by Swami Sivananda
The Vidyas or mystic meditations on Brahman are described in the Upanishads, mainly the Chhan dogya and the Brihadaranyaka. These are discussed in detail in the third Pada of the third Adhyaya of the Brahma-Sutras. These Vidyas are helpful in medita tion both on the Saguna Brahman and on the Nirguna Brahman too. There are, according to the Brahma-Sutras, three kinds of meditation: Nirguna, Saguna and Pratika. Unconditioned or Attributeless, Condi tioned or Qualified and Symbolical or Idolatrous. Many of the Vidyas abound in qualitative and relative con ceptions of the Highest Self. But, in spite of this limitation, these Vidyas can be utilised even for Nir guna Meditation provided the meditator conceives of the absolute aspect of the descriptions given therein and avoids ail dual and gradatory differentiations. Even then, some Vidyas like the Brahma Vidya, the Maitreyi Vidya etc., are highly useful even for Aham graha Upasana and Nirguna Dhyana of the Vedantins. Meditation must be practised only on one Vidya suitable to the temperament of the meditator. The fruit of these meditations is Atyantika-Sukha or absolute happiness, free from the pain of birth, life and death in Samsara. Here are described some of these im portant Vidyas enunciated in the Vedantic Upani shads. These Vidyas cannot be meditated upon without being directly initiated by a Guru (Tea cher). They are very complex and hard to under stand for oneself without a guide.