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Dhyāna in Jainism

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Script error: No such module "AfC submission catcheck". Dhyāna in Jainism refers to contemplation and meditation.


Dhyāna in Jainism is said to be of four kinds, enumerated below:

1. ārta dhyāna, which means the dwelling of the mind on the thoughts of desire — how to obtain and keep together desirable things, and how to avoid and destroy undesirable ones;

2. raudra dhyāna, which signifies delight in doing evil, in deceitful lying, in robbing others forcibly of their property, or in the destruction of those who in any way appear to stand in the way of one’s possession or enjoyment of worldly things;

3. dharma dhyāna, which means the dwelling of the mind on the nature of the soul, and on all that pertains to it and its future states and ideals ;

4. Śukla dhyāna, that is pure self-contemplation, which is a stage higher than that of mere thought activity.

In a general way, dhyāna (mind or attention) is either concerned with the Self or with the not-Self. The not-Self implies the world, and includes all things external to the Self, that is to say, the physical body and all the objects of the senses by which that body is surrounded.

Dharma Dhyāna and śukla Dhyāna[edit]

The difference between these two forms of dhyāna is this, that while in the dharma dhyāna the attention is directed to the soul in an abstract general way, in the śukla dhyāna, it is directed directly to one’s own soul, which is also termed 'the Self.’

Dharma Dhyāna[edit]

Dharma Dhyāna itself is of the following ten kinds, namely  :-

(1) apāya vichaya, respecting the refraining from evil deeds —"how shall I resist evil?”

(2) upāya vichaya, respecting the doing of meritorious works,-“how shall I perform good deeds ? ”

(3) jīva vichaya, respecting the nature of the jīva (soul);

(4) ajīva vichaya, respecting the nature of karmas;

(5) vipāka vichaya, respecting the fruition of karmas;

(6) virāga vichaya, respecting things which engender the spirit of vairāgya (sense of detachment);

(7) bhava vichaya, respecting transmigration;

(8) samsthāna vichaya, respecting the nature of the universe and the conditions of life therein;

(9) ajnā vichaya, respecting the teaching of the Scripture; and

(10) hetu vichaya, respecting the element of contradiction in the written Word of Law (which should be reconciled intellectually).


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