Concentration in Every Walk of Life
Concentration is a very important qualification for a beginner in the spiritual path. Concentration is required not only in the spiritual path but also in every walk of life. A man without concentration is a failure in life.
Concentration in a spiritual sense means the one-pointedness of the mind. It is the fixing of one's mind on the Ishta Devata or the deity of one's choice. To attain concentration you should drive off all useless thoughts of the world. You must be entirely free from all base desires of a worldly nature. You should substitute divine thoughts in their stead.
Meditation follows concentration. Samadhi follows meditation. Jivanmukti state follows the attainment of Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is free from all thoughts of duality. Jivanmukti leads to emancipation from the wheel of birth and death. Therefore concentration is the first and foremost thing a Sadhaka or aspirant should acquire in the spiritual path.
Every little act demands concentration and your whole- hearted attention. If you want to pass a thread through the eye of the needle you must remove all fibres that are disjointed. Then you must make it a single fibre and with great care and one-pointed thought pass the thread into the needle.
When you climb a mountain or get down a steep descent you will have to be very careful. Otherwise you will have a slip and fall into the deep abyss below. When you ride a bicycle, you talk to your friends on the road, a motor-car will dash against you from behind. If you are a bit absent-minded when you walk on the road, you will strike against a stone and fall down. A careless barber will cut the nose of his customer. A careless washerman will burn the clothes of his master. A sleepy aspirant will dash his head against the wall or fall down prostrate on the ground. Therefore you must develop attention. Attention leads to concentration.
Fix your mind on the work at hand. Give your complete heart and soul to it. Let it be even a small work like peeling off the skin on a plantain fruit or squeezing a lemon. Never do anything haphazardly. Never take your meals in haste. Be calm and patient in all your actions. Never arrive at hasty conclusions. Never do a thing in haste. No work can be done successfully without calmness and concentration. Those who have attained success and become great have all possessed this indispensable virtue.
You will be successful in every attempt. You will never meet with failure if you can do your work with perfect attention and concentration. When you sit for prayers and meditation never think of your office-work. When you work in the office never think of the child who is sick or any other household work. When you take bath do not think of games. When you sit for meals do not think of the work that is pending in the office. You must train yourself to attend to the work on hand with perfect one-pointedness. You can easily develop your will-power and memory. Concentration is the master-key to open the gates of victory. If an ordinary man takes one hour to do a work, a man of good concentration will accomplish it in half an hour with better efficiency than the former. You will become a mighty man.
You must know very well the science of relaxation of the mind. You must be able to eliminate all other thoughts from the mind. You must think of rest only. You should consider yourself as if you were dead. Mentally repeat the names of the Lord and think of the Ananda aspect of His attribute. You will not have dreams. You will rest in blissful sleep. You will be refreshed very easily. Even if you sleep for two hours you would feel quite refreshed.