Abstract Thinking: [02.01] The Bhavana Of Transitoriness

Published: 19.08.2006
Updated: 06.10.2008

This body is transitory. Youth is transitory. One may take pride in the beauty of one's body. One can be proud of one's youth. The coincidence of being born in a particular family is also transient. One may be proud of one's lineage. Also transitory are the glory and the riches. One may be proud of one's wealth. Communion with the beloved is also transitory. All is transient. Life itself is transitory. When the fact of transitoriness is kept in view as it rises in one's consciousness again and again, all pride is of itself dissolved. One, who does not realize the fact of transitoriness, is very much liable to anger. But a person, in whose consciousness it is firmly established that all union is transitory and that material objects are perishable, is not perturbed at the loss of material goods.

In our practical life, the anupreksha of transitoriness plays a great role. The man, who strongly realizes that all matter is transient, finds himself suddenly free from all controversy. He perceives the event without getting embroiled in it. That is the difference between one who meditates and one who does not. He who meditates perceives the event without any kind of attachment. He, who does not meditate, suffers the event without knowing it fully. The man who perceives and knows the event radiates bliss all around, whereas the man who gets embroiled in it, makes himself unhappy and vitiates the entire atmosphere with the atoms of his grief. The whole environment stands vitiated. Sorrow is not then confined to one person alone, it becomes widespread.

He, who factually examines the nature of the body and its functions, begins to observe the different kinds of secretions within.

Through the practice of body-perception, the inward states of the body become apparent. Lord Mahavir said,

"Perceive this body of yours.
Sooner or later it would perish.
Destruction and dissolution are of its essence.
It is unstable, transient and temporary.
It increases and decreases.
It passes through many different states."

By contemplating upon the transitoriness of the body, one can rid oneself free from one's deep attachment to it. Attachment to the body is the root of all other attachments. If one can get rid of one's attachment to the body, the infatuation of other material objects begins to dissolve of itself.

As the sound and the feeling of 'This body is transient’ become more powerful and the vibrations thereof grow stronger, they would quite wipe out the past conditioning. If we grasp it fully, there is no reason why we should ever get bored with the iteration of the truth, 'this body is transient", or become frustrated. Generally we produce vibrations by uttering the maxim aloud. But the vibrations produced by speech are not very effective. That is why one is exhorted again and again to concentrate the mind, to hold it together, to keep fully alert and intent. It means that the vibrations of mere speech are not adequate. Only when the vibrations of thought and feeling are combined with those of speech, do they become really potent and these potent vibrations wipe out the old conditioning.

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. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Consciousness
  4. Environment
  5. Mahavir
  6. Pride
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