Many people are either ignorant of meditation or have wrong notions about it. Many imposters have taken advantage of the ignorance of people to exploit them. On the name of meditation, many ugly things have taken place, therefore fear is normal. But sincere seekers do not rest content with speculations, they would like to know the truth. Though meditation has already been discussed in previous issues of the ‘Know Thyself’ magazine, this one gives a glimpse of this divine science.

Meditation is the door to the Kingdom of Heaven and is reached by cleansing the mind of the impurities of past impressions, which form the unconscious layers of the mind. These are the barrier between the conscious and the supra-conscious or Supreme Consciousness which is another word for God-consciousness in man. All religious practice is meant to lead one to attain God-consciousness, Kingdom of Heaven, Moksha or God-union. Hence, meditation is experiencing the state of super-consciousness. One cannot simply jump to the final step, instead the first steps have to be trod carefully under the guidance of an enlightened master.

The steps on this path are firstly concentration, followed by silence, then contemplation, meditation and finally samadhi. These steps are taken by those souls in whom the thirst for Truth is kindled. The soul has passed through many births and acquired innumerable experiences. Every human being represents the mind or the soul at a certain stage on the ladder of evolution. Before the initial steps are taken or before the thirst for God-realization is aroused, the mind wanders from womb to womb, unconsciously seeking its origin which is infinite ineffable peace and bliss.

Prayer too is a step towards the Lord, but in prayer the devotee is separate from the Lord who is regarded as a mysterious entity who consumes prayer, punishes the wicked and blesses the good ones. Worship, too, is a step on the path of evolution of the soul. Worship is a state where the devotee becomes more intimate to God; he feels mysteriously in love with the Divine and not only asks for favours but also praises Him and may have a faint glimpse of His glory at times. At this stage, the devotee does not know whether it is possible to taste ultimate union with the Supreme Beloved.

It may take lives to ascend to these steps. Of course, the path to the ultimate union cannot be easy; even ordinary love affairs are always filled with ups and downs. The obstacles may come in any form. Attraction towards the illusory pleasures of the world and other delusions, which may appear good, can put an end to spiritual evolution. There is a very wrong notion these days in the mind of devotees at a certain level of religious evolution. They believe that only by serving people they can achieve Moksha or the ultimate spiritual realization. They call this seva or service to God as service to man is service to God.

Meditation is inaction and only that can bring enlightenment or God-union. Inaction here does not mean that we shall stop doing all actions; instead the inner functions or the thought process must stop and one must become a master of one’s mind. Action brings reaction and the reactions to all actions performed cannot be reaped in one lifetime. In this way, the soul is caught in the net of birth and death. Good action brings joy on earth and the pleasures of heaven while bad action brings the nightmares of hell and suffering on earth.

Seva or service to mankind may bring one closer to the initial step that leads to God, but does not lead to God Itself. It has to be understood that action performed with a selfish motive cannot bring the above-mentioned result. In other words, one will have to relinquish the fruit of one’s action as explained in the Bhagavad Gita. “To do action one has the right,” Shri Krishna says, “but not to expect the fruit thereof.”

When the ego or the I-sense is present, reaction is bound to return to the doer. The ego sense, which is not the true self, dies only through knowledge of the real self which is secured by the blessing in the form of spiritual guidance of a bona fide spiritual master or guru, as known in the East. Therefore, if one gets stuck with the idea that only service opens the gate leading to God, it is a gross delusion.

Action in the form of service is only one form of austerity or tapasya, the highest forms being the kindling of the fire of concentration from which flourishes the flower of silence of the mind, appreciation of and marvelling at the divine splendour which is called contemplation, and finally meditation. The apex of meditation is reached by the grace of the Lord and the name given to it is Samadhi. It is the ultimate mergence or the real union of the devotee to his Lord, the individual soul to the Supreme Soul, the drop to the ocean.

Author's Bio: 

Swami Paramananda is an enlightened being, an accomplished meditation master, a living buddha who has experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Nirvana, which is the peak of spiritual attainment. He is the spiritual master or guru to an increasing number of seekers and disciples, guiding them towards the ultimate possibility of human life. He is also a prolific writer and has authored 24 books during the past 15 years. To know more about him visit his website :