Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik
If an aspirant carries on the continuous meditation on the sound of Soham, he will become one with Soham. If he happens to die in this stage he can be sure of attaining sadgati (high status) after his death. It is very difficult to bring our mind to bear upon the contemplation of God at the time of our death. The force of desires is very great at that time, a person becomes a prey to them, and owing to this has to go through the cycle of various lives.
If, however, he gets himself accustomed to the continuous intense contemplation of the sound of Soham, his mind at the time of death will not be entangled in the meshes of worldly desires, but will be merged in Soham and hence he will be sure to go to a higher state after his death. I therefore say to you all: commence the japa of Soham and carry it on ceaselessly.
What is necessary is that we must devote our attention to this Soham. The more your attention is directed towards Soham the greater will be the change in your mind and thoughts. Your kama [desire] and krodha [anger] may not altogether be destroyed or obliterated [right away], but the sting of hatred will be entirely absent. When someone does us an evil turn we keep it in our mind and feed the grudge and when an opportunity arises we try to return the evil, perhaps tenfold. This attitude of mind is what is known as hatred. This hatred will be entirely obliterated. The flow of thoughts will be full of love.
Soham is the real nature of the “I” in the body, and this Soham is ceaselessly going on: the “I,” the Soham inside. The speaker, doer, the action itself and in fact everything will be one with Soham. I am at present experiencing to some extent the bliss of such a state, and anyone else who will do as I have done will attain similar bliss. As long as the “I” dwells in this body, we must get into the habit of repeating Soham. Ceaseless repetition will make the trend of all thoughts full of Soham.
One should not give any thought as to when the japa will lead to the final attainment of the goal
This “I” inside the body may be called by any name: God or Nature or any other name. The knowledge of this “I” leads to peace and happiness. Is there anyone who does not want this peace and happiness? Our mind is like a mirror. Various thoughts are always arising and having their play in the mind. According to the different thoughts, the mind is plunged in sorrow or in joy. We should think about the “I” inside, who is the witness of all these thoughts. That is Soham.
If we sit quiet and at ease divesting the mind of all disturbing thoughts, we shall get a glimpse of this witness inside. The mirror of our mind has been covered over with the dirt of innumerable impressions left by bad thoughts entertained through the course of innumerable previous lives. The dark soot of kama and krodha is lying in thick layers on the surface of this mirror. It is our duty to try to wash away all this dirt and soot by means of good desires, and by increasing the flow of good thoughts.
Various doubts and misgivings assail the mind. This is the natural result of evil impressions left on our mind by bad thoughts in previous lives. But there is no reason why we should feel discouraged. Our present duty is to get ourselves accustomed to the entertaining of good thoughts.
Every mumukshu [seeker for liberation] should ceaselessly put up strong efforts to meditate upon Soham. It does not matter even if the japa is sakama [done with desire]. He should not give any thought as to when the japa will lead to the final attainment of the goal. His efforts should be directed towards trying to keep his attention fixed on the sound of Soham. He should try to fix his attention on Soham even while doing worldly actions. This Soham will in course of time remove the dirt of bad thoughts and make the mirror of the mind clean. As soon as the mirror becomes clean, the blissful nature of Soham will be realized. Hence we should direct all our efforts towards keeping our attention fixed on Soham without any break. If we do so we shall surely attain complete peace and happiness and life will be full of bliss.
Sri Tukaram says, “Wherever I go you are always with me to bear me company.” The companion here referred to is none other than Soham. Wherever you may be, in whatever condition you may be, this Soham, this witness, this Paramatman, is always your companion. You have never been or will ever be separated from Him because you and He are one. Only you are not conscious of His nearness and presence. You must first become fully conscious of His nearness and presence and then lose the sense of this consciousness also by becoming one with Him. Then you will be bliss incarnate, everlasting, unchanging bliss.
For unknown words, see A Brief Sanskrit Glossary on our website.
NOTE: Atmaprabha, from which this blogpost is taken can be found in Appendix One of our publication Soham Yoga. Other teachings of Sri Gajanana Maharaj can be found in Chapter Three of Soham Yoga.