In the Light of Wisdom
by Swami Krishnananda

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Chapter 10: The Operation of the Eternal Law

The practice of yoga is more than a mere understanding of its principles, because there are many who may be able to understand it but cannot practise it. The reason for this is the peculiar preparation that one has to make in engaging oneself in its practice. A kind of unique strength is necessary in the practice of yoga. It is not anyone and everyone who can take to it with ease. Many start with enthusiasm but do not conclude it, because of certain unforeseen difficulties that sometimes confront them in the middle, and often in the very beginning itself. A peculiar kind of strength is necessary for this practice. A weak mind which is susceptible to the changing judgements of people cannot take to the practice of yoga. There are people who go on listening to everything and believe in everything so that they live in others’ minds and not in their own minds. Whatever they hear, they believe. When one belief contradicts another, there is a sense of despair and a confusion of mind.

A student of yoga should have a power of judgement, and he should not be merely a puppet in the hands of the views and judgements of other people. It is humility and goodness and also a kind of wisdom to listen to everybody’s views, but it does not mean that we should necessarily acquiesce to all of them. A judge listens to the reports of everyone in the court, but it does not mean that he will accept as final veracity everything that he hears. To receive views and opinions and to consider the judgements of other people in regard to things is one of the ways of acquiring knowledge, it is true, but knowledge is not merely a gathering of information. It is a sifting of essentials, the sublimation of principles involved in what is heard and learnt, and a gathering of the essence rather than the chaff of the outer knowledge. The student of yoga should have a mind of his or her own. We cannot afford always to live in borrowed wisdom or information and strength gathered from others.

It is futile to think that we can always be in the midst of others who will protect or guard us with their physical power or their wisdom. A time will come when the student of yoga will realise that he is alone in this world, and his aloneness is the peculiarity of the wisdom that becomes opened before the inner eye. The truth is that we are alone. That we are apparently in the midst of friends and associates is a kind of illusion that has been cast over us, and this illusion will be dispersed like a cloud when the time for it comes. We will stand alone, and then we must have the strength to confront the realities of life.

A student of yoga is one who is ready to face life. Life will stand in all its nakedness and in its barren reality when relationships which were falsely associated around us get dispersed, and we awaken to the facts of life. These are stages through which every person has to pass if one is to take to yoga earnestly and seriously. It is not wise to think that we shall always be in the midst of friends, that institutions will guard us, and that there are other things that will protect us. This is a child’s attitude towards things—that the parents will always take care of it. This attitude cannot always hold, because truth opens itself one day or the other, and we find ourselves alone in this world.

Before nature teaches this lesson with the rod, it will be proper for us to learn it of our own accord with a maintenance of our dignity. Instead of being pushed down to a place, it is better to honourably go ourselves. Even when we are not prepared to learn, we will nevertheless be taught the lesson. This is nature’s method. It is very difficult to bear the way in which nature teaches lessons to us, so it is more proper and fitting that we do it ourselves rather than do it later under compulsion. No one can escape this law of nature, and truth shall triumph.

The truth is that we are alone in our essentiality, and the final reaches in the passage of evolution will be a single person’s walk. “Strait is the gate,” we must have heard it said in the Bible. Narrow is this gate that releases us into the beyond, and two people cannot walk together in this narrow passage. Broad is the way of destruction, but strait is the gate to heaven. So narrow is this gate that we cannot take an assistant, a servant or a friend with us—we have to go alone. This is the fact and the ultimate reality of things. The evolutionary process of nature tells us that this is the truth when it comes to us as a kind of pain, a shock and an unexpected and unforeseen truth—but everyone must undergo this.

The student of yoga should be a little cautious and a little different from the common folk who learn only by receiving kicks from the world. Yoga is a conscious attempt at participation in the evolution of nature, instead of being driven like an ass by the compulsive activity of nature’s evolution. To bear this truth requires a strength to face truth as it is in its unrelatedness, and it also needs a kind of strength which cannot be developed by acquiring the possessions of the world. This is the foundation of yoga practice—the development of the inner toughness of our personality where we can sleep with confidence and wake up also with confidence. Normally, we go to bed with fear, and we wake up with anxiety. This is hard to bear, and it is not good that this state of affairs should always continue. Go to bed with a sober mind and a sense of attainment, and wake up also with a sense of strength.

“From where does this strength come?” may be the question. It is not muscular strength that we are speaking of, for then the elephant would be the best student of yoga. It is a peculiar kind of strength which most people lack, and this strength is different from a robustness of the body. It is not the strength that we gain from proper nutrition. With all this nutritional sustenance we may nevertheless be weaklings and frightened even by the movement of a mouse. The strength which enables us to be confident in this life is a different kind of strength, which is more than just bodily strength. This is the essential prerequisite in the very commencement of the practice of yoga. There is a famous saying in the Upanishads, “This Atma cannot be attained by weaklings.” This does not mean, as I said, physical robustness. It is an inner toughness that we maintain by a peculiar training that we voluntarily undergo in our lives. We may become weak for some particular reasons and these reasons have to be avoided.

Why we become weak and feel that we are weak is to be the subject of our analysis at the outset. What makes us feel diffident and incompetent, to lack confidence, to feel that we cannot walk firmly on our legs and that we expect only suffering in the future? Why should it be like this, and what is the reason behind all this? The reason is dissipation of life in many ways. The energy and inner strength that we are supposed to garner in ourselves is already in us, because the strength that we are speaking of here does not come from outside. Nobody can give us this strength. We have been born with this strength to some extent, and we have also been born with a joy which may afterwards take leave of us due to certain other reasons.

The Hardening of the Ego

We have seen small children who look so beautiful, with rounded faces and brilliant bodies. We feel a kind of affection for children due to the harmony of the elements in the children. This harmony gets disturbed later on due to the formation of certain characteristics in the face and body on account of the intensification of desires and ego. The elements which constitute the physical body in a child are distributed in a harmonious manner, and that is why they are so attractive. In adults however the ego hardens itself gradually and desires get channelised in particular directions. The localisation of desires in particular objects disturbs the harmony of the elements of the body, and our faces become ugly. We know how badly an old man’s face droops, and it grows uglier and uglier as the body gets more distorted and unattractive as age advances. The beauty of childhood passes away when the ego begins to manifest itself. Ego and desire finally mean one and the same thing. The ego is the motive force behind the channelisation of desires. That the child has no particular desire is a very important psychological fact. On account of their incipient state, the child’s desires are distributed generally and not channelled particularly in any direction. The child’s desires are general and not particular, and so there is an undisturbed maintenance of the harmony of the elements of the body.

Wherever there is harmony, there is a sense of freedom or happiness which the intellect cannot understand. The children are happy. They run about skipping and jumping and do not understand the realities of life. This ignorance itself makes them so happy. The child’s simplicity is the reason behind its joy, the harmony of its body and even the harmonious working of its physiological organs. Children sleep well, eat well and digest everything, but elders often cannot eat, cannot digest and cannot sleep. The reason is the same: there is an unequal distribution of the energies of the body on account of localisation or channelisation of desire.

This is the beginning of the dissipation of human energy, and the older we become, the weaker we feel in our systems. “Oh, I cannot stand, I cannot walk, I cannot digest anything well, I do not get sleep,” is a general complaint of many people. It is a self-created problem, due to ignorance of the laws of life. We imagine something to be good for us, but it turns out to be contrary to our well-being. We try to fight with fundamental principles in the attempt to fulfil our desires, but the facts ultimately succeed because our illusions cannot stand before them. By hook or by crook our desires want to be fulfilled.

These ways which we generally adopt to satisfy our desires due to the impulse of ego are not in harmony with the laws of society or the laws of nature. Though desires are also present in the child, they are present in seed form and are therefore as yet unmanifest. The desires are not directed toward any particular object and are not lodged in any particular form of the body. They are in an equally distributed, unmanifest condition. While the symmetry of the system of the child is due to its ignorance, a later stage may come in the lives of certain adept people where the same symmetry can be established by a conscious adjustment to life.

This is the case with a saint or sage. He is as lustrous, beautiful and powerful as a child, whereas the ignorant man suffers. The scriptures of yoga tell us that rightly practised yoga produces a lustre in the body similar to that seen in small children. A capacity to do hard work without feeling fatigue and a capacity to have good sleep are characteristics of a saint, and not of a worldly man. While the reasons may be quite different for a child as compared to a saint, the consequences are the same. The harmony that is maintained in the body of a child is due to ignorance, whereas in a saint it is due to wisdom. But the others, who are neither children nor wise men, are the sufferers in the world, and they constitute the majority of mankind.

This unfortunate condition exists in most people because of an unintelligent manipulation of desire and a foolish way of tackling things in the world. To allow a desire to run riot is not wisdom, but this is what most people do. Our desires run amok like wild horses which cannot be controlled, and if horses drag a chariot crazily, we know what will happen—it will be thrown into a ditch. The human condition is beautifully illustrated in the Kathopanishad, and is seen as comparable to a chariot driven by the horses of the senses. Our desires pull us in different directions, and we are unable to know which desires should be fulfilled and which should not. The condition worsens when we are not in a position to know how to fulfil a desire.

Our ways of approach are wrong due to the ignorance of the nature of things. Due to this ensnarement in desires and the objects of the world, we run hither and thither like water which runs in different directions when it falls off a cliff. Our energies are psychologically dissipated due to the squandering of our strength. Even though all people innately possess this energy, it is wasted through this process of desire fulfilment. When there is this wasting of bodily and psychic energy due to unnecessary activity, restlessness and anxiety of various kinds, we become lost to our own selves. We feel a sense of weakness, not only in the body, but also in the mind.

Weaknesses That Hinder Us

When such a weakness creeps into our system, we cannot concentrate our minds on anything. We feel dazed, we feel sleepy. Even if we sit in a lecture hall and listen to a discourse, we feel sleepy because our minds cannot concentrate. We neither hear anything that has been said, nor can we understand what has been said, because the mind builds castles in the air, runs hither and thither, or gets torpid and sleepy. These are signs of weakness. Oversleeping is also a kind of weakness of the body. We constantly feel tired and feel like to go to bed. “Oh, let me lie down.” We always feel like lying down. The feeling that we are always tired shows that we have no strength within, and that the strength has gone away due to maladjustment of the energy of the body.

Too much emotion, too much longing which cannot easily be materialised, too much anxiety, and an excess of any kind of emotion—all these drain our energy. We may have taken a very sumptuous and nourishing meal, but upon receiving shocking news our nerves may be agitated, and immediately we feel as weak as if we were going to die. The diet we have taken is no support for us at that time. Shocking news which affects the nerves creates such a psychic disturbance that the meal we have taken is of no use. It looks as if we had eaten nothing for months, and we will feel like sinking into the earth. Such is the power of emotion.

It is useless for a student of yoga to think that he can have strength merely by eating well. There are people who eat well in this world but who are not happy, and they may be very weak and rigid. We should not imitate these people. Those who wear nice clothes, live in spacious houses and eat well are not necessarily happy people, and these are not going to be our examples. The path of yoga is a different way of approach altogether, where we try to understand ourselves in relation to nature. Our relation to nature is such that we cannot take liberties with nature. We should not take too many liberties with nature or even with our own body. “Oh, I cannot digest well.” Well, if this is so, then one should not eat so much that one falls sick afterwards. Nature has a principle of its own, and while it tolerates errors to some extent, it cannot tolerate them for a long time. God and nature work in the same way. Their mills grind slowly, as it were, but very finely, and we should understand this as citizens of the universe.

The energy that a student of yoga is called upon to retain in his or her system is the predisposition to concentration of mind. All of yoga is concentration of mind, we must remember. Whatever be the type of yoga we may be performing, concentration of mind is necessary. It may be a practice of asanas, it may be pranayama, it may be hatha yoga or anything else, but if the mind is not there, it is not going to help us. Even in a simple posture like the savasana (corpse pose), at which we may laugh when it is being called an asana—it is the most difficult asana to perform, because due to agitation we may not be able to properly perform savasana, even though we may be able to stand on our heads.

Concentration of mind properly done relaxes the mind, but to be relaxed is a most difficult thing. Concentration is the same as relaxation; however, it is not an exercise of the will. Many students of yoga think that concentration is a tremendous effort of will, where we have to put pressure on our nerves, as if we were walking on the edge of a sword. It is not so. Concentration of mind is at the same time ease of the mind. At any level of the practice of yoga, even in the first rudimentary level, what we are called upon to achieve is ease in the system and not concentration in the sense of undue pressure exerted on any part of the system.

Yoga is not compulsion forced on the body, the senses or the mind, but it is rather a freedom that we give to them. While we may lack freedom in the world, yoga gives us both joy and freedom. We become at ease and at one with ourselves, whether it is through the physical postures of asanas, whether it is through the retention of the breath in pranayama, whether it is through meditation on the Absolute—it makes no difference. It makes no difference at what stage of yoga we are; the point is how we feel. Our feeling should be one of ease, release from tension and at-one-ment with ourselves. Very important to remember: at-one-ment with our own selves. This is yoga in every one of its stages.

We are out of tune with ourselves because of too much thinking of unnecessary things. People usually say, “Oh, I am too busy!” Because of this excessive busyness in life, we are neither able to perform anything dexterously and successfully in our lives, nor are we able to maintain mental poise. By a collectedness of the mind through an understanding of our relation with nature, we can live a little happier than we usually do. It is not proper to try to fulfil every one of our desires. This is the reason why we feel weak—on account of the anxiety created through the attempts to fulfil the desires that we have in our hearts.

We must have a justification for the fulfilment of our desire, but it gets justified only when it is fulfilled in reference to the higher level that we want to attain in our lives. This is also a kind of morality of desire. Morality can be defined as the consciousness that the higher level should determine the lower. When our desires can be made compatible with the operation of the law of an immediate higher level of life, then we may be able to fulfil those desires easily, and they would also be justified. Actions become immoral if the fulfilment of our desires in a particular level of life is incompatible with the demands of the higher level immediately above.

Moral Consciousness

It is difficult for the ordinary man to know what morality is, because he cannot know what the higher level is. The higher is that which sublimates, includes and transcends the lower, and at the same time makes us freer and happier. The laws of the world, or the laws of God by which we are supposed to abide, are all ultimately the higher determinings of the lower levels of life. I have been trying to explain the necessity of a moral life, and it is morality that brings strength or inner toughness, and it is immorality that makes us weak. What morality actually is cannot be known by the study of textbooks of ethics. These texts will not reveal to us the truths of this matter, because morality is so uniquely subtle in every given situation or circumstance. Often its special forms, though not its general forms, differ from person to person, from one country to another country, from one season to another season, and from one circumstance to another circumstance.

The moral life is a difficult life—not just a stereotyped track that we have to tread. It is difficult, just as the proper prescription of a medicine by a physician is difficult. It is not easy to prescribe a medicine—it is a very complicated science, and the doctor has to understand the situation properly. Likewise is the understanding of the moral conduct that we have to adopt in our lives. What is proper is difficult to understand without the exercise of a proper understanding.

When we attain a sense of wisdom, we conform to laws operating within us as well as outside us. Tending to integration in a higher level of our lives, we become truly moral in our consciousness, and this gives us strength. A moral person is stronger than a person with a sword or a gun. This is why for example that people talk of Mahatma Gandhi so much, although he had a frail body and no weapons in his hands. His strength came from a conviction born of a moral consciousness. All morality is strength, and immorality is weakness. Whatever be our possessions, if there is no moral consciousness within us, there will be weakness side by side with the possessions.

We can be terrified even by a fly if there is no inner moral consciousness. If there is a confidence born of the abidance by law which is morality, there is a peculiar kind of power that we feel within which difficult to explain in words. If we always feel confident, everything will be all right on account of the simultaneous feeling that we are on the right path. “I am right, I shall not suffer in this world,” will be our confidence. This is one form of the moral consciousness.

I may reiterate that there is no yoga practice without moral consciousness within. It is not only a practice, it is also a state of feeling and consciousness. No one who is not moral can be a yogin. Morality is not only make-believe or the following of the social law of morality—morality is a state of consciousness. I purposely use the phrase “moral consciousness” rather than “following the moral law”. We may be practising the moral law of a society, and yet we may not have a moral consciousness—in which case we will again feel weakness. We may be a very important and well-placed person in society, but we may not have the strength to maintain this moral consciousness within.

The Bhagavadgita explains the situation very beautifully in one of its beautiful verses: “One may be morally disciplined in outward limbs of the body, but inwardly contemplating objects of sense.” This is not morality. What we are in our minds is our morality. We may be anything outside in human society, but this is something different. What are we inside? That is our own morality. What people say about us is not our true nature. They may say this or they may say that, but their judgements may not be correct because nobody can see within us.

This is a very important aspect of yoga practice, and if this is missed, we will miss the whole calculation. If we come initially to the error that two and two make five, all our later calculations will be wrong. Whatever be the effort we make for our calculations, we have presumed in the beginning that two and two make five. Likewise, all attempts at yoga practice will be a waste of time and energy—bringing nothing in the end—if we make the mistake of thinking that we are quite all right when we are not. Let no one be foolhardy enough to think that everything is quite all right. Nobody can be quite all right in this world. One has to be very cautious, because one can slip at any point on a path which is so precipitous. It is easy to be self-complacent but difficult to be self-critical. It is the nature of the mind to be complacent. “I am always all right, and others are wrong,” is a peculiar way in which the mind works in this world.

It is a psychological quirk that the mind feels that it is highly rational, although this is not a correct feeling. The person will be the loser, if this attitude is maintained throughout life. The moral foundation is going to determine the higher success in yoga, and morality is not outward conformity to moral law, but rather the maintenance of a moral consciousness within. Our hearts should be satisfied that we are moral—it is of no use if others say that we are moral. When we close our eyes and we are alone in a room, if our hearts are truly satisfied, then we are wholly moral and God will save us. Otherwise, all the worlds cannot protect us.

This is a small point which many students of yoga miss in their enthusiasm and in their practice and so they complain, “No God, no yoga, no religion and nothing else has come to me. I am fed up!” There are people who have been meditating for twenty, thirty, forty years and they achieve nothing, because they started with a wrong basis of self-complacency. They had small weaknesses which covered their vision like sand particles in their eyes, due to which they could not see anything properly. This fact is mostly ignored in the practice of yoga, and many teachers of yoga do not lay sufficient emphasis on this aspect of moral consciousness.

No student of yoga has patience enough to think of this important matter. They are all interested in asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, and not in the basic principles. It is very unfortunate, and it is quite evident as to why we are not successful in our practise of yoga. A small mistake that we committed in the beginning has spoiled the whole affair, and despite all our efforts of years and years, we will realise when it is too late, “Oh, I made a small mistake, and the whole thing has gone dead wrong!” Let no time be wasted in false assumptions as to one’s perfection. Let no one imagine that one is perfect. God alone can be perfect—no human being can be. Let there be this humility first.

Proceeding Cautiously

Do not be too enthusiastic in these matters—go slow and do not try to jump. Walk slowly and cautiously, with a review of the steps that have already been taken. Every day make a review of yesterday’s practise. “Has it been all right, or was there a difficulty? What has happened to me? Can I take a further step?” This is the way in which we have to review our yesterday’s practise and our yesterday’s problems and difficulties. This foundation must be properly laid. The foundation is very important—more important than the building, we must remember. What is the good of having a beautiful building, if it has a shaky foundation? The foundation of yoga is a moral consciousness, and again I insist that it is not conformity to outer law, which is different altogether. The morality of the conformity to outer law is different from yoga morality, which is a consciousness.

We must be satisfied, not others. There is no use for others to be judges of us—we have to be our own judge. If we are satisfied from the whole of our hearts, then it is all right. Otherwise, something will be murmuring from within, “My dear friend, it is not all right.” We may be trying to hush up that voice, but it will not keep quiet. It will tell us again and again the same thing. A conscious endeavour to maintain this sense of morality, an attitude of moral consciousness and an honesty of purpose are the foundation of yoga practice. This itself is a practice. The ability to maintain for a protracted period, if not continuously, a moral consciousness is itself a very important step in yoga. This takes a long time, because to maintain a moral consciousness is identical with being unselfish in the world. We cannot be selfish and at the same time moral. The deviation from the moral consciousness occurs on account of the desires which we want to fulfil somehow or the other. How can we be moral and at the same time be happy in this world? This is a conflict within us. It is not true that happiness depends upon immorality. This is a false notion. The moral consciousness will make us so happy; and later on we will realise that it is a permanent happiness which will not leave us, whereas the happiness that we acquire by hook or by crook is an illusion before our eyes which will leave us one day.

One should not commit this mistake of imagining that by deviation from morality one can be happy. The discipline of desire is necessary for the maintenance of a moral consciousness. We cannot just be at the beck and call of our whims and fancies and at the same time be moral. We should not be whimsical. We should have correct judgement and a logical way of thinking in the smallest things also. There is no ‘smallest thing’ in the world, because everything is equally important in its own place. In everything we have to be logical and careful.

We have to see everything from all sides, not only one or two sides. It is like the commander of an army who weighs the situation properly from all directions before taking a step. We cannot simply say, “March!” like a foolish person. We will have to know whether it is proper to march or not, what our strength is, what the strength of the enemy is and where they stand. This is the way in which we will make a whole review of the circumstances. Like the army commander who has to be very cautious, a yoga student maintains a carefulness of step, and he disciplines his desires with tremendous effort.

In the beginning of our practise, we should not live in the thick of an unwholesome environment and then think of controlling our senses. This is why in the beginning we are asked to be a little away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. Later on when we have sufficient strength we may also be in the cities, but in the beginning it is not proper. A great saint has given a small illustration to explain the necessity of a little isolation in the beginning. We know that fire can consume ghee (clarified butter). If one pours ghee into a fire, the flame will blaze up more and more and burn up the ghee. Pour tons of it into a large fire, and the ghee will be burned up without any residue, because fire has such strength. But suppose the fire is only a spark, and we throw ten tons of ghee over it; the fire will not be able to consume it, and the spark will be consumed by the ghee itself. Pour ten tons of ghee over a spark of fire and the spark will be extinguished, though a larger fire has the capacity to burn any amount of ghee. Likewise it may be that we have the strength to bear anything in life, but in the beginning we should not waste this strength that is incipiently present inside us but not yet manifested outside. We should not live in the midst of objects of temptation and then try to control the senses. It is too difficult.

In the beginning stages we should physically distance ourselves from the objects of temptation, and not merely claim that the temptations are not a problem because we think we are not mentally attracted. “Oh, I am a mental sannyasin. These things don’t affect me!” We can say that only in the more advanced stages. In the beginning it is difficult to control the senses or discipline them, and they will have their own laws and prescriptions. We will succumb to them one day or the other, and then it will be difficult to come back to the normal position. Therefore, in the initial stages it is necessary to live in a guarded atmosphere. That is why people go to ashrams, cloisters and convents—to live in a guarded atmosphere. We cannot simply do whatever we like in institutions of that nature, and so this is a good protection.

In the beginning it is an external protection—a kind of compulsion, we may say, but in the earlier stages this kind of compulsion is necessary. Afterwards this compulsion may become a spontaneous moral consciousness, but in the beginning the restraint must be there. In the beginning a tendency is there to fulfil the desires rather than to be moral. Life in a protected atmosphere of a cloister or a monastery or in the presence of a competent Guru or master is necessary. Because of the temptations, we cannot be at home and then be successful in yoga. We know ourselves what the temptations are in city life and at home.

From the outward discipline of this nature, we move towards a spontaneous inner discipline of the moral consciousness, and then we are strong enough to be able to practise the steps of yoga. This is the strength to which I made reference earlier—a strength which we mostly lack but which is very essential. We should never feel diffident or nervous in the practice of yoga. Confidence is necessary. We should not be thinking, “I do not know whether I am right or wrong, and I do not know where I am standing.” This doubt has to be dispelled by clear thought. If we cannot do it ourselves, we must go to a competent teacher. It is not that we can always be independently clarified in our thought. That is why a Guru is necessary. When we cannot understand, we go to a master. “This is my doubt and difficulty and problem,” we say, and it will be clarified for us, and then we can proceed further. Thus, with a clarified understanding and the consequent moral sense that we are able to maintain, we become strong.

This strength is what generally goes by the name of brahmacharya. The term ‘brahmacharya’ is more than what it outwardly means to people. It is the sum total of the retention of energy in our system by the avoidance of all leakage of energy in any manner whatsoever. Brahmacharya is not merely ‘celibacy’ as it is translated in English. It is more than that; it is the maintenance of a moral consciousness. One may be a celibate and yet may be finding it difficult to maintain this consciousness of brahmacharya. It is an overall continence and not merely celibacy. It is a continence of the powers of sense taken in their totality, which renders the body strong, healthy, tireless and even lustrous. This energy is very essential for the practice of yoga, without which we feel weak in body, mind and soul. Lacking this energy we will feel wearied in our spirits. This should not be the condition into which the yoga student is driven.

Cautiousness is yoga, in the same way as consciousness is yoga. The moral sense in all things is not an unimportant item in yoga. It is very important, and it is very essential that we make a careful note of this essential limb—the moral consciousness. Once one is properly and in adequate proportion established in this, then we can say that almost fifty percent of our difficulties are over. This is an essential aspect of yoga which I tried to emphasise, because this is a point which most people miss in their practice. It is due to this error that there may not be visible success in the practice that has been carried on even for years together.