The Mysteries Of Mind: [00.02] Introduction

Published: 06.04.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015

Practitioners come to the sadhana camps empty-handed and return with their hands full. We may also say that they come to the sadhana camps with their hands full and return empty-handed. Both the statements are correct. Practitioners join the camp after having emptied themselves of all that is to be relinquished and return full of spiritual strength. Spiritual exertion is a means of emptying the mind and also of providing a lot of energy to the participant. That which is unwholesome has to be discarded and that which is wholesome has to be preserved and enriched.

Every participant in the camp for exercises in Preksha Meditation must wholeheartedly adopt the following guiding principles of Preksha meditation.

They should recite these loudly:

  1. I present myself for exercises in Preksha meditation.
  2. I have adopted the path prescribed for Preksha meditation or spiritual sadhana.
  3. I accept the merits of insight.
  4. I accept the merits of spiritual experiences. Bhavakriya, the psychic counterpart of material action, is the beginning of perceptive meditation.

It means three things:

  1. To live in the present moment.
  2. To do things wakefully, and
  3. To remain constantly self-watchful.

Most of our life is spent in involvement in our past deeds and in worries regarding the future. Ninety percent of our lives is cov­ered by the awareness of the past and of worries about the future. Only ten percent of them is spent in the present. The past is no more real and the future has not yet materialized. The past is mere memory and the future a thing of imagination. The present alone is real. We spend very little time in living in the present. Mostly we remain entangled in the memories of the past and in dreaming what is likely to happen in the future with the result that we lose our grip on the present. We cannot retain it. The fact, however, is that what­ever happens in life happens in the present only. But we are not wakeful about this fact. Bhavakriya means living in the present.

The second meaning of Bhavakriya is to do deeds wakefully. We do things half-heartedly or with half of the mind engaged else­where. Work done with only half of the mind in it is never done completely. In this way we lose a lot of our energy.

Things done half-heartedly do not produce tangible results. We should physically as well as mentally engage ourselves in our deeds earnestly and sincerely. While doing deeds the mind and the body should cooperate with each other.

The third meaning of Bhavakriya is to remain constantly wake­ful. The practitioner should remain fully conscious of the ideal he wants to achieve. Purity of heart is the precondition of meditation, which aims at arousing the dormant energy in us. The practitioner should be constantly wakeful about these.

2

The second principle of Preksha meditation is not to remain inactive but to remain active. Most of our life consists of reactions rather than of actions. Most of our actions are mere reactions. Take for example the wearing of clothes. We wear clothes as a reaction against cold or as a reaction against being indecent. Eating food is a reaction against hunger. Eating, drinking, clothing, etc. are not voluntary actions but reactions. What we need is to live a life of actions rather than one of reactions only. Every man has his own free and independent life. This free life can be maintained only by actions done freely or of one's own free will. A life of reactions is not a free and meaningful life. It is a denial of freedom. We should be free and conscious agents rather than mere toys which simply react. Action and not reaction is the watchword of sadhana.

The mind of the modern man is not free. He simply reacts to situations and circumstances. He does not act. Actions done under the impact of emotional situations are also reactions and not ac­tions. The entire activities of the sense organs are reactions. We hear and see things under the influence of out predilections. In­stinctive actions are also reactions.

3

Friendliness is the third principle of perceptive meditation. The whole behaviour of the practitioner should be governed by the spirit of friendliness. He should maintain the esprit de corps. His actions should be the expression of the developed attitude of friend­liness towards every living being. Even when bitten by a snake, he should behave with it in a friendly way thinking that it has bitten him out of ignorance. This is possible only when he does not react to a situation but acts wakefully. Compassion for all living beings is the consummation of the spirit of friendliness. 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' is a philosophy totally incompatible with the spirit of friendliness. He alone who has become conscious of his free existence will avoid reacting and will act of his own free will.

4

Restraint in matters of food and drinks is the fourth principle of Preksha meditation. Food not only affects health, it also influ­ences the mind, meditation and consciousness. Mostly we eat un­necessary things. Food habits are governed by social and geographi­cal conditions and traditions and customs. Eating too much or more than what is necessary produces deformities because it cannot be properly digested. Most of it goes waste. It accumulates poisonous waste products in the intestines. It affects our minds and thoughts adversely. It also clouds our consciousness. If the nervous system is not trimmed and clean, mind and consciousness will not remain pure and our energy will not be increased. If a looking glass is not clean it will not reflect anything clearly. The reflection of con­sciousness will be obstructed if the nervous system and the intes­tines have been blocked and there the light of consciousness will remain hidden within the body. Those who have developed a strong liking for delicacies and who keep their minds unclean will always remain careless about what they eat. For them the pleasures of the palate are supreme pleasures. Those who want to use their minds the least, those who want to activate the energy lying dormant in them, those who want to put their powers to maximum use and those who are ambitious to do great deeds will never be careless about and negligent in matters of food. Enlightened men eat only to nourish their bodies and not to satisfy their palate.

The practitioner of sadhana has to walk on a selected path. His aim is to activate his energies, to achieve something commend­able, and therefore, he must know what kind of food produces what kind of consequences.

5

The fifth principle of perceptive meditation is to speak very little or to remain completely silent. We have to speak because we live in a society. Language is an instrument of social communica­tion. But sadhana, being a personal affair, needs little speaking. I do not mean that the practitioner should never speak in his life­time. He should certainly avoid speaking too much or when it is not needed. Even when he has to speak, he should speak very little and that too softly. He has to communicate mysteries, and there­fore, he should speak very softly and preferably in the ears of the listener as if he is talking something secret.

The entire life and behaviour of Bhagavan Mahavira is an example of complete silence. He spoke very little. I do not mean that he did not speak at all. That is why his actions remained un­disturbed and he could preserve immense energy. Some people take the vow of silence, but thoughts rise thickly in their minds and they are unable to control them. They write out thousands of pages to express themselves. This goes against the very vow they have taken. Their entire energy is spent in writing or in making physical gestures. This is a foolish waste of energy.

The above-mentioned principles of Preksha meditation, when practised, give the practitioner a lot of gain,

In sadhana the practitioner should be very clear about his aim from the very first day on which sadhana begins.

The first step in sadhana is the purification of the mind. The mind is polluted by passions. The current of knowledge cannot flow freely in a polluted mind. As soon as the mind has become pure, the curtain obstructing the manifestation of knowledge is lifted and the self is enabled to see through the mind. We experi­ence a state of calm when the mind has been purified. In such a state the mind becomes balanced and full of the feelings of friend­liness and joy. Joy manifests itself as soon as the taijasa energy is released in the mind of the practitioner. Tejolesya gives joy, padmalitya produces calm and sukla lesya eradicates passions.

Our aim at present is to purify the mind and not to attain joy. Joy is not the ideal. It is a support. We will have to go ahead.

We should contemplate before we begin to meditate. Bhavana is a shield, which protects us on all sides. It does not allow external influences to disturb us. How to build the shield? It can be built by reciting the sacred word Arham in a sitting posture. While reciting it, we should imagine that a glow of light is spreading all around us, that it is growing stronger and that a shield of light is in the making. In the course of a short time the practitioner will begin to feel that a shelter is being built around him which is two three feet deep. Bhavana is the base of yogic practices.

To sum up, the prerequisites of the practice of Preksha medi­tation are:

  1. To accept the five principles of Preksha meditation,
  2. To build the image of the ideal, and
  3. The application of bhavana
Sources
  • The Mysteries Of Mind © by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Translated by K.L. Goswami
  • Compiled by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • 2nd Edition, 2002

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Arham
  2. Bhavakriya
  3. Bhavana
  4. Body
  5. Consciousness
  6. Lesya
  7. Mahavira
  8. Meditation
  9. Preksha
  10. Preksha Meditation
  11. Sadhana
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