The Mother Divine
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Question: How to meditate?

Bhagavan: Being aware of the Self is the real meditation. When the mind gives up its habit of choosing and deciding, it then turns towards its own real nature. At that time, it gets into the fundamental state. When the ego gets or stays more powerful, entry into this state does not take place.

Question: What must I do to avoid sleep during my meditation?

Bhagavan: Meditators must not work too much, nor should they fill their stomachs with excessive food. The more one fills the stomach, the lower one's mental state becomes. If the stomach is mostly empty, one will go higher spiritually. One should not tighten the strings of the veena (stringed musical instrument) either too much or too little. The body must be kept like that.

Likewise with sleep. One third of the night has been allotted for sleep. That is, one must go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake up at 2 a.m. One should not sleep during the daytime.

Question: Where is the Self in the body? How could I feel this in the body?

Bhagavan: In direct knowing, you can feel yourself one with the One that exists. The whole body becomes a mere power, a force-current.

Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet; and, as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere center and then not even that; for you become a mere consciousness. There are no thoughts or cares any longer, they were shattered at the threshold.

It is an inundation. You are a mere straw, you are swallowed alive, but it is very delightful. For you become the very thing that swallows you. This is the union of the individual with the Absolute, self with Reality, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.

Question: Then when you say, "Know thyself" you want me to know this ego-self?

Bhagavan: The moment the ego-self tries to know itself, it changes its character; it begins to partake less and less of the Jada (inert nature) in which it is absorbed, and more and more of the Consciousness of the Self, the Atman.

Question: Now be pleased to tell me where it (the Real Self) is in the body.

Bhagavan: You cannot know it with your mind. You cannot realize it by imagination, when I tell you here is the center (pointing to the right side of the chest). The only direct way to realize it is to cease to fancy, and (simply) try to be yourself. Then you realize, automatically feel, that the center is there. This is the center, the Heart spoken of in the scriptures as Hridayaguha (Cavity of the Hearin order to prevent it from running everywhere. Inquiring, "Who Am I?" is a much easier method of controlling the mind.

Question: I am often tempted to try other centers (of concentration), such as the base of the mind, the tip of the nose, and the space between the eyebrows. What does Bhagavan think about it?

Bhagavan: When the Heart center is there (is present), why not go directly to it instead of going through other centers? To come to Tiruvannamalai from Madras (in South India), why should you go to Banaras (in North India) first and come down all the way, or why go to Rameswaram (another city further south in India) and come up here. Why not come straight?

Question: Some people advise that one should concentrate on the center of the eyebrows. Is this correct?

Bhagavan: What is important is (ones) determination. The source of everything. Accept your true identity with the Real. Be the water and not the froth. That is done by diving in.

Question: Sri Bhagavan speaks of the Heart as the seat of Consciousness, and as identical with the Self. What does the Heart signify exactly?

Bhagavan: The question about the Heart arises because you are interested in seeking the source of Consciousness. To all deep thinking minds, the inquiry about the "I" and its nature has an irresistible fascination.

Call it by any name, God, Self, the heart or the seat of Consciousness, its all the same. The point to be grasped is this that the heart means the very core of one’s being, the Centre, without which there is nothing whatever.