"One should perform his Yogic meditation in concentration on a level place, free from pebbles, fire, wind, dust, dampness and disturbing noises, where the scenery is charming and pleasing to the eyes and where there are bowers, caves, good waterplaces which help the practice of concentration." -Svetasvataropanishad: 11-10.
The world will not suit you for meditation when you advance in the spiritual path. There are many disturbing causes. The environments are not elevating. Your friends are your worst enemies. They take away all your time through vain talks. It is inevitable. You are puzzled. You are worried. Then you try to get out of the environments. To save time, money, wanderings, I shall mention some good places for meditation. You can select one of these places. The place must have a temperate, even climate, and must suit you during summer, rainy season and winter. You must stick to one place for three years with firm determination. As all places combine some advantages and disadvantages, you will have to select that place which has more advantages and less disadvantages. Everything is relative in this world. Even if you wander from pole to pole, you can hardly get an ideal place that can satisfy you from all viewpoints. You will have to create your own spiritual atmosphere through Japa, meditation and prayer. To get an ideal place is an impossibility. You must not shift when you get some inconvenience. You must put up with it. There is no benefit in frequent wanderings. Do not compare one place with another. Maya tempts you in various ways. Use your Viveka and reason. Mussoorie will appear to you most charming when you are at Simla. Simla will appear more delightful when you are at Mussoorie. Do not believe the mind and senses any more. Enough; enough of their tricks. Be on the watch to guard you off from sense-deceptions and temptations.
First, I suggest Rishikesh and Munikireti. They are wonderful places for meditation. They are admirably adapted. The charm and spiritual influence are simply marvellous. You can put up your cottage here. Uttarakasi, Brahmapuri, Garudachatti, Nilakanth (near Rishikesh), are other nice places. Almora, Nainital, are also good. Any village on the banks of the Ganga, Narmada, Yamuna, is beautiful. Kulu Valley and Champa Valley are quite suitable. If you want a cave-life, go in for Vasishtha Guha, fourteen miles from Rishikesh. It is a beautiful cave, where Swami Rama Tirtha lived for some time. Milk is available from neighbouring villages. Rama Guha in Brahmapuri near Rishikesh is another good charming place. You can get dry rations for fifteen days from Kali Kamliwala's Kshetra. Bamrughi Guha, near Tehri, Himalayas, is a good cave. You will find many villages near Tehri for contemplation. Muralidhar has built up fine, pukka Kutia with a fine garden. You also can have this. Mount Abu is a beautiful cool place.
Cool places are needed for meditation. The brain gets tired very soon in a hot place. In a cool place, you can meditate all the twenty-four hours. You will not feel exhaustion. Maharajahs of Alwar and Limbdi have built nice caves in Mount Abu and arranged food and other conveniences for good, educated Sadhus only. Lakshmanjhula is another good place. There is ample space for erection of new cottages. Brahma-Varta, near Kanpur, is a suitable place. There are many good places seven miles beyond Mathura on the banks of the Yamuna. Uttarakasi has beautiful, spiritual vibratory condition. You can stay in a solitary place called Laksheshvar.
Important Places for Meditation
1. Rishikesh (Himalayas)
3. Uttarkasi (via Tehri)
4. Kankhal (near Haridwar)
5. Badri Narayan (Himalayas)
6. Devaprayag (Himalayas)
7. Gangotri (Himalayas)
9. Mount Abu
12. Brindavan (Mathura)
13. Srinagar (Kashmir)
21. Alandi, near Poona
22. Tiruvengoi Hills, Musiri, S. India
23. Tirupathi Hills
24. Papanasam (Tirunelveli Dt.)
(Select some secluded spots in these places.)
Any place or village on the banks of the Ganga, Yamuna, Cauveri, Godavari, Krishna, Tamraparni, will suit you for meditation. You can select any place which has an even climate.
Of all the places, Rishikesh is the best place in the world. The spiritual vibrations are soul-elevating. The scenery is highly charming. It is a beauty-spot.
Mussoorie, Darjeeling, Simla, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and all hill-stations are cool places. They have a beautiful scenery also. But they are Rajasic centres. They have no elevating spiritual vibrations. People go there for enjoyment and taint the atmosphere. Hence they are not suitable for meditation.
You must have some conveniences also such as library, medical aid, a railway station, in the beginning. You must be able to get some fruits and milk. Otherwise it is difficult to continue your Sadhana in one place for a long time. When you are advanced in Sadhana, when you go above body-consciousness, you can remain in any place.
Solitude and intense meditation are two important requisites for Self-realisation. The banks of the Ganga or Narmada, Himalayan scenery, lovely flower gardens, sacred temples-these are the place which elevate the mind in concentration and meditation. Have recourse to them.
A solitary place, spiritual vibratory conditions as at Uttarakasi, Rishikesh, Badri Narayan, a good place and temperate climate-these conditions are indispensably requisite for concentration of mind.