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Jainism – a way of life

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JAIN WAY OF MEDITATION

IN JAINISM, meditation does not merely include contemplation associated with yoga. Here, meditation includes concentration or reflection on certain subjects.

Meditation may be either good or bad.

There are four types of meditations

(1) Sorrowful- This contemplation which is a state of lamentation and despair is to be avoided.

(2) Wrathful- this includes the feelings of envy, jealousy and anger.

After abandoning the above two types of contemplation, one has to become determined to forge ahead and walk the path of righteousness.

The third and fourth contemplation helps to achieve that goal:-

(3) Righteous and religious thoughts.

(4) Spiritual meditation.

Spiritual meditation is the highest state. The original word used in scriptures is shukla meditation. The term shukla is difficult to translate, as it could mean white and or bright in simple terms (for example, when the luminosity of the moon increases for the first two weeks of every lunar- month, this is called shukla or bright-half). It can also mean elevation to the highest state achieved in meditation. This is the nearest definition to the state of trance described in the Pātanjali system of Hindu-yoga.

The last two (righteous and spiritual) contemplations lead to emancipation.

Omniscience is attained when deluding, knowledge-obscuring, faith-obscuring and all obstructive karmas are destroyed.

After the elimination or destruction of all karmas, the soul goes straight to the top of the loka (space occupied by the cosmos) and rests in eternal bliss.

To know oneself it is essential to look within, to look within it is necessary to control the mind. To control the mind it is necessary to control the desire. So the process of discipline would run as follows:

Control of desire and Control of the mind leading to insight into oneself.

From Towards Inner Harmony by Achārya Mahāprajna

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