When a sadhaka was about ten or twelve years of age, fishing was the most gratifying and enjoyable preoccupation in life. The bait which was generally put on the hook was a maggot, the larva form of bluebottles called gentles. These were purchased by the thousands in a specially designed metal box from a local shop that catered exclusively for fishing. After a day of fishing it was customary to throw all the maggots in the river as feed for the fish and to empty the box. On one occasion the maggots were kept in the metal box with the intention of using them on the following day. But actually that following day did not arise for some reason. Maggots, as nature intended, have a natural habit of changing into flies. And just this happened within the confines of the box, but the boy did not know, for he was too preoccupied with other interests to even give it a second thought. Then one day he opened the box, curious to see what was in it. And he was petrified, for hundreds of black, buzzing flies surged into his face on their way to freedom. The mind is very impressionable at any age, especially when young, and that experience left a strong emotional shock and fear clearly imprinted in his subconscious mind. After a day or so the event was forgotten or suppressed, but the fear remained. It did not surface again to conscious perception until one day in the ashram. Early one morning after an hour and a half of yogic practices, he was idly gazing out of the ashram from a second storey room, when he spotted about twenty-five jet black pigs. There was almost an explosion in his mind and suddenly the vision of those multitudes of flies emerged to conscious perception. The group of pigs had stimulated the emergence of this subconscious memory. An outside event had brought to conscious perception a long forgotten emotional shock. Had this occurrence happened when the sadhaka was tense and not relaxed then he would have probably felt some form of unhappiness or depression, without actually knowing the cause. The problem would have caused its damage and remained in the confines of the mind. But under the actual circumstances, he was very relaxed. As such, the problem in its root form came to perception and was exhausted. The impression of the pigs and the flies was shrugged off without the slightest emotional upset. Directly it was the stimulus given by the pigs, but indirectly it was the state of relaxation and the influence of meditational practices. This is an example from experience to illustrate how meditational practices and yoga in general work to exhaust problems in subtle ways. The reader may possibly have similar experiences.
Meditational practices also contribute to removing mental problems in a more positive manner. That is, they don’t only lead to removal of emotional links with conflicts, but depending on the depth and proficiency of the individual they lead to joy and knowledge. This acts as a strong current that in a sense overwhelms one’s mental problems and makes them seem unimportant. One is so much influenced by the joy and new knowledge acquired that one will begin to see life in a new light. One’s attitude to other people and situations will change in a positive direction. A taste of meditation, real meditation, is so overwhelming that conflicts seem almost trivial and insignificant in comparison. This automatically leads to the removal and neutralizing of one’s problems.
So if you want to find peace and joy in your life, we urge you in no uncertain terms to begin meditational practices now. And by this we mean asana, pranayama and relaxation techniques, for in our opinion these are really (if done properly) no less than forms of meditational techniques.