This entire universe is the outcome of cause and effect. Every bit of creation is bounded by the law of cause and effect. All actions right or wrong are bound to their results. Good actions yield good results and bad actions yield bad results. Meditation is the supreme action among all the actions so the results of meditation are also supreme.
As said by Lord Shri Krishna in The Srimadbhagvadgita-
Buddhiyukto jahatih ubhe sukrataduskate
Tasmadhyogaya yujyasva yogah karmasu kausalam
The Gita Ch. 2 Verse 50
Lord Krishna at one place says that the Karmas (actions) which lead a person to God are the only actions. Skill of these actions is the Yogah (Communion of God).
When we speak of the results we directly point towards the benefits. The benefits of meditation are numerous which can be categorized and discussed as under:
I. Physical Benefits.
II. Physiological Benefits.
III. Psychological Benefits.
IV. Social Benefits.
V. Spiritual Benefits.
Physical Benefits: As far as physical benefits are concerned, meditation brings changes at cellular level which become visible even after one or two sessions of meditation. For instance, tiredness vanishes, which destroy lethargy and laziness. As the duration passes many more benefits get visualized. First and foremost, benefit of meditation is mental calm and peace. Dawn to dusk a person tackles many problems some of which may not be easy and mount a lot of mental pressure. Due to these mental problems the brain gets tired. A tired brain needs rest and relaxation. Meditation relaxes the brain. During meditation all the physical activities remain suspended so along with the brain all other body organs and muscles also get relaxed.
During meditation long, slow and deep breathing is maintained which detoxifies the body. Long and deep inhalation drives the diaphragm maximum downward inside the chest cavity which results in maximum air intake inside the lungs. More air intake results in more availability of oxygen to the lungs. This oxygen gets mixed up with the blood and gets transported to all the body parts. Blood also gets purified and helps the body to get rid of all types of skin diseases.
Meditation relaxes the heart as well. In meditation all the external as well as internal organs remain under resting condition thus the supply of blood to these parts gets decreased and reduces the workload on heart. High blood pressure (Hypertension) and low blood pressure (Hypotension) come under control. This way meditation is very effective in regulating blood pressure.
During meditation supply of oxygen gets increased whereas the demand of it gets decreased because of the resting of body organs, increased or surplus amount of oxygen burn the excess amount of carbohydrates and strengthens the cells of nervous system. Also, this surplus oxygen replaces carbon dioxide and detoxifies the body. Many diseases which occur due to the presence of toxins in the body get removed. Blood supply to the distal parts of the body increases and improves the functioning of these parts. Normally the distal body parts like feet, hands and head etc. get less blood supply in comparison to other parts. Due to meditation blood supply in these parts increases. It also improves immunity levels so the person who practices meditation hardly falls sick.
Meditation improves memory power. More amount of oxygen strengthens the neurons and brain. As the blood supply to the head improves so more amount of nutrients and oxygen reaches to the head and brain which improve both of them. Scalp of the head also gets improved which stops hair fall and greying of hair.
Meditation brings changes at cellular level. Each and every cell of the body develops, thus the ageing process slows down. Face regains charm and glow. Wrinkles of face and neck region start vanishing.
During meditation it is mandatory to sit straight erect, this posture brings postural development. Postural deformities get corrected. Sitting posture with straight back bone permits maximum space possible to the organs inside the chest and abdomen cavity. This condition helps to improve the functioning of those organs. It helps to deepen the faith in the existence of God, this faith develops self-confidence and self-confidence strengthens the will power. Will power is the foundation on which the success builds?
Meditation improves eye sight as well due to the increased blood supply in the optic arteries. During meditation spinal chakras also improve this improvement benefit the concerned organ from which each chakra is attached. Purity of thoughts is achieved by meditation. Benefits of chakra healing are achieved through meditation. Will power also develops determination. It improves quality and intensity of the efforts being put in all the activities. Whole hearted efforts in any activity form the basis of sure success. Nowadays along with IQ the person is also supposed to possess spiritual quotient (SQ) and to improve SQ meditation is the best method. Meditation also improves cognitive abilities of the person.
Religious scriptures reveal that the knowledge which takes towards the god is the only wisdom. Meditation helps in god communion so it can be said to be the true knowledge and wisdom. It helps the person to achieve which is yet to be achieved. A verse in Shvetashvater Upanishad hints about physical benefits as-
At another place in the same Upanishad one verse says-
laghutvamarogyamloluptavam varnha prasaadam swarsaushthavam cha
gandhah shubhau mootrapurishamalpam yogapravratim prathmaam vadanti.
Shvetashvater Upanishad, Ch. 2, Verse 13
"A seeker who practices meditation experiences weightlessness, means loses excess weight. Become disease free and active. Interests in the materialistic objects and pleasures vanish. Body seems glowing, voice sweetens and becomes clear. Sweet odour flows from the body and spreads around him. Urine and stool are excreted in minute quantities. These all are initial benefits of meditation."
Physiological Benefits: Scientific physiological researches have proved that during meditation gamma rays in the brain become more active though these rays are active during sleep also but activeness of these rays in the waking state results in high levels of concentration and improvement in memory power. During meditation theta waves are also emitted which result in body relaxation and improvement in immunity level. Also, meditation calms down the brain, slows down heart rate and deepens breathing. Blood gets detoxified due to deep breathing during meditation. Cell is the smallest functional unit of an organism, so is the case in human body. Numerous cells together form the tissues. Every tissue is specialized group of cells. Life of a cell depends upon the type of tissue it is member of, various specific tissues join together to make organ and organs form the systems like circulatory system, digestive system, excretory system, nervous system and so on. All the systems together make the human body. Whole the body consists of a fine network of two types of nerves. These nerves supply the nerve impulses at cellular level and affect the functioning of cells. Meditation changes these nerve impulses into positive node, thus benefits all the systems of the body. As stated earlier` A sound mind is the basis of a sound body` and the mind is nothing but the thought generated by the brain. The brain keeps control over all the other physiological systems. All the systems of the body get benefitted with the meditation.
Nervous system Meditation benefits the nervous system in many ways. First of all the cells of nervous system strengthens and the nerves get relaxed. Nervous system controls the various endocrine glands and regulates the secretion of hormone in them. When the hormone secretion becomes accurate it helps the body to maintain a god health. Proper messaging to the glands helps them to function properly. Nervous system controls the heat regulation in human beings. Meditation super imposes the tolerance power against the extremities of hot and cold. This way nervous system enables the body to adapt to the unfavourable conditions. Human innate tendencies like fear, anger, thirst, hunger, sex, sympathy, anxiety, curiosity etc are inherited by the human beings and remain present at the birth. Later these tendencies develop at a faster rate and affect the personality of human beings negatively. These become automatized.
Meditation helps the nervous system to handle such innate tendencies in a different way so that they do not bring much fluctuation in the thoughts. These innate tendencies are mental state in nature but determine the actions of a person. Meditation results in the change of mental state so the innate tendencies automatically get controlled. Human brain generates 60 thoughts per second which if graphed show the pattern like flow of alternate current with many fluctuations. Meditation stabilises these thoughts and the fluctuation of thought gets minimised.
Circulatory Systemworks as the transport department for the body. It is this system which supply oxygen (O2) from lungs to each cell of the body and bring Carbon Dioxide (Co2) from each cell of the body to the lungs for excretion. This system transports energy molecules to the working muscles from spleen and liver and return the waste products to the excretory system for elimination. Heart is the main organ of this system which keeps the blood circulating even during sleep.
Meditation benefits this system by giving relaxation to the heart. During meditation muscular activities kept suspended even the internal organs brought under rest which reduces the burden of heart up to a great extent. Functioning of heart and internal organs do not remain under the will of a person and these organs receive messages direct from spinal cord. Meditation practise bring even these organs under the will. Thus, meditation benefits circulatory system and improve its efficiency.
Skeletal System- Bony structure of human body is known as skeletal system which gives the body shape and structure. Meditation benefits this system. During meditation spine is kept straight which improves the posture. All the bones and joints of this system get relaxed and strengthen due to meditation.
Muscular system- Nearly six hundred muscles of human body assist the body in locomotion. This system works under the control of will. Meditation benefits this system by strengthening it. Muscles generate energy for the body to mobilise it from one place to another and to maintain a constant temperature of 37 degree Celsius for the body in order to keep warm. During meditation all the muscles, tendons, cartilages and ligaments come under rest and get relaxed. Relaxed muscles respond more effectively.
Respiratory System- As stated earlier breath is only link between life and death. This system not only keeps this link intact but also helps to detoxify the body by de breathing carbon dioxide (Co2) in the atmosphere. Meditation develops the lungs and reduces the rate of respiration which reduces the burden on the lungs. Meditation improves the tidal volume (Amount of air inhaled per breath). Breathing rhythm during meditation slows down up to a great extent which in turn prolong the life span. Life prolonging exercises (Pranayama) is the basis of concentration and meditation. Before each session is the basis of concentration and meditation. Before each session of meditation some rounds of life prolonging exercise (Pranayama) ensure the related benefits. During Meditation it becomes automatically deep breathing.
Digestive System- Meditation benefits digestive system as well. Human beings need food in order to survive and grow. Digestion of food is necessary for the functioning of other systems. During meditation maximum amount of oxygen enters the body and helps to digest food. Food after digestion, need to be converted into energy, which is not possible without oxygen. Meditation enables the body to store maximum oxygen for the purpose and due to physical inactivity consumption of oxygen remains very less. Surplus oxygen gets deposited in the body to break up the energy molecules into energy.
Excretory System- Meditation helps in eliminating the waste products and toxins from the body. Prior to meditation life prolonging exercises and long, deep and slow breathing during the meditation ensure the maximum amount f oxygen and toxins to go out from the body through deep de-breathing. Compressions if observed during meditation help to strengthen the organs of excretion like lungs, liver, kidneys and rectum muscles. Due to abdomen compression waste materials stacked to the walls of alimentary canal leave the walls and get removed during faeces.
Other Systems- Meditation benefits other physiological systems also. Glands of endocrine system get proper signals from nervous systems to secrete hormones. Meditation improves the functioning of these glands. Exocrine system also gets benefited with meditation.
Psychological Benefits: Since time immemorial man is in search of his own self. Man is curious to know the purpose of life. He is also curious to know the power behind this creation. Many saints from different religions tried to find the answers to the above questions. Some of those saints got successful in their efforts. They got self-realisation and made contact with the supreme power which is responsible for whole creation. They helped many to get rid of fear, anxiety, phobias, anger, salvation etc. Fear, Anxiety, Anger, and Phobias etc. are the states of mind and get removed permanently with the practice of meditation. Evenness of mind gets established due to the evenness in thoughts. Meditation stabilises the intensity of thoughts. Balanced thoughts bring harmony in life. Practise of meditation helps the person to adapt to the harsh and the unfavourable in the given environment. Thoughts of the person affect the actions and the actions affect the environment. Thoughts only bind the person with the society and encourage him to follow the rules and regulations led own by the civic bodies for smooth functioning the society. Also, the thoughts turn a person into an anti-social element by compelling the person’s actions towards unlawful activities. Meditation improves the quality of thoughts and turns them in to constructive ones. Release of chemicals takes place according to the quality and intensity of thoughts. Aggressive thoughts result in the release of poisonous chemical these poisonous chemicals toxify the body and give birth to many diseases. Meditation checks the aggressive thoughts and calms them down. This way meditation stops the chemical reactions inside the body and help to stay healthy. Psyche is the birth place of all diseases. Meditation strengthens the psyche and checks the birth of diseases.
Social Benefits: Meditation is socially benefited as well. A person who regularly meditates hardly gets angry with others, and never gets irritated, on the other hand one becomes more adaptable in the society. The person values to everything in the universe and assume the things as they are and the wish of almighty to fulfil the drama of creation. His thoughts are always very positive and humble. Such person seldom hurts any creature in the society. World has already lost many species of the animals and many more are on the verge of extinction. Each and every bit of creation is important to upkeep the world every creature has a definite role to play in maintaining the ecological balance. Extinction of one specie and increase of other will result in ecological imbalance which will prove to be fatal to the world and the generations to come. Meditation helps the person to get rid of greed and lust. This is the greed of man which resulted in the extinction of many species of animals. Man’s lust is resulting in diseases like AIDS. Meditation makes the man socially strong and inculcates social values. This way meditation proves to be socially beneficial.
Spiritual Benefits: As said earlier meditation is a religious activity which is practiced to unite with God so it is immense beneficial in spirituality. A lot is written in the scriptures regarding this. A verse in Upanishad says-
Yathaiva vimbam mradayopaliptam tejomayam bhraajate tat sudhaantam
Tadaatmatatvam prasmikshya dehi ekah kataartho bhavate veeta shokah.
Shvetashvater Upanishad, Ch. 2, Verse 14
"As a gem when covered with soil and dust, loses its brightness but after washing with water and wiping, regains its brightness and shines in its full potential. Same way the soul covered with the soil and dust of ignorance and bad actions of past births, fades dim but regains its shine and brightness with the cleaning and washing through meditation."
At another place in the same Upanishad one verse says-
Yadaatmatatven tu brahama tatvam deepomeneha yuktah prapshyet
Ajam dhruvam sarvatattvairvishudham gyaatvaa devam muchyate sarva paashaiah.
Shvetashvater Upanishad, Ch. 2, Verse 15
"When the seeker realizes the supreme soul (God) or the soul unites with the supreme soul through meditation then the seeker becomes free from all bondages of life and death, free from all sins. The supreme soul (god) cannot be realized with mind, wisdom or through sense organs. Soul can only perceive the supreme soul."
Thus we can conclude that the benefits of meditation are numerous. The final benefit, (Nirvana) deliverance can be achieved through meditation only.
Everybody in the world want to have mental peace and calm. In order to achieve this motto different people, act differently. Some people earn a lot of money and think that money will bring them mental peace and calm but after earning huge bulk of money they find themselves cheated because the bulk of money adds fuel to their sufferings and miseries. Some people think that seclusion from the society will bring them mental peace and calm but they also prove to be wrong at last. Seclusion without meditation is of no use. Wealthy people within the society or monks in seclusion all find mental peace and calm through meditation only.