Saturday, 30 December 2006

Who has attained 'self-realisation'?

At the end of the same message that I referred to in my previous post, 'Putting it all together', the person who wrote it added the following question:

You will probably not answer me, but I'll ask anyway... have you attained Self-Realization, Enlightenment through your contact and knowledge?
In my reply I wrote as follows:

Regarding your question about whether I have attained 'self-realisation' or 'enlightenment', the simple answer is that as an individual person I have certainly not attained anything. However, as spiritual aspirants our aim is not to attain 'self-realisation' as a person, but is to discover that we are not the person that we now imagine ourself to be, but are only the eternal and infinite real self, which is absolute being-consciousness, and which always knows nothing other than itself.

The person that we now mistake ourself to be can never attain 'self-realisation' or 'enlightenment'. All we as a person can do is to turn our attention within, towards our own essential consciousness of being, 'I am', and thereby to drown and dissolve our mind or false individual consciousness in the perfect clarity of true self-consciousness. In other words, 'self-realisation' is not a state that can be attained by any person, but is the absolute clarity of true knowledge in which we as a person cease to exist.

True self-knowledge is the absolutely non-dual experience of pure uncontaminated self-consciousness, in which there is no room for the rising of any thought such as 'I have attained this self-knowledge', or for any person or mind that could think such a thought.

The question whether a certain person has attained 'self-realisation' is truly both meaningless and useless. The idea or belief that a certain person has attained 'self-realisation' is just a thought, and hence it is a product of our self-ignorance — a concept or imagination that bears no relation to the reality. Moreover, why should we be concerned about the spiritual state of any other person? Our only aim should be to know our own reality, and when we know that, we will discover that 'self-realisation' or perfect self-consciousness is what we really are, and is not something this is other than us.

Since we ourself are true self-knowledge, why should we imagine that we see that self-knowledge in any other person? We can experience self-knowledge only in ourself, and we can never find it or truly know it in any other person.

13 comments:

Innerself said...

I was expecting that reply when I asked that question.

Quote:

The question whether a certain person has attained 'self-realisation' is truly both meaningless and useless. The idea or belief that a certain person has attained 'self-realisation' is just a thought, and hence it is a product of our self-ignorance — a concept or imagination that bears no relation to the reality. Moreover, why should we be concerned about the spiritual state of any other person? Our only aim should be to know our own reality, and when we know that, we will discover that 'self-realisation' or perfect self-consciousness is what we really are, and is not something this is other than us.

Since we ourself are true self-knowledge, why should we imagine that we see that self-knowledge in any other person? We can experience self-knowledge only in ourself, and we can never find it or truly know it in any other person. (end of quote)

Although I can understand your point of view and the arguments in the above quote, the reason why this knowledge would be helpful is in the credibility one can put into the teachings.

Nisargatta and Ramana were Self-Realized, Jnani. I don't think that anyone contest this. Thus one can trustfully read their books and/or written answers published.

There are so many out there saying they are Enlightened...

Michael James - www.happinessofbeing.com said...

I have answered the above comment by Innerself (dated 31 December 2006 13:17) in my new post, Which spiritual teachings are truly credible?.

Ganesan said...

Further, while we cannot question the subjective predilection of some to identify some people as self-realized, in equal breath we don't have the authority to assume anybody as not having realized the self.

Dr.PVSSN RAJU said...

In so called "self realisation"we
dont gain the self, rather we lose identity with the adjuncts which
facilitate us to stay as clear thought free self conscious being
which is our natural state.If one
is able to be in that state without distraction many will be benefited through him to get established in that state.

prajnanada said...

In Bhagavan's case his individual ego or separate jiva familiarly known as Venkataraman died during his death experience at age 17. So his ego or the causal or seed body (ananadmayakosha) underwent an actual DEATH or extinction so that there could be no more rebirths. So the question put to Sri Michael James was actually "did he have a similar death of the ego or the causal body like Bhagavan Ramana. This is what was meant by whether Michael James attained Self Realisation? Well has he or has he not? Will he please answer the question that has been now rephrased? Has this extinction of the ego actually happened to Michael James like it happened to Bhagavan? Thank you kindly.

Prajnananda said...

The question was " have you attained Self Realization or is Self Realization an actual event? Well it happened to Bhagavan at age 17 when his personal ego called Venkataraman persihed and Bhagavan actually realised the Self.

Effects of Bhagavan's transformation have been well documented as follows:

In his seventeenth year, in full health and in normal waking state he was suddenly overwhelmed with the fear of death and fully convinced that death was imminent.

The body dies and is carried off to the cremation ground and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body, am I dead? Am I the body? This body is now silent and inert but I feel the full force of my Self and even the voice of the 'I' within me, apart from the body. So I am the Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means that I am the deathless Spirit".

The awareness of this knowledge took full possession of him, not at the level of mere mental awareness but at the deeper level of complete spiritual self-awareness. He suddenly realised he was the Spirit and knew himself as That, no longer identifying himself as merely the body form that had been called Venkataraman. Self realization was instantaneous, complete, and irreversible. His ego was lost in a flood of pure Self awareness.

From that moment onwards the 'I' or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on. Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading or anything else, I was still centered on 'I'."

"I knew nothing, had learned nothing before I came here. Some mysterious power took possession of me and effected a thorough transformation. I knew nothing and planned nothing. When I left home in my 17th year, I was like a speck swept on by a tremendous flood. I knew not my body or the world, whether it was day or night. It was difficult even to open my eyes. The eyelids seemed to be glued down. My body became a mere skeleton. Visitors pitied my plight as they were not aware how blissful I was. It was after years that I came across the term Brahman when I happened to look into some books on Vedanta brought to me. Amused, I said to myself, 'Is this known as Brahman!?!"

"Sometimes I opened my eyes and it was morning, sometimes it was evening.
I did not know when the sun rose and when it set."

So Self realisation is a reality in some rare cases. But then today we have so many self styled Gurus (like John Wheeler, Sailor Bob Adamson, Charlie Hayes, Gilbert Shultz, late Ramesh Balsekar, Mooji, Tony Pasons, Wayne Lee Trammel, Rajasekaran aka Nityananda etc,) who pretend they are Sages without having their egos
estinguished. If the ego is still present as "I am this body feeling" then that means Self Realisation has not occured in such human beings who carry on as Gurus. This is quite obvious by their day to day behaviour and attitude in life. It is all talk as far as these self styled Gurus are concerned.

All they are interested is in publishing books and holding weekly talks for money. And not one of them has said anything profound like Bhagavan did. Have they?

It is no use to keep saying one is the Self and acting as though one were the ego. This is called neo advaita or pseudo advaita or bogus advaita.

Stefan said...

In Sadhanai Saram is a beautiful passage about Sri Sadhu Om:

"...he never sought for himself any recognition or appreciation from the world. In fact, his life was a perfect example of strict adherence to the principal precept taught by Sri Bhagavan, namely that we should deny ourself at every moment of life by giving no importance to our own individual entity, and should thus completely erase our ego."

Michael wrote about him:
"... I personally believe that his clarity of understanding was a result of his experience of true self-knowledge (though this was something that he would never claim for himself)."

Michael also never claimed that for himself. For me that shows that he is like Sri Sadhu Om and Sri Muruganar a true devotee of our Sadguru Sri Bhagavan.

With love

Stefan

Anonymous said...

Prajnananda, I couldn't agree more.
I'm thoroughly tired of all these neo advaitic teachers. There's so many of them, they are popping up like mushrooms and at the end of the day they don't really have any great insight. It's all abit of theatre, the flowing robes, or all of them dressed in pure white.
All of them hugging one another to show they're part of the elite group.

Srinivasan Parthasarathy said...

There are only 2 answers to this question:
1) Yes
2) Not Yet

Or the question can be altered as:
Is your ego dissolved fully or is it still working on dissolving itself?

Not a difficult question, I guess.

Anonymous said...

On my travels, one clear beautiful night, as I beheld a full moon creep over the dark landscape, I realized that all my pain was gone. The truth was clear; all I will ever be able to count on is myself. I am all I have; somehow I must be all I need. The world is what it is, and I am what I am. That's the sum total.

Anonymous said...

Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don't try to figure anything out.
Don't try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now, and rest.

Tilopa

Anonymous said...

“I,” but in practice no “I” is found, so why should we deal with it? All that we can talk about is a certain mass passing through a period of time and being constantly identified as the same person. Though I have practiced meditation for more than twenty years, still no “I” has been discovered; while on the other hand voidness does not mean nothing. I dare not say that although I have lived in Kalimpong that any “I” has lived here and experienced all that time, for all is changing from minute to minute. Even the space of Kalimpong occupied never is the same, as our globe is always moving. I dare not say that I have been a hermit for so long since impermanence applies both to subject and object. It is really impossible to talk definitely of either.
Yogi Chen

Anonymous said...

A good analogy: As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers,
even so is this mind agitated.