5: Narada Instructs Yudhisthira on Ashrama Dharma :
Upasana in this form is very difficult because the mind has to expand into the arena of the performance of the five elements. We have to place ourselves in the context of all things in the world, so that we are not only sitting and meditating in one place; the five elements are meditating with us. It is mentioned in the Chhandogya Upanishad that the Earth itself is meditating. The position in the equilibrium and the precision that the elements maintain is itself considered as a meditation. The elements are not acting chaotically; a method is maintained. Whether it is sunrise, moonrise or sunset, or whether it is the ocean, the wind or anything else, everything is maintaining a maryada, or a norm of behaviour, so that they maintain the required harmony among themselves—into which the upasaka enters because the five elements are also the constituents of one’s own body and personality. There is a great cosmic meditation taking place, as described in the Aranyakas. The world itself is the object of our contemplation.
There is no chance of distraction of mind here if we have properly prepared ourselves from an early age, but if we have lived a very dissipated life until fifty or sixty years of age and then attempt this meditation, we will find that our mind will not concentrate at all because we have not given it time to prepare itself through the earlier conditions required during the previous parts of our life. It is necessary to remember that one’s whole life is a period of austerity, conservation, duty, and meditation.
To be continued ...