Stage 3 : Complete 24 hours of concentration

What is “Ulat Dhar” (Reversal of Flow)?

It is laid down in our Shastras that unless we achieve ULATDHAR (i.e. the reversal of flow of thought current towards the Lord), we cannot realize the Parmatman (The Lord).  The 16 hours of God remembrance out of 24 hours of the day is the Ulatdhar.  What really Ulatdhar means?  Let us examine.  If a Sadhak performs his puja for half an hour in the morning and half and hour in the evening, what is his mental stage?  One hour out of 24 hours, the current of his mind is towards the Almighty and 23 hours towards the world.  If he has started taking food in His remembrance, both in the noon and in the evening, he has increased one more hour in His remembrance and thus made two hours his own and the rest 22 hours are towards the world.  If he has practiced the third sub-step of the first step and has made 6 hours of sleep of his own, he has made 8 hours his own.  What is his mental state now?  The 1/3rd portion of his mind’s current is flowing towards the Almighty and 2/3rd towards the world.

Now he has started practicing the second step, and made 16 hours his own.  What is the  condition of his mind now?  The 2/3rd portion of his mind’s current would be flowing towards the Lord and only 1/3rd towards the world.  Now he remembers the Lord for a greater part of the day and this has become his habit.  When this habit is formed, our attention automatically goes towards the Almighty, whenever we find any free time.  It is like a bird sitting on a sailing ship, which flies in the air and then comes back to the same ship as there is no other place for it to rest upon.  Similar is the case with the mind, which whenever free from work, goes towards the Almighty automatically.  Because now the two third (2/3) portion of our mind’s attention is toward the Lord.  It is instinctively drawn inwards for 2/3rd of the time and 1/3rd is outwardly.  Before we started the practice the current of our mind was outwardly and thus automatically by itself the mind used to go to the world and it was always absorbed only in worldly thoughts.  Now the case has reversed.  The 2/3rd towards the world, that too when we are performing some mental work.  As such, whenever we are free, our thoughts automatically go towards the Lord.  This is called ‘Ulatdhar’.  Once this is achieved there is 90% success.  The practice of the 2nd step is difficult but with a determined mind and regular practice aspirants do achieve success within a period of two years, or so.

The aspirants who have attained success in the first and second steps and are able to concentrate on the Almighty for an average of 16 hours a day, should now go ahead for the practice of the third step.  This practice is much easier as compared to the second step, for a Sadhak who has already achieved success in making 16 hours his own.  We have to go step by step, first we should make 8 hours our over own then 16 and only thereafter aspire for 24 hours.  If we skip over some steps we may not succeed to achieve the desired goal.  This practice of third step is only for those who have made 16 hours their own.  Now such a Sadhak should dedicate every mental work to the Almighty with a sincere prayer : “O Lord! You are the only doer.  As such this problem is yours and not mine.  Kindly let this be performed by you”.  With this prayer, start the work with all sincerity and devotion thinking that it is ‘He’ who is doing and you are only a tool in His hands”.  When the work is completed  dedicate it unto the feet of the Almighty saying “ ‘O’ Lord! you have done it, I have not done anything”.  This is the practice.  Continue this practice for a year or two earnestly and you will have nice experiences.  These may be of two fold.  Firstly you will be astonished to notice that even while you are absorbed in the mental work, a feeble current of His remembrance is felt flowing between the mind and the heart.  Such a nice experience you will have.  Secondly, you will have the experience that while you were doing the work, you were mentally thinking that it was not your work but of the Almighty and as such you were performing it with greater devotion and sincerity.  By and by you will experience that although the work appeared to be an ordinary one but the result achieved is very great and beyond expectations.  You will be wonder struck that you could ever imagine that the work done would assume such a great importance. The real feelings, “I have not done, God has done”.  This will come by and by and with continuous practice.

It is very difficult initially to understand that the mental work can be carried out with full efficiency and you may simultaneously have His remembrance also.  Param Pujya saint Yashpalji has narrated his experiences in this regard which is given below in his own words:-

When I was in the practicing stage I considered this to be a very difficult, if not impossible.  When my Gurudeva used to say this, it did not go into my head.  I was a research scholar.  The research work is only possible with apt attention of the mind.  How can it be put to the remembrance of the Lord simultaneously.  I regarded it to be most difficult, in fact it seemed to me to be a riddle but I won’t ask my Gurudev.  I could never ask him by tongue but only by heart.  I, however used to observe that whatever he says, he had practiced in his life.  He would not say anything what he had not practiced and experienced, I used to wonder, how could it happen?  His remembrance and simultaneously performance of sincere mental work!  Once it so happened, my Gurudev was in Etah working as Head Clerk in the Police Department.  It was astonishing to know that being in the police department as Head Clerk he attained such a high spiritual life.  It looks to be contradiction in terms.  Once this Sewak reached Etah alongwith a friend.   We reached in the evening.  Gurudev had not come from the office.  Normally he used to come back at about 5:00 P.M.  The clock struck 6, 7, 8 and even 9 but Gurudev did not come.  Guru Mata became somewhat anxious; why he had not come as yet?  Normally he used to come back at about 5:00 P.M.  A retired overseer used to reside with him.  He had seen the office.  He said “Let us go”.  On the main road there was street light but there was no such light for about a furlong on the street towards the office.  Therefore, we took along with us a kerosene lamp and reached his office.  We found everybody extremely busy in the office work even at that hour.  Gurudev said, “Oh! You have come, and even reached the office also. Does not matter”.   He asked the peon to bring three chairs for us to sit and said “please take your seats.  Tomorrow we have inspection and we have to prepare for it.  We are very busy”.  I saw that he was really very busy and was giving instructions to the staff for doing this or that.

We took our seats and observed for about 10 to 15 minutes.  At least I did observe and can’t say about others.  After 10 minutes, the eyes got closed and I was internally feeling wavelets of peace and Anand, and I turned inwards and was in such a deep concentration at the feet of the Almighty that I forgot myself completely.  The arms of the chair made a deep dent in my hands and I was in a deep Sushupti state.  At about 11 P.M. in the night, the work was over and he said “We will now go home” I was not yet conscious of anything, completely lost as I was.  He saw others whose eyes were open.  They shook me and I opened my eyes and saw that the work which was going on in full swing, was then over.  He was so busy in office, giving directions, checking files and in spite of that I reached such a high state, which I had not reached before.  How could that be possible without His grace (Kripa)?  I cursed myself that I could not have complete faith on such a great Mahatma.  When I experienced myself and then and then only I got convinced.  Thereafter, we reached home and I was convinced 100% that both His remembrance and performance of actions simultaneously are possible.

When the Sadhak reaches such a state, his Agya Chakra  gets activised and vibrations (Spandan and Gulgulahat) start at that point.  When this happens, he experiences Anand  and is in somewhat intoxicated state of mind.  This intoxication (Nasha, Khumari) is of Ram Nam.  Drinking wine also causes intoxication but brings the man lower down to Tamasik Vritties  and beastly behaviour.  Elixir of the name of the Almighty lifts him up and beautiful noble ideas spring up in his mind and heart filled with Atmik Anand.  The ideas of devotion, fraternity and universal love come to such a Sadhak.  He feels that although he is doing the work but simultaneously having sweet vibrations.  Totally devoted to work and also having sweet remembrance of the Lord, feeling vibrations at the Agya Chakra and in a happy and peaceful state of mind, performing all the duties sincerely and efficiently.  What a nice experience? By and by habit is formed to dedicate the work unto the Lord.  Whatever is done in such a state of mind, it is nicely done with full concentration.  At the same time the Sadhak feels that the real doer is somebody else and he has not done anything.  He is only a tool in His hands, He gets it done.  The Sadhak (aspirant) has such wonderful experiences.  When the aspirant reaches that state all physical and mental duties are performed very efficiently.  We live in this world; perform all the duties and responsibilities in a more efficient way.  But the heart melts in His remembrance like ice.  We have His continuous remembrance and not a single moment passes without His remembrance.  If there is neglegency in the performance of worldly duties, we have defeated our purpose.  The beauty is that all worldly works are done better than what we would have done earlier and simultaneously we lead a spiritual and pious life with heart melting like ice unto His remembrance.  “Dast Bakar Dil Bayar” hands are engaged in performing worldly duties, heart being with the Lord.  With this practice we shall achieve such a nice spiritual state.

The condition of such a person whose mind is tuned to the Almighty has been beautifully described by the great saint Kabir, even though he had little or no literacy as such.  Whatever he has said has come straight from his heart and is based on his experience.  Param Sant Mahatma Kabir says that Sahaj Samadhi (effortless concentration) is the best form of prayer.  It is difficult, nay impossible to achieve such a state with one’s own efforts.  But if we get the company of such a saint who is continuously immersed in Him, all the twenty four hours, it becomes very easy.  His association, his presence kindles the Ram Nam, in the heart of the Sadhak.  Once kindled by such a Guru’s Kripa (kindness) its intensity ever increases.  As and when the Sadhak gives his spare time for Him, his mind automatically draws and starts sucking the sweet juice of his own Atma.  The mind acquires a habit of getting drawn unto the feet of the Lord automatically.

Such a Sadhak whenever walks, does so with his mind deeply merged in Him and as such, he is like a devotee who is doing Parikrama of the Lord i.e. making rounds with devotion around the deity of a temple while keeping his eyes attention fixed on the Lord.  Such a one whatever he does, is for the service of the mankind.  He does the real service.  Persons come to him with deep anguish in their hearts but when they go after the meeting such a one, they feel peace and Anand.  The troubles vanish; they forget their difficulties and take peace and tranquility with them. What a noble service it is!  Their Atman gets elated.   It is in fact the real service.  When a person goes to temple and prostrates with all the eight limbs before the Deity, his heart is immersed in His remembrance and he has no other thought at that time.  With Shraddha (faith) and Vishwas (conviction) he prostrates.  Similar is the case with such a devotee who even when goes to sleep, his mind is always immersed unto His feet while asleep.  In reality he is not sleeping but is prostrating in great reverence before the Lord.  Such a Sadhak is devoted only to Him and Him alone.

He is the worshipper of only one Ishta.   As it was told in the beginning that an aspirant should determine his Ishta is a pre-requisite for Sadhana (practice) and he should concentrate upon Him alone.  One pointed concentration of mind is achieved only then, otherwise it will not be possible.  Sant Kabir says further, “from his mouth whatever he utters – he describes His Leela.  He feels real joy in describing His qualities.  It is all full of spirituality.  He hears only Atmik Shabda.  He utters His name, only His praises.  To him every song is a devotional song.  Whatever he takes or drinks, he offers it just to the Lord.  He takes every morsel in His remembrance.  He offers true Naivedyam.  It is the real worship.  Such a one is always sucking the nectar of elixir of Atmik Anand.  Whether he is in the palace with princely comforts, or in a small cottage or a hut in a lonely field with all the difficulties it is all the same for him.  There is no change in his mental attitude for he is always deeply immersed in His remembrance and tasting the nectar of his own Atman.  He does not know how the life is like.  This is the most glorious life.  It is lived so gracefully that even though a man is surrounded by all the worldly splendors and glories, yet he is completely unaware of them.  His mind is completely detached and always immersed in his own Atman enjoying its elixir.  This is the real and true life.

Lord Krishna has given four requisites for sadhana that is first the regulated diet (purity of Ahar), second – regulated recreation and behaviors (purity of Vihar), third – practice (Abhyas) and the fourth renunciation (Vairagya).

We take Vairagya (renunciation) in a wrong way.  What we normally understand by Vairagya is forsaking the house, the family, the profession and taking abode in a forest.  This is not the Vairagya (renunciation), it is Tyag (abandonment).  One, who has forsaken and abandoned everything of the world, is a Tyagi and may not be a Vairagi (a renunciant).  The true Vairagi is that one who is always immersed in His deep remembrance.  His mind does not go anywhere else.  When you pray and your mind does not go anywhere else and is always fixed in your ISHTA, it is a real Puja.  When there are no other thoughts except God, it is real Vairagya.  There is no higher Vairagi than such a person during that period.  This stage of immersion unto the feet of the Lord goes on ever increasing by the constant practice.  And finally habit is formed that whenever any work comes, it is His work and performed in His remembrance, when the work is over, it is surrendered unto Him.  There is continuous remembrance of the Lord and there are vibrations (Spandan) on the Agya Chakra and even on higher plexus and you are sure and confident of the stage.  You are in the world and performing your duties but completely non-attached, leaving no scar (Sanskar) on your heart and mind.  Since deeply absorbed in Him, you are true Vairagi.  You are living in this world performing all the duties and yet not of the world.  This comes by continuous practice and not by Tyag.  You have been told how to live, how to clean your teeth, how to take bath, how to take food, how to sleep and how to remember Him all through the day.  The more you practice in this manner, the more deeply you will get immersed in Him.  You are living with your family, your children, with your friends and relations and performing all the duties nicely and efficiently and yet by this practice your state of Vairagya continues to increase and you become a true Vairagi.  For such a person Kabir Sahab has said –  whether you are in a palace or in a lonely forlorn hut, it is all the same for you.

A beautiful story is told in this context.  Once upon a time there was a King.  In his kingdom there lived a renowned hermit.  The hermit used to reside in a hut near the palace of the king.  His hut was so situated that the king could glance at him from his palace.  Once in winter season there was severe cold wave.  It was a biting cold.  The king came to his palace and switched on all his heaters and started wrapping himself with quilts one after the other and still he was shivering with cold.  It came to about 20-22 quilts to ward off the effect of cold.  He glanced at the hut of the Faquir and found him sitting on a mat on the floor and wearing only a Langot i.e. sort of tight underwear.  A log of firewood was burning and the faquir was sitting in meditation near that.  The king thought that the faquir must be in great trouble today due to biting cold.  After sometime the king lost in deep sleep.  Similarly the faquir also fell asleep near that log of wood.  He had only one mattress underneath him and with the other he covered himself.  He was also in deep sleep and had no idea whether that log of wood got extinguished.   When the king got up, he felt cold.  He saw down below on the other side where the faquir was lying asleep only with a mat on and the firewood had also extinguished.  The king expressed to his daughter that the faquir was most unfortunate and must have suffered terribly in the night.  However, he was wondering how could he had slept in such a biting cold and with such scanty clothes without any fire.  The daughter who was of Satvik nature and often enjoyed the company of the saintly people, said; father you call him and enquire yourself and if necessary mitigate his sufferings, what is the harm?”  A chowkidar (Peon) was sent to call him.  He went there and conveyed the message of king.  The faquir got up and said he would come after about an hour.  The king did not like that the faquir had not come all at once.  He should have come immediately.   The daughter pacified the king, her father that the faquir had just got up, he would go for ablutions, would wash himself and be ready for coming and this would normally take time.

After about an hour the faquir came to the palace.  King’s daughter opened the door and asked him to take his seat.  The king enquired, “how his night was spent.”  He replied, “partly better than  you and partly similar to you.”  The kind was very angry when the faquir said partly like that of him and partly better than him.  The king asked his daughter, “Such a biting cold; I have heaters on, so many quilts I have had and still I was feeling cold.  And this faquir was shivering on the mat and even then, he says somewhat better than me and somewhat like that of me.  How could that be?  The faquir said, “O Kind! When you entered the palace you were shivering with cold, you got the heaters on, you wrapped yourself in quilts, one after the other.  When you felt a bit better you started thinking that your minister is getting more powerful, the public likes him more, lest he might not overpower you and get hold of the throne.  Then you started worrying that the neighboring king, who is becoming more powerful and has an eye on your kingdom.  He might not usurp your throne.  When you were worried in such like thoughts at that time, I was sitting near the log of fire and meditating and concentrating on my Lord.  I was enjoying the bliss of the Almighty and my happiness knew no bounds.  Thus the time you took in getting into worry; I continued to be in His remembrance.  That time of mine was better spent than that of yours and when you were asleep, you did not know whether the heaters were on and you had wrapped yourself in lot of quilts.  Similarly, I also slept and I had no idea about the mat, the cold or the burning log.  That time during sleep was thus spent like that of yours”.

The saints, whose hearts are immersed in the remembrance of the Lord (Parmatman) care little as to how they live, how they remain.  It makes absolutely no difference for them, whether they are in a palace with all the comforts or in a lonely place with little or no comforts.  They are always merged in Him; happiness or griefs leave no mark on them.  They continue to take delight in the Atmik Anand.  This is what Kabir Sahib has said in this statement, “Such a person neither close his eyes nor physically stops himself from hearing the external sound and artificially drawing his attention inwards on the eternal voice by putting fingers in his ears.  He does not strain any nerve and yet his mind remains attached unto the lotus feet of the Almighty.  He smiles as he always sees His Leela (His play); his Ishtadeva with him everywhere and in everything.”

This is the practice of Sahaj Yoga suited for a Grihastha.  How beautifully our Sadgurus have said down that whenever you sit for Dhyan, concentration and meditation, be in a relaxed mood and sit in a completely relaxed posture with absolutely no strain and be in a state full of joy and mirth, pray with love and devotion to your Ishtdeva that you want rest under His feet and no Dhyan, concentration and meditation. The true rest means thoughtlessness.  When you rest near His feet, you will be free from all thoughts, your heart and mind deeply attached to Him with love and you would be in a state of peace and enjoy immense Atmik Anand.  There will be absolutely no strain, whatsoever.  This is the practice for which Kabir Sahib has said, “There is no necessity even to close your eyes, no necessity to put any fingers in your ears to draw your attention inwards.  No necessity for hearing the Shabda (The divine sound) artificially by putting your thumbs into your ears and pressing your Agyachakra by fingers for creating artificial sensation.”  This is all internal and depends upon deep concentration of the Chitta, the mindstuff.  The deeper is the concentration the more automatic would be Spandan (air-like vibrations) on the Agya Chakra.  Kabir Sahim has accordingly said – The aspirant continues to enjoy His darshan (His holy vision), His Leela (His play), with eyes open.  He feels His presence at every step and every moment and is not away from Him even for a split of a second.  His heart is always filled with blissful pleasure and happiness.  More and more such a devotee realizes the absolute beautiful Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram.  Kabir Sahib says further – His mind is completely merged in the continuous Shabda (the divine sound) which can be heard but not pronounced, which the Vedas have called Udgeeth which you can only hear internally.  When the mind is so merged in the continuous Shabda it becomes completely purified and the evil thoughts and impulses are completely erased, their root and branches never to reappear again.  He is always thinking of the common weal, the welfare of the mankind and all living beings.  His mind is completely drawn inwards to its centre, the Atman and never gets separated whether such a one sitting, walking, sleeping or doing anything.

Param Sant Mahatma Ramchandra Ji Maharaj used to say that this path is for such a person who would pray even for those, who could cut his throat with a blunt knife.  The saints always pray for the welfare of even those who think of killing them.  Their habit is such that whenever occasion arises they would serve even those who try to harm them and thereby change their life pattern.

The mind of such a saint entirely drawn inwards to its centre, the Atman and is always merged in the Almighty so deeply that no event can separate him from the feet of his Ishta. Now God holds the hand of such a saint.  All his duties worldly or otherwise get performed automatically.  It is not in the powers of an aspirant to achieve Real Yoga and protect himself from the external forces.  It is the Lord who creates circumstances so that his devotee always remains attached to His sacred feet.

Such a saint always remains in the state of Sahaj Samadhi.  These are the secrets of the way of life of the saints which have been depicted in clear and a simple term; says Kabir.  Such a state of spirituality i.e. Param Pad has been portrayed that it is beyond all pleasures and pains and such a state of Param Pad, eternal peace and tranquility had been achieved by Param Sant Mahatma Kabir.

Such is the mystic living of the saints.  They lead such a life; although living like ordinary human beings.  There is nothing special to look at them.  They live in this world in such a manner that they are beyond all pleasures and pains.  No impressions, good or bad, cast a scar on them.  If any good comes out, it is surrendered unto His feet.  He bows deeper unto Him saying that it is all His grace.  In whatever position and the state of the Lord keeps him it is His entire benediction.  They are so stable of mind that in whatever condition the Almighty keeps them they are all the same.  State of equanimity reigns all through their lives.  If anything bad comes, he bows further down unto His feet saying that there must have been some lacking in his devotion and sincerity that such a thing has happened.  The Lord is warning him in this manner, his yearning increases and he gets immersed in His Dhyan deeper and deeper and in this process crosses many stages of spirituality.  His sufferings thus change into joy and Anand.  He emerges wiser.  He retains his equilibrium at all times.  He neither rejoices nor recoils while meeting with good and evil.  Most of the saints have praised the sufferings in unequivocal terms.

Saint declares – “A man wants to accumulate all the wealth and the pleasures in the world.  But he tries in vain to achieve them.  When one want is satisfied, another springs up immediately.  He is not able to achieve real happiness.  His greed increases and along with it increases discontentment and dis-satisfaction.  Just like the bird ‘parrot’ that sits on the Semal tree and gets enchanted by its beautiful red flowers and goes on waiting and wasting its time thinking when flowers are so beautiful its fruits must also be extremely sweet.  But when the fruit comes the tasteless cotton like fibre comes out from them and the bird is completely disappointed.”

Similar is the case of worldly people who are lost in the glitterings of the world and imagine that their sons and daughters and the accumulated wealth will be of great help to them in their last days.  They are all dismayed as they have to leave everything of the world and perform the last journey alone.  Nothing goes with them.  They only get disappointment.  Real happiness is in those sufferings which turn your life towards God and make your life sublime.

A realised soul has only one objective – It is Thou and Thine will, alone should prevail.  Neither am I nor my desire should remain.  Such a one has no desires of his own at all.  His only wish or desire is that he should ever remain immersed in His remembrance and rest under His feet.

A real devotee desires only to rest under the sacred feet of his Ishtdeva.  God may grant him human body or give birth as an animal or even make him a stone, he is least bothered about this. He only desires that in all conditions of life, births and rebirths, he should ever desires that in all conditions of life, births and rebirths, he should ever remain clinging to the sacred feet of his Ishtadev and his heart and soul ever immersed in His remembrance.  Param Sant Brijmohan Lal Ji used to say – My heartiest desire is a unique one.  I most humbly beg from Thou but want Thee alone and nothing else.  Neither I want liberation nor heaven, neither worldly glory nor Yogic attainments.  I want you and you alone.

Such a devotee neither wishes liberation, nor heaven or hell, neither worldly glory nor Yogic attainments.  He does not want anything except devotion unto His feet.  Absolutely devoid of desires, such is his state.  Equipoise in trails and tribulations, equanimity in joys and sorrows.  He gets completely convinced that whenever death knocks at his door he will be in His remembrance.  VEDs have declared that a person who leaves his body in His remembrance like a flower; attains Him.  Such a Yogi is always immersed in the remembrance of  the Almighty all the 24 hours of day and his heart ever melts in His remembrance like ice.  He, in his present life realizes the absolute beautiful – Satayam, Shivam, Sundaram.

“Oh Lord! let Thy Will be fulfilled.”