Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Concentration and meditation (1921) By Swami Paramananda

All possess the faculty of concentration, but with the majority it is instinctive and automatic, not conscious. Even among the animals we see how a lion or tiger will gather his strength by a moment of absolute stillness before he springs upon his prey ; that automatic, instinctive power of concentration is embedded in every living creature. But until we can gain conscious command over our mental and spiritual forces, we can never have complete concentration. When the scattered mind is gathered together it is like a bright searchlight, and by it man is able to investigate the latent powers which he possesses but of which he is not now wholly aware. As he grows more conscious of these hidden forces and learns to use them, he becomes more and
more proficient.

We never wish to be defeated and yet how often our strength of mind or our
physical capacities prove inadequate. It is because we have not the full and conscious possession of our whole being. Man cannot achieve much unless he has free use of his hands and feet, free use of his eyes and ears, free use of his muscles and above all free use of his mind and intelligence. But how many of us have the free use of all these? 

When we would make use of them we find them hopelessly scattered and rebellious to our will. The cause of this does not lie in any inherent lack of power, but in our inability to coordinate, and in our lack of definite one-
pointed purpose. We miss the mark because we do not set our aim properly.

Once in ancient India there was a tournament held to test marksmanship in
archery. A wooden fish was set up on a high pole and the eye of the fish was the target. One by one many valiant princes came and tried their skill but in vain. Before each one shot his arrow the teacher asked him what he saw and invariably all replied that they saw a fish on a pole at a great height, with head, eyes, etc.; but Arjuna as he took his aim said: "I see the eye of the fish," and he was the only one who succeeded in hitting the mark.

Concentration means wholeness, unity, equilibrium. The hands, feet, mind, all
our members and faculties must be unified. They must all work in harmony, in
tranquillity and balance. Balance is needed everywhere in life. A man may be
over-active or he may be idle ; both indicate absence of self-adjustment.


Page No.






a. Fixity of Purpose 64

b. Practice of Concentration 66

c. Methods of Meditation .. 72

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