An Introduction to Preksha Meditation: [04] Upsampada

Published: 26.10.2009
Updated: 11.05.2011

Upsampada

Upsampada serves as a fertilizer in the garden of spiritual life. Without making it an integral part of our life, we cannot realize the fruits of meditation. Upsampada not only enhances the spiritual level but also improves the social, professional, intellectual, physical, and emotional aspects of our life. One who wants to practice Preksha Meditation must obey the following upsampada (guiding principles):

  1. Bhavakriya (mind-body harmony)
  2. Pratikriya virati (restraint of reaction)
  3. Maitri (universal amity)
  4. Mit ahar (restraint in eating)
  5. Mit bhashan (restraint of speech)

Bhavakriya

Bhava means the intentions, feelings, or thoughts behind any activity. Kriya means action. Bhaavakriya is the inner aspect of any activity. It implies the unison of mind, emotions and activity. There are three dimensions of bhaavakriya.

  • The first dimension of bhaavakriya is to remain conscious and aware of each and every moment. A person may seem to be listening but his mind may remain occupied elsewhere. As a result, he will not be able to understand the task. A practitioner of bhaavakriya remains fully attentive and aware of all the happenings and tasks that are performed by him in every particular moment.

  • The second dimension of bhaavakriya is to live in the present. Majority of the people remain preoccupied with the memory of the past or imaginations of the future instead of living in the present. Of course, one cannot completely disengage oneself from the past or the future, but one must refrain from unnecessary memories or imaginations. One who learns the technique of living in the present can avoid unnecessary involvement with worries of the past or future. Living in the present is essential for achieving success.

  • The third dimension of bhaavakriya is to act, (whatever we do), consciously, to engage oneself completely in only the action one is performing at that particular moment. That is, while walking all you do is just walk, while eating just eat, while washing dishes, just wash the dishes, while meditating just meditate.

If we can concentrate on the actions we perform, then it becomes much easier to practice perpetual meditation. Time bound meditation can be practiced twice or thrice a day but bhaavakriya is a kind of meditation which can be practiced through out the day round the clock.


Pratikriya virati

Newton's third law for the non-living objects states 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.' The realistic law for all living beings is 'To be action-oriented and not reaction oriented'. However, reaction has become an integral part of the human nature, in spite of the fact that every individual desires for freedom. Everything that we do including talking, hearing, seeing, eating, reading, etc. both involves and generates some sort of reaction. The realistic path to freedom is to free our consciousness from impurities of thoughts and emotions. To defeat anger, ego, deceit, and any other reactive attitude, we need to practice equanimity and restraint from reactions of all sorts.

Maitri

As a good human being, one should possess the feeling towards all living beings. Friendliness should not be confined to restricting oneself from entering a quarrel or argument. Amity means seeing and recognizing oneself in others. One should consider others as equal to the self, neither inferior nor superior. The feeling of amity should be free from personal gains and should apply universally to all living beings. It builts a strong foundation for Preksha Meditation by relieving oneself from attachment and aversion. This will change our attitude and outlook towards every other individual. The practitioner of Preksha Meditation should nurture, display, and propagate the feeling of friendliness towards all living beings.

Mit ahar

Food provides fuel to the body, while the actions feed the mind. In other words, in order to control mind we need to control the body and vice versa. Eating is important to keep the body functioning but restrained eating is the key to a happy and healthy life. Unhealthy eating habits cause laziness and drowsiness. Over eating or eating unpalatable food is prohibited for any sadhak, a practitioner. It is one of the biggest obstacles in the path of meditation. A sadhak can reach the depth of meditation simply by controlling his diet.

Mit bhashan

Speech is an important and one of the strongest media to express ones feelings. Only through expression of our views and feelings we can remain part of the society. Unfortunately, most of the time we speak a lot and lose energy and time. Hence it is important for us to first learn the art of speaking and then restraint of speech. Manifestation of higher degree of meditation also requires to engross in inner silence and peace. If a practitioner is unable to maintain total silence, he may practice restraint of speech. One should always think twice before speaking and avoid use of words that hurt others. Restraint speech is a valuable tool for leading a good and successful life.

Conclusion

These upsampadas (guiding principles) of Preksha Meditation are not only essential during the practice of Preksha Meditation but also in every day life. They are the foundation for inculcating good habits and for shaping a healthy, happy, and successful life. Mind-body harmony, restraint from reaction, universal amity, restraint of speech, and restraint in eating can not only protect us from many physical, emotional, and behavioural problems, but can also enhance our spiritual life and make us admirable by others.

Sources


Edition:
2009 (1st)
Publisher:
© Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun, Raj. India
ISBN: 81-7195-136-8
Design:
Shivani Bothra, Sanjeev Bothra

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Bhava
  3. Bhavakriya
  4. Body
  5. Consciousness
  6. Deceit
  7. Equanimity
  8. Kriya
  9. Maitri
  10. Meditation
  11. Preksha
  12. Preksha Meditation
  13. Sadhak
  14. Upsampada
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