It is Paryushana in 7 days time. Thus in preparation of the 8 days to come, I thought it would be good to blog about the Bhavnas beforehand. Some food for thought! 🙂

So what’s a Bhavna? Well…Jainism puts a significant emphasis on the thought process of a human being. A person’s behaviour and his actions are the reflection of his internal thoughts, day in and day out. Our thoughts and actions result in the accumulation of Karma. Thus we should be mindful in our thoughts. Jainism expresses a need to make room for pure thoughts, and to drive out the impure ones. A way to do this would be through reflecting or meditating on the twelve thoughts or Bhavnas.

The twelve Bhavnas described here are the subject matters of one’s meditation, and how to occupy one’s mind with useful, religious, beneficial, peaceful, harmless, spiritually advancing, karma preventing thoughts. They cover a wide field of teachings of Jainism. They are designed to serve as aids to spiritual progress, produce detachment, and lead the aspirants from the realm of desire to the path of renunciation. They are reflections upon the fundamental facts of life, intended to develop purity of thought and sincerity in the practice of religion.

The purpose of the Bhavnas is to aid spiritual progress, produce detachment, and lead the aspirants from the realm of desire to the path of renunciation.

Asharan Bhavana

This Bhavana reflects the fact that nothing and nobody can protect you. Here are some examples to illustrate this Bhavana.

Have you heard of Martin Luther King? He was a well known black civil rights activist in America. Despite the good causes he was fighting for and the number of followers he had; he was still assassinated. Nothing could protect him from death.

Do you remember Mother Teresa? She was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun who helped the sick, the poor, orphans, those who were terminally ill and many more. She was unwell for a few years and then had a heart attack in 1997. Despite the world’s prayers to make her well, she passed away. This reflects the fact that with even the best intentions and wishes, we cannot protect other and each being must endure their own karmas.

What’s the good in knowing and accepting this Bhavana? Well…once we endure the karmas that we have bound; as long as we take care to NOT acquire more, we will only need to shed what we have gathered already. Then, with the help of a self realised soul, we will be well on the way to attaining Moksha which is everlasting bliss.

Jigna Malde and I read this Bhavna in a book called Bhavna Bodh.
We used this to write the article above
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