Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Power of Determination

by Swami Rama

[This passage has been taken from the book Path of Fire and Light: Volume 2,  pp 117 – 119, by Swami Rama, published 1988 by the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA].

When you have developed a still posture and when you have done the breathing practices, you have made the first preparations for the technique of meditation. Next you have to deal with your conscious mind. The moment you start meditating, your mind becomes very independent. The whole mind will come forward to fight with you. You also want to eventually come into touch with the unconscious. Psychologists have not yet found a way of taming the unconscious, of knowing its vast reservoir, of tapping the unconscious, the source of the infinite library within you. The unconscious mind brings up things that are of the past, such as images. In meditation you are trying to maintain that state that is in between, neither the past nor the future, but the present – this moment.

This is a battlefield within. A meditator has to face this battlefield.  Meditation is not meant to be a battlefield, but you use it as a battlefield. Perhaps an image or sensation comes to your mind that you decide is good – or a memory of a boyfriend whom you have forgotten long ago comes into your meditation, and then you decide that is bad. Thus you fight with yourself – all your impressions from the conscious and unconscious mind come forward.

You think you are small, petty, and good for nothing – you condemn yourself because of the limitations of the mind. Therefore you need to purify the mind.  You need to understand your mind and to make it one-pointed. You need to make your mind dynamic so that you do not think that you are limited. All your troubles are created in your mind. But the mind also has the capacity to lead you. It works both ways: if you do not know how to make use of your mind, it can create hellish problems for you; if you know how to use it, it can lead you to a kind of heaven. You can realize that hell and heaven are concepts created by your mind. There are no such physical places, according to yoga science. One is not punished and sent to hell; it is your mind that takes you there. Many times you experience hell here in this world – but your efforts with the mind can convert this hell into heaven, and then you can enjoy this life.

So the next step is learning to cultivate sankalpa, determination: that feeling “I will do it! I can do it! I have to do it!” no matter what happens. You make the effort with full determination. It is not like being forced by any outside authority; you are committing yourself, and this is your sankalpa, or resolve. You cannot attain anything without sankalpa. There are many intelligent students that do not have sankalpa, and that is why they lack confidence. They may be brilliant, but they do not have self-confidence, because they do not have sankalpa. They never disciplined themselves, so they lack sankalpa shakti.

Sankalpa shakti is a power. Without shakti you cannot be successful. All the great ones on the earth needed shakti; there was a shakti behind them to inspire them. Without inspiration even the greatest ability is scattered. If you do not have sankalpa shakti, no mere technique imparted by either your teacher or the scriptures will help you. The teacher can give you all the techniques, but if you do not have sankalpa, nothing will happen.

Sankalpa is determination.  Willpower is a one-pointed mind plus determination.  The more one-pointed your mind and the more determined you are, the more you have willpower; if these two things are absent, then you have no willpower.  Usually you do not have enough concentration or determination to develop willpower, but you can build your dynamic will, and then you can do wonders.

The first aspect of shakti that you can see is not kundalini herself, but sankalpa shakti.  One aspect of the great power of manifestation and creation is actually sankalpa shakti, or determination.  You can reduce a mountain into a molehill, or you can magnify that molehill into a mountain, with sankalpa shakti.



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