Preksha Meditation - The Ultimate Alchemy

Published: 09.10.2004
Updated: 24.06.2017

Are you satisfied with your life? With your circumstances? The way life has treated you? Are you pleased with the way your children have grown and are grappling with the challenges of modern day living? Are you happy with your friends and relations? Have they stood by you in your time of adversity and trials? Did they justify the trust you reposed in them? Are you happy with your job, your employer, your colleagues? Are you contented and satisfied with your progress, with the direction of your efforts, with the speed of your reflexes? You have been running from pillar to post in search of name and fame, prosperity and security. Have you experienced the taste of unshakable faith and stability which descends only when the perennial source of anxiety dries up with the help of true knowledge, validated by experience? Are you able to relate yourself meaningfully to the people you come in touch with?

Honest answers to these and similar questions would force you to think whether your quest of life has been along right direction. I am reminded of an incident in the life of a senior bureaucrat who has reached top position by dint of hard work right from a school and college days. He grabbed every challenge and turned it into an opportunity for climbing the ladder. Placed in a position of high responsibility, he was to deliver certain key outputs within exceedingly tight time limits. In this backdrop, he was giving long dictation to his personal secretary. Each time he gave dictation, he found that the secretary was wrongly spelling the word 'situation' as 'satuation'. Three times he tried, and all the three times the secretary repeated the mistake. Gravely provoked by this, the bureaucrat lost control over himself and menacingly flung his hand towards the face of his secretary. The secretary, guided by her protective reflexes turned her face away. As a result the violent hand of the bureaucrat landed on her nose. Blood gushed out of her nose and the situation became unimaginably tense. The secretary was immediately rushed to the hospital by her colleagues and X-ray of her nose revealed that she had a fractured nose. The treatment began and after about six weeks of concerted efforts the doctors working on her announced that her nose would never come back to its original form because of fractured bone which could not be fully restored. The lady secretary was dumb to hear the medical verdict. At that moment, she decided to take revenge on her tormentor. She filed a criminal and a civil suit in the court of law. She claimed a compensation of Rs. 50 lakhs. The judge heard long arguments on both sides. It was argued from her side that she would find it very difficult to find a suitable match for herself because of the twisted nose. The judge agreed with the contention and ordered that the bureaucrat pays Rs. 25 lakhs as compensation to the secretary.

What is the moral of the story? The bureaucrat was very bright, very clever, highly educated and intelligent. Why did he have to shell out Rs. 25 lakhs as compensation which was more or less equivalent to his lifetime savings? Why did this happen to him? The answer is not difficult to find. He had all the virtues of brightness and hard work. What he lacked was emotional balance. His intellectual development could not rein in the animality of his instincts. He paid an exceedingly heavy price for one lapse.

Whatever happened to this bureaucrat in a given context is happening to a large number of people placed in very diverse circumstances all the time. They do not have trained eyes to decipher deeper meaning underlying seemingly innocuous accidents or incidents. They have no perceptions to observe patterns in apparently unrelatable things and developments. It is happening within families and organisations, within places of power and higher learning.

How do we inject a balance in whatsoever we do, think, feel or imagine? The answer lies in the body of knowledge and practices popularly called "Science of Living". It aims at imparting a balanced attitude, a balanced approach towards everything we do. It helps us in raising our awareness about our latent potentialities, predispositions and even limitations. It brings us face to face with our always peaceful inner being. The processes of establishing contact with our higher self are experienced through a combination of breathing exercises, yogic postures and contemplation, popularly known as 'Preksha Meditation'. Preksha mediation enables you to observe yourself your thoughts, feelings, sources of attraction and repulsion, your ingrained nature as also your principal weaknesses.

A large majority of people do not know the art of breathing. Breath is an extremely vital element of life. It acts as a link between mind and body. Balanced breathing promotes
balanced flow of vital force in the body. This, in turn, leads to purification of mind and emotions. The breath connects the physical external world with the inner realm of self and consciousness. Balanced flow of vital force helps in bringing about a balance and moderation in our way of living at the physical plane. This leads to modification in our appreciation and understanding of happenings around us.

Cordial relationships invariably leads to the feeling of all-round happiness and comfort. In contrast, bitter relationships result in conflicts, quarrels, war, defeat and victory and ultimately in misery and grief. Why do we have so much of discontentment and aggression in society? There is a definite need for contemplation on human relationships. What steps should be taken to ensure that human relationships are positive, constructive and mutually helpful? A person endowed with healthy traits alone would make efforts to improve strained relationships. Four factors play valuable role in shaping a positive personality. These are human mind, speech, body and breath.

If these four factors are positive, the resultant human relationships are bound to be healthy. In contrast, if these four factors are negative or diseased, the relationships are bound to be strained. At the root of all the conflicts and strifes, at various levels, lies some kind of deformity with one or more of these four factors. The day all these four factors become healthy and normal, we would virtually see an end to human struggle and strife.

It is impossible to have a disciplined mind and speech in the absence of a disciplined body. If the blood pressure in the body is not sound and normal, the functioning of the mind and the speech can never be normal. If various parts of body such as heart, lungs, liver etc., are not healthy, how can the body be healthy? The functioning of the mind and the body is so inseparably related that one can be healthy only as long as the other is healthy. Therefore, a healthy body is very essential for the development of a disciplined personality.

The human mind has unlimited strength and potentialities. In the absence of correct vision, positive feeling and right conduct, the potentialities of the mind remain unutilized and eventually get degenerated. The mind has necessarily to engage itself either in constructive tasks or in destructive ways. Therefore, it is very necessary to provide a direction to the mind so that it remains positively occupied.

The proper development of mind is possible only through balanced and comprehensive education. A sound body, sweet speech and healthy mind pave the way for the growth of balanced thought. To begin with, parents have to perform the crucial role of encouraging their children to follow the right path because only the disciplined youth can help in the building up of a just society and a strong nation.

Striking Balance Between Knowledge and Energy

Knowledge and energy are the two important sources of life force. Balanced flow of life force can be achieved only if there is a balance between knowledge and energy. Energy alone is destructive, and knowledge by itself is impotent. Therefore, in order to strike a balance between knowledge and energy it is essential to have a balance in the life force. The inner journey within can help in achieving balanced life force which is realised through "kayotsarg asana" with a peaceful mind. The journey within the body takes us through the energy centres and the intelligence centres. This process helps in developing a balance between sympathetic and para-sympathetic nervous system. In the language of the science of living, the life force coming through Surya-Nadi (Right nostril) and Chandra Nadi (Left nostril) comes with a right balance and begins to flow smoothly through the spinal cord and other parts of the body. This leads to the growth of awareness. Perception of breath, perception of inhaling and exhaling and increased awareness of intelligence centre are some of the experiments in Preksha Dhyan which help in developing a balanced mind.

Harmonic balance and optimal secretion from pituitary glands are also essential for achieving balanced mind. This can be experienced by focussing attention on various colours at various awareness points in the body. This process helps in emotional transformation and modification of attitudes.

Observing Silence

The experiments in the field of observing silence of different kinds have been in existence since ages. Mind, speech and body are the instruments which enable us to establish contact with the external world. So long as we have not mastered the art of silencing the mind, speech and body, it would not be possible for us to step into meditation. Meditation is the process which helps us in breaking all contacts with the world outside and enables us to focus on our inner consciousness. The major forms of silence are observed to enter meditation.

Silencing of the Body

The body is made absolutely stable, free from movements of any kind. The body takes the form of a statue. The experiment of silencing the body completely enables us to enter the state of deep relaxation. The speed and movement of breathing slow down considerably with trillions of cells in the body entering into relaxation phase. The energy requirement of the human system gets significantly lowered. In this manner we naturally enter the state of "Kumbhak". In this state only the self propelled equipment of the body such as heart, digestive system etc., remains active. Therefore, the body requires very little breathing. The silencing of the body is the foundation on which the practice of "Kayotsarg" is based.

Silence of the Speech

For entering the state of meditation it is essential to think and feel inward. Silence of speech helps in achieving concentration and promoting will-power.

What I have brought out in this brief piece is a matter of both knowing and doing. Mere reading would be of limited use. Experiential learning can take place only through sustained practice of Preksha Meditation.



Anuvibha Reporter (Special Issue: Dec. 2000)
Ahimsa, Peacemaking, Conflict Prevention and Management Proceedings and Presentations
Fourth International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action (IV ICPNA)
New Delhi: Nov. 10-14, 1999


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