In the Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhrigu approached his father, Varuna and asked to be taught about the Eternal. Varuna replied ‘Seek thou to know that from which these creatures are born, whereby being born they live and to which they go hence and enter again; for that is the Eternal.’ As Bhrigu meditated on the Eternal in this way, he came back for further guidance on several occasions and was told ‘By askesis do thou seek to know the Eternal, for concentration in thought (or concentration of force) is the Eternal.’ (translations provided here are by Sri Aurobindo)

A meditation as described in the Upanishad can lead to spiritual realisation. One secret that is revealed here is that it is the concentration in thought itself that is the Eternal. The term ‘askesis’ is an imprecise rendering of the Sanskrit term tapasya, which Sri Aurobindo has variously described as ‘concentration in thought’ or ‘concentration of force’.

At various stages of spiritual development, different objects of meditation will naturally present themselves.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “Whatever is most consonant with your nature and highest aspirations. But if you ask me for an absolute answer, then I must say that Brahman is always the best object for meditation or contemplation and the idea on which the mind should fix is that of God in all, all in God and all as God. It does not matter essentially whether it is the Impersonal or the Personal God, or subjectively, the One Self. But this is the idea I have found the best, because it is the highest and embraces all other truths, whether truths of this world or of the other worlds or beyond all phenomenal existence, — ‘All this is the Brahman.’ “ Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 6, Sadhana Through Work, Meditation and Love and Devotion, Sadhana through Meditation, pp. 146-149

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.