Invitation To Health: 36 ►Self-Control By Our Own Self

Published: 29.04.2017

Hard process

Soil said to potter, "Make me a pot". Potter said, "Why? What for?"

Soil said, "So that water can be contained in me and people can quench their thirst and my existence will become meaningful."

Potter said, "Your expectation is good but to become a pot you will have to bear a lot. First you have to bear a spade, then an ass is to be borne, then you will be put on excel of a wheel, thereafter you will be heated in fire. Do you have courage to bear all these? If you cannot tolerate all these then remain as you are in the lap of the earth.

The soil said, "I am willing to bear."

The entire process began and pot was prepared. It was purchased. In the summer after meals cold water was drunk. It was so felt as if nectar was drunk. That soil regarded itself to be fulfilled that the water contained in it (pot) is being drunk00 with great likes and love and pleasure. It experienced its fulfillment.

Human being has expectancy of success. He wants to lead a successful and meaningful life. No one likes a meaningless and unsuccessful life. But for leading a successful life how much needs to be done and if preparation for it is there then definitely success can be achieved. If that preparation is not there then giving up the hope of success one will have to live in the state of soil.

For success and meaningful life it is very essential to have control on mind. A person who does not know how to control mind he cannot live the life of success. The process of becoming a pot is the process from digging to being heated in fire. The same process holds good for the control of mind. It is not a simple thing, for this a lot is to be borne. While tolerating a situation may come that mind is controlled. When the situation of control comes then the success and meaningfulness of life is experienced. The individual thinks that his life has been successful and he has become fulfilled.

Question is who controls mind? Without understanding this method of making life meaningful will not be realized. Who is the controller? Sitting in which room he controls the mind?

Function of sense

There are three sources of our knowledge—senses, mind and intellect. The function of senses is to grasp the objects. Sound, taste, colour, smell and touch, for grasping these live objects there are five brackets. The function of one is to know colour, the function of the second is to know sound, the function of the third is to know taste, the function of the fourth is to know the smell, and the function of the fifth is to know the touch. Everyone has one's own distinct function. Ear does not see, eye does not hear. This is a general rule. The matter of exception is different. In Jain literature, there is discussion-on sambhinna śrotolabdhi (apprehension of altogether different object than the normal). If there is development of (his apprehension, then ear can see and eye can hear. But this does not happen in normal situation. Every sense has its own specific individual function. The function of ear is to hear, the function of eye is to see, the function nose is to smell, the function tongue is to taste, and the function of skin is to touch. There are five senses and there are five objects. But the senses function only when the power of mind, motivation of mind, is there at their back. The power to know belongs to senses but the motivation is that of mind. A person is sitting.At once an idea came to his mind. Are not clouds there in the sky? Stimulus came from the mind and eyes started looking at the sky. This is mind inspired sense awareness. When there is inspiration from mind senses get engaged in their own objects. This is an apprehension of our knowledge. Now senses are to be controlled. Who will do it? 'Now I have not to see. I am meditating, I have not to see, I closed the eyes.' Did the eyes close due to their inspiration or from some other inspiration or from the inspiration of mind? Inspiration came from the mind, thought came,‘I have to meditate and I sat in the posture of kāyotsarga and closed the eyes'. This means the control of the senses is by the mind. If mind desires it instigates the senses, if mind wants it stops the senses. This indulgence and withdrawal, controlled movement and its cessation, both these functions are in the control of mind. The entire control of senses is in the hand of mind.

Function of mind

The second means of knowledge is mind. For senses one-one specific object is definite. There is banana in front. Eyes saw it. The function of eyes is over. Banana is good or bad, its eating is beneficial or harmful, and such type of thinking is the function of mind. The function of sense is to grasp an object, and the function of mind is to think about merits and demerits, benefits and harms. The function of intellect is to decide, to judge. Generally, in the conduct of our life we have to work with senses and mind. From these two the entire behaviour is governed. We live more at the level of sense-consciousness and at the level of mind-consciousness.

Complex question

There are many functions of mind like reflection, thinking, and determination. Caraka has pointed out five functions of mind—to reflect, to think, to reason, to feel, and to determine. Now to think or not, now to reason or not, who does this? In Ayurveda,this question has been thought over as to who is controlling the mind? Who is directing the mind? The reply given is that mind controls itself; it is self-control.

In Tarkaśastra, in Nyāyaśāstra this reference is available, "Suśikito'pi naavatu na svaskandhamadhirodham pauh". Howsoever trained the son of an acrobat maybe he cannot climb on his own shoulders. He can demonstrate acrobatics climbing on the shoulders of others only. "Sutikṣṇo'pi asidhārā na svayam ketumahitvyāpāra". The sharp edge of a sword can cut others but cannot cut itself. How can mind control itself? It is a complex question but there can be self-control.

Indriya-sāpeka (relative to sense): indriya-nirapeka (sense-independent)

One function of mind is sense-related. The raw material supplied by the senses is turned into finished product by mind. That is good or bad; this thinking of mind is sense dependent. One function of mind is sense-independent. Here there is no expectancy of senses. Mind functions independently. Among these one function is indriya-nigraha (sense-control). To control the senses is an independent function of mind. In this there is no dependency on senses but only control on the senses. For example, to make use of tongue or not to do so, to speak or not to speak, to taste or not to taste, its choice or decision is the function of mind. This is called indriya-nigraha.

Opinion of Āyurvijnāna (science of medicine)

The other function of mind is self-control, to exercise control on one’s own self. If fickleness or haughtiness is a function of mind, then self-control is also a function of mind. For confirmation of this thing one has to see the modern science also. According to the science of medicine the controller of many of our activities is hypothalamus. Hypothalamus in a sense is a controller. It controls both hunger and thirst. It also controls sleep and awakening. It controls pleasure and pain also. It also controls emotions. To arouse and to quiet anger is also its function. It has two rooms. One is named as drosomilium and the other is named as dentromilium. The function of drosomilium is to arouse anger and the function of dentromilium is to quiet anger. Many a time intense anger comes. Then from inside a voice comes, 'Enough. Stop. Do not have so much anger that heart attack takes place." One is the room of control and the other is the room of arousal. The one which arouses is an organ of our body and the one which exercises control is also an organ of our body. Through hypothalamus both these functions are performed.

This is self-discipline (ātmānuśasana)

Fickleness is through the mind and control over it is also through the mind. Both these things can be done together. If this mystery can be understood then the process of meditation can be very smooth, and we can control ourselves by ourselves. Mind can control itself by itself. There is no scope for doubt in it. If we follow proper procedure then mind can control itself, and if we do not do so then mind gets an open field to run amuck. Controlling oneself by oneself, mind controlling itself, this is known as ātmānuśāsana. If this situation is understood, then all tribulations of mind will come to an end. Those who have reined, the mind they will have control on the mind.

Let mental turbulence be quiet

It is said that in the bay of sea there was storm. The waves of sea were rising so high that they started sweeping things of far off place. On the sea shore one carefree person was lying. People cautioned him, "Oh! Do you not see, how fierce is the storm? If you come in its sweep you will be drowned. Come along with us, go far away." The carefree person said, "Why worry? Storm comes and goes. Human being also comes and goes." Listening to his reply everyone was astonished. People forgot to see the storm and kept on looking at him as to what will happen to him? It so happened that after five minutes’ storm stopped. People asked, "How is it that you were not perturbed?" The carefree person said, "Listen. You feel perturbed. First quiet your mental storm. Then this storm will be quiet automatically." How deeply meaningful is this statement!

Most dangerous is this mental storm. Outer storm is dangerous only for one whose mental storm is not quiet. If it can be understood that mind has the capacity to control itself then metal storm can come to an end. But the question is how this will happen. How can twotasks be performed at one stretch? On the one hand mind is running fast, and on the other it is also controlling itself. How will these things happen?

The formula of control

We have one power called perseverance (dti). Through it mind is controlled. Mind is fickle due to indulgence and through perseverance it controls itself. In the second chapter of Daśvaikālikasūtra there is a beautiful description. Question is who gets sramaya {Sramaahood is a state which a person of renunciation possesses)? Who can be a muni? In whom sādhutva (saintliness) can persist? It is told there that "jassa dhii tassa samannam". One who has perseverance he has sramaya. One who does not have perseverance does not have shramanya also. What is perseverance? In spite of getting objects control on the senses is known as perseverance. It is natural that in thīrthankara or vītarāga (dispassionate) there is perseverance, but those who are not vītarāga for them also perseverance has been described. Reputation, knowledge and perseverance are their qualities. By perseverance mind is controlled. It means that by power of activation mind is fickle and by perseverance it is controlled. Perseverance can be used only when it is understood that perseverance is a power which can be practiced, by which mind can control itself. For this dissolution of ego is also needed. Pride of knowledge, pride of money, pride of position, pride of power, pride of class, pride of business etc. so long as all these prides are present till then the power of control will not come and perseverance will not he developed.

Obstacle is ego

It is said that the messengers of Yama (Lord of death) took away both a dacoit and a saint. Both were produced before

Yamarāja. Yamarāja asked, "Give your introduction:' The robber stood up and said, "Lord! I am a dacoit. Throughout life I have indulged in robbery, I have robbed people, threatened them, did evil things, so now give me such punishment that I may atone and my evil is eliminated. Yamarāja thought that he was a good person. He is describing his true account himself, and wants to be reformed. Yamarāja said, "I wanted to send you to hell but the way you narrated your feelings I am impressed by that. I shall not send you to hell. You be with this recluse so that the inspiration awakened in your mind is actualized and you become a good person." The recluse said, "Oh Lord! What are you doing? I have observed vratas (vows) throughout life. Did good to myself acne to people. I am entitled to go to heaven and you have put me with this dacoit. You may please change your decision. Send him to hell and me to heaven." Yamarāja said, "You have told a very wrong thing. I punish you. Go and be in the service of this dacoit." The recluse said, "I should get heaven. In your kingdom, also there is injustice. Why is this?" Yamarāja said, "Definitely you might have done hundred good things but your ego has not dissipated. Therefore, you must remain in the service of this dacoit."

Two ways

If ego does not dissipate tables turn, the matter of control becomes far off, and mind becomes more fickle. Mere writing and reading, i.e., learning, does never quiet mind. Those people in whom ego of their knowledge, of their education, gets awakened, their mind becomes more fickle. They do not get the key to control the mind. In order to get this key it is necessary to walk on the path of sādhanā, of meditation. An uneducated person may not know anything but he can control his mind so much that it cannot be imagined. Even small children undertake fast for eight days. Not to eat anything for eight days, and give complete halt to tongue, is it not surprising? This art does not come by education. This comes by awakening the path of sādhanā, by developing perseverance.

It is really astonishing to have control on senses in spite of there being plenty of things for enjoyment.

There are two ways—one is the way of intellectual development and the other is the way of development of sādhanā. The way to intellectual development is the way to give information. We read newspaper and come to know what is happening where. We come to know of all activities the world over. But how to control the mind, how to restraint the senses, this is not a matter of learning. It is a matter of sādhanā. By sādhanāwhen our perseverance is developed then in spite of objects being present in front it can be learnt how to remain away from them. Then the success and meaningfulness of life becomes indubitable.

It should not be believed that by practicing sādhanāfor one or ten days perseverance can be developed. But one who acquires this aim to develop perseverance he can gradually attain success.

Vexation and gratification

A king awarded capital punishment to a person. Before hanging he was asked about his last wish. He said, "I have seen enough of the displeasure of the king, now I want to see his pleasantness". The king made him sit on the saddle of elephant, gave by his own hand a bowl full of jewels and said, "Go! Live happily. Never indulge in wrong-doing."

One who sees the vexation of mind he should also see the pleasantness of mind. When we see the vexation of mind we feel as if we are reaching the evening of life but before going to gallows if last wish is aroused and we can see the pleasantness of mind then asituation may develop to reach and touch any height in life. This matter of seeing pleasantness after vexation can be attainment by dhyāna-sādhanā.

Title: Invitation To Health
Author: Acharya Mahaprajna
Publisher: Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 2013
HN4U Digital Edition: Ratna & Amit Kumar Jain

Share this page on:
Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Ayurveda
  3. Body
  4. Caraka
  5. Hypothalamus
  6. Kāyotsarga
  7. Meditation
  8. Muni
  9. Pride
  10. Science
  11. Sādhanā
Page statistics
This page has been viewed 282 times.
© 1997-2021 HereNow4U, Version 4.06
Contact us
Social Networking

HN4U Deutsche Version
Today's Counter: