Highly fortunate are the saints who observe the great vows and are detached with the enjoyments of the world. oh brethren, practice(by concentrating on) the reflections to arouse the spirit of the world-flight.
This dhala or chapter of the work deal with the twelve reflection ( davadasa anupreksas ). The aim behind the practice of reflection is to arouse the spirit of world-flight in the aspirants. The topics for the reflections are twelve connected with various aspects of the world and the self’s contact with it. These reflections fan one’s interest in the soul and its good, and enhance the disinterest in the world . The aspirant turns his face toward liberation and his back , towards the world.
From their practice (in the form of repeated thinking ) the bliss of enquanimity arises ,as fire(arises) by (a gust of )wind. (as a result) the jiva is able to know itself , and then alone the jiva determine to aquire the bliss of liberation.
The twelve reflections constitute an important part of the ethical code prescribed for the attainment of liberartion .They gradually generate a change in the mind of aspirants , which help his onward journey in the direction of liberation, this change also help him to detach himself from the world .thus doubly equipped with the necessary means he is able to move further on the path of liberation more and more firmly and rapidly. The practice of twelve reflections is, therefore , very essential for attaining the final aim.
Youth, houses ,wealth of cows, women, horses, elephants, friends , faithfull servants and sensual pleasure are(all) short-lived as the rainbow and the lightining are unfixed(transitory).
The first of reflection points to truth that all the wordly objects along with the pleasure they yield are unstable and short-lived like a bubble in water. It has no use entertaining a feeling of attachment for them.
A chase for such flecting and uncertain pleasure is really an unwise act .The nature of these pleasure is such that they appear before the jiva ,entangle it and leave it aghast in the end. This is the first reflection and is termed as anitya bhavana or the reflection about transience. The practice of this reflection enables the jiva to weaken attachment for the worldly pleasure and gains and provide strength to face their deprivation wit a calm mind.
Heavenly beings, the asuras (a class of god),kings of birds etc.all of object of destruction by kala (death), as is a deer before a lion .there are many precious stone ,text and mystical devices, but none of them is able to save(one) While dying.
Death is most certain end of all living beings. There are great and powerful beings in the world, but they are all in the inescapable grip of death whi8ch can occur any time .one may adopt any means, physical, medical or supernatural, to evade death but all in vain.
Death must come later or sooner. similarly the jiva stand helpless against the sufferings of birth, old age and diseases. thus there is no shelter against them in this world. The practice of reflection will make the aspirants fearless against death and other calamities of the world; he thus would follow the path with a dauntless attitude of mind.
The soul face the suffering in all the four condition of life and (thus) complete the course of the five wanderings. Considered in all ( possible ) ways, the world is found to be unsustantial ; even the slightest of happiness (quiet) is not to be seen in it. 5
This reflection remind the jiva of its very long and painful journey in the world. the jiva passes from one life to another to bear the miseries theroff the sufferings and the period of these sufferings are incalculably huge and long .from the spiritual point of view the world contain nothing worth our choice. the aspirants ponders over the condition of the world, so this reflection is termed as samasra bhavana or the reflection about the worldly existence .
By practicing this reflection the aspirants develops a sense of dismay and disgust for the world, and is able to decide that the course of worldly wanderings must be brought to an end.
Whatever fruits of the meritorious and demeritorious karmas are there, the jiva alone , has to bear them, the sons and wives are no partners to it .they hold kinship(with the jiva) only on account of (their) selfish interest.
It is a fact that the pleasure and sufferings of life in respect of a jiva are singularily its own lot. they are not shared by others nor could they be; others jiva have their own lot to fice. Whatever kinship is obsesrved in life it is rooted in the interest of others.
Primarily the relatives serve their own interest by their kinship with particular person .in the real sense the jiva alone shorn of all connection with others. For this underlying fact of life this reflection is named as ekatva bhavana or the reflection about the lonely position of the Jiva. This reflection enables one to break the knot of one’s delusive attachment with the members of the family and the society with the strong sense of self-dependence.
(In the worldly exixtence) the soul and the body are fused together as water and milk (in the mixture); but they are really distinct and have not become one.then wealth, house etc. which are evidently physically separate ,how can these , the son and wife be one with individually jiva.
It is very important to note that the soul and the body , though co-spatial, remain distinct from each other.
Then the relations and other things of the world ,which exist distinctively from the embodied souls in space cannot be expected to become one with it. The indentity of the soul is thus established separate and independent from all that is other than it. It is for this reason that this reflection is entitled as anyatve bhavana or the reflection about the distinct existence of the soul. The practice of this reflection will enable the aspirant to break his relationship and delusive dependence on things others than itself.
This body is container of flesh,blood,plus and faces.
It has been made filthy by bones and fat.(in it) there are nine disgusting openings with oozing(filth). What attachment should one feel with such a body? 8.
The love of one’s body is also a great obstacle in the ways to liberation. The filthy nature of the body has been exposed in these lines with the conclusion that one should not be much bothered about the maintenance and beautification of the body .
the attachment to the body will ever keep the soul off the path of liberation. The soul is all holy, while the body is all filthy. This being the main subject to ponder over, this reflection is termed as asuchi bhavana i.e a reflection about the filthy nature(of the body). The practice of this reflection, as the above description shows, will result in developing an attitude of indifference to the body in the aspirants mind. Then he will be left free to look after the good of his soul whole heartedly.
Oh brother, the influx of karmas is caused by the vibrations (of the soul -units) called the yoga. These
Infusees are the producers of several sufferings. The wise always keep them away.
The influx of karmas may be counted as the beginning of the wordly journey of rthe soul ,through the journey has been kept continuous in the past by repeated influxes. with the influx of karmas starts the unfortunate story of the suffering of the soul.
This nature of the influx attracts the attention of the aspirants who make all possible efforts to avoid activities and chances of influx in the daily routine of his life. The influx of karma being the central theme for concentration, this reflection has been named as the asrava bhavana or the reflection about the nature of influx of karmas and its undesirability in life. The above description of the reflection explains clearly as what gain an aspirants would expect from its practice.
They alone are able to check the inflow of the karmas, who do not indulge in meritious and demeritorious activities and engage themselves in experiencing(their) souls .(they alone )thus accomplishing the stoppage (of karmas) can perceive (attain) spiritual soloace.
It has already been emphasized that the influx of karmas must be checked. Several means like three restraints (guptis), five carefulnesses (samities) etc. have been prescribed to effect the stoppage of the influx of karmas.
With the practice of these means the aspirants is able to turn his attention soulward culminating in the experience of his pure self. As in natural this spiritual experience must grant him the manifestation of his blissful nature. This is the samovar bhavana ie. A reflection about the process of the check of the influx of karmas had the consequent gains.
The purpose of life cannot be achieved by shedding of the karma from the soul on the maturity of the period of their duration.one who destroy the karmas by performing austerities is able to manifest the bliss of liberation (for himself).
The process of shedding of the karmas takes two ways. Firstly, karmas, fall off the soul on the expiry of the period of their maturity. This process ever goes on with the soul ,but it cannot grant such freedom from karmas as is required on the path of liberation .hence another ways of adopting the course of austerities have to be resorted to.
It will grant speedy and heavy extirpation of karmas from the soul. Under this nirjala bhavana the reflection on the nature and the utility of the second process of shedding of the karmas occupies the central place. The value of the practice of this reflection keeps the aspirants conscious of the true aims of his life and also busy with the such activities as lead to it.
The universe was not created by anyone , nor is there one to maintain it, it contain six substance ,and there is none to destroy it. The jiva always wander in the universe facing sufferings, being deprived of the equilibrated state (of the soul).
The samsara lok bhavana or the reflection about the position and the nature of the universe remind the jiva of the extensive locus of its wanderings. this locus is called the lokakasa- the spatial expansion of the universe..how gigantic its dimension are , how vast is the field of the jiva’s wandering in it–are and how painful is the course of sufferings for the Jiva in it are the thought that occupy the mind of the aspirants under this reflection.
The system of the universe with its all contents and the variation is one that is naturally determined by itself with its three fold existence of appearance and disappearance of modes with a thread of permanence running through them.
The universe needs no extraneous creator, no maintainer and the no destroyer for its triply determined continuity. Such thoughts keeps the aspirant’s mind free from false conception about the world. At the same time he is also enabled to understand his own position in its and feels encouraged to make efforts to extricate hiself from its web.
(This jiva) has attained the atation upto the limit of the last of the high heavenly abodes ;but it has also been able to aquire right knowledge which is very difficult to attain and which the saints try to manifest in themselves. 13.
The right knowledge ie. discriminating knowledge of the soul and the non-soul is very difficult to attaion. In the absence of right knowledge the path of liberation and our efforts to follows it are all misdirected A jiva Can attain unlimited wealth ,power and pleasure of the world and even those of the highest of the heavens as fruition of his meritorious karmas; but the light of self knowledge dawns on it very rarely. Without self-knowledge all his wordly earning are of no avail on the path of liberation. This rarity of the attainment of right knowledge is the subject matter for this bodhi durlabha bahvana as its title clearly suggests.
(Right) faith, (right) knowledge and the (course of) vows etc. are the spiritual manifestations differents from delusion. These constitute religion or righteousness. When a jiva happens to own them ,then alone it perceives (the emergence of) permanents bliss(in itself). 14.
The dharma-bhavana or the reflection about righteous ness or religion emphasis for the aspirant the mindfulness of the path of liberation consisting of right faith ,right knowledge and right conduct. It is the presence of delusion resulting from the soul’s association with karmas that is responsible for the defilement of the soul’s faculties.
If one decide to tread the path of liberation, one has to take special caution to guard oneself against delusion. The free and faultless manifestation of the spiritual faculities of faith, knowledge and conduct in a soul must result in the attainment of bliss or the spiritual calm and the happiness for it.
सो धर्म मुनिन कर धरिए, तिनकी करतूति उचरिए।
ताको सुनिए भाविप्राणी अपनअनुभूति पीछनी।।15।।
This religion is owned (for practice) by the saints, their course of conduct will be discussed (in the next) dhala. On liberable jivas ,listen to it and recognize the experience of yourself.15.
Now the topic of twelve reflection comes to a close. The entire subject-matter of the reflection seems to be condenced in the last reflection termed as dharma –bhavana dealing with the path of right cousness with its three constituents of right faith, right knowledge right conduct.
A house holder with his limited capicities can follow the path only partially ,his code of conduct enumerates such vows as would certainly lead him on the path but only partailly. In other words the house holders course of conduct just prepare him to step on the higher path followed by the saints.
This path is sure to bring the aspirants nearer and nearer to his final aim of attaining liberation, and finally would place him in moksa with infinite pure manifestation of the spiritual faculities. The course of the conduct of saints is going to be discussed in the next and last chapter of this work.