Just as gold, by thorough heating and fire gives up its impurities and gains its own lustre. So too, the mind through meditation sheds its impurities of sattva, rajas, and tamas and attains the nature of Brahma.
~ Vivekachudamani (Verse Number: 362)
Questioner (Q): Dear Acharya Ji, is meditation the understanding? That’s what the talk is about? What is meant by purifying the mind through meditation?
At many places, is mentioned the practice of meditation. So Acharya Ji, what is this practice about? Is there any method-less method to attain the unchanged understanding or meditative state?
Acharya Prashant (AP): I will repeat the verse, ‘Just as gold, by thorough heating and fire gives up its impurities and gains its own lustre. So too, the mind through meditation sheds its impurities of sat, rajas, and tamas and attains the nature of Brahma’.
The question is about meditation: What is meditation? Is there any method-less method? Is meditation about understanding?
Let’s begin from, already you know of. You know of thought, right? So, begin with thought.
What is thought?
There is you and there is an object, you are thinking of and then the relation between you and that object. You just don’t think of anything. You define the object, you are thinking of. The object that you think of, depends on you. And the relationship is always of either fear or greed.
That which you are, either ‘wants’ or ‘repels’. That which you are is either greedy or afraid. He knows no other state. That is thought. You want something. What is meditation then?
Meditation is when you want the highest alone.
Meditation is when you are fed-up of looking at the small. Meditation is when you look at the small and you say, “If this is all that I can look at, then it cannot be small. It has to be very very large.”
Meditation is when nothing but the Truth is therefore the object you aim at – “I want the Truth.”
You can say then, that your sole focus is the Truth. But the Truth, as we know, is not something to be thought of, because one is too small to think of the Truth. Therefore, if one stubbornly insists that nothing but the Truth is to be known, then either one fails, or one bursts.
Please understand. There is a balloon, it can only hold a limited quantity, limited volume of air. You try to inflate it beyond its permissible limit, either you will fail in inflating it, and the balloon will not grow beyond a particular size or the balloon would burst. Meditation is the bursting of the balloon. The balloon is saying, ‘I want to hold the infinite. I want to hold the sky. Just holding a little bit of air is no fun. I want to hold the sky.” So, the balloon bursts.
Meditation is a special kind of thought, in which the thinker bursts, because the thinker is trying to achieve that, which cannot be achieved. You are aiming at that, which cannot be aimed at, which is alakh (beyond comprehension). When you are aiming at the deep-deep Truth, then your faculty keeps becoming subtler, and subtler; and finer and finer. And ultimately, it just disappears.
This disappearance is meditation.
You are looking at something, and you are contented with the looks, you are contented with the form, you are contented with the label, then meditation is not for you.
Meditation is when you look, and you are not contented. You say that you want more. You say, “It is just not what it appears to be”. You want to be sharper, you want to be finer. You are hungry and you don’t want to suppress your hunger. You express the hunger.
Boldly, you move towards the danger area, the abyss, and you know that it’s dangerous, mortally dangerous but still, there is something that calls you, lures you. You keep moving. And then, you are no more.
Therefore, meditation is not for those, who are easily satisfied. And therefore, meditation is not for those, who just want to practice methods.
Meditation is for those, who have taste for the mystical.
Meditation is for those who have the knack for the unknowable.
Unless you are a little crazy, unless you are a little off-center, a little mad by worldly standards, meditation is not for you.
The world looks at something and says, "This is how it is." Its definition has already been supplied to me. A woman is a woman, a man is a man. A sunset is a sunset, and a sunrise is a sunrise. A lake is a lake. A vehicle is a vehicle, a job is a job. A kid is a kid, a cub is a cub.
Mediation is for the eccentric ones, who say, “No, a kid is just not a kid. There is something within that tells me, that the kid…”
And therefore, there can be no ‘one’ method of meditation, because the universe is always all around you, so say your senses.
Meditation is the honest way of looking at the universe, and that includes yourself.
When you are honestly looking at anything, you are meditating.
When you are committed to the Truth, you are meditating.
And when you say, “Even the half-truths and lies are acceptable,” then it is beyond you to meditate.
Meditation is for the daring ones, who say that, "We are prepared to die, we are prepared to disappear. But we will not accept the stories. We want to go into the deep, dark caves and figure out for ourselves, what lies within.”
Entering the caves is sure shot death.
But then, there are some crazy ones, who do meditation.