Sathya Sai Baba On The Jyoti Meditation
“As regards the technique of meditation, different teachers and trainers give different forms of advice. But I shall give you now the most universal and the most effective form. This is the very first step in spiritual discipline. At first, set a few minutes every day for meditation, and extend the time as you feel the bliss that you get.
“Let it be in the hours before dawn. This is preferable because the body is refreshed after sleep, and the dealings of daytime will not yet have impinged on you. Have a lamp or a candle before you with an open, steady, and straight flame. Sit in front of the candle in the lotus posture or any other comfortable sitting position. Look on the flame steadily for some time, and closing your eyes try to feel the flame inside you between your eyebrows. Let it slide down into the lotus of your heart, illuminating the path. When it enters the heart, imagine that the petals of the lotus open out by one, bathing every thought, feeling, and emotion in the light and so removing darkness from them. There is no space for darkness to hide. The light of the flame becomes wider and brighter. Let it pervade your limbs. Now those limbs can never indulge in dark, suspicious, and wicked activities; they have become instruments of light and love. As the light reaches up to the tongue, falsehood vanishes from it. Let it rise up to the eyes and the ears and destroy all the dark desires that infest them and which lead you to perverse sights and childish conversation. Let your head be surcharged with light and all wicked thoughts will flee there from. Imagine that the light is in you more and more intensely. Let it shine all around you and let it spread from you in ever widening circles, taking in your loved ones, your kith and kin, your friends and companions, your enemies and rivals, strangers, all living beings, the entire world.
“Since the light illumines all the senses every day so deeply and so systematically, a time will soon come when you can no more relish dark and evil sights, yearn for dark and sinister tales, crave for base, harmful, deadening toxic food and drink, handle dirty demeaning things, approach places of ill-fame and injury, or frame evil designs against anyone at any time. Stay on in that thrill of witnessing the light everywhere. If you are adoring God in any form now, try to visualize that form in the all-pervasive light. For Light is God; God is Light.
“Practice this meditation as I have advised regularly every day. At other times repeat the name of God (any Name fragrant with any of His many Majesties), always taking care to be conscious of His might, mercy, and munificence.”
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume X, Page 348-350, Shivarathri, 1979
Based on Bhagavan’s step-by-step directions.
Jyothi (flame) Meditation is the foremost spiritual discipline geared towards gaining inner peace.
1) We should have a fixed time and place every day where we sit for meditation either in the morning and/or evening.
2) We should sit on a thin mattress for this exercise. The sitting pose or asana should be comfortable both for our mind and body.
3) We should then chant Omkar, the Universal Mantra glorified as ‘Nada Brahma’ at least 3 times but preferably 21 times. The mind under the influence of this divine sound slowly loses momentum and becomes more and more tranquil and steady.
4) The next step is to put the breath in rhythm. The easiest and the most effortless method is to watch the breath, thereby the process becomes normal, that is, longer and calmer. When we inhale, the breath sounds ‘So’ and when we exhale, it sounds ‘Humm’ which means ‘He’ i.e. “God” and ‘I’ respectively or “God am I”.
5) Accordingly, synchronizing with these two breaths, imagine that the flame ‘Jyot’ is within us. Feel that the light of the flame is in our heart, right in the centre of the Lotus. Gently move the light to other parts of your body — the stomach, the limbs, the eyes, the ears and the tongue. Feel that the entire body is illumined thereby. Rejoice that the light is the light of love; it removes hatred; it dispels darkness and doubt; it reveals that all are Divine.
6) As the light fills the eyes, you must feel that they have been purified. They shall no longer seek to look upon evil sights. When the light lights the tongue with love, decide that there is no more scope for uttering harsh words. Similarly, once the radiance of the divine light bathes the arms, they can no longer delight in performing harmful deeds while the feet can no longer move into polluting areas and places.
7) Now visualize the light as surrounding our physical body and spreading far out to family members, neighbours and even those whom we do not like. Every object is enveloped in that divine effulgence. Isavaasyam Idam Sarvam. All this is illumined by God. This is the stage of bliss.
8) In this manner, the ONE flame on which we concentrate can cleanse our mind and body and spread its light and radiance to include our entire environment.
9) Finally, take the Jyot on to the figure of our Ishta Devta or the Deity of you choice and/or fix our vision on the Jyot, and commence meditation or silent sitting for a few minutes, followed by Japa of our chosen Mantra with the full understanding of its meaning and firm faith in its power and benefits. It should be inter-woven with our breathing process of inhaling and exhaling.
Exercise on Jyoti Meditation. Instructions compiled from Sri Sathya Sai Discourses
- Let us close the eyes and chant Omkar (OM) 3 times to make the mind become tranquil and steady.
- Keeping the eyes closed, let us put the breath in rhythm to make it normal and calmer.
- In our mind (mentally) repeat “SOHUM’. (1-2 mins.)
- As we inhale mentally repeat “SO”
- As we exhale mentally repeat “HUM”. (1-2 mins.)
- Let not my eyes see evil
- Let not my ears hear evil or bad
- Let my tongue speak only sweet words
- Let my hands do only right things
- Let my legs be always moving towards places for good actions and good work.”
Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya
(From untruth lead me to truth)
Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya
(From darkness lead me to light)
Mrutyor Ma Amrutamgamaya
(From death to lead me to immorality)
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
(Peace Peace Peace)
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