BASICS OF MEDITATION
Meditation and Selfless Action?
Selfless Action is ignited in the spiritual heart of a person.
The human being is said to have three hearts. One is physical and can be dissected by the surgeon’s knife. The psychic heart is that heart that is led by an orderly mind. The spiritual heart has control over heart and mind both. It is not subject to sorrow, pain and misery.
In the human body there are two hemispheres—the upper and the lower—and there are seven spheres. That which connects both hemispheres is called anahata chakra. This is the spiritual heart. It is located at the space between the two breasts.
Anahata is represented by two interlocking triangles. The triangle that is pointing upward represents human endeavor, and the triangle pointing downward is the grace of God, or the descending force. That which is pointed upward is the ascending force. Together they form a star. These two intersecting triangles are the basis of all religion and spiritual belief.
From there the channel that connects our lower self with the Higher Self begins, the channel is called antahkarana. In it is a silver cord, called sutrama. Sutrama is that fine thread of life that connects all our experiences are records our journey as we change bodies, lives, and universes.
When the mind is focused on the spiritual heart, it attains a state of deep concentration.
When the mind is settled in the deepest chamber of our heart, all action happens naturally and we apontaniously channel God’s will into selfless action, without ego, goals, or desires.
The we are awake of deep concentration.
Deep concentration is the beginning of meditation.
BHAGAVAD GITA’S CHAPTER ON SELFLESS ACTION
1. If you consider knowledge superior to action,
why do you urge me to commit this terrible deed?
2. You confuse me with this conflicting message.
Tell me for certain just one thing
that will lead me to the greatest good.
3. O blameless one!
As I have proclaimed in the past,
there are two ways to lead a fulfilling life:
the path of knowledge and the path of selfless action.
The path of knowledge is best suited for the deep thinkers who like to contemplate and reason. The path of selfless action is best suited for those who are active and like to work hard.
4. One cannot achieve freedom from action
by merely staying away from work.
One does not become serene
by merely giving up work.
5. Nobody can remain passive
even for a moment.
Everyone is helplessly drawn into action
by inborn, natural impulses.
6. One who sits idle
restraining the organs of action
yet mentally broods over sensations
is a hypocrite who has fooled himself.
Organs of action are: mouth, hands, feet, genitals, and anus.
One who sits idle fools himself into thinking that he is not acting.
7. A person excels when
he disciplines the senses with the mind and
engages the organs of action in work
without getting attached to sensations.
A recurring idea in this chapter is ‘working without attachment'; it refers to doing work merely as a duty and being detached from the possible outcomes.
8. Do the work you are supposed to do;
certainly it is better than laziness.
Even the basic maintenance of your body
is impossible without action.
9. Humans are bound by their actions
except when they are performed
for the sake of yajña.
Thus, Arjuna, do you work,
free from attachments,
in the spirit of yajña.
Here, yajña means ‘an act of self-dedication’ or ‘service above self’. It is also an act of worship; so the message is ‘do your work as worship’.
10. Long ago, Prajapati, the lord of creatures
brought forth human beings
with the spirit of yajña, and said:
“By this, you shall grow!
May this grant you all your desires!
11. By this, you nourish the devas and
they will reward you in return.
By nourishing one another
you shall attain the supreme good.
12. Pleased with your selfless service,
the devas will fulfill your wishes.”
One who enjoys those gifts
without giving back anything in return
is indeed a thief.
Here, ‘this’ refers to ‘spirit of yajña’.
Devas are divine forces that reside in heaven. The elements and forces of nature such as wind, water, fire, earth, space, time, sun, moon, stars, planets, rain, oceans, mountains, plants, animals, etc. are also personified as devas. We have to nourish and respect nature if we want to be nourished by it and more importantly, for natural goodness to prevail. Devas are the embodiment of natural infrastructure. We cannot work without the infrastructure in place, so we should
dedicate a portion of our gains for its maintenance.
13. Wise ones eat the food that remains
after being offered to yajña;
thus, they are released from all evils.
Wicked ones prepare food for their own sake
and indeed live on sin alone.
In the process of procuring our food, to some extent, we cause trouble to nature and also to other beings. So we purify the food by offering it to the supreme and then eating it with a sense of gratitude. Even if we eat a dry leaf that fell on its own accord, we must not do so with a sense of entitlement.
14. Living beings are sustained by food,
food comes forth from rain,
rain is caused by yajña, and
yajña is born out of action.
The idea of ‘yajña causing rain’ is perhaps a reference to the maintenance of the natural cycle.
15. This action originates from brahman,
which is the manifestation of the imperishable.
Therefore the all-pervading brahman is
always established in yajña.
Brahman is the supreme being.
16. The wheel of life is thus set in motion.
Indulging in sensual pleasures,
one who violates this natural order
lives in sin, thus wasting his life.
Cosmic order of the universe is rooted in the principle of give and take.
17. But for those who rejoice solely in the atman,
and are satisfied with the atman,
nothing remains to be accomplished.
Atman is the inner, higher self. ‘…nothing remains to be accomplished’ indicates that such people don’t work for any gains since they have already found satisfaction within.
18. They have nothing to gain by performing action
and nothing to lose by renouncing action.
They are not dependent on anyone for anything.
19. Therefore, do your work with a spirit of detachment
and you will attain the highest level.
20. Janaka and others attained perfection
by just doing their work