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Abstract Thinking: [19.02] - Anupreksha Of Self-Reliance - Self-Dependence And Effort

Published: 22.03.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

The second flowering of our individual life is self-dependence. But where is self-dependence to be found? On the contrary, we find dependence upon another increasing day by day. You may have heard of an “amarbel" ('the ever-green creeper'). Although its name sounds so pleasant, it is a very dangerous creeper. The plant, upon which it starts growing, is as good as finished. It is not self-sufficient; it seeks support outside itself. And the most remarkable thing about it is that it starts consuming the very plant, which serves as its support. It is said that 'amarbel' extends itself to an area of one kilometre. It thrives upon other plants and the plants it thrives upon are gradually dependent upon others. Man is no less dependent upon other; he is no less dangerous than 'amarbel'. For his own luxury and glorification, he exploits others and exterminates them.

Man has become so dependent upon others that he has quite forgotten what it is to be self-dependent. It seems that some people would prefer not to move even their hands and feet if it can be helped. They would not like to exert themselves even to put a morsel into their mouths. They are looking for the invention of a machine, which would not only cook for them but also, put food into their mouths. Later they would need a device, which would help them to digest it. Then the body will not even need to exert itself to digest the food it consumes. Such a comfort-loving mentality has come about that a man is always looking up to others for doing things. This has led to a great calamity - man has forgotten the dignity of labour!

It is the nature of our body to toil, to indulge in self-exertion. He, who does not depend upon his own labour, cannot achieve anything, despite all advantages. But many people tend to neglect this truth. The rich man thinks it beneath his dignity to labour. We must realize that the body needs to be exercised.

Now, what is the difference between self-dependence and self-exertion? Self-exertion is a physical process. To make use of one's limbs, to employ them in work, to utilize one's energy, is self-exertion, and to depend upon one's own energy is self-reliance. Self-reliance comes first. Without self-reliance there can be no self- exertion. If one cannot rely upon one's own power, the question of self-reliance does not arise. One, who cannot stand upon his own feet, has to take the support of crutches. To depend upon one's own energy is the first essential. That is the idea underlying self-dependence and to use one's energy, to employ it in work, is self-exertion.

Until the body is adequately exercised, diseases will not end. The channels of blood will not be cleared and health will not be achieved. The body needs to be exerted. This is essential. If someone does not engage himself in labour, he may take to yoga asanas. Yoga asanas contribute towards physical health. Physical exercise is very necessary for life.

Independence, self-dependence, and self-exertion - these are the three qualities native to a person. These are the three boundaries, which define his unique individuality.
  • 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. Asanas
  2. Body
  3. Yoga
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