Shloka # 25:
शनैः शनैरुपरमेद् बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया।
आत्मसंस्थं मनः कृत्वा न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत्।।6.25।।
Withdraw gradually, with the help of the resolute intellect; anchoring the mind in the Self, think of nothing whatsoever.
Continuing his teaching of the Gita, Swami Paramarthananda said, Uparamed meaning one should gradually withdraw the mind, from anatma, and all the objects, because in this meditation, we want to dwell upon the very subject itself. So here the meditation is on the meditator, himself; I want to dwell upon my own nature. Since it is a subjective meditation, all the objective thoughts should be gradually eliminated.
The objects are divided into three:
1) The first object is external world; because it is an object of my experience;
2) The second object is my physical body itself; which is also an object of my experience;
3) The third object is my own mind; which is also an object of my experience.
In meditation, we withdraw from the world, then the body, then from the mind and then as the witness conscious principle, observe the mind. So, you are observing your own thoughts. Meditation is difficult. The mind tends to run to different places. Many emotions come up. It is escapism. All emotions are also part of the mind, which I am not. Many emotions are in my control and some are not.
So, therefore emotions will come. In Vedantic meditation, I do not try to control my emotions. In Vedantic meditation, I try to objectify my emotions. I try to stand aloof from my emotions and try to see that they also do not belong to me. So body has got its nature; mind has got its nature; and I am different from both of them.
Some people get pleasant experiences when the mind is quiet, however, they go away once mind becomes active. This is also Anatma. Enjoying pleasantness of meditation is an obstacle. This pleasantness belongs to the quiet mind while we are talking about the witness Atma. I want to own up to this Atma. Any special experience is not Me. Special experiences are like any other sensory experience such as eating an ice cream. It is another bondage. If I own up to “I am” the witness to the mind and all its experiences, it is worthwhile.
Therefore, Sri Krishna says; Shanaih Shanair uparamed; one should withdraw; with the help of buddhya or the intellect, which has the backing of this teaching. That is why Vedantic meditation is possible only by a student of the Gita Upanishad; a non-student can never practice Vedantic meditation.
When, Sri Krishna says buddhya, it means Vedantic meditation is practiced with the help of the intellect, which has the teaching behind it. And the teaching is: I am neither the mind, nor the experiences of the mind
With the help of the intellect it has to be withdrawn. It must be an intellect supported by will power. Without will power I will get attached to pleasant experiences.
Having withdrawn, the mind should abide in the atma. How does the mind abide in the atma? Citing an example when we say a clip is resting on the table, can we say the same for Atma? No such thing happens. Atma is all pervading. There is no need to bring the mind to Atma. Atma is everywhere.
Here it means mind entertains the thought of God or Himalayas etc. So, here the mind is thought centered on the self as, “ I am of the nature of consciousness”. I enliven body and mind. Body and mind are only mediums. They can come and go.
So the experience comes and goes; the experiencer “I”, the consciousness, am eternally present. So I am eternal consciousness, I am all pervading consciousness; I am
Undivided consciousness; I am untainted consciousness.
This is akhanda akara Vrithihi centered on the Atma. Here there is no subject object division. Entertain only thought of yourself. Don’t disturb yourself by thinking of other thoughts.
In the shloka, nakinchidapi chintayet, does not mean don’t entertain thoughts. Self-thought has to be there for Vedantic meditation. Otherwise it is called blind Samadhi. Blind Samadhi means, absolute thoughtless state. In Sanskrit it is called anta Samadhi; jada Samadhi; ajnana Samadhi etc. You do not get any benefit from blind Samadhi other than a feeling of deep relaxation.
Shloka # 26:
यतो यतो निश्चरति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम्।
ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत्।।6.26।।
The Yogin should bring the fickle and unsteady mind under the sole control of the Self, withdrawing it from all causes whatever that makes it sally forth.
That is why you say even while studying scriptures, even when he talks of atma swaroopam, the teacher says, You are conscious. Here, the student should understand this as, “I am a conscious being”. The teacher is revealing the fact that as the conscious being, I am ever free. Even this sravanam is meditation, where student is listening closely. Sureshwara, a disciple of Shankaracharya, says, repeated listening to teaching is a form of meditation
When mind is dwelling on teaching disturbances come up. My mind is ati chanchalam. Sri Krishna says do not feel bad, if your mind is restless, because everybody’s mind is restless; you are not alone. So everyone has this problem. This is a universal problem, which is why it is incorporated in the Gita itself; He says, mind will tend to run away because of various sense objects distracting the mind.
Citing an example from Bhagavatham, Jada Bharatha gets distracted by a deer whom he comes to love dearly. It becomes his life’s obsession. He even thinks about it at his death and hence is reborn as a deer.
When mind is distracted, withdraw mind from those objects by saying nothing belongs to me. Obsession comes from ownership. So, never own anything. For worldly purpose nothing wrong in owning a house or a car etc. But in our inner most mind we must remember that everything is temporary gift from God. Use them to grow. Don’t fall in love with any idea or object. Ownership is due to obsession. Obsession is due to distraction.
This lack of ownership should come from inner most of heart. My own body and mind should feel I don’t want to own. Thus, again, bring the mind to atma.
Shloka # 27:
प्रशान्तमनसं ह्येनं योगिनं सुखमुत्तमम्।
उपैति शान्तरजसं ब्रह्मभूतमकल्मषम्।।6.27।।
Indeed the bliss supreme accrues to this sinless Yogin whose mind has been stilled, Rajas suppressed, and who has become Brahman.
What will be the result of this practice, or the dhyana phalam? The benefit is that the highest peace comes to him. A peace not determined by external conditions. It is not a conditional peace.
Swamji says anything conditional is fake.
If you say, I am secure because there is money; Vedanta calls it conditional security because money can leave you at any time. It is not real security.
Anything that can go away is not peace. Similarly it is with conditional happiness, conditional fulfillment etc. The benefit of Vedantic meditation is unconditional
peace. So, here uttamam means unconditional and nirapeksha means, I am peaceful. If somebody asks a Gyani why is he peaceful, his answer will be because that is my very nature. If you ask fire why are you hot, the fire will say: that is my nature.
Similarly, I am peaceful unconditionally; therefore I am permanently peaceful; peacefully rich; peacefully poor; peacefully with house; peacefully without house; peacefully with people, peacefully without people; peacefully young, peacefully old; peacefully black haired; peacefully white haired also; or any other color. So this is uttamam sukham upaiti; this is the phalam.
- Vedantic meditation is entertaining only thought of yourself. Don’t disturb yourself by thinking of other thoughts.
- Repeated listening to teaching is also a form of Vedantic meditation.
- Don’t fall in love with any idea or object. Ownership is due to obsession. Obsession is due to distraction.
With Best Wishes