The concentration-point is not the point of concentration

The concentration-point refers to the thing on which we focus, whereas the point of concentration refers to the focus’s ultimate purpose.

The Bhagavad-gita, in its guidelines to yogi-seekers, recommends various concentration-points: for example, the space between the eyebrows (05.27) and the tip of the nose (06.13). Why does the Gita recommend different concentration-points? Because they are not the point of concentration – they are simply convenient starting points; bodily parts are readily available for everyone, even renunciates. Such initial concentration-points are meant for focusing our attention so that we can turn it inwards and take it on a spiritual quest that culminates in Krishna, who is the ultimate point of concentration (05.29, 06.14, 06.47).

Concentration is a means to an end, not an end in itself. To give an extreme example, porn-addicts may concentrate totally on a porn clip, but such concentration is degrading and undesirable

Unfortunately, aspiring yogis may get caught in the initial concentration-points, experimenting restlessly about which feels good. They try out, say, the vast sky overhead or a flowing stream in a scenic place or a shining candle in a dark room. They flit from one concentration-point to the next, choosing whichever makes them feel peaceful. By failing to move on to Krishna, they deprive themselves of the purification that makes concentration fruitful. Concentration is a means to an end, not an end in itself. To give an extreme example, porn-addicts may concentrate totally on a porn clip, but such concentration is degrading and undesirable.

Is peace the end of concentration? Yes, authentic concentration does provide peace, but as a byproduct, not the main product. Our peace is stolen by the impurities in our heart, which can be best purified by concentration on Krishna, the all-pure Absolute Truth. Other concentration-points don’t offer such purification. Though some of them may offer some pacification, even that decreases as their newness fades.

Rather than becoming yogi-consumers shopping for attention-catching concentration-points, we can focus on Krishna and achieve purity, peace, positivity and even liberation.

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