From Mother Radha's recordings of Swamiji
The reason you should do likhit [written] japa [meditative repetition of a mantra or sacred sound syllable or one of God's many names] is because it does many things for you. It brings your mind to the level of concentration that you want. Your eyes look at the words you have written and your attention is not disturbed. I used to write the word Om though I would repeat my deity's [Ishta Deva's] mantra at the same time: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya. But if you think you can just say Om, Om, Om, then you can do that. But do it.
You will see that meditation is the seventh step in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, it is one step below samadhi [superconsciousness]. Meditation is the most important part of our spiritual exercises, our spiritual disciplines. It is said that as long as our minds do not naturally turn inwards, so long will we not have a perfect meditation.
Most of us have not experienced the meaning of the mind turning inwards. Just as the mind wants to go outward there will come a stage in your life when the mind will feel this world to be impermanent and tasteless, it will want to pull away and go inside.
They say this stage comes in a sadhaka's [spiritual aspirant or practitioner's] life only if that sadhaka practises all the virtues, that is yama and niyama. In the Bhagavad Gita some other spiritual qualities are spelled out and these too we have to practise. When we have practised these things we will not find it difficult for the mind to go inwards. As a matter of fact it will become a natural process. But as long as that does not happen we must go on practising all the virtues and observances, whilst giving up all the vices.
It is said that in place of a negative thing you must put a positive thing. For example: If I hate somebody, I must put in love. As I begin to love, hatred will automatically be out of my mind. Adi Shankaracharya rightly said that we do not only eat with our mouths, but also through all our senses. And when we feast we feast.
Many thoughts are projected on TV in the form of pictures and our minds seem to take in these pictures. As long as your mind finds joy doing this, so long will your mind not be steady and it will not pull within. There will be a leak in the boat.
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