Dhyana and Lesya occupy very prominent place in Jaina
thinking. The Jaina approach to Dhyana is purely psychological. It is
understood by Jainas in its very comprehensive sense, namely, the
engagement of the mind in a particular thought. Human mind never remains
empty even for a moment. It remains constantly engaged, thinking of good
or bad things whether necessary or not, and whether they are of our
immediate concern or not. The Jaina thinkers have taken account of this
fact, and have analysed the condition of human mind into four categories,
namely -- 1. Artta Dhyana, 2. Raudra Dhyana, 3. Dharma Dhyana and 4. Sukla
Dhyana. The first two are inauspicious and the latter two are auspicious.
These four categories cover all the conditions of mind. The first two,
being the cause the cause of the worldly transmigration, are evil-dhyana
while Dharma and Sukla lead to liberation and are noble-dhyana.
(1) Artta Dhyana - ï¿½Artta' means pain. When our
painful experiences catch hold of our mental condition we are undergoing
the state of Artta Dhyana. There are four broad classifications of this
type of Dhyana as follows --
(i) Anista-samyoga, i.e., when we are put in the
circumstances which we do not consider good for us.
(ii) Ista-viyoga, i.e., when we are deprived of good
and congenial circumstances.
(iii) Roga-cinta, i.e., when we are worried of physical
disease or pain.
(iv) Nidana, i.e. when we worry to attain an objective
which is difficult to obtain.
In all these four conditions we remain worried and feel
unhappy and our mind remains engaged with the painful ideas about the
(2) Raudra Dhyana - ï¿½Raudra' means cruel, harsh.
When the mind is either full of anger, hatred, malice and violence or is
scheming evil designs, we are passing through Raudra Dhyana. When we are
in this condition we enjoy the activities which are immoral. All mental
activities to grab power and wealth, sexual enjoyment and anti-social acts
fall within this classification.
(i) The first type of Raudra dhyana called ï¿½himsanandi',
means taking delight in killing, crushing or destroying the living beings
either by self or through other. It includes skill in violent actions.
(ii) Mrsanandi Raudra dhyana includes falsehood,
composing deceptive literature for one's own pleasure, collecting wealth
by deceit and deceiving the simple-minded.
(iii) Cauryanandi Raudra dhyana includes not only the
act of theft but also preaching dexterity in theft.
(iv) Visayanandi Raudra dhyana includes desire to take
possession of all good things of the world and thinking of fighting
ferociously for attainment of the objects of enjoyment.
Both the above referred dhyanas are spiritually
degrading the self. Most of us remain permanently engaged in these two
Dhyanas with the result that we are not able to make any progress
spiritually. Next two Dhyanas are of the superior variety and help us to
progress further in our journey to freedom.
(3) Dharma Dhyana - The word ï¿½Dharma' is used in
Jaina terminology in a sense wider than ï¿½religion'. What is ï¿½Dharma'?
Answer is ï¿½Vatthu Sahavo Dhammo', i.e., the intrinsic nature of a thing is
its ï¿½Dharma'. So long as a thing remains within the limits of its
intrinsic nature, and does not transgress these limits, it remains within
its own ï¿½Dharma'. Life's problems arise when we transgress these limits
and encroach upon the foreign fields. Working on these principles, it the
ï¿½Jiva', i.e., the self, forgetting its own intrinsic nature, tries to
encroach upon the field of ï¿½Ajiva', it invites trouble. But if it
concentrates its attention on its own self, tries to analyse its nature
and focuses its activities on its upliftment, it enters into the field of
ï¿½Dharma Dhyana'. Thus if we fix our attention and activities in studying
the views expressed by enlightened souls, and try to find out how far we
can put these views in actual practice, it would be a type of Dharma
Dhyana which is called ï¿½Ajnana-vacaya'. When we contemplate how the true
character of the self is clouded by its contact with kasayas such as
anger, pride, etc., and how the self can be made free from this contact,
we are in ï¿½Apayavicaya' Dharma dhyana. When we think how the accumulated
karmas can be shed, we are in the Dharma-dhyana which is called, ï¿½Vipaka-vicaya'.
When we contemplate about the nature of this universe (Loka) and its
functioning, it is called ï¿½Loka-samsthana-vicaya' Dharma Dhyana.
Dharma Dhyana takes our mind away from Artta and Raudra
which are degrading the spirit and which result only in earning further
karmas which bind the spirit. Dharma-dhyana not only takes us to the field
of metaphysics and logic, but also constitutes the best type of Satsanga
as it engages our mind in closet company with the great seers who have
realized the Truth.
Sukla Dhyana - ï¿½Sukla' means ï¿½white or pure'.
This is the highest type of meditation where in the karmic bondages are
made free and the soul remains totally engrossed in itself only. Seers say
that it is not possible to give complete idea of this type of meditation
as the bliss which one experiences by it is beyond description. However
they have classified this type of meditation into four categories - (i)
Prthakatva-vitarka-savicara, (ii) Ekatva-vitarka-vicara, (iii)
Suksma-kriya-pratipatti, (iv) Samucchinna-kriya-nivrtti or
Vyuparata-kriya-nivrtti. These are different stages of advancement in
meditation. In the first one the mind contemplates the different modes of
the self and the forces of Pudgala and analyses them. Since the mind is
moving from one idea to the other, it is called ï¿½Prthakatva' and ï¿½Vitarka'.
This process goes on but during the process this movement in the thinking
the concentration is only on finding out the true character of the self,
and therefore the whole process tends to make the mind steady.
After it becomes steady it concentrates only on one
object namely the self. This is the second stage of ï¿½Ekatva-vitarka'. When
the mind becomes thus steady, complete peace and bliss prevails because at
that stage all the bondages of kasayas get destroyed and there is nothing
which would disturb its steadiness and peace. The mind, remaining peaceful
and steady in this manner, reaches the stage of ï¿½Kevala-jnana' pure
In the third stage there is only a nominal though
subtle connection with body and when even that is broken the final stage
of the state of a ï¿½Siddha' comes which is a bodiless existence of the soul
possessing all knowledge and all bliss.
This is how the great masters have described the
process of meditation. An ordinary human being is roaming between first
three categories of meditation. It is considered that the last one is very
difficult of being achieved and it involves the entire process of
spiritual progress which we have already described while discussing
What is the type of bliss which one achieves in Sukla
dhyana ? We cannot describe the same, but Acarya Hemacandra, a great
master in Yoga, says as under in his famous work ï¿½Yoga-sastra'
Moksostu mastu yadi va paramanandastu vedayte sa khalu.
Yasminnikhila sukhani pratibhasante na kincidiva.
"Whether salvation is there or not, the absolute Bliss
which is experienced (in Sukla-dhyana) cannot be surpasses in the least by
all pleasurable thing of the universe."