Tuesday, March 17, 2020

18 March

Yogasara-Upanishad Mantra - 11 (continued)

Dharana (concentration) is fixing the mind on an idea or a point or object either internal or external

Notes and Commentary

You can concentrate internally on any of the seven plexus or chakras or centres of spiritual energy, or at the tip of the nose, or tip of the tongue or externally on the picture of any devata (deity), Hari, Hara, Krishna or Devi. You can concentrate on the tick-tick sound of a watch or the flame of a candle, or on a black point on a wall, or on a pencil or rose flower or any pleasing object. This is concrete concentration. There can be no concentration without something upon which the mind may rest. The mind can be fixed easily on a pleasing object such as jasmine flower, mango, orange or a loving friend. It is difficult to fix the mind in the beginning on any object which it dislikes such as faecal matter, cobra, enemy, ugly face, etc. Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object of concentration, bring it back again and again to the object. Lord Krishna says: "As often as the wavering and unsteady mind goes forth, so often reining it in, let him bring it under the control of the self." (Gita Ch. VI - 26.)

If you want to increase your power of concentration you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to observe mauna (vow of silence) for two hours daily. A man whose mind is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be oscillating like a balloon. Regulate and master the breath. Subdue the senses and then fix the mind on any pleasing object. Associate the ideas of holiness and purity with the object.

You can concentrate on the space between the two eyebrows (trikuti). You can concentrate on the mystic sounds (anahata dhvani) that you hear from your right ear. You can concentrate on Om picture. The picture of Lord Krishna with flute in hand and the picture of Lord Vishnu with conch, discus, mace and lotus are very good for concentration. You can concentrate on the picture of your guru or any saint also. Vedantins try to fix the mind on Atman, the inner Self. This is their dharana.

Dharana is the sixth stage or limb of ashtanga yoga or raja yoga of Patanjali Maharshi. In dharana you will have only one vritti or wave in the mind-lake. The mind assumes the form of only one object. All other operations of the mind are suspended or stopped. He who can practise real concentration for half or one hour will have tremendous psychic powers. His 'will' also will be very powerful.