This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The right attitude constitutes only the beginning of the spiritual journey, though to perfect oneself in it requires the effort of a lifetime, and encompasses the entire spiritual journey. Not only is right attitude necessary for achieving perfection in meditation, it also can be perfected only in meditation.
What then, is meditation? Here is a good definition: Meditation is listening. It is listening not only with the ear, but with the soul not only to sound, but to the silent language of inspiration.
perceived, in deep meditation, as merely temptations of the mind, their real aim being to involve us once again in delusion. Self-study (swadhyaya) is, figuratively speaking, listening to the melodies of pure motivation, and learning to distinguish between them and the harsh claws of ego-motivation. Devotion to the Supreme Lord, finally, is listening intently to the inner Word, which the Bible tells us was in the beginning, was with God, and was God. The Word is not, as many Christians believe, the Bible itself; nor is it any other scripture. It is AUM the divine sound out of which the universe was manifested. It is too early at this point to discuss in depth such esoteric experiences as the inner sounds. The important thing here is to understand, with this mere hint of their existence, that meditation is not so much a process of stilling the mind as of perceiving realities that exist beyond the mind. There is an inner world that can be perceived only when the attention has been turned away from material involvement and redirected toward the divine source within. To repeat, listening itself, as I use the word here, entails much more than listening with the ears. It means, among other things, the stillness of expectation, and complete mental absorption in whatever inspirations come. It means receiving, as opposed to generating uplifting thoughts with the mind. It includes all of these, while providing to each of them a deeper dimension. For in fact there is, literally, an inner music which, when heard, removes the mind from all worldly
concerns, and banishes the delusion of any existence outside the Self. Thus, listening as applied to the attitudes of yama-niyama, as well as to the yoga science in general, clarifies a misconception people frequently have, that yoga teaches selfeffort, but scorns the need for divine grace. As Paramhansa Yogananda put it in Autobiography of a Yogi, A truth cannot be created, but only perceived. Divine grace is forever impersonal. It is not, like the human will, dependent on personal choices or inclinations. It has no favorites. Like the sunlight, it shines impartially everywhere. What keeps the sunlight from arriving equally everywhere is the presence of obstructions clouds, buildings, the curtains covering a window. What keeps grace from reaching us is obstructions in our consciousness. We may not be able to do much about obstructions to grace that, like clouds and buildings, are put there by Nature or by other people illness, for example, or negative thought forms. We can, however, draw back the curtains that cover the windows of our own minds. These obstructions are our mental restlessness and worldly desires. This then, is the benefit of yoga practice. It draws back our mental curtains; it helps us to listen more intently to the divine call within. It is to use another illustration like turning the chalice of thought and feeling right-side up, that the wine of grace may fill it. If, instead, the chalice is turned upside down, grace, which (unlike the sunlight) is superconscious, will simply be withheld. Why should it spill uselessly to the floor?
of Paramhansa Yogananda. He has in his lifetime lectured, taught, and written ninety books that have sold over 3 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 30 languages. Swami Kriyananda was recently appointed to the prestigious Club of Budapest joining such luminaries as the Dalai Lama.
Swami Kriyananda is a direct disciple