TRANSMUTATION OF FEELING
The practice of body-perception is a natural, simple way;
For the awakening of psychic centres, a matchless device!
The aim of meditation is the practice of equanimity;
Order, regularity, a new light every minute!
All the psychic centres exist in the body undefiled.
The scientist's glands and the doors of chakra yoga!
So long these remain inert,,wisdom cannot be awakened;
In the mortal frame lie dormant these immortal treasures!
The whole campaign is aimed at awakening these!
Let the sadhak exert for consciousness to move upwards!
Q. Our body contains within itself the good as well as the bad, the essential and the inessential. What elements which meditator gets hold of, depends upon the meditator's own capacity and sadhana. Through body-perception, we are able to grasp the vibrations and sensations of the body. How far can we go as our practice matures?
Ans. One of the exercises of preksha dhyana is the perception of psychic centres. It is a developed form of preksha meditation itself. In short-term body-perception, attention is focussed on each and every part of the body for a short time; sustained perception of psychic centres is not then possible. But if attention is focussed upon each and every part of the body for a long time, as in long-term prolonged body-perception, it is possible for the meditator to probe the psychic centres. Although, the perception of psychic centres forms a part of body-perception as a matter of course, still for special development, a knowledge of these centres and concentration of attention upon these for a long time is very necessary. The psychic centres are important parts of our body, where our consciousness subsists in a most concentrated from. Normally, consciousness is spread along the whole body. According to Jain philosophy, the soul dwells in the body. But to awaken each and every particle of the body is not possible for every individual. Therefore, some special centres, where from the waves of consciousness can issue with greater ease, are formally located for sustained observation. The greater the degree of awakening of these centres, the greater the transcendental knowledge one acquires. The more mature the practice of dhyana becomes, the quicker is the awakening of these dormant centres.
Q. By inventing a practical and experiential method of meditation, you have conferred a great boon on those people who wish to progress in this direction. Those who have no such urge may also be inspired to take up the practice of dhyana. In this context, a question arises as to what is the basic aim of preksha dhyana?
Ans. The chief objective of preksha dhyana is the development of equanimity. This requires deep introspection. If the urge to know and see is activated, an objective and impartial vision developed, and the consciousness of attachment and aversion dissolved, equanimity comes into being of itself. With the development of equanimity, all incongruities disappear, disorder ends and one is blessed with a new light. In the state of equanimity, the sensation of like or dislike is no more, the reality of things comes home to one and attachment dissolves.
Man greatly longs for absolute and unending joy. This he cannot get, unless his wisdom is anchored in equanimity. It is here that meditation on psychic centres plays a great role. Because the psychic centres, if allowed to continue in a state of defilement, can only be productive of incongruities and contradictions, but if they get purified, they produce equanimity. Currents of perverted feeling are responsible for the defilement of the psychic centres, but purified consciousness frees them from emotional dirt. Purified consciousness naturally activates the psychic centres. If such a condition does not arise spontaneously, meditation on the psychic centres, concentrated attention on these, results in their activation. Time and labour required for the awakening of the centres will always be commensurate with the capacity of the meditator, but this much is certain that no labour spent n this field can ever be futile. In some way or the other, it serves as a factor in the development of equanimity.
Q. The capacity for meditation and general proficiency may be different in different persons. There are also various techniques of meditation. Because of the difference in techniques, the results could also be different. But the body which is the medium of sadhana is very much alike in the case of every individual. Hitherto, the practitioners of meditation have repeatedly observed the body from within and without. Mahavir too practised body-perception. Yet no one has talked about the psychic centres. What, according to you, are the psychic centres? Were these identified in the past ages or not?
Ans. The psychic centres are no new discovery. Whoever have delved into the depths of meditation, have found their psychic centres awakened. Of course, it is very difficult to determine the precise number of these centres. There are innumerable centres of consciousness. Only a few of these centres can be known and activated. Activated psychic centres connote certain parts of the body rendered absolutely clean and spotless like crystal. The Hindi word for it is 'karan', which means charging the body with special energy and rendering it super-functional. To render the body 'super-functional' means to utilise the special energy thus developed. Our sense organs are 'functional', because it is through them that we apprehend objects. We see through the eye, hear through the ear, smell through the nose. These parts perform their functions and are, therefore, functional. In that sense, the body, too, is functional. What is primarily meant by this is that we can make the whole body super-functional; after it becomes 'super-functional', any part of the body may be used to see, to hear, to taste. We can then see, speak or hear with the eyes. This is very much like multiple comprehension or extensional awareness mentioned in the Agamas. If the whole body can be karan, 'super-functional', it becomes possible to speak with every part of it. This may be understood through the metaphor of the lamp.
If a lamp is covered with a thick lid, not a ray of light will emanate from it to the world outside. But if a meshy cover is put on it, light would filter out through the meshes. And if the lid is taken of altogether, the lamp would spread around its full light. Similarly, if one's consciousness is thickly hooded, it becomes an obstruction to the diffusion of light because of the dense cover. The rays of light filter through a meshy cover. The psychic centres are like meshy covers from which rays of knowledge come straining through the holes. To put off the covers means to make the whole body transparent like a crystal. In such a state, the screen is altogether dispensed with. The rays of knowledge emanating from the whole body freely spread all round. But this requires long practice and intense devotion. Until the whole body becomes super-functional, one cannot attain to transcendental or supreme knowledge.
It is not that the psychic centres were unknown in ancient times. Various glands and knots recognised by the physiologists are nothing but these psychic centres. So are the chakras mentioned in the tantra-texts and hatha-yoga. In modem terminology, the electromagnetic fields in various parts of the body may be treated as synonyms for the psychic centres, and their presentation as such will prove helpful in making the process of meditation more easily comprehensible in today's environment.
Generally, the psychic centres may be found in two conditions--inactive or dormant, and active or awakened. Some articular centre in a man may be spontaneously activated but all the centres of all men do not remain active at once. Through practice, one or more centres may be awakened or activated. The centres of consciousness located in mortal human frame are like secret treasures. The process of preksha meditation is intended to activate these centres. Breath-perception, body-perception, internal trip, kayotsarg---all form parts of that process. Without regulating the psychic centres, there can be no control of emotions. Unless the psychic centres are transformed, there is little possibility of a change of heart. And without changing a man's feelings, general nature or habit there can be no transformation of personality, no spiritual development, whatsoever, not even any upward movement of consciousness. In view of this the activation of the psychic centres is very important. The sadhak who practises perception of psychic centres with deep devotion is bound to succeed.