आरुरुक्षोर्मुनेर्योगं कर्म कारणमुच्यते |
योगारूढस्य तस्यैव शम: कारणमुच्यते || 3||
ārurukṣhor muner yogaṁ karma kāraṇam uchyate
yogārūḍhasya tasyaiva śhamaḥ kāraṇam uchyate
ārurukṣhoḥ—a beginner; muneḥ—of a sage; yogam—Yog; karma—working without attachment; kāraṇam—the cause; uchyate—is said; yoga ārūḍhasya—of those who are elevated in Yog; tasya—their; eva—certainly; śhamaḥ—meditation; kāraṇam—the cause; uchyate—is said
For the sage aspiring to ascend to yoga, action is said to be the means; and for the same sage enthroned in yoga serenity is called the means.
To achieve success in Jnanayoga or Dhyana yoga, action (Nishkamakarma) is said to be the means. When success is attained in yoga and the mind approaches steadiness in the Self, a quiescent state free from action (sama) is said to be the means for deeper union with the Self. Therefore in the early stages of meditation purity has to be acquired by the practice of Nishkama karma. Afterward, as the mind becomes firm and steady by its purity, action should be gradually reduced. It means that as the aspirant approaches the Self nearer and nearer, action drops off of its own accord, even as dry leaves fall from the tree. The field of activity is thus transferred from the external world to the inner realm of the human personality. Hearing of Atma, thinking of Atma, meditating on Atma (sravana, munana, nidhidhyasa) – the seeker is disinclined to come out of the inner pursuit to active functions of the outer world with the body and the senses. He finds supreme satisfaction in being absorbed in the Self. The turbulence of the bodily organs and the senses is quelled. The seeker has no use for them because the mind and the intellect are turned within and the ascent towards the Self is maintained steadily. Such quietude of the physical and mental mechanism will enable him ultimately to reach the state where there are no thought modifications, and the Self is directly realised.
Let the seekers understand the position correctly. Hasty attempts to go into meditation will be of no avail. The mind rarely falls quiet for the common man. The inherent ‘vasanas’ pull him out into the external world of action. It requires great effort to purify the mind before it can attain a calm and peaceful state when meditation becomes possible. So the seeker should first engage himself in righteous and devotional acts. Otherwise, he remains dull and inactive, and dullness of the brain is certainly not meditation. Meditation is an intensely active state when all the energies of man are gathered together and centered in the one thought of the Self. To stop action by force and drive the mind by violent effort would unhinge the personality and render it more restless and distracted. When the wound is healing, a layer of skin covers it, but if one scratches it away before the wound is completely cured, it causes another blister. The layer should drop off naturally. So also, all actions are reduced by a natural process when the mind gathers momentum in its inward pursuit of the Self.
The path of progress may be divided into three stages: 1. The aspirant who is seeking yoga comes under the first stage – (the High – School Course). 2. The second stage is reached when meditation becomes possible by the purity of mind (Graduate Course). 3. Undisturbed absorption in the Self is the final stage (Post-Graduate Course). So the progress is gradual, not sudden and violent. First, through Nishkamakarma the mind should be purified. Then the practice of meditation should start. Then meditation should become deeper and deeper till the Self is realised. As a man reaches the third stage, all actions appear burdensome, and his only aim would be to get firmly established in the Self. He is the ‘Yogarudha’.
Excerpt from ‘Spiritual Treasures: Letters of Swami Turiyananda’ —
We obstruct the path of our progress by limiting ourselves with rules. Of course, I am not saying there is no need for rules. It is important to know when rules are necessary and when they are not.
With great effort we invoke the deity in an image; yet we immerse the image after the worship. It is like a change of arrangement according to the change of situation. But, undoubtedly, it is difficult to ascertain. This is certain: If we can surrender ourselves fully to the Lord, we will not have to repent for anything. By God’s grace, everything will be all right. Don’t worry. Take refuge in God. Take refuge in God. (See also: Bhagavad Gita 5.10)