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Abstract Thinking: [30.01] - Anupreksha of Non-Attachment

Published: 12.08.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

Lord Mahavira says - "Sensual objects provide temporary pleasure. The result thereof is painful and long." Impulsive action is instantaneous, but one has to suffer its consequences for a long time. One partakes of something. The gratification of the palate lasts for a minute or so: at times it may last for 4-5 minutes. But one may be obliged to endure its consequences for years together. Why does one indulge in an action whose result, one knows, is bound to be ill? One does it because of attachment and infatuation. It has been said in the Mahabharata -'One knows what is righteous, yet one is not inclined to persevere in it. One knows what is unrighteous, yet one cannot forsake it!"

Even while suffering the ill effects of over-eating, an individual finds it difficult to withstand the allurement of a favourite dish. Even though conversant with the consequences of excessive sexual indulgence, people are not able to conserve their power and semen.

Someone asked the Greek philosopher, Socrates - "How often should a man indulge in sexual intercourse?"

Socrates replied - 'Once in a lifetime. In case this seems too rigorous, once in a year. If one cannot exercise even that much restraint, one might indulge in sex once a month. If one cannot do even this, one should be prepared to die and indulge oneself to one's heart's content, as many times as one may please."

A particular need requires to be fulfilled, but this factual gratification involves no deep attachment or infatuation. The fulfilment of a need requires to be fulfilled, but this factual gratification involves no deep attachment or infatuation. The fulfilment of need is one thing; to be infatuated by desire is something quite different. We are bound to fulfil an essential need, but it is not at all necessary for us to be attached to goods, which is forever an illusion self-created.

He who has experienced strong passion and peace will not be attached to anything. He will reach his goal without suffering any illusion during his journey. He knows full well that while he must traverse a particular path, he need not become attached to it.
  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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  1. Mahabharata
  2. Mahavira
  3. Socrates
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