ORIGIN OF MEDITATION
MEDITATION IS a term that came into usage around the 12 th century. Though various terminologies to define this process - the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness and even many methods to approach that divine consciousness the basic idea behind these different practices remains the same - spiritually. As the famous quote,” A people without the knowledge of their history, origin and culture can be compared to a tree without its root” – Marcus Garvey unquote. Knowing the origin of meditation not only allows us to cherish those moments of ancient wealth and wisdom but also enhances the interest and respect to practice and pass on these real treasures to future generations. It's by tradition they are preserved, and we benefit. We can preserve along with reaping its benefits only by practising – following the path laid traditionally.
Trying to trace the origin of these practices may be, more readily understood by a spiritually well-versed meditator through his knowledge of the past. Lord Shiva is the Adi yogi, and Vishnu the God in yoga nidra indicate they are in dhyana sthithi always. Let's try to analyse the origin of meditation by tracing back to the evolution/origin of the universe.
The ?Shatapatha Brahman says that Brahma was born of the Supreme Being Brahman and the female energy known as Maya. Wishing to create the universe, Brahman first created the water, in which he placed his seed. This seed transformed into a golden egg, from which Brahma appeared hence the name ‘Hiranyagarbha’. Another narration of birth of Brahma deva is; Brahma is self-born out of a lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu. Brahma is the one who rises from the "Ocean of Causes", emerges at the moment when time and universe were born, inside a lotus rooted in the navel of Hari.
In the Bhagavata Purana, dviteeya skanda (2nd), the ninth chapter you find a description of a conversation between Suka Maharishi and king Parikshit. Sukha maharishi narrates, ”The param guru of the world, Lord Brahma was seated in his Lotus. Then He had a thought to create the universe but was clueless and was pondering how should He. At that time, from the water-the pralayajalam heard twice the utterance of word Tapa, i.e. “tapa –tapa”. Tapa is the word of treasure to the people with a heart of sacrifice - to the lord. He looked around and found none. Then Lord Brahma thought that it would be the guidance and order of God for Him to perform Tapas. Then, seated in his lotus concentrated his mind on performing Tapas.” He also mentions that” Brahma was the best among the meditators and is knowledgable, intelligent who has full control over breath, mind and all senses. He performed tapas with “pointed concentration” for a thousand divine years, and the illumination of the universe is due to that immense penance .”
Thus, the creation and origin of the universe is the intelligence of the Lord Brahma that he gained through continuous meditation. Therefore, meditation existed before the universe creation.