Fakir/Chapter Nine: On Patanjali’s Commandments
On Patanjali’s Commandments
Once Ram told Tom and Katya about a wise man who lived in India. The name of this sage was Patanjali.
Ram spoke in detail about his Teachings, commenting on his understanding of each saying:
“The instructions of Patanjali are written for those who want to approach the Divine Perfection. They were divided as ascending steps — in order to make the gradual preparation of the soul and body for new states more evident.
“So, Patanjali outlined some preparatory rules for those who enter the spiritual Path.
“The first such rule should be called non-harming other creatures.
“This is a very important commandment, which should be thoroughly thought out and applied in everything in your life.
“You need to learn not to harm other people and not only people — by our own deeds, words, emotions, and even thoughts.
“I explained to you once why I do not eat the bodies of dead animals. This is also included in the principle of not harming other beings.
“But I would like, not for you to imitate me, rather that you always follow the principle of non-killing nourishment namely from compassion.
“The second rule is truthfulness.
“This is the desire to always tell the truth. And in those cases when the truth cannot be said because it can hurt someone — then keep silent.
“This rule should mean sincerity, truthfulness not only before people, but also before God — with the constant understanding that He knows about us everything in every moment, and we cannot hide from Him either our deeds or even thoughts. Such truthfulness before God makes it very easy to perform the process of purifying yourselves-souls.
“The third rule is not to want of another’s.
“For someone it means not stealing, for other someone — also not to be envious. And in the end, the fulfillment of this rule brings calm satisfaction to what God has bestowed, without striving for excessive material savings. And this, in turn, will allow one to send the maximum attention to the Creator and improve oneself in the love for Him through meditative practices.
“The fourth rule is freedom from all unnecessary, superfluous in life, which also distracts from the main task: the spiritual transformation of self-soul.
“This is very important: to learn to get rid of the excess, obsolete, from attachments to unnecessary, interfering on the way forward.
“If you do not clear your life of the old, then it cannot be filled with the new. Our old habits, desires, aspirations should gradually give way to new spiritual aspirations.
“The fifth rule calls to learn to love God, to become ‘charmed by Brahman’ (the Holy Spirit — in the collective sense of the word) — as it sounds in Sanskrit: the ancient Indian language.
“The sixth rule concerns observance of the purity of the body.
“This can be done only externally, through frequent washing of the body, cleaning teeth and the like. But it is appropriate to add the energy purification of the chakras and meridians.
“Then I’ll teach you this if you want.
“An important seventh rule is clean food.
“Acceptance of food should be in a favorable atmosphere of peace and love.
“Food should be clean, filled with the energy of good when preparing it.
“And let it be deprived of the energies of fear and pain, with which the bodies of dead animals are saturated.
“The eighth rule concerns maintaining a positive emotional state.
“To live in joy and to give this joy to others is very important and very much helps to overcome difficulties in both material life and the spiritual Path. We have already talked a lot about this.
“The ninth rule — the direction of thoughts on God, philosophical conversations, the reading of spiritual books.
“Necessary earthly affairs, including concern for others and other social obligations, should, of course, be carried out. But they should not overshadow the Main.
“The fulfillment of this rule allows us to turn the mind from the worldly problems — to God.
“There is also a rule called tapas. These are voluntarily accepted self-restrictions, self-discipline for mastering the will and independence from the desires of the body or wanderings of the mind.
“There are people who suffer and even get sick — because of the absence of something unnecessary yet passionately desired in their lives. But the voluntary abstinence from delicious food and observance of reasonable self-restraint from everything superfluous — both disciplines bring joy and health.
“And, if we apply these restrictions not only for health, but for approaching the Divine World, then joy multiplies in the soul!
“When all of the above is largely mastered, it becomes possible to fulfill the eleventh rule — the feeling of penetration of all that exists by the Creator!
“Also Patanjali teached that one should observe tolerance for those who think and act differently, always show kindness, mercy.
“It is very important for us to learn, ascending the steps of the Path, to be simple, devoid of arrogance, to overcome pride in ourselves, to learn humility.
“These are the preparatory rules of Patanjali.”
… Tom pronounced:
“And is this just the very beginning? It cannot be mastered in all my life!”
“Therefore, souls are embodied on the Earth more than once, but many times, in order — on their own bitter experience of mistakes and suffering — to realize gradually the need to comply with these rules.
“And further in the Teachings of Patanjali there are the stages of study, on which asanas are mastered. These are special positions for the body that contribute to the purification of the chakras and meridians.
“Then for this purpose pranayamas are used, which teach to move the subtle vital energies of consciousness, which are called prana in India. This contributes to further purification and the ability to perceive the energies of Life in the subtle and subtlest worlds.
“Then the stage of pratyahara follows — the management of the indriyas. And indriyas are like tentacles of consciousness, which are stretched out, like hands, to certain objects to which the soul’s attention is directed.
“Our thoughts and desires form energy ‘tentacles’ with ‘suckers’, which keep the soul in connection with what they are attached to. It can be objects of the material world, concrete people…
“And it is important to understand that the salvation can be reached only if to redirect your attention to God! Then, for interaction with the material world, only a necessary and sufficient part of the soul’s attention and forces remains.
“This redirection of attention is called — maintaining the concentration of the attention on God, which in India is called the word — dharana.
“Then the stage of dhyana follows. It means the mastering of meditative practices, which allow to an even greater degree to fulfill all the principles listed above.
“And the last stage is called by Patanjali as samadhi.
“This is teaching the Blissful Mergence with the Divine Consciousness and fixing oneself in this status of being.”
“And have you mastered it all?” — Katya asked, delighted with the mysterious knowledge of the Indian sage.
“Well, let me just say: I can teach you something, but now we will not run ahead! Now I’m glad that you listened with interest and are ready to start working on yourself from the very beginning!”
[To be continued.]