Abstract Thinking: [17.05] Bhavana Of Indifference - Second Stage Of Equanimity - Indifference

Published: 28.02.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

Equability, equanimity, means indifference (to pleasure or pain, the pleasant and the unpleasant, etc.). Keep steadfast, unmoved. Do not lean to any one-ism of belief. Something pleasant or unpleasant is always happening in the world. Sometimes, what we wish for comes to pass and at other times, things happen contrary to our wishes. Sometimes the desirable, what you want, transpires, sometimes, the unwanted comes off. If, with all this, the wheel of our mind also goes on revolving, it creates so many problems that in the end, there is left no option but to commit suicide. When something wished for happens, a man is very much elated; when something unwelcome transpires, he is greatly perplexed. At times, he comes to look upon suicide as the only means of getting rid of the terrible complications in which he finds himself caught.

Take the case of a beautiful maiden - ahn actress or a dancer. She is yet on the threshold of youth, enjoying national or international repute. She becomes world-famous. Her condition undergoes a change. After crossing youth she advances towards old age. Now it seems to her that she is not receiving as much respect as before: her attraction has grown less. Her honour and reputation are gradually waning. Also the popularity she enjoyed among the public is decreasing. In such a situation, she loses her balance and is ready to commit suicide. Many women have ended their lives like that. Why does it so happen? Not because they no longer enjoy the prestige they had before, nor because their popularity or attraction has become a thing of the past. It happens because the feeling of attachment in their mind is no longer gratified. Consequently, the mind is so deeply hurt, that an individual writhes in agony, and is not able to pull himself together.

One man owns property worth crores. Is all that wealth of any use to himself? No. He might preserve it in vaults underground. What utility has it all? Yet there exists a feeling of attachment in the mind. 'This is mine: all this property is mine' This thought affords himself gratification. From it he derives great mental satisfaction. When this property slips out of his hands, when he no longer owns it, he is much confused, and utterly restless. As regards the property itself, the dissolution of his ownership, makes no the slightest difference. The property lies where it lay before, unchanged. Only the ownership has changed. Yet a thread snaps in the mind. Now the man seeks solitude; he thinks of retiring to a jungle, of leaving his country, or even of abandoning his body. All this happens because the man is not possessed of noble indifference. When a man is not indifferent, he becomes attached to every situation; he cannot keep his mind separate from the circumstance. When the state of equanimity arises, noble indifference is also awakened. The man who is indifferent, witness’s profit and loss, whatever happens, but is not possessed by it. He does not attach himself to it. He views it objectively, without experiencing any pleasure or pain. A witness is neither unhappy nor happy; the one who is involved, experience pain as well as pleasure. He carries with himself the burden of both joy and suffering. The second stage of equanimity is - indifference.

  • 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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