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Of course, in the deluded stage, the world appears as real and Brahmam as a meaningless concoction. In the stage of intelligent charity, the Jagath is grasped in its true sense as unreal. The Fairy of Delusion overpowers you by her charms and by her arrows of falsehood and gilt. It is only the person possessed of the vision of universal Brahmam that can soon escape her wiles. Such a person fully knows that names and forms arose a little time ago and disappear a little time after. In the Githa too it is said: "These, O Bharatha, appear in the middle one." (II, 28) The world is subject to evolution and involution. To understand this, one need not wait till the end of the world; it is enough if the angle of vision is corrected. That is the gateway to real knowledge. That is real control of Pranas, the consciousness that the world is Unreal, or Mithya.
The genuine master of Pranayama will picture the world like letters written in pencil many years ago, indistinct, hazy, misty. Knowing that Brahmam alone is all this he will never be drawn towards his environment however fascinating it may be. Earnings, wealth, property, everything is unreal, valueless, not worth while. This conviction is the best sign of Pranayama.
The tongue tastes, the eye sees, the ear hears, the skin feels and the nose smells, each sense acts thus throughout life, is it not? The senses have to be withdrawn from the external objective world and turned towards the internal Mental Consciousness or Intelligence known as Chitta. This process is called by Pathanjali in his Yoga Suthras as Prathyaharam. However, I shall define it in another manner also.
The inward activity of the Chitta, that is to say, the perpetual in-sight of the Chitta, the fundamental directive force of all the senses, that is the real meaning of Prathyaharam. It is only when the Chitta, or the Mind stuff realises that this is all Maya-born and Maya-maintained that it will draw back its feelers from the sensory world, and give up its worldly selfish attitude. The general nature of the Chitta is to waver and hesitate and flutter in its search for happiness and peace. When it knows that the things it ran after are transitory and meaningless, it grows suddenly ashamed and disillusioned. Then, it begins to illumine the consciousness and to clarify it.