Meditation and Sadhana-1
When a human fumbles for some meaning, he/she hunts for it. The meaning or the answer is generally generated after a question which can either be materialistic or spiritual in nature. The world has witnessed the wonders that human intelligence can do as it has managed to fly despite having no wings, have solved complex mysteries of the Earth and have reached the other planets too, but sadly, majority of us have not reached our own selves. It’s the same intelligence that caters a human being and on basis of one’s inclination, someone becomes Gautam Buddha and the other becomes Albert Einstein or someone becomes Meerabai and the other becomes Marie Curie. Truth be told, we need to give attention to both materialistic as well as spiritual aspects of our lives and by doing so, we will feel fulfilled.
The material aspect is important for the human survival and the spiritual aspect is important for human life. Human beings are not merely mechanical and robotic bodies that eat, work and sleep but their consciousness, emotions, thoughts, feelings etc. make up their complex system too. A civilization that ignores the aspect of ‘spirituality’ will no doubt grow leaps and bounds materially, will have the best of technology and bombs but its citizen will still be sad, panicked, anxious, lonely, depressive and in extreme cases suicidal as well and this is the truth of today’s world where grief has penetrated into every system out there. Shutting down the human urge to explore the self through any type of conditioning and pinning oneself to mere materialistic endeavors is an assault to the soul. Science has no proof of what the soul is yet, but one cannot deny its existence either. Had the soul and consciousness not been here, the human civilization would not have ever witnessed Sage Vishwamitra, Gargi Vachaknavi, Gautam Buddha, Jesus Christ, Prophet Muhammad, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Prabhupada, Osho, Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Sharda Maa, only to name a few; and all of them spoke about the soul and the infinite consciousness.
The Eastern philosophy and spirituality is about exploring the self, be it through Sadhana or meditation as both focus on going inward. A devotee of ISCKON order once said that Sanatan Dharma ‘is not a religion of a single book, but a religion of a whole library’. Perfectly so, as the innumerable books that we have is simply overwhelming! And to decode them is one humongous task! Such a ‘way of life’ which does not follow a single book, a single God, a single prayer ritual and a single philosophy might seem chaotic and deeply divided to a mere onlooker but isn’t that view conditioned too? To such assumptions, certain questions pop up in the mind-
· Is it important to have only one form of Divine?
· Is it mandatory to have many Gods?
· Where are the Goddesses from our books?
· Can’t the Divine take as many forms as The Divine desires?
· Who are we to assign a form or formlessness to the Divine?
· Are only humans Divine?
Well, these points are quite debatable and answers will vary from person to person. When one ponders over these questions, one does a self-speculation whether one is conditioned or isn’t and whether one’s situation truly gives someone the freedom of choice or it doesn’t. Deep contemplation on certain topics without allowing oneself to deviate from the topic is a type of meditation as well and it is called, contemplative meditation. Meditation can be done in various ways too. And in the case of Sadhana or nitya-puja or prayer, from the point of view of Sanatana Dharma, the deity carries in itself certain divine qualities like infinite love, unending forgiveness etc. and hence has many forms, many meanings, and various energies. Thus, doing Sadhana with reverence towards a certain form of Divine is a meditative and energizing activity and often, certain earthly materials are used as well.
More will be written on the topic in upcoming posts depending on what my thought-process pours out.
P.S.- While writing this down, it downed on me that how lucky I am to belong to a nation that gives me a freedom of thought and expression. It gives me a freedom to practice my religion and all this is my Fundamental Right here. All these are my personal thoughts. By no means do I intent to hurt anyone and if some fanatic still finds my post provocative, he/she can choose to re-read it till he/she gets it right.
Stay safe, thank you.