31 January 2010

Truth through awareness : Acharya Mahaprajna

Laid up with flu, I was lying on the ground. It was a small house in a small village with open skies. My mind wandered absolutely free and unfettered. Right in front of me was a tree. Everything shone bright in the mid-day sun. I first looked at the tree and then at the sky. The former had a minuscule existence against the latter. The sky is limitless, both spatially and temporally. But in terms of time the tree too is limitless. Not even an atom of the tree can ever be destroyed. It is bound by the philosophical principle that says: Anything existent in the present was so in the past and will be in future too. Anything non-existent in the past can never be either now or in the future. The sky and the tree have absolutely no idea of their being or not being and yet their existence is unhindered and limitless. If every single atom that exists will forever be, then how can I doubt my own existence. When an atom cannot defy the universal principle of everlasting existence, how can I be an exception? A little more thinking made me wonder why it is that man alone should doubt his existence. He has a more developed consciousness than that of a tree and, therefore, entertains doubts about his existence. Furthermore, his consciousness is not as developed as that of a yogi and, therefore, he cannot understand his infiniteness. From both angles, he is a loser.Some truths in this world are palpable, others are subtle, and yet others are abstract and intangible. I can apply palpable and subtle means to know the first two types but I have no means of knowing that abstract and the impalpable truths. I can see a mango, taste it, smell it, and touch it simply because it is a palpable reality. In the case of an atom, none of my senses can perceive it, only a microscope can reveal its existence. On the other hand, there is no microscope through which an abstract truth can be perceived, and existence is such an abstract and impalpable truth. If my existence was no part of me, I would have resorted to its description in words that people who claim to have apprehended their existence have used.The senses, the mind, the intellect, language, etc are all means of indirect experience, whereas knowing results is direct experience. Since none of the means of indirect experience are of any avail when it comes to knowing, I despair researching on my own existence. Objective truth can be experienced only through medium-neutral awareness.


DOB: 10.11.1939 at Ladnun, Rajasthan, India
Diksha: 27.10.1956 at Sardarshahar by Acharya Tulsi

Birth : Kartik Krishna 13,
Vikram Samvat 1996, Ladanu. 10th November, 1939.
Caste : Sankhala (Ladanun, Rajasthan)
Father’s Name : Manakchand ji Sankhala
Mother’s Name : Suva Devi Sankhala, Tatwagya, prabhawak Ansanvrata Aradhika
Sainthood :Kartik Krishna 8, Vikram Samvat 2013, Sardarshahar. 27th October, 1956.
Education :Aagam – Dashevakalik, Uttradhyyan, Aachharang, Prashna Vyakaran and Nandi (All memorized- Kanthasth)Sanghiya Seven years Course , Snatakottar(Post Graduation) passed.
Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi, Gujarati, Sanskrit &
Group Leader :From Vikram Samvat 2027, “MARYADA MAHOTASAV” at Bidasar.
Books :
Mahavir Vyaktitva and Vichar, Sarthakta ki Talash, Sangham Sarnam Gachammi, Jyot Jale Bin Bati, Nai Sadi Nai Sambhavnayen, Behta Pani Nirmla ( Biography ), Anushilan ( Research Article), Bhor ka Tara, Chaityavandana, Nadmani (Verse-Geet sahitya), Swagat Karen Ujalon ka, Jain Dharma Jivan aur Jagat.
Literary works edited : Hindi Translation of Agam Sahitya – Gyatadharmkatha, Prashna Vyakaran, Antakritdasha, Aaoppatik, Kai Grantho ki Sanskrit Chaya, Deep study of Bhikshu Sahitya .
Tour : Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal with Aacharya Shri
Tulsi. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Pondicherry, Haryana, Delhi,
Special : Seva Nikay Vyavasthapika. Has also got the special honour of serving the
Sangha as Jain Vidhya Prabhari.

Purity of conscious : Acharya Mahaprajna

The drop and the ocean have been related since ancient times...

Likewise, the body and the universe have been deemed to be related in Philosophy. In simple language we can use the terms man and the world. The latter is a totality comprising not only man but also other beings and material objects.

Every man is related to the world. In order to understand a single individual the whole world will have to be understood and vice versa. They are so internally related and interactive that one cannot be interpreted without the other. Even if an atom is to be understood, the whole world will have to be understood. Mahavira said, he who knows one, knows all and he who knows all, knows every one. No one can be known without knowing all. Externally, all appear separate, but internally all are interrelated. I have a piece of cloth in my hand. Even though very small, it is related to the whole world. Space is associated with it, which is related to another part and that to the third and so on. It is a whole series. A quiver in this piece of cloth creates vibrations in the whole world.

Two doctrines were prevalent in the whole world of philosophy - dualism and monism. The former posited two elements, the animate and inanimate. Both are independent. The latter posited only one element, viz. the animate. The other does not exist. In reality, the two doctrines cannot be separated. Anekantvad (the doctrine of non-absolutism or manifold aspects) has viewed them together and that is why it has properly explained both man and the world. If we interpret man for our own convenience, for making right individuals and the right world, for making conduct and behaviour right, it implies the development of individual consciousness. If we interpret the world, it will imply the development of group or collective consciousness.

Political ideologues tried to develop socialism and communism. The motive was not bad; in fact it was sublime and compassionate. But one thing was forgotten. They tried to develop collective or group consciousness and forgot to look after individual consciousness. As a result, the noble aim sought was defeated, purity was lost, fraudulence and deceit went on flourishing and the rot spread to the whole society.

Development of individual consciousness is vitally important. Anuvrat's code of conduct is a code to develop individual consciousness. It is said that anuvrat does not address itself to the development of group or social consciousness. Particularly people in western countries keep telling that while they are working for the good of society, we are doing it for the good of individuals.

Question troubling the intellect : Acharya Mahaprajna

I have been a student of philosophy; I used to think that without it truth could not be known. Having read both eastern and western philosophy, I am convinced that it is nothing more than an intellectual exercise. It cannot be denied that it is only through intelligence that man's development can take place.

Science has made unimaginable progress. Space flights are now a common feature. With clockwork efficiency one space ship takes off and another lands after completing the mission. Anti-aircraft guns pinpoint their targets in the distant skies and bring them down.

Pilot less aircrafts do the intended bombing through remote control. The example can be infinitely multiplied. Can anyone who is wide-awake deny the truth of these achievements of human intelligence? And yet our philosophers keep harping on the theme of the visible being unreal, and the invisible being real. That which is accessible to human intelligence is according to them not real, while that which is beyond its grasp is real.

The human intellect is a wonderful actor. It keeps playing diverse roles. Even though it is the prime agent of knowledge, it has taken a back-stage position and has fancied a line of thinking totally unrelated to man. I keep wondering whether that man was truly intelligent or unintelligent who said that real knowledge begins where the reach of the intellect ends. If he was intelligent, he displayed the power of intelligence in making that statement.

And if he was unintelligent, then he had no basis to make the statement. Whatever one asserts - whether in favour of something or against it - one does only on the basis of one’s intelligence. All proof or disproof has its origin in our intelligence.

From whatever point, therefore, one might begin, one gets back to recognising the supremacy of the intellect. By denying the importance of the intellect, we get into an unenviable position where the very basis of accepting or rejecting a proposition is knocked out.

When I look at my body, my natural understanding tells me that it is in essence physical and material, something different from me, for I am not matter but soul, not physical body but pure consciousness. The body is ephemeral. I am immortal. Belief in the body-mind dichotomy is regarded not only as crucial to philosophy but is also necessary for ultimate deliverance.