The Ascent to Moksha
by Swami Krishnananda

Discourse 17: The True Relation of Subject and Object

The object of meditation can be an idol, for instance. The physical form of the image chosen for meditation is the initial target on which the mind is fixed. To gain concentration of mind even on an image or an idol takes a very long time. It may take months or years to have some sort of a control over the process of thinking in respect of that object. Normally, we cannot think solely of a single chosen object. We have the story from the Mahabharata how Acharya Drona wanted to test the concentration of his disciples, the Pandavas and the Kauravas. A small bird was tied to a lofty branch of a tree and the princes were asked to target the eye of the bird, and not miss.

But before the actual test of archery commenced, Acharya Drona questioned each of them, taking them by hand one by one. “Now come here and look at your target. I tell you to hit that black spot on the eye of the bird, and not anything else. You should not hit its beak or its head or the wings, and so on.”

He called one of them and said, “Look at the bird. Do you see it?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“Do you see the bird, or do you see anything else also?” Drona asked.

One of them said, “I see the bird sitting on the branch of this big tree.”

“Oh, you are unfit,” he said. “You go. You cannot be a good archer.”

Then he called another and said, “What do you see? Do you see the bird, do you see the tree or do you see anything else? I asked you to hit that black spot on the eye of the bird.”

The student said, “I see the bird sitting on the branch of the tree.”

“You go,” Drona said. “You are not fit for archery.”

Then a third student said, “I see not the tree, not the branch. I see only the bird.”

Drona said, “You are not fit. You go.”

It was Arjuna who said, “I do not see the bird. I do not see the tree. I do not see the branch. I see only the black spot.”

“You are the real archer,” Drona said. “Now you can commence the tournament.”

This example is to show what concentration of mind is. This is not yogic concentration that we are speaking of in archery, but it is nevertheless a tremendous force of mind exerted on a chosen spot. Even shooting a gun is not easy. There is training for the army and the police where they are asked to shoot a particular spot from a furlong distance. It is not a large body that is hit but a particular point on the body, for which a tremendous concentration of the mind and the eyes is essential; otherwise, they would not be a good gunner or archer.

Now, in meditation it is much more difficult, or at least as much difficult. The image or the idol on which the mind is to be concentrated is the symbol of God for the student of yoga. First of all, the idol is invested with divinity, with characteristics of the Supreme Being, God the All-pervading, focussed through a particular image; He is speaking to us, gazing at us, and bestowing grace upon us through that idol, through that symbol, through that image. The mind does not think of any other aspect of the object of meditation except that it is fully charged with power divine. Like a lens upon which the rays of the light of the sun converge, and through which they are directed upon our eyes, the meditator conceives the image to be a lens, as it were, through which divine energy is focussed and charged upon the meditator’s mind. It is not an image isolatedly kept outside, but a focussing point of concentration where the mind of the meditator and the power of the divine come together at one point. This may be regarded as a first step in meditation, the gross object taken for fixing the attention of one’s mind. It is a gross object because it is isolated from other objects. The characteristic of a gross thing is that it is not physically connected with other things or other objects. Now, inasmuch as the image or idol chosen for concentration is physically detached from other things of the world and, at least in the beginning stages, it is supposed to be located at a particular point in space, it is to be regarded as a gross object of meditation.

Now, as we learnt yesterday, the physical object is really not so isolated as it appears to the gazing eye. The meditation goes deeper into the structure of the image or the idol, so that the location of the idol, which is the initial point of concentration, gradually gives rise to a wider background upon which the idol is set. In the beginning, the background is not taken into consideration. Only the image or the idol is taken as the single point of concentration. But this point gradually enlarges itself, as we saw yesterday, so that the object of meditation, though it is gross, becomes wider in compass, and the mind need not have to exert effort to isolate this object from other objects which also do exist apart from the chosen object. In the beginning there is an effort on the part of the mind to isolate the object of concentration from other objects on which the mind is not concentrating. But when the compass of the object of concentration gradually enlarges itself, the effort of the mind to eliminate other objects gets diminished so that when there is nothing to eliminate, the meditation becomes effortless, continuous and spontaneous.

We have to exert in the beginning on account of the presence of other things, those things to be eliminated, but the objects that are initially thought of as elements to be eliminated get somehow or other harmonised with the object of concentration later on, and then it is that effort ceases and spontaneity commences. In the stage of effort, there is not much satisfaction, but in the stage of spontaneity naturally there is a delight and a new type of satisfaction born of the release of tension. Effort is a kind of tension, whether it is physical or mental, and when effort is released, tension is released, and the release of tension is coming to normalcy of thought and one’s condition. All normal conditions are states of delight and happiness. Meditation goes with happiness when effort is withdrawn and the process of concentration becomes natural.

Now, whatever be the experience in meditation, and however much the object may enlarge itself through the effort of the analysis of the mind, nevertheless it remains an object outside the mind. You can never forget that the idol is outside, that your concept is externalised. The idol may be physical or purely conceptual. You can open your eyes and gaze at the idol or close your eyes and conceive it. Though the closed eyes free the mind from its necessity to look upon the physical object outside, the mental activity is the same. To think an object and to see an object may be different from the point of view of the distinction between mental activity and sensory activity, but taking the situation purely from the point of view of the activity of the mind, they are similar.

When an object is gazed at or looked at, what happens is that the mind alone sees the object. The mental rays pierce the aperture of the eyes and conceive the object, and then perceive it as physically existent outside in the world. Though there is a difference between perception and conception in the sense that organs external to the mind are made use of in perception while in conception they are not necessary, the activity of the mind is similar whether it is purely a concept or a percept. The mind ramifies itself into various rays when it conceives an object. It does the same thing when it perceives an object. When the mind perceives, it does it through the instrumentality of the sense organs while in conception, it does it independently, yet the ramification process of the mental rays is similar in either case.

Now, distraction is nothing but the ramification of the rays of the mind, and concentration is nothing but the withdrawal of these rays into a single ray or focus of attention. It is the mind that meditates, and not the sense organs, so even when you open your eyes and look at the idol, it is the mind that is looking, truly speaking. The mind projects itself through the eyes and looks at the object. But it does not merely project itself through the eyes. It projects itself through the other sense organs also. When you are concentrating or meditating, you can hear a sound. If somebody touches you, you can feel it, and if a fragrant object is brought near you, you can smell it, and so on, which means to say the mind is not merely looking at the object through the eyes but it also hears, it can touch through an experience of the tactile sense, it can smell, and so on. It has manifested itself in various forms through all the sense organs, though for the time being it appears that it has focussed its attention on the object.

Thus, concentration does not mean being simultaneously aware of sounds, touches, etc., but being conscious of only one object of a particular sense organ at a given moment of time. If you are to concentrate on a sound that comes from a distance, you should not be thinking of an object that is in front of your eyes, for instance. That would be lack of concentration. When you see an object, you should not be hearing sounds simultaneously because that means the ears also are functioning. And if somebody touches you, you should not have the sensation of touch. If the hearing, the smelling, the tasting, the seeing, the touching are all there, then it is distraction and not concentration.

So even in the concentration of the mind on a physical object, there is great difficulty. The difficulty is this, that we cannot completely withdraw the senses even when we are supposed to be, for the time being, concerned merely with looking at an object. But if we can look at an object so forcefully as not to be able to hear sounds, feel touches, etc., that would be effective physical concentration.

Now, this physical concentration itself is transformed into conceptual concentration in a more advanced stage. In this conceptual concentration, the eyes need not be kept open. It is not necessary to open the eyes and look at the idol or the image. The eyes can be closed, but the mind will be thinking of the same form, it will regard the object as physical, and it will be an external object. These are the essential points in external physical concentration of a chosen object such as an idol.

In the next stage of concentration and meditation, as I said, the comprehensiveness of the object gets enlarged when the mind realises the subtle interconnectedness of the object, at the root, with other objects in the world. This is what is called sthula dharana in yogic parlance. According to the system of Patanjali, this would be the savitarka form of meditation. It is savitarka inasmuch as there is an intense activity of the mind in respect of the physical object chosen for the purpose of meditation. It is gross and it is external, it is in space and in time, and it is causally connected with other objects. These characteristics of an object make it the grossest conceivable form in concentration.

When the grosser form of the object is gradually eliminated on account of a deeper realisation that this object has a background of a vaster relationship with other things in the world, when this stage is reached, the mind goes to a higher form of sthulatva, or grossness. The grossness also is of two kinds: isolated and interconnected. The isolated grossness is the crudest form of the object, but the interconnected form of the physical relationship – the organic relationship, rather – is a higher form of grossness, just as we have individual life and social life. Social life is supposed to be a slightly more enlarged form of living than purely selfish individual living because the compass of mental activity gets enlarged in social activity and social conception. Likewise in meditation, the object, when it is taken as entirely isolated, is the first form of grossness. When it is regarded as internally connected with other objects, even in their physical relationship, it would be a higher form of gross meditation.

Now, this higher form of gross meditation which brings about the relationship between things is a little different from the crude form of grossness in the sense that we regard the crude form of the object as being in one place and in one time, whereas in a higher form it is regarded as spatially and temporally released from its limitation of location.

Space, time and cause are the limiting factors of all objects, and they have a tremendous hold over things when we regard any particular thing as isolated completely from other objects. But the hold of this principle of space-time-cause is lessened when we realise the interrelated harmony of objects among themselves because though the space-time factor does not entirely get eliminated here, the causal factor gets very much eliminated because when there is interconnectedness of things, we cannot say which is the cause and which is the effect. Everything is the cause and everything is the effect. If there is a circular chain with many links, we cannot say which is the first link and which is the last link. If there is a push given by one link – just for a minute imagine this – and the push is felt by every other link and there is a circular movement of the pushes, we do not know which is what, which is the cause and which is the effect. So in an interrelated harmony of relations, causal limitations get lessened, and there is a realisation of a community of existent objects rather than causally limited existence.

Yet, the space-time factor is still there because we cannot ever imagine that we are outside space and outside time. Whatever be the effort of the mind to think of an enlarged form of the object as interconnected, harmonised, it is still in space and in time. With all the farthest stretch of imagination, we cannot imagine anything outside space and outside time. These are the greatest difficulties that we have in operation of thought.

It is a great achievement if we can conceive objects as free from causal bondage, though they are in space and in time for all practical purposes. Yet we are still in the vitarka state because we are in the gross stage only. We still regard the object as outside us. Though it is universalised, though it is harmonised and interrelated, it is still outside us. We can never forget that the world is outside us, though the world is so large as to make us feel giddy by its vastness. We can go on stretching our imagination towards the borderland of the cosmos and may be unable to think the end of the universe, yet the universe is outside us. So this outsidedness of the universe is the special feature of externality, objectivity, physicality, etc.

All this is a difficult technique in meditation, though yoga teachers tell us that these are lower forms of meditation. The lower forms are lower only for adepts, but for people like us they are most hard things and we can never conceive objects in this manner as universally interrelated, causally free, and yet located in space and time. We generally never think in this manner because it is not the normal habit of the mind, but the mind has to be habituated to this way of thinking if we are to be accustomed to yogic way of thinking. The yogic way of thinking is quite different from the ordinary, crass, human way of perception, and we have already discussed where the difference lies.

The sadhaka should cultivate a habit of looking at things in this manner throughout the day if possible, and not limit this activity of the mind only to a few minutes during the period of sitting in a meditation room. What is the harm of thinking like this? No harm. It requires years of practice to expand the gamut of the object, but once a sort of control of the mind is gained over this object, meditation becomes spontaneous.

Now, the object remains outside us, though it is very vast, interconnected, causally free. It is outside us still because it is in space and in time. Can you think anything that is not in space and not in time? It is not possible, so it is not possible to give a logical explanation of what happens to us in higher stages beyond this, because to speak of anything beyond this is to speak of that which is beyond space and beyond time. Since all language is limited to things in space and in time, explanations beyond this would be meaningless.

But we can give an idea as to what is likely to happen to us by inferring and concluding from the testimony of masters of yoga. There is no point in discussing these objects beyond the spatio-temporal circumscription, but as a simple point of interest for the yoga student and an impulse of higher emotion and enthusiasm giving a sort of idealistic satisfaction, we may consider these higher stages of meditation in an outline.

These stages are supernormal. They cannot be regarded as ordinary experiences. We cannot think in this manner, and therefore, this cannot be called a normal way of thinking and perceiving. Hardly a few in this world will be thinking like this throughout the day, and even during the few minutes of our meditation we find it hard to think like this.

When, by the effort of thought, consciousness gets fixed on this vast panorama of interrelated objects, they cease to be objects. There is only one object. In the beginning stages there was an object of concentration and there were other objects of concentration whose thought was actively eliminated from the mind. And then there was effort of the mind to concentrate on one object which was chosen for concentration. But now we have no such difficulty of eliminating other objects and choosing one object. There is only one object. The whole panorama of perception is a single object. As the single object which was originally chosen for concentration has now diffused itself into the other objects through its interrelatedness, we can say that the whole world is the object of our meditation. This is what Patanjali means by vitarka dhyana or vitarka samadhi. The whole sthula jagat becomes the object of meditation.

The whole world is one object, not many objects. The many objects are only many forms of the one object. When we look at a person, we see his nose, his ears, his eyes, his fingers, but they are not seen as many objects or many persons. It is one person. Though we see ten fingers, two eyes, two ears, one nose and many parts of the body of that person, we know that it is one person, one object. Likewise, though we thought there are many objects in the world in the beginning, now we know it is only one object before us. It is the vast physical world. The trees and the mountains and the rivers and the stars and the stellar system are only the nose and ears and eyes and fingers of this vast object. So we need not be bothered about the multiplicity of objects. They do not exist. There is one object in front of us – the sthula jagat, the vast physical cosmos. Now we are a little bit free. We are a little happier that, after all, we have not to struggle with objects. There is only one object, this vast physical universe, but it is in space and time. It is outside us.

This physical cosmos is constituted of tanmatras. The physical potentials out of which the world has come are potentials, latent forces, which are not perceptible to the senses but which are there as causative factors, as energies behind these physical objects. Earth, water, fire, air and ether are the higher objects of meditation. Yet they are still objects. Even the tanmatras remain outside us. The concentration of the mind on the tanmatras, or the subtle potentials behind the physical objects, is called sukshma dhyana, as different from sthula dhyana, subtle concentration on the potentials behind the physical objects which, again, are like a sea of forces flooding all places. They differ from the physical objects in that while the physical objects are capable of being sensed by the physical organs, the subtle objects are not capable of being so sensed. They are objects of pure inner perception, and not of external sensory contact. Yet the limitation of these tanmatras to space and time persists because as long as we regard anything as external to us, space and time will be there because space, time and externality mean one and the same thing. To be outside is to be in space and time, and to be in space and time is to be outside. They are not two distinct things. It means one and the same thing. So as long as we think and feel and are convinced that the world is outside, we cannot also free ourselves from the concept of space and time. The spatiotemporal conception of the vast subtle jagat, suksham jagat, is savichara dhyana, according to Patanjali.

We have already gone beyond the savitarka and come to savichara. Even in the vitarka stage, some people make the distinction of savitarka and nirvitarka, that is, the physical object as an admixture of concept, name and form, and the physical object taken by itself, independent of concept and name. It is a difficult thing to understand. The example of a cow is given, for instance. The cow is inseparable from three factors. It is a cow which has a name, ‘cow’. The cow itself does not call itself a cow. We call it a cow, so it is our idea that it is a cow. It does not have a name, really speaking, but for us, this name is inseparable from the object. The moment the word ‘cow’ is uttered, that particular object, that particular shape and form comes before our mental vision. And when we see that object, the name gets associated with it, so the name and the object are associated. Also, the thought is associated. The idea and the object are different. The idea of the cow is not the same as the cow, but the two are inseparable. The mind takes the shape of the cow when it perceives the cow, and a mould, as it were, is formed in the mind, and an impression is formed in the mind by the perception of the cow. The object as such and the mould tally, and they also get mixed up with the name. This admixture is what is called the perception of a cow. This is called savitarka thought.

But it is said that in nirvitarka, we have to conceive only the object independent of the idea about it and the name associated with it. It is very difficult. We cannot think of the cow independent of the idea about it and the name associated with it. It is a very hard job, but when we get mastery over things in this manner, we will have control over the object.

Yogis are supposed to have mastery over things. This mastery comes by the freedom that they achieve over this admixture of things. They conceive objects as they are in themselves rather than as they appear to the mind. We need not go very deep into this complicated subject. I am only giving an idea as to what adepts in yoga tell us.

This is savitarka dhyana, nirvitarka dhyana, savichara dhyana and nirvichara dhyana, which means the perception of the subtle jagat independently, by itself, apart from its association with name and idea. All this put together is called grahya dhyana or, in the technical jargon of Patanjali, grahya samapatti. Samapatti is a kind of mental acquisition or concentration – meditation, we may say. It is grahya because it is external. Grahya is that which can be grasped by the sense organs and by the mind. When the mind and the senses grasp something as external, we call it grahya. When it is subtly grasped purely by the mind, it is tanmatra, an object of savichara and nirvichara dhyana. While it is an object of the senses, it is an object of savitarka and nirvitarka dhyana.

We are still in the world of objects. We are still regarding the objects as outside us. We are in the grahya jagat, sthula sukshma jagat. We are in a jagat, but we are still in a state of bondage in spite of this knowledge. Notwithstanding that we seem to have attained a very high state of concentration and knowledge, we are in a state of bondage. Samsara has not left us yet because we feel that the world is outside us; it is thought by the mind and perceived by the senses.

Now, how does the mind think the world? This is a very interesting subject. What do we mean by ‘thinking the world, thinking the object’? Does the object enter the mind, or does the mind go and support the object? What do we actually mean by thinking an object? This is a subject in psychology and philosophy. When we think an object, what happens to the mind? We cannot say that the object enters the mind. The object may be very far off. Can we say the mind travels and hits upon the object? If we do not accept even this much, then we will not be able to know the relationship between the mind and the object. Suppose the object does not enter the mind and the mind does not go to the object. Then what is thinking? How do we conceive the object at all?

There are two kinds of thought of objects. One kind is where the rays of the mind travel through the sense organs and actually touch it. This is pratyakshata, or actual perception. If we see a tree in front of us in broad daylight, we are allowing the mind to travel through the sense organ called the eye, and envelop the form which is there, which we call the tree, and transmit that particular mould or shape of the tree back to the mind with the help of the sunlight or any other light; then, in this condition, when consciousness throws a flood of illumination upon it, there is the perception of a tree. Perception is a double activity of consciousness and mind. The mind travels because it is spatiotemporal. The mind is also limited, as it is regarded as a product of prakriti and is made up of the qualities of sattva, rajas, and tamas. But consciousness transcends these qualities. Though the mind is made up of sattva, rajas and tamas, and it is a subtle ethereal quality, it is unconscious; it is jada. Inasmuch as it is jada, it cannot think. So what is it that thinks, then? It is the dual or joint activity of consciousness and mind.

To give an instance, put a mirror in broad daylight in such a way that the sunlight falling upon the mirror also reflects on the wall inside a house. The sunlight does not directly come to the wall inside the house, but because the mirror kept outside acts as a medium for the refraction of sunlight, there is illumination on the wall inside. The sun does not directly illumine the wall, but does so indirectly through the medium of the mirror. We say that the mirror shines, the mirror dazzles. The mirror does not dazzle; it is the sunlight that dazzles. What shines is the light of the sun, and what is shed on the wall inside is also the light of the sun. “The mirror shines,” is only a way of speaking. It is a concession given to practical experience rather than a truth or fact as such.

So also is thinking of the mind. The mind is like a mirror. It cannot think by itself, just as a mirror cannot shine by itself. In darkness, at midnight, the mirror does not shine, and we cannot see our face in it. But in light, we can see our face in it, so the light is also responsible for the seeing, not only the mirror. Similarly, the mind is not directly responsible for conception or perception, though the mind is essential. Just as neither the light of the sun nor the mirror alone are sufficient for the wall inside the house to be illumined, so also, consciousness that is universal alone will not be sufficient for external perception, and the mind alone is not capable of doing it because of its being jada.

Thus, the first form of perception – the lower form of perception, we say – is the process of the mind travelling to an existent object outside, casting itself into the mould of the object, into the shape or the form of the object, and then that particular mould being illumined by consciousness inside. It is a joint activity called vritti vyapti and phala vyapti in Vedanta philosophy. Vritti vyapti is the pervasion of the mind over the object. Phala vyapti is the illumination by consciousness of the object through the medium of the mind. This is what is involved in thinking when we actually perceive an object.

But when there is only internal perception, what happens? Internal perceptions are called cognitions. We can close our eyes and think a tree. Now, what happens to the mind here? The mind has taken the form of the tree, though it is not actually perceiving the tree through the sense organs. The mind does not travel in conception, while it travels in perception. If we close our eyes and think the tree, inwardly it manages to mould itself into the form of the tree purely by idea, by ideation. There is no attendant consciousness in internal perception as there is in external perception because the mind does not travel. There is sudden illumination. There is vritti vyapti but no phala vyapti in internal cognition, whereas there are both vritti vyapti and phala vyapti in external perception. The internal cognition is vritti vyapti because the mind takes the shape of the tree. But there is no travelling, and therefore, there is no need of consciousness attending the process of travelling. So it is said that in internal cognition phala vyapti is absent but vritti vyapti is present, while both are present in external perception. This is a distinction between thinking an object externally and thinking it internally.

What do we mean by thinking an object? The mind taking the form of an object is called thinking. What is the position of the object in relation to the mind? In the stages of savitarka, nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, we thought that the object is outside the mind, which means to say there was vritti vyapti and phala vyapti going on simultaneously in the four stages of meditation. Now we have to go a little deeper and find out what the status of the object is in relation to the mind that thinks the object.

According to both the Sankhya and the technical aspect of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the object is independent of consciousness. Prakriti is different from purusha. Prakriti is the object, the universal object to which we have arrived now, and purusha is consciousness. So consciousness operating through the manifestations of prakriti, buddhi, manas, ahamkara, tanmatras, sthula, jagat, etc., is what is called the relation of purusha to prakriti, consciousness to matter, or rather, the essence of thinking. In thinking, the object does not get identified with the mind, and the mind does not get identified with the object. The doctrine of the Sankhya and the technical Yoga Sutras is that there is only a mutual concourse of characters, and not an identification of substance. What is meant by a mutual concourse of characters and not an identification of substance? An example is given of a crystal assuming the colour of a flower that is brought near it. If a red flower is brought near a colourless crystal, the crystal assumes the reddish colour of the flower, and we cannot distinguish the crystal from the colour. They become one. The crystal is tinged, as we say, with the colour of the flower. This is the concourse of characters. But the flower does not get identified with the crystal. This is Sankhya’s philosophical meaning.

Well, whatever be the status of the object in relation to consciousness, it becomes clear that there is an interrelation of the object and the mind in thinking. Bondage is defined by the Sankhya as the assumption by the consciousness of having really been possessed of the character of prakriti. We have the analogy of the crystal. If the crystal begins to think it is really red, that would be the samsara of the crystal. The bondage of the crystal consists in its really thinking, feeling and believing that it is red while it is really not red. It is pure, untinged luminosity by itself. If the crystal were to be credited with consciousness, or the power of thinking, and if it were to assume that it is really red, that would be the bondage of the crystal. But the crystal realises: “I am not red; it is only the flower that is getting reflected in me. I am a white crystal, pure, luminous, dazzling. The red colour does not belong to me. It belongs to the flower.” The moment this realisation comes to the crystal, it is the liberation, kaivalya, moksha, of the crystal.

So the Sankhya and the Yoga want us to realise that we are pure crystals, and not reddish crystals, because the reddish colour has come from an outside object. All the characters that we associate ourselves with in practical life belong to prakriti. They do not belong to purusha. They are material associations, and they do not belong to consciousness. “I am hungry, I am thirsty, I am short, I am tall, I am born, I am dying.” These ideas in our consciousness are the ideas born of the belief that consciousness is really possessed of the characters of prakriti because consciousness does not die, and consciousness is not born. It is not short, it is not long. It is not Mr., it is not Mrs. It is not here, it is not there. It is everywhere. When we say, “I am only here and not there,” we have identified ourselves with prakriti. When we say, “I am hungry, I am thirsty,” and so on, and give many other appellations to ourselves, we suffer. The transitional character of prakriti is falsely identified with the eternal character of consciousness, and then it is said that we are in samsara. Moksha is the freedom of consciousness from the transitional character of prakriti. When consciousness withdraws itself from association with avidya and aviveka, with prakriti, there is kaivalya, moksha.

Thus, what Patanjali tells us is that through these dhyanas, or meditations, and through samadhi, we have to realise our independent status as universal consciousness, or purusha. Tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe'vasthānam (Yoga Sutras 1.3): The consciousness rests in itself and does not move towards an object. Why should the mind move toward an object? Why should there be vritti vyapti? Why should there be an envelopment of the mind over the object? It is due to an attachment and a false conception. When the consciousness rests in itself, there will be no vritti vyapti, no phala vyapti. There will be no perception of an object. There will be no cognition, no perception. There will be only Self consciousness of a universal nature, of purusha. That is kaivalya moksha. To this we are moving through the dhyanas and the processes of samadhi.

We have now come to the stage of realising where we stand in relation to an object. I have given you an idea as to what the Sankhya and the Yoga think about the relation of the object to the mind, and vice versa. The object is not the cause of the bondage of the jiva or the bondage of consciousness. It is the association of consciousness with the object that is the source of bondage; and this is to be realised. We are not so much concerned with the existence or the non-existence of the objects. Let them be, let them not be. We are not bothered about them. But what does the object mean to me? That is my bondage, and that is also my freedom. The meaning that I read in an object is my bondage or my freedom. If I do not read any meaning in the object, the object does not exist for me. That would be kaivalya.

The travel of the mind to the object is due to raja and dvesha, and raja and dvesha are due to aviveka and ajnana, due to a misconceived state of affairs. The consciousness somehow or other gets identified with the object. Nobody knows how it happens; this is a transcendent mystery. All the schools of thought accept this mystery, and it remains a mystery. It has ever remained a mystery. We cannot know how this mystery took place, but we are here to try to find out how to solve this mystery and get out of its clutches.

Now, from grahya we go to grahana and grahita. I am giving an idea of the meditations of Patanjali. From the object we go to the process of perception of an object and then to the perceiver. When consciousness withdraws itself from the object and concerns itself purely with the process of perception, it is a more advanced state of meditation, and when it is concerned only with itself, the perceiver alone, that is freedom of the soul. So from grahya we go to grahana, and from grahana we go to grahita. Grahya is the object, grahana is the process of the perception or cognition of the object, and grahita is the perceiver or the cogniser. So gradually we go from the external to the internal, and when we reach the internal, pure consciousness, we also realise that we are universal. We shall see to it next time.