Real happiness is inside out, not outside in
by Hardik Kathuria, Meditation Trainer,
M. Sc(Environmental Management)
If given a chance to meditate on some object of your interest, what would that object be?
Of course, object is the focal point of any meditation practice. It defines what we ought to do and what all we must abstain from in our small endeavors to calm down our mind. Through the first line, we understand that presence of an object is essential to aid our practice of meditation. Now we can discuss what should the object be. That is what defines different meditation practices.
There are many different kinds of meditation practices. The basic goal is to calm down the mind. But some methods promise even higher goals.
Higher than peace of mind and attaining mindfulness is achieving inner happiness and bliss. We, unfortunately don’t know its source, the process to attain it and how do we feel in that stage. The ancient philosophical treatise known as the Bhagavad Gita however tells of that experience and the key to unlock this.
It conveys that in that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realised through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this, he thinks there is no greater gain. (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6, Verse 21–22)
Meditation is therefore a means to connect to the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord has been described in the scriptures to be an ocean of joy and happiness. When we connect to the ocean of bliss, it is natural that we will get to experience that richness.
Since the easiest path to connect to the Lord is inside (as mentioned in Bhagavad Gita 18.65 — Lord resides in everyone’s heart), meditation is the process to unlock our inner happiness. That is the topmost goal of meditation.
What meditation practice should we follow and how should we perform it forms the subject matter of our next article.
The easiest form of meditation
We all want things that come easy. And on our own, with minimal effort of ours. But easy things are not so promising and promising things are not so easy.
What if I told you such a thing exists, which is easy and promising at the same time? You would immediately subscribe to it, wouldn’t you?
Yes, you read it correctly. It is meditation. Promising is actually an insignificant term, as meditation offers us the highest possible thing achievable in this world i.e. — eternal happiness. (How does meditation offer this has been covered extensively in the previous articles)
That sets the bar of promise really high. Let’s now talk about how meditation is easy.
Tending to do a work, we can achieve maximum output and satisfaction when the whole of our body is an active participant of the activity. This makes it easier for our mind to focus and we can give our best. The same is with different forms of meditation. The meditation that engages most of our body parts in the process will give the maximum results and should be considered the best.
That type is Mantra Meditation. Generally performed on beads, it employs the meditator’s hands in fingering the beads (essentially counting), tongue in softly vibrating the mantra, ears in hearing the sound vibrations and eyes in reading the manta (or seeing the deity forms).
Lord Krishna affirms this proposition in the Bhagavad Gita by emphatically declaring to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10, Verse 25 — “yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ’smi” — Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa]. And with most parts of the body involved, it becomes easier for the mind to concentrate and meditate. And the results are immense. That is why millionaires like Alfred Ford, Russel Simmons proudly imbibe it in their daily routines without fail.
What mantra to chant will be discussed in the next article.
The mantra for liberation and beyond
Mantra is a commonly used word today, but carries significant spiritual meaning to it. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit word Man, meaning the mind and Tra, meaning to deliver. One which helps to deliver the mind is a mantra. Just like a medicine store is full of medicines of all kinds, aimed at curing humans and bettering their lives, ancient Vedic texts are replete with mantras, hymns and chants meant for the deliverance and upliftment of human society, aimed at helping them rise above the self and making more God conscious. Because that would help them carry out their duties with perfection.
But when we develop some disease, we can’t simply go to the medicine store and purchase any medicine which might seem delicious. We must get ourselves diagnosed and then take the prescribed medicine to get better and function properly.
Similarly, we can’t simply rely on the Vedic texts and cherry-pick a mantra of our choice. We must have the prescription of an expert according to our illness. Then would the medicine bear fruit.
Symptoms of the disease faced by the general populace in Kaliyuga (the ongoing Yuga in the Chaturyuga cycle) have been aptly predicted in the ancient texts as short-lived, quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.
Lord Krishna, in the form of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came on this earth 500 years ago and diagnosing all these aforementioned symptoms, gave a simple medicine in the form of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
‘Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare’.
Elsewhere in the scriptures (at numerous places), we find the mention of this mantra and its immense benefits. This mantra can cure all the spiritual illnesses in this age of Kali. And that one can be freed from all material bondage by chanting this mantra.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the most expert physician in this matter, glorifies the Mantra Meditation of this Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra proclaiming that “it increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables -us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.”
Concluding our series of articles:
1. Meditation uplifts our consciousness.
2. Meditation helps to train our mind to be in the present.
3. Meditation helps to process our thoughts and not identify with them.
4. Helps to unlock our inner happiness.
5. Of all forms of meditation, Mantra Meditation is the best.
6. Of all the different mantras, the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra is the best.