The Way of Meditation – Gita VI
Man, to succeed in life, excluding the external factors beyond his control, from his individual self, need to have co-operation from his body, mind, intellect, ego and consciousness. When any one of these are out of control, then energies are frittered away and then one has to concentrate and work to bring the energies that are off under control. Of these mind is challenging. It controls the sense organs and when not in tune is controlled by sense organs. It often flirts from one subject to another thereby hampering focus which is essential for any action to succeed. In this chapter 6 of Gita, Krishna shows the way of bringing mind under control by Meditation, the techniques there off and how this meditation is likely to lead one to freedom.
Krishna elucidates, the qualities of a meditator/yogi, the ideal physical environment for meditation, the food, attitude, practice requirements for meditation , for if any one of these is not ideal one is likely to be disturbed and concentration becomes difficult. And ends it up with importance of meditation and the benefits there off. There by in this chapter Krishna shows us the way for our emancipation through the practice of meditation.
Let the man be lifted by his own self:
Man is his best friend and worst enemy. Self help is the best help. A man’s own self, and his discriminative knowledge is the only friend. Any external object, event, person that one gets attached creates attachment and bondage. But the man who has not control over himself, his self injures him, like any external enemy and for such a person there is no need for an external enemy. He who has conquered himself and is serene in mind is constantly absorbed in supreme self, alike both in heat and cold, pleasure and pain, in honour and dishonor is wise. Yoga of meditation helps man to uplift himself and one who accomplishes meditation becomes a Yogi.
Qualities of a Yogi:
Yogi is one whose heart, through knowledge and realization, is filled with satisfaction, who having conquered his senses, never vacillates, and to whom a clod, a stone, and gold are the same. Yogi is one who has equal regard for well-wishers, friends and foes; for those who are related or indifferent to him, for the impartial and the malicious and even for the righteous and sinful. Now how does one get to that state of inner poise.
Way of Meditation
For some people meditation happens naturally. They can sit, pull their senses away from external objects, quieten the mind and turn consciousness inward with least resistance. Such people are also able to function effectively in the outer world. They are able to organize their life, have purposeful life and carry calm demeanor not impacted by the happening around them. They can renounce their thoughts -all thoughts of imagination, planning for future and dreaming and be in the here, now. Such a person is called Yogi. Others need practice.
For meditation to happen one should always try to concentrate his mind, retiring into solitude and living alone, having subdued his mind and body and got rid of his desires and possessions. He must purify the mind the of past impression, agitations, ego-centrism and integrate the mind.
The Seat: In a clean spot having fixed his seat, a firm seat that is neither too high nor too low and being comfortable and sitting there, restraining the activities of his mind and senses and bringing his thoughts to a point, he should practice yoga for the purification of the self.
The posture: one should sit firm, holding his body, neck and head erect and still, and gaze steadily at the tip of his nose without looking around. When the eyes are withdrawn from sense objects, the mind becomes steady and the eye balls are still and the gaze is directed as it were to the tip of the nose. His breathing has to be measured.
Serene and fearless, chaste and celibate, with disciplined mind thinking of Brahman creator he has to meditate.
The Food: Yoga is for one who neither eats too much nor for him who eats too little. It is not for one who sleeps too much nor for him who sleeps too little. It is for one who maintains moderation in eating, sleeping and in every activity, he undertakes. Simply put no extremes. Body well provided for and under control. When that happens the bodily disturbances and distractions disappear and so also the thoughts of presence or absence of body.
Controlling the Mind: Mind by nature is restless and difficult to control. It is a friend if one has controlled it, else it is one’s enemy. The uncontrolled mind runs behind the pull of sense objects. Controlling one’s mind is the first step towards one’ release and not easy. However, this can be achieved by practice and by detachment. Austerity, continence, discrimination and faith are also helpful. And last but not least one should persevere despite failures for control of mind being difficult is not likely to happen in the very first attempt or few attempts. So persistence is imperative. An understanding that sensory enjoyments are likely to lead one to short time happiness with another side being pain and sorrow effort must the taken to detach oneself from engaging in excess of sensory pleasures and entertainment.
Success in Yoga – When the well controlled mind practices meditation, resting on self, free from longing for objects – seen or unseen, belonging to this world or the next, then one is said to have attained yoga. Yoga is not possible for one who cannot control himself. And the test of Yoga’s validity lies in one’s seeing results through actual experimentation. Thus by practice alone can one attain Yoga. And the path being difficult, if one fails in his path, he would still be benefited. For having tried, the knowledge stays with him. And by virtue of his practice he can take it up from there towards perfection anytime in this life or here after.
Benefits of yoga of Meditation – Yoga is a unique state of self-realization. When meditation is practiced thus, with subdued mind, one attains the peace and subsequently freedom and bliss. The mind is completely tranquil, passions are quieted, free from stress and strains and becomes one with Brahman.
In deep meditation sense object are pulled in and merge with mind. With mind also rested and calmed becomes steady. In that state cognition alone functions and that is when self is realized. When mind is under control, focused, calm, seeing the real self one experiences boundless joy that is beyond the sensory perception can bring in. One is able to go beyond pain, transcends sorrows. As a result of this realization of Brahman and oneness with Brahmans, one attains a state where he is able to see himself in every one and in everything and vice versa. He realizes Unity, Brahman and oneness with Brahman. The result of this knowledge is liberation.
Thus is the way of Meditation, imparted by Krishna in sixth chapter of Bhagavad Gita.