Meditation: The Churning of an Ocean

Meditation stories are helpful to make the concept of meditation practice more clear for beginners.  These stories have the potential of inspiring us as well as clearing many of our doubts. Dedication to self-investment is very much needed in the path of meditation, and anyone who is sincere in his/her practice grows in spirituality very quickly.

This ancient Hindu story illustrates the struggle many of us have…wanting to begin meditation to achieve quick results, or to grab the wellness from the practice without enduring the process of unbinding the mind:

In Hindu mythology there is this story of churning the oceans by Hindu gods and demons to bring out precious treasures from the depth of ocean. Gods and Demons are always in fight with each other but this is the one occasion when they worked together.  They wanted to extract the divine nectar from the ocean, which would have made them immortal.

When they started churning the ocean many things came out from the ocean. But the beginning was not so good.  The first thing that came out was a very deadly poison and the poison affected everyone very badly. But Lord Shiva came to rescue everyone and He drank the whole poison.

After the poison many more things came out from the ocean like Lakshmi (Goddess of prosperity and beauty), Moon, Parijata the Celestial tree, Goddess of wine, White Horse, Kaustubha a jewel, Airavata a white elephant, Surabhi the cow of Plenty, Dhanus a mighty bow, Rambha the nymph, and Sankha a conch shell came. But Gods and Demons were not looking for these things and they wanted the divine nectar which would have made them immortal. So they kept on churning the ocean and in the end Divine nectar came out from it.

This story is mythological, but from a meditation point of view, this story carries a deep meaning. When we start meditating, we feel lots of thoughts coming into our mind and many times beginners in meditation complain that when they sit for meditation their mind becomes more active.

These thoughts were always there but now in meditation we become aware of them.  Every one has to face this problem and come out of it.

Secondly, when we go deep in meditation many of us attempt to suppress desires from our unconscious mind, which have come to surface and torment us. These desires could be of money, fear, sadness, doubt, power, fame or any thing else.  Try not to indulge in any of these thoughts or desires, but instead watch them passively. Only observe them. When we witness these thoughts and desires, and release them with no judgement, their energy is transformed into the highest form. e.g. sex into love, hate into compassion etc.

Meditation is the door to nirvana, as the unbinding of fears, frustrations and previous mental concepts transcend into a higher form of tranquility, understanding, and pure consciousness, which brings peace and clarity.


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