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Self Purification

Satsang by Swami Satyananda Pratyahara is conscious introversion, withdrawal of the mind and senses. Patanjali, the author of yogic philosophy, calls pratyahara 'retreat' or 'return'. This important part of human life must be understood by everyone. At night during sleep the consciousness is withdrawn, disassociated from external objects, and we are not aware of our parents, friends, environment, pain and pleasure, profit and loss, not even of ourselves. This withdrawal of consciousness which nature has so benevolently provided saves us from mental crisis. It is nature's greatest gift to man ind! without it the human race would be mad. "leep is not a physiological state! it is a state of mind. According to Patanjali's #oga "utras sleep is one of the chitta vrittis, the fivefold modifications of mind. In pratyahara as in sleep the objective awareness is withdrawn, but we still remain wide awa e. Pratyahara is a yogic state of consciousness! sleep is a state without consciousness. Pratyahara would be the easiest of all human activities if it were not for the one difficulty of maintaining awareness. $ithdrawing the mind from external experiences and perceptions is not a difficult tas , but once it is withdrawn how will we stay awa e% This is where yogic practices come in. They provide a focal point for the mind which eeps us from falling asleep. This is why they are so necessary. Antar mouna is an important techni&ue for everyone with a disturbed mind, unbalanced emotions and confused sams aras 'mental impressions(. )or all those who are unable to concentrate their mind on one point, the practice of antar mouna will provide a field, a basis for the process of self* cleaning. $hen the mind is purified, concentration arises spontaneously.

The practice of antar mouna can be done in any yogic posture li e padmasana, siddhasana, vajrasana, su hasana or, if these are not possible, in shavasana * the lying*down posture. It can also be practiced while relaxing in an easy chair. The most important thing to remember is not to fight with yourself. Antar mouna is an excellent remedy for schi+ophrenia. ,ost of us are schi+ophrenic to some degree, because when we have an undesirable thought we fight with it and this creates conflict. $henever we are thin ing something which we don't li e or don't want to thin about, one portion of the mind is in total conflict with another. $hen this conflict becomes intense, it is called schi+ophrenia, and when you are unable to accept or cope with it you go to the mental hospital. In antar mouna be very careful not to concentrate the mind. This is a practice of seeing the mind, observing perceptions and accepting experiences. -ven if someone comes or an aeroplane flying overhead disturbs you, observe and accept it. .e a silent, impartial witness to all the functions of the mind. /bserve the part of the mind which thin s and the part which rejects that thought. To have a healthy personality we must respect our mind! whether our thoughts are holy or vicious, we must accept them. In the practice of antar mouna we are aware of the thoughts and visions before us, the sounds raging around us, feelings, a touch on our body, a shoc we experience, the chair we sit on, people around us, the train or car passing by. $e are aware, not trying to escape from the fact that we are aware. This is the first step in pratyahara for the person who wants to proceed successfully without any 'spiritual accidents'. ,illions of sams aras, latent impressions buried in the depths of the mind, are always coming up and influencing our behaviour, personality and destiny. The practice of pranayama before antar mouna, explodes these sams aras from the bottom of the mind to the top, and ma es us sensitive enough to see exactly what is there. 0sually if a thought comes when we are trying to concentrate, we say '1o' and immediately set it aside. .ut this is not good for our personality or spiritual evolution. It is something li e having diarrhoea or a bad stomach and trying to control it. $e may ta e some strong medicine which will stop the purging, but then boils may erupt or perhaps the tonsils will be affected. 2ust as a bad stomach poisons the body, so a bad mind 'which everyone has( poisons the psyche. This psychic toxin can influence us to commit suicide or become a criminal, it may cause us to worry day and night or bring on a host of diseases, physiological as well as psychological. Therefore any thought that comes to mind should be accepted. 3lose your eyes and be aware of what you are thin ing. The past, figures and faces of your friends, people you hate and love, let them come. .ut remember * you don't belong to them nor they to you. #ou are a witness and they are passing objects. $hen someone you love suddenly comes before your mind and you go on developing the fantasy, this means that you are attached to that thought. Attachment to a thought produces more thoughts and creates further impressions which your consciousness records within. These impressions do not die! they come up again. Antar mouna, this impartial observation of one's thought patterns, provides a means of eliminating them. If during the practice your mind goes blan and no thoughts or visions come before you, just do a little more pranayama and again the explosions will come. 4uring antar mouna it is good to have many thoughts and problems, especially bad ones, passing through the mind. .y observing and accepting them, they become wea and then you will be able to put them out. This process of purification will help you to pray, chant, contemplate on 5od or meditate more effectively. Antar mouna can safely ta e you wherever any other practices can. In spite of all our efforts to progress on the spiritual path, we are unable to reach the higher stages of awareness because of the horrible faces, frightening symbols and dar corners within us. A person with cancer or a tumour will not regain health simply by eating fruits and other vitamin*rich foods. "imilarly, no matter how much we pray and contemplate, no matter how enthusiastic we are,

enlightenment will never dawn as long as these ugly faces are within us. /ur overloaded consciousness must be cleaned out first, and this is a very difficult tas . It may ta e many months or even years to complete. $e are taught not to thin particular thoughts by our parents, society and the scriptures. 5radually all these 'forbidden' thoughts are buried so deep that our mind can no longer bring them up. .ut sometimes perhaps due to the death of a close relative or friend, the loss of a prosperous business, a betrayal etc. an explosion ta es place and these ugly faces come up. $hen decades of suppression have made them very powerful, we are unable to stand up to them. These old impressions explode li e a bomb and often ta e people to the mental hospital. To avoid this we must boldly start to bring these dirty faces up and out of our consciousness. $e can witness these powerful thought forms without fear by remembering to observe without identifying with them. I now of aspirants who imagined themselves illing thousands of people during their antar mouna practices, but today they are wonderful souls. The sams aras hidden within us act as powerful barriers to spiritual enlightenment as well as day to day happiness. If you now of a way around them then follow it. .ut I now of no other way except to bring them up and eliminate them. They smell and feel bad, I now. They are unpleasant thoughts of crime, violence, powerful passions, horrible depressions, terrible fears. $hen by chance they come out in an unexpected explosion, the mind may be unbalanced. Therefore you have to start bringing them out little by little, item by item, so that in the course of time you will be purified. In yoga this stage is called atma shuddhi 'self*purification( or chitta shuddhi 'mental purification(. All spiritually minded people must understand that until this stage is reached, the super conscious entity, 5od or whatever you wish to call him, will not be clear to you. #ou can say your prayers for fifteen hundred years, you can roll your beads, I am not discouraging you * continue. .ut troublesome sams aras, the greatest barrier between 'me' and 'that', will still be there. Antar mouna is the only way over it. The twentieth century is a time of suppression. ,an is not free. 6e digs holes for himself and moves around within their circumference, unaware of anything beyond them. 6e has created certain definitions, beliefs and eti&uettes which bind and cause him suffering. #oga can show people of this century the way to self*purification. )or all those who wish to devote their life to 5od, attain samadhi through yoga and meditation, expand their consciousness, I have only one message * get the boulders out of the road first, and then you can proceed safely on your journey. 6ow can the incapable, finite mind, bound by shac les, experience super*consciousness% 2ust as a dirty mirror cannot reflect our image, so the dirty mind cannot reflect pure consciousness no matter how long you chant, sing or meditate. Therefore, spiritually minded people as well as those who are sic must wor on self*purification, antar mouna, as a means to pratyahara. $hen this is achieved, the door to meditation and spiritual awareness as well as health and happiness will open by itself. Posted by 7I86IA P--T6 Tel9 :;<=>>?:@A:B :?=:<<@@@@?B :?>:<*:@:::; 'also fax please as for tone( Cin 9 http9BBwww.ri hiapeeth.netB>:D=B:ABself*purification.html