Impart knowledge of yoga, This is the best form of charity Because it removes ignorance And all sorts of sufferings. Provide medicine for the sick, This is the second best form of charity. Give food to the hungry, This is the third best form of charity.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Topic 1 | Psychic Symbol
Sleep and loss of awareness are the biggest problems in meditative practice. This state of unawareness is called laya in yogic scriptures. It is the chasm that has to be crossed in order to jump from the stage of normal perception to that which is beyond … the transcendental. In Hindu scriptures this barrier is often called the ‘river of death’. It is also called baitarni nadi, the river which Yama, the Lord of Death, crosses and takes people to after they die. This is symbolic and the word ‘death’ here has a special meaning. It means the death or removal of external sense perception, thoughts and unawareness. This river is that which separates normal states of consciousness from higher states. In order to know the experience of dhyana one must be capable of crossing this river. One must die to mundane experience. The best method is to adopt and use a psychic symbol.
The importance of a psychic symbol is, and has been, known in all mystical and religious systems throughout the world. This is the reason that there are so many deities, mantras, etc. They are all intended as a point on which the mind can be fixed to induce meditation. This is why idol worship is so widespread in the world. It is intended, though few realize it, to act as a focal point for concentration of the mind.
In the following discussion we will outline the significance and use of psychic symbols.