Dhyānayoga

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Dhyanayoga, DhyAnayoga, Dhyaanayoga


Dhyānayoga literally means ‘union with God through meditation’.

The word ‘dhyānayoga’ can be interpreted in the following two ways:

  1. Primarily it means the union[1] of the jīvātman (the individual soul) with Paramātman (God) through dhyāna or meditation
  2. Secondarily it means dhyāna or meditation resulting ultimately to the yoga or samādhi (perfect concentration) on God


Dhyānayoga when practiced steadily, results in great happiness and the yogi will be able to see all the beings in himself and vice-versa.

Textual References

As per Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad

Dhyānayoga is the technique of meditation. The ṛṣis who could not arrive at a satisfactory or convincing answer to their query of the ultimate cause of the world, reverted to Dhyānayoga to realize it.[2]

As per Bhagavadgitā

In the Bhagavadgitā, the sixth chapter has been christened as Dhyānayoga and has following steps:

The yogi should

  • Select a clean and lonely place for his practice of meditation
  • Prepare his seat for meditation by spreading the kuśa grass, cover it with a deer skin and cloth
  • While sitting on it keep the posture of the chest, neck and head erect
  • Begin with the concentration by directing his sight towards the tip of his nose
  • Then meditate on God by withdrawing the mind from all other things
  • Incorporate into his life the following disciplines:
  1. Fearlessness
  2. Continence
  3. Faith in God
  4. Moderate diet and sleep
  5. Desirelessness

Modes of Attaining Dhyānayoga

  • Though this yoga is difficult to practice due to fickle mind, it can be achieved by:
  1. Abhyāsa - repeated efforts
  2. Vairāgya - spirit of renunciation
  • If the yogi dies before attaining its fulfillment, he will be reborn in a family with a congenial atmosphere for continuing the practice

References

  1. Here yoga is referred as union.
  2. Svetāśvatara Upaniṣad 1.3.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore