The Science of Breath & the Philosophy of the Tatwas

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The Science
of Breath & the Philosophy of the

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



The Theosophical Publishing
Society, London (1890)



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

Yoga ~ The Soul (I)

Yoga (II)

Yoga (III)

The Spirit


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
. 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 public.

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

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 with.

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

Finer Forces

& 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
. 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

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 triangle.

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 motion.

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 akasa.

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

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 transparency.

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 wave:

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

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 mutandis. 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,

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,

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

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

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

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

Color        Smell

very light   
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 (Ananda)

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

(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 result.

(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

(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

(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

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

Evolution ~

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

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 universe.

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

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
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
365 Brahmic days and nights = 1 year of
71 Daiva yuga = 1 Manwantara.
12,000 Brahmic years = 1 Chaturyuga of Brahma, and
so one.
200 yuga of Brahma = 1 day and night of

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

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 (pralaya).

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

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 tatwa 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 tatwa
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 universe.

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 suns.

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 higher.

(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

(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 class.

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

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

(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 loka. These three (5, 6, and 7) are sacred
to Brahma.

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 principles.

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

Well then, in this Brahmic sphere
of Vayu, except for some space near the
parabrahmic akasa, 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 these.

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

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

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

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

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

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
, 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

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 state.

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 — ice.

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

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
. 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 Breath

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

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

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

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

“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

“[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

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 currents.

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

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 negative.

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)

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 petals.

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

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 nadi). 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

“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 states.”

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 capillaries.

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 read:

“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 crookedly.”

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

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

(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

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 translation):

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

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

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

“(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

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

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

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

“(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

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 centers.

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 Breath
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
. 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 tatwa. 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

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

(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

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 spine.

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

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, susupti). These three changes
produce corresponding changes in the manamaya
(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 sandhi). 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

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 side).

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 agility.

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

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

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

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 white:

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

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

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 tatwas.

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
, 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 on.

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,
, blue; (2) Foot, i, yellow; (3) Tongue (speech),
apas, white; (4) Anus, akasa, dark; (5)
Genitals, i, red.

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

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 clear:

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 tatwa 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 other.

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, saraswati) is one of the most
important goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. The apas
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 b.

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
, 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

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 man.

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

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
— 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 Yoga.

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 heir.

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

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

(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

(3) 15 degrees strength:
Hora; (4) 10 degrees strength: Dreskana;
(5) 200 degrees strength: Navaansha; (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 prana:

The 3rd of April, Tuesday ~
Sign    Degree   
Minute    Second
Mercury   10     

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

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

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 kala (See Yoga
, 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

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 Kaliyuga.

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

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 Prana:

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 included.

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 axis.

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 same.

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

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 earth.

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

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

The Coming In Of Prana

How does this prana maya
— 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 vyana.

“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

“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 Sun).

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 action.

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

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 world.

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 domain:

“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

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

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

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 life-matter.]

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

“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

“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

“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 Recorder].

“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

“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 (manomayakosha).

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 prakriti.

“I see something” means,
according to our view of knowledge, that my manomaya
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 attraction).

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 (Smrite).

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

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


(1) Ignorance (avidya,
), (2) Egoism (asinita, moha), (3)
Retention (raja, mahamoka), (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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 conception.

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

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 blind.

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


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

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
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
. 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 sharira) 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

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

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

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 mind.”

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 sleep.

I pass on now to the fifth and
last mental manifestation.

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

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 tatwa, 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

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 life.

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 kosha, 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

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 organism.

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

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

“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

“’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 sleep].

“’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 together.

“’The soul is the
Vijnana atma, 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

“’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

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

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 actions.”

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 say:

“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
. 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

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

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

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 Matarishwa.

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 facts:

(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

“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 Guru.”

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 appropriate.

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

This pictorial whole is only the
cosmic counterpart of the individual prana maya
(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 gallery.

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

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

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

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 influence.

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
) 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

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

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
). 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

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 life.

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

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

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

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

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
), (2) the unhappy prana, (3) the
unhappy mind, (4) the happy prana, (5) the happy
mind, (6) the soul (vijana), and (7) the spirit

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 evolution.

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 these?”

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

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 ideal.

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 subject.

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 seen.

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 mind.

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
. 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 soul.

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

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 Apathy.

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
. 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 universe.

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

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

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 tatwa, 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 forms.

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 paravairagya.

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

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 constitution.

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 application.

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 tatwa. It is unnecessary to remind the
reader that the apas tatwa 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

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

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

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

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

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

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 vitarka, verbal, (2) Nir vitarka,
wordless, (3) Sa vichara, meditative, (4) Nir
, ultra-meditative.

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

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 win.

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’ experience.

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 matter.

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 now.

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

The Spirit ~

This is the anandamaya
, 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 sukta 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

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

“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

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 beginning.”

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 cured.

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

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 not.”

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

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