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by Swami Sivananda
Table of Contents
About This Book (Back Cover) What is Meditation? 11 Important Places for Meditation 11 Meditation Room 12 Preparation for Meditation 13 Uses of Asanas 13 Asana for Meditation 14 Padmasana 14 Siddhasana 14 When to Meditate? 15 Where to Concentrate? 15 Saguna Meditation 16 Nirguna Meditation 17 Meditation on Mahavakyas 17 Meditation on 12 Virtues 18 Mula Bandha in Meditation 19 Kumbhaka in Meditation 19 Regularity in Sadhana 20 Obstacles in Yoga 21 Hints on Meditation 25 Some Experiences in Meditation 39 Mystic Experiences in Meditation 40
About This Book
Meditation is the flow of continuous thought of one thing or God. Meditation is the keeping up of one idea of God alone always like the continuous flow of oil from one vessel to another. A continuous flow of perception or thought is Dhyana or meditation.
Meditation is a mysterious ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, from error to truth, from darkness to light, from pain to bliss, from restlessness to abiding peace, from ignorance to knowledge, from mortality to immortality. Meditation leads to Knowledge of the Self which brings about eternal peace, supreme bliss. Meditation prepares you for the integral experience or direct intuitive knowledge.
What is Meditation?
1. Meditation is keeping up of an unceasing flow of God Consciousness. It is termed Dhyana. All worldly thoughts are shut out from the mind. The mind is filled or saturated with Divine thoughts, with the Divine Glory, the Divine Presence.
Important Places For Meditation
1. RISHIKESH (Himalayas), near Haridwar.
2. SWARG ASHRAM, LAKSHMAN JHULA near Rishikesh.
3. UTTARKASI, Himalayas.
4. KANKHAL, near Haridwar.
5. SRI RAMANA ASHRAM, Tiruvannamalai, North Arcot District, Tamilnadu.
6. THE SANTI ASRAM, Dt. East Godavari, (A.P.)
7. SRI AUROBINDO MAHARAJ’S ASHRAM, Pondicherry.
8. SREE VYASA ASHRAM, Yerpedu, Dt. Chittoor, (A.P.)
9. BADRI NARAYAN, Himalayas.
10. DEVA PRAYAG Himalayas.
15. MOUNT ABU.
16. KAILASNATH WATERFALL’S ASHRAM, Puttur, Dt. Chittoor, (A.P.)
Any place on the banks of the Ganga, Cauveri, Krishna or Godavari.
2. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key. Don’t allow anybody to enter the room. Burn incense there morning and evening. Keep a photo of Lord Krishna or Lord Siva or Sri Rama or Devi. Place your Asana in front of the picture. Keep some books also as Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, Upanishads, Yogavasishtha, Bhagavata, etc. When you repeat the Mantra, the powerful vibrations will be lodged in the ether of the room. In six months’ time you will feel peace and purity in the atmosphere of the room. Whenever your mind is much disturbed by worldly influences, sit in the room and repeat the Name of the Lord for half an hour; then you will find an entire change in the mind immediately. Practise and feel the soothing, spiritual influence yourself. Nothing is like spiritual Sadhana. You will find a local Mussorie in your own house.
Preparation For Meditation
3. Keep the head, neck and back in one straight line. Read the 11th and 13th Slokas a Chapter VI of Gita, wherein a description of the Asana is given. Spread a four-folded blanket and over this spread a piece of soft, white cloth. This will do nicely. If you can get a good tiger skin complete with claws, etc. it is all the more better. A tiger skin has got its own advantages. It generates electricity in the body quickly, and does not allow leakage of electric-current from the body. It is full of magnetism.
4. Face East or North. A spiritual neophyte should observe this rule. In facing North he is in communion with the Rishis of the Himalayas and he is mysteriously benefited by their currents.
Uses of Asanas
5. Asana removes many diseases such as piles, dyspepsia, constipation, checks excessive Rajas. The body gets genuine rest from the posture. If you are established in Asana, if you are firm in your seat, then you can take up easily exercises in Pranayama. This is the third Anga or part of Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga. First, there is self-restraint or practice of Ahimsa, Satyam, Brahmacharya, etc. Second, there are religious canons or observances, such as Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya, etc. Next comes Asana. When the Asana becomes steady, you will not feel the body. When you have obtained mastery in Asana, qualities of the pairs of opposites as heat and cold will not trouble you then. You must sit in the Asana on an empty stomach. You can take a small cup of milk, tea or coffee before doing the Asana.
Asana For Meditation
6. Sit on Padma, Siddha, Svastika or Sukha Asana for half an hour to start with. Then increase the period to three hours. In one year you can have Asana Siddhi (perfection in posture). Any easy, comfortable posture is Asana.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
7. Place the right foot on the left thigh, the left foot on the right thigh. Put the hands on the thighs near the knee joints. Keep the head, neck and the trunk in one straight line. Close the eyes and concentrate on the Trikuti, the space between the two eye-brows or heart. This is called as lotus pose or Kamala Asana. This is very good for meditation.
Siddhasana (The Perfect Pose)
8. This is a beautiful Asana for meditation. Place one heel at the anus or Guda, the terminal opening of the alimentary canal or digestive tube through which the excreta or faecal matter is thrown out. Keep the other heel on the root of the generative organ. The feet or the legs should be so placed that the ankle joints should be touching each other. Close the eyes. Concentrate at the Trikuti or heart. Keep the head, neck and trunk in one straight line. Keep the hands as in Padma Asana near the knee joints.
When To Meditate?
9. Get up at 4 A.M. in the morning in the Brahma Muhurta which is very favourable for spiritual contemplation and start Bhajana (worship of God). In the early morning the mind is calm, pure and quite refreshed after slumber. The mind is like a blank sheet of paper and comparatively free from worldly Sanskaras. It can be moulded very easily at this time. The atmosphere also is charged with more Sattva at this particular time. Wash your hands, feet and face with cold water, if you find it difficult to take a bath. This will suffice.
Where To Concentrate?
10. Concentrate gently either on the lotus of the heart (Anahata Chakra), space between the two eye-brows (Ajna Chakra, Trikuti). Close your eyes.
11. The seat of the mind is Ajna Chakra. The mind can be controlled easily if you concentrate on Trikuti.
12. Bhaktas should concentrate on the heart. Yogins and Vedantins should concentrate on Ajna Chakra (Trikuti).
13. Crown of the head (Sahasrara) is another seat for concentration. Some Vedantins concentrate here.
14. Some Yogins concentrate at the tip of the nose (Nasikagra Drishti).
15. Stick to one centre in concentration. Cling to it tenaciously. If you concentrate on heart stick to it. Never change it. Guru will select the centre for concentration, if you are a student of faith. If you are a man of self-reliance, you can select it for yourself.
16. This is meditation on a Murty either Lord Krishna, Rama, Siva or Devi. This is a concrete form of meditation for people of Bhakti Marga. This is meditation with Gunas or attributes of God. Repeat His name also either OM Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya, Om Namah Sivaya, Sri Rama. Think of His attributes Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, etc. Your mind will be filled with purity. Lord Krishna’s picture with flute in hand and Lord Vishnu’s picture with conch, discus, mace and lotus are excellent ones for concrete meditation. Enthrone Him in the lotus of your heart amidst a blazing light. Mentally think of His lotus Feet, yellow silken robe, necklace set with Koustubha gem, earrings, crown, bracelets, conch, discus, mace and lotus and then again come back to His Feet. Again and again repeat the process.
17. This is abstract meditation on Nirguna Brahman. Repeat OM mentally with bhava (feeling). Associate the ideas of Sat-chit-ananda, Purity, Perfection, "All joy I am", "All Bliss I am", "I am Swaroopa" "Asangoham"—"I am unattached". "Kevaloham"—"I am alone", Akhanda Ek Rasa Chinmatroham.
Meditation On Mahavakyas
18. This tantamounts to meditation on OM. You can take up either Aham Brahma Asmi or Tat Tvam Asi Mahavakyas, the great sentences of the Upanishads and meditate on their significance. Deny or negate or throw out the Koshas and identify with the one essence that lies behind them.
19. Meditate. Purify your mind. Practise concentration in a solitary room. Then squeeze out the Upanishads and Gita from your brain. Don’t depend upon imperfect commentaries. You will understand, if you are sincere, the real Sankalpa of the Rishis of the Upanishads and Lord Krishna, what they really meant when they uttered those wise slokas.
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Last Updated: Friday, 16-Sep-2016 11:24:37 EDT
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