In the previous episode, we had witnessed the classification of “Dhyaanam” (Meditation) into the three categorizations as per the three “Gunas” – “Satva”, “Rajas” and “Tamas”. We’ve witnessed that if the meditation is performed by having Bhagawan in our thoughts totally without any blemish, it is termed as “Satva Dhyaana”. Whereas, if we’re thinking of some people whom we desire upon, for instance, people of the opposite gender while meditating, it becomes “Raajasa Dhyaana” and finally, if our bitter enemies come to our thoughts during meditation, or, if we think of people whom we dread the most in this world while meditating, this categorizes under the “Taamasic Dhyaana”. Thus, as a generic perspective, if we should increase our “Satva Guna”, we should make sure that we possess the “Bhagawad Chintana” (Thoughts of Bhagawan) fully in us while meditating.
Of course, this is easier said than done. This is something which we’ve to gain by constant practice. If we sit for meditating, Bhagawan would never be a factor in our thoughts. All what we would be able to think is who insulted us in the past, who abused us, from whom have we obtained a certain sum of money as a loan and will this person be after our life to make us return his money, etc. This is where we’ve to unleash our “Vairaagya” (Consistency and will power) to control our mind and channelize it towards Bhagawan. This is why we often keep emphasizing the fact that meditation is one important means of practising spiritual “Saadhana”. Hence, we should strive towards this goal by remembering this important point as we sit for performing the “Dhyaana”.
Moving on thus, with this above point in mind, Bhagawan Krishna is now going to teach us how to perform this all-important “Dhyaana”. He’s going to teach Uddhava the nuances of meditation, which is extremely important for all of us as well. Bhagawan Krishna first commences this important explanation with the way we should be seated to meditate. First of all, we should never keep standing always. When we sit down on the floor, Bhagawan Krishna explains that 27,000 nerves in our body automatically come under complete control. As we sit down on the floor, we should ensure that our neck’s back portion, our head and our spine are in the same vertical line with each other. This simply means that when we meditate, we should sit in a straight and an upright position. This is a mandatory requirement. Whereas, if we’re going to sit in a position that is going to give some level of comfort to the physical body, we’re going to fall asleep. This is not advisable isn’t it? This is why, Bhagawan Krishna emphasizes that posture is extremely critical for performing meditation. We’ve to thus remember that we need to sit on the floor, in an upright position, before we start meditating.
Now, Bhagawan Krishna explains the next point while sitting – He says that when we’ve to sit for meditation, of course, we’ve to sit on the floor, but it doesn’t mean that we should directly sit on the floor. We should have an “Aasana” that is spread on the ground and we should sit over that. This “Aasana” shouldn’t be cushioned in any way. It should be as flat as the floor is. It might be a small mat, or a piece of cloth, etc. Some people use a deer’s skin, spread it on the floor and sit over it. In fact, this is the best practice. The idea here is that, we shouldn’t directly be seated on the floor, but should have some sort of an insulator over it. In fact, Bhagawan Krishna is specifically explaining this point in so much of detail, because in today’s scenario, we have something called “mattress” or “bed” that is extremely cushioned. If we sit or lie down on this mattress, we would go inside it for atleast half a feet! 🙂 This might seem very comfortable for us to lie down for that moment, but in the long-term, it is going to result in severe back pains and spasms. This is why in olden days, we’ve had the practice of lying down on the floor. If we do so, our back is going to be in proper shape and we would never get any sort of pain. It might be uncomfortable in the initial days, but if we’re sustaining this practice for a number of days together, we would get used to it. This is the best way to lie down and rest.
Thus, the point here is that, if we’re sitting on a cushion of any sorts, we’re going to get unwanted comfort, and in the long-run, we’re going to experience severe pain in our spinal chord. Thus, avoiding a cushioned surface for meditation is advisable. Moreover, as we sit on the floor to meditate, it is always better if we’re able to sit in the “Padmaasana” position. For people who are familiar with some “Yoga Sutras” and “Yoga Aasanas”, sitting in “Padmaasana” might be the most fundamental aspect that would have been taught before any other “Aasana”. Sitting in “Padmaasana” means, sitting in such a way that our left thigh should be placed over our right thigh and our right thigh over our left. This position automatically would ensure that our back is upright. Even if it is not for a meditation session, it is advisable that we sit in this “Padmaasana” position atleast for 20 – 25 minutes a day. If we’re able to sit in this position for the entire one or two hour session of meditation that we’re doing, this is the best practice that can be available. However, we’ve never got used to it till date. This is why I’m saying that let us start with sitting in the “Padmaasana” position for atleast some 20 minutes a day. Sitting in this position makes sure that our blood circulation is even all throughout the body – right from head to toe. Moreover, it also ensures that the maximum amount of blood reaches the brain and we stay fresh everytime.
So for today, let us understand these important points pertaining to meditation, and we shall continue this discussion further in the next episode, wherein Bhagawan Krishna is going to explain the procedure to focus our mind and control it. Stay tuned! 🙂