Monday, June 29, 2009

Open Thread

Please use the response section of this open thread to discuss any matters that are not comments on particular posts that I make. I am happy that readers want to use this blog to discuss such topics. However, please keep such comments on the open threads, and don't add them to other posts.

966 comments:

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Nandu Narasimhan said...

David,

Are there accounts of Bhagavan's life which may exist in books in languages other than English? Or has everything been translated?

I ask only because every now and then, a gem surfaces that one has not read about earlier.

Nandu

David Godman said...

If I ever come across such accounts, I make some attempt to obtain a translation. However, I would not be surprised if there are still accounts in other languages that have not so far come to light.

Last week, for example, someone showed me an account of Uma Devi's life that was written in Polish. The person who showed it to me is looking for a translator.

When I started to collect material for The Power of the Presence I deliberately looked for non-English accounts and came up with the work of Madhavatirtha, which turned out to be an excellent addition to the Ramana literature.

I am an optimist on this topic. I always feel that there is some great new story out there waiting for its appointed time to be discovered.

Ki Net said...

Godman, thanks for the interesting article. While reading this article, it takes us to 50+ years back and can very well imagine and visualize the period during Bagawan was physically alive.

Thanks
Prakash

Anonymous said...

Dear David,

Perhaps you would consider including Uma Devi in your big Maurice Frydman project mentioned elsewhere. MF was her very close friend and associate in many projects. Sri Bhagavan’s devotees, though familiar with her from “Talks” or “Day by Day”, may not realize how extraordinary a lady she was. In many ways, much like MF, she led a life which is astonishing in its scope and influence. Her story is yet to be written.

Briefly, for those who may not know:

Umadevi, or Wanda Dynowska, was the chief of the Theosophical society, Poland in the 1920s. A great scholar of her times, she was the Professor of Slavonic Literature at the University of Madrea, and translated a whole host of Indian spiritual literature, from the Bhagavadgita to the Thirukural into Polish. For this purpose MF and WD created the “Polish-Indian Libraries” with perhaps as many as a 100+ books/articles published, an astonishing feat in itself for just 2 people.

Together they met virtually every Indian political and spiritual luminary of that time, for instance, Sri J. Krishnamurti, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama etc. Gandhiji’s collected works, contains many letters written by him to WD ( & MF ) . The Dalai Lama has also spoken about her very fondly many times. WD was to later die in Tibet, trying to do help Tibetan children caught up in the Chinese purges.

Few also would know that she was the early influence in Poland in the spiritual life of one Mieczyslaw (one of the several first-names used by him) Sudowski, later on to be well known to Sri Bhagavan devotees as Mouni Sadhu, from Australia.

regards

David Godman said...

Anonymous

I am planning to include material about Uma Devi in my Frydman project. If you have material on her, I would love to receive a copy of anything you have.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Just a while back, I was reading the Pictorial Biography of Bhagavan. I think this was published during Bhagavan's centenary celebrations (i.e around 1979/80). In this bio (on Pg 18), it is mentioned that on his journey from Madurai to Tv'Malai, on the night of Aug 30th, 1896, Bhagavan was in Kilur, where Muthukrishna Bhagavathar saw him near the Kilur temple and took him home and Bhagavan spent the night there. On the morning of Aug 31st, Bhagavathar's sister fed Bhagavan and later on a loan of Rs. 4/- was advanced to Bhagavan by the Bhagavathar.

However, all the other biographies of Bhagavan say that he spent the night of Aug 30th on the roadside in Kilur and next day since he wanted some money for his tvl expenses, he went to the Bhagavthar's house to ask for the loan.

Which version is correct ? Did Bhagavathar spot Bhagavan near the temple of Kilur and was impressed by him and so took him home or did Bhagavan just happened to chose Bhagavathar's house at random ?

Thank you,
shiv

Losing M. Mind said...

I've been watching repeatedly Papaji satsangs, and there is this seeming difference between Maharshi's teachings and Papaji's teaching's on the necessity of practice. or so it seems. The more I watch it, the more I hear Papaji I don't see the difference. What Papaji seems to be saying is that when what we are looking for is the Self, the deepest realms of Consciousness free of attachment. Doing other repeated tasks will not help us, will not get us closer to it. What becomes more and more clear about Self-inquiry is that it is an inquiry not a practice. It is not a rote method. Most meditations I learned prior and yoga are rote methods. It seems the main focus, the difference between a jnani and an ajnani is attachment. The more I practice it seems the aim is the deepest levels of mystery, beyond layer of layer of attachment, of belief. And the vasanas of the heart tug me back into this world of illusory desire for things that just aren't. Some of the other aspects just go along with no attachment. There is no person, or form to an individual and a world, the form is not the Self. Attachment is what makes me want something else. If I didn't want something else I'd fall blissfully into the deepest levels of formless mystery, deeper and deeper until that was all there is letting everything else fall by the wayside. But in that, there are no objects, there are no people, there are none of the things I'm attached to, and an awareness I'm forsaking those objects for eternity. That is the attachment. The Self, this deep mystery of ancient, eternal Consciousness beckons not because it's safe but because it's fascinating and mysterious. The attachments are looking for security.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... LMM; But in that, there are no objects, there are no people, there are none of the things I'm attached to, and an awareness I'm forsaking those objects for eternity. That is the attachment. ...

Really true. There is an interesting article for westeners by David Loy explaining the "fear of the void" further:

Avoiding the Void: The Lack of Self in Psychotherapy and Buddhism

.

Bookworm said...

Hello Clemens, you say:

'Really true. There is an interesting article for westeners by David Loy explaining the "fear of the void" further'

......

Who sees/knows the void?

shiba ( japanese man) said...

Hello.

I have a question.

I think mind is in my body.Mind functons as mainly emotions and intellect.Perceptions like sight,sound,smelland touch etc are not mind.

I think bhagvan view of mind is quite different from my view.But diferences are not clear to
me.Please expalain the diferences.

Anonymous said...

Dear Vargas-Ramos, The article by
David Loy covering psychotherapy, psychiatry and the void. It is
interesting but really has nothing to do with enlightment, jnana or
understanding the nature of existance. I view it as more book
knowledge and it can't lead to a
real spiritual breakthrough.
Would anyone like to comment?

Bookworm said...

Hello Shiba...you say:
'I have a question.
I think mind is in my body.Mind functons as mainly emotions and intellect.Perceptions like sight,sound,smelland touch etc are not mind.
I think bhagvan view of mind is quite different from my view.But diferences are not clear to
me.Please expalain the diferences'
.....

Maybe..
it is the other way around and your body, intellect and senses are in your mind..possibly?

Anonymous said...

dear david godman
in your book Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, you state....
In the early stages of practice attention to the feeling ‘I’ is a mental activity which takes the form of a thought or a perception. As the practice develops, the thought ‘I’ gives way to a subjectively experienced feeling of ‘I’

could you please expand on this...this seems to be vital...but its hardly covered in detail...and i think some detail is required here as its easy to use imagination and not fact...

thanks in advancefor your answer

Anonymous said...

Dear Losing M. Mind.
President Obama is a mature and intelligent man but to jump to the
conclusion that he is a Jnani is perhaps somewhat premature.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... Obama as a jnani ...

... who knows?

What's about this - perhaps not the words of a jnani, but words of jnana:

"Consciousness expresses itself through creation. This world we live in is the dance of the creator. Dancers come and go in the twinkling of an eye but the dance lives on. On many an occasion, when I am dancing, I have felt touched by something sacred. In those moments, I felt my spirit soar and become one with everything that exists. I become the stars and the moon. I become the lover and the beloved. I become the victor and the vanquished. I become the master and the slave. I become the singer and the song. I become the knower and the known. I keep on dancing and then, it is the eternal dance of creation. The creator and the creation merge into one wholeness of joy. I keep on dancing — until there is only ... the dance."
Michael Jackson, 1992

Bookworm said...

Nice comment Clemens

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

The Book of Privy Counsel is a book of an unknown author of Englands 14th century who is known as the "Cloud-Author" (because of another more famous work by him, The Cloud of Unknowing).

Quotes of "The Book of Privy Counsel" sometimes sound like quotes of Bhagavan or vedantic scriptures:

"Become aware of your own being, do not think what you are, but that you are." (p.152)

"Do this not with thoughts, but just the 'blind, general awareness of your being.'" (p. 156)

Unfortunately I found no copy of the original text in the net although I found and still enjoy the german translation of it (the text of the "Cloud" is available in the net).

It's great to find our own roots here in Europe.

.

Anonymous said...

David,
I'm wondering if you have a transcript of this 3-part interview (i can't hear your replies because of the overlapping russian translation):
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6641808197809498733&hl=en

Losing M. Mind said...

I was thinking about how there are different aspects of the teachings that as I've learned about them have found essential. One of the main ones is the gunas.

Mainly because tamas guna, a stupor can be peaceful and a relief from unhappiness and agitation. Also some of the teachings about sleep I misinterpreted to mean that a stupor-ish sleep while awake might be a deeper state. I've come to understand that sattva is a sparkling, blissful, alert illumination quality and when deep in inquiry this is a good sign.

On sleep, while Maharshi used sleep as an analogy because in deep sleep there is no me, there is no others, there are not problems, he alot of times said what has interceded now and caused you to be unhappy?, indicating the ego. But despite this sleep is not the fourth state, gunatita, beyond the qualities. Sleep also I believe is a state of tamas guna, because the Self is unveiled because there is no me, no others and no problems same as with sahaja (Self-Realization) but there is not a full awareness of consciousness, similar to a stupor.

I can induce a stupor, or aenesthetics and then there is no awareness of an ego, and I'm happy but I'm also not conscious. The Self, I've been learning, is aware of all three states and they all appear in the Self. So unlike in deep sleep I can be aware of all the passing phenomenon and undisturbed in the Bliss of the Self.

Then that state unlike deep sleep is Realized (jivanmukti) and is not effected by the death of the body (videhamukti).

I've also found Being-Consciousness-Bliss and variations on that to be helpful because it calls attention to aspects of Self-Realization directed toward the non-realized. The Self is eternal Being, vast (or infinite) Consciousness, and Supreme Bliss. It is also the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, it is also Truth, Knowledge, Bliss.

I've had a deeper awareness of what Maharshi meant by the true teachings are silence lately. These different contemplations in addition to inquiring into the Self can make it possible to become totally silent, and in a state of illumination and grace. the contemplations bring one to a point where one can stop all the chatter. But it's different then a tamasic mental silence which I can also easily induce by repressing thought. In that case, there is no alertness and there is dullness.

I haven't had much luck with some of the explanations such as just hold onto the I, because if I ever try to do something as rote method it ends up producing more the dull, stupor state. And infact it seems easier to inquire fruitfully from a state of agitation then stupor.

I would imagine it is in a state of tamas guna that is when people do the truly heineous things to other people, and animals, torture, slavery, domestic abuse. Because there is an unquestioned inertia, and being contented in one's illusions.

Anyway, I've just caught on that the surrounding concept set that comprises vedic thought is actually for me indispensible for inquiring at a deeper level, because it helps me understand if what I'm doing is fruitful or not.

Ravi said...

Scott(LMM),

"I've had a deeper awareness of what Maharshi meant by the true teachings are silence lately. These different contemplations in addition to inquiring into the Self can make it possible to become totally silent, and in a state of illumination and grace. the contemplations bring one to a point where one can stop all the chatter. But it's different then a tamasic mental silence which I can also easily induce by repressing thought. In that case, there is no alertness and there is dullness."

Wonderful post scott.No,it is not a classroom type of 'Silence'!

Bookworm said...

One more thing Ravi.

It is just my opinion but one I feel quite certain about:

If Ramana and Ramakhrishna were 'both alive' now:
It would be Ramakhrishna who would be prostrate before Ramana.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Thinking aloud:

A Variation of the World

It is the restlessness of the mind causing the appearance of the world. The minds tries to express itself, it will speak, and by doing so and by aquiring the necessary means the human world appears. Why one talks? Why people talk with each other? They are seeing the world and because of their perceptions they can't bear to remain silent.

While abandoning the silence they deform the original world - made up of birds and flowers, rivers and mountains -, they create kind of a new world, a variation of the original world.

After living some time in this kind of an artificial world they abandon all their efforts therein and return to this ineffable space - being neither silence nor emptiness - which exists before, during and after this new world.

Isn't it therefore true to state that the origin of this world is nothing else then nervousness?

.

David Godman said...

Attention Bookworm

I have been deleting most of your comments recently because I find them to be inexcusably rude and offensive in tone. I think I have probably moderated out six in the last twenty-four hours alone. You are the primary reason why moderation exists on this blog. I haven't been keeping track, but I suspect I decline to publish less than one comment a month by other contributors.

I have finally had enough of the sneering contempt you persistently show towards other contributors, their teachers and their opinions. Irrespective of what you write, I will not be posting any of your comments here for three months.

If you are willing to engage with other contributors in a more civilised and respectful way, you can try again in mid-October.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bookworm,

You keep talking about 'Ramana', 'heart' etc. etc. Have you met Ramana? Have you abided in this so-called heart that you keep talking about? Perhaps, this Ramana and heart that you hold on to so tenaciously may be nothing more than figments of your imagination. Have you walked the path? Have you experienced that state? If so, why this constant unceasing compulsive need to 'correct' and 'criticise' everyone, even though no questions are being specifically addressed to you? Bhagavan spoke very little and found fault with none, and though you keep saying Ramana, you keep offering your unsolicited advices almost all the time, most often accompanied by a criticism which is both needless and mindless. If you don't agree with someone, is it not better to keep one's mouth shut? What makes you so desperate to always have the 'last word'? Hope Ramana hasn't appointed you as his representative to do some equivalent of moral policing!

Thanks.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@ Losing M.Mind

You said - What becomes more and more clear about Self-inquiry is that it is an inquiry not a practice. It is not a rote method.

Want to share this with you. I read it almost every morning before I try Self-Enquiry. This is an interview where David has answered questions on the right way to do SE. In my opinion, this is the clearest explanation I have come across.

David's answer on how to do SE - The classic way of doing this is to start with some experienced feeling or thought. I may be thinking about what I am going to eat for dinner, for example. So, I ask myself, “Who is anticipating dinner?” and the answer, whether you express it or not, is: “I am.” Then you ask yourself, “Who am I? Who or what is this 'I' that is waiting for its next meal?” This is not an invitation to undertake an intellectual analysis of what is going on in the mind; it is instead a device for transferring attention from the object of thought -- the forthcoming dinner -- to the subject, the person who is having that particular thought. In that moment, simply abide as the 'I' itself and try to experience subjectively what it is when it is shorn of all identifications and associations with things and thoughts. It will be a fleeting moment for most people because it is the nature of the mind to keep itself busy. You will soon find yourself in a new train of thought, a new series of associations. Each time this happens, ask yourself, “Who is daydreaming?” “Who is worried about her doctor's bill?” “Who is thinking about the weather?” and so on. The answer in each case will be 'I'. Hold onto that experience of the unassociated 'I' for as long as you can. Watch how it arises, and, more importantly, watch where it subsides to when there are no thoughts to engage with.

David's answer on what SE isn't -

Question: In my experience there is a tendency among many people to convert the 'Who Am I?' technique into a mantra and repeat it. Is this a good method?
David: In the Second World War American troops took over an isolated Pacific island that had never been exposed to western civilization before. They built a runway and flew in a vast amount of supplies for their military personnel. The locals, some of whom were still hunter-gatherers, ended up with many of the leftovers.
When the war was over, the Americans departed, leaving behind a runway and some abandoned buildings. The local tribals wanted the American bounty to continue, but they didn't know how to bring it about. They were clueless about geopolitics and technology. They had seen large birds descend from the sky and deposit an unimaginable amount of goodies on the runway. They had never really bothered to find out why these strangers were on their island, or how these exotic goods were manufactured and brought to the island.
They set up altars on the runway and started to perform their own religious rites there in an attempt to entice the big metal birds back to their island. These practices became a kind of religion that anthropologists labeled 'cargo-cult'.
I mention all this because many people try to do self-inquiry without really understanding how it works and why it works, and this lack of understanding leads them to do many practices that are not real self-inquiry, and which consequently will not produce the desired results. If I may pursue this analogy a little further, there is self-inquiry and there is cargo-cult inquiry, and to understand the difference between the two, you have to know how and why self-inquiry works.


Apologies David for lugging the coal back to Newcastle.

Nandu

Anonymous said...

"Hold onto that experience of the unassociated 'I' for as long as you can. Watch how it arises, and, more importantly, watch where it subsides to when there are no thoughts to engage with." This is something I have never understood - trying to find the 'source' of 'I'. Trying to keep my attention on the subjective 'I' is as far as I can go. Trying to find the source strikes me as an intellectual exercise. Is it? I have to admit that I've never actually had the experience of a totally unassociated 'I' (except in deep sleep) because there is always a mild awareness of the body. So, my practice can't quite be called Self-enquiry.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"Trying to find the source strikes me as an intellectual exercise."

Quite True.The Problem lies in the use of 'words' which unfortunately mean different things to different people.For instance the word 'source' raises an idea of 'distance'-Like one has to travel a good deal along the river bank to reach the source of the River.This coupled with the word 'within' it gives an idea of unreached 'Depths'of mind!
It does not occur to one that "I am' is immediate and ever present and which everyone tacitly asserts-Like 'I want this','I did This',or 'I don' t know the Self'-This 'undercurrent' of 'I','I','I' is what everone is repeating as 'Ajapa'.Now the 'Practice' is to just pay 'attention' to this fact.
Now What is 'Attention'(another word!)Is it the same as 'To Look for' the 'I'?This is where the 'problem' occurs.One tends to 'Look for ' the 'I'(The Disassiciated 'I'!).This is an exercise in 'concentration' where one is trying to hold onto the OBJECT 'I'!
In 'Attention' one simply 'allows' the 'I' to simply inform its 'ever presence'-This is more like 'listening' as different than 'Trying to Hear'.
As such,this need not be a drab 'Rote exercise' to be done at 'appointed 'time at 'regular' hour.(That may also help!Nothing is to be written off!).If this attention is there,no need for self Enquiry as an 'exercise'.

Just to add that one may reach the same 'awareness' through pure devotion as well.
-----------------------------------
'Devotion' is not just a 'purificatory' ritual as it is made out by some of the advocates of 'Traditional Advaita'-A Transistional passage leading to 'Knowledge'!Somewhere here,they lose the way.
As Bhagavan said That Bhakti and Gnana are one and the same.
-----------------------------------
Best Wishes.

Ravi said...

Friends,
There has been a good deal of discussions on the 'How' of Self Enquiry.
Much more fundamental is 'why' we pursue any practice at all.What is 'motivating' us?
'Love' is one of the fundamental 'motivators'-We want to 'love' and be 'loved'-This basic attraction is the basis for the 'Path of Devotion'.

Likewise,why one wants to do 'self enquiry'?unless this is understood,the 'how' becomes ineffective.

I am keen to learn what you have to share regarding this.I understand that Scott has shared to a great extent-to break all 'shackles'(i.e one must have deeply felt these SHACKLES)and be FREE-There is this 'intense desire' for freedom.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... I am keen to learn what you have to share regarding this...

I feel it as a complete powerlessness and senselessness in trying to gain something in this world, a complete indifference towards the world, especially what I call the "human world".

.

Maneesha said...

I am at loss here. What is meant by "Self enquiry is not a practise". Are you saying, its not mere repetition of "who am I?" as mantra or is it something else that is being tried to convey? Can someone please explain what is meant?

Anonymous said...

David's explanation from this link:
http://www.davidgodman.org/rteach/whoami2.shtml

"One can distinguish different levels of experience in the practice of self-enquiry. In the beginning one attempts to eliminate all transient thoughts by concentrating on or looking for the primal 'I'-thought. This corresponds to the stage Bhagavan described earlier in the essay when one cuts down all the enemies, the thoughts, as they emerge from the fortress of the mind. If one achieves success in this for any length of time, the 'I'-thought, deprived of new thoughts to attach itself to, begins to subside, and one then moves to a deeper level of experience. The 'I'-thought descends into the Heart and remains there temporarily until the residual vasanas cause it to rise again. It is this second stage that Bhagavan refers to when he says that 'keeping the mind fixed in the Self alone can be called self-enquiry'. Most practitioners of self-enquiry will readily admit that this rarely happens to them, but nevertheless, according to Bhagavan's teachings, fixing the mind in the Self should be regarded as an intermediate goal on the path to full realisation.

It is interesting to note that Bhagavan restricts the term 'self-enquiry' to this phase of the practice. This unusual definition was more or less repeated in an answer he gave to Kapali Sastri:

Q: If I go on rejecting thoughts, can I call it vichara [self-enquiry]?

A: It may be a stepping stone. But real vichara begins when you cling to yourself and are already off the mental movements, the thought waves."

Since I'm always aware of the body or the world when I'm attempting to keep my attention on the subjective 'I', it's not quite 'real' vichara according to Bhagavan and that makes perfect sense to me.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"in trying to gain something "

Will you kindly explain what is the 'Gain'that one is looking for-in the world or in oneself.

I understand that it is not easy to put one's finger on this 'feeling' of unease and give it a name-Like someone may feel this as a 'void'.I remember how Nandu expressed this beautifully-How despite being with loving family,with no apparent cause for any of the 'usual unhappiness of the world',this may be haunting one.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"Since I'm always aware of the body or the world "
Only when the 'active' mind is freed from the tyranny of thoughts,self enquiry becomes effective.This is what Scott has expressed in his latest post-How the Satvic mind is essential-How the True Teaching of Bhagavan is 'Silence'-to Just Be.
The Criteria that you are setting forth-to be completely oblivious of the body and the World-this is what is the State of Samadhi,where the mind is completely merged in its origin(Adhi +Samam).This a very advanced state-something that is not within the realm of 'self effort'.Efforts have to cease-The Mother has to come looking for the kitten.

On the other hand,there is also this state of concentration ,like when one is engaged in something interesting,one may lose awareness of the body or the world other than the task at hand!
It is also possible to be aware of the world in a state of awareness,without being 'self conscious'.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Anonymous said...

Maneesha,

Self enquiry is not designed to be used in a mantra like fashion.

The purpose of asking questions such as “who am I”, is to shift attention away from the thought chain and towards what metaphorically lies beneath thought: ones true nature, the Self, Silence.

So when there are no thoughts, simply abide in Silence and do not enquire. When there are thoughts, enquire “who am I”, or any derivative of that suits you.

With practice, such enquiry will begin to cut the thought chain and establish attention in Silence.


Ramana says this is as far as the practice extends, this is all we can do, the rest is out of our hands.

“All that you need do is to find out (the ‘I’s) origin and stay there (ie. abide in Silence). Your effort can extend only so far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach It.”


Hence, the practice is actually quite simple.

To repeat, when there are no thoughts, simply abide in Silence and do not enquire. When there are thoughts, enquire “who am I”, or any derivative of that suits you.

Hope this helps.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@Maneesha

for me, watching Papaji's videos have clarified things a lot.

Anonymous said...

anonymous to Maneesha,
I thought your comment about self enquiry was really good and clearly explained.
Still we must remember that Ramana Maharshi plunged deep within useing self enquiry because of intense fear. Fear was the catalyst! Only a rare man like that can face it headon.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

David,

It is funny how Self-Enquiry makes its way into every thread.

I have realized that I am not the only one with doubts as to how to do it.

My request is to you and to anyone else who can clarify - is it possible to do a 'step-by-step' sort of guide as a separate thread?

I post this in all humility as I have found that the technique (for want of a better word) sometimes slips away from us, usually following a lapse of seeking activity due to travel on work etc.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

...Ravi: Will you kindly explain what is the 'Gain'that one is looking for-in the world or in oneself. ...

It is to gain something for myself, to try to be regarded by others and to try to express myself in a world dangling over the abyss of infinity. The world and anything in it including the "i", the families and the planets is transitory, isn't it?

As a sufi master puts it: "All enlightened people got enlightenment by contemplating about the transitoriness of all."

.

Maneesha said...

@Anonymous, Nandu,

Thanks for your response. But, my Q was not on how to do enquiry; I am pretty clear about it. My Q was about why ppl here are saying its not a practise as such? I feel, its a practise in the sense that there is effort involved in it.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
" The world and anything in it including the "i", the families and the planets is transitory, isn't it?"

Thanks Ramos.For the purpose of exploring further,we will consider a hypothetical situation that grants us an existence for as long as we like- like Yama proposed to Nachiketas in the Katha Upanishad-
"Ask for sons and grandsons that will be centurions. Ask for many animals, elephants and gold, and horses, and vast expanse of the earth. And you yourself live for as many years as you like"-Now this sort of a 'boon'(?!)will take the sting out of the Transitoriness of Existence.
What happens in this case?What will be the 'Motivating' factor?
-----------------------------------

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... Now this sort of a 'boon'(?!) will take the sting out of the Transitoriness of Existence. What happens in this case? What will be the 'Motivating' factor? ...

The answer for this is given in part II, verse 1 and 2:

"Yama said: The good is one thing and the pleasant another. These two, having different ends, bind a man. It is well with him who chooses the good. He who chooses the pleasant misses the true end."

"The good and the pleasant approach man; the wise examines both and discriminates between them; the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the foolish man chooses the pleasant through love of bodily pleasure."

Death is our true master - there is no other then the King of Death because he makes us discriminate between the perishable and the unperishable, between eternity and wordliness.

Someone having a human master since a long time but still is unable to discriminate has to admit that his master obviously is unable to teach this point. The human master may utter a fruitless stream of words related to enlightenment but when death comes we will understand immediately.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
What is the 'Motivation' in the present moment?

Ravi said...

Friends,
This is an amazing lecture of an extraordinary man-Randy Pausch,talking about his childhood dreams:
"http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo".Pausch was declared terminally ill and was given about 3 months to live by the Doctors when he gave this lecture.

Approaching Death just had no impact on this Brilliant person.Till his last Day(3 to 4 months from the day of this lecture)he carried on correspondence through emails.

-----------------------------------

Ravi said...

Friends,
I attempt to present a few learnings that have prompted the last few posts of mine.This Thayumanavar's song serves to put things in the perspecive:

"When in the days gone by
I realized not that this body
Made of the elements five
Is but a bubble on water -
To eat to heart's content,
To dress in fineries
And lead a life of pleasure
Was the way of life appropriate -
Thus I held.

But when Thy benevolent Grace descended on me
And evoked in me the Truth,
Where all these went,
I know not.
Other ways are now spoken too,
All disagreeable to me.
And if I think deep of birth and death,
Unable to sleep,
Day and night my eyes melt in love of Thee
As the wax in the gold over fire.

Oh! Thou the Primal Source of Siddhanta Mukti!
Oh! Chinmayananda Guru! Oh! Dakshinamurti
That is seated high on the hilltop of Sivagiri! "

Friends,to be aware of the evanescent nature of existence is useful but not sufficient.One still needs to know what one is after-Pure and unending Bliss-Total Freedom,unconditional.To understand this as a 'Goal',to be attained in time by following a path is onething but to seek it as an imperative ,immediate necessity is another.
Sadhana becomes effective when this seeking matures through grace as Thayumanavar beautifully puts.

Sri Bhagavan in his incomparable Akshara Mana Maalai says:

"Tup/pari/vil/lâ
Ip/pirap/pen/payan
Op/pida/vâ/yên
Arunâ/chalâ.

What value has this birth without knowledge born of realization? It is not even worth speaking about, Oh Arunachala! "

The above translation is valid-However,I will present this verse as I have been moved to understand:
"What value is this CLUELESS Existence,DO COME(so) that I may compare,Oh Arunachala!"


All our Intelligence and Learnings leave us totally clueless;it is only when Grace informs us of the hidden treasure,we are in a position to truly appreciate the purpose of life and seek it actively and effectively.

This is what Jesus,The Christ says in two of his wondeful sayings:
1.What profiteth a man if he gains the whole world but were to lose his soul!
2.Whereunto shall I liken the Kingdom of God?Of what comparison shall I compare with?
(Compare with Sri Bhagavan's verse above)
-----------------------------------
The post by DUST is quite beautiful:"EVEN NOW ALTHOUGH CONTRACTED THE REMNANTS OF TRUTH REMAIN..."

Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

...What is the 'Motivation' in the present moment? ... Randy Pausch ...

I would like to say that the motivation in the present moment just is the knowledge of the evanescent nature of existence. I looked at this video of Randy Pausch and I said to myself: He's dead, who cares? He gave his moving presentation before a packed auditorium. The auditorium is gone, some time later the university where this happens will be gone, this memories will be gone. So who cares? All of our great and moving experiences are nothing else then hot air.

"It is the experience of everyone that even in the states of deep sleep, fainting, etc., when the entire universe, moving and stationary, beginning with earth and ending with the unmanifested (prakriti), disappear, he does not disappear. Therefore the state of pure being which is common to all and which is always experienced directly by everybody is one’s true nature. The conclusion is that all experiences in the enlightened as well as the ignorant state, which may be described by newer and newer words, are opposed to one’s real nature." (Spiritual Instruction, 4-18)

Buddha is dead, Jesus is dead, Bhagavan is dead (...and yes, I know: He is'nt dead. But what is "Bhagavan" other then one of the names of Infinite Spirit?). One day this universe we know disappears out of sight because WE (the mind) disappear out of sight. Every night it disappears out of sight. Does this mean that this Divine Being will disappear out of sight? Certainly not. This Being exists before and after Buddha, Jesus and Bhagavan. "Your true nature is that of infinite spirit." (Talk 328).

But HOW does It exist? For the mind the message of the evanescent nature of existence is inacceptable because it can't understand how it (the mind) can survive then. But certainly there will come a time where you need to forget all your thoughts, all of yourself. How could you, clinging to your interpretation of the world and yourself, exist then as "infinite spirit"?

A true knowledge of the evanescent nature of existence implies in a natural way the knowledge of Eternity. Where there is no true knowledge of this there is instead irrationalism, escapism or worldliness.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
"I looked at this video of Randy Pausch and I said to myself: He's dead, who cares? He gave his moving presentation before a packed auditorium. The auditorium is gone, some time later the university where this happens will be gone, this memories will be gone. So who cares? All of our great and moving experiences are nothing else then hot air. "

I listened to this man with a different view point-to see what he had to say(not whether he is alive,or the buildings are permanent,or the university will survive,etc)-
1.
This man could Face Death in a rational way.
2.The way he explains how the BRICKWALL is there to validate how strongly we WANT to achieve the Goal.(This is the same as what Sri Ramakrishna said about how a thief,if he knows that there is a treasure locked in a Room,will not rest until he breaks open the lock and lays his hand on the treasure).

3.How he explains that although in apparent 'Good Health',the writing is on the wall-How brittle is this Life and how to accept this!

4.How one can learn from children.

5.How to be greatful and gracious.

6.MOST IMPORTANTLY,how not to lose the 'child' in oneself.

Many ,many other useful tips.

Many of these things we may 'know' already but it is always an inspiration to see these 'thoughts' lived.
-----------------------------------
Yes,the view that you have expressed is valid-That all things are mere happenings,they just become History,including Jesus,The Buddha and Bhagavan-It all depends on how we view it.
From another viewpoint, they are still 'alive' and present and it is we who are 'Dead'-This is what Jesus said-'Let the Dead Bury the Dead,Do thou Follow me'.

Life or Death,who is the better teacher?-The onus rests on the 'learner'-One who learns his lessons from Life need not wait for Death to teach him.One who learns not his lessons from Life,may not learn it from Death as well.
How Dattatreya,the Avadhuta had his 24 Gurus,how he could learn from everyone.
-----------------------------------
"As Long as I live,so long do I learn"-Sri Ramakrishna. Salutations.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"But HOW does It exist? For the mind the message of the evanescent nature of existence is inacceptable because it can't understand how it (the mind) can survive then. But certainly there will come a time where you need to forget all your thoughts, all of yourself. How could you, clinging to your interpretation of the world and yourself, exist then as "infinite spirit"?"

Quite True.That time is 'Now'.This is the gist of the Thayumanavar's song.
All attempts by the mind by way of 'Self Effort' cannot get one there.The Mind should be willing to give up all its reservations,opinions ,knowledge-and fall quiet-To do this it has to understand that it is 'clueless' regarding what it is seeking.This understanding is 'Humility'.When this Humiliy is there,the Mind falls quiet.In Quietude,the depths of our being is glimpsed.This is the beginning of Spiritual living.This becomes the 'motivation'(or lack of it!)

As Sri Ramakrishna used to say-some may have heard it,some may have seen it,some may have touched it,Yet rare few have drunk it and been nourished by it.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
It is not a question of Evanescence or Permanence.It is a question of 'Intrinsic' worth.A life devoid of the Spirit is just not worth it,irrespective of wheher it is evanescent or not.This is the point in Naciketas refusing Yama's offer.

Salutations.

Ravi said...

Friends,
The Latest discussions in this thread is revolving around 'Nitya-Anitya' Viveka(Discrimination) And 'Mumukshutva'.It is helpful to recall what LMM(Scott) had posted on 29 06 2009 (in the other open Thread).I am copying it here for our benefit:

"Bookworm, on yearning for REalization
From Collected Works:

Maharshi's translation of Crest Jewel of Discrimination by Adi Shankara:

Liberation in the form of abidance as the Self, born of that wisdom, is not to be attained except as a result of righteous actions performed throughout countless crores of births.

However, even though all the above qualifications may not be obtained, Liberation is assured through the Grace of the Lord if only three conditions are obtained: that is a human birth, ***intense desire for liberation***, and association with Sages.

It goes on to say...The qualifications are enumerated as follows
1. Discrimination between the Real and Unreal.(
2. Disinclination to enjoy the fruits of one's actions either in this or any future life.
3.The six virtues of tranquility, self-control, withdrawal, forbearance, faith, and concentration of the Self.
4. ***Intense yearning for Liberation***

Nome (who supposedly Realized the Self) wrote a pamphlet on these entitled the Four Requisites for Realization and Self-Inquiry.

What he had to say (part of) on the fourth Intense yearning for Liberation;

The desire for Liberation functions as the fuel for one's spiritual practice. If all sorts of attributes are present, even the other requisites mentioned, but there is a lack of desire for Liberation, actual advancement, as determined by the degree of freedom from misidentification, will be slow, if at all.

If though, the aspirant would have none of the other requisites or beneficial attributes, but was endowed with an intense desire for Liberation, the other needed requisites and such would manifest in due course of the practice of Self-inquiry. When the requisites are practiced fueled by the desire for Liberation, the highest good results."

-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

...The Latest discussions in this thread is revolving around 'Nitya-Anitya' Viveka (Discrimination) And 'Mumukshutva' ...

I don't have the least dissension with someone here, Ravi. I feel that the "evanescence of existence" simply is another path to spiritual knowledge. I merely "explore" this subject.

...A life devoid of the Spirit is just not worth it,irrespective of wheher it is evanescent or not.This is the point in Naciketas refusing Yama's offer...

Do you mean this life of 60, 70 years? This life is indeed worthless. The point in Katha Upanishad in my eyes is that Nachiketa is longing to immortality.

.

Mana said...

Dear David,

I re-read your interview on Nisargadatta Maharaj recently. You say in the interview that you first had some resistance for some aspects of Maharaj's teaching, and you give the example of the fact that Maharaj said the "I am" is not ultimately real, which was not what Maharshi taught.

I was wondering about this difference between Maharaj and Maharshi's teachings. Maharshi says "I am" is the ultimate, and Maharaj says it is not, he says the Absolute is prior to the "I am" or maybe we could say 'above' the "I am".

Considering this difference, do you think it would be true to say that Maharaj's teaching are from a higher standpoint than Maharshi's. That Maharshi talks about the establishment of oneself in Brahman, but Maharaj talks about the establishment of oneself in Parabrahman. Of course I don't mean to say that Maharshi's teaching didn't in the end conduce to the final realization of Parabrahman, but only that his verbal teachings did not mention the highest realization. In other words, Maharshi would just lower his teaching, but Maharaj would not. Do you think it is so ?

And whatever, I would be happy to know how you managed to end your resistance on this particular point of the teachings of Maharaj, and how you could reconcile Maharaj and Maharshi's teaching (on this particular point).

Thanking you,

Mana

Ravi said...

Mana/friends,
Looking forward to David's response to your query.
Here is what Tripura Rahasyam,highly recommended by Sri Bhagavan says in Chapter 15,Verse 26-"True experience of the Self is the unawareness of even 'I am'."

You may refer to this link:
http://sss.vn.ua/tripura1.htm
-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this excerpt from Chapter 15,of Tripura Rahasyam:

"10. "There are sages who are active. What is the relation between the world of action and their pure conscious being?

11. "How can they engage in action while all the time they inhere in absolute consciousness? Such consciousness can be of only one kind, and liberation also can be only one in order to be effective.

12-17. "How then are these differences noticed in the lives of the jnanis? Some of them are active; some teach scriptures; some worship deities; some abstract themselves into samadhi; some lead an austere life and emaciate themselves; some give clear instructions to their disciples; some rule kingdom quite justly; some openly hold disputations with other schools of thought; some write down their teachings and experiences; others simulate ignorance; a few even reprehensible and loathsome actions; but all of them are famous as wise men in the world.

18. "How can there be such differences in their lives when there can be no difference in the state of liberation common to all? Or are there grades in knowledge and liberation?

19. "Kindly enlighten me on these points, because I am eager to learn the truth and submit to you as my sole Teacher."

20. Thus requested, Dattatreya appeared pleased with the questions and answered the worthy disciple as follows:

21. "Worthy Rama! You are indeed fit to reach that goal because you have now turned towards the right way of investigation.

22. "This is due to the Grace of God which puts you in the right way of investigation. Who can attain anything worthy, without divine Grace?

23. "The beneficent work of the self-inhering divine Grace is finished when the inward turning of one's mind increases in strength day by day.

24-25. "What you have said so far is quite true; you have rightly understood the nature of consciousness but have not realised it. A knowledge of the property of a thing without actual experience of the thing itself is as useless as no knowledge.

26. "True experience of the Self is the unawareness of even 'I am'. Can the world persist after such unawareness? Second-hand knowledge is no better than the recollection of a dream.

27. "Just as the accession of treasure in a dream is useless, so also is secondhand knowledge."
-----------------------------------

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... that Maharaj said the "I am" is not ultimately real, which was not what Maharshi taught...

Perhaps it was not what the Maharshi taught but is it really conceivable that the essential knowledge of this two realized sages could be different?

My understanding is that the "i am" of Ramana sometimes is the same as Nisargattas "i am" but at other times it means exactly what Nisargadatta points to with:

"One thing is certain: the real is not imaginary, it is not a product of the mind. Even the sense ‘I am’ is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what to seek."
NISARGADATTA, IM AM THAT

Not to forget that Ramana knows as ultimate reality something he calls the "I-I":

"... another luminous and infinite “I-I” will manifest and it will be continuous and unbroken. That is the goal. It goes by different names - God, Self, Kundalini-Sakti, consciousness etc., etc."
TALKS

Ramanas "I am" often seems to be a mere teaching device.

.

Maneesha said...

@David,

I dunot know which interview Mana is talking about. But I thought the "I am" that Maharaj talks about and asks us to concentrate on refers to the ego and hence is not ultimate/Real.

In this view, it reconciles with what our beloved Maharshi says. Can you throw more light on this, please?

ArunachalaHeart said...

hi david,ravi,friends,

i wanted to report a finding of mine. all of us are aware that in chadwick's chronicles Ramana talks about a hill on the other side of the earth with the same power of arunachala. i have in my blog discussed my research into this and my startling findings of a mountain exactly in the opposite coordinates of arunachala.

i have also posted its high resolution scans which indicate that it is a five peaked mountain much larger than Arunachala.

this mountain represents the Mother Goddess and is discussed for the first time ever.

this proves Bhagwan's assertion that such a Hill exists.

kindly visit

www.arunachalaheart.blogspot.com

Ravi said...

ArunachalaHeart/Friends,
Good Find!Very Informative.I remember reading this somewhere.
The Sage of Kanchi has mentioned how the word 'Inca' or 'Inka' is Related to the Sanskrit -Inakula Tilaka -Ornament of the Solar Dynasty that Lord Sri Rama is Known as.The Incas worship the Sun.
-----------------------------------
Today,there was Talk by Sri Nochchur Venkatraman at the Ramana Kendra.I like to share these two interesting and useful tips.
The First one is about Sri Kunju Swami-He approached Sri Bhagavan and told him-'Bhagavan,I am unable to tackle Thoughts;They crowd in on me and I am unable to Meditate-What Do I do?'.Bhagavan as usual was steeped in Silence.Kunju Swami did not pursue the matter.A Little later Sri Bhagavan asked him-Are you going for the Deepam?
Kunju Swami answered that he will be going.
Sri Bhagavan observed-There are hordes of Monkeys enroute.how do you manage if you encounter them.
Kunju Swami Replied-I will just stand and allow them to cross the path;I will then proceed.

Sri Bhagavan wound up the brief conversation saying-Quite the same way with 'Thoughts' as well!
-----------------------------------
Nochchur beautifully observed how Bhagavan was always 'casual'!
-----------------------------------
The second Tip I like to share,Nochchur K gave out in the form of a Joke-Someone asked about 'TranscenDENTAL' Meditation,how that is the 'ultimate',etc.
"I will Teach you about a More Effective method than that;It is DENTAL meditation".!
What is this 'DENTAL' Meditation-asked the inquisitive seeker.

It is what Sri Ramakrishna teaches-To fix the mind on God while doing all our activities in the world,just like a person with 'Tooth ache' will carry on his activities and at the same time AWARE OF HIS TOOTH ACHE all the time!
No doubt DENTAL Meditation is more effective than Transcendental Meditation!
-----------------------------------Namaskar

Murali said...

Dear All,

I was in Arunachala weekend. I started walking from the back of the Ashram to go to Skandashram. Within 5 - 10 minutes, I encountered an alternate path with a small board "Short Girivalam route". What is this route? Did anyone take this route?

I remember that Bhagavan was telling that there are total of 3 Girivalam routes. Which one does this belong to?

Regards Murali

ArunachalaHeart said...

Hi Ravi,

I am sorry that I was not clear in my first post. The Mountain I have found has got nothing to do with Incas.

It is a Mountain on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of meters below sea level.

I found it through Marine Geoscience Data System. It is a huge mountain corresponding exactly to the opposite coordinates of Arunachala.

By Bhagwan's assertion it is the South Pole of the Spiritual axis of the world.

This is an original finding not recorded anywhere previously.

:)

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share one of the most moving/inspiring message from 'I am That'(Page 84):

Q: I am an adopted child. My own father I do not know. My mother died when I was born. My foster father, to please my foster mother, who was childless, adopted me -- almost by accident. He
is a simple man -- a truck owner and driver. My mother keeps the house. I am 24 years now. For the last two and a half years I am travelling, restless, seeking. I want to live a good life, a holy life. What am I to do?
M: Go home, take charge of your father's business, look after your parents in their old age. Marry the girl who is waiting for you, be loyal, be simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently. The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) are your eight steps in Yoga. And 'I am' is the Great Reminder (mahamantra). You can learn from them all you need to know. Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly. That is all.
Q: If just living one's life liberates, why are not all liberated?
M: All are being liberated. It is not what you live, but how you live that matters. The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility, changes one's entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. All the great teachers did nothing else. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The opposite is also true; The sun of truth remains hidden behind the cloud of self-identification with the body.
Q: This spreading the good news of enlightenment seems very important.
M: The very hearing of it, is a promise of enlightenment. The very meeting a Guru is the assurance of liberation. Perfection is life-giving and creative."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)

The example of Trancendental meditation and dental meditation is excellent. TQ!

I wish to add a few points regarding the discussion on Tripura Rahasyam. I hope it is not thought that the world vanishes when one Realizes the Self. That is not True. The world remains where it is. its like a person playing the role of a Ravana in a drama. he has forgotten his true nature and is right now thinking he is Ravana. So, when he realizes his True nature, he need not stop playing the role of Ravana.
Similarly, one need not stop the movie to realize that one is not the character in the movie but a witness. So too, the world need not vanish.

in the Same Tripura Rahasyam in the discussion of hemachuda and her husband, at the end of the whole teaching when the prince tries to remain with closed eyes she asks him "how does it matter whether the eyes are open or closed?"

and in yoga vasishtam also there is a nice verse which says why should we consider absence of thoughts as samadhi... to the one who knows the Self presence or absence does not matter!

in Ashtavakra gita a nice statement says "samadhim ichasi tvam" ... you seek Samadhi and that is your bondage. You are Already the Self.

Actually the snake and rope example is an adhyasa to illustrate the illusory nature of our suffering. IT should not be taken to mean that when one realizes the snake vanishes. For that there is another adhyasa that is given to illustrate the point... the blueness of sky is also an illusion ... but it continues to appear blue even after one knows it is not blue.
Another beautiful example is given : the mirage continues to appear even when one knows it is only a mirage and not a reality.
One who knows however is not confused by it!

Love!
Silence [silence_speaks]

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"samadhim ichasi tvam" ... you seek Samadhi and that is your bondage. You are Already the Self."

As I see this,it does not negate Samadhi,but the 'DESIRE' for Samadhi.Sri Ramakrishna used to say-some have heard it,some have seen IT,few have touched IT,rare few have drunk IT and nourished by IT.

What IT is,it is futile to attempt to speculate.Sri Ramakrishna used to give this advice-the most Practical-He says"How does it matter How Much Water is there in the Ocean;You can take only as much as whatever vessel you have taken for that purpose.If one Glass of water can quench your Thirst,why bother trying to find out how much water is out there in the ocean".
-----------------------------------
I am not presently 'motivated' enough to say more about this.I hope to put together some of these wonderful sayings-which may be of help to all sincere aspirants.

Namaskar!

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
What you have mentioned is quite valid.I have seen that in all these matters,the opposite is equally valid!One can always find a few quotes favouring one point of view and a few quotes favouring the opposite.What do we do?One need to take what is most helpful and go ahead.
As Sri Ramakrishna says-Everyone thinks that his watch shows the 'correct' time.This does not mean that one need to throw away his watch or that he should set it to one 'Absolute' standard.It only points that one may organise oneself as one is prompted and to give due allowance for variations in the approach of others.
-----------------------------------
All questions-whether the world will appear or disappear,whether it will be seen or it will not be seen,etc are of secondary importance.If one is curious,by all means one may satify that curiosity.Only one should take care that one does not bet his life on such speculations.This is what the Tripura Rahasya,chapter 15 says that the Treasures found in a dream will not serve any purpose.Second Hand Knowledge is useless.
-----------------------------------
May the Blessings of the Great Masters be with us.
Love and namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:) There is nothing like Second hand knowledge.
There is only Second hand information.

"Lack of Thoughts" is a state of mind. When you are not the mind, why bother about states of mind?
Whether mind should have thoughts or not is not in our hands ... its pure prarabdha karma... coz mind and body are dictated by karma. The Self which is Beyond mind and Body... is a witness of states of mind... Quietness of mind as well as thoughts of mind.

An Experience is merely a state of mind and if it passes away ... its transitory like anything else. States of mind are bound to be transitory coz mind itself is conditioned by time. So no experience is a real "Validator" of the truth.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
"Whether mind should have thoughts or not is not in our hands ... its pure prarabdha karma... coz mind and body are dictated by karma. "

May be it is a result of what we are 'Doing' or 'Not Doing' NOW.Why attribute it to Prarabdha?

" The Self which is Beyond mind and Body... is a witness of states of mind... Quietness of mind as well as thoughts of mind."

May be it is the 'Mind' that is witnessing itself!(Mind has this tremendous capacity!)How Does one know it is the Self?Does the Self has nothing better to do (or not to do)than just stay as witness?
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:) I think you know the answers but this is an attempt to tell me the importance of "Experience". Experience actually does not have any significance, and i shall explain it very carefully. please bear with me. Just give these ideas a chance, if we find them as wrong we shall discard them later.

1. Firstly, it is possible to alter the state of mind using hypnosis. any experience can be had. if you want to see God ... that is possible. That God will suggest possibilities etc. This is very beneficial hypnotic tool for some people. Infact, its possible to "STOP" thoughts as well through hypnosis. So if you want an experience, any experience ... you can try hypnosis. That works!

2. Many so called "Sadhanas" are not more than hypnotic suggestions. Trancendental meditation is one. Actually many people use japa also as an anchor or psychological support. While i do not deny the importance of Japa as a Sadhana ... i think it is misused by most people. It is used as an escape from actual reality. So i am afraid of Ghosts and i chant hanuman chalisa to evade the fear. This is not the right usage.By avoiding the fear, i am not facing it. That is fundamental problem. so facing the fear is true spirituality coz it makes it possible to see the unrealness of the fear. chanting and avoiding the fear is not right solution coz it occurs again. i myself chant hanuman chalisa... so i am not discouraging prayer. its very effective, if used correctly. So sadhanas are for what purpose ? We need to understand what is sadhya vastu --- what is to be "achieved" and what is not.

3. Ill briefly answer your question of mind. Mind in the sense it is used is mere thought. So thoughts are discontinuous. if i am a thought, in between thoughts, i am not! then who has the thoughts? yes, this is theoretical ... coz its not really appreciated. I just denied something logically ... we need a perception change, a cognition change... which is not an experience again. Logic change wont help for sure. Change in modes of cognition does.

4. Please study Panchadasi ... one whole chapter is devoted to this topic "is Realization only knowing the Truth or is it mind control" ... and the scripture explains that "Knowing Truth" is realization and "mind control" may be a useful aid but not it.

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Further Dear Ravi,
:) When we say its witness, we mean its like space --- all objects are accommodated in it ... but it itself is unaffected by any objects. so too, the Self remains untouched by all thoughts.
This is to be seen within --- not that you will find some experience there but that you just know your true nature ! We will discuss it further later. That witness or accomodation is not an act... it is its nature SAT-CHIT-ANANDA , ETERNAL-CONSCIOUSNESS-BLISS ... none of it is a property... that is Self.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Anonymous,

"Experience actually does not have any significance, and i shall explain it very carefully. please bear with me. "

Friend,this is too very sweeping.What is the significance of Sankara(since you accept his 'authority')including 'Human Birth' as one of the things necessary for Realization?

I am quoting from Mundaka Upanishad as given in Arsha Vidya vahini(since you are a devotee of Swami Dayananda):
"Two birds that are ever associated and have similar names, cling to the same tree(body). Of these, one (the individual self) eats the fruit of diverged tastes, and the other looks on without eating. The individual self remains drowned in the waters of ignorance and means, being worried by its impotence. When it sees the other the adored lord and his glory, then it becomes liberated by the sorrow."(Pl see:http://www.arshavidyavahini.org/upanishads.html)
I do not concur with the above statement,however it is worth pondering about the value of experiencing pleasure and pain(in subtler and still subtler forms).It is Bliss that sustains one through Pain and Pleasure.It is this Bliss that is perceived as pain and pleasure-due to the limited instrumentation of the crude maind.As the Mind gets refined this Bliss is perceived as Bliss.
This is the Truth behind why the Pure Mind is nothing but the Self.This is the state of Samadhi-where the mind is the Self.

Do You think that the Samadhi (where the 'Experiencer' is not)is another Experience?Does it not show the true import of what the Taitriya Upanishads say-yatho vacho nivarthanthe apraapya manasa saha.. ?(From where the words and thoughts revert back without attaining)?This is the Upanishadic language equivalent of 'Surrender'.
-----------------------------------
Please tell me ,on the one hand we talk about Self as if just by a Flick of a Switch(Right Cognition)it can be seen;on the other hand,we seem to be depending on a whole lot of Learning Material to gain this 'cognition'.
-----------------------------------
Coming to 'Hypnotism',Vivekananda says-"Man you are already Hypnotised.You are only Dehypnotising yourself!"
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Silence,
"When we say its witness, we mean its like space --- all objects are accommodated in it ... but it itself is unaffected by any objects. so too, the Self remains untouched by all thoughts.
This is to be seen within --- not that you will find some experience there but that you just know your true nature ! We will discuss it further later. That witness or accomodation is not an act... it is its nature SAT-CHIT-ANANDA , ETERNAL-CONSCIOUSNESS-BLISS ... none of it is a property... that is Self."
Quite True!This is still a 'Mental' Picture.There is still a possibility of Space that is pure Space bereft of any other thing whatsoever!
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
"While i do not deny the importance of Japa as a Sadhana ... i think it is misused by most people. It is used as an escape from actual reality. So i am afraid of Ghosts and i chant hanuman chalisa "
You have covered a lot of Ground here but you have missed the most vital one!Have you ever fondled a child by calling its name over and over again?This calling 'over' and 'over' is Japa.The person who is only 'repeating' has already missed the Bus!He has to wait for the next bus.He may miss that as well and may eventually give it up or plough through without achieving anything-simply taking it as an exercise in 'concentration',an exercise which is supposed to 'purify' the mind and make it fit for 'Gnana'!

To Hear some one calling on God from the bottom of the Heart-one has to hear it to understand its potency.The 'Name' is packed with Chaitanya and it is communicated to the Listeners in a more direct way.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

This is from 'I am unborn' by Nisargadatta and from Talks 503 and deepens further the meaning of 'I am'. It shows that both sages had the same understanding (and even the same explanation) of ultimate reality:

I AM UNBORN

37. Transcend the ‘I am’
21st January 1980

Visitor: Who says ‘I am the consciousnesses’? And is it the ‘I am consciousness’ that traces the question to memories?

Maharaj: Don’t just disown the body and name as you are, but see that you focus your attention on the ‘I am’ and all the questions will be answered.

[...]

M: Catch hold of that ‘I am’ only and all obstacles will evaporate. If you correctly understand me, you will be beyond the realm of body-mind. Many a times it happens that teachings are misunderstood. Because the ‘I am’ is there, these questions arise, If the ‘I am’ is not there, no questions can arise. In the realm of ‘I am’ anything is possible, but if I were alert enough, do you think I would have been in this body? The Jnani is the one who knows that beingness, the world and Brahman are unreal. Having understood the ‘I am’, I transcend it and came to the conclusion that all the three entities are unreal, and then what more remains to be liquidated? The ‘Parabrahaman’ is without attributes and I am ‘Parabrahaman’, I am not the beingness, the world nor Brahman.

--------------

TALKS 503

17th August, 1938

The only permanent thing is Reality; and that is the Self. You say “I am”, “I am going”, “I am peaking”, “I am working”, etc. Hyphenate “I am” in all of them. Thus I - AM. That is the abiding and fundamental Reality. This truth was taught by God to Moses: “I AM that I-AM”. “Be still and know that I-AM God.” so “I-AM” is God.

--------------

Nisargadatta: ‘I am’ -> Ramana: ‘I am working etc.’
Nisargadatta: ‘Parabrahaman’ -> Ramana: ‘I-AM’ (notice the capital letters. Not to forget Ramanas ‘I-I’ with the same meaning)

.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)
1. [Quite True!This is still a 'Mental' Picture.There is still a possibility of Space that is pure Space bereft of any other thing whatsoever!]
Why would you want other things to be absent ? Space is ever pure space whether other objects are present or not.

2. Regarding Japa. As i said, it is a sadhana --- a tool. whether it works or not depends on what one uses it and how one uses it. its like a knife. once can cut ones hand or use it properly .so it just depends on what one does with japa. There are innumerable people who pray with all emotions and then when in normal life they are unrealized and foolish. i know people who even have visions but are troubled by very simple and foolish worldly matters ... they are more selfish than many others who have no visions.
Sankara says "Jnana vihina , sarva mathena bajathi na muktim janma satena" [one without knowledge does not find liberation in 100 births even]. So there is no option but to gain knowledge. Self Knowledge.

3. Samadhi is for a person who has Self Knowledge but is still not able to shake of his bondage. Such a person needs Samadhi. not a person who does not have Self Knowledge at all. Samadhi is just another mind purification technique. if having no thoughts is samadhi ... its there in deep sleep. and there is an innovative way to have it --- hit someone with a stick on the head. that is very simple. one hit --- if done properly, mind is blank. nothing happens by such experiences. one only has momentary stillness. just like someone prays and for a few moments feels emotional and after that he is back to normal.

4. The quote from taitreya upanishad ... there is no denying. Yes, one cannot grasp it with mind as an object. its not an object and it is the subject of all experiences. so that is not contradictory in any sense.

Experience , if newly had ... it means it has a beginning and therefore an end . and then it is not SAT --- TRUTH. that which is time bound is ever time bound. tell me that experience which is always there! That is Self - YOU.

Love!
Silence

Akira said...

Regarding one of Bhagavan's teachings, the action without the idea of 'I am the doer' , I recommend a book 'Zen in the Art of Archery' by Eugen Herrigel. This book can provide some clues.
I've found somebody posted this book on Scribd, so you can read it online.

P.S. By the way, I've found David's book, 'Be as you are' on Scribd. I am writing this bacause I do not know if it is posted on Scribd with David's consent. If it is so, please ignore and delete this part of my message.

Ravi said...

Friends,
What Maharaj has said -" if I were alert enough, do you think I would have been in this body? "-is the essence.This is the acid test for knowledge of the Self.

As long as one identifies with the Body-Self is only a concept;even a strong conviction is only an idea.

Sadhana is to rid oneself of this Body Consciousness(Dehatma Buddhi)-It is onething to mentally 'understand' that one is not the Body and another thing to Experience this as a Fact.

How this body consciousness can be got rid off?

Our immediate response may be -through Self Enquiry-Holding onto 'I am'.What happens next?

I request your views.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

David,

I was talking to a fellow devotee on the phone a few days ago, and he mentioned the five divine acts of creation, sustenance, dissolution, veiling and revelation, and how they take place in the mind.

Has Bhagavan spoken about this? Would like to know.

@ Ravi,

Are you based in Delhi? I live in Gurgaon and am at the Ramana Kendra every Saturday in the morning. Can I have your mail i.d. please/ Mine is nandunarasimhan@gmail.com

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... The experiences, perceptual, verbal thinking, person/place/thing, the body, body sensations are all thoughts. And those thoughts have a beginning and an end in consciousness.

Blog of Losing M. Mind ...


"One should slay the ghost of duality or division and fix the heart in the one truth, which alone is sweet in the beginning, in the middle and the end."
YOGA VASISHTA, VI.1-23

Conscious life is a part of the eternal life. Eternal life is completely independent of conscious life - it exists before, during and after conscious thinking. "Understand this. Grab this while you are awake." (Nisargadatta)

Nisargadatta expresses this drastically in I AM UNBORN, especially in the chapter 2. NO-BEINGNESS. This book seems to be kind of a short and powerful testimony of him. It doesn't makes many words or elaborates much on the subject.

On my part I like uncompromising sayings like that:

"People talk of spiritualism, in the process, they exclude their core Self. Stay put in your Self and talk. Investigate about yourself. The Absolute is eternal, a no-beingness state, and real. Beingness is temporary and with it appear the five elements and so on, no beingness – nothing. Nothing can give you company in this world on a permanent basis. People will have my memories, some happy, some annoying, on me the impact is nil."
I AM UNBORN

"Life is a twinkle of eternity."
ETERNAL WISDOM

.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)
Hold onto "I AM" and Ignore the thoughts.
Annamalai Swami says, its like you are eagerly going to some place on the way there may be lot of incidents ... some accident or some nice show etc ... you just pass by with attention only on the Self.

Self cannot be touched by thoughts... so just hold onto the Self and remaining as Self ... pay as little an attention on the thoughts and objects of the world as possible ... let go the hold --- Nothing is there next.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Nandu,
I am from chennai.Yes,I had been to Ramana Kendra ,Delhi.That was where I got to see Prof Swaminathan.
My Mail id:niveditahr@rediffmail.com
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
What is Body Consciousness?What is meant by Self as witness of thoughts and objects?What are the thoughts or objects that are witnessed?Objects and thoughts in the vicinity of the Body or just about any object or thought in the manifestation?
-----------------------------------
Just to appreciate the above question,here is the following excerpt from 'The Autobiography of a Yogi' Chapter 9:
"“Little sir, you were disappointed in that bioscope,2 but I think you will like a different one.” The saint and I were standing on the sidewalk in front of the university building. He gently slapped my chest over the heart.

A transforming silence ensued. Just as the modern “talkies” become inaudible motion pictures when the sound apparatus goes out of order, so the Divine Hand, by some strange miracle, stifled the earthly bustle. The pedestrians as well as the passing trolley cars, automobiles, bullock carts, and iron-wheeled hackney carriages were all in noiseless transit. As though possessing an omnipresent eye, I beheld the scenes which were behind me, and to each side, as easily as those in front. The whole spectacle of activity in that small section of Calcutta passed before me without a sound. Like a glow of fire dimly seen beneath a thin coat of ashes, a mellow luminescence permeated the panoramic view.

My own body seemed nothing more than one of the many shadows, though it was motionless, while the others flitted mutely to and fro. Several boys, friends of mine, approached and passed on; though they had looked directly at me, it was without recognition.

The unique pantomime brought me an inexpressible ecstasy. I drank deep from some blissful fount. Suddenly my chest received another soft blow from Master Mahasaya. The pandemonium of the world burst upon my unwilling ears. I staggered, as though harshly awakened from a gossamer dream. The transcendental wine removed beyond my reach.

“Little sir, I see you found the second bioscope to your liking.” The saint was smiling; I started to drop in gratitude on the ground before him. “You can’t do that to me now; you know God is in your temple also! I won’t let Divine Mother touch my feet through your hands!”
-----------------------------------
I have cited the above 'experience' to see whether it tallies with any intellectual/ actual conception or experiencing of the 'witness' that we may have.I am not trying to define the above experience in any category(as a form of Samadhi,etc),but as an aid in trying to understand what is meant by 'Body Consciousness'.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:) How can we call this an experience of SAT [SAT means that which is changeless and ever IS as it IS] ... when it was not there before and was absent after the experience?
it is Transitory ... and technically, that which changes with time is "MITHYA" [changing experience , which is there as long as it is seen]

The experience is still mithya. if after the experience he recognized that he was the Self always , before as well as after ...that can be called an experience of SAT.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
" How can we call this an experience of SAT"

I have not called it as an experience of 'SAT' or any other category.Please go through my post again.

The objective of this exercise is-what it implies to say "I am not the Body"-Not in intellectual terms but actually.

Next,you may consider -"What is meant by Self as witness of thoughts and objects?What are the thoughts or objects that are witnessed?Objects and thoughts in the vicinity of the Body or just about any object or thought in the manifestation?"

Not intellectually but actually.


Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:)

The point is, there is nothing like "understanding". Let me explain it with the example of Ramana's Experience. After Seeing within, he recognized that he is the Self and then, recognized that before the experience and after the experience he was the Self. Though the experience itself was transitory it acted as a pointer towards that which always IS.

When an Experience just reveals your True Nature ... its like revealing a necklace that is already worn, but forgotten.

A "Feeling" is a passing entity. if someone depends upon a feeling to be Self, the feeling will pass away and then ?
This experience you mentioned is just one such experience ... there may be lot of experiences which give a feeling of ecstacy and great emotions ... someone may temporarily forget the body ... but unless the Self is Revealed as that which Always IS in all three states... that is only one another experience.

Now please tell me ... you are having so many experiences every day ... from morn till night ... every day ... reading this, watching a flower, listening to a song ... now all these are also experiences of the Self ... please see. All Bliss comes form Self. So every experience of joy or bliss ... is coming from Self, but wrongly associated with external objects. If a spiritual experience associates the bliss with mind which is also an external object ... what is the difference?

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:) Also "Actually" and "intellectually" what is the difference between these two ?
Suppose i am a king but forgot that i am a king. i thought i am a beggar. now if my true nature is revealed and i understand that i am the king ... would i still remain a beggar?
there is nothing like actual and intellectual here... there is only understood, did not understand. that is all.
if i still think i am beggar. if i still doubt that i am the king ... that just means i did not understand.

BTW, i am not a follower of Dayananda ... infact, i am a devotee of Ramana and Ramakrishna too. I see the Truth ... whether Dayananda speaks it or any of his disciples. it hardly matters.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Friends,
Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga are an invaluable source of Reference.
It is true that one should not be caught up in 'Experiences' but it is certainly helpful to understand them.
If you are interested,you may refer to this link:
http://www.aurobindo.ru/workings/sa/22-24/eng_2_12.pdf

Sri Aurobindo's yoga has its terminology and this may take a while to figure out.
Otherwise,this is quite an encyclopaedia on the spiritual journey.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
"Also "Actually" and "intellectually" what is the difference between these two ?"

By 'actually' I am meaning -experienced directly without any need for 'deduction' or 'inference'.

By 'Intellectually' I mean,That which is 'inferred',not Direct.
-----------------------------------
"Now please tell me ... you are having so many experiences every day ... from morn till night ... every day ... reading this, watching a flower, listening to a song ... now all these are also experiences of the Self ... please see. All Bliss comes form Self. So every experience of joy or bliss ... is coming from Self, but wrongly associated with external objects."

I think I have mentioned this in my earlier post-On Mundaka Upanishad.However,as mentioned,this is limited by the instrumentation of the Mind.It is still not the same as tapping it at 'Source'.
-----------------------------------
The examples that you have given-The King and the Beggar,The Necklace Lost and Found,etc.Yes,they are the familiar ones-but they need to be 'intuited'.
'Forgetfulness' does not give the complete picture of the malady.
Along with 'Forgetfulness' it is also 'Hidden',buried under the 'Several Coatings'(if I may say so)of the imprints since time immemorial-What is called 'Avarana'.
Please refer to this article by Swami Krishnananda:
http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/light/light_09.html
-----------------------------------
The Following excerpt from Sri Aurobindo refers to this 'Process':

THE piercing of the veil between the outer consciousness
and the inner being is one of the crucial movements
in yoga. For yoga means union with the Divine, but it also means
awaking first to your inner self and then to your higher self, – a
movement inward and a movement upward. It is, in fact, only
through the awakening and coming to the front of the inner being
that you can get into union with the Divine. The outer physical
man is only an instrumental personality and by himself he
cannot arrive at this union, – he can only get occasional touches,
religious feelings, imperfect intimations. And even these come
not from the outer consciousness but from what is within us.
There are two mutually complementary movements; in one
the inner being comes to the front and impresses its own normal
motions on the outer consciousness to which they are unusual
and abnormal; the other is to draw back from the outer consciousness,
to go inside into the inner planes, enter the world
of your inner self and wake in the hidden parts of your being.
When that plunge has once been taken, you are marked for the
yogic, the spiritual life and nothing can efface the seal that has
been put upon you."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi,
:) The fundamental point i am here trying to present is whether the mind is still or moving it is the reflection that is getting affected not the Self.

Stop identifying with the reflection and then, whether the reflection moves or remains stationary or is totally unclear ... it hardly matters. it is coz one identifies with the reflection that when the reflection is not clear, they think the Self is affected. This is essentially identification with mind.

in Panchadasi there is an Excellent statement:
vikshepo nasti yasmanme samadhistatho mama
viksepo va samadhir va manasah sadvikarinaah

There is no distraction for me, so for me there is no samadhi too. Both distraction and Samadhi are states of changeable mind.

The Reflection is not the proof of the Self. Self IS and hence reflections can be seen.

Love!
Silence

Ravi said...

Anonymous(Silence),
It will be much simpler to say-"Just Be".
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

That is why I'm finding the "What is eternal?" question helpful. Samadhi, and non-samadhi both have a beginning and an end. If there is any state, feeling, perception, or thought. Disregarding it as non-eternal. My teacher Nome advised I disregard the non-eternal as not me. Any thought, perception, and identity is transient, is a thought in consciousness. What is the Consciousness, the real me that does not have a beginning and end, is eternal? That would be another phrasing of the Who am I? question. But even the thought of the Self, or eternal consciousness is transient, so taht also would have to be disregarded. Another way Nome puts things, and I can't remember if Maharshi did or not, is that happiness, identity and reality are returned to their origin the real Self. In ego-world. I put happiness on objects and circumstances, including the present life and it's comforts, other people, infatuations, etc. Reality is given to my idea of the world, and my body, and it's sensations, perceptions within it. Identity is who I think I am, this bundle of thoughts, the mind, I take those verbal thoughts to be me. This is in ignorance. Identity and REality, and Happiness are all within, as the real Self. and I've kind of gotten from Nome that
"within", does not mean within in the vernacular sense, but within non-objective consciousness. Normally, we live in a world of our own self-created objectivity. Dividing Consiousness into objects, in the belief in the thoughts that appear as objects. In a sense, though I'm not Realized, this is what the cinema screen analogy refers to. Thoughts appear in consciousness as a world, objects, all the different people, verbal thoughts, etc. When those are realized to be transient thoughts, and the eternal consciousness is revealed. I don't know, and sort of doubt, the Consciousness in Being-Consciousness-Bliss refers to a 2 dimensional screen, but that Consciousness, being undifferentiated, is obviously unaffected by the thoughts that arise within it. So the analogy like a cinema screen that is unaffected by the pictures with on it. Also Cosnciousness has not changed, progressed through time. Time being the measurement between thoughts. The Consciousness was never born because birth and death are also thoughts in the form of memory and projection that appear transiently within consciousness.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Discussions and Discussions!Time to consolidate(For me!).For those of us who may be following the path of Self Enquiry,there are a couple of simple and highly potent tips that our Friend (Silence) had brought out.These are not to be missed.I am posting it again here:

1.:) I would like to quote a few words of Annamalai Swami, his answer to a question "how to give up false idea that the mind is real?"

The ans: "The same way you give up wrong idea. You simply stop believing in it. if this does not happen spontaneously when you hear teh truth from a teacher, keep telling yourself 'i am not the mind; i am not the mind. There is no mind; there is no mind. Consciousness alone exists'. IF YOU HAVE A FIRM CONVICTION THAT THIS IS THE TRUTH, ONE DAY THIS FIRM CONVICTION WILL MATURE TO THE POINT WHERE IT BECOMES YOUR DIRECT EXPERIENCE.

FIRM Conviction is a must."

2.Hold onto "I AM" and Ignore the thoughts.
Annamalai Swami says, its like you are eagerly going to some place on the way there may be lot of incidents ... some accident or some nice show etc ... you just pass by with attention only on the Self.

Self cannot be touched by thoughts... so just hold onto the Self and remaining as Self ... pay as little an attention on the thoughts and objects of the world as possible ... let go the hold --- Nothing is there next.
-----------------------------------
Sri Annamalai swami used to say(I am not sure whether it is in the Books)-It is not that you feel 'coolness' only when you reach the Hilltop.Pointing to the chest,he used to say-you start to feel the coolness,the moment you start climbing.
So all Experiences(of peace ,Bliss,etc) are also valuable-They motivate and keep the seeker on the Path.
We may recall how Sri Annamalai Swami asked Sri Bhagavan about what people who smoke Hemp experience-How Sri Bhagavan embraced him-How he became deeply absorbed-How he left for Palakkottu,and so on.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar!

Losing M. Mind said...

It looks like there was a debate between Ravi and Anonymous (silence), where Anonymous was perhaps (I didn't read a whole lot) saying that since certain joyful experiences were transient and being associated with external 'objects' such as a bird or song or birdsong.

Now since Realization is where words and thoughts turn back unable to grasp I feel unqualified to speak on it. (laugh) I do notice that as I deepen in spiritual practice, as I have deeper, more blissful, formless experiences in meditation, appreciation for external things increases. For instance, I was joyfully comprehending to a friend who I've infected with my interest in Self-inquiry about a squirrel walking around and eating, and we were both talking about how intelligent the squirrel was. A woman asked me questions for a survey. I noticed her asking another man questions, and I was listening to classical music on a CD walkman. He left his sombrero (hat) on the bench. I saw her notice, and then run after him with the hat, and he turned around and grabbed it from her. It was such a magical moment with the music in the background. I joyfully exclaimed to my friend about the moment. Now Lakshmana Swami says that in Realization the Jnani no longer sees trees, mountains, the moon, loses the moon. I don't see a contradiction actually. In my experience especially around Nome, whom I very strongly believe to be a Saint/Sage/Jnani (you are free to have a different opinion). He says, that the Realized are not unaware of the world, they are aware that the world does not exist. So since as I progress to deeper and deeper levels of unveiled Self-experience, there is an intoxicating bliss, and appreciation for all things that wasn't previously there. A jnani in that Bliss only sees that Self, that Bliss in everything, so a jnani I would assume is at maximum appreciation for any object in a sense, or atleast it would appear that way. When Nome looked at me, it was the most sincerely affectionate expression I have ever seen on a human face, and I saw it directed toward everyone. He was friends with spiders, the place was full of spider webs to an almost humerous degree. It strikes me a cold, intellectual approach that deep, blissful, samadhi (formless), I-less experiences to say that those aren't good. They are beyond words good. They are the most best thing that could ever bless a person, they are Godly, divine experience. They are just not the final Realization where the mortal tendency fully evaporates in the Divine Self.

Losing M. Mind said...

I would say with any deep spiritual experience, I am not left in the same state of maturity as before. I was touched by the divine Self. I was thinking about how Papaji said that glimpses of the Self were not experiences of the Self, and that makes sense in light of some of my deeper experiences as of late. The Self is the Consciousness that never went anywhere, never altered. Nevertheless, it's called Being-Consciousness-Bliss. A Bliss that is not because my life is a certain way, or I'm fulfilling certain desires, or I feel safe that things aren't going to change for a while. A non-dependent Bliss is of the nature of the Self, even if it's joyful appreciation for something beautiful or cool in a non-selfish way, such as squirrels, and birds, and petting cats. If I ever Realize myself, I reckon my appreciation for these things will not diminish. It's a non-selfish appreciation. When Nome in Meditation was asking me, what is it in me that doesn't have a beginning an end? I said, I wasn't sure, but that here in the satsang hall, in his presence, I felt a deep peace flowing through me. He answered magestically, "Well, peace is of the nature of the eternal" So I don't imagine Papaji was trivializing these sort of experiences, though he may have been trivializing people's spiritual egos, or their tendency to objectify and separate themselves from it.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this poem-Samadhi By Swami Vivekananda.

This is a translation of a Bengali song written by Swami Vivekananda. Reprinted here from his Complete Works 4: 431, the song gives an idea of the various stages of the mind leading to Samadhi.

Lo! The sun is not, nor the comely moon,
All light extinct; in the great void of space
Floats shadow-like the image-universe.

In the void of mind involute, there floats
The fleeting universe, rises and floats,
Sinks again, ceaseless, in the current “I”.

Slowly, slowly, the shadow-multitude
Entered the primal womb, and flowed ceaseless,
The only current, the “I am”, “I am”.

Lo! ‘Tis stopped, ev’n that current flows no more,
Void merged into void–beyond speech and mind
Whose heart understands, he verily does.
-----------------------------------
This is a translation of the Hymn of Creation by Swami Vivekananda:
(A translation of the Nâsadiya-Sukta, Rig-Veda, X. 129.)

Existence was not then, nor non-existence,
The world was not, the sky beyond was neither.
What covered the mist? Of whom was that?
What was in the depths of darkness thick?


Death was not then, nor immortality,
The night was neither separate from day,
But motionless did That vibrate
Alone, with Its own glory one —
Beyond That nothing did exist.


At first in darkness hidden darkness lay,
Undistinguished as one mass of water,
Then That which lay in void thus covered
A glory did put forth by Tapah!


First desire rose, the primal seed of mind,
(The sages have seen all this in their hearts
Sifting existence from non-existence.)
Its rays above, below and sideways spread.


Creative then became the glory,
With self-sustaining principle below.
And Creative Energy above.


Who knew the way? Who there declared
Whence this arose? Projection whence?
For after this projection came the gods.
Who therefore knew indeed, came out this whence?


This projection whence arose,
Whether held or whether not,
He the ruler in the supreme sky, of this
He, O Sharman! knows, or knows not
He perchance!
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ravi said...

Scott(LMM),
"So since as I progress to deeper and deeper levels of unveiled Self-experience, there is an intoxicating bliss, and appreciation for all things that wasn't previously there. A jnani in that Bliss only sees that Self, that Bliss in everything, so a jnani I would assume is at maximum appreciation for any object in a sense, or atleast it would appear that way. "

Quite True Scott.This is exactly what Swami Vivekananda said:
"Ingersoll once said to me: "I believe in making the most out of this world, in squeezing the orange dry, because this world is all we are sure of." I replied: "I know a better way to squeeze the orange of this world than you do, and I get more out of it. I know I cannot die, so I am not in a hurry; I know there is no fear, so I enjoy the squeezing. I have no duty, no bondage of wife and children and property; I can love all men and women. Everyone is God to me. Think of the joy of loving man as God! Squeeze your orange this way and get ten thousandfold more out of it. Get every single drop."
-----------------------------------
Wishing you the Very Best.

Ravi said...

Scott/Friends,
Listening to Classical music is a very simple way to attune oneself.This is a vast subject and I will recommend Sibelius Symphonies-Right from the First Symphony to the final Seventh one-it is a marvellous journey.
"Nature is coming
to life: that life
which I so love,
now and always,
whose essence
shall pervade
everything which
I compose. "-Sibelius.

One of the most inspiring and stirring is his Fifth Symphony:
One day, on his routine walk through the countryside, Sibelius watched as sixteen swans flew overhead, a sight which took his breath away:

"One of my greatest experiences! My God what beauty! ... Their call the same woodwind type as that of cranes, but without tremolo. The swan-call closer to trumpet, although there is something of a sarrusophone sound. A low refrain reminiscent of a small child crying. Nature's Mysticism and Life's Angst! The Fifth Symphony's finale-theme: Legato in the trumpets! "

This momentary encounter with nature's glorious beauty evidently inspired the awe-inspiring yet gently heroic swinging horn theme of the Fifth Symphony's finale. The orchestral strings summon a great ascending wind of energy before the mighty breaths that nature breathes into the horns begin their song. Axel Carpelan called it, after the composer's own image, "the incomparable swan hymn" (Dec 15, 1916).

The swinging horns are soon joined by a long-breathed melody on the woodwinds, which intone a beautifully simple hymn-like theme above the undulating current of basses. As the swans soar into ever higher spheres of living spirit, Sibelius modulates the potent music into a glorious C major, creating what many have acknowledged as one of the most magnificent and affirmative climaxes in music.
-----------------------------------
This is not unlike Sri Ramakrishna's encounter of an identical nature ,at the age of 7!

You may visit this link to read Sibelius Nutcase's most insightful commentary on the music of Jean Sibelius.Pl refer:
http://inkpot.com/classical/sibsym5.html
-----------------------------------

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

Easier than squeezing the orange - what means hard work - is to behave like at the day you die: silent, alert and in a state of expectancy. Where there is no need to do anything there is freedon. No one was with you as you were born, no one can go with you when you die - it is not difficult to understand that during your lifetime you are alone too. What is the true meaning of this loneliness? That has to be understand. In this world people behave like tigers looking for the prey. No power of the universe can find the one being in silence.

.

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"Easier than squeezing the orange - what means hard work "
Ramos,this is a metaphor-This is to say that one has to make the most of what this world has to offer-No 'Hardwork' is implied.

The above is What Ingersol said.What Vivekananda said in response was what Sri Ramakrishna puts so beautifully-Any number of Zeros do not have a value.Put a '1' ahead of them and the Zeros get a value!Infinty+Zero =Infinty.The Infinte 'ALONE' exists.The 'Lonely' Zero has no value.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Ravi said...

Ramos,
"silent, alert and in a state of expectancy. Where there is no need to do anything there is freedon."

'Expectancy'-What is it that one expects?The answer to this may be-Peace,Bliss,Light,Freedom,Fulfillment-These are various descriptions.

Freedom is not in- Not having the need to do anything-it comes from dropping the 'doer' ship.
-----------------------------------
Why to behave like at the day you die?Why that day should be different from any other day?
Please do not see this as if I am trying to 'nitpick'.What I mean is that there is no 'Silence' or 'openness' when one is under 'pressure'(It is the last Day or moment).
The most important thing is Humility-to set aside all that one has read and known-we know it has not helped one bit-and there will be this 'silence' or 'openness' in which the Divine will pour into us what we truly need-not what we think we need.This is what Sri Ramakrishna so beautifully says through his parable of the Dyer and his tub.
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ravi and Friends,
:) Nice posts!

Let us see. Tell me one experience where Self is not experienced :) :)

Really there is no "Non-Self" experience. Then, why do we think of special experiences? Why do we need all those exotic experiences? What is special about them?

Experience of Self is unique. If you read Annamalai Swami's final Talks, there is one conversation where he points out that many people prefer "Bhakti" coz it gives "Bliss" and he points out that that mental state of "Bliss" is unfortunately not going to work. he explains that one should go for "self inquiry" even when it does not give immediate bliss.

The point is ... the calmness "due to a mental state" ... is still identification with MIND. Calmness despite all mental States is being the Self.

To put it another way ... "Be Still" or "summa Iru" has been misinterpreted by many people ... please see ... if someone is still, this instruction is redundant... and if someone is agitated , this instruction does not serve him any purpose coz it does not tell him "How to be Still" ... Actually its not "Be Still" ... it is "You Are Stillness" ! So here there is nothing you can do abt it. you are stillness ... whether you walk, dance or flirt ... it does not matter ... you are stillness ... when mind is full of thoughts of anger --- you are stillness!

Love!
Silence

Anonymous said...

Dear "Losing M. Mind",
:) Nice to see your post. I too had many experiences --- please answer these basic questions:

Has it happened that after an experience your habits have changed ? in the sense, suppose you wake up late... after the experience, did it becomes absolutely easy for u to wake up early? has it happened that after the experience you suddenly learnt swimming, if you did not know it earlier?

i am asking this coz, the habit patterns of the mind ... which are called vasanas ... these are very strong ... to get over them one needs to go against them ... an experience will not eliminate these habit patterns. That is why Ramana when he was asked about Seeing God ... he said its like seeing anything else or like seeing objects in Dream. It does show a state of concentration and concentration is useful ... no doubt abt it! But ultimately its only Self Inquiry that Releases. And Self inquiry does not lead to new experience! it destroys the experiencer ... and then there remains no Experiencer ... no Doer. That is liberation.

Liberation is not a new Experience ... coz a new Experience need not "destroy" the Experiencer. The only way Experiencer merges is through Self inquiry, Self Knowledge. Panchadasi suggests that those that cannot do Self inquiry should resort to constant meditation on Self. both work. Or Complete Self Surrender [which needs to be understood properly and not mistaken to be some practices]

Love!
Silence

Nandu Narasimhan said...

"Quite True!This is still a 'Mental' Picture.There is still a possibility of Space that is pure Space bereft of any other thing whatsoever!"

Am quoting from the discussion between Ravi and Anonymous.

The 'Mental Picture' thing happens to me quite often in SE. One reaches that state for an all too brief period of time. In my case, that space is almost immediately replaced by a mental picture of Arunachala, Bhagavan or some place in the ashram.

I know it is wrong because it is the mind that is associating these images with that brief experience.

The strange thing is that I don't try to stop it as the experience of seeing Arunachala or Bhagavan is quite beautiful.

Has anyone else gone through this? And if so, is starting all over again the only way?

Nandu

Ravi said...

Nandu,
" I don't try to stop it as the experience of seeing Arunachala or Bhagavan is quite beautiful."

You are blessed.This is from the Heart.(This is not 'mental').

"People who are in love with and fascinated by the mystery of consciousness have felt that mysterious pull of the Heart from within themselves. Who can really explain ways of the Divine and the different forms She/He manifests in.

What is the first step on this path of love? No one can say for sure. Was it the smile and look of a Sage, the grace of the Divine Mother, the kiss of the Goddess, or the kindness of a teacher or a friend? There must be many possibilities that make us aware of the Heart within, whose nature is Sat-Chit-Ananda, that which is the source of the ultimate bliss.

This memory once awakened brings upon the experience of pure being, and attracts the devotee to the truth of her/his own nature. This gentle pull within makes itself felt. It does not let go until the Truth of one’s own Heart is recognized, and there is nothing left to let go.

Some say that it is the Goddess Herself, who takes the devotee into the Heart and then reveals Herself as the Universal Heart. The complete identity between the devotee, the Goddess, and the Heart thus established, everything disappears. There is only that Heart of Love and Fullness, eternal consciousness completely at rest in its own nature.

Knowing That is Self-Knowledge. That is the final consummation.

“I came to feed on Thee, but Thou hast fed on me; now there is peace, Oh Arunachala!” Verse 28. Marital Garland of Letters."
Happen to come across this .Pease see:http://luthar.com/lovers-love-completely-the-goddess-mystery.

I totally concur with this .
-----------------------------------
Friend,I remember reading on your Blog(Did not find it subsequently),How just looking at Sri Bhagavan's picture in a Book gave you a deep sense of Peace.This path is as valid as any other.
-----------------------------------
I understand that Matru Sarada also approached it this way,by meditating on the form of her Guru.
---------------------------------
Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@ Ravi,

Many thanks for your kind and encouraging comments.

But the doubt still is there,whether I am doing SE correctly, because the mind is still association a 'picture' or 'form' with the 'source'.

As of now, I am not trying to stop it, for the reason I mentioned, but I am not sure if this is the right way.

Nandu

Anonymous said...

But why is it that you associate only that form with Ramana?
What form is not Ramana?

in associating a particular form with Ramana ... are we not missing Ramana in other forms?

its really very strange. ill tell you an "experience" :) :) :) --- i was once praying for a vision of God. i prayed a lot ... cried and then nothing worked, i sat down silently with closed eyes ... and in that moment my God, as if spoke to me [the understanding was conveyed quite strongly, so i need not doubt it... and god need not speak in a language ... he can convey in a million ways... and one of them is via a thought] ... he said "Why dont you recognize this formless form of me? "

and that Formless Self cannot be taken away from me ... a vision can be taken away . its now there, now again it is not there ... the Formless Self , My God ... is always with me!
God then is never lost!
Ramana then ever IS.

Now, i can take this one particular form and pray it ... but in every form God is there.

SO MY BEING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS NOT DEPENDENT UPON MY MENTAL IMAGINATION OF A PARTICULAR FORM.

i remain ever in the embrace of my God ... Coz To my Left, Right up, above and within its only God.

SO NO PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE CAN BE COUNTED AS AN EXPERIENCE OF GOD ... GOD IS THE SUBSTRATUM OF ALL EXPERIENCES.


actually WHEN GOD TOUCHES ... he leaves nothing ... it is like, everything is transformed ... The PRESENCE is there ... everywhere ... but unfortunately people have categorized.

ITS LIKE GOD COMES TO ME EVERY DAY AND WHEN HE COMES, I SAY I DO NOT RECOGNIZE YOU COZ YOU HAVE NOT COME IN THE FORM OF A KRISHNA OR JESUS!

if one wants to See God as one's idea ... then one needs to beg and request God to take that Form... but if one wants to Be in his presence always ... that is granted absolutely FREE.

Love!
Silence

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

The Book of Privy Counseling is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in Middle English in the latter half of the 14th century. It's parallels to vedantic self enquiry are astonishing.

"The Cloud of Unknowing" and "The Book of Privy Counseling" at Google Books

Emptying your mind of everything except a naked intent for God

When you withdraw from the world for prayer, don't worry about anything else on your schedule that day. For the moment, don't think ahead. Don't clutter the time. Don't plan your future. Reject all thoughts, good or bad. And unless you really feel the need, don't pray out loud. However, if you must say something, don't analyze how few or how many words you use or what they mean or even what kind they arc, such as set liturgical prayer, psalm, hymn, antiphon, or any other kind. Don't pay attention to the wordless, interior nature of your prayer or to its being vocalized and heard and also don't scrutinize the specific or general nature of your intercession.

Empty your mind of everything except a naked intent reaching out to God. Don't clothe this with thoughts of who God is or what he has created. Just be aware that he is as he is. Let him be himself, please. Don't force God into any other shape. Don't let your mazelike mind probe him. Trust that God is God, and let that faith be your foundation.

Learning to focus, not on what you are, but that you are

It's not that hard to train your mind. Even the most I uneducated person living the most ordinary life of the mind could be taught this. That's why I quietly marvel, smiling wistfully when I hear others — and I don't mean ignorant, uneducated men and women, but distinguished scholars — remarking that what I write for you and others is too hard, too profound, too complex, and too abstruse. They say my reaching can only be grasped by the most brilliant scholar or by the most intelligent man or woman alive.

That's their opinion, but I disagree. And I have something to say to them. It's a sad commentary on today (and something we must gently scorn and bitterly regret) that, with the exception of one or two of God's special friends living among us, almost all of those who say they love God arc so blinded by their own cleverness and learning that they miss the inherent simplicity of contemplative prayer — its an easy sort of work.

Even the most ignorant person on earth can experience union with God in perfect love by practicing contemplation in the beauty of humility. But those who think themselves clever can't. They can no more grasp the truth of prayer than elementary children at their ABCs can understand the erudition of the greatest scholar. Experts are blinded by their knowledge. Unable to see the profound simplicity of this work, they call it "ingenious" instead. If they clearly understood it, they would sec that this exercise in prayer is a simple, easy lesson for any beginning student.

How hopelessly stupid would a person have to be if he or she could not realize that he is or that she is. How ignorant. Don't focus on what you are, but that you are. Even the dumbest cow, yes, or any unthinking beast is aware of its own existence, though I'm obviously being facetious here, since we can't literally say that one animal is dumber or more unthinking than another. We alone are graced with the gift of reason, above all other animals, so it's absolutely fitting that we recognize our own existence.

continued...

.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

...continued from the Book of Privy Counseling:

Taking God at face value

Here's what you should do. Go down deep in your mind as far as you can go to its lowest level that some by experience call its "highest" point and think in the simplest (some call it the "wisest") way and realize — nor what yon are but that you are.

For you to comprehend what you are in all of your complex humanity requires much scholarship, intelligence, and introspection, for the most challenging research is self-examination. With the help of grace, you've already done this for a while now, learning enough partial knowledge of what you are —- by nature, human; by sin, a miserable, corrupt wretch. You know what I mean. You know all too well the immoral behavior that follows and belongs to those who stray. Shame on them! I ask you to do this: Let them go their way. Don't obsess over them, for fear of being ruined yourself. Instead, remember your inherent talent for understandingyou are. Thinking that you exist doesn't require learning or brilliance, but a simple willingness to be taught.

I ask you now — forget everything.* Think only that you are as you are, however ugly and sinful you feel. I'm assuming you've already confessed your sins, general and specific, and have been properly forgiven, as the Holy Church teaches.

Without that, I would never recommend or approve that you or anyone else dare begin this work. But if you feel thai you've done your best to be forgiven, then go ahead and start.

If, however, you still feel awful, burdened by your weaknesses, and if you're not sure what to do with yourself, I can suggest something that might help you: Take God at face value, as he is. Accept his good graciousncss, as you would a plain, simple, soft compress when sick. Take hold of him and press him against your unhealthy self, just as you are. Or try this. Make yourself get up, sick as you arc, and try to let your desire touch the kind and generous God, just as he is, because those who touch him know good health that never ends. Remember the woman in the Gospel story. This experience happened to her, and she testified about it: "If I only touch the hem of his cloak, I will be made well."

[...]


[*] "To forget everything is the ultimate means. But for thought, the world does not arise. Do not think and it will not arise. When nothing arises in the mind, the mind itself is lost. Therefore do not think of anything, forget all. This is the best way to kill the mind."

ADVAITA BODHA DEEPIKA, Chapter VIII, The Extinction of the Mind

.

shiba said...

I think existence of maya even as illusion only for jiva not for SELF is inconsistent with nature of SELF which is unchanging and eternal.
Why do maya occur as illusion in perfect SELF.If SELF is prefect,I think even illusion will not occur.
This point is a knotty problem
for me.Please give me a advice.

Ravi said...

Nandu,
"But the doubt still is there,whether I am doing SE correctly, because the mind is still association a 'picture' or 'form' with the 'source'."

Yes,I understand.I have just one simple 'Thumb rule' -What centers one in oneself is 'Correct' ;What takes one away from one's center is 'incorrect'.One may look at a 'Picture' or 'object' and get shifted towards one's core or center.One may also 'attempt' to 'center' oneself and may be externalised!

Self Enquiry only serves to 'center' oneself.Any other approach which helps one to remain centred is equally effective.

Wishing you the very Best.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
"Even the most ignorant person on earth can experience union with God in perfect love by practicing contemplation in the beauty of humility."
This is the essence.

Losing M. Mind said...

Anonymous said:
"Has it happened that after an experience your habits have changed ? in the sense, suppose you wake up late... after the experience, did it becomes absolutely easy for u to wake up early? has it happened that after the experience you suddenly learnt swimming, if you did not know it earlier?

i am asking this coz, the habit patterns of the mind ... which are called vasanas ... these are very strong ... to get over them one needs to go against them ... an experience will not eliminate these habit patterns. That is why Ramana when he was asked about Seeing God ... he said its like seeing anything else or like seeing objects in Dream. It does show a state of concentration and concentration is useful ... no doubt abt it! But ultimately its only Self Inquiry that Releases. And Self inquiry does not lead to new experience! it destroys the experiencer ... and then there remains no Experiencer ... no Doer. That is liberation.

Liberation is not a new Experience ... coz a new Experience need not "destroy" the Experiencer. The only way Experiencer merges is through Self inquiry, Self Knowledge. Panchadasi suggests that those that cannot do Self inquiry should resort to constant meditation on Self. both work. Or Complete Self Surrender [which needs to be understood properly and not mistaken to be some practices]"

Definitely, I may not learn to go swimming, but there may be less misplaced happiness so it is easier to get things done, and less addictive behavior because of less attachment.

I think what changes deeply though, is that it is easier to stay in a sense of peace and Bliss. There is something cumulative about that. Experiences have a beginning and an end. I'm not saying whether something is an experience of the Self, but it makes sense to me that Bliss is of the nature of the Self, and a Bliss that does not require satisfaction from the world is in the right direction so to speak. And the more time spent in that Bliss the better. the problem would be, if I rested on that, or thought I was enlightened, and objectified the experience, that is my understanding. If I don't, then it is a stepping stone to deeper experience. And this kind of experience is not an attainment, or worldly object, it's because I'm becoming less obsessed with those that it becomes more clear. Also this Bliss, or glowing vision, or whatever arose in the attempt to destroy or transcend duality. There may still have at points been an experiencer (an illusion of), or at the very least an experiencer arose afterwards. I think what it does though, is it gives faith that happiness is in nonobjective consciousess or "within", and not to be attained through a nice car, or girlfriend, or fame. So it weakens worldly attachment. It's not really concentration for concentrations sake, but concentration on the inquiry, or discernment as to what I really am, who I really am, and what is real. Little tastes of a formless consciousness, without objectify that is intensely blissful arise. My personal opinion is that those arextremely valuable, and that they weaken vasanas, and ultimately lead to Realization or the destruction of the illusory ego.

Losing M. Mind said...

Shiba, that seems like the great paradox. It almost seems to me that there is no answer to that question. Except that it seems like most jnanis including Ramana simply asked "But is there illusion, did it arise?"

Akira said...

Dear Shiba,

I think that intellct/mind, which has limited capabiltiy, cannot solve the riddle. When we reach the Self, the riddle would be solved, or the riddle itself might melt away.
So it might be better to leave the question up to God, and look inside. After all, that is all we are supposed to do, isn't it?

shiba said...

Thank you for your comment,Losing.M Mind.
This point is very important for me.
I read Guru Vachaka Kovai,but I can't find the answer.
A certain famous buddist living in Japan who is not a japanese criticise hinduism by saying like this point.
I can't find right answer.

Losing M. Mind said...

"Self Enquiry only serves to 'center' oneself.Any other approach which helps one to remain centred is equally effective."

Using the way you put it, centering oneself in oneself, it seems like perhaps Self-enquiry means doing that, so any other method that does this is Self enquiry. I was thinking about whether something external can give me a deeper experience, and I was wanting to agree. But I think for instance, if I'm happy because of something...I would still have to ask where the source of happiness is, that way I don't get misled by the appearance and believe that it is the source, and then get depressed when it's transience becomes obvious. Although when I'm happy for happinesses sake I become really appreciative of things like others, nature, etc in a non-selfish way. However if my happiness depended on birds and trees, those require the senses to see and hear, the senses of this body are transient. So then I'd be back in the precarious delimna of body-identification. But, when I'm trying to inquire, but not really getting at the essence of inquiry, for instance attempting inquiry in a state of agitation, or dullness and haven't gotten to the root of it so I'm back in the pristine sense of blissful experience. Then I haven't really successfully introverted my mind yet. Appreciation does not require it seems being dependent on something objective for happiness, infact being dependent on it for happiness, isn't really appreciation, it's neediness. So Self enquiry I would say in my experience greatly enhances appreciation, and Self Realization would be a state of only Appreciation (ananda). Again it would seem come back to happiness and reality and identity being returned to their origin. The more I practice, the more I understand this, and how great it is.

shiba said...

Dear Akira,

Thank you for your comment.

In fact,I like practice more than theory and I continue to practice atam-vichara now.
But if practice is supported by theory,practice can be done with confidence.
If I can't solve the riddle by intellect and can't know the answer,I want to know why intellect can't solve it.
Your attitude is better,I think,but I am not so pious.

Ravi said...

Scott(LMM),
" I was thinking about whether something external can give me a deeper experience, "
The problem is- it is the mind that makes these distinctons as 'External' and 'Internal'.
Let me try to explain-At a physical and mental level,the objects are outside-but is it the same for the Heart?For instance,we look at sri Bhagavan's picture,Yes the Eyes are looking at a 'picure',the mind thinks it is 'outside',but where is the contact established?True contact is made 'within'.we become aware of a deeper part of ourselves,this is why the peace is experienced.This 'Shift' in our consciousness is the Key thing.
This is how it practically works. we become aware of the core of our Being,and stay there-This is the aim of all Sadhana.

Duality is implied in all Sadhana-with or without form-self enquiry or any other.As for Dependency,As long as the 'I' and 'mine'is there ,dependency is there.
-----------------------------------
As I Understand,this is how Matru Sarada approached-by meditating on the form of her Guru.
Salutations.

Anonymous said...

It is confusing to read (p.64 Be As You Are) that even in silence, when thoughts settle, Ramana encourages the practitioner to enquire “who experiences this stillness?”

This gives me the impression that the verbal enquiry process needs to be virtually constant; when there are thoughts, and even when there aren’t, . . . ie., if there is any experience or perception.

Previously I did not think of the enquiry practice as one to be applied even to ones perception of silence/stillness.

The statement on p.64 gives the impression that enquiry needs to be constant, given that even if without thought, there is still perception.

And comments/clarification??

Thank you.

Losing M. Mind said...

Anonymous says: "It is confusing to read (p.64 Be As You Are) that even in silence, when thoughts settle, Ramana encourages the practitioner to enquire “who experiences this stillness?”

This gives me the impression that the verbal enquiry process needs to be virtually constant; when there are thoughts, and even when there aren’t, . . . ie., if there is any experience or perception."

In my experience I've been slowly learning that it seems enquiry is not a verbal process, it is more of a subtle discernment. For me though it still takes on the form of thinking. My understanding so far is that maybe thought in this context does not just refer to verbal thought. All perception, people/places/things, the body, body-identification, all name and form are thoughts, including verbal, logical thoughts. When ramana says that all thoughts are rooted in the primal I-thought, I think he means the sense of me-thought. Not an actual verbal thought. What is being inquired into is the primal sense of me, which since it appears in consciosuness is just a thought. There is a quote by I believe Ramana that "silence is that state in which no 'I' arises". I take this to mean that verbal and even mental stillness of not thinking are not necessarily what is being pointed to. It's the silence of not taking myself to be an individual living in a world. There are definitely in my experience tamasic dullness states of not thinking, and sometimes my practice gets into them. Maybe in this quote, he was talking about that. In that state, there is still the sense of me that is not thinking, or is in a fog. and there is still duality based in that sense of me, because there is still a world. There is still the perception of mental silence, the object.

"Previously I did not think of the enquiry practice as one to be applied even to ones perception of silence/stillness.

The statement on p.64 gives the impression that enquiry needs to be constant, given that even if without thought, there is still perception."

As I said, I'm coming to the conclusion that perception is just a kind of thought, perception-thought. It still appears on the screen of consciousness and is rooted in the primal sense of me-thought. My approach to enquiry has been, learned from the spiritual teacher I'm in contact with, to eliminate the transient as being unreal and not me. Holding the perceiver, or the I as it is put, it seems naturally happens in this process. Even mental states whatever they are, even states where there is an absence of thinking are transient modes of mind as well. Those are not me, and unreal.

Ravi said...

Anonymous/Friends,
"It is confusing to read (p.64 Be As You Are) that even in silence, when thoughts settle, Ramana encourages the practitioner to enquire “who experiences this stillness?”
As I understand ,this is just holding onto oneself-This is easier when when the Mind Falls 'Quiet'. The attention needs to remain turned 'inward'.

'Enquiry' somehow gives a picture of 'investigation' which is a mental process.Self-Attention is perhaps a better word.
-----------------------------------
I find this on page 63 of 'Be as you are':
You need not eliminate the wrong 'I'.How can 'I' eliminate itself?All that you need do is to find out its origin and abide there.Your efforts can extend only thus far.Then the beyond will take care of itself.you are helpless there.No effort can reach it.
-----------------------------------
On page 62,we find this-The mind ,turned outwards,results in thoughts and objects.Turned inwards,it becomes itself the Self.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Anonymous said...

“. . . . it is more of a subtle discernment”

Yes I agree.

My personal practice is to be aware, to attend to, the sense of ‘I’. If a thought arises I might enquire “whose thought is this?” or I may simply turn my attention back to this sense of ‘I’.

However, Ramana’s comment in question, suggests that even when one is intimately aware of, attentive to, the ‘I-ness’, one should carry on with verbal enquiry not merely be attuned to the ‘I-ness’. One should verbally enquire, “who perceives this?”

So, to verbally enquire “who perceives?” Or simply just perceive, attend to, attune to, the ‘I-ness’?

Losing M. Mind said...

Ravi says:
"The problem is- it is the mind that makes these distinctons as 'External' and 'Internal'.
Let me try to explain-At a physical and mental level,the objects are outside-but is it the same for the Heart?For instance,we look at sri Bhagavan's picture,Yes the Eyes are looking at a 'picure',the mind thinks it is 'outside',but where is the contact established?True contact is made 'within'.we become aware of a deeper part of ourselves,this is why the peace is experienced.This 'Shift' in our consciousness is the Key thing.
This is how it practically works. we become aware of the core of our Being,and stay there-This is the aim of all Sadhana."

I had trouble with the term "within". But I've come to understand within as meaning non-objective Consciousness. So it's not localized to the body, or within a particular place, it's the lack of objectivity, objects, parts, division. Infact within, includes what is normally considered external to the body. So when I said external, I wasn't referring to the normal internal/external division, but to objectified consciousness. I'm happy because of some object or circumstance...

Ravi says:
"Duality is implied in all Sadhana-with or without form-self enquiry or any other."

I'm not sure about this since the process itself seems to be immediately transcending duality. Especially from reading Nome, but it seems the same with Maharshi, Self-inquiry is the Self knowing the Self, and does not involve the ego. That made me think, then how to do it? Also Nome has said that Self-inquiry is not an action. The way this makes sense to me, is that in Self-inquiry the being the performer of action is being transcended. Also if I dissolve the thought-form that is being created, what is left is what is always there, which is the Self, deeper experience. To be quite honest I don't quite understand, but it resonates with me that Self-inquiry is nondual from start to finish, especially when I've had success with it. When I'm going 'inward', I'm immediately dissolving the thought-form that creates duality from the inside out. Is it eternal? Is it real? Who am I? And that thought-form and the duality it posits dissolves completely. Since the process is dissolving the illusory notion of individuality, how could 'I' be doing Self-inquiry. Only when I objectify it, 'oh I've been doing Self-inquiry for 2 years and I'm so much more relaxed' But in the actual process, it was the vasana that posited an illusory duality, not the inquiry to dissolve it. So in my experience, and from what i've read I would have to disagree that all sadhana implies duality. Mathru Sri Sarada actually I remember said in No mind, I am the Self, that in worshipping the guru, it is important to worship the guru in the heart, not an objectified, imaginary, external guru. There was something along those lines. So her guru-worship also I beleive was nondual. Bhakti, or god worship, or even Christianity if the surrender is complete, there is only God, so if the surrender is deep and earnest, at the very least temporarily, duality would I assume be transcended. So whatever sadhana, if it is to be effective, I think would have to not imply duality.

Ravi said...

Scott/Friends,
"I had trouble with the term "within".
This is the problem with words and mind-This is not the opposite of 'External'.This is to say that the 'core' is something that is perceived as 'intimate' and 'immediate'-compared to which even the Body and mind are 'Outside'..This is not something to do with 'space'.
-----------------------------------
" it is important to worship the guru in the heart, not an objectified, imaginary, external guru. "
It is again the mind that is bothering about these definitions.

There is only the Guru.There is no 'External' Guru and 'Inner' Guru.
There is only God.There is no external or internal God.
As one of the Poets(Tamil)said-God it is,if perceived as God;Statue it is,if Perceived as Statue!

He who perceives the 'External Guru' as an 'object' cannot perceive the 'Internal Guru' as the Self.
This is something that is quite simple.

Just a little thought will help us resolve this-Can anyone be obsessed with an 'Image' or 'Object' for Life?Is it possible?
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Ravi said...

Scott,
"Self-inquiry is the Self knowing the Self, and does not involve the ego."
Where then is the need for Self Enquiry?It is only the mind that is enquiring and it is the 'Ego' sense that is enquired into(the attention is fixed on the Ego sense).

Ravi said...

Scott,
"Bhakti, or god worship, or even Christianity if the surrender is complete, there is only God, so if the surrender is deep and earnest, at the very least temporarily, duality would I assume be transcended."
Yes,it may happen.The Devotee has no such 'Goals'-to Transcend 'Duality'.It is never a problem.How does it matter whether 'Duality' is transcended or not.How does it matter whether 'Liberation' is achieved or not.
These are the 'Objectives' or 'Goals'that the groping mind sets for itself as a way out of the 'problems' that it encounters in facing Life.
This is not to say that "liberation' will not happen.The Devotee is just content to leave it god.He knows Best.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Losing M. Mind said...

"Where then is the need for Self Enquiry?It is only the mind that is enquiring and it is the 'Ego' sense that is enquired into(the attention is fixed on the Ego sense)."

See, I'm not so sure about that. What is Self enquiry? That is a tuff question I think. Especially for an ajnani to answer. I've read all the literature and have been practicing for 2 years. It seems to me that Self enquiry can only really truly be described by someone who has Realized the Self. In a sense it has occured to me, that Self enquiry is the direct practices laid out by a genuinely realized Sat-guru. As opposed to being a rote, method that is to be repeatedly practiced. It almost seems paradoxical when my 'practice' is closer to actually being a successful inquiry. And Nome's assertion that inquiry is the Self knowing the Self and the ego is not involved makes sense in the deeper experiences I've had. Because when I discern for instance what is non-eternal as not being real, and not being my identity. Who is discerning that the non-eternal is not real and not my identity? On some level that discernment does seem to come from somewhere else besides the individualized consciousness, because it immediately reveals formless Being. So who was inquiring, the ego? I don't know. There's other paradoxical things, that the ego and the mind are the Self as well, beacuse the Self is the only thing that exists. So even when I take myself to be an ego, the ego is still the Self because there is no non-Self.Although I guess the ego doesn't really exist. (laugh). Nonetheless when it is talked about, Who am I? and holding the I. I actually do not think that they are talking about inquiring into the ego. Because what would be the point of that? The point is to completely dissolve the illusion of an ego. So I guess perhaps it's looking to find an ego and it not being there because it doesn't exist. (actually I don't think that is what it is--lol) But for instance in correspondence with Nome in his last e-mail he mentioned discriminating the perceived from the perceiver. The perceiver is not some entity that senses, it's the non-objective Consciousness, that's my interpretatino. The perceived are what are objectified in duality. The perceived, which are transient are being treated as unreal and non-Self. The Self is left over when all that is objective has been eliminated.(at the same time, what is objective was of the Self all along) Neti, neti, and who am I? are really the same thing. That is probably why Who am I? the essay starts off with negating everything that is not the Self, and then moves into the inquiry Who am I? But really they are the same. Because in eliminating the non-eternal as non-Self. I'm also asking Who am I? at the same time. There is the subject/object duality. Self-inquiry is peering as it were into the subject because the subject is the Self and not the ego. When the tendency to objectify falls off, the Self is the non-objective eternal Consciousness that was there the whole time. Nome even discussed that the aphorism, "I am Brahman" is the same thing. He read from Talks that Maharshi said that I am Brahman is only a thought, but Nome was saying that was because the questioner was takign it as a thought. He said what the aphorism meant, as it was written or said by a Jnani was beyond thought. So 'I am Brahman', neti, neti, and Who am I? all mean tht same thing.

Losing M. Mind said...

"Yes,it may happen.The Devotee has no such 'Goals'-to Transcend 'Duality'.It is never a problem.How does it matter whether 'Duality' is transcended or not.How does it matter whether 'Liberation' is achieved or not.
These are the 'Objectives' or 'Goals'that the groping mind sets for itself as a way out of the 'problems' that it encounters in facing Life.
This is not to say that "liberation' will not happen.The Devotee is just content to leave it god.He knows Best"

good point.

Losing M. Mind said...

"He who perceives the 'External Guru' as an 'object' cannot perceive the 'Internal Guru' as the Self.
This is something that is quite simple.

Just a little thought will help us resolve this-Can anyone be obsessed with an 'Image' or 'Object' for Life?Is it possible?"

Good point.

Anonymous said...

You cannot discount the devotion a photo, object or statue can stir up. Ramana has said that it's the devotion that can make even a stone idol potent.

Ravi said...

Anonymous,
"You cannot discount the devotion a photo, object or statue can stir up. Ramana has said that it's the devotion that can make even a stone idol potent."
Yes indeed.If this devotion is there,then it is not just a 'stone Idol'.Sri Bhagavan adored Arunachala-possibly the biggest 'Stone idol'.How Sri Bhagavan recounts the Story of the Great Devotee,Kannappa Nayanar-who worshipped such an 'idol' with water carried in his mouth and who offered 'pork' tasted, to see that it is cooked properly.
Devotion is a simple potent way.No iota of a doubt about this.It avoids all the sophisticated circumlocutions of thought.
-----------------------------------Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from 'Letters from Ramasramam'(Page 355-357):
“On one occasion, we started to go round in the
morning with the intention of returning the same evening.
We stopped at the Gautamasram, cooked our food, ate it
and after taking some rest, packed all the milk, sugar,
buttermilk, etc., that remained and started walking again.
As we were approaching Adi Annamalai, Bhagavan began
walking off on a side road and very fast. Thinking that he
wished to avoid the crowds on the main road, we followed
him.
“After going along a path for about half a furlong, we
came to a tank. At the edge of the tank and under a tree,
sat on old man, his body covered by a blanket and holding
a small pot in his hand. This old man, whenever he heard
that Bhagavan was coming round the hill, would await
Bhagawan’s arrival on the road and bring him something
to eat. Not seeing him on the road, and lest the poor man
should be troubled at missing him, Bhagavan had made
the detour.
“Bhagavan, on seeing him, called him by name and
began talking with him very freely. The old peasant
prostrated before Bhagavan, then stood with folded hands,
saying nothing. ‘What is the matter?’ said Bhagavan, ‘why is
it that I do not see you anywhere these days? Are crops and
cattle all right? How are the children?’ And then, ‘What is in
that pot?’ queried Bhagavan.
“Very hesitantly, the old man said, ‘Nothing particular,
Swami. I came to know that you were coming. I wanted to
bring something as usual to offer you, but there was nothing
in the house. When I asked my old woman, she said, ‘There
is ample food in the cooking pot. You can take it to them’.
Unable to decide what to do, I put some of the food into
this small pot, but ashamed to face you with only this sort
of food to offer you, I was sitting here, Swami.’
“Bhagavan, seemingly very pleased, exclaimed, ‘Oh!
Cooked food, is it? That is excellent. Why be ashamed? It
will be very good. Let me have it’. As the old man was still
hesitating, Bhagavan took the pot from him, sat down under
a tree and told his followers to put down all the things they
had brought. We did accordingly. Bhagavan took out from
among the cooking things, a big open-mouthed tin-lined
vessel into which he put all the food, poured in a lot of water,
and mixed it well into a paste with his hand. Then from
some left-overs amongst our things, he took out some limes
and squeezed the juice into the mixture, poured in some
buttermilk, and made the whole thing into a liquid. Finally
he mixed some salt and dry ginger powder, then took out a
tumblerful of the liquid, drank it, and said, ‘Oh, this is
delicious!’ Then looking at us all, he said, ‘All of you, mix
some sugar with that milk left over and drink it; our luggage
will be lighter. I have this food; so what need have I for the
milk? This is first rate food for me in this hot weather. It is
also very nourishing, and has many other good qualities too."
............(Edited)
Bhagavan was meanwhile talking sociably with the old farmer
and taking two or three tumblerfuls of the liquid preparation
saying that it was like nectar. He then said to the old man,
‘My stomach is quite full. I feel that I shan’t be able to take
any food tonight. Take the rest of this liquid food home’. So
saying, he gave the remaining food to the old man, who
accepted it as though it were nectar. Wiping the tears of joy
that were welling up into his eyes, he took leave of us and
went off to his cottage.”

Just what made Bhagavan take a detour!It is the devotion of that poor peasant.
Devotion is not just a mix of Transient Emotions,Feelings-It is steadfastness,Faith,Trust,Love.It does manifest as emotions and feelings-and these pass away but leave Behind A RESIDUE that is Awareness.
-----------------------------------
Salutations.

Anonymous said...

I understand and accept the Ramana way pertaining to life after death, ie. such experiences hinge upon the ‘I’. Nevertheless, I found it interesting when watching a video of a persons NDE experience.

The fellow in question spoke of his encounter with God. Of course it all sounded wonderful, but what stuck me most about the story the gentleman relayed was when he determinedly said to God, “there’s no way I’m going back there, (referring to Earth), I’m staying here with you”. To this God replied, “you are always here if only you would know it. Just get beyond the mind.”

. . . . just get beyond the mind.

This comment jumped out at me. Here was someone with no apparent association with Ramana, yet this was
God’s answer to the gentleman, “get beyond the mind”; a directive paralleling Ramana’s teachings, I do believe.


It seems these billions of people wandering the globe are all stuck (including myself!), stuck in this very convincing show projected by mind.

And mostly we never even consider questioning the validity of mind. In fact we can live our entire life unaware that we even have a mind, . . . . how incredible!!

And even if we have the great fortune to come across, and then believe the teachings of Ramana, we often remain content to be swallowed up by the mind and its games, so enthralling, so convincing is its display.

But I suspect the greatest practitioners amongst us have become very tired of the mind, its movement, its false promises. This tiredness paves the way for an earnest and sincere desire for something Greater.

Until then, the circles continue.

Anonymous said...

hello David

there is a distinct lack of discussion at your blog.

would you consider allowing comments to go straight through?

you could still monitor the discussion, deleting inappropriate comments, and at the same time facilitate greater discussion by virtue of not delaying comments

please consider.

Peter

David Godman said...

I did have unmoderated comments for several months, but then some contributors started to post highly offensive material. I wish I could revert to unmoderated mode, but I can't. There are too many people out there who take pleasure in insulting other people's teachers and ideas.

Srikantha said...

Dear Shiba,
You said:"Why do maya occur as illusion in perfect SELF. If SELF is prefect,I think even illusion will not occur. This point is a knotty problem."

I came across a QA in Maharshi's Gospel, which reminded me of this Q of yours. Here is goes:

D: While the one aim is to realise the unconditioned, pure Being of the Self, which is in no way dependent on the ego, how can enquiry pertaining to the ego in the form of aham-vritti be of any use?

M: From the functional point of view, the form, activity or whatever else you may call it (it is immaterial, since it is evanescent), the ego has one and only one characteristic. The ego functions as the knot between the Self which is Pure Consciousness and the physical body which is inert and insentient. The ego is therefore called the chit-jada granthi. In your investigation into the source of aham-vritti, you take the essential chit aspect of the ego; and for this reason the enquiry must lead to the realization of the pure consciousness of the Self.

Hope this was in some way relevant to your Q. Regards.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Here is the excerpt from 'At the Feet of Bhagavan'Pages 28-30 wherein Sri Bhagavan is reading aloud the Life Of Kannappa Nayanar from Periapuranam.

"Once someone placed the Periapuranam in Tamil
prose in Bhagavan’s hands, and He began reading out of
it. Now Bhagavan was a past master in story-telling, and
he used to tell stories in hundreds. His solo-acting was
ever the admiration of His devotees; His modulation of
voice for different characters, suiting gestures and postures
for each incident, was wonderfully effective. His devotees
never missed a chance of being in the Hall on such
occasions, so as to enjoy and benefit by the recitals.
Bhagavan began to read out the life of Kannappar,
the great devotee saint. He went on reading incidents in
his early life, and how he went to the forest and found
Kudumi Devar, the Sivalinga, his Lord, up the Kalahasti
Hill in the Chitoor district (of Andhra state). Then he
told how Kannappar worshipped the Sivalinga with water
carried in his own mouth, flowers taken from his own
hair, and the well-cooked and tasted beef prepared for his
own meal — knowing no better and having no better to
offer his beloved Lord. The way in which the ordained
priest, Siva Gochariar, resented the intruding defiler of
the sacred Sivalinga was so characteristically brought out
by Bhagavan, with His own explanations of the rites and
the meanings of the mantras used in the worship, that it
enriched the recital greatly to the benefit and admiration
of the devotees.
Then came the scene of scenes, when the Lord in
that Sivalinga tested Kannappar and incidentally revealed
to Siva Gochariar the intensity of the forest hunter’s
worship from a place of hiding. He saw the unexpected
trickling of blood from one of the eyes on that Sivalinga;
he saw Kannappar running to and fro for herbs, and
treating the Lord’s eye with them. Then he saw how,
finding them all useless, Kannappar plucked out one of
his own eyes and applied it to that in the Sivalinga; then,
seeing the treatment was effective, he ran into ecstasies of
joyful dance.
When Bhagavan came to the story of how Kannappar
was plucking out his second eye to heal the second of the
Lord, and of how the Sivalinga extended a hand to stop
him, saying “Stop, Kannappar!” Bhagavan’s voice choked,
His body perspired profusely, His hairs stood on end,
tears gushed out from His eyes; He could hardly utter a
word, and there was silence, pin-drop silence in the Hall.
All were dumbfounded that this great Jnani could be so
overpowered by emotion and ecstasy at the great huntersaint’s
devotion. After a while Sri Bhagavan quietly closed
the book, dried the tears in His eyes with the ends of His
towel, and laid aside the book, saying, “No, I can’t go on
any further.”
Then we could realise the import of His words in
Aksharamanamalai: “Having become silent, if one remains
like a stone, can that be called real silence?” His blossomed
Heart had in it the perfect warmth of devotion, no less
than the supreme light of Knowledge."
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

shiba said...

Dear Srikantha,

Thank you for your comment.

To be honest,I knew the QA that you posted and it doesn't seem to clear my doubt.But I am very happy with your kindness.

Well,practice will make me undestand the right answer,I hope.

But my intellect still want to know intellectual answer.He is a bad boy(laughter).

Losing M. Mind said...

First off, I don't think moderation really necessarily prevents good discussion even debate, because I write a comment, sometime later I read, and see responses to that comment. It makes for a slow meandering discussion. But in some ways I almost prefer that to a rapid fire discussion. So maybe there is a hidden blessing in the people who are disrespectful causing there to be moderation.

I was going to say that my intellect is a bad boy too. I become really intellectually fascinated with these things. But then question, is that bad, or is that anti-inquiry? There seems to be an irresolvable paradox that could only be resolved by Realization, and that is that I'm not sure the workings of the intellect as with the mind are the problem. The problem from what I gather is the identification with the body, and the mind, and the senses. Now do those things exist apart from my identification with them. "has anyone seen the world without the body?", etc. And if I end up too much in conflict with little inclinations to learn about something, that sometimes perhaps seems like it might be counter-productive. Most of the Jnanis that I've read about have shown great interest in things, sometimes huge excitement.
(including Maharshi such as in Ravi's quote about how people loved to hear him storytell about his early life) It comes down to that renounce the renouncer quote. The desire to renounce things is perhaps the ego also, as is perhaps sometimes the desire to indulge in different tangents, desires, are also ego. Maybe that is why the Buddha said something about moderation being good. What I've been primarily focusing on in Inquiry is attachments that come up strongly. Not little joys like drinking soda and looking on youtube. Except that perhaps the inquiry where does the happiness derive from? Where is it's source? Are these little pleasures the source of the joy? Or is the pure Consciousness of hte Self that is the Existent thing the source? Some of these inclinations of teh intellect as with the body are perhaps the prarabdha karma and even in the state of REalization they will go on. It's very hard to know, because undoubtedly bad habits might have to go for Realization to happen. But Maharshi seemed to stress inquiry as oppsed to repression. Because then it would become clear what the natural behavior of the 'illusory body' is. But I guess in Realization is there a body? I suppose not really. Because all of it will be the pure Consciousness of the Self, also referred to as God, Brahman, Siva. So there is no actual particularized body since Maharshi referred to it and the world as the illusory appearance of silver in mother of pearl. So I guess, the senses, body, intellect, maybe they would still function by prarabdha karma, and in a sense the Self which the Jnani is, is overlooking these activities of the senses, body, intellect, but they would all be viewed as pure Consciousness alone?

Losing M. Mind said...

And then it just occured to me. The same is true for ajnanis. The Self which we really are is pure Consciousness and overlooking the activities of the illusory senses, body, mind. Perhaps the only difference is that there is this glimmer of identification that I am this illusory entity the ego that is particularized. If I don't take myself to be that, but know I am the expansive Consciousness, that would be Self-REalization. But just because there is that glimmer of identification, is there really a difference between an ajnani and jnani other then taht. Because whether I think I am or not, I am still the Self, pure Consciousness, because that is hte only thing that exists. the other stuff is only an illusory appearance. The 'perceived' difficulty in Realizing is the belief in there being this entity, and then it is attached to what appears by the body, mind, and senses. 'Oh I can't lose this person or thing.' there is the thing that is an appearance of body, mind, and senses. Mind, who I think I am, what I think I know. This little game is going on, of hte little me, the ego, and it's attachments, all of which are not apart from the pure Consciousness. But then the question is, is this game really going on? That seems to be a more solid inquiry. Who am I? to reveal the Consciousness. When I first read Who Am I? and without help of a convincingly Realized guru I would not even come this far. Did I really come this far? And who am I?

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Shiba,

You wrote: To be honest,I knew the QA that you posted and it doesn't seem to clear my doubt.But I am very happy with your kindness.

Well,practice will make me undestand the right answer,I hope.

But my intellect still want to know intellectual answer.He is a bad boy(laughter).

This is what one of the ashram residents told me when I asked for the correct way to do SE - "In your Heart, surrender to the Maharshi. And then begin enquiry."

Bhagavan Himself said not to look for answers, as that would turn it into an intellectual exercise. Am quoting from memory - Put the question once and keenly observe.

I don't know if this clarifies things or confuses the matter further.

@Srikantha, happy to see you here.

Nandu

shiba said...

Dear Nandu Narasimhan,

Thank you for your comment.

I'm highly respect Maharshi.But I don't know I surrender to Maharshi.

Losing M. Mind said...

Earlier Ravi had asked about, if the Self realizes the Self without the ego being involved in sadhana what would be the point of self-inquiry, something along those lines. Here in the introduction to the Ramamoorthy, Nome translation of Svatmanirupanam: the True definition of oneself, Nome seems to comment on it.

"Samsara is the repetative cycle of birth and death, or illusion, characterized by sufferings of various kinds. Suffering is due to illusion, commencing with an "I", or individual, to which is attributed various forms of misidentification such as the mind, senses, the body, and attachment to the things of the world. The illusion is the result of delusion, or ignorance, the fundamental basis of which is the ignorant notion of an existent, individual entity, or ego. That which is alone destructive of ignorance is Knowledge, and so by Self-Knowledge the disciple is enlightened by the Guru. That is, the Guru, who is the Self, reveals the same Absolute Self as the Self of the disciple. The Self then reposes in itself and is said to have realized itself. The ego has no part in such Realization, as something that is unreal cannot at all realize That which alone is ever real. The disciple's preparedness to absorb such teachings so as to realize the Self is constituted by what Sri Shankara refers to as "all practices". This may be understood as referring to sadhana chatushtaya, the four requisites or four means of spiritual practice. These are viveka or discrimination; vairagya or detachment; the sextet of essentials of sama or tranquility and peacefulness, dama or self-control, inclusive of control of the senses, uparati or renunciation and withdrawal from teh external, titiksha or forbearance and fortitutde, sraddha or sincere faith inclusive of the clear understanding and the unwavering determination to find out the Truth revealed by the scripture and the Guru in which one has faith, samadhana or profound, concentrated, formless meditation; and the fourth requisite of mumukshutva or the intense desire for Liberation. By an aspirant endowed with such practices, the teachings regarded as the true definition of one's own Self are fully absorbed.

As did Sri Ramana Maharshi, Adi Shankara immediately reveals the fact of one's Existence. You are, and you know that you are. Such knowledge is identical with what is known, that is, your own Existence, and does not rely on any other means of knowing, such as thought or sense perception. It is not possible to doubt your existence, for if you did, surely the doubter's existence would still be taken for granted.

The ultimate nature of that doubter can only be Existence itself. Existence is irrefutable. That Existence is Brahman, the solitary knower, of the nature of COnsciousness. so, whether there is the idea of "I am" or the idea of "I am not," Brahman is, and that Brahman is alone the Self.

The Self is only Brahman. The idea of oneself being different from Brahman in any manner or degree whatsoever is merely delusion, such delusion being hte cause of suffering. The delusion is simply misidentification.

Thereafter, Sri Shankara describes how to discern the Self, utilizing discrimination to distinguish it from the sheaths that appear to cover it. It is a process, proceeding from gross to subtle, of freeing oneself from misidentification. This reveals one's real Being, which is COnsciounsness and which is Bliss itself. This Being-Consciousness-Bliss is before all and has no birth. It is after all and has no death. It is changeless and thus formless. It is always unaffected, and thus the Bliss of the Self is as ever-existent and invariable as Being itself is, as Consciousness itself is. Yet, it is only when one actually inquires to know oneself, liberating one's identity from the misidentification with all that constitues the veling sheaths, that the ever-effulgent Self shines in Knowledge of hte Self.

Losing M. Mind said...

Nome, continued;
"In commencing an inquiry to know the Self, even f it first appears to the spiritual aspirant that there is nothing in his experience other than what constitutes the five sheaths, from teh causal through the intellectual and mental to the prana and the body, there still exists the one who is knower, or experiencer, of these. All of these sheaths are objective to the Self, the innermost Consciousness. All of these are not one's actual Existence.. The knower can never be a known or unknown object. the knower, the Self, is ever-existent and, being nonobjective, can only be formless without the least trace of any of the attributes of the known."

Ravi said...

Scott/Friends,
"I have trouble believing that a Self-REalized such as Muruganar would have said anything purly as an aesthetic poetic device."

Just what is symbolised by the expression-'Lowly than a cur'.This is a line that occurs in Thayumanavar and even in Akshara Mana maalai.

"Except by way of words and rituals
I had not practiced even casually
Anything to contain mind and breath.

As though I was longing for renunciation
I hold serious discussions.
And when I forget all thoughts of it,
I go to sleep.

When I think, I will have to shuffle this body
I swoon in fear, my heart trembling.

Long, long indeed is the distance between
The blissful state of Transcendent Silentness
And this ignorant one.

Knowing the devilish ways of this lowly cur,
Grant Thou a way to contemplation of supreme bliss.

Oh! Thou, the heavenly wishing tree
That grants all ripe rich boons
To those who enter not the forest of pasas

Oh! Thou who filleth all visible space
In unbroken continuity!
Thou, the Bliss that is Perfect Full"-Thayumanavar.

Again in Akshara mana Maalai-
"am I then worse
than a dog? Steadfastly will I seek Thee and regain Thee, Oh Arunachala!"

-----------------------------------Just what is this expression-Is it only a poetic device?What Scott questioned has a validity from this point of view-that any expression has to be a Statement of 'Facts' and any 'exaggeration' for 'poetic license' is okay for ordinary poets for aesthetic purpose-Not for these Gnanis!Whatever these Great ones have expressed has to be first and Foremost TRUE and any poetic element may come in next.

The 'Dog' is one of the powerful symbols of 'Possesiveness' and 'Gratitude' and is truly representative of the sense of 'I' and 'Mine'(The Negative and Positive elements).As Humans endowed with the sixth sense,the Intellect, are expected to discriminate,discern the limitations of the sense of 'I' and 'Mine' and get rid of it-otherwise He/she is worse than a 'cur' in terms of 'Possesiveness' and 'Gratitude'.
This is not to denigrate the 'cur' or any other animal.
-----------------------------------
In Tiruvachakam of Manikka Vachagar,this symbol occurs over and over again.I have not Read Muruganar,so I do not know whether he had deployed this symbolism.

David Godman said...

Both Bhavgavan and Muruganar feign ignorance or unworthiness in their writings. In Aksharamanamalai Bhagavan prays for grace, even though he has the certitude of Self-knowledge. Though he said once that he was writing the verses from the standpoint of a devotee, he was also following a long tradition in which enlightened Tamil saints pretended to have spiritual problems in their poetic writings.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

... feign ignorance or unworthiness ...

I don't believe that a higher standpoint than that of a devotee is possible or even desirable. Every jnani is at least and for ever the devotee of God - he never leaves his standpoint as a devotee.

When jnanis like Bhagavan or Muruganar pretend unworthiness or ignorance then in a deeper sense this must have been their true conviction.

"You know that you know nothing. Find out that knowledge. That is liberation (mukti)."

.

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
How Akshara mana Maalai was composed is interesting.This is what Sri Bhagavan had to say:
Whenever, devotees asked for the meaning of the verses, Bhagavan
Ramana has said: "Please interpret them as you find suitable. Like
you, I must also think over the meaning before giving it to you. If
I had had conscious cerebration before writing them, I could elucidate
them at once. All of a sudden, spontaneously, they poured forth."
This clearly shows that no such feigning as we usually understand is involved.I will share a little more on this topic a little later.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Ramos/Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from 'Letters from Ramanasramam'(Page 305-307):
(143) MOTHER’S GIFT

Last month, Niranjananandaswami sent a bull, born
and bred in the Ashram to the Meenakshi Temple, Madurai,
as a present. People there named it Basava, decorated it
nicely and took a photo of it along with Sri Sambasiva Iyer
who had accompanied it. Sambasiva Iyer returned with a
copy of the photo besides an old fashioned silk-fringed
shawl, some vibhuti, kumkum and prasad1 given to him by
the temple authorities.
Due to the great crowd of visitors since August 15th,
Bhagavan has been spending the days out in the Jubilee Hall.
Sambasiva Iyer came into Bhagavan’s presence with the shawl,
vibhuti, etc., on a large plate. The brahmins who had
accompanied him recited a mantra while all of us prostrated
before Bhagavan, then rose. Looking at me, Bhagavan said,
“Our bull has been sent to the Meenakshi Temple, did you
know?” “Yes, I knew,” I said. “On the day it was going, I saw it
decorated with turmeric,2 kumkum, etc. and came to know of
the purpose when I asked the cattle-keeper.”
Holding the plate reverentially and smearing the vibhuti
and kumkum on his forehead, Bhagavan said, “See, this is
Meenakshi’s gift.” And his voice quivered as he said it.
Sambasiva Iyer spread the shawl over Bhagavan’s feet, and
when Bhagavan, deeply moved, removed it with evident
feeling of reverence, the attendants took it and spread it
over the back of the sofa. Adjusting the shawl properly with
his hands, Bhagavan, looking towards us, said, “Mother
Meenakshi has sent this. It is Mother’s gift.” And, choked
with emotion, he was unable to say more and became silent.
His eyes were full of tears of joy and his body became
motionless. Seeing this, it seemed to me that Nature herself
had become silent. When, as a boy, Bhagavan was in Tiruchuli
and someone had been angry with him, he had gone to the
temple and wept, sitting behind the image of Sahayamba.
He alone knows how the Mother consoled him and what
hopes she gave him.
Three years ago, the Ashram doctor said that handpounded
rice would be good for Bhagavan’s health.
Thereupon the Ashramites approached Bhagavan with a
request to take such rice, which would be specially cooked
for him. When Bhagavan asked them whether the same rice
would be served to all, they said that it would not be possible,
as the supply of such rice was limited. Bhagavan therefore
would not agree to having it however much they tried to
persuade him. At last they said that they would use the handpounded
rice for the daily offerings to the deity in the temple,
for which rice is usually cooked separately and they requested
Bhagavan to partake of that rice. “If that is so, it is all right.
I will take it because it is Mother’s prasadam,” said Bhagavan.
And from that day onwards, they have been cooking handpounded
rice separately and, after offering it to the goddess
in the temple, have been serving it to Bhagavan, giving what
was left over to all others in his company.
Last summer, Ramaswami Iyer’s son got married and
for the occasion there was a feast here. That day, Iyer noticed
that there was white rice on the leaves of all, whereas the
rice on Bhagavan’s leaf was reddish, and he enquired the
reason. Bhagavan smiling, said, “This is Mother’s prasadam.
What is wrong with it? It is cooked specially as an offering to
Mother.” He then related the above incident. He once again
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam 307
said, “This is Mother’s gift; I have accepted it only because
of that.”
Is this not a great lesson to those who say that they
have given up visiting temples and such things?"
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

That really makes sense, Clemens, and a very helpful way of looking at it. There is definitely even for me, maybe a slight megalomania in wanting to become a Jnani, wanting to become wise, wanting to become someone people seek for advise. (maybe to over-compensate for opposite self-concepts) When a Jnani is a devotee that has completely humbled themselves to the point that they, the individual do not exist. For me, it's I think a widdling a way of my pretentions, and desires, and my identifications. It's also a reassuring thought, because it's easier and happier to get rid of those things, to humble myself, then it is to try to grow and all the insecurities that come with that. It also makes sense to me that they weren't feigning ignorance. they were humble enough, which hardly anyone can claim. I think I've really gotten taht from Maharshi with for instance the Marital garland of leters. Some of his best writings are those. I still want to think of Maharshi as the individual, but Maharshi had humbled himself so that the power that remained was the pure Consciousness of the Self, which is the only Self, which is ourselves. What did he achieve? there was no individual to acheive it. what was left was the thing that always is. The Jnani is the Self. Muruganar had said, I believe, that there is no Jivanmukti there is only mukti. It's helpful for me to remember that the Self always is, mukti always is. The individual I think I am is delusion, and yes I still am prey to that delusion. It's reassuring because it's easier because it's inevitable especially if I make the goal giving up all this baggage, life and the Self will make it clear of it's unreality.

Losing M. Mind said...

"Both Bhavgavan and Muruganar feign ignorance or unworthiness in their writings. In Aksharamanamalai Bhagavan prays for grace, even though he has the certitude of Self-knowledge. Though he said once that he was writing the verses from the standpoint of a devotee, he was also following a long tradition in which enlightened Tamil saints pretended to have spiritual problems in their poetic writings."

Might it have been, I'm just curious, that Maharshi, and Muruganar knew they were nothing as individuals, so there was no pretentions. So there was no feeling of personal greatness. I remember papaji telling that judge in Nothing Ever Happened that if he wanted to become enlightened like Janaka he would have to prostrate before a traffic cop at an intersection in Lucknow? (I'm not sure where it was). It says to me, that for Enlightenment, or Self-Relization to take place there has to be total humility of egolessness. Which is one reason the presence of Jnanis is perhaps so pleasent in a sense, so commanding, is because it gives permission to drop that personal imporatance which is only a source of suffering. I'm just wondering if they feign ignorance, or if it's a manifestation of their genuine humility of knowing that as an individual there can never be greatness, that the indvidual Venketeraman never achieved enlightenment, he ceased to exist. I really don't know the answer. I just get the gist that there is nothing left that would feel like I might as an ego feel greatness. The greatness is a Bliss that is so transcendent of anything worldly, or personally.

Anonymous said...

Here is Ryokan, a famous Zen poet from a couple of centuries ago, and believed to be enlightened.

no doubt Ramana would approve of this poem

http://i28.tinypic.com/fteb6b.jpg

Ravi said...

David/Friends,
" In Aksharamanamalai Bhagavan prays for grace, even though he has the certitude of Self-knowledge."
I understand what David(Also Arvind in his fine post) is trying to express in words like 'Feigning', 'Pretence'-it will help to explore this further.
As I understand that the Gnani being free from the sense of 'I' and 'Mine' is in a position to play whatever Role is providentially assigned to him in FULL MEASURE;without for a moment losing sight of his True Identity.He thus becomes a pure channel for whatever inspiration or Blessing that is to reach Humanity.The Gnani thus is the Greatest Devotee -If he says that he is 'lowly than a cur' he fully means it-and for that moment is Fully that!This becomes inspirational for the rest of us.

In the following excerpt from 'letters from Ramanasramam' Sri Bhagavan throws light on this aspect.

“The same bhava (idea), was expressed in Tamil by the
author of Ribhu Gita in greater detail.” So saying Bhagavan
got that book, read it and told us the following:
“‘Oh Lord! I went all round the world to do pradakshina
to you but you are in fullness everywhere. How then could I
complete a round? I shall worship you as ‘kutastha akhila rupa’
(immovable entire form of the world). That is the only
pradakshina to you’. Namaskar also means the same thing.
The merging of the mind in the Self is namaskar and not the
mere act of prostrating whenever you get up or sit down or
whenever you go that side or come this side.”
Doctor Srinivasa Rao said, “What you say about
pradakshina, namaskar and the like may be for those who are
in atheetha sthithi, i.e., in a highly developed state, but for
people like us, is it not necessary to prostrate before the
Guru? It is said that the Advaita attitude should not be shown
towards the Guru, even if it is shown towards all the three
worlds.”
“Yes, it is so. The Advaita attitude does not mean that
you should not do namaskar and the like. Only it should not
be overdone. Advaita should be in bhava, in the disposition
of the mind; it will not do for outside, worldly affairs. You
are asked to look at everything with equality (sama drishti)
but can we eat the same food that a dog eats? A handful of
grain will do for a bird but will that do for us? We eat a
certain quantity of food but will that be enough for an
elephant? So you should have the attitude of Advaita only in
bhava, in the mind, but you should follow the world in other
matters. Though there are no pains and pleasures for a Jnani,
for the sake of others, he does everything. He is like those
who beat their chests, and weep loudly, if ordered to, for an
agreed wage. That is all. He is not affected by it,” said
Bhagavan.
Someone asked, “What is that about beating chests and
weeping for wages?” Bhagavan replied, “In olden times,
there used to be such a practice. Supposing some elderly
person dies and no one in the house bothers to weep for
him, what is to be done? Someone must weep for the person
who is dead. That was required by custom. There used to be
some professional people whose vocation was to weep for a
fee. If called, they used to weep better than the deceased’s
kith and kin, methodically, like bhajan and with great variety,
by beating their chests and shedding tears, which flowed
either by long practice or by squeezing onion juice into their
eyes, and they used to finish this programme to schedule. In
the same manner, the Jnani conducts himself according to
the wishes of others. He keeps time to whatever tune is sung.
As he is well-experienced, nothing is new to him. He goes to
whoever calls him. He puts on whatever garb he is asked to
wear. It is all for the sake of others, as he does not desire
anything for himself. His action will be according to the
desire of the person who asks. One must therefore find out
for oneself sufficiently well what is really good and what is
really bad,” said Bhagavan.
-----------------------------------
It is very illuminating to see what Sri Ramakrishna has to say .More later.
Namasakar.

Maneesha said...

@Shilba
"I think existence of maya even as illusion only for jiva not for SELF is inconsistent with nature of SELF which is unchanging and eternal.
Why do maya occur as illusion in perfect SELF.If SELF is prefect,I think even illusion will not occur.
This point is a knotty problem
for me.Please give me a advice."

I guess ajatavada is the right answer to the question. Ajatavada says "there was no illusion, no ego, no maya, no suffering, no bondage, no liberation..." and so forth. If you agree there is illusion, there is Realization. Else, even Realizaiton is not.

And in one of Adi Sankara's compositions, when a disciple asks "Who is the one under illusion", He replies,"The one who is asking this question" :)

Hope that helps a l'le atleast!

shiba said...

dear Maneesha,

Thank you for your comment.

I read about ajata doctrine in this blog Tuesday, August 26, 2008.

>There is no creation, no destruction, no bondage, no longing to be freed from bondage, no striving to be free [from bondage], nor anyone who has attained [freedom from bondage]. Know that this is the ultimate truth.

It is ajata doctrine and there is no contaradiction.SELF is always perfect.

But can you understand this meaning?
I percive deverse objects and there is I different from other objects.I don't feel I am SELF and perfect.
It is called maya.Then why is there maya?It is the question.

Answer is ,,,PRACTICE ,so far.

David Godman said...

A few days ago Shiba asked: "Why does maya occur as illusion in perfect SELF. If SELF is perfect, I think even illusion will not occur. This point is a knotty problem.”

It is, as you say, a knotty problem. Bhagavan, when he took the ajata position, would say that maya or leela never arose. If, he said, maya appears to you and bothers you, you should enquire into the nature of the one who is perceiving it. Maya, he says, appears through a lack of discerning enquiry; it therefore follows that this same enquiry exposes its unreality and ends it.

This following sequence of verses (and supplementary comments) from Guru Vachaka Kovai outlines Bhagavan’s position on creation and maya quite well. I thought I had posted it here a few days ago, but when I checked this morning, I noted that it had never appeared on the blog.

I have split the post into two since it exceeds Blogger's character limit.


84 In the same way that the wonderful scene that manifests in a fireworks display is already present in the [unlit] fireworks, all the gross and subtle scenes that manifest through the brain were already present within the Heart in the form of the ancient tale of vasanas [mental habits and tendencies] that manifest in such a way that they can be seen externally. You should clearly understand this in your mind.

Bhagavan: When I was staying in the Skandashram I sometimes used to go out and sit on a rock. On one such occasion there were two or three others with me, including Rangaswami Iyengar. Suddenly we noticed some small moth-like insect shooting up like a rocket into the air from a crevice in the rock. Within the twinkling of an eye it had multiplied itself into millions of moths which formed a cloud and hid the sky from view. We wondered at it and examined the place from which it shot up. We found that it was only a pinhole and knew that so many insects could not have issued from it in such a short time.
That is how ahamkara [ego] shoots up like a rocket and instantaneously spreads out as the universe.((Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 616)

Bhagavan: Manifestation of ancient vasanas is creation. Destruction of vasanas is the end of creation. (Padamalai, p. 263, v. 5)

85 God, the Self, manifests himself as the world with its multitudinous names and forms. But unlike the potter who fashions a pot while remaining distinct from the mud that is the material cause for its creation, He does not remain as merely the efficient cause, performing the acts of creation, sustenance and destruction.

Editor’s note: ‘Material’ and ‘efficient’ are terms that philosophers and theologians use to describe the relationship between God and the world. In Hindu systems of thought, the usual analogy is the potter and the pot he creates. The mud (the material cause) is the substance out of which the created object is made. The potter (the efficient cause) is the person or power who creates or fashions the material. Bhagavan is saying here that, unlike the potter who remains separate from his creation, the Self is both the efficient and material cause of the world. That is to say, it is both the manifestation of the world and the power that brings it into existence.

86 Do not question, ‘How indeed has this confusion arisen – that the Self does not know the truth that it has manifested itself as the world?’ If you enquire, ‘For whom is this confusion?’ you will find that the confusion never existed.

Question: How has srishti [creation] come about? Some say it is due to karma. Others say it is the Lord’s lila or sport. What is the truth?”
Bhagavan: Various accounts are given in books. But is there creation? Only if there is creation, [do] we have to explain how it came about. All that, we may not know. But that we exist now is certain. Why not know the ‘I’ and the present and then see if there is a creation? (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 17th February 1946, afternoon)

David Godman said...

87 Saying that the Self has fashioned itself as the world is like saying that a rope has fashioned itself into a snake. On close examination, it is found that the snake does not exist at all. By the same token, there was not at any time a world creation in which the Self apparently fashioned itself into the world.

88 The form of the snake is not different from the thought of it. When one studies the matter, is it not that thought which causes the separate snake to be created in that rope, which sustains it as the cause of one’s suffering, and which makes itself dissolve [when the truth of the non-existence of the snake is realised]?

Editor’s note: Perceptions of name and form, which are just thoughts, disappear when the formless substratum is experienced. And when name and form go, the thought that produced it also dissolves and disappears.

89 The seed, the sprout, the plant and the tree are each in turn the cause of the next, yet each of these effects fights against and destroys its cause. They are not created as an effect, each from the one that preceded it, except in the imagination of the deluded mind.

Muruganar: All things that appear as cause and effect are only the workings of the mind. If you argue otherwise, the debate as to whether the tree came from the seed or the seed from the tree will end in an unresolvable circular argument. This has been well explained in Mandukya Upanishad part four, with Gaudapada’s and Sankara’s commentary.

90 The reality that is consciousness is indeed the Self. The world is objectified-consciousness, a distortion [within consciousness]. If a rope [truly] existed as consciousness, would it seek someone else – a separate being – to become a snake.

Editor’s note: Muruganar is saying here, somewhat elliptically, that a rope only becomes a snake when someone sees it, whereas consciousness doesn’t need an external witness to validate itself since it is self-validating.

91 ‘Did the Self move, losing its nature of [unmoving] being? Or else, how has this world come to be?’ If this be asked, [the answer is,] ‘The Self [apparently] experienced movement only through ignorance, which is itself unreal. There never was at any time movement for the Self.’

Bhagavan: Padam [the Self] remains within as the imperishable, unmoving axle that spins this world like a wheel.
Padam is the Self Supreme, the perfect truth. Activity is possible only at the conceptual level.
Padam confounds the eye of those who lack true understanding of reality by appearing to be in rapid motion, whilst [in fact] it steadfastly abides without moving at all.(Padamalai, p. 39-40, vv. 44, 45, 46)

Question: In the third mantra of the Isavasyopanishad it says: ‘Brahman moves and Brahman does not move.’ How can these two contradictory truths both be within Brahman?
Bhagavan: The truth of not doing anything is the truth of one’s real nature. Action or doing can only be seen from a relative point of view. (The Power of the Presence, part one, p. 269)

Question: You have often said, and the books also say, that Brahman is immobile. Now you say it is all-powerful. Does it not then move?
Bhagavan: Power implies movement. Though Iswara [God] moves by his own power [sakti], which is movement, he transcends the movement. He is achala [motionless], atita [transcendent].( Sat Darshana Bhashya, p. xxxi)

David Godman said...

92 When attention is paid exclusively to the [infinite] space that never gets fragmented, the effect, the finite pot, will not shine at all. Therefore, it is an error to say that just because the pot moves, the space within the pot moves as well.

93 Since in the plenitude of the Self the imperfections – the inert body and the world that comprise the non-Self – will never exist and shine, it is not logical to say that the Self too experiences the movements of that body and world, which are bound for destruction.

94 The Self abides motionless because of its all-pervasive fullness. Because the apparent connection between the Self and the mind-limitation seems to exist on account of ignorance – which is the jiva-perspective, the reflected consciousness that rises as ‘I’ – the Self too appears to have experienced movement through the motion of the mind. But the movement of samsara that comprises birth and death, bondage and liberation, and so on, is only for the jiva and never for the Self, the transcendental reality.

Muruganar: The reason why the Self remains motionless is because of its nature as all-pervasive fullness. It only appears to have moved on account of the movement of the mind. In agitated water the reflected image of the sun appears to move, but that agitation is only in the reflection and not in the real sun.

95 If it is asked, ‘How has the Supreme Self, the one without a second, come to possess the limitation of the mind, the form of ignorance?’ the reply is, ‘The limitation has attached itself only through the deluded jiva-perspective. In truth, it never attached itself to the Self, consciousness.’

Muruganar: In the same way that, through confusion, a rope is perceived as a snake, consciousness appears as mind through the delusion of the jiva. When one enquires into the matter, no such entity as mind will be seen to exist at all separate from consciousness. Like someone questioning a kind person who looks after his parents very well, ‘How did you acquire this habit of annoying your parents?’ the question itself is fundamentally inappropriate.

96 The little jiva will not rise as a tiny separate ‘I’-entity from the supreme reality that is the plenitude of consciousness. Only from a ball of fire of finite size can tiny sparks split off, fly away and fall to the ground.

Editor’s note: Since consciousness is all pervasive, nothing can arise from within it and then become separate from it. The idea of a separate jiva is therefore just an erroneous idea that arises through ignorance.

97 The body itself does not exist in the unrestricted view of the real Self, but only in outward-turned attention, which is the perspective of the mind that has become deluded through the expansion of maya. Therefore, it is wrong to call the Self, which is the vast expanse of consciousness, the owner-occupier of the body.

David Godman said...

98 It is only when you live your life by taking the body alone to be ‘I’ that the external world, consisting of moving and unmoving objects, will manifest itself. Since, for the Self, there is a complete absence of external objects, whether far or near, it is therefore wrong to say that it is an unaffected witness.

Question: Is not the Self the witness only [sakshimatra]?
Bhagavan: ‘Witness’ is applicable when there is an object to be seen. Then it is duality. The truth lies beyond both. In the mantra, sakshi cheta kevalo nirgunascha, the word sakshi [witness] must be understood as sannidhi [presence], without which there could be nothing. See how the sun is necessary for daily activities. He does not however form part of the world actions; yet they cannot take place without the sun. He is the witness of the activities. So it is with the Self. (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 466)

Bhagavan: Talking of the 'witness' should not lead to the idea that there is a witness and something else apart from him that he is witnessing. The 'witness' really means the light that illumines the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. Before, during and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing, the illumination exists. It alone exists always. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 18th July, 1946)

99 The world does not exist without the body; the body never at any time exists without the mind; the mind does not exist at all apart from consciousness; and consciousness too does not exist apart from being.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this wonderful excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,Chapter 41(At Ram's House)-For those of us who may not be familiar-Mahima or Mahimacharan was a Sadhaka of 'Pure Gnana'(more out of reading texts!):
Ram had arranged the kirtan. With folded hands the musician said to Sri Ramakrishna, "Sir, I can begin if you give the order."

The Master drank some water and chewed spices from a small bag. He asked M. to close the bag.

The musician started the kirtan. As Sri Ramakrishna heard the sound of the drum he went into an ecstatic mood. While listening to the prelude of the kirtan he plunged into deep samādhi. He placed his legs on the lap of Nityagopal, who was sitting near him. The devotee, too, was in an ecstatic mood. He was weeping. The other devotees looked on intently.

Nitya and Lila:
Regaining partial consciousness, Sri Ramakrishna said: "From the Nitya to the Lila and from the Lila to the Nitya. (To Nityagopal) What is your ideal?"

NITYAGOPAL: "Both are good."

Sri Ramakrishna closed his eyes and said: "Is it only this? Does God exist only when the eyes are closed, and cease to exist when the eyes are opened? The Lila belongs to Him to whom the Nitya belongs, and the Nitya belongs to Him to whom the Lila belongs. (To Mahima) My dear sir, let me tell you-"

MAHIMA: "Revered sir, both are according to the will of God."

MASTER: "Some people climb the seven floors of a building and cannot get down; but some climb up and then, at will, visit the lower floors.

"Uddhava said to the gopis: 'He whom you address as your Krishna dwells in all beings. It is He alone who has become the universe and its living beings.'

"Therefore I say, does a man meditate on God only when his eyes are closed? Doesn't he see anything of God when his eyes are open?"

MAHIMA: "I have a question to ask, sir. A lover of God needs Nirvāna some time or other, doesn't he?"

The seed of bhakti cannot be destroyed
MASTER: "It can't be said that bhaktas need Nirvāna. According to some schools there is an eternal Krishna and there are also His eternal devotees. Krishna is Spirit embodied, and His Abode also is Spirit embodied. Krishna is eternal and the devotees also are eternal. Krishna and the devotees are like the moon and the stars-always near each other. You yourself repeat: 'what need is there of penance if God is seen within and without?' Further, I have told you that the devotee who is born with an element of Vishnu cannot altogether get rid of bhakti.

Once I fell into the clutches of a Jnāni, who made me listen to Vedānta for eleven months. But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter where my mind wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. Whenever I sang of Her, Nangta would weep and say, 'Ah! What is this?' You see, he was such a great Jnāni and still he wept. (To the younger Naren and the others) Remember the popular saying that if a man drinks the juice of the Ālekh creeper, a plant grows inside his stomach. Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits.

"You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you, you will surely come back to Hari."

The devotees listened silently to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahima, laughing, "What is the thing you enjoy most?"

MAHIMA (smiling): "Nothing, sir. I like mangoes."

MASTER (smiling): "All by yourself? Or do you want to share them with others?"

MAHIMA (smiling) : "I am not so anxious to give others a share. I may as well eat them all by myself."

Reality includes both Absolute and universe
MASTER: "But do you know my attitude? I accept both, the Nitya and the Lila. Doesn't God exist if one looks around with eyes open? After realizing Him, one knows that He is both the Absolute and the universe. It is He who is the Indivisible Satchidananda. Again, it is He who has become the universe and its living beings.

-----------------------------------
Namaskar

Losing M. Mind said...

There is such a graceful relevance in 'you' picking those verses. I've had intuitions, but definitely not a full realization of some of what those verses are talking about. I really like the still waters analogy. That in a sense the whole world and all the jiva-issues are just agitated ripples on what is still the same water that never moved. That really makes sense, my whole individual life experience is just waves (literally) of agitation arising on Consciousness. While 'intellectually', the rope-snake analogy sounded good, it never resonated with me in a way that helped me understand or get a glimpse of a deeper experience. Probaly because of my lack of understanding. This still water analogy resonates with me on a deep level. That time space, multiple individuals, problems which is the real crux of it are agitated ripples. Also that the Vasanas are at the core. That makes sense too, because the kind of experiencs I have are uncannily based on the kinds of things that agitate me. Infact htat is one thing that on some level has instilled doubt into me into the 'reality' of things is that on some sub-conscious level, teh deep movements of agitation are so tied in with miraculously the things that appear and happen, the kinds of people I meet, the kinds of adventures and experiences I have. Sometimes especially as of late, the things I imagine are actually on some level the things that happen. Popularly sometimes referred to as synchronicity or serendipity, even dejavu. But both the movements of agitation, which I guess also probably are tied in with what is called prarabdha karma are not things I control, thus the script. When feelings, thoughts, experiences arise, they arise and I cannot do anything about them. So then that is where the inquiry comes in I guess. Recognizing the unreality of things, the world, and inquiring into the nature of the percevier and experiencer. That the nature of myself is still the still water, and not the ripply sun in the pebble-agitated water that appears in it. And that is also where Bliss is, happiness is. I'm happy and at peace if I realize the pond was always still. When I see the ripply sun, I'm scared, angry, sad, etc. Maybe I even try to make the ripply sun do things. One little thing that clicked from reading and corresponding for needed help with I.M. Nome is that he has repeatedly asked the question "what is it's nature?" referring to the experiencer. What I get is that oneself is the Self, is infinite Consciousness, is not limited to being an individual. So I have focused on some non-verbal level on the question what is the nature of the experiencer?

Ravi said...

Shiba/David/Friends,
"I perceive deverse objects and there is I different from other objects.I don't feel I am SELF and perfect.
It is called maya.Then why is there maya?It is the question."

The Best answer(for me!)is a plain admission-DO NOT KNOW!
This is what The Hymn of Creation of Rig Veda says(I have posted it in this thread):
This projection whence arose,
Whether held or whether not,
He the ruler in the supreme sky, of this
He, O Sharman! knows, or knows not
He perchance!"

Shiba says:
"Answer is ,,,PRACTICE ,so far."

That seems to be the Only answer!
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
It is interesting to see what Sri Aurobindo has to say on 'Maya' and advaita(Letters on Yoga):

"People are apt to speak of the Adwaita as if it were identical
with Mayavada monism, just as they speak of Vedanta as
if it were identical with Adwaita only; that is not the case.
There are several forms of Indian philosophy which base
themselves upon the One Reality, but they admit also the reality
of the world, the reality of the Many, the reality of the
differences of the Many as well as the sameness of the One
(bhedÀbheda). But the Many exist in the One and by the One,
the differences are variations in manifestation of that which
is fundamentally ever the same. This we actually see as the
universal law of existence where oneness is always the basis
with an endless multiplicity and difference in the oneness;
as, for instance, there is one mankind but many kinds of man,
one thing called leaf or flower but many forms, patterns, colours
of leaf and flower. Through this we can look back into one
of the fundamental secrets of existence, the secret which is contained
in the one Reality itself. The oneness of the Infinite is not
something limited, fettered to its unity; it is capable of an infinite
multiplicity. The Supreme Reality is an Absolute not
limited by either oneness or multiplicity but simultaneously capable
of both; for both are its aspects, although the oneness
is fundamental and the multiplicity depends upon the oneness."

Sri Aurobindo's position is equally based on direct first hand experience(This word is used to indicate something Fundamental-not a Fleeting phenomena).This is supported by the verses in the Vedas and Upanishads-as much as the other Standpoints.
-----------------------------------
I have stated the above to just say that there are different views of Different Schools-and these schools were championed by persons who had Direct ,First Hand experience.
One may be inclined to prefer one school of thought-this is only natural.
Namaskar.

Srikantha said...

Dear David,
I came across the below text from 'Be as you are' [Pg 45, Ch:Self enquiry-theory].

"Since the individual `I'-thought cannot exist without an object, if attention is focused on the subjective feeling of `I' or `I am' with such intensity that the thoughts `I am this' or `I am that' do not arise, then the individual `I' will be unable to connect with objects. If this awareness of `I' is sustained, the individual `I' (the `I'-thought) will disappear and in its place there will be a direct experience of the Self. This constant attention to the inner awareness of ` I ' or `I am' was called self-enquiry (vichara) by Sri Ramana"

Can you please elaborate on "constant attention to the inner awareness of 'I'"?

From what I have gathered from reading Maharshi's books for the last couple of years, I have understood that the actual enquiry is to seek the source of the 'I'-thought, as to from where it raises. The "attention on awareness of I", I have believed is a preliminary process, which helps gather higher concentration for actual enquiry. It will be great if you can quote from any of Maharshi's texts regarding this.

Thanks,
Srikantha.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

@ Srikantha,

You wrote : Can you please elaborate on "constant attention to the inner awareness of 'I'"?

From what I have gathered from reading Maharshi's books for the last couple of years, I have understood that the actual enquiry is to seek the source of the 'I'-thought, as to from where it raises. The "attention on awareness of I", I have believed is a preliminary process, which helps gather higher concentration for actual enquiry.

As I have read, from both David's explanation of SE and as recorded in 'Be As You Are', the technique of "attention on awareness of I" seems to be one of isolating the 'I' thought and holding on to that experience for as long as possible. In an interview, David has clarified that this experience will be but fleeting in the beginning.

The preliminary technique must be Bhagavan's advice to beginners that 'even if one keeps repeating 'I-I' in the mind, it will lead one back to the Source'. I have read elsewhere that devotees in the ashram used to concentrate on something called the 'I' current. I guess this must also be the preliminary technique.

Hope this clarifies. But I like you, would still wait for David's response.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I came across this article-posting an excerpt:
“I have always had a fascination with Ramana,” says Priya, my colleague from Auroville Today. “It is those gentle liquid eyes of his – so full of kindness, understanding, and a silent love. I have carried his photo with me since I was a teenager, the same time I got introduced to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. For me there is no conflict in being in Auroville and cherishing Ramana plus a few Others.
I remember last year, a few days before my birthday, how I became so restless one day. It was as if some crazy thought had possessed me and I just wanted to drop everything and rush away to Tiruvannamalai to spend a week at Ramanashram. I called for a taxi and left that very afternoon – no room reservations, nothing! I remember a feeling of such elation and joy and a strange sobbing within, as we sped towards Tiru. And I had never stayed at the Ramanashram before."

You may read the complete article-Pl visit:
http://www.auroville.org/journals&media/avtoday/Nov_2008/Ramana_Maharishi.htm
----------------------------------

I was reminded of my maiden visit to Tiruvannamalai in the late seventies-I used to stay in a lodge called 'Aruna Lodge'.Viewed from the balcony of this lodge,Arunachala loomed like a Big Brother-I have often wondered about this HUGE presence-I have visited The Himalayas-but I could never feel the IMMENSITY and the PRESENCE of Arunachala.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

ArunachalaHeart said...

I agree Ravi,

I first saw Arunachala on Nov 23 2008.

I was stunned to see such power.

That night I slowly crept to the terrace of Nannagaru ashram to spend some time with Arunachala. But seeing the overpowering infinite form of the Hill with a magnificent cloud hugging its peak, my knees shivered in fright and my spine froze to the bone, prostrating before an unknown Power which was emanating from the Hill.

I had to call my brother in law to sit beside me after some time for I was dead scared to see the Hill! My heart was throbbing like mad.

I felt a margin of that fear perhaps in front of Lord Venkateshwara in Tirupathi previously. But never to the intensity of Arunachala.

After that everytime I think of Arunachala...especially the first time I saw it and more so whence I saw it from the terrace of Nannagaru Asramam in the night, all alone...I shiver.

perhaps David can start an open thread about first sight of Arunachala and experiences and we all can chip in with our feelings.

thank you, thank you, thank you a million times for reminding me of my first sight of Arunachala.

S. said...

salutations to all:
'first sight of arunachala'..... hmmmmm
when i got to see arunachala for the first time, i felt it was beautiful, but nothing else...i get to go 2 or 3 times a year, and everytime i get to see, i feel it's beautiful :-) thats all! it's very nice to hear from different people what they felt or thought on seeing the hill of the holy beacon...but i don't feel anything, much less some thing like a 'presence'...

earlier, i used to wonder why am i not feeling anything beyond the ordinary, the kind of things which i keep hearing from other people...at times, used to think whether people are simple imagining this thing or that thing, mostly as a kind of memory of what they might have read about someone else's experiences, and who in turn may have written the same thing based on someone who preceded them, and so on...

today, i no longer long for it; even if some such thing happens, will probably dismiss it as a pleasurable distraction :-) but there is one thing i would like to share - as soon as a visit ends, there is an inexplicable longing, as if 'when will i get to see it again?'... that thought keeps surfacing almost continually, don't know why...sort of an iron filing that gets hopelessly & helplessly drawn by a magnet (kaandham irumbu pol......).

hmmmm...perhaps, there's something about that hill :-)

Srikantha said...

Dear Nandu,
Thanks for your reply.

You say - "As I have read, from both David's explanation of SE and as recorded in 'Be As You Are', the technique of "attention on awareness of I" seems to be one of isolating the 'I' thought and holding on to that experience for as long as possible. In an interview, David has clarified that this experience will be but fleeting in the beginning."

I understand this technique of isolating the 'I' thought and holding on to it. But is that all enquiry? In my understanding, just holding on to the I-thought is more a mano-laya than mano-nasha. After reaching this 'I-am' (ego) awareness, isn't seeking the very source from where this I-thought arises, the true Self-enquiry? Please clarify.

Ravi said...

Arunachalaheart,
Wonder why you experienced 'Fear'.May be it is similiar to what Arjuna experienced when he saw the Cosmic Form(Viswa Roopa)of Sri Krishna as he expounded The Bhagavat Gita-How he stood in awe!

Namaskar.

Losing M. Mind said...

The quotes by Maharshi on this resonated with me because I had clearly spent time in solitude and been as Ravi said lonely. So I wasn't in true solitude, but haunted by the ghosts of others. I've also at times been around others and been blissfully alone, those are actually the times where 'hanging out' with others has been the funnest. The question, I think is how to be in that true solitude, and I don't find that an easy question. How to control the mind? Well, the thing lately that has worked best is reading meditatively writings by Maharshi and shankara and the ribhu gita. Because a problem for me, is that when I set out to control the mind, even when the intention is to inquire is that it is still me fighting the mind. Me fighting myself. Those eloquent descriptions that are mesmerizing in those texts lure one in, lure me into a deeper, more transcendent state so that I atleast temporarily remember a continuous Bliss. Otherwise i'm too overcome with vasanas to inquire in a successful manner. But even then, that same Consciousness I suppose is overlooking the Vasanas. I'm still the Self even if it's forgotten. So inquiry is still possible, even in a state of craving, expectation, or fear. But not in repressing those things. Not in fighting them, but somehow getting beyond them, which is the tricky part. If I fight them, it seems like it's still one vasana fighting another, and thus a headache. If I run with the agitated tendencies or stay in a state of dullness, then I just get more agitated. So how to inquire, and be in solitude? I still don't see outward solitude, or inactivity as possessing any value at all. Am I wrong on this? Maharshi seemed to respond that if a certain devotee was meant to renounce their external life, the question would not have arisen. This seems to say to me, that outward circumstances and actions have nothing to do with me, the Self. And in my experience outward solitude, and inactivity can be just as much an escape as for some people perhaps being social.

Losing M. Mind said...

On Arunachala, I felt similarly to S., and I don't know if I've had any spectactular experience with the hill, although I've never been there. But watching the hour long archival footage of Maharshi, there was alot of footage around Arunachala at the time, and I felt like the whole place was pure Bliss, as well as Maharshi. But I thought alot of htat was Maharshi's presence. Also how peaceful people look. My secular side doubts whether a hill can be a beacon of grace, but reading Marital Garland of Letters, what was it about Arunachala that would cause Maharshi to write about it like that. I think he was being more than poetic. For one, I don't know how real the world is, but if it's all the Self, certain people radiate grace, why couldn't certain places? But in a materialistic way, and being a science major, I have no idea what Grace is, is it related to electro-magnetism? When I was in the presence of Nome, grace seems like something so real, so physical, involuntarily coursing through my body in the presence of someone who is supposedly Self-Realized. It didn't seem psychosomatic, or mental. It felt like electricity. But what is it? Can this be answered in a materialistic way? Grace seems to be tied up in the Realization that there is only the Self. It's kind of the sign of deep mental surrender.

Ravi said...

Scott,
" I'm still the Self even if it's forgotten"-Absolutely!

To be free from the Clutches of 'I' and 'Mine' is True solitude and isolating oneself is of no use and can often be counter productive.Yes,one may choose to stay alone,but this is after the Mind is subdued!Even a few minutes a day is okay.
Seeking the company(Satsangh)of the Great ones through their writings or reading their Life(Parayana)is a Great support and Sadhana.
In Difficulty,it is an opportunity to become like a Child(If one is not already that!),drop the 'Ego' and call on the 'Divine Mother' or 'Guru'(Self).This is better than 'Braving' it out with the vasanas.
These 'clouds' have a certain cyclic periodicity about them and with each successful 'ouster' they tend to return less frequently and with reduced intensity,until they are cleared more or less permanently.

Wishing you the Very Best.

Losing M. Mind said...

Ravi, very good advise. There are times where I would reckon that braving vasanas is impossible. And Ravi, you make a good point, that is where being like a child, I can't do this any longer is really wise. And giving up the burden. I think secular, overly rational me has been drawn to the brilliant logic of the Who am I? essay (it's a trap-laugh) and less drawn to devotion and surrender. But it becomes clear why all jnanis are bhaktis. Because both processes are necessary, maybe ultimately simultaneous, but I'm not there. I'm not at the point where i'm ripe to just drop my ego for good. (And i'm also not at a point where devotion always comes naturally) And in a sense, maybe when the mental effort expended toward figuring it out, inquiring, questioning, discerning is hitting a dead end, that is where you just give in, and give up the burdens to the divine, the Lord, the Self, Bhagavan.

Ravi said...

Friends,
I wish to share this excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna(Chapter 16:With The Devotees at Dakshineswar)-The Master says:
"One must have childlike faith-and the intense yearning that a child feels to see its mother. That yearning is like the red sky in the east at dawn. After such a sky the sun must rise. Immediately after that yearning one sees God.

"Let me tell you the story of a boy named Jatila. He used to walk to school through the woods, and the journey frightened him; One day he told his mother of his fear. She replied: 'Why should you be afraid? Call Madhusudana.' 'Mother,' asked the boy, 'who is Madhusudana?' The mother said, 'He is your Elder Brother.' One day after this, when the boy again felt afraid in the woods, he cried out, 'O Brother Madhusudana!' But there was no response. He began to weep aloud: 'Where are You, Brother Madhusudana? Come to me. I am afraid.' Then God could no longer stay away. He appeared before the boy and said: 'Here I am. Why are you frightened?' And so, saying He took the boy out of the woods and showed him the way to school. When He took leave of the boy, God said: 'I will come whenever you call Me. Do not be afraid.' One must have this faith of a child, this yearning."
....................
What is the impact of the words of the Master?We get to see a little later in that same chapter!
"Late at night M. sat alone in the nahabat. The sky, the river, the garden, the steeples of the temples; the trees, and the Panchavati were flooded with moonlight. Deep silence reigned everywhere, broken only by the melodious murmuring of the Ganges. M. was meditating on Sri Ramakrishna.

At three o'clock in the morning M. left his seat. He proceeded toward the Panchavati as Sri Ramakrishna. had suggested. He did not care for the nahabat any more and resolved to stay in the hut in the Panchavati.

Suddenly he heard a distant sound, as if someone were wailing piteously, "Oh, where art Thou, Brother Madhusudana?" The light of the full moon streamed through the thick foliage of the Panchavati, and as he proceeded he saw at a distance one of the Master's disciples sitting alone in the grove, crying helplessly, "Oh, where art Thou, Brother Madhusudana?"
Silently M. watched him."
-----------------------------------
I wish to add that 'Bhavana' is not the same as 'Kalpana'.I have seen quite often both the words translated as 'Imagination'.Kalpana is 'Imagination'/Fancy and is a mental product.
'Bhavana' is one's 'particular' Feeling of SOMETHING REAL.One may not have a full measure of this Reality but one may have a 'Hook' to hold onto it.
'Kalpana' belongs to the 'Future',something yet to come.
'Bhavana' is in the 'Present'.

When the Master tells in this story 'You Have an Elder Brother',he is saying something that is TRUE,in a manner that is accessible in Human Terms-A small beginning will lead to the Full Truth.
The above is 'bhavana'.Contrast this with the statement-'There is a Ghost in the Next Room'-This is Kalpana,as no such thing is Real.
----------------------------------

Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
"On Arunachala, I felt similarly to S., and I don't know if I've had any spectactular experience with the hill"
This is quite as it should be-It should not be a Thing of the mind or Vital(Seat of Desire).It is more a 'Home' coming-something Vast yet Intimate-something that makes itself felt when the mind falls Quiet.
To explore the 'material view' as Scott puts it-this is the science of Yantra/Tantra wherein objects can be imbued with spiritual vibrations-certain objects serve as receptacles to absorb and contain spiritual vibrations.Certain Rocks like Granite are recommended for this purpose and the images in temples are sculpted out of this in strict accordance with shilpa Sastra(Th Science that deals with this).The Prana Pratishta(Imbuing them with Living Spiritual power)is done by the Great Ones.
Sri Bhagavan carried out the above in Matrubhuteswara temple at Ramanasramam by installing the Sri Chakra at this place.
It is only reasonable to believe that Arunachala is a Huge Siva Linga-imbued with the power to quieten the mind.This has been the experience of Gnanis as well as beginners like us.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

ArunachalaHeart said...

Hi Ravi,

I have wondered that myself many times. Perhaps it was because coming to Arunachala was a lifelong ambition and that night I felt transparent and hollow in front of a magnificent power.

or it might be the feeling in me that I was standing in front of the most ancient deity of the Cosmos.

I heard that in Tirumala this feeling is common for the bad vasanas shiver in fright before the presence of Lord Venkateshwara and those manifest as palpitations.

Ravi said...

Friends,
The Following excerpt from Day By Day with Bhagavan-page 55 throws light on the implications of 'Who Am I'?

"I returned here last night. Maha Vir Prasad, Chief Engineer
to the U. P. Government who had been staying here for about
twenty days in October and November and who went on a
pilgrimage to Rameswaram and other places, is back here. In
continuation of an old question of his with reference to a certain
passage in Maha Yoga, he asked Bhagavan whether it was
necessary and a condition precedent for a man to watch his
breathing before beginning the mental quest ‘Who am I?’

Bhagavan: All depends on a man’s pakva, i.e., his
aptitude and fitness. Those who have not the mental strength
to concentrate or control their mind and direct it on the quest
are advised to watch their breathing, since such watching will
naturally and as a matter of course lead to cessation of thought
and bring the mind under control.
Breath and mind arise from the same place and when
one of them is controlled, the other is also controlled. As a
matter of fact, in the quest method — which is more correctly
‘Whence am I?’ and not merely ‘Who am I?’ — we are not
simply trying to eliminate saying ‘we are not the body, not
the senses and so on,’ to reach what remains as the ultimate
reality, but we are trying to find whence the ‘I’ thought for the
ego arises within us. The method contains within it, though
implicitly and not expressly, the watching of the breath. When
we watch wherefrom the ‘I’-thought, the root of all thoughts,
springs, we are necessarily watching the source of breath also,
as the ‘I’-thought and the breath arise from the same source."

The 'Self Enquiry' is breaking the chain of thoughts and switching over to a state of awareness.No isolation of 'I' thought and 'Holding' onto it is implied.Attention is part and parcel of this awareness.

The Point in repeatedly enquiring 'who am I'?is to just break the chain of thoughts and see whether this 'Switch over' happens.(Immediately,not after sometime).It is not as if one follows the 'chain' and arrives at the 'source'.Once the 'Switching over' happens,there is no further need for this nonverbal question.
-----------------------------------
A certain quietude of mind is a prerequisite for this to be effective.Otherwise it is not possible to effect the switch over.
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Sri Nisargadutta Maharaj points the nature of awareness in 'I am That', chapter 48 (Awareness is Free)-

"Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy."

'I am That' is invaluable for all seekers.

Murali said...

Dear Friends,

Request your views.

I read one account where the author tries to explain how to get into the aware state atleast momentarily.He says through an analogy of how to recognise the aware state.

I would request your views on the following. Personally, I felt that this is a brilliant and clear description but I am not sure where it is correct.

Here is the extract of the article:

"During meditation everybody has the experience of suddenly realizing that for the previous five or ten minutes they hadn't been meditating at all. They got lost in daydreams without realizing it. Suddenly they snap back to their senses and realize, "Oops! I lost my concentration and got lost in daydreams for several minutes without noticing it. I only just noticed and remembered this instant that I was supposed to be meditating."

If the last paragraph isn't familiar to you, try meditating some more until you notice this experience happening to you.

What does this experience have to do with the aware state? Well, at the instant that you snap back to your senses, you are momentarily in the aware state.. An instant later you will probably begin to berate yourself for abandoning your meditation, causing you to slip back into the ordinary lost-in-thoughts state, but at the very moment in which you come back to yourself, you are in the aware state. (To be precise, you are closer to the aware state at that moment. It's really a matter of degree.)

Keep putting yourself in situations where this experience happens, and each time, try to notice the heightening of awareness that occurs at that moment.

(Incidentally, if you've ever been puzzled by the traditional instruction to look at the space between two thoughts, this is what it's refering to. At the moment I'm describing, your daydreaming just ended and your next thought hasn't yet carried you away.)

As you observe these moments more carefully, you'll begin to see that thinking and awareness are polar opposites. The more you have of one, the less you have of the other. At one end of the continuum, you are lost in thought. At the other end, you are aware.

You can learn to move voluntarily between these two states, but most people remain lost in thought during almost all of their waking hours. They never notice that the aware state exists.

As you observe the difference between the two states you will notice that when you are thinking, you aren't really conscious. This may sound strange, but you'll see for yourself that it's true. When we think, we are actually lost in thought and not aware. When we become aware, we emerge from thoughts. We stop being lost and find something — ourselves. This is why some people call the aware state "self remembering" or "knowing that you are." Try it, you'll see. These traditional terms make sense once you see what they refer to.

You'll also see why most forms of meditation are useless. Meditation only works if it gets you into the aware state, but most people stay in the lost-in-thoughts state when they do it.

Real meditation is remaining in the aware state continuosly."

Regards Murali

Ravi said...

Murali/Friends,

"What does this experience have to do with the aware state? Well, at the instant that you snap back to your senses, you are momentarily in the aware state.. "

This is true.This is What Sri Bhagavan told Akhilandamma-(Unnai Vidamal Iru)-'Be Without Leaving yourself'.
Please refer to David's Post in October 2008 in the thread-'Through Knowledge or Through Practice'.

coming to this:
"As you observe the difference between the two states you will notice that when you are thinking, you aren't really conscious."

This does not seem to be correct.In thinking ,one is conscious.Otherwise one will not know what one is thinking about.

Again:
"As you observe these moments more carefully, you'll begin to see that thinking and awareness are polar opposites. "
This does not seem to be correct.Awareness is not the opposite of thought-It is possible to be aware of the paper and yet see the letters printed on it.It is possible to think without losing awareness.
-----------------------------------
We do encounter these 'insights' from time to time,reading someone who has expressed in a fresh and different way(other than Traditional).For a moment,it looks like we are knocking at the 'doors', it is about to open,etc-until we find ourselves knocking again at the only door that is refusing to budge-oneself.

This is the shortcoming in too 'cerebral' an approach.No Technique will work unless there is tremendous Earnestness.If this Earnestness is there,there is no need for any technique.
-----------------------------------
Murali,Thanks very much.
Namaskar.

Clemens Vargas Ramos said...

.

It's in my eyes a fine and clear description of the kind we have in vedantic texts (Tripura Rahasya elaborates on that).

Implicitly it points to the fact that we can't be "aware of awareness" - we only can be aware of changes in conciousness. While we are daydreaming we don't know that it is daydreaming. We know it afterwards.

Explicitly it emphasizes that we can be conscious of a state of "not thinking", and that there is a practice to understand and to live this. But in my eyes we need the further understanding that this is a process of thinking too.

We need to understand that awareness is independent of consciousness, independent even from life or death.

I define "awareness" as the presence of consciousness but the absence of the "I". It is not the type of consciousness the "I" knows (as experiences).

The "I" can't understand this. It can't understand how to survive in the absence of consciousness because all of its activities are based on that type of consciousness.

There is the need to eradicate consciously the endless stream of mental images caused by personal thinking, the "I", and then to see what remains.

.

Anonymous said...

So enjoyed Murali's comments. Yes, it's a common event that meditation gets lost in day-dreaming. Who is the dreamer?
Oops I lost my concentration and so it goes.

shiba said...

I am reading 'Living by the word of bagavan 'and 'Final Talk'now.

They are wonderful books.I am very glad to read such books.

In the two books I have the impression that Anamalai Swami frequently recommend to repeat 'I am SELF' like mantra.

It is not like atma-vichara.I feel that there is difference about the way of teaching between Bagavan and Swami.

Is it correct.

Ramprax said...

> "I understand this technique of isolating the 'I' thought and holding on to it. But is that all enquiry? In my understanding, just holding on to the I-thought is more a mano-laya than mano-nasha. After reaching this 'I-am' (ego) awareness, isn't seeking the very source from where this I-thought arises, the true Self-enquiry? Please clarify."

I understand vichara as 'tracing' the 'I' back to its Source, rather than seeing it as seeking the Source. To 'trace' or follow the 'I' to its Source, I hold on to it. I must keep holding on to the 'I' until it subsides/sinks into its Source. Since I understand vichara this way, there seems to be no conflict between the phrases 'holding on to the I-thought' and 'seeking the very source from where this I-thought arises'.
The former is 'how to do?' and the latter is 'what to do?'.

In the book 'Path of Sri Ramana', there is an example about a thin ray of light coming through a small hole in a dark room. To get to the source of the light one must follow this ray of light, out through the hole & ultimately to the source. Similarly, to get to the Source of 'I', one has to hold on to the 'I'.

Ravi said...

Friends,
Raj had asked:
"do you know of anyone in recent times who has successfully followed karma yoga as a path to salvation?"
As I had said that this sort of classification as Gnana,Yoga,Bhakti,Karma is more for easy assimilation-They are but different modes of Living and are inseperable.In The outward manifestation one or the other may appear to predominate.That is all there to it.

It is interesting to see what Sadhu Arunachala(Major Chadwick) had to say regarding the exemplars in recent times(From:A Sadhu's reminiscences-page 54)
"The classic examples of these four Yogas in modern
times are: Jnanam, Sri Ramana Maharshi; Bhakti,
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; Yoga, Sri Aurobindo of
Pondicherry; and Karma, Sri Shankaracharya of Kanchi
Peetam, the only one of the above still in the body."

A Study of the Life of the Sage of Kanchi and Teachings is extremely rewarding.One gets a comprehensive ,all inclusive,balanced view of Vedic Living.The Teachings are available in about 8 Volumes-covering all the aspects of Gnana,Bhakti,Yoga and Karma(individual and collective aspects).This is a Joy to Read-Nothing academic at all.Everything is put in its place and given due weightage.I understand that These are Translated into English-but nothing like reading them in Tamil.
I warmly recommend 'Deivathin Kural'(Voice of The Divine)to all aspirants who understand and can read Tamil.

Namaskar.

Nandu Narasimhan said...

Happy Advent Day, all.

This is getting better and better.

David, Ravi, Clemens, Scott. And now Srikantha and Ramprax. This blog is a beautiful satsang.

Even more convinced about the 'Old Hall' comparison I had drawn some time ago.

Satsangatve Nisangatvam
Nisangatve Nirmohatvam
Nirmohatve Nischalatattvam
Nischalatattve jeevan muktihi.

Through the company of good, there arises non-attachment
Through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion;
When there is freedom from delusion, there is the Immutable reality;
On experiencing the immutable realty there comes liberation.

Murali said...

"Abide in the Self"
"Trace the I thought to its source"
"Sink the mind in the Heart"
"Turn the mind inwards"
"Summa Iru"

At the stage of sadhana, all the above statements really mean that we should focus on the "Feeling of I" while rejecting other thoughts. I am assuming that all the above statements automatically happen by implication, if I just hang on to the feeling of I.

I hope I am correct.

Regards Murali

Ravi said...

Murali,
Yes,summa iru,etc -all are the same.
You have asked about 'Job' change-whether one should seek a change or carry on with the existing one,taking it as ordained by 'God'.

Master is refreshingly different in these matters.He says-'Rationalise your desires.Understand what you want and whether you can achieve it-Eschew those desires which are beyond your means/capability;If this does not cause harm to yourself and others,Go ahead and realise it.Only Do not lose sight of the Purpose of Life and let all that you do be subservient to it;Let it not become an end in itself'.
Master emphasises on Taking Responsibility and commitment to whatever one has taken up.

He emphasises what JK used to say-It is not Work that Binds you.It is the Resistance to work that does!Understand the nature of this resistance in the form of Like and dislike.

Dealing with peers ,subordinates and superiors is another challenge-Master gives a very important tip that I have found immensely helpful.He says-The Good and the Bad(as the Mind believes)comes THROUGH others and not FROM others.They are only channels for the fruits of Karma.As one sows ,so one Reaps.Take care as to what you sow.Do not Blame Others or circumstances.

These are some of his teachings at the Pragmatic Level.

As for the rest of his Teachings,Please refer to my post in the Open Thread on Vichara.
-----------------------------------
Namaskar.

Ravi said...

Nandu,
I totally appreciate your Bhava of Sri Bhagavan's 'Old Hall'.I recall your mentioning how Sri Bhagavan clears doubts.
You have added an apt verse from Bhaja Govindam.This verse is a wonderful one for this simple reason!Satsangha----->Jivan Mukti!
I use this verse to demolish the following arguement quoting Sankara as saying(from the same Bhaja Govindam) "Jnana vihina , sarva mathena bajathi na muktim janma satena" [one without knowledge does not find liberation in 100 births even]. So there is no option but to gain knowledge. Self Knowledge."
How our minds are fascinated by the WORD 'Knowledge'!How much more fascinating if this is to be gained after protracted Study!

Namaskar!

Losing M. Mind said...

I'm assuming that the Master in Ravi's quote is Ramakrishna. That reminds me alot of what i've gotten from Nome, and certainly does not seem to contrast at all with Maharshis' teaching that eating, drinking, answering calls of nature are safe to fulfill, any desire is safe to fulfill if it does not implant vasanas in the mind. Although, that is sometimes difficult go gauge. What the Master Ramakrishna said, makes alot of sense. It's O.K. to fulfill it if it does't harm others or oneself. Harming oneself would be again probably implanting vasanas in the mind or creating bad karma.

Ravi said...

Scott,
I have referred to Master TGN-Please see my post in the open thread on Vichara dated August 2,2008(To Arvind).
Your 'assumption' that I may be referring to Sri Ramakrishna is quite understandable-indeed the very mention of his name acts like a charm on me.All masters are dear to me.
Sri Ramakrishna had the unique gift of expressing the most subtle Truths in a homely down to Earth Fashion.The Way he expresses what I have mentioned(Regarding dealing with worldly affairs)is like this-He says:
He who does not know the Price of Salt(world) will not know the Price of Sugar(God)!
If other Masters are like 'Teachers in the Classroom',Sri Ramakrishna is like a Personal Tutor at Home!He will allow you to go your way and you will find that you have come to his way!This is the unique charm of this Great Master.
Salutations.

shiba said...

In 'Day by Day with Bhagavan', I can't find the sentence like 'concentrate on I-thought''stick to I-thought'etc.

Such sentences are contained in 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi'.

Bhagavan seem to like to use the sentense like 'find the source wherefrom I-thought rise',and not use concentrate on I-thought'very much.

For me,'concentrate on I-thought' is easier to understand about how to do self-enquiry than 'find the source'.

I wander why Bhagavan don't say 'concentrate on I-thought'very much. He didn't use such expression in 'Who am I?' and 'Guru vachaka kovai'.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think it uncommon for people to be confused about what the practice of self-enquiry actually involves.

The ‘other practice’ recommended by Ramana, is I would propose, of equal validity to self-enquiry and perhaps more suited to those personalities who prefer a practice with more form or structure than the arguably more abstract self-enquiry practice.

Personally, I don’t mind the self-enquiry practice, but I do find I get a little stale in my application sometimes. Switching to the ‘other practice’ recommended by Ramana is a means by which I can recharge my batteries, so to speak, a means of reinvigorating my practice.

The ‘other practice’ I elude to, is referred to in “Be As You Are”, beginning at the bottom of page 202.

“Among the many 1000s of names of God, no name suits God so aptly and beautifully as the name ‘I’ or ‘I am’. If one unceasingly meditates upon that name ‘I-I’ with one’s attention on the feeling ‘I’, it will take one and plunge one into the source from which thought arises, destroying the ego . . . . ”

An excellent practice I think, and certainly not of lesser potency than self-enquiry. After all, didn’t Nisargadatta use ‘I am’ as his core practice?

Peter

Murali said...

Shiba said:

"For me,'concentrate on I-thought' is easier to understand about how to do self-enquiry than 'find the source'."

My experience is also same. I wondered for a long time as to what is meant by "find the source"? Practically, when I close my eyes, what am i supposed to do? What is meant by this "finding" when I am sitting closing my eyes?

I found the answer only after I came in touch with David Godman and it got further confirmation from Sadhu Om's book.

Once I understood that it means focusing on the feeling of 'I', I realized that what else can we do? Suppose I close my eyes and start looking inside, I can just do two things - either observe my thoughts or observe the feeling of I. What else is possible? Observing the thoughts is nothing different from observing the gross objects outside. So, what is left is observing the feeling of I. I did not have anything else to do apart from this and hence I accepted that this is all I can do and this what Bhagavan meant.

Except observing the feeling I, everything else is a concept for me at this stage. For example, "The Heart", "The source of I", "chakras", "kundalini" etc., etc., are all just concepts and Bhagavan told that we should reject all concepts. So, what else is left but just to hang on to the feeling of I?

I am a novice on the path and hence I dont say that I am right but this is all I can do at this stage.


Regards Murali

Losing M. Mind said...

As far as I can gather, anonymous, that is what Self-inquiry is. Because from what I understood of that Maharshi quote, it's saying staying with the feeling of I am. I noticed he said feeling. That is something I asked Nome about, and Nome said, that the I-thought is the feeling of individuality. (paraphrasing). The sense of me.

Maharshi: "the many 1000s of names of God, no name suits God so aptly and beautifully as the name ‘I’ or ‘I am’. If one unceasingly meditates upon that name ‘I-I’ with one’s attention on the feeling ‘I’, it will take one and plunge one into the source from which thought arises, destroying the ego . . . ."

When I read this, what I understand of it, is that since there is only Brahman, Being-Consciousness-Bliss, that is the source he refers to, that is I-I. This is what I'm learning differentiates this from as Nome had mentioned to me, riveting mental attention, or concentration. so what I read of this, the source is not a source somewhere, it's not inward in any conventional sense, in a body. It's within and is pure Consciousness, without any objectivity, without particularization, free of objects, free of a subject. In most notions of 'source', such as a spring forming a river, I think of something bigger arising from something smaller. But in this case, the source is infinite and includes everything, so the ego is this minute particularization of this infinite Consciousness. Everything from Maharshi, and what I've learned from Nome, the ego doesn't exist, but what I'm attempting to do is to dissolve the notion that there is an individual named me. All the questions, Who am I? What is the Source of happiness? What is eternal? All are refering to infinite, pure, non-objective Consciousness. Any refernence to holding on to the I-thought, or staying with I am, are I think referring to the same thing, continually staying with the realization that the particularization never happened, couldn't happen, because there is only the Self, Being-Consciousness-Bliss, infinite Consciousness, Grace.

In short, this doesn't seem to be an auxillary practice, but the Self-inquiry itself. what it seems to be referring to is an immediate dissolution of the individuality in the real Self, the screen. Why Nome, and maybe Maharshi referred to it as the Self knowing the Self because there is no ego, I'm assuming this is because the Self, the screen is the only thing, and I'm always that. When I dissolve, or cease to misidentify, the Self Realizes itself, because the ego didn't exist. And since even the notion of the ego is gone, the ego never Realized teh Self. I'm saying this theoretically.

"the source from which thought arises". Again, I think this is referring to that since there is only the Self, God, Brahman, Siva, the larger picture, the expansive, infinite peaceful Consciousness that never took on individuality or birth. Thought, could only arise from that. When I first heard of the source, from reading Maharshi, I thought of it as being somewhere. But the source is the Self, and Maharshi's instructions are an immediate dissolution, Self-inquiry is not a long drawn out practice, I mean, for me, it's still repeated attempts to understand, comprehend what it's referring to and see that I do not exist as an individual, that this is a misperception.

Losing M. Mind said...

But the Self-inquiry seems to me anyway,
if done correctly to an immediate Realization of
nonduality. I'm imagining duality, I'm inquiring
immediately to see that this notion isn't true,
by asking Who am I really? Am I who I think I am?
Am I think person, with all the personalities,
experiences I think I am, that is the thing
Self-inquiry is supposed to show that is unreal.
The world all that, will take care of itself. Maharshi's
instruction was to focus on the I-thought,
which is the feeling of me, with all that comes with that.
It's directly peering into who I think I am, to see that
the notion of who I think I am is imagined, and the
Consciousness that has never altered itself, does not contain objects,
is infinite, contains everything, is what exists.
That's my understanding at this point.

Losing M. Mind said...

One thing that seems maybe obvious, is that thought is always accompanied by the sense of individuality. There is always the me that is implied in the thought. I'm not saying necessarily the letter I, that convention in sentences. I've found it silly to stop saying "I went to the store" to other people. But the personality is implied in all my thinking, even as I write this, there is the me, who I think I am, this person who is 30 years old, with lots of experiences, maybe what I'm saying right now is perceived as clever (by me). This individual sense, this personality feeling accompanies every thought. It seems Maharshi is saying rather then duel with any thing else, duel with life experiences, duel with habits, duel with thinking itself, duel with feelings, worry about relationships with others, realize that there is this sense of a personality continually implied in every thought, and it's this personality that is the root of all my suffering, wants to build a life for itself, with more things that it can claim, especially experiences. Is threatened when this empire building of 'mine' is threatened, especially by the fall of this empire, death. But then it rebuilds as another empire, rebirth, and so on.

Losing M. Mind said...

So Maharshi is saying focus on the personality, and I'm thinking, he means to explore it's unreality. Who am I? is more then a rote question, it's sort of it seems, an acknowledgement, that this personality, for instance that is having these thoughts and typing them is not real, and by not real, the thing that seems obvious about that, is that it is imaginary, it's not even tangible, it's not even sensed, I don't even know what this persoanlity is. I do know, that there is a feeilng of safety with it. Self-inquiry seems to be an exploration that I am Being-Consciousness-Bliss, I am what that refers to. This Self that is eternal, infinite and the source of peace, is what is, there is not something else. What I'm typing now is Self-inquiry, because it's an earnest attempt to reason out, and understand what these teachings mean, and in doing so, it brings me in touch with more peaceful experience. I can't remember which is which, but there is manana, sravana, and niddidyasana.(sorry if I'm butchering the spelling). One is listening, and then trying to understand, and I believe niddidyasana is deep meditation. Aftter coming to a deeper understanding, I leave the level of thought. Leave it, I don't fight it. I just don't need to think any more, I can dive deeper into this sense of peace without thinking, just let it take hold of me. That is what Nome quoting Shankara has referred to as deep, profound, meditation, a practice of samadhi.

Losing M. Mind said...

To be quite honest, I find the highest practice I've so far engaged, to be writing Nome whenever I start to feel the trappings of suffering, describing in detail, and working through it using these teachings as I write. On some level the Self in me, has some deep understanding that I'm writing myself, the Self, when I'm writing him, and becomes mroe readily apparent, and those obstacles clear up alot quicker. So far, his answers have always been so precise, and there is the feeling that I'm sending my e-mails to the right place. It makes it so, the distracting vasanas are scarce, and so when I contemplate the meaning of the teachings, perhaps even read to myself or another the teachings of the Self-Realized, my attention can be focused on understanding it on a deeper level. It seems there has to be some giving way of the gross, attachments and intense suffering. But now that I understand it deeper, when suffering starts to happen, and when I ask, What is the source of happiness, I have a deeper understanding, taht the source is the infinite, peaceful Consciousness, that is what always is. Happiness is pure Consciousness, it is just Being. But writing here, is similar to writing Nome, and there is something very holy and graceful about this blog. David godman clearly demonstrates a high maturity, and deep understanding, and so posting what of my ignorance cmoes through here, I think also helps undermine it. I think Nandu's assessment of this being Satsang here, is very accurate.

shiba said...

Murali said:

'I am a novice on the path and hence I dont say that I am right but this is all I can do at this stage.'

I am also novice.Sometimes I get anxious about my way of practice.
I hope someone clear my doubt.

And Bhagavan said that only ripe soul can do self-enquiry.I have no confidence in my ripness.All I can say is that I have interested in self-enquiry.I hope I have qualification for self-enquiry.

regards shiba

Anonymous said...

David,
When is the Maurice Frydman book going to be published?
Also, time for a new post?

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