Abstract Thinking: [14.06] Bhavana Of Friendship - The Technique of A Thoroughly Enjoyable Life - Forget And Forgive

Published: 13.01.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

We have to find out the truth and we have to change ourselves so that the feeling of enmity is totally destroyed in us. Not a vestige of it should remain in our mind. We look upon another man as our foe. Our own negligence, our own defects we project upon others and say, "That man has harmed me, he has done this or that." We put all the blame upon the other. I stumble and cry, "How uneven is this path!" I stumble because of my own fault, because of my own negligence. We are not prepared to accept this. Instead, we say, "I stumbled because the stones are not properly placed there. The gate is too low; that is why my head butted against it." Grumbling against stones and the gate! I did not bend my head low even though the gate was low, so I hurt myself due to my own negligence", few would say that. "He did this, that! He spoiled my friend; he misled him!" We always find fault with others, see defects in others, making them a scapegoat for our own sins and shortcomings. But the man who has found the truth, the seeker after truth, never blames others. He comes to realize that his own negligence is responsible for a number of distortions. Therefore, he is forever trying to keep alert, awake and constantly vigilant.

Enmity does not only mean that you hate another, and friendship does not only mean that you love another. Enmity means, ignoring one's own duty and finding fault with another person's discharge of his obligations. This is a kind of enmity. We develop enmity even against a stone. We call even a stone names. An earthen vessel is filled with water to the brim. We try to lift it with one hand and it falls to the ground and breaks. We are not interested in seeing the truth that an earthen vessel full of water, if lifted with one hand, is likely to fall down and break. Instead we complain: "The vessel was not properly baked; that is why it burst." Thus the attempt to escape one's responsibility is a kind of enmity towards others. The other may be animate or inanimate. The meaning of friendship is not merely love. Love is also friendship. But the real thing is friendship, goodwill - to accept another person just as he is, never to try to impose one's personality upon the other. This is friendship. This is 'unashatana' that is the absence of 'ashatana' (malice; ill will) - an important term in Jain literature. There is ill will against the living. There is also ill will against the inanimate, the non-living. One may have an aversion to a house. Ill will is friendship. Our universal point-of-view is that we should seek the truth and develop friendship with all. In other words, we should spontaneously accept whatever is one's own, without imposing upon it anything. This is the truth we should assimilate. Without grasping this truth no one can make any progress in sadhana.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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  1. Sadhana
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