Focus and Results in Spiritual Endeavours

Sri Aurobindo translates Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhriguvalli, Chapter 10, part 3: “Pursue thou Him as the firm foundation of things and thou shalt get thee firm foundation; pursue Him as Mahas, thou shalt become Mighty; pursue Him as Mind, thou shalt become full of mind; pursue Him as adoration, thy desires shall bow down before thee; pursue Him as the Eternal, thou shalt become full of the Spirit; pursue Him as the destruction of the Eternal that rangeth abroad, thy rivals and thy haters shall perish thick around thee and thy kin who loved thee not.”

Sri M. P. Pandit observes:  “All is the Divine, the Brahman.  He confronts the awakened eye wherever it turns.  His is the force that moves in the characteristic activities of Nature, animate and inanimate, and His the Presence that lends significance to every particle in creation.  The aspirant should equip himself to receive Him on all levels, in all the extensions of the Cosmic Manifestation.  And as he seeks he shall realise; for Brahman reveals himself in the manner of the seeking.”

Results follow from the direction, focus and intensity of energy with which an individual acts.  The human mind functions as a tuning and focusing device to a great degree.  Where we put our attention we gain knowledge and power of action.  In Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, the truth of this is explained as the development of power through what is called samyama.  Through this practice, which incorporates concentration and one-pointed attention, one can gain an intimate, inner knowledge of the object of the focus.

This power of concentration can be applied in any field or direction, as it is a neutral power.  Thus, it can be used to destroy as well as create.  The main variables that make it less than fully effective are the intensity and one-pointedness of the focus, and the other forces operating in the world that can interfere with the wave which carries the energy.  We tend however to disperse the focus or relax the intensity and thus obtain variable results.  We see this in everyday life.

This can be understood in the field of material force with what we call the “signal” to “noise” ratio.  The signal is the focus.  The noise represents the intensity and the interference from contrary waves of force.  A tight beam of high-intensity energy, for instance a laser, can slice through material objects at a distance.  As the wave weakens and begins to disintegrate, the power it delivers to the object is reduced.  This illustrates the principle of the one-pointed concentration.

The Upanishad takes this power and specifically provides examples in the field of spiritual practice.  A spiritual aspirant who has an intensity of aspiration or concentration will eventually achieve results commensurate with and in the direction of that focus.


Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads,  Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhriguvalli, pp.275-281, M. P. Pandit, Upanishads: Gateways of Knowledge, pp. 169-182