I And Mine: [02.31] - A Religious Revolution - The Spiritual Point

Published: 03.12.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

1. Space Is Not Only This Much

I am acquainted with the truth that space is infinite. Even then I have been trying to confine it. I have confined space and I call it my house. My house has space but space is not limited to my house. It is outside the house too. My house gives me refuge, protects me from the sun, gives me shelter against heat and cold, and so I call it mine and protect it. But I have no right to think that there is no space in another man' s house.

A religious person is he who is curious to know truth, who investigates truth, and who follows truth. For a man to be regarded religious without his being curious to know truth is like expecting a lamp to emit light even though it has no flame. To say that a man is religious even though he has no inclination to investigate truth is to say that one has found the right place without finding the right way. To say that a man is religious even though he does not follow truth is to say that the thirst has been quenched without drinking any water.

2. Philosophy

Let us see and think. When we see, we are unable to think, and when we think, we are unable to see. When our mind is without thoughts, we are in a position to see and when we see, our mind automatically becomes free from thoughts. Thought-restraint has a natural formula - ­seeing.

Seeing needs no language. Thinking needs language. Absence and presence of language are two different states. Deep investigation automatically helps engage in concentration. Whether we look after or near, whether we look into the body or at external objects, everything relates to the present. We can see neither the past nor the future.

3. Sight and Action

Today the whole world is afflicted with problems. It looks as though a play was being staged. In it the seer has submerged and the scene has emerged on the surface. This is the state of deep sleep. The day man wakes up the problem will solve itself. The existence of the scene is eternal. It shall never vanish. No effort need be made to make it vanish. All we need to do is to define the relation between the seer and the scene. It will be an unnatural relationship if the seer forgets his existence in experiencing the scene. It is this that is the root cause of the problem. The harmonious relationship between the two comprises the blending of the seer's experience of his own self with that of the scene. When the seer and the scene are disunited, whatever man sees he does not do and whatever he does he does not see. This is a deceitful state. In it seeing and doing are divorced from each other. When the seer and the scene are united, man does only what he sees and sees only what he does. This is a morally upright state. In it seeing and doing are not divorced from each other.

4. Individualism

O Sun! I do not like you. You are the very soul of light. The whole earth is illuminated by your light. Darkness disappears.

You are the very awakening of the soul. With your rise people who are asleep wake up. Sleep disappears.

You are the very soul of fearlessness. With your appearance the doors of the houses are opened up. Fear disappears.

You are the Primum Mobile. With your emergence the whole sky is filled with birds and all roads by people. Inactivity is transformed into activity.

Even then I do not like you, the reason being that you want to shine alone by outshining or covering with darkness all other planets. How can anyone like someone bent upon covering with darkness the entire community?

The sun wants to shine alone, therefore he may be cruel.

No one wishing to possess everything and not sharing it with others in the community can do so without being cruel. Therefore, non-violence and non-possession are interdependent in a man. No individual lacking the feeling of non-violence or the feeling of equality can keep himself away from possession. It is violence and inequality, which occasion possession.

5. The Joy Of Imperfection

If men became perfect, where would, thus, be room for human effort? Fuel is essential for fire. If people did not feel hungry, they would lie idle. They wake up because they have to satiate hunger. Workers rise early because they have to go to their factories. Teachers are in a hurry because they have to go to their colleges and teach. Likewise, farmers have to go to their fields. If people became perfect, they would idle away their time. Human effort has its basis in imperfection. Real joy lies in remaining imperfect, not in perfection: Leave perfection to God, for human beings only imperfection is desirable. If there had been no imperfection, no community would have formed. If the tent could be erected on a single pillar, many pillars would not have been needed. If man could walk on a single foot, there would have been no need for two feet. The other is needed - this precisely is relativity. With imperfection is associated relativity. It is surprising that even though imperfect, man thinks in absolute terms. He boasts of a house worth a million rupees, but is not worried about the dirty drain just outside his house. Can he remain unaffected by its poisonous fumes?

Now-a-days people living in palatial mansions do so behind closed windows, because electricity and fans provide the inmates with light and air respectively. They are cut off from ordinary people. Man today has grown so individualistic that he remains insular. But can anyone who by nature is imperfect survive by severing his relations with the world.

6. Sources Of Contact

Our consciousness has two forms: manifest consciousness and non-manifest consciousness. Psychology divides the mind into three parts: unconscious, subconscious and conscious. Non-manifest consciousness is a refulgent solar ball, a sea of light.

Yesterday I saw the river brimming with water. Nearby were a few drains. They had only that much water as was their holding capacity. The flow of water and electricity is similar. We have six instruments of manifesting consciousness - five senses and the mind. They are six sources of contact. They are very efficient in helping us establish contacts with the external world. When I use my eyes, the whole world becomes visible to me. When I speak, I turn into a speaker and you an audience. Through these senses my inner being gets related to the external world.

7. Science and Spirituality

It is man's nature to wish to know the unknown. That is why in him was developed the habit of researching into truth. Integrated truth comprises both spirituality and science.

Ever since man has acquired knowledge he has also made experiments. Experimental knowledge is science. Knowledge based on belief is not science. In logic it is called an error. Even science first assumes facts and then verifies them experimentally. That which is not so verified proves itself untrue.

Scientific knowledge is acquired through the processes of analysis and synthesis and the results obtained through them. Spiritual knowledge is obtained through direct experience. It is this, which constitutes the main difference between the two.

8. Fasting Up To Death

Fasting unto death means killing the self - this I could understand, but I could not understand what 'self' is. I have taken the body itself as 'self.' Therefore, I have come to treat the destruction of the body itself as the killing of self. Is self not the lamp of consciousness? Is self not the ventilator of philosophy? Is self not a storehouse of purity? The object of carrying the burden of the body is to ensure that the lamp of consciousness remains lighted, the ventilator of philosophy remains open, and the storehouse of purity remains full. If the above object is defeated, if the lamp is extinguished, the ventilator is closed, the storehouse is emptied, the limits of carrying the burden of the body are automatically transgressed.

  • 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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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Concentration
  3. Consciousness
  4. Fasting
  5. Fear
  6. Fearlessness
  7. Non-violence
  8. Science
  9. Soul
  10. Space
  11. Violence
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