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The Mysteries Of Mind: [28.02] Spiritualism And Ethics (2)

Published: 29.07.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

There is a story in an Upanishad. A rsi (seer) called Jajali was engaged in severe penances. His hair grew thick. He stood motionless. Birds built their nests on his head and laid eggs in them. The eggs were hatched and young ones flew away and yet the rsi stood still. Severe penance made him conceited. Suddenly he heard a divine voice which said, " Rsi, your penances are still unripe. Go to the merchants Tuladhara and try to learn something from him. The rsi became angry. The divine voice offended him. Anyhow he approached Tuladhara. He saw the merchant doing business in his shop. Customers were coming and going and the merchants was busy with his scales weighing articles. He was a matter-of-fact man. He kept his eyes continuously fixed on the balance. When the day's business had been done and he was about to down the shutters, the rsi approached him and asked, "Are you; Tuladhara?" The merchants replied in the affirmative and asked the rsi how he had come to him. The rsi replied, "I have come to you to be acquainted with your sadhana. What is the secret of your sadhana? "The merchant replied "I have nothing to do with sadhana, I am a simple merchant but when I weigh articles I keep an eye on the balance the scales should be that unevenly balanced. The balance has made my mind balanced"

Mental balance results in the concentration of the mind, which ultimately enters into a state of samadhi (meditative absorption). The rsi came to realise that in spite of his long and exerting pen­ances he had failed to gain mental balance. If his mind were bal­anced, he would not be so touchy. A balanced mind never feels distracted. There is no duality in it. Vested interest upset the mind. Fear of death, the sense of pride, the awaress of loss and gain, praise and censure, etc. also upset the balance of the mind. He who keeps his mind balanced in favourable as well as unfavourable circumstances is a real spiritual practitioner.

Balanced conduct is the second principle of spiritual train­ing. The third principle of spiritual training is consciously done actions and not reactions. Actions of the ordinary man are based on feeling. Knowledge and feeling are two different things. The first manifestation of consciousness takes place on the level of feeling, the next on the level of knowledge. Undeveloped living beings have feeling only. They feel and act. They have no knowl­edge to guide their actions. Plants and trees also act on the level of feeling. If a musical instrument is played before a tree, it will feel the vibrations of sound produced by the instrument and will begin to move its branches and leaves.

Feeling plays a great role in our behaviour towards our chil­dren. Behaviour based on knowledge does not become effective on children. The sense organs are often compared to children. Ex­perience gained through the skin, tongue and nose is based on feel­ing. Experiences gained through the eyes and ears are based on knowledge. Feeling is often influenced by our likes and dislikes. The spiritual practitioner is not influenced by likes and dislikes. He takes the sense feeling to be feeling only and does not join it with likes and dislikes. He knows what gives pleasure and what produces pain. He tries to know them rather than feel them to be pleasurable and painful. Feelings of pleasure and pain produce likes and dislikes in us. We like pleasure and shun pain. These likes and dislikes produce mental tensions. The spiritual man is free from likes and dislikes.

Orientation towards truth is the fourth principle of spiritual conduct. The spiritual man is always inclined towards truth. He does need material objects to fulfil his material needs. But he val­ues them up to this extent only. It is not in the nature of material objects to give pleasure although they may give it. Those who have enough material objects at their command are not always happy and those who do not have them are not always unhappy. Happi­ness lies in a balanced state of mind. A calm mind produces alpha rays. It is these rays, which make us feel happy. According to the psychologist Penfield, the lesser the disgust and emotional excite­ment in the mind, the more healthy it is. Indulgence in material objects produces disgust and excitement in the mind which disturb the glands and make them function irregularly. Thus pain and grief become almost chronic. The spiritual practitioner instead of being inclined towards material objects which ultimately produce pain and grief, engages himself in the pursuit of truth which when real­ized puts an end to pain and grief once for all. We nourish untruth, create illusions and invite trouble. The first step towards freedom from grief is to break the illusions and to avoid untruth, which pro­duces them.

No body can deny the value of the instinct to live. But it should be remembered that it is our inclination towards and pas­sion for material objects, which is the root cause of grieves. On the other hand when we are spiritually inclined we experience calm and joy.

  • The Mysteries Of Mind © by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Translated by K.L. Goswami
  • Compiled by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • 2nd Edition, 2002

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Concentration
  3. Consciousness
  4. Fear
  5. Pride
  6. Sadhana
  7. Samadhi
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