PREKSHA DHYANA AND ANUVRAT
Q. In your last talk you said that preksha dhyana is the next stage of anuvrat.
It means that a preksha meditator must of necessity be an anuvrati. Is it
possible to practise preksha dhyana without first observing the rules of anuvrat?
Ans. A person who practises meditation in the preksha dhyana shivirs, is
required to take certain pledges. In order to assimilate what is offered at
these camps, it is absolutely necessary for a preksha meditator to have the
qualification of an anuvrati. One who wishes to practise meditation regularly
after the shivir, must also observe the anuvrat code of conduct. As preksha
meditation matures, the observance of the anuvrat code will become more and more
natural. As long as life is not pure and clean, one takes definite pledges to
observe anuvrats. After the necessary purification, however, one does not have
to take a pledge, anuvrat now becomes a part of one's being. The flowers of
preksha blossoming in a life purified by anuvrata are remarkably beautiful. In
keeping those flowers fresh and blooming forever, the indispensability of
anuvrat in the background of preksha cannot be denied.
Q. Just as the observance of anuvrat is necessary for the practice of preksha
meditation, is not preksha dhyana a requisite for the realisation of anuvrat in
Ans. Since anuvrat and preksha have been recognised as being complementary to
each other, how can an anuvrati make any progress towards his goal without
practising preksha dhyana? This question relates, not only to the present time,
but to the beginning of the anuvrat era. At that time, many intelligent people
asked, "We may accept the anuvrat pledges, but how do we realize them? How to
fulfil them?" The raising of such questions with regard to the taking of pledges
is not unnatural either, because sadhana is required to fulfil every pledge.
Such sadhana may bear fruit in a short time or one may have to wait for a long
time for success. However that may be, the necessity of deep commitment and
continuity of practice cannot be ignored. Constant practice matures early. From
this point of view, in order to make anuvrat a natural part of one's life, the
practice of preksha dhyana is very necessary. Sometime ago, Shri Ratan Lal
Joshi, the former Editor of Hindusthan, went to America and talked about anuvrat
there. Many Americans who found it interesting, said, "The anuvrat code of
conduct is quite good, very useful, but how about its practice?" In this
context, it becomes very clear that the practice is the chief factor in any talk
of sadhana. In the absence of practice, no sadhana can really mature. We must
never forget that practice is essential for the fulfilment of a pledge.
A total view of the undertaking of fasts or pledges, their observance and their
consummation reveals a great lack of understanding in the public mind as regards
the whole procedure. This is because a man, the moment he undertakes a fast,
wants to see its good results at once. As a matter of fact, the fast by itself
brings about, no transformation; it is not a magic spell which shows item effect
the moment one utters it. A man who takes a pledge, but makes no effort to
fulfil it, does no sadhana whatever. How will such a man ever taste its fruit?
It is as if a sick man should take the medicine but not the prescribed diet! How
can his treatment be effective? The medicine has the virtue of driving away the
illness, but without the prescribed diet, this virtue is rendered ineffective,
and with the intake of unwholesome food, it even turns destructive. With the
result that the medicine, instead of restoring one's health, might further
aggravate it. Likewise, in order to derive benefit from a resolution, one must
A man takes a vow that he would never utter an untruth. It is all very good, but
unless he removes all the causes that make him tell lies, how will his vow be
ever fulfilled? The chief factors behind the telling of an untruth are: anger,
greed, fear, and fun. Unless one attains freedom from these, the possibility of
uttering falsehoods cannot be obviated. A man takes a pledge never to indulge in
anger. But if all those tendencies which provoke wrathful passion are present in
him in strength, how will he abide by his pledge? The same is true of other vows
and pledges: It is a poor intelligence which expects immediate results following
the taking of a pledge, or loses all faith if no such results are forthcoming.
In my opinion, a pledge or a vow is merely the determination of a direction one
wishes to take. This gives an individual a sense of what is to be done and what
is to be avoided. This discrimination forms the initiative of an awakened
consciousness. But this alone is not sufficient for the fulfillment of the
pledge. The mere acceptance of a pledge does not, cannot, end the fickleness of
the mind. For the maturing of the vow requires the fire of practice. If someone
wants to cook food, boil the milk, or make something out of gold metal, he will
have to heat these materials on fire. Without the required heat, adequate
results would not be forthcoming. The practice of meditation is also like a
fire. It is on this fire that a man's mind matures. In a ripe mind alone does
resolution mature, and it is through mature resolution that transformation takes
place in life. Therefore, anuvrat and preksha meditation cannot be separated.
Preksha is necessary for anuvrat and anuvrat for preksha. Both are mutually made
for each other. To undo this connection is not in the interest of anyone.
Q. Anuvrat has a moral code of its own, which has been determined on the basis
of evils prevailing in all classes. Similiarly, has preksha dhyana, too, an
independent code? What is its basis?
Ans. If preksha needs a code of conduct, it is anuvrat itself. Because preksha
is a practical technique, it can only be acquired through practice. From this
viewpoint its practice is the realisation of every doctrine. One of the pledges
of anuvrat is---"I shall not consider any person untouchable." For the
realization of this pledge, a preksha sadhak will banish from his mind all
feeling of hatred. In order to completely end all malice, the feeling of hatred
subsisting in the inmost recesses of the mind will have to be annihilated.
Without such purging the pledge will not be fulfilled. The purging is done
through meditation. It is through meditation that the heterogeneous elements
accumulated in the mind are rooted out, its fickleness ended, meritorious deeds
evoked, concentration and abiding faith enhanced. As long as a man does not
achieve integration, cannot concentrate his mind upon one object, cannot control
the mind's restlessness, he will not be able to develop pure observation.
The whole point of the foregoing discussion is that preksha in itself is the
fruition of a moral code. Thus, no independent code of conduct has been
prescribed for it. Of course, while practising preksha dhyana, one is required
to be initiated. Initiation and its rules we shall discuss later. It is enough
to say here that if preksha dhyana has a code of conduct, it is: maintaining the
purity of the heart and the mind's concentration. Only those sadhaks who succeed
in creating this condition, can attain the higher stages of meditation.