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Journey Of Meditation On God With Form To Without Form

 Swami Hariharananda Aranya (1869–1947) states that instead of starting to meditate on formless god one should start meditating on a form of god and the slowly reach the formless state.

Swami Hariharananda says that there are two methods of meditation. One is thinking of God as an outside object, and the other is thinking of God as residing within oneself. In the first—that is, thinking of God as an outside object, ‘we have to think of Him as endowed with form, etc. The beginners in Yoga system adopt this method.’

Beginners who find it easier to practice Ishvarapranidhana with a God having a figure should with a God having a figure should imagine a luminous figure of God inside their hearts. As a liberated person is calm in mind and is blissful in face on account of his highest attainment, so should the contemplated holy figure in one’s heart be imagined to be, and it should be contemplated that one is fully associated with that figure. In repeating the mystic syllable OM, one should think oneself to be within the emblem —calm, restful and felicitous.

When after some practice the mind of the devotee becomes somewhat calm and carefree and he is able to rest in a feeling of godliness, then a transparent white limitless luminous sky should be imagined by him within his heart.

Then knowing that the omnipresent God is pervading that space, the devotee should contemplate that his I-sense, i.e., his whole self, is in the God who is present in his heart. The next step would be to merge his mind in the mind of the Ishwara residing in the void-like space within his heart and rest in a state of contentment, without any care or thought. … In other words, one should contemplate that one is completely within the God in one’s heart.

When the above process of meditation is mastered the devotee has a sort of blissful feeling in his heart. Then he should recollect that the blissful feeling, arising out of a sense of staying in God, is ‘I’ and he should bring his mind to a state of calmness and blissfulness after the mind of God. If this is practised with ardent devotion, carefully and continuously. The ultimate result of Ishvarapranidhana, viz. realization of one’s own Self, is achieved.

On realisation of the pure “I”, the Yogin gets a feeling as if he is in everything and everything is in him, or that he is a manifestation of the Sagua Brahman.