Great psychologists predicted in the past that the present technological revolution would create many new psychological problems for humanity. Their predictions have come true. Throughout the whole world human beings have become burdened with tension and anxiety. They have lost their peace of mind.
Modern civilisation has placed all kinds of comforts and amusements before the individual, but unfortunately he has lost his appetite for them. His mind is troubled, tormented and tense, and this sickness of the mind prevents him from having a positive, healthy and balanced attitude towards life.
Irrespective of their country being affluent or poverty-stricken, technologically advanced or a primitive one, people feel that there is something missing from their lives. It is therefore, logical to assume that man needs to find a way of bringing about inner and outer change simultaneously; not isolating the inner from the outer.
Likewise, the individual cannot neglect his or her inner life and seek only to change the social, economic and political structure, for changing the outer world does not change the individual to any great degree. By trying to change the outer at the cost of the inner, to change the collective at the cost of the individual, an imbalance in society results.
The secret of the whole problem is meditation. Through practising meditation we begin to realize that the cause of our disappointments, unhappiness and problems is not the outside, material world. The cause of our restlessness and turmoil is internal. Once we know this we can avoid wasting energy on improving our external environment and can start to look deeply within ourselves. We then discover the way to tackle all our problems.
Meditation is communion with the inner self. It is the means of expanding our consciousness, transcending the external being and becoming one with the infinite source of light and wisdom. Meditation is discovering oneself. Patanjali defines meditation as that state when the mind becomes free from the awareness of subjective and objective experience. It is only then that meditation has dawned.
Meditation induces a deep state of rest which encourages the repair and improved health of all cells and tissues of the body. The body’s anabolic process of growth and repair can be stimulated by meditation, and the catabolic, decaying process can be inhibited. Research has shown that most bodily functions can be controlled by means of concentration. Meditation, therefore, has a great role to play in the treatment of disease, particularly mental illness and the whole range of psychosomatic illnesses.
Aside from the physical benefits, a meditator’s receptivity and openness towards himself and his surroundings increases and he is thereby in a perfect frame of mind for all forms of study and learning. An increased supply of prana (life-force) is directed to the brain and hence its functioning is greatly improved. The ability to understand, memorise and retain knowledge is thereby sharply increased. This is why so many students and academics are attracted to the path of yoga and meditation.