Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna

Meditation (Hinduism)

  • Karen O’Brien-Kop
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_592-1

Synonyms

Absorption; Bhāvanā; Concentration; Contemplation; Dhyāna; Samādhi; Upāsana

Meditation in Hinduism denotes a form of mental or spiritual practice that leads to a transformation of consciousness or identity and to a state of spiritual liberation from the cycle of rebirth. In different paths and traditions, the body may be either utilized in acts of meditation or transcended. The primary terms to denote acts of meditation include dhyāna, samādhi, upāsana, and bhāvanā. The outcomes of meditation can include special knowledge, deep absorption, transcendent awareness, powers, and liberation (mokṣa).

Vedic Meditation

The story of meditation in Hinduism begins with the ṛṣis, the poets or mystic seers of the Vedas. These ṛṣis were first associated with states of ecstatic communication with the divine realm. Within ritual context the ṛṣis entered altered states in which they spoke or revealed the divine word. This connection between truth-producing states of consciousness and special...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)University of LondonLondonUK