May 7, 2008

Meditation - Dhyaan

-By Sreepalan V C

Jain Dharma has very clearly defined what is dhyaan, which is the only source to free one from the cycle of birth and death and bring out the lasting bliss inevery one’s soul.

To quote from the sacred works of Jain Dharma: Shri Thavaartha Surta.
“uthama sangananasyo ekaagra chintha nirotdho dhyaanam aantharmuhoorth”- Shri Umaaswamy’s Shri Moksha sastra – ch 9 – sutra 27.

“ekaagra chintha nirotdho dhyaanam” is only taken up for detailing here.
Dhyaan in short is “ ekaagrathaka naam dhyaan” – canalizing the flow of thoughts continuously on one subject is dhyaan.

Dhyaan is classified into four types viz., aartha – pain and suffering thought activity, roudhra – pitiless, unkind and cruel thought activity, dharma –passionless and painless thought activity and shukla – pure thought activity i.e., thoughts on one’s own soul.

Aartha and roudhra dhyaans are baneful and demeritorious and dharma and shukla are beneficial and meritorious in the sense the later are towardssecuring relief from the cycle of birth and death.

Soul alone has gynaan – knowledge quality and its capability is knowing and seeing. This function of knowing and seeing is called paryaay – modification /expression of the knowledge quality, the prime quality of all the soul. This function of knowing and seeing is ceaselessly ever flowing and never ending under any circumstances, as it is independent and self-subsisting.
For example the waves of the sea are ceaselessly flowing and it comes from the sea and goes back to sea only, is that right? But the sea has no control on theshape or timing of the flow of the waves, any doubt? Nonetheless, waves are part and parcel of the sea and there cannot be a sea without waves and waves with out sea.

Since its function is ceaseless, no one, including soul – atman or knowledge quality – gynaan guna from where it emanates, can stop its flow and soul in turnknowledge quality can only be a silent spectator of what is seen and known in paryaay – expressions.

Its life is only one samaya – the smallest unit of time according to Jain Dharma and for purpose of understanding here, it is enough to know that it ismomentary. Soul and its infinite qualities are permanent and unchanging from the beginning less time to endless time.

Every mundane soul in the universe, we all know, is an expert in demeritorious meditation -aartha and ruodhra dhyaanas, any hesitation to accept?

We are either new or disinterested in dharma or shukla dhyaanas for best-known reasons.
So body, place, time, posture etc are not being discussed here.

Those apart, having placed some of the basics on the discussion table, let us attempt to understand the dhyaan process.

The basic process carries in it four tools and they are as follows:01) Dhyaatha – meditating person –02) Dheya – what to meditate –03) Dhyaan – function of meditation and04) Dhyaan ka fal – fruit of meditation.

Now what one has to perform in meditation?

Soul is the meditating entitySoul is the meditatable subjectSoul is meditating function andSoul realizes and manifests soul’s infinite qualitiesand this is the fruit of meditation.

Besides the above mentioned some more information onsoul may be necessary at this point and helpful tohave a fully perceive dhyaan - mediation.

Soul has three parts viz.,01) soul as one unit of infinite soul substances – atma dhravya,02) its infinite qualities – ananth gunnas and03) the modifications / expressions – ananth paryaas of soul and its infinite qualities.

The first two parts are permanent – saswath, unchanging – achal, endless – avinashi, undying - amar etc., from the beginning less tome and shall be so forendless time.

The last one part - paryaayas - are impermanent, ever changing, ever ending and ever dying; in other words it is just opposite of the first two and which part isalso from the beginning less time and shall be so for endless time.

This is Anekant - the structural nature of all the 6 kinds of substances, which constitutes this universe and soul too i.e., two diametrically opposing dharmas– realities coexisting from the beginning less time and shall be so for endless time. This is the symbol of Jain Dharma.
So now, the aspirant meditating soul has to associate itself and starts meditating by identifying itself with the unchanging permanent soul and its infinite qualities. In other words while in dhyaan, it dissociates itself from all that is changing andperishable seen or known in the knowledge quality of the soul.

To elaborate, soul is not man, women, rich, poor, beautiful, ugly, teacher, worker, husband, wife, son, daughter, heavenly being, hellish being, plants etc.,but merely and only an unchaning knower – gynaayak.

It is, in short, an unchanging and imperishable knower and knower alone and nothing but knower – gynayak. Gynaayak is nothing but unchanging simple ordinary knowledge – gynaana samaanya.

For example take TV. When TV is on, so many varying and serious and gay images appear, namely, floods, collapse of tall buildings, explosion of bombs, earth quakes, construction and consecration of temples, magnificent idols being installed with all pomp and show, marriages, divorces, child birth what all andwhat not. But when the TV is put off, it remains as it was before the start with out any iota of change, is that right? Unit of soul is the substance – dhravya, all its parts such as screen, light tubes, speakers, and many electronic gadgets and all these parts are its qualities – gunnas and what is seen in the screen are its paryaayas. What is the connection between the TV as unchanging substance – dhravya , its qualities – gunnas and modifications – paryaays. Absolutelynothing excepting the images / pictures are seen only in the screen of the TV. If the TV is identified with any one of the images say, explosion of bomb TV alsomust have been destroyed, is it not? But that is not so.

Similar is the position of the soul. So aspirant should practice immersing himself in his nature – gynaayak be a knower and knower alone and nothing but knower.

This is in the very simplest form an explanation of dhyaan – meditation.

An attempt is made to explain meditation – dhyaan, but this write up is only a walking stick and an ardent aspirant if he has understood dhyaan and secures thefruit of it, it is surely because of his determination, involvement and unfailing interest and certainly not because of this small write-up. Walking stick cannot make a man walk but if man attempts to walk, walking stick may be of assistance.

May many doubts and questions be lingering in the readers mind and are welcome to come up.

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