Nature and Meditation: The Organic Relation
December 22, 2019
We all know the importance of nature in our life. It is nature which is bestower of the very life which we are living. It has given us the food, light and various resources which the rational mind has used to make our life more comfortable. Thus the nature is considered as our mother and has been even considered as the divine power responsible for sustaining millions of life-forms.
In Sanskrit, the nature is called as Prakriti which is made up of two words viz Pra and Kriti. Kriti means creation and Pra means special. Hence prakriti means the special creation where the creation is constantly in sustenance and all the ecosystem is in dynamic balance and also constantly evolving into more complex life-forms with respect of physiology as well as consciousness.
When it comes to meditation which is called as dhyana which is the travel inside our consciojusness and to know our real self. In this context, Nature plays a very organic role because the self including the body is often considered as the microcosm of the grand universe or prakriti outside. It is called as
Yatha pinde tatha brahmande.
Whatever which is there inside that is outside and whatever that is outside in the prakriti is there inside.
Nature is in deep meditation (dhyana)
So having said this it is often found that nature often helps in calming the mind and leads automatically lead to state of meditation. This is because the nature as the whole is in deep meditation. This whole concept is explained in the Hinduism in the form of the story of Lord Vishnu sleeping in Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is the state of deep sleep but at the same time a clear awareness. Yoga Maya who is the consort of Lord Vishnu is the active agent of Lord who is involved in the creation and the destruction of the universe. So this constant evolution in the nature happens in sync with the deep state of meditation called Yoga Nidra.
This conception is also explained in the complex philosophy of Sankhya with the purusha and the prakriti as the inactive and the active agents of universe respectively.
So when one tunes with the nature automatically one connects oneself with the true nature of oneself.
Why the role of nature has to be emphasized now
In the present scenario, we find the humankind has been increasingly becoming away from the nature. The increasing materialism has erected the thick walls of separation between human life and nature. People live in their artificial multi-story apartment in the artificial city and travel to their office in artificial transport. So our entire daily life has become divorced from the healing powers of the nature.
Moreover, the human greed and self-centeredness has also led to large scale exploitation of nature in the name of development. So in this present era of modernization, it is all the more important to understand the role of nature. Then only one can understand the essence of meditation.
How nature helps in inducing the state of Meditation ?
When one comes into the contact of the nature, the human mind comes into contact of the grandness of the schemes of nature. Even the minute insect is so perfectly designed which cannot be designed by humans with all the advancement of science in the laboratory. The human mind can feel that we are not the ultimate controller of powers of nature but are organically embedded in the grand ecosystem of the nature. This brings about a destruction of the false sense of ego present in the human mind.
Just sitting in front of sea-side or sitting on the top of mountain brings out the majestic panorama of the nature. It beatens down the ego to just sit aside and observe the grand design. This egolessness connects one to one’s essential nature which is the state of dhyana.
Also when we roam around in nature, the nature gives us the most important teaching of impermanence (anitya). All around where-ever we see in the nature, the only permanent is impermanence. There is constant change in land forms, river-courses, mountains, beaches, and forests. Organisms take birth and then they grow and then they eventually die. When one understands this law of impermanence automatically we are less attached to the life events around us.
When one comes into contact of nature another important teaching given by nature is that it lowers our sense of doership. The primary cause of our suffering, is that we consider ourselves as the doer of our action. But the grand systems of the nature works according to its own understanding. It doesn’t care for our likings and dislikings. When a mighty earthquake strucks all our plans of retirement, buying a house and sending our kids to abroad for studies is stuck in limbo. In a instant we may lose all our possession which we are so attached to. The nature through this and multiple events in our daily life tries to bring to our notice that majority of things happening in our life is out of our control. This sense of non-doership helps in the proper dhyana.
We have example from our history from Buddha to Dattatreya who accepted nature as their guru and evolved into their path of sadhana. So we should take inspiration from our sages to respect nature and lead a life tuned to nature. This will help us in leading and healthy life as well as spiritually satisfying life so that we fulfill the goal of human birth.