Jain religion puts a significant emphasis on the thought process of a human being. A person’s behavior and his actions are the reflection of his internal thoughts, day in and day out. It is not the action but intention behind the action results in the accumulation of Karma.
One should be very careful about his thoughts, how he thinks, and the subject matter of his thought.
To make room for pure thoughts, and to drive out the evil ones, Jainism recommends to meditate the following 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 reflections are also called Anuprekshas, longings, thoughts, aspirations, or Bhavnas.
1. Anitya Bhavna – Impermanence of the world
2. Asarana Bhavna – No one provides protection
3. Samsara Bhavna – No permanent relationship in universe
4. Ekatva Bhavna – Solitude of the soul
5. Anyatva Bhavna – Separateness
6. Asuci Bhavna – Impureness of the body
7. Asrava Bhavna – Influx of karma
8. Samvara Bhavna – Stoppage of influx of karma
9. Nirjara Bhavna – Shedding of karma
10. Loka Bhavna – Transitory of universe
11. Bodhi-durlabha – Unattainability of right faith,
Bhavna knowledge, and conduct
12. Dharma Bhavna – Unattainability of true preceptor,
Twelve Reflections or Bhavnas (G50) 01/19/93 12BHAVNA.A01
Complied by Pravin K. Shah, Jain Study Center of North Carolina
scriptures, and religion.