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begins the last stroke that the Yogi deals, which decides his
fate. This is the stage of dharana or concentration of the
whole of one s psychic being (chitta). A perennial flow of
dharana is called dhyana or meditation. If dharana is the
drop, dhyana is the river. Many concentrations make a
meditation. Qualitatively they are non-different, but
functionally there is a distinction between them. In his work,
 Concentration and Meditation , Sri Swami Sivanandaji
Maharaj has explained the subject in great detail.
Different schools prescribe different methods of
concentration. The Buddhists have their own method, and
the Jains another. The orthodox systems in India have
various techniques of their own. The way in which one
concentrates one s mind determines to some extent what
kind of person one is and what samskaras or psychic
impressions are within oneself. The nature of the target one
chooses also is a clue to one s inner make. When the student
enters into dharana, he can know something of his personal
structure. He becomes an observer of himself and an object
of his study.
The rationale behind the practice of dharana has been
earlier explained under the context of pratyahara. The
reason behind the effort at concentration of mind is the same
as that underlying the need for pratyahara. It is a
psychological necessity with a deep philosophical
background. Unless the  why of concentration is properly
answered, one will not have satisfaction within and hence
cannot take to the practice wholeheartedly. Many students
desire to practice concentration. If they are asked  why , they
have no good reply. There should be clarity first, for it is the
index of conviction and an absence of it is a lack of any
settled ideal before oneself. Concentration is the channelizing
of the chitta or the psychic structure within towards
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universality of being. This goal is achieved by many stages,
with a graduated movement of the finite to the infinite.
It was pointed out that worry and grief constitute an
obstacle in the practice of yoga. As a matter of fact, Patanjali
specially mentions these as some of the central opposing
powers in the field of yoga. Unfortunately, life is always beset
with sorrow and if we are to search for a man free from
vexation of every kind, we would, perhaps, not find one. Yet,
yoga cannot be successful if mental stress is to pursue man
like a hound, wherever he goes. It is necessary for one, before
any attempt at pratyahara, dharana or dhyana, to extricate
oneself from these tormenting forces of the world. And the
student may, from the point of view of this situation, be able
to understand what an amount of effort is necessary on the
path to keep the mind in balance; for balance is said to be
yoga. It is only when the balance is upset, due to some factor
in life, that worry sets in. Hence, the first step in yoga is not
pratyahara or dharana, but a psychological disentanglement,
or a stock-taking as people do in business, and a striking of
the balance-sheet of the inner world. One has to find out
where one stands. How can one do concentration or
meditation if pains are to eat into one s vitals? There are
many problems that are brought upon oneself through
economic situations, social circumstances, family conditions,
etc., as also personal health and mental stability. These are
important aspects that have to be taken into consideration.
Supposing that the student is deeply annoyed with someone,
will he be able to sit for concentration at that time? No.
Because the mind is already engaged in something else and is
not prepared for concentration. It has already been given
some work and it is trying to reconcile itself with negative
conditions that have been thrust upon it. Yoga is a positive
state, different from all moods of the day. There is nothing of
the negative in the yoga way of life, neither in the mind nor in
the perspective of one s vision. Misgivings about yoga are
due to a want of proper understanding of its meaning. All
anguish is to be set right. How to do this is a personal
problem. It has to be dealt with on an individual
consideration, as the answer varies from person to person.
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Just as a physician does not treat patients collectively but
pays them all individual attention, each question has to be
taken separately and solved, unless they are all of a similar
character.
It need not be emphasized that a Guru is necessary, and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]




 

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