Meditation, like an angel, came
To enlighten his mind,
To liberate his heart,
To immortalise his life.
– Sri Chinmoy
Sri Chinmoy yoga meditation video
Please enjoy a most inspiring video of Sri Chinmoy himself explaining Yoga meditation.
To start speaking about yoga meditation, it is first necessary to ask, “What is yoga?”
What is Yoga?
Here in our western culture, the term “Yoga” is often misunderstood and misused. We think of Yoga only as physical postures (asanas) such as those taught in Hatha Yoga. But this is a very limiting view. Although there is some value in practicing a little bit of Hatha Yoga in order to calm down our mind and specially our physical body, Hatha Yoga may be seen as the tip of an enormous iceberg. We can see the tip, we can even admire its beauty, but we don’t see the enormous magnitude of the iceberg below.
What is yoga? The better and clearer answer I found is: Yoga is union, union with God, union with our own higher self.
Yoga encompasses meditation
You may be wondering, “Well, the article’s title is yoga meditation. Where is the connection between yoga and meditation? And how do these two concepts link to God? Are yoga and meditation the same thing?”
Yoga and meditation are not the same thing. Yoga is a philosophy for life, aiming for the union of our human self with our divine self (self-realisation). Yoga is the path itself and meditation is the instrument. Yoga encompasses prayer, concentration and…meditation!
How to Meditate
How to meditate? Well, there are thousands of ways, exercises and so forth, but the goal is just one: Meditation helps us to open up the gate that connects the individual we are to the individual we can become.
Spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy wrote a precious book which has been helping thousands of people around the world to start in this art – the art of meditation. It is called Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction. If you are interested, it is available for purchase on Amazon.
Yoga meditation exercise:
Meditate on a Divine Quality
I would like to offer you one of the exercises you can find in Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction so you can start a meditation practice today! (Why not?) Here it is, below.
“If you like one particular aspect of God —love, for instance— please inwardly repeat the word ‘love’ most soulfully several times. While uttering the word ‘love’ most soulfully, try to feel it reverberating in the inmost recesses of your heart: ‘love, love, love.’ If you care more for divine peace, then please inwardly chant or repeat to yourself the word ‘peace.’ While doing this, try to hear the cosmic sound that the word embodies reverberating in the very depths your heart. If you want light, repeat ‘light, light, light,’ most soulfully, and feel that you have actually become light. From the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, try to feel that you have become the word you are repeating. Feel that your physical body, subtle body, all your nerves and your entire being are flooded with love, peace or light.”
– Sri Chinmoy, Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction, Aum Publications 1989
Sri Chinmoy explains yoga
In his book, Yoga And The Spiritual Life, Sri Chinmoy writes:
What is Yoga?
What is Yoga? Yoga is the language of God. If we wish to speak to God, we have to learn His language.
What is Yoga? Yoga is that which discloses God’s secret. If we wish to know God’s secret, we have to launch into the path of Yoga.
What is Yoga? Yoga is the Breath of God. If we wish to see through God’s Eye and feel through His Heart, if we wish to live in God’s Dream and know God’s Reality, if we wish to possess the Breath of God, and finally if we wish to become God Himself, Yoga will beckon us.
Yoga is union. It is the union of the individual soul with the Supreme Self. Yoga is the spiritual science that teaches us how the Ultimate Reality can be realised in life itself.
What we have to do is accept life and fulfil the Divine in ourselves here on earth. This can be effectuated only by transcending our human limitations.
Yoga tells us how far we have progressed in relation to God-realisation. It also tells us about our destined role in God’s cosmic Drama. The final word of Yoga is that each human soul is a divine representative of God on earth.
Now let us focus our attention on the practical aspect of Yoga. There are various kinds of Yoga: Karma Yoga, the path of action; Bhakti Yoga, the path of love and devotion; and Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge. These three are considered to be the most important kinds of Yoga. There are other significant types of Yoga, but they are either branches of these three or types closely related to them.
These three serve as the three main gates to God’s Palace. If we want to see and feel God in the sweetest and most intimate way, then we have to practise Bhakti Yoga. If we want to realise God in humanity through our selfless service, then we have to practise Karma Yoga. If we want to realise the wisdom and glories of God’s transcendental Self, then we have to practise Jnana Yoga.
One thing is certain. These three paths lead us to Self-realisation in God-realisation and God-realisation in Self-realisation.
– Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life, Agni Press, 1971
As I said earlier, Yoga is a philosophy for life. It puts our behavior, thoughts and actions all together towards one purpose: aiming for the union of our human self with our divine self (self-realisation). We saw in Sri Chinmoy’s explanation of Yoga that there are three main kinds of Yoga: Karma Yoga, the path of action; Bhakti Yoga, the path of love and devotion and Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge. Meditation is the instrument of Bhakti Yoga.
For you, dear reader-seeker, I hope that in this article you may feel eagerness to discover more about this very fulfilling subject, yoga and meditation.
My aim for now is to convey that Yoga is the path itself and meditation is the instrument to pursue our birthright reality: Each of us is a real God, still to be unveiled. Yoga is far more than the physical poses of Hatha Yoga.
I also hope to meet you here again soon, when I will write more about the different types of Yoga (Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Integral Yoga, Meditation Yoga).
Thank you and see you soon!!!
lives in Niterói, a city near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She has been meditating since 1997. She has been contributing to the “yoga meditation” area of Meditate Now.