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The Mirror Of The Self: [17] Perception Of Psychic Centres (1)

Published: 18.02.2009

Perception Of Psychic Centres

The disciple had a problem, which puzzled him. He approached his guru for clarity. After making his obeisance he said. "Master! I want to know the fountainhead of character. Is character the product of thought or intelligence? What is its source?"

The guru said, "Son! How did such a question arise in your mind? What is your problem?"

The pupil said, "O Master! I said to a man, "Give up drinking! Drinking is not good for health. It is also hot conducive to the development of wholesome feelings. It is not at all good for your life."

Intellectually, the man appreciated what I said. He said, "Sir, I fully agree with you. Liquor disrupts the liver. It also adversely affects the heart."

Next day, I asked the man, "Did you drink last evening?" He said, "Yes, a little!"

I said, "But why? Yesterday I made you understand that drinking was not good and you seemed to agree with me."

The man answered, "Sir! I do feel that drinking is not good and that I should not drink. But when I move about in the bazar, the atmosphere there creates in me an insurmountable urge. All my determination of not to drink fails and I start drinking."

Wherefrom Does Character Originate?

The pupil said, "O Master! Hitherto, I believed that a man's character was formed by ideas. If one's ideas are good, his character would also be good. But now I doubt it. A man understands everything intellectually. He comes to accept good ideas. But these good ideas cannot forestall strong inner urges. So I seek to know wherefrom character originates. It is certainly not formed by intellect and ideology."

The Master said, "Your question is pertinent. Until its fundamental source is understood, it is not possible to bring about any transformation of character. Character is not formed by thought, and if it proceeds from thought, thought can also pervert it. Thought is like a glasshouse. If a man living in a glasshouse starts throwing stones, what is going to happen to his dwelling? A little concussion and the glasshouse would go to pieces. Similar is the condition of thought. It is the inner urges that create character. The fundamental source of character is the karmic body (karma sharir) It is the karmic body which produces good or bad character."

Character Linked With The Endocrine System

The source of character lies deep within. This fountain sprouting from within cannot directly get hold of thought. In the field of physiology, it used to be held that the brain reigned supreme. All our activities originate from the brain. However, one thing is clearly established today that one's character is not linked with one's brain, but with the endocrine system. Thought originates in the brain, but the brain is not influenced by thought. Anger and forgiveness, pride and modesty, deceit and straightforwardness, greed and contentment - these are not the outcome of the brain. The meanness or the sublimity of character - both these are associated with the endocrine system, not with the brain. One man's intellect may be very sharp, he may be very intelligent, and yet he may not possess a good character. It is because the path of character is a different path. It is linked with the endocrine system and has nothing whatever to do with thought.

Two Important Systems

All our feelings are associated with character. The vibrations of the karmic body enter the electrical body. The vibrations of the electrical body enter the physical body and influence the endocrine system. The nervous system and the endocrine system - these are two important systems of the body. Both of them are linked with each other. However, our urges and emotions are more associated with the endocrine system. The man concerned with the development of character must concentrate on the endocrine system and the psychic centres.

The Mark Of A Jain Shrawak

Let us take the case of drinking. Drinking is in great vogue today. Among the communities, which have been free from this addiction, those associated with Jainism are the most prominent. Freedom from addiction has been the chief characteristic of a Jain shrawak. People of the kshatriya community were also associated with it. It was stipulated that those abstaining from meat and liquor will be known as the Jains. Along with this, they were also made to abandon seven other-addictions. This came to be the distingui­shing mark of Jainism. Because of this, the Jains have made great progress. Although small in point of number, the Jains in India today constitute in themselves a leading community as regards education, wealth and work-efficiency.

Recognition Of A Fact

Some people of the Rajput community visited Acharya Sri. They said, "Sir, the Oswal community (Jains) has progressed by leaps and bounds. They have been very enterprising in the field of business and trade and have great achievements to their credit. But we have been addicted to drinking and meat-eating, and we remain as backward as before. We have also suffered a great deal on account of these addictions." This is a confession of truth. But today even some Jains have taken to drinking. When the brain is affected by the fumes of liquor, it results in business recession and gives rise to frustration and tension. Particularly at weddings, drinking has become a fashion. Even in respectable families, the liquor is freely consumed without any feeling of embarrassment or sense of shame. When we hear of such things, we feel that Jainism is gradually losing its identity.

Inner Character Is Changing

Why does it happen like that? Why is society being drawn to a vice from which it was hitherto free? We must recognise that the inward character is also tending to change. The urge for intoxicants arises from within and then seeks outer forms of gratification. Every disposition has its readymade bases. Anger has its own stand. Attachment and greed have their respective haunts. What after all are the psychic centres, if not the resorts of various urges? Just as buses have their stations, similarly there are places in the body where various instincts lodge. Trainloads of impulses emerge from within and find their resting places in the physical body. That is how they accomplish their work.

Decline In The Habit Of Drinking: The Reason Thereof

Many Russian scientists are engaged in experiments to help people free themselves from addiction to drinking. Liquor is freely consumed there but the effects thereof have filled people's hearts with fear. The citizens of European countries, the U.S.A., Japan, etc. have become much more vigilant as regards the con­sumption of liquor. On account of the ill effects of drinking, which have recently come to light, many people have grown increasingly interested in giving it up altogether. They abstain from drinking because it is detrimental to health. Such abstention does not proceed from a spiritual outlook. It may sound somewhat surpris­ing but when smoking was unambiguously declared to be very harmful for health and liable to cause cancer, it created a commo­tion among the public and in the United States of America alone twenty million people gave up smoking. How very vigilant are the Americans as regards their health! What to speak of spirituality, we are not even vigilant about our own life and health. In a country like Russia where religion is taboo and where there does not exist any clear conception of it, ways and means are being sought to make people give up smoking and drinking. It is always very difficult to get free of any inveterate addiction. To begin with, a man takes intoxicating drugs for the sheer fun of it, later he becomes addicted to them. The consumption of liquor alone opens the door to all other addictions and these are freely compounded with other evils.

Influence Of The Psychic Centres

A scientist experimented with giving electric shocks on the ears of certain drug-addicts. These shocks were administered to 70 people. Of these, 50 people developed an allergy to liquor and cigarettes. The remaining twenty considerably decreased their intake of liquor and tobacco. This occurred due to the influence of the psychic centres. The psychic centres do influence an individual's urges and impulses. If an appropriate psychic centre-is relined and cleansed, addiction to intoxicating drugs can be eradicated. Similar experiments have been successfully con­ducted in preksha meditation camps.

This Is Inner Change

A meditation camp was in progress at Bikaner. A youth belonging to a respectable family of Gangashahar participated in that camp. He used to smoke 50-60 cigarettes per day. He usually kept ill, continually troubled by a cough, and his lungs had been adversely affected. The members of his family persuaded him to join a preksha meditation camp. He practised meditation for 10 days. At the conclusion of the camp he was asked how he felt and if he still smoked cigarettes.

"Yes, I do," he said. "How many?" "One or two." "But why one or two?"

"Sir!" he said, "My friend had said that after attending the preksha meditation camp, I would be a changed man. I boasted before them that whatever might happen, I would never give up smoking. So I smoke one or two cigarettes to vindicate myself."

"But earlier you smoked 50-60 cigarettes! How is it that now you smoke only one or two?"

"I really don't know. I have somehow grown allergic to smoking. One or two cigarettes I smoke because I had vowed before my friends I would not give up smoking. However, the fact of the matter is that though earlier I made nothing of smoking 50-60 cigarettes per day, even one or two cigarettes now cause me nausea and I feel like vomiting. I have to take cardamom to do away with the acrid taste in my mouth caused by smoking."

This is what we call a chemical change, an inner transformation!

Change: Within And Without

When a man changes from within, he also changes outward­ly. Let us thoroughly grasp the fact that no change can occur in man at the level of thought. If he could change through intellectual understanding, a man would undergo a transformation alter listen­ing to one discourse. But it does not come to pass. The question arises, why? The, reason is that we are too much dependent on thought, on ideas, and have little inner faith. Intellectual under­standing is never very deep. Until we break through to the consciousness within, no real change can be wrought. Character is formed by inner urges. Violence, untruth, and duplicity - all arise from within.

Here's an instance from the life of President Abraham Lincoln. When he was practising as a lawyer, a client approached him and told him about his case in detail. After studying the case, Lincoln returned the file to the client. The client wanted to know why he was returning the file. He wanted Lincoln to accept his case. But Lincoln said, "May be I can win this case on some point of law, but it is a false case in point of fact. When I stand up in the court to speak, my conscience would reproach me, You're telling a lie, Lincoln!', it would say. It might even impel me to admit that the case was false!"

The Level Of Thought And The Level Of Inner Consciousness.

We have before us two levels - the intellectual level at which the case might be won, and the level of inner consciousness at which the case cannot be fought. There are two levels - the level of thought and the level of inward consciousness. Charac­ter is not linked with thought; it is linked with inner conscious­ness, with instincts and passions. Until these are purified, there can be no purification of character. Which means that until the sources of consciousness are cleansed, the problem cannot be resolved.

Man is a social animal. He lives in society. How many emotional changes he undergoes every day! Now joy, now grief, at times hatred, at other times fear and sometimes anger - all these passions manifest themselves. If they are not held under control, how can there be any development of character? This discipline comes from within; its external stations are particular psychic centres. In the terminology of preksha meditation, these are known as the Centre of Enlightenment and the Centre of Intuition; in that of anatomy as the pineal and the pituitary glands. These are the centres which can be used for bringing about a transforma­tion of character. The pineal gland controls the urges and passions. Let us utilize this governing centre fully. Thus we would come to realize how inner consciousness can be purified, and it would also establish the utility of practising perception of psychic centres.


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. Acharya
  2. Anger
  3. Bikaner
  4. Body
  5. Brain
  6. Centre of Enlightenment
  7. Centre of Intuition
  8. Consciousness
  9. Deceit
  10. Discipline
  11. Electrical body
  12. Endocrine System
  13. Fear
  14. Gangashahar
  15. Greed
  16. Guru
  17. Jainism
  18. Karma
  19. Karma Sharir
  20. Karmic Body
  21. Meditation
  22. Oswal
  23. Perception of Psychic Centres
  24. Pineal Gland
  25. Pituitary Glands
  26. Preksha
  27. Preksha Meditation
  28. Preksha Meditation Camp
  29. Preksha Meditation Camps
  30. Pride
  31. Psychic Centres
  32. Rajput
  33. Sharir
  34. Shrawak
  35. Violence
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