Saguna Meditation

Definition - What does Saguna Meditation mean?

Saguna meditation is a form of the deep reflective practice in which the yogi concentrates on something perceptible. A common focus in saguna meditation during yoga practice is on the breath, but the focus could also be on a mantra that has significance, a sound, a point of light, or an image such as a mandala. In this sense, the focal point is referred to as drishti. In Hinduism, saguna meditation often focuses on a deity, particularly the devotee's personal deity, or ishta devata.

The word saguna comes from the Sanskrit meaning “with attributes,” “with particular properties” or “having qualities.”

Yogapedia explains Saguna Meditation

The other main type of meditative practice is abstract and is called nirguna meditation, or meditation without focusing on attributes. Although saguna meditation moves the yogi along the path to enlightenment and union with the higher Self, it is through nirguna meditation that such union is achieved.

Saguna meditation is dualistic. From a religious standpoint, the yogi may be devoted to his ishta devata, but he/she remains separate from the object of devotion in saguna meditation. In nirguna meditation, though, the yogi becomes one with the Divine.

A couple of types of saguna meditation are:

  • Trataka, a technique referred to as steady eye gazing that utilizes both visualization and concentration.
  • Japa, which utilizes mantras, repeated silently or aloud, to calm and focus the mind.
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