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Mind and Meditation

Mind and Meditation

Do not try to drive away the unimportant and irrelevant thoughts. The more you try, the more will they return, the more strength will they gain. You will only tax your energy and will.

Become indifferent. Fill the mind with Divine thoughts. The others will gradually vanish. Get yourself established in Nirvikalpa Samadhi through constant meditation.

Three Doshas Of The Mind

There are three Doshas or defects in the mind viz., Malam, Vikshepa and Avarana. The impurities of the mind such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya are termed Malams.

This is removed by the practice of Yama, Niyama and Nishkama Karma Yoga. Vikshepa is tossing of the mind.

It is removed by Upasana, Trataka, Yoga and Pranayama. Avarana is the veil of ignorance. This is removed by the study of Vedantic literature, meditation and Jnana.

Mind: Its Mysteries And Control

Mind is Atma Sakti. It is an illusory power of God or Brahman. The seat of the mind is heart.

It is formed out of the subtlest essence of food. A Vritti is a wave that arises in the mind-lake. There are three Gunas in the mind, viz., Sattva (purity), Rajas (passion) and Tamas (inertia, darkness). Control the Vrittis. Increase your Sattva.

If you entertain thoughts of hatred you are really a murderer of that man against whom you foster such thoughts. You are committing suicide, because those thoughts rebound upon only you. Hatred ceases only by love and not by hatred.

Your thoughts, sentiments, moods and emotions produce their strong impressions on the face. The face is like an advertisement board wherein is what is going in the mind is specified.

As the first thought is the thought “I” and as this thought “I” is at the base of all other thoughts. Ahamkara is the seed for the mind. Buddhi (Bheda Buddhi) is the cause for this differentiation (this little “I”, the self-arrogating false personality), and is again the cause of Ahamkara.

Destroy this false egoism and the Bheda Buddhi by Brahma Bhava, Vichara and rest in your own natural Satchidananda Svarupa.

Trataka

Trataka is one of the Shat Karmas in the light of Hatha Yoga philosophy. Trataka also plays a very prominent part in Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga.

Trataka is focussing of one’s own energy towards an object or thing or an idea and observing every detail and dissecting, analysing, consciously and subconsciously drawing to itself every possible bit of information regarding it both within and without. Trataka lies at the base of will-power.

This is a preliminary Sadhana for a Yogic student. A Jnani concentrates his attention on an abstract thought—“Aham Brahma Asmi.

I am all purity. I am all power,” etc. It is really an up-hill work or a tremendous task for people of average intelligence to concentrate on an abstract thought.

To begin with, you will have to concentrate on concrete object.

Keep the picture of your Ishta Devata in front of you. I shall tell you now how to do Trataka on Lord Vishnu.

“Dhyeya sada savitri mandala madhyavarti, Narayana sarasijasana sannivishta;

Keyuravan, Makara kundalavan, kirti harih hiranmaya vapuh; Dhrita sankha chakra gada pane dvarakanilayachyuta.”

Fix the mind first on the feet of Lord Vishnu, then on lotus under the legs. Take it round the yellow silken cloth the Pitambara, then to the golden Hara, the gem on the breast, then ear-ring, then the face, then the crown on the head, then the bracelets on the arm, then the disc in the right upper hand, then the conch in the left upper hand, then the Gada or mace in the left lower hand.

This is the order. Then come down to the feet and start again to the upper parts. Do like this again and again. Whenever the mind runs away, fix it again and again, just as Lord Krishna says in the Gita VI-25:

“Yato yato nischarati manaschanchalamasthiram

Tatastato niyamyaitadatmanyeva vasam nayet.”

The conch representsOMor Sabdha Brahman. The disk is the destroyer of the evil Vrittis or Vasanas, the mace represents the emblem of sovereignty, the lotus at the feet represents the world or universe.

At the outset, you can do Trataka, after taking Asana, on a fine black point on the wall in front for 10 minutes.

Slowly increase the time. Have a steady uninterrupted gaze on the dot without closing the eyes. You can also do Trataka after closing the two ears with your two thumbs, on the Anahat sound that rises from the Akasa of the heart.

This will lead to actual Laya, in the long run. Then you can do Trataka on Lord Vishnu, Siva, Krishna or any other Murthy. Trataka practice gives tremendous power and removes a host of opthalmic ailments (eye troubles) and bestows Divya Drishti.

Practice Of Concentration

Fix the mind on some object either inside or outside the body. Keep it steady there for some time.

This is concentration. You will have to practise this daily. Purify the mind first through the practice of right conduct and then take to the practice of concentration. Concentration without purity is of no use.

There are some occultists who have concentration; but they have no good character. This is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual path.

He who has a steady posture and has purified the nerves and the vital sheath by the constant practice of control of breath will be able to concentrate easily.

Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A celibate who has preserved his energy will have wonderful concentration.

Some foolish, impatient students take to concentration at once without any preliminary ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of paramount importance.

You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven centres of spiritual energy. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration.

He who has developed his powers of attention will have good concentration. A man who is full of passion and all sorts of desires, can never concentrate on any object even for a short period. His mind will be restless like that of a monkey.

A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many things. Through concentration he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into the higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge.

He concentrates the energies of his mind and focuses them on the materials he is analysing and finds out their secrets.

He who has gained abstraction (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have good concentration.

You will have to pass on the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. To start with, lay the foundation of right conduct, postures, regulation of breath, and abstraction.

The superstructure of concentration and meditation will be successful only then.

You should be able to visualise the object of concentration very clearly even though it is not there.

You must form the mental picture at a moment’s notice. If you have good concentration you can do this without much difficulty.

At the initial stage of practice you can concentrate on the tick-tick sound of a watch, the flame of a candle or any other object which is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration.

There is no concentration without something at which the mind may rest. The mind can easily be fixed on any object which is pleasing. It is very difficult to fix the mind in the beginning on an object which it dislikes.

Sit on lotus-pose, Padmasana, with crossed legs. Fix the gaze on the tip of the nose.

This is called nasal gaze. Do not make any strained effort. Gently look at the tip of the nose. Practise for one minute in the beginning. Gradually increase to 30 minutes or one hour.

This practice steadies the mind. It develops the power of concentration. Even when you walk in the streets keep up this practice.

Sit on lotus-pose with crossed legs or in “perfected pose” (Siddhasana) in your meditation room and practise fixing the mind at the junction of the eyebrows gently for half a minute.

Then gradually increase the period to half an hour. There must not be the least strain in this practice.

This practice removes the restlessness of mind and develops concentration. This is known as the frontal gaze because the eyes are directed towards the frontal bone of the forehead. You can select either the nasal gaze or the frontal gaze according to your temperament and capacity.

If you want to increase your power of concentration you will have to reduce your worldly activities.

You will have to observe the vow of silence every day for two hours or more.

Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object bring it back again.

When concentration is deep and intense, the senses cannot operate. He who practises perfect concentration for three hours daily will have tremendous psychic powers. He will have a strong will-power.

There was a workman who used to manufacture arrows. Once he was very busy at his work.

He was so much absorbed in his work that he could not notice even the big party of a King and his retinue passing in front of his shop. Such must be the nature of your concentration when you fix your mind on God.

You must have the idea of God and God alone. No doubt, it takes some time to have complete concentration or attain one-pointedness of mind. You will have to struggle very hard to have a single-minded concentration.

Even if the mind runs outside during your practice in meditation do not bother. Allow it to run. Slowly try to bring it to your object of concentration. By repeated practice the mind will be finally focussed on your heart, on the Self, the Indweller of your heart—-the final goal of life.

In the beginning the mind may run out 80 times. After six months it may run 70 times; within a year it may run 50 times; within two years it may run 30 times; in five years it may be completely fixed in the Divine Consciousness.

Then it will not run out at all even if you try your best to bring it out. It will be like a wandering bull which used to run to the gardens of neighbours for grazing but which now eats fresh grain and extract of cotton seeds in its own resting place.

Meditation

Meditation is an unbroken uninterrupted or incessant flow of the idea of the object that is concentrated upon.

If you close your eyes when you do Trataka and mentally visualise the picture of the object of Trataka, it is concrete meditation or Saguna meditation. Concrete meditation on an object is necessary for an untrained mind, in the beginning.

If you meditate on an abstract idea, it will constitute Nirguna meditation. For beginners whose minds are engrossed in and filled with passions and impurities, meditation on a form is absolutely necessary.

A Murty or any concrete form such as a Pratima is indispensable during meditation or Japa. Without undergoing a course of concrete meditation in the beginning, especially for the ordinary type of people, it is absolutely impossible to start Nirguna meditation at the very outset.

The vast majority of aspirants commit a serious mistake in jumping to Nirguna meditation all at once. They will only break their legs. The mind is so framed as it demands a form to cling to.

Meditation on a Murty, i.e., a stone-image remains the stone as it is, but the devotion of the devotee goes to the Lord. He is pleased. Divine Grace will surely descend. You will have to superimpose the attributes of God on the stone-image.

You will have to imagine that there is the Antaratman hidden in the image, the all-pervading, indwelling presence, the pure consciousness, the Chaitanya at the back of it.

A child makes a toy-child (doll) of rags, and plays with it with motherly instincts of nursing and protection.

The doll remains the same but the child develops the motherly instincts for future development and manifestation. Even so, a Bhakta in worshipping a Murty, develops devotion, Bhakti. Anugraha, Preeti, Viraha and Mahabhava and eventually Parabhakti. An aspirant can meditate on the physical form of his Guru.

Sit on Padmasana or Siddhasana in a solitary room. Close the eyes. Concentrate on the picture of Lord Vishnu in the heart.

Imagine that Lord Vishnu is seated there with His four hands in the centre of a blazing sun of light, with conch, disc, mace and lotus. Mentally visualise the picture, from head to foot as you have done in Trataka.

Do mental Puja also. Offer flowers, Arghya, Sandal paste, incense; burn camphor, etc., mentally. Similarly you can meditate on Lord Siva, Krishna, Devi.

Instead of concentrating at the heart, you can concentrate at the space between the two eyebrows (Trikuti). Practise this Saguna meditation for two years and then take to Nirguna meditation.

You can do meditation while sitting or standing or walking. For beginners a sitting posture is necessary. Repeat your Guru Mantra or the Mantra of the Ishta Devata mentally. Associate the ideas of purity, infinity, eternity, immortality, Vyapaka, Paripurna, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Akhanda, Advaita, Chidakasa, etc., with Om repetition.

Samadhi

Samadhi is deep sleep with the full knowledge of the Self. You get this sleepless sleep when you have burnt the five Jnana Indriyas in the fire of Wisdom, when you have extricated yourself from the clutches of Avidya, Maya or ignorance and when you have controlled all desires.

Tadevartha matranirbhasamSvarupa Soonyameva Samadhi

—Patanjali Yoga Sutra.

Samadhi Samathovastha Jeevatma Paramatmano

—Dattatreya Samhita.

This is not a state of nothingness but a state of “everythingness.” You enter into a state of Absolute Awareness, in which time and place disappear; every place is here; every period of time is ‘now’; and everything is “I”. In this state you have obtained Bliss and Eternal Life.

During cosmic consciousness, you are in touch with universal knowledge and life.

The Divine principle flows through you. Your little, individual personality is lost.

Your individual will has become merged in the cosmic will or Ishvara’s will. You are aware of the oneness of life. You have the one consciousness—CHINMAYA—that the universe is filled with one life, that the universe is full of life.

You have Tattva Jnana and you see the real universe, which is the essence or background of the universe of Matter, Energy and Mind.

You are in a state of Bliss and Ecstasy beyond understanding and description. This is a cognitive trace or Turiya Avastha where Triputi (knowledge, knowable and knower) exists.

Philosophy Of Sleep

Study the condition of Sushupti Avastha or Jada Nidra, the state of deep sleep. There is neither the play of the mind nor the play of the Indriyas. There are no objects.

There is neither attraction nor repulsion (Raga, Dvesha). Wherefrom do you derive the Ananda in sleep? The experience in sleep is universal.

There is no difference of opinion here. Everyone says: “I slept soundly. I knew nothing.

I was very happy in sleep.” During deep sleep you rest in Sat-Chit-Ananda Atman and enjoy the Atmic bliss which is independent of object. The difference between deep sleep and Samadhi is that in deep sleep there is the veil of ignorance and in Samadhi this veil is removed.

You draw four conclusions from sleep: (1) You exist. There is feeling of continuity of consciousness. (2) There is Advaita. (3) You are Ananda Svarupa. (4) The world is Mithya. Names and forms are illusory. The world is a mere play of the mind. It is only a phenomenal appearance.

When there is mind, there is world. If you can produce Manonasa (destruction of the mind) consciously through Yoga Sadhana, the world will disappear. You will feel the Atman everywhere.

Even in the day time, you become one with the Atman whenever a desire is gratified. When you enjoy an object you become mindless (Amana) for a short time. You rest in your own Atman and enjoy the Atmic Bliss (spiritual Ananda). Ignorant persons attribute the happiness to the objects.

Just as the dog which sucks a dry bone, foolishly imagines that blood comes from the dry bone, whereas in reality the blood oozes out of its own palate, so also foolish persons imagine that the happiness comes from external objects, while they actually derive the happiness from their own Atman within. They are deluded owing to the force.

http://www.SivanandaDlshq.org/

THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. SHIVANANDANAGAR—249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
Himalayas, India.

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