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The Mysteries Of Mind: [03.04] The Playground Of Consciousness - Freedom From Self-Negligence (4)

Published: 16.04.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

The human body has two wonderful powers. Let us take the example of Bhagavan Mahavira. He kept standing in meditation like a statue for four months at a stretch without stirring or speak­ing or eating or drinking anything. He did not even brush off mos­quitoes, which perched on his skin. It is also mentioned that he meditated in the same way for a whole year. Bahubali also stood motionless in meditation for full one year at a stretch. Creepers, which stood by his side, grew thick and covered him. It is difficult for us to keep standing for an hour or two. Is there any difference between the powers we possess and those possessed by Mahavira and Bahubali? The only difference is that they were acquainted with their powers whereas we do not know ours. We have lost contact with our powers and consciousness. They were conversant with the technique of developing their powers, but we are not. That is why it appears strange to us that Mahavira kept standing for four months and Bahubali for a year. If we trained ourselves, we could also do the same. That is the secret of sadhana.

The development of tolerance is a kind of self-discipline. There are some who will be the least perturbed even in the midst of terrible afflictions. They would simply watch the afflictions without allowing them to influence their minds. Self-discipline would make them disinterested spectators of what happens to them. One of the forms in which spiritual powers manifest them­selves is self-reliance. Good sadhakas would not like that others should extend a helping hand to them because dependence on oth­ers would disturb their sadhana.

Another factor, which is a hindrance to sadhana,is lack of patience. People expect immediate returns from their self-exer­tion. They would like to know the outcome of sadhana before­hand. There is a fixed timetable prescribed for every kind of sadhana. There is no question of returns until the required time has been spent in self-exertion. But a weak practitioner, unless he has been assured of the returns, will begin to waver and give up the exercise.

Forbearance is another form of spiritual strength. The practi­tioner of self-discipline should not be perturbed in adverse cir­cumstances. A stone thrown into a pond disturbs the water. There are innumerable people who throw stones into the pond of life and disturb its waters. A sadhaka will not be able to perform his sadhana if he becomes disturbed and loses his patience. He must develop the strength which patience and serenity give.

Serenity is the manifestation of spiritual strength. We should develop this strength and see to it that no disturbance coming from any direction is allowed to disturb us.

There are several forms of spiritual strength, which serve as an armour to protect us from all kinds of harm. Without the shield which spiritual strength provides consciousness will not be able to maintain its purity.

Our journey, the aim of which is to arrive at the source of infinite energy, is a short one. If we did the right effort we will be able to achieve this aim.

What are the means of achieving this aim? Let me suggest one. It is called tanmurti yoga. There are two kinds of meditation:

  • meditation on one's own form
  • meditation on some form other than one's own.

The practitioner should first decide what he wants to achieve. If he wants to achieve the state which is called vitaraga (a passion-free state of mind), he will have to perform the first kind of meditation i.e. meditation on one's own form. No other meditation will be suitable for this purpose. Meditation on the vitaraga form is the only means by which we can reach the state of pure consciousness. Meditation on this form will result in spread­ing illumination around the meditator like the light emanating from a lamp placed on the head of a man in a standing posture. With this illumination the meditator begins to experience the purity of his consciousness.

The entire energy, which manifests itself in the course of meditation, has got to be diverted towards and concentrated on the aim, which the meditator has chosen, whether it is the powers of the mind or those of speech or those of the sense organs.

The practitioner must first decide what exactly he wants to achieve. Suppose, he wants to achieve an ideal physical strength. An ideal has no form. However, the practitioner will have to build a symbolic image representing his ideal in his mind. For example, the mythical Bahubali is a symbol of ideal physical strength. Once the symbolical image of Bahubali has been formed in his mind, the practitioner should meditate on this image. But evidently there is a distance between the practitioner and the ideal, which he wants to achieve. The purpose of meditation is to obliterate this distance. The distance will go on progressively disappearing in the course of meditation. The meditator will be ultimately absorbed in the symbolic image he is meditating upon. In other words, he will be transplanted into the ideal. He will become Bahubali.

Complete relaxation of the body i.e. kayotsarga is an essential condition of this kind of meditation. The body of the meditator will have to be completely immobilized so that it becomes as good as dead. A complete absorption in the ideal will bring about a trans­formation of his energy and he will ultimately come to feel that his body has gained immense strength. To summarize, the following points should be kept in mind:

  1. A decision about the ideal to be achieved.
  2. To form a symbolic image of the ideal in the mind.
  3. To divert the entire energy generated in the state of meditation towards this Ideal.
  4. To become absorbed or transplanted into the ideal.

This is how energy can be developed. We may choose either mental or physical or, speech energy. The method mentioned above is also the method of achieving ridhis (spiritual powers) or labdhis (yogic achievements). There is no hard and fast rule in this re­spect. Sometimes people achieve success even without observing any rule at all.

  • 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. Bahubali
  2. Body
  3. Consciousness
  4. Kayotsarga
  5. Labdhis
  6. Mahavira
  7. Meditation
  8. Sadhaka
  9. Sadhana
  10. Tanmurti
  11. Tolerance
  12. Yoga
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