14194PURIFICATION AND REGULATION OF THE MIND BY P.RAJAGOPALACHARI.
- Jul 10, 2005
I don't know whether people in the West recognize that all the modern
problems that the world faces, particularly in the developed nations-problems
of pollution, problems of corruption, problems of health-originate in the mind,
and through the mind in science, in technology. I raise this question because
when we talk of yoga, people are generally inclined to say, "What is the value
of yoga?" They wish to know what is the applicability of yoga to modern life.
There is also a general tendency to belittle yoga as something which is not
applicable to societies except primitive ones. The teachings of my Master are
specially formulated to prove to the world that yoga is a must not only for
primitive societies but even for the highest developed ones. The basis for this
is the fact that everything originates in the human mind and, therefore, unless
the mind is purified and regulated in its functioning, and has a definite
orientation in which it should function, it may yet function efficiently, but not
necessarily for the good of mankind.
We are all familiar with the use of power. You see power by itself is neither
corrupt nor good. But the way in which power is used, whether it be physical
power or mental power, is what determines the utility of that power to
mankind. And when we recognize that everything begins with the mind,
whether it is scientific discovery or philosophic speculation, whatever it may
be, then we will understand that if we are to cure the ailments that are facing
modern societies, it is with the mind we have to start working and not at the
periphery of existence.
Now, right at this stage, I would like to clarify that yoga is very much
misunderstood, particularly in the West. What people generally mean by yoga
here in the West is hatha yoga which is good for the body, of course. I am
specially mentioning this because at any level we function, the force that is
used or the power that is applied can work only at that level. When we work at
the physical level the effect can only be at the physical level. So, in our Sahaj
Marg system of yoga, which is based on raja yoga, the culminating point of
yogic systems, the emphasis is on the mind and the training of the mind by
appropriate techniques. My Master says that when we start with the subtlest
level of human functioning, then the effect of that purification or regulation
automatically percolates into the rest of the system, into the grosser levels of
the system. It is not only automatic, it is natural. But on the contrary if we start
at the grosser level it need not affect the finer levels of functioning. In our
system of Sahaj Marg we therefore start with the mind.
In this system there are two aspects of mental training. The most important
one concerns the Master's own work. By continued thinking, by continued
activity, we impress upon the mind certain impressions that we create and that
are created in us. As habits are strengthened by repetition of the same act,
similarly the mind also gets a tendency in a definite direction by the formation
of such impressions. What my Master says is that the first step in yoga is to
purify the mind and remove those impressions of the past. The essential step,
the first step, is of course to accept his work and permit him to work on us.
Having accepted his service, the second step in yoga is what we have to do
ourselves. Master generally covers this in the single word 'co-operation'. Now
co-operation is very easily understood but it is practised with considerable
difficulty. To really co-operate we have to accept that his work will be
successful; and secondly, we must follow the instructions and practices that
he prescribes for us. We can call this second step the moulding of the person
by his own effort to some extent. In that moulding, there are of course the
practical aspects of yoga itself which we have to follow meticulously. Then
there are the usual ethical and moral precepts that are laid down, and
assuming that we are able to do all this, we are then in a position to begin the
practice of yoga. So the system of Sahaj Marg, which is the name of the yoga
system that we practise, accepts any individual human being, whatever may
be his present condition or state of mind, because the past, the burden of the
past, the Master removes, and the future we create by co-operation with him.
The process of removal of the impressions is called 'cleaning'.
You will all appreciate that there is no use in removing the impressions of the
past if we are going to continue creating further impressions by thoughts and
actions. So our participation in this yogic teaching is to mould our lives in such
a way that we do not create more impressions, and thus we avoid creating a
further past for the future, because everything becomes the past. Today is the
past for tomorrow. The next step is to take the forward step of practising the
meditation, which makes the mind capable of becoming a real instrument of
human endeavour. So our system is very simple. That is why it is called Sahaj
Marg, which means the 'natural way' or the 'simple way'.
We are taught that we should sit in meditation for about an hour in the
morning. Nowadays, Master specifies half an hour, but originally it used to be
one hour. And about this meditation, we are often asked a question, "We are
not able to concentrate. What should we do?" My Master has clarified that
meditation is the process and the result is concentration. Now this
concentration, by itself, is not of much value in our development because
concentration is only the use of a power, and power, by itself, does not lead to
evolution. But it has a positive advantage in our daily life because by
meditation, when we are able to make the mind concentrate, we are able to
exclude thoughts we don't require, or we don't wish to receive. Here I come to
one of the most important teachings of my Master. When we have thoughts it
is our attention, it is the power of our attention, that gives the power to the
thought. A thought by itself has no power. It is the attention that we give it that
gives the thought its power. By meditation if we are able to exclude such
thoughts without fighting with them, without attending to them, then the mind
achieves a state¾a state of existence, a state of being¾where a single
thought alone can exist at a time. Thus, the process of meditation gives us the
ability to concentrate, or makes the mind come into a state of concentration,
which we in India call one-pointedness.
Meditation must always have a purpose because nothing is purposeless.
Even without bringing yoga into the picture, we are almost always meditating
on something or the other. When we are looking for a higher standard of
living, or when we are keenly pursuing a better job, we are constantly thinking
of it. I say this because the correct definition of meditation is to think constantly
of something. When we bring yoga into the picture we get confused as to what
meditation really means. The only sense in which yogic meditation differs
from our normal meditation is in the aim of that meditation, the purpose of that
meditation. Therefore, we have to meditate with a purpose in mind, and when
we come into the field of yoga that purpose is evolution, or the fulfilment of
human life to its highest perfect condition.
My Master often says that we are born as human beings but most of us die as
animals. I was myself shocked the first time I heard him say this. So I would
not be surprised if you are shocked now. But when we understand the
psychology behind the Sahaj Marg system, we will ourselves appreciate that
we have no choice in the matter, because our past existence, the impressions
of the past existence, are definite and positive forces giving us a direction in
this life. And unless we can find some power outside ourselves to eradicate
those impressions of the past, we continue to be pushed in the same direction
that we have laid down in the past. I say this because very often we are
asked, "What is the need for a Master?" It is clear that without the help of an
external force-you may call him a Master, or a Guru or anything you like-the
removal of the burdens of the past is impossible by our own effort. Therefore,
however well-intentioned we may be, our actions from now to the future are
but a further superstructure on the foundation of the past. It is for this very
important reason that all yogic systems, all mystic systems, have specified the
need for a Master to help us. That is a brief outline of the system of yogic
practice that we adopt, and on the need for a Master.
Now coming to the practice itself, we are advised to sit in mediation three
times a day-morning, evening and bed-time. What we do is to sit comfortably
without any botheration about asanas or things like that. I mention this point
particularly, because people think that without adopting an asana, meditation
cannot be done. Patanjali, the codifier of yogic systems, has himself said that
any position which can be held comfortably for a length of time is an asana.
Therefore it is not very important how we sit, or in what position we sit, so long
as we can sit in that position for the length of time specified for our meditation.
The only necessity is that the body should not disturb us during that period.
So, having assumed a comfortable position, we close our eyes. Sometimes
people ask us, "Can we not meditate with eyes open?" It is certainly possible
when we reach higher levels of spirituality, but not at the earlier stages. It is
the eye which receives most of the impressions from the external world.
Obviously it is better not to receive further impressions, because we are trying
to remove the old impressions. Therefore, we meditate with eyes closed.
In this particular system the meditation process is very specific because we
have a specific aim, which is somewhat higher than what is normally specified
in the West for yogic systems. As I said earlier, our purpose is to achieve the
highest human possibilities. Now we meditate on the heart. What we meditate
on is the heart. There are systems which meditate on other points, like the
point between the eyebrows, the point of the nose, etc., but we meditate
specifically on the heart for three very valid reasons, very important reasons.
The first point is that it is the heart which is the seat of life. The second point is
that when we meditate on the heart the effect of that meditation spreads
throughout the system. The third point is the most important, but often the least
acceptable, and that is that the heart is the particular seat of whatever Divinity
Therefore, for these three important points or reasons, my Master specifies
meditation on the heart. In the Sahaj Marg practice we meditate on the heart,
imagining that there is effulgence or light in the heart. We don't try to see light
or to project any light. We begin with the idea that there is light in the heart,
and if there are disturbing thoughts, as I told you earlier, we just ignore them,
because it is our own attention which gives power to them to disturb us.
That now brings me to the most important and fundamental point in Sahaj
Marg. In a sense we can think of Sahaj Marg as operating in three layers. The
lowest is the cleaning of the past impressions by the Master's own power. The
middle level is our own effort in meditation and avoiding such thoughts or
such activities that can create further impressions. And at the apex we have
the most important feature, and that is the system of transmission that is
unique to this system.
When the vessel is cleaned, we must put something into it. When the human
system is similarly purified and cleaned of all the past, it is emptied. Then
starts the final process of yoga, which is final not in the sense of time, but final
in the sense of culmination. Master starts filling us with his own self. This
process is called pranahuti in Sanskrit, which means 'life offering' or 'offering
of life'. So this is the most important aspect of Sahaj Marg. Once we start this
yoga, the purification is done by the Master. Our co-operation is minimal in
trying to live a better life, think better thoughts, perform better actions, avoiding
the negatives. Then comes the most important part of Master's work. He puts
His spiritual essence into us, thereby transforming us into Himself.
I think that I have said more or less everything I have to say about Sahaj Marg.
If any of you would like to experience this transmission, my Master generally
has a short session of transmission after the talk is over. So if you would like
to sit for a few minutes in meditation, following the practice that I have just
explained to you-I must emphasize there is no compulsion behind this-those
who would like to remain and experience the transmission are welcome to do
so. Thank you.
(Public lecture at the Hotel Eisenreich, Munich, 14 May 1976 by
Shri P. Rajagopalachariji as he accompanied his Master, Babuji.)
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