The Universe, which was non-existent came into existence. The Veda means wisdom. It is called the Vedanta. (The Veda meaning wisdom, anta meaning end) The entire teaching of the Veda can be summed up in a grand sentence, “Tat TvamAsi –तत्त्वम्असि“That Thou Art”, AhamBrahmasmi - अहंब्रह्मास्मि–I am Brahman.”
So, the Veda declared, “I am spirit (soul) living in a body, I am not the body. The body will die but I shall not die as I am the soul spirit.” Body will die, as it is composed of Pancha Bhuta –the five elements namely space, air, fire, water, earth. Soul is the fragmentation of the Divine person, Lord Vishnu who was in existence before the Creation of Universe. Lord Krishna in the Gita said that, “Soul- the sword cannot pierce Him, the fire cannot burn Him, the water cannot melt Him, the air cannot dry Him.”
Soul is divine, pure, perfect, immortal and infinite. Every soul is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, but the centre is located in the body. On death, the centre changes to another body. The present is determined by past actions and the future is to be determined by the present.
The Supreme lies within. God is the consciousness within.The Self enlivens the mind and intellect from experience to experience. God exists both as a manifest and unmanifest. The whole world emerges from God (Brahman). It merges in Brahman (God). Om is the most powerful ultimate knowledge of Brahman (God). Before existence of the Universe there was voice Om. Om is the bow, the Self – the arrow; Brahman (God) is target. Om stands for Brahman, the Supreme Reality. The arrow is mind. Target is Brahman. Om stands for pure consciousness. The human’s mission is to discover the Supreme “Self”. Brahman is everywhere, all pervading. He alone exists. Brahman is the primeval source of activity. That which enlivens actions and perceptions, emotions and thoughts. It enlivens the mind and intellect.
Meditation is the art of focusing the mind on the thought of the Supreme to exclusion of all other thoughts. One has to merge with Brahman (God). Like a river merging with the ocean our goal is to realise Him and become one with Him. A human being is born with desires. His mission is to exhaust the desires. Realise the Self within. Attain enlightenment. Self is attained by mediation followed by practice of renunciation and burning desires. Thus, purify the mind. Attain enlightenment. Attain immortality. Brahman can be attained only by direct perceptionby the pure in heart. Meditation helps in perception. The person comes in direct harmony with himself and the cosmic Universe. Brahman is said to be present in the hearts of all, but He is subtler than the subtlest.
In the Gita Lord Krishna said, “I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings –ahamatmagudakesasarva-bhutasaya-sthitah-ahamadiscamadhyamca-bhutanam anta evaca–अहंआत्मागुडाकेशसर्वभुताशयस्थितः/ अहंआदिश्चमाध्यम्चभूतानांअंतऐवच//”
He prescribed the Niskamakarmayoga (selfless action) with the equanimity of mind. The mind alone is one’s friend as well as one’s enemy. By regular practice of meditation conquer the mind. Attach mind to God. Fix the thoughts on Krishna glories. As one can see the reflection of the man in a lake when water is still, one can realise Atman (Self) and God when the mind becomes tranquil. Meditation is the Science of God. Realized/ enlightened souls had prescribed various prescriptions for meditation. Lord Krishna Himself had advised the practice of meditation to His devotee Arjuna as below:
1. To sit in solitude and alone. Have the mind of a Yogi(Practitioner) and senses under control, free from desires and attachments to possessions; try constantly to contem-plate on the Supreme Being, beloved deity, Lotus flower, Om, light in the centre of two eyebrows. Seat should neither be too high not too low. Cover the seat with Kusa grass and a cleaned cloth.
2. Sit in a comfortable position. Inhale and exhale. Breathing exercises two to five times. Sing song of love of soul for God. Chant Om. Deep short meditation is better. Concentrate the mind onsingle object controlling the thoughts and activities of the senses. Self-control is necessary for self-purification. In the beginning, focus on a particular part of deity such as the feet or face forgetting everything. Contemplate on a single object.
3. Hold the waist, spine, neck and head erect, motionless, steady, fix the eyes and the mind steadily on the tip (or front) of the nose. Don’t look around.
4. Be serene and fearless, with firm vow practise celibacy. Have the mind under control. Think of God i.e Deity of one’s choice. Fix the goal to reach Supreme God i.e. realize God, i.e., Deity of one’s choice - Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Ma Kali. Concentrate on the glory and the virtues of Lord. Devote himself to God. Shuteyes to worldly affairs.
5. Constantly apply his mind on God. Thus mind is subdued one attains everlasting peace consisting of supreme bliss which abides in God.
6. Be moderate in eating, recreation, working, sleeping, walking and every aspect of life. Neither overeat nor excessively too fast, neither to sleep too much nor to be sleepless.Be moderate in all activities. Meditation destroys all sorrows. Mind is thus disciplined. One becomes content in Parama Brahman (God) who is holding God with a purified intellect. He thus becomes free from the feeling of “I and My.” He sees that Atman is present in all beings as fire is present in all woods / stones. He brings the wandering mind gently to the contemplation of the SupremeBeing. He sees God in everything and everything in God (Lord Krishna).
7. A lamp in a windless place does not flicker. Whenever the fickle and unsteady mind wanders, one should subdue it then and there and bring back to the reflection of Lord Krishna, the Supreme personality of Godhead. The kind of concentration on God will make him one with Brahma and he will attain bliss
8. Anugraha (grace) of the Lord is essential to make this effort for meditation a success.
9. God’s graceis limitless. He showers His grace on His lover (devotee) both in favourable and unfavourable circumstances. It is for the lover to perceive the grace of all Lord in all conditions of life. For this pursue the path of devotion / love. Arjuna, lover of Lord Krishna hadwitnessed the cosmic Form of Lord Krishna. It is through love, not by rituals and or austerities or knowledge; one can get grace of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna Himself said, “Thy knowledge man.” I value not, it is your love I fear. It is your love that shakes my throne, bring me to human tears. Love makes Him take human form, play and live with you. Vrinda’s girl had not any knowledge, but they loved Lord Krishna and got Him.
10.All actions whether spiritual or mundane (worldly) should be done with absolute devotion to God. A devotee sees himself as well as others as a manifestation of the Lord. Then, all malice is removed. Behold the Lord everywhere and everyone.
There are other methods of meditation. Saints and enlightened souls of Hinduism have prescribed different methods, but basics remain the same. Maharishi Patanjali prescribed pre eight steps for meditation:
1.Yama, or moral conduct; 2. Niyama, or spiritual practices; 3. Right postures; 4. Pranayama or Yogi breathing –inhalation and exhalation; 5. Pratyahara – sense withdrawal; 6. Concentration –Dharana; 7. Dhyana or meditation; 8. Self-consciousness still state of mind; and 9. Samadhi –super consciousness of mind (not to be in conscious or sub conscious)
There are seven chakras –the energy centres in our body. They are named: Mooladhar (the root base of Spine), Svadhishthana (the Sacred Prostatic), Manipura (the Solar Plexus -Naval), Anahata (the Heart), Visshuddha (the throat chakra), Ajna (the Third Eye) and Sahasrara Padma (the Crown Chakra).
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in Autobiography of a Yogi, Yogada Satsanga Society of India and Self Realisation of Fellowship had made popular “Kriya-Yoga”, ancient Yogi Meditation worldwide taught by Swami Yuketewar, his Guru Lahari Mahasya and his guru Mahaavtar Babaji.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa was talked to Mother Kali. He fed Mother Kali. He had advised meditation.
Benefit of meditation –free the soulfrom the bondage of the mundane world, help to heal, remove the misunderstanding, achieve success, gains from positive thinking, reduce stress, develop intuition, get rid of addiction and other multiple desires, happiness, humbleness, better control of emotions and physical well-being.
To conclude, just think of Om –Aum the first vowel sound before the creation of this Universe. Chant mentally while working one will have calmness of the body and the mind.
Sing and listen to the songs of love ofGod.
Can chant internally:
ShShivoham -शिवोऽहम्Aham–अहंBrahmasmi-ब्रह्मास्मिor name of any Deity to keep the mind and heart cool. Engage in service, japa and alsostudy.
Even Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Hanumana meditate