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The Ascent to Moksha
by Swami Krishnananda

Discourse 16: Entering the Realm of Impersonal Forces

Thoughts and things are interrelated. Though things appear like objects of thought, without any intrinsic relation within themselves, they are essentially children of the same parents. The source of thought is also the source of objects. They are a kind of parallel movement from an invisible context of creation which is beyond the perception of the mind, as well as the reach of the objects of sense. Inasmuch as the common source of thoughts and things is not conceivable to the mind – not at all sensible or perceivable – the thoughts, which impinge upon objects, take the objects for externals and treat them as strangers. Thoughts have to deal with the objects, inasmuch as the source of the thoughts and the object is not known.

There is a bifurcation in the process of creation at a particular point, and this bifurcation it is that is responsible for what we know as subjects or knowers or thoughts or minds or selves on one side, and things or objects or visible forms on the other side. We are told that the original equipoise of all things in the cosmos is known as prakriti, mula-prakriti, which is constituted of metaphysical principles known as sattva, rajas and tamas, and it is this prakriti that gives rise to the first evolute in the process of creation, known as mahat, also mahat-tattva. We sometimes know it as cosmic intellect. This mahat-tattva is inseparable from universal Self-awareness, sometimes identified with God, the Creator, the first Universal Individual, impossible for us to conceive but posited in the scriptures and affirmed in the Darshanas such as the Sankhya and the Vedanta.

It is from the point of this universal ahamkara that a parallel creation starts. Up to this point it is all one. In biological science also it is said that in the fundamentals of life there is no sex. We do not have male and female in the lowest amoebic level or in the elementary forms of biological life. When life progresses to a particular point of manifestation, sexes differentiate themselves. Originally it was one, and at a particular stage it became two, so that an externally conceived relationship had to be developed between the sexes due to a conflict brought about by the twofold factor of their having an original source fundamentally and yet their being separate objectively.

Some such thing has happened in cosmic creation. At the point of mahat-tattva and ahamkara, which is the last point in cosmic evolution, we have a separation of the fundamental reality into the subject of perception on one side and the object of perception on the other side. It is, to give a crude example, the projection of two arms from the same body. The body is one, and yet we have the right arm and the left arm externally related to each other, though intrinsically they are connected to the same physical organism.

The subjective side of creation consists of the physical bodies of individuals, the vital forces, the sense organs, and the various psychological functions, known in Sanskrit as manas, buddhi, ahamkara, chitta, etc. The objective side, which is something like the left hand projecting itself forth from the same source, manifests itself as what are known as the tanmatras, or object potentials. Tanmatra is a Sanskrit term, which simply means the quintessence of objects. We have in modern physical science the discovery that physical objects are not the realities; they have inner realities constituting them, such as electrical charges within the physical bodies of objects, and so on, rising still further into mathematical point events and the relativity of the cosmos, etc. In the same way, we have related in our scriptures and Darshana shastras the existence of potentials of objects, or manifestation of forms, known as the tanmatras, which materialise themselves into objects of physical perception. Just as internally, subjectively, from one side of creation we have the intellect, the mind, the chitta, the senses, the pranas and the physical body as an outer manifestation of the internal potential, outwardly we have the physical cosmos of earth, water, fire, air and ether – prithvi, apas, teja, vayu, akasha – manifesting out of the tanmatras, or these potentials.

Now, inasmuch as there has been a bifurcation of the fundamental root into the two branches of subjects and objects, subjects having to deal with objects in an externalised manner, there arises the context of what we call cognition and perception. We perceive objects; we do not regard them as part of ourselves. Perception is a demonstration of the fact that the objects are outside us.

The theory of creation, as outlined just now, will tell us that inasmuch as the source of objects and thoughts is the same, the fact of the externality of objects should be a kind of misconception. It cannot be true. If, by a freak of consciousness, we begin to feel that our own hand is outside us, we would be regarded as mental patients. A kind of twist or kink in our consciousness, or mind, can produce this false perception of a part of our body being outside us. That is a kind of psychopathic condition. This perception of a part of the body being outside one's own body cannot be called normal perception; it is an illness of the mind, yet it looks normal to the perceiver. There are people who have the mental illness of seeing human beings moving in front of them, while no one is there. They get frightened because to them it is real. If we tell them, “My dear friend, there is nobody in the house. Why are you running about? Why are you frightened?” he will say, “Look! Here he is, gazing at me, coming near me.” For that person under the spell of that false perception, it is all a reality, and our arguments will have no meaning. But we know very well that this perception of a non-existent object is an erroneous mental condition.

Similarly, the practice of yoga is the great art of the putting an end to this mental illness forever and making the mind realise its original source. If the mind is to realise in its practical life that the objects of the world have come from the same source as its own self, we would be dealing with persons and things in a different manner altogether. There would be no fights and quarrels, no attachments and emotional obsessions; there would be a different world altogether in front of us if there were to be a perpetual awareness that we and the objects outside have come from a single root.

Now, this bifurcation into the objects and the subjects is of a very peculiar character, and because of this peculiarity, we are unable to know what has actually happened. It is not like the branches of a tree running in different directions at a particular point of the trunk. This bifurcation is a psychological, rather, a conscious activity based on an incapacity to perceive rather than a perception of what is really there because rectification of facts is not possible. We can rectify only errors. If the bifurcation is a fact, it will be always there, and there would be no such thing as setting matters right. Why should we set right what is correct? But there is something wrong, which is imperceptible to the mind, and this error is a psychological one; it is not an error of physical relationship but an error of psychological perception.

This position of objects and thoughts having arisen from a common source is very pithily pointed out in a half-verse of the Third Chapter of the Bhagavadgita, guṇā guṇeṣu vartante iti mātva na sajjate (Gita 3.28): In perception of objects, the properties of prakriti move among the properties of prakritiguṇā guṇeṣu vartante. You move among yourself, as it were. It is not mind impinging upon objects that we call perception of objects, but the same character of prakriti moving among another set of characters of its own self. A character of prakriti as subject, or thought, or mind moves in the line of the character of prakriti itself as objects on another side. So the mind perceiving objects is something like the right hand touching the left hand. It is not two persons coming together. It is one and the same person existing in a different situation, and not two isolated realities coming into contact with each other. This is the meaning of guṇā guṇeṣu vartante. If we know this truth, we will not be attached to anything because attachment is only to objects which are outside us. We will not be attached to a part of our own body. But this is a very hard nut to crack. It is not easy to conceive because this fact is based on a reality transcending the normal mental operations of the human being.

The practice of yoga, as I said, is the masterstroke which deals the final blow at this tree of samsara by extricating the mind from the entanglement in which it is caught, entanglements which are of a psychological character. The mind is entangled in a perception, and it is not entangled in objects. The mind is not caught up with objects; it is caught up with the wrong perception of objects. So the practice of yoga is not a detachment of the mind from objects, or a practice having anything to do with the objects of the world. It is a practice having something to do with the mind itself. It is a setting right of errors in the mind rather than a setting right of errors outside in the world because there is nothing wrong with the outside world. The wrong is inside. When we see a thing wrongly, we begin to perceive wrong outside in the objects. We have various illusions of perception of optical illusion by which we can mistake our own errors inwardly for actual defects outside.

Thus, the practice of yoga seems to be a very simple affair when we come to the essential fact of it. It is a small sand particle sticking to our own eyes, preventing us from seeing anything. The whole world will be closed to our perception if a minute insect or a gnat enters our eye. The vast world cannot be seen, and the mistake is a very small event that has taken place within our eye. The mind has got caught up in a circumstance that it has created on account of wrong association of factors which are originally harmoniously connected.

What is the method that we have to adopt in the practice of yoga, then? One word in yoga is ‘concentration' or ‘meditation'. While the mind ordinarily thinks of umpteen things because of the misapprehension that things are many in the world, in concentration the number of thoughts is brought down to the minimum. When we sit and gaze at an object outside us, many thoughts enter our mind: one thought, two thoughts, three thoughts, a hundred thoughts. Countless thoughts enter the mind even when we are looking at a single object on account of impressions that have already been formed in the mind due to previous perceptions.

Now, yogic concentration is a different way of thinking altogether. While hundreds of thoughts can enter our mind in ordinary perception, there are only four fundamental thoughts in concentration. We have reduced all the thoughts to only four thoughts. This is what we call concentration. It is said that concentration is one thought, but it is not really one thought in the beginning stages; it becomes one later on. Though it looks like one, it is a fourfold focussing of the mind on a single chosen concept or objective form.

There are four ideas in our mind when we concentrate on a given object or concept in the practice of yoga, and these four thoughts are not jumbled or thrown pell-mell. They are harmoniously related to one another, like the limbs of our body. We have got many parts of our own body, but they are very harmoniously related so that when we jump, run or walk fast, the limbs work harmoniously. So the manifoldness of the limbs is not any kind of deterrent to our activities, provided this manifoldness is harmoniously related within itself. It is chaos that creates confusion, not harmony. We are not afraid of manifoldness, but we are afraid of chaos.

These four thoughts are the points of engagement of the mind in concentration, or what is called dharana. Now, what are these four ideas? One idea is that we exist. We cannot give up this notion. The meditator, the practitioner of yoga, the student, the sadhaka, does exist. “I exist,” is one idea in our mind which can never leave us. The other idea is that there is an object on which we have to concentrate. There is something which we have chosen for concentration purposes. It may be a psychological object or a physical object. So this is the second idea in the mind. The third idea is that we perceive, we cognise the object. That is the cognition or the perception aspect of mental activity. We are there, the object is there, and there is the process of perceiving the object. This is the third idea in the mind. The fourth idea is that there are certain thoughts which should not be allowed to enter the mind. This is the fourth part. We want to set aside certain thoughts, and allow certain thoughts for the purpose of concentration – vijatiya vritti nirodha and sajatiya vritti pravah, which means the setting aside of non-conforming thoughts and the allowing in of the flow of thoughts which are in conformity with the character or the nature of the object chosen for concentration.

These four thoughts do not come one after another like people coming into a room. They are simultaneous, just as in the analogy of the human body the limbs are simultaneously present. It is not that we are conscious of one limb first and another limb afterwards. We are simultaneously conscious that we have a nose, we have ears, we have hands, and so on. So these four ideas are four aspects of a single idea perhaps, and it is this singleness that is behind the fourfold idea that has given rise to the notion that concentration is one thought.

Now, what are these ideas which should not enter the mind, and what are the ideas that have to be entertained in the mind for the purpose of concentration? Let us not think first, for the time being, the notion of one's own self and the notion of the object. This is to be considered later on because they are difficult things to think. The notion of the object and of one's own self is more difficult to tackle than the notion of that which has to be excluded or included in the process of thinking.

The first thing to be tackled is the nature of those thoughts which should not be allowed to enter the mind because if everything is allowed we are just ordinary people, thinking a hodgepodge, without any purpose or motive. But we are students of yoga, and therefore, we want a harmony of thoughts and an adjustment of ideas in a very beautiful manner, like an art.

Thoughts which should not enter the mind are those which do not pertain to the characteristic of the object that has been chosen for concentration. In order to know what are those ideas which should not enter the mind, we first of all have to know what is the object that we have taken for concentration. There are some people who say, “I meditate on Rama, but Krishna comes before the mind. How does it happen?” It is some mystery of thought; due to the varieties of impressions that are in the mind being disorganised, they all come up to the surface and create multiplicity of mental cognition.

I mentioned last time that in sadhana, in spiritual practice, in yoga, initiation is essential. Initiation is the sacred method of deciding the factor of the object of concentration with the aid of a Guru and, together with it, taking a mantra also which is a formula or a name pertaining to the nature of the object chosen for concentration. In this process of initiation the disciple, or the student, is told by the Guru as to how this vijatiya vritti nirodha and sajatiya vritti pravah can be practised at the same time.

Therefore, to know what vijatiya vritti nirodha is, we have to know the nature of the object that we have chosen for meditation. What is the object? It varies from one person to another according to the temperament of the person. We can take one example for the purpose of explanation. Suppose the object that has been chosen for concentration is a deity; say it is Hanuman. Today is Saturday, so the idea of Hanuman came to me. We want to concentrate on Hanuman as our deity. What are the characteristics of Hanuman? Invincible power and complete control over the senses, obedience to one's master, and a decision to establish the law of dharma as against adharma. The principle factor that will come to our mind when we think of Hanuman is purity and power. Hanuman is power due to purity. Because of intense psychological purity born of continence, brahmacharya, by the blessings of the gods, etc., he was a mastermind and an indomitable power. So this is what we are thinking in our mind now in concentration.

Any thought which has no relevance to this thought should not enter the mind. “Now it is six o'clock. I have to go to Rishikesh for shopping.” This thought should not enter the mind because it has no connection with the characteristics of Hanuman. “After the satsanga, how will I go out? I have not brought my umbrella.” These are extraneous thoughts, unconnected with the object that has been chosen.

These unconnected thoughts can be of two kinds. They may be positive or negative. Positive unconnected thoughts are such as I have mentioned just now. “It is raining. The umbrella is not there. It is time for me to go to Rishikesh,” and so on. These are positive unconnected thoughts because they appear to be harmless, at least on the surface. But negative unconnected thoughts are harmful thoughts such as, “I will get up from the satsanga and see what I can do to that man.” That is a harmful thought, a thought of wreaking vengeance. Anger, prejudice, and such emotions, when they manifest themselves as contrary thoughts during satsanga or japa or puja or concentration, are to be regarded as harmful extraneous thoughts which have to be put down first. They may be thoughts of raga or dvesha.

So primarily, ideas pertaining to love and hatred may be regarded as those which have to be dealt with initially; later on, at the next step, we have to find out methods of dealing with thoughts which are not so harmful as these but just simple interferences, such as the thought of rain, clouds, umbrella, etc. So there can be two kinds of unnecessary thoughts in the mind: harmful ones, and apparently harmless ones. But for yoga, both these are harmful. For a student of yoga, any thought unconnected with the character of the object of meditation is a deterrent thought.

To deal with extraneous thoughts, whether they are harmful or harmless, Patanjali tells us that we can adopt a method called pratipaksa bhavana. Pratipaksa bhavana is the entertainment of those attitudes in the mind which are just the opposite of these contrary thoughts. If you feel you are a weakling, if you have an inferiority complex in society and are suffering from this false psychological attitude, you could entertain the opposite thought of Hanuman being your deity. “How powerful is my god, how pure is he, and I shall draw enough energy from him.” The thought of Hanuman is also a thought that is contrary to incontinence and impurity of every kind.

Pratipaksa bhavana is thinking just the opposite of that which arises in the mind as a deterrent to meditation. You think the opposite of it. If you are angry, you think of compassion. You show pity to people. If somebody is angry with you, do not get angry with that person in return. On the other hand, analyse in your mind: “This is a pitiable case. This person is angry with me because of a misconception, a wrong understanding, a lack of knowledge; therefore, I have to help that person in understanding and becoming calm to attain psychological health rather than reacting through anger from my side.” If you have thoughts of incontinence, think of the power of continence, the glory of health, longevity, and the energy that will benefit you by the practice of sense-control, and so on. You can multiply methods of pratipaksa bhavana in accordance with the nature of the thought that arises which is contrary to the character of the object of meditation.

These are characters of the mind which have to be set aside, brushed aside as vijatiya vrittis; they should not enter the mind. But we have also to do something positive to allow in the health-giving forces. This is sajatiya vritti pravah. While we take medicine to get rid of a disease, we also take a positive tonic to put on health. We take proper diet, and so on. We do not merely eat medicine and keep quiet. There is a negative activity plus a positive activity simultaneously done for a single purpose. So vijatiya vritti nirodha and sajatiya vritti pravah go on together. We do a good thing, and do not do a bad thing. These are simultaneous actions.

Now, when the mind is engaged in sajatiya vritti pravah, or the inflow of thoughts conducive to the concentration of mind, it is not completely oblivious of factors that are contrary to the thought of meditation. Though we have driven the enemy away, we have not forgotten the enemy. In the beginning, we are to battle with the enemy directly. The enemy is shunted away by the power of our thought, but we have not forgotten the enemy. It may come back again and pounce upon us, so we are watchful even when there is sajatiya vritti pravah.

Thus, there are various processes going on inside in the concentration of mind. They are all subconsciously done, and are not always conscious in their entirety. We are vigilant of the entry of contrary thoughts even when we are positively engaged in the inflow of positive thoughts. While we are blessed with good health, we are also cautious that we should not fall ill by any kind of indiscretion. We do not want to get wet in the rain or put on wet clothes, etc., because we may fall ill. We are aware of these factors even when we are healthy, though we are not sick. Likewise, there is a vigilant attitude maintained even when there is internal security. Internal security is there, but still vigilance is working. This is a very essential part in the process of dharana, or concentration of mind.

But in dhyana, one thought is dropped. The notion that something is to be excluded is completely shed. You have only three thoughts left in dhyana: the thought that you are, the thought that the object is, and there is a perception or cognition of the object. The enemy is completely uprooted, and you need not think of the enemy any more. So there is no question of practising vigilance in dhyana. You are completely safe. You have only to think of positive culture rather than increase your defence forces. This is dhyana.

We have been discussing the nature of meditation and the many psychological factors that are involved in this process, the difficulties and the problems that one has to encounter, and so on. It is almost an impossibility for most people to meditate, though many may think they are meditating, because to circumscribe the area of thinking to a minimum of psychological activity is a hard thing to practise. Most people think many things at a time, and so they are restless. Most people's minds are restless, and restlessness is nothing but many forms of thought entering the mind simultaneously without any kind of coherence. This is what is called restlessness. Rarely will we see people who are free from this rajas, or distraction of thought. Students of yoga are those who are free from rajas.

There are said to be five types, or five stages, or five kinds of vrittis of mind, known as kshipta, vikshipta, mudha, ekagra, and niruddha: distracted condition, dull condition, slightly distracted condition, concentrated condition and completely inhibited condition. These are the five states of mind. The distracted condition and the dull condition are absolutely useless for the practice of meditation. The slightly distracted condition is that in which there is partly an entry of extraneous thoughts and partly an inflow of conducive thoughts. But pure yoga starts only from the state of ekagrata, or one-pointedness per se, absolutely, without any kind of oscillation, doubt or suspicion in the mind.

We have to be socially and personally disentangled from complexities of every kind before we enter the field of yoga. We can have two kinds of complexity: social and personal. Both these are obstacles in yoga. If you are entangled socially in any manner – politically, communally, or in any social state of life – it will interfere with your concentration of mind and you cannot practise yoga. Personally also you may be in a state of conflict. “To be or not to be,” may be your mood personally. So these conflicts socially in the outside world and personally within oneself have to be properly dealt with in a healthy manner before one takes to the practice of yoga.

It is a dedicated life that we call yoga. It is not a hobby. It is not a humorous activity into which we enter for the sake of diversions. We dedicate ourselves completely when we take to yoga, and dedication means surrender of the total personality. A part of our personality does not remain outside in dedication. The whole thing has been given up, surrendered, for the supreme ideal that is the practice of yoga.

Now, as we noted, in dhyana, or meditation, we are concerned only with the object of meditation. We have surrendered ourselves completely to it, as it were. We have no concern in our life other than thoughts of the character or the nature of the object of meditation. There is a mutual concourse of consciousness between us and the object. It is like water from two tanks on the same level moving from one side to the other side. We do not know that there is motion at all because the tanks are on the same level, and yet the water of one tank moves to the other tank, and vice versa, on account of a connecting link being there between the two tanks. When the status of the object and that of the subject become equal there is dhyana, or meditation, and there is inflow and outflow of thought.

This is difficult to achieve. We cannot easily come to the awareness that we have both come from a single source. That thoughts and things have emanated from a single fundamental essence is a difficult state of affairs for us to entertain in our minds. Therefore, we always regard objects as something extraneous to us and struggle hard with the objects, grapple with them, and spend years in actually discovering the true nature of the relation between thought and things.

When dhyana, or meditation, supervenes, we get possessed by the object. We are overwhelmed by the nature of the object, inundated by the quality of the object, flooded by the object itself. From all sides the object encircles us, as it were, and if we see anything, it is only that object, nothing else. While we see many objects now, in meditation we will see one object even if we cast our eyes in all ten directions because of the power that the object has exerted upon our mind.

Here, in this condition of consciousness, the object does not remain in one place. It assumes a universal character, though in the beginning it was a single point of concentration. The object is internally connected with the objects of the world, as minds are connected with the objects. As threads make cloth, objects make the world. As threads are interwoven into a fabric which we call the cloth, and the threads do not stand apart from one another, the objects of the world do not stand apart from one another, though they look so when we sensorily perceive them. They are intertwined among themselves in a cosmic network.

We are in a cosmos, and not in a chaotic world of objects. The cosmos is an interwoven fabric of harmonious forces and elements. Such is the world and cosmos, or universe, in which we are living, of which we are also harmonious parts internally related. So when we meditate on a particular object, we are taken by the object to the fundamental essence of the object. We dive into the object, we plumb into it, go deep into its bottom, and realise the interconnectedness of things.

In meditation we feel happiness on account of this truth that is coming to the surface. Otherwise, how do we feel happy merely by looking at an object or concentrating upon it? In deep meditation we are carried to the bottom of the object. We plumb its depths and visualise the interwoven character of the objects of the world. This is intuition, or the direct perception of the nature of things that comes about in dhyana, or meditation.

Here, in this state of awareness, we have taken one step forward, though we have not realised the ultimate truth yet. The one step forward that we have taken is that we have given up the idea that the objects of the world are disconnected entities, due to which notion the mind began to jump from one object to another.

When we sit for meditation, the mind jumps from one point to another on account of the notion that there are many objects in the world. “Why have I been given only this object to concentrate on? Why should I not think of another object which is perhaps equally good?” is perhaps the argument of the mind. But this is only in the state of concentration, where it still has not dived into the nature of the object. When it goes deep into the nature of the object, the separableness of things is realised as a false notion, and the interconnectedness of things becomes the real object of our meditation.

As a matter of fact, here, in deep meditation, the object ceases to be as a unit or a point in space. It becomes a symbol or a point of reference of forces which are wider than the object that we originally chose for meditation. Just as a person may represent an organisation or an institution or a government, the object of our meditation begins to represent a wider mass of forces rather than stand by itself isolatedly. Here we are taken by surprise and possessed by a force which is not merely external. It becomes a possession by a universal implication.

In the beginning, it was necessary to put forth effort to concentrate the mind on the object because the object stood outside the mind. There was apparently no relationship between the mind and the object. We had to struggle with the mind to entertain in it characters of the object that we have chosen. But now in meditation, what has happened? Instead of our trying to contact the object and possess it in our meditation, the object seems to possess us. We are lifted into an empyrean of effortlessness and freedom of thought rather than being entangled in the effort and pain of concentration of mind.

In the beginning, concentration is painful because we have to give up all the sensory pleasures of the world and all the satisfactions that the objects of the world can give as vijatiya vritti nirodha, which is very painful indeed. We cannot think of our parents, of our husband, of our wife, of our money. All wonderful things there are in the world, and we set them aside as vijatiya vritti nirodha. It is very painful indeed. Meditation is insipid and bitter in the beginning stages. We will be repulsed by the object of meditation in the beginning because of the difficulty of harmonising the mind with the nature of the object chosen. In the beginning, therefore, meditation is difficult merely because of this reason that the mind subconsciously begins to feel that it has given up pleasures of the world for the sake of an unforeseen, unknown, nebulous object of meditation, whose nature is not clear. But in meditation, this misconception goes. We are flooded by positive thoughts, and we have intimations of having entered into a new world of perception altogether.

So where are we now? We have moved from extraneous thoughts to positive thoughts, from vijatiya vritti nirodha to sajatiya vritti pravah. From positive thoughts of the object chosen, we have now entered into a wider field of forces rather than remain in a world of objects. They are objects to the mind in the initial stages of concentration and meditation, but later on they diffuse themselves into forces. There is a difference between an object and a force. While an object is personal, a force is impersonal. So from the world of personal objects, we enter into the realm of impersonal forces. This is why we feel delight and satisfaction in meditation. Wherever there is impersonality, there is joy. The more we become personal, the more are we cramped and limited in our enjoyment. The process of meditation is a march of the mind from intense personality consciousness to a gradual realisation of the impersonality of Truth.

From the personal presentation of a concrete object before the senses and the mind, we enter into a deeper sea of impersonal forces. Wonderful is this experience. This is a very advanced stage in meditation that I am describing, not a beginning stage, and we will not enter this stage easily.

Yet, the personality consciousness of the meditator remains even here, although we have given up the notion of there being extraneous ideas, and have not even to maintain a vigilance over extraneous thoughts. We have come now to the positive task of allowing in only harmonious thoughts – sajatiya vritti pravah – and have been wholly absorbed in the object of meditation. Not only this, we have come to realise a cosmical relationship of things.

Here, what has happened is that the externality of the object slowly gets diminished into an internal relationship of it with the mind, which means to say the mind is slowly travelling upward to the consciousness of there being a source common to both the object and itself. When the mind travels upward to cosmic ahamkara and mahat-tattva, it becomes happier and happier, more and more free in its operations, and begins to feel a sense of power which it could not feel when it was limited to its body consciousness. Yet it maintains a personality consciousness as a perceiver, a cogniser, or an experiencer of this state of affairs that there is a world of universal forces.

Here we are in a condition where the mind is lifted from the world of objects of sense to a world of interpenetrating forces which rush into each other and determine each other so that the formation of each object may be said to be determined by the formation and operation of every other object in this world. No object is independent here. Everything is connected to everything else, and everything is determined by everything else, just as every cell of our physical body may be said to be determined by the health or the illness of every other cell in the body. This is to realise universality in meditation, though there are higher stages which lead to spiritual perfection.