The Trinity of Truth, Light and Love

Deep meditation opens new horizons of awareness in ever widening dimensions.

Let us make an assessment of what we are able to attain and what we are really should endeavour in the matter of meditation. Such a reflection is necessary because we tend to hold on to something which is really good –and this is how it should be. However, in the process, we tend to forget even to explore whether there is anything better. That is where our quest for the Inner Self tends to slow or come to a standstill.

Like a Dream

The first experience of meditation is like a dream. It is an illusion which is short lived. This dream has now to be converted into a revelation which can remain with us as a perpetual state of inner awareness. It reveals itself into an expression of universal love; or the love of God.

In One’s Own Heart

A wandering pilgrim is looking for God in every church, temple or mosque. He thinks of God as being as external entity. A yogi, on the other hand, is able to find God in the depths of his own heart. A wandering mind is like a pilgrim, always in the quest of external objectives. Let us channels this wandering mind inwards to discover the wonderful domain of absolute peace and beauty.

Many a yogi has described the process of meditation as progressive process of centralization of all thoughts, reflections and imaginations, towards the fountainhead of all intellectual activity.

The Inner Self is but a small drop of life divine. The quest for the Inner Self is to bring this drop closer to the ocean – the vast treasure of life that ensure that the drop becomes one with the ocean.

Sankaracharya was instrumental in the resurgence of the Hindu philosophy after the advent of the Buddha. He described the fully attained Inner self as a combination of three external elements. They are Asti or Sat as Truth, Bhuti or Chit as one that exudes light, and Priya or Ananda as Love. Thus the Inner Self or the soul is Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Everlasting Self

Name and form are physical entities that describe each individual. Anyone with a name and form, therefore, is open to destruction and death. Hence, name and form are transitory. Yet, the Self within, or Sat-Chit-Ananda, is everlasting. It is the one that can never be destroyed.

The Bhagavad Gita has described this Inner Self as the perpetual one; that cannot be destroyed with weapons, that cannot be burnt by fire, yet it is the one that can be attained by genuine love.

Just as we witness the greatness of the external universe through science and greatness of human potential through work ethics and service, in the same way we are enabled to attain an empire which is equally vast – it is the internal third dimension of universal love.

When an individual experiences this Inner dimension through his meditations an awakening takes place. It is the awakening that enables him to transcend the limited parameters of human life towards the limitless expense of universal dynamic energy revealed in Truth, Light and Love.

The Seventh Aspect

The seventh aspect of the eight-fold path, as outlined by Maharshi Patanjali, is dhyana or meditation. It is also the most important. It is said that meditation cannot be practiced by making a conscious effort. However, like love, it manifests itself from the depths of the Inner Self when the conditions are right.

In other words, meditation overtakes you. Once you experience meditation, all your physical and automatic body functions, mental thought patterns and subtle feelings merge into a state of bliss. When this happens, the Prana Sakti or bio-energy within you is awakened. With the harnessing and accumulation of the Prana Sakti, you experience a strange feeling of abiding peace. What is more, your outlook on life begins to change.

If you encounter any difficulties and problems while practicing the first six aspects of all eight-fold path, they all begin to solve themselves when you practice meditation for some length of time.

Preparatory Steps

Hence, we may assume that the first six aspects of the eight-fold path help you to create the right conditions for experiencing meditation and it is the continuous practice of meditation that help you gain mastery over the first six aspects.

Let us now re-examine how this process words in practice. The first two aspects of the eight-fold path are ethical in nature. Yama (discipline) and Niyama (regulations) are difficult to follow by themselves in day-to-day life. However, this code of ethics and discipline will become “second nature,” when you start practising meditation. The process of change is gradual, yet unbelievable.

Asana Aspects

The third aspect is asana. For meditation you have to train yourself to sit in one of the recommended asana for two ghatikas, that is, 48 minutes. You have to remain stable, balanced comfortable, upright, and relaxed, all at the same position. When you experience meditation, the Inner Self takes over all the problems of physical discomfort. Hence, you are free of the usual restlessness, twitching and loss of circulation in some of the limbs. Now, you can sit comfortably in one position for hours, while meditating.

The fourth aspect is Pranayama. This process is not just one of physical respiration. At this stage you are on the threshold of the subtle. It is important because it sustains life itself. For meditation you are expected to stabilize the process of breathing. Conversely, when you experience meditation, breathing stabilizes by itself. You can only create the conditions to bring about a state of meditation by regulating your breathing. While meditating you lose all awareness about your process of breathing. Hence, the need for practising slow and subtle breathing.

Moderating the Lifestyle

Meditation plays a significant role in helping attain the fifth aspect of the eight-fold path, that is Pratyahara, a process of developing a sense of moderation in your lifestyle. With meditation, you begin to overcome your weakness for objects of sensual pleasures. Gradually you begin to control your indulgences and cravings.

Dharana is the sixth aspects of the eight-fold path. It can be described as focusing on an object. What we understand as focus in visual terms can be described as tuning, in terms of sound. However, in dharana you try and tune all five senses of perception in one common focus. Thus the faculties of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch are all devoted to see experience of one common object-the Inner self. That is meditation itself.

In order words, dharana can be described as an approach to meditating or meditation is experienced, dharana is fully attained, as also the five previous aspects of Yoga Sadhana.

For now, let us agree that when you practice meditation, you practice the seven aspects of the sadhana all at the same time. These aspects, therefore, need not be practiced one at a time and one after the other. All that hinders progress is the element of time that you take to understand the significance of each aspect.

My guru used to say, “Meditate on your Inner Self, for God dwells within you as you.” He used to advise each one to attain communion with that Inner Self by saying, “You are that.” With this message he was able to create a meditation revolution worldwide.

How to Practice Meditation

Let us now try to restate some of the guidelines step-by-step. The ideal time to practice meditation is early morning before sunrise, or in the evening, around sunset, if you haven’t had a hard day at work. In other words, your mind has to be quiet and peaceful. You can, if you like, meditate anytime of the day, if you retire to a quiet corner or a cave. Some Yogis in an advanced stage of Sadhana prefer to meditate after midnight. So much for time and place.

Try and wake up early, cleanse your system, bathe and sit down to meditate. Sit on a soft carpet, preferably woolen or silk or animal skin. Otherwise, just use a blanket. The objective is to provide insulation, so that the Prana Sakti which has a trace of static electricity, does not vanish into the earth. This is important.

Then comes the sitting posture, the gesture and the expression. You have to select an asana recommended for meditation. Sit down comfortably, upright and relax. Get set for meditation with the dhyana mudra. With your eyes half closed, train your sight on the tip of your nose. This is good for beginners. Later, you may close your eyes and fix your sight between the two eyebrows.

Feeling of Peace

In this position start breathing slowly and gently, watching the air enter and leave your respiratory system and lungs. Concentrate on this flow of air while silently repeating a mantra to represent the name of God. Gradually you will experience an all-pervasive feeling of peace.

If extraneous thoughts enter your mind, do not resist. Let them come and go. In course of time they will melt away and only peace will remain as outlined in the Yoga Sutra: “When meditation produces extraordinary sense perception, the mind attains peace.”

Deep meditation brings about new horizons of awareness in ever widening dimensions.

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