Eight Meditation steps to reach the abode of God through Indian Spiritual Path
Yoga and Meditation is the essence of self realization in Indian spiritual path. Most of the Hindus believe in God and they strongly admit that the purpose of life is to reach or submerge with God from where the birth took place. Ancient yoga practice is the perfect way to reach the ultimate goal of human life that is to reach from unreal to real, from darkness to light and from death to immortality. The eight steps to reach the final stage of yoga – Samadhi is as under
Why to follow the 8 steps to reach Samadhi?
If you are preparing for an exam you have to follow a discipline. The discipline starts with making a time table and adhering to the timings in the time table. The time table may not be in the daily routine but designed for the exams. Likewise you require a disciplined life before reaching or enjoying the fruits of meditation. Once you prepare well for the exam, wrote the exam well and pass out in top rank, your happiness will have no bounds. Similarly if you follow the above eight steps and the moment you perfect each stage the happiness you get is immense. It cannot be explained. As Vivekananda explained once when some asked him whether you have attained Samadhi – he said ” In Samadhi , I am on the top of a hill and enjoying a beautiful garden. How much I explain about the eye catching beauty of the garden, it will not be seen by you unless you climb the hill and see it for yourself.” That is Samadhi and if you want to feel the power of Samadhi, you have to follow the yogic steps. That is it.
What are the 8 steps and what are the benefits?
Yama is nothing but living in purity. being non violent, speaking truth, being and remaining as bachelor, living away from bad habits. If you perfect these steps you can control your mind and it is the mind which should lead you to the final stage ‘Samadhi’.
Niyama is taking bath before practicing the other steps, that is purification of the body. Wearing clean and washed cloths preferably white that indicates peace. Hearing about God, reading spiritual discloses, moving with holy people, eating satvic food as recommended by Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
Asana is a posture in which one should practice the following steps. Posture is very difficult to follow and practice and most important in meditation.
Pranayama is controlling breath through an exercise. Inhaling air through one nostril closing the other and exhaling through other nostril while holding the breath for sometime in the lungs. Certain time limits are followed for this exercise.
Prathyahara is a stage where all energies are withdrawn inwards towards a focused point. This is like making a monkey stay at one branch of tree from hopping through branch to branch. It is the most difficult of all stages. Once the posture and pranayama is perfectly practiced, pratyahara may not be difficult. Once the energies are moved inwards there are no more delusions, worries, restlessness. The mind attains one point attention like seeing the pointed edge of a needle.
Dharana is contemplating on hitherto unknown inner sounds and spiritual reality. At this stage one can visualize an inner light brighter than the sunlight which leads to pointed concentration on any object and realization starts unveiling the secrets of life
Dhyana is absorption in one’s self. The Inner Self recognizes the real happiness and the source for such happiness. comes to identify its happiness with the gratification of those pleasures; the individual loses sight of the indwelling Self as the real source of his pleasures. Desire for worldly pleasure vanishes and mind becomes light weight and soul flies to the source of happiness. At this stage one can concentrate on a idol, a light or any other form of reality and fixes his gaze on that and spends years in that stage without getting affected by worldly disturbances. This is one stage before the final unity of ‘Life with God’
Samadhi is oneness. The realization of oneness of body and soul. Realization of self and God. The stage which resolves the difference between human and almighty, dissolves ego consciousness in the calm inner light. In the words of Christ’s, “I and my Father are one.” (from Patanjalis Astanga Yoga)
The Indian spiritual path also explains the same stage of oneness -Samathi through ‘Kundalini Yoga‘, There are many more yoga practices in Indian spiritual path which is practiced world wide by eminent people spreading Indian spiritual heritage across the continents.