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In any meditation that we do, we are confronting our own mind, our own manas. The sensory input will always be there and we are accustomed to give attention to it and that is why even during meditation we are giving attention to it. So which are the things that we will be normally having as thoughts or experiences during meditation? If you put this question, you will have

1. The sensory inputs

2. The mental constructs of sensual inputs

3. You will have something to do with restlessness

4. You will have a tendency to sloth or indolence or sluggishness

5. Doubt, whether with all these things you can still achieve it or not.

These are the various forms of thoughts, feelings that you will have during meditation. In order to understand it better we should also understand what the nature of mind itself is. What are the conditions in which the mind is there? The mind is -

- Kshipta i.e. disturbed

- Moodha i.e. it is almost sluggish / indolent;

- Vikshipta i.e. instead of thinking about the object that you want to think about, but something else. Then you have got,

- Samadhan, the state of mind where you have got fairly a balanced condition. And the last one would be

- Nirodh, when you do not have anything else to do.

These are all the various characteristics of our mind. These are the basic characteristics of mind. Any mind, whosoever it is, at any point of time will be governed by this, whether it is a Vikshipta or it is a Moodha or a Kshipta, or a nirodh or samadhan.

In any meditational practices that you are now trying, you are trying to arrive at samadhan, a state of settledness. How to get at this? Tradition has it that we give some ideas and then allow the mind to concentrate over that i.e. you give a pratyahara, try to have a dharana over that and once your dharana is over you get into dhyana on that. This is the traditional method. Now, putting it very concretely, you are terribly disturbed, annoyed, so you think about a pleasant object - may be a rose, may be a sheet of water or may be somewhere with absolutely peaceful surroundings. Go there, think about that place, think about that rose, have a dharana. That is you are given an object on which you can do the dharana and then that can lead you to samadhan. These are the methods that have been given, there are various examples can be given that you can see for yourself. I am only trying to tell you that when you want to come to the state of settledness, this is what we do. In order to reduce restlessness in our tendencies while at work, modern management has chosen to suggest that you will have some light music all the time going through all the floors of your work space. It gives you certain amount of detensioning, they say, that is the pratyahara that is given and a dharana that is being done by you without even being aware and you will have a samadhan out of it. That is the logic behind that particular approach.

Now, in this case when we have fixed our goal, suppose your goal is to make money, you should have plans, clear cut plans. That is the goal. The goal is the artha, then we should have clear cut plans as to how to go about this job and how do we do it? We should avoid that which is not likely to achieve that goal, we should choose that which enables us to achieve the goal. Anukoolsya sankalpam and pratikoolasya varjanam, Atma nikshepam - you should have confidence, Maha Viswasa. These are all the things that you are supposed to have if you have got to achieve that.

Similarly, when you have fixed a goal now, of a balanced existence, when you want to live a balanced life, not giving too much weight for the artha and kama and dharma, not giving too much of weight to moksha but try to have both because God wanted us to have both and live with both the wings. We should know how to be moderate and if that is the goal that you have taken, if that is the goal, if the goal clarity is there then only there will be a purposeful action. Without a goal clarity there is no purposeful action. Suppose you think that by attending to certain meditation classes or going to yoga classes you are going to have some capacity for performing miracles or achieve siddhis, if that is the goal, surely this could not be the method for it. Goals will definitely decide as to what should be the path that you should take. Knocking at all doors saying that everything leads to Brahm doesn't make any sense. We should know that God has manifested and manifestation means Ekoham Bhaushyami! - One becomes many, I now will to become many, and when He has willed Himself to become many it will be many. We cannot say all of them are the same. If that is so God must be a great fool. Different methods have got different meanings. Everyone of them have got its own relevance.

What we try to have, what we suggest in Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga is that you should have a balanced approach to everything. You should be in a position to achieve both the things. You should be in a position to fly with both the wings. If that is what is the goal, then the sankalpa should be what? That I should achieve it, achieve that state of mind, where I will be balanced, I will be efficient in work and at the same time I will be always restful, peaceful, I will be in a position to move towards life with certain amount of perfection in my work, which grants happiness to others and to me. Happiness to others and to me. If you are trying to say that your happiness is your own, individual, that it has got nothing to do with others then it is a gross ignorance of a simple fact that we all exist together. There is interdependence among us, there is no independence. Independence is an illusion. Incidentally we are celebrating the 50th year of independence. I don't know what it is, but this much I know, we seem to have lost our independence. We seem to be today facing with the problem of interdependence. Problem of interdependence which I am advocating, we should be interdependent but we are facing the problem of interdependence where somebody elsewhere in the world is able to command and give instructions to my mind as to what I need, whether a Pepsi cola or Coca cola or something else. He seems to be aware of my needs so much that he is asking me to take care of all that and makes me restless in achieving it. This is not interdependence, it is exploitation due to interdependence. We are interdependent but it is an exploitation and from that exploitation we should move towards cooperation. Then the MNC's will not be objects of suspicion. They will be objects of love for us. As on date MNC's are objects of suspicion or exploitation.

Man has to grow further and he can grow only when his thinking grows. Now, that being the goal, that being the goal of our life, namely, to live happily and to make others happy showing the best that is in us in action -all these things being our goal. Not the absolute Ultimate Reality about which everybody seems to be eager to talk about because that is one thing you do not know. So you can always talk about what you do not know. You can definitely write novels of flying Horses with horns, name them also, non-existent objects have also been named. They are called unicorns. I do not know who remembered? Who saw that and why it was named so. We have several things like that. We can imagine. Similarly people have imagined about Reality as they like. They have pleasure. It gave them pleasure. It gave pleasure to many others who heard. I am talking to you about a life situation where you have to live with others, you have to live in a balanced condition, you should be at peace with yourself, you should be at peace with others and express the best potential that you have got for the good of all, which includes you. When you say all, you are already included in that. If that is the goal that you are keeping in mind and you want to achieve it, you require enormous determination

People who are slaves of small habits which they have developed during this life time - may be a cup of coffee, may be a tea, may be a smoke, may be a drink, may be a cinema, may be some entertainment hall or a drama. Whatever it is, hundreds of things, they are not able to get rid of it in spite of a will on their part. They also desire to get rid of all of them, they know it is bad. I also know I have got one problem. I am a diabetic but still I like to eat sweets. It doesn't leave. It seems to be haunting. The sankalpa is weak. I agree, you have to agree like that. There are several things you have got, then only you will understand what is the level of your sankalpa.

Now I bring you back to the ancient tradition of this country - for doing any and everything you are asked to do a sankalpa. Without doing a sankalpa, there is no vratam, there is no tapam, there is no puja, there is nothing that is possible for you. Why? Why do we require this explicit saying that, "this world was started on such and such day, I am now within this Manmantara and staying within this place I am staying and I decide on this auspicious Nakshatram or whatever it is. I decide to do these things." Why? Why all these things? Why this reference? All these things enable you to think of your interrelatedness. That you are not an independent fellow, you are dependent on so many things. Your interdependency is explained and then you are asked to will it, with pious intentions, have a firm determination. Sankalpa is nothing but a firm determination.

This firm determination or Dhruda sankalpa which was there earlier is lost today. Everyone wants to read. "Sir, I am very serious to study but not able to, I am not able to". The sankalpa bala is so poor, so weak, Why? Sankalpa is a mental object given to you. It is your own decision. You are bombarded with sensual objects all the time. These take over a toll over you and you have no chance to succeed. This is the reality of the modern situation. Today we are in this situation. I had an employee with me, interesting fellow, very good fellow. I do not know where he is now. Very good handwriting, everything was fine, once he starts working he will work most efficiently. Only thing is he will not come to the place of work. He will start at home with all interest and will get into the same bus which passes through the office but will never get down there. He will go along with it up to Charminar. Why? We do not know. He was all the time restless. When I asked him, "why did you do like that? You are such a good worker, why did you do?" "I couldn't help sir because of so many things. Somebody was telling that there is some cinema there, some show there, so I went there". I asked him, "what will happen to your job? People are dependent upon you. What will you do?". "No, No sir, I went there, sorry, I will try to improve". Poor fellow he could never improve and one day he got absconded and naturally rules take their own course and he is out. That is what happens to most of us. We want to read, we take a book, at a very good hour we take, we see to it that the environment around is sufficiently calm, then all of a sudden your sister has come, she knocks at the door then you close the book and then go. Not necessary. There are others in the house to take care of her but you will not continue with this.

So a sankalpa given saying that this is what I am going to do, that fellow will not get up till that job is over. That is what was ensured in the tradition which today we have lost. The importance of sankalpa is lost, so this dhruda sankalpa is an absolute determination, "Yes, I am going to reach this and until I reach this condition I am going to be restless" is a point that you should have. Now this is where Pranahuti comes to you. You are helpless there but if you take the support of the Divine along with this then it becomes a bit easier. It doesn't become totally easy. It is not something that you are going to say, yes with this help you have reached everything. No, it is not that. It is a support, a Divine will supporting your will. Why does the Divine will? Why should it will at all? History has told us that irrespective of the number of prophets and avatars who have come, human nature has not changed. Fraternity has become worse over 3 or 4 yugas now. What was the real brotherhood during Ramayana period has now today ended up in a hopelessly bad warfare among brothers, now that is going on. Every family is going through, every country is going through which we don't have to discuss in detail. The ideal values of satya yuga are lost. Man has chosen to become totally independent, interdependence is lost. The one thing that industrialization has effectively done to ruin our society is to abolish the joint family system where sharing was a principle of existence. Today we do not believe in all that. It is very difficult to make anybody to accept all this. After all, the wheel of time cannot be rotated back, it moves always forward. You cannot undo what has been done. So a state has come when man has become so isolated, so individuated, that unless there is an influx of the Divine into every person, this particular transformation is not likely to happen. The sankalpa itself will not stand.

You sit in meditation, you think about a Divine light in the heart and sit. Your mind was not sitting on that, the mind was just going around all the places in this world. It is capable of sustaining that thought only for some seconds. You are not able to do it for more, and naturally, there is nothing abnormal about it. There is nobody who is maintaining his thought on the Divine light just like that at the first time, it is not possible. The prathyahara that is given to you is a Divine light, that itself is something that you do not have any awareness of, you do not know anything about it. . On the other hand had we suggested that you take SriRamchandraji Maharaj's photograph or Lalaji's photograph or Venkateswara Swamy's photograph, it is much easier. You can grapple with that, you can play with it, you can put his hand up or put his hand down. You can make him smile or make him laugh or you can make him weep. You can do anything you want with an object given to you to manipulate, you can do anything. Here nothing is given to you to manipulate.

We are suggesting that the Ultimate Reality is something that is neither form nor formless. It is nothing new, everybody has said it and they said you take to the form and from the form you go to the formless and from the formless you go to the formless form. Go, Go beyond that. This is what they were suggesting. On the other hand SriRamchandraji Maharaj says you take this particular thing (Divine light without luminosity) because it is Divinity that has to work now with you. You must have at least this much of a sankalpa that Divinity is in you, then only the influx becomes possible. Pranahuti and the meditation method given in this system are interlinked. On the other hand if you think about some God as one gentleman said that he has counted some numbers, if I am right, 108 or something like that, numbers, he said. Yes, you can meditate on numbers, just go on telling 1 to 100, you will have calmness. Not necessary, you go on telling 1 only you will have calmness. For all these things there is enough research to substantiate, your mind will be in a state of calm and what they call, the alpha waves seem to be coming even when you have got 1 as the object of attention. Yes, researches are available but that is not what we are seeking. What we are seeking is a harmonious living, a blended living, a living with the Divine along with all others, not to the exclusion of others. To be with the Divine along with others is what we are asking for. Exclusion is for the sanyasi, totally only these people, there is no God, there is no necessity for God also, but balanced existence, an existence of equanimity, a balanced existence becomes possible only when Divinity is allowed to have its sway over you. It should sway over you, it should also guide you every second saying this is what is right. It should be in a position to do but then Divinity is neither a Durga, nor a Lalitha, nor a Venkateswara nor a Ganapathi. It is not all that. All of them put together will make a very grotesque picture. You will not be in a position to meditate on that. You put all the gods together, all gods' pictures I mean. There is nobody who has seen all the gods. There is only one God that I know but we have got so many gods' pictures. All of them put together one. I had a joke long long back when I used to draw some.

- Aravinda dalayathaksha , put some lotus eye.

- Ajaanubaahum, then you have got long hands almost like a chimpanzee you put long hands.

- Put blue colour, meghashyama

- Beautiful long hair, Keshava means only that. A person who has got beautiful hair.

You put all these things then see what picture emerges. If that is the position with only certain adjectives that I am talking about, if you were to think about all the gods, Indian, western, occidental, oriental, put everything because all of them are gods and try to imagine what type of picture you get. I don't think God is that grotesque. Simple, he is simply residing in our heart as a Divine light. Now Divine light has again become a problem. Some think it to be a Jyothi. I don't think that is what we are suggesting to you. Jyothi is not what is suggested. We call it Divya Jyothi. Jyothi only means you will get your jyothi, you have got several jyothis at home to show. Some electrical, some electronics and some with oil - all sorts of things we have. That is not what we are asking. What we are asking you is to take the concept of God which is formless and something beyond, beyond our imagination. That is why we are suggesting a method of a Divine Light without luminosity. Light without luminosity is a very tough concept to mind to maintain. Why? God is also is like that. By giving that suggestion there during meditation and by receiving the transmissions which are from again the Divine waves that are brought to your heart, what happens is, the sankalpa starts becoming better and better and better every day.

A brief moment of one second or two seconds or five seconds or one minute of calmness improves your faith. When you go to a doctor and he gives a medicine which reduces your headache you have got certain faith in him. How do you develop faith? Everybody says you should develop faith in God, how do you develop it? Something should happen, what is that thing? It may be curing of a disease, people go to several places for curing of diseases. Most of the rivers are meant for it. Some of the hot springs, sulphur springs etc in mountains, they say, they cure and people go to that place, they worship it almost. Agreed, but that is not even the beginning of Brahma Vidya. Brahma Vidya demands that you should know the difference between what is permanent and what is transient. Body is bound to perish, Siryate Iti Sareeram, there is no doubt about it. It is born, it grows, it decays and dies. There is no point in worrying too much about that. Though tradition has it that Vaidyo Narayano Harihi, I wouldn't consider every doctor to be a God. The ultimate God is one who is beyond all these things. He is bound to be there even when I die, he will not die along with me, though, the misfortune is or the fortune is that he is in my heart. What happens to that God when I die? A question which nobody seriously thinks about is what happens to that God? There is God in every man's heart, what happens to that God? He also dies perhaps, God dies. That seems to be the natural conclusion. There is no alternative. God is born along with you and God dies along with you. If that is the knowledge you have got, I cannot do anything about spirituality but then he continues, he continues to express himself again in another form. It is a perennial continual expression of the Divine which we are fortunate to have during our lifetime. We may not have it afterwards, we might not have had it earlier but this is a period. So this period of the existence of Divinity in your heart has to be made full use of. You have got an opportunity of having the God as your friend, as your sakha, as a person who moves along with you, dwells along with you, does everything along with you and if you can put everything in his presence, then comes the question of the Divine functioning, Divinity itself functions. This is possible only when you annihilate yourselves, the ego has to come down, your own ideas must come down.

The priorities of what is good for the world, what is good for the welfare of the society, that becomes more important, that is the level to which a man moves. When the importance of that type of service is understood and the presence of Divinity is experienced he becomes a Mahatma, a Gandhi comes out of it, otherwise no Gandhi comes, it is not possible but that is not the end. Mahatma is not the end for us, we are asked to develop into the status of the Paramatma also. The atma should become the Paramatma, when is it become possible? You have to become the Mahatma and then you have got to become the Viswatma then only you become the Paramatma. Then, when you become the Paramatma, are you going to create another world? Surely not. Are you going to destroy the existing one? Surely not. Are you the person to sustain it? Yes, to the extent that is possible. You can sustain the creation that is made by God for the good of others by exhibiting the Divinity that is there inside your heart to the outside and hiding yourself. This becomes possible only with that sankalpa and Pranahuti is an assisting factor to your sankalpa. It makes you feel the deep quiet within. Some people experience it as waves, some see it as light, some say it is a flow, some say it is a calmness which they cannot explain. All these things are the experiences of the Pranahuti and who is giving that? It is God himself. God has willed a change in the nature of man and it is happening through several sources, all sources are welcome to participate but in every place they should understand the influx of the Divine. Without the assistance of the influx of the Divine it becomes impossible for you to cross the barriers of your own creation, your own attitudes, and your own desires.

The desire to continue your life - it is not your desire, that is the Divinity's desire. The desire to increase your property, that is your desire, not Divinity's desire. You should understand these fundamentals. To be happy is Divine desire, to be exclusively happy is your desire. To be happy is Divine's desire. God wants us to be happy, if there is one truth that people have forgotten today, it is this truth that God wants us to be happy. He never created us for being unhappy. The rules of the game we have forgotten, the interdependence we have forgotten, sharing we have forgotten, sacrifice we have forgotten, love we have forgotten. On the other hand we developed ego centeredness, individuality, personality development. Big words we have, very very big words, I can use any number, it makes no sense. All that points out only one thing - that you are more important than the other. In the same house the same thing is taught, your education is like this. You see, your brother is doing better, you are not studying well. Your brother does sports better, you are not doing this. He goes to the job better, you are not doing that. Nobody is taken at his face value because comparison has come to the way of life, competition has become the rule as against cooperation, as against coexistence. God wants us to coexist, God wants us to cooperate, God wants us to be happy. We want to be unhappy because we think our happiness is dependent upon another person's unhappiness. That is again a basic instinct, the asuric instinct in man, where people take pleasure in somebody else's pain. So today if you are going to see how many asuras are there, all the MNC's are asuras, all the so called big wigs, people who are having this, corporate sector bosses are asuras, try to fool you, try to cheat you. Refined asuras we have got as against the gross asuras that our puranas have. They exist, they exploit. They exist by exploitation,nothing else.

I will tell you a small feature which I have been coming across for the past few days. A good boy, marriageable fellow, made lot of money. He is in search of a bride, he couldn't get any. The reason you know because whenever he talks about marriage to them, he says, "I do meditation, I think about God" and they say No No, we do not want such people. I am not joking. I can show the person, I can show the several horoscopes that we have examined etc. This is what is happening today. To think about God is wrong, to meditate and be happy is wrong. A person who runs all the time without any leisure without any rest is considered a perfect man, an achiever. What a disgraceful level to which we have come, you please note. I am not telling stories. This is a fact and I was amused because several people came and asked me several things. Another extreme case was that they want a person who doesn't put a moustache, want a person who is teetotaler. I said, such people are not available. This is one extreme and that is the other extreme and we want to balance. This system is asking you to balance. Let us come to understand both and then let us try to do what is best. You can't ask that and you cannot yield to this. Somewhere in between you have got to strike a balance and that balance is possible only when you are keenly aware of the Divine with you.

Thoughts, please take it, thoughts will always come. Whether the thoughts are at the animal level, purely bestial instincts that are governing you or is it at the personal level, egoistic or it is transpersonal i.e beyond you or whether it is Divine?. That is all the difference in mind thoughts. The thoughts will be either bestial or ego-centered or transpersonal or Divine. This is the four stages, in which place you are going to have samadhan? Are you going to have a samadhan at the level of the bestial thoughts? Yes, misfortune is that. Many people are happy to eat and to whore. Fine, nobody can do anything about it. but then a stage comes when he understands that this is not it, he has to move on.

A person who has got wisdom will hear what the elders say, the apta vachana is accepted. If the apta vachana is not accepted then he will go through the experiment 'Let me see for myself.' We say smoking is injurious not only for you and for the world, please drop it. 'No, I will learn for myself' Learn. It has got its own price. Everything has got a price and that you have got to shell it out. But for this thing there is no need for any price, for feeling the Divinity in you, because it is already with you. The price is only your preparedness, willingness to make a decision. Yes, I make a decision that I am going to live like this, I am going to feel the presence of Divine in me and every act of mine shall exhibit it. Yes, that sankalpa, if you can make it, the Pranahuti will work on you definitely. If you lack that sankalpa, nothing can help you.

The support of the Divine comes only when you are willing to support yourself first. So if sadhana is taken into your head seriously, Pranahuti works wonders because it is just capable of doing anything to see that you are balanced.