|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - A
Unit - A09
Lesson - A0936: Role of Meditation in Inner Transformation
By Raja Subramaniyan
Inner Transformation is done to overcome two types of problems. One is a generic problem (removing the imprint of the old knowledge) and another is a specific problem (removing the specific wrong imprint gained by a specific individual through repeated action).
Attitude has its roots in the basic concepts/truths one is holding. Once these basic concepts and truths are changed, attitude will also change. Moreover, the change in attitude will lead to changes in behavior. Behavior is also influenced by the repeated habits. Therefore, one has to change behavior consciously. It is done through Generic and Specific Meditation.
Statement 90: Living in Meditation
Even after knowing that we are not the body/mind complex, we might get upset or angry, if someone makes a critical comment on our looks or on our intelligence. These sorts of issues are solved through Generic Meditation.
One can do this meditation anytime of the day and in any environment. There is no prescribed place, posture, position and time for this meditation. Generic Meditation is done by recalling and entertaining the true meaning of the word 'I'. One can meditate upon the illusion of the universe OR the Ever Witnessing Joy nature of the SELF/ ONE.
There should be a deliberate attempt to get this knowledge into the mind. One should get absorbed in these thoughts, dwell upon them and consciously entertain the idea of unity of SELF and ONE as frequently as possible.
Reading the Scriptures, discussing the same with friends, writing about it, teaching others are some of the ways to get the mind soaked in this idea so that it is aware of the reality all the time.
It is like watching the same movie many times. First time, we watch it casually or out of curiosity. Then we watch it again to enjoy the songs, comedy, dialogues and such components that make up the movie. Similarly, when we learn the Scriptures repeatedly we can enjoy the whole creation as a well-made movie.
Example: While listening to English News in the Radio a father and a young son, both hear the same words. The father gains knowledge. Son does not. The news was the same. However, the son was not fit to receive the knowledge. The father owing to his absorbing capacity gets the knowledge.
Thus, when someone calls us 'stupid', we should have the capability to recall our real identity, prior to responding to that person. To help us gain this capability we need Generic Meditation, which involves living the life with the new knowledge. This should be done until one is aware of the reality without any conscious effort. One who has not studied the scriptures does not have to remind himself that he is a body/mind complex living in a real world. Similarly, we should be conscious of the unreality of the universe all the time without any prompting from our intelligence.
Statement 91: Specific Meditation for removal of accumulated preferences
This is similar to the conventional meditation. One should sit in a comfortable posture for a specific length of time at a fixed place and time everyday and do the meditation.
The objective of any conventional meditation is to improve the ability of the mind to concentrate and focus for gaining the knowledge. Specific Meditation on the other hand deals with the problems that are specific to the individual who has already gained the knowledge.
Example: Although one is now aware that financial security will not give peace of mind, he will continue to get affected by the stock markets swings due to sheer habit. Such a person has to do meditation specifically on the unreality of the world and the insignificant role of wealth to bring peace and happiness.
The need for Specific Meditation comes due to the repeated actions of the individual done in the past with a wrong knowledge. One has to consciously meditate on the impact of the new knowledge on these actions and perform them according to the correct knowledge. (One can continue to trade in stocks after gaining the knowledge but he should do it with total awareness of its role)
Example: The Board of a corporate body might take a decision to implement a certain plan. How well it is implemented depends on the executing authority and operating personnel. In the case of our Body/Mind complex, Intelligence is the Managing Director, Mind is the executing Manager and our Five Senses are operating personnel. By sheer force of habit, the senses will continue to run after sense pleasures without being controlled by the mind. The mind itself may not function with full involvement in carrying out the instructions of the intelligence. In a commercial environment, the Managing Director might issue an instruction, which may not be followed with the same sprit at the lower levels.
Specific Meditation is done with a view to make the entire chain of command function efficiently so that the intent of the top is carried out efficiently and effectively at all levels.
Example: It will be difficult for anyone who is used to driving a car on one side of the road to start driving on the other side. Similarly, one who drives a manual car will take time to adapt to an automatic car. One has to consciously give instructions to follow the different procedure in order to function in the new environment.
Once the sense organs and the mind get accustomed to drive in the new environment one can stop concentrating on the driving and it will be a pleasure to drive. (It will be a tension until the art of driving is mastered!)
Thus, the Specific Meditation is done until our intellectual knowledge that the world is unreal peculates down to the Mind. When this happens, the world will lose its power to affect us, because we are aware of its unreality without any reminder.