Mind Beyond Mind: [25.01] The One-Pointed Consciousness (1)

Published: 14.06.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The practitioner of Sadhana has to decide upon an objective and to engage the mind to it. In other words, the mind is to be connected with the image of the objective. Its concentration on the image should in no case be slackened. The mind will often wander away from the objective. It is up to the practitioner to collect the wandering mind and to rehabilitate it in the object. He has to make his consciousness one-pointed. The success of the concentration of the mind depends upon its complete devotion to the objective. In a state of perfect concentration, the practitioner will begin to see strange sights and subtle objects and become efflorescent. He will come to see souls wandering in the subtle world. He will begin to hear strange sounds, which cannot be heard in the gross world. He will have strange otherworldly experiences. He will come to feel joy. But it should be noted that this kind of concentration is not final Samadhi. It is not an achievement of a very high order. It is, however, a necessary stage in the development of the self from which there is no return to the normal state of the mind. It is an achievement.

This state of the mind is marked by a definite turn in the life of the practitioner. There is an incident narrated about the life of the famous saint, Raidasa. He was a shoemaker by profession, but a great Sadhaka. He lived in the town of Kasi. He lived with his wife and a small family in an improvised hut, which was also his workshop. Once a mendicant who had heard of Raidasa's reputation as a man of self-knowledge came to see him. He was surprised to see the famous saint living in abject poverty. After they had exchanged formalities, the mendicant said, "I have come here to give you a present. I have been shocked by your poverty. Take this philosopher's stone and keep it with you. You can lead a better life with the help of this stone. Raidasa replied, "I have very few needs and can easily satisfy them with my meagre earning. I am quite happy and contented and do not need anything. I do not need the philosopher's stone. But the visitor persisted in his offer and refused to leave until Raidasa had accepted his present. The latter agreed to accept the offer. He asked the mendicant to thrust the stone somewhere in the thatched roof of the cottage. Having done so, the mendicant left. Raidasa went his own way. He lived the same life of poverty as if nothing had happened. He continued to be happy and contented. The philosopher's stone had no value for him.

After a few months the mendicant returned. He did not notice any change in the saint's life. He still lived a life of poverty and did his usual work. The mendicant had expected him to live in a palatial building with all kinds of luxuries and comforts surrounding him. But to his surprise lie again saw the saint stitching shoes in the same old way. It seemed he had not taken advantage of the philosopher's stone. The mendicant's disappointment was nothing unusual. Certainly one who had the philosopher's stone would not lead a life of poverty. The philosopher's stone could change iron into gold. No body could believe that Raidasa possessed the philosopher's stone. Its possession will make any one put on airs and be puffed up. There are men like Raidasa who remain completely indifferent to riches; they would find a life of poverty more satisfying than a life of plenty. They do not covet anything and remain satisfied with very meagre means. What is the secret of this satisfaction? The answer is that such a satisfaction and contentedness are born when one has reached a state of mental Samadhi in which the world loses all its values, when wealth loses all its glamour, and comforts fail to give any pleasure. In this state worldly achievements appear to be meaningless. In such a spiritual state the worldly existence loses all its charms. Otherwise why should the saint be indifferent to things like the philosopher's stone? A spiritual life implies a complete change of values. The source of happiness such as Raidasa had lies hidden in the very soul of the saint. It has nothing to do with the enjoyment of physical comforts, social status, and pride.

Somebody went to a recluse and said, "I am hungry. Please give me something to eat." The recluse replied, "I don't keep anything with me." But the visitor proved to be too hard a nut to crack. He persisted in imploring the recluse to give him something. Ultimately the recluse yielded and said, "Go along the river and at a little distance from here you will find a philosopher's stone I had thrown away there." The very mention of the philosopher's stone ran like an electric current in the mind and body of the visitor. He ran towards the direction mentioned by the recluse and found the philosopher's stone, which was shining in the rays of the sun. But as soon as he spread his hand to pick it up, he was seized by a strange idea. "Why had the recluse thrown away the philosopher's stone?" he asked himself. 'Surely he must be having something more miraculous than the philosopher's stone,' he thought. He hurriedly returned to the recluse and said: "Sire, I feel that you possess somethingmore valuable than the philosopher's stone in favour of which you have thrown away the latter. Give me that. I don't need the philosopher's stone." It is in this way that our interests undergo changes. Raidasa too had something more valuable than the philosopher's stone and that is why he was not at all interested in the latter.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Concentration
  3. Consciousness
  4. Pride
  5. Sadhaka
  6. Sadhana
  7. Samadhi
  8. Soul
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