ideal is that man
whose lower mind is so perfectly under control that he can at any moment
plunge into the thought-ocean and remain there at will without the least
possibility of a sudden break and unexpected return to the life of the
senses." Yes, your interests should be within and not without. _You must
rise above all personal impulse_. Even in this world you find that men of
distinction, fame and honour have achieved recognition by practising a
little _self-denial_, which is a "milder" form of absolute Renunciation
as practised by true Sanyasis. The man who can work at his aim with
perseverance and denies himself the mess of pottage of present indulgence
in view of some future gain develops Will-Power. So in training your Will
to 'resist', you must, as a first step, sternly refuse to indulge
impulses, desires and tendencies not in consonance with the dictates of
your Higher Self. You must actually go out of your way and "deny"
yourself the little or great "comforts" to which you are or have been
accustomed. The strongest-willed man is he who has the greatest control
over his inclinations, and who can 'force' himself to do such things as
he is naturally most inclined to do. This is a characteristic which
cannot be developed in a day. There are some children and even grown-up
men and women who mistake their 'obstinacy' for Will-Power. They want a
thing and when they do not get it they tear their hair, gnash their
teeth, stamp their feet and fly into a terrible passion. Since people
think that these uncontrolled creatures are strong-willed while all that
you could say about them is that _they are utter slaves to their
desires_. You must practise self-denial in fifty different ways and force
yourself to do certain things, 'little and big,' every day purely for
developing this power of Resistance. No short-cut to this. Some children
develop it unconsciously by 'forcing' themselves to study when they might
play, and by applying themselves to such studies as are dry and
uninteresting to them they thus practise voluntary Concentration.
Practise self-denial in every possible way. Cut off such luxuries as you
think "you must have." "Take a cold bath when you would prefer a warm
one. Arise promptly in the morning. Make yourself call upon people you
have avoided. Stand up in a street car when you would prefer sitting;
walk when it is convenient to ride. Make engagements with yourself and
keep them. Promise yourself that when you see something to be done you
will spring at once to it however strong may be the inclination to put it
off awhile" and back of it all let there be the auto-suggestion: "_I am
doing all these hard things in order to build up my Will-Power and each
time 'I' succeed in forcing 'my mind' to do a thing or not to do it I
make the next victory easier and my Will-Power stronger_." Of course the
above is only a hint as to your line of practise.
(_b_) You must not give yourself such hard tasks of Self-Development
as might be too heavy and beyond the present strength of your Will.
In denying yourself you develop self-control. In forcing yourself to do
certain things you develop powers of Self-Expression. In one the Will
moves along negative lines. In the other along positive lines. Both are
necessary. The man who cannot control and command himself can never
develop and express Himself. But be sure to begin with easy things and
then as you gain in confidence you may attempt more difficult feats.
(_c_) The faculties of Courage and Confidence are essentially important.
Nothing weakens the will so much as Fear and lack of Self-Confidence.
Self-Confidence is not blustering self-conceit. That within you which
says "I CAN" when calmly and doggedly backed by your "I Will" when
deliberately translated into action develops Will-Force and commands
(_d_) Always hold these words before your passive Mind:
1. Earnestness. 2. Determination. 3. Courage. 4. Confidence.
5. Stick-to-it-ive-ness. 6. Patience. 7. I can and I will.
(_e_) The tendency of the Masculine function of your mind to "I" is
towards giving, expressing or projecting energy; that of the Feminine
is towards generating and creating mental progeny such as thoughts,
mental energy, new habits, etc. It is why the Feminine Principle has
been called the "mental womb" by ancient philosophers. It comprises
also the faculty of Imagination. The Masculine function does the work
of the 'Will' in its varied phases. The Feminine function receives
impressions and generates mental offspring in the form of new thoughts,
ideas, concepts, thought-habits and so forth. Its powers of creative
energy are strikingly marvellous and have been proved and attested
to in Psychological experiments conducted by the best known mental
scientists of the day. _But "positive" mental energy must be projected by
the 'I' into the Passive Mind through concentration, suggestion and
willing before the latter can be started to work along any line of
creative effort._ This suggestion may be given by you to your
sub-conscious mind or it may come as an outer impression. Unless you
control your Passive Mind, it is sure to be controlled by others. Then
you are a slave. Now in cultivating the above seven qualities, you
should take up _one_ word at a time and let the outer form sink into your
mind. Place yourself in a relaxed and passive condition. Close your eyes
and picture the _form_ of the word to yourself, for instance,
D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N. Employ the Imagination and visualize mentally.
This done, _i.e._, when the word-picture is well photographed upon your
mind and fastened in place, your next step will be to picture yourself
the Ideas, qualities, physical and mental characteristics, etc.,
associated with the word. Your third step is to calmly, concentratedly
and confidently command your Passive Mind to generate that quality.
Remember, your mind will at first rebel, but a very little persistence
will lead to complete success. Repeat the auto-suggestions daily at the
same time. See that it manifests in Action. Act it out as often as
possible. Of course your efforts will be imperfect to begin with, but,
never mind, go ahead, keeping firm hold on your "I can and I will" in
spite of all things and success is quite certain. Once you have developed
these seven qualities, you can do anything.
(_f_) Do not let your friends or anyone--no matter who!--deflect
you from your resolutions. "Let not thy right hand know what thy left
hand does." Talk never. Let results show. The Lord has hidden himself
best and His work is wonderful beyond compare! Your very friends
and relatives will spit upon you for lacking any of these qualities. Do
not ever impose your will upon others, but never let others to impose
upon you against the sanction of your own judgment. In fact, none can
unless you are a weakling and fickle-minded.
(_g_) Frequent the company of chaste, strong-willed men and you
cannot but grow strong.
(_h_) Read Literature on this subject and obtain all possible aid
(_i_) If your faculty of imagination and idealism are undeveloped,
cultivate them, because it is these two that make a god of a man.
Philosophers, scholars, poets and musicians have them well-developed. But
where imagination is uncontrolled by higher reason and where idealism
is not backed by a strong will, there you have the idle 'dreamer of
dreams' and such a state of mind is reprehensible and pitiable indeed!
(_j_) Will-Power grows by faith in one's ability by exercise; by
devotion to the UNCONDITIONED SPIRIT.
(_k_) In your efforts to develop Will-Power, be not afraid that your
health will break down. In fact, Perfect Health is the result of a
perfect Will. Deny the power of disease and weakness over yourself. "_I
can never be ill. My body is my slave. It shall always manifest perfect
health_." Convince your passive mind--which has charge of your body--of
this by repeated commands, demands and assertions. Always think of your
body as being as strong as adamant. Never talk of either health or
disease or weakness. You must be above caring for these. They are
your Natural rights. Only when you lower yourself they have power
to trouble you. Go beyond the lower self. Your business is to care for
the Higher-Self--that in which "You" live, move, and have your being.
Also teach and train your Will to move along negative lines of
self-repression as well as along positive lines of Self-Expression.
Balance both. The former precedes the latter. Now I will pass on to the
subject of SELF-CONTROL, with the distinct understanding that
Self-Control and Will-Power are inextricably bound up in each other. You
Get the real "practical work" in the endeavour for Self-Control.
Rightly has it been remarked that is easy to talk of and write upon this
subject but most difficult to possess it. Perfect Self-Control means
infinite power. Only the Buddas and the Christs of this World manifested
Perfect Self-Control. "Anything short of the absolute control of thought,
word and deed is only sowing wild oats," said Vivekananda. It is with no
little diffidence that I approach this subject as whoever handles
this subject is rightly culpable as being a "Do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do"
class of writers. Still you can make appreciable progress in this
direction by mastering these instructions, going through the exercises
and last but most important by "carrying the principles in your mind" and
applying them as far as you can in your daily life. Nothing is more
conducive to rapid growth and development as the making of the "little
and big" affairs in your work-a-day life, the occasion for the practical
expression and conscious translation of your ideals. We all are guilty of
a serious mistake in setting apart our higher ideals for regular
'practice' hours and leading a life of low and quite different ideals in
our ordinary life. The natural process, as you can see, is to LIVE OUT
your highest ideals every minute of your life. Nothing is more important
than the daily occupation of a man and if he fails to bring his ideals
right into these little things, then Success will ever elude him. A
mental scientist has summed up the entire secret of Character-Building in
this valuable advice on Objective Concentration: the simple task of
mental concentration on whatever task, business or profession a man is
engaged in is the beginning of the mastery which is the perfection of
Objective Concentration. Whatever you are doing be master of your work.
If you are a cobbler mend shoes in a perfect manner; if a barber keep
your razors and scissors in a state that will excite the admiration of
your customers; if a tailor make the coat fit like a glove; if a clerk
keep your accounts in apple-pie order; if a builder scorn your
jerry-brother; if a singer enchant the listener with a concord of sweet
sounds; if an actor enter into the spirit of the character and make the
play-goer feel that
"All the world's a stage
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and their entrance
And one man in his time plays many parts."
If a leader in any department of thought or action, remember that if to
you much is given, from you also much is required, for the responsibility
of the lives and happiness of your fellows rests heavy on your shoulders,
whether you know it or not and thousands may secretly curse your
incapacity and bungling. It is infinitely better to be a good cobbler
than a bad ruler.
I believe the above advice if followed conscientiously by you would
go to make you really fit for initiation into the more advanced stages of
mastery. Take it to heart by all means. Be convinced, the man who
looks for quick results and a royal road to the mastery of Mental Science
breaks down in frequent despair at apparent failures and neglects his
daily work will never go far. In fact, his very impatience will lead to
failure. No individual life is fully rounded out unless some useful work
forms part of it. The Yogi who has renounced the world has already
done his work and is ahead of the times. The real hermit and the saint
are the Pillars of Strength on which this world stands. I cannot repeat
this too often. The mere fact of their breathing the same atmosphere
as you is a benediction and an inestimable boon unto the race.
"The first requisite," says Mr. Atkinson, "of concentering is the
ability to shut out outside thoughts, sights and sounds; to conquer
inattention; to obtain perfect control over the body and mind. The body
must be brought under the control of the mind; the mind under the
direct control of the Will. The Will is strong enough, but the mind needs
strengthening by being brought under the direct influence of the will.
The mind, strengthened by the impulse of the will, becomes a much more
powerful projector of thought vibrations than otherwise and the
vibrations have much greater force and effect."
The first four exercises are meant to train the mind to readily obey the
commands of the mind. Take them in the privacy of your own room and never
talk of them to others. Also do not let their apparent simplicity lead
you to neglect them. If you are one of those empty-brained men who go
about talking of their exercises hoping in this way to win praise, you
will never succeed. Be serious, earnest and sincere in your work. Give
up, once for ever, all fickle-mindedness and learn to accumulate Power in
silence and through work. Prayer gives you strength to "work"--the answer
comes from your Larger Self--which is the Spirit of God "brooding" over
all and pouring strength into all. But do not fly in the face of DEITY by
expecting it to "do the work" for you while you go about loafing after
offering your prayer. Nonsense. That man prays who works constantly,
silently, patiently, unceasingly and intelligently.
Sit still; relax your body all over and then neck, chest, and head held
in a straight line; legs crossed one under the other and weight of the
body resting easily upon the ribs; right hand on right leg, left hand
on left leg. There should not be a single movement of the muscles in
any part of the body. Mind, you must avoid all rigidness and tension of
the body. There should not be the least strain on muscles. You should
be able to "relax" completely. Start with 5 minutes. Continue till you
can accomplish the 5 minutes sitting without any conscious effort,
increase to 15 minutes which is about all you need. The aim is to give
you absolute dominion over all involuntary muscular movements. It is also
an ideal "rest-cure" after fatiguing physical and mental exercise or
exertion. The principal thing is "STILLNESS" and you can, if you like,
practise it even sitting on a chair or anywhere else; the idea is one of
"relaxation" and physical and mental quietude. Let not the apparent
simplicity of this exercise deceive you. It is not so very easy after
all. You will find that by concentrating the mind upon a particular
train of thoughts or ideas or by joining the mind to the Larger Self,
you can easily lose all idea of the body and thus maintain this stillness
for a considerable length of time. Genius, inspiration and intuition
are more or less the scientific and psychological results of
self-forgetfulness. "When he sits down to meditate," it was said of
Vivekananda, "in 10 minutes he becomes quite unconscious of the body
although it may be black with mosquitoes." Do you understand now?
Absolute physical self-forgetfulness is essential to deep concentration.
Dr. Fahnestock called it the "STATUVOLIC" condition or that state in
which the Will-Power is really active and the 'outer-self' is totally in
abeyance and forgotten.
Cultivate a self-poised attitude and demeanour in your everyday life.
Avoid a tense, strained, nervous, fidgety manner and an over-anxious
appearance. Be easy, self-possessed and dignified in your bearing.
Be courteous, thoughtful and quiet. Mental exercise and Will-Culture
will enable you to acquire the proper carriage and demeanour. Stop
swinging your feet and moving your hands or rocking your self
backwards in your chair while talking or sitting. Stop biting your nails,
chewing your moustaches, rolling your tongue in your mouth or any
other unnecessary movement such as may have become "second nature"
with you while studying, reading or writing. Never twitch or jerk your
body. Never wink your eyes or look blank. Train yourself to stand
sudden and loud noises with equanimity and composure. Such things
betray lack of control. Do not let anything outside (or even within you)
disturb your composure. When engaged in conversation let your speech
be calm and measured and your voice well-controlled and even. A certain
degree of reserve should always be observed. In short, keep yourself
well under control on all occasions. You can acquire this poise by
always carrying the thoughts of "Firmness," "Self-Control", and
"Self-Respect" in your mind and letting these express themselves in your
outward bearing. Avoid bluster, self-assertion, gossip, levity or light
talk, too much laughter, excitement and so forth. Too much laughter
weakens the will. Be a quiet, earnest-thinking being. Be serious. Regard
"solitude" as the greatest medium of self-development.
Fill a wine glass full of water and taking the glass between the fingers,
extend arm directly in front of you. Fix your eyes upon the glass and
endeavour to hold your arm so steady that no quiver will be noticeable.
Commence with one minute exercise and increase until the 5 minutes limit
is reached. Alternate right and left arms. Increase to 15 minutes.
Sit erect in your chair, with your head up, chin out and shoulders
back. Raise your right arm until it is level with your shoulders,
pointing to the right. Turn your head and fix your gaze on your hand and
hold the arm perfectly steady for one minute. Repeat with left arm.
Increase the time gradually to 5 minutes. The palms of the hands should
be turned downwards.
The following exercises are meant to aid you in getting under control,
such mental faculties will produce voluntary movements.
Sit in front of a table, placing your hands upon the table, the fists
clinched and lying with the back of the hand upon the table, the thumb
being doubled over the fingers. Fix your gaze upon the fist for awhile
and then slowly extend the thumb, keeping your whole attention fixed
upon the act, just as if it was of the greatest importance. Then slowly
extend your first finger, then your second and so on, until they are all
open and extended. Then reverse the process, closing first the little
finger and continuing the closing until the fist is again in its original
position, with the thumb closed over the fingers. Repeat with left hand.
Continue this exercise 5 times at a sitting, then increase to 10 times.
Don't forget to keep your attention closely fixed upon the finger
movements. That is the main point.
Place the fingers of one hand between the fingers of the other, leaving
the thumbs free. Then slowly twirl the thumbs one over the other, with a
circular motion. Be sure to keep the attention firmly fixed upon the end
of the thumbs.
_N.B._ Exercises Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 6 have been culled (with slight
modifications by me) from the works of Yogi Ramacharaka.
Forty-eight hours after the full moon in each month, go by yourself into
a darkened chamber and quietly concentrate your mind upon one thing. Do
this as long as possible without allowing other thoughts to enter your
mind. At first you will find that your thoughts will fly from one thing
to another and it will be hard for you to accomplish this, but by
continued practice you will be able to think of one thing for a long
time. This should be continued for 5 nights in succession and one hour
Go out into the open air each evening when the sky is clear and see
how many stars you can count without allowing any other thoughts to
enter your mind. The more stars you can count without thinking of
anything the greater the degree of development produced. Quite an
Take 12 ordinary pebbles. Place them in your left hand. Then with your
right hand pick up one pebble, hold it at arm's length and concentrate
your mind thereupon without allowing other thoughts for full 60 seconds.
So with all the pebbles. Then start picking up with left hand. Do this
for one hour daily.
Concentrate your mind determinedly upon some one at a distance without
allowing other thoughts. Will that he do get strong, healthy and
spiritual. Get up a mental picture of your subject as if sitting
before you. Then give earnest, positive, forceful suggestions to his
sub-conscious mind. Will that he get into sympathy with you, write you on
the subject and earnestly co-operate with you in his spiritual
regeneration. Do it calmly and earnestly.
Get some moistened sand spread over the surface about a yard square. Make
it perfectly smooth. Then with your index finger draw any characters or
pictures in the sand. For instance, a square, a triangle or any other
figure. Fasten your gaze upon this figure. Concentrate your mind calmly
thereupon and will that the thought-form so created by your concentration
be transmitted to someone (whom you know to be sensitive to your will).
Do this for 15 minutes daily at the same time till your subject gets the
impression. Ask him to sit relaxed at the same time in the _silence_ in a
receptive mental attitude. Face the direction, North, South, East or West
in which you send your thought. Imagine a psychic wire connecting you
with your subject and aim straight. Remember, the Will-Power is
represented in symbology by a straight line because it goes straight to
Every night before retiring, concentrate upon your passive mind:
"_When I get up in morning, my Will-power and Thought-Force will have
increased. I expect you to bring about a thorough change in my
Will-Force. It will gain in vigour, resolution, firmness and confidence.
It must grow strong, strong, strong_." Project these positive suggestions
into your subjective self earnestly, confidently and concentratedly. You
will progress quickly by leaps and bounds. Every morning shall find
you stronger and full of vim, sap and energy. Persevere, persevere. In
following up such ideals to a successful conclusion you must have an
(i) overpowering desire; (ii) a strong belief in your ability to
accomplish anything; (iii) an invincible determination not a backboneless
'I will try to'; (iv) earnest expectation. This is an important and an
infallible method in Will-development.
Go by yourself into a room where you will not be disturbed. At the
beginning 'relax' all over. Then count from one to ten without allowing
any other thoughts. As soon as you accomplish this, your mind is in
a receptive state. Concentrate as before and order your sub-conscious
self to evolve a strong, infallible memory. Form your own
Pick out half a dozen unfamiliar faces. Vividly impress them upon
your subjective mind. Then recall them at least once each day for full
one year, each day impressing at least one more new face. Should you
find you are forgetting any of your older faces, do not add new ones but
firmly fix the other old faces in your mind through concentration. This
is a very interesting exercise. Memory belongs to the sub-conscious
Concentrate the mind on a paragraph in some holy book and commit
to memory. Learn by heart one paragraph daily taking care not to
forget the old ones. In time, you will improve wonderfully.
People with weak memories always lack concentrative ability.
Concentration is the key to all mind-power. You will find the above
exercises quite 'tedious' and monotonous. But you can train your
'attention' only by giving it trivial and 'dry' exercises. The strong
will can cope with the most 'monotonous' and uninteresting tasks without
experiencing fatigue. You must set yourself such tasks as might seem like
'work' to your attention. Remember, the effort required to concentrate
attention voluntarily on uninteresting, dry and monotonous works
strengthens and develops Will-Power and gives you 'mental muscle.' You
will thereby acquire firm control over mind and body and be 'Master' over
your lower impulses. Power over self will express outwardly as power over
others. If you can control yourself, you will find no difficulty in
impressing your will on others. But, mark you, this sacred power should
be used only to elevate, stimulate and strengthen others. Try your Will
upon your personality in all possible ways and be satisfied with nothing
short of perfect control. The absolute mastery of 'self' ought to be
your aim. I have given you the real secrets. You must exercise
your own ingenuity and intelligence in utilising them towards your
Self-development. I leave you to finish the fight for yourself. Get up
and start in to work at your task from to-day and not to-morrow. Back of
all efforts, always have this positive incentive and auto-suggestion:
"THIS IS TO DEVELOP MY WILL-POWER AND NO TEMPORARY PAIN CAN EQUAL THE
POWER AND HAPPINESS ARISING OUT OF SELF-CONTROL."
Get firm control over your emotions. Use this natural force but be
not used by it. Control over speech will lead to Emotion-control. Always
talk to the point. Cultivate silence. Repress volubility. Be brief
in speech and writing. Keep a cool head. Be level-headed and
GLEANINGS FROM PROFESSOR JAMES ON THE LAW OF HABIT.
An acquired habit, from the physiological point of view, is nothing
but a new pathway of discharge formed in the brain, by which certain
incoming currents ever often tend to escape.
The great thing is to make our nervous system our ally instead of
our enemy.--Guard against ways that are likely to be disadvantageous
to us, as we should guard against the plague.
The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the
effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind
will be set free for their own proper work. There is no more miserable
human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision and
for whom (every act) the time of rising and going to bed, the beginning
of every bit of work, are subjects for express volitional deliberation.
Maxim I. In the acquisition of a new thought or the leaving off of
an old one we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and
decided initiative as possible.
Maxim II. Never suffer an exception to occur until the new habit
is securely rooted in your life.
Each lapse is like letting fall a ball of string which one is carefully
winding up; a single slip means more than a great many turns will wind
Continuity of training is the great means of making the nervous
system act infallibly right. It is necessary above all things never to
lose a battle. Every gain on the wrong side undoes the effect of many
conquests on the right.
The essential precaution is to so regulate the opposing powers that
the one may have a series of uninterrupted success, until repetition has
fortified it to such a degree as to enable it to cope with the opposition
under any circumstances.
The need of securing success at the outset is imperative. To be
habitually successful is the thing.
Be careful not to give the will such a task as to insure its defeat
at the outset, but provided one can stand it, a sharp period of
suffering, and then a free time is the best to aim at, whether in giving
up the opium habit or in simply changing one's hours of rising or of
It is surprising how soon a desire will die of inanition if it be never
Without unbroken advance there is no such thing as accumulation
of the ethical forces possible, and to make this possible and to exercise
and habituate us in it is the sovereign blessing of regular work.
Maxim III. Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every
resolution you make and on every emotional prompting you may experience
in the direction of habits you aspire to gain.
It is not the moment of their forming but in the moment of their
producing motor effects, that resolves and aspirations communicate the
new 'set' to the brain.
The actual presence of the practical opportunity alone furnishes the
fulcrum upon which the lever can rest, by means of which the moral
will may multiply its strength and raise itself aloft. He who had no
solid ground to press against will never get beyond the stage of empty
When a resolve or a fine glow of feeling is allowed to evaporate
without bearing practical fruit, it is a waste and a chance lost; it
works so as positively to hinder future resolutions and emotions from
taking the normal path of discharge.
If we let our emotions evaporate, they get in a way of evaporating.
WORSHIP OF THE TERRIBLE.
The attitude of the soul which is not to be baffled by the lower nature
or the "Personal Self" should be to seek Death and not life, to hurl
oneself upon the sword's point and become one with the terrible. Those
who are commissioned by the Lord to bear aloft the torch of spirit are
fated to see every joy of the senses turn to ashes and crushing blows
upon their eyes to the unsubstantially of the relative life of Maya.
The lion when stricken to the heart gives out his loudest roar,
When smitten on the head the cobra lifts its hood
And the majesty of the Soul comes out only when a man is wounded to his
The Western ideal is to be doing: the Eastern to be suffering. The
perfect life would be a harmony between (selfless or non-attached) doing
and suffering. Worship the terrible. Worship Death, for its own sake;
despair for its own sake; pain for its own sake. Yet this is not the
coward's or the suicide's or the weakling's morbid love of Death, but it
is the cry of the philosopher who has sounded everything to its depths
and knows intensely the vanity of the desire for happiness on the
relative plane of limitations. Remember the triumphant cry of St. Francis
of Assisi: "WELCOME, SISTER DEATH!" "Be witness"--of all that goes on but
be not entangled. Reserve to yourself the power to remain unattached at
all times. Accept nothing however pleasant, if it conceals a fetter into
thy Soul. At a word stand ready to sever any connection that gives a hint
of soul-bondage. Keep thy mind clear. Keep thy will pure. Attain the
Impersonal Standpoint, O you man! there alone canst thou quench thy
thirst for happiness never on the plane of personal. Who and what dies
and is reborn?--Your lower self, your personality.
"Sometimes naked, sometimes mad,
Now as a scholar, again as a fool
Here a rebel, there a saint,
Thus they appear on the earth
--the Perfect Ones. Paramhamsas"--Viveka Chudamani.
If you accept the report of the senses as final, you will say "soul
for nature"--but if you can gain the spiritual point of view, you will
say "no-nature for soul." Evolution, devolution and involution are all
in nature and will go on cyclically and eternally. All this is merely due
to the wish of the soul to manifest itself. But such expression can come
only when the soul lives on its plane. Say "Money is my slave, not I."
Say "Nature is my slave, not I". Give up life, give up body, give up all
desire for enjoyment on the relative plane. So shall you transcend all
limitation. Your real nature is Infinite and Absolute. Only when you
lower your nature by limiting it to the "particular self," do you become
bound and unhappy. On the relative plane, you are a slave to the pair
of opposites--life and death, pleasure and pain, and so on. Here is
limitation. Here you are a slave to competition, and "Survival of the
Fittest" is the law. Be not blinded by the flashing light of the glare
of modern civilization. Every morsel you eat is ground out of your
brother's blood. Slave to a breath of air, slave to food, slave to
life, slave to Death, slave to a word of praise, slave to a word of
blame--"Slave--Slave--Slave"--that is your condition. The Soul cannot
stoop to any compromise. It refuses to conquer nature by obedience. It
will conquer nature by renouncing the body and by knowing itself. Find
thyself bodiless. Power felt within is soul; without, nature. "We must
crush Law (nature) and become outlaws."
"Deliver thou thyself, by thyself
Ah, do not let thyself sink
For thou art thyself thy greatest friend
And thyself (the relative 'I') thy greatest enemy."
This, student, is not the ravings of a lunatic. It is the secret of
SAT-CHIT-ANANDA--eternal existence, knowledge and bliss. Attainment
of perfection means absolute Freedom. Do you or would you know the
meaning of Life? It is the search after _Sat-chit-ananda_. But man is
trying to realise this Perfect Existence in the transitory things of
the earth-plane. Only when he knows that not attachment to the things
of the "world, the flesh and the devil" but renunciation of same and the
bringing of the Impersonal Ideal into his everyday life would lead him
to it, then Maya will have fulfilled its purpose--which is to show man
his divinity. "Kill out the desire for life. Kill out Ambition. Kill out
desire for comfort; yet work as those who love life. Respect life as
those who are ambitious. Be happy as those are who live for happiness."
So says Mabel Collins in the _Light on the Path_. Yes, you must work
constantly, train your intellect, develop your personality but do not do
all this for your own personal self but for the Higher Self, The BRAHMAN,
Eternal--to manifest through. As soon as you lose this view-point your
personal strivings end in Pain and Disappointment. Work as hard as the
ambitious man and the lover of pleasures but remember your actions are
inspired by different motives. Here Spirit is the director.
"To the work thou hast the right, O Partha, but not to the fruits
thereof"--_Gita_. All clinging to results leads to degeneration. The
soul should cling to nothing. All work and all effort must be dedicated
unto the Higher Self. When you care for the results you are only
worshipping the lower self. Hence the value of selfless labour, thus the
maya-fascinated mind is purified and de-hypnotised and we attain to the
emergence of the personal into the Impersonal. Either say "I am thou, O
Lord!" and thus out at the root of the lower "I" and destroy it for ever
or say "I am nothing, O Eternal One! thou art everything" and thereby
lose the lower into the Higher. The first is for the Gnani--the second
for the Bhakti Yogi. Both mean the same thing. Love everyone but do
not depend upon the love of any one. Give everything. Take nothing.
Serve every one. Do not care for service and gratitude in return. You
are the Heir to the Infinite. All Power is behind you. But so long as
you are a beggar, a beggar shall you remain. Renounce the lower self,
Live for the Higher. What you call Universal Love is the expression
on the lower plane of the subjective reception of ABSOLUTE UNITY
on the Buddhic plane and in SAMADHI (Final Illumination).
LESSONS III AND IV.
THE YOGI SELF-DEVELOPER
In lessons 1 and 2 we have initiated you into the mysteries of Will
and Mind-Force, the governing principles of the Universe and the laws
of their development. We have also taught you how to acquire absolute
control over Body and Mind. In these lessons we have striven to point
out to you the right "Mental Attitude" towards your daily life, so that
while mainly engaged in the task of Self-Culture you might also lend a
hand in the great work of strengthening the race. Moreover our
convictions, beliefs, and ideals are no mean, are insignificant factors
in the determination of our health and environmental conditions. They
react on our circumstances as well as on the WHOLE MAN. We have also
given you important points of instruction in Soul Unfoldment, Meditation,
Bramhacharya, Breathing, Fasting, Health-Culture, Body building
and shown you, as distinctly as we could, the exact process of developing
a single virtue in your self thereby you may master the process and
method of developing other virtues, the lines of action and thought being
well nigh similar in all, and foculising at certain common points of
primary importance. We have given the bare body of truth in connection
with the development, evolution and unfoldment of the body and the
soul, stripping of the metaphysical trappings and the theoretical
draperies in which they are clothed. We have had to literally rend
asunder the heavy wheel that had the divine face of truth. Hence our
lessons are brief and to the point. We have had to contend against and
overcome another serious difficulty. Expressed in the matter of fact
English language, these wondrous truths of mysticism cannot but lose the
air of profound solemnity and sanctity that pervades the subject of Yoga
in Sanskrit literature. The wise and thoughtful student and we certainly
do not write for light-headed and non-serious people, will not let their
apparent simplicity deceive him or throw him off his guard. Rather
let him realise that these lessons can be pressed into service in all
directions and in all spheres of life. Let him just put them into
practice and he will at once see their practical bearing on his daily
life. These lessons do not go into the "WHAT" but point out the "HOW" of
every thing. We leave every student to suit his individual case as to the
intellectual side of the ETERNAL PROBLEM. In conclusion we have to
say that this Course does not pretend to deal with the advanced stages
of Yoga, much less exhaust them. But they will, positively and decidedly
prepare him for those higher things by lifting the PALL OF DARKNESS
from his mind.
LESSONS III AND IV.
Quite a number of you there must be to whom the "Fearless" mind is not
only an enviable possession but something to which you are and have been
an utter stranger. You may not say it to others--confession may hurt your
pride--but secretly away deep in your heart, there resides strongly and
fiercely the desire to be a Fearless Individual. And it is a worthy
desire. To be able to wipe off all fearfulness, anxiety and worry from
your mental tablets is no easy task, but when once accomplished, it gives
you a glimpse of Heavenly Joy and Superhuman Strength. And, _You can be
Fearless_, I tell you--each one of you--you can be what you will to be. I
have seen it. I have done it. I am going to give you sound and positive
instructions in this paper so that you may forge ahead towards your goal.
These instructions are based upon good psychological grounds, have been
tested and proved by millions and proved a blessing to whoever took them
up in all earnestness and gave them a trial. If you want to be Fearless,
hesitate not to follow them to the very letter.
I shall not waste space telling you about the dire results of fear,
cowardice, worry, anxiety and the vile brood of negative thoughts
branching of FEAR. Physically, mentally and spiritually man is what he
thinks in his heart. As you think, so you are. Mind governs everything,
creates or destroys everything, on the physical as well as other planes.
Your thoughts affect your health, your circumstances, your environments;
those who come into daily contact with you, those who are separated
from you by space, those who are what you call "dead" but who are really
alive in spirit-life and bound to you more or less by mystic chords of
sympathy in thought and soul-life, affecting you and being affected by
you every minute. The range of influence exerted by a man's daily
thoughts is simply tremendous. Trees and animals, minerals and other
objects of material life absorb it. The walls of your room, the clothes
you wear, the letters you write are all being impressed by the aura of
your thought-force. If you go to a clairvoyant or a psychometerist
and put into his hands a letter, a lock of hair, a cloth-piece, or
anything else pertaining to one of your friends, he or she will
psychically trace out the personal appearance, temperament, past and
present history, and everything else in connection with that person.
Marvellous, 'Impossible' you cry in surprise. But it is done. Realise
through study and investigation the importance of your thought-life and
avoid vitiating it by fear-thoughts, hate-thoughts, sensual and sensuous
thoughts and vanity thoughts. Because, mark you, these four giant-weeds
poison the roots of the Tree of Life. All humanity suffers pain in
diverse ways, on account of these four bad thoughts and their millions of
off-springs. Now you will say this is all very well but:
That is just what I mean to teach you all along. I don't want to feed you
on mere empty theories, but I can and I will give you that knowledge
which when assimilated shall build up strong flesh, bone, muscle, tissue,
pith and marrow which will give you superb health, strength of mind and
spirit--all of which are necessary adjuncts to Spiritual Growth and
Happiness. Let me give you in detail methods and exercises. The ideal
fearless man has many qualities. I say the Ideal Hero--no imitation patch
work vulgarian. These qualities are in rough detail: (1) Devotion to God.
(2) Knowledge. (3) Concentration. (4) Will Power. (5) Energy and
Aspiration. (6) Health. (7) Self-Esteem. (8) Self-Control. (9) Love for
Humanity. (10) Chastity. There may be other qualities but you will do
well to build up the above and others will come to you by themselves. Let
me drop a few helpful suggestions on the above. Follow each sentence
1. DEVOTION TO THE ABSOLUTE WILL.
I have always said, written, observed and felt that the most courageous
individuals are devoted to God. Such men are rare. You all understand the
meaning of "Fearlessness" in its fullest sense. It means absolute
independence--in two words, he is the FEARLESS man who "fears-nothing,"
and "faces-everything." That everything includes everyone. That nothing
excludes no one. Viewed from this standpoint is not the fearless man
rarely to be met with? You may come across degrees of fearlessness. Now
the man who possesses this quality in the "highest degree" has faith in
this God. Everyone has his conception of God. Everyone sees the absolute
from his individual plane of vision. That conception which you have of
God will do for you. I say, it will do for you and you alone. Don't force
it upon others. Keep it for yourself. If you want to improve this
conception of God pray in the Silence thus: "O, THOU, I UNDERSTAND NOT
THY NATURE. I KNOW NOT--YET I YEARN TO KNOW. DO THOU REVEAL THYSELF
UNTO MY SOUL. DO THOU OPEN MY SPIRITUAL EYES AND LEAD ME ON." Student,
don't treat this lightly. Listen not to that conceited or blinded brother
of yours who says he does not care for God--who says he can go on without
the aid of God. Listen not. Listen not. The strongest and greatest pray
often. Only they do not talk of this to others. They never make a show of
their devotion. But they have all prayed and do all pray. They believe in
personal effort--they also believe in Divine leading and guidance. Learn
to be "lead by the Spirit." Everything shall come to you in this way. You
will also notice that the Fearless Man is not a mere God-fearing man. He
is a God-loving Individual. He loves God for God's sake largely. That man
who is fearful in spite of his devotion to God is a sham devotee. But the
grace of the LORD'S name is such that it shall purify the most impure of
heart. It shall build up even a sham devotee into a real devotee who in
time shall transcend all limitation. Therefore have faith in God. "Be
regular" in your devotions. Also remember that each trial is a pain
accompanying spiritual regeneration--each pain a process of strengthening
the herald of a mere glorious dawn of wisdom. Hence give up a grumbling.
The great God whose Infinite power regulates the motions of planets
and yet takes note of the sparrow's fall has your soul's best interest at
heart. All you do, all you say, all you feel, all you hope, all your
experiences--all, all is His will. Man's Will is God's Will. God's Will
is Man's Will. And who can define God? God alone has the power to define
Himself. He has defined Himself as the Universe--Bramhanda. Nothing is
impossible for the devotee of God. Let him but be willing to work and God
shall give him everything. Regular devotion to God will surely develop
extreme Fearlessness. "God is Love."
(2). KNOWLEDGE _(Gnayanam)_.
Fear is due to ignorance. When in the dark of night you mistook the rope
for a snake, you shrieked out in terror. Cause? IGNORANCE. But when you
saw the rope as a rope, you laughed out in amusement. Cause? KNOWLEDGE.
All your fear is due to your ignorance of your real nature. All the fear
at the last is fear of death. You have to realise through knowledge of
the Vedanta that you are birthless, deathless. You have to unfold by
meditation a consciousness of your Real Self. I give you hereunder a
meditation exercise that will help you in this direction.
MEDITATION EXERCISE NO. 1.
Retire into the SILENCE. Shut off all thoughts and purposes relating
to the external world. Try to realise that you, the Real Ego are not
the body but that it is a mere garment you have put on for functioning
on the physical plane and which you shall put off some day. Try to
realise that you are immortal and that although a thousand bodies might
come and go, you, the Ego, shall be as alive as ever. These are your
shadows--your personalities. What dies and is born is a mirage--a
mere phantasm--which you materialise for certain purposes. All these
purposes centralise in one POTENTIALISED PURPOSE--the conquest of matter.
Realise that you the Ego, have your dwelling in Supernal Regions--on the
spiritual plane--with your Father-in-Heaven--but that you have come down
into matter that you may find the fullest possible objective expression.
Realise that you, the Ego, are a differentiated centre of consciousness
in the Great Consciousness--THE ABSOLUTE--EGO--SUM of the entire Universe
with all its gross and subtle manifestations--that you are endowed with
all the powers and attributes of the Absolute Self. Realise that you are
not the emotional and passional manifestations--surging up in your
personality. These are subject to the law of Flux and Rhythm and must be
brought under the control of Reason and Will--the balancing, equating
principle of mind. Realise that you are not the mind nor the intellect,
but that you exercise this function in order to analyse the external
manifestations of nature and study same. Realise that you are pure
Consciousness, Bliss and Existence in your essential nature--on with the
all-life. Realise that the form side of manifestation is but a
concentration, a precipitation within you. Your subjective nature is one
with the subjective self of others--an inlet for the influx and
efflux of the GREAT SUB-CONSCIOUS. Realise thus your Unity with
All-Life-manifesting objectively as Universal Brotherhood of all living
beings and the perfect recognition of the All-Father-Mother, the Great
Cosmic Power and Intelligence known as God whose intelligence
all-blissfulness and existence are ever pouring into each Unit of
Individualised Divine Energy and evolving through nature. And, student,
when you meditate daily that you are neither the body nor the emotions
nor the mind, you shall then unfold the consciousness of the "I am I"
that which rules the personality that which has been called
Soul-Consciousness. You shall then be Chaitanya-Spiritually awake.
You shall then know no Fear. Fear shall drop away like a worn-out
sheath. All fear-thoughts are due to undeveloped race-consciousness
which reacts upon individual consciousness and is stamped more or less
upon every atom of matter. You 'fear' because you think you are the
body. When you realise that you can command as many bodies for your
use as you like; when you realise in your heart of hearts that you are a
Spiritual Being expressing and energising through material personalities;
when you realise that you cannot die, fear shall be afraid of you and
drop tormenting and teasing you. Fear resides in the matter-fed
mind--that mind which has been grown and matured by the reception and
re-action upon external sensations and stimuli--what has been called
the objective mind. This mind identifies itself with the form, the body.
It has an incorrigible determination towards the form-side, the
concrete-side of existence. It sees nothing but the body and is darkened
by the forces of _Maya_. It sees nothing but separation. Yes, it is the
matter-fed mind. People with a development of this side of consciousness
are invariably selfish; have generally small, conical eyes, understand
nothing, but the welfare of the body. They are subject to the fear and
the delight in making others fear them. This mind needs illumination from
the soul, the Subjective Man, the "I am I" side of consciousness. It is
not that you are a body and have a soul--this is the dirty conviction of
the matter-fed mind--but you are a soul and have a body. The dawn of
Soul-Consciousness makes a man a Force for good. He himself is Fearless.
His is the voice of strength that does not crush and dominate but that
puts warmth, life, energy, hope and indomitable courage into cold and
despairing hearts. Some are born with this Soul-Consciousness. Do not
think that I am feeding with the theories of eccentricity. Often when a
boy playing with others the thought would strike me hard, "Are you the
same that is running and jumping and shouting." I would stop, looking
blankly ahead. A feeling of confusion would come over me and I would
forget everything. I could recall the feeling distinctly and vividly. Now
I understand. These were flashes of Soul-Consciousness unfolded in a
past life and struggling for "recognition" in this life. Such men face
DEATH for themselves calmly. They know they can't die. Such men are
incapable of sustained hatred. They too have their physiognomical
signs and distinctions. They represent an advanced order of intellect.
And, lastly, when the full blaze of realisation comes, your one object in
life shall be to bestow your sense of freedom on others. You shall
not be able to mock and smile calmly at the pain, the ignorance to
imperfections of your brother-man. You shall realise what it is to 'feel'
for humanity, yea, even for animals. You shall glimpse, in some measures,
the great feeling of pain that rent the hearts of the Buddas, the
Christs, the Ramakrishnas, the Vivekanandas of this world. They suffered,
they felt for humanity. And when undeveloped humanity forced them to the
Cross; they bore it in the same spirit in which the gentle nurse bears
the blows and abuses of the disease-racked patient. "Father forgive them,
for they know not what they do." Verily to know all is to forgive all.
This Soul-Consciousness is as much yours as that of anyone. It comes
through meditation on the Infinite, and the Formless Absolute--the
Over-soul of the universe--the Brahman of the Vedanta--the Self of the
philosophers--the Atman of the Yogis--the personal--impersonal God
of the devotee--and, last, but not least, the humanity of the
The mind can think of one thing only. Fear is an acute form of negative
concentration--worry its chronic form. If you learn how to place your
mind upon a particular subject and inhibit or "shut off" all other
thoughts, the fascination of fear and worry shall have no power over you.
Most of the things you fear never happen--others can be routed by a bold
front. Even if something ugly does befall you, you have the power within
to enable you to 'bear up' heroically. Fear is a mere negative
thought-habit. It is a negative tendency in the mind. You can best
eradicate this weed from your mind by cultivating the positive attitude
of Courage. There are particular sets of brain-cells being created or
destroyed by particular types of thoughts. The best way to destroy
negative brain-cells is to develop positive brain-cells. If you want to
_Kill off Fear-thoughts_, do not fight them. That would be like trying to
realise how dark a place is and then starting to pitch it out by the
handful. You know you cannot do it. Just open the blinds and let in
sunshine and the place will be flooded with light. The mind hypnotised
by negative thoughts has been compared by a mental scientist to a dirty
wash-bowl full of dirty water. Take the wash-bowl near a tap and turn
the tap on. The steady pour of clean water will soon wash off all the
dirty water and fill the wash-bowl with clear water. So the only way
to root out and destroy evil thoughts is to turn a steady stream of
positive thoughts to overcome all fear thoughts, you should think
courage-thoughts. Don't crawl on your belly; don't call upon Heaven to
witness that despicable creature you are. No--a thousand times--no. Act
Courage. Think Courage. Say Courage. That's the way. Turn your face
towards the rising sun. Take "Courage" for your watchword. Affirm
it as far as you can. Fasten it deep and strong in your mind. Always tell
yourself that you are full of courage, morning, noon and night; never
tell yourself that you are weak.
Now, in order to inhibit fear-thoughts and exhibit Courage-thoughts,
you must possess CONCENTRATION. You should be able to take your mind off
a certain subject and put it on something else at your will. Do you know
what Concentration means? Let me give you in my own words something I
remember reading about Napoleon. When banished to St. Helena and
suffering from disease, one day his doctor expressed his curiosity as to
the secret of his success and astonishing power. Napoleon replied
"Doctor, there are drawers in my brain. When I want to think of politics
I pull out the drawer of politics, when I want to think of Josephine, I
pull out the drawer of Law, and so on; and when I shut all these drawers,
I can go to sleep." The doctor smiled incredulity blandly. "Doctor, I can
show you this minute. Doctor, I shut all drawers"--even while saying
this, Napoleon fell with a thud on his pillow. He was fast asleep. The
man of science and medicine examined him in all ways, but Napoleon had
fallen actually fast asleep. This is Concentration and Mind-Control. I
don't admire men of Napoleon's selfish types. Their place is in dark
hell. They use their power for preying upon others. But that his powers
of mind were great, I don't deny. Napoleon in his past life had been a
great Yogi, but the remnants of self and cumulative force of bad Karma
precipitated the bloody results you all know in connection with
Napoleon's career. No doubt, this man was only a means used by God to
bring about certain changes and revolutions.
To develop Concentration, pay attention to the daily work of your life.
Don't neglect small things. Put interest and attention into whatever
you think, say, or do. Be a wide-awake man. Don't go about your work
half-asleep. Wake up and display a few signs of life. Be progressive.
Think much and to the purpose.
You all understand this. It is that aspect of your make-up that enables
you to make your mind and body obey you. The true principle of Will is
closely interlocked with the "I am I" as I have already explained it.
Resolve at the start to do one thing once in 24 hours that you would do
if you were not afraid. Face fear and it is your slave. Your Will-power
enables you to prove things practically to yourself and to the world; to
make actions match-thoughts. Give your Will much exercise in the right
direction. Without Will a man is no better than a log of wood. Keep
your Will strong by auto-suggestion and exercise. Try the powers of your
Will on your personality till you can do anything and be anything. Say "I
can and I will" in a thousand different ways and prove it too. The
requisite qualities that form valuable adjuncts to Will-power are:
1. Determination. 2. Stick-to-it-ive-ness. 3. Perseverance. 4. Invincible
and indomitable courage. 5. Non-attachment. 6. Faith in yourself.
7. Faith in God. 8. I can and I will. Repeat this affirmation often till
it becomes a constant mental trait.
1. I am fearless. I am full of courage. There is nothing to fear.
I say courage, I think, I act courage.
2. Courage is my distinct and leading trait. Everyone knows me
as a man of Indomitable courage. The criticisms and opinions of others
cannot affect me the least.
3. I am part of the Divine Self. I harm none. My nature knows
no harm. Hence no harm comes to me.
4. I am equal to anything. Nothing can crush my spirit. I can
face everything. I can face everybody.
5. My powers of resistance are strong, strong, strong. I use them
never for the aggression of others. They are for my self-defence.
6. I am absolutely fearless morally and physically.
7. I stand for absolute truthfulness and justice and manifest them
8. Work with this affirmation. Strongly implant it in your mind.
The use of strong, positive Affirmation in the Silence is valuable in
that it gives you a firm hold of your thought so that you can "carry the
thought" mentally. The value of expressing thought in act and speech lies
in this that it clinches your thought into a permanent habit. Remember
this psychologic axiom: 1. Thoughts take form in action. 2. Action
induces thought and corresponding habits. Therefore act out the part
physically. If you want a courageous mind--"act out" the part physically,
in your daily life, on suitable occasions, in all earnestness as you
would in a theatre or drama. In a very short time it shall become a
confirmed habit. Force yourself to it. Take an interest in what you do
and say. Have confident expectations of SUCCESS. Never be daunted and
cowed down by initial difficulties and failures. Never say die. If you
go down--don't remain lying and moaning. Never, I say, never. Get up.
Shake yourself up free and say, like the royal lion "Come one, come all,
this rock shall fly sooner from its base than I." Have a will of your
own and be a force for good. Exercise your Will-power. Be something.
LOVE FOR HUMANITY, ENERGY, ASPIRATION, SELF-ESTEEM.
I cannot too strongly emphasise the difference between Self-Esteem
and Self-Conceit. I wish to drive and thoroughly pound this difference
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