Book III. Sutra 25. Perfectly concentrated meditation upon the awakened light will produce the consciousness of that which is subtle, hidden or remote.
Throughout all teachings of an occult or mystical nature reference is found frequently to what is called the “Light.” The Bible has many such passages as have all the Scriptures of the world. Many terms are applied to this but space only permits us to consider those to be found in the various translations of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. They might be enumerated as follows:
- a. The awakened inner Light (Johnston),
- b. The Light in the head (Johnston),
- c. The Light of immediate cognition (intuitive knowledge) (Tatya),
- d. That effulgent Light (Vivekananda),
- e. The Light from the top of the head (Vivekananda),
- f. The coronal Light (Ganganatha Jha),
- g. The Light of the luminous disposition (Ganganatha Jha),
- h. The inner Light (Dvivedi),
- i. The mind, full of Light (Dvivedi),
- j. The radiance in the head (Woods),
- k. The luminosity of the central organ (Rama Prasad),
- l. The Light of the higher sense-activity (Rama Prasad).
From a study of these terms it will be apparent that within the physical vehicle there is to be found a point of luminosity which (when contacted) will pour the light of the spirit upon the path of the disciple, thus illuminating the way, revealing the solution of all problems, and enabling him to stand as a light bearer to others.
This light is in the nature of an internal radiance, its position is in the head, in the neighborhood of the pineal gland, and it is produced by the activity of the soul.
A good deal of discussion has been aroused, by the term “central organ” associated with this light. Some commentators refer this to the heart, others to the head. Technically neither of them are entirely right, for to the trained adept the “central organ” is the causal vehicle, the karana sarira, the body of the ego, the sheath of the soul. This is the middle of the “three periodical vehicles” which the divine Son of God discovers and utilizes in the course of his long pilgrimage. These find their analogies in the three temples found in the Christian Bible:
1. The transitory ephemeral tabernacle in the wilderness, typical of the soul in physical incarnation, persisting for one life.
2. The more permanent and beautiful temple of Solomon, typical of the soul body or causal vehicle, of longer duration and persisting for aeons, and increasingly revealed in its beauty upon the Path up to the third initiation.
3. The, as yet, unrevealed and inconceivably beautiful, temple of Ezekiel, the symbol of the sheath of the spirit, the home of the Father, one of the “many mansions,” the “auric egg” of the occultist.
In the science of yoga, which has to be wrought out and mastered in the physical body the term “central organ” is applied to the head or the heart, and the distinction is one of time primarily. The heart in the earlier stages of unfoldment upon the Path is the central organ; later it is the organ in the head where the true light has its abiding place.
In the process of unfoldment, heart development precedes head development. The emotional nature and the senses unfold prior to the mind, as can be seen if we study humanity as a whole. The heart center opens before the head center. Love must ever be developed before power can be safely used. Therefore the light of love must be functioning before the light of life can be consciously employed.
As the lotus center of the heart opens and reveals the love of God, through meditation a synchronous unfoldment takes place within the head. The twelve petalled lotus in the head (which is the higher correspondence of the heart center, and the intermediary between the twelve petalled egoic lotus on its own plane and the head center) awakens. The pineal gland is gradually brought from a state of atrophy to full functioning activity and the center of consciousness is transferred out of the emotional nature into the illuminated mind consciousness. This marks the transition which the mystic has to make onto the path of the occultist, keeping, as he always does, his mystical knowledge and awareness but adding to it the intellectual knowledge and conscious power of the trained occultist and yogi.
From the point of power in the head the yogi directs all his affairs and undertakings, throwing upon all events, circumstances and problems the “awakened inner light.” In this he is guided by the love, insight and wisdom which is his through the transmutation of his love nature, the awakening of his heart center and the transference of the fires of the solar plexus to the heart.
It might be asked very pertinently here how this junction between head and heart, producing the luminosity of the central organ and the emission of the inner radiance can be brought about. Briefly stated, it is produced as follows:
1. Through the subjugation of the lower nature which transfers the activity of all the life below the solar plexus and including the solar plexus, into the three centers above the diaphragm, the head, heart and throat. This is done through life, love and service, not through breathing exercise and sitting for development.
2. Through the practice of love, the focusing of the attention upon the heart life and service, and the realization that the heart center is the reflection in man of the soul, and that this soul should guide the heart issues from the throne or the seat between the eyebrows.
3. Through a knowledge of meditation. Through meditation, which is the exemplification of the basic yoga aphorism “energy follows thought,” all the unfoldments and developments which the aspirant desires are brought about. Through meditation, the heart center, which in undeveloped man is pictured as a closed lotus turned downwards, is reversed, turned upwards and unfolded. At its heart is the light of love. The radiance of this light, being turned upwards, illumines the path to God, but is not the Path, except in the sense that as we tread upon that which the heart desires (in a lower sense) that path leads us on to the Path itself.
Perhaps clarity will come if we realize that part of the path is within ourselves and this the heart reveals. It leads us to the head, where we find the first portal of the Path proper and enter upon that part of the path of life which conducts us away from the body-life, to the fullest liberation from experience in the flesh and in the three worlds.
It is all one path, but the Path of Initiation has to be trodden consciously by the thinker functioning through the central organ in the head, and from there intelligently traversing the Path which leads through the three worlds to the realm or kingdom of the soul. It might be stated here that the awakening of the heart center leads a man to consciousness of the source of the heart center within the head. This in turn leads a man to the twelve-petalled lotus, the egoic center on the higher levels of the mental plane. The path from the heart center to the head, when followed, is the reflection in the body of the building of the antahkarana on the mental plane. “As above, so below.”
4. Through perfectly concentrated meditation in the head. This carries on automatically the increased stimulation and awakening of the centers up the spine, five in number, arouses the sixth center, the one between the eyebrows, and in time reveals to the aspirant, the exit at the top of the head, which can be seen as a radiant circle of pure white light. This begins as a mere pin point and passes through various stages of increasing glory and radiant light until the Portal itself stands revealed. More along this line is not permissible. This light in the head is the great revealer, the great purifier, and the medium whereby the disciple fulfils the command of the Christ, “Let your light shine!” It is the “path of the just which shineth ever more and more until the perfect day.” It is that which produces the halo or circle of light seen around the heads of all the sons of God who have come or are coming into their heritage.
Through this light, as Patanjali here points out, we become conscious of that which is subtle, or of those things which can only be known through a conscious use of our subtle bodies. These subtle bodies are the means whereby we function upon the inner planes, such as the emotional or astral plane and the mental. At present the majority of us function on these planes unconsciously. Through this light we also become conscious of that which is hidden or as yet unrevealed. The Mysteries are revealed to the man whose light is shining and he becomes a knower. That which is remote or the future is likewise unfolded to him.