Sai Baba's Views on Meditation
Meditation - Compiled from the
discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Download .pdf file:
"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
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
1. Let us close the eyes and
chant Omkar (OM) 3 times
To make the mind become tranquil
2. Keeping the eyes closed,
let us put the breath in rhythm
To make it normal and calmer.
In our mind (mentally) repeat "SOHUM'.
As we inhale mentally repeat "SO"
As we exhale mentally repeat "HUM".
3. Let us mentally bathe the
senses in the light
Look at the Jyoti, imagine that
the flame is ablaze in the
Lotus of our heart. Having the
beautiful feeling of LOVE.
Take the flame to the different
parts of the body.
"Let not my eyes see evil
"Let not my ears hear evil or bad
"Let my tongue speak only sweet
"Let my hands do only right
"Let my legs be always moving
towards places for good actions
and good work."
Now, bring the flame up the legs
slowly, strengthening; up through
the stomach, cleansing; through
to the eyes, taking away all the
darkness and out of the body
through the head, purify us.
4. Open the eyes and look at
the Jyoti. (2-3 mins.)
5. Now imagine the figure, of
the form of your choice (Baba), for worshipping in the Jyoti.
6. Effortlessly repeat OM SAI
RAM or your personal mantra. (2-3 mins.)
It should be natural and without
7. Slowly close the eyes and
meditate for a few minutes. (15-20 mins.)
8. Keep the eyes closed, stop
repeating the mantra, or having the flame and form consciously.
9. End meditation. Softly
Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya
Lead me from untruth to truth
Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya
Lead me from darkness to light
Mrutyor Ma Amrutamgamaya
Lead me from death to immorality
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Peace Peace Peace
Lord Sai Baba on Meditation
? We always have enough time to
talk, visit cinemas etc. There is certainly time for meditation.
The power is from God (referring to the feeling of strength after
? Early morning is best. Mind is quiet and there is
not the pressure of responsibilities. There is difficulty during
the day. People are around, and there is work. If meditation is
attempted, even work may suffer.
? Real meditation is getting absorbed in God as the only thought,
the only goal. God only, only God. Think God, breathe God, love
God. Concenration means, when all senses and desires fall away and
there is only God. In between concentration and meditation, like a
separation between the two, is contemplation. Concentration to
contemplation, then meditation. As long as one thinks "I am
meditating" that is the mind and not meditation. As long as one
knows he is meditating, he is not meditating. In absorption in
God, one puts aside every form and merges into God. In that
process the mind naturally stops.
? Meditation for its proper practice, should be at the same place,
at the same time. In that way, it surely will be successful. If
one is away from home in travel, in his mind he can go to the
accustomed place no matter where he is. Truth is in every place at
all times. When away from Swami, by remembering Him doing this or
that, the battery is "recharged". That also is genuine meditation.
Meditation is constant inner inquiry as to who am I, what is true,
what is ego action, what is loving and what is harsh. Meditation
is thinking on spiritual principles, searching out the application
to oneself of what Baba says, and the like.
? For the one who has completely surrendered to God and whose
heart is filled with love for God, these 'college courses'
(referring to Hatha Yoga etc) are not needed and have no meaning
and are quite unnecessary.
? The Atma is everywhere, but for the purpose of sitting in
meditation, the life principle can be considered as being 10
inches above the navel and at the centre of the chest. An inch in
this measurement is the width of the thumb at the first joint.
? Without concentration nothing can be done. And we use that
concentration through-out the day. Why is that same concentration
so difficult to come in spiritual matters? Because the mind is
outward turned, and by desire the mind clings to object. But the
mind can be trained to concentrate inwardly, and the heart can be
cultured to grow with love for God. How? By sadhana. The best
sadhana is that every act through the day be done as worship of
? A fence is placed around a young tree to protect it. The same
precautions must be observed in meditation. People think it is all
right to meditate in any place. There are currents, there is will
power. There is a strong current passing into the earth. Because
of this, the earth exerts a strong attraction. In meditation it is
advisable to insulate oneself from such currents. For this reason,
meditators sit on a plank and cover their shoulders with a woollen
shawl. Once the person has grown strong in his meditation, he may
sit anywhere and not suffer for it.
? The light is first moved into the heart which is conceived as a
lotus, the petals of which will open. The Jyothi is then moved to
other body parts. There is no particular sequence. But important
is the final body station, which is the head. There the light
becomes a crown enshrining and covering the head. The light is
then moved outside, from the particular to the universal. Move the
light into relatives, friends, enemies, trees, animals, birds
until the entire world and all its forms are seen to have the same
light at their centre as has been found to be within oneself.
? The idea of moving the light into the universal phase, the idea
of universality is that the same divine light is present in
everyone and everywhere. To impress this universality on the mind,
we do the spreading of the light outside one's own body.
? One should understand that what comes about in meditation as one
moves deeply into it, is not the thinking of the light, but the
forgetting of the body and thereby the direct experience that the
body is not onself. This is the stage of contemplation when the
body is totally forgotten. It cannot be forced. It comes about by
itself and is the stage that naturally follows correct
? Seeing the light and moving the light here and there is to give
work to the mind, to keep the mind occupied in the right direction
so that the mind will not be thinking of this and that and thus
interfering with the process of becoming more and more quiet.
Spreading the light into its unviersal phase, sending the light
into every other body, and when one is so concentrated in it that
he is no longer conscious of his body, is the stage of
contemplation. As contemplation deepens, the stage of meditation
comes about of its own volition. It cannot be forced.
? If the meditator remains conscious of himself and that he is
engaged in meditation, then he is not meditating but is still in
the preliminary stage, at the beginning of concentration.
? There are three stages: concentration, contemplation and
meditation. When contemplation deepens it moves naturally into
meditation. Meditation is entirely above the senses. In the state
of meditation, the meditator, the object of his meditation and the
process of meditation have fallen away, and there is only one, and
that One is God. All that may change has fallen away and Tat Twam
Asi, That Thou Art, is the state that exists.
? As one gradually returns to this customary and habitual state of
consciousness, the Jyothi is again placed in the heart and kept
lighted there thoughout the day.
? The three stages, concentration which is below the senses,
meditation which is entirely above the senses and contemplation
which lies between and is partially within the senses and
partially above the senses, which is on the border of each, this
is the experience in genuine meditation whether the object taken
be form or light.
? There is no essential difference. If the devotee has a form of
God to which he is particularly devoted, he may merge that form
into the Jyothi, and that form is most attractive to him and is
the object of his concentration and is seen to be within the light
wherever it is seen. Or, the concentration may be just on the form
of God, for God is universal in every form.
? Again, the object chosen is just a device to allow one to sink
deely into quietness and to allow the body, which is non-self, to
fall away out of consciousness. Anything concrete, such as light,
form or sound may be chosen as the object of concentration. It is
possible to just move directly into the stage of meditation.
? Meditation as described by Swami is the royal road, the easy
path. For meditation to be effective there must be steady practice
with no hurry and no worry. With steady practice, the person will
become quiet and the state of meditation will naturally come
about. To think otherwise is weakness. Success is assured. Call
upon God, He will help you. He will respond and He himself will be
your guru. He will guide you. He will always be at your side.
Think God, see God, hear God, eat God, drink God, love God. That
is the easy path, the royal road to your goal of breaking
ignorance and the realization of your true nature. Which is one
? Light a lamp or a candle. Gaze straight ahead at the flame. Then
take the candle flame, the Jyothi, into the heart and see it in
the midst of the petals of the heart. Watch the petals of the
heart unfold and see the light illumine the heart. Bad feelings
cannot remain. Then move the flame to the hands and they can no
longer do dark deeds. In turn move the flame in like fashion to
the eyes and ears so they may henceforth take in only bright and
pure sensations. Then move the light outward and into your
friends, relatives and enemies, and then into animals, birds and
other objects so that all are illumined by the same light. Christ
said, "All are one, be alike to everyone."
? To sit straight is important. Between the 9th and 12th vertebrae
is the life-force. If the spine is injured at this point,
paralysis occurs. If the body is in straight position, as if it
were wound around a straight pole, the life force may rise up
through the straight body and give the quality of intense
concentration of the mind.
? Moreover, just as a ligthning rod attached to the roof of a
building attracts ligthning, in like fashion a perfectly straight
body provides a conductor, so to speak, for divine power to enter
the temple of your body and give you the strength to accomplish
your task and reach your goal. As another example, the divine
power is always here, just as radio signals are here. But to hear
the radio music there must be an antenna. Further, if the tuning
device is not properly adjusted, there will be some sound but no
music. In like fashion, the divine power, which is always present,
may flow into you if the meditation is correct and the body
? First you are in the light. Then the light is in you. Finally,
you are the light and the light is everywhere. Enjoy for a while,
then bring the light back to the heart and hold it there for all
the day. The form of God may also be included. Krishna, Rama,
Jesus, Sai, as you wish. The form of God selected may be seen in
the centre of the flame wherever it is carried, and then you are
with God everywhere.
? The stomach is four parts: 1/4 part air, 1/4 part food, and 1/2
part water. Too much food results in dullness of the mind. Food in
moderation does not result in sickness. Too much milk is bad. It
? The type of food you eat, that kind of thought will come to your
mind. If you have satwic food, there will be satwic effect. Fruit
and milk everything that is cool and not hot like strong onions.
Meat gives the blood its effect, like passion and similar
qualities. Dirty thoughts come with fish. Although fish is always
in water, it has a bad smell.
? If you are keen on spiritual life, eating meat is not worth
while; but if you are keen on worldly life, it is all right. There
is another spiritual reason. When you kill an animal you give it
suffering, pain, harm. God is in every creature, so how can you
give such pain? Sometimes when someone beats a dog he cries, he
feels so much pain. How much more pain then in killing. Animals
did not come tor the purpose of supplying food to human beings.
They came to work out their own life in the world. When a human
being is dead, the foxes and other animals may eat, but we have
not come to provide food for those that eat the human body; we
have not come for that purpose. Similarly, man eats the animal,
but the animal has not come to provide man with food. But, we have
taken to eating meat as a habit.
? In Dwapara Yuga, before Kali Yuga, 5680 years back, milk came
into favor. Eleven thousand years is the full length of the Kali
Yuga. (ie 3712 BC to 7288 AD). The world is also turning round
like a fan. Even if the Kali Yuga stops, it still has a few more
revolutions to go before the final ending. (speech dated 1968)
There are four Yugas. The sequence is circular, and when the last
is finished, the whole cycle starts all over again. Kali Yuga
still has 5,320 years before ending. (AD 7288. Year now is 1997,
another 5,291 years to go!!)
(Extracted from: Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba by Dr. John Hislop, pages 145-156, 22. Conversation
recorded in 1968)
The Sai Tree Meditation technique
? Sit in a quiet spot .
? Sit in the ?lotus position? or whatever position that you can as
close to it (you should be comfortable).
? Imagine yourself as a tree. Choose your favourite tree.
? Imagine that above you, rising into the sky, are the branches of
that tree. This is from where you will draw in energy from the
? Imagine that below you, going down into the Mother Earth, is the
root system of that tree. This is from where you will draw in
energy from the Divine Mother.
? Now you will start the process of breathing in divine energy.
? First imagine pulling in (breathing in ) energy through the
branch system (Divine Father) into your body. When you breathe in
this energy, imagine that it replaces something unwanted. When you
breathe out, imagine all this unwanted material going out. Does
this till you feel that this system is functioning well.
? Then imagine pulling in (breathing in) energy through the root
system (Divine Mother) into your body. When you breathe in this
energy, imagine that it replaces something unwanted. When you
breathe out, imagine all this unwanted material going out. Do
these till you feel that this system is functioning well.
? Now imagine pulling in energy from BOTH, the branch system
(Divine Father ), and the root system (Divine Mother), at the SAME
time. Energy will be flowing in from both systems at the same time
into your body. When you breathe in this energy , imagine that it
replaces something unwanted. When you breathe out, imagine all
this unwanted material going out. Repeat this process of breathing
in energy from both systems and then expelling all the unwanted
material out as you breath out. Continue this. You are doing the
tree meditation ?..
"Through Me" meditation technique
This meditation consists of constantly asking God to do things
? Ask God to THINK through you.
? Ask God to FEEL through you.
? Ask God to SPEAK through you.
? Ask God to ACT through you.
? Ask God to LOVE through you.