Pristine Jainism ► Code Of Conduct ► Meditation

Posted: 09.06.2012

The concept and practice of meditation in Jainism are different from other schools of meditation. The main difference is that bad thoughts should be avoided and good thoughts should be assimilated and effort should be to control mind for every second, minute, hour, day and night throughout life and not for only a specified period of time as prescribed in other systems. There are following four types of thought processes of mind and these are termed Dhyan i.e. meditation processes in Jainism.

  1. Arta dhyan ie ruminating, recollecting, pondering over the past pleasant and unpleasant experiences and having wishful thinking for future.
  2. Raudra dhyan i.e. having violent, falsehood, stealing, consumeristic and indulgence thoughts and emotions.
  3. Dharm dhyan i.e. good, religious, pious and compassionate thoughts.
  4. Shukla dhyan i.e. perfectly pure thoughts about soul and matter without any attachment and also repulsion to anything.

There are sub classifications of all above four meditational processes to clarify and explain the details for the practioners and followers. The emphasis is to control anything bad or evil at the level of its first origin in mind so that these do not get translated in speech and actions for every moment in life and not for only a specified time frame. One should concentrate on the work or activity of mind, speech and body one is engaged in so that it is done carefully and properly at every point of time. What generally happens is that mind is wandering somewhere else even more than 40 to 60% and the result is that the particular work is not done carefully and therefore is performed badly. This is what happens in road accidents. Concentration at every moment of time during every activity as ordained in Jainism is the only solution to avoid wrong. Likewise happiness, pain or sorrows are mere states of mind than real. Many people make wry faces while shaving, bathing, eating and other activities. Since one has to carry out his various activities he should do so with pleasure, rational attitude of mind. If prescriptions of Jainism about meditation are observed one will not be unhappy and most accidents and wrongs can be avoided. To progress from first, second to third and fourth stages it requires arduous effort and practice and during the process intensive efforts to recollect teachings for disciplining the thoughts are made at least twice, thrice, four, five or more times every day for specified period of an hour or so. This effort or practice is known as Samayak i.e. complete undisturbed control on thoughts, speech and posture for the specified period. This does not mean that there will not be any control or discipline during rest of time. Rigorous effort or practice for specified periods (Samayak) is to strengthen the resolve for disciplined life style all the time.

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