In the next few verses we will be preparing for meditation. Are you surprised at this title? Here we are at the near end of chapter 5 of the Bhagavad Gita, and we are just now hearing about meditation.
We are about to discover that meditation is more vital and involved than we may have thought. In this and the following two verses, we are getting set up for Real Meditation in the next chapter. But the word ‘meditation’ is not used. This is not uncommon in mystical texts which tend to state things in their final forms. The final form of meditation is samadhi.
These three verses summarize the meditation of Real Yoga:
Having excluded external contacts, the gaze between the two eyebrows, inhalation and exhalation moving equally within the two nostrils…
The Sanskrit word for ‘contact’ literally means ‘touching, tangibility, anything perceptible by touch’. So it is often translated as ‘external sensations’ or ‘external sense objects’.
We exclude external contacts because the contact of the senses with their external objects fools us into believing that these things are ‘real’, even when they are not. “If I can see it, touch it and feel it, it is real” is the normal conviction, but we are not interested in normal, we are interested in Truth—Real Reality.
“The gaze between the two eyebrows”
The gaze refers to the attention. Gazing, looking or seeing are often used in mystical texts in this manner. The real significance however, is that the Life Energy (Prana), which always travels with the attention, gets concentrated internally between the two eyebrows (ajna chakra). Because external contacts are gone, Prana can ultimately reach and stabilize in this place to produce samadhi.
- Samadhi – The equanimity of sameness of mind.
“Inhalation and exhalation moving equally within the two nostrils”
Inhalation and exhalation refer to the two main functions of the Life Energy: prana, warming, and apana, cooling.
There is normally a difference in the flow of the breath through the nostrils (there is more flow through one or the other). This is because there is a difference in the degree of prana and apana flowing though the body at any given time. But once prana and apana become united (hatha yoga), they are no longer opposing forces—they aren’t different, they are the same. Then, united as one, the function becomes evolution (kundalini).
Union, Evolution and Sameness
Yoga, Kundalini and Samadhi
When both nostrils are fully open, the flow of the breath is the same and kundalini, the evolutionary force, is awake. This naturally happens briefly every 45 minutes or so. Since the mind stops moving when the energy stops moving, during this time the mind is also in a state of sameness.
Evolution is effective in these brief but discernible moments of sameness when both nostrils are fully open. You can literally watch evolution unfold by watching your breath. This is the normal progress of evolution—a brief moment of time every three quarters of an hour. Only through yoga (union) can this change and propel us forward to a higher state of evolution.
When the mind sufficiently retains a state of sameness through this yoga, samadhi is achieved. How long one remains in samadhi depends on how long the energy and the mind remain in this state.
Where the energy is concentrated in the the body and the mind during samadhi influences how one experiences it. This is seen in the two major stages of samadhi and their sub-stages.
- Samadhi – A uniform state of mind; equanimity; unity with the Divine—sameness, equality, impartiality, indifference, homogeneousness.
How long one remains in samadhi depends on how long the energy and the mind remain in this state. This is why so much time has been spent on the subject of sameness. Each of these teachings has been for the purpose of cultivating sameness in order to get us to this point. Not only do these teachings have other benefits, but they are the most potent for this purpose.
Samadhi is about the mind. Yoga is about the body (hatha yoga), and then the mind (raja yoga). Samadhi is a state of mind, and yoga is the action that produces it.
Yoga is the cessation of the activities of the mind.
The sound of OM heard in samadhi is “The Sound of Sameness”. Each of us is a tone that makes up the One tone that is the sound of OM. And we are each a star in the heavens that makes up the cosmos. We are all the same. We are all gods, and all of Us is God.
To be continued . . .
Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),