No person can achieve success in Meditation without getting the mastery over the preliminary practices. The aspirant should prepare himself or herself for meditation through the following preliminary practices:
Non-violence, Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Chastity, Non-receiving, Purity, Contentment, Austerity, Study and Worship of God are the most essential factors for the successful meditation.
Meditation brings out the tremendous potential energy of the mind. Meditation leads to accomplishment, fulfilment and realisation of all that is highest, noblest and greatest: the Soul (Atma). The aim of meditation is to transform the personality of a man and to mould him in such a way that he becomes the image of God.
Mere theoretical knowledge of meditation and other spiritual and yogic practices is not at all sufficient. Hence a self-realised master (Guru) is really indispensable for those who want to make progress in meditation. The magnetic personality of the spiritual master (Guru) is both an inspiration and a guide for the aspirant.
A person who aspires for success in meditation should keep his subconscious mind pure as possible by living in a healthy environment and by associating himself with the company of saintly persons. He should make his best efforts to be pure in thoughts, speech and actions. Meditation is the process of going from the lower to the higher, from the gross to the subtle and from materialism to spiritualism.
Meditation when properly learnt under the able guidance of a Guru and practiced for a reasonable period is found to be very highly beneficial. The aim of meditation is to bring out the divine qualities in persons and to lead them to perfection. It makes us free from all undue cares, worries and anxieties. It makes a person peace loving and reasonable in all his dealings. From the very face, one feels that the aspirant enjoys the perfect joy in life. Even when the goal is not religious or spiritual, an aspirant (devotee) can have all the advantages of a healthy mind, if he continues to perform meditation.
Most of the diseases have their origin in the mind. The medical treatment can give relief from the suffering of the diseases but meditation helps to cure the diseases permanently. Meditation is the art of making the mind strong, steady and efficient.
Meditation expects great patience and perseverance from the devotee. It cannot be successful in a few days or months. The devotee should be fully qualified, if he or she wants the grace of the spiritual Guru. The receptive capacity of the devotee plays a greater role than that of a spiritual Guru. Therefore the Guru hardly gets a very few bright disciples to understand and implement his instructions.
There is one best method for concentrating the mind on God. We can keep a picture, symbolizing God or Guru, before us and sitting before the picture, look at it with concentrated sight and think of the attributes of God, and the repetition of the Divine Name of God. This is the method of using external object for concentration.
I would like to quote below the exact great golden words of Pujya Swamiji Satyananda Saraswati of Bihar School of Yoga regarding meditation.
When we perfect meditation on God's picture or Prophet's picture, we can see him before us as real as any thing. The Nirakar (Formless) becomes Sakar (with form). The Consciousness is separated from Matter or Prakriti. The conscious is separated from matter or Prakriti.
The mind does not exist at this moment. When you concentrate on Him, you actually concentrate upon your Atma (Soul) which reveals itself before you in your cherished form. It is your Atma, which comes to you from beyond the seven gates. It is the "Swan of the Temple", which is seen by you in the meditation of the form you meditate upon.
"None who has experienced perfect meditation, will be attracted by the pull of Maya".
"None who has experienced meditation will be lost in the whirlpool of desired and passion".
"No wise man would like to renounce Meditation".