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Practical hints on Meditation

- Pujya SriRamchandraji Maharaj


When we meditate, the Central Power we have i.e. thought in its pure form remains in force.

We start our practice fixing our mind on one point in order to practise meditation (Dhyana of Rajayoga). The previous steps of Ashtang Yoga are not taken up separately but they automatically come into practice as we proceed on with meditation. Thus much of our time and labour are saved.

The practice followed is meditation on the heart. There is a great philosophy underlying it. We have got within us the same central force (thought), though marred by our wrong doings. We take work from the same force during meditation. This is how we proceed naturally with Nature's force, so to say. When we meditate, the central power we have remains in force. It disperses the overwhelming clouds which are greatly fried up by its force. It cannot be expressed in words, only an aspirant can feel it. This can only be known practically. The mind is disciplined. It is regulated automatically. Senses begin to come under control and you gain mastery over them. To master yourself means to master Nature. When the passage becomes clear you find Nature's work within your bounds and limits; rather you begin to work yourself.

In our system the aspirant is advised to meditate on the heart thinking of the Divine Light there. But he is directed not to view light in any form or shape like that of an electric bulb or a candle, etc. In that case the light appearing therein will not be real, but one projected by his own creative speculation. An aspirant is advised to proceed with a mere supposition of light with the thought of Divinity at the bottom. What happens then is that we meditate upon the subtlest which is to be attained.

The method of meditation on the heart is to think Godly light within it. When you begin meditating in this way please think only that Godly light within is attracting you. Do not mind if extraneous ideas haunt you during meditation. Let them come but go on with your own work. Treat your thoughts and ideas as uninvited guests. If even then they trouble you think they are Master's, not yours. This process of meditation is very effective, and can never fail in bringing about the desired result. Sit in an easy posture for an hour in the morning in quite a natural way. You should only meditate. You should not struggle with your ideas which generally come during meditation. Concentration is the automatic and natural result of meditation. Those who insist on concentration in place of meditation, and force their mind to it, generally meet with failure.

Under our system the aspirant, no doubt, sometimes sees light. But the glittering light appears only in the beginning, when matter comes into contact with energy. In other words, it is only a clue that energy has begun to work. The real light has the dawn colour or a faint reflection of colourlessness. Although light is not the exact translation of the thing, (because light is really far more heavy a thing than what that actually is) it has been expressed so merely for the sake of understanding. If the aspirant begins to feel himself lighter and lighter, it means he is progressing, because in that case he is going into the state that God is in. Light means the loss of the weight of one's own thoughts. Thus the real Light refers only to the real substance, or more appropriately, substanceless substance.

All artificiality and misdirected emphasis guided by the aspirant's own desires and preconceived notions prove injurious-very often irrevocably. As such, the visions of light, etc. are not to be artificially created or insisted upon. These may only be noted, when they do arise, without any feeling of personal attachment to any of them. The only object of personal attachment should be the Ultimate goal, viz., Realisation, which is to be firmly held in view throughout; and this is to constitute the most reliable guarantee against any and every irrelevant diversion. One example of harmful misdirected emphasis, as already pointed out, is the insistence on concentration of consciousness, expected anxiously during every session of meditational practice by most Raja Yogic aspirants. This has played havoc in the history of Yogic Sadhana in India and elsewhere. Methods of ascetic austerities, penances and physical mortification, usually applied for keeping the mind under control, do not relieve it of its misdirected trends. On the other hand, they only serve to keep the evil subdued within, and it might at any time burst forth, when, by chance, the control is somehow relaxed. The real solution of the problem lies not in controlling the mind artificially by suppression, restraint or mortification, but in its gradual moulding which is to relieve it of its misdirected trends. In this, and every other matter, therefore, having the attitude of a sincere student, grasping and allowing everything to work and develop in a natural way, is to ensure the most speedy progress.