Blossoming of Virtue from Simplicity
Sadhana (spiritual practice) today has reduced to a mere wrap. Donning the attire of ‘samayik’ (a kind of vow) cannot be equated with the ‘samayik’ worship as such— likewise, putting on the mantle of sadhu (saint) does not by any means constitute saintly life. However, immersing oneself in worship, engaging in conduct defined by satya-ahimsa (truth and non-violence) is sadhana (spiritual discipline). One wearing the robe of a sadhu, and keeping engrossed in mundane affairs is not in fact a sadhu. Where maya-chhal-prapanch (delusion, deception, and worldliness) predominate, the manifestation or blossoming of virtue is not possible. Just as appropriate ground is necessary for seeds to sprout, likewise for virtues to flower there has to be simplicity in life. Simplicity defines everything.
The Three Jewels of Speech
Three points are to be borne in mind when saying something. The utterance must be made with self-confidence, in a calm manner, and backed by patient analysis. Such utterance creates an effect on others. Else, if self-confidence is wanting, and the speech is provocative, even truth would not register as trustworthy.
Over the three days, 19, 20 and 21 July 1996, floodgates of Acharya Bhagwan’s remembrances opened. Wondered why the sea of memories was being churned into the highest tide. The heart was filled with sadness. The mind was losing itself in glimpses. The heart felt as though the Acharya Bhagwan was in close proximity. It felt as though I was seated at the feet of Acharya Pravar. Such recollections were my earliest experiences during this travel
Charity or Trickery
‘Wealth given away in charity never diminishes’ —while pondering over this verse (or, maxim), it seemed to me that the donor gets exalted to the rank of deity. The primacy of charity is determined on the basis of eligibility. ‘Supatradaan’ ‘abhaydaan’ (freedom from fear) is the highest kind of charity. Charity made to ‘shravak’ and ‘samyagdrishti’ belongs to the medium category. Charity that is laced with some kind of manoeuvre, like when the donor bargains that the sum donated would be predicated on whether his name -plate appears on a building, a hall, a room, is no charity, as the spirit of charity becomes secondary, and the manoevuring for fame takes the pride of place. As such, the donor rises to the status of ‘devata’ (or, god), and descends to ‘danav’ (or, demon) when a string is attached to the act of giving.
Pravahpati Awastha (A State of Drift)
Man is pulverized between the rock of desire and the hard place of passion. His own identity is nearly fading away. The stream of humanity does not gush forth from his stone of a heart. Where would this state of affairs lead to? What consequences might follow? Having turned his face away from this, man supposes that joy lies in drifting with the flow. This is no happiness, just the inkling of it. Hence, this phantom deer of seeming joy has made him lose his senses. Oh man, just turn over, being inert like a corpse and drifting with the current is not your nature.
Self-entering self– Simplicity
One’s innate disposition is the identity of ‘dharma’. Removed from one’s nature, no sooner is one drawn to ‘another’, than distortion of self-sets in. When the self aspires for ‘another’, that aspiration is akin to a desire for happiness, but what comes to pass is quite the contrary, it is not joy but sorrow that is encountered. Hence, one who strays from his ‘dharma’, cuts loose from it, becomes a prey to distortions, and is ridden with stress. Hence, the ‘aradhana’ (or, worship) of ‘dharma’ means Self entering Self. simplicity will always define you to the right path and right people.
What should the Attitude of Obeisance be?- Simplicity
When we perform ‘Namo Arihantanam’, the obeisance is not so much for the Arihants as for oneself. Because the result thereof accrues to us. Arihant is for namesakes. Our bowing should be in the direction of Arihants and towards them. So that their qualities might be internalized by us. Just as, in drawing water from a well, the bucket has to be made to lean towards the water, so also while reciting ‘Namo Arihantanam’ our mental, vocal and corporeal state along with our attitude should be fully inclined towards imbibing the qualities of the Arihants. Only then does that obeisance succeed in annihilating sins. Be simple with your attitude.
Pratigya Kavach (The vow as Shield)
O dear one, the teeth are hard, they grind to chew, but are denied taste of the substance. On the other hand, the tongue is soft, does not labour much, but relishes the taste. Why so? O dear one, ‘pratigya sutra’ is like the teeth. It takes exertion to observe it, it calls for human effort. But the joy it begets, is savoured not by the’sutra’ but by the soul. The safety shield of the hard teeth of vow ensures the softness, the easiness of the tongue of soul, thereby achieving its protection. Hence, ‘pratigya kavach’ ought to be accepted.
The Inner ‘Havala’ (Illegal transaction in foreign currency)
It is heard these days that ‘havala’ has hollowed out the nation. This may indeed be true, in a manner of speaking. Let us ponder over how many ‘havala’ deals we have done. How many such ‘havala’ rackets our mind, our speech and our body has enacted, thereby inflicting pain on the soul. Thereby wearing out the soul, torturing it. Hence, it is better to be aware of the ‘havala’ rackets perpetrated within us, rather than focusing on the ‘havala’ scams outside. Besides, it is expected that every member needs to be vigilant that such ‘havala’ misdeeds do not occur within the ken of ‘Nirgranth Shraman Sanskriti’ (referring to Jain culture, characterized by religious mendicancy and non-possession).
Sva-saapeksh Abhaydaan (Freedom from Fear Relative to Self)
Of all forms of charity, ‘abhaydaan’ holds the pride of place. Saving the life of a dying creature, or even non-killing, is not the sole import of ‘abhaydaan’. The reason is, if you have a stockpile of explosives, how can you inspire fearlessness in others—one who is not free from fear himself cannot instill fearlessness in others. Also, we cannot impart others what we ourselves are wanting in. The poet Anandghan has said, “Temal Kshay Karuna”. Abhaydaan is that which arises from the obliteration of the grime of karma. By wiping out the stain of karma, we render our soul fear-free. Now that is ‘abhay’. Hence, the meaning of ‘abhay’ as being relative, not to others, but to oneself, is more justified.
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