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Concentration and Meditation

Concentration and Meditation

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Concentration and Meditation, by Swami Bhajanananda, a monk of Ramakrishna Order
Concentration and Meditation, by Swami Bhajanananda, a monk of Ramakrishna Order

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Published by: Estudante da Vedanta on Sep 06, 2012
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08/28/2013

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Swami Bhajanananda
Concentration andMeditation
An in-depth look atthe theory and practice of Hindu meditation,including an overview of Yoga psychology.
Contents
Ramakrishna-Vedanta Study CircleAthens,Greece 2005
 
Source
:www.realization.orgwww.vedanta.org
This paper originally appeared in
Prabuddha Bharata
, amonthly journal of the Ramakrishna Order, in five consecutiveeditorials starting in July 1980.
Prabuddha Bharata
was found-ed in 1896 by Swami Vivekananda.The author, Swami Bhajanananda, then editor of PrabuddhaBharata from 1979 through 1986, has contributed many arti-cles to various Vedanta journals. He is now an Assistant Sec-retary and Trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. As an Acharya (Teacher) at the Training Centre of the BelurMath (the Monastic Order’s Headquarters) he taught Patanjali’s
Yoga Sutras
, very insightfully. He posthumously compiled andedited
MEDITATION AND SPIRITUAL LIFE
, containing class-talksonspiritualpracticegivenbySwamiYatiswarananda(1889–1966),his guru.The subject, a methodical science in its own right, has its par-ticular terminology, which is explained in the text. The interest-ed reader will eventually need to consult the original
Yoga Sutra
with traditional explanations, an introduction to which is the work
RAJAYOGA
bySwamiVivekananda(AdvaitaAshrama,Kolkata).
This PrintingJanuary 29, 2005
Circulated as a service by:
John ManettaBeles 28 (Koukaki)117 41 AthensPhone: [+30] 210 9234682E-mail: jmanveda@otenet.gr
 
CONCENTRATION AND MEDITATION
By SWAMI BHAJANANANDAPART ONEConcentration and Meditation
Today “meditation” is enjoying unprecedented popularity inthe East and the West alike. A form of spiritual practice once re-stricted to a small number of fairly qualified aspirants is now be-ing followed by large numbers of people and applied to a widevariety of human situations. To satisfy the spiritual needs of differ-ent types of aspirants, ancient techniques of meditation are beingmodified and new techniques are being evolved by spiritual di-rectors. Indeed, so diverse has meditation become that it nowstands for a generic term denoting several forms of concentrationratherthanaspecificspiritualtechnique.The various types of meditation now prevalent all over theworld may be divided into two broad groups: secular and reli-gious. To the former group belong all forms of concentrationpractised for the sake of health. It has been scientifically proventhat certain types of meditation relax the body, reduce bloodpressure and mental tension, and cure psychosomatic disorders.They have thus become a boon to a large number of people liv-ing under conditions of stress, especially in the West. There isnothing wrong in practising meditation for its therapeutic effects,but one should not think this is all that meditation means or cando.Here we are concerned only with the other group of medita-tions, called
upasana
in Vedantic literature, which aim at spiritualillumination. This again is of two types: anthropomorphic (
 sakara
)and non-anthropomorphic (
 nirakara
). In the first type, followed inthe path of devotion (
 bhakti 
), meditation is done on a form of thedeity known as the aspirant’s Chosen Ideal of God, or
IstaDevata
. In the second type, followed in the path of knowledge,(
 jnana
) meditation is done on a non-anthropomorphic object likelight or space or on some attribute of Qualified (
 saguna
) Brah-man.This kind of spiritual meditation which requires a higher de-

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