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THE PATH OF ARHAT

Justice T.U.Mehta

Lesya (Disposition)

The word ‘Lesya' can be explained as an aura around a human personality reflecting the innermost disposition which one undergoes at a relevant time as well as disposition itself. It is the mental disposition or feeling which influences the soul and gives facial and physical expressions. The whole human personally is shaped by the type of mental dispositions and inclinations which one undergoes and which are reflected principally on the face. This reflection of different types of dispositions or emotional states is a matter of common knowledge of almost everyone of us. When one gets very angry, or when one is engrossed in mournful state or when one gets emotionally thrilled by joy, the aura and the very look of his face changes and we can read his current mental state only from the features of his face. The predominance of a particular feeling or disposition -- good or bad -- shapes the whole human personality as well as his surrounding atmosphere and that is why we get a sense of peace and joy when we are in company of a good saint. So, in order to know the spiritual advancement of a particular person, the knowledge of the Lesya or dispositions emanating from his personality is a good guide. Almost all Yoga-systems including Patanjala and Bauddha systems have recognised this theory of Lesyas. Lesyas are of six types according to their colour. They are -- Krsna (Black), Neela (Blue), Kapota (Ash), ‘Pita' or ‘Tejolesya' (Orange-colour or like the colour of a rising sun), Padma (Golden-yellow) and Sukla (White or pure ). First three are called bad disposition as they result from the bad intention or inclination and last three are called as good dispositions (Lesyas) as they result from good intention or inclination. The worst Lesya is the black one and is suggestive of intensive emotions of different Kasayas. The second is of a lesser degree and the third is of still lesser degree. These degrees are of ascending order in last three Lesyas. The highest and the best type is Sukla which is achieved by those who are in the state of Sukla Dhyana (last stage of meditation).

The scriptures have explained the working of Lesyas in human life by giving the following illustration :

There were six friends who wanted to eat the fruits of a fruit tree. They went to the tree and saw that many unripe and ripe fruits were available - among ripe fruits many were hanging on the tree while many had fallen on the ground. All the six friends possessed six different types of the dispositions. The person who was possessed of Krisna Lesya (black disposition) proposed that the best way to enjoy the fruits was to pull down the whole tree and pluck all the ripe fruits. The other one who possessed ‘Neela Lesya' (Blue disposition) said that instead of destroying the whole tree, it would be better to cut off the main branches which possessed the fruits. The third one who possessed ‘Kapota Lesya' (Ash disposition) said it would be a waste to cut off the smaller branches which held the fruits. The fourth who possessed ‘Tejolesya' said even that would result in waste and so the better way to cut off only the bunches of hanging fruits and to take away ripe ones from these bunches. The fifth one who had ‘Padma Lesya' said, "brother, even by that method you would be wasting away the unripe fruits and hence the best way was to pluck only the ripe fruits from the tree. It, he said, would not matter if thereby they would be getting lesser number of ripe fruits. The last one who possessed ‘Sukla Lesya' said, "Brothers, I do not agree with any of you, because I find that there are enough ripe fruits already fallen on the ground why not collect them and satisfy your hunger. Thereby we save ourselves from causing any unnecessary harm to this useful tree."

All the six friends wanted to eat the fruits but the approach of each in achieving the object was different. We notice such different approaches in life to different problems and cause many avoidable social disturbances in achieving our objects. It is obvious from the above illustration that the person who is possessed of good Lesya has greater patience, higher reasoning faculty and due regard to the necessity of avoiding unnecessary injury to others. The most evident illustration of the working of these Lesyas is the ‘Gulf war'. It is obvious that this war is being fought for getting control over the oil bearing area of Kuwait. Iraqi rules became impatient and become ready to ‘pull down' the fruit tree and captured the whole of Kuwait by an overnight armed action. Those who were interested in Kuwaiti oil moved with a little moderation in the beginning by moving the UNO and imposing sanctions. They however lost patience and began to threaten war. Others who had higher type of Lesya advised still more moderation by considering alternatives to war. Ultimately the main contending parties could not restrain themselves and plunged the whole world into a nasty war and untold miseries to many innocent persons. These mad men of war are now in ‘Raudra-dhyana' and exhibiting ‘Krsna-lesya'. If we keep a constant watch over the Dhyanas and the Lesyas through which we are passing in our day to day life, we acquire a type of objectivity and consciousness which would save not only ourselves but the whole society from many problems. Thus the philosophical doctrines of Jainism, as of other religious systems, have a great social content and provide an effective answer to those socially oriented thinkers who believe that all attempts at spiritual upliftment are individualised and hence bereft of a social outlook. The basic drawback of this type of thinking is that it forgets to take into account the fundamental fact that each individual is the unit of the society and any attempt at social improvement without improving the component units, is a labour which is bound to fail. History possesses much evidence to prove this. The failures of the French and Russian revolutions, which were the creations of social thinking, are the best illustrations which prove this point.