The Web of Yoga

TO BE one in all ways of thy being with that which is the Highest, this is Yoga.

To be one in all ways of thy being with that which is the All, this is Yoga.

To be one in thy spirit and with thy understanding and thy heart and in all thy members with the God in humanity, this is Yoga.

To be one with all Nature and all beings, this is Yoga.

All this is to be one with God in his transcendence and his cosmos and all that he has created in his being. Because from him all is and all is in him and he is all and in all and because he is thy highest Self and thou art one with him in thy spirit and a portion of him in thy soul and at play with him in thy nature, and because this world is a scene in his being in which he is thy secret Master and lover and friend and the lord and sustainer of all thou art, therefore is oneness with him the perfect way of thy being.

 

THE EVOLUTIONARY AIM OF YOGA

The human being on earth is God playing at humanity in a world of matter under the conditions of a hampered density with the ulterior intention of imposing law of spirit on matter and nature of deity upon human nature. Evolution is nothing but the progressive unfolding of Spirit out of the density of material consciousness and the gradual self-revelation of God out of this apparent animal being.

Yoga is the application, for this process of divine self-revelation, of the supreme force of Tapas by which God created the world, supports it and will destroy it. It substitutes always some direct action of an infinite divine force for the limited workings of our fettered animal humanity. It uses divine means in order to rise to divinity.

All Yoga is Tapasya and all Siddhi of Yoga is accomplishment of godhead either by identity or by relation with the Divine Being — in its principles or its personality or in both — or simultaneously by identity and relation.

Identity is the principle of Adwaita, relation of Dwaita, relation in a qualified identity of Visishtadwaita. But entire perfection comes by identity with God in essential experience and relation of difference with Him in experience of manifestation.


The infinite Being in rest aware of its own eternal oneness. There is the everlasting silence of the Absolute.

The infinite Conscious Power in movement aware of its own eternal many-ness — the everlasting movement and creation of the Supreme.

As in the immobile ether arises, first sign of the creative impulse of Nature, vibration, Shabda, and this vibration is a line of etheric movement, is ether contacting ether in its own field of mobile self-force and that primal stir is sufficient to initiate all forms and forces, even such is the original movement of the Infinite.

But this vibration is not the stir of any material force or substance and this contact is not material contact. This is a vibration of consciousness in spiritual essence; this is the contact of consciousness with itself in spiritual substance.

This original movement, not original or first in Time, for it was from ever and continues for ever, but original in that action of consciousness which is an eternal repetition of all things in an eternal present, or, if you will, an eternal past-present-future, the three simultaneous times of that ever packed Time of the Infinite that translates to our blind finite conception as the vast timelessness of the Absolute.


Matter is but a form of consciousness; nevertheless solve not the object entirely into its subjectivity. Reject not the body of God, O God lover, but keep it for thy joy; for His body too is delightful even as His spirit.

Perishable and transitory delight is always the symbol of the eternal Ananda, revealed and rapidly concealed, which seeks by increasing recurrence to attach itself to some typical form of experience in material consciousness. When the particular form has been perfected to express God in the type, its delight will no longer be perishable, but an eternally recurrent possession of man and beings in matter manifest in their periods and often in their movements of felicity.

II

All existence is Brahman, Atman and Ishwara, three names for one unnameable reality which alone exists. We shall give to this sole real existence the general name of God, because we find it ultimately to be not an abstract state of Existence, not conscious of itself, but a supreme and self-aware One who exists — absolutely in Himself, infinitely in the world with an appearance of the finite in His various manifestations in the world.

God in Himself apart from all world manifestation or realisable relation to world-manifestation is called the Paratpara Brahman, and is not knowable either to the knowledge that analyses or the knowledge that synthetically conceives. We can neither say of Him that He is personal or impersonal, existence or non-existence, pure or impure, Atman or un-Atman. We can only say to every attempt to define Him positively or negatively, neti neti not this, not this. We can pass into the Paratpara Brahman, but we cannot know the Paratpara Brahman.

God in the world is Brahman-Iswara-Atman, Prakriti or Shakti and Jiva. These are the three terms of His world-manifestation.

INITIAL DEFINITION AND DESCRIPTIONS

Yoga has four powers and objects, purity, liberty, beatitude and perfection. Whosoever has consummated these four mightinesses in the being of the transcendental, universal, lilamãya and individual God is the complete and absolute Yogin.

All manifestations of God are manifestations of the absolute Parabrahman.

The Absolute Parabrahman is unknowable to us, not because It is the nothingness of all that we are, for rather whatever we are in truth or in seeming is nothing but Parabrahman, but because It is pre-existent and supra-existent to even the highest and purest methods and the most potent and illimitable instruments of which soul in the body is capable.

In Parabrahman knowledge ceases to be knowledge and becomes an inexpressible identity. Become Parabrahman, if thou wilt and if That will suffer thee, but strive not to know It; for thou shalt not succeed with these instruments and in this body.

In reality thou art Parabrahman already and ever wast and ever will be. To become Parabrahman in any other sense, thou must depart utterly out of world-manifestation and out even of world-transcendence.

Why shouldst thou hunger after departure from manifestation as if the world were an evil? Has not That manifested itself in thee and in the world and art thou wiser and purer and better than the Absolute, O mind-deceived soul in the mortal? When That withdraws thee, then thy going hence is inevitable; until Its force is laid on thee, thy going is impossible, cry thy mind never so fiercely and wailingly for departure. Therefore neither desire nor shun thy world, but seek the bliss and purity and freedom and greatness of God in whatsoever state or experience or environment.

So long as thou hast any desire, be it the desire of non-birth or the desire of liberation, thou canst not attain to Parabrahman. For That has no desires, neither of birth nor of non-birth, nor of world, nor of departure from world. The Absolute is unlimited by thy desire as It is inaccessible to thy knowledge.

If thou wouldst know Paratpara Brahman, then know It as It chooses to manifest Itself in world and transcending it, — for transcendence also is a relation to world and not the sheer Absolute, — since otherwise It is unknowable. This is the simultaneous knowing and not knowing spoken of in the Vedanta.

Of Parabrahman we should not say that “It” is world-transcendent or world-immanent or related or non-related to the world; for all these ideas of world and not-world, of transcendence and immanence and relation are expressions of thought by which mind puts its own values on the self-manifestation of Parabrahman to its own principle of knowledge and we cannot assert any, even the highest of them to be the real reality of that which is at once all and beyond all, nothing and beyond nothing. A profound and unthinking silence is the only attitude which the soul manifested in world should adopt towards the Absolute.

We know of Parabrahman that It Is, in a way in which no object is and shall be in the world, because whenever and in whatever direction we go to the farthest limits of soul-experience or thought-experience or body-experience or any essential experience whatsoever, we come to the brink of That and perceive It to be unknowabe, without any capacity of experiencing about it any farther truth whatsoever.

When thy soul retiring within from depth to depth and widening without from vastness to vastness stands in the silence of its being before an unknown and unknowable from which and towards which world is seen to exist as a thing neither materially real nor mentally real and yet not to be described as a dream or a falsehood, then know that thou art standing in the Holy of Holies, before the Veil that shall not be rent. In this mortal body thou canst not rend it, nor in any other body; nor in the state of self in body nor in the state of pure self, nor in waking nor in sleep nor in trance, nor in any state or circumstances whatsoever; for thou must be beyond state before thou canst enter into the Paratpara Brahman.

That is the unknown God to whom no altar can be raised and no worship offered; universe is His only altar, Existence is His only worship. That we are, feel, think, act or are but do not feel, do not think, do not act is for That enough. To That, the saint is equal with the sinner, activity with inactivity, man with the mollusc, since All are equally Its manifestations. These things at least are here of the Parabrahman and Para Purusha, which is the Highest that we know and the nearest to the Absolute. But what That is behind the veil or how behind the veil It regards Itself and its manifestation is a thing no mind can assume to tell or know; and he is equally ignorant and presumptuous who raises and inscribes to It an altar or who pretends to declare the Unknown to those who know that they can know It not. Confuse not thought, bewilder not the soul of man in its forward march, but turn to the universe and know That in this, tadeva etat, for so only and in these terms It has set itself out to be known to those who are in the universe. Be not deceived by Ignorance, be not deceived by Knowledge; there is none bound and none free and none seeking freedom but only God playing at these things in the extended might of His self-conscious being, parã mãyã, mahimãnam asya, which we call the universe.

III

The boon that we have asked from the Supreme is the greatest that the Earth can ask from the Highest, the change that is most difficult to realise, the most exacting in its conditions. It is nothing less than the descent of the supreme Truth and Power into Matter, the supramental established in the material plane and consciousness and the material world and an integral transformation down to the very principle of Matter. Only a supreme Grace can effect this miracle.

The supreme Power has descended into the most material consciousness but it has stood there behind the density of the physical veil, demanding before manifestation, before its great open workings can begin, that the conditions of the supreme Grace shall be there, real and effective.

A total surrender, an exclusive self-opening to the divine influence, a constant and integral choice of the Truth and rejection of the falsehood, these are the only conditions made. But these must be fulfilled entirely, without reserve, without any evasion or pretence, simply and sincerely down to the most physical consciousness and its workings.


To be one with the Eternal is the object of Yoga; there is no other object. All other aims are included in this one divine perfection.

To be one with the Eternal is to be one with him in being, consciousness, power and delight. All that is is summed in these four terms of the infinite, for all else are but their workings.

To be one with the Eternal is also to live in the Eternal and from him and in his presence and from his infinite nature, — sãyujya, sãlokya, sãmïpya, sãdrishya. These four together are one way of being and one perfection.

To live in the Eternal is also to live with the Eternal within us. Whosoever consciously inhabits his being, his conscious presence inhabits. God lives and moves and acts in us when we live and move and act in him.


One that is Two that are Many, — this is the formula of the eternal and timeless manifestation in the worlds of Sachchidananda.

One who is Two and becomes the Two who become Many, — this is the formula of the perpetual manifestation in time in the three worlds of Mind, Life and Matter.

One who is in himself for ever the Two and for ever innumerably All and Eternal and Infinite, this is the indication of the Supreme who is beyond Time and Timelessness in the highest Absolute.


The One is Four for ever in his supramental quaternary of Being, Consciousness, Force and Ananda.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, these are the eternal Four, the quadruple Infinite.

Brahma is the Eternal's Personality of Existence; from him all is created, by his presence, by his power, by his impulse.

Vishnu is the Eternal's Personality of Consciousness; in him all is supported, in his wideness, in his stability, in his substance.

Shiva is the Eternal's Personality of Force; through him all is created, through his passion, through his rhythm, through his concentration.

Krishna is the Eternal's Personality of Ananda; because of him all creation is possible, because of his play, because of his delight, because of his sweetness.

Brahma is Immortality, Vishnu is Eternity, Shiva is Infinity; Krishna is the Supreme's eternal, infinite, immortal Self-play — self-issuing, self-manifestation, self-finding.


Nothing can arise from Nothing. Asat, nothingness, is a creation of our mind; where it cannot see or conceive, where its object is something beyond its grasp, too much beyond to give even the sense of a vague intangible, then it cries out “Here there is nothing.” Out of its own incapacity it has created the conception of a zero. But what in truth is this zero? It is an incalculable Infinite.

Our sense by its incapacity has invented darkness. In truth there is nothing but Light, only it is a power of light either above or below our poor human vision's limited range.

For do not imagine that light is created by the Suns. The Suns are only physical concentrations of Light, but the splendour they concentrate for us is self-born and everywhere.

God is everywhere and wherever God is, there is Light. Jñãnam chaitanyam jyotir Brahma.


Of all that we know we know only the outside; even when we imagine that we have intimately seized the innermost thing, we have touched only an inner external. It is still a sheath of the covering, only it is a second or third or even a seventh sheath, not the most outward and visible.

It is the same when we think we know God or have possession of our highest inmost Self or have entered intimately into the inmost and supreme Spirit. What we know and possess is power or some powers of God, an aspect or appearance or formulation of the Self; what we have entered into is only one wideness or one depth of the Spirit.

This is because we know and possess by the mind or even what is below the mind, and when we find ourselves most spiritual, it is the mind spiritualised that conceives of itself as Spirit. Imagining that we have left mind behind us, we take it with us into its own spiritual realms and cover with it the Supramental Mystery. The result is something to us wonderful and intense; but compared with That Intensity and Wonder, it is something thin and inadequate.

IV

TWO AIMS FOR OUR SADHANA

That Yoga is full or perfect which enables us to fulfil entirely God's purpose in us in this universe.

All Yoga which takes the soul entirely out of world-existence, is a high but narrow specialisation of divine Tapasya.

God's purpose in us is that we should fulfil His divine being in world-consciousness under the conditions of the Lila.

With regard to the universe God manifests Himself triply, in the individual, in the universe, in that which transcends the universe.

In order to fulfil God in the individual, we must exceed the individual. The removal of limited ego and the possession of cosmic consciousness is the first aim of our Sadhana.

In order to fulfil God in the cosmos, individually, we must transcend the universe. The ascension into transcendent consciousness is the second aim of our sadhana.

THE OBJECT OF OUR YOGA

The object of our Yoga is self-perfection, not self-annulment.

There are two paths set for the feet of the Yogin, withdrawal from the universe and perfection in the universe; the first comes by asceticism, the second is effected by Tapasya; the first receives us when we lose God in Existence, the second is attained when we fulfil Existence in God. Let ours be the path of perfection, not of abandonment; let our aim be victory in the battle, not the escape from all conflict.

Buddha and Shankara supposed the world to be radically false and miserable; therefore escape from the world was to them the only wisdom. But this world is Brahman, the world is God, the world is Satyam, the world is Ananda; it is our misreading of the world through mental egoism that is a falsehood and our wrong relation with God in the world that is a misery. There is no other falsity and no other cause of sorrow.

God created the world in Himself through Maya; but the Vedic meaning of Maya is not illusion, it is wisdom, knowledge, capacity, wide extension in consciousness, prajñã prasritã purãni. Omnipotent Wisdom created the world, it is not the organised blunder of some Infinite Dreamer; omniscient Power manifests or conceals it in Itself or Its own delight, it is not a bondage imposed by His own ignorance on the free and absolute Brahman.

If the world were Brahman's self-imposed nightmare, to awake from it would be the natural and only goal of our supreme endeavour; or if life in the world were irrevocably bound to misery, a means of escape from this bondage would be the sole secret worth discovering. But perfect truth in world-existence is possible; for God here sees all things with the eye of truth; and perfect bliss in the world is possible; for God enjoys all things with the sense of unalloyed freedom. We also can enjoy this truth and bliss, called by the Veda amrtam, Immortality, if by casting away our egoistic existence into perfect unity with His being we consent to receive the divine perception and the divine freedom.

The world is a movement of God in His own being; we are the centres and knots of divine consciousness which sum up and support the processes of His movement. The world is His play with His own self-conscious delight, He who alone exists, infinite, free and perfect; we are the self-multiplications of that conscious delight, thrown out into being to be His playmates. The world is a formula, a rhythm, a symbol-system expressing God to Himself in His own consciousness, — it has no material existence but exists only in His consciousness and self-expression; we, like God, are in our inward being That which is expressed, but in our outward being terms of that formula, notes of that rhythm, symbols of that system. Let us lead forward God's movement, play out His play, work out His formula, execute His harmony, express Him through our selves in His system. This is our joy and our self-fulfilment; to this end we who transcend and exceed the universe, have entered into universe-existence.

Perfection has to be worked out, harmony has to be accomplished. Imperfection, limitation, death, grief, ignorance, matter, are only the first terms of the formula — unintelligible till we have worked out the wider terms and reinterpreted the formulary; they are the initial discords of the musician's tuning. Out of imperfection we have to construct perfection, out of limitation to discover infinity, out of death to find immortality, out of grief to recover divine bliss, out of ignorance to rescue divine self-knowledge, out of matter to reveal spirit. To work out this end for ourselves and for humanity is the object of our Yogic practice.

PURUSHA AND PRAKRITI

The self which we have to perfect, is neither the Jivatman which is ever perfect nor the ego which is the cause of imperfection, but the divine self manifested in the shifting stream of Nature.

Existence is composed of Prakriti and Purusha, the consciousness that sees and the consciousness that executes and formalises what we see. The one we call Soul, the other Nature. These are the first double terms from which our Yoga has to start. When we come to look in at our selves instead of out at the world and begin to analyse our subjective experience, we find that there are two parts of our being which can be, to all appearance, entirely separated from each other, one a consciousness which is still and passive and supports, and the other a consciousness which is busy and creative and is supported. The passive and fundamental consciousness is the Soul, the Purusha, Witness or sãksi; the active and superstructural consciousness is Nature, Prakriti, processive or creative energy of the sãksi. But the two seem at first to stand apart and distinct, as if they had no share in each other.

The Purusha, still and silent witness of whatever Prakriti chooses to create, not interfering with her works, but reflecting only whatever forms, names and movements she casts on the pure mirror of his eternal existence and the Prakriti restlessly creating, acting, forming and effecting things for the delight of the Purusha, compose the double system of the Sankhyas. But as we continue analysing their relations and accumulate more and more experience of our subjective life, we find that this seeing of the Purusha is in effect a command. Whatever Prakriti perceives it to be the pleasure of the Purusha to see, she tends to preserve in his subjective experience or to establish; whatever she perceives it to be his pleasure to cease to see, she tends to renounce and abolish. Whatever he consents to in her, she forces on him and is glad of her mastery and his submission but whenever he insists, she is bound eventually to obey. Early found to be true in our subjective experience, this ultimate principle of things is eventually discovered by the Yogin to determine even objective phenomena. The Purusha and Prakriti are therefore not only the Witness and the Activity witnessed, but the Lord and his executive energy. The Purusha is Ishwara, the Prakriti is His shakti. Their play with each other is both the motive and the executive force of all existence in the universe.

V

The aim put before itself by Yoga is God; its method is tapasyã. God is the All and that which exceeds, transcends the All; there is nothing in existence which is not God but God is not anything in that existence, except symbolically, in image to His own consciousness. Humanity also is symbol or eidolon of God, we are made in His image; and by that is meant, not a formal image, but in the image of His being and personality, the essence of divinity, its quality, the divine being and divine knowledge.

There are in everything existing phenomenally or, as we shall say, symbolically, two parts, the thing in itself and the symbol, Self and Nature, res (thing that is) and factum (thing that is made), immutable being and mutable becoming, that which is supernatural in it and that which is natural.

Everything in existence has something in it which seeks to transcend itself; Matter moves towards becoming Life, Life moves towards becoming Mind, Mind moves towards becoming ideal Truth, ideal Truth rises to become divine and infinite Spirit. The reason is that every symbol, being a partial expression of God, reaches out to and seeks to become its own entire reality; it aspires to become its real self by transcending its apparent self. Thing that is made is attracted towards thing that is, becoming towards being, the natural to the supernatural, symbol towards thing in itself, Nature towards God.

The upward movement is the means towards fulfilment of existence in the world; downward movement is destruction, Hell, perdition. Everything tends (footnote: moves) upward; once it is assured of its actual existence it seeks the supernatural. Every nature is a step towards some supernature, something natural to itself but supernatural to what is below it. Life is supernatural to Matter, Mind supernatural to Life, ideal being supernatural to mental being, infinite being supernatural to ideal being. So too man is supernatural to the animal, God is supernatural to man. Man too as soon as he has assured his
natural existence, must insist on his upward movement towards God. The upward movement is towards Heaven, the downward movement towards Hell.

The animal soul fulfils itself when it transcends animality and becomes human. Humanity also fulfils itself when it transcends humanity and becomes God.

By yielding to Nature, we fall away both from Nature and from God; by transcending Nature we at once fulfil all the possibilities of Nature and rise towards God. The human touches first the divine and then becomes divine.

There are those who seek to kill Nature in order to become the self; but that is not God's intention in humanity. We have to transcend Nature, not to kill it.

Every movement of humanity which seeks to deny Nature, however religious, lofty, austere, of whatever dazzling purity of ethereality, is doomed to failure, sick disappointment, disillusion or perversion. It is in its nature transient, because it contradicts God's condition for us. He has set Nature there as a condition of His self-fulfilment in the world.

Every movement of humanity which bids us be satisfied with Nature, dwell upon the earth and cease to look upwards, however rational, clear-sighted, practical, effective, comfortable it may be is doomed to weariness, petrifaction & cessation. It is in its nature transient because it contradicts God's intention in us. He dwells secret in Nature and compels us towards Him by His irresistible attraction.

Materialistic movements are as unnatural and abnormal as ascetic and negatory religions and philosophy. Under the pretence of bringing us back to Nature, they take us away from her entirely; for they forget that Nature is only phenomenally Nature but in reality she is God. The divine element in her is that which she most really is; the rest is only condition, process and stage in her development of the secret divinity.

Not to be immersed, enmeshed and bound by Nature, not to hate and destroy her, is the first thing we must learn if we would be complete Yogins and proceed towards our divine perfection.

Being still natural in the world to transcend Nature internally, so that both internally and externally we may master and use her as free & lord, svarãt samrãt, is our fulfilment.

Being still the symbol to reach through it the being that symbolises itself, to realise the symbol, is our fulfilment.

Being still a figure of humanity, man among men, a living body among living bodies, though housed in life and matter yet a mental being among mental beings, being and remaining all this that we are apparently, yet to exceed all this apparent manhood and become in the body what we are really, God, Spirit, supreme and infinite, pure Bliss, pure Force, pure Light, this is our fulfilment.

Our whole apparent life is a becoming, but all becoming has for its goal and fulfilment being — and God is the only being; to become divine in the nature of the world, in the symbol of our humanity is our fulfilment.

Yoga practised may be in its aim either perfect or partial, either selective or comprehensive. Perfect and comprehensive Yoga avoids limitations by aspects and leads to entire divinity.

In order to exceed our Nature and become divine, we must first get God; for we are the lower imperfect term of our being, He its higher perfect term. The finite, to become infinite, must know, love and touch infinity; the symbol being in order to become its own reality, must know, love and perceive that Reality. This necessarily is the imperative justification of religion, not of a church, creed or theology; — for all these things are religiosity not religion, — but that personal and intimate religious temper and spirit which moves man to worship, to aspire to or to pant after his own idea of the Supreme; for without such worship in the heart or such aspiration in the will or such thirst in the emotions, we shall not have the impulse or the strength for this great difficult and supreme effort of human nature to transcend itself and climb to its super-nature. Therefore have the prophets spoken and the Avatars come to inspire man to that great call upon his upward straining energies. The aim of rationalism and Science is to make man content with his humanity and thus contradict Nature, baffling her evolution; the aim of religion, — but not unhappily of the creeds and churches, — is to further the great aim of Nature by pushing man towards his evolution.

The attainment of God is the true object of all human effort for which all the other efforts political, social, literary, intellectual, are only a necessary condition and preparation of the race; but there are both differences in the state of the attainment, differences in its range and effectivity. These states of divine attainment may usefully be distinguished: touch with God, indwelling in Him and becoming He. The first is initial and elementary; unless passing the veil of our ordinary nature we touch the divine Being or He leaning down imposes His touch on us, unless we come first into contact with Him either in our heart, our mind, our works or our being, we cannot go into (indwell in) Him. If we are strong in spirit, the touch may indeed be rapid and summary, we may wake at once and stride forward to the state of divine indwelling, soul of man in the Soul of God, the individual in the universal; but the touch must be there. To enforce this preliminary step, to bring man into some kind of contact with God, is the common and...the sole preoccupation of human religions. It does not matter greatly for its purpose how it is done; in however crude and elementary a way, through whatever intellectual errors and emotional blunders or ethical outrages, the touch must be established; this imperatively and above all things the religious spirit demands. Nature, as always her way, presses on to her all-important, immediate steps and is willing to purchase a single great and general gain by any number of particular losses. Man, besides, is so various in the arrangement of his human qualities, the master spring as well as the peculiar temperament differs so greatly or so subtly in each individual that there can never be for this purpose of nature's, too many sects, disciplines or different religions. Swami Vivekananda has well seen the consummation of religion in a state when each human individual has his own religion dictated by his own spiritual needs and nature; for collective creeds, churches and theologies, in spite of their temporary necessity and some undeniable permanent advantages, help to formalise the upward effort and deprive it of its adaptability, freedom and perfect individual sincerity. The priest and dogma will seldom leave God and the soul free to reach each other in that solitude and spontaneity which gives the union its highest force and delight. They are always pressing in to control and preside at the marriage and legitimise it with formulas, Riks and official registration.

Moreover the intellect of natural man is narrow, his effort soon exhausted and easily satisfied with imperfection. If he is led to think that his way of contact with the Divine is the only way, his own freedom of higher development is fettered or entirely taken away from him and in his intellectual and religious egoism he militates against the freedom of others. Most religions tend easily to believe that the contact with God once established, no matter with what limitations or of what kind, all is done that needs to be done, all fulfilled that God demands of us. Popular religions tend naturally to be dualistic and to preserve trenchant distinction between man and God dividing the symbol being from that which expresses itself in him; while with one hand they raise man towards his super-nature, with the other they hold him down to his ordinary nature. The lower is suffused with the glow of the heights and touched with its power and rapture, but it does not itself rise into and dwell within it. At its lowest the dualistic soul keeps (maintains) the taint of its imperfections, at its highest, unless in rare self-transcending moments, keeps itself distinct in awe and reverence from the divine Lover, worships at His feet but cannot hide itself in His bosom.

Therefore Nature, still following her upward surge, has provided a mightier rank of human souls who are capable of going forward beyond this preliminary effort and, having entered into the very being of God, of dwelling there in beatitude. Entering into the consciousness of the Infinite, feeling it all around them and in them, ever thrilling with its touch, aware of identity with it in nature, joy and inner awareness, they yet preserve a constant separateness of their special being in that identity. They do not plunge themselves wholly into that divine ocean or, if they go slowly into it they keep hold on a fathom line which will preserve their touch with the surface. In nature such men are Visishtadwaitins, souls not drawn towards entire oneness. But unless man plunges himself wholly into God caring not whether he reemerge, unless the human sacrifices himself wholly to the divinity, keeping back no particle of his being, not even the last particle of separateness of the individual ego, the divine purpose in man cannot be utterly accomplished. Therefore Nature or the Will of God — for Nature is nothing but the Will of God in action — has provided that some, having indwelt in God, human soul in divine soul, shall be irresistibly called immediately, with brief respite or at long last to the utter immersion. They go inward and throw away the last trace of ego into God. Some of them, it has been said by a great teacher, are jïvakotis, human beings leaning so pre-eminently to the symbol-nature, that, if they had lost it albeit for a while in the Reality, they lose themselves; once immersed, they cannot return; they are lost in God to humanity; others are ïshwarakotis, human beings whose centre has already been shifted upwards or from the beginning elevated in the superior planes of conscious existence, was established in God rather than Nature. Such men are already leaning down from God to Nature; they therefore may, in losing themselves in Him yet keep themselves and live in Man-God; they do not depart from their centre but rather go through it; arrived they are able to lean down again to humanity. Those who can thus emerge from their truth of God are the final helpers of humanity and are chosen by God and Nature to prepare the type of supernatural men to which our humanity is rising.

There are, then, these three divine conditions, states separately conceived of humanity's God attainment. Man being limited in energy and discrimination rather than catholic in intellect, fastens usually on this separate conception and limits himself to one or other of these conditions; Yogic method, also, being careful of the different natures of men, suits itself to their limitations, becomes selective and concentrates upon one of these conditions or another. Or even it becomes partial as well as selective; for in its contact with God, it relates itself to a part of divine quality rather than the perfect divinity, to a God of mercy, a God of Justice, the Divine Master, the Divine Friend, or else with some aspect of divine impersonal being, to Infinite Rapture, to Infinite Force or to Infinite Calm and Purity. In the indwelling there may be the same limitations, in the becoming also they may persist. There is no fault to be found with this selective process or with this partiality. They are necessary; human limitations demand this device; human perfectibility itself finds its account in these concessions. Nature knows her task and she proceeds to it with a wide, flexible and perfect wisdom which smiles at our impatient logical narrownesses and rigid, one-sighted consistencies. She knows she has an infinitely complex and variable material to deal with and must be infinitely complex and variable in her methods. We only consider precise method and ultimate fulfilment; she has to reckon on her way with thousand-armed struggles and infinite possibilities.

Nevertheless, her ultimate aim and the perfect and comprehensive Yoga is that which embraces rather than selects. We are meant to be within the symbol of humanity what God is in Himself and Universally. Now God is free, absolute from these limitations and all-comprehensive. He is always one in his being, yet both one with and separate from his symbols and in that differentiated oneness able to stand quite apart from them. So we too in our ultimate divine realisation when we have become one with our divine Self, may and should be able also to stand out as the self at once of all things and beings, yet differentiated in the symbol, so as to enjoy a blissful divided closeness such as that of the Lover and Beloved mingling yet separate in their rapture; and may and should even be able to stand away from God with a sort of entire separateness holding His hand still, unlike the pure dualist, but still standing away from Him so that we may enjoy that infinity of human relation with God which is the wonder and beauty and joy of dualistic religions. To accomplish this is the full or the Purna Yoga, and the Sadhak who can attain to it is in his condition the complete Yogin.

Is such a triune condition of the soul possible? Logically, it would seem impossible; logically, all trinities are chimeras and a thing must be one thing at a time and cannot combine three such divergent states as oneness, differentiated oneness and effective duality. But in these matters an inch of experience goes farther than a yard of logic, and experience, you will find, affirms that the triune God-state is perfectly possible and simple once you have attained God's fullness. We must not apply to the soul a logic which is based on the peculiarities of matter. It is true of a clod that it cannot be at the same time a clod hanging up or posted on some bough, a clod protruding from the earth and a shapeless mass trodden into the mother soil. But this is because the clod is divided from the earthly form. The soul is not divided from God by these barriers of material dimension. What is true of matter is not true of spirit, nor do the standards of form apply to the formless. For matter is conscious being confined in form, the spirit is conscious being using form but not confined in it; and it is the privilege of spirit that though indivisible in its pure being, it is freely self-divisible in its conscious experience and can concentrate itself in many states at a time. It is by this Tapas, by this varied concentration of self-knowledge that Divine Existence creates and supports the world and is at once the same God and Nature and World, Personal & Impersonal, Pure and Varied, Qualitied and without Qualities, Krishna and Kali, Shiva and Brahma and Vishnu, man and animal and vegetable and stone, all aspects of Himself and all symbols. We need not doubt therefore that we, recovering our divine reality, shall not be bound to a single condition or aspect but can command a triune or even a multiple soul-experience. We, becoming God, become that which is the All and exceeds and transcends the All, sarvabhütãni ãtmaivãbhüd vijãnatah. The soul of the perfect knower becomes all existent things and That transcendental in which all things have their existence, ihaiva, without ceasing to possess a human centre of separate experience. For this is the entire divinity that is the result of the perfect and comprehensive Yoga.