Meditation 2

Next in sixth chapter meditation is elaborated.

yogī yuñjīta satatamātmānaṃ rahasi sthitaḥ |

ekākī yatacittātmā nirāśīraparigrahaḥ ||6.10||

May the meditator, whose body and mind are disciplined, who are free from longing and possessions, remaining alone in a quiet place, constantly unite his/her mind (with the object of meditation).

One should be in a solitary place - rahasi, alone / without companion - ekākī during meditation. Advisable always sit in a quiet place where only sattvic - pure activities are held, place like prayer room or study room. It will help the meditator quieten the mind faster. What he/she supposed to do during meditation process? He/she should always fix his/her mind on the object of meditation (not other mental activities) - yogī yuñjīta satatamātmānaṃ. In this context, we are doing vedantic meditation which is dwelling on the nature of ourselves.

For mind to be focused, one should be able to have certain discipline with regard to his/her body and mind. Body should be comfortable in a still position in a length of time, then stillness of mind will come. Therefore meditator is said to be the one who has his body and mind disciplined - yatacittātmā. For the mind to focus, he/she also should put his/her longing and possession in suspension - nirāśīraparigrahaḥ during meditation session, otherwise one's mind will continuously moving towards that direction only.

For meditation to be successful, meditator should pay attention to certain thing as follow:

śucau deśe pratiṣṭhāpya sthiramāsanamātmanaḥ |

nātyucchritaṃ nātinīcaṃ cailājinakuśottaram ||6.11||

Having arranged one's seat (made of) a piece of soft cloth, a skin, and a grass mat layered in (reverse order), in a clean place, firm, not too hight and not too low.

The place for meditation should be clean and pure - śucau deśe, either naturally or by refining process like prayer, chanting, or studying scripture is to be done.

Having place one's sit steadily / not shaky - pratiṣṭhāpya sthiramāsanamātmanaḥ, which is not very high - nātyucchritaṃ to prevent from falling and not very low / thin -nātinīcaṃ to prevent disturbance from insects. The order of material for sitting arrangement starts from a grass mat so it doesn't catch soil easily, then an animal skin (from picking up in forest) to prevent dampness from the grown, and last a piece of soft cloth -cailājinakuśottaram for comfortable sitting.

This type of material arrangement is not fully required in our modern set-up, especially it is impossible for us to pick-up animal skin from forest. And also for those who stay in the tropical country, weather is always warm, then so one might feel more uncomfortable to sit on animal skin.

What is to be done after fixing the sitting?

tatraikāgraṃ manaḥ kṛtvā yatacittendriyakriyaḥ | upaviśyāsane yuñjyāt yogamātmaviśuddhaye ||6.12||

Sitting there on the seat, making one's mind one pointed (absorbed in the object of meditation), may the one who has mastered the mind and senses practice meditation for the purification of the mind.

There in that sitting - upaviśyāsane, one should practice meditation - yuñjyāt yogam. One should withdraw the mind from all other object - yatacittendriyakriyaḥ, then having one pointed mind - ekāgraṃ manaḥ only dwell on the object of meditation - which is my true nature. What is the immediate purpose of this meditation? For the purification of the mind - ātmaviśuddhaye. Since chapter sixth deals with nididhyāsanam - contemplation on one's true nature, therefore purification here means removal of habitual error about the notion of ourselves.

Next how one should hold the posture during meditation is talked about.

samaṃ kāyaśirogrīvaṃ dhārayannacalaṃ sthiraḥ |

samprekṣya nāsikāgraṃ svaṃ diśaścānavalokayan ||6.13||

Holding oneself firm without moving, keeping the body, head, and neck in one straight line, (as though) looking at the tip of one's nose (for eye position) and not looking in all directions...

samaṃ kāyaśirogrīvaṃ - keep the body, head and neck in one line is to help for steadiness of the body - dhārayannacalaṃ sthiraḥ, because only when body is steady then mind become still. samprekṣya nāsikāgraṃ svaṃ - looking at one's own tip of the nose. This sentence always being taken literally. If looking at the tip of the nose with open eyes is the meaning, then the meditation itself is not the meditation upon the nature of ātmā which is the central theme of this chapter sixth. While our sense organs are operating, our mind will also go with it. Therefore, the meaning should be relaxing the eyesight by lowering the gaze with closing eyes, not looking at all direction - diśaścānavalokayan, since our eye-balls can gaze to different direction even with the closed eyes. Therefore the meaning should be withdraw the activities of eyes centered on object.

How the meditator is making the contemplation success?

paśāntātmā vigatabhīrbrahmacārivrate sthitaḥ |

manaḥ saṃyamya maccitto yukta āsīta matparaḥ ||6.14||

Being the one whose mind is tranquil, who is free from fear, established in one's commitment to the life of brahmacārin, may that meditator sit thinking of Me, having Me as the ultimate goal, while withdrawing the mind from everything else.

paśāntātmā - one whose mind is tranquil by karma-yoga and meditation. Vigatabhīh - who's is free from fear because of having the knowledge of non-duality. Only by knowing that I am ātmā the embodiment of all, then one will be free from fear. Because fear is there only when there is a sense of differentiation. One is never afraid of him/her self.

Brahmacārivrate sthitaḥ - one who is established in the lifestyle of committed to abiding in brahman. One's activities need to be in line with the teaching of self knowledge.

Only with all these qualifications, one is eligible fixing the mind upon Me (brahman which is my true nature) - maccittah. Having Me (abiding in my true nature) as the ultimate goal - matparah, which is moksa- liberation itself. And because seeing I am satyam - independent reality of all the mithya - name and form, therefore the mind of the meditator is withdrawn - manaḥ saṃyamya from everything else (mithya - name and form).

Next, result of meditation is talked about.

yuñjannevaṃ sadātmānaṃ yogī niyatamānasaḥ |

śāntiṃ nirvāṇaparamāṃ matsaṃsthāmadhigacchati ||6.15||

Always connecting the mind in this manner, the meditator, the one whose mind is mastered, gains the peace, which is centred on Me (which is in the form of an absorption in Me), which is the ultimate liberation.

Usually our wellbeing depends on the peacefulness of the mind, I am okay when my mind is relax, and I am not okay when my mind is disturbed. And conditions of the mind depends on the outer aspect which is not in my control. This tranquility of the mind can be conditioned during the meditation process, but it comes and goes. This is not we want to achieve in vedantic meditation. The tranquility we want to achieve should be there in all time for us. Only by owning up/ abiding in me (my own true nature) -matsaṃsthām which doesn't change, then it is possible. This tranquility is owned up when all the delusion and superimposition upon anātmā (not my true nature) are resolved. It is the ultimate liberation now and then - śāntiṃ nirvāṇaparamāṃ adhigacchati.

nātyaśnatastu yogo'sti na caikāntamanaśnataḥ |

na cātisvapnaśīlasya jāgrato naiva cārjuna ||6.16||

Meditation is not for one who eats too much or for one who does not eat at all nor indeed, Arjuna! for one who sleep too much or who is always awake.

When one is habitually eating too much, means he/she couldn't control of his/her senses. If one who doesn't eat at all, this would hurt his/her body. For one who sleep too much, mind is very lethargic, and mind is excessively active if one who always awake. Meditation can't be successful for the person with these habits.

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