Meditation can be explained as psychological process by which mind is trained to concentrate on an object. The quality of concentration is more important than the object of concentration. Meditation is a unique form of consciousness and is not merely degrees of state of relaxation. Meditation has more to do with awareness or consciousness as it often called, than with mind relaxation. It is not merely a spiritual process, but is the logical culmination of human birth. No one can commence meditation without acquiring adequate knowledge and expertise. An object for meditation is a basic necessity in the initial stages, though in the later stages when one could develop the higher form of consciousness, the object can be dispensed with. When the knowledge becomes more profound, the level of consciousness increases. Attainment of knowledge gets reflected not only in one’s mental perception, but also in one’s actions. Ultimately the level of consciousness alone that matters as the highest form of consciousness is God Himself. Meditation is a process by which mundane level of consciousness that exists in our day to day life is processed by energy waves generated through meditation. A typical example can be drawn to fire made out of logs. The quality of the flame depends upon the kind of log that is used to conflagrate the fire. If logs are dry, it gives rise to soot-less flame. If logs are wet, the fire produces soot. In both the cases, only logs are used to produce flame and the resultant fire is also the same, but the quality of fire is different. An ignorant man considers both as fire, but a man with knowledge is able to discriminate between two types of fire based on the quality of the flame. In the same way the result of meditation depends upon the quality of meditator. Quality of the meditator depends upon one’s ability to pull all the actions of the mind to focus on an object.
In this series “UNDERSTANDING MEDITATION” the process of meditation will be discussed comprehensively. The discussion will be divided into three broad categories – theory, practice and result. More than the practice, knowledge about meditation and understanding its intricacies and manoeuvring it is of utmost importance than the practice. Practice without knowledge leads nowhere. Meditation has nothing to do with renunciation. Meditation is not a process of compromising one’s individual identity, but is a process of redefining one’s identity. Meditation process unfolds in the domain of mind. Mind is a powerful insidious tool of mankind that is the cause for either pleasure or pain or both. Through the process of meditation it is not possible to blackout or still the mind. One cannot effectively survive without a fully functional mind. If mind ceases to function one becomes insane. An effective meditation honestly makes repeated attempts to refine the mind from its mundane function. A fully refined mind becomes the Creator. This refinement does not happen immediately. It is a gradual process that depends upon one’s ceaseless practice and allegiance. During the process of effective meditation one’s ignorance is removed, illusion destroyed and Ultimate Reality is understood. Ultimate Reality is nothing but the conscious union of meditator and the object of meditation, through the process of meditation. Meditation is the only way to realize the Reality, by gradual processing and seasoning of the mind.
This is what Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita VI.35. “The mind is no doubt restless and difficult to curb. But it can be brought under control by repeated practice.” In the next verse He says “Yoga is difficult of achievement for one whose mind is not subdued by him. However if one has the mind under his control and is ceaselessly striving, it can be easily attained through practice. Such is My conviction.” There are two factors at this point of time that are extremely important to make a beginning. One is the knowledge about meditation and its process. The second one is perseverance and faith. As far as this series is concerned, it will first make an honest attempt to elucidate the theoretical aspect of meditation, which is called knowledge, an absolute necessity to make a coherent beginning. This will be followed by practical aspects and finally the analysis of the resultant bliss.