I would like to understand what is the correct way of doing meditation according to Hinduism (esp. Vedas)? Plus:

  1. What is the right posture?
  2. What should the person concentrate on (thoughts) before and after initiating meditation?
  3. Is there any time limit?
  4. Is there any right time of doing it or we can do it anytime?
  5. Can we meditate in a place where there is too much noise?

Another important fact I would like to understand: Through meditation do we activate our sub-conscious mind?

  • Are you looking for guidance from a Hindu perspective only? If not, try asking in Buddhism fora.
    – user1195
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 16:19
  • Yeah, from vedic perspective, the right way of doing it.
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 17:02
  • @Just_Do_It I strongly suggest you to go through the book. hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/6889/… Commented Sep 5, 2017 at 17:55
  • Try reading patanjali yoga sutras. Translations are available online.
    – user1195
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 4:11
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What are the meditation techniques found in the scriptures?
    – user1195
    Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 10:17

1 Answer 1


Dhyana, is the Sanskrit term for meditation used in Hinduism. Vedanta is a philosophy of Self-realization, and its practice is a way of Self-realization through yoga and meditation.

Shvetashvatara Upanishad Page -47-50 – Tells us about Right place , Right posture and other essentials one should do before meditation like Pranayama.

The right posture -:

त्रिरुन्नतं स्थाप्य समं शरीरं हृदीन्द्रियाणि मनसा संनिवेश्य |
ब्रह्मोडुपेन प्रतरेत विद्वान् स्त्रोतांसि सर्वाणि भयावहानि ||8||

Placing the body in straight posture , holding the chest throat and head erect , and drawing the senses and the mind into the heart , the knowing one should cross over all the fearful currents by means of raft of Brahman.

This verse tells us about the right posture in which one should be for practicing both Pranayama and Dhyana (meditation).

प्राणान्प्रपीड्येह संयुक्तचेष्ट: क्षीणे प्राणे नासिकयोच्छवसीत |
दृष्टाश्वयुक्तमिव वाहमेनं विद्वान्मनो धरयेताप्रमत्त: ||9||

Controlling the senses with an effort , and regulating the activities in the body one should breathe out with nostrils when the vital activities become gentle . Then the knowing one , without being in the least distracted should keep his hold on mind as the reins attached to restive horses.

This verses is telling us the importance of pranayama before starting of meditation. Because its believed that better mental stability and concentration can be achieved through Pranayama , which is essential for Dhyana or Mediation . So its recommended to practice Pranayama before starting meditation in Shankkara bhashya of this Upanishad.

The right place - :

समे शुचौ शर्करवहिनवालुका-विवर्जिते शब्दजलाश्रयादिभि : |
मनोSनुकुले न तु चक्षुपीडने गृहानिवाताश्रयणे प्रयोजयेत् ||१०||

One should perform one’s exercises in concentration resorting to the caves and such other pure places helpful to its practice –Place where ground is level without pebbles and scenery pleasing to the eyes ; when there is no wind ,dust, fire ,dampness , disturbing noises.

The Mundaka Upanishad Verse 2.2.6 tells us the way of doing meditation.

अरा इव रथनाभौ संहता यत्र नाड्यः स एषोऽन्तश्चरते बहुधा जायमानः ।
ओमित्येवं ध्यायथ आत्मानं स्वस्ति वः पाराय तमसः परस्तात् ॥ ६ ॥

arā iva rathanābhau saṃhatā yatra nāḍyaḥ sa eṣo'ntaścarate bahudhā jāyamānaḥ |
omityevaṃ dhyāyatha ātmānaṃ svasti vaḥ pārāya tamasaḥ parastāt || 6 ||

6 Where the nerves of the body meet together as the spokes in the nave of a wheel, this Atman is within it variously horn; meditate upon “Om” as the Atman. May there be no obstacle to your going to the other side beyond darkness.

Chandogya Upanishad 1.1 -Page No- 5 -tells us that one should meditate upon the syllabus Om. We also find more description regarding meditation in next verses of this Upanishad.

In Maitri Upanishad this meditation techniques are also described in very detail.

  1. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The artery, called Sushumna, going upwards (from the heart to the Brahmarandhra), serving as the passage of the Prana, is divided within the palate. Through that artery, when it has been joined by the breath (held in subjection), by the sacred syllable Om, and by the mind (absorbed in the contemplation of Brahman), let him proceed upwards, and after turning the tip of the tongue to the palate, without using any of the organs of sense, let greatness perceive greatness. From thence he goes to selflessness, and through selflessness he ceases to be an enjoyer of pleasure and pain, he obtains aloneness (kevalatva, final deliverance). And thus it is said:

'Having successively fixed the breath, after it had been restrained, in the palate, thence having crossed the limit (the life), let him join himself afterwards to the limitless (Brahman) in the crown of the head.'

  1. And thus it has been said elsewhere: Two Brahmans have to be meditated on, the word and the non-word. By the word alone is the non-word revealed. Now there is the word Om. Moving upward by it (where all words and all what is meant by them ceases), he arrives at absorption in the non-word (Brahman). This is the way, this is the immortal, this is union, and this is bliss. And as the spider, moving upward by the thread, gains free space, thus also he who meditates, moving upward by the syllable OM, gains independence. Other teachers of the word (as Brahman) think otherwise. They listen to the sound of the ether within the heart while they stop the ears with the thumbs. They compare it to seven noises, like rivers, like a bell, like a brazen vessel, like the wheels of a carriage, like the croaking of frogs, like rain, and as if a man speaks in a cavern. Having passed beyond this variously apprehended sound, and having settled in the supreme, soundless (non-word), unmanifested Brahman, they become undistinguished and undistinguishable, as various flavours of the flowers are lost in the taste of honey. And thus it is said: 'Two Brahmans are to be known, the word-Brahman and the highest Brahman; he who is perfect in the word-Brahman attains the highest Brahman.' 23. And thus it has been said elsewhere: The syllable Om is what is called the word. And its end is the silent, the soundless, fearless, sorrowless, joyful, satisfied, firm, unwavering, immortal, immovable, certain (Brahman), called Vishnu. Let him worship these two, that he may obtain what is higher than everything (final deliverance). For thus it is said:

Essene of above verses – Contemplation upon Om by allowing the mind to follow the breath that travels upward along the Susumna Nadi (Nerve Strand ) into head region where the top most chakra is located . Meditate upon the Shabda Brahman chanting OM and meditation upon Ashabda Brahman (non sound ) with complete silence . Concentration and meditation upon the space in the heart which is the physical location of the self in the body. -

The meditation techniques are also described in Puranas for instance Shreemad Bhagvat purana. SB 11.14: Lord Kṛṣṇa Explains the Yoga System to Śrī Uddhava.

सम आसन आसीनः समकायो यथासुखम्
हस्तावुत्सङ्ग आधाय स्वनासाग्रकृतेक्षणः ॥32॥
प्राणस्य शोधयेन्मार्गं पूरकुम्भकरेचकैः |
विपर्ययेणापि शनैरभ्यसेन्निर्जितेन्द्रियः ॥33||

sama āsana āsīnaḥ sama-kāyo yathā-sukham
hastāv utsańga ādhāya sva-nāsāgra-kṛtekṣaṇaḥ
prāṇasya śodhayen mārgaḿ pūra-kumbhaka-recakaiḥ
viparyayeṇāpi śanair abhyasen nirjitendriyaḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Sitting on a level seat that is not too high or too low, keeping the body straight and erect yet comfortable, placing the two hands on one’s lap and focusing the eyes on the tip of one’s nose, one should purify the pathways of breathing by practicing the mechanical exercises of pūraka, kumbhaka and recaka, and then one should reverse the procedure (recaka, kumbhaka, pūraka). Having fully controlled the senses, one may thus practice prāṇāyāma step by step.SB 11.14.32-33

हृद्यविच्छिनमोङ्कारं घण्टानादं बिसोर्णवत्|
प्राणेनोदीर्य तत्राथ पुनः संवेशयेत्स्वरम् ॥34||

hṛdy avicchinam oḿkāraḿ ghaṇṭā-nādaḿ bisorṇa-vat
prāṇenodīrya tatrātha punaḥ saḿveśayet svaram

Beginning from the mūlādhāra-cakra, one should move the life air continuously upward like the fibers in the lotus stalk until one reaches the heart, where the sacred syllable om is situated like the sound of a bell. One should thus continue raising the sacred syllable upward the distance of twelve aṅgulas, and there the oṁkāra should be joined together with the fifteen vibrations produced with anusvāra.SB 11.14.34

ध्यात्वोर्ध्वमुखमुन्निद्रमष्टपत्रं सकर्णिकम् ॥ 36||

hṛt-puṇḍarīkam antaḥ-stham ūrdhva-nālam adho-mukham
dhyātvordhva-mukham unnidram aṣṭa-patraḿ sa-karṇikam

Keeping the eyes half closed and fixed on the tip of one’s nose, being enlivened and alert, one should meditate on the lotus flower situated within the heart. This lotus has eight petals and is situated on an erect lotus stalk. One should meditate on the sun, moon and fire, placing them one after the other within the whorl of that lotus flower. SB 11.14.36-42

Vedanta recommends regular meditation for everyone, particularly during the hour or two before dawn, which it calls Brahma Muhurta or the hour of God. Sunrise and sunset are other important times for meditation because at these transitional periods in nature, energy can be more easily transformed. The times of the new, full and half moons are also excellent, as are the solstice and equinoctial points. The above things can be found in Adi Shankaracharya’s commentary on Shvetashvatara Upanishad.

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    Some of ur own texts are also in blockquotes. So u should remove them from BQ.
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 6:42
  • @SwiftPushkar thanks for the detailed explanation, one pt you quoted "Place where ground is level without pebbles and scenery pleasing to the eyes ; when there is no wind ,dust, fire ,dampness , disturbing noises.", but thing is where in our house do we find such a place these days? What if we don't have one?
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 15:16
  • @SwiftPushkar so does that mean if we do meditation at home it will be of no use? Not much gain? Coz we all work from 9-6 these days and going to a secluded place after work (if there is one) is really difficult task!
    – Just_Do_It
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 20:04
  • 1
    It's said in Brahma-Sutras that -यत्रैकाग्रता तत्र, अविशेषात् ॥ ११ ॥ yatraikāgratā tatra, aviśeṣāt || 11 " Wherever concentration of mind (is attained), there (it is to be practised), there being no specification (as to place)." -www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc78346 Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 10:42

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