Swami Vivekananda has said that the difference between a great person and a common man is the degree of concentration. Our mind runs through many objects in a day. The great man is the one who can take up one object and exclude other objects and experiences the samadhi. We all know something about concentration but we have never utilized the power of it. The goal of this article is to state the importance of two golden sources we have ignored until now.
The first is Swami Vivekananda’s teaching. It is very unfortunate that the world at large knows very little about such a great soul. We only know that there was a saint of India who went to America to spread the knowledge of Vedas. This was a very small contribution compared to what Swamiji has done and taught. The other golden source is concentration. We have been told from childhood that concentration is very important for success in life. However, most of the time we use it unconsciously. Swamiji has hailed concentration as the most important tool in success. Let us look at some of Swamiji’s thoughts on concentration and realize the strength of both the golden sources and create a better life.
Concentration to attain Knowledge
“Concentration is the essence of all knowledge, nothing can be done without it. Ninety per cent of thought force is wasted by the ordinary human being, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; the trained man or mind never makes a mistake. “
“To me, the very essence of education is the concentration of mind, not the collecting of facts. If I had to do my education over again and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will.”
“How has all the knowledge in the world been gained but by the concentration of the powers of the mind? The world is ready to give up its secrets if we know how to knock, how to give it necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow come through concentration. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point; that is the secret.”
Concentration to attain Success
“Herein is the difference between man and the animals—man has the greater power of concentration. The difference in heir power of concentration also constitutes the difference between man and man. Compare the lowest with the highest man. The difference is in the degree of concentration. This is the only difference.”
The next one is my favorite. Write it down or take out a print and put it in a place where you can see it daily. It is a great source of inspiration.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, and this is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”
“There is only one method by which to attain this knowledge, that which is called concentration. The chemist in his laboratory concentrates all the energies of his mind into one focus, and throws them upon the materials he is analysing, and so finds out their secrets. The astronomer concentrates all the energies of his mind and projects them through his telescope upon the skies; and the stars, the sun, and the moon, give up their secrets to him. The more I can concentrate my thoughts on the matter on which I am talking to you, the more light I can throw upon you. You are listening to me, and the more you concentrate your thoughts, the more clearly you will grasp what I have to say.”
Experience of Concentration
“How are we to know that the mind has become concentrated? Because the idea of time will vanish. The more time passes unnoticed the more concentrated we are. In common life we see that when we are interested in a book we do not note the time at all, and when we leave the book, we are often surprised to find how many hours have passed. All time will have the tendency to come and stand in the one present. So the definition is given: When the past and present come and stand in one, the mind is said to be concentrated.”
Swamiji has written many books, but Raja Yoga is dedicated to the concentration of mind. In this book, he has provided commentary on the Yoga Sutras’s of Patanjali. If you are interested in further study of concentration, then this is a must-read. It is believed that the quality of our life depends on how much we concentrate and on what we concentrate.
The reference of Swami Vivekananda’s thought is taken from “The complete works of Swami Vivekananda”.