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The Mysteries Of Mind: [18.02] Consummation Of Sadhana (2)

Published: 30.06.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015

During a terrific bombardment in the Second World War an old woman was found working and sleeping in the most natural way. She had no fear and worries. People asked her how she could have a peaceful sleep in such a situation. She replied that the God within her was always wakeful, and therefore, there was no need for her to be watchful. The fact is that an enlightened mind has no worries. It needs no support and care from others.

Theoretical knowledge does not necessarily give birth to wakefulness. The practitioner has to exert himself in the correct direction; Svasa preksa (breath perception) is an effective means of becoming wakeful. The practitioner should patiently follow the inhaling and exhaling process of breathing. Only a wakeful mind can do so. It keeps a watch on whatever goes in and out. It be­comes so alert that no breath can go in or out without its notice. The mind and breath should run parallel to each other in mutual cooperation. Two companions cannot walk together if one of them sleeps. Breathing is a continuous process. It never comes to a stand­still so far as the body is alive. Anyhow, the field of breathing is a limited field. The mind, on the other hand, commands a much wider area. The span of breathing is narrow. It extends from the end of the nose to the lungs only. The mind works in a far wider area. It can go round the world in less than a second. Its speed is tremen­dous. It is, therefore, very difficult to yoke it to the breathing pro­cess. It can not be confined to a narrow and short path. But it is, however, not an impossible task. The mind is always active and conscious, but once it goes to sleep even for a short while, it loses the company of breath.

Breath perception is a powerful means of remaining wakeful and it does not allow the mind to wander or sleep. Self-negligence becomes impossible, once the mind has been disciplined.

Change of heart is the third consequence of sadhana. It is very difficult to bring about a change of heart. Innumerable at­tempts have been made to bring it about. There is a vast literature on the subject including the life histories and pronouncements of great men. And yet the problem remains unsolved. It is true that change of heart has taken place in a few instances. However, these instances are very rare. The hearts of those who have been singing praises of the change of heart have themselves remained unchanged.

A poet once told his wife that he was going to compose a poem, which will set the entire world ablaze. His wife sarcastically remarked: "Let the 'world alone. Let me first see if your composi­tion can burn the fire with which I cook food." One who thinks of reforming the world cannot reform himself. Preaching can change neither the heart nor the world. One who sets others to laughter himself remains sad. Grimaldi was the greatest humorist of Brit­ain. Once he went to a physician and said to him, "I am very un­happy and sad because I have been suffering from all kinds of worries." The doctor examined him and asked him a number of questions and then observed: "I have understood the nature of your ailment. I would not prescribe any medicine but would advise you to pass a week's time in the company of Grimaldi." Grimaldi was surprised to hear this and remarked "I am the Grimaldi who sets the whole world to laughter, but you do not know how miserable I am."

Poets, writers and political leaders are engaged in the task of changing the world. Unfortunately they are not prepared to change themselves. Religious leaders are also trying to make a god of man and they have been prescribing various means of divinising man. Alas, they have failed. I do not wish to undervalue what they say, but it is a fact that they have not cut much ice. The main thing is to bring about a change in our instincts and tendencies without which the personality of man cannot be reconstituted. It is not a theoreti­cal but a practical problem. It is self-exertion, which brings about a change of heart. Change of appearance is not change of heart.

Once a magician turned a mouse into a tiger. Puffed up with its new appearance, the mouse began to walk here and there. Sud­denly a cat appeared on the scene. On seeing it the mouse became afraid and ran away. The heart of the mouse had not changed in spite of a change in its appearance.

The aim of sadhana is the transformation of personality. It is not.a means of changing appearances. Perception of the centres of consciousness is a means of bringing about this transformation. There are several centres of consciousness in the body. In the course of our exercises we try to perceive one or two or three of these centres. Sometimes we concentrate on several centres together. These centres become active as a result of our concentration on them. A change occurs in their secretions. Formerly they had been unseen agents of the karma body. After we have concentrated on them, they become our agents. This introduces a comprehensive change in our activities. A change in the secretion of the glands brings about a change of heart. This happens in the natural course.

  • 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. Cooperation
  5. Fear
  6. Karma
  7. Karma Body
  8. Preksa
  9. Sadhana
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