THE SENSES AND THE SOUL
February 21, 2004
Des Plaines Mandir

[Technique 1:] In Vachanamrut Gadhada Middle 12 ("Raajaneeti" or "The Art of Ruling"), Swaminarayan Bhagwan asks devotees to take command of their indriyas (senses that experience through the sense-organs) and antahkaranas (subtle faculties that contemplate on indulging in senses) with the strength of the jeeva (soul), just as a powerful king rules a kingdom. The soul forces the indriyas and antahkaranas to remain God-engrossed.

The senses need to be "locked" not only externally (i.e. at the indriyas level), but internally (i.e. at the antahkaranas level) as well. For example, Muktanand Swami had a strong desire to follow the celibate path. He thus renounced his home and met a baavaa by the name of Kalyandas who wore an iron underwear with a lock. Kalyandas however told Muktanand Swami that it was impossible to lead a celibate life - 40 years ago he had seen just the hand of a young woman, and he was still unable to forget her gesture. Thus, without controlling the internal desire, external imposition only goes so far.

Dinkar Uncle explained that damana is forcefully "locking" the senses from going toward vishayas (external objects of attraction); the technique of samana is discussed in Vachanamrut Sarangpur 12.

[Technique 2:] In Vachanamrut Sarangpur 12*, Swaminarayan Bhagwan describes the following four things:
(1) Vishayas (objects of attraction to the five senses, e.g. an attractive sight)
(2) Indriyas (senses that experience through the sense-organs, e.g. sight)
(3) Antahkaranas (subtle faculties that contemplate on indulging, e.g. desire for the attractive sight)
(4) Jeeva (soul) or drashtaa (observer/witness)
The four are linked, with the initial entry point being the vishayas. Thus, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains this is where the majority of control should be exerted. As much as possible, do not allow improper vishayas to enter [see Vachanamrut Gadhada First 18, etc.]. But when a vishaya does enter, one should not let it "penetrate all the way to the jeeva." This is done by "witnessing" the vichaara that rests between the jeeva and the antahkarana. That is, one should negatively look upon the thought that arises between the mind (i.e. antahkaranas) and the body (i.e. indriyas) that wants to indulge in the vishayas, and positively remain in the vichaara between the jeeva and antahkarana. The latter vichaara is something like, "What is really gained from indulging in this gross vishayas?". When the antahkarana's thought "merges with" the jeeva's vichaara, that is, when the vrutti (instincts) withdraw in this way, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains, "It will never again become attached to the vishayas."

[Technique 3:] Beyond this, if one understands the glory of God, naturally attachment to vishayas drops. In Vachanamrut Gadhada First 27, Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains the state where God fully resides in one's heart and thus there is full control by God (not the jeeva).


*There are three aspects that Swaminarayan Bhagwan explains in this regards in Vachanamrut Sarangpur 12:
First, one should not perform dhyaana (meditation) as long as vishayas are sanmukha (present) or "one's indriya's vrutti has affection for the vishayas." Only after the vichaara has become steadied, and all of the antahkarana's thoughts have ceased, should meditation be practiced. Dinkar Uncle explained that many believe that meditation can be practiced at any time - but because the meditative process plants deep programs within one's self, if vishayas are impressed upon the chitta (the subconscious) then actual meditation will be muddled. For example, when one attains elevation, vishayas will remain on the chitta along with God's moorti (image) and the devotee will be disturbed.
Second, one should not let all three, the indriyas, the antahkaranas, and the jeeva, to be engrossed in anything except God. Swaminarayan Bhagwan gives the example that if the jeeva is active in the gross body (i.e. the indriyas are indulging in a vishaya), and the antahkarana also gets a ghaata (desire), do not allow the antahkarana to also indulge. Otherwise one's attachment to the world strengthens, and the ability to separate the self is weakened.
Third, with the vichaara, clearly realize the qualities of the soul that are totally distinct from the qualities of the body .

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