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Abstract Thinking: [17.02] Bhavana Of Indifference - How to Create A State Of Indifference

Published: 25.02.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

A question was raised, How to bring about indifference? I said: "Indifference results from the control of the senses. The man, who has established control over the senses, becomes indifferent, objective and impersonal. When the feeling of like and dislike is absent from the mind, matter is looked upon as mere matter, and a living being as a living being. We may say that we are attached to all that is good and are averse to all that is evil but this is an illusion. As a matter of fact, a thing appears to us to be good and interesting because we are attached to it; another thing appears to us to be evil and uninteresting because of our aversion to it. When the conditioning of like and dislike is dissolved, a thing appears to us as it is- matter is just matter. Is it possible to end the conditioning of like and dislike? It is quite possible. If we lead a practical life, it is possible to look at matter, or at a living being, without attachment or aversion.

The question arises, are we to close our eyes and ears? Do we shut the doors of all the senses, so that a state of mind without preference or aversion arises? Is it possible to close the doors of the senses for a long time? In the long course of his life, it is not possible for a man to sit with his eyes closed or to burst his ear-drums. The doors of the senses will remain open. However it is possible to keep the doors open so that water passes through them, but no dirt. The function of the senses is to keep alert, to provide intimations, knowledge. It is because of delusion that many people believe that the sense-organs produce attachment and aversion, or the feeling of like and dislike. The sense-organs have nothing to do with it. It is not the function of the eye to be infatuated, or to create like and dislike. The eye is only a stream of knowledge, a current of awareness. How can there be any like or dislike in it? To confuse knowledge with infatuation or unconsciousness is a big mistake. The stream of knowledge, of consciousness is quite different from that of unconsciousness. The stream of attachment and aversion combines itself with the stream of knowledge, and believing that the two are one, we get caught in the illusion of like and dislike.

With the dissolving of this illusion, we realize our consciousness. Then the control of the senses naturally comes about. The poor deer is running after a mirage. The rays of the sun strike a pool. It seems to the deer that water is flowing there. He runs to the spot to slake his thirst, only to find there is no water there. Again, the pool appears to have shifted a little farther. The deer goes there but gets no water. Thus it exhausts itself to death.

  • 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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