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The Mirror Of The Self: [01] Life

Published: 17.01.2009

A man asked me, "What is the biggest malady of the modern age?" I said, "To be merely scientific without being spiritual is the biggest malady of the age." This very disposition of man has given birth to a number of diseases. The chief objective of the Welfare Year has been the creation of a spirituo-scientific personality. Not merely scientific, nor merely spiritual, but the creation of an individuality which is spiritual as well as scientific. This is the greatest need of the present age and a panacea for all its ills Preksha meditation is the medium for its realization. For this it is necessary to understand life and change one's life-style.

Life Defined: Seven Elements

What is life? It is an important question. I should like to analyse it in the context of preksha meditation. There are seven elements of living:

    1. Body
    2. Respiration
    3. Vital Spirit
    4. Mind
    5. Feeling
    6. Karma
    7. Chitta (Consciousness

Living is a combination of all these. Any exposition of life from one particular angle is bound to be incomplete. For a com­plete definition, it is necessary to consider all the seven aspects given above. In preksha meditation, these seven points form the subject of discussion and practical application.

The Body

The first constituent-element of life is the body. The body also forms the first object of observation for a physician. All kinds of things transpire in the body. Our body is full of great mysteries. A great deal of research has been done in the field of medical science and many discoveries have been made. Yet all that has been, discovered is like a drop in the ocean. The world of knowledge is extremely limited. The unknown is like a vast ocean. Using his brain and the sense organs, man is engaged in constant exploration, but the truth is unlimited and only a few modes thereof manifest themselves at any given time.

A physician understands the body from a therapeutical point of view. He tries to gain an insight into the functioning of the nervous system and the glandular system. But when we observe the body in the context of preksha meditation, our point of view undergoes a change. There are certain centres in our body where consciousness is more intensely concentrated. In the terminology of preksha meditation, these are called the psychic centres. Cer­tain meditational exercises are performed on these psychic centres. For instance, one has to focus one's attention on Darshan Kendra (the Centre of Intuition) to awaken one's spiritual powers. In order to be balanced, disciplined and self-controlled, one has to con­centrate on Shakti Kendra (the Centre of Energy). To be free from addiction to intoxicating drugs, one must focus one's atten­tion on the ear. Apramada Kendra (the Centre of Vigilance) is the centre for achieving freedom from addiction.

A study of the body in the context of preksha meditation reveals where the centres for bringing about an emotional change are located. The exercises for bringing about an emotional change are spiritual exercises. We are not doctors, nor do we administer any medicines. Only on the basis of having discovered certain secrets of the body, we make people do some exercises which increase concentration and through which emotional problems stand resolved. Some new exercises such as leshya meditation (aural perception), have also been developed. In the pictures of great men, they are shown as surrounded by an aura. Such an aura surrounds every individual; it changes with every change of feeling. If the feeling is pure, the aura is clear; if the feeling is impure, the aura, too, is shabby. It is possible to make the aura strong and clear through meditation.


The second constituent-element of life is breathing. The understanding of respiration, too, is yet very limited. The brain has two hemispheres - the right hemisphere and the left hemi­sphere. Respiration through the right nostril activates the left hemisphere and through the left nostril activates the right hemi­sphere.' The sadhaks practising preksha meditation are also taught to perform exercises for keeping the nervous system in equi­librium. Many breathing exercises play an important role in bringing about an emotional change.

The Vital Breath

The third constituent-element of life is the vital spirit. The process of its movement is an important one.  The system of blood-transmission is well-known to medical science.  But the vital spirit, the essential principle of life, is a subtle element. It is not apprehensible through any instrument, and therefore it remains unknown. Good health means the equilibrium of the vital spirit. With the disequilibrium of the vital spirit, a man grows ill. There are many people who have got themselves examined at various medical institutes. The report of such a check-up indicates that the man is not suffering from any disease. The man comes to us and says, "The doctor tells me that I am not suffering from any disease. However, I continue in pain." We tell him, "No machine can apprehend your disease. You are suffering from an imbalance of the vital spirit. "The man is made to practise certain exercises for restoring the balance and he gets well. The vital spirit is an element of yoga. It is not recognized by medical science. What is required is a synthesis of the vital spirit with medical science. In the technique of preksha meditation, resort is made to the percep­tion of breathing through alternate nostrils for restoring the balance of the vital spirit.

The Mind

The fourth constituent-element of life is the mind. Mental health is even more important than physical fitness. The extreme fickleness of the mind creates many problems whereas an in­tegrated mind resolves all kinds of problems. In the practice of preksha meditation, there are many exercises for increasing the mind's concentration. Memory, imagination and thinking arc the functions of the mind and all these three functions are necessary for living. When these cross the bounds of necessity and are rendered futile, it only serves to increase mental tension. With the maturing of concentration, necessity is honoured, but all unneces­sary indulgence in memory, imagination and thought comes to an end.


The fifth constituent-element of life is feeling. The mind itself is insentient; it is not self-activated. What activates it is innate feeling. The mind is connected with the gross body, whereas feeling is linked with the subtle body. The gross body contains within itself a subtle body, called taijasa, i.e., the electri­cal body. It is in the sphere of the electrical body that feeling is created. This feeling, after having been established in the brain, activates and controls the mind. No provision exists in medical science for the purification of feeling. The fundamental principle of preksha meditation is change of feeling - so that negative feelings are ended and positive, constructive feelings operate.

Emotional health is the essential basis of mental health. Preksha meditation is principally concerned with vyaadhi (physi­cal disease), aadhi (mental disease), upaadhi (emotional disease) and satnaadhi (deep meditation). An individual longs for a life of deep meditation. Vyaadhi, aadhi, and upaadhi are the principal obstructions thereto. Emotional ill-health is the cause of mental ill-health and mental ill-health gives rise to many physical ail­ments. Emotional health commands supreme attention in the technique of preksha meditation. Emotional health ensures mental and physical health. The exercises of concentration on the psychic centres and the perception of psychic colours are basically exer­cises for ensuring emotional health.


The sixth constituent-element of life is karma (action). Whatever happens in life is not merely accidental, causeless or the product of circumstance. Some events may be the outcome of circumstances, but most of them have a cause behind them and that cause is karma. Some diseases are also the product of karma. The philosophy of medical science is not linked with the soul. Therefore, the doctrine of karma is not acceptable to it. It is surprising that physiologists exploring each and every cell and every bio-chemical, should lag behind in the discovery of the soul. The first phase in the discovery of the soul is the exploration of karma. Does not the non-recognition of karma amount to a denial of an important dimension of therapy?

Chitta (Consciousness)

The seventh constituent-element of life is chitta (conscious­ness). The soul is like the sun, a thousand rays whereof fill our life with light. One of these rays is chitta. It illuminates our gross body and directs our body, mind and speech. The one objective of preksha meditation is the purification of chitta, i.e., conscious­ness. All that covers our consciousness should dissolve and no filth of infatuation should besmirch it. Only when consciousness is purified, can a man be free from addiction to intoxicating drugs, from crime and unnecessary violence.

To concentrate our attention on the above-mentioned seven points for an understanding of life in its totality and to endeavour to bring about a purification therein, constitutes the first step towards the evolution of humane values.


3rd Edition 1995

Jain Vishva Bharati Institute
Ladnun -341 306 (Rajasthan)

Muni Dhananjay Kumar (Hindi)
Muni Mahendra Kumar (English)

Translated by:
Late Prof. R.K. Seth

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Apramada
  2. Apramada Kendra
  3. Aura
  4. Body
  5. Brain
  6. Centre of Energy
  7. Centre of Intuition
  8. Centre of Vigilance
  9. Chitta
  10. Concentration
  11. Consciousness
  12. Darshan
  13. Darshan Kendra
  14. Electrical body
  15. Karma
  16. Kendra
  17. Leshya
  18. Meditation
  19. Perception of Psychic Colours
  20. Preksha
  21. Preksha Meditation
  22. Psychic Centres
  23. Psychic Colours
  24. Sadhaks
  25. Science
  26. Shakti Kendra
  27. Soul
  28. Violence
  29. Yoga
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