The rules of meditation, its place and time

Om Namah Shivaya! ૐ ShivayaShiva

Shri Rama said:

O Almighty! The Lord of the gods! The great ruler of the Universe! Prostrations unto Thee. Tell me the rules of meditation, its place and time too.

The Lord said:

O Rama! I will tell thee the meditation, its time and place. The bodies of all the deities are but the limited manifestations of My portion.

Those devotees who worship with faith the gods other than Me, they too worship only Me though without following the conventional rules, O the king of kings!

Therefore all this universe does not exist apart from Me. I am the enjoyer (of the fruits) of all actions. I am the bestower of the results of all (actions).

In whichever form the mortal beings worship (meditate on) Me and Me alone, I appear to them in that form and grant their wishes.

Whoever worships me with devotion either according to rules or with no rules, I present Myself to them and bestow on them the fruits thereof. There is no doubt.

Even if one of wicked conduct worships Me alone thinking of nothing else, he shall be deemed to be a good man. Indeed, he has chosen the very proper course of action (in doing so).

Even great sins like the murder of a brahmana do not get attached to one who knows Me alone as his own Self, not thinking of anything else.

In this context the kinds of meditation are well known to be four. They are laid down by the wise elders as (i) sampat (ii) dropa (iii) samvarga and (iv) adhydsa.

The meditation on an inferior object as endowed with qualities belonging to objects superior to it is called sampat. The example is the meditation as “Mind is infinite”.

The aropa meditation is on the subsidiary by superimposing on it the principal, as exemplified in “Meditate on the Om as Udgita (meaning one that is sung)”.

When the superimposition is done with the full ‘knowledge of what it implies it is stated to be adhyasa as in the case of the woman being imagined as fire.

The mode of meditation on the ground of similarity of function (kriya-yoga) is called samvarga. The cosmic air known as samvarta withdraws all beings into itself and makes them one at the time of deluge.

The meditation done self-consciously in a position of close proximity with the deity (to be worshipped as one with oneself) is called inner meditation. Sampat etc., are outer (meditations).

Meditation is explained as the attainment of oneness with the deity meditated on through the continuous contemplation of that deity without interruption by any other thought.

In the case of external meditations like sampat (earlier mentioned) the attainment of steadfastness of mind is the goal. At the time of performing religious rituals, meditation is the attention to their accessories. Regarding the meditation on attributeless Brahman (nirguna-brahman) and God with attributes (saguna-brahman), I will tell you the features of that. Listen.

A twice-born should abandon the interest in the pilgrimage to holy places and to holy waters. Wherever he gets the one-pointedness of mind, there he should take his seat.

Seated on the woolen blanket or any other soft spread or on the tiger-skin, in a solitary spot, as a rule, and keeping the head, body and neck in a straight line.

Getting beyond the conventional asramas, (applying the sacred ash etc., to the body), controlling all the sense-organs, then propitiating the preceptor with devotion, fully instructed in Yoga (by the preceptor), one should control the breath (to attain the control of mind).

For one who is not possessed of true knowledge and whose mind is deluded always, his senses are not in control, like the wild horses uncontrolled by the charioteer.

For the enlightened man, on the contrary, mind along with the senses is under control by effort like the obedient horses controlled by the charioteer.

One whose mind is unsteadfast, though pure, but yet not possessed of true knowledge, does not attain the state of release, but attains only the cycle of birth and death.

One, however, who is steadfast in mind, ever pure and possessed of true knowledge attains that state (of release). Hence he is not born again.

One for whom reason is the charioteer and mind is the reins (of the horses), crosses the distant way and reaches My supreme abode.

Reflecting on the heart-lotus as blemishless, pure, clean and sorrowless, meditate on Me the supreme Lord (as abiding) there.”

I am Brahman the cause (of the world), the unthinkable, un-manifest, infinite, immortal, devoid of beginning or middle or the end and tranquil.

(Meditate on Me the supreme Lord) who is all-pervasive, of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, formless, unborn, wonderful, transparently clear like the pure crystal and the bearer of Uma as half of My body.

(Meditate on Me) as wearing the skin of the tiger, of blue throat, with three eyes, with matted locks, donning the moon on the head and adorning the snake as the sacred thread.

(May you meditate on Me) as wearing the tiger-skin as the upper cloth, the chief of all beings, the bestower of fearlessness, bearing with the uplifted arms the parasu (axe) and mrga (the deer), adorned by all kinds of ornaments and with all the parts of the body beautified by the sacred ash.

Thus, making oneself the (lower) arani wood and making the omkara the upper arani wood, by churning them by the repeated practice of meditation, the person sees Me directly.

I am not attained by mere Vedic chanting nor by learned texts, nor even by mental thought. One who chooses to reach me by continued meditation, I always choose him.

One who has not desisted from bad conduct, who has not developed tranquility, who has no concentration, whose mind is restless cannot attain Me, even if he claims to have knowledge.

Knowing “I am that Brahman” which is manifest in the worlds of waking, dream and sleep, one is liberated from all bonds.

I am the experiencer, the experienced objects and the experience itself; am the Witness Self in all the three states (of waking, dream and sleep); the mere undifferentiated consciousness, the eternally auspicious Shiva of the nature of luminosity.

Luminous like billions of the midday sun, cool like billions of moon, having the sun, the moon and the fire as three eyes and the comely countenance like a beautiful lake, (on this one should meditate).

One Lord is hidden in all the beings, all-pervasive, the inner Self of all beings, the one presiding over all existence, one who lives in all, Witness-intelligence, mere secondless and attributeless (Reality).

One Lord is the indwelling Self of all beings, the controller, who makes one seed (material cause) always, those wise men who constantly keep in mind such a Lord who I am, it is for them only there is eternal peace, not for others.

Just as one fire entering the world assumes various forms of the objects, similarly the one Lord who is the indwelling Self of all beings is not touched by the sorrows of the world and is outside them.

One who knows here in this life itself this Great Person of the hue of the sun and beyond darkness, he alone is the wise man and becomes immortal here. There is no other path known for release.

I created the Hiranyagarbha, (the first of all the souls) and taught him the Vedas. Knowing for certain that I am that Person, ancient and to be propitiated, one is released from the jaws of death.

In this way, one who knows Me truly and possessed of tranquility etc., freed once and for all from the stream of sorrow merges in Me alone at the end.

~ Shiva Gita from Padma Purana Uttara Khanda, Chapter 12

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