Chapter 7: The Changes That Yoga Brings About
Now we have come to a stage where we have to pause a little and try to ponder what we have analysed. We should not go on jumping from subject to subject without properly understanding and reviewing what has been taught. These lessons are something like a chain. We have now crossed one link, and so it is necessary to see how far we can understand what has been revealed. Yoga is practice—it is not merely listening or appreciating or even understanding. To practise yoga is to practise the understanding at which we have arrived. To rest the mind in that understanding is ultimately the purpose of yoga. We have reviewed the essential fundamental level of this understanding of the practice. We started with an analysis of the immediate situation in which we find ourselves in the world of human society, and we also realised the world’s inadequacies and contradictions as well as its tantalising character, to give an insight into the structure of human society and the world outside. We tried to make an analysis of the adhibhuta in the scientific and the Samkhya fashion. This analysis was not fully satisfying, because it led us to a maze through which we could go no further. Then we turned inward to the adhyatma, and the internal analysis revealed a greater truth than the outer could offer. We came to the conclusion that our essential nature is different from that which we think ourselves to be. The analysis finally resolved itself to the decision that our true nature is one of pure awareness—free from the shackles of the mind, senses and body.
Then we had the necessity to analyse further the relation between the adhibhuta and the adhyatma—the subject and the object. In this analysis we had to go into a little more detail concerning the nature of perception. This revealed that the perceptional process is ultimately conscious. Perception is not the work of light rays or the eyeballs or even the mind as an external psychological instrument. We found that consciousness is immanent in the seer, in the process of seeing, as well as in the object that is seen. These three aspects of the perceptional seemed to be faces of a single consciousness which could not be divided into parts. We seem to be moving deeper into a great sea of awareness in which we found that an infinite consciousness underlies all apparent relationships. Though there are many terms of a universal relation, the major terms are discovered to be adhibhuta, adhyatma and adhidaiva. These are the three points of the triangle of the universal structure, as we saw, or we may say the three links in a circular chain, or three faces of a single experience—the above, the outward and the inward—all which seem to be pervaded by an undivided and infinite Being which is at once awareness and freedom. Such is the basis of our nature and the world outside as well as the explanation of the relation between the two. This should be your meditation and your attempt at fixing the mind, and in this attempt you have to see that the mind does not move outside. This is essential, because it is futile to think of the many. The multitude in you and the variety of the world have been resolved into the threefold complex of adhibhuta, adhyatma and adhidaiva—beyond which and outside which there can be nothing. If you can concentrate your minds on these resolved fundamentals, you will be able to see what your weaknesses are.
You should attempt to sit for a few minutes, close the eyes and contemplate your true position. When you deeply concentrate the mind on this state which you have arrived at now through analysis, you will find a change will supervene in your mind and in your internal structure. If your concentration is good enough, you may experience some motion in the body—a tremor or a jerk that you may feel. The jerk that you feel is due to the intensity of concentration. The pranas which have been accustomed to move within the body are now told to work a little further, so they become shaken up. When you come out of this state of concentration, you will come out with a feeling of strength, a feeling of freedom and a joy which will fill you inside and outside. You will feel as if you have drunk tasteful honey which energises the whole system like a tonic that has been injected into your body, and you will not be able to explain what you actually feel.
Chant OM ten times, with a deep sonorous tone. Don’t think anything. Don’t think of the breath. Let the breath take care of itself and try to move the mind through these processes with which you have concluded the interrelatedness of conscious being. Sit silently for fifteen minutes, and when the silent meditation is finished, chant OM for fifteen minutes, and then following that, sit silently for one more minute.
You should make a note in your books of what thoughts occurred to your minds during these minutes. How many thoughts: one, two, three, four, five... You can open a separate page for this: “Thoughts That Occurred During Meditation.” Another time when you sit, you can verify if the same thoughts occur or some other thoughts are coming, and whether the thoughts have diminished in number or increased for any reason. If thoughts have occurred other than the thoughts with which you started meditation, you should keep a watch over these thoughts. The thoughts that occur to you in your meditation are your desires. This is a very good way for finding out what desires you have. In ordinary activity you cannot know your desires, because you are drawn into activities of various kinds. There are many people, many things and many attractions to which the desires can be directed, but now you have closed your avenues of outer perception and activity, so the desires can feed themselves without any objects outside. Every day before you go to bed, you should sit for a few minutes and deeply try to feel these feelings that you have tried to entertain just now.
’Daily’ is very important—not ‘occasionally’. Before retiring to bed the last thoughts should be these and no other, and when you get up from the bed, the first few thoughts should be these and no other. These few thoughts will charge your body like a battery and will enable you to get on with your day without repercussions of any kind. It is a difficult task, but you will succeed. You will have the strength to bear the circumstances of life which confront you, but also gradually you will find that the atmosphere around you will change according to the change that you have undergone within. The world outside will not be the same that it was sometime back. This change outside you will take place to your own surprise.
People will start speaking to you in a different way altogether. Things will have a different attitude towards you without your knowing why it is happening. To your own surprise and marvel you will see that things are slowly changing their attitude towards you. Even those who disliked you may begin to like you. Things which started gravitating away from you may gravitate towards you. It is difficult to explain what changes will take place, but it is enough if I say it will be to your surprise.
However, you should not expect changes outside immediately, as that would be another desire which would enter into your heart. The consequences automatically follow, but you should not meditate for the sake of the consequences. This is also very important to remember. You should not sit for meditation with an expectation of the results that may follow. They may follow or they may not follow, but you should not concern yourself with them. I am just mentioning that they will follow and must follow, but your thoughts should be concerned with the causes and not the effects.
Go to the cause and manipulate the cause. Tap the source and don’t go to the externals. The externals which are connected to the source will revolve automatically according to your manipulation of the source. In these few minutes of concentration, you would have observed that it is a real task to bring the mind to these restricted areas of thinking. You have not been asked to concentrate on any one point. To concentrate on one thought is a still greater difficulty.
My suggestion was to revolve the mind over a few thoughts of the interconnectedness of things, or the relation of the adhibhuta with the adhyatma and the adhidaiva, and the immanence of consciousness in all these three. To rotate the mind over these thoughts in a restricted area should be the beginning of your attempt at meditation. The higher stages would be a further restriction of thought where you will have no movement of thought. You have only tried to limit your thoughts from the many to the few. The few thoughts will energise the body and your whole personality. Practise this concentration of your consciousness along the lines you have studied these few days; and if you have taken note of the thoughts that occur to your minds during these lessons, boil them down to a few thoughts alone for the sake of concentration of mind to see what they actually and fundamentally mean. These fundamental thoughts should become the object of your concentration because they include and imply everything that is external. Make these the object of your meditation
The world will cease to torment you, and slowly it will become your friend. The annoying world should be made an object for your meditation in this manner, and it will not annoy you further. A dog may usually bark at you, but when you pat it on the head it may actually start licking your feet. The world will cease to bark at you and will start licking your feet when you handle it properly in these ways, with these methods of connecting yourself with the world. The world barks because you have not been able to relate yourself to it properly. The dog does not bark at its master—it barks at a stranger.
Why should you be a stranger to this world? Be friendly with the world, and it will befriend you. This is certain. This is a metaphysical and spiritual truth. Let these thoughts be your subject for meditation for a few days—daily before retiring to bed and daily after getting up from bed. You will know the change within yourself if you dispassionately and sincerely resort to this type of meditation. It should be taken seriously and in right earnest and in the proper way that I have suggested to you. You will see the marvel working, the wonder taking place, and you will not seek anything else after having sought this.