Concentration :1.


If you focus the rays of the sun through a lens, they can burn cotton or a piece of paper; but, the scattered rays cannot do this act. If you want to talk to a man at a distance, you make a funnel of your hand and speak. The sound-waves are collected at one point and then directed towards the man. He can hear your speech very clearly. The water is converted into steam and the steam is concentrated at a point. The railway engine moves. All these are instances of concentrated waves. Even so, if you collect the dissipated rays of the mind and focus them at a point, you will have wonderful concentration. The concentrated mind will serve as a potent searchlight to find out the treasures of the soul and attain the supreme wealth of Atman (the Self), eternal bliss, immortality and perennial joy.
Real Raja Yoga starts from concentration. Concentration merges in meditation. Concentration is a portion of meditation.

Meditation follows concentration. Samadhi (superconscious state) follows mediation. The Jivanmukti (liberated being) state follows the attainment of Nirvikalpa Samadhi which is free from all thoughts of duality. Jivanmukti leads to emancipation from the wheel of birth and death. Therefore, concentration is the first and foremost thing a Sadhaka or aspirant should acquire in the spiritual path.
You are born to concentrate the mind on God after collecting the mental rays that are dissipated on various objects. That is your important duty. You forget the duty on account of Moha (infatuation) for family, children, money, power, position, respect, name and fame.
Concentration of the mind on God after purification can give you real happiness and knowledge. You are born for this purpose only. You are carried away to external objects through attachment and infatuated love. 

Swami Sivananda


To be continued   ...