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Swami's sayings : Practice meditation for mental concentration

Swami
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Young Hans begins a series on spiritual thoughts on matters concerning youngsters There is only one method by which to attain knowledge, that which...

Young Hans begins a series on spiritual thoughts on matters concerning youngsters

swa2There is only one method by which to attain knowledge, that which is called concentration. The very essence of education is concentration of mind. We have but one method of acquiring knowledge. From the lowest man to the highest yogi, all have to use the same method; and that method is what is called concentration. The chemist who works in his laboratory concentrates all the powers of his mind, brings them into one focus, and throws them on the elements; and the elements stand analyzed, and thus his knowledge comes.

The astronomer has also concentrated the powers of his mind and brought them into one focus; and he throws them on to objects through his telescope; and stars and systems roll forward and give up their secrets to him. So it is in every case�with the professor in his chair, the student with his book�with every man who is working to know. The more this power of concentration, the more knowledge is acquired.

The main difference between men and the animals is the difference in their power of concentration. An animal has very little power of concentration. Those who have trained animals find much difficulty in the fact that the animal is constantly forgetting what is told to him. He cannot concentrate his mind long upon anything at a time. Herein is the difference between man and the animals. The difference in their power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration.

All success in any line of work is the result of this. High achievements in art, music, etc., are the results of concentration.A 'The power of concentration is the only key to the treasure house of knowledge. As soon as I try to calm my thoughts and concentrate my mind upon any one object of knowledge, thousands of undesired impulses rush into the brain; thousands of thoughts rush into the mind and disturb it. How to check it and bring the mind under control is the whole subject of study in Raja-Yoga.

The practice of meditation leads to mental concentration.A To me the very essence of education is concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I had to do my education over again and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will. Side by side, in the child, should be developed the power of concentration and detachment.

Education is not filling the mind with a lot of facts. Perfecting the instrument and getting complete mastery of my own mind [is the ideal of education]. If I want to concentrate my mind upon a point, it goes there, and the moment I call, it is free [again].A Concentration is the essence of all knowledge; nothing can be done without it. Ninety per cent of thought force is wasted by the ordinary human being, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake.

The present system of education is all wrong. The mind is crammed with facts before it knows how to think. Control of the mind should be taught first. If I had my education to get over again and had any voice in the matter, I would learn to master my mind first, and then gather facts if I wanted them. It takes people a long time to learn things because they can't concentrate their minds at will. Power comes to him who observes unbroken 'brahmacharya' for a period of twelve years. Controlled desire leads to the highest result. Transform the sexual energy into spiritual energy, but do not emasculate, because that is throwing away the power. The stronger this force, the more can be done with it. Only a powerful current of water can do hydraulic mining.

The chaste brain has tremendous energy and gigantic willpower. Without chastity there can be no spiritual strength. Continence gives wonderful control over mankind. The spiritual leader; of men have been very continent, and this is what gave them power.

No one could obtain intellectual greatness until he was physically pure. Morality gave strength; the immoral were always weak, and could never raise themselves intellectually, much less spiritually. Directly [as] immorality began to enter the national life, its foundations commenced to rot. As the life blood of every nation was to be found in the schools, where boys and girls were receiving their education, it was absolutely essential that the young students should be pure, and this purity must be taught them.

The yogis claim that of all the energies that are in the human body the highest is what they call 'ojas'. Now this 'ojas' is stored up in the brain, and the more 'ojas' is in a man's head, the more powerful he is, the more intellectual, the more spiritually strong. One man may speak beautiful language and beautiful thoughts, but they do not impress people; another man speaks neither beautiful language nor beautiful thoughts, yet his words charm everyone. Every movement of his is powerful. That is the power of ojas.

(The excerpt has been taken from book Swami Vivekananda -My Idea of Education. The book has been compiled by Dr Kiran Walia. It was published on the occasion of 150th birthday of the Swami.)

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