Before dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation) can be tackled in a satisfactory way, not only should the right attitude toward all things have been cultivated and the vital streams ordered consequently; but the capacity to subjugate the tendencies to turn outward pertaining to the five senses should be practiced. Thus, the adequate withdrawal of the consciousness which is turned toward the phenomenal world is taught to the aspirant.
They must learn to center their consciousness on the big central station located in the head, from where energy can consciously be distributed while they take part in the great work, where they can get in touch with the kingdom of the soul and where they can get messages and impressions emanating for this area. This constitutes a determined level of realization; it is not only a symbolic way to designate some interest focused on a particular point. The various sensory perception canals are brought to a peaceful state. The consciousness of the real man does not ebb outward along their five ways of contact. The five senses are dominated by the sixth, the mind. The aspirant’s consciousness and the perceptive ability are wholly synthesized in the head, turning in- and upwards. the psychic nature is here subjugated and the mental plane becomes the field of man’s activities. This withdrawal or transfer process comprises several stages:
1. Withrawal of the physical consciousness, or perception through hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell. These modes of perception numbing temporarily man’s perception become solely mental and cerebral consciousness is the only activity on the physical plane.
2. Withdrawal of consciousness in the pineal gland so that the point where awareness is raised is focused in the area between the forehead and the pineal gland.
3. The following stage is that which consists of transferring consciousness in the centre of the head – the thousand petals lotus or Sahasara – by attracting deliberately consciousness in the head on this particular point. This can be accomplished mindfully when some rules have been learned and work has been carried through. These can obviously not be indicated in an article such as this one. The majority of people should at first get a degree of mastery of the first two stages (asana and pranayama) and learn to master the perception channels – the five senses.
4. Transfer of consciousness in the subtle body, thus liberating it from the physical plane.
5. One more withdrawal in the mental body or the mental itself, so that neither the physical nor the astral planes shut man away. when this can be done, true meditation and contemplation become possible.
Dvidedi, in his commentary of the sutra says this:
« The transfer consists in completely assimilating the senses with the mind and placing them under its full domination. They must be redirected from their aims, focused on the mental and integrated to it, so that the transformation of the thinking principle suppressed, the senses will conform to it too and will immediately be mastered. Moreover, they will be ready to collectively bring their contribution to any plentiful meditation on whatever the topic, and at any time. »
In short, the results of the transfert or consciousness are:
- The synthesis of the senses through the sixth sens: the mind.
- The triple alignment of the inferior man, so that the three bodies work in a coordinate unit.
- The liberation of man from the body limitations.
- The resulting aptitude of the soul or the ego to put its print on the brain and to get the illumination through the mind.
DHARANA: CONCENTRATION AND DHYANA: MEDITATION | PRATYAHARA: WITHDRAWING FROM THE SENSES | SAGARBHA PRANAYAMA | PRANAYAMA: BREATH | VINYASA | SYMBOLISM OF THE SURYA NAMASKAR | SURYA NAMASKAR : SUN SALUTATION | ASANA: THE POSTURE | YAMA AND NIYAMA: THE PRELIMINARIES OF YOGA | ASHTANGA YOGA: THE ORIGINAL DEFINITION