Updated: Feb 9
Dhyana(which is usually translated as Meditation) is a Sanskrit word derived from the root words ‘dhi’ meaning the mind and ‘yana’ means ‘moving or going(think) of’. Meditation is an ancient practice that is believed to have originated in India several thousand years ago.
Different types of Meditations such as Spiritual Meditation, Mindful Meditation, Focused Meditation, Chanting Meditation etc., are being practiced in every community. It is an effective way to relieve stress and paves a way for the foundation of overcoming dissatisfaction, intolerance and keeps us living happily. A daily meditation practice can have significant benefits for mental and physical health.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind and a calm seeing of the true nature of things.
One uses a mindfulness technique or focuses the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm, and stable state.
Meditation is different from Concentration. Concentration is the act or process of focusing or fixing attention on one object or a lot of attention and thought directed to an activity or subject. If we try to control the mind by putting it under restraint we meet with little success. The more we try to suppress it by force, the more it rebounds and counteracts causing a greater disturbance. In the waking stage, we do not feel concentrated as our mind is occupied with multiple subjects in itself even if we are physically doing some activity.
Spiritual Meditation is the mindful practice of connection to something that is greater, vaster, and deeper than the individual self. It also supports a deeper connection with the Ultimate.
The journey to Spiritual awareness through Meditation takes time. Progress is definitely not achieved overnight. It takes plenty of discipline and practice to achieve spiritual realization, but the long-term benefits are incomparable.
Patanjali was a sage in India who is said to have written a number of Sanskrit works. Out of which the most prominent one is Yoga Sutras by compiling already existing teachings into a format easier to follow and understand during 200 – 300 B.C.
According to Yoga Sutras of Sage Pathanjali, Dhyana(Meditation) is the seventh step and this state leads to Samadhi, the eighth step of Yoga Sutras. The earlier steps are Yama. Niyama, Asana. Pranayama, Prathyahara and Dharana.
Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj founder of Sahaj Marg has taken up the same system in the name of Sahaj Marg(the natural path of realisation) duly making certain changes. His system starts with Dhyana(Meditation) and proceeds to Samadhi, leaving the above first six-folds. He says that nowadays the whole life is not enough to take up all the eight folds in a sequential manner. So according to the changing times and the present life span of the people, he has adjusted the system to suit the present lifestyle.
Sahaj marg system has got its uniqueness. While doing Meditation, Divine energy is drawn from the source and is transmitted into the heart of the aspirant. This process is called Pranahuti transmission through which the aspirant will get automatically the benefit of the leftover six steps of yoga and it enables the aspirant to enter into the 7th step Dhyana(Meditation). A capable Guru (Master) certainly has the power to transmit the spiritual state into the heart of the Abhyasi and remove complexities and obstructions therefrom through his will force. It helps the aspirant to cross the difficult stages of spirituality, which he cannot overcome by his own effort.
He further says that in Meditation the proper method to control the activities of the mind is to fix it on one sacred thought and dispel from it everything unwanted or superfluous. In course of time after constant practice, the mind gets disciplined and regulated and much of the inner disturbance is eliminated. The best course to free from unwanted ideas is to treat them as uninvited guests and remain unmindful of them. They will then wither away like unwatered plants and ultimately the same sacred thought will remain predominant.
By constant practice in Meditation, the mind will become calm and peaceful and the unwanted ideas will cease to trouble the aspirant and further it takes the aspirant beyond the mind to the state before creation. The peace, tranquility and the capacity to undergo the impressions will also develop in the aspirant without praying for them separately. It brings the divine experiences on the way to realisation and at last, it takes the aspirant to his Goal( to merge in the Ultimate). The only way to accomplish it is, therefore, Meditation under the guidance of a Capable Master.
Courtesy: Sri B.E.Sampath Kumar, Sri Ramchandraji Seva Trust, Kadapa.
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