THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION
July 9, 2013 Comments Off on THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION
If you focus the rays of the sun through a lens, they can burn cotton or a piece of paper; but the scattered rays cannot do this. If you want to talk to a man at a distance, you make a funnel of your hand and speak; the sound waves are collected at one point and then directed towards the man. He can hear your speech very clearly. When water is converted into steam and the steam is concentrated at a point, the railway engine moves. The steam in the cooking vessels moves the lid and produces a put-put sound. All these are instances of concentrated waves. Even so, if you collect the dissipated rays of the mind and focus them at a point, you will have wonderful concentration. The concentrated mind will serve is a potent search-light to find out the treasures of the soul and attain the supreme wealth of Atman, eternal bliss, immortality and perennial joy. Therefore practise concentration and meditation regularly.
Kumbhaka (retention of breath) helps concentration. It checks the velocity of the mind and makes it move in smaller circles and ultimately curbs all its wanderings. Trataka (gazing) is a potent aid to concentration. Fix the mind on the candle flame, or a black dot, or sivalinga (symbol of Siva), or saligrama (symbol of Vishnu). Brahmacarya (celibacy) helps concentration. Without brahmacarya you cannot have definite progress. Satvic (pure) food is another aid to concentration. Seclusion, mouna (silence), satsanga (holy company), asana (yoga posture), japa (repetition of God’s name), practice of yama, niyama, fasting, moderation in diet, non-mixing with persons, little talking, little walking, little exertion – are all aids to concentration.
The mind can be controlled by continuous practice. You must always keep it occupied in divine contemplation. If you slacken your efforts, idle thoughts will at once occur. Continuous practice only can bring the mind under control.
If you wish to attain success in yoga you will have to abandon all worldly enjoyments. You will have to practise brahmacarya and tapas (austerity). These will help you in the attainment of concentration and samadhi (super-consciousness). – Swami Sivananda