All Life Is Yoga: Meditation - Sri Aurobindo - ebook

All Life Is Yoga: Meditation ebook

Sri Aurobindo

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Opis

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on meditation, concentration and contemplation. "What do you call meditation? Shutting the eyes and concentrating? It is only one method for calling down the true consciousness. To join with the true consciousness or feel its descent is the only thing important and if it comes without the orthodox method, as it always did with me, so much the better. Meditation is only a means or device, the true movement is when even walking, working or speaking one is still in sadhana." (Sri Aurobindo)

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Omsriaurobindomira

All

Life

Is

Yoga

“All life is Yoga.” – Sri Aurobindo

Meditation

Sri Aurobindo | The Mother

SRI AUROBINDODIGITAL EDITION

Copyright 2019

AURO MEDIAVerlag und FachbuchhandelWilfried Schuh

www.auro.media

eBook Design

SRI AUROBINDO DIGITAL EDITIONGermany, Berchtesgaden

ALL LIFE IS YOGAMeditationSelections from the Works ofSri Aurobindo and The MotherSecond edition 2019ISBN 978-3-96387-017-0

© Photos and selections of the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother:Sri Aurobindo Ashram TrustPuducherry, India

Flower on the cover:Albizia saman. Pink.Spiritual significance and explanation given by the Mother:WisdomCan only be acquired through union with the Divine Consciousness.

Publisher’s Note

This is one in a series of some e-books created by SRI AUROBINDO DIGITAL EDITION and published by AURO MEDIA under the title All Life Is Yoga. Our effort is to bring together, from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, simple passages with a practical orientation on specific subjects, so that everyone may feel free to choose a book according to his inner need. The topics cover the whole field of human activity, because true spirituality is not the rejection of life but the art of perfecting life.

While the passages from Sri Aurobindo are in the original English, most of the passages from the Mother (selections from her talks and writings) are translations from the original French. We must also bear in mind that the excerpts have been taken out of their original context and that a compilation, in its very nature, is likely to have a personal and subjective approach. A sincere attempt, however, has been made to be faithful to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. These excerpts are by no means exhaustive.

Bringing out a compilation from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which have a profound depth and wideness unique, is a difficult task. The compiler’s subjective tilt and preferences generally result in highlighting some aspects of the issues concerned while the rest is by no means less significant. Also without contexts of the excerpts the passages reproduced may not fully convey the idea – or may be misunderstood or may reduce a comprehensive truth into what could appear like a fixed principle.

The reader may keep in mind this inherent limitation of compilations; compilations are however helpful in providing an introduction to the subject in a handy format. They also give the readers a direct and practical feel of some of the profound issues and sometimes a mantric appeal, musing on which can change one’s entire attitude to them.

The excerpts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother carry titles and captions chosen by the editor, highlighting the theme of the excerpts and, whenever possible, borrowing a phrase from the text itself. The sources of the excerpts are given at the end of each issue.

We hope these compilations will inspire the readers to go to the complete works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and will help them to mould their lives and their environments towards an ever greater perfection.

“True spirituality is not to renounce life, but to make life perfect with a Divine Perfection.” – The Mother

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Contents

Title PageCopyrightPublisher’s NoteQuotations from the MotherI. BASIC EXPLANATION1. What Meditation Exactly Means2. What Should Be the Objects or Ideas for Meditation3. Most Essential Conditions for Meditation4. Two Common Difficulties in Meditation5. The First Thing to Know: Why One Meditates6. The One Need7. How to MeditateII. TRUE MEDITATION1. Inner Contemplation2. Pseudo-Meditation and the True Humility3. The State of Samadhi and Progress4. Forces Brought In During Meditation5. Length of the Meditation PeriodIII. DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEDITATION1. Different Kinds of Meditation2. Meditation on a Sentence3. Imagination and Meditation4. Collective MeditationIV. GUIDANCE TO DISCIPLES1. Indispensable Complement of Meditation: Work2. Meditation, Devotion and WorksV. SADHANA THROUGH MEDITATION1. Three Powers of Concentration – Their Right Use2. Utility of Meditation and Contemplation in Yoga3. Difficulties of Meditation4. Concentration – Nature and Importance5. How to Concentrate6. Centres of ConcentrationAPPENDIXReferences

Guide

CoverTable of ContentsStart Reading

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother

Wisdom is the vision of truth in its essence and of its application in the manifestation. — The Mother

Wisdom looks behind the veil and sees. Reason divides, fixes details and contrasts them; Wisdom unifies, marries contrasts in a single harmony. — Sri Aurobindo

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Part I

BASIC EXPLANATION

Chapter 1

What Meditation Exactly Means

Words of Sri Aurobindo

There are two words used in English to express the Indian idea of Dhyana, “meditation” and “contemplation”. Meditation means properly the concentration of the mind on a single train of ideas which work out a single subject. Contemplation means regarding mentally a single object, image, idea so that the knowledge about the object, image or idea may arise naturally in the mind by force of the concentration. Both these things are forms of dhyana; for the principle of dhyana is mental concentration whether in thought, vision or knowledge.

There are other forms of dhyana. There is a passage in which Vivekananda advises you to stand back from your thoughts, let them occur in your mind as they will and simply observe them and see what they are. This may be called concentration in self-observation.

This form leads to another, the emptying of all thought out of the mind so as to leave it a sort of pure vigilant blank on which the divine knowledge may come and imprint itself, undisturbed by the inferior thoughts of the ordinary human mind and with the clearness of a writing in white chalk on a blackboard. You will find that the Gita speaks of this rejection of all mental thought as one of the methods of Yoga and even the method it seems to prefer. This may be called the dhyana of liberation, as it frees the mind from slavery to the mechanical process of thinking and allows it to think or not think as it pleases and when it pleases, or to choose its own thoughts or else to go beyond thought to the pure perception of Truth called in our philosophy Vijnana.

Meditation is the easiest process for the human mind, but the narrowest in its results; contemplation more difficult, but greater; self-observation and liberation from the chains of Thought the most difficult of all, but the widest and greatest in its fruits. One can choose any of them according to one’s bent and capacity. The perfect method is to use them all, each in its own place and for its own object; but this would need a fixed faith and firm patience and a great energy of Will in the self-application to the Yoga.

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Chapter 2

What Should Be the Objects or Ideas for Meditation

Words of Sri Aurobindo

Whatever is most consonant with your nature and highest aspirations. But if you ask me for an absolute answer, then I must say that Brahman is always the best object for meditation or contemplation, and the idea on which the mind should fix is that of God in all, all in God and all as God. It does not matter essentially whether it is the Impersonal or the Personal God or, subjectively, the One Self. But this is the idea I have found the best, because it is the highest and embraces all other truths, whether truths of this world or of the other worlds or beyond all phenomenal existence, – “All this is the Brahman.”

In the third issue of Arya1, at the end of the second instalment of the Analysis of the Isha Upanishad, you will find a description of this vision of the [Brahman] which may be of help to you in understanding the idea.

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1 See “The Vision of the Brahman” in Isha Upanishad, volume 17 of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SRI AUROBINDO, p. 30. The passage was first published in the third issue of the Arya, dated October 1914. – Ed.

Chapter 3

Most Essential Conditions for Meditation

Words of Sri Aurobindo

There are no essential external conditions, but solitude and seclusion at the time of meditation as well as stillness of the body are helpful, sometimes almost necessary to the beginner. But one should not be bound by external conditions. Once the habit of meditation is formed, it should be made possible to do it in all circumstances, lying, sitting, walking, alone, in company, in silence or in the midst of noise etc.

The first internal condition necessary is concentration of the will against the obstacles to meditation, ie wandering of the mind, forgetfulness, sleep, physical and nervous impatience and restlessness etc.

The second is an increasing purity and calm of the inner consciousness (citta) out of which thought and emotion arise; ie a freedom from all disturbing reactions, such as anger, grief, depression, anxiety about worldly happenings etc. Mental perfection and moral are always closely allied to each other.

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Words of Sri Aurobindo

The sitting motionless posture is the natural posture for concentrated meditation – walking and standing are active conditions suited for the dispense of energy and the activity of the mind. It is only when one has gained the enduring rest and passivity of the consciousness that it is easy to concentrate and receive when walking or doing anything. A fundamental passive condition of the consciousness gathered into itself is the proper poise for concentration and a seated gathered immobility in the body is the best for that. It can be done also lying down, but that position is too passive, tending to be inert rather than gathered. This is the reason why Yogis always sit in an asana. One can accustom oneself to meditate walking, standing, lying, but sitting is the first natural position.

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Chapter 4

Two Common Difficulties in Meditation

Words of Sri Aurobindo

The mind is always in activity, but we do not observe fully what it is doing, but allow ourselves to be carried away in the stream of continual thinking. When we try to concentrate, this stream of self-moved mechanical thinking becomes prominent to our observation. It is the first normal obstacle (the other is sleep during meditation) to the effort towards Yoga.

The first thing to do is to realise that this thought-flow is not yourself, it is not you who are thinking, but thought that is going on in the mind. It is Prakriti with its thought-energy that is raising all this whirl of thought in you, imposing it on the Purusha. You as the Purusha must stand back as the witness observing the action, but refusing to identify yourself with it. The next thing is to exercise a control and reject the thoughts – though sometimes by the very act of detachment the thought-habit falls away or diminishes during the meditation and there is a sufficient silence or at any rate a quietude which makes it easy to reject the thoughts that come and fix oneself on the object of meditation. If one becomes aware of the thoughts as coming from outside, from the universal Nature, then one can throw them away before they reach the mind; in that way the mind finally falls silent. If neither of these things happens, a persistent practice of rejection becomes necessary – there should be no struggle or wrestling with the thoughts, but only a quiet self-separation and refusal. Success does not come at first, but if consent is constantly withheld, the mechanical whirl eventually lessens and begins to die away and one can then have at will an inner quietude or silence.

It should be noted that the result of the Yogic processes is not, except in rare cases, immediate and one must apply them with patience till they give a result which is sometimes long in coming if there is much resistance in the outer nature.

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Words of Sri Aurobindo