The pictures of PM Narendra Modi meditating in a cave in Kedarnath have gone viral over the weekend. He has been photographed dressed in saffron, sitting in the typical lotus position for a meditation session that is said to have lasted for fifteen hours.
While a part of the media is having a field day mocking this as one of his grand political gestures, others are critical of him pushing the Hindutva ideology even more aggressively. Prominent journalists and politicians are taking amused, snarky swipes about the room service, electricity and the 24-hour, nine-hundred- rupees attendant available at the ‘Rudra’ cave where he is meditating.
To them, I say this. Have you meditated, ever, room service or not? Ever? Closed your eyes, sat down in the silence of your room, far from a cave?
Truth be told, nothing could be better for this magical ancient practise than such committed endorsement by the premier of our country. Not only is he talking about it, he is showing you while he attempts to do it. This is how massive cultural shifts happen, when leaders show the way. This is how this transformative tool will earn its much needed revival, when the PM signals to the country and the entire world.
The science and art of meditation must gain the place and importance in regular life it once had, many millennia ago, in Vedic times. It is as relevant now, and even more so, with the sharp increase in depression and mental illnesses, along with the stress, exhaustion and deep unfulfilment which accompanies modern life. Regular meditation can significantly enhance brain coherence, which not only helps one make better decisions but also boosts creativity and imagination. A committed practise will thus make you more intelligent and innovative. Not only that, it will also make you a calmer person. Differences will not always escalate into arguments and fights, you will experience an easier family and work life.
Apart from helping you lead a better life, meditation can lead to altered states of consciousness, or samadhi. Of course, reaching samadhi or 'meditative absorption' requires long periods of intense meditation, if you are so inclined. If life allows you the time and space for such intense and committed sadhana, lucky you! That’s because this altered state of consciousness is often such a profound experience, it can change you forever. It can make you an ultra-human.
Who knows, if you meditate long and intensely enough, you might attain this ultra-human state. That rare, elusive thing they call enlightenment.
But for the regular ones like us, a committed, daily meditation practise should be enough to improve our lives each passing day. Just twenty minutes every morning or evening. I am trying it.
I sincerely hope the image of PM Modi meditating in the Rudra cave inspires you too.
Shweta Singh is the author of the book "The Grandmaster: Across the Blackhole". She is deeply passionate both about science, and our ancient Vedic and Yogic traditions.
(The views expressed here is of the author and not of indiatvnews.com)