'Sadhana' means 'To attain some goal, keeping yourself focused, calm and determinant onto it; only by keeping mind away from any type of distractions.' 'Samadhi' means 'To keep your body in a particular straight posture and become a viewer of sensations on body parts without reacting on them.' 'Prajna/Pragya' means 'To receive the knowledge about truths... the truths which you can observe and feel within you and around you.' And this is the context behind 'Vipassana'.
Vipassana Meditation Center, Jaipur
So this time I got a chance to attend Vipassana Course of 10 days at Vipassana Center, Dhamma Thali, Near Sisodiya Rani Garden, Jaipur. For new student it is compulsory to attend this 10 days course and after that you are eligible to attend 3 days to 30 days courses. Situated in the nature's basket of Galta Hills... fresh air and lots of dancing peacocks are enough to rejuvenate one and reduce the level of tension. But seriously it is not at all a place for PICINIC. It has true culture of ancient 'sadhana' and in these 10 days you will feel how difficult life our Yogis and Tapasvis were surviving in ancient India. You will have a glimpse of their years of sadhana in these 10 days and yes, 10 days are really a very short time period for what we are going to achieve here.
Rules and Regulations
- No electronic device allowed inside. Means you will be away from your mobile, camera, laptop, etc.
- No reading, No writing allowed.
- It is advised not to wear any type of jewelry or anything which can distract any sadhak from sadhana.
- Your dress should be simple, easy while sitting in a particular posture and should not be transparent or shorter over knees or sleeveless.
- Boys and girls will live in their separate regions and one should keep himself away from any sexual thoughts.
- You will not follow any of your religious practice in these 10 days. No chanting and not wearing or keeping any religious thing with you.
- To follow 5 'Sheel' (Conducts) and these are:
- Noble Silence: No communication at all... from mouth or in gestures or in writing. You can talk to your teacher only, if you find any problem in your 'sadhana' however.
- Truthfulness: You will never speak lie in those 10 days and noble silence will help you there. But you will maintain that truthfulness and transparency with your teacher as well. And truthfulness is related to not only speaking truth, but also not to hide truth.
- Keep yourself away from theft.
- Keep your mind in sadhana only and away from any activities which distract it from sadhana like joy, emotions, anger, sexual thoughts, arrogance and deceiving.
- Follow 'Ahinsa': Do not kill any creature... even try to save small ants.
Theory behind these Rules
It is considered that 'Sadhana' is for complete purification of mind and abundance of different types of thoughts indulge your 'Man' (Mind) in different thinking activities and destroy your peace of mind and concentration. Mobile disturbs the mind with its radiations a lot even after switching it off. Other devices, even reading or writing generate thoughts and actions which are useless in this 'sadhana'. Showy wearing captures other person's attention and hence he/she distracts. The same happens when you talk to someone. It generates thoughts in both the minds as well as other viewers/listeners.
God fearing people take help of some chants or Godly figures to overcome or handle any difficult situation and here they try to free your soul from any imposed fears, rituals or Godly figures, so ask us to free our mind from all fears and remove anything related to God. This system believes in the default power of your mind... the power within you... purification of your soul instead of doing wrong deeds and then move to God to help us out. As per them no God can help you but yourself. If you are on the correct path, you never need anything else to make you successful or help you out in difficult situations.
Not telling you about exact methods they apply, so that you can go and explore it, but giving you an outline so that you can prepare your mind accordingly.
- It starts with natural breath practice and you need to sit for approx. 10-11 hours per day for practicing it. You may choose seating on carpet, with or without pillows, with or without back support or seating on chair as per your ease.
- Then they teach you to concentrate and feel different sensations in different parts of body and to avoid them too. You will observe but will not react on any type of sensation.
- Then you were asked to sit in a particular position, whatever you choose... but for an hour. In starting if you are having trouble in that you may change posture one or two times at a max in an hour.
- Then they put you in a cell where you will be alone. That cell is a very tiny room to sit and meditate without any fan, so some people find it difficult in starting, but day by day you start enjoying it and feel your body becoming lighter than before.
- After the troubles of these days when you start speaking, you find a changed purified personality within you.
It is beneficial in increasing concentration, avoiding distractions, keeping yourself focused on your goal only, controlling emotional imbalance in difficult situations, understanding the difference between right and wrong in life.
Vipassana Course Fees
Vipassana Course is absolutely free with no charge of rooms and dining there. And at the end of your course you may donate any amount for the next batch of students. So it runs on donation basis. Whatever we were eating and using was a charity from some other person.
Vipassana Dhamma Thali Jaipur Review
If you are open-minded and just want to take advantage from the technique, then it will really help you out. But as everything start having some problems by the time passes, it also has and I want to share it, so that before going there, you can make-up your mind accordingly.
- Human mind involves in two works mainly, one is calculations and another is music. So in all type of prayer there is some sort of tune or rhythm by which we like it, recite it and remember it. At Vipassana they asks us to stop remembering any of our prayers or Godly figures so mind can work only in one direction, but from morning to night they play 'Mangal Gaan' and some other hymns in Hindi and Pali language and I found myself reciting them in my mind. So the motive of concentration of mind on breath only, was I believe failed.
- As per Goyanka Ji (The saint in voice) whatever written in Vedas and other sacred books, has no proof of correctness but here they are providing a methodology which is based on experience and one can experience sensations separately in each inch of body and after a long practice in each particle... But we all know we are not that much dedicated to become Buddha and get freedom of soul or 'Mukti'. So we cannot have that experience and without that, all the sayings were equivalent of what is written in sacred books. Vipassana teachers were practicing this technique from a long time, but still not able to feel sensations like lord Buddha felt and even does Goyanka Ji itself become lord Buddha? So it is again a thing which is written somewhere in there books or passed to them from one generation to other... just like Veda does. Then how he is saying other holly books useless?
- Our life is so tiny to experience all the knowledge of this world and after death. And again it is about interest, somebody like psychology, some philosophy and some astronomy and no one has the right to say psychology better than other sciences just because you can experience it.
- After sitting for more than 10 hours daily students feel backache which is quite normal and teachers may say that this problem will resolve when our body will have practice of that sitting. But they try to connect it with bad deeds 'Vikar' which are coming out. If one has sudden pimples due to hot summers of Rajasthan or groundnuts as a part of his food... they relate it also with 'Vikar' of 'Man' (anger, deception, arrogance, lust). So it looks like they are trying to connect everything with 'Man' and 'Vikar' and on 10th day you are out of it with because of perspiration in tiny cells (starting from fifth day) which works like steam bath, they make you believe that your 'Vikar' are out from your body then.
- This practice of meditation in a tiny cell was evolved in the mountains of Himalaya, in Tibetan region, which is a quite cold region throughout the year with enough moisture in environment. But neglecting the region, time and situation, Vipassana implemented the same for Jaipur... in the hot and dry summers of May-June... What if students start suffering from dehydration?
- According to Goyanka Ji, Religion or 'Dharma' should have simple language, so that one can understand it completely. But we were asked to ask for knowledge from our teacher in Pali language Mantra. Nobody knows that language and I know our pronunciation was wrong, but we were following the order. Can't we ask to gain knowledge from teacher in Hindi or English? Does Buddha have problem in that? Or at least they should write that 'Shloka/Mantra' in Roman so that pronunciation become correct by all the participants. The impact is of correctness in speaking any 'Mantra' which was not there.
- Silence has its own power and if we are thoughtless and really silent by mind and body then it really helps in increasing concentration and seriousness, but we were speaking daily to our teacher for some time. Apart from it because today religion is becoming a business and a way to fool people, our judgmental mind was continuously judging and was not silent.
- Every morning we were doing meditation on breath from 4:30AM to 6:30AM and from 6:00 to 6:30 Goyanka ji spells some hymn in Pali and in Hindi (in recording, on speaker), but seriously in morning time I love to hear the voice of my soul only and no noise of speakers.
- On 4th day Goyanka Ji in cassette, told us about Vipassana technique... The whole lecture can be covered in 10 minutes only but it was two hours lecture in Hindi and English and we were literally paining by sitting and listening that repeated sensations synonyms first in Hindi and just after that translated in English, for two hours. That was like a torture or a test of your patience, which I have very less and quit the course in between.
- When I was leaving some foreigner was abusing the teacher at male side and that side staff members and teacher were also shouting on him. Issue was he also wanted to leave and quit the course, but the teacher was not permitting him. He wanted his passport back which was only possible by the permission of teacher. I understand that may be whole fault was of that foreign person, but still it is not looking good that a center of peace is shouting and abusing a person for any of his deed... It shows that they still have a lot of anger in them which is against the concept of Vipassana. That foreigner was shouting because of his fear for Indian system. He was new in India and you took his passport and refused to return it... Just imagine what if you are in a foreign country and somebody take your passport... In a fraction of second, you will also fill with many negative thoughts and may start abusing or crying... It should not happen there.
- As per Goyanka ji, Lord Buddha did lot of 'sadhana' in caves and covered areas but got 'Bodhi' (Jnan/Gyan/Knowledge) under the shade of a tree. So who knows the way they are imposing on everybody is not according to their tendency of body.
- At the end I want to say, it is really hard to create a center for all sects with peace and harmony and what they are trying to achieve is good. Just they need to put Bauddh Sect and Pali language aside from the technique so that everybody gain benefits of this technique without having a thought that he is indulging himself in a new religious activity of different sect which continually saying that your sect teaches you wrong or that all has no ground.
- I was astonished that the center has more than 150 boys and 100 girls, but it was having pin drop silence. Amazing!!!
Vipassana Center is strict and each sadhak and sadhika (pupil) has to follow all rules. Although some people do not follow all the rules and teacher will not punish you or throw you out, but ask you to change your behavior. Actually we are paying our precious time to purify our soul and 10 days is really a very small period for that big task. So it is our responsibility to follow the rules and believe in them, to gain maximum advantage of those ten days. And one last thing I forgot to tell you... they provide a variety of delicious vegetarian food without onion and garlic which is not at all spicy and I love that kind of food... So it was perfect for me.