What is Meditation? – Whenever we talk of meditation there must be the object of meditation, then only our meditation will be steady. Our mind needs a beautiful and permanent object to meditate otherwise it will slip off. The object of meditation is like a hook to the mind. For example, if you love somebody, your beloved becomes an object of your meditation. You don’t have to force your mind to think of the person you love rather your mind thinks of your beloved incessantly. Only thing is that you have to give your mind the true object of its meditation. In absence of such an object, our meditation will be flickering.
Therefore, meditation on the void or making ourselves thoughtless is not a practical concept. Because to have a thought of becoming thoughtless is itself a thought. By such artificial attempts temporarily one may experience some sort of peace but that will not last long in today’s day and age.
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Meditation in Bhagavad Gita
Lord Krishna in Bhagawad Gita Chapter 6 text 47 affirms
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ
sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ
Translation: And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.
He says of all the meditators one who thinks and meditates on Lord Krishna and who engages all his senses in remembering and serving Lord Krishna with faith and love is best of all meditators and such meditation will be increasingly soothing to the heart. Because all we need is selfless love. Lord Krishna says that the ultimate purpose of meditation is to absorb our consciousness in Him. Therefore Lord Krishna is the ultimate object of our meditation.
Why do we meditate?
According to Bhagavad Gita, we are not this body but we are spirit and soul, part and parcel of Lord Krishna. Just as our body needs food for its sustenance and nourishment, we the eternal soul also need food for our satisfaction and nourishment. However, the needs of the soul proper are different than the need of the body. Since the eternal soul is part and parcel of Krishna it gets nourishment when it is connected to Lord Krishna. This is called union or Yoga.
Just as a spark of the fire remains fiery as long as it is near the source of fire other wise it turns to ashes, similarly, we spiritual beings will be happy and satisfied if we remain in union or in Yoga to our source Lord Krishna. As fish can not be happy out of water whatever comforts you may give to her. We spiritual beings can also not be satisfied in spite of all the luxuries of life unless we are connected to our real object of love Lord Krishna. This is applicable not only to human beings but to all species of life.
How to meditate?
It is stated in Bhagavad Gita and other vedic scriptures, even in the scriptures of other religions of the world that in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, no method of meditation will work save and except meditation on the sound vibration of the Holy name of God, to be specific Lord Krishna. It is advised by Lord Krishna Himself that one should everyday practice reciting His name and focus one’s mind on hearing the sound vibration of the name of Lord Krishna. This process is called Mantra-meditation.
The Sanskrit word mantra means ‘manah trayate iti mantra’ or the divine sound vibration which delivers the mind is called mantra. Although all the names of Lord Krishna are equally powerful still specifically for the current millennium termed as Kaliyuga the following mantra is recommended as the best mantras for meditation:
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
This mantra is called mahamantra or the best of all the mantras.
At the same time, one should fill one’s mind with positive thoughts by daily reading Bhagavad Gita as it is(published by ISKCON). Because whatever input you give to your mind your thoughts will develop accordingly.
This practice of meditation is practical and it will slowly but steadily helps us to attain the ultimate object of our love for which we all are yearning knowingly or unknowingly. All you need is love(Krishna).
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