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Qualifications for Practising Meditation

Before saturating the mind with thoughts of Brahman you will have to assimilate the divine ideas first. Assimilation first and then saturation. Then comes realisation at once without a moment's delay. Remember this triplet always: ASSIMILATION- SATURATION-REALISATION.

Your will should be rendered strong, pure and irresistible by more Atma-Chintana, eradication of Vasanas, control of the senses and more inner life. You must utilise every second on Sundays and holidays to your best spiritual advantages.

If you have tasted Rasagulla-a Bengal-sweetmeat-for a month, mental adhesion to Rasagulla comes in the mind. If you are in the company of Sannyasins, if you read books on Yoga, Vedanta, etc., a similar mental adhesion takes place in the mind for attaining God-consciousness. Mere mental adhesion will not help you much. Burning Vairagya, burning Mumukshutva, capacity for spiritual Sadhana, intense and constant application and Nididhyasana (meditation) are needed. Then only Self-knowledge is possible.

Leading a virtuous life is not by itself sufficient for God-realisation. Constant meditation is absolutely necessary. A good virtuous life only prepares the mind as a fit instrument for concentration and meditation. It is concentration and meditation that eventually lead to Self-realisation.

You will find very often these terms in the Gita- "Manmanah, Matparah." These terms connote that you will have to give your full mind, entire 100% mind, to God. Then only you will have Self-realisation. Even if one ray of mind runs outside, it is impossible to attain God-consciousness.

Just as you render the turbid water pure by the addition of clearing nut (strychnos potatorum), so also you will have to make the turbid mind, filled with Vasanas and false Sankalpas, pure by Brahma-Chintana (thinking and reflecting on the Absolute). Then only there will be true illumination.

You must not be too hasty in longing for the fruits at once, when you take to meditation. A young lady perambulated the Asvattha tree (Filicus Religiosa) 108 times for getting an offspring and then immediately touched her abdomen to see whether there was a child or not. It is simply foolishness. She will have to wait for some months. Even so, if you will meditate for some time regularly then the mind will be ripened and eventually you will get Atma-Sakshatkara (Self-realisation). Haste makes waste.

It behoves well that advanced Grihastha Yogic students (householders) will have to stop all the worldly activities when they advance in meditation, if they are really sincere. Work is a hindrance in meditation for advanced students. That is the reason why Lord Krishna says in the Gita "For a sage who is seeking Yoga, action is called the means; for the same sage who is enthroned in Yoga (state of Yogarudha), serenity (Sama) is called the means." Then work and meditation become incompatible like acid and alkali or fire and water or light and darkness.

You must daily increase your Vairagya, meditation and Sattvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love, forgiveness, purity, etc. Vairagya and good qualities help meditation. Meditation increases the Sattvic qualities.

Have the one all-pervading Brahma Bhavana (feeling). Deny the finite body as a mere appearance. Try to keep up the feelings always.

Why do you close your eyes during meditation? Open your eyes, and meditate. You must keep your balance of mind even when you are in the bustle of a city. Then only you are perfect. In the beginning when you are a neophyte you can close your eyes to remove the distraction of mind, as you are very weak. But later on you must meditate with eyes open even during walking. Think strongly that the world is unreal, that there is no world, that there is Atman only. If you can meditate on Atman even when the eyes are open you will be a strong man. You will not be easily disturbed. You can meditate only when the mind is beyond all anxieties.

In meditation and concentration you will have to train the mind in a variety of ways. Then only the gross mind will become subtle (Sukshma).

All Vrittis such as anger, jealousy, hatred, etc., assume subtle forms when you practise Japa and meditation. They are thinned out. They should be destroyed in toto through Samadhi. Then only you are safe. Latent Vrittis will be waiting for opportunities to assume a grave and expanded form. You should be ever careful and vigilant.

Resist the fatal downward pull by the dark, antagonistic forces through regular meditation. Check the aimless wanderings of the mind through clear and orderly thinking. Hear not the false whispers of the lower mind. Turn your inner gaze to the divine centre. Do not be afraid of the severe setbacks that you will encounter in your journey. Be brave. March on boldly till you finally rest in your centre of eternal bliss.

In a big city there is much bustle and sound at 8 p.m. At 9 O'clock there is not so much bustle and sound. At 10 p.m. it is still reduced and at 11 p.m. it is much less. At 1 a.m. There is peace everywhere. Even so in the beginning of Yogic practices there are countless Vrittis in the mind. There is much agitation and tossing in the mind. Gradually the thought-waves subside. In the end all mental modifications are controlled. The Yogi enjoys perfect peace.

When you pass through a market in a big city, you will not be able to notice small sounds, but when you sit for common meditation with some of your friends in a quiet room in the morning, you will be able to detect even a little sneezing or coughing. Even so you are not able to find out the evil thoughts when you are engaged in some work or other, but you are able to detect them when you sit for meditation. Do not be afraid when evil thoughts pass through your mind when you sit for meditation. Do vigorous Japa and meditation. They will pass off soon.

When you meditate, disregard the substratum awakenings in the mind that arise out of the senses. Avoid carefully the comparisons with all other cross references and memories of ideas. Concentrate the whole energy of the mind on the one idea of God or Atman itself without any comparison with any other idea.

The student of Yoga should not possess much wealth as it will drag him to the worldly temptations. He can keep a little sum to meet the wants of the body. Economical independence will relieve the mind from anxieties and will enable him to continue the Sadhana uninterruptedly.


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