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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You cannot be surprised that under these conditions of continued
disappearance of functions, the unfortunate student asks: " What
becomes of the mind itself? If you suppress all the functions,
what is left?" In the Indian way of teaching, when you come to a
difficulty, someone jumps up and asks a question. And in the
commentaries, the question which raises the difficulty is always
put. The answer of Patanjali is: "Then the spectator remains in
his own form." Theosophy answers: "The Monad remains." It is the
end of the human pilgrimage. That is the highest point to which
humanity may climb: to suppress all the reflections in the
fivefold universe through which the Monad has manifested his
powers, and then for the Monad to realise himself, enriched by
the experiences through which his manifested aspects have passed.
But to the Samkhyan the difficulty is very great, for when he has
only his spectator left, when spectacle ceases, the spectator
himself almost vanishes. His only function was to look on at the
play of mind. When the play of mind is gone, what is left? He can
no longer be a spectator, since there is nothing to see. The only
answer is: " He remains in his own form." He is now out of
manifestation, the duality is transcended, and so the Spirit
sinks back into latency, no longer capable of manifestation.
There you come to a very serious difference with the Theosophical
view of the universe, for according to that view of the universe,
when all these functions have been suppressed, then the Monad is
ruler over matter and is prepared for a new cycle of activity, no
longer slave but master.

All analogy shows us that as the Self withdraws from sheath after
sheath, he does not lose but gains in Self- realisation.
Self-realisation becomes more and more vivid with each successive
withdrawal; so that as the Self puts aside one veil of matter
after another, recognises in regular succession that each body in
turn is not himself, by that process of withdrawal his sense of
Self-reality becomes keener, not less keen. It is important to
remember that, because often Western readers, dealing with
Eastern ideas, in consequence of misunderstanding the meaning of
the state of liberation, or the condition of Nirvana, identify it
with nothingness or unconsciousness--an entirely mistaken idea
which is apt to colour the whole of their thought when dealing
with Yogic processes. Imagine the condition of a man who
identifies himself completely with the body, so that he cannot,
even in thought, separate himself from it--the state of the early
undeveloped man--and compare that with the strength, vigour and
lucidity of your own mental consciousness.

The consciousness of the early man limited to the physical body,
with occasional touches of dream consciousness, is very
restricted in its range. He has no idea of the sweep of your
consciousness, of your abstract thinking. But is that
consciousness of the early man more vivid, or less vivid, than
yours? Certainly you will say, it is less vivid. You have largely
transcended his powers of consciousness. Your consciousness is
astral rather than physical, but has thereby increased its
vividness. AS the Self withdraws himself from sheath after
sheath, he realises himself more and more, not less and less;
Self-realisation becomes more intense, as sheath after sheath is
cast aside. The centre grows more powerful as the circumference
becomes more permeable, and at last a stage is reached when the
centre knows itself at every point of the circumference. When
that is accomplished the circumference vanishes, but not so the
centre. The centre still remains. Just as you are more vividly
conscious than the early man, just as your consciousness is more
alive, not less, than that of an undeveloped man, so it is as we
climb up the stairway of life and cast away garment after
garment. We become more conscious of existence, more conscious of
knowledge, more conscious of Self-determined power. The faculties
of the Self shine out more strongly, as veil after veil falls
away. By analogy, then, when we touch the Monad, our
consciousness should be mightier, more vivid, and more perfect.
As you learn to truly live, your powers and feelings grow in

And remember that all control is exercised over sheaths, over
portions of the Not-Self. You do not control your Self; that is a
misconception; you control your Not-Self. The Self is never
controlled; He is the Inner Ruler Immortal. He is the controller,
not the controlled. As sheath after sheath becomes subject to
your Self, and body after body becomes the tool of your Self,
then shall you realise the truth of the saying of the Upanishad,
that you are the Self, the Inner Ruler, the immortal.


I propose now to deal first with the two great methods of Yoga,
one related to the Self and the other to the Not-Self. Let me
remind you, before I begin, that we are dealing only with the
science of Yoga and not with other means of attaining union with
the Divine. The scientific method, following the old Indian
conception, is the one to which I am asking your attention. I
would remind you, however, that, though I am only dealing with
this, there remain also the other two great ways of Bhakti and
Karma. The Yoga we are studying specially concerns the Marga of
Jnanam or knowledge, and within that way, within that Marga or
path of knowledge, we find that three subdivisions occur, as
everywhere in nature.

Methods of Yoga

With regard to what I have just called the two great methods in
Yoga, we find that by one of these a man treads the path of
knowledge by Buddhi--the pure reason; and the other the same path
by Manas--the concrete mind. You may remember that in speaking
yesterday of the sub- divisions of Antah-karana, I pointed out to
you that there we had a process of reflection of one quality in
another; and within the limits of the cognitional aspect of the
Self, you find Buddhi, cognition reflected in cognition; and
Ahamkara, cognition reflected in will; and Manas, cognition
reflected in activity. Bearing those three sub-divisions in mind,
you will very readily be able to see that these two methods of
Yoga fall naturally under two of these heads. But what of the
third? What of the will, of which Ahamkara is the representative
in cognition? That certainly has its road, but it can scarcely be
said to be a "method". Will breaks its way upwards by sheer
unflinching determination, keeping its eyes fixed on the end, and
using either buddhi or manes indifferently as a means to that

Metaphysics is used to realise the Self; science is used to
understand the Not-Self; but either is grasped, either is thrown
aside, as it serves, or fails to serve, the needs of the moment.
Often the man, in whom will is predominant, does not know how he
gains the object he is aiming at; it comes to his hands, but the
"how" is obscure to him; he willed to have it, and nature gives
it to him. This is also seen in Yoga in the man of Ahamkara, the
sub-type of will in cognition. Just as in the man of Ahamkara,
Buddhi and Manas are subordinate, so in the man of Buddhi,
Ahamkara and Manas are not absent, but are subordinate; and in
the man of Manas, Ahamkara and Buddhi are present, but play a
subsidiary part. Both the metaphysician and the scientist must be
supported by Ahamkara. That Self-determining faculty, that
deliberate setting of oneself to a chosen end, that is necessary
in all forms of Yoga. Whether a Yogi is going to follow the
purely cognitional way of Buddhi, or whether he is going to
follow the more active path of Manas, in both cases he needs the
self-determining will in order to sustain him in his arduous
task. You remember it is written in the Upanishad that the weak
man cannot reach the Self. Strength is wanted. Determination is
wanted. Perseverance is wanted. And you must have, in every
successful Yogi, that intense determination which is the very
essence of individuality.

Now what are these two great methods? One of them may be
described as seeking the Self by the Self; the other may be
described as seeking the Self by the Not-Self; and if you will
think of them in that fashion, I think you will find the idea
illuminative. Those who seek the Self by the Self, seek him
through the faculty of Buddhi; they turn ever inwards, and turn
away from the outer world. Those who seek the Self by the
Not-Self, seek him through the active working Manas; they are
outward-turned, and by study of the Not-Self, they learn to
realise the Self. The one is the path of the metaphysician; the
other is the path of the scientist.

To the Self by the Self

Let us look at this a little more closely, with its appropriate
methods. The path on which the faculty of Buddhi is used
predominantly is, as just said, the path of the metaphysician. It
is the path of the philosopher. He turns inwards, ever seeking to
find the Self by diving into the recesses of his own nature.
Knowing that the Self is within him, he tries to strip away
vesture after vesture, envelope after envelope, and by a process
of rejecting them he reaches the glory of the unveiled Self. To
begin this, he must give up concrete thinking and dwell amidst
abstractions. His method, then, must be strenuous,
long-sustained, patient meditation. Nothing else will serve his
end; strenuous, hard thinking, by which he rises away from the
concrete into the abstract regions of the mind; strenuous, hard
thinking, further continued, by which he reaches from the
abstract region of the mind up to the region of Buddhi, where
unity is sensed; still by strenuous thinking, climbing yet
further, until Buddhi as it were opens out into Atma, until the
Self is seen in his splendour, with only a film of atmic matter,
the envelope of Atma in the manifested fivefold world. It is
along that difficult and strenuous path that the Self must be
found by way of the Self.

Such a man must utterly disregard the Not-Self. He must shut his
senses against the outside world. The world must no longer be
able to touch him. The senses must be closed against all the
vibrations that come from without, and he must turn a deaf ear, a
blind eye, to all the allurements of matter, to all the diversity
of objects, which make up the universe of the Not-Self. Seclusion
will help him, until he is strong enough to close himself against
the outer stimuli or allurements. The contemplative orders in the
Roman Catholic Church offer a good environment for this path.
They put the outer world away, as far away as possible. It is a
snare, a temptation, a hindrance. Always turning away from the
world, the Yogi must fix his thought, his attention, upon the
Self. Hence for those who walk along this road, what are called
the Siddhis are direct obstacles, and not helps. But that
statement that you find so often, that the Siddhis are things to
be avoided, is far more sweeping than some of our modern
Theosophists are apt to imagine. They declare that the Siddhis
are to be avoided, but forget that the Indian who says this also
avoids the use of the physical senses. He closes physical eyes
and ears as hindrances. But some Theosophists urge avoidance of
all use of the astral senses and mental senses, but they do not
object to the free use of the physical senses, or dream that they
are hindrances. Why not? If the senses are obstacles in their
finer forms, they are also obstacles in their grosser

To the man who would find the Self by the Self,
every sense is a hindrance and an obstacle, and there is no
logic, no reason, in denouncing the subtler senses only, while
forgetting the temptations of the physical senses, impediments as
much as the other. No such division exists for the man who tries
to understand the universe in which he is. In the search for the
Self by the Self, all that is not Self is an obstacle. Your eyes,
your ears, everything that puts you into contact with the outer
world, is just as much an obstacle as the subtler forms of the
same senses which put you into touch with the subtler worlds of
matter, which you call astral and mental. This exaggerated fear
of the Siddhis is only a passing reaction, not based on
understanding but on lack of understanding; and those who
denounce the Siddhis should rise to the logical position of the
Hindu Yogi, or of the Roman Catholic recluse, who denounces all
the senses, and all the objects of the senses, as obstacles in
the way. Many Theosophists here, and more in the West, think that
much is gained by acuteness of the physical senses, and of the
other faculties in the physical brain; but the moment the senses
are acute enough to be astral, or the faculties begin to work in
astral matter, they treat them as objects of denunciation. That
is not rational. It is not logical. Obstacles, then, are all the
senses, whether you call them Siddhis or not, in the search for
the Self by turning away from the Not-Self.

It is necessary for the man who seeks the Self by the Self to
have the quality which is called "faith," in the sense in which I
defined it before--the profound, intense conviction, that nothing
can shake, of the reality of the Self within you. That is the one
thing that is worthy to be dignified by the name of faith. Truly
it is beyond reason, for not by reason may the Self be known as
real. Truly it is not based on argument, for not by reasoning may
the Self be discovered. It is the witness of the Self within you
to his own supreme reality, and that unshakable conviction, which
is shraddha, is necessary for the treading of this path. It is
necessary, because without it the human mind would fail, the
human courage would be daunted, the human perseverance would
break, with the difficulties of the seeking for the Self. Only
that imperious conviction that the Self is, only that can cheer
the pilgrim in the darkness that comes down upon him, in the void
that he must cross before--the life of the lower being thrown
away--the life of the higher is realised. This imperious faith is
to the Yogi on this path what experience and knowledge are to the
Yogi on the other.

To the Self Through the Not-self

Turn from him to the seeker for the Self through the Not- Self.
This is the way of the scientist, of the man who uses the
concrete, active Manas, in order scientifically to understand the
universe; he has to find the real among the unreal, the eternal
among the changing, the Self amid the diversity of forms. How is
he to do it? By a close and rigorous study of every changing form
in which the Self has veiled himself. By studying the Not-Self
around him and in him, by understanding his own nature, by
analysing in order to understand, by studying nature in others as
well as in himself, by learning to know himself and to gain
knowledge of others; slowly, gradually, step by step, plane after
plane, he has to climb upwards, rejecting one form of matter
after another, finding not in these the Self he seeks. As he
learns to conquer the physical plane, he uses the keenest senses
in order to understand, and finally to reject. He says: "This is
not my Self. This changing panorama, these obscurities, these
continual transformations, these are obviously the antithesis of
the eternity, the lucidity, the stability of the Self. These
cannot be my Self." And thus he constantly rejects them. He
climbs on to the astral plane and, using there the finer astral
senses, he studies the astral world, only to find that that also
is changing and manifests not the changelessness of the Self.
After the astral world is conquered and rejected, he climbs on
into the mental plane, and there still studies the ever-changing
forms of that Manasic world, only once more to reject them:
"These are not the Self." Climbing still higher, ever following
the track of forms, he goes from the mental to the Buddhic plane,
where the Self begins to show his radiance and beauty in
manifested union. Thus by studying diversity he reaches the
conception of unity, and is led into the understanding of the
One. To him the realisation of the Self comes through the study
of the Not-Self, by the separation of the Not-Self from the Self.
Thus he does by knowledge and experience what the other does by
pure thinking and by faith. In this path of finding the Self
through the Not-Self, the so-called Siddhis are necessary. Just
as you cannot study the physical world without the physical
senses, so you cannot study the astral world without the astral
senses, nor the mental world without the mental senses.
Therefore, calmly choose your ends, and then think out your
means, and you will not 'be in any difficulty about the method
you should employ, the path you should tread.

Thus we see that there are two methods, and these must be kept
separate in your thought. Along the line of pure thinking--the
metaphysical line--you may reach the Self. So also along the line
of scientific observation and experiment--the physical line, in
the widest sense of the term physical--you may reach the Self.
Both are ways of Yoga. Both are included in the directions that
you may read in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Those directions
will cease to be self-contradictory, if you will only separate in
your thought the two methods. Patanjali has given, in the later
part of his Sutras, some hints as to the way in which the Siddhis
may be developed. Thus you may find your way to the Supreme.

Yoga and Morality

The next point that I would pause upon, and ask you to realise,
is the fact that Yoga is a science of psychology. I want further
to point out to you that it is not a science of ethic, though
ethic is certainly the foundation of it. Psychology and ethic are
not the same. The science of psychology is the result of the
study of mind. The science of ethic is the result of the study of
conduct, so as to bring about the harmonious relation of one to
another. Ethic is a science of life, and not an investigation
into the nature of mind and the methods by which the powers of
the mind may be developed and evolved. I pause on this because of
the confusion that exists in many people as regards this point.
If you understand the scope of Yoga aright, such a confusion
ought not to arise. The confused idea makes people think that in
Yoga they ought to find necessarily what are called precepts of
morality, ethic. Though Patanjali gives the universal precepts of
morality and right conduct in the first two angas of Yoga, called
yama and niyama, yet they are subsidiary to the main topic, are
the foundation of it, as just said. No practice of Yoga is
possible unless you possess the ordinary moral attributes summed
up in yama and niyama; that goes without saying. But you should
not expect to find moral precepts in a scientific text book of
psychology, like Yoga.

A man studying the science of electricity
is not shocked if he does not find in it moral precepts; why then
should one studying Yoga, as a science of psychology, expect to
find moral precepts in it? I do not say that morality is
unimportant for the Yogi. On the contrary, it is all-important.
It is absolutely necessary in the first stages of Yoga for
everyone. But to a Yogi who has mastered these, it is not
necessary, if he wants to follow the left-hand path. For you must
remember that there is a Yoga of the left-hand path, as well as a
Yoga of the right-hand path. Yoga is there also followed, and
though asceticism is always found in the early stages, and
sometimes in the later, true morality is absent. The black
magician is often as rigid in his morality as any Brother of the
White Lodge.[FN#8: Terms while and black as used here have no
relation to race or colour.] Of the disciples of the black and
white magicians, the disciple of the black magician is often the
more ascetic. His object is not the purification of life for the
sake of humanity, but the purification of the vehicle, that he
may be better able to acquire power. The difference between the
white and the black magician lies in the motive. You might have a
white magician, a follower of the right-hand path, rejecting meat
because the way of obtaining it is against the law of compassion.
The follower of the left-hand path may also reject meat, but for
the reason that be would not be able to work so well with his
vehicle if it were full of the rajasic elements of meat. The
difference is in the motive. The outer action is the same. Both
men may be called moral, if judged by the outer action alone. The
motive marks the path, while the outer actions are often

It is a moral thing to abstain from meat, because thereby you are
lessening the infliction of suffering; it is not a moral act to
abstain from meat from the yogic standpoint, but only a means to
an end. Some of the greatest yogis in Hindu literature were, and
are, men whom you would rightly call black magicians. But still
they are yogis. One of the greatest yogis of all was Ravana, the
anti-Christ, the Avatara of evil, who summed up all the evil of
the world in his own person in order to oppose the Avatara of
good. He was a great, a marvellous yogi, and by Yoga he gained
his power. Ravana was a typical yogi of the left-hand path, a
great destroyer, and he practiced Yoga to obtain the power of
destruction, in order to force from the hands of the Planetary
Logos the boon that no man should be able to kill him. You may
say: "What a strange thing that a man can force from God such a

The laws of Nature are the expression of Divinity, and if
a man follows a law of Nature, he reaps the result which that law
inevitably brings; the question whether he is good or bad to his
fellow men does not touch this matter at all. Whether some other
law is or is not obeyed, is entirely outside the question. It is
a matter of dry fact that the scientific man may be moral or
immoral, provided that his immorality does not upset his eyesight
or nervous system. It is the same with Yoga. Morality matters
profoundly, but it does not affect these particular things, and
if you think it does, you are always getting into bogs and
changing your moral standpoint, either lowering or making it
absurd. Try to understand; that is what the Theosophist should
do; and when you understand, you will not fall into the blunders
nor suffer the bewilderment many do, when you expect laws
belonging to one region of the universe to bring about results in
another. The scientific man understands that. He knows that a
discovery in chemistry does not depend upon his morality, and he
would not think of doing an act of charity with a view to finding
out a new element. He will not fail in a well-wrought experiment,
however vicious his private life may be. The things are in
different regions, and he does not confuse the laws of the two.
As Ishvara is absolutely just, the man who obeys a law reaps the
fruit of that law, whether his actions, in any other fields, are
beneficial to man or not. If you sow rice, you will reap rice; if
you sow weeds, you will reap weeds; rice for rice, and weed for
weed. The harvest is according to the sowing. For this is a
universe of law. By law we conquer, by law we succeed. Where does
morality come in, then? When you are dealing with a magician of
the right-hand path, the servant of the White Lodge, there
morality is an all-important factor. Inasmuch as he is learning
to be a servant of humanity, he must observe the highest
morality, not merely the morality of the world, for the white
magician has to deal with helping on harmonious relations between
man and man. The white magician must be patient. The black
magician may quite well be harsh. The white magician must be
compassionate; compassion widens out his nature, and he is trying
to make his consciousness include the whole of humanity. But not
so the black magician. He can afford to ignore compassion.

A white magician may strive for power. But when he is striving
for power, he seeks it that he may serve humanity and become more
useful to mankind, a more effective servant in the helping of the
world. But not so the brother of the dark side. When he strives
for power, he seeks if for himself, so that he may use it against
the whole world. He may be harsh and cruel. He wants to be
isolated; and harshness and cruelty tend to isolate him. He wants
power; and holding that power for himself, he can put himself
temporarily, as it were, against the Divine Will in evolution.

The end of the one is Nirvana, where all separation has ceased.
The end of the other is Avichi--the uttermost isolation--the
kaivalya of the black magician. Both are yogis, both follow the
science of yoga, and each gets the result of the law he has
followed: one the kaivalya of Nirvana, the other the kaivalya of

Composition of States of the Mind

Let us pass now to the "states of the mind" as they are called.
The word which is used for the states of the mind by Patanjali is
Vritti. This admirably constructed language Sanskrit gives you in
that very word its own meaning. Vrittis means the "being" of the
mind; the ways in which mind can exist; the modes of the mind;
the modes of mental existence; the ways of existing. That is the
literal meaning of this word. A subsidiary meaning is a "turning
around," a "moving in a circle". You have to stop, in Yoga, every
mode of existing in which the mind manifests itself. In order to
guide you towards the power of stopping them--for you cannot stop
them till you understand them--you are told that these modes of
mind are fivefold in their nature. They are pentads. The Sutra,
as usually translated, says " the Vrittis are fivefold
(panchatayyah)," but pentad is a more accurate rendering of the
word pancha-tayyah, in the original, than fivefold. The word
pentad at once recalls to you the way in which the chemist speaks
of a monad, triad, heptad, when he deals with elements. The
elements with which the chemist is dealing are related to the
unit-element in different ways. Some elements are related to it
in one way only, and are called monads; others are related in two
ways, and are called duads, and so on.

Is this applicable to the states of mind also? Recall the shloka
of the Bhagavad-Gita in which it is said that the Jiva goes out
into the world, drawing round him the five senses and mind as
sixth. That may throw a little light on the subject. You have
five senses, the five ways of knowing, the five jnanendriyas or
organs of knowing. Only by these five senses can you know the
outer world. Western psychology says that nothing exists in
thought that does not exist in sensation. That is not true
universally; it is not true of the abstract mind, nor wholly of
the concrete. But there is a great deal of truth in it. Every
idea is a pentad. It is made up of five elements. Each element
making up the idea comes from one of the senses, and of these
there are at present five. Later on every idea will be a heptad,
made up of seven elements. For the present, each has five
qualities, which build up the idea. The mind unites the whole
together into a single thought, synthesises the five sensations.
If you think of an orange and analyse your thought of an orange,
you will find in it: colour, which comes through the eye;
fragrance, which comes through the nose; taste, which comes
through the tongue; roughness or smoothness, which comes through
the sense of touch; and you would hear musical notes made by the
vibrations of the molecules, coming through the sense of hearing,
were it keener. If you had a perfect sense of hearing. you would
hear the sound of the orange also, for wherever there is
vibration there is sound. All this, synthesised by the mind into
one idea, is an orange. That is the root reason for the
"association of ideas". It is not only that a fragrance recalls
the scene and the circumstances under which the fragrance was
observed, but because every impression is made through all the
five senses and, therefore, when one is stimulated, the others
are recalled.

The mind is like a prism. If you put a prism in the
path of a ray of white light, it will break it up into its seven
constituent rays and seven colours will appear. Put another prism
in the path of these seven rays, and as they pass through the
prism, the process is reversed and the seven become one white
light. The mind is like the second prism. It takes in the five
sensations that enter through the senses, and combines them into
a single precept. As at the present stage of evolution the senses
are five only, it unites the five sensations into one idea. What
the white ray is to the seven- coloured light, that a thought or
idea is to the fivefold sensation. That is the meaning of the
much controverted Sutra: "Vrittayah panchatayych," "the vrittis,
or modes of the mind, are pentads." If you look at it in that
way, the later teachings will be more clearly understood.

As I have already said, that sentence, that nothing exists in
thought which is not in sensation, is not the whole truth. Manas,
the sixth sense, adds to the sensations its own pure elemental
nature. What is that nature that you find thus added? It is the
establishment of a relation, that is really what the mind adds.
All thinking is the "establishment of relations," and the more
closely you look into that phrase, the more you will realise how
it covers all the varied processes of the mind. The very first
process of the mind is to become aware of an outside world.
However dimly at first, we become aware of something outside
ourselves--a process generally called perception. I use the more
general term "establishing a relation," because that runs through
the whole of the mental processes, whereas perception is only a
single thing. To use a well-known simile, when a little baby
feels a pin pricking it, it is conscious of pain, but not at
first conscious of the pin, nor yet conscious of where exactly
the pin is. It does not recognise the part of the body in which
the pin is. There is no perception, for perception is defined as
relating a sensation to the object which causes the sensation.
You only, technically speaking, "perceive" when you make a
relation between the object and yourself. That is the very first
of these mental processes, following on the heels of sensation.
Of course, from the Eastern standpoint, sensation is a mental
function also, for the senses are part of the cognitive faculty,
but they are unfortunately classed with feelings in Western
psychology. Now having established that relation between yourself
and objects outside, what is the next process of the mind?
Reasoning: that is, the establishing of relations between
different objects, as perception is the establishment of your
relation with a single object. When you have perceived many
objects, then you begin to reason in order to establish relations
between them. Reasoning is the establishment of a new relation,
which comes out from the comparison of the different objects that
by perception you have established in relation with yourself, and
the result is a concept. This one phrase, "establishment of
relations," is true all round. The whole process of thinking is
the establishment of relations, and it is natural that it should
be so, because the Supreme Thinker, by establishing a relation,
brought matter into existence. Just as He, by establishing that
primary relation between Himself and the Not-Self, makes a
universe possible, so do we reflect His powers in ourselves,
thinking by the same method, establishing relations, and thus
carrying out every intellectual process.

An Introduction to Yoga
Mind and Self
An Introduction to Yoga
By  Annie Besant
Mind and Self
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