Culmination of Meditation 1

Updated: Aug 6

Meditation is said to be mental absorption in the object of meditation, and for a vedanta student, object of meditation is the knowledge of the self. Therefore the culmination of vedantic meditation is not experience a certain state or condition of the mind as per yoga-śāstra described, but it is owning up the nature of the self. Meditation is a discipline for us to recollect the teaching and hammer it deep into our mind. It is not a direct means for liberation. Therefore if there is any experience during the meditation process, that is not our goal. Our goal is to abide in our limitless nature either in the meditation or out of the meditation.

Verse 6.20-23 explain more about the culmination of vedantic meditation.

yatroparamate cittaṃ niruddhaṃ yogasevayā |

yatra caivātmanātmānaṃ paśyannātmani tuṣyati ||6.20||

When the mind, mastered by the practice of meditation abides (in ātma) and when, seeing oneself by oneself alone, one rejoices in oneself...

First description is (1)cittaṃ uparamate - mind becomes tranquil. This tranquility is the result of practising meditation (preceding by general disciplines and self-knowledge) - yogasevayā. During meditation our mind is withdrawn from anātma (all the names and forms which are mithya) - cittaṃ niruddhaṃ, and only dwells on the nature of ātma. In the culmination of this practice, the withdrawal is not just happening during meditation, even when one out of meditation. Therefore the meditator is no longer giving the reality for the mithya names and forms in the transactional world. He/she only sees the satyam sat-cit-ānanda which is himself/herself supporting this transactional world. This is the abidance in ātma, abidance in one self. To make it clear that this abidance is not just happened during meditation, therefore Lord Krsna said (2)paśyan ātmānaṃ - having seen oneself (sat-cit-ānanda), in oneself (as myself) - ātmani, by oneself (with one's intellect) - ātmanā, one rejoices - tuṣyati.

Seeing here means understanding. Because of the understanding takes place in the intellect, knowing that I am sat-cit-ānanda is limitless by nature, therefore one rejoices in this fact either it manifests in the form of thought as object of meditation (in the meditation itself), or in the transactional world when the thought of meditation's object is not there. This indicates that it is not experiential which comes and goes. When the knowledge takes place, it will never go away. This absolute happiness can be there only if the understanding of my true nature is there. It is not conditioned by the experience of meditation, explained further in next verse.

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