It is said that meditation creates a state of metabolic restfulness far deeper than that of sleep. Scientific studies prove that meditation results in a better flow of blood to the brain, which helps relax the muscles and decreases the stress hormones. This rest leads to a quick rejuvenation of one’s mind and body, leaving them healed from the effects of fatigue, stress and tension.
Happiness in life comes not by manipulating what you want to achieve but by paying attention to something seemingly totally unconnected with it,” said the great philosopher Swami Vivekananda.
For thousands of years, the wise of many of the world’s cultures have offered this as the key to happiness — meditation. It is said that meditation creates a state of metabolic restfulness far deeper than that of sleep. Scientific studies prove that meditation results in a better flow of blood to the brain, which helps relax the muscles and decreases the stress hormones. This rest leads to a quick rejuvenation of one’s mind and body, leaving them healed from the effects of fatigue, stress and tension.
So profound are the benefits of chanting that people from different walks of life have taken to chanting and meditation to get away from the stress of their high demanding jobs and lifestyles. Everybody from Priya Dutt, Vinod Khanna, Kitu Gidwani, Sheetal Malhar, Riya Sen, Dia Mirza and Rhea Pillai are reaping the benefits of meditation and also propagating it. Television actress Munisha Khatwani says, “I chant the Maha Mrityunjaya Jaap to break free from all the karmic ties. It frees me from all negative karma and has also helped improve my health, finances and personal life to a great extent. The more I chant, the more I am at peace.”
But is mental peace and happiness the only goal of meditating? Spiritual guru, Nandini Sen, sheds light on the benefits of meditation. “I feel meditation helps one just in being more in the present moment, because only in this moment can one do something. The basic idea is to relax in that very moment. All anger, anxiety and negative thoughts are carried forward until you don’t let go. Meditation simply gives the mind a holiday,” she says. The moment you include a goal to meditation, its purpose is lost.
“A goal is always set for the future,” says Nandini, “but meditation is about the present moment.” Meditation deals with forgetting everything for that moment and concentrating on knowing one’s inner self. This way, one tends to ignore the problem and concentrates on meditating, thus, dissolving the problem altogether.
Can meditation and chanting be considered the means of escapism from the materialistic lives people live? “Not unless one chants 24/7,” says model-turned-actress Aditi Govritkar. Juggling between her house, kids and work, she at times finds it difficult to take time off for meditation. “I try and chant at least 10 minutes daily to decrease my stress levels. This helps me feel more calm and at peace.” Event organizer, Sharmilla Khanna, agrees. “Of course, one cannot escape from the real world with meditation. I do everything that I’m entitled and responsible to do. I don’t escape from anything, not even my problems. Instead, meditation has helped me face my problems with a clear mind, heart and soul.”