Paryushana has begun. This is a great time for reflection. A good time to think about the Bhavanas.
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 Bhavana.
Dharma Durlabha Bhavana
This Bhavana focuses on the fact we need to understand the scriptures that have been left by the Tirthankars.
Why? Well we need the knowledge in the scriptures so that we can understand what we need to do and why. If we want to achieve liberation, we need to know what we must do, how often and why must it be done. These are all key to us attaining Moksha which we can only manage in a human birth.
Question: So how do we do it? Just get some texts and read them?
Answer: No. Just as we need a teacher when we’re learning something new in school or a mentor at work; we also need someone to help us understand the scriptures. The teacher must have the right perception and knowledge to help us achieve liberation i.e. someone who has samyak darshan (someone who has experienced their soul).
At this time, it’s very difficult to know who is a true learned soul and who isn’t. However, it is NOT impossible and it is the key to us progressing on the spiritual path.
When you meet someone who can help you find and remain on the path to freedom, you will begin to see a difference in how you feel, what you experience, how you react and best of all; the peace you feel inside will grow.
Jigna Malde and I read this Bhavna in a book called Bhavna Bodh.
We used this to write the article above