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I And Mine: [03.08.01] - 8 Formulas For Making Individual Efforts To Attain Liberation - 8. Mental Concentration (1)

Published: 14.12.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Of the eight aphorisms meant for practising the accomplishment of austerity by individuals - why was concentration of the mind put at number eight?

It should have been the first.

The above question is quite natural. But in my view the first seven aphorisms are preliminary background to the concentration of the mind. If they are successfully accomplished, it becomes easier to accomplish mental concentration.

In the beginning it is difficult to prevent the fickleness of the mind.

There are three obstacles to concentration:

  • memory
  • imagination
  • current incident

Memory:

Past events come to the fore when they find an occasion to do so. Seeing the site of a village visited twenty years ago, old memories are revived - this is Daishik-Smriti (place-related memory).

With the onset of the summer memories of earlier summers are awakened. It is Kalik-Smriti (time-related memory). As soon as the external world and the individual unite, memory is awakened and the mind gets entangled in it.

Imagination:

If memory represents an obstacle from the past, imagination represents an obstacle arising out of the future. The mind is busy weaving dreams of what one would do, write, get money from etc. Imagination is not a present reality. Both memories of the past and imagination of the future keep agitating the mind.

Current Incident:

Even a current incident agitates the mind. The mind becomes agitated as soon as it relates itself to external objects. Deliverance from all the three obstacles is necessary if we want our mind not to be agitated or to be less agitated. And the way to do it is concentration. Extricating oneself from all the three and relating consciousness to the soul is concentration of mind.

An old
definition of concentration
is:

Concentration is that flow of consciousness, which does not even touch anything outside consciousness.

In it
there is a perpetual contact with the 'self'
and no contact with the ‘other'.

Therefore,
it can be said to be the offspring of consciousness.

To be self-absorbed is concentration.

Previous Next

The soul is 'self' and all the rest is 'other'.

Having become free from attachment to the ‘other', directing the thoughts on pure soul and identifying with it is self-realization. And the realization or knowledge is invariable on the axis of time, and since its perpetuity is inviolable, it is the offspring of consciousness. It is comparable to a lamp' s flame -every moment' s flame gives place to the next moment' s flame and, thus, the past and the present get fused. The flow of thought when it follows the same pattern as that of the flame becomes concentration.

The chief subject of contemplation is the pure form of the Supreme Spirit. The externally oriented consciousness has to be turned inwards and made one with the soul.

Sources
  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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  1. Concentration
  2. Consciousness
  3. Contemplation
  4. Soul
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