28 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen alongside listening to Swami Sarvapriyananda talk about Raja Yoga Meditation.

What questions arise when I focus on “the yogic mind” as an object of Vedanta meditation?

One summer, a swami and a yogi were sitting together next to the Ganges River, high up in the Himalayas where the river is narrow and the water rushes. Just the day before, a person had gone into the river to bathe, and he was swept off in the rushing current and he drowned. The yogi was explaining to the swami about the difference between a worldly mind and a meditative mind. He said, “You see this river water that is full of mud. It’s dangerous. It’s dirty. No one dares to drink from it, or they would be sick. Someone tried to bathe in it, and he drown. This is like the worldly mind that does not meditate. It rushes with dirty thoughts, and it is dangerous. But this same exact river, in winter, when some of the water freezes over, that slows the flow of the water. At that time, the water turns clear here. People can drink from it, and it brings happiness and refreshment. Though it’s cold, it is good for bathing, and it is easy to cross. This is like the mind that meditates. Such a mind contains fewer thoughts that are controlled and deliberately chosen. And this kind of mind brings happiness and even nourishment to people around it.” After he spoke, the yogi and swami sat together for the rest of the day watching the flow of the river, watching the flow of thoughts in the mind, and witnessing the silence of being-consciousness-bliss.   

Meditating on the mind, a Jnana yogi might ask: “Does this thought give me peace? Does this thought give peace to those around me? And before the next thought arises in the mind, can I repeat 108 times, aham brahma-asmi

अहम् ब्रह्मस्मि?”

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