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advice on "dhyAna" for a novice?
Date: Sun Aug 23 1998 - 13:23:17 PDT

Dear Prapatti Group Members:

Shari Mani wrote:

I would like those among you who engage in
any kind of contemplation, no matter how "simple",
to give me suggestions on (a) how to concentrate,
and on (b) what to concentrate.

Adiyen's reply:
Adiyen would like to share a technique which is helping me improve in
dhyana but I must admit that I am still far away being perfect.  The
technique used - I must hasten to add - is not corraborated by any formal
yoga school.  Therefore if I am doing any thing wrong please feel free to
say so.

In a day, there are two places we do dhyana.  During the
Gayatri/Ashtakshara Japam and during Manaseeka ArAdhanam.

I have found that the 'dhyana' is easier when we do manaseeka Aradhanam.
For example, it is easy to imagine Emperuman being offered all the sixteen
upacharAs and finally requesting Him to do Yoga-Nidra in the lotus of your
heart and doing a little service of pressing his legs and shoulders etc.
(which I enjoy having my sons do - Kausalya says: Yadannaf PurushO Bhavati
TadannAs tasya DevatA:).  You can be very imaginative about it.  During the
snanam you can imagine that you are taking Emperuman to Hrishikesh and
having Him take a dip in the Ganges!  I tend to enjoy this a great deal.
Since the wandering mind is anyway made to wander with Emperuman and yet it
is focussed on Him - We kill two birds with a single stone so to speak!.

Now coming to mantra japam,  I have found that if you do the japa faster
the mind is more focussed.  You can focus on the meaning, Svara and the
Lord.  I have found that focussing on Sri Ranganatha for 10 Gayatris and
then on Lord Srinivasan for 10, Lord Varadhan for 10, Lord Sampath Kumaran
and so on keeps the mind actively engaged in Japam.  Bharga:  is the
effulgence that emanates from the Lord's ThirumEni whether He is at the
center of the solar 'orb' or residing in the 'garbha gruham'.  As a
beginner these are definitely helpful and it is left to Emperuman how He
decides to guide me further.

Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan