LAST WEEK, we dealt with modern-day heartfulness and how each component of the practice impacts individuals. Elaborating on the purity aspects, let’s note that there are the heartfulness practices to maintain the purity of points A, B, C and D around the first point of the heart, where most of the sensory impressions initially lodge in our system.
Transmission takes us to deep levels of meditation, where we experience samadhi, that condition of perfect balance that was there before creation. We are at one with the soul. When we emerge from meditation, we allow a few minutes for the condition we have acquired to be enlivened and imbibed, so that we are one with it, in complete union (AEIOU). When we are able to hold this state of samadhi after we open our eyes, pratyahara happens naturally. We carry on with the day, and that underlying condition stays with us so that we remain connected with it while we do other things. We are in the world, but our senses are not pulled by the world. We retain our equilibrium and imbibe things consciously. We remain alert and aware with a mindful focus, while also being absorbed in samadhi. There is an Indian fable that explains this beautifully: When the star Svâti is on the ascending horizon, if it rains and a drop of rain falls into an oyster, that drop will become a pearl. The oysters know this, so they come to the surface when Svâti is shining bright in the sky and wait to catch a raindrop. When the drops are caught, the oysters close their shells and dive to the bottom of the sea to patiently grow the pearl. How can we be like these little oysters? How can we live in the world, while leaving aside outside influences so as to patiently grow the truth (an exquisite pearl) within us? That is where heartfulness plays its part. When the heart is our focus, everything is anyway connected and integrated. The heart does not distinguish the physical, subtle and causal levels of existence, because the heart encompasses all of them. By diving into the heart each morning in meditation, we will become like those little oysters. Then we will arrive at the yogic state of uparati, where we are no longer controlled by our desires and senses, as our minds are all the time centered in reality. And finally there is the coup de grâce, the technique of all heartfulness techniques for keeping the senses relaxed and free from excitement. It is meditation with open eyes, or constant remembrance, in which the meditative state continues throughout the day.
Second, heartfulness cleaning removes those impressions from our subtle bodies that fuel our desires and activate the senses. In previous articles, we have spoken about all the emotional pulls that we feel due to the impressions we accumulate from our past. Until they are removed, how can inward focus be natural? That is why cleaning is so important. Through these two heartfulness practices, pratyaharais facilitated, as both the deepening inward focus and the removal of obstacles are speeded up. While we still witness the vagaries of the mind during meditation, we simply ignore the thoughts that surface as they are being removed. Third, the heartfulness prayer is a direct practice of pratyahara. It contains an acknowledgment, “We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement”, and then gives us the solution to take us beyond that limitation, by focusing on a stage of existence beyond the senses. Prayer naturally takes us to the center of ourselves where the senses are not needed in our witnessing. Instead we are in osmosis with a higher dimension of existence through the heart.
— Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today