Mantra Meditation from Jnana Yoga
The following mantra meditation is a core meditation from the Jnana Yoga school of Vedanta. Vedantic practice is that aspect of Hindu philosophy which is aimed directly at ending the delusion of dualistic thinking and the attainment of enlightenment. The Jnana Yogi is one who is most interested in the practice of meditation and the attainment of enlightenment, and not just interested in intellectual discussions and debates. So the best way to understand this mantra meditation is to do Jnana Yoga and practice this mantra meditation and thus, experience the Truth for oneself.
The following excerpt from the book Meditation and Mantras, gives an excellent explanation of the Sakshi Bhav yoga meditation technique. This technique uses the mantra Om Sakshi Aham (I am witness to all my actions).
OM Sakshi Aham – Jnana Yoga Mantra Meditation
Book: Meditation and Mantras
Author: Swami Vishnu Devananda
Chapter: Jnana Yoga Meditation: Vedantic Practice
The Sakshi Bhav method is the witnessing approach. One observes the play of life as though he were watching a movie, but, again, does not identify with it. Whatever situations the aspirant experiences, his reaction is, "I am not involved in this; I am only watching it happen." It entrails introspection and close awareness of the mental waves. The mind does not want to be watched and will soon slow down its activities, but it does not give up without struggle. In many ways it will deceive and persuade one to stop watching it. It is such a powerful force that it is capable of dragging the attention where it goes, unless extreme vigilance is practiced. Many, many times it will divert the attention from its focus. One must observe this with patience, then firmly return to the witness state, taking care not to fight the mind but only to gently guide it. With the repetition of the OM Sakshi Aham (I am witness to all my actions), and continual disassociation from those actions, the individual ego eventually vanishes.
Jnana Yoga Mantra Meditation Highlights:
The Witnessing Consciousness is your true nature and this mantra meditation leads you back to this state. Jnana yoga meditations are not easy to do as they involve dealing with the swift mind and subtle thoughts, but they are the most direct path to insight and Self Realization. This meditation is no exception and will require you to be like a pitbull; relentless and focused.
The mantra, OM Sakshi Aham, is a great reminder to remain detached from thoughts and to watch them as if you are watching a movie. A reminder to not identify with thoughts. Those familiar with Zen Meditation or Vipassana, will immediately see the similarity in the methods. After all the Truth is the Truth.
As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, the Jnana Yogi is interested in practicing meditation and realizing the Truth for himself/herself, so that is what I suggest for you. Give this mantra meditation a try and get a taste for what the Highest Yoga is really about.
Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts with us in the comments section below.