Experiences in Meditation and Hints on the Way of Spiritual Attainment
by Swami Krishnananda

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I

One day it was that a flash jetted forth,
Bright as the sun, but, then, cool as the moon;
And the gates of this prison were opened in trice:
And what was there revealed, can anyone here say?

There was magnificence, beauty, grandeur and love,
Inebriant joy that burst out through all pores.

Marvel! Thou didst find me in wilderness
At last after frantic searching for ages,
Lone and expecting and seeking Thee all o’er
In Japa, meditation, in Tapas and books,
In service of learned and company of saints,
With hopeful ardour for a miracle to com
Some day, at some time: thus longing sustained.

Lo, it was so long when Thou opened Thy eyes
And glanced at me jokingly, looked at me straight
With beaming eye-rays that did soothen my heart.

Hair stood on end, body shook and trembled
In the rapture of joy that took possession of me.
Then what did happen, can I tell Thee’n secret?
I had full-moon to see, and there velvet to touch,
Jasmine to smell, and then nectar to taste,
There was music to hear, and a thrill of embrace
Of an ocean of Force which rent me with delight,
Which took off sensation of body and mind.

Every fibre of being awoke and stood up
To the touch of that Marvel which was unseen, unheard,
Bliss and ecstasy and terror and shaking
From the roots of one’s self in that burst of rejoice.

O, Thou hast gone, tell me why so early,
Why hast Thou left me in anguish and pain?
The bones are cracking and the flesh is melting,
The mind in anxiety’s ‘waiting Thy call,
Thy early return and Thy solacing Grace,
Ambrosia, honey, the joy of my joy,
Breath of my breath, O Thou soul of my soul,
Wrenched are my vitals which ‘re left moribund,
Which wriggle and writhe for Thy life-giving touch,
With Thy graceful, ennobling smile infinite.

Come, come, my dearest and nearest of loves,
Heart of my heart, Thou art eye of my eyes,
Sweetest and grandest enchanting vision!

Where art Thou, come, come, I pine for Thy Grace,
Nectar, honey, milk, essence of essence!
Terror of bliss that’s intoxicating,
O Terrific Gale of crushing Delight,
Shatter this fortress of reinforced steel,
O Flood of Supernal Majesty and Bliss,
Possess and absorb me into Thy Bosom
Which’s death-destroying, O Transporting Essence!
I crave for a bath in Thy Oceanic Sweep,
Inundate me, flood me, with Thy gushing waves:
Where art Thou, where art Thou, come here and now.

II

Life! art thou alive? bosom of heroes!
Womb of emperors and princes and queens.
Repository of the hidden wisdom
Of saints and sages and of masters galore.
Mystery of mysteries, whose face is beauty
And love, whose back is surfeit and ennui,
Thou enigma and the charm of all charms,
Whose smile is union, whose frown is bereavement:
Yes, when the Self that is omnipresent
Falsely goes out, as in dream-perception,
To an outside object as if that is the Self,
Then there is tension, concussion of mind,
Of consciousness caught in the split of its own
Being, then look, there is rush of the Self
To the non-Self, the object, which buys all that’s Self
And usurps the Selfhood of that which cringes
For the joy of Selfhood in which is not the Self.

And how can there be joy if not-Self were not
Placed by the Self in external space
As that which is ‘out there’, not concerned with the Self,
And the Self were not maddened with passion and greed
To swallow the object in body and form,
In structure and pattern, in colour, contour,
In merger that’s spatial; and here is the flaw
And the snag of all loves towards objects of sense,
Since space does defeat all efforts of the Self
To come in union with the not-Self desired.

Thus it is sorrow and craving e’er more
That follows in wake of sense-enjoyments.

When the not-Self returns to the Self in ‘being’,
In the surge of the Self that is meditation,
There is also return of the joy that was sought,
Nay, and much more, for the power and the force
Which moved to the object for spatial contact
Comes back and finds its lodgement in the Self,
Which experiences at once energy and strength
That pours forth as flood of fulfilment supreme,
Bliss and power in concentrated mass;
The cosmos of forces then enters the Self
Which beholds in its Being all existence.

Here is the blessed Abode Absolute,
Which the Self was seeking, and found at last.