Turn Away, Turn Away

by Swami Vishnudevananda

Raja yoga, the royal path of mind control, is the most comprehensive and scientific approach to God-realisation. The methods of raja yoga are timeless. Though of ancient origin they are still the most useful techniques available to modern man beset by the tremendous stresses and strains of competitive society. Raja yoga is a method of self-inquiry that takes the individual through personal changes, step-by-step.

Our goal in life is to find and rest in everlasting peace and bliss. Without peace we feel a vacuum, empty. How can we fill this vacuum? With power like the President of the United States? Or with emotional distractions? Or with money, wealth, family, children, grandchildren, great-great-great-great grandchildren? Try. We cannot. It is a never-ending, fruitless quest. Why? Because we are looking in the wrong place. We search in the sensual world, in nightclubs, in beautiful houses with all material comforts, in power, position, money, health.

There is only one place where we can find lasting peace and we do not have to go far to find it. It is within us. Search within, not outside, is all a teacher can tell us. But we ourselves have to search; the teacher cannot do it for us. And because it is dark within the mind where peace is hidden we need an instrument to help us. This instrument is the practice of concentration and meditation.

When we focus the mind on the inner darkness the mental rays are concentrated on the mind itself, just as when we light a candle, then we see the candle clearly. In the same way, when the mind is focussed on itself it is illumined. We see its beauty, its power, its strength. There is unimaginable strength hidden in the mind. We will see its tremendous, tremendous power. Unbelievable, inexhaustible power lies within. This same mind created the universe. Yet we use only a tiny part of its creative power. We have to believe this and to have faith. And we have to use concentration and meditation techniques to focus on it. When we do so, the power is released. The mind opens. All is within. It is so simple. Go within. Tell yourself you will no longer run after the mirage. Maya, the cosmic illusion, makes us chase after the mirage, like the flame that seduces the moth. Are you ready for meditation? It is not so easy. It is difficult to focus the mind. We need a little discipline. It is only for the brave. There can be no cowardice here. You have to work and strive. Only when your willpower is strong will you catch a glimpse of what you are striving for. A test will come to see whether you are strong enough to continue on the path. And then a glimpse of this ineffable peace comes. You touch infinity. Even a fraction of a second will convince you. Words cannot describe the experience of this peace, this infinite all-blissful peace. Again and again we gather together to be reminded of this; not to identify with the illusory world. Turn away. Turn away. Go within and identify with the divine Self.