Caste. Caste in its original conception was not a hereditary status, but a classification based on man’s natural capacities. In his evolution, man passes through four distinct grades, designated by ancient Hindu sages as Sudra, Vaisya, Kshatriya, and Brahmin. The Sudra is interested primarily in satisfying his bodily needs and desires. The Vaisya is ambitious for worldly gain as well as for satisfaction of the senses; he has more creative ability than the Sudra and seeks occupation wherever his mental energy finds fulfilment. The Kshatriya, having through many lives fulfilled the desires of the Sudra and Vaisya states, begins to seek the meaning of life; he tries to overcome his bad habits, to control his senses, and to do what is right. Kshatriyas by occupation are noble rulers, statesmen, warriors. The Brahmin has overcome his lower nature, has a natural affinity for spiritual pursuits, and is God-knowing, able therefore to teach and help liberate others.
Causal body. Essentially, man as a soul is a causal-bodied being. His causal body is an idea-matrix for the astral and physical bodies. The causal body is composed of thirty-five idea elements corresponding to the nineteen elements of the astral body (q.v.) plus the sixteen basic material elements of the physical body.
Causal world. Behind the physical world of matter (atoms, protons, electrons), and the subtle astral world of luminous life energy (lifetrons), is the causal, or ideational, world of thought (thoughtrons). After man evolves sufficiently to transcend the physical and astral universes, he resides in the causal universe. In the consciousness of causal beings, the physical and astral universes are resolved to their thought essence. Whatever physical man can do in imagination, causal man can do in actuality — the only limitation being thought itself. Ultimately, man sheds the last soul covering — his causal body — to unite with omnipresent Spirit, beyond all vibratory realms.
Chakras. In Yoga, the seven occult centres of life and consciousness in the spine and brain, which enliven the physical and astral bodies of man. These centres are referred to as chakras (“wheels”) because the concentrated energy in each one is like a hub from which radiate rays of life-giving light and energy. In ascending order, these chakras are muladhara (the coccygeal, at the base of the spine); svadhisthana (the sacral, two inches above muladhara); manipura (the lumbar, opposite the navel); anahata (the dorsal, opposite the heart); vishuddha (the cervical, at the base of the neck); ajna (traditionally located between the eyebrows; in actuality, directly connected by polarity with the medulla; see also medulla and spiritual eye ); and sahasrara (in the uppermost part of the cerebrum).
The seven centres are divinely planned exits or “trapdoors” through which the soul has descended into the body and through which it must reascend by a process of meditation. By seven successive steps, the soul escapes into Cosmic Consciousness. In its conscious upward passage through the seven opened or “awakened” cerebrospinal centres, the soul travels the highway to the Infinite, the true path by which the soul must retrace its course to reunite with God.
Yoga treatises generally consider only the six lower centres as chakras, with sahasrara referred to separately as a seventh centre. All seven centres, however, are often referred to as lotuses, whose petals open, or turn upward, in spiritual awakening as the life and consciousness travel up the spine.
Chitta. Intuitive feeling; the aggregate of consciousness, inherent in which is ahamkara (egoity), buddhi (intelligence), and manas (mind or sense consciousness).
Christ. The honorific title of Jesus: Jesus the Christ. This term also denotes God’s universal intelligence immanent in creation (sometimes referred to as the Cosmic Christ or the Infinite Christ), or is used in reference to great masters who have attained oneness with that Divine Consciousness. (The Greek word Christos means “anointed,” as does the Hebrew word Messiah.) See also Christ Consciousness and Kutastha Chaitanya.
Christ centre. The Kutastha or ajna chakra at the point between the eyebrows, directly connected by polarity with the medulla (q.v.); centre of will and concentration, and of Christ Consciousness (q.v.); seat of the spiritual eye (q.v.).
Christ Consciousness. The projected consciousness of God immanent in all creation. In Christian scripture, the “only begotten son,” the only pure reflection in creation of God the Father; in Hindu scripture, Kutastha Chaitanya or Tat, the universal consciousness, or cosmic intelligence, of Spirit everywhere present in creation. (The terms “Christ Consciousness” and “Christ Intelligence” are synonymous, as also “Cosmic Christ” and “Infinite Christ.”) It is the universal consciousness, oneness with God, manifested by Jesus, Krishna, and other avatars. Great saints and yogis know it as the state of Samadhi meditation wherein their consciousness has become identified with the divine intelligence in every particle of creation; they feel the entire universe as their own body. See Trinity.
Concentration Technique. The Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship Technique of Concentration (the Hong-Sau Technique) taught in the Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons. This technique helps scientifically to withdraw the attention from all objects of distraction and to place it upon one thing at a time. Thus it is invaluable for meditation, concentration on God. The Hong-Sau Technique is an integral part of the science of Kriya Yoga (q.v.).
Consciousness, states of. In mortal consciousness man experiences three states: waking consciousness, sleeping consciousness, and dreaming consciousness. But he does not experience his soul, superconsciousness, and he does not experience God. The Christ-man does. As mortal man is conscious throughout his body, so the Christ-man is conscious throughout the universe, which he feels as his body. Beyond the state of Christ consciousness is cosmic consciousness, the experience of oneness with God in His absolute consciousness beyond vibratory creation as well as with the Lord’s omnipresence manifesting in the phenomenal worlds.
Cosmic Consciousness. The Absolute; transcendental Spirit existing beyond creation; God the Father. Also the samadhi-meditation state of oneness with God both beyond and within vibratory creation. See Trinity.
Cosmic delusion. See maya.
Cosmic energy. See prana.
Cosmic Intelligent Vibration. See Aum.
Cosmic Sound. See Aum.
Darshan. “Holy sight,”as of one’s guru; i.e., the blessing bestowed by the sight of a God-realized being.
Dharma. Eternal principles of righteousness that uphold all creation; man’s inherent duty to live in harmony with these principles. See also Sanatana Dharma.
Diksha. Spiritual initiation; from the Sanskrit verb-root diksh, to dedicate oneself. See also disciple and Kriya Yoga.
Disciple. A spiritual aspirant who comes to a guru seeking introduction to God, and to this end establishes an eternal spiritual relationship with the guru. In Yogoda Satsanga Society of India/Self-Realization Fellowship, the guru-disciple relationship is established by diksha, initiation, in Kriya Yoga. See also Guru and Kriya Yoga.
Divine Mother. The aspect of God that is active in creation; the shakti, or power, of the Transcendent Creator. Other terms for this aspect of Divinity are Aum, Shakti, Holy Ghost, Cosmic Intelligent Vibration, Nature or Prakriti. Also, the personal aspect of God embodying the love and compassionate qualities of a mother.
The Hindu scriptures teach that God is both immanent and transcendent, personal and impersonal. He may be sought as the Absolute; as one of His manifest eternal qualities, such as love, wisdom, bliss, light; in the form of an ishta (deity); or as Father, Mother, or Friend.
Dhyana. See meditation.