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Thus Spoke Mahapragya - Vol.1: 08. Eternal Happiness (4)

Published: 01.04.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

Eternal Happiness (4)

The guru gave lot of sutra to the curious disciple on how one can seek solitary happiness. The disciple's curiosity was still not satisfied. He asked “Are these the only sutra or are there any more?” The guru said, “There are more. I will now tell you some of them. Please pay attention to them.” Another sutra to happiness is - Ekanth Nisevana (one must learn to live in isolation). One must live in isolation. With this, one can also achieve solitary happiness. Even from a practical viewpoint one can justify this. When man lives in isolation then there is no dispute or quarrel between him and anybody. Even in the Aagam literature it is mentioned that when man lives in isolation then there is no question of dispute arising. When man is alone he has no one to fight with. From the sadhana's (meditation) viewpoint isolation is justified because, when man is in a group, then there would always be elements, which would distract him.

To Know thyself

If one has to understand self then isolation is very important.

One, who meditates, needs to focus on two elements - concentration and distraction. What are the elements that bring concentration and what are the elements that distract concentration? When we are in isolation, there are no distraction elements present. It is said in Uttaradhyayan, the aasan (object) on which you sleep and meditate should be different. The elements that could cause distraction: animals, circumstances and material should not be there. This is very important for who person who wants to do meditation in isolation. If one has to understand oneself then this isolation is very important.

Isolation has many different meanings. One meaning of isolation is where there are no distraction elements present, where even being amongst people one is isolated. The second meaning is when one is immersed in deep meditation, then he can achieve isolation. The third meaning is when one has control over his eyes and ears.

The five sense-organ connect us to the external world. The most important among them is the eye. Numerous rays passing through the eyes incite our inner mind. The development of eye is one of the most important and complex development. One can imagine and feel the difficulties of a man who is not gifted with this eyesight. They are a very important source of acquiring knowledge. At times, it can also be a source of distraction when one wants to concentrate. One must exercise control over eyes. When the person starts concentrating, he is advised that he close his eyes gently. The world appears totally different when one compares it how it appears with the open eyes and the closed eyes. To get into the state of isolation, control of the eyes is very important. When one stops seeing through eyes then the entire energy flows within.

People try different experiments for achieving concentration - Shvasha Preksha is one among such technique. Whatever the technique be, when one loosens his body and closes his eyes, then the world would appear different to him. This is because when we see things, there are numerous questions that arise in the mind of man: What is this? How is this and whose is this? When one sees a car or a bungalow, then immediately a question comes to his mind, “Whose car is this? Why the bungalow is made so big? What was the reason for its construction and numerous questions would follow along.

The question starts flowing when a man sees either an object or a person. It is not one question or two questions, but a series of question that arises in the mind. Once the eyes are closed then the entire series of questions stop flowing in.  In the context of eyes, there are two solutions pointed in Yoga - Closing the eye and opening the eye and concentrating on one point (Trataka). When one concentrates on an object with his eyes open, then this form of meditation is called Animesh Preksha in Preksha Dhyan. Eyes are seeing but they are not blinking and they remain focused and stationary. When the eyeballs don't move and remain focussed, then the concentration increases and the inflow of questions stop. The knowledge within is enlightened. When the eyes are open and they blink, the volatility of the mind increases. Some Yogi's and scientist have even described a person's personality based on the blinking of the eyes. When one sees carefully this blinking of the eye, one can come to know a lot about what is happening within the person.  Blinking of the eyes can reveal lot of secrets.

Children are considered to be pious and simple. One must carefully examine the blinking of eyes of a person who is thirty five years old and a child who is between two to three years. Try to find out who blinks more. In my observation, I have found that a child blinks his eyes very less when compared to the adult. The child is apparently unknowingly doing the Animesh Preksha.  He is able to do so, because the child is calm internally; his vritti (thought) is calm. The more, a person is incited from within, the more he would blink his eyes. The eyes have a deep relationship with isolation. When a man is amongst a crowd and he closes his eyes, he can experience isolation.

Concentration is also one such form of living in isolation. One who masters the art of concentration can get into the state of isolation even when he is amongst a crowd. When I was amongst a crowd of thousand people, I have not written numerous books and "Grahanatam" is one among them. People say that crowd always distracts. I have never felt this distraction. If you have the concentration then you can experience this isolation anywhere. During our Ahimsa Yatra (Journey of Non-violence) near Ajmer, we stayed in a place which belonged to Nimbark sect of Vaishnava’s. In the early morning when we were about to leave the place, the head of the sect Shriji Maharjajji came to us and asked us if the sound of drums had disturbed us the previous night. I said, “It was far-off. Even if they had come near me and played it in front of me, it wouldn't have disturbed me either”. I have observed that wherever there was a noise in the place where we stayed or slept, it wouldn't matter us as long as we had concentration. If you have concentration you can experience isolation anywhere.

A sadhak (one who meditates) was walking came across another person. The sadhak who was walking was silent and the other person was very talkative. The other person started talking continuously. They reached a point where they had to go in different directions. The talkative person told the sadhak that since he was going alone, he accompanied him so that they could spend good time together during the journey. It would have been very difficult or boring if someone had to cover the distance alone. The sadhak said that it was not the case. When the other person had not arrived they were two people who were walking together. When the person joined him, he was the only person walking. The other man was surprised and asked how was that possible?  The sadhak replied “When you did not join me, I and my lord were walking together. The moment you joined me I became alone.” Hence when you come across a person who is talkative, he for sure will convert two into one and destroy your concentration.

Tratak or Animesh Preksha is isolation. Deep concentration is also isolation. In the meditation posture, slowly closing the eyes is also considered one form of isolation. When thoughts surround a person, even in the caves of Himalayas he cannot find isolation. One can achieve isolation when he can control his thoughts. When one is without any thoughts, he will experience calmness and then it would be easy to seek isolation.

A person who has less emotional attachment can experience isolation. One, who has attachment towards it, will not be able to experience this. One follower was doing Samayik[1]. He suddenly became restless. Attachment leads to worry and it destroys the isolation a person is experiencing. Acharya Bhikshu asked him “You look to be restless. What is the matter?” The man replied “I am feeling helpless. I feel like stopping my samayik half-way and go away from here”. Acharya Bhikshu asked him the reason for his restlessness. He replied “When I left my shop in a hurry to come here, I left a bag which contained two thousand rupees outside the shop. Now I am feeling restless about it.”

Two centuries ago, two thousand rupees was not a small amount. In those days, one could run his family with one rupee a month only. One who had thousand rupees was considered to be very rich man. The Acharya replied “Don't worry. Whatever has to happen will happen. One is not going to get anything by worrying or becoming restless.”  After consoling him, the person calmed down. For a few minutes he kept aside his attachment and completed his samayik.  After completing his samayik he went to his shop and saw there was a hefty goat sitting there. The moment the person arrived, the goat moved away from that place and the person could see his bag lying there which contained the money.  The goat had safely guarded his money.

All these reasons of volatility prevent man from experiencing isolation. Any person, who wants to achieve peace and calmness, if he can practice isolation even when being amongst the crowd, will bring about a meditation. One must understand the meaning of isolation carefully. It is going to a place where the elements of distraction - man, woman or animals are not there. Staying in such a place is also isolation. More than this external form of isolation a person must feel the isolation from within. The feeling of being in isolation despite being amongst crowd is the true feeling of isolation. One should reach a state where, whether it is day or night, alone or amongst a gathering, one would not do anything, which would distract his concentration. It is a very important to experience isolation even when one is amongst a crowd. This is the key to the success for meditation and seeking peace.

Man cannot live in isolation. Barring a few people one would turn half insane just by the thought of isolation. It is very difficult to live in isolation. It is a human psychology that man needs support, love and caring from his family. He gets nourishment from this. One derives nourishment from two sources. One is derived from food and the other from support, love and care from family and friends. One, who is devoid of this, would turn insane if not completely at least partially. This is natural. When man is alone he becomes restless. It is very difficult to stay alone. Hence, the best way is to be among people and still experience the feeling of isolation. Even living in a group one can experience isolation and this would be possible only when we focus our attention internally. Else even being alone he would be distracted. When a man is sitting alone the two elements that surround him is, air and light. The particles can travel from one corner of the earth to the other corner. The person who is in Ladnun, when he does some work its effects can be felt even in London. For Sadhu, there is a guideline, which suggests that when he takes clothes, he should accept it as it is and avoid tearing it.  If he has to tear the clothes, he has to do it very carefully. The reason is when you tear the cloth the particles that are produced can travel a far-off distance and can harm people there. Such is the in-depth knowledge. A person’s activities result in thousands of atoms which can cause harm to others or have an affect on them. With all these where is a man alone?

When I speak the words will get into the speakerphone. If the speakerphone is not there where will it go? It may go to all the houses in Ladnun, all water bodies and finally into the well. If I were to speak harshly, maybe it can go to Himalayas or even the Oceans or to a place where you and I cannot reach. It can reach the stars, galaxies and other heavenly bodies. The atoms keep propagating and can travel at the speed of light. Our thoughts are also such that it can travel and reach a distance beyond one's imagination.

Abhay Kumar was the son of King Shrenik. For some specific reasons he had to do meditation and the lord whom he prayed was his friend. When he sat for meditation, numerous thoughts crossed his mind and they reached his friend and he appeared in front of him. Today science has made a tremendous progress. One can also establish contact with anybody in the world by sitting in his car only. One can reach any one in any part of the world. Where are we alone? Directly or indirectly we are getting influenced. Sometimes, it is the thoughts, which can disturb a person. In truth, one can be alone only when he has concentration; he has done meditation; and his thought process cannot be disturbed easily by any external force.

Isolation is important from both internal as well as external perspective. Hence the guru said “Listen carefully. The path to solitary happiness is in isolation. One should try to understand and comprehend this and devote at least an hour everyday to practice isolation. To practice this one doesn't need to go outside Ladnun or Jain Vishwa Bharati. One can practice isolation by being here itself. Once we do this we will experience solitary happiness.

On a 13th January


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Mahapragya ne Kaha - Vol.1 Translated by:
Rakesh Kumar Jain Online Edition: 2011

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aagam
  2. Acharya
  3. Acharya Bhikshu
  4. Ahimsa
  5. Ahimsa Yatra
  6. Ajmer
  7. Animesh Preksha
  8. Bhikshu
  9. Body
  10. Concentration
  11. Dhyan
  12. Equanimity
  13. Guru
  14. Jain Vishwa Bharati
  15. Ladnun
  16. London
  17. Meditation
  18. Non-violence
  19. Preksha
  20. Preksha Dhyan
  21. Sadhak
  22. Sadhu
  23. Samayik
  24. Science
  25. Shrenik
  26. Sutra
  27. Tratak
  28. Uttaradhyayan
  29. Yoga
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