The following post is based on acharya Mahapragya’s book nirvichaar ki or
A thought is like a ray emerging from the source of emotions.Unless emotions of cravings and aversions exist, so will thoughts.
The teachers of spirituality said-work without desires.Krishna on a similar note, instructed Arjun to perform his duty/work without attachments.This ability to work without attachments is attained when one gains control over feelings of cravings and aversions.Many times, people perform inexcusable acts and then put up an excuse of doing them without any attachment.The ability to work without attachments does’nt come easy.It requires Sadhna.
The Sadhna of prekshadhyan is a tool for transforming emotions and thus, for a gradual attainment of the ability to work in this world without attachments.The purpose of practicing prekshadhyan must not be to attain a healthy body and mind but to transform emotions.When emotions transform, the mind and the body also become healthy.
Mental diseases are created from emotions.Without transforming emotions, they cannot be fully cured.Psychiatrists give medicines for treating mental diseases.But I have seen the ones treating mental diseases are suffering from these diseases themselves.In this state how can they cure others?Medicines cannot cure mental diseases.Unless emotions of anger, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, egoism exist, neither mind nor body can stay healthy.
The Influx of Thoughts
At this point, we are faced with the matter of influx of thoughts.We need to stop some thoughts (by consciously ignoring them) and we need not stop some thoughts.A thought whose basis is of an emotion of craving or aversion needs to be stopped while a thought whose basis is of knowledge must not be stopped.
Let us consider an example at the worldly level to understand the need of the above principle.The world of things has been developed with the development of thoughts.Things such as motor, ship, bulb etc have contributed to the progress of mankind while bombs, guns have contributed to the destruction of mankind.Creation and destruction, hence, are fructifications of thoughts.Therefore the ability to discriminate between thoughts worth stopping and thoughts worth encouraging is necessary.If we stop every thought, progress will also stop.If this happens there will be no difference between humans and animals.And learning to stop some thoughts is also necessary as thoughts have also caused and are causing harm to humanity.
Now, let us consider an example at a subtle level.A thought makes one happy or sad.A man is sitting happily.A thought strikes him and he is filled with sadness.No such situation, no such event but just a thought and he is filled with sadness.A man is suffering misery but a thought strikes him and he becomes happy.So a thought is a creator of happiness and sadness, both.In consideration of this, we found that if thoughts arise, let them but at least we must stop thoughts of cravings and aversions.But thoughts do not stop.Then we found that emotions, the subtler layer to thoughts, is responsible for all our thoughts and therefore, we must stop these emotions.Therefore, the meaning of stopping the influx of thoughts is infact, stopping or changing the influx of emotions.This truth must be inscribed in our hearts.
Now the question would be-what will the change in emotions which are driven by attachments result into?The opposite of raag (attachments) is Viraag (dispassion), which means neither raag nor dvesh, neither cravings nor aversions, neither likes nor dislikes.Dispassion brings forth the ability to work in this world, without attachments.Dispassion does’nt only mean becoming a saint.It means being aware of the truth.Knowledge of truth,experience of reality and dispassion – all are same.When we know the truth and begin to live it, that is dispassion.When we only believe in truth and do not live it, that is not dispassion.
There is a huge difference between knowing the truth and believing in it.Knowing the truth implies experiencing it while believing in truth implies imposition.Most people believe in the truth but do not know it.There is a difference between the speech and action of people who just believe in the truth or what their religion says and asks them to do.That is why, today’s religious one speaks of something else and does something else.S/he does not live the truth but bears its burden.There is no relation of truth with their lives since through belief, we can only hold on to the words of scriptures but cannot live the truth which permeates through those words.This is the fruit of only believing.
A small story can illustrate the problem effectively.A child sat sadly near the sea.He had a small cup in his hands.He would look at the sea and then look at his tiny cup.A man asked him the reason for his sadness.He replied “I want to fill my cup with the waters of this sea but don’t know how ?”
We all are going through a stage similar to that of this child.We also want to fill the grand truth in our small cups of logic and words.In this state, action and words cannot be, but different.Unless we don’t cross over words and logic and enter the world of emotional purification, we cannot fill the sea of truth.Our thoughts and knowledge has limits and unless we cross these limits ,we cannot experience the limitless.We must cross these limits and purify our emotions through Sadhna/meditation as when our emotions are not pure, we are unable to see the truth even if it is right in front of us.
Unless the difference between knowing the truth and believing in it does not become clear, there will be differences between knowledge and behaviour, doing and talking.People will remain deceived.One’s likes and dislikes keep one entangled in the outer world.
Once, a soldier got killed.A man eater lion ate him.The headquarters were informed.The deputy commissioner asked the head “find out if the lion really ate the soldier?Was the soldier in uniform at the time of the incident?If he was in uniform, the lion would have not been able to eat him.”
Man is entangled in his beliefs.Unless a man does’nt break the cycle of beliefs and concepts and does not experience the truth naturally, this cycle of thoughts won’t break.That is why, to stop the influx of thoughts, dispassion is necessary.
All of us have seen the cycle of sorrow.There is a lot of sorrow in this world.The creator of sorrow is parigrah (ie accumulation).Mahaveer said, unless one does’nt become free from it, one cannot be free of sorrow.A man has a huge repository of thoughts.He thinks, if money is not there, what will happen?What will happen in old age?How will I get my daughter married?Accumulation of thoughts breeds accumulation of other things as well.He, unconsciously or consciously concludes money is life.That, money is everything.On the outside,he declares that religion and God is very dear to him but on the inside, parigrah becomes his dear religion and God.
A businessman came to a saint.He had lots of money but no peace.He pleaded the Saint “maharaj! I am very sad.Can you tell me a mantra which can put an end to my sorrow.” The Saint replied ” first, give me something to eat.I’m hungry.Then I will give you the mantra.” Feeling helpless, he ordered some milk.Taking his own utensil out of a bag, the Saint remarked, “I won’t drink the milk from your utensil.I will consume from my own.” Pointing towards a utensil with millions of pores, the Saint asked the businessman to pour the milk inside it.Seeing the pores, the baffled businessman remarked,”how, Saint, will you be able to drink from this?Not a drop will be able to stay on it.”On this, the Saint smilingly said,”you are right.If your milk won’t be able to stay on my porous utensil,how will my mantra stay with your porous mind?Bring to me a retentive mind,then I will give the mantra divine.”
The habitual feeling of accumulating has made the utensil of mind so porous, that no sutra of spirituality is able to stay with it.It is surprising that people hear so many spiritual/religious lectures, study scriptures and perform jap-tap, but still no positive effect is brought on the mind.How will any of it be able to produce an effect when the mind is full of pores?
The mind needs to become non-porous.This can happen through emotional purification.Kayotsarg is an important means through which this can be achieved.The meaning of Kayotsarg is, dropping the body.Our bodies drop after death but how does one drop the body, while being alive?Desire less work or the yoga of dispassion is dropping the body while being alive.It means the body continues to exist but dropping one’s attachments to it.
Dropping the body while alive means attacking at the root of parigrah.The body is the biggest parigrah.All other worldly accumulations are born out of one’s attachment to one’s body.When this attachment weakens, the desires of accumulation also become weak.Kayotsarg is relaxing every muscle and cell of the body.Loosening one’s hold on the body.The feeling of, “this is my body” needs to be loosened during this process.The first step towards emotional purification is Kayotsarg.Three things are involved in this process-relaxation of body,awareness towards it and dissolving the feeling of mine-ness.
Unless one’s feeling of mine-ness is not dropped, Kayotsarg will not be performed in its true sense.Unless this is not done, the hold of parigrah will not loosen and unless this does not happen, our emotions will not become pure.And without emotional purification, sorrow will not end.
Meditation is not just a stress buster.It is a means to uproot the basis of sorrow.When this happens, diseases of the body, mental confusions and emotional problems will resolve.Through Kayotsarg, we must make our emotions simple & natural and attack at the root of sorrow.This attack will be valuable.Non-meditators can never understand the significance of such an attack.A person who does’nt meditate also wants freedom from sorrow but does not know how to attack at it’s root.A person who meditates focuses more at the question, what is the cause of sorrow?
If we learn to attack at the root of sorrow, the sorrows of this worldly life won’t seem to be sorrowful any more and a new world can be created.