Monday, September 14, 2015

All Yoga a Preparation for Meditation by Swami Chidananda

All Yoga a Preparation for Meditation
by Swami Chidananda

Prakriti (Nature, Maya) is the sum-totality of phenomenal nature. Purusha (Atman, Brahman, Consciousness) is the all-perfect spiritual being.

You are the Purusha, totally free from all sorts of negative experiences and afflictions. You are self-sufficient, independent, complete, of the nature of absolute peace and joy. 

But, that stage which the philosophy of Yoga clearly declares to be your authentic and genuine identity seems to be a far cry from where you now find yourself. You are very much dependent, not independent, very much full of experiences which you are always trying to get rid of somehow or the other, which you are always trying to replace by a more satisfying condition. So, it is not a very flattering position to find yourself in. 
Yoga science tries to explain to you why you are in this condition. Is there a way out of this condition? If so, what is it? Based upon the knowledge supplied by the science of Yoga as to why your present condition has been brought about, the way out of it also has been formulated. And if you seriously start applying this knowledge of the way out in the form of Abhyasa (continous practice), gradually it gives you back your state of independence or fullness—independence from all limitations, from all afflictions.

 To sum up: your true identity is a state of absolute independence and freedom from any negative or painful or undesirable experience. You are a perfect being, free from all afflictions, independent. 
But, your present state does not seem to be anywhere near that pristine state and this is due to your association with another cosmical factor called phenomenal nature which Yoga philosophy calls Prakriti (Maya). Your proximity to, and association with, Prakriti has brought about this  vitiation of your own Self-experience and replaced it by a very unsatisfactory, contradictory and mixed-up experience. And therefore, this association has to be terminated. 
Once again separating yourself from Prakriti, you have to establish yourself in your original independent status. And the practical aspect of the science of Yoga tries to give you a certain systematic method by which this can be achieved.

Purusha’s involvement with Prakriti has to be resolved once again and the Purusha has to be made independent of Prakriti, enabling him to regain his pristine, isolated state of glorious self-experience. Yoga tries to do just that. 

And the ultimate process to bring about this separation is the process of deep, intense inward dwelling upon the Purusha, the process of meditating upon the Purusha, by gathering your entire interior, unifying it and fixing it upon the Purusha in a state of intense one-pointed meditation to the exclusion of all other thoughts, to the exclusion of all other ideas. This is the ultimate supreme process of Yoga; this is the objective of Yoga and whatever there is in Yoga.

 All other training and all other processes of Yoga are nothing but a very scientific practical preparation to ultimately prepare and condition your mind to be able to dwell in this intense, one-pointed way upon the Purusha.

Two things are necessary for successful concentration, and it goes without saying, for meditation and Samadhi. The mind must be subtle and the mind must be pure. In Yogic terminology, when we say that the mind must be pure, we mean that the mind must be Sattvic.

Sattva and purity are synonymous. The mind must not be Rajasic and Tamasic; it should be Sattvic. Only the Sattvic Bhava should come. Sattvic thoughts, Sattvic feelings, Sattvic ideas must be there in the mind. It should not have any Tamasic and Rajasic ideas and feelings. All should be Sattvic.

And therefore, at this stage, it is wise for the Yogi to see that everything in his life is Sattvic. His company, his food, his environment, whatever he moves with, should be Sattvic. He should carefully avoid anything that is Rajasic and Tamasic. Because, it will affect the mind, and such a mind which is Rajasic or Tamasic, or is influenced by Rajas and Tamas, ceases to be a fit instrument for meditation. Purity, self-control, Sattvic food, Sattvic environment, Sattvic thoughts, Sattvic reading, Sattvic company—these are very important for the practice of inner Yoga, for the practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

If you want to reach the state of absolute mergence with Purusha in your meditation upon the Purusha, if you want to completely enter into that state of Purushahood, you have to go step by step. So, Patanjali formulated and expounded a graded series of practices aimed at ultimately taking you to meditation, at ultimately leading you to superconsciousness, where you can realise your supreme Purushahood, independent of Prakriti.It is otherwise known as Ashtanga Yoga i.e., Yoga with eight limbs. READ : RAJA YOGA By Swami Sivananda

Two factors are indispensable and necessary as the very basis to carry you from start to finish, from A to Z, and they  are Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (dispassion, indefference for sensual pleasures)—Akhanda Abhyasa (intense continous practice) and perfect Vairagya. Without these two, no Yoga can procced.

Then, what you meditate upon with absolute concentration, that you become. Tadat-maya, they say. This has been proved to be the experience of the previous meditators. We become that which we meditate upon intensely. So they say. If you meditate upon the all-perfect Purusha, who is independent and free from all afflictions, who is independent from Prakriti, you will become that Purusha Himself.