VIII-Practice of Theosophy: Living the Life
2) Meditation and Spiritual Disciplines - Seeking the
(HPB, Voice of the Silence, p. 16)
"There is but one road to the Path; at its very end alone
the Voice of the Silence can be heard."
(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, p. 26)
"Throwing every deed on me, and with thy meditation fixed
upon the Higher Self, resolve to fight, without expectation,
devoid of egotism and free from anguish."
(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, pp. 44-47)
Action is said to be the means by which the wise man who is desirous
of mounting to meditation may reach thereto; so cessation from
action is said to be the means for him who hath reached to meditation.
When he hath renounced all intentions and is devoid of attachment
to action in regard to objects of sense, then he is called one
who hath ascended to meditation..."He who has attained to
meditation should constantly strive to stay at rest in the Supreme,
remaining in solitude and seclusion, having his body and his
thoughts under control
There, for the self's purification
he should practice meditation with his mind fixed on one point,
the modifications of the thinking principle controlled and the
action of the senses and organs restrained. Keeping his body,
head, and neck firm and erect, with mind determined, and gaze
directed to the tip of his nose without looking in any direction,
with heart at peace and free from fear, the Yogee should remain,
settled in the vow of a Brahmacharya, his thoughts controlled,
and heart fixed on me. The devotee of controlled mind who thus
always bringeth his heart to rest in the Supreme reacheth that
tranquility, the supreme assimilation with me.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Bhagavad Gita, p. 59)
Whoever at the hour of death abandoneth the body, fixed in meditation
upon me, without doubt goeth to me. Whoso in consequence of constant
meditation on any particular form thinketh upon it when quitting
his mortal shape, even to that doth he go, O son of Kunti. Therefore
at all times meditate only on me and fight. Thy mind and Buddhi
being placed on me alone, thou shalt without doubt come to me.
The man whose heart abides in me alone, wandering to no other
object, shall also by meditation on the Supreme Spirit go to
it, O son of Pritha. Whosoever shall meditate upon the All-Wise
which is without beginning, the Supreme Ruler, the smallest of
the small, the Supporter of all, whose form is incomprehensible,
bright as the sun beyond the darkness; with mind undeviating,
united to devotion, and by the power of meditation concentrated
at the hour of death, with his vital powers placed between the
eyebrows, attains to that Supreme Divine Spirit.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms, "Preface,"
pp. viii-ix, xi-xii)
"The Yoga system is divided into two principal parts - Hatha
and Raja Yoga
Hatha Yoga deals principally with the physiological
part of man with a view to establish his health and train his
will. The processes prescribed to arrive at this end are so difficult
that only a few resolute souls go through all the stages of its
practice; the system of Hatha Yoga was intended for those whose
worldly desires are not pacified or uprooted"
the other hand, the Raja Yogis try to control the mind itself
by following the rules laid down by the greatest of adepts. "Patanjali's
rules compel the student not only to acquire a right knowledge
of what is and what is not real, but also to practice all virtues,
and while results in the way of psychic development are not so
immediately seen as in the case of the successful practitioner
of Hatha Yoga, it is infinitely safer and is certainly spiritual,
which Hatha Yoga is not"
In Hatha Yoga practice, on the contrary , the result is psychic
development at the delay or expense of the spiritual nature
In order to understand the system expounded in this book it is
also necessary to admit the existence of soul; for Patanjali
holds that Nature exists for the soul's sake, and as he lays
down that the real experience and knower is the soul and not
the mind, it follows that the Mind, designated either as "internal
organ," or "thinking principle," while higher
and more subtle than the body, is yet only an instrument used
by the Soul in gaining experience
But the Mind is a most
important factor in the pursuit of concentration; one indeed
without which concentration cannot be obtained..He shows that
the mind is, as he terms it, "modified" by any object
or subject brought before it, or to which it is directed. "The
internal organ compared to water in respect of its readiness
to adapt itself to the form of whatever mould it may enter. As
the waters of a reservoir, having issued from an aperture, having
entered by a channel the basins, become four-cornered or otherwise
shaped, just like them; so the manifesting internal organ having
gone through the sight, or other channel, to where there is one
object, for instance a jar, becomes modified by the form of the
jar or other object. It is this altered state of the internal
organ - or mind - that is called its modification." While
the internal organ thus moulds itself upon the object it at the
same time reflects it and its properties to the soul. The channels
by which the mind is held to go out to an object or subject,
are the organs of sight, touch, taste, hearing and so on.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Epitome of Theosophy, pp. 13-15)
Theosophy, however holds that it is a misuse of terms to say
that the spiritual nature can be cultivated. The real object
to be kept in view is to so open up or make porous the lower
nature that the spiritual nature may shine through it and become
the guide and ruler. It is only "cultivated" in the
sense of having a vehicle prepared for its use, into which it
Thus it is said that the higher Spirit is not
the man, but above him. It is always peaceful, unconcerned, blissful,
and full of absolute knowledge. It continually partakes of the
Divine state, being continually that state itself, "conjoined
with the Gods, it feeds upon Ambrosia." The object of the
student is to let the light of that spirit shine through the
This "spiritual culture" is only attainable as the
grosser interests, passions, and demands of the flesh are subordinated
to the interests, aspirations and needs of the higher nature;
and this is a matter of both system and established law. This
spirit can only become the ruler when the firm intellectual acknowledgement
or admission is first made that IT alone is. And, as stated above,
it being not only the person concerned but also the whole, all
selfishness must be eliminated from the lower nature before its
divine state can be reached. So long as the smallest personal
or selfish desire- even for spiritual attainment for our own
sake- remains, so long is the desired end put off. Hence the
above term "demands of the flesh" really covers also
demands that are not of the flesh, and its proper rendering would
be "desires of the personal nature, including those of the
When systematically trained in accordance with the aforesaid
system and law, men attain to clear insight into the immaterial,
spiritual world, and their interior faculties apprehend truth
as immediately and readily as physical faculties grasp the things
of sense, or mental faculties those of reason. Or, in the words
used by some of them, "They are able to look directly upon
ideas"..In the course of this spiritual training such men
acquire perception of, and control over, various forces in Nature
unknown to other men, and thus are able to perform works usually
called "miraculous," though really but the result of
larger knowledge of natural law. What these powers are may be
found in Patanjali's 'Yoga Philosophy." Their testimony
as to super-sensuous truth, verified by their possession of such
powers, challenges candid examination from every religious mind.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 29)
It is well to pursue some kind of practice, and pursue it either
in a fixed place, or in a mental place which cannot be seen,
or at night. The fact that what is called Dharana, Dhyana, and
Samadhi may be performed should be known. (See Patanjali's yoga
Dharana is selecting a thing, a spot, or an idea, to fix the
Dhyana is contemplation of it.
Samadhi is meditating on it.
When attempted, they of course are all one act.
Now, then, take what is called the well of the throat or pit
of the throat.
1st. Select it. - Dharana.
2ns. Hold the mind on it. - Dhyana.
3rd. Meditate on it. - Samadhi.
This gives firmness of mind.
Then select the spot in the head where the Sushumna nerve goes.
Never mind the location; call it the top of the head. Then pursue
the same course. This will give some insight into spiritual minds.
At first it is difficult, but it will grow easy by practice.
If done at all, the same hour of each day should be selected,
as creating a habit, not only in the body, but also in the mind.
Always keep the direction of Krishna in mind, namely that it
is done for the whole body corporate of humanity, and not for
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 30)
As regards the practices of concentration suggested in this letter,
they are only stages in a life-long contemplation; they are means
to an end, means of a certain order among means of other orders,
all necessary, the highest path being that of constant devotion
and entire resignation to the Law. The above means have a physiological
value because the spots suggested for contemplation are, like
others, vital centers. Excitation of these centers, and of the
magnetic residue of breath always found in them, strengthens
and arouses the faculties of the inner man, the magnetic vehicle
of the soul and the link between matter and spirit. This is a
form of words necessary for clearness, because in reality matter
and spirit are one. We may better imagine an infinite series
of force correlations which extend from pure Spirit to its grossest
vehicle, and we may say that the magnetic inner vehicle, or astral
man, stands at the halfway point of the scale. The secret of
the circulation of the nervous fluid is hidden in these vital
centers, and he who discovers it can use the body at will. Moreover,
this practice trains the mind to remain in its own principle,
without energizing, and without exercising its tangential force,
which is so hard to overcome. Thought has a self-reproductive
power, and when the mind is held steadily to one idea it becomes
colored by it, and, as we may say, all the correlates of that
thought arise within the mind. Hence the mystic obtains knowledge
about any object of which he thinks constantly in fixed contemplation.
Here is the rationale of Krishna's words: "Think constantly
of me; depend on me alone; and thou shalt surely come unto me."
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 31)
Spiritual culture is attained through concentration. It must
be continued daily and every moment to be of use. The "Elixir
of Life" (Five Years Of Theosophy) gives us some of the
reasons for this truth. Meditation has been defined as "the
cessation of active, external thought." Concentration is
the entire life-tendency to a given end.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, pp. 32, 33)
The work upon which all disciples are employed is that of rendering
the body more porous, more fluidic, more responsive to all spiritual
influences which arise in the inner center, in the soul, which
is an undivided part of the great Soul of all, and less receptive
of the outside material influences generated by the unthinking
world and by the qualities in nature
Many persons insist
upon a perfect moral code tempered by social amenities, forgetting
that these vary with climate, nationalities, and dates. Virtue
is a noble offering to the Lord. But insomuch as it is mere bodily
uprightness and mere mental uprightness, it is insufficient and
stands apart from uprightness of the psychic nature or the virtue
of soul. The virtue of the soul is true Being; its virtue is,
to be free. The body and the mind are not sharers in such experiences,
though they may afterward reflect them, and this reflection may
inform them with light and power of their own kind. Spirituality
is not virtue
Spirituality, is then, a condition of Being
which is beyond expression in language. Call it a rate of vibration,
far beyond our cognizance. Its language is the language of motion,
in its incipiency, and its perfection is beyond words and even
thought. "The knowledge of the Supreme Principle is a divine
silence, and the quiescence of all the senses." (Clavis
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 96)
Now then, you want more light, and this is what you must do.
You will have to "give up' something. To wit: have yourself
called half an earlier than is usual and devote it before breakfast
to silent meditation, in which brood upon all great and high
ideas. Half an hour! Surely that you can spare. And don't eat
first. If you can take another half an hour before you go to
bed, and without any preliminaries of undressing or making things
agreeable or more comfortable, meditate again.
(Wm. Q. Judge, Letters That Have Helped Me, p. 121)
By setting apart a particular time for meditation, a habit is
formed, and, as the time comes round, the mind will after a while
become trained, so that meditation at the particular time will
become natural. Hence, it will be well for you to keep to the
same hour as far as possible.
Additional Related References of Interest
1.) Wm. Q. Judge, Articles, "Culture of Concentration,"
pp. 320, 332
2.) Wm. Q. Judge, Articles, "Meditation, Concentration,
Will," pp. 316-318
3.) Wm. Q. Judge, Epitome of Theosophy, pp. 13-15
4.) Wm. Q. Judge, "Forum" Answers, pp. 83, 116-117
5.) Wm. Q. Judge, Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms