The Mirror Of The Self ► [34] For Freedom From Pain, Pursue Knowledge And Good Conduct!

Posted: 18.03.2009

For Freedom From Pain, Pursue Knowledge And Good Conduct!

There are three kinds of sadhana. The first is the sadhana of inner knowledge - of entry into oneself. The second is the sadhana of establishment into oneself. The third is the sadhana of self-realization.

 

Entry Into Oneself

When a man undertakes sadhana, he first experiences an intuitive state of knowing his inner self. At this stage, he becomes acquainted with the functioning of the inner self. Earlier the man was preoccupied with the outer world, now he has an ingress into the inner world. He experiences within himself the movement of consciousness; the door to his establishment within himself opens. The man, who has an inkling of the working of the self, touches the ground of spiritual uplift.

In the context of preksha meditation, some people raised an objection that this is no meditation, only a concept. It is true that the first introduction to meditation is conceptual. In this initial stage, we learn how to go about meditation. Meditation proper does not yet begin. We first learn the technique of meditation. How to practise meditation? How to delve deep within oneself? One becomes acquainted with some secret formulae.

 

Establishment Into Oneself

The second groundwork is the state of getting established into oneself. This is the stage of meditation proper. In this stage we learn how to dwell within. In the first stage we observe the body and perceive the breath, which is very much like a state of dhyana (concentration of mind in a particular object). Meditation proper begins when we are able to stay at one point for a long time. Let us suppose we are meditating on the Centre of Intuition. If our attention remains focussed on that centre continually for one hour, we enter the state of dhyana i.e., meditation. When we are able to fix our attention on any psychic centre for an hour, we may be said to have established ourselves in the self - which means that we stay within ourselves.

 

Self-Realization

The third groundwork is direct experiencing of the real self. This is the stage of samaadhi, a condition of perfect identification with the ultimate state of purity. At this stage, the meditator and the thing meditated upon are no two separate phenomena. Instead, the meditator, the thing meditated upon and meditation get merged into one whole. In the context of meditation and samaadhi, there exists an important proverb to the following effect:

"As long as the ear is sensible of the outer sounds, as long as one is conscious of these, it is a state of meditation. When one no longer hears the outer sounds, one enters the state of samaadhi, i.e., the state of complete bliss, of deep meditation. Thus we meet with three different conditions. A man sits in sadhana. There is a sound and it sticks in his consciousness - this is the state of dhyana. When the word is heard, but one is not held by it, by it’s meaning - that is the state of dhyana. When the word is no longer audible, when one reaches a condition transcending speech - that is the state of samaadhi.

 

Establishment Into Oneself: Evolution Of Dhyana Consciousness of Renunciation

Preksha meditation covers the ground from concentration to deep meditation (i.e., samaadhi), ranging from the beginning of self-stirrings to the moment of self-enlightenment. He who em­barks upon preksha meditation at least begins to know himself. As a matter of fact, this only amounts to stepping on the threshold. The ultimate realisation takes place only after one has passed the earlier stages. One question is often posed: Why does no change occur in a sadhak. Why is there no evolution of pure conscious­ness capable of making a resolve for renunciation? Now, under­taking the practice of preksha meditation does not bring about an immediate change; it only marks a movement in that direction. A transformation takes place only after one is established into oneself. With one's establishment in the self, one is naturally endowed with the capacity to undertake a resolve for renunciation. I have before me the example of many people practising preksha meditation who have moved from the stage of 'entry into oneself' to that of ‘firm establishment in the self’. Their behaviour and conduct in life is ample proof thereof. The man who is continually engaged in meditation, finally attains to the stage of 'establishment in the self'. The power to take a resolve to renounce and steadfastness of character naturally manifest themselves in such a man's life.

 

Attainment Of Samaadhi Is The Goal

Let us establish a goal for ourselves. First of all we should experience the beginning of self-sirrings, the stage of 'entry into the self'. But we must not stop there. If we are stuck up with the practice of only breath-perception, body-perception, etc., we may not reach the next stage even after 10 years. The second stage is attained, when we are able to concentrate our attention on a particular psychic centre for a long time. According to a Hatha-Yoga maxim:

When concentration is intensified twelve-fold, one attains the state of samaadhi.

We have to enter the state of samadhi. Those who are keen to become something and are endowed with special abilities, should not get stuck up with mere dhyana; they must make special efforts to attain the states of dhyana and samaadhi. Such people can reap great benefits for themselves, and also be a factor in other people's advancement.

 

Theory And Practice

We now know something about the three states of sadhana - this pertains to the sphere of learning. The practice thereof belongs to the sphere of conduct. Knowledge and conduct - this is the language of the scriptures. In modern terminology, we would say: theory and practice. If we pay attention only to the practice of meditation without understanding its theory, it would be tantamount to a leap in the dark. It is essential for the prac­titioner of meditation to understand the laws governing the body and the mind.

There is for instance prana - the order of vital energy, which even medical practitioners cannot apprehend. It is necessary to understand our vital power, the path of the flow of vital energy. That is why a whole body of theory is linked with preksha meditation. The other aspect is that of conduct or practice. Only when these two aspects materialize in life, does the path of sadhana become unhindered and clear. The integration of these two aspects means - freedom from problems.

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