Nārada’s Advice on Meditation

Hearing this, blessed Nārada was pleased. He compassionately replies to the boy with good words. “The path your mother set before you will certainly bring you the highest goal, so follow her advice and completely engross yourself in devotion for the All-Attractive Son of Vasudeva. Those who seek the goals of morality, prosperity, pleasure, and liberation have only one certain technique: to worship the feet of Hari. My dear, go for that, with my blessings.

“Hari forever dwells on the immaculate shores of River Yamunā, in the auspicious forest of honey, Madhuvan. Go there. Bathe regularly in the auspicious water of that Kālindī-Yamunā. Make an appropriate dwelling for yourself, where you can sit properly. Control your breathing with regulated inhalation, exhalation, and holding. This will gradually remove the soil from your thoughts and perceptions and enable you to carefully contemplate the supreme guru.

Comment 1: Madhuvana is part of Vraja-dhāma, and is also a synonym for Vṛndāvana – the forest of sweetness/honey. Rāsa-līlā takes place on the shores of Yamunā in Vṛndāvana. Many other wonderful pastimes also do. Nārada spoke to Dhruva many many ages before Krishna would appear in Vṛndāvana, but Krishna-līlā is eternal and sages the caliber of Nārada are aware of it.

Comment 2: Dhruva had no dīkṣa, no upayana, no samskara, etc. nor was a Brahmana. Nor was even a grown-up adult. No such things are required for bhakti-sādhana. Only the compassionate guidance of sad-guru (here, Śrī Nārada) is required.

Comment 3: Without controlling the breath, the senses are impossible to regulate. The senses are empowered by oxygen and other subtleties in the air we breathe. If we control the breath, the senses also come under control. When the senses are under control, the mind becomes clear. When the mind is clear, meditation is possible. Therefore it is advisable to breathe deliberately before and during mantra-meditation.

The boy would surely want to know some details about how to contemplate the supreme guru, so Nārada described him, “His beauty is divine! His endearing forehead, sweet eyebrows, lovely nose, and gracious smiling glances forever overflow with generosity. His body is romantically youthful, and his glance seems to blush as red as his lips. He is delighted to accept anyone who comes to him, for he is the ultimate refuge, an ocean of kindness.

“His thickly black complexion offsets the golden streak of Goddess Śrī’s mark on his chest, which is surrounded by a necklace of forest leaves and flowers. His four arms manifest a conch, discus, mace, and lotus. His crown, earrings, armlets and bracelets sparkle. Around his neck is the Kaustubha jewel. Yellow silk dresses his hips. A belt of tinkling bells slopes down from those hips. Swaying golden anklets adorn his feet.

Comment: Clearly the description is highly romantic. Nonetheless Nārada describes him with four arms, which is not as romantic as it is majestic. We should not think that Viṣṇu is not romantically attractive. In comparison to Krishna he is majestic, but in comparison to anything else he is extremely romantic and sweet.

“Envisioning him fills us with peace, and delights our mind’s eye! The nails on his toes are like dazzling jewels. Take those feet and enthrone them firmly on the whorl of your lotus-heart! Coronate them with worship!

“Carefully contemplate his smile, which glances over everyone with so much affection.

“That is how you should practice making your mind have only one object: the very best bestower of benediction. This All-Attractive Beauty is the most auspicious subject for the mind to contemplate. Such meditation with quickly grant you an unequalled experience, from which you will never turn away. You will easily give up all distractions.”

Comment: When the mind has many objects, our energy is divided and weakend. bahu-śākhās. Yoga proposes to give the mind only one object. eka-bhūta. The most wonderful, efficacious object is the All-Attractive Form of Hari. Why is it so efficacious? Because it is delightful. The mind naturally attaches itself to a delightful object. When meditation is directed towards Hari-Rūpa (the beautiful form of Hari), it is relatively easy [provided one first purifies the thoughts and perceptions by prāṇāyāma (controlled breathing).

One whose mind is fixed on Hari never turns away from Hari (na nivartante). This contradicts the mistaken interpretation that a soul in illusion was at one time fixed in a relationship with Hari.

— Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 4.8.39 ~ 52

Vraja Kishor dās


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  1. Thanks Prabhuji for explaining the meaning of meditation.

    I have the following queries:

    During chanting, first I inhale then I chant, then exhale. Is it fine to break the chanting by deliberate inhalations and exhalations?
    The soul has never been in any relationship with Krishna. So, that means it is free to develop any relationship with Him. Having said that, isn’t it natural for a soul to want Krishna as a lover i.e Mādhurya Rasa over any other Rasa?

    Thanks for your time.


    1. Yes, that is fine, but it will be slow. You can also chant during inhalation and exhalation.

      Regarding choosing a rasa… It is actually Krishna who forms the relationship with us, not visa versa.

      Liked by 1 person

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