While the effects of asanas are mainly physio-psychic, the effects of meditation are mainly psycho-spiritual. By spiritual we do not mean ghosts and spirits! Spiritual is another word for “higher mental”. While we solve math problems, design a car engine or navigate the Web, these may be considered mental activities related to the physical world. But higher mental activities engage our mental faculties in subtler pursuits.
Meditation is one such activity that directs our mental energies to the spiritual world. A spiritual person is one who exhibits higher mental qualities: love, kindness, compassion, courage, rationality, empathy, benevolence, humility.
“It is the weak who are cruel, gentleness can only be expected from the strong.”Gandhi.
A spiritual person is not a weakling. They employ their higher mental faculties in the pursuit of truth and justice and their actions reflect coherence to that goal.
Meditation practice is based on the common psychological belief that: “as you think, so you become”. The meditation as taught in Ananda Marga is to focus the mind on a word (mantra) having a spiritual meaning: Universal Love or Universal Peace. The constant practice of meditating on one idea embodied in the word will slowly and gradually transform the practitioner’s thoughts and behavior towards subtleness and higher awareness.
One evening an old African chief told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside everyone. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Just as eating certain kinds of food will create sentient body cells, by ideating upon certain types of ideas, we reformat our mental cells (called ectoplasmic cells). Over a period of time, our body-mind complex begins to function on a new level of consciousness altogether, which is subtle, clear and serene. Lower expressions of an animal-type nature (lust, anger, dominance, arrogance) give way to a more human level of expression.