Take the example of your hand holding a match. Throw the match into the water, to get "knowledge" of what it is; and it will go on, driven here and there by unknown and unseen forces . . . that is, by sanskaras unwittingly created by itself. It goes on acquiring various, innumerable experiences through different forms and lives, from the stone state (No. 7) to the human state (No. 3) by its natural sanskaras; and from the human state to the Sadguru state (No. 1) through un-natural sanskaras, where it will realize a knowledge of Self.
Leaving the above illustration, we shall now deal with the same facts, but in technical terms (as shown in the figure above).
Through a desire to know Self, the progress of the first-created Chaitanya commences, first in the Atam or stone state (No. 7) where it is almost unconscious. Then, advancing further, it gradually acquires the vegetable state (No. 6), where it is less sub-conscious; then proceeds gradually to the animal state (No. 5), where it is less sub-conscious, then to the monkey state (No. 4) where it is less and less sub-conscious, and finally proceeds to and acquires the human state (No. 3) where it is conscious (but of what, we shall see later).
All this progress from the stone state to the human state is automatic and through its natural sanskaras, i.e., sanskaras created by itself.
Here, in the human form, its sanskaras are reversed, that is, unnatural. For here the huge refuse-pile of all the past sanskaras, from the stone state to the human state, accumulates and blocks the way for further advancement. Only if this refuse of sanskaras desires is cleared, will the way be open.
To remove these sanskaras, the different yogas are performed, viz.: Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Dnyan Yoga and Karma Yoga. By the aid of some sort of yoga practices, sanskaric refuse is cleared, and gradually the "Yoga State" (No. 2) is attained, beyond the ordinary human state. Having acquired some powers in their yoga samadhis, these yogis are enabled to proceed gradually through the planes from the first to the fourth.
But in the fourth plane there is a great check or stop. For, just as a man is dazzled if he sees a vast collection of diamonds and pearls, the aspirant who has reached this fourth plane is wonder-struck by the beauty and charm ("Lila", manifestation or play) he sees there. In his amazement he mistakes the unexpectedly great Anand (bliss) he experiences here to be the real and eternal Bliss. He forgets his original aim to go on and reach the seventh plane. He takes this midpoint of the fourth plane to be the goal and stops there, enjoying that Anand (bliss) which he never till now experienced.
In other words, in this yogi state on the fourth plane, attainment of great powers, ("diamonds and rubies"), although giving great bliss, proves really to be a great "shock” which prevents him from proceeding further. If, fortunately, he realizes he is only on the fourth plane and he tries to go further, well and good, for he then has a chance to attain the "I am God" state, or Real Experience. But the greatest and the most dangerous check or stop is here on the fourth plane as we shall see.
Here the mind of the aspirant may be stupefied by the tremendous "powers", like a great collection of diamonds and pearls, which he has accumulated, and it makes him forget his original aim:—to advance to the seventh plane. He is in such a stupefied state that the Chaitanya or desire to make use of these powers and perform miracles pushes him from behind. This creates the clash between the acquired powers and the desire to make use of them, which gives a shock to the already stupefied mind. It is wonderstruck and stops there. Therefore the fourth plane is called the "place of wonder" or stupefaction (Mukam-a-Hairat).
If, in spite of all this, the yogi keeps his mind steady and is quiet, well and good. Otherwise, if he tries to use (really misuse) his powers, he renders himself liable to the