The following post is a translated part of Acharya Shree’s hindi book, mastishk prashikshan
Our brain is driven by electric current and chemicals. Which chemical creates which kind of reaction and putting an electrode in which part of the brain can create which kind of reaction – these facts are very clear today. In our body, there are centres for the creation and control of emotions and reactions. There are centres which produce emotions and disturbances and there are centres which control them. This is an internal process which continues naturally.
There are two divisions of our nadi sansthan (system of blood vessels)- self-driven, and the other is facultative. Through the self-driven system of blood vessels , internal activities happen on their own. If there is a centre for the generation of anger, then there is a centre which can subdue the anger. Both faculties are present.
Modern psychology says that the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, hypothalamus, and some parts of the brain and nadi sansthan – these parts are responsible for controlling impulsive emotions. However, yoga and spirituality indicate factors other than body systems to control emotions. And these factors have a direct relation with god. Through emotion- centric processes a transformation can be brought in these centres.
It is important to note that a transformation brought with chemicals or with the use of electrodes cannot be permanent. Injecting an appropriate chemical may silence anger but the effect cannot be long-lasting. Same with the use of electrodes.
And this is where meditation plays a role. Many question what is the purpose of long-term meditation practices? If with injections, external medicines, and electrodes emotions can be controlled within a second, why to meditate? The answer is that meditation unlike these things is more of a permanent solution to the disturbances of our mind.
Physicians have found solutions only on the basis of the body while psychiatrists have found solutions only on the basis of the brain and mind. They haven’t found the true source of emotions and the reason for their production. This is a very subtle secret. That is why sometimes research findings happen to be contradictory.
The path of spirituality is a path free from contradictions. It is a path of clarity. It is a process of refinement. Today many have this delusion that Indian philosophy teaches the process of suppressing emotions. A religious philosophy teaching suppression cannot be religion. It can be something else. Whether it’s sex, anger or any other emotion, Indian philosophy does not teach suppressing them.
The purpose of religious philosophy is refining emotions. The four establishments of psychology to refine emotions are – suppression, sublimation, voluntary decision and intellectual decision. And the four establishments of Indian religious philosophy for refining emotions are – self-study, meditation, emotional purity and tapasya or endurance.
(To be continued..)