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 physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual personalities must all be blended into one harmonious whole. Meditation is the technique to achieve this harmony. It is the highest spiritual discipline. Through meditation a person comes to experience peace within and without. Intrinsic wars between desires are ended. Conflicts between duties no longer wreck his nerves. His mind is enabled to view life as a whole. There is nothing in which he shall not meet with success since the meaningless fluttering of his mind and the consequent dissipations have stopped. He can direct his inner potentials 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 businessmen or learned professionals owe their success to single-pointed efforts. Our scriptures have rightly emphasised that every individual is a potential genius. Most of us are able to use only insignificant part of our infinite potential. Therefore disappointments are our inevitable lot. We have unlimited powers which unfortunately we have not learnt to tap. It is a question of rediscovering ourselves. 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 itself forth and concentrate on anything, it must be cultivated. In meditation the mind is made to withdraw its attention from all the sense-objects. The intellect, asserting its mastery over the mind, orders it to stop all thoughts expect the thought of the common denominator. By assiduous practice, the mind learns to think of only one thing to think of only one thing at a time. Such a mind will indeed be force to reckon with, nay, it will be invincible. Having become conscious of its true nature, such a mind will not be disturbed either by the passing sorrows or the ephemeral joys of the world. Prosperity cannot spoil it, nor can adversity degrade it. Just as the scientific discovery of the indestructibility of matter and energy gives new meaning to objects which are but a combination of both, realisation of supreme Truth through meditation gives a new edge to life, and all the passing shows of the world begin to appear in their stark nakedness, stripped of thier power to delude. All curtains lift before the penetrating gaze of 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.
By Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati
(The author was founder of Chinmaya Mission)