can enter meditation by repeating a mantrum. However, to do its work, a
mantrum calls for our pondering the full scope of its meaning and its
application in our daily living. It requires the entire struggle of
life behind it.
We will enter meditation by pondering the univesal mantrum “Namo
Arihantanam.” “Namo Arihantanam’ means “I bow before those who have
conquered their inner enemies, in order to conquer my inner enemies.”
is no name of a particular god or saint or apostle, or any
representation of race or nation or culture in this evocation; it is all
species inclusive. We all have inner enemies. The enlightened are
those who have recognized and overcome their inner enemies, and thereby
have been enabled to reach the state of perfection. I define perfection
as the state of anyone who is bringing his potentiality for creativity
in full bloom.
build the good life, and to help turn this earth from a battlefield into
a garden, all of us have to overcome our inner enemies. But inner
enemies are not easy to recognize! Hitler, blind to his inner enemies,
idealized his sadistic power drive as the instrument for achieving a
victory that would last a thousand years. Did those who sanctioned
inquisitions and burned people, calling them witches, recognize their
own inner enemies? They projected their fear and violence on the people
our inner enemies seem to operate in pairs. We are afraid to recognize
some weakness or malice in ourselves and project it outward onto
others. If we are afraid to assert ourselves, to become ourselves, we
listen to inner culprits telling us to settle for the security of the
familiar instead of taking the risk of advancing into the dimension of
the unknown. Or we may fill our emptiness with a “something that is
better than nothing,” that is, by indulging in alcohol, drugs, rituals,
and daydreams. The leader of our band of inner enemies is always
assuring us there is no means for us to live in any other way! How
expertly we disguise, idealize, and rationalize our inner enemies!
twenty-five hundred years ago, Mahavir told us to know and overcome our
inner enemies. He also said, “Ekam jane savvam jane.” _ “He who knows
one knows all.” After that, in ancient Greece, Socrates advised, “Know
thyself,” He and other sages have insisted, “Know the truth, and the
truth shall set you free,” They recognized that the root of evil is
ignorance. Today, psychology and psychiatry are developing a science of
self-knowledge of which the seers have had foresight for over
Several Years ago a young man came to America from Germany. His father
was a rabbi who was obsessed with the idea of virtue and tried to pound
his own ideas into his son. He often severely punished the boy for
failing to live up to his rigid standards. Ultimately this boy field
from his home and family, fell in with people who used dugs. And became
an addict. Next he became a thief in order to find the money to pay for
his drugs. Finally, he was arrested and spent six months in prison.
When he came out he met some people who were doing yoga, and under their
influence he became an ardent student for the next six or seven months.
But then he relapsed.
evening he came to one of my talks, and later he came to see me. He
told me about his background and then he said, “I Know Yoga. I do the
postures, pranayama breathing, and I meditate. But my old habits are
defeating me. Yet I heard you speak, something that wishes to overcome
welled up in me.”
my friends, is a common picture. We fall into a condition in which
there is a civil war raging inside of us. There is conflict_even in the
truly gentleman’s heart; even in a good person’s life, there is
something which will try to drag him down. Once he gives up, he becomes
weaker and weaker. It is like someone missing the top step on a
staircase and tumbling backward, he picks up momentum as he umbles
down. But good company and the words of a teacher can inspire us to
asked this young man, “Why do you get this temptation?” He told me, “My
father was so cruel and harsh with me that ultimately he disgusted me.
His intentions were all right. He wanted me to be good and pious, but
his methods were brutal. Now I have lost faith in my father, in the
clergy, and in the teaching of my religion. So I turn to drugs to dull
the pain.” Perhaps he was trying also to defeat his father for having
been so cruel to him. I said to him.”
response to a certain environment, a child devises a response that
becomes habitual. And then the habit forms a character. And then the
habit forms a character. And the character tends to form a destiny.
Even though habitual attitudes feel comfortable, we become their
prisoners. They persist even after the responsive environment to which
they were formed has been left behind. Therefore, parents who would
improve their children must first improve themselves. They should
reform themselves for the well-being of their children, if for nothing
the wish to overcome inner enemies wells up, some people go to
psychiatrists or other professionally trained people. However, the
number of psychiatrists and professionally trained people in the world
is limited. Also, unfortunately, many professional people become
hypnotized by the ego-centrism of society today. If we have faith in
ourselves, I think many of us can recognize and overcome our inner
enemies; but we have to focus on the search for them.
know yourself, scrutinize deeply and carefully. Listen to where the
words come from when you speak. Observe the consequences of your
thoughts, attitudes, actions. Do not suppress thoughts and feelings,
but observe, discover and examine. What is the cause of hiding? What is
behind the anger? What is behind the self defeat? What is behind the
emptiness? . . . . Beauty is within, but something is in the way.
deep introspection, one needs a peaceful atmosphere. It is only moments
of our utter tranquility that one can see what lies buried deep within.
In our daily lives there are so many distractions, so many pressures and
worries! Even the man who seems most prosperous in the worldly sense
is not free from these pressures. On the contrary, the more he
concentrates on the means to material prosperity, the greater the
tension and worries. Souch a man does not have a moment of peace even
for a meal; thus how can he have the time and calm state of mind so
necessary for introspection? This is why for all of us meditation is
as we concentrate on Namo Arihantanum, Overcoming our inner enemies, at
first we may find it painful. There is no instant enlightenment, no
instant lasting freedom form inner enemies. We are accustomed to
instant everything-instant coffee, instant light, instant water, instant
photographs; and we want instant enlightenment. If you plant a seed,
you will not instantly get a tree!
out what is the shadow blocking the light. If you are not ready to open
the door, the sun won’t open it for you.
meditate, we will open the door. . .. . Our essence will separate from
our iner enemies. Our inner enemies will go, and our essence will
shine, radiate.. . . . . We will be free. . . . .
us concentrate on the process of becoming free by recognizing and
overcoming our inner enemies.