A spiritual seeker’s difficult path is called “walking on a razor’s edge” by the kathopanishad. This is because the seeker is trying hard to fight the inner enemies in his own bosom rather than external threats. Difficult family situations, ill health, lack of time are externalities which agitate the mind to quieten which, Japa is advised. It greatly steadies the mind.
The second line of attack comes from one’s own mind. The hatred,anger, jealousy, prejudices and strong likes and dislikes. The more hardened the ego, the stronger are these enemies. They molest the mind with restless turbulent thoughts. Strangely, the mind is pulled more forcefully and repetitively by what one hates than by what one loves! Watch the subjects of your thoughts at the seat of meditation, those are your obstacles. Try to steadily work at removing them, one by one. The mind is incapable of meditating even if a single anxiety lurks within its crevices. Trace its source and work consciously to drop it.
Lethargy and irregularity are great foes of meditation. A piece of iron has to be in constant touch with fire for it to retain the borrowed fiery red colour and heat. It soon returns to its original black and cold qualities if distanced from the flame. Similarly the early seeker has to channel his mind constantly and regularly towards the fire of divinity.
Deep seated desires gathered by the individuality over past lives rest at the bottom of the unconscious mind. Even in the clear calm waters of a pond, a gas bubble rises from the dirt deep below and bursts on the surface creating ripples that disturb the tranquil surface. These need to be watched carefully before the immature seeker’s mind develops the strength to conquer major hurdles that confront the advanced seeker.
Prarthna Saran, President Delhi Chinmaya Mission can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org