Success in any sphere of life is impossible without concentration. There are several stories in Hinduism extolling the importance of concentration. In this particular short story, the Avadhuta learns the value of concentration from a hunter.
One day as the Avadhuta was walking across a garden, he saw a marriage procession coming towards him with loud beating of drums and great pomp.
Nearby he saw a hunter deeply involved in aiming at a bird and not caring for the noise of the procession, casting not even a passing look at it. The Avadhuta, saluting the hunter, said, “Sir, thou art my Guru. From you I have learnt what is concentration.
Who is an Avadhuta? An Avadhuta is a person who has realized neti neti – that there is no second.
Why do we get distracted and lose our concentration when we sit for our spiritual practices? Is there no remedy?
At the beginning for some time the mind will be restless and will get disturbed by small things. So concentration will be difficult. But do not be depressed at that. It is the common experience of all beginners. Stick to the practice with determination and bring the mind again and again to the object of worship and meditation, if you find it has wandered away. It is desires that make the mind restless and make concentration difficult. Renounce this desires through discrimination (vichara) and purify your mind and then you will have concentration.
Practice and Vairagya are the only two means to get concentration of mind.
By Vairagya I mean discrimination and weeding out of all desires (vasanas) from the mind, thus making the mind purer and purer. When the mind becomes pure you will be able to meditate well and derive great joy.
The struggle will be there for one or two years at least. So stick to spiritual practice daily and regularly and all your difficulties will be overcome. Concentration does not come so easily; you go on with your practices regularly and in course of time you will have good concentration. (Practical Hints on Meditative Life by Swami Vireswarananda, Vedanta Kesari, August 1988 )
Originally Published: www.hindu-blog.com