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Significance of Meditation and Astanga Yoga.

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Meditation is one of the most speculated practices now a days. It's gaining popularity esp. in the far west. Meditation or Dhyana has been introduced by a quite a lot no of spiritual masters like Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita, Zen, Buddha, JK so on.

As rightly told by JK and Buddha, meditation basically is the state of no thought in the sense, there shouldn't be any sort of attachments towards thoughts.

Vipassana has emphasized mindful detachment & non-judgementalism, it's the most fundamental forms of meditation.

Vipassana nullifies thoughts, nullifying thoughts is nullifying Karmas. It is basically an energy conservation method. Our thoughts are a form of energy, each thought has a frequency, intensity and vibration.

Nikola Tesla said:

’To understand the secrets of Universe, analyze everything in terms of energy, frequency and vibration."
"As we transcend spiritually, we realize the importance of raising psychic vibrations and abilities."

Lord Krishna in the 6th chapter Dhyana Yoga of Bhagavad Gita has propounded Asta Angas (8 elements): Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Dhayana, Dharana, Pranayama, Pratyahara and Samadhi.

Credits- Kundalini Awakening & DNA activation

Lord has propounded Bhakti Yoga as the main course for salvation, Ashtanga Yoga is a supplement to Bhakti Yoga. So, all these are present to increase our psychic abilities which plays a very important role in self-realization. As we realize our self (Soul or Atman) it becomes possible to understand Lord or the Divinity within. Ultimately, it enables to attain Moksha or Nirvana.

Let's understand each Anga (element) of Ashtanga Yoga as explained in Bhagavad Gita & Patanjali Yoga Sutras:

1. Yamas: This basically refers to the wisdom acquired through Vedas, Upanishads, and other holy scriptures. Yama isn't just confined to the knowledge of scriptures; it also includes the knowledge of self (Atman). What we read in the scriptures should be experienced & aligned with your core beliefs. This is taken care of by the rest of the elements.

Acharya Madhwa

2. Niyamas: Niyama is referred to as those laws & rituals, compliances of which enables spiritual transcendence. These rituals are subjective to Varnashrama Dharma. Varna doesn't mean caste or creed, as caste or creed are related to birth, while Varna is specific to your soul. There's a detailed explanation given in previous posts, We request you to refer to those posts.

Ashrama- basically refers to the stage of life we live in. There are 4 ashramas; Brahmacharya(Celibacy, that's before marriage.), Grihastha(Life of a married person.), Varanprastha(post retirement stage.) & Sanyasa(Life of an ascetic)

3. Pratyahara: We receive negative energies from air, water, food and through aura interaction of various persons. As a spiritual person interacts with persons with negative energies, or consume air, food and water he grasps them, in turn it adversely affects his spiritual as well as his physical health. This reduces his psychic vibrations and affects psychic abilities. Pratyahara is all about preventing these hazards by consuming hygienic food, water and interacting with spiritually minded people, and discussing spiritual positive stuffs.

[Neem Karoli Maharaj Ji is a great Indian mystic who transformed the lives of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Karoli is the village where our beloved Maharaj Ji got enlightened. Neem Karoli Maharaj Ji strongly propounded Bhakti Yoga.]

4. Pranayama: Pranayama basically include breathing exercises, which purifies polluted air consumed by our lungs and strengthens our respiratory system. Kapalabhati, Bastrikaa some of the prominent pranayamas, a part of Hatha Yoga pranayamas like Kumbhaka, Kundalini Pranayama, so on. Prana basically refers to Life force.

We have made a video on How to practice Kumbhaka pranayama on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe for more inspirational content.

5. Asanas: Asanas refer to those Yogic postures, which strengthen our body and reduces fat and maintains health of the Yogi.

6. Dharana: Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi (the sixth, seventh, and eighth limbs) together are called Sanyam, which translates as “control.” These steps are often studied together, as they are a direct progression of the spirit (Atman). Dharana means focus, as we focus on each Chakras, it channelized the necessary cosmic energy and activates them.

Shat-Chakra Yoga emphasizes more on focus.

"Where focus goes, energy flows. So be conscious of what you focus on."

Dhyana: Dhyana basically refers to Meditation.

Here's the diagrammatic guide to practice Kriya yoga meditation/ Vipassana meditation. Kriya yoga is referred to as Dhyana in Ashtanga Yoga of Chapter 6, Bhagavad Gita. It has innumerable benefits; it burns off karma, regulates emotions, increases the ability to receive Cosmic energy, and most importantly it enables Spiritual Transcendence. Kriya Yoga is also known as Shat-Chakra Yoga (6 Chakras & its regulation.) The key difference between Kriya Yoga & Vipassana is; in Kriya Yoga there's Dharana, which means we focus on our third eye. However, vipassana doesn't advise to focus on one point, instead it advises us to experience in a non-judgmental & mindfully detaches manner.

8. Samadhi: Samadhi is the 7th state of mind, Samadhi is the pinnacle of Yoga Sadhana. It's the state of mind, free of all fears, frustrations, and a state of eternal bliss. Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita explains that in the state of Samadhi, the person will be able to constantly focus on the divinity within as well as outside. He will be able to perfectly perform Bhakti Yoga (We'll be posting an article on Bhakti Yoga soon, stay tuned.) and attain Nirvana or Moksha.

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Samadhi can be classified into 2 types: Samprajnatha samadhi & Asamaprajnata samadhi.

Samprajnatha: This state of mind can be attained through attaining wisdom through studying Vedas, Vedanta and other scriptures. One thing that distinguishes this from Asamaprajnata samadhi is; the person can experience spiritual descendance.

Asamaprajnata samadhi: This state can only be attained through performing penance through rigorous meditation and other Ashtangas. The person could never experience spiritual descendance.

After this there's another state of mind in Samadhi, called Brahma Boothaha. This is an intermediary stage between samadhi and Moksha.

After which the person leaves his life through Sahasra chakra. (Sahasra isn't actually inside our body, it's an energy layer above our head which connects us to the cosmos.)

If you are a starter, Vipassana detoxes and helps in spiritual transcendence. Apart from this, there are advanced forms of meditation like Rudra Kriya Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Chakra Dhyan, Shat-Chakra Yoga, Raja Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Kundalini Meditation so on. To be frank I simply just started with Vipassana, eventually with the grace of my Gurus, I am now able to learn, practice different meditations including the most complicated ones like Yoga Nidra, Rudra Kriya Yoga.

There are certain meditations solely affiliated to Bhakti Yoga. As Bhakti Sadhana (Devotional service) can ultimately assist us in attaining Nirvana.

“No matter what form of meditation you do or what stage of spiritual path you are in, non-judgementalism and mindful detachment are to be followed always. That's why Vipassana is the fundamental form of any Meditation or Dhyana.”

pic credits- PINTEREST


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