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Re: advice on "dhyAna"

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.