Param Para: Answers to Questions on the Spiritual Path  
by Swami Amar Jyoti

Seeker: Swamiji, can you use the sound of the mantra to go into meditation, to come to the object of meditation?

Normally speaking the sound of mantra is for concentration, not for Realization. The mantra within is call nada yoga. Ultimately Realization is the sound of sounds, the word of God, or Om, the ultimate sound. We start with mantra to concentrate. When you are trying to hear the sound of your mantra inside, any thought of “I am meditating” has to be given up. When you forget yourself then you truly meditate.

The exact definition of meditation, according to Yogic science, is twelve seconds of concentration without a break upon that which you want to be. Twelve seconds only. In between the mind cannot waver. It has to be a continuous flow of concentration.

You have to be very careful what you meditate upon. Choose the object you want to be. Then arrange your diet and work and rest in a moderate way so that you can meditate successfully until you reach the next stage called samadhi, spiritual absorption. You have to relax back into silence. Try to lose yourself into that. You have to see and reflect upon whatever brings you out but do not be identified with it. And do not fight with your mind. When you are unaffected and unidentified then your mind becomes tranquil. Ultimately meditation leads to silence—inner, absolute silence—and you get Realization of the object you are meditating upon.

Sometimes when I drop into that silence for a second, I come out knowing something I have never known before. It’s just here in my heart.

When you come out of meditation, that silence is lost for the time being. The only solution is to go back and again touch it—what you are. But “I-ness” brings you back out of that silence. It is a kind of habit that brings you out.
As we think, so we become. If you think you are Light, the Absolute, you will be Light. If you think you are Spirit, you will be Spirit. If you think you are God, you will be God. If you think you are a man, you will be a man. So, whatever you wish to be, whatever you think, you have become so.

First determine what you want to be; then meditate upon that. This determining to be is called dharana in Sanskrit. Meditation is dhyana. And when your meditation matures, it becomes samadhi. What you want to be, just meditate upon that with all devotion and concentration. You will see wonders will happen. Meditation is like a moth throwing itself into the flame. You are burning or purifying your ego. That much madness or devotion is needed.

God is within you. True Being is within you. Your Home is within you. Simply care for it and meditate on That. The goal in life is only one: to get to your True Being. This is not renunciation. You are getting back to your joy, peace and consciousness. You get everything in full and that Light which has no parallel, which is all fully joyful and satisfying. As the Gayatri mantra proclaims: Dhi yo yo Naha Prachodayaat— “We meditate upon That and That alone.” We become That.

If you have devotion, it is easy. Otherwise, concentration is very difficult. Devotion is indispensable. It is the last word before full Realization or God’s Vision. How to cultivate devotion? You need to have a Master, to have Satsang, read devotional books and have holy company and the example of others. When devotion develops into maturity God comes easily.

Daily sit, morning and evening. Thoughts and disturbances will arise. Heaviness and tensions may trouble you. Don’t resist, react or fight with your mind. Just relax. Allow time and patience to happen. Slowly you will become lighter and lighter, released. This is the way to meditate. You are not projecting anything. You are not trying hard to bring God into your brain. With a relaxed and lighter mind the urge will awaken in you automatically, “God, I want to be one with you.” Nobody has to teach you this. This is natural meditation, sahaja yoga, eternal, direct spirituality.

When you talk about knowing your True Self, is meditation the main tool to achieve that?

To know your True Self, you have to go through meditation. There is no other way. Other ways in between are helpful until you begin to truly meditate. Normally we sit to meditate and think many things. We don’t meditate. One among thousands truly meditates. In between, to help us to come to the stage of true meditation, we have prayer, yoga, study, Satsang, penances, vows, austerities and renunciation. All these help to bring you to deep meditation. The day you will be able to meditate deeply, you are nearly supreme.

Of course we must practice but I am frankly telling you: meditation is not achieved through the process of practice, though I do suggest that you practice.

There are qualifications required in order to truly meditate. You have to be peaceful, serene, forgiving, enduring, dispassionate, disinterested, non-covetous, non-greedy, non-attached, non-assertive and humble. To cultivate these qualities will take your whole life. Then you will be able to successfully meditate.

Meditation is very sacred, the last step before Realization. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, meditation is the seventh step in the eight limbs of yoga, the eighth being Enlightenment. Before meditation there are six steps in preparation: be truthful, be honest, forgiving, forbearing, don’t be jealous, don’t be prejudiced, avoid ego trips, forgive, be patient, be tolerant. This will lead you to purification. Once you prepare yourself in this way, meditation comes to you automatically. You just sit and you are meditating. So if you want to successfully meditate, don’t focus too much upon meditation itself. Focus on the impediments to be removed. If you clean and simplify your mind, it is easy.

© 2008 by Truth Consciousness. Excerpted from the Satsang of Swami Amar Jyoti, On Meditation (I-1), published in Light of Consciousness 20#4, Winter 2008.