Mind & Happiness 48

Mind & Happiness 47

Since the testimony of Sages challenges us to question & doubt all the beliefs that we have cherished for so long about what we are & about the reality of our Life in this World, we may initially find it difficult to trust their words. That is why, rather than asking us to believe anything that we do not already know, Sri Ramana based his teachings upon an analysis of our own everyday experience.

When we critically analyze our experience of the 3 States of Consciousness (Waking, Dream, & Deep Dreamless Sleep) that we undergo each day, we cannot reasonably avoid doubting most of what we normally take for granted about who we are & about the reality of all that we experience in these 3 States.  In order to acquire knowledge that we cannot reasonably doubt, we must

first disentangle our self from all the confused & uncertain knowledge we now have about our self.  Such disentanglement can be achieved only by turning our attention away from all objects of knowledge & towards our self, the Consciousness by which everything is known. This process of disentanglement is the journey of Self-Discovery that all Sages urge us to undertake.

The purpose of this philosophical analysis of our everyday experience of our self is only to enable us to obtain a clear theoretical understanding of who we really are, & thereby to ascertain the practical means by which we can attain direct experience of our own Real Nature. Though in this journey of self-discovery we will be guided by the revelations of Sri Ramana & other Sages, we will nevertheless be relying primarily upon our own personal experience of our Existence or Consciousness, & thus we will as far as possible avoid the need to rely upon belief in what we our self do not actually know.

If we take this journey depending always upon our own experience of our self as our guide, we will be able to verify for our self the Truth of all that has been revealed through the words of Sages, who have taken this journey before us.  However, while we are proceeding on this journey of Self-Discovery, & before we complete it, we are likely to discover that our rational analysis of our already existing experience of our own Existence & Consciousness, together with our experience of practicing the art of Self-Conscious Existence, will inspire in our Mind a steadily increasing trust in the words of Sages.

Such trust should not be mistaken to be mere “blind belief”, because it is a trust born not of intellectual blindness but of a deep inner clarity of Mind gained by dwelling repeatedly upon the true light of Self-Consciousness, which ever shines in the core of our Existence, as the core of our Existence, but which till now we have always habitually ignored due to our infatuation with the external World of Sense Perceptions.

Though it is possible for us to turn our attention away from the external World & towards our own essential Consciousness “I exist” in order to discover our true nature even without our placing our trust in the words of anyone, in practice while pursuing the journey of Self-Discovery, & while confronting all the obstacles that inevitably arise on the way, we can derive much benefit by trusting & learning from the testimony of those who have taken & completed this journey before us.

We attempt to turn our attention away from the external World & towards our essential Self-Consciousness “I exist” in order to remain merely as this fundamental Consciousness of our own Existence.  However, even if we are unwilling to trust anything that we do not already know for certain, we can still pursue this journey of self-discovery by taking all our doubts to their logical conclusion by doubting the reality of our doubting Mind, & therefore turning our attention towards the Consciousness that underlies it in order to know the ultimate source from which it has arisen along with all its doubts.

We are to question critically our habitual view of our self, the World & God, & to embark upon the journey of Self-Discovery by investigating our Consciousness “I exist”, which is the centere & fundamental basis of all our experience & knowledge, to verify for our self the Truth revealed in the words of Sri Ramana & other Sages.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 47

Mind & Happiness 47

In spite of all the confusing complexity found in the spiritual literature of the World, running throughout that literature there is a common thread of simple Truth, which we can easily discern if we are able to understand the original teachings of the real Sages.  Because the same fundamental truth of Non-Duality has been expressed in the recorded words of Sages from so many diverse cultures throughout the ages, modern students of Philosophy often call it the “perennial philosophy“, a term that corresponds to the ancient Sanskrit term sanātana dharma, which literally means “that which always upholds” or “that which is ever established“, & which therefore by implication means the “eternal truth“, the “eternal law“, the “eternal principle“, the “eternal support“, the “eternal foundation“, the “eternal nature“, the “eternal essence“, the “eternal way” or the “eternal religion“.

Fortunately for us, Sri Ramana’s Teachings were not only recorded in his Life-time by many of his followers, some of whom understood them very clearly, but were also written by him in various poems & other works.  Since he composed poetry not only in the language of allegory & mystical love, but also in the language of philosophy, & since in his poetry he described the reality & the means of attaining it in very clear & unambiguous terms, he has made it extremely easy for us to understand the simple truth that underlies the Teachings of all Sages.

Having read & understood his Teachings, if we read the Teachings of any other real Sage, we can easily recognize that the same Truth is expressed in all of them.  Moreover, his Teachings also serve as a key that enables us to unravel & extract the true Teachings of the Sages from the dense mass of extraneous Theologies, Cosmologies & Philosophies with which they have become mixed in every religion & spiritual tradition.

Therefore readers who are already familiar with the sanātana dharma, the timeless & universal truth or “perennial philosophy” taught by all Sages, will find that the Teachings of Sri Ramana also express that same basic Philosophy.  However, they will also find that his Teachings throw a clear & fresh light upon that Philosophy, elucidating many subtle & profound truths that have seldom been expressed so explicitly by other Sages, particularly with regard to the practical means by which we can attain the true experience of Non-Dual Self-Knowledge.

Because the teachings of Sri Ramana are a simple yet very profound revelation of the fundamental & Absolute Reality that underlies the appearance of all multiplicity & diversity, they express the Ultimate Truth that is the inner essence of all religions & spiritual traditions.  Hence people of many diverse religious & cultural backgrounds have recognized that his Teachings are a profoundly insightful & authentic exposition of the true import of their own religion or spiritual tradition, & have understood that after studying his teachings they need not study any other spiritual texts.

Though the same simple truth of Non-Duality can be found expressed in all the spiritual literature of the World if we search for it hard enough, it is not necessary or advisable for us to waste our Time searching for it in the scriptures & sacred writings, where it is usually hidden among a dense mass of extraneous ideas. That is why in verse 60 of Vivēkacūāmai Sri Adi Sankara warned all serious spiritual aspirants to avoid excessive study of the scriptures or śāstras, which he described as a “great forest of delusive snares of noisy words” (śabda jālamahāraya) & a “cause of unsteadiness, bewilderment & confusion of Mind” (cittabhramaa kāraam), & advised us that with the guidance of a Sage who knows the Truth we should instead try to investigate & know the Truth of our Self through direct experience.

For us to attain such direct non-dual experience of our own Real Self, all the guidance required can be found expressed in an extremely clear & simple manner in the teachings of Sri Ramana. If we read & understand his Teachings, there will be no need for us to study any other scriptures or sacred writings, because from his Teachings we will learn that the Truth does not lie outside us in any books, but only within us, in the innermost core of our Existence, & that the only means to experience it is therefore to turn our attention self-wards to know the reality of the Consciousness by which we know all other things.

This detailed analysis derives from 3 principal sources.  In part it consists of ideas from the writings & recorded sayings of Sri Ramana, in particular from the most comprehensive & profound record of his sayings that his pre-eminent disciple Sri Muruganar preserved in the form of Tamil verses in Guru Vācaka Kōvai.

In part it consists of ideas from Sri Sadhu Om, who was one of the closest disciples of Sri Ramana (by which term I mean not those who merely lived close to him physically, but those who followed his Teachings most closely & truly), who was a lucid & extremely profound exponent of his Teachings.

However, for the most part it consists of Sri Ramana’s Teachings. However, as Sri Ramana himself emphasized, mere belief in certain ideas is not True Knowledge, so we must all hold our beliefs tentatively, & must endeavor to verify them for our self by seeking to attain true experiential knowledge of the fundamental & absolute reality through empirical research, that is, through practical Self-Investigation. Therefore, the sole aim of all the theory discussed is to guide us & encourage us in our practical quest for the direct, immediate, Non-Dual & Absolute experience of True Self-Knowledge.

When we begin to study any Knowledge, such as Self-Knowledge, which is concerned not with knowing any object but only with knowing the Consciousness by which all objects are known, it is necessary for us to have tentative trust in the experience & testimony of those who have already acquired that practical knowledge.

All learning requires a keen, inquisitive & questioning Mind, but just as honest doubt plays an important part in the learning process, so too does tentative trust. Knowledge is acquired most efficiently & effectively by an intelligent use of both doubt & trust.  A discriminating student knows what is to be doubted, & what is to be tentatively trusted.

More than in any other Knowledge, in this Self-Knowledge, doubt is essential, because to know the Truth that underlies all appearances, we must doubt the reality of everything not just the reality of the objects known by our Mind, but the reality of our knowing Mind itself.  However, though doubt plays such a vital role in the process of acquiring self-knowledge, tentative trust in the testimony of Sages, who have already attained the experience of true Self-Knowledge, is nevertheless extremely helpful.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 46

Mind & Happiness 46

The Philosophical terminology that Sages in different cultures & different ages have used to express the Truth differs greatly, & if understood only superficially may often appear to be conflicting.  For example, many Sages have used terms such as “God” to refer to the Absolute Reality, while others like Buddha & Mahavira [Jain] have avoided using such a term. This has led some people to claim that such Sages have denied the existence of God.  But such a claim is mis-leading, & arises from an overly simplistic understanding both of the Reality & of the term “God”.

The sole aim of the teachings of Buddha & Mahavira [Jain], like that of all other Sages, was to lead us to the One Absolute Reality. The terminology they each used when talking about that Reality may vary, but the Reality about which they all talked is the same.  That Reality can be known only by direct Non-Dual experience, & can never be conceived by the Mind, nor expressed by words.

Being Infinite, direct Non-Dual experience transcends all the conceptual qualities that our finite Minds attribute to it, so it cannot be correctly described as Existence either this or that.  It is everything, & at the same time it is nothing. Therefore it is equally correct, & also equally incorrect, either to refer to it as “God” or not to refer to it as “God”.

The term “God” has no fixed meaning.  In certain contexts it means one thing, & in other contexts it means another thing, because it is a name given to a wide range of notions that people hold about the Supreme or Ultimate Reality. Some of our notions about God are decidedly anthropomorphic, whereas others are more abstract, but none of them are either entirely correct or entirely incorrect.

In vēdānta, therefore, a distinction is made between 2 basic forms of God.  One form is called sagua brahman, which means “brahman with guas“, & the other form is called nirgua brahman, which means “brahman without guas“.  The word brahman means the Absolute Reality, the Supreme Existence or God, & the word gua means quality or attribute.

Thus sagua brahman is the relative form of God, God with qualities (guas) & attributes as conceived by the human Mind, while nirgua brahman is the Absolute & Real form of God, God without any conceivable quality (gua) or attribute.  The God of human conception, whatever that conception may be, is sagua brahman, whereas the Reality of God, which transcends all human conception, is nirgua brahman.  Thus nirgua brahman is the substance or absolute Reality that underlies sagua brahman, the God of our limited conception.

Though God as sagua brahman is not the Ultimate or Absolute Reality, He & all the Divine qualities we attribute to Him are as real as our own Individuality. Therefore so long as we take our self to be a separate Individual, God & all his divine qualities are for all practical purposes real.

But when we attain the experience of true Self-Knowledge & thereby destroy the false notion that we are an individual Consciousness that is separate from God, God will remain as our own Real Self or essential Existence, the Absolute Reality or nirgua brahman, which transcends all human conception.

Because the aim of the Buddha & Mahavira [Jain] was to teach us the means by which we can attain the Absolute Reality, which is beyond all guas, qualities or attributes, they did not consider it necessary to talk about “God”, a term that is generally understood to mean sagua brahman, the Supreme Existence endowed with Divine qualities.  Other Sages, however, have used the term “God” either as a word referring to nirgua brahman, the Absolute Reality that transcends all qualities, or because they understood that the people to whom they were speaking had need of a concept of a personal God who would aid them in their efforts to attain the transpersonal Reality.

There is thus no fundamental difference between the Teachings of Sages who have used the term “God” & those who have not used this term.  Both are speaking about the same Absolute Reality, but have simply chosen to express it in different terms.

The fact that the Buddha clearly acknowledged the existence of the Absolute Reality or nirgua brahman is evident from one of his important and well-known teachings, which is recorded in the Tipiaka 2.5.3.8.3 (Udāna 8.3):

“There is, mendicants, that which is NotBorn, that which has not come into Existence, that which is not made, that which is not fabricated.  If there were not, mendicants, that which is NotBorn, that which has not come into Existence, that which is not made, that which is not fabricated, here [in this World or in this Life-time] escape from that which is born, from that which has come into Existence, from that which is made, from that which is fabricated, would therefore not have been [a state that could be] clearly known [or experienced].  But because, mendicants, there is indeed that which is NotBorn, that which has not come into Existence, that which is not made, that which is not fabricated, therefore escape from that which is born, from that which has come into Existence, from that which is made, from that which is fabricated, is [a state that can be] clearly known [or experienced].”  Though there is a wealth of profound meaning in these words of the Buddha, this is not a suitable place to examine them in depth.

Another superficial difference between the teachings of the Buddha & those of advaita vēdānta is that the Buddha taught the truth of anattā, a Pali term that is a modified form of the Sanskri  word anātmā, which means “no self”, whereas sages of the advaita vēdānta tradition teach that ātmā or “Self” is the sole existing Reality.  Some people claim that this is a fundamental contradiction between their respective teachings, whereas in fact this is merely a superficial difference in terminology.

When Buddha taught that there is no “self” or ātmā, he was referring only to our finite individual self or jīvātmā, which all sages of the advaita vēdānta tradition also say is unreal.  And when those sages teach that “self” or ātmā is the sole existing Reality, they are referring not to our false

individual self but only to our Real Self our true Existence or essential “is”-ness, our pure, Unlimited, Undivided, Unqualified & Absolutely Non-Dual Consciousness of our own Existence, which alone remains in the state of nirvāa, in which the false appearance of our individual object-knowing Consciousness is completely extinguished.

Thus there is no contradiction at all between the truth of “no self” or anattā taught by the Buddha & the truth that “self” or ātmā is the sole existing Reality taught by advaita vēdānta.  The teachings of different sages appear to differ from one another, or even to contradict one another, for 3 main reasons:

1stly, it is because of the different terminology that they have used to teach the Truth, which words can never express perfectly, but can only indicate.

2ndly, it is because they had to adapt their teachings to suit the receptivity of the people they were teaching. And

3rdly, it is because their original teachings have often become mixed with the ideas of their followers, many of whom had no direct experience of the Truth they taught, nor even a clear & correct understanding of it.

The records that have survived of the Teachings of many Sages were not written by those Sages themselves, but were recorded by their followers, often long after their Life-time. Therefore such records often do not reflect the Teachings of those Sages perfectly, but only reflect the understanding that some of their literate followers had of their Teachings.

In almost all religions & spiritual traditions, the original Teachings of Sages have become mixed up with elaborate systems of Theology, Cosmology, Philosophy, & Psychology, which bear very little relation to the actual experience of those Sages.  Such Theologies & Cosmologies originate

from the Minds of people who were unable to understand the simplicity & immediacy of the Truth taught by the Sages, & who therefore created such elaborate & complex systems of belief in an attempt to explain what they themselves could not understand.  Because they originated in this manner, all the complex Theologies & Cosmologies that exist in every religion only serve to confuse people & obscure from their Minds the simple Truth of Non-Duality taught by Sages.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 45

Mind & Happiness 45

Since our Mind therefore has no Essential Nature of its own, we can definitely conclude that it has no reality of its own, but borrows its seeming reality only from our Essential Consciousness “I exist”.  Our Mind is therefore an unreal phantom, something that is in fact neither one thing nor another.  The Mind is a false appearance, an Illusion or Hallucination, a self-deceiving Imagination that appears & disappears in our one real Consciousness “I exist”.

However, though our Mind deceives itself by appearing in & as our Real Consciousness “I exist”, it does not deceive our Consciousness “I exist”, which always remains as it is, knowing only its own Existence, & is affected by nothing else whatsoever.

Because our real Consciousness “I am” always remains as pure Consciousness, undefiled by the knowledge of anything other than itself, nothing that appears or disappears can ever affect it even in the least.  That is, whatever else may appear or disappear, we always know “I exist”.

The essential nature of our Real Consciousness “I am” is only Self-Consciousness Consciousness of our own Existence & not Consciousness of anything other than our self. Because our Consciousness of other things appears & disappears, it cannot be the Essential Nature of our real underlying Consciousness “I exist”.

In its Real & Essential Nature, our Consciousness “I exist” is ever unchanging, & ever unaffected by any change that may appear to occur. Therefore, whatever other knowledge may appear or disappear, it cannot affect our fundamental Consciousness of our own Existence, “I exist”, which exists & knows its own existence in all states & at all times.

Our Mind is therefore a false form of Consciousness, an imaginary, confused & self-deceiving form of knowledge, a spurious entity that has no real existence of its own.  Since all Duality or Multiplicity is known only by this Mind, it depends for its seeming existence upon this Mind – this imaginary, confused, self-deceiving & unreal form of Consciousness.  Hence our Mind is the root cause of the appearance of duality. Without our Mind to know it, no Duality could exist. Therefore Duality can only be as real as our Mind, which knows it.  Since our Mind is an unreal appearance that rises & subsides in our real Consciousness “I am”, all duality is likewise an unreal appearance.

Therefore we can reasonably conclude that our pure Consciousness “I exist” is the only existing reality, & that our Mind & all the duality or multiplicity which is known by it is only an unreal appearance an appearance that is unreal because it is impermanent, constantly changing, and dependent for its seeming existence upon the one real Consciousness “I exist”.

Thus, if we have the courage & intellectual honesty to seriously doubt & question the reality of our Mind, & to analyze its nature impartially, we will be led unavoidably to a Non-Dualistic view of reality to the conclusion that the only existing Reality is our fundamental Consciousness of our own essential Existence, our pure non-dual self-Consciousness “I exist”, & that all else is only an illusion or false appearance, an Imagination created & known only by our imaginary Mind.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 45

Mind & Happiness 45

Whereas our Consciousness “I exist” is permanent, our Mind is impermanent.

Whereas our Consciousness “I exist” is ever unchanging Existence, which always remains as it is, our Mind is a constantly changing flow of thoughts.  And:

Whereas our Consciousness “I exist” is always conscious of its own Existence, our Mind is sometimes conscious of itself & other things, & sometimes conscious neither of itself nor of any other thing. Therefore our Consciousness “I exist” is Real, whereas our Mind is merely an unreal appearance.

If the essential nature of something is Consciousness, it must always be conscious, because nothing can ever be separated from its essential nature.  Because Consciousness is the essential nature of our Consciousness “I exist”, Consciousness is conscious at all times & in all 3 States.

Similarly, because the essential nature of our Consciousness “I exist” is also Existence or existence, it exists at all times & in all 3 States.  In contrast, since our Mind is conscious only during the Waking & Dream States, & ceases to be conscious in Deep Dreamless Sleep, its essential nature cannot be Consciousness.

Similarly, since the Mind exists only in Waking & Dream, but ceases to exist in Deep Dreamless Sleep, its essential nature cannot be Existence.  In fact, there is nothing that can be pointed out as being the essential nature of our Mind, because it is not constantly any one thing.  The Body cannot be its essential nature, because though it identifies itself with a particular Body in the Waking state, in Dream it identifies itself with some other Body, & in Deep Dreamless Sleep it identifies itself with no Body at all.

Similarly, the Mind’s essential nature cannot be any thought or even the act of thinking, because throughout the Waking & Dream states the thoughts it thinks are constantly changing, & in Deep Dreamless Sleep the Mind ceases to think any thought. Though our Mind in fact has no essential nature of its own, in the Waking & Dream states its Essential Nature appears to be Consciousness.  However, since the Mind ceases to be conscious in Deep Dreamless Sleep, the Consciousness that appears to be its Essential Nature in Waking & Dream is in fact borrowed by it from our real Consciousness “I exist”.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 44

Mind & Happiness 44

The only thing whose reality we cannot doubt is our Consciousness of our own Existence – our Non-Dual Self-Consciousness, “I exist”.  Other than this Non-Dual & fundamental Consciousness “I exist”, everything that we experience is open to doubt. Hence we cannot reasonably avoid doubting the reality of all Duality, & suspecting that in fact the only Reality is our Non-Dual Consciousness of our own Existence, “I exist”.

By what standard can we determine whether or not something is real ?  A thing can be truly said to be real only if it is absolutely, unconditionally & independently real, & not if its reality is in any way relative, conditional, or dependent upon something else.  Therefore, according to Sri Ramana, something can be called real only if it satisfies 3 essential criteria: it must be:

1) Eternal,

2) Unchanging, &

3) Self-shining.

If something is not Eternal, though it may appear to be “real” for a certain period of time, it was not real before it came into existence, & it will not be real after it ceases to exist, so in fact it is unreal even while it appears to be real.  Because it is confined within the limits of Time, its seeming reality is relative & conditional.  That which is Absolutely & Unconditionally real must be real at all times, & cannot be limited in relation to anything else.

Moreover, if something undergoes Change during the course of time, it is one thing at one time, but becomes another thing at another time, & hence it does not exist Eternally as any one thing. Being impermanent, that which changes is not real.

However, the most important criteria by which we can determine something as real is that it must be Self-Shining. By the term “self-shining”, Sri Ramana means “self-knowing” or “self-conscious”, that is, knowing itself by its own light of Consciousness. That which is Absolutely & Unconditionally Real need not depend upon any Consciousness other than itself to be known.  If something depends upon something else in order to be known as existing or real, then its reality depends upon the reality of the Consciousness that knows it.  Since it does not know itself to be real, it is not real at all, but merely appears to be real so long as it is known by the Consciousness that knows it.

Measured by this standard, the only existing Reality is our fundamental Consciousness “I exist”, because among all the things that we experience or know, it is the only thing that is permanent, the only thing that never undergoes any Change, & the only thing that knows its own Existence without the aid of any other thing.

Unlike this Consciousness “I exist”, our Mind is impermanent, because it appears in the States of Waking & Dream, & disappears in Deep Dreamless Sleep.  Even while it does appear to exist, our Mind is constantly undergoing Change, thinking of one thing at one moment & another thing at another moment.

And though our Mind appears to know itself by its own power of Consciousness, in fact the Consciousness by which it knows itself & all other things is only our basic Consciousness “I exist”, which it seemingly usurps as its own, but which is nevertheless independent of it.  Our Mind is distinct from our essential Consciousness “I exist”, by the light of which it seemingly knows the existence of itself & other things, because our Consciousness “I exist” can exist in the absence of our Mind, as in Deep Dreamless Sleep.

The above themes & 2500 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 

short-cut: http://sdrv.ms/YPOgkX or http://tinyurl.com/nnyyr58  link directly to free E-book PDF files

www.jpstiga.com/

http://jstiga.wixsite.com/nonduality/

Different blogs (but with graphics) are available on:

http://www.blogger.com     as  “Being-as-Consciousness, Non-Duality – new & final version” with link:

http://Being-as-Consciousness.blogspot.com/

There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/

Mind & Happiness 43

Mind & Happiness 43

Our Mind does not always identify the same Body as “I”.  In Waking, the Mind takes one Body to be “I”, but in each Dream it takes some other DreamBody to be “I”.  Since it can identify itself with different bodies at different times, it cannot really be any of those bodies.

By identifying itself with a Body, our Mind deludes itself into experiencing our Consciousness “I exist” as being something confined within the limits of a Body, & a Body composed of unconscious Matter as being something that is endowed with Consciousness. If our Mind did not delude itself in this manner, it would not exist as a separate entity called “Mind”, but would remain as pure Consciousness, undefiled by any form of limitation.

Because the very nature of our Mind is to delude itself into experiencing that it is what it is not, Sri Ramana said that our Mind itself is māyā, the primordial power of Delusion, Illusion or self-deception the power that makes what is Real appear to be un-real, & what is un-real appear to be Real.

In Dream our Mind projects an imaginary Body, which it identifies as “I”, & through the 5 Senses of that Body it perceives an imaginary World.  So long as our Mind continues to be in that State of Dream, it takes the Body & World that it experiences in Dream to be real.  However absurd some of the things which it experiences may appear to exist, still our Mind deludes itself into believing that those things are real.  So long as our Mind experiences itself as a Body, it cannot but experience all that it perceives through the Senses of that Body as real. But when we wake up from a Dream, we cease to experience the DreamBody as “I”, & we simultaneously cease to experience the Dream World as “real”.

Thus from our experience in Dream, & our contrasting experience on Waking from Dream, we can clearly understand that by the power of its imagination our Mind has the ability to create a World of duality & simultaneously convince itself that that World is real. When we know that our Mind has this power of simultaneous creation & self-deception, we have to doubt whether all the duality that it now experiences in the Waking state is anything other than a product of its own self-deceiving power of Imagination.

The above themes & 2500 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 

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There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.

  the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome  Ajata Vada

 for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see:  www.ajatavada.com/