In this topic we shall discuss the various stages of meditation. The most important aspect in the art of meditation is the intention behind undertaking meditation. A point that is to be cleared here is that meditation should only be performed as a means to realize the Ultimate reality and as a means of freedom from worldly attachments and bonds. Any other intention for performing meditation, is useless and wasted in all respects. If one develops the mood for understanding the higher reality and with that intention, undertakes meditation, the act of meditation can bestow other benefits as a supportive, but these benefits can never be made the goal of meditation. Nowadays, the process of meditation is commercialized. It is to be understood that these arrangements shall only bring a deviation to the main purpose and nothing more with respect to attaining any supernal and worthwhile goals shall be achieved.
Now, it is clear that the fundamental purpose of meditation is Self-Realization, God-realization. When somebody sincerely undertakes meditation with this end goal in mind, even though one may fail mid-way, it should be understood that meditation would have already taken one, many steps closer to the goal of Self-realization. This is a given. The initial stages of meditation can be very challenging. One may be faced with many challenges, as one takes meditation as a powerful tool, towards attaining Self-Knowledge. It is better that, one undertakes the guidance of a Self-realized Master, while taking up meditation. It is to be understood that meditation is a methodology of tuning to the higher frequencies of Nature and an attempt to get relieved from forces that bind us to the world of matter. As one starts meditating, one shall create a stir around the energy systems that surround oneself. It is like creating a small hole on a conical sheet of plastic that is holding water. A hole in the sheet will allow water to gush out through that hole. In the normal circumstance the mind and the supporting faculties of the intellect are exposed to the environment of matter and hence they are attuned to this environment of matter. When one starts to meditate, there is an attempt to redirect the flow of consciousness which is currently flowing outward. When there is a possibility of tuning it inward or upward, the flow of consciousness, starts to reverse. This also means that the apparent balance that existed prior to the process of meditation is now disturbed. It is also to be understood that in the normal course of things, prior to the introduction of meditation, all the external energies make up for time and causation and have a direct influence on the events or happenings within life. These causations are also maintained by the Karmic pressure that guide the events and bodily conditions of a person.
However with practice of meditation, there is a dent created in the causal plane and a new passage for consciousness is designed. Thus at the initial stage of meditation, flow of life is likely to be effected. The way Karma unravels, also undergoes a shift. Within a few days of committed practice, events may develop in such a way that it may force the stoppage of meditational practices. There may be several showstoppers whereby Karma may start to fructify in quick succession, whereby the person shall be unable to take the bombardment of these events and one is likely to be forced to give up meditation. However if the person is informed about these challenges beforehand, the person may take a break, as the Karmas start to disturb his practices. Following this, it is better that the person starts to perform meditation in breaks and slowly starts to build his practice once again.
On further practice of meditation he may behold divine visions, experience divine smell, divine taste, divine touch, hear divine Anahata sounds (अनाहत Sounds of Om within) and so on. One may start receiving Divine instructions. These indicate that the Kundalini Shakti (कुंडलिनी शक्ति) has been awakened. When there is throbbing in Muladhara (मूलाधार), when hairs stand on their roots, there can be situations when the practitioner starts performing Yogic asanas (योग आसन) automatically. It also proceeds from this that the breath stops without any effort. One shall start feeling the currents of the Prana (प्राण), life-force and the cosmic sound of Om shall start reverberating automatically within the consciousness of the meditator. When, in meditation, the eyes become fixed on the middle of the eyebrows, one can know that Kundalini has become active. When one feels vibrations of Prana in different parts inside the body, when one experiences jerks like the shocks of electricity, one can know that Kundalini has become active. When one meditates, when one gets inspiration and insight, when nature unfolds its secrets, all doubts disappear, one understands clearly the meaning of the Vedic texts; one can know that Kundalini has become active.
When meditation is thus continued, Karma can take a significant change, there might emerge life-changing events and life can change its entire course. For example when a man meditates with the Lord in mind, within a short span of dedicated practice, the current occupation of the meditator may undergo a drastic change. If the commitment to God is 100%, it is possible that situations may amicably change to such an extent that the way the meditator leads his life may alter completely. He may well lead a 100% spiritual life with focus on God as his only objective. The way he looks at life shall change, his realizations about life will change, and his friend circle and associates will change. With continued practice of meditation, all the material layers of the mind shall be peeled off. This peeling of is represented by the various dynamic changes that the meditator undergoes within life. When one’s meditational practices reaches the peak, God reveals His Divine form and establishes permanent contact with the meditator and becomes an inseparable part of the practitioner. All the sleep patterns as well as dreams of the practitioner shall be cleansed so that there is a peeling off of the physical, subtle and causal layers of one’s consciousness. This also means that the physical appearance of the meditator can also change. The reality of life shall dawn on the practitioner and he shall enter the domain of the unassailable. He shall then enter into a domain of perfect security.