What does VIPASHYANA teach? – Shilpa shah, director in-charge, HKBBA College
Nowadays many people are very much interested and attracted towards many different types of VIPASHYANA camp as well as some of us are closely associated with VIPASHYANA camp. Many VIPASHYANA camps are organized, large numbers of people attend, prefer VIPASHYANA camps and perhaps even experience a momentary peace. VIPASHYANA is an important part of Buddhism. The SADHANA of VIPASHYANA is the best tool for the upliftment of human beings. But without understanding its true form, it may become momentarily beneficial, but the wonderful benefits that VIPASHYANA is capable of may not be achieved. So it is imperative to understand what is called VIPASHYANA, how VIPASHYANA performs and what VIPASHYANA actually teaches.
If we start with the word VIPASHYANA (विपशयना), there is a treaty of two words “वि” and “पशय”. Here “वि” means “विशिष्ट तरह से” that is in a special way and “पशय” that is a Sanskrit word which means to see. Thus, to see this world in a special way is VIPASHYANA. Now the question arises that what is to see and how to see in a special way and what is wrong with our seeing or understanding, and if so, what is the correct way of seeing by removing wrong? In fact every one of our general visions is flawed because we cannot see what is actually there and what is not is always visible to us as the sun is stationary but we see rising and setting. In the same way, we cannot see many things in the world, such as physical relations, wealth, material happiness, etc., in their real form. We all believed that all these perishable things such as physical relations, wealth, material happiness, etc. which are actually not of our own as well as not eternal. The things which are not our own as well as indestructible bound to be released but we cannot understand or see it for the rest of our lives. So that when all such things (body, relationships, wealth, material well-being) accompany us, we feel joy and we experience the feeling of grief when we are separated from it. This is called improper vision because we never see the things in its right sense or original form. Wise men call this DRASHTIRAGA because everything looks exactly the same to us as we would like to see it, that is, as per our raga or emotions. There are two main reasons behind this
1) Choice and
In short what appears is not always right and what does not appear might be there. There is a rainbow in the sky but it is not visible under normal circumstances. Our worldly experience is also something like that. We actually don’t like those things or persons who are blunt in talking but who are sweet and soft in talking even if not good by heart we like it. The scriptures call this Maya and in that sense this world is Maya. We see unrealistic world through the spectacles of prejudice and choice, so Lord Buddha advised us to see the world in a specific way through the SADHANA of VIPASHYANA, which is very scientific. In the true sense of VIPASHYANA’s SADHANA, if its true purpose is understood and practiced with a deep scientific understanding, there can be no other excellent SADHANA like VIPASHYANA for the upliftment of human beings.
In short, to see this world in a special way is VIPASHYANA. VIPASHYANA means to see and recognize the real form of the soul differently and distinctly from what we are now clinging to this physical body as we are perceived as an indestructible soul. On the other hand, let us just look at the moment-to-moment sensation (good or bad, that is, happiness or sorrow) and witness it with full awareness without any verbal or karmic reaction with silence, it is called VIPASHYANA. Through which all the bitterness of life is destroyed. Infatuation, jealousy, ego, ignorance is eliminated. Becomes equanimous and acquires the real art of living. We all know that true peace in life is possible only through purity of mind and becoming equanimous as the impure mind is the home of many pains and diseases. If the human mind is the cause of bondage, then it is also the cause of liberation. So that the mind must be specially trained. Because all our senses run according to the command of the mind. If the mind commands the eyes (one of the senses) to see the real and true vision, then the senses will see in a certain way and the SADHANA of VIPASHYANA will be successful. But the mind commands the senses according to its own personal preference and prejudice so that real vision cannot be possible. In short, the factor responsible for worldly delusions, liberation from suffering or salvation is the human mind, whose purity is indispensable for VIPASHYANA that is to see the world in a special way. The SADHANA of VIPASHYANA is the only system to purify the mind.
The ultimate path for salvation is effortless and choice-less awareness. For which it is imperative to be free from choice and prejudice. But we are trapped in a web of lifelong choices, likes and dislikes. Intense selection always produces bias. Hatred is born out of the obstacles that stand in the way of our selection process, which in turn creates the prejudice that a certain person or thing is not right. This is where the journey of acceptance and rejection begins that makes life a struggle. In most cases, behind such choices and prejudices are many past deeds, pre-existing lusts i.e. memory and sacraments. According to prehistory, man only reacts mechanically, he does not even know why he likes someone so much without any reason and in the same way he hates someone without any reason. There is never a reason to fall in love and perhaps that is why we say “प्यार किया नहीं जाता हो जाता हे” which literally means that there is no current reason behind our choice. In the same way, for many people, why do we have dislike, hatred, envy we don’t know. Behind all this is the karma of pre-birth, past instinct, sacraments, past memory, responsible for any insatiable work. Which forces the person to react mechanically. So it is necessary to be vigilant. Such a mechanical reaction can never be avoided without awareness. Many such internal reactions produce many constraints and karmic pains in life which must be left unresponsive to avoid. Because without it is not possible to see the world in its true form and in a specific way. The only purpose of VIPASHYANA is to see the world in its true form. Which teaches witnessing, living in the present constantly, observing the present moment.
Even so, we all experience that when there is no fear of losing something in life and no expectation of gaining anything, life becomes free, painless and birth free. The desire to be something, to want something, to get something, etc., is the only bond that arises. Due to which the vicious cycle of birth, life and sorrow goes on. Such a life cycle produces numerous conflicts through multiple acceptances and rejections. Which destroys the person all the way. That is why VIPASHYANA teaches us to be free from the dilemma of acceptance and rejection. Neither action nor reaction, nor desire nor action, only by witnessing. That is to say, by teaching in a specific way, which weakens the raga-DWESHA, achieves fearlessness, liberates from the clutches of desire and acquires the art of living in the present. Thus VIPASHYANA is the ultimate path to liberation. In fact liberation from constantly talking, thinking and doing in vain means salvation. J. KRISHANAMURTI calls it awakening or awareness. Such awareness is obtained by cultivating witnessing which is necessary in the life for VIPASHYANA SADHANA.
In short, to see this world in a special way is VIPASHYANA. The purpose of VIPASHYANA is awakening, purity of mind, Concentration, Introversion and Equality. The SADHANA of VIPASHYANA teaches man to be free from choice and prejudice. It teaches liberation from the dilemma of acceptance and rejection. It teaches to be freed from the clutches of ignorance, desires and fear. But all this is possible when it is properly understood and practiced. Otherwise it will be just a picnic-like camp that gives a momentary peace or joy. But it cannot bring lasting joy or lasting peace. VIPASHYANA has nothing to do with any religion, sect or creed. It is an incomparable achievement, which only human beings can attain. Because it requires a mind that God has given only to man. That is why the human vagina is considered the best. Because he can experience special things that are impossible for every living being, he can attain greatness and he can also experience the revelation of divine power. We have the power to be God but we have to recognize that power. The identity that is made possible by the mind and is realized by VIPASHYANA. Thus VIPASHYANA teaches us to see the existence in a special way. Life must be blessed by truly understanding the SADHANA of VIPASHYANA.
There are three parts to the SADHANA of VIPASHYANA.
1) SHEEL (do’s and don’ts)
2) Samadhi (concentration) and
3) PRAGYA (cognition).
1) SHEEL means yam and NIYAM means do’s and don’ts means to understand what to do and what not to do. Like Yama means what should not be done (what should be left out) lies, violence, possession, theft etc. should be abandoned. When the NIYAMA is rule that is rule of purification, celibacy, puja-bhakti etc.
2) Samadhi means witnessing that is watching everything with a concentrated mind.
3) PRAGYA means egoless intellect. PRAGYA means wisdom or discernment. Through which ignorance and illusion can be eradicated. Through which the man becomes desire-free, lust-free and fearless.
I think that if VIPASHYANA and its basic form are identified in this way, the emancipation must be easy and the culmination of lasting joy and peace can be reached. Which is the ultimate goal of human life. But it remains to be seen that no benefit is possible from VIPASHYANA in a life without Yama and NIYAMA. The panacea for all ailments is cognition (PRAGYA) which is not possible without the practice of concentration and such concentration (SAMADHI) is possible only through Yama and NIYAMA that is regular ascetic life. If this is understood before practicing VIPASHYANA, the expected benefit can be obtained.
~ Shilpa shah, director in-charge, HKBBA College