When we meditate, the Central Power we have, remains in force.
Under the Sahaj Marg system of training we start from Dhyana, the seventh step of Patanjali Yoga, fixing our mind on one point in order to practice meditation. The previous steps are not taken up separately but they automatically come into practice as we proceed on with meditation. Thus, much of our time and labour are saved. In certain Sansthas the usual routine followed for practice is often kept confidential. It is released and revealed only to those who undertake to join them formally. What their purpose at the bottom may be is not quite understandable. Nature has no secrets, and I think that one professing to follow the divine path must also have none.
The practice followed in our Mission is meditation on the heart. The same method has been recommended by Patanjali. There is a great philosophy underlying it. We find ourselves all the time busy with worldly things. If we are not doing anything, our thoughts seem to have wings in the leisure hours. We are, always in tumult and disorder. Our individual mind has become used to such a characteristic activity, and thus we have made everything topsy turvy. Our actions and thoughts count much in our wrong doing. When we remain in contact with ideas and thoughts of different kinds, they leave impressions upon our emotive feelings and senses. All the senses are spoiled and adopt a wrong course. The marks we thus make upon the senses and indriyas turn them solid like rock, having no bodh or wisdom. Soul is, no doubt, not acted upon, but we create such obstacles and coverings as to keep it enwrapped all round like a cocoon. We cannot even peep into the soul, let alone realising it. By the effect of our vicious thought and actions we spoil our sense of discrimination and right cognition. Those who have reached this state of solidity do not like to come under the training course of Raja Yoga. This is why people turn a deaf ear to what we say. No practice of Hatha Yoga can bring out true realisation as it fails after the Ajna Chakra, and there still remain very many states to be passed after it. Therefore Raja Yoga is the only thing that can lead to the end. There is no other means of approaching the Centre. We have got within us the same central force, though marred by our wrong doings. We take work from the same force during meditation. This is how we proceed naturally with Nature’s force, so to say. When we meditate, the central power we have remains in force. It disperses the overwhelming clouds which are greatly fired up by its force. It cannot be expressed in words, only an Abhyasi can feel it. This can only be known practically. You will soon find yourself swimming in everlasting peace and happiness. Everything ends here. There no attachment with the world. The mind is disciplined. It is regulated automatically. Senses begin to come under control and you gain mastery over them. To master yourself means to master Nature. When the passage becomes clear you find Nature’s work within your bounds and limits; rather you begin to work yourself.
In our system, the Abhaysi is advised to meditate on the heart thinking of the Divine light there. But he is directed not to view light in any form or shape like that of an electric bulb or a candle, etc. In that case the light appearing therein will not be real, but one projected by his own creative speculation. An
Abhyasi is advised to proceed with a mere supposition of light with the thought of Divinity at the bottom. What happens then is that we meditate upon the subtlest which is to be attained.
The method of meditation on the heart is to think of Godly light within it. When you begin meditating in this way please think only that Godly light within is attracting you. Do not mind if extraneous ideas haunt you during meditation. Let them come, but go on with your own work. Treat your thoughts and ideas as uninvited guests. If even then they trouble, you think they are Master’s, not yours. This process of meditation is very effective, and can never fail in bringing about the desire result. Sit in an easy posture for an hour in the morning in quite a natural way. You should only meditate. You should not struggle with your ideas which generally come during meditation. Concentration is the automatic and natural result of meditation. Those who insist on concentration in place of meditation, and force their mind to it, generally meet with failure.
Every saint has used the word ‘Light’ and I, too, cannot avoid it because that is the best expression for Reality. But that creates some complications, because, when we talk of light, the idea of luminosity becomes prominent and we begin to take it as glittering. The real light carries with it no such idea. Under our system the Abhyasi, no doubt, sometimes sees light. But the glittering light appears only in the beginning, when matter comes into contact with energy. In other words, it is only a clue that energy has begun to work. The real light has the sawn colour or a faint reflection of colourlessness. Although light is not the exact translation of the thing, (because light is really far more heavy a thing than what that actually is) it has been expressed merely for the sake of understanding. If the Abhyasi begins to feel himself lighter and lighter, it means he is progressing, because in that case he is going into the state that God is in. Light means the loss of the weight of one’s own thoughts. Thus, the real light refers only to the real substance, or more appropriately, substanceless substance.
All artificiality and misdirected emphasis guided by the Abhyasi’s own desires and preconceived notions prove injurious - very often irrevocably. As such, the visions of light, etcetera are not to be artificially created or insisted upon. These may only be noted, when they do arise, without any feeling of personal attachment to any of them. The only object of personal attachment should be the Ultimate goal, viz., Realisation, which is to be firmly held in view throughout; and this is to constitute the most reliable guarantee against any and every irrelevant diversion. One example of harmful misdirected emphasis, as already pointed out, is the insistence on concentration of consciousness, expected anxiously during every session of meditational practice by most Raja Yogic Abhyasis. This has played havoc in the history of yogic Sadhana in India and elsewhere. Methods of ascetic austerities, penances and physical mortification, usually applied for keeping the mind under control; do not relieve it of its misdirected trends. On the other hand, they only serve to keep the evil subdued within, and it might at any time burst forth; when, by change, the control is somehow relaxed. The real solution of the problem lies not in controlling the mind artificially by suppression, restraint or mortification, but in its gradual moulding which is to relieve it of its misdirected trends. In this, and every other matter, therefore, having the attitude of a sincere student, grasping and allowing everything to work and develop in a natural way, is to ensure the most speedy progress.
Generally, I advise meditation on the heart at the point where you feel its beats. Meditation on other points can also be undertaken such as fixing the attention on the point of the nose or between the eyebrows, etcetera, but, in my opinion, meditation on the heart is the easiest and most beneficial. There is a great philosophy underlying meditation on the heart. The heart is the pumping station of blood. It sends out purified blood to all parts of the body and to the smallest cells. Now we have taken the heart as the centre for meditation. The blood that runs through our system is affected. The solidity due to our own thoughts and actions begins to melt away. This is the first thing that we begin to gain from the first day by this method of meditation on the heart. It is the nucleus, and creates the vibrant motion, wherever it is directed. This is the field for the mind to work, and this is the instrument by which we develop the discriminating faculty. The subtle force works in this place for the descent of divine energy. If, somehow, our thinking conjoins with it, or we train it so that
it may percolate the right thing and direct it towards Reality, the problem is solved. People may ask why it is necessary to proceed with meditation: The answer is quite plain and simple. By meditation we gather ourselves at one point so that our individual mind may leave its habit of wandering about, which it has formed. By this practice we set our individual mind on the right path because it is now metamorphosing its habits. When this is done, our thoughts naturally do not go astray. The heart is the only point, at which the connecting link between the animate and the inanimate is most clearly felt. This is the reason why meditation on the heart is very useful. Further heart is the field for the action of the mind. Mind is always as it is. It is the heart which, as the field of action of the mind, is to be set right. Hence, the most appropriate point for meditation can be only that wherefrom the current flows on, either upwards, or downwards. It can only be the heart and, nothing else. Trikuti (centre of the eyebrows) can also be taken for the purpose but that is not an easy job for common people as it requires more labour from the Abhyasi. It may also give birth to many complications in due course if the meditation is not properly practiced by the Abhyasi. Mediation on the navel point has no spiritual value except that it causes a tickling sensation which finally makes the mind and passions all the more powerful.
At a certain stage of the development of faith in an Abhyasi, we generally lay stress upon meditation apparently on human form. Critics may perhaps consider it suicidal to spiritual advancement. The case is not so, provided the man meditated upon is one of the special calibre, who has come down from the Immaterial Absolute for spiritual training, or has attained that spiritual standard of evolution required for the purpose by supreme self-exertion.
The Process of cleaning uses the Original Power of Thought in the
Form of human will for the refinement of the individual soul To
enable it to ascend the steep and slippery path of realisation
Of the subtlest essence of identity.
In the evening again sit in the same posture, at least for half an hour, and think that the complexities, the network of your previous thoughts and grossness or solidity in your constitution are all melting away, or evaporating in the form of smoke, from your back side. It will help you in purging your mind and will make you receptive of the efficacious influence of our great Master. As soon as I find that you are free from foreign matter I will either change it in some other way or ask you to stop, as the case may be. In this way, we soar up high, awakening and cleaning the chakras and the sub-points thereof, taking up Kundalini at the end, with which the Abhaysi has nothing to do himself. It is exclusively the outlook of the Master. But is must be remembered that while practising these methods one should not force his mind too much but only sit in a normal way. This process of cleaning is to be repeated for about five minutes before meditational practice in the morning as well. Other ways of cleaning may also be advised according to the needs of individual Abhyasis, and need not be mentioned here in detail. Suffice it to say that the process of cleaning uses the original power of thought in the form of human will for the refinement of the individual soul to enable it to ascend the steep and slippery path of Realisation by the subtlest Essence of Identity.
Prayer remains the most important and unfailing means of success.
O, Master ! Thou art the real goal of human life.
We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement. Thou art the only God and Power to bring us up to that stage.
One thing more by way of practice is to offer daily the above brief prayer at bed time in the most suppliant mood, with a heart overflowing with Divine
Love. Repeat the prayer in your mind once or twice and begin to meditate over it for a few moments. The prayer must be offered in a way as if some most miserable man is laying down his miseries with a deeply afflicted heart before the Supreme Master, imploring for His mercy and grace, with tearful eyes. Then alone can he become a deserving aspirant. There are many methods of loving God and many ‘Bhavas’ are resorted to, example, paternal sentiment (Pitru Bhava), friendly sentiment (Sakhya Bhava), etcetera. In my opinion, there can be no relation better than that of the lover and the beloved. If an Abhyasi thinks himself to be the Lover, and takes God to be the Beloved, and proceeds with the same sentiment, the result will be that God himself will become the Lover and the Abhyasi the Beloved in the long run. But if one thinks that one has realised the goal at this stage it will be a serious blunder. What remains further cannot be stated, for it is related to practice only.
Prayer remains the most important and unfailing means of success. Through it, we have established our link with the Holy Divine. The reason why prayer should be offered with a heart full of love and devotion is that one should create within oneself a state of vacuity so that the flow of Divine grace may be diverted towards him. When the world emerged into the present form, the central point, was already rooted in us, being a part of the Supreme, turns our attention towards the source. In prayer we try to reach up to the same central point. This is possible only when we create a similar state within. This requires practice. It can be attained by resigning ourselves to the Divine Will, which is absolutely simple and tranquil. Apparently, it seems to be very difficult but, in fact, it is not so, though only for those who aspire for it. When a man creates in him a strong craving for the Absolute, he is indeed in a state of prayer, and it is for everyone to strive for. Whenever a man enters into that state even for a moment, his prayer is granted. But it requires continued practice to accomplish it. People should be exhorted to offer such a type of prayer. If one achieves and settles down in it, what else remains for him to do except remembrance; and that, too, in a way that it never comes into consciousness even.