A Series of Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita: #3 Meditation

Here Krisha encourages Arjuna to seek “the Self” (read Brahman or God) through meditation.  The world without leads ultimately to restlessness and dissatisfaction.  But those who practice meditation will be “free from affliction.”  My favorite image here is that of the mind as an “unwavering flame in a windless place.”  Seeking satisfaction in the world, we can be like a flame in the wind, this moment blowing one way, that moment blowing the other…chasing temporary, fleeting fulfillments.  Krishna is concerned about a more abiding joy than this, and he believes it can only be found “in Him.”  Read on…

Krishna

“Those who aspire to the state of yoga should seek the Self in inner solitude through meditation.  With body and mind controlled they should constantly practice one-pointedness, free from expectation and attachment to material possessions.

Select a clean spot, neither too high nor too low, and seat yourself firmly on a cloth, a deerskin, and kusha grass.  Then, once seated, strive to still your thoughts.  Make your mind one-pointed in meditation, and your heart will be purified.  Hold your body, head, and neck firmly in a straight line, and keep your eyes from wandering.  With all fears dissolved in the peace of the Self and all desires dedicated to Brahman, controlling the mind and fixing it on me, sit in meditation with me as your only goal.  With senses and mind constantly controlled through meditation, united with the Self within, an aspirant attains nirvana, the state of abiding joy and peace in me…

When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.  In the still mind, in the depths of meditation, the Self reveals itself.  Beholding the Self by means of the Self, an aspirant knows the joy and peace of complete fulfillment.  Having attained that abiding joy beyond the senses, revealed in the stilled mind, he never swerves from the eternal truth.  He desires nothing else, and cannot be shaken by the heaviest burden of sorrow.

The practice of meditation frees one from all affliction.  This is the path of yoga.  Follow it with determination and sustained enthusiasm.  Renouncing wholeheartedly all selfish desires and expectations, use your will to control the senses.  Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the Self.

Wherever the mind wanders, restless and diffuse in its search for satisfaction without, lead it within; train it to rest in the Self. Abiding joy comes to those who still the mind.  Freeing themselves from the taint of self-will, with their consciousness unified, they become one with Brahman.”

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The Bhagavad Gita (Classics of Indian Spirituality)