"Tatpratishedhartham-ekatattvabhyasah - To remove this (tossing and various other obstacles which stand in the way of one-pointedness of mind), the practice of concentration on one thing alone (should be made)."
(Patanjali Yoga Sutras, I-32)
Concentration, The Key To Peace
Worldly pleasures intensify the desire for enjoying greater pleasures. Hence, the mind of worldlings is very restless. There is no satisfaction and mental peace. Mind can never be satisfied, whatever amount of pleasure you may store up for it. The more it enjoys the pleasures, the more it wants them. So, people are exceedingly troubled and bothered by their own minds. They are tired of their minds. Hence, in order to remove these botherations and troubles, the Rishis thought it best to deprive the mind of all sensual pleasures. When the mind has been concentrated or made extinct, it cannot pinch one to seek for further pleasure and all botherations and troubles are removed for ever and the person attains real peace.
There is an externalising or objectifying power in the mind. This leads to Bahirmukha Vritti. The mind is drawn towards various objects. There is dissipation of mental energy, the powers of the mind, in various directions. The rays of the mind are like the rays of light, scattered in the case of worldly-minded persons. When the rays of the mind are scattered over diverse objects, you get pain. When the rays are gathered and concentrated by practice, the mind becomes concentrated and you get Ananda (happiness) from within.
When you see your dear friend after six years, the Ananda that you get is not from the person, but from within yourself. The mind becomes concentrated for the time being and you get happiness from within your own self.
When you are in Kashmir, when you are enjoying the picturesque scenery of Muttan, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Chashmashahi and Anantanag, your mind will be suddenly upset by shock, if you receive a telegram which brings the unhappy tidings of the untimely demise of your only son. The scenery will no longer interest you. They have lost their charm for you. There is ejection of attention. There is depression. It is concentration and attention that gives you pleasure in sightseeing.
For purposes of concentration, you will have to gather the scattered rays of the mind patiently through Vairagya and Abhyasa, through Tyaga (renunciation) and Tapas and then march boldly with indefatigable energy towards God or Brahman. Through constant Sadhana (spiritual practice), the mind must be checked from externalising. It must be made to move towards Brahman, its original home. When the mental rays are concentrated, illumination begins.
Illustrations Of The Nature Of Mind
Mind is compared to quicksilver, because its rays are scattered over various objects. It is compared to a monkey, because it jumps from one object to another object. It is compared to moving air, because it is Chanchala. It is compared to a furious, rutting elephant, because of its passionate impetuosity. Mind is known by the name 'Great Bird,' because it jumps from one object to another object just as a bird jumps from one twig to another, from one tree to another. Raja Yoga teaches us how to concentrate the mind and then how to ransack the innermost recesses of our own mind.
Different Degrees Of Concentration
Kshipta, Mudha, Vikshipta, Ekagra and Niruddha are the five Yogic Bhumikas. The Chitta or mind manifests itself in five different forms. In the Kshipta state, the rays of the mind are scattered on various objects. It is restless and jumps from one object to another. In the Mudha state, the mind is dull and forgetful. Vikshipta is the gathering mind. It is occasionally steady and, at other times, distracted. By practice of concentration, the mind struggles to gather itself. In the Ekagra state, it is one-pointed. There is only one idea present in the mind. The mind is under perfect control in the Niruddha state. Dharana is practised for stopping the modifications of the mind.
The Power Of Concentration
By manipulating the mind, you will be able to bring it under your control, make it work as you like and compel it to concentrate its powers as you desire. He who has learnt to manipulate the mind will get the whole of Nature under his control. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point.
A scientist concentrates his mind and invents many things. Through concentration, he opens the layers of the gross mind and penetrates deeply into higher regions of the mind and gets deeper knowledge. He concentrates all the energies of his mind into one focus and throws them out upon the materials he is analysing and so finds out their secrets.
Concentration, Man's Foremost Duty
Sri Sankara writes in the commentary on Chhandogya Upanishad (VII-xx-1) that a man's duty consists in the control of the senses and concentration of mind. So long as the thoughts of one are not thoroughly destroyed through persistent practice, he should ever be concentrating his mind on one truth at a time. Through such unremitting practice, one-pointedness will accrue to the mind and instantly, all the hosts of thoughts will vanish. Concentration is opposed to sensuous desires, bliss to flurry and worry, sustained thinking to perplexity, applied thinking to sloth to torpor, rapture to ill-will.
You are born to concentrate the mind on God after collecting the mental rays that are dissipated on various objects. That is your important duty. You forget the duty on account of Moha for family, children, money, power, position, respect, name and fame.
Concentration of the mind on God after purification can give you real happiness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. You are carried away to external objects through Raga and Moha (attachment and infatuated love).
Fix the mind on Atman. Fix the mind on the all-pervading, pure Intelligence and self-luminous effulgence (Svayamjyotis). Stand firm in Brahman. Then will you become 'Brahma-samstha,' established in Brahman.
How To Concentrate
Practise concentration of mind. In trying to concentrate your mind or even project a thought, you will find that you require naturally to form images in your mind. You cannot help it. Fix the mind on one object, on one idea. Withdraw the mind, again and again, when it runs away from the Lakshya and fix it there. Do not allow the mind to create hundreds of thought-forms. Introspect and watch the mind carefully. Live alone. Avoid company. Do not mix. This is important. Do not allow the mind to dissipate its energy in vain on vain thoughts, vain worry, vain imagination and vain fear and forebodings. Make it hold on to one thought-form for half an hour by incessant practice. Make the mind to shape itself into one shape and try to keep the shape for hours together through constant and incessant practice.
What Is Concentration?
"Desabandhas-chittasya dharana-Concentration is holding the mind to one form or object steadily for a long time" (Yoga Sutras, III-1). "Dharana is fixing the mind on an external object or an internal Chakra or one abstract idea as Aham brahmasmi" (Yoga Sutras, III-1).
Concentration On The Internal Chakras
A Raja Yogi concentrates on the Trikuti (Ajna Chakra, the space between the two eyebrows) which is the seat of the mind in the waking state. You can easily control the mind if you can concentrate on this region. Meditation and concentration on the Ajna Chakra lead to control of mind very easily. Light is seen during concentration in this region very quickly, even in a day's practice, by some persons. He who wants to meditate on Virat and he who wants to help the world should select this region for his concentration.
A Bhakta or devotee should concentrate on the heart, the seat of emotion and feeling. He who concentrates on the heart gets great Ananda. He who wants to get Ananda should concentrate on the heart.
A Hatha Yogi fixes his mind on the Sushumna Nadi, the middle path in the spinal canal and on a specified centre, viz., the Muladhara or the Manipura or the Ajna Chakra. Some Yogis ignore the lower Chakras and fix their mind on the Ajna Chakra only. Their theory is that by controlling the Ajna Chakra, all the lower Chakras can be automatically controlled. When you concentrate on a Chakra, a thread-like connection is formed in the beginning between the mind and the Chakra (centre of spiritual energy). Then the Yogi ascends along the Sushumna from Chakra to Chakra. The ascent is made gradually by patient efforts. Even a mere shaking of the opening of Sushumna causes a great deal of Ananda (bliss). You become intoxicated. You will entirely forget the world. When the opening of Sushumna is shaken a bit, the Kula-Kundalini Sakti tries to enter Sushumna. Great Vairagya comes in. You will become fearless. You will behold various visions. You will witness the splendid "Antarjyotis." This is termed "Unmani Avastha." You will get different Siddhis, different types of Ananda and you will get different kinds of knowledge by controlling and operating on different Chakras. If you have conquered the Muladhara Chakra, you have conquered the earth-plane already. If you have conquered the Manipura Chakra, you have already conquered fire. Fire will not burn you. Panchadharana (five kinds of Dharana) will help you to conquer the five elements. Learn them under a Guru who is a developed Yogi.
A Note Of Caution
If you get headache or pain by concentrating on the Trikuti (the space between the two eyebrows) by turning the eyes upward, give up the practice at once. Concentrate on the heart. If you find it difficult to concentrate on your heart or the space between the two eyebrows (Trikuti) or top of the head, if you experience headache or pain in the skull, shift your centre of concentration to any object outside the body.
Concentration On External Objects
It is easy to concentrate the mind on external objects. The mind has a natural tendency to go outwards. You can concentrate on the blue sky, light of the sun, the all-pervading air or ether or sun, moon or stars.
Training In Concentration
Train the mind in a variety of ways in concentration in the beginning. Concentrate on the Anahata sounds of the heart by closing the ears. Concentrate on the breath with Soham repetition. Concentrate on any concrete image. Concentrate on the blue sky. Concentrate on the all-pervading light of the sun. Concentrate on the various Chakras of the body. Concentrate on the abstract ideas of Satyam (Truth), Jnanam (Wisdom), Anantam (Infinity), Ekam (One), Nityam (Eternal Essence), etc. Lastly, stick to one thing only.
Aids To Concentration
Though any subject has been established by means of arguments and valid authorities, still people's minds being entirely taken up with gross external objects, any clear conception of subtle ultimate truths is almost impossible without proper faith. When there is faith, the mind can be easily concentrated on the subject to be understood; and then the understanding quickly follows.
Control of Breath
Remove the Rajas and Tamas that envelop the Sattva of the mind by Pranayama, Japa, Vichara and Bhakti. Then the mind becomes fit for concentration. Pranayama or control of breath removes the veil of Rajas and Tamas that envelops Sattva. It purifies the nerves (Nadis). It makes the mind firm and steady and thereby renders it fit for concentration. The dross of the mind is cleansed by Pranayama, just as the dross of gold is got rid of by melting. A Hatha Yogi tries to concentrate his mind by having his breath controlled through Pranayama.
A Raja Yogi tries to concentrate his mind by "Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha" (restraining the various modifications of the Chitta), by not allowing the mind to assume various shapes of objects. He does not care for control of breath. But, his breath becomes necessarily controlled when his mind is concentrated. Hatha Yoga is a branch of Raja Yoga.
Avadhana or Attention
Attention (Avadhana) plays a very great part in concentration. It is the basis of will. When it is properly guided and directed towards the internal world for purposes of introspection (Antarmukha Vritti), it will analyse the mind and illumine very many astounding facts for you.
The force wherewith anything strikes the mind is generally in proportion to the degree of attention bestowed upon it. Moreover, the great art of memory is attention and inattentive people have bad memories. Power of attention becomes weakened in old age.
Attention is focussing of consciousness. It is one of the signs of trained will. It is found in men of strong mentality. It is a rare faculty. Brahmacharya wonderfully develops this power. A Yogi who possesses this faculty can even fix the mind on an unpleasant object for a very long time. Attention can be cultivated and developed by persistent practice. All the great men of the world who have achieved greatness have risen up through this faculty.
It is through the power of attention that mind carries out all its activities. Attention is the basis of will-force. Therefore cultivate the power of attention.
Attention may be either subjective or internal on an idea or objective or external on any object. Throw your entire attention into whatever you happen to be doing at the moment. It is easy to fasten the mind on an object which the mind likes best. Practise attention on unpleasant tasks, from which you have been shrinking before on account of their unpleasantness. Throw interest upon uninteresting objects and ideas. Hold them on before your mind. Interest will slowly manifest. Many mental weaknesses will vanish. The mind will become stronger and stronger.
An Illustration Of Single-Minded Concentration
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 did not notice even a big party of a Raja with 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 one idea of God and God alone. No doubt, it takes some time to have a complete Ekagrata of mind. You will have to struggle very hard to have a single-minded concentration. Sri Dattatreya made the above arrow-maker as one of his Gurus.
A Common Blunder
Some medical students leave the medical college soon after joining it as they find it disgusting to wash the pus in ulcers and dissect the dead bodies. They make a serious blunder. In the beginning, it is loathing. After studying Pathology, Medicine, Operative Surgery, Morbid Anatomy, Bacteriology, the course will be very interesting in the final year. Many spiritual aspirants leave off the practice of concentration of mind after some time as they find it difficult to practise. They also make a grave mistake like the medical students. In the beginning of practice, when you struggle to get over the body-consciousness, it will be disgusting and troublesome. It will be a physical wrestling. The emotions and Sankalpas will be abundant. In the third year of practice, the mind will be cool, pure and strong. You will derive immense joy. The sum total of pleasures of the whole world is nothing when compared to the Ananda derived from the meditation. Do not give up the practice at any cost. Plod on. Persevere. Have patience (Dhriti), Utsaha (cheerfulness) and Sahasa (tenacity, application). You will succeed eventually. Never despair. Find out by serious introspection the various impediments that act as stumbling blocks in your concentration and remove them with patience and efforts one by one. Do not allow new Sankalpas and new Vasanas to crop up. Nip them in the bud through Viveka, Vichara and Dhyana.
Know that you are progressing in Yoga and that the Sattva is increasing, when you are always cheerful, when the mind is even and concentrated.
"Achintaiva param dhyanam-To be thoughtless is the highest form of meditation." (Sri Sankaracharya)
"Dhyanam nirvishayam manah-When the mind becomes Nirvishaya (free from thinking of sense-objects and their enjoyments), it is meditation." (Patanjali Yoga Sutras)
What Is Meditation?
In Vedanta or the path of Jnana, the terms "Manana" (reflection) and "Nididhyasana" are very frequently used. Manana-Vritti-Tiraskara is driving away all the thoughts of worldly objects and Svajatiya-Vritti-Pravaha is increasing the thought-currents of God or Brahman like a steady stream. Nididhyasana is meditation of Atman. It is deep and intense contemplation. It is Anatma-Vritti-Vivadana-Rahita Atmakara-Vritti-Sthiti. The mind is perfectly established in the Absolute. No worldly thoughts will intrude now. The contemplation is like a steady flow of oil (Tailadharavat).
Indispensability Of Meditation For God-Realisation
Mind feels tired after hard and protracted work. It cannot therefore, be Atman. Atman is the store-house of all powers (Ananta-Sakti). Mind is only an instrument of Atman. It should be properly disciplined. Just as you develop the physical body through gymnastics and various kinds of physical exercises, you will have to train the mind through mental training, mental culture or mental drill. In meditation and concentration, you will have to train the mind in a variety of ways. Then only the gross mind will become subtle (Sukshma).
Put a piece of iron rod in the blazing furnace. It becomes red like fire. Remove it. It loses its red colour. If you want to keep it always red, you must always keep it in fire. Even so, if you want to keep the mind charged with the fire of Brahmic wisdom, you must keep it always in contact or touch with the Brahmic fire of knowledge through constant and intense meditation. You must keep up an unceasing flow of the Brahmic consciousness. Then you will have the Sahajavastha (natural state).
Leading a virtuous life is not by itself sufficient for God-realisation. Concentration of mind is absolutely necessary. A good, virtuous life only prepares the mind as a fit instrument for concentration and meditation. It is concentration and meditation that eventually lead to Self-realisation.
God has hidden Himself in this world (immanent) and is seated in the cavity of the lotus of your heart. He is an absentee landlord. You will have to seek Him through concentration and meditation with a pure mind. This is a real play of hide and seek.
All the visible things are Maya. Maya will vanish through Jnana or meditation on Atman. One should exert himself to get rid of Maya. Maya havocs through the mind. Destruction of the mind means the annihilation of Maya. Nididhyasana is the only way for conquering Maya. Lord Buddha, Raja Bhartrihari, Dattatreya, Akhow of Gujarat-all had conquered Maya and mind through deep meditation only. Enter the silence. Meditate. Meditate. Solitude and intense meditation are two important requisites for Self-realisation.
Make the mind blank. It is the only medium for these severe strokes of grief. It is difficult to suppress thought and, after it is once suppressed, a new succession of thoughts arises which overpowers the mind. Fix the mind on some tranquil object. You will succeed in checking the mind. Collect your thoughts in the Spirit (Atman), as a person cools himself by going into a pool of water in the hot season. Meditate continually on Hari, who is of an azure hue and who wears an invaluable necklace and is adorned with ornaments on His arms, in His ears and on His head.
Prerequisites For Meditation
For meditation, you want a properly trained instrument (mind). You must have a calm, clear, pure, subtle, sharp, steady and one-pointed Buddhi to understand the Brahma-Tattva or Brahma-Vastu. Then and then only is realisation possible. Brahman is pure and subtle and you need a pure and subtle mind to approach Brahman.
Only a trained mind which utterly controls the body can inquire and meditate endlessly so long as life remains, never for a moment losing sight of the object of its search and contemplation (the Brahman), never for a moment letting it to be obscured by any terrestrial temptation. All physical activities should be completely suspended, all attachments should be ruthlessly cut asunder completely for five or six years, if you want to practise Dhyana Yoga, if you want to realise God through concentration of mind. Newspaper-reading and correspondence with friends and relatives should be completely stopped, as they cause distraction of mind and strengthen the world-idea. Seclusion for a period of five or six years is indispensable.
For purposes of meditation, everything must be rendered Sattvic. The place of meditation must be Sattvic. The food must be Sattvic. The wearing apparel must be Sattvic. The company must be Sattvic. Talking must be Sattvic. The sound that you hear must be Sattvic. Thinking must be Sattvic. Study must be Sattvic. Everything must be Sattvic. Then only good progress in Sadhana is possible, particularly with the beginners (neophytes).
A solitary place with spiritual vibratory conditions, a cool, Sattvic place with temperate climate as at Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, Lakshmanjhula, Kankhal or Badrinarayan is indispensably requisite for concentration of mind and meditation, because the brain gets hot during meditation. The banks of the Ganga or Narmada, Himalayan scenery, lovely flower-gardens, sacred temples-these are the places which elevate the mind in concentration and mediation. Have recourse to them.
Of course, the ideal condition cannot always be obtained as this is a relative plane. All places combine advantages and some disadvantages also side by side. You must select a place which has the maximum of advantages and minimum of disadvantages. You must do the best you can. You must try to put up with some difficulties. You must overcome them. You should be alone with yourself. You should be able to abstract yourself from the distracting causes.
There must be good, Sattvic, substantial light, nutritious food. Meditation is possible only when the mind is full of Sattva-Guna. The stomach should not be loaded. There is an intimate connection between the mind and the food. A heavy meal is harmful. Take a full meal at 11 a.m. and half a seer of milk at night. The night meal should be light for those who meditate.
There must be capacity for Sadhana. Then only meditation will go on steadily with happiness. Asana (posture) steadies the body. Bandhas and Mudras make the body firm. Pranayama makes the body light. Nadi-Suddhi effects Samyavastha of the mind. Having acquired these qualifications, you will have to fix the mind on Brahman.
When Sushumna Nadi is working, i.e., when the breath flows through both the nostrils, meditation goes on with ease and joy. The mind then is calm. There is an increase of Sattva Guna when Sushumna is operating. Sit for meditation the moment Sushumna begins to flow.
You can meditate only when the mind is beyond all anxieties. Retire to a quiet room or place where you do not fear interruption so that your mind may feel secure and at rest. Sit in a comfortable posture and be, so far as possible, free from external disturbing influences. Drive off negative thoughts. Become positive always. Positive overpowers negative. You can do nice meditation when you are positive.
There must be firm Vairagya, burning Mumukshutva and strong Viveka in you. There must be a good, spiritual teacher (Anubhava Guru) to guide you.
You must have an intellectual grasp, intellectual conviction and comprehensive understanding of Brahman first through the purified mind.
Many do not get the above favourable conditions for spiritual Sadhana. That is the reason why they do not make any spiritual progress.
Saguna And Nirguna Forms Of Meditation
When you see the concrete figure of Lord Krishna with open eyes and meditate, it is the concrete form of meditation. When you reflect on the image of Lord Krishna by closing your eyes, it is also concrete form of meditation, but it is more abstract. When you meditate on the infinite abstract light, it is still more abstract meditation. The former two types belong to Saguna form of meditation, the latter to Nirguna form.
Even in Nirguna meditation, there is an abstract form in the beginning for fixing the mind. Later on, this form vanishes and the meditator and the meditated become one. Meditation proceeds from the mind only. The help of the mind is always needed either for perception of an object or for the understanding of Brahman. When you read a book with absorbing interest and attention, your mind gets fixed to the ideas. Even so, in Nirguna meditation of Brahman (formless Dhyana), the mind is fixed on one idea, viz., that of Atman.
Exercises In Saguna Meditation
Sit on Padmasana in a solitary room. Close your eyes. Meditate on the effulgence in the sun, splendour in the moon, glory in the stars, beauty in the sky. This is one kind of meditation for beginners.
Meditate on the Himalayas. Imagine that the river Ganga takes its origin from the icy region of Gangotri, near Uttarkashi, flows through Rishikesh, Haridwar, Varanasi and enters the Gangasagar in the Bay of Bengal. Himalayas, Ganga and the sea-these three thoughts only should occupy your mind. First, take your mind to icy Gangotri, then along the Ganga and finally to the sea. Then, again take it to the icy Gangotri. Rotate the mind in this manner for 15 minutes. This is another kind of meditation.
Imagine that there is a fine garden with lovely flowers. In one corner, there are jasmine flowers. In another corner, there are beautiful cabbage roses. In the third corner there is the 'lady of the night.' In the fourth corner, there are Champaka flowers. Now, meditate on these four varieties of flowers. First meditate on jasmine. Then take the mind to rose, then to the 'lady of the night' and finally to the Champaka. Again rotate the mind as above. Do this again and again for fifteen minutes. Gross meditations like these will prepare the mind for finer abstract meditation on subtle ideas.
Meditate on the magnanimity of the ocean, its infinite nature. Compare the ocean with the Infinite Brahman, the waves, foams and blocks of ice to the various names and forms. Identify yourself with the ocean. Become silent. Expand. Expand.
Exercises In Nirguna Meditation
There is a living, universal Power that underlies all these names and forms. Meditate on this Power which is formless. This will form an elementary Nirguna meditation without any form (formless Dhyana).
"There is no world. There is neither body nor the mind. There is only one Chaitanya (pure consciousness). I am that pure consciousness."-This is Nirguna meditation (without attributes).
Sit on Padmasana. Open the eyes. Gaze steadily on the formless air only. This is also another method of formless meditation. Concentrate on the air. This will lead to the realisation of the nameless and formless Brahman, the One Living Truth.
Imagine that there is a Parama, Ananta, Akhanda Jyotis (supreme, infinite effulgence) hidden behind all the phenomena with an effulgence that amounts to the blaze of crores of suns together. Meditate on That. That is also another form of Nirguna meditation.
Concentrate and meditate on the expansive sky. This is also another kind of Nirguna, Nirakara meditation. By the previous methods in concentration, the mind will stop thinking of finite forms. It will slowly begin to melt in the ocean of Peace, as it is deprived of its contents, viz., forms of various sorts. It will become subtler and subtler also.
Meditation On 'om'
Have the figure OM in front of you. Concentrate on this. Do Trataka also with open eyes (steady gazing without winking till tears flow profusely). This is both Saguna and Nirguna meditation (with and without attributes). Keep a picture of OM in your meditation room. You can do Puja for the symbol of Brahman. Burn incense, etc. Offer flowers. This suits the modern educated persons.
Meditation On Mind
Mind is Brahman or God in manifestation. Mind is God in motion. As Brahman is approachable by means of the mind, it is only proper to meditate upon the Mind as Brahman. "The mind should be adored as Brahman; this is intellectual worship." (Chhandogya Upanishad, III-18). This is Upasana Vakya.
The Meditation Room
The meditation room should be regarded as a temple of God. Talks of profane nature should never be indulged in the room. No vicious thoughts of rancorous jealousy, avarice are to be entertained there. Admittance should ever be sought in it with a pious and reverent mind. For, what we do, what we think and what we speak of leave their impressions on the ether of the room and, if no care is taken to avoid them, they will exert their influence on the aspirant's mind and, rendering his mind perverse and restive, make him incapable of attending to the devotion. The words uttered, the thoughts cherished, the deeds done are not lost; they are always reflected on the subtle layers of ether encircling the room where they are done and affect the mind invariably. As much as possible effort should be made to overcome them. This is to be done for a few months only; when the habit is changed, everything will be all right.
How To Meditate
Sit in a lonely place on Padma, Siddha or Sukha Asana. Free yourself from all passions, emotions and impulses. Subjugate the senses. Withdraw the mind from objects. Now the mind will be calm, one-pointed, pure and subtle. With the help of this trained instrument, disciplined mind, contemplate on that one Infinite Self. Do not think of anything else. Do not allow any worldly thought to enter the mind. Do not allow the mind to think of any physical or mental enjoyment. When it indulges in these thoughts, give it a good hammering. Then it will move towards God. Just as the Ganga flows continuously towards the sea, thoughts of God should flow continuously towards the Lord. Just as oil, when poured from one vessel to another, flows in an unbroken, continuous stream, just as the harmonious sound produced from the ringing of bells falls upon the ear in a continuous stream, so also the mind should 'flow' towards God in one continuous stream. There must be a continuous divine Vritti-Pravaha, Svajatiya-Vritti-Pravaha, from the Sattvic mind towards God through continuous Sadhana.
You must have a mental image of God or Brahman (concrete or abstract) before you begin to meditate. When you are a neophyte in meditation, start repeating some sublime Slokas or Stotras (hymns) for ten minutes as soon as you sit for meditation. This will elevate the mind. The mind can be easily withdrawn from the worldly objects. Then stop this kind of thinking also and fix the mind on one idea only by repeated and strenuous efforts. Then Nishtha will ensue.
In Nididhyasana (meditation), you will have to develop the Svajatiya-Vritti-Pravaha. Make the thoughts of Brahman or Divine Presence flow like inundation or flood. Do Vijatiya-Vritti-Tiraskara. Renounce the thoughts of objects. Drive them away with the whip of Viveka and Vichara. There is struggle in the beginning. It is trying indeed. But, later on, as you will grow stronger and stronger and as you grow in purity, Brahma-Chintana becomes easy. You rejoice in the life of unity. You get strength from Atman. Inner strength grows when all the Vishaya Vrittis are thinned out and the mind becomes one-pointed (Ekagra).
When you start a fire, you heap up some straw, pieces of paper, thin pieces of wood. The fire gets extinguished quickly. You blow it again several times through the mouth of the blow-pipe. After some time it becomes a small conflagration. You can hardly extinguish it now even with great efforts. Even so, in the beginning of meditation in neophytes, they fall down from meditation in their old grooves. They will have to lift up their minds again and again and fix on the Lakshya. When the meditation becomes deep and steady, they get established in God eventually. Then the meditation becomes Sahaja (natural). It becomes habitual. Use the blow-pipe of Tivra Vairagya and intense meditation to kindle the fire of meditation.
During meditation, note how long you can shut out all worldly thoughts. Watch the mind very carefully. If it is for twenty minutes, try to increase the period to thirty or forty minutes and so on. Fill the mind with the thoughts of God again and again.
Allow the one Brahmic idea to flow gently and continuously. Constantly think of God. The mind should always move towards God. Fasten the mind with a fine silk thread to the lotus feet of Lord Siva or Hari. Drive out foreign or extraneous (worldly) ideas gently. Try to keep up the Brahmakara Vritti by repeating OM or "Aham Brahmasmi" mentally very often. The idea of infinity, the idea of an ocean of light, the idea of all-knowledge and all-Ananda should accompany the mental repetition of OM. If the mind wanders, repeat verbally six times the long (Dhirga) Pranava with 3 Matras. This process will remove the Vikshepa and all other obstacles.
When you begin to sweep a room that was kept closed for six months, various kinds of dirt come out from the corners of the room. Similarly, during meditation, under pressure of Yoga, through the Grace of God, various kinds of impurities float about on the surface of the mind. Bravely remove them one by one by suitable methods and counter-virtues with patience and strenuous efforts. The old vicious Samskaras revenge when you try to suppress them. Do not be afraid. They lose their strength after some time. You have to tame the mind just as you tame a wild elephant or a tiger. Do not indulge in vicious thoughts which serve as food for the mind. Make the mind Antarmukha (self-introspective). Substitute good, virtuous, sublime thoughts. Feed the mind with ennobling aspirations and ideals. Old vicious Samskaras will be gradually thinned out and eventually obliterated. Now the Brahmakara Vritti will dawn. Coupled with Brahma-Jnana, this is the destroyer of Avidya. Allow the Brahmakara Vritti to flow steadily like Tailadhara (continuous flow of oil). Now Niratisayananda (infinite bliss) will flow. At this state, the whole universe will appear as Sat-Chit-Ananda only. This thought also will die. You will then enter Sahajananda state (Advaita-Avastharupa Samadhi).
Some Useful Hints
In meditation, do not strain the eyes. Do not strain the brain. Do not struggle or wrestle with the mind. It is a serious mistake. Many neophytes commit this grave error. That is the reason why they get easily tired soon. They get headache and they have to get up very often to pass urine during the course of meditation owing to the irritation set up in the micturition centre in the spinal cord.
Make no violent effort to control the mind. Do not wrestle with it with force. It is a mistake to do so. But, rather allow it for a while and let it run and exhaust its efforts. The mind will jump now like an untrained monkey first. Gradually, it will slow down. Then you can fix the mind on your Lakshya either on a concrete form or on an abstract idea.
Get up at 4 a.m. (Brahma Muhurta). Sit comfortably in the Padma, Siddha, Sukha or Svastika Asana. Keep the head, neck and trunk in one straight line. Relax the muscles, nerves and brain. Calm the objective mind. Close the eyes. Do not struggle with the mind. Do not voluntarily and violently drive away intruding thoughts. Gently allow the divine thoughts to flow. Steadily think of the Lakshya (point of meditation). Have sublime, Sattvic thoughts. Vicious thoughts will, by themselves, vanish.
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 Lakshya (centre). By repeated practice, the mind will be finally focussed in your heart, in the Atman, the Indweller of your hearts, the final goal of life. In the beginning, the mind may run out 80 times. Within six months, it may run 70 times; within a year, it may run 50 times; within 2 years, it may run 30 times; within 5 years, it will be completely fixed in the Divine Consciousness. Then, it will not run out at all even if you try your level best to bring it out, like the wandering bull, which was in the habit of running to gardens of different landlords for eating grass, but which now eats fresh gram and extract of cotton seeds in its own resting place.
If there is much strain in meditation, reduce the number of hours for a few days. Do light meditation only. When you have regained the normal tone, again increase the period. Use your common-sense all throughout Sadhana. I always reiterate on this point.
Those who meditate for four or five hours at one stretch can have two Asanas, either Padma and Vajra or Siddha and Vajra, in the beginning. Sometimes, the blood accumulates in one part of the legs or thighs and gives a little trouble. After two hours, change the Asana from Padma or Siddha Asana to Vajrasana or stretch the legs at full length. Lean against a wall or a pillow. Keep the spine erect. This is the most comfortable Asana. Join two chairs. Sit on one chair and stretch the legs on another chair. This is another contrivance.
Pose or Asana is really mental. Try to have a mental Padma or mental Siddha Asana. If the mind is wandering, you cannot have a steady body or a steady physical pose. When the mind is steady or fixed in Brahman, steadiness of the body automatically follows.
Have the one all-pervading Bhavana (feeling). Deny the finite body as a mere appearance. Try to keep up the feelings always. Whatever elevates you, you can take it up for your advantage just to elevate the mind and then continue your prolonged meditation.
You must daily increase your Vairagya, meditation and Sattvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love, forgiveness, purity, etc. Vairagya and good qualities help meditation. Meditation increases the Sattvic qualities.
Just as you conserve the energy by observing Mouna (vow of silence), so also you will have to conserve the mental energy by stopping useless thinking. Then you will save abundant reserve energy for meditation.
Remember these three word-images: PURIFICATION, CONCENTRATION, ABSORPTION. Repeat them mentally during meditation. This is a triplet. Remember this triplet. Purify the mind. Get rid of Mala (impurities such as Kama, Krodha, etc.). Perform selfless, desireless actions. This will purify the mind. Practise Upasana, Pranayama, Trataka and Rajayogic "Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha." This will help Ekagrata. Then practise constant and deep meditation. The mind will be absorbed eventually.
"Pranavo dhanuh saro hyatma brahma tallakshyam uchyate;
Apramattena veddhavyam saravan tanmayo bhavet."
"Om is the bow, mind is the arrow and Brahman is the mark to be aimed at. Brahman is to be hit or pierced by him whose thoughts are concentrated. Then he will be of the same nature (Tanmaya) as Brahman, as the arrow becomes one with the aim when it has pierced it." (Mundakopanishad, II-ii-4)
Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana. Close the eyes. Concentrate the gaze on the Trikuti (space between the two eyebrows). Now, chant Dhirga Pranava (long OM) forcibly for five minutes. This will remove Vikshepa or tossing of the mind. Concentration will ensue. Now repeat OM mentally with Brahma-Bhavana. Whenever the mind begins to wander, again chant OM verbally. As soon as the mind gets calm, mentally repeat OM again. The same process can be adopted for Saguna meditation also.
Those who have knowledge of the flow of the five Tattvas in the nostrils can very rapidly advance in meditation. There is an intimate connection between the mind and the five Tattvas. When Agni-Tattva flows through the nostrils, mind is much agitated and meditation is interrupted. During the flow of the Akasa-Tattva, meditation is very favourable. A knowledge of "Svara-Sadhana" or "Svarodaya" as it is popularly termed is an indispensable necessity for those who take up to meditation.
Just as a very skilful archer, in shooting at a bird, is aware of the way in which he takes his steps, holds the bow, the bow-string and the arrow at the time when he pierces the bird-"Standing in this position, holding thus the bow, thus the bow-string and thus the arrow, I pierce the bird"-and ever afterwards would not fail to fulfil these conditions that he might pierce the bird, even so should the aspirant note the conditions such as suitable food thus: "Eating this kind of food, following such a person, in such a dwelling, in this mode, at this time, I attained to this meditation and Samadhi."
As a clever cook, in serving his master, notes the kind of food that he relishes and hence forward serves it and gets gain, so the aspirant too notes the conditions such as nourishment, etc., at the moment of attaining meditation and Samadhi and, in fulfilling them, gets ecstasy again and again.
Meditation With Eyes Open
In the beginning, when you are a neophyte, you can close your eyes to remove the distraction of mind, as you are very weak. But, later on, you must meditate with eyes open, even during walking. You must keep your balance of mind even when you are in the bustle of a city. Then only you are perfect. Why do you close your eyes during meditation? Open your eyes and meditate. Think strongly that the world is unreal, that there is no world, that there is Atman only. If you can meditate on Atman even when the eyes are open, you will be a strong man. You will not be easily disturbed.
Benefits Of Meditation
Agni (fire) is of two kinds, viz., Samanya Agni (ordinary fire) and Visesha Agni (special fire). Samanya Agni is hidden in all trees and woods. It is of no use for burning purposes. Visesha Agni that is formed by rubbing a match or rubbing two pieces of wood is useful for cooking and other purposes. Similarly, there is Samanya Chaitanya (ordinary intelligence or consciousness) that is pervading everywhere. There is also Visesha Chaitanya (special intelligence). Samanya Chaitanya cannot destroy the ignorance or Avidya of men. It is only the special intelligence-Atmakara Vritti or Avichhinna Visesha Chaitanya that can destroy the Mula Ajnana, the primitive ignorance that envelops the Svarupa (Brahman or Existence). This special intelligence is developed when a man meditates on the Infinite with a pure heart.
In contemplation, you are in spiritual contact with the unchanging Light. You are cleansed of all the impurities. This Light cleanses the soul which touches it. The sun-glass is exposed to the light of the sun and the straws that are underneath catch fire. So, within yourself, if you have an open heart devotedly lifted up to God, the Light of His purity and love, illumining this open soul, will consume all your shortcomings in the fire of Divine Love. The Light brings enhanced energy and great comfort.
This purifying process leads to a deeper insight into Truth. This is the action of Grace of the Lord upon the soul in meditation. In this inflowing Grace, there forthwith arises that Light of the mind into which God is sending a ray of His unclouded Splendour. This Light is vastly potent.
If you can meditate for half an hour, you will be able to engage yourself with peace and spiritual strength in the battle of life for one week through the force of this meditation. Such is the beneficial result of meditation. As you have to move with different minds of a peculiar nature in your daily life, get the strength and peace from the meditation and you will have no trouble and worry then.
All actions, whether internal or external, can be done only when the mind is united with the organs. Thought is the real action. If you have control over the mind by steady practice, if you can regulate your emotions and moods, you will not do foolish and wrong actions. Meditation will help a lot in checking various emotions and impulses.
Meditation acts as a powerful tonic. It is a mental and nervine tonic as well. The holy vibrations penetrate all the cells of the body and cure the diseases of the body. Those who meditate save doctor's bills. The powerful, soothing waves that arise during meditation exercise a benign influence on the mind, nerves, organs and cells of the body. The divine energy freely flows like Tailadhara (flow of oil from one vessel to another) from the feet of the Lord to the different systems of the Sadhakas.
Considerable changes take place in the mind, brain and the nervous system by the practice of meditation. New nerve-currents, new vibrations, new avenues, new grooves, new cells, new channels are formed. The whole mind and the nervous system are remodelled. You will develop a new heart, a new mind, new sensations, new feelings, new mode of thinking and acting and a new view of the universe (as God in manifestation).
The fire of meditation, annihilates all foulness due to vice. Then suddenly comes knowledge or Divine Wisdom which directly leads to Mukti or final emancipation.
Real peace and Ananda (bliss) manifest only when the Vasanas are thinned out and Sankalpas get extinguished. When you fix the mind either on Sri Krishna or Siva or Atman even for five minutes, Sattva Guna is infused into the mind. Vasanas are thinned out and Sphurana of Sankalpa becomes less and less. You will feel peace and bliss during the five minutes. You can compare this Ananda from meditation with the transitory sensual pleasures. You will find that this Ananda from meditation is a million times superior to sensual pleasure. Meditate and feel this Ananda. Then you will know its real value.
You will get the full Ananda of the divine glory only when you merge deep into silent meditation. When you are on the border-land of divinity of God, when you are at the threshold of God, when you are in the outer skirts, you will not get the maximum peace and bliss.
These are the benefits that are derived by the Yogic students who practise meditation systematically. They are Santi (peace), Santosha (contentment), Abhaya (fearlessness), peculiar spiritual Ananda (bliss), unruffled state of mind in worldly difficulties, Nischala Sthiti (steadiness), inspiration, intuitive perception, Sattvic qualities and absence of anger (Akrodha), egoism and Raga-Dvesha (like and dislike).
Develop the Prakamya, the divine vision (Divine Drishti), Jnana-Chakshus by concentration, purification and meditation.
How To Develop Virtues By Meditation
Examine your character. Pick some distinct defect in it. Find out its opposite. Let us say that you suffer from irritability. The opposite of irritability is patience. Try to develop this virtue by meditation on the abstract virtue of patience. Regularly, every morning, sit down at 4 a.m. in Padma or Siddha Asana in a solitary room for half an hour and begin to think on patience, its value, its practice under provocation, taking one point one day, another on another day and thinking as steadily as you can, recalling the mind when it wanders. Think of yourself as perfectly patient, a model of patience and end with a vow: "This patience which is my true self, I will feel and show from today."
For a few days, probably, there will be no change perceptible. You will still feel and show irritability. Go on practising steadily every morning. Presently, as you say an irritable thing, the thought will flash into your mind, unbidden: "I should have been patient." Still go on in practice. Soon, the thought of patience will arise with the irritable impulse and the outer manifestation will be checked. Still go on practising. The irritable impulse will grow feebler and feebler until you find that irritability has disappeared and patience has become your normal attitude towards annoyances. In this manner, you can develop various virtues as sympathy, self-restraint, purity, humility, benevolence, nobility, generosity, etc.
Experiences And Obstacles In Meditation
What Happens During Meditation
In meditation, new grooves are formed in the brain and the mind moves upwards in the new spiritual grooves. When the mind becomes steady in meditation, the eyeballs also become steady. A Yogi whose mind is calm will have a steady eye. There will be no winking at all. The eyes will be lustrous, red or pure white. When you enter into very deep, silent meditation, the breath will not come out of the nostrils. There may be occasional slow movement of the lungs and the abdomen. During normal exhalation the air comes out 16 digits. When the mind gets concentrated, it will become less and less. It will come to 15 then 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 and so on. From the nature of the breathing, you can infer the degree of concentration of an aspirant. Watch the breath very carefully.
Man tries to grasp the abstract through forms. After the mind has been purified, an abstract image is formed in the purified mind by Sravana (listening to spiritual discourses and holy scriptures) and Brahma-Chintana. This abstract image melts later on into deep Nididhyasana. What is left behind is Chinmatra or Kevala Asti (pure Existence alone).
In Nididhyasana or profound and continued meditation, thinking ceases. There is only one idea of "Aham Brahmasmi." When this idea also is given up, Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Sahaja Advaita-Nishtha ensues. Just as salt melts in water, the Sattvic mind melts in silence in Brahman-its Adhishthana (substratum).
Experiences In Meditation
Various persons get various spiritual experiences. There cannot be a common experience for all. It depends upon the temperament, mode of Sadhana, place of concentration and various other factors. Some hear melodious sounds in the ears. Some see lights. Some get Ananda (spiritual bliss). Some get both Prakasa and Ananda. During meditation, you may experience that you are rising from your seat. Some experience that they fly in the air.
The Divine light comes not through open doors, but only through narrow slits. The aspirant sees the Divine Ray as a sunbeam passing through a chick into a dark room. It is like a 'flash of lightning.' This sudden illumination chokes all sounds of words. The aspirant is spell-bound in ecstasy and awe. He trembles with love and awe, just as Arjuna did when he had the Virat-Visvarupa-Darsana of Lord Krishna. So bright and glorious is the Light environing the Divine that the initiate is dazzled and bewildered.
During meditation, the colour of lights that you see varies according to the Tattva that flows through the nostrils. If there is Agni-Tattva, you will see red-coloured lights. If Akasa-Tattva flows, you will have blue-coloured lights. If Apas-Tattva (water) prevails, you will see white-coloured lights. If there is Prithvi-Tattva, you will have yellow lights. If there is Vayu-Tattva, you will see black colour. You can change the Tattva by various ways. But the best way is by thought. "As you think, so you also become." When the Agni-Tattva flows, think intently of Apas-Tattva. Apas-Tattva will begin to flow soon.
During meditation, you get rapture or ecstasy. It is of five kinds viz., the lesser thrill, momentary rapture, flooding rapture, transporting rapture and all-pervading rapture. The lesser thrill is only able to raise the hairs of the body (like the goose skin). The momentary rapture is like the productions of lightning, moment by moment. Like waves breaking on the seashore, the flooding rapture descends rapidly on the body and breaks. Transporting rapture is strong and lifts the body up to the extent of launching it into the air. When the all-pervading rapture arises, the whole body is completely surcharged, blown like a full-bladder.
Crossing the Body-Consciousness
Aspirants are eager to get spiritual experiences soon. As soon as they get them, they are afraid. They are awfully alarmed when they go above the body-consciousness. They entertain a passing wonder whether they will come back again or not. Why should they be afraid at all? It does not matter much whether they return to body-consciousness or not. All our attempts are mainly directed towards getting over this body-consciousness. We are used to certain limitations. When these limitations suddenly drop away, we feel that there is no definite base left to stand upon. That is the reason why we are afraid when we go above the body-consciousness. That is a novel experience. Courage is needed. Bravery is an indispensable requisite. Sruti says, "Nayam-atma balahinena labhyah-This Atman can hardly be attained by weak (timid) persons." All sorts of forces have to be encountered on the way. A dacoit or an anarchist can easily realise God, because he is fearless. A push in the right direction is only necessary for him. How Jagai and Madhai, rogues of the first water, became very good saints! They pelted stones at Nityananda, the disciple of Lord Gouranga. Nityananda won them by pure divine love. Dacoit Ratnakara became Sage Valmiki.
Visions of Spirits
Sometimes, bad spirits will trouble you. They may have ugly, fierce faces with long teeth. Drive them with your strong will. Give the word of command: "Get out." They will go away. They are vampires. They are elementals. They will not do any harm to the Sadhakas. Your courage will be tested here. If you are timid, you cannot march further. Draw power and courage from the Atman within, the inexhaustible Source (Avyaya). You will come across very good spirits also. They will help you a lot in your onward march.
There is a kind of vision one occasionally gets during meditation. You may behold a dazzling light with abrupt motion. You may behold a head of marvellous form, of the colour of a flame, red as fire and very awful to look at. It has three wings of marvellous length and breadth, white as a dazzling cloud. At times they would beat terribly and again would be still. The head never utters a word, but remains altogether still. Now and again, there is beating with its extended wings.
During meditation, some of the visions that you see are your own materialised thoughts, while some others are real, objective visions.
Break Veil After Veil
If you get experiences of the glimpses of Self during intense meditation, if you see a blazing light during meditation and if you get spiritual visions of angels, archangels, Rishis, Munis, Devatas and any other extraordinary spiritual experiences, do not fall back in terror. Do not mistake them for phantoms. Do not give up the Sadhana. Plod on. Persevere diligently. Break veil after veil.
If there is any error in Sadhana (meditation), at once consult the senior Sannyasins or realised souls and remove the mistake. If your general health is sound, if you are cheerful, happy and strong, physically and mentally, if the mind is peaceful and unruffled, if you get Ananda in meditation and if your will is growing strong, pure and irresistible, think that you are improving in meditation and everything is going all right.
March on boldly. Do not look back. Cross the intense void and darkness. Pierce the layer of Moha. Melt the subtle Ahankara now. Svarupa will shine by itself. You will experience the Turiya (Arudha state).
Obstacles To Meditation
Obstacles to meditation are really from within. Environments are from within; you create your own environments. Try to be happy in whatever situation you are placed. Do not complain. Bear sufferings. You can conquer Nature. Maya is Tuchha (nothing) or Alpa (small or non-entity) for a Brahma-Jnani.
The obstacles to meditation are only from within. Sleepiness, passions, confused state of the mind, Manorajya (building castles in the air) are the chief obstacles that stand in the way of fixing the mind on God or Brahman. The five hindrances to meditation, viz., sense-desire, ill-will, sloth-torpor, flurry-worry and perplexity should be removed. For, when these are not removed, meditation cannot arise. The mind that lusts after many things through sense-desire is not concentrated on one object; or being overcome by sense-desire, it does not enter upon the progress of meditation in order to put away the sensuous element. The mind that is harassed by ill-will concerning an object does not proceed at once. The mind that is overcome by sloth and torpor is unwieldy. Obsessed by worry and flurry, it does not repose, but flirts about. Struck by perplexity, it does not go on the path that leads to the attainment of meditation and Samadhi. Obstacles to meditation are thus really from within. They are not from without. Train the mind properly.
Laya (sleep), Vikshepa (tossing of mind from one object to another), Kashaya (memory of sensual pleasures) and hidden Vasanas and Rasasvada (the happiness derived from Savikalpa Samadhi) are four stumbling blocks in meditation.
Tandri and Manorajya
When the mind has been withdrawn from objects through Vairagya and Uparati, do not allow it to go into sleep or Manorajya (fancies and wild imagination). When you constantly contemplate on the meaning of the Mahavakya 'Aham Brahmasmi' or 'Tat Tvam Asi' through the process of Mahavakyanusandhana, all the Vishayas (seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling) will stop. But, owing to the force of Samskaras, Manorajya (building castles in the air) will continue. Mind builds castles in the air. This is termed Manoratha in Sanskrit. This is a serious obstacle to meditation. It should be stopped by Vichara. Sometimes, during the course of meditation, the mind suddenly slips into its old grooves for sleeping. People think that they are meditating, while they are actually sleeping. A mixture of drowsiness (Tandri) and Manorajya (building castles in the air, reverie) is mistaken by aspirants for deep meditation and Samadhi. The mind appears to be established in concentration and free from Vikshepa (distraction). This is a mistake. Alasya and Stabdhata (stupefaction arising from fear or wonder, mental restlessness and mental depression) are other disturbing factors in meditation.
Closely watch the mind. Make it Ekagra (one-pointed) and allow it to rest on the Svarupa Brahman). Be thoughtful, careful and vigilant. Stand up for ten minutes and dash cold water on the face and head, if drowsiness comes in. Remove the two serious obstacles of Tandri and Manorajya by Vichara, Pranayama and light, Sattvic diet. Tandri and Alasya are removed by Pranayama, Sirshasana, Sarvangasana and Mayurasana and light, Sattvic diet. Find out the disturbing causes and remove them. Avoid the company of those whom your mind dislikes. Do not argue. Do not contradict. Do not try to convince persons who are unreasonable and undeveloped. Talk little. Observe Mouna. Live alone. In this way, you can avoid all sorts of excitements. Have constant Satsanga. Study elevating books such as the Yogavasishtha, the Upanishads, etc. Have Brahma-Bhavana. Repeat OM with meaning and feeling. All depressing thoughts will melt away.
If you are alert and if by protracted efforts and incessant, vigilant Svarupa-Chintana (meditation on Brahman), you get over the obstacles of sleep, Manorajya, etc., the steady Brahmakara Vritti and Brahma-Jnana will dawn in no time. Ajnana will vanish. You will be established in Sahaja Paramananda state. All Sanchita (accumulated) Karmas will be burnt up in the fire of wisdom.
Dreams in Meditation
Various sorts of fantastic dreams trouble some aspirants very much. Sometimes, there is a mixture of meditation and dreams. The presence of dreams denotes that you are not yet well-established in deep meditation, that you have not removed Vikshepa (tossing of the mind) and that you have not done constant, intense Sadhana. As the phenomenon of dreams is very peculiar and inexplicable, it is very difficult to control dreams unless you wipe out all the Samskaras in the Karana Sarira (causal body) and control all thoughts. As you grow in purity, Viveka and concentration, dreams will decrease.
Very often, depression comes in meditation in neophytes owing to previous Samskaras, influence of astral entities, evil spirits, bad company, cloudy days, bad stomach owing to indigestion and loaded bowels in constipation. It must be removed quickly by cheerful thoughts, a brisk walk, singing, laughing, prayer, Pranayama, etc.
Scents, soft beds, novel-reading, dramas, theatres, cinemas, vulgar music, dancing, flowers, company of women, Rajasic diet-all these excite passions and cause disturbance of the mind. Too much salt, too much chillies, too much sweets cause intense thirst and disturb meditation. Too much talking, too much walking and too much mixing disturb the mind in meditation.
Impulses disturb meditation. All obscure subconscious impulses should be controlled by the intellect and will. Sex-impulse and ambition are two real disturbing factors in meditation. They carry on guerilla warfare. They attack the Sadhakas again and again. They appear to be thinned out for some time. They get revived often. They should be extirpated by great efforts, Vichara, Viveka (power of discrimination between Atman and Anatman, Self and non-Self) and Sivoham-Bhavana.
It is the sound that sets the mind in motion. It is the sound that makes the mind to think. Sound disturbs the mind a great deal in meditation. A sound with meaning disturbs more than a sound without meaning. A continuous sound as the silent murmur of a river is not so disturbing as an abrupt, sudden, sharp, broken sound. The mind does not feel a sound when it is used to it. You feel only when the clock stops.
Tushnimbhuta Avastha is a quiet state of the mind wherein there is neither attraction nor repulsion for objects for a short time. It occurs in the Jagrat state. It is a neutral state of the mind. It is an obstacle to meditation. It should be avoided. It is mistaken by ignorant Sadhakas for Samadhi.
Kashaya means colouring. Raga, Dvesha and Moha are the Kashaya or colouring of the mind. Kashaya is the subtle influence in the mind produced by enjoyment and left there to fructify in time to come and distract the mind from Samadhi. This is a serious obstacle to meditation. It does not allow the Sadhaka to enter into Samadhi-Nishtha. It induces the subtle memory of pleasures enjoyed. It is hidden Vasana. From the Samskara, Vasana originates. Samskara is the cause and Vasana is the effect. It is a kind of Mala (impurity of mind). Constant Vichara coupled with Brahma-Bhavana is the only potent remedy to eradicate this dire malady Kashaya.
During meditation, when your mind is more Sattvic, you will be inspired. The mind will be composing fine poems and solving some problems of life. Stamp out these Sattvic Vrittis also. This is all dissipation of mental energy. Soar higher and higher to Atman only.
Even the happiness of Savikalpa Samadhi is an obstacle, because it prevents you from entering into the Nirvikalpa state. It produces false Tushti (contentment) and you stop your further Sadhana.
The mind should be freed from all these obstacles. Then only will you enter into pure Advaita Nirvikalpa state. Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana are the only helps to attain this highest state.
Meditation And Work
He who meditates is not able to work. He who works is not able to meditate. This is not balance. This is not equanimity. The two principles, meditation and action, must be well-balanced. You must be able, if you are ready to follow the divine injunction, to take up whatever work you are given-even a stupendous work-and leave it the next day, with the same quietness with which you took it up and without feeling that the responsibility is yours. You must be able to work hard in the world with tremendous force and, when the work is over, you must be able to shut yourself up in a cave as an absolute recluse for a long time with great peace of mind. That is balance, that is real strength. Then only you have gone beyond the qualities (Gunatita). "He, O Pandava, who hateth not radiance (Sattva) nor outgoing energy (work), nor even sloth and slumber (Moha) when present, nor longeth after them when absent-he is said to have crossed over the qualities" (Gita, XIV-22).
When you advance in the spiritual practice, it will be very difficult for you to do meditation and office work at the same time, because the mind will undergo double strain. Those who practise meditation will find that they are more sensitive than the people who do not meditate and, because of that, the strain on the physical body is enormous. The mind works in different grooves and channels with different Samskaras during meditation. It finds it very difficult to adjust to different kinds of uncongenial activities. As soon as it comes down from the meditation, it gropes in darkness. It gets bewildered and puzzled. The Prana (energy) which moves inward in different grooves and channels and which is subtle during the meditation has to move in new, different channels during worldly activities. It becomes very gross during work. It has to work in different grooves and channels. When you again sit for meditation in the evening, you will have to struggle hard to wipe out the newly acquired Samskaras you have gathered during the course of the day and get calm and one-pointedness of mind. This struggle sometimes brings in headache.
It behoves, therefore, that advanced Grihastha Yogic students (householders) will have to stop all the worldly activities when they advance in meditation, if they desire to progress further. They themselves will be forced to give up all work, if they are really sincere. Work is a hindrance in meditation for advanced students. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says in the Gita, "For a sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the same sage who is enthroned in Yoga (state of Yogarudha), serenity (Sama) is called the means." Then, work and meditation become incompatible like acid and alkali or fire and water or light and darkness.
Reasons For Failures In Meditation
Some practise meditation for a period of 15 years and yet they have not made any real progress at all. Why? This is due to lack of earnestness, Vairagya, keen longing for liberation and intense, constant Sadhana. There is always a complaint amongst the aspirants, "I am meditating for the last 12 years. I have not made any improvement. I have no realisation." Why is it so? What is the reason? They have not plunged themselves in deep meditation into the innermost recesses of their hearts. They have not properly assimilated and saturated the mind with the thoughts of God. They have not done regular, systematic Sadhana. They have not disciplined the Indriyas perfectly. They have not collected all the outgoing rays of the mind. They have not made the self-determination, "I will realise this very second." They have not given the full 100% of the mind or 16 annas of the mind-their full mind-to God. They have not kept an increasing flow of Divine Consciousness like the flow of oil (Tailadharavat).
You will have to note very carefully whether you remain stationary in the spiritual path even after many years of spiritual practice or whether you are progressing. Sometimes, you may go downwards also, if you are not very vigilant and careful, if your Vairagya wanes and if you are slack in meditation. Reaction may set in.
Just as the man who foolishly run after two rabbits will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts. If he has divine thoughts for ten minutes and then worldly conflicting thoughts for the next ten minutes, he will not succeed in anything, in getting at the Divine Consciousness. You must run after one rabbit only with vigour, strength and one-pointedness. You are sure to catch it. You must have only divine thoughts at all times. Then you are sure to realise God soon.
You must not be too hasty in longing for the fruits at once, when you take to meditation. Haste makes waste. A young lady perambulated an Asvattha tree (Filicus religiosa) 108 times for getting an offspring and immediately touched her abdomen to see whether there was a child or not. It is simply foolishness. She will have to wait for some months. Even so, if those who read works dealing with Atma-Jnana and who do take delight therein will not be hasty in longing for the fruits at once, but will meditate regularly and gradually upon them, then the mind will, by degrees, be ripened and, in the end, the endless Atman will be reached; and they will get Atmasakshatkara (Self-realisation).
You will have to exert in the beginning to get an equilibrium of mind. Later on, you will have a habitual balanced state of mind. So is the case with meditation. After some years of practice, meditation becomes habitual.
Conditions For Self-Realisation
Just as you saturate water with salt or sugar, you will have to saturate the mind with thoughts of God and Brahman, with divine glory, Divine Presence with sublime soul-awakening spiritual thoughts. Then only you will always be established in the Divine Consciousness. Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman, you will have to assimilate the divine ideas first. Assimilation first and then saturation. Then comes realisation, at once, without a moment's delay. Remember the triplet always: "Assimilation-Saturation-Realisation."
Free yourself from the base thoughts of the mind, the various useless Sankalpas (imaginations). Just as you render the turbid water pure by the addition of clearing nut (strychnos potatorum), so also you will have to make the turbid mind, filled with Vasanas and false Sankalpas, pure by Brahma-Chintana (thinking and reflecting on the Absolute). If the mind constantly dwells on sensual objects, the conception of the reality of the universe will surely increase. If the mind ceaselessly thinks of Atman (Absolute), the world appears like a dream. Mark the word "ceaseless." This is important. Then only there will be true illumination. Then only there will be dawn of spiritual knowledge. The Jnana-Surya (the Sun of Knowledge) will rise in the firmament of Chidakasa (knowledge-space).
You will find very often these terms in the Gita: "Ananyachetah" "Matchittah" "Nityayuktah" "Manmanah" "Ekagramanah" "Sarvabhavah." These terms connote that you will have to give your full mind, entire 100% mind to God. Then only you will have Self-realisation. Even if one ray of mind runs outside, it is impossible to attain God-consciousness.
It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas. True liberation results from the disenthralment of the mind. Those who have freed themselves from the fluctuation of their minds come into possession of the supreme Nishtha (meditation). Should the mind be purged of all its impurities, then it will become very calm and all the worldly delusion, with its births and deaths, will be soon destroyed.
Mind exists on account of "I." "I" exists on account of mind. "I" is only an idea in the mind. "Mind" and "I" are identical. If "I" vanishes, mind will also vanish; and if mind vanishes, "I" will vanish. Destroy the mind through Tattva-Jnana. Destroy the "I" through "Aham Brahmasmi Bhavana," through constant and intense Nididhyasana. When mind vanishes or thoughts cease, Nama-Rupa will cease to exist and the Goal is reached.
Characteristics Of Samadhi
When the mind is completely absorbed in one object of meditation, it is termed Samadhi. The mind identifies itself with the object of meditation. In Samadhi, there is neither Dhyana nor Dhyata (neither meditation nor meditator). The meditator and meditated, the thinker and the thought, the worshipper and the worshipped become one or identical. The Triputi (triad) vanishes. The mind loses its own consciousness and becomes identical with the object of meditation. The meditator has dissolved his personality in the sea of God, drowned and forgotten there till he becomes simply the instrument of God. When his mouth opens, it speaks God's words without effort or forethought through direct intuition and, when he raises his hand, God flows again through that to work a miracle.
In Samadhi, there is neither seeing nor hearing. There is neither physical nor mental consciousness. There is only spiritual consciousness. There is only Existence (Sat). That is your real Svarupa. When the water dries up in a pool, the reflection of the sun in the water also vanishes. When the mind melts in Brahman, when the mind-lake dries up, the reflected Chaitanya (Chidabhasa) also vanishes. The Jivatman (personality) goes away. There remains Existence alone.
Turiya is the spiritual condition where there is no play of mind, where the mind is dissolved in Brahman. It is the "fourth dimension," where there is infinite Brahmic bliss. It is not a condition of inertia, forgetfulness or annihilation. It is a state of absolute consciousness which baffles all attempts at description. It is the final goal of all. It is Mukti. It is Moksha.
Generally, when you have what you call dreamless sleep, it is one of two things; either you do not remember what you dreamt of or you fell into absolute unconsciousness which is almost death-a taste of death. But, there is the possibility of a sleep in which you enter into an absolute silence, immortality and peace in all parts of your being and your consciousness merges into Satchidananda. You can hardly call it sleep, for there is perfect "awareness." In that condition, you can remain for a few minutes or hours or days; but, these few minutes give you more rest and refreshment than hours of ordinary sleep. You cannot have it by chance. It requires a long training.
Samadhi is not a stone-like inert state as many people imagine. A life in the spirit (Atman or Divine) is not annihilation. When the self is bound down to its empirical accidents, its activities are not fully exercised and, when the limitations of the empirical existence are transcended, the universal life is intensified and you have enrichment of Self. You will have a rich inner life. You will have an expanded cosmic life and supra-cosmic life, too.
The Different Kinds Of Samadhi
A Raja Yogi gets Nirodha-Samadhi through Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha (by restraining the mental modifications). A Bhakta gets Bhava-Samadhi through Prema of the Lord. A Vedanti gets Bheda-Samadhi through Mithyatva-Buddhi and concentration on the idea of the Asti-Bhati-Priya (the Anvaya method).
It is only the Raja Yogi who attempts the annihilation of the Vrittis, the Nirodha Samadhi ("Yogaschittavrittinirodhah" -Patanjali Yoga Sutras, I-2). A Vedanti has always Atma-Bhava, Brahma-Bhava whenever he comes across objects. So he does not try to annihilate the Vrittis. There is no Pratyahara for him. There is no Bahirmukha Vritti for him. He rejects Nama-Rupa and takes Asti-Bhati-Priya (Bheda-Samadhi). A Bhakta sees Narayana or Krishna in all objects. He also does not check the Vrittis. He, like the Vedanti, changes his mental attitude. It is the mind that creates all the differences and separateness. The world is all Ananda, only if you change your angle of vision, your mental attitude. You will find heaven on earth.
You can bring down to normal objective consciousness a Raja Yogi or Bhakti Yogi or Jnana Yogi by mere shaking of the body or blowing a conch. Chudalai brought down her husband Sikhidhvaja from Samadhi by shaking his body. Lord Hari brought Prahlada down from his Samadhi by blowing His conch.
Samadhi Through Hatha Yoga
A Hatha Yogi draws all his Prana from the different parts of his body and takes it to the Sahasrara Chakra (thousand-petalled lotus) at the top of the head. Then he enters into Samadhi (superconscious state). Therefore it is very difficult to bring him down to objective consciousness by merely shaking his body. Hatha Yogis have remained buried underneath the earth in Samadhi for years together. They plug the posterior nostrils through Khechari Mudra (a king of Hatha Yogic Kriya) with their long tongues.
Prana and Apana that move in the chest and anus respectively are united by the Yogic processes of Jalandhara, Mula and Uddiyana Bandhas and the united Prana-Apana is driven into the Sushumna Nadi of the spinal canal. The Pranas, when thus driven, draw up the mind also along the Sushumna Nadi which is otherwise known as Brahma Nadi. During the ascent in the Sushumna Nadi, the three Granthis or knots, viz., Brahma-Granthi at Muladhara-Chakra, Vishnu-Granthi at Manipura-Chakra and Rudra-Granthi at Ajna-Chakra should be cut asunder by strenuous efforts. These knots prevent the ascent of Kundalini. Bhastrika Pranayama breaks down these knots. When Kula-Kundalini Sakti that lies dormant in the Muladhara-Chakra in the form of a coiled serpent with 3 curves or turns, with the face downwards is awakened by spiritual Sadhana, it ascends upwards towards Sahasrara Chakra or the thousand-petalled lotus in the crown of the head and takes along with it the mind and Prana also. When the mind is in the Sushumna, the Yogi is shut out from the objective, physical consciousness of the world. He is practically dead to the world, sees various visions and moves in the mental, ethereal space (Chidakasa). Samadhi starts.
Samadhi Through Raja Yoga
Deep meditation leads to Samadhi or oneness with God. If you can fix the mind for ten seconds steadily on a particular object or Murti, it is Dharana (concentration). Ten such Dharanas become Dhyana (meditation). Ten such Dhyanas form a Samadhi. The mind is filled with Atman or God. Mind loses its own consciousness and becomes identified with the object of meditation (Tatchitta, Tanmaya, Tadakara). Just as a toy made of salt melts in water, even so, the mind melts in Brahman in Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A sudden stroke of mystic illumination puts an end to all the empirical existence altogether and the very idea or remembrance of such a thing as this world or the narrow individuality of the spirit in this world absolutely leaves the Self.
In trained Yogis, you cannot say where Pratyahara (abstraction) ends and Dharana (concentration) begins; where Dharana ends and Dhyana (meditation) begins; where Dhyana ends and Samadhi (superconscious state) begins. The moment they sit on the Asana, all the processes occur simultaneously with electric or lightning speed and they enter Samadhi at their conscious will. In the neophytes, Pratyahara first takes place. Then Dharana begins. Then Dhyana slowly commences. Before Samadhi manifests, their minds, getting impatient and tired, drop down. Constant and intense Sadhana, with light but nutritious food, will bring about sanguine success in getting Samadhi.
Yogic Samadhi And Vedantic Samadhi
There is a difference between the Nirvikalpa state of a Yogi and the Nirvikalpa state of a Vedantin. The former concerns the mind. The latter concerns the pure Atman or Brahman only. In Yogic Samadhi, Dhyeya remains. Dhyeya means the object of meditation. In Vedantic Samadhi, Kevala Asti (Existence alone) remains.
Savikalpa Samadhi And Nirvikalpa Samadhi
The ground floor represents the life of passion in the sense-universe. The first storey corresponds to Savikalpa Samadhi. The second storey is tantamount to Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The third storey represents the Sahajavastha or a Jivanmukta. The moving of a bullock cart can be compared to Savikalpa Samadhi. It stops. This is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The bulls are detached. This is Sahajavastha. When the Yogi has reached the last perfect stage of meditation and Samadhi, the fire whereof burns surely all the residue of his actions, he at once gets Liberation (Jivanmukti) in this very life.
In Savikalpa Samadhi, there is Triputi or the triad- Dhyata (the meditator), Dhyana (meditation) and Dhyeya (object of meditation). In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, this Triputi vanishes (Triputirahita). Nirvikalpa means "free from all sorts of modifications and imaginations." The mind completely melts in Brahman. The happiness or bliss that you get in Savikalpa Samadhi is termed Rasasvada. This is also an obstacle (Pratibandha or Vighna) for further spiritual progress. It makes you stop here. It cannot liberate you. You must further march onwards to attain the highest Nirvikalpa state wherein lies your whole freedom.
Advantages Of Bhakti Yoga Sadhana
The practices of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga are not suited to the majority of men in this age, while they have always an irresistible charm for such practices because of their apparent concreteness and promise of speedy rewards. A vast majority of persons have no good physique and robust constitution. They are weaklings. In this age, children beget children. There are baby mothers. Devotion or Bhakti Yoga is, therefore, easy and safe. Any man can repeat the Name of God. Anyone can sing His praise. Without a mother, you cannot have a son. Even so, without Ananya Bhakti (one-pointed or single-minded devotion), you cannot have Jnana. When Bhakti is fully ripe, Brahma-Jnana dawns of itself, without much effort on the part of the Sadhaka.
Any Mantra is very powerful. It purifies the mind. It induces Vairagya. It causes Antarmukha Vritti. Every Mantra has a Rishi who gave it; a Devata as its informing power; the Bija or seed, a significant word which gives it a special power; a Sakti or energy of the form of the Mantra, i.e., the vibration-forms set up by its sounds; the Kilaka or the pillar, that which supports and strengthens the Mantra. Kilaka is a sort of plug which conceals the Mantra-Chaitanya. By constant and prolonged repetition of the Mantra with Bhava (feeling or right mental attitude) and concentration, the Mantra-Chaitanya is awakened. Then the Sadhaka gets Mantra-Siddhi. There is a spiritual current in all Mantras. A Mantra takes the devotee's soul first to one centre and then to another and so on, till access is gained to the goal or final region. Dhruva had Darshana of Lord Hari by repeating the Dvadasakshara (consisting of twelve letters) Mantra 'Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya' given by Rishi Narada. Prahlada had Darshana of Mahavishnu by repeating the "Narayana" Mantra. Valmiki realised God by repeating "Mara-Mara" (which becomes Rama-Rama during the course of repetition). Tukaram of Maharashtra became one with Lord Krishna by chanting always "Vittala-Vittala," the name of the reputed image of Sri Krishna at Pandharpur.
Mark the three processes that take place in the mind during meditation. These are: CONTEMPLATION, FILLING, IDENTIFICATION. This is another triplet. Remember these three word-images. Repeat them mentally while doing Sadhana. It will help you a lot really.
Contemplate on Atman. Fill the mind with Atman. Then the mind becomes identified with Brahman in accordance with what is known as the Bhramarakitanyaya (analogy of wasp and caterpillar). As you think, so you become. Think you are Brahman; Brahman you will become.
When the mind is withdrawn from the objects and deep reflection sets in, the objective consciousness is shut up; Savitarka Samadhi commences. Ratiocination, analysis and synthesis (a priori and a posteriori ways of reasoning), investigation and abstract reasoning take place. This is Samadhi with reasoning. Evil thoughts cannot enter now. The mind is Sattvic.
Deep study of philosophical works with Chitta Suddhi is itself a form of Samadhi. The mind here is free from worldly thoughts.
When your meditation becomes deep, you generally operate through the subtle Karana Sarira only. The Karana-Sarira consciousness becomes your normal consciousness. Yogis have a normal Karana-Sarira consciousness. Bhaktas like Lord Gouranga, Tukaram, Tulasidas identified themselves with their Karana Sarira and had a normal Karana-Sarira consciousness. A Bhakta of Karana-Sarira consciousness is an occupant of Brahma Loka even when living in the fleshy tabernacle. He is one with Brahman or Hiranyagarbha. He has Divine Aisvarya; yet he has a thin ethereal body. He keeps up his individuality. A whirlpool is one with the whole mass of the water. It has a separate existence also. Similar is the case with the Bhakta who has a life with his Karana-Sarira in Isvara.
How To Attain Samadhi Through Vedanta
Purify the mind by Japa, Pranayama, Satsanga, Svadhyaya, Dana, Yajna, Tapas and selfless service. Then fix it on God. Destroy Sankalpa-Vikalpa of the mind. Unite the currents of the mind with the spiritual current. Abandon the idea or notion of "I," "he," "thou," Ghata (pot), Pata (cloth), i.e., Nana-Bhava, Dvaita-Bhava. Have Brahma-Bhavana instead. Then Samadhi or superconscious state will supervene automatically.
There are four ways of destroying the ego or Ahankara, viz., two Advaitic methods (positive and negative), one Bhaktas' method of ungrudging, unreserved, absolute self-surrender (Atmanivedana) and the fourth, complete self-sacrifice of Nishkama Karma Yogis.
The negative Vedantic method is denial: "I am not the body, I am not the mind." "Brahma satyam jaganmithya jivo brahmaiva na-aparah:-Brahman alone is real. The world is unreal. Jiva is identical with Brahman." World includes the body. Meditate on this idea. Aham will vanish. The positive method is that everything is Self only: "Sarvam khalvidam brahma-All is Brahman. There is nothing but Brahman."
Intelligent Moderation In Sadhana
Indispensable For Samadhi
Should you hold communion with Brahman, devoid of mental fancies and modifications, then the great bondage of the mind will cease, all doubts will vanish and all Karmas will perish:
"Bhidyate hridayagranthih chhidyante sarvasamsayah
kshiyante chasya karmani tasmin drishte paravare"
The stupid bee, knowing that flowers are blossoming in a certain tree and setting out with a terrific speed, passes it; and, in turning back, reaches it when the juice is finished. Another stupid bee, setting out with a low speed reaches it when the juice is finished. A clever bee, on the other hand, setting out with just the necessary speed, easily reaches the bunch of flowers, takes the juice to its heart's content and, turning it into honey, enjoys its taste.
Similarly, among the students of surgery who are practising surgical work on a lotus-leaf placed in a vessel of water, one stupid student, letting fall the knife with speed, either cuts the lotus-leaf into two or sinks it in the water. Another stupid one, out of fear of cutting or sinking, dare not touch it with the knife. The clever one, on the other hand, makes the stroke with the knife with uniform force, finishes his course and earns money by doing similar work when occasion arises.
To take another instance: on an announcement from the King, "He who brings a cobweb four fathoms long gets 4,000 coins," a stupid man draws the cobweb in haste and cuts it here and there. Another stupid man, through fear of cutting it, dare not even touch it with his fingers. The clever man, on the other hand, rolls it from one end on a stick with mild force, brings it and gets the reward.
To take a fourth instance, a stupid sailor, who goes full sail when the wind is strong, causes the boat to rush off her course. Another stupid man, who lowers the sails when the wind is low, makes the boat remain in the same place. The clever one, on the other hand, goes full sail when the wind is low and half sail when the wind is strong and reaches his destination in safety.
Again, when the teacher announces to his pupils, "He who fills the tube without spilling the oil gets the reward," a stupid student, greedy of gain, filling with haste, spills the oil. Another stupid one, through fear of spilling oil, dare not attempt the task. A clever one, on the other hand, fills the tube with calm and steady force and gets the reward.
Even so, when the sign appears, an aspirant makes strong efforts, saying: "I will quickly attain Samadhi"; but, his mind, through excessive strain, becomes distracted and he is not able to attain ecstasy or Samadhi. Another person, seeing fault in excessive strenuousness, gives up the effort, saying: "What is the use of Samadhi to me now?" His mind, through over-slackness of energy, becomes idle and he too is not able to attain Samadhi. But, he who releases with an intelligent, calm, uniform force the mind that is slack ever so little from slackness and the distracted mind from distraction, drives it towards the goal or Lakshya (i.e., Brahman) and attains Nirvikalpa Samadhi (Advaita-Nishtha). Become like such a one.
Be silent. Know thyself. Know That. Melt the mind in That. Truth is quite pure and simple.
Mind, through ignorance and indiscrimination, considers its false personality to be true and thinks it is the doer of all Karmas and thus becomes egoistic. It imagines that it is in bondage. It identifies itself with the Jivatman; it becomes Jivatman itself and takes the responsibility upon itself for doing good or bad Karmas and enjoying or suffering from their fruits. Hence is mind the doer of Karmas (actions) and responsibility for the Karmas, therefore, rests with it.
Mind is the stealer of Atman. It is a thief. Mind drags the Jivatman into Vishayas (sensual enjoyments). Jivatman is the Abhasa of Chaitanya or reflected intelligence in mind. Mind and Jivatman always live together. They cannot be separated. Slay the mind, the stealer of Atman, through Vichara, Manana and Nididhyasana (constant and profound meditation) on Brahman.
Mind has the potency of creating or undoing the whole world in the twinkling of an eye. Therefore, slay this mind, the slayer of Atman, whether through the destruction of Vasanas (latent subtle desires) or the control of Prana or Brahma-Vichara and Mahavakya-Chintana. The best means of disposing of this great danger of Maya involving all in pains is the destruction of mind. With the destruction of the mind, all the three periods of time vanish into nothing. With the destruction of mind, Atman begins to dawn.
The extinction of Vasanas (Vasana-Kshaya), Manonasa (annihilation of the mind) and Tattva-Jnana (understanding of the Reality), when practised together for a long time are regarded as fruitful. They should be practised at a time. So long as these three are not equally practised again and again, the Supreme Seat (Parama Pada) cannot be attained even after a lapse of hundreds of years. Through the practice of these three for a long time, the firm knots of the heart are cut without doubt, like the breaking of the threads in a lotus-stalk rent in twain.
The Meaning Of Manonasa
Destruction of the mind does not mean annihilation of the Self. The Vedantins divide the mind into the higher and the lower, of which the lower one leading to desires is asked to be destroyed.
Destruction of desires, annihilation of Ahankara, destruction of Sankalpa-all mean control of mind or annihilation of mind (Manonasa or Amanaskata). Destruction of egoism, Raga-Dvesha (attraction and repulsion for objects) and all Vasanas alone is Manonasa. Manonasa comes through the destruction of the Vasanas. Manonasa does not mean that you should take a sword and cut the mind to pieces.
Manonasa means the death of the present form of the mind (i.e., the instinctive mind of emotions and passions), the form which perceives differences where none exists, which identifies the Self with the body. Its death really means its transformation into and, therefore, the birth of cosmic consciousness.
Vast majority of persons live in Annamaya Kosha only. Their thoughts are directed towards eating, cleansing the body and putting on neat dress. That is all. Even the so-called educated persons live in Annamaya Kosha only. Sometimes, they live in Manomaya Kosha (mental sheath). A spiritual aspirant and a Vivekin live in Vijnanamaya Kosha (Buddhi sheath). The Vijnanamaya Kosha is developed by abstract thinking and reasoning, by systematic meditation, Brahma-Chintana, study of the Upanishads, the Yogavasishtha and the Brahma-Sutras. You must all develop the Vijnanamaya Kosha by the study of Vedantic literature and pure thinking. Then you are safe. Mind will stop to deceive and torment you.
Laya-Chintana Of Antahkarana
Mind is absorbed in Mahat or Buddhi. Individual Buddhi is absorbed in the Cosmic Buddhi; Cosmic Buddhi in Avyakta; Avyakta in Brahman. This is the Laya-Chintana or Antahkarana or Mind.
Sambhavi Mudra, Bhrukuti-Drishti (looking at the spot midway between the two eyebrows), Nasikagra-Drishti (looking steadily at the tip of the nose), Nadanusandhana (hearing the sounds of the ear)-all belong to Laya-Yoga. By these practices the mind gets Laya soon. The Unmani state supervenes rapidly. The Unmani Avastha of Laya-Yogis corresponds to the Bhava-Samadhi of Bhaktas. In Sambhavi Mudra, the eyes are open but the mind is fixed on the Lakshya. The eyes do not see the external objects.
When the mind and senses are thinned out and eventually controlled, Karanendriya-Vyapara (the various activities of Antahkarana and senses) ceases. Jivatva (personality-notion and sensation) vanishes. Brahmatva (existence) remains. This is Kevala Asti.
The Two Kinds Of Manonasa
Manonasa is of two kinds, viz., (i) Svarupa Manonasa, destruction of the Svarupa of mind, as in the case of the Jivanmukta and (ii) Arupa Manonasa, destruction of the very form of the mind, as in the case of Videhamuktas, when they leave off their physical bodies. The first is termed "destruction of the mind with form." The second is termed "destruction of the mind without form."
How To Bring About Manonasa
There are five ways of effecting Manahkshaya (destruction of the mind). Two are Yogic methods. Three ways concern Jnana Yoga. (i) When a thought arises, drive it out. Say unto yourself, "Neti, Neti-not this thought, not this thought. I do not want this thought." (ii) Pratipaksha Bhavana-substitute a counter-idea, love for hatred, courage for fear, etc. (iii) Have Brahma-Bhavana. All Sankalpas will die. (iv) Be a Sakshi of the mind. Be indifferent (Udasina). (v) Make the enquiry, "Who am I?" constantly. All thoughts will die. For a man of Vichara (enquiry), the mind dwindles into an airy nothing. This is easier and more effective than the "Neti, Neti" or "Pratipaksha Bhavana" method.
Sankalpa, desire, Raga, Dvesha, Ahankara and mind are the six bricks of the mansion of Jiva. They are the six links of the chain which constitutes the personality-Jiva. Destruction of one brick or one link brings about the destruction of the whole edifice or whole chain.
Therefore, cut off daily the branches of Sankalpa from this dire tree of Manas and ultimately destroy the tree of mind at its root completely. The cutting off the branches is only secondary. The eradication of the tree by removal of 'I' is the primary thing. Therefore, if through virtuous actions you destroy the idea of 'I' which forms the very root of the tree of mind, then it will not spring up again.
Power, possessions, money and knowledge strengthen the Abhimana, i.e., the idea of 'I.' They thicken the mind also. They should be given up in order to thin out the 'I' and the mind. It is through Vairagya and Tyaga that you will have to thin out the mind. When the mind becomes thread-like through the thinning process, it is termed Tanumanasi.
The mind can be controlled either through the control of Prana (Hatha Yogic method) or the arrest of the fluctuation of the mind (Raja-Yogic method-"Yogas-chittavrittinirodhah" of Maharshi Patanjali). Control of mind leads to stoppage of breath and control of breath leads to stoppage of mind, because Prana and mind are under one Sambandha. During meditation, the breathing becomes very slow. Those who practise meditation may be aware of this fact. This goes to show that when the mind is concentrated, Prana stops by itself without any effort.
Pranayama cannot bring about Manonasa (annihilation of the mind). The Vrittis are quietened only temporarily.
Constant and pure thought of Paramatman in our heart would bring about the natural Kumbhaka and absorption of the mind in the heart, the ultimate state and the state which the sages long for. Absorption of the mind in itself is Eternal Bliss (Salvation). Through direct perception of Atman, the mind will be destroyed and will generate infinite Bliss. In such a perception, the seer, sight and the seen become one.
Manonasa And Manolaya
Manolaya is a temporary absorption of the mind in the object of meditation. When you meditate on the form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, the mind becomes absorbed in the form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna temporarily.
Manolaya takes place during sleep. The mind gets involved into its cause, the Mula Avidya.
Manolaya is not sufficient for attainment of Jnana. In Manolaya, the mind is prone to revive. Manolaya cannot save you from bondage. Manolaya cannot give you Mukti. It is only Manonasa (annihilation of the lower mind) that can give you liberation. In Manonasa, the mind revives not and is dead. Manonasa is brought about by Brahma-Jnana.
The Mind Compared
Restless Like A Ghost
The mind is like a ghost which is restless. Once, a Brahmin Pundit, through Mantra-Siddhi, had control over a ghost. The ghost said to the Pundit, "I can do any work for you in a minute. You must always be giving me some work. If you leave me even for a second without work, I will at once devour you." The Brahmin agreed. The ghost dug a tank for the Brahmin, ploughed the fields and did various sorts of work in a short time. He was not able to give the ghost any further work. The ghost threatened the Brahmin, "Now there is no work for me. I will devour you." The Brahmin was quite puzzled. He did not know what to do. He went to his Guru and explained to him his whole situation. His teacher said, "O Chela, use your common-sense or Yukti (Buddhi). Install a big, stout, soft, wooden post in front of your house. Apply castor oil, wax and other greasy substances to the post. Ask the ghost to get up and get down the whole day and night." The disciple acted accordingly and controlled the ghost. The ghost became very helpless. Even so, you must give always some kind of work or other to the mind, e.g., Japa, meditation, Svadhyaya, service, Kirtan, prayer, Pranayama. You must keep it fully occupied. Then only the mind can be easily controlled. You can be established in physical and mental Brahmacharya.
Scatters Like Mercury
The activity of the mind is compared to the mobile mercury. If you place a small quantity of mercury on the ground, it will split into several small pieces and run in various directions. You cannot collect them again. Even so, the rays of the mind are scattered in various directions, in sensual objects. It becomes difficult to collect the dissipated mental rays. Vairagya and Abhyasa will help in making the mind one-pointed.
Shameless As A Street Dog
The mind can be compared to the shameless, wandering street-dog with so many wounds on the body. The dog goes to the door of a house. Someone throws a stone at it and it runs away. It goes to another house. There also, it gets a good hitting and thrashing. Then it comes back again to the first house wherefrom it received a pelting of stone. Someone again throws a big stone and it gets another wound. The dog will never leave off its wandering habit in spite of the repeated bad wounds it receives. Even so, this mind always runs towards sensual objects, even though it experiences immense miseries, griefs and sorrows, pains and tribulations. It will never leave off its old habits. You will have to thrash this shameless mind and take it to its source, Brahman, by chanting OM with feeling again and again. Let it taste the Ananda, the Infinite Bliss of Atman. Then alone it will find its rest in OM, its original Abode of Eternal Peace.
Jumps Like A Tennis Ball
When you play tennis, the ball goes very high in the sky and the next second, it comes down to the ground. Even so, the mind jumps high to the divine glory, dwells on Sattvic divine virtues for a very short time in the beginning of meditation in neophytes and, at once falls down into its old rotten grooves, nasty ruts, foul avenues, stinking channels and dwells on useless, abominable thoughts. The developing soul, the new flame shudders and quivers at the sight of these shocking thoughts. It does not matter; you need not worry. Just as you raise the ball again to the sky by a good, fresh cut or twist or gentle beating, so also, you will have to raise the mind again with effort to the heights of divine glory and divine consciousness.
Reflects Like A Mirror
The mind of a man is compared to a mirror in which Reality (Brahman) is reflected. The extent you know about Reality depends upon the state of your mind-whether it corresponds to the full wealth of Reality or not. Colours are not revealed to the blind nor music to the deaf nor philosophical truths to the feeble-minded: "Nayam-atma balahinena labhyah." The revelation will be imperfect or distorted if there is any taint or imperfection. The selfish desires and passions get between the instrument of mind and the Reality to be revealed. Hidden subtle desires (Gupta Vasanas) attack the Sadhakas (aspirants) in a variety of ways. Sadhakas should be ever watching the mind through serious introspection. When the personality of the subject affects the nature of the instrument, the reflection becomes blurred.
Again, if you place a big mirror in front of a dog and keep some bread in front, the dog at once barks by looking at its reflection in the mirror. It foolishly imagines that there is another dog. Even so, man sees his own reflection only through his mind-mirror in all persons, but foolishly imagines like the dog that they are all different from him and fights on account of hatred, malice and jealousy.
Oscillates Like A Pendulum
In a clock, the pendulum moves to the right and thence to the left. When the children play on a swing, the swing moves high to one side and at once rises high to the other side. Even so, in the case of aspirants who are not established or well settled in deep meditation, their minds also resemble the pendulum or the swing. They sometimes think of Karma Yoga, enter the world and do actions; while, at other times, they run to the Himalayas for leading a contemplative life. There is struggle inside whether to take up Karma Yoga or Dhyana Yoga. You must decide it once for all and be firm in practising Karma Yoga or in shutting yourself up in a room or cave for some years in the practice of meditation. To run for work into the world for six months and then again into the forest for six months for meditation is no good. Decide one way or the other. Cut asunder the Gordian Knot. Work till you get Chitta-Suddhi. Then meditate till you realise. This is the wisest course.
Drops Down Like A Tennis Ball
If you allow a tennis ball to drop from the highest stair-case, it will not stop at any of the middle steps in the stair-case. It will come down to the ground floor at once. Even so, if you do not take the proper precautions, if you mix with the worldly-minded persons, you will get a quick downfall like the tennis-ball. The mind that you elevated by spiritual practices in six or eight years will become tainted with various sorts of impurities. Beware, therefore, O aspirants!
Mind is compared to a SMALL VESSEL which contains small articles, because mind also contains Vasanas, Trishnas, Samskaras, Vrittis, ideas, Gunas, etc.
Mind is compared to a DHARMASHALA or public resting place, because the Vrittis such as lust, greed, anger, pride, hypocrisy, egoism, etc., take their rest in the mind. Mind is Dharmashala for those Vrittis.
Mind is compared to a PUBLIC ROAD. In a public road, anybody can walk. All sorts of people are moving in a public road. Similarly, all sorts of thoughts are moving in this mind.
Mind is compared to the HOUSE OF A PROSTITUTE, because mind is attached to one object this moment, to another object the next moment, like the prostitute. It has a liking for one object at one time, for another object at another time.
Mind is compared to a DEER, because it is unsteady. It is compared to a MONKEY, because it jumps from one object to another. It is compared to a BIRD, because it flies like a bird. It is compared to the WIND, because it is impetuous, like the wind. Mind is compared to a Ghost, because it behaves like a devil.
Mind is compared to a CHILD, because it needs caning.
Mind is compared to an ENGINE, because it works when the food-fuel is supplied.
Mind is compared to a GARDEN. There are beautiful flowers in a garden. You can cultivate several kinds of flowers in a garden. Even so, you can cultivate the flowers of peace, equal vision, contentment, etc., in the garden of mind.
Mind is compared to a TEMPLE (Mano-Mandira). When the mind is purified, when the evil Vrittis such as lust, greed, etc., are destroyed, the Lord takes His seat in the mind and so it becomes the temple of the Lord.
Mind is also compared to a FLOWER, because it is offered to the Lord by the devotee.
Mind is compared to REINS according to Upanishads. He who holds the mind-reins tight can reach the abode of Bliss.
Essence Of Jnana Yoga
What Is Jnana?
Tattva-jnana is the release from the trammels of one's own mind. Such a release alone leads to the attainment of Moksha. The mind becomes of the nature of Jnana by dint of the efforts towards spiritual direction; but becomes of the nature of the universe through Ajnana. If the mind is bathed in the water of Jnana and cleansed of all its impurities, then the shining Moksha will disclose itself in its native effulgence to those who strive after it. The real bliss is that which arises when the mind, divested of all desires through the eternal Jnana, destroys its subtle form.
The Glory Of Jnana Yoga
A Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana with the body and Prana. A Raja Yogi starts his spiritual practice with the mind. A Jnana Yogi starts his spiritual Sadhana with the Buddhi and Will. To be more accurate a Jnana Yogi starts directly with Brahman. He repeats constantly: "Aham Brahmasmi." He who is attempting to fix the mind on Brahman is really doing the highest Karma Yoga, highest Yajna, highest duty and highest charity. He need not visit Tirthas. He need not distribute charity.
Qualifications For The Student Of Jnana Yoga
A complete detachment from the outward things, the manifold objects of sense, together with a capacity for metaphysical abstraction and concentration on inward things are demanded from a spiritual aspirant or an earnest seeker after Truth. The voice of the pure spirit cannot be heard till all superficial organs cease to exist.
For the aspirant in the Jnana-Yogic path, you have the Four Means of Salvation, Sadhana-Chatushtaya, in Vedantic preliminary practice. One of the four means is Shatsampat (six-fold virtues). Of these six virtues, Sama, Dama and Samadhana are really Yogic practices to control the mind. Sama represents the Chitta-Vritti-Nirodha of Raja Yogis by Vasana-Tyaga, Dama corresponds to Pratyahara. Samadhana is Ekagrata of Yogis. Yoga and Jnana are the two wings of the Hamsa bird (Moksha).
Sama (calmness of mind through Vasana-Tyaga) and Dama (restraint of the Indriyas) are two important items of Shatsampat. Sama and Dama are really Yogic Kriyas. When this Sadhana is over, you will have to take recourse to Sravana and Manana. When you take to deep Nididhyasana, seclusion is necessary for three years.
The purification of the mind will not, by itself, bring about Brahma-Jnana. The purified mind is rendered fit to receive the transcendental light and Ananda. You will have to take refuge in Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana after purifying the mind.
Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana (hearing of Srutis, reflection and then meditation on Brahman) are the three Vedantic processes for the attainment of Jnana (Jnanadvaita-Nishtha). This is the ladder with three rungs through which the Vedanti ascends to Brahman. If you do Sravana or hearing of the Srutis once, you must do Manana ten times (reflection of what you have heard) and a hundred times or a thousand times Nididhyasana (profound and constant meditation). Then only real fruit is attained.
A man with Antarmukha Vritti, changed angle of vision, Vairagya and Mumukshutva is alone fit for the study of Vedanta and the practice of OM and Jnana Yogic contemplation. Such a man only will be really benefited. When a man gets a firm conviction that names and forms are unreal and the Adhishthana at their back is real, then it is said that his angle of vision is changed.
It is only through your dauntless energy and own indefatigable efforts that you can get Brahma-Jnana. Guru and Sastras can show you the path and remove your doubts. Anubhava of Aparoksha kind (direct, intuitive knowledge) is left for your own experience. A hungry man will have to eat for himself. He who has a severe itching will have to scratch for himself.
Mind And Brahman
The capacity of the mind to think exists, because it is enlightened by the Brahman or Atman shining within and it is by that the mind is capable of activity. Those who have realised the Self say that the mind is pervaded by Brahman. "He who dwells in the mind, is within the mind, whom the mind does not know, whose body is the mind, who from within rules the mind is thy Self, the Inner Ruler, immortal." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, III-vii-20) "That which one cannot think with the mind, but that by which they (wise sages) say the mind is made to think, know that alone to be Brahman" (Kena Upanishad, 5). Mind is a mere beggar. It borrows its light and intelligence from the Inner Ruler, the Atman that is self-effulgent. Just as a piece of iron moves in front of a magnet, so also, this mind moves in front of the Inner Ruler. It plays, thinks, feels and imagines before the Divine Presence, just as a prime minister plays and works before the presence of the king. The mind shines in its borrowed feathers. It appears like Chaitanya (pure consciousness). How can the mind which gropes in darkness, which changes in every minute, which has a birth from Mahat and also death (dissolution) in Prakriti be termed as pure consciousness?
The thoughts are various and changing. Now good thoughts manifest. Five minutes later, vicious thoughts appear. The mind is very fickle and changing. It cannot, therefore, be the changeless Atman or Kutastha-Nirvikalpa (unchanging, rock-seated) Brahman.
Jada And Chaitanya
Mind, Buddhi, Indriyas and all other things are Jada. That thing which has no knowledge of itself and of other things also is called Jada. Brahman only is Chaitanya-Vastu. Chaitanya or Chit or Chetana is Svayamprakasha (self-luminous) and Sarva-Prakasha (illuminating everything). It illuminates the mind, Buddhi and all Indriyas internally; and externally the sun, the moon, the stars, lightning, fire, etc.
Brahman Is Chaitanya
Who sees the defects in the sun-whether it shines brightly or whether it is obscured by clouds? It is the eye. Who sees the defects in the eye whether it is a cataract or Timira or not? It is the Buddhi (intellect). Who sees the defects in the Buddhi-whether there is confusion or clarity in it? Who illumines the Buddhi? It is Aham (Infinite 'I'). This Aham is the Kutastha or Atman or Brahman, illuminator of everything.
Who illuminates in dreams? There is no other light there. The mind is not self-luminous. It is Jada. It is Brahman who illuminates the objects in the dream.
Suppose there is a blazing light at night. You stand at a distance. Something stands between you and the light as an obstruction and you cannot see the light. But you can clearly see the objects that are illuminated by the light. Though you cannot see the light directly, you clearly conclude that there must be a big light through the perception of the objects. So also, there must be a self-luminous illuminator behind this Nature. That illuminator, the "Light of lights" (Jyotisham-api tajjyotih) is the Adhishthana (support) for this illusory world.
If you sit down and realise that you only think by virtue of the one Life and that the mind, animated by the one Life into the act of thinking, is a part of the whole which is God, then you will argue that your mind is out of existence as a separate entity and the result is that mind and body physically (so to speak) disappear and the only thing that remains is Being-Existence which is not explicable in words.
Brahman Is Sakshi
Raga, Dvesha, pleasure and pain, Kartritva (agency), Bhoktritva are the Dharmas of the mind only. Atman is Sakshi (perceiver) and Asanga (unattached). Like a crystal (Sphatika) which, though tinged with the seven colours is yet unaffected by them, Atman too is not affected by the actions of the mind.
The very idea of creation suggests that there must be a creator. The very idea of matter suggests that there must be a spirit. The very idea of changing phenomenon suggests that there must be an unchanging noumenon. The very idea of a changing mind suggests that there must be an unchanging Sakshi and controller (Niyamaka) for the mind. He is Kutastha Brahman that clearly understands everything and is a Sakshi or silent witness of the Jiva and his activities.
You are able to see the objects only. But the Sakshi or Kutastha Brahman sees the mind, its modifications, the Jivatman or reflected consciousness and the various objects of the universe.
Brahman Is Akhanda
Time, space and Vastu (substance) are the three categories of the mind. Every object has three kinds of limitations (Pariccheda). Grapes, for instance, are obtainable in a certain season only and in certain places only. So grape has got Desa-Kala-Pariccheda (limitation by space and time). It has got Vastu-Pariccheda also. You cannot find grape in a mango tree. But, the existence of Brahman or Satchidananda is free from these three kinds of Pariccheda (Trividha-Pariccheda-Rahita), because He is eternal, infinite and the essence and Adhishthana for all substances.
An Englishman is different from an Indian. There is Svajatiya Bheda. A tree is different from a stone. There is Vijatiya-Bheda. There is difference between a fruit, flower and leaves in the tree. There is difference between a hand, arm, leg, foot, etc. This is Svagata-Bheda. Brahman has not got these three kinds of Bheda. There cannot be another Brahman, because Infinity is One. So there is no Svajatiya-Bheda in Brahman. The world has emanated from Brahman. It is illusory. So it cannot bring Vijatiya-Bheda for Brahman. World is Brahman Himself. Sat-Chit-Ananda are not three entities. They are one. It is only Sabda-Bheda, like water, Pani, Jala. Sat is Chit. Chit is Sat. Chit is Ananda. So there is no Svagata-Bheda in Brahman. Bheda is a mental creation produced by space, colour, size, etc.
If anything is free from the three kinds of Pariccheda (limitation) of Desa, Kala, Vastu and three kinds of Bheda as described above, then it is termed Akhanda. You can ascribe Akhanda-Lakshana to that substance. That Lakshana can be attributed to Brahman only.
Enquiry Of 'who Am I?'
Moksha (release from the Samsaric wheel of birth and death) comes through Jnana (knowledge of Atman or God). Jnana comes through Vichara (right enquiry) of 'Who am I?' or understanding and thinking of the right essential significance of the Mahavakya, "Tat Tvam Asi" (Thou art That) of the Upanishads. Enquiry of 'Who am I?' and understanding of 'Tat Tvam Asi' are one and the same.
Brahma-Jnana, which enquires into the true nature of 'I' is the fire which destroys the mind. It is the 'Jnanagni' referred to in the Gita (IV-37): "Jnanagnih sarvakarmani bhasmasatkurute tatha-The fire of wisdom reduces all actions (and the false 'I') to ashes."
When any thought arises in the mind, enquire: Why has this Vritti (modification) arisen? Whom it concerns? Who am I? All the thoughts will die eventually. All mental activities will cease. The mind will turn inward. It will rest on Atman. This is Vedantic Sadhana. You will have to persist constantly in the Sadhana whatever stray thoughts arise. The one thought 'Who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts of worldly nature. That thought will die by itself. Ego will vanish. Balance left is Kevala Asti; Chinmatra; Kevala Suddha Chaitanya; Chidakasa-Matra which is Nama-Rupa-Rahita (free from all names and forms), Vyavahararahita, Mala-Vasana-Rahita, Nishkriya, Niravayava, which is Santa-Siva-Advaita of the Mandukya Upanishad. That is Atman. That is to be known.
The Sakshi Bhava
It is the Vritti (modification in the mind) that binds you with the object. You identify yourself with the Vritti and, through the Vritti, with the object. That is the secret. Be a Sakshi (silent witness to the activities of the mind) of the Vrittis of the mind. There will be no longer bondage. Be the seer of the mind's dramatic performances and be not involved with the mind itself.
When you see a man suffering from appendicular colic, you do not feel yourself any pain. But when you get the same colic, you cry out and experience intense agony. Why? Because of egoism (Ahankara) you identify yourself with the body. If there is absence of Ahankara, you will not feel any pain. This absence of Ahankara can come only when you become impersonal, when you become the Sakshi, when you identify yourself with Brahman (Absolute).
"I am neither Prana nor the senses. I am quite distinct from these. I am Sakshi (witness) for these and their activities. I am Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa." This alone is sufficient for the Vedantic Nirguna meditation (formless meditation without any attribute). At once you will be elevated to the highest pinnacle of glory. This is the best formula.
If you have a strong Nischaya (determination) only on the above formula, it is termed Paroksha Jnana (indirect knowledge of Brahman). If you have actual Anubhava through meditation, it is termed Aparoksha Jnana (direct intuitive knowledge of Brahman) or Atmasakshatkara.
If you go above body-consciousness, if you can abandon the body-idea and if the mind rests on Atman or the Self, then, doubtless, you are Sukhi, Santa and Mukta (happy, peaceful and free).
Mind has got a reflexive power of looking up into its own depths. A Raja Yogi develops this power. Introspection helps to cultivate this Yogic faculty. Enter into silence now from today in a dark quiet room. Watch the mind carefully. Be patient. Do not identify yourself with the mind. Be a Sakshi or a silent witness. Separate yourself. You can directly perceive the various mental states.
The effort to keep the mind always concentrated on Atman or Brahman is what is called Atma-Vichara.
Till the blissful Jnana dawns on you, you should do constant and intense Sadhana. You must not stop thinking of Brahman (Brahma-Chintana) even for half a second, even for the time taken for one winking. You must become Nididhyasana-Parayana (one whose sole refuge is meditation on OM with feeling and meaning). Then only Brahma-Jnana is possible.
You will have to destroy the Jiva-Bhavana by entertaining the opposite 'Aham Brahmasmi' Bhavana. The Jiva-Bhavana is created by the Vyavaharic Buddhi. You will have to destroy this kind of Vyavaharic Buddhi by developing the Suddha Buddhi or pure reason.
Although you see your body and the world, they really exist not. Never move a fraction of an inch from your established position in Atman. Constantly think that you are the all-pervading Atman (Chidakasa). Even if you are in the mouth of a machine-gun, repeat "Soham"-"Soham"-"Aham Brahma Asmi." Roar like a lion. Fear comes only when you identify yourself with this perishable, fleshy body. If you identify yourself with the infinite, eternal immortal Atman, you will become at once absolutely fearless. Fear is an imaginary modification of the mind of an Ajnani.
Find out your centre. Rest in your centre or equilibrium. That centre is Atman or Brahman or the One Truth that is shining in your heart from eternity to eternity. If you can rest in your centre, neither trouble nor tribulation, neither loss nor disappointment, neither grief nor sorrow can affect you and throw you off the balance.
If you can keep yourself up in tune with the Infinite, you will have a poised and balanced mind. Nothing can hurt you. You will be always in joy, because you are identifying yourself with Atman. You are resting on the Highest Self. Even though Mansoor and Shams Tabriez the great Sufi Jnanis, were flayed alive, they never felt any sort of pain. They simply uttered 'Analhaq' (I am He). Every drop of blood that fell down also uttered 'Analhaq.' They were always in the bliss of Atman. Look at this marvel. These are the real Jnanis. They showed their power and knowledge of Atman.
A small fishing boat is tossed about severely hither and thither even by ordinary waves of a river. But, a big steamer remains unshaken even though violent waves dash against it with tremendous impetuosity. Even so, a man of the world with a fickle mind is tossed about hither and thither even by the small waves of Raga-Dvesha of the mind; whereas a saint or a Jivanmukta with a balanced and serene mind remains in the world quite steady without being in the least affected by the stormy waves of troubles, tribulations, miseries, afflictions, etc. He is always resting peacefully in the perpetual calm of Atman or the Absolute Self.
Whenever you are much worried, whenever you get heavy depression, whenever you get severe attacks of pain, think you are Atman, full of Ananda. Withdraw the mind from objects and worldly thoughts and fix it on Atman. Enter a solitary room and assert: "I am Anandamaya Atman. How can there be pain there? Pain belongs to the mind. It is a mental creation. I am above mind. Atman is an ocean of Ananda. Atman is a storehouse of Ananda, power and knowledge. I feel that I am Suddha Chaitanya, all-pervading consciousness which is at the back of all these forms, at the back of mind. I am Atman. I am all Ananda." You will derive immense joy, power and exhilaration by this practice.
Strangle every thought of deficiency, imperfection, weakness, inferiority. Even if you have nothing to eat, no cloth to wear, even if you suffer from a terrible incurable disease, cling tenaciously to the ideas, "I am God. I am perfect. I possess everything. All health I am. All joy I am." Remember that to be your right mental attitude. What you habitually think prepares a pattern which the life-processes are constantly weaving, outpicturing in the life.
"I am that Atman or Brahman which is Eka (One), Chidakasa, Akhanda (without parts, indivisible), the Self of all beings (Sarvabhutantaratma)." Try to get established in this Bhava with all efforts (Prayatna). Then the Chanchalata of the mind will vanish. Then you will get eternal bliss. You will become a Jivanmukta. There is not an atom of doubt on this point.
Imagine that you hold the whole world in your womb, in the physical ether which is again supported in your own Svarupa (Chinmaya) body (Chidakasa, Jnana-Vigraha). Then the ideas of externality and separateness will vanish. There is nothing outside you. There is nothing outside Brahman.
Apavada-Yukti Of Vedanta
The toy-elephant made of wood has hidden the reality WOOD when you take it for an elephant. Even so, these names and forms have concealed the Reality BRAHMAN behind these names and forms. Get rid of the Bhranti (illusion) in the mind, that is deep-rooted from Anadikala (beginningless time). This is wood. This is not elephant. So also this is Brahman. This is not world. This is Atman. This is not body. This is Apavada-Yukti in Vedanta. Take out the balance left that is true after throwing off the false thing, viz., elephant, wood, body, etc.
Duality is the very nature of the mind. It can never think in terms of unity. It is through Chitta-Suddhi and Vedantic Sadhana that it should be trained to think in terms of unity.
Clay is the only reality in all the three periods of time. Pot is an unreal thing: "Vacharambhanam vikaro namadheyam mrittiketyeva satyam"-Clay only is the reality. The modifications such as jar, pot, etc., are in speech only like ornaments (Chhandogya Upanishad). Similarly, Brahman or Atman is the only real thing, eternal Vastu which has no beginning, no end, no change. The modifications, body, mind, Indriyas and world are all totally false. They are in name only. See the clay in all earthenware vessels. See Atman in all objects (Atma-Drishti).
The cows are different. They differ in colour and various other particulars. But, milk is the same. Man minus customs, manners, mode of dress and eating, is the same throughout the world. His passions and feelings are the same throughout the world. The languages are different in various districts and climes, but the idea behind all languages is the same. This is oneness behind variety, duality and multiplicity. There is one essence or one Rasa in sleep. All feel alike. There is no Nanabhava in sleep. Similarly, there is one homogeneous substance behind the objects. That is Atman. That is Brahman. That is your real Self.
There is a coconut made of sugar only. It has got marks, lines, external shell, ridges, eyes and everything. But, you have got internal Bhava (feeling) in the mind that it is only sugar. Similarly, even though you see the different objects of the universe, you must have a Bhava and Nischaya (determination) of the Atman that is at the bottom of all these objects, which is the ultimate reality and essence of everything.
Why do you look into the leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits of the mango tree? Look into the source, the seed. The cloth is only cotton and thread. Take the cloth as cotton only. Even so, take the world as Atman or Brahman.
When you see any person or object, think and feel that he or it is Atman or Narayana. By incessant practice, the Nama-Rupa, (name and form) will vanish. Atman or Narayana will shine. The world-idea will vanish. It takes a long time. It demands strenuous efforts. You will see and feel Atman or Narayana everywhere. During the course of the practice, your old Samskaras will trouble you. They are your real enemies. Fight against them boldly. This is the practice of Samyag Jnana. You will have Samyag Darshan of Atman. You will transmute all objects into Atman. Think and feel that all actions are Atma-Puja. Idea of inferiority and idea of menial service will disappear as you see Narayana or Atman everywhere.
The Dawn Of Jnana
Just as you know the flowering of mango trees that you will get mango fruits shortly, so also you can know that you will get Abheda-Jnana (knowledge of identity of Atman and Paramatman) when the flower of Santi blossoms in your mind.
Just as the six tastes-sourness, bitterness, astringency, sweetness, saltishness and pungency-are rendered full and enjoyed completely only when the Saktis of tastes and the mind join together, so also the plenum (All-full Brahman) arises when all these articles of worship as contentment, equal vision, etc., are combined with Santi (sweet patience or quiescence of mind).
Santi or peace of mind is of two kinds-Sadharana Santi (ordinary peace) and Parama Santi (supreme peace). Ordinary Santi comes when the Vrittis (modifications in the mind) are controlled and the Vikshepa (tossing of mind) is removed. Parama Santi manifests when you get Jnana (Knowledge of Brahman or the Absolute).
Description Of The Jnana State
The Jnana state is a state very difficult to be comprehended. It is a tremendously high state wherein all the Tattvas drop by themselves and Chidakasa only-like the vast, infinite ocean of 'Vyoma' or 'ethereal space' or 'Gagana'-shines by itself. It is the state of pure knowledge which transcends the pleasures of natural scenery and beauties. The beauties of pleasure-gardens, rivers, lakes, snow-clad mountains, green forests, etc., are the creations of Maya. It veils our eyes and prevents us from experiencing the infinite Sahaja (natural) beauty of Atman. The melodious music of birds is also a creation of Maya. It prevents us from hearing the natural Nada of OM-the sweetest Pranava Dhvani. That Nirvana state which transcends all nature is Jnana state.
Jnana-Mouna is that state wherein the mind remains merged in Brahman or Atman or Svarupa. In this state, there is not the slightest trace of the notion of'I.' As there is no mental activity and as there is no doer, all the Karmas are burnt in the Jnanagni (fire of wisdom). The Jiva feels that he is entirely different from the five Koshas or sheaths, as he identifies himself with the Atman.
In Jnana (Absolute), there is neither East nor West, neither dawning nor setting, neither increase nor decrease, neither sitting nor standing, neither life nor death, neither waking consciousness nor dream state, neither talking nor lecturing, neither thinking nor knowing, neither light nor darkness. The three-actor (Karta), action (Karma) and instrument (Karana)- will shine as one in the Self of Jnanis. What an exalted state it is! It is simply marvellous. It is wonderful. One becomes speechless. It can never be adequately described in words.
I sat on Padmasana. I meditated on Atman. I forgot myself and the surroundings. I saw something which I had never seen upto this time. I heard a Nada which I had never heard upto this time. There was a sensation and knowledge that I was absolutely free from all sorts of attachment. I had an experience of new knowledge. The thought of Atman continued for some time. I had a novel experience of pure bliss. It is a void full of Light and Knowledge and Bliss free from vicissitudes of this world.
When the Self is once recognised and realised, it can never be forgotten. The impression of the recognition of the Self, if once made, can never be obliterated from the mind. It sticks to the mind always.
Mukti is for the mind only. Mukti is for Prakritti. It is not for the Jiva. Jiva is already Brahman. Jiva is ever free. He is identical with Brahman. When the water dries up, the reflection of the sun in water also vanishes. Even so, when the mind-lake dries up by extirpation of all Sankalpas and Vasanas, the reflection of intelligence, Chidabhasa in the mind-lake, also vanishes. The name Jivatman disappears. Ego goes away.
The Mind In A Jivanmukta
"Dehabhimane galite vijnate paramatman
Yatra yatra mano yati tatra tatra samadhayah"
"With the disappearance of the attachment of the body and with the realisation of the Supreme Self, to whatever object the mind is directed, one experiences Samadhi."
Amana is a Sanskrit term which means 'without mind.' "Amanaskata" is a condition where there is no mind. It is mindlessness. You will find this in Jivanmuktas or liberated sages.
Jivanmukta is a sage free (from the trammels of births and deaths) while living. Even in the case of a Jivanmukta, though the instinctive mind with low desires is destroyed, the spiritual Sattvic mind does not perish. Like flowers and fruits latent in a seed, a residue of Sattva, the cause of intelligence, rests always in the heart. If you say that his mind is completely annihilated as soon as he attains Jnana, Jivanmukti state is impossible. How will he be able to do Vyavahara (worldly dealings) without an instrument viz., the mind? A Jnani identifies himself with the all-pervading Brahman and uses his mind and body as His instruments for Vyavahara (worldly activities); an Ajnani identifies himself with his body. There have been cases of Jivanmuktas like Raja Janaka who attained Jnana and who utilised mind and body in this manner for the well-being of the humanity at large.
Sri Rama and Sri Krishna were ever resting on Brahman even when they were ruling their kingdoms. They were ever very conscious of their essential Sat-Chit-Ananda Brahmic nature, even though they assumed human forms. They utilised their minds and bodies as their instruments when they were doing various activities.
Empirical Existence And Existence-Reality
Even this world does not disappear as absolutely as is supposed in Jivanmukti state. Empirical world, in fact, ceases to exist. But, this does not mean annihilation. It merely means that existence changes its form and colour, as it were, for the Absolute. It is empirical existence and not all-existence which vanishes. Existence-Reality remains, but its limited forms vanish. Externality has to go; spatial and temporal views of things must go; causal determination of one thing by another must go; many-ness and oneness must go. This is inevitable. But, the universe with all its reality will not go even for the liberated soul. It will merely change its form, meaning and significance. Nothing will disappear except a false view, a limited horizon, erroneous idea and a circumscribed vision. Fact, Reality, Existence, however, will remain as fundamental as ever; but the viewpoint will change.
The mind of the Jnanis cannot be termed as a mind, but only as Tattva (Reality). That which gets differentiated through diverse objects is the mind. The mind of a Jnani, on the other hand, becomes stainless, like copper transmuted into gold by alchemic process. The mind of a Jnani is Sattva itself, while persons without Jnana will follow the path chalked out by their minds. When a Jnani sees outside, he may simply see, but the Vritti may not assume Vishayakara as in the case of worldly-minded persons. Just as the mind is free from any Vishayakara in deep-sleep state in all, it is free from any Vishayakara in the waking state also in a Jnani. The world appears to him as a mere dream. He dwells in Brahman even while working. In those that have cognised their Self, the pure Vasanas with which they perform Karmas will not entail them rebirths. The mind of such a Jnani is called Sattvic, but a mind without Jnana is generally termed Manas.
The Perfectly Balanced Mind
Now, mark the nature of the mind of a Jivanmukta. It is perfectly balanced under all circumstances. His mind is always cool and unaffected by the Dvandvas (pairs of opposites). His mind is free from Harsha and Soka (elation and depression). It is neither elated by enjoyments nor depressed by sorrow and grief. Without being affected by the pleasures or pains of enjoyments though moving in them, the mind of a Jivanmukta will become inured to them. Through internal contentment and freedom from pains, there will arise in the Jnani an equanimity of mind in all circumstances and at all places. Even when pains and the rest attaching themselves to his body exhibit themselves on his face, his mind never writhes under them or their antithesis. It is free from impure Vasanas. There will be no anger or desire. There will not arise any evil impulse of Kama in such a mind. There is not the least longing for objects. His mind is above worldly things. He is not affected by the world. He need not have a separate room or Asana. He need not close the eyes. He need not do any Pratyahara of the senses.
A mind which, though apparently enjoying the diverse objects, does not, in reality, enjoy them, may be stated to be Brahman itself.
An occultist learns through self-control and discipline to work on two planes at once, that is, to be partly out of his body at the same time when he is working on the physical plane; so that, while he is writing or speaking, he may be doing other things with his astral body. When such is the case with an occultist, little need be said of a full-blown Jnani who is resting on his own Svarupa. A Jnani has dual consciousness. He has consciousness of Brahman as well as consciousness of the world. He sees the world as a dream within himself. A Jnani is always in Samadhi. There is no 'in Samadhi' and 'out of Samadhi' for a Jnani like that of a Raja Yogi.
When you play on the harmonium, you adjust the tune first. It may be fixed either on the second reed or the fourth reed according to the strength and power of your voice. Then you begin to play on the various reeds. The Sapta Svaras are pronounced now. You can play now various Raga-Raginis. He who is aware of the main Sruti can be compared to a Jnani who knows the Atman or support for this universe. He who is aware of the Sapta Svara only without knowing the fundamental Sruti is like an Ajnani who is unaware of the Atman, but who has knowledge of the sense-objects only.
When you see an object with your eyes, you know that it is through the light of the sun that you are able to see it. You have a double Drishti. Similarly, a Jnani has always a double Drishti when he does Vyavahara. Even when he works, he knows he is not working; he is unattached. Even though he sees the world, it is all Brahman and Brahman for him.
Sama Bhava And Sama Drishti
There is a slight difference between Sama Bhava and Sama Drishti. The former is the condition of the mind (as balanced in pleasure and pain, gain and loss, heat and cold, victory and defeat). The latter is the condition of knowledge. The Jnani sees the Atman alone in a scavenger and a king.
When you are expecting to meet a friend of yours at the railway station, the mind tries to see him in several other persons with a like physiognomy (Sadrisya), because the mind is engrossed with the one idea of meeting a particular friend at a particular time. The mind is very eager to see him. A lustful young man sees a woman in a pillar tied with a woman's cloth, in fact, everywhere. The mind is charged with very powerful and lustful thoughts. A God-intoxicated man, on the contrary, sees God in a tree, a stone, boy, child, girl, cow, dog-in fact, in everything. "Sarvam khalvidam brahma."
A Jivanmukta, though he has infinite powers, cannot express all his Siddhis through his finite mind.
The Powers Of A Yogi
Siddhis And Riddhis
There are nine Riddhis and eight Siddhis (major) and eighteen Siddhis (minor). The eight Siddhis are Anima (atomic size), Mahima (colossal size), Garima (excessive bulk), Laghima (extreme lightness), Prapti (attainment of whatever you desire), Prakamya (unhampered will), Isatva (lordliness) and Vasitva (control over all senses). Riddhi means affluence. It is inferior to Siddhi.
A Raja Yogi gets conquest over the mind (Manojaya) through Nirvikalpa or Nirbija (without seeds or Samskaras) Samadhi and, through Manojaya, gets Bhutajaya also (conquest over the five elements). Fire will not burn such a Yogi. Water will not drown him. Late Trailinga Swami of Benares who lived 80 years ago and Sri Jnanadeva of Alandi (near Poona) had various Siddhis. Sri Jnanadeva made his house move to receive Changdeva who was coming on the back of a tiger. He made the Masjid walk. Trailinga Swami used to live for six months underneath the Ganga.
Knowledge Of The Past
The Yogi has got the power to plunge deep into the depths of his subconscious mind wherein the Samskaras are embedded and to have direct vision and understanding of the Samskaras of different births through his new Yogic eye. "Samskara-sakshatkaranat purvajatijnanam" (Patanjali Yoga-Sutras, III-18). He makes the Yogic Samyama (Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi) on these latent Samskaras which are only the past experiences in a subtler form. Thus he gets the knowledge of his past life.
Ashtavadhana And Satavadhana
An untrained mind can only see or hear at a time, but a perfected mind can see and hear at the same time. It can be linked to several organs, to one or to none. It can be manipulated in any way the Yogi likes. It can do eight things at a time. This is called Ashtavadhana. It can do hundred things at a time. This is Satavadhana.
Separation Of Astral Body From Physical Body
A Yogi separates his astral body from the physical body, travels to different parts of the world, as well as to higher planes, in the twinkling of an eye and returns to this physical body like a bird returning to its prison of a cage. A slender thread of Prana connects the physical and the astral bodies. The moment he gets out of the body, the Yogi sees with his astral vision his physical body as a cast-off slough. The process is a very simple one when you know the Yogic technique of separating yourself from the physical body.
Psychic Siddhis-a Source Of Great Danger
To Spiritual Sadhakas
A man may have psychic powers and Siddhis through concentration of the mind. But, he may not have mental purity. Mental purity is of paramount importance for Self-realisation.
Do not think too much of psychic Siddhis. Clairvoyance and clairaudience are not worth having when far greater illumination and peace are possible without the Siddhis than with them.
Why do you care for psychic Siddhis? They are absolutely useless. Shun them ruthlessly even when they try to manifest. They will mislead you and cause your downfall. Beware, Lord Buddha shunned Mara (temptations and Siddhis). Try to get Brahma-Jnana. Then you will have everything. All spiritual Siddhis will welcome you with outstretched hands. You cannot have a downfall then.
A Jnani never cares for psychic powers, for he does not need them in his daily life. Through his Sat-Sankalpa, a Jnani does whatever a Raja Yogi does through his Yogic Samyama. He simply wills. Whatever he desires, then and there it materialises.
Necessity For A Guru
"Learn thou this by prostration, by investigation and by service. The wise, the seers of the essence of things, will instruct thee in wisdom." (Gita, IV-34)
Guru or a spiritual preceptor is necessary for aspirants. Some do the practice for some years, independently. Later on, they feel acutely the necessity for a Guru. They come across some obstacles on the way. They do not know how to proceed and how to obviate these impediments. Then they begin to search for a master. This particularly happens in Yogic practice.
It is the duty of the Guru to set each of his disciples upon that path of spiritual development which is best suited to the Chela, one on one path, one on another, according to the Guru's insight into the innate tendency of each.
Isvara is Guru of Gurus. He removes the veil of ignorance and blesses the ignorant Jivas. The aspirant should regard his immediate Guru in the physical form as an incarnation of that Guru of Gurus and should have equal devotion to him also. Guru in the physical form is the main source and embodiment of all good and happiness that can accrue to the Chela. The disciple should realise the supreme necessity of obeying the Guru's commands and behests and keeping his faith in him unsullied and staunch.
Lay bare to your Guru the secrets of your heart; and the more you do so, the greater the sympathy, which means an accession of strength to you in the struggle against sin and temptation.
Sakti-Sanchara Or Transmission Of Spiritual Power
Just as you can give an orange to a man and take it back, so also spiritual power can be transmitted by one to another and taken back also. This method of transmitting spiritual power is termed Sakti-Sanchara. Like birds, fish and tortoise, the transmitting of spiritual power can be done by the Guru through touch or sight or willing, and thinking. The transmitter sometimes enters the astral body of the student and elevates his mind through his power. The operator makes the subject sit in front of him and asks him to close his eyes and then transmits his spiritual power. The subject feels the electric current actually passing from Muladhara Chakra higher up to the neck and top of the head. He does various Hatha Yogic Kriyas, Asanas, Pranayama, Bandhas, Mudras, etc., by himself without any instruction, through inspiration. Here Prakriti works herself. The student must not restrain his Iccha-Sakti. He must act according to the inner light. The mind is highly elevated. The moment the aspirant closes his eyes, meditation comes by itself. Through Sakti-Sanchara, Kundalini is awakened by the grace of the Guru in the disciple.
A spiritual teacher actually transmits his spiritual power to his disciple. A certain spiritual vibration of the Satguru is actually transferred to the mind of the disciple. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa actually transmitted his spiritual power to Swami Vivekananda. Lord Jesus did the same to his disciples. This is Master's spiritual touch. A disciple of Samartha Ramdas transmitted his power to that dancing girl's daughter who was very passionate towards him. The disciple gazed at her and gave her Samadhi. Her passion vanished. She became very religious and spiritual. Mukund Rai, a Maharashtra saint, put the Badshah in Samadhi.
By the Guru's Grace, the devotee attains the eight-stepped Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga); by the Grace of Lord Siva, he attains perfection in Yoga which is eternal.