top of page

Srikensho – Buddha in Action

Srikensho – Buddha in Action

Kensho is a Japanese word used in Zen Buddhism. It denotes an initial awakening experience. It is realising our True Nature or the Buddha nature. We have to constantly do introspection to know the illusory nature of separate self. The process of perception is through our consciousness. It involves the perceived object, the process of perception and a perceiving object. The actual process of Kensho requires the guidance of an enlightened Master or the Zen Master. The method is known as the constant questioning self about ‘Who am I ? or ‘Koh Ahum’ in Sanskrit.

I find this process extremely useful in Sri Anand Yoga – the Yoga of Happiness. I use it in a totally different context and manner. For a common person, doing meditation is a hopelessly frustrating experience. What is commonly done under the term ‘meditation’ is mental simulation of some happy state. It is a sort of virtual reality. It invariably fails to make any substantive impact in everyday life of a common person. The actual reality in here is vastly different from the simulated scenario of the meditated state out there. At best, it only helps just as a person under the influence of psychedelic drugs or alcohol has a euphoric feeling when he is ‘high’ on drugs. When the effect of the chemical is waned, one crash lands on the ground of reality. This happens only in the best of times. In actual practice and in most of the cases, we do not get even this benefit out of meditation. As soon as one closes his eyes and begins meditation, his mental machinery takes over his brain and he starts thinking all sorts of thoughts. At other times the very process of closing eyes and remaining motionless causes a person to go into a half-sleep state and then straight into semi-wakeful dreaming state. The meditation process gets hijacked without one realising it's happening.

In Sri Anand Yoga, we follow different processes. Instead of the process of doing meditation in seclusion under the guidance of Zen Master in some Ashram or Monastery for an extended period of time, the process I adopt in Sri Anand Yoga is that of doing a ‘parallel thinking of Kensho’ in everyday living experience. There is no Zen Master, no monastery, no closing of eyes, no lying motionless.

The impartial, non-Judgmental observing ‘I’ is my Zen Master. My inner mental atmosphere is my Ashram.

To distinguish it from the Japanese-Zen Kensho, I call it Srikensho as part of Sri Anand Yoga.

Whenever any worry, tension, irritation, anxiety, excitement creates ripples in my mind, it is the point I have to do the Srikensho. It is a sort of ‘handle’ which I take a grip on. Doing pure meditation in seclusion needs some very high level techniques. It is meant for persons with a particular level of spiritual development. The main difficulty in doing ‘pure’ meditation is that we can not think at ‘abstract’ level. Our mind is accustomed to focus on something ‘concrete’. Thinking of ‘joy’ as an abstract or pure idea is difficult to grasp. Thinking of the joy I get when I eat my favourite ice-cream is more concrete and easy to focus on. My mental act of responding to the event which triggers the ripples is at present done in a semi-automatic manner. This connection operates at two levels – reception of environmental data at Brain and reception of emotional data at Heart. The Heart also receives the emotional trigger from the Brain based on its interpretation of the external data received by it in the first stage. Through the process of Srikensho, I have to give an infinitesimally micro level pause between the process of action and the response. This is the Master Key of Srikensho. This breaks the automaticity of my brain and heart to respond to the external events. There are also some complimentary yogic processes of ‘Solid Breathing’, ‘Energy Kriya Yoga’, ‘Sensual Focusing’ (Sensual = of and relating to Senses) and ‘Earth Rooting’ which greatly help in having effective Srikensho.

Whenever I get upset or excited about something, I immediately ‘grab’ this opportunity of doing Srikensho. I get a ‘handle’ to focus my mind on. I do the mental introspection of the process which causes the ripples on the waters of my mind. There is a limitation of our language to correctly explain this process graphically. Essentially I question my ‘helplessness’ in allowing the ripples to form on my mental water. I realise that I am vulnerable in the hands of my ‘automatic’ instrument of mind-brain-heart-senses. This awareness of the vulnerability is a giant step forward in doing Srikensho. The constant practice increases the fine sensitivity of our awareness to this process of ‘ripple formation’. In order to correctly perceive the process of Srikensho, I give the example of the game of ‘hitting the sliding ball’. In this game, a hollow cylinder of around 2 ft length is kept leaning on the table with an angle of 45 degrees. A person drops a table tennis (ping pong) ball on top of the cylinder. This is seen by the player. He is ready with a ‘hammer’. He gauges the time it takes for the ball to travel through the empty cylinder and come out of the other end at the bottom. As soon as the ball appears out of the bottom of the cylinder, he has to hit the ball with the hammer. This he has to do while the ball has come out of the cylinder and before it falls off the edge of the table. If he is able to hit the ball, he wins. It looks like a fairly simple and straightforward game. As the player sees the dropping of the ball at top of the cylinder, he immediately gets ready to hit the ball as soon as it appears at the bottom of the cylinder and before it falls off the table. Anybody who has actually played this game knows that it is extremely difficult to hit the ball. In 9 out of 10 tries, the attempt fails. This is just to give you an example of ‘hitting the ball’ in nick of time.

Similarly, when we play the game of Srikensho, we have to watch the process of the external process triggering the chain reaction of ‘ripple formation’ on mental water and in the nick of time, put a pause between the two successive elements in this chain. It is difficult, but it is possible. The rewards of playing the game are immense.

This is such a game that even if you fail, you win a lot. Control over self is control over the Universe, which is a projection of the self. Attempting at control in the right manner of Srikensho, even if one fails in it, results in a giant leap forward in one’s ‘happy’ journey on this beautiful planet. The pinnacle of journey may not have been achieved, but the journey itself brings rich dividends on the way.


bottom of page