Meditation
 

            The founder of Kãran Satsang, our lifeline, AbjiBãpãshree dealt only in Murti. He consolidated supreme dedication towards BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan, and exhorted the status of an Anãdimukta. He further kindled interest for meditation amongstall those who came into His contact. He thereby made them worthy for the bliss of Murti. He undertook this task beyond imaginable efforts. This is depicted in the form of a devotional song as shown below:

Ghanshyãm Hari kã siddhãnt ucchtam thã,

Vo jan ko sunãkar amal me rakhãtã thã,

Dhyãn ki bãto me badã zehmat uthãyã thã,

Ãshish krupã se teri jan pãtra hotã thã…HHasdf

            Bãpãshree conducted a campaign to spread the knowledge ofBhagwãnSwãminãrãyanand meditation ceaselessly. He thereby made countless aspirants avail the bliss of Murti during their lifetime. Bãpãshree’s speech repetitively contained the word ‘Murti’. He constantly insisted on meditation and always uttered words such as, ‘Meditate… meditate… meditate… do this… do this… do this… leave everything else aside.” One can observe this while reading Bãpãshree ni vãto.

            Jivanprãn AbjiBãpãshree says in the 139th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshree ni vãto that, “Until one is not completely absorbed, like sugar in milk, in Murti, he may still have attachment to other things and vicious thoughts may still occur in one’s mind. One may even have to be reincarnated if any thoughts other than Mahãrãj occur in their mind. While doing meditation of Murti, other worldly passions could disturb our meditation. Hence, if we meditate being purshotamroop our worldly passions would gradually be eliminated.”

            Bapashree used to say: “We exhaustively deliver our speech to countless souls. When we finish speaking they wouldask, ‘what should we do to eliminate the all the deficiencies in our lives and what should we do to avail the bliss of Murti?’ The irony is that all the speeches which we had delivered were meant to eliminate the deficiencies and rejoice the bliss of Murti. No one wants to putin any effort and yet wants to eliminate their deficiencies and become blissful. This is the temperament of the embodied soul.”

            He who is determined to meditate regularly will surely acquire the bliss ofMurti. But who actually has such eagerness to meditate? If he stoutly perseveres in meditation he would surely get a glimpse of Murti when his mental inclination has reached a pinnacle.

What is meditation?

            Meditation is an excellent medium to intimately unite the soul(a separate entity from the body) with the ceternally true God.It is an eternal characteristic of the soul to rejoice the bliss of Parmãtmã’s form (the Murti of BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan). Meditation is the only means through which the soul can rejoice the Murti of BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan and thereby becoming purshotamroop.

The purpose of meditation

            The embodied soul considers the body as its own identity due to ignorance. Whenever it takes birth in various bodies, it ignorantly becomes one with the body. Resultantly, the cycle of countless births and deaths continues forever. Hence, the only remedy to release the soul from the infinite cycle of births and deaths is the realization of the soul’s true identity.

            ShreejiMahãrãjexpresses his personal opinion regarding this in the 20thVachanãmrut of Gadhadã first chapters. “The soul which resides in the body looks at beauty, ugliness, childhood, youth and old age and such countless things, but the observer does not look at his own self. He who watches things through the physical eyes and does not look at his own self is the most ignorant individualamongst all the ignorant individuals. Just as he rejoices the countless objects of beauty through the eyes, he also enjoys the sensual pleasures through other senses such as the ears, nose, skin and tongue. He knows those mundane pleasures very well, but he (soul) does not rejoice his own bliss and does not know his own form. Thus, he is the most ignorant amongst all the ignorant, the most stupid amongst all the stupid, the most foolish amongst all the fools and most wicked amongst all the wicked.”

Te sukh pãmvãne gnãn ne dhyãn, Shreeji ni Murti mã bano ektãn

            After acquiring the pure knowledge of the characteristics, form and the glory of the sanãtanBhagwãnSwãminãrãyan, the soul attains complete faith that ‘ShreejiMahãrãj has kept my soul in His Murti, after transforming my soul into a form just like Him (purshotamroop)’. After practicing meditation upon the definite shape of Murti, the shapeless soul gradually acquires the shape of Murti. When the soul becomes completely deserving, it would rejoice the bliss of each and every fluff of Murti. This state of the soul is called realization (sãkshãtkãr) of God in its true sense.

            Thus, meditation is necessary for the soul to reachits deserving status. The grace of Mahãrãj and Motãpurush is the basic requirement to reach such a status.

Glory of meditation

            A human life’s true fulfilment is to become detached from the mundane pleasures of this world, to become desire-less with regard to worldly relations and to contemplate unification with the most divine Murti of BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan. Meditation is the highway to rejoice the bliss of Murti and to become unified with Murti.

            It is only through meditation that one can become uprooted from the passion of the causal body, which has been attached to the soul since the beginning of time. This liberation allows the soul to attain the status of an Anãdimukta and to rejoice the bliss of Mahãrãj’s Murti.

            Mahãrãj has explained the importance of meditation in the 12thVachanãmrut of Kãriyãni chapters. “Whenever the embodied soul gets into the company of saints, he discerns the true form of God by listening to saints’ discourses. If he meditates on the form of God and bears in mind the words of God, his causal body gets burned to ashes. The skin of a tamarind seed is firmly stuck to the seed, however, when it is baked in fire, the outer layergets burned.The skin is then easily separated when the seed is rubbed between the palms. Likewise, through meditation the causal body also gets burned and separated in a similar manner as the tamarind seeds’ skin. No other remedy can perish the illusion of causal body.” Thus the soul first gets baked in the fire of knowledge of God’s true form. Then, through the final hammering in the form of meditation, the causal body peels off from the soul and gets removed.

            Bãpãshree has explained the importance of meditation in the 167th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshree ni vãto. “Religious discourses for satsangis is a form of grazing but the final aim is to constantly dwell in Murti. One must firmly decide to do likewise. Everyone is pleased when we talk of glory in satsang, however, when we talk of meditation, not everyone has keen interest. But this must be done at any cost. When we talk about Murti it seems as if steel doors have closed on us. A fed up father repetitively gives advice to his spoiled son but his son does not pay attention to it. Similarly, we are also fed up with continuously telling you yet you do not meditate. When one is pushed, he takes a few steps forward then stands still again, then how will he complete his journey? Likewise, when we speak of meditation, you get excited and practice doing it for a while then stop it again. The soul has become crippled thus, it does not walk on this path. It likes the posts of an accountant, a treasurer and a head and takes pride in it but does not meditate nor speak of it, however, it must be done at any cost. If you do not attain the Murti through meditation while being a part of this communion, you would be a great offender of Mahãrãj and Motãpurush. If one tenaciously engages himself in meditation, he would visualize the luminous Murti of Mahãrãj and become accomplished within six months. What cannot be achieved with the human body? One can achieve as per his will. The body cannot survive if it does not get food for two months. If we care for the Murti as much as we care for our survival, we can surely realize the Murti.

Saints who have experienced the bliss of Murti in meditation have described its glory in the following kirtan:

Juo dhyãn dhari (2) nakhshikh Murti sundar shree Ghanshyãmni,

Shreejiroop bani (2) anãdi sange mojo mãno sukhni… juo…

Ke’di kãyar dhyãne nav thãsho, ghãt sankalp joi nã munjhãsho, to tarat krutãrath bani jãsho… juo(1)

Nitya niyampurvak dhyãn karo, sthir besi smaran swãs bharo, Murti jovã puro khyãl karo… juo(2)

Dhyãn abhyãse rãji Shreeji, purã pãtra banãvã bahu marji, dhyãn khub karone anya varji… juo(3)

Dhyãnroopi majaro khãs karjo, mukt anãdi sange bhaljo, almast thai sukhmã tharjo… juo(4)

Sahu sãdhan kartã dhyãn sãru, e kartã dukh jãy tãru, kahe dãsãnudãs mãno mãru… juo(5)

Physical benefits of meditation

1. Body’s health and homeostasis (balance) is maintained

            The 21st century is an era where each individual desires things promptly. The effect of this speed oriented era is also observed in the agriculture industry. Various chemicals, fertilizers and seeds are used to grow grains, fruits and vegetables with immense speed. This results in the disturbance of the body’s homeostasis. Furthermore, current jobs and businesses involve an inactive lifestyle, which is not ideal for the body. As a remedy for all these problems, physicians often recommend to practice yogã, exercise and prãnãyamã (deep breathing exercises). This helps maintain bodily homeostasis. Meditation is indirectly incorporated in yogã and prãnãyamã. Relative to other postures of yogã, meditation has greater significance. Amongst the numerous internal benefits of meditation, the most important is that bodily health and homeostasis is maintained to a large extent.

2. Eliminates impatience

            Temperament is the chief cause of frustration, disappointment, and misery experienced within our interpersonal and personal lives. Many temperaments are quite common but they tend to yield uncommon outcomes. One such temperament is impatience. Impatience influences our interpersonal life often leading us to disrespect others, disregard others’ ideas and act childish. Impatience also influences our personal life such that, we cannot maintain restrain over our senses and we cannot sit steadily during the time to meditation, worship and assemblies. Moreover, the inability to completely concentrate on any matter is also a characteristic of impatience. Impatience can most successfully be eliminated through meditation relative to any other solutions. Meditation is the ultimate solution because it provides immediate results.

3. Always remain gleeful

            Everyone has two types of thoughts constantly sprouting in their minds; what has been done and what is to be done. These two sets of thoughts are the root cause of happiness and misery experienced in one’s life. Feelings of hatred and envy arise through the recollection of memories of anything improper someone had said or done to us. Worry, fear and despair arise from thoughts of tentative situations and circumstances which could arise from what is to be done. Meditation is the sole mode of forgetting the thoughts of the past and future and become completely engrossed in the present. This is the method of forgetting everything except for Mahãrãj’s Murti. This also helps us stay unaffected from worry and fear of certain situations and circumstances even after we get up from meditating. Thus, this is the most quickest and permanent way of attaining a gleeful state of mind.

4. Efficiency and enthusiasm increase

            People attempt various methods to increase the body’s efficiency. Some take pills whereas, some carry out various exercises suggested by physicians. However, it is important to note that efficiency is largely dependent on the soul. The more cheerful and powerful the soul is, the greater the efficiency. Meditation relieves the entrapped soul from the darkness of ignorance through enlightenment of knowledge and makes it more powerful. This immediately influences one’s efficiency.

           Moreover, the variance in enthusiasm during sevã or other activities is largely dependent on the stability of the mind. A stable mind set in any situation or circumstance can be easily attained through meditation. Thus mediation resultantly increases enthusiasm.

5. Internal abilities develop

            BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan has stated in the 25thVachanãmrut of Gadhadã first chapters that, “If there is a well with twenty motors all facing in different directions, there would not be much force in the current. However, if the flow is to be combined with only one motor, the resultant flow would be as powerful as a river and cannot be obstructed by an obstacle.”

           Similarly, our attention is widely dispersed in various activities throughout the day. This does not provide nourishment to develop internal abilities. Meditation is a discipline where our entire attention span converges onto Mahãrãjand this provides unlimited nourishment to develop internal abilities. This builds our internal personality to a great extent. Qualities such as concentration, memory, thinking power, grasping power, quick decision power, spirit for adventure, bravery, and resoluteness are all cultivated. These qualities aid in worldly and spiritual activities and provide fruitful results.

Spiritual benefits of meditation

1. Become free from agony

            A wasp which is infatuated by the smell of a lotus desires to remain on top of the flower for long periods of time due to its attraction to the sweet smell. However, at dusk when the flower petals close, the same pleasant aroma giving lotus becomes the cause of agony for the wasp. Worldly pleasures are just like this lotus. They always come attached with great distress. That is why great saints have said, “It is not possible for mundane pleasures to come without distress”.

           Due to the lack of enlightenment of knowledge, mankind blindly runs after mundane pleasures and comforts. However, as one acquires increasing levels of mundane pleasures, their agony, restlessness, insomnia, mental stress and other distresses also seem to increase.

            Hence, the one and only remedy to end these worldly distresses is to enter into the world of spiritualism. An excellent, panacea like, means of entering into the world of spiritualism is meditation. Practicing meditation eliminates all mundane agony from our lives and it will help us reach the pinnacle of spirituality.

2. Eliminate lust-like vices

            Sadguru Muktãnand swãmi preaches to meditate upon the most divine Murti of ShreejiMahãrãj to put an end to all forms of misery:

Dhyãn dhar dhyãn dhar dharmanã putra nu,

Je thaki sarva santãp nãse”

            By means of practicingpratilom meditation, Mahãrãj comes and sits in our spot. Through this close proximity with Mahãrãj all our vices flee away without even stopping to say goodbye. Hence, practicing regular meditation makes it possible to eliminate vices like lust-anger etc.

“Me sunyo prabhu terã dhyãn binu,

Talat nahi reepu batlã de.”

            As meditation is practiced, our inner enemies which have ruled over our soul for innumerable years must relinquish rule over our soul and vacate this home. ShreejiMahãrãj initiated Virãbhãi, an ex-commander of thieves, as a saint and named him Parmãnand swãmi. On the occasion of the KãkariyãChorãsi, a lolangar mendicant (bãvo) came to hurt ShreejiMahãrãj and at that time Parmãnand swãmi took a sword in his hand to fight with the mendicant. During the battle, Parmãnand swãmi’sright ear got cut off. Since a part of his face became distorted, he had to leave his identity as a saint and he had to become a householder again. Upon realizing that it was his uncontrolled anger which made him lose his identity as a saint, he firmly decided that ‘I must overcome my anger forever’. With this firm determination, Virãbhãi started meditating in solitude to avert his anger.

           One day when Virãbhãi was meditating, dark black figures of his size started coming out of his body. So, Virãbhãi asked, “Who are you all? Where were you living?” At that time, one of the figures replied, “I am lust”, another one replied, “I am anger”. Like such, all the figures started to say one by one, “We all used to live within your body but now you do meditation of ShreejiMahãrãj, hence Mahãrãj has taken your spot. So we are all forced to leave this home.” Thus, our inner enemies are eliminated through practicing meditation.

3. Develop a personal relationship with Murti

            Through regular meditation, love and affection towards Mahãrãj progressively increases. When we spend a considerable amount of time with someone, bondage of love and affection is created and a personal relationship develops. Henceforth, we open up to them, if we face any difficulty we remember them immediately and ask for their help. We continuously feel an eagerness to meet them and to talk to them. Likewise, by means of meditation we develop a personal relationship with ShreejiMahãrãj. Our eagerness to talk to Mahãrãj also increases. Upon the occurrence of any adverse circumstances, we would never feel the need to explore any other aids due to our firm reliance solely on ShreejiMahãrãj.

4. Become worthy of the bliss of Murti

             In the 229th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshreenivãto, JivanprãnBãpãshree has said, “If we become worthy everything else would follow. Just like the milk of a lioness can only stay in a golden utensil, ShreejiMahãrãj can only reside in an individual who becomes as worthy, pure and pious as ShreejiMahãrãj. So, if one endeavours to meditate upon Murti in pratilom form, ShreejiMahãrãj definitely makes one worthy of His bliss.”

           As we endeavour to meditate, Mahãrãj and Motãpurush become pleased on us and they bestow worthiness upon us for the status of an Anãdimukta. This is because this time Mahãrãj and Motãpurush have a firm desire to grant infinite souls the status of an Anãdimukta and to bestow upon them the divine bliss of Murti. Hence, experienced saints advise us to practice meditation by saying;

“Sthiti te karvãne kãrane, karo muj swaroop nu dhyãn re,

kahe che vhãlo kari krupã re…

Dhyãn karvãthi vadhe pãtratã ne, vadhe sukh sãmarthi prakãsh re,

kahe che vhãlo kari krupã re…

Navã sukho nitya ãvshe, dhyãn karshe sadãy re,

kahe che vhãlo kari krupã re…”

“Nityaniyam purvak abhyãs thi, dhyãne rãkho pyãrã,

dãsãnudãs kahe Shreehari, sukhdã deshe apãr…”

 

5. Mundane pleasures of this world or sensual pleasures would not allure us

           Sadguru Premãnand swãmihas said in the stanzas of ‘Vandu’; “Vhãlã e rasnã chãkhanhãr, chãs te nav pive re lol…” This means one who has tasted the divine bliss of Mahãrãj’s Murti would consider worldly or sensual pleasures like buttermilk. These mundane pleasures and sensual pleasures begin to appear insignificant, transient and worthlessand one does not experience even the slightest fondness towards them. Thus, one only experiences eagerness to rejoice the bliss of Mahãrãj’s Murti.

Preparation before meditation

            Before building even a small house, we do some pre-planning. Before starting to cook we make advance preparations. Before arranging a meeting we also make advance preparations. We even pre-plan the tasks we wish to achieve when we wake up the next morning. To complete all our mundane tasks we plan beforehand. Then, when we are attempting to achieve the most divine task of rejoicing the bliss of Murti, how much pre-planning will we need to do!

            It is compulsory to first become worthy for the divine bliss of Murti. Hence, meditation is the ultimate means for becoming worthy for the unification with Murti. Other means of worship such as singing devotional songs, turning rosary, etc. do not require any advance preparations. However, meditation is the ultimate means yet, is the most difficult on the spiritual scale. However, it is not difficult for one who is determined to meditate at any cost. But, it certainly does become difficult for others because meditation requires the consolidation of certain virtues and understandings which makes attaining the bliss of Murtiunambiguous. One who wishes to progress forward on the path of meditation must consolidate the following virtues and understandings.

1. Develop a habit of muttering God’s name-prayer, etc.

            Dry and hard land which has not been used for years, cannot be tilled with a plough or a tractor right away. The land must first be softened with the use of water. As the water begins to seep into the land, the soil is gradually softened. Hence, the land only becomes ready for ploughing after it is softened and seeds can only be sowed thereafter.Similarly, this soul has become dry and hard since eons. Hence, worship and prayer is the most effective means of wetting this dry soul. Worship and prayer softens the soul with the essence of Mahãrãj. Thereafter, our soul gets ploughed through the company and association with Motãpurush. Only then the seed in the form of Murti can be sowed.

           The ultimate medication for any ailment on the path of spiritualism is muttering the name of God and prayer. It is a very affordable medication for anyone at any time. Despite worship and prayer being a light dose medication, it holds the power to eliminate inner enemies which have been attached to the soul for eons and it softens the soul to a butter-like state.

           Muttering the name of God and prayer is the broom for cleaning the conscience. As one mutters the name of God and does prayer, the garbage from one’s conscience gradually gets cleaned and affection towards Mahãrãj gradually increases. An extreme desire ignites to unite with Mahãrãj’s Murti. Therefore, it is very important to develop a habit of muttering the name of God and performing prayer.

2. Abandon an extrovert nature and become introspective

            The beginning of a life as a devotee and day to day progress towards Mahãrãj are both reliant on ones’ introspective nature. Hence, it is compulsory to become introspective on this path. As long as one experiences fondness towards watching, knowing and enjoying things of the outside world, they are said to have an extrovert nature. It is this extrovert lifestyle which hampers ones steady progress towards Mahãrãj. Whereas, one with an introspective nature restrains all their mental inclinations towards the outside world. So, one must develop a habit of controlling all their senses during routine activities such as watching, speaking, listening, eating, dressing, etc. More specifically, the eyes and ears are the main gates for extrovert inclinations. Hence, one must take peculiar care to restrain them otherwise when one sits down to meditate, one’s habitual extrovert nature becomes an obstacle when trying to concentrate on Mahãrãj’s Murti. So, an unfocused mind would only waste one’s time by having both useful and useless thoughts.

           Sometimes one doesn’t even feel a desire to meditate or sometimes when one tries meditating, they can barely focus for five-ten minutes. This is all a result of excessive extrovert activities at that time. Hence, it is compulsory to overcome extrovert inclinations and become introspective as a pre-step to meditation. Only then, we can progress forward on the path of meditation. Moreover, one’s food intake must also be pure and simple. This is because eating very tasty foods becomes an obstacle when trying to focus on Murti. Hence, during old age one should give up all oily, sweet and fried foods.

3. Refrain from slander and aversion

            If one happens to get into an argument or a quarrel with a family member, then when one sits in solitude, their mind repetitively think of that incident. Similarly, when one ponders upon the slanders and aversions of any devotee, non-devotee or a family member, that individual’s figure would repetitively appear before one’s eyes and as a result it would become an obstacle during meditation. Then, at the time of meditation one’s time would only get wasted in finding the faults, flaws and vices of that person. Many times, incidents which have previously occurred also repetitively play within one’s mind. More specifically, by pondering upon vices, aversions and slanders of a person who has a direct relation with Mahãrãj is very dangerous. This is because it is equivalent to have seen slanders and aversions in ShreejiMahãrãj Himself. Hence, Mahãrãj would be very displeased with him. So, let us resurface from this deep ditch of slanders and aversions and become engrossed in the thoughts of everyone’s virtues.

4. Consolidation of five vows (Panchvartmãn)

           ShreejiMahãrãj’s commandment of the five vows is the base of every satsangiand is the fundamental principle of satsang. Before one can fluently read English, they must first learn the alphabet. Likewise, before progressing towards the bliss of Murti and attaining the status of an Anãdimukta, all ascetics and householder devotees must firmly abide by their respective five vows.

           Violating the commandments of the five vows gradually makes the soul crippled on the path towards the bliss of Murti. One also starts to fall short of the blessings of Mahãrãj and Motãpurush. Consequently, countless meditation efforts yield no results and seen useless, just as one expects to receive butter simply by churning water. In conclusion, ShreejiMahãrãj’s commandments of the five vows must be followed with great alertness.

5. Practice dwelling in the form of Murti during all everyday activites

Experienced saints have said in a kirtan:

“Kãm kãj karte re, Murtimã surti rãkho,

Nitya abhyãse re, vrutti akhand kari nãkho,

Modu vahelu re, sthiti kari sukh che levu,

Tenu sãdhan re, dhyãne Murti mã rahevu.”

            We should practice dwelling in the form of Murti during all our routine activities. Hence, while walking, moving, eating, drinking, bathing, etc. we should bear in mind that ShreejiMahãrãj has resided my soul in Murti and bestowed me with the status of an Anãdimukta. So now, while eating we should presume that Mahãrãj, Himself is eating. As we continue to practice dwelling in the form of Murti during all our daily activities, avarbhãv towards ourself and others will gradually dispel. Without such practice during the day, concentrating during meditation becomes difficult.

           ShreejiMahãrãj has said in the 22ndVachanãmrut of Gadhadãfirst chapters, “If one tries to maintain his concentration on God while worshipping but not while performing routine activities, then this concentration does not stabilize in the form of God even while worshipping. Hence, it is necessary to practice focusing our concentration, which means to practice dwelling in the form of Godeven while performing routine activities. Only then, one’s concentration can stabilize in the form of God while worshipping.”

           Therefore, continuously practice dwelling in the form of God during the day. By means of this practice, we would gradually dispel the wrong notion that ‘My identity is this body’ and eventually consolidate Mahãrãj’s presence Himself.

6. Understand the importance of meditation and firmly decide to practice meditation

           If someone is suffering from insomnia for many years and if they are very fed up with this condition, then would they sit idle when a neighbour suggests them a qualified physician who is known for curing the condition? No… No… They would immediately ask for the physician’s address and arrive at the clinic. They would also gladly take the prescribed medication even if it is very bitter. This is because they are strongly determined to cure their disease. Similarly, this soul has been eternally suffering from a major disease of passion of the causal body.

           As the one and only remedy for this major disease, JivanprãnBãpãshree has said in the 67th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshreenivãto, “The causal body gets burned by meditating on ShreejiMahãrãj’s Murti but not through other means.” Hence there is no other way to overcome the causal body except for meditation. Hence, let us understand the glory of meditation and begin our efforts to overcome this major disease. If we have firmly decided to achieve something, then we continuously ponder upon that desire during both our conscious and unconscious states. We should firmly decide to meditate in a similar manner. Without firm determination, one’s will power cannot be empowered and without a concrete will power nothing can be achieved. As such, one must firmly decide that ‘I want to meditate no matter what! I want to unite with Mahãrãj no matter what!’

7. We should learn to virtually burn everything except for Mahãrãj during the day

           In this world, all living and non-living things are perishable. Only the divine Murti of ShreejiMahãrãj is imperishable. It is only possible to converge our focus in Mahãrãj by forgetting what is false in reality. It is impossible to concentrate on the Murti if one is entangled in the affairs of this world. Hence, one should learn to burn everything prior to practicing meditation. One should indulge in the thought that only Mahãrãj is present.

           One day, Bhagã Sheth of Botãd asked his son, Shivlãl Sheth, “ShivlãlI am not able to rejoice the bliss during meditation like you are able to, so can you tell me how you meditate?” Shivlãl Sheth replied, “Father, when I sit to do meditation, first of all I use my imagination to burn the entire Botãdcity, then I burn our empire, then I burn our house, then I burn you as well and lastly I burn myself. Only after I mentally go through this process, I achieve full concentration during meditation.”

           Hence, we should learn to virtually burn everything prior to meditation, in a similar manner as Shivlãl Sheth.

Types of Meditation

            Jivanprãn Bãpãshree has described four types of meditation in the 228th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshreenivãto: (1) Sãng (2) Upãng (3) Salil (4) Sapãrshad.

1. Sãng

            Sãng meditation is to meditate upon the attire-less and ornament-less Murti of Mahãrãj. This form of meditation involves visualizing the Murti in its luminary form. Sãng meditation is the top most meditation among the four types.

2. Upãng

            ShreejiMahãrãj is adorned with a brocaded gown, golden trousers, a crown and earrings. Upãng meditation is to meditate upon such a Murti of Mahãrãj with an attire and ornaments. Upãng meditation should be done if one is unable to do sang meditation, however, upãng meditation should still be done considering the attire and ornaments as divine, not mundane.

3. Salil

            Salil meditation should be done if one is unable to do sãng or upãng meditation. Salil meditation is to meditate while commemorating the divine acts of ShreejiMahãrãj. One should do salil meditation while commemorating ShreejiMahãrãj’s divine acts which gave bliss to His saints and devotees. Some of these divine acts are as follows: ShreejiMahãrãj is arriving sitting on His mare, Mãnki, He is spraying saints and devotees with divine colourful water, there is acclamation of victory in the air, Mahãrãj is swinging on a swing and saints and devotees are rocking the swing with affection, Mahãrãj has come to serve food to his devotees with a scarf tied around His waist.

4. Sapãrshad

            If one is unable to meditate on the Murti of Mahãrãj alone, then one can meditate on the Murti along with His muktas. Sapãrshad meditation implies visualizing Reverend Gopãlãnandswãmi, Reverend Nirgundãsjiswãmi or any other Sadguru who is beloved to us along with the Murti of Mahãrãj. Mahãrãj has also said in the 5thVachanãmrut of Gadhadã first chapters that, “Meditate upon my form (Murti) along with my muktas.”

          Though there may be four types of meditation, those practicing the last three types of meditation should aim to gradually switch over to sãng meditation. This is because sãng meditation is the only means of attaining the bliss of Murti.

 

Methods of meditation

There are two methods of meditation: (1) Anulom (2) Pratilom

(1) Anulom meditation

            Anulom meditation is considering our soul as purshotamroop and meditating on the divine luminary Murti of ShreejiMahãrãj by visualizing the Murti before our eyes.

            Anulom meditation is to gaze at the birth marks and body parts of ShreejiMahãrãj’s Murti by visualizing the Murti before our eyes.

            One attains the status of a Paramekãntik mukta by means of anulom meditation. The status of a Paramekãntik mukta is not the ultimate status. Paramekãntik muktas rejoice the bliss of each and every body part of Mahãrãj’s Murti whereas Anãdimuktas rejoice the bliss of each and every fluff of Mahãrãj’s Murti. The bliss thatParamekãntik muktasexperience is drop-like relative to the ocean-like bliss thatAnãdimuktas experience.

(2) Pratilom meditation

            Pratilom meditation is to consider our soul as purshotamroop and to meditate on the divine luminary Murti of ShreejiMahãrãj by visualizing the Murti in the same position/direction as we are sitting.

            Pratilom meditation is the ultimate meditation. ShreejiMahãrãj has showered immense grace on us by transforming our soul (separate from the body) aspurshotamroop; divine and with definite shape just like Him.Shreeji Maharaj has then kept our soul in the bliss of His Murti. Once this conversion process from soul to purshotamroop occurs, the soul’s separate identity does not remain. It becomes one with Murti (Murtiroop). Pratilom meditation is to visualize one’s body parts as purshotamroop like head in head, hand in hand, leg in leg, etc. Pratilom meditation is to visualize the Murti in the same place and position as we are sitting, to attain fluff in fluff (rom rom) state with Murti and to ultimately become one with Murti. Despite this unification, the relationship of master-servant and benefactor-beneficiary always remains. Pratilom meditation is the method practiced in Kãran Satsang.

Discipline of meditation

            Aspirants who are determined to avail the bliss of Murti, by means of meditation, should abide by the following discipline during meditation. One will surely stabilize in meditation and avail the bliss of Murti by following this discipline.

1) One should sit upright in the posture of swastikãsan.

2) The hands should be in the posture of meditation (hands in the lap overlapping, palms facing up).

3) The body should remain steady (no movement).

4) Specifically for meditation, one should select a sãngMurti of ShreejiMahãrãj (a Murti without attire or ornaments) which is affectionate, attractive, and blissful to him. Regular meditation should be done of that Murti and it is not preferable to change the Murti often.

5) One should do trãtakupon the sãngMurti (concentrate on the Murti without blinking).

6) After doing trãtak, the Murti should be visualized in the pratilom position with closed eyes.

7) One should initially visualize each part of the Murti and then the entire Murti.

8) The basic principle of Kãran Satsang is to practice pratilom meditation. However, if one cannot practice pratilom meditation on the initial stage, one can visualize the Murti before his eyes and gradually switch over to practicing pratilom meditation.

9) One should practice meditation with interest, awareness, intense desire and resolute determination.

10) Meditation should be practiced daily.

11) One should not be swayed by the thoughts occurring in one’s mind. These thoughts can be averted with complete awareness and discretionary power. Despite this, if thoughts are not averted, one should mutter the Swãminãrãyanmãhãmantraemanating from the navel.

12) If one does not experience bliss in meditation or does not stabilize in meditation, he should resort to praying to Satpurush.

13) If one cannot stabilize in meditation, he can supplement his efforts with certain verses of kirtans to aid during meditation.

14) One should avoid sleep, laziness and dozing during meditation with keen alertness.

15) One should keep faith in his endeavour to achieve the goal of meditation. One should continue practicing meditation even if one cannot stabilize in meditation and even if one does not experience bliss.

16) One should practice meditation daily for at least half an hour.

Guidance for meditation

           Aspirants should practice meditation regularly. Meditating one day then skipping it for two days and meditating again on the fourth day is not desirable. Just as we have meals daily, meditation should also be done daily. One must also practice dwelling in Murti while engaged in daily activities.

            ShreejiMahãrãj has also said in the 23rdVachanãmrut of Gadhadã first chapters that,“Taking a pot of water and pouring it repetitively in the same spot for several days will not form a pool of water. This is due to the fact that water from the previous day would have gotten dried up on that same day and water from the next day would get dried up on that same day. On the other hand, if a stream of water even as thin as a finger, is continuously flowing in one spot, then a large pool of water is easily created. Similarly, one should constantly engage their mind in Bhagwãn while eating, drinking, walking doing all activities. While maintaining this practice one can achieve sthiti (the accomplished spiritual state).”

            Starting from the morning one must visualize that Mahãrãj has woken up, Mahãrãj is brushing, Mahãrãj is bathing. In this manner, one should practice dwelling in Murti in all activities then it will be possible to stabilize in the form of Murti during meditation.

There are four hurdles which impede meditation:

(1)   Lay (sleep) (2) Kashãy(jealousy, spite) (3) Vikshep (thoughts) (4) Rasãswãd(attachment to sensual pleasures)

            It is hard to tell how much traffic there is as long as the vehicles are smoothly moving on the road. The traffic becomes noticeable once the traffic stops at a traffic light. Likewise, our entire day elapses without noticing the traffic or thoughts in our mind. The traffic builds up once we close the gates (eyes) during meditation. However, Bãpãshree says, “Thoughts are like dead snakes,” They pertain to the body and the body is not our true identity, so we have nothing to do with them. Hence, we must be aware of them, but not lose courage against them and we should remain persistent towards our goal.

            Mahãrãj and Motãpurush’s help is quintessential to rejoice the bliss of Murti through meditation. This is because rejoicing the bliss through other means is like labour work in comparison to meditating by the grace of Motãpurush, which is like winning a kingdom. One should endeavour to meditate by considering one’s soul as purshotamroop along with worshipping and praying to Mahãrãj and Motãpurush.

            At the time of meditation, assume that our soul, not our body, has been bestowed the status of an Anãdimukta and kept in Murti by ShreejiMahãrãj. Mahãrãj has no relation with the body. As such, we should never commit the error of assuming the body to be purshotamroop and meditating on it. One with such an understanding is referred to as vicious and wicked by ShreejiMahãrãj in the 11thVachanãmrut of the Loyãchapters. Mahãrãj further says that such a person attains the dark hell and becomes subject to the repetitive cycle of births and deaths.

            The reason behind why we should not believe our body or the body of someone else as Mahãrãj, has been clarified by JivanprãnBãpãshree in the tikã of the 11thVachanãmrut of the Loyãchapters. Bãpãshree says, “Even if one meditates by considering one’s own body as divine or another person’s body as divine, the body is mayik thus it does not become divine just by considering it to be divine. Just presuming a seashell to be a diamond does not turn it into a diamond. Similarly, the body, built of mãyikelements, would not become divine just by believing it to be so.”

            Bãpãshree says in the tikãof the 3rdVachanãmrut of the Jetalpur chapters that, “The body is a mãyikentity, which cannot become purshotamroop just be perceiving it to be as purshotamroop. Such a status is not attainable in a billion years by having such as belief. One who holds such a belief is considered a vicious man, even more wicked than Vedãnts. This is because Vedãntiactually negates the mãyikbody and believes the soul, which is real, to be brahma. Whereas this believer considers the unreal body to be real, thus he is more sinful and wicked than the Vedãnti.” Therefore, one must consider the soul, a distinct entity from the body, as purshotamroop.

            One should not lose hope if the Murti is not visualized by meditating in this manner and he should continue to endeavour bravely. ShreejiMahãrãj has given encouragement in the 15thVachanãmrut of Gadhadã first chapters that, “One should remain brave while meditating on the Murti of Bhagwãn and if the Murti is not visualized he should not be discouraged and keep increasing faith. If during meditation, malicious thoughts occur and they cannot be eliminated, he should ponder upon the glory of Bhagwãn, consider himself fulfilled, continue to negate the thoughts and continue to visualize the Murti. Regardless of whether it takes ten years, twenty years, twenty-five years or a hundred years to visualize the Murti, he should not become discouraged or give up meditating on the Murti of Bhagwãn.”

            We are an associate of this divine Kãran Satsang and we have received the divine support of two incredible Satpurushes, Reverend HDHBãpji and HH Swãmishree. Hence, if we do not acquire the Murti through meditation this time around then we would become offenders of Mahãrãj and Motãpurush. Bãpãshree has proclaimed this in the 167th sermon of the 1st part of Bãpãshreenivãto.

            It becomes easy to unite with Mahãrãj near the dusk of one’s life since one has retired and become worry free from the responsibilities of family and society. So one should retire from unwanted and unwarranted activities and become engaged in the endeavour to rejoice the bliss of Mahãrãj. During our countless past lives we have done everything except for this. Hence, we have never attempted meditating which is the real means of uniting with Mahãrãj. We have always been keener on doing other activities rather than meditating.

            Parvatbhai, Gordhanbhai and others had attained sthiti whenShreejiMahãrãj appeared to have incarnated on earth. ShivlãlSheth, SadãshivSheth and others had attained sthiti during the time of Reverend Gunãtitãnandswãmi. Bhurã bãpã, Kesrã bãpã, Mansukh bãpã, Somchand bãpã, Nãgji bãpãand others had attained sthiti during the time of Bãpãshree. The same Mahãrãj and Bãpãshree are present today. Moreover, Motãpurush’s current resolution is extremely powerful to raise similar individuals who have attained sthiti. They have involved us in this resolution with pure grace. GuruvaryaHDHBãpji and HH Swãmishreealways express a predilection, for those above the age of fifty, to meditate for at least an hour daily. If an hour is not possible under compelling circumstances, then half an hour is a must. So now let us resolve firmly to move forward in our endeavour to rejoice the bliss of Murti by means of meditation under any circumstances.

Glossary

Anãdimukta:The mukta of highest category who are purshotamroop.

Avarbhãv:Anything experienced by the senses and is false. i.e. The human body.

Kirtan: A devotional song

Mãyik: Mortal

Motãpurush/Satpurush: A divine personality who continuously resides in Murti and whose complete doer is Mahãrãj.

Murti: Idol of SwãminãrãyanBhagwãnor His mukta.

Parmãtmã: God

Purshotamroop: To have a form just like Mahãrãj.

Satsangi: Devotee

Sevã: Devotional Service

Tikã:A compilation of AbjiBapashree’s discourses based on the Vachanamrut. This serves as a guide for the Vachanamrut. It has been prepared by Sadguru Shree Ishwarcharandasji Swamishree.      

Vachanãmrut:Principle scripture of the Swãminãrãyan sect. This comprises of 273 discourse of BhagwãnSwãminãrãyan and was compiled by fiveNand saints.

Vikshep:An obstacle

 
 
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