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  • 9/24/13 Jain meditation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_meditation 1/7

    Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara

    Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels.[1] Meditation in

    Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom.[2] It aims to reach and to

    remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The

    practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer (Gyata-Drashta). Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the

    auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shuk la Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and RaudraDhyana.

    Jain meditation is also referred as Samayika. The word Samayika means

    being in the moment of continuous real-time. This act of being conscious of

    the continual renewal of the universe in general and one's own renewal of the

    individual living being (Jiva) in particular is the critical first step in the journey

    towards identification with one's true nature, called theAtman. It is also a

    method by which one can develop an attitude of harmony and respect

    towards other humans and Nature. By being fully aware, alert and conscious

    of the constantly moving present, one will experience their true nature,


    The 24 Jain Tirthankaras are always seen in meditative posture and have

    practiced it deeply and attained enlightenment.

    Contents [hide]

    1 History

    2 Samayika

    3 Preksha Meditation

    4 Existing and Historical meditation techniques in Jainism

    5 Lord Mahavira and Meditation

    6 Postures

    7 Yoga

    8 See also

    9 Notes

    10 References

    11 External links

    History [edit source]

    Rishabha, the first Tirthankara in Jainism, dating back to the prehistoric era of end of the stone age and starting of the

    agriculture age practiced meditation and attained enlightenment at Mount Kailash.[3] Bahubali, son of Rishabha,

    practiced meditation for twelve months maintaining same standing posture.[4] King Bharata, elder son of Rishabha,

    entered a trance state by fixing his gaze on his image in the mirror and got deep into meditation and finally attained

    enlightenment.[5]Fixing the gaze on an object for meditation has been an important technique of Jainism.

    Jains believe all twenty-four Tirthankaras practiced deep meditation, some for years, some for months and attained

    enlightenment. All the statues and pictures of Tirthankaras primarily show them in meditative postures. Acharya

    Mahapragya's conclusion of AcharyaKundakunda's understanding on Mahavira's practices is that all other his

    penances, like fasting, were done to support meditation.[6]

    The Acaranga Sutra describes meditation and spiritual practices elaborately and in minute detail of philosophy.

    The Sutrakritanga, Bhagavati andSthananga Sutras also give directions on contemplation, asana and meditation.

    TheAupapatika has an organised presentation ofTapoyga which is a kind of right conduct.[7]

    Acharya Bhadrabahu of 400 BCE, practicedMahaprana meditation for twelve years.[8]Description of practice

    of samadhi meditation by many other acharya is also

  • 9/24/13 Jain meditation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_meditation 2/7

    Bahubali practicing meditation in

    standingKayotsarga posture. Statue is

    carved from a single stone f if ty-seven feet

    high in 981 A.D., is located

    in Karnataka, India

    found. Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of Maurya Empire, was Acharya

    Bhadrabahu's disciple and became amonk. He later migrated to South

    India and it helped Jainism to spread there. Bhadrabahu also

    took Chandragupta Maurya to South India along with

    him.[9] Acharya Kundakunda of 1st century BCE[clarification needed] Tamil

    Nadu, opened new dimensions of meditation through books

    like Samayasra and Pravachansara. A holistic approach to the path of

    salvation was written and compiled in a single book, the Tattvartha

    Sutra by Acharya Umaswati.[10]

    Acharya Bhadrabahu II, Jinbhadra, and Pujyapada Devanandi were great

    spiritual experts during the period of the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries CE.

    They made remarkable contributions through their literature. Haribhadra in

    the 8th century and Acharya Hemachandra in the 12th century, presented

    meditation through different approaches and viewpoints. During the 18th

    century, Acharya Vinay Vijay wrote Shantsudharasa on contemplation

    practices. Upadhyaaya Yashovijay in the same century wrote extensively

    on meditation.[10]

    Acharya Mahapragya formulated Preksha meditation in the 1970s and

    presented a well-organised system of meditation.[11] Numerous Preksha

    meditation centers came into existence around the world and numerous

    meditations camps are being organised to impart training in it.

    Samayika [edit source]

    The name Samayika, the term for Jain meditation, is derived from the term samaya "time" inPrakrit. Jains also

    use samayika to denote the practice of meditation. The aim of Samayikais to transcend our daily experiences as the

    "constantly changing" human beings, calledJiva, and allow identification with the "changeless" reality in practitioner,

    called the atman. One of the main goals of Samayika is to inculcate equanimity, to see all the events equanimously.

    It encourages to be consistently spiritually vigilant. Samayaika is practiced in all the Jain sects and communities.

    Samayika is an important practice during Paryushana, a special eight- or ten-day period.

    Preksha Meditation [edit source]

    Acharya Mahapragya, The Tenth Head of JainSvetambara Terapanth sect formulated Preksha Meditation in 1970s.

    He practiced various meditation techniques for nearly 30 years and developed this well organized meditation system

    and presented it in scientific light. Preksha Meditation is the combination of knowledge from ancient religious books,

    modern science and experience. Acharya Mahapragya made a deep research on Agam - Jain holy scriptures,

    ancient scriptures, medical science, Yoga science,Naturopathy, Ayurveda, modern Physics, etc. while developing

    this meditation system.

    Preksha meditation is the practice of purifying the emotions and conscious (chitta) and realizing the own self. It helps

    in leading a peaceful life and is a system of mediation for attitudinal change, behavioral modification and integrated

    development of personality.[12]

    The word preksha means 'to perceive carefully and profoundly'. In preksha, perception always means experience

    bereft of the duality of like and dislike, pleasure and pain. Impartiality and equanimity are synonymous

    with Preksha.Preksha is impartial perception, where there is neither the emotion of attachment nor aversion, neither

    pleasure or displeasure. Both these states of emotion are closely and carefully perceived but not experienced. And

    because both are perceived from close quarters, it is not difficult to reject both of them and assume a neutral

  • 9/24/13 Jain meditation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_meditation 3/7

    Acharya Mahapragya, Formulator

    ofPreksha Meditation

    position.[13] Thus equanimity is essentially associated with preksha.

    It aims at reaching and purify the deeper levels of existence. Regular

    practice strengthens the immune system, builds up stamina to resist

    against aging, pollution, chemical toxins, viruses, diseases.

    Important elements in the system are Kayotsarg - Full awareness with

    complete relaxation, Perception of the breath, body, the psychic centres,

    psychic colors (lesya meditation), present moment, thought, Animesha

    preksha (fixing gaze at an object ), contemplation

    processes, Yoga and Pranayaam, Mantra, Therapy.

    Important disciplines in the system are - Synchrony of mental and

    physical actions or simply present mindedness or complete awareness of

    one's actions, disciplining the reacting attitude, friendliness, diet, silence,

    spiritual vigilance.[14]

    One commences the practice of this technique with the perception of

    the body. Body contains the soul. Therefore, one must pierce the wall of

    the container to reach the content (the soul). Again, breathing is a part of

    the body and essence of life. To breathe is to live; and so breath is

    naturally qualified to be the first object of perception, while the body itself

    would become the next one. The vibrations, sensations and

    other physiological events are worthy of attention. Conscious mind becomes sharpened to perceive these internal

    realities in due course, and then it will be able to focus itself on the minutest and the most subtle occurrences within

    the body. The direct perception of emotions, urges and otherpsychological events will then be possible. And

    ultimately the envelope of karmic matter, contaminating the consciousness could be clearly recognized.[15]

    The meditation training camps are organized on a regular basis. Major training centers in India are

    in Ladnun, Rajasthan, Delhi, Ahemedabad. Centers are also present in many countries like the US, UK, Russia,

    Germany, Ukraine, Australia, Singapore, Netherland, etc.

    Existing and Historical meditation techniques in Jainism [edit source]

    According to the some commonly practiced yoga systems, high concentration is reached by meditating in an easy

    (preferably lotus) posture in seclusion and staring without blinking at the rising sun


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