Working With Subtle Forces

Yoga Sutra 1.44 etaya eva savichara nirvichara cha sukshma-vishaya vyakhyata

Moving up towards (etaya) higher concentration through the practice outlined in sutra's 1:42 & 43, mind comes to rest in further degrees of stillness. In this higher state, it can identify presence (savichara) of subtle body, and other immaterial forces (sukshma-vishaya) and its operations (vyakhyata).

The mind (manas), combined with its faculty of discernment, intelligence, and the ever elusive ego, are our subtle bodies. The most subtle of all is Consciousness.

The body that we have mistakenly identified as ME, is not the Self. It is common sense that we are not the body nor anything associated with it. How could we when we can identify the body as an Object when referring to it?

Do you not say, this is My Body? Who do you refer to when you say My? As soon as you say, "My body", who is that My? Think for a while.

The goal of an adept is to transcend the mind, its constituents, and eventually the ego, to merge with Consciousness which is devoid of all sense impressions(nirvichara).

Too many people make the mistake of trying to know, or feel Consciousness. Anyone who has had a glimpse into this state will tell you that Consciousness cannot be felt because it is you. What you will experience is profound quiet with almost no breath for short bursts initially and as you progress, you won't speak of the experience anymore.

Another mistake that people make is think that you have to be of taintless character. This is far from the truth. What is needed, is a capacity to love, spiritual knowledge, and faith. This will align you with the vibration needed to be able to discern the workings of the mind. At this level you are able to drop the mental modifications to the degree required in order to rest in the Self for the exact amount of time for which nature deems you fit.

The experience of resting in Bliss shall not be yours fully. You will experience it for short periods of time, but your mental state of not being in harmony with the Sattivic Mental State - being free from envy, fear, and hatred - will pull you down. But as long as you know what is happening, you will cross the ocean of Maya - illusions.

In this sutra, Patanjali talks about Samadhi in relation to subtle objects. This is done through Samyama on the outermost aspect of the object which is the most complex and ending with the isolation of the object in its real state which is the simplest. It may be mentioned here that the progressive involution of consciousness in matter is generally accompanied by the increasing complexity of the functions and the reverse process of release of consciousness from the limitations of matter means simplification of functions. source

Perception of the external world requires the use of our sense organs and the mental faculty. But on the higher spiritual planes, perception takes place through a single faculty which is called Pratibha and which performs the functions of all the five sense-organs in an integrated manner.


Pratibha is beyond intellect and intuition and requires transcendence of both. Intellect moves through method, process, syllogism. Intuition suddenly comes to the conclusion -- with no process, no methodology, no syllogism. You cannot ask intuition why. There is no "therefore" in intuition. source

In pratibha, one becomes omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. Everything is revealed simultaneously- the past, the present, and the future. At this point, energy has moved beyond the duality of intellect and intuition.

A clear grasp of this fundamental principle will help the student in understanding the role of Samadhi in this process of unveiling the subtler and more profound as- pects of objects in the manifested Universe. Samadhi does nothing more than reverse this involution of consciousness and this evolution or unfoldment of consciousness automatically reveals the subtler aspects of these objects.

What the Yogi really does is to sink deeper and deeper into his own consciousness. This brings into action the more comprehensive faculties of the increasingly subtler planes which alone can reveal the subtler aspects of objects. What the intellect may strain to the utmost to understand without much success becomes self-evident in the light of these higher faculties.

  • Yoga Sutra 1.44 etaya eva savichara nirvichara cha sukshma-vishaya vyakhyata
  • etaya - by this

  • eva - also

  • savichara - accompanied by subtle thoughts (sa = with; vichara = subtle thoughts)

  • nirvichara - devoid of subtle thoughts (nir = without; vichara = subtle thoughts)

  • sukshma-vishaya - having subtle for their objects (sukshma = subtle; vishaya = objects)

  • vyakhyata - are explained, described, defined