This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

 Vipassana: a practical approach for mental peace

Indu Bala & R. K. Sokhi — Defence Institute of Psychological Research, Delhi

 

Dvelopments in the fields of science and technology, transportation, communication, agriculture and medicine have revolutionized human life at the material level. However, men and women of highly affluent and developed countries having no dearth of material comfort are still living in conditions of great mental and emotional stress. This perpetual anxiety adversely affects their health and it leads to ill health (psychosomatic disorders), such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, peptic ulcer, asthma, indigestion sometimes even mental imbalance, thus it is rightly said that all misery comes from tension, stress, fear and unsatisfied desires. Body and mind are like two sides of the same coin i.e. interconnected and mental or physical processes are intermingled e.g. if one generates anger in mind he is bound to feel sensations of heat, palpitation, tension, which makes him and others unhappy, unhealthy. A healthy body has a healthy mind. To keep the body healthy and strong one does physical exercises like yoga, jogging etc., but to keep the mind healthy and strong, which is more important and necessary, generally people are clueless. According to Buddha “mind eliminates all the action, one should not allow it to become weak or diseased”. People live in a complex and stressful world if the mind is not strong, we lose the balance of the mind and become miserable. So how to purify the mind? The Buddha gave a wonderful path to purify the mind, not just at the surface level but at the root level, one can live a happy, peaceful, and harmonious life. That is Vipassana meditation, one of the most ancient meditation technique in India rediscovered by Gautam Buddha more than 2500 year ago. Vipassana mean “to see things as they really are”. It is a scientific process of mental purification through self-observation. Vipassana Meditation enables meditators to gain mastery over the mind, on the basis of morality, and to develop experimental wisdom to eradicate all the defilements of craving and aversion. The aim of this meditation technique is to purify mind not at the intellectual level, but one understands at the experimental level which will give the real fruitful results. According to this method meditators stop the mind from straying outside and try to concentrate it within the body (inner-world) in order to purify it. The pure mind is by nature full of love, peace, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. As a by-product of mental purification, many psycho-somatic diseases get eradicated, and with such a clear and calm mind one is able to live a happy, peaceful, and harmonious life. The present paper will discuss the knowledge, procedure and implications of Vipassana in detail.

Email the author, Mr. Indu Bala, at indubala@dipr.drdo.in