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I And Mine: [03.06] - 8 Formulas For Making Individual Efforts To Attain Liberation - 6. Emancipation from Knots

Published: 12.12.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Emancipation from Knots

We are not unfamiliar with knots. We see them in ropes, trees, and in the body. Just as knots can be dissolved in material substances, in the, same way they are dissolved in the mind also. Mental knots are more complex than external knots. The mental knots have the following causes:

  1. Perverted Belief
  2. Mental Desire
  3. Crookedness

Perverted Belief

It is the main cause of being assailed by knots. The more perverted our beliefs are, the greater the number of mental knots. Because of them we relinquish the real and accept the unreal. Sometimes we are attacked by doubts and at other times by confusion. If we doubt someone, a feeling of opposition grows and we automatically begin treating him as an antagonist.

Once upon a time, Queen Chelana of King Shrenik was sleeping. One of her hands remained uncovered by the quilt and got chilled. When she woke up, she uttered, 'What should he be doing? The king happened to hear it and got suspicious of her character. Surely, he thought, there was another man in her life. As soon as the night was over, he ordered Abhaya Kumar to set the queen' s palace on fire. Behind this act was the king's doubt or suspicion. In fact the queen had automatically expressed concern for a monk engaged in meditation in the open whom she had seen only a day earlier.

Who is there who does not behave like the king under suspicion? A deer runs after a mirage. Similarly, we work with a mind in disarray. We mistake the ephemeral for the eternal, non-self for self, and unhappiness for happiness. Both the affluent sections of society and the ruling class of today are on this track these days. Is state power being used in a desirable manner? Is it desirable to accumulate so much wealth? All this is happening because of a perverse outlook.

Mental desire

Every man has to meet the basic needs of life. However, human desire exceeds them. Drinking milk leaves a nice taste, But once it turns into a desire, it becomes bondage. One does not develop a passion for milk by drinking it once. But one who takes it daily feels its want even if he does not get it for a day. This typifies a situation where milk is not merely a need but a desire. Its daily intake becomes such a hardened habit that need turns into desire.

Nobody is totally free from desire, but there is an ascending order in it. Desire has an ascending order just as there is an ascending order in drawing a line on water, on sand or soil and on stone. A desire akin to a line on water is mere necessity; one akin to a line on sand shows increased desire; but the one akin to that on stone denotes that need has become secondary and desire has become endless. Satisfaction does not accrue as a result of trying to remove dissatisfaction. One the contrary, dissatisfaction grows and one case of dissatisfaction leads to another.

In logic it is called Anavastha (non-finality of propositions or endlessness of statements). To keep one piece of cloth clean we put a cover on it, to keep the latter clean, we put another and a third, fourth, fifth cover and so on ad infinitum. Dissatisfaction knows no end. This exactly is the form of Anavastha.


Crookedness is the first step to being infected by knots. Deceit means suffering from knots; rectitude means liberation from knots. Straight behaviour has no mental entanglement at any stage - past, present or future; so it affords no opportunity for suffering from knots. Crooked behaviour has mental entanglement at all stages - past, present and future. Therefore it breeds knots.

There are three methods of liberating oneself from knots:

Previous Next
  • self-analysis
  • auto-suggestion
  • putting aside or away


Self-analysis is a psychological method. In oriental language it is atonement. When something undesirable happens, it creates mental conflict, which in turn creates knots in the mind. Self-analysis or atonement disentangles them.


It means to give suggestions to oneself. This is one of Indian Yoga's processes. It brings about changes in the nature of the mind. It breaks the mental knots. A lot of good results from giving suggestions to oneself with complete faith while inhaling the air. Similarly giving suggestions while going to sleep also yields early benefits. Suggestions made in this manner reach every part of the body by way of blood circulation within three minutes. It is necessary to breathe deeply. Autosuggestion can even cure conspirational feelings.

Putting Aside (Nirasan)

It is a process of dissociation of Karmas. Autosuggestion disentangles the knots while Nirasan breaks them. Consciousness becomes so powerful in Nirasan that mental fickleness beats a retreat and the knots give way. In it there is insistence on truth. Lord Buddha said in the same language of insistence:

Insistence on truth cannot but undo the knots. All great men in history took a vow of insistence on truth. They made their determination to insist on truth so strong that success and accomplishment became easy and physical urges disappeared. With such strong insistence knots can be easily undone. The method of Nirasan is nothing but the method of penance. It is characterized by prohibition, denial and renunciation.

It removes spiritual indifference. Self-analysis or Atma Vishleshan resolves the knot, autosuggestion or Nirdeshan opens the knot, and dissociation of Karmas or Nirasan breaks the knot.

The result of emancipation from knots is a straight and simple life. Crookedness and simplicity are two aspects of life. The former creates problems in life. There are not many real problems in our lives; man is himself responsible for bringing them into being. According to some people the times and governments are such that problems are bound to increase. Problems may be present outside but they need not plague you. They trouble you only when you internalise them. It is only when the mind is weak that external things can enter it. A strong mind is immune to external influences. By keeping a window closed we can stop the entry of the chill prevailing outside, because our defences are strong. The same applies to external circumstances. A fickle mind is immediately affected by external circumstances.

Three people react differently to an unagreeable talk. One hears it but pays no heed to it; the second takes it ill and does something; the third taking it as unjust thinks of retaliation. For him it becomes a dangerous event. The event is the same but it is variously experienced. The degree of the mind's fickleness determines the degree of being influenced by external circumstances. Mental peace is disturbed not by the event as such, but by the fickleness or unsteadiness of the mind. To preserve mental peace it is necessary to analyse the event and its effect.


Peace should not be the peace of the grave. Inert peace blunts consciousness.

Muni Shree:

I am not talking of the artificial peace, which plays hide and seek, with circumstances. Resistance to injustice is not being identified by me as disturbance of peace. I am talking of that peace which has preserved the strength to resist, that cannot be challenged by retrogression, which no retrogressive power can counteract and deflect. The mind once steadied gives up the undesirable like a sieve rejecting the unwanted stuff. Once crookedness has spent itself up what remains is sincerity and straightness. Emancipation from knots then comes automatically.

  • 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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Abhaya
  2. Atma
  3. Body
  4. Buddha
  5. Consciousness
  6. Deceit
  7. Karmas
  8. Meditation
  9. Muni
  10. Shrenik
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