Abstract Thinking: [09.07] Bhavana Of Restraint - The Practice of Body-Relaxation

Published: 10.11.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

You should practise kayotsarg, transcend the body, let it go, feel, even when alive, as if you were a corpse, and render the body totally inactive, without movement of any kind.. This is kayagupti, kayotsarga. going beyond the body - it is a great thingto surrender the body.

When death comes, everyone has to leave the body perforce. But to give up the body, while one is still living, is a very great spiritual exercise.

A question arose in Gautam's mind as regards kayotsarga. He asked Lord Mahavira, "O Lord: What is the use of kayagupti?"
Lord Mahavira said: 'The abandonment of the body leads to the stoppage of influx of karman." There are two things - influx and the stoppage of influx. An influx is that through which, guilt enters our being.

Our being is flawless. Our soul suffers from no demerit. The house is perfectly clean. There is not a particle of dirt in it. The dirt or dust comes only through the windows and the doors. Let there be a hole, however small, and the dust penetrates through it. A dust-storm is raging outside. It cannot be stalled. Nobody can stop it. There is no way to ensure that the dust-storm should not arise, that the wind should not blow, nor any storm rage. There is no way. One cannot stop it. But there is a provision, a method by which we can prevent the dust from coming inside. If we close the doors and the windows, the dust cannot enter our house. It is left outside.

Our consciousness is without any blemish. It is pure, clean and spotless. But just as every house has doors and windows, similarly, doors and windows are attached to our consciousness also. These are the influxes, i.e., the points through which the influx of heterogeneous matter from outside takes place. Through these openings foreign elements enter and we are replete with them. Those elements are alien to us. What is alien what is not our own, ever creates dangers and difficulties. From those who are our own, there can be no danger. The meeting with a stranger is ever fraught with risk, it is an indisputable fact. So let us make an effort so that no alien elements remain. Let us ensure that there are no influxes, the doors and windows are not left open, nor any drains or slots. Let them all be covered, rendered safe. The Sanskrit word, "Gupu" is derived from a word which means 'secure'. So 'gupt’ means security. Kayagupti means - the security of the body. We feel so protected from inside, that there is no room for danger at all. No outsider can intrude upon us. We are alone with our consciousness and there is nothing else. This process is called restraint - the stoppage of influx. Lord Mahavira said: "He who practises kayagupti, kayotsarga, creates a restraint, hinders influx, and thus himself becomes an obstruction to the entry of heterogeneous elements.

  • 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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Karman
  4. Kayotsarg
  5. Kayotsarga
  6. Mahavira
  7. Sanskrit
  8. Soul
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