THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION

September 12, 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

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