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Hint Of Meditation

1. Be careful in the selection of your companions. Talk little. Observe Mowna (silence). Do not mix with undesirable persons. Have Sat Sanga (association with the wise men). Read good, inspiring, books.

2. When desires arise in the mind do not try to fulfill them. Reject them as soon as they arise. Thus by gradual practice the desires can be reduced. The modifications of mind will also diminish a lot, because when the fuel of desire is exhausted, the fire of thought also will slowly get extinguished.

3. Retire to a quiet place or room, so that your mind may feel quite secure and at rest. The ideal condition cannot be always obtained, in which case, you should do the best you can. You should be alone yourself in communion with God or Brahman. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Feel His Presence. Repeat His name OM with fervor, joy and love. Fill your heart with Prem (love). Destroy the Sankalpas , thoughts, shims, fancies and desires when they arise from the surface of the mind. Withdraw the wandering mind and fix it on the Lord. Now Nistha, meditation, will become deep and intense. Don't open your eyes. Don't stir from the seat. Merge in him. Drive deep into the recesses of the heart. Plunge into the shining Atma. Drink the nectar of Immortality. Enjoy the silence now. I shall leave you there alone. Nectar's son, rejoice, Rejoice, peace, Peace. Silence. Silence. Glory. Glory.

4. Saguna and Nirguna Dhyana: To meditate on a Name and Form of the Lord is Saguna-Dhyana. This is concrete meditation. Meditate on any form of God you like, and repeat His Name mentally. This is Saguna-Dhyana. Or repeat OM mentally and meditate on abstract ideas like Infinity, Eternity, Purity. Consciousness, truth, Bliss, etc., identifying these with your Self. This is Nirguna-Dhyana. Stick to one method. In the initial stages, Saguna-Dhyana alone is suitable for the vast majority of persons. Before doing meditation do 20 mild Kumbhakas (retention of breath, pranayama). Then sit for meditation. You will have good meditation. Pranayama drives away tandra-alasya (drowsiness and laziness) and makes the mind steady.

5. You must have a mental image of God or Brahman before you begin to meditate. Have a background of thought-either a concrete background of your Ishta Murthi along with the Mantra or an abstract background of the idea of Infinity with OM if you are a student of Jnana Yoga. This will destroy all other worldly thoughts and take you to the goal. Through force of habit, the mind will at once take shelter in the background the moment you release it from worldly activities. If the mind is restless or wandering, sit in a quiet room. Or lie down in Savasan like a dead man for 15 minutes and relax the body and mind completely.

6. Keep a picture of your Ishta in the room, and also some religious books, the Gita, the Upanishads, the Yoga-Vasishta, the Bhagavata, etc. Spread your Asana in front of the picture of your Ishta.

7. Sit in Padma, Siddha, Sukha, or Swastika Asana. Lock the fingers. The Asana (posture) should become as firm as a rock. Keep the head, neck and trunk in the straight line. Lock the fingers. Do not bend either forward or backward. Face the East or the North. A spiritual neophyte should observe this rule. In facing the North he is in communion with the Rishis of the Himalayas and he is mysteriously benefited by their currents.

8. When you are a neophyte in meditation, start repeating some sublime Slokas or Stotras or hymns for ten minutes as soon as you sit for meditation. This will elevate the mind. Then the mind can be easily withdrawn from the worldly objects. Then stop this kind of thinking also and fix the mind on one idea only by repeated and strenuous efforts. Then Nishtha will ensue.

9. When you meditate on lord Krishna in the beginning, keep His picture in front of you. Look at it with steady gazing without winking. See His feet first, then the yellow silken robe, then the ornaments around His neck, then His face, ear-rings, crown on the head set with diamonds, then His armlets, bracelets, then His conch, disc, mace and lotus. Then start again from the feet and repeat the same process. Do this again and again for half an hour. When you feel tired look steadily on the face only. Then close your eyes and mentally visualize the picture and rotate the mind on the different parts, as you did before. Do this practice for three months.

10. When you sit for meditation in the morning, send out your love and peace to all living beings. Say: Sarvesham Shantir Bhavatu. May peace be unto all. Sarvesham poornam Bhavantu. May prosperity be unto all. Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu. May happiness be unto the whole world.

11. Practise regular systematic meditation during the same hours daily. Never let a day pass without meditation. You will get the meditative mood easily. Breathe slowly. Sit in the same place, at the same time every day. Have the right kind of mental attitude as taught by your Guru (teacher). You can associate the attributes of God, as omnipotence, omniscience, purity, perfection, etc., during the course of your meditation.

12. There is one good mood in those who practise meditation. It is termed the 'meditative mood'. Those who practise concentration and meditation feel this kind of mood. When this mood manifests, you must immediately give up reading, writing, talking, etc. You must immediately sit on the usual Asana and begin to meditate. Meditation will come by itself without efforts. This mood is very favourable for contemplation. Watch for the kind of mood. If light disturbs you, close the windows or put on a curtain along the window. A dark room is favourable for beginners in meditation.

13. Have a background of thought either a concrete background of your Ishta Murti along with Mantra (sacred syllable) or an abstract background of the idea of infinity with OM if you are a student of Jnana yoga (path of knowledge). This will destroy all other worldly thoughts and take you to the goal. Through force of the habit, the mind will at once take shelter in this background, the moment you release it from worldly activities.

14. Close the eyes. Concentrate the gaze on the Trikuti. Now chant Dirgha Pranava or long OM forcibly for five minutes. This will remove Vikshepa or tossing of the mind. Concentration will ensue. Now repeat OM mentally with Brahma-bhavana. Whenever the mind begins to wander, again chant OM verbally. As soon as the mind gets calm, mentally repeat OM again. The same process can be adopted for Saguna meditation also.

15. Lord Jesus says "Empty thyself and I will fill thee." This corresponds to the teaching of Patanjali Maharishi "Yogah chitta vriti nirodah" 'Yoga is restraint of all mental modifications." This emptying process or "making the mind blank" is no doubt a trying discipline. But continued practice of an intense type will bring success. There is no doubt of this.

16. Just as you grow jasmine, roses lily, Honolulu and temple flowers in your garden, you should cultivate the flowers of peace thoughts, thoughts of love, mercy, kindness, purity etc. in the vast garden of your antahkarana (mind). Through introspection you will have to water this garden of mind with meditation and sublime thinking and remove the weeds of vain, useless, discordant thoughts.

17. Take Sattwic food. Fruits and milk will help mental focusing. Give up meat, fish, eggs, smoking, liquors, etc.

18. Relax all the muscles and nerves. Relax the brain. Calm the objective mind. Close the eyes. Do not voluntarily and violently drive away intruding thoughts. Gently allow the divine thoughts to flow. Steadily think of the Lakshya, the object of meditation. Have sublime Sattvic thoughts. Vicious thoughts will, by themselves, vanish.

19. 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.

20. This mind has attraction for certain new words or names of towns or persons. Watch the mind carefully and try to bring it back to the point or center.

21. In meditation, do not strain the eyes. Do not strain the brain. Do not struggle or wrestle with the mind. It is a serious mistake. Many neophytes commit this grave error. That is the reason why they get easily tired soon. They get headache and they have to get up very often to pass urnine during the course of meditation owing to the irritation set up in the micturition center in the spinal cord.

22. Entertain some pleasant thoughts. Think of some beautiful flowers, the glaciers of the Himayalas, the blue expansive sky, the vast ocean or some beautiful scenery in the Himalayas or Kashmir or in any other place. Now you can sit again for meditation.

23. Make no violent efforts to control the mind but rather allow it to run along for a while and exhaust its efforts. It will take advantage of the opportunity and will jump around like an unchained monkey, at first, until it gradually slows down and looks to you for orders. It may take sometime to tame it down at first, but each time you try, it will come around to you in a short time. Never wrestle with the mind. Don't use any violent efforts in concentration? Relax all muscles and nerves. Relax the brain. Gently think of your Ishtam. Slowly repeat your Guru Mantra with bhava (feeling) and meaning. Still the bubbling mind. Silence the thoughts.

24. Again and again withdraw the mind from the worldly objects when it runs away from the Lakshya (object of concentration) and fix it there. This sort of combat will go on for some months.

25. If evil thoughts enter the mind do not use your will force in driving out them. You will lose your energy only. You will tax your will only. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. They will return more quickly also the thoughts will become more powerful. (1) Be indifferent. Keep Quiet. They will pass off soon. (2) Or substitute good counter thoughts (Pratipaksha Bhavana Method). (3) Or think of the picture of God and the Mantra again and again forcibly or (4) pray.

26. Don't allow the mind to move in the old ruts, grooves and avenues. When it falls down during meditation elevate it at once. Generate new Divine vibrations and thought waves. Pray.

27. Shut out from the mind all useless thoughts. Don't give new strength to evil thoughts by constant thinking. Restrain them. Substitute sublime thoughts. Energy is wasted in useless thinking. Conserve the mental energy by driving useless obnoxious thoughts. Then you will improve in your meditation.

28. Fill the mind again and again with Sattavic thoughts, Divine thoughts, New grooves and avenues will be formed now. Just as a gramophone needle cuts a small groove in the plate, sattvic thinking will cut new healthy grooves in the mind and brain. New Samskaras will be formed.

29. In Samadhi, the Triputi (triod-knower, knowledge and knowable) vanishes. The meditator and the meditated, the thinker and the thought become one and identical. There is no meditation in Samadhi. It drops. The Dhyata (meditator) and Dhyana get merged in Dheya (object of meditation).

30. Don't store in your brain needless information. Learn to unmind the mind. Forget whatever you have learnt. They are useless for you now. Then only you can fill your mind with Divine thoughts in mediation. You will again have fresh mental strength now.

31. In the beginning of meditation, lights of various colour, such as red light, white light, blue light, green light, a mixture of red and green etc., appears in the forehead. They are tanmatric light. Every tatwa has its own hue. Prithivi tatwa has yellow colour. Apas tattwa has white colour. Agni tattwa has red colour. Vayu tattwa has green colour. Akasa tattwa has blue colour. The coloured lights are due to these tattwas only.

32. Some times a big sun or moon or lightning like flashed appear in front of the forhead during meditation. Don't mind these appearances. Shun them. Try to dive deep into the source of these lights.

33. Beginners will get Jerks in meditation. Jerks of head, feet, hands, arm, forearm and trunk may take place. Timid persons are unnecessarily alarmed on this score. It is nothing. Meditation brings on changes in the cells of brain, nerves, etc. Old cells are replaced by new vigorous cells. They are filled with sattwa (purity). New grooves, new channels for sattwic thought currents, new avenues are formed in the brain and mind. The muscles are therefore agitated a bit. Be courageous and bold. Courage is a an important virtue and qualification for aspirants. Cultivate this positive quality.

34. Energy is wasted in useless idle talks and gossiping, planning and unnecessary worry or Chintan. Conserve the energy by getting rid of these three defects and utilize it in meditation on God. You can do wonderful meditation then.

35. In the beginning of meditation in neophytes they fall down from meditation in their old grooves of thinking. Very often depression comes in meditation in neophytes owing to the influence of samskaras, influence of astral entities, evil spirits, bad company, cloudy days, bad stomach and loaded bowels. It must be removed quickly by cheerful thoughts, a brisk walk, singing, laughing, prayer, pranayama, purgative and a dose of carminative mixture.

36. Vikehspa is a great obstacle in meditation. Murti upasana, pranayama, thratak, chanting of (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.

37. If the Yogic student who practices regular meditation is gloomy, or If he is depressed and weak, surely, something is wrong somewhere. Meditation makes a man strong, cheerful and healthy.

38. If there is any error in meditation, at once consult the senior Sannyasins or realized souls and remove the mistake.

39. Prana (energy) is the outer overcoat for the mind. The vibration of the subtle psychic prana give rise to the formation of thought. By pranayama (control of prana or restraint of breath by mild kumbhaka or retention of breath) you can improve your meditation by making the mind more steady.

40. Dash cold water on the face to drive off drowsiness. Stand up for 15 minutes. Or lean upon an improvised swing for 10 minutes and move yourself to and fro. Do 10 or 20 mild Kumbhakas, Pranayamas (retention of breath). Do Sirsh Asana (topsy-turvy pose) or Mayur Asana (Peacock pose). Take only milk and fruits at night. By these methods you can combat against sleep. Stroll about for 10 minutes. Keep the light burning if sleep comes.

41. Do not shake the body unnecessarily. By shaking the body very often, the mind also is disturbed. Do not scratch the body also every now and then. The Asan or posture should become as firm as rock. Breathe slowly. Do not change the seat very often. Sit in the same place, at the same time, every day. Have the right kind of mental attitude as taught by your Guru.

42. You will have to note very carefully whether you have remained stationary in the spiritual path even after many years of spiritual practice or whether you are progressing. Sometimes you may retrograde or fall down backwards. Also, if you are not vigilant and careful, if your Vairagya (dispassionate nature) waves, and if you are slack in meditation. Reaction may set in. Some practice meditation for a period of fifteen years and yet they have not made any spiritual progress. Why? This is due to lack of earnestness, Vairagya, keen longing for liberation and intense, constant Sadhana (practice). Viparita Bhavana (wrong conception that the self is the body and the world is a solid reality) and Samsaya bhavana (doubt) over-power 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 of lurking subtle desires. Suppressed desires also manifest and harass you. You unconsciously become a victim of those desires.

43. These are the benefits that are derived by the yogic student who practices meditation systematically. They are: Shanti (peace), Santosha (contentment), fearlessness, peculiar spiritual ananda (bliss), unruffled state of the mind in worldly, difficulties, nischala sthithi (steadiness), inspiration, intuitive perception, sattwica qualities, absence of anger (akroda state) egoism and raga dwesha.

44. Meditation develops strong and pure thoughts. Mental images are clear cut and well-defined. Good thoughts are well grounded. Through clarification of ideas confusion vanished.

45. Those who do meditation will have a calm, serene, charming face, sweet voice and lustrious, white eyes.

46. When you see the flowers in a mango tree, you know pretty well that you will get mango fruit quickly. Even so if you have santi (peace) in your mind, be sure that you will get good meditation and the fruit of Jnana quickly.

47. In the beginning when you are a neophyte, you can close your eyes to remove the distraction of mind, as you are very weak. But later on, you must meditate with eyes open, even during walking. You must keep your balance of mind even when you are in the bustle of a city. Only then are you perfect. Think strongly that the world is unreal, that there is no world, and that there is Atman only. If you can meditate on the Atman even when the eyes are open, you will be a strong man. You will not be easily disturbed.

48. Just as you conserve the physical energy by observing Mauna, so also you will have to conserve the mental energy by stopping useless thinking. Then you will save abundant reserve energy for meditation.

49. If the Yogic student who practices regular meditation is gloomy, or If he is depressed and weak, surely, something is wrong somewhere. Meditation makes a man strong, cheerful and healthy.

50. Extricate yourself from the mind's sticking and clinging to this body and children owing to Raga and Moha through Vairagya and meditation. Watch every thought very carefully. Your life must tally with your meditation. You must keep up your meditation during work also. Purify the thoughts. Silence the bubbling mind. Quiet the mind. Silence the thoughts. Still the outgoing tendencies or energies of the mind. Collect all the gathering thoughts.

51. Just as cultivation in a strong land or saltish earth becomes absolutely fruitless, so also meditation done without vairagya (dispassion, indifference to sensual enjoyments) becomes fruitless.

52. A goldsmith converts 10 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 words of your spiritual preceptor and Upanishadic sentences or meditation, Japa or silent repetition of the name of the Lord etc.

53. When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state. There fore, if you keep the mind fully occupied with the thought of God alone, you will get into Nirvikalpa-Samadhi very quickly. So, cheer up, and exert in right earnest.

54. As you are not used to meditation, you may feel tired and hungry when you sit for meditation. This will pass off soon. Continue your practice.

55. 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 Pratyahara.

56. Some times the mind will be sluggish or slothful. You cannot concentrate. It will refuse to work. The same vigorous mind may become sluggish in the later part of concentration, just as the horse that was running with a good speed in the beginning of the journey becomes sluggish in the end. Just as the driver goads the horse by giving a little grass and water, so also you will have to inspire the mind with some Kirtan and elevating thoughts and discipline it with undistracted attention.

57. When you sit on Asana for meditation, you want to get up soon, not on account of pain in the legs, but on account of impatience. Conquer this undesirable negative quality by developing patience gradually. Then you will be able to sit for three or four hours at a stretch.

58. A weak aspirant, though he may be strong in concentration, is overcome by idleness. But a strong aspirant, if he is weak in concentration, is overpowered by Vikshep or tossing of mind, concentration and energy should therefore be well balanced.

59. You must daily increase your Vairagya and Sattvic virtues such as patience, perseverance, mercy, love forgiveness and purity. Vairagya and good qualities help meditation. Meditation increases the Sattvic qualities.

60. During meditation, note how long you can shut out all worldly thoughts. Watch the mind very carefully. If it is for 20 minutes, try to increase the period to 30 or 40 minutes and so on. Fill the mind with thoughts of God again and again.

61. During meditation, when the mind passes into a calm state of Samata, when you feel a peculiar concentration-Ananda, think you are entering into the Samadhi state. Do not disturb this state. Try your best to keep it for a long time. Mark this state very carefully.

62. Clarify your ideas again and again. Think clearly, Have deep, concentrated right thinking. Introspect in solitude. Purify your thoughts to a considerable degree. Quiet the thoughts. Just as in a big surgical clinic the Asst. Surgeon allows only one patient to enter the consultation room and the operation theatre of a Senior Colonial Surgeon.

63. Meditation gives lot of spiritual strength, peace, new vigour and vitality. It is the best mental tonic. If a meditator gets irritated very often, it shows he is not doing good un-interrupted meditation. There is something wrong in his Sadhana (practice), in his contemplation.

64. Like attracts like. This is a great law. Entertain good thoughts Positive overpowers the negative. A positive thought drives off a negative one. Keep yourself always positive. You will have wonderful meditation.

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