Preliminaries to Meditation

When the thought of going back to the original was stirred up in man, it became essential for him to bring activity, which had sprung up in him, into a latent state as far as it was posssible. He began to seek out means for it. At last it came to his understanding that just as the latent motion was grosser in comparision to the Absolute with which it was connected, even so he must take up something grosser for the purpose, to enable him to attain the desired ideal of Reality. This led him to the conclusion that he must create in him a form of contraction or withdrawal similar to that at the time of Pralaya.

Now Self is prevading in man just as it is in the whole Universe, - taking the Universe in a collective sense. The state of Pralaya comes in when contraction begins to take place. Similar contraction in man leads to his individual Pralaya. That means that he begins to proceed from his grossness to the real state. The contraction always starts from below and proceeds gradually upwards because of its upward tendency. Therefore, in order to go upwards he must start contracting from below. The form of contraction could be only to bring his legs and allied parts to one pose and to keep them steady. In whatever way it might be done, the form will finally be that of the Asan. It is essential because it paves our way to the Ultimate. This posture must always be the same. The reason is that in this way he gets himself associated with the great power, the very thing he takes up in the beginning for the attainment of his particular objective. Thus the form which is associated with Reality helps him a good deal in his primary initiation.

The upright position of the back-bone, neck and head in an erect straight line during meditation has been thought to be most advantageous from very ancient times, because the flow of Divine grace is believed to descend straight upon the Abhyasi in that posture. In our way of practice, however, this is not insisted upon. I advise the Abhyasi generally to sit in a natural easy posture. Moreover, even those who assume a tight straight pose, are found to give way automatically to a suppliant, slightly forward drooping posture, as the state of blissful absorbancy sets in. As such, it may be considered to be more natural even for the purpose of an ascent into higher states of consciousness. In fact a controversy over a point of comparatively lesser significance seems irrelevant.

It is better to sit in the grey of the morning for meditation, or when that is not possible, at any fixed hour convenient to the Abhyasi. Do not feel disturbed with outer things but remain engaged with your own work thinking that they are in a way helping you to feel the necessity for greater absorption in your practice.

Prayer.............