Why Meditate? ► 10 ► [10.02] Self-Realisation & Preksha Meditation (2)

Posted: 09.03.2008

The perception of body and perception of breathing are not worthless techniques. They do have their own value. If we want to perceive our soul directly, it is never possible. A systematic procedure has to be followed. First perceive the breath and after deep practice, along with perception of breath, perceive the Praan (vital force), then perceive the body and perceive the Praan with the body. Praan is working constantly. One is mere body and the other is body with Praan. Then concentrate on the psychic centres present in the body. Concentrate on your brain. All the potential powers have their centres in the chamber of the brain. Perceive each and every neuron and their trillions of connections. Try even to perceive neuro-transmitters. To perceive the whole body is also a great task. I feel if a person practices perception of body and meditates on the psychic centres for one or two hours daily, for five years, then it is anybody's guess where he will reach after that period. Even though it is difficult and unusual to attain that state, if we keep on practicing we can get closer to the state of self-realization.

While working in a garden, two people met. One asked the other, “Where do you belong?”
He replied, “I belong to Hindustan.”
“Hindustan is a very big country. Where do you live in Hindustan?”
“I live in Gujarat.”
“Gujarat is a big state, where do you live?”
“In Ahmedabad.”
“Ahmedabad is also a very big city but where do you live in Ahmedabad?”
“I live in Shahi Bagh.”
“Shahi Bagh is big, too.”
The man showed the house, area and flat in which he lived.
“Even that is big!”
“I live in my room.”
“The room is big, too.
“I am on my bed.”
“The bed is also very large.”
“I reside in my body.”
“The body is very big. There are many hollows in the body. Where do you reside in your body?”
“I live in the domains of my soul.”

We need to go from detail to brevity. We are now diffuse; we need to condense this.

If you want to realize your self and to experience the existence of the soul, if you want to reach the innumerable domains of the soul, if you wish to know the identity of the soul, then elaboration has to slowly become concise. If the elaboration gradually becomes concise, then we can realize that we have reached the level of the body, the level of the psychic centres, aura and lastly, the domains of the soul. At this moment, you have come to the introduction to self-realization. However, this is not possible by mere reading, learning and scriptural study. Although reading and scriptural study are essential, the most essential is to gradually annihilate the mind. As mind, body and speech are gradually lessened, the inner light, which was hidden within us (due to over actions of mind, body and speech) expresses itself. Acharya Pujapada has illustrated Raagdveshaadikallolairalolam yenmanojalam sa pashyatyaattnanestattvam tat tattvam netaro janah.

There is one peaceful ocean and another turbulent one with stormy waves. If a person wants to view his reflection in the stormy waves, is it possible? Never. Where there are no tides, no stormy waves and ripples, a person can clearly see his reflection. Let us consider our soul as an ocean. There is a violent cyclone of attachment and aversion within us, which is why we cannot perceive our soul. When this storm is quiescent, and emotions are pacified a person can realize the Self. The person who is caught in the play of attachment and aversion can never see his Self.

The purpose of all our spiritual practice is to pacify attachment and aversion. The perception of breathing is very helpful to pacify attachment and aversion. A person who does not know the right way of breathing stimulates his negative emotions, instead of cooling down. The purpose of all the techniques of Preksha Meditation like perception of body, perception of psychic centre, colour meditation, inner journey and autosuggestion, is to overcome negative emotions. The fundamental purpose is to pacify attachment and aversion. As attachment and aversion are pacified, self-realization is experienced. One can experience the existence of one's soul.

An educated young person came to Jain Vishwa Bharti (Ladnun, Rajasthan) and asked, "May I attend the camp of Preksha Meditation?” I said, “Why not!”
He said, “I am atheist. I don't believe in the existence of the soul. But can I still attend the camp?”
I said, “You can.”

He attended the meditation camp for ten days. While leaving, he spoke in an overwhelmed tone, “Gurudev! When I came here, I was an atheist. But today I believe in the existence of the soul. Now I am going home, not as an atheist but as a theist."

The instruments of Preksha Meditation are perception of breathing, perception of the body and perception of psychic centres. Through all these practices, we can access the Truth. Some times, even sermons and Swadhyay (scriptural study) can help in finding this Truth. Some time back, I received a letter from a Gujarati gentleman, who had written, “I listen to your Pravachan (sermon) everyday on Sanskar Channel. I was an atheist, but after listening to the Pravachan of yours, I have become a theist and I now believe in the existence of the soul.”

Swadhyay and meditation are also a means to self-realization. If we concentrate on these means, and practice them with full dedication, we will automatically get a chance to realise our Self.

After attending the camp for ten days, I don't believe that you will spend so much of time on meditation at home. Here, you have understood the procedure of meditation, but of course, practice has to be done. After going home, if you practice everyday for 30-45 minutes, then after 3 months you can say that you have reached a certain stage. If this practice is continued with intense dedication for six months to a year, you can evaluate where you are. Right now, you have just made an entry into the inner world. Don't consider this entry as attaining the goal or reaching the summit. You have just started your inner journey, but with regular practice, there will come a day when you will reach the goal. Those who attended the meditation camp for ten days learnt the procedure, but after going home, if they forget it, then this camp will not be beneficial for them. If we practice whatever is learnt continuously, then it will take a new form, and on the basis of this experience, we can say where we have reached. Don't say that you don't have the time. Every one says, ”I am busy.” These words become hurdles in performing our practice.

A Preksha Meditation Camp was held in Jain Vishwa Bharti, Ladnun, Rajasthan. In those days, I used to manage the whole camp. On completion of the camp, a person came to me and said, “I am going home.” I said, “Practice meditation for 45 minutes every day.” He replied, “I am very busy. I don't have time, but still, I will practice for 45 minutes.” He came back after a year and said, “Show me the procedure of meditation for 3 hours.” I asked, “With great difficulty, you agreed to practice meditation for 45 minutes. Then how will you set aside, from your busy schedule, three hours just for meditation?” He said very coolly, “Gurudev! My concentration has increased so much, that the work of six hours is completed in three hours, so I hope I will get three hours of free time.”

Don't keep on repeating that you are busy and that you don't have the time. If you have the power of concentration, then you will have a lot of time. But if you are restless and unstable, then you will have less time. Hence, the first step is to develop concentration, the second step to practice the state of thoughtlessness, and the final step is to practice Samadhi (trance). After the practice of Samadhi, the stream of self-experience will manifest of itself. Then you do not need to ask whether or not the soul exists! The answer to this will come from your own inner self. That is why it is necessary that whatever you have practiced should be constantly continued. As you practice with faith, commitment and dedication, your path will be illumined, you will be navigated in the right direction and - new horizons will open up. There will come a day, when Self-Realization will not be a mere dream or figment of imagination, but a known truth of life.


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Copyright by Acharya Mahaprajna ©2005
Compiled by Muni Dhananjay Kumar
Published by Jain Vishva Barati Institute, Ladnun, India
Translated by Samani Charitra Pragya, Neeraja Raghavan & Sudhamahi Regunathan

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