Abstract Thinking: [12.02] Bhavana Of The Institution Of The Universe - Turning Inwards from Outside

Published: 30.12.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

While suggesting a way, Lord Mahavira said: "here is the case of the tortoise. When a difficult situation arises, the birds come to pluck at it, the jackals, etc. come to devour it, if whenever it feels insecure and is filled with fear, it immediately withdraws itself into its shell."

Nature has provided it with a shell which works for it like a shield. In ancient times, when wars were fought with swords and spears, the warriors used to hold a shield in one hand. This shield was made of tortoise-shell. After withdrawing itself into its shell, a tortoise feels itself to be fully protected. Do we have a shield like that, which would save us from our sins? Lust arises in our mind. We are assailed by lust, by anger, by all kinds of provocations. Do we have a way of meeting these attacks? Yes, there is a way. Lord Mahavira said, "Just as the tortoise withdraws itself into its shell to avoid external danger, you, too, must withdraw into spirituality. You will thus be able to save yourself from all outer attacks. Withdraw into spirituality, seek the refuge of your consciousness, go into yourself, establish yourself there, and you will be fully protected. As long as the mind wanders outside, while desires emerge and passions rage, conditions will arise which create worry, fear and suffering. You go inside yourself, enter the world of consciousness, establish yourself in its vicinity, and you will be fully secure. You will face no danger, experience no fear. It is a vital power - the power of consciousness and it can be experienced."

The simile of the tortoise has been universally employed for the sadhak in the Gita, and in the discourses of Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira, etc. Whenever the tortoise encounters danger, it immediately contracts its limbs into its shell and feels secure.

A sadhak should own the tortoise-mentality. At all times, he must keep himself collected - in full command of all his faculties. The moment he becomes negligent, unaware, he is trapped. Perfect awareness is a must for freedom.

  • 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. Anger
  2. Buddha
  3. Consciousness
  4. Fear
  5. Gita
  6. Mahavira
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