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Light on Meditation

- Sri. K.C.Narayana


I have been sharing my understanding of the means of enlightenment that we adopt in our path of Pranahuti Aided Meditation and I shall endeavor to do so again: but it is obvious I can share only that I have and feel that to be true. We are all aware the method we adopt is to think/ suppose Divinity as Light without luminosity in the heart where it beats and remain unmindful of the various thoughts that arise in us.

It is obvious that all techniques and practices are in a way giving the mind something to chew on, something to do. That is the habit of mind. The habits of thought which in some cases precipitate into action (rites and rituals, mantras and tantras etc.,) are the ones that make us misunderstand our true nature even as, one mistakes a rope for a snake in twilight. During meditation one feels or experiences something and out of habit defines it and responds to that which finally tends to be not true or is non existent. But in the case of our method given to us graciously by our Master the aim is not to give some thing for the mind to chew and cuddle as the idea given for meditation is not something that we are habituated to play with. And through practice we have found that the method is about dissolving the habits of mind that obscure our true nature.

In fact the problems of many persons who practice meditation relate to the problem of clarity of goal that one seeks. In spite of our being very insistent that the aspirants should be clear about the goal they have when they practice PAM many have their own penultimate goals. It is found that the oft sought-after benefits of meditation to the body and mind can only be secondary, if at all. But many aspirants tend to make them primary if not the only goal even as Master has clarified while classifying the types of disciples. In fact there are many who would pursue their old and habituated methods of practice along with PAM. But the fact that they are still seeking even after the practice of other methods, means that those methods practiced as beneficial methods have not freed them. If they had served the purpose, obviously there would be no need to continue seeking. This does not dismiss the benefit of such methods as they do recognize the hunger to be free.

The main habit of thinking that interferes with our sadhana is that of conceiving realization (of Master) as something to be attained by some means. It means such a realization (of Master) is something that not only comes and goes in our mind but also that (realization of Master) is something we don't already have. It means that we have through habit of mind turned Master into an object that is desired. It can be seen that this seeking affirms a sense of separateness we feel in the mind. During meditation through Pranahuti we find that there is no separateness and everything is experienced as a vast expanse and most times of Void and we find that the separateness dissolves along with the collapse of time and space. That is the real experience of Silence where there appears to be no mind and habits of the mind are dissolved. This silence we experience is not relative to ideas or definitions about it. This silence abides while the thoughts come and pass unobtrusively which our great Master so pithily expressed as a condition of Non Concentration Concentration. Obviously the ideas about this Silence (which I prefer to call Imperience) out of habit of mind are not the silence any more than an idea of candy is candy.

One of the main points that we stress most during meditation is that we sit and do literally nothing and allow the Master to handle us as he deems fit. This is a great practice of keeping quiet and be silent without putting any effort. But habits of thinking persist and compel us to think that we should be doing something- if not for our sake but as an effort to help the Master in his work with us. This renunciation of effort on our part is the greatest renunciation which naturally leads to the renunciation of the results of effort and the renunciation of knowledge about both the effort and its result.

We have learnt in PAM, that our Self consists of four parts- buddhi (intellect), manas (feelings), ahankar (ego) and Chit (Consciousness). We find during meditation that the manas is agitated because of habits of association with persons or things in the vital and physical planes, the buddhi is agitated with the habits of thought relating to various types of enquiry into the nature of things of the various planes of our existence and ahankar is associated with the habits of thought with a certain extent of possessiveness and rigidity in clinging to them. This may be over simplification of the nature of ideas and feelings that arise in us but these statements do clarify the problem sufficient enough for our purposes in this article. The Chit per se is not directly involved and is free. And it is this consciousness that we experience during meditation absolutely ripple less and when the ripples are there we are totally oblivious to their presence which has been explained to us by our Master as absorption during meditation.

When we understand this we find that it is not a problem for us if the mind is agitated because our consciousness (or the nature of our being as experienced in the Pind desh) is free even in the midst of such an agitation. If we put the question whether the thoughts we have arose from the chit we find that it is not so but is entirely due to the habit of our mind/manas/ahankar. That the thoughts did not arise from the silence or Void is clear due to our experience of the same despite thoughts during meditation. This is from my point of view a singular point that we need to note and throw out of our minds the habit of implicit acceptance of the aphorism of Sage Patanjali relating to the cessation of thoughts being the objective of yoga.

When we look into the vast Void of nothingness that is singularly characterized by Silence during our meditation and which seems to be always in the backdrop irrespective of the thoughts that we learn to feel as clouds and vapors and not necessarily as ideas and concepts, as we advance in the path into that Silence that is always present, we find no boundary between us and the Silence! Nor does it have a beginning or end.

It would be illuminating for those who have not tried so far, if they attempt to examine whether the thought of "I ness" is present during the moments when we feel totally merged in the Void. It is my experience that the Ego or "I ness "is totally absent and there is only simple awareness during that period. When I came out of such absorbed condition I was only having a feeling of flow towards the Atma chakra very steady and smooth and no other idea than that of totally being with the Master was present. The true nature of consciousness as an awareness of dependency is a matter of experience in PAM and the question of whether the "consciousness" or "dependency" is the first condition gets answered deep in the core of heart as an inseparable unity.

What I have presented may appear to be very difficult to comprehend by some, but that is either due to their not having the states of absorbency (which is itself not rare under PAM) or not trying to get rid off their habits of thought. This is essentially due to the impurities of the mind of the mental and aspirational planes. More than anything else the problem is due to the habit of thinking that our true spiritual nature is Mind, a Cartesian fixation, which has permitted many to get dictated by the super boss Mind. We should remember as often as is necessary that our mind is our servant or slave and should serve us to solve our problems by analysis and synthesis. We are not obliged to obey what it says and in fact we do not where we give a over ruling based on a gut feeling or humane appreciation of the problem.

One more important factor that I would like to share is that many aspirants in PAM think they are not progressing because they are not only aware of thoughts which are based on habit as we discussed above but also that perception continues to be present while all scriptures say that they are gone. Even in Silence as we have observed above there are thoughts, not only that perceptions also are there. Behind the sense organs we have what are termed as tanmatras or sense organs of the astral plane. That we do smell, taste, hear, see and feel during dreams is well known. The sense organs as such are not active then but only the astral forms of the sense organs. These astral body organs do grant us perception in dreams and also in meditation. During the states of consciousness which may be termed as simple awareness where buddhi, manas and ahankar are all withdrawn and chit alone is, we do have perception. It abides without the sense organ. For example when the perception of sight exists and we are aware of a color or texture and we feel to be just merged in the simple "awareness or being" we find that sight existed and was still abiding without eyes to look through. This is the same with all senses, and the same with thought. The awareness we have is not thoughts about oneself but of pure being or Being. This is what we experience in Pranahuti Aided Meditation. Repeated exposures to this significant and simple awareness of being/Being should make us understand that there is only an universal consciousness and particular consciousness of self is a splendid opportunity provided by the Divine to express the universal good in the particular. The awareness of the universal and particular is only a creation of the individual mind because of its possessive attachments and may therefore be even termed as necessary delusions but the duality and delusion disappear the moment Mind is transcended during meditations assisted by Pranahuti - which itself is the finest and subtlest spiritual universal consciousness.