Abstract Thinking: [02.03] The Bhavana Of Transitoriness - The Consciousness Of Detachment

Published: 01.09.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

The first phase of contemplation is - the anupreksha of transitoriness. Whatever exists in this world is all transitory. No relationship is lasting. All unions end in separation. With the realisation of this truth, all the illusion of taking the transitory for the eternal is dissolved and likewise ends all discontent arising from the loss of material objects. Consequently, new habits and a new culture evolve. Just as association with matter gives rise to a culture of attachment, which causes pain at the loss of material things, similarly if a culture of detachment from matter is created through anupreksha, a man would never feel distressed. Separation is the one end, union the other. Separation is the first door, union the other door. If both these truths are simultaneously realized, and a consciousness of separation, like the consciousness of union, be evolved, a man can meet all the genuine problems arising in the material world on a factual basis.

The mind is fouled when we take the transient for the eternal, the accidental for the permanent, the heterogeneous for the homogeneous. Both theoretically and practically, we know that matter is transient, all coming together is transitory. All material things are bound to perish. All union is bound to end in separation. Matter is transient and all communion with it is transitory, and matter is heterogeneous. The quality of consciousness is different from that of matter. We know all these truths and yet we take matter to be invariable, unchanging and act on that basis in our everyday living. We take the union of material atoms to be permanent and we treat matter as having affinity with ourselves. Of course we do not know it to be so, we have not experienced it for ourselves - we only believe it to be so. There is a great deal of difference between knowing something and accepting it at second hand, between experiencing the truth of it on our own, and taking it on our own, and taking it on hearsay, on belief. The day we pass from the state of accepting on belief to that of knowing, of direct experiencing, we shall come to look at matter for what it is, and at consciousness as the living principle. Matter has its utility; it can be made use of, but it cannot be lasting. The imputation of taking the non-eternal for the eternal, the heterogeneous for the homogeneous, is made on account of mere belief. When the truth is directly experienced, all imputations are set aside. As long as his mind is rendered unclean by attachment or infatuation, a person goes on accepting everything on trust; he knows nothing for himself. Without understanding the fundamental nature of matter, it is not possible to know it fully.

Fascinated by name and outward form, a man readily accepts everything and vainly thinks that he knows all. We know other persons by their names. We have evolved a framework of names, and whatever shape fits in that frame, we call it by a particular name. But remove the name and the figure, and what do we know? Nothing. Our illusion is reared in the cradle of belief. If we go into it deeply, we shall find that the whole world is locked up in the prison of belief. The talk of knowing is a far cry. When preksha meditation is perfected, total dedication to the holy incantation achieved, and a condition arises for the mind to pass through, or for the vital current to flow from the Centre of Power to the Centre of Wisdom, we might say that we really know. Then the question of belief would not arise. At that stage we shall be able to say, "We know, we do not merely believe." When one really comes to know, the body's grip is loosened. With the loosening of this grip, with the dissolution of the attachment-complex, all attachment shall dissolve. The abandonment of the body does not imply any separation from it, it only means that the attachment to the body shall be loosened, and identification with it abandoned.

Through the medium of anupreksha, illusions and reversals can be done away with, the mind cleansed of its filth. Through anupreksha, one can ascend from the state of merely believing to that of knowing.

  • 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. Centre of Wisdom
  3. Consciousness
  4. Contemplation
  5. Meditation
  6. Preksha
  7. Preksha Meditation
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