We all know that we can perform better if we could concentrate better. But is concentrating on anything equally helpful?
Some people get rapt while watching Star Wars or cricket or romantic movies. That concentration may be essential, even beneficial. If they can’t concentrate, they won’t enjoy even the mundane entertainment. And by concentrating, they may make professionals in those fields such as reviewers or commentators.
Still, that concentration won’t uplift or purify them; far from it, it may perpetuate or aggravate the inner impurities that distract them from more worthwhile things in life. To purge ourselves of those influences, we need to focus on more purifying and uplifting objects.
On the path of yoga, aspirants may begin by focusing on some neutral object such as the tip of the nose (Bhagavad-gita 06.12) or the space between the eyebrows (05.27). While such a focus is more pacifying than focusing on things that trigger desire or anger within us, we need to graduate to focusing on objects that are not just pacifying but are also purifying. Without purification, we remain vulnerable to being ambushed by our inner impurities; they may act in collusion with outer temptations to distract us.
Gita wisdom reveals the ultimate reality Krishna to be all-pure and all-purifying. Focusing on him purifies our mind, thereby purging it of its distracting passions and pacifying it (06.27) – for the pacified mind, concentration requires far less exertion and brings far greater satisfaction.
More importantly, when we focus on Krishna and redefine our life as a service to him, he empowers us by his omnipotence to do things that we ourselves would have been unable to do, even with our best concentration.
How much we concentrate is important; what we concentrated on is even more important.
Think it over:
- How is concentration beneficial?
- Why are all forms of concentration not equally beneficial?
- Which object of concentration is the most beneficial?
06.27: The yogi whose mind is fixed on Me verily attains the highest perfection of transcendental happiness. He is beyond the mode of passion, he realizes his qualitative identity with the Supreme, and thus he is freed from all reactions to past deeds.