Meditation and Self-Discipline
We generally remain engrossed in the dilemma which path we should follow to reach God. If we move towards intellectualism, then which way we should take and what we should do to achieve our objective. How and from where we need to begin our journey towards the divine abode are some of the questions confronting us?
Lord Krishna in Gita has answered this anxiety. He said that we should submit our whole to our God and focus our entire mind unto God always. Sit in meditation with full devotion regularly and systematically, though this is not an easy task. Sometimes, being spirited, we sit in meditation for an hour or two and sometimes not even for five or seven minutes. Such an irregularity does not produce any useful results. You should move in the right direction and in accordance with established methods and rules.
You may then ask for how long we should sit in meditation every day, or what could be the minimum time to be devoted to God for this task. It can be said that you should devote at least 24 minutes out of 24 hours to God
Devote at least one minute out of every hour to God and if you wish to achieve perfection then you should develop the habit of sitting for at last 40 minutes every day at the designated place.
By doing so, you will be able to achieve firmness in your accomplishment.
Fix and Observe Routine:
When the time for sitting in meditation is fixed then you will begin to feel the urge to observe the routine exactly in the same way as when you feel hungry for food at the fixed time. The day when you miss observing
the routine of following meditation or worship you will feel as if something has been missing from life. Those who do not eat meals at the scheduled time lose the routine. They eat whenever they can get the food. This way they suffer from ailments of the stomach and the whole digestive system is compromised leading to further sickness.
When we fall sick, we are unable to get good sleep.
If you do all your activities on time and follow a regulated schedule the body systems also work well. In the same way if we do not observe the routine of meditation, we begin to lose our contact with God. Hence, develop a routine of devotion and meditation for yourself. If done so, you will get sleep on time and all your daily routine will run smoothly. So, fix a time for devotion and meditation and observe the routine, come what may. Even if you are physically or emotionally disturbed, you should sit for meditation on time at a fixed place and for a fixed duration. Develop such a habit.
Discipline the Body and the Mind:
If on any day the weather is warm, or it is very hot or cold, whether there is a snowstorm or even if you do not feel well, and if you have established a routine do not let it break. Keep it firm. If you have high fever or feel unwell, you may recline in the bed or sit with the help of a pillow, but do not let the routine break. When you maintain the physical discipline the mind will also get disciplined gradually. The mind will then enable you to enjoy the pleasure of meditation and devotion. This will become your habit. To take advantage of devotion and worship you should discipline yourself and your mind and do not let the mind wander around aimlessly. Concentrate and indulge in true worship.
Routine Produces Miraculous Results:
If your routine and observance of rules are steady you will surely reach heavenly abode. A person who happened to be the Chief Engineer with a government organization met me once and narrated a heartwarming incidence. He said, “My mother had the habit of reciting Hanuman Chalisa every day at a fixed time [4 am]
sitting in her temple. It was her routine which she observed resolutely. One day she got sick due to her heart ailment. She suffered a brain stroke and slipped into a coma. She was lying unconscious in the hospital.The doctors were unsure of her getting back to her conscious state.” This person said that he was sitting in front of her. Her mala and Hanuman Chalisa were near her. When it was around 4 in the morning, he thought of picking up the mala and Hanuman Chalisa and reciting it by himself while sitting in front of her. He started reciting it just close to her ears. Then he thought of reciting it slightly loudly. After the recitation, for some time he thought that his efforts were going waste but after some time, he found that his mother’s lips started moving. The lips were visibly moving but her voice was not audible. As he continued the recitation, the mother also continued to do so, word by word but without any sound coming from her.
The person said, “As I completed the recitation there was a sudden loud sound coming out of her mouth ‘Hari Om’ and she breathed her last. I felt as if some vehicle from the heavens had descended and took my mother away.” Due to sickness, her body had lost vitality and life, yet her soul due to 40 years of discipline worked wonders. It was a
miracle. The routine of 40 years brought about astonishing results. If our routine is firm, whatever be the status of our physical condition, the results of worship are surprising. Hence adopt and observe the routine. Do not let it break. Undertake worship and do meditation with full devotion and energy.
Worship and Penance:
Worship and penance are of various types. The routine of worship for the general householder, if it is firm, becomes miraculous. Do not let any kind of hindrance be in your worship and penance. Lord Krishna has thus, emphasized connected firmly with God. And, meditate on God by sitting alone and at a lonely place. The place of worship should also be carefully selected. Think about a place you would choose for housing God – naturally, it will be the temple. So, your home should also be like a temple. The ambiance of the home should be like the temple – quiet, serene and godly. It also becomes important to have a look at your clothes – these should be clean, fresh, and crisp. It is a good idea to use white or yellow clothes while sitting in meditation. You should also have a mala of your own. While meditating you may use the mala but later, as you progress on the divine path, you will not need it too. You can worship in your own mind. The best time for meditation is the early morning hours. Make the morning hours soothing and pleasant. Do advance preparations in the night for the morning prayers and meditation. Whatever you might need for meditation in the morning should be readily available at your place of worship. You need not call anyone for help in the early hours.
Thank God and Guru:
When you wake up in the morning rub your palms together and place them on your eyes. Then have a close look at the palms and think of your Guru and Ishtdev (preferred God) and thank him for everything given to you. Just think that the blessings of Narayan and Guru are embedded within your palms and these are the engravings of divine blessings. The leave your bed, perform the purification rituals, and prepare to sit on the Prayer mat (asana) with a fresh mind. Remember God and the Guru and Offer prayers of gratitude to them. With the fresh and consolidated and composed mind, it is easier to enter the meditation phase that you will immensely enjoy and cherish.
Sing Prayers Collectively:
When sitting for devotional songs do not sit alone. Do so in the company of family, friends, and relatives. Collective prayers produce multifold and abundant results. There is a message in the Vedas ‘Get collected in thousands and say prayers to God’. Your prayers will then be more powerful and these will be heard and answered. I only urge that in the present times we should not gather in large numbers to offer our prayers. COVID has unfortunately affected our ways of life dramatically but at the same time, it has also taught us adaptability. Prayers must continue and even more than ever before. Improvise your ways of collective prayers use technology in a positive manner and pray for the world. However, meditation should be done alone and individually – only then they produce miraculous results.