How to condition the mind? Is it easy or difficult for anyone to do so? Can you get someone’s attention and never let it stray away from you? Can the mind focus on a subject perfectly? Is meditation focussing the mind or de-focussing it? What is the meaning of the term yoga?
Now, when you see the snake charmer blowing his musical instrument and the snake going in a trance state, Or the Pied Piper Of Hamlyn, playing the pipes and the rats all following him speaks of preoccupation of the mind. These people have captured the entire attention of the creatures mind and having no other thought, they have enchanted these creatures.
Man goes through these phases in every stage of his life. He gets preoccupied with things that are in front of him.
Take the case of a deeply affected lover boy. His world revolves around the love of his life. He cannot even for a moment think of any other thing in his mind. He makes plans of being with his deepest desired object at every given moment in time.
The student who has a competitive exam coming up is so focused in her world that she has no time for any other thing. A newly married couple who are deeply in love or not is only zeroed on to consummation. A young mother is so much worried every moment in time about her youngster that nothing else can take her away from the welfare of her kid.
Narada, the great sage, once asked Krsna, who was His dearest devotee? Krsna told him about a poor farmer. Narada went to investigate. He found that the farmer toiled entire day in his field and took The Lords name only thrice. Once when he woke up, next while partaking his afternoon meal and lastly when he was about to fall asleep. Narada was intrigued with this. He asked Krsna how could someone be His dearest devotee if he never took His name more than thrice? Krsna told him that, before he could answer, Narada should complete a task. The task was to carry an oil filled bowl round the earth without spilling a drop. Narada completed the said task diligently. Krsna then asked Narada how many times did Narada himself took The Lords name? When he answered not once since he was preoccupied with the task assigned to him by The Lord. Krsna then explained to Narada that He had given a huge task to the farmer too. Even after performing his daily tasks, the farmer took The Lords name thrice and he, Narada never even took it once!
It is the same story of Gora Kumbhar or the fair potter who went on mixing the earth with his feet for making pots and singing the glories of The Lord that he never realized that his tiny son was completely mauled in that mud below his feet. The Lord finally restores the son to him. But the idea is that the mind was completely absorbed in The Lord so both these people, the farmer and the potter were lost in God while performing their worldly duties. The first in farming and the second of making pots.
We get so engrossed in our day to day life of going to work, cooking, taking care of household, dropping kids to school, taking care of old people, eating, driving, sports, spouse, love, death and so on. This things occupy our entire mind space and we cannot think of any other thing at all. The other things are blurred out. We do not give them priority or importance.
In all of the above you saw how everyone is so engulfed in their own world that they hardly seem to have anytime for other activities which are not important. The things that interest us and can offer the highest satisfaction is primarily in our thoughts. The rest of the others are relegated to an inferior position.
It’s you who gets to decide what to set up as a priority in this world. When you decide making money is important then you do not have any other thoughts occupying your mind. Or any other thing that is your highest desire can take up your entire mind space.
In spiritual, they instruct the incumbent into training his mind to focus on meditation, yoga or God. This can be done by any of the methods prescribed. It could be breath control or pranayama, hatha yoga or body exercises to control your mind, body and soul, jaap or constant chanting The Lords name, singing songs about God, meditation, satsang, etc.. These activities concentrates the mind in God alone. But these are external stimuli and cannot last for long since very soon you can get distracted. So any physical recommendation like the above by anyone can only take you for a very short duration away from the material world.
Yoga or meditation can take us away from the material world only till the time you are practicing it. But it is not a permanent solution. You get in and out of it. This is like playing with a yoyo and a worthless exercise.
It is akin to the person dressing nicely to attend church for Sunday mass. Once the mass is over, he goes back to his own world only to come back again next week.
The method of being one with The Lord constantly is not so easy. You need to first decide whether you are really interested in it or not. You should have the deepest desire for The Lord alone. Then He makes the arrangement for His representative to appear in front of you. The Guru takes you through the paces. But as you have seen earlier, how can anyone get fully occupied with The Lord if they are not single mindedly devoted to Him? So the Guru first gives you instructions which need to be followed about this single-mindedness. Only if you are constantly in company of your Guru can you attain that. Hence the Guru requires you to be around Him constantly. He gives instructions every moment in time. Awake or asleep, you are literally in constant oneness with Him. He is the true divine One or Brahman Himself. So when you are with Him constantly, you will become One with The Lord.
This way preoccupation of the mind with the name or the feet of the Guru will make you merge in Him alone.
You first see Him opaque as a human, with complete faith you surrender to Him and later as you come closer to Him, He becomes colorless or transparent, then only God can be seen through Him. Just as you can see the other side through a transparent glass. In Him you will see the divine.
This way there is yoga or oneness with God. Through the Guru you will have single minded devotion. He will take you in that transparent bathysphere to the bottom of the ocean of Brahman. Then there is only Brahman surrounding you and you are One with Him. You have immersed completely in God!
Image Courtesy by The Conditioned Mind