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Re: advice on "dhyAna" for a novice?

From: Rangarajan Sridharan (
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 10:19:59 PDT

Dear Sri Mani,
   You have raised a very pertinent question, since I am also faced with the
same problem while doing sandhyAvandhanam. While I can claim no knowledge of
"dhyAna" nor do I do any sort of contemplation on the Lord, I thought I 
would share with you what I try to do during these times of mind wavering
(especially since you have asked for opinions from any and all).
   When I start doing Gayathri Japa, my mind invariably starts roaming 
elsewhere. (A favourite one is to think of what I would get as tiffin 
immediately afterwards :-) In those times, I start trying to think of a specific
image of the Lord and try to keep that fixed in my mental screen. This image is
one where MahAVishnu is in a standing pose, with four arms, having conch,
chakrA, mace and a lotus flower. I have seen this photo in my grandparents'
house and I like this image a lot. Now, after I start keeping this image in
the mind's frame, after a few seconds, the mind starts wandering again. In 
order to prevent this from happening, I try to start concentrating on each one
of the aspects of the beauty of the Lord, like his eyes, his red lips, his
smile, his "kireetam", his chest, etc. Since each one will take a few seconds
to absorb in the mind's screen, by the time I go through a cycle, my Gayathri
Japam would have been over :-). Of course, I don't succeed in this all the
time, but I try to do this since it helps focus me atleast for a few seconds
on the beauty of the Lord.
   I am not sure whether this helps or whether this was indeed what you were
looking for. Just thought I would share my experience.

R. Sridharan.

R. Sridharan                                  Tel: (65) 874-6717 (O)
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