Effectiveness of Different Meditation Techniques



I have been practicing Trancendental Meditation for 31 years. I am now looking forward to visiting Ananda and would like to know if someone could answer a question for me.

As both disciplines are branches of Patanjali's teachings how do they differ and why would my mantra be considered a less effective tool than the Kriya meditation technique?

Thank you so much.




Dear SA,

That’s a good question. First a clarification: Kriya goes back at least as far as the Bhagavad Gita, and I’ve no doubt, a lot farther than that. Patanjali, however is much more recent, so calling Kriya an offshoot of Patanjali’s teaching is not quite accurate, except in the sense that Patanjali spoke of meditation (in general) as one of the eight limbs. I wouldn’t know whether the same comment applies to Trancendental Meditation.

In any case, what about the relative effectiveness of the two meditation techniques? I would say this: The most effective meditation technique is the technique given you by your guru. Techniques alone can never take us to God. It’s is God’s grace, through the guru, that will do that. The techniques help us get in tune with the guru, and thus get on the wavelength of that grace. For that purpose they’re valuable, but in themselves the techniques are not the power that will take us to liberation.

Blessings on your practice,