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Samayik Meditation

Samayik is one of the most important ritual practice of Jainism during which we try to come closer to our soul.

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The practice of Yoga in Jainism is quite simple to follow, as opposed to its inclusion and practice in other religions. Jainism makes several concessions for the practitioners of Yoga. Firstly, the belief of Jainism in Yoga is based on the tenet that the Yoga is a combination of all the activities of mind, body, and speech. Jain leaders have hailed Yoga as the path to the much-sought after liberation of the soul. According to them, Yoga involves both asrava meaning acts of karma as well as samyak caitra, an essential quality. It is a blend of both these factors that helps one attain liberation.

Jain gurus have gone ahead and referred to Yoga as the highest form of devotion. Several leaders of this religion have prescribed five major vows to be taken by ascetics who practice Yoga. There is a separate section of 12 minor vows that have to be observed by the laity. Given the way Yoga has shaped the thinking in Jainism, many experts of this religion today say that Jainism is, in fact, yogic thinking that has branched out as a separate religion. Such is the influence of Yoga on Jainism.

The heavy influence of Yoga on Jainism is visible in their architecture as well. Jain temples and icons that have survived till date often depict a picture of a Jain tirthankara meditating in a yogic posture. Most often than not, these yogic postures are ‘padmasana’ or ‘kayotsarga’. According to Jain scriptures, the founder of Jainism, Lord Mahavira is said to have attained enlightenment while he was meditating in the yogic position of ‘mulabandhasana’. This posture taken by Lord Mahavira was first revealed in Acaranga Sutra. It also finds mention in yet another Jain scripture called Kalpsutra.

It is said Patanjali’s eightfold path of Yoga is inspired by five major vows prescribed for the ascetics in Jainism. The interconnection between Yoga and Jainism is admitted by various experts in the field. According to them, this interconnection is even older than or nearly as old as the Indus Valley Civilization. The stone seals found at the excavation site, they say, are indicative of this influence. Yet another evidence of strong links between Jainism and Yoga are the similar postures taken by various Jain tirthankaras. Many experts say that these links do not just signify a deep relationship between Jainism and Yoga, but also reveal the extent of influence of Jainism on Yoga.

Some of the earliest canonical text belonging to Jainism, such as Acarangasutra, and other religious texts such as Niyamsara and Tattvarthasutra, lay down the rules of practicing Yoga, both for the ascetics as well as the common man. Other scriptures that have references of Yoga in the religion of Jainism are Ishtopadesh by Pujyapada written in 5th century CE. There are texts written by Acharya Haribhadra Suri called Yoga Bindu, Yoga Drishtisamuccya, Yoga sataka, Yoga Vimisika. Yoga refers to traditional physical,mental and spritual disciplines, originating in ancient India,whose goal is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy;Yoga in this sense is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is also known as Raja Yaga to distinguish it from later schools.Patanjali's system is discussed and elaborated upon in many classical Hindu texts, and has also been influential in Buddhism and Jainism.The Bhagavadgita introduces distinctions such as Jnana Yoga("yoga based on knowledge") vs.Karma yoga ("yoga based on action"). Other systems of philosophy introduced in Hinduism during the medieval period are Bhakti Yoga and Hatha yogaThe Sanskrith word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", from a root yuj. As a term for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction it was introduced by Patanjali in the 2nd century BC. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi/yogini.

KAYOTSARGA : Total relaxation with self-awareness

Kayotsarga may be practised either standing or sitting or lying down. For beginners, it is advisable to adopt lying down posture.In standing posture, you have to stand straight with the spine and neck in the straight line but without stiffness. Keep your feet parallel to each other with a distance of about 10 cms between them. Let your arms hang down loosely from the shoulder-joints, close to your body with the palms open facing inwards and fingers straight and pointing down.

Kindly Notice :
 Practice “Navkar Dhyan (Meditation) attend J.Y.D.S.KENDRA’S Yoga & Dhyan Camp. For detail contact : jaindhyan@in.com .

According to Sramana Bhagvan Mahavira, there are four types of Dhyana (Meditation).Keep the mind always engaged in one thought continuously or to concentrate the mind only on one thing or thought, is called ‘Dhyana’ (Meditation). This meditation may be auspicious and proper or inauspicious and improper.

Thus, there are four types of mediation on the basis of auspiciousness or inauspiciousness.

1. Arta Dhyana - (Inauspicious meditation on unhappiness) - To be eager and agitated; (1) to get rid of an unpleasant thing or an unpleasant individual; (2) to get a pleasant thing, which has been lost; (3) to get rid of a disease and (4) to see that the available comforts and enjoyments are not lost - is Artadhyana (meditation of an unhappy person).
(1) To be troubled, (2) to feel sorry, (3) to cry, (4) to lament loudly - these constitute the characteristics of this Dhyana.
One who engages in artadhyana is born in the lower order of mammals.

2. Raudra Dhyana (Meditation on cruel and angry thoughts) - To think of violence, untruth, and theft for the protection of available means of enjoyment, is ‘Raudra Dhyana’. ‘Raudra’ means cruel. To think in a cruel and murderous manner or inclination is ‘Raudra Dhyana’. The practice of greater or lesser violence, collection of and training in murderous weapons, not to repent for one’s faults till death - these are the characteristics of this dhyana. One who resorts to raudra mediation goes to hell. The aforesaid two meditations are not worth resorting to.

3. Dharma Dhyana (Meditation on religious matters) -
To interpret the meaning of Agamas (Scriptures) and the words of the Vitaragas, is - Dharmadhyana. To create interest in the words of the Vitaragas and Tirthankaras, to show feelings and make attempts to behave according to their advice - these are the characteristics of this dhyana.

4. Sukla Dhyana -
This has 4 types : (1) Bheda-Cintana (Contemplation of difference) - To contemplate that the body and the soul are different, is called Prthaktva - Vitarka - Savicara. (2) Abhedacinatna (Contemplation of non-difference) To contemplete on the form of the soul - I am the soul - is called Ekatvavitarka - vicara. (3) To suppress the activity of the mind, the speech and the body is called suksmkriya-apratipatty. (4) Steady condition under suppression of subtle activity like breathing is called samucchinnakriya anivrtti. Discreption, renunciation, absence of delusion and steadiness in the face of difficulties - these are the characteristics of the four types of sukla Dhyana. He who takes to the sukla dhyana attains moksa (liberation) and attains to the class of Siddhas.

Meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism for ages. Jain meditation and spiritual practices system is referred to as salvation-path. It's three important constituents are Right perception and faith, Right knowledge and Right conduct which are also known as Three Jewels.Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom.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 Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.

Mount Kailash,Bahubali, son of Rishabha practiced meditation for twelve months maintaining same standing posture.King Bharata, elder son of Rishabha, got in trance state by fixing his gaze on his image in mirror and got deep into meditation and finally attained enlightenment.Fixing gaze on some object for meditation has been an important meditation technique followed in Jainism
Bahubali practicing meditation in standing Kayotsarga posture. Statue is carved from a single stone fifty-seven feet high in 981 A.D., is located in Karnataka, India

Indus Valley excavation findings of many antique objects like coins, etc. depict Rishabha in meditative posture.All the twenty four Tirthankar practiced deep meditation, some for years, some for months and attained enlightenment. All the statues and pictures of Tirthankar primarily show them in meditative postures.Mahaveer, the twenty fourth Tirthankar, in 5th century BCE, practiced twelve years of deep meditation and attained enlightenment. Acharya Mahapragyas conclusion of Acharya Kundakunda's understanding on practices of Mahaveer is that all other penances of Mahaveer like fasting were done to get support for meditation.

The Acaranga Sutra based on teachings of Lord Mahaveer dating back to 500 BCE, describes Jain meditation and spiritual practices elaborately and in minute detail of philosophy. The Sutraktianga,Bhagavati and Sthanang also gives directions on contemplation,Yogasana, meditation, etc. Aup-paatik has organised presentation of Tapoyga which is a kind of right conduct.

Acharya Bhadrabahu of 400 BCE, practiced Mahaprana meditation for twelve years.Description of practice of Samadhi meditation by many other Acharya is also found.Chandragupta Maurya the founder of Maurya empire was
Acharya Bhadrabahu's disciple and became Jain monk. The Acharya later migrated to southern part in India and it helped Jainism to spread in South India. Acharya Bhadrabahu also took Chandragupta Maurya to South India along with him.Acharya Kundakunda of first century BCE, from southern Indian state,Tamil Nadu opened new dimensions of meditation in Jain tradition through books like Samayasara, Pravachansaar. Holistic approach to salvation path is written and compiled in a single book Tattvartha Sutra by Acharya Umaswati.

Acharya Bhadrabahu II, Jinbhadra, Pujyapada Devanandi were great spiritual experts during the period of 4th, 5th, 6th century of CE. They made remarkable contribution through their literature.Haribhadra Suri in eight century and Acharya Hemachandrain twelve century CE, presented meditation through different approaches and viewpoints. During eighteenth century CE, Acharya Vinay Vijay worte Shantsudharasa on contemplation practices. Upadhyaaya Yashovijay in the same century wrote extensivley on meditation.

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 the Atman. 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, Atman.

The 24 Jain Tirthankars are always seen in meditative posture and have practiced it deeply and attained enlightenment.

Kindly Notice :                     
 Practice “JAIN Dhyan (Meditation) attend J.Y.D.S.KENDRA’S Yoga & Dhyan Camp. For detail contact : jaindhyan@in.com

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