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Meditation In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Meditation, also known as dhyan, is a type of tapas or sadhana in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Tapas and sadhana signify spiritual discipline, also known as penance and austerity. Meditation in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is more than merely closing eyes and sitting still. The largest Upanishad directly and indirectly asks humans to rise above the mundane living and to realize the Supreme Truth - Brahman. So, Meditation in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is Brahman realization.

The man who sees all beings in himself and himself in all beings never suffers. When a person sees all creatures within his true self, jealousy, grief and hatred vanish. This self is then all pervading – it is without birth, deathless, pure and untainted by both sorrow and wrong acts. Realizing this, the person free himself from all bondage and transcends death.

Transcending death means realizing the difference between the body and the soul and identifying oneself with the soul. On realizing our true nature, we cease to identify ourselves with the body that dies. Hence we do not die along with body.

Another example of dhyana is called upanyasa. This is in the form of an intense discourse given by a master, where each participant is welcome to present their comprehension of the subject in the presence of a judge and where the wisest of them gradually elevates each one of the participants to the highest truth. Here the process starts with ‘iti’ (so, it) and ends with neti (so it is not).

In the dialogue between Yajnavalkya and King Janaka, the King presents before Yajnavalkya the doctrinal opinions of six other teachers about Brahman, namely that Brahman is vak (speech), prana (breath), chakshu (the eyes), srotam (the ears), manas (the mind), and hrdaya (the heart).

Yajnavalkya, however, calls these definitions one-sided because there is no mention of the location of Brahman.

Yajnavalkya then characterizes Brahman as prajna (consciousness), priyam (dear, the will to live), satyam (reality), ananta (the endless one), ananda (bliss), and sthiti (the state of enduring steadfastness).

In conclusion, Yajnavalkya says that Brahman cannot be grasped. It is indestructible and remains unaffected by an element. One is also unwavering and suffers no harm. One who experiences Brahman become like Brahman. It then overcomes grief and sin and thereby becomes immortal.

Bibliography
Awakened India Vol 88 (1983) Edited by Swami Smaranananda - Kolkata Advaita Ashram
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VII page 125 - IHRF



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