Rama Prasad: Nature’s Finer Forces & The Science of Breath (Pranayama Yoga)

The Science of Breath
& the Philosophy of the Tatwas

(Translated from the Sanskrit with 15
Introductory & Explanatory Essays on Nature’s Finer


Rama Prasad

The Theosophical Publishing Society,
London (1890)


Part One

The Tatwas


The Mutual Relation of the Tatwas & Principles

Prana (I)

Prana (II)

Prana (III)

Prana (IV)

The Mind (I)

The Mind (II)

The Cosmic Picture Gallery

The Manifestations of Psychic Force

Yoga ~ The Soul (I)

Yoga (II)

Yoga (III)

The Spirit

Part Two:

Science of Breath & The Philosophy of the



A word of explanation is necessary with
regard to the book now offered to the public. In the 9th and 10th
volumes of the theosophist I wrote certain Essays on “Nature’s
Finer Forces”. The subject of these essays interested the readers
of the Theosophist so much that I was asked to issue the series of
Essays in book form. I found that in order to make a book they
must be almost entirely rearranged, and perhaps rewritten. I was,
however, not equal to the task of rewriting what I had once
written. I therefore determined to publish a translation of the
book in Sanskrit on the Science of the Breath and the
Philosophy of the Tatwas
. As, however, without these Essays
the book would have been quite unintelligible, I decided to add
them to the book by way of an illustrative introduction. This
accordingly has been done. The Essays in the theosophist have been
reprinted with certain additions, modifications, and corrections.
Besides, I have written seven more Essays in order to make the
explanations more complete and authoritative. Thus there are
altogether 15 introductory and explanatory Essays.

I was confirmed in this course by one more
consideration. The book contains a good deal more than the essays
touched upon, and I thought it better to lay all of it before the

The book is sure to throw a good deal of
light upon the scientific researches of the ancient Aryans of
India, and it will leave no doubt in a candid mind that the
religion of ancient India had a scientific basis. It is chiefly
for this reason that I have drawn my illustrations of the Tatwic
Law from the Upanishads.

There is a good deal in the book that can
only be shown to be true by long and diligent experiment. Those
who are devoted to the pursuit of truth without prejudice will no
doubt be ready to wait before they form any opinion about such
portions of the book. Others it is useless to reason

To the former class of students I have to
say one word more. From my own experience I can tell them that the
more they study the book, the more wisdom they are sure to find in
it, and let me hope that ere long I shall have a goodly number of
colleagues, who will with me try their best to explain and
illustrate the book still better, and more thoroughly.

Rama Prasad
Merut (India)
5 November 1889

Nature’s Finer

& Their Influence on
Human Life & Destiny

The Tatwas  ~

The tatwas are the five
modifications of the great Breath. Acting upon prakriti,
this Great breath throws it into five states, having distinct
vibratory motions, and performing different functions. The first
outcome of the Evolutionary State of parabrahma is the
akasa tatwa. After this come in order the vayu, the
taijas, the apas and the prithivi. They are
variously known as mahabhutas. The word akasa is
generally translated into English by the word ether.
Unfortunately, however,  sound is not known to be the
distinguishing quality of ether in modern English Science. Some
few might also have the idea that the modern medium of light is
the same as akasa. This, I believe, is a mistake. The
luminiferous ether is the subtle taijas tatwa, and not the
akasa. All the five subtle tatwas might no doubt be
called ethers, but to use it for the word akasa, without
any distinguishing epithet, is misleading. We might call
akasa the sonoriferous ether, the vayu the
tangiferous ether, apas the gustiferous ether, and
prithivi the odoriferous ether. Just as there exists in the
universe the luminiferous ether, an element of refined mater
without which it has been found that the phenomena of light find
no adequate explanation, so do there exist the four remaining
ethers, elements of refined matter, without which it will be found
that the phenomena of sound, touch, taste and smell find no
adequate explanation.

The luminiferous ether is supposed by
Modern Science to be Matter in a most refined state. It is the
vibrations of this element that are said to constitute light. The
vibrations are said to take place at right angles to the direction
of the wave. Nearly the same is the description of the taijas
given in the book. It makes this tatwa move in an
upward direction, and the center of the direction is, of course,
the direction of the wave. Besides, it says that one whole
vibration of this element makes the figure of a

Suppose in the figure:

AB is the direction of the wave; BC is the
direction of the vibration. CA is the line along which, seeing
that in expansion the symmetrical arrangements of the atoms of a
body are not changed, the vibrating atom must return to its
symmetrical position in the line AB.

The taijas tatwa of the Ancients is
then exactly the luminiferous ether of the Moderns, so far as the
nature of the vibration is concerned. There is no exception,
however, of the four remaining ethers, at all events in a direct
manner, in Modern Science. The vibrations of akasa, the
soniferous ether, constitute sound; and it is quite necessary to
recognize the distinctive character of this form of

The experiment of the bell in a vacuum
goes to prove that the vibrations of atmosphere propagate sound.
Any other media, however, such as the earth and the metals, are
known to transmit sound in various degrees. There must, therefore,
be some one thing in all these media which gives birth to sound —
the vibration that constitutes sound. That something is the Indian

But akasa is all-pervading, just as
the luminiferous ether. Why, then, is not sound transmitted to our
ears when a vacuum is produced in the bell-jar? The real fact is
that we must make a difference between the vibrations of the
elements that constitute sound and light, etc., and the vibrations
in the media which transmit these impressions to our senses. It is
not the vibrations of the ethers — the subtle tatwas
that cause our perceptions, but the ethereal vibrations
transferred to different media, which are so many modifications of
gross matter — the sthula Mahabhutas. The luminiferous
ether is present just as much in a darkened room as in the space
without. The minutest space within the dimensions of the
surrounding walls themselves is not void of it. For all this the
luminosity of the exterior is not present in the interior. Why?
The reason is that our ordinary vision does not see the vibrations
of the luminiferous ether. It only sees the vibrations of the
media that the ether pervades. The capability of being set into
ethereal vibrations varies with different media. In the space
without the darkened room the ether brings the atoms of the
atmosphere into the necessary state of visual vibration, and one
wide expanse of light is presented to our view. The same is the
case with every other object that we see. The ether that pervades
the object brings the atoms of that object into the necessary
state of visual vibration. The strength of the ethereal vibrations
that the presence of the sun imparts to the ether pervading our
planet is not sufficient to evoke the same state in the dead
matter of the darkening walls. The internal ether, divided from
the eternal one by this dead mass, is itself cut off from such
vibrations. The darkness of the room is thus the consequence,
notwithstanding the presence therein of the luminiferous ether. An
electric spark in the vacuum of a bell-jar must needs be
transmitted to our eyes, because the glass of the jar which stands
in contact with the internal luminiferous ether has a good deal of
the quality of being put into the state of visual vibration, which
from thence is transmitted to the external ether and thence to the
eye. The same would never be the case if we were to use a
porcelain or an earthen jar. It is this capability of being put
into the state of visual vibrations that we call transparency in
glass and similar objects.

To return to the soniferous ether
(akasa): Every form of gross matter has, to a certain
extent, which varies with various forms, what we may call auditory

Now I have to say something about the
nature of the vibrations. Two things must be understood in this
connection. In the first place the external form of the vibration
is something like the hole of the ear:

It throws matter which is subject to it,
into the form of a dotted sheet:

These dots are little points, rising above
the common surface so as to produce microscopic pits in the sheet.
It is said to move by fits and starts (sankrama), and to
move in all directions (sarvatogame). It means to say that
the impulse falls back upon itself along the line of its former
path, which lies on all sides of the direction of the

It will be understood that these ethers
produce in gross media vibrations similar to their own. The form,
therefore, into which the auditory vibrations throw the
atmospheric air is a true clue to the form of the ethereal
vibration. And the vibrations of atmospheric air discovered by
Modern Science are similar.

Now we come to the tangiferous ether
(vayu). The vibrations of this ether are described as being
spherical in form, and the motion is said to be at acute angles to
the wave (tiryak). Such is the representation of these
vibrations on the plane of the paper:

The remarks about the transmission of
sound in the case of akasa apply here too, mutatis
. The gustiferous ether (apas tatwa) is said to
resemble in shape the half moon. It is, moreover, said to move
downward. This direction is opposite to that of the luminiferous
ether. This force therefore causes contraction. Here is the
representation of the apas vibrations on the plane of

The process of contraction will be
considered when I come to the qualities of the

The odoriferous ether (prithivi) is
said to be quadrangular in shape, thus:

This is said to move in the middle. It
neither moves at right angles, nor at acute angles, nor upwards,
nor downwards, but it moves along the line of the wave. The line
and the quadrangle are in the same plane.

These are the forms, and the modes of
motion, of the five ethers.

Of the five sensations of men, each of
these gives birth to one, thus:

(1)  Akasa, Sonorifierous
ether, Sound; (2)  Vayu, Tangiferous ether, Touch;
(3)  Taijas, Luminfierous ether, Color; (4)
Apas, Gustiferous ether, Taste; (5) Prithivi,
Odoriferous ether, Smell.

In the process of evolution, these
co-existing ethers, while retaining their general, relative forms
and primary qualities, contract the qualities of the other
tatwas. This is known as the process of
panchikarana, or division into five.

If we take, as our book does, H, P, R, V
and L to be the algebraic symbols for (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5),
respectively, after panchikarana  the ethers assume
the following forms:

One molecule of each ether, consisting of
eight atoms, has four of the original principle ethers, and one of
the remaining four.

The following table will show the five
qualities of each of the tatwas after

Color        Smell

P          very
light blue    acid
very hot   

It might be remarked here that the subtle
tatwas exist now in the universe on four planes. The higher
of these planes differ from the lower in having a greater number
of vibrations per second. The four planes are:

(1) Physical (Prana); (2) Mental
(Manas); (3) Psychic (Vijnana); (4) Spiritual

I shall discuss, however, some of the
secondary qualities of these tatwas.

(1) Space ~ This is a quality of the
akasa tatwa. It has been asserted that the vibration of
this ether is shaped like the hole of the ear, and that in the
body thereof are microscopic points (vindus). It follows
evidently that the interstices between the points serve to give
space to ethereal minima, and offer them room for locomotion

(2) Locomotion ~ This is the quality of
the vayu tatwa. Vayu is a form of motion itself, for
motion in all directions is motion in a circle, large or small.
The vayu tatwa itself has the form of spherical motion.
When to the motion which keeps the form of the different ethers is
added to the stereotyped motion of the vayu, locomotion is
the result.

(3) Expansion ~ This is the quality of the
taijas tatwa. This follows evidently from the shape and
form of motion which is given to this ethereal vibration. Suppose
ABC is a lump of metal:

If we apply fire to it, the luminiferous
ether in it is set in motion, and that drives the gross atoms of
the lump into similar motion. Suppose (a) is an atom. This being
impelled to assume the shape of the taijas, vibration goes
towards (a’), and then takes the symmetrical position of
(a’). Similarly does every point change its place round the center
of the piece of metal. Ultimately the whole piece assumes the
shape of A’B’C’. Expansion is thus the

(4) Contraction ~ This is the quality of
the apas tatwa. As has been remarked before, the direction
of this ether is the reverse of the agni, and it is
therefore easy to understand that contraction is the result of the
play of this tatwa.

(5) Cohesion ~ This is the quality of the
prithivi tatwa. It will be seen that this is the reverse of
akasa. Akasa gives room for locomotion, while
prithivi resists it. This is the natural result of the
direction and shape of this vibration. It covers up the spaces of
the akasa.

(6) Smoothness ~ This is a quality of the
apas tatwa. As the atoms of any body in contraction come
near each other and assume the semi-lunar shape of the apas, they
must easily glide over each other. The very shape secures easy
motion for the atoms.

This, I believe, is sufficient to explain
the general nature of the tatwas. The different phases of
their manifestation on all the planes of life will be taken up in
their proper places.

Evolution ~

It will be very interesting to trace the
development of man and the development of the world according to
the theory of the tatwas.

The tatwas, as we have already
seen, are the modifications of Swara. Regarding
Swara, we find in our book: “In the Swara are the
Vedas and the shastras, and in the Swara is
music. All the world is in the Swara; Swara is the
spirit itself.” The proper translation of the word Swara is
“the current of the life-wave”. It is that wavy motion which is
the cause of the evolution of cosmic undifferentiated matter into
the differentiated universe, and the involution of this into the
primary state of non-differentiation, and so on, in and out,
forever and ever. From whence does this motion come? This motion
is the spirit itself. The word atma used in the book,
itself carries the idea of eternal motion, coming as it does from
the root at, eternal motion; and it may be significantly remarked,
that the root at is connected with (and in fact is simply
another form of) the roots ah, breath, and as,
being. All these roots have for their original the sound produced
by the breathing of animals. In The Science of Breath the
symbol for inspiration is sa, and for expiration ha.
It is easy to see how these symbols are connected with the roots
as and ah. The current of life-wave spoken of above
is technically called Hansachasa, i.e., the motion of
ha and sa. The word Hansa, which is taken to
mean God, and is made so much of in many Sanskrit works, is only
the symbolic representation of the eternal processes of life —
ha and sa.

The primeval current of life-wave is,
then, the same which in man assumes the form of inspiratory and
expiratory motion of the lungs, and this is the all-pervading
source of the evolution and the involution of the

The book goes on: “It is the Swara
that has given form to the first accumulations of the divisions of
the universe; the Swara causes involution and evolution;
the Swara is God Himself, or more properly the great Power
(Mahashwara).” The Swara is the manifestation of the
impression on matter of that power which in man is known to us as
the power that knows itself. It is to be understood that the
action of this power never ceases. It is ever at work, and
evolution and involution are the very necessity of its
unchangeable existence.

The Swara has two different states.
The one is known on the physical plane as the sun-breath, the
other as the moon-breath. I shall, however, at the present stage
of evolution designate them as positive and negative respectively.
The period during which this current comes back to the point from
whence it started is known as the night of parabrahma. The
positive or evolutionary period is known as the day of
parabrahma; the negative or involutionary portion is known
as the night of parabrahma. These nights and days follow
each other without break. The sub-divisions of this period
comprehend all the phases of existence, and it is therefore
necessary to give her the scale of time according to the Hindu

The Divisions of Time ~

I shall begin with a Truti as the
least division of time.
26-2/3 truti = 1 nimesha = 8/45 second.
18 nimesha = 1 kashtha = 3-1/5 seconds = 8
30 kashtha = 1 kala = 1-3/5 minutes = 4
30 kala = 1 mahurta = 48 minutes = 2
30 mahurta = 1 day and night = 24 hours = 60
30 days and nights  and odd hours = 1 Pitruja day and
night = 1 month and odd hours.
12 months = 1 Daiva day and night = 1 year = 365 days, 15″,
30′, 31”.
365 Daiva days and nights = 1 Daiva year.
4,800 Daiva years = 1 Satya yuga.
3,600 Daiva years = 1 Treta yuga.
2,400 Daiva years = 1 Dwapara yuga.
1,200 Daiva years = 1 Kali yuga.
12,000 Daiva years = 1 Chaturyugi (four
12,000 Chaturyugi = 1 Daiva yuga.
2,000 Daiva yuga = 1 day and night of Brahma.
365 Brahmic days and nights = 1 year of Brahma.
71 Daiva yuga = 1 Manwantara.
12,000 Brahmic years = 1 Chaturyuga of Brahma, and so
200 yuga of Brahma = 1 day and night of

These days and nights follow each other in
eternal succession, and hence eternal evolution and

We have thus five sets of days and night:
(1) Parabrahma, (2) Brahma, (3) Daiva, (4)
Pitrya, (5) Manusha. A sixth is the
Manwantara day, and the Manwantara night

The days and nights of parabrahma
follow each other without beginning or end. The night (the
negative period and the day (the positive period) both merge into
the susumna (the conjunctive period) and merge into each
other. And so do the other days and nights. The days all through
this division are sacred to the positive, the hotter current, and
the nights are sacred to the negative, the cooler current. The
impressions of names and forms, and the power of producing an
impression, lie in the positive phase of existence. Receptivity is
given birth to by the negative current.

After being subjected to the negative
phase of parabrahma, Prakriti, which follows
parabrahma like a shadow, has been saturated with
evolutionary receptivity; as the hotter current sets in, changes
are imprinted upon it, and it appears in changed forms. The first
imprint that the evolutionary positive current leaves upon
Prakriti is known as akasa. Then, by and by the
remaining ethers come into existence. These modifications of
Prakriti are the ethers of the first stage.

Into these five ethers, as now
constituting the objective phase, works on the current of the
Great Breath. A further development takes place. Different centers
come into existence. The akasa throws them into a form that
gives room for locomotion. With the beginning of the vayu
these elementary ethers are thrown into the form of
spheres. This was the beginning of formation, or what may also be
called solidification.

These spheres are our Brahmandas.
In them the ethers assume a secondary development. The so-called
division into five takes place. In this Brahmic sphere in which
the new ethers have good room for locomotion, the taijas
now comes into play, and then the apas tatwa.
Every tatwic quality is generated into, and preserved in, these
spheres by these currents. In process of time we have a center and
an atmosphere. This sphere is the self-conscious

In this sphere, according to the same
process, a third ethereal state comes into existence. In the
cooler atmosphere removed from the center another class of centers
comes into existence. These divide the Brahmic state of matter
into two different states. After this comes into existence another
state of matter whose centers bear the names of devas or

We have thus four states of subtle matter
in the universe:

(1) Prana, life matter, with the
sun for center; (2) Manas, mental matter, with the
manu for center; (3) Vijnana, psychic matter, with
Brahma for center; (4) Ananda, spiritual matter,
with parabrahma as the infinite substratum.

Every higher state is positive with regard
to the lower one, and every lower on is given birth to by a
combination of the positive and negative phase of the

(1) Prana has to do with three sets
of days and nights in the above division of time: (a) Our ordinary
days and nights; (b) The bright and dark half of the month which
are called the pitrya day and night; (c) The northern and southern
halves of the years, the day and night of the

These three nights acting upon
earth-matter impart to it the receptivity of the cool, negative
shady phase of life-matter. These nights imprint themselves on the
respective days coming in after it. The earth herself thus becomes
a living being, having a north pole, in which a central force
draws the needle towards itself, and a south pole in which is
centered a for which is, so to speak, the shade of the north polar
center. It has also always a solar force centered in the eastern
half, and the lunar — the shade of the former — centered in the
western half.

These centers come, in fact, into
existence even before the earth is manifested on the gross plane.
So too do the centers of other planets come into existence. As the
sun presents himself to the manu there come into existence two
states of matter in which the sun lives and moves — the positive
and the negative. As the solar prana, after having been for
some time subjected to the negative shady state, is subjected in
its revolutionary course to the source of its positive phase,
manu, the figure of manu is imprinted upon it. This
manu is, in fact, the universal mind, and all the planets
with their inhabitants are the phases of his existence. Of this,
however, more heareafter. At present we see that earth-life or
Terrestrial Prana has four centers of force.

When it has been cooled by the negative
current, the positive phase imprints itself upon it, and
earth-life in various forms comes into existence. The essays on
prana will explain this more clearly.

(2) Manas: this has to do with
manu. The suns revolve round these centers with the whole
of their atmospheres of prana. This system gives birth to
the lokas or spheres of life, of which the planets are one

These lokas have been enumerated by
Vyasa in his commentary on the Yogasutra (III. Pada,
26th Sutra). The aphorism runs thus:

“By meditation upon the sun is obtained a
knowledge of the physical creation.”

On this, the revered commentator says:
“There are seven lokas (spheres of existence).”

(1) The Bhurloka: this extends to
the Meru; (2) Antareikshaloka: this extends from the
surface of the Meru to the Dhru, the pole-star, and
contains the planets, the nakstatras, and the stars; (3)
Beyond that is the swarloka: this is fivefold and sacred to
Mahendra; (4) Maharloka: This is sacred to the Prajapati;
(5) Janaloka; (6) Tapas loka, and; (7) Satya
. These three (5, 6, and 7) are sacred to

It is not my purpose to try at present to
explain the meaning of these lokas. It is sufficient for my
present purpose to say that the planets, the stars, the lunar
mansions are all impressions of manu, just as the organisms
of the earth are the impressions of the sun. The solar
prana is prepared for this impression during the
manwantara night.

Similarly, Vijnana has to do with
the nights and days of Brahma, and Ananda with those
of Parabrahma.

It will thus be seen that the whole
process of creation, on whatever plane of life, is performed most
naturally by the five tatwas in their double modifications,
the positive and negative. There is nothing in the universe that
the Universal Tatwic Law of Breath does not comprehend.

After this brief exposition of the theory
of tatwic evolution comes a series of Essays, taking up all the
subtle states of matter one by one, and describing more in detail
the working of the tatwic law in those planes, and also the
manifestations of these planes of life in humanity.

The Mutual Relation of the Tatwas and of the Principles

The akasa is the most important of
all the tatwas. It must, as a matter of course, precede and
follow every change of state on every plane of life. Without this
there can be no manifestation or cessation of forms. It is out of
akasa that every form comes, and it is in akasa that
every form lives. The akasa is full of forms in their
potential state. It intervenes between every two of the five
tatwas, and between every two of the five

The evolution of the tatwas is
always part of the evolution of a certain definite form. Thus the
manifestation of the primary tatwas is with the definite
aim of giving what we may call a body, a Prakritic form to the
Iswara. In the bosom of the Infinite Parabrahma,
there are hidden unnumerable such centers. One center takes under
its influence a certain portion of the Infinite, and there we find
first of all coming into existence the akasa tatwa. The
extent of this akasa limits the extent of the Universe, and
out of it the Iswara is to come. With this end comes out of
this akasa the Vayu tatwa. This pervades the whole
Universe and has a certain center that serves to keep the whole
expanse together, and separate as one whole, from other universes

It has been mentioned, and further on will
be more clearly explained, that every tatwa has a positive
and a negative phase. It is also evident on the analogy of the sun
that places more distant from the center are always negative to
those which are nearer. We might say that they are cooler than
these, as it will be seen later on the heat is not peculiar to the
sun only, but that all the higher centers have a greater amount of
heat than even the sun itself.

Well then, in this Brahmic sphere of
Vayu, except for some space near the parabrahmic
, every atom of the vayu is reacted upon by an
opposite force. The more distant and therefore the cooler one
reacts upon the nearer and therefore the hotter. The equal and
opposite vibrations of the same force cancel each other, and both
together pass into the akasic state. Thus, while some of this
space remains filled up by the Brahmic Vayu on account of
the constant outflow of this tatwa from the parabrahmic
akasa, the remainder is rapidly turned into akasa.
This akasa is the mother of the Brahmic agni tatwa.
The agni tatwa working similarly gives birth through
another akasa to the apas, and this similarly to the
prithivi. This Brahmic prithivi thus contains the
qualities of all the preceding tatwas besides a fifth one
of its own.

The first stage of the Universe, the ocean
of psychic matter has now come into existence in its entirety.
This matter is, of course, very, very fine, and there is
absolutely no grossness in it as compared with the matter of the
fifth plane. In this ocean shines the intelligence of
Iswara, and this ocean, with everything that might be
manifest in it, is the self-conscious universe.

In this psychic ocean, as before, the more
distant atoms are negative to the nearer ones. Hence, except a
certain space which remains filled with the psychic
prithivi on account of the constant supply of this element
from above, the rest begins to change into an akasa. This
second akasa is full of what are called Manus in
their potential state. The Manus are so many groups of
certain mental forms, the ideals of the various genera and species
of life to appear further on. We have to do with one of

Impelled by the evolutionary current of
the Great Breath, manu comes out of this akasa, in
the same way as Brahma did out of the parabrahmic
akasa. First and uppermost in the mental sphere is the
Vayu, and then in regular order the taijas, the
apas, and the prithivi. This mental matter follows
the same laws, and similarly begins to pass into the third akasic
state, which is full of innumerable suns. They come out in the
same way, and begin to work on a similar plan, which will be
better understood here than higher up.

Everybody can test here for himself that
the more distant portions of the solar system are cooler than the
nearer ones. Every little atom of Prana is comparatively
cooler than the adjacent one towards the sun from itself. Hence
equal and opposite vibrations cancel each other. Leaving,
therefore, a certain space near the sun as always filled up with
the tatwas of Prana, which are there being
constantly supplied from the sun, the rest of the Prana
passes into the akasic state.

It might be noted down here that the whole
of this Prana is made up of innumerable little
points.  In the future I shall speak of these points of as
trutis, and might say here that it is these trutis
that appear on the terrestrial plane as atoms (anu or
paramanu). They might be spoken of as solar atoms. These
solar atoms are of various classes according to the prevalence of
one or more of the constituent tatwas.

Every point of Prana is a perfect
picture of the whole ocean. Every other point is represented in
every point. Every atom has, therefore, for its constituents, all
the four tatwas, in varying proportions according to its
position in respect of others. The different classes of these
solar atoms appear on the terrestrial plane as the various
elements of chemistry.

The spectrum of every terrestrial element
reveals the color or colors of the prevalent tatwa or
tatwas of a solar atom of that substance. The greater the
heat to which any substance is subjected the nearer does the
element approaches its solar state. Heat destroys for the time
being the terrestrial coatings of the solar atoms.

The spectrum of sodium thus shows the
presence of the yellow prithivi, that of lithium, the red
agni and the yellow prithivi, that of cesium, the
red agni, the green admixture, the yellow prithivi,
and the blue vayu. Rubidium shows red, orange, yellow,
green and blue, i.e., the agni, prithivi and
agni, prithivi, vayu and prithivi, and
vayu. These classes of solar atoms that make up all put
altogether, the wide expanse of the solar prana, pass into
the akasic state. While the sun keeps up a constant supply of
these atoms, those that are passing into the akasic state pass on
the other side into the planetary vayu. Certain measured
portions of the solar akasa naturally separate themselves
from others, according to the differing creation that is to appear
in those portions. These portions of akasa are called
lokas. The earth itself is a loka called the
Bhurloka. I shall take up the earth for further
illustration of the law.

That portion of the solar akasa
that is the immediate mother of the Earth, first gives birth to
the terrestrial Vayu. Every element is now in the state of
the Vayu tatwa, which may now be called gaseous. The
Vayu tatwa is spherical in shape, and thus the gaseous
planet bears similar outlines. The center of this gaseous sphere
keeps together round itself the whole expanse of gas. As soon as
this gaseous sphere comes into existence, it is subjected to the
following influences among others:

(1) The superposed influence of the solar
heat; (2) The internal influence of the more distant atoms on the
nearer ones and vice versa.

The first influence has a double effect
upon the gaseous sphere. It imparts more heat to the nearer
hemisphere than to the more distant one. The superficial air of
the nearer hemisphere having contracted a certain amount of solar
energy, rises towards the sun. Cooler air from below takes its
place. But where does the superficial air go? It cannot pass
beyond the limit of the terrestrial sphere, which is surrounded by
the solar akasa through which comes a supply from the solar
Prana. It therefore begins to move in a circle, and thus a
rotary motion is established in the sphere. This is the origin of
the earth’s rotation upon its axis.

Again, as a certain amount of the solar
energy is imparted to the gaseous terrestrial sphere, the impulse
of the upward motion reaches the center itself. Therefore that
center itself, and along with it the whole sphere, moves towards
the sun. It cannot, however, go on in this direction, for a nearer
approach would destroy that balance of forces that gives the earth
its peculiarities. A loka that is nearer to the sun than
our planet cannot have the same conditions of life. Hence, while
the sun draws the earth towards itself, those laws of life that
have given it a constitution, on which ages must roll on, keep it
in the sphere they have assigned to it. Two forces thus come into
existence. Drawn by one the earth would go towards the sun;
checked by the other it must remain where it is. These are the
centrifugal and the centripetal forces, and their action results
in giving the earth its annual revolution.

Secondly, the internal action of the
gaseous atoms upon each other ends in the change of the whole
gaseous sphere, except the upper portion, into the akasic state.
This akasic state gives birth to the igneous (pertaining to the
agni tatwa) state of terrestrial matter. This changes
similarly into the apas, and this again into the

The same process obtains in the changes of
matter with which we are now familiar. An example will better
illustrate the whole law.

Take ice. This is solid, or what the
Science of Breath would call in the state of prithivi. One
quality of the prithivi tatwa, the reader will remember, is
cohesive resistance. Let us apply heat to this ice. As this heat
passes into the ice, it is indicated by the thermometer. When the
temperature rises to 78 degrees, the ice changes its state. But
the thermometer no longer indicates the same amount of heat. 78
degrees of heat have become latent.

Let us now apply 536 degrees of heat to a
pound of boiling water. As is generally known, this great quantity
of heat becomes latent while the water passes into the gaseous

Now let us follow the reverse process. To
gaseous water let us apply a certain amount of cold. When this
cold becomes sufficient entirely to counteract the heat that keeps
it in the gaseous state, the vapor passes into the akasa
state, and from thence into the taijas state. It is not
necessary that the whole of the vapor should at once pass into the
next state. The change is gradual. As the cold is gradually
passing into the vapor, the taijas modification is
gradually appearing out of, and through the intervention of
akasa, into which it had passed during latency. This is
being indicated on the thermometer. When the whole has passed into
the igneous state, and the thermometer has indicated 536 degrees,
the second akasa comes into existence. Out of this second
akasa comes the liquid state at the same temperature, the
whole heat having again passed into the akasa state, and
therefore no longer indicated by the thermometer.

When cold is applied to this liquid, heat
again begins to come out, and when it reaches 78 degrees, this
heat having come out of and through the akasa, into which
it had passed, the whole liquid had passed into the igneous state.
Here it again begins to pass into the akasa state. The
thermometer begins to fall down, and out of this akasa
begins to come the prithivi state of water —

Thus we see that the heat which is given
out by the influence of cold passes into the akasa state,
which becomes the substratum of a higher phase, and the heat which
is absorbed passes into another akasa state, which becomes
the substratum of a lower phase.

It is in this way that the terrestrial
gaseous sphere changes into its present state. The experiment
described above points out many important truths about the
relation of these tatwas to each other.

First of all it explains that very
important assertion of the Science of Breath which says that every
succeeding tatwic state has the qualities of all the foregoing
tatwic states. Thus we see that as the gaseous state of water is
being acted upon by cold, the latent heat of steam is being
cancelled and passing into the akasa state. This cannot but
be the case, since equal and opposite vibrations of the same force
always cancel each other, and the result is the akasa. Out
of this comes the taijas state of matter. This is that
state in which the latent heat of steam becomes patent. It will be
observed that this state has no permanence. The taijas form
of water, as indeed any other substance, cannot exist for any
length of time, because the major part of terrestrial matter is in
the lower and therefore more negative states of apas and
prithivi, and whenever for any cause any substance passes
into the taijas state, the surrounding objects begin at
once to react upon it with such force as at once to force it into
the next akasa state. Those things that now live in the
normal state of the apas or the prithivi find it
quite against the laws of their existence to remain, except under
external influence, in the taijas (igneous) state. Thus an
atom of gaseous water before passing into the liquid state has
already remained in the three states, the akasa, the
gaseous, and the taijas. It must, therefore, have all the
qualities of the three tatwas, and so it no doubt has.
Cohesive resistance is only wanted, and that is the quality of the
prithivi tatwa.

Now when this atom of liquid water passes
into the icy state, what do we see? All the states that have
preceded must again show themselves. Cold will cancel the latent
heat of the liquid state, and the akasa state will come
out. Out of this akasa state is sure to come the gaseous
state. This gaseous (Vayava) state is evidenced by the
gyrations and other motions that are set up in the body of the
liquid by the mere application of the cold. The motion, however,
is not of very long duration, and as they are ceasing (passing
into the akasa state) the taijas state is coming
out. This too, however, is not of long duration, and as this is
passing into the akasa state, the ice is coming into

It will be easy to see that all four
states of terrestrial matter exist in our sphere. The gaseous
(Vayava) is there in what we call the atmosphere; the
igneous (taijas) is the normal temperature of earth life;
the liquid (apas) is the ocean; the solid (prithivi)
is the terra firma. None of these states, however, exists
quite isolated from the other. Each is constantly invading the
domain of the other, and thus it is difficult to find any portion
of space filled up only with matter in one state. The two adjacent
tatwas are found intermixed with each other to a greater degree
than those that are removed from each other by an intermediate
state. Thus prithivi will be found mixed up to a greater
extent with water than with agni and vayu,
apas with agni than with vayu, and
vayu with agni more than with any other. It would
thus appear from the above, according to the science of
tatwas, that the flame and other luminous bodies on earth
are not in the terrestrial taijas (igneous) state. They are
in or near the solar state of matter.

Prana (I)

The Centers of Prana; The
Nadis; The Tatwic Centers of Life; The Ordinary Change of

Prana, as already expressed, is
that state of Tatwic matter which surrounds the sun, and in which
moves the earth and other planets. It is the state next higher
than matter in the terrestrial state. The terrestrial sphere is
separated from the solar Prana by an akasa.
Thisakasa is the immediate mother of the terrestrial
vayu whose native color is blue. It is on this account that
the sky looks blue.

Although at this point in the heavens, the
Prana changes into akasa, which gives birth to the
terrestrial Vayu, the rays of the sun that fall on the
sphere from without are not stopped in their inward journey. They
are refracted, but move onwards into the terrestrial sphere all
the same. Through these rays the ocean of Prana, which
surrounds our sphere, exerts upon it an organizing

The terrestrial Prana — the
earth-life that appears in the shape of all the living organisms
of our planet — is, as a whole, nothing more than a modification
of the solar Prana.

As the earth moves round her own axis and
round the sun, twofold centers are developed in the terrestrial
Prana. During the diurnal rotation every place, as it is
subjected to the direct influence of the sun, sends forth the
positive life-current from the East to the West. During the night
the same place sends forth the negative current.

In the annual course the positive current
travels from the North to the South during the six months of
summer — the day of the devas — and the negative during the
remaining six months — the night of the devas.

The North and East are thus sacred to the
positive current; the opposite quarters to the negative current.
The sun is the lord of the positive current, the moon of the
negative, because the negative solar prana comes during the
night to the earth from the moon.

The terrestrial prana is thus an
ethereal being with double centers of work. The first is the
northern, the second the southern. The two halves of these centers
are the eastern and western centers. During the six months of
summer the current of life runs from the North to the South, and
during the months of winter the negative current goes the other

With every month, with every day, with
every nimesha this current completes a minor course, and
while this current continues in this course the diurnal rotation
gives it an eastern or western direction. The northern current
runs during the day of man from East to West, and during the night
from West to East. The directions of the other current are
respectively opposite to the above. So practically there are only
two directions — the eastern and western. The difference of the
northern and southern currents is not practically felt in
terrestrial life. These two currents produce in the terrestrial
prana two distinguishable modifications of the composing
ethers. The rays of either of these ethereal modifications
proceeding from their different centers run into each other — the
one giving life, strength, form and other qualities to the other.
Along the rays emerging from the northern center, run the currents
of positive prana; along those emerging from the southern,
the currents of negative prana. The eastern and western
channels of these currents are respectively called Pingala
and Ida, two of the celebrated nadis of the Tantrists. It
will be better to discuss the other bearings of Prana, when
we have localized it in the human body.

The influence of this terrestrial
Prana develops two centers of work in the gross matter that
is to form a human body. Part of the matter gathers round the
northern, and part round the southern center. The northern center
develops into the brain; the southern into the heart. The general
shape of the terrestrial Prana is something like an
ellipse. In this the northern focus is in the brain; the southern
in the heart. The column along which the positive matter gathers
runs between these foci.

The line in the middle is the place where
the eastern and western — right and left — divisions of the
column join. The column is the medulla oblongata the central line
is also susumna, the right and left divisions the
Pingala and Ida. The rays of Prana that
diverge either way from these nadis are only their
ramifications, and constitute together with them the nervous

The negative Prana gathers round
the southern center. This, too, takes a form similar to the
former. The right and left divisions of this column are the right
and left divisions of the heart.

Each division has two principal
ramifications, and each ramification again ramifies into others.
The two openings either way are one a vein, and one an artery, the
four opening into four chambers — the four petals of the lotus of
the heart. The right part of the heart again, with all its
ramifications, is called Pingala, the left Ida, and
the middle part susumna.

There is reason to think, however, that
the heart only is spoken of as the lotus, while the three
foregoing names are set apart for the nervous system. The current
of Prana works forward and backward, in and out. The cause
of this lies in the momentary of the being of Prana. As the
year advances, every moment a change of state takes place in the
terrestrial prana, on account of the varying strengths of
the solar and lunar currents. Thus, every moment is, strictly
speaking, a new being of Prana. As Buddha says, all life is
momentary. The Moment that is the first to throw into matter the
germ that will develop the two centers is the first cause of
organized life. If the succeeding Moments are friendly in their
tatwic effect to the first cause, the organism gains strength and
develops; if not, the impulse is rendered fruitless. The general
effect of these succeeding moments keeps up general life; but the
impulse of any one moment tends to pass off as the others come in.
A system of forward and backward motion is thus established. One
Moment of Prana proceeding from the center of work goes to
the farthest ends of the gross vessels — nerves and blood vessels
— of the organism. The succeeding moment gives it, however, the
backwards impulse. A few moments are taken in the completion of
the forward impulse, and the determination of the backward one.
This period differs in different organisms. As the Prana
runs forward, the lungs inspire; as it recedes, the process of
expiration sets in.

The Prana moves in the
Pingala when it moves from the northern center towards the
east, and from the southern towards the west; it moves in
Ida when it moves from the northern center towards the
west, and from the southern center towards the east. This means
that in the former case the Prana moves from the brain,
towards the right, through the heart, to the left and back to the
brain; and from the heart to the left through the brain to the
right back to the heart. In the latter the case is the reverse. To
use other terms, in the former case the Prana moves from
the nervous system to the right through the system of blood
vessels to the left, and back again to the nervous system; or,
from the system of blood vessels to the left through the nervous
system to the right, and back again to the system of blood
vessels. These two currents coincide. In the latter the case is
the reverse. The left part of the body containing the nerves and
the blood vessels may be called Ida, the right the
Pingala. The right and left bronchi form as well the part
respectively of Pingala and Ida, as any other parts
of the right and left divisions of the body. But what is
susumna? One of the names of susumna is
sandhi, the place where the two — Ida and
Pingala — join. It is really that place from which the
Prana may move either way — right or left — or, under
certain circumstances, both ways. It is that place which the
Prana must pass when it changes from the right to the left,
and from the left to the right. It is therefore booth the spinal
canal and the cardiac canal. The spinal canal extends from the
Brahmarandhra, the northern center of Prana through
the whole vertebral column (Brahmadanda). The cardiac canal
extends from the southern center midway between the two lobes of
the heart. As the Prana moves from the spinal canal towards
the right hand to the heart, the right lung works; the breath
comes in and out of the right nostril. When it reaches the
southern canal, you cannot feel the breath out of either nostril.
As, however, it goes out of the cardiac canal to the left, the
breath begins to come out of the left nostril, and flows through
that until the Prana again reaches the spinal canal. There,
again, you cease to feel the breath out of either nostril. The
effect of these two positions of Prana is identical upon
the flow of breath, and, therefore, I think that both the northern
and southern canals are designated by susumna. If we may
speak in this way, let us imagine that a plane passes midway
between the spinal and cardiac canals. This plane will pass
through the hollow of the susumna. But let it be understood
that there is no such plane in reality. It will perhaps be more
correct to say that as the rays of the positive Ida and
Pingala spread either way as nerves, and those of the
negative as blood-vessels, the rays of susumna spread all
over the body midway between the nerves and blood vessels, the
positive and negative nadis. The following is the
description of susumna in the Science of Breath:

“When the breath goes in and out, one
moment by the left and the other by the right nostril, that too is
susumna. When Prana is in that nadi the fires
of death burn; this is called vishuva. When it moves one
moment in the right, and the other in the left, let it be called
the Unequal State (vishamabhava); when it moves thorough
both at once, the wise have called it vishuva

“[It is susumna] at the
time of the passing of the Prana from the Ida into
the Pingala, or vice versa; and also of the change of one
tatwa into another.”

Then the susumna has two other
functions. It is called vedo-veda in one of its
manifestations, and sandhyasandhi in the other. As,
however, the right and left directions of the cardiac Prana
coincide with the left and right of the spinal current, there are
some writers who dispense with the double susumna.
According to them, the spinal canal alone is the susumna.
The Uttaragita and Latachakra nirupana are works in
this class. This method of explanation takes away a good deal of
difficulty. The highest recommendation of this view is its
comparative simplicity. The right side current from the heart, and
the left side current from the spine may both be reckoned without
difficulty as the left side spinal currents, and so may the
remaining two currents be reckoned as the right side spinal

One more consideration is in favor of this
view. The nervous system represents the sun, the system of blood
vessels the moon. Hence the real force of life dwells in the
nerves. The positive and negative — the solar and lunar — phases
of life matter are only different phases of Prana, the
solar matter. The more distant and therefore the cooler matter is
negative to the nearer, and therefore, the hotter. It is solar
life that manifests itself in the various phases of the moon. To
pass out of technicalities, it is nervous force that manifests
itself in various forms, in the system of blood vessels. The blood
vessels are only the receptacles of nervous force. Hence, in the
nervous system, the real life of the gross body is the true
Ida, Pingala and susumna. These are, in such
a case, the spinal column, and the right and left sympathetics,
with all their ramifications throughout the body.

The development of the two centers is thus
the first stage in the development of the fetus. The matter that
gathers up under the influence of the northern center is the
spinal column; the matter that gathers up round the southern
center is the heart. The diurnal rotation divides these columns or
canals into the right and left divisions. Then the correlative
influence of these two centers upon each other develops an upper
and lower division in each of these centers. This happens somewhat
in the same way, and on the same principle, as a Leyden jar is
charged with positive electricity by a negative rod. Each of these
centers is thus divided into four parts:

(1) The right side positive, (2) the left
side positive, (3) the right side negative, and (4) the left side

In the heart these four divisions are
called the right and left auricles and ventricles. The Tantras
style these four divisions the four petals of the cardiac lotus,
and indicate them by various letters. The positive petals of the
heart form the center from which proceed the positive blood
vessels, the arteries; the negative petals are the starting points
of the negative blood vessels, the veins. This negative
prana is pregnant with ten forces:

(1) Prana, (2) Apana, (3)
Samana, (4) Vyana, (5) Udana, (6)
Krikila, (7) Naga, (8) Devadatta, (9)
Dhavanjaya, (10) Kurma.

These ten forces are called vayu.
The word vayu is derived from the root va, to move,
and means nothing more than a motive power. The Tantrists do not
mean to give it the idea of a gas. Henceforth I shall speak of the
vayu as the forces or motive powers of prana. These
ten manifestations of Prana are reduced by some writers to
the first five alone, holding that the remaining ones are only
modifications of the former, which are the all-important of the
functions of prana. This, however, is only a question of
division. From the left side positive petal the prana
gathers up into a nadi that ramifies within the chest into
the lungs, and again gathers up into a nadi that opens into
the right side negative petal. This entire course forms something
like a circle (chakra). This nadi is called in
modern science the pulmonary artery and vein. Two lungs come into
existence by the alternate workings of the positive and negative
prana of the eastern and western powers.

Similarly, from the right side positive
petal branch several nadi that go both upwards and
downwards in two directions, the former under the influence of the
northern, the latter under the influence of the southern powers.
Both these nadi open after a circular march throughout the
upper and lower portions of the body into the left side negative

Between the left side positive and the
right side negative petal is one chakra (disk). This
chakra comprises the pulmonary artery, the lungs, and the
pulmonary vein. The chest gives room to this chakra, which
is positive with respect to the lower portions of the body, in
which run the ramifications of the lower chakra, which
latter joins the right side positive and the left side negative

In the above chakra (in the cavity
of the chest) is the seat of prana, the first and most
important of the ten manifestations. Inspiration and expiration
being a true index of the changes of prana, the pulmonary
manifestations thereof have the same name. With the changes of
prana we have a corresponding change in the other functions
of life. The lower negative chakra contains the principal
seats of some of the other manifestations of life. This
apana is located in the long intestine, samana in
the navel, and so on.

Also, udana is located in the
throat; vyana all over the body. Udana causes
belching; kurma in the eyes causes them to shut and open;
krikila in the stomach causes hunger. In short, proceeding
from the four petals of the heart we have an entire network of
these blood vessels. There are two sets of these blood vessels
side by side in every part of the body, connected by innumerable
little channels, the capillaries.

We read in the

“From the heart [ramify the]
nadi. Of these there are 101 principal ones (Pradhana
). Each of these branches into 100. Each of these again
into 72,000.”

Thus, there are 10,100 branch nadi,
and 727,200,000 still smaller ones, or what are called
twig-nadi. The terminology is imitated from a tree. There
is the root in the heart. From these proceed various stems. These
ramify into branches, and these again into twig vessels; all these
nadi put together are 727,210,201.

Now, of these the one is the
susumna; the rest are divided half and half over the two
halves of the body. So we read in the Kathopnishat, 6th
valli, 16th mantra:

“A hundred and one nadi are
connected with the heart. Of these one passes out into the head.
Going out by that one becomes immortal. The others become the
cause in sending the life principle out of various other

This one that goes to the head, remarks
the commentator, is the susumna. The susumna then is
that nadi whose nervous substratum or reservoir of force is
the spine. Of the remaining principal nadis, the Ida is the
reservoir of the life force that works in the left part of the
body, having 50 principal nadi. So also has the right part
of the body 50 principal nadi. These go on dividing as
above. The nadi of the third degree become so minute as to
be visible only by a microscope. The ramifications of the
susumna all over the body serve during life to carry the
prana from the positive to the negative portions of the
body, and vice versa. In case of blood these are the modern

The Vedantins, of course, take the heart
to be the starting point of this ramification. The Yogis, however,
proceed from the navel. Thus in The Science of Breath we

“From the root in the navel proceed 72,000
nadi spreading all over the body. There sleeps the goddess
Kundalini like a serpent. From this center (the navel) ten
nadi go upwards, ten downwards, and two and two

The number 72,000 is the result of their
own peculiar reckoning. It matters little which division we adopt
if we understand the truth of the case.

Along these nadi run the various
forces that form and keep up the physiological man. These channels
gather up into various parts of the body as centers of the various
manifestations of prana. It is like water falling from a
hill, gathering into various lakes, each lake letting out several
streams. These centers are:

(1) Hand power centers, (2) Foot power
centers, (3) Speech power centers, (4) Excretive power centers,
(5) Generative power centers, (6) Digestive and absorbing power
centers, (7) Breathing power centers, and (8) the five sense power

Those nadi that proceed to the
outlets of the body perform the most important functions of the
body, and they are hence said to be the ten principal ones in the
whole system. These are:

(1) Ghandari goes to the left eye;
(2) Hastijihiva goes to the right eye; (3) Pasta
goes to the right ear; (4) Yashawani goes to the left ear;
(5) Alamhusha, or alammukha (as it is variously
spelled in one ms.) goes to the mouth. This evidently is the
alimentary canal; (6) Kuhu goes to the generative organs;
(7) Shankini goes to the excretive organs; (8) Ida
is the nadi that leads to the left nostril; (9)
Pingala is the one that leads to the right nostril. It
appears that these names are given to these local nadi for
the same reason that the pulmonary manifestation of prana
is known by the same name; (10) Susumna has already been
explained in its various phases and manifestations.

There are two more outlets of the body
that receive their natural development in the female: the breasts.
It is quite possible that the nadi Danini, of which no
specific mention has been made, might go to one of these. Whatever
it may be, the principle of the division and classification is
clear, and this is something actually gained.

Centers of moral and intellectual powers
also exist in the system. Thus we read in the Vishramopnishat
(The following figure will serve to illustrate the

“(1) While the mind rests in the eastern
portion (or petal), which is white in color, then it is inclined
towards patience, generosity, and reverence.

“(2) While the mind rests in the
southeastern portion, which is red in color, then it is inclined
towards sleep, torpor and evil inclination.

“(3) While the mind rests in the southern
portion, which is black in color, then it is inclined towards
anger, melancholy, and bad tendencies.

“(4) While the mind rests in the
southwestern portion, which is blue in color, then it is inclined
towards jealousy and cunning.

“(5) While the mind rests in the western
portion, which is brown in color, then it is inclined towards
smiles, amorousness, and jocoseness.

“(6) While the mind rests in the
northwestern portion, which is indigo in color, then it is
inclined towards anxiety, restless dissatisfaction, and

“(7) While the mind rests in the northern
portion, which is yellow in color, then it is inclined towards
love and enjoyment and adornment.

“(8) While the mind rests in the
northeastern portion, which is white in color, then it is inclined
towards pity, forgiveness, reflection, and religion.

“(9) While the mind rests in the
sandhi (conjunctions) of these portions, then disease and
confusion in body and home, and the mind inclines towards the
three humors.

“(10) While the mind rests in the middle
portion, which is violet in color, then Consciousness goes beyond
the qualities [three qualities of Maya] and it
inclines toward Intelligence.”

When any of these centers is in action the
mind is conscious of the same sort of feelings, and inclines
towards them. Mesmeric passes serve only to excite these

These centers are located in the head as
well as in the chest, and also in the abdominal region and the
loins, etc.

It is these centers, together with the
heart itself, that bear the name of padma or kamala
(lotus). Some of these are large, some small, some very small. A
tantric lotus is the type of a vegetable organism, a root with
various branches. These centers are the reservoirs of various
powers, and hence the roots of the padma; the nadi
ramifying these centers are their various branches.

The nervous plexus of the modern
anatomists coincide with these centers. From what has been said
above it will appear that the centers are constituted by blood
vessels. But the only difference between the nerves and the blood
vessels is the difference between the vehicles of the positive and
negative prana. The nerves are the positive, and the blood
vessels are the negative system of the body. Wherever there are
nerves there are corresponding blood vessels. Both of them are
indiscriminately called nadi. One set has for its center
the lotus of the heart, the other the thousand-petalled lotus of
the brain. The system of blood vessels is an exact picture of the
nervous system; it is, in fact, only its shadow. Like the heart,
the brain has its upper and lower divisions — the cerebrum and
the cerebellum — and its right and left divisions as well. The
nerves going to very part of the body and coming back from thence
together with those going to the upper and lower portions
correspond to the four petals of the heart. This system, too, has
as many centers of energy as the former. Both these centers
coincide in position. They are, in fact, the same: the nervous
plexuses and ganglia of modern anatomy. Thus, in my opinion, the
tantric padma are not only the centers of nervous power —
the positive northern prana — but necessarily of the
negative prana as well.

The translation of the Science of
that is now presented to the reader has two sections
enumerating the various actions that are to be done during the
flow of the positive and negative breath. They show nothing more
than what can in some cases be very easily verified, that certain
actions are better done by positive energy, and others by negative
energy. The taking in of chemicals and their changes are actions,
as well as any others. Some of the chemicals are better
assimilated by the negative for example, milk and other fatty
substances), others by the positive Prana (other food, that
which is digested in the stomach). Some of our sensations produce
more lasting effects upon the negative, others upon the positive

Prana has now arranged the gross
matter in the womb into the nervous and blood vessel systems. The
Prana, as has been seen, is made of the five tatwa,
and the nadi serve only as lines for tatwic currents to run
on. The centers of power noticed above are centers of tatwic
power. The tatwic centers in the right part of the body are solar,
and those in the left are lunar. Both these solar and lunar
centers are of five descriptions. Their kind is determined by what
are called the nervous ganglia. The semi-lunar ganglia are the
reservoirs of the apas tatwa. Similarly, we have the
reservoirs of the other forces. From these central reservoirs the
tatwic currents run over the same lines, and do the various
actions allotted to them in physiological anatomy.

Everything in the human body that has more
less of the cohesive resistance is made up of the prithivi
. But in this the various tatwas work imprinting
differing qualities upon the various parts of the body.

The vayu tatwa, among others,
performs the functions of giving birth to, and nourishing the
skin; the positive gives us the positive, and the negative the
negative skin. Each of these has five layers:

(1) Pure vayu, (2)
Vayu-agni, (3) Vayu-prithivi, (4) Vayu-apas,
(5) Vayu-akasa. These five classes of cells have the
following figures:

(1) Pure Vayu ~ This is the
complete sphere of the Vayu:

(2) Vayu-Agni ~ The triangle is
superposed over the sphere, and the cells have something like the
following shape:

(3) Vayu-Prithivi ~ This is the
result of the superposition of the quadrangular Prithivi
over the spherical Vayu:

(4) Vayu-Apas ~ Something like an
ellipse, the semi-moon superposed over the sphere:

(5) Vayu-Akasa ~ The sphere
flattened by the superposition of the circle and

A microscopic examination of the skin will
show that the cells of the skin have this appearance.

Similarly, bone, muscle and fat are given
birth to by the prithivi, the agni, and the
apas. Akasa appears in various positions. Wherever
there is any room for any substance, there is akasa. The
blood is a mixture of nutritive substances kept in the fluidic
state by the apas tatwa of Prana.

It is thus seen that while Terrestrial
Prana is an exact manifestation of the Solar Prana,
the human manifestation is an exact manifestation of either. The
microcosm is an exact picture of the macrocosm. The four petals of
the lotus of the heart branch really into twelve nadi
(K, Kh, g, gn, n, K’, Kh’, j, jh, n, t, the).
Similarly the brain has twelve pairs of nerves. These are the
twelve signs of the Zodiac, both in their positive and negative
phases. In every sign the sun rises 31 times. Therefore we have 31
pairs of nerves. Instead of pairs, we speak in the language of the
Tantras of a chakra (disk or circle). Wherever these 31
chakra connect with the 12 pairs (chakras) of nerves
in the brain, pass throughout the body, we have running side by
side the blood vessels proceeding from the 12 nadis of the
heart. The only difference between the spinal and cardiac
chakras is that the former lie crosswise, while the latter
lie lengthwise in the body. The sympathetic chords consist of
lines of tatwic centers: the padma or kamal. These
centers lie on all the 31 chakra noticed above. Thus from
the two centers of work, the brain and the heart, the signs of the
Zodiac in their positive and negative aspects — a system of
nadi branch off. The nadi from either center run
into one another so much that one set is found always side by side
with the other. The 31 chakra are various tatwic centers;
one set is positive, and the other is negative. The former owe
allegiance to the brain, with which they are connected by the
sympathetic chords; the latter owe allegiance to the heart, with
which they have various connections. This double system is called
Pingala on the right side, and Ida on the left. The
ganglia of the apas centers are semi-lunar, those of the
taijas, the vayu, the prithivi, and the
akasa respectively triangular, spherical, quadrangular, and
circular. Those of the composite tatwa have composite
figures. Each tatwic center has ganglia of all the tatwa
surrounding it.

Prana moves in this system of
nadi. As the sun passes into the sign of Aries in the
Macrocosm, the Prana passes into the corresponding
nadi (nerves) of the brain. From thence it descends every
day towards the spine. With the rise of the sun it descends into
the first spinal chakra towards the right. It thus passes
into the Pingala. It moves along the nerves of the right
side, at the same time passing little by little into the blood
vessels. Up to noon of every day the strength of this Prana
is greater in the nervous chakra than in the venous. At noon they
become of equal strength. In the evening (with sunset), the
Prana with its entire strength has passed into the blood
vessels. From thence it gathers up into the heart, the negative
southern center. Then it spreads into the left side blood vessels,
gradually passing into the nerves. At midnight the strength is
equalized; in the morning (pratasandhia) the prana
is just in the spine; from thence it begins to travel along the
second chakra. This is the course of the solar current of
prana. The moon gives birth to other minor currents. The
moon moves 12 odd times more than the sun. Therefore, while the
sun passes over one chakra (i.e., during 60 ghari
day and night), the moon passes over 12 odd chakra.
Therefore we have 12 odd changes of prana during 24 hours.
Suppose the moon too begins in Aries; she begins like the sun in
the first chakra, and takes 58 min. 4 sec. in reaching the
spine to the heart, and as many minutes from the heart back to the

Both these prana move in their
respective course along the tatwic centers. Either of them is
present at any one time all over the same class of tatwic centers,
in any one part of the body. It manifests itself first in the
vayu centers, then in the taijas, thirdly in the
prithivi, and fourthly in the apas centers.
Akasa comes after each, and immediately precedes the
susumna. As the lunar current passes from the spine towards
the right, the breath comes out of the right nostril, and as long
as the current of Prana remains in the back part of the
body, the tatwa changes from the vayu to the
apas. As the current passes into the front part of the
right half, the tatwa changes back from the apas to
the vayu. As the prana passes into the heart, the breath is
not felt at all in the nose. As it proceeds from the heart to the
left, the breath begins to flow out of the left nostril, and as
long as it is in the front part of the body, the tatwa
change from the vayu to the apas. They change back
again a before, until the prana reaches the spine, when we
have the akasa of susumna. Such is the even change
of prana that we have in the state of perfect health. The
impulse that has been given to the localized prana by the
sun and moon forces that give active power and existence to its
prototype Prana, makes it work in the same way forever and
ever. The working of the human free will and other forces change
the nature of the local prana, and individualize it in such a way
as to render it distinguishable from the universal Terrestrial and
Ecliptical prana. With the varying nature of prana, the
order of the tatwa and the positive and negative currents
may be affected in various degrees. Disease is the result of this
variation. In fact, the flow of breath is the truest indication of
the changes of tatwa in the body. The balance of the
positive and negative currents of tatwa results in health,
and the disturbance of their harmony in disease. The science of
the flow of breath is therefore of the highest importance to every
man who values his own health and that of his fellow creatures. At
the same time, it is the most important, useful and comprehensive,
the easiest and the most interesting branch of Yoga. It
teaches us how to guide our will so as to effect desired changes
in the order and nature of our positive and negative tatwic
currents. This it does in the following way. All physical action
is prana in a certain state. Without prana there is no
action, and every action is the result of the differing harmonies
of tatwic currents. Thus, motion in any one part of the body is
the result of the activity of the vayu centers in that part
of the body. In the same way, whenever there is activity in the
prithivi centers, we have a feeling of enjoyment and
satisfaction. The causes of the other sensations are

We find that while lying down we change
sides when the breath passes out of that nostril. Therefore we
conclude that if we lie on any side the breath will flow out the
opposite nostril. Therefore, whenever we see that it is desirable
to change the negative conditions of our body to the positive, we
resort to this expedient. An investigation into the physiological
effects of prana on the gross coil, and the counter effects
of gross action upon prana, will form the subject of the
next essay.

Prana (II) ~

The Pranamaya Kosha (Coil of Life)
changes into three general states during day and night: the
waking, the dreaming, and the sleeping (jagrata, swapna,
). These three changes produce corresponding changes in
the manamaya Kosha (the mental coil), and thence arises the
consciousness of the changes of life. The mind, in fact, lies
behind the prana. The strings (tatwic lines) of the former
instrument are finer than those of the latter; that is, in the
former we have a greater number of vibrations than in the latter
during the same space of time. Their tensions stand to each other,
however, in such a relation that with the vibrations of the one,
the other of itself begins to vibrate. The changes give to the
mind, therefore, a similar appearance, and consciousness of the
phenomenon is caused. This, however, some time after. My present
object is to describe all those changes of prana, natural
or induced, that make up the sum total of our worldly experience,
and which, during ages of evolution, have called the mind itself
out of the state of latency. These changes, as I have said, divide
themselves into three general states: the waking, the dreaming,
and the sleeping. Waking is the positive, sleeping the negative
state of prana; dreaming is the conjunction of the two (susumna
). As stated in the foregoing essay, the solar current
travels in a positive direction during the day, and we are awake.
As night approaches the positive current has made itself lord of
the body. It gains so much strength that the sensuous and active
organs lose sympathy with the external world. Perception and
action cease, and the waking state passes off. The excess of the
positive current slackens, as it were, the tatwic chords of the
different centers of work, and they accordingly cease to answer to
the ordinary ethereal changes of external nature. If at this point
the strength of the positive current passed beyond ordinary
limits, death would ensue, prana would cease to have any
connection with the gross body, the ordinary vehicle of the
external tatwic changes. But just at the moment the prana
passes out of the heart, the negative current sets in, and it
begins to counteract the effects of the former. As the
prana reaches the spine, the effects of the positive
current have entirely passed of, and we awake. If at this moment
the strength of the negative current passes the ordinary limit by
some cause or other, death would ensue, but just at this moment
the positive current sets in with midnight, and begins to
counteract the effect of the former. A balance of the positive and
negative currents thus keeps body and soul together.  With
excess in the strength of either current, death makes its
appearance. Thus we see that there are two kinds of death: the
positive or spinal, and the negative or cardiac. In the former the
four higher principles pass out of the body through the head, the
brahmarandhra, along the spine; in the latter they pass out
of the mouth through the lungs and the trachea. Besides these
there are generally speaking about six tatwic deaths. All these
deaths chalk out different paths for the higher principle. Of
these, however, more hereafter. At this stage, let us investigate
the changes of prana more thoroughly.

There are certain manifestations of
prana that we find equally at work in all three states. As
I have said before, some writers have divided these manifestations
into five heads. They have different centers of work in different
parts of the body, from whence they assert their dominion over
every part of the physical coil. Thus:

Positive: (1) Prana, right lung;
Negative: Prana, left lung. Prana is that
manifestation of the life coil which draws atmospheric air from
without into the system.

Positive: (2) Apana, the apparatus
that passes off feces, long intestine, etc.; Negative: 
Apana, the urinary apparatus. Apana is the
manifestation that throws, from the inside, out of the system,
things that are not wanted there.

Positive: (3) Samana, stomach;
Negative: Samana, duodenum. Samana is that
manifestation which draws in and carries the juice of food to
every part of the body.

Positive: (4) Vyana, all over the
body, appearing in varying states with different organs (on the
right side); Negative: Vyana, all over the body (on the
left side). Vyana is that manifestation which inclines the
currents of life back to the centers — the heart and the brain.
It is, therefore, this manifestation that causes death, local or

Positive: (5) Udana, at the spinal
and cardiac centers (right side), and the region of the throat;
Negative: Udana, the spinal and cardiac centers (left

If Prana recedes from any part of
the body (for some reason or other), that part loses its power of
action. This is local death. It is in this way that we become
deaf, dumb, blind, etc. It is in this way that our digestive
powers suffer, and so on. General death is similar in its
operations. With the excess of the strength of either of the two
currents, the prana remains in the susumna, and does
not pass out. The acquired power of work of the body then beings
to pass off. The farther from the centers (the heart and the
brain), the sooner they die. It is thus that the pulse first
ceases to be felt in the extremities, and then nearer and nearer
the heart, until we find it nowhere.

Again, it is this upward impulse that,
under favorable conditions, causes growth, lightness, and

Besides the organs of the body already
mentioned or indicated, the manifestation of vyana serves
to keep in form the five organs of sense, and the five organs of
action. The organs of the gross body and the powers of
prana that manifest themselves in work have both the same
names. Thus we have:

Active Organs & Powers: (1)
Vak, the coal organs and the power of speech; (2)
Pani, the hands and the manual power; (3) Pada, the
feet and the walking power; (4) Payu, anus; (5)
Upastha, the generative organs and the powers that draw
these together.

Sensuous Organs & Powers: (1)
Chaksus, eye and ocular power; (2) Twak, skin and
tangiferous power; (3) Srotra, ear and sonoriferous power;
(4) Rasama, tongue and gustatory power; (5) Cobrana,
nose and odoriferous power.

The real fact is that the different powers
are the corresponding organs of the principle of life. It will now
be instructive to trace the tatwic changes and influences of these
various manifestations of life.

Prana: During health prana
works all over the system in one class of tatwic centers at one
time. We thus see that both during the course of the positive and
negative current we have five tatwic changes. The color of
prana during the reign of the positive and negative current
is pure white; during that of the positive, reddish white. The
former is calmer and smoother than the latter.

The tatwic changes give to each of these
five new phases of color. Thus:

Positive ~ reddish white/ Negative ~ pure

(1) The vayu tatwa, blue; (2) The
agni tatwa, red; (3) The prithivi, yellow; (4) The
apas, white; (5) The akasa tatwa, dark

It is evident that there is a difference
between the positive and negative tatwic phases of color. There
are thus ten general phases of color.

The positive current (reddish white) is
hotter than the negative (the pure white). Therefore it may be
generally said that the positive current is hot, and the negative
cool. Each of these then undergoes five tatwic changes of
temperature. The agni is the hottest, the yellow next to
it; the vayu becomes cool, and the apas is the
coolest. The akasa has a state that neither cools nor
heats. This state is the most dangerous of all, and if prolonged
it causes death, disease and debility. It is evident that, if the
cooling tatwa does not set in to counteract the accumulated
effect of the latter in due time, the functions of life will be
impaired. The just color and the just temperature at which these
functions work in their vigor will be disturbed, and disease,
death and debility are nothing more than this disturbance in
various degrees. The case is similar if the heating tatwa
does not set in in due time after the cooling one.

It will be easy to understand that these
changes of tatwic colors and temperatures are not abrupt. The one
passes of easily and smoothly into the other, and the tatwic
mixtures produce innumerable colors — as many, in fact, as the
solar prana has been shown to possess. Each of these colors
tend to keep the body healthy if it remains in action just as long
as it ought, but no sooner does the duration change than disease
results. There is a possibility, therefore, of as many and more
diseases as there are colors in the sun.

If any one color is prolonged, there must
be some one or more that have given the period of their duration
to it; similarly, if one color takes less time than it ought to,
there must be some one or more that take its place. This suggests
two methods of the treatment of diseases. But before speaking of
these, it will be necessary to investigate as fully as possible
the causes that lengthen and shorten the ideal periods of the

To return at present to Prana: This
pulmonary manifestation of the principle of life is the most
important of all, because its workings furnish us with a most
faithful measure of the tatwic state of the body. It is on this
account that the name prana has been given by pre-eminence
to this manifestation.

Now, as the prana works in the
pulmonary taijas centers (i.e., the centers of the
luminiferous ether), the lungs are thrown into a triangular form
of expansion, atmospheric air runs in, and the process of
inspiration is complete. With every truti, a backwards
impulse is given to the currents of prana. The lungs are
thrown into their stationary state with this returning current,
and the excess air is expelled. The air that is thus thrown out of
the lungs bears a triangular form. To some extent, the water vapor
that this air contains furnishes us with a method of testing this
truth by experiment. If we take a smooth, shining looking glass,
put it under the nose, and breath steadily upon its cool surface,
the water vapor of the air will be condensed, and it will be seen
that this bears a particular figure. In the case of pure
agni, this figure will be a triangle. Let another person
look steadily at the looking glass because the impression passes
off rather quickly.

With the course of the other tatwas
the lungs are thrown into their respective shapes, and the looking
glass gives us the same figures. Thus, in apas we have the
semi-moon, in vayu the sphere, and in prithivi the
quadrangle. With the composition of these tatwas we may
have other figures: oblongs, squares, spheroids, and so

It may also be mentioned that the
luminiferous ether carries the materials drawn from the
atmospheric air to the centers of the luminiferous ether, and
thence to every part of the body. The other ethers also carry
these materials to their respective centers. It is not necessary
to trace the working of the other manifestations one by one. It
may, however, be said that although all the five tatwas
work in all the five manifestations, each of these manifestations
is sacred to one of these tatwas. Thus in prana the vayu
prevails, in samana the agni, in
apana the prithivi, in vyana the apas,
in udana the akasa. I may remind the reader that the
general color of prana is white, and this will show how the
apas tatwa prevails in Vyana. The darkness of
akasa is the darkness of death, etc., caused by the
manifestation of udana.

During life these ten changes are always
taking place at the intervals of about 26 minutes each. In waking,
in sleep, or in dream, these changes never cease. It is only in
the two susumnas or the akasa that these changes
become potential for a moment, because it is from these that these
tatwic manifestations show themselves on the plane of the body. If
this moment is prolonged, the forces of prana remain
potential, and in death the prana is thus in the potential
state. When those causes that tended to lengthen the period of i,
and thus cause death, are removed, this individual prana
passes out of the potential into the actual, positive, or negative
state as the case may be. It will energize matter, and will
develop it into the shape towards which its accumulated
potentialities tend.

Something may now be said about the work
of the sensuous and active organs.

It may be generally said that all work is
tatwic motion. This work is capable of being carried on during the
waking state, and not in sleep or dream. These ten organs have ten
general colors, generally thus:

Sensuous Organs: (1) Eye, agni,
red; (2) Ear, akasa, dark; (3) Nose, prithivi,
yellow; (4) Tongue (taste), apas, white; (5) Skin,
vayu, blue;

Active Organs: (1) Hand, vayu,
blue; (2) Foot, i, yellow; (3) Tongue (speech), apas,
white; (4) Anus, akasa, dark; (5) Genitals, i,

Although these are the generally prevalent
tatwas in these various centers, all the other tatwas exist
in a subordinate position. Thus in the eye we have a reddish
yellow, reddish white, reddish dark, reddish blue, and similarly
in the other organs. This division into five of each of these
colors is only general; in reality there is an almost innumerable
variation of colors in each of these.

With every act of every one of these ten
organs, the organ specially and the whole body generally assumes a
different color, the color of that particular tatwic motion which
constitutes that act.

All these changes of Prana
constitute the sum total of our worldly experience. Furnished with
this apparatus, prana begins its human pilgrimage, in
company with a mind, which is evolved only to the extent of
connecting the “I am” of the ahankara or vijnana,
the fourth principle from below, with these manifestations of
prana. Time imprints upon it all the innumerable colors of
the universe. The visual, the tangible, the gustatory, the
auditory, and the olfactory appearances in all their variety
gather into prana just as our daily experience carries many
messages at one and the same time. In the same way do the
appearances of the active organs, and the five remaining general
functions of the body, gather up in this prana to manifest
themselves in due time.

A few illustrations will render all this

Sexual Relations ~

The generative agni tatwa of the
male is positive, and that of the female is negative. The former
is hotter, harsher, and more restless than the latter; the latter
is cooler, smoother, and calmer than the former. These two
currents tend to run into each other, and a feeling of
satisfaction is the result if the two currents are allowed to take
their course; if not, a feeling of uneasiness is the result. The
genesis of these feelings will be my subject under the head of the
manomaya kosha (mental principle). Here I shall only speak
of the coloration of prana by the action or inaction of
this organ. The positive agni tends to run into the
negative, and vice versa. If it is not allowed to do so, the
repeated impulses of this tatwa turn upon themselves, the
center gains strength, and every day the whole prana is
colored deeper and deeper red. The centers of the agni
all over the body become stronger in their action, while
all the others contract a general tinge of the red. The eyes and
the stomach become stronger. This, however, is the case only
within certain limits and under certain circumstances. If the
agni gains too much strength, all the other centers of the
remaining tatwas become vitiated in their action by an
over-coloration of agni, and disease and debility result.
If, however, man indulges in this luxury more often than he
should, and in more than one place, the male prana gets
colored by the female agni, and vice versa. This tends to
weaken all the centers of this tatwa, and gives a feminine
color to the whole prana. The stomach becomes cooled down,
the eyes grow weak, and virile manly power departs. If, however,
more than one individual female agni takes possession of
the male prana, and vice versa, the general antagonistic
tatwa becomes deeper and stronger. The whole prana
is vitiated to a greater extent, greater debility is the result,
and spermatorrhea, impotence, and other such antagonistic colors
take possession of the prana. Besides, the separate
individualities of the male or female agni that has taken
possession of any one prana will tend to repel each

Walking ~

Suppose now that a man is given to
walking. The prithivi tatwa of the feet gains strength, and
the yellow color pervades the whole prana. The centers of
the prithivi all over the body begin to work more briskly;
agni receives a mild and wholesome addition to its power,
the whole system tends towards healthy equilibrium, neither too
hot, nor too cold, and a general feeling of satisfaction
accompanied with vigor, playfulness, and a relish of enjoyment is
the result.

Speech ~

Let me take one more illustration from the
operation of Vak (speech), and I shall be done with the
organs of action. The power (Sakti) of speech (Vak,
) is one of the most important goddesses of the Hindu
pantheon. The apas tatwa is the chief ingredient of
prana that goes towards the formation of this organ.
Therefore the color of the goddess is said to be white. The vocal
chord with the larynx in front form the vina (musical
instrument) of the goddess.

In the above figure of the vocal
apparatus, AB is the thyroid, a broad cartilage forming the
projection of the throat, and much more prominent in men than in
women. Below this is the annular cartilage C, the crecoid. Behind
this, or we may say on this, are stretched the chord a and

Atmospheric air passing over these chords
in the act of breathing sets these chords in vibration, and sound
is the result. Ordinarily these chords are too loose to give any
sound. The apas tatwa, the milk-white goddess of speech,
performs the all-important function of making these chords tense.
As the semi-lunar current of the apas tatwa passes along the
muscles of these chords, they are as it were shriveled up and
curves are formed in the chords; they become tighter.

The depth of these curves depends upon the
strength of the apas current. The deeper these curves, the
tenser are the chords. The thyroid serves to vary the intensity of
the voice thus produced. The thyroid serves to vary the intensity
of the voice thus produced. This will do here, and it is enough to
show that the real motive power in the production of voice is the
apas tatwa or Prana. As will be easily understood,
there are certain ethereal conditions of the external world that
excite the centers of the apas tatwa; the current passes
along the vocal chords, they are made tense, and sound is
produced. But the excitement of these centers also comes from the
soul through the mind. The use of this sound in the course of
evolution as the vehicle of thought is the marriage of
Brahma (the Vijana mayakosha, the soul) with
Saraswati, the power of speech as located in

The apas tatwa of the vocal
apparatus, although it is the chief motive power in the production
of sound, is modified according to the circumstance by the
composition of the other tatwas in various degrees. As far as
human ken reaches, about 49 of these variations have been recorded
under the name of swara. First, there are seven general
notes. These may be positive and negative (tivra and
komala), and then each of these may have three
subdivisions. These notes are then composed into eight
raga, and each raga has several ragini. The
simple ragini may then be compounded into others, and each
ragini may have a good many arrangements of notes. The
variations of sound thus become almost innumerable. All these
variations are caused by the varying tensions of the vocal chords,
the Vina of Saraswati, and the tensions vary by the
varying strength of the apas current, caused by the
superposition of the other tatwas.

Each variation of sound has a color of its
own that affects the whole prana in its own way; the tatwic
effect of all these sounds is noted in books of music. Various
diseases may be cured, and good or bad tendencies imprinted on the
prana by the power of sound. Saraswati is an
all-powerful goddess, and controls our prana for good or
evil as the case may be. If a song or note is colored by the
agni tatwa, the sound colors the prana red, and
similarly the vayu, the apas, the akasa, and
the prithivi, blue, white, dark, and yellow. The red
colored song causes heat; it may cause anger, sleep, digestion,
and redness of color. The akasa colored song causes fear,
forgetfulness, etc. Songs may similarly give our prana the
color of love, enmity, adoration, morality, or immorality, as the
case may be.

Let us turn to another key. If the words
we utter bear the color of the agni tatwa — anger, love,
lust — our prana is colored red, and this redness turns
upon ourselves. It may burn up our substance, and we may look lean
and lank and have 10,000 other diseases. Terrible retribution of
angry words! If our words are full of divine love and adoration,
kindness and morality, words that give pleasure and satisfaction
to whoever hears them — the colors of the prithivi and the
apas — we become loving and beloved, adoring and adored,
kind and moral, pleasing and pleased, satisfying and ever
satisfied. The discipline of speech itself — the satya of
Patanjali — is thus one of the highest practices of

Sensuous impressions color the prana in a
similar way. If we are given to too much of sight-seeing, to the
hearing of pleasant sounds, to the smelling of dainty smells,
etc., the colors of these tatwas will be overly
strengthened, and will gain a mastery over our prana. If we
are too fond of seeing beautiful women, hearing the music of their
voices, heaven help us, for the least and most general effect will
be that our pranas will receive the feminine coloration. If
it were only for the love of women, man should avoid this
over-indulgence, for feminine qualities in men do not obtain favor
in the eyes of women.

These illustrations are sufficient to
explain how the tatwic colors of external nature gather up in
prana. It may be necessary to say that no new colors enter
into the formation of prana. All the colors of the universe
are present there already, just as they are in the sun, the
prototype of prana. The coloration I have spoken of is only
the strengthening of this particular color to an extent that
throws the others in shade. It is this disturbance of balance that
in the first place causes the variety of human prana, and
in the second those innumerable diseases to which flesh is

From this point it is evident that every
action of man gives his prana a separate color, and the
color affects the gross body in turn. But when, at what time, does
the particular tatwic color affect the body? Ordinarily it is
under similar tatwic conditions of the external universe. This
means that if the agni tatwa has gained strength in any
prana at any one particular division of time, the strength
will show itself when that particular division of time recurs
again. Before attempting a solution of this problem, it is
necessary to understand the following truths:

The sun is the chief life-giver of every
organism in the system. The moment that a new organism has come
into existence, the sun changes his capacity in relation to that
organism. He now becomes the sustainer of positive life in that
organism. Along with this the moon begins to influence the
organism in her own way. She becomes the sustainer of negative
life. The planets each establish their own currents in the
organism. For the sake of simplicity, I have as yet spoken only of
the sun and moon, the respective lords of the positive and
negative currents of the right and left halves of the body, of the
brain and the heart, of the nerves and the blood vessels. These
are the two chief sources of life, but it must be remembered that
the planets exercise a modifying influence over these currents.
The real tatwic condition of any moment is determined by all the
seven planets, just like the sun and the moon. Each planet, after
determining the general tatwic condition of the moment, goes to
introduce changes in the organism born at that moment. These
changes correspond with the manifestation of that color of
prana that rose at that time. Thus, suppose the red color
has entered prana when the moon is in the second degree of
the sign of Libra. If there is no disturbing influence of any
other luminary, the red color will manifest itself whenever the
moon is in the same position; in the other case, when the
disturbing influence is removed. It may show itself in a month, or
it may be postponed for ages. It is very difficult to determine
the time when an act will have its effect. It depends a good deal
upon the strength of the impression. The strength of the
impression may be divided into ten degrees, although some writers
have gone further.

(1) Momentary: This degree of strength has
its effect then and there;

(2) 30 degrees strength: In this case the
effect will show itself when each planet is in the same sign as at
the time of the impression;

(3) 15 degrees strength: Hora; (4)
10 degrees strength: Dreskana; (5) 200 degrees strength:
; (6) 150 degrees strength: Dwadasansa; (7) 60
or 1 degree strength: Trinsansa; (8) 1″ strength:
Kala; (9) 1’’’ strength: Vipala;
(10) 1’’’’ strength:

Suppose in any prana, on account of
any action, the agni tatwa obtains the strongest possible
prevalence consistent with the preservation of the body, the
tatwa will begin to have its effect then and there until it
has exhausted itself to a certain extent. It will then become
latent and show itself when at any time the same planets sit in
the same mansions. Examples will illustrate better. Suppose the
following advancement of the planets at any moment denotes the
tatwic condition when any given color has entered the

The 3rd of April, Tuesday ~
Planet       Sign   
Degree    Minute    Second
Mercury   10     
42          27
35          17

It is at this time, we suppose, that the
act above referred to is committed. The present effect will pass
off with the two hours’ lunar current that may be passing at
that time. Then it will become latent, and remain so till the time
when these planets are in the same position again. As has been
seen, these positions might be nine or more in number.

As soon as the exact time passes of when a
color has obtained predominance in prana, the effect thereof on
the gross body becomes latent. It shows itself again in a general
way when the stars sit in the same mansions. Some of the strength
is worn off at this time, and the force becomes latent to show
itself in greater minuteness when at any time the half-mansions
coincide, and so on with the remaining parts noticed above. There
may be any number of times when there is only an approach to
coincidence, and then the effect will tend to show itself, though
at that time it will remain only a tendency.

These observation, although necessarily
very meager, tend to show that the impression produced upon
prana by any act, however insignificant, really takes ages
to pass off, when the stars coincide in position to a degree with
that when the act was committed. Therefore, a knowledge of
astronomy is highly essential in occult Vedic religion. The
following observation may, however, render the above a little more

As often remarked, the prana
is an exact picture of the Terrestrial Prana.
The periodical currents of the finer forces of nature that are in
the earth pass according to the same laws in the principle of
life; just like the Zodiac, the prana mayakosha is
subdivided into mansions, etc. The northern and southern
inclinations of the axis give us a heart and a brain. Each of
these has 12 ramifications branching off from it; these are the 12
signs of the Zodiac. The daily rotation than gives us the 31
chakras spoken of previously. There is the positive semi-mansion
and the negative semi-mansion. Then we have the one-third, the
one-ninth, the one-twelfth, and so on to a degree, or the
divisions and subdivisions thereof. Each chakra, both
diurnal and annual, is in fact a circle of 360 degrees, just like
the great circles of the heavenly spheres. Through the
chakra a course of seven descriptions of life-currents is

(1) Solar, (2) lunar, (3) Mars,
agni, (4) Mercury, prithivi, (5) Jupiter,
vayu, (6) Venus, apas, (7) Saturn,

It is quite possible that along the same
chakra there may be passing all or any one or more of these
differing currents at one and the same time. The reader is
reminded of the telegraph currents of modern electricity. It is
evident that the real state of prana is determined by the
position of these localized currents. Now if any one or more of
these tatwic currents is strengthened by any act of ours, under
any position of the currents, it is only when we have to a degree
the same position of the currents that the tatwic current will
makes it appearance at full strength. There may also be
appearances of slight power at various times, but the full
strength will never be exhausted until we have the same position
of these currents to the minutest division of a degree. This takes
ages upon ages, and it is quite impossible that the effect should
pass off in the present life. Hence rises the necessity of a
second life upon this earth.

The accumulated tatwic effects of a life’s
work give each life a general tinge of its own. This tinge wears
off gradually as the component colors pass off or weaken in
strength, one by one. When each of the component colors is one by
one sufficiently worn off, the general color of a life passes off.
The gross body that was given birth to by this particular color
ceases to respond to the now generally different colored
prana. The prana does not pass out of the
susumna. Death is the result.

Death ~

As already said, the two ordinary forms of
death are the positive through the brain, and the negative through
the heart. This is death through the susumna. In this all
the tatwas are potential. Death may also take place through the
other nadis. In this case there must always be the prevalence of
one or more tatwas.

The prana goes towards different
regions after death, according to the paths through which it
passes out of the body. Thus:

(1) The negative susumna takes it
to the moon; (2) the positive susumna takes it to the sun;
(3) the agni of the other nadi takes it to the hill
known as Raurava (fire); (4) the apas of the other
nadi takes it to the hill known as Ambarisha, and so
on, the akasa, the vayu, and the prithivi
take it to Andhatanusra, Kalasutra, and Maha
(See Yoga Sutra, pada 111, Aphorism 26,

The negative path is the most general one
that the prana takes. This path takes it to the moon (the
chandraloka) because the moon is the lord of the negative
system, and the negative currents, and the negative susumna
the heart, which therefore is a continuation of the lunar
prana. The prana that has the general negative color
cannot move but along this path, and it is transferred naturally
to the reservoirs, the centers of the negative prana. Those
men in whom the two hours’ lunar current is passing more or
less regularly take this path.

The prana that has lost the
intensity of its terrestrial color energizes lunar matter
according to its own strength, and thus establishes for itself
there a sort of passive life. Here the mind is in a state of
dream. The tatwic impressions of gathered up forces pass before it
in the same way as they pass before it in our earthly dreams. The
only difference is that in that state there is not the
superimposed force of indigestion to render the tatwic impressions
so strong and sudden as to be terrible. That dreamy state is
characterized by extreme calmness. Whatever our mind has in it of
the interesting experiences of this world, whatever we have
thought, heard, seen or enjoyed, the sense of satisfaction and
enjoyment, the bliss and playfulness of the apas and the
prithivi tatwa, the languid sense of love of the
agni, the agreeable forgetfulness of the akasa, all
make their appearance one after the other in perfect calm. The
painful impressions make no appearance, because the painful arises
when any impression forces itself upon the mind that is out of
harmony with its surroundings. In this state the mind lives in
Chandraloka, as will be better understood when I come to
speak of the tatwic causes of dreams.

Ages roll on in this state, when the mind
has, according to the same general laws that obtain for
prana, worn out the impressions of a former life. The
intense tatwic colors that the ceaseless activity of prana
had called into existence now fade away, until at last the mind
comes upon a chronic level with the prana. Both of them
have now lost the tinge of a former life. It may be said of
prana that it has a new appearance, and of the mind that it
has a new consciousness. When they are both in this state, both
very weak, the accumulated tatwic effects of prana begin to
show themselves with the return of the stars to the same
positions. These draw us back from the lunar to the terrestrial
prana. At this stage, the mind has no individuality worth
taking account of, so that it is drawn by prana to wherever
its affinities carry it. It comes and joins with those solar rays
that bear a similar color, with all those mighty potentialities
that show themselves in the future man remaining quite latent. It
passes with the rays of the sun according to the ordinary laws of
vegetation into grain that bears similar colors. Each grain has a
separate individuality, which accounts for its separate
individuality from others of its brothers, and in many there may
be human potentialities giving it an individuality of its own. The
grain or grains produce the virile semen, which assumes the shape
of human beings in the wombs of women. This is rebirth.

Similarly do human individualities come
back from the five states that are known as hells. These are the
states of posthumous existence fixed for those men who enjoy to an
excessive and violent degree the various impressions of each of
the tatwas. As the tatwic intensity, which disturbs the balance
and therefore causes pain, wears off in time, the individual
prana passes off to the lunar sphere, and thence undergoes
the same states that have been described above.

Along the positive path through the
brahmarandhra pass those prana that pass beyond the
general effects of Time, and therefore do not return to the earth
under ordinary laws. It is Time that brings back prana from
the moon, when he is even the most general, and the least strong
tatwic condition comes into play with the return of identical
astral positions; but the sun being the keeper of Time himself,
and the strongest factor in the determination of his tatwic
condition, it would be impossible for solar Time to affect solar
prana. Therefore, only that prana travels towards
the sun in which there is almost no preponderance of any tatwic
color. This is the state of the prana of Yogin
alone. By the constant practice of the eight branches of
Yoga, the prana is purified of any very strongly
personifying colors, and since it is evident that on such a
prana Time can have no effect, under ordinary
circumstances, they pass off to the sun. These prana have
no distinct personifying colors; all of them that go to the sun
have almost the same general tinge. But their minds are different.
They can be distinguished from each other according to the
particular branch of science that they have cultivated, or
according to the particular and varying methods of mental
improvement that they have followed on earth. In this state the
mind is not dependent, as in the moon, upon the impressions of
prana. Constant practice of Yoga has rendered it an
independent worker, depending only upon the soul, and molding the
prana to its own shapes, and giving it its own colors. This
is a kind of Moksha.

Although the sun is the most potent lord
of life, and the tatwic condition of prana now has no
effect upon the prana that has passed to the sun, the planetary
currents still have some slight effect upon it, and there are
times when this effect is very strong, so that the earthly
conditions in which they have previously lived are called back
again to their minds. A desire to do the same sort of good they
did the world in their previous life takes possession of them, and
impelled by this desire they sometimes come back to earth.
Snakaracharya has noticed in his commentary of the
Brahmasutra that Apantaramah, a Vedic rishi, thus
appeared on earth as Krishna-dwaipayana, about the end of the
Dwapara and the beginning of the

Prana (III) ~

As it is desirable that as much as
possible should be known about Prana, I give below some
quotations on the subject from the Prasnopnishat. They will
give additional interest to the subject, and present it in a more
comprehensive and far more attractive garb.

Six things are to be known about
Prana, says the Upanishad:

“He who knows the birth (1), the coming in
(2), the places of manifestation (3), the rule (4), the
macrocosmic appearance (5), and the microcosmic appearance of
Prana becomes immortal by that knowledge.”

Practical knowledge of the laws of life,
i.e., to live up to them, must naturally end in the passing of the
soul out of the shadowy side of life into the original light of
the Sun. This means immortality, that is, passing beyond the power
of terrestrial death.

But to go on with what the
Upanishad has to say about the six things to be known about

The Birth of Prana

The Prana is born from the
Atma; it is caused in the atma, like the shadow in
the body.

The human body, or any other organism,
becomes the cause of throwing a shade in the ocean of
prana, as it comes between the sun and the portion of space
on the other side of the organism. Similarly, the prana is
thrown as a shade in the macrocosmic soul (Iswara) because
the macrocosmic mind (manu) intervenes. Briefly the
prana is the shade of Manu caused by the light of
the Logos, the macrocosmic center. The suns are given birth to in
this shade, by the impression of the macrocosmic mental ideas into
this shade. These suns, the centers of Prana, become in
their turn the positive starting point of further development. The
manus throwing their shade by the intervention of the suns, give
birth in those shades to planets, etc. The suns throwing their
shades by the intervention of planets, give birth to moons. Then
these different centers begin to act upon the planets, and the sun
descends on the planets in the shape of various organisms, man

The Macrocosmic Appearance

This prana is found in the
macrocosm as the ocean of life with the sun for its center. It
assumes two phases of existence: (1) the prana, the solar,
positive life-matter, and (2) the rayi, the lunar, negative
life-matter. The former is the northern phase and the eastern; the
latter is the southern phase and the western. In every Moment of
Terrestrial life, we have thus the northern and southern centers
of prana, the centers from which the southern and northern
phases of life-matter take their start at any moment. The eastern
and western halves are there too.

At every moment of time — i.e., in every
truti — there are millions of truti — perfect
organisms — in space. This might require some explanation. The
units of time and space are the same: a truti.

Take any one truti of time. It is
well known that every moment of time the tatwic rays of
prana go in every direction from every point to every other
point. Hence it is clear enough that every truti of space
is a perfect picture of the whole apparatus of prana, with
all its centers and sides, and positive and negative relations. To
express a good deal in a few words, every truti of space is
a perfect organism. In the ocean of Prana that surrounds
the sun there are innumerable such truti.

While essentially the same, it is easy to
understand that the following items will make a difference in the
general color, appearance, and forms of these trutis: (1) distance
from the solar center; (2) inclination from the solar

Take the earth for illustration. That zone
of solar life, taking into consideration both the distance and the
inclination in which the earth moves, gives birth to earth-life.
This zone of earth-life is known as the ecliptic. Now every
truti of space in this ecliptic is a separate individual
organism. As the earth moves in her annual course, i.e., as the
truti of time changes, these permanent truti of
space change the phases of their life. But their permanency is
never impaired. They retain their individuality all the

All the planetary influences reach these
trutis always, wherever the planets may be in their journey. The
changing distance and inclination is, of course, always causing a
change of life-phase.

This truti of space, from its
permanent position in the ecliptic, while maintaining its
connection with all the planets, at the same time sends its tatwic
rays to every other quarter of space. They also come to the

It is a condition of earth life that the
positive and negative currents, the prana and the
rayi, be equally balanced. Therefore, when the two phases
of life matter are equally strong in this ecliptical truti,
the tatwic rays that come from it to the earth energize gross
matter there. The moment that the balance is disturbed by the
tatwic influence of the planets, or by some other cause,
terrestrial death ensues. This simply means that the tatwic rays
of the truti that fall on earth cease to energize gross
matter, although they do fall there all the same, and although the
truti is there all the same in its permanent ecliptical
abode. In this posthumous state, the human truti will
energize gross matter in that quarter of space whose laws of
relative, negative and positive predominance coincide with that
state. Thus, when the negative life matter, the rayi,
becomes overly strong, the energization of the truti is
transferred from the earth to the moon. Similarly it may pass to
other spheres. When the terrestrial balance is restored again,
when this posthumous life has been lived, the energization is
transferred to the earth again.

Such is the macrocosmic appearance of
Prana, with the pictures of all the organisms of the

The Coming In Of Prana

How does this prana maya kosha
this truti of the macrocosm — come into this body?
Briefly, “By actions at whose root lies the mind”, says the
Upanishad. It was explained previously how every action
changes the nature of the prana maya kosha, and it will be
explained in the essay on the “Cosmic Picture Gallery” how these
changes are represented in the cosmical counterpart of our
life-principle. It is evident that by these actions change is
produced in the general relative nature of the prana and
the rayi, which has been spoken of previously. It is hardly
necessary to say that the mind — the human free will — lies at
the root of those actions that disturb the tatwic balance of the
life-principle. Hence, “The prana comes into this body by
actions, at whose root lies the mind.”

The Places of Manifestation

“As the paramount Power appoints its
servants, telling, ‘Rule such and such villages’, so
does the Prana. It puts its different manifestations in
different places. The apana (this discharges faces and
urine) is in the Payu (anus) and the upastha. The
manifestations known as sight and hearing (Chakahus and
Srotra) are in the eye and ear. The prana remains
itself, going out of mouth and nose. Between (the places of
prana and apana, about the navel) lives the
Samana. It is this that carries equally (all over the body)
the food (and drink) that is thrown in the fire. Hence are those
seven lights (by means of prana, light of knowledge is
thrown over color, form, sound, etc.)

“In the heart is of course this
atma (the pranamaya kosha) and in it, of course, the
other coils. Here there are a hundred and one nadi. Of
these there are a hundred in each. In each of these branch nadis
there are 72,000 other nadi. In these moves the

“By one (the Susumna) going upward,
the udana carries to good worlds by means of goodness, and to bad
ones by means of evil; by both to the world of men.

“The sun is, of course, the macrocosmic
prana; he rises, and thereby helps the eyesight. The Power
that is in the earth keeps up the power of apana. The
akasa (the ethereal matter) that is between heaven and
earth, helps the samana.

“The ethereal life-matter (independent of
its being between heaven and earth) which fills macrocosmic space,
is vyana.

“The taijas — the luminiferous
ether — is udana; hence he whose natural fire is cooled
down approaches death.

“Then the man goes toward the second
birth; the organs and senses go into the mind; the mind of the man
comes to the Prana (its manifestations now ceasing). The
prana is combined with the taijas; going with the
soul, it carries her to the spheres that are in view.”

The different manifestations of
Prana in the body, and the places where they manifest
themselves have been dwelt upon. But other statements of interest
appear in this extract. It is said that this atma, this
prana maya kosha, with the other coils of course, is
located in the heart. The heart, as has been seen, represents the
negative side of life, the rayi. When the positive prana
impresses itself upon the rayi — the heart and the nadis
that flow from it — the forms of life and the actions of man come
into existence. It is therefore, properly speaking, the reflection
in the heart that works in the world, i.e., is the proper lord of
the sensuous and active organs of life. If this being of the heart
learns not to live here, the sensuous and active organs both lose
their life; the connection with the world ceases. The being of the
brain that has no immediate connection with the world, except
through the heart, now remains in unrestrained purity. This means
to say that the soul goes to the suryaloka (the

The next point of interest is the
description of the functions of the External Prana, which
lie at the root of, and help the working of the individualized
prana. It is said that the Sun is the Prana. This is
evident enough, and has been mentioned man times before this. Here
it is meant to say that the most important function of life,
inspiration and expiration, the function of which, according to
the Science of Breath, is the One Law of existence in the Universe
on all the planes of life, is brought into existence and kept in
activity by the sun in himself. It is the solar breath that
constitutes his existence, and this reflected in man producing
matter gives birth to human breath.

The Sun then appears in another phase. He
rises, and as he does, he supports the eyes in their natural

Similarly, the power that is in the earth
sustains the apana manifestation of prana. It is the
power that draws everything towards the earth, says the
commentator. In modern language, it is gravity.

Something more might be said here about
the udana manifestation of prana. As everybody
knows, there is a phase of microcosmic prana that carries
everything, names, forms, sight, sounds, and all other sensations,
from one place to another. This is otherwise known as the
universal agni, or the Tejas of the text. The
localized manifestation of Prana is called udana,
that which carries the life-principle from one place to another.
The particular destination is determined by past actions, and this
universal agni carries the prana, with the soul, to
different worlds.

Prana (IV) ~

This Prana is then a mighty being,
and if its localized manifestations were to work in unison, and
with temperance, doing their own duty, but not usurping the time
and place of others, there would be but little evil in the

But each of these manifestations asserts
its sole power over the bewildered human soul. Each of these
claims the whole life of man to be its own proper

“The akasa, the vayu, the
agni, the prithivi, the apas, speech, sight
and hearing — all of them say clearly that they are the sole
monarchs of the human body.”

The principal prana, he whose
manifestations all these are, tells them:

“Be not forgetful; it is I who sustain the
human body, dividing myself into five.”

If the five manifestations of Prana
with all their minor subdivisions revolt against him, if each
begin to assert its own lordship and cease to work for the general
benefit of the lord paramount, the real life, misery makes its sad
appearance to harass the poor human soul. “But the manifestation
of prana, blinded by ignorance,” would not “put forth” in
the admonitions of their lord. “He leaves the body, and as he
leaves, all the other minor pranas leave it too; they stay there
as he stays.” Then their eyes are opened. “As the bees follow the
queen bee in every posture, so does prana; these, speech,
the mind, the eye, the ear, follow him with devotion, and thus
praise him.”

“He is the agni, the cause of heat;
he is the sun (the giver of light); he is the cloud, he is the
Indra, he is the Vayu, he is the prithivi, he
is the rayi, and the deva, the sat, and the
asat, and he is the immortal.

[Rayi and asat are the
negative, deva and sat the positive phases of

“Like the spokes in the nave of a wheel,
everything is sustained in prana: the hymns of the
Rik, the Yajur, and the Sama Veda, the
sacrifice, the Kshatriya, and the Brahmin,

“Thou art the Progenitor; thou movest in
the womb; thou art born in the shape of the father or the mother;
to thee, O Prana, that puts up in the body with thy
manifestations, these creatures offer presents.

“Thou art the carrier of offerings to the
deva, thou art the carrier of oblations to the fathers;
thou art the action and the power of the senses and other
manifestations of life.

“Thou art, O Prana, in power the
great lord, the Rudra [the destroyer] and the
Preserver; thou movest in the sky as the sun, thou art the
preserver of the light of heaven.

“When thou rainest, these creatures are
full of joy because they hope to have plenty of food.

“Thou art Prana, pure by nature;
thou art the consumer of all oblations, as the Ekarshi fire
[of the Atharva; thou art the preserver of all
existence; we are to thee the offerers of food; thou art our
father as the Recorder [or, the Life-giver of the

“Make healthy that appearance of thine
which is located in the speech, the ear, the eye, and that which
is stretched towards the mind; do not fly away.

“Whatever exists in the three heavens, all
of it is in the power of prana. Protect us like a mother
her offspring; give us wealth and intellect.”

With this I conclude my description of
Prana, the second principle of the Universe, and the human
body. The epithets bestowed upon this mighty being in the above
extract will be easy of understanding in the light of all that has
gone before. It is now time to trace the working of the universal
Tatwic Law of Breath on the next higher pane of life, the mind

The Mind (I) ~


No theory of the life of the Universe is
at once so simple and so grand as the theory of breath
(Swara). It is the one universal motion, which makes its
appearance in maya by virtue of the unseen substratum of
the Cosmos, the parabrahma of the Vedantins. The most
appropriate expression for Swara in English is the “current
of life”. The Indian Science of Breath investigates and formulates
the laws, or rather the one Universal Law, according to which this
current of life, this motive power of Universal Intelligence,
running (as Emerson so beautifully puts it) along the wire of
thought, governs evolution and involution and all the phenomena of
human life, physiological, mental and spiritual. In the whole
length and breadth of this universe there is no phenomenon, great
or small, that does not find its most natural, most intelligible,
most apposite explanation in the theory of the five modes of
manifestation of this universal motion: the five elementary
tatwas. In the foregoing essays I have tried to explain
generally how every physiological phenomenon was governed by the
five tatwas. The object of the present essay is to briefly
run over the various phenomena relating to the third higher body
of man — the manomaya kosha, the mind — and note how
symmetrically and universally the tatwas bring about the
formation and work of this principle.

Knowledge ~

It is what is in general language called
knowledge that distinguishes the mind from physiological life
(prana), but it will be seen on a little consideration that
different degrees of knowledge might very well be taken as the
distinguishing characteristics of the five states of matter, which
in man we call the five principles. For what is knowledge but a
kind of tatwic motion of breath, elevated into self-consciousness
by the presence, in a greater or lesser degree, of the element of
ahankara (egoism)? His is no doubt the view taken of
knowledge by the Vedantic philosopher when he speaks of
intelligence as being the motive power, the first cause of the
universe. The word swara is only a synonym of intelligence,
the one manifestation of the One descending into

“I see something” means, according to our
view of knowledge, that my manomaya kosha has been put into
visual vibration. “I hear” means that my mind is in a state of
auditory vibration.”I feel” means that my mind is in a state of
tangible vibration. And so on with the other senses. “I love”
means that my mind is in a state of amatory vibration (a form of

The first state, that of the
anandamaya, is the state of the highest knowledge. There is
then but one center, the substratum for the whole infinity of
parabrahma, and the ethereal vibrations of his breath are
one throughout the whole expanse of infinity. There is but one
intelligence, but one knowledge. The whole universe with all its
potentialities and actualities is a part of that knowledge. This
is the highest state of bliss. There is no consciousness of self
here, for the I has only a relative existence, and there must be a
Thou or a He before there can be an I.

The ego takes form when, in the second
plane of existence, more than one minor center comes into
existence. It is for this reason that the name ahankara has
been given to this state of matter. The ethereal impulses of those
centers are confined to their own particular domain in space, and
they differ in each center. They can, however, affect each other
in just the same way as the individualized ethereal impulses of
one man are affected by those of others. The tatwic motion of one
center of Brahma is carried along the same universal lines
to the other. Two differing motions are thus found in one center.
The stronger impulse is called the I, the weaker the Thou or the
He as the case may be.

Then comes manas. Viraj is
the center, and manu the atmosphere of this state. These
centers are beyond the ken of ordinary humanity, but they work
under laws similar to those ruling the rest of the cosmos. The
suns move the virats in the same way as the planets move
around the sun.

The Functions of the Mind

The composition of the manu is
similar to that of prana: it is composed of a still finer
grade of the five tatwas, and this increased fineness
endows the tatwas with different functions.

The five functions of prana have
been given. The following are the five functions of manas,
as given by Patanjali and accepted by Vyasa:

(1) Means of knowledge (Pramana),
(2) False knowledge (Viparyaya), (3) Complex imagination
(Vikalpa), (4) Sleep (Nidra), (5) Memory

All the manifestation of the mind fall
under one or another of these five heads. Thus, Pramana

(1) Perception (pratyaksha), (2)
Inference (anumana), (3) Authority

Viparyana includes:

(1) Ignorance (avidya, tamas), (2)
Egoism (asinita, moha), (3) Retention (raja,
), (4) Repulsion (tamisra, dwesha), (5)
Tenacity of life (abhinwesha, andhatamisra).

The remaining three have no definite
subdivisions. Now I shall show that all the modifications of
thought are forms of tatwic motion on the mental plane.

Pramana (Means of Knowledge)

The word pramana (means of
knowledge) is derived from two roots, the predicative ma,
and the derivative root ana, with the prefix pra.
The original idea of the root ma is “to go”, “to move”, and
hence “to measure”. The Prefix pra gives the root idea of
fullness, connected as it is with the root pri, to fill.
That which moves exactly up or down to the same height with any
other thing is the pramana of that thing. In becoming the
pramana of any other thing, the first thing assumes certain
qualities that it did not have before. This is always brought
about by a change of state caused by a certain kind of motion, for
it is always motion that causes change of state. In fact, this is
also the exact meaning of the word pramana, as applied to a
particular manifestation of the mind.

Pramana is a particular tatwic
motion of the mental body; its effect is to put the mental body
into a state similar to that of something else. The mind can
undergo as many changes as the external tatwas are capable of
imprinting upon it, and these changes have been classified into
three general heads by Patanjali.

Pratyaksha (Perception)

This is that change of state which the
operations of the five sensuous organs produce in the mind. The
word is a compound of “I”, each, and “aksha“, sensuous
power, organ of sense. Hence is that sympathetic tatwic vibration
that an organ of sense in contact with its object produces in the
mind. These changes can be classified under five heads, according
to the number of the senses.

The eye gives birth to the taijas
vibrations, the tongue, the skin, the ear, and the nose
respectively to the apas, the vayu, the akasa
and the prithivi vibrations. The pure agni causes
the perception of red, the taijas-prithivi of yellow, the
taijas-apas of white, the taijas-vayu of blue, and
so on. Other colors are produced in the mind by mixed vibrations
in a thousand varying degrees. The apas gives softness, the
vayu roughness, the agni harshness. We see through
the eyes not only color, but also form. It will be remembered that
a particular form has been assigned to every tatwic vibration, and
all the forms of gross matter answer to corresponding tatwic
vibrations. Thus, form can be perceived through every sense. The
eyes can see form, the tongue can taste it, the skin can touch it,
and so on. This may probably appear to be a novel assertion, but
it must be remembered that virtue is not an act. The ear would
hear form, if the more general use of the eye and skin for this
purpose had not almost stifled it into inaction.

The pure apas vibrations cause an
astringent taste, the apas-prithivi a sweet, the
apas-agni hot, the apas-vayu acid, and so on.
Innumerable other vibrations of taste are caused by intermediate
vibrations in various degrees.

The case is similar with the vocal and
other changes of vibration. It is clear that our perceptive
knowledge is nothing more than a veritable tatwic motion of the
mental body, caused by the sympathetic communications of the
vibrations of prana, just as a stringed instrument of a
certain tension begins to vibrate spontaneously when vibration is
set up in another similar instrument.

Anumana (Inference)

The word anumana has the same roots
as the word pramana. The only difference is in the prefix.
We have here anu, “after”, instead of pra. Inference
(anumana) is therefore after-motion. When the mind is capable of
sustaining two vibrations at one and the same time, then if any
one of these vibrations is set up and perceived, the second
vibration must also manifest itself. Thus, suppose a man pinches
me. The complex vibrations that make up the perception of the
action of man pinching me are produced in my mind. I recognize the
phenomena. Almost simultaneously with these vibrations another set
of vibrations is produced in me. I call this pain. Now here are
two kinds of tatwic motion, one coming after the other. If at any
other time I feel similar pain, the image of the man pinching will
be recalled to my consciousness. This after-motion is “inference”.
Induction and deduction are both modifications of this
after-motion. The sun always appears to rise in a certain
direction. The concept of that direction becomes forever
associated in my mind with the rising of the sun. Whenever I think
of the phenomenon of sunrise, the concept of that direction
presents itself. Therefore I say that, as a rule, the sun rises in
that direction. Inference is therefore nothing more than a tatwic
motion coming after another related one.

Agama (Authority)

The third modification of what is called
the means of knowledge (pramana) is authority
(agama). What is this? I read in my geography, or hear from
the lips of my teacher that Britain is surrounded by the ocean.
Now what has connected these words in my mind with the picture of
Britain, the ocean, and their mutual relations? Certainly it is
not perception, and therefore not inference, which must by nature
work through sensuous knowledge. What then? There must be some
third modification.

The fact that words possess the power to
raise a certain picture in our minds is one of very deep interest.
Every Indian philosopher recognizes it as a third modification of
the mind, but it receives no recognition at the hands of modern
European philosophy.

There is, however, little doubt that the
color corresponding to this mental modification differs from that
corresponding to either perception or inference. The color
belonging the perceptive modifications of the mind is always
single in nature. A certain phase of the taijas vibration
must always prevail in the visual modification, and similarly the
vibrations of other tatwas correspond to our different sensuous
modifications. Each manifestation has its own distinctive color.
The red will appear as well in the visual as in the auditory or
any other vibration, but the red of the visual will be bright and
pure; that of the organ of smell will be tinged with yellow; that
of the organ of touch with blue, and the soniferous ether will be
rather dark. There is, therefore, not the least likelihood that
the vocal vibration will coincide with the pure perceptive
vibration. The coal vibrations are double in their nature, and
they can only (if at all) coincide with the inferential
vibrations; and here, too, they can only coincide with the
auditory vibrations. A little consideration will, however, show
that there is some difference between the vocal and inferential
vibrations. In inference, a certain modification of sound in our
mind is followed by a certain visual picture, and both these
vibrations retain an equally important position in our mind. We
place two precepts together, compare them, and then say that one
follows the other. In the verbal modification there is no
comparison, no simultaneous consciousness, no placing together of
the two precepts. The one causes the other, but we are not at all
conscious of the fact. In inference the simultaneous presence for
some time of both the cause and the effect brings about a change
in the color of the effect. The difference is less great in the
vocal as compared with the inferential vibration. Axiomatic
knowledge is not inferential in the present, tough it has no doubt
been so in the past; in the present it has become native to the

Viparyaya (False Knowledge)

This is the second mental modification.
This word also is derived from a root meaning motion : i or
ay. “to go”, “to move”. The prefix pari is connected
with the root pra, and gives the same radical meaning as
pramana. The word Paryaya has the same radical
meaning as pramana. The word Viparyaya therefore means “a
motion removed from the motion that coincides with the object”.
The vibrations of pramana coincide in nature with the
vibrations of viparyaya. Certain acquired conditions of the
mind imprint on the precepts a new color of their own, and thus
distinguish them from the precepts of pramana. There are
five modifications of this manifestation.

Avidya (Ignorance)

This is the general field for the
manifestation of all the modifications of false knowledge. The
word comes from the root vid, “to know”, the prefix
a, and the suffix ya. The original meaning of the
vidya is, therefore, “the state of a thing as it is”, or
expressed in terms of the mental plane in one word, “knowledge”.
As long as in the face of a human being I see a face and nothing
else, my mental vibration is said to be vidya. But as soon
as I see a moon or something else not a face, when it is a face I
am looking at, my mental vibration is no longer said to be
vidya, but avidya. Avidya (ignorance) is
therefore not a negative conception; it is just as positive as
vidya itself. It is a great mistake to suppose that words
having the privative prefixes always imply abstractions and never
realities. This, however, is by the bye. The state of
avidya is that state in which the mental vibration is
disturbed by that of akasa, and some other tatwas,
which thus result in the production of false appearances. The
general appearance of avidya is akasa, darkness, and
this is why tamas is a synonym of this word.

This general prevalence of darkness is
caused by some defect in individual minds, because, as we find
from daily experience, a given object does not excite the same set
of vibrations in all minds. What, then is the mental defect? It is
to be found in the nature of the stored-up potential energy of the
mind. This storing-up of potential energy is a problem of the
deepest importance in philosophy, and the doctrine of
transmigration of souls finds its most intelligible explanation in
this. The law might be enunciated as follows:

The Law of Vasana

If anything be set in any particular kind
of tatwic motion, internal or external, it acquires for a second
time the capability of easily being set in motion, and of
consequently resisting a different sort of motion. If the thing is
subjected to the same motion for some time, the motion becomes a
necessary attribute of the thing. The superposed motion becomes,
so to speak, “second nature”.

Thus, if a man accustoms his body to a
particular form of exercise, certain muscles in his body are very
easily set into motion. Any other form of exercise that requires
the use of other muscles will be found fatiguing on account of the
resistance set up by muscular habits. The case is similar with the
mind. If I have a deep-rooted conviction, as some do to this day,
that the earth is flat and the sun moves around it, it may require
ages to dislodge it. A thousand examples might be cited of such
phenomena. It is, however, only necessary in this place to state
that the capacity of turning easily to one mental state and
offering resistance to another one is what I mean by this
stored-up energy. It is variously called vasana or
Sansakara in Sanskrit.

The word vasana comes from the root
vas, “to dwell”. It means the dwelling or fixing of some
form of vibratory motion in the mind. It is by vasana that
certain truths become native to the mind, and not only certain
so-called truths, but all the so-called natural tendencies, moral,
physical, spiritual, become in this way native to the mind. The
only difference in different vasana is their respective
stability. The vasana that are imprinted upon the mind as
the result of the ordinary evolutionary course of nature never
change. The products of independent human actions are of two
kinds. If actions result in tendencies that check the evolutionary
progressive tide of nature, the effect of the action exhausts
itself in time by the repellant force of the undercurrent of
evolution. If, however, the two coincide in direction, increased
strength is the result. The latter sort of actions we call
virtuous, the former vicious.

It is this vasana, this temporary
dominion of the opposite current, that causes false knowledge.
Suppose the positive generative current has in any man the
strength a, if too it is presented a negative female
current of the same degree of strength a, the two will try
to unite. An attraction that we term sexual love will then be set
up. If these two currents are not allowed to unite, they increase
in strength and react on the body itself to its injury; if allowed
to unite, they exhaust themselves. This exhaustion causes a relief
to the mind, the progressive evolutionary current asserts itself
with greater force, and thus a feeling of satisfaction is the
result. This tatwic disturbance of the mind will, as long as it
has sufficient strength, give its own color to all perceptions and
concepts. They will not appear in their true light, but as causes
of satisfaction. Thus they say that true lovers see all things
rose-colored. The appearance of a face we love to see causes a
partial running of currents into one another, and a certain amount
of satisfaction is the result. We forge that we are seeing a face:
we are only conscious of some cause resulting in a state of
satisfaction. That cause of satisfaction we call by different
names. Sometimes we call it a flower, at others we call it a moon.
Sometimes we feel that the current of life is flowing from those
dear eyes, at others we recognize nectar itself in that dear
embrace. Such are the manifestations of avidya. As
Patanjali says, avidya consists in the perception of the
eternal, the pure, the pleasing, and the spiritual instead of or
rather in the non-eternal, the impure, the painful, and the
non-spiritual. Such is the genesis of avidya, which, as has
been remarked, is a substantial rality, and not a mere negative

This mental phenomenon causes the four
remaining ones.

Asmita (Egoism) ~

Egoism (Asmita) is the conviction
that real life (purusha swara) is one with the various mental and
physiological modifications, that the higher self is one with the
lower one, that the sum of our percepts and concepts is the real
ego, and that there is nothing beyond. In the present cycle of
evolution and in the previous ones, the mind has been chiefly
occupied with these percepts and concepts. The real power of life
is never seen making any separate appearance, hence the feeling
that the ego must be the same with the mental phenomena. It is
plain that avidya, as defined above, lies at the root of
this manifestation.

Raga (Desire to Retain)

The misleading feeling of satisfaction
above mentioned under avidya is the cause of this condition. When
any object repeatedly produces in our mind this feeling of
satisfaction, our mind engenders the habit of falling again and
again into the same state of tatwic vibration. The feeling of
satisfaction and the picture of the object that seemed to cause
that satisfaction tend to appear together, and this is a hankering
after the object, a desire not to let it escape us — that is to
say, Raga.

Pleasure ~

Here may investigate more thoroughly the
nature of this feeling of satisfaction and its opposite: pleasure
and pain. The Sanskrit words for these two mental states are
respectively sukha and dukkha. Both come from the
root khan, “to dig”; the prefixes su and dus
make the difference. The former prefix conveys the idea of “ease”
and it derives this idea from the unrestrained easy flow of
breath. The radical idea of sukha is, therefore,
unrestrained digging — digging where the soil offers but little
resistance. Transferred to the mind, that act becomes
sukha, which makes an easy impression upon it. The act
must, in the nature of its vibrations, coincide with the then
prevailing conditions of the mental vibrations. Before any
percepts or concepts had taken root in the mind, there was no
desire, no pleasure. The genesis of desire and what is called
pleasure — that is, the sense of satisfaction caused by the
impressions produced by external objects — begins with certain
percepts and concepts taking root in the mind. This taking root
really is only an overclouding of the original set of impressions
arising out of evolutionary mental progress. When contact with the
external object momentarily removes that cloud from the clear
horizon of the mind, the soul is conscious of a feeling of
satisfaction that avidya connects with the external object.
This, as shown above, gives birth to desire.

Pain & Dwesha

The genesis of pain and the desire to
repel (dwesha) is similar. The radical idea of
dukkha (pain) is the act of digging where a good deal of
resistance is experienced. Transferred to the mind, it signifies
an act that encounters resistance from the mind. The mind does not
easily give place to these vibrations; it tries to repel them with
all its might. There arises a feeling of privation. It is as if
something of its nature was being taken away, and an alien
phenomenon introduced. The consciousness of privation, or want, is
pain, and the repulsive power that these alien vibrations excite
in the mind is known by the name of dwesha (desire to
repel). The word dwesha comes from the root dwesh,
which is a compound of du and ish. Ish itself
appears to be a compound root, i and s. The final
s is connected to the root su, “to breath”, “to be
in one’s natural state”. The root i means “to go”,
and the root ish, therefore, means to go toward one’s
natural state. Transferred to the mind, the word becomes a synonym
of raga. The word du in dwesh performs the
same function as dus in dukkh. Hence dwesh
comes to mean “a hankering after repulsion”. Anger, jealousy,
hatred, etc., are all modifications of this, as love, affection
and friendship are those of raga. By what has been said
above, it is easy to follow up the genesis of the principle of
“tenacity of life”. I must now try to assign these actions to
their prevailing tatwas.

The general color of avidya is, as
already said, that of akasa, darkness. Otherwise, the
agni tatwa prevails in anger. If this is accompanied by
vayu, there will be a good deal of motion in the body,
prithivi will make it stubborn, and apas easily
manageable. Akasa will give a tinge of fear.

The same tatwa prevails in love.
Prithivi makes it abiding, vayu changeable,
agni fretting, apas lukewarm, and akasa

Akasa prevails in fear; it tends to
produce a hollow in the veins themselves. In prithivi the
timid man is rooted to the spot, with vayu he runs away,
with apas he succumbs to flattery, and agni tends to
make one vengeful.

Vikalpa ~

Vikalpa is that knowledge which the
words imply or signify, but for which there is no reality on the
physical plane. The sounds of nature connected with its sight have
given us names for precepts. With the additions or subtractions of
the percepts we have also had additions and subtractions of the
sounds connected therewith. The sounds constitute our

In vikalpa two or more precepts are
added together in such a way as to give birth to a concept having
no corresponding reality on the physical plane. This is a
necessary result of the universal law of visana. When the
mind is habituated to a perception of more phenomena than one, all
of them have a tendency to appear again; and whenever two or more
such phenomena coincide in time, we have in our mind a picture of
a third something. That something may or may not exist in the
physical plane. If it does not, the phenomenon is vikalpa.
If it does, however, we call it Samadhi.

Nidra (Sleep) ~

This also is a phenomenon of the
manomaya kosha mind. Indian philosophers speak of three
states in this connection: waking, dream, and sleep.

Waking ~

This is the ordinary state when the
principle of life works in connection with the mind. The mind then
receives impressions of the external objects through the action of
the senses. The other faculties of the mind are purely mental, and
they may work in the waking as in the dreaming state. The only
difference is that in dreams the mind does not undergo the
perceptive changes. How is this? These changes of state are always
passive, and the soul has no choice in being subjected to them.
They come and go as a necessary result of the working of
swara in all its five modifications. As has been explained
in the articles on Prana, the different sensuous organs
cease to respond to external tatwic changes when the positive
current gains more than ordinary strength in the body. The
positive force appears to us in the shape of heat, the negative in
the shape of cold. Therefore I may speak of these forces as heat
and cold.

Dreams ~

The Upanishad says that in
dreamless sleep the soul sleeps in the blood vessels
(nadi), the pericardium (puritat), the hollow of the
heart. Has the system of blood vessels, the negative center of
Prana, anything to do with dreams also? The state of dream,
according to the Indian sage, is an intermediate one between
waking and sleeping, and it is but reasonable to suppose that
there must be something in this system that accounts for both
these phenomena. What is that something? It is variously spoken of
as the pitta, the agni, and the sun. It is needless
to say that these words are meant to denote one and the same
thing. It is the effect produced on the body by the solar breath
in general, and the agni tatwa in particular. The word
pitta might mislead many, and therefore it is necessary to
state that the word does not necessarily always mean lull. There
is one pitta that Sanskrit physiology locates specifically
in the heart. This is called the sadhaka pitta. It is
nothing more or less than cardiac temperature, and it is with this
that we have to do in sleep or dream.

According to the Indian philosopher, it is
the cardiac temperature that causes the three states in varying
degrees. This and nothing more is the meaning of the Vedic text
that the soul sleeps in the pericardium, etc. All the functions of
life are carried on properly as long as we have a perfect balance
of the positive and negative currents, heat and cold. The mean of
the solar and lunar temperatures is the temperature at which the
prana keeps up its connection with the gross body. The mean
is struck after an exposure of a whole day and night. Within this
period the temperature is subjected to two general variations. The
one is the extreme of the positive; the other the extreme of the
negative. When the positive reaches its daily extreme the sensuous
organs pass out of time with the external tatwas.

It is a matter of daily experience that
the sensuous organs respond to external tatwic vibrations within
certain limits. If the limit is exceeded either way, the organs
become insensible to these vibrations. There is, therefore, a
certain degree of temperature at which the sensuous organs can
ordinarily work; when this limit is exceed either way, the organs
become incapable of receiving any impression from without. During
day the positive life current gathers strength in the heart. The
ordinary working temperature is naturally exceeded by this
gathering up of the forces, and the senses sleep. They receive no
impression from without. This is sufficient to produce the
dreaming state. As yet the chords of the gross body (sthula
) alone have slackened, and the soul sees the mind no
longer affected by external impressions. The mind is, however,
habituated to various precepts and concepts, and by the mere force
of habit passes into various states. The breath, as it modifies
into the five tatwic states, becomes the cause of the varying
impressions coming up. As already said, the soul has no part in
calling up these visions of its own free will. It is by the
working of a necessary law of life that the mind undergoes the
various changes of the waking and the sleeping states. The soul
does nothing in conjuring up the phantasms of a dream, otherwise
it would be impossible to explain horrible dreams. Why, indeed, if
the soul is entirely free in dreaming does it sometimes call into
being the hideous appearances that, with one terrible shock, seem
to send our very blood back to our heart? No soul would ever act
thus if it could help it.

The fact is that the impressions of a
dream change with the tatwas. As one tatwa easily glides
into the other, one thought gives place to another. The
akasa causes fear, shame, desire, and anger; the
vayu takes us to different places; the taijas shows
us gold and silver, and the prithivi may bring us
enjoyment, smiles, dalliance, and so on. And then we might have
composite tatwic vibrations. We might see men and women, dances
and battles, councils and popular gatherings; we might walk in
gardens, smell the choicest flowers, see the most beautiful spots;
we might shake hands with our friends, we might deliver speeches,
we might travel into different lands. All these impressions are
caused by the tatwic state of the mental coil, brought about
either by (1) physical derangement, (2) ordinary tatwic changes,
(3) or some other coming natural change of state.

As there are three different causes, there
are three different kinds of dreams. The first cause is physical
derangement. When the natural currents of prana are
disturbed so that disease results, or are about to be so
disturbed, the mind in the ordinary way undergoes these tatwic
changes. The sympathetic chords of the minds are excited, and we
dream of all the disagreeable accompaniments of whatever disease
may be within our physical atmosphere in store for us. Such dreams
are akin in their nature to the ravings of delirium; there is only
a difference in strength and violence. When ill, we may in a
similar way dream of health and its surroundings.

The second kind of dream is caused by
ordinary tatwic changes. When the past, the present, and the
future tatwic condition of our surroundings is uniform in its
nature, when there is no change, and when no change is in store
for us, the stream of dreams is most calm and equable in its easy
flow. As the atmospheric and the healthful physiological tatwas
glide smoothly one into the other, so do the impressions of our
minds in this class of dreams. Ordinarily we cannot even remember
these dreams, for in them there is nothing of special excitement
to keep them in our memory.

The third kind of change is similar to the
first; there is only a difference in the nature of the effects.
These we call the effects of disease or health, as the case may
be; here we might group the results under the general name of
prosperity or calamity.

The process of this sort of mental
excitement is, however, the same in both. The currents of life,
pregnant with all sorts of good and evil, are sufficient in
strength while yet potential and only tending towards the actual,
to set the sympathetic chords of the mind in vibration. The purer
the mind, and the freer from dust of the world, the more sensitive
it is to the slightest and the remotes tendency of prana
towards some change. Consequently we become conscious of coming
events in dreams. This explains the nature of prophetic dreams. To
weigh the force of these dreams, however, to find out exactly what
each dream means, is a most difficult task, and under ordinary
circumstances quite impossible. We may make 10,000 mistakes at
ever step, and we need nothing less than a perfect Yogi for
the right understanding of even our own dreams, to say nothing of
those of others. Let us explain and illustrate the difficulties
that surround us in the right understanding of our dreams. A man
in the same quarter of the city in which I live, but unknown to
me, is about to die. The tatwic currents of his body, pregnant
with death, disturb the atmospheric tatwas, and through their
instrumentality are spread in various degrees all over the world.
They reach me, too, and excite the sympathetic chords of my mind
while I am sleeping. There being no special room in my mind for
that man, my impression will be only general. A human being, fair
or ugly, male or female, lamented or not, and having other similar
qualities, will come into the mid on his deathbed. But what man?
The power of complex imagination, unless strongly kept in check by
the hardest exercise of yoga, will have its play, and it is
almost certain that a man who has previously been connected in my
mind with all these tatwic qualities will make his appearance in
my consciousness. It is evident that I shall be on the wrong
track. That someone is dead or dying, we may be sure, but who or
where is impossible for ordinary men to discover. And not only
does the manifestation of vikalpa put us on the wrong
track, but all the manifestations of the mind do that. The state
of samadhi, which is nothing more than putting one’s
self into a state of the most perfect amenability to tatwic
surroundings, is therefore impossible unless all the other
manifestations are held in perfect check. Patanjali says,
Yoga is keeping in check the manifestations of the

Sleep ~

The dreamy state is maintained as long as
and when the cardiac temperature is not strong enough to affect
the mental coil. But with increasing positive strength, that too
must be affected. The manas and the prana are made
of the same materials and are subject to the same laws. The more
subtle these materials are, however, the stronger must be the
forces that produce similar changes. All the coils are tuned
together, and changes in the one affect the other. The vibrations
per second of the first one are, however, larger in number than
those of the lower one, and this causes its subtlety. The higher
are always affected through the immediately lower principles. Thus
the external tatwas will affect prana immediately, but the
mind can only be affected through the prana and not
directly. The cardiac temperature is only an indication of the
degree of heat in prana. When sufficient strength is
gathered up there, the prana affects the mental coil. That
too now passes out of tune with the soul. The mental vibration can
only work at a certain temperature; beyond that it must go to
rest. In this state we have no more dreams. The only manifestation
of the mind is that of rest. This is the state of dreamless

I pass on now to the fifth and last mental

Smrite (Retention, Memory)

As Professor Max Muller has remarked, the
original idea at the root smri (from which smrite)
is “to make soft, to melt”. The process of making soft or melting
consists in the melting thing assuming a consistency nearer and
nearer to the tatwic consistency of the melting force. All change
of state is equivalent to the assumption on the part of the thing
changing, of the state of tatwa that causes the change.
Hence the secondary idea of the root, “to love”. Love is that
state of mind in which it melts into the state of the object of
love. This change is analogous to the chemical change that gives
us a photograph on a sensitive plate. As in this phenomenon the
materials on the sensitive plate are melted into the state of the
reflected light, so the sensitive plate of the mind melts into the
state of its percepts. The impression upon the mind is deeper, the
greater the force of the imprinting rays and the greater the
sympathy between the mind and the object perceived. This sympathy
is created by stored up potential energy, and the perceptive rays
themselves act with greater force when the mind is in a
sympathetic state.

Every percept takes root in the mind, as
explained above. It is nothing more than a change of the tatwic
state of the mind, and what is left behind is only a capacity for
sooner falling into the same state again. The mind falls back into
the same state when it is under the influence of the same tatwic
surroundings. The presence of the same thing calls back the same
mental state.

The tatwic surroundings may be of two
descriptions, astral and local. The astral influence is the effect
upon the individual prana of the condition of the terrestrial
prana at that time. If this effect appears as the agni
, those of our concepts that have a prominent connection
with this tatwa will make their appearance in the mind.
Some of these are a hankering after wealth, a desire for progeny,
etc. If we have the vayu tatwa, a desire to travel may take
possession of our minds and so on. A minute tatwic analysis of all
of our concepts is of the greatest interest; suffice it to say
here that the tatwic condition of prana often calls up into
the mind objects that have made the objects of perception in
similar previous conditions. It is this power that underlies
dreams of one class. In the waking state too this phase of memory
often acts as reminiscence.

Local surrounding are constituted by those
object which the mind has been accustomed to perceive together
with the immediate object of memory. This is the power of
association. Both these phenomena constitute memory proper
(smrite). Here the object comes first into the mind, and
afterwards the act and the surroundings of perception. Another
very important kind of memory is what is called buddhi,
literary memory. This is the power by which we call to mind what
we have learned of scientific facts. The process of storing up
these facts in the mind is the same, but the coming back into
consciousness differs in this, that here the act first comes into
the mind and then the object. All the five tatwas and the
foregoing mental phenomena may cause the phenomenon of memory.
Literary memory has a good deal to do with yoga, i.e., the
exercise of free will to direct the energies of the mind into
desirable channels. While those impressions that take root in the
mind on account of natural surroundings make the mind the
unwilling slave of the external world, buddhi may lead it
to bliss and freedom. But will these tatwic surroundings always
bring related phenomena into consciousness? No! This depends upon
their correlative strength. It is well known that when the
vibrations per second of akasa (sound) pass beyond a
certain limit either way, they do not affect the tympanum. It is,
for example, only a certain number of vibrations per second of the
taijas tatwa that affects the eye, and so on with the other
senses. The case with the mind is similar. It is only when mental
and external tatwic tensions are equal that the mind begins to
vibrate as it comes into contact with the external world. Just as
the varying states of the external organs make us more or less
sensitive to ordinary sensation, so different men might not hear
the same sounds, might not see the same sights, the mental tatwas
might not be affected by percepts of the same strength, or might
be affected in different degrees by percepts of the same strength.
The question is, how is the variation of this mental tatwic
strength produced? By exercise, and the absence of exercise. If we
accustom the mind, just as we do the body, to any particular
precept or concept, the mind easily turns to those percepts and
concepts. If, however, we give up the exercise, the mind becomes
stiff and ceases by degrees to respond to these percepts and
concepts. This is the phenomenon of forgetting. Let a student
whose literary exercises is just opening the buds of his mind,
whose mind is just gaining strength enough to see into the causes
and effects of things, give up his exercise. His mind will begin
to lose that nice perception. The stiffer the mind becomes the
less will the casual relation affect him, and the less he will
know of it, until at last he loses all his power.

Ceaseless influence and activity of one
sort being impossible in the ordinary course of time, every
impression tends to pass away as soon as it is made. Its degree of
stability depends upon the duration of the exercise. But although
activity of one sort is impracticable, activity of some sort is
always present in the mind. With every action the color of the
mind changes, and one color may take so deep a root in the mind as
to remain there for ages upon ages, to say nothing of minutes,
hours, days and years. Just as time takes ages to demolish the
impressions of the physical plane, just as marks of incision upon
the skin may not pass away even in two decades, so also it takes
ages to demolish the impressions of the mind. Hundreds and
thousands of years may this be spent in devachan in order
to wear away those antagonistic impressions that the mind has
contracted in earthly life. By antagonistic impressions, I mean
those impressions that are not compatible with the state of
moksha, and have about them a tinge of earthly

With every moment the mind changes its
color, whether the impression be adding or subtracting. These
changes are temporary. But there is at the same time a permanent
change going on in the color of the mind. With every little act of
our worldly experience, the evolutionary tide of progress is
gaining strength and passing into variety. The color is constantly
changing. But the same general color is maintained under ordinary
circumstances, during one earthly life. Under extraordinary
circumstances we might have men having two memories. Under such
circumstances as in the case of approaching death, the accumulated
forces of a whole life combine into a different color. The
tension, so to speak, becomes different from what it was before.
Nothing can put the mind into the same state again. This general
color of the mind differing from that of other minds, and yet
retaining its general character for a whole life, gives us the
consciousness of personal identity. In every act that has been
done, or that is, or might be done, the soul sees the same general
color, and hence the feeling of personal identity. In death the
general color changes, and although we have the same mind, we have
a different consciousness. Hence no continuance of the feeling of
personal identity is possible through death.

Such is a brief account of the manomaya
, the mental coil in the ordinary state. The influence of
the higher principle (the vijnana maya kosha) through the
exercise of yoga induces in the mind a number of other
manifestations. Psychic manifestations show themselves in the mind
and the prana, in the same way as mental manifestations are
seen influencing and regulating the prana.

The Mind (II) ~

As has been seen, the universe has five
planes of existence (which may also be divided into seven). The
forms of the earth, which are little pictures of the universe,
also have the same five planes. In some of these organisms the
higher planes of existence are absolutely latent. In man, in the
present age, the Vijnana maya kosha and the lower
principles make their appearance.

We have had an insight into the nature of
the macrocosmic prana, and we have seen that almost every
point in this ocean of life represents a separate individual

The case is similar with the macrocosmic
mind. Every truti of that center takes in the whole of the
macrocosmic mind in the same way. From every point the tatwic rays
of the mental ocean go to every point, and thus every point is a
little picture of the universal mind. This is the individual

The Univesal mind is the original of all
the centers of Prana, in the same way as the solar
prana is the original of the species of earth-life.
Individual mind, too, is similarly the original of all the
individual manifestations of the prana maya kosha.
Similarly the soul, and the individual spirit on the highest
plane, is the perfect picture of all that comes below.

With the four higher planes of life there
are four different states of consciousness, the waking, the
dreaming, the sleeping, and the Tureya.

With these remarks the following extract
from the Prasnopnishat will be intelligible and

“Now Sauryayana Gargya asked him, ‘Sir,
in this body, what sleeps, and what remains awakened? Which of
these luminous beings sees dreams? Who has this rest? In whom do
all these [manifestations] rest in the potential
unmanifested state?’

“He answered him, ‘O Gargya, as the
rays of the setting sun are all collected in the luminous shell,
and then go out again, as he rises again and again, so all that is
collected in the luminous shell of mind beyond. For this reason
then, the man does not hear, does not see, does not smell, does
not taste, does not touch, does not take, does not cohabit, does
not excrete, does not go on. They say that he sleeps. The fires of
prana alone remain awakened in his body. The apana
is the Garhapatya fire; the Vyana is the right hand
fire. The prana is the ahavanurya fire, which is
made by the Garhapatya. That which carries equally
everywhere the oblations of food and air, is the samana.
The mind (manas) is the sacrificer (vajmana). The
Udana is the fruit of the sacrifice. He carries the
sacrificer every day to Brahma. Here this luminous being
[the mind] enjoys great things in dreams. Whatever was
seen, he sees again as if it were real; whatever was experienced
in different countries, in different directions, he experiences
the same again and again — the seen and the unseen, the heard or
the unheard, thought or not thought upon. He sees all, appearing
as the self of all manifestations.

“’When he is overpowered by the
taijas, then this luminous being sees no dreams in this
state; then there appears in the body this rest [the dreamless

“’In this state, my dear pupil, all
[that is enumerated below] stays in the ulterior
atma, like birds that resort to a tree for habitation —
the prithivi composite and the prithivi
non-composite; the apas composite and the apas
non-composite; the taijas composite and the taijas
non-composite; the vayu composite and the vayu
non-composite; the akasa composite and the akasa
non-composite; the sight and the visible, the hearing and the
audible, the smell and the smellable, the taste and the tasteable,
the touch and the tangible, the speech and the utterable, the
hands and whatever might be grasped, the generative organ and the
excrements, the feet and that which may be gone over, the faculty
and the object of doubt, the faculty and the object of egoism, the
faculty and the object of memory, the light and that which might
be enlightened, the prana and that which keeps it

“’The soul is the Vijnana
, the seer, the toucher, the hearer, the smeller, the
taster, the doubter, the ascertainer, the agent. This soul
[the Vijnana atma] stays in the ulterior,
unchangeable atma [the ananda].

“’So there are four atma
the life, the mind, the soul, the spirit. The ultimate force that
lies at the root macrocosmic Power of all the manifestation of
soul, mind, and the life the principle, is the spirit.’”

By composite is meant that tatwa
which has come into existence after the division into five,
noticed in the first essay. The non-composite means a tatwa
before the division into five.

The principal interest of this quotation
lies in presenting in authoritative fashion the views that have
already been propounded. The next essay explains one of the most
important functions of the macrocosmic Power and Mind, that of
recording the human actions, and touches upon some other rather
important truths.

The Cosmic Picture Gallery ~

We are directed by our Guru in the
philosophy of tatwas to look into vacant space toward the sky,
when the sky is perfectly clear, and fix your attention there with
the utmost possible strength.

We are told that after sufficient practice
we shall see there a variety of pictures — the most beautiful
landscapes, the most gorgeous palaces of the world, and men, women
and children in all the varying aspects of life. How is such a
thing possible? What do we learn by this practical lesson in the
science of attention?

I think I have described with sufficient
explicitness in the essays, the ocean of prana with the sun for
its center, and have given a hint sufficiently suggestive of the
nature of the macrocosmic mental and psychic atmospheres. It is of
the essential nature of these atmospheres that every point therein
forms a center of action and reaction for the whole ocean. From
what has already been said, it will be plain that each of these
atmospheres has a limit of its own. The terrestrial atmosphere
extends only to a few miles, and the external boundary line of
this sphere must, it will be readily understood, give it the
appearance of an orange, just like that of the earth. The case is
the same with the solar prana, and the higher atmospheres.
To begin with the terrestrial Prana, which has the measured
limits of our atmosphere. Every little atom of our earth, and the
most perfect organisms, as well as the most imperfect, makes a
center of action and reaction for the tatwic currents of
terrestrial Prana. The prana has the capability of
being thrown into the shape of every organism or, to use a
different language, the rays of prana as they fall upon every
organism are returned from that organism according to the
well-known laws of reflection. These rays, as is again well known,
carry within themselves our pictures. Bearing these within them,
they go up to the limit of the terrestrial prana noted
above. It will be easy to conceive that within the imaginary
sphere that surrounds our terrestrial prana, we now have a
magnified picture of our central organism. Not one organism only,
but all the smallest points, the most imperfect beginnings of
organized life, as well as the most perfect organisms — all are
pictured in this imaginary sphere. It is a magnificent
picture-gallery; all that is seen or heard, touched, tasted or
smelled on the face of the earth has a glorious and magnified
picture there. At the limit of this terrestrial prana, the
picture-forming tatwic rays exercise a double function.

Firstly they throw the sympathetic tatwic
chords of the solar prana into similar motion. That is to
say, these pictures are now consigned to the solar prana,
from whence in due course they reach step by step to the universal
intelligence itself.

Secondly, these rays react upon
themselves, and turning back from the limiting sphere, are again
reflected back to the center.

It is these pictures that the attentive
mind sees in its noonday gaze into vacancy, and it is these
pictures, seen in this mysterious way, that give us the finest
food for our imagination and intellect, and supply us with a
far-reaching clue to the nature and working of the laws that
govern the life of the macrocosm and the microcosm. For these
pictures tell us that the smallest of our actions, on whatever
plane of our existence, actions that may be so insignificant to us
as to pass unnoticed even by ourselves, are destined to receive an
everlasting record, as the effect of the past and the cause of the
future. These pictures again tell us of the existence of the five
universal tatwas that play so important a part in the universe. It
is these pictures that lead us to the discovery of the manifold
constitution of man and the universe, and of those powers of the
mind that have not yet received recognition at the hands of the
official science of the day.

That these truths have found place in the
Upanishad may be seen from the following quotation from the
Ishopnishat, mantra 4:

“The Atma does not move: is one: is
faster than the mind: the senses reach it not: as it is the
foremost in motion. It goes beyond the others in rapid motion
while itself at rest, in it the Recorder preserves the

In the above quotation it is the word
Matarishwa that I translate “Recorder”. Ordinarily the word
is translated as air, and so far as I know, the word has never
been understood clearly in the sense of the “Recorder”. My view,
therefore, may be further explained with advantage.

The word is a compound of the words
matari and swah. The word matari is the locative
case of matri which ordinarily means mother, but which is
rendered here as space, as the substratum of distance, from the
root ma, to measure. The second word of the compound means
the breather, coming as it does from the root Swas, to
breathe. Hence the compound means “he who breathes in space”. In
explaining this word the commentator Sankaracharya goes on to

“The word ‘Matarishwa’,
which has been derived as above, means the Vayu [the
mover] which carries in it all the manifestations of
prana, which is action itself, that which is the substratum
of all the groups of causes and effects, and in which all the
causes and effects are held like beads in a thread, that which is
given the name of sutra [the thread] inasmuch as it
holds in itself the whole of the world.”

It is further said that the “actions” in
the above quotation which this matarishwa holds in itself
are all the movements of the individualized prana, as well
as the actions of heating, lighting, ruining, etc., of the
macrocosmic powers known as Agni, etc.

Now such a thing can by no means be the
atmospheric air. It is evidently that phase of prana which
acts as carrying the pictures of all actions, all motions from
every point of space to every other point and to the limits of the
surya mandala. This phase of prana is nothing more
or less than the Recorder. It holds in itself forever and ever all
the causes and effects, the antecedents and consequents of this
world of ours.

It is action itself. This means that all
action is a change of phase of prana.

It is said in the above quotation that
this Recorder lives in the atma. Inasmuch as the
atma exists, this Power always performs its function. The
prana draws its life itself from the atma, and
accordingly we find a similarity between the dualities of the two.
It is said of the atma in the above extract that it does not move,
and yet it moves faster than the mind. These appear to be
contradictory qualities at first sigh, and it is such qualities
that make the ordinary God of commonplace theologians the absurd
being he always looks to be. Let us, however, apply these
qualities to prana, and once understood on this plane, they
will be quite as clearly understood on the highest plane, the
atma. It has been said more than once that from every point of the
ocean of prana the tatwic rays fly in every direction, to every
point within the surya mandala. Thus the ocean of prana is
in eternal motion. For all this, however, does one point of this
ocean ever change its place? Of course not. Thus while every point
keeps its place, every point at the same time goes and shows
itself in every other point.

It is the same simple way that the
all-pervading atma is in eternal motion and yet always at

The case is similar with all the planes of
life; all our actions, all our thoughts, all our aspirations,
receive an everlasting record in the books of

I must now notice these pictures in a
little more detail. The science of photography tells us that under
certain conditions the visual pictures can be caught on the plane
of the sensitive film. But how can we account for the reading of
letters at a distance of 40 miles or more? Such phenomena are a
matter of personal experience to me. Very recently, while sitting
abstracted, or it may be in a kind of dream, about 4 o’clock
in the morning, I read a postcard written by a friend to a friend
about me, the very same night, at a distance of almost 30 miles.
One more thing must be noticed here, I think. Almost half the card
spoke about me, and the rest referred to other matters that might
have a passing interest for me, but could not be engrossing. Now
this rest of the card did not come before my eyes very clearly,
and I felt that with all my effort I could not even keep my eye
upon those lines or a sufficiently long time to understand them,
but was irresistibly drawn towards the paragraph that spoke of me,
and which I could read very clearly. Four days after this, the
addressee showed it to me; it was exactly the same, sentence by
sentence (so far as I could remember), as I had seen before. I
mention this phenomenon in particular, as in it the various
prerequisites for the production of these phenomena are clearly
defined. We learn from an analysis of this incident the following

(1) When he was writing, the writer of the
card meant that I should read the card, and especially the
paragraph that concerned me.

(2) I was very anxious to know the news
about me that the card contained.

(3) In the frame of mind mentioned above
my friend wrote the card. What happened? The picture of his
thoughts on the card, both on the physical and the mental plane,
flew in every direction along the tatwic rays of the macrocosmic
prana and mind. A picture was immediately made on the
macrocosmic spheres, and from thence it bent its rays towards the
destination of the postcard. No doubt all minds in the earth
received a shock of this current of thought at the same time. But
my mind alone was sensitive to the card and the news it contained.
It was, therefore, on my mind alone that any impression was made.
The rays were, as it were, refracted into my mind, and the result
described above followed.

It follows from this illustration that in
order to receive the pictorial rays of the prana we must have a
mind in a state of sympathy, and not of antipathy; that is to say,
a mind free from all action or intense feeling for the time being
is the fittest receptacle for the pictorial representations of the
cosmos, and so for a correct knowledge of the past and the future.
And if we have an intense desire to know the thing, so much the
better for us. It is in this way that the divine occultist reads
the records of the past in the book of nature, and it is on this
road that the beginner of this science must walk according to the
direction of our Guru.

It must be understood that everything in
every aspect that has been or is being n our planet has a legible
record in the book of nature, and the tatwic rays of the
prana and the mind are constantly bringing the outlines of
these pictures back to us. It is to a great extent due to this
that the past never leaves us, but always lives within us,
although many of its most magnificent monuments have been forever
effaced from the face of our planet for the ordinary gaze. These
returning rays are always inclined toward the center that
originally gave them birth. In the case of the mineral
surroundings of terrestrial phenomena these centers are preserved
intact for ages upon ages, and it is quite possible for any
sensitive mind, at any time, to turn these rays towards itself by
coming into contact with any material remains of historic
phenomena. A stone unearthed at Pompeii is pictured as part of the
great event that destroyed the city, and the rays of that picture
naturally are inclined towards that piece of stone. If Mrs. Denton
puts the stone to her forehead, a sympathetic and receptive
condition is the only pre-requisite for the transference of the
whole picture to her mind. This sympathetic state of mind may be
natural to a person, or it may be acquired. It may be mentioned
that what we are in the habit of calling natural powers are really
acquired, but they have been acquired in previous incarnations.
Shiva says:

“There are some to whom the tatwas become
known, when the mind is purified by habituation, either by the
acquired velocity of other births or by the kindness of the

It seems that two pieces of granite, the
same to all intents and purposes externally, may have an entirely
different tatwic color, for the color of a thing depends to a very
great extent upon its tatwic surrounding. It is this occult color
that constitutes the real soul of things, although the reader must
by this time know that the Sanskrit word prana is more

It is no myth to say that the practiced
yogi might bring the picture of any part of the world, past
or present, before his mind’s eye with a single effort of
his will. And not only visual pictures, as our illustration might
lead the reader to think. The preservation and formation of visual
pictures is only the work of the luminiferous ether, the taijas
. The other tatwas perform their functions as well. The
akasa or soniferous ether preserves all the sounds that
have ever been heard or are being heard on earth, and similarly
the remaining three other preserve the records of the remaining
sensations. We see, therefore, that combining all these pictures,
a yogi in contemplation might have before his mind’s
eye any man at any distance whatsoever and might hear his voice
also. Glyndon, in Italy, seeing and hearing the conversation of
Viola and Zanoni in their distant home, is therefore not merely a
dream of the poet; it is a scientific reality. The only thing
necessary is to have a sympathetic mind. The phenomena of mental
telepathy, psychometry, clairvoyance and clairaudience, are all
phases of this tatwic action. Once understood, it is all a very
simple affair. It may be useful in this place to offer some
reflections as to how these pictorial representations of a man’s
present go to shape his future. I shall first attempt to show how
complete the record is. At the outset I may remind the reader of
what I have said about the tatwic color of everything. It is this
that gives individuality even to a piece of stone.

This pictorial whole is only the cosmic
counterpart of the individual prana maya kosha (the coil of
life). It is possible that anyone who may not have thoroughly
understood the manner of the storing up of tatwic energy in the
individual prana may more easily comprehend the phenomena
in its cosmic counterpart. In fact, the macrocosmic and
microcosmic phenomena are both links of the same chain, and both
will conduce to the thorough understanding of the whole. Suppose a
man stands on a mountain, with the finest prospect of nature
stretched out before his eyes. As he stands there contemplating
this wealth of beauty, his picture in this posture is at once made
in the ecliptic. Not only is his external; appearance pictured,
but the hue of is life receives the fullest representation. If the
agni tatwa prevails in him at that moment, if there is the
light of satisfaction in his face, if the look in his eyes is
calm, collected and pleasant, if he is so much absorbed in the
gaze as to forget everything else, tatwas separate or in composite
will do their duty, and all the satisfaction, calmness, pleasure,
attention or inattention will be represented to the finest degree
in the sphere of the ecliptic. If he walks or runs, comes down or
jumps up or forward, the tatwic rays of prana picture the
generating and the generated colors with the utmost faithfulness
in the same retentive sphere.

A man stands with a weapon in his hand,
with the look of cruelty in his eye, with the glow of inhumanity
in his veins, his victim, man or animal, helpless or struggling
before him. The whole phenomenon is instantly recorded. There
stands the murderer and the victim in their truest possible
colors, there is the solitary room or the jungle, the dirty shed
or the filthy slaughterhouse; all are there as surely and
certainly as they are in the eye of the murderer r the victim

Let us again change the scene. We have a
liar before us. He tells a lie, and thereby injures some brother
man. No sooner is the word uttered than the akasa sets to
work with all possible activity. There we have the most faithful
representation. The liar is there from the reflection that the
thought if the injured person throws into the individual
prana; there is the injured man also. The words are there
with all the energy of the contemplated wrong. And if that
contemplated wrong is completed, there is also the change for the
worse that his mendacity has produced in the victim. There is
nothing of the surroundings, the antecedent and the consequent
postures — the causes and effects — that is not represented

The scene changes, and we come to a thief.
Let the night be as dark as it may, let the thief be a circumspect
and wary as he can; our picture is there with all its colors well
defined, though perhaps not so prominent. The time, the house, the
wall, the sleeping and injured inmates, the stolen property, the
subsequent day, the sorrowful householders, with all the
antecedent and consequent postures, are pictured. And this is not
only for the murderer, the thief, or the liar, but for the
adulterer, the forger, the villain who thinks his crime is hidden
from every human eye. Their deeds, like all deeds that have ever
been done, are vividly, clearly, exactly recorded in nature’s
picture gallery. Instances might be multiplied, but it is
unnecessary. What has been said is sufficient to explain the
principle, and the application is useful and not very difficult.
But now we must bring our pictures back from our

We have seen that time and space and all
the possible factors of a phenomenon receive an accurate
representation there, and these tatwic rays are united to the time
that saw them leaving their record on the plane of our pictorial
region. When, in the course of ages, the same Time throws its
shade again upon the earth, the pictorial rays, stored up long
since, energize man-producing matter, and shape it according to
their own potential energy, which now begins to become active. It
will be readily conceded that the sun dives life to the earth —
to men as well as to vegetables and minerals. Solar life takes
human shape in the womb of the mother, and this is only an
infusion of some one set of our pictorial rays into the
sympathetic life that already shows itself on our planet. These
rays thus produce for themselves a gross human body in the womb of
the mother, and then having the now somewhat different and
differing maternal body, start on their terrestrial journey. As
time advances, the pictorial representation changes it tatwic
postures, and with it the gross body does the same.

In the case of the rebirth of the man we
saw gazing on the mountains, the calm, watchful, contented
attitude of the mind that he cultivated then has its influence
upon the organism now, and once more the man enjoys the beauty of
nature and so is pleased and happy.

But now take the case of the cruel
murderer. He is by nature cruel, and he still yearns to murder and
destroy, and he could not be restrained from his horrible
practices; but the picture of the ebbing life of his victim is now
part and parcel of his constitution, the pain, the terror, and the
feeling of despair and helplessness are there in all their
strength. Occasionally he feels as if the blood of life were
leaving his very veins. There is no apparent cause, and yet he
suffers pain; he is subject to unaccountable fits of terror,
despair and helplessness. His life is miserable; slowly but surely
it wanes away.

Let the curtain fall on this stage. The
incarnated thief now comes on the stage. His friends leave him one
by one or he is driven away from them. The picture of the lonely
house must assert its power over him. He is doomed to a lonely
house. The picture of somebody coming into the house through some
unfrequented part and stealing some of his property, makes its
appearance with the fullest strength. The man is doomed to eternal
cowardice. He draws towards himself the same grief and
heart-rending that he caused to others long ago. This posture of
heart-rending grief has its influence upon him in the ordinary
way, and it creates its surrounding under the same

These illustrations are sufficient to
explain the law according to which these cosmic pictures govern
our future lives. Whatever other sins may be committed under the
innumerable circumstance of life, their tatwic effects can be
traced easily through the pictorial representations of the

It is not difficult to understand that the
picture of each individual organism upon the face of the earth is
pictured in prana, and it is these pictures, in my opinion,
that correspond to the ideas of Plato on the highest plane of
existence. A very interesting question arises at this point. Are
these pictures of eternal existence, or do they only come into
existence after formations have taken place on the terrestrial
plane? Ex nihilo nihil fit is a well-known doctrine of
philosophy, and I hold with Vyasa that the representations (what
we now call pictures) of all objects in their generic, specific,
and individual capacities have been existing forever in the
universal mind. Swara, or what may be called the Breath of
God, the Breath of Life, is nothing more or less than abstract
intelligence, as has been explained, or intelligent motion, if
such an expression is better understood. Our book says:

“In the swara are pictured, or
represented, the Vedas and the Sastras, in the
swara the highest Gandharvas, and in the
swara all the three worlds; the swara is atma

It is not necessary to enter more
thoroughly into a discussion of this problem; the suggestion is
sufficient. It might be said, however, that all formation in
progress on the face of our planet is the assuming by everything
under the influence of solar ideas of the shape of these ideas.
The process is quite similar to the process of wet earth taking
impressions of anything that is pressed upon it. The idea of
anything is its soul.

Human souls (prana maya kosha)
exist in this sphere just like the souls of other things, and are
affected in that home of theirs by terrestrial experience in the
manner mentioned above.

In the course of ages, these ideas make
their appearance in the physical plane again and again, according
to the laws hinted at previously.

I have also said that these pictures have
their counterparts in the mental and the higher atmospheres. Now
it might be said that just as these solar pictures recur again and
again, there are times at which these mental pictures also recur.
The ordinary deaths known to us are terrestrial deaths. This means
to say that the influence of the solar pictures is withdrawn for
some time from the earth. After some time, the duration depending
upon the colors of the picture, they throw their influence again
upon the earth, and we have terrestrial rebirth. We may die any
number of terrestrial deaths, and yet our solar life might not be

But men of the present manwantara
might die solar deaths under certain circumstances. Then they pass
out of the influence of the sun and are born again only in the
region of the second Manu. Men who now die solar deaths
will remain in the state of bliss all through the present
manwantara. Their rebirth might also be delayed for more
than one manwantara. All these pictures remain in the bosom
of Manu during the manwantarapralaya. In the same
way, men might undergo higher deaths, and pass their time in a
state of even higher and more enduring bliss. The mental coil may
be broken, too, just as the gross, the terrestrial, and the solar
might be, and then the blessed soul remains in bliss and unborn
until the dawn of the second day of Brahma. Higher still
and longer still is the state that follows Brahmic death. Then the
spirit is at rest for the remaining Kalpa and the
Mahapralaya that follows. After this it will be easy to
understand the meaning of the Hindu doctrine, that during the
night of Brahma the human soul and the whole of the
universe is hidden in the bosom of Brahma like the tree in
the seed.

The Manifestations of Psychic Force ~

Psychic Force is the form of matter known
as vijnana in active connection with the mental and life
matters. In the quotation given above from the
Ishnopnishat, it has been said that the deva — the
macrocosmic and microcosmic manifestations of prana — do
not reach the atma, inasmuch as it moves faster than even
the mind. The tatwas of prana move with a certain
momentum. The mind has greater velocity, and psychic matter
greater still. In the presence of the higher, the lower plane
always appears to be at rest, and is always amenable to its
influence. Creation is a manifestation of the various macrocosmic
spheres with their various centers. In each of these spheres —
the prana, the manas, and the vijnana — the
universal tatwic rays give birth to innumerable individualities on
their own planes. Each truti on the plane of prana
is a life-coil (prana maya kosha). The rays that give
existence to each of these truti come from each and all of
the other truti, which are situated in the space allotted
to each of the five tatwas and their innumerable
admixtures, and which represent therefore all the possible tatwic
manifestations of life.

On the plane of manas each mental
truti represents an individual mind. Each individual mind
is given birth to by mental tatwic rays from the other quarter.
These rays came from all the other truti situated under the
dominion of each of the five tatwas and their innumerable
admixtures and representing therefore all the possible tatwic
phases of mental life.

On the psychic plane, each truti
represents an individual soul brought into existence by the
psychic tatwas flying from every point to every other
point. These rays come from every truti situated under the
dominion of each of the five tatwas and their innumerable
admixtures, and thus representing all the possible manifestations
of psychic life.

The latter class of truti on the
various planes of existence are the so-called gods and goddesses.
The former class are coils that manifest themselves in earthly

Each psychic truti is thus a little
reservoir of every possible tatwic phase of life that might
manifest itself on the lower planes of existence. And so, sending
its rays downward just like the sun, these truti manifest
themselves in the truti of the lower planes. According to
the prevalent phase of tatwic color in these three sets of
truti, the vijana (psychic) selects its mind, the
mind selects its coil, and in the end the life-coil creates its
habitation in the earth.

The first function of the individual
truti vijana is to sustain in the life of the mental
truti just as the macrocosmic vijana sustains the
life of the macrocosmic mind. And so also does the mental
truti sustain the life of the individual truti of
prana. In this state, the souls are conscious only of their
subjectivity with reference to the mind and the prana. They
know that they sustain the lower truti, they know
themselves, they know all the other psychic truti, and they
know the whole of the macrocosm of Iswara, the tatwic rays
reflecting every point into their indvidual consciousness. They
are omniscient; they are perfectly happy because they are
perfectly balanced.

When the prana maya kosha enters
the habitation of earth, the soul is assailed by finitude for the
first time. This means a curtailment, or rather the creation of a
new curtailed consciousness. For long ages the soul takes no note
of these finite sensations, but as the impressions gain greater
and greater strength they are deluded into a belief of identity
with these finite impressions. From absolute subjectivity
consciousness is transferred to relative passivity. A new world of
appearances is created. This is their fall. How these sensations
and perceptions, etc., are born, and how they affect the soul,
already has been discussed. How the soul is awakened out of this
forgetfulness and what it does then to liberate itself will come
further on.

It will be seen at this stage that the
soul lives two lives, an active and a passive. In the active
capacity it goes on governing and sustaining the substantial life
of the lower truti. In the passive capacity it forgets
itself and deludes itself into identity with the changes of the
lower truti imprinted upon them by the external tatwas. The
consciousness is transferred to finite phases.

The whole fight of the soul upon
reawakening consists in the attempt to do away with its passive
capacity and regain this pristine purity. This fight is
yoga, and the powers that yoga evokes in the mind and the
prana are nothing more than tatwic manifestations of the
psychic force, calculated to destroy the power of the external
world on the soul. This constant change of phase in the new unreal
finite coils of existence is the upward march of the life current
from the beginnings of relative consciousness to the original
absolute state.

There is no difficulty in understanding
the how of these manifestations. They are there in the psychic
reservoir, and they simply show themselves when the lower trutis
assume the state of sympathetic polish and tatwic inclination.
Thus the spectrum only shows itself when certain objects assume
the polish and form of a prism.

Ordinarily the psychic force does not
manifest itself either in the prana or the mind in any
uncommon phase. Humanity progresses as a whole, and whatever
manifestations of this force take place, they take in races as a
whole. Finite minds are therefore slow to recognize it.

But all the individuals of a race do not
have the same strength of tatwic phase. Some show greater sympathy
with the psychic force in one or more of its component tatwic
phases. Such organisms are called mediums. In them the particular
tatwic phase of psychic force with which they are in greater
sympathy than the rest of their mind, makes its uncommon
appearance. This difference of individual sympathy is caused by a
difference of degree in the commissions and omission of different
individuals, or by the practice of yoga.

In this way, this psychic force might
manifest itself in the shape of all the innumerable possibilities
of tatwic combination. So far as theory is concerned, these
manifestations might cover the whole domain of tatwic
manifestations in the visible macrocosm (and also in the
invisible, which, however, we do not know). These manifestations
may violate all our present notions of time and space, cause and
effect, force and matter. Intelligently utilized, this force might
very well perform the functions of the vril of  “The
Coming Race”. The following essays will trace some of these
manifestations on the plane of the mind.

Yoga — The Soul (I) ~

I have described two principles of the
human constitution: prana and manas. Something also
has been said about the nature and relations of the soul. The
gross body was omitted as needing no special handling.

The five manifestations of each of the two
principles (the prana and the manas), it may be
mentioned, may be either fortunate or unfortunate. Those
manifestations are fortunate which are consonant with our true
culture, which lead us to our highest spiritual development, the
summum bonum of humanity. Those that keep us chained to the
sphere of recurring births and deaths may be called unfortunate.
On each of the two planes of life (prana and manas)
there is a possibility of double existence. We might have a
fortunate and an unfortunate prana, a happy and an unhappy
mind. Considering these two to be four, the number of principles
of the human constitution might be raised from five to seven. The
unhappy intelligences of the one plane ally themselves with the
unhappy ones of the other, the happy ones with the happy, and we
have in the human constitution an arrangement of principles
something like the following:

(1) The gross body (sthula sarira),
(2) the unhappy prana, (3) the unhappy mind, (4) the happy
prana, (5) the happy mind, (6) the soul (vijana),
and (7) the spirit (ananda).

The fundamental division in the fivefold
division is upadhi, the particular and distinct state of matter
(prakriti) in each case; in the sevenfold division it is
the nature of Karma with reference to its effect upon human

Both the sets of these powers, the blessed
and the unhappy, work upon the same plane, and although the
blessed manifestations tend in the long run towards the state of
moksha, that state is not reached unless and until the
higher powers (the siddhi) are induced in the mind by the
exercise of yoga. Yoga is a power of the soul.
Therefore it is necessary to say something about the soul and
Yoga before the higher powers of the mind can be
intelligibly described. Yoga is the science of human
culture in the highest sense of the word. Its purpose is the
purification and strengthening of the mind. By its exercise is
filled with high aspirations, and acquires divine powers, while
the unhappy tendencies die out. The second and third principles
are burnt up by the fire of divine knowledge, and the state of
what is called salvation in life is attained. By and bye the
fourth principle too becomes neutralized, and the soul passes into
a state of manwantaric moksha. The soul may pass higher
still according to the strength of her exercise. When the mind too
is at rest, as in sound sleep (sushupti) during life, the
omniscience of the vijnana is reached. There is still a
higher state: the state of ananda. Such are the results of
yoga. I must now describe the nature of the thing and the
process of acquirement.

So far as the nature of Yoga is
concerned, I may say that mankind has reached its present state of
development by the exercise of this great power. Nature herself is
a great Yogi, and humanity has been, and is being, purified
into perfection by the exercise of her sleepless will. Man need
only imitate the great teacher to shorten the road to perfection
for his individual self. How are we to render ourselves fit for
that great imitation? What are the steps on the great ladder of
perfection? These things have been discovered for us by the great
sages of yore, and Patanjali’s little book is only a short
and suggestive transcript of so much of our past experiences and
future potentialities as is recorded in the book of nature. This
little book uses the word Yoga in a double signification.
The first is a state of the mind otherwise called samadhi;
the second is a set of acts and observances that induce that state
in the mind. The definition given by the sage is a negative one,
and is applicable only on the plane of the mind. The source of the
positive power lies in the higher principle; the soul Yoga
(it is said) is the keeping in check of the five manifestations of
the mind. The very wording of the definition is involved in the
supposition of the existence of a power that can control and keep
the mental manifestations in check. This power is familiar to us
as freedom of the will. Although the soul is deluded by the
manifestations of egoism (asmita) on the mental plane into
regarding herself as a slave of the second and third principles,
that is not the fact, and the awakening takes place as soon as the
chord of egoism is slackened to a certain extent. This is the
first step in the initiation by nature herself of the race of man.
It is a matter of necessity. The side-by-side working with each
other of the second and third and the fourth and fifth principles
weakens the hold of natural mental asmita upon the soul. “I
am these, or of these mental manifestations”, says Egoism. Such a
state of affairs, however, cannot last long. These manifestations
are double in nature; the one is just the reverse of the other.
Which of them is one with the ego: the unhappy or the blessed? No
sooner is this question asked than the awakening takes place. It
is impossible to answer any of these questions in the affirmative,
and the soul naturally ends in discovering that she is a separate
thing from the mind, and that although she has been the slave, she
might be (what she naturally is) the Lord of the mind. Up to this
time the soul has been tossed this way or that in obedience to the
tatwic vibrations of the mind. Her blind sympathy with the mental
manifestations gives her unison with the mind, and hence the
tossing. The chord of sympathy is loosened by the waking. The
stronger the nature, the greater the departure from unison.
Instead of the soul being tossed by the mental vibrations, it is
now time that the mind should vibrate in obedience to the
vibrations of the soul. This assumption of lordship is the freedom
of the will, and this obedience of the mind to the vibrations of
the soul is Yoga. The manifestations evoked in the mind by
the external tatwas must now give way to the stronger
motion coming from the soul. By and bye the mental colors change
their very nature, and the mind comes to coincide with the soul.
In other words, the individual mental principle is neutralized,
and the soul is free in her omniscience.

Let us now trace the acquirements of the
mind step by step up to samadhi.

Samadhi, or the mental state
induced by the practice of Yoga, has two descriptions. As
long as the mind is not perfectly absorbed in the soul the state
is called samprajnata. That is the state in which the
discovery of new truths follows labor in every department of
nature. The second is the state of perfect mental absorption. It
is called asamprajnata. In this there is no knowing, no
discovering of unknown things. It is a state of intuitive
omniscience. Two questions are naturally suggested at the
awakening stage:

“If I am these manifestations, which of
them am I? I think I am none of them. What am I then? What are

The second question is solved in the
samprajnata samadhi, the first in the other. Before
entering further into the nature of samadhi, a word about
habituation and apathy. These two are mentioned by Patanjali as
the two means of checking mental manifestation, and it is very
important to understand them thoroughly The manifestation of
apathy is the reflection in the mind of the color of the soul when
she becomes aware of her free nature and consequently is disgusted
at the mastery of the passions. It is a necessary consequence of
the awakening. Habituation is the repetition of the state so as to
confirm it in the mind.

The confirmation of the mind in this state
means a state of ordinary mental inactivity. By this I mean that
the five ordinary manifestations are at rest for the first time.
This being so, the mind is for the time being left free to receive
any influences. Here for the first time we see the influence of
the soul in the shape of curiosity (Vitarka). What is this?
What is that? How is this? How is that? This is the form in which
curiosity shows itself in the mind. Curiosity is a desire to know,
and a question is a manifestation of such a desire. But how does
man become familiar with questions? The mental shape of curiosity
and question will be understood easily by paying a little
attention to the remarks I have made on the genesis of desire. The
process of the birth of philosophical curiosity is similar to that
of the birth of desire. In the latter the impulse comes from the
external world through Prana, and in the former, directly
from the soul. The place of pleasure in this is supplied by the
reflection into the mind of the knowledge of the soul that self
and independence are better than non-self and the enslaving cords
thereof. The strength of the philosophical curiosity depends upon
the strength of this reflection, and as this reflection is rather
faint in the beginning (as it generally is in the present state of
the spiritual development), the hold of philosophical curiosity
upon the mind bears almost no comparison in strength with the hold
of desire.

Philosophical curiosity is then the first
step of mental ascent towards Yoga. To begin with, we place
before our mind every possible manifestation of nature, and try to
fit in every possible phase of it with every related
manifestation. In plain language, it is to apply ourselves to the
investigation of all the branches of natural science one by

This is the natural result of curiosity.
By this attempt to discover the relations already existing or
possible, essential or potential, among the phenomena of nature,
another power is induced in the mind. Patanjali calls this power
vichara, meditation. The radical idea of the word is to go
among the various relations of the portions that make up the whole
subject of our contemplation. It is only a deeper hold on the mind
of the philosophical curiosity noticed above. The third state of
this samadhi is what is called ananda, happiness or
bliss. As long as there is curiosity or meditation, the mind is
only assuming the consistency of the soul. This means to say that
as yet the vibrations of the soul are only making way into the
mind; they have not yet entirely succeeded. When the third stage
is arrived at, however, the mind is sufficiently polished to
receive the full and clear image of the sixth coil. The mind is
conscious of this image as bliss. Every man who has devoted
himself to the study of nature has been in that coveted state for
however short a time. It is very difficult to make it intelligible
by description, but I am sure that the majority of my readers are
not strangers to it.

But whence does this bliss come? What is
it? I have called it a reflection of the soul. But first of all,
what is the soul? From what I have written up to this time, the
reader will no doubt surmise that I understand the soul to be only
a picture of the gross body, the prana, and the mind, so
far only as its constitution is concerned.

I have mentioned that in the macrocosm the
sun is in the center, the prana the atmosphere of the
second principle, and that the ecliptic marks the shape of this
principle. I have also mentioned that the individual human
principle is only a picture of this macrocosmic whole. I have
mentioned again that in the macrocosm virat is the center
and manu the atmosphere of second principle. This
atmosphere is made of the five universal tatwas, just like
prana, the only difference being that the mental
tatwas undergo a greater number of vibrations per second
than the tatwas of prana. I have also said that the
individual mind is an exact picture of the macrocosmic mind, the
aspect differing with the surroundings of time, just as in the
case of prana.

Now I have to say the same with regard to
the soul. In the macrocosm there is Brahma for the center,
and vijana for the atmosphere of this principle. As the
earth moves in prana, as the sun moves in manu, as
the manu (or virat) breathes in vijana, so
the soul breathes in the highest atmosphere of ananda.
Brahma is the center of spiritual life, as the sun is the
center of prana, and virat the center of mental
life. These centers are similar in luminosity to the sun, but
ordinary senses cannot perceive them because the number of tatwic
vibrations per second is beyond their power.

The soul of the universe (the vijana
maya kosha
), with Brahma for its center, is our psychic

The tatwic wires of this sphere extend
over what we call a Brahmanda. This they do in a way
similar to the tatwic rays of prana with which we are
familiar through the medium of gross matter. This center with this
universe forms the self-conscious universe. All the lower centers
exist within the bosom of this atmosphere.

Under the influence of gross matter the
mental macrocosm registers the external pictures; that is to say,
it gains the power of manifesting itself in the five ways I have
described in the essay on mind. Under the Brahma, however,
the mental macrocosm (Manu) attains the higher powers under
discussion. This double influence changes, after a time, the
nature of Manu itself. The universe has, as it were, a new
mind after every manwantara. This change is always for the
better. The mind is ever spiritualizing. The later the Manu
the more spiritual. A time will come when the present macrocosmic
mind will be entirely absorbed into the soul. The same is the case
with the microcosm of man. Thus Brahma is by nature
omniscient. He is conscious of a self. The types of everything
that was or is to be in the process of time are but so many
varying compositions of his tatwas. Every phase of the
universe, with its antecedents and consequents, is in him. It is
himself, his own self-consciousness. One mind is absorbed in him
in the space of fourteen manwantara. The motion of the
mental tatwas is so much accelerated that they become spiritual.
By the time that this takes place in the Universe the vibrations
of the tatwas of prana too are being accelerated
under the influence of Manu until the prana itself
is turned into the Manu of the next period. And again,
while this is being done, the gross matter is similarly developing
itself into prana.

This is the process of involution, but for
the present let us leave it here and resume the

The human soul is an exact picture of this
macrocosmic principle. It is omniscient like its prototype, and
has the same constitution. But the omniscience of the human soul
is yet latent on account of her forgetfulness. The sixth principle
(absolute) has developed only a little. Humanity in general has
only a very dim notion of infinity, of Godhead, and of all such
subjects. This means that the rays of the infinite are only just
evoking our sixth principle into active life at this stage of our
progress. When in the process of time the rays of the infinite
gather sufficient strength, our soul will come out in her true
light. We might accelerate this process by vairagya
(apathy), which gives strength to Yoga, as we have

The means of strengthening Yoga
deserve separate consideration. Some of them help to remove those
influences and forces that are antagonistic to progress; others,
such as the contemplation of the divine principle, accelerate the
process of development of the human soul, and the consequent
absorption of the mind in the soul. At present I have simply to
discover the nature of the blissful samadhi, which I spoke
of as being caused by the reflection of the soul in the

This reflection simply means the
assumption by the mind of the state of the soul. The mind passes
from its own ordinary state to the state of the higher energy of
the soul. The greater number of tatwic vibrations per second make
their way in the matter of a lower number of tatwic vibrations per
second. The English language recognizes this rising up of the
mind, this passing out of itself, as elation, and this is the
meaning of the word ananda as qualifying the third state of
the samprajnata samadhi. The ananda maya kosha takes
its name from its being the state of the highest upheaval. Every
moment of ananda is a step towards the absorption of the
mind as it changes its nature, passing forever into a higher state
of consistency. That state which in ananda only appeared in
the moment of triumph now becomes part and parcel of the mind.
This confirmation of the higher energy is known by the name of
Asmita, which may be translated by the word egoism, but
means making part and parcel of self.

Yoga (II) ~

The object in view in this article is to
mark the stages along the road of mental matter to its final
absorption in the soul. In the last essay I brought the mind to
the state of samprajnata samadhi. It is in this state that
the mind acquires the power of discovering new truths, and seeing
new combinations of things existent. As this state has been
attained in the long cycle of bygone ages, man has acquired a
knowledge of science to its present stage of development, and the
attainment of this quantum of knowledge has been the means of
raising our minds to our present pitch of perfection, when we have
learned to say that these great powers are native to the human
mind. As I have shown, these powers have become native to the mind
only after long submission of the mind to the influence of the

By the constant exercise of this
samadhi the mind learns to incline towards those cosmic
influences that are in their very nature antagonistic to those bad
powers of our constitution that check our progress. These powers
tend to die out naturally. The ultimate goal of this march is that
the state of mind when its manifestation become entirely
potential. The soul, if she pleases, might propel them by her
inherent power into the domain of the actual, but they lose all
power to draw the soul after them.

When this state is reached, or when it is
about to be reached, certain powers begin to show themselves in
the mind, which in the present cycle are by no means common. This
state is technically called paravairagya, or the Higher

The word vairagya usually is
rendered into English as apathy, and is looked upon with disfavor
by modern thinkers. This is, I believe, owing to a misconception
of the meaning of the word. It is generally understood that
misanthropy is the only indication, or perhaps the highest
perfection, of this mental state. Nothing can be further from the
intention of those sages who put vairagya down as the
highest means of the attainment of bliss. Vairagya or
apathy is defined by Vyasa in his commentary on The Aphorisms
of Yoga
as the “final state of perfected knowledge”. It is
that state in which the mind, coming to know the real nature of
things, would no longer be deluded into false pleasure by the
manifestations of avidya. When this upward inclination
becomes confirmed, when this habit of soaring towards the divine
becomes second nature, the name of paravairagya is given to
the complementary mental state.

This state is reached in many ways, and
the road is marked by many clearly defined stages. One way is the
practice of samprajnata samadhi. By the constant practice
of this samadhi, to which the mind runs of itself when it
once tastes the bliss of the fourth stage of that state, the mind
is habituated to a state of faith in the efficacy of the pursuit.
This faith is nothing more than a state of mental lucidity in
which the yet unknown truths of nature begin to throw their
shadows before them. The mind begins to feel truth in any and
every place, and drawn by the taste of bliss (ananda), sets
to work out the process of its evolution with greater and greater
zeal. This faith has been called Sraddha by Patanjali, and
he calls the consequent zeal Virya.

Confirmed in this zeal and working on, the
manifestation of memory comes in naturally. This is a high state
of evolution. Every truth becomes present before the mind’s
eye at the slightest thought, and the four stages of
samadhi make their appearance again and again till the mind
becomes very nearly a mirror of Nature.

This corresponds to the state of
paravairagya, which in the second place would also be
attained by the contemplation of the High Prototype of the Soul.
This is the Iswara of Ptanjali, the macrocosmic soul that
remains forever in that entity’s soul of pristine purity. It
is this Iswara of that I have spoken as the self-conscious

This Iswara, as I conceive it, is
only a macrocosmic center, similar in nature to the sun, though
higher in function.

As the sun with his ocean of Prana
is the prototype of our life-principle, prana maya kosha,
so Iswara is the great prototype of our souls. What is the
sixth principle of not only a phase of the existence of this great
being prolonged as a separate phase into the lower principles, yet
destined to emerge again into its own true self? Just as I have
shown that the principles of life live in the sun after our
terrestrial death, to recur again and again into actual life, so
too the soul lives in the Iswara in a similar fashion. We
may look upon this entity as being the group of all the liberated
souls, but at the same time we must remember that the unliberated
souls also are his undeveloped reflections, destined in the long
run to attain their original state. It is therefore necessary to
assume the independent existence of Iswara, and of other
souls in Iswara.

This macrocosmic psychic center, this
ideal of the sixth principle in man, is the great reservoir of
every actual force in the universe. He is the true type of the
perfection of the human soul. The incidents of mental and physical
existence which, however perfect in themselves, are to His more
comprehensive nature mere imperfections, find no place in Him.
There is no misery for Him — the five comprehensive miseries of
Patanjali are enumerated above — for misery can arise only in the
retrograde process of the first awakening of the mind, only being
caused by sensation, and the human sixth principle not yet gaining
sufficient strength in the process of time to draw the mind
towards itself and out of the domain of the senses, to make it
what its prototype originally is, the rod of dominion, and not as
sensation has made it, the instrument of slavery.

By this conemplation of the sixth
principle of the Universe, a sympathy is established naturally
between it and the human soul. That sympathy is only necessary for
the Universal Tatwic Law to work with greater effect. The human
soul begins to be cleansed of the dust of the world and in its
turn affects the mind in a similar way, and therein the
yogi becomes conscious of this influence by the slackening
of the fetters forged by Prakriti, and a daily, hourly
strengthening of heavenward aspirations.

The human soul then begins to become a
center of power for its own little universe, just as Iswara
is the center of power in His universe. The microcosm then becomes
a perfect little picture of the macrocosm. When perfection is
attained, all the mental and physiological tatwas of the
microcosm, and to a certain extent of the surrounding world,
become the slaves of the soul. Whitherso it may incline, the
tatwas are at its back. He may will, and the atmospheric Vayu
, with any amount of strength he pleases or is capable of
centering, will set in motion any piece of furniture within the
reach of his will. He may will, and at the instant the apas tatwa
will slake your thirst, cure your fever, or in fact wash off the
germs of any disease. He may will, and any and every tatwa
on either of the lower planes will do its work for him. These high
powers do not wait to come in all of a sudden, but show themselves
gradually, and according to the special aptitudes in special

But a description of these powers is not
my present business. My only purpose is to show in what way,
according to the universal law of nature, by contemplation of the
macrocosmic sixth principle, that the human soul becomes the means
for the mind attaining the state called

Besides these two, the author of The
Aphorisms of Yoga
enumerates five more ways in which the minds
of those who are already by the power of previous karma
inclined towards the divine, are seen to work out their way to the
sate of paravairagya.

This first way is the habituating of the
mind to the manifestations of pleasure, sympathy, elation, and
pity toward the comfortable, the miserable, and the vicious
respectively. Every good man will tell us that the manifestation
of joy at the comfort of another is a high virtue. Why, what harm
is there in jealousy? I think no other science except the
philosophy of the tatwas explains with any amount of
satisfaction the reason why of such questions.

We have seen that in a state of enjoyment,
comfort, pleasure, satisfaction, and the like, the prithivi
or the apas tatwa prevails in the prana and the mind. It is
evident that if we put our minds in the same, we induce either of
the two tatwas in our life and mental principles. What will be the
result? A process of purification will set in. Both the principles
will being to be cleansed of any trace of defect that the excess
of any remaining tatwas may have given to our

All those physiological or mental causes
that induce inattention in the mind are removed. Bodily distempers
take their leave for they are the result of the disturbance of the
balance of the physiological tatwas, and comfort, pleasure
and enjoyment are foreign to these. The one induces the other. As
the balance of the tatwas brings comfort and enjoyment of
life, so the sense of comfort and enjoyment that colors our
prana and mind when we put ourselves in sympathy with the
comfortable, restores the balance of our tatwas.

And when the balance of tatwas is
restored, what remains? Disinclination to work, doubt, laziness
and other feelings of that kind can no longer stand, and the only
result is the restoration of the mind to perfect calmness. As
Vyasa says in his commentary, the White Law makes its appearance
in the mind. Such and in a similar way is the result of the
manifestation of the other qualities. But for such a result to
beachieved, there must be long and powerful

The next method is Pranayama, deep
expiration and inspiration. This too conduces to the same end and
in the same way. The drawing of deep breaths in and out has to
some extent the same effect as running and other hard exercise.
The heat that is produced burns down certain elements of disease,
which if it desirable should be burnt. But the practice in its
effects differs for the better from hard exercise. In hard
exercise the susumna begins to play, and that is not good
for physiological health. Pranayama, if properly performed,
however, is beneficial from a physiological as well as from a
mental point of view. The first effect that is produced in
pranayama is the general prevalence of the prithivi
. It is unnecessary to remind the reader that the apas
carries the breath lowest down, and that the
Prithivi is the next. In our attempt to draw deeper breaths
than usual, the prithivi tatwa cannot but be introduced,
and the general prevalence of this tatwa, with the
consequent golden tinge of the circle of light round our heads,
can never fail to cause fixity of purpose and strength of
attention. The apas tatwa comes in next. This is the
silvery hue of innocence that encircles the head of a saint and
marks the attainment of paravairagya.

The next is the attainment of the two-fold
lucidity — the sensuous and the cardiac. The sensuous lucidity is
the power of the senses to perceive the changes of prana.
The previously trained attention, according to special aptitudes,
is centered on any one of the five senses or more. If centered in
the eyes, one can see the physiological and atmospheric colors of
prana. I can affirm this by personal experience. I can see
the various colors of the seasons. I can see the rain coming an
hour, two hours, and sometimes even two days before an actual
shower. Bright sheets of the green washed into coolness and purity
by the white make their appearance anywhere about me — in the
room, in the heavens, on the table before me, on the wall in
front. When this happens, I am sure that rain is in the air and
will come down soon. If the green is streaked with red, it takes
some time to come, but it is surely preparing.

These remarks are enough for color. The
power can be made to show itself by a sustained attempt to look
into space, or anything else, as the moon, a star, a jewel, and so
on. The remaining four senses also attain similar powers, and
sounds, smells, tastes and touches that ordinary humanity cannot
perceive begin to be perceived by the Yogi.

The cardiac lucidity is the power of the
mind to feel and also that of the senses to perceive thoughts. In
the article on Prana, I have given a chart of the head,
specifying the places and giving the colors of the various kinds
of mental manifestations. These colors are seen by anyone who has
or acquires the power, and they constitute the surest book in
which to read the thoughts of any man. By sustained practice one
will recognize the finest shades.

One can also feel these thoughts. The
modifications of thought moving along the universal tatwic wires
affect any and every man. They each impart a distinct impulse to
the prana maya kosha, and thus a distinguishable impulse to
the throbs of the brain and the more easily perceivable throbs of
the heart. A man who studies these throbs of the heart and sits
with his attention centered into the heart (while it is of course
open to every influence) learns to feel every influence there. The
effect on the heart of the mental modifications of other people is
a fact that, so far as quality is concerned, may be verified by
the commonest experience.

This sensuous or cardiac lucidity, as the
case may be, once attained kills skepticism, and in the end
conduces to the state of paravairagya.

In the next place, says Patanjali, one may
rely upon the knowledge obtainable through dreams and sleep. But
this will do for the present.

Yoga The Soul (III) ~

The five ethereal currents of sensation
are focused in the brain, and motion is transmitted to the mental
principle from these five centers of force. These various foci
serve a connecting links between the mental and the
life-principles. The visual currents produce in the mind the
capability of becoming conscious of color. In other words, they
produce eyes in the mind. Similarly, the mind gets the capability
of receiving the impressions of the four remaining sensations.
This capability is acquired after the exposure of ages. Cycles
upon cycles pass, and the mind is not yet capable of receiving
these tatwic vibrations. The wave of life begins its organized
journey upon earth with vegetable forms. Since that time external
currents begin to affect the vegetable organism, and this is the
beginning of what we call sensation. The modifications of the
external tatwas through the individualized vegetable life strike
the chords of the latent mind, but it will not yet respond. It is
not in sympathy. Higher and higher through vegetable forms the
life-wave travels; greater and greater is the force with which it
strikes the mental chords, and better and better is the capability
of that principle to respond to the tatwic calls of life. When we
reach the animal kingdom the external tatwic foci are just
visible. These are the sensuous organs, each of which has the
capability of focusing its own peculiar tatwic rays into itself.
In the lowest forms of animal life they are just visible, and this
is a sign that the mental principle is then in a comparatively
high state of perfection: it has begun to respond somewhat to the
external tatwic call. It might be remarked here that this is the
superposed relative mind, and not the absolute original mental
truti, both of which I have already described. It is the
uprising of this evolutionary finite structure on all the planes
of life that has led a German philosopher to the conclusion that
God is Becoming. This is true of course, but it is only true of
the finite Universe of names and forms and not of the absolute
towards which it is moving.

To resume: The exposure of this animal
life to the external tatwas is longer and longer, and the strength
becomes greater and greater in their various foci, the formation
of these foci becomes higher and higher, the external call upon
the mind is stronger and stronger, and the mental response is more
and more perfect. A time comes in the progress of this mental
evolution when the five mental senses are perfectly developed, as
is marked by the development of the external senses. We call the
action of the five mental senses the phenomenon of perception. On
the manifestation of this perception is raised the mighty fabric
of perception of those mental manifestations that I have discussed
in the essay on Mind. The way in which this evolution takes place
is sketched there too.

The external tatwas of gross matter create
gross foci in a gross body from whence to send their currents. The
soul does the same. The tatwic currents of the external soul,
Iswara, create similar centers of action in connection with
the mind. But the tatwic vibrations of the soul are finer than
those of the life-principle. The mental matter takes a longer time
to respond to the call of Iswara than it does to answer to
the call of Prana. It is not till the life-wave reaches
humanity that the vibrations of the soul begin to show themselves
in the mind. The foci of psychic currents are located in what is
called the vijnana maya kosha, the psychic coil. At the
time of the beginning of human life, the psychic foci go on
gaining strength, race after race, till we reach the point that I
have called the awakening of the soul. That process ends in the
confirmation of the state of paravairagya. From this state
there are only a few steps to the power of what has been called
ulterior or psychic perception. Our former perception may now be
called animal perception. And just as the mighty fabric of
inference and verbal authority has been raised on the basis of
animal perception, a more mighty fabric of inference and verbal
authority has been raised on the basis of psychic perception by
ancient Aryan sages. We shall come to that by and bye.

As practice confirms the state of
paravairagya in the Yogi’s mind, it gets the
most perfect calm. It is open to all sorts of tatwic influences,
without any sensuous disturbance. The next power that consequently
shows itself is called samapatti. I define this word as
that mental state in which it becomes capable of receiving the
reflection of the subjective and the objective worlds, and the
means of knowledge at the slightest motion, however

Intuition has four stages: (1) Sa
, verbal, (2) Nir vitarka, wordless, (3) Sa
, meditative, (4) Nir vichara,

The state of intuition has been likened to
a bright, pure, transparent, colorless crystal. Place whatever you
will behind such a crystal, and it will show itself in the color
of that object. And so does the mind behave in this state. Let the
tatwic rays that constitute the objective world fall on it, and it
shows itself in the colors of the objective world. Remove these
colors, and it is again as pure as crystal, ready to show in
itself any other colors that might be presented to it. Think of
the elementary forces of Nature, the tatwa, think of the
gross objects where they work, think of the organs of sense and
their genesis and the method of their operations, think of the
soul, liberated or bound, and the mind readily falls into each of
these states. It retains no particular color that might oppose or
vitiate any other color entering it. The first stage of intuition
is verbal. It is the most common in this age and therefore the
most easily intelligible. Let the reader think of a mind in which
no color is evoked at the sound of scientific words. Let him think
of thousands of those men in whose minds the sounds of their own
language, full of high and great ideas, is as strange as Hebrew.
Take an uneducated English peasant and teach him to read Comus. Do
you think those beautiful words will carry to him all they are
intended to convey? But why an uneducated peasant? Did the great
Johnson himself understand the beauties of Milton? Take again a
common schoolboy, and read to him in his own language the truths
of philosophy. Does that language, even if you gave him its
lexicographic meaning, convey any idea to his mind? Take the
Upanishad, and read it to any pandit who can
understand Sanskrit reasonably well. Does anyone doubt (I do not)
that he does not understand all that those noble words convey?
With such a mind, let him compare the mind of a really educated
man, a mind that almost intuitively takes in the true sense of
words. To take in the full sense that words are intended to convey
is not an easy task, even for the highly educated. Prejudice,
deep-seated antagonistic theories, the strength of one’s own
convictions, and perhaps some other characteristics of the mind
prove to be an insurmountable obstacle. Even a John Stuart Mill
could not properly understand the philosophy of Sir William
Hamilton. One of the greatest Oriental scholars says that
Patanjali’s system is no philosophy at all! Another has
expressed himself to the effect that Patanjali’s
Aphorisms on Yoga are mere fanaticism! There are many
tantras of which, though we might translate them into any
language, very few of us really know the meaning. This is a very
grave shortcoming, and sometimes much to be regretted. It
disappears only with the manifestation of verbal intuition. In
this state the Yogi is at once en rapport with the
author of the book, and this is because his mind is free from
every blinding prejudice, and is in fact a pure, bright, colorless
crystal, ready to show any phase of color that might come in
contact with it.

The next stage of intuition is wordless.
In this you no longer stand in need of books to initiate yourself
into the secrets of nature. Your mind becomes capable of serving
these truths from their fountainhead: true pictures of everything
in every state of the objective word which through the agency of
prana are represented in the universal mind, pictures that
are the souls of these things, their own true selves, pregnant
with every state in which the thing has passed, or has to pass,
the realities of the various and varying phases of the phenomenal
world, the thing which in a table, a glass, a pen, and in fact any
and every thing, is hard or soft, long or short, white or

These state have for their object the
gross phenomenal world. The next two stages of intuition have for
their object the world of forces that lies at the root of the
changes of the gross world, the world of subtle bodies. The
meditative intuition has for its object only the present
manifestation of the currents of the subtle body, the forces that
are already showing or going to show themselves. In this state,
for example, the Yogi knows intuitively the present forces
of the atmospheric Prana as they are gathering strength
enough to give us a shower of rain or snow, but he does not know
what has given them their present activity, or whether the
potential will ever become the actual, and if yes, to what extent.
He knows the forces that are working at the present moment in that
tree, that horse, that man, the powers that keep these things in
the state they are in, but he does not know the antecedents and
consequents of that state.

The next state has for its object all the
three states of subtle bodies. The present state is know of
course, but with it the Yogi draws in the whole history of
the object from beginning to end. Place before him a rose, and he
knows its subtle principle in all this states, antecedents and
consequents. He is familiar with the little beginnings of the bush
and its growth in various stages; he knows how the budding began,
how the bud opened, and how it grows into a beautiful flower. He
knows what its end shall be, and when. Put before him a closed
letter, and he knows not only what that letter contains, but he
can trace those thoughts to the brain whence they proceeded, to
the hand that wrote the letter, to the room in which they were
written, and so on. It is in this state too that the mind knows
mind, without the medium of words.

These four states constitute what is
called the objective trance (savija samadhi).

Occasionally these powers show themselves
in many minds. But that simply shows that the favored mortal is on
the right track. He must make sure of the point if he would

When the last stage of this samadhi
is confirmed in the mind, our psychic senses gain the power of
that amount of certain knowledge which is the portion of our
animal senses. The authority of these senses is supreme with us,
so far as the gross world is concerned. In a similar way there is
no room left for us to doubt the truth of the knowledge that our
psychic senses bring us. The high power of knowing every
supersensuous truth with perfect certainty is known as
Ritambhara, or psychic perception.

The knowledge that psychic perception
gives us is by no means to be confounded with the knowledge
obtained through inference, imagination, or the records of others’

Inference, imagination, and verbal
authority, based on animal perception, can only work upon
knowledge obtained through animal senses. But psychic perception
and inference based upon that has for its object things of the
supersensuous world, the realities that underlie the phenomenal
existence with which we are familiar. That perception takes in the
fact of the existence and the nature of Prakriti, the most
subtle state of matter, just as animal perception takes in gross

Animal perception draws the mind towards
gross matter, the world that has given it birth. So does psychic
perception draw the mind towards the soul. The practice of
objective samadhi destroys itself. The mind takes in so
much of the higher energy of the soul that it loses its mental
consistency. Down goes the entire structure of unreal names and
forms. The soul lives in herself, and not in the mind as

With this the greater part of my work is
done. It is now clear that what we call man lives chiefly in the
mind. The mind has two entities to affect it. The one is the
life-principle, the other the psychic principle, the once
producing certain changes in the mind from below, the other from
above. These changes have been recorded, and it has been found
that the dominion of the soul is more desirable than that of the
life principle. When the mind loses itself entirely in the soul,
man becomes God.

The object of these essays has been
roughly to portray the nature, function and mutual relation of the
principles; in other words, to trace the operation of the
universal tatwic law on all the planes of existence. This has been
briefly done. A good deal more remains to be said about the powers
latent in the Prana and the mind, which show themselves in
special departments of the progress of man. That need not,
however, form part of the present series, and therefore I close
this series with some description of the first and last principle
of the cosmos: the Spirit.

The Spirit ~

This is the anandamaya kosha,
literally the coil of bliss of the Vedantins. With the power of
psychic perception, the soul knows the existence of this entity,
but in the present stage of human development it has hardly made
its presence directly felt in the human constitution. The
characteristic difference between the soul and the spirit is the
absence of the “I” in the latter.

It is the dawn of the day of evolution. It
is the first setting-in of the positive current of the great
breath. It is the first state of cosmic activity after the night
of Mahapralaya. As we have seen, the breath in every state
of existence has three states: the positive, the negative, and the
susumna. The susumna is pregnant with either of the two
states. This is the state that is described in the Parameshthi
of the Rig Veda as neither Sat (positive)
nor Asat (negative). This is the primary state of
parabrahma, in which the whole universe lies hidden like a
tree in the seed. As billows rise and lose themselves in an ocean,
the two states of evolution and involution take their rise in this
state, and in due time are lost in the same. What is
Prakriti itself in this state of potential omnipotence? The
phenomena of Prakriti owe their origin and existence to the
modifications of the great breath. When that great breath is in
the state of susumna, can we not say that Prakriti
itself is held in that state by susumna? It is in fact
parabrahma that is all in all. Prakriti is only the
shadow of that substance, and like a shadow it follows the
modifications of His great breath. The first modification of the
great breath is the setting in of the evolutionary (positive)
current) In this state, Prakriti is ready to modify into
the ethers of the first degree, which make up the atmosphere from
which Iswara draws life. In the first state of evolution,
the Subject (parabrahma) whose breath causes these
modifications of Prakriti, is known as Sat, the
fountainhead of all existence. The I is latent in this state.
Naturally enough, because it is the differentiation that gives
birth to the I. But what is this state? Must man be annihilated
before he reaches this state of what from the standpoint of man is
called nirvana or paranirvana? There is no reason to
suppose that it is the state of annihilation any more than a
certain amount of latent heat is annihilated in water. The simple
fact is that the color that constitutes the ego becomes latent in
the spirit’s higher form of energy. It is a state of
consciousness or knowledge above self, not certainly destroying

The individual spirit bears the same
relation to the Sat which the individual soul bears to the
Iswara, the individual mind to the Virat, and the
individual life-principle to the Prana. Each center is
given birth to by the tatwic rays of that degree. Each is a drop
in its own ocean. The Upanishad explains this state under
many names. The Chhandogva, however, has a very
comprehensive dialogue on this subject between Uddalaka and his
son Shwetakete.

Professor Max Muller has made some very
questionable remarks on certain assertions in this dialogue,
calling them “more or less fanciful”. These remarks could never
have fallen from so learned a man had he known and understood
something of the ancient Science of Breath and the Philosophy of
the Tatwas. The Upanishad can never be very intelligible
without this comprehensive science. It must be remembered that the
Upanishads themselves have in many places clearly laid down
that a teacher is wanted for the proper understanding of these
divine words. Now the teacher taught nothing else but the Science
of Breath, which is said to be the secret doctrine of all secret
doctrines. It is, in fact, the key to all that is taught in the
Upanishad. The little book that tries to explain these
essays to the world appears from its very arrangement to be a
compilation of various couplets on the same subject, inherited
from various esoteric circles. In fact, this handful of stanzas
has its chief value as a key to Aryan philosophy and occult
science, but even this little book will hardly serve to dispel the
gloom of ages.

To return, however, to the dialogue
between the father and the son: it is contained in the sixth
Prapathaka of the Chhandogya Upanishad.

“In the beginning, my dear, there was only
that which is one only, without a second. Others say in the
beginning there was that only, which is not one only, without a
second, and from which is not, that which is was born.”

This is the translation of Professor max
Muller. Notwithstanding the authority of his great name, and real
scholarship, I venture to think that the sense of the
Upanishad is totally lost sight of in this translation. The
words of the original are:

Sad eva saumyedamagre

I cannot find any word in the translation
giving the sense of the word idam in the original. Idam
means “this”, and it has been explained as meaning the phenomenal
world. This that is perceived, etc. Therefore real translation of
the text would be:

“This (world) was Sat alone in the

Perhaps in the translation of Professor
Muller the word “there” is printed by mistake for “this”. If this
is the case, the defect in the translation is at once

The text means that the first state of the
world before differentiation was the state known as Sat.
From what comes afterwards, it appears that this is the state of
the Universe in which all its phenomena, material, mental and
psychic, are held in posse. The word eva, which in
the translation stands for the word “alone” or “only”, signifies
that in the beginning of the Day of Evolution the universe had not
all the five, or even two or more of the five planes of existence
together. Now such is the case, but in the beginning the
Sat existed alone.

The Sat is one only, without a
second. There is no qualification of time in these two epithets.
The Sat is one alone, not like the Prana, the
Virat, and Iswara, having all three existing
simultaneously, a shadowy side of existence.

The next sentence goes on to say that in
the beginning there was Asat alone. As Professor Muller
renders it, “There [?] was that only which is

Now this carries no meaning,
notwithstanding the Greek accompaniment. That the word Asat
is used in the sense of “that which is not” or briefly “nothing”,
there is no doubt. But there is also no doubt that such is not the
meaning of the Upanishad. The words are used here in the
same sense in which they are used in the “Nosad asit” hymn
of the Rigveda.

“Then there was neither the Sat nor
the Asat.”

This of course is a state quite other than
the Sat of the Upanishad. It is nothing more than
the susumna of the Brahmic breath. After this in the
beginning of evolution the Brahma became Sat. This
is the positive potential phase. The Asat is nothing more
than the cooler negative life current that rules during the night
of Maha pralaya. When the shadowy Prakriti has
undergone the preparatory influence of the negative current, the
day of evolution sets in with the beginning of the positive
current. The dispute as to beginning is merely of a technical
nature. In reality there is no beginning. It is all a motion in
the circle, and from this point of view we may put whatever state
we like in the beginning.

But the Asat philosopher argues
that unless the Maya undergo the preparatory influence of
the Night, there can be no creation. Hence, according to him, we
must put Asat at the beginning.

The sage Uddalaka would not consent to
this. According to him, the active impressive force is in the
Sat, the positive state, just as all the life-forms take
their origin from Prana (the positive life matter) and not
from Rayi (the negative life matter) — see the
Prasnopnishat. It is only impressibility that exists I the
Asat; the real names and forms of the phenomenal Universe
do not exist there. In fact, the name Asat has been given
to the primary state of the evolving universe for this very
reason. If we would translate these two words into English, we
would have to coin two very unique compounds: Sat
(that-in-which-is) and Asat

It is only such a rendering that would
carry the true idea, and hence it is advisable to retain the
Sanskrit words and explain them as well as one can.

That actually existing state in which the
names and forms do not exist cannot very properly stand as the
cause of the names and forms that do not exist. Hence the
Sat alone was in the beginning, etc.

The individual spirit has the same
relation to the Sat as the soul has to the

That will do for now. It is enough to show
that there is no annihilation anywhere in the Universe.
Nirvana simply means the enlightenment (which is not
extinction) of the phenomenal rays.