Open main menu

Back to Glossary


The physical is the slave of certain forces which create a habit and drive it through the mechanical power of the habit. So long as the mind gives consent, you do not notice the slavery; but if the mind withdraws its consent, then you feel the servitude, you feel a force pushing you in spite of the mind’s will. It is very obstinate and repeats itself till the habit, the inner habit revealing itself in the outward act, is broken. It is like a machine which once set in motion repeats the same movement. A quiet persistent aspiration will bring ‘you to the point where the habit breaks and you are free. [1]


Hanuman stands for Bhakti.

Hanuman is a symbol of Shakti and devotion. [2]


When all is in agreement with one Truth or an expression of it, that is harmony. [3]

A cosmos or universe is always a harmony, otherwise it could not exist, it would fly to pieces. But it is a harmony in evolution in progress- that is, all is combined to strive towards a goal which is not yet reached, and the object of your yoga is to hasten the arrival to this goal. [4]

Hatha Yoga

The chief processes of Hatha Yoga are āsana and prāṇāyāma. By its numerous āsanas or fixed postures it first cures the body of that restlessness which is a sign of its inability to contain without working them off in action and movement the vital forces poured into it from the universal Life-Ocean, gives to it an extraordinary health, force and suppleness and seeks to liberate it from the habits by which it is subjected to ordinary physical Nature and kept within the narrow bounds of her normal operations. In the ancient tradition of Hatha Yoga it has always been supposed that this conquest could be pushed so far even as to conquer to a great extent the force of gravitation. By various subsidiary but elaborate processes the Hatha Yogin next contrives to keep the body free from all impurities and the nervous system unclogged for those exercises of respiration which are his most important instruments. These are called prāṇāyāma, the control of the breath or vital power; for breathing is the chief physical functioning of the vital forces. Prāṇāyāma, for the Hatha Yogin, serves a double purpose. First, it completes the perfection of the body. The vitality is liberated from many of the ordinary necessities of physical Nature; robust health, prolonged youth, often an extraordinary longevity are attained. On the other hand, prāṇāyāma awakens the coiled up serpent of the Pranic dynamism in the vital sheath and opens to the Yogin fields of consciousness, ranges of experience, abnormal faculties denied to the ordinary human life while it puissantly intensifies such normal powers and faculties as he already possesses. These advantages can be further secured and emphasised by other subsidiary processes open to the Hatha Yogin. [5]


The seat of two powers, in front the higher vital or emotional being, behind and concealed the soul or psychic being.[6]

The heart in this yoga should in fact be the main centre of concentration until the consciousness rises above. [7]

Heart Centre/Hṛtpadma

The heart centre— hṛtpadma or anāhata— governs the emotional being.[8]

The heart centre commands the psychic and vital—that opening enables the psychic influence to work in the vital and ends in the coming forward of the psychic being. [9]

If the heart centre is dominated by the physical mind to any extent it will necessarily be open to the outer attacks that affect the physical and nervous consciousness. The heart has to be in connection with the psychic and the higher consciousness.

The physical heart is in the left side, but the heart centre of yoga is in the middle of the chest—the cardiac centre. [10]

Hell and Heaven

Hell and heaven are often imaginary states of the soul, or rather of the vital being, which it constructs about it after its passing. What is meant by hell is a painful passage through some vital world or a dolorous lingering there, as for instance in many cases of suicide where one remains surrounded by the forces of suffering and turmoil created by this unnatural and violent exit. There are also, of course, real worlds of mind and vital worlds which are penetrated with joyful or dark experiences, and one may pass through these as the result of things formed in the nature which create the necessary affinities. But the idea of reward or retribution is a crude and vulgar conception and we can disregard it as a mere popular error. [11]

Helpful Forces

If there are always forces around which are concerned to depress and discourage, there are always forces above and around us which we can draw upon, - draw into our· selves to restore, to fill up again with strength and faith and joy and the power that perseveres and conquers. It is really a habit that one has to get of opening to these helpful forces and either passively receiving them or actively drawing upon them - for one can do either. It is easier if you have the conception of them above and around you and the faith and the will to receive them ; for that brings the experience and concrete sense of them and the capacity to receive at need or at will. It is a question of habituating your consciousness to get into touch and keep in touch with these helpful forces ; and for that you must accustom yourself to reject the impressions forced on you by the others, depression, self-distrust, repining and all similar disturbances. [12]


Heredity by itself means simply the constant transmission of physical form and biological characteristics from a previous life to its posterity... But then the things transmitted are not only physical and biological, but psychological or at least biopsychic characters, repetitions of customary nervous experience and mental tendency, powers. [13]

Heredity is only a material shadow of soul-reproduction, of the rebirth of Life and Mind into new forms. Ordinarily, as a constant factor or basis, there is the reproduction of that which was already evolved; for new characteristics to be propagated in the species they must have been accepted, received, sanctioned in the vital and mental worlds; then only can they be automatically self-reproduced from the material seed. [14]

Higher Vital

...the term 'higher vital' is confined to that larger movement of the conscious life-force which is concerned with creation, with power and force and conquest, with giving and self-giving and gathering from the world for further action and expenditure of power, throwing itself out in the wider movements of life, responsive to the greater objects of Nature. [15]

Holocaust of the Divine

The manifestation of the love of the Divine in the world was the great holocaust, the supreme self-giving. The Perfect Consciousness accepted to be merged and absorbed into the unconsciousness of matter, so that consciousness might be awakened in the depths of its obscurity and little by little a Divine Power might rise in it and make the whole of this manifested universe a highest expression of the Divine Consciousness and the Divine love. This was the supreme love, to accept the loss of the perfect condition of supreme divinity, its absolute consciousness, its infinite knowledge, to unite with unconsciousness, to dwell in the world with ignorance and darkness.[16]

Hostile Forces

The hostile forces are those which try to pervert everything and are in revolt against the Divine and opposed to the yoga. [17]

The hostile forces are anti-divine, not merely undivine; they make use of the lower nature, pervert it, fill it with distorted movements and by that means influence man and even try to enter and possess or at least entirely control him. [18]

The hostile forces have a certain self-chosen function: it is to test the condition of the individual, of the work, of the earth itself and their readiness for the spiritual descent and fulfilment. At every step of the journey, they are there attacking furiously, criticising, suggesting, imposing despondency or inciting to revolt, raising unbelief, amassing difficulties. This opposition has been permitted from of old not merely as a test or ordeal, but as a compulsion on us to seek a greater strength, a more perfect self-knowledge, an intenser purity and force of aspiration, a faith that nothing can crush, a more powerful descent of the Divine Grace.[19]

Human being

Man is precisely that term and symbol of a higher Existence descended into the material world in which it is possible for the lower to transfigure itself and put on the nature of the higher and the higher to reveal itself in the form of the lower. [20]

Man is God hiding himself from Nature so that he may possess her by struggle, insistence, violence and surprise. God is universal and transcendent Man hiding himself from his own individuality in the human being.[21]