TASTE, SMELL AND TOUCH THERAPY
Bitter gourd, the extracts of margosa and soapnut–
Far more acrid than these is the taste of the first, krishna leshya!
Dry ginger, pipal and black pepper all combined–
More pungent than these is the taste of neel leshya!
Unripe mango and wood-apple have an astringent taste,
Still more astringent than these is the taste of kapot leshya!
Sweet, fully-ripened apple, and its delicious juice!
But far more sweet and riper is great tejoleshya!
There are all kinds of juices and sweet wines,
But the flavour of padma leshya is far greater than these!
And currants, milk, dates and sugar, together,
Taste not as sweet as superb shukla leshya!
Q.Leshya is material. All that is material, has colour, odour, taste and tactility. You have made us acquainted with the nature of leshya on the basis of colour. But does it also have odour, taste and touch? Is an analysis thereof available in the Jain Agamas?
Ans. As also mentioned earlier, about 25 percent of space in the Jain Agamas is taken up with the exposition of leshya. Uttaradhyana Agama formed the basis of our discussion on leshya colours. This Agama also contains an interpretation of leshya tastes. The leshya atoms, besides different colours, have various tastes and these exercise an influence upon man. These have been classified as follows:
1. The taste of krishna leshya atoms is more acrid than bitter gourd and the extracts of margosa and soapnut.
2. And more pungent than the essence of dry ginger, pipal and black pepper, is the essence of the atoms of neel leshya.
3. And more astringent than the juice of unripe mango and wood apple, is the taste of the atoms of kapot leshya.
4. And far sweeter than the juice of ripe mango and apple is the essence of the atoms of tejoleshya.
5. And far more delightful than the flavour of different kinds of juices and wines is the flavour of the atoms of padma leshya.
6. And far more delicious than the beverage made of currants, milk, dates and sugar is the taste of the atoms of shukla leshya.
Q.The leshya colours are directly connected with a person’s aura. The character and habits of a man can be examined by observing the colour of his aura. What impact do the flavours of various leshyas have and where?
Ans. Colour is the object of the eye, the organ of seeing. In the acquisition of sensory knowledge, the eye is our most vivid sense organ. The senses of taste, touch, etc. also provide direct knowledge, still in everyday living, the knowledge that comes with seeing is generally regarded as the most direct and tangible. The object of vision is colour. It has a powerful effect on man. However, taste, smell, etc. are also connected with vision. Some parts of the body are more affected by colour. Similarly, some other parts are specifically affected by taste, smell and touch.
What is the taste of a man’s tongue? Just as disease is diagnosed on this basis, similarly a man’s feelings can also be examined.
The mouth of a man in whose body the bile is predominant, tastes bitter. Likewise with a man in a fit of anger.
In a predominantly phlegmatic organism, the mouth tastes too sweet. Likewise the mouth of a greedy person.
With a change in the colour of a man’s leshya his taste, smell and touch also change. The colour in a man’s aura has been specifically treated. Taste etc. can also be similarly interpreted. But no subtle technique has yet been evolved for it. It continues to be a subject for research. Only a chemical analysis of the atoms of leshya might reveal how far a change of feelings affects its odour.
Q.Is a person’s individuality identifiable on the basis of smell and touch?
Ans. A woman has conducted some marvellous experiments in this connection. She has analysed the personalities of ten people on the basis of the odour of she atoms of their hands. Just as colour is a part of a man’s aura, similarly the current of feeling and the aura can be understood on the basis, of smell and touch. The bodies of people possessed of an unclean feeling (leshya) give out a foul smell, whereas fragrance seems to sprout from the bodies of people blessed with an auspicious feeling. It has been said:
The stench of the corpse of a cow, dog or serpent is foul,
But a hundred times more hateful is the stink of the first three leshyas.
Whereas atoms of auspicious leshyas, like sweet smelling flowers,
Give out a divine fragrance from moment to moment!
The prospecting of the mineral elements hid in the womb of the earth is often done by inhaling the odour of the prospective ground. Some prospectors are able to tell on the basis of the odour of the ground they stand upon whether there is oil or water beneath.
In the identification of typical women, the odour of their body forms the basis of classification. There is a lot of talk about Padmini (the lotus-woman, an extremely charming one) in literature. A question was posed as to which woman may be called Padmini. It was answered thus : “When a woman is bathing, and black bees hover over her clothes-piled on the ground, it is an indication that she is Padmini.”
Apparel oft proclaims the man. Similarly, correct information about a man’s personality is gained by observing and smelling his hair. Some doctors have conducted new experiments in the field of homeopathy. In one experiment, the doctor sends for the patient’s hair, treats it at his own house. He puts the hair into a medicated solution; the effect on the hair gets transmitted to the patient’s body. It is on the basis of such experiments that taste-therapy, smell-therapy and touch-therapy have evolved and are being further developed.
A king’s prime minister lost his eye-sight. The king procured from abroad a special collyrium for his faithful minister. Only two collyrium-smeared spokes could be procured—one for each eye. The minister passed one spoke through one of his eyes. He found his lost vision restored. He was about to pass the second spoke through the other eye when he reflected, “Of course, 1 would regain my vision of both eyes, but what about thousands of sightless people in my country?” And instead of passing the second spoke through his other eye, he applied it to his tongue. Some people said, “What foolishness!”But the prime minister kept silent. He was an analyst of flavours. By tasting the powder he knew what its constituents were. On the basis of his experience and knowledge, he prepared a large quantity of collyrium and was thus able to benefit a large number of people in the kingdom. All were filled with admiration for the prime minister’s intelligence and made their obeisance to him.
Q.You have given us a good deal of information about the colour, taste and smell of leshyas. What about the concept of touch in the Jain Agamas?
Ans. In the classification of colour and taste, a detailed analysis in respect of each leshya is separately available in the Jain Agamas. But in the classification of leshyas on the basis of smell, only two altematives—clean and unclean are given. Likewise, in the classification on the basis of touch, only two distinctions–auspicious leshya and inauspicious have been analysed.
The first three leshyas are inauspicious or unclean. Their touch is harsh like that of the cow’s dung, and sharp like the teeth of a hand saw or the leaves of shak trees. The remaining three leshyas are auspicious or clean. Their touch is soft like that of butter, and of the leaves of boor and shiris trees.
The touch of leshyas, too, is an excellent means of coming to know a person’s feelings. In today’s medical science, certain experiments are being conducted in touch-therapy. According to Dr. Ramakant Keni, such a treatment may be called spiritual-therapy, psychic surgery, mental-waves treatment or touch-therapy. Manhar Chauhan’s interview with Dr. Keni has been published in two numbers of the magazine, Saptahik Hindustan. This has served to highlight many facts about touch-therapy. Probably, new discoveries would be made in this field and more new facts; brought to light during the next decade.