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- Sri. Ishwar Sahai


Since the proper regulation of the mind is an essential feature of the pursuit it is but necessary to adhere to it from the very start. The only effective process for that would be meditation which deals directly with the functioning of the mind. The non-stop wanderings and all the multifarious activities of the mind can be overcome by gradual change in its general trend. The mind which on account of its close association with body-consciousness has fallen on evil ways, thinking all the while of its sensual cravings, is to be diverted towards higher and nobler ideals. This is what we do in meditation. In meditation we try to attach ourselves with one subject for sometime. That means, for that period at least, we are to some extent relieved of its obnoxious trend. When the practice matures and mind becomes accustomed to it, a state of peace and calmness begins to develop within. This is the elementary result achieved by the practice of meditation.


The general view that concentration is the initial step for meditation is a grossly mistaken notion. Most of the people are induced to believe that for practicing meditation it is necessary to start practicing concentration first. This fallacy has perhaps arisen out of the wrong interpretation of the term 'Dharana' which according to the routine of Ashtanga Yoga precedes 'Dhyan' or meditation. But 'Dharana' simply means attentiveness and not concentration as commonly understood. If we examine this question in the light of our daily routine, we find that when we think over some of our worldly problems we naturally pass through the three steps implied in Dharana, Dhyan and Samadhi. In all cases, we first fix our attention on the thing and then begin to think over it in a continued way. Sometimes, when our thinking becomes very deep, we feel lost in it, which may rightly be presumed to be a state of concentration. Thus, it would be wrong to presume that concentration is the preliminary step for meditation. Besides, if we first try to concentrate we must necessarily resort to physical force for suppressing the activities of mind in order to create a state of suspension, which is definitely a wrong course and away from or real purpose. The suspension of mind brought about by forced physical means may, however, result in a temporary state of coma which is wrongly presumed to be a spiritual state. It may be more like a state of senselessness brought about by the effect of chloroform or some other drug.

Object for Meditation

The next important point in this connection is the fixing up of an object for meditation. Some of the teachers have classified meditation in two ways, the concrete and the abstract. The concrete meditation is that in which some material object in solid form is kept in view and meditated upon. Numerous objects are advised for the purpose. In most cases, it is the image or a picture of some god which is commonly considered to be the best. Others advise objects like a flame, a mountain peak, a river or even a flower to meditate upon. The significance of such objects which have no relation with the Divine thought is not understandable at all, unless thereby they mean only to practice concentration for developing certain hypnotic powers for the sake of their material gain. Meditation on image also serves the same purpose. Besides, when some solid object in physical form is taken up for meditation, the characteristic feature of the object, i.e., solidity or grossness, is also sure to shed its effect upon the mind with the result that grossness instead of being reduced will go on increasing. But, a supporter of the above view will stand up to defend himself saying that it is not really the image that is being meditated upon but the reality at the root of it. But that may only be for the sake vain argumentation. In fact, perhaps not one among thousands does ever take it in that way. Really, they do meditate upon the very image in its solid form ignoring the Reality at the root, and that is but natural, for when the solid object is taken into view, the Reality at the root is automatically lost sight of, and they remain practicing only concentration in an imposed way. Thus, they naturally keep on contracting greater and greater grossness. It is, therefore evident that meditation on solid form causes adverse effect which hampers our march towards subtleness. In this respect, the so-called concrete meditation is by no means helpful to our ultimate purpose, hence not of any avail in spirituality.

With this view, meditation on objects of the subtlest nature and in the subtlest way is thought to be the best. For the purpose, generally, one of the Divine attributes is taken up to meditate upon. The same do we follow in Sahaj Marg. By this we mean to proceed from the quality to the possessor of quality. Since we aim at the final state of subtleness, it is but essential that the object we take up must also be subtlest in nature. No imaginary form should be put to it in order to bring it physically into our mental vision. Any attempt to visualize the thought-object in a supposed form will lead to grosser effect and consequently the efficacy of the process will be lost and ultimate success will become doubtful. It may even lead to mental disorder if it is practiced in an intensified way. For this reason it is very necessary for every one to be very careful in the selection of the object for meditation. The best course would be to follow the tried methods and to try at all cost to avoid grosser views connected with concrete objects for meditation.

The Right course

The right course would, therefore, be to take up meditation in the simplest and most natural way, avoiding forced restraints or mental struggle. As a matter of fact, meditation is simply a process of thinking over and over again on a Divine aspect so as to form a connected link of thought. It has no connection with concentration, suppression or struggling. It aims at the gentle diversion of mind towards Divine thought in the most natural way. The process, therefore, as it normally should be, is to start with meditation taking in the subtlest consciousness of the thought taken up for the purpose. Sahaj Marg recommends meditation on heart and the thought taken up for the purpose is the presence of the Divine light (Ishwariya Prakash) in it. But though in words one may call it as meditation on heart or on Divine light, yet, in the true sense, the meditation is neither upon the heart nor on the Divine light, for neither of them is our goal. The heart is, taken up only as the base for locating our attention, and the presence of Divine light is a mere supposition, without the slightest effort to locate the position of the heart or to visualize the Divine light. Meditation practiced in this way shall be the subtlest in character, hence completely free from all grosser effects.