classes ::: physical, Raja Yoga, capacity,
children :::
branches ::: Pratyahara

bookmarks: Instances - Definitions - Quotes - Chapters - Wordnet - Webgen


object:Pratyahara
object:sensory withdrawl
class:physical
class:Raja Yoga
class:capacity

--- NOTES
  irritation, anger,
  surrender, God

--- QUOTES
A competent magician should have the ability to stand still at a bus stop with closed eyes and have the entire universe disappear apart from a single blazing visualised sigil or muttered spell.
~ Peter J Carroll, The Octavo

The magician therefore seeks unity of desire before he attempts to act. Desires are re-arranged before an act, not during it. In all things he must live like this. As reorganization of belief is the key to liberation, so is
reorganization of desire the key to will.
~ Peter J Carroll, Liber Null, Liber LUX, Enchantment [56]


see also ::: matter, distraction, concentration



see also ::: concentration, distraction, matter

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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
SEE ALSO

concentration
distraction
matter

AUTH

BOOKS
Liber_ABA
Raja-Yoga
The_Study_and_Practice_of_Yoga

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
1.04_-_Pratyahara
1.05_-_Pratyahara_and_Dharana
1.080_-_Pratyahara_-_The_Return_of_Energy
1.081_-_The_Application_of_Pratyahara

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
1.02_-_SADHANA_PADA
1.045_-_Piercing_the_Structure_of_the_Object
1.04_-_Pratyahara
1.05_-_Pratyahara_and_Dharana
1.06_-_Raja_Yoga
1.07_-_Raja-Yoga_in_Brief
1.07_-_Samadhi
1.080_-_Pratyahara_-_The_Return_of_Energy
1.081_-_The_Application_of_Pratyahara
1.083_-_Choosing_an_Object_for_Concentration
1.08a_-_The_Ladder
1.08_-_Summary
1.10_-_Concentration_-_Its_Practice
1.240_-_Talks_2
1.300_-_1.400_Talks
BOOK_I._--_PART_I._COSMIC_EVOLUTION
Talks_151-175
Talks_176-200

PRIMARY CLASS

capacity
physical
Raja_Yoga
SIMILAR TITLES
Pratyahara

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH

Pratyahara: Abstraction or withdrawal of the senses from their objects, the fifth limb of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga.

Pratyaharana (Sanskrit) Pratyāharaṇa [from prati-ā-hṛ to draw back, recover] The withdrawing of the senses from external objects; one of the preliminary exercises in practical raja yoga.

Pratyahara (Sanskrit) Pratyāhāra [from ā-prati-hṛ to bring back, recover, withdraw, reabsorb] Withdrawals; the fifth state of yoga: the withdrawal of the consciousness from sensual or sensuous concerns, or from external objects, and the placing of the consciousness in the spiritual monad of the human constitution.

Pratyahara: (Skr.) Withdrawal of the senses from external objects, one of the psycho-physical means for attaining the object of Yoga (q. v.). For the theory of the senses conceived as powers, see Indriya. -- K.F.L.

Pratyahara: The Sanskrit term for the withdrawal of the senses from external objects; one of the stages in the practice of Yoga.

pratyahara. ::: abstraction or withdrawal of the mind and senses from their objects in order to still the mind; the absorption of the mind in the supreme consciousness by realising the Self in all objects; the fifth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga

pratyahara ::: the drawing inward of the senses from their objects.


TERMS ANYWHERE

2. niyamas, 3. asanas, 4. pranayama, 5. pratyahara,

Pratyahara: Abstraction or withdrawal of the senses from their objects, the fifth limb of Patanjali's Ashtanga Yoga.

Pratyaharana (Sanskrit) Pratyāharaṇa [from prati-ā-hṛ to draw back, recover] The withdrawing of the senses from external objects; one of the preliminary exercises in practical raja yoga.

Pratyahara (Sanskrit) Pratyāhāra [from ā-prati-hṛ to bring back, recover, withdraw, reabsorb] Withdrawals; the fifth state of yoga: the withdrawal of the consciousness from sensual or sensuous concerns, or from external objects, and the placing of the consciousness in the spiritual monad of the human constitution.

Pratyahara: (Skr.) Withdrawal of the senses from external objects, one of the psycho-physical means for attaining the object of Yoga (q. v.). For the theory of the senses conceived as powers, see Indriya. -- K.F.L.

Pratyahara: The Sanskrit term for the withdrawal of the senses from external objects; one of the stages in the practice of Yoga.

pratyahara. ::: abstraction or withdrawal of the mind and senses from their objects in order to still the mind; the absorption of the mind in the supreme consciousness by realising the Self in all objects; the fifth of the eight limbs of ashtanga yoga

pratyahara ::: the drawing inward of the senses from their objects.

Samadhi(Sanskrit) ::: A compound word formed of sam, meaning "with" or "together"; a, meaning "towards"; andthe verbal root dha, signifying "to place," or "to bring"; hence samadhi, meaning "to direct towards,"generally signifies to combine the faculties of the mind with a direction towards an object. Hence, intensecontemplation or profound meditation, with the consciousness directed to the spiritual. It is the highestform of self-possession, in the sense of collecting all the faculties of the constitution towards reachingunion or quasi-union, long or short in time as the case may be, with the divine-spiritual. One whopossesses and is accustomed to use this power has complete, absolute control over all his faculties, andis, therefore, said to be "completely self- possessed." It is the highest state of yoga or "union."Samadhi, therefore, is a word of exceedingly mystical and profound significance implying the completeabstraction of the percipient consciousness from all worldly or exterior or even mental concerns orattributes, and its absorption into or, perhaps better, its becoming the pure unadulterate, undilutesuperconsciousness of the god within. In other words, samadhi is self-conscious union with the spiritualmonad of the human constitution. Samadhi is the eighth or final stage of genuine occult yoga, and can beattained at any time by the initiate without conscious recourse to the other phases or practices of yogaenumerated in Oriental works, and which other and inferior practices are often misleading, in some casesdistinctly injurious, and at the best mere props or aids in the attaining of complete mental abstractionfrom worldly concerns.The eight stages of yoga usually enumerated are the following: (1) yama, signifying "restraint" or"forbearance"; (2) niyama, religious observances of various kinds, such as watchings or fastings,prayings, penances, etc.; (3) asana (q.v.), postures of various kinds; (4) pranayama, various methods ofregulating the breath; (5) pratyahara, a word signifying "withdrawal," but technically and esoterically the"withdrawal" of the consciousness from sensual or sensuous concerns, or from external objects; (6)dharana (q.v.), firmness or steadiness or resolution in holding the mind set or concentrated on a topic orobject of thought, mental concentration; (7) dhyana (q.v.), abstract contemplation or meditation whenfreed from exterior distractions; and finally, (8) samadhi, complete collection of the consciousness and ofits faculties into oneness or union with the monadic essence.It may be observed, and should be carefully taken note of by the student, that when the initiate hasattained samadhi he becomes practically omniscient for the solar universe in which he dwells, becausehis consciousness is functioning at the time in the spiritual-causal worlds. All knowledge is then to himlike an open page because he is self-consciously conscious, to use a rather awkward phrase, of nature'sinner and spiritual realms, the reason being that his consciousness has become kosmic in its reaches.

There are several states leading to spiritual powers and perception. The eight stages of yoga usually enumerated are: 1) yama (restraint, forbearance); 2) niyama, religious observances such as fastings, prayer, penances; 3) asana, postures of various kinds; 4) pranayama, methods of regulating the breath; 5) pratyahara (withdrawal), withdrawal of the consciousness from external objects; 6) dharana (firmness, steadiness, resolution) mental concentration, holding the mind on an object of thought; 7) dhyana, abstract contemplation or meditation freed from exterior distractions; and 8) samadhi, complete collection of the consciousness and its faculties into union with the monadic essence.

Yoga: Sanskrit for union. The development of the powers latent in man for achieving union with the Divine Spirit. It is defined as “the restraint of mental modifications.” Eight stages are enumerated, viz. moral restraint (yama), self-culture (niyama), posture (asana) breath-control (pranayama), control of the senses (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and a state of superconsciousness (samadhi). The techniques of Yoga are recognized and applied by all schools of occultism.

Yoga: (Skr. "yoking") Restraining of the mind (see Manas), or, in Patanjali's (q.v.) phrase: citta vrtti nirodha, disciplining the activity of consciousness. The object of this universally recommended practice in India is the gaining of peace of mind and a deeper insight into the nature of reality. On psycho-physical assumptions, several aids are outlined in all works on Yoga, including moral preparation, breath-control, posture, and general toning up of the system. Karma or kriya Yoga is the attainment of Yoga ends primarily by doing, bhakti Yoga by devotion, jnana Yoga by mental or spiritual means. The Yogasutras (q.v.) teach eight paths: Moral restraint (see yama), self-culture (see niyama), posture (see asana), breath-control (see prandyama), control of the senses (see pratyahara), concentration (see dharana), meditation or complete surrender to the object of meditation (see samadhi). See Hathayoga. -- K.F.L.



QUOTES [7 / 7 - 14 / 14]


KEYS (10k)

   2 Swami Vivekananda
   2 Aleister Crowley
   1 Yajnavalkya
   1 Satyananda Saraswati
   1 Sri Ramana Maharshi

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

   3 Swami Vivekananda
   3 Paramahansa Yogananda
   2 Satyananda Saraswati
   2 Aleister Crowley

1:Yoga nidra is the yoga of aware sleep. In this lies the secret of self healing. Yoga Nidra is a pratyahara technique in which the distractions of the mind are contained and the mind is relaxed. ~ Satyananda Saraswati,
2:By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown out; by Dharana the impurities of the mind; by Pratyahara the impurities of attachment; and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the soul.
   ~ Yajnavalkya,
3:Those who have succeeded in attaching or detaching their minds at will have succeeded in Pratyahara, which means gathering towards, checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thralldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom. Before that, we are mere machines. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
4:Those who really want to be yogis must give up, once for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. Others are mere talking-machines. If we really want to be blessed and make others blessed, we must go deeper.
   ~ Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, Pratyahara and Dharana, 73, [T4],
5:The general characteristics and attributions of these Grades are indicated by their correspondences on the Tree of Life, as may be studied in detail in the Book 777.
   Student. -- His business is to acquire a general intellectual knowledge of all systems of attainment, as declared in the prescribed books. (See curriculum in Appendix I.) {231}
   Probationer. -- His principal business is to begin such practices as he my prefer, and to write a careful record of the same for one year.
   Neophyte. -- Has to acquire perfect control of the Astral Plane.
   Zelator. -- His main work is to achieve complete success in Asana and Pranayama. He also begins to study the formula of the Rosy Cross.
   Practicus. -- Is expected to complete his intellectual training, and in particular to study the Qabalah.
   Philosophus. -- Is expected to complete his moral training. He is tested in Devotion to the Order.
   Dominus Liminis. -- Is expected to show mastery of Pratyahara and Dharana.
   Adeptus (without). -- is expected to perform the Great Work and to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
   Adeptus (within). -- Is admitted to the practice of the formula of the Rosy Cross on entering the College of the Holy Ghost.
   Adeptus (Major). -- Obtains a general mastery of practical Magick, though without comprehension.
   Adeptus (Exemptus). -- Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either ("a") becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, ("b") is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother. It then finds itself a
   Magister Templi. -- (Master of the Temple): whose functions are fully described in Liber 418, as is this whole initiation from Adeptus Exemptus. See also "Aha!". His principal business is to tend his "garden" of disciples, and to obtain a perfect understanding of the Universe. He is a Master of Samadhi. {232}
   Magus. -- Attains to wisdom, declares his law (See Liber I, vel Magi) and is a Master of all Magick in its greatest and highest sense.
   Ipsissimus. -- Is beyond all this and beyond all comprehension of those of lower degrees. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,
6:34
D: What are the eight limbs of knowledge (jnana ashtanga)?
M: The eight limbs are those which have been already mentioned, viz., yama, niyama etc., but differently defined:
(1) Yama: This is controlling the aggregate of sense-organs, realizing the defects that are present in the world consisting of the body, etc.
(2) Niyama: This is maintaining a stream of mental modes that relate to the Self and rejecting the contrary modes. In other words, it means love that arises uninterruptedly for the Supreme Self.
(3) Asana: That with the help of which constant meditation on Brahman is made possible with ease is asana.
(4) Pranayama: Rechaka (exhalation) is removing the two unreal aspects of name and form from the objects constituting the world, the body etc., puraka (inhalation) is grasping the three real aspects, existence, consciousness and bliss, which are constant in those objects, and kumbhaka is retaining those aspects thus grasped.
(5) Pratyahara: This is preventing name and form which have been removed from re-entering the mind.
(6) Dharana: This is making the mind stay in the Heart, without straying outward, and realizing that one is the Self itself which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
(7) Dhyana: This is meditation of the form 'I am only pure consciousness'. That is, after leaving aside the body which consists of five sheaths, one enquires 'Who am I?', and as a result of that, one stays as 'I' which shines as the Self.
(8) Samadhi: When the 'I-manifestation' also ceases, there is (subtle) direct experience. This is samadhi.
For pranayama, etc., detailed here, the disciplines such as asana, etc., mentioned in connection with yoga are not necessary.
The limbs of knowledge may be practised at all places and at all times. Of yoga and knowledge, one may follow whichever is pleasing to one, or both, according to circumstances. The great teachers say that forgetfulness is the root of all evil, and is death for those who seek release,10 so one should rest the mind in one's Self and should never forget the Self: this is the aim. If the mind is controlled, all else can be controlled. The distinction between yoga with eight limbs and knowledge with eight limbs has been set forth elaborately in the sacred texts; so only the substance of this teaching has been given here. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Self-Enquiry, 34,
7:PRATYAHARA

PRATYAHARA is the first process in the mental part of our task. The previous practices, Asana, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama, are all acts of the body, while mantra is connected with speech: Pratyahara is purely mental.

   And what is Pratyahara? This word is used by different authors in different senses. The same word is employed to designate both the practice and the result. It means for our present purpose a process rather strategical than practical; it is introspection, a sort of general examination of the contents of the mind which we wish to control: Asana having been mastered, all immediate exciting causes have been removed, and we are free to think what we are thinking about.

   A very similar experience to that of Asana is in store for us. At first we shall very likely flatter ourselves that our minds are pretty calm; this is a defect of observation. Just as the European standing for the first time on the edge of the desert will see nothing there, while his Arab can tell him the family history of each of the fifty persons in view, because he has learnt how to look, so with practice the thoughts will become more numerous and more insistent.

   As soon as the body was accurately observed it was found to be terribly restless and painful; now that we observe the mind it is seen to be more restless and painful still. (See diagram opposite.)

   A similar curve might be plotted for the real and apparent painfulness of Asana. Conscious of this fact, we begin to try to control it: "Not quite so many thoughts, please!" "Don't think quite so fast, please!" "No more of that kind of thought, please!" It is only then that we discover that what we thought was a school of playful porpoises is really the convolutions of the sea-serpent. The attempt to repress has the effect of exciting.

   When the unsuspecting pupil first approaches his holy but wily Guru, and demands magical powers, that Wise One replies that he will confer them, points out with much caution and secrecy some particular spot on the pupil's body which has never previously attracted his attention, and says: "In order to obtain this magical power which you seek, all that is necessary is to wash seven times in the Ganges during seven days, being particularly careful to avoid thinking of that one spot." Of course the unhappy youth spends a disgusted week in thinking of little else.

   It is positively amazing with what persistence a thought, even a whole train of thoughts, returns again and again to the charge. It becomes a positive nightmare. It is intensely annoying, too, to find that one does not become conscious that one has got on to the forbidden subject until one has gone right through with it. However, one continues day after day investigating thoughts and trying to check them; and sooner or later one proceeds to the next stage, Dharana, the attempt to restrain the mind to a single object.

   Before we go on to this, however, we must consider what is meant by success in Pratyahara. This is a very extensive subject, and different authors take widely divergent views. One writer means an analysis so acute that every thought is resolved into a number of elements (see "The Psychology of Hashish," Section V, in Equinox II).

   Others take the view that success in the practice is something like the experience which Sir Humphrey Davy had as a result of taking nitrous oxide, in which he exclaimed: "The universe is composed exclusively of ideas."

   Others say that it gives Hamlet's feeling: "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so," interpreted as literally as was done by Mrs. Eddy.

   However, the main point is to acquire some sort of inhibitory power over the thoughts. Fortunately there is an unfailing method of acquiring this power. It is given in Liber III. If Sections 1 and 2 are practised (if necessary with the assistance of another person to aid your vigilance) you will soon be able to master the final section. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Those who have succeeded in attaching or detaching their minds at will have succeeded in Pratyahara, which means gathering towards, checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thralldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom. Before that, we are mere machines. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Yoga nidra is the yoga of aware sleep. In this lies the secret of self healing. Yoga Nidra is a pratyahara technique in which the distractions of the mind are contained and the mind is relaxed. ~ Satyananda Saraswati,
2:Yoga nidra is the yoga of aware sleep. In this lies the secret of self healing. Yoga Nidra is a pratyahara technique in which the distractions of the mind are contained and the mind is relaxed. ~ Satyananda Saraswati,
3:By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown out; by Dharana the impurities of the mind; by Pratyahara the impurities of attachment; and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the soul.
   ~ Yajnavalkya,
4:Those who have succeeded in attaching or detaching their minds at will have succeeded in Pratyahara, which means gathering towards, checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thralldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom. Before that, we are mere machines. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
5:Those who have succeeded in attaching or detaching their minds at will have succeeded in Pratyahara, which means gathering towards, checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thralldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom. Before that, we are mere machines. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
6:One of the main purposes of asana practice is to be able to do Savasana well. It is the time when the body replenishes itself and balances the energy created in your practice. Many great teachers have said that savasana is the most important position and the reason we practice all of the other asanas. It is also a form of pratyahara or sensory withdrawal in which we can rest our motor organs and contact the peace within that is the real goal of Yoga. ~ David Frawley,
7:Follow your nature. The practice is really about uncovering your own pose; we have great respect for our teachers, but unless we can uncover our own pose in the moment, it's not practice - it's mimicry. Rest deeply in Savasana every day. Always enter that pratyahara (withdrawn state) every day. And just enjoy yourself. For many years I mistook discipline as ambition. Now I believe it to be more about consistency. Do get on the mat. Practice and life are not that different. ~ Judith Hanson Lasater,
8:Those who really want to be yogis must give up, once for all, this nibbling at things. Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced. Others are mere talking-machines. If we really want to be blessed and make others blessed, we must go deeper.
   ~ Swami Vivekananda, Raja-Yoga, Pratyahara and Dharana, 73, [T4],
9:The Yoga system of Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path.9 The first steps are (1) yama (moral conduct), and (2) niyama (religious observances). Yama is fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. The niyama prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. The next steps are (3) asana (right posture); the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation; (4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life currents); and (5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects). The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration), holding the mind to one thought; (7) dhyana (meditation); and (8) samadhi (superconscious experience). This Eightfold Path of Yoga leads to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), in which the yogi realizes the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
10:The Yoga system of Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path. 9 The first steps are (1) yama (moral conduct), and (2) niyama (religious observances). Yama is fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. The niyama prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. The next steps are (3) asana (right posture); the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation; (4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life currents); and (5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects). The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration), holding the mind to one thought; (7) dhyana (meditation); and (8) samadhi (superconscious experience). This Eightfold Path of Yoga leads to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), in which the yogi realizes the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension. “Which is greater,” one may ask, “a swami or a yogi?” If and when oneness with God is achieved, the distinctions of the various paths disappear. The Bhagavad Gita, however, has pointed out that the methods of yoga are all-embracing. Its techniques are not meant only for certain types and temperaments, such as those few persons who incline toward the monastic life; yoga requires no formal allegiance. Because the yogic science satisfies a universal need, it has a natural universal appeal. A true yogi may remain dutifully in the world; ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
11:The ancient rishi Patanjali6 defines yoga as “neutralization of the alternating waves in consciousness.”7 His short and masterly work, Yoga Sutras, forms one of the six systems of Hindu philosophy. In contradistinction to Western philosophies, all six Hindu systems8 embody not only theoretical teachings but practical ones also. After pursuing every conceivable ontological inquiry, the Hindu systems formulate six definite disciplines aimed at the permanent removal of suffering and the attainment of timeless bliss. The later Upanishads uphold the Yoga Sutras, among the six systems, as containing the most efficacious methods for achieving direct perception of truth. Through the practical techniques of yoga, man leaves behind forever the barren realms of speculation and cognizes in experience the veritable Essence. The Yoga system of Patanjali is known as the Eightfold Path.9 The first steps are (1) yama (moral conduct), and (2) niyama (religious observances). Yama is fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. The niyama prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self-study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. The next steps are (3) asana (right posture); the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation; (4) pranayama (control of prana, subtle life currents); and (5) pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses from external objects). The last steps are forms of yoga proper: (6) dharana (concentration), holding the mind to one thought; (7) dhyana (meditation); and (8) samadhi (superconscious experience). This Eightfold Path of Yoga leads to the final goal of Kaivalya (Absoluteness), in which the yogi realizes the Truth beyond all intellectual apprehension. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda,
12:The general characteristics and attributions of these Grades are indicated by their correspondences on the Tree of Life, as may be studied in detail in the Book 777.
   Student. -- His business is to acquire a general intellectual knowledge of all systems of attainment, as declared in the prescribed books. (See curriculum in Appendix I.) {231}
   Probationer. -- His principal business is to begin such practices as he my prefer, and to write a careful record of the same for one year.
   Neophyte. -- Has to acquire perfect control of the Astral Plane.
   Zelator. -- His main work is to achieve complete success in Asana and Pranayama. He also begins to study the formula of the Rosy Cross.
   Practicus. -- Is expected to complete his intellectual training, and in particular to study the Qabalah.
   Philosophus. -- Is expected to complete his moral training. He is tested in Devotion to the Order.
   Dominus Liminis. -- Is expected to show mastery of Pratyahara and Dharana.
   Adeptus (without). -- is expected to perform the Great Work and to attain the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
   Adeptus (within). -- Is admitted to the practice of the formula of the Rosy Cross on entering the College of the Holy Ghost.
   Adeptus (Major). -- Obtains a general mastery of practical Magick, though without comprehension.
   Adeptus (Exemptus). -- Completes in perfection all these matters. He then either ("a") becomes a Brother of the Left Hand Path or, ("b") is stripped of all his attainments and of himself as well, even of his Holy Guardian Angel, and becomes a babe of the Abyss, who, having transcended the Reason, does nothing but grow in the womb of its mother. It then finds itself a
   Magister Templi. -- (Master of the Temple): whose functions are fully described in Liber 418, as is this whole initiation from Adeptus Exemptus. See also "Aha!". His principal business is to tend his "garden" of disciples, and to obtain a perfect understanding of the Universe. He is a Master of Samadhi. {232}
   Magus. -- Attains to wisdom, declares his law (See Liber I, vel Magi) and is a Master of all Magick in its greatest and highest sense.
   Ipsissimus. -- Is beyond all this and beyond all comprehension of those of lower degrees. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,
13:34
D: What are the eight limbs of knowledge (jnana ashtanga)?
M: The eight limbs are those which have been already mentioned, viz., yama, niyama etc., but differently defined:
(1) Yama: This is controlling the aggregate of sense-organs, realizing the defects that are present in the world consisting of the body, etc.
(2) Niyama: This is maintaining a stream of mental modes that relate to the Self and rejecting the contrary modes. In other words, it means love that arises uninterruptedly for the Supreme Self.
(3) Asana: That with the help of which constant meditation on Brahman is made possible with ease is asana.
(4) Pranayama: Rechaka (exhalation) is removing the two unreal aspects of name and form from the objects constituting the world, the body etc., puraka (inhalation) is grasping the three real aspects, existence, consciousness and bliss, which are constant in those objects, and kumbhaka is retaining those aspects thus grasped.
(5) Pratyahara: This is preventing name and form which have been removed from re-entering the mind.
(6) Dharana: This is making the mind stay in the Heart, without straying outward, and realizing that one is the Self itself which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
(7) Dhyana: This is meditation of the form 'I am only pure consciousness'. That is, after leaving aside the body which consists of five sheaths, one enquires 'Who am I?', and as a result of that, one stays as 'I' which shines as the Self.
(8) Samadhi: When the 'I-manifestation' also ceases, there is (subtle) direct experience. This is samadhi.
For pranayama, etc., detailed here, the disciplines such as asana, etc., mentioned in connection with yoga are not necessary.
The limbs of knowledge may be practised at all places and at all times. Of yoga and knowledge, one may follow whichever is pleasing to one, or both, according to circumstances. The great teachers say that forgetfulness is the root of all evil, and is death for those who seek release,10 so one should rest the mind in one's Self and should never forget the Self: this is the aim. If the mind is controlled, all else can be controlled. The distinction between yoga with eight limbs and knowledge with eight limbs has been set forth elaborately in the sacred texts; so only the substance of this teaching has been given here. ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi, Self-Enquiry, 34,
14:PRATYAHARA

PRATYAHARA is the first process in the mental part of our task. The previous practices, Asana, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama, are all acts of the body, while mantra is connected with speech: Pratyahara is purely mental.

   And what is Pratyahara? This word is used by different authors in different senses. The same word is employed to designate both the practice and the result. It means for our present purpose a process rather strategical than practical; it is introspection, a sort of general examination of the contents of the mind which we wish to control: Asana having been mastered, all immediate exciting causes have been removed, and we are free to think what we are thinking about.

   A very similar experience to that of Asana is in store for us. At first we shall very likely flatter ourselves that our minds are pretty calm; this is a defect of observation. Just as the European standing for the first time on the edge of the desert will see nothing there, while his Arab can tell him the family history of each of the fifty persons in view, because he has learnt how to look, so with practice the thoughts will become more numerous and more insistent.

   As soon as the body was accurately observed it was found to be terribly restless and painful; now that we observe the mind it is seen to be more restless and painful still. (See diagram opposite.)

   A similar curve might be plotted for the real and apparent painfulness of Asana. Conscious of this fact, we begin to try to control it: "Not quite so many thoughts, please!" "Don't think quite so fast, please!" "No more of that kind of thought, please!" It is only then that we discover that what we thought was a school of playful porpoises is really the convolutions of the sea-serpent. The attempt to repress has the effect of exciting.

   When the unsuspecting pupil first approaches his holy but wily Guru, and demands magical powers, that Wise One replies that he will confer them, points out with much caution and secrecy some particular spot on the pupil's body which has never previously attracted his attention, and says: "In order to obtain this magical power which you seek, all that is necessary is to wash seven times in the Ganges during seven days, being particularly careful to avoid thinking of that one spot." Of course the unhappy youth spends a disgusted week in thinking of little else.

   It is positively amazing with what persistence a thought, even a whole train of thoughts, returns again and again to the charge. It becomes a positive nightmare. It is intensely annoying, too, to find that one does not become conscious that one has got on to the forbidden subject until one has gone right through with it. However, one continues day after day investigating thoughts and trying to check them; and sooner or later one proceeds to the next stage, Dharana, the attempt to restrain the mind to a single object.

   Before we go on to this, however, we must consider what is meant by success in Pratyahara. This is a very extensive subject, and different authors take widely divergent views. One writer means an analysis so acute that every thought is resolved into a number of elements (see "The Psychology of Hashish," Section V, in Equinox II).

   Others take the view that success in the practice is something like the experience which Sir Humphrey Davy had as a result of taking nitrous oxide, in which he exclaimed: "The universe is composed exclusively of ideas."

   Others say that it gives Hamlet's feeling: "There's nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so," interpreted as literally as was done by Mrs. Eddy.

   However, the main point is to acquire some sort of inhibitory power over the thoughts. Fortunately there is an unfailing method of acquiring this power. It is given in Liber III. If Sections 1 and 2 are practised (if necessary with the assistance of another person to aid your vigilance) you will soon be able to master the final section. ~ Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA,

IN CHAPTERS [17/17]



   9 Yoga
   3 Hinduism
   1 Occultism


   4 Swami Vivekananda
   4 Swami Krishnananda
   2 Aleister Crowley


   4 The Study and Practice of Yoga
   4 Talks
   3 Raja-Yoga
   3 Liber ABA


1.02 - SADHANA PADA, #Patanjali Yoga Sutras, #Swami Vivekananda, #Hinduism
  ivendriyanan Pratyaharah
  The drawing in of the organs is by their giving up
  --
  remain calm. This is called Pratyahara. Thence arises
  supreme control of the organs.

1.045 - Piercing the Structure of the Object, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  So the mind has to become friendly with the senses, and rather than oppose the activity of the senses, may have to convert the energy spent through the activity of the senses into meditative forces. This process of the conversion of energy from sense activity into mental activity is called Pratyahara, which we shall be considering later on.

1.04 - Pratyahara, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  object:1.04 - Pratyahara
  class:chapter
  --
  1: Pratyahara is the first process in the mental part of our task. The previous practices, Asana, Pranayama, Yama, and Niyama, are all acts of the body, while mantra is connected with speech: Pratyahara is purely mental.
  2:And what is Pratyahara? This word is used by different authors in different senses. The same word is employed to designate both the practice and the result. It means for our present purpose a process rather strategical than practical; it is introspection, a sort of general examination of the contents of the mind which we wish to control: Asana having been mastered, all immediate exciting causes have been removed, and we are free to think what we are thinking about.
  3:A very similar experience to that of Asana is in store for us. At first we shall very likely flatter ourselves that our minds are pretty calm; this is a defect of observation. Just as the European standing for the first time on the edge of the desert will see nothing there, while his Arab can tell him the family history of each of the fifty persons in view, because he has learnt how to look, so with practice the thoughts will become more numerous and more insistent.
  --
  9:Before we go on to this, however, we must consider what is meant by success in Pratyahara. This is a very extensive subject, and different authors take widely divergent views. One writer means an analysis so acute that every thought is resolved into a number of elements (see "The Psychology of Hashish," Section V, in Equinox II).
  10:Others take the view that success in the practice is something like the experience which Sir Humphrey Davy had as a result of taking nitrous oxide, in which he exclaimed: "The universe is composed exclusively of ideas."

1.05 - Pratyahara and Dharana, #Raja-Yoga, #Swami Vivkenanda, #unset
  object:1.05 - Pratyahara and Dharana
  author class:Swami Vivekananda
  --
  We hear "Be good," and "Be good," and "Be good," taught all over the world. There is hardly a child, born in any country in the world, who has not been told, "Do not steal," "Do not tell a lie," but nobody tells the child how he can help doing them. Talking will not help him. Why should he not become a thief? We do not teach him how not to steal; we simply tell him, "Do not steal." Only when we teach him to control his mind do we really help him. All actions, internal and external, occur when the mind joins itself to certain centres, called the organs. Willingly or unwillingly it is drawn to join itself to the centres, and that is why people do foolish deeds and feel miserable, which, if the mind were under control, they would not do. What would be the result of controlling the mind? It then would not join itself to the centres of perception, and, naturally, feeling and willing would be under control. It is clear so far. Is it possible? It is perfectly possible. You see it in modern times; the faith-healers teach people to deny misery and pain and evil. Their philosophy is rather roundabout, but it is a part of Yoga upon which they have somehow stumbled. Where they succeed in making a person throw off suffering by denying it, they really use a part of Pratyahara, as they make the mind of the person strong enough to ignore the senses. The hypnotists in a similar manner, by their suggestion, excite in the patient a sort of morbid Pratyahara for the time being. The so-called hypnotic suggestion can only act upon a weak mind. And until the operator, by means of fixed gaze or otherwise, has succeeded in putting the mind of the subject in a sort of passive, morbid condition, his suggestions never work.
  Now the control of the centres which is established in a hypnotic patient or the patient of faith-healing, by the operator, for a time, is reprehensible, because it leads to ultimate ruin. It is not really controlling the brain centres by the power of one's own will, but is, as it were, stunning the patient's mind for a time by sudden blows which another's will delivers to it. It is not checking by means of reins and muscular strength the mad career of a fiery team, but rather by asking another to deliver heavy blows on the heads of the horses, to stun them for a time into gentleness. At each one of these processes the man operated upon loses a part of his mental energies, till at last, the mind, instead of gaining the power of perfect control, becomes a shapeless, powerless mass, and the only goal of the patient is the lunatic asylum.
  --
  He who has succeeded in attaching or detaching his mind to or from the centres at will has succeeded in Pratyahara, which means, "gathering towards," checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thraldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom; before that we are mere machines.
  How hard it is to control the mind! Well has it been compared to the maddened monkey. There was a monkey, restless by his own nature, as all monkeys are. As if that were not enough some one made him drink freely of wine, so that he became still more restless. Then a scorpion stung him. When a man is stung by a scorpion, he jumps about for a whole day; so the poor monkey found his condition worse than ever. To complete his misery a demon entered into him. What language can describe the uncontrollable restlessness of that monkey? The human mind is like that monkey, incessantly active by its own nature; then it becomes drunk with the wine of desire, thus increasing its turbulence. After desire takes possession comes the sting of the scorpion of jealousy at the success of others, and last of all the demon of pride enters the mind, making it think itself of all importance. How hard to control such a mind!
  The first lesson, then, is to sit for some time and let the mind run on. The mind is bubbling up all the time. It is like that monkey jumping about. Let the monkey jump as much as he can; you simply wait and watch. Knowledge is power, says the proverb, and that is true. Until you know what the mind is doing you cannot control it. Give it the rein; many hideous thoughts may come into it; you will be astonished that it was possible for you to think such thoughts. But you will find that each day the mind's vagaries are becoming less and less violent, that each day it is becoming calmer. In the first few months you will find that the mind will have a great many thoughts, later you will find that they have somewhat decreased, and in a few more months they will be fewer and fewer, until at last the mind will be under perfect control; but we must patiently practice every day. As soon as the steam is turned on, the engine must run; as soon as things are before us we must perceive; so a man, to prove that he is not a machine, must demonstrate that he is under the control of nothing. This controlling of the mind, and not allowing it to join itself to the centres, is Pratyahara. How is this practised? It is a tremendous work, not to be done in a day. Only after a patient, continuous struggle for years can we succeed.
  After you have practised Pratyahara for a time, take the next step, the Dhran, holding the mind to certain points. What is meant by holding the mind to certain points? Forcing the mind to feel certain parts of the body to the exclusion of others. For instance, try to feel only the hand, to the exclusion of other parts of the body. When the Chitta, or mind-stuff, is confined and limited to a certain place it is Dharana. This Dharana is of various sorts, and along with it, it is better to have a little play of the imagination. For instance, the mind should be made to think of one point in the heart. That is very difficult; an easier way is to imagine a lotus there. That lotus is full of light, effulgent light. Put the mind there. Or think of the lotus in the brain as full of light, or of the different centres in the Sushumna mentioned before.
  The Yogi must always practice. He should try to live alone; the companionship of different sorts of people distracts the mind; he should not speak much, because to speak distracts the mind; not work much, because too much work distracts the mind; the mind cannot be controlled after a whole day's hard work. One observing the above rules becomes a Yogi. Such is the power of Yoga that even the least of it will bring a great amount of benefit. It will not hurt anyone, but will benefit everyone. First of all, it will tone down nervous excitement, bring calmness, enable us to see things more clearly. The temperament will be better, and the health will be better. Sound health will be one of the first signs, and a beautiful voice. Defects in the voice will be changed. This will be among the first of the many effects that will come. Those who practise hard will get many other signs. Sometimes there will be sounds, as a peal of bells heard at a distance, commingling, and falling on the ear as one continuous sound. Sometimes things will be seen, little specks of light floating and becoming bigger and bigger; and when these things come, know that you are progressing fast.

1.06 - Raja Yoga, #Amrita Gita, #Swami Sivananda Saraswati, #Hinduism
  5. The eight limbs of Raja Yoga are: Yama (self-restraint), Niyama (religious observances), Asana (posture), Pranayama (regulation of breath), Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (superconscious state).
  6. Yama consists of five parts, viz., Ahimsa (non-injury), Satyam (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-covetousness).
  --
  13. Asanas steady the body. Pranayama checks the outgoing tendencies of the mind. Pratyahara gives inner spiritual strength. It removes all sorts of distractions. It develops will-power.
  14. Real Raja Yoga starts from concentration. Concentration merges in meditation. Meditation ends in Samadhi.

1.07 - Raja-Yoga in Brief, #Raja-Yoga, #Swami Vivkenanda, #unset
  We have spoken about Yama and Niyama. The next is Asana (posture). The only thing to understand about it is leaving the body free, holding the chest, shoulders, and head straight. Then comes Pranayama. Prana means the vital forces in one's own body, yma means controlling them. There are three sorts of Pranayama, the very simple, the middle, and the very high. Pranayama is divided into three parts: filling, restraining, and emptying. When you begin with twelve seconds it is the lowest Pranayama; when you begin with twenty-four seconds it is the middle Pranayama; that Pranayama is the best which begins with thirty-six seconds. In the lowest kind of Pranayama there is perspiration, in the medium kind, quivering of the body, and in the highest Pranayama levitation of the body and influx of great bliss. There is a Mantra called the Gyatri. It is a very holy verse of the Vedas. "We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds." Om is joined to it at the beginning and the end. In one Pranayama repeat three Gayatris. In all books they speak of Pranayama being divided into Rechaka (rejecting or exhaling), Puraka (inhaling), and Kurnbhaka (restraining, stationary). The Indriyas, the organs of the senses, are acting outwards and coming in contact with external objects. Bringing them under the control of the will is what is called Pratyahara or gathering towards oneself. Fixing the mind on the lotus of the heart, or on the centre of the head, is what is called Dharana. Limited to one spot, making that spot the base, a particular kind of mental waves rises; these are not swallowed up by other kinds of waves, but by degrees become prominent, while all the others recede and finally disappear. Next the multiplicity of these waves gives place to unity and one wave only is left in the mind. This is Dhyana, meditation. When no basis is necessary, when the whole of the mind has become one wave, one-formedness, it is called Samadhi. Bereft of all help from places and centres, only the meaning of the thought is present. If the mind can be fixed on the centre for twelve seconds it will be a Dharana, twelve such Dharanas will be a Dhyana, and twelve such Dhyanas will be a Samadhi.
  Where there is fire, or in water or on ground which is strewn with dry leaves, where there are many ant-hills, where there are wild animals, or danger, where four streets meet, where there is too much noise, where there are many wicked persons, Yoga must not be practiced. This applies more particularly to India. Do not practice when the body feels very lazy or ill, or when the mind is very miserable and sorrowful. Go to a place which is well hidden, and where people do not come to disturb you. Do not choose dirty places. Rather choose beautiful scenery, or a room in your own house which is beautiful. When you practice, first salute all the ancient Yogis, and your own Guru, and God, and then begin.

1.07 - Samadhi, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
  2:The most reasonable statement, of any acknowledged authority, is that of Vajna Valkya, who says: "By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown out; by Dharana the impurities of the mind; by Pratyahara the impurities of attachment; and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the soul." There is a modest statement in good literary form. If we can only do as well as that!
  3:In the first place, what is the meaning of the term? Etymologically, "Sam" is the Greek {in Greek alphabet: sigma-upsilon-nu-} the English prefix "syn-" meaning "together with." "Adhi" means "Lord," and a reasonable translation of the whole word would be "Union with God," the exact term used by Christian mystics to describe their attainment.

1.080 - Pratyahara - The Return of Energy, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  object:1.080 - Pratyahara - The Return of Energy
  author class:Swami Krishnananda
  --
  Chapter 80: Pratyahara: The Return of Energy
  When the inclination for concentration arises in the mind, a great change will be felt in ones own self. A new type of mood will rise within, and it will look like the whole world is changing its colours and relations. There will be a total confirmation of the nature of ones feelings when this inclination to concentration arises in the mind. We have to bear in mind the importance of this sutra, dhrasu ca yogyat manasa (II.53), which means that there should be the minds preparedness or readiness for concentration, as a mere pressure of the will cannot bring about concentration.
  --
  Svaviaya asaprayoge cittasya svarpnukra iva indriy pratyhra (II.54). When this significance or value in the object of meditation is properly recognised, there is an automatic disconnection of the senses from their objects. The vehicle of the object is severed from its relation with the engine, which is the senses, and then the objects will not move, because there is no movement of the senses in respect of the objects. Vavisaya asamprayoge is the term used in the sutra defining Pratyahara, which is the beginning step of the central court of yoga. It is the severance of the senses from contact with objects, which is something very strange indeed, because it is not easy to understand the meaning of contact. Contact is different from the union that is the aim of yoga. The ultimate purpose of yoga is a kind of merger of consciousness in the object which it contemplates. That is the true union that is aspired for. But the senses, when they contemplate an object, are not supposed to be in union with the object; this is the difference. If the senses are in union, what is it that we are trying to do by severing them from the objects? There is no union of the senses with their object when they are contacting it.
  Contact and union are two different things. When sunlight falls on a pot kept outside in the sun, the pot is illumined by the light of the sun and so we are able to visualise the presence of the pot in the sun. The pot shines on account of the light that has fallen upon it, and becomes one with it, almost. We cannot separate the light of the sun from the pot on which it has fallen and which it illumines. Nevertheless, we know that the light has never become the pot; it is quite different from the pot or the object which it illumines. Can we say that the light of the sun has entered the pot and become one with it in union? No, not at all. There is only a contact though it may look like an inseparable contact, which is really the case. So intimately is the contact of the light with the object that we cannot differentiate one from the other. We begin to say that the pot is shining; this is what we generally say. What is shining is the light, not the pot. But the identity is such, apparently, that it looks that the object itself is shining, and so we are able to perceive the presence of the object in the daylight of the sun.
  --
  The union that is aspired for in yoga is not of this nature. Therefore, inasmuch as union is not achieved in the contact of senses with objects, the defect, which is the cause of this repulsion and the mistaken satisfaction that arises on account of this contact, is to be recognised. For this purpose the senses have to first be weaned back from the objects. This process is called Pratyahara.
  What happens in Pratyahara is mentioned in the sutra: svaviaya asaprayoge cittasya svarpnukra iva indriy pratyhra (II.54). There are two changes that take place in this action of the senses in their abstraction from the objects. Firstly, they are disconnected from contact with the object due to the withdrawal of the consciousness which is animating the senses. Secondly, which is more important, the senses turn back to the mind and assume the character of the mind. Cittasya svarupanukarah means the senses accompanying the mind in its essential nature. They become almost one with the mind. In the usual activity of the senses, they are not one with the mind. They drag the mind out from its own chambers and then compel it to contemplate an external object, in which case the mind is something like a slave of the senses; the master has himself come under the subjection of the servants. But in Pratyahara, this is not what is happening. The master is recognised and his worth is known. The senses return. They do not return of their own accord. If the gas in the engine is completely removed, the vehicle will not move. The gas is the motive force, and that motive force is the consciousness that is attending upon the activity of the senses. If the supply of energy behind the movement of a vehicle is withdrawn, the vehicle cannot move. And, as long as the supply is there, the vehicle cannot be stopped. The vehicle may be said to be the senses which are running towards some objective. They cannot be stopped in their activities unless the energy is withdrawn. That energy is the consciousness.
  Therefore, first and foremost, what is required is a severance of the attention of consciousness in respect of the movement of the senses towards objects. The attention is diverted. That is why sometimes, when we are deeply thinking over some important matter, even if we may be looking at some object, we may not see it. Our eyes may be open; it may appear that we are gazing at something, but we are seeing nothing at all on account of the fact that the energy that is necessary for the cognition of an object is withdrawn. There cannot be perception when the attention is diverted in some other way. Thus, in Pratyahara there is first a diversion of attention from one place to another place. We have to find out what that place is, which is the object of meditation.
  In this withdrawal of the consciousness from its movement along the lines of the senses, what happens is, it returns to the source from where it started. It will be difficult for one to distinguish between the senses and the mind at this moment. The senses and the mind become one. Here, the mind becomes powerful because when we turn off all the lights, turn off all the fans, and all the expenditure of electric energy is cut off on account of the turning off of all the switches, we see that the power station feels the surge immediately. The energy returns to the power station because we have turned off all the switches; there is no expenditure of energy. All the sources of the external movement of energy are severed on account of the turning off of the switches; naturally, the energy has to increase at the source, and we will see the indication of the increase in kilowatts recorded in the meters of the power station. The engineer in the power station will find out that people have turned off all the switches, because consumption of energy has gone down.
  So is the case with Pratyahara. It is the turning off of all the switches of action through the senses by which there has been expenditure of energy. The senses coming in contact with objects is like turning on the switch the fan is working, the light is working, the fridge is working everything is working, and so all the energy is spent. Sometimes it may be impossible for the power station to supply the requisite energy on account of the intense activity of the senses. When this happens, the connection is severed. What happens to that energy which was being spent through sense-activity, which was being utilised for perception, cognition of things, and enjoyment of objects? What happens to that energy? It goes back. It goes back to the source from where it was generated, from where it was conducted outward through the media of the senses. Then there is a rise or a swell of energy within suddenly coming up and overflowing, as it were. The mind will feel a new type of health within itself on account of the exuberance of energy that it has due to the reversion of the energies through the channels of the senses from the points of objects towards which they were previously moving. This is the meaning of the term cittasya svarupanukarah: the energy returning to the power station on account of the severance of contact with the points of expenditure. Then one becomes powerful, strong, indefatigable, energised charged with a new kind of buoyancy of spirit, and brilliant in ones expression, on account of the energy being stored within oneself rather than its being outwardly directed for expenditure through contact. So the senses are disconnected from contact with objects that is one thing that is expected here, and that is done. Secondly, the energy returns on account of this disconnection this is Pratyahara. Svavishaya asamprayoge and cittasya svarupanukarah are the two essential points mentioned in respect of the practice of Pratyahara.
  Tata param vayat indriym (II.55). We then become supreme master of the senses and can direct them wherever we like. The senses no more compel us to act against our wish, and do not any more make us puppets in their hands, on account of the control gained over their activities. But this parama vashyata, the great mastery one gains over sense activities, is gained with great, hard effort. A very intensely strenuous effort is necessary for years, perhaps to gain this sort of mastery over the senses. We think that the senses will automatically come back from their objects; but, they will not listen to us. They are very powerful, and they will simply show their thumbs before us if we talk to them. It requires persistence, tenacity and untiring effort day in and day out doing the very same thing, even if we may fail in our attempt. It does not mean that every day we will succeed. One day they will listen, and for ten days they will not listen. Then it will look like our effort has been a failure. We will complain, What is the matter with me? For ten days I am struggling; nothing is happening. But, on the eleventh day they may listen. This is the peculiarity of these senses and the mind, so one should not be dejected.

1.081 - The Application of Pratyahara, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  object:1.081 - The Application of Pratyahara
  author class:Swami Krishnananda
  --
  Chapter 81: The Application of Pratyahara
  Abstraction of the mind from the objects for attainment of the spirit is what is known as Pratyahara. This is not only a most misunderstood aspect of the practice of yoga but also the most difficult one. Perhaps because of its intricacy it has been misconstrued and, therefore, it has become a painful process. Consequently, one finds oneself in a very awkward position when one reaches this stage. Firstly, there is an inadequate understanding of what is happening and what is required. Secondly, the very first attempt seems to be a very painful one and, therefore, there is a falling of the ardour of the mind with which it commenced its practice.
  There is a great amount of doubt in the minds of seekers, even well-informed ones, as to what exactly is intended to be done in this stage known as Pratyahara. Is it withdrawal? Many questions arise due to a mix-up of philosophical doctrines, as well as practical difficulties. Some of them are: What is it from which the mind is being abstracted? Is it from the form of the object or from the reality of the object, the very existence of it?
  The omnipresence of the spirit should preclude any kind of withdrawal. Also, there is the doctrine of devotion which recognises the presence of God in everything, and the all-pervading characteristic of God would not demand a withdrawal of the mind from anything, inasmuch as God is present everywhere. Next, there is a doubt that the abstraction of the mind may mean a kind of psychological introversion, which is what is objected to by psychoanalysts, because the introverted attitude is the opposite of the extroverted one, and it is equally bad as bad as the extroverted attitude. Whether we are tied up inwardly or bound outwardly, it makes no difference anyhow we are bound. And, topping the list there is the painful aspect of it, because it is impossible for the mind not to think of that which it desires. If it is not to think of what it desires, then of what is it to think? What else are we to think what we dont like? We are expecting the mind to wipe out the thought of things from its memory, including even those thoughts which it wants and regards as valuable and worthwhile. What else is it to think, if everything is removed from its memory? All these are the difficulties.
  --
  Hence, the very activity of the mind in respect of this cognising or contacting is misdirected from the very beginning itself. Yoga asks us to set right this notion first; and this setting right of the notion cannot be done unless the mind is first withdrawn from the object. If there is a very serious illness from which someone is suffering, and the illness has come to a crisis, to an advanced stage, we first of all put the patient on a kind of semi-fast and isolate the patient completely from all contact of every kind social and personal, even psychological so that there is a proper atmosphere for the investigation and diagnosis. This is the Pratyahara the complete quarantining of the patient, and not allowing any kind of intrusion from outside. Physically and in every sense of the term there should be isolation so that we can have a clear observation of the situation and also a study of the various techniques that have to be adopted for rectifying the mistaken notion that is in the mind. Pratyahara is not yoga proper. Just as the isolation of the patient in a ward is not the main treatment but is a necessary aspect of the treatment, likewise, Pratyahara is an essential part of yoga though it is not yet yoga. Yoga is yet to start. For a few days the doctor may not do anything at all and will simply keep on observing what is happening. After days and days of observation, the physician may come to a conclusion as to what is the condition of the patient, and then the treatment will be started. Likewise, the mind is first of all segregated from its involvements. This segregation is Pratyahara.
  There is a prejudiced notion which the mind entertains in respect of its things, of its objects. This prejudice has arisen on account of a preconceived notion that is already there; and that notion has only one objective in front of it namely, the exploitation of that object for its purposes. It has got a single intent, a deeply concentrated objective. If a wild beast looks at a prey, it has a single intention, which is not very complicated. Likewise, the mental cognition of an object, especially when it is charged with a forceful emotion, is backed up by a single intent. This is the prejudice, which is very irrational, and it will not be amenable to any kind of rational analysis.
  A sentiment or a prejudice cannot be rationally analysed. It will not be subject to analysis, and it will not agree to it either that is the force that is behind it. So there is a need to completely isolate the mind in its individual aspect as well as its externally related social aspect. The mind may not think of an object when it does not like it. This is one kind of Pratyahara. Suppose we are averse to a thing; we will not think of that thing. But this is not yogic Pratyahara, because the spontaneous dislike that arises in the mind on account of that particular object being an obstructing factor to its satisfactions is not a healthy condition.
  The Pratyahara process is a healthy and positive process. It is not brought about by compulsion, or due to certain impediments that present themselves in the form of those things which are other than the ones which are desired by the mind. The mind sometimes does not think of objects when it is not concerned with them. This is another kind of Pratyahara, but it is different from yogic Pratyahara which is a philosophical withdrawal and not a negative kick that the mind receives or a complete oblivion or ignorance of the presence of a thing. It is a conscious attitude, and nothing unconscious should be allowed to interfere with it. We are aware of everything that is happening in the process of Pratyahara. We are not ignorant of any aspect, and are not unconscious of anything. Even the things that we like and the things that we do not like both these are objects of analysis. The withdrawal is not merely from the negative side of experience namely, the objects which one does not like but also from the positive objects which one really likes. Both the likes and the dislikes of the mind are two aspects of an involvement, and what Pratyahara endeavours to accomplish is precisely the relief of the mind from involvement. Involvement is a kind of illness that has taken possession of the mind, from which it has to be freed, of which it has to be cured. Whether we have a positive like for a thing or a negative dislike for a thing, we are equally involved in either case. And both these are defects very serious impediments from the point of view of yoga.
  Why this involvement has taken place, and what is the defect that is there behind it, cannot be understood as long as the mind is impinging upon the object and clinging to it. The proper direction of the mind in a requisite manner can be effected only in a higher stage, which is called dharana, or concentration. But prior to this there is the need for bringing the mind back from the wrong direction that it has taken. Before we direct it in a proper way, we have to bring it back from the improper way it has taken. This is the meaning of Pratyahara the mind has taken a wrong direction of action, and so we have to bring it back from that direction. It has taken a wrong course, and after we bring it back to the point from where it started on the wrong course, we direct it on a proper course.
  The bringing of the mind back from its improper course is Pratyahara, and the directing of the mind in a proper course is dharana, concentration. We can now appreciate the necessity for Pratyahara. When you are persistently doing something wrong, and I expect you to do the right thing, first I would enlighten you as to the mistake that has been committed, and then inform you about the way of rectifying the situation: stop doing that which is improper, and then start to do that which is proper. The cessation of doing that which is improper is Pratyahara, and the actual doing of the thing which is proper is dharana. But, as I mentioned, this is a painful process. Though we may philosophically argue with the mind that it has taken a wrong direction, it will not listen to this argument because it has got involved emotionally in that particular object towards which it is moving in a wrong manner. Though it is wrong in an ultimate sense, it also has to be noted, with sympathy in respect of the mind, that it has become one with the object due to its recognition of a peculiar twisted value in that object, for the purpose of the fulfilment of which it is moving towards it. There is a need for viveka, a proper understanding of the whole circumstance under which the mind has got involved in this manner. Then only is it possible to wean the mind from the object and bring it to the point of right concentration, which is real yoga.
  The pain involved in Pratyahara is the result of a love that the mind has for that object towards which it is wrongly moving. Inasmuch as the direction which the mind has taken towards the object is wrong, the affection that it has towards the object is also wrong, and the pleasure that it derives from the object is also a misconstrued, misconceived idea. There is some complete topsy-turvy effect that has taken place on account of a basic error in the total attitude of the mind towards the object. In an earlier sutra we have studied that, to the discriminative, all is pain in this world: dukham eva sarva vivekina (II.15). It is to the understanding spirit and to the mind that the painful aspect of a thing is made clear. But to an unclear mind, this painful aspect will not become obvious. Who can ever believe that the objects of sense are made, or constituted, in a manner quite differently from the way in which they are seen by the eyes?
  The belief in the concrete structure of an object and the stability of its position is so intense that any kind of contrary philosophical analysis will not be appreciated by the mind at that moment of time. Thus, while there is a need for a rational force of mind in the bringing of the mind back from the object, there is also a need to consider the emotional aspect, which should not be completely forgotten, because the mind is made up of various aspects. Thinking is not the only aspect of the mind. It has the aspect of feeling, and there is the aspect of will. They all work together in connivance. When the mind thinks wrongly about an object, the will also works wrongly in respect of that object and confirms that thinking, and then the feeling charges it with the requisite force. It is like dacoits coming together; though they move in a wrong direction, they have a force of their own, so it is difficult to encounter all of them at once without proper precaution. The force that is behind the wrong activity of the mind is the emotion, and unless this force is withdrawn, we cannot check that activity.
  Thus, in the effecting of the Pratyahara or the abstraction of the mind from the objects, we have to consider the thinking aspect, the willing aspect and also the feeling aspect. What are we thinking about that object towards which we are moving? What is the amount of will that we have exercised in fulfilling our wish? What is the deep-seated feeling that we have got in respect of it? All these three have to be isolated threadbare, if possible. The thinking, the willing and the feeling, though they all work together almost simultaneously, are three different aspects, and they can be pulled out independently like threads from a cloth. The most difficult thing to tackle is feeling, and less difficult to encounter is the will, and still less is the aspect of thinking. Therefore, in the beginning, it would be to the advantage of the seeker to analyse the easier aspect namely, the thinking aspect. What are we thinking about that object? Why did we go towards it? What is our intention behind it? Then we can go to the other aspect, which is the will. We have a determination for the purpose of confirming the attitude that we have adopted on account of a thought in respect of that object. But the deepest aspect of it is the emotion the feeling.
  No Pratyahara can be effective unless all these three aspects are properly analysed and isolated from the nature of the object. Though the mind may not be thinking about the object, there may be feeling towards it; then there is no Pratyahara. Not only that the thinking, willing, feeling aspect has also a subconscious element in it, which also is to be probed into before complete mastery is gained. There may be a subtle restlessness at the time of the effecting of this practice. That restlessness may be due to the presence of a subconscious like for that very object from which the mind has been consciously withdrawn, which aspect is pointed out in a verse of the Bhagavadgita: rasavarjam rasopy asya para dv nivartate (B.G. II.59). The mind and the senses appear to be withdrawn from the objects of sense in Pratyahara, it is true. But how do we know that the mind and the senses have no taste for the object? Hence, Pratyahara is not merely a physical isolation or even a conscious disconnection of oneself from the object, but is an emotional detachment that is necessary wherein alone is it possible to have no taste for a thing. The taste may go to the feeling; and as long as the taste is present, there is every possibility of the other aspects rising once again into action. As long as the root is there, there is every chance of the sprout coming up one day or the other.
  Complete Pratyahara is not practicable unless an aspect of concentration and meditation is combined with it. The positive side should also be brought into the role of the practice, to some extent at least. Just as in medical treatment, together with the particular prescription for the treatment of the illness we also give a constructive tonic so that there may not be a deleterious effect of the weakness of the system on account of an intensive treatment, likewise we have to be very cautious in dealing with the mind that in withdrawing the mind from objects, we are not merely focused on the aspect of withdrawing. We are not only emptying the mind and giving nothing else with which to fill it. There can be a parallel filling of the mind with a positive content, together with the emptying of it. Then the painful aspect of it will be mitigated to a large extent. We are not going to merely starve the mind and give it nothing. That would be a very difficult thing to stomach. Together with this starvation and the emptying or vacating of the mind gradually by detaching it from its usual objects of contact, it can also be positively filled with the content of dharana, whose winds will start blowing, gradually, with their own fragrance and solacing message, together with this deeper preceding stage of Pratyahara or withdrawal.
  With this, the Samadhi Pada of the Yoga Sutras concludes. From the Vibhuti Pada onwards, we are given a passport to enter into the inner realm of yoga, which is concentration, meditation, and communion with the noble, great object of meditation. The Vibhuti Pada begins with dharana, or concentration of mind. Dea bandha cittasya dhra (III.1): The fixing of the attention of the mind on the given object wholeheartedly, spontaneously and entirely is called concentration.

1.083 - Choosing an Object for Concentration, #The Study and Practice of Yoga, #Swami Krishnananda, #Yoga
  Dea bandha cittasya dhra (III.1). Tatra pratyaya ekatnat dhynam (III.2). These two sutras at the commencement of the Vibhuti Pada of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali define the processes of concentration and meditation. The fixing of the attention of the mind on a particular objective is called concentration, and the continuous flow of the mind uninterruptedly for a protracted period in respect of that objective is called meditation. This fixing of the mind on the objective is itself a very difficult task, and the very fact that so much preparation had to be done in the form of yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, Pratyahara, etc. for getting into this mood of concentration should prove the nature of the difficulty. The mind will not agree to concentration on anything exclusively because the structure of the mind is like a web which has its warps and woofs and is not a compact substance like a piece of diamond. It is a fabric constituted of various individual and isolated functions which get together into a so-called compactness and create the appearance of there being such a thing as a self-identical mind.
  The mind is constituted, to some extent, in a way similar to the structure of the physical body. That means to say, even as the body is not a compact indivisible whole and is constituted of many, many minute parts, down to the most minute called cells and organisms, and yet the body appears to be a single concrete substance, so is the case with the mind. It is constituted of functions vrittis, as they are called and yet it appears to be a single entity. This singleness of its existence is an appearance, not a substantiality or reality, even as the single concrete presentation of the physical body is only an appearance. It is not there really. The peculiar structure of the mind namely, its internal disparity of character prevents it from focusing itself wholly on any objective. What is it that prevents the concentration of the mind on any one thing continuously? It is the mind itself. The nature of the mind is averse to the requisitions of concentration. Concentration is the flow of a single vritti, one continuous idea hammering itself upon an object that is presented before it. But the mind is not made up of a single idea. The mind has hundreds and thousands of ideas hidden within it, and it is made up of these ideas, like a cloth is made up of threads. Because of this composite character of the mind, which is made up of fine elements inside in the form of these vrittis, it becomes difficult for it to gather its forces into a single focus.

1.08 - Summary, #Liber ABA, #Aleister Crowley, #Philosophy
    Thirdly, by Pratyahara we analyse the mind yet more deeply, and begin to control and suppress thought in general of whatever nature.
    Fourthly, we suppress all other thoughts by a direct concentration upon a single thought. This process, which leads to the highest results, consists of three parts, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, grouped under the single term Samyama.

1.10 - Concentration - Its Practice, #Raja-Yoga, #Swami Vivkenanda, #unset
  The organs are separate states of the mind-stuff. I see a book; the form is not in the book, it is in the mind. Something is outside which calls that form up. The real form is in the Chitta. The organs identify themselves with, and take the forms of, whatever comes to them. If you can restrain the mind-stuff from taking these forms, the mind will remain calm. This is called Pratyahara.
  

1.240 - Talks 2, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: Pranayama is an aid for the control of mind. Only you should not stop with pranayama. You must proceed further to Pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Full results are reaped finally.
  Another of the group asked: How are lust, anger, acquisitiveness, confusion, pride and jealousy overcome?
  --
  M.: Pranayama is meant for one who cannot directly control the thoughts. It serves as a brake to a car. But one should not stop with it, as I said before, but must proceed to Pratyahara, dharana and dhyana. After the fruition of dhyana, the mind will come under control even in the absence of pranayama.
  The asanas (postures) help pranayama, which helps dhyana in its turn, and peace of mind results. Here is the purpose of hatha yoga.

1.300 - 1.400 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: Pranayama is an aid for the control of mind. Only you should not stop with pranayama. You must proceed further to Pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Full results are reaped finally.
  Another of the group asked: How are lust, anger, acquisitiveness, confusion, pride and jealousy overcome?
  --
  M.: Pranayama is meant for one who cannot directly control the thoughts. It serves as a brake to a car. But one should not stop with it, as I said before, but must proceed to Pratyahara, dharana and dhyana. After the fruition of dhyana, the mind will come under control even in the absence of pranayama.
  The asanas (postures) help pranayama, which helps dhyana in its turn, and peace of mind results. Here is the purpose of hatha yoga.

BOOK I. -- PART I. COSMIC EVOLUTION, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
  as there are seven states of consciousness, is corroborated in the same work, chapter vii., on Pratyahara
  (the restraint and regulation of the senses, Pranayama being that of the "vital winds" or breath). The

Talks 151-175, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  For one unable to do this also, regulation of breath is prescribed for making the mind quiescent. Quiescence lasts only so long as the breath is controlled. So it is transient. The goal is clearly not pranayama. It extends on to Pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Those stages deal with the control of mind. Such control becomes easier for the man who had earlier practised pranayama.
  Pranayama leads him to the higher stages involving control of mind. Therefore control of mind is the aim of yoga also.

Talks 176-200, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  It is necessary to be aware while controlling thoughts. Otherwise it will lead to sleep. That awareness, the chief factor, is indicated by the fact of Patanjali emphasising Pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi even after pranayama. Pranayama makes the mind steady
  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi and suppresses thoughts. Then why develop further? Because awareness then is the one necessary factor. Such states can be imitated by taking morphia, chloroform, etc. They do not lead to

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