Jain World
Sub-Categories of Science of Living (Jeevan Vigyan)

Science of Living (Jeevan Vigyan) -  Introduction

Problems of Modern Life-Style
Dynamics of Attitude
Main steps in Practical Training
Value-education through Anupreksha and Bhavana
Balanced System of Education
Four aspects of the Science of Living
The Science of Living :Its Basis and Process
The Problem of Education
Why Teach The Science of Living ?
The Development of an Independent Personality
Education and the Problem of the Mind
The Science of Living and Experiments in Intuition
The Science of Living & the building of a New Generation
The Science of Living and Social Life
The Science of Living: A New Dimension of Education
A Retrospect

Chapter-12 : by Acharya Mahapragya

Jain Vishva Bharati


The Development of An Independent Personality

For someone to be independent, it is necessary that he be able to discriminate between a right demand and a wrong demand and thus accept the former and reject the latter. The power of discrimination and of rejection lies at the root of the development of an independent personality.

One can thus preach : reject the demands made by the senses and by attitudes and desires.

But the question is whether mere preaching and sermonizing of this kind can achieve the desired results. Can the students really develop the power to reject by merely being preached to do so? Here it is important to note that theoretical knowledge and understanding by itself are not capable of giving a man the necessary power to translate them into action. The teachers of spirituality have laid the greatest emphasis on the development of the vital energy or the life-force. When this energy, this force is developed, all other powers become automatically activated.

Ecological pollution has literally poisoned the atmosphere and men do not often get adequate life-sustaining oxygen to breathe. Furthermore, for awakening the life-force we need full and long breath. We breathe inadequately and this further reduces the quantity of oxygen inhaled by the lungs. The result is we are unable to get rid of all the toxicity accumulated in the system.

In the initial stages one may experiment with mere breathing, but later on one has to learn how to draw the life-force from every part of the body. One has to lie down in the relaxed posture of kayotsarg and start breathing intently. One has then to start drawing the life-force from the entire body by actually experiencing that every cell of the body is taking part in the process of breathing. By so doing, sensitivity will be awakened in every pore of the body and the entire organism will become inundated with the life-force.

There are three important centres from the point of view of such spiritual practice and experimentation :

1. Prana Kendra (the centre of the life-force), which is the nasagra, or the tip of the nose.

2. Darshan Kendra (the centre of intuition), which is at the middle point between the eyebrows.

3. Jyoti Kendra (the centre of controlling and disciplining one's temperament and nature), which is in the middle of the forehead.

The first thing is the development of vital energy or the life-force. For this it is necessary to concentrate for prolonged periods on the Prana Kendra, i.e. the tip of the nose.

Finally, we come to discuss the development of discipline. As mentioned earlier, the seat of control is situated in the middle of the forehead - what we called the Jyoti Kendra. Of all things, this needs concentrating upon most. Even physiological science recognizes the crucial importance of the pituitary, the pineal, and the hypothalamus in controlling and governing our entire personality. The Darshan Kendra develops intuition, the Jyoti Kendra develops all behavioural traits, and the front brain controls body temperature. The master controller or governor is the hypothalamus which controls even the pineal, which, in turn, controls the pituitary.

It is only after these three developments take place - of the vital energy or life-force, of intuition, and of discipline - that an independent personality is developed. A man who is tied down to animal or biological urges and drives can never be independent. Only practice of spirituality and meditation in the sense explained above leads to the awakening of intuition and once that happens, all ties, all bonds to animal passions loosen automatically.