Invitation To Health: 39 ►Harmony Of Body, Mind And Self

Published: 05.05.2017

Important question: Important answer

We know an individual, recognize him. The medium of knowing is body. We know someone through body. We see the figure of a person and know him, recognize him, but human being is not mere body. In him there is a mind which is subtle than body. It cannot be seen. Is mind the final element? No. More subtle than mind is our self. Our personality is a symbiosis of body, mind and soul/self. Just two days earlier Dr. Nathmal Tatia came to visit. Recently he had returned from a visit to Holland and Italy. There Okei Institute (?) organizes camps and from Jain Vishva Bharati he is often called to give lectures, to give practice of Prekṣādhyāna. This time when he returned I asked, "What was the main topic of discussion there?" He said that there the question came as to what is the difference between old system of Yoga and Prekṣādhyāna which is the new system of Yoga? Tatiaji gave a very appropriate answer. In some ancient meditative systems, only body is attended, in some only soul is attended, but in Prekṣādhyāna all the three body, mind and soul are equally attended. This is its main characteristic. Really the question was important and the answer was also important.

Another form of body

In Prekṣādhyāna system of Yoga good deal of importance is given to body. Our saints have very much condemned body. Body is impure, a store of excreta and urine, useless, a mine of all defects etc. Too much of condemnation of body was done and abusive language used. They only talked of soul, and told to catch the soul, and make consciousness pure. This was much emphasized. But does the body have only one form? Does it not have any other form? Body is impure; it becomes sick, becomes old and gets destroyed. These are all true but to think only this much is lop-sided attitude. We have seen body only from one angle. There is another angle also to look at the body. If we do not see the soul from both the angles we cannot understand the complete truth. Lord Mahāvīra said about the soul like this,

Sarira mahu nava tti jivo vuchchai navio

Samsaro annavo vutto jam taranti mahesino.

The body is a boat. The soul is the boatman. World is an ocean. Great sages cross it over.

Body: obstacle as well as helping

By what means the world will be crossed over? Will any one cross over the sea without boat? Will any one cross over huge water without a ship? How will it be possible? If sea is to be crossed over, if deep waters are to be crossed over then ship or boat has to be taken help of. This body is obstacle but helper as well. If we thing from this point of view, then a new dimension to understand the body will come before us.

There is great important of body. The great poet Kalidasa has said, "Sarīramādyam khalu dharma sādhanam " Body is the first means to practice dharma. If body is not healthy then sādhanā cannot be done. Let us understand body. There are some ways in the body to reach the soul. Let us catch hold of those ways. The first among them is our nervous system. Second is system of glands. Without understanding these two sādhanā cannot be understood, without understanding them the matter of reaching the soul remains incomplete.

Nervous system: gland system

According to the modern science nervous system is regarded to have three parts. They are:

    1. Central nervous system
    2. Sympathetic nervous system
    3. Parasympathetic nervous system

Without understanding these three it is very difficult to understand the soul.

The other is gland system. If the modern educated person living in the age of science does not know about the system of glands, then perhaps he does not know about himself. A person becomes violent, becomes criminal, becomes cruel, then its cause is that the system of glands is affecting him very much. If there is slightest disorder in pituitary gland then the entire thinking of a person gets disturbed, his inner vision comes to an end.

Napoleon kept on winning. But in the war of Waterloo he lost. Why was he defeated? On this after deep research one medical report was published in which it was told that at the time when Napoleon decided to fight at that time his pituitary gland failed. And therefore, he could not take right judgment.

Let us understand the core of truth

This is a very important matter. If our glands do not function properly, if the balance among the glands is not proper, then in the behaviour of human being many disorders take place. If adrenal gland is hyperactive then entire behaviour is disturbed. If there is balance in the secretion of glands, secretion of hormones is proper then everything is normal.

One who has to achieve self-development he will have to understand body first. Without understanding the body the matter of soul will not be fully understood. Many people straight away catch hold of the matter of dharma, take dharma for granted, but they really only take the name of dharma, do not understand the real truth of dharma. Without understanding the core of truth nothing worthwhile happens. If we have to capture the core of truth of dharma, then we shall have to understand body. It is difficult to catch hold of core of truth.

Who is fool?

Once, a king asked his minister to prepare a list of fools. The minister accepted the order. He got a period of one week. Incidentally next day a merchant of horses came. Horses were shown to the king. The kings and nobles of olden times were fond of horses. The king liked the horses. All the horses were purchased. The merchant said, "O king! I have roamed a lot in connection with my business but no where was found a connoisseur of horses like you. I am happy that you purchased my horses, but if you give me five lakhs of gold coins more then I shall bring such a marvelous horse that you will be startled to see it. The king ordered his treasurer to give the merchant five lakhs of gold coins. The merchant got the coins. He went away. One week passed and the minister produced before the king the list of fools. The king saw the list. In the list of fools the first name was that of the king. The king was dumbfounded to see this. His eyes remained opened out of astonishment. He looked with penetrative look at the minister and asked, "Why my name is first in the list of fools?"

"Yes Majesty!"


"Your Excellency! Pardon me for impertinence. One day I saw that a merchant from some other place came. You did not know him. No knowledge of his village and address. Earlier also he was not seen. He asked for five lakhs of gold coins and you gave the same. Do you have faith that he will come back? I can say definitely that he will not come back. Like this without thinking and reflecting if someone gives five lakhs of gold coins to a stranger then in my view he must be the topmost among fools."

What a big averment the minister made to the king!

The king also got engrossed in thinking. The minister has said the right thing, he thought. Really, I committed a mistake. This is a fact that king or high people do not accept their mistakes easily. The king said, "O minister! It is alright that you have put my name in the list of fools but imagine that tomorrow he comes with horses then what will happen?"

The minister replied, "Nothing special will happen. I will only change the names of fools. Instead of your name I shall put his name. After getting easily five lakhs of gold coins if someone returns then he also is a fool."

Do not believe, know

A person, who does something without thinking, behaves or conducts without thinking he is not regarded as wise. Is it not worth pondering for us that whatever we do are we doing it with thinking or without thinking? Let us take the context of dharma. We talk of soul, we talk of self-realization, we talk of Supreme Self, do we do so after due reflection or merely verbalize? Are we trying to know or just believing? Whatever is heard about soul is believed but did we try to know? So long as there is no knowledge, the truth is not revealed. It remains mere belief. One who does not know the body how can he know the mind? One who does not know the mind how can he know the soul or Supreme self?

The base is the body

Every believer is declaring about soul and Supreme Self but the body in which he lives he is not able to know it. If he does not know the house in which he resides then how can he know the treasure of the house, the wealth put there? He has no means, no way, to know it. For self-realization, first of all the body has to be known. What is body? Is body merely a means for enjoyment? If it is so then it is nothing. Body is a great means, a base, to reach the soul, to reach the Supreme Self. Only by understanding this thing we can proceed in the direction of self-realization.

Powers of mind

The second element is mind. Generally, we understand mind to be very fickle. Our saints also have written the same:

 Mana lobhī mana lalacī, mana cancal mana cora

Mana ke mate na caliye, palaka palaka mana aura.

I believe that mind is fickle, but is mind only fickle? Mind has profuse powers. Mind is the fountain and store house of powers. If we do not recognize the powers of mind, and only catch hold of the fickleness of mind then our development will not take place. Concentration is very big power of mind. Determination is very big power of mind. Conceptualization, decision-making, synthesis, analysis, these are all powers of mind. If we do not recognize these powers, then what shall we get?

Let us learn to utilize (dohana)

Mind is such an element in which there are big powers and evils also. We should pay attention to that by which the powers of mind are properly utilized. If we milk a cow we get milk, otherwise we get only urine and dung. If we can learn to make use of mind, then many powers will be awakened. If we cannot utilize then many calamities may befall us. Therefore, it is necessary to understand deeply as to what is mind? We know this that in order to understand the soul we have to go beyond mind, we have to be trans-mental, we shall have to check mind but before we restrain mind we have to learn to concentrate it. Mind has capacity to give lot of happiness. Human being derives happiness even in imagination, then how much happiness we shall get if we know the reality of mind, this can be thought.

Happiness beyond imagination

In Delhi (in the year 1987) Prekṣādhyāna camp was going on. Mainly foreigners were participating in it. One person was Professor Glenpage of political science of Hawaii University. Once in the night he came to me after practicing meditation on consciousness-centers. In emotional tone, he said, "Today I could concentrate my attention on darśanakendra (center of vision). At that time the happiness I got I cannot express it. We cannot even imagine that inside us there is so much of happiness and peace."

If we can understand the core truth of mind and can season mind, then perhaps we can get that much of happiness from mental concentration as much we cannot get from all the objects of the world. This is not a matter of reading some account but of proven experience.

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

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adrenal Gland
  2. Aura
  3. Body
  4. Center of Vision
  5. Concentration
  6. Consciousness
  7. Delhi
  8. Dharma
  9. Jain Vishva Bharati
  10. Mahāvīra
  11. Mana
  12. Meditation
  13. Nathmal Tatia
  14. Pituitary Gland
  15. Sarira
  16. Science
  17. Soul
  18. Sādhanā
  19. Yoga
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