The Mirror Of The Self: [27] Leshya Meditation - 2

Published: 09.03.2009
Updated: 10.03.2009

A man looked at his image in the mirror. It showed an ugly face.  He started breaking the mirror.  A friend standing nearby said, "What is it you are doing?"

"I'm going to break this mirror! I don't like the shabby image it shows."

"But the mirror is not to blame for this! It shows your face as it really is. It is the office of the mirror to project a true image. It has nothing to do with making it beautiful or ugly."

We may see our reflection in the mirror but we have no occasion to quarrel with it. If the face is ugly, we should consider how we can make it beautiful. Whether we are handsome or ugly depends upon our leshya. Our leshya is the creator as well as the mirror.

Purification Of Leshya

For one to be beautiful, one's leshya must be pure. When­ever a man lives in the atmosphere of padma leshya, tejoleshya and shukla leshya, his physical and mental condition begins to mend. On the other hand, when he lives in the polluted atmosphere of krishna leshya, neela leshya and kapota leshya, everything goes topsy-turvy. Leshya meditation does not mean merely sitting with one's eyes closed. Leshya meditation means the awakening of that consciousness which purifies our feelings. We must be forever on our guard against the onslaught of evils thoughts - thoughts of violence, falsehood, thieving and lust - all these belong to the inauspicious leshyas. As and when such passions arise, the entire system of the body is upset. We must be fully alert so as to maintain to the maximum extent the purity of our thoughts and feelings; this is the key to the resolution of all problems.

The Importance Of Adjustment

The biggest problem of the present age is how to effect a proper adjustment of social relations. In the absence of such adjustment, there can be no deep meditation. When impure leshya and evil passions dominate, an individual cannot maintain a wholesome relationship with society. Passions are a hindrance thereto.

Four Obstacles

The first obstacle is anger. One, who is dominated by anger, is incapable of maintaining right social relationship.

The second obstacle is pride. One man's vanity creates problems for all. Vanity gives rise to inferiority complex. With his juniors and subordinates, a man is filled with superiority complex. Faced with his superiors, he feels insignificant. A man, on whom neela and kapota leshyas descend, is lost in self-pride. Three persons live together. One of them is appointed as the head. It is purely a matter of organisation. But if the person who is appointed as the head becomes swollen with pride, how will he be able to establish right relationship with the others. Right relation­ship between various individuals can exist only if the head grows more polite and others who are not the head experience a sense of equality with him.

The third obstacle is deceit. It is perhaps the greatest factor in the destruction of faith and friendship.

The fourth obstacle is greed.   Even most intimate relationship is disrupted by greed.

Purity Of Feeling

The feeling informing a man's mind somehow manifests itself and it sometimes creates many complications. Psychic vibrations are so subtle as to touch our transcendental conscious­ness. Even a deaf or a blind person can apprehend these vibrations from far. When an evil feeling arises in the mind, it creates its own atmosphere and a situation in accord with it. That is why we must be very alert at the emotional level. That too constitutes the doctrine of leshya. He, who understands the doctrine of leshya, becomes extremely vigilant in respect of the purity of feelings. We can experience it for ourselves. The moment a hostile feeling arises in our mind regarding some person, his features and attitude unconsciously change. A corresponding hostile feeling arises in him and it creates a new problem. The only way to get out of this predicament is the purification of the mind and this calls for the awakening in us of consciousness of pure leshya.

Philosophy Of Living

In Jainism, metaphysics commands a great importance, but the aspect of conduct has always been linked with it. Jain philosophy is no mere philosophy but a philosophy of living. We have clung to mere philosophy and neglected life. Philosophy of living means that philosophy must be lived, not merely intellec­tually grasped. With a view to facilitating an understanding of the common metaphysics of Jainism, every Jain is made to learn by heart the entire section entitled Pachhis Bol (Twenty-five Principles). One of these is, "Leshya is of six kinds". The mechanical learner of these principles knows the kinds of leshya and yet fails to appreciate the significance of leshya in everyday living.

The Straight Path Of Mind-Purification

The psychologists have made a deep study of this aspect and made use of it in the exposition of the 'natural' and the 'unnatural'. Until we can change the effects of krishna, neela and kapota leshyas, an 'abnormal' person cannot become 'normal'. For a homogeneous personality, the development of tejoleshya, padma leshya and shukla leshya, is necessary. Actually, leshya meditation is not merely a meditation of colours; it is an important exercise for the awakening of the current of feeling and its purifica­tion. We must create a state of mind, which is not vitiated by any inauspicious leshya. The purification of leshya means the purification of feeling. Leshya meditation is the straight path leading to it. Let us adopt this path and purity of mind will be gradually established in our life.

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. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Consciousness
  4. Deceit
  5. Greed
  6. Jain Philosophy
  7. Jainism
  8. Kapota Leshya
  9. Krishna
  10. Krishna Leshya
  11. Leshya
  12. Leshyas
  13. Meditation
  14. Padma Leshya
  15. Pride
  16. Shukla
  17. Shukla Leshya
  18. Tejoleshya
  19. Violence
  20. tejoleshya
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