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Why Meditate?: [01.02] What & Why (2)

Published: 11.02.2008
Updated: 20.01.2009

The best principle for the solution of internal problems is to thoroughly employ the senses. If we wish to find an alternative definition of Preksha Dhyan, we can say it is: 'The art of seeing', 'The art of listening', 'The art of tasting', 'The art of smelling' and 'The art of feeling'. Preksha Dhyan is an art. Balanced management of the senses will result in Art. Sketching lines in proper style result in an artistic picture. What were mere lines turned into a picture. The lines individually did not seem attractive but the resultant picture possesses artful beauty. We, too, can transform our inner world into a very beautiful world. As long as our senses are not employed thoroughly, our inner world is also not beautiful. Whatsoever may be the outer appearance of a person, his inner world is not good. Only after coming in contact with another, can we know how that person is. I have seen people who are very beautiful and attractive in their outer forms, but when anger or restlessness rises, their outer appearance gets completely dissolved. The agitation is so forceful that not only the person's home gets affected; entire neighbourhoods can get filled with tension & distress. The ugliness of the inner world emerges in our behaviour because of the unbalanced management of the senses. First of all, practice balanced management of the senses. Then, reduce the wavering nature of the mind by practicing concentration on one object. Don't let your mind wander. We do not know how to harmonize our thoughts. The flow of thoughts is continuous. We do not know how to employ them thoroughly either. Every second, about 30-35 thoughts go back and forth. One thought is followed by the next, & the second followed by a third. At a time, many thoughts strike our minds, & if we do not regulate them properly, problems arise. By Preksha Meditation we learn the art of regulating our thoughts in the right direction.

Often a question arises in our minds: why should we restrain our senses? Why should we try to make our mind stable? Why should we practice concentration? After all, what is the need? Life goes on anyway. There is no trouble in living life as it is. Then why take such pains? This is the thought of our progressive world. Do we wish to remain on the level of sensual consciousness? Or do we want to reach the world that lies beyond the senses? The experience of the extra-sensory-world is completely different from that of sensual consciousness. Once the first experience of extra-sensory perception sprouts in a person, and the person sees the first rays shine, he/she visualizes a new world. I would like to narrate a poignant story in this context.

A king's procession was out on the roads. (In the olden days, when a king set out on his royal procession, there would be such pomp and show, such a display of wealth and prosperity, that thousands and thousands of subjects would gather outside to witness the grand spectacle.) The procession went by. As it neared the market, thousands of people remained standing to greet their king. At one point, the king saw a few children playing quietly in a playground. He was amazed that these children were not at all attracted to his grand procession, while so many thousands were enthusiastically watching it. They were not even lifting their eyes up from the game that absorbed them so thoroughly. It is a contrary truth of the world that he who attracts the sight of people does not feel attracted to them, and those who are not attracted by a person automatically draw that person to them. The king's attention was riveted to these children. He asked his mahout to stop the elephant and he stepped down. People around got worried as to what made the king step down like this from his mount, all of a sudden.

Everybody was frightened. They gathered around, and asked His Highness, "What is the matter, Your Majesty?"
The king replied, "I want to go there!" and he reached the playground where the children were playing. The king stood there for a while. Even then, the children did not notice him. One child was sitting atop a sand dune, and 4-5 children were in front of him. The child did not even look up & see the king. After a while, the king said "Oh children! See who has come!" The leader of the group replied, "Whosoever it may be, what do I care?"
"See, the king is in front of you!"
"If he be in front, what of it?"
"Oh, children! You are so clever, but you are playing with mud!"
"What would an earthen puppet do if not play with the earth?"
The king did not expect such an answer from a little boy. But the answer came from that higher level of consciousness, which is beyond the senses, not from the sensory world. The king was astonished.
The king said: "Hey, child! You are very sweet. Would you like to come with me and live in my palace?"
The child answered: "Let me think."
The child was absorbed in meditation for 2 - 3 minutes. He then opened his eyes and said: "I would like to go with you on two conditions. If you accept them, I will come. If not, I won't."
"What are they?"
"The first condition is that when I am sleep, you must guard me."
The king answered, "I am guarded by other people, how I can guard you?"
"The second condition is that you must stay with me 24 hours."
"But I have to rule the kingdom. It is not possible for me to be with you all the 24 hours. Sorry, I cannot fulfil both your conditions."
"In that case, I, too, cannot come and live with you in your palace. When I sleep, the Lord stays awake and guards me, and the Lord stays with me all 24 hours of the day. Why would I leave Him and come to live with you?"

One must analyse this story. From where did this answer emerge? When it is known that the king is interested in taking someone to his palace, anyone would leave everything and reach there promptly. The attraction of power and wealth would bring one from any corner of the world, be it as far away as London or Italy or anywhere else. Then how could a mere child give such an answer? From where could this answer have come? This answer emerged from the world beyond the senses. Neither any temptations of kingdom or wealth, nor the attraction of living in a royal palace - the only wish is to live in the kingdom within, the only aspiration is to live in the world beyond the senses.

The aim of Preksha Meditation is to develop the consciousness beyond the senses. Lots of people do not experience the world beyond the senses. They never come to know of it, and those who have experienced it cannot describe the taste of this world.

Copyright by Acharya Mahaprajna ©2005
Compiled by Muni Dhananjay Kumar
Published by Jain Vishva Barati Institute, Ladnun, India
Translated by Samani Charitra Pragya, Neeraja Raghavan & Sudhamahi Regunathan

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