What is the Purpose of Meditation?
Sadhguru looks at how the purpose of meditation is not just to make one ecstatic, it is to create a "space" between you and what is your body and mind. Once this happens, this is the end of suffering.
Questioner: Sadhguru I read in one of your question answer sessions that you were referring that even meditation is not the thing, like I mean, maybe it's a confusion to me right… Buddha didn’t meditate much though his followers did for, I mean it's just a state of ecstasy which people get into. Is it that… of course I meditate and get the feeling of bliss and ecstasy and it remains throughout the day. Is that enough for a spiritual journey? I'm a bit confused.
Sadhguru: It's enough incentive. It's only an incentive - ecstasy is only an incentive. If it is… if it’s painful would you do it? No. So you feel blissful and ecstatic, that’s only an incentive; that’s not the goal. So Buddha was ecstatic? No. Buddha was never ecstatic. Did you ever see him dancing? He just sat like this, that’s different. If I ask you to sit like that, would you sit? No. You need some incentive; so just creating that sweetness in the system is an incentive. And above all, if you are feeling ecstatic within yourself, you become a better human being, isn’t it? Aren’t you? When you’re very happy aren’t you a wonderful human being? Only when you're unhappy you're a nasty human being, isn’t it? Isn’t it so? When you're happy you're a wonderful human being, everybody is, isn’t it? So keeping you ecstatic - a dose of ecstasy in the morning, the world is feeling better. If everybody in Hyderabad started off in an ecstatic way in the morning, Hyderabad would be a wonderful place, isn’t it? They start with (gestures) tension, so its something else is happening. So ecstasy is not the goal of meditation; it is just an incentive to keep you going; because otherwise you wouldn’t go.
So what is meditation? The purpose of, if we have to look at the purpose… if you sit in meditation slowly it will become like this: your body’s here, your mind is out there, what is you is somewhere else. Once these three things are happening separately, once there is a space between you and the body, between you and the mind - this is the end of suffering. Once the fear of suffering is taken away, only then you will keep your instinct of self-preservation down; otherwise you won't keep it down. As long as the fear of suffering is there, you will not keep the instinct of self-preservation down.
The only reason why you are naturally not spiritual is because you’ve empowered your instinct of self-preservation too much. All the time it is trying to make you like a bubble in the world, separate bubble. Not willing to mix with anything. So unless you keep your instinct of self-preservation down, you will not become spiritual in any way. You will not know life as one happening. You will always be an individual, trapped. Have you noticed, even in your general life, when you're very happy you keep your guards down? Isn’t it so? When you're unhappy - fully shielded. When you're happy - little down, isn’t it? When you're very happy, it's all down. Have you noticed this? So this is the reason why you're willing to be happy only among certain people. (Laughs) Because you don’t know how to be just happy and still know where to stop life when it has to be stopped. You're willing to be happy only with five people in your life because you think that is the only safe atmosphere where you can be happy; because you have always understood happiness as a certain vulnerability.
See just see you walk on the street and you smile at anybody, they’ll look like this. (gestures) Why? What's their problem smiling back at you? (Laughs) What are they going to lose? They think, ‘If I smile, he may exploit me.’ How will he exploit you? If he comes to pick your pocket, you can stop him. If he smiles, even a pick pocket smiles at you, why can't you smile at him? What is the problem? Just try today and see, just go out and smile; people will look like this (gestures) they’re… they're surprised; somebody’s making me vulnerable to life. They want to go on the street like rocks, they want to go home and become life. Doesn’t work. After some time you become a rock there also. (Laughs) If you want to be life, you must practice it everywhere, isn’t it?
So meditation gives you that space between you and your body, between you and your mind. Whatever suffering human beings have known, it has either entered them through the body or through the mind. Do you know any other kind of suffering? There are only two kinds of suffering, isn’t it? Once you have a distance from these two things - this is the end of suffering. Once the fear of suffering is taken away, only then you're willing to venture into other dimensions of life; otherwise no matter what I tell you, you're only looking for safety.