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Prekshadhyan - An Introduction: [07] Emotional Health

Published: 18.04.2007
Updated: 29.11.2012

Emotional Health

Physical and mental health is 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.

The original source is the soul. It is the souls animation that flows out. Around the soul the first circle is that of the karma sharir (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 psychic, 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 feeling 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 survival'. 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: audayikbhav and kshayopshamik behave.

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 behave is to assuage and remove this 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 on of them is soul's pure stream, the other is it's karmic stream. Both are working within us all the time.

The Weapon Of Soul's Inclination

People ask, 'why should we practice prekshadhyan?' We should do it because we have to strengthen that 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 view. The United Nations Organisation says in it's 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 the 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 not have an odour, but it is not manifest. If water is poured over it fine scents comes out of it. The world of our mind is manifest while that is of our inner feeling 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 organ functions externally and so we give importance to external events and disregards the inner happening. One who has tried to understand the theatre of inner happening is fully knowledgeable about what is happening and where. However it is not enough to know. What matters is bringing about a transformations.

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 disquietudes. Everyone likes to lead a life of peace and tranquillity. How can it be possible? There can be no individual and world peace without refining the inner world of emotions, because it is there that unrest has its roots.

The Way of Refinement

One of the ways refining the inner world is choosing someone adorable (Ishta). There is no religion, which has no concept of 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 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.

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 becomes 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 do not regarded as arha (competent to guide). It is the guru who has been regarded as arha, 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 emotions. The great soul, pure and free from love and hate can alone be Ishta. The Arhat also belongs 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 of the Ishta at the centre of peace (hypothalamus) and should 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 them. 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 moments to moments. 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 the recurring. Even a single disagreeable remark creates mental disturbance and fills the mind with 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 serving papad (salted or spiced crisp thin cake made of ground pulse or sago, etc.) at the end of 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 papads served to all others were unbroken. He resolved to avenge the insult. He developed a complex. After sometime 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 the 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 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 were 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 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 his lifelong research to the revelation of its mysteries, he would 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 the centre of peace, (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 emotion block and the course of the kshayopshamik 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 And Insight

Once a blind men 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 seems to be still blind and dispite your eyesight’. The young man said, ‘It is the result of shortcoming. You indeed gave me sight, but you did no give me insight (intuition). If only I had been given insights also, I would not have run after a prostitutes.'

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 crossroad where a traffic policeman was standing. The latter gave the sign to stop the car. The driver said, 'Why?' The policeman said, 'Yours 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 brains is where the brakes are. In fact, it has both, lights an 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.

Points Of Confluence

The place where centre of peace is located 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 would know that the meeting points of the two bodies - gross and sublet - is the hypothalamus. Therefore it is vital to understand it. Brain scientist 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 unrevealed, 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 the 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 Hath Yoga. Thousands of rays emanate from there. All these centres have been given great importance in prekshadhyan. 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 efforts) and guidance of the guru. The emotions of a man who is capable of vigorous efforts and who has access to guidance of a guru are always pure and healthy.

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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. Arhat
  3. Atma
  4. Aura
  5. Body
  6. Brain
  7. Centre of Enlightenment
  8. Centre of Peace
  9. Centre of Wisdom
  10. Cerebral Cortex
  11. Chakra
  12. Conceit
  13. Concentration
  14. Deceit
  15. Deva
  16. Dhyan
  17. Fear
  18. Greed
  19. Guru
  20. Hypothalamus
  21. Internal Trip
  22. Jain Philosophy
  23. Karma
  24. Karma Sharir
  25. Kayotsarg
  26. Mahavira
  27. Meditation
  28. Non-violence
  29. Paramatma
  30. Patanjali
  31. Pineal Gland
  32. Pituitary Gland
  33. Pituitary Glands
  34. Plato
  35. Preksha
  36. Preksha Dhyan
  37. Prekshadhyan
  38. Psychic Centres
  39. Psychic Colours
  40. Purusharth
  41. Rajasthan
  42. Sankhya
  43. Science
  44. Sharir
  45. Soul
  46. Sukshma
  47. Tirthankara
  48. Violence
  49. Yoga
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