MEDITATION AND ITS BENEFITS
Meditation is the self regulating practices which are religiously and consciously undertaken to ensure overall growth besides keeping our mind under tight sheath. Our mind wanders from one thought to another – being restive in nature. Its five senses: sense of vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch allure us and we are unable to concentrate on a single entity. For example, while observing the beauty of serene flow of river water, our mind is allured by other event or thought. We always run after mirages. This way, we neither enjoy and appreciate serenity of water flow nor the other object of attraction. This incessant yearning or lust for some ‘other object of attraction’ continues. This way, we are neither here nor there. Meditation is the path by which we practice to train our senses to be in our control and not let these off the hook.
The word meditation has been derived from Latin word ‘meditatio’ meaning to think, ponder, contemplate, thought etc. Meditation is focusing/reflection on a thought at hand. It is based on twofold philosophy: Firstly, we focus on an activity for ensuring better result from that activity by switching off our mind totally. Here the mind and its senses have no role. The second is total mindfulness; with singing of hymens from religious scriptures and praying or chanting of some mantras or listening to some discourses or participating in religious satsang (religious congregation). Meditation /prayer/contemplation may be for ensuring reduced stress level or to induce relaxation or with higher aims and objectives of connecting with Transdental Brahman. With how much devotion we meditate brings us dividends.
In religious jargon meditation is practiced in order to regulate our mind and its senses in a particular direction. By so doing, we can have stress free, get rid of body ailments like high blood pressure, depression etc besides getting rid of the negativity from our system. It brings in its wake calmness and peace to us. After perfect focusing becomes a daily habit, we can use this in our daily routine engendering equanimity both in good and bad situations. Meditation generates peace and calmness and with these we can achieve anything tangible including our communion with our Creator.
Meditation can be on AUM or any other mantra or any prayer from any scripture suitable for the individual concerned. Meditative practices may differ. It may be chanting of name of Lord, attentively listening to discourses and then adopting the same in our life, attending satsangs (congregations) – a practice followed mindfully. The purpose is to purify oneself for enhancing awareness and also to draw our potential energy. Practical experiences which we get after meditation are the proven records of the benefits that we can get from pointed or focused meditation. Meditation also helps us to know ‘self’ by delving deep into ourselves with contemplative fervor.
Everything starts with us and ends with us. Nothing happens outside our being. This is based on the precept, as you think so shall you be. Example of UNGLIMAR who was transformed into a Bikshu by the sagacious guidance of of Gautam Budha proves that if we rein in our mind and sincerely want to change our outlook on our life, we can achieve ultimate goal. UNGLIMAR left the life of killing and violence and started a life full of compassion and goodwill though he had to put up with hardship initially. It goes to show that will power makes difference and the driver of that change is individual itself. Right attitude coupled with right course of action lead to positivity in our life. Bhakti marg or meditation path helps in streamlining the body and mind thereby attuning yourself to our Lord. It goes to show that Bhakti marg is the righteous path (marg) leading to cleansing of body, mind and soul.
Meditation is the way to merge every cell of our body; mind and soul into the Supreme Soul/Supreme Spirit. It is not a mechanical chanting of some mantras. It is a intensive and persistent self- regulating exercise with which we understand our ‘self’. It is at full bloom when every atom of our being vibrates when we centre our attention at the centre of our forehead (between our two eyebrows) – the origin of intuitive power. Intuition is the art of having inkling of coming events – partially or fully as this power increases. Meditation is the way to infuse confidence in ourselves because it comes about with total concentration and total concentration impacts our memory. Having memory means having all the faculties at our command; empowering ourselves fully to distinguish clearly between what is to be adopted in our life and what to be discarded for living a purposeful but peaceful life. Seemingly, meditation have helped in evolution of human biological development. Vedas are replete with many mantras which influence our life. Maharishi Patanjli Yoga Sutra makes it abundantly clear that Yogic postures can bring about change in all the aspects of a Yogi leading to all round progress in life.
Benefits of meditation:-
1. Inculcates peace with which we can develop reservoir of compassion leading to forgiveness and all the positive traits which are required for our day to day activities. We can ensure contemplative zeal for ensure better job performance.
2. Continuous focus increases the working of our memory leading to all round development of personality.
3. Buddhist philosophy opines that meditation is a step forward in our eternal salvation.
4. Meditation and breathing control ensure cohesion between body, mind and soul.
5. Ensures stress control, relaxation besides bringing about all round improvement in our actions.
6. Being cool with no negative traits, we tend to become less reactive or do not react at all.
7. It ensures inculcation of calmness in emergent situations.
8. Enhances memory due to focused attention to the subject on which we meditate.
9. The calmness and peace generated by following meditation techniques leading also heightened alertness with cool disposition.
10. Meditation brings about positive change in our way of thinking.
11. Meditation leads to our connectivity with our Param Brahman / Transcendental Brahman / Creator.