Very often, people question” India has proven its mettle by its remarkable contributions in IT. Also, Software giant Microsoft has maximum number of employees from India only. Why does we need mantra meditation, spirituality in this IT age? No doubt, the IT Boom over the last decade has made India a global power to reckon with. But the recent global meltdown and economic disturbances have raised a fundamental question: In spite of our knowledge of global markets and how to manipulate them, why did we have to reel under a global market crash that our IT systems could not predict? No matter how much advancement we make, still peace and happiness, life-satisfaction and security will always remain the fundamental goals of life. The modern IT has some fundamental limitations which are often overlooked:
Information is not insight: Information dazzles us with facts and figures, while distracting us from deeper truths that illuminate and enrich, truths about our identity and origin.
Technology debilitates our spirit: Technology makes us dependent on external gadgetry that we forget to develop ourselves. Too much interaction with technology and machines has inhibited our ability to develop emotional intelligence. This results in people treating each other like machines which have no emotional quotient.
These limitations of IT have become even more critical in our times because with the recent development of technology and gadgets, we have also seen an increase in depression, anxiety level, suicide rates, relationship problems, lack of focus amongst students. Subsequently, to widely use IT, we need another IT: Inner Transformation. What the world needs today is not improved information technology but effective inner transformation technology that will enable people to use IT constructively. Albert Einstein once quoted” Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness at which they have been created.” Even though scientific researchers have tried to devise medical pills and precautions but seeing their inability to address these problems successfully, the scientific community is now turning towards Vedic solution to these problems. Amongst which mantra meditation has found an escalating popularity amongst researchers for curing these daily problems in life.
Just as a child cannot distinguish between an ordinary paper and 500 Rs. note, a person uninformed about the benefits of mantra meditation may think spiritual sound vibration to be mundane without realizing its potency in waking up us from spiritual amnesia and redeeming us from many mental problem. Taking the testimonies of scientific researches let’s try to delve ourselves deep into understanding the 5 practical benefits of Mantra meditation
- Increase in Grey matter [Mindfulness or concentration]: Very often, students and professionals suffer from the inability to focus or complain of being absent-minded in their classes or rendezvous. Professor Aruther W.Toga AT UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles elucidates in his dissertation that they found significantly larger gray matters volumes in meditators in the right orbito-frontal cortex. In addition, meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the right hippocampus. Both orbito-frontal and hippocampal regions have been implicated in emotional regulation and response control. Thus, larger volumes in these regions might account for meditators’ singular abilities and habits to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability, and engage in mindful behavior. Also, Fadel Zeidan, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, USA states in his article that brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness.
- Controlling Negative(-ve) Emotions: The irony of modern life is” People have sofa set, TV set, dining set but in spite of so many sets, they are upset.” Very often, people find their lives traumatized by tribulations and disturbances which often inundate people with negative emotions. In 2008 B. L. Fredrickson’s (1998, 2001) in his Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, wrote that meditation practice produced increase in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in a wide range of personal resources (e.g., increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms). In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptom. In a separate article entitled” Health Benefits of Meditation”, Sala Horowitz, PhD stated that a group meditation intervention that involved repeating a mantra, a spiritual word or phrase, was found to decrease anger in distressed HIV-positive persons. In this regard, Roxane Raffin Chan, PhD, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing, Michigan State University in his article “Mantra Meditation a bedside spiritual intervention”, shares that trials involving only mantra meditation also decreased the stress response as seen in lowered blood pressure, decreased habitual responding and self-reported anxiety, and increased overall emotional wellbeing and peaceful and spiritual feelings (Anderson & Kryscio, 2008; Bormann et al., 2013).
- Developing Will Power: Where there is no will, there can never be any way. Willpower is the greatest human power and successful people recommendation is to nourish the will to win. Deborah Kotz, In U.S. News shares
“Practicing mindfulness meditation for a few minutes each day can actually boost willpower by building up gray matter in areas of the brain that regulate emotions and govern decision making.”
- Developing Resilience: Holly B. Rogers, MD, is Staff Psychiatrist, Counseling and Psychological Services, Duke University and her article was recommended by Harvard University for developing the quality of resilience in students. The article discusses the impact of mindfulness meditation on increasing resilience in college students in the U.S. It talks about the ability of people to recover from trauma and stress. Topics discussed also include emerging adults (EAs), the instability of EAs while exploring their identities, and the role of resilience in mental health.
- Boosting Happiness & Satisfaction and Increase in Positive emotions): For most people, the equation of happiness may be confusing and with the increase in the number of unknown variables governing our happiness index, the happiness and satisfaction becomes dependent on acquisition and possession. However, in the research by Dr. Richard j. Davidson from Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, he found a significant increase in left‐sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the non-meditators. Albert J. Arias, M.D. Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Medical School, Farmington, USA stated the benefits of meditation in curving mood and anxiety disorders, autoimmune illness, and emotional disturbance in neoplastic disease. With regard to stress, Dr. Michael Speca, Department of Psychosocial Resources, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Canada in the year 2000 found that overall reduction in Total Mood Disturbance was 65%, with a 31% reduction in Symptoms of Stress as a result of mantra meditation.
Thus, after analyzing the immense benefits of mantra meditation by a meticulous synthesis of science and spirituality, why should we deprive ourselves of taking advantages of mediation and spirituality in making our life a happy journey towards a beautiful destination which Lord Krishna promises in Bhagavad Gita. Patrick Glyen in his book God: The Evidence states “It is difficult to find a more consistent correlative of mental health, or a better insurance against self-destructive behaviors, than a strong religious faith.” Also, in Bhagavad gita, Krishna affirms the statement “yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ‘smi”(BG10.25), Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa]. Just as when we tune a TV to a particular channel, the TV antenna catches the corresponding vibration among the hundreds of vibrations present in the atmosphere, if we tune ourselves to TV(transcendental vibration), we too will experience the supreme bliss and the disturbing elements will get subsided. Therefore, let us tune to the best TV.