Meditation is Not for You (You Can Go Crazy, Seriously)
I am sick and tired.
Sick and tired of the advice, the so-called Meditation Gurus keep shoving in the faces of innocent people like you. They keep on repeating like well-trained parrots that meditation is a magical remedy for insomnia, depression, anxiety, or whatever it is that you’re going through.
I can suck it up, but things really go out of hand when:
Green Diwali Conspiracy: Say YES to Firecrackers this Diwali?
Have you seen the night sky on Diwali?
The deadly smoke and harmful suspended particles float in the air like birds in the open sky. Infants, young children, asthma patients—Diwali, is a nightmare for them—there’s so much of air-pollution. *cough* *cough*
What causes it?
Firecrackers, of course.
But Diwali is just a one-day affair out of the 365 days of the year. Are firecrackers also the cause of all year long air-pollution?
Then what pollutes the air we breathe on the rest of the days—364 days, to be precise.
Let’s see…umm…well, vehicles on the roads, illegal industrial units operating in residential areas, unauthorised building material stocks running in crowded neighborhoods—they all cause pollution.
But people seldom talk about them.
And, surprisingly, every Tom, Dick, and Harry turns into an environmental activist as soon as Diwali approaches. Schools and colleges run “Say no to firecrackers” campaigns. “Concerned” NGOs educate people on “How to celebrate Green Diwali,” and you’re made to believe that Diwali is the most massive contributor to air pollution.
Newspapers, TV news channels, so-called liberals, seculars, and leftists yell at the top of their voices, only one word—”Green Diwali.” They declare that Green Diwali is the silver bullet to kill the dark and deadly pollution monster.
But, is it, really?
Green Diwali? Why Only Diwali?
No doubt, the reasoning behind Green Diwali is solid: firecrackers cause air pollution (along with noise pollution), and hence people should not burst crackers.
But the question is, do firecrackers release deadly smoke only on Diwali? And also, is Diwali the only time people burst crackers? No, people use firecrackers on many other occasions. For example:
Electoral victories of political parties
Why the so-called environmentalists never run “Green Christmas,” “Green New Year Eve,” or “Green IPL matches” campaigns?
The Ugly Truth of Green Diwali Crusaders
The Green Diwali people (so-called liberals, activists, and ‘concerned citizens’) try to drill into our heads that bursting firecrackers for a mere 4-5 hours each year is the biggest cause of pollution. Rest of the year:
You can travel in diesel guzzling monster SUVs.
Illegal industrial units running in residential areas can release toxic smoke in the skies.
Heavy machinery, giant trucks, tractors, and trolleys can roam around in prohibited zones (residential areas) and pollute the air with dust and other dangerous suspended particles.
Everything is acceptable, but Diwali.
What If I Told You “Green Diwali” Is a Conspiracy?
A conspiracy? Against who?
Who do you think?
It’s sinister propaganda to make Hindus feel guilty about Hindu culture—their traditions, their festivals, and eventually about themselves.
Don’t believe me?
You worship cows? You’re a freaking idiot. Cows are supposed to be eaten, not worshipped.
You light Diya under Peepal tree on Saturdays? You’re a stupid pagan. Trees should be killed every year to make Christmas trees, that’s what they are for.
You play Holi with watercolours? You’re insensitive to the environment. Only Bollywood movies have the right to use colours—for depicting “Filmy Holi”, coz the lead actor belongs to the “secular” community.
Are Firecrackers a “Must” on Diwali?
Of course, you can choose not to burst firecrackers, but it must be your choice—your own understanding. And not because a bunch of dumb-ass Hindu haters told you to.
You want to save the environment? Great. But you can’t be selective if you genuinely care about the environment. You can’t let the air get polluted the whole year, and start displaying “concern” on Diwali only.
And the Hindus who think that such attacks on Hindu festivals will stop at firecrackers, are just making fools out of themselves.
Next could be:
“Hindu incense sticks make it hard to breathe, stop burning the incense.” Or “Hindus release carbon-dioxide when they exhale, Hindus must stop breathing” Or “Cremating Hindu dead bodies also cause air pollution. Why cremate? Bury them instead.”
When, and where will it stop?
I get it. You say you’re concerned about the poor air quality on Diwali.
Run “Stop production of firecrackers” campaigns, and not “Say no to firecrackers this Diwali.”
Banning crackers only on Diwali shows that you intend to ban Diwali, not firecrackers.
And that’s unacceptable.
Now, the Hindus who believe Green Diwali conspiracy does not concern them, here are some lines by Shri Ramdhari Singh “Dinkar”:
समर शेष है, नहीं पाप का भागी केवल व्याध जो तटस्थ हैं, समय लिखेगा उनका भी अपराध!
Still wondering if you should say yes to firecrackers? Below is a conversation between a Hindu and a so-called liberal. Read and decide for yourself.
Should You Say YES to Firecrackers?
‘Say No to Firecrackers? Why? Why are you after my crackers?’
‘Let me tell you, dude. Don’t even think that I am concerned about the rising level of air pollution because I don’t give a damn about the environment. The large diesel vehicles that I drive every day can vouch for that. I can afford them; I am a liberal, you know.’
‘If you don’t give a damn about the environment, then why do you run “Say no to firecrackers” campaigns?’
‘Well, you know, you backward Hindu people burst firecrackers on Diwali.’
‘Mind your language! Hindus belong to the oldest civilisation of the world. We gave this world “Zero”, “Ayurveda”, and the concept of “Co-existence”, our contribution is so enormous that you can’t even imagine. Hindus are not backward.’
‘Oh, don’t you lecture me. I am a liberal; I know more than you do.’
‘You know nothing. Anyways, continue.’
‘Yeah, so I was telling you that you right-wing supporters, I mean you Hindu people burst firecrackers on Diwali and those crackers are quite loud. I really don’t understand why can’t you people celebrate Green Diwali?’
‘You Must Say No to Firecrackers Because You Scare My Cutie Pie’
‘Cutie pie? You mean your son…or your daughter, maybe?’
‘Oh, no, no. I mean my cutie pie…my lovely dearest, bestest… Tommy!’
‘You mean your dog?’
‘Hey, how dare you call him “dog”?’ (Yells)
‘What am I supposed to call a dog? Isn’t a dog, a dog?’
‘See, what did I tell you? Freaking arrogant Sanghis! You people can never understand. You see, I am an animal lover. I love them. I care for them. You must not burst firecrackers this Diwali for the sake of animals. Let’s celebrate animal-friendly Diwali.’
‘You care for animals? That’s great. Hey, hang on, the other day I read you eat beef with pride. Don’t you care for cows?’
‘Oh my god, beef is so yummy!’
‘Hey, why don’t you care for cows the way you care for your do…, I mean your Tommy.’
You Think “Liberals” Are Supposed to Care for Cows?
‘Why don’t I care for cows? OMG, you’re cho chweet! The cow is a Hindu animal, no.’
‘Progressive people like us are not supposed to care for cows. Or anything related to Hindus, or what do you call it? Yeah, I remember… “Sanatan Dharma”, right? Huh!’
‘You see, our job is to make Hindus ashamed of their festivals, culture and history.’ (Grins) ‘Have you ever heard any liberal run ‘Say no to firecrackers’ on New Year eve? By the way, I love fireworks on New Year.’
‘So all this “Say No to Firecrackers this Diwali” is a drama to make Hindus ashamed of their rich culture?’
‘Hell yeah! What else you thought? But hey, don’t tell this to anyone. It’s a secret I am supposed to keep forever, Okie? Happy Diwali. And yes, say no to firecrackers.’
‘Screw You and Your “Green Diwali!”‘
‘Keep your “cutie pie” locked inside your diesel vehicle coz I am going to burst a hell lot of firecrackers this Diwali. Your “scared” dog is sure to pee on your “Secularism”, which is nothing except anti-Hinduism propagated by “rice bag converts”, “dhimmis”, and traitors like you.”
‘You heard me. I am saying yes to firecrackers this Diwali.’
‘Oh, no!’ (Crashes!)
Littering is Just a Habit (And Habits Can Be Changed)
He was staring at me.
His lips didn’t utter a word, but the look in his eyes said it all, ‘You’re dumb.’
I was on a train from Delhi to my hometown Lakshminagar (Muzaffarnagar) in Western Uttar Pradesh. And the guy staring at me was one of the boys coming back after (apparently) appearing in some competitive exam.
It was wintertime. A peanut seller boarded the train, and most of the passengers, I included, bought some. I was sitting in the single chair along with the window. Now, here’s the thing: I try to keep my surroundings clean—as much as possible, so I transferred the peanuts from the carry bag to the right pocket of my jacket and kept the bag in my lap.
I was munching and putting the peanut shells in the paper bag. Most of the boys in the compartment were amused watching me. They were staring at me as if I were an alien—a blue, ghostly figure with eyes larger than oranges. And I could understand why—because I was the only one not dropping the peanut-shells on the floor.
The “Littering” Boys Were Confused
The boys sitting on the right-hand side berth were confused by my “strange behaviour.” One of them was desperate to figure out what was happening. But he couldn’t, and finally, asked me jokingly, ‘Brother, what would you do with those shells?’
Next, we know—the great warrior prince, Arjun, pierced the eye of the dummy bird placed on a distant tree.
It’s a classic example of how powerful concentration can be when it comes to reaching your goals.
Tratak, the ancient Hindu technique to build concentration, is there since ages. And now, you can also take its advantage. But before we discuss how you can build concentration with Tratak, let me clear a doubt:
Tratak is a technique to build concentration. It has nothing to do with meditation.
In concentration, you fix your awareness on one particular point—every bit of your energy flows towards your aim.
So, What’s Meditation Then?
In Meditation, you stay aware of whatever is happening to you, and around you. You realise that you are the watcher, not the doer.
When you eat, you know the body eats, not you.
While you walk, you know it’s the body that walks, not you.
When you breathe, you know it’s the body that breathes, not you.
In other words:
Meditation is the state of being aware of your body, mind, and yourself.
Meditation Is Just Like Sleep
‘Oh, god. What’s happening? Why am I not able to sleep?’ Remember that night? You were tossing and turning in your bed, and still, sleep was miles away from your eyes.
The worst part?
The more you tried, the more sleep ran away from you.
So, you tried harder. But nothing happened.
And then you gave up. Next thing you know you woke up in the morning—refreshed, right?
You can create the right atmosphere for sleeping: cosy bed, dim-lighting, soothing music, burning incense sticks, etc. But you cannot force sleep to happen. You go into a deep sleep only when all your efforts cease.
Meditation is similar to sleep, you can “be” in meditation, but you cannot “do” it. In fact, meditation happens when all the doing stops. It’s a state of non-doing.
Trying to do meditation is like getting your car come to a halt by pressing the accelerator. Not gonna happen.
Different Names Used for Tratak
People use different terms to address Tratak. Some call it Tratak Sadhana (त्राटक साधना ), Tratak Kriya (त्राटक क्रिया), while some others prefer Tratak Vidya (त्राटक विद्या). Names do not matter, what matters is the benefits Tratak gives, here are some:
Tratak is a process of taking control of your life.
You see, your mind likes movement.
It keeps moving from point A to point B, and again from point B to point A, or even to point C. The moment you force it to stay at one point for too long, it gets uncomfortable. And Tratak is simply a method to make the mind stay at one point as long as you wish.
Now, the mind knows it cannot hold you back from practising Tratak, so it plays a trick: It says, “You want to practice Tratak? Fine. Let’s do it BIG. Let’s practice for 2 hours daily.”
You know why?
Because it knows you won’t be able to sustain if you tried practising for long periods, at least not in the beginning—and you will eventually quit. That’s the reason most people fail at Tratak—they fall for the trick and start big. But you’re not most people, right?
Here’s what to do:
Begin with a manageable aim. And once you reach there, aim higher, and higher. Start with one minute on day one. Then two minutes on day two. Keep increasing the time each day until you reach thirty-two minutes (for all forms of Tratak except The Sun Tratak).
When you could focus on a particular object without blinking your eyes, for 32 minutes, congratulate yourself. You’ve mastered Tratak.
You Can Improve Concentration With Tratak. Here’s What You Need
A strong focus is possible with Tratak if you’re willing to do the work. I say this because It can take anywhere between 21 days to 6 months or even more to achieve unwavering focus. It depends on how strong your concentration is at the moment.
But you see, Tratak is not a quick fix. It’s not like you’ve had a headache and you swallowed a pill, and it’s gone. No, it’s not that. So, don’t expect some miracle by practising it once—before your exam day. You must be determined to get the results you wanted. And that brings us to the next point.
Consistency is damn important. I always say practice does not make you perfect; regular practice does. You must practise Tratak regularly (if not every day). Maybe you could create a schedule for it. Let’s say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It’s up to you. But make sure you do practise. If you don’t have time right now, then put it on hold and only begin when you do.
Also, most people believe that Tratak can (and must be) done only in the mornings. That’s not true.
It’s okay to practice Tratak in the mornings. But evenings or even afternoons are fine, too. Don’t fuss over the time of the day (or night). Just make sure your practice goes on.
Nothing fancy. Just simple homemade food, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, would be the best bet. Also, keep yourself hydrated. That’s important.
What is Tratak
Tratak is a process of gazing at a particular point—concentrating your mind on one object.
It has various forms:
Shakti Chakra Tratak
Agnishikha Tratak (Candle Light Tratak)
Chandra Tratak (Moon Tratak)
Surya Tratak (Sun Tratak)
Agni Tratak (Fire Tratak)
It’s not necessary to practice them all.
Just pick one. Start. And keep practising.
Let’s discuss them one by one:
Bindu Tratak (बिंदु त्राटक)
Take an A4 size sheet, and using a pencil, draw a dot in the middle. Keep the size of the dot similar to a 25 paisa coin (roughly the size of a large Bindi).
Hang the sheet on a wall and sit at a distance of about three feet—on a cotton cushion or “Aasan.” Take three deep breaths and concentrate on the “Bindu” (the dot). You might feel uncomfortable in the beginning, and that’s normal.
Your ultimate goal should be to practise Bindu Tratak for thirty-two minutes (without blinking your eyes). Now, staying focused on one point for thirty-two minutes is difficult. But with patience and consistency, you can master it.
Shakti Chakra Tratak (शक्तिचक्र त्राटक)
You’ll need a Shakti Charka to perform this one.
Fortunately, I have the Shakti Chakra image I used to practice at in 11th standard. You can take a printout.
Hang the Shakti Chakra on a wall (just like in Bindu Tratak).
Now, concentrate on the centre of the picture. Breathe normally.
You’re supposed to concentrate on Shakti Chakra without blinking your eyes. That’s important. And believe me, when I say that focusing without blinking, is damn hard. But again, practice is the key. I did it, and you can do it, too.
Go easy and keep moving. And within weeks, it’ll be your second nature.
A word of caution:
You may start seeing some random images appearing in the Shakti Chakra. Those pictures can either be reflections of your past lives or some unexpressed desires from this lifetime. It’s normal. Just keep practising.
AgniShikha Tratak (अग्निशिखा त्राटक)
AgniShikha Tratak uses the fire element. This form is more suitable for winters because you cannot run a fan or AC while practising this.
You’ll need a thick candle for this (if a candle is not available, you can use a “Diya” instead). Make sure the candle is high quality because inferior quality candles release smoke.
Light the candle, and turn the lights off. Put the candle on the ground, and sit about 3 feet away from it. Take three deep breaths and concentrate on the tip of the flame. You may notice some random images and may also start hallucinating. That’s quite normal. Stay focused on the flame.
Chandra Tratak (चंद्र त्राटक)
The best time to practice Chandra Tratak is on a full moon night or three to four days before and after.
Go to the roof and lie down on your back. If that’s not possible, then sit on a chair in a comfortable position and concentrate on the Moon. Try not to blink your eyes for as long as possible.
Surya Tratak (सूर्य त्राटक)
Fifteen million degrees Celsius.
That’s the temperature on the Sun. And Surya Tratak requires you to concentrate on it which makes this form of Tratak to walk on a razor’s edge—a little carelessness and your eyes will be gone—forever. Does that mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it? You definitely can. It’s just like any other form of Tratak. But be very careful.
The best time to practice Surya Tratak is morning—at the time of sunrise. Never practice on mid-morning or afternoon sun. Never.
Go to a park or stand on your roof. Take three deep breaths. And focus on the Sun. Become one with it. Start small and keep increasing the time until you reach 18-20 minutes. Be careful not to push yourself. Do NOT attempt to go beyond 20 minutes.
Apart from the concentration, your self-confidence shall also grow leaps and bounds because you’d be concentrating on the King of the solar system—when it’s about power and authority, nothing comes even closer to the Sun.
Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक)
I’ve practised all the forms except Agni Tratak (अग्नि त्राटक). And for a good reason.
You see, Agni Tratak requires you to go into deep woods (which I find eerie, but if you insist, then who am I to stop you, huh?).
Here’s a possible way:
Go into a forest or a highly dense wild area. Collect some dry woods and start a fire. Now, sit about 6 feet away from the fire and concentrate on the flame. Keep staring at it. You may hear some abnormal sounds and may also notice some disturbing images in the fire. Fear, anxiety, or a weird restlessness may also emerge out of nowhere.
Carry on. Keep concentrating on the fire for as long as 32 minutes.
Here’s why I don’t recommend it:
It’s performed outdoors—in a forest. And mind you, forests are for wild animals, not for humans.
The fire may attract paranormal entities, which may be beyond human understanding and control. And you don’t want to be in such an uncomfortable, and possibly life-threatening situation, right?
Building Concentration With Tratak Doesn’t Have to Be a Dream
Many people believe that Tratak is for sanyasis and sages only. That’s not true. Any person can build concentration with Tratak with the right mindset and determination.
So, there you go. I have explained most Tratak forms. Pick one and get started. Just be careful to practice slowly. And when you achieve the concentration you desired, use it with good intention.
Remember: With great power comes great responsibility.