The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita :
So, here comes the necessity for a spiritual initiation by a competent Guru. Any amount of study is not sufficient; and you have to be very honest here, and don't merely pat yourself, imagining that you can stand on your own legs. That is not possible, because you will face such difficulties that you will not even be able to understand them. The initiation process is not merely a teaching which you receive from your Guru, but it is something more.
The Guru does not merely give a lecture to you when he initiates you; he also infuses into you an energy of his own will. This is something very important to note; there is a difference between a Guru initiating a disciple and a professor lecturing in a college – there is no connection whatsoever. You are not merely receiving some information from the Guru – you are receiving something deeper, vital and living; and here the will of the Guru may be said to be operating in your own will, and, in a very important sense, the Guru thinks through a disciple. Sometimes this process is called shaktipatha – the descent of Guru's power into the personality of the disciple. Any amount of teaching verbally was not enough for Arjuna. There was a higher need felt later on, and you know what happened and what Sri Krishna had to do.
The art of meditation is the final touch you give to the whole process of spiritual practice. Which object are you going to concentrate upon? Normally, this object is chosen for you by the Guru. Are you going to meditate on God when you are here for meditation? No one can conceive God – ordinarily.
But I may remove this fear from your mind by giving you a lesser and easier definition of God, for practical purposes. Whatever God be as He is Himself, whatever the Absolute be as It is in Itself, that need not deter you from embarking upon this fruitful art of meditation. Actually, for the purpose of yoga which is a psychological technique, the object of concentration – which you may consider as your God, of course – is a thing outside which nothing has to be, can be, or ever is. God is something outside which nothing exists – this is a simpler definition of God.
You know the story in the Mahabharata, in the Adi Parva, wherein there is described the tournament which Dronacharya conducted for testing the students – the Kauravas and the Pandavas – and he hung a little wooden bird on the branch of a tree and he asked these boys to shoot the eye of the bird. He asked everyone, "Look, what do you see?" Someone said, "I am seeing a tree with many branches, and a bird kept there with a dot on its eye, of blackish colour.
The acharya said, "You're unfit, get out! You are seeing so many things." And another said, "I am seeing the bird tied on a branch and also I see the black spot." "No good, get out!" he said, "You are seeing so many things." Then another he stood up and said, "I am seeing the bird." "Oh, no good, go!" It was Arjuna who said, "I am seeing nothing, only the spot; I am seeing only the black spot. I see nothing else," he said. "Here you are, start. Go ahead, attack!" he said. So, the concentration of the mind of Arjuna was so intense that his consciousness got united with that particular spot of concentration and he was not aware even of the bird, let alone the branches and the tree and the many people around.
To be continued ...
Sri Sabarimala Distant View