As the mind becomes pure and clean through karma yoga and Upasana, one develops jijnyasa – a thirst to know, ‘Who am I’; a thirst to know, ‘Who is God’; and a thirst to know about the essence of this world. To obtain answers to these significant questions, one approaches a teacher and starts studying the scriptures. Theoretical knowledge of the Self is grasped through the buddhi – intellect. When the buddhi becomes discriminating and pure through karma yoga and Upasana, we gain the vision and understanding that one tattva exists in all the beings. He exists in all and everything exists in Him. It is the knowledge of oneness that the Self in me is the Self in all. That Self is essentially God, Ishvara, Brahman. This understanding dawns after contemplation and reflection on the teachings of the scriptures – the Upanishads, Brahmasutra, and the Bhagavad-gita.
At present, I see things from the standpoint of my body: I am different and you are different. But when I understand my essential nature, I will know that I exist in all. God exists in me and in everything. God is everywhere. I will understand that my essential nature is divine, Brahman. This is theoretical understanding; it gives me a perception of oneness. But it will not give me the experience of that oneness.
Meditation is the only real, royal road to the attainment of salvation. Meditation kills all pains, sufferings, and sorrows. Meditation destroys all causes of sorrow. Meditation gives a vision of unity. Meditation induces a sense of oneness. Meditation is a balloon or the airplane that helps the aspirant to soar high into the realms of eternal bliss, everlasting peace, and undying joy.
Meditation is the royal road to attain Godhead. It is the grand trunk road which takes the aspirant direct to the destination of divine consciousness. It is the mystic ladder which takes the Yogic student from earth to heaven. It is the divine ladder of Yogis which pushes them to the heights of Asamprajnata Samadhi. It is the step in the staircase of Chidakasa to take the aspirant to the highest story of Advaita Nishtha and Kaivalya Mukti of Vedantins. Without it, no spiritual progress is possible. It is the aerial ropeway that allows the devotee to glide easily to the other shore of Bhava Samadhi and drink the honey of Prema and the nectar of immortality.
Regular meditation opens the avenues of intuition knowledge, makes the mind calm and steady awakens an ecstatic feeling and brings the Yogic student in contact with the source of the Supreme Purusha. If there are doubts, they are all cleared by themselves when you march on the path of Dhyana Yoga steadily. You will yourself feel the way to place your footsteps on the next rung of the spiritual ladder. A mysterious inner voice will guide you
In order to experience what I have understood, I have to meditate. Meditation in Vedanta follows knowledge. Without knowledge, meditation is not possible. Some people meditate regularly, but if they do not have the theoretical knowledge of the Self, they might be meditating on something else. Have we gained the knowledge of that on which we have to meditate?
God Avatar, Sri Krishna advises us to first gain knowledge and then meditate. When we meditate, we experience ourselves as we are. Once this happens, our vision changes and gets transformed. We actually experience what we have understood theoretically. We experience the presence of God in everything and everyone. We live in the world as a free person. We live in this world as a jivanmukta – liberated while alive.