Category Archives: Realization

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 3

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 3

Our Existence and our Consciousness of Existence are the same – both are expressed by the single phrase “I exist”. This Existence-Consciousness, “I exist”, is our fundamental experience – the essential Non-Dual Self-Consciousness. All that we know about the World depends on what we think about our self.  But our knowledge about this “I” is confused. We all believe “I am the Body”. Thus we identify our Consciousness “I exist” with a particular Body. This identification is the result of a confused and unclear knowledge of the true nature of Consciousness. Our Consciousness “I exist” is not something material, whereas our Body is material.

hat which thus mistakes this Body to be “I” is our Mind. Our Mind comes into existence only by imagining itself to be a Body. In Deep Dreamless Sleep we are unaware of either our Mind or our Body. As soon as we wake up, our Mind rises feeling ‘I am this Body, I am so-and-so’, and only after thus identifying itself as a particular Body does it perceive the external World through the five senses of that Body.

Exactly the same thing happens in Dream – our Mind identifies itself as a particular Body and through the 5 senses of that Dream-Body it perceives a seemingly real and external “World”. When we wake up from a Dream, we understand that the Body we mistook to be “I” and the “World” we mistook to be real and external were both in fact only figments of our Imagination.

Thus from our experience in Dream we all know that our Mind has a wonderful power of Imagination by which it is able to create a Body, to mistake that imaginary Body to be “I”, and through that Body to project a World which, at the time we perceive it, appears to be every bit as real and external to us as the World that we now perceive in this Waking State.

Repeatedly offered direct advice regarding liberating meditation that began with focusing on, questioning, examining, even challenging this Ego “I”, this individual self.

Some more selections from a great Ramana Maharshi desciple:

Though the body is needed for sadhana, one should not identify with it. We should make good use of it, and look after it well, but we should not pay too much attention it.

There are so many thoughts in the Mind. Thought after thought after thought, they never stop. But there is one thought that is continuous, though it is mostly subconscious: “I am the Body.”’ This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded. Once we identify ourselves with the Body by thinking this thought, Maya follows. It also follows that if we cease to identify ourselves with the body, Maya will not affect us any more. Maya is fundamentally non-existent. Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said that Maya literally means “that which is not”. It is unreal because everything that Maya produces is an outgrowth of a wrong idea. It is a consequence of taking something to be True that is not really True. How can something that is not real produce something that is real ?  Something that does not exist cannot be the cause of suffering or of anything else.

Maya may appear to be real, to have a real existence, but this is a false appearance. The truth is: it is not real; it has no existence at all. To get rid of this “I am the body” feeling and of the Maya that is produced by it ?  It goes when there is equanimity of outlook that leaves one unaffected by extreme opposites such as happiness and unhappiness, pleasure and pain. Then the idea “I am the body” is no longer present, and Maya is transcended.

By itself, this Body is inert and lifeless. Without the Mind, the Body cannot function. And how does the Mind function ?  Through the 5 Senses that the Body provides.

If we want to go beyond the Body, beyond the Mind, we have to understand and fully accept that all the information the Senses provide is not real. Like the mirage that produces an illusory oasis in the desert, the Senses create the impression that there is a real World [RWOT] in front of us that is being perceived by the Mind. The apparent reality of the World is an Illusion. It is merely a misperception. When the Mind perceives a snake where in Reality there is only a rope, this is clearly a case of the Senses projecting an imaginary image onto a Real Substratum. This, on a large scale, is how the unreal appearance of the World is projected by the Mind and the Senses onto the underlying Reality of the Self. Once this happens, we see the Superimposition, the unreal names and forms we have created, and we forget about the Substratum, the reality that underlies them. Many examples are given –  if‘ you see a carved wooden elephant, for example, at some point you forget that it is only wood. You see the form of the carving, and your mind gives that form the name “elephant”. While your mind is registering this name and this form, you are no longer registering the object as a block of wood. It is the same when you see jewelry made out of gold. You see a shape, call it a ring or a necklace. and you temporally forget what it is made of.

Self-Inquiry is the process by which attention is put on the Substratum instead of on the names and forms that are habitually imposed on it. Self is the Substratum out of which all things appear to manifest, and the jnani is the one who is continually aware of the Real Substratum. He is never deluded into believing that the names and forms that are perceived by the senses have any real existence. Whatever we see is unreal. It has no more reality than the objects we perceive in our dreams. We think we live in a real, materially substantial World, and that our Minds and Bodies are real entities that move around in it. When the Self is seen and known, all these ideas fade away and one is left with the knowledge: Self alone exists.

Self-Inquiry must be done continuously. It doesn’t work if you regard it as a part-time activity. You may be doing something that doesn’t hold your interest or attention, so you think, “I will do some Self-Inquiry instead”. This is never going to work. You may go 2 steps forward when you practice, but you go 5 steps backward when you stop your practice and go back to your worldly affairs. You must have a lifelong commitment to establish yourself in the Self. Your determination to succeed must be strong and firm, and it should manifest as continuous, not part-time effort. For many lifetimes you have been immersed in Ignorance. You are habituated to it. All your deeply rooted beliefs, all your patterns of behavior reinforce ignorance and strengthen the hold it has over you. This Ignorance is so strong, so deeply enmeshed in all your psychological structures, it takes a massive effort over a long period of time to break free from it. The habits and beliefs that sustain it have to be challenged again and again.

[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 ]

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 2

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 2

A friend of a deep sleeper shakes the sleeper’s shoulder, awakens him rapidly, & asks quickly:

          Do you exist ?

The former sleeper responds right away or later relates immediate response in his Mind:

          Yes, certainly I exist ! I just know that’s true, spontaneously & undoubtedly.

The Wise questioner counters with an observation & a 2nd confirming question:

          Oh I see, you “know” you exist like that.

The freshly awakened asks once for clarification & then listens for a while.

            Granted what you say, what is the significance ?

That “inner place” in which you felt that certainty of your Existence, & also that certainty of your knowing so, your Consciousness, is actually the same “place”. Moreover that “place” is not a place, having size or shape, & has no location in Space, or in Time for that matter. The very same “place” where you are certain of your Consciousness is actually your Consciousness itself. As also the very same “place” where you are certain of your Existence, it truly is your Existence, it is what you are, your Self.

And not only your Self, but the same is my Self, & the Self of everyone & all that exist, have ever existed, or will ever exist. That singular Existence or Being is the literal Truth proclaimed by all Enlightened Masters. No culture, gender, creed, or period of history has unique claim to this recognition, this Knowledge known as the Perennial Philosophym as Advaita Vedanta.

Further observations include the fact that very same not-a-place “place”, or Brahman, or the Self is also experienced routinely [“in part, clouded, obscured“] as the Source of Happiness, Love, Bliss, Joy, Peace, Satisfaction, Freedom & the like. These are all one with Consciousness & Being, Happiness in full is often experienced the complete “reference value” we all intuit, perfect Happiness, the goal, whether we currently believe it to be attained or not. That Source of Happiness is the same “place” where true Happiness (not mere pleasure or triumph) is actually felt, routinely. Even the sense of its lack could be said to be felt there along with all negative emotions that seem so [negative] by coloration with conceptual self-delusion.

Much can & has been said & written about all the ramification & also restoring true Self-Identity through the meditation of inward Self-Inquiry. Any sincere seeker can find all that, especially now with the Internet to get started with. Given some sifting through apparently conflicting alternatives (& some are conflicting) & perhaps a few false turns, the one who truly desires Freedom (Liberation from ignorance) will have it, but almost always with guidance of a Guru.

You & I & all are that same Self, though we may seem to be “caught” in a Waking Dream world of Time & Space (at night, other dream words supervene, while in deep sleep, none at all). While seeming so “caught”, we best pursue Self-Inquiry, with authentic texts that support that & qualified live guidance [a Guru]when possible. Other wise we progressively shine in our World (even if obscurely), fulfill responsibilities, relationships, work, etc. in Peace. Any help offered to what can appear as a stricken World & inevitable death in that World, comes from the inner basis, & less-so, the practical basis just described. This quest of Enlightenment, Liberation, is the most satisfying & significant venture possible.

 

Again, the review of some of the illusory yet seemingly practical obstacles to be overcome in spiritual practice:

Ajnana – ignorance

Avarana / Avriti – veiling

Avidya – “blindness”

Bheda – differentiation

Khandha – separatiom

Maya –  illusion

Moha – delusion

Rajas-guna – restless fantasy projection and craving

Samskaras – persistent tendencies

Tamas-guna – dull attenuation of discriminative intensity

Upadhis – modificatioms

Vasanas – deep-seated tendencies

Vikalpas – unquestioned assumptions (Sankalpa’s), doubts

Vikshepa – projection

Vivarta – superimpose

Vrittis – restless patterns of thought

 Selected verses from Shankara’s the Vivekachudamani, the “Crest-Jewel of Discrimination”:

65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.

82. If indeed thou hast a craving for Liberation, shun sense-objects from a good distance as thou wouldst do poison, and always cultivate carefully the nectar-like virtues of contentment, compassion, forgiveness, straight-forwardness, calmness and self-control.

112. Lust, anger, avarice, arrogance, spite, egoism, envy, jealousy, etc., — these are the dire attributes of Rajas, from which the worldly tendency of man is produced. Therefore Rajas is a cause of bondage.

116. Ignorance, lassitude, dullness, sleep, inadvertence, stupidity, etc., are attributes of Tamas. One tied to these does not comprehend anything, but remains like one asleep or like a stock or stone.

119. The traits of pure Sattva are cheerfulness, the realisation of one’s own Self, supreme peace, contentment, bliss, and steady devotion to the Atman, by which the aspirant enjoys bliss everlasting.

125. There is some Absolute Entity, the eternal substratum of the consciousness of egoism, the witness of the three states, and distinct from the five sheaths or coverings:

126. Which knows everything that happens in the waking state, in dream and in profound sleep; which is aware of the presence or absence of the mind and its functions; and which is the background of the notion of egoism. – This is That.

185. This knowledge sheath, which seems to be followed by a reflection of the power of the Chit, is a modification of the Prakriti, is endowed with the function of knowledge, and always wholly identifies itself with the body, organs, etc.

188. It always mistakes the duties, functions and attributes of the orders of life which belong to the body, as its own. The knowledge sheath is exceedingly effulgent, owing to its close proximity to the Supreme Self, which identifying Itself with it suffers transmigration through delusion. It is therefore a superimposition on the Self.

191. Owing to Its connection with the super-impositions, the Supreme Self, even thou naturally perfect (transcending Nature) and eternally unchanging, assumes the qualities of the superimpositions and appears to act just as they do – like the changeless fire assuming the modifications of the iron which it turns red-hot.

198-199. Avidya or Nescience and its effects are likewise considered as beginningless. But with the rise of Vidya or realisation, the entire effects of Avidya, even though beginningless, are destroyed together with their root – like dreams on waking up from sleep. It is clear that the phenomenal universe, even though without beginning, is not eternal – like previous non-existence.

202. The cessation of that superimposition takes place through perfect knowledge, and by no other means. Perfect knowledge, according to the Shrutis, consists in the realisation of the identity of the individual soul and Brahman.

206. This knowledge sheath (Vijnanamaya Kosha) that we have been speaking of, cannot be the Supreme Self for the following reasons – because it is subject to change, is insentient, is a limited thing, an object of the senses, and is not constantly present: An unreal thing cannot indeed be taken for the real Atman.

207. The blissful sheath (Anandamaya Kosha) is that modification of Nescience which manifests itself catching a reflection of the Atman which is Bliss Absolute; whose attributes are pleasure and the rest; and which appears in view when some object agreeable to oneself presents itself. It makes itself spontaneously felt by the fortunate during the fruition of their virtuous deeds; from which every corporeal being derives great joy without the least effort.

208. The blissful sheath has its fullest play during profound sleep, while in the dreaming and wakeful states it has only a partial manifestation, occasioned by the sight of agreeable objects and so forth.

209. Nor is the blissful sheath the Supreme Self, because it is endowed with the changeful attributes, is a modification of the Prakriti, is the effect of past good deeds, and imbedded in the other sheaths which are modifications.

217. That which clearly manifests Itself in the states of wakefulness, dream and profound sleep; which is inwardly perceived in the mind in various forms as an unbroken series of egoistic impressions; which witnesses the egoism, the Buddhi, etc., which are of diverse forms and modifications; and which makes Itself felt as the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute; know thou this Atman, thy own Self, within thy heart.

230. Similarly, the whole universe, being the effect of the real Brahman, is in reality nothing but Brahman. Its essence is That, and it does not exist apart from It. He who says it does is still under delusion – he babbles like one asleep.

259. That which is free from differentiation; whose essence is never non-existent; which is unmoved like the ocean without waves; the ever-free; of indivisible Form – that Brahman art thou, meditate on this in thy mind.

267. Even after the Truth has been realized, there remains that strong, beginningless, obstinate impression that one is the agent and experiencer, which is the cause of one’s transmigration. It has to be carefully removed by living in a state of constant identification with the Supreme Self. Sages call that Liberation which is the attenuation of Vasanas (impressions) here and now.

291. That in which there is this reflection of the universe, as of a city in a mirror – that Brahman art thou; knowing this thou wilt attain the consummation of thy life.

296. Therefore give up the identification with this lump of flesh, the gross body, as well as with the ego or the subtle body, which are both imagined by the Buddhi. Realising thy own Self, which is Knowledge Absolute and not to be denied in the past, present or future, attain to Peace.

302. The treasure of the Bliss of Brahman is coiled round by the mighty and dreadful serpent of egoism, and guarded for its own use by means of its three fierce hoods consisting of the three Gunas. Only the wise man, destroying it by severing its three hoods with the great sword of realization in accordance with the teachings of the Shrutis, can enjoy this treasure which confers bliss.

315-316. Look upon everything, under all circumstances, always, everywhere and in all respects, as Brahman and Brahman alone. Through the strengthening of the longing to be one with Brahman, those three are annihilated.

320. One should pass one’s time watchfully, if there be any residue of Prarabdha work left.

325. If the mind ever so slightly strays from the Ideal and becomes outgoing, then it goes down and down, just as a play-ball inadvertently dropped on the staircase bounds down from one step to another.

333. Give up dwelling on the unreal, which causes bondage, and should always fix his thoughts on the Atman as “I myself am This”. For the steadfastness in Brahman through the realisation of one’s identity with It gives rise to bliss and thoroughly removes the misery born of nescience, which one experiences (in the ignorant state).

335. When the external world is shut out, the mind is cheerful, and cheerfulness of the mind brings on the vision of the Paramatman. When It is perfectly realised, the chain of birth and death is broken. Hence the shutting out of the external world is the stepping-stone to Liberation.

344. It is extremely difficult to conquer the projecting power unless the veiling power is perfectly rooted out. And that covering over the Atman naturally vanishes when the subject is perfectly distinguished from the objects, like milk from water. But the victory is undoubtedly (complete and) free from obstacles when there is no oscillation of the mind due to the unreal sense-objects.

349-350. Like iron manifesting as sparks through contact with fire, the Buddhi manifests itself as knower and known through the inherence of Brahman. As these two (knower and known), the effects of the Buddhi, are observed to be unreal in the case of delusion, dream and fancy, similarly, the modifications of the Prakriti, from egoism down to the body and all sense-objects are also unreal. Their unreality is verily due to their being subject to change every moment. But the Atman never changes.

351. The Supreme Self is ever of the nature of eternal, indivisible knowledge, one without a second, the Witness of the Buddhi and the rest, distinct from the gross and subtle, the implied meaning of the term and idea “I”, the embodiment of inward, eternal bliss.

352. The wise man, discriminating thus the real and the unreal, ascertaining the Truth through his illuminative insight, and realizing his own Self which is Knowledge Absolute, gets rid of the obstructions and directly attains Peace.

360. The truth of the Paramatman is extremely subtle, and cannot be reached by the gross outgoing tendency of the mind. It is only accessible to noble souls with perfectly pure minds, by means of Samadhi brought on by an extraordinary fineness of the mental state.

361. As gold purified by thorough heating on the fire gives up its impurities and attains to its own luster, so the mind, through meditation, gives up its impurities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, and attains to the reality of Brahman.

363. By this Samadhi are destroyed all desires which are like knots, all work is at an end, and inside and out there takes place everywhere and always the spontaneous manifestation of one’s real nature.

393. The Supreme Brahman is, like the sky, pure, absolute, infinite, motionless and changeless, devoid of interior or exterior, the One Existence, without a second, and is one’s own Self. Is there any other object of knowledge ?

407. This apparent universe has its root in the mind, and never persists after the mind is annihilated. Therefore dissolve the mind by concentrating it on the Supreme Self, which is thy inmost Essence.

408. The wise man realizes in his heart, through Samadhi, the Infinite Brahman, which is something of the nature of eternal Knowledge and absolute Bliss, which has no exemplar, which transcends all limitations, is ever free and without activity, and which is like the limitless sky, indivisible and absolute.

409. The wise man realizes in his heart, through Samadhi, the Infinite Brahman, which is devoid of the ideas of cause and effect, which is the Reality beyond all imaginations, homogeneous, matchless, beyond the range of proofs, established by the pronouncements of the Vedas, and ever familiar to us as the sense of the ego.

410. That which resembles the placid ocean and is without a name, in which there are neither merits nor demerits, and which is eternal, pacified and One.

413. After the body has once been cast off to a distance like a corpse, the sage never more attaches himself to it, though it is visible as an appearance, like the shadow of a man, owing to the experience of the effects of past deeds.

419. The result of dispassion is knowledge, that of Knowledge is withdrawal from sense-pleasures, which leads to the experience of the Bliss of the Self, whence follows Peace.

424. When the sense-objects excite no more desire, then is the culmination of dispassion. The extreme perfection of knowledge is the absence of any impulsion of the egoistic idea. And the limit of self-withdrawal is reached when the mind-functions that have been merged, appear no more.

425. Freed from all sense of reality of the external sense-objects on account of his always remaining merged in Brahman; only seeming to enjoy such sense-objects as are offered by others, like one sleepy, or like a child; beholding this world as one seen in dreams, and having cognition of it at chance moments – rare indeed is such a man, the enjoyer of the fruits of endless merit, and he alone is blessed and esteemed on earth.

453. Prarabdha work is certainly very strong for the man of realization, and is spent only by the actual experience of its fruit; while the actions previously accumulated and those yet to come are destroyed by the fire of perfect knowledge. But none of the three at all affects those who, realizing their identity with Brahman, are always living absorbed in that idea. They are verily the transcendent Brahman.

454. For the sage who lives in his own Self as Brahman, the One without a second, devoid of identification with the limiting adjuncts, the question of the existence of Prarabdha work is meaningless, like the question of a man who has awakened from sleep having any connection with the objects seen in the dream-state.

456. He has no desire to substantiate the unreal objects, nor is he seen to maintain that dream-world. If he still clings to those unreal objects, he is emphatically declared to be not yet free from sleep.

462-463. “If the effects of ignorance are destroyed with their root by knowledge, then how does the body live?” – it is to convince those fools who entertain a doubt like this, that the Shrutis, from a relative standpoint, hypothesize Prarabdha work, but not for proving the reality of the body etc., of the man of realization.

472. Thou, too, discriminate this Supreme Truth, the real nature of the Self, which is Bliss undiluted, and shaking off thy delusion created by thy own mind, be free and illumined, and attain the consummation of thy life.

473.  Visualize the Truth of the Self with the eye of clear realization. If the meaning of the (Scriptural) words heard from the Guru is perfectly and indubitably discerned, then it can lead to no more doubt.

474. In the realization of the Atman, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, through the breaking of one’s connection with the bondage of Avidya or ignorance, the Scriptures, reasoning and the words of the Guru are the proofs, while one’s own experience earned by concentrating the mind is another proof.

475. Bondage, liberation, satisfaction, anxiety, recovery from illness, hunger and other such things are known only to the man concerned, and knowledge of these to others is a mere inference.

476. The Gurus as well as the Shrutis instruct the disciple, standing aloof; while the man of realization crosses (Avidya) through Illumination alone, backed by the grace of God.

477. Himself knowing his indivisible Self through his own realization and thus becoming perfect, a man should stand face to face with the Atman, with his mind free from dualistic ideas.

478. Jiva and the whole universe are nothing but Brahman, and that liberation means abiding in Brahman, the indivisible Entity.

479. Realizing, at a blessed moment, the Supreme Truth through the above instructions of the Guru, the authority of the Scriptures and his own reasoning, with his senses quieted and the mind concentrated, (the disciple) became immovable in form and perfectly established in the Atman.

481. My mind has vanished, and all its activities have melted, by realizing the identity of the Self and Brahman.

520. The universe is an unbroken series of perceptions of Brahman; hence it is in all respects nothing but Brahman. See this with the eye of illumination and a serene mind, under all circumstances. Is one who has eyes ever found to see all around anything else but forms? Similarly, what is there except Brahman to engage the intellect of a man of realization ?

531. The consciousness, “I am …”, is independent of circumstances; similar is the case with the realization of the knower of Brahman that he is Brahman.

574. There is neither death nor birth, neither a bound nor a struggling soul, neither a seeker after Liberation nor a liberated one – this is the ultimate truth.

[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 ]

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 1

NMT (No-Me Teaching) new series 1:

It’s  “over there”, “here”, “now”, “good-bad”, & all and all declarative statements for that matter, have as an implied reference point, the “I” or Ego, the individual self. [This actually fractures to the Universe into all the numerous points of view, apparent individuals, and their referenced declarations, concepts, opinions, worldviews.  Any given perspective only holds for the specific individual reference point, the Ego “I”, by which it is defined. There is no concerted. joined-together Universe, but only these referenced impressions, which are thoughts, which are fleeting forms in Consciousness.]

Sri Ramana Maharshi repeatedly offered direct advice regarding liberating meditation that began with focusing on, questioning, examining, even challenging this Ego “I”, this individual self.

Some selections in this vein include the following:

“The wisest thing for one to catch hold of this leading thought the “I” – thought, & dissect it – who & what it is – giving thereby no chance for other thoughts to distract one.”

“I lay stress upon Self-Knowledge, for you are first concerned with yourself before you proceed to know the World & God.”

“The Quest for the Self is a direct method.  The moment into movement of the Self-Inquiry & go deeper & deeper, the Real Self  is waiting there to take you in. Then whatever is done. is done by something else & you have no hand in it.”

We only know that we exist by our consciousness of that fact.  Consciousness of existence is the soul non-dual reality and is not specific to imagined individuals, individuals who actually do not exist.  Each self imagining individual, however, accords greatest value to his or her own self one, one’s own existence, survival, and the absence of signs or things that would threaten that survival.  This is actually because existence consciousness is identified with the purest bliss however much it may be covered over in the life of an apparent individual full return to that bless and identity as existence consciousness is called liberation, enlightenment.  We finish this time with selections from a great Maharshi disciple

When Self-realization happens, mind is no longer there. However, you do not get Self-realization 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 [Sri Ramana Maharshi] and many other teachers [Shankara, ,,,] 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.

[to give up this false idea that the mind is real]

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 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 ]

 

A

“Plain Words” – 3

“Plain Words” – 3

[The “guest” instructor this time is the great Maharshi disciple Annamalai Swami:]

Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. If you are truly watchful, each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But to reach this level of  disassociation you must have no attachments at all. If you have the slightest interest in  any particular thought, it will evade your attentiveness, connect with other thoughts, and  take over your mind for a few seconds. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to  reacting emotionally to a particular thought.  This “little self” will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly.

You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which  looks like a snake in the twilight. If you see the rope as a snake, the real nature of the  rope is hidden from you. If you only see the rope, the snake is not there.

When you have that clear and correct perception that the snake never at any time existed, the question of how to kill the snake disappears. Apply this analogy to the “little self” that you are worrying about. If you can understand that this “little self” never at any time had any existence outside your imagination, you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it.  Don’t make the mistake of imagining that there is some goal to be reached or attained.

If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practice and people to help you.

This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Instead, cultivate the strong  awareness, “I am the Self. I am That. I am Brahman [impersonal Absolute Reality]. I am  everything”. You don’t need any methods to get rid of the wrong ideas you have about  yourself. All you have to do is stop believing them. The best way to do this is to replace  them with ideas which more accurately reflect the real sate of affairs. If you think and  meditate “I am the Self”, it will do you a lot of more good than thinking, “I am the “little  self”. How can I get rid of this “little self” ?   If you desire to gain a proper understanding of your real nature is intense enough, help

will automatically come. If you want to generate an awareness of your real nature you will be immeasurably helped by having contact with a jnani [realized being]. The power and Grace which a jnani radiates quiet the mind and automatically eliminate the wrong ideas you have about yourself. You can make progress by having satang [association] of a realized Guru and by constant spiritual practice. The Guru cannot do everything for you.

If you want to give up the limiting habits of many lifetimes, you must practice constantly.  Most people take the appearance of the snake in the rope to be reality.  Acting on their misperceptions they think up many different ways of killing the snake. They can never

succeed in getting rid of the snake until they give up the idea that there is a snake there  at all. People who want to kill or control the mind have the same problem: they imagine that there is a mind which needs to be controlled and take drastic steps to beat it into

submission. If, instead, they generated the understanding that there is no such thing as the mind, all there problems would come to an end. You must generate the conviction, “I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodies and minds in the world are appearing and disappearing.

I am that consciousness which remains unchanged and unaffected by these appearances and disappearances”. Stabilize yourself in that conviction. That is all you need

to do.  Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] once told a story about a man who wanted to bury his own shadow in a deep pit. He dug the pit and stood in such a position that his shadow was on the bottom of it. The man then tried to bury it by covering it with earth. Each time he threw some soil in the hole the shadow appeared on top of it. Of course, he never succeeded in burying the shadow. Many people behave like this when they meditate. They take the mind to be real, try to fight it and kill it, and always fail. These fights against the mind are all mental activities which strengthen the mind instead of weakening it.

If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is “not me”. Cultivate the awareness “I am the immanent consciousness”. When that understanding becomes firm, the non-existent mind will not trouble you.  Every time you go to sleep you have the experience of being without a mind. You cannot deny

that you exist while you are asleep and you cannot deny that your mind is not functioning while you are in dreamless sleep. This daily experience should convince you that it is possible to continue your existence without a mind. Of course, you do not have the full experience of consciousness while you are asleep, but if you think about what happens during his state you should come to understand that your existence, the continuity of your Being, is in no way dependent on your mind or your identification with it.

When the mind reappears every morning you instantly jump to the conclusion “This is the real me”. If you reflect on this proposition for some time you will see how absurd it is. If what you really are only exists when the mind is present, you have to accept that you didn’t exist while you were asleep. No one will accept such an absurd conclusion. If you analyze your alternating states you will discover that it is your direct experience that you exist whether you are awake or asleep. You will also discover that the mind only becomes active while you are waking or dreaming. From these simple daily experiences it should be easy to understand that the mind \is something that comes and goes. Your existence is not wiped out each time the mind ceases to function.

I am not telling you some philosophical theory; I am telling you something that you can validate by direct experience in any twenty-four hour period of your life.  Take these facts, which you can discover by directly experiencing them, and investigate them  a little more. When the mind appears every morning don’t jump to the usual conclusion,

“This is me; these thoughts are mine.” Instead, watch these thoughts come and go without  identifying with them in any way. If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every

thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear. You are allowed to run free.

Like the snake which appears in the rope, you will discover that the mind is only an illusion which appears through ignorance or misperception.  You want some experience which will convince you that what I am saying is true. You can have that experience if you give up your life-long habit of inventing an “I” which claims all thoughts as “mine”. Be conscious of yourself as consciousness alone, watch all the thoughts come and go. Come to the conclusion, by direct experience, that you are really consciousness itself, not its ephemeral contents.  Clouds come and go in the sky but the appearance and disappearance of the clouds doesn’t affect the sky. Your real nature is like the sky, like space. Just remain like the sky and let thought-clouds come and go. If you cultivate this attitude of indifference towards the mind, gradually you will cease to identify yourself with it.  Whenever obstacles come on the path, think of them as “not me”. Cultivate the attitude that the real you is beyond the reach of all troubles and obstacles. There are no obstacles for  the Self. If you can remember that you always are the Self, obstacles will be of no importance.  Only when one starts to do meditation that one becomes aware of the different ways that the mind causes us trouble. This is very true. But one should not worry about any of the obstacles or fear them. One should merely regard them as being not me. They can only cause you trouble while you think that they are your problems.

The obstructing vasanas [remembered thught tendencies] may look like a large mountain which obstructs your progress. Don’t be intimidated by the size. It is not a mountain of rock, it  is a mountain of camphor. If you light one corner of it with the flame of discriminative attention, it will all burn to nothing.  Stand back from the mountain of problems, refuse to acknowledge that they are yours, and they will dissolve and disappear before your eyes.  Don’t be deluded by your thoughts and vasanas. They are always trying to trick you into believing that you are a real person, that the world is real, and that all your problems are real. Don’t fight them; just ignore them. Don’t accept delivery of all the wrong ideas that keep coming to you. Establish yourself in the conviction that you are the Self and that nothing can stick to you or affect you. Once you have that conviction you will find that you automatically ignore the habits of the mind. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self.

If you see two strangers quarrelling in the distance you do not give much attention to them because you know that the dispute is none of your business. Treat the contents of your mind in the same way. Instead of filling your mind with thoughts and then organizing fights between them, pay no attention to the mind at all. Rest quietly in the feeling of “I am”, which is consciousness, and cultivate the attitude that all thoughts, all perceptions are “not me”. When you have learned to regard your mind as a distant stranger, you will not pay any attention to all the obstacles it keeps inventing for you.

Mental problems feed on the attention that you give them. The more you worry about them, the stronger they become. If you ignore them, they lose their power and finally vanish.  When maya [Illusion] is totally inactive, that is, when the identity with the body and the mind has  been dropped, there is an awareness of consciousness, of Being. When one is established in that state there is no body, no mind and no world. These three things are just ideas which are brought into an apparent existence when maya is present and active.  When maya is active, the sole effective way to dissolve it is the path shown by Bhagavan.

One must do Self-enquiry and discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. It is the power of maya which makes us believe in the reality of things which have no reality outside our imagination. If you ask, “What are these imaginary things?” the answer is, “Everything that is not the formless Self”. The Self alone is real; everything else is a figment of our imagination.  It is not helpful to enquire why there is maya and how it operates. If you are in a boat which is leaking, you don’t waste time asking whether the hole was made by an Italian, a Frenchman or an Indian. You just plug the leak. Don’t worry about where maya comes from.

Put all your energy into escaping from its effect. If you try to investigate the origin of maya with your mind you are doomed to fail because any answer you come up with will be a maya answer. If you want to understand how maya operates and originates you should establish yourself in the Self, the one place where you can be free of it, and then watch how it takes you over each time you fail to keep your attention there.

[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 ]

“Plain Words” – 2

“Plain Words” – 2

Getting back to the issue of counting, comparison can be loosely made to the old movie the “The Matrix“.  One particular aspect of the movie is the high level of programming required to run the VR, Virtual Reality that allows such realistic interaction between the many Avatars, the program tokens representing the point of view of each person sharing in the experience of that Virtual Reality.  When person no.1 does x, person no.2 must be ready to react in a manner consistent with the chosen interaction x.  With many Avatars interacting with many others. all making a number of choices every second or so, the programming has to be very robust to cover all the possibilities.

The ancient sage, Sri Shankara offered as a simple analogy a large earthen vessel with a lamp inside.  Many holes were fashioned through the walls of the vessel so that the light would shine out in many places.  These many holes were to be analogous to the many points of view in Consciousness that seem to be the many Individuals. Yet only one Light, one Consciousness, illumines all. So too, the many computer Avatars in the movie VR are only newly constructed points of view within one master computer program that projects the highly interactive Virtual Reality.  In that Virtual Reality, the many Avatars are not really many Individuals. Nor is the particular computer Avatar, that one identifies as oneself, an Individual either.

So, are there actually many Avatars, are there actually many Individuals in the Waking state, or is there only one Consciousness ?  Furthermore, whether in a supposedly computer program within a movie or, or within the Waking State Dream, the number of enlightened, however few, and the unenlightened, however many, all total to Zero in terms of individuals, and to One in terms of Consciousness.  Computer Avatars and apparent Individuals are fleeting and insubstantial, ever-changing, impermanent, and truly unreal throughout the whole time or lifetime of their appearance.  What is program code ?  What is a Thought–constructed Waking Dream ?  All these are insubstantial, ever changing, appearances without substance.  Consciousness, also Existence – Bliss, is the only changeless, enduring, and truly substantial Reality.

To find and merge in the one self, God, is the sole purpose and meaning of apparent Life.  In the Eternity of the forever Un–born with no beginning in Time, and forever enduring in an Infinite future, each momentary, indefinable, insubstantial thought amounts to nothing.  All these nothings put together seem to constitute the periodic episodes of the Waking Dream life.  And yet the same Self is also aware of the succession of Dreams in sleep and the no–thought Peace of Deep Dreamless Sleep.  Spiritual practice then, to repeat, is to discover and merge in the true Self, God, the sole Non-Dual Reality.  Of the several traditions helpful in this endeavor, Ajata Vata Advaita Vedanta, No–Birth Non-Duality is the tradition represented here, a tradition old and vast in resources, perhaps the widest path to Liberation.

[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 ]

Plain Words

“Plain Words”

[Lapses in health have delayed blogging for some time.  Finally, with speech-to-text the authors own words become available.  Quotation again should be possible soon.]

One feels that one is a Person characterized by a particular Body experiencing some part of the World in the course of Time.  So to does a Dream character feel himself to be a person characterized by a particular Dream-Body experiencing some part of the Dream World in the course of Dream Time. The 2 impressions are not different in kind, but perhaps only in degree of vividness, seemingly consistent continuation, duration, and so on.  In fact both are the product of Thought projecting a Dream World, projecting a Waking World, and a person in each case experiencing that World. Thought is itself is an insubstantial ripple in the vast Infinite Ocean of Consciousness. That Consciousness which could be called God, or the Self when one has the deep feeling “I exist” – that “I” is the Self; and that Existence is also the Self, is God, is Supreme Consciousness.  To awaken from the Waking Dream into unlimited subjective Consciousness is called Enlightenment, Liberation, and is also known by a number of other terms.

As we continue with “Plain Words”, the course out of the illusion of living in the Waking World as a Person will be charted.  Such is not new information, but has been known for thousands of years by a relatively few enlightened Sages.  However the numbers game between the small number of enlightened Sages and a large number of unenlightened persons is an unreal one, because there are no such persons. And numbers themselves, arithmetic itself, mathematics itself is a thought construct, not fundamental Reality.  So the numbers, the probabilities should not be considered overwhelming because they too are unreal. Among one of the first things to note is the objectivity of the Dream and the objectivity of the Waking State experience.  The Self, God, is purely subjective Consciousness and is the only not known by another.  Not known by another, the Self cannot be described, cannot be conceived of, for all of that is downstream in the objective direction of Mind.

To find the subjective sense of “I” and existence, to deeply experience “I exist” as Consciousness, is to begin the path of Awakening, is to proceed toward Enlightenment in order to enjoy Liberation.

Besides being Consciousness itself and Existence itself, God is said to be Happiness itself.  Happiness, the motivation of all effort, is all the motivation one needs to commence, complete, and enjoy the results of the path to Enlightenment.  The subjective Self–Inquiry as it has been called, centering around the sense of “I”, “Who am I ?”, “Where does this sense of “I” arise from ?”, and “I exist” – this is the path.  That turning inward to subjective sense of “I exist”, to answer the question “Who am I ?”, “What am I ?”. “Where does the sense of “I” arise from ? – this is to move entirely in the subjective direction, away from all the other that is objective, this is to practice.  The practice begins in periods of meditation and spills over into being the background of all other thought and all activity; and finally becomes the entire experience.

Beginning with the next addition of “Plain Words” we draw from ancient & modern Wisdom is hallowed words & words anew.  But inner experience – not words – constitutes the Path.

[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 ]

Shankara’s Easiest Non-Dual Teaching {continued 5}

Shankara’s “Srih Advaitanubhutih” or “Non-Dual Perception”

(translated by Rmamoorthy & Nome, [with square bracket comments added])

The intent of this text is repetitive analogies that aid transcendence of the strikingly convincing appearance of Multiplicity in the World. Apparent objects are actually only perceptions of such “objects”. Perceptions are actually only thoughts. Thoughts are actually only illusory “waves” (vritti s) in Consciousness, the single Non-Dual Consciousness. The self-luminous & unmistakable Reality of your own Existence is the Self, the only Real,

[33] Even though only 1, the light of the Sun seems to be broken into many when filtered through a grid of netting, Likewise, even though only the 1, the all-pervasive Self appears as if many.

[34] Just as holes & such “deficiencies” in the net do not truly diminish or affect the light of the Sun, so likewise the deficiencies of appearing “many” do not affect the all-pervasive Self.

[35] When holes in a net are destroyed, the passing sunlight is indeed not destroyed. Likewise, when persons, places, & things cease to exist, the all-pervasive Self is not destroyed.

[36] As the Knowing Principle illuminating the Body, Senses, Life Force, the imagining Mind, the discriminating Intellect, Ignorance, & others mental functions, likewise, the Self illumines the Ego, the one who erroneously lays claim to these. Truly the “I” is not the Body, the which I objectively “seen” by the Self, nor the apparently “seeing” Senses, nor the nor the multiple Life functions. I am not the shifting Mind.

[37] The Self is not the changing Intellect, nor insentient ignorance, the Body, Senses, & so on, because they are at best temporary constructions.

[to be continued]

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 ]