Self-revelation of the Deity to the devotee. It is an unveiling of his presence temporary or permanent, and may come as a vision or may come as a close feeling of his presence which is more intimate than sight and a frequent or constant communication with him; that happens by the deepening of the being into its inner self and growth of consciousness or by growth of the intensity of bhakti. When the crust of external consciousness is sufficiently broken by the pressure of increasing and engrossing bhakti, the contact comes. 
Day and Night
The up and down movement is common to all ways of yoga. It is there in the path of Bhakti, but there are equally alternations of states of light and states of darkness, sometimes sheer and prolonged darkness, when one follows the path of Knowledge. Those who have occult experience come to periods when all experiences cease and even seem finished for ever. These alternations are the result of the nature of human consciousness. One has to be prepared for them and pass through. They are the’ day and night’ of the Vedic mystics. 
Death has no separate existence by itself, it is only a result of the principle of decay in the body and that principle is there already- it is part of the physical nature. At the same time it is not inevitable; if one could have the necessary consciousness and force, decay and death is not inevitable. But to bring that consciousness and force into the whole of the material nature is the most difficult thing of all- at any rate, in such a way as to annul the decay principle. 
Death is there because the being in the body is not yet developed enough to go on growing in the same body without the need of change and the body itself is not sufficiently conscious. If the mind and vital and the body itself were more conscious and plastic, death would not be necessary. 
It comes from some disharmony in the being, from a lack of receptivity to the divine forces. When you cut yourself off from the energy and light that sustain you, then there is this depression. It is doubt, gloominess, lack of confidence, a selfish turning back upon yourself that cuts you off from the light and divine energy and gives the attack this advantage. 
The rule in yoga is not to let the depression depress you, to stand back from it, observe its cause and remove the cause; for the cause is always in oneself, perhaps a vital defect somewhere, a wrong movement indulged or a petty desire causing a recoil, sometimes by its satisfaction, sometimes by its disappointment. 
The descent is that of the powers of the higher consciousness which is above the head. It usually descends from centre to centre till it has occupied the whole being. The descent comes in order to transform the consciousness but the transformation takes time. It is not done all in a moment.
The Force descends for two things:
(1) To transform the nature.
(2) To carry on the work through the instrument. 
A deep, intense or massive substance of peace and stillness is very commonly the first of its powers that descends and many experience it in that way. At first it comes and stays only during meditation or, without the sense of physical inertness or immobility, a little while longer and afterwards is lost; but as the sadhana follows its normal course, it comes more and more, lasting longer and in the end as an enduring deep peace and inner stillness and release becomes a normal character of the consciousness, the foundation indeed of a new consciousness, calm and liberated. 
Desire is a psychological movement, and it can attach itself to a “true need” as well as to things that are not true needs. One must approach even true needs without desire. If one does not get them, one must feel nothing. 
The desires come from outside, enter the subconscious vital and rise to the surface. It is only when they rise to the surface and the mind becomes aware of them, that we become conscious of the desire. It seems to us to be our own because we feel it thus rising from the vital into the mind and do not know that it came from outside. 
Desire-soul,—that is the vital with its mixed aspirations, desires, hungers of all kinds good and bad, its emotions, finer and grosser, or sensational urges crossed by the mind’s idealisings and psychic stresses. 
The vital is the being behind the Force of Life; in its outer form in the ignorance it generates the desire-soul which governs most men and which they mistake often for the soul. The vital as the desire-soul and desire-nature controls the consciousness to a large extent in most men, because men are governed by desire.
Destiny in the rigid sense applies only to the outer being so long as it lives in the Ignorance. What we call destiny is only in fact the result of the present condition of the being and the nature and energies it has accumulated in the past acting on each other and determining the present attempts and their future results. But as soon as one enters the path of spiritual life, this old predetermined destiny begins to recede. There comes in a new factor, the Divine Grace, the help of a higher Divine Force other than the force of karma, which can lift the sadhaka beyond the present possibilities of his nature. One’s spiritual destiny is the divine election which ensures the future. 
Determinism and Freewill
In reality, the freedom and the determination are only two sides of the same thing—for the fundamental truth is self-determination, a self-determination of the cosmos and in it a secret self-determination of the individual. The difficulty arises from the fact that we live in the surface mind of ignorance, do not know what is going on behind and see only the phenomenal process of Nature. There the apparent fact is an overwhelming determinism of Nature and as our surface consciousness is part of that process we are unable to see the other term of the biune reality. For practical purposes, on the surface there is an entire determinism in Matter—though this is now disputed by the latest school of Science. As Life emerges a certain plasticity sets in, so that it is difficult to predict anything exactly as one predicts material things that obey a rigid law. The plasticity increases with the growth of Mind so that man can have at least a sense of free will, of a choice of his action, of a self-movement which at least helps to determine circumstances. But this freedom is dubious because it can be declared to be an illusion, a device of Nature, part of its machinery of determination, only a seeming freedom or at most a restricted, relative and subject independence. It is only when one goes behind away from Prakriti to Purusha and upward away from Mind to spiritual Self that the side of freedom comes to be first evident and then, by unison with the Will which is above Nature, complete. 
The Devi is the Divine Shakti—the Consciousness and Power of the Divine, the Mother and Energy of the worlds. All powers are hers. Sometimes Devi-power may mean the power of the universal World-Force; but this is only one side of the Shakti. 
The Devi envisages herself as the Ishwari though in conflict with her present world-form in order to purify & uplift it. 
Devotion: modest and fragrant, it gives itself without seeking for anything in return.
A devotion that keeps concentrated and silent in the depths of the heart but manifests in acts of service and obedience. 
Worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. 
Fixing of the mind for a moment on a single thought, feeling or object,—such as a single part of the body, the tip of the nose or the centre of the brows for preference. 
One carries it with oneself, for the difficulty is truly inside, not outside. Outside circumstances only give it the occasion to manifest itself and so long as the inner difficulty is not conquered, the circumstances will always crop up one way or another.
This yoga is a spiritual battle; its very attempt raises all sorts of adverse forces and one must be ready to face difficulties, sufferings, reverses of all sorts in a calm unflinching spirit. The difficulties that come are ordeals and tests and if one meets them in the right spirit, one comes out stronger and spiritually purer and greater. No misfortune can come, the adverse forces cannot touch or be victorious unless there is some defect in oneself, some impurity, weakness or, at the very least, ignorance. One should then seek out this weakness in oneself and correct it. When there is an attack from the human instruments of adverse forces, one should try to overcome it not in a spirit of personal hatred or anger or wounded egoism, but with a calm spirit of strength and equality and a call to the Divine Force to act. 
There are always two things that can rise up and assail the silence - vital suggestions, the physical mind’s mechanical recurrences. Calm rejection for both is the cure. There is a Purusha within who can dictate to the nature what it shall admit or exclude, but its will is a strong, quiet will; if one gels perturbed or agitated over the difficulties, then the will of the Purusha cannot act effectively as it would otherwise. 
The Divine is that from which all comes, in which all lives. In its supreme Truth, the Divine is absolute and infinite peace, consciousness, existence, power and Ananda. 
The Divine is everywhere on all the planes of consciousness seen by us in different ways and aspects of his being. But there is a Supreme which is above all these planes and ways and aspects and from which they come.
A divine life upon earth, the ideal we have placed before us, can only come about by a spiritual change of our being and a radical and fundamental change, an evolution or revolution of our nature. The embodied being upon earth would have to rise out of the domination over it of its veils of mind, life and body into the full consciousness and possession of its spiritual reality and its nature also would have to be lifted out of the consciousness and power of consciousness proper to a mental, vital and physical being into the greater consciousness and greater power of being and the larger and freer life of the spirit. 
The Divine‘s love is that which comes from above poured down from the Divine Oneness and its Ananda on the being—psychic love is a form taken by divine love in the human being according to the needs and possibilities of the human consciousness. There is the one divine Love secret in all things, but the manifestation [of it in matter and in forms of life] depends upon the state of consciousness and its organisation. 
The essentiality of the divine Will is that in it Consciousness and Energy, Knowledge and Force are one. It knows all manifestations, all things that take birth in the worlds. It is this divine Will that conducts the universe; it is one with all the things that it combines and its being, its knowledge, its action are inseparable from each other. 
It is a vision united with a power of realisation. Divine will is omniscient and omnipotent, it is irresistible and immediate in its execution. 
In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature. 
The divine working is not the working which the egoistic mind desires or approves; for it uses error in order to arrive at truth, suffering in order to arrive at bliss, imperfection in order to arrive at perfection. The ego cannot see where it is being led; it revolts against the leading, loses confidence, loses courage. These failings would not matter; for the divine Guide within is not offended by our revolt, not discouraged by our want of faith or repelled by our weakness; he has the entire love of the mother and the entire patience of the teacher. But by withdrawing our assent from the guidance we lose the consciousness, though not all the actuality—not, in any case, the eventuality—of its benefit. 
Divinisation itself does not mean the destruction of the human elements; it means taking them up, showing them the way to their own perfection, raising them by purification and perfection to their full power and Ananda. And that means the raising of the whole of earthly life to its full power and Ananda.
This divinisation of the nature of which we speak is a metamorphosis, not a mere growth into some kind of super-humanity, but a change from the falsehood of our ignorant nature into the truth of God-nature.
The finite is looked upon as a division of the Indivisible, but there is no such thing: for this division is only apparent; there is a demarcation, but no real separation is possible. When we see with the inner vision and sense and not with the physical eye a tree or other object, what we become aware of is an infinite one Reality constituting the tree or object, pervading its every atom and molecule, forming them out of itself, building the whole nature, process of becoming, operation of indwelling energy; all of these are itself, are this infinite, this Reality: we see it extending indivisibly and uniting all objects so that none is really separate from it or quite separate from other objects. 
The integral Yoga of knowledge has to recognise the double nature of this manifestation,—for there is the higher nature of Sachchidananda in which He is found and the lower nature of mind, life and body in which He is veiled,—and to reconcile and unite the two in the oneness of the illumined realisation. We have not to leave them separate so that we live a sort of double life, spiritual within or above, mental and material in our active and earthly living; we have to re-view and remould the lower living in the light, force and joy of the higher reality. 
A doubting spirit, “honest doubt” and the claim that the intellect shall be satisfied and be made the judge on every point is all very well in the field of mental action outside. But Yoga is not a mental field, the consciousness which has to be established is not a mental, logical or debating consciousness—it is even laid down by Yoga that unless and until the mind is stilled, including the intellectual or logical mind, and opens itself in quietude or silence to a higher and deeper consciousness, vision and knowledge, sadhana cannot reach its goal. 
Sometimes they are the formations of your own mind or vital ; sometimes they are the formations of other minds with an exact or modified transcription in yours; sometimes formations come that are made by the non-human forces or beings of these other planes. These things are not true and need not become true in the physical world, but they may still have effects on the physical if they are framed with that purpose or that tendency and, if they are allowed, they may realise their events or their meaning- for they are most often symbolic or schematic - in the inner or the outer life. There are other dreams that have not the same character but are a representation or transcription of things that actually happen on other planes, in other worlds under other conditions than ours. There are, again, some dreams that are purely symbolic[p.1488] and some that indicate existing movements and propensities in us, whether familiar or undetected by the waking mind, or exploit old memories or else raise up things either passively stored or still active in the subconscient, a mass of various stuff which has to be changed or got rid of as one rises into a higher consciousness. If one learns how to interpret, one can get from dreams much knowledge of the secrets of our nature and of other-nature. 
There is a long stage of preparation necessary in order to arrive at the inner psychological condition in which the doors of experience can open and one can walk from vista to vista - though even then new gates may present themselves and refuse to open until all is ready. This period can be dry and desert-like unless one has the ardour of self-introspection and self-conquest and finds every step of the effort and struggle interesting or unless one has or gets the secret of trust and self-giving which sees the hand of the Divine in every step of the path and even in the difficulty the grace or the guidance. 
Such interval periods come to all and cannot be avoided. The main thing is to meet them with quietude and not become restless, depressed or despondent. A constant fire can be there only when a certain stage has been reached, that is when one is always inside consciously living in the psychic being, but for that all this preparation of the mind, vital, physical is necessary. For this fire belongs to the psychic and one cannot command it always merely by the mind’s effort. The psychic has to be fully liberated and that is what the Force is working to make fully possible.
There is a perpetual duality in human nature from which nobody escapes, so universal that many systems recognise it as a standing feature to be taken account of in their discipline, two Personae, one bright, one dark in every human being. If that were not there, yoga would be an easy walk-over and there would be no struggle. 
Dwaita or Dualistic Vedanta affirms that the finite selves and the Infinite are for ever different and the whole riddle of the world lies in their difference and in their attraction to each other. 
Durga is the Mother‘s power of Protection. The lion with Durga on it is the symbol of the Divine Consciousness acting through a divinised physical-vital and vital-material force. 
We must remember that duty is an idea which in practice rests upon social conceptions. Duty is a relative term and depends upon our relation to others. It is a father’s duty, as a father, to nurture and educate his children; a lawyer’s to do his best for his client even if he knows him to be guilty and his defence to be a lie; a soldier’s to fight and shoot to order even if he kill his own kin and countrymen; a judge’s to send the guilty to prison and hang the murderer. And so long as these positions are accepted, the duty remains clear, a practical matter of course even when it is not a point of honour or affection, and overrides the absolute religious or moral law. 
It is the realisation which is expressed in action. There is a realisation in inaction like that of those who enter into contemplations from which they don’t come out, and who don’t move; and then there is a dynamic realisation which transforms all your action, all your movements, all your way of being, your character. In the first case one‘s outer being remains the same, nothing changes, and usually it destroys all possibility of action, one can no longer do anything, one remains seated. In the second case, it changes everything, your character, your way of being, your way of acting, all your actions and even your surroundings, and finally all your existence, your total being: this is dynamic realisation, with the transformation of the body as its culmination.
Dynamism is everywhere, because the Force (Shakti) is everywhere. The perfect dynamism is there in the supermind; no other can be unfailing.
How the body receives the higher dynamism depends on the condition of the body or rather of the physical and most material consciousness. In one condition it is tamasic, inert, unopen and cannot bear or cannot receive or cannot contain the force; in another, rajas predominates and tries to seize on the dynamism, but wastes and spills and loses it; in another, there is receptivity, harmony, balance and the result is a harmonious action without strain or effort.