FUNDAMENDAL PREREQUISITES for successful meditation and Self-realization
by Swami Chidananda
If you want to reach the state of absolute mergence with Purusha (Atman, Consciousness) 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 (Maya, Nature).
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.
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.
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.
Peace, Love, Harmony