de 63
Vista actual
The role of the prism in the light phenomenon corre
sponds to the role of the Point in
the differentiation of consciousness into different
states of mind. Pure consciousness, in
passing through the point through which the manifes
ted world is projected becomes
centralized and differentiated and a mental world,
corresponding to the plane of manifestation
and depending upon the individual, appears in the f
ield of consciousness. This mental world is
derived from consciousness, is composed of the diff
erentiated and degraded products of
consciousness, obscures consciousness and binds the
conscious individual to the mental world
which has been produced in the field of consciousne
ss. It is this mental world, in its totality,
existing on different planes, which keeps the Monad
imprisoned within itself until
Self-realization takes place and the mind is percei
ved as an integral though differentiated part
of consciousness.
It is interesting to note how the same idea is expr
essed in a somewhat different manner
in the
in aphorisms I-3 and I-4.The phrase
in aphorism I-4 of the
corresponds to the phrase
in the aphorism we are discussing.
Whether we say that the universal consciousness bec
omes contracted to the form of the
objects of perception present in the mental world o
r that pure consciousness is assimilated
with the objects present in the mind we are referri
ng essentially to the partial transformation
of the integrated state of consciousness to the res
ulting differentiated states of the mind.
The important and significant point to note particu
larly in this aphorism is that mind is
not an entirely different and independent principle
, but a degraded and differentiated product
of consciousness inseparable from consciousness. It
is for this reason that when the yogic
technique of
is adopted or the method referred to in aphorism 13
of the
present treatise is followed the mind can revert to
the original state of pure consciousness,
from which it is derived. It is also for this reaso
n that the universe can appear and exist as a
purely mental phenomenon in divine consciousness an
d merge in that consciousness at the
time of
(of) that (the individual mind)
consists of
the great illusion
which means knowledge) knower, the knower whose kno
wledge is permeated
by illusion (of
the student will get a clearer conception of
which is in accord with and more easily
understandable in the light of modern thought.
It is interesting to note that the Sanskrit word
has the same significance as
that of
pointed out above. It means 'essential nature or co
nstitution' which is inherent
in the ultimate reality. The word is derived from t
he Sanskrit word
which means
therefore means the manner in which the nature of t
his reality
manifests. Properties appear only when this essenti
al nature which is inherent in divine
consciousness in its totality manifests in a differ
entiated form to accomplish some specific
divine purpose.
The Sanskrit word
is used in a very comprehensive and rather vague se
nse and is
used not only for the ultimate reality which is all
-pervading, all-embracing and an indivisible
Whole, but also for the expression of this reality
through a point which leads to the
manifestation of a Monad with his infinite expansio
n of consciousness and power. The
classification given in the aphorism, both in regar
d to the subjective and objective aspects
should, therefore, be considered applicable both to
the macrocosmic and microcosmic
expressions of Reality in the realm of manifestatio
n. In fact, what finds expression in the
manifest has its roots in and is present in a myste
rious form in the unmanifest, the
classification may therefore be considered applicab
le to the unmanifest also.
It is also necessary to say here a few words with r
egard to the quadruple nature of the
Logos or Isvara which is represented by the four fa
ces of Brahma in Hindu symbology and is
referred to as
in the aphorism. Brahma is the Creator and represen
ts the Logos as
seen from outside. Actually, the Logos is fourfold
in his nature like a tetrahedron, the three
manifest aspects being represented by
Brahma, Visnu and Rudra
and the unmanifest aspect by
of that
roles, regions (of ground), storeys (of house), ste
various, all
systems of philosophy
positions, points of view
'The various systems of philosophy merely expound a
nd interpret the different aspects
of this Reality from different points of view.'
This aphorism is very important for the student of
philosophy because it indicates the
real purpose of philosophy and enables him to disti
nguish between those systems which
subserve this purpose and others which are of a spe
culative nature and have no relevance to
human life, its nature, purpose and vital problems
which affect every human being.
In order to understand the real significance of thi
s aphorism the student should
remember that all systems of philosophy do not subs
erve the real purpose of philosophy, and
though outwardly very imposing, do not really deal
with the problems with which philosophy
should be concerned. They are merely guesses at tru
ths relating to the nature of man, God and
the universe and their mutual relation. Some of the
m do not even recognize the existence of
God or the essentially divine nature of man or the
spiritual basis of the universe, and are
merely clever speculations regarding the nature of
man and the universe, based on extremely
meagre scientific data and subtle logical reasoning
based upon convenient assumptions made
to suit the theory which is propounded.
The course which orthodox philosophical thought has
taken in the West and the futile
exercise of the intellect to which philosophical in
quiry has been reduced, especially in recent
times, is easy to understand. The idea that there a
re certain and reliable methods of knowing
the truth regarding the deeper problems of religion
and philosophy based upon direct
experiences gained through the techniques of Yoga w
as absent in the West, and it is only in
comparatively recent times that interest in these t
hings has been aroused, and the possibility of
knowing such truths has been recognized and accepte
d by the less orthodox thinkers in the
field of philosophy. In the absence of this knowled
ge it was natural that the very limited
number of facts of observation and logical reasonin
g formed the only means available for
carrying on inquiry into these deeper realms of tho
ught and being. With only such unreliable
instruments of inquiry at their disposal it is not
surprising that philosophical thought took this
shape and produced systems of philosophy which can
be considered merely as speculations
regarding the problems of human life and the nature
of the universe. Many of these systems
do not even attempt to deal with the questions whic
h are of vital interest to human beings, and
if they do, leave the student in a state of bewilde
rment as to what the truth with regard to these
matters actually is. No wonder philosophy has come
to be regarded in the West merely as an
intellectual pastime in which only professional phi
losophers can be interested.
In the East, philosophy has never been divorced fro
m religion and the pursuit of both
has been based upon the idea that it is possible to
know the real truth with regard to the deeper
problems of life with certainty by direct experienc
es gained by methods of Yoga. Not only
this, there have always been present in different c
ountries a number of occultists, mystics and
saints who have through austerity and spiritual sel
f-discipline realized in various degrees
these truths of spiritual life and helped other qua
lified disciples to do so. So there has been
gradually built up a strong tradition of spiritual
life and culture which has not only permeated
religious and philosophical thought but influenced
greatly its further growth.
It is for this reason that Hindu philosophy has rem
ained remarkably free from purely
speculative thought and to a great extent true to t
he real ideal and purpose of philosophy to
discuss and disseminate knowledge with regard to th
e true nature of man, God, and the
universe, and the means of obtaining this knowledge
by reliable practical methods. Not all the
thought which has developed during the course of ce
nturies is guided by this central aim or is
of a high order but one can discern an underlying p
urpose behind it and this purpose is related
to the deeper problems of life of vital interest to
all human beings.
Aphorism 7 of the
Pratyabhijna Hridayam
hints at the nature of the ultimate reality
which is basically one, whole and integrated but is
seen differentiated into its different aspects
when looked at from the plane of the intellect. It
is these aspects or roles which this Reality
plays in manifestation which are called
in aphorism 8.
As there is only one Reality and its realization, a
fter all the potentialities which are
hidden within the Monad have been unfolded, is the
main purpose of human life, all true
systems of philosophy should be merely presentation
s of these different aspects of this reality
from different points of view. It is not possible t
o perceive the Reality as a whole in its real
form in the world of the relative but only its diff
erent aspects and partial expressions as they
appear to the illusion-bound intellect. It is this
important fact which aphorism 8 is meant to
convey to the student of philosophy whose interest
in philosophy is not merely academic but
intimately related with the problem of Self-realiza
tion. If this fact is clearly understood it will
put an end to controversies and partisan attitudes
we sometimes find among students of
philosophy, each trying to defend his own favourite
system and disparage others.
The well-known systems of Hindu philosophy and the
religions associated with them
seem to differ greatly when we study their doctrine
s superficially. But if we look at them as
pointed out in aphorism 8, as expounding different
aspects of the One Reality in theory and
following different paths to the same Reality in pr
actice, then we shall not only be able to see
them in the correct perspective but also to remembe
r that it is the One Reality which is the
object of our search and not any particular aspect
or expression of it. In this comprehensive
view of philosophy even the philosophy of scientifi
c materialism seems to have its own
legitimate place. For it expounds in its own way th
at aspect of Reality which finds expression
on the physical. plane, which is also derived from
and is the lowest expression of the One
Reality outside which nothing can exist.
even then, still, nevertheless
(citi) vat
five kinds of
deeds, functions
does, performs.
‘Even under these limitations the microcosmic soul
in bondage performs the five
divine functions like the macrocosmic Over-Soul.’
We have seen in the last aphorism that the centrali
zation of the ultimate reality in the
individual Monad limits tremendously the powers of
consciousness in their expression
through the centre of consciousness. This expressio
n, no doubt, depends upon the unfoldment
of consciousness and the evolution of the psycho-ph
ysical mechanism which is gradually built
up round the centre of consciousness, but even at i
ts highest it is nothing as compared with the
universal consciousness in which the centre is embe
dded and from which it derives its
powers. It will be seen how wide is the gulf betwee
n the two when we recall that the yogi has
to renounce even omniscience and omnipotence of the
plane before his consciousness
can pass through the centre and by becoming united
or merged with the universal
consciousness acquire the capacity to wield univers
al power. This fact is made clear in
aphorisms III-49, 50 and 54 of the
Is there any definite indication in human life of t
he fact that a human being is a limited
expression of the divine life and consciousness fro
m which the whole manifested universe is
derived? The above aphorism seeks to answer the que
stion. It points out that, even under the
tremendous limitations imposed upon consciousness o
n centralization, the individual still is
able to perform, in a limited manner, the five esse
ntial functions of divine consciousness, thus
showing that though he is an extremely limited expr
ession of that consciousness, his
consciousness is essentially of the same nature as
that supreme consciousness. The one is a
microcosm, the other is a macrocosm.
These five functions are enumerated in the next aph
orism but even a superficial
examination of these functions will show that they
do not give a correct and comprehensive
idea with regard to these divine functions either i
n manifestation as a whole or in human life.
The manifested universe is so vast, complex and bey
ond the grasp of the human intellect that
it is impossible to have any satisfactory idea of t
he divine functions which are being
performed in it, much less to classify them. It wou
ld have been all right if these five functions
had been given as illustrative examples but the man
ner in which they have been enumerated
gives the impression that they are considered to be
basic or fundamental. It would be difficult
to accept this conception of divine functions in vi
ew of what has been pointed out above.
It has been a common practice among Hindu philosoph
ers and scholars to classify
everything in the realm of philosophy and religion.
While this helps, to a certain extent, in
clarifying the ideas and fixing them in the mind, t
he practice is essentially unsound from the
philosophical point of view. All phenomena in the p
hysical world and also all realities in the
subtler realms of nature are very complex and in cl
assifying them in this rigid and arbitrary
manner we not only try to do what is really impossi
ble but are liable to give a wrong
impression about the things we are dealing with. Th
e best way of overcoming this difficulty
would be to take these classifications not as exhau
stive but illustrative. This retains the
advantages of classification and leaves room for fu
rther elaborations, additions and
In considering the partial expression of divine con
sciousness and power through a
Monad we have to remember that the Monad is not mer
ely a limited expression of divine
consciousness and power, but a microcosm which cont
ains within itself in a potential form
everything which is present in a developed form in
the macrocosm. As has been explained
elsewhere the centralization of the ultimate realit
y in the centre of consciousness which the
Monad represents means the concentration of everyth
ing present in that reality in its infinite
form and in boundless space, into a point through w
hich the Monad functions, but in a
potential form. It is this tremendous potentiality
present in the centre of Monadic
consciousness from the moment when individualizatio
n takes place which accounts for the
relentless and unlimited unfoldment of his consciou
sness and development of his powers
during the course of his evolution. It is natural t
hat when the whole of Reality becomes
concentrated and confined within a point there shou
ld be a natural and powerful tendency
present in the microcosm to expand and regain its o
riginal condition. It is for this reason that
the evolutionary pressure in the case of every Mona
d is continuous and the unfoldment of
consciousness which takes place has no limit.
The tendency to expand and regain its original cond
ition which is present in the centre
of Monadic consciousness expresses itself in many w
ays. The fact that human beings perform
in a very limited manner the same functions which d
ivine life does on a vast scale is only one
of the ways in which this tendency expresses itself
. Another easily understandable expression
of this tendency is seen in the universal search fo
r happiness through the pursuit of pleasure,
knowledge, power, etc. The essential nature of the
Monad is referred to in Hindu philosophy
These three fundamental attributes of Divinity are
of the most
comprehensive nature and from these it is possible
to derive all the other attributes. When the
Monad loses the awareness of his real nature on inv
olvement in the lower worlds it is natural
that he should always seek consciously or unconscio
usly what he has lost. In the early stages
of his evolution, owing to lack of discrimination,
he seeks outside what is really present
within the deepest layers of his own consciousness,
and he seeks in wrong and futile ways
what can be gained only by adopting right and effec
tive means. But when he has evolved
sufficiently and the spiritual faculty of discrimin
ation called
has become developed in
an adequate degree he adopts methods which are righ
t and effective and by treading the path
of spiritual unfoldment he ultimately regains the a
wareness of his real nature. It is only then
that this long and arduous search comes to an end a
nd he becomes
one who has
become self-contained and self-sufficient and there
fore does not desire anything.
What has been said above will show the necessity of
studying these matters
concerning the inner realities and problems of life
in a comprehensive manner from different
points of view and not from the point of view of on
ly one philosophical system or spiritual
teacher. We get in this way a far more correct and
satisfactory conception of what we are
trying to understand. But the most comprehensive an
d reliable knowledge obtained in this
manner through intellectual study is of very little
value when compared with the true
knowledge obtained by direct perception in one's ow
n consciousness.
any unreal appearance in consciousness which is the
nature of creation or manifestation
attachment, devotion, involvement (maintenance of
any ideated system is not possible unless conscious
ness is attached or involved in what is
ideation (cosmic or individual), thinking
establishing, planting
means proliferation
dissolution, mergence into
subtler realm
is a suffix, meaning 'by reason of (these activitie
they are.
'These five divine functions which are performed by
the microcosmic soul in a limited
and veiled form are manifestation, attachment or in
volvement, ideation, proliferation and
In discussing the last aphorism it was pointed out
that each system of philosophy can
give us only a very partial view of the truth under
lying man, God and the universe from a
(citi) parijinane
(on) acquiring full knowledge of
the individual mind
that very, same
directed inwards towards the centre of consciousnes
s, its
by contemplating, by promoting
status, stage; level
by rising to; by ascending to
(becomes) universal consciousness or Reality
in its
'But the individual mind, by piercing inwards towar
ds its central source by
contemplation, can be made to revert to the state o
f pure consciousness, and by thus acquiring
knowledge of it, become
or the Reality itself.'
The centralization of universal consciousness, its
differentiation and becoming
outward-turned on the lower planes is the essential
process by which the individual mind is
formed and functions in the lower worlds and become
s involved in its illusions and
limitations. It stands to reason, therefore, that t
he means of ending this involvement,
becoming aware of the integrated state of conscious
ness and realizing our real nature will be
essentially a process of reversal of the process ou
tlined above with regard to the formation
and functioning of the individual mind. And this is
what the above aphorism tries to indicate.
It is obvious that the first step inputting an end
to this involvement and regaining
awareness of our real nature would be to reverse th
e direction of the mind. The mind of the
ordinary individual living a worldly life is turned
outwards and is not only concerned with
things in the external world but is engrossed in th
em so completely that it is not even aware of
this fact. Now, the external world in which our con
sciousness is immersed is an illusory,
temporary and ever-changing phenomenon with nothing
of real value in it. It cannot satisfy
the hunger of the soul which has been deprived of i
ts divine heritage and is engaged in a
constant, blind and futile search for what it has l
ost, in this illusory and ever changing life of
the world. It is like a thirsty deer seeking water
in a desert, running after an ever-receding
mirage until it falls down dead. Where is this real
ity which the Monad has lost and which
alone can satisfy his deep-seated hunger and give h
im permanent peace, happiness and
freedom from the illusions and limitations of life?
Not in the external world but within and
beyond the centre of his own consciousness, existin
g in layer after layer of unimaginable
splendours of pure being and endowed with infinite
knowledge, power and bliss. And this
reality is our real self, nothing outside us or bes
ide us. So the first step in regaining our divine
heritage is to direct the mind inwards towards the
centre of our consciousness.
The second step is to raise the mind upwards or inw
ards by penetrating within its
deeper layers, step by step, by methods which form
part of yogic self-discipline. The mind has
been formed and owes its existence to the descent o
f consciousness through its individual
centre. The disappearance and elimination of the mi
nd which prevents the full awareness of
Reality must therefore necessarily depend upon the
ascent of consciousness through the same
And when the yogi succeeds in bringing this about
completely and irreversibly what
must happen as a result of this supreme achievement
? The imprisoned consciousness must
emerge on the other side of the centre into the wor
ld of Reality from which it had descended
when it was involved in the lower worlds and began
its long journey in these worlds to unfold
its infinite divine potentialities. And when it eme
rges and becomes permanently established in
the world of Reality, the Monad remains permanently
aware of his real nature and retains all
the knowledge and powers of the lower worlds withou
t their illusions and limitations. It was
to gain this double advantage that the Monad was se
nt into exile into the lower worlds of
The differentiation of consciousness into an infini
te variety of mental states and the
reintegration of these states into consciousness ca
n best be understood by performing a simple
scientific experiment. If we take a beam of light a
nd pass it through a glass prism we know
that the prism disperses the white light into a spe
ctrum of coloured lights arranged in a
particular order. This spectrum can be projected on
to a sheet of white paper when the
continuous spectrum of seven colours (violet, indig
o, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) will
be seen, thus showing how the white light has been
broken up into its constituent coloured
Can these coloured lights present in the spectrum b
e combined again into pure white
light? Yes, by removing the sheet of white paper an
d passing the beam of coloured lights
through another inverted prism of the same size as
the prism which dispersed the white light.
The light which emerges from the second prism under
these conditions will be a beam of
white light which is identical with the beam of whi
te light which was dispersed by the first
The differentiation of consciousness into differen
t states of mind when it passes
through a centre and their reintegration into pure
consciousness on its passing back through
the centre is of an analogous nature and has been h
inted at in aphorisms 4, 5 and 13 of this
treatise. This centre of consciousness will thus be
seen to have a unique character which
appears fascinating even to the intellect which can
not comprehend these inner transcendental
realities. It is like a threshold connecting two wo
rlds. On the one side is the world of Reality
with its infinite knowledge, power and bliss which
are utterly beyond imagination. On the
other side is the multi-plane world of manifestatio
n containing within it countless worlds
spread throughout space which are essentially menta
l in nature but appear real to the Monads
who are evolving in them.
The fact that mind is a differentiated form of cons
ciousness and is derived from
consciousness also gives a clue to the mysterious f
act that it is not possible to catch this mind
in its pure unmodified condition and know what it r
eally is. For when it is freed from its
modifications the differentiated state of the mind
gives place to the integrated state of
consciousness in which the knower, known and knowin
g are present in a state of fusion.
(of) the pure consciousness
in the stage or level
of (in the lower stage of manifestation )
: covered, hidden, concealed
in accordance with or in proportion (to its strengt
h or intensity)
of being known, discernible, has the same meaning a
to burn).
'The fire of
even in its lower stages of manifestation, when it
is covered by various
obscuring agents, is always burning the fuel of the
objects in the objective world, in the
measure of its intensity, by the exercise of
or spiritual discrimination.'
This and the next aphorism are of profound signific
ance because they serve to throw
some light on the nature of Reality or that supreme
state in which the knower, known and
knowing give place to one integrated state of being
, in which the three are present and yet not
distinguishable. The method adopted for expressing
these ultimate truths of existence in
metaphorical language not only enables us to gain a
glimpse into these transcendental truths
but makes these aphorisms masterpieces of literary
expression. Only those whose
consciousness has unfolded sufficiently to enable t
hem to gain a real insight into these truths
can convey these ideas in such a terse and yet effe
ctive manner.
One Reality in spite of the activities in which he
is engaged and the bodies through which he
functions. It is for this reason that he is called
i.e, liberated while still living in
the lower worlds. His outer life is lived like that
of other people but he is utterly unattached to
his individuality which creates the illusions of th
e lower worlds, and is therefore free from
these illusions and the limitations which are deriv
ed from this attachment.
There are two points which should be noted in this
connection in order to make our
ideas with regard to this state clearer. The first
is that
or liberation does not mean
entering a new world or
It is a state of consciousness in which everything
in existence,
including the objective world, is seen as an aspect
or expression of the One Reality besides
which and apart from which nothing can possibly exi
Freedom implies really going from a place or set of
conditions where one is restricted
in one's movements or activities, into another plac
e or set of conditions in which the
restrictions have been eliminated. Liberation canno
t obviously mean entering a new world
apart or separate from the world which has been lef
t. When everything is directly perceived as
an integral part of the One Reality, where is one t
o go to, what can one flee from, what can
one be attached to, what can one be detached from,
what can one desire, what can one give
up? In this supreme state of enlightenment no such
transition, change of place, state or
relation is even theoretically possible, for the re
ality in which the yogi is established is all-
pervading, all embracing and an indivisible whole.
The second point which we may note is that the taki
ng up of a body on the lower
planes for doing some work as an
adhikiiri purusa
in furtherance of the divine plan does not
make any difference to the liberated individual exc
ept that he has to work under certain
limitations which are inherent in the particular pl
ane on which his consciousness is
functioning. For example, if he is working on the p
hysical plane through a physical body he
has to maintain that body like other people by feed
ing it at regular intervals and resting it at
night through sleep. It is true that the extraordin
ary powers which accompany these high
states of consciousness enable him to overcome some
of these limitations, but still, there are
some limitations which are inherent in the very con
stitution of a body working on a particular
plane and the consciousness has to function under t
hese limitations as long as it is confined to
that plane. But as the centre of consciousness can
move up or down the different planes with
the greatest ease through the agency of the
mechanism, the limitations of a plane can
be overcome at any moment and therefore cannot hind
er the work of the
adhikari purusa.
For the benefit of those whose knowledge with regar
d to the inner realities of life is
inadequate and who do not know what the phrase
adhikari purusa
means it may be pointed
out that there is an inner government of the world
which is carried on by a hierarchy of adepts
of occultism who are liberated individuals. They ho
ld certain high offices of tremendous
responsibility like that of the
of a race, and carry on their work unknown and
unrecognized in the outer world. It is these indivi
duals who are called
adhikari purusas,
phrase meaning literally an individual who holds a
certain responsible office for doing a
particular type of work and wields the required pow
ers needed in doing that work. It is this
occult hierarchy which guides the evolution of huma
nity from within and, by constantly
adjusting and correcting the forces and movements i
n the outer world, ensures the
consummation of the divine plan.
The significance of the Sanskrit word
which means 'firm' or unwavering'
should also be noted. The realization of the ultima
te truth is a progressive process at the
highest level of yogic self-discipline. Temporary v
isions of Reality of increasing splendour
and depth begin to be seen when the yogi reaches th
e exalted state of
consciousness, but
these visions fade or disappear altogether owing to
the reversion of consciousness to lower
states, although even these lower states are so tra
nscendental in their nature as to be utterly
beyond human imagination. Liberation or
means becoming permanently and
irreversibly established in the world of Reality, b
ut this supreme state can be attained only
after a great deal of repeated effort in regaining
the awareness of Reality whenever it is lost.
The method of doing this is hinted at in aphorism 1
9 of the
Pratyabhijna Hridayam,
III-24 of the
and aphorism IV-29 of the
It may strike the student that only two aspects of
the triple reality referred to as
in Sanskrit have been referred to in this aphorism.
The explanation of this apparent
anomaly lies in the fact that though the reality is
triple in its nature, the third aspect called
cannot be 'gained' which the Sanskrit word
implies. We are
the ultimate truth in our
innermost and essential nature and it would be absu
rd to say that we 'gain'
in Self-
realization. If we gain
then who is the gainer of this
for, beyond
the ultimate
reality, there is nothing. We become established pe
rmanently and irreversibly in our
in Self-realization.
by unfoldment of
means expanding; opening)
the triple aspect of the ultimate reality but
is not mentioned because it is in the
background in the unmanifest when
aspect is present
attainment; gaining of.
'Self-realization or the attainment of the
state is made possible by the
unfoldment and development of the centre of one's o
wn consciousness.'
After dealing with the descent and expression of co
nsciousness through its centre and
its manifestation in the different states of mind a
nd mental phenomena, and also with the
possibility of the release of consciousness from th
e lower worlds in which it has become
involved, the author hints in this aphorism at the
general principle underlying the method of
release. Most aspirants who are not familiar with t
he occult conception regarding the total
constitution of a human being and the manner in whi
ch consciousness and its differentiated
product, mind, function in different vehicles, will
find it difficult to understand the deeper
significance of this enigmatic aphorism.
The important point we have to keep in mind in cons
idering this question of the
release of consciousness from the illusions and lim
itations of the lower worlds is that all the
vehicles of a
are energized, controlled, and the mind functioning
through them
illuminated from their common centre which is conce
ntric with the Great Centre called the
in Sanskrit. This point has been discussed thorough
ly in the chapters dealing with
the nature of this point in
Man, God and the Universe
and we need not dwell on it here. But it
is necessary to explain briefly in the present cont
ext the function of this centre in the
expression of mind and consciousness through vehicl
es, and the release of consciousness from
the vehicles through their common centre.
The central idea to be remembered in considering th
is problem is that mind and
consciousness can function only through a point and
can be transferred from one plane to
another through the common centre connecting the ve
hicles on the different planes. The
complex and elaborate vehicles on the lowest three
planes serve merely as mechanisms to
bring the mind and consciousness in touch with phen
omena of the external world and thus
provide experiences of different kinds to the evolv
ing soul. In this process it is the nerves,
brain and other invisible organs like the
which are the real instruments of mind and
consciousness and the rest of the body serves merel
y to maintain these vital instruments for
this purpose. The mind and consciousness are spread
out, as it were, along the brain and
nerves to the sense organs and establish contact wi
th the external world through the
and affect the external world through the
word is used in its broader sense for the activity
of mind on the lower planes of illusion. The
means 'gradual cessation with ultimate dissolution'
. So the phrase
means the gradual cessation of the activities and t
endencies of the mind which obscure the
light of Reality. The phrase therefore means practi
cally the same thing as aphorism I-2 of the
although the words used are so different.
This phrase means literally the voluntary withdrawa
l and
projection of the divine power manifesting through
the centre of individual consciousness. In
order to understand the significance of this phrase
in the present context it is necessary to
recall that divine power is the basis of the manife
sted universe and it is only when it is
projected through the centre of consciousness that
a manifested world of a mental nature
comes into existence, centred round the point of co
nsciousness. This is true both in the case of
the microcosmic world of a human being and the macr
ocosmic world of an
or Logos.
When the integrated power is projected through the
centre it is differentiated into innumerable
forms of energies which provide the mechanism throu
gh which consciousness and mind
function in the world which comes into being.
It should be clear therefore that if the consciousn
ess is to be freed from the world of
manifestation and become established in its real na
ture in the unmanifest, the power to
withdraw it from the mental world it has created mu
st be acquired. It is only then that it will
be free to withdraw into the world of Reality and r
emain in it an integrated form or come
down into the world of manifestation by reprojectio
n of its power through its centre and re-
creation of a world round that centre. It is this k
ind of control over the divine power which
enables a liberated individual to function both in
the manifest and the unmanifest. How this
technique is acquired is hinted at in some of the a
phorisms of the
The third practice which is recommended in this aph
orism is
which means literally the regulation and interrupti
on of currents flowing along their
respective channels. The phrase obviously refers to
the currents of energies like
flowing along their respective channels which are c
These currents
control and regulate not only the various' kinds of
vital processes in the vehicles but also the
expression of mind and consciousness through these
vehicles. For example, it is well known
that the expansions of consciousness which are aime
d at in yogic practice can be brought
about only by the passage of
along the
canal in the vertebral column and
the activation of the various centres or
which connect different vehicles of
The methods employed in the manipulation of these c
urrents are again closely guarded
secret of the path of yoga, and knowledge concernin
g them is imparted only to those who are
spiritually mature and properly qualified for this
purpose and cannot misuse them for their
selfish ends. It is true that a large number of pse
udo-yogis and teachers of yoga dabble in
these things and are also able to gain certain powe
rs but these are of a spurious character and
their exercise is fraught with great danger to the
life and sanity of those who meddle in these
practices to satisfy their vanity or lust for power
. These methods can be used properly and
safely only in the highest stages of yogic practice
when a sound foundation of character has
been laid, complete control over the vehicles has b
een acquired and the mind has been
completely freed from all kinds of selfish and vulg
ar desires which motivate the life of
ordinary human beings. The manipulation of these cu
rrents of energy like
required only when the physical and subtler vehicle
s have been properly developed, purified
and brought under the control of the will, and all
that is necessary is to open up channels
between the various vehicles so that consciousness
can move up and down the line of
communication between the vehicles as determined by
the spiritual will of the individual.
This requires very intensive and rigorous training
under the direct supervision of a
who has himself trodden the path and has all the ne
cessary knowledge for guiding the disciple
and enabling him to develop these spiritual powers
safely. But the
must be a
liberated person and not a mere title-holder upon w
hom the title has been conferred by his
over-enthusiastic disciples or even by himself.
Adyantakoti nibhalana.
The last means of unfolding the centre hinted at in
aphorism is of an enigmatic character and when tran
slated literally into English the phrase
means 'perception of the beginning and end in the p
oint'. In order to understand the
significance of this apparently meaningless stateme
nt we have to recall again the important
function of an ideal point in manifestation and the
manner in which it serves as an instrument
for the expression of the individual mind and consc
iousness by centralizing and limiting the
boundless and infinite reality which lies at the ba
sis of the universe. In this Reality, which is
whole and integrated, there can be no beginning or
end because it is above time and space.
Beginning and end can be present only in things whi
ch are within the realm of manifestation.
They are features of mental phenomena which take pl
ace in the mind of an individual, and
since the individual mind is centred in a point, th
eir origin should be sought in this point.
The whole of the manifested universe which has bill
ions of solar systems spread out in
apparently boundless space and endless time functio
ns in the universal mind of the Cosmic
Logos and appears and disappears in the eternal alt
ernation of
It has a
beginning and an end and so has everything which is
present in that universe. To perceive this
fundamental fact concerning the nature of the manif
ested universe the consciousness of the
individual must be centred in the Great Point or th
from which the universe is
projected. When it is so centred it is really prese
nt at the threshold between two worlds, the
world of Reality on one side and the world of manif
estation on the other and can pass into
either of these two worlds with the greatest ease.
In fact, the two worlds become one for such
a person.
The practice of 'perceiving the beginning and end i
n the point' is therefore nothing but
trying to acquire the ability to raise the centre o
f individual consciousness to the level of
universal consciousness. This is, of course, the we
ll-known technique of yoga in the highest
The impressions or after-effects of
full of, possessed
of, saturated or permeated with
in the state following
in which there is
again activity of the mind
means again and again, repeatedly
unification (with
(by) dwelling on, touching, rubbing against
therefore means permanent, irreversible or uninterr
state of
or awareness of Reality
gaining, attainment.
'In order to attain the permanent and irreversible
state of
it is necessary to
merge one's consciousness with the One Reality agai
n and again, whenever the
begins to disappear and mental activity begins to a
is a state of mind and consciousness which is exper
ienced only for a short
period in the early stages and is succeeded by a lo
wer state in which the mind again becomes
active and the
state comes to an end. Although this state is not a
complete reversion
to the previous state but is characterized by many
new features which have accrued from the
still, this interrupted state of
is not the ultimate object of Yoga
and cannot liberate the yogi from the illusions and
limitations of the lower worlds.
In the first place, a temporary glimpse of Reality
obtained in this manner cannot be a
full realization of that reality. Fullness or whole
ness and permanence go together because they
are really two aspects of the same state which is g
enerally referred to as eternal. The words
'eternal' and 'real' refer to the same supreme cons
ciousness which lies at the basis of the
manifested universe and always remains whole, chang
eless and all-embracing. What is real
must not only be above time and space but also abov
e the partial expressions which are
characteristic of the differentiated states.
In the second place, the tendency to interruption o
f the highest
state and
reversion to a lower state in the realm of time, sp
ace and differentiation means that the
process of Self-realization has not been made irrev
ersible and the danger of being side-tracked
or falling from the high states which have been att
ained is still there. All truly liberated adepts
of occultism have not only entered the world of Rea
lity and attained full realization of their
divine nature but have become permanently and irrev
ersibly established in that world. There
is no possibility of their becoming involved again
in the illusions and limitations of the lower
worlds. It is true that they may come down again in
to these worlds and work for the fulfilment
of the divine plan, but this is a voluntary underta
king in which they maintain fully their
contact with the real world. It has nothing to do w
ith the 'fall' of individuals on the path of
yoga owing to some weakness in their nature or not
attaining the final and complete state of
References to these intermediate states existing be
tween partial and full realization, the
danger of 'falling' inherent in these states, and
the necessity of attaining the true state of
liberation from which no 'fall' is possible, are fo
und in true occult treatises like the
or the
which deal with the problems involved in Self-reali
zation. Not only
do these treatises refer to these dangers but also
hint at the means which have to be adopted in
order to attain that state of full Self-realization
or liberation which is above the necessity of
being tempted and possibility of a fall.
For reasons given above the attainment of partial S
elf-realization in temporary
is considered to be only a stage on the path of Yog
a and efforts have to be constantly
directed, after this stage has been reached, to mak
e the temporary state permanent and
irreversible. This can be done only by repeating th
e process of attaining
again and
again and trying to gain it with greater frequency,
ease and completeness. This is a general
principle which is applicable to every kind of achi
evement even in ordinary life. We manage
somehow to achieve the result aimed at for the firs
t time with great difficulty but if we
continue to repeat the effort with greater and grea
ter intensity and earnestness, in course of
time the achievement becomes easy and perfect.
This principle is also applicable to the attainment
of the state of Self-realization but
there is a difference in the application of the pri
nciple and the result obtained owing to the
means. The same technique is referred to in aphoris
m IV-29 of the
aphorism III-24 of
The phrase
of course means the state of constant awareness of
Reality even in the midst of mental activities in t
he world of manifestation. The sun of divine
consciousness is then seen shining all the time and
never sets as in the earlier stages.
light of consciousness
integrated form or principle of all
from which all
or specific combinations of
sound are derived in manifestation
of the essential nature of
perfect, whole, all-embracing
on descending, on entering into,
on attaining
permanent, for ever (acquired)
which can bring about
one's (of the
Jivanmukta Purusa) own
consciousness contact, covenant, promise, agreement
circle, ring, realm, province, group of villages, c
hain, solar system,
galaxy, a cycle of years
ruler of a province, Logos
happens, is brought about
all this is (in short)
of the nature and function of Siva.
'Then is attained that all-inclusive awareness of u
ltimate reality which is the essence of
consciousness and bliss, in which is inherently pre
sent the integrated power of sound capable
of creation and destruction of any kind, anywhere a
nd at any time, which confers lordship
over the hierarchy of deities functioning in the pa
rticular manifested system, which, in short,
is the ultimate reality referred to as Siva'.
This is one of the most important and interesting a
phorisms in this treatise because it
throws some light on the nature of consciousness an
d power attained on Self-realization,
when the consciousness of the individual Monad beco
mes indissolubly united with the
universal consciousness referred to as Siva. The wo
which means 'then' points to the
fact that this attainment is the result of the comp
lete, uninterrupted and irreversible state of
awareness of Reality to which reference was made in
the last aphorism. Obviously, this is a
definite, clearly defined stage in the infinite unf
oldment of consciousness and is reached only
after a prolonged and intensive struggle in the pre
ceding stages of partial and interrupted
awareness of Reality. It confers on the individual
Monad the privilege to act as an
with definite powers and responsibilities as a memb
er of the occult hierarchy without
ever losing his contact with the world of Reality.
Knowledge concerning the state of enlightenment att
ained after Self-realization, and
the life of the Monad after this state has been rea
ched, is extremely meagre and vague in
occult literature. Even such a treatise as the
which deals exhaustively with the
problems of Yoga gives practically no information o
n the question as to what role the
plays in the drama of manifestation after attaining
The last aphorism of
Pratyabhijna Hridayam
and a number of aphorisms in the
throw some light on this
important question and are therefore of great value
to the student of occultism. The fact that
there is an occult hierarchy ruling and guiding the
world and that humanity will be brought
back on the right path whenever it strays from it p
rovides a ray of hope even to the common
man, and a reliable and consistent guide to conduct
for those who are in touch with the inner
realities of life. This is not a small thing in the
uncertainties and terrible prospects which face
us in the modern world.
Let us deal very briefly with the meaning of the wo
rds and phrases used in this
aphorism to enable us to understand the real signif
icance of the many profound occult
concepts embodied in it.
In the first part of the aphorism an attempt has be
en made to give some idea of the
nature of the supreme state attained on Self-realiz
ation. The manner in which this attainment
has been described in this aphorism is unusual but
interesting. It is referred to as the descent
of the all-inclusive universal consciousness into t
he individual consciousness. This may
appear as a peculiar way of expressing the idea but
on closer examination this method of
expression will be seen to throw new light on the n
ature of Self-realization. When the union
of the finite and infinite takes place through thei
r common centre the process can be described
with equal aptness as the ascent of the finite into
the Infinite or the descent of the Infinite into
the finite. The use of the Sanskrit word
in this connection is also quite justified
because the word
which means 'perfect, whole' precedes it. It is rea
lly a question of the
disappearance of the circumference of a circle with
a tremendous radius, so that only the
Great Centre which represents the Plenum state of t
he Absolute remains. It is the
circumference which limits a circle, not the centre
. 'I'-ness, which includes everything in the
cosmos, is identical with 'I'-lessness.
What is the nature of this supreme state which desc
ends upon the liberated individual
and enables him to play definite roles as a conscio
us and effective instrument of the divine
plan? We should expect it to have a dual aspect cor
responding to consciousness and power
which lie at the basis of manifestation and are pre
sent indissolubly linked in every expression
of Reality in a manifested world derived from that
Reality. In the present aphorism these two
aspects have been clearly separated and defined. Th
e definition of these aspects is in the most
condensed form and therefore points out their most
essential nature. The art of presenting any
subject in a condensed form as aphorisms lies in se
parating the non-essentials from the
essential and to present only the innermost essence
of what is to be presented.
The consciousness aspect of the state attained in l
iberation has been defined in three
words as
in the present aphorism. This phrase means 'the ess
ence of light
and bliss' and obviously refers to the
nature of the
referred to in some of the
previous aphorisms. The substitution of
or light for
is easily understandable, for,
as pointed out in
Science and Occultism,
at the highest levels of manifestation light and
consciousness are hardly distinguishable and may be
referred to as 'light of consciousness'.
That is also why liberation is frequently referred
to as enlightenment. Why the third aspect of
reality-sat-has been left out has been explained in
discussing aphorism 16.
The power aspect of the state of liberation has als
o been defined in three words
How sound lies at the basis of the manifested unive
rse has been
discussed in other contexts in
Science and Occultism.
The power of sound manifests through
different combinations of sound which are called
in Sanskrit. The integrated state of
from which all combinations of sounds with their sp
ecific powers and qualities
are derived in manifestation is called
meaning the Great Mantra. All power
associated with consciousness is rooted in and deri
ved from this integrated power of
and as a liberated individual is permanently establ
ished in the world of Reality
and his consciousness is united with the universal
consciousness he can wield this infinite and
integrated power in his work. This point has been m
ade clear in a number of aphorisms of the
and need not be discussed here.
In the previous part of this aphorism discussed abo
ve some light was thrown on the
nature of the state of liberation. The remaining pa
rt of the aphorism serves to give some idea
regarding the nature of functions which such a libe
rated individual becomes qualified to
perform as a result of his consciousness becoming u
nited with the cosmic consciousness of
and thus acquiring the ability to draw upon the cos
mic power inherent in cosmic