PERFECTION, eternal bliss, complete freedom from misery, everlasting peace, etc., are the noble aspirations of a human heart. Many philosophies, many ways of thinking and living, and religions, social, and political systems are the outcome of such aspirations. Yet the ideal appears to have remained unattained and unattainable. The things against which humanity is struggling hard appear to grow, stronger and stronger with each struggle.
If one thinks deeply about the root cause of all this, he would come to the inevitable conclusion that the power of thought itself plays the main part in shaping the things. Hence, it is necessary to study the process of thought in a practical way so that it may no longer shape the things undesirably. The concentrated power of thought, if unwisely directed, creates materiality and solidity. Hence to avoid that effect we should be very particular in this respect. The so-called sadhakas may protest against this statement. Because they have been constantly told to practice concentration, and they have been hypnotized by the charm of concentration. But the concentration itself having charming desires and wishful thinking is adding to the bondages and has become an obstruction in the way of free-thinking and liberation.
Having found the root cause it is necessary to utilise it properly to attain the cherished ideal. Now, the higher the ideal the higher will be our approach. If we keep many ideals before our view, we will be increasing our desires and aversions, and with this we will be giving power to contradictory things simultaneously; thus our struggle will be prolonged and intensified keeping us far away from the Goal forever. Hence let us fix our Goal as the Realisation of the Highest and complete mergence in that. And let this be our only Goal. When one realises That – the Supreme, everything else is attained, and the highest aspiration is fulfilled. Whether this happens in the case of an individual, or to the whole of mankind is a mere speculative question. Of course, yourself – the individual – must have to take up the practice and try.
It has been stated earlier that the unnatural concentration of thought creates solidity and bondages. Hence if we take up the practice we have to be very careful and alert at every moment so that our thought does not get solidified at any stage during our onward march. At every stage the power of thought has formed strong knots. If those knots are loosened there will be the release of tremendous energy. Again, if one tries to concentrate for it, the knot instead of getting loosened retains itself and gets stronger and more rigid; and he will remain entangled in it without any hope of transcendence.
Most probably a gentle reader’s belief regarding the utility of the practice of concentration is being shaken by now. It is a very good sign. Let the belief dissolve completely in the natural state. Thus alone all complexities and knots can be removed and simplicity and naturalness will set in. Yet, due to the force of habit a doubt may arise regarding the wisdom of preaching of the practice of concentration by mahatmas.
Here, once again, the preacher has to be thoroughly examined before putting our belief in him. The sermon has to spring forth from his practical experience, otherwise it will remain meaningless and misleading. Masterly speeches of scholars may tickle academicians, but when they are not more than beautiful and charming combinations of mere words, they are of no use to an aspirant of Spirituality, and many a time they may even be harmful. Sketches of concentration drawn in Shastras. which are supposed to be the sayings of sages, are only meant to have the conditions fulfilled for the preparation of the journey.
The state of concentration being the result of the practice of Meditation is not the concentration formed out of mental projection or imaginary. It is a simple and natural state completely devoid of any effort or struggle implied in the ordinary sense of the word concentration. It can be fittingly taken as akin to the state of pervasiveness, which is just contrary to that forced state of concentration.
In Sahaj Marg the practice of concentration is not at all prescribed. Simple Meditation on the subtlest quality of God understandable by an abhyasi is prescribed by the expert guide. The result is the natural state of concentration, which is calm and peaceful. When an abhyasi gains sufficient advancement he realises the correct meaning of what concentration is. Instead of calling a particular state as concentration he may call it as the state of “concentratedness”. When solidity and grossness go away lightness and pervasiveness set in. Having realised such a subtle condition, he proceeds onwards to more and more refined and rarefied states till he crosses even the most superfine state. All this can be verified practically. Through the help of Yogic Transmission even the finest states can be attained within no time.
Instead of the practice of concentration, an abhyasi may be recommended to develop devotion. By the practice of devotion also the natural state of oneness sets in. This state is often mistaken to be analogous to that of forced concentration. But, in fact, the state of oneness experienced in devotion is a natural one, born out of the intimate contact with the Divine. In the correct practice of devotion there is no room for mental projections. Although sometimes emotions bubble up and a tendency to jump into the wonderful land of beauty may develop, yet when an abhyasi is practising under the expert guidance as in Sahaj Marg, such eruptions are quickly controlled by the ever-watchful Master, and the balance is restored immediately through Transmission. But, if the devotion is practised in a mechanical way with the intention of securing concentration, it will create internal grossness and solidity, and such concentration upon gross objects will worsen the condition still further.
Some people practice concentration in a mechanical way upon gross and solid objects. This is the worst form of mental degeneration and spiritual degradation. It is not at all Spirituality. In such practices the main object is to gain some material or hypnotic power. The idea of God as Subtlest Being, Original Source or Ultimate Absolute never crosses the minds of such persons. They spoil their own internal condition beyond any hope of repair. Those indulging in such practices can easily be recognised by their dullheadedness, obstinateness. and the attitude of refusal and non cooperation with every subtle, spiritual or divine power. They create so much darkness in themselves that they become immune to the Divine touch. Their condition is akin to that of drug-addicts.
Now, it is the duty of an intelligent person to understand correctly the real significance of the aspirations of a human heart, think deeply and find out for himself the right path leading to the cherished Goal, and realise the ideal either with the help of one who has realised, or directly if he can. This alone is the purpose of life and one should be brave enough to face this challenge. Otherwise, his manhood may be yet another waste in this gigantic workshop of Nature.