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Home » Spiritual Practices

Meditation – The Journey (Part 2)

Submitted by on July 25, 2010 – 5 Comments


We’ve seen that the path of Meditations is similar to the ‘Hero’s journey’, where an ordinary man embarks on an adventure which changes him in unimaginable ways. The transformation begins in the process itself and culminates when he reaches the destination. Apart from the various sign-posts and rewards on the path, the aspirant also has to deal with a number of obstacles, many of them arising from within. These obstacles test the mettle of the student- when he succumbs to them, the journey ends and when he surmounts them, he emerges refined.

Major Obstacles

A student may find many distractions as he sets on this journey. Some of them could be external like lethargy, too many thoughts, over-expectations etc. Apart from these initial difficulties, a student will also have to deal with many inner distractions and negative traits that come up once the cleansing process starts.

The Spiritual science defines some of these negative traits as the ‘Arishadvargas’, (six major obstacles) – Desire, Anger, Greed, Attachment, Arrogance and Jealousy. While these traits are present in everyone to some degree or the other, they become detrimental when in excess. Unless a spiritual aspirant learns to sublimate these negativities, progress on the spiritual path becomes difficult.

The effects of the spiritual practices increases the sensitivity of a Meditator, hence he can easily recognise these traits – in others and also within. The dedicated practice of Meditations by itself helps him in overcoming these negativities. Besides that, he should make a constant effort in positivising his thoughts and emotions so that he can rise above these obstacles.

The Destination

Samadhi

When our system attains a state of deep silence by the dedicated practice of meditations, our awareness gets released and shifts to higher levels. The awareness which is normally confined only to our system (and most of the time, to our physical body) begins to expand gradually. It spreads and expands to the limits of the cosmos and experiences all of creation, all of existence. This stage of meditation is called as Samadhi where the individual Soul experiences the Universal Soul or God.

Samadhi is the highest state of worship where we are in communion with God. Many complex realities about Creation and life can be understood and perceived very clearly in that state. There are various levels or stages in Samadhi, and in the higher stages, the individual soul experiences itself as God Himself. The boundary between the two, vanish and the Soul can experience and perceive the entire existence, the way God does. The meaning of ‘Omnipotence’, ‘Omniscience’ and ‘Omnipresence’ becomes evident as a direct experience.

When a student reaches the stage of Samadhi, the Rishis guide him directly on his further journey, from the higher levels. With his increased sensitivity, the student will be able to recognise and perceive this guidance from the physical level itself.

Enlightenment

Enlightenment is the highest state of Samadhi where the individual experiences Light (God) and becomes Light himself, in every cell of his system. In this state, all of his inner faculties will be open and he will be able to live in the awareness of God at all times. This is the ultimate goal of a Meditator.

After the journey

The spiritual journey transforms an individual gradually and culminates in his experience of ‘Enlightenment’. He’ll be able to experience the highest state of Bliss and Divine Love not only in Meditations but also in his daily living. The expansion he experiences in Samadhi manifest in his life – in his broad thinking, sublimated emotions and positive qualities. He’ll live as a perfect human being, as a role-model.

Living in this way, he can attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death, upon leaving his body. This is called as Mukti – the goal of most of the spiritual aspirants on this journey. This is the first way for a Meditator after Enlightenment.

Or the spiritual aspirant, on reaching the highest state of Enlightenment can decide to forego his Mukti and instead choose to stay back, in order to help others. This is another path which is chosen by a select few.

a) Mukthi or Liberation

We’ve understood that Karmas are the excessive residues which are accumulated in our minds. Once the body dies, the Soul reincarnates into another body, into another life-cycle, to learn the unlearnt lessons, to pay-off the uncleared debts and to cleanse these residual karmas. In the process of this cleansing, more karmas can be gathered in that lifetime. So a Soul continues to re-incarnate again and again in order to be able to clear these karmas.

The liberation from this cycle of birth and death is called as Mukti. It is the final liberation where we, the souls merge back into the Source — God, out of which we’ve emerged and descended into this world to experience creation. A Meditator who has attained the state of Enlightenment and has cleared all the karmas, continues to live in God-awareness. After death, he is freed from the cycle of birth and death and he can go back and become one with the Source.

This final liberation is the true aim of all spiritual practices, all meditations, irrespective of any short-term goals or aspirations with which one takes up this practice.

b) The Journey of a Master

The Master or a Guru is a person who has reached the end of his journey, but instead of going back to his liberation, has stayed back to help others reach the destination. Hence a Master is revered as a representative of God himself for this selfless service of guiding others towards God.

A Master may or may not learn under another Guru, the way other students do. This decision to guide others happens at a higher level, even before he takes birth. So many of the inner faculties could be operational in him by birth. Or he may be guided by his Higher Self or by the Rishis in the higher realms and could have an early awakening, usually at a young age. A Master will have access to Knowledge, Energies and Powers which are not available to an ordinary student, who’s working for his own growth. Spiritual gurus like Mahavatara Babaji is known to be living for thousands of years without ageing.

While some of these Masters come into the limelight to guide others directly, many of them choose to serve in the background without anyone noticing them. They work silently and the results of their work will always impact the lives of others in innumerable ways. Many wars and natural calamities are averted or postponed, the mass sufferings alleviated in many instances because of the efforts and struggles of these Spiritual giants. Maharshi Amara was one such master who worked mostly in the background for the welfare of humanity.

A Master may sometimes choose to specialize in one specific area, in order to bring down more knowledge and energies pertaining to that branch. So we have Ramana Maharshi for Samadhi, Mukthananda for Siddhis, Eckhart Tolle for Stillness, Soluntra for Inner Healing and Light-body Awakening, Maharshi Amara for Astral works, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa for devotion to God, etc. Many Masters also choose to sit in Tapas (deep meditation) over thousands of years, in order to gather special energies which can be used to help all humanity in their spiritual growth. They may not be active like other masters but would be holding the beam of pure energies, preserving them for better times as our Earth passes through the dark ages.

Most of these Gurus and Masters work under the guidance and instruction of the Saptarishis, the Hierarchy of Seven Great Sages, who are the Eternal Gurus of mankind.

Rishis

A Rishi is a divine being who has the capacity to receive, hold and transmit the knowledge and energies of God in the form of Light. The Rishis have a direct link with God and have access to all the powers and capacities of the Universal Intelligence. They can create, manage and destroy worlds with their immense tapas-shakti. The capacities of the Rishis surpass all human imagination.

The spiritual aspirant who chooses to guide others can become a Rishi, with his Spiritual Sadhana over many life-times. And he can move ahead to different levels and grades even after attaining Rishihood.

The Saptarishis are the Hierarchy of seven great sages, who are the ultimate guides of all humanity. All the Rishis work directly under the instructions of the Saptarishis, who manage the whole of God’s creation.

Conclusion

An aspirant can reach the heights of Spirituality while leading a normal life and attending to all of his duties and responsibilities. In earlier days, the aspirant would move away from the society and the material life of an ordinary person, in order to pursue his spiritual growth. But the times we’re living in call for an integration of the Spiritual and the Material. A Sadhak has to live in the thick of life, experience the ultimate in the Spiritual and manifest that expansion in his daily living. This is the challenge and the excitement we find when we embark on the spiritual journey.

We find ourselves now at a threshold point, where the old ways of the dark age are being replaced with the arrival of a new age. Our earth is going through a shift in cycles and moving on from a period of darkness to an enlightened age of Love and Peace. This transition can be smooth or rough – it depends on the spiritual condition of the entire humanity and the willingness to embrace the values of the New age. The challenge to transform or perish is upon all of us.

Meditation and spiritual practices are the tools which can help us cope with these challenges, transform ourselves and connect to the divine within and without. They are the life-boats which we need to sail through the turbulence of this transitory period and move into the next age of Light and Love.

Additional Reading –
Meditation – A beginning
Meditation – The Journey (Part 1)

Copyright © 2010 VishwaAmara.
Permission is given to copy and redistribute these articles, on condition that the content remains complete, all credit is given to the author and is distributed free.

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