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Concentration and Control of Mind



Concentration, as commonly understood, refers to a state in which the conscious activity of the mind is brought to a standstill. But that is not the correct expression of the sense implied in it. This type of concentration implies physical effort which one must resort to consciously or even unconsciously. Usually, one proceeds with it with a conscious idea of some particular state which he interprets as concentration. Generally people take it in the sense of an unnatural heavy sleep brought about by the temporary suspension of the senses. As such, it is just like a state of senselessness caused by the drowning effect of some intoxicating drug. It may perhaps be for that very reason that some of the so called mahatmas are found to be addicted to bhang, charas or ganja.

Generally, teachers advise the abhyasi to practice concentration as a preliminary step, and the abhyasi puts himself to efforts for effecting the same. But in spite of all his labour for years together he is seldom able to achieve it. Why is it so? The failure can in no way be attributed to any of the defects of the abhyasi but to that of the teacher himself, who resorts to his bookish knowledge to guide the aspirant on the practical path of Realisation. The fact is that the entire process as it is prescribed, is wholly unnatural and artificial and the means adopted for the purpose are all physical and gross. The result is that instead of proceeding towards subtleness, they go on imbibing more and more of solidity and grossness, and finally turn into impregnable rock.

Taking up concentration in terms of suspension of mental activities, one has necessarily to apply his effort to create in himself a state of insensibility. The force required for the purpose is undoubtedly the physical force which acts in combination with matter. Thus the whole process undertaken for the purpose becomes a material pursuit in the real sense. Concentration in that sense relates to the condition of the physical mind at the conscious level, the activity of which is temporarily 'subdued by the application of physical force. Practical examples offer sufficient proof to show that those having advanced with the condition thus developed, become internally so gross and rigid that they become wholly insusceptible to finer and subtler influences. Concentration effected by forceful suppression of thoughts leaves its weighty effect upon the mind. The force applied for the purpose, also being a physical force, causes its own weight. Thus in a word the state of concentration interpreted as coma is basically wrong, since it keeps one in close touch with matter. In that sense concentration may aptly be compared to a marshy condition, from which it is very difficult for one to extricate himself. He cannot save himself from sinking down deep into it unless he falls flat over it giving up all his efforts. Those who proceed on with that condition, carry along all through with matter. It may, however, help them to some extent in their material purposes and promote in them hypnotic powers, but it is not the least helpful in a purely spiritual pursuit.

People like to go into concentration because it is pleasing to the senses. Obviously it cannot, therefore, be helpful in a spiritual pursuit. Concentration directly refers to suppression of thoughts. The idea entered into our mind only after mesmerism or hypnotism has come to our view, because there the physical force of thought was utilised all through. No spiritual purpose can be served thereby. It can, however, reveal the nature and character of a thing, but that can by no means help its achievement. It cannot therefore be instrumental in the attainment of God. On the other hand it tends to keep one away from Reality. The basis of meditation is purely spiritual, while that of concentration is only the ego. When you mean to concentrate, 'You' are there, quite definitely, but when you meditate, you wait for something higher, hence you are away from the idea of self.

The only proper course for an aspirant would, therefore, be to get himself absorbed in the light of the Divine coming to him from the Original source, without minding the implications of the word concentration. In that case the question of concentration will not arise at all, and one will all along be with that which can neither be interpreted as concentration nor otherwise. Concentration with all its implications affecting enclosement, being not of any avail, it is only the power of 'non -concentration' as I may call it that enables one's approach to higher and higher regions of enlightenment. Proceeding along in that way, one would keep on imbibing the power of the Source to light himself up with Divine effulgence.

Now what condition does the word 'non-concentration' refer to? Obviously it refers to a state associated with an overflow of thoughts. But then there are two aspects of it: the one when the flow is not conjoined with our conscious knowledge, and the other when we have a conscious awareness of it and take its effect upon the mind. This, the latter one, may no doubt amount to a state of distraction, especially when one is linked with the thought of some misery or affliction. In the former case, though the flow continues uninterruptedly, yet the encumbering effect thereof is not felt upon the mind. Normally this state of mind is seldom found to be disturbing. Taking these two aspects into view I might say that the later is quite similar to the state known as concentration, but with only this difference that here the object of concentration is one's distraction and worry instead of the godly thought. It may, therefore, be taken as crude concentration which is maintained by the force of our unconscious efforts. The effect in both the cases (viz., by conscious effort and by unconscious effort) is the same i.e., heaviness, dullness, sluggishness. The very word concentration implies a sense of artificiality, and effort is for that reason indispensable. When the flow of thought is spontaneous it is effortless and closely similar to the state commonly known as concentration. The proper word for that may therefore be 'absorption', which is a natural course and follows by itself as the result of meditation on the right lines.

Concentration taken in the sense of absorption (non-concentration, with flow of thoughts, without effect of the mind) is the real state. It may be of different types at different levels. One may be the concentration of the lower level, another that of the higher level, and still another that of the highest level. Now taking out the common factor 'concentration' from these, what remains thereafter is only the lower, the higher and the highest. That is how one has to go on with his march towards the Ultimate. On the other hand if our thought remains involved with the idea of concentration the inner force will not be working actively to offer us impetus for our higher ascent. The proper course would, therefore, be to take up the thought in the form of sankalpa (subtle idea) without any imposed resolve or effort, and proceed on with it in a gentle and natural way without enforcing any artificiality or imposition. Such is the process followed in Natural Path which, as a matter of fact, introduces through the Master's Pranahuti from the very beginning that very state which lies at the farthest end. Though in the beginning one might have, at times, only glimpses of it, yet after continued practice the same condition covers him all over. This is why in spite of the continuity of thoughts often present at the time of meditation, one proceeding by Natural Path experiences a peculiar state of concentration better interpreted as "absorption".


India is the home of spirituality. As such, speculation has been active in all ages. This is the time when the dormant forces of man are taking a deeper trend on the spiritual plane. The world is also having its own share in building the entire structure of man on the basis of spirituality. The most encouraging feature of the day is that they are all seeking the way for peace. In spite of so much wealth in some parts of the world, peace is wanting. The external means are adopted in vain for earning peace. Unless we turn ourselves inwards, seeking peace, we can not have even a grain of it. Different methods are being adopted for securing peace; one adopts it according to one's own temperament.

The teachers of the day mostly leave the burden of controlling the mind on the taught which really makes it difficult problem for the abhyasi, with the result that he is unable to overcome the difficulties. In such cases the teachers feel that nothing remains to be done by them. In other words, the duty which devolves on the teacher is shifted on to the taught.

The Yoga Marga brings about the result very soon if one has the real devotion side by side, because by the instrument of devotion one soon becomes attached to the Beloved. The thought of the Beloved is there, and this helps a man to go into deeper consciousness. If somehow we get the teacher who can foment us by his internal force acquired by being a Brahmanishtha then the difficulty is mostly over, and we soon begin to peep into the Real Being. There may be so many methods of yoga under different names and I present the remodelled method of yoga under the name of Natural Path.

The abhyasi is recommended to do the meditation on the heart supposing the Divine light within. The Master attends to the cleaning of the system by removing Mal (grossness), Vikshep (fickleness) and Avaran (coverings) and is a great help to the abhyasi throughout his spiritual career.

We have come down from the main source, and when we want to return there we will have to ascend, crossing the different chakras or plexuses. I am not dealing here with the technique of Natural Path, but with a few things necessary for those who have formed their tendency to rise above themselves. The training under Natural Path starts from Karan Sharir (causal body) where the impressions are in seedling form. We do not stop the thoughts which come to the abhyasi but we try to clean every centre of the nerves and the mind lake (Chit Lake) itself. We clean the very bottom of the mind lake from where the waves start. If we somehow succeed in stopping its waves, the matter which gives them rise will remain as it is. It is possible that by the force of the will the thought waves may be stopped, but the matter which had given rise to those thought waves remains. And if it is not removed, the liberation is not possible. We should proceed in a natural way so that the poison at the root may be removed. Our associates also complain of the incursions of the thoughts, but they are happy at the same time since they find thoughts less disturbing.

We can attain liberation, as our scriptures say, only when we are free from the coil of past Sanskaras or impressions. The present sanskaras are so much controlled by themselves that no further Sanskaras are, allowed to be formed. It is of course a spiritual state. And we come to it easily in Natural Path when we go deep into the consciousness.

The thoughts, which the mind creates, help a great deal to bring the past impressions to Bhoga. Some people may be afraid that, if they adopt the yogic means and the trail of Sanskaras continues, they may be in greater difficulties and may suffer from ailments, diseases and accidents. They may be right in their fears. But if such a thing is to happen the presence of the Master will, in that case, become useless. The abhyasi himself works in removing their intensity, and the force of the Master too helps the abhyasi in his efforts to fry them to a great extent. The method may look foreign to the readers, but it is the ancient method which lay buried so far. The effect of the Bhoga is not so serious as the abhyasi considers, in spite of the fact that so many impressions have pushed themselves for the Bhoga. The cleaning of the system itself means the removing of all these things. The cleaning of the system brings the desired result very soon, and we become lighter and "Sookshma" day by day to secure union with the lightest.