The Four Solutions

The following post is based on Acharya shree’s hindi book, mastishk ka prashikshan

Post continued from ‘Developing control on our brain’

The four solutions of emotional refinement are:

Swadhyaya

Swadhyaya  is a method by which emotions can be changed. Cultivating conducive thoughts, reading and contemplating quality literature can help in changing vruttis. This is one idea for refinement. It is difficult to say how effective this method is. It is effective if practised in the right way. Today the meaning of swadhyaya has been reduced to just reading, which doesn’t bear quality results. Along with reading, the practise also requires contemplation.

The man of today reads a lot but does not change. He listens to spiritual talks but does not transform. This is because just reading and listening is not enough. Eating  a meal takes just fifteen minutes. However, digesting it takes three hours. Similarly, reading a piece of text needs a few minutes but digesting it needs a lot more time. If one page has been read, then digesting it requires the time needed to read fifty pages. What is obtained after contemplation or manan proves instrumental in changing emotions.

Ancient belief says – “One prahar (morning /afternoon/ evening) must be reserved for reading and another must be reserved for reflecting upon what one has read.” This stands true for all kinds of studies, be it spiritual or non-spiritual.

Meditation

The second factor is meditation. Through meditation we directly influence our prana or vital force. During the meditation process*, we direct our focus at particular centres. Focusing implies a union of the consciousness and prana.  Wherever the consciousness is focused, there the flow of prana increases. The increase in the flow of prana destroys any kind of blockage at that point – be it a blockage at the physical plane, mental plane or emotional plane.

The ordinary meaning of preksha is observing. But observing does not mean observing with the eyes. Rather it implies a special method of observing, which is experiencing with equanimity – a state of mind that is devoid of craving and aversion. This is a powerful method which purifies emotions.

Someone who learns the art of observing, (s)he becomes active in changing oneself. If thoughts come, observe them. In a few minutes, thoughts will disappear.

Carl Jung is one of the pioneers of modern psychology. He wrote – when I was ill, I went to a psychotherapist. The therapist asked mr to lie down, relax, and asked what is it that you’re thinking. The moment I observed my thoughts, they disappeared.

Imagination, memory, and thoughts produce aggravation. Only through observation, all kinds of aggravations silence down. That is why, whatever is happening in the body, brain, and emotional plane, observe. When the focus on observing increases, the mind will become peaceful.

Emotional Purity

It is not possible for a continuous flow of good emotions.  Emotions are so unique that one is unable to understand them. Emotions stay pure – this is not so simple.  It is necessary to support all the different kinds of reactions within us. There are several supports declared for the same. With these supports, we reach a state where pure emotions flow. Our goal is to reach a state devoid of impure emotions. As soon as we reach this goal, supports are not needed, just like a boat becomes stationary as soon it reaches the shore.

Tapasya

Simply put, the meaning of tapasya is developing endurance. Anybody who doesn’t work hard and cannot endure pain, cannot progress.

When an individual is capable to endure all kinds of  situations, change shall take place.

Conclusion

The above four are the mediums of change. They are not a pathway to suppression but a pathway of refinement of negative emotions.  And when negative tendencies are improved, the flow of life changes.

These four instruments are related to meditation. If we centre our lives around meditation, I think our lives can progress to a great extent.

*It is recommended to learn any meditation process by trained professionals. Practicing without supervision is not advisable.

Naye Jeevan ka Nirmaan (2/2)

This post is a translated part of the Acharya Mahapragya’s book naye jeevan ka nirmaan

In our world, the law of life is that something is created and something is destroyed.In nature, a lot of matter is created and destroyed.So is true for the human world.So many people come and go.It is a continous flow.Life is a flow too.The flow of life is  continous.The possibility of something/ someone remaining the same is zero.Another name of change is new development or creation.

The first sutra to a new life is to know oneself.To know anything one needs to know the laws governing it.To know the laws of the world, one needs to keep their eyes open and to know yourself, one needs to close their eyes.

Once upon a time a house was being built.The bricks were being laid. Naturally, a lot of noise was being made.After this work, the painting work started. No noise was made.The owner of the house shouted “nobody want to work here.”The workmen responded-we are doing our work.To this the owner said-“earlier I could hear noises now I don’t.How do I believe you’re working?”

The rule of laying bricks is different while the rule of painting is different.

In the realm of knowing oneself, there is no need of noise.It involves withdrawing from one’s general propensities for once. Withdraw  your efforts to see through the eyes, to taste, to touch, to hear through the ears-if you hear something, let that be but do not make efforts from your side to listen.Effortlessness of senses , body and mind is the key here.

One needs to have a discipline over the mind, speech and body.Relaxing the breath is also necessary.If the breath is fast one will fail to experience this state.

Result of Knowing Thyself

Breath has a relation with emotional state.If the emotions become turbulent, breath becomes of shorter duration.When the turbulence decreases, the duration of breath increases.Therefore, one must use breath to bring one’s mind at peace.Through breath we can step towards meditation, which gives a chance to know our true selves.

In a meditative state our mind is relaxed yet alert.In this state, one experiences silence and joy independent of matter and one experiences one’s true basis.In this state if bad thoughts come then one can infer there is some garbage inside and if some sadness is experienced one can infer that one has collected grief.If some happiness is experienced then that shows itself.One can know the fruits (which show themselves as thoughts and feelings) of one’s actions and thoughts.This is knowing oneself.Whatever one does, that is collected inside of him and its fruit comes as an experience.In this field of awareness we can understand what line of thoughts and actions has brought us  non-peace and therefore can decide for ourselves to not go in that direction.

Equanimous View Towards Money and Desires

After identifying one’s true self, one develops an equanimous view towards money and desires.Within us, we have lots of desires.Within every human and creature, there are various vruttis. When a wave of desire arises, a man cannot do anything.When he becomes a slave to them, life gets disturbed.Within us there  is an ocean of desires.

The second element is money.One needs money in life.In society we see two situations- Lack of money and effect of money.There is a huge section of society which faces poverty and there is another section which faces an over-effect of money.As a result showing off, excessive luxury and eroticism occur.Even today a lot of diseases are of  the mind and not of the body.This is due to effect of money. The problem is there is an excess of  this effect on everyone’s mind .There  is so much of it that a rich person has absolutely become used to convenience.

When there is an effect of money on mind, a person forgets the distinction between  harmful and beneficial ; right and wrong. For example, consuming excessively cold and hot food  diminishes our ability to face nature – our body becomes weak but today’s dining trend has created a demand for after dinner cold ice creams.We have created the demand for 24/7 air conditioning despite its debilitating effect.It is important to understand that when we accustom our body to the natural environment of contrasting features such as hotness and coldness,  then our immunity and resistance power increases.

A man went to a garden.Strong winds blew.Small plants were shaking.He asked the gardner-Wh don’t you to tie these plants with a rope or else they will fall.The gardner said- Sir, Tying them will make their roots weak.They will fall off easily when they grow up.

This is the law of  life- facing difficulties and going through all elements of nature- be it cold or heat.Going through these, one becomes absolutely strong.But today’s man does not want to face any difficulties.He thinks one should enjoy as much as possible.Who know what will happen tomorrow.

If money influences one’s mind, then life cannot be built on a new basis.That is why one should have a right view towards money and desires.

A Delusional Concept

It seems as if money is influencing religiosity/spirituality.People with money want to perform religiosity through money- earn a lot and do a little donation and in turn reserve a seat in heaven.

Acharya Bhikshu deeply studied this problem.He said- religiosity or spirituality cannot be performed through money.The one who thinks- spend some money, religion will be performed.It is as wrong as thinking eating mud can quench your thirst.There is no relation.Spirituality is only purifying one’s thoughts and feelings-inner purity.The rich think if we earn through wrong means then we also build houses hospitals and dharmshalas.This is a wrong perception.The values of austerities and letting go (tyag) have been replaced with donation-merit and demerit.This is a delusional concept.

What is the right view of dharm/spirituality?Acharya Bhikshu gave a small definition- letting go is dharm and enjoying is adharm.Religion based communities have confused the essence of religion(dharm).This is a straight definition- the more you can let go-the more you can be independent of matter-that much is dharm.Total independence is not possible neither conducive.The meaning of dharm is- limiting money and desires.It  implies deciding not to use money more than a certain limit ; not earning money through wrong means ; not using money to show off.The second element is limiting desires.Many desires arise.Deciding not to act on desires more than a certain limit is dharm.

There was a small boy.A mother sat near him.The kid was crying.The mother gave him 5 rupees.The boy stopped crying.After 5 minutes, the mother asked him to return.He closed his fists.If a small child does not know how to let go, I wonder how difficult it would be for adults.

The Meaning of Liberation

Fourth purusharth is moksha or liberation.What liberation?The one that one gets after dying?We assume that man goes to heaven or hell or gets liberated only after dying.Dharm also happens while one is alive and so does liberation.If one is not liberated in the present, one will not be liberated after death.A person who does not live a hellish life in the present, will not end up in hell after dying.A person who does not live a life of liberation will not be liberated after death.

This liberation is the most important sutra to one’s development.Experiencing alone- ness is liberation or moksha.I’m alone-my soul is alone-this is a truth.I have come alone and will go alone.I have to experience happiness and sadness alone.Family is not mine in reality.Knowing nothing is yours in actuality.In this way experiencing the separateness of matter and yourself-this is liberation.

There is bondage with matter because  without matter social aspect of life does not work.It is necessary to have relation with matter-everything is necessary.Living in midst of society, family and knowing one’s truth-of  that being alone-experiencing it- that is liberation.

Changing one’s mindset

A man becomes so bonded with matter that he is always is search of it.Let your mindset be like this-the matter that came your way, you enjoyed it and then it went away.If it stayed, it stayed and if it left you-then let it go.This kind of thought process is of liberation.

The three sutras of  building life are-Knowing yourself; Right view towards desires and money; Right view towards liberation.If these are followed. A new life can be built.