What is Yoga Meditation?

What is Yoga Meditation?

युज्जते मन उत युज्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य ब्रीहतो विपश्चितः।
वि होत्रा दधे वयुनाविदेक् इन्मही देवस्य सवितुः परिष्टुतिः।।RigVeda-5.81.1

Meaning : Those desirous of bliss join their soulincluding the mind, and intellect with the Supreme, so that the mind becomes tranquil and the person becomes blissful and enlightened with spiritual knowledge directly from God, the Source of all true knowledge.
Note : This conscious joining of the soul with Supreme nsciousness i.e. God, is true upaasana or yoga or meditation.

युञ्जानः प्रथमं मनस्तत्तवाय सविता धियः।
अग्नेज्योर्तिर्निचाsय पृथिव्या अध्याभरत।। YV-11.1
Meaning : Yogi (by meditating) who strive to realize the reality of Divine Existence and His knowledge. Self- effulgent and All illuminating God installs his (yogi’s) intellect in Him. This is the characteristics of a real yogi Yoga simply means union. Therefore, the union of soul and God is yoga. In other words realization of God by the soul is yoga or union. Union is possible only by yog meditation. Although the main purpose of meditation is to connect with God, there are many other benefits as one makes progress in this direction. For this union, a lot of preparation is required. In this regard the sage Patanjali has described eight limbs in this journey, based on the Vedas.

The eight limbs of Yoga
1. MORALS / YAMAS-Yamas consists of five commandments :
a. Non-killing/non_hurting (ahinsa)
●Not hurting or killing any living beings for food or entertainment.
●Considering allliving beings as friends.
●Exceptions are made in self-defense.

b.Truthfulness (satya)
●Knowing the truth.
●Speaking the truth.
●Following and speaking what you know.
●Exceptions can be made, if truth will cause extreme harm to someone.

c.Abstinence from stealing (astaeya)
●Not taking anything of others without their permission.
●Not even to think of taking that belongs to others.
●Earning by honest means.

d.Continence (brahmcharya)
●Study for 25 years.
●Observe celibacy and complete control during studies.
●Get married at an appropriate age and being faithful.
●After thorough studies, educating others.
●Always have discipline and control.

e.Non-covetousness (aparigrah)
●Not hoarding of things.
●Sharing with the needy.
●Keeping only what is needed.
●Avoiding arrogance.
●Giving excess to charity.

2. OBSERVANCE/NIYAMA — which consists of five commandments:
a.Cleanliness (shauch)
● External body hygiene.
●Purity of thoughts, speech and actions.

b. Contentment (Santosh)
●Being content.
●Not chasing worldly pleasures.
●Limiting desires.
●Simple and natural life style.

c.Austerity (tapa)
●Facing difficult situations.
●Attaining satvik (good) qualities.
●Being active and hard working.
●Not being a slave to comforts andluxuries.
●Enduring highs and lows, hot and cold, profit and loss.

d.Self-study (svaadhya) ●Regular study of authentic spiritual literature
● Regularly listening to the intellectual discourses.
●Analyzing what is read or heard and examining it for truth.
●Accepting and adopting these things in life, if found truthful.

e.Contemplation of God (ishwar pranidhan)
●Complete devotion of mind and soul to God.
●Having God .in your thoughts.
●Believing in God alone, who is worthy of adoration, worship and meditation; non else.
●Getting lost in Him.

The above yamas and niyamas are very important for yoga meditation as well as in life. These are the character_builders.Following these one becomes a real human being can achieve union with God.

3.POSTURE/ASANA — The ability to sit comfortably for a longer period is asana.

4. DEEP-BREATHING/PRANAYAMA Pranayama is a special method of breath-control by which the life-force is brought under control and made regular. This is achieved by controlling the incoming and outgoing breaths. There are four methods of doing this:
● Expiratory/Baahya – breathing all the way out then holding as long as one comfortably can.
● Inspiratory /Aabhyantra – breathing all the way in, then holding for a while.
●Cessation/Stambhvritti – stopping the normal breathing, then holding as long as one comfortably can.
●Expirator-Inspiratory-Ce ssation/Baahya- aabhyantra-akshepee – Controlling breath against its flow.
Breath is called Prana. Prana is the most important element for life. Without breath, one cannot live even for few minutes. Prana controls the mind. Therefore, controlling breath helps to control the mind. As a result of controlling prana the mind becomes still and meditative state is achieved.

5.ABSTRACTION/PRATYAAHAAR – Abstraction is when the mind is brought under control and it does not move or distract from the contemplation of God. Just as when one is deeply concentrated on studies and does not get distracted, similarly when one is meditating and deeply concentrated on God, nothing can distract him.

6.CONCENTRATION/DHAARNA- When the mind is totally fixed on an idea or a point and does not flicker, this is dhaarna. The focus should be on the attributes of God as Blissful, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Just etc. Study of the Vedas heIps in this focus. Repeating God’s name ‘Om’ helps concentration.

7.MEDITATION/DHYAAN Meditation is uniform and unbroken flow. During dhyaan one even forgets the surroundings and oneself. The mind becomes tranquil and one enjoys divine bliss.

8.ABSORPTION/SAMAADHI or Self-Realization – Meditation in which one become one with God is called absorption (Samadhi). This is the real objective of Yoga meditation. This is the crowning glory of achievement. When one attains Samaadhi, one enjoys Supreme bIiss and no more suffering.

How to Meditate
Freshen up with water. Go to a clean, neat, pIeasant and secluded place. Take a comfortable seat, keeping the body erect and the head straight. Practice pranayama. Remove impurities of mind, become self-composed and calm.

Empty your mind of all thoughts. Close your ey s softly, fix the attention to one focus point-on the navel region, the heart, the tip of nose, the tip of tongue, the area between eye brows or the spine. Repeat the word Om (Aum) first vocally, then in the mind, and get absorbed in God. When the mind wanders, fix the mind and soul on God again and again – repeat Om in the mind and feel All-pervading, All- blissful God within you and around you. Periods of enjoyment and bliss will go on increasing with the practice. That state of mind will positively affect your attitude, behavior, dealings and work.

One advances towards Moksha by gaining the true Vedic knowledge and doing the righteous deeds, accompanied by sincere meditation. The feeling is described as:

“No tongue can describe that bliss which flows in communion with the Supreme Spirit, into the soul of that man, whose impurities are washed off by the practice of Yoga, whose mind being abstracted from the outside world is centered in the Supreme Being, because that happiness is felt by the human soul in its inner self alone.” Upanishad.

Early in the morning, when there is no hustle and bustle, is the best time for meditation.

As a pre-requisite for Yoga, one needs to eat right type of food-food that will keep the mind clear, clean and calm. Meat, fish, eggs, tobacco, liquor and all other intoxicants take away peace of mind. Therefore, they need to be avoided. The stomach should not be overfilled.

The mind should be free from arrogance, jealousy and hatred. One needs to have faith in the existence of God, His qualities, powers and works and a strong desire to meet Him.

Bow and Arrow
As mentioned the purpose of real meditation is union of God and soul. This union is depicted in the picture above. In this image, the target is God, the arrow is soul and the bow syllable Om is used to shoot the arrow. In other words, by controlling the intellect and mind, one may enter the soul into God by repeating Om, so that the mind does not wander. Keep God and His attributes of blissful, Just, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent etc. in the forefront.
Om Name for God. This name is most important for yoga meditation. Know the following attributes of God. Then, just contemplate on Om for meditation.
Aum word is made of the combination of ‘a’,’u’, and ‘m’
‘a’ means creator of the universe.
‘u’ means sustainer of the universe.
‘m’ means annihilator of the universe.
The word ‘aum’ has in itself all the chief qualities of God. For articulation of Aum, first the lips open (representing beginning of creation), then lips stay open (representing continuance of creation), then lips close (representing annihilation of creation).

God Exists – God who created the Universe, sun, moon, earth, stars exist.

Living and Intelligent-God is living and very intelligent entity. Intellectual and wonderful creation proves His intelligence.
Blissful-God is always in the state of ecstasy. He is never happy or sad.
Formless-God has no form or shape. He cannot be seen with eyes. He can be only felt in the soul.
Omnipotent-He is Almighty. He is All powerful. He does all His works by Himself e.g. running this universe. He does not need anybody’s help and nobody can help Him.
Just-God is Just. He does the justice only. He does not favor or disfavor anyone. His justice is – as you sow, so shall you reap.
Kind-God is kind. He has given so many delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains for humans to enjoy. Note-He does not pardon anyone for their bad deeds.
Unborn – God never takes birth. There is no incarnation, prophet or only son of God.
Infinite – God is not limited to one area. He is limitless.
Flawless – God is perfect. He does not make mistakes. He does everything perfectly. Wrong things in the world are because of human’s wrong doings.
Unequaled – God is the Supreme.
Sustainer – God sustains the Universe. Because of Him natural phenomena continues.
Nurturer – God nurtures all living beings, by providing, food, air, water, sun etc.
Omnipresent – God exists in everything and everywhere. There is not a place where He does not exist.
Omniscient – Since God is everywhere and in everything, He knows everything. He knows what is in our mind and everything else.
Un-aging – God does not get young or old, He stays the same in all ages.
Immortal – God does not ever dies.
Fearless – God does not fear anybody.
Eternal – There is no beginning or end of God. He is Eternal. He is always there.
Pure – God is divine and pure.
Creator of the universe – God is the creator of the

He alone is worthy of worship. His principle name is OM.

Gaitri Mantra
One of the most prominent of mantras of the Vedas is the Gaitri Mantra. This mantra is highly recommended by the sages. They say that if someone studies nothing else in the Vedas but contemplates only on the Gaitri Mantra, it is sufficient to take one to the next level of evolution. The Gaitri Mantra is frequently used for Yoga meditation. The Gaitri mantra is:

ओ३म् भूर्भुवः स्वः ।तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो धीमहि।
धीयो यो नः प्रचोदयात्।।Rigveda-3. 62.10,Yajurveda-36.3

Om bhur bhuvah svah, tat-savitur-vrenyam bhargo devasya dheemahi, dhiyo yo nah pracho-dayaata. Rigveda 3.62.10, Yajurveda 36.3

O Supreme Father! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sufferings,
The Bestower of happiness.
Thou Art Creator of the Universe and most adorable,
We meditate upon thee, O most pure and divine.
Thou may guide our intellect on the righteous path.

Word meaning of the mantra :
Om — Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Just, Kind, Blissful Father Bhur – Giver of life,
Bhuvah – Remover of pain and sufferings,
Subah – Bestower of happiness.
Tat – God
Savitur – The Creator of the Universe
Varenayam – is alone worthy of adoration.
Bhargo – O pure and intelligent,
Devasya – Supreme Being,
Dhimahi – we meditate upon you.
Dhiyo – intellect, we may be able to tell riSht from wrong and follow the righteous Yo Nah PrachodayAt path; (4)
Yo- You
Nah – our
Prachin yah At – May guide

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