Purification, self-inquiry, and surrender to God are the practices that lead to Unity.
These practices cultivate awareness and remove the afflictions that obstruct realization of Truth.
The obstructing afflictions are ignorance, false sense of self, desire, aversion, and a tenacious clinging to life.
Ignorance is the origin of all other afflictions – the pre-emergent and the vestigial, the nearly-overcome and the fully operational.
Ignorance regards the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the bad as good, the ego self as True Self.
The false ego self is born when the instrument of seeing is mis-identified as being separate from the One that sees.
Desire is attachment to pleasure.
Aversion is attachment to the absence of suffering.
Tenacious clinging to life is inherent in all beings, from the most ignorant to the most wise. Life after life, it is sustained by its own momentum.
When these five afflictions have become subtle, vestigial, they can be destroyed by abiding in their opposites.
When they are full operational, they must be overcome through meditation.
Mental and physical actions rooted in these afflictions bear fruit as experiences in this and future lifetimes.
For so long as the roots exist, they bear fruit as fortune of birth, length of life, and the experience of pleasure and suffering.
The pleasure or suffering you experience is the fruit of your good or bad actions.
One who is spiritually aware sees that all experience is suffering, due to constant change, anxiety, forces of nature, and imprints of subliminal processes.
Suffering yet to come can be avoided.
Suffering is caused by the illusion that there is an experiencer to whom an experience is happening.
Everything perceived is composed of the three gunas of creation – light, inertia, and vibration. These form the elements as well as the senses, which interact to create experience and the path to liberation from it.
The three gunas flow in four states – gross, subtle, primal, and unmanifest.
The witness is Self – pure Awareness – which, though boundless and unchanging, appears to perceive the world through the construct of the mind.
The existence of all that is, serves Self-Awareness alone.
One who attains Unity sees the world is not real, yet the world persists because it is taken by others as real.
The identification of pure Awareness with the mind and the creations of the mind causes the apprehension of both an objective world and a perceiver of it.
This identification is ignorance. It must be overcome.
When this identification is broken, ignorance vanishes, liberation is attained, and Self realizes its true nature.
Liberation is attained through unwavering intent and discernment.
The way of Self-realization progresses through seven stages.
Steady practice of the means of yoga dissolves impurities and invites illumination of the Real.
The eight means of yoga are self-restraint, faithful observance, right posture, intentional breathing, sense withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and awareness.
The five pillars of self-restraint are non-violence, truthfulness, honesty, celibacy, and non-attachment.
These great practices are valid for all – irrespective of social class, location, time, or circumstance – and thus constitute the universal Way.
The five observances are purification, contentment, aspiration, study, and surrender to God.
To be free of thoughts contrary to yoga, opposite thoughts must be cultivated.
Contrary thoughts leading to acts of violence, dishonesty, and lust – whether personally done, caused to be done, or merely approved of – arise from greed, anger, and ignorance. And whether mild, moderate, or intense, they perpetuate suffering and delusion. This is why their opposites must be cultivated.
In the presence of one who is grounded in non-violence, enmity is not possible.
When one is obedient to Truth, what he says and does becomes what is true.
When one is established in non-stealing, wealth flows to him.
One who is steadfast in celibacy acquires spiritual energy, strength, and courage.
One who is unattached and free of cravings gains insight into all of life – past, present, and yet to come.
Physical and mental purification produces and indifference to one’s own body, and ends one’s infatuation with the bodies of others.
One who is pure of heart obtains serenity of spirit, power of concentration, control of the senses, and the capacity to directly realize Self.
Through contentment one attains bliss.
The fire of aspiration burns through impurities and heightens the powers of the body and senses.
Through self inquiry and spiritual study one attains communion with the object of study.
Through surrender to God one realizes clear Awareness.
Right posture is to be seated in a manner both solid and relaxed.
Effortless stillness is achieved by focusing the mind on the boundless realm.
Here, the opposites hold no sway.
When right posture is attained, the practice of intentional breathing then follows.
Intentional breathing controls the three phases of breath – exhalation, inhalation, and hiatus. Breathing can be regulated by controlling the spacing, depth, number, and duration of breaths.
There is a fourth level of breath so subtle it transcends the realm of internal and external sense objects.
Through these practices the veil that obscures the inner light is lifted.
And the mind becomes capable of concentrating attention.
When the mind withdraws attention from sense experiences, the senses receive no impressions from sense objects and awareness rests in its essential nature.
In this way, complete mastery of the senses is achieved.