Mind Beyond Mind: [01.02] See and Think (2)

Published: 03.05.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The third question is: What for should we see? This question is irrelevant. Consciousness, by its very nature, is a seer. In its purest form it does not need a medium. It is only when the mind casts its shadow on it that it needs a medium of perception. Thinking is a function of the intellect. The intellect, to use a figurative language, is a ray emanating from consciousness. Thinking is, therefore, the light of consciousness. Undivided consciousness free from the limitations imposed upon it by the mind and the sense organs simply sees. In such a state there is no distinction between consciousness and what it sees. This distinction exists only in the case of mental perceptions. Moreover, it is the function of the eyes to see. The question as to what for are we to see becomes irrelevant so far as the eyes and consciousness are concerned. It is the nature of both to see. The question is relevant only to the mind. The mind divides consciousness into the subject and the object. Once consciousness becomes free from the shadows cast upon it by the mind and the intellect, thinking ceases and together with it ceases the distinction between the subject and the object, between the seer and the object of perception. The deeper does our gaze penetrate into an object, the more concentrated does the mind become. It is through such a process of concentration that we ultimately reach a state of Samadhi (ecstasy). The simplest way to arrive at such a state is to see. What you have to do is to concentrate the mind on some object and to go on seeing it. In a few moments the mind will cease to think and you will begin to feel that you are meditating. A prolonged seeing strengthens meditation.

Mantras (charms), telling of beads, manipulation of breathing and concentration of the mind on a single thought point are the implements with which the thought processes are negated and the practice of meditation is strengthened. They are not instinctive activities. They have to be cultivated by exertion. Seeing, on the other hand, is an instinctive and natural act. It needs no external support. It requires only a coordination and control of mental processes. It activates our natural propensities and innate spiritual energies. Continuous seeing enables us to unfold the spiritual essence in our being. It brings us face to face with consciousness inherent in us. It produces strength and joy. Therefore, when I ask you to see, I mean a very simple thing. There is nothing mysterious and controversial about it.

We have discussed seeing. Now let us come to thinking. Reflection is a very important means of comprehending truth. But loose thinking, which wanders about a number of things aimlessly, is useless from the point of view of sadhana. We have to concentrate the thought process on a definite subject. It has been said that a wise man is one who can control his thought processes. The unwise man cannot do so. A mad man, for example, cannot concentrate on anything whatsoever. His mind wanders about aimlessly. He does think, but the only thing wrong with him is that the gravitational force of a single idea frustrates his mind. He is an inhibited mind. He lacks judgment. He cannot exercise his will and discretion. The wise man, on the other hand, is capable of changing the direction of his thought processes at will. This capacity is the function of a healthy mind.

Thinking is a means of knowing truth. Consciously manipulated thinking results in contemplation, which is essential to all kinds of observation and investigation. Almost all the ancient schools of Yoga have prescribed contemplation as a step in the development of meditation. The guru gives the novice a problem to think over and come to a conclusion. The process of contemplation, in this case, is a prolonged process. It may continue for days and months together. If the novice succeeds in his contemplation, he will be able to come across truths concerning the past, present and future. What he needs is prolonged and persistent contemplation.

Contemplation is indispensable for the investigation of truth. Take, for example, a piece of stone. The present state of the stone is the culmination of a long process of its formation. It must have passed through several stages. You cannot know its composition unless you have ascertained the stages of its formation. This needs a lot of thinking and contemplation. Your contemplation finally reaches a stage where the stone begins to reveal the whole history of its formation. It begins to speak, so to say. The same thing holds true of words. A word, by itself, has no meaning. It is a jumble of letters of sounds. It is through contemplation that you come to know its meaning. Words reveal their meanings in contemplation.

Caraka was the systematizer of the science of Ayurveda. He would often go to the forest to observe plants and roots. He would sit before a plant for hours and hours together, lost in contemplation until he arrived at a stage when the reality of the plant revealed itself to him. Prolonged contemplation produces a vision in which you will see the reality of objects and all their modifications. Thinking and contemplation are the most powerful means of comprehending truth. They reveal to us innumerable secrets of nature and human life. This is called Dharmya Dhyana in Jain Yoga.

There are two kinds of meditation: Sukla Dhyana and Dharmya Dhyana. The former means meditation on the self or the soul. The latter means knowing in meditation the essence of things other than the soul. Let us also keep in mind the difference between the term Dharma and the term Dharmya. The former refers to religious or spiritual conduct, where as the latter refers to the nature or essence of things. Dharmya Dhyana is a process of contemplation on the essence or nature of things and their utility for particular purposes. It is an intellectual attempt. It should, however, be noted that simple reflection is not Dhyana. It becomes Dhyana only when you have controlled it and deliberately given it a direction. Once it has begun to flow in a given direction, it reaches the stage of contemplation or meditation. Undeliberate and loose thinking is not Dhyana. because it does not constitute a continuous flow of organized thinking in a definite direction.

Besides contemplation, there is another kind of Dhyana, which may be called thoughtless meditation. Both have their own importance. Darsana is Dhyana without thoughts. In this meditation thinking is altogether absent. The practitioner does not think. He only sees. Moreover, it involves a purpose also; otherwise it will not have a direction. Thus there are two kinds of Dhyana, contemplative meditation and perceptive meditation.

Preksha Dhyana includes both kinds of meditation. Seeing as against thinking is the first part of Preksha Dhyana. It means what is happening in the body. It means seeing the vibrations of the body. The human body is continuously active. It produces various kinds of vibrations and sounds, but we cannot hear them because they are very subtle. Our auditory nerves are being continuously assailed by sound waves coming from outside the body, so much so that we have every little time to tram ourselves in hearing the subtle sounds produced inside our bodies. The practitioner has to exert himself in order that he may hear these internal sounds. You very often hear the beat of your heart. The circulation of blood also produces sounds, which are very subtle. You can hear these subtle sounds also, if you concentrate on them and exert yourselves. Preksha Dhyana implies this kind of subtle perception far away from the approach of thoughts.

The second part of Preksha Dhyana is called Anupreksha, which means contemplation on the consequences of what you have seen in the first part. The prefix Anu means what follows or comes after. Perception of the movements of the body is followed by contemplation. The accumulation and diffusion of atoms in the body produce vibrations. There is light as well as heavy vibrations. You have to watch this conglomeration and diffusion of atoms and hear the subtle sounds they produce. This is what is done in the first part. In the second part you will contemplate on what you have seen in the first part. You will now come to the conclusion that active atoms in the body enter into various kinds of combinations. But no combination can be said to be permanent or unalterable. They are ephemeral. This is the truth you will arrive at in your contemplation in the second part of Preksha. That is Anupreksha. It is the realization of the fact that the human body is transitory. Preksha and Anupreksha go hand in hand with each other in Preksha meditation on two planes of the same process. Both are aids to the knowledge and understanding of truth. Preksha Dhyana as a whole means to perceive and contemplate reality in a correct way. Deep meditation, a dispossessed mind and right thinking are the essential elements of Preksha Dhyana.the essential elements of Preksha Dhyana.


Share this page on:
Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anu
  2. Ayurveda
  3. Body
  4. Caraka
  5. Concentration
  6. Consciousness
  7. Contemplation
  8. Darsana
  9. Dharma
  10. Dharmya
  11. Dhyana
  12. Guru
  13. Jain Yoga
  14. Meditation
  15. Preksha
  16. Preksha Dhyana
  17. Preksha Meditation
  18. Sadhana
  19. Samadhi
  20. Science
  21. Soul
  22. Yoga
Page statistics
This page has been viewed 1186 times.
© 1997-2021 HereNow4U, Version 4.5
Contact us
Social Networking

HN4U Deutsche Version
Today's Counter: