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Sunday
Feb132011

Meditation: Its Process, Practice, and Culmination

by Swami Satprakashananda

Hardback. 264 pages. ISBN 0916356558
$10.00

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Meditation is regarded as the final spiritual course, being an uninterrupted flow of the mind toward the Supreme Being. Vedanta’s time-honored methods for preparing the mind for meditation are systematically explained. Part I includes hymns and directed meditations.



Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul, says Marcus Aurelius. Swami Satprakashananda’s valuable book of spiritual inspiration and illumination teaches us in a simple and straightforward manner how we can reach that retreat within our soul . . .
The seven Hymns and Prayers (ably translated by the author from the Vedas, Tantras, etc.) and eighteen Conducted Meditations have a holy grandeur about them and can be a real source of inspiration and guidance. They are couched in a graceful language which abounds in spiritual fervour. Even a cursory reading is uplifting.
- RMIC Bulletin


It is really commendable how he [the author] has, in such a short compass, dealt with the whole gamut of meditation in its different aspects–both theoretical and practical . . . the book will be of great practical use to aspirants of all religions who seek guidance in spiritual practice. It will help them along their own lines, within the framework of their own religion, for here mostly the universal ideas and principles are dealt with, which they can adapt.
- Prabuddha Bharata (Awakened India)


Preface

Part One - Preliminaries
Hymns and Prayers
  A Vedic Prayer
  Hymn to Brahman
  Eight Stanzas on Shukadeva
  Hymn to the Divine Mother
  Hymn to the Divine Mother Durga
  Evening Hymn to Sri Ramakrishna
   transliteration
  Vedic Peace Chants
Conducted Meditations
  The Light of Lights
  Him We Worship
  Peace that Passeth Understanding
  The Source of All Delight
  Right Understanding
  Not by Thy Law but by Thy Grace
  He is the Goal, He is the Way
  He Makes All Things Dear
  Thou Art My Sole Guide
  Thou Art Seated on the Lotus of My Heart
  By Losing Yourself You Find Yourself
  The Body is Like a Garment
  Blessings of the Saints
  He Dwells in the Depth of the Heart
  The One Source of All
  The Divine Child (A Christmas Meditation)
  To be Spiritually Minded is Life (Good Friday)
  Think Of Yourself As An Effulgent Being

Part Two - Methods of Meditation
  1. Introductory: Four States of Human Experience - Waking, Dream, Dreamless Sleep, and Samadhi
  2. Work and Meditation
  3. Search for God
  4. Worshiping God Through Symbols as Preparatory to Meditation
  5. Prayer and Meditation
  6. Karma-Yoga as Preparatory to the Practice of Meditation
  7. Preparation for Meditation in Bhakti-Yoga
  8. God-Realization Through Bhakti-Yoga
  9. The Process of Meditation According to Patanjali’s Raja-Yoga; Distinctiveness of the Vedantic Method
  10. Preparation for Meditation in Jnana-Yoga
  11. Realization of Nondual Brahman, the Culmination of Jnana-Yoga

Part Three - Appendices
Appendix I  From Mortality to Immortality
Appendix II  The Location of the Soul in the Body
Appendix III  The Sum and Substance of Advaita Vedanta




Part One- Conducted Meditations
The One Source of All

Let us meditate in the depth of the heart on the Supreme Being, who is the one source of all blessedness, who is the one Goal of all knowledge; whom the highest deities seek, who is the unmoved mover of the universe. From Him the universe arises, by Him the universe is sustained, into Him the universe is reabsorbed. He removes all fears and grants eternal light and absolute peace. The yogins realize Him in the depth of their hearts through intense meditation. It is by realizing Him that they go beyond all sufferings, all limitations and attain absolute peace and blessedness.

Let us relax the body and the mind, gather our thoughts, and meditate on the Divine Being in the depth of the heart. Think of the Supreme Being as the one source of all life, of all strength, of all wisdom, of all love, of all joy. He is the Adorable One. He seems to be far away from us, but in fact He is the nearest of the near. He is the innermost self of each and every human being. He is the Soul of our souls. In order to reach Him we have not to go anywhere. We can find Him in the depth of our heart through deep meditation.

~

Part Two - Methods of Meditation
Chapter III - Search for God

But the seekers of God vary in their nature. All do not seek God in the same spirit. There is one class of seekers who have been in quest of God for intellectual understanding. This universe has been a riddle to the human mind from the very beginning. Howsoever engrossed a person may be in worldly affairs, some time or other he is likely to face the fundamental questions - How does this universe exist? Where does it come from? What is the goal? What is the meaning of this life? Such queries have been the mainspring of philosophical investigations.

The philosophers have tried to find God for intellectual satisfaction. Their chief instrument in this respect has been reason based on the process of inference; and it is the consensus of many philosophers that the Ultimate Reality cannot be comprehended through reason. Cosmological argument, or technological argument, or ontological argument does not reveal Reality to the inquirer. One cannot have the immediate experience of the Supreme Being by dialectic process or through speculation.