Informal talks on Self-Realization- Golden Gate hall, San Francisco, January 18, 1903
Will there not be reaction if we go on concentrating our mind, thought, and energy in the way pointed out in this book? Will it not revert upon the brain, will it not weaken it?
No. No. Rama tells you from personal experience that strength and strength alone will come to you day after day; no weakness, but power, vigour, and immense power will come to you. A few words must be said as to the method of practice.
In the morning or at any time, when you begin to practise the methods pointed out in this book, your mind will merge into a state of divinity, ecstasy, super-consciousness. When that state is reached, do not continue repeating OM. Stop; let that state remain as long as it pleases; gradually the worldly or body-consciousness will come up of itself. Don’t force anything; don’t force the repetition of OM. When that state is reached, the body-consciousness will come up readily. It may be that many of you may be able to remain in that state of super-consciousness for half an hour, perhaps for one, two, or three hours or more; but to-morrow you will be able to keep up that state for a longer time Day after day the time will increase until in this way gradually by slow degrees your spiritual power will increase.
Rama does not advise those who are beginners in this practice to devote more than half an hour to this, Rama advises that they should limit themselves to 20 or So minutes of this practice, but those who have engaged in this practice before will of themselves increase the length of time which they devote to this practice.
In general the rule is that the most spiritually minded and those persons who have already done something in this line of thought will realize more than those who are beginners. The more you are interested and intensified with this thought beforehand, the more you will like to remain in that state for a longer period.
One thing more: when you begin to concentrate the mind, and realize your God-consciousness some idea or ideas will spring up before your mind. At that time go on chanting OM and at the same time take up this thread of thought which makes its appearance in your mind and finish it.
At the time when a man is chanting OM and has the Holy Infinite around him, when a man’s mind is determined to make spiritual progress, if a worldly thought comes up, that thought ought to be concluded in such a way that it may, in future life, be a state of conduct. Now pay attention to this, and whether you have ever experienced these things or not, they will come up, and these thoughts are apt to oppose you” and Rama’s words will be of benefit.
Suppose you begin to chant OM, and while chanting it, the thought of love or hatred for some object comes up. There the idea was that this thought should not have intruded and obstructed your onward flight. What shall you do with this thought? Take it up and eradicate it, root it out from your mind forever. How? This thought will be rooted out by knowledge only. The thought of hatred enters the mind, take it up, begin to realize and dissect it, find out its true cause; you will always see that the true cause is ignorance, weakness, this Self attributing the I to the body, the idea of I am the body etc. Ignorance of this kind is always the cause of these intruding thoughts entering while one is concentrating the mind. In such cases Rama says, “Analyze these thoughts and through knowledge eradicate them and continue Chanting OM. While chanting OM, make strong resolutions and firm determinations to withstand all these thoughts in the future, make firm resolutions to overcome all these selfish motives in the future. These strong determinations and firm resolutions once made, will build up your character and strengthen your moral sight; your ethical power will be of great aid to you in moving about in the world, in your worldly business.
Suppose about half an hour is spent in eradicating that idea, in strengthening and overcoming that thought in chanting OM, and suppose all the time is taken up in overcoming that thought or idea and there is no time to get into the state of super-consciousness, never mind. If the super-conscious state be not reached that day, never mind, it will come some other day. If on that day one evil thought has been overcome, your character is strengthened; if you are enabled to resist and overcome temptation in this life, you have a lovely character for the future and that is enough in itself. Thus will your character be formed, and thus will your spiritual powers be enhanced day after day. As to your concentration, let it come or not. Sometimes even hankering after Realization or Truth is a drawback, a hindrance to achieving that state.
Some people say “O sir, we want some method of concentrating the mind, some method of Realization. We don’t want lectures, we don’t want reading matter.”Those people are mistaken. What is the obstruction which clouds your way, which keeps you away from this Divinity, this God-consciousness, Realization? It is your ignorance, and what is ignorance? Doubts, misgivings, worldly notions, false ideas, these are ignorance. False ideas, worldly thoughts, evil propensities are ignorance, these are the clouds which obstruct your progress. Lack of faith is ignorance. One who doubts not as to his oneness with God is always in a trance. It is your doubts and misgivings which keep your minds in a wandering condition, it is your doubts which lead you astray. A man who reads such literature, who investigates these matters, who studies, is by slow degrees overcoming all his doubts, conquering all his misgivings; that man when walking, talking, eating, or drinking is in the same state as the ordinary man when silting still, with closed eyes, and concentrating. There is more power in thisordinary state than in most men in the extraordinary state.