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Merit of vows religion

CHENNAI: Meditation is the way to realise the Supreme Being. This practice is termed as Yoga in tradition underscoring that the mind attains union. The Yogasutra of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita explain the process by which the mind can be trained to meditate. The Yogasutra prescribes the eightfold path (Ashtanga yoga) to effect the cleansing of the body, senses and the mind. Of the eight steps the first two are in the nature of do’s (Niyama) and don’ts (Yama). These two comprise 10 practices like adherence to truth (Satya) and non-violence (Ahimsa), which when followed diligently become “vows” enabling one to attain total self-control.

King Harischandra’s allegiance to truth in spite of the untold suffering he had to face is a standing example of how if a person is able to follow even one of them it can result in great merit. Likewise, there are descriptions of tranquillity in the environs of hermitages. An account of Sage Jabali’s hermitage relates that a lioness suckled a fawn, which shows that the vibrations of such practitioners of Ahimsa influenced even natural enemies which lived in their vicinity to live in harmony. The merit of celibacy (Brahmacharya) for spiritual progress is well known and it is said that the teaching (spiritual instruction like Mantra) of one who practises this virtue will influence the mind of the student instantly. Thus any virtue practised with sincerity becomes a great vow (Mahavrata), which by itself can lead to spiritual heights.

In his discourse, Sri K.Srinivasan said Sage Suka elaborated the glory of the Lord in His transcendental form and in His incarnations in the Bhagavata Purana when King Pareekshit beseeched him to show the way to beatitude. Cursed to die of the bite of the serpent Takshaka in seven days’ time the king had retired to the bank of the Ganga in the forest to utilise the time at his disposal to pursue the path to liberation. Providentially the greatest of Yogis, Suka, happened to come that way and the sages gathered there requested Suka to enlighten him. The narration is an exposition of meditation (Dhyana yoga) and this technique (listening to the glory of the Supreme Being) enables the mind to become calm effortlessly and attain concentration.

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