The Oxford dictionary meaning of the word Meditation is concentration of mind.
That means contemplating on a particular thought. It could be any type of thought, positive or negative.
It is possible only when human consciousness rises higher from the mental plain.
Meditation is basically a process of observing the activities of the mind.
Human mind is a unique phenomenon. It is an invisible psychological human organ.
It starts functioning as soon as soon as a child is born. Crying is the first activity that an infant performs as soon it comes out of the womb of the mother.
The next human activity is smiling. When the mother puts a drop of honey on the lips of the newly born crying baby, he or she, starts enjoying the momentary pleasure of the sweet taste.
From this point onwards starts multifarious mental activities followed by physical involvement of the human body.
Mind has no power to control over the activities of the five senses. Mind’s function is to follow what the five sense organs are interested in.
The basic characteristic of the sense organs is to look for momentary pleasures. All acts performed for Momentarily pleasures are followed by sorrows and sufferings.
For example human pallet is found of good and lusty food and it compels the hands and the mouth to go on eating and enjoying the momentary pleasure of the tasty food. While eating we forget that the stomach has limited space.
We realize it only when we experience abdominal disorder and stomachache. Then we rush to the doctor for the relief from sufferings. Doctor gives some medicine for the temporary relief. The mind then forgets the sufferings that the body has to pass through.
We again start indulging in momentary pleasures of the five sense organs.
This in nutshell is the vicious circle of human life, from the birth to death and from the present life to the next life.
Right from the time of birth till death human being is often lost in this hide and seek game of momentary pleasures and sufferings and this circle end with death and the same game restarts with the next birth.
In order to get released from this vicious circle of momentary pleasures and sufferings human mind has to be trained to reach to a higher state of consciousness where he or she could observe the activities of the mind without being affected by the compulsions of mind and sense organs.
To reach state of consciousness needs constant vigil over the mind and a gentle persuasion to keep it awake.
From this point starts the process of meditation.
This process of acquiring the higher state of consciousness was initiated by the wise human beings—the Rishies, seers and saints.
Meditation is a universal tradition that traces its origin thousands of years before the advent of today’s civilization.
The science of meditation has survived uninterrupted and exhaustive testing as it has passed from generation to generation.
It has endured in its original form because the outstanding and fundamental appeals of Yoga have been Tolerance, Universality and Simplicity.
Within its simple framework are contained the principal teachings and approaches which make the substance of all known philosophies, religions, and disciplines.
If one understands the four paths of meditation, it is possible to unravel the trappings and mysterious elements of any religious or philosophical system.
Real meditation is liberation from the clutches of the senses and lower mind.
By definition it is transcendental, the word not being used as an advertisement slogan, but to convey the beauty of meditation, in which all fears, desires, longings and negative motions are transcended.
The meditator reaches the superconscious state in which he or she is able to identify with the all-blissful Self.
In this transcendental state there is no awareness of body, mind or duality, and the knower becomes one with the knowledge and the known.
Without the help of meditation, you cannot attain Knowledge of the Self. Without its aid, you cannot grow into the divine state. Without it, you cannot liberate yourself from the trammels of the mind and attain immortality.
Meditation is the only royal road to the attainment of freedom. It is a mysterious ladder, which reaches from earth to heaven, from error to truth, from darkness to light, from pain to bliss, from restlessness to abiding peace, from ignorance to knowledge. From mortality to immortality.