The subject of concentration is disgusting and tiring for the neophyte. But it is the most interesting and beneficial science in the world. When one advances in concentration, when one takes real interest, when one has realised some benefits, he cannot leave the practice. He cannot remain even for a day without concentration. He becomes restless when he fails to have the practice. Concentration brings supreme joy, inner spiritual strength, unalloyed felicity and infinite eternal peace. Concentration brings profound knowledge and deep inner sight, intuition and communion with God. It is a wonderful science in the three worlds. I cannot adequately describe its benefits.
Concentration on a chair really means getting full, detailed knowledge of the chair, its different parts, the particular wood out of which it is manufactured such as Devadaru, rose wood, etc., its workmanship, its durability, its cost price, the degree of comfort it gives for the back, arms, etc., whether the parts can be detached and fixed again, whether it is manufactured on modern lines and made bugproof, what sort of polish or varnish is used to make it durable, etc. When you concentrate on the chair, this sort of idea occupies your mind. Mind generally wanders wildly at random. When it thinks of one object, in a second it leaves that object and runs to another object like a monkey, then to a third object and so on. It cannot stick to one point.
When the thought runs in one definite groove continuously on one subject alone like the flow of oil from one vessel to another, then it is concentration. The aspirant should withdraw his mind whenever it runs outside and put it in the same groove in the same line of thought on one subject and on one idea. This is spiritual Sadhana. This is Dharana and Dhyana. This will result in Samadhi or the superconscious state, the fourth dimension or Turiya.
The vital point in concentration is to bring the mind to the same point of object again by limiting its movements in a small circle in the beginning. That is the main aim. A time will come when the mind will stick to one point alone. This is the fruit of your constant and protracted Sadhana. The joy is indescribable now. When you meditate on a chair, bring all thoughts connected with the chair and dwell on these ideas. Do not allow any other thought connected with another object to enter the mind. There should be one line of thought. There should be one continuity of thought like the steady flow of oil from one vessel to another vessel, like the continuous sound of a church-bell. There may be several ideas connected with one subject. This does not matter. You can reduce the number of ideas and come to one idea of one subject. When this one idea also dies you get the superconscious state or Samadhi. When there is one idea it is called Savikalpa Samadhi which is a lower stage. When this one idea also dies out and when there is not even a single idea, the mind becomes blank or void. There is mental vacuity. This is the stage of thoughtlessness of Patanjali Maharshi in his Raja Yoga philosophy. You will have to rise above this blank Vritti and identify yourself with the Supreme Purusha or Brahman, the silent witness of the mind, who gives power and light to this mind. Then and then alone you can reach the highest goal of life.
When you concentrate on a chair, do not allow any other thought of different objects. Again and again bring the mind that wanders to the object which is chair. When you meditate on a rose, think of rose and rose alone. When you think of a book, think all that is connected with the book and nothing outside it. When you think of a radio or talkie, think of the radio or talkie alone. Exhaust all matters connected with the subject on hand. You can take any subject that is pleasing to the mind. Slowly you can take up any subject that is displeasing to the mind by creating interest in it again and again. You should always remember the maxim: "One thing at a time and that done well is a very good rule as many can tell." When you take up any work, apply your whole heart, full mind and sound to the work. Do it with perfect concentration. What another can do in six hours you can turn out within half an hour, smoothly and in a methodical and orderly manner. This is Yogic activity. You will be taken for an accomplished Yogi. Even when you study, study the subject with perfect concentration. Do not allow the mind to wander. You must shut out all external sounds. Fix the gaze at one point. Do not allow the eyes to wander. When you study one subject, do not think of a talkie or sweetmeats or a friend. The whole world must be dead to you for the time being. Such must be the nature of concentration. It will come to you after some steady and constant endeavours. Be not troubled. Be not discouraged. There will be some delay. Wait coolly and patiently. Rome was not built in a day. It is all a question of time. Do not leave the practice even for a day, even when you are sick. In your failure lies the secret of your success and in your weakness the secret of your strength. Plod on. Push on. Gird up your loins. Nil desperandum. Be bold. March on courageously. Be cheerful. A brilliant future is awaiting thee. Practise. Feel. Rejoice. Become a Yogi or a world-figure. I can make you one. Follow me. Be sincere and earnest. Rise up. Awake. Thy Light has come. O my dear children of Light and Immortality, Brahmamuhurta is dawning now. It is 3.30 a.m. This is the best time to practise concentration on Atman, memory and will-culture and to catch hold of the mind. Sit in Virasana and do rigorous practice now. May success and divine glory attend on thee. I shall take leave of you now. I shall leave you there. Melt the bubble mind in Brahman, the ocean of Knowledge, and enjoy Supreme Bliss.