How to Meditate and Why
The purpose of Meditation is to fix the Divine or God as the living symbol in the thinking mind initially, and gradually, to enter into a wideness beyond and be seated there in some secure foundation of Truth, different from the physical mind. The object of Meditation can be anything of the Divine; it can be Sri Krishna or Mahakali or your own personal Guru, but it cannot be an abstraction or a half-lit mental idea tending towards some zero or a sum of nothing.
All sense of abstraction is opposed to our purpose. We deal here with higher divine Realities beyond reason and science, in which Meditation can somewhat aid the process of our movement towards those Realities or even quicken our paces to Them.
Therefore, the object of Meditation must derive itself from a higher Reality and present itself to the seeker through either the initiation of his Guru or through the Grace of God directly acting on his mind and impelling towards the divine heights.
The object is called the symbol and its language the mantra, a divine incantation compressed into a few syllables or words or sentences.
One may meditate by uttering the mantra inwardly at first, and once it is taken by the inner mind, it is likely to disappear into the revelation of the symbol.
There are many ways to meditate, but Meditation has only one purpose, the discovery of our own Spirit or higher Reality or the sense and realisation of God as our being and reason of existence. If your purpose is Buddhist Nirvana or some sense of abstraction of universal existence or mental peace and augmented mental faculties, then this is not the method for you, nor can you benefit by it.
For our spiritual forefathers, Vedic Rishis and Seers, Nirvana was not the sum of all negation of life, but a beginning into a still greater and higher planes of utter spiritual consciousness, and one can see this essential experience developed to its full significance and practical utility in the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo.
Nirvana is not a sum of nothing. It is the last invisible bridge on the soul connecting it to the creation below, and it disappears into the supracosmic Sense in a higher Consciousness above even the highest spiritual Mind.
Now, let us discuss how to meditate. Don’t worry about your physical posture. If you want to sit cross-legged with your back erect and head straight, it is quite alright. But if you want to sit on a chair and make yourself little comfortable, please don’t hesitate. There are no taboos here, no rules worthy of following except the rule of one’s fidelity and sincerity to the Divine within.
You can meditate with your eyes closed or open, according to your Swabhava or inner disposition. To insist either on postures or established conventions may not be very helpful and that is because each individual is unique with his own sense of purpose and drive towards things.
Try to keep the thought or form of the Divine intact between the eyebrows, in the exact center between them and let the idea of the form or thought melt into you, but there can be no preconceptions about either the form or the thought, only a slow, methodical surrender to it by a certain habitual repetition of the act of Meditation itself.
One can, by a farther practice, remain merged in the form or thought and get behind the symbolic into the actual sense and revelation of the truth which the form or the symbol represents. But it comes by a prolonged and dedicated practice or by the Grace of God.
You are likely to be disturbed by external factors, such as heat and cold, noise or even pleasant sound, movements arising out of physical proximity; even a touch on the body by someone during the inner absorption is likely to be very unpleasant. You are also likely to be disturbed by the internal factors such as wayward thoughts, strong currents of desires or even anger, frustration, movements of disappointment and lower passions.
The initial solution lies in the strength of the spiritual symbol or thought of your Meditation, but the necessary aid or help comes from your Guru or directly from the Divine Himself. Without fidelity or sincerity to God, no Meditation will be either successful or practical in its implications.
Mantra is an essential aid, but it is not indispensable. If you don’t have one, don’t worry. Initiation by your Guru may be helpful, but it is better to take God as your own Guru and aspire for His infallible guidance. Nothing is really indispensable, except our unflinching fidelity to God.
Reject firmly all intruding thoughts, movements, vibrations and disturbances, both inner and outer, and aspire to go deeper and deeper within; an aspiration that is so silent and without insistence. Slowly, you will develop a keep inner sense and Meditation will come naturally to you, but you must persist hard till you reach that point.
It is only when done in a state of self-giving and surrender to God that Meditation itself becomes transformed of its character and may even express something not intended or even possible, a development so radical that may absorb the individual nature into a greater light and transform it into a potent symbol of God.