Dhaarna: Gateway Of Mental Control
Sage Patanjali has elaborately described, that how a spiritual seeker should position himself for the training of spiritual path. His deep but lucid elaboration of ashtaang Yoga is a scientific approach to shape individual life, for a successful spiritual journey. First five components of ashtaang Yoga (Yama, Niyama, Aasan, Praanayam, Pratyahaar), are external tools for spiritual accomplishments, while last three (Dhaarna, Dhyaan, Samaadhi) are internal tools, for the same.
Fixing attention un-interruptedly, is technically known as Dhaarna (concentration). Mind has a tendency to slip in the past or future. It is difficult to fix the mind on the present, to focus on the issues, in hand. Therefore there is a need to practice the “fixing of mind” on the present issues, all the time. Than only one can absorb the knowledge completely and learn to use this knowledge for self and others. Lack of fixing attention in the present, is one of the most important handicap of any learning and internalisation of knowledge. It is in this background that human race is scientifically convinced of the training and usefulness of the “Concentration of Mind”, for the worldly success as well as spiritual unfoldment.
“Chitta” is the mirror image of Soul/Atma-Tatva. Mind is a faculty of human configuration which is objectively utilised by the “Chitta” and generates, analyses and absorbs the “thoughts”. This important process needs a “state of mind”, called as “Attention”. Presence of the “un-interrupted Attention with the mind” is known as Dhaarna or “Concentration”. Hence, there is also a need of an “Objective”, on which mind should fix the attention. This “Object”, in reference to the desired spiritual attainment/unfoldment, is the “Ultimate Reality”, i.e. “Supreme Source” of this universal existence. Theists may call it “God”. Tendency of “Chitta” to go with different type of issues, is called “Vritti”.
Therefore spiritually, Dhaarna is the process of fixing attention of the mind on the ultimate reality for the “self-realisation”. This “self-realization” is the basic knowledge, to rationally judge the usefulness of this life, for the world around. It is on this account that a consistent practice is required for “fixing the attention of mind”, to know the ultimate reality, our link to it and purposeful utilisation of human life.
Scientifically it may be stated that the process of concentration has three components: subject (Chitta), object (God/Supreme power) and the process (Fixing Attention). Concentration, Meditation and Samaadhi are three evolutionary stages of this same process. As a practitioner gradually learns this art of “Fixing Attention”, he attains these stages of mental perfection, in due course of time. It is, as for the magnetisation of a simple iron piece, only reorganisation of its molecules is required, resources are already there. Similarly, all the resources of such accomplishment are available within the human configuration. Only need is to realise the requirement of this attainment and explore internally for reorganising these resources, which lead to the spiritual elevation. How intensely we pursue this search, is the real challenge.
By Dr Dipak Shukla
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