Monday, April 1, 2013

Vedanta Meditation Practice, And Ashrams Where You Can Convince Yourself

I have used the word ‘convince’ because I don’t want to put the word ‘learn’ because there is nothing to learn in meditation. It’s a wonderful paradox when every spiritual aspirant feels or thinks that he/she is learning meditation but in reality there is nothing to learn. In all practices, he/she is just allowing himself/herself to CONVINCE of an energy hidden in his/her own being that he/she could reach it. 

Then why we need practice or to say learning? Knowledge is principally not a product of concentration and meditation, which are only means of purification. In the mirror of the pure mind, awareness of various energies that are not perceived by average men is perceived. Thus, the seeker of non-ordinary realities or according to Vedanta seer of Self-Knowledge must be established in the practice of the fourfold discipline, by which her or she becomes fit for the practice of meditation:

Meditating sadhu in Varanasi
1.    Discrimination – Discrimination between real and unreal results a firm conviction that nothingness, emptiness, or Brahman in Advaitya School is the only reality and rest is delusion. Many people terms Maya as an illusion but Maya is not illusion, it is a statement of fact. It is real and unreal at the same time.

2.    Dispassion – A strong desire to give up all desires! The greatest of all desire to leave all desires because from desires stem up the sadness. Dispassion gives a crying halt to our daily lives and forces us to see the reality behind all our temporary madness.

3.    Mastery over six virtues – Our six virtues are a) control the mind, b)control the sense, c)withdrawal of mind from sense objects d) fortitude and f) concentration of mind on Brahman.

4.    Intense longing for liberation – Freedom is the goal of every being. From minute organism to man, all of use try our best to liberate. The difference is, many people are unconscious and living life the way the whole world shows it them, and some rare people are conscious and try to find the reality behind this apparent world of death and life.

A sadhu meditating in Ganges, Nasik

Mediation according to Vedanta, is a form of intense contemplation within. It’s a steady flow of thoughts to one focus approved by the sacred texts of Upanishads, which can generate a stream of similar thoughts, relevant to a theme, while shutting down all other thoughts of a contrary nature. The ultimate goal, as it said, is to realize own Self. With continuous meditation one can start unfolding many aspects of life that are otherwise unreal to them. 

Sri Anandamoyee ma in her ecstatic state
It’s a natural tendency of people to find utility behind everything. So, while researching on meditation I find references in the Internet which says how meditation benefits you. Meditation is not for ‘benefits’, it takes you beyond the average realm of benefits and loss, and transcendent to some emptiness, which is queerly very full. There is no room for gloom, and every desire is pretty much controlled. You attach while detach, and detach while attach!

Level of Intensity in Meditation

There are various levels of intensity in meditation. The goal is of course in Vedanta to reach a Samadhi stage when a subject and object becomes one. There are two types of Samadhi:

In the savikalpa Samadhi, the mental state (vritti) takes the form of Brahman and rests on It but at the same time retains the distinctions of knower, knowledge, and object of knowledge. The aspirant may still be aware of the relative, though he clearly sees it to be permeated by the Absolute.

Sri Yukestswar Giri Yogi

In the nirvikalpa Samadhi, absorption bereft of I-consciousness, the mind totally merges in Brahman, becomes one with It, and loses all distinction of knower, knowledge, and object of knowledge.

Some Good Ashrams in India Teaching Meditation

Sivananda Ashram – Situated in Rishikesh, the lecture and daily meditation are open to everyone (10am and 5pm) but to enroll in classes (3 month course), you need to qualify. Contact Sivananda Ashram, Divine Life Society, P. O. Sivanandanagar, Dist. Tehri-Garhwal, 249 192, Phone: 91-1364-31190.

Swami Dayanand Ashram: Situated on the banks of Ganges Rishikesh, Swami Dayananda, a former student of Swami Chinamayananda opened this ashram. There are 50 guest rooms with daily meditation practice and prayers perform. Contact Dayananda Ashram, Purani Jhadi, Rishikesh 249 201, Uttar Pradesh, Phone: 91-0135-430769.

Mediation ashram

Sidhbari, Himachal Pradesh, Chinmaya Mission: Established by Swami Chinmayananda, focuses on Vedanta in the Adi Shankaracharya tradition in regular training camps, mostly in Hindi. Contact: Chinmaya Mission, Chinmaya Tapovan Trust, Sandeepany Himalayas, Sidhbari 176 057, Phone: 91-1892-22121.

Monghyr, Bihar, Bihar School of Yoga: The school focuses on Vedanta with an inclination towards Tantric aspect of Hinduism. The school was developed by Swami Satyananda and now under Swami Nirajananda. Contact: Ganga Darshan, Fort, Monghyr, Bihar 811 201, Phone: 91-6344-22430.

Bangalore, Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation: This ashram is not affiliated with Ramakrishna Mission but dedicated to Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. There are dormitories, rooms, and cottages, also lecture halls and dining hall. Contact: Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Research Foundation, Prashanti Kuteeram Residential Campus, Jigani, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore, Phone: 91-80-425-535. Or write: City Coordinating Center, Eknath Bhavan, 19, Gavipuram Circle, Bangalore 560 019, Phone: 91-80-6608645.

There are many other good ashrams, but there are many spoofs as well. If you need any suggestion, you can contact me for further details. Don’t worry there is no consultation fee.


  • Anonymous says:
    June 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    what do u think about using the word " realize " instead of convince ?

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