Dhi, dhriti and smriti are the prerequisites for any spiritual progress. The Sanskrit root word ‘dhi’ refers to the intellect. Whereas, ‘dhriti’ is the power to assimilate knowledge. And ‘smriti’ is the ability to retain the imbibed knowledge such that it can be accessed when one wants - something like a good memory.

The great sage Adi Shankaracharya says that in order to strengthen dhi, dhriti and smriti; one needs to heighten the concentration level of our mind. The mind needs to be purified, so that it can absorb higher knowledge. And for that, concentration techniques need to be practiced. The basic practice of tratak considerably improves the concentration of mind. Tratak is a process of focusing the mind on a small object for longer period of time. (A recording called ‘Tratak’ can be used as it has guided instructions). When you keep practising techniques like tratak, mantra japa, pranayama and keep doing selfless service; then slowly, the mind starts getting purified.

A disciplined life is the key. Following a routine regularly, without any lapses, is called discipline. For instance, you make a resolution that every day you will wake up at Brahma-muhurta (time between 3 and 4 am). To be able to do this, you will have to sleep early at night. Similarly, in order to follow the discipline of meditating at sunset; you will need to finish your worldly tasks in time - so that after taking your bath, you can sit in asana and do your meditation. Be it only for 30 minutes; but tying your mind to a disciplined routine, is very essential.

Once you establish a discipline in your life, you can proceed towards deeper spiritual practices. These practices will further purify your mind and when the mind becomes pure; dhi (the intellect), gets strengthened. When the intellect gets sharpened; then dhriti - the assimilative power, the ability to hold the knowledge - becomes easy. And with a strong mind, it is possible for smriti - which is the power to retrieve the knowledge - to function optimally.

The one whose dhi, dhriti and smriti are perfected; is an advanced spiritual practitioner. For such an individual; the ocean of absolute divine bliss is available all the time. The mind is contented, it doesn't go astray and no pain remains in mind. The being abides in a state of beautiful equipoise.