The Yoga of Meditation
by Swami Krishnananda


Chapter 6: The Method of Self-Integration

These are the central problems of mankind and these are also the problems of one who seeks a universal remedy for all human suffering, who wishes to contact reality in all its degrees and live rather than suffer life in this world, which is otherwise a bounty and abundance. This is really a world of mutual amity, a world of brotherly cooperation, a world of psychological concord, a world of spiritual unity among all its contents, sentient as well as insentient. The world appears to be otherwise due to the aberrations-detailed above. Meditation cuts at the root of these aberrations in every level and one who is successful in meditation is a universal man, a citizen of all the worlds. To achieve success in such a meditation is indeed to solve a large question. It is necessary, at the outset, for one to seek a meaning in the world which is outwardly chaotic and to recognise a pattern and purpose in creation as a whole, which, otherwise, for a casual look, appears to be just heavenly bodies scattered higgledy-piggledy in space with no organic unity anywhere. The world appears to be purely mechanistic in the Newtonian sense of the term, or rather in the modern materialistic sense. This outward view of the world which is taken as the final explanation of things is today threatening to convert man into a beast, when people are ready to fly at the throats of each other, seeing no sanctity in human life, nothing sacred anywhere in the world. This is a glaring error which is brought into relief by the daily miseries of mankind one sees today in a world bereft of all spiritual values. The power of love is giving way to the authority of hatred. And, today, if there is no world war, it is not because people love each other, but because they hate and fear each other equally. All this is because life seems to have no meaning other than a hunting game for catching prey in the night of human ignorance.

The historical process, as philosophers of history would amply certify, is not an account of dates, kings and wars, but a study of human values and life's significances, as thinkers like Hegel in the West, for instance, attempted to explain through a much broader vision of things than the ordinary man of the street can hope to entertain. There is ultimately a great rationality behind history, a meaning which is at once sociological, economic, political, moral, religious and spiritual. All the laws that operate in any section of society are really invested with a meaning beyond themselves; everything is a process of the higher discovering itself in the lower, a veritable self-discovery.

A remedial process should be a keenly psychological technique of avoiding excesses in everything, steering clear of stress on one's life, both personally and socially, taking a whole view of things, as far as possible, when one has to face life daily, and to adopt a system of the- Yoga of meditation as a panacea for human ills. But man wishes- to forget himself when he is worried and when he is in pain, rather than discover himself, which would have been the proper thing to do. People usually try to drown their worries in large noises such as of the radio, in stirring and stimulating sights, such as of the cinema, and hope to fill the emptiness of their lives with hectic activity, moneymaking, power-mongering, increasing the speed of life, searching for constant excitement of the senses, drinks and drugs. By these means, one becomes a stranger to one's own self and lives a most pitiable sort of life of an agony of nerves and of mind, difficult to explain in language.

No meaning can be sought in life by fleeing from oneself, but rather by turning towards the true self which is in everyone. This is the art of self-discovery. This is the way of meditation.