Abstract Thinking: [08.07] Bhavana Of Influxes - Psychological Analysis of Karma

Published: 27.10.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

The question arises as to what is the reason for the process of attraction and synthesis of karman? These two activities take place through two influxes. One of these influxes is yoga, the other is passions. The influx of yoga and the influx of passions - these two are responsible for the attraction and synthesis of karman. Restlessness is apparent, the passions are not that clear. Restlessness is visible, the passions lie hidden inside. We shall have to probe in depth, to reach the heart of the mystery.

Psychology has divided the mind into three parts:

  1. Invisible mind

  2. Egoistic mind

  3. Presiding mind

The first is the invisible mind. It is in this part of the mind that desires take birth. All the desires which can be acted upon, arise in the mind. Here the unconscious has a greater role to play than the conscious.

The second is the egoistic mind. Here, through the control exercised by the social order, desires get regulated and somewhat refined. They are subject to control. Whatever desire arises in the mind, the egoistic mind does not implement it immediately.

The third department is the presiding mind which exercises control even over the egoistic mind and regulates its functioning.

Two kinds of dispositions are mentioned in psychology - the introvertive and extrovertive. When the sexual instinct booms ahead, a man turns to the outside world, runs after external objects. When the sexual-instinct is reversed or depressed, a man shrinks into himself; his outward propensities cease. Similarly, in the language of the doctrine of karma, we may say that when non-abstinence is intense, the man runs outwards. His aspiration grows so high that he tries to hold the entire universe in the palm of his hand. He perceives only what is outside himself. When this non-abstinence declines, the individual starts contracting within. With this turning inwards, his desires grow less, restlessness decreases of itself.

A Sanskrit poet has said:

"There is a chain called hope, very remarkable. If you bind a man with an iron chain, he will not be able to walk. If you remove the chain, he will start walking. But a man bound with the chain of hope starts running. Divest him of hope, and he falls down like one crippled. What a spectacle of contraries: There is a shackle tied to which a man cannot walk, and freed of which he starts running. But a man bound by the shackle of hope starts running, and divested of it, he cannot move a step forward. How strange:"

The element which creates restlessness, produces activity and makes a man wander, is non-abstinence. Here is a thirst which lies unslaked to this day, and which no amount of gratification has been able to satiate. It constitutes the chief source of restlessness, of fickleness. The question arises as to why, since we know that aspiration, desire, non-fulfilment is the source of fickleness, are we not able to quench it? There is a reason for it. It is an illusion that a man knows it. Why he has not come to know of it, is due to his illusory approach. Our way of looking is such that we fly away from that which would quench our thirst; instead court that which would provoke it all the more.

Acharya Pujaypad has said:

"There is nothing more terrible in the world than that in which the infatuated soul reposes its trust. And there is no greater refuge in the world than that from which it flies away in fear."

To believe in something dangerous, and to fly away from that which would remove all danger! When does it come about? It happens when the soul is infatuated, when one's approach is all false, when the soul is infatuated, when one's approach is all false, when attachment is strong. It comes about when attachment and aversion predominate, when passions grow fierce. Unless the false approach is shaken off, we shall not be able to understand anything.

Mahavira was asked -

"O illustrious One! How does the bondage of karma come about? What is the process thereof?"

Lord Mahavira said -

"When knowledge-covering karma is in a special state of being realized, intuition-covering karma arises. When knowing is beclouded, seeing is also beclouded. With the covering of intuition, delusion of intuition arises. With the delusion of intuition, perversity arises. While perversity lasts, the eternal is taken for the transitory, happiness is taken for sorrow, the transient is taken for the eternal, and sorrow is taken for happiness. Then a person comes to look upon the means of suffering as the means of happiness, and the means of happiness as the means of suffering, the means of slaking the thirst as the means of provoking thirst, and the means which provoke thirst as the means of quenching it."

Everything is topsy-turvy. As long as this bondage of perversity is not removed, the cycle of karma is not broken - it cannot be broken.

  • 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. Acharya
  2. Fear
  3. Karma
  4. Karman
  5. Mahavira
  6. Sanskrit
  7. Soul
  8. Yoga
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