1. Chanting Om
(Darshan given on March 25th, 1995.)
A visitor: When I sit, the mind wants to concentrate somewhere, but nowhere is it satisfied.
Swamiji: Have you been practising meditation before you came to this place? This is not the first time? Why did you leave Bangalore and come when you are actually studying yoga there? You could have stayed there. Why did you come this side?
Visitor: I wanted to come to Rishikesh to be by the Ganga, and I also wanted to do meditation.
Swamiji: How do you meditate?
Visitor: I try to reach the beyond.
Swamiji: Beyond what?
Visitor: Beyond the body and mind.
Swamiji: It is not so easy. You cannot go beyond the body and mind. What is your idea of God?
Visitor: My idea of God is Brahman.
Swamiji: From where have you learned all these things? How do you think Brahman? You should chant Om. In the beginning, chant softly. Then slowly increase the volume. [Swamiji chants Om.] Chant like this for 20 minutes. Don't think anything in the mind except the chant. Don't think of Brahman, and so on. Only chant, continuously for 20 minutes – nicely, beautifully, in a sonorous voice. You will feel your body becomes calm and quiet gradually. All disturbance, all agitation and pain in the body, etc., will subside gradually. This can be done at least twice in the day – once in the morning, once in the evening for 20 minutes or even half an hour. It is very beneficial to you. It creates a vibration. It will create a perfect vibration, something like a round circle. It is not a disturbing vibration. It is a round, complete, perfect circular motion of vibration. Feel like that. It is a total vibration emanating from your body, from the total personality of yours, expanding into larger and larger dimension as you chant more and more.
I mentioned that it is like a circle. In the beginning, it is as wide as yourself. The circle is as wide as your own self. Then imagine that it expands. When you throw some object on water, a circular ripple is created. It becomes wider and wider, wider and wider, wider and wider, until it touches the edge. So feel that this vibration that you have created within you is expanding gradually, wider and wider, until it touches the very corner of the Earth, touches even the space.
I don't want to tell you anything further. This is sufficient for now, and if you do it for 2-3 months, you will see that some benefit will be there. There is no need of talking further about it. This will also bring you health.
Visitor: Should I continue with asanas, pranayama?
Swamiji: You can do your asanas, no objection. It has no connection with chanting Om. You can sit as you are sitting, and chant Om. This is a spiritual practice. You are free to perform other asanas, as you like.
Swamiji [to another visitor]: When you are in Paramatma, you should know that you are in Paramatma. Who will know?
Visitor: Why should we know?
Swamiji: Then what is the good of your going there when you don't know anything? You can be here itself. When you don't know you are rich, you are not rich, really speaking. Suppose you are rich but don't know that you are rich; can you call yourself a rich man? Everything is conditioned by knowledge. If you have entered God but don't know you have entered God, then you have not entered God. I asked you a simple question, but you are not able to answer it. If you have entered God, you have vanished. If you have vanished, who will know that you have entered God? If you don't know anything, then what's the good of going there? It is like an idiotic man having nothing and imagining that he is a wealthy man. He may be a millionaire, but his brain is idiotic. He doesn't know he is a millionaire. If that is the case, you cannot call him a rich man. In the same way, if you don't know where you are, you are nowhere, really speaking.
This question arises because the mind is not purified completely. You cannot forget that you are a retired colonel. You are a big man. No big man can go to God. This is a very important thing. If you say you are not a big man – you are a very small fry completely annihilated of your personality, and you don't exist at all in the eyes of people – then there is a chance of going to God, because two big people cannot exist in the world. God is a big man, and you are also a big man, so they cannot stick together. Two bigs cannot stick. One man should be a little less.
Great chitta shuddhi is necessary. If it was such a simple matter, why did Lord Yama refuse to answer Nachiketas' question? It is because the mind cannot receive it. No philosopher can understand what happens to him when he enters God.
You are an important person, not an ordinary fry. The idea that you are an important person must go, and you must be very humble, like a blade of grass. People may tread over you, and still you don't say anything about it. If you don't exist at all, God will take care of you. But if you exist, there is a contradiction between your existence and His existence. Your personality should go away. You are like an automaton; for practical purposes you are existing, but in your mind you are not existing at all. If this confirmation is acceptable to you, I think one day or the other God will bless you.
Swamiji: Maintain your consciousness of being a universal, all-pervading substance, where in that state of cosmic consciousness or meditation your personality-consciousness gets abolished. That is the highest surrender. You are surrendering your limited consciousness to the Universal Consciousness, and in that state of the surrender of the limited consciousness to the Universal Consciousness, the limited consciousness loses nothing but only gains much, as the river enters the ocean. If this idea can be planted deeply into your heart and you think only this, this is the highest meditation and all the yogas – karma, bhakti, jnana – are included in this one affirmation of your being the all-pervading essence and your not existing separately at all.
Practise this meditation. There is nothing else for you. But you must persist in this thought and sit quietly, do meditation and think nothing else, and if the mind is wandering here and there, read some books. It will help you in maintaining this consciousness. See good people, saints and sages who will talk to you on this subject, keep good company, meditate again and again, and you will see some miracle will take place. This is sufficient for you. God bless you.