What is meditation? In this article we will see some high level details about what is meditation, some definitions and reference on meditation.
I started my meditation journey at the age of 13 years and learnt Transcendental meditation by one of disciples of Mahirishi mahesh Yogi. Since then my spiritual journey took off to whole new level. I then learnt reiki, sri Sri yoga, Patanjali and Hatha yoga. I would say meditation is a must for every age group and at least 15 min meditation will make our mind calm and peaceful.
Dhyana is a term used for the seventh anga (limb or level) in the eight-step Yoga practice of Sage Patanjali. This state is penultimate to Samadhi or “absorption.” Unfortunately, the word dhyana is usually translated as meditation, implying a state of abiding calm. Let us briefly see what dhyana is. Earlier to practicing dhyana, the relevant steps of Yoga, namely, Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, and Dharana should be practiced. The details of these steps are explained in many books dealing with the aphorisms of Sage Patanjali. Yama is to abstain from violence, falsehood, theft, sensory overactivity, and acquisitiveness. Niyama is practicing purity, contentment, austerity, study of scriptures, and surrendering to a higher principle. The next two steps of asana and pranayama are well known with body postures and breathing facilitating proper gross and subtle fluid flow (blood, lymphatic, chi, and pranic flow) in the body. While practicing asana, concentration on a particular principle (e.g. infinite void) is recommended. While practicing pranayama, one should be in a state of dharana (one pointed attention). Pursuing the above limbs of Yoga, the practitioner realizes the changes in the physical and mental makeup. Pratyahara is stopping the flow of information from outside by turning the mind inward. Dharana is maintaining a single focus in the mind’s eye. Dhyana has many components; it is usually translated as meditation, which does not carry the full import of dhyana. Here, an attempt is made to present the distinction between dhyana and meditation.
Tapas (Sanskrit “sitting in solace and contemplating”) refers to spiritual practices including deep meditation, reasoned self-discipline and effort to achieve self-realization, often involving solitude, hermitism or asceticism;
In the Vedas literature of Hinduism, fusion words based on tapas are widely used to expound several spiritual concepts that develop through heat or inner energy, such as meditation, any process to reach special observations and insights, the spiritual ecstasy of a yoginor tāpasa (a vṛddhi derivative meaning “a practitioner of austerities, an ascetic”), even warmth of sexual intimacy.In certain contexts, the term is also used to mean penance, suffering, austerity, pious activity, as well as misery.The word tapasvinī for example, means a female devotee or pious woman, “an ascetic, someone practicing austerities”, or in some contexts it can mean poor, miserable woman.
Srila Prabhupada, Founder acharya iskcon says
Mahirishi Mahesh Yogi says
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the founder of art of Living founder and is a god sent peace keeper.