O aspirants! Struggle hard. Make sincere efforts. Meditate regularly and systematically. Never miss a day in meditation. There will be a great loss if you lose even a day.
No more words! Enough of discussions and heated debates. Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Feel His presence. Repeat His name-OM-with fervour, joy and love. Fill your heart with Prema. Destroy the Sankalpas, thoughts, whims, fancies and desires when they arise from the surface of the mind. Withdraw the wandering mind and fix it on the Lord. Now Nishtha, meditation, will become deep and intense. Do not open your eyes. Do not stir from the seat. Merge in Him. Dive deep into the recesses of the heart. Plunge into the shining Atman. Drink the nectar of Immortality. Enjoy the silence now. I shall leave you there alone, Nectar's sons! Rejoice, rejoice! Peace! Silence! Glory!
O beloved Rama! You are within a strong spiritual fortress now. No temptation can influence you. You are absolutely safe. You can do vigorous Sadhana now without fear. You have a strong spiritual prop to lean upon. Become a brave soldier. Kill your foe, the mind, ruthlessly. Wear the spiritual laurels of peace, equal vision and contentment. You are already shining with Brahmic splendour in your face. The All-merciful Lord has given you all sorts of comforts, good health and a Guru to guide you. What more do you want? Grow. Evolve. Realise the Truth and proclaim it everywhere.
Clarify your ideas again and again. Think clearly. Have deep concentration and right thinking. Introspect in solitude. Purify your thoughts to a considerable degree. Still the thoughts. Silence the bubbling mind. Just as in a surgical clinic the assistant surgeon allows only one patient to enter the consultation room and the operation theatre of a hospital, so also you will have to allow one thought-wave only to rise from the mind and settle down calmly. Then allow another thought to enter. Drive off all extraneous thoughts that have nothing to do with the subject matter on hand. An efficient control over thoughts through long practice is a great help in meditation.
Watch every thought very carefully. Shut out all useless thoughts from the mind. Your life must tally with your meditation. You keep up your meditation during work also. Do not give new strength to evil thoughts by constant thinking. Restrain them. Substitute sublime thoughts. Control of thought is sine qua non. You should not waste even a single thought.
Quiet the mind. Silence the thoughts. Still the outgoing tendencies or energies of the mind. Collect all the wandering thoughts.
Do not store in your brain needless information. Learn to unmind the mind. Forget whatever you have learnt. It is useless for you now. Then only you can fill your mind with Divine thoughts in meditation. You will gain fresh mental strength now.
A goldsmith converts 13 carat gold into pure 15 carat gold by adding acids and burning it several times in the crucible. Even so, you will have to purify your sensuous mind through concentration, reflection on the word of your spiritual preceptor and Upanishadic sentences or meditation, Japa or silent repetition of the name of the Lord.
Positive overpowers the negative. A positive thought drives off a negative one. Courage drives off fear. Love destroys hatred. Unity annihilates separateness. Magnanimity destroys petty-mindedness (jealousy). Generosity drives away miserliness and greed. Keep yourself always positive. You will have wonderful meditation.
Be silent. Know thyself. Know That. Melt the mind in That. Truth is quite pure and simple. Solitude and intense meditation are two important requisites for Self-realisation. Drive off negative thoughts. Become positive always. Positive overpowers negative. You can do nice meditation when you are positive.
Whatever that elevates you, you can take it up for your advantage, just to elevate the mind and then continue your prolonged meditation.
If interruption comes in your Sadhana, make up the deficiency or loss in the evening or at night or on the following morning. Meditation is the only valuable asset for you. Success in Yoga is possible only if the aspirant practises profound and constant meditation. He must practise self-restraint at all times, because all of a sudden the senses may become turbulent. That is the reason why Lord Krishna advises Arjuna, "O son of Kunti, the excited senses of even a wise man, though he be striving impetuously, carry away his mind. Such of the roving senses as the mind yieldeth to, hurry away the understanding just as the gale hurries away a ship upon the waters."
Mind is ever-changing and wandering. This wandering habit of the mind manifests itself in various ways. You will have to be on the alert always to check this wandering habit of the mind. A householder's mind wanders to cinema, theatre, circus, etc. A Sadhu's mind will wander to Varanasi, Brindavan, Nasik, etc. Many Sadhus never stick to one place during Sadhana. The wandering habit of the mind must be controlled by making it stick to one place, one method of Sadhana, one Guru and one form of Yoga. A rolling stone gathers no moss. When you take up a book for study, you must finish it before you take up another. When you take up any work, you must devote your whole-hearted attention towards the work on hand and finish it before you take up another work. One thing at a time.
Those people who have not practised any Yogic discipline or curbing of the senses, Vrittis or impurities, will find it difficult to practise concentration and meditation. Their minds will be ever oscillating like the pendulum of a clock. Their minds will be ever roaming about like the wild bull or the monkey.
Do not cause pain or suffering to any living being through greed, selfishness, irritability, and annoyance. Give up anger or ill-will. Give up the spirit of fighting, heated debates. Do not argue. If you quarrel with somebody or if you have a heated debate with anybody, you cannot meditate for 3 or 4 days. Your balance of mind will be upset. Much energy will be wasted in useless channels. The blood will become hot. The nerves will be shattered. You must try your level best to keep a serene mind always. Meditation can proceed from a serene mind only. A serene mind is a valuable spiritual asset for you.
An aspirant must be sensitive and yet possess the body and nerves completely under control. The greater the sensitiveness becomes, the more difficult is the task. There are many noises which pass unheeded by an ordinary person but which are torturous to one who is very sensitive.
Centralise your idea and develop thereby the inner power of the Self. Centralisation of ideas will stop the outgoing habit of the mind and will develop the powers of the mind. Centralisation of ideas means centralisation of your energy.
Energy is wasted in useless idle talks and gossiping, planning and unnecessary worry (Chinta). Conserve energy by getting rid of these three defects and utilise it in meditation on God. You can do wonderful meditation then. If you want to do some dynamic worldly activities for world-solidarity (Lokasangraha) you can turn out marvellous work by conserving the energy which leaks through useless channels.
Just as the man who foolishly runs after two rabbits, will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts. If he has Divine thoughts for ten minutes and then worldly conflicting thoughts for the next ten minutes he will not succeed in getting at the Divine consciousness. You must run after one rabbit only with vigour, strength and one-pointed mind. You are sure to catch it. You must have only Divine thoughts at all times. Then you are sure to realise God soon.
He who says and imagines: "I practise deep meditation daily," when he has not removed the evil traits or qualities or Vikaras of the mind, deceives himself first and then others. He is a first-class confirmed hypocrite.
If you strain yourself in meditation and go beyond your capacity, laziness and inactive nature will supervene. Meditation should come naturally on account of serenity of the mind induced by the practice of Sama, Dama, Uparati and Pratyahara. Atman is the fountain of energy. Thinking on Atman or the source for energy also is a dynamic method for augmenting energy, strength and power.
Conserve the energy by talking a little, observing Mouna, controlling anger, observing Brahmacharya, practising Pranayama and controlling irrelevant and non-essential thoughts. You will have abundant energy at your disposal by having recourse to the above practices. You can move heaven and earth now.
Abandon ruthlessly all sensual objects. They are the wombs of pain. Develop gradually balance of mind. Subdue the senses. Annihilate lust, anger and greed. Meditate and behold the imperishable Atman. Rest yourself firmly in the Self. Nothing can hurt you now. You can become invincible.
What does a passionate man do? He repeats the same ignominous act again and again and fills his stomach as many times as he can. What does an aspirant with burning passion for Self-realisation do? He takes a little milk and repeats the process of meditation again and again, whole day and night and enjoys the eternal bliss of the Self. Both are busy in their own ways. The former is caught in the wheel of births and deaths and latter attains Immortality. The mind can be controlled by continuous practice. You must keep it always occupied in divine contemplation. If you slacken your efforts idle thoughts will at once enter. Continuous practice only can bring the mind under control easily.
If you wish to attain success in Yoga, you will have to abandon all worldly enjoyments and practise Tapas and Brahmacharya. Tapas and Brahmacharya will help you in the attainment of concentration and Samadhi.
When you start a fire you heap some straw, pieces of paper and thin pieces of wood. If the fire gets extinguished quickly you start it again several times by blowing through the mouth or the blow-pipe. After some time it becomes a small conflagration. You can hardly extinguish it now even with great efforts. Even so in the beginning of meditation the beginners fall down from meditation in their old grooves. They will have to lift up their minds again and again and fix them on the Lakshya. When the meditation becomes deep and steady, they get established in God eventually. Then the meditation becomes Sahaja. It becomes habitual. Use the blow-pipe of Tivra Vairagya and intense concentration to kindle the fire of meditation.
You will have to note very carefully whether you remain stationary in the spiritual path even after many years of spiritual practice or whether you are progressing. Sometimes you go downwards also if you are slack in meditation. Reaction may set in. Some practise meditation for a period of 15 years and yet they do not make any real progress at all. This is due to lack of earnestness, Vairagya, keen longing for liberation and intense Sadhana.
If the aspirant has the nature of being offended for trifling things, he cannot make any progress in meditation. He should cultivate amiable loving nature and adaptability. Then this bad habit will vanish. Some aspirants get easily offended if their bad qualities and defects are pointed out. They become indignant and begin to fight with the man who shows the defects. They think the man is concocting them out of jealousy or hatred. This is bad. Other people can very easily find out our defects. A man who has no life of introspection, whose mind is of outgoing tendencies, cannot find out his own mistakes. The self-conceit acts as a veil and blurs the mental vision. If an aspirant wants to grow, he must admit his defects if they are pointed out by others. He must try his level best to eradicate them and must thank the man who points out his defects. Then only he can grow in spirituality.
A glutton or sensualist, a dullard or a lazy man cannot practise meditation. He who has controlled the tongue and other organs, who has an acute acumen, who eats, drinks and sleeps in moderation, who has destroyed selfishness, lust, greed and anger can practise meditation and attain success in Samadhi.
Vikshepa is a great obstacle in meditation. Murty- upasana, Pranayama, Trataka, chanting of Dirgha Pranava (long OM), Manana, Vichara, Prayer, will remove this serious impediment. Vikshepa is tossing of mind. Destroy desires. Give up planning and scheming. Stop all Vyavahara and Pravritti for some time.
Viparita Bhavana (wrong conception that the self is the body and the world is a solid reality) and Samsaya Bhavana (doubt) overpower you. Just as water leaks out into the rat-holes in agricultural fields, so also energy is wasted in wrong channels through Raga (attraction) for objects and undercurrent and lurking subtle desires. Suppressed desires also will manifest and harass you. You will unconsciously become a victim of those desires.
When you begin to sweep a room that was kept closed for six months, various kinds of dirt come out from the corners of the room. Similarly during meditation under pressure of Yoga, through the Grace of God, various kinds of impurities float about on the surface of the mind. Bravely remove them one by one by suitable methods and counter-virtues with patience and strenuous efforts. The old vicious Samskaras revenge when you try to suppress them. Do not be afraid. They lose their strength after some time. You have to tame the mind just as you tame a wild elephant or a tiger. Do not indulge in vicious thoughts which serve as food for the mind. Make the mind Antarmukha (self-introspective). Substitute good, virtuous sublime thoughts. Feed the mind with ennobling aspirations and ideas. Old vicious Samskaras will be gradually thinned out and eventually obliterated.
Untrained aspirants generally mistake their own imaginations and impulses for the inner voice or Adesa (divine command). This is a grave pity. Sometimes the sight of a beautiful form gives pleasure to the mind. After all, mind wants pleasure. If the mind is trained to enjoy or taste the Bliss of the formless Brahman or the Self Who is seated in the hearts of all, by practice of meditation, it will not run to beautiful forms outside.
If you are not able to form the image of your Ishta Devata, if you are not able to fix the mind on your tutelary deity, you may try to hear the sound of the Mantra repeated by you or think of the letters of the Mantra in order. This will stop mind-wandering. This is all due to Vikshepa. There is no magical pill more efficacious than solitude to remove the disease of Vikshepa or tossing of mind caused by reactions of impure impressions.
Suppose the mind runs outside during meditation forty times within one hour. If you can make it run only 38 times it is decidedly a great improvement. You have gained some control over the mind. It demands strenuous practice for a long time to check the mind-wandering. Vikshepa is very powerful. But Sattva is more powerful than Vikshepa. Increase your Sattva. You can very easily control this oscillation of the mind.