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The Sage then suggests another method for the purpose of calming the mind, i.e. controlling breath expulsion and retention. Breathing is life, because we cannot survive without it, in that sense they are both synonymous. However, breathing is reflex action, where hardly any conscious effort is required. So long we do not realise the importance of the quality of breathing it will continue to be simply a reflexive survival action. However, when we observe our breathing in a scientific manner, that it actually influences both our mental and physical states, do we take it seriously? With this he wants to communicate to us that grief and despondency are not merely a problem of the psyche but is also a physical phenomenon. Controlling breathing in yoga parlance is known as pranayama, or regulating the movement of prana or life air which circulates vitality throughout the body. Prana is also the air current which carries the soul within the body. Thus by this psychophysical exercise of controlled breathing the mind can be temporarily calmed. However, this is the preliminary stage of meditation. At this stage the neophyte learns how to simply observe without analysing or evaluating. One must gradually dissolve the 'I, me and mine' factor.

Meditation has explained by Sage Patanjali is neither thinking nor speculating, nor imagining, none of these, nor any mental exercises of the conditioned mind. For proper meditation, the mind is required to become an objective observer, a non-subjective witness of itself. As we had earlier described, the energy of the soul is consciousness and there are three apertures to it, the mind, intellect or the faculty of discrimination and the ego. So, in meditation the mind becomes the observed and the real ego the observer. Real ego is the pure spiritual identity of the soul, as against false ego which is the false identification with the temporal body and conditioned mind. The mind conditioned by duality inclines towards acceptance and rejection, likes and dislikes, etc. Meditation is hampered by this. Therefore the initial step is to disinfect the conditioned mind and make it immune to external and internal impulses. In any of the following methods of meditation suggested in 'Yoga Sutra', the initial steps to gain required concentration and mental tuning are the same. Once the novice has acquired this level of concentration the results begin to manifest.

The permanent calming and curbing of the mind can be accomplished only through the process of cultivating deep concentration. Several methods of meditation has been proffered for this purpose. When meditation on a certain object from the external world of sensory perception or even on an extra-sensory perception from within which evokes an intense and inner experience, then this will lead to mental sthiti or constancy. To one who is still uncertain about the existence of the extra-sensory world of perception the Sage encourages him/her to try this method and verify it. The next alternative is meditation on the 'inner spiritual aura' or divine energy that is immune to suffering and sorrow. Even though intimate contact with the corporeal shell, the physical body, almost completely eradicates from the memory and consciousness the existence of the spiritual identity, the soul, it nevertheless can ever fully obscure the spiritual energy of the soul, here referred to as the 'spiritual aura'. This is a good way to experience the evanescent and illusory nature of suffering. Suffering is only a creation of the mind when it is in the grip of illusion and under the influences of the tama-guna, mode of ignorance and raja guna, mode of passion. In truth suffering, sorrow does not exist in life situations. The thoughts that are in our mind in the grip of duality create or rather projects suffering etc. in these situations and thoughts and then experience them as real.

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