DHARANA: The mind clings naturally to that which it believes contains joy. Deep concentration and inquiry reveal that the joy we seek from objects guarantees no permanent satisfaction. In fact the charm dies in your own embrace! Yet we ‘lay waste our powers’ in the futile and idiotic search for joy, seeking it where it lies not. The mind of the true seeker soon discovers the futility of this foolish search, and turns single pointedly towards the true source of joy. When one applies oneself to a single idea , consistently to the exclusion of all other thoughts, it is called ‘Dharana’, concentration. Concentration is the only weapon to help us pierce through the high and mighty walls of the fortress of Truth. The seeker must cultivate right values and seek spiritually and ethically evolved company (Satsang) to gain a steady mind that can be focussed for deep spiritual exploration. “ The engine of the mind runs on the oil of perception ……the more the perceptions the more the agitations.” Discovering clinging attachments, pinning them down and destroying them root and branch is called ‘DHARANA’.

DHYAN: Dharana enables Dhyan, (meditation). Unless we know what exactly meditation is, any quick fix attempt at it e.g. “ two minutes a day before office”, will never succeed. Prolonged meditation is described by the scriptures as ‘Dhyan’. Even to be capable of attempting meditation one should have developed a steady hold on one’s thoughts. Rising from the instinctual level of animal man in thoughts and deeds, one gains full mastery in controlling and directing one’s thought flow. The mind is hard wired to vacillate. The yogi can , through practice settle his mind, using his discriminating intellect. Purified actions and thoughts slowly integrate the mind and intellect, chastening them into a clear brilliance and piercing sharpness that enables meditation.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission Delhi. Email: prarthnasaran@gmail.com