Daily spiritual practice or sadhana in isolation helps us focus the mind. But mere concentration and focus is not sufficient; our goal is to purify the mind. Purification of the mind is effectively accomplished by attaching it to the all-pure God. Let us dedicate today’s message to see how we can accomplish this through appropriate spiritual practice.
One common spiritual practice is to chant the Divine Names of God which is really appreciable. God’s Name is not different from Him and by chanting the Names, we can take our minds to the Supreme Divinity. However, the Name is insufficient to enchant the mind. That is why we find many people are engaging in mere mechanical recitation. For instance, in-home, one family member may be chanting, “Sita Ram, Sita Ram,” but maybe engaging in brief conversation with others in between. In other words, we take the divine Names but are unable to engage our mindfully in that. Such kind of mechanical repetition will not suffice, because ultimately, it is the inner purity that we are striving for.
So, to have better focus, the practice that is recommended is “Roopdhyan meditation”—absorbing the mind in the image of the Lord. Our mind has the tendency to think in terms of images. For example, suppose we are asked to think of our father. What do we usually do? We will immediately bring our father’s image to the mind. That is how our brain works. Consider another example: If we go out to the parking lot to search for our car, we don’t check the number of the car in the first instance. Instead, we have the image of our car in mind, and we compare it against the vehicles that are parked.
So, similarly if we wish to remember God, and we are only providing our mind with the divine Name, the mind says I am not attracted. Alongside with it, if we provide our mind with the enchanting image of God, then it gets a solid basis to rest upon. The great Saints are at such a state that the image of their Lord is embedded in their eyes. Hence, wherever they look, they see the wonderful form of God. The Gopis would see Shree Krishna everywhere they looked. The Ramayana states that Hanumanji was in that state, where He saw Sita Ram everywhere. This illustrates the stage of perfection, where the whole world appears divine. But we have to begin at the first step, which is to strive to focus our mind upon the divine form of the Lord. Now we may say—we have never seen Him, then how can we bring His image to mind?
But the fact is that God is divine and beyond the purview of our material mind. Hence, even the biggest yogis, munis, rishis, and tapaswis cannot bring the actual image of God to the mind. What then should we do? God says, “Visualize Me as you wish right now, and increase your loving surrender. When you reach that state of exclusive and complete surrender to God, at that time I will bestow My divine Grace, and make your mind divine. Then you will not need to try and meditate. You will see Me as I am.”
But for right now, we are completely free to visualize Him as we wish and create those divine sentiments. So, at present if we can just close our eyes and bring the image of the Lord before us with the appropriate sentiments, we will find it a tremendous help in uplifting and purifying the state of our mind.
Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –
Now, let us try a short sample “Roopdhyan” meditation. “Close your eyes, sit with your back straight, and take some deep breaths. Mentally observe the breath flowing in and out. Mentally watch your chest and stomach expanding and contracting. Mentally visualize your body. Now, see yourself as the divine soul; the spiritual spark seated in the region of the heart. You the soul, are a tiny fragment of the Supreme Soul. Hence, you wish to cultivate loving devotion to him.
Visualize your Ishta-Deva—worshippable God in any form you wish. See yourself bowing down before Him, placing your head at His feet, and praying for His grace, divine knowledge, and causeless devotion. Now, see yourself offering a garland and putting it around Lord Krishna’s neck or whichever form of God you are meditating upon.
Take some sandalwood paste and apply a sacred mark on the forehead of the Lord with all your devotion. Offer some rose petals at the feet of the Lord, light some incense sticks (agarbatti) and wave it around your Ishta-Deva, offering the aroma to Him as a form of worship. Now, light the lamp in the aarti plate and see yourself doing the aarti of your Ishta-Deva. With this thought— ‘I am glorifying Him. Oh! Lord, please bless me that I may glorify you with every pore of my body,’ put the lamp away. Once again bow down before your Ishta-Deva and pray to Him to bless you with devotion.
Visualize — Shree Krishna placing His hand on your head and gracing you. Now, with the image of your Lord in front, bring the meditation to an end. Rub your palms physically together now, place the palms over the eyes, and relax your eyelids. Calm the mind and gently rubbing your eyes with your fingers and with a few blinks, open them.” That was a little glimpse of the “Roopdhyan” style of meditation.
Let this be the tool to discuss and absorb on the 15th day of Life Transformation Challenge and we shall move ahead from here as we progress along.