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Patanjali Yoga Sutra

Our ancestors knew this restless, outgoing nature of the mind. To shift from mad rush of multiple thoughts to a state of a single or no-thought is not easy and simple. It requires some systematic, scientific training, some technique, some sadhana, some methods to face the inner forces.

Meditation is a very useful gift of ancient Indian Rishis initiated to calm down the ever restless mind. There are various types suiting to different types of personalities depending on their prakrti, the nature. But the principle is same. We have to take the help of a prop, a pratyaya (visual or verbal in most of the cases) and maintain that for a while continuously (ekatanata) in our mind.

The most popular, Sanatan technique, known in India from times immemorial both to illiterate and intelligent equally is Japan the repetition of a sound, a name, A mantra.

The idea is to bring the chattering mind at one place, gently and calmly not by force (na hathat, na balat) but subtly and silently through a sacred name. But if one is not religious, he need not bother. The teacher says to the student of Mathematics go on repeating triangle, triangle, triangle...in place of Ram, Ram, Ram to cheek the external hay-wire nature of mind and it works wonders.

By and by the mind gets trained to be with one concept or one word (Pratyaya) at least for a while. This reduces the impatience, speed, and chancahlata of the mind. The inner unruly forces are tamed and the golden gateway to a blissful inner world gradually starts opening. We get a glimpse of the serene states of consciousness and the journey within, nay, a sacred pilgrimage starts.

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha January, 1996 edition. This article has been published courtesy www.yogasudha.com

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