Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
  THE NATURE OF KARMA (Karma ka swroop)
  Vairagya Bhavana




     Sukla Dhyana, in its purest form, signifies an unbroken contemplation of one's own Atma and cannot be realized so long as the all illumining Kevala Jnana does not arise in the consciousness of the Jiva. The preparatory course for the realization of the Sukla Dhyana, therefore, consists in the two-fold method of concentration and meditation, which give rise to the Kevala Jnana and fix the form of 'thought'.


     If the reader would bear in mind the fact that belief is the builder of character and that the essence of the soul is pure intelligence which is influenced by its own beliefs to such an extent that it actually becomes what it believes itself to be, he would not find it difficult to understand that steadiness of mind is not possible without there being a corresponding fixing of belief in the first instance. Hence, belief must first mould the essence of spirit before any permanent results are to be expected. To this end the Scripture enjoins the practicing of the following kinds of Dhyana in the final stages of asceticism:


     (1) Pindastha Dhyana, which consists of five dharna (forms of contemplation) as follows:

     (a) Prithvi dharna. The yogi should imagine a boundless ocean of the size of madhya Loka, motionless and noiseless, of the color of milk, with a hug resplendent lotus of a thousand petals and having a bright yellow pericarp of the height of Mount Meru in its center. On the top of his pericarp he should place in his imagination, a throne of the brightness of moon, and should imagine himself seated on this throne, in a calm and peaceful attitude of mind, firmly established in the belief that is Atma is fully capable of destroying the eight kinds of karmas which hold him in captivity and bondage.


     (b) Agneyi dharna. When the prithi dharna become firmly fixed in the mind, the yogi should imagine himself seated as before, and should further imagine a small lotus of sixteen petals in the region of his navel, with the sixteen vowels, (a), (a-), (e), (i), (u). (u-), (ri), (ri-), (lri), (lri-), (ai), (aei), (au), (aou), (ang) and (ah), inscribed on its sixteen petals (one on each) and the holy syllable (the middle part of the word, Arihanta) on its pericarp, shining like burnished gold. He should then imagine smoke slowly emanating from the upper stroke of the holy syllable and, assuming the form of a flame of fire, scorching and burning up, in the region of the heart, another lotus of eight petals representing the eight kinds of karmas. The fire as finally to be imagined as having spread to all parts of the body, surrounding it in the form of a triangle, and reducing it to ashes.


     (c) Asavasani dharna, which consists in the contemplation of powerful winds blowing away the ashes of the body from the soul, and scattering them about in the four directions.


     (d) Varuni dharna. The yogi now imagines a great down pour of the rain which washes away the remnants of the ashes of the body from the soul, leaving the latter in the condition of its natural purity, that is as the pure effulgence of intelligence.


     (e) Tattva- rupavati dharna. The yogi now contemplates his soul as the possessor of all the divine attributes and qualities, having an effulgent 'body' of pure, radiant will, free from all kinds of karmas and material encasements, and the object of worship and adoration on the part of Devas and men.


(2) Padastha Dhyana which means contemplation with the aid of holy mantras (sacred formulas), such as namoarhantanam, and the concentration of mind on the centers of Dhyana.


(3) Rupastha Dhyana consisting in the contemplation of the holy form of Arihanta (Tirthankara), seated in the celestial pavilion attended by Indras (rulers of Devas or heavenly kings), of radiant, effulgent glory, spreading peace and joy all round.


(4) Rupatita Dhyana, or meditation on the attributes of the Siddha Atma. This form of Dhyana consists in the contemplation of the pure qualities of the perfect, bodiless Souls accompanied with the belief that he who is engaged in meditation is also endowed with the same attributes.


The above are the different forms of Dhyana which lead to what is called nirvikalpa Samadhi, the purest form of self- contemplation. In this state the necessity for thinking is replaced by the all-illumining, all-embracing Kevala Jnana (omniscience), and the soul directly perceives itself to be the most glorious, the most blissful, the all-knowing and all- powerful being, and becomes absorbed in tile enjoyment of its Svabhavik (natural) Ananda free from all kinds of impurities and bonds.


We have already sufficiently described the nature of the Pindastha Dhyana; thc padastha need not be dwelt upon any longer in this book, since a knowledge of Sanskrit is necessary for its practicing; but the Rupastha and the Rupatita forms of contemplation deserve a word of explanation. Of these, the former, i.e. the Rupastha, is the form of the Bhakti- Marga, par excellence, since it directly enables the soul to attain to the form and status of God. The form of the Parma Atma is first intellectually determined and then contemplated upon with unwavering fixing of attention, till it become indelibly fixed in the mind. This being accomplished, the ascetic now resorts to the fourth form of Dhyana the Rupatita, and with its aid transfers the impress of the Parma Atma from his mind to the essence of his Jiva or soul-substance, which, in obedience to the law-- as one thinks so one becomes-- itself assumes that very form, manifesting, at the same time, in the fullest degree, the attributes of perfection and divinity arising from the action of the concentrated point of attention on the matter of the nervous centers, as described before. The transference of the conception of Parma Atma from the mind, or intellect, to the soul-substance is beautifully allegorized, in the Vishnu Purana, as the removal of the embryo of Krishna from the womb of Rohini to that of her co-wife, Devaki, Krishna being the ideal of Godhood or perfection for the soul. The idea is that the conception of divinity is first formed in the mind or intellect,* and is thence transferred to the soul- substances which, assuming its form, itself becomes 'Krishna' (God).

(*The intellectual origin of Christos is also recognized by the ho1y Bible which describes the Messiah as a carpenter's son. Now, since a carpenter's work consists in cutting (analysis) and joining together (synthesis), he is as good a symbol for the intellectual faculty as any that can be thought of.) The same is the explanation of the teaching of the Svetambara sect of Jainas who hold that the last holy Tirthankara, Shri Vardhamana- Mahavira was, first conceived in the womb of a Brahman lady and thence transferred to that of Queen Trisala. The Brahman caste being noted for learning, the Brahman lady clearly becomes symbolical of intellect in whose womb the Tirthankara' (Godhood) is first conceived.


It will not be out of place here to point out the nature of the trouble, which is sure to arise from a concentration of mind on an erroneous, or fanciful, concept of the divine form. Since the intensity of concentration tends on to establish the soul-substance in the form of the object of contemplation, he who holds in his mind any ill-shaped misconceived or distorted image of divinity would be throwing his soul into a wrong mould, the impress of which it would not be an easy matter to destroy.


This is not all, for the requisite degree of the intensity of concentration also is not possible where the mind is liable to be stirred or moved in the wrong direction; hence the manifestation of Kevala Jnana is out of the question for those who fix their minds on Kudeva (false divinity). For instance, the act of contemplation of a dancing 'God' can only result in establishing the soul in a dancing attitude, which, the moment it becomes strongly marked, would interrupt all further concentration of mind in the right direction.