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The Mirror Of The Self: [26] Leshya Meditation - 1

Published: 08.03.2009
Updated: 08.03.2009

A Pertinent Question

The Jain philosophy is a spiritual philosophy, having faith in the soul. The soul knows and matter is known. The soul is the knower and the world knowable. The question arises, where does the soul abide? Some philosophers believe that the soul permeates the whole world. According to Jain philosophy, the soul bides in the body; it permeates all bodies. The French philosopher, Descartes posed the question, How may consciousness be expanded? Matter can be expanded, but consciousness and expansion do not go together. And if consciousness cannot be extended, how can the soul bide in the body?

The Power Of Thought Is The Power Of Life

Now, if the soul were capable of extension, an emancipated soul, too, could extend. The Jain philosophy concedes that the soul is capable of expansion and contraction, but only when it is accompanied by its karmic body. The dimension of soul has been recognised to be equivalent to that of the whole universe. In a way, it may be said that the soul does not expand; it only contracts. The reason behind Descartes' question might be that the soul, in Descartes' terminology, is thinking power'. That is what Descar­tes said, "I think, therefore I am." The soul of Jain philosophy, which is capable of expansion and contraction, may be termed as ‘living power'. Our expansion and contraction takes place on the basis of vital power and 'living power'. This is not possible with the concept of the soul in isolation. Expansion and contraction are possible only when vital power is combined with living power'. Just as the light of the lamp spreads in a small room, it can spread in a big room, too. Similarly, the light of the soul irradiates the space it occupies in a body.

Colour Affects Conduct

The soul is 'living power'. It permeates the entire body. That is why we experience the working of consciousness within us. Whether we meditate on the top or the toes, we feel the movement of consciousness in the whole body. The psychic centres, too, are spread all over the body. So are spread various colours. Our soul, linked with the body, is also coloured. The soul has been held to be abstract and colourless. But that is only true of a soul freed from the body. It is said, observe yourself! For a soul linked with the body, we might put it differently and say, Observe things as they are! If we are possessed of krishna leshya, our soul will turn black. According to a famous proverb, the colour of a soul determines its conduct. Colours exercise such a tremendous effect that, if we leave them aside, no exposition of a body-linked soul is possible. Where can we find an individual who has transcended leshya? In the system of Jain philosophy, a man can transcend leshya only after passing the 13th stage of spiritual development. The 13th stage pertains to colour. Only he can transcend colour in whom all activity has ceased.

The Mantra, Psychic Centre And Colour

An important exercise for individual transformation is leshya meditation, involving colour-visualization. In this exer­cise, attention is focussed on a particular psychic centre, with the recitation of a mantra and visualization of a particular colour. Witness below the synchronization of Namaskar Mantra with different colours and psychic centres:


Psychic Centre


Namo arahamtanam

Centre of Wisdom


Namo siddhanam

Centre Of Intuition


Namo ayariyanam

Centre Of Purity


Samo uvajjhayanam

Centre Of Bliss


Namo loe savvasahunam

Centre Of Energy


The synchronization of the mantra with the psychic centres and colours is very significant. The recitation of the Maha Mantra has been practised since the earliest times, but there was no tradition of combining with it perception of psychic centres and colours. It was felt that for bringing about a transformation of personality, to ensure health and to remove obstacles, the conjunc­tion of the mantra with colours and psychic centres was necessary. Thinking along these lines went forward and a mantra-oriented outlook developed and the mantra, the psychic centres and colours were linked with one another.

Namo Arhamtanam (Obeisance To The Adorable)

We do the japa of 'Namo arhantanam’. This is the articula­tion of the verse, which contains seven syllables. Each word has a colour of its own; there is not a single word, which does not have its particular colour. In the field of science, machines have been developed with whose help, one can 'hear' the colours, and 'see' the words. While reciting these seven letters, attention is focussed on the Centre of Wisdom and white colour is visualized. All other colours are included in the white. From the viewpoint of spiritual practice, the white colour has been considered to be very sig­nificant. If, during meditation, one starts perceiving the white colour, it means that sadhana is being consummated. In the context of leshya, even more excellent than shukla leshya is parma shukla leshya whose colour is so subtle as to be invisible in this gross world.

The Effect Of White Colour

The ultimate form of sadhana is white colour and its con­summation a Jina or a Buddha. One who reaches the summit of sadhana is called 'Arhat'. We pay obeisance to a soul for whom no dimension of sadhana has been left unexplored. He who has achieved self-realization and whose very nature has become religion is 'Arhat'. Knowledge, philosophy and character con­stitute for us our religion, but these come naturally to him who has achieved omniscience. The fountain of infinite knowledge, bound­less vision, and character unfathomable explodes within him.

We should also assess the psychological and emotional impact of the white colour. As the white colour becomes more prominent, passions grow quiescent. The white colour is an excellent means of stilling the passions. The forehead and the brain constitute its sphere. The visualization of white colour on these marks the beginning of the process of attenuation and enfeeblement of the passions. Those who are liable to frequent fits of anger, should practise the meditation of 'Namo arhantanam’ along with the visualization of white colour, principally on the Centre of Enlightenment and the Centre of Peace. Thus are transformed not only physical states, but also mental conditions.

'Namo Siddhanam (Obeisance To the Emancipated!)

The second step of Namaskar Mahamantra is: 'Namo Siddhanam’. Attention is focussed on the Centre of Intuition while reciting the step. This centre in the middle of the eyebrows is very important; the 'third eye' is located here. Meditation on this centre is done along with the articulation of the mantra and the visualiza­tion of rising sun red colour. Within us flow three principal currents of life. In the terminology of Hatha-Yoga, these are known as 'ida’, 'pingla' and 'sushumna'. Ida and pingla are related to parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems respectively. All these three vital currents meet in the Centre of Intuition. 'Ida' is coloured blue, 'pingla' red, and the colour of 'sushumna' is bright deep red. Generally, visualization of rising sun red colour is practised on this centre. In the science of yoga, 'ida' is recognised as being feminine, and the 'pingla' as masculine. The colour of valour and self-exertion is red like the colour of the rising sun. For those, who are the victims of torpor and sloth, in whom insight has not been awakened, whose attachment to persons and things is very strong, the meditation of 'Namo siddhanam' along with the visualization of pink-red colour is extremely beneficial.

'Namo Ayariyanam' (Obeisance To Preceptors And Teachers)

The third verse of Namaskar Mahamantra is 'Namo Ayariyanam'. This verse is recited along with meditation on the Centre of Purity and the visualization of yellow colour. This exercise is very useful for those suffering from mental debility and a weak digestive system. People generally take various drugs to cure mental depression. If they practise yellow-coloured medita­tion of *Namo Ayariyanam' on the Centre of Purity, their problem would stand resolved.

'Namo Uvajjhayanam’ (Obeisance To The Deans!)

The fourth step of Namaskar Mahamantra is 'Namo Uvajjhayanam'. Its japa is done with the visualization of green colour on the Centre of Bliss. This region of the heart is recognised by many as the dwelling of the soul. The function of green colour is to expel the heterogeneous elements. It is the principal colour for ensuring emotional health.

'Namo Loe Savvasahunam’ (Obeisance To All Saints)

The fifth verse of Namaskar Mahamantra is 'Namo Loe Savvasahunam'. Its recitation is accompanied by the visualization of blue colour, while attention is focussed on the Centre of Health and the Centre of Energy (the entire region below the diaphragm). The blue colour radiates tranquillity. When it gets too hot, blue-coloured meditation proves very useful.

Exercise Of Observation Of Sky

'Observation Of Sky' also forms an exercise in the system of preksha meditation. At night time, observe the blue sky with open eyes. No thought, no imagining only constant observation of the sky! This exercise serves to activate the Centre of Intuition (Agya Chakra) and it extinguishes agitation.


The Jain acharyas selected a mantra for maintaining good health 'Savvasahunam'. It was recognised as a mantra for the curing of diseases. Meditation on this mantra is performed on the Centre of Health.

Colour and Emotions

Five verses, five psychic centres and five colours! One of the meanings of leshya is colour-meditation. Colour-meditation is very effective but then one must also concentrate on the trans­formation of the psyche. The Soviet scientists have experimented on how disease can be removed through change of feelings. The principle of mutation is 'Change the current of feeling, transform leshya and your instincts will be purified.' Along with the visualization of colours, it is also very necessary to meditate upon the emotions. The five verses of the Namaskar Mahamantra constitute our sentiments. The linking of these sentiments with colours and psychic centres provides us with a powerful unit, which can prove to be highly beneficial. The mantra, the colours and the psychic centres in their right conjunction lies the secret of successful living. Only through practical work on oneself can this secret be grasped.


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. Acharyas
  2. Anger
  3. Body
  4. Brain
  5. Buddha
  6. Centre of Bliss
  7. Centre of Energy
  8. Centre of Enlightenment
  9. Centre of Health
  10. Centre of Intuition
  11. Centre of Peace
  12. Centre of Purity
  13. Centre of Wisdom
  14. Chakra
  15. Consciousness
  16. Descartes
  17. Hatha-Yoga
  18. Ida
  19. Jain Philosophy
  20. Japa
  21. Jina
  22. Karmic Body
  23. Krishna
  24. Krishna Leshya
  25. Leshya
  26. Mantra
  27. Meditation
  28. Namaskar Mahamantra
  29. Namaskar Mantra
  30. Perception of Psychic Centres
  31. Pingla
  32. Preksha
  33. Preksha Meditation
  34. Psychic Centre
  35. Psychic Centres
  36. Sadhana
  37. Science
  38. Shukla
  39. Shukla Leshya
  40. Soul
  41. Space
  42. Yoga
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