THE PROGRAMME OF PREKSHA
Q. Anuvrat has its own comprehensive programme. The work accomplished through it
in the direction of change of values has been unique. Has any such programme
been formulated for preksha dhyana? If yes, what type of programme is it?
Ans. Preksha has no programme It is beyond programmes. It is an art of
renouncing all activity. The greater the activity, the lesser preksha. To
understand preksha, one must know what non-action means. Generally, a man is
absorbed in some activity or the other. Over-activity results in the dissipation
of energy. Because of the loss of energy a man cannot fully utilize his
capabilities. Whatever capacity is utilized is mostly exhausted in mundanities.
This makes a man extraversive.
There are three sources of activity---the mind, the speech and the body. A man
thinks too much, speaks too much, and moves too much. That is the schedule of
all worldly activity. If preksha has a goal, it is to moderate worldly pursuits;
to think less, to speak less, to restrict the movement of the body as much as
possible. That is, non-thinking non-speaking and keeping the body
motionless---that may be said to be the programme of preksha. In order to fulfil
it, one has to abjure other activities. The consummation of such a programme of
non-activity is religion and spirituality.
We accept religion as the truth which gives us something extra. If religion gave
us merely that which is got through the acquisition of material, goods, it would
cease to have any special utility. Religion gives us that which material objects
do not, cannot give. Therefore the contribution of religion is a special one.
Engaging in mundane activity is a part of the nature of a living being.
Normally, no living being can survive without indulging in some form of mundane
activity. However, there is nothing remarkable about the gains to be got from
worldly pursuits; whereas what the renunciation of thought, speech and action
gives us, is something unique.
The fundamental objective of preksha dhyana is the practice of three-fold
steadiness (trigupti). Trigupti means renunciation of three-fold activity. The
mind, the speech and the body are the means of worldly activity. In order to
negate worldly pursuits, it is necessary to understand these. Because unless a
phenomenon is properly understood, its goodness or badness cannot be
ascertained. Knowledge available to man through the mind, speech and the body is
limited to the physiological or the psychological sphere, but it is not capable
of touching the farther levels. Those whose understanding is based upon these
two disciplines, know very little about the mind from the spiritual point of
view. As in the case of the mind, spiritual views about speech and the body are
also quite different.
Q. You just said that the physiological and psychological points of view as
regards the mind, the speech and the body are very superficial, whereas their
spiritual analysis is profound. Hitherto, I believed that spirituality related
to the soul alone. But according to the new vision projected by you, what are
the points to be kept in mind for understanding the spiritual aspects of the
mind, the speech and the body?
Ans. The mind has two levels---conscious and unconscious. If the mind is awake,
its spiritual understanding offers no special difficulty. Because awareness is
in itself a spiritual attribute. A mind that is asleep becomes a hindrance to an
understanding of its nature. The urge to awaken the unconscious mind is a
spiritual movement. Here, many other questions arise, such as, How can we avoid
mental tension? How can the impurities polluting the mind be cleansed away? How
can the mind be made to embrace the truth? How can the knots of attachment and
aversion be dissolved? What is the cause of the mind's restlessness? Is the mind
really restless? How does the mind come into being? And there are innumerable
problems whose solution is possible only on a spiritual basis.
Certain spiritual factors arising out of the disposition of speech can also make
an individual introversive. How does control over speech influence one's life?
What achievements flow from silence? How does it affect the course of one's
life? What are the means of reducing mental contradiction and confusion? How is
it possible to realize a condition of the mind where thought is totally absent?
What role do sound-waves play in the evolution of personality? How is it
possible to save the energy lost in constant talking? With a full realization of
the importance of speech-control, many experiments can be made in this context.
The requirements of the body, the mind and speech are gross. Science has
provided extensive knowledge about the body. But all this knowledge is partial
and one-sided. From the spiritual point of view, the noteworthy thing is, how to
reduce the activity of the body? Or how can the functioning of the brain and the
nervous system be controlled? By what process can the psychic centres in the
body be developed? How can the endocrine secretions and chemicals be changed?
How to awaken the capacity for objective observation of the happenings inside
the body? How to create a pure and powerful aura?
Such questioning invests an individual with a spiritual vision, with whose help
he may gain an insight into those aspects of the mind, speech and body which
physiology and psychology have failed to illuminate so far, or have only partly
illuminated. The programme of preksha is to see the body, the speech and the
mind from a spiritual point of view, to understand them and be thoroughly
acquainted with them. And through the process of seeing, knowing, understanding
and acquaintance, to move in the direction of bringing about a change in them
through practice and direct experience.
Q. Is only theoretical knowledge about the mind, the speech and the body
imparted through preksha or is instruction also given for practising it?
Ans. The first objective of preksha is to provide right reformation about the
mind. But the objective does not end there. The primary purpose also includes
the impartation of the technique of experiencing. Thus, it is not merely a
matter of theoretical discussion. In preksha are incorporated both elements of
our ancient system of education---theory and practice. Without the theory there
can be no entry into the subject; and without constant practice, there is no
assimilation. So theory and practice go together for a complete education. The
theoretical aspect of a subject can be established, but this in itself cannot be
the criterion for determining its truth. Theoretical understanding of anything
is merely a recognition of it, it serves to establish it in the form of a
belief. But the touchstone is its practice. When the truth of something is
examined by practising it, it becomes a direct experience. What is known on the
experiential level in itself becomes a proof of its veracity; no other evidence
is required for proving it. The procedure of preksha is not merely theoretical;
along with the theory, application here is given an equal importance. The
validity of any doctrine which ignores the practical aspect, remains open to
The process of preksha is something to be experienced. It was tested on the
experiential level before its establishment. With the passage of time, its
practice is bound to become still more clear. I feel that the spiritual outlook
regarding the mind, the speech and the body, will also become more comprehensive
with regular practice in preksha. In order that the ground be solid, it is
necessary that efforts be made to make clear as many aspects of preksha as