This sentence tells us what to do now and what the aim should be. Any return to Hatha Yoga practices which deal specifically with the development of the centres, brought about through various types of meditation practices and breathing exercises, is, from a certain aspect, a retrogression and should not be done. It will be found that through the practice of Raja Yoga, and through assuming that point of directional control which is to be found by the man who centres his consciousness in the soul, the other forms of Yoga are unnecessary, for the greater Yoga automatically includes all the lesser in its results, though not in its practices.
In the theory and practice of Raja Yoga we find that the nature of mental consciousness is studied and that the evolution of the intellect and of the higher mind accompanies the moral training and control of the astral consciousness necessary in any form of true Yoga. Raja Yoga seeks to control the lower nature and the body through the mind.
Consciousness is the awareness or mind aspect of the One Life working in, and with, matter. Its extent is measured by the ability of the matter which it ensouls to respond to impacts or vibrations. This faculty of consciousness is inseparable from matter, although in the lowest forms its manifestation may almost be hidden. The consciousness in the lowest forms of matter demonstrates as affinity. There can be no matter without spirit; the two are but aspects of the One Life and consciousness is inherent in every form. A thought-form possesses life and consciousness, which are inseparable from the materials of which it is made; it responds to impacts of similar nature. The sheaths of the spirit, which are formed from the matter of the astral and the mental planes, have an independent consciousness, or personality, which functions in a semi-independent manner according to their nature. Thus the nature of astral and mental consciousness [personality] will be proportionate to the materials of which these vehicles are composed. Higher and higher types of matter are built into these sheaths, evolved by the deliberate selection of the higher self, who strives to use these vehicles for his purpose and to control their independent activity. By the method of Hatha Yoga control is sought directly over the life dwelling in the various forms of matter of which the sheaths are made.
Raja Yoga, while systematically building up these bodies with ever finer matter, does so through attention to the indwelling spirit, the “King over the lesser lives”. The life in this matter [the personality] is thus brought under the control of the higher self, with the independent sensations of the body and astral natures rendering obedience to the mind which controls them….
Hitherto the mind has either been prostituted to material ends or has been deified. Through the science of Raja Yoga, the mind will be known as the instrument of the soul and the means whereby the brain of the aspirant becomes illuminated and knowledge gained of those matters which concern the realm of soul…. The soul is defined as the Perceiver. We are to conceive of it as the holder or possessor of the mind. If the mind be not under control it is shaken by the winds of passion or impulse, or idle fancies, and the shadows of external things flit confusedly across its swaying surface, and we are unable to use it as an instrument of the soul.
Yoga, is used in two senses, as union with the Divine and as the employment of the means to that union. The one is the result, the other is the method leading towards that result. In its highest sense it means union, the merging of mind and the Divine element within us. Yoga is therefore that realisation of our oneness with the Supreme that has been the aim of mystics of all ages and all creeds. To reach this highest possible point of spiritual development, it is obvious that the whole nature of the human being must be developed upon its various lines; that is, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements must receive an appropriate and simultaneous training, or we lack that harmony which is a necessary concomitant of perfection. A chain can be no stronger than its weakest link, and if any link in the chain of our being be imperfect, the whole must suffer the consequences. Part of the problems in the world stems from the inequality found between the different stages of development of the physical, emotional and mental bodies of the people in the world.
When these are studied, it will become apparent why the day of opportunity has only just arrived. The East has preserved for us rules since time immemorial. Here and there Orientals [with a few Western adepts] have availed themselves of those rules and have submitted to the discipline of this exacting science. Thus has been preserved for the race the continuity of the Secret Doctrine, of the Ageless Wisdom, and thus has been gathered together the personal of the Hierarchy of our Planet Earth. In the time of the Buddha and through the stimulation He produced there was a great gathering in of Arhats. These were men who had achieved liberation through self-initiated effort [Raja Yoga]. This period, in our Aryan race, marked a climax for the East. Since then the tide of spiritual life has steadily flowed westward, and we may now look for a corresponding climax in the West, which will reach its zenith between 1965 and 2025. Towards this end the adepts of the East and of the West are unitedly working, for they follow always the law.
There are three books which should be in the hands of every student, the Bhagavad Gita, the New Testament, and the Yoga Sutras, for in these three is contained a complete picture of the soul and its unfoldment.
The biggest percentage of the people in the world can spend a lifetime studying and mastering these three books and will need nothing more to help them on their way. I would say up to the third initiation.
In the Gita we have given us [in the eighteen chapters] a description of the soul, of Krishna, the second aspect, in his true nature as God in manifestation, culminating in that marvellous chapter where he reveals himself to Arjuna, the aspirant, as the soul of all things, and the point of glory behind the veil of every form.
In the New Testament there is depicted for us the life of a Sun of God in full manifestation, wherein, freed from every veil, the soul in its true nature walks the earth. It becomes apparent to us, as we study the life of Christ, what it means to develop the powers of the soul, to attain liberation, and become, in full glory, a God walking on earth.
In the Yoga Sutras there are embodied for us the laws of that becoming, and the rules, methods, and means which-when followed-made a man “perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” Step by step there is unfolded for us a graded system of development, leading a man from the stage of average good man, through those of aspirant, initiate and master on to that exalted point in evolution at which the Christ now stands. The revelation of the soul to man in physical plane incarnation works ever the great transformation. Christ himself has said that “Greater works than I do shall ye do,” holding out to us the promise of the “kingdom, the power and the glory” provided our aspiration and endurance suffice to carry us along the thorny way of the Cross, and enables us to tread that path which “leads up-hill all the way” to the summit of the Mount of Transfiguration.
The Yoga Sutras are the basic teaching of the Trans-Himalayan School to which many of the Masters of the Wisdom belong, and many students hold that the Essenes and other schools of mystical training and thought, closely connected with the founder of Christianity and the early Christians, are based upon the system and that their teachers were trained in the great Trans-Himalayan School.
Bases on the works of AAB and DK.
In the production of alignment during meditation, I will ask you to do the following exercises, in breathing and in focussing. You know well, do you not, my friend and brother, that the more disciples are aligned and coordinated, the greater will be their power in service.
Therefore, attempt the following breathing exercise, paying particular attention to the interlude, and to the line of thought which you carry forward during these interludes. This is, for you, a somewhat difficult task, yet the interlude should be the easiest and most effective part of the meditation work. An interlude, properly held and utilised, is one of the preparatory steps towards that occult phenomenon, called by the oriental teachers, samadhi....
Then meditate deeply during the next six months on the following six phrases, holding the consciousness as high in the head as possible, and attempting to hold the mind steady in the light and aligned with the brain.
1st month—May the light of the soul illumine my mind, and shed a light upon the way of others.
2nd month—May the love of the soul control my lower nature, and guide me in the way of love.
3rd month—May I act as a soul in all my ways, and thus awaken others to a right activity.
4th month—I teach the way to others. I seek to contact souls, not minds.
5th month—As a soul, I serve my fellowmen.
6th month—I place the torch of truth in other hands, and from my torch they light their light.
If you follow these simple suggestions, my brother, you will be surprised at the results which will appear in a year's time. Simplicity is the way of soul growth. Be simple.
Each month, write a simple summation of your thoughts and service as you work with the monthly seed thoughts. Endeavour to make these six papers of real mental value to others, and also see, if possible, that they have a magnetic value [Page 194] and that they breathe out, not only mental understanding, but also an emotional appeal. Attend likewise to the form in which you cast them for that will be the symbol on the physical plane of your inner alignment.
[DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE, p193]