Jain Religion is, infact, the way of leading the real fruitful life. Daily routines of a house-holder and a saint have been settled in such a way here that every moment of life is utilized for the upliftment of self and all other creatures. Although Jain norms lead the person for self-elevation on the first hand but they encompass the benefits of the whole creature-world.
Meditation or Dhyan is the word, which is commonly used in the intellectual world. However, by the standpoint of Jain-Agam, it should be understood in totality because consciousness is the quality of soul and this consciousness or Upyog can lead the soul to the liberation or to the worldly transmigration.
As far as the life-schedule of a Jain Muni or Aryika Mataji is concerned, he or she has to follow 12 types of austerities-6 external & 6 internal. The names of six external austerities are-Anshan (Fasting), Avamaudarya (Under-eating), Vratparisankhyan (Mental vow for Accepting Food), Ras-parityag (Renunciation of Taste), Vivikta Shaiyasan (segregated sleeping & seating) and Kaya-Klesh (physical mortification).
The six internal austerities are-Prayaschit (Penitence), Vinaya (Reverence), Vaiyavritya (Pious Respectful service to Jain Sadhus), Swadhyaya (Self-study), Vyutsarg (Renunciation) and Dhyan (Meditation).
Though these austerities are prominently undertaken by the saints, but they are also
partially undertaken by the votaries as per their capacity.
Thus we know that the meditation is the last variety of the six internal austerities among their twelve varieties. The saints shed off or destroy their karmas by the practice and force of meditation.
Definition of Meditation
The Meditation is defined as the concentration of mental propensity on a particular object. It is only the person with the best of physical structure who can undertake it for an Antarmuhörta time (app. 48 min.).2
There are four kinds of meditation in Jain Granthas :
(1) Àrta DhyÂna (Sorrowful),
(2) Raudra DhyÂna(Angeral or Cruel)
(3) Dharma DhyÂna(Virtuous / Righteous / Nature of Reality-based Meditation)
(4) êukla DhyÂna (Purest Meditation of Soul)
Out of these four, the first two lead to the weary world while the last two lead to liberation.
1. Arta DhyÂna (The Sorrowful Meditation) : The sorrowful meditation may also be called pain-caused meditation. It has four varieties :
(i) Eîta-Viyogaja (Desirable seperation-based meditation) : The desirable seperation-based meditation is to concentrate over the ways how to acquire the lost or seperated entities like wife, son and riches etc.
(ii) Aniîta-Sanyogaja (Undesirable contact-based meditation) : The undesirable contact-based meditation is to think or concentrate over the ways how to remove the undesirable contacts of poison, thorn, enemies and weapons etc.
(iii) VedanÂjanya (Physical pain-based meditation) : The physical pain-based meditation is to concentrate or think over the ways how to remove the pains due to physical pains of gout and rheumatism etc.
(iv) NidÂnaja (Future desire-based meditation) : The future desire-based meditation is to concentrate over the methods how to attain or fulfill the future desires for pleasure and for achieving the object which has been tormenting.
2. Raudra DhyÂna (Angeral or Cruel Meditation) : The angeral meditation is the concentration of mind caused due to angeral volitions. It is related with violence, falsity, stealing and possessions. It has also four varieties on the basis of these factors.
(i) HinsÂnanda-The thinking and feeling of pleasure in violence or inflictions of injuries is the cruel meditation of violence-based pleasure.
(ii) MçîÂnanda-The thinking and feeling of pleasure in speaking false is the cruel
meditation of falsity pleasure.
(iii) CauryÂnanda-The feeling of pleasure in stealing or taking away not-given is the cruel meditation of stealth pleasure.
(iv) ParigrahÂnanda-The thinking and feeling of pleasure in safeguarding the possessions is the cruel meditation of possession-pleasure.
3. Dharma DhyÂna (Virtuous or Righteous Meditation or Meditation on the Nature of Realities) : The virtuous meditation is defined as the concentration of mind on the nature of realities for detachment from the world, body and sensualism and for the volitional stability of detachment. It has also four varieties on the basis of four objects of contemplation:
(i) ÀjnÂvicaya (Contemplation on the subject matter of scriptures) : The righteous meditation of contemplation on the subject matter of scriptures is to believe even in the fine entities on the basis of the authority of scriptures composed by the omniscients assuming that the Jinas are not speaking otherwise.
(ii) ApÂyavicaya (Contemplation on alleviation of worldly troubles or wrong doctrines): The righteous meditation of contemplation on alleviation of worldly troubles is to think over the ways how the wrong-faithed people can move towards right path or how to remove the worldly calamities.
(iii) VipÂkavicaya (Contemplation on karmic fruition) : The righteous meditation of contemplation on karmic fruition is to constantly think over the fruition of karmas with respect to substantivity, location, time, birth state and volition state.
(iv) SansthÂnavicaya (Contemplation on universe-structure) : The righteous meditation of contemplation on the universe-structure is to constantly think over the shape, size and nature of the universe.
In some texts, the righteous meditation is stated to be ten-fold.3 They are as below :
(1) Contemplation on worldly calamities (ApÂyavicaya).
(2) Contemplation on methods of alleviation of worldly calamities (UpÂyavicaya).
(3) Contemplation on karmic fruition (VipÂkavicaya).
(4) Contemplation on detachment (VirÂgavicaya).
(5) Contemplation on the nature of the universe (Lokavicaya).
(6) Contemplation on the current birth state (Bhavavicaya).
(7) Contemplation on the living being (JÍvavicaya).
(8) Contemplation on the subject matter of scriptures (ÀjnÂvicaya).
(9) Contemplation on the structure of the universe (SansthÂnavicaya).
(10) Contemplation on the transmigratory world (SansÂravicaya).
In general, the saints are the meditators on the righeous meditations.4 However, the non-restrained right-faithed and partially restrained beings can also have the above types of righteous meditations.
There are four kinds of righteous meditation on the structure of the universe.5
(1) Pindastha (Meditation on particular mass or object).
(2) Padastha (Meditation on chants-Syllables)
(3) Röpastha (Meditation on Jina image or form).
(4) RöpÂtÍta (Meditation on object devoid-of-form).
(1) Meditation on Particular Object (Pindastha DhyÂna) : Five conceptions (DhÂraàÂs) have been described for the meditation on particular object. The meditator saint becomes knower of the objects and destroys the transmigratory bondage of the world. The five conceptions are
(i) PÂrthivÍ (Terrestrial), (ii) ÀgneyÍ (Fiery), (iii) êvasanÂ (Airy), (iv) VÂruàÍ (Watery) and
(v) TattvaröpavatÍ (Pure soul based).
(i) PÂrthivÍ DhÂraàÂ (Terrestrial Conception) : In the first instance, the meditator should concentrate over the unwavy kîÍra-samudra (milky ocean) located in the middle universe (of the Jainas) spread over upto the Svayambhö-ramaàa ocean. He should, then, contemplate over a beautiful golden thousand petalled lotus of one lac Yojana width like JambödvÍpa in the middle of this ocean. There is a Meru-like yellow pericarp in the middle of the lotus which has a white throne over it. The meditator should contemplate over the blissful nature of soul assuming himself to be seated on it. He should contemplate there that the soul is trying to destroy all the karmas. (The meditator remains on solid ground in this conception).
(ii) ÀgneyÍ DhÂraàÂ (Fiery Conception) : After the practice of the first conception, the meditator moves on to the second conception stage. He should think that there is a lotus with sixteen long leaves in his navel. There are sixteen letters beginning from A...to Ah (DevanÂgarÍ alphabets) % v vk b bZ m Å _ _` y` y§ , ,s vks vkS va v% written in proper order on these leaves. There is the great incantation ‘rham’ ¼^g±*½ on the pericarp of the lotus. Then, he should think that there is a lotus situated in the heart facing downwards. It has eight petals. There are eight karmas situated on these petals-one on each. This eight-petalled lotus is being burnt gradually by the rising fire-flame from the ‘rham’ of the lotus in the heart. The fire burns the eight-petalled lotus and spreads outside in the form of triangular fire flame which is like the submarine fire. The external part of the triangle (of fire) has the seed-letter ‘ram’ ¼^ja*½ and is marked with the sign of Svastika (auspicious stylised four-armed symbol) at the end. The triangle has smokeless golden shine arising from the upper atmosphere. This fiery circle gets extinguished slowly due to the absence of any material to be burnt after reducing the body and the lotus situated in the heart to ashes.
(iii) êvasanÂ or VÂyavÍ DhÂraàÂ (Airy Conception) : Afterwards, the meditator conceives of the third stage. He thinks that there is fast-speedy devastating whirlwind, moving in the sky which carried away all the above ashes of the body etc. in a moment and got pacified.
(iv) VÂruàÍ DhÂraàÂ (Watery Conception) : The meditator moves on to the fourth conception. He conceives that there is a torrential rain by the cloudy circles associated with lightening and rainbow etc. This rain water washes away all the remaining ashes produced due to burning of the body.
(v) TattvaröpavatÍ DhÂraàÂ (Pure Soul based Conception) : In this fifth conception, the meditator conceives that he has become devoid of seven elements (DhÂtus) and has become possessed of luster as pure as full moon and as great as the omniscient assuming, “I am seated on a throne and I am worshipped by the deities and demons.” Thinking thus, the meditator should contemplate over himself that he has gone free of eight karmas and he has a shape like a man.
Thus, the meditator saint attains the bliss of liberation quickly while steadily practicing the righteous meditation on particular object.
(2) Righteous Meditation on Syllables (of Chants-Padastha dhyÂna) : The righteous meditation on syllables (of chants) is the concentration on Supreme soul with the help of syllables in the form of letters of many sacred incantations. It involves two kinds of concentrations-
(i) Contemplation on alphabets and (ii) Contemplation on incantations.
(i) Meditation on Alphabets (VaràamÂtrikÂ DhyÂna) : One should meditate on the alphabets (or mother of alphabets-goddess Saraswati, Varàa-mÂtçkÂ) which is popular in the eternal principles. It is practiced as follows :
The meditator should contemplate over the letters written in order from A to Ah (16, v&v%) each over the 16 leaves of the lotus situated in own navel. Afterwards, he should meditate on twenty five letters written in order on the lotus with twenty four leaves and pericarp. In other words, one should conceive twenty five letters written in order from ‘ka’ to ‘ma’ on the pericarped twenty four leaves of the lotus. The twenty five letters are ka, kha, ga, gha, ßa, ca, cha, ja, jha, áa, òa, òhÂ, Åa, Åha, àa, ta, thÂ, da, dha, na, pa, pha, ba, bha and ma. Afterwards, one should meditate on eight letters of ‘ya, ra, la, va, ía, îa, sa and ha’ while roaming over every part of the lotus, imagined inside the mouth & adorated with eight leaves. The meditator on the mother of alphabets or letters becomes scripture-proficient. Many diseases like T.B., leprosy, stomach-ache, cough, indigestion and others are alleviated by the practice of this meditation. He also accomplishes the supernatural power of speech and other powers.
(ii) Meditation on Incantations : Similarly, one should meditate on incantation like, “Aum ¼Å¡½, HrÍm ¼gzha½, etc.” in the lotus-like heart and forehead. By conceiving an eight-petalled lotus in the heart and writing ‘Ûamo ArahÂntaàam’ (Bowings to the Enlightened ones) on its pericarp and ‘Ûamo SiddhÂàam, Ûamo ÀiriyÂàam, Ûamo UvajjhÂyaàam, Ûamo Loye Savva-SÂhuàam’ in order on the four leaves in the four directions out of the eight leaves in eight directions. One should meditate on these incantations. And, then, he should conceive writing four incantations of ‘Samyak-daríanÂya namah, Samyak-jnÂnÂya namah, Samyak-cÂritrÂya namah, Samyak tapase namah’ on the four oblique-directing leaves and meditate on them. (The English meanings of the terms used in this meditation have already been given earlier).
Further, one should practice meditation on many incantations which leads the mind to be steady. It leads to earn excellent sacredness which results in shedding off all the evil karmas.
(3-4) Meditation on Object with Form and Devoid-of-form (Röpastha & RöpÂtÍta DhyÂnas) : In the meditation on object with form, the Supreme soul of the Enlightened one situated in the center of the holy assembly (Samavaíaraàa) is meditated upon. One should also learn the description of holy assembly from literature and meditate on the Englightened one accordingly.
In the meditation on object devoid-of-form, the meditator meditates upon the Supreme Soul of the Salvated - the supereme pure soul which is non-mattergic, non-born and sense-imperceptible. Afterwards, the meditator concentrates his mind on his own soul as pure, enlightened, unstained and unchangeable. He meditates upon his pure soul while thinking, “I am the omniscient, omni-pervading, and the salvated one etc.”
Thus, the meditator is absorbed in the self-soul by practicing on the object devoid-of-form, i.e. the salvated one and feels his power equivalent to Him and expressible like Him. Following this practice, he, may later, become the salvated Supreme Soul directly after destroying his karmas by himself.
4. êukla DhyÂna (The Purest or Absolute Meditation of Soul) : Just as the steady lamp quickly destroys the deep darkness, the steady righteous meditation of an ascetic also destroys the heap of the dirt of karmas quickly.
It is only those persons who are capable of making their mind as steady as required for the purest meditation, who have the first strongest bone-structure and have attained the position of the detached. In other words, it is only the saint with the best bone-structure who does not get wavered while realising the separatness of his body from his soul even under the state of piercing, cutting or killing his body. He stays steady like the image of the picture. Only this type of saint can be worthy of practicing the purest type of meditation.
Only that saint is worthy for practicing four types of pure meditations who have adamantine and nailed bone-joints (VajravriîabhanÂrÂca sanhanana), who knows the eleven primary canonical scriptures and fourteen pre-canons and who has a good moral conduct.
Definition of Pure Meditation : It is the meditation on the nature of pure self which is inert (with respect to passions), beyond sense-perception and devoid of any options like, “I should meditate on self”. There are four kinds of pure meditation :
(1) Pçthaktva vitarka (Pure meditation on Separate modes of Soul-based Scriptural knowledge)
(2) Ekatva vitarka (Pure meditation on Single mode of Soul-based Scriptural knowledge)
(3) Sökîma kriyÂpratipÂti (Pure meditation on Non-falling subtle activity)
(4) Vyuparata-kriyÂ-nivçtti (Meditation on Cessation of activity)
Out of these four, the first two pure meditations are practiced by the non-omniscient saints who are scriptural omniscients upto the twelfth spiritual stage of destroyed passions. The last two of the four pure meditations could be practiced by the omniscients only at the thirteenth and fourteenth spiritual stages.
(1) Pçthaktva Vitarka (Pure meditation on Separate Modes of Soul-based Scriptural Knowledge) : In this type of meditation, the meditator concentrates on different modes or aspects of soul-based scriptural knowledge (BhÂva êrutajnÂna) and shifts from one symbol to another. There is a transition of Artha (the object of concentration itself), Vyanjana (the verbal expression) and of Yoga i.e. in the vibratory activity with which the concentration is going on i.e. mind, speech or body during the meditation.
(2) Ekatva Vitarka (Pure meditation on Single Mode of Soul-based Scriptural Knowledge) : In this type of meditation, there is no transition of Artha, Vyanjana and Yoga. The meditation is steady on single mode of soul-based scriptural knowledge.
The first type of pure meditation leads to subsidence or destruction of the deluding karma. In the second type of pure meditation, the remaining three destructive karmas are destroyed in the twelfth spiritual stage.
These saints attain the omniscience illuminating the universe and non-universe after destroying the four destructive karmas through the second type of pure meditation and acquire nine super-attainments of omniscience. They become Supreme Soul. They are seated in the holy assembly, become Venerable and sermonise the religion for the liberatable beings and they undertake cessation of all activites in the end. Those Jinas do compulsorily undergo extrication (moving out of soul-space points, SamudghÂta) process who have attained omniscience when their life-span karma had to last for six months. However, those Jinas, who acquire omniscience when their life-span has to last for more than six months, may or may not have extrication.
(3) Sökîma KriyapratipÂti (Pure Meditation on Non-falling Subtle Activity) : When the life-span of the omniscient Venerable has to last for only an Antarmuhurta, his gross mental and vocal activities and even the gross physical activities also turn subtle. The subtle mental and vocal activities are absolutely stopped and the omniscient stays with subtle activities like breathing etc. which, however, do not lead to his spiritual fall below. The meditation on these non-falling subtle activities is called the third type of pure meditation.
(4) Vyuparata-KriyÂ-Nivçtti (Meditation on Cessation of Activity) : Afterwards, the Omniscient Saints become devoid of subtle physical activities and lastly become vibrationless (AyogÍ) omniscients in the fourteenth stage. In the last point of their life-span, they attain the stage of fourth type of pure meditation on cessation of all activities. During this state, seventy two karmic species are destroyed which is followed by the destruction of the remaining thirteen karmic species.
The duration of this fourteenth spiritual stage is equal to the time of pronunciation of short alphabets of a,i,u,ç,lç (^v b m _ y`*). Afterwards, the vibrationless omniscients destroy all the karmas and move towards the highest tip of the universe in a Samaya due to the nature of upwards moving of the pure soul.
There is no existence of the extensive medium of motion beyond the tip of the universe. Hence, they do not go beyond this point. They remain there forever.
The whole world pervaded by all the realities and modes in all the three times of present, past and future is illuminated like a clean mirror in the Sun of knowledge of the Lords of Saints - the Venerable Salvated Ones. May the Venerable Salvated Ones bestow us the bliss of salvation.
Presented by-Pragyashramni Aryika Chandnamati