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 WillForce 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 grownup 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 Supernormal 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" personalitythat which when developed makes a godlike man of any human weakling. 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 intelligent effort. Now, what are the causes behind Personal Influence?
  1. Some say that the right control of the SexForce 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 "Magnetic field".
Taking the last viewpoint 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 welldisciplined 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 decidedly 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 nonflesh 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 practiced 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, and Divinity. 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 ThoughtPower.
  2. Awakened WillPower and SelfControl."
  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 evolution.
  2. It was by their developed thoughtforce 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 touchstones.
  3. It was by their strong, manly, marvellous WillPower 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. WillPower 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 Selfcontrol 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) ThoughtForce.
(3) WillPower.
(4) SelfControl.

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 "getrichquick" methods of selfdevelopment because they are the veriest rot imaginable. Now then:

(1) Intelligence and
(2) ThoughtForce 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 SelfControl, WillCulture and MemoryCulture 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 centers but it has the way to full expression opened out to it only when the more evolved centers of life consciously cooperate with it. Evolution is started and carried only by the creation of centers within the GREAT CONSCIOUSNESS and by preserving and enlarging or expanding these centers. So long as the race had not reached "SELFCONSCIOUSNESS" (see Yoga Lessons) the subconscious 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."

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This is a vast subject. If you practice earnestly my instructions on ThoughtControl,

This is a vast subject. If you practice earnestly my instructions on ThoughtControl, WillCulture, 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 sense.

  • (a) What is ThoughtForce?
"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 ThoughtForce or MindSubstance. 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 ThoughtForm. 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 ThoughtHabits and shift your plane of consciousness from the lower to the higher life. I am going to give you hints on same. Pay attention please.
  • (b) ThoughtForms.
Every one of us, as he thinks, feels and wills, sends forth ThoughtForms and ThoughtWaves of greater or lesser intensity. This force once set into motion persists, for a greater or lesser period of time, in Ether. ThoughtForce 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 lightwaves of a star exist and move on centuries after the star has ceased to be, just as the heatvibrations remain in a room even after the producing cause has been removed, similarly mentative energy and its corresponding ThoughtForms persist in the ether even after the originating impulse has been withdrawn.
  • (c) ThoughtAtmosphere.
In this way places, houses, cities and temples have peculiar ThoughtAtmospheres 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 ThoughtAtmospheres, and there are negative, weakening and unholy, morbid ThoughtAtmospheres. The higher and loftier your tone of general ThoughtActivity, 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 highlysensitized plates, indicating the nature of the energy generated. Tongues of flame, brilliant and flashing with goldenyellow, 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 ThoughtForce around it, having its own peculiar rate of vibration, its peculiar forms of color, etc. This 'Aura' is an extension of our physical, mental and spiritual energies.
  • (e) The Adductive Power of Thought.
Now as you think, the quality of your thoughts and feelings sets up a magnetic center 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.
  • (f) ThoughtControl.
There are four special classes of thoughts that are poisoning the lives of almost all humanity. They are:(
  1. Fearthoughts,
  2. Hatethoughts,
  3. Sensualthoughts,
  4. Selfishthoughts.
All worry, doubt, timidty, lack of selfrespect, jealousy, spite, malice, envy, slander, dirty, vicious, willweakening,
healthdestroying, povertybreeding, soulkilling 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
thoughtcontrol. They are infallible:
  1. You can break up old thoughthabits and build up new ones by sheer force ofWill.
  2. You can easily become great by associating with some strong willed,holy, wisdomsteeped soul. This is absolutely necessary and means the finding of your Guru.
  3. By autosuggestion, i.e., by impressing upon your passive mind the particular change you would have it work out.
  4. By thoughtabsorption, 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 thoughthabit 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 autosuggestion. 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 realize that the easiest and surest way to check and utterly 'destroy' a thoughthabit 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.

(4) ThoughtAbsorption.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Concentrate upon your mind inward steadily, calmly and with undivided attention.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.'
  6. Intensify your relaxed condition of mind. Grow as 'limp' as a rag. Then mentally open yourself out to the inrush of all the ThoughtForces 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 same.
  7. 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.
  8. Then go out and live your thoughts out. This last is the most important condition.
  9. Practice 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.
  10. 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 manworship. By manworship I mean devotion to, reverence, and intense and allabsorbing passion for the perfect individual man of realization
Mahapurusha. Christ, Buddha and Vivekananda were all suchtype 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 Saraswatithe 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 practicing 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 realize 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 masterkey 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 him 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 motivepower.

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 worldconquering
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 realize 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 realize strength of soul!

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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, wideawake man in his busy and energetic moments. It is the key to the development of WillPower 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 WillPower. 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 WillExercise, 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 mindcontrol.

Remember active mentation is conscious, deliberate concentration. Passive mentation represents automatic, involuntary thinking. This includes the subconscious or 'habit' mind. When a certain thoughtgroove 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 schoolboys 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 practicing actual concentration. In each set the active function would be exercised and willpower would develop on both sides. Do you see? Occultists say that all power results from the continual exercise of active mentation and all weakmindedness is the direct outcome of this woolgathering, castlebuilding, inattentive habit which is an extension of passive mentation into useless channels of thoughtforce.

Conscious attention concentrates and even specializes mental energy as the sunglass 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 endeavor. You must study all the vast literature on Yoga, Psychology,

Metaphysics, Mentalism, etc., and form your own synthesis on it. 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 halfheartedness, all insincerity, weakens your nature, and weakness has no place either in heaven or in hell. For the halfhearted man is a traitor unto the Divine within him and must pay dearly for his treachery.

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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 opportunities.

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 clearcut 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.

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 concentrated for days, months and years with confident expectation of success.

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.

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What Is Maya ???

Now, first of all, what is Maya (ignorance of the real)? Take the dialplate 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 dialplate 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, practice 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 halfwordly and halfspiritual 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.

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Concentration signifies the state of being at a center (con and centrum). Applied to thought, it is the act of bringing the mind to a single point. Each human being must practice 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 practiced, you develop into a hardheaded, practical man of the world or a successful man of business. You are keen and shrewd. The world is a very matteroffact thing to you. You cannot think of anything else beyond moneymaking 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 Mindthe "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 Mayathe 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 beall
and the endall 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 centerGodand hence it expends Spiritual Energy. Subjective Concentration means 'coming to' the center and hence it husbands and recuperates this energy. Now nature is motion to and from, and Spiritthe center of Life. This twofold motion constitutes what is known as polarityEvolution and Involutionnegative 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 forcethe 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 allimportant 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 worldwhich 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 Willforce.

Remember this. This brings me to the supreme 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 center of allpower, 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 selfpolarizationif I may be permitted to use this wordthrough 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 successhe was a practical mysticthe most formidable and terrible of all combinations. The man who combines inspiration, apparently derivedin my judgment, really derivedfrom
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 practiced 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 realize the ideal of peace in the very midst of the toil and sweat of the day.

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 onepointed. 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 SoulVision. It will come to you if you follow my subsequent instructions. Despair not.

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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 Lifepurpose. 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 thoughtforces 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 Growthelse 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 SoulUnfoldment. 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 steppingstone 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.

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Dwellers on the Threshold

Of these there are many kinds. First, elementals. They try to bar the astral plane against man. And naturally so, because they are concerned with the building up of the lower kingdoms, these elementals of form, the Rupa Devas; and to them man is a really hateful creature, because of his destructive properties. That is why they dislike him so much. He spoils their work wherever he goes, tramples down vegetable things, and kills animals, so that the whole of that great kingdom of nature hates the name of man. They band themselves together to stop the one who is just taking his first conscious steps on the astral plane, and try to frighten him, for they fear that he is bringing destructiveness into the new world. They cannot do anything, if you do not mind them. When that rush of elemental force comes against the man entering on the astral plane, he must remain quiet, indifferent, taking up the position:
"I am a higher product of evolution than you are; you can do nothing to me. I am your friend, not your enemy, Peace!" If he be strong enough to take up that position, the great wave of elemental force will roll aside and let him through. The seemingly causeless fears which some feel at night are largely due to this hostility. You are, at night, more sensitive to the astral plane than during the day, and the dislike of the beings on the plane for man is felt more strongly. But when the elementals find you are not destructive, not an embodiment of ruin, they become as friendly to you as they were before hostile. That is the first form of the dweller on the threshold. Here again the importance of pure and rhythmic food comes in; because if you use meat and alcohol, you attract the lower elementals of the plane, those that take pleasure in the scent of blood and spirits, and they will inevitably prevent your seeing and understanding things clearly. They will surge round you, impress their thoughts upon you, force their impressions on your astral body, so that you may have a kind of shell of objectionable hangerson to your aura, who will much obstruct you in your efforts to see and hear correctly. That is the chief reason why every one who is teaching Yoga on the righthand path absolutely forbids indulgence in meat and alcohol.

The second form of the dweller on the threshold is the thought forms of our own past. Those forms, growing out of the evil of lives that lie behind us, thought forms of wickedness of all kinds, those face us when we first come into touch with the astral plane, really belonging to us, but appearing as outside forms, as objects; and they try to scare back their creator. You can only conquer them by sternly repudiating them: "You are no longer mine; you belong to my past, and not to my present. I will give you none of my life." Thus you will gradually exhaust and finally annihilate them. This is perhaps one of the most painful difficulties that one has to face in treading the astral plane in consciousness for the first time. Of course, where a person has in any way been mixed up with objectionable thought forms of the stronger kind, such as those brought about by practicing black magic, there this particular form of the dweller will be much stronger and more dangerous, and often desperate is the struggle between the neophyte and these dwellers from his past backed up by the masters of the black side.

Now we come to one of the most terrible forms of the dwellers on the threshold. Suppose a case in which a man during the past has steadily identified himself with the lower part of his nature and has gone against the higher, paralyzing himself, using higher powers for lower purposes, degrading his mind to be the mere slave of his lower desires. A curious change takes place in him. The life, which belongs to the Ego in him, is taken up by the physical body, and assimilated with the lower lives of which the body is composed. Instead of serving the purposes of the Spirit, it is dragged away for tile purposes of the lower, and becomes part of the animal life belonging to the lower bodies, so that the Ego and his higher bodies are weakened, and the animal life of the lower is strengthened. Now under those conditions, the Ego will sometimes become so disgusted with his vehicles that when death relieves him of the physical body he will cast the others quite aside. And even sometimes during physical life he will leave the desecrated temple.

Now after death, in these cases, the man generally reincarnates very quickly; for, having torn himself away from his astral and mental bodies, he has no bodies with which to live in the astral and mental worlds, and he must quickly form new ones and come again to rebirth here. Under these conditions the old astral and mental bodies are not disintegrated when the new mental and astral bodies are formed and born into the world, and the affinity between the old and new, both having had the same owner, the same tenant, asserts itself, and the highly vitalized old astral and mental bodies will attach themselves to the new astral and mental bodies, and become the most terrible form of the dweller on the threshold.

These are the various forms which the dweller may assume, and all are spoken of in books dealing with these particular subjects, though I do not know that you will find anywhere in a single book a definite classification like the above. In addition to these there are, of course, the direct attacks of the Dark Brothers, taking up various forms and aspects, and the most common form they will take is the form of some virtue which is a little bit in excess in the yogi. The yogi is not attacked through his vices, but through his virtues; for a virtue in excess becomes a vice. It is the extremes, which are ever the vices; the golden mean is the virtue. And thus, virtues become tempters in the difficult regions of the astral and mental worlds, and are utilized by the Brothers of the Shadow in order to entrap the unwary.

I am not here speaking of the four ordinary ordeals of the astral plane: the ordeals by earth, water, fire and air. Those are mere trifles, hardly worth considering when speaking of these more serious difficulties. Of course, you have to learn that you are entirely master of astral matter, that earth cannot crush you, nor water drowns you, etc. Those are, so to speak, very easy lessons. Those who belong to a Masonic body will recognize these ordeals as parts of the language they are familiar with in their Masonic ritual.

There is one other danger also. You may injure yourself by repercussion. If on the astral plane you are threatened with danger, which belongs to the physical, but are unwise enough to think it can injure you, it will injure your physical body. You may get a wound, or a bruise, and so on, out of astral experiences. I once made a fool of myself in this way. I was in a ship going down and, as I was busy there, I saw that the mast of the ship was going to fall and, in a moment's forgetfulness, thought: "That mast will fall on me" that momentary thought had its result, for when I came back to the body in the morning, I had a large physical bruise where the mast fell.

That is a frequent phenomenon until you have corrected the fault of the mind, which thinks instinctively the things, which it is accustomed to think down here. One protection you can make for yourself as you become more sensitive. Be rigorously truthful in thought, in word, in deed. Every thought, every desire, takes form in the higher world. If you are careless of truth here, you are creating a whole host of terrifying and deluding forms. Think truth, speak truth, live truth, and then you shall be free from the illusions of the astral world.

Preparation for Yoga People say that I put the ideal of discipleship so very high that nobody can hope to become a disciple. But I have not said that no one can become a disciple who does not reproduce the description that is given of the perfect disciple. One may. But we do it at our own peril. A man may be thoroughly capable along one line, but have a serious fault along another. The serious fault will not prevent him from becoming a disciple, but he must suffer for it. The initiate pays for his faults ten times the price he would have had to pay for them as a man of the world. That is why I have put the ideal so high. I have never said that a person must come utterly up to the ideal before becoming a disciple, but I have said that the risks of becoming a disciple without these qualifications are enormous. It is the duty of those who have seen the results of going through the gateway with faults in character, to point out that it is well to get rid of these faults first. Every fault you carry through the gateway with you becomes a dagger to stab you on the other side. Therefore it is well to purify yourself as much as you can, before you are sufficiently evolved on any line to have the right to say: "I will pass through that gateway." That is what I intended to be understood when I spoke of qualifications for discipleship. I have followed along the ancient road which lays down these qualifications which the disciple should bring with him; and if he comes without them, then the word of Jesus is true, that he will be beaten with many stripes; for a man can afford to do in the outer world with small result what will bring terrible
results upon him when once he is treading the Path.

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Purification of Bodies

The unfolding of powers belongs to the side of consciousness; purification of bodies belongs to the side of matter. You must purify each of your three working bodiesmental, astral and physical. Without that purification you had better leave yoga alone. First of all, how shall you purify the thought body? By right thinking. Then you must use imagination, your great creative tool, once more. Imagine things, and, imagining them, you will form your thoughtbody into the organization that you desire. Imagine something strongly, as the painter imagines when he is going to paint. Visualize an object if you have the power of visualization at all: if you have not, try to make it. It is an artistic faculty, of course, hut most people have it more or less. See how far you can reproduce perfectly a face you see daily. By such practice you will be strengthening your imagination, and by strengthening your imagination you will be making the great tool with which you have to practice in Yoga.

There is another use of the imagination, which is very valuable. If you will imagine in your thoughtbody the presence of the qualities that you desire to have, and the absence of those, which you desire not to have, you are halfway to having and not having them. Also, many of the troubles of your life might be weakened if you would imagine them on right lines before you have to go through them. Why do you wait helplessly until you meet them in the physical world. If you thought of your coming trouble in the morning, and thought of yourself as acting perfectly in the midst of it (you should never scruple to imagine yourself perfect), when the thing turned up in the day, it would have lost its power, and you would no longer feel the sting to the same extent. Now each of you must have in your life something that troubles you. Think of yourself as facing that trouble and not minding it, and when it comes, you will be what you have been thinking. You might get rid of half your troubles and your faults, if you would deal with them through your imagination.

As the thought body, becomes purified in this way, you must turn to the astral body. The astral body is purified by right desire. Desire nobly, and the astral body will evolve the organs of good desires instead of the organs of evil ones. The secret of all progress is to think and desire the highest, never dwelling on the fault, the weakness, the error, but always on the perfected power, and slowly in that way you will be able to build up perfection in yourself. Think and desire, then, in order to purify the thought body and the astral body.

And how shall you purify the physical body? You must regulate it in all its activitiesin sleep, in food, in exercise, in everything. You cannot have a pure physical body with impure mental and astral bodies so that the work of imagination helps also in the purification of the physical. But you must also regulate the physical body in all its activities. Take for instance, food. The Indian says truly that every sort of food has a dominant quality in it, either rhythm, or activity, or inertia, and that all foods fall under one of these heads. Now the man who is to be a yogi must not touch any food, which is on the way to decay. Those things belong to the tamasic foodsall foods, for instance, of the nature of game, of venison, all food that is showing signs of decay (all alcohol is a product of decay), are to be avoided. Flesh foods come under the quality of activity. All flesh foods are really stimulants. All forms in the animal kingdom are built up to express animal desires and animal activities. The yogi cannot afford to use these in a body meant for the higher processes of thought. Vitality, yes, they will give that; strength, which does not last, they will give that; a sudden spurs of energy, yes, meat will give that; but those are not the things which the yogi wants; so he puts aside all those foods as not available for the work he desires, and chooses his food out of the most highly vitalized products. All the foods which tend to growth, those are the most highly vitalized, grain, out of which the new plant will grow, is packed full of the most nutritious substances; fruits; all those things which have growth as their next stage in the life cycle, those are the rhythmic foods, full of life, and building up a body sensitive and strong at the same time.

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Forthgoing and Returning

It will help you, in doing this and in changing your desire, if you realize that the great evolution of humanity goes on along two pathsthe Path of Forthgoing, and the Path of Return. On the Path, or marga, of Pravrittiforthgoing on which are the vast majority of human beings,
desires are necessary and useful. On that path, the more desire a man has, the better for his evolution. They are the motives that prompt to activity. Without these the stagnates, he is inert. Why should Isvara have filled the worlds with desirable objects if He did not intend that desire should be an ingredient in evolution? He deals with humanity as a sensible mother deals with her child. She does not give lectures to the child on the advantages of walking nor explain to it learnedly the mechanism of the muscles of the leg. She holds a bright glittering toy before the child, and says: "Come and get it." Desire awakens, and the child begins to crawl, and so it learns to walk. So Isvara has put toys around us, but always just out of our reach, and He says:

"Come children, take these. Here are love, money, fame, social consideration; come and get them. Walk, make efforts for them." And we, like children, make great efforts and struggle along to snatch these toys. When we seize the toy, it breaks into pieces and is of no use. People fight and struggle and toil for wealth, and, when they become multimillionaires, they ask:
"How shall we spend this wealth?"
I read of a millionaire in America, who was walking on foot from city to city, in order to distribute the vast wealth, which he accumulated. He learned his lesson. Never in another life will that man be induced to put forth efforts for the toy of wealth. Love of fame, love of power, stimulates men to most strenuous effort. But when they are grasped and held in the hand, weariness is the result. The mighty statesman, the leader of the nation, the man idolized by millionsfollow him home, and there you will see the weariness of power, the satiety that cloys passion. Does then God mock us with all the objects? No. The object has been to bring out the power of the Self to develop the capacity latent in man, and in the development of human faculty, the result of the great lila may be seen. That is the way in which we learn to unfold the God within us; that is the result of the play of the divine Father with His children.

But sometimes the desire for objects is lost too early, and the lesson is but half learned. That is one of the difficulties in the India of today. You have a mighty spiritual philosophy, which was the natural expression for the souls who were born centuries ago. They were ready to throw away the fruit of action and to work for the Supreme to carry out His Will. But the lesson for India at the present time is to wake up the desire. It may look like going back, but it is really a going forward. The philosophy is true, but it belonged to those older souls who were ready for it, and the younger souls now being born into the people are not ready for that philosophy. They repeat it by rote, they are hypnotized by it, and they sink down into inertia, because there is nothing they desire enough to force them to exertion. The consequence is that the nation as a whole is going downhill. The old lesson of putting different objects before souls of different ages is forgotten, and every one is now nominally aiming at ideal perfection, which can only be reached when the preliminary steps have been successfully mounted. It is the same as with the "Sermon on the Mount" in Christian countries, but there the practical common sense of the people bows to it andignores it. No nation tries to live by the "Sermon on the Mount " It is not meant for ordinary men and women, but for the saint. For all those who are on the Path of Forthgoing, desire is necessary for progress.

What is the Path of Nivritti? It is the Path of Return. There desire must cease; and the Selfdetermined will must take its place. The last object of desire in a person commencing the Path of Return is the desire to work with the Will of the Supreme; he harmonizes his will with the Supreme Will, renounces all separate desires, and thus works to turn the wheel of life as long as such turning is needed by the law of Life. Desire on the Path of Forthgoing becomes will on the Path of Return; the soul, in harmony with the Divine, works with the law. Thought on the Path of Forthgoing is ever alert, flighty and changing; it becomes reason on the Path of Return; the yoke of reason is placed on the neck of the lower mind, and reason guides the bull. Work, activity, on the Path of Forthgoing, is restless action by which the ordinary man is bound; on the Path of Return work becomes sacrifice, and thus its binding force is broken. These are, then, the manifestations of three aspects, as shown on the Paths of Forthgoing and Return.

Bliss manifested as desire is changed into will Wisdom manifested as thought is changed into reason. Activity manifested as work is changed into sacrifice. People very often ask with regard to this: "Why is will placed in the human being as the correspondence of bliss in the Divine?" The three great Divine qualities are: chit or consciousness; ananda or bliss; sat or existence. Now it is quite clear that the consciousness is reflected in intelligence in manthe same quality, only in miniature. It is equally clear that existence and activity belong to each other. You can only exist as you act outwards. The very form of the word shows It "ex, out of"; it is manifested life. That leaves the third, bliss, to correspond with will, and some people are rather puzzled with that, and they ask: "What is the correspondence between bliss and will?" But if you come down to desire, and the objects of desire, you will be able to solve the riddle. The nature of the Self is bliss. Throw that nature down into matter and what will be the expression of the bliss nature? Desire for happiness, the seeking after desirable objects, which it imagines will give it the happiness which is of its own essential nature, and which it is continually seeking to realize amid the obstacles of the world. Its nature being bliss, it seeks for happiness and that desire for happiness is to be transmuted into will. All these correspondences have a profound meaning if you will only look into them, and that universal "willtolive" translates itself as the "desire for happiness" that you find in every man and woman, in every sentient creature. Has it ever struck you how surely you are justifying that analysis of your own nature by the way you accept happiness as your right, and resent misery, and ask what you have done to deserve it? You do not ask the same about happiness, which is the natural result of your own nature. The thing that has to be explained is not happiness but pain, the things that are against the nature of the Self that is bliss. And so, looking into this, we see how desire and will are both the determination to be happy. But the one is ignorant, drawn out by outer objects; the other is selfconscious, initiated and ruled from within. Desire is evoked and directed from outside; and when the same aspect rules from within, it is will. There is no difference in their nature. Hence desire on the Path of Forthgoing becomes will on the Path of Return.

When desire, thought and work are changed into will, reason and sacrifice, then the man is turning homewards, then he lives by renunciation. When a man has really renounced, a strange change takes place. On the Path of Forthgoing, you must fight for everything you want to get; on the Path of Return, nature pours her treasures at your feet. When a man has ceased to desire them, then all treasures pour down upon him, for he has become a channel through which all good gifts flow to those around him. Seek the good, give up grasping, and then everything will be yours. Cease to ask that your own little water tank may be filled, and you will become a pipe, joined to the living source of all waters, the source, which never runs dry, the waters which spring up unfailingly. Renunciation means the power of unceasing work for the good of all, work which cannot fail, because wrought by the Supreme Worker through His servant. If you are engaged in any true work of charity, and your means are limited and the wealth does not flow into your hands, what does it mean? It means that you have not yet learnt the true renunciation. You are clinging to the visible, to the fruit of action, and so the wealth does not pour through your hands.

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Obstacles to Yoga

Before considering the capacities needed for this definite practice, let us run over the obstacles
to Yoga as laid down by Patanjali. The obstacles to Yoga are very inclusive. First, disease: if you are diseased you cannot practice Yoga; it demands sound health, for the physical strain entailed by it is great. Then languor of mind: you must be alert, energetic, in your thought. Then doubt: you must have decision of will, must be able to make up your mind. Then carelessness: this is one of the greatest difficulties with beginners; they read a thing carelessly, they are inaccurate. Sloth: a lazy man cannot be a Yogi; one who is inert, who lacks the power and the will to exert himself; how shall he make the desperate exertions wanted along this line? The next, worldlymindedness, is obviously an obstacle. Mistaken ideas are another great obstacle, thinking wrongly about things. One of the great qualifications for Yoga is "right notion" "Right notion" means that the thought shall correspond with the outside truth; that a man shall he fundamentally true, so that his thought corresponds to fact; unless there is truth in a man, Yoga is for him impossible. Missing the point, illogical, stupid, making the important, unimportant and vice versa. Lastly, instability: which makes Yoga impossible, and even a small amount of which makes Yoga futile; the unstable man cannot be a yogi.

Capacities of Yoga Can everybody practice Yoga? No. But every welleducated person can prepare for its future practice. For rapid progress you must have special capacities, as for anything else. In any of the sciences a man may study without being the possessor of very special capacity, although he cannot attain eminence therein; and so it is with Yoga. Anybody with a fair intelligence may learn something from Yoga, which he may advantageously practice, but he cannot hope unless he starts with certain capacities, to be a success in Yoga in this life. It is only right to say that; for if any special science needs particular capacities in order to attain eminence therein, the science of sciences certainly cannot fall behind the ordinary sciences in the demands that it makes on its students.

Suppose I am asked: "Can I become a great mathematician?" What must be my answer? "You must have a natural aptitude and capacity for mathematics to be a great mathematician. If you have not that capacity, you cannot be a great mathematician in this life." But this does not mean that you cannot learn any mathematics. To be a great mathematician you must be born with a special capacity for mathematics. To be born with such a special capacity means that you have practiced it in very many lives and now you are born with it readymade.

It is the same with Yoga. Every man can learn a little of it. But to be a great Yogi means lives of practice. If these are behind you, you will have been born with the necessary faculties in the present birth. There are three faculties which one must have to obtain success in Yoga. The first is a strong desire. "Desire ardently." Such a desire is needed to break the strong links of desire, which knit you to the outer world. Moreover, without that strong desire you will never go through all the difficulties that bat your way. You must have the conviction that you will ultimately succeed, and the resolution to go on until you do succeed. It must be a desire so ardent and so firmly rooted, that obstacles only make it keener. To such a man an obstacle is like fuel that you throw on a fire. It burns but the more strongly as it catches hold of it and finds it fuel for the burning. So
difficulties and obstacles are but fuel to feed the fire of the yogi's resolute desire. He only becomes the more firmly fixed, because he finds the difficulties. If you have not this strong desire, its absence shows that you are new to the work, but you can begin to prepare for it in this life. You can create desire by thought; you cannot create desire by desire. Out of the desire nature, the training of the desire nature cannot come.

What is it in us that call out desire? Look into your own mind, and you will find that memory and imagination are the two things that evoke desire most strongly. Hence thought is the means whereby all the changes in desire can be brought about. Thought, imagination, is the only creative power in you, and by imagination your powers are to be unfolded. The more you think of a desirable object, the stronger becomes the desire for it. Then think of Yoga as desirable, if you want to desire Yoga. Think about the results of Yoga and what it means for the world when you have become a yogi, and you will find your desire becoming stronger and stronger. For it is only by thought that you can manage desire. You can do nothing with it by itself. You want the thing, or you do not want it, and within the limits of the desire nature you are helpless in its grasp. As just said, you cannot change desire by desire. You must go into another region of your being, the region of thought, and by thought you can make yourself desire or not desire, exactly as you like, if only you will use the right means, and those means, after all, are fairly simple. Why is it you desire to possess a thing? Because you think it will make you happier. But suppose you know by past experience that in the long run it does not make you happier, but brings you sorrow, trouble, and distress. You have at once, ready to your hands, the way to get rid of that desire. Think of the ultimate results. Let your mind dwell carefully on all the painful things. Jump over the momentary pleasure, and fix your thought steadily on the pain, which follows the gratification of that desire. And when you have done that for a month or so, the very sight of those objects of desire will repel you. You will have associated it in your mind with suffering, and will recoil from it instinctively. You will not want it. You have changed the want, and have changed it by your power of imagination. There is no more effective way of destroying a vice than by deliberately picturing the ultimate results of its indulgence. Persuade a young man who is inclined to be profligate to keep in his mind the image of an old profligate; show him the profligate worn out, desiring without the power to gratify; and if you can get him to think in that way, unconsciously he will begin to shrink from that which before attracted him; the very hideousness of the results frightens away the man from clinging to the object of desire. And the would be yogi has to use his thought to mark out the desires he will permit, and the desires that he is determined to slay.

The next thing after a strong desire is a strong will. Will is desire. Transmuted, its directing is changed from without to within. If your will is weak, you must strengthen it. Deal with it as you do with other weak things: strengthen it by practice. If a boy knows that he has weak arms, he says:
"My arms are weak, but I shall practice gymnastics, work on the parallel bars: thus my arms. Will grow strong." It is the same with the will. Practice will make strong the little; weak will that you have at present. Resolve, for example, saying: "I will do such and such thing every morning," and do it. One thing at a time is enough for a feeble will. Make yourself a promise to do such and such a thing at such a time, and you will soon find that you will be ashamed to break your promise. When you have kept such a promise to yourself for a day, make it for a week, then for a fortnight. Having succeeded, you can choose a harder thing to do, and so on. By this forcing of action, you strengthen the will. Day after day it grows greater in power, and you find your inner strength increases. First have a strong desire. Then transmute it into a strong will.

The third requisite for Yoga is a keen and broad intelligence. You cannot control your mind, unless you have a mind to control. Therefore you must develop your mind. You must study. By study, I do not mean the reading of books. I mean thinking. You may read a dozen books and your mind may be as feeble as in the beginning. But if you have read one serious book properly, then, by slow reading and much thinking, your intelligence will be nurtured and your; mind grow strong.

These are the things you wanta strong desire, an indomitable will, and a keen. Intelligence. Those are the capacities that you must unfold in order that the practice of Yoga may be possible to you. If your mind is very unsteady, if it is a butterfly mind like a child's, you must make it steady. That comes by close study and thinking. You must unfold the mind by which you are to work.

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Let us consider concentration. You ask a man if he can concentrate. He at once says: "Oh! it is very difficult. I have often tried and failed." But put the same question in a different way, and askhim: "Can you pay attention to a thing?" He will at once say: "Yes, I can do that." Concentration is attention. The fixed attitude of attention that is concentration. If you pay attention to what you do, your mind will be concentrated. Many sit down for meditation and wonder why they do not succeed. How can you suppose that half an hour of meditation and twentythree and a half hours of scattering of thought throughout the day and night, will enable you to concentrate during the half hour? You have undone during the day and night what you did in the morning, as Penelope unraveled the web she wove. To become a Yogi, you must be attentive all the time. You must practice concentration every hour of your active life. Now you scatter your thoughts for many hours, and you wonder that you do not succeed. The wonder would be if you did. You must pay attention every day to everything you do. That is, no doubt, hard to do, and you may make it easier in the first stages by choosing out of your day's work a portion only, and doing that portion with perfect, unflagging attention. Do not let your mind wander from the thing before you. It does not matter what the thing is. It may be the adding up of a column of figures, or the reading of a book. Anything will do. It is the attitude of the mind that is important and not the object before it. This is the only way of learning concentration. Fix your mind rigidly on the work before you for the time being, and when you have done with it, drop it.

Practice steadily in this way for a few months, and you will be surprised to find how easy it becomes to concentrate the mind. Moreover, the body will soon learn to do many things automatically. If you force it to do a thing regularly, it will begin to do it, after a time, of its own accord, and then you find that you can manage to do two or three things at the same time. In England, for instance, women are very fond of knitting. When a girl first learns to knit, she is obliged to be very intent on her fingers. Her attention must not wander from her fingers for a moment, or she will make a mistake. She goes on doing that day after day, and presently her fingers have learnt to pay attention to the work without her supervision, and they may be left to do the knitting while she employs the conscious mind on something else. It is further possible to train your mind as the girl has trained her fingers. The mind also, the mental body, can be so trained as to do a thing automatically. At last, your highest consciousness can always remain fixed on the Supreme, while the lower consciousness in the body will do the things of the body, and do them perfectly, because perfectly trained. These are practical lessons of Yoga.

Practice of this sort builds up the qualities you want, and you become stronger and better, and fit
to go on to the definite study of Yoga.

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The Use of Mantras

Let us see how far we can help ourselves in this difficult work. I will draw your attention to one fact, which is of enormous help to the beginner. Your vehicles are ever restless. Every vibration in the vehicle produces a corresponding change in consciousness. Is there any way to check these vibrations, to steady the vehicle, so that consciousness may be still? One method is the repeating of a mantra. A mantra is a mechanical way of checking vibration. Instead of using the powers of the will and of imagination, you save these for other purposes, and use the mechanical resource of a mantra. A mantra is a definite succession of sounds. Those sounds, repeated rhythmically over and over again in succession, synchronise the vibrations of the vehicles into unity with themselves. Hence a mantra cannot be translated;translation alters the sounds. Not only in Hinduism, but also in Buddhism, in Roman Catholicism, in Islam, and among the Parsis, mantras are found, and they are never translated, for when you have changed the succession and order of the sounds, the mantra ceases to be a mantra. If you translate the words, you may have a very beautiful prayer, but not a mantra. Your translation may be beautiful inspired poetry, but it is not a living mantra. It will no longer harmonise the vibrations of the surrounding sheaths, and thus enable the consciousness to become still. The poetry, the inspired prayer, these are mentally translatable. But a mantra is unique and untranslatable. Poetry is a great thing: it is often an inspirer of the soul, it gives gratification to the ear, and it may be sublime and beautiful, but it is not a mantra.

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Meditation With and Without Seed

The next step is our method of meditation. What do we mean by meditation? Meditation cannot be the same for every man. Though the same in principle, namely, the steadying of the mind, the method must vary with the temperament of the practitioner. Suppose that you are a strongminded and intelligent man, fond of reasoning. Suppose that connected links of thought and argument have been to you the only exorcise of the mind. Utilize that past training. Do not imagine that you can make your mind still by a single effort. Follow a logical chain of reasoning, step by step, link after link; do not allow the mind to swerve a hair's breadth from it. Do not allow the mind to go aside to other lines of thought. Keep it rigidly along a single line, and steadiness will gradually result. Then, when you have worked up to your highest point of reasoning and reached the last link of your chain of argument, and your mind will carry you no further, and beyond that you can see nothing, then stop. At that highest point of thinking, cling desperately to the last link of the chain, and there keep the mind poised, in steadiness and strenuous quiet, waiting for what may come. After a while, you will be able to maintain this attitude for a considerable time.

For one in whom imagination is stronger than the reasoning faculty, the method by devotion, rather than by reasoning, is the method. Let him call imagination to his help. He should picture some scene, in which the object of his devotion forms the central figure, building it up, bit by bit, as a painter paints a picture, putting in it gradually all the elements of the scene He must work at it as a painter works on his canvas, line by line, his brush the brush of imagination. At first the work will be very slow, but the picture soon begins to present itself at call. Over and over he should picture the scene, dwelling less and less on the surrounding objects and more and more on the central figure which is the object of his heart's devotion. The drawing of the mind to a point, in this way, brings it under control and steadies it, and thus gradually, by this use of the imagination. he brings the mind under command. The object of devotion will be according to the man's religion. Supposeas is the case with many of youthat his object of devotion is Sri Krishna; picture Him in any scene of His earthly life, as in the battle of Kurukshetra. Imagine the armies arrayed for battle on both sides; imagine Arjuna on the floor of the chariot, despondent, despairing; then come to Sri Krishna, the Charioteer, the Friend and Teacher. Then, fixing your mind on the central figure let your heart go out to Him with onepointed devotion. Resting on Him, poise yourself in silence and, as before, wait for what may come.

This is what is called "meditation with seed". The central figure, or the last link in reasoning, that is "the seed". You have gradually made the vagrant mind steady by this process of slow and gradual curbing, and at last you are fixed on the central thought, or the central figure, and there you are poised. Now let even that go. Drop the central thought, the idea, the seed of meditation. Let everything go. But keep the mind in the position gained, the highest point reached, vigorous and alert. This is meditation without a seed. Remain poised, and wait in the silence and the void. You are in the "cloud," before described, and pass through the condition before sketched. Suddenly there will be a change, a change unmistakable, stupendous, and incredible. In that silence, as said, a Voice shall be heard. In that void, a Form shall reveal itself. In that empty sky, a Sun shall rise, and in the light of that Sun you shall realize your own identity with it, and know that that which is empty to the eye of sense is full to the eye of Spirit, that that which is silence to the ear of sense is full of music to the ear of Spirit.

Along such lines you can learn to bring into control your mind, to discipline your vagrant thought, and thus to reach illumination. One word of warning. You cannot do this, while you are trying meditation with a seed. Until you are able to cling to your seed definitely for a considerable time, and maintain throughout an alert attention. It is the emptiness of alert expectation. not the emptiness of impending sleep. If your mind were not in that condition, its mere emptiness is dangerous. It leads to mediumship, to possession, to obsession. You can wisely aim at emptiness, only when you have so disciplined the mind that it can hold for a considerable time to a single point and remain alert when that point is dropped.

The question is sometimes asked: "Suppose that I do this and succeed in becoming unconscious of the body; suppose that I do rise into a higher region; is it quite sure that I shall come back again to the body? Having left the body, shall I be certain to return?" The idea of nonreturn makes a man nervous. Even if he says that matter is nothing and Spirit is everything, he yet does not like to lose touch with his body and, losing that touch, by sheer fear, he drops back to the earth after having taken so much trouble to leave it. You should, however, have no such fear. That which will draw you back again is the trace of your past, which remains under all these conditions.

The question is of the same kind as: "Why should a state of Pralaya ever come to an end, and a new state of Manvantara begin?" And the answer is the same from the Hindu psychological standpoint; because, although you have dropped the very seed of thought, you cannot destroy the traces, which that thought has left, and that trace is a germ, and it tends to draw again to, itself matter, that it may express itself once more. This trace is what is called the privation of mattersamskara. Far as you may soar beyond the concrete mind, that trace, left in the thinking principle, of what you have thought and have known, that remains and will inevitably draw you back. You cannot escape your past and, until your lifeperiod is over, that samskara will bring you back. It is this also which, at the close of the heavenly life, brings a man back to rebirth. It is the expression of the law of rhythm. In Light on the Path, that wonderful occult treatise, this state is spoken of and the disciple is pictured as in the silence. The writer goes on to say: "Out of the silence that is peace a resonant voice shall arise. And this voice will say: 'It is not well; thou hast reaped, now thou must sow.' And knowing this voice to be the silence itself, thou wilt obey."

What is the meaning of that phrase: "Thou hast reaped, now thou must sow?" It refers to the great law of rhythm which rules even the Logoi, the Ishvaras the law of the Mighty Breath, the outbreathing and the in breathing, which compels every fragment which is separated for a time. A Logos may leave His universe, and it may drop away when He turns His gaze inward, for it was He who gave reality to it. He may plunge into the infinite depths of being, but even then there is the samskara of the past universe, the shadowy latent memory, the germ of maya from which He cannot escape. To escape from it would be to cease to be Ishvara, and to become Brahma Nirguna. There is no Ishvara without maya, there is no maya without Ishvara. Even in pralaya, a time comes when the rest is over and the inner life again demands manifestation; then the outward turning begins and a new universe comes forth. Such is the law of rest and activity: activity followed by rest; rest followed again by the desire for activity; and so the ceaseless wheel of the universe, as well as of human lives, goes on. For in the eternal, both rest and activities are ever present, and in that which we call Time, they follow each other, although in eternity they be simultaneous and ever existing.

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Inhibition of States of Mind

Two ways, and two ways only, there are of inhibiting these modes, these ways of existence, of the mind. Sri Krishna in the BhagavadGita gave them, when Arjuna complained that the mind was impetuous, strong, difficult to bend, hard to curb as the wind. His answer was definite: " Without doubt, O mightyarmed, the mind is hard to curb and restless; but it may be curbed by constant practice (abhyasa) and by dispassion (vairagya)."[FN#9: loc. cit., VI. 35, 35] These are the two methods, the only two methods, which this restless can reduce stormtossed mind reduced to peace and quietude. Vairagya and abhyasa, they are the only two methods, but when steadily practiced they inevitably bring about the result.

Let us consider what these two familiar words imply. Vairagya, or dispassion, has as its main idea the clearing away of all passion for, attraction to, the objects of the senses, the bonds that are made by desire between man and the objects around him. Raga is "passion, addiction," that which binds a man to things. The prefix "vi"changing to "vai" by a grammatical rule means "without," or "in opposition to". Hence vairagya is "nonpassion, absence of passion," not bound, tied or related to any of these outside objects. Remembering that thinking is the establishing of relations, we see that the getting rid of relations will impose on the mind the stillness that is Yoga. All ragas must be entirely put aside. We must separate ourselves from it.

We must acquire the opposite condition, where every passion is stilled, where no attraction for the objects of desire remains, where all the bonds that unite the man to surrounding objects are broken. "When the bonds of the heart are broken, then the man becomes immortal." How shall this dispassion be brought about? There is only one right way of doing it. By slowly and gradually drawing ourselves away from outer objects through the more potent attraction of the Self. The Self is ever attracted to the Self. That attraction alone can turn these vehicles away from the alluring and repulsive objects that surround them; free from all raga, no more establishing relations with objects, the separated Self finds himself liberated and free, and union with the one Self becomes the sole object of desire. But not instantly, by one supreme effort, by one endeavour, can this great quality of dispassion become the characteristic of the man bent on Yoga. He must practice dispassion constantly and steadfastly. That is implied in the word joined with dispassion, abhyasa or practice. The practice must be constant, continual and unbroken. "Practice" does not mean only meditation, though this is the sense in which the word is generally used; it means the deliberate, unbroken carrying out of dispassion in the very midst of the objects that attract.

In order that you may acquire dispassion, you must practice it in the everyday things of life. I have said that many confine abhyasa to meditation. That is why so few people attain to Yoga. Another error is to wait for some big opportunity. People prepare themselves for some tremendous sacrifice and forget the little things of everyday life, in which the mind is knitted to objects by myriad tiny threads. These things, by their pettiness, fail to attract attention, and in waiting for the large thing, which does not come, people lose the daily practice of dispassion towards the little things that are around them. By curbing desire at every moment, we become indifferent to all the objects that surround us. Then, when the great opportunity comes, we seize it while scarce aware that it is upon us. Every day, all day long, practicethat is what is demanded from the aspirant to Yoga, for only on that line can success come; and it is the wearisome ness of this strenuous, continued endeavor that tires out the majority of aspirants. I must here warn you of a danger. There is a roughandready way of quickly bringing about dispassion. Some say to you: "Kill out all love and affection; harden your hearts; become cold to all around you; desert your wife and children, your father and mother, and fly to the desert or the jungle; put a wall between yourself and all objects of desire; then dispassion will be yours." It is true that it is comparatively easy to acquire dispassion in that way. But by that you kill more than desire. You put round the Self, who is love, a barrier through which he is unable to pierce. You cramp yourself by encircling yourself with a thick shell, and you cannot break through it. You harden yourself where you ought to be softened; you isolate yourself where you ought to be embracing others; you kill love and not only desire, forgetting that love clings to the Self and seeks the Self, while desire clings to the sheaths of the Self, the bodies in which the Self is clothed. Love is the desire of the separated Self for union with all other separated Selves.

Dispassion is the nonattraction to mattera very different thing. You must guard lovefor it is the very Self of the Self. In your anxiety to acquire dispassion do not kill out love. Love is the life in every one of us, separated Selves. It draws every separated Self to the other Self. Each one of us is a part of one mighty whole. Efface desire as regards the vehicles that clothe the Self, but do not efface love as regards the Self, that neverdying force which draws Self to Self. In this great up climbing, it is far better to suffer from love rather than to reject it, and to harden your hearts against all ties and claims of affection. Suffer for love, even though the suffering be bitter.

Love, even though the love be an avenue of pain. The pain shall pass away, but the love shall continue to grow, and in the unity of the Self you shall finally discover that love is the great attracting force, which makes all things one. Many people, in trying to kill out love, only throw themselves back, becoming less human, not superhuman; by their mistaken attempts. It is by and through human ties of love and sympathy that the Self unfolds. It is said of the Masters that they love all humanity as a mother loves her firstborn son. Their love is not love watered down to coolness, but love for all raised to the heat of the highest particular loves of smaller souls. Always mistrust the teacher who tells you to kill out love, to be indifferent to human affections. That is the way, which leads to the lefthand path.

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