Practice and goals:
Millions of people in the world preach meditation but most of them are simply trying to get relief from daily stress. Meditation does, in fact, relieve stress but its purpose goes far beyond that.
If we look at the ancient traditions, meditation’s ultimate purpose was realizing the truth about the self, universe, and God.
3 Kinds of spiritual meditators:
- Voidists- They teach through meditation that we can understand that ultimately there is no self universe or God. As long as we perceive the existence of a self, we suffer. The goal of meditation is to come to a state of nothingness called ‘nirvana’, in which dissolution of self occurs. But the concept of self and universe having no cause is illogical. A nothing that gives rise to something that is not nothing.
- Impersonalists – Through meditation, they try to understand that individual Spiritual existence is an illusion, in the state of enlightenment individual self merges into the existence of this Impersonal effulgence and thus becomes God. But this position also has an illogical aspect. If we are all God then how did we get into the mess in which we now are?
- Personalists – They see the self as the eternal lover of an eternally existing Supreme being who possesses all attractive personal features and qualities. The goal of the personalist meditator is to make all thoughts other than thoughts of God zero.
Yoga and meditation
The goal of Yoga is to quiet all the urges and impulses of the body so that the mind could be steady. When the mind is steady, one can perceive one’s identity beyond the body. In the state of Yoga, one’s Consciousness being still like a pond can still go through strenuous activities.
For example, just as we may think of a loved one while working, the key to active meditational Yoga is to act for the Supreme while meditating on the Supreme
Meditation on Transcendental Sound
There are several ways to meditate on the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the most powerful method is mantra meditation. A mantra is a transcendental sound vibration composed of the names of God. The name of God is not different from God. It contains all the spiritual energies of God. According to the Vedic philosophy, the energy of God is called Shakti. This Shakti exists in three main forms. Sandhini Shakti is the energy of existence. The energy of existence can situate us in a state beyond birth and death. In this state, there is no longer any fear of nonexistence or death or disease. Then there is the Samvit Shakti , the energy of knowledge. When we are in contact with this energy, we know all that we need to know. We feel no lack of knowledge, we feel no influence of ignorance. Whatever we need to know is automatically revealed to us. Then finally there is the Hladini Shakti, the energy of pleasure. Krishna, God , is the reservoir of all pleasure and we are also By nature meant to experience ever-increasing spiritual pleasure. Contact with the hladini Shakti allows us to do this. By meditating on the proper mantras, we get the benefits of the sandhini, samvit and hladini Shakti. We experience God and we experience ourselves as Sat Cit Ananda vigraha, perform full of eternality, knowledge, and pleasure and of the same substance as God but we remain different in quantity. God is like the fire of spiritual potency and we are like sparks of that same potency. In the present time, the recommended mantra is the Hare Krishna Mahamantra that is Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare . Hare refers to the pleasure energy of God. Rama refers to the spiritual strength of God. Krishna is the name of God that means all attractive. Other names of God exist in other languages and these names may also be meditated upon according to one’s preferences.
Waking up to new realities through meditation
Meditation on the transcendental sound vibration can wake us up to new levels of reality. According to the Vedic teachings are original nature is as spiritual beings, in the company of God on the spiritual level of reality. If we depart from that original condition, we are placed into an artificial world of material sense impressions, amounting to a virtual reality system. We get some sense of this when we go to a movie theatre. We go from the world of our real-life to a movie theatre where some images are projected onto a screen. At the film director and actors have done a good job, we give up our identification with our real selves can identify with the characters on the screen. We enter into this cinematic virtual reality system. Show the world of our ordinary experience is something like that. We have forgotten our real selves and we have identified with a false self that is projected on the screen of our consciousness. It is as if we were sleeping and dreaming. But to remind us of our real condition, God injects real spiritual sense objects into our virtual reality. If we meditate upon these spiritual sense objects, then our consciousness is transformed. We wake up to our original spiritual self-concept and are the original concepts of reality.
Love of God, The Highest Ecstasy
When we enter the awakened state of spiritual reality, we find ourselves in the presence of God. Each soul has it’s a unique loving relationship, but the relationship exists in five basic varieties, called rasas, or flavors. One is the flavor of passive adoration. Another is servitorship. Another is friendship. Another is a conjugal relationship between the lover and the beloved. And because every soul is part of God, when we establish our loving relationship with God we also become fixed in loving relationships with all others with whom we come into contact.