Abstract Thinking: [06.03] Bhavana Of Otherness, Of Separation - The Way Of Freedom

Published: 05.10.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

Chemical conditioning is an aspect of our dependence. The other aspect of life is - freedom. When through sadhana, consciousness undergoes a transformation, chemicals cease to affect us. It is the quality of poison to kill. But could it kill Meera? Meera drank the cup of poison. It had no effect upon her, whatsoever. Could the dreadful serpent, Chandkaushik, kill Mahavir? The very hissing of it burns a man into an ash-heap. It stung Mahavir thrice, but without any effect.

The poison has its effect only when there is attachment to the body. The greater the attachment to the body, the deeper the effect. With the dissolution of this attachment, as awareness increases, the body remains a burden no longer. After attachment is dissolved, the body remains, and things happen to it, but one's consciousness remains uninfluenced. When the vital breath and consciousness recede within and their contact with the body is snapped, the husk of the body remains and then whether it is a serpent or any other venomous thing that stings it, it has little effect upon consciousness. This is the other aspect. Our consciousness is transformed through preksha; it is refined and purified by the spectator-stance. In such a state, the chemicals prove ineffective, or have the minimum of effect. This is the aspect of our freedom.

Mahavira said:

"Forbear: Endure: Forever forbear"

This becomes intelligible only when, besides forbearance, we practise how to concentrate our attention on a particular place. The disease we look upon as a problem becomes for us a ground for experimentation; it acts for us as laboratory to work in. In this spiritual laboratory we can find out as to who it is that suffers from disease, and who is being harmed by it. Who am I? We have a clear perception of it. 'There is the disease and here am I." Otherwise we tend to regard them as one. "I am diseased:" As long as we are identified with the disease, we shall continue to be tormented by it. When, instead of saying, 'There is the disease and here am I", we say, "I am diseased" we become indistinguishable (indivisible) from disease. Had we said, "My disease", it would have implied some distance, a separation between 'myself’ and 'disease'. But by saying, "I am diseased", webecome identical with the disease; all distinction, all distance, between myself and the disease disappears and in this situation we are bound to be tormented by it. But if we create a distance between 'myself and the disease’ by saying, "I am only a spectator, a seer, a knower; I know and see. There is the disease and here am I," the spectator, the knower-seer, stands separated from the disease. Then the disease itself becomes a basis for experimentation and out of it emerges a solution.

The soul has been called 'aruj', meaning diseases-free. The soul cannot be diseased. Consciousness can never be ill. The soul is ever free from sickness. It is the body which is afflicted with disease. When this distinction is assimilated, when a distance is established between the self and the disease, the problem is of itself resolved.

  • 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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Mahavir
  4. Mahavira
  5. Preksha
  6. Sadhana
  7. Soul
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