Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings

  Sai Baba's Views on Meditation

See also:
Jyoti Meditation
Meditation - Compiled from the discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba


Excerpts from "DHYANA VAHINI"
Sathya Sai Baba's book on meditation.

When the wayward mind fleeing in all directions is plunged in the contemplation of the Name of the Lord, the effect will be like the concentration of the rays of the Sun through a piece of magnifying glass; the scattered rays develop the power of a flame to burn and consume; so too when the waves of Buddhi and the feelings of Manes become one - pointed through the converging lens of the Atma, they manifest as the Divine Splendour which can scorch evil and illumine Joy.

Page 5

Everyone is able to gain success in his profession or occupation only through concentration and one-pointed effort. Even the pettiest of tasks needs for its fulfilment the quality of concentration. The toughest problem yields before unswerving endeavour. Man is endowed with unlimited powers. Not one single man is without them! But the road is missed, since he is unaware of this truth. To gain the awareness of this power, he must join the company of the holy; he must strive in Sadhana; and he must practise Japam and Dhyanam. What use is it even if you have all kinds of ingredients in plenty, when you do not know how to cook? Similarly, man has in himself all the ingredients needed for his upkeep and progress, but he discards them lightly and leaves them unused because he doesn't know the method of benefiting by them. Man must seek to see and understand the Universal Sakthi, the One without a second, which is the Basis of all the multifarious manifestations of Name and Form in the world around him. The mind flies off on tangents all the time. Dhyanam is the process by which it is trained to acquire concentration.

Page 6

The method of Dhyanam: The place chosen should be a little elevated from the ground; that is an inch or two high. Place a grass mat on it, spread a deerskin on the mat and have a thin white cloth laid on the skin. Upon this seat one should sit adopting the Padmasana pose. The right foot must be above the left and the left foot above the right. The fingers of the hand must be in close touch with one another and the hands should be placed in front. The eyes must be either half-open or fully closed, the teeth, the stomach, the fingers, the back, the thighs, the knee, the calves and the feet should be relaxed. After this, one has to meditate on one's own favourite. Name and Form, with OM added. While this is being done, there should be no mental wanderings; one must be stable and quiet. No thought of past events, no trace of anger or hatred and no memory of sorrow should be allowed to interfere. Even if they intrude, they should not be considered at all; to counteract them, one must entertain thoughts which will feed one's enthusiasm for Dhyanam. Of course, this may appear difficult at first. The best time for Dhyanam is in the quiet hours before dawn, between 3 and 5 a.m. One can awake, say at 4 a.m. First of all, sleep has to be subdued. This is very necessary. In order to keep the hours unchanged, one may set the alarm clock for 4 a.m. and rise. Even then, if sleep continues to bother, its effect can be overcome by means of a bath in cold water. Not that it is essential to bathe, it is needed only when sleep gives much trouble.
If in this manner the Dhyanam path is rigorously followed, it is possible for one to win the Grace of the Lord very quickly.

Page 7-8

Sadhakas all over the world will naturally be engaged in Japam and Dhyanam, but first one has to be clear about the purpose of Japam and Dhyanam. Without this knowledge, people begin Japam and Dhyanam believing them to be related to the objective world, capable of satisfying worldly desires and hoping to demonstrate their value by means of sensory gains! This is a grave error. Japam and Dhyanam are for acquiring one-pointed attention on the Lord, for casting off sensory attachments and for attaining the joy derived from the basis of all sensory objects. The mind should not wander off in all directions, indiscriminately, like the fly. The fly dwells in the sweet shop and runs after the rubbish carts; the fly which has such a mind has to be taught to understand the sweetness of the first place and the impurity of the second place, so that it may not desert the sweet shop and pursue the rubbish cart. When such teaching is imparted to the mind, it is called Dhyanam! Look at the other type, the bee. It will have contact only with sweetness; it will approach only those flowers that possess nectar; it will not be attracted to other places; it will not go there at all. Similarly, one has to give up all inclinations towards the sensory attraction, towards the rubbish cart of the untrue and the impermanent; and as far as possible, one has to direct the mind to all holy things which yield sweetness and the joy associated with the Lord. For this, time is needed, of course. How long that time will be is dependent on the activities of thought, word and deed as well as on the motives that impel those actions.

Pages 8-9

Really speaking, man's inner feelings will be evident from his physical body. The stance and the appearance of the body help us to discover these feelings. It is found that there is a close mutual relationship between the attitudes of the body and the attitudes of the mind. Take one example; with the loins girded, the sleeves of the shirt rolled and the palms rounded into fists, it is not possible to exhibit love or devotion. With bended knees, the eye half-closed and the hands raised up over the head with the palms joined, is it possible to show one's anger or hatred or cruelty? That is why the ancient Rishis used to tell the Sadhakas that it was necessary during prayer or Japam and Dhyanam to adopt the appropriate bodily pose. They saw that it was possible by this means to control the waywardness of the mind. Of course, for the expert Sadhaka; Dhyanam is easy in any pose; but for the novice, such physical means are essential. This bodily and mental training must be undergone only to be later discarded as but a means to attain the True and the Eternal Atma. Until this is realised. Sadhana has to be consistently practised.

Page 12

The waters of a river leap from mountains fall into valleys and rush through gorges, besides, tributaries join at various stages and the water becomes turbid and unclean. So too, in the flood of human life, speed and power increase and decrease. These ups and downs might happen any moment during life. No one can escape these; they may come at the beginning of life or at the end, or perhaps in the middle. So, what man has to firmly convince himself is that life is necessarily full of ups and downs; and that far from being afraid and worried over these, he should welcome them as adding to his experience. He should not only feel like this, but he should be happy and glad whatever happens to him. Then, all troubles whatever their nature, will pass away lightly and quickly. For this, the temper of the mind is essential.

Page 14-15

Concentration is essential for all. It is the foundation of all successful endeavour. It is needed not only for Dhyana, but even for worldly affairs and ordinary living. Whatever is the task that one is engaged in, if one does it with concentration, one will develop both self-confidence and self-respect; for they are the result of the attitude of one's own mind. The mind may lean on either the bad or the good. Concentrated attention must be employed to keep the mind attached only to good promptings. Success or failure in the good task depends upon one-pointedness.

Page 15

? a person should develop Interest in Dhya-na and a taste for Dhyana. That is to say, a yearning, which admits of no other step and which, will not tolerate any obstacle. Of course, one may yearn to hear music and derive joy therefrom: or see the bodies of near rela-tives who have died and derive sorrow therefrom! Yearning may thus have pleasant or even unpleasant consequences! Yearning must have the strength to inspire endeavour; in fact, yearning is but dormant endeavour; endeavour is yearning in action. When yearning is weak, en-deavour declines; when one is strong the other too is active. Dhyana gives concentration and success in all tasks.

Page 16

A new understanding dawns, clear and unruffled. When the heights of Dhyana are reached, this understanding becomes so strong that one's lower nature is destroyed and burnt to ashes! Then, only 'You' remains. The entire Creation is a delusion of your mind! One alone IS Sathyam, the Lord, Satchidananda, Paramatma, and Sivoham-the ONE.
The Sathya, the Truth, is so subtle and so soothing. Once that is reached, there is no meditation, no mediator, no Dhyana, no Dhyatha, all merge into one. That is the fixed, illumined experience. Exulting within himself that is Pure Knowledge, the Jnani will be aware only of Atmanubhava, Atmic Bliss. That is the Goal, the fruit of Immortality. Attaining the transcendent experience, the Yogi finishes his Dhyana and moves among men resplen-dent with divinity! In him, the Vedas find fulfilment. He is transformed into a pure being. Dhyana and Dhyana alone have the capacity to make a person transcend the vicissitudes of time, and make him ever the same equanimous individual, as if he were another Creator himself.

Page 17

You have heard so far little about the inner world but Divine Life is nothing but this method of 'inward living'. Just as the baby, after learning to watch and understand, tries to toddle here and there at home, so also the Sadhaka learns to toddle in the Inner world and understand it. A healthy baby in the cradle waves it arms and legs in glee, watching the lamp on the wall and lisps in joy: the Sadhaka also healthy in body, mini and soul, lying in the cradle of life, watches the Inner world and claps his hands ceaselessly in great glee at that inner joy.

Page 18

The Dyani considers the realisation of Atmic Bliss as important; but the promotion of the welfare of the world is also an equally important aim. For carrying out that aim, he must bring under control certain physical, verbal and mental tendencies. These are usually known as the ten-fold sins: the three physical, the four verbal, and the three mental. The physical tendencies are injury to life, adulterous desire and theft. The verbal sins are false alarms, cruel speech, envious talk and lies. The mental attitudes are greed, envy and the denial of God. The person intent on following Dhyana must take every care that these ten enemies do not approach him. They have to be eschewed completely. He needs tendencies that will help him to progress and not those that will drag him back.

Page 19

There are some that try to be quality-less; but they achieve only living death. Their pale faces reveal only lack of zest and interest. This is the result of unreasoned haste in spiritual discipline. Though becoming quality-less is ultimately needed, there should be no hurry to reach the goal; even though a person may have the ardour, it very often leads to dilemmas, which many solve through suicide! First, one must accumulate the wealth of character. Since they evince no interest in earning this qualification, many stalwart Sadhakas have lost their way and not regained it in spite of years of effort! Others have slipped into the morass through which they were wading

Page 21

... Consider the condition of this world hundreds of thousands of years ago. At that time this globe was the scene of two things only. On one side was the fiery lava, which poured forth from the volcanoes and crevices that scarred the surface of the earth. The flood of destruction descended on all sides and spread fear and death in the regions around, as if the end of everything had come. On another 8ide, the scarcely noticeable molecules of living matter, the microscopic amoeba floated on the waters or clung to the crevices among the rocks keeping the spark of life safe and well protected. Of these two, one, boisterous and bright; the other, quiet and secluded; upon which would you have built your trust? At that time, surely no one would have believed that the future was with the amoeba or the animalcule! Who could have foreseen that these minute specks of life could hold out against the gigantic onslaught of molten lava and earth-shaking up-heaval? Those specks of Chaithanya or Life-Consciousness won through nevertheless. Unheralded by fire and dust, by swooping gale or swallowing floods, the amoeba, in process of time, by the sheer force of the Life principle It embodied, blossomed into goodness and strength of cha-racter, into art and music, into song and dance, into scholarship and Sadhana and martyrdom, into sainthood and even Avatars of Godhead I In all these, the history of the world is found summarised.

Page 22

This Prakriti is like an ocean; even if it is agitated a little, tens of thousands of living beings will be destroyed. When the sea becomes slightly ruffled, ships break like hollow reeds; at no time can you cross this sea by your own effort alone. The Lord's Grace is essential, so pray for that raft and when you secure it, you can reach the shore.

Everything in this world is ephemeral, transitory, it is here today but it may not be here tomorrow.
So, if you desire to crave for something, seek the Lord, who has no decline. Instead, if you crave for progeny, wealth and all comforts, you will suffer untold misery when you are called upon to leave everything and depart. At that you would lament, 'Oh, did I love so deeply that I may weep so loudly?' In this transitory life, joy and pain are also perforce transitory. So, to get immersed in this search for the evanescent and to forget the Supreme and Everlasting is, indeed, humiliating to man. Ignoring Madhava who is free from Maya and spending time in things immersed in Maya is fruitless; sorrow alone is the gain. There is nothing here fit to be worshipped as Eternal. Whomsoever you love, that love has to come to an end. The self-same Lord gives, and takes! He gives and takes as and when He wishes. Everything is His; so how foolish it is to lament when things belonging to him are taken back by Him? The wise man will, there-fore not pine over any one or feel undue attachment to anything. Let all the pining and all the attachment be for the Lord; He alone is eternal; He is the source of all Joy. For the rest, love a thing as a thing, not more. Love Man as Man, not more. If you love them more, it is a sign that you have been deceived about their real nature. You can behave only for a short time as if the house you have rented out is your own for, as soon as the period is over, it passes on to another. If you think on these lines, you will know that the wife, the children, the possessions, the relatives, are not yours for long; they are yours for a short time only. So, why waste away worrying over these impermanent things? A millionaire can eat only one bellyful, not more. Man has to come to this world, like the traveller taking refuge at nightfall in a caravanserai; when dawn breaks, he departs! He goes towards his goal, from caravanserai to caravanserai, stage by stage. It is good to think of life in this light.

Page 31-32

Animals with many legs have to creep along the ground; man has only two legs and so he can freely move about. The larger the number of legs the greater the bondage, the tighter the restriction. Now, suppose he marries. Then he has four legs, he has become a quad-ruped; later, when he gets sons, daughters, sons-in-law and grand-children, he is transformed into a regular centipede, capable of moving only by crawling along the ground! He cannot stand erect; he loses the freedom of movement; he has to creep slowly along the mire of material objects; he has no time or inclination to secure the Lord's Grace.

The attachments of the world are short-lived. People have been born many times before and have lived out their lives; loving and getting immersed in love, and attaching themselves to others. But does any one now know where all that has gone? Does he worry about any one of those he loved then? Does he remember them at least, now and then? No. The same love and attachment were there then also; but with the passage of time it has been forgotten. So too, when one departs from this world the love one had for others and the joy, pain and happiness one had through that love will be forgotten. Like the playgrounds of children the senses of action of Man will also be changing, from here to there, and from there to somewhere else ! Fixing their minds on the insecure, changing love, how tragic it is that people forget the cultivation of the disciplines that will give them the permanent Bliss of the Lord!

Page 33

All living beings are actors on this stage. They take their exit when the curtain is rung down or when their part is over. On that stage, one may play the part of a thief; another may be cast as a king; a third may be a clown and another a beggar. For all these characters in the play, there is ONE who gives the cue! Here, some points have to be understood clearly. The prompter will not come upon the stage and give the cue, in full view of all. If He does so, the drama will lose interest. Therefore, standing behind a screen at the back of the stage, He gives the cue to all the actors, irrespective of the role; be it dialogue, speech or song, just when each is in most need of help. In the same way, the Lord is behind the screen on the, stage of Prakriti, giving the cue to all the actors for their various parts. So every actor must be conscious of His Presence behind the Maya screen; he must be anxious to catch the faintest suggestion He might give, keeping a corner of the eye always to Him and having the ear pitched to catch His voice.

Page 35

Hindus, Muslims and Christians may differ on many points, but they are all one in the glorification of the Name of the Godhead. All of them take but the Name of the One Lord, though the language through which the Name is expressed is different. Each one recites, repeats and remembers the Name as formed on his own tongue. Each one turns with his fingers the rosary appropriate to his religion. But for every one there is nothing so fruitful, so universal, or so holy among spiritual disciplines as these are: Japam, Dhyanam and Smarana.

Page 36

Note this. When there is a peculiar disease prevalent in a particular country, the drug that can cure it is also found in that very country more so than anywhere else. Though available after vigorous search in other lands, it will not be so good, or as plentiful. Similarly, this specific drug is available now, in this Kaliyuga! It is now in this Yuga that the ghastly evils of injustice, immorality and falsehood infect the world. That is the reason why the Sastras have been proclaiming again and again, with greater and greater emphasis, that in this Kali age there is no means of salvation other than the Nama! Of the four Yugas, the Kali Yuga is the best on account of this. Nama, Japa and Dhyana strain out the evil in mankind. Human nature is guarded and protected by these three. Hence, the fruits of Dhyana are greater than those secured with great difficulty through Yoga, Yajna or Pranayama.

Page 39

Let the mind run wherever it likes, only, be careful you do not follow it, seeking to discover where it is going! It will then wander about for some time as the fancy takes it and soon getting tired and exhausted, it will come back to you in the end! It is like a little child that knows nothing. Since the mother is following it and calling it back, it gets courage and confidence to run forward in any direction; but if the mother does not run behind the child and retraces her steps quietly, the child too, of its own accord, will run back to the mother!

Page 42

More over, the world loves only good men, endowed with good qualities; it keeps bad men at a distance. Exterior charm attracts the animal; internal charm, resulting from character, pleases the Lord. Do not be tempted by the low tastes of the world and the cheap regard that people bestow. Strive for the holy Grace and Love of the Lord. The affection that men shower is inconstant for it depends on their likes and dislikes. But the Love that the Lord bears to you depends on your good qualities alone. It can also give you permanent joy. Those who are enamoured of the external will tumble into disappointment and sorrow every now and then. Beauty consists in character, not in anything else. There is nothing more charming than that.

Page 45

In the same manner, the Lord is manifest in the picture or image that one worships; but is this due to any special excellence of the picture or image? No, The picture, the photo, the image, these are and remain as picture, photo and image. The fact is that on account of the intensity of the devotion of the Bhaktha, the Lord cannot desist from manifesting Himself for him. For that reason, He assumes Form; the Form that Blesses, in stone, wood or paper that the Bhaktha contemplates and meditates upon and worships. He materialised from a pillar for the sake of Prahlada! For Markandeya, He issued from a Linga! In order to fulfil the yearning of the Bhaktha, Han, the Immanent Basic Being of the Universe, will come, in any Form, in anything, at any place.

Page 46

This type of single-mindedness comes out of Sathwaguna only; and that again is the product of Dhyanam. Therefore, you must cultivate good qualities and in order that these may develop, you should desire the company of the good, sathsanga. Your ideal companions from whom you derive the maximum good are those who talk and discourse about the Lord, about truth, about the Seva of others and about Prema that considers all as equal. Association with such is certainly association with Sadhus, for these are the real Sadhus.

Those who never speak of the Lord, or those who are not even aware of Him; who are busy multiplying and strengthening the bonds of Samsara; who preach and practise falsehood, injustice and oppression and who advise you to stray from the path of Dharma; treat these, not as your friends, but as people to be avoided at all cost Theirs is the company of wicked men, the Dussanga. Associating with such leads to the commissions of' wrongs against your will, the utterance of words which should not be uttered, the doing of deeds that should not be done; and consequently, treading the downward road to ruin.

Page 47

This type of single-mindedness comes out of Sathwaguna only; and that again is the product of Dhyanam. Therefore, you must cultivate good qualities and in order that these may develop, you should desire the company of the good, sathsanga. Your teal companions from whom you derive the maximum good are those who talk and discourse about the Lord, about truth, about the Seva of others and about Prema that considers all as equal. Association with such is certainly association with Sadhus, for these are the real Sadhus.
The Jivanmukthas, the realised souls, are as lighthouses that point out the way to ships caught in blinding darkness in mid ocean. The spiritual lighthouses show the way to those who struggle helplessly in the thick night of ignorance.

Page 48

It is really a source of amazement this, creation and the wonder with which it is filled. But considering present conditions, there are very few who watch for Light and who are guided by the Light. So, instead of following this person and that and taking devious roads and getting lost, it is best to place full faith in the Lord Himself and rely on Him as the only Mother, Father, Guru and Guide. Then you will never lose the right path. He will never direct you to the wrong path. To have that firm faith and that experience one must take to Dhyana; that is the one and only means. It is enough if the Name and Form of the Lord are meditated upon with Prema and with Faith; and you can choose the Name and the Form, which you like most. For this spiritual discipline you must cultivate the quality of being always joyful; with smile on the face this will give you good distinction. People will also like you more. And so, the Lord too will have joy on seeing you. Therefore, observe Dhyanam with innocence, purity and humility.

Page 49

Character is Power. So train it and use it to attain the visualisation of the Lord, Sakshathkara: hold fast to the Goal. You must have contentment, whatever the gain or loss, or state. This is essential. Contentment grants happiness and increases it. For the contented mind, life is an endless festival. The mind worried by desire will have no rest. With desire troubling you, concentration is impossible. Desire is the fire in your frame; it reduces you to ashes. Contentment is the effective drug to destroy it. Just as a bath in the cool waters of a stream refreshes a traveller exhausted and perspiring in the burning heat of day, the pellucid waters of Contentment will refresh the man suffering from the scorching fire of greed.

Page 52

Do not get attached to this evanescent body; utilise the body as an implement. Consider yourself as separate from this destructible body, created out of the conjunc-tion of the five' Elements. Know yourself as the indestructible Atma. As the house in which you dwell is separate from you, so is the body, which surrounds you for a little time, also separate. The body is the root cause of all this grief, all this calamity and all this sla-very. Understand this well: make the body obey your will, never bow down to it and follow its whims. Be prepared to cast it away; resolve to control it and keep it under strict control. You have to deal carefully with the body; you have to train it with great attention.
Though all that was said above related to the Atma, some activities have to be undertaken by everyone. How to use the body as an implement, as a boat for example, to cross the stream of life? Until the other bank is reached, or In other words, until the Ultimate Truth is attained, you must take care to see that it is not damaged or broken or leaky. Let not the boat fall to pieces; be on the look out for the signs. That is to say: moderate food of good Sathwic quality at the correct time and disciplined physical activities for the body should not be given up. Such activity directed to the spiritual becomes the discipline needed for real Sadhana. This is what is referred to as Dhyanam, Smarana, Puja and Bhajana. When the discipline is practised, as well as later, you must be joyful and not gloomy. This should not be forgotten; never get tired or timid. If, however the Sadhaka gets tired, then he can eat at the end of the day's Dhyanam, a few peanuts or almonds soaked well in water. These will cool the body and endow it with strength.

Pages 54-55

Anyone aiming at the realisation of God should practise the diminishing of impulses, the curbing of the mind and the understanding of the fundamental principle. Not one of these is enough for Moksha. In the Jivanmuktha, impulses persist, but as fried seeds only. They will not cause further births. See the subtle body is the Ajnani, the seat of Ignorance. It is saturated with impulses and traditions and experiences. The Atma is free. From all these. It is ever pure. It belongs to neither sex, has no mind, no senses, no form. Not only that, it has no Prana, even! It cannot be said to be a1ive or dead. How can contemplation on such en Atma be any thing other than pure? How can Light and darkness coexist? How can purity and impurity coexist?

Page 60

Listen! Bharadwaja studied the Vedas for three successive lives. When born a fourth time, he started reading again! So Indra came to him and taught him the Brahmavidya and confided to him the secret of Liberation. Then Bharadwaja put an end to his reading and his study and entered upon hard, concentrated Dhyanam He realised the Atma. Therefore, study is a purposeless exercise if the essence is not imbibed and practised. The greed to read about all kinds of subjects and topics is itself not a very healthy impulse. Once upon a time Durvasa, the saint, reached the presence of Shiva with a cartload of religious books. Narada then compared him to the proverbial donkey; for too much attachment to books is itself a Durvasana, or undesirable habit. Though one carries the burden of a multitude of books concerning all branches of knowledge and though he might have read all of them, the teaching contained in them cannot be grasped at all without actual practical experience. Mere pride in learning is itself a malina Vasana, the Vasana of greed. When Durvasa heard such words of advice he was enlightened; he immediately threw all the bundles into the sea and plunged into deep meditation or Dhyanam. See how the sages feel that Dhyanam is all-important for attaining full knowledge!

Pages 63-64

The wayward mind wanders hither and thither; but it is possible to fasten it on one fixed point by means of steady discipline and persistent training in Sadhana
This is the condition called Ekagratha, one-pointedness. It is also referred to as single-mindedness or Dharana. The uninterrupted flow of oil from one vessel to another is a fine symbol of the mental process called Dharana. For novices in Sadhana, Dharana appears to be very difficult of attainment since, after some progress is won, they do not usually keep up the practice. Instead, they give it up even though on those days on which they desist from Sadhana, they will not have peace of mind. Dharana endows man with divine joy, wisdom beyond measure, the inner vision, the insight into the deeper truths, clearer understanding and unison with the God-head. This science of Sadhana is more wonderful than the three Worlds !

Pages 66-67

The Sadhaka has to be ever watchful of this tendency of his mind. When mind flits from object to object, he must bring it back to the right path and the right object. That is the correct spiritual Sadhana, the path of Dharana and Dhyanam. If, however, the Sadhaka does not struggle to achieve this one-pointedness but leaves the mind to itself, following its vagaries from this to that and that to this, the process deserves to be called Merkata Dhyanam, or monkey-meditation; a type of meditation vary harmful indeed to spiritual progress. In short, the chief purpose of Dharana and Dhyanam is to minimise the travels of the mind and force it in one place. Holding it on to that fixed stage, one should continue Sadhana for a long time. Then there is no limit to the peace and joy that one can have. When, for example, you meditate on a table, your thoughts dwell on the wood, the size and measurements, the style, mode of manufacture etc. No other thought pertaining to anything else should be allowed. If the thought hovers round a cot, the idea of the table becomes hazy; and cot too is imagined incompletely. Both get confused and the state of the mind must be single-pointed. So too, the when the Lords Form is meditated upon, the mind must dwell upon the form of each part and its beauty and splendour and these ideas must be co-ordinated and combined into the completed picture.
That is the modus operandi of Dhyanam. Persistent performance of this Dhyanam will result in the emergence of a particular Rupam or Form. Contemplating on that Form, looking at it and seeing it for days and days, finally a stage will be reached when the Form will disappear and you will forget yourself. That is the one Samadhi stage, In that stage, if one feeling or ideation alone persists, it is called Savikalpasamadhi, the Samadhi with ideation; and if no feeling or thought persists, it becomes what Patanjali in the Rajayogaaastra designated as avanasana or the end of ideation.

Pages 67-68

Of course, the mind is inert, or jada. Just as when water, inert matter begins to shine when it is placed in the Sun, the inert mind borrows effulgence from the Atma and appears as if it has Chaithanya, or Consciousness. In the mind, Buddhi gets reflected and so it looks as if the mind too is intelligent, that is all. It's real nature la Ignorance or Ajnana. The mind is not self-effulgent, like the Atma. The mind's splendour is as the luminosity of insects in the rainy season. The Atma, however, is the Sun of Suns; it is the Effulgence of Effulgences; It la the Supreme Light, the Paramjyothi. It is Swayam Jyothl, the Self-effulgent.

Pages 67-68

Again, in Dharana you must be careful not to have as the object something your mind does not like; for however hard you try, your mind will not stay on it. In the beginning, therefore, have some object that is a source of joy. Sit in the Padmasana pose and fix your eyes on the tip of your nose. For a minute in the beginning; than for three minutes; for six, soma days later; for as long as nine minutes, after some time; thus, the concentration has to be strengthened gradually without undue hurry. In this way, it can be held for even half an hour, with the lapse of time. Only, you should not force the pace. Slowly and steadily, the discipline must be developed. With practice, the mind will get fixed and the power of Dharana will increase. To attain Dharana and acquire one-pointedness, you must undergo exertion to soma extent. You must fasten your mind on the Lord and keep off all other thoughts from the mental plane. By constant exercise of this type, your vision will be firmly fixed on the Lord residing in your heart. That is, verily the goal; the full fruition of Dhyanam.

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The Sadhaka must be vigilant not to lose his temper even in small things, for that will block his progress. He must cultivate love towards all and meekness. Then undesirable habit will fall away from him since anger is the parent of all wrong behaviour. Anger can turn any into bad ways, any moment, and in any form. So it should be sublimated first by systematic effort. The Sadhaka must welcome gladly the announcement of his defects by any one; he must indeed, be grateful to those who point them out. He must never entertain hatred against them, for that is as bad as hating the 'good'. The 'good' has to be loved and the 'bad' discarded. Remember that the 'bad' should not be hated. It has to be given up, avoided. Only such persona can achieve progress in Dhyanam and Spiritual Wisdom. Conceit, jealousy, the Rajasic exhibition of one's superiority, anger, the craving to inform oneself of the weakness of other: and their failings, trickery, all these are obstacles in the path of Dhyanam. Even it these are not patently exhibited, the inner Impulses urging one along these wrong directions are latent In the mind. As a room kept closed for a long time is found dust-ridden and foul smelling when it is opened and as it becomes clean and habitable after elaborate sweeping and dusting so the mind too has to be cleaned by Dhyanam. The Sadhaka must, by inward observation, examine the mind and its contents and condition. By proper disciplinary habits he should remove the accumulated dirt, little by little, systematically. Conceit, for example, is deep-rooted and unyielding in the Rajasic mind; it puts forth manifold branches in all directions and spreads everywhere. It might appear to be dry and dead for some time. But it will sprout again easily. As soon as a chance arises for its exhibition, it will raise its hood. So the Sadhaka has to be ever vigilant.

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It is a hard job to get rid of Pride and Self-Love or Ahamkara; for every one has been shaping this life from the beginning-less period of time! Each has been allowing his mind to flow in the direction it likes for ages past. So it is very difficult now to turn it from its accus-tomed path and bend its steps in another direction. The individual full of Aham loves to exercise authority over others. He will not agree with others that it is 'bondage', for their arguments have not been advanced by him! They see everything through the glasses coloured by the smoke of selfishness and self-love. "My words are true", "My Opinion is correct", " My deeds are right", thus they feel and thus they spend their days. Such behaviour is very harmful for Sadhakas. The Sadhaka must eagerly look forward to any helpful criticism or suggestion or advice, from whatever quarter.

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Thus, you must reform your mental traits and habits. Cultivate the habit of never causing pain to others. Try to understand others and sympathise with them and do things that will be helpful. Train yourself to take insult and criticism as "medals" awarded to you. Struggle hard to be friendly with every one, whatever be their nature or conduct.

A sense of joy is necessary for Dhyanam and Dharana to progress, but many things deprive you of the atmosphere of joy. So you must pray sincerely, in order to be free from such obstacles. The recital or repetition of Mantras will be of great help. Krishna in the Dwapara Yuga said, "Mathchinthanath sarva durgaani mathprasaa-daath tharishyathi", which means, "when you start fixing your thoughts on Me, all thoughts that agitate you will be stilled through My Grace."

The Discipline of Dhyanam must be rigorously fol-lowed. In fact Dhyanam means 'discipline'. Discipline, regularity, steadiness; these are essentials of Dhyanam. If the Sadhaka keeps these things in view, he can achieve quick results. Dhyanam is a first class cure for the Bhavaroga, illness of Samsara. Along with it, another drug too must be taken; its name is contentment. If there is Contentment in the mind, one enjoys an endless festival.

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Do not worry about the unsatisfactory environment you may have. Of course, the place may have some drawbacks end it may not be ideal. But it is no use trying to run away from all that. You can overcome the drawbacks by training your own mind. Stay there itself end prey to the Lord! Pray that He may fill you with His thoughts and Vision, making you ignore the defects of the environment. Do not seek comfort, for comfort might not be conducive to Dhyanam. Learn to be comfortable in any place; that is better. Live in joy wherever you are; that is the way. Revel in the realm of your mind; worship there the Lord you have chosen as your goal and be free of all the defects of the natural or human environment! No spot can be irksome to you then, nor will any place seem disgusting.

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Compiled from the discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

" Meditation is a function of the inner man. It involves deep subjective quietude, the emptying of the mind and the filling oneself with the light that emerges from the Divine spark within." 


Meditation is a spiritual discipline leading to self-realization.  Simply closing one's eyes and letting the mind wander about and play, as per its whims, is not meditation.  Meditation or silent sitting is a process or a stage transcending the senses.  "Only in the depth of silence can the voice of God be heard".  This is a true statement, because when we pray, we silently speak to God.  Meditation takes us to that silence.  It is a way of communicating with that Divine self who is God or the Atma. 

Life is a journey with a purpose and not unlike a voyage, it must be charted out.  We must first mentally prepare ourselves for this journey.  In the same way, before we sit to meditate, some preparation is necessary.  Each individual is unique; therefore one should not judge one's progress with another.  This would be misleading and most probably distort one's self-confidence.  It is the same with meditation; each experience will differ depending on the condition of the body and mind of the individual. 

Here are some tips for a beginner starting on the path of meditation.  Establish two regular periods for meditating, one in the morning and one in the evening.  The morning session prepares us for the daily tasks, whereas in the evening, we are thanking God and offering all that we have done at His lotus feet.  Baba tells us that between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., meditation is very potent, as all is still and quiet and the body is refreshed after sleep.  As one develops the habit of meditating, one automatically adjusts the time to suit one's daily activities. 

It is best to meditate before meals.  If one is hungry, have something light to eat or else the body and mind will not get the benefit of rest during meditation.  One should not sit directly on the ground.  Sit on a special mat reserved only for prayer or meditation, or sit on a piece of cloth forming a seat, so as to have some insulation for the body currents which naturally move to earth. 

Why should one sit straight and quiet in meditation? Baba says this is a very essential part of our practice of meditation, " because when the body is straight and quiet, the mind is also straight and quiet.  If you cannot control your body, how can you control your mind? "  If one is ill, it is alright to meditate lying on the bed.

How long should one meditate? There is no set time for a beginner, but 20 minutes to half an hour would be appropriate.  It is best to practice in a quiet area, in a prayer room or wherever it is convenient for you.  Take measures to disallow disturbances (e.g. take the phone off the hook, put animals in another room, wait until the children are asleep, etc.).  Noise should not be a hindrance to a meditator because even in a noisy market one can think.  In the same way, do not let noise be a disturbance.  However, if during the practice, one is suddenly disturbed, (doorbell, etc.) do not be alarmed. Take a minute or two to come out of that state of relaxation, as any sudden jerk could be jarring to the nervous system.  When you are finished with meditation, loosen your limbs slowly, before you start your usual duties. 

Since meditation provides deep rest to the body and mind, it is likely that a beginner may become over-energetic, tired or sleepy during or after the practice.  Whatever the body needs, it usually calls for, so if one feels sleepy it is all right to rest for a few minutes.  Meditate with sincere devotion and love and Baba tells us that He will be our Guru and Guide. 

Baba says Give and Gain.  One can give in many ways.  Sometimes we wonder what can we give to God?  Baba says that all that He wants from us is Love.  In silent sitting, we are giving of ourselves; we are pouring our hearts to God.  For what is really ours to give, when all is His?  If we give a little of our time to communicate with Baba, He will answer our prayers and guide us. 

The ultimate goal of each individual is self-realization.  Baba says that we start with self-confidence, then we get self-satisfaction, followed by self-realization, the ultimate state being Sat-Chit-Ananda or Absolute- Bliss- Consciousness.  Peace and Bliss are within us, they are not external.  Eventually with perseverance and practice, the experience of only the object of your meditation should subsist, i.e. nothing else but the presence of divinity. 

Source: http://mypage.direct.ca/s/sairam/nov86.doc

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