Mahavira's Way Of Meditation, Health

Published: 26.03.2010
Updated: 29.03.2010

Central Chronicle


Bhagvan Mahavira said, "This man's chitta has many facets, which is not one but many. If we define the many facets of the chitta, they would be four: Avarana Chitta, Antaraya Chitta, Mithyadarshan Chitta and Moha Chitta.

These are of four kinds of chitta. There are hundreds of other kinds, but in the present context only the discussion on these four kinds is needed, in contrast, there are the following four kinds of chitta: Anavarana Chitta, Nirvighna Chitta, Samyag-dharshan Chitta and Veetaraga Chitta Thus, the chitta is of many kinds and of many grades. Maharshi Patanjali also has talked about several kinds of chitta. There is the concept of the chitta in the Samkhya philosophy as well. There are the concepts of both the chitta and the mind in the Jain philosophy. It is not as though these concepts are not found in the Samakhya philosophy.

But there is a detailed analysis of these concepts in the Jain philosophy. Maharshi Patanjali, or the commentator Vyasa of Patanjala Yoga Darshana, mentioned three forms of the chitta: mithya-chitta, pravritti chitta and smriti chitta. The mithya-chitta is that in which the rajas guna and the tamas guna are dominant. This aspire luxurious life, powers and rights. The tamas guna is the foremost in the pravritti-chitta, which is characterised by attachment, stupor and delusion. Smriti-chitta is that in which the tamas guna and rajas guna are completely absent. The smriti-chitta renunciation, detachment and so many other gunas originate and end here.

Let us now think from the point of view of health. The avarana chitta is not directly connected with health. It is connected with knowledge.

But the antaraya chitta, mithyatva chitta and most of all, the moha-chitta are connected with our health. Let us divide the chitta into two parts: pure chitta and impure chitta. The purity of the chitta is related to the purity of the emotions and of the mind.

Actually, the mind does not become pure or impure. It is not the function of the mind. The function of the mind is to remember, imagine and think. It is neither pure nor impure. It becomes pure or impure because of the flow of the chitta. When the flow of the chitta gets transformed into the bhava, the mind becoomes pure or impure. When the bhava passes into the mind, we say that the mind is pure or impure, good or bad.

As a matter of fact, nothing about the mind is either pure or impure.

The wind is blowing. Is it hot or cold? If there is too much heat, the wind will be hot. If there is a cold wave, the wind will be cold. We cannot say in absolute terms if the wind is cold or hot. We can only make a relative statement. The wind will be cold if there is snowfall or rain. In the terrible heat of June or July, the wind will become hot. That is how it is with the mind also, because the mind has no independent existence. The chitta has an independent existence, mind has no independent existence. Who gives the direction that if the mind is everything, if the mind has an independent existence, then control your mind. From where does this direction come? It comes from the chitta. It is the function of the chitta either to restrain the mind or leave it free. If the chitta is pure and it has decided to restrain the mind, then it would resort to dhyana (meditation), keep the mind on the course of concentration and keep it under check. The chitta is the master of the mind. During the process of meditation comes the stage of thoughtless meditation. If the mind has an independent existence, what purpose would be served by dhyana with freedom from thought? Would it mean the end of consciousness? But there can never be the end of consciousness. Even in the absence of thought, its existencce is constantly experienced.

Acharya Ramachandra expressed a beautiful thought when he said that the Jains do not regard shunya (blank mind) as meditation. The non-existence of consciousness is not dhyana but stupor. When there is stupor, there is no dhyana through consciousness. In that state, there is no existence of the mind, no alternative of the mind, there is no thought coming in the mind. Where there is constant experience of consciousness and an awareness of the chitta, there is dhyana.

Otherwise, there would be no distinction between stupor and dhyana.

When there is constant meditation of one's existence and his consciousness, the state of dhyana is achieved. In the state of absence of thought there is no mind, but there is dhyana, because the awareness about existence or consciousness becomes acute in that state.

Central Chronicle - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Antaraya
  3. Bhava
  4. Central Chronicle
  5. Chitta
  6. Concentration
  7. Consciousness
  8. Darshana
  9. Dhyana
  10. Guna
  11. Gunas
  12. Jain Philosophy
  13. Lalit Garg
  14. Meditation
  15. Mithyatva
  16. Moha
  17. Patanjali
  18. Rajas
  19. Samkhya
  20. Smriti
  21. Tamas
  22. Veetaraga
  23. Yoga
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