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Jyoti Dhyana – Meditation On Inward Light

Jyoti Dhyana, or meditation on light, is advocated by Patanjali in his Yogasutra as a means of concentration by a spiritual aspirant. Indian philosophy postulates two fundamental doctrines:

There is only one Ultimate Reality and the universe is the result of the reflection and expression of this Reality.

The universe is the joint play of the two polar Ultimate Principles in existence, which are the root of all expressions of consciousness and power, and are referred to as Shiva and Shakti.

These doctrines are brought out in the two statements: Brahmaivedam Vishwam (verily, this universe is nothing but Brahman, the Ultimate Reality) and Shiva Saktyamaka Vishvam (Shiva and Shakti are the innermost Self and Essence of the universe). A Sadhaka (spiritually devoted practitioner) has to perform his sadhana according to these principles. It is necessary to understand the realm of the intellect and the relation between the two basic principles of consciousness and power.

According to Yoga Sutra, concentration and meditation are the means to reach this goal. Patanjali has given several aspects of these methods, of which Jyotir Dhyana is one. This method is stated in the aphorism – vishoka va jyotismati – concentration on the inner light, which is beyond sorrow.

In meditation, while breathing in one should think of the heart as a lotus with petals touching the sushumna (navel). While breathing out, he should imagine that the lotus with the petals is turned upward and that inside that lotus is a radiant light. This is jyotir dhyana. An aspirant must practice this meditation constantly with perseverance. By this practice of meditation, the aspirant identifies himself with the radiant light.

In jyotir dhyana, the ordinary perception of the triple states of mind, viz., the perceiver, the perceived, and the perception, merge into an integrated state of consciousness that is called atmajyoti. The spirit is centered in itself. This is kaivalya, moksha (the state of liberation), and the goal of yogic spiritual discipline.