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Antar Mouna

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Antar Mouna Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Talk at K.C. College, Bombay, in February 1963, originally printed in YOGA, Vol 2, No. 1, 1964.

When you concentrate and try to unify the vagrant tendencies of your mind, sometimes you feel strain. Because of that strain, you get a headache or some other complaint. Therefore, while practising concentration, you have to evolve a method by which there may be no strain. Just as a tired person goes to bed and falls asleep without struggling with restlessness or insomnia, even so there are various methods for achieving spontaneous concentration and meditation. The best method of concentration starts with prayer. When we start concentration directly and abruptly, the influx of blood abruptly increases in the brain. Various ideas keep on haunting the mind and hamper meditation. All the impressions of the actions done during the day come rushing up to the surface of the mind. If you want to meditate on Om, you naturally desire that nothing else should come to your mind. But for various reasons your daily experiences and impressions come to you during meditation. Therefore, the best time for meditation is brahmamuhurta, between four and six in the morning. It is also necessary that the mind should slumber partially when you start the practice of meditation. If there is controllable drowsiness, concentration will be keener and better. At night, when drowsiness overpowers you, if you meditate on your ishta devata, you will definitely succeed. You should not start concentration before you have entered into a state of partial drowsiness. It is better to meditate in the early morning hours. You are not fully conscious although you feel that you are. Some people meditate at odd hours of the day. This is good, but you must have experienced that while practising concentration during these hours, some tension is felt by the brain. Meditation should be effortless and spontaneous. If you practise the right technique of concentration from the very beginning, you will have no difficulty. The first practice to bring about this state is inner silence, or antar mouna.
Relaxation

Inner silence has many graduated stages. In the beginning you should relax yourself mentally. If you do not understand what mental relaxation is, imagine how you feel when you return home from a hectic business round in the scorching sun and relax on a soft sofa in an air-conditioned room. You have to be aware of this type of relaxation. Sit in any comfortable asana with your spinal cord straight. Close your eyes and try to relax yourself mentally. The technique is to feel that you are going to take a rest. Do not entertain any strenuous thought in your mind as you generally do. Experience peace and a feeling of rest, joy and comfort. The more you are able to relax, the more you will be able to practise concentration. Be aware of yourself and of your position. This is called self-awareness. Your limbs should also relax. This may take some time. Relaxation is a process which requires an effort in the beginning, but afterwards it is effortless.
Witnessing the thoughts

Try to visualize the chidakasha, the space in front of the closed eyes. Is the chidakasha changing its colour or not? Do you see a star or anything else there? What do you see in chidakasha? Some see stars, some see colours, some see light, some see only darkness. Never mind whether you see anything or not, but keep concentrating on chidakasha. Many thoughts will arise. Let them come. There may

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We wake up at the instance of nervous breakdown. In this process. Do not think that your meditation is very nice when good thoughts only come to your mind. then we can keep away various mental ailments successfully. then dispose of it. If you practise this method for some time. The only caution to be taken is not to identify with the thoughts. Just become a witness and feel the thoughts passing before you slowly like a freight train.Antar Mouna http://www. Whatever thoughts come to your mind. you should begin introspection of the thoughts. you will learn a technique of removing any permanent thought that 2 of 4 30-11-2013 01:07 . You need not control your thoughts. Retain the same thought in the mind for some time with vivid imagination. It is much better if you begin with lower thoughts. It is beyond the power of any physician. The mind seems to have a greater affinity for lower thoughts while peace. neurosis and the like. If you do not identify yourself with such thoughts. You may experience an itching sensation or a tremor in your system. When visualization of chidakasha is over. pride and so on. This consists of creating a particular thought voluntarily and dwelling upon it for some time. In this process. they will be suspended without any effort. anger. but in spite of all our sincere efforts we fail to check the waves. it can help you in many ways. you do not fight with your thoughts but maintain an impartial attitude towards them. we may not like to enter into worries and brooding. Sometimes they arise with compelling force and it seems as if some unseen force within us is causing their upsurge. Practise in this way. Pose a particular thought. greed. If this is not done. Pious thoughts are soon forgotten and the mind finds it easy to slip away from such thoughts. Do not identify yourself with any sound. awaken an awareness that you are only witnessing them while they are passing through your mental plane. This is proof that we lack control over the mind and we must evolve some effective method for settling these vagrant forces in their proper place. anger. you should be aware that “I am thinking. When the mind is properly kept under control. sensation or thought that arises in the mind. Do not get disturbed when various thoughts overwhelm you. Voluntarily create and dwell upon themes of jealousy. passion. “I am thinking” should be the constant awareness. while it is almost a task to detach its interest from thoughts of jealousy. You must only attain complete mastery over your thoughts. shade and dimension. then rejecting it altogether.shtml be thoughts. One of the methods to train the mind is thought regulation. When thought waves are not regulated. Nor should you try to trim or eliminate the thoughts. let them do so. Thought regulation Many thoughts arise in the mind. With closed eyes remain a witness of the various thoughts coming into your mind and do not try to consciously control the thought process. mental fever. but try to remain a witness of all that. whether good or bad. greed and the like for some time and finally set them aside with a mental stroke. compassion. We may be averse to certain thoughts of passion. mental exhaustion will result and sedatives will have to be introduced to ease the mental tension. You need not kill your mind. It is easier to begin in this way because the mind is used to lower thoughts and such thoughts in fact act as centres of gravity for our consciousness. forgiveness and the like are usually missed by the mind during meditation. You should not be disturbed by bad thoughts or elated by good thoughts. The series of thoughts assail us unawares. should be merely observed without any involvement. Here you voluntarily create any thought of your liking and after thinking over it for some minutes you set it aside by your willpower.net/archives/2005/bfeb05/am. they become part of our habits and under their hypnotic sway many years of our life are wasted. love. In case of impure thoughts. Good resolves are always forgotten while evil intentions remain in the mind for long periods of time. fear.” This consciousness has to be kept alive in the mind constantly. This method works subjectively to bring about a state of cessation in the process of thinking. After some time this practice becomes very interesting. Awareness of the thinking process should be maintained throughout. If care is taken well before the crisis takes place and thought regulation is rendered a part of our mental habit. One who has attained mastery over the mind keeps it as a trained servant. Thoughts of any type. when it is too late for us to overcome them. What is the remedy? Yoga prescribes a method by which one can become the master of the thoughts.yogamag. sounds or different feelings.

Thereafter. It is only after perfection of this practice that you should take up further meditations which are higher and deeper. The problem of sleep I wish to give a warning. Throughout this practice you should remain conscious of the incoming thoughts and set aside every thought which comes to you. You will experience various invisible vibrations floating across chidakasha. Meditation should only start after the scientific process of relaxation has been completed. For those who want to remove tensions. When this happens. the same practice of thought regulation may be repeated according to your convenience. No doubt 3 of 4 30-11-2013 01:07 . When astral figures start floating on chidakasha. You should remain a witness of these experiences. Have a vivid imagination of what you are thinking. Thoughts can enter from any side. There should be no analysis of the experience of the astral plane whatsoever. You can project your subconscious mind over it if you have a deep sense of meditation. Have a constant awareness of chidakasha. Let your consciousness become so deep and intense that you do not feel like taking your mind away from chidakasha even for a moment. This method is extremely useful. Thought suspension Now let us discuss the third process of antar mouna. you will have no necessity to meditate on the ishta. you must meditate upon your ishta devata at once. start meditation on your ishta devata in calmness and silence. If you practise this faithfully. Reject such thoughts which come to you of their own accord. First drowsiness dawns and then deep slumber. it becomes all the more essential to know the technique to overcome this difficulty. the main problem is sleep. the place where it is kept and the surroundings. Then visions of astral events will follow. Do not allow any thought to come without being willed. you will realize various astral realities which so far have remained out of sight. however. Do not get attached to the thought. to all those who are keen to pursue meditation to the extent of realization and samadhi.yogamag. If not. you can step into meditation without any effort. when you continue to observe the state of nothingness. Practise with detachment. Keep a few important points for meditation on your ishta devata in view. Sometimes while thinking there will be confusion. The chidakasha or the astral plane is before you. but a beginner should never overdo this practice because it is quite different to relaxation. However. Have a vivid imagination of this from the general to the particular. There comes a state of mind when the vast fields of astral realization are left open to you and the whole stock of latent knowledge is apprehended.shtml haunts your mind. stop it. lethargy and failures that follow entering meditation abruptly. but be careful not to identify with the thought. if you have even a little success in this sadhana. From which side is the thought coming? When you see a particular thought lurking. If you can do this. You are engaged in setting the thoughts aside. inner silence. Your inner chamber is open from all sides. You can choose any thought you like. Try to think of the particular deity through general observances. You are seeing your thoughts coming to you. You have to take a central position and from there have a look everywhere. At the same time you are aware of what is taking place within the astral realms. During the practice of meditation. thoughtlessness. Concentrate on chidakasha. sleep is necessary. but those who seek spiritual evolution will have to find a solution for this problem. The form of the ishta will automatically arise from within.Antar Mouna http://www. the mysterious kundalini and other higher forms of meditation. The complaint of all aspirants is that when they succeed in attaining inner silence. With this practice you complete the preliminaries and enter into the first phase of meditation. illumination and astral figures. Think of the whole picture of your ishta devata. Gradually try to become more and more aware of chidakasha. which you experience as you relax. you will attain the stage of nirvichara. If you observe them for some time. You will experience various shades of light. You are standing at the gate. Be conscious throughout of what you are doing. they will always talk of sleep.net/archives/2005/bfeb05/am. See the astral patterns forming in it. stars. you will understand what is meant by astral patterns. If you want to attain samadhi or to contact the astral body. You can repeat the whole process again. You will not be able to observe what you think. they fall asleep and realize it only afterwards when the awareness revives. Thus.

start nadi shodhana pranayama with kumbhaka. you will be able to visualize the object of your meditation very clearly. then there will be no suspension. This is beneficial for those who face waves of depression due to tension and continuous thinking. When you get up in the morning. If you dislike a person. [top] Home | News | Archives | Subscribe | Satyananda Yoga | Books | Links | Contacts All material © Bihar School of Yoga | All rights reserved | 4 of 4 30-11-2013 01:07 .yogamag. then suspension. visions are another disturbing factor in the primary phases of meditation. using the ratio 1:4:2. If you practise asana and pranayama before meditation. The other difficulty is that if the consciousness does not slumber partially. Meditation is a scientific process and it must be learned properly. inner silence is difficult to achieve. the same principle applies for the internal journey which is undertaken through meditation. When you feel that you are about to sleep. Some aspirants sit for meditation. one has to be careful not to sleep. then there is temporary suspension of awareness. but you cannot go forward on the spiritual path. you can remove your mental depression by this suspension. This will check the tendency to sleep. they desire to awaken it and apply extra pressure to that point. This is the first solution. there is difficulty in both ways. Householders who have to discharge various duties remain ever busy and are under continuous strain. you reject them. removing drowsiness while increasing introversion. His memory will disturb you in meditation. Having heard about kundalini. All this happens because samskaras float upon the mental surface. and once again visions. but spiritual evolution is arrested there itself. Rather he is very much in your mind. First. Naturally they fall asleep even with a little concentration. visions begin to appear. but they do not know what they are doing. This can be achieved by the practice of inner silence. The mind has to be drowsy to a certain degree and. Just as you require a map and guidance before starting any external journey. you should annihilate these impressions either by rationalizing them or sublimating them through detachment. So whatever difficulties you may have. at the same time. especially if you do not know the way. So.net/archives/2005/bfeb05/am. feeling themselves to be in samadhi. it is the after effect of the day’s strain. Along with sleep. The second solution is asana and pranayama. If you want to attain higher meditation. Deep breathing as in ujjayi pranayama decarbonizes the system. Practise five rounds and then concentrate. When you meditate with closed eyes. which is a method of purging the accumulated samskaras from the mind and a first step towards actual meditation. you will have to go beyond sleep and also the expression of astral contents in the form of visions. you will have to practise detachment. This is not samadhi. and therefore they go into the background. have a wash and practise some asanas like sarvangasana or sirshasana. Even in the case of earnest aspirants. Of course.shtml they feel fresh. There is bound to be depression. Again visions. Therefore. it does not mean that he has gone out of your mind. You want to forget many unwanted things. You will have to reject the continuity of thought by constant and persistent practice. it is necessary for those who want to avoid sleep during meditation to keep a few points in mind. Therefore. it is essential to practise meditation under the guidance of a master. however. their spiritual progress is arrested because they enter into slumber. If you can minimize the degree of depression.Antar Mouna http://www. Some people sit in padmasana and meditate for hours at a stretch. In due course this brings about bad after effects.