Meditation as a way of life in Sikhism Prof Dalvinder Singh Grewal Introduction Meditation is generally an internal, personal practice and done without any external involvement, except perhaps prayer beads to count prayers. There are dozens or more specific styles of meditation practice. In meditation the regulation of attention whether through concentration or mindfulness, is the central commonality or invariant ingredient in every meditation system. In popular usage, the word "meditation" and the phrase "meditative practice" are often used imprecisely to designate broadly similar practices, or sets of practices, that are found across many cultures and traditions. Terminology The word ‘meditate’ stems from the Latin root meditatum, i.e. to ponder. The term meditation was introduced as a translation for Eastern spiritual practices, referred to as dhyāna in Buddhism and in Hinduism, which comes from the Sanskrit root dhyai, meaning to contemplate or meditate. The term "meditation" in English may also refer to practices from Islamic Sufism or other traditions such as Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Hesychasm. History Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions, especially in monastic settings. Since the 1960s, meditation has been the focus of increasing scientific research of uneven rigor and quality. In over 1,000 published research studies, various methods of meditation have been linked to changes in metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation, and other bodily processes. Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction. New Age meditation New Age meditations are often influenced by Eastern philosophy, mysticism, Yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism yet may contain some degree of Western influence. In the West, meditation found its mainstream roots through the social revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when many of the youth of the day rebelled against traditional belief systems as a reaction against what some perceived as the failure of Christianity to provide spiritual and ethical guidance. New Age meditation as practiced by the early hippies is regarded for its techniques of blanking out the mind and releasing oneself from conscious thinking. This is often aided by repetitive chanting of a mantra, or focusing on an object Yoga and meditation Many New Age groups combine yoga with meditation where the control of mind and breathing is said to be the highest yoga. In Zen Yoga, Aaron Hoopes talks of meditation as being an avenue to touching the spiritual nature that exists within each of us. The influential modern proponent of Hinduism who first introduced Eastern philosophy to the West in the late 19th century Indian Philosophy Meditation has been laid stress upon by all religions. The meditative state of mind is declared by the Yogis to be the highest state in which the mind exists. When the mind is studying the external object, it gets identified with it, loses itself. To use the simile of the old Indian philosopher: the soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the colour of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches ... it has to take its colour. That is the difficulty. That constitutes the bondage Swami Vivekananda on Meditation Meditation has been laid stress upon by all religions. The meditative state of mind is declared by the Yogis to be the highest state in which the mind exists. When the mind is studying the external object, it gets identified with it, loses itself. To use the simile of the old Indian philosopher: the soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the colour of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches ... it has to take its colour. That is the difficulty. That constitutes the bondage Modern Definitions Accoring to R. Jevning, et al in "The physiology of meditation” Meditation refers to a family of self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and self-inducement of a mode of consciousness development whereby specific capacities such as calm, clarity, and concentration are attained. Walsh & Shapiro define meditation... as a stylized mental technique... repetitively practiced for the purpose of attaining a subjective experience that is frequently described as very restful, silent, and of heightened alertness, often characterized as blissful. Criteria for meditation Bond & others identified three main criteria as essential to any meditation practice: • the use of a defined technique, • logic relaxation, and • a self-induced state/mode. Other criteria deemed important [but not essential] involve • a state of psychophysical relaxation, • the use of a self-focus skill or anchor, • the presence of a state of suspension of logical thought processes, • a religious/spiritual/philosophical context, or • a state of mental silence. Types of Meditation • Concentrative mediation: A practitioner can focus intensively on one particular object • Mindfulness meditation on all mental events that enter the field of awareness • or both specific focal points and the field of awareness Sikhism Sikhism is the path followed by the Sikhs as described by the Sikh Gurus and in the writings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs are spread all over the globe with their base in Punjab with other major concentrations in Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra etc., In India and in other major nations like USA, UK, Canada, Australia Meditation in Sikhism In Sikhism meditation it is a wholesome activity where the entire self is tuned internally to the God Supreme; while externally the body may go on performing all activities. It is different than sitting in trance. Sikh lives according to His Will. Everything is in His Order: nothing is out of His Order. One must accept and act according to His Order. hukmY AMdir sBu ko bwhir hukm n koie ] (pMnw 1) hukim rjweI clxw (pMnw 1) Mind wards stays in trouble The true Sikh is bound to Him when is in His order and acts according to His Will. Who acts to his own will is not bound to Him; he is separated from Him; he bears the pangs of separation. Without the guidance of True Guru he cannot get the peace and repents time and again. so isKu sdw bMDpu hY BweI ij gur ky Bwxy ivic AwvY ] AwpxY BwxY jo clY BweI ivCuiV cotw KwvY ] ibnu siqgur suKu kdy n pwvY BweI iPir iPir pCoqwvY ] (pMnw 601) Egoistic Mind ward gets no peace: The self willed person gets entangled into the worldly pleasures. Love of these pleasures does not provide him mental stability. He burns day and night in desires and ends in ego. mnmuK mwieAw moih ivAwpy dUjY Bwie mnUAw iQru nwih ] Anidnu jlq rhih idnu rwqI haumY Kpih Kpwih ] (pMnw 652) The five thieves in the body; lust, anger, greed, attachment and pride steal his peace. iesu dyhI AMdir pMc cor vsih kwmu k®oDu loBu mohu AhMkwrw ] Mind ward is devoid of realization The real nectar is within; the mind wards do not realise this. He hankers after the image as does the musk deer searching for the musk outside which otherwise is within him. He deserts the nectar and collects poison according to His Will. Gr hI mih AMimRqu BrpUru hY mnmuKw swdu n pwieAw ] ijau ksqUrI imrgu n jwxY BRmdw Brim BulwieAw ] AMimRqu qij ibKu sMgRhY krqY Awip KuAwieAw] (pMnw 644) Guru ward realises Truth from Guru Meeting the true Guru, God’s Name is obtained and the attachment to self is removed. siqguru Byty qw nwau pwey haumY mohu cukwieAw ] (pMnw 600) Hence it important that one accepts God’s Will and removes ego from within. sqgur kw Bwxw mMin leI ivchu Awpu gvwie ] (pMnw 34) Only a few guru wards realise this and see God within. There mind and body are at total peace and enjoy the real taste of God’s Name. gurmuiK ivrly soJI peI iqnw AMdir bRhmu idKwieAw ] qnu mnu sIqlu hoieAw rsnw hir swdu AwieAw[(pMnw 644) Without Guru attaining God is impossible Without guru the attachment to the worldly pleasures cannot be broken; only guru ward can achieve salvation. ibnu gur bMDn tUtih nwhI gurmuiK moK duAwrw ] (pMnw 602) The guru ward understands the path and gets absorbed into the essence of God’s name. All types of recitation and meditation are learnt from the Guru who helps God’s Name enter into one’s heart. gurmuiK hovY su mgu pCwxY hir ris rsn rsweI ] jpu qpu sMjmu sBu gur qy hovY ihrdY nwmu vsweI ](pMnw 602) Guru gives the Word and the Name Guru guides his to the word from which emerges God’s Name. Without the Word the world goes mad and wastes life. The real nectar is the word which the guru ward is able to get from the guru. sbdy hI nwau aUpjY sbdy myil imlwieAw ] ibnu sbdY sBu jgu baurwnw ibrQw jnmu gvwieAw ] AMimRqu eyko sbdu hY nwnk gurmuiK pwieAw ](pMnw 644) Gurmukh meditates and pleases God The Gurmukh does meditation as the God Wills; he recites God’s Name day and night. The God always takes care of his worshippers; they are of His real liking. gurmuiK Bgiq krih pRB Bwvih Anidnu nwmu vKwxy] Bgqw kI swr krih Awip rwKih jo qyrY min Bwxy ] (pMnw 601) True Guru guides to salvation Meeting the True Guru, doubt is dispelled, and the wandering mind is restrained. Nectar rains down, celestial music resounds, and deep within, wisdom is obtained. He teaches how to remain unattached with the world while remaining in it unblemished without getting absorbed into it. This way one merges with Him. ਸਤਿਗੁਰੁਭੇਟੈਤਾਸਹਸਾਤੂਟੈਧਾਵਤੁਵਰਜਿਰਹਾਈਐ॥ ਨਿਝਰੁਝਰੈਸਹਜਧੁਨਿਲਾਗੈਘਰਹੀਪਰਚਾਪਾਈਐ॥ ਅੰਜਨਮਾਹਿਨਿਰੰਜਨਿਰਹੀਐਜੋਗਜੁਗਤਿਇਵਪਾਈਐ (pMnw 730) God understands the language of Love The True God’s Name is true: his language is he language of intense love. swcw swihbu swcu nwie BwiKAw Bwau Apwru ] (pMnw 2) One should recite His Name to create a feeling of love. muhO ik bolxu bolIAY ijqu suix Dry ipAwru ](pMnw 2) One must hear and accept His Name and ignite love for Him within. At the internal pilgrimage to His name all the filth of worldly attachment is removed. suixAw mMinAw min kIqw Bwau ] AMqrgiq qIriQ mil nwau ] (pMnw 4) Uniting with Him being in the world One must unite with Him in such a way that one lives without worldly attachments. When the internal sounds without any instrument, one gets into Him. While living in the world one must gets detached from worldly attachments; this way one gets the real methodology of meeting Him. ਨਾਨਕਜੀਵਤਿਆਮਰਿਰਹੀਐਐਸਾਜੋਗੁਕਮਾਈਐ॥ ਵਾਜੇਬਾਝਹੁਸਿੰਙੀਵਾਜੈਤਉਨਿਰਭਉਪਦੁਪਾਈਐ॥ ਅੰਜਨਮਾਹਿਨਿਰੰਜਨਿਰਹੀਐਜੋਗਜੁਗਤਿਤਉਪਾਈਐ(pMnw 730) Meditation is Natural Gurumukh gets the realisation naturally and gets merged into him naturally and sings praises of Him day and night. shjy jwgY shjy sovY ] gurmuiK Anidnu ausqiq hovY ] (pMnw 646) Gurmukh recites His Name every time while getting up, sitting or sleeping and gets into Him. auTidAw bhidAw suiqAw sdw sdw hir nwmu iDAweIAY jn nwnk gurmuiK hir lhIAY ](pMnw 594) True Guru teaches to merge into while living naturally nwnk siqguir ByitAY pUrI hovY jugiq ] hsMidAw KylµidAw pYnµidAw KwvMidAw ivcy hovY mukiq ] (pMnw 522) Meeting the True Guru one understand the total methodology and while laughing, playing, dressing and eating gets salvation. audmu kryidAw jIau qUM kmwvidAw suK BuMcu ] iDAwieidAw qUM pRBU imlu nwnk auqrI icMq (pMnw 522) Rituals do not help merging into Him One does not meet Him wearing torn dresses, beating sticks, or putting ashes on body. One does not meet his by shaving head or blowing conches.One meets Him while living in the world without getting attached to it. ਜoਗੁਨiਖMਥਾਜਗੁਨਡMਡੈਜoਗੁਨਭਸਮਚੜwਈਐ॥ ਜoਗੁਨਮuMਦੀਮUMiਡਮuMਡeIਐਜoਗੁਨiਸਙੀਵwਈਐ॥ ਅMਜਨਮwihiਨਰMਜiਨਰਹIਐਜoਗਜuਗiਤਇਵਪwਈਐ॥੧॥ (pMnw 730) Away from rituals one must live unattached One does merge into Him just by talking about Him. The real yogi is the one who sees everyone equal. The meeting does not occur in graves or in hard penance. One does not meet Him roaming in world around or by having baths at pilgrimage centres. One meets him living within the world unattached. ਗਲੀਜoਗੁਨਹoਈ॥ਏਕਦ੍iਰਿਸiਟਕiਰਸਮਸiਰ jwxYਜੋਗੀਕਹੀਐਸੋਈ॥੧॥ਰਹਾਉ॥ ਜੋਗੁਨਬਾਹਰਿਮੜੀਮਸਾਣੀਜੋਗੁਨਤਾੜੀਲਾਈਐ॥ ਜੋਗੁਨਦੇਸਿਦਿਸੰਤਰਿਭਵਿਐਜੋਗੁਨਤੀਰਥਿਨਾਈਐ॥ ਅੰਜਨਮਾਹਿਨਿਰੰਜਨਿਰਹੀਐਜੋਗਜੁਗਤਿਇਵਪਾਈਐ॥੨॥ (pMnw 730) Attach to God detach from World As dos the lotus lives in water and the duck floats over it, one must get across the world ocean through attaching one’s consciousness to the Word of God jYsy jl mih kmlu inrwlmu murgweI nY swxy ] suriq sbid Bv swgru qrIAY nwnk nwmu vKwxy ] Guru Eternal The above teachings of all important religious gurus & saints of South Asia are permanently recorded in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and as embodied in Sikhism. Teaching of this Sri Guru Granth sahib the Guru eternal are followed by a Gursikh who starts his day by taking orders (Hukumnama) from the Guru and lives and performs remembering Him Methodology practiced According to the guidance received he gets on the true path removing the burden of worldly attachments keeps his self concentrated on to the attributes of the God described in the ‘Mool Mantra’. Through mental detachment he effaces all worldly effects (shunya) and through attachment he gets into the God’s world (dasamduaar). When one reaches this stage through continuous practice meditation becomes a habit that continues whilst walking, talking, eating, awake and even sleeping. There is a distinct taste or flavour when a meditator reaches this lofty stage of meditation, as one experiences absolute peace and tranquility inside and outside the body. Meditation Process His meditation starting with the Word of God transforms into total and inclusive love for him. It is not dry meditation which only conjures up positive emotions in oneself which are portrayed through our actions. It is total commitment; total submission; total dedication. He sees the entire world as His creation and loves all equally without any prejudice. The Gurus of the Sikhs, preached the equality of all humankind and stressed the importance of living a householder's life instead of wandering around jungles meditating, the latter of which being a popular practice at the time. The Gurus preached that we can obtain liberation from life and death by living a totally normal family life and by spreading love amongst every human being regardless of religion. Stages of salvation: The stages of salvation in Sri Guru Granth Sahib can be described under the following headings: • Detachment from the worldly attachments (Maya) (reaching the shunya stage) • Attachment to the God: (entering the Tenth Gate) • Assimilation into the God These stages have no boundaries and one gets advanced naturally since it is a continuous process.