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Ashtottaram 12: OṀ DHYĀNABHŨMYAI NAMAH

A stable and concentrated mind is a great asset in life

By Dr. Devakinanda Pasupuleti

Meditation centers are popping up on every street corner in big cities, on face book every other group is about meditation and that’s a good thing. Many people are experiencing stress due to economic, political, technological, and social strains. Yoga (postures) is nothing but mastery of your body and meditation is mastery over mind. We are nothing but our bodies, mind, emotions, and energies. In body, if you become pleasant, we call this health and pleasure. In mind, if you become pleasant, we call this peace and joyfulness.

Ashtottaram 12

12) OṀ DHYĀNABHŨMYAI NAMAH: 

OṀ (AUM)-DH-YAA-NA-BHOO-MYAI– NA-MA-HA

      ॐ ध्यानभूम्यै नमः                                     

(Dhyāna: “Meditation”, contemplation, continuous thinking) 

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A stable and concentrated mind is a great asset in life. In spiritual life, it is a must. The art and science of concentration has been systematically described in the works on yoga. The Yogasutras of Patanjali (200 BCE) are the most standard treatise on this subject.  Patanjali describes eight steps to the attainment of yoga, of which dhyāna is the seventh (and penultimate) step.

Prior to the dhyāna stage, concentration is not continuous; moments of concentration are interspersed with moments of distraction (dhāraṇa). In dhyāna, each succeeding wave of the mind is absolutely identical to the preceding wave. The mind flows in an unbroken continuous stream like oil being poured from one vessel to another.

Yoga (postures) is nothing but mastery of your body and meditation is mastery over mind.
Dhyana practiced over a long period leads to samadhi-a state of absolute concentration resulting in mystical experience. Pexels

Dhyāna is a mental action. The amount of time involved in meditation is far less than the time spent in a wandering state which is a natural thing for the mind to do, since the mind is nothing but the flow of thoughts. It is a common mis-conception that when we try to concentrate on a given form, all the time we spend trying to get our wandering mind to focus is a waste and not considered meditation. Every second spent is part of meditation. The goal is not to get discouraged and constant daily practice will increase the time of continuous focus. Dhyāna practiced over a long period leads to samādhi-a state of absolute concentration resulting in mystical experience. It must be understood that the state of samādhi is just a short- lived experience; it is not mokṣham (liberation from the cycle of birth and death which only comes with Jnāna yoga). In a nutshell, dhyana (meditation) means gaining mastery over the mind (flow of thoughts).

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Now adays there is no shortage of schools, university courses and online classes for yoga and meditation. These are popping up everywhere not only because of great interest in this subject but also economic interests.

The credit of this most valuable prakriyā (method of unfoldment, means of exposition) belongs to our land – hence our mātrubhōmi is-“Dhyāna Bhūmi.” 

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