What is Vedic Meditation?
You may be familiar with the term meditation, but there are many different forms stemming from hundreds of various philosophies and belief systems.
Even if you are familiar with some of these forms, others may be confusing. If you are wondering “what is Vedic meditation?” then you are one of billions in the same situation.
To define Vedic meditation is not actually that simple. While a functional, working definition is possible, the reality is that you could spend years (or decades) searching for a concrete answer.
On the surface, it may look like just focusing on an object, a mantra, or being mindful while sitting quietly.
It may also seem like you are simply taking deep breaths and paying attention to them, but deep down it is “losing ourselves and unstringing the logic.”
Vedic Meditation vs. Other Forms
Meditation of any form has the ability to carry tremendous physical and mental benefits. Lowered blood pressure, improved mood, decreased stress, and a happier life are all effects associated with meditation.
There are many methods of meditating, as mentioned above. Many ideologies and philosophies have their own approach to mediation. One such approach is the Vedic meditation.
Vedic meditation stems from the Vedas, which are ancient Indian texts considered to be about 5,000 years old. The knowledge that is found in the Vedas is the pedestal and basic knowledge on which many beliefs and practices followed in the Indian subcontinent are based.
However, the knowledge in the Vedas is universal and widely accepted. Some other practices or philosophies that stem from the Vedas are Yoga and Ayurveda. The approach to meditation is also mentioned in the Vedas, and this approach is known as the Vedic meditation.
Vedic meditation is somewhat different from other techniques (like the Vipassana meditation and the Buddhist mindfulness meditation).
The Use of Mantras for Vedic Meditation
While Mindfulness meditation generally involves being aware or having thoughts full of compassion, Vedic meditation involves use of a Mantra (known as Bija Mantra).
The Bija mantra may be a Vedic mantra, chant or a shloka that is repeatedly uttered verbally (at a normal speech level), by whispering, or by simply being chanted in our heads.
The use of a mantra is what makes the Vedic approach to meditation unique. The word ‘Bija’ is translated as ‘seed’. As a seed is implanted in the ground and took care of, it turns into a beautiful plant. Similarly, the Bija mantra ,when provided to our intellect and nurtured through meditation, turns into something beautiful which may reflect in our thoughts, our speech and our actions.
The mantra is a powerful tool for developing focus and calming the mind. It helps us to settle our ever wondering mind.
Mantra is generally given to us by a Guru. A guru is someone who has experience in meditation and who teaches this art to other people. Those who choose to learn Vedic meditation from a guru are called Shishya.
Gurus guide their students to use the mantra to empower their minds, and they are easily able to identify and clear any confusion that the student may face on their journey of meditation.
The use of mantra also eliminates certain problems that people face while beginning meditation. The mantra gives something to focus our mind on and this cuts half of the problems as it happens in other techniques of meditation that we may find it difficult to clear our thoughts and our mind just keeps on hopping from one thought to another.
Is Vedic Meditation Easy?
The use of mantra also makes the Vedic style of meditation quite handy. Anyone can practice it, and it can be practiced anywhere. You do not necessarily need an extremely silent place for meditation, and it does not have to be limited to only a specific time of the day.
Once you have learned the use of mantra to meditate, you can do it anywhere and at any time of the day as per your convenience. Many popular styles (like Transcendental Meditation) have developed from the Vedic tradition and are practiced by millions of people around the world.
Just like any other approach to meditation, the Vedic Meditation also offers certain benefits. It is an extremely effective way to increase the levels of our mental energy.
The feelings of mental exhaustion and burnout can be avoided by regularly practicing mediation. It also proves to be a great way to get over unpleasant thoughts.
Regular practice is also said to improve our concentration, reduce stress and anxiety. Improved sleep quality is also a benefit of Vedic meditation.