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Shriyantra Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas Swami Omkarananda

 

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Swami Omkarananda

 

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The Divergent Mind Has to Be Channelised

While you are busy with some work, only a small part of your mind is occupied with this particular task, another small part of your mind is conscious of the body, yet another part takes note of your surroundings, and what is worse, still another part remembers an insult by a friend six months back; added to this you hear a plane speeding past your house in low flight and already the phone, too, is ringing.

All this demands your attention simultaneously. The rays of your mind get diffused. They point in all directions, losing their power, and you lose your self-control. Your attention is torn here and there, your mind is scattered, your energies are frittered away. You lose your inner depth and you feel empty. You live on the surface and are therefore unhappy and lack peace and strength.

With the help of Meditation we collect all these divergent rays of the mind and direct them to the Divine.

The sun sends out billions of rays. A single ray of the sun does not have the power to ignite a piece of paper. But if you take a magnifying glass and focus a number of sun's rays on one point, the paper goes up in flames. In the same way you have to use the magnifying glass of Meditation to focus your mind on the Divine. Then you can feel, experience and realise the Divine. As long as the rays of your mind are scattered all over, you can never find God.

You are lost in diversity and therefore suffer. You feel empty within, and to fill this emptiness you strive hard to gather all kinds of possessions, which only increase your misery. You try to dominate others and suffer therefore. You drink one cup of coffee after another and it becomes a habit. And instead of filling the void within you it makes you a slave of the coffee bean. This addiction costs money and it is not the only one you have. You are therefore in need of funds and have to work overtime to finance all your habits. It is a great misery, and yet you cling to it so much that if someone takes away your addictions, or makes it impossible for you to indulge in them, you cry and go mad.

Inner fulfilment and satisfaction are gained only by collecting the rays of the mind and focusing them on the supreme Truth.

One-pointed meditation enables us to grow one with the Divine. When you switch on the electric stove the plate grows warm, then hot and finally, after some time, glows red. It takes on the nature and substance of fire. In the same way your heart and mind change their form, when you subject them to the fire of God's presence for a long time; and if you continue this practice for days, weeks, years, for your whole life, you will be totally transformed into the Divine.

The secret of spiritual progress is to bring mind back from diversity to unity by focusing it again and again on the One. Man is lost in the experience of multitude. God experiences only the One - His own infinite perfection within Himself.

The experience of diversity is the cause of all limitations, worries and suffering of the human being. The experience of the One is the secret of all spiritual development. As long as you are caught up in the manifold you cannot concentrate. If you want to cut a tree with an axe and after every few minutes you start cutting at a new spot, the tree will still be there after a full day's labour, whereas, if you keep cutting in one place, the tree will fall within a few minutes.

Learn the art of concentration; do not jump here and there in your mind. Only then you can conquer your senses. As long as you follow the dictates of the mind you make yourself a hopeless slave of its moods. Mind has to obey you, not vice versa. Therefore, make your life as simple as possible. Eat in a simple way. Stay at one place for many years.

Look at the saints: they sit in a mountain cave for years together. For twenty or thirty years they do not leave their shelter. All their life they stay in one place. Merely this simple discipline is enough to overcome at least a fourth of the mind.

Imagine you were dependent on living on the move and every few weeks you had to change the hotel. Your entire life would be spent in shifting and adapting to the ever changing surroundings and conditions. What a tremendous loss! If, on the other hand, you remain at a single place, everything gets settled and becomes routine. No time is lost, the mind is not distracted by constant changes and therefore finds time and peace to think of God.

Stay therefore at one place and remain with one kind of meditation, one life style, one kind of diet and thus gain control over the mind. If you keep choosing from a great variety you can never decide what you really want. Your mind keeps wandering between alternatives and finds little or no time to think of God. There is no place for God in a heart which is already overflowing with multitude. Its energies are diffused and get wasted.

Therefore saints and sages take up one mantra, a single word and keep repeating it all their life, without a break, day and night, night and day. Man in general carries around a thousandfold useless chaos in his heart and mind. The spiritual aspirant is free from all this. He lives beyond time and space and therefore beyond all limitations.

When mind is under control you are filled with peace. The heart widens and the spirit remains uplifted in all circumstances. A thousand blessings are bestowed on you. Therefore uplift your consciousness beyond the body and the material environment. Train your mind to dwell in the Divine, in the timeless, spaceless Reality of unlimited knowledge, infinite strength and boundless joy.

- Swami Omkarananda
 

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