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Why Meditation? (An Article By Swami Chinmayanada)

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Why Meditation? The question is typical of the modern man reared in an age of unbridled science. Even though behind the injunction, “Meditate” is the age-old experience of the rishis, the ‘why’ of it must be explained in a scientific manner, and logic must be harnessed to it in order to carry conviction to the modern hearts.

The well known phenomenon of the split personality of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde appears freakish only to a certain degree. As a matter of fact, all of us are suffering from the same malady. The average man, however through a process of checks and restraints does not allow any one aspect of his personality to run loose in so pronounced a manner as in the case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Nevertheless, the various propensities in man are straining at the leash and he is, more often than not, an unhappy house divided against itself. He is rent by conflicting desires and ultimately, he is bound to fall as an epitome of desire and failure. The only advice that can be given to such a man is that he should resolve the conflict that tears him into bits, make up his mind as to the direction he should follow and make a concerted drive. Then with nothing to pull him back, he is sure to reach the chosen destination. Unless he does that, he would simply be frittering away his energy, achieving nothing.

From the above the need for, integrating various aspects of our personality is obvious. The physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual personalities must all be blended into one harmonious whole. Meditation is the technique of achieving this harmony. It is the highest spiritual discipline. Through meditation man comes to experience peace within and without. Internecine wars between desires are ended. Conflicts between duties no longer wreck his nerves. His mind is enabled to view life as whole. There is nothing in which he shall not meet with success, for, his meaningless flutterings and the consequent dissipations have stopped. He would direct his potentialities with a concentration that cannot be baulked.

None of you may have failed to observe the result of concentration all around you in the world. Sun’s rays converged on a point through a focusing lens would burn the thing on which they are concentrated. All successful men in business or learned professions owe their successes to single-pointed efforts. Thoughts of problems yield to undivided attention. Application of a divided mind brings about indifferent results. Our scriptures have rightly emphasized that every man is a potential genius. Most of us are able to use only an insignificant part of our infinite potentialities. Therefore disappointments are our inevitable lot. We have unlimited powers which unfortunately we have not learnt to tap and make use of. It is a question of rediscovering ourselves. Beneath all our superficialities there lurk in us, a constant unconscious search for the common denominator. Along its single rail at one and the same time move all the different aspects of our personalities smoothly, swiftly, and in perfect balance to reach the experience of this Reality.

Mind is ever busy fluttering from one object to another. The flow of thoughts is ceaseless. Obviously, before the mind can be made to put forth itself and concentrate on anything, it must be cultivated. In meditation the mind is made to withdraw its attention from all the senseobjects. The intellect asserting its mastery over the mind orders it to stop all thoughts except the thoughts of the common denominator. By assiduous practice the mind learns to think of only one thing at a time. Such a mind would indeed be a force to be reckoned with, nay it would be invincible. Having become conscious of its true nature such a mind would not be disturbed either by passing sorrow or ephemeral joys of the world. Prosperity cannot spoil it nor can adversity degrade it. Just as scientific discovery of indestructibility of matter and energy gives new meaning to objects which are but a combination of both, realization of the Sat-Chat-Anand by mind-intellect equipment, through meditation, would give a new edge to life and all the passing shows of the world appear in their stark nakedness stripped of their power to delude. All curtains would lift before the penetrating gaze of a mind thus established in pure Consciousness through regular meditation. Shorn of all complexes, it will no more be assailed by doubts and fears.

Even from a worldly point of view what more is needed to justify meditation? The proof of the pudding is in its eating. Start meditation from now onwards and soon the incomparable experience of the gifts it showers on you, will obviate mere logic.

Be regular. Be sincere. Be pure. Meditation can never fail. It will ever be a success. Failures in meditation bring greater gains than success in life. Meditate—Meditate—Meditate, and—Meditate. Sincerity and regularity are the secrets of success in Meditation. Contact with guru, and constant study of the scriptures are factors that guarantee total success.


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