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Book Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 300 grams
by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
About This Book (Back Cover) Introduction 8 1. Focussing of Consciousness 17 2. Concentration 24 3. Tratak or Steady Gazing 34 4. Where to Concentrate 40 5. How to Develop Concentration 47 6. What is Meditation? 54 7. No Meditation, No Realisation 69 8. Prerequisites for Meditation 75 9. Step by Step on the Yoga Ladder 79 10. Places favourable for Meditation 87 11. Samskara RakshaóProtection of Spiritual Impressions 97 12. The Meditation Room and the Meditation Hours 102 13. The Meditative Postures 109 14. Yogic Diet 114 15. Key Guidelines to Successful Meditation 121 16. On Choosing an Object for Meditation 128 17. Meditation Exercises 131 18. Saguna Meditation and Nirguna Meditation Compared 143 19. One Guru, One Place, One Yoga 147 20. The Most Common Obstacles to Meditation 153 21. Vikshepa or Tossing of the Mind 168 22. The Problem of Evil Thoughts 174 23. Substratum Awakenings in the Mind 178 24. Social Factors that Impede Meditation 183 25. Evil Qualities that Hinder Meditation 189 26. Other Undesirable Traits 195 27. States of Mind that Stall Progress 207 28. Meditation, Work and Rest 213 29. The Appearance of Lights in Meditation 217 30. Visions in Meditation 221 31. Separating from the Body 227 32. What Happens in Meditation 233 33. Siddhis 245 34. Samadhi 251 35. Spiritual Vibrations and Aura 259
About This Book
The goal of life is the attainment of final beatitude. This can be attained by meditation. The Ultimate Truth can be experienced by all persons by regular practice of meditation with a pure heart.
This book deals with how to develop concentration, what is meditation, prerequisites for meditation, favourable places for meditation, suitable diet, guidelines to successful meditation, practice of meditation, the most common obstacles in meditation and all such information which a seeker of Truth wants to know before starting the practice of meditation.
No more words. Enough of discussions and heated debates. Retire into a solitary room. Close your eyes. Have deep silent meditation. Dive deep into the innermost recesses of the heart. Drink the nectar of immortality.
O my dear aspirants! I send you the thought-currents of peace from the peaceful atmosphere of the sacred Himalayas, the abode of Rishis.
The goal of life is the attainment of final beatitude or Moksha. Moksha can be attained by constant meditation.
Reality or Brahman can be realised by man. Many have attained Self-realisation. Many have enjoyed the Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Sankara, Dattatreya, Mansoor, Shams Tabriez, Jesus, Buddha were all realised souls who had direct perception of the Truth.
The Ultimate Truth or Brahman or the Absolute can be experienced by all persons by regular practice of meditation with a pure heart. Mere abstract reasoning and study of books will not do. What is wanted is direct experience. The direct experience is the source for higher intuitional knowledge or divine wisdom. This experience is superconscious or transcendental. There is neither the play of the senses nor the intellect here. This is not an emotional experience. The senses, mind and intellect are at perfect rest. They do not function a bit. This experience is not an imaginary experience of a visionary dreamer. It is not a reverie. It is not a hypnotic trance. It is solid living Truth like the Amalaka fruit on the palm of your hand. The third eye or the eye of wisdom is opened in the experiencer. The extraordinary experience comes from cognition through the spiritual eye or the eye of intuition. This eye of wisdom can be opened when the senses, mind and intellect cease functioning.
Samadhi or blissful divine experience arises when the ego and the mind are dissolved. It is a state to be attained by oneís own effort. It is limitless, divisionless and infinite, an experience of being and of pure consciousness. When this experience is realised, the mind, desires, actions, and feelings of joy and sorrow vanish into a void.
He who has controlled his mind is really happy and free. Physical freedom is no freedom at all. If you are easily carried away by surging emotions and impulses, if you are under the grip of moods, cravings and passions, how can you be really happy, O sweet beloved child! You are like a rudderless boat. You are tossed about hither and thither like a piece of straw in the vast expanse on the ocean. You laugh for five minutes and weep for five hours. What can wife, son, friends, money, fame and power do for you when you are under the sway of the impulses of your own mind? He is the true hero who has controlled his mind. There is an adage: "He who has controlled his mind has controlled the world." True victory is over the mind. That is real freedom. Thorough rigorous discipline and self-imposed restrictions will eventually eradicate all desires, thoughts, impulses, cravings and passions. Only then, and not until then, can you expect to be free from the thralldom of the mind. You should not give any leniency to the mind. The mind is mischievous imp. Curb it by drastic measures. Become a perfect Yogi. Money cannot give you freedom. Freedom is not a commodity that can be purchased in the Crawford Market. It is a rare, hidden treasure guarded by a five-hooded serpent. Unless you kill or tame this serpent, you cannot have access to that treasure. That treasure is Spiritual Wealth, that is Freedom, that is Bliss. The serpent is your mind. The five hoods are the five senses through which the mind-serpent hisses.
People are immersed in worldliness. They madly run after money and women. They have no time to think of God and higher spiritual things. The sun dawns and the mind runs again in its old, usual, sensual grooves of eating, drinking, amusing and sleeping. The day has passed. In this way the whole life passes away. There is neither moral development nor spiritual progress.
Really, there is no pleasure in objects. Atma gives a push to the mind and sets it in motion. A Vritti or thought-wave arises in the mind on account of the force of a Vasana or latent subtle desire. The mind is agitated and runs towards the particular object. The agitation will not subside till the mind gets the desired object. It will constantly think of the object. It will scheme and plan various methods to achieve the desired object. It will be ever restless. It will be ever assuming the shape of the object. As soon as the object is obtained and enjoyed, the particular Vritti that was causing agitation in the mind gets dissolved. Vritti-laya takes place. When Vritti-laya takes place, you get peace and Ananda from the Svarupa or Atma within only and not from the object outside. Ignorant persons attribute their pleasures to external objects. That is a serious blunder indeed.
There is no happiness at all in any of the objects of the world. It is sheer ignorance to think that we derive any pleasure from the sense-objects or from the mind. Whenever we feel our desires are satisfied, we observe that the mind moves towards the heart, towards Atma. In pleasure also, there is exercise of the mind. It expands. It turns inward and moves to its original home, the place of its origin, Atma and enjoys Atma-sukh, the bliss of the Self.
Why do you search in vain, for your happiness, O worldly fools, outside, in objects, money, women, titles, honours, name and fame, which are false, worthless and like cowdung? You cannot get your happiness there. You are entirely deluded. Search within the heart, subjectively in the Atma, the source and fountain of all happiness.
Real happiness is within you. It is in the Atma. It is subjective. It is in the Sattva Guna and beyond Sattva. It manifests when the mind is concentrated. When the Indriyas are withdrawn from the objects outside, when the mind is one-pointed, when there is Vasana-kshaya or annihilation of the Vasanas, when there is Manonasa or annihilation of the mind, when you become desireless and thoughtless, Atmic bliss begins to dawn; spiritual Ananda begins to thrill.
Be silent. Enter silence. Silence is Atma. Silence is Brahman. Silence is Centre. Silence is the Hridaya Guha, the heart-cave. When the mind runs from one object to another, that state in the interval wherein you become mindless for a very short time is Svarupasthiti. That is Brahman. When the mind is controlled fully, Vrittis cease. When all the modifications subside, you enter into the silence then and then alone. Realise this, this very moment. Feel the divine glory and Brahmic splendour now by closing the eyes, by drawing the Indriyas, by stilling the mind, by silencing the thoughts, by sharpening the intellect, by purifying the Chitta, by meditating on OM, by chanting OM with Bhava, with feeling. Keep up the continuity of Brahmic consciousness throughout the 24 hours. Have an unceasing flow of Atmic consciousness. This is very, very important. This is a sine qua non. This is a great desideratum.
O Prem! There is a place where you will neither hear any sound nor see any colour. That place is Param Dhama or Padam Anaamaya, painless seat. It is the realm of peace and bliss. There is no body-consciousness here. Here mind finds rest. All desires and cravings melt away. The Indriyas remain quiet here. The intellect ceases functioning. There is neither fight nor quarrel here. Will you not seek this silent abode through silent meditation? Solemn stillness reigns supreme here. Rishis of yore attained this place only by melting the mind in the silence. Brahman shines here in native effulgence.
Forget the body. Forget the surroundings. Forgetting is the highest Sadhana. It helps meditation a great deal. It makes the approach to God easier. By remembering God, you can forget all these things.
Sit at ease. Close your eyes. Look within. Withdraw the rays of the mind. Silence the thoughts. Meditate on Atma or the Absolute. Chant OM. Sing OM. Feel OM. Mentally repeat OM. The mind will move now to its Centre or Source slowly. You will forget the body and the world. The breathing will become very slow. The breath will move within the nostrils. Your heart will be flooded with joy and bliss. Divine nectar will trickle down. Drink it to your heartís content and attain immortality. Divine peace, eternal tranquillity will roll over your head, wave after wave. Plunge deep in the ocean of peace. Swim freely and rejoice. What a magnanimous, happy state! What blissful freedom!! What wonderful perfection and independence!!!
Dear brothers! Children of Immortality! Plod on. Push on. Do not look backward. Forget the past. Forget the body and the world. But forget not the Centre. Forget not the Source. A glorious brilliant future is awaiting you. Purify. Serve. Love. Give. Live in OM. Feel always and everywhere the indwelling, all-pervading Presence. Realise the Self. Rest in the magnanimous Ocean of Peace, in the stupendous Sea of Stillness. Drink the nectar of immortality. May the Indwelling Presence be your centre, ideal and goal. May joy, bliss, immortality, peace, glory and splendour abide with you for ever.
Nectarís sons! In this book I have placed before you in detail not only the step-by-step approach to meditation and the mechanics of its practice, but also all the obstacles that stand in the way of meditation and God-realisation. I have then proceeded to suggest various effective methods to remove those obstacles. Stand up now like an undaunted spiritual soldier in the Adhyatmic battle-field. Become a spiritual hero of great intrepidity and unique chivalry. Get over the obstacles fearlessly one by one and manifest divine glory, splendour, purity and sanctity. Wait patiently with a calm and serene mind for results. Do not be hasty, rash and impetuous. Allow proper time for regeneration and renovation. Nil desperandum. Never despair. Wear the Vairagya coat-of-arms. Wield the shield of Viveka. Hold the banner of faith. March boldly and cheerfully with the band of Bhum Bhum Bhum, Om Om Om, Ram Ram Ram, Shyam Shyam Shyam. Stop not till you drink the elixir of immortality to your heartís content. Stop not, dear Sadhaks, till you enter the immortal realm of eternal sunshine, undecaying beauty, unfading ecstasy, supreme bliss, infinite joy, unalloyed felicity and unbroken peace. This is your final destination. You can take eternal rest now. This is your goal. This is your highest aim and purpose of life. Rest now in everlasting peace, friends! Good-bye unto you all. Cheer yourselves. Share this rare panacea with your brothers. Elevate them. This noble and stupendous selfless work is awaiting you now in the grand plan. Fulfill the Divine will and become a Buddha of undying fame. Salutations unto you all!
When a bee finds that its feet are stuck in the honey, it slowly licks its feet several times and then flies away with joy. Even so, extricate yourself from the mindís sticking and clinging to this body and children through Vairagya and meditation. Fly away with joy from this cage of flesh and bones to the Source, Brahman or the Absolute.
Meditate. Purify your mind. Practise concentration in a solitary room. Then squeeze out the Upanishads and the Gita from your heart. Donít depend upon imperfect commentaries. If you are sincere, you will understand the real Sankalpa, the real thoughts of the Rishis of the Upanishads and Lord Krishna, what they really meant when they uttered those wise Slokas in the scriptures.
Unfold the Divinity that is lurking in your heart by concentration and meditation. Donít waste your time. Donít waste your life. Meditate. Meditate. Donít lose even a single minute. Meditation will remove all the miseries of life. That is the only way. Meditation is the enemy of the mind. It brings about Manonasa or the annihilation of the mind.
When you reach the spiritual summit of thoughtlessness, you will reach the abode of immortality and eternal peace and supreme bliss. O Ram! Start your homeward journey. March boldly in the spiritual path. Be not afraid of difficulties. Be bold. Ascend peak after peak. Cross the deep ravines of subtle Moha and pride that come on your way. Take a long jump and cross the mystic frontier of Avyaktam (the unmainfested). Chop off the thoughts that wage again and again a guerilla war. Enter now the infinite domain of pure bliss and highest knowledge. Regain your old pristine divine glory. Rest in your Satchidananda Svarup.
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 Prem. 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 Nishta, meditation, will become deep and intense. Donít open your eyes. Donít stir from your seat. Merge in Him. Dive deep into the innermost recesses of the heart. Plunge into the shining Soul within. Drink the nectar of immortality. Enjoy the silence now. I shall leave you there alone. Nectarís sons! Rejoice, rejoice,! Peace, peace! Silence, silence! Glory, glory!
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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25-Mar-2008 00:57:52 EDT
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