Yogic Sadhan 3/3
Jul 29, 1996 09:54 AM
by Maxim Osinovsky
YOGIC SADHANA---Part 3/3
There remains the Sthula, the gross part of man which is composed of
the Sthula Prana or physical nervous system and the annam or body in
which the prana operates.  The prana is the principle of life,--death is
brought about by the dissolution of the tie between the sukshma deha and
the sthula deha. That tie is the prana. The sukshma deha takes the prana
into itself and departs; the little that is left in the gross body is of the
nature of apana with a tendency to that species of dissolution which we
call corruption. The prana part of it, which can alone hold the body
together, evaporates and the apana leads to swift disintegration. In some
animals, however, the prana is so abundant that the body shows signs of
life even after the sukshma deha has departed.
I have been dealing throughout with the purification of the sukshma
part of man, the Antahkarana or  mind,--the subject of the body is a
little foreign to my purpose. Nevertheless a few words are necessary. The
principle upon which this Yoga I am explaining to you stands, is that the
gross body is merely the shadow or creation of the subtle. Body is a
mould into which mind pours itself, but the mould itself has been
prepared by the mind and can be changed by the mind. A mind purified,
liberated and perfected (siddha) can do whatever it likes with the body. It
may leave it as it is, allowing the past karma to do its will with the
physical part in the form of disease, suffering, misfortune and death,
without the mind being in the least affected. All that is impurity and
bondage, which is the physical translation and result  of mental
impurity and bondage. With the cessation of the cause, the effect ceases;
but not at once. It is again like the steam and the locomotive. The habits,
the results created by past lives, are expelled from the mind and
precipitated entirely into the body. You may allow them to work
themselves out there, many do that. On the other hand, you may pursue
them into the body and drive them out from there as well. In that case
you get the Kayasuddhi and the Kayasiddhi. They are usually sought after
by the Hathayogic or Rajayogic processes, but these are not necessary. It
is even better and certainly much easier and surer to follow the processes
I have been indicating.
The very fact of having a purified  mind makes for purity of the
body, a liberated mind for liberation of the body, a perfected mind for
perfection of the body, and to a certain extent as you go on with the yoga
in the Antahkarana, the body will automatically begin to respond to the
new influences. But you should not consciously meddle with the body
until you have finished with the mind. Let nature do its work. Detach
yourself as much as possible from the body, think of it as a mere case,
leave it to the care of God and His Shakti. Many sadhaks are frightened
by illness in the course of the Yoga. You need not be frightened, for you
have put yourself in God's hands and He will see to it. It will come to
you only as a part of the necessary process for  purification of the
body, work itself out, fade and return no more. Other disturbances of the
body will come which are incidental to the turning of unfit physical adhar
into a fit one. Profound alterations are necessary in your brain-cells, your
nervous system, your digestive and secretive processes and they cannot be
effected without some physical disturbance, but it will never be more than
is necessary for the process. Do no violence of any kind to the body; if
you use physical remedies, let them be of the simplest and purest kind;
above all dismiss anxiety and fear. You cannot care more for yourself
than God cares for you. Only your care is likely to be ignorant and
unwise; His is with  knowledge and uses the right means to the right
Impurities in the body show themselves chiefly as disease, as pain, as
the discomfort of heat and cold, as the necessity of the excretive
processes. The first sign of Kayasuddhi is the disappearance of all
tendency to disease; the second is liberation from dwandwa of heat and
cold, which will either go altogether or change to pleasurable sensations
often marked by electrical phenomena; and the third, the diminution or
disappearance of excretive activity. Pain also can be entirely eliminated
from the body, but even before the reaction called pain is got rid of, or
even without its being got rid of, the discomfort of pain can be removed
and replaced by  a sort of bodily Ananda. Finally, the craving of
hunger and thirst disappears from the prana to which it belongs and the
dependence on food diminishes or ceases. The perfection of all this is the
basis of Kayasuddhi. But perfect Kayasuddhi includes other developments
such as the siddhis of Mahima, Laghima, Anima and the invulnerability
and incorruptibility of the body,--powers hitherto attained in the Kaliyuga
only by very advanced Siddhas. They depend primarily on the
replacement of the ordinary fivefold processes of prana, apana, vyana,
samana and udana by the single simplified action of the original or
elemental force of prana, the infinite vital energy surcharged with
 All these are important elements to Tantric Yoga, but I have
mentioned them only cursorily because they are foreign to my purpose.
They can all be developed if the mental siddhi is perfected and it is on
this perfection that I wish you to concentrate your energy and attention.
When you get that, you get everything. The centre of man's activity, at
present, are the buddhi, the heart and the manas, and the body, though
extremely important, is a dependent and subordinate function. It has not to
be despised on that account, but most people give it an undue importance.
When the Jiva is Ishwara of his mind, his body falls into its proper place
and instead of interfering and often domineering over the mind and will, it
obeys and  takes its stamp from them. The Europeans are obsessed
with the idea of the physical as the master of the mental. I would have
you hold fast to the opposite standpoint and always remember that for the
body to impose its conditions on the mind is an abnormal state of man's
being, which has to be got rid of; it is the mind that must command,
condition and modify the body.
I have finished what I had to say. I will only add a word in
conclusion. You must not think that what I have given you, is all the
knowledge you need about yourself or about the  Yoga. On the
contrary, these are only certain indications necessary at a particular stage;
they are chiefly important for purification which is the first part of the
Yoga. After the shuddhi is complete one has to perfect the mukti, to get
liberation, a thing easy after shuddhi, impossible before it. By mukti I do
not mean *laya*, which is a thing not to be pursued or desired, but waited
for whenever God wills, but liberation from ignorance, Ahankara and all
dualities. With the progress of the purification, there will be a natural
tendency towards liberation and the farther stages of yoga, bhukti and
siddhi, liberated enjoyment and perfection. As you go forward you will
have to change your attitude, not radically but in certain  important
points. That, however, I will not meddle with. It is well to do one thing at
In all that I have written, I have taken one standpoint to which many
of you have not been accustomed. If you regard Vairagyam as the
beginning of all wisdom, you will not be satisfied with me. Vairagyam is
to me merely a useful temporary state of mind which God uses to enforce
rejection of that to which the old samskaras cling too obstinately to be
unseated from it by mere abhyasa. Jnanam is essential to shuddhi and
mukti; but Jnanam must be assisted either by abhyasa or by vairagya until
the mind is still and lets knowledge do its own work. As soon as the mind
is still and not susceptible to resuscitation of  its old energies from
outside, the Jnanam develops, the Shakti pursues its task unhampered;
there is then no sadhan for you, only a progressive siddhi without any
deliberately adopted method, increasing by the mere easy and natural
process of Nature as a man breathes or walks. All necessity for either
abhyasa or vairagya ceases. Attachment to vairagya is as harmful as
attachment to lobha itself.
Again if you think with the Buddhists that all life is a misery and
extinction of some kind the highest good, or if you think with the
Mayavadin that we came into this world with no other object but to get
out of it again as soon as possible, like the famous general whose greatest
military exploit was to march up a hill in order to march back again,
you had better pass me by. I am a Tantric. I regard the world as born of
Ananda and living by Ananda, wheeling from Ananda to Ananda. Ananda
and Shakti, these are the two real terms of existence. Sorrow and
weakness are vikaras born of ajnanam, of the forgetfulness of the high
and true self. These are not universal or eternal things, but local and
temporary, local mainly of this earth, temporary in the brief periods of the
kali yuga. Our business is to bring down heaven on earth for ourselves
and mankind, to eliminate sorrow and weakness from the little corners of
existence and time, where they are allowed to exist. I do not give any
assent to the gloomy  doctrine which preaches a world of sorrow and
inaction and withdrawal from it as the sole condition of bliss and
freedom, which thinks, contrary to all reason and knowledge, that God in
himself is blessed, but God in manifestation accursed. I will not admit that
the Brahman is a fool or a drunkard dreaming bad dreams, self-hypnotised
into miserable illusions. I do not find that teaching in the Veda; it does
not agree with my realisations which are of the actuality of unalterable
bliss and knowledge in the midst of desireless phenomenal action. I am of
the mind of Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata when he says, "Some preach
action in this world and some preach inaction; but as for those who
preach inaction, I  am not of the opinion of those weaklings." *Na me
matam tasya durbalasya*.
But the action he holds up as an example, is the action of the great
Gods, even as Goethe speaks of the action of the great natural forces,
disinterested, unwearying, self-poised in bliss, not limited even by the
sattwic ahankara action, made one in difference with the Purushottama,
my being in His being, my shakti only a particular action of His infinite
shakti, of Kali. I am not ignorant, I am not bound, I am not sorrowful: I
only play at being ignorant, I only pretend to be bound; like an actor or
like an audience I only take the rasa of sorrow. I can throw it off when I
please. Who calls me degraded and  sinful, a worm crawling upon the
earth among other worms? I am Brahman, I am He, sin cannot touch me.
Who calls me weak? I am one with the Omnipotent. He, being One, has
chosen to be Many. He, being infinite, localises himself in many centres
and in each centre He is still infinite. That is the mystery of
*uttamam rahasyam*, God's great, wonderful and blissful secret, a secret
logic rejects, but knowledge grasps at, a knowledge not to be argued out
but realised, but proved by experience, by the purified, liberated, all
enjoying, all-perfect soul.
 EDITOR'S EPILOGUE
A few words seem necessary in conclusion. For it is as well to guard
against certain misconceptions which may arise from the brevity of the
author and his omission of some important points considered by him, no
doubt, to be, however important, yet outside his scope.
The prohibition of cheshta in the ideal use of the will does not imply
the renunciation of Karma. The chesta referred to is internal, not external,
arambha, not karma. The distinction is that made by Sri Krishna  in
the Gita when he holds up the ideal of action with renunciation of all
arambhas,--*sarv^arambh^an parityajya*. We are to do actions with the
body, mind, buddhi, senses, each doing its own separated work in its
absolute purified simplicity, *kevalair*, without any desire, expectation or
straining in this will after either action or its success. The sadhak should
abstain from applying his method to important actions in life until the
higher purified will is to some extent trained, and even then it will be best
for him to apply it to things of smaller moment first, then to those of
greater moment. During the sadhana subjective progress and superfluous
action small or great should be his main fields for test anf training.
 Secondly, it must not be supposed that the treatment in these
short lectures is intended to be full or exhaustive or that even in those
points which it handles at the greatest length all has been said that the
sadhak needs to know. On the contraty, only a few main ideas have been
broadly struck out which may be useful to the beginner. The more
advanced will find that they have rapidly outgrown the utility of these
hints and that they have to be greatly enlarged on and modified before the
knowledge at which they point can be considered full and satisfactory.
Finally, the aim of the particular path of Yoga indicated is not the
assertion of the individual will, but surrender of the individual will, its
 absolute, unreserved and ungrudging surrender into the direction and
control of the Infinite Being. The training of the system or adhar
prescribed has for its purpose, first, the subjugation of the clamorous
desires and impulses, the stubborn pride and egoism, the vain self-
sufficient reason and imagination of the unregenerate man so that they
may not interfere with the completeness of the surrender, secondly, the
possession of a strong, mighty and effective will to offer as a yajna to the
Most High and not one that is weak, distracted, ignorant and diffident.
The Karma of the Siddha Yogin must be like that of the sun and stars, the
avalanche and the cyclone, the breeze moon or flowers, fire and the dust
of the earth,  either calm and luminous or mighty and violent or
gentle, sweet and useful, either lofty or humble at the will of the One
Supreme Shakti, impelled and used by Her entirely, and, whatever its
outward appearance, always working on a basis of absolute peace, self-
surrender and self-knowledge.
*Abhy^asa* -- Yogic practice.
*^adesha* -- a divine command from within the being.
*^adh^ara* -- the containing system composed of the five sheaths of the
five principles constituting the physical, vital, mental, supramental and
*adharma* -- all that is contrary to the Right and the Law.
*ahank^ara* -- the ego-sense, egoism.
*ajn^anam* -- ignorance.
[*akarta* -- non-doer.]
*akartabya* -- that which should not be done.
*amrita* -- essence of immortality.
*^ananda* -- spiritual delight, the bliss of the Spirit.
*ananta* -- infinite.
[(ii)] *anim^a* -- subtlety, the power of making the body subtle, reducing
the physical mass and density at will.
*an^isha* -- not lord, not master of but subject to the nature.
*annam* -- matter.
*anritam* -- falsehood, unreality.
*antahkarana* -- the inner instrument, the mind in all its functions.
*anumant^a* -- giver of the sanction to the movements of the nature.
*ap^ana* -- the vital force (one of the five pranas) that works for ejection.
*^arambha* -- mental initiation of the action.
*artha* -- sense, meaning.
*^asakti* -- attachment.
*^asana* -- yogic posture.
*ashuddhi* -- impurity.
*ashuddha* -- not purified.
*asiddha* -- not perfected.
[*asura* -- in Hindu mytholody, demons or titans; in this text, a man
controlled by his lower nature: violent emotions, appetites, unenlightened
*^atman* -- the self.
*^atma-jn^ana* -- self-knowledge.
*avatar* -- incarnation. [More specifically, the God or a god incarnated in
a human form.]
[(iii)] *bhukti* [should be *bhakti*] -- emotional devotion.
*bhakta* -- devotee.
*bhart^a* -- maintainer of the nature.
*bh^ava* -- subjective state or feeling, a realisation in heart or mind.
*bhoga* -- enjoyment.
*bhokt^a* -- enjoyer.
*bhransha* -- a definitive fall from the principle of the Yoga.
*bhrashta* -- fallen from the way of the Yoga.
*bhukti* -- spiritual possession and enjoyment.
[*brahman* -- supreme being; supreme deity, an impersonal Supreme
*buddhi* -- the reason, intelligence.
*chaitanyam* -- consciousness.
*chakra* -- a centre of the nervous system.
*chest^a* -- effort involving desire, struggle and labour.
*chit* -- the essential consciousness of the Spirit.
*chitta* -- the mind or heart consciousness; especially, the emotive mind.
[(iv)] *chittashuddhi* -- purification of the mind and heart consciousness.
[*dhairyam* -- calm steadfastness.]
*dharma* -- law of function of nature; right, moral law.
*s^am^ajik dharma* -- social law.
*laukik dharma* -- rule of custom.
*san^atana dharma* -- eternal law.
[*dharma-sankara* -- confusion of dharma.]
[*dosha* -- deficiency, weakness.]
*dwandwa* -- duality, pair of opposites.
*dwesha* -- dislike.
*ekam ev^adwit^iyam* -- one without a second.
[*guna* -- one of three elemental qualities of Nature: sattwa (harmony,
light), rajas (activity, dynamism), and tamas (inertia, heaviness, statics).]
*harsha* -- joy.
*^ishwara* -- lord; God, as lord of nature.
*indriya* -- sense.
*jiva* -- the individual soul.
*jn^anam* -- knowledge.
*jn^an^i* -- a man of knowledge.
*jn^at^a* -- knower.
[*Kali* -- in Hindu mythology, a fierce, terrifying, destructive aspect of
the supreme female deity; in this text it is identical to Shakti (see p.
[*kali yuga* -- literally "the dark age"; in Hinduism, the present world
period characterized by moral and spiritual decline.]
*kalpa* -- a world cycle.
*k^aman^a* -- desire.
*k^antam* -- lovely, attractive.
*k^arana* -- the causal being etc., source of the mental and physical
*mahak^arana* -- the originative self.
[(v)] *karma* -- action entailing its consequences. [Also, man's destiny or
fate determined by the sum total of his actions in this life or in previous
*kartavya* -- the thing to be done, duty.
*k^aya-siddhi* -- perfection of the body.
*k^aya-shuddhi* -- purification of the body.
*kumbhaka* -- retention of the breath in the exercise of *pr^an^ay^ama*.
*kundalin^i* -- the Shakti or energy coiled up in the lowest of the
*kevalair* -- absolute, alone, in their pure action.
*laghim^a* -- lightness, the power of making the body light, reducing
gravity at will.
*laya* -- dissolution of the individual being in the Brahman.
[*lila* -- literally "play"; in this text, God's cosmic play, i.e. a playful
revelation of His energy in the manifested universe.]
[*lipsa* -- see p.69.]
*lobha* -- greed of desire.
[*mahakarana* -- see *karana*.]
*mah^apantha* -- the great path.
*mahat* -- lit. the great, the causal state, *k^arana*.
*mahim^a* -- greatness, the power of increasing the physical mass and
density at will.
[(vi)] *manas* -- the sense-mind as opposed to the reason.
[mayavadin -- an adherent of the doctrine asserting that the entire visible
cosmos is maya--an illusion, a mental projection, and as such has no
*mukti* -- spiritual liberation.
*mumukshutwa* -- desire for spiritual liberation.
*mul^adh^ara* -- the lowest of the nervous centres.
*n^adi* -- nerve or nervous channel.
*nigraha* -- coercion of the nature.
*nirguna* -- void of qualities.
*nishk^ama nishprihah* -- free from desire, free from longing.
[*parabrahman* -- see p. 29.]
*parameshwara* -- the supreme Lord.
*pr^ajna* -- the soul in the causal consciousness.
*prak^amya* -- a free and unlimited power of mental and sense
*pr^ana* -- vital force generally; especially, the first of the five pranas,
*pr^an^ay^ama* -- the Yogic exercise of the respiration.
*pratyaksha* -- direct perception, direct knowledge.
[(vii)] *pravritti* -- impulsion to activity.
[Purusha, Purushottama -- the Cosmic Man, the Primeval Being, the
*r^aga* -- liking.
*r^ajasic* -- belonging to the quality of action and passion.
*s^adhak* -- one who practises a system of Yoga.
*s^adhana* -- a method, system, practice of Yoga.
*sahasradala* -- the thousand-petalled lotus, the highest nervous centre,
based, in the physical body, on the brain.
*s^akshi* -- a witness, the soul as a detached witness of the actions of the
*sam^adhi* -- the Yogic trance.
*sam^ana* -- a vital force, one of the five pranas.
*samat^a* -- equality of soul and mind to all things and happenings.
[*samskara* -- a residue or latent impression of previous experiences that
may become activated, but largely manifests itself as a propensity to
*samyama* -- a spiritual control of the nature.
[*sat* -- the essential being of the Spirit; forms a part of a triad,
*satyam* -- truth.
*sattwic* -- belonging to the quality of light and happiness.
[*shad ripus* -- literally "six enemies," i.e. six main vices: anger,
passionate desire, pride, stealing, arrogance, and folly.]
[(viii)] *shakti* -- force, energy; the divine or cosmic Energy.
*sh^anti* -- peace, spiritual calm.
*shivam* -- benign, auspicious, good.
*shuddha* -- pure, purified.
*shuddhi* -- purification, purity.
*shubham* -- good, happy.
*siddha* -- perfected by Yoga, one perfect in the Yoga.
*siddh^anta* -- a logical or philosophical conclusion.
*siddhi* -- yogic perfection.
*sth^ula* -- gross.
*sth^uka deha* -- the material body.
*sth^ula pr^ana* -- the vital force in the material body.
*sukha* -- happiness, pleasure.
*s^ukshma* -- subtle.
*s^ukshma deha* -- the subtle mental body.
*s^ukshma pr^ana* -- the psycho-vital force.
*sundaram* -- beautiful.
[*Surya* -- literally "(the god of) Sun"; in this text (p. 40) it probably
means the light of knowledge.]
[(ix)] *sushupti* -- the state of deep sleep; the deepest state of Samadhi;
the condition in which one enters into the causal or seed state.
*swabh^ava* -- the nature proper to each being.
*swapna* -- the dream state, in which one lives in the subtle soul and not
in the physical consciousness.
[*tamasi dhriti* -- see p. 18.]
[Tantra -- a school of Indian philosophy and an esoteric Indian religion
based on the idea that the nondual Supreme Reality has two manifested
aspects, Shiva (male aspect representing pure consciousness and
transcendent passivity) and Shakti (female aspect representing energy,
time, and activity). It is the notion of Shakti as a cosmic energy projected
by Shiva and representing an active force in the manifested universe that
makes Tantra distinct from other schools of Indian philosophy.]
[Tantric -- (1) related to Tantra; (2) an adherent of Tantra.]
*tamasic* -- belonging to the guna of ignorance and inertia.
[*tapasya* -- spiritual discipline; austerity.]
*trigun^atita* -- beyond the control of the three gunas or elemental
qualities of Nature.
*ud^ana* -- the upward moving vital force, one of the five pranas.
*ud^asinat^a* -- indifference to the world or to objects of desire, etc.
[*upalabdhi* -- perception, observation, empirical experience.]
[*upasana* -- devotion, worship.]
[*vaidyutam* -- see p. 77.]
*vair^agya* -- distaste for the world and life; cessation of attraction
objects of the mind's attachment.
*v^ak* -- speech.
*v^asan^a* -- desire.
[(x)] *vibh^uti* -- a man who is a manifestation of some power of the
*vijn^ana* -- the higher knowledge, the power above the ordinary logical
reason which gives the direct knowledge.
*vik^ara* -- a perversion; a changed, temporal or unsound formation of
*vishuddha* -- wholly purified.
*viveka* -- direct intuitive discrimination.
*vy^ana* -- a vital force, one of the five pranas, pervading the body.
[*yantra, yantri* -- see p. 15.]
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