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Strive And Strive Again

The True goal of meditation is Self or God-realisation. In the memorable words of St. Ambrose, "We are to become that which we are".

Purposeful and sustained thought is necessary for understanding and achieving material aims. How infinitely more it must be necessary then to realise the Divine Self hidden in the depths of each of us. To achieve this purpose, one has to plunge oneself into the inmost depths of each of us. To achieve this purpose, one has to plunge oneself into the inmost depths of one's being by way of meditation. To a beginner, solitude and seclusion are essential for meditation.

The, there are some serious difficulties coming in the way of mediation like restlessness, impatience, fatigue, sleep and most importantly, the simultaneous "invasion" of all kinds of thoughts that suddenly come up on the surface of the mind as one starts meditating.

The thoughts must, however, be considered as passers-by crossing the mind-space with whom one has no connection or interest. What is required is to gather together all the strings of one's will power to withstand the various difficulties and obstructions, to withdraw the senses from the outside world and to go deep and still deep within. "Deep calling into deep" as Christian mystics called it. Although it is easier said than done and the journey towards the goal is extremely hard and difficult, yet it is reliable.

One may start with contemplating deeply on something most congenial and loving to one's heart and sacred to one's mind and aspiration. That something may be Sun or Lotus or some name of the Divine like OM, Allah, God, Vaheguru, Christ or an idea like, "Thy will be done," or "All is Brahman" or a mantra such as the Gayatri mantra. The contemplation serves as a spring-board to enable one to go deep into the "waters of consciousness." One must concentrate sincerely on the Bhava underlying one's object of contemplation.

The more sincerely one holds on to the Bhava, the more will the latter sink into the depths of one's inner-being. In the course of sustained practice (sadhna), the object of contemplation (name, idea or mantra) will gradually fall away and disappear from the horizon of the mind. Then in that thoughtless state will descend one day a mysterious state will descend one day a mysterious delight, sun-lit joy and Ananda in the inmost recesses of the heart.

Such an experience may, however, be short lived because one may soon be 57caught up in the whirlpool of worldly attractions and attachments. But since one has had the initial experience of delight and Ananda within which was like seeing a mile-stone on the journey to the "high adventure of the spirit" or an oasis in the desert, one feels impelled within to catch up again the missing end of the thread. It really becomes an interesting game of "hide and seek".

One should always remember the memorable words of Swami Vivekananda, "Arise' awake and stop not till the goal is reached" - and again start on the journey with renewed vigour, love and faith. No doubt, the journey is long and hazardous, demanding sustained faith and steadfastness, and the true goal of meditation far, yet the journey is absorbing and the goal, the real aim for which human life was given to us, worth striving for.

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