An Introduction
to Yoga

by Annie Besant

The Meaning of the Universe

  • The Unfolding of Consciousness
  • The Oneness of the Self
  • The Quickening of the Process of Self-Unfoldment
  • Yoga is a Science
  • Man a Duality
  • States of Mind
  • Samadhi

The Literature of Yoga

  • Some Definitions
  • God Without and God  Within
  • Changes of Consciousness and Vibrations of Matter
  • Stages of Mind
  • Inward and Outward-turned Consciousness
  • The Cloud

Relation to Indian Philosophies

  • Mind
  • The Mental Body

Mind and Self

  • Methods of Yoga
  • To the Self by the Self
  • To the Self through the Not-Self

  • Yoga and Morality
  • Composition of States of the Mind

Pleasure and Pain

  • Inhibition of States of Mind
  • Meditation with and without Seed
  • The Use of Mantras


  • Obstacles to Yoga
  • Capacities for Yoga
  • Forthgoing and Returning
  • Purification of Bodies
  • Dwellers on the Threshold
  • Preparation for Yoga
  • The End
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I cannot too strongly emphasise the difference between Self-Esteem
and Self-Conceit. I wish to drive and thoroughly pound this difference
into your brain. Self-Esteem is decidedly a manly trait. It is based
upon a conviction of the Kingship of God and the Sonship of Man.

Man is a dignified being with divine attributes. He should not disgrace his
Maker by crawling on the ground. This is Self-Esteem. Self-Esteem
does not lower itself. It never lowers others. You shall never see a
leader of mankind without tremendous faith in himself. But equally truly
you shall never see a true man or woman taking delight in having others
crawl to dust before them. They feel pained and shocked at such a sight.

There is infinite humiliation to them hi this sorry spectacle. But
Self-Conceit is that original obliquity that leads a man to make a hog of
himself. It is the old, dirty, unmanly "I-am-greater-than-you" feeling.
Such men are hogs, hogs, hogs. They are not the true sons of their

They are imbeciles. If you come across this type
and get a chance to deal with him on your private strength open his eyes
to his hoggishness. If he has any manly stuff in himself, he shall
reform. If not, let him sizzle in his fat. Nature and its rigorous Laws
will rub the lesson home some day. But don't you stand their nonsense for
want of moral backbone. And the "I am" in you shall revolt against any
such meanness and smallness in yourself. Encourage it not. Revere God.
Revere yourself. Revere others. Next, as to energy and aspiration--these
two characteristics transmute your mind from a negative into a positive

They give you an aura of thought-force such as never knows fear. In
point of fact fear is starved off to death. Be progressive. Take an
interest in the affairs of this world and be a force for good. Raise
yourself first. Then give others a lift. Have an Increasing Purpose
in your life. Work towards its accomplishment. The man who renounces the
world does not become a burden unto others. He helps others to shoulder
their responsibilities. Nature aids at building up strong individuals.

It has no use for barnacles and is always scraping them off. Nature does not
tolerate leeches, vampires and parasites. Aspire to do something great in
life "for the good of many, for the happiness of many." Live to some
purpose. When you have a positive life-purpose, your tone of mind shall
be dominant and positive and your thoughts shall match. All-strength
shall come to you. Bad health, fear, worry and the whole array of
disintegrating forces are set into active motion by a purposeless life.
The Purposeful Man has no time to bother about them. Understand clearly,
spirituality is not laziness, whatever else it may be.


1. I have perfect Self-Confidence. I am a Divine Being. I lower
not myself--I lower not others.

2. My Life-Purpose is Constructive--not Destructive.

3. I will be great spiritually and mentally. I will make others
great. I am an irresistible force for good.

4. I live to some great purpose. I am an Individual. I recognise
the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.


Chastity and Self-Control bring to you a clean healthy physique. Strong
health means strong brain. And strong brain means abounding vitality,
magnetism and ambition. Remember our aim is the development of courage.
The Chaste brain has tremendous energy. You should observe
Bramhacharya--the conservation of vital energy in the body. You should
acquire control over your passions and appetites. The energy generated in
your body should not be drawn off at the lower end of your being, but
should be transmuted into creative activity mentally and spiritually. Get
a clean body, first. You can get it by fasting, breathing and exercise.

The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga
by Swami Mukerji
The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga
by Swami Mukerji
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