Today meditation is the best way to get release from your stress and to feel positive, but this was not same always. Before it became popular among masses it was there. Meditation has developed in different part of the world and is in the form that you see it now.
Meditation started in India, but it was not confined to India only. History says that it had spread all over the world and in this article we will learn about that.
Started with Vedas
In India the practice of Meditation dates back to 5000 to 3500 BCE. There are images that show people sitting in postures of meditation with half closed eyes. In Vedas there is mention of meditation. During those period meditation was something that was mainly practiced by the wandering ascetics or religious people. It was not among the masses.
During the 6th century BC, Gautama abandoned his life at the palace and went in search of Enlightenment. For this he learned meditation and meditated until he was enlightened. He had created his own technique and make sure that he could do his best. After enlightenment he became Lord Buddha and preached his spiritual findings among his disciples and many other people.
Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism
In the same century when Buddhism was spreading there were three more religious births. All of them had their own approach to meditation. Jainism founded by Lord Mahavira taught self-discipline, self-purification, non-violence and contemplation. Taoism was founded in China by Lao Tze and they used meditation for uniting with the cosmic life or nature. Confucianism was started by Confucius in China. They mainly used meditation for self-improvement and self-contemplation.
After Alexander the Great invaded India both the culture came in touch with each other. It was then the Greek Philosophers learned meditation from the Indian Yogis and started doing it in their own way. Navel-gazing was practiced by the Greek Philosophers. However, as Christianity flourished in Europe, the influence of meditation decreased there until 20th century.
The Christian started meditating in their own way where they repeated the religious words in their own style while meditating. Jesus Prayer that was developed between 10th to 14th centuries in Greece is one form of Christian meditation. It is believe that the priest had some connection with the Indian Sadhus, from where this influence may have come.
It has been more than 1400 years that Sufis are preaching spirituality. They also under the Indian traditional influence have started practicing meditation where they mainly used breathing, gazing and mantra. They mainly try to connect with their God or Allah!
Modern Western World
With spread in different part Meditation gradually entered the western lifestyle. It was during 1700s when many Eastern scriptures were translated into European languages. As the scholars learned about Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita and other holy books from east they started understanding the inner philosophy of the culture in the eastern countries. Gradually, Yoga was introduced and as its benefits were seen more and more people started joining the practice.