Ramana & Annamalai Swami
for a while, the following will preface all these blogs – so please skip over if seen before]
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Annamalai Swami was a wise disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi & some of his advice was as follows:
Ram Tirtha once told a story about a small boy who ran down the street, trying to catch up with the head of his shadow. He never managed because no matter how fast he ran, the shadow of his head was always a few feet ahead of him.
His mother, who was watching him and laughing, called out, ‘Put your hand on your head!’
When the boy followed this instruction, the shadow hand caught up with the shadow head. This was enough to satisfy the boy.
This kind of advice may be enough to keep children happy, but it won’t produce satisfactory results in the realm of sadhana and meditation. Don’t chase your shadow thoughts and your shadow mind with mind-control techniques because these techniques are also shadows. Instead, go back to the source of the shadow-mind and stay there. When you abide in that place, you will be happy, and the desire to go chasing after shadow thoughts will no longer be there.
Bhagavan often told the story of a man who tried to get rid of his shadow by burying it in a pit. This man dug a hole and then stood on the edge of it in such a way that his shadow was cast on the bottom of the hole he had just made. After lining it up in this way, he started throwing soil on the shadow in an attempt to bury it. Of course, no matter how much soil he put in the hole, the shadow still remained on top of it.
Your mind is an insubstantial shadow that will follow you around wherever you go. Attempts to eliminate or control it cannot succeed while there is still a belief that the mind is real, and that it is something that can be controlled by physical or mental activity.
When Self-realization happens, mind is no longer there. However, you do not get Self-realisation by getting rid of the mind. It happens when you understand and know that the mind never existed. It is the recognition of what is real and true, and the abandonment of mistaken ideas about the reality and substantiality of this ephemeral shadow you call the mind.
This is why Bhagavan and many other teachers kept bringing up the analogy of the snake and the rope. If you mistake a rope on the ground for a snake, the snake only exists as an idea in your mind. That idea might cause you a lot of worry and anxiety, and you may waste a lot of mental energy wondering how to avoid the snake or kill it, but this fact remains: there is no snake outside your imagination. When you see the rope, the substratum upon which your false idea of a snake is superimposed, the idea that there is a snake, and that it is real, instantly vanishes. It is not a real snake that has disappeared. The only thing that has disappeared is an erroneous idea.
The substratum upon which the false idea of the mind has been superimposed is the Self. When you see the mind, the Self, the underlying substratum, is not seen. It is hidden by a false but persistent idea. And conversely, when the Self is seen, there is no mind.
The same way that you give up any wrong idea. You simply stop believing in it. If this does not happen spontaneously when you hear the 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.
Consciousness alone exists. If you generate a firm conviction that this is the truth, eventually this firm conviction will become your own direct experience. Consciousness alone exists. That is to say, whatever exists is consciousness alone. Keep this in mind and don’t allow yourself to regard anything else as being real. If you fail and give even a little reality to the mind, it will become your own false reality. Once this initial wrong identification – ‘I am the mind, the mind is real’ – has happened, problems and suffering will follow.
Don’t be afraid of the mind. It’s a false tiger, not a real one. Something that is not real cannot harm you. Fear and anxiety may come to you if you believe that there is a real tiger in your vicinity. Someone may be making tiger noises as a joke to make you afraid, but when he reveals himself, all your fears go because you suddenly understand that there never was a tiger outside your imagination.
The desire for Enlightenment is necessary because without it you will never take the necessary steps to realize the Self. A desire to walk to a particular place is necessary before you take any steps. If that desire is not present, you will never take the first step. When you realize the Self, that desire will go. If the intensity to know yourself is strong enough, the intensity of your yearning will take you to the Self. Your most important objective must be realizing the Self. If you have not done this, you will spend your time in Ignorance & Illusion.
All the information the Mind accumulates & all the experiences it collects are ignorance, false knowledge. Real knowledge cannot be found in the Mind or in any external location. Don’t be interested in the words that the Mind is serving up for you. It is putting them there to tempt you into a stream of thoughts that will take you away from the Self. You have to ignore them all & focus on the light that is shining within you.
The substratum upon which the false idea of the Mind has been superimposed is the Self. When you see the Mind, the Self, the underlying substratum, is not seen. It is hidden by a false but persistent idea. And conversely, when the Self is seen there is no Mind.
This habit of believing the ‘I am the body’ idea has become very strong because you have reinforced & strengthened it over many lifetimes. This will go if you meditate on your real Self. The habit will melt away, like ice becoming water.
The Mind only gets dissolved in the Self by constant practice. At the moment the, ‘I am the body’ idea disappears, just as darkness disappears when the Sun rises.
The body is not the Self; the Mind is not the Self. The real ‘I’ is the Self, & nothing ever happens to or affects the Self.
[another analogy, this an original]
Electrical RLC Circuit Analogy:
We can abuse some simple electrical circuit terminology to sketch an Analogy for the Indian Samkhya Philosophy scheme Nature’s qualities or gunas. Most Dualities turn out to be similar (+ / –, male / female, yang / yin, etc.). The same is true for Triads (thesis, synthesis, antithesis; etc.) such as the Samkhya gunas: tamas, sattva, rajas, simply translated for our purposes here as dull inertia, harmonious clarity, & restless rage. Practical applications of this terminology for spiritual practice are not profound but sometimes useful. To note just a couple of examples, we can first mention that Illusion or maya deviates from the clarity of sattva by splitting into dull tamasic “veiling” avarana & projecting rajasic superimposition vikshepa. First the Truth is hidden, then the False is projected & superimposed.
A second example that suffices for the moment would contrast the sattvic Clarity of Mind, ideal for spiritual practice with the opposite poles represented by the other 2 gunas. Dull inertia or tamas might even find a bit of an antidote in the restless energy of rajas, but transcending both is even better.
A simple RLC series circuit Analogy can model this interplay of the gunas.
The tamasic inertial quality can be modeled by capacitance C, such that the accumulation of substance, Charge is the “electrical pressure”, voltage, V multiplied by this tamasic inertial parameter C, capacitance, or: q = C V. The same would hold for accumulated fluid as “capacity” times the “pressure” in a hydrodynamic or similar circuit. [Granted we are holding several parameters constant here to force the analogy & going against the grain of many electrical analogies where readily measurable Voltage is tallied instead of Charge of Current.
The sattvic analog quality would not be resistance, R, but rather its reciprocal, the conductance, G. such that the “flow” of Charge or Current, I, is proportional to that same “electrical pressure”, voltage, V multiplied by the sattvic parameter G, conductance, or: dq/dt = I = G V. Again, the same would hold for fluid flow as “conductance” times the “pressure” in a hydrodynamic or similar circuit. We choose conductance G over the historically prior inverse concept of resistance R because the latter “negatively” impairs the “flow'” while greater conductance enhances the flow.
In a electrical Phasor diagram (a specific application of a Real-axis / Imaginary axis Argand diagram) the tamasic C capacitance contribution is “imaginary” in the mathematical sense of being orthogonal to the “real axis that charts the sattvic G conductance contribution.
In that same diagram, the rajasic influence is equally “imaginary” but is diametrically opposed to the tamasic contribution, so that the opposing effects tend to cancel each other out to some degree. Here, as with resistance R, we choose, instead of inductance L, it reciprocal, or rather the more “dynamic” reciprocal of ω L, the inductive reactance, which paired properly with the “imaginary” number i is the inductive admittance of reciprocal of inductive impedance. This can also be related to the “imaginary” part of the total admittance, namely the inductive part of the susceptance.
In any case, the rajasic analog quality would not be inductance, L, but something like the inductive admittance A, such that the “rate of change of flow” (~ acceleration of flow) dI/dt, is proportional to that same “electrical pressure”, voltage, V multiplied by the rajasic parameter A, admittance or: d2q/dt2 = dI/dt ~ A V. Again, the something similar would hold for accelerated fluid flow if we introduced turbulence, likewise a rajasic concept.
Confusing terminology aside, our Electrical Analogy for the 3 gunas gives us:
1) Conductance allowing “real part” free flow related to sattva, harmonious clarity.
2) Tamas opposed by rajas, akin to “imaginary” influences of Capacitance & Susceptance.
3) Tamasic Capacitance representing inertia.
4) Rajasic Susceptance corresponding to “jittery” oscillating interference, wasted motion & energy such that “the faster you try, the slower you go.”
This Electrical Analogy for the gunas does little to model the “veiling” versus “projecting” aspects of maya & some other guna applications. But for discriminating inquiry into self-defeating qualities of Mind, like inertia & restlessness, the Electrical Analogy has some merit.
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]