Abstract Thinking: [19.04] - Anupreksha Of Self-Reliance - Dependence Upon Oneself

Published: 26.03.2007
Updated: 06.10.2008

A prince was getting initiated. His parents said, "Prince! You are so tender, so very delicate. You are seeking initiation. You do not know that in case of illness, you will not be able to get yourself properly treated. For the sadhaks following the path of penance, all medical treatment is taboo. So what will you do when illness comes? Who will bring you food or drink? You will lie sick, tormented by hunger and thirst what will you achieve thereby?"

The prince said, "O my father and mother! The beasts living in the jungle get ill. Who nurses them? Who brings them food or drink? They just lie sick. When they get well, they go about seeking food. If the beasts can do so, why can't I, who am a man?"

This was an important finding about self-reliance and self-dependence. Not to depend upon another even when one is ill. Disease is not to be met with by anything outside oneself.

There is an institution in America whose members do not use any drugs. They take no medicine. They even forgo the need of an operation. There are not many members, but those who are, strictly follow the rule. They leave everything to God.

"A Jain monk should not seek medical aid." This is an ancient doctrine. It is often mentioned in the Agamas. How is it possible not to seek any treatment when one falls ill? That treatment should not be sought outside oneself is the heart of the matter. Be totally self-reliant and self-dependent in the matter of treatment. No treatment with things foreign to oneself, no treatment with outside drugs.

If disease is born in the body, there is also in it provision for countering of it. The evolution of yogic asanas was a step in that direction. There is no need for outside things to treat a disease. Practise asanas, the disease will cure itself. Breathing exercises and various postures were designed to end disease. Full use was made in it of the science of neurology.

If digestion is weak, sit in vajra asana after meals; the weakness would disappear.

If suffering from indigestion, breathe through the right nostril after meals for 15 minutes; the digestive system would start correcting itself.

For every problem, a cure was sought through the practice of asanas and the manipulation of nerves and sound. Thousands of asanas were evolved. There were asanas for physical ailments as well as for mental ills.

All this was done for self-reliance and self-discipline.

Sources
  • 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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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Agamas
  2. Asana
  3. Asanas
  4. Body
  5. Sadhaks
  6. Science
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