Stories For Youth in Search of A Higher Life - Appendix-I



1. The world and ourselves— these two basic phenomena are undeniable; that the world is observable and understandable by us is a fact, however mysterious may be the precise mechanism and however debatable may be the ultimate meaning we may attach to the world and our observing intelligence.

2. Our intelligence consists of the senses,—in the first place; but supreme over the senses is the mind; and supreme over the mind is the intelligent will, buddhi; that which is supreme over the intelligent will is he, the conscious self, the Purusha.

(Mind is superior to senses because even if the senses are operative, but if the mind is not attentive to the operation of the senses, we fail to take intelligent or conscious cognisance of the objects of senses. Buddhi is superior to the mind because it is buddhi that turns sensations into ideas, judgment and discrimination and co-ordination between ideas; and it is this discrimination that enables the power of will to choose and decide. Purusha is superior to the intellect because intellect itself detects the Purusha as the real observer, the real source of consciousness which stands behind operations of senses, mind and intelligent will and observes as a witness the world as its object.)



3. Purusha is the supreme cause of our subjective life; in that we have to fix our will. Then we can destroy the restless ever- active enemy of our peace and self-mastery, the mind's desire.

4. But what is the method of fixing the intelligent will in the Purusha?

We must first understand the difficulties that stand in the way. Normally, our intelligent will takes its downward and outward orientation; and it gets entangled with the play of the three gunas of Prakriti (Nature), inertia and ignorance (tamas), passion, action and struggle (rajas), and light, poise and satisfaction (sattwa). As a result, we fall at the mercy of the objects of senses, and we live in the outward contact of things. The following psychological series follows:—

(a) Senses excited by their objects create a restless or often violent disturbance, a strong or even headlong outward movement towards the seizure of these objects and their enjoyment. These objects carry away the sense-mind, "as the winds carry away a ship upon the sea."

(b) Next, the mind carries away similarly the intelligent will (buddhi) also.

(c) Buddhi, therefore, loses its power of calm discrimination and mastery.

(d) As a result, the soul becomes subjected to the play of the three gunas of Prakriti. This is the cause of the troubled life of the ordinary, unenlightened, undisciplined human being.



5. Therefore, the intelligent will should be turned upward and inward. And what is the method or technique of achieving this goal?

(a) The first movement must be obviously to get rid of desire which is the whole root of suffering. And to accomplish this:

(i) We must put an end to the cause of desire, namely, the rushing out of the senses to seize and enjoy their objects.

(ii) We must draw the senses back when they are inclined to rush out, draw them away from their objects,—as the tortoise draws in his limbs into the shell.

(iii) Senses thus drawn back enter into the quiet mind;

(iv) The quiet mind draws back into the quiet intelligent will, buddhi;

(v) The quiet intelligent will draws back into the soul and its self-knowledge, which observes quietly the action of the three gunas of Nature, but is not subject to them, not desiring anything that the objective life can give.

(b) This withdrawal of senses from the object is not external asceticism, it is not physical renunciation. This withdrawal does not mean the austerities of the rigid ascetic with his fasts, his maceration of the body, his attempt to abstain even from food.

(c) This withdrawal has to be inner withdrawal, inner renunciation. For the embodied soul, having a body, has to support it normally by food for its normal physical action. If one abstains



from food, one removes the physical contact with the food, but that does not get rid of the inner relation which makes that contact hurtful. One still retains the pleasure of the sense in the object, the rasa, the liking and the disliking. The solution is that one must learn to endure the physical contact without suffering inwardly the sensuous reaction.

(d) A stage will come when desireless contact with objects, the unsensuous use of the senses, becomes possible. It is possible by the vision of the Supreme, and by living in Yoga, in union or oneness of our entire inner being with the Soul. For the one Soul is calm, satisfied in its own delight, and that delight free from duality can occur, once we see the Supreme thing in us and fix the mind and will on that. This is the true method of liberation.

6. This is the method of self-discipline and self-control. And this method is not easy." Even the sage, the man of clear, wise and discerning soul who really labours to acquire complete self- mastery finds himself hurried and carried away by the senses. We may dwell once again on the reason for this.

(a) Mind naturally binds itself to the senses.

(b) It observes the objects of sense with an inner interest.

(c) It settles upon them and makes them the object of absorbing thought for the intelligence and of strong interest of the will.



(d) By that attachment comes.

(e) By attachment desire is excited.

(f) By desire distress, passion and anger when the desire is not satisfied or is thwarted or opposed.

(g) By passion the soul is obscured, for the intelligent will (buddhi) forgets to see and be seated in the calm observing soul.

(h) As a result, there is a fall from the memory of one's true self.

(i) By that lapse the intelligent will is also obscured, destroyed even.

(j) For the time being, the soul no longer exists to our memory of ourselves, it disappears in a cloud of passion; we become passion, wrath, grief and cease to be Self.

This must be prevented and all the senses must be brought utterly under control. Then only the wise and calm intelligent will becomes firmly established in its proper seat.

But even self-discipline is not sufficient for the purpose we have in view. It can be done by Yoga with something which is higher than itself and in which calm and self-mastery are inherent.

And the Yoga can only arrive at its success by devoting, consecrating, by giving up the whole self to the Divine. For the liberator is within us, but it is not our mind, or our intelligence, nor our personal will,—they are only instruments. It is the Lord in whom we have utterly to take refuge.



10. And for that we must make him the object of our whole being and keep in soul-contact with him. As the Gita says : "He (the seeker) must sit firm in Yoga, wholly given up to Me."


We can now arrive at the description of the final result of the methods and techniques indicated above.

1. It becomes possible to move among objects of sense, in contact with them, acting on them, but with the senses entirely under the control of our inner self.

2. Then, free from reactions, the senses will be delivered from the affections of liking, disliking, escape the duality of positive and negative desire.

3. Calm, peace, clearness, happy tranquillity, "atmaprasada", will settle in the seeker.

4. Intelligent will is rapidly established in the peace of the self; suffering is destroyed.

5. This calm, desireless, griefless fixity of the Buddhi, and self-poise is called Samadhi. (The sign of the seeker in Samadhi is not that he loses consciousness of objects and surroundings and of his mental and physical self and cannot be recalled to it even by burning or torture of the body. These things happen in a trance, and people ordinarily call this state of trance as Samadhi. But while trance is a particular intensity, it is not the essential sign of Samadhi.)

6. The state of Samadhi is tested by the following:



(a) expulsion of all desires;

(b) inability of desires to get at the mind;

(c) inner state in which freedom from desires arises; "

(d) the delight of the soul gathered within itself with the mind equal and still high-poised above the attractions and repulsions, the alternations of sunshine and storm and stress of external life;

(e) inward orientation even while action is performed externally;

(f) concentration on the Self even when gaze is on external things;

(g) entire stretching of the being towards the Divine even when to the outward vision of others, one is busy and pre-occupied with the affairs of the world;

(h) there is no outward, physical, practically discernible signs of this great state of Samadhi, which can be described in the modes of speaking, sitting and walking of the one who is seated in Samadhi, Samadhistha. But there are still other inner signs;

(i) equality is the great stamp of the liberated soul;

(j) samadhistha (one seated in Samadhi) is with mind untroubled by sorrows; he has done with desire for pleasure. From him liking and wrath and fear have passed away;

(k) he is without the triple action of the qualities of Prakriti, without dualities, ever based in his true being, without getting or having, possessed of his self;



(l) and yet he does not cease from action;

(m) but his actions are not inspired by desires or by claims for the satisfaction of the restless and energetic mind by a constant activity. Therefore, the seeker is told : "Fixed in Yoga do thy actions, having abandoned attachment, having become equal in failure and success; for it is equality that is meant by Yoga."

Three questions may arise at this stage:

First : Is there not always some kind of distress in action, because while doing action there is always a choice between a relative good and evil, the fear of sin and the difficult endeavour towards virtue?

Second: If action is entirely desireless, would it not be devoid of descisiveness, effectiveness and large or vigorous creative power?

Third : Does action not take one away from liberation towards bondage?

The answers of the Gita to these questions can be formulated as follows:

First : The liberated who has united his reason and will with the Divine, casts away from him even here in this world of dualities both good doing and evil doing, for he rises to a higher law beyond good and evil, founded in the liberty of self-knowledge.

Second : Action done in Yoga is not only the highest but the wisest, the most potent and efficient even for the affairs of the



world, for it is informed by the knowledge and will of the Divine, who is the Master of Works.

Third : The sages who do works without desire for fruits and in Yoga with the Divine are liberated from the bondage of birth and reach that other perfect status in which there are none of the maladies which afflict the mind and life of a suffering humanity.

(n) The status to which the liberated worker of Divine Works reaches is called Brahmic condition, "brahmi sthitih". This status has special characteristics:

(i) It is reversal of the whole view, experience, knowledge, values, seeings of earth-bound creatures. What is night for the ordinary people is day for this new status. In other words, the life of dualities which is the day for the ordinary people is from the point of view of the new status a night, a troubled sleep and darkness of the soul. On the other hand, that higher status which is a night to the ordinary people is the luminous day of true being, knowledge and power.

(ii) That new status is of a wide ocean of being and consciousness which is even filled, yet ever motionless in its large poise of the soul.

(iii) All the desires of the world enter into him, who has this new status, as waters enter into the sea. But he has no desire not is he troubled.



(iv) He, living in this new status, is one with the one Self in all and has no "I" or "mine"

(v) He acts as others, but he has abandoned all desires and their longings.

(vi) He lives in great peace and is not bewildered by the shows of things; he has extinguished his individual ego in the One, lives in that unity. If so willed, he can even attain to extinction in the Brahman by the great immergence of the separate personal self into the vast reality.


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