The moment you think during meditation : “ I am pure now. I do not get any evil thoughts as before”, a whole battalion of evil thoughts will enter the conscious surface of the mind. But they will pass off soon. You are in the struggling stage now. A time will come when you will not entertain even a single evil thought. Meditation is a powerful enemy of evil thoughts. The evil thoughts say : “We will be quelled soon ; our host has started the meditation. Let us pounce upon the man once more”. Continue our meditation vigourously. Mists and clouds cannot exist in the presence of the sun
It is difficult to fix your mind in the beginning on the whole picture of Lord Krishna, because all the rays of the mind are not collected. Sometimes you can visualize the face, sometimes the feet, sometimes the eyes. Fix the mind on any part of the picture which the mind likes best.
The mind has attraction for certain new words or names of towns or persons. Suppose you have come across certain new words or names of towns or persons such as : ‘Ecstacy, ‘Fyzabad’. ‘John Herbert’. If you sit for meditation, the mind will repeat : ‘Ecstasy’, ‘Fyzabad’, ‘John Herbert’. Sometimes it will sing some songs, repeat some old poems or Sanskrit sloka which you had learnt by heart during your boyhood. Watch the mind carefully and try to bring it back to the point or centre of meditation.
Winter is very congenial for vigorous meditation. You will not get tired even if you meditate for hours together at a stretch. But in the morning hours laziness will try its level best to overpower you. If you cover yourself up with one or two warm blankets you will feel quite comfortable. You do not like to get up in the early morning, even though the repeated alarm wakes you up again and again. You decide : “Let me sleep for fifteen minutes more and then let me start my meditation”. Then you cover yourself up nicely with the blanket. You feel quite pleasant now. What is the net result ? You begin to snore loudly and get up only after the sun has arisen. Days, weeks and months will roll on like this. Every winter will pass away in this manner. Just at that time which is quite favourable for meditation, mind deceives you and overpowers you with sleep. The mind is a Master-magician. He knows several tricks and illusions. Maya operates though mind. Mysterious is the mind. Mysterious is Maya. Be alert. Be vigilant. You can control mind and Maya. Throw away the blankets as soon as you hear the alarm. Sit in Vajra Asan. Do 20 pranayams. Drowsiness will soon disappear.
When you meditate with open eyes you may see a friend in front of you and hear his voice also ; but you may not be able to make out the person and his voice, because the mind is not attached to the ears or the eyes. If the mind is entirely withdrawn from the sensual objects, if the thoughts are annihilated, if likes and dislikes are destroyed, how can you perceive the world at all ? You will become mindless. You will behold the Self only everywhere. All names and forms will vanish.
It is very difficult to fix the mind all at once on a point. The mind moves with a tremendous velocity. Just as a horse in a circus runs in a circle again and again, so also the mind runs in a circle again and again. Instead of allowing the mind to turn in a big circle, make it run in smaller and smaller circles. Eventually it can be fixed on a point. You will have to catch hold of the mind through intelligent methods. Mere coercion and force will not do. It will make matters worse.
Sometimes you may become despondent and feel, “I have many weaknesses and defects. How can I eradicate them? How can I control this strong and impetuous mind ? Will I get liberation or Nirvikalpa Samadhi in this very birth? I have not gained much even though I have practised meditation for the last 8 years”. Do not be disheartened. Even if you have controlled one or two indriyas, even if you have controlled a few thoughts half the battle is won. Control of even one thought or destruction of even one Vasan will give you mental strength. Every thought that is controlled, every desire that is destroyed, every indriyas that is subdued, every defect or weakness that is eradicated will add strength to the mind, will develop your will and take you one step nearer the goal. Friend ! Why then lament and despair. Fight bravely on the adhyatmic battlefield. Become a spiritual soldier. Come out victorious and wear the spiritual laurels of the divine wisdom, eternal peace and supreme bliss.
Some Sadhaks do constant sadhana in a mild manner ; some do intense sadhana for two hours in the morning and two hours at hight. If you want to attain self-realisation quickly you must do intense and constant sadhana for a protracted period.
You may have darshan of Lord Krishna face to face. You may talk to Him also several times. You may play and eat with Him also. But if you want to have final liberation you must have Atma –sakshatkara. Nam Deva had darshan of Lord Krishna several times and yet he was declared to be a half-baked saint by the potter saint Gora Kumbhar. He had to go to Vishoba Khesar for attaining perfection of Kaivalya.
When you sit it an asan for meditation you will want to get up soon, not on account of pain in the legs but on account of impatience. Conquer this undesirable negative quality by gradually developing patience. Then you will be able to sit for three or four hours at a stretch.
During meditation you will find yourself frequently talking to somebody mentally. Stop this evil habit. Keep a careful watch over the mind.
An aspirant writes to me, “Somebody tapped at my door at 3 a.m. I woke up and opened the door. I saw Lord Krishna with crown on His head. He disappeared soon. I went through the lane in search of Him. I was not able to find Him. Then I came back to my house and sat in front of my door till day-break to see Him again”. Cases of somnambulists or sleep walkers are not uncommon. They dream even while standing and walking also. The above case might have been a pure case a somnambulism. You will have to be very careful in ascertaining the true nature of your spiritual experience, whether it is a dream or an actual reality. Darshan of Lord Krishna is not so very easy, Aspirants make mistakes in the beginning.
Just as you at once remove a pebble from your shoes that troubles you, so also you must be able to remove any tormenting thought from your mind at once. Then only have you gained sufficient strength for the control of thought. Then only have you attained some real progress in the spiritual path.
An aspirant says “I am able to meditate on one asan for three hours. In the end I become senseless but I do not fall down to the ground”. If there is real meditation you will never become senseless. You will experience perfect awareness. This is a negative undesirable mental state. You will have to get over this state by perfect vigilance.
Suppose the mind runs outside during meditation forty times within one hour. If you can make it run only 38 times it is a decided improvement. You have gained some control over the mind. It demands constant practice for a long time to check such mind-wandering. Vikshep Shakti is very powerful. But sattwa is more powerful than Vikshep Shakti. Increase your sattwa and you can very easily control the oscillation of the mind.
When there is deep concentration you will experience great joy and spiritual intoxication. You will forget the body and your surroundings. All the Prana will be taken up to your head.
If you find it difficult to concentrate your mind within a room, go outside and sit in an open place or terrace or by the side of a river, or in a quiet corner of a garden. You will be able to concentrate then.
When you are lying down in your bed, sometimes a big light will pass along your forehead. As soon as you try to behold the light by meditation on the sitting posture it may disappear. You may ask : “How is it hat I fail to catch the light when I exert myself, whereas it comes by itself when I am lying down without an effort?” The reason is you lost the concentration as soon as you sat for meditation by entry of rajas.
Find out your centre. Dwell always in the centre. This centre is Atma or Immortal soul. This centre is the Garden of Eden. This is your original abode. This is Param Dhama. You can be above care, worry and fear now. How sweet is this home wherein there is eternal sunshine and perennial joy !
O Friend ! wake up ! sleep no more. Meditate. It is Brahma – muhurta now ! Open the gate of the temple of the Lord in your heart with the key of love. Hear the music of the soul. Sing the song of Prem to your Beloved. Play the melody of the Infinite. Melt your mind in His contemplation. Unite with Him. Immerse your self in the ocean of Love and Bliss.
When your house is on fire how daringly you re-enter the house to save your child who is sleeping in the room ? Even so you must be very courageous when you tread on the spiritual path. You must be absolutely fearless. You must not have the least attachment to your body. Then only you will have self-realisation quickly. Timid people are absolutely unfit for the spiritual line.
If there are mangoes on the top of a big tree you do not jump all at once to pluck them. It is impossible. You gradually climb up the tree by catching hold of the different branches and so reach the top of the tree. Even so you cannot jump all at once to the summit of the spiritual ladder. You will have to place your feet with caution on each rung of the ladder. You will have to practise Yama, Niyama, Asan, pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharma, and Dhyana. Then only you will reach the highest rung of the ladder of Yoga, viz,, Samadhi. If you are a student of Vedanta you will have to equip yourself with the four means first. Then you will have to do Sravan, Manan and Niddhidhyasan. Then only you will attain Brahma –Sakshatkara. If you are a student of Bhakti Yoga, you will have to practise the nine modes of Bhakti, viz,, Sravan, Kirtan, Smaran, Padasevan, Archanam, Vandanam, Dasyam, Sakhyam and Atma-Nivedan. Then only you will attain the state of Para-Bhakti.
If chickens and fowls run hither and thither to eat various sorts of rubbish, what does the owner of the poultry do ? He gives a slight tap on their heads and throws before them some grains to eat. Gradually they leave their dirty habit of eating hilth. Even so this mind runs hither and thither to eat filthy things and enjoy the five kinds of sensual objects. Give a tap on its head and make it taste gradually the spiritual bliss by practice of the Japa and meditation.
A jivan-mukta or a Bhagwata has lustrous eyes. He has a protrusion on the top of the head and thrikute space between the two eye-brows. Whatever he says will be indelibly impressed on your mind. You cannot forget it till end of your life. He possesses a tremendous power of attraction. He will clear all your doubts in a marvelous manner. You will enjoy a peculiar joy and peace in his presence. All your doubts will be cleared in his presence. Silence is his language. He is very compassionate and free from selfishness, anger, greed, egoism, lust and pride. He is an embodiment of truth, peace, knowledge and bliss.
It takes a long time for the charcoal to catch fire but gun powder can be ignited within the twinkling of an eye. Even so it takes a long time to ignite the fire of knowledge for a man whose heart is impure. But an aspirant with great purity of heart gets knowledge of the self within the twinkling of an eye, within the time taken to squeeze a flower by the fingers.
Maya is a very huge saw. Lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy, hatred, egoism etc., are the teeth of this huge saw. All worldly-minded persons are caught up in the teeth of this saw and crushed. Those who are endowed with purity, humility, love dispassion, devotion and enquiry are not hurt. They escape through divine grace. They pass smoothly below the saw and reach the other side of immortality.
A piece of ordinary white paper or coloured paper has no value. You throw it away. But if there is the stamp or picture of the King or Emperor on the paper (currency notes) you keep it safe in your money purse or trunk. Even so an ordinary piece of stone has no value for you. You throw it away. But if you behold the stone-murthy of Lord Krishna at Pandharpur or any other murthy in shrines you bow your head with folded hands, because there is the stamp of the Lord on the stone. The devotee super imposes on the stone-murthy, his own beloved and all the attributes of the Lord. Image worship is very necessary for beginners.