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Theory of Concentration

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<font color="red"> Theory of Concentration</font color>



Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura cites the following verse to prove that one is chanting with offenses (nama-aparadhas) if he is not experiencing any ecstatic symptom while chanting Hare Krsna:


Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one's chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on end. (SB.2.3.24)


This verse emphasizes the need to chant "with concentration." The Rudra-yamala-tantra II.27.43 states: "A yogi attains yoga only in super concentration." In other words, a bhakti-yogi (a Krsna devote) will attain yoga (establish a connection or relationship with the Supreme Lord) only by completely concentrating on Krsna's eternal service. What exactly is concentration? Concentration means to steadily focus, or to hold the mind on one form or object for a long time.


Concentration, known as dharana in Sanskrit, is the sixth step on the yoga ladder: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi. Technically, the term dharana means fixing the mind on one object (desa-bandhas cittasya dharana). However, when there is difficulty in keeping the mind fixed within a limited area of focus, one may keep the mind moving within a broader area in which everything relates to the central object of concentration or meditation. This is one of the main points of this book. When the mind refuses to"just hear the holy name", then it may be allowed to meditate on Krsna's form, qualities, pastimes, dhama, or a painting of the Lord. The Kurma Purana says dharana means to concentrate the mind steadily on one point for twelve seconds. Twelve such dharanas (144 seconds) is dhyana (meditation, and twelve such dhyanas is samadhi (25 minutes and 28 seconds).


From 'The Art of Chanting' by Mahanidhi Swami Page 141 Entitled Yoga Techniques of Concentration


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