Yoga is an exact science.
Asanas and Pranayama (Yoga postures and breathing exercises) perfect the body.
Service and charity expand the heart.
Prayer, Japa (repetition of the Lord’s Name), Kirtan (singing devotional songs) and other devotional practices purify the mind and make it more subtle.
The aspirant is now fully equipped for the last lap of the journey.
It is the toughest part of the pilgrimage to God.
It is full of darkness and the aspirant has to pierce this darkness with his purified mind.
The purified mind is the most dependable weapon in the armoury of the spiritual aspirant.
The purified mind must be made to concentrate.
Concentration is mental focussing.
The mind can be focussed on a concrete object or an abstract idea.
For a novice, concentration becomes easy if the object of concentration is concrete.
Also, the beginner should choose a pleasing object on which to concentrate.
Only thus can he prevent the mind from wandering away from the object of concentration.
To start with, concentration can be practised on the flame of a candle, the tick-tick sound of a clock, the star in the sky, the picture of OM or the picture of one's lshta Devata (personal God).
This should be followed by concentration on a suitable spiritual centre within the body.
The Sadhak may concentrate with closed eyes on the space between is the eyebrows or on the tip of the nose.
There is nothing which cannot be achieved by concentration.
To be continued ...