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The Method of Dhyanam
The place should be a little elevated from the ground; that is an inch or two high. Place a mat of Durbha grass on it, spread a deer-skin on the mat and have a thin white cloth laid on the skin. Upon this seat one should sit, adopting the Padmasana pose. The right foot must be above the left and the left foot above the right. The fingers of the hand must be in close touch with one another and the hands should be placed in front. The eyes must be either half-open or fully closed. Then by means of mental massage, the neck, the shoulders, the hands, the chest, the teeth, the stomach, the fingers, the back, the thighs, the knees, the calves and the feet should be relaxed. After this, one has to meditate on one's own favourite Name and Form, with Om added. When this is being done, there should be no mental wanderings; one must be stable and quiet. No thought of past events, no trace of anger or hatred and no memory of sorrow should be allowed to interfere. Even if they intrude, they should not be considered at all; to counteract them, one must entertain thoughts which will feed one's enthusiasm for Dhyanam. Of course, this may appear difficult, at first. The best time for Dhyanam is the quiet hours before dawn, between 3 and 5 a.m. One can awake, say, at 4 a.m. First of all, sleep has to be subdued. This is very necessary. In order to keep the hours unchanged, one may set the alarm clock for 4 a.m. and rise. Even then, if sleep continues to bother, its effect can be overcome by means of a bath in cold water. Not that it is essential to bathe, it is needed only when sleep gives much trouble.
If in this manner the Dhyanam path is rigorously followed, it is possible for one to win the Grace of the Lord very quickly.
Sadhakas all over the world will naturally be engaged in Japam and Dhyanam;
but first one has to be clear about the purpose of Japam and Dhyanam.
Without this knowledge, people begin Japam and Dhyanam believing them
to be related to the objective world, capable of satisfying worldly desires,
and hoping to demonstrate their value by means of sensory gains! This
is a grave error. Japam and Dhyanam are for acquiring one-pointed attention
on the Lord, for casting off sensory attachments and for attaining the
joy derived from the basis of all sensory objects. The mind should not
be wandering in all directions, indiscriminately, like the fly. The fly
dwells in the sweet-meat shop and runs after the rubbish carts; the fly
which has such a mind has to be taught to understand the sweetness of
the first place and the impurity of the second place, so that it may not
desert the sweet-meat shop and pursue the rubbish cart. When such teaching
is imparted to the mind, it is called Dhyanam!