[Advaita-l] Your views and advice please

Ramesh Nagarajan rameshnj18us at gmail.com
Sat Jun 19 10:05:06 CDT 2010

Dear Mahesh,

Only a Guru can really provide a proper guidance to you.

However, I would like to share some views on focusing on the deity during
prayer and while undertaking day today activities.

Devotion is a Bhava expressed by devotee towards a single-pointed entity.
Bhava is more important for devotion.  In pure devotion, the devotee has
only one desire (Para Bhakthi.), that is aasakthi (supreme love) towards God
to merge with him.   In apara bhakthi we pray to god where our aasakthi
(attachment) is with  material fulfillment due to attachment and aversion
towards objects.  Typically, spiritual seeker goes through several stages to
truly practice Para Bhakthi.  The devotee should have strong conviction that
his / her goal is to reach HIM and nothing else matters to him.  This is a
complete surrender state.   We have seen many examples including:
Ramakrishna Paramahamsar – Kali, Meera – Krishna, Raghavendar – Vishnu,
Arunagirinathar – Muruga, Ramdas – Rama, Nayanmars – Vishnu, Alwars – Shiva,
Subramaniys Iyer (Abhirami Pattar) – Abhirami, etc.

Our mind and senses are not ready at once to accept the concept of Surrender
as we have trained our focus towards many external objects.  Moreover, our
vasanas (latent tendencies caused by mental impressions) forces us to act in
a certain way.  Please refer to destiny and freewill 8 part series, posted
Generally speaking, it is difficult to restrain or suppress the body and
mind to focus only one entity (God) and totally surrender to HIM at once.
We have to go through several steps, before we reach that stage.  So, the
process should be sublimation and not suppression.  With constant and
consistent practice with our sadhana should be towards that Goal, we could
see the progress is made in the right direction.

Before we discuss about performing action without distractions we will
discuss what is affecting our concentration.  This is a basic problem that
we encounter on a daily basis but somehow we don't go deep to understand the
crux of the problem.

We all know we have five senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell & touch.)  As
we interact in this world, we are constantly accumulating and perceiving
information on objects through these senses.  We need to add one more to it
which is the mind, which is also performing the above activity apart from
thinking about the past and the feature.  Since there are six in total, each
can potentially accumulate and perceive information on different objects at
the same time or perceiving the different aspects of the same objects and
other possible combinations.  As a result our concentration is lost.

Generally speaking, we can concentrate on a given object or activity when
one of the many conditions is possible.
    One or more of the senses + mind are active and perceive and accumulate
the same information of an object while other senses are not perceiving
    One or more of the senses + mind are active and perceive or accumulate
the same information of an object while other senses are perceiving other
         information, which are tactfully denied for processing.
    One or more of the senses + mind are active and perceive and accumulate
the same information of an object while we don’t even aware of the
         presence of the remaining senses.
    If all of the senses + mind perceive or accumulate the same information
of an object.

This concentration (Dharana) becomes possible only when we pass the previous
stage of patanjali yoga which is Pratyahara.  In pratyahara we withdraw
ourselves from the perception or accumulating information, which nourishes
the senses.  As we see from the above list, the senses take control of us if
we jump into the concentration without any preparatory steps.  For
Pratyahara, we need to practice Yama, Niyama and Asana.  I have omitted
Prana, because it should be practiced under the guidance of a Guru.
However, when we are in the control of mind, our prana is automatically

We will find that It is tough to practice Yama and Niyama to the core, but
we should put Yama and Niyama into practice as much as possible without
suppression.  For Yama and Niyama, we need to have a solid understanding of
the characteristics of real and unreal (Viveka).   Adhi Shankara has
beautifully explained the three levels of truth:  Pratibhasika, Vyavaharika
and Paramarthika.  Please refer to the following post:

Viveka would help us to define the goal of our life (if not defined already)
and make progress to achieve the goal.  Our goal should be only one that is
to realize the truth and attain liberation from suffering.



Pranams to all,

I would like your views on the issue give below.

I observed that when I do prayers (Gayathri sandhya), my focus is not fully
into performing it meticulously. Not sure whether I have lost devotion and
doing this meticulously. Could any of the members share their views in
overcoming my problem.This has been the case not only in prayers but in
other aspect of material life and studies.

God bless you all
Best wishes

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