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  Volume 4 - Issue 01


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A Beautiful Exposition On Concentration, Contemplation and Meditation

46. ‘I would now like to tell you something about Meditation, especially because Yogis are supposed to be lost in Meditation for long spells of time. The word Meditation is greatly misunderstood, besides being interpreted in a narrow sense.’

47. ‘To begin with, I should mention that the text-book Sannyasi or Yogi, call him what you will, is one who has lived with himself and for God for years and years. He has not only practised austerities but has gone through a long and elaborate routine of self-discipline, involving many and progressive stages. It is like going up a ladder. Yogic Meditation is the top of the ladder.’

48. ‘I won’t go into all those details now, but I should call your attention to three stages involved. They are: Concentration, Contemplation, and Meditation.’

49. ‘Concentration is something very common. Anybody who is serious about what he is doing necessarily concentrates a lot. You, for example, would totally concentrate on the target before shooting an arrow. Well, that is concentration.’

50. ‘Concentration is an activity of the brain or the lower Mind. With some practice, anyone can easily learn to concentrate. In fact, concentration is a must for all students.’

51.‘After concentration comes contemplation. This is a higher activity of the Mind. Let us say a teacher has taught a lesson about plants. Later when the student is revising the lesson, he could contemplate and wonder:

“How can the plant grow up without a father and mother? Or, are there an invisible father and an invisible mother? When I feel hungry I ask my mother for food. Which mother gives food and water to the plant? Why has God made the plant so different? Incidentally, why has God created plants?” That is contemplation.’

52. ‘Coming now to Meditation, in simple terms it means filling the Mind with God. When you contemplate, you start thinking of higher things. Going back to the case of the plant, Meditation means thinking, “God, how beautiful are the plants and the trees! Oh Krishna, when You were young, You used to rest under trees. How I wish I was one of those! I could have had Your Darshan for long periods of time!! Krishna, why don’t You become a tree and make me a creeper twining round You?”’

53. ‘Another example. You go to your garden to pluck a rose for God. When you pluck the flower, you must concentrate; otherwise you would get hurt by the thorns. Once you have plucked the flower, you hold it in your hands and admire its beauty and freshness. That is contemplation. You then say, “God, this flower I am offering to You.” That is Meditation.’

. ‘In simple terms, Meditation is nothing but remembrance of the Lord. You can go about your normal household work, chanting My Name all the time – that also is Meditation. People do not realise this and imagine that Meditation perforce involves sitting in a Yogic pose, closing your eyes and all that. That is only ONE way of meditating!

There are actually many ways to meditate and the bottom line in all cases is remembrance of the Lord. That really is the important point.’

55. ‘Arjuna, people are made differently and have a differing attitudes and aptitudes. Take running for example. Some can run very fast but only over a short distance. Others have stamina and can run not very fast but over long distances. The long distance runner cannot do what the sprinter does and vice versa.’

56. ‘You can see this in your own family. Your brother Bhima is hefty and therefore the mace is the ideal weapon for him; but for you, it is the bow and the arrow. In the same way, where Meditation is concerned, people can adopt different techniques best suited to them. It is not the procedure but the SPIRIT in which Meditation is done that is important.’

To be continued….

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Vol 4 Issue 01 - January 2006
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