by Swami Krishnananda
There are many methods of meditation, but one of the most important things I mentioned is: wrench your mind from this body and place yourself away somewhere. You are not here in this hall of the Academy; you are just now on the top of the mountain that you are seeing in front of you. Is it so?
I will tell you a humorous story. Two friends climbed a mountain in the Swiss Alps, and they got lost. There were many peaks, and they did not know which one they were sitting on. They looked at a map of the place. "Let us find out where we are. There are peaks everywhere." Then one of them said, "Yes, I know where we are, which peak it is. Do you see a peak in front – there? There we are sitting!"
Humorous though it may look, this is what we are actually doing in our daily life. Where are we sitting? You may say you are sitting in your room, but actually you are sitting in the location of the object which you are thinking in your mind. Though you may be in India physically, mentally you may be in America or somewhere else – in the high heavens. Where your heart is, where your thought is, where your feeling is, where your longing is – there you are really sitting, and not in your room or in your office, as you imagine.
This psychology has to be taken advantage of in the meditational process. Go on asserting in your own self that "I am as much an object of the world as any object is". Then, what happens? The whole world of objects, including this body, will present itself before you and you will have a total perception of the total object, which is the created universe. At that time your body will not be persisting and coming with you in your consciousness, in this manner. It will go with the objects. Then where are you at that time? If you are not in this body at that time because you have transferred this object to the world of objectivity, where are you? You will be where consciousness is. You have already made it clear to your own self that you are not in this body – as it is an object and you do not like to be in any object – because that is the very principle of renunciation. If you have succeeded in alienating your mind from its location in this body and have converted this body to an object in the world as other things are, where are you at that time?
You, being consciousness only, are in consciousness. Who is in consciousness? Consciousness is in consciousness. But, where is consciousness? It cannot be somewhere, because you have transferred all these ideas of 'somewhere' into the world of objectivity. You are not somewhere. The idea of somewhere immediately leaves you because of your transforming the body into an object of the world. You are not somewhere. If you are not somewhere, you are everywhere!
Can you think like this? A shock will be injected into you immediately if you succeed in thinking like this: "The whole world is an object of consciousness – including myself as an individual apparently sitting here. Therefore, as a yoga student, as an aspirer for liberation, I am visualising the whole objective cosmos. I am not in any particular place." Because place is involved in objectivity, you cannot be in any place. You must be, therefore, outside the purview of the determining, limiting factor of space. You are in an unlimited status located not somewhere, but located everywhere.
This consciousness is the Virat-consciousness to which I made reference earlier. It is God-consciousness. If at all you can imagine how God thinks, this may be the way. The whole universe is visualised as presented before the one all-pervading consciousness. Since you cannot escape this conclusion in regard to yourself, you are touching the borderland of God Himself when you meditate in this manner.
It is necessary for you to keep this in mind again and again. Nobody thinks like this, generally speaking. "I don't want anything in the world," people glibly say. "I have left everything." But, you have not left the body. Though physically it is not possible for you to remove the body from your mind, you can, by an act of will, meditate that the object has gone with the world and you are free from the world. This is true renunciation. If this cannot be achieved, the renunciation becomes incomplete. Stick to this point. Assert it again and again. Speak loudly on this issue. Chant this mantra of your being an observer of the whole objective world as consciousness – not located somewhere, but everywhere. Go on repeating this mantra in any language that you can think of. And remember, the idea that you are a body will come again and again and persist and hang on you. Again wrench your mind from this location of the body. Place it somewhere. Tell the body, "You are no more me, because you are an object; you are a sense object. How can a sense object be me?" Tell this body, "Now you are one with the whole world of creation. You are not isolated from it as you thought yourself to be." Thus, go on meditating.
This Academy course is not merely a course of lectures. It is a practical recipe that is furnished to you for betterment in your life. When God blesses you, you require nothing else. When the Ultimate Reality blesses you, you require nothing else. You may be afraid of what will happen to the world to which you are related, connected. It will take care of itself, somehow or the other.
There are other ways of meditation than the one I just mentioned, such as meditation on great, powerful masters. In a sutra of Patanjali it is said, vitaraga visayam va cittam (Y.S. 1.37): Contemplate on that mind which has freed itself from all concern with objects. There are powers which are un-thinkable, like the powers of Incarnations. Read the life of Sage Vasishtha, of Vyasa, of Suka, or of any other incarnation like Christ or any other, and see the might, the force that they exerted on everything. They thought, and it materialised itself as that which they wanted because they did not confine their thought to the body which incarnated itself together with their coming into this world.
Yoga Vasishtha is one of the scriptures that describes the great process of materialisation of thought – the concretisation of feeling – and when you think "it should be like this", it should be like that, because the idea that something should be like this is the determining of the object process by the consciousness which contemplates it.
You know the story of Visvamitra and Vasishtha. King Visvamitra wielded millions of weapons, and Vasishtha had nothing except himself. The power of the army was on one side and the power of thought was on the other side. The thought which disentangled itself from the particular body but visualised the whole universe as a total object had a greater power than the physical movements of an army or police. So is the power of Vyasa, Krishna, Jesus, and all the mighty ones. Hanuman – oh, what a strength! How did that strength come? It came because the energy of the universe entered into him.
Actually, what is called brahmacharya is the process of allowing the energy of the world to enter into you. You repel it, usually, by sensory activity. That shakti or bhava endowed Hanuman with immense energy. There are many other instances. If you think of an elephant, you feel like an elephant walking. Balesu hasti baladini (Y.S. 3.25) is one of the sutras of Patanjali. Think the elephant! You will see some tremendous change taking place in the cells of your body. The might, the energy, the potency of this animal called 'elephant', when it is thought of continuously, directly acts upon the mental process. The mind begins to feel a tendency to become stronger and stronger.
Think of the beauty of the moon, or anything that is most beautiful. Your mind becomes beautiful, and you become beautiful because you are the mind. Think of the tremendous roar of the ocean; indomitable power it has got. Think that, and you become the very same strengthening element as the ocean. You can think anything that you like which will infuse into you an energy that is much more than your own. The contemplation on the powers of those people who have freed themselves from raga, or attachment to things, is one of the methods of meditation. The god of your mantra is an object of meditation, whoever that god be, because that god who is the divinity presiding over your mantra is the medium of blessing that you have to receive. It is more than you, and it is also more than anything else that you are looking at with your eyes or are cognisant of.
You are meditating on Lord Ganesa, or Subramanya, or Narayana, or Surya, the mighty soul of the universe. Look at the sun mentally – not physically opening the eyes, but mentally. You can imagine the energy of the sun. If you have studied a little astronomy you will know what the sun is – incomparable, indomitable energy, radiance and purity. Nothing can stand before it. It burns all objectivity. Solar energy, heat and light are the object of your meditation. This is one of the ways in which the Gayatri mantra is chanted in meditation. It is the mantra of Surya Bhagavan. Do not merely chant it mechanically. The great cosmic force of Surya charges your mind with its own presence, and meditation on this divinity is actually accepting the presence of this divinity in your own mind. It takes its position in your mind. It rules you, afterwards. You are possessed by it and you perhaps feel and think like that only.
The sutras of Patanjali have various techniques, about which you have perhaps heard. Together with this art of meditation with which you have to get accustomed, you have also to know how to deal with the so-called world of objects. You can handle them effectively – if you do not believe that they are outside you – by the power of thought. If you wish it should be like that, it will be like that.
Since your final aim is liberation of spirit, moksha – God-realisation, as it is called – it becomes incumbent on your part to attempt, with all your effort, to place yourself in the position of this state of moksha. Feel that you are already liberated; you are in the state of utter liberation. Conceive what that state could be. "When I am totally freed from all bondage, where am I?" You have your own concept of moksha, or liberation, which is utter freedom from every kind of limitation. Place yourself, with great effort of thought, in that condition. Moksha has been achieved already.
One of the psychological secrets of achieving what is necessary for you is to assert that it has already been achieved. A thing that is in the future is an object of dread. You do not know what it will do to you, because it is outside you; it is far away. Assert that it has already come to you, that it is with you and it has been in your possession – without any kind of doubt about it. "I have got it; this particular thing that I wanted has come to me" – and it shall come to you. This is what is meant by the dictum, "Ask and it shall be given." You have to ask by the process of your thinking itself – not merely verbally. The mind says, "I want it. I want it! Certainly I want it; and I have got it." It is not merely wanting, because in wanting you keep the object away from yourself; in having it, the distance is eliminated.
You will be stunned by the power of thought. Miracles will take place if the thought is restrained from this unnecessary entanglement in feeling that it is inside one body only and not in other bodies. You are also present in every other body because you are a non-located consciousness visualising the whole world. This is sometimes called brahma-abhyasa, or the practice of meditation on the Absolute. Even if you utter the word 'Absolute', you get a sudden shocking experience inside. The Absolute, the Parabrahman, the all-pervading Sole Existence – the very thought of it will purify your mind. You do not have to take holy baths or do such rituals; the mind gets purified by the thought of purity itself. If you think of purity, purity has taken place.
But, you should not think of impurity at the same time. It is like a person being told not to think of a monkey when drinking milk; he will certainly think of a monkey at that time because he has been told not to think of it. You have been told that certain things are to be avoided, so they will immediately come to you. The idea of avoiding may be sublimated, together with that which you are meditating upon, so that objectivity is completely annulled. Pure universal subjectivity arises inside you. You-Are-What-You-Are, I-Am-What-I-Am, in the highest sense.
With that knowledge and with that practice, which you have to continue every day, you will find miracles taking place daily. Unexpected things will take place. You will not know how the whole atmosphere has become something quite different from what you have been thinking about it. Yoga is a great blessing. It shall take care of you more lovingly than hundreds of mothers. The Yoga Shastra says that yoga loves you more than hundreds and thousands of mothers. It wants you much more than you want it because that is your real being. Your real being wants this so-called being of yours. That is why yoga is considered as a mother. It is not merely a word that you consider as yoga. It is an awareness itself. It is an acceptance on your part of everything being all right. When you accept that everything is all right, it has to be all right by the power of your thought, by some miraculous operations which you cannot imagine just now. Yoga is power, it is knowledge, it is abundance – and it is yourself, finally.