Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Reading, reflection and practice

In reply to a new friend who wrote:

I deeply appreciate the offering you have given online... I realize the experience of realization is ever present, and the practice needs to be done rather than just read about. However, the readings are like immersing oneself in another Way.
I wrote as follows:

As you say, the practice needs to be done rather than just read about, but reading also has its value as an aid and support to our practice. If we could remain permanently absorbed in unwavering self-attentiveness, nothing else would be needed. But unfortunately, due to the density of our self-ignorance and the strength of our resulting desires, our mind keeps slipping down from the state of firm self-abidance. Therefore, so long as our desires impel us to attend to anything other than our mere consciousness of our own being, 'I am', keeping our mind dwelling upon the teachings of Sri Ramana by reading and reflecting upon them is certainly beneficial, because it can help to deepen and clarify our understanding, and thereby to strengthen our love to know and to be the absolute reality, which is our own true self.

Though the experience of 'realization' or true self-knowledge is ever present, as you say, we ignore it, because we have more desire to attend to things that we imagine to be other than ourself. If by repeated reading, reflection and practice we cultivate the true love or bhakti to attend always only to our ever-self-conscious being, we will discover that clear non-dual self-knowledge or self-consciousness is our real nature — that which we truly ever are.

3 comments:

Ganesan said...

In this connection, the question asked by Mark, that is as to how self-enquiry can be conducted when one is in the action-bound world, requiring attention to the externals for empirical purposes, seems to be relevant. I believe that even though what Mark says is true, there seems to be some misconception here as regards what constitutes the self-enquiry, that being confounded to be an act rather than Being. Even though we can be intellectually aware of this position, we cannot help this irrefragable blunder, our minds being soaked in the reality of the non-self and the notion that there is no self or that it does not shine as the sole reality behind the spurious externals.

Ganesan said...

In one place, in the book, 'Talks,' there is mention of the cosmic consciousness, this being identified with the interval between the end of sleep and the beginning of the waking state, when the pure, 'I,' subsists with the identifications with the objective world not having begun. Has Bhaghavan subscribed to this idea? or it is an interpretation by the editor? To my knowledge, in the direct works of Bhghavan there is no mention of these states, Bhaghavan not having made such divisions.

Ganesan said...

Sorry for the mistake with reference to this remark having been made by Mark. Some other gentleman has made the valid point of the difficulty of attending to the self when phenomenal activities are carried on. With reference to this only I have made my comment that the Self is not an object to be attended to.