Having gone through the previous issue, a good number of valued readers have requested to explain the Dhyana process as propounded by sage Patanjali in detail. To meet their demand, I am sharing my write-up on the above subject as detailed in my book titled: “God or No God. Awareness enriches life.”
Dhyana, going by its literal meaning implies paying attention. To what? It is on none other than one’s own self, which holds the key to how we usually conduct in life. It, in the first place calls for observing and becoming aware of one’s limitations of mind. Second, the workable part of one’s indwelling potential. And finally explore one’s wholesome latent potential, unexplored and untapped thus far out of ignorance, which when unfolded in full would know no limits.
The method involved is to first disengage one’s attention from external distractions, and then look within to explore and scan what lies in store at the various levels of the inner realms of mind. Having become aware thus, to consciously deliberate upon and accordingly redefine the thought process, with the intent to come out with one’s best.
In English lingua franca, ‘Meditation’, is the word commonly used to give a sense of ‘Dhyāna.’ Although, it doesn’t reflect true spirit and essence of “Dhyāna”, it however, stands close by. For, the word meditation, seemingly hints at reflecting upon deeply over some idea, thought, or concept. Dhyāna, on the contrary, is a process directed towards attaining a state of being, when mind gets riveted to the root of all thoughts. It becomes possible only when flirtation of mind almost comes to an end. Evidently, therefore, mind gets quietened and relaxed, when it comes out with its wholesome creative potential. Meditation, of course, remains a necessary part of the process, and so contextually remains relevant.
Dhyāna is a time-tested self-empowerment mechanism, which calls for paying attention to the self. The process as such first lets you discover your own nature – the vulnerabilities, the virtues and attributes, in and out. Following which, one gets the opportunity to address one’s fault lines through fresh educative inputs. In the process, sufficient mind-space gets created by clearing off the clutters, making way for absorption of fresh educative inputs. Second, one is able to identify and acknowledge one’s workable part of indwelling potential, which when honed, augments one’s creative abilities. Finally, one realises true nature of mind, covering both its micro and macro aspects. Following which, body, mind, and soul, begin operating in a coordinated way as a unified whole. Mind, thus, comes out with its wholesome powers that would know no limits. Dhyāna, therefore, is a holistic programme, in fact a mental therapy, directed towards integrated development of the self from the base level.
It will be interesting to note here that more the physical efforts one puts in, better would be the fruits of action. The chemistry of the mind, however, runs just to the contrary. The more relaxed mind is; all the more creative it becomes. And this state is gained when one is in a state of ‘Yoga’, which is arrived at pursuing dhyāna. Once mind becomes peaceful and relaxed, the thought process becomes easy and simple, as the mind becomes free from any complexity, preconditioning or limitation. Please bear in mind; simplicity is clarity, directness, and purity. It is free from complications, clutter, and confusion. Simplicity paves the way to success, peace, focus, and happiness. Evidently then, one would in full control of the self, when wholesome powers of mind shall be available. Following which, one’s integrated self would be spontaneously moving in consonance with the callings of larger orderliness of nature. One would then be able to use mind as an instrument, which it is, rather than playing second fiddle to its vagaries. Consequently, mind comes out with its creative best, when it qualifies to spontaneously lead us towards the right course due. Free from any extraneous influences, one looks at issues in hand with an open mind. Consequently, one is able to have a full hand view of whatever is explored. One would then be able to intuitively get to the root of wherever attention is paid. Spontaneity becomes the rule of mind’s game play. Also, one would be able to distinguish between “what one wants and what is right” and make most appropriate choices in life.
The process, however, is not easy. For, invariably, we are all born with a preconditioned mind, which plays spoil sport with our efforts to streamline our mind following Dhyana process.