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Meditation and Sum-bhava PDF Print E-mail
Meditation - Meditation Articles

We are coming to the end of Chapter 3 in our discussion on Gita. So far I have been interpreting Gita on an intellectual plane. We have been trying to understand different concepts, techniques and aspects of Gita in a logical fashion. Let me share with you this time a trip that I took to Rishikesh in India.


Before I get into the trip itself, let me explain certain aspects of meditation as I understand it. Meditation is not something you or me do once a week or once a day. It should be part of our life. It ought to be an undercurrent that persists all the time. Every one of us has been through the experience of an examination. What happens one month before an exam? We think of exam all the time. Some students even take medicines to keep them awake. I remember going to chai ki dukan in Patna in the middle of the night with a bunch of friends.

A conscious effort is needed in the beginning to make meditation the undercurrent of life. Later, it becomes part of life. We all know the pull of gravity. We also know about the attractions and pull of sex energy. There is similarly a strong pull of meditation energy. It becomes obvious once there is some meditative experience.

It is always helpful to make one method as your core meditation technique. I have picked up vipassana as a core technique for my life. I do not hesitate from trying any other technique. A mantra jaap or kirtan dhyan or any other method will do. I also found doing meditation in mandirs and tirth places quite an experience. It is not difficult to find a corner in a temple where you can just sit down and slip into meditation. People around usually do not bother.

I have been so far talking about meditation as if there is something for one to do. In fact meditation is not a doing. It is a happening. It is more akin to sleep. We create a surrounding where sleep comes and surrounds us. Similarly, we create a situation where meditation happens to us.

We took a car ride to Rishikesh and reached there around 10 a.m. in the morning. It was not difficult to find Parmarth Niketan where we were heading to. We were 15 persons in total in two cars. The view was so majestic.

The hills of Himalayas all around.
The Ganga flowing wonderfully.

We got our rooms in the ashram. After getting fresh we met Bhagvati who is personal assistant to Muniji. Muniji had to go to Delhi that day. We all decided to take a bath in Ganga and went to the ghat. The water was pleasant but cold. There was a definite current. After a short gap, there were rocks. Water continued to flow around these rocks (see photograph).

We were all having good time. We all started walking towards the set of rocks and a little beyond. I found one of the rocks quite comforting and sat on it with my back staright and palms facing up one on the other hand. I was ready for meditation to happen. I sat there for over 90 minutes and I wish I could share my complete experience.

Let me talk to you about meditation itself. I was sitting on one of the rocks. There were other rocks there. I did not hear them arguing about why I was sitting on one rock and not on the other. There was gentle breeze going on. The wind did not complain that I was in the way. Sometimes the wind blew a little hard. I had to balance my position at times to adjust to the speed of the wind. If the wind turned into a storm, I would have moved out of the position. This would be a normal practice. The water was flowing around the stone. They did not care if I was sitting in the middle.

The stone, the wind and the water appear to have sum-bhava to my presence. Sum-bhava is very similar to what happens in vipassan as the end result. It is a property of heart and not of the mind as many people want us to believe. The stone or water have sum-bhava but with a big difference. The level of consciousness is very low. We are more conscious than the stones or the trees. We can get to this sum-bhava by bringing our level of consciousness to their level. We can get drunk or drugged and then claim to have sum-bhava. Krishna is not talking about getting to that level.

Krishna is talking of bringing our level of consciousness higher. Vipassana is a good technique to get there. We have to learn how to deal with thoughts if we were to succeed in getting there. Thoughts will keep coming. It is like the wind blowing in the open. Sometimes it will be gentle. The other times it will be fierce. We have to deal with thoughts in a similar way. Let it just pass around you or through you. There is no need to hang on to them. They will transit through if you do not get attached to them. If you do get attached to them for a moment, be prepared to drop them. If the thought is really fierce, then you will need to be prepared to act on it similar to what you do with storm. You do not sit in the open if there is a storm. Similarly if you are meditating and some one tells you that there is a fire in the house, you will act on it rather than let it pass.

It will be difficult to understand Gita without meditating. So far we have worked on trying to understand Gita without talking much about meditation. It is time we get into the practices of meditation along with our journey of Gita.

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