What's The Sentiment Behind Your Thought?

Published: 18.02.2007
Updated: 15.02.2008


Bhavana is softening of the mind, heart and to know where one's main effort should be directed in order to understand everyday goal of life:

Pulling out a thorn with the help of another applies as much to spirituality. Freeing the mind of all passions is the goal of a spiritual practitioner. But deeply entrenched passions cannot be eradicated all at once. In order to neutralise old passions, it is necessary to create an altogether new disposition. These pure dispositions, based on the factual, impinge upon old distortions and overpower them.

The term "pure disposition" is synonymous with bhavana. To rely on the knowledge of scriptures or verbal knowledge, too, is pure disposition, which is variously termed as bhavana, japa, mental culture, anupreksha and concern for significance. And all these are different forms of self-study.

Bhavana means contemplative meditation. If you have a subject in your mind, if you have chosen for yourself an aim, an end, you are engaged in contemplative meditation. That is bhavana. There is little difference between bhavana, contemplation and japa. The three are one and the same.

Japa implies total identification and concentration on the name iterated. Bhavana implies total identification and concentration on the thing conceived. Similarly, contemplation implies total identification and concentration on the subject or the aim chosen. Japa, bhavana, dharana and contemplation all belong to one category - concentration of thought.

Lord Mahavira said, "He whose soul is purified with bhavana-yoga is like a boat in water, which is sure to reach the shore." But how should this boat be used? It is necessary to be permeated by bhavana. If one is not so permeated, the requisite condition is not fulfilled.

The word, "Bhavitatma" (permeated soul) occurs in the agamas. If the soul is permeated by an aim, whatever is to happen comes to pass. It is all the miracle of concentration (of thought). We become whatever we want to become. Whatever we want to happen happens. The mind assumes the form we wish it to assume. The mind can mould itself in a million ways and assume different forms. That is the mind's characteristic. Whatever we aspire to do totally with our mind comes to pass without any diversion.

If the mind changes, the body also undergoes a change. To look into the body through bodily perception and then take to the subconscious mind to deep, urge for change through the use of will power and resolute aspiration - this is the first principle in the process of change.

Every cell constitutes a centre of knowledge. Each cell is a centre of light, a powerhouse of electricity. Every cell is a factory producing electricity and power. These cells work in their own ways. If you want to change them, rejuvenate them, make them tread a new path, you will have to acquaint them with your intention.

The second principle behind the process of change is bhavana, the exercise of will power, the resolve to remain unaffected under all circumstances. With the maintenance of equilibrium, equanimity develops and a man moves forward in leaps and bounds.

Both before and after meditation, one must remember and continue to practice bhavanas. From these, one derives a kind of power. Gradually the mind starts remoulding itself and, freeing it from all false beliefs, start moving in the direction of truth and one day attains self-realisation. With the help of bhavana and meditation, the goal becomes more accessible. All religions are dependent upon bhavana.

There are bhavanas, which purify consciousness. It is "brainwashing". It serves the purpose of washing away old beliefs and establish new ones. The technique has come in vogue and every nation makes use of it.

Sources

Lalit Garg, The Pioneer

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  1. Agamas
  2. Bhavana
  3. Bhavanas
  4. Bhavitatma
  5. Body
  6. Centre of Knowledge
  7. Concentration
  8. Consciousness
  9. Contemplation
  10. Dharana
  11. Equanimity
  12. Japa
  13. Lalit Garg
  14. Mahavira
  15. Meditation
  16. Soul
  17. The Pioneer
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