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The method essentially consists of the practice of meditation. Meditation has got many meanings. It can mean contemplation of a particular subject. It can mean concentration also, in some places, in some systems. It can be contemplation on just what you see in Nature. It can be contemplation on what the great men have said, by fixing up your thought on that. This is generally known as manana by us and we don't include it as dhyana. It is one of the essential ingredients of any serious practice and dhyana also is there. We talk about dhyana only.

There are two things - you have to meditate and you also have the assistance from the Guru through Pranahuti. These are the two aspects of our system. The reason why another person should be interested in you, is mainly because his desire to share, his desire to serve. So long as it is not motivated by any selfish consideration of the person we should have no objection to receive it. We do not like to be exploited; naturally you also would not like to be exploited. We would like to learn. So the whole process is, you do your sadhana and you will be assisted in your sadhana. There are certain meditational practices we advise.

1. One is the early morning meditation.

2. We have got another process, in the evening you clean yourself or purify yourself.

3. You offer prayer for the well being of others universally to all people at a particular time i.e at 9'O P.M.

4. Before you go to bed, you offer your prayer in a particular way, the method of praying itself will be told.

5. We also ask you to participate in satsang, once you join us, which is had on Sundays and in some places and in some cities on Wednesdays evenings also. The reason for asking people to attend satsang is, in a collective group meditation, you feel greater force of the Divinity entering into all of us. It is a matter of experience, you can feel for yourself.

6. We also advise you that once you get introduced, to take individually sittings from a qualified trainer, with whom you can discuss -

a) What are your difficulties in sadhana?

b) How you are able to progress? and

c) How you are not able to progress.

d) What are the circumstances which enable you to progress further and seek ratification of that process

e) What are the difficulties that you encounter, and how best you can get rid of them

So these are all the methods of meditation that we suggest.

The purpose of meditation, some say they have got some problems and some say that they want concentration and some say that they want some satisfaction of desires, etc., but basic purpose of meditation is to know more about ourselves. We seem to be knowing everything in this world except ourselves. Even the name that we have got is what somebody has given us. We were not born with the name. Of course the form, we are born with it and that seems to be changing enormously. From childhood it has been changing and it continues to change. Our attitudes, our opinions, our desires were also getting transformed. Then who are we? How do we know what we are? What exactly are we? This question appears to be philosophical, something with which no ordinary man need bother about because after all 'we are living sir, we are happy, what is the need for knowing all these things?' It boils down to that. But when you know that internal happiness is not coming from the external circumstances, when you know that you seem to be swayed away by certain feelings, certain emotions, either for the good or the bad, then you would like to know, what exactly you are, how you react. Why is it that you react in a particular way?

All our consciousness has been outward directed till now. We have been responding to external stimuli and internal one is restricted to our hunger or our urges. We do not seem to be aware of many other things that are there inside. We have framed our ideas, our attitudes, our aspirations, everything is inside. We do not seem to know what exactly they are, we don't have crystallized opinions. If we want to know, we have got to go inward. Inward consciousness is what we have got to develop, our consciousness now is outward. I talk to you by seeing you, my speech is what you are hearing, these are all outward things. When you close your eyes, when you don't allow any other senses to work except your mind, then you face yourself. Facing yourself is a tough task. The first thing that you would like to do is to get away from that place because it seems to be so bizarre. You really don't know what you are trying to do. The internal consciousness is an extraordinary mix of several attitudes, several wishes, several desires, several aspirations, several emotions. We don't seem to be saying 'yes this is what I am'. If you want to picturise yourself, if you want to put up a picture of yourself, you find it very difficult. To give a portrait of yourself is easy, your internal portrait is something that is very difficult to give. First of all you want to know that self, what exactly am I?

We seem to be having then, two different planes, one - which has got enormously selfish, self centered, desires, wishes etc, we seem to be also having certain other centered activities, wishing good for others, being kind to others. So there are two aspects of us which we would like to know. Then, it dawns upon us that it does not make much sense to bother so much about our lower level, it makes sense to bother about the higher level. Only those who are capable of feeling this would be ideally fit for meditation in the path.

Otherwise if it is restricted to meditation means, I try to get some energy so that I can concentrate well. That type of meditation is entirely different. If you want to take a test just now, you can close your eyes, count down from 25 to 0. Close your eyes, start counting down from 25 to zero. Close your eyes, kindly do it from 25 to 0. Do not have any other idea except counting down. Count the numbers please from 25 to 0. You would have seen that your mental tendencies which were going out were getting restricted to those numbers. A simple act of counting down is capable of bringing you into a state of calmness. You don't have to do much of exercise, this is enough exercise. If you are satisfied with just getting calmness, this meditation is good enough meditation to do but that meditation can be helpful only in solving your problems, perhaps. Somebody comes to your shop, disturbs you, you do this, you are back at work, no difficulty, you have forgotten that fellow. Similarly when somebody distracts you in your studies, if you do this you are back in your studies. This is a very very simple meditation. All that you have got to do is to count down. No mantra is required, no tantra is required because this mind is capable of doing that itself. This is at the level of the dharana, we are able to maintain a thought on dharana level. This has not moved to the dhyana level. Please understand the difference.

When we go to the dhyana level, we are trying to know what we don't know. We start with a surmise, we don't know what we are. I don't have to count numbers, I don't have any japa to say, any mantra to say. All that I know is, I just don't know myself. If you feel that helpless situation you are fit for a mature meditation. If you feel competent, please note that you will not be in a position to move on to the finer aspects of meditation. Meditation demands that you do nothing and just nothing. If you do something, you are in the field of dharana i.e concentration. So this system that we are talking about with no strings attached is something connected with meditation per se. We are talking only about meditation, allow your thoughts to go wherever they want. Don't bother about them, don't give even an attention to it as some systems ask you to give attention but if they leave an impression, at the end of the meditation please do record it. Don't try to make a note of what you are going through in your meditation but at the end of the meditation please note what the remaining thoughts are and what you feel about it. That is only for the purpose of diary writing

So the meditation proper is not to meditate on any object. So what is the thought that we can give you for that? You require something to work on. So we suggest that you meditate on the divine light in the heart. Divine Light is a meaningless word for us because we have not seen such light. We know only solar light, we know this fluorescent light. What is that divine light? We really don't know, so, fairly a meaningless word, divine light, is what is given to you and lest you try to bring in some luminosity here, we say without luminosity i.e. you are given an impossible task, just to make you understand that you are helpless to know Divinity and Divinity alone should reveal itself to you.

The method of meditation here is you feel your helplessness and many of the abhyasis write this, 'I am not able to feel the divine light'. You will not because there is no such thing. If there is some such thing I can understand that you can say 'I have seen this'. So, Divine light is something which you will never see and that is what we want you to understand but at a particular stage you will come to know that a particular effulgence that is there inside you has neither a luminosity nor a light but effulgence is there, you feel that. Feeling is the language of God, you feel that as you meditate more and more but in the initial stage itself you get to know that it is responding to you. It is enabling you to feel comfortable. Many systems find it difficult to say to their practicants to meditate for half an hour or one hour. We always say meditate for half an hour minimum and one hour in the morning and we don't have many people who complain about it and few who complain have got physical problems. It is because that internal contact is established with the Divine, you are able to sit for meditation. I had an occasion to meet an elderly person who said when I asked him to participate in satsang and it was one hour. At the end of it he said, 'Are you practicing Hatha yoga sir?' I said 'No, this is Raja yoga I am practicing'. Such long hours of practice are generally treated as part of Hatha Yoga. Majority of meditation sessions end within fifteen minutes to twenty minutes. We insist that you should meditate half an hour minimum, 1 hour in the morning.

Why do we meditate? What is it that you are going to achieve by knowing your inner self? You know that your inner self is not a segregated thing but it is one with all others. The traditional example is that of air. You have got a tumbler here you have got a bottle there. There is air inside and there is air outside but if you break the bottle, the inside air becomes one with the outside, though for all purposes they are contained inside. Similarly, the energy that is there in you, the Divinity that is there in you is the same Divinity that is there in me and everywhere else. You become aware of the fact that this body is only a place of activity and is not your true nature. It is your workshop; your body is your workshop. This is the place where we work, this is the only place where you can talk, this is the only place where you can see, and this is the only place where you can hear but that is not yourself. You are something more than that, something deeper in you and once you get to know about that internal self, you get to know that everybody else is yourself. There is no difference between you and other person and the much talked about fellowship, fraternity becomes a reality for us. It is no more a philosophy that is being thrust on us but is a reality that is experienced and therefore it becomes natural for us to feel for others, to live for others. Sacrifice itself is too strong a word once you come to that stage because it is no more a sacrifice, nobody sacrifices for himself. Sacrifice itself is at the lower level. Only an unevolved soul would think about the words sacrifice or service. Service becomes something which is of a lower order awareness. You don't serve your hand by cleaning it, similarly when somebody helps other person, he is not doing anything, he is doing something for himself. This is the awareness with which you move. Is it something you will be in a position to live all the 24 hours of the day? Surely not. The circumstances of our family life, the circumstances of the social life, the social order does not permit it but internally you will feel all the time. You will always feel for the welfare of all others, the prayer will no more be self centered. You change, dimensions change. So this is exactly what happens to us. The result of the meditation is that you will start feeling that you are not encased. You are a free person capable of thinking well for others. Our thinking which was so far restricted to the interest of ourselves and our dear people, starts gaining a different meaning and it means the general good of humanity. So the main purpose of meditation is to feel that oneness with all, not only yourself, but oneness with all. This is one of the preliminary ambitions we should have.

Now, what exactly is the method of meditation that we adopt? We adopt the method of meditation of thinking about the Divine light without luminosity in the heart where it beats. We are aware of external things only. To go without any concept is what is aimed but still we move with the heart where it beats. There are two things here; one - the physical heart is available, you can meditate on that and where it beats - the sound also is given to you. So it not as though you are grappling in wilderness. You are given a definite object of meditation, only, the visual scene is changed. The visual aspect of it which is the most powerful aspect of it is what we want to make it null. We want to make it as a divine light without luminosity. The physicality is there, the soundness is there, the auditory impulse is given to you to meditate upon, but you are asked to meditate on divine light without luminosity because Sarvendriyanaam Nayanam Pradaanam. If we know how to control your way of seeing, you know 90 percent of the truth. It is not all that impossible to meditate as you think. The question might arise whether we should not have a form. There is no need for form because the sound is there and you will also not bother to look into that sound, you will not, as you grow we don't require that also.

Why only heart, not on the tip of the nose or the forehead or any other place? The reason for that is, this is the place where you find activity and inactivity together. There is torpor, there is inertia and there is an activity and only when both of them are there then there is a balance. If balance is our approach, balance is already found in heart and it is balanced. If it goes out of balance you know what happens.

So it is that particular heart on which you are going to meditate because that will give us the capacity to balance between two opposites. Secondly, that is the place from where the blood is pumped and if you get a purified thought there the blood also gets purified, the entire system gets purified and gets advantage of that. Meditation on that point is a meditation on all other points because from there everything else is connected. These are the basic reasons why we say that we meditate on the heart on a Divine light without luminosity.

In meditation you have got external noises, we have internal noises also. External noises, we try to avoid by sitting in a place which is relatively calm and quiet. You can't help it now a days as there is enormous noise around, so prefer early hours of the day to meditate at that time. By meditation like this what we are trying to do is, we are trying to keep ourselves away from the external noises. The internal noise is much more - various cries are there - demands of your office, demands of your family, demands of your health, demands of somebody else's health, all these things are the internal noise that you have got . You do not know how to control them. You cannot control that easily unless your priorities are very high. You must know that these problems that are engaging your attention cannot be solved in this one hour and they can be attended to after this one hour, at the appropriate time, at the appropriate place. This particular determination is a must. By worrying about it you will only be losing your meditation. This is a practical point which you should understand. You cannot do things at the wrong places. When you meditate, you meditate. When you work, you work. Don't think about God when you are studying, don't think about God when you are cycling, think about God when you meditate. It may become natural for you that your entire day you may be remembering the Master internally. That is a separate subject and has nothing to do with this subject or practice. We cannot deliberately choose a time to think about our office problems when we are sitting in meditation. You cannot try to solve a problem of mathematics at the time of meditation, you cannot do that. You should have that much of prioritization and determination. If you have that determination and if you think about the divine light in the heart and then meditate, the help is always there once you are introduced into the system and you will feel the calmness percolating into you. You will feel the Divinity. You will not see the light as I told you, you may or may not feel any other sensation but deep within there will be something that will be telling you that I am here, which you alone will know, those signals you alone know. Everyone of us receive our own signals. Thoughts that come to us, therefore inspite of our determination thoughts will come. Thoughts relating to office, thoughts relating to house, thoughts relating to all other things that are connected with us will come but you should know that you should treat them only as uninvited guest. We never wanted them to come. They come, be so, we do not bother about them. Its existence or otherwise is of no concern for us but at the end of meditation if you still remember those thoughts, kindly make a note of it to know in which area you are stuck up.

There are five planes in which we live, one is your physical plane or the Annamaya kosa, another is the vital plane or the Pranamaya kosa, vital plane relates to your desires, urges, third plane is that of the mental plane or the Manomaya kosa where your thoughts are there, various thoughts are there which are not necessarily connected to Pranamaya or Annamaya, they may be related, perhaps they are. Then later than that we have got the Vignanamaya kosa - that is the reason why you are sitting in meditation at all because it is the Vignanamaya kosa alone which made you understand that you have got an aspiration to live for and it is what was able to convince your Annamaya, Pranamaya and Manomaya kosas to keep a low profile and then it says now I am going to meditate. It is the success of Vignanamaya every time you sit in meditation because you are able to contain the other things, you are able to say no. Otherwise if the Pranamaya kosa is more important then you say 'No, No, I will attend to the prayer later, I will go and attend to this first'. My wife is demanding this or my husband is demanding that or 'No, No, I am feeling terribly hungry I must go now and eat', even though you might have eaten just now. The impulsive tendencies, impulsive tendencies that arise because of the wants of, the physical, vital and mental planes, are the barrier, which you have already been able to put down when you have come to sit in meditation. The mere fact that we are all sitting here and talking is a fact that must enable us to remember that we now are living in the plane of Vignanamaya and it is the Vignanamaya that is transacting. am not transacting with you at the animal level-at the Annamayakosa, or the Pranamaya kosa, not at the mental level. I am transacting with you at the Vignanamaya, talking about your aspirations. So note what type of thoughts that were disturbing you at the time of meditation at the end of it. If you feel terribly disturbed and you cannot help recording it, record it that the thoughts relating to this came because that will enable you the next day to determine that you should not fall a prey to that. If you don't record it, surely you are not going to get rid of it because unless you know your enemy you will never defeat him. You must know the power of your enemy and these are inimical to your aspirations. First three layers of our consciousness are inimical to our aspiration, they will try to distract you, they will try to take away all the time of your meditation. It is possible certain times, suppose if there is a marriage at your house, perhaps it will take away all the time, in happiness. Suppose if there is bereavement in your house, it will take away all the time in your sadness. Exceptions are exceptions, you need not bother about it, you can ignore. If you are not able to meditate on those days I will say don't bother about it but that cannot be an excuse for every alternative day you know. Exceptions are exceptions, exceptions never become rule. So these meditations that you are going to have, you will definitely have these type of problems all the time.

Once you know that it is Divine light without luminosity that is the object of your attention and your helplessness, your helplessness before the Divine is what is to be enshrined in your heart and to do that the prayer of the system is there which says that God is the goal and God is the means. The end is God, Master is the goal of human life. Thou art the only God and Power to bring me upto that stage - the means. So the means for us is He, why? because I cannot do that. I cannot contemplate on Divine light without luminosity therefore He alone has to help me on that. That is the means and the Goal is Himself. I would like to feel as much related as He is to all the human beings. When we say I should become Divine, we are asking for the relationship which the Divine has established with all of us. If you are One with Him that means we are One with all in the world. That is where we say that the borders of Love get expanded. Is it Love for yourself, Narcissistic Love? No, it is Universal love. Universal Love is a Reality, it is not an ambition. You will vibrate, you will feel bad about everything that is happening elsewhere but at the same time you have got the confidence to say, 'Yes, I am here, don't bother'. Why? Righteousness will win. Good will succeed. This faith comes to a person who feels Oneness with the Divine. It is the Divine that was getting defeated, please note this. It was the Divine that was getting defeated again and again. In human history you will find again and again it is Divinity that lost the game but it has never left it because of that particular energy which is there, and always bubbling. It never accepts defeat. It means to bring in a happiness that is our birth right. God wants us to be happy and we shall be happy come what way. We fight but in this process you know somebody else loves you. All these are the problems that you are going to have in your meditation.

You will find your instincts demanding attention, you will find all sorts of ideas coming to you, of kama, krodha, mada, matsarya, eershya, dwesha, everything will come to you. You have to face all of them squarely with the feeling that Divinity is with me and he knows what to do with it, brush them aside. If you yield to any one of them that means you have lost the game on that day. Next day you have got to gird up your loins again and start, never to leave it once and for all. Yesterday I was reading some mail where somebody said he was forced to get up from meditation because of several problems that he had and I felt sorry for him because it's a vicarious problem. He was not in the scene, the problem is elsewhere, thousands of miles away, he was imagining a problem. So he was having a drama of the physical plane at the mental plane. Problem is elsewhere, in Kashmir let us say, and if we say that we are not able to meditate on the Divinity because of the problem that is there in Kashmir, it is living at the mental plane a physical plane problem, which is an impossibility, it is an illusion. You can never tackle a problem like that but the basic core of ours is capable of solving the problem because we go with happiness. Happiness knows no boundaries; it is not at the physical plane. Bliss has no boundaries, it has no physical plane. Peace has no boundaries, it has no physical plane. Pain is in the physical plane. Pleasure is in the physical plane and therefore gets particularized. Though it is incapable of coming to the mental plane we are capable of thinking so and that is what others have stated as illusion. Some systems of philosophy put it as an illusion because there is no pain or suffering or pleasure at the mental plane. It is all at the physical plane. How we react to it is all the problem. They said therefore don't react to it that is a separate subject with which we are not concerned. In meditation we bother to try to keep our attention on divine light only, ignoring all other thoughts. These thoughts relate to these kosas and that is what I am trying to tell you. Don't run away from that situation, face it - ignore it.

In meditation, to summarise I would say you have got to have a easy and natural posture to sit. Don't change it too often because you want a steadiness of mind. Divine light without luminosity, don't ask for a colour, don't ask for a brightness, don't ask for any other quality for that. Divine light, whatever it be, we don't know that, we just don't know that. It is there, it is felt and we meditate on the heart where it beats. We try to go from outside noise to inside noise i.e. we try to restrict the external noise as much as possible and the basic attitude that we should have in meditation is some sort of a stoic indifference to all the thoughts that come to us, feeling the presence of Divinity in a submissive way waiting for Him, waiting on God or waiting for God, these are the basic approaches during our meditation.