How to clear a mind of dualities?

  • The following post is a translated excerpt from acharya shree’s book, kaise soche

    Thought (vichaar in hindi) means the one which moves ( in hindi, char means walk) . How can one that moves be permanent? The one that is temporary cannot be permanent and the one that is permanent cannot be temporary. Every dravya or substance has both facets- permanence and impermanence. Thoughts always remain impermanent.

    Some are astonished at a change in opinions. But, what is so surprising? If thoughts do not change, that is surprising. The nature of thoughts is to change. If one thought stays an entire lifetime, the person should be thought of as a very rigid person, closed to new ideas. A person often experiences pride at having clung to a thought tightly. He thinks he is strong. But, it, in reality, is foolishness.

    When bones become too rigid, it is an alarm of bad health. Bones should remain flexible. That is why, getting stuck at one thought is not something special. But, men and women sometimes assume a foolish act to be special. When the mind is not stable, even the wrong seems right.

    The field of thoughts is unique. Here, thoughts which oppose one another are nurtured. Beneath the veil of right understanding, foolishness is nurtured.

    In the field of thoughts, opposite thoughts cannot be ignored. There cannot be a thought which only produces harmony. Thoughts produce duality, because the nature of thoughts is to move and change. In this dual world of thoughts, thinking something should happen this way or that way, something will happen or wont happen, is illusionary- there is no reality to it.

    We are contemplating on how to think because we sometimes, have positive life-building thoughts and sometimes, destructive thoughts.We want the latter to be less. This can be achieved if we could refine our thoughts.

    And thoughts can be refined by achieving a balance of thoughtlessness and the state of thoughtfulness. Clear thoughts cannot be achieved by just thinking as there is struggle in the field of thoughts. More we experience thoughtlessness, more our thoughts become clear and positive.

    Intellect cannot clean thoughts. Only thoughtlessness can. From it, comes positivity, faith, will-power, the ability for self-effort, and the radiance of light which is within us.

    But what is thoughtlessness? It is the state of meditation. In this state, there are no thoughts and no imagination. Doors of all kinds of thoughts are closed. That consciousness arises which is beyond the senses, the mind, and the intellect. One only experiences the pure soul. The state is entirely a subject of experience. It cannot be discussed in words.

Source of Happiness

(The following is a translated part of Acharya shree’s book sukh ka stotra kahan)

In our world, there is no one who has not experienced happiness and sadness. People want the former.Nobody  wants  the latter. If we get a desirable thing or situation, then its okay but when we get an undesirable thing, sorrow comes up and the question arises – from where did it come forth? From where happiness comes , from there sorrow also comes.The source of both these is the same.The doorway is the same.From a single doorway, a man can also come.So can a dog.So can a donkey.Then the question arises that despite man’s best efforts to gain joy, he gets pain too.Why?

The answer to this question is one’s soul is the creator of both, happiness and sorrow.

There is no other who is creating these.There is no creator of the basis of existence.Neither soul nor  sumpreme soul/god.Happiness and sorrow are not the basis of existence.Nor is human body.These are just temporary states.The basis of existence or the root element is soul  and atom.There is no creator of an atom.But there are states of an atom.The doer/creator of these states is the atom itself.Similarly, there is no creator of the soul.There are just states of the soul which are created by itself.Soul is consciousness, knowledge.That is why, it creates happiness and sorrow when it desires to create them.Question would be – does anbody desire for the latter?According to jain darshan, someone wanting happiness is wanting sorrow as well.The one who desires to live, desires to die as well.Happiness and sorrow are twins.So are life-death.If there is a desire, both will come.

Gautam swami asked Mahaveer – dear, who creates sorrow ?God replied – Our soul.The whole responsibility of being in a certain state lies on ourselves.Nobody else is responsible.

It is seen that people do not take responsibility for a work gone wrong.They like to wear the responsibility of a good work – that is something they don’t like to give others.According to jain darshan for every work of either good or bad quality, the person him/her self is responsible.Nobody else.

In this state of knowledge, a new state of consciousness is developed. If everything is our doing, then who can be blamed?Instruments do exist.The universe provides ample of them for the manifestation of our own karma.For example, an unfavorable situation such as an illness comes up in life, the man becomes sad.Here the situation of illness is an instrument.But happiness or sorrow is not experienced by a situation.They are felt by a person.

The Doer of Happiness & Sorrow

Suppose an anger inducing incident occurs.You feel you should get angry.But there is a system in the brain which will direct you to not get angry.It will suggest that its is not the right time to get angry.If this controlling mechanism was not in place, man would lose himself.

The knowledge of such a controlling mechanism has been given to us by modern science.The science of karma suggests on a similar note- we have two types of karma in function – one is shata vedaniye karma* and the other is ashata vedaniye karma* .The former causes happiness.The latter causes sorrow.Both these opposing forces are not active together.When one is active, the other is silent and vice a versa.

In our consciousness, there is wakefulness and inertia both.Within us there is a tendency to be in delusion and the ability to silence it. When moha or delusion is silent, we live with a righteous conduct  while when it is active , we live with an unrighteous conduct.A good naam karma causes good particles to be experienced and a bad one causes bad particles to be experienced.We receive respect sometimes and we receive disrespect some other times. Sometimes a person is good to us and the same person is not good to us at some other time.A man has been a thief sometime and has been a saint some other time.This duality is within us. Therefore, we are the doers of both, happiness and sorrow.

The Rules Of Karma & Happiness

We have three mediums for expression – mind , speech and body.The way we express ourselves through these mediums decides the nature of karma particles we collect.These karma particles induce emotions of happiness or sorrow in us.Let us see how.

Science tells us that a certain biochemical is responsible for a certain emotion which in turn causes a certain type of conduct, which influences a person’s behavior. So a  person ‘s violent behavior is a result of a certain biochemical.This is exactly the kind of mechanism in place in our subtle bodies.The kind of impressions we form causes the creation of similar biochemicals in our body , which create emotions.This is a sequence.We have three bodies- a gross body which is visible to us (in which biochemicals are released), a subtle body which collects karma and the subtlest body which remains untainted.

So there exists rules but there is no ruler.Rain poured.Grass grew.This happened because of a law of nature.Who is the ruler here?No one.Our whole world is run by such laws.

Two kinds of laws exist – a universal law and a temporal law (based on a time frame) Temporal laws are made by humans and are temporary. Universal laws are applicable in all time frames.A child is born.He gets old.Who made him old?Nobody.Everything in the world gets old and finishes in accordance with time.This is a universal law. The meaning of finding the truth is  finding the laws. The development of science is attributed to discovery of laws.The development of a darshan  or branch of philosophy is also attributed to discovery of laws.Who ever has found out a law has unlocked a dimension of existential truth.

The supporting material for the workings of rules is the entire creation. Matter, space , time etc. become instruments. For example, the instrument for arousing anger can be many – somebody saying something bitter or something which does not fall in one’s framework of rightness , somebody not following your instructions.But the person getting angry is himself alone.He can either be a doer or a ruler. He can either get angry (and in the process spoil his happiness) or rule over his anger. According to jain darshana a person is him/her self responsible for his fate. So neither beg anyone nor blame anyone.Do not think that a certain person is going to build your life nor think a certain person has ruined it.When this principle is understood, a person stands on his/her own feet. His/her attention goes towards his/her conduct.Is my conduct and behavior making my life miserable? This is an important question.

It is essential to know that following certain rules can make one happy or sad. Meritful karma follows a rule.Unmeritful karma follows a rule.And so does liberation.

*Causes for Shätä  vedaniya – 1. To show compassion to two, three and four sense living beings, 2. To show compassion to “plant” living beings, 3. To show compassion five sense living beings, 4. To show compassion to other four one-sense living beings, 5. Not to make any living beings sad, 6. Not to cause sorrow to any living beings, 7. Not to harass any living beings, 8. Not to make anyone cry, 9. Not to hurt any living beings, and 10. Not to give hard time to anyone.

* Causes for Ashätä vedaniya: 1. sadness, 2. sorrow, 3. regretting, 4. crying, 5. violence and 6. causing hardship