The post, GAD, HOW to do Dhyaan, already carries some thoughts on Dhaaran. This one has more.
To Recap, Dhaaran is the 6th step of the Raja Yoga, sometimes wrongly translated as Meditation. (The word Meditation is being used for too many things! For the Real meaning of the word, please click here.)
Dhaaran is the step and the Process where one starts holding a Mantra, a Thought or a Verse, very often given by the guru, in the Mind, as one enters Dhyaan proper. One ‘holds’ this during the entire session.
CLASSICAL DHAARAN AND CHRISTIANITY
Some years ago, Christians, particularly Catholics in India, started to think of Living their Catholic/Christian Faith according to the Indian Culture.
This would make very good sense as things were going very topsy turvy indeed. The common man would be going bare foot in his house, be sitting on mats., but, when he went to church, he put on shoes, and when he entered the church, he started looking for benches to sit on! No doubt residues of the british times and western missionaries. We cannot really blame them, because they practised what they had been living all their lives.
Seeing all this, and more, the fringe groups of the majority community of India started calling Christians as foreigners, saying, ‘Go back to England,’ and, ‘We do not want Isais and Kasais,’ (We do not want Christians or Butchers, signifying the Muslims). There is even the case of a little placard I had personally seen at a tea shop in Trichy, at the time when a Nun had been Raped in Madhya Pradesh, which proclaimed: ‘Karpazitthavan Desa Bhaktan,’ (The one who raped was a patriot!).
Thus Indianization and Inculturization are really very good points; I fully agree with the Idea, and that is How I live my Christian Faith.
By the way, I see No Contradiction in my having entered Politics. This too I have learnt from my forebears, yet hope to live the idea in a Better Spirit. As You see, I am a member of the AAP, the Aam Aadmi Party, and they have made me the Treasurer for the district of Karur, in Tamil Nadu. [It is a different thing that We are So Poor that We do not have a Single Pie, nor a Bank Account! 🙂 ]
Inculturization and Indianization are not really New ideas. Veera Maa Munivar (Fr. Beschi) in South India, a Catholic Priest from abroad, and Sadhu Sundar Singh, an Indian Protestant Missionary in the North, have lived this way.
Veera Maa Munivar and Sadhu Sundar Singh.
But this lifestyle of these Pioneers did not did not really catch on. The Idea of Inculturization began to grow, particularly among catholics, Only from about the 1960’s.
In this, something Very Interesting has happened. When the Priests, (for that is what they mainly were) went to the Indian, and naturally the Hindu Gurus, to learn about the Way an Indian Renunciate is supposed to live, and even to Pray, – they came back not just with the Culture, but with the Philosophy of Hinduism.
We cannot find fault with the Gurus in this. Sannyasis do not keep talking about the time of the day, the weather, or gossip. It is All God Oriented. And a Hindu will speak about what he has learnt, as will a Muslim or a Christian.
What the (catholic) Priests should have done after learning about Dhyaan was to Apply it to the Christian Scriptures. What they did was to start using the Vedic Mahavakyas taught by those Hindu gurus, because, after all, it is the time of the Vedaant.
These catholic Priests have literally stood on their heads to find ways and means to find parallels in the Bible for the Vedantic Advaitism.
And frankly, the idea of Aham Brahm Asmi, literally, ‘I am the Brahm,’ (meaning the Ultimate Reality), has even a fatal fascination. Even Priests immersed in Christian/catholic teachings, not to say the Laity, prefer that, to the Classical Christian: ‘I am a Child of God.’
Those who are interested in the Advaita or Nihilism or any such are MOST Welcome to it, and We have NO problems about that.
But in Christianity, GOD is GOD and man is Just man, a puny creature producing about 250 grams of stuff every day after an intake of about 500 grams, and that is IT. (By the way, Christianity does not put this latter fact in such Colourful terms. Give me credit for that).
For all the funny searches all over the Bible to justify Advaita there in, the Very Beginning of the Bible (Genesis chapter 3) shows that man was thrown out for wasting his time in trying to see if he was equal to God. If somebody wants to say, “Aha, see, God did not want man to realize that he was equal to Him,” …Simple Answer. Man got thrown out. GOD did that. man could not prevent it. Ergo, man is Not equal to GOD. Anthropomorphism, for sure, but none the less telling for that.
Christ made it Simple for Christians, be they those who want the ‘Path of Perfection,’ (the so called ‘religious,)’ contemplatives or Ashramites, all living in luxury. Love, He said. If We had done that, it would have Satisfied Us, and We would have found that We have little enough time left after that.
Let us get back to Dhaaran.
The points given in the section above will show Why GAD does Not Use Dhaaran. To begin a sitting with a Pre-conceieved Notion WILL result in its enforcement.
THAT is Why in GAD We Enter Dhyaan with an Intention, asking the Divine to Make things Clear to Us, to Guide Us, and to Run Our Lives, – If We would Want that, and Dare to say that. But if We would, We would find Life VERY Satisfying Indeed.