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We Are Naturally Drawn to Virtues
Humans are innately good and drawn to becoming good, which will lead to a natural happy feeling of being good. We like to be surrounded by people who are kind, benevolent, compassionate, generous, honest, humble, selfless, peaceful, righteous; the list is endless. Very interestingly, studies show that even small babies are drawn to good people. In short, it’s “good to be good”. We want to be good and do good for our own ultimate welfare, or for the benefit of others around us. However, the question of paramount importance is – How do we become good and virtuous?
The only effective way is to meditate on the attributes of God. God is the abode of virtues, and as his fragments, we all have an innate attraction for virtue and goodness.
God Is the Abode of Infinite Virtues
Our mind is a frequent visitor to the worldly objects and people it is most attached to, and this world is in the realm of Maya (material energy) that consist of the three modes – sattva, rajas, and tamas (goodness, passion, and ignorance). When we attach our mind to any material object or person, these three modes affect our mind. Instead, if we endeavor to attach our mind in the all-pure God, who is tri-guṇātīt (transcendental to the modes of material nature), our mind becomes pure and calm. Hence, the Ramayan states:
saba kai mamatā tāga baṭorī, mama pada manahi bāñdha bari ḍorī
“Cut all the strings of worldly attachment of your mind; make a rope of these strings and fasten it to the lotus feet of God.”
To help us tether our mind to Him and to let virtue embellish our thoughts, He has descended in many splendid forms and performed delightful pastimes, revealing infinite, sublime virtues. Ved Vyas states:
योवाअनन्तस्यगुनानन्तान्अनुक्रमिष्ह्यन्सतुबाल बुद्धिः |
yo vā anantasya gunānanantān anukramiṣhyan sa tu bāla-buddhiḥ
rajānsi bhūmer gaṇayet kathañchit kālena naivākhilaśhakti dhāmnaḥ
“Those who think they can count the glories of God have a childish intellect. We may be successful in counting the specks of dust on the crest of the earth, but we can never count the unlimited glories of God.”
Meditate upon His Splendor & Elevate Yourself
The aim of meditation is not merely to enhance concentration and focus, but also to purify the mind. This is possible only when we make God’s divine attributes – His glorious names, splendid forms, sublime virtues, delightful pastimes, sacred abodes, blessed associates—the objects of our meditation. They are all non-different from God and replete with all his energies. Hence, we can meditate upon any of these and get the true benefit of meditating upon God. In the various bhakti traditions in India, the name of God is made the basis of contemplation. Thus, the Ramayan states:
brahma rām teṅ nāmu baṛa, bara dāyaka bara dāni |
“God’s name is bigger than God himself, in terms of its utility to the souls.” Taking the name is a very convenient way of remembering God, since we can take His name anywhere and everywhere—while walking, talking, sitting, eating, etc.However, for most sādhaks the name by itself is not sufficiently attractive for enchanting the mind. Due to sanskārs of endless lifetimes, our mind is naturally drawn to forms. Using the form of God as the basis, meditation becomes natural and easy. This is called RoopDhyān meditation.Once the mind is focused upon the form of God, we can then further enhance it by contemplating upon God’s infinite virtues - his compassion, his beauty, his knowledge, his love, his benevolence, his grace, and so on. Only through such contemplation, we can steer away from Maya, the material world. Hence, Shree Krishna reveals the one and only method of transcending the three modes of material nature:
māṁ cha yo ’vyabhichāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate |
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate ||
(Bhagavad Gita 14.26)
“I am divine. If you fix your mind on Me, it will rise above the three modes of Maya.” Meditating on His divine qualities not only shelters us from the worldly despair, but our meditation becomes more blissful and sweeter. “Further, we can also meditate upon the divine leelas (pastimes) of the Supreme Divine Personality. These too play a big role in diverting our mind in His direction. In the Indian culture, people have grown up hearing narratives, enctments, dance, and bhajans based upon the various leelas of the different Avatars of God, and hence they connect so easily with them. This fascination of the mind for God’s pastimes can easily be utilized to charm our mind towards Him. When we do this, devotion to the Lord does not remain something that is artificial or forced upon the mind, rather it becomes natural and easy.”[*]
If you wish to learn the technique of this unique meditation, and practice it effectively, join Daily Sadhana, where H. H. Swami Mukundananda will personally guide you in this process.
*H. H. Swami Mukundananda. “Visualization and Meditation.” Art of Mind Management, Plano: JKYog, 2017, pp. 155-156. Print.