Concentration, Contemplation, Meditation
Bangalore, Brindavan (Sevadal Conference )
These western people, because of the frustrations and depressions they feel due to the materialistic way of life, are propagating this type of meditation which free them of body consciousness, but according to Indian tradition this cannot be called ‘Dhyana’, but some people describe ‘Dhyana’ as concentration. ‘Concentration’ means, now I am holding a paper in my hand. I am reading what is there on that paper. There I find the words, 'District sevadal conference'. In order to read what is printed on the paper my eyes must be focused on the letters. I must hold the paper in my hand and I must think with my mind. Intellect must enquire. Intellect, mind, hands and the eyes- they must all work in conjunction, only then it is possible to concentrate. So only with the co-ordination of all the senses it is possible for us to read. Therefore concentration is necessary for reading. Concentration is also required for writing. Another type of concentration is necessary for walking. It is not possible for us to eat if we do not have the concentration to discriminate whether the item is appadam or a sweet or a bajji etc. To drive a motor car, concentration is essential. This concentration is below senses, becomes a routine, a habit in daily life. In order to get this concentration it is not necessary to undertake 'Dhyana', meditation. Therefore concentration cannot be equated to Dhyana. ‘Concentration’ is below senses. ‘Meditation’ is beyond senses. We must undertake the journey from below the senses to beyond the senses. So when we set out from what is below sense, through concentration, we reach the stage of ‘contemplation’ and when we cross the limits of ‘contemplation’ we reach the area of ‘meditation’. So there are three stages—‘concentration’, ‘contemplation’ and ‘meditation’. ‘Concentration’ may be equated to 'The one you think you are', ‘Contemplation’ is 'the one, others think you are', ‘Meditation’ enables us to recognise 'the one, you really are'. Therefore, you are not one person. So we must carry on our journey on these three planes. With the body we must cultivate control of the senses, with the mind we must undertake the growth of the soul and with the soul we must experience the ‘Bliss’.
Role of meditation for steady body and mind00:03:00
One should steady one’s body to have steady mind. If one’s body is continuously in motion, how can one steady one’s mind? Mind can be compared to the water in a pot. When the pot is moved, the water inside too will move. That is why one needs to train one’s body to be still in meditation. Meditation includes control of body. A steady body holds a steady mind. Intellect blossoms only when both the mind and the body are steady. Wisdom shines when intellect blossoms and once wisdom shines, one gets liberated. One is unable to control the body and sit still for two minutes and even the sitting posture is not correct. When one sits with a bent spinal cord, the nerves ‘ida’ and ‘pingala’ get disturbed. The power of ‘kundalini’ which travels from ‘mooladhara’ or the last vertebra of the spine to the first, goes in the wrong way thus making today’s man a mad monkey; not just a monkey but a mad monkey! A monkey cannot sit still even for a moment; it goes on moving one limb or the other. Its looks are also not steady. The reason for man’s fidgeting is the fact that man has evolved from monkey and though he has developed, the traits of the monkey behaviour still remain.
How to do Jyothi meditation00:04:25
Look at that flame with your eyes wide open. Now close your eyes and imagine that the flame that you have beheld with your eyes wide open, being kindled within you. There also the mind must be given a busy activity. We must make the mind bring the flame into the recesses of the heart. In the lotus of the heart we must imagine that this flame is ablaze. From there we must make the flame travel to various parts of the body. After the flame traverses through the body, then this flame must be brought out of the body. You must imagine that that flame is burning bright in all the members of the family. Then you must realise that the flame is burning bright in your neighbours, in the people of your locality and in your friends and relations. At a later stage you must prove that you are able to realise that this flame is burning bright even in your enemies. Then you will realise that, “Isavaasyamidam sarvam”, every object is enveloped by the Divine. Because the flame is burning bright in the eyes, there should be no bad sight. “Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya” since there is the flame burning bright, there cannot be darkness. Therefore you should not look at anything bad. Since the flame has burnt bright in the ears, you should not hear anything bad. Since the flame is burning bright on your tongue there is no scope to utter bad words. As the flame is bright in your limbs, they would not go to bad places. Because the flame is there in the arms your hands do not undertake any bad work. So this one flame after travelling through several objects helps us to realise the all pervading Divine flame. In this way meditation is helpful to us.
The significance of Jyothi meditation00:06:22
On the day of Diwali, a row of lamps or cressets are kept and with one flame all the other flames are kindled. With one flame we are able to light many lamps. The flame which kindles is the “Parabrahma jyothi”, the eternal flame and the lamps that are being lit are the “Jeevana jyothi”. At last the flame that kindles and the flame that is kindled appear alike. “Brahmavid brahmaiva bhavathi” because these two flames become identical, one and the same, it is said that one who knows “Brahma”, the Divine, “Brahmavid”, he will ultimately become “Brahma”, The Divine, himself. Therefore “jyothi” (flame) meditation is the highest form of meditation. Take for instance, this body, it changes always. But this flame doesn’t undergo change. A little example to illustrate this: There is a tub filled with water. If each one draws tumbler full water from it, the water in the tub diminishes. At one place we have deposited a lorry load of sand. If each one carries away a basket full of sand, the quantity of the sand will diminish. One may kindle a million flames with one flame but the primordial flame remains unchanged. There is no diminutive phase for this primordial flame. So after thus meditating upon the flame, slowly you can establish the form that is dear to you inside the flame and meditate on that. It is the best form of meditation to think that the form which one adores is in the flame and that that flame is in all. Today there are various types of meditation that are being propagated. We come across people who talk about it but none who have experienced it. These are all artificial meditations. If it were so easy to sit in meditation and transcend the body, would the seven sages of yore spend so many years to transcend the limitations of the body? Wouldn’t they have known of such an easy method? They say that within a few minutes the body consciousness is forgotten and then they reach state of trance. Just because the body consciousness is lost, we cannot describe that state as meditation. Body consciousness is also lost by drinking two bottles of wine; can that be called as meditation? So meditation is that which would make us forget the body consciousness and awaken and experience the super consciousness.
Swami on modern day meditation00:01:15
One can meditate if one finds time to do so. But in this modern age it is too difficult to do meditation or Japa. One sits for meditation as if sitting for some photograph, but mind goes around the market. One need not bother about such meditation. One needs to shut one’s mouth and open one’s heart; that is true meditation! Today one opens the mouth and shuts the heart. This is no meditation. ‘Shut your mouth, open your heart!’ this is the true meditation. Some chant the Lords name with the rosary, but the mind wanders to the barber and the washer man! This is not japa! One should not waste time like this. If one cannot find time to meditate or for japa, then one must engage oneself in service to others.
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