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From: Saranathan A V (sarodad_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 10:22:35 PDT
hello sri mani, daasan. i am only but a 21-year old. but since i think i have successfully managed to practice at least 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted [either by extrenal objects / internal thoughts] what i call, 'focussing on one entity' & what comes closest to 'contemplation',for more than a year, i am taking this opportunity to share whatever i have known and experienced in this regard. though from a orthodox srivaishnava family, reared to think of Sriman Narayana as the sankha-chakra-gadha pani /in his various archa rupams, i had found much to my disturbance, that concentrating on these individual archa forms was very difficult given the tendency of the mind to move around from the image of one perumal to the other. besides, even if attempts were made to transfix the mind on one perumal, the mind starts devouring the beauty of the features of that particular archa rupa of the lord. for instance, the benevolent gaze of thiruvemkatavan etc.. but this disturbance in mind was put to rest after i saw the movie " Bhagavad Gita " - by GV IYER. in this movie, the last scene where arjuna gets to see the cosmic vision of the lord does not see any features of the lord as such. he sees the entire universe and the realisation that he was such a small part of the entirety of the lord's creations, struck him & removed all his agnyanam. apart from the fact that watching the movie was a moving experience, this last scene got stuck in mind & ever sicne, i have managed to concentrate on the formless manifestation of sriman narayana - a vast universe to which there is no end- every where you turn around you see the same thing. this is the state when normally people tend to panic. but in the realisation that you are actually with the lord dispels all such thoughts. miraculaously, i have managed to concentrate on the same formless form of the lord & i am in a very good frame of mind nowadays. one other thing which helped me in my initial days of practice was 'hearing the ashtaksharam' when i was 'focussing'. i used to play it on tape & the effect was just too great to describe. after some time, i managed to do away with this requirement, though of course i do play it early in the morning, as soon as i wake up & before i go for my anushtanams. i do not know if it is of some help. i just wanted to share this wonderful transformation in me with others. i pray to Sriman Naraayana that you achieve what you have set out to achieve. thevarir daasan, saranathan.