What is Meditation…

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Item Code: IHL550
Author: Swami Dayananda Saraswati
Publisher: Arsha Vidya Research and Publication Trust
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9789380049199
Pages: 48
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
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Back of the Book

“Meditation highlights one’s inseparable connection with the total, Isvara. Through various steps, one is brought to be one’s own self, recognizing all the way the presence of the whole at every level of oneself.”

Definition of Meditation

Meditation, dhyanam, implies a mental activity, manasa karma. The definition of meditation is saguna brahma visaya manasa vyaparah, mental activity related to Brahman in the form of Isvara. Vyapara, activity, is qualified by the word ‘manasa,’ meaning mental. Whenever a word is qualified by an adjective, there should be a need for it. People who use words carefully do not use adjectives without reason.

Words are meant to communicate. When you want to convey an object as distinct from another, you use an adjective. If you say, a tall tree, then the word ‘tall’ is an adjective. lf all the trees are of the same height, you do not need to say ‘tall’ tree or ‘short’ tree. An adjective has the capacity to negate certain other things by qualifying a given noun. The adjective ‘tall’ negates other trees that are not as tall as this tree, and distinguishes it from other trees. But you cannot say ‘sweet sugar,’ ‘good sadhu’ and so on; these are redundant expressions. If there is ‘bitter’ sugar or ‘sour’ sugar, then you are constrained to use an adjective ‘sweet.’ One who is good is called sadhu. There is no good sadhu. You do see such expressions as ‘mental attitude,’ and ‘intellectual knowledge? Unless there is a ‘dental knowledge’ there is no need to use expressions as ‘intellectual knowledge.'

Knowledge always happens in the intellect. Attitude is always mental and so there is no need to say, ‘mental attitude.’

If meditation is an activity, qualified by the word ‘mental,’ then it negates all physical activities from its purview. However, it implies other activities belonging to the same group. Any thinking is mental activity. Sadness is also a mental activity, as it is a mental expression of one’s emotion. lf this is meditation, then one is always in meditation. So too in dream, one will be always in meditation, because there is a lot of mental activity in dream.

Before we understand what meditation is, we must be clear in distinguishing it from other mental activities so that nothing else is accepted as meditation. In the phrase, manasa vyaparah, the word ‘manasa ’ is an adjective distinguishing meditation from other activities. Therefore, we have to define what kind of activity will constitute meditation. In a definition, we distinguish an object not only from other objects belonging to the same group, but also from everything else. The definition should point out to only one thing. Hence, meditation is a directed action.


Key to Transliteration iv
Definition of Meditation 5
Understanding Isvara6
Types of vyaparah 12
Nature of the mind 15
Restraining the mind 18
Nature of the meditator 23
Lord Krsna on the meditator 29
Practice of meditation 31
Mental chanting or japa 38
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