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There are three ways by which apirants try to enter the path of Dhyana: the Sathwika marga, the Rajasika marga and the Thamasika marga.

The Sathwika Path

This means that one considers Japam-Dhyanam as a duty and suffers any amount of trouble for its sake; one is fully convinced that all this is just an illusion; and so, one does only good under all conditions and at all times; one desires only the good of all; being always loving towards all; one spends time uninterruptedly in the remembrance and meditation of the Lord. He will not crave even for the fruit of the Japam and Dhyanam; he will leave it all to the Lord.

The Rajasika Path

Here, one will be craving at every step for the fruit of one's act. If that fruit is not available, then gradually, laxity and disgust overpower the Sadhaka and the Japam and Dhyanam slowly dry up.

The Thamasika Path

This is even worse. The Lord will come into the memory only in times of danger or acute suffering or when one is the victim of loss or pain. At such times, such people pray and vow that they will arrange this Puja, offer this particular food, or build this kind of temple to the Lord. They will be calculating the quantity of food they placed before the Lord, the tribute they offered at His feet, the number of prostrations they did and the number of times they circumambulated the shrine, and ask for proportionate awards! For those who adopt this attitude in Dhyanam, the mind and intellect can never be pure.

Most people now follow only the Rajasika and Tamasika paths in Japam and Dhyanam. The very intention in doing Japam and Dhyanam is to purify the Manas and the Buddhi, the mind and the intellect. In order to achieve this, the best path is the first, the Sathwika Dhyanam. When the Manas and the Buddhi become pure, they will shine with the splendour of the understanding of the Atma. He in whom this understanding shines fully is called a Rishi.

Brahmavid Brahmaiva bhavathi: the knower of Atma becomes the Atma itself. The goal of life, that which makes life worth while, is the understanding of the Atma or, in other words, the basis of Jiva. Next