According to the Gita and the Brahmasutra, ब्रह्मन् (Brahman) can only be reached by those who practice and follow ध्यान (Dhyan or Dhyana).
Even Saint Pio of Peitrelcina said:
Through the study of books, one seeks God,
By meditation (ध्यान (Dhyana)), one finds him.
Dhyana or (Raja) Yoga is the highest of all yogas – to become a person balanced in all actions and thoughts.
One who has achieved समत्वम्ं Samathvam (equanimity or balance).
The perfect description of the ध्यान yoga is given in the Gita.
This is what the Gita says about one who has mastered the ध्यान Yoga:
The Yogin is greater than the Ascetic,
he is considered greater than the man of knowledge,
greater than the man of ritual works.
Sankara Acharya says that ध्यान can only be done by a person who has renounced everything in the world and is not possible to be achieved by a Grihastha (householder).
A person who sincerely and consistently practices ध्यान will realise the true form of ब्रह्मन् which is mainly समत्वम्ं Samathvam (equanimity), compassion and mercy.
You will only bring out your divine nature and develop Samathvam (equanimity), compassion and mercy to achieve oneness with ब्रह्मन् (Brahman) by the sincere and sustained practice of ध्यान (Dhyan or Dhyana).
It does not matter which religion you belong to, all religions finally preach the same thing:
Oneness or Union with Brahman and Brahman’s creation.
Once you achieve follow and practice ध्यान (Dhyana) and achieve Oneness with Brahman, you achieve the highest goal and ideal in the Gita:
समत्वम्ं Samathvam or equanimity.
The Bhagavad Gita says in (II.48):
“Perform your duty with equanimity, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure.
Such equanimity (Samathvam) is called Yoga.”
समत्वम्ं योग उच्यते (Samathvam Yoga Ucyate)
Every religion has ध्यान as the way to truly return to God.
In Christianity it is known as Orison, in Islam it is known as Muraqaba, in Judaism it is known as Kabbalah and in Buddhism it is known as Zen.
In fact even the word Zen which is a key component of far eastern Buddhism also has the word ध्यान as its origin.
ध्यान (Dhyana) is all about mysticism.
You can get more details about Dhyana in almost every religion here.
The English language has no correct translation of the word ध्यान.
It is mistakenly thought of as meditation – where you chant and try to stop the thoughts in your mind and then you will relax.
Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life, perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody.
Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known,116
Even though Jiddu said that meditation cannot be taught that is not completely correct.
The teachers of ध्यान plant the seed of practice techniques in us and then we have to nurture it carefully and make it grow.
While it is growing we have to put in a lot of care and effort, but once it becomes a big tree, we dont even need to water it regularly, just the rainfall is enough to sustain the tree.
In any case Jiddu described meditation in the following terms:
Without meditation the heart becomes a desert, a wasteland.
Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti Notebook,91
For those of you who think what I say is all hocus pocus, wishy washy philosophical mumbo jumbo, for scientific validation listen to the below video by Dr Richard Davidson, a pioneering neuroscientist who has scientific proof that ध्यान (loosely translated as meditation) improves mental well being right at the genetic level and induces happiness, kindness and compassion.
Dr Richard Davidson is also a best selling author on Amazon and has written many books giving scientific validation to meditation improving mental and physical wellbeing.
I don’t think a person can be taught to practice ध्यान through books and Internet videos.
Never try to be a self taught practitioner of ध्यान (Dhyana).
Always first learn it in person from a properly trained master.
Trying to be a self taught practitioner is like trying to learn to cook with a pressure cooker.
Your brain is the pressure cooker in this case.
If you dont get the pressure and water correctly, all your food will become cooked like squishy kanji porridge (mush) and cause a huge mess or you may even blow the pressure cooker, and you may even get badly hurt and burned or permanently disabled.
But once somebody teaches you how to use it and you learn to cook with a pressure cooker, it is the fastest and easiest way to cook.
ध्यान has to come through teaching from a properly trained master, and then regular practice and this leads to a sense of self awareness even if you practice ध्यान for just two months.
But it has to be practiced regularly and consistently to maintain its benefits.
There are large global organisations including Sri Sri’s Art of Living and Isha foundation and many other lesser known organisations and gurus that conduct classes for small groups that teach ध्यान.
A small glimpse into ध्यान can be learned by these classes, but to be really felt it calls for long practice after learning the basics in these classes.
These classes plant the seed but for it to grow into a big tree it needs constant care by regular practice.
But the techniques taught in these classes must not be mixed with other techniques of ध्यान taught in other classes.
If you finally decide to follow a technique for ध्यान, do not ever try to combine other practice techniques.
I figured out the best way to ध्यान is to be alone in a quiet place.
It helps to do around or before sunrise and facing east towards the sun or just after twilight in the evening facing west.
It helps sitting and keeping your eyes closed.
The sitting position can be Padmasana, Siddasana or even a stool or armless chair with no cushion or minimal cushioning.
The main thing to remember is that your sitting must be comfortable, but your spine should be maintained erect.
According to the Brahmasutra, ध्यान can only be done in a sitting position and not while standing, walking or lying down.
You must focus on your breath since this leads to elimination of all scattered thoughts.
It helps to have a small mantra or chant the word ॐ (AUM).
But before you begin to chant the word ॐ (AUM), you should know what it means and the simplest meaning of ॐ (AUM) is found in the Mandukya Upanishad.
There are various interpretations of ॐ (AUM) in many Upanishads, but the main underlying meaning is the ॐ (AUM) is the Brahman which is present in everything in the Multiverse and in your Atman.
However you can never stop your thoughts, the more you try to stop your thoughts the more you will become distracted.
So just let your thoughts flow and focus on your breath.
With more practice your thoughts will finally develop a center.
With even more practice of about 2 years, you will not have any thoughts at all, you will begin to feel ब्रह्मन् (Brahman) and get a glimpse into the glory of ब्रह्मन्.
And with even more practice you will finally reach the infinite soothing comforting darkness and nothingness ब्रह्मन्.
Where nothing seems to matter, even light is not needed to shine in the glory of ब्रह्मन्.
And with even more perhaps years of practice you will only see blinding light that shines in the glory of ब्रह्मन् (Brahman).
With even more practice you will learn about the powers of ब्रह्मन् to travel beyond matter, space and time.
And finally after decades of practice, you will become the blinding light.
People will be blinded by your aura.
Only people with their mind and aware and open will be blinded by your aura, like Arjuna was of the Vishwarupa of Krishna.
They will not need their eyes to see you, they will feel your presence, no matter if you are next to them or thousands of miles away.
To most of the other supposedly “sane” and “normal” dumbasses in this world, who keep their eyes open, but their minds closed, and only believe what their eyes see, you will either be considered insane or a terrorist or serious troublemaker, who either should be locked up in a mental asylum or shot to death.
The sole focus of ध्यान is clarity with detachment(without attachment).
You must be totally aware, but fully intoxicated.
With clarity and detachment you will finally see your true self and understand what you are.
You as a consciousness, stripped of your name, ancestry, occupation, status, wealth and any known descriptions of you or you think that describes you.
As Jiddu said:
The understanding of what you are, whatever it be – ugly or beautiful, wicked or mischievous- the understanding of what you are, without distortion, is the beginning of virtue. Virtue is essential, for it gives freedom.
J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
It may not be pleasant to see, but if you are really detached you will see the disturbances to be overcome and get into a state of consciousness that will be calm.
These disturbances could be of many kinds of thoughts, but with constant practice of ध्यान there comes a state of consciousness where you become like a deep, still, clear, glacier fed mountain lake.
There may be stones thrown that create ripples in the lake, but finally the lake becomes completely still and on a clear full moon night you can cannot make out where the moon is, in the lake or in the heavens.
That is the state of oneness that should be the final goal of ध्यान:
It does not matter where the moon is – what matters is that the stillness of the mind should be like a clear deep mountain lake reflecting the moon.
No matter how many ripples occur, finally all that remains is the clear stillness of the lake and the undisturbed reflection of the moon.
ध्यान is not something you do just for one hour sitting cross legged and chanting , in the morning or a couple of times a week.
It must be done all the time, in every thought and action of yours.
You must act like you practice ध्यान (Dhyana) and you must practice ध्यान like you act.
But what is action?
The Gita says:
He who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is wise among men.
Action means doing your duty without attachment to the fruits of your actions and always dedicated to Brahman.
You must do your duty regardless of what will happen to the results and without any expectation of the fruits of that action.
The Vishṇu Puraṇa says:
“That is action, which does not promote attachment; that is knowledge which liberates.
All other action is a mere effort/hardship; all other knowledge is merely another skill/craftsmanship.”
What is duty?
Duty is the complete surrender to Brahman and performance of all your actions with Samatvam (equanimity) to uphold the Dharma.
What is ध्यान?
No Thing – Attachment to no thing.
As the Gita says:
“The enlightened, Brahman abiding,
Is neither elated by the pleasant
Nor saddened by the unpleasant”
What does attachment to No Thing mean?
Attachment to No Thing, means that you must give unconditionally without any expectations.
We are all human and will feel elated or depressed and this is acceptable, but we should not get lost for a long time in this elation or depression.
We must live in the moment, and the moment is only in the present.
No attachment or detachment means that one must be involved but not entangled.
As Imam Ali said:
Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but nothing should own you
ध्यान can be used both for good and for bad.
When you are detached you can either become a selfless saint, or sometimes a solider willing to kill a noble stranger for the sake of his nation, or even worse a psychopathic murderer willing to kill for his pleasure.
Hence first develop clarity of purpose. Then practice ध्यान with clarity of purpose.
What is clarity of purpose?
Clarity of purpose is to always follow the Dharma.
What is Dharma?
If you understand hurting another man is adharma (violation of Dharma), pleasing another man is Dharma, you have performed Dharma.
S Radhakrishnan, 2nd President of India.
I firmly believe that most criminals and Wicked can reform if they realise the folly of their actions and this realisation comes with the sincere and sustained practice of ध्यान (Dhyana).
I firmly believe that the thorough, sincere and sustained practice of ध्यान must be introduced in all prisons and all prisoners must be encouraged it to practice it daily or if possible twice daily before sunrise and after sunset.
I firmly believe all people especially the Brahma Dana and those who are depressed and have other mental illnesses must also be introduced to the thorough, sincere and sustained practice of ध्यान and encouraged it to practice it daily or if possible twice daily before sunrise and after sunset.
I am a personal living testament to the power of ध्यान to recover from the fraud gutter pseudo “science” of Psychiatry.
Once people are introduced to ध्यान they will no longer need intoxicants like drinking and smoking and drugs.
Sincere and sustained practice of ध्यान gives a person a permanent sense of well being with wonderful side effects of being concerned for the well being of others and all creation in this world.
This is unlike other intoxicants which only have temporary highs and harmful side effects and bring ruin and misery not only to oneself but also to ones family.
In chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita, ध्यान is a must to realize God.
In the Buddhist texts ध्यान (Zen) is a must to obtain Nirvana.
The supreme Ideal of the Sat Yuga, the Arya era of the golden age of truth is ध्यान (Dhyana).
ध्यान does not mean stop thinking or close your eyes or breathe slowly to relax.
Before one begins to do ध्यान, one must be calm and relaxed.
People have it all backwards, you dont practice ध्यान to relax, you relax to practice ध्यान.
True ध्यान is very difficult to achieve.
But ध्यान (Dhyan) is the only path to Nirvana and Moksha which leads to the realisation and final unity of the Atma with ब्रह्मन् (Brahman)
Close not your eye and thoughts, but close your senses to attachment and Vasanas.
Truly mastering ध्यान means achieving समत्वम्ं Samathvam or equanimity.
समत्वम्ं Samathvam and ध्यान Dhyan are interchangeable.
One cannot exist without the other.
But समत्वम्ं Samathvam can only come from practice of ध्यान Dhyan.
Once you reach समत्वम्ं Samathvam, you unite with Brahman and achieve Moksha (NO THING or (Shunyata).
Moksha means freedom from Vasanas and from the permanent influence of Karma.
So its all about nothing 🙂
After all the hard work you put in to understand and practice ध्यान hopefully you would have achieved nothing 🙁