H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Science of Meditation - Part V


Lecture by Matsya Avatara Dasa

Naples, Castello Angioino, 20th December 2008

Conference “The Science of Meditation”


Another important factor in meditation is social integration: not in a corporate sense, and not even in a sense of caste. In this case, social integration means the ability to interact harmonically in a constructive and evolutionary sense, with all creatures - the vision that values each creature, birds, reptiles, fish, what to speak of human beings, potential fellow travelers from whom we can learn to progress in our development. In one sense, what we have described could be a part of the most important abstentions mentioned by Patanjali, non-violence, or ahimsa

Finally, the fundamental factor for an effective practice of meditation is spiritual tension, that irrepressible need in each human being to turn and follow ideality. Meditation cannot exist without this need to realize this ideality within ourselves.

The principles of freedom, justice and love cannot be stopped and everyone of us tends to realize them, so as much as we dedicate to develop our idealities, we become ecologic in our environment, we favor not only the persons with whom we live, but the environment in general, and we integrate with mankind and with all creatures. This ideality, that can initially be experimented sporadically with an inconsistent practice of meditation, should become the model of our entire life, constantly and daily, if we want to attain perfection in meditation. Perfection does not exist on the human level - we can have a tendency, a movement towards something, we can walk towards something, but we do not need to be afraid of acting, thinking that because we are not perfect, our actions will be imperfect. Our actions will be imperfect anyway, but if we start walking into the proper direction and we move towards perfection, each step will bring joy, that essential, inner joy that is full satisfaction, samtosha, contentment, tushti, that makes a person extremely tolerant and humble. The level of realization we have attained is not shown by our social position, by the flags we carry or by the colors of a uniform: it is shown by our humility and tolerance.


For this reason knowledge and wisdom must be transformed into emotional detachment, a detachment from what is not useful but damaging, that obstructs our evolution. The first level of detachment to be applied is to withdraw the senses from their objects (pratyahara), so that they do not become wild horses - we should not restrain them with violence and repression, but rather we should channel them in an evolutionary project that is functional to our inner growth. This renunciation is not brutal deprivation dictated by dogmatism or prejudice, rather it is attractive and effective abstention that we naturally apply in the moment when we experiment something higher.

The embodied souls can abstain from the enjoyment of the senses, although the taste for the sense objects remains. But if he loses this taste by experiencing a higher taste, he will remain fixed in spiritual consciousness. (BG II.59)

In Sanskrit, param literally means "higher" and drishtva "having seen": when we have developed a higher vision we can renounce a lower vision. We should not be afraid of inhibitions: some areas of the brain and some organs of the body are inhibited when we do something that requires our attention. This inhibition will certainly not prevent us from a journey of evolution, on the contrary it is something that we directly dominate and therefore we can manage in a sensitive and expert way, renouncing something inferior for the benefit of something superior. This act can be described as asceticism, in Sanskrit tapas, the ability to renounce with an act of will, a deliberate choice, leaving something inferior in order to obtain something superior. It implies an extraordinary consistency with a planning aimed at liberation from conditionings, and thus to the dissolution of all the virulent samksaras that condition the individuals, moving them with irresistible force. This benefit extends to all the guilt feelings or complexes that thrive in our unconscious and were created at some time in the history of our existence: their negative effects are dissolved and the individual becomes free from the prison where he was languishing.

Asceticism in itself does not exhaust the meaning of meditation, but constitutes an important component; it must be accompanied by prayer and right action, in other words by actions that are beneficial for all creatures, creating the least possible damage (ahimsa), for example eating only foods that were obtained with the least possible violence: grains, vegetables, pulses.

Our objective should be the structuring of our life in a really planned way, aimed at attaining the highest level of evolution in this segment of existence, and consequently aspiring to a more evolved body in our next life. Vishnu Purana explains that there are 400,000 levels of evolution within the human species: there are humans, sub-humans, super-humans, saints and criminals, so many different types as there are different psychic structures and their chthonian pushes that come from the deep. These impulses can even control and dominate man inexorably, and when they are destructive and anti-social they can push him to commit horrendous crimes. Recognizing that some of these impulses are uncontrollable and irrepressible, the judicial system has decided that such individuals should not be sent to jail but rather treated in special structures called judiciary mental facilities. However, before coming to such extreme and compromised situations, it is possible to apply preventive measures, treatments, plans and methods of which meditation is a part and a concrete example.

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