New Man : New World ► Prekshadhyan ► [12] Emotional Health

Posted: 21.12.2008

Physical and mental health are visible externally. But emotional health is an internal matter. Many things going on inside us are known to us, but we do not know much about what is at the root of them. The principle of Preksha Dhyan is to see the soul by the soul. It simply means, have an internal trip and see the goings on there.

Emotion as an Agentive

We have put a lot of burden on the mind, a lot more than what it can bear. Who is putting this burden? A close examination of the above question will lead to the opening of the door of the inner world and thence on to the vast world of inner happenings. We presume that X is good while Y is bad; one thing is agreeable, another disagreeable; and A is a friend while B is a foe. Who is it that presumes these things? It is not the function of the mind, for its functions are confined to remembering, imagining and thinking. Where does the presumption come from? Its source is the world of our emotions. We have not paid as much attention to the world of emotions as we have to that of the mind. The real agent or source lies in the emotional world.

The original source is the soul

It is the soul“s animation that flows out. Around the soul the first circle is that of the Karma Sharira (a body made up of the combination of the eight kinds of karma) from where the vibrations of the karma sharir emanate. One of the circles is that of sukshma sharir or Tejas sharir (made up of the aura and light radiation). In it the vibrations coming from the karma sharir take shape and turn into psychic colours and a stream of emotions, which enter the hypothalamus, a part of the brain. Only after that do they affect the mind. The mind in itself lacks animation. It is the emotion, which animates the mind. Preksha Dhyan has considered at length the difference between the mind and the subtle or activating mind. The mind is lifeless. It cannot be a director. It is directed by emotions. Emotion is instinctive awareness. The vibrations of instinctive awareness together with those of the sukshma sharir become emotions, which direct the mind.

Mental Feelings

These days a lot of emphasis is being put on psychiatry. Medical Science does not give as much importance to the psyche as to the mind. Carl Jung gave more importance to the former. It opened a new chapter in psyche. Both the Jain philosophy and the Patanjali Yoga philosophy also put a lot of emphasis on the psyche, thousands of years ago. Anger, conceit, deceit, crookedness, fear, greed, hatred and lust are all parts of human life. They dwell inside a man and are not visible externally. These feelings are active in the psyche and manifest themselves through the medium of the mind. The expression „mental feeling“ is indicative of the fact that the psychic drives force themselves on the mind and are experienced as mental feelings. Both literature and poetics deal with them comprehensively.

A Life of Struggle

Our life is an endless struggle. In another context, Charles Darwin used the expression "struggle for survial“. That struggle takes place externally, but even in our inner world, there is a constant struggle. According to the Philosophy of Karma there are two words: audayik bhav and kshayopashamik bhav The latter means "constant struggle“, whereas the former increases self-conceit, anger, simulation and dissimulation, jealousy etc. Its only function is to nourish these perversions or distortions. The function of kshayopshamik bhav is to assuage or remove these perversions, not only to suppress anger, self-conceit etc., but also to encourage and nourish modesty, uprightness etc. These two tendencies are always at war with each other. While one of them is the soul's pure stream, the other is its karmik stream. Both are working within us all the time.

The Weapon of Soul's Inclination

People ask, "Why should we practise Preksha Dhyan?“ We should do it because we have to strengthen that stream or inclination of the soul which has in it peace, non-violence, reconciliation, integration, friendliness and coexistence, and have to weaken that stream or inclination which produces disquiet, wars, terrorism, agitation. Modern thinkers hold similar views. The United Nations Organization says in its Constitution, „Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.“ These words have become very famous. Some two thousand five hundred years ago, Mahavira also revealed the same truth. He said that weapons are of ten kinds; the tenth among them is the inclination of the self. Wars, conflicts, violence are first born inside us and it is only later on that they manifest themselves externally.

Manifest and non-manifest Worlds

The external world is manifest, the inner one is non-manifest. According to the Sankhya Philosophy, the earth is odorous. Where is the odour? Well, the earth does have an odour, but it is not manifest. If water is poured over it, fine scent comes out of it. The world of our mind is manifest while that of our inner feelings is non-manifest. Most of the things first happen in the inner world and then manifest themselves. It is like the foetus, which is growing inside the womb before being delivered. Our sense organs function externally and so we give importance to external events and disregard the inner happenings. One who has tried to understand the theatre of inner happenings (hypothalamus, in the language of medical science), is fully knowledgeable about what is happening and where. However, it is not enough to know. What matters is bringing about a transformation.

Peace is the real Issue

The whole world is concerned about peace. In the worldly context it means world peace. In the context of the individual, it means peace of mind. No one wants mental unrest or disquietude. Everyone likes to lead a life of peace and tranquillity. How can it be possible? There can be no individual and world peace without first refining the inner world of emotions, because it is there that unrest has its roots.

The Way of Refinement

One of the ways of refining the inner world is choosing someone adorable (Ishta). There is no religion, which has no concept of the Ishta. Who can be such a person? Can it be the guru? No, the guru can show the right path, but cannot be Ishta. Can any man like a teacher be Ishta? The teacher can show the way, can teach and impart knowledge, but being a human being he cannot be Ishta. Even a Tirthankara (saint of the Jains) cannot be an Ishta. One becomes an Ishta when one has accomplished or reached the destination. No physical being can be an Ishta. Why? Because an Ishta is nirvikalp (admitting of no alternative; free from distinctions). A physical being will say, „Do this, don“t do that.“ That will create a dilemma. Why follow someone who obstructs, hinders, stops? The Ishta neither stops nor obstructs, but is simply an ideal.

Centres of Faith

Deva (a god) and guru (the teacher) have been recognized as two centres of faith. Deva is one who has become passionless and a seer. It is only the seer who can be an Ishta, but one who shows the path is a different person. Vitaraga or the passionless do not show the path. For this reason, they are not regarded as arhat (competent to guide). It is the guru who has been regarded as arhat: he points out the path. The vitaraga, if asked whether something should be done, will answer: do as you please. The guru, on the other hand, can stop you from doing something. The Ishta can only be one who has transcended the world of inner feelings. He is not only beyond the mind, but also beyond emotion. That great soul, pure and free from love and hate, can alone be Ishta. The Arhats also belong to the category of vitaraga. One who has become Arhat or Vitaraga, becomes our Ishta. We can call him by any name, Atma, Paramatma or whatever.

Ups and Downs of Life

One of the principles of yoga is oneness or unity with the Ishta. Those who want absolute peace and tranquillity, should conceive the Ishta at the Centre of Enlightenment (hypothalamus), install the image of the Ishta there. In times of difficulty, they should concentrate on it and the suffering will disappear. Our happiness will disintegrate again and again, until we are able to install the concept of bliss inside us. If a man“s mind is devoid of the concept of absolute peace, peace will keep eluding him. Now happy, now offended, that is the way he lives. Our emotions change so often! If a person starts noting down in a notebook all the emotional changes he has undergone from the time of getting up in the morning till going to bed at night, noting down when he felt at peace and when he was agitated, he will probably fill the whole notebook. We cannot help being affected by these emotional changes from moment to moment. If one feels insulted by any remark by someone, he will be on the offensive and have a strong desire to take revenge. Even in a single day moments of joy and sorrow, peace and unrest keep alternating. These momentary ups and downs keep repeating and recurring. Even a single disagreeable remark creates mental disturbance and fills the mind with the feeling of revenge.

The Instinct of Revenge

Once a man organized a big reception. The richest people were invited. He served the food himself. In Rajasthan, there is a custom of serving papad (salted or spiced crisp thin cake made of ground pulse or sago, etc.) at the end of a meal. When the host reached the last man to serve the papad, it unfortunately broke into pieces. The guest was a highly conceited person. He thought that he was being wilfully insulted by being served a broken papad, whereas the papads served to all others were unbroken. He resolved to avenge the insult. He developed a complex. After some time, he thought of throwing a party, just to take revenge. Again, all the dignitaries were invited, especially those who were present at the earlier party, including its host. At last, the time to serve papads came. He served whole papads to everyone but when it came to his earlier host, he deliberately served him broken papad. The latter was a cultured gentleman. He had no misgivings in his mind. After all, the papad had to be eaten in pieces. He accepted the broken pieces cheerfully. It irritated the avenger. The cheerful attitude of the guest upset him for his purpose of hurting the feelings of the guest was defeated. He had not been able to take his revenge. Feeling piqued, he asked the guest, ”How do you like the papad?“ The guest replied, ”I am very happy to eat it.“ The host said, „Perhaps you did not notice that the papad was broken.“ The guest responded, „It was very convenient since, I had to eat it only in pieces.“ The host blurted out, ”Perhaps you have forgotten that you served me a broken papad and I have avenged the insult." The cultured guest said, ”Brother, I am sorry you have been compelled to organize such a big party for a paltry reason. If only you had expressed your objection then, I would have served you a whole papad.“

Determining the Ishta

How strange is the world of our emotions! Our goal is to see the soul that is absolutely pure and sacred. But it is an advanced stage. Long, dedicated practice is needed to attain it. If a scientist could direct all his lifelong research to the revelation of its mysteries, he would do immense good to mankind. Likewise, if a spiritual practitioner could devote his entire life to its quest, he would benefit not only himself but also the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the door leading to this quest is closed and we find ourselves unable to gain access to it. There is only one way of transforming the world of emotions, of inundating the self with endless joy and peace determining the Ishta or installing at the Centre of Enlightenment(the hypothalamus) the image of vitaraga or bliss, so that the course of the audayik stream (agitating the mind and causing anger, hatred, jealousy, intolerance) of emotions is blocked and the course of the kshayo-pshamik stream is allowed a free and unhindered flow.

Two Glands

The forehead and its centre are very important. Near it are located two glands, the pineal and the pituitary. Medical science has known much about the pituitary gland, but its knowledge is still incomplete. Its physical aspect has been extensively investigated, but the spiritual aspect has been very little worked upon. Still less work has been done on the pineal. It is the seat of our intuition. Once the power of intuition is awake, we are able to overcome the struggles and conflicts of the world of emotions.

Sight - Insight

Once a blind man went to meet Jesus Christ. Jesus was a powerful man and his inner or bio-power was highly developed. He took pity on the blind man and restored his sight. A little later, when Jesus was going somewhere, he saw a young man chasing a prostitute. He recognized the man since he was the one whose eyesight had been restored. He accosted the young man, ”You are the same person whose sight I restored. Why are you indulging in such a vicious act? You seem to be still blind despite your eyesight.“ The young man said, ”Great saint, it is the result of a short-coming. You indeed gave me sight, but you did not give me insight (intuition). If only I had been given insight also, I would not have run after a prostitute.“

Lights and Brakes

The location of intuition is the front portion of the brain. Concentrating on it balances our emotional flow. Development of intuition and self-control are extremely important.

A car was speeding past a crossroads where a traffic policeman was standing. The latter gave the sign to stop the car. The driver said, ”Why?” The policeman said, ”Your lights are not on.“ The driver remarked, “Give way. It doesn’t have brakes either and you may as well be run over.“

A car without lights and brakes is extremely dangerous. Likewise, a man having no control on his emotions is also very dangerous. The front of the brain is where the brakes are. In fact, it has both lights and brakes. We can increase self-control and develop intuition by concentrating our attention on it. That is why during Preksha Dhyan training, the seekers are asked to practise long deep breathing, Kayotsarg (relaxation) and perception of the Centre of Enlightenment (the pineal). It affects both the pineal and the pituitary glands.

Point of Confluence

The place where the Centre of Peace is located -  front part of the head - is very important. Our emotional stream is cleansed and refined by concentrating on it. A question that plagued the minds of both philosophers and practitioners of Yoga alike for a long time was where the meeting point of the body and the soul or of the gross body and the subtle body is. Where do they meet? Plato and other Greek philosophers said that the soul is in the pineal gland. We should know that the meeting point of the two bodies - gross and subtle - is the hypothalamus. Therefore, it is vital to understand it. Brain scientists or neuroscientists have done a lot of work on it, but still the information is inadequate. Those who have done research on the human brain have hardly come to know some ten to twenty percent of its secrets. Most of its functions still remain unravelled, because it is an infinitely complex organ. In the language of the science of karma it can be said that there are as many innumerable points in the brain as there are centres of karma. Acupressure reveals that there are reflex points of various organs including the pituitary in our palms and soles.

Vigorous Effort and Guidance are necessary

Concentration on white colour at the Centre of Peace, installing the image of the Ishta there, fixing the sacred white aural colour are extremely useful means of rectifying or purifying the emotional flow or stream. One of the psychic centres is the Centre of Wisdom (cerebral cortex). It has been called sahasrar chakra in the language of Hatha Yoga. Thousands of rays emanate from there. All these centres have been given great importance in Preksha Dhyan. If we evaluate them and practise meditation on them, we can overcome the inner conflict between the two emotional streams. All that is needed is purusharth (vigorous effort) and guidance of the guru. The emotions of a man who is capable of vigorous effort and who has access to guidance of a guru are always pure and healthy.

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Edition 2005
ISBN No. 81-7196-019-7

© Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi-110 002

Edited by:
Muni Dhananjay Kumar

Translated by:
Prof. R.P. Bhatnagar

Published by:
Kamlesh Chaturvedi
Adarsh Sahitya Sangh,
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg
New Delhi

Printed at:

R-Tech Offset Printer Delhi-110032

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