The Vision Of A New Society: 16 ►Feelings Reflect Ourselves

Published: 21.10.2019

Some people continuously hum the tunes of faith. They embark on their new journey. They find new paths after breaking through the obstacles. They face conflicts with a smile. With patience they move forward and reach their goal. These are the people, who ride on the wings of positive feelings.

Some people lie dormant in the abyss of despair. They live in the past. They indulge in thoughts about the future. They repeat for not having done something and lose themselves in aspirations reflecting all the colours of the rainbow. Sometimes, they blame their times and sometimes curse their circumstances and some feel sorry about their fate. Such people live through their lives with negative feelings.

The means of Self-assessment:

Man cannot lead a monotonous life. Uniformity becomes tasteless like old recipes and lustreless like old clothes. If there is variety in life, one naturally enjoys living. It is quite possible that positive and negative feelings have been created for that very reason. As a matter of fact, these two types of emotions, which are dominant in human beings, are comparatively less dominant in animals. Even among human beings, they are not found in equal measure. To what extent one is dominated by these feelings can be known through introspection. This is a well-thought out process, through which a person can remove his masks and realise himself.

Choosing Feelings

Man's whole personality depends on emotions. Still, every person does not know which emotions are active in him. For the one in whom this curiosity is aroused, the way to find solution is always open. The Jain Agamas mention 18 types of sins: Violence, untruth, theft, intense sexual desire, and accumulation of wealth, anger, conceit, deceit, greed, attachment, malevolence, strife, calumny, back-biting, ill-speaking, passion, diplomatic lies and the thorn of delusory view. They are negative feelings. Some of these emotions are related to the community or group. Some feelings are individual; some are related both to the individual and the community. Anger, conceit, deceit and greed are both individual and collective. Strife, calumny, back-biting, ill-speaking etc. are related to others. The person living in a group is provoked by the feelings of selfishness, comforts, prestige or vengeance. Some people, for no reason, become victims to much negative feelings. All that can be said about such people is that they are either helpless because of their habits or have been overpowered by their inherent feelings of anger etc.

The feeling opposed to the negative feelings dis­cussed above can be described as positive feelings which include non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy, non-accumulation of wealth, tolerance, tenderness, simplicity, contentment, friendship, appreciation of merit etc. These are superior feelings. The choice between superior and inferior feelings depends on the understanding of the individual concerned. In the light of understanding and sense of discretion, every feeling can be clearly visualised. All that is required is that before making his choice, the person should remove the blinkers on his eyes and understand that feeling well.

Looking Within

Seeing the Soul through the Soul is not a simple thing to do [1], but it is important. Usually, man tends to look at others. But he does not realise when he drifts in the same feelings or behaviour, which he does not like in others. Probably, he becomes so sure of himself that he thinks he cannot do anything wrong. That is exactly the point where any possibility of change ceases.

The resolve to remain unaffected by negative feel­ings is the way to change one's nature. The endeavour to change one's nature begins with a resolve, which would render the influence of negative feelings ineffective and liberate him from such feelings. Very serious and thorough investigation is needed for that purpose. Only the person who is able to look within can find out which type of feeling is more active in him.

The True Self

It is necessary to see oneself through the mirror of one's feelings. One has to see not his exterior but the inner self. Without that, a person cannot know his true self. He must have the curiosity to know his true self. The next step after such curiosity is to have the desire to be something. As long as this desire is not aroused, the door to make endeavour would be open. The desire to do something is necessary to start making any endeavour. Otherwise, a person cannot go forward in any direction.

Any endeavour without deciding the direction cannot serve the purpose. There is a Rajasthani proverb which says that a blind man makes the rope with green grass and the buffalo calf grazes it away. He may labour for the whole day but the rope he makes does not fill the stomach of the young buffalo.

Man's Nature Never Changes

One point to consider is whether it is advantageous or disadvantageous to live with negative feelings. Do such feelings keep the body healthy? Do they keep the mind steady in samadhi? Do they put an end to mental conflicts? Do they lead one to develop an attitude of coordinating with the group? Do they teach the individual to be tolerant? It would be a great surprise indeed if the answer to these questions would be in the affirmative. No man can raise high with the help of negative feelings.

From this point of view, with negative feelings, one neither finds health, nor does he attain the state of samadhi. But it is difficult to free oneself from their grip. It may be possible to change everything, else but it is extremely hard to change a man's sanskaras. It is said that:

Languages changes every 24 miles. Fruits changes after they are ripened. With old age, the colour of hair changes, but how much ever one tries, human nature does not change. [2]

The belief that one's sanskaras can never be changed is firmly rooted. If this is true, then it automatically proves the futility of sadhana, penance and practice. In that case, there is no need for training and practice has no value. But even today, I believe that man can change provided he is committed to the goal of changing. In that background, the points to be considered would be:

  1. Does man have the ability to see within?
  2. Does man see within?
  3. Does man have ambition or not?
  4. Does man have selfish mentality or not?
  5. Does man seek comforts or not?
  6. Does man believe in change or not?
  7. Does man possess tolerance or not?

Result of Negative Feelings

These are some of the questions that make man alert about his condition. Let him realise that only that person is neglected or condemned by society who lives by negative feelings, whose lustre has become dimmed and who is not in a position to know, become or do anything.

A chandala called Balakashtha lived near the bank of the Ganga. His wife's name was Gauri. He had a son whose name was Bala. When he grew up, he came to be known as Harikesh. One day, while playing with his companions, he started quarrelling with them. He was removed from the, group of his playmates.

Harikesh was on the point of tears as he watched his companions play. Suddenly a serpent appeared where they were playing. People killed that serpent by hitting it with stones. After sometimes, an earthworm came there gliding. It did not trouble anyone. Harikesh noticed both the situations. His mind was deeply affected. He thought to himself, "It is because of the behaviour of a creature that it has to face trouble or be neglected. I am poisonous like the serpent. That is why my companions insulted me. Had I been without poison like this earthworm, how would I have got separated from my companions? His thoughts went further. His mind was so awakened by knowledge that he forgot the identity of his caste. He understood his negative feelings. He came out of those feelings and became an ascetic!

Searching One's Own Mind

According to psychology, self-publicity is the basic human tendency. Every individual desires that his special qualities should be publicly known and others should give it due recognition. But he does not have a positive attitude where others are concerned. His biggest fault appears small to him where he sees the minor faults of others in a magnified form. It is only the difference of attitude which creates an illusion in the mind of a person that there is something good in his faults. The outlook of an introspective person is so transparent, that cutting through all the outside claddings, he is able to see his own weaknesses. Kabir has revealed this secret in the following words:

 “I started looking for an evil man, but I do not find any. When I looked into my heart, I found none more evil than I. [3]

Man may or may not look for anything else, but he must definitely find out how one can lead a life full of joy. The source of joy does not lie anywhere outside. It is necessary to find the source which lies within. In this search, one would have to lose oneself completely.[4] “I found what I searched" is the principle based on experience. "Happiness and unhappiness are all one's own.[4]” No one can make anyone else happy or unhappy. Others can provide only the support. Their support would be available only to those who accept it. Otherwise, the crutches by themselves are lifeless. Others can create occasions for happiness or unhappiness, but the feeling of happiness or unhappiness would be experienced when a person reacts to those occasions.

In the World of Feelings

Whatever good or bad thing man does is the result of his inner emotions. That is why our expressions tend to be the reflections of our feelings. In that context, one may be provoked to ask: "If man himself is the maker of his own destiny, why does he take to undesirable activities? If he has to face the consequences of each one of his actions, why does he not give up the feelings that lead him to do wrong actions? Even after knowing that unless the wrong sanskaras are changed, life would be deprived of happiness, why does he not start moving towards change? Even after knowing about the advan­tages of changing and disadvantages of not changing, why does a person not change?

The process of change can be complicated, but it is not impossible to follow it. A five-point programme has been decided for the person who wishes to change. A workshop is necessary for its implementation. That workshop would not be organised in any assembly hall Instead, one would have to get into the world of feelings.

The five points are:
Faith
Confidence
Hope
Will power
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First and foremost, man should have a firm faith that the sanskaras can change. At the second stage, there is a ray of hope that the change would occur. At the third stage, one's self-confidence becomes so profound that he would rest content only when he changes the sanskaras. At the fourth stage, he strengthens the will-power to match his determination. The fifth stage is practice. This means that he must continue the practice till he achieves success. Emotions should be changed by practising anupreksha. In practical terms, change of emotions is the basis of change. Only the person who stands on that foundation can see the miracle of change.

Man's life is multi-faceted. One would have to get acquainted with his world of feelings in order to be familiar with the changing colours of his life. Everyone deeply desires that the colours of life are clear, attractive, creative and they dispel the darkness by their resplendence. But one's desire is not a magic wand by waving which you can achieve everything with the snap of fingers. The ground reality can be strewn with thorns, but only that ground has the fertility which can make the hopes bloom like roses. If only man would understand the reality of his life and is able to free himself from the grip of negative emotions, how much better he would be!

Footnotes
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2:

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Sources

Title:  The Vision Of New Society
Author:  Acharya Tulsi
Publisher:  Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
Edition: 
2013
Digital Publishing: 
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. Agamas
  2. Anger
  3. Body
  4. Celibacy
  5. Conceit
  6. Deceit
  7. Greed
  8. Non-violence
  9. Rajasthani
  10. Sadhana
  11. Samadhi
  12. Soul
  13. Tolerance
  14. Violence
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