Exactly when and where meditation or Dhyana was invented is unknown. In India, it is being practiced from ancient times.
In an Mahenzodaro seal of Harappa civilization, we found a figure of Pashupati (beast master) seating in a Yogic pose and meditating.
The statues of ancient Hindu God Lord Shiva and the Bramha had been found in meditating or Dhyana pose refer it has been originated with Hindu traditions. But, there are lots of contradictions.
Vashistha a Vedic sage is one of the Saptarishi (seven sages) credited as chief author of Mandala 7 of Rigveda. He was said to be the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara.
In Buddhist Pali canonical texts such as Digha Nikaya, Tevijja Sutta describes a discussion between the Gautama Buddha and a Vedic scholars of his time. The Buddha named ten rishis (sages), calls them “early sages” and makers of ancient verses that have been collected and chanted in his era, and among those ten rishi is Vasettha (the Pali spelling of Vasishtha in Sanskrit).
Sage Vashistha practiced Sadhana to Tara devi, but was unsuccessful, then a devine voice instructed him to learn dhayana or meditation from a Saint in China or Tibet. The Saint train him and instructed him to do Sadhana using Dhyana through practice of Vamachara. Which is associated with pancha-makara or pancha-tattva or five Ms. In literal terms they are Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudra (cereal), and Maithuna (sexual intercourse). He also instructed him to travel to a Sati pith (sacred place of Hindu pilgrimage) in today’s West Bengal of India, and perform the deep meditation practice there.
There is a Sati pith (sacred place under Hindu religion) named Tarapith on banks of Dawarka river at Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal, India. It is known for its tantric temple and its adjoining cremation ground where sadhana (tantric rituals for awakening) are performed. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Tara a fearsome tantric aspects of Devi or Shakti.
Sage Vasistha performed sadhana or Tapasya (Deep Meditation) using the knowledge of Vamachara and enlightened.
So, Dhyana or meditation knowledge originated from China or Tibet according to Vashistha story. Though Sage Vasistha and his family reference, we found in Rigvedec verse 10.167.4, other Rigvedic mandalas and other Vedic texts. Vedic text was written in around 1500 BCE. Where as Mahenzodaro is a six thousand years old civilization. Much older than Vasistha.
In Purana (mythology) reference we find Asuras (pre Arian race in India) performing deep meditation, and achieving the super natural powers from the God’s.
However, the first written records of meditation comes from the Vedic text written in 1500 BCE and the Harappan seal dated back to 3300 BCE indicate meditation was originated in Indian sub continent.
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