This Union (or Yoga) is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature, and the restraint of the chitta (or mind). Up till now the inner man has identified himself with his forms and with their active modifications. The mind states are five, and are subject to pleasure or pain; they are painful or not painful. These modifications (activities) are correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, fancy, passivity (sleep) and memory. The basis of correct knowledge is correct perception, correct deduction, and correct witness (or accurate evidence). Passivity (sleep) is based upon the quiescent state of the vrittis (or upon the non-perception of the senses).
The control of these modifications of the internal organ, the mind, is to be brought about through tireless endeavour and through non-attachment. When the object to be gained is sufficiently valued, and the efforts towards its attainment are persistently followed without intermission, then the steadiness of the mind (restraint of the vrittis) is secured. Non-attachment is freedom from longing for all objects of desire, either earthly or traditional, either here or hereafter. The consummation of this non-attachment results in an exact knowledge of the spiritual man when liberation from the qualities or gunas.
A further stage of samadhi is achieved when, through one pointed thought, the outer activity is quieted.
The samadhi just described passes not beyond the bound of the phenomenal world; it passes not beyond the Gods, and those concerned with the concrete world. Other yogins achieve samadhi and arrive at a discrimination of pure Spirit through belief, followed by energy, memory, meditation and right perception. The attainment of this state (spiritual consciousness) is rapid for those whose will is intensely alive.
Those who employ the will likewise differ, for its use may be intense, moderate, or gentle.
Ishvara, the Gurudeva, being unlimited by time conditions, is the teacher of the primeval Lords. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found. The obstacles to soul cognition are bodily disability, mental inertia, wrong questioning, carelessness, laziness, lack of dispassion, erroneous perception, inability to achieve concentration, failure to hold the meditative attitude when achieved. Pain, despair, misplaced bodily activity and wrong direction (or control) of the life currents are the results of the obstacles in the lower psychic nature. To overcome the obstacles and their accompaniments, the intense application of the will to some one truth (or principle) is required. The peace of the chitta (or mind stuff) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil. The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath.
The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions. By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.
The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged. Peace (steadiness of the chitta) can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give.
Thus his realisation extends from the infinitely small to the infinitely great, and from annu (the atom or speck) to atma (or spirit) his knowledge is perfected. To him whose vrittis (modifications of the substance of the mind) are entirely controlled, there eventuates a state of identity with, and similarity to that which is realized. When the perceiver blends the word, the idea (or meaning) and the object, this is called the mental condition of judicial reasoning. Perception without judicial reasoning is arrived at when the memory no longer holds control, the word and the object are transcended and only the idea is present.
The same two processes of concentration, with and without judicial action of the mind, can be applied also to things subtle. The gross leads into the subtle and the subtle leads in progressive stages to that state of pure spiritual being called Pradhana. When this super-contemplative state is reached, the Yogi acquires pure spiritual realisation through the balanced quiet of the chitta (or mind stuff). This particular perception is unique and reveals that which the rational mind (using testimony, inference and deduction) cannot reveal. When this state of perception is itself also restrained (or superseded), then is pure Samadhi achieved. The Yoga of action, leading to union with the soul is fiery aspiration, spiritual reading and devotion to Ishvara. These are the difficulty producing hindrances: avidya (ignorance) the sense of personality, desire, hate and the sense of attachment.
Avidya (ignorance) is the cause of all the other obstructions whether they be latent, in process of elimination, overcome, or in full operation. Avidya is the condition of confusing the permanent, pure, blissful and the Self with that which is impermanent, impure, painful and the not-self. The sense of personality is due to the identification of the knower with the instruments of knowledge. Karma itself has its roots in these five hindrances and must come to fruition in this life or in some later life. So long as the roots (or samskaras) exist, their fruition will be birth, life, and experiences resulting in pleasure or pain. These seeds (or samskaras) produce pleasure or pain according as their originating cause was good or evil. To the illuminated man all existence (in the three worlds) is considered pain owing to the activities of the gunas. The illusion that the Perceiver and that which is perceived are one and the same is the cause (of the pain-producing effects) which must be warded off.
That which is perceived has three qualities, sattva, rajas and tamas (rhythm, mobility and inertia); it consists of the elements and the sense organs. The divisions of the gunas (or qualities of matter) are fourfold; the specific, the non-specific, the indicated and the untouchable. In the case of the man who has achieved yoga (or union) the objective universe has ceased to be. The association of the soul with the mind and thus with that which the mind perceives, produces an understanding of the nature of that which is perceived and likewise of the Perceiver. When ignorance is brought to an end through non-association with the things perceived, this is the great liberation. When the means to yoga have been steadily practised, and when impurity has been overcome, enlightenment takes place, leading up to full illumination. The eight means of yoga are, the Commandments or Yama, the Rules or Nijama, posture or Asana, right control of life-force or Pranayama, abstraction or Pratyahara, attention or Dharana, Meditation or Dhyana, Contemplation or Samadhi.

Harmlessness, truth to all beings, abstention from theft, from incontinence and from avarice, constitute yama or the five commandments. Yama (or the five commandments) constitutes the universal duty and is irrespective of race, place, time or emergency. Internal and external purification, contentment, fiery aspiration, spiritual reading and devotion to Ishvara constitutes nijama (or the five rules). When thoughts which are contrary to yoga are present there should be the cultivation of their opposite. Thoughts contrary to yoga are harmfulness, falsehood, theft, incontinence, and avarice, whether committed personally, caused to be committed or approved of, whether arising from avarice, anger or delusion (ignorance); whether slight in the doing, middling or great. When truth to all things is perfected, the effectiveness of his words and acts is immediately to be seen. When abstention from avarice is perfected, there comes an understanding of the law of rebirth. Internal and external purification produces aversion for form, both one's own and all forms. Through purification comes also a quiet spirit, concentration, conquest of the organs, and ability to see the Self. Through fiery aspiration and through the removal of all impurity, comes the perfecting of the bodily powers and of the senses. Steadiness and ease of posture is to be achieved through persistent slight effort and through the concentration of the mind upon the infinite.
When right posture (asana) has been attained there follows right control of prana and proper inspiration and expiration of the breath.
Right control of prana (or the life currents) is external, internal or motionless; it is subject to place, time and number and is also protracted or brief. There is a fourth stage which transcends those dealing with the internal and external phases.
Abstraction (or Pratyahara) is the subjugation of the senses by the thinking principle and their withdrawal from that which has hitherto been their object.
When the chitta becomes absorbed in that which is the reality (or idea embodied in the form), and is unaware of separateness or the personal self, this is contemplation or samadhi.
When the concentration, meditation and contemplation form one sequential act, then is sanyama achieved. These last three means of yoga have a more intimate subjective effect than the previous means. Even these three, however, are external to the true seedless meditation (or samadhi) which is not based on an object. Through the cultivation of this habit of mind there will eventuate a steadiness of spiritual perception.
The establishing of this habit, and the restraining of the mind from its thought-form-making tendency, results eventually in the constant power to contemplate.
When mind control and the controlling factor are equally balanced, then comes the condition of one-pointedness. Through this process the aspects of every object are known, their characteristics (or form), their symbolic nature, and their specific use in time-conditions (stage of development) are known and realised.
The stage of development is responsible for the various modifications of the versatile psychic nature and of the thinking principle. Through concentrated meditation upon the triple nature of every form, comes the revelation of that which has been and of that which will be. The Sound (or word), that which it denotes (the object) and the embodied spiritual essence (or idea) are usually confused in the mind of the perceiver.
Knowledge of previous incarnations becomes available when the power to see thought-images is acquired.
Through concentrated meditation, the thought images in the minds of other people become apparent.
As, however, the object of those thoughts is not apparent to the perceiver, he sees only the thought and not the object. By concentrated meditation upon the distinction between form and body, those properties of the body which make it visible to the human eye are negated (or withdrawn) and the yogi can render himself invisible. Union with others is to be gained through one-pointed meditation upon the three states of feeling - compassion, tenderness and dispassion. Meditation, one-pointedly centred upon the power of the elephant, will awaken that force or light.
Perfectly concentrated meditation upon the awakened light will produce the consciousness of that which is subtle, hidden or remote. Through meditation, one-pointedly fixed upon the sun, will come a consciousness (or knowledge) of the seven worlds. Concentration upon the Pole-Star will give knowledge of the orbits of the planets and the stars. By concentrated attention upon the centre called the solar plexus, comes perfected knowledge as to the condition of the body.
By fixing the attention upon the throat centre, the cessation of hunger and thirst will ensue. By fixing the attention on the tube or nerve below the throat centre, equilibrium is achieved. Those who have attained self-mastery can be seen and contacted through focusing the light in the head. Understanding of the mind-consciousness comes from one-pointed meditation upon the heart centre. Experience (of the pairs of opposites) comes from the inability of the soul to distinguish between the personal self and the purusa (or spirit). The higher and lower siddhis (or powers) are gained by incarnation, or by drugs, words of power, intense desire or by meditation. The transfer of the consciousness from a lower vehicle into a higher is part of the great creative and evolutionary process. The practices and methods are not the true cause of the transfer of consciousness but they serve to remove obstacles, just as the husbandman prepares his ground for sowing. The "I am" consciousness is responsible for the creation of the organs through which the sense of individuality is enjoyed. Among the forms which consciousness assumes, only that which is the result of meditation is free from latent karma. There is identity of relation between memory and the effect-producing cause, even when separated by species, time and place. These forms being created and held together through desire, the basic cause, personality, the effective result, mental vitality or the will to live, and the support of the outward going life or object, when these cease to attract then the forms cease likewise to be. The characteristics, whether latent or potent, partake of the nature of the three gunas (qualities of matter). The manifestation of the objective form is due to the one-pointedness of the effect-producing cause (the unification of the modifications of the chitta or mind stuff). These two, consciousness and form, are distinct and separate; though forms may be similar, the consciousness may function on differing levels of being. The many modifications of the one mind produce the diverse forms, which depend for existence upon those many mind impulses.

These forms are cognized or not, according to the qualities latent in the perceiving consciousness. The Lord of the mind, the perceiver, is ever aware of the constantly active mind stuff, the effect-producing cause. Because it can be seen or cognised it is apparent that the mind is not the source of illumination.
Neither can it know two objects simultaneously, itself and that which is external to itself. If knowledge of the mind (chitta) by a remoter mind is postulated, an infinite number of knowers must be inferred, and the sequence of memory reactions would tend to infinite confusion.
When the spiritual intelligence which stands alone and freed from objects, reflects itself in the mind stuff, then comes awareness of the Self. The mind then tends towards discrimination and increasing illumination as to the true nature of the one Self. Through force of habit, however, the mind will reflect other mental impressions and perceive objects of sensuous perception. These reflections are of the nature of hindrances, and the method of their overcoming is the same. The man who develops non-attachment even in his aspiration after illumination and isolated unity, becomes aware, eventually, through practiced discrimination, of the overshadowing cloud of spiritual knowledge. The modifications of the mind stuff (or qualities of matter) through the inherent nature of the three gunas come to an end, for they have served their purpose. Time, which is the sequence of the modifications of the mind, likewise terminates, giving place to the Eternal Now. Proper posture of the neck and shoulders is very important to keeping the body in good health. Moving into the shoulder release, first reach the right arm across the chest, so that the upper arm is close to the collarbone.
When finished, relax the palms to the knees, and while still sitting up straight, move into the neck stretch. Seated twist is an effective pose for releasing the tension and compression done to the shoulders and neck during hunching and slouching. Turning the neck to look over the left shoulder, inhale and allow your spine to get taller and longer.
A final pose worth mentioning, downward facing dog is an extremely wonderful and effective pose which can simultaneously benefit all three of the above mentioned conditions; eye strain, carpal tunnel and compression of the neck and shoulders. All yoga as practiced today is based on Yoga Sutras, a collection of aphorisms offered more than 2000 years ago by the Indian sage, Patanjali. The knower, knowledge and the field of knowledge becomes one, just as the crystal takes to itself the colours of that which is reflected in it.
These activities are threefold, producing consequences, anxieties and subliminal impressions. By concentrated meditation on these three aspects comes an (intuitive) comprehension of the sound uttered by all forms of life. By perfectly concentrated meditation on these, the yogi knows the term of his experience in the three worlds. The form assumed in the time concept of the present is the result of developed characteristics and holds latent seeds of future quality.
Nothing should ever be painful, and by easing gently into the poses, one will achieve much greater benefits. Poor posture can create exaggerated tightness of muscles while simultaneously creating weakness in others. Sitting in easy pose, with the legs crossed at the ankles or shins, sit up very straight with the spine, including the neck, even but relaxed.
Either grasp the elbow with the opposite hand, or hold the stretched arm in the nook of the elbow.
Keeping the hands firmly on the knees and the neck straight, sit up with one’s full height. Begin on the hands and knees, with the legs hip distance apart and the hands shoulder distance apart. Yoga Sutras by Maharshi Patanjali are known as the Patanjali Yoga Sutra and is the foundational text for Yoga. Slouching or hunching of the neck and shoulders is a common example of poor posture, and it can create some very negative side effects; from actually making one feel more depressed and stressed, to cutting off proper circulation, to creating very tight muscles and knots which need to be worked out.
Take a deep breath in, and on the exhalation slowly tilt the neck to the right, moving the right eat and shoulder closer together without moving the shoulder or turning the head.
Hold this pose for 10 breaths, moving only so far into the twist as is comfortable, then gently release back forward and straighten both legs back into staff pose. Historically, it is believed that Maharshi Patanjali may have lived in around 500 BC to 2000 BC and Patanjali has written on mainly three subjects namely, grammar, medicine and yoga.
Yoga teaches many things, including proper posture and alignment, and luckily there are many poses which can stretch out the compressed muscles in the neck and shoulders while releasing the tension built up within them. Remember to breathe evenly as the pose is held for up to ten breaths, or as long as is comfortable. Patanjali`s three works together deal with man`s development as a whole in thought, speech and action. Gently and slowly release, and switch sides by uncrossing the legs and re-crossing them the opposite way, and then pulling the opposite arm across the body. Before releasing the pose, use the left hand to massage the back of the neck and give it a few squeezes.
Take a deep breath in, and on the exhale, twist to the left, placing the left hand on the floor behind the buttock, and the right elbow against the outside of the left knee. As the neck is kept straight and returned to an upright position, continue to rub it gently for another breath or two.
Finally, relax the arm back down to the knee, and then repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
Each of the sutras contains a wealth of ideas and wisdom towards full knowledge of his real nature.
The Patanjali yoga sutra state, through proper practice one can radiate grace, disposition and compassion.
Wrists, arms, neck and shoulders will all receive a gentle to mild stretch, while closed eyes receive much needed rest.
The ultimate achievement of following the path of Patanjali yoga sutra is to experience the effortless, indivisible state of the prophet. The four chapters of Patanjanli Yoga Sutras include, Samadhi Pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada and Kaivalya Pada.

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