In modern times, Yoga and meditation have penetrated the daily schedules of working day people. All Yoga and meditation have their roots in one way or the other in the Hindu tradition.
Types of Hindu Meditation
This article will discuss the major Hindu meditation types and their meanings here. You can also learn how different Hindu meditation techniques can benefit you and how you can do it.
The Om mantra is a one-syllable meditation that is repeated for the purpose of focus. Some spiritual teachers claim that it is very important to get the pronunciation right as it is associated with the right type of “vibration.” Others state that it is only a tool to concentrate and focus your mind. Likewise, other mantras used in Hindu traditions, Buddhist traditions, Jainism, Sikhism, and Daoism also have the same origin.
How you can perform it:
Like most meditation, the goal is to sit straight with the spine erect and eyes closed. The mantra is repeated thoroughly over and over during the entire session. Some practitioners have the methodology to time the breath with the mantra.
Repetition of the mantra helps you disconnect from the thoughts filling your mind so that perhaps you may slip into the gap between thoughts. The mantra is a tool to support your meditation practice. Mantras can be viewed as ancient power words with subtle intentions that help us connect to spirit, the source of everything in the universe.”
Traditionally, the mantras are supposed to be repeated 108 or 1008 times. Beads of malas made of 108 or 1008 beads are used to keep the count.
Who is it for?
People who want their brains to focus on the meditation would find it easier to meditate while chanting the mantra. Since mantra is a word, thoughts are perceived as words. Thus, it becomes easier to focus on those words without having the mind to meander around erratic thoughts.
This Hindu Meditation is for all and is easier to do.
Origin: Transcendental meditation was introduced by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955 and gained popularity in the west during the late 60s and early 70s. Most of the proliferation comes from the relationship between the guru and celebrities such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys.
Currently, it is estimated that over 5 million practitioners of this type of meditation.
How you can do it:
This sort of meditation is not taught freely. You can only learn it through one of their licensed instructors. This has been a major reason the institution has gained a lot of criticism globally.
The general way of doing it is using the mantra and practicing the mantra for 15-20 minutes twice or thrice per day with closed eyes. The mantras are given to the person based on gender and age. They are some Tantric names of Hindu deities.
Another version includes “Natural Stress Relief,” and this version removes the mystical side of Transcendental meditation.
Who is it for?
While many have claimed benefits from this version of meditation, much criticism surrounds this, especially since you need to empty your pocket even to learn it. If you wish to practice it, you must research well before doing so.
Self-enquiry and “Who am I?” Meditation
Origin: The original root word for this meditation is “Atma Vichara,” – which means to “investigate” our true nature and delve into understanding the answer to the “Who am I?” question.
Ramana Maharshi greatly popularized this during the 20th century. In modern days, variations such as the non-duality movement or commonly known as neo-Advaita, have been inspired by his teaching. Many contemporary teachers have deployed the techniques. Some famous of them are Mooji, AdyaShanti, and Eckhart Tolle.
How to do self-inquiry meditation?
While the practice is simple and subtle, it is difficult to explain since it sounds abstract.
The first is the main question of whether I or the ego is the center of your universe. The ego is present in all your thoughts and emotions, but we are unclear about what it is and its role in our body, mind, and rules.
With this technique, the root question is “Who Am I,” and it is asked repeatedly within yourself. Any verbal answers are rejected and are used simply as the tool to focus on the subjective feeling of “I,” and I am.” You need to be one with this feeling, and only then you can reveal your true self of “I.”
Mind you, this is not an intellectual pursuit. This is not a personality test. This is just connecting with yourself and recognizing the pure existence, objectless and choice-less awareness.
In some variations, the “I” is concentrated on the object itself – be it completely different from internal or external, physical or mental. The main attention is on the source. While other meditation forms require positions and postures, there is no special such for this meditation.
Who is it for?
This can be very tough to follow, especially if you have no previous meditation experience. There are, however, some YouTube videos made by Mooji that could help you on this path. But this powerful form of meditation can bring inner freedom and peace.
When “Yogic Meditation” is mentioned, the term covers a large scope of yoga. The tradition goes back to 1700 B.C. and is said to elevate a person to a higher spiritual self and self-knowledge.
There are several divisions of the practice – the rules of conduct (Yamas and Niyamas), physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and contemplative practices of meditation (pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi). In other terms, they are called Ashtanga Yoga (Eight limbs of Yoga).
How to perform it?
Here are some of the most practiced Yoga variations:
i. Third Eye Meditation: This can be used to focus the attention on the spot between the eyebrows, generally known as the third eye.
ii. Kundalini Meditation: It is one of a complex practice. The main objective is to identify the kundalini energy residing at the back of your spine and find a way to awaken it, leading towards enlightenment. (Kundalini Awakening)
iii. Gazing Meditation: This one is done with the eyes open. The person focuses on an external body and uses the power of the mind to concentrate and visualize.
v. Kriya Yoga: This is suitable for those with a devotional temperament and is a collection of energy, breathing, and meditation exercises.
vi. Sound Meditation: Practitioners focus on the sound and start the meditation with ambient music, including the chants of “Om.”
vii. Tantra Meditation: Tantra has a very rich tradition and has its own rules for performing meditation. Some examples of practicing this meditation include: Merge the mind and the senses in the interior space in the spiritual heart.
- When one object is perceived, all other objects become empty. Concentrate on that emptiness.
- Concentrate on the space which occurs between two thoughts.
- Fix attention inside of the skull. Close eyes.
- Meditate on the occasion of any great delight.
- Meditate on the feeling of pain.
- Dwell on the reality which exists between pain and pleasure.
- Meditate on the void in one’s body, extending in all directions simultaneously.
- Concentrate on a bottomless well or standing in a very high place.
- Listen to the Anahata [heart chakra] sound.
- Listen to the sound of a musical instrument as it dies away.
- Contemplate the universe or one’s own body as being filled with bliss.
- Concentrate intensely on the idea that the universe is completely void.
- Contemplate that the same consciousness exists in all bodies.
viii. Pranayama: This one is completely based on breathing exercises. There are techniques such as the 4-4-4-4-4, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds, hold up for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and empty for 4 seconds. There are tons of other different variations you could practice.
You might want to learn more about chakras, Trataka, Raja Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Nada Yoga, and Tantra if you want to grasp more on this topic.
Who is it for?
You could try various Hindu meditation types depending on what you want. The simplest one is “third eye meditation,” which has quicker benefits.
Meditation can be a great way to connect with your true nature, but it is not always easy to silence the mind and enter a meditative state. In short, meditation does not happen naturally with most of the paths offered.
Each individual’s thoughts and emotions are different from others; spiritual paths can be different for each person. What works for one person may not work for another, and that’s okay. We all have our own unique journeys to follow. If you are having trouble meditating or finding the right path, don’t worry – you can seek guidance.
Last Updated on September 19, 2022