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Abstract Thinking: [09.05] Bhavana Of Restraint - Control

Published: 06.11.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015

There is an inexhaustible reservoir of energy within us. A good deal of this energy lies covered, hampered. Some of it exists potentially and a little is being actually put to use. If we become alive to this treasure, then the potentially existing energy and that which lies covered and hampered, could be brought up to the ground of utility.

Energy can be awakened through the exercise of self-control. Our mind puts up a great many demands, which we go on fulfilling, with the result that our energy gradually lapses. The secret of re-awakening it is: Non-acceptance of the demands put up by the mind.

The rejection of the mind's demands means the development of will-power. This in itself constitutes control. Nothing is difficult for a man of strong determination.

Auspicious and inauspicious factors do bring about a change in the arising of karman, but the mind's determination is the greatest factor of them all. The change wrought by will-power is not possible through other factors. Those who are steadfast in their determination, are able to accomplish great work. Gautam asked:

"O illustrious one! What does a living being acquire through control?"

The Lord replied:

“Through control, the soul neutralizes the influxes.”

Control results in a state of being free from influxes, the man whose power of control, is developed, becomes immune to the entry of heterogeneous matter. A temperate person is not much affected by outer influences. It has been said, do everything at the right time. Eat, when it is time to eat. Sleep, when jt is time to sleep. Do everything at the right time. If you do meditation at 9 0 clock, and meditate every day at that hour, and do not accept any other demand of the mind, your power of control will grow strong.

Self-control is a kind of 'kumbhaka' ('a phase in pranayama of stopping the breath by shutting the mouth and closing the nostrils with the fingers of the hand'). Just as in kumbhaka' the breath is held back, similarly in self-control, desire is restrained. Lord Mahavira said:

"The heat and the cold, hunger and thirst, disease, abuse, blows - endure them all"

This is no sermon, but an exercise of self-control. One feels cold, and the mind starts demanding warm clothing or a heater, etc. One feels hot and the mind demands cooling things. He who practises self-control, repudiates "the mind's demands. He perceives what the mind desires, but does not oblige it. Gradually, the mind stops making any demand. Then whatever happens, is effortlessly endured.

Seeing is self-control; not-seeing, being indifferent, is also self-control. Fully concentrate on your goal; self-control will come of itself. No demand of the mind, speech or body, will then make you waver. Indifference, control of mind, speech and body is then accomplished of itself. The Lord said:

'The great sadhak who, after renouncing the sense-objects, withdraws into himself, knows and sees everything without a motive."

  • 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. Karman
  3. Mahavira
  4. Meditation
  5. Pranayama
  6. Sadhak
  7. Soul
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