sarvadvaaraani saiyamya mano hridi nirudhya cha |
moordhanyaadhaayaatmanaha praanamaasthito yogadhaaranaam || 12 ||

 
Controlling all the gates, confining the mind within the heart and establishing one’s praanaas in the forehead, situated in yogic concentration.
 
sarvadvaaraani : all gates
saiyamya : controlling
manaha : mind
hridi : in the heart
nirudhya : confining
cha : and
moordhani : forehead
aadhaaya : establish
aatmanaha : one’s
praanam : praanaas
aasthitaha : situating
yogadhaaranaam : in yogic concentration
 
Shri Krishna describes the technique meditating upon the name of Ishvara in this shloka. He outlines a series of steps which are similar to the detailed analysis of meditation found in the sixth chapter. Four steps are presented here: controlling the organs of sense perception, reducing the number of thoughts to one, directing the life force or praana, and continuing to remain in this state of concentration for an extended period of time.
 
The first step is to control the organs of sense perception referred to here as “gates”. In meditation, we are advised to select a spot where there is minimal distraction so that the mind does not rush out into the external world towards a sound, image or smell.
 
The second step is to “confine the mind within the heart”. This means that we have to slowly reduce the number of thoughts to one thought using japa meditation, for instance. No other thought should enter the mind except the object of meditation.
 
The third and fourth steps require the oversight and training of an experienced master. For the sake of completeness, let’s examine them anyway. An advanced yogi has the ability to control his praana or life force so that it could be focused in one part of the body. Here, such a yogi is asked to focus his life force in the forehead. Once this happens, the yogi is asked to maintain this position for an extended period of time. Such intense meditation requires tremendous effort and practice.
 
So then, assuming we are armed with the technique of meditation on Ishvara’s name, what name should we use? This is taken up next.

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