Abstract Thinking: [01.08.02] Anupreksha And Bhavana - The Marvel of the Practice of Bhavana (2)

Published: 17.08.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

Bhavana may be communicated to others. Others may also be influenced by it. To resolve others' difficulties, to cure a disease, to bring about a transformation of mind in others, to change their thoughts - all these fall under the uses of bhavana. Indeed, these can be accomplished only through bhavana. Through the medium of bhavana it is possible to change oneself, to change others, and to change the environment. A person has a weak body. It can be restored to health through the exercise of bhavana. Another has a weak brain. Still another has weak eyes, a weak heart, or is afflicted with impure sentiments - all these can be made wholesome through bhavana.

There are innumerable bhavanas, which can be practised, countless resolutions, which can be made. Today's physicians, particularly those of Germany, try to cure a patient through autosuggestion rather than through the use of drugs. They say, "Retire to a forest. Sit under a tree and give yourself wholly to meditation. Then suggest it to yourself - I am quite all right. I am getting better." They believe that through this technique, an individual can cure himself of his disease and regain health.

That is quite plain. But what kind of bhavana do we practise from the point of view of sadhana?

The individual who enters the field of sadhana, will have to permeate himself first and foremost with knowledge-oriented bhavana. Bhavana does not mean merely the repetition of ideas.

Bhavana implies the establishment of ideas, the stabilisation of thought if you repeat something again and again, it becomes bhavana; you are permeated by it through and through. You will start acting accordingly. A man opens and closes a door 10-15 times a day. That action is assimilated in his system; he is influenced by it. The moment he enters the house, his attention is drawn to that action. Whether he opens the door or not, but in memory he is identified with that action, because he is fully pervaded by it. A man is influenced by thought, as well as by action. Repeat the idea and the action is of the essence of bhavana.

The question arises as to how we may change ourselves through bhavana.
Here is the process:

First of all, choose for yourself your goal. You have to decide what you want to become, and what is required to be done. "I wish to be a poet, a philosopher, a writer, a litterateur, whatever it is. What you wish to be is your aim.

After the aim is formulated you have to practise bhavana for its implementation. The question arises as to how to practise and what to do.

You go into seclusion. You sit down and let your body relax. The mind should also be relaxed, no tension whatever, no anxiety or restlessness. This is the preliminary condition, which is essential. If the aim that we have chosen never leaves the gross mind, never enters our sub-conscious mind, the bhavana 'to become' will not fructify. Some people might say, "We formulated certain bhavanas, we practised them but we did not succeed." There is some misunderstanding here. Bhavana implies the transcendence of the conscious mind and the awakening of the sub-conscious mind, to turn the option of the conscious mind into a trust of the sub-conscious mind to establish it firmly in the sub-conscious mind - that is bhavana. That is how bhavana is practised. Until your wish is communicated to the sub-conscious mind, you may practise a thousand times, or ten thousand times - mere repetition of words will not bring success. For success, you will have to let go your body - the body must be fully relaxed. The conscious mind also will have to be made quiet. Then, go on repeating your aim, first in a medium tone, then in a louder tone. This process could be continued for 10 minutes. If continued for less than that, no success is possible. Repeat the practice every day, taking care that the sequence is not broken. Act in accordance with your aim. You will certainly reach your goal. It might be sooner or later, but success is assured. No man can become a truly religious person without bhavana; nor can he enter the higher stages of meditation. For physical, intellectual and mental development, bhavana has utmost significance.

We have to undertake many things for the fulfilment of our aim. Suppose we wish to become unattached. For achieving this objective, we will have to set aside all those things to which we are attached. Whatever creates attachment, whatever infatuates the mind, will have to be removed. The very meaning of the word 'dhyeya' (aim) is bhavana.
  • 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. Bhavana
  2. Bhavanas
  3. Body
  4. Brain
  5. Environment
  6. Meditation
  7. Sadhana
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