The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
Things invisible and unfelt are not necessarily non-existent. But, at a particular stage, when this concentration attains some maturity – gets fructified, becomes ripe – it calls, invokes or elicits the attention of everything in the world with which we are connected in our personality. The so-called obstacles in meditation are not inimical forces attacking us. In fact, there are no enemies in this universe. But, certain operations in the universe may look antagonistic to us due to our inability to reconcile ourselves to the modes of their working and the purpose for which they are operating; the defect is not in them but in ourselves. The forces of nature are also manifest in different degrees of density and, if you recall to your memories the earlier studies, you will realise that the forces around us are manifold in nature. In a way we may say it is a single force manifesting itself as manifold presentations or expressing itself in various forms. We are related to other people in the world. This relationship that is social will also evoke the sort of reaction in a particular manner, when we go deep into this technique we are adopting for awakening our spirit that is asleep now. There are other associations, which are purely empirical, also will get stimulated by the act of our concentration if it is accentuated enough.
But these are minor things compared to the more powerful ones – namely, the elemental forces, which cannot easily be roused by a little of meditation. A huge lion, very strong and confident of his strength, will not wake up even if we pelt a stone at it. Only a little puppy will wake up; it will bark at us even if we look at it. But a mighty lion or even an elephant, which knows its own strength, will not in any way be affected by our gazing at it or even with our interfering with it in a mild manner. So our little meditations may not even be felt by this mighty lion of the physical universe. It may be like scratching a rock with a little needle; the effect is so little and imperceptible that it is practically not there. But if it is strong enough, if we are attacking it with sufficient force and it is aware that it is facing a power almost equal to itself, then it wakes up. This is the waking up of the powers which constitute what we may call, in ordinary language, the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, ether. If the powers of the elements wake up, then we are really in a state where we have to reinforce our energies to effectively take up this task on hand.
We are mostly in a state of irreconcilability with the powers of nature. The elements are not in harmony with the structure of our individuality. We can be seriously affected by physical forces – we can be drowned by water, burned by fire, blown by wind, and become destroyed by anything that is material or physical. Hunger and thirst, to mention only the least among them, are some of the consequences that follow from the weakness of the physical personality in its relation to the five elements. These energies do not make themselves felt ordinarily; most of us will not feel this difficulty at all. For us, all is a theory only, because our meditation may not be so strong as to wake up the five elements. But, until we are able to touch the borderland of this novel experience where we are able to face the five elements and become cognisant of their existence as vital elements involving our own lives, until this state is reached, we may be said to be a little novice only in meditation, just a 'kindergarten meditator'. But, according to great teachers of yoga such as Patanjali, for instance, true meditation begins only when we contact reality, at least in one of its degrees.
To be continued ...