We meditate upon our beloved Lord Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in standing pose with Abhaya hasta. Concentrate on the halo of soft hair surrounding the head of our dear Lord. Look at His face, full like the full-moon, and hinged with the hue of blue clouds. Those unique attractive star like eyes look straight into and touch your heart when cast upon. See, He is greeting us with a warm charming smile. Look at His strong shoulders; shoulders that bear the burden of all the worlds, shoulders that can hold back all the evils in the path of His devotees.
His right arm is raised to bless us and is in the Abhaya pose, “Abhaya”, means “do not fear”. For, our Lord says, “Why fear when I am here”; yes, He is always there to inspire, guide and guard us. “He is the refuge of all and is the boundless ocean of mercy”.
Listen! for you can hear Baba’s sweet guiding voice ringing in your ears. He is saying “abstain from evil, adhere to good deeds and right-living. Truth, love, non-injury to all beings, tolerance, endurance and forbearance are divine virtues which promote, foster and spread peace, happiness and auspiciousness”.
Hold fast to His Divine Feet. Let us now bow our heads and rest it upon those Lotus Feet and pray, ” Oh Lord of the whole Universe, give us the strength that these hands which have clasped Thy Feet, may not loosen under any circumstances. That this head which has bowed to Thy Will, shall never bow to any worldly wicked matter. That these eyes cast upon Thy Feet will always rest there.
Oh Lord! Please reside in our empty hearts and make it Thy abode, so that all the blood rushing to it may be made pure by Thy Presence. Then whatever I see, whatever I speak, whatever I hear and whatever I do, will be Sathyam, Shivam and Sundaram.
- Oh God, be in our mind and in our thinking,
- Oh God, be in our eyes and in our seeing,
- Oh God, be in our ears and in our hearing,
- Oh God, be in our mouth and in our speaking,
- Oh God, be in our heart and in our desiring,
- Oh God, be in our body and in our acting.
Make us Thy Children, true and pure so that We see Thee in all. Then only will the whole world, appear to us full of Thy Glory. We shall then have no enemies. We shall envy none and none shall envy us, for they are no longer themselves but Thyself and We are no longer ourself but Thyself. Thou art ours, Oh Lord, and We are Thine”.
Silent Sitting – A Demonstration
At a young age, it is essential to control the senses, in order to stimulate concentration. Visualization is the best technique at the Group I age group. Gurus can describe the features of the deity in such a way that the form of God gets imprinted in their minds.
Guided Visualisation – A Demonstration
Sairam dear children! Let me show you, the picture of our beloved Swami. Now, all of you look at this picture with rapt attention. Children, now slowly close your eyes, stretch your hands in front and do not touch others. Keep your fingers in chinmudra position and place your hands on your thighs. Sit straight and keep your spine erect. Take a deep breath… flush out all thoughts…..Take another deep breath. Now, slowly visualize that you are all sitting in Sai Kulwant Hall waiting to see the beautiful form of Swami. Look! Swami is slowly walking in front of you. His face is radiating love and light. His thick black hair surrounds His face like an aura. His bright eyes now turn to you to your side. He looks at you now and you are overjoyed. Even though His eyes locked into your eyes only for a few seconds, it looks as if He gazed at you deeply for some time. He smiles at you and you are beaming with love and joy. He is the embodiment of Love. He is Love walking on two legs. His long saffron-colored robe is flowing in the wind and His soft feet are partially visible through the garment. All of us feel blessed with this Divine Darshan of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Let us now offer this short prayer at His Lotus Feet with devotion and faith … Oh Lord! I pray that my parents, Gurus, my relatives and friends are blessed with good health. Oh Lord! Please help me concentrate on my studies. Oh Lord! Let me always remember thy Lotus Feet… Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu. Now slowly open your eyes.
Suggested questions for discussion in class after the Guided Visualisation
- How does Swami look like?
- How did you find the experience?
Meditation – Balvikas Gurus’ Reference
Prayer versus meditation
“There are two roads to fulfillment: prayer and meditation. Prayer makes you a supplicant at the feet of God. Meditation (dhyana) induces God to come down to you and inspires you to raise yourselves to Him; it tends to make you come together, not place one in a lower level and the other on a higher.” [Sathya Sai Speaks V, ‘Lamps Lit from the Same Flame’]
“Can anyone train another in meditation? Or claim to train? It may be possible to teach a person the posture, the pose, the position of the legs, feet, or hands, neck, head or back, the style of breathing, or its speed. But meditation is a function of the inner man; it involves deep subjective quiet, the emptying of the mind and filling oneself with the Light that emerges from the divine Spark within. This is a discipline that no text book can teach and no class can communicate” [Sathya Sai Speaks VII, ‘Questions Answered’]
“You need not rely on another for success in mediation and soft repetition of the name (dhyana and japa) and await contact with some sage in order to get from him a mantra for recitation. Pray to the God within, and you will receive guidance.” [Sathya Sai Speaks VII, “The Commentary on the Message”]
Schedule for meditation
Recommended time is before dawn (between 3 and 6 AM, ‘auspicious time is 4:30-5:15 AM’ [Sathya Sai Speaks VI, ‘Eyelids & The Pupil’]
But regularity is most important. Swami also recommends a few minutes of meditation in the evening after dusk.
SWAMI ON FORM MEDITATION:
Swami told the students that you have to look at any object –flame, idol, or picture for 12 seconds with total concentration and without blinking eyelids. This is concentration (dharana). Twelve dharana concentrations make one meditation (dhyana). This means that meditation should last for 12×12 = 144 seconds.
Thus, proper meditation need not last more than 2 minutes 24 secs.
Twelve meditations equal one samadhi, which amounts to 12×144 seconds = 28 minutes 48 seconds.
However, it is not something that one does by sitting for a couple of minutes or hours. Contemplation of the Lord should be always at all places.
Sri Ramana Maharshi was once asked, “How long should one practice meditation? 15 or 30 or 45 minutes or an hour?’ His reply was, ‘You should continue doing it till you forget that you are meditating. As long as you are conscious (physically aware) that you are meditating, it is no meditation at all.”
The consciousness of body and mind and the thought of yourself should become totally extinct. The experience of only the object of your meditation should subsist, i.e. nothing else but the presence of divinity. The state of meditation is experiencing but without the consciousness that you are experiencing.
Posture for meditation
Sit on a special mat/piece of cloth/cushion that you use for prayers. This acts as an insulation for not earthing the body currents. Sit straight because, “when the body is straight and quiet, the mind is also straight and quiet. If you cannot control your body, how can you control your mind” Relax the hands in two ways: (a) place hands in lap, with one palm on top of the other with thumbs touching at the tips or (b) rest your arms on your knees with the palms facing upward and the fingers in chin-mudra posture ……….. To regulate the breath for Soham session, keep “the tip of the tongue gently on the rear of the teeth.” [Sathya Sai Speaks XI, “Bhakti, Stage by Stage”]