Meditation: Transformation Technology
203. The ideal of all education, all training, should be this man-making. But, instead of that, we are always trying to polish up the outside. What use in polishing up the outside when there is no inside? The end and aim of all training is to make the man grow. The man who influences, who throws his magic, as it were, upon his fellow-beings, is a dynamo of power and when that man is ready, he can do anything and everything he likes; that personality put upon anything will make it work.
204. The science of Yoga claims that it has discovered the laws which develop this personality and by proper attention to those laws and methods, each one can grow and strengthen his personality. This is one of the great practical things and this is the secret of all education. This has a universal application. In the life of a householder, in the life of the poor, the rich, the man of business, the spiritual man, in every one’s life, it is a great thing, the strengthening of this personality.
205. There are laws, very fine, which are behind the physical laws, as we know. That is to say, there are no such realities as a physical world, a mental world, a spiritual world. Whatever is, is one. Let us say, it is a sort of tapering existence; the thickest part is here, it tapers and becomes finer and finer. The finest is what we call spirit; the grossest, the body. And just as it is here in microcosm, it is exactly the same in the macrocosm. The universe of ours is exactly like that; it is the gross external thickness, and it tapers into something finer and finer until it becomes God.
206.Within there is the lion – the eternally pure, illumined and ever-free Atman; and directly one realises Him through meditation and concentration, this world of Maya vanishes.
207. There is the infinite joy, unchanging. Meditation is the gate that opens that to us. Prayers, ceremonials, and all the other forms of worship are simply kindergartens of meditation.
208. All minds are the same, different parts of one Mind. He who knows one lump of clay has known all the clay in the universe. He who knows and controls his own mind knows the secret of every mind and has power over every mind.
209.It is meditation that brings us nearer to truth than anything else. The concentrated mind is a lamp that shows us every corner of the soul.
210.The greatest help to spiritual life is meditation. In meditation we divest ourselves of all material conditions and feel our divine nature. We do not depend upon any external help in meditation.
211 .All knowledge depends upon calmness of mind. Meditation is the focusing of the mind on some object. If the mind acquires concentration on one object, it can be so concentrated on any object whatsoever.
212.Meditation is one of the great means of controlling the rising of thought waves. By meditation you can make the mind subdue these waves and if you go on practising meditation for days and months, and years, until it has become a habit, until it will come in spite of yourself, anger and hatred will be controlled and checked.
213. The mind uncontrolled and unguided will drag us down, down for ever – rend us, kill us; and the mind controlled and guided will save us, free us.
214. Raja Yoga (meditation) is divided into eight steps. The first is Yama: Non-killing, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence and non-receiving of any gifts. Next is Niyama: cleanliness, contentment, austerity, study and self-surrender to God. Then comes Asana, or posture; Pranayama or control of Prana; Pratyahara or restraint of the senses from their objects; Dharana or fixing the mind on a spot; Dhyana or meditation; and Samadhi, or superconsciousness. The Yama and Niyama are moral trainings; without these as the basis no practice of Yoga will succeed. As these two become established the Yogi will begin to realise the fruits of his practice; without these it will never bear fruit.
215. Dharana is when the mind holds on to some object, either in the body, or outside the body, and keeps itself in that state.
216. Meditation again is a constant remembrance (of the thing meditated upon) flowing like an unbroken stream of oil poured out from one vessel to another. When this kind of remembering has been attained (in relation to God) all bondages break.
217. The flow of this continuous control of the mind becomes steady when practised day after day, and the mind obtains the faculty of constant concentration.
218. The highest ideal of every man is called God. Ignorant or wise, saint or sinner, man or woman, educated or uneducated, cultivated or uncultivated, to every human being the highest ideal is God. The synthesis of all the highest ideals of beauty, of sublimity, and of power gives us the most complete
conception of the loving and lovable God.
219. God (Ishwara) is the Atman as seen or grasped by mind. His highest name is Om; so repeat it, meditate on it, and think of all its wonderful nature and attributes. Repeating the Om continually is the only true worship. It is not a word, it is God Himself.
220. Think of a space in your heart, and in the midst of that space think that a flame is burning. Think of that flame as your own soul and inside the flame is another effulgent light, and that is the Soul of your soul, God. Meditate upon that in the heart.
221. Do not spend your energy in talking but meditate in silence; and do not let the rush of the outside world disturb you. When your mind is in the highest state, you are unconscious of it. Accumulate power in silence and become a dynamo of spirituality.
222.To succeed, you must have tremendous
perseverance, tremendous will. “I will drink the ocean,” says the persevering soul “at my will mountains will crumble up.” Have that sort of energy, that sort of will, Work hard and you will reach the goal.
223.One ounce of practice is worth twenty thousand tons of big talk.
224. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ This sentence alone would save mankind if all books and prophets were lost. This purity of heart will bring the vision of God. It is the theme of the whole music of this universe. In purity is no bondage. Remove the veils of ignorance by purity, then we manifest ourselves as we really are and know that we were never in bondage. The seeing of many is the great sin of all the world. See all as Self and love all; let all idea of separateness go.
225. The purer the mind, the easier it is to control.
226.Sri Ramakrishna used to say, ‘In the morning and evening the mind remains highly imbued with pure (Sattva) ideas; those are the times when one should meditate with earnestness.’
227.How are we to know that the mind has become concentrated? The idea of time will vanish. The more time passes unnoticed the more concentrated we are. In common life we see that when we are interested in a book we do not note the time at all; and when we leave the book, we are often surprised to find how many hours have passed.
Sri Ramakrishna: the Divine Light
228.The Light Divine within is obscured in most people. It is like a lamp in a cask of iron, no gleam of light can shine through. Gradually, by purity and unselfishness we can make the obscuring medium less and less dense, until at last it becomes as transparent as glass. Shri Ramakrishna was like the iron cask transformed into a glass cask through which can be seen the inner light as it is. We are all on the way to become the cask of glass and even higher and higher reflections. No impatient one can ever succeed.
229.Sri Ramakrishna’s life is a searchlight of infinite power thrown upon the whole mass of religious thought. He was the living commentary to the Vedas and to their aim. He had lived in one life the whole cycle of the national religious existence. He is the latest and the most perfect – the concentrated embodiment of knowledge, love, renunciation, catholicity, and the desire to serve mankind. A single word of his is to me far weightier than the V edas and the V edanta.
230.This is the message of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world: “Do not care for doctrines, do not care for dogmas or sects, or churches, or temples;
they count for little compared with the essence of existence in each man, which is spiritually; and the more this is developed in a man, the more powerful is he for good. Earn that first, acquire that, and criticise no one, for all doctrines and creeds have some good in them. Show by your lives that religion does not mean words, or names, or sects, but that it means spiritual realization”. Therefore my Master’s message to mankind is, “Be spiritual and realize Truth for yourself.”
231. Sri Ramakrishna, is the reformed and remodelled manifestation of all the past great epoch makers in religion. He lived to root out all the distinction between man and woman, between the rich and the poor, the literate and the illiterate, Brahmins and Chandalas. And he was the harbinger of peace- the separation between Hindus and Mohammedans, between Hindus and Christians, all are now things of the past. His life and his teachings are to be spread far and wide, are to be made to penetrate every pore of Hindu society. This new dispensation of the age is the source of great good to the whole world.
232.We must give the public only positive ideas. Negative thoughts weaken men. Do you not find that where parents are constantly taxing their sons to read
and write, telling them they will never learn anything, and calling them fools and so forth, the latter do actually turn out to be so in many cases? If you speak kind words to boys and encourage them, they are bound to improve in time. If you can give them positive ideas, people will grow up to be men and learn to stand on their own legs. In language and literature, in poetry and the arts, in everything we must point out not the mistakes that people are making in their thoughts and actions, but the way in which they will gradually be able to do these thing better. Pointing out mistakes wounds a man’s feelings. We have seen how Sri Ramakrishna would encourage even those whom we considered
as worthless and change the very course of their lives thereby! His very method of teaching was a unique phenomenon. He never destroyed a single man’s special inclinations. He gave words of hope and encouragement even to the most degraded of persons and lifted them up, we too must follow in his footsteps and lift all up, and rouse them.
233.Whatever the Vedas, the Vedanta, and all other Incarnations have done in the past, Sri Ramakrishna lived to practise in the course of a single life.
234.In studying books we are sometimes deluded into thinking that thereby we are being spiritually helped;
but if we analyse the effect of the study of books on ourselves, we shall find that at the utmost it is only our intellect that derives profit from such studies, and not our inner spirit. This inadequacy of books to quicken spiritual growth is the reason why, although almost every one of us can speak most wonderfully on spiritual matters, when it comes to action and the living of a truly spiritual life, we find ourselves so awfully deficient. To quicken the spirit, the impulse must come from another soul.
235.Grace means this: He who has realised the Atman becomes a storehouse of great power. Making him the centre and with a certain radius a circle is formed and whoever comes within the circle becomes animated with the ideas of that saint, i.e. they are overwhelmed by his ideas. Thus without much religious striving, they inherit the results of his wonderful spirituality. If you call this grace, you may do so.
236. There is no chance for the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved. It is not possible for a bird to fly on only one wing.
The Spiritual Truth of Ramayana
The following is Swami Vivekananda’s spiritual interpretation of the Ramayana in the light of the Vedanta philosophy:
Sri Rama is the Paramatman and Sita is the Jivatman. Each man’s or woman’s body is the Lanka (Ceylon). The Jivatman which is enclosed in the body or captured in the island of Lanka, always desires to be in affinity with the Paramatman or Sri Rama.
But the Rakshasas would not allow it. The Rakshasas represented certain traits of character. For instance, Vibhishana represents Sattva Guna; Ravana, Raj as; and Kumbhakarna, Tamas. Sattva Guna means goodness, purity, truthfulness, wisdom and unselfishness. Rajas means lust, anger, greed, jealousy and passions. Tamas means darkness, stupor, avarice, malice and its concomitants. These Gunas imprison and prevent Sita or Jivatman, which is in the body or Lanka, from joining Paramatman, or Rama.
The Jivatman Sita thus imprisoned and trying to unite with her Lord, receives a visit from Hanuman, the Guru or divine teacher. The divine teacher shows her the Lord’s ring, which is Brahma-Jnana, the supreme wisdom of the identity of the Jivatman and Paramatman. This truth destroys all illusions. Thus Sita finds the way to be at one with Sri Rama, or, in other words, the Jivatman finds itself one with the Paramatman.