There is no wisdom for one who is not yoked. And there is no meditation for one who is not yoked. Without meditation there is no serenity. Without serenity, where is happiness? — Bhagavad Gita, chapter two, verse 66
The word for “wisdom” is buddhi, meaning ‘understanding’, ‘comprehension’. Buddhi is that function of the mind that differentiates, is intuitive, makes judgements, and generally sorts things out, and it is that feature of nature that knows what to do and where to go, right down to every single cell and function of your body. The basis of buddhi is duality.
The basis of duality is you as a Divine One having exercised your ability to be conscious. To be conscious, there must be something to be conscious of, so there is you and other-than-you: duality. There is no consciousness without two—you and what you perceive—which brings us back to your means of perception, the senses, which, for the purpose of meditation, must be ‘yoked’.
There is no consciousness without two:
you and what you perceive.
Yukta is usually translated as ‘controlled’. What is to be controlled is the senses. We’re after a quiet mind, which is necessary to enter into a meditative state. So the key is control of the senses since it is they that keep the mind stimulated. But there’s a hitch to this idea of controlling them.
To control your senses you will have to use your will, which means using your mind. But using the mind keeps the mind active and defeats the purpose! So what is one to do? The obvious solution is to submit yourself to That Which Is Already Perfect-Pure-Absolute-Unchanging-Truth (shall we just call it “God”?), and That will do the controlling for you. These are your options: will or surrender, do it yourself or delegate God.
The meaning of yukta is essentially the same as yoga which has the same root, yuj, ‘to yoke together’, ‘to harness’. The senses become harnessed through pratyahara. The mind becomes calm, and you slip into meditation. There is no true meditation without it. Once the senses are harnessed, the concentration (dharana) of prana and attention yokes you and the-divine-other-than-you, and you experience union (yoga).
Attention – a flow of consciousness
Prana – life energy
Where the attention goes, the energy flows.
And visa versa.
This broad term speaks more to the experience of meditation than the act of meditating—the effect of being benefited in many ways and how this feels, the feeling of the devotion it fosters, and with direct experience we have this to remember and to call upon as well. Bhavana is a different state altogether than what we are familiar with on a day to day basis, but it begins to affect us on a daily basis, making it more interesting to be meditating than driving the fast lane.
The word shanti not only means ‘peace, tranquillity and serentiy’, but some things that we have talked about before: ‘the absence of passion’, ‘indifference’. This harkens back to verse 62 where we learned how to get what we want without trying. Now we learn that shanti is instrumental in getting this little trick to work. It tells us that (1) there is no shanti without meditation and that (2) we need shanti in order to achieve…..
This one is rather fun. The word means ‘having a good axle hole’. If your bullock-cart has a good axel hole it will run smoothly and easily, so sukham means ‘ease, comfort, prosperity, pleasure, joy, delight, and happiness’.
(It is tempting to compare the bullock cart with the body, as it is needed for everything in this life, as is the bullock-cart to the farmer. This would lead to the idea that the complete well-being of the body would rely on serenity, shanti, which relies on meditation. I am still playing with this, but it’s looking good. What do you think?)
Here’s the recipe in a nutshell:
to access wisdom, achieve meditation and serenity,
and be happy.
Pratyahara keeps coming up, doesn’t it? It is the turning point where we begin to experience true meditation (dhyana) and its overall effects (bhavana) in our lives. And to get there, all we have to do is meditate. There are different ways to do this, but my personal favorite is to submit to God in Surrender Meditation.
Through shaktipat diksha and initiation into this radical meditation, you will put God in the driver’s seat. Surrender to the Absolute will do all the work for you, and Kundalini will awaken naturally and safely. Schedule a Shaktipat Intensive.
If you can’t manage a Shaktipat Intensive in Phoenix, you will be glad to learn that Remote Shaktipat is back with a new program that provides as much information, teachings, and guidance as a person could ever want, need, or expect to get online.
This link will take you to nine progressive courses in authentic meditation for both beginning and experienced meditators. I have designed these courses to provide basic essentials for anyone on any path (or no path), and so that the meditation that is most natural and comfortable for you becomes apparent to you.