Normally, we see that when a person is initially told that he should be doing Meditation, Yoga or any other spiritual pursuits then a generic question is asked by the person as to what is the purpose behind all this? What will happen or what will I get after doing Meditation or Yoga or any other similar type of action?
Let’s try to understand the purpose behind all these efforts in spiritual domain. First let’s try to understand from where this desire of purpose is coming?
Initial Purposes in life – Person wants to gain prestige, position and authority in life. He is looking for the next promotion to become Manager or Senior Manager. He gets it and after some time, he gets tired of it.
Secondary Purposes in life – Now, same person is going towards religion, temple and religious rituals etc. After getting ditched by materialistic pursuits, he thinks that religion is going to bring some happiness in life. He starts donating money, building temples and constructing homes for poor or orphan. He sees his name on the top of list of donors and he feels happy. Now, he wants to become a head trustee of any temple or High Priest or Arch-Bishop of any Church etc. Although, it looks like he has transformed in a religious person but he has the same materialistic mind.
Later Purposes in life – Then he gets tired of his religious pursuits too and moves towards spirituality to find the same happiness. Now, he has a spiritual Guru, he goes to Meditate daily, possibly he lives in an Ashram only but the materialistic mindset is still the same. Now, he says that this extra-ordinary divine person is my Guru, I meditate for these many hours every day, I am trying to achieve Kundalini Activation or Enlightenment etc. Again, it looks like he has transformed in a spiritual person but he has the same materialistic mind. Earlier he wanted to become Manager then he wanted to become Arch-Bishop or High Priest and now he wants to attain God or Nirvana. Basically, everywhere he wants to attain something or become something or get some purpose done. He is not content with what Universe has given to him naturally. As Osho said, “You want me to live a socially acceptable life. You want me to be moral as per the standards of this Society. You dont want me to be controversial. Not that you have some great concern towards me or in my development as an individual but you want all this so that when you tell in society that your Guru is Rajneesh, then people should praise you that what a great moral Guru you have!!! So, you want all this to hear that praise which will lead to your ego satisfaction. As a Teacher, my only job is to destroy your ego.”
So, as we can see that we can be living life at different stages but most of us are only living a materialistic life and there is always this sense of achieving something as a purpose which is working in background. So, no wonder if person is asking what is the purpose behind Meditation?
Ego Assertion – Now, if we see closely, at every stage there is an Ego Assertion from our side. First, Ego said that I can be happy by attaining Promotion. Then Ego said that I can be happy by following Religion. Then Ego is checking if Spirituality of Meditation can serve some purpose. So, we may be running in different domain but at all places, Ego is making us run. As long as this Ego is making us run, it is impossible to be religious or spiritual in true sense. A true religious or true spiritual person doesn’t want to achieve anything. He is happy in the present.
Purpose of Spiritual Pursuits – Now, same Ego asks this question as to what is the purpose behind Spiritual Pursuits? What will happen or what will I get after doing Meditation or Yoga or any other similar type of action?
Understand that only Ego wants some sort of satisfaction. Hence, it needs some purpose or goal or target to achieve, a kind of recognition etc. Hence, this question is coming from person.
And this is the whole purpose of all spiritual pursuits and our spiritual Guru; i.e. to exhaust our Ego.
We can exhaust our Ego only by making some efforts. So, this whole effort is very necessary. Not only your Spiritual Guru but all the Spiritual Processes are made in such a way that it dissolves your ego. Understand it like this, a Guru tells his disciples that if you do this or that Yoga or Meditation technique then you will have some spiritual or mystical experiences. Now, the disciple starts doing it. Every day he performs that practice and feels that nothing is happening as per told by Guru. So, every day a portion of his Ego gets destroyed that things are not in my hand. God’s blessings are equally important to have such spiritual experiences. So basically, what Guru did by giving any spiritual practice to disciple is that Guru gave him a device to destroy his own ego.
But we are clever even there. Ego can take any shape. So, it can take this shape too that I have done meditation today for 2 hours and others did only for half-an-hour.
So, the purpose of spiritual processes, Guru, tricks and techniques are only to destroy the ego, which actually is the biggest challenge. And actually, the event of Self-Realization happens only when person’s ego is completely destroyed through Guru and all these processes. Actually, when the person is totally exhausted and accepts his defeat that he can’t achieve any spiritual experience, and then the experience happens. So, a disciple or seeker’s job is only to exhaust himself in this search. Final event happens on its own when you least expect it. It is always better to just continue putting efforts in your spiritual practices and don’t even think of getting any experience in return.
Again, it is not that we are getting liberated due to meditating for 10 hours in a day but when we meditate daily and we don’t get anything in return then Ego exhausts. Ego starts disappearing as it realizes that nothing is going to happen out of my egoistic efforts. That’s why, if we go into the stories of eventual awakening of all enlightened beings, we would see one common theme that some time before their enlightenment, they lost all hope of attaining enlightenment. Losing hope means Ego got exhausted and lost the battle. Ego accepted its defeat that nothing can happen as per my efforts and the moment ego dropped, things started happening because now Universe/Divine got its chance to function.
But a person needs to reach this stage after continuous and arduous efforts, not without doing anything or out of his laziness.
So, if we see closely then this whole effort from materialism to religion to spirituality is very necessary because this journey only exhausts the ego. If a person is not even starting this journey then there is no hope of exhausting this ego.
Conclusion – So, the whole purpose of Meditation, Yoga or any other spiritual practice or even Guru is that we should be left purposeless, desire-less and absolutely exhausted.
Hope this helps.