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Abstract Thinking: [08.01] Bhavana Of Influxes

Published: 15.10.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

Without the influxes, there can be no attraction of karmic matter nor can the karmans form into a special composite group. We attract the atoms and give them a particular form. Both - these conditions - attraction and formation into composite forms - cannot be accomplished without the predispositions of the soul or that of consciousness. We are not therefore as much concerned with the karman as with the predispositions of the soul or consciousness. Every moment of attachment and aversion is the moment of the attraction of karman or the bondage of karman. When we look at it from the point-of-view of sadhana, we need not be too anxious about the attraction of karman and the effects thereof; rather we should be vigilant about the moment of attachment and aversion which attracts the karman. It is often said: "Be alert! Be vigilant!"

The question arises, alert or vigilant about what? We have to be on guard against the moment in which attachment and aversion are born. The moment of attachment and aversion is the moment of violence, untruth, stealing, unchastity and possessiveness. Indeed, the moment of all the demerits is the moment of attachment and aversion: it is the moment of the formation of various composite groups of karman. Therefore, in the field of sadhana, awareness or vigilance means vigilance against the moment of attachment and aversion, which attracts the karman in different ways. It is against such a moment that we must keep vigilant, objective, abstaining from all sinful activities, and equanimous.

Alertness does not only imply that we do not go to sleep. If it is only a matter of not sleeping, then a labourer who has to work hard for 8-10 hours a day, is wholly alert and awake. He is not sleeping; in fact, the poor fellow has not a moment to spare for steep. He is wholly awake and totally absorbed in his work. But from the viewpoint of sadhana, being alert means, not to let attachment and aversion arise at any moment.

The predispositions of the soul affect material karman and material karman affect the predispositions of the soul. Both always act in unison, and infuse life into each other. There is a liaison between them. The predispositions of the soul give life to the karmic particles and the karmic particles in turn revive the predispositions The objective of our sadhana is somehow to break this liaison, to dissolve it, to create between the two a rift so that the dispositions of the soul and the material karman are totally isolated and stand apart. Such a division is created as to crack the alliance continuing between them since the beginning of time. Our effort is aimed at causing a breach in the dam, so that all the water flows out of the dam and it is completely emptied.

Our body is the door through which the influx of karmic material takes place. The door there is open; that is how we all have collected here. Had the door been not open, we could not have got together. If the door is open, anything can enter - a dust-storm or a cool breeze. If the door is shut, nothing can get inside. Our body, too, is a door, a point of influx for the entry of karman. The boat is sailing over the surface of water. It develops cracks. It is filled with water and begins to sink. Why should the boat sink? Because it has become the influx itself - the very dement by which it is surrounded. The moment the cracks appeared, the water entered. It grew heavy and began to sink.

In such a case, competent oarsman, an efficient boatman, tries to plug the holes. With the plugging of the holes, the water stops coming into the boat. Whatever water got collected in the boat, he drains it out. The boat is again set afloat

This body is like a boat. It drowns and it floats. When all its pores are opened, all the points of entry broadened, mere is such an influx from outside that the body begins to sink. The body does not sink of itself. It sinks because of the influxes and the slots. That is how the boat is lost. To cover the slots, to keep out the influxes, to plug the holes - this is the process of our sadhana.

Thus, through body-perception, one develops detachment towards the body. The Jain sadhaks used to practise detachment towards the body through the bhavana of uncleanliness.

Emperor Shrenik and Empress Dharini said to Meghkumar:

“We cannot permit you to accept initiation.”

Meghkumar said:

"Do you want me to continue here on the strength of this body? What is the state of my body? Here is the flow of bile, of semen, of phlegm; it contains all the unclean humours of the world. It is going to perish one day. It is going to dissolve sooner or later. Should I relinquish my pursuit of the eternal because of this evanescent body?"

“The sadhak established in this efficient Order should exercise control over his body, and perceiving that the body is the door for the influx of karmic matter, he should try to minimise the flow, and not be negligent."

"He, who observes the flow, has transcended the passions, is free from attachment to the body, and desists from violence, has left no loophole for suffering to enter his life. Birth, old age, disease and death - these are the four paths of pain - all these paths are blocked as far as he is concerned."

  • 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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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Bhavana
  2. Body
  3. Consciousness
  4. Karman
  5. Karmans
  6. Karmic matter
  7. Sadhak
  8. Sadhaks
  9. Sadhana
  10. Shrenik
  11. Soul
  12. Violence
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