|Vedanta Spiritual Library|
Module - I
Unit - I01
Lesson I0102: Role of Meditation in knowing ONE
By Raja Subramaniyan
The knowledge of ONE can come about only in refined minds. In order to refine the mind, meditation is an essential practice. Meditation will not give the knowledge of ONE. One has to inquire into the essence of the Scriptures for gaining the direct knowledge of ONE. Meditation prepares the mind and makes it eligible for inquiry and comprehension of the knowledge of ONE.
There are two types of meditation.
Type 1: Meditation on God
The Scriptures gives detailed descriptions of God. One may meditate upon God by praising the superior attributes/ qualities of God. This is the initial level of meditation, which facilitates the maturity of the mind.
This meditation makes a person eligible to receive the knowledge about ONE that is revealed in the Scriptures.
Type 2: Meditation on the knowledge 'I am ONE'
Even after gaining the knowledge, 'I am ONE', it is not easy for people to become steady on the knowledge. While dealing with the illusory world, they slip from their knowledge and suffer. In order to make the knowledge steady, the Inner Transformation process is essential, which is done through this second type of meditation.
This meditation involves remembering our true nature and reminding ourselves that the entire creation is an illusion.
Both these types of meditation are right types of meditation and they are required to be practiced for reaching the goal of Joyful Living by gaining the Direct Knowledge of ONE. There is a Wrong Meditation, which serves as a stepping stone for those who are not able to reach the final stage of realizing the knowledge 'I am ONE'.
Not every seeker of knowledge is eligible to gain the Direct Knowledge of ONE. There are four disqualifications described below which prevent people from gaining the Direct Knowledge. To such people, until they gain the required qualifications, Wrong Meditation is prescribed. Wrong Meditation will help them to gain the required qualifications and be ready to gain Direct Knowledge.
Wrong Meditation can be done while one continues to inquire and introspect which are the steps for gaining the Direct Knowledge.
Eligibility to gain knowledge, 'I am ONE'
1. Absence of deep desire.
It is impossible to force knowledge on anyone. Actions can be forced on anyone. Only those who are mature enough can receive right knowledge through their own volition and not through any external force.
2. Presence of a strong notion, 'I am the body'.
Those who are very sure that they are the body cannot understand that they are ONE. They continue to be affected by the sense objects of the world since their sense organs are attracted by them and the mind is not strong enough to restrain the sense organs.
3. Absence of intelligence
Those, whose intelligence is not sharp enough to grasp logic and math, cannot comprehend right knowledge.
4. Absence of complete faith
The Scriptures declare 'I am ONE' but our personal experiences suggest 'I am this body/mind complex'. Until one gains sufficient faith in the Scriptures, the mind will not be able to comprehend the knowledge.
Gaining the knowledge that 'I am ONE' is not possible for such persons with the above four disqualifications. Activity based learning across countless births will make them eligible to receive the knowledge.
Only when they accept the authority of the Scriptures and validate the teachings therein through logic and their personal experience are they eligible to gain the knowledge, 'I am ONE'.
Wrong Meditation for graduating from 'There is ONE' to 'I am ONE'
Seekers of the ultimate knowledge would have progressed to the level of learning that there is ONE. However due to the above mentioned disqualifications they may not be able to proceed to gain the Direct Knowledge, 'I am ONE'. For such people Wrong Meditation is prescribed.
Wrong Meditation helps in gaining additional knowledge without negating the earlier knowledge. 'This is a flower' - This earlier knowledge is not incorrect knowledge but it is inadequate knowledge. One has to gain more specific knowledge and get to know, 'This is a Rose'.
Similarly, to know that 'There is ONE' is not incorrect but it is inadequate. To progress from this inadequate knowledge to the complete knowledge of 'I am ONE', the practice of Wrong Meditation (Good Mistake) helps.
Example: If a student is not able to understand the steps explained by the math teacher in solving a problem, he is asked to write imposition of the solution many times until he understands the logic behind it. Solution to a math problem is to be understood and not memorized. However, when there is deficiency in understanding, memorizing helps as an intermediary step. Although memorizing a solution is wrong, it is recommended since ultimately it leads to understanding.
Wrong Meditation involves meditating upon ONE as if ONE is independent of the self. This is called Wrong Meditation because ONE is not different from SELF. However, the Scriptures permit and prescribe such Wrong Meditation since it helps those who are not able to reach the destination without this stepping stone.
Example: For elderly people, who cannot climb into a bus because the first step is too steep for them, a wooden step-stool is provided. This step-stool is not part of the real steps of the bus.
Similarly, for those who cannot reach the final stage of realizing 'I am ONE' through the right steps, this intermediary Wrong Meditation is prescribed.