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MEDITATION

By Tumuluru Krishna Murty

Tumuluru Krishna Murty Ansuya C-66 Durgabai Deshmukh Colony Hyderabad - 500 007 Mobile: +91 9391087255 e-mail: mrtumuluruk@gmail.com

Table of contents
MEDITATION Goal of Mankind
How to reach the Goal?

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What is the knowledge, when it is said the goal of mankind is knowledge? 10


Atma Jnana :
Brahman alone is knowledge:

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Unity of Jiva and Brahman: Merging of self in the over-self: How is it achieved? Where and how to search for this goal:

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Where does this knowledge exist?


Knowledge exists in mind:

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Mind
Mind is responsible: What is its nature? Mind causes both bondage and liberation: Subject the mind to intellect, it disintegrates:

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12 12 12 12

What is Sadhana?
Sadhana is Yoga:

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Yoga defined: Yoga is discipline: Different modes of Yoga:


Karma Yoga (Path of Action) Bhakthi Yoga (The path of Devotion) Jnana Yoga (The Path of Knowledge) Raja Yoga Ashtanga Yoga the eight steps:

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13 14 14 14 15

Meditation or Dhana
Object of Meditation "Yathabhimatadhyanadva" "Paramaariu Parama Mahatvaantesya Vashikaraah" Personal and Impersonal Meditation
Yoga Sutra 28: 'Tajjapastadartha bhavanam'

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21 21 21 21
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Forms of Meditation

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Importance or purpose of Meditation or Dhyana Control of Mind Prayers and Meditation: Concentration vs. Meditation
Concentration and one-pointedness are the keys
First develop confidence in your own self

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Contemplation Patanjali lists obstacles to Yoga: Regulations: Aids to Meditation:


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36 37 38 39

Place and Time of Meditation Environment: How to Meditate: Method of Meditation:


Vivekananda's prescription: Baba's advice:

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Meditation on Jyothi

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Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Advice on Jyoti Dhyana And Soham Dhyana 51
Conserve energy by all possible means 52

Do not judge by external standards: Perseverance is sure success: The Three Paths of Meditation
The pure, serene (Sathwic) path The passionate, restless (rajasic) path The ignorant (tamasic) path

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Meditation as cognized by other Faiths


Christianity: Zoroastrian Suffism: Islam: Spanish Mystics: Yogavasishtha :

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58 58 59 59 60 60

Samadhi:

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Samyama: Highest state of existence: Samadhi is your property

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Meditation
Goal of Mankind
"The Goal of Mankind is Knowledge". (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 27) The Vedas lay down four goals before man: dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), kama (desire) and moksha (liberation). (SSS Vol.9, p. 93) As the rivers have the sea as their goal, Jivas have Brahman as their goal. Permanent joy can never be received by the conscious Jiva from material objects. Moksha is the acquisition of permanent joy. It is also called the attainment of Brahman. (G.V. Pg.229)

How to reach the Goal?


The goal of Moksha or attainment of Brahman can be reached by Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana Marga. All these paths lead us to the goal. (GV, p. 229)
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What is the knowledge, when it is said the goal of mankind is knowledge?


Atma Jnana :
Fixed exclusive devotion to Godhead can come only to those who have no attachment to the wild phantasmagoria of name and form, which is called the World. That alone can win Atma Jnana. (GV, p. 229)
Brahman alone is knowledge:

The knowledge of Atma or the knowledge that relates to Brahman and the knowledge that gives you some idea of Paramatma alone is knowledge and that is what the Veda says. Everything else cannot come under the description of knowledge. Mere recitation of the mantras contained in the Veda cannot be called knowledge. In other words, true education is that which connects Karma Yoga with the Brahma Yoga. (SSB 1974 Part II, p. 198)

Unity of Jiva and Brahman:


Bhagawan says, He who delves deep into the unity of the Jiva and the Brahman has certainly discovered the goal of Life. (UV, pp. 63-64)

Merging of self in the over-self:


Bhagawan says "whoever subdues his egoism, conquers his selfish desires, destroys his bestial feelings and impulses and the gives us the natural tendency to regard body as the self, his is surely the path of Dharma; - he knows that the goal of Dharma is the merging of the wave in the sea, the merging of the self in the Over-self". (DV, p. 4)

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How is it achieved?
Inquiry is the method. Knowledge is acquired by uninterrupted Inquiry. One should constantly be engaged in the Inquiry of the nature of Brahman: the reality of the I. (JV, p. 1) Through Viveka (discrimination) and Vichara (inquiry), one achieves Vijnana (higher wisdom) and through Vijnana, one is able to grasp the Truth, to realise the Atma, to know the Atma. That is the ultimate goal of all Life, the stage that is beyond the Past, Present and Future. (JV, p. 20)

Where and how to search for this goal:


Bhagawan sys in (SSS Vol.2, p. 56) that one need not march towards the goal. It is not some place where you have to go. It is just the opening of the eye, the removal of the veil, the waking from the dream, the lighting of the jnana deepa (light of spiritual wisdom). The Upanishads themselves declare, Jnaanaad eve thu kaivalyam; By Knowledge alone can freedom be won. (UV, p. 2)

Where does this knowledge exist?


Knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from Outside; it is all inside. What we say a man 'knows' should in strict psychological language be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils', what man learns is really what he discovers taking the cover off his own Soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge. (CWBSSB, p. 28)

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Knowledge exists in mind:


Newton discovered the law of Gravitation. It was in his mind; the time came and he found it out. "All know- ledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the Universe is in your mind". "All knowledge, secular and spiritual is in the human mind". like fire in a piece of flint knowledge exists in the mind; suggestion is the friction which brings it out (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 28)

Mind
Mind is responsible:
For this knowledge, mind is responsible.

What is its nature?


It is a bundle of desires. The mind is a bundle of wishes. Unless these wishes are removed by their roots, there is no hope of destroying the mind, which is a great obstacle in the path of spiritual progress. (GV, p. 40)

Mind causes both bondage and liberation:


Mana eva manushyaanaam Kaaranam bandha mokshayoh: for men, the mind it is that causes bondage and grants liberation. (JV, p. 19)

Subject the mind to intellect, it disintegrates:


The mind is the source of delusion; it deludes and binds. If the mind is subjected to the intellect then it disintegrates and disappears, leaving the field dear for the illumination that reveals, that "we and they are but He or It." As long as the

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world is seen as manifold, sadhana, to overcome the faulty vision is essential. (SSS Vol.2, p. 448)

What is Sadhana?
Sadhana is just replacement of bad tendencies of the mind by divine attributes of the Atma. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 96)

Sadhana is Yoga:
Yoga means union of the individual self with the Universal Self, Jivatma with Paramatma, and the human with the Divine. The innate and latent divinity in man blossoms and manifests itself through Yoga. (The Path Divine p. 18)

Yoga defined:
Patanjali defines Yoga as "chitta vrithi nirodhaha -'Calming down of all turbulent agitations of the mind. (The Path Divine Pg. 20)

Yoga is discipline:
Yoga therefore involves in disciplining the body, mind and spirit. Yoga is therefore Sadhana, the physical, mental and spiritual practices that lead to the final consummationnamely the self or God-Realisation. (The Path Divine Pg. 18)

Different modes of Yoga:


Karma Yoga (Path of Action)

It helps one to attain purity of mind through giving up the desire for the fruit of ones actions. A desire infested mind is bondage and a desire free mind is liberation. Hence, Karma Yoga directs us to do all our duties as a means to please God, without any ego of doer-ship, remembering that the energy,
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intelligence, strength, to do all work emanate from God alone.


Bhakthi Yoga (The path of Devotion)

Bhakthi Yoga is cultivation, intensification and experiencing of a sense of total surrender to the Lord. One should have a conviction and feeling that he is but an instrument in the hands of Almighty. The heart should be suffused with selfless devotion and love for the Lord (and all His creation). Our success or failure is not our concern, ours is only to do our duty with discipline and devotion. Everything is to be crucified, he must pray as Christ did: "Father let Thy will be done'.
Jnana Yoga (The Path of Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is an intellectual enquiry into the nature of the reality, negating everything else (not self) and trying to intuitively cognise or experience the reality, the Self. The path is also termed as Neti, Neti not this, not this Marg.
Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is disciplining the mind and awakening the intellect. It has eight limbs and is called Ashtanga Yoga (Yama, Niyama, Asana. Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi). The first five practices are called Bahiranga Sadhana and are Hatha Voga practices. Hatha Voga is disciplining the human body by Pranavama, Asanas, Shatkarmas (six purifications) and awakening the Kundalini. This is preliminary stage to Raja yoga. The shatkarmas are also exercises besides Pranayama to cleanse

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the impurities of the body and are known as Neti, Dhoti, Basti, Nyoli, Bhasrika and Trataka. The latter three practices Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are called Antaranga Sadhana, the inner and internal practices being the special features of Raja Voga, the controlling of the mind. (The Path Divine, Pg. 22) It is the blending and balancing action! Emotion and intellect (Karma, Bhakthi and .Jnana) for the purpose of mental purification, regeneration and personality integration. (The Path Divine, Pg. 20)
Ashtanga Yoga the eight steps1:

The eight steps are 1. Yama: moral and ethical disciplines (non-killing, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-receiving of gifts), 2. Niyama: religious disciplines (cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and self-surrender to God), 3. Asana or posture, 4. Pranayama or control of Prana, 5. Pratyahara or restraint of the senses from their objects, 6. Dharana or fixing the mind on a spot, 7. Dhyana or meditation and 8. Samadhi or super-consciousness.

For fuller appreciation of Ashtanga Yoga see The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda by Swami Vivekananda Vol. 1 p.169-194 and Prasanthi Vahini p.66-76.

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The Yama and Niyama are moral trainings; without these as the basis no practice of Yoga will succeed. As these two become established, the Yogi will begin to realise the fruits of his practice; without these it will never bear fruit. A Yogi must not think of injuring anyone, by thought, word, or deed. Mercy shall not be for men alone, but shall go beyond, and embrace the whole world. The next step is Asana, posture. A series of exercises, physical and mental, is to be gone through every day, until certain higher states are reached. Therefore it is quite necessary that we should find a posture in which we can remain long. That posture which is the easiest for one should be the one chosen. For thinking, a certain posture may be very easy for one man, while to another it may be very difficult. We will find later on that during the study of these psychological matters a good deal of activity goes on in the body. Nerve currents will have to be displaced and given a new channel. New sorts of vibrations will begin; the whole constitution will be remodelled as it were. But the main part of the activity will lie along the spinal column, so that the one thing necessary for the posture is to hold the spinal column free, sitting erect, holding the three parts the chest, neck, and head in a straight line. Let the whole weight of the body be supported by the ribs, and then you have easy natural postures with the spine straight. You will easily see that you cannot think very high thoughts with the chest in. This portion of the Yoga is a little similar to the Hatha-Yoga which deals entirely with the physical body, its aim being to make the physical body very strong. We have nothing to do with it here, because its practices are very
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difficult, and cannot be learned in a day, and, after all, do not lead to much spiritual growth. There is not one muscle in the body over which a man cannot establish a perfect control. The heart can be made to stop or go on at his bidding, and each part of the organism can be similarly controlled. Next comes, Pranayama, controlling the breathing. What has that to do with concentrating the powers of the mind? Breath is like the fly-wheel of this machine, the body. In a big engine you find the fly-wheel first moving, and that motion is conveyed to finer and finer machinery until the most delicate and finest mechanism in the machine is in motion. The breath is that fly-wheel, supplying and regulating the motive power to everything in this body. The next step is called Pratyahara. What is this? You know how perceptions come. First of all there are the external instruments, then the internal organs acting in the body through the brain centres, and there is the mind. When these come together and attach themselves to some external object, then we perceive it. At the same time it is a very difficult thing to concentrate the mind and attach it to one organ only; the mind is a slave. The first lesson, then, is to sit for some time and let the mind run on. The mind is bubbling up all the time. It is like that monkey jumping about. Let the monkey jump as much as he can; you simply wait and watch. Knowledge is power, says the proverb, and that is true. Until you know what the mind is doing you cannot control it. Give it the rein; many hideous thoughts may come into it; you will be astonished that it was
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possible for you to think such thoughts. But you will find that each day the mind's vagaries are becoming less and less violent, that each day it is becoming calmer. This controlling of the mind, and not allowing it to join itself to the centres, is Pratyahara. How is this practiced? It is a tremendous work, not to be done in a day. Only after a patient, continuous struggle for years can we succeed. After you have practiced Pratyahara for a time, take the next step, the Dharana, holding the mind to certain points. What is meant by holding the mind to certain points? Forcing the mind to feel certain parts of the body to the exclusion of others. For instance, try to feel only the hand, to the exclusion of other parts of the body. When the Chitta, or mind-stuff, is confined and limited to a certain place it is Dharana. This Dharana is of various sorts, and along with it, it is better to have a little play of the imagination. Dhyana or meditation is the 7th step in the Raja Yoga. After Pratyahara and Dharana, we come to Dhyana, meditation. These ideas have to be understood in Dhyana, or meditation. We hear a sound. First, there is the external vibration; second, the nerve motion that carries it to the mind; third, the reaction from the mind, along with which flashes the knowledge of the object which was the external cause of these different changes from the ethereal vibrations to the mental reactions. These three are called in Yoga, Shaba (sound), Artha (meaning), and Jnana (knowledge). In the language of physics and physiology they are called the ethereal vibration, the motion in the nerve and brain, and the
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mental reaction. Now these, though distinct processes, have become mixed up in such a fashion as to become quite indistinct. In fact, we cannot now perceive any of these, we only perceive their combined effect, what we call the external object. Every act of perception includes these three, and there is no reason why we should not be able to distinguish them. When, by the previous preparations, it becomes strong and controlled, and has the power of finer perception, the mind should be employed in meditation. This meditation must begin with gross objects and slowly rise to finer and finer, until it becomes objectless. The mind should first be employed in perceiving the external causes of sensations, then the internal motions, and then its own reaction. When it has succeeded in perceiving the external causes of sensations by themselves, the mind will acquire the power of perceiving all fine material existences, all fine bodies and forms. When it can succeed in perceiving the motions inside by themselves, it will gain the control of all mental waves, in itself or in others, even before they have translated themselves into physical energy; and when he will be able to perceive the mental reaction by itself, the Yogi will acquire the knowledge of everything, as every sensible object, and every thought is the result of this reaction. Then will he have seen the very foundations of his mind, and it will be under his perfect control. Different powers will come to the Yogi, and if he yields to the temptations of any one of these, the road to his further progress will be barred. Such is the evil of running after enjoyments. But if he is strong enough to reject even these miraculous powers, he will attain to the goal of Yoga, the complete suppression of the waves in the ocean of
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the mind. Then the glory of the soul, undisturbed by the distractions of the mind, or motions of the body, will shine in its full effulgence; and the Yogi will find himself as he is and as he always was, the essence of knowledge, the immortal, and the all-pervading. Samadhi is the property of every human being nay, every animal. There is no difference now between us and those who have no religion, because we have no experience. What is concentration good for, save to bring us to this experience? Each one of the steps to attain Samadhi has been reasoned out, properly adjusted, scientifically organised, and, when faithfully practiced, will surely lead us to the desired end. Then will all sorrows cease, all miseries vanish; the seeds for actions will be burnt, and the soul will be free for ever. All the different steps in Yoga are intended to bring us scientifically to the super-conscious state, or Samadhi. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 185)

Meditation or Dhana
Meditation is derived from the Latin word MEDITARI which means, 'to heal. (Paths of Meditation, p. 12) Meditation is both Science and Art of healing. To meditate is to set in motion processes that lead to the restoration of ones well-being physical mental and spiritual. (Paths of Meditation, p. 13)

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Object of Meditation
Swami Vivekananda commenting on Yoga Sutra 1-39 on pages 227-228 in Chapter I, Concentration: Its Spiritual Uses from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (Vol. 1).

"Yathabhimatadhyanadva"
Or by the meditation on anything that appeals to one as good. This does not mean any wicked subject, but anything good that you like, any place that you like best, any scenery that you like best, any idea that you like best, anything that will concentrate the mind. "Paramaariu Parama Mahatvaantesya Vashikaraah" The Yogi's mind thus meditating, becomes unobstructed from the atomic to the infinite. The mind, by this practice, easily contemplates the most minute, as well as the biggest thing. Thus the mind-waves become fainter.

Personal and Impersonal Meditation


There are various stages of meditation, Swamiji points out how the first would be the gross, the second the fine and then on to the still finer object. The objects of meditation, Swami Vivekananda says, can both be personal and impersonal. If it be personal, usually it is, the form of a god or a goddess, an Incarnation of a God or a God-man or perfected being who has attained the consummation of spiritual life. The name and, form of such beings play an important role in the

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process of meditation. Contemplation on the form (rupa) of the chosen ideal (ishta devata) and repetition of the name (nama) of that being constitutes the essential acts of meditation of the personal type. The need of a Guru (spiritual teacher) is considered to be the sine qua non in this method. In the impersonal form, a symbol regarded as most sacred and ancient, which has come down to us from the dim ages of Vedic antiquity; and is still held in high veneration and as holy by all the religious sects and schools in India. It is the sacred monosyllable AUM, popularly known as OM. Swamiji considered it the holiest of all holy words, the mother of all names and forms. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 57) He goes on to say the Whole universe may be supposed to have been created out of this eternal OM. (Paths of Meditation, p.41-42) As. the OM represents the Akhanda, the undifferentiated Brahman" the others represent the Khanda or the differentiated views of the same Being; and they are all helpful to divine meditation and the acquisition of the true knowledge.
Yoga Sutra 28: 'Tajjapastadartha bhavanam'

, .-,;,,<

The repetition of this (Om) and meditating on its meaning (is the way). Explaining this sutra, Swamiji says: Why should there be repetition? We have not forgotten the theory of Samskaras that the sum-total of impressions lives in the mind. They become more and more latent but remain there, and as soon as they get the right stimulus, they come out. Molecular vibration never ceases. When this universe is
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destroyed, all the massive vibrations disappear; the sun, moon, stars, and earth, melt down; but the vibrations remain in the atoms. Each atom performs the same function as the big worlds do. So even when the vibrations of the Chitta subside, its molecular vibrations go on, and when they get the impulse, come out again. We can now understand what is meant by repetition. It is the greatest stimulus that can be given to the spiritual Samskaras. "One moment of company with the holy makes a ship to cross this ocean of life." Such is the power of association. So this repetition of Om, and thinking of its meaning, is keeping good company in your own mind. Study, and then meditate on what you have studied. Thus light will come to you, the Self will become manifest. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 219-220)

Forms of Meditation
There are two kinds of meditation, one on the formless God and the other on God with form. But meditation on the formless God is extremely difficult. There is another form of meditation known as the Vishnu Yoga. The eyes are fixed on the tip of the nose. Half the look is directed inwards, and the other half outward. This is how one meditates on God with form. (Paths of Meditation, p. 2) In Dhyana or meditation, there are three factors: the meditator, the process of meditation and the object of meditation. Of these three, the first two factors are constant in any form of meditation. (Paths to Meditation, p. 23) Inquiry suggested by Ramana Maharshi. The Ramana Maharshi enquiry by itself is not good. It must be combined
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with meditation. Meditation, for its proper practice, should be at the same place at the same time. In that way, it will surely be successful. If one is away from home in travel, in his mind he can go to the accustomed places - no matter where he is. To search for truth is needless. Truth is every place at all times. One must live truth not search for it. 'Kohum' (who am I) is the cry of the new born child. After a lifetime of Sadhana, the old man says Sohum' (I am God). When away from Swami, by remembering Him doing this or that, the battery is recharged. That also is genuine meditation. Meditation is constant inner inquiry as to who am I, what is true, what is ego action, what is loving and what is harsh. Meditation is thinking on spiritual principles, searching out the application to what Baba says and the like. (CWBSSB, p. 169)

Importance or purpose of Meditation or Dhyana


The importance of dhyana should also be recognised. Dhyana is an infallible aid to spiritual progress. Freedom from the consequence of karma can be attained through dhyana. This freedom enables the sadhaka to acquire shanti or inner tranquillity. The sweetness of the experience of inner tranquillity is derived from the fruits of dhyana. (SSVahini) (SSB 1979, p. 108) The purpose of dhyana is to unite the jiva with Easwara. (SSB 1979, p. 112)

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Whether of the Formful or the Formless, if it is one-pointed, devoid of deviations, it is entitled to be called Dhyana. (PraV, p. 85) Man is endowed with unlimited powers. Not a single person is without them! But the road is missed when one is unaware of this truth. To gain awareness of this power, one must join the company of the holy, one must strive in spiritual practice (sadhana), and one must practise repetition of the divine name and meditation. (DhyV, p. 6) Meditation (dhyana) is the process by which it is trained to acquire concentration. As a result of meditation on the highest Atma (Paramatma), the mind will withdraw from sense objects and the sensory world. Just at that time, the intellect (buddhi) must assert its authority and command the mind (manas) not to entertain any feeling except the thought of the Fundamental Basis. (DhyV, p. 7) Meditation should be performed enthusiastically, with full faith and care, and strictly according to the disciplines laid down. If this is done, it will bestow not only all happiness and all victory but even the vision of the Lord. (DhyV, p. 8) The feelings that arise in the mind, which are classified as serene, restless, and ignorant (Sathwic, rajasic, and tamasic), also have to be watched and cleansed. The restlessness and ignorance have to be uprooted. Meditation is the weapon for this task. The path of meditation (dhyana-marga) will destroy ignorance (a-jnana), and it will grant the individual union with the Godhead (Brahmaikyatha). (DhyV, p. 113)
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Meditation is the removal of attachment; it is perfected by the suppression of the modifications. Also by non-attachment and practice, meditation is perfected. (Paths to Meditation, p.8) Meditation is a constant remembrance (of the thing meditated upon) flowing like an unbroken stream of oil poured from one vessel to another (Paths to Meditation, p.9) Meditation is the focussing of the mind on some object. If the mind acquires concentration on one object, it can be so concentrated on any object whatsoever. (Paths to Meditation, p.10) Meditation is the soul of spiritual life. A life without reins is like a boat without rudder. (Paths to Meditation, p.24) Concentration is the essence of Meditation. (Paths to Meditation, p.26) Real meditation is getting absorbed in God as the only thought, the only goal. God only, only God. Think God, breathe God, love God, live God. (CWBSSB, p. 167) For, in meditation you first get sense control. And yoga will help you with the body and when the mind is steady, concentration will come automatically. When you get such concentration, then you get peace of mind. (CWBSSB, p. 30)

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'The mind that dwells on sense objects gets stuck in them. The mind that remembers Me constantly, gets dissolved in Me, says Krishna to Uddhava. (Paths to Meditation, p.31) Only meditation has the capacity to make one transcend the vicissitudes of time and space and make one ever the same equanimous individual, as if one is another Creator himself. (DhyV, p. 17) The finale of Meditation is spiritual illumination and its language is silence. "Silence is Brahman, say the seers. (Paths to Meditation, p.33) Meditation is the means and the method by which the soul unveils the layers of ignorance covering it and discovers the essential divinity of its own being, by a threefold process of Sravana (hearing), manana (reflection) and nidhidyasana (Meditation) (Paths to Meditation, p.35) Meditation according to Swami Vivekananda is the power which enables us to resist all this (manifold manifestation of alluring names and forms, which distract our minds from our chosen paths) (CW of SV Vol.4, p. 248) Meditation is concentration of mind and its innate powers. (Paths of Meditation, p.37)

Control of Mind
How hard it is to control the mind! Well has it been compared to the maddened monkey? The human mind is like
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that monkey, incessantly active by its own nature; then it becomes drunk with the wine of desire, thus increasing its turbulence. After desire takes possession comes the sting of the scorpion of jealousy at the success of others, and last of all the demon of pride enters the mind, making it think itself of all importance. How hard to control such a mind! (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 174) The bottom of a lake we cannot see, because its surface is covered with ripples. It is only possible for us to catch a glimpse of the bottom, when the ripples have subsided, and the water is calm. If the water is muddy or is agitated all the time, the bottom will not be seen. If it is clear, and there are no waves, we shall see the bottom. The bottom of the lake is our own true Self; the lake is the Chitta and the waves the Vrittis. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 202) Meditation is one of the great means of controlling the raising of these (thought) waves. By meditation, you can make the mind subdue these waves and if you go on practising meditation for days, and months, and years, until it becomes a habit, until it will come in spite of yourself, anger and hatred will be controlled and checked. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 242-243) "The mind is a lake and every stone that drops into it raises waves. These waves do not let us see what we are. The full moon is reflected in the water of the lake, but the surface is so disturbed that we do not see the reflection clearly. Let it calm. Do not let nature raise the wave. Keep quiet and then after a little while, she will give up. Then we know what we
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are. God is there already, but the mind is so agitated always running after senses. You close the senses and yet you whirl and whirl about. Just this moment, I think I am alright and I will meditate upon God, then my mind goes to New York to think about the things I have done there in the past. These waves are to be stopped by the power of meditation". (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 248) Meditation is the gate that opens that infinite joy to us. Prayers, ceremonies and all the other forms of worship are simply kindergartens of meditation. Slowly and gradually we are to train ourselves. It is no joke - not a question of a day or years or may be of births. Never mind! The pull must go on. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 248) Meditation is the focussing of the mind on some object. If the mind acquires concentration on one object, it can be so concentrated on any object what-so-ever. (CW of SV Vol.VI, p. 487) Control the mind, cut off the senses, then you are a Yogi; after that, all the rest will come. Refuse to hear, to see, to smell, to taste; take away the mental power from the external organs. You continually do it unconsciously as when your mind is absorbed; so you can learn to do it consciously. The mind can put the senses where it pleases. Get rid of the fundamental superstition that we are obliged to act through the body. (CW of SV Vol.VII, p. 71)

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Meditation is the technique for diverting the wayward, destructive mind into planned and constructive channels planned channels "As a lamp placed in a windless place does not flicker" - is a simile used to describe the Yogi of controlled mind, practising Yoga in the Self. (BhaG, p. Shloka 19 chapter VI) By practice, men can bring even the heart under control until it will just beat at will slowly or quickly or almost stop. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 179) "The Yogi teaches that the mind has a higher state of existence beyond reason, a super conscious state; and when the mind gets to that higher state, then this knowledge comes to man metaphysical and transcendental knowledge comes to that man. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 183)

Prayers and Meditation:


Prayer is essentially a supplication to an external Being or Power. It is a yearning of the heart for things it lacks. It is importuning a Higher Potency to fulfil our wants and desires. But meditation has no element of begging in it. It is a reorientation of the mind for producing the knowledge by which all that is rightly needed is acquired. It is a purified mind calling upon the wisdom that dwells within. While prayer is addressed to an out- side Power, meditation seeks conscious union with the Truth inside. Desire is the motive force for all action. But whereas in prayer the desire is selfcentred, in meditation one 'attaches one's belt to .the Powerhouse of the Universe. (Paths of Meditation, p.17)
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Concentration vs. Meditation


Meditation is often misunderstood to be the same as concentration. Concentration is essential for ordinary sensory perceptions and it is something that we have and utilise while performing the most ordinary and routine acts. For example, we concentrate when we read a book, write a letter, drive a car or eat our food. Concentration comes naturally to us in the process of perceiving through the five senses and no particular exertion or special practice is required for it. It is incorrect, therefore, to equate concentration with meditation at which only the spiritual adepts excel. Meditation is a process which obtains at a much higher plane than human sensory perception. Being a mental process that involves seeing through the senses, concentration may be regarded as being below or within the realms of the senses, while meditation is beyond or above the world of the senses. If meditation were as easy as concentration, the great rishis of the past would not have practised various austerities and subjected themselves to innumerable difficulties in the deep forests. (SSB 1979, p. 81) By concentration we mean the preliminary exercises in one-pointedness of thought which must of necessity precede success in meditation. Before an instrument can be used, it must be torqued properly. The mind with which contemplation is achieved must first be trained to develop the power of converging all its energies at any

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required point. Not that concentration per se has any ethical or spiritual value. It is indeed a common requisite for progress in any field of art or science. Concentration gives us power; it is up to us to put it to the highest use. And the highest use of a concentrated mind is in meditation. Concentration is only a process. It is useful in daily life at all levels but has no moral or spiritual significance. Meditation, on the contrary, produces a state of consciousness in which the spiritual point of view alone counts. Meditation means reflection; concentration is the essence of meditation. (Paths of Meditations, p.17, 18 & 19) Concentration means when all senses and desires fall away and there is only God. The concentration of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was naturally so strong that he grew something of a tail when meditating on Hanuman, the monkey. His body was just a changing bubble; his concentration was so strong, Special work on con- centration need not be a part of meditation. Concentration is already in force wherever mind, intelligence and senses are used. "Without it you could not even walk. It needs no special practice. "It is below the senses'. Meditation is above the senses". In between concentration and meditation, like a separation between the two is' contemplation'. Concentration to contemplation then meditation. As long as one thinks 'I am meditating', that is in the mind and is not meditation. As long as one knows he is meditating, he is not meditating. In that absorption in God,
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one puts aside every form and merges into God. In that process, the mind naturally stops. (CWBSSB, p. 168) Without concentration, nothing can be done. And we use that concentration throughout the day. Concentration is difficult in spiritual matters because the mind is outward turned and by desire, the mind clings to objects. But the mind can be trained to concentrate inwardly and the heart can be cultured to grow with love for God. This can be by Sadhana. (CWBSSB, p. 171) It is not practical to attempt to concentrate on that which has no form. To concentrate on the Jyoti, is an illustration. The object of concentration can be sound, form or jyoti etc. It needs to be something concrete. It is not easy to fix the mind on the abstract. (CWBSSB, p. 173) Even the pettiest of tasks need for its fulfilment the quality of concentration. (DhyV, p. 5) Sri Krishna said, "You have only to concentrate over the act and carry it out as you can. To act and only to act is the duty imposed on you'. That was the immortal nectarine advice of the Lord. (SSVahini, p. 137)

Concentration and one-pointedness are the keys


Every minute, from inside and outside, promptings and temptations arise and accumulate in people. One cannot attend to all of them at the same time, so one fixes attention on only the most important one. This is called concentration (avadhana). Concentration is needed to grasp any subject well. Purposefully directing attention on a subject and fixing
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it there is one-pointedness (ekagratha). This is also a condition of the mind. Concentration and one-pointedness help to focus effort on any selected task. (DhyV, p. 12) Concentration is essential for all. It is the foundation of all successful endeavour. It is needed not only for meditation but even for worldly affairs and ordinary living. Whatever the task one is engaged in, doing it with concentration will develop both self-confidence and self-respect, for they are the result of the attitude of ones own mind. The mind may lean on either the bad or the good, and concentrated attention must be employed to keep the mind attached only to good prompting. Success or failure in the good task depends upon one-pointedness. One-pointedness will increase power and skill. But it cannot be won without conquering the worldly cravings that distract the mind. This one-pointedness, this conquest of the mind, is acquired by the exercise of meditation. (DhyV, p. 13) Concentration is only a process. It is useful in daily life at all levels, but has no moral or spiritual significance. Meditation, on the contrary, produces a state of consciousness in which the spiritual point of view alone counts. (Paths of Meditation Pg-19) Many people think that concentration is the same thing as meditation but there is no such connection between concentration and meditation. Concentration is something which is below your senses, whereas meditation is something which is above your senses. But many are under the false impression that concentration is identical with meditation,
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and they take to a wrong path. Concentration is something which we use involuntarily in our daily, normal, routine life. Just look at this, I am now reading the newspaper. My eyes are looking at the letters. My hand is holding the paper. My Intelligence is thinking now. Mind is also thinking. Thus when the eyes are doing their work, the hand is doing its work, when the Intelligence is doing its work, and the mind is also doing its work, then I am able to get the contents of the newspaper. It means, if I want to get at the matter that is contained in the newspaper, all these enumerated senses are concentrated and they are all coordinated and are working on the newspaper. Not only this, if one wants to drive a car, unless one has concentration, one cannot drive a car on the road. All the normal routines, like walking, talking, reading, writing, eating, all these things we do only as result of concentration. If concentration like this is part and parcel of your daily life, then what is that we practise to get concentration? What we have to practice is something which is beyond these normal senses. We must rise from being below the senses (that is the state of concentration) to the senses (that is, the middle position, called contemplation); and from there we must rise above the senses, that is called meditation. Between concentration and meditation there is border area which covers both and that is the area of contemplation. To be in that area of contemplation is to free yourself of worldly attachments. If you break away all the worldly attachments--all the routine attachments in the world---then you will enter the region of contemplation. When you have completely
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broken away ALL your attachments, you break through this area of contemplation and you get into the area of meditation.
First develop confidence in your own self

These steps can also be described as starting from selfconfidence, and then getting self-satisfaction and then selfsacrifice, and the last step is self-realisation. The ultimate step of self-realisation depends upon the base of selfconfidence. You must therefore develop as a first step confidence in your own self. Without having and developing confidence in your own self, if all the time you are talking of some power being with someone and some other power being with someone else, if in this way you travel all the time and depend upon power which is with someone else, when are you going to acquire any power and confidence in your own self. Peace and bliss are within you they are not something which is external to you. (SSS Vol.9, pp. 185-187)

Contemplation
The contemplation of the Lord must proceed in union with the dharmic life. This type of life has no need for status, scholarship, or vanity. The latter only lead people astray. It is only through this life that the mind and the intellect can be controlled, the knowledge (Vidhya) of Atma cultivated, and the will sublimated. (DhyV, p. 24) Contemplate on the vision of Atma and reach up to the Thuriya stage of consciousness. Then Naama, Rupa, Vasthu, Bhava, all get merged in the One All-pervasive All-inclusive Atma. (UV, p. 31)

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Arjuna! People think that the worship of God with Form and Attributes is quite enough. This discipline will only be of some help. It will guide the person along the road only for a little while. For the Lord will not condescend to grant Liberation for just this! For, he who aims at Liberation must first give up attachment to the body. Without that, the Atmic stage cannot be attained. The identification with the body is the expression of ignorance. The Atma must be recognised as distinct from the Prakruthi (nature). The craving for objective pleasure which is based on the unreal value attached to Prakruthi has to be removed by Dhyanam and Thapas. When that craving is lost, the individual becomes like the dry nut, inside the coconut shell, which becomes loose and unattached both to the shell and the fibre outside it. It does not germinate or sprout again. It will remain forever without being spoilt. The individual has no more birth and consequent death. That is to say, he will be liberated. Becoming like that dry nut inside the shell is the stage called Jivan muktha, of Liberation while alive. The contemplation of the Godhead as above and beyond all attributes is necessary for the attainment of Jivanmukthi. (GV, p. 9)

Patanjali lists obstacles to Yoga:


The yoga-sutra enumerates several impediments on the path of yoga. They are:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Vyadhi (physical sickness); Styana (languor); Samsaya (doubts and misgivings; Pramada (heedlessness); alasya (sloth); avirati (absence of dispassion); bhranti-darsana (hallucinations); alabdha-bhumikatva (non-attainment of the stage of communion' in spite of effort; 9. Anavasthitatva (instability). How to overcome these impediments? Vyadhi can be overcome by proper medicines and diet, styana by discrimination and will power, samsaya by faith in the scripture, the guru and oneself, pramada by external vigilance, alasya by healthy physical activity, avirati by reflecting on the transient and evil nature of sense-pleasures and bhranti-darsana by right perception. Alabdhabhumikatva and anavasthitatva are more serious obstacles. Guidance from the guru or advanced souls and prayer and self-analysis will help to eradicate them. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 221-222)

Regulations:
Yoga is not possible for him who eats too much, nor for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who sleeps too much; nor for him who is always awake. (BhaG, pp. 16 Shloka, Chapter VI) Yoga becomes the destroyer of pain for him who is moderate in eating and recreation, who is moderate in his

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exertion during his actions, who is moderate in sleep and wakefulness. (BhaG, pp. 17 Shloka, Chapter VI)

Aids to Meditation2:
"Having in a clean spot established a firm seat of his own, neither too high nor too low, made of a cloth, a skin and kusa grass; one over the other". "There, having made the mind and the senses controlled, being seated on the seat let Sadhaka practice Yoga, for the purification of the self. "After the external seat has been described, let the Sadhaka hold the body, head and neck erect and still, gazing at the tip of nose, without looking around". "Serene-minded, fearless, firm in the view of Brahmacharya, having con- trolled the mind, thinking on ME as the Supreme Goal". Yajnavalkya says: "After practicing the postures as desired, according to rules, then, O Gargi, the man who has conquered the posture will practice Pranayama. "Seated in an easy posture, on a (deer or tiger) skin, placed on Kusha grass, worshipping Ganapati with fruits and sweetmeats, placing the right palm on the left, holding the throat and head in the same line, the lips closed and firm,
2

Bhagavat Gita, Chapter VI- 11 to 14. (Swami Chinmayanada Commentary)

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facing the east or the north, the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose, avoiding too much food or fasting, the Nadis should be purified, without which the practice will be fruitless. Thinking of the (seed-word) "Hum," at the junction of Pingala and Ida (the right and the left nostrils), the Ida should be filled with external air in twelve Matras (seconds); then the Yogi meditates on fire in the same place with the word "Rung," and while meditating thus, slowly ejects the air through the Pingala (right nostril). Again filling in through the Pingala the air should be slowly ejected through the Ida, in the same way. This should be practiced for three or four years, or three or four months, according to the directions of a Guru, in secret (alone in a room), in the early morning, at midday, in the evening, and at midnight (until) the nerves become purified. Lightness of body, clear complexion, good appetite, hearing of the Nada, are the signs of the purification of nerves. Then should be practiced Pranayama composed of Rechaka (exhalation), Kumbhaka (retention), and Puraka (inhalation). Joining the Prana with the Apana is Pranayama. "In sixteen Matras filling the body from the head to the feet, in thirty-two Matras the Prana is to be thrown out, and with sixty-four the Kurnbhaka should be made. "There is another Pranayama in which the Kumbhaka should first be made with sixty-four Matras, then the Prana should be thrown out with sixteen, and the body next filled with sixteen Matras. "By Pranayama impurities of the body are thrown out; by Dharana the impurities of the mind; by Pratyahara impurities
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of attachment; and by Samadhi is taken off everything that hides the lordship of the Soul." (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 309310)

Place and Time of Meditation


A fence is placed around a young tree to protect it. The same precautions must be observed in meditation. People think it is all right to meditate in any place. There are currents, there is will power. There is a strong current passing into the earth. Because of this, the earth exerts a strong attraction. In meditation it is advisable to insulate oneself from such currents. For this reason, meditators sit on a plank and cover their shoulders with a woollen shawl. Once the person has grown strong in his meditation, he may sit anywhere and not suffer for it. (CWBSSB, pp. 171-172) For the establishment of oneself in the contemplation of the Omnipresent Lord, there is no limitations of time or space. There is nothing like a holy place or a special time for this. Wherever the mind revels in the contemplation of the divine that is the Holy Place! Whenever it does so, that is the auspicious moment! There and then, one must meditate on the Lord. That is why it has been announced already before: Na kaala niyame yaathraa, Na desasya sthalasya cha Yathraasya ramathe chiththam, Thathra dhyaane na kevalam.

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For meditation on God, there is no fixed time or place. When and where the mind so desires, then and there is the time and place. (Prema Vahini, p. 80) Brahma Muhurta means early morning, between 3 - 6 a.m. It means that the senses are quiet, not yet agitated by the day and mind is quiet from sleep. But the hour should not be taken and changed around, taking one time today and another time tomorrow. A half hour in the morning and a half hour in the evening is enough for sitting meditation. If done all day along, it will lose its attraction after a couple of years. The spiritual practice should be varied for interest. Some bhajan, some repetition of the Name of the Lord, some time spent in the company of spiritual people and so on. Just as in daily life some variety makes the day interesting. (CWBSSB, p. 179)

Environment:
Do not worry about the unsatisfactory environment you may have. Of course, the place may have some drawbacks and it may not be ideal. But it is no use trying to run away from all that. You can overcome the drawbacks by training your own mind. Stay in your environment and pray to the Lord! Pray that He may fill you with His thoughts and His vision, making you ignore the defects of the environment. Do not seek comfort, for comfort might not be conducive to meditation. Learn to be comfortable in any place; that is better. Live in joy wherever you are; that is the way. Revel in the realm of your mind; worship in the mind the Lord you have chosen as your goal and be free of all the defects of the
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natural or human environment! Then, no spot can be irksome to you, nor will any place seem disgusting. Pride is an insidious vice, so at the slightest inkling of the disease, try your best to eradicate it by retiring into a lonely spot and engaging yourself in meditation. Delay is dangerous. Even divine nectar (amrita) becomes a poison if the dose is delayed, says the proverb. Remember this and act swiftly. Meditation stills the agitated mind and makes it clear and full of joy. (DhyV, p. 73)

How to Meditate:
One should practise meditation at-least twice a day and the best times are when the night passes into day and day into night, that is, early morning and early evening. This is the time the body will have the tendency to become calm. The aspirant should not eat until meditation is practised. Overeating is to be avoided. Food that is healthy and conduces to the harmony of the body should be selected. If it is possible it is better to have a room for meditation alone; It should be kept holy and not used for sleeping. We must not enter the room until we bathe and are perfectly clean in body and mind. Burning incense in morning and evening is good. Those who cannot have a separate room for meditation can practice anywhere they like.

Method of Meditation:
The place for meditation should be a little elevated an inch or two from the ground. Place a mat of dharbha grass

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(a matty, long grass grown in India) on it, spread a deer-skin on the mat, and lay a thin white cloth on the skin. Sit on it in the lotus posture (padmasana). The right foot must be above the left and the left foot above the right. The fingers of the hand must be in close touch with one another and the hands should be placed in front. The eyes must be either half open or fully closed. Then, by means of mental massage, relax the neck, shoulders, hands, chest, teeth, stomach, fingers, back, thighs, knees, calves, and feet. After this, one has to meditate on ones own favourite name and form, with Om added. When this is being done, there should be no mental wanderings; one must be stable and quiet. No thought of past events, no trace of anger or hatred, and no memory of sorrow should be allowed to interfere. Even if they intrude, they should not be considered at all; to counteract them, entertain thoughts that will feed ones enthusiasm for meditation. Of course, this may appear difficult, at first. The best time for meditation is the quiet hours before dawn, between 3 and 5 a.m. One can awake, say, at 4 a.m. First of all, sleep has to be subdued. This is very necessary. In order to keep the hours unchanged, one may set the alarm clock for 4 a.m. and rise. Even then, if sleep continues to bother, its effect can be overcome by means of a bath in cold water. Not that it is essential to bathe; it is needed only when sleep gives much trouble.

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If in this manner the path of meditation (dhyana) is rigorously followed, it is possible for one to win the grace of the Lord very quickly. (DhyV, pp. 8-9) Sadhakas should be very clear of the purpose of Japam and Dhyanam. Japam and Dhyanam are for acquiring onepointed attention on the Lord, for casting off sensory attachments and for attaining the joy derived from the basis of all sensory objects. (DhyV, p. 68) First, when you sit for meditation, recite a few shlokas on the Glory of God so that the agitated mind may be calmed. Then gradually, while doing japam, draw before the mind's eye the Form which that Name represents. When your mind wanders away from the recital of the Name, lead it onto the picture of the Form. When it wanders from the form, lead it onto the Name. Let it dwell either on that sweetness or this. Treated thus it can be easily tamed. The imaginary picture you have drawn will get transmuted into the bhava chithra (thought visualisation), dear to the heart and fixed in the memory. Gradually it will become the saakshaathkaara chithra (Vision of the actual Form) when the Lord assumes that Form in order to fulfil your desire. This sadhana is called japa sahitha dhyana (meditation-cum-recitation of Name), and I advise you all to take it up, for it is best form of dhyana for beginners. Within a few days you will fall in line and you will taste the joy of concentration. After about ten or fifteen minutes of this dhyana in the initial stages, and longer after some time, have some manana (contemplation) on the shanti (peace) and
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the sowkhya (happiness) you had during the dhyana (meditation). (SSS Vol.1, p. 35) The meditation of any one of His countless names will act as the goad that can tame the elephant in rut and make him bend his knees and lift the log on his tusk. (SSS Vol.7, p. 279)
Vivekananda's prescription:

Where there is fire, or in water or on ground which is strewn with dry leaves, where there are many ant-hills, where there are wild animals, or danger, where four streets meet, where there is too much noise, where there are many wicked persons, Yoga must not be practiced. This applies more particularly to India. Do not practice when the body feels very lazy or ill, or when the mind is very miserable and sorrowful. Go to a place which is well hidden, and where people do not come to disturb you. Do not choose dirty places. Rather choose beautiful scenery, or a room in your own house which is beautiful. When you practice, first salute all the ancient Yogis, and your own Guru, and God, and then begin. Dhyana is spoken of, and a few examples are given of what to meditate upon. Sit straight, and look at the tip of your nose. Later on we shall come to know how that concentrates the mind, how by controlling the two optic nerves one advances a long way towards the control of the arc of reaction, and so to the control of the will. Here are a few specimens of meditation. Imagine a lotus upon the top of the head, several inches up, with virtue as its centre, and knowledge as its stalk. The eight petals of the lotus are the
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eight powers of the Yogi. Inside, the stamens and pistils are renunciation. If the Yogi refuses the external powers he will come to salvation. So the eight petals of the lotus are the eight powers, but the internal stamens and pistils are extreme renunciation, the renunciation of all these powers. Inside of that lotus think of the Golden One, the Almighty, the Intangible, He whose name is Om, the Inexpressible, surrounded with effulgent light. Meditate on that. Another meditation is given. Think of a space in your heart, and in the midst of that space think that a flame is burning. Think of that flame as your own soul and inside the flame is another effulgent light, and that is the Soul of your soul, God. Meditate upon that in the heart. Chastity, non-injury, forgiving even the greatest enemy, truth, faith in the Lord, these are all different Vrittis. Be not afraid if you are not perfect in all of these; work, they will come. He who has given up all attachment, all fear, and all anger, he whose whole soul has gone unto the Lord, he who has taken refuge in the Lord, whose heart has become purified, with whatsoever desire he comes to the Lord, He will grant that to him. Therefore worship Him through knowledge, love, or renunciation. "He who hates none, who is the friend of all, who is merciful to all, who has nothing of his own, who is free from egoism, who is even-minded in pain and pleasure, who is forbearing, who is always satisfied, who works always in Yoga, whose self has become controlled, whose will is firm, whose mind and intellect are given up unto Me, such a one is My beloved Bhakta. From whom comes no disturbance, who cannot be disturbed by others, who is free from joy, anger, fear, and
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anxiety, such a one is My beloved. He who does not depend on anything, who is pure and active, who does not care whether good comes or evil, and never becomes miserable, who has given up all efforts for himself; who is the same in praise or in blame, with a silent, thoughtful mind, blessed with what little comes in his way, homeless, for the whole world is his home, and who is steady in his ideas, such a one is My beloved Bhakta." Such alone become Yogis. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 192-193)
Baba's advice:

When in meditation, concentrate on the form chosen by you, then pass into contemplation and then into meditation. Only by the three states will you get there. From concentration, one must cross the field of contemplation to enter meditation. There are three things: the meditator, the chosen form, and the process of meditation. The three should merge and become one, and this is the state of meditation. But, if all the time you feel you are meditating, this cannot be called meditation. When there is complete attention on the form chosen, that will lead to meditation. The attention of the mind is totally removed from the body and totally concentrated on the form chosen as the object of your meditation. (CWBSSB, p. 183) If you have Me as the object of meditation, sit in a comfortable pose, which is neither irksome nor flopping, let your mind dwell for some time on some good sthotras (hymns) or incidents from the sacred stories, so that the senses escaping into the tangles of worldly worries may be quietened and subdued. Then, with the Name on the tongue,
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try to draw with the brush of your emotion and the hand of your intellect, a picture of Swami, slowly, from the cluster of hair to the face and neck downwards, spending time in contemplating each as it is getting drawn and when the picture is full, start from the feet up to the head again, so that your attention is never for a moment diverted from the Form you love to meditate upon. (SSS Vol.5, p. 304) When we think of meditation, three things are involved, First, there is the person who meditates, the dhyata; secondly, there is the object of meditation dhyeya; and thirdly, there is the process of meditation itself, dhyana. In true meditation, all these three should merge. The person who is meditating should identify himself totally with the object of meditation and should be unaware of even the fact that he is meditating. When he is meditating, his attention should be so rivetted to the dhyeya that he loses his own identity and forgets his involvement in the action (dhyana), too. (SSB 1979, p. 81)

Meditation on Jyothi
For one who desires to practise dhyana or meditation, it is advisable that jyothi (light) is taken as the dhyeya or object of meditation and not a form of Divinity such as that of Rama, Krishna, or Easwara; for these forms, too, are subject to change and ultimately perish. Jyothi or light does not perish or change. Moreover, a flame can kindle a million others without getting extinguished and is therefore inexhaustible.

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In this process of meditation on light, the progression must be from restlessness to tranquillity and from tranquillity to divine Effulgence. One should sit cross-legged and erect to ensure an easy flow of the divine force from the mooladhara chakra to the sahasrara chakra through the sushumna nadi. The aspirant should fix his gaze on the gentle flame and gradually close his eyes, mentally transferring or absorbing the flame into his heart, as it were. The lotus of the spiritual heart should then be imagined as blossoming in effulgent beauty dispelling with its radiance the dark forces of life. One should then imagine that out of the heart so illumined, rays of light proceed gradually to all parts of the body, suffusing everything with light and imbuing it with sacredness and purity all over. As the light has reached the hands, the individual ought not to do any wrongful acts; since the flame shines in his eyes, he cannot look at undesirable sights. So, also, since the jyothi has permeated his ears, he should not listen to evil talk. His feet, too, since they have been filled with light, should not tread upon unholy paths. Thus, this type of meditation ennobles man and helps him scale great spiritual heights very steadily. If we keep the mind busy in this manner with the task of carrying light to all parts of the body, it will not wander and will remain steady. The whole process takes about twenty to thirty minutes to complete. This kind of meditation should not be regarded as an exercise in fantasy. No doubt, in the beginning, imagination will be involved; but, by constant practice, it will be transformed into a powerful thought wave,

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creating an indelible impression on the heart leading to union with God. The meditation should not end with the individual visualising the light in himself. He should see it in his friends and relatives and even in his enemies. He should see the whole of creation bathed in the resplendent light of Divinity. This would make him live a life full of love and happiness. If you so desire, you may in the initial stages, picture the form of God which is dear to you, within the flame on which you meditate; you must, however, realise that the form has got to dissolve in the light, sooner or later. You must not try to confine Divinity to any one particular form; you must see God in His all-pervasive form, as the One who resides in the hearts of all Divine beings. (SSB 1979, pp. 82-83)

Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Advice on Jyoti Dhyana And Soham Dhyana
Some persons use a Jyothi (lamp) as a basis for meditation. The lamp reveals the oneness that is the basis of the Unity or the Divine as well as the multiplicity that reflects the manifestations of the Divine. In this method, the experience of bliss does not come quickly. There are three stages in this type of meditation: uuha (imagining the Form), bhaava (experiencing the Form) and saakshaathkaara (seeing It as a Reality). For instance, if one wishes to meditate upon Baba, he first tries to imagine with the dosed eyes the figure of Baba as seen by him earlier. This figure vanishes within a few moments. In experiencing the figure, the process is longer and the impression also lasts' longer. In this process,
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one starts envisaging the figure from head to foot and from the feet upwards. Gradually, by this process the picture of Baba gets firmly implanted and becomes an inner reality. While the imagining process gives only a momentary glimpse, the experiencing method leads to the complete identification of the seeker with the Divine Form. Awareness of the Divine results in oneness with the Divine (Brahmavith Brahmaiva Bhavathi). When we are experiencing the Divine Form, what is happening to our mind? The mind experiences every part of the Lord from head to foot and ultimately becomes one with the Form. It is the process of identification of the mind with the Divine form that constitutes true meditation. Meditation is not merging the Form in the mind. It is merging the mind in the Form so that the mind as such does not exist.
Conserve energy by all possible means

While sitting for meditation in a group, one should not be in contact with anyone else. This is highly important. Meditation is like the process of electrifying a wire. If a live wire comes in contact with something, it will produce a shock. During meditation, spiritual energy is generated. How is this energy lost? It is lost through finger nails and the hairs on one's body. This was the reason why the ancient yogis (spiritually advanced persons) allowed their nails and hairs to grow freely. Spiritual energy has to be conserved by all possible means. The rishis (saints) practised silence to conserve the energy lost through speech.
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Do not develop too close relationship with one another. Such close relationship results in intimate friendship which produces mutual obligations and expectations. From these arise the sense of ego. When expectations are not fulfilled, resentment emerges. When they are realised, the ego gets inflated. Either way, the consequences of entertaining desires are undesirable. When resentment grows, the discriminating power is weakened. One loses control over his tongue and indulges in all kinds of abuse. Abuse leads to sinful conduct. The whole process is generated by excessive association with one another. Young persons tend to let their minds wander hither and thither. They should concentrate on their studies and should not give their minds a free rein. They should reduce their worldly concerns and devote some time to meditation every morning and evening. This will help to purify their minds and set them on the road to Divinity like the river losing itself in the ocean, the mind must merge in the Divine. Then there will be no mind at all. That blissful state can be realised only through the path of Love. Love is God. Live in Love. Realisation of the power of Love is the true aim of meditation. That Love is utterly selfless and is dedicated to the Divine. In the practice of meditation, it should be realised that all cannot follow the same pattern or method. It varies according to the evolution and circumstances of each individual and his or her capacity and earnestness. Some worship the Supreme as the Universal Mother. Some look upon the Almighty as
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Father. Some regard God as the Supreme Friend. Some devotees approach the Divine as the Beloved or the Master. Jayadeva, Gauranga and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa belonged to the last mentioned category. They did not practise meditation. They felt the presence of God everywhere. Where could they go for meditation? Such was their experience. To the true sadhaka evidence of the omnipresence of God can be found everywhere. By merely closing one's eyes, one does not engage in meditation. One must feel one's unity with God in one's inner being. Prayer is for the mind what food is for the body. Just as wholesome food gives health and strength to the body, prayer purifies the mind and strengthens the spirit. (SSS Vol.17, pp. 34-40)

Do not judge by external standards:


Japam and Dhyanam should never be judged on mere external standards; they are to be judged by their inner effects. Their essence is their relationship to the Atma. The immortal Atmic experience should never be mixed up with low activities of the temporal world. Such activities deserve to be avoided. One should not count the cost, the time, or the trouble. One should await the descent of the Lords grace. This patient waiting is itself part of the austerity (tapas) of meditation. Sticking unfalteringly to the vow is the austerity. (DhyV, p. 9)

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Perseverance is sure success:


Swami Vivekananda gives the story of two men great godsage called Narada met on his way to heaven through a forest. Just as there are sages among mankind, great Yogis, so there are great Yogis among the gods. Narada was a good Yogi, and very great. He travelled everywhere. One day he was passing through a forest, and saw a man who had been meditating until the white ants had built a huge mound round his body so long had he been sitting in that position. He said to Narada, "Where are you going?" Narada replied, "I am going to heaven." "Then ask God when He will be merciful to me; when I shall attain freedom." Further on Narada saw another man. He was jumping about, singing, dancing, and said, "Oh, Narada, where are you going?" His voice and his gestures were wild. Narada said, "I am going to heaven." "Then, ask when I shall be free." Narada went on. In the course of time he came again by the same road, and there was the man who had been meditating with the ant-hill round him. He said, "Oh, Narada, did you ask the Lord about me?" "Oh, yes." "What did He say?" "The Lord told me that you would attain freedom in four more births." Then the man began to weep and wail, and said, "I have meditated until an ant-hill has grown around me, and I have four more births yet!" Narada went to the other man. "Did you ask my question?" "Oh, yes. Do you see this tamarind tree? I have to tell you that as many leaves as there are on that tree, so many times, you shall be born, and then you shall attain freedom." The man began to dance for joy, and said, "I shall have freedom after such a short time!" A voice came, "My child, you will have freedom this minute." That was the reward for

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his perseverance. He was ready to work through all those births, nothing discouraged him. But the first man felt that even four more births were too long. Only perseverance, like that of the man who was willing to wait eons brings about the highest result. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 189-194)

The Three Paths of Meditation


There are three ways by which aspirants try to enter the path of meditation: the path of truth (Sathwic-marga), the path of passion and emotion (rajasic-marga) and the path of ignorance (tamasic-marga).

The pure, serene (Sathwic) path


On this path, one considers repetition of the name and meditation as a duty and suffers any amount of trouble for its sake; one is fully convinced that all this is just an illusion, so one does only good under all conditions and at all times. One desires only the good of all and is always loving towards all; one spends time uninterruptedly in the remembrance and meditation of the Lord. One does not crave even the fruit of repeating the name and meditation; one leaves it all to the Lord.

The passionate, restless (rajasic) path


Here, one craves for the fruit of ones act at every step. If the fruit is not available, then, gradually, laxity and disgust overpower the spiritual aspirant and the repetition of the name and meditation slowly dry up.

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The ignorant (tamasic) path


This path is even worse. The Lord will come into the memory only in times of danger or acute suffering or when one is the victim of loss or pain. At such times, such a person prays and vows to arrange this worship (puja), offer this particular food, or build this kind of temple to the Lord. One will be calculating the quantity of food placed before the Lord, the tribute offered at His feet, the number of prostrations performed, and the number of times the shrine was circled and ask for proportionate awards! For those who adopt this attitude in meditation, the mind and intellect can never be pure. Most people now follow only the passionate, restless (rajasic) and dull, ignorant (tamasic) paths in repeating the divine name and meditation. However, the very intention of repeating the divine name and meditation is to purify the mind and the intellect. In order to achieve this, the first path is best: pure, serene (Sathwic) meditation. When the mind and the intellect become pure, they will shine with the splendour of the understanding of the Atma. He in whom this understanding shines fully is called a sage (rishi). The knower of Atma becomes the Atma itself (Brahmavid Brahmaiva bhavathi). The goal of life, that which makes life worthwhile, is the understanding of the Atma or, in other words, the basis of the individual soul (jiva). (DhyV, pp. 1011)

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Meditation as cognized by other Faiths


Christianity:
The term 'meditation' is used a few times in the Psalms of the Old Testament. "How much I love Thy Law It is the object of my meditation" (Psalm 119.97) "O, Eternal, I meditate on your works" (Psalm 143.5 ) (Paths of Meditation, p. 105) Jesus prayed alone and sometimes prayed the whole night. 'Alone' may mean in solitude as is evidenced in the instructions Jesus gave: "When you pray, enter into thy closet and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and the Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly'. (Mathew VI-6) The insistence on 'secret' may be understood as the secret depth of heart where one has to retire and into which depth God sees. (Paths of Meditation, p. 107)

Zoroastrian
Ahuna Vairya - thousands of years before Zarathustra said Righteous Meditation enables one to do Righteous Deeds for the Good of Creation and the Glory of God. (Yas.27: 13) Zarathustra said: Meditation with Pure Mind (Yas 30:2) Give us Purity through Righteous Mind (Meditation) (Yas 43: 2)

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Give us Purity which is the reward for Righteous Mind i.e. Meditation (Yas 28: 7) Teach us the path of Purity through Righteous Mind i.e. Meditation (Yas34: 12) Purity! When shall I see thee through the eyes of Righteous Mind i.e. Meditation (Yas28:5) (Paths of Meditation, p.182.5)

Suffism:
Muraquiba-i-Nizami i.e. realization of multiplicity is unity and unity in multiplicity. The spiritual aspirant has to concentrate on the phenomenal existence. By meditating on the concept 'I do not exist, God alone exists', he perceives God within. Then contemplating God without, he ushers in a state of self-forget-fulness. (Paths of Meditation, pp.214-215)

Islam:
God says in the Holy Quran: "Pray unto Me and I will hear your prayer" (40: 60) "Verily We created man and We know what his soul whispers and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein" (50: 16) "Establish prayer for My remembrance" says God in Holy Quran (20 : 14) (Paths of Meditation, pp. 219-221)

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Spanish Mystics:
Jesus prayed 'Our Father, that art in Heaven' (Paths of meditation p.131)

Yogavasishtha :
According to Vasishta, Brahman, the Absolute, manifests itself in the world. Everything originates out of, exists in, and finally merges into Brahman. He gives the analogy of the waves in the ocean. The waves arise, exit and merge into the ocean. (Paths of Meditation, p.65) Manas, mind is ever active like the ripples in the motionless ocean. The ocean is like the 'chit' the pure consciousness, or Brahman. That is, the 'Chitta', the mind has evolved from the 'chit', the pure consciousness. The nature of manas is 'Karma', activity. Karma is nothing but activity of the manas. Each activity of manas is determined by its preceding activity and determines, in its turn the succeeding activity. Thus the cessation of Karma leads to cessation of manaskarma nase mano nasah (111-95) (Paths of Meditation p. 67) Vasana is the root desire, the root inclination in the manas. Mere Control of the body through Hatha Yoga, without control of mind and without the attainment of selfknowledge, is futile. (V. 92 38-48) Yoga stands for the practice in self- realisation. The term Yoga stands for (a) the deep affirmation of one Reality (ekatattvatabhyasah) (b) the stopping of the movements of the Pranas', the vital currents (prananam vilayah) and (c)
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the control of the mind (manovinigrah). Success in anyone of them leads to success in others also. However, he prefers the control of mind as the easiest and the best. Of all the three methods, the control of the mind is the best because it is easily affected and leads to peace soon. (Vla 69 : 29) Vasishta is emphatic that the mind can be controlled and dissolved by one's own efforts and not by penances, pilgrimages learning, sacrifices etc. (Vlb 163:8) The ideal of Yoga, according to Vasishta, is to be in the 'Turiva' state, the fourth state which is the realisation of bliss which is the nature of pure consciousness. (Vla 128-50-51)

Samadhi:
Samyama:

After Pratyahara and Dharana, we come to Dhyana meditation. When the mind has been trained to remain fixed on a certain internal or external location, there comes to it the power of flowing in an unbroken current, as it were, towards that point. This state is called Dhyana. When one has so intensified the power of Dhyana as to be able to reject the external part of perception and remain meditating only on the internal part, the meaning, that state is called Samadhi. The three Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi together, are called Samyama. That is, if the mind can first concentrate upon an object, and then is able to continue in that concentration for a length of time, and then, by continued concentration, to dwell only on the internal part of the perception of which the object was the effect, everything
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comes under the control of such a mind. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 151)

Highest state of existence:


This meditative state is the highest state of existence. So long as there is desire, no real happiness can come. It is only the contemplative, witness-like study of objects that brings to us real enjoyment and happiness. The animal has its happiness in the senses, the man in his intellect, and the god in spiritual contemplation. It is only to the soul that has attained to this contemplative state that the world really becomes beautiful. To him who desires nothing, and does not mix himself up with them, the manifold changes of nature are one panorama of beauty and sublimity. (CW of SV Vol.1, pp. 186-187)

Samadhi is your property


Samadhi is the property of every human being nay, every animal. From the lowest animal to the highest angel, sometime or other, each one will have to come to that state, and then, and then alone, will real religion begin for him. Until then we only struggle towards that stage. (CW of SV Vol.1, p. 188)

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Prema Vahini: The Stream of Divine Love [Book] = Prema Vahini. - Prasanthi Nilayam : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, 1975. - 4. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.1. - Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur District : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. - Vol. 1. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.5. - Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur District : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. - Vol. 5. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.17. - Prasanthi Nilayam, Anantapur District : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust . - Vol. 17. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.2. - Prasanthi Nilayam : Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.. - Vol. 2 : 42. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.9. - Prasanthi Nilayam : Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.. - Vol. 9. Sathya Sai Speaks: Discourses Of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba [Book] = SSS Vol.7. - Prasanthi Nilayam : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. - Vol. 7. SATHYA SAI VAHINI: Spiritual Message of Sri Sathya Sai [Book] = SSVahini. - Prasanthi Nilayam, : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. - First Enlarged Edition : June 2002. - 81-7208-295-9. Summer Showers In Brindavan [Book] = SSB 1974 Part II. Prasanthi Nilayam : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust, 64

1974. - First Enlarged Edition : Vols. Part - II : p. 272. - 81 - 7208356-4. Summer Showers In Brindavan [Book] = SSB 1979. - Prasanthi Nilayam : Prasanthi Nilayam,, 1979. - First Enlarged Edition : September, 2004 : p. 245. - 81-7208-361-0. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda [Book] = CW of SV Vol.1 / auth. Vivekananda Swami. - Vol. 1. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda [Book] = CW of SV Vol.4 / auth. Vivekananda Swami. - Vol. IV. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda [Book] = CW of SV Vol.VI / auth. Vivekananda Swami. The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda [Book] = CW of SV Vol.VII / auth. Vivekananda Swami. Upanishad Vahini: Essence of Vedic Knowledge [Book] = UV. [s.l.] : Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. - First Enlarged Edition: June 2002. - 81-7208-299-1.

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