Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik
The difference between meditation and concentration
Some persons do not understand the difference between meditation (dhyana), and concentration (ekagrata). Suppose a person sits and repeats the Soham mantra mentally. A few minutes later someone asks him, “How did you feel? Had you any thoughts? Was the flow of thoughts going on as usual, or was there any difference? How was the japa going on?”
When such questions are asked the aspirant appears to be a little confused, and is usually found to answer in the following manner: “My mind was quite calm. Not a single idea arose in my mind. The japa was going on in an undisturbed manner. I was enjoying peace. But my mind was not concentrated. I could hear the sounds and movements taking place about me.”
It is a common idea with ordinary aspirants that as soon as they begin meditation of the mantra Soham their mind should become concentrated and they should enter into the state of samadhi. It is a laudable wish, no doubt, but it is out of place at the time. Because when the person begins to meditate upon Soham, he does not need to get concentrated at once.
He is repeating the japa of Soham in so he may be able to meditate properly. The main idea in meditation is that while the japa is going on there should not be the flow of other thoughts disturbing the repetition of the mantra. Our mind is naturally fickle. It is very difficult for it to concentrate itself upon one idea.
In the case of some aspirants, however, owing to some practice done in the previous life they get concentrated as soon as they begin meditation. [Read more…]