Depression is a mental state where you find neither peace nor happiness. Your spirit is quite depressed. You feel surrounded by darkness on all sides. There is no glimmer of light or hope.
According to a spiritual interpretation of depression, this darkness or this depressed state is due to your own ignorance. When you liberate yourself from this ignorance, you can find brightness, peace and happiness everywhere.
While a medical approach to depression might include medication, psychotherapy and other more traditional treatments, if adhering to a spiritual approach to depression, then only you can liberate yourself. To practice this approach, you should understand and follow these steps.
- Know your true self. Generally what we understand by "self" is our gross body and gross mind. These two constitute the outer self of a man. Philosophically, "self" refers to the inner self or true self of a being. It is the subtle body and subtle mind of a being. True self is also called "soul" or "Atman" (in Indian Philosophy). Soul/Atman is the real nature or real identity of a man. It is the source of mind and life of all beings. It is eternal, indestructible, unborn, smaller than the smallest particle and bigger than the biggest celestial body. On the other hand, the human body and material world is momentary, destructible, created and destroyed. At death, the material body remains behind and one goes to one's true self. True self is the real home of all. At deep sleep, one remains in one's true self and after a night's sleep, one feels peace in the mind and renewed energy in the body. From this experience, one may understand that only true self can give peace, bliss and energy. A man suffering from disease, loss of money or any worldly pain and sorrow gets peace only in a deep sleep. This is because in this state, self remains alone. There is neither a being nor an object that may give pain. Gross world, gross body and gross mind have no presence in this state. However, one enters into sleep unknowingly or unconsciously. If one enters into deep sleep knowingly, one may get immense bliss and power. So one should learn how to reach this state consciously and get oneself liberated from ignorance of the material body and world.
- Chant OM. There are various methods by which the mind may be concentrated on one's true self. A beginner cannot find out where true self is. For this, he has to concentrate his mind on something that leads to true self. For this, the chanting of "OM" has a great significance. In Indian philosophy and spiritualism, "OM" is the greatest of all words, all hymns and all prayers. Ancient saints and sages found that the vibratory sound of OM activates all body cells and both body and mind become concentrated on true self. For chanting OM, one should sit down in a lotus posture with eyes closed. Then one should chant OM loudly until breath is exhausted. Sound should come out in equal proportion from nose and mouth. Mind should be kept on the vibratory sound of OM and on nothing else. After chanting for half an hour, one will feel that mind has been sufficiently concentrated. One shall feel peace and bliss in the body and mind.
- Practice Meditation. After the chanting of OM, one should practice meditation. In this practice, one should meditate upon oneself because the aim is to reach true self. For meditation, one should sit down in a lotus posture with eyes closed and concentrate one's mind on Trikuti, which is a point in between the eyebrows and just above the nose. Either one may practice meditation in a sitting posture or in a sleeping (corpse) posture in order to remain in a meditative state for longer. In meditation, meditator, meditation and meditated are one and the same.
The practice of reaching true self is not a matter of a few days or a few months. For this, one has to further learn yoga and practice it for years. However, understanding of true self, chanting of OM and practice of meditation can liberate a man from depression. When one understands that true self is an extension of the real and eternal divine, the real companion and the real Master, one's problems are half solved. Practicing meditation will help to keep one's mind above all worldly happenings. Then one becomes free from all worldly attachments that cause pain and sorrow.