Monday, May 21, 2012


I salute those who observe long fasts for eradication of karma. But Right Knowledge is essential before practicing fasts and other external austerities. Fast should be observed to attain stability in meditation and the aim should be eradication of karma, if it is not done for such goal then it is all futile.

So it is highly required to gain Right Knowledge from the right spiritual teacher about the Six Substances, Nine Fundamentals, Substance-Essence-Modifications, the Emergence-Destruction-Permanence nature of the substances and knowledge of difference between the self and non-self. The aim behind all penances and meditation should be to achieve non-alternative state of Upayoga, without which our path becomes just practical and further diverts to fame, physical welfare etc and that is not the path of liberation. If one has not known the true nature of the soul being knower-seer apart from the body then one’s practice becomes meaningless and it becomes responsible for the rise of pride, attachment, ego etc. The only solution is the practitioner has to move towards his/her real form, the pure soul.

Our entire practice should be to get rid of physical and mental attachments. The real path is the sum up of both Absolute (knowledge) and Practical (austerities). Practicing both helps the soul to eternal bliss, which is liberation. Fasts and such external austerities are important because it creates a base for the internal austerities. The high amount of karmic atoms eradicates by internal austerities only. That’s why the practitioner should do spiritual meditation during the periods of fasting and should try to be absorbed in his/her soul. Meditation is a must for self realization and the external austerities are practiced to create strong base for it. That is why the enlighten say, “the one practicing just external austerities eradicates the same amount of karma in billions of years which is eradicated in just few seconds by the person who is absorbed in spiritual meditation.” So it is essential to start austerities only after gaining right knowledge, not before that!     

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Perfect Vision

We are fooled by our senses. We see and believe whatever we perceive through the senses. To approach reality we need to purify our vision and the point of view to see the world as it is in real. In the pre-historic and ancient times some people tried to approach reality and they did. For that they did chose meditation and restrained all the five senses to realize their self. Shri Krishna has said that, “The enlightened is aware where the ignorant is sleeping, and the ignorant is aware where the enlightened is sleeping.” That does mean the enlightened has perfect vision and he is not aware where the ignorant is absorbed, the subject of five senses.

To understand reality we need to understand the nature of the cosmos. Everything in this cosmos has dual nature. I have written about the six eternal Substances earlier. Nobody has created them and nobody can destroy them. These are Soul, Matter, Motion, Rest, Space and Time. All are independent and none depends on another. If we see through senses then we realize that all depends on each other. We have identified our self as human body. Animals have identified their self as their present body, like cow, lion, monkey etc. But actually this body is the Matter, the second substance. We are the souls that is another substance which has no relation with matter and the rest of four substances. Even there is no relation between every soul. To get rid of this confusion we have to see through higher stand point. It is known as The Absolute Stand Point. From the Absolute Stand Point substances will appear as they are. But this is still not absolute reality. There is one more stand point called The Practical Stand Point. Whatever we see and believe right now comes into this stand point, like I am body, I born once and dies once; I can do others’ welfare and can hurt or kill others. Every substance can do other’s work also comes in this stand point. Both stand points are real.

Going deeper into thinking we find two more stand points called The Substantial Stand Point and The Modal Stand Point. To know them we need to know the nature of all substances. All the six substances are with attributes like, Substance, Essence and Modifications. A substance undergoes changes but still maintains its eternity and Essence. The change is called modifications and is seen through the Modal Stand Point (Paryayarthika Naya). The eternity and essence that remains same is seen through the Substantial Stand Point (Dravyayarthika Naya). This is strange nature of all substances. For example, when we light up a candle then we think that the fire has emerged and when we light it off we think that the fire is vanished. But actually it has not! Our observation was through the Modal Stand Point. From the Substantial Stand Point the fire is still there in the form of atoms. All was the scientific process. The atoms that went into process created fire still exist and they were existed before the fire emerged. In this case the atoms are seen through the Substantial Stand Point and the fire is seen through the Modal Stand Point. The atoms are substance (Pudgal according to Jain terminology) and the fire was their modification (Paryay).  Same thing can be observed in the soul substance. The pure soul (free from karma), which has no mass, no color, no taste, no smell; no touch is seen from the Substantial Stand Point. And the soul as seen from the Modal Stand Point appears to be in humans, animals, plants, insect etc forms.

Every substance has dual nature, Special and General. Both are present in a substance in all three times (past, present and future). The Special nature is their various modifications which are seen through the Modal Stand Point and the General nature is the basic substantive qualities that remain same, unchanged that can be seen through the Substantial Stand Point. The soul is the knower-seer and the rest of all substances have no consciousness so are called “Jรกda” in Jain terminology. The soul has two visions called general and special. Seeing through General vision we find all substances are eternal and unchanged. Seeing through Special vision we find all substances as always changing and momentary. The single vision is not perfect and is not taking an individual to ultimate realization. We can’t say that substances are only eternal. We can’t say that substances are only transitory. Such statement will be single faceted. The truth is multi faceted and can be expressed by integrating all stand points. So by just opening our single vision of consciousness we can’t approach reality. To approach the truth we have to open both visions together and such vision is called the perfect vision. If a pot made of clay breaks then the one who has perfect vision will say the pot is broken as well as it is not.

If observing all souls in this cosmos by opening the substantial vision what will we see? We will see all souls alike (by qualities). And what will we see if we close the substantial vision and open the modal vision? We will see all souls in various forms like plants, humans, animals, insect, and microorganism and so on, because all the souls are absorbed in their present modification. Now what will we see by opening both eyes together? We will see the souls’ both General and Special forms together. For example, I am the pure soul but I am right now absorbed in my human modification. Human modification comes from within but this human body is not mine. In my perfect vision I see that modifications and my soul (the substance) are united. The modifications are infinite but all comes from within (my own soul substance). Right now, in present birth I am in human modification. In the next birth I will be in other modification but my soul substance will remain unchanged.  Same thing can be observed in the non living substances like Matter, Medium of Motion, Medium of Rest, Space and Time. Attachment and aversion arise because of our orientation towards modifications only. Thus we have divided people, places into so many relations and names. We say, my father, my son, my mother, my wife, my home, my country and thus we becomes attached to them and whenever we depart from them we feel with aversion. Thus we further accumulate karma particles and keep wandering in the mundane world. Adopting the perfect vision we can easily get rid of attachment and aversion and can progress in spiritual meditation.