TRAINING FOR MEDITATION
Near the Guru, day and night, let him be!
Only then does the seeker's sadhana blossom forth;
Walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, eating or speaking,
Ever guided by the Gurus doubt-resolving gaze!
Q.For training in meditation, the need of an effective guide cannot be denied.
That guide directs the seeker in the form of a guru. Is it necessary for the
pupil to be near the guru all the time or is it possible for him to visit the
guru every now and then for guidance, and make progress on his own?
Ans. In ancient literature, the adoration of the guru has been held in great
esteem. The Hindi word, upasana, meaning adoration, means sitting near the guru.
He who stays near the guru, who loves and reveres him, often finds something
which he who stays away can never find. One who stays near the guru, not only
has the occasion for hearing and knowing him, but also he is benefited by the
radiation emanating from the guruís aura. The moment a disciple enters the field
of the guru's aura, he experiences extraordinary peace. Through the boundless
love of the guru, he comes to see a new direction in life and possibilities of
transformation grow stronger. Many new experiments are being undertaken in the
western world in the direction of character-transformation. One such experiment
has been conducted in Germany. In order to free the young from addiction to
smoking, they are being given training in yoga. Again in order to wean them from
addiction to intoxicants, people in France are encouraged to undertake long sea
journeys. In one such experiment, 20 persons were sent on a long sea-voyage. It
has been reported that 13 of them were reformed. The police chief of Cleveland
(America) has discovered a new way of reforming the policemen under his charge.
These policemen are free to take their wives along with them on their
supervisory rounds. It has been found that these people dare not take
intoxicating drugs in the presence of their wives.
The experiments mentioned above are no figments of imagination. Both on
theoretical and practical grounds, these have been found to be sound. According
to the Jain philosophy, remarkable changes take place in both conscious and
unconscious objects due to transposition of matter, space, time and feeling. A
conscious object when transposed to another area or epoch may become
unconscious. There could not be a greater transformation than this. In the above
examples, the experiment in Germany may be taken as an instance of change of
material circumstance, that in France of transference to a newer area, that in
America, of transmutation of feeling.
Even more effective than these is the experiment of living in the vicinity of
the guru. The transformation of personality wrought by the effect of the guru's
aura on a disciple living in close proximity, is no less remarkable. In this
experiment irrespective of whether a guru transfers his energy to the disciple
or not, some kind of transference naturally takes place. The technique of dhyana
can be learnt through books but that is a process of indirect training. The
training imparted by the guru, on the other hand, is direct. The difference
between the direct and indirect training is evident in their results. From this
point of view, the reverence of the guru has a special value.
Q.The effect of being directly in the vicinity of the guru is indescribable
indeed. In this there can be no contradiction. But is it necessary for a sadhak
who merely seeks training in meditation, to be near the guru day and night? Is
it not possible to achieve the desired result through occasional instruction?
Ans. Meditation is of two kinds---casual and timeless. Casual meditation is
bound to the limits of time. It can be practised once, twice, or four to five
times a day. As regards time, 2-4 hours may be allotted to it. But timeless
meditation is not bound by time. Because the man possessed by a keen yearning
for self-realization is not bound by time; rather it is time that moves with
him. That a sadhak practising dhyana should be self-aware for one or two hours
and keep unaware, or fickle, for the rest of the time, is not at all desirable.
That is the condition in. which religion finds itself today. When a man visits a
religious place, he appears to be thoroughly religious, but this kind of
religion has no effect whatsoever on his conduct. This duplex mentality can
neither redound to the glory of religion nor give recognisation to a truly
religious person. As long as any contradiction exists in one's behaviour during
the hour of worship and the rest of the day, religious worship will not yield
the desired results. The mind of the sadhak should be suffused with meditation.
The whole day, nay, one's whole life, should be permeated with dhyana.
Meditation is the totality of life, it cannot be divided into segments of time
and space. Its impact should be felt on every activity from the time of waking
up in the morning till going to bed at night. Walking sitting, standing,
sleeping, speaking, eating, drinking etc. Only when all these activities are
seasoned with meditation, the perfection of sadhana manifests itself in conduct.
It is because of this consideration that various forms of sadhana have been
determined---walking yoga, standing-yoga, sitting-yoga, asana-yoga, sleeping
yoga, speaking-yoga, eating-yoga, etc. Yoga in these words is symbolic of the
fact that any action when complemented with full awareness, becomes yoga.
The greatest problem that a spiritual sadhak faces is how to keep non-violent in
this chaotic world of living beings? Non-violence may be his ideal, but how can
he evade the inevitability of violence? Oppressed by the possibility of
violence, the pupil propounds a question
Lord! How do I walk? How stand? How sit? How sleep? How eat and speak? So that
I'm not involved in sin.
The Lord gauged the condition of the pupil's mind, appreciated his confusion and
offering him a way out, said :
O pupil walk in mindfulness, in mindfulness stay; sit in mindfulness, in
mindfulness sleep; eat in mindfulness, in mindfulness speak. Thus exercising
self-restraint in everything you do, you can keep yourself free from sin.
After one has accepted self-discipline as a way of life, every moment should be
a moment of awareness. If every movement is temperate, one's whole life is
permeated with self-discipline. Otherwise one never acquires proper
self-control. Similarly, if, one does dhyana sadhana for an hour or two, and
spends the rest of the time fidgeting about, one can never truly accomplish
meditation. If the mind is not wholly given to meditation, energy thereof cannot
be transmitted to everyday conduct. When the entire routine of life becomes
yoga, only then does awareness suffuse oneís conduct. Thus, it may be concluded
that close proximity to the guru for a short period brings proportionate
results, but the impact of long term proximity is stupendous. For one aspiring
to enter the higher stages of dhyana, to overlook the importance of constant
proximity to the guru cannot be beneficial.