Continuing his teaching on Kaivalya Upanishad Swamiji says, the student approached the teacher and asked for Brahma Vidya. He was sufficiently informed that it was the only means of liberation. What are the means to obtain Brahma Vidya?
Brahmji says there are two means. 1. Direct or Sakshat and 2. Supporting means.
Direct means requires Sravanam, Mananam and Nidhidhysanam or Gyana Yoga.
Indirect means requires Vairagyam. Just as a plant requires a seed (direct means) and soil, water, sunlight (indirect means).
Vairagyam or Tyagam is of two types:
- Internal renunciation and
- External renunciation.
Internal renunciation is essential. External renunciation is not compulsory. It is required only if it supports internal renunciation.
After presenting both means Brahmaji now discusses a range of Sadhanas that are life long pursuits. It may even be life long pursuits. Swamiji reminded us that we are in this class, here today, because of our karmas from our previous birth. It is that which attracted us to this class.
The three stages of Sadhana are now described.
- Practice Karma Yoga to purify the mind.
- Practice Upasana Yoga to bring focusing capacity to mind and
- Above two result in Gyanam.
Shloka # 5:
Swamiji says Shlokas 5, 6 and 7 are all describing the entire range of Dhyanams. The three stages of Dhyanam are:
- Eka Roopa Dhyanam
- Aneka Roopa Dhyanam
- Vedanta Vichara
- Aroopa Dhyanam.
In Eka Roopa Dhyanam you meditate upon your Ishta devatha.
In Aneka Roopa Dhyanam you meditate upon the entire universe or Vishwa roopa.
First and second stages of Dhyanam are under Upsana. Having practiced this for a sufficient period of time one enters Vedanta Vichara. Here one studies Vedanta under a qualified teacher then starts Aroopa Dhyanam. In Aroopa Dhyanam he discovers that Aroopa Ishvara is really meditation upon Myself or on the “Meditator”.
The preparatory steps for any Dhyanam or Antaranga Sadhana are now described. In shastras eight steps are described, however, Swamiji says he has condensed it to four for simplicity’s sake.
The four steps are:
- Desha: The place of meditation. It should be clean, secluded and a spiritual place.
- Kala: Time of meditation. Any time is fine. Early morning is a preferred time. One’s mind should be Satvic (alert and quiet).
- Asanam: Seat. One should not sit on a floor or hard or soft surface.
- Sharira Sthithi: Condition of body and sense organs:
- Body should be straight and steady,
- Sense organs withdrawn,
- Breath, slow and smooth and
- In a Sanyasi mind. In this mental state one should not have relationship with anything other than the following three:
- Intellect: Must be convinced of the utility of meditation.
Now you are ready for meditation. If possible, meditate after taking a bath.
Gita Chapter 6 describes this whole process of meditation as well. Posture should be erect, eyes directed at nose (not mind directed at nose). Breath, smooth and even. Mind in an attitude of Sanyasa.
Before starting meditation invoke Guru(s) and perform namaskaram. This reminds you of their teachings as you start meditation.
Shloka # 6:
One has to turn the mind to the heart.
Heart is compared to a Lotus flower. According to shastras heart is the place where mind resides, not in the brain. Within the heart the mind exists. In the mind you invoke Eka roopa, Aneka roopa and Aroopa. Lotus stands for purity. Mind must be like lotus, free from rajas, tamas, not wandering, not sleepy, in a sattvic state and with a cheerful countenance. May you invoke in the chest.
Up to this it is preparation.
Now the meditation itself is described. This is described in Gita chapter #6 as well. Flow of similar thoughts to the exclusion of dissimilar thoughts is meditation. In meditation flow of thought exists. It is not a thoughtless state. Any thought connected to the object of meditation or similar thoughts is appropriate.
- Aroopa Ishvara Meditation: You must have studied Vedanta before this meditation. May you meditate upon the un-objectifiable Ishwara or Subject or Shiva Aham or Avyaktham (cannot be seen or known by sense organs), says Swamiji.
Shivam is used in shloka to mean all three states of meditation. Shivam is formless consciousness, peaceful, immortal, infinite, one without beginning or end, infinite cause of universe, fullness, knowledge and bliss, formless and the greatest wonder (that it is me).
If it were an object I would have stumbled upon it. In reality it “I”, myself.
2) Aneka Roopa Meditation: That which appears in manifold form.
Mantra # 7:
- Eka Roopa meditation: Mantra # 7 describes it. Here Lord Shiva is shown as object to meditate upon. It is only an example. It can be Vishnu, Ganesha or any other Ishvara.
Swamiji says Uma and Maheshvara are jointly called Umachi.
Shiva is described as the highest lord of creation, one who is omnipotent, with three eyes, blue necked, blue skied, and sitting in a meditative state.
The two eyes denote division, while third eye unites, symbolizing Advaita.
So, mediate upon shiva or any other Ishta Devatha. Eventually, one has to go through all three stages of Dhyanam.
What are the benefits of meditation?
The meditator will attain ye Lord himself. What type of Lord is he? What type of Ishwara? He is:
1) Jagat karana Ishwara, Bhutha Yoni.
2) Witness of entire creation,
3) All illuminating consciousness.
4) Beyond ignorance and Maya.
With best wishes,