Tuesday, 31 May 2016

What is the logic for believing that happiness is what we actually are?

In a comment on my previous article, How to attend to ourself?, a friend called Sundar referred to my reply to his previous comment and wrote, ‘You have not explained the logic by which you say that we can get infinite peace and happiness when we manage to be attentively aware of ourself alone’, and regarding Bhagavan’s argument that we can understand that happiness is our real nature because in sleep we are perfectly happy just being aware of nothing other than ourself, he objected, ‘I can only be certain of having had a sleep with dreams. Because I can recall some of these dreams in the morning. But, I can not be sure of even having had a dreamless sleep. Hence, I can not speak of a ‘perfectly happy’ time during the dreamless sleep’. This article is therefore addressed to him in reply to this comment of his.
  1. Nāṉ Yār? paragraph 1: a summary of the arguments that happiness is our real nature
  2. Since we like to be happy, happiness is what causes love, so we love ourself because we ourself are happiness
  3. We are now aware of ourself as a person consisting of a body and mind, but are we actually this person?
  4. To recognise that we are aware while asleep, we must distinguish intransitive awareness from transitive awareness
  5. When Bhagavan said ‘Awareness alone is I’, the awareness he was referring to is only pure intransitive awareness
  6. சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) is transitive awareness, and what is transitively aware is only our ego
  7. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 25: ‘grasping form’ means being transitively aware
  8. In sleep we are intransitively aware even though we are aware of no phenomena
  9. The source of all energy is only ourself, who are pure intransitive awareness, so our mind can recuperate its energy only when we remain just intransitively aware in sleep
  10. We ourself are happiness, because we experience happiness in the absence of everything else in sleep, so to enjoy that happiness we must be aware of ourself as we actually are
1. Nāṉ Yār? paragraph 1: a summary of the arguments that happiness is our real nature

Bhagavan did not need any logic to know that infinite happiness is our real nature, because it was his own direct experience of himself. However, because we now seem to experience ourself as something other than the anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness) that we actually are, he gave us some logical arguments to enable us to recognise on the basis of our current experience that happiness is what we actually are, and he outlined these arguments in the first paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?:
சகல ஜீவர்களும் துக்கமென்ப தின்றி எப்போதும் சுகமாயிருக்க விரும்புவதாலும், யாவருக்கும் தன்னிடத்திலேயே பரம பிரிய மிருப்பதாலும், பிரியத்திற்கு சுகமே காரண மாதலாலும், மனமற்ற நித்திரையில் தின மனுபவிக்கும் தன் சுபாவமான அச் சுகத்தை யடையத் தன்னைத் தானறிதல் வேண்டும். அதற்கு நானார் என்னும் ஞான விசாரமே முக்கிய சாதனம்.

sakala jīvargaḷum duḥkham-eṉbadu iṉḏṟi eppōdum sukhamāy-irukka virumbuvadālum, yāvarukkum taṉ-ṉ-iḍattilēyē parama piriyam iruppadālum, piriyattiṟku sukhamē kāraṇam ādalālum, maṉam-aṯṟa niddiraiyil diṉam aṉubhavikkum taṉ subhāvam-āṉa a-c-sukhattai y-aḍaiya-t taṉṉai-t tāṉ aṟidal vēṇḍum. adaṟku nāṉār eṉṉum ñāṉa-vicāramē mukkhiya sādhaṉam.

Since all living beings like to be always happy without any misery, since for everyone the greatest love is only for oneself, and since happiness alone is the cause for love, [in order] to attain that happiness that is one’s own nature, which one experiences daily in [dreamless] sleep, which is devoid of mind, oneself knowing oneself is necessary. For that, jñāna-vicāra [self-investigation or investigation of one’s own awareness] ‘who am I’ alone is the principal means.
Unlike the other paragraphs of Nāṉ Yār?, this first paragraph did not originate from the answers that Bhagavan gave to questions asked by Sivaprakasam Pillai, but was added by him when he rewrote those answers in the form of an essay, and what he wrote in the first sentence of this paragraph was adapted by him from the first sentence of the introduction (avatārikai) that he had previously written for his Tamil translation of Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi.

Logic entails drawing a conclusion from certain premises, so in order to understand the simple logic that supports the conclusion that happiness is our real nature we must be able to recognise the truth of the premises from which we can logically draw this conclusion. In the first sentence of this first paragraph Bhagavan gives us two sets of premises, from each of which he draws the same conclusion for reasons that I will discuss more fully in this article, particularly in the next and final sections.

2. Since we like to be happy, happiness is what causes love, so we love ourself because we ourself are happiness

The first set of premises is that we all like to be always happy, we each have greater love for ourself than for anything else, and love is caused only by happiness. Do you agree with these premises? I assume that most of us would agree that we like to be happy always and that we have more love for ourself than for anything else, but some of us may not have previously considered the fact that what causes love is only happiness. What Bhagavan intends us to understand from his statement ‘பிரியத்திற்கு சுகமே காரணம்’ (piriyattiṟku sukhamē kāraṇam), which means ‘happiness alone is the cause for love’, is that happiness is what motivates us to love anything. That is, if we love something (whether a person, a place, a material object, an experience or whatever), we love it only because we believe or hope that it can give us some form of happiness.

What can we logically infer from these premises? Each of these three premises is logically connected with the other two both individually and collectively. For example, the first premise is logically connected with the third one because the reason why happiness is the cause for love is that we like to be happy, so we love whatever may be able to contribute in any way to our own happiness. But whom do we like to be happy? Primarily we like ourself to be happy, so it is for ourself that we want happiness. We may also want our friends, family and others to be happy, but our desire for their happiness is intimately connected with our desire for our own happiness, because knowing that those whom we love or care about are happy makes us feel happy. Sometimes we may seem to sacrifice our own happiness for the sake of making others happy, but we do so because we believe that making them happy will make us more happy than we would be if we did not sacrifice whatever we have chosen to sacrifice.

From these considerations it should be clear to us that what we love most of all is only ourself. Because we love ourself, we want ourself to be happy. But why do we love ourself so much? Since ‘happiness alone is the cause for love’, we can logically infer that we love ourself because we ourself are happiness. If being perpetually miserable were our real nature, we would not love ourself, but because eternal and infinite happiness is our real nature, we love ourself above all other things, and we love other things only to the extent that they seem able to contribute in some way or other to our own happiness.

3. We are now aware of ourself as a person consisting of a body and mind, but are we actually this person?

However, if being eternally and infinitely happy is our real nature, why do we seem to be not so perfectly happy? If happiness is what we actually are, the only logical explanation for our seeming lack of happiness must be that we are currently not aware of ourself as we actually are.

We are always aware of ourself, but we are currently aware of ourself as a finite person consisting of a body and mind, and as such we seem to be not perfectly happy. In fact as this person we sometimes seem to be very unhappy, and whatever happiness we do experience at any time is very fragile, because it can easily be disturbed by a change in our circumstances, whether our material circumstances or our mental and emotional circumstances. But are we this person that we now seem to be? One of the key features of this person is its body, but though we seem to be this body in our current state, which we take to be our waking state, whenever we dream any other dream we are not aware of ourself as this body but as some other body, so since we are aware of ourself in dream without being aware of this body, this body cannot be what we actually are.

Now we believe that whatever body we experienced as ourself in a dream was just a mental projection, a figment of our own imagination, so it does not exist independent of our awareness of it. However, when we are actually dreaming, we seem to be awake, and whatever body then seems to be ourself does not seem to be a mental projection but an actual physical body. It is only after we wake up or shift to another dream that we are able to recognise that our previous state was a dream, and that whatever body we seemed to be while experiencing that dream was not actually a physical one but just a mental projection.

Therefore, since we seem to be awake whenever we are dreaming, and since whatever body we then experience as if it were ourself seems to be physical, how can we be sure that our present state is not just another dream? If this is just another dream, the seemingly physical body that we now experience as if it were ourself is not actually physical but just a mental projection, and hence it does not exist independent of our awareness of it.

Whether any of the bodies that we experience as ourself in any of these states is actually physical or just a mental creation, we are aware of ourself as each such body only in its own respective state and not in any other state, so since we are aware of ourself in all such states, none of the bodies that we experience as ourself in any of them can be what we actually are. If any of these bodies were actually ourself, we could not be aware of ourself without being aware of it, so since in each state we are not aware of ourself as any of the bodies that we seem to be in any other state, none of these bodies can be ourself.

Therefore we are not whatever body we may seem to be. However, though we seem to be a different body in each state of dream or in each state that seems to be our waking state, we seem to be the same mind in all such states, so could this mind be what we actually are? If we only ever experienced states of waking or dream, we would have no evidence that this mind is not ourself, because we are aware of ourself as this mind in all such states.

4. To recognise that we are aware while asleep, we must distinguish intransitive awareness from transitive awareness

However waking and dream are not the only states that we experience, because we also experience another state called sleep, in which we are not aware of any mind, body, world or any other phenomena of any kind whatsoever. Because we are not aware of anything in sleep, people generally assume that sleep is a state of complete unconsciousness, but this assumption is a result of not considering sufficiently carefully and critically what awareness or consciousness actually is.

In order to be aware of anything we need to be aware, but in order to be aware we do not need to be aware of anything except ourself. Whether we are aware of anything else or not, we are always aware of ourself, because being aware entails being aware that we are aware, and being aware that we are aware entails being aware of ourself, the one who is aware. Whenever we are aware of anything other than ourself, we are aware of ourself as the subject and whatever else we are aware of as the object, but whenever we are not aware of anything else, we are nevertheless still aware of ourself, though not as the subject, because we seem to be the subject (this ego) only when we are aware of any objects, so when we are aware of nothing but ourself, we are aware of ourself as just pure self-awareness, which is what we actually are (because the only thing that we are always aware of is ourself, and anything that we are not always aware of cannot be what we actually are).

Just as in grammar a verb is said to be transitive when it takes a direct object and intransitive when it does not take a direct object, being aware of objects (that is, of anything other than oneself) is called transitive awareness (or transitive consciousness), whereas being simply aware (whether or not one is also aware of any object) is called intransitive awareness (or intransitive consciousness). Since we must be aware in order to be aware of any object, transitive awareness cannot exist independent of intransitive awareness, but since we can be aware without being aware of any object (as we are in sleep), intransitive awareness can and does exist independent of transitive awareness, so the essential nature and fundamental form of awareness is only intransitive awareness.

Whenever we are transitively aware (as we are whenever we are dreaming or seem to be awake), we are also intransitively aware, but even when we are not transitively aware (as in sleep), we are still intransitively aware. Therefore intransitive awareness is permanent and hence real, whereas transitive awareness is impermanent and hence unreal, because it appears in waking and dream and disappears in sleep. Only what exists and shines in all these three states can be real, and that is only intransitive awareness, so it alone is what we actually are.

5. When Bhagavan said ‘Awareness alone is I’, the awareness he was referring to is only pure intransitive awareness

Therefore when Bhagavan replied ‘அறிவே நான்’ (aṟivē nāṉ), which means ‘Awareness alone is I’, in answer to the first question that Sivaprakasam Pillai asked him, namely ‘நானார்?’ (nāṉ-ār?), which means ‘I am who?’ or ‘Who am I?’, what he meant by the term அறிவே (aṟivē), which is an intensified form of அறிவு (aṟivu) and therefore means ‘awareness alone’ or ‘only awareness’, is only intransitive awareness and not any form of transitive awareness. The second question that Sivaprakasam Pillai then asked him was ‘அறிவின் சொரூப மென்ன?’ (aṟiviṉ sorūpam eṉṉa?), which means ‘What is the nature of awareness?’, to which Bhagavan replied ‘சச்சிதானந்தம்’ (saccidāṉandam), which means ‘being-consciousness-happiness’ (sat-cit-ānanda), and which therefore implies that intransitive awareness, which alone is ‘I’, is not only awareness or consciousness (cit) but also existence (sat) or what actually exists (uḷḷadu) and happiness (ānanda).

This simple answer that Bhagavan gave to the first question he was asked by Sivaprakasam Pillai, namely ‘அறிவே நான்’ (aṟivē nāṉ), ‘Awareness alone is I’, is the very cornerstone of his teachings, so clearly understanding all its implications and being firmly convinced of its truth is essential if we wish to follow the path that he has shown us. And in order to understand it clearly and correctly, we need to understand the distinction between intransitive awareness, which alone is what we actually are, and transitive awareness, which is the nature of our ego or mind and not of our actual self.

6. சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) is transitive awareness, and what is transitively aware is only our ego

In order to clearly distinguish transitive awareness from the pure intransitive awareness that we actually are, Bhagavan often used the term சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) or சுட்டுணர்வு (suṭṭuṇarvu) to refer to transitive awareness or to what is transitively aware, namely our ego or mind (as recorded by Sri Muruganar in many verses of Guru Vācaka Kōvai, such as verses 39, 115, 184, 185, 419, 420, 423, 550, 638, 644, 646, 691, 854, 899, 1000, 1023, 1074, 1113, 1224 and 1247), and he also sometimes used the verbs சுட்டறி (suṭṭaṟi) or சுட்டுணர் (suṭṭuṇar), which mean to be transitively aware (that is, aware of things other than oneself).

சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) and சுட்டுணர்வு (suṭṭuṇarvu) are each a compound of two words, சுட்டு (suṭṭu) and either அறிவு (aṟivu) or உணர்வு (uṇarvu). In this context அறிவு (aṟivu) and உணர்வு (uṇarvu) both mean awareness or consciousness, being nouns derived respectively from the verbs அறி (aṟi) and உணர் (uṇar), which mean to know, perceive, cognise, experience or be aware, and சுட்டு (suṭṭu) means pointing out, pointing at, indicating, showing or aiming at, so both சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) and சுட்டுணர்வு (suṭṭuṇarvu) literally mean ‘pointing awareness’ or ‘showing awareness’ (that is, awareness that points at, shows, aims at or knows things other than itself), and hence they imply transitive or object-knowing awareness.

Since we are transitively aware only in waking and dream and not in sleep, transitive awareness or சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) is not what we actually are. It is just an extraneous adjunct, because it is something that we seem to be only when we rise as this ego. Therefore what is transitively aware is only ourself as this ego and not ourself as we actually are. As we actually are, we are just pure intransitive awareness, because we are always intransitively aware, whether or not we seem to be also transitively aware.

7. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 25: ‘grasping form’ means being transitively aware

Since what is transitively aware is only our ego, சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) or transitive awareness is another name for this ego. We seem to be this ego only when we are transitively aware, as we are in waking and dream, and since being transitively aware means being aware of anything other than ourself (that is, any objects or phenomena), Bhagavan taught us that we rise and endure as this ego (the subject) only by being transitively aware, as he clearly implied in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu:
உருப்பற்றி யுண்டா முருப்பற்றி நிற்கு
முருப்பற்றி யுண்டுமிக வோங்கு — முருவிட்
டுருப்பற்றுந் தேடினா லோட்டம் பிடிக்கு
முருவற்ற பேயகந்தை யோர்.

uruppaṯṟi yuṇḍā muruppaṯṟi niṟku
muruppaṯṟi yuṇḍumiha vōṅgu — muruviṭ
ṭuruppaṯṟun tēḍiṉā lōṭṭam piḍikku
muruvaṯṟa pēyahandai yōr
.

பதச்சேதம்: உரு பற்றி உண்டாம்; உரு பற்றி நிற்கும்; உரு பற்றி உண்டு மிக ஓங்கும்; உரு விட்டு, உரு பற்றும்; தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும், உரு அற்ற பேய் அகந்தை. ஓர்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uru paṯṟi uṇḍām; uru paṯṟi niṟkum; uru paṯṟi uṇḍu miha ōṅgum; uru viṭṭu, uru paṯṟum; tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum, uru aṯṟa pēy ahandai. ōr.

அன்வயம்: உரு அற்ற பேய் அகந்தை உரு பற்றி உண்டாம்; உரு பற்றி நிற்கும்; உரு பற்றி உண்டு மிக ஓங்கும்; உரு விட்டு, உரு பற்றும்; தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும். ஓர்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): uru aṯṟa pēy ahandai uru paṯṟi uṇḍām; uru paṯṟi niṟkum; uru paṯṟi uṇḍu miha ōṅgum; uru viṭṭu, uru paṯṟum; tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum. ōr.

English translation: Grasping form, the formless phantom-ego rises into being; grasping form it stands; grasping and feeding on form it grows [spreads, expands, increases, rises high or flourishes] abundantly; leaving [one] form, it grasps [another] form. If sought [examined or investigated], it will take flight. Investigate [or know thus].
Since the ego is an ‘உருவற்ற பேய்’ (uru-v-aṯṟa pēy) or ‘formless phantom’, whatever forms it grasps are things other than itself, and since it has no hands, arms or other limbs, the only means by which it can grasp such things is by attending to them and thereby being aware of them. That is, when we attend to anything other than ourself we are thereby grasping it in our awareness, and grasping such things in this way is what Bhagavan means here by the term ‘உரு பற்றி’ (uru paṯṟi) or ‘grasping form’. Therefore in this context ‘grasping form’ means attending to and thereby being aware of things other than ourself

Since being aware of anything other than ourself is being transitively aware, when Bhagavan says that this ego rises into being, stands, nourishes itself and thus flourishes only by ‘grasping form’, he implies that it is only by being transitively aware that we give rise to, nourish and sustain the illusion that we are this ego. If we were not transitively aware, we would not seem to be this ego, so சுட்டறிவு (suṭṭaṟivu) or transitive awareness is the very nature this ego.

Being transitively aware is therefore the root cause of all our problems, so to liberate ourself entirely from transitive awareness and all the problems that result from it we must strive to be just intransitively aware — that is, aware without being aware of anything other than ourself — which we can achieve only by trying to attend to ourself alone. Since we seem to be this ego only so long as we are transitively aware, if we direct all our attention back to ourself alone and thereby cease being transitively aware, this ego will subside and disappear. This is what Bhagavan implies when he says in this verse, ‘தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும்’ (tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum), which means ‘If sought [examined or investigated], it [this ego] will take flight’.

So long as we are transitively aware (aware of anything other than ourself), we are thereby ‘grasping form’ and hence we seem to be this ego, so since we cannot be aware of ourself as we actually are so long as we are aware of ourself as this ego, in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are we must be aware of nothing other than ourself, and hence we must direct our entire attention back towards ourself alone. When we keenly focus our entire attention on ourself, we will thereby exclude everything else from our awareness, and thus we will remain as the pure intransitive awareness that we actually are.

Therefore the only means to eradicate our ego is to be attentively aware of ourself alone. Being aware of ourself alone is being the pure intransitive awareness that we actually are, but though we remain as such when our ego subsides in sleep, it is not thereby eradicated, because in sleep we remain as pure intransitive awareness as a result of the subsidence of our ego, which occurred due to exhaustion, whereas in order to annihilate this ego we must make it subside as a result of our remaining as pure intransitive awareness. In other words, to eradicate this ego we must try to be just intransitively aware (aware of nothing other than ourself) in waking or dream, as we are in sleep, and to be just intransitively aware in waking or dream (which are the two states in which we are normally transitively aware) we must focus our entire attention only on ourself, who now seem to be this ego but whom we will find to be just pure intransitive awareness if we attentively remain as such.

8. In sleep we are intransitively aware even though we are aware of no phenomena

In your comment you wrote that you can only be certain of having had a sleep with dreams, because you can recall some of these dreams in the morning, but that you cannot be sure of having had a dreamless sleep (presumably because you cannot remember experiencing any phenomena in sleep as you can remember experiencing in dream), which suggests that you have not considered your experience carefully enough. While dreaming we experience phenomena of numerous kinds, as we do while we seem to be awake, but while asleep we do not experience phenomena of any kind whatsoever, so our experience in waking and dream is viśēṣa anubhava (experience of distinguishing features), which is the result of being transitively aware, whereas our experience in sleep nirviśēṣa anubhava (experience devoid of distinguishing features), which is the result of being just intransitively aware.

Each phenomenon (that is, each thing other than ourself) has certain features that distinguish it from each other phenomenon, so all phenomena are defined and distinguished by their respective features, and without features of any kind whatsoever they would have no separate existence. What is aware of all the features that define and distinguish each phenomenon is ourself as this ego, but we seem to be this ego only when we are aware of phenomena, whereas we remain aware (intransitively aware) whether we are aware of phenomena or not, so this ego (which is merely a transitive mode of awareness) is not the fundamental awareness that we actually are. Our fundamental awareness is just pure intransitive awareness, which is featureless, because it is aware of nothing other than itself. Just as the changing features that constitute a cinema picture appear on a relatively featureless screen, the features that constitute phenomena appear on the absolutely featureless screen of pure intransitive awareness, which is we actually are.

Because we experience various phenomena while dreaming, after waking up we can often recall what we experienced in our dreams, but we did not experience any phenomena while asleep, so if we now try to recall what we experienced in dreamless sleep it seems to our outward-going mind to be a blank. However what we experience while asleep is a blank only in the sense that it is devoid of phenomena, because though we were not aware of any phenomena then, we were nevertheless still intransitively aware.

Since intransitive awareness is featureless, in comparison with all the features experienced by our outward-going mind the pure intransitive awareness that we experienced in sleep seems to be a blank, so people generally conclude that they were not aware at all while asleep. However if we consider our experience more carefully, it should be clear to us that we were aware while asleep, in spite of not being aware of any phenomena, because if we were not aware while asleep, we would not be aware of any gaps between successive states of waking or dream, whereas in fact we are each aware of such gaps, in which we were aware of absolutely no phenomena.

9. The source of all energy is only ourself, who are pure intransitive awareness, so our mind can recuperate its energy only when we remain just intransitively aware in sleep

You seem to imply that you are not aware of any such gap, and hence you say, ‘I can not be sure of even having had a dreamless sleep’, but if such is the case the only explanation can be that you have not observed and considered your experience sufficiently carefully. Do you really believe that you experience an unbroken succession of alternating states of waking or dream with absolutely no gaps in between? Can you honestly claim that you have never experienced any state in which you have not been aware of any phenomena whatsoever? If you claim that such is the case, I would have difficulty believing you, because just as our bodies need air, water, food and rest in order to continue functioning, our mind needs period of complete rest in sleep in order to recuperate its energy and thereby resume its activities.

Dream is a state of mental activity, like waking, so it is no more restful for our mind than waking, and hence our mind requires periodic intervals of absolute rest in sleep. The reason why our mind is re-energised by sleep is that during sleep it is completely merged in ourself — that is, in the pure intransitive awareness that we actually are — which is the original source of all power and energy.

It is impossible for us to remain for a prolonged period of time without sleep. If you doubt this, try to keep yourself awake for several days. Sooner or later you will be overpowered by sleep, and your mind will be so exhausted that it cannot even dream, so what you will then experience is not any dream but only a deep dreamless sleep — a state in which your mind has subsided completely along with its root, the ego, and in which you are therefore aware of absolutely no phenomena whatsoever.

However, though you will then not be aware of any phenomena, you will nevertheless remain intransitively aware, as you always are, because intransitive awareness is your very nature, and hence being intransitively aware does not entail the expenditure of any energy. On the contrary, since intransitive awareness is the original source and substance of mental energy and everything else, by remaining just intransitively aware we are restoring our energy, and this is how our mind is able to recuperate its energy by sleeping, and why we wake up from a long sound sleep feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

10. We ourself are happiness, because we experience happiness in the absence of everything else in sleep, so to enjoy that happiness we must be aware of ourself as we actually are

The second set of premises that Bhagavan gives us in the first sentence of Nāṉ Yār? (a translation of which I gave in section 1) consists of just one explicit premise and one implicit one. The explicit premise is that we experience happiness daily in sleep, and the implicit premise is that in sleep we do not experience anything other than ourself (which he implied by saying that sleep is devoid of mind), so from these two premises we can infer the same conclusion that we can infer from the first set of premises (which we considered in section 2), namely the conclusion that happiness is our real nature. That is, since we do not experience anything other than ourself in sleep, whatever we do experience in sleep must be what we actually are, so since we experience happiness in sleep, happiness must be what we actually are.

This is the simple argument that Bhagavan implied by saying, ‘மனமற்ற நித்திரையில் தின மனுபவிக்கும் தன் சுபாவமான அச் சுகத்தை’ (maṉam-aṯṟa niddiraiyil diṉam aṉubhavikkum taṉ subhāvam-āṉa a-c-sukhattai), which means ‘that happiness that is one’s own nature, which one experiences daily in [dreamless] sleep, which is devoid of mind’. Since what is aware of anything other than ourself is only our mind, or more precisely our ego (which is its root and essence, being its only constant element and the only element of it that is aware both of itself and of everything else), and since our ego along with the rest of our mind ceases to exist in sleep, by pointing out that sleep is devoid of mind, he implied that it is consequently devoid of any awareness of anything other than ourself, as we know from our own experience (and as he also emphasised in the first sentence of his introduction to Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi by using the phrase ‘ஒன்று மின்றியே’ (oṉḏṟum iṉḏṟiyē), which means ‘without anything at all’, in the clause ‘நித்திரையில் ஒன்று மின்றியே சுகமாயிருக்கு மனுபவத்தாலும்’ (niddiraiyil oṉḏṟum iṉḏṟiyē sukhamāy-irukkum aṉubhavattālum), which means ‘and because of the experience of being happy without anything at all in sleep’). Therefore since we experience happiness in the absence of our mind (and hence in the absence of any transitive awareness — awareness of anything other than ourself) in sleep, happiness must be our svabhāva, our own real nature.

Since we experience happiness in the absence of everything else in sleep, deep within ourself we recognise that happiness is what we actually are, so since we like to be happy and since happiness is therefore the cause for love, we each love ourself more than we love any other thing. Thus the two sets of premises that Bhagavan gives us in the first sentence of Nāṉ Yār? are complementary, because they each point to the same conclusion, whether considered separately or together, namely the conclusion that we ourself are happiness.

Since this is the case, Bhagavan concludes this first sentence of Nāṉ Yār? by pointing out the most important inference that we should draw from this, namely ‘தன் சுபாவமான அச் சுகத்தை யடையத் தன்னைத் தானறிதல் வேண்டும்’ (taṉ subhāvam-āṉa a-c-sukhattai y-aḍaiya-t taṉṉai-t tāṉ aṟidal vēṇḍum), which means, ‘to attain [enjoy or experience] that happiness that is one’s own nature, oneself knowing oneself is necessary’. That is, since happiness is what we actually are, in order to enjoy that happiness we must be aware of ourself as we actually are.

And as he says in the second and final sentence of this paragraph, the mukhya sādhana or principal means for us to be aware of ourself as we actually are is only ‘நானார் என்னும் ஞான விசாரம்’ (nāṉār eṉṉum ñāṉa-vicāram), which literally means ‘the jñāṉa-investigation who am I’. Since jñāṉa means knowledge or awareness, and since he said in the first sentence of verse 13 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, ‘ஞானமாம் தானே மெய்’ (ñāṉam-ām tāṉē mey), which means ‘oneself, who is jñāṉa, alone is real’, what he implies by the term jñāna-vicāra is self-investigation or investigation of the fundamental awareness that we actually are. Since this fundamental awareness is pure intransitive awareness, which is what always shines within us as ‘I’, investigating awareness means investigating what this ‘I’ actually is, so he also referred to this investigation as ‘who am I’, and hence in this sentence he calls it ‘நானார் என்னும் ஞான விசாரம்’ (nāṉār eṉṉum ñāṉa-vicāram), the ‘awareness-investigation who am I’.

By carefully considering all that Bhagavan has taught us, we can develop a clear and firm intellectual conviction that happiness is what we actually are, but however strong our intellectual conviction may be, it is inadequate, because by itself it cannot free us from our ego, which is the root cause of the seeming existence of all misery and suffering, because this ego is a wrong knowledge of ourself (that is, an illusory awareness of ourself as something other than what we actually are), so it can be annihilated only by clear awareness of ourself as we actually are, which we can experience only by keenly investigating ourself — that is, by keenly focusing our entire attention on ourself alone. A clear and firm intellectual conviction is necessary to motivate us to investigate ourself keenly and persistently until we experience what we actually are, but it is of value to us only to the extent that it impels us to turn our entire attention back towards ourself in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are.

188 comments:

Bob - P said...

Thank you Michael your article makes perfect sense to me. I think analysing the three states is a very powerful lesson to help us understand what we are and what we are not.

May I ask you about a passage from:

The Path Of Sri Ramana - Part 1 - Page 160 top paragraph

"When, through this practise, our state of existence consciousnesses experienced always as inescapably natural, then there will be no harm even if waking, dream and sleep pass across."

I find this a bit confusing?

My understanding is when I experience myself as I really am there is no ego and therefore no waking body or dream body. This means there is no waking state or dream sate. Therefore sleep now becomes the one true state which is all there has ever been.

But the above passage gives me the impression or seems to imply that waking, dream and sleep still carry on or pass across??

I know you once said some times meaning is slightly changed during translation or in all fairness it is probably my own misunderstanding.

In appreciation
Bob

Sundar said...

Michael,
I am touched by your calling me your friend and writing a full blog on the two questions I asked:
- about the logic behind saying that knowing ourself will lead to infinite happiness and
- about the certainty that we go through deep sleep state every night or atleast most nights.

By collating Bhagwan's statements, you have responded to my questions. I am sure I will re-read the blog. If I want further proof, or even otherwise, I must discover the intransitive awareness myself. Of which I am very curious for quite sometime.

Thanks,
sundar

Anonymous said...

Michael,

“[…] just as our bodies need air, water, food and rest in order to continue functioning, our mind needs period of complete rest in sleep in order to recuperate its energy and thereby resume its activities”. [emphasis added]

Here, the phrases ‘our bodies’ [treated as plural] and ‘our mind’ [treated as singular] are consistent with eka jiva vada, which says there are many bodies but only one mind. Therefore, there is nothing like ‘your mind’ or ‘my mind’, although we may write ‘our mind’ [not ‘our minds’], as it is done here. However, the following may not be consistent with eka jiva vada.

“[…] try to keep yourself awake for several days. Sooner or later you will be overpowered by sleep, and your mind will be so exhausted that it cannot even dream […]” [emphasis added]

Please clarify.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bob-P, you asked a question to Michael. Before Michael answers, may I share my reflections on your question? You quote from The Path Of Sri Ramana - Part 1 - Page 160 top paragraph:

When, through this practise, our state of existence consciousnesses experienced always as inescapably natural, then there will be no harm even if waking, dream and sleep pass across.

You found this a bit confusing, and rightly so. As you imply, when we experience ourself as we really are, we will only experience anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness); therefore, in such a state how can waking, dream and sleep pass across us ? It seems a contradiction, but then why did Sri Sadhu Om say so?

In all likelihood, he was diluting the teaching to suit the understanding capacity of the listener. At times, Bhagavan also used to do the same. Say, for twenty years somebody is confined to a dark prison, with no sunlight entering it. On his release, will it be advisable to bring him directly under the midday tropical sun? No, because in all probability he will not be able to stand the bright sunlight; therefore, it will be advisable to expose him to bright sun gradually, say by brining him out in the mornings and evenings and so on.

Similarly, some of us are so deep in darkness of ajnana (like the dark prison) that Bhagavan found it fit to expose us gradually to the full glare of jnana; thus, he used to dilute his teachings. In all probability, Sri Sadhu Om was following Bhagavan's example.

Therefore, when Sri Sadhu Om says 'When, through this practise, our state of existence consciousnesses experienced always as inescapably natural', he is stating the absolute truth. But when he adds 'then there will be no harm even if waking, dream and sleep pass across', he is diluting the truth, because once our ego is annihilated, our waking, dream, and sleep states will also become non-existent.

You write, 'I know you [Michael] once said some times meaning is slightly changed during translation . . . '. Certainly, this is a possibility, because The Path Of Sri Ramana was translated by a person (or persons) whose English was not very good (as Michael had informed us).



Wittgenstein said...

Bob –P,

The lines you quote from The Path of Sri Ramana are originally from the book Sadhanai Saram, also written by Sri Sadhu Om. It is verse 266 of Sadhanai Saram. A translation of this verse by Michael reads (http://www.happinessofbeing.com/sadhanai_saram.html#pdf):

“When by this practice of abiding in the state of existence-consciousness, this existence-consciousness is always experienced to be effortless and inescapably natural, then no harm will result even if sleep, dream and waking appear to come and go”.

However, in order to clarify any doubts that may arise (such as the one you stated), it is immediately stated in the next verse (277):

“For those who firmly abide in the unending state of Self-consciousness, which pervades and transcends the three states of waking, dream and sleep, that state of existence-consciousness is the only real state. It is the unlimited Whole (or purna). That state, in which even the feeling “I am making effort to abide” does not at all rise, alone is your natural state of Being. Be thus”.

Therefore, it is clear that there is only one state. This verse (277) also appears in The Path of Sri Ramana, immediately following what you have quoted.

Please note that the verse numbers are not given in The Path of Sri Ramana, atleast in the version I have. Also in the Tamil version I have the verses 266 and 277 are wrongly numbered as 231 and 232, respectively.

Michael James said...

Bob, you are correct in your understanding that waking, dream and sleep seem to exist only in the view of ourself as this ego, and therefore when this ego is annihilated there will be no such states. However this was not the point that Sadhu Om was making in the passage you refer to, which is a translation of verse 266 of Sādhanai Sāram, and to understand why he wrote as he did in this verse we need to consider the context in which he wrote it. If you read all the verses in this chapter of Sādhanai Sāram (verses 261-7), you will see that in them he was addressing the concerns of someone who was worried about the fact that their practice of ātma-vicāra was often interrupted by sleep, and hence it was for this reason that he said in verse 266 that when by this practice of persistently fixing one’s attention on one’s awareness of being that awareness is always experienced as one’s inescapable nature, even if sleep, dream and waking occur there will be no harm.

The Tamil word செரப்படினும் (sērappaḍiṉum), which Sadhu Om uses here, means ‘even if they occur’, so it does not imply that they will occur, but merely that even if they do occur it will not affect us, because we will be firmly established as the pure awareness of being that we always actually are. That is, the emphasis in these verses is on the advice that we should be concerned only with persistently attending to the fundamental awareness that we actually are, because if we always attend to this alone, nothing else need concern us.

As Sadhu Om emphasises in verse 267, which is the final one in this series, what is real is only our endless self-awareness, so we need not be concerned with anything other than this. Let waking, dream or sleep come or go, they are of no concern to us if we attend only to ourself, because we alone are real.

This attitude expressed by Sadhu Om in verse 266 of Sādhanai Sāram is also expressed by Bhagavan in the final line of verse 6 of Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam, in which he says regarding the world-picture (which he explains is just a series of thoughts or mental phenomena projected from within), ‘நின்றிட சென்றிட நினைவிட வின்றே’ (niṉḏṟiḍa seṉḏṟiḍa niṉai-viḍa v-iṉḏṟē), which means ‘let it cease or let it go on, it does not exist when it leaves you’, and which implies that it does not matter whether the world ceases to appear or not, because it does not exist independent of Arunachala, our own actual self, which alone is what is real.

However, in the first sentence of the next verse Bhagavan says, ‘இன்று அகம் எனும் நினைவு எனில், பிற ஒன்றும் இன்று’ (iṉḏṟu aham eṉum niṉaivu eṉil, piṟa oṉḏṟum iṉḏṟu), which means ‘If the thought called ‘I’ does not exist, even one other [thought or thing] will not exist’, and which does therefore clearly imply that the world-picture will cease to appear when our ego is annihilated. However, even if it did not cease, it would be of no concern to us so long as we remain firmly established as the pure being-awareness that we actually are.

Viveka Vairagya said...

Ramana Maharshi on How Self-enquiry Will Become Easy
(from Who Am I? 8th Edition, 2010, pp. 23-24)

Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-enquiry will become easy.

Michael James said...

Wittgenstein, regarding the differences you noticed in the Sādhanai Sāram verse numbers, the reason is that in English the verses were printed in the order that Sadhu Om had revised, whereas in Tamil the old order of verses still remains (as I explained on the Sādhanai Sāram page of my website). However in the next Tamil edition the new order will hopefully be applied.

keen onlooker said...

Wittgenstein,
little error in qouting Sadhanai Saram:
the next verse following verse 266 is not verse 277 but 267.

Bob - P said...

Dear Sanjay
Thank you very much for your reflections. I like your analogy of the prison / sunlight with regards how Bhagavan sometimes diluted the teaching according to the understanding of the questioner. Thanks Sanjay.

Dear Wittgenstein

Thank you. Yes I read the second verse underneath the one I quoted. This 2nd verse made sense to me but the 1st made me a bit confused. I see now what you mean that the second verse does addresse my confusion with regards the 1st verse. My confusion I think is linked to my lack of understanding linked to the subtle aspects of the teaching. I find the basics relatively simple to understand and practise but quite often the subtle nuances do confuse me some what.

I remember Michael once saying that Nan Yar? although quite a short and relatively easy to understand there could be volumes written about all the meaning it contains.
Bhagavan was so good as simplifying.

I have to be careful I don't confuse myself and stick to the basics and put it into practise.

Thank you.

Dear Michael

Thank you for your help. I will read Sadhanai Saram (versus 261 - 7).
Your reply has helped address my confusion and I now understand better why Sri Sadhu Om wrote what he did. Plus as you explain Sri Sadhu Om does not imply they will occur and it is completely irrelevant because we are firmly fixed in our natural non dual state.

My understanding is once I experience myself as I really am the non dual self aware happy being I will not be aware of anything other than myself because if I was it would mean I was still experiencing duality (dyads and triads). So the world as I experience now which is other than my body which I presently take to be me will cease to be a separate thing from me. It will be myself and not experienced as other than myself. This would be right as this would be non duality compared to duality.

Thank you everyone, huge help.
In appreciation
Bob

Michael James said...

Anonymous, regarding the clarification you ask for in your comment, there is only one mind (one ego or jīva) dreaming this dream, but in each dream this one mind experiences itself as a person, who is just one among numerous other such people, each of whom seem to have a mind. Therefore though there is only one mind, in the view of this one mind there are many people, each of whom seems to be another mind.

Hence when we converse with other people, it is appropriate for us to behave as if there were many minds, even though we may inwardly doubt whether there is actually any mind other than our own. For example, when we address any other person as ‘you’, we are treating them as another mind, because we would not normally address any inanimate object as ‘you’ (unless we had chosen to treat that object as if it were a person).

Since Bhagavan taught us that we are the only mind that projects and experiences this or any other dream, when discussing his philosophy it is often appropriate to refer to ‘our mind’ rather than ‘our minds’, but it would be unnatural if we tried to stick rigidly to referring to only one mind in all circumstances. For example, when addressing someone as ‘you’ and referring to their own subjective experience, it is natural to say ‘your mind’ rather than ‘the mind’, as it was in the example you referred to, in which I wrote, ‘Sooner or later you will be overpowered by sleep, and your mind will be so exhausted that it cannot even dream’. In this case the ‘you’ who is overpowered by sleep is the mind of the person I was addressing, so in this sentence ‘you’ and ‘your mind’ both refer to the same thing.

While writing I generally use ‘we’ and ‘our’ as generic and inclusive pronouns (in much the same sense as ‘one’ and ‘one’s’) to refer either to the one first person (the ego) or to the one infinite self (which is what we actually are), and thereby I am able to avoid referring to ‘I’ (which in many cases would imply that I am excluding whomever I am talking with) or to ‘you’ (which in many cases would imply that I am excluding myself). However, I do not stick to this principle rigidly, because in some cases it is more appropriate to refer either to ‘I’ or to ‘you’, as it was in the paragraph you referred to, in which I was suggesting to Sundar a simple but rather crude experiment that he could try if he still felt the need to convince himself that when he is too tired either to remain awake or to dream he does experience sleep, which is a state in which we are aware of absolutely no phenomena whatsoever (but in which we are nevertheless perfectly peaceful and happy).

Wittgenstein said...

keen onlooker,

You are right. In my previous comment I have wrongly called verse 267 of Sadhanai Saram as verse 277. Thanks for pointing this out.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bob-P, I suppose I can extent my analogy of the prisoner and the sunlight a little further. Let us say, after a month of his release, the prisoner is able to come out of his home and it is noon - a bright clear summer day, with temperature touching 45 degree Celsius. For some reason, he tries looking directly at the sun and soon manages to look at it directly - with a hundred percent attention, and consequently becomes blind and is never able to see again.

Likewise, if we manage to turn 180 degrees towards ourself alone, our ego will be destroyed and we will also become 'blind' - that is, 'blind' to this world appearance and it will vanish from our view never to reappear again. Michael describes this in detail in one of his articles: Intensity, frequency and duration of self-attentiveness:

Sadhu Om used to explain this in terms of turning 180 degrees away from all other things towards ourself alone. The closer we come to turning 180 degrees, the less any awareness of anything else will be mixed with our self-awareness, but until we actually turn the full 180 degrees we are not yet experiencing ourself alone, in complete isolation from any awareness of other things. When we once manage to turn the full 180 degrees, we will experience nothing other than ourself, and thus we will experience ourself as we really are, after which we will never again experience anything else.

Wittgenstein said...

Bob – P,

I agree with you that Bhagavan’s teachings are simple, yet deep and profound.

Although I thought verse 267 of Sadhanai Saram clarifies the previous verse, the right context was pointed out by Michael. Further, he said:

“The Tamil word செரப்படினும் (sērappaḍiṉum), which Sadhu Om uses here, means ‘even if they occur’, so it does not imply that they will occur, but merely that even if they do occur it will not affect us, because we will be firmly established as the pure awareness of being that we always actually are”.

As I see this, what does ‘it/they will not affect us’ mean? I would take it that we will not be aware of them, as we will be aware of [‘firmly established as’] ourself [pure awareness] alone. If we link to this to the core teaching of Bhagavan that existence and awareness cannot be separated and if we are not aware of the various states, then they do not exist. When looked this way, actually verse 266 is not in contradiction with verse 267. This occurred to me only after Michael emphasised the meaning of ‘even if they occur’.

Even though you say the ‘subtle nuances do confuse you’, you have observed a subtle point. When you state your understating as, “once I experience myself as I really am […] the world as I experience now which is other than my body which I presently take to be me will cease to be a separate thing from me”, you are in fact talking about verse 18 of Ulladu Narpadu!

Mouna said...

Bob, Michael, Sanjay and Wittgenstein, greetings

Bob’s question referring to his confusion about the three apparent states continuing to “appear” (even if illusory) after self-realization in sahaja, or put it in another way, “maya” continuing to appear, as illusory as it might be, is one of those paradoxes in Bhagavan’s teaching that is quite unsolvable (yet) to the mind. I can easily understand the confusion because is not yet clear to me either.

It takes us back to the old discussion, first, about the state of the jnani, unfathomable to the ajnani, and second, what does “manonasa” really means also from the point of view of the ajnani.

As for myself, I adhere to the notion that destruction of mind/ego means destruction of maya that although being a power of the self (from the ego’s viewpoint), once it dies and we realize that in fact never existed, perception as well as conception (in other words thought) completely disappear (it will be like deep sleep but without the veil/avarana). This point of view goes very well with the logic of ajata vada.

There is a difference here, for example, with the Vedantic position where the jnani continues to function with a mind, what died was just the “conceptual” mind that creates the triputis and dyads. In this case, knowledge of one’s identity with Brahman IS self-realization. Perception continues to occur but is all subjugated to that knowledge, “everything will be viewed/perceived by the self AS self”

Statements that suppose both views on the matter appear quite often, not only in several works throughout Bhagavan’s teaching but within one single work. Like for example Ulladu Narpadu:
Verse 17: “To those who have not known Self and to those who have known [Self], this body of flesh is ‘I’; but to those who have not known Self, ‘I’ is limited to the measure of the body, whereas to those who have known Self within the body [i.e., in the lifetime of the body], ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self. Know that this indeed is the difference between these two.”
But further on in Verse 26: ”If the ego, the root, comes into existence, all else will come into existence. If the ego does not exist, all else will not exist. Verily, the ego is everything!”
Clearly on Verse 17 (and 18 when speaking about the world) it is assumed, by stating “To those who have not known Self AND to those who have known [Self], this body of flesh is ‘I’” that there is still perception of the/a body for the jnani, but undifferentiated with his identity as self.
V.17 implies existence of maya/ego, V.26 denies it.

(continues in next posting)

Mouna said...

(continues from last posting)

Another example could be found in some verses of Guru Vachaka Kovai:
Verse 35. ”Since this world of dyads and triads appears only in the mind, like the illusory ring of fire formed [in darkness] by whirling the single point of a glowing rope-end, it is false, and it does not exist in the clear sight of Self.”
Verse 47. ”This world which appears, concealing Self, is a mere dream, but when ‘concealed’ by Self, it remains as none other than Self.”
Verse 58. ”Those who have attained their aim, Jnana , do not see this world as a multitude of differences, since the multiple differences of this world are a sportive play of Chit-Shakti , the one Whole.”
Verse 62. ”He who knows this world-appearance to be his own form, Supreme-Consciousness, experiences the same Consciousness even through his five senses.”
This last V.62 seems to imply sensorial awareness for the jnani, which is denied in V.35

A passage of Sadhu Om’s (The Path of Sri Ramana, 1 - page 212) throws some clues to decipher these apparent “two different views” of a jnani’s realization:
”Though after Self-realization some Jnanis spend their entire lifetime completely oblivious of the body and world, not all Jnanis will necessarily remain thus. The return of bodyconsciousness (and consequently world-consciousness) after the attainment of Self-realization is according to the prarabdha of that body; in the case of some it might never return, while in the case of others it might return within a second or after a few hours or days. But even in such cases where it does return, it will not be experienced as a knowledge of second or third persons! That is to say, the body and world are not experienced by the Jnani as second and third persons – objects other than Himself-but as His own unlimited and undivided Self.”
Here Sadhu Om clearly implies that objects appear but not other than oneself.

This one place is where confusion arises: how can objects (or the three states) still appear but not being part of waking or dream?…

Another possible explanation could be the difference, established by Vedanta of jivan-mukta and videha-mukta. Jivan-mukti then would be the “stage” (I definitely know that there are no stages of realization, but I need to include this term for argument’s sake) of God-realization (not Brahman) where maya is still active only as unwinding of existing prarabdha, in other words, this could be explained by Vivarta Vada; and videha-mukti would be the complete annihilation of the flame, which could well be corresponding to the Ajata Vada explanation.

I would like to finish this exploration whit Verse 40 of Bhagavan’s Ulladu Narpadu, that, to my eyes, goes beyond the pair of opposites and paradoxes of any kind:”If it is said, according to the maturity of the mind, that the liberation which is attained may be of three kinds, with form, without form, or with or without form, then I will say that liberation is [in truth only] the annihilation of the form of the ego which distinguishes [liberation] with form, without form, or with or without form. Know thus.”

All comments and further clarifications are, if interest be, welcome.

Be well friends,
Mouna

Bob - P said...

Sanjay
I like your further analogy (Sun) you make with regards increasing the intensity of our practise until we are able to turn 180 degrees completely and dissolve in love and happiness. Or to be able to look directly at the sun and blind ourselves to the false world .
You can tap the fuse of a stick of dynamite on a concrete floor all day long with a pencil and nothing will happen. But if you hit the fuse with a sledge hammer it will create the needed spark and the dynamite will explode.

Like you say we must try to increase the intensity of our practise. For example I may be turning at present only 80 degrees and if I don't improve the intensity or the focus that I can attend to myself alone I will not be able to turn the needed 180 degrees.

But intensity and duration are inversely related so we can practise intensely for short periods and maintain low intensity practise for longer periods. Lower intensity practise I suppose may be like a skill that improves with repetition and can help us with regards improving our shorter more intense practise session. Maybe it will improve my ability to strike the fuse compared to missing it and hitting the concrete floor either side of the fuse with my hammer.It will never in itself help me lift the heavy sledgehammer but will improve my aim.

In order to lift the heavy sledge hammer I have to progress by lifting and swinging slightly heavier hammers and build up the needed strength to pick up and swing the big sledgehammer. This will help me create the needed spark and ignite the fuse of the dynamite which will explode and destroy the illusion of experiencing myself not as I really am .

I must confess I think I am still weak and at present and am unable to lift my heavy hammer but I must persist with hope and have faith in Bhagavan and his words.

I hope you are stronger than me Sanjay.

In appreciation.
Bob

Bob - P said...

Wittgenstein

Yes we are so blessed Bhagavan has appeared in our dream !!

I suppose we never know how far we have progressed along Bhagavan's path but the very fact that Bhagavan has appeared and his teaching means so much to us is surely a sign of progress in itself !

We are on the right path and travelling in the right direction .. Inwards

Thank you for your further help linked to my post above. Yes I agree Michael emphasising the meaning "Even if they occur" was very helpful.

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement Wittgenstein.

I hope your project is going well. I know you are doing it in your spare time. But whether it is going fast or slow I am sure it will be very good and a job well done.

Like Michael said when you started the project you have a very deep understanding of the teaching. That coming from Michael is the highest complement!

In appreciation.

Bob

Bob - P said...

Mouna
I found your post very interesting and helpful. Thank you. I look forward to hearing comments about it from more experienced people on the forum. I am unable to comment about it. But a very strange thing is the passage you quoted below:

*** [A passage of Sadhu Om’s (The Path of Sri Ramana, 1 - page 212) throws some clues to decipher these apparent “two different views” of a jnani’s realization:

”Though after Self-realization some Jnanis spend their entire lifetime completely oblivious of the body and world, not all Jnanis will necessarily remain thus. The return of bodyconsciousness (and consequently world-consciousness) after the attainment of Self-realization is according to the prarabdha of that body; in the case of some it might never return, while in the case of others it might return within a second or after a few hours or days. But even in such cases where it does return, it will not be experienced as a knowledge of second or third persons! That is to say, the body and world are not experienced by the Jnani as second and third persons – objects other than Himself-but as His own unlimited and undivided Self.”

Here Sadhu Om clearly implies that objects appear but not other than oneself.] ***

After reading "The Path of Sri Ramana - Part 1" there were only two parts in the book that got me confused as all the rest made sense with regards Michael's own book and his articles I have read on this wonderful blog.

The first was the question or passage I asked about in my 1st comment on this article at the very top which I have been helped with and the second was the EXACT passage you quoted which I have pasted above (lol)!!

I was waiting for a suitable time to ask about this passage from (The Path of Sri Ramana - Part 1) in the future as I didn't want to push my luck asking another question so soon (lol)!.

But you have saved me Mouna so thank you so much!

All the very best.

Bob


Michael James said...

Mouna, the issue you discuss in your two comments is one that I am in the process of addressing in one of the several articles that I have begun to write in reply to other comments but have not yet had time to complete. It is of course a very important issue, because it is intimately connected with the fundamental principle of Bhagavan’s teachings expressed by him in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu and elsewhere, namely that we rise, stand and thrive as this ego only by ‘grasping form’, which means being aware of anything other than ourself, so as long as we continue to be aware of anything else we are nourishing and sustaining this ego, and hence it is only by being attentively aware of ourself alone that we can subside and dissolve this illusory ego in the pure self-awareness that we actually are. Therefore I hope I can find time soon to complete that article, in which I intend to examine in a detailed and thorough manner what Bhagavan taught us concerning the issue of whether we can experience ourself as we actually are while still being aware of any phenomena (all of which are, according to him, mental fabrications created by the rising of ourself as this ego).

Bob - P said...

Michael I will be looking forward to this article very much as I am sure you will help shed some light on this aspect of Bhagavan's teaching.
In appreciation.
Bob

Sundar said...

Allow me to point out a small typo correction in Tamil. It should be சேரப்படினும் instead of செரப்படினும் (sērappaḍiṉum)

sundar

Michael James said...

Thanks for pointing out that typo, Sundar. Unfortunately I cannot now correct it, because there is no edit facility for comments once they are posted, but I expect any Tamil-knowing person reading it will understand that I meant to type சேரப்படினும் (sērappaḍiṉum) and not செரப்படினும் (sērappaḍiṉum), and if they are in any doubt the ‘ē’ in the transliteration should indicate to them what I intended to type in Tamil.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mouna, yes, a few utterances of Bhagavan may give us an impression that even when one attains atma-jnana, one's 'I-am-this-body-idea' may continue. His some utterances may also seem to indicate that in the view of the jnani's the world-appearance will continue (in some form or other). Therefore I will try to discuss this topic, especially with reference to your two recent comments.

Firstly, I will quote verse 31 of Ulladu Narpadu, in which Bhagavan says:

When it (the Reality) surges forth and appears (as ‘I-I’), for Him (the Jnani) who enjoys the bliss of Self, which has (thus) risen by destroying the (individual) self (the ego), what single thing exists to do? He does not know anything other than Self (which shines as the one reality); (therefore) how to (or who can) conceive what His state is?

Throughout this comment, I will highlight some words or phrases to show that these words or phrases could be crucial to our understanding of the subject matter. Bhagavan clearly says in the above mentioned verse that the jnani does not know anything other than himself; thus, logically he cannot experience his body, or this world in any form. We should also remember that Bhagavan has emphasised this in Ulladu Narpadu, because Ulladu Narpadu and Nan Yar? are his most important works.

Now let us read verse 26 of Ulladu Narpadu:

If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist. [Hence] the ego itself is everything. Therefore, know that investigating what this [ego] is alone is giving up everything.

Does the jnani experience himself as the ego or the body? Because if he does, he is not a jnani. And if he does not, then he cannot experience anything other than himself, because everything else comes into existence only when the ego rises. As because the jnani's ego's has been annihilated, he cannot, without this ego, experience any phenomena - that is, any phenomena like his body, this world as so on.

(I will continue ths in my next comment)

Wittgenstein said...

Mouna,

With regard to the apparent contradiction you point out between verses 17 and 26 of Ulladu Narpadu, I thought we might take it in steps and see the interconnections with the help of other verses from the same text. As I see, the discussion can be stated as a question: When exactly do we see forms?

To begin with, Ulladu Narpadu points to everything (forms) that appears in our experience and asserts the following:

அவன் தான் அத்தனையும் ஆம் | He [the essential self] alone is everything. (V.1)

Next, it goes about saying why forms appear at all.

தான் உருவம் ஆயின், உலகு பரம் அற்று ஆம் | If we are a form, the world and God too are forms. (V. 4)

Therefore, the reason we see forms is we limit ourself to a form. If we do not limit ourself to a form, forms will not be seen. This is asked as a rhetorical question:

தான் உருவம் அன்றேல், உவற்றின் உருவத்தை கண்ணுறுதல் யாவன்? | If we are not a form, who can see their [the world and God] forms? (V.4)

A basic principle is then revealed through yet another rhetorical question: the form is of the same nature as the one who sees it. That is, if the seer is a limited form (a body), then limited forms (bodies) alone will be seen.

கண் அலால் காட்சி உண்டோ? | Can the sight be other than the seer? (V.4)

Finally, the essential self is called the limitless eye. Following the above principle, if the essential self is limitless, then no forms will be seen by it, as all forms are limited and the limitless cannot be many. Verse 1 says the essential self is in fact (or in essence) all the forms. However, we are not seeing the fact now as we have limited ourself.

தான் அது கண்; அந்தமில்லா கண் ஆமே. | The essential self is the eye; the limitless eye. (V.4)

I will continue in the next comment.

Wittgenstein said...

(In continuation of my previous comment)

Coming to verse 17, it is said that upon mano nasa, the seer shines without limit. Therefore, it is obvious that the limitless seer does not see any forms. The phrase ‘in the lifetime of the body’ cannot be in view of the limitless eye, as it does not experience any time and body. It can only be in view of a limited eye. However, no limited eye can be there for an unlimited eye.

உடல் உள்ளே தன் உணர்ந்தார்க்கு ‘நான்’ தான் எல்லை அற ஒளிரும். | For the one who has realized within the body, ‘I’ (the essential self) shines without limit. (V. 17)

If we are still in doubt about ‘in the lifetime of the body’, the next verse (verse 18) clarifies it. As it was said that the world has a form when we limit ourself to a form, obviously it will be formless if it is seen with a limitless eye, upon mano nasa.

உணர்ந்தார் உண்மை உலகினுக்கு ஆதாரமாய் உரு அற்று ஆரும். | For the one who has realized, the truth abides as formless basis of the world. (V. 18)

To summarize: the essential self, when limited to a form, sees forms. When unlimited, it sees the very same forms as limitless (and hence as oneself), as they are actually the essential self, but mistaken earlier to be limited (and other than oneself). This does not mean, one sees forms and somehow simultaneously sees some unity in them. As long as forms are seen, we are limiting ourself to a form, as Bhagavan teaches us. How can there be unity in such vision, diversity is the very nature of forms? It cannot be the teaching of Bhagavan.

Verse 26 says: “When the ego rises (by grasping a form), everything (all other forms too) rises”, that is, when we limit ourself to a form, we see forms. Conversely, when we do not limit ourself to a form, we do not see forms, which is in perfect agreement with verse 17 (and 18). Therefore, there cannot be any contradiction.

As far the prarabhdha remaining after mano nasa, Ulladu Narpadu Anubandham (verse 33) says, ‘it is an answer to others [who do not understand]’ (வேற்றார் கேள்விக்கு விளம்பும் சொல்). Such a simple reply from Bhagavan!

You have stated your personal take on this topic which I appreciate. My personal take is as follows. Upon destruction of ego, everything (all forms) associated with it are also destroyed. There can be no perception or conception (similar to sleep), as you say. However, I don’t think even every day sleep is veiled in anyway. It is only the waking mind that says so. While we are asleep, there is no veiling of any kind and we remain as pure awareness.

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment addressed to Mouna

Mouna, you quote verse 17 of Ulladu Narpadu:

To those who have not known Self and to those who have known [Self], this body of flesh is ‘I’; but to those who have not known Self, ‘I’ is limited to the measure of the body, whereas to those who have known Self within the body [i.e., in the lifetime of the body], ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self. Know that this indeed is the difference between these two.

How can this body of flesh be ‘I’, was your doubt? I had also misunderstood this verse; however, once we look at it closely its meaning should become clear. Bhagavan says, 'to those who have known Self within the body, ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self'. If 'I' shines as the limitless self, then nothing can exist apart or other that 'I' to limit its 'limitlessness'. Therefore, in the jnani's clear and limitless experience, no body (either belonging to him or belonging to anyone else) has ever existed.

What does Bhagavan mean when he says, 'To those who have not known Self and to those who have known [Self], this body of flesh is ‘I’'. For example, we may come across a snake superimposed on a rope, and may later on come to know that there was no snake and what we experienced earlier to be snake was just a 'rope'. Likewise, Bhagavan is saying here that the body we experience as 'I' is nothing but our limitless 'I'; or that even if we take our body to be 'I' in reality it is nothing but the limitless 'I'. Michael was recently trying to explain this.

Bhagavan says in verse 62 of GVK: 'He who knows this world-appearance to be his own form, Supreme-Consciousness, experiences the same Consciousness even through his five senses'.

A you say, this implies that the jnani has sensory awareness. When the jnani experiences supreme-consciousness, he experiences only supreme-consciousness, and nothing besides this consciousness. Then how can he experience 'the same consciousness through his five senses'? This 'five senses' could be a metaphorical description meaning the 'power of perception' - that is, meaning whatever this pure-consciousness perceives. And what does the pure-consciousness perceives? It perceives itself and only itself.

(I will continue this in my next comment)


Bob - P said...

Wittgenstien.

You wrote:

*** [To summarize: the essential self, when limited to a form, sees forms. When unlimited, it sees the very same forms as limitless (and hence as oneself), as they are actually the essential self, but mistaken earlier to be limited (and other than oneself). This does not mean, one sees forms and somehow simultaneously sees some unity in them. As long as forms are seen, we are limiting ourself to a form, as Bhagavan teaches us.

My personal take is as follows. Upon destruction of ego, everything (all forms) associated with it are also destroyed. There can be no perception or conception (similar to sleep), as you say. However, I don’t think even every day sleep is veiled in anyway. It is only the waking mind that says so. While we are asleep, there is no veiling of any kind and we remain as pure awareness.]***

Thank you for your thoughts on this Wittgenstein. This is my understanding and I agree with what you write. However due to immaturity of mind sometimes when I read certain passages even in recommended books they seem to contradict my basic understanding of Bhagavans teaching. Your reflection was so helpful to me, thank you.

Before Bhagavan found me and Michael's writings and blog came into my life I use to want the world to remain after I experienced myself as I really am.

I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it !!

But now I am less interested in the world and the fleeting pleasures it has to offer. Going into dreamless sleep and never waking again seems a much more attractive proposition even though the one who thinks this will vanish.

In appreciation
Bob

P.s - Mouna really hope this was helpful for you too.

Sundar said...

Upon destruction of ego, no forms are seen. It is like the soonyam, of Buddhism. But, the seemingly existing body/mind feels AnandA. Sat-chit-AnandA. It continues acting, albeit in a selfless manner, completes its prarabhdha karma and dies.

This is my understanding.

sundar

Bob - P said...

Sundar
I might be wrong but it is my understanding that when the ego dissoves all 3 karmas dissolve with it. But hopefully someone else will address this.
In appreciation
Bob

Wittgenstein said...

Verse 12 of Ulladu Narpadu says:

அறிதற்கு அறிவித்தற்கு அன்னியம் இன்றாய் அவிர்வதால், தான் அறிவாகும். பாழ் அன்று. | The essential self is self-shining as there is nothing other than it to be known or to make itself known. It is not void (sunya).

If sunya is relative absence, then it should be with reference to some basis (someone who is asserting it). If it is absolute absence, then it cannot even be stated, as it is contradiction and cannot be our true nature. On the other hand, absolute presence is necessarily true, which is our true nature. Our confused identity (ego) is neither necessarily true nor a contradiction. It is a proposition, to be checked, if we desire so.

Verse 38 of Ulladu Narpadu says:

வினைமுதல் ஆர் என்று வினவி தனை அறிய கர்த்தத்துவம் போய் கருமம் மூன்றும் கழலும். | If we investigate the origin of action and know it, the sense of doership will slip away along with all three karmas.

‘When the ego rises, everything rises’ is the central teaching of Bhagavan. No wonder, since the ego is the origin (cause) of everything, once a cause is stripped off, the effect should also vanish. So, how can prarabhdha [ஊழ்] stay? People say momentum of previous push and such things. Well, such ‘momentum theory’ is another story rolled out by the ego and such a story cannot stand in the absence of ego. Is not this 'momemtum' an activity of the ego? If so, prarabhdha stays till ego stays.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bob-P, yes, your understanding is correct. When the ego dissolves all three karmas dissolve with it. Bhagavan spoke about this in verse 38 of Ulladu Narpadu, in which he says:

If we are the doer of action, we will experience the resulting fruit [the consequences of our actions]. When [we] know ourself [by] having investigated 'who is the doer of action?', kartritva [our sense of doership, our feeling 'I am doing action'] will depart and the three karmas will slip off [vanish or cease to exist]. [This state devoid of all actions or karmas is] the state of liberation, which is eternal.

Bhagavan had said elsewhere that if a person has three wives, and if he dies, will only two of his wives be widowed? No, all his three wives will become widows. Likewise, If our ego is annihilated, all our three karmas - prarabdha, agamya, and sanchita will slip away, as no karma can remain with the doer and experiencer of karmas - our ego.

Wittgenstein said...

Bob – P,

You say you are now ‘less interested in the world and the fleeting pleasures it has to offer’. No doubt the prospect of going to sleep and never waking up is attractive to you.

I am reminded of verse 74 from Guru Vachaka Kovai:

உலகுக்கு வற்புறுத்தி உண்மை வழங்கல் பரத்தைக்குக் கற்புறுத்தும் காமக் கதழ் | To impose reality to world is to impose chastity to a prostitute.

Trying to retain a subtle ego or preserving prarabhdha and calling it at the same time ‘the end’ shows our infatuation with the world. You are right, the world has got nothing substantial to offer us.

Mouna said...

Wittgenstein and Sanjay,

Thank you for your insightful replies to my comments. It is a very useful manana happening with this topic.
Just two or three thoughts in relation to your posts before I could sit with more time to investigate the topic and your postings in depth.

Sanjay,
You said: "a few utterances of Bhagavan may give us an impression that even when one attains atma-jnana, one's 'I-am-this-body-idea' may continue.”
That is not the case I was making, I do not have that impression since it that assertion contradicts bluntly with Bhagavan’s teachings.
I shall be more inclined to investigate the second part of your paragraph, "His some utterances may also seem to indicate that in the view of the jnani's the world-appearance will continue (in some form or other).” And to be more precise it is the “in one form or other” that I was trying to elucidate and brainstorm with this discussion.
Also,

Wittgenstein,
A brief comment first, we both seem to agree that upon destruction of ego, everything goes, at least based on Bhagavan’s teachings. I do differ with you and still think sleep is veiled, specially because it is the waking mind who says so. Even deep sleep, waking and dream are concepts fabricated by the ego, and so within that logic (the ego’s) the only explanation for recurrence of it (the ego) is that there is this power called maya wich veils and projects, through continuous appearances supported by vasanas followed by periods of exhaustion where it abides.

I see the point related to the question "When exactly do we see forms?” and its relevance when addressing this topic.
Unfortunately semantics and the limitations of language gets really in the way when talking about these concepts, but there is no way around I suppose.
For example, (quote):"To summarize: the essential self, when limited to a form, sees forms. When unlimited, it sees the very same forms as limitless (and hence as oneself), as they are actually the essential self, but mistaken earlier to be limited (and other than oneself).” Definitely, the verb “to see” here is used with different connotations, since "seeing a form” means perceiving a shape against its background. How do you see a form limitless?

But the answer to my own question could be what I describe in this next paragraph

One of the possible explanations of these play of words going around, for me, is to consider our view as adults of the world and the view of a newborn baby. This idea helped me, at least at the perception level, to understand better Verses 17 & 18 and the idea of a “limitless eye”.

If we replace “To those who have not know Self” with the words ”For adults” and ”To those who have know Self” by ”for newborn babies” strangely enough the verse take and interesting turn:
“For adults and for newborn babies this body of flesh is ‘I’; but to adults ‘I’ is limited to the measure of the body, whereas to newborn babies, ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self. Know that this indeed is the difference between these two.”
I do realize the limitations of the analogy but I thought it is a valuable pointer to understand “seeing limited forms" and "seeing those same forms as limitless" (and hence as oneself).

Mouna said...

Bob,
Thank you for your replies to this topic.

"P.s - Mouna really hope this was helpful for you too.

Extremely helpful Bob.

I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat it !!

In this regard, my friend, I already lost any hope of having the cake after eating it. The topic in question is what happens with the digestion of the cake… What is in our intestines, could still be called a cake? Certainly not, but still, something's there…

Be well,
M

Sanjay Lohia said...

In continuation of my previous comment addressed to Mouna

Mouna, you quote a passage from Sri Sadhu Om’s The Path of Sri Ramana - 1 (page 212)). The passage mentions contradictory outward appearances and actions of various jnanis, implying that their inner states could be different.

Sri Sadhu Om says, 'But even in such cases where it [body-consciousness] does return, it will not be experienced as a knowledge of second or third persons! That is to say, the body and world are not experienced by the Jnani as second and third persons – objects other than Himself-but as His own unlimited and undivided Self'.

Even the jnani who outwardly seems to have a body-consciousness does not experience any second and third persons, as stated by Sri Sadu Om. Therefore, his inner state is no different from the jnani who seems to have no body consciousness. Moreover, even the jnani who seems to have body-consciousness (in our view) experiences only himself. He experiences only his own limited and undivided self, according to Sri Sadhu Om.

So different jnanis' (let us assume for our argument sake that there are many jnanis) inner states are identical. For example, Bhagavan went through many changes in his outward behaviour after he came to TIruvannamalai. He totally neglected his body and did not speak for the first few years, then he gradually started speaking and interacting with others, and finally he started acting like any of us. Bhagavan himself has stated that, after his death experience, his inner state never underwent any change.

In reality, the jnani is merely anadi akhanda ananta sat-chit-ananda; therefore, without an ego, and devoid of an ego how can he have body-consciousness or world-consciousness?
.

Michael James said...

Yes, Sundar, upon destruction of the ego, no forms are seen, as you say, and the reason why they are not seen is that they do not exist independent of the ego’s awareness of them, so they are all destroyed along with the ego. To whom then could any forms (any body, mind or other phenomenon) seem to exist?

When Bhagavan says in the first sentence of the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?, ‘யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே’ (yathārthamāy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē), which means ‘What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [our own real self]’, what he clearly implies is that nothing else actually exists, so whatever else seems to exist is not real, which means that it does not actually exist at all, even though it seems to exist.

So to whom does it seem to exist? Only to the ego, which itself does not actually exist at all, even though it seems to exist (but only in its own view). This is why nothing else seems to exist in sleep, because the ego does not seem to exist then, and why in verse 26 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Bhagavan pointed out to us a simple principle, which is in perfect accord with our own experience, namely: ‘அகந்தை உண்டாயின், அனைத்தும் உண்டாகும்; அகந்தை இன்றேல், இன்று அனைத்தும்’ (ahandai uṇḍāyiṉ, aṉaittum uṇḍāhum; ahandai iṉḏṟēl, iṉḏṟu aṉaittum), which means ‘If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist’.

Therefore when our ego is annihilated, no form (no body, mind or other phenomenon) will seem to exist at all, so what will then remain is only our own actual self (ātma-svarūpa), whose nature is anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness), as Bhagavan says in verse 28 of Upadēśa Undiyār.

What experiences or is aware of ānanda is therefore not ‘the seemingly existing body/mind’, as you say, but is only sat-cit-ānanda itself, because there is nothing other than itself that could be aware of it, and it does not need anything else to be aware of it, because it itself is awareness (cit), so its nature is to be aware of itself. The compound term sat-cit-ānanda denotes just one single thing, namely ourself, whose nature is sat, cit and ānanda, which are indivisible, being one and the same thing. Here sat means உள்ளது (uḷḷadu), ‘what exists’, and cit means உணர்வு (uṇarvu), ‘awareness’ or ‘what is aware’, and as Bhagavan says in verse 23 of Upadēśa Undiyār:

உள்ள துணர வுணர்வுவே றின்மையி
னுள்ள துணர்வாகு முந்தீபற
      வுணர்வேநா மாயுள முந்தீபற.

uḷḷa duṇara vuṇarvuvē ṟiṉmaiyi
ṉuḷḷa duṇarvāhu mundīpaṟa
      vuṇarvēnā māyuḷa mundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: உள்ளது உணர உணர்வு வேறு இன்மையின், உள்ளது உணர்வு ஆகும். உணர்வே நாமாய் உளம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): uḷḷadu uṇara uṇarvu vēṟu iṉmaiyiṉ, uḷḷadu uṇarvu āhum. uṇarv[u]-ē nām-āy uḷam.

அன்வயம்: உள்ளது உணர வேறு உணர்வு இன்மையின், உள்ளது உணர்வு ஆகும். உணர்வே நாமாய் உளம்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): uḷḷadu uṇara vēṟu uṇarvu iṉmaiyiṉ, uḷḷadu uṇarvu āhum. uṇarvē nām-āy uḷam.

English translation: Because of the non-existence of [any] uṇarvu [awareness] other [than uḷḷadu] to know uḷḷadu [what exists], uḷḷadu is uṇarvu. Uṇarvu alone exists as we.

(I will continue this reply in my next comment.)

Michael James said...

In continuation of my previous comment in reply to Sundar:

Therefore since we are not only what exists (uḷḷadu or sat) and awareness (uṇarvu or cit) but also happiness (ānanda), and since nothing else actually exists, it is we alone who can experience ourself as sat-cit-ānanda. No body or mind is required to do so, or even could do so, because neither any body nor any mind ever actually exists or is ever actually aware, and when we are aware of ourself as sat-cit-ānanda they do not even seem to exist.

However this does not mean that this state is śūnya (empty or void), as you seem to believe, because Bhagavan has clearly explained that it is actually pūrṇa (full and whole), as I discussed in great detail in one of my earlier articles, Self-knowledge is not a void (śūnya).

Regarding your final remark that in this state the body/mind ‘continues acting, albeit in a selfless manner, completes its prarabhdha karma and dies’, this presupposes that our body and mind exist independent of our ego, which according to Bhagavan they do not. Moreover since prārabdha and the other two karmas exist only for the ego, they cease to exist when this ego dies, as Bhagavan explained on many occasions (such as in verse 38 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu). Though it is sometimes said that prārabdha does remain for the ātma-jñāni, in verse 33 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham Bhagavan explains (as Wittgenstein pointed out in one of his recent comments) that this is said only as ‘வேற்றார் கேள்விக்கு விளம்பும் சொல்’ (vēṯṟār kēḷvikku viḷambum sol), which means ‘a reply said to the questions of others’, and which implies that it is said only for the sake of those who do not want to understand the simple truth as he taught it.

Sundar said...

MIchael,
Bhagavan's body continued to exist until its death and performed actions. There must still have been related thoughts to carry out those actions.

As a result of the realization, those bodily actions would have been without any selfish motive. And there must have been a sense of peace, which would have been a change from before realization.

When the body was not engaged in action, during those times, there would have been no thoughts and just pure awareness, the nature of which is unexplainable.

This is what I meant to say last time.

sundar

Roger Isaacs said...

From the Paul Brunton Notebooks which are on line and searchable: http://paulbrunton.org/notebooks/

Quoted from Advaitin John Levy's Immediate Knowledge and Happiness: ". . . although outwardly something of duality appears to still remain, he is nevertheless established in nonduality."

Ramakrishna admitted that a slight bit of ego still is left over to continue functioning in the physical body.

Roger Isaacs said...

more Paul Brunton quotes: The first offers a different perspective to "kill the ego".


The goal is achieved when the higher self encloses and absorbs the ego.

The ordinary man is aware of his surroundings, first, by naming and labelling them; second, by linking them with past memory of them; and third, by relating them to his own personal self. The illumined egoless man is simply aware of them, without any of these other added activities.

Japanese Zen Master Dogen: "Unwise people think that in the world of essence there should be no bloom of flowers and no fall of leaves." The Master here shows that in the mind of the enlightened man the external world appears as for the ordinary man and remains a mere mentation for the mentalist.

The enlightened man has the same kind of body and the same five senses as unenlightened men have. His experience of the world must be the same, too. But--and this is a vast difference--he experiences it along with the Overself.

If the illuminate detaches himself from the world because of its immediate transiency, he re-attaches himself to it again because of its ultimate unity with his own innermost being.

Is such a statement that the sage sees no world because no world exists to be taken literally? Does it really mean what it says? If so, the sage is squatting in complete isolation, not even seeing a single sage existent anywhere in space now, or in time earlier, and who hears or records this statement, since all others are non-existent along with the world.

The man who has this higher consciousness permanently will see and experience the outer world like other men, but he will understand the relation between what he sees and the Real world which is behind it. In the same way, anyone can understand the relation between his body and its shadows; but whereas unenlightened men see the shadow alone, the enlightened one sees both.

Of little use are explanations which befog truth and bewilder understanding. To inform a Western reader that an enlightened man sees only "Brahman" is to imply that he does not see forms, that is, the world. But the fact is that he does see what unenlightened men see--the physical objects and creatures around him--or he could not attend to the simplest little necessity or duty of which all humans have to take care. But he sees things without being limited to their physical appearance--he knows their inner reality too.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Sunder, you wrote a comment addressed to Michael about Bhagavan's actions – that is, how could he have performed actions if he had no mind, and other such related questions. I share my reflections on your questions; however, Michael should answer your doubts more clearly.

You say, 'Bhagavan's body continued to exist until its death and performed actions', but in whose view did his body exist and performed actions? It was only in our view. Yes, without any doubt Bhagavan's seeming actions were totally unselfish, but why or how was it unselfish? Since the ego always wants more for itself than others, selfishness in the property of the ego. However, since Bhavanan's ego had been annihilated, there was no ego left in him to be selfish.

The actions attributed to him were only performed by the chit-shakti, or God’s power. However, this is also not absolutely correct, as chit-shakti is just a presence and this presence cannot perform any action, though actions do seem to take place in and because of its presence.

So how do we account for the seeming actions of the jnani? The simple answer is: any action that we see is only performed by the ego, and when the ego is annihilated, there will remain no mind, no world and no actions. When the actor is killed, how can the actions still go on? Only persons or jivas can perform actions, and the jnani is not a person; therefore, the jnani cannot act in any way.

Bhagavan's state was that of ajata: which means ‘non-born’, ‘non-arisen’ or ‘non-happened’.

Michael James said...

Sundar, you say that ‘Bhagavan’s body continued to exist until its death and performed actions’, but in whose view did it continue to exist?

He taught us that everything we experience is just a dream, so since in any dream there is only one dreamer (that is, one ego who projects and simultaneously experiences the dream), whatever we experience in this dream exists only in our view. However, so long as we are dreaming, we experience ourself as one of the people in our dream, and we see many other people, each of whom seems to be just like the person we seem to be, so in our view it seems as if each of them is another ego with a mind like ourself. But all these other people and their seeming minds and thoughts exist only in our view.

Among all the people we see or know about in this dream of ours, one was Bhagavan, but he taught us that he was not the person (the body and mind) that he seemed to be in our view, but is only our own infinite self, the source from which we have arisen as this ego and into which we must again subside. As our own actual self, which has infinite love for itself, he loves us as himself (because he sees us as nothing other than his own infinite and indivisible self), so due to his infinite love he appeared in this dream of ours to teach us that to experience the infinite happiness that we actually are we must turn our attention back within to investigate what we actually are.

Therefore though the outward form of Bhagavan (the person whom he seemed to be) is wholly unreal, being just another one of the numerous phenomena we see in our dream, if we follow what he taught us we will thereby wake up from this dream by experiencing ourself as we really are, which is what he really is. To explain this he used to say (as recorded, for example, in verse 283 of Guru Vācaka Kōvai) that the outward form of the sadguru is like a lion that appears in the dream of an elephant. Though the lion is unreal, mere sight of it gives the elephant such a shock that it immediately wakes up, so the result of the appearance of the unreal lion is the awakening of the elephant from the sleep in which that unreal dream occurred. Likewise, though the human form of Bhagavan is unreal, the teachings he gives us will make us wake up from our sleep of self-ignorance into our real state of pure self-awareness.

What Bhagavan really is is just anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda, and as such he is immutable, so his state of pure self-awareness never changes in any way whatsoever. In his clear view no body or world exists or even seems to exist at all, so though the seeming body and mind that we mistake him to be were sometimes engaged in action in our view, in his view they never existed and hence whatever they seemed to do did not affect or change his immutable state of pure self-awareness even in the least. He is always just as he is, which is what we actually are, as we will discover if the investigate ourself sufficiently keenly.

Bob - P said...

Sanjay
Thank you for your recent post about the ego and karma and your other comments addressed to Mouna anbd Sundar above. Very helpful.

Wittgenstein
Thank you for your comment about the destruction of the ego and karmas.
Yes I agree the world has nothing to offer we must follow Bhagavan's advice and reflect on his words and practise what they mean as much as we can.

Michael
Thank you for your above comments to Sundar I found them helpful as well in reinforcing my understanding.

Mouna
I am glad Wittgenstein's comment was helpful for you too, this blog is a treasure!
I do hope Sivanarul returns.
I am glad to hear you have lost any hope of having the cake after eating it, it shows your maturity I will try to follow your lead. I like the story Michael tells about the person falling down the well with a tiger at the top, crocodile at the bottom and the bees nest !! How very true.

Thank you Sundar and Roger for your comments above too.

In appreciation
Bob

Bob - P said...

Michael wrote:

[Among all the people we see or know about in this dream of ours, one was Bhagavan, but he taught us that he was not the person (the body and mind) that he seemed to be in our view, but is only our own infinite self, the source from which we have arisen as this ego and into which we must again subside. As our own actual self, which has infinite love for itself, he loves us as himself (because he sees us as nothing other than his own infinite and indivisible self), so due to his infinite love he appeared in this dream of ours to teach us that to experience the infinite happiness that we actually are we must turn our attention back within to investigate what we actually are.]

This is why we can take take Bhagavan and his teaching as the gospel truth.
Thank you very much Michael.
In appreciation
Bob

Ann Onymous said...

A
Here is an excerpt from Ramana's own writing of his death experience:

‘I’ was something very real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with my body was centred on that ‘I’. 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. Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the ‘I’ continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading, or anything else, I was still centred on ‘I’.

As far as I know, Ramana is the only one here qualified to comment on his experience.

Sundar said...

Michael,
Thanks.

Whether this body / mind realizes or not, I am nothing but consciousness. So is everyone. According to all the books.

If the realization takes place, the actions of the body will be different. More importantly, the generated emotions will be different. They will be more positive and this is the motivation for attempting to realize.

The second motivation is the basic curiosity to know what the sense of I is, lurking in the background, usually left unnoticed.

sundar


Michael James said...

Ann, regarding your comment, Bhagavan never wrote anything about his death experience, but he did occasionally answer questions he was asked about it, so his account of it recorded in books was not written by him but recorded by others, so in most cases it is probably not his exact words. Most of the accounts (including the one you have quoted) are based on what was written by BV Narasimhaswami in Self-Realization, which was the earliest biography of Bhagavan, but whereas Bhagavan spoke in Tamil, Narasimhaswami recorded what he said in English, so we do not know what he actually said in Tamil.

Moreover, when Bhagavan answered questions on such matters related to his life as a person, he obviously did so according to the perspective of those in whose view he seemed to be a person with a body and mind, and hence in the passage you quoted it is recorded that he said: “Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the ‘I’ continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading, or anything else, I was still centred on ‘I’”.

This seems to imply that he was aware not only of ‘I’ but also of the body and mind and their various activities and thoughts, but in numerous places in his own original writings he made it very clear that all such phenomena exist only in the view of the ego, so when the ego is destroyed all that remains is only anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness), as he says in verse 28 of Upadēśa Undiyār.

Therefore we need to distinguish what he said about his actual experience from what he said about what his experience seemed to be from the perspective of those in whose view he seemed to be a person with a body and mind. Because we experience ourself as a person, in our view he seemed to be likewise, so he seemed to do physical actions, to speak and to think, but he made it very clear that this seems to be true only from our perspective, because from his perspective nothing other than himself exists or even seems to exist.

Ann Onymous said...

"Therefore we need to distinguish what he said about his actual experience from what he said about what his experience seemed to be from the perspective of those in whose view he seemed to be a person with a body and mind."

What we need is the Truth as our own experience before we claim to be an authority on what Ramana experienced.

Wittgenstein said...

Ann Onymous,

Of course, we should strive to experience the truth. However, if we are inclined to ask about the death experience of Sri Ramana and before we quote from what others have said about it, we may at least take a look into what Sri Ramana has told about it in his own work. For example, in Ulladu Narpadu (which he wrote by himself) benedictory verse 2 he says those rare individuals who are gripped with the intense fear of death take refuge in God who is beyond life and death. He says what happens in such a case as follows:

தம் சார்வொடு தாம் சாவுற்றார். | Taking refuge, they died.

However, he ends the verse by saying such people are ‘நித்தர்’, meaning they are eternal and being deathless, will never have the thought of death. On the surface this may appear contradictory. However, it is resolved if we see what is meant is the death of ego. If we see this, we should ask what happens if ego dies. The answer is provided in verse 26.

அகந்தை இன்றேல் அனைத்தும் இன்றாம். | If ego does not exist, everything does not exist.

Since he says ‘everything’, it is anybody’s guess that it includes thoughts, bodily actions, space, time, people and things.

If this is so, how can, after this death experience, Sri Ramana have thoughts and bodily actions? Or, how can he be located in space and time? Or, how can he interact with people and things?

It is up to us to believe Sri BV Narasimhaswami or Sri Ramana.

More than that, we should be interested in experiencing the truth on our own, as you say. I agree. By the way, nobody is professing here to be an authority on Sri Ramana. He is his own authority (self-shining) and he does not need anybody as there is none other than himself.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ann Onymous, you quote Bhagavan's death experience (in his own words) in your comment dated 3 June 17:17, and then conclude by writing in the end, 'As far as I know, Ramana is the only one here qualified to comment on his experience'. If Ramana is the only one qualified to comment on his experience, you should have asked his comment directly to Ramana.

However, you choose to write this comment on this blog. No problem! Michael, the writer of the articles of this blog responds to your comment, and explains that in this instance Bhagavan had obviously diluted his 'death experience' to suit the understanding capacity of certain of his devotees.

However, you respond to Michael's comment by writing, 'What we need is the Truth as our own experience before we claim to be an authority on what Ramana experienced'. This comment seems to be unjustified, and not in good taste. Michael had just shared his understanding with us, and it was only because you had put your comment in the first place.

Incidentally, though Michael does not claim to be one, but he is an authority on Ramana's life and teachings. I hope I had not misunderstand your comment in the first place, because if I have then my above remarks will become redundant.

Sundar said...

It is one thing to reflect on last night's dream in the morning and laugh at how silly it was.

In the case of Bhagavan, in addition to laughing at the previous night's dreams, he will be amused at the waking world dream also. But for the equanimity that a realized person achieves, it will be down right annoying even to go through such a long waking state dream. Death of the body will be a big relief.

A person with ego, such as myself, has a lot of difficulty understanding "....... when the ego is destroyed all that remains is only anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness)"

sundar

Mouna said...

Hello friends,
I came across an interesting thought from Guru Vachaka Kovai pertaining to the discussion we have been having these past few days.
I am not taking any “position” here, just stating what I read, that I found very good food for thought.
Let us remember also that Bhagavan endorsed GVK as one of the best examples of his teaching (if not the best) and worked closely and continuously with Sri Muruganar in the editing of this set of verses. The translation I’ll denote first is Dr. T V Venkatasubrmanian, David Godman and Robert Butler’s.
First comes the verse and then David Godman’s commentary (in italics) about it. In a separate post I shall write Sadhu Om and Michael James’ translation and Sadhu Om’s commentary of the same verse.

Verse 1021. When , in the time and place that are the form of the Self, the Self that is the form of the Self revealed and gave itself to the Self that is the form of the Self, so that the Self that is the form of the Self joyously attained [the Self] - in that moment [the Self] comprehended the Self that is the form of the Self.

In this cryptic and somewhat convoluted verse Muruganar is attempting to explain how his realization came about. It was not a case, he says, of a person called Muruganar realising the Self. Rather, the Self that is Bhagavan made itself known to the Self that was the essence and true form of Muruganar. In that revelation, the Self within Muruganar became aware of itself. This idea, that there is no individual person who plays a role in the process of enlightenment, can also be found in the first clause of verse 1042: 'There is no second entity in the attainment of one’s own swarupa.’
I would interpret the sequence of clauses in the following way:

‘in the time and place that are the form of the Self…’. This is Muruganar, pre-enlightenment, believing himself to be a form in a particular time and place.

‘the Self that is the form of the Self…’. This is the Self that is the true nature of Bhagavan.

‘revealed and gave itself to the Self that is the form of the Self,,,’. The Self that is the real nature of Bhagavan revealed itself to the form of Muruganar and to the Self that animated it.

‘so that the Self that is the form of the Self joyously attained [the Self]…’. The Self that had taken form of Muruganar became aware of itself within him in such a way that Muruganar no longer perceived himself to be a form limited by time and space.

‘in that moment [the Self] comprehended the Self that is the form of the Self.’ In that moment of recognition, Self became aware of its true nature within the form of Muruganar, leaving Muruganar with the true knowledge that he was the formless Self rather than the limited entity, Muruganar.


(continues in next posting with Sadhu Om and Michael James transaltion of the same verse and Sadhu Om’s commentary about it.)

Mouna said...

(continues from my immediate previous posting)

This is the translation of the same verse by Sri Sadhu Om and Michael James.

1021. Self itself graciously revealed and bestowed Self, which is the form of Self, at the time, which is the form of Self, and in the place, which is the form of the
Self; in order for Self to attain [itself], it realized itself as the form of Self.


Sadhu Om: In the above two verses Sri Muruganar expressed the experience of supreme Jnana which was bestowed upon him by the Grace of His Sadguru, Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Sri Muruganar’s state of egolessness can be clearly understood here from the fact that he says the Self realized itself, and not, “I have realized Self”.
Truly, no jiva can ever realize Self; it is Self alone that realizes itself [refer to pages 105 to 106 of The Path of Sri Ramana – Part One ]. Moreover, from the words used in verse 1021, “at the time, which is in the form of Self, and in the place, which is the form of Self”, we should understand that Self does not realize itself at any particular time or in any particular place. Since time and space are both unreal, being nothing but a false appearance in the real Self, the experience of a Jnani is that He, the Self, has ever known Himself at all times and in all places. For Him ignorance [ajnana ] is something which is ever non-existent, so though in the outlook of others it may appear as if He has attained jnana at a particular time and place, in His own outlook He does not truly feel that He was once in ignorance and has now attained Jnana [see verse 1085].

Michael James said...

Sundar, we all still have ego (or rather we all still seem to be this ego), so we are all in more or less the same boat, and hence none of us can adequately understand what anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda actually is. At best we can understand it only in negative terms — that is, in terms of what it is not. To understand it perfectly, we must lose ourself in it, which we can do only by investigating ourself to see whether we are actually this ego that we now seem to be.

The closest we come to experiencing it now is in sleep, but though we experience nothing other than it in sleep, our memory of our experience of it then is now obscured by our ego, so to experience it here and now we must destroy this illusory ego.

You say, ‘Death of the body will be a big relief’, but death of the ego will be a far greater relief, and once it is dead there will be nothing left from which we can be further relieved.

Michael James said...

Mouna, as you point out, verse 1021 of Guru Vācaka Kōvai is very relevant in this context, but though it is an extremely simple verse, it is equally deep in meaning, so I think it needs to be explained more clearly than has been done in either of the translations you have cited, so I will try to write a separate article explaining it in more detail.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Ann wrote a comment dated 3 June 2016 at 13:50, in which she quoted Bhagavan's death experience in his own words (based on what was written by BV Narasimhaswami in Self-Realization). We, Michael, Wittgenstein, Ann and I, discussed this comment of hers through our comments.

Bhagavan's death experience (as quoted by Ann or similar to it) is prominently displayed inside Sri Ramanasramam. I may read it several times, but I never felt anything wrong in this description. However, after reading Michael's comment, I realised that it could also be an inaccurate, or a diluted saying by Bhagavan.

Bhagavan said, 'other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the ‘I’ continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. .Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading, or anything else, I was still centred on ‘I’'.

One way of understanding this is as follows: Bhagavan could be indicating that though others may see his body engaged in talking, reading, or anything else, but he is only aware of 'I' (himself), and not in the least aware of any phenomena. But the recording of his death experience gives us an impression that even after atma-jnana, Bhagavan was aware of his body, mind, world and so on.

Michael writes, 'When Bhagavan answered questions on such matters related to his life as a person, he obviously did so according to the perspective of those in whose view he seemed to be a person with a body and mind'.

When Bhagavan talked to others, he used to interact with them as if he was one among them, because it would have been difficult for others to understand his egoless and therefore bodiless state.


venkat said...

Thanks all - wonderful conversation.

Can I clarify my understanding - and would welcome comments.

In Ellam Ondre, which Bhagavan is reputed to have recommended, it is said in chapter 2, verse 8:

8. What is there more for him who has gained the fourth state? Practically, it is not possible for anyone to remain forever in that state, that is, the state of no particular knowledge. He who has realized the fourth state later wakes up in this world, but for him this world is not as before. He sees that what he realized as the fourth state, shines forth as all this. He will not imagine this world as distinct from that Pure Knowledge. Thus what he saw within, he now sees without in a different form. In the place of the differentiation of old, he is now established in the state of non-differentiation everywhere. Now, he is all. There is nothing distinct from himself. His eyes closed or open, howsoever the things may change, his state remains unchanged. This is the state of Brahman. This is the natural eternal state. You are that ever-true state.

Apparently in a similar vein, in Sri Ramanaparavidyopanishad, Lakshmana Sarma writes a series of verses on the nature of the world; as an example:

v.428 Just as one that has become wise as to the truth of the mirage may again see the mirage without being deluded, so too the Sage, seeing this world, does not think of it as real, as does the ignorant one.


venkat said...

One other quote from Sadhu Natanananda, who Sri Murugunar extolled as a jnani, from Sri Ramana Darsanam, section 54:

He [the jnani] can be aware of his environment with our swerving from his natural state. One who has realised the false nature of the mirage will cease to have the delusion that it is water. One who has realised the falsity of cinema scenes that appear on the screen does not experience any pain or pleasure watching them. The jivanmukta has realised the false nature of external objects. For him, there is no association with them and the belief that they are real does not arise. . . Because of this, none of these events leaves any vasanas in his mind. The experience of the jivanmukta is the same even with regard to his own activities such as easting and so on.

He goes on to quote Kaivalya Navaneeta, which Bhagavan also was fond of:

If you always remain aware that "i" am perfect consciousness, what does it matter how much you think, or what you do? All this is unreal, like dream visions after waking. I am all bliss

Mouna said...

"...so I will try to write a separate article explaining it in more detail."

Very much looking forward to it Michael, not only because you were very close to Sadhu Om in this endeavor but also for your deep and pragmatic understanding of Bhagavan's teachings.
And as usual, thanks again.
M

Sanjay Lohia said...

Venkat, Ellam Ondre says, 'He who has realized the fourth state later wakes up in this world, but for him this world is not as before'. This is an impossibility, because once our knot (chit-jada-granthi) is untied, it cannot be tied again. Once the river merges into the ocean it cannot become a river again. Once we see the rope as a rope we will not mistake it to be a snake again. Also, our sastras state emphatically that atma-jnana is a state of no return.

Ellam also says, 'Thus what he saw within, he now sees without in a different form'. This is again diametrically opposite to what Bhagavan has taught us, for example Bhagavan says in verse 4 of Ulladu Narpadu:

If oneself is a form composed of flesh, the world and God will be likewise (that is, they will also be forms); if oneself is not a form, who can see their forms, and how? Can the sight (that which is seen) be otherwise than the eye (the seer)? Self, the (real) eye is the limitless eye (the eye which is devoid of the limitation of name and form).

Therefore, when Ellam implies that one will see the truth outside in a different form, he is clearly not in tune with Bhagavan's teachings. In simple words, only a form can experience a form, whereas formlessness experiences only formlessness.

Lakshmana Sarma writes:

Just as one that has become wise as to the truth of the mirage may again see the mirage without being deluded, so too the Sage, seeing this world, does not think of it as real, as does the ignorant one.

He could be speaking in a certain context, but Bhagavan's teachings are clear: a sage or the atma-jnani does not see this world (a collection of names or forms); and if one sees this world he is not a sage. Bhagavan says in paragraph 4 of Nan Yar?:

Therefore when the world appears, svarūpa [our ‘own form’ or actual self] does not appear [as it really is]; when svarūpa appears (shines) [as it really is], the world does not appear.

Therefore, if we see names and forms we have not annihilated our ego, which see names and forms. Hence, until we are able to annihilate our ego, we should practise self-investigation.

Sadhu Natanananda says, 'One who has realised the falsity of cinema scenes that appear on the screen does not experience any pain or pleasure watching them'. Again he must have said this in a certain context. Because after we experience ourself as we really are will not be able to watch any cinema scenes (and this world is also a cinema scene). Therefore, after we permanently merge in Bhagavan, experiencing or not-experiencing relative pain or pleasure is beyond the realms of possibility.

Sandhya said...

Taking cinema screen/scene analogy, when self is realized, does jnani realize that scenes and screen are one and the same? Or does scenes disappear completely leaving only the screen?

Ann Onymous said...

Here are a few more "diluted" teachings...

From Maharshi's Gospel:

D: I am only trying to understand the jnani’s point of view about the world. Is the world perceived after Self-realization?

M: Why worry yourself about the world and what happens to it after Self-realization? First realise the Self. What does it matter if the world is perceived or not. Do you gain anything to help you in your quest by the non-perception of the world during sleep? Conversely, what would you lose now by the perception of the world? It is quite immaterial to the jnani or ajnani if he perceives the world or not. It is seen by both, but their viewpoints differ.

D: If the jnani and the ajnani perceive the world in like manner, where is the difference between them?

M: Seeing the world, the jnani sees the Self which is the substratum of all that is seen; the ajnani, whether he sees the world or not, is ignorant of his true Being, the Self. Take the instance of moving pictures on the screen in the cinema-show. What is there in front of you before the play begins? Merely the screen. On that screen you see the entire show, and for all appearances the pictures are real. But go and try to take hold of them. What do you take hold of? Merely the screen on which the pictures appeared so real. After the play, when the pictures disappear, what remains? The screen again! So with the Self. That alone exists; the pictures come and go. If you hold on to the Self, you will not be deceived by the appearance of the pictures. Nor does it matter at all if the pictures appear or disappear. Ignoring the Self the ajnani thinks the world is real, just as ignoring the screen he sees merely the pictures, as if they existed apart from it. If one knows that without the seer there is nothing to be seen, just as there are no pictures without the screen, one is not deluded. The jnani knows that the screen, the pictures and the sight thereof are but the Self. With the pictures the Self is in its manifest form; without the pictures It remains in the unmanifest form. To the jnani it is quite immaterial if the Self is in the one form or the other. He is always the Self.

and...

The moon shines by reflecting the light of the sun. When the sun has set, the moon is useful for displaying objects. When the sun has risen no one needs the moon, though its disc is visible in the sky. So it is with the mind and the heart. The mind is made useful by its reflected light. It is used for seeing objects. When turned inwards, it merges into the source of illumination which shines by Itself and the mind is then like the moon in the daytime.

Ann Onymous said...

continued...

From Day By Day 6-3-46:

...He [the jnani] moves about with us like us in the world and sees the various objects we see. It is not as if he does not see them. For instance he walks along. He sees the path he is treading. Suppose there is a chair or table placed across that path. He sees it, avoids it and goes round. So, have we not to admit he sees the world and the objects there, while of course he sees the Self?” Bhagavan thereupon said, “You say the jnani sees the path, treads it, comes across obstacles, avoids them, etc. In whose eyesight is all this, in the jnani’s or yours?” He continued, “He sees only the Self and all in the Self.” Thereupon I asked Bhagavan, “Are there not illustrations given in our books to explain this sahaja state clearly to us?”

Bhagavan: Why not? There are. For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it? Or again take the screen illustration. There is a screen. On that screen first a figure appears. Before that figure on the same screen other pictures appear and the first figure goes on watching the other pictures. If you are the screen and know yourself to be the screen, is it necessary not to see the first figure and the subsequent pictures? When you don’t know the screen you think the figure and pictures to be real. But when you know the screen and realise it is the only reality on which as substratum the shadows of the figure and pictures have been cast, you know these to be mere shadows. You may see the shadows, knowing them to be such and knowing yourself to be the screen which is the basis for them all.

Sivanarul said...

Regarding the discussion of what a Jnani experiences, there has been a general trend to discount Bhagavan’s actions as things that only happened from the view of the onlooker, and that he didn’t really didn’t do anything. But the same position is not taken to Bhagavan’s writings such as Ulladu Narpadu. So let’s go with the premise, the many commenters have suggested, which is, as a Jnani, Bhagavan did not experience anything other than himself (or he experienced everything as himself). Based on this premise all his actions, such as his foresight in creating an ashram will, his 12 hour marathon effort to grant liberation to his mother, his disregard of his own writings and praying to Arunachala to cure his mother’s typhoid and her samsaric ill), are completely discounted away. If pressed for an explanation, it is attributed to things that happened due to his presence (things happening under sun) or it only happened in the views of the onlooker.

But Bhagavan’s writings such as Ulladu Narpadu and Nan Yaar have been provided an exemption to this and is not discounted away. If Bhagavan did all his actions only from the view of the onlooker, then his writings are also only from the point of view of the onlooker. In other words Bhagavan did not “really” write any of this but only “appeared” to have written these from the view of us (the onlookers).

So when we read my good friends Mounaji’s and Wittgenstein’s statements such as:

“Let us remember also that Bhagavan endorsed GVK as one of the best examples of his teaching (if not the best) and worked closely and continuously with Sri Muruganar in the editing of this set of verses”

“However, if we are inclined to ask about the death experience of Sri Ramana and before we quote from what others have said about it, we may at least take a look into what Sri Ramana has told about it in his own work”

We have to remember that Bhagavan did not really endorse GVK or worked closely with Sri Muruganar or there is something that is Bhagavan’s own work that we need to look into. All of these are only from the view of us, the onlookers.

So since there are no “real” Bhagavan’s writings per se (as everything is only in the view of us, the onlookers), certain of his writings cannot be his “real” teaching and all others diluted versions. It is really up to the onlooker what the teaching is for him/her.

So the quote from Ann Onymous (as to what Bhagavan has said regarding, Absorption in the Self continued….Whether the body is engaged in talking, reading etc.) is as real as the counter quotes from various verses of Ulladu Narpadu. In other words there is no non-diluted or diluted teachings.

The teaching is in the eyes of the beholder :-)

Bob - P said...

Glad you decided to come back Sivanarul.
It has been very interesting and helpful reading all the comments linked to this article.
Hope you decide to stay around it wouldn't be the same without you.
Warmest regards.
Bob

Michael James said...

Sandhya, when answering questions that he was asked by others, Bhagavan sometimes seemed to imply that the world-appearance may continue even after one has merged back into one’s actual self, the source from which one seemed to have arisen as this ego (which in terms of the analogy you refer to means that the pictures may continue to appear on the screen even after the screen is recognised as such), as he did in some of the passages cited by Ann in her recent comments, but even then he often dropped hints that this seems true only from the perspective of those who see the ātma-jñāni as a person and not from the perspective of the ātma-jñāni itself. For example, in the passage from Day by Day with Bhagavan (6-3-46 Afternoon: 2002 edition, page 167) that she cites in her latest comment it is recorded that he said, ‘You say the jnani sees the path, treads it, comes across obstacles, avoids them, etc. In whose eyesight is all this, in the jnani’s or yours?’

However as several other friends have pointed out in their comments here, and as I will discuss in more detail in one of the articles that I am currently in the process of writing, in his original writings, particularly in Nāṉ Yār? and Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, as well as in many records of his oral teachings, he explained clearly and unequivocally that all the phenomena that constitute the world are just thoughts or ideas projected and perceived only by our ego, so when our ego is destroyed they will all be destroyed along with it, and what will then remain is only anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness), as he says in verse 28 of Upadēśa Undiyār.

However another important point that Bhagavan often emphasised in this context is that it should not concern us whether the world appears or not, because all we need be concerned with now is to try to be aware of ourself as we actually are. So long as our entire attention is focused on ourself, there will be no one to see any world even if it does appear. This is what he implied in one of his answers recorded in Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, page 61) that Ann cites in her earlier comment, ‘Why worry yourself about the world and what happens to it after Self-realization? First realise the Self. What does it matter if the world is perceived or not. Do you gain anything to help you in your quest by the non-perception of the world during sleep? Conversely, what would you lose now by the perception of the world? It is quite immaterial to the jnani or ajnani if he perceives the world or not’.

As I pointed out in an earlier comment, this is also what he implied in the final line of verse 6 of Śrī Aruṇācala Aṣṭakam, in which he says regarding the world-picture (which he explains is just a series of thoughts or mental phenomena projected from within), ‘நின்றிட சென்றிட நினைவிட வின்றே’ (niṉḏṟiḍa seṉḏṟiḍa niṉai-viḍa v-iṉḏṟē), which means ‘let it cease or let it go on, it does not exist apart from you [literally: when it leaves you]’. What he refers to here as ‘you’ is Arunachala, our own actual self, because it alone is what is real, so independent of it no world can seem to exist, and hence as long as our mind is completely absorbed in it, it will not matter to us whether any world continues to appear or not.

Ann Onymous said...

I normally don't like quoting one or two lines while ignoring their context, as Michael just did, quoting:

‘You say the jnani sees the path, treads it, comes across obstacles, avoids them, etc. In whose eyesight is all this, in the jnani’s or yours?’

while ignoring:

'He continued, “He sees only the Self and all in the Self.” Thereupon I asked Bhagavan, “Are there not illustrations given in our books to explain this sahaja state clearly to us?”

Bhagavan: Why not? There are. For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it? Or again take the screen illustration. There is a screen. On that screen first a figure appears. Before that figure on the same screen other pictures appear and the first figure goes on watching the other pictures. If you are the screen and know yourself to be the screen, is it necessary not to see the first figure and the subsequent pictures? When you don’t know the screen you think the figure and pictures to be real. But when you know the screen and realise it is the only reality on which as substratum the shadows of the figure and pictures have been cast, you know these to be mere shadows. You may see the shadows, knowing them to be such and knowing yourself to be the screen which is the basis for them all.'

the former, 'hinting', and the latter, supposedly condescending. However, I don't mind making an exception with this out-of-context quote:

'Why worry yourself about the world and what happens to it after Self-realization? First realise the Self.'

Sivanarul said...

A few more thoughts on the discussion. If all of Jnani’s actions are discounted and only the Jnani’s experience of himself as himself (or everyone as himself) is all that is valid, what use is that Jnani to most sadhakas? The final teaching that “Reality is always realized” or “Reality realizes itself and remains as itself” is nice. Now what?

I am an outsider to advaita and I only buy the so called “advanced” teachings as expressions from the point of view of Turiya and not meant for the average Sadhaka Joe. I frequently read that Bhagavan is an appearance in their dream. This even goes against the advaitic teachings I have read, which prohibits to say, think, write or practice non-duality towards the Guru. This is explicitly stated in many advaitic texts including GVK. When we cannot practice non-duality towards hunger, why are we so eager to practice non-duality towards the Guru?

Now here is my position to the average sadhaka Joe:

Dear Joe,

Let’s first remember that we are blue collar Joe’s and liberation is not a walk in the park for us due to the denseness of ignorance. The snake will be seen to be non-existent and only rope existent, only in Turiya. In the walking state, we are seeing a snake. Let’s not kid about it.
The waking state is real in the waking state. If you have any doubts, try skipping lunch and dinner. As average Joe’s, we take pain and pleasure as real. We are constantly subjected to the play of gunas. We are Sattvic for a period of time. Then Rajas and Tamas take over and then we go back to sattva. So the cycle plays out.

Various Spiritual traditions have given us remarkable teachings. Whether we practice Bhakthi Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga or Karma Yoga, Bhagavan has provided an incredible teaching that reminds us there is an ‘I’ that does these Yoga’s and he has taught us to turn the attention to that ‘I’ whether as a Sadhana in its own right or at least in part.

Non-duality is only true in Turiya. We experience duality right now. In duality, Bhagavan was real and is still real both within us and in his Samadhi shrine. He is not a dream of us, in duality. Bhagavan’s actions are a remarkable set of teachings in their own right. If you are a true blue collar, you are throwing away a remarkable set of teachings by ignoring Bhagavan’s actions.

Here is a great example of his teaching via action. For those of us on the path of Surrender to Ishvara, his writing to his mother “The Ordainer controls the fate…. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen…” is a key teaching. This calls for full and unequivocal surrender to Ishvara. This for most blue collar joe’s is next to impossible. But Bhagavan himself gave an outing for us. When his mother was gravely ill with Typhoid, he ignored his own writing to his mother and prayed to Arunachala to cure both his mother’s bodily ill and samsaric ill. What this tells us is, when our pain or suffering hit’s the roof, we retain the right to petition Ishvara. What this means to us is, let us Surrender to Ishvara wearing a safety harness of prayer, that when we plunge 20,000 feet down, we will use that harness of prayer as relief.

Continued in next comment....

Sivanarul said...

Continued from previous comment...

As much as we love Bhagavan, let us not forget that in space time coordinates, Spirituality existed before Bhagavan’s manifestation and scriptures record aspirants getting liberated without having the luxury of reading or following Bhagavan’s writings or actions. So as average Joe’s, let us use whatever teaching that we feel will help, irrespective of whether it appears approved in Bhagavan’s writings.

Let us also not forget that Sanatana Dharma has thought through all of these in great depth (play of gunas etc) and that is why devised a plethora of practices to help the aspirant during the various play of gunas. Sometimes nothing will seem to be bringing us back to Sattva, but a visit to a temple will do the magic. So let us not throw away temple visits as things for the immature folks. Remember we are blue collars, ourselves.

Also remember that there are two major categories of Bhagavan’s devotees. One category is non-religious spiritual aspirants. Other is religious spiritual aspirants. Bhagavan was well aware of these categories and catered to both of these categories. As a religious spiritual aspirant, it is extremely important that we do not put the cart before the horse and start writing or thinking that Ishvara is an illusion created by the ego. That writing of Bhagavan is meant for the non-religious folks. If Ishvara indeed turns out to be an illusion, it will be the very last one to be so. Adavitic texts clearly say that Ishvara is Saguna Brahman and Lord of Maya. As Michael often writes, when we read various Bhagavan’s writings, we should discriminate and use judgement as to whether those writings apply to us or not. Just because something appears in Nan Yaar or Ulladu Narpadu, it does not mean it applies verbatim to religious spiritual aspirants.

As religious spiritual aspirants, we depend on Ishvara for everything. The ego cannot dissolve itself. It is Ishvara that does that.
So in summary, in the here and now, in the waking state, Bhagavan was real, is real in our hearts, is real in his Samadhi shrine. Both his writings and actions are real. Ishvara is real. Our hunger is real. Our pleasures and pains are real. We are in duality. If it pleases us, we can say, we “appear” to be in duality. The spiritual teachings tell, that if we do sadhana, gradually renounce the world as ephemeral then finally by the act of Ishvara (or Grace for non-religious folks), we wake up in Turiya. Then from the point of view of Turiya, there is nothing but Turiya (in religious terms, Siva and Siva alone exists).

But the Turiya are the handful of billionaires that we see around. Just because they fly in private jets, and buy $50,000 watches, if we blue collar joe’s try to walk their path, we will be filing for bankruptcy soon. Let us work to the best that Ishvara permits us. For now, let us be happy with the $20 watch from Walmart. But as we work, hopefully in as few lifetimes as possible, by the act of Ishvara, we will one day be flying the private jet in Turiya :-)

Now my stomach is growling and hunger proved to me once again that this waking state is very real. I will have to go and have my lunch.

Take care Joe. Be well and let more power be to the blue collar aspirant :-)

Sivanarul said...

Bob - P,

Thanks for your kind message. Cannot stay away from spiritual brothers and sisters for too long :-) Besides, where else can I converse about the ephemeral nature of life, about the play of gunas, about pain and pleasure, about Bhagavan and the whole nine yards. If I stay away, as an average Joe, I fall back into Rajas and Tamas. I at least stay in sattva when I write here. Well, Lord Yama just has to excuse us :-) We are able to only afford $20 watches from Walmart.

Sivanarul said...

To Sundar's comment:

"A person with ego, such as myself, has a lot of difficulty understanding "....... when the ego is destroyed all that remains is only anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness)"

Religious spiritual aspirants understand this as "When the ego merges in God, what remains is God". anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda is just a secular name for God.

Wittgenstein said...

With regard to verse 428 from Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad quoted by Venkat, we should note that before this verse Sarma notes, “Supposing that the sage does see the world of names and form. It is explained that the sage’s view is unclouded by ignorance”. Therefore, it was based on a hypothetical case. In other places, Sarma makes things clear. For example, verse 430 reads: “That which appears to the ignorant ones as diversified by a great many differences, as ‘forms’ and as ‘other than the Self’, is, to the sage, only the Self, undifferentiated and formless”. I am bit familiar with the work of Sarma. So I was curious to check the context in which verse 428 was written, as I was almost sure his understanding is something like the one in verse 430. Of course, with other quotations (Ellam Ondre etc.) I am not so familiar and I cannot make statements about them.

Bhagavan is supposed to have told Sarma, “According to the purity of the mind (antahkarana) of each person, the same teaching is reflected in different ways” (see Preface to the eighth edition of Maha Yoga). Of the many reflections, I feel there is a particular reflection in Ulladu Narpadu where our experience is presented in the most simplified manner by Bhagavan. Of course, being a reflection, this is one way of looking at things, which would appeal to some of us. However, I would not assign any superiority if one sticks only to Ulladu Narpadu. Having said that, according to the approach in Ulladu Narpadu, towards which I am little bit biased, there are no forms seen upon mano nasa.

Before I close, I would like to reflect on why there is such disagreement about the nature of the world. It should be noted that even now there is no agreement about the nature of the world, leave alone mano nasa! We think science can say something unambiguous about the world. Sarma notes in his Maha Yoga: “The common man assumes that there is such a thing as science apart from the scientist. But, as in religion or philosophy, so in science there are differences of opinion due to differences in natural intelligence and character”. Therefore, there is no any final word about the world, except a group of people may agree on certain things (it is ‘bit real’ or ‘more real’) on broad terms. Even then they may disagree when particulars are discussed.

Our existence is a necessary truth and therefore there is no disagreement about it. Likewise, if something were a contradiction (like absolute unconsciousness) nothing can be stated as it is absurd. We will not be discussing absurdities either. However, since the ego is a mixture of something real and unreal, its existential status cannot be decided by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. No wonder, everything projected by it (including the world) also share the same status. When we discuss about the nature of the world (before or after mano nasa, it does not matter), we sometimes forget we are discussing it in view of the ego (this we cannot escape) whose nature is not yet decided. Therefore, according to Bhagavan, the answer can be known only by steadfastly holding on to the real and not paying attention to the unreal. He assures us that the unreal will take flight. As long as we are doing it, the answers we give will depend on our antahkarana and of course we can discuss our answers, as we are doing now.

Sandhya said...

Michael

Thank you. I remember reading in some book , where Bhagvan said , 'don't take all the burden on yourself, but transform all that to God' using train/luggage carried by us analogy. If all the burden was created by the ego and if God is aware of not the ego nor the burden, how can one rely on god to carry the burden?

Michael James said...

Sivanarul, regarding your recent comments, particularly your remarks in one of them that ‘there has been a general trend to discount Bhagavan’s actions as things that only happened from the view of the onlooker, and that he didn’t really didn’t do anything. But the same position is not taken to Bhagavan’s writings such as Ulladu Narpadu’ and that ‘Bhagavan’s writings such as Ulladu Narpadu and Nan Yaar have been provided an exemption to this and is not discounted away. If Bhagavan did all his actions only from the view of the onlooker, then his writings are also only from the point of view of the onlooker’, I agree to some extent with the point you are trying to make, and I would express it in a nutshell by simply saying that Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu cannot be both true and real. If it is true, according to its own testimony it is not real, and if it were real, what it testifies would not be true.

Hence we have a choice: we can consider texts such as Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu and Nāṉ Yār? either to be true, and hence unreal, or to be real, and hence untrue. We cannot have it both ways.

To illustrate why I say this, let us consider as an example what Bhagavan teaches us in verse 26 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu: ‘அகந்தை உண்டாயின், அனைத்தும் உண்டாகும்; அகந்தை இன்றேல், இன்று அனைத்தும். அகந்தையே யாவும் ஆம்’ (ahandai uṇḍāyiṉ, aṉaittum uṇḍāhum; ahandai iṉḏṟēl, iṉḏṟu aṉaittum. ahandai-y-ē yāvum ām), which means ‘If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist. [Hence] the ego itself is everything’. Since he said in the previous verse that this ego is a formless phantom that disappears when one looks for it, he clearly implied that it is not real, so what he says in this verse implies that everything that seems to exist only when this ego seems to exist is as unreal as it is. Therefore since Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu is part of that ‘everything’, it is unreal, and it seems to be real only when we rise as this ego.

However, though it is unreal, being just one of the numerous phenomena we see in this dream of ours, it provides us with valuable clues that clearly show us the means by which we can wake up from the sleep of self-ignorance in which this and every other dream appears. Therefore it is like a lion that appears in the dream of an elephant, thereby causing it to wake up.

I know you are not fond of this analogy of the lion in an elephant’s dream, but it is one that was frequently used by Bhagavan in this context, and was borrowed by him from verse 2 of ஒழிவில் ஒடுக்கம் (oṙivil oḍukkam), which is a text held in high regard in Saiva Siddhanta, so it expresses a truth that is in perfect harmony with the respective philosophies of both Saiva Siddhanta and Advaita Vedanta. To say that the human form of the sadguru and his teachings are like a lion appearing in the dream of an elephant is not to belittle them but to extol them in the highest possible terms, because as Kannudaiya Vallalar says in that verse, by what means can we achieve the destruction of ourself (our ego) if we do not see such a lion in our dream?

Sivanarul said...

Michael,
Thank you for your lucid and thoughtful reply.

“I know you are not fond of this analogy of the lion in an elephant’s dream, but it is one that was frequently used by Bhagavan in this context, and was borrowed by him from verse 2 of ஒழிவில் ஒடுக்கம் (oṙivil oḍukkam), which is a text held in high regard in Saiva Siddhanta, so it expresses a truth that is in perfect harmony with the respective philosophies of both Saiva Siddhanta and Advaita Vedanta.”

Just because Bhagavan uses something does not mean aspirants can use it also. The rules for a billionaire and a blue color Joe are very different. All advaitic teachings that I have read, expressly prohibit practice of advaita towards one’s guru. I am constantly reminded by the play of gunas that I am an aspirant. aka blue collar joe.

The same Kannudaiya Vallalar in Verse 11 of Ozhivil Odukkam states:

“This work was created for our salvation through the grace of the one known as Sambandhar of Seerkazhi, he who is learned in the Vedas, the pure One, the King of Tamil, who, cutting away the contamination of my personal self through the initiation known as sadya-nirvana-diksha, and establishing me in the state of Sivam, reveals through me the path of liberation”

In the above there is no mention of elephant or lion, but the full unequivocal acceptance and surrender to his Guru and the declaration that this work is the revelation of his guru and not his.

“To say that the human form of the sadguru and his teachings are like a lion appearing in the dream of an elephant is not to belittle them but to extol them in the highest possible terms”

I did not say that, saying guru is a dream lion, is belittling the guru. Even if it does belittle, it is the guru’s problem and not mine. What I was saying is that, it is putting the cart before the horse. When we do not look at our friends and family and say they are dream lions (at least to their face), why should we be frequently saying that about the guru? Friends and family last only a lifetime. The grace of the guru lasts until liberation. Friends and family’s help, as important as it might be, is ephemeral. The help of the guru is permanent. Should we not be affording the same respect to the guru, which we afford to our family and friends?

I fully agree that the respective philosophies of both Saiva Siddhanta and Advaita Vedanta are in perfect harmony towards each other (with differences only in how we get there, and even those not that big, in the grand scheme of things). Here is verse 2349 from Thirumanthiram of Thirumoolar. It reads like an advaitic text and something that Bhagavan would say. Yet it is the one of the most important texts within the Saiva Siddhantha tradition.

2349 Seek Siva Within the Self
The Great souls that realize Siva
That is Self within,
Will seek forth Siva in the Self;
They who do not reach Siva in the Self,
Will reach Siva never.

Sivanarul said...

More verses from Thirumanthiram of Thirumoolar that highlight the harmony of Saiva Siddhantha with Advaita Vedanta:

2348 Suddha State Knows No "I" and "He" Difference
They speak of States two, "I" and "He"
But there is a State Where "I" and "He" are undifferentiated;
Those who are in the Higher Kevala (inert) State Will not the difference cognise;
Effacing Self,And He and Self as one uniting,
Is the State of Suddha (Pure).

2355 Importance of Self-Knowledge
With knowledge of SelfNo harm there be;
Without knowledge of Self Himself His (Jiva) harm be;
When knowledge That knows the Self dawns,
Yourself Siva becomes, Worshipped high.

2358 Jnana Alone Knows Jnana
Jnana has no death, nor birth;
Jnana has ground none but Jnana;
It is Jnana that knows Jnana
Thus they conclude, in the ultimate, Vedas all.

2359: Seat of Jnana Within
Above the flower of the heart, (Visuddha Adhara)
Is a flower of petal sixteen, There is Jnana Pure, Sivananda (Siva-Bliss) it is;
When jnana of Self In it merged
Jiva united in Siva, And as one remained.

2386 Vedanta and Siddhanta Know No Differences
In the imprint of Vedanta and Siddhanta, There is difference none;
Bodhanta is Jnana (Divine Knowledge); Yoganta is Jneya (the Known)
Nadanta is Dawning of Bliss
The finale imprint is in Silentness (Mauna) Immersed-to-be.

2571 Tat-Tvam-Asi of Vedanta is the Same as Thom-Tat-Asi of Siddhanta-Vedanta
Tvam-Tat-Asi is the same as Thomtatasi
The one comes conjoined as the other
The holy concept of (You-being-I) Tat-Tvam-Asi belongs to Vedanta;
The concept of I-Siva-becoming (Thomtatasi) is Siddhanta-Vedanta.

venkat said...

Hi Wittgenstein,

You quoted v430, but overlooked v429 which puts it into context:

"This world is not real in the sense in which it is believed to be real by the ignorant man. Ignorant ones do not understand the sense in which the world IS SEEN (as real) by the Sage"

"This difference between a sage and an ignorant one can be plainly seen in respect of censure and praise. The sage does not know the difference between the two, since (for Him) this pair of opposites is unreal, like all others."
Note this implies that censure and praise may happen to a sage - but he is just indifferent.

This is also the sense of Astavakra Gita - for instance 18.28:

"As the wise one has no distraction and does not practice meditation, he is neither an aspirant for liberation, nor is he in bondage. Having known the universe to be a figment even though he sees it, he exists as Brahman itself."

Sundar said...

Michael,

".... our own actual self, because it alone is what is real, so independent of it no world can seem to exist, and hence as long as our mind is completely absorbed in it, it will not matter to us whether any world continues to appear or not."

The mind needs at least a hazy preview of the " anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda (beginningless, limitless and undivided existence-awareness-happiness)" before it will agree to get absorbed in 'it'. Hence all these queries to break the suspense.

Anyway, during my inward gaze at the sense of existence, or self attentiveness, there is a knowing of a dull presence. The sat-chit. Breathing slows. Nothing fantastic to write home about. This also quickly vanishes, the moment the mind starts its usual analysis and verbalizing of this experience. Obviously!

Perhaps, the dull presence I sense is just the running away of the normally unexamined unreal I-thought, the water in the mirage.

The dullness of the whole experience comes in the way of further repetition of the inward gazing exercise.

Wonder how others would describe their experience !!

sundar


venkat said...

I should not that the second quote is from v.579 of Sri Ramanaparavidyopanishad.

Sivanarul said...

Sandhya,

“I remember reading in some book , where Bhagvan said , 'don't take all the burden on yourself, but transform all that to God' using train/luggage carried by us analogy. If all the burden was created by the ego and if God is aware of not the ego nor the burden, how can one rely on god to carry the burden?”

Advaitic teachings talk about Nirguna Brahman (NB) and Saguna Brahman (SB). NB is said to be Brahman and SB to be Ishvara. In advaita, God refers to Ishvara, who is fully aware of the ego and it’s burdens. It is only NB that is said to be not aware of anything other than itself. So Bhagavan is saying to transfer all the burden to Ishvara.

Ishvara is not an illusion. He (in a non-gender way) is the Lord of Maya. Some aspirants who read “Aham Brahmasmi” and who understand it intellectually start to look down on Ishvara with disdain. Bhagavan condemns this and has said something like (paraphrased), “If you, who now appear as a Jiva, with all the play of gunas and weaknesses and who is under the influence of Maya, can realize Brahman, why do you think Ishvara who is SB and Lord of Maya, cannot realize Brahman?”

Ishvara has appeared in form in Tiruvannamalai, with several hundred people as witness, when Sri Arunagirinathar prayed to the Lord to appear for the sake of the Raja of the town.

Ishvara has also appeared to Pamban Swamigal in Pirapanvalasai near Rameshwaram. Ishvara also appeared In Chennai Govt Hospital as a child to Pamban Swamigal when his leg was fractured. Swamigal saw 2 peacocks dance and Vel working on his foot. Pamban Swamigal’s fracture was cured to the amazement of the English doctor there, since the Doctor had told nothing can be done due to Swami’s advanced age. Even today in the General Hospital there is a photo of the Swamigal with illustration of what happened. Swamigal attained Guha Sahujya Nilai on 30 May 1929. There are countless examples of such.

Sivanarul said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamban_Swamigal

Fracture Cure

In December 1923 Pamban Swami had an accident at Thumbu Chetty Street in Madras. Pamban Swami was run over by a jatka and his left ankle was broken. He was admitted to the General Hospital. The doctors who attended upon Pamban Swami's leg said it would have to be amputated.

Pamban Swami was only praying and said "Let them do what they want do." On hearing the news only Chinaswami Jothidar had abnormal faith in Pamban Swami's poem Shanmuga Kavacam and started to recite it. Chinnaswamy Jothidar had a vision of the Vel entering Pamban Swami's broken ankle. Miraculously the leg was cured in the hospital. Even British doctors were astonished and described it as divine grace.

On the 11th day Pamban Swami saw two peacocks dance before him and also saw Lord Murugan in a infant form lying next to his bed. In remembering the day Pamban Swami told his followers of the Maha Tejo Mandal Sabhai to believe in Lord Murugan and to do Mayūravahana Sevana Vizhā without fail, which is still done annually at his temple in Thiruvanmiyur. Pamban Swami's life proves this- "Vēlum Mayilum Thunai" is a not just a saying; it really helps sincere devotees in need.

One day Pamban Swami called Chinaswami Jothidar to look for land in Tiruvanmiyur as his last days were near. Pamban Swami marked the floor corners with his leg that portion of land to be purchased and all arrangement were made. On 30 May 1929 at 7:15 am Pamban Swami called his followers and advised them to believe in Lord Murugan. Then he took a deep breath, held it inside his stomach and entered samādhi state.

Pamban Swamigal was a believer one God that is Siva the Para Brahman and Subrahmanya is part of Siva and comes from Siva. He clarifies this in his book Subrahmanya Veyasam. Pamban Swami got the name "Kumāra Guru Dāsa Swāmigal" because of his deep love for Palani Murugan. His Sanskrit teacher named him as Kumāra Guru and also as Pāmban Swāmigal because Swami lived and left his family at Pāmban Island.

Pamban Swami's full name is Atiyaserma Sudha Vithiga Saiva Siddhanta Ganabanu, which means Pamban Swami is full of sayasi. He was a sannyasi who followed the suddha advaita in the Vaideha way of Saiva Siddhanta in the Dāsa Marga.

In his lifetime Pamban Swami wrote 6,666 poems, 32 viyasams and 1000 names of Lord Murugan. By reading his Gnānamūrtham hymn one will benefit in both worlds. He composed poems on Lord Kumara in more than 130 different forms as per Tamil grammar. Pamban Swami always liked to do silent Akā Pūja rather than audible pūja.

Wittgenstein said...

Venkat, regarding verse 429 of Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad:

This is how you see it:

"This world is not real in the sense in which it is believed to be real by the ignorant man. Ignorant ones do not understand the sense in which the world IS SEEN (as real) by the Sage"

This is how I see it:
"This world is NOT REAL IN THE SENSE in which it is believed to be real by the ignorant man. Ignorant ones do not understand the sense in which the world is seen (as real) by the Sage"

The way I see it explains verse 579 that you quote immediately after the verse 429.

I should confess to you I am ignorant about Astavakra Gita

Thanks for sharing your views.

Sanjay Lohia said...

While discussing Ulladu Narpadu, Michael has written in one of his recent comments addressed to Sivanarul, as follows:

However, though it is unreal, being just one of the numerous phenomena we see in this dream of ours, it provides us with valuable clues that clearly show us the means by which we can wake up from the sleep of self-ignorance in which this and every other dream appears. Therefore it is like a lion that appears in the dream of an elephant, thereby causing it to wake up.

Yes, I agree. Ulladu Narpadu, Nan Yar? . . . are as real or unreal as this person 'Sanjay', which I take myself to be. If 'Sanjay' is real, these texts are also real; if 'Sanjay' is seemingly real, these texts are also seemingly real; if 'Sanjay' becomes non-existent (as in sleep or on attaining atma-jnana, these texts will also become non-existent.

Therefore, so long as we consider ourself to be a person (or even a seeming person) texts like Ulladu Narpadu, Nan Yar? . . . are needed to us wake up from the sleep of self-forgetfulness. However, once we experience ourself as anadi ananta akhanda sat-chit-ananda, the utility of these texts will also be over.

It is like removing the thorn in our leg; we may require another thorn to remove the first thorn. Ultimately we will discard both the corns. Likewise, a time will come when we will have to discard both, this 'I-am-this-body' idea and texts such as Ulladu Narpadu, Nan Yar? . . . . However, until we are able to discard both, these texts are like our guru-svarupa; hence, of immeasurable value.

venkat said...

Hi Wittgenstein

To be clear, I'm not sharing or advocating a view or belief . . . I am just exploring this point. There are many advaitins and texts, including Bhagavan's and Shankara's writings which could be read as:

- EITHER the subject/object distinction becomes meaningless for a jnani, and so s/he has no desires or attachments - s/he lives by what chance / happenstance brings. Hence bhiksha and renunciation. This is also clearly in line with what Sadhu Natanananda wrote (see my earlier quote) - I would be interested in your and Michael's views on this.

- OR there is literally no perception of objects.

Perhaps the former is a stepping stone to the latter - which puts into context what Sadhu Natanananda wrote about Bhagavan's comments on the stages of jnana.

When you write:

This is how I see it:
"This world is NOT REAL IN THE SENSE in which it is believed to be real by the ignorant man. Ignorant ones do not understand the sense in which the world is seen (as real) by the Sage"

. . . by saying "NOT REAL IN THE SENSE" implies something is seen, though a jnani does not BELIEVE it to be real in the sense that the ignorant man does. Note that he does not say that a jnani ceases to perceive the world - he always says the distinctions, the subject/object duality is no longer perceived . . . i.e. the mind ceases its usual mine vs yours dichotomy and is entirely unattached, desireless and fearless.

Gaudapada, in his Mandukyakarikas (which, as you know, Bhagavan regarded highly) writes:

2.36: Therefore knowing the Atman to be such, fix your attention non-duality. Having REALISED non-duality BEHAVE in the world like an insensible object.

2.37 The man of self-restraint should be above all praise, salutation and all rites prescribed by smrti in connection with the departed ancestors. He should have this body and the Atman as his support and depend upon chances, i.e. he should be satisfied with those things for his physical wants that chance brings to him.
[Note: This is exactly how Bhagavan lived]

best wishes
venkat

Wittgenstein said...

Venkat,

It is very true one comes across two versions about this topic. In my view, the first version is not in the core teachings of Bhagavan (Ulladu Narpadu and Nan Yar?). The second version you state is as follows:

“- OR there is literally no perception of objects”.

This is what I understand to be the core teaching of Bhagavan. For example, in paragraph 3 of Nan Yar?, we find:

சர்வ அறிவிற்கும் சர்வ தொழிற்குங் காரண மாகிய மன மடங்கினால் ஜகதிருஷ்டி நீங்கும். கற்பித ஸர்ப்ப ஞானம் போனா லொழிய அதிஷ்டான ரஜ்ஜு ஞானம் உண்டாகாதது போல, கற்பிதமான ஜகதிருஷ்டி நீங்கினா லொழிய அதிஷ்டான சொரூப தர்சன முண்டாகாது.| When the mind [the essence of which is ego] which is the basis of all relative knowledge and actions ceases, the perception of the world ceases. Just as the knowledge of the rope (the basis) does not arise till the false knowledge of the snake ceases, swarupa darshana [experience of ourself as we actually are] will not arise till the false perception of the world ceases.

This is in line with verse 26 of Ulladu Narpadu:

அகந்தை இன்றேல் அனைத்தும் இன்றாம். | If ego does not exist, everything does not exist.

When you discuss the two versions, you remark, “[p]erhaps the former is a stepping stone to the latter”. In my understanding, there is no grey area, either it is black (snake) or white (rope), which is also clearly implied in the Nan Yar? verse quoted above.

Why then version 1 is said in various texts? If we ask this, Bhagavan says, using the linking words in the kalivenba version of Ulladu Narpadu in the beginning of verse 40 (which discusses precisely this debate): ‘மனதுக்கு ஒத்தாங்கு’, which means the various versions are said to suit the temperament or understanding of the questioner. So, he says, very definitely and authoritatively at the end of verse 40, “அகந்தை உரு அழிதல் முக்தி”, meaning the destruction of the form of the ego is mukti. If this happens, how can there be perception of the world?

Viveka Vairagya said...

Recent discussion on whether a jnani perceives the world or not is useless metaphysical speculation. As Bhagavan wisely counsels, "Why worry yourself about the world and what happens to it after Self-realization? First realize the Self."

Viveka Vairagya said...

Ramana Maharshi on a Jnani
(from Be As You Are, David Godman, 1985, pp. 38, 39, 40)

The radio sings and speaks, but if you open it you will find no one inside. Similarly, my existence is like the space; though this body speaks like the radio, there is no one inside as a doer… Various illustrations are given in books to enable us to understand how the jnani can live and act without the mind, although living and acting require the use of the mind. The potter's wheel goes on turning round even after the potter has ceased to turn it because the pot is finished. In the same way, the electric fan goes on revolving for some minutes after we switch off the current. The prarabdha [predestined karma] which created the body will make it go through whatever activities it was meant for. But the jnani goes through all these activities without the notion that he is the doer of them… An ajnani sees someone as a jnani and identifies him with the body. Because he does not know the Self and mistakes his body for the Self, he extends the same mistake to the state of the jnani. The jnani is therefore considered to be the physical frame. Again since the ajnani, though he is not the doer, imagines himself to be the doer and considers the actions of the body his own, he thinks the jnani to be similarly acting when the body is active. But the jnani himself knows the truth and is not confounded. The state of a jnani cannot be determined by the ajnani and therefore the question troubles only the ajnani and never arises for the jnanii. If he is a doer he must determine the nature of the actions. The Self cannot be the doer. Find out who is the doer and the Self is revealed.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Viveka Vairagya, I thank you for your last two comments. As you quote Bhagavan in your last comment, where he says, ‘Find out who is the doer and the Self is revealed'. But who is the doer? Is our body the doer? No, it cannot because this body is insentient or jada, and without a sentient entity to propel it, it cannot act in any way. We (our body and mind) are like puppets, and its strings are being pulled by some other entity.

So is our real self the doer? Again no, because our real self is immutable, and without changing or moving from its place how can it act? Recently Michael has written, 'what Bhagavan really is is just anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda, and as such he is immutable, so his state of pure self-awareness never changes in any way whatsoever'. Since Bhagavan and our real self are interchangeable terms, our real self also cannot be the actor.

Who is the doer, then? Bhagavan teaches that the doer is only our ego. This ego takes a body and mind to be itself, and imagines their actions to be its actions. Therefore Bhagavan says, 'Find out who is the doer and the Self is revealed'. In other words, if we investigate this ego (ourself) we will find that it does not exist, and when it becomes non-existent we will experience ourself as we really are.

venkat said...

Hi Wittgenstein,

When the ego is destroyed, the world is no longer seen as separate, for which there can be likes and dislikes, desires and fears. Hence in advaita, it is said that a sage is like a dry leaf blown about wherever the wind takes him. There is no personal attachment.

This is essentially what Sadhu Natanananda wrote. How would you interpret what Sadhu Natanananda wrote? I'd would really appreciate your views on his comments on this subject.

Also you appreciate that your interpretation is not in line with much of what Gaudapada wrote? Or indeed Sankara, for instance in Upadesa Sahasri:
10.13: "He who, though seeing duality when awake, yet on account of his awareness of non-duality does not see it as if he were asleep,and who is apparently active, yet really actionless for the same reason - he alone is a knower of the Self. Such is the settled conclusion of our tradition"

Given that Bhagavan often said that his experience was in conformity with Gaudapada's and Sankara's advaita, your interpretation would be a rather significant departure from that of advaita vedanta.

Also if the world ceases to exist for a jnani, why would Bhagavan write the following:

UNA 38: Without thinking "I am one, and he is another", never swerving or slipping from one's Real state, if one abides firmly ever in the Self, who is there other than Self? What does it matter if anyone says anything about oneself? What does it matter if one were to praise of denounce oneself?

GVK 1141: A labourer who carries and transports a burden for wages is only too happy to put it down at its place of delivery. Similarly, an extremely illustrious true jnani will, dropping the burden of the body, rejoice in swarupa.
Murugunar: The implication is that the 'I am the body' attachment will never arise in the jnani. It does not mean that the jnani has the feeling of bondage so long as the body exists.

GVK 1171: Since his life in the body and in the world plays out in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY [as it does for everyone else], the jivanmukta confounds others by appearing to be a person bound by the body and the world, even though he has come to KNOW his body and the world to be pure consciousness. Who can form a conclusion about him based on mere appearances?

best wishes,
venkat

venkat said...

I just came across the following in Spiritual Instruction - a series of Q&As with Bhagavan:

2.25. How can cessation of activity (nivritti) and peace of mind be attained in the midst of household duties which are of the nature of constant activity?
As the activities of the wise man exist only in the eyes of others and not in his own, although he may be accomplishing immense tasks, he really does nothing. Therefore his activities do not stand in the way of inaction and peace of mind. For he knows the truth that all activities take place in his mere presence and that he does nothing. Hence he will remain as the silent witness of all the activities taking place.

4.1. What is the state of attainment of knowledge?
It is firm and effortless abidance in the Self in which the mind which has become one with the Self does not subsequently emerge again at any time. That is, just as everyone usually and naturally has the idea, 'I am not a goat nor a cow nor any other animal but a man', when he thinks of his body, so also when he has the idea 'I am not the principles (tatwas) beginning with the body and ending with sound (nada), but the Self which is existence, consciousness and bliss', the innate self-consciousness (atmaprajna), he is said to have attained firm knowledge.

4.6. As some sacred texts say that the supreme state is that in which the sense organs and the mind are completely destroyed, how can that state be compatible with the experience of the body and the senses?
If that were so there would not be any difference between that state and the state of deep sleep. Further how can it be said to be the natural state when it exists at one time and not at another? This happens, as stated before, to some persons according to their karma (prarabdha) for some time or till death. It cannot properly be regarded as the final state. If it could it would mean that all great souls and the Lord, who were the authors of the Vedantic works (jnana granthas) and the Vedas, were unenlightened persons. If the supreme state is that in which neither the senses nor the mind exist and not the state in which they exist, how can it be the perfect state (paripurnam)? As karma alone is responsible for the activity or inactivity of the sages, great souls have declared the state of sahaja nirvikalpa (the natural state without concepts) alone to be the ultimate state.

Ann Onymous said...

From The Power of the Presence by David Godman:

N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: It is clear that Bhagavan, out of his infinite mercy and grace, cures even the fatal diseases of his devotees. Does not Bhagavan’s body suffer on that account?

Bhagavan: (speaking in English) Yes and no.

N. R. Krishnamurti Iyer: Please, Bhagavan, explain in more detail.

Bhagavan: The mukta purusha [liberated being] does not need his body once he has realised the Self. However, so long as he stays alive, he has the power to drain off devotees’ illnesses into his own body. That is why his body suffers for the time being. That is what is meant by the answer ‘yes’.

If he retires into the solitude of a quiet corner and remains in kevala nirvikalpa samadhi, completely oblivious of the body-world complex, the disease received in the body gets dissipated. When he returns to his body consciousness the body is cured and restored to its original health. The duration of that samadhi should be in adequate proportion to the seriousness of the disease concerned.

Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada, who attained Self-realisation at a very young age with a very healthy and strong body, was engaged in ceaseless activity in the state of sahaja samadhi. Out of his infinite mercy he gave relief to hosts of suffering people who came to him with all sorts of serious diseases. He was continuously active, day and night, and never cared to recoup his health by retiring into the solitude of kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. As a result he gave up his body while he was in his early thirties. (The Power of the Presence, Part One, pp. 172-3)

Sivanarul said...

Regarding Ann Onymous quote:

"If he retires into the solitude of a quiet corner and remains in kevala nirvikalpa samadhi, completely oblivious of the body-world complex, the disease received in the body gets dissipated. When he returns to his body consciousness the body is cured and restored to its original health. The duration of that samadhi should be in adequate proportion to the seriousness of the disease concerned."

I have also read or heard that before Bhagavan become famous, he got the oppurtunity to go into kevala nirvikalpa samadhi (kns) more frequently that kept his health very robust,in spite of taking on devotee's karma. But once he became very famous and had visitors not-stop, he could not go into kns as before and that contributed to the cancer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Bahadur_Bomjon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZqEo3hdP_U

In Nepal, there is the 15 year old yogi who has been sitting in perfect meditation and stillness for long periods of time without food or water. He seems like the 16 year old Venkataraman. There is a discovery channel documentary about this yogi that runs for 45 mins, if you are interested. Even if some part of it is a hoax, the discovery channel and other independent observes have recorded him for at least 4 days where he is in perfect stillness without any food or water. This seems to be indisputable.

The point is, in kvn, it seems that the basic biology and chemistry of the body gets suspended or superseded by yogic powers that basically breaks all known laws of biology, chemistry, nutrition etc. This yogic power seems to completely cure the body of all illness.

Ann Onymous said...

‘If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist.'

In other words, if I exist as a subject, a universe of objects also exists; if I do not exist as a subject, a universe of objects does not exist.

The substance of both subject and object is always - meaning NOW - only awareness, since only eternal, infinite awareness exists. The subject/object distinction is what is non-existent.

Self-realization means awareness as subject seeing awareness as object is now, simply, aware-being. Nothing really changes. Nothing ever really changes. Awareness is one, awareness is timeless, and awareness is all there is.

Awareness can only, ever, see itself.

Bhagavan sees everything.

Wittgenstein said...

Venkat,

I have picked up only UN, UNA and GVK quotes, except for the first one you quote. I am sorry I am not familiar with others.

When the ego is destroyed, the world is no longer seen as separate, for which there can be likes and dislikes, desires and fears. Hence in advaita, it is said that a sage is like a dry leaf blown about wherever the wind takes him. There is no personal attachment.
In UN6, it is asked, “மனத்தை அன்றி உலகுண்டோ?” It was taught that the world rises and sets along with the ego. Further, other than the ego there is nothing like personality. Therefore, when ego [the essence of mind] is destroyed, how can the world be ‘seen’ (either as separate or otherwise)? How can there be personality with all its attachments?

UNA 38: Without thinking "I am one, and he is another", never swerving or slipping from one's Real state, if one abides firmly ever in the Self, who is there other than Self? What does it matter if anyone says anything about oneself? What does it matter if one were to praise of denounce oneself?
It is asked, ‘who is there other than Self?’. If there is none other than ‘Self’, who is there to praise or denounce or say anything at all? Are these statements not contradictory? The contradiction is resolved if we see the ‘what […] if?’ conditions that accompany each of these hypothetical situations.

GVK 1141: A labourer who carries and transports a burden for wages is only too happy to put it down at its place of delivery. Similarly, an extremely illustrious true jnani will, dropping the burden of the body, rejoice in swarupa.
Murugunar: The implication is that the 'I am the body' attachment will never arise in the jnani. It does not mean that the jnani has the feeling of bondage so long as the body exists.

It is said here (in Muruganar’s interpretation) ‘I am the body’ attachment will never arise in the jnanai. That means he is never aware of the body (and the world). How then can ‘so long as the body exists’ be applicable for the jnani? Is it not clear it is for us who imagine jnanai has a body?

I will continue in my next comment.

Wittgenstein said...

In continuation of my reply to Venkat.

GVK 1171: Since his life in the body and in the world plays out in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY [as it does for everyone else], the jivanmukta confounds others by appearing to be a person bound by the body and the world, even though he has come to KNOW his body and the world to be pure consciousness. Who can form a conclusion about him based on mere appearances?
World may act EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, but does the jnani know the world EXACTLY THE SAME WAY as we know it? Obviously, no. He KNOWS it as PURE CONSCIOUSNESS. In pure consciousness, where are others? Therefore, he does not KNOW others. ‘KNOWING’, as Bhagavan repeatedly taught is BEING. ‘தானாய் இருப்பதே தன்னை அறிதலாம்’ [Knowing oneself is being oneself] is the teaching of Bhagavan. If that is remembered, who can form a conclusion about him based on mere appearance, since forming conclusions do not mean we are being ourself? [‘SEEING’ is also ‘BEING’, for a jnanai, according to Bhagavan].

We can go on and on, Venkat. I should confess to you that I am biased. For me, Venkat, there are no forms when the filthy ego dies. Otherwise it is not worth anything. I will not venture into something if at the end only a subtle mind remains that is neutral to praise and blame. It is not so attractive to me. I am happy Bhagavan addresses someone with biases like mine in UN and NY? Consequently, I am ignorant of other literature, coming even from established traditions. Venkat, I am sorry and feel bit inferior when you quote from a huge collection of literature. Again, my biases have brought me only to UN and NY? Consequently, they are not allowing me to go anywhere as I find my answers here. I find other friends here are broadminded and exploring other avenues. I am so narrow. Somehow I am very happy with UN.

Ann Onymous said...

"...he has come to KNOW his body and the world to be pure consciousness."

Yes!

venkat said...

Hi Wittgenstein

I would agree with you that UN is enough. And apologies for my quotes, I am trying to understand as best as I can. As we were not there with Bhagavan, and given limitations of words, we need to apply viveka, to appreciate what he meant - especially given different disciples, who were with him, seem to have interpreted his words differently

Perhaps it doesn't matter. Ultimately we agree that the ego is the cause of suffering and it needs to be eliminated. And that this can best be done through self-enquiry. What happens on self-realisation is to be discovered, rather than speculated upon now.

However, Bhagavan often said we are realised now - only we don't know it. And true self-surrender even means giving up the desire for realisation. By setting up an ideal which says that when 'we' attain realisation the world will literally disappear, we are setting in train an ego motivation - and a deferral to tomorrow of what we already are now.

But if we are sufficiently brave, we can die to the ego now - by constantly being aware of it whenever it arises - this is viveka and vairagya. Bhagavan, Sankara and others have always conveyed that total desirelessness, not attached to anything (including your own body) is itself liberation.

I am re-reading Day by Day, and by happenstance or synchronicity or whatever, I came across an entry which addresses this discussion. I don't have it with me now, but will post it this evening.

BTW, may I ask why you seem to be reluctant to discuss Sadhu Natanananda?

With best wishes,
venkat

Sanjay Lohia said...

Wittgenstein wrote in his comment addressed to Venkat (on 6 June 2016): 'I should confess to you that I am biased. For me, Venkat, there are no forms when the filthy ego dies. Otherwise it is not worth anything. I will not venture into something if at the end only a subtle mind remains that is neutral to praise and blame. It is not so attractive to me. I am happy Bhagavan addresses someone with biases like mine in UN and NY? . . . Again, my biases have brought me only to UN and NY? Consequently, they are not allowing me to go anywhere as I find my answers here. . . . Somehow I am very happy with UN'.

I find a echo in me when I read what you write here. As Michael and you, I am also fully satisfied by Bhagavan's core teachings, especially those mentioned in Nan Yar?, Ulladu Narpadu and Upadesa Undiyar. Some of us our almost blinded by the brilliant glare of these teachings, and, consequently, we can hardly appreciate any other teaching.

Yes, as you imply, others may call us narrow, biased, ill-informed and so on, but we do not mind. Bhagavan's teachings are the very essence of all the teachings, because it addresses, as Michael has been repeatedly reminding us, the root of all our problem - ego.

Michael James said...

Sandhya, I have replied to your second comment in a separate article: Why should we rely on Bhagavan to carry all our burdens, both material and spiritual?

Wittgenstein said...

Venkat,

Every disciple of Bhagavan would write something as Bhagavan’s teaching and at the same time believe it to be exactly what Bhagavan said. This is inevitable. A white light (the original teaching, silence) if intercepted by a prism (mind) disperses it into various colors. If we need no dispersion, there should not be any prism. As long as a prism is there, there is going to be some dispersion. Nevertheless, the extent of deviation for each of the emerging colors is different. The minimum deviation, in my view is in Ulladu Narpadu, with eka jiva vada as the main component. There are other ‘colors’ too, with aneka jiva vada as the main component (as in the interpretation of Kapali Sastry). This is not new, as we find such deviations even in the interpretation of mahavakyas from Upanishads by various acharayas.

It is inevitable to have desires till we experience ourself as this ego. To experience ourself as this ego and at the same not to have any desire would be a pretension. Therefore, in view of this ego, yes, we do have a goal. However, as we progress towards the goal, unlike other goals, the ego thins down, and ultimately disappears, as taught by Bhagavan. That is the difference between any worldly goals (which always fatten up the ego) and the goal in atma vichara. Of course there is nothing new, as we remain as pure awareness in sleep everyday. Unfortunately, sleep gets mixed with other-awareness now. If the mixing is (relatively) less, we can (relatively) clearly experience sleep even now, as sadhakas. The desire then is to experience sleep absolutely clearly even now. So, there is nothing new, as there is nothing new in self-awareness.

Even a least amount of ‘mixing’ shows we are not sufficiently brave and indicates (relative) existence of desires contrary to the desire to experience pure awareness. Complete desirelessness should be towards not experiencing other-awareness. However, complete desire is required to experience pure-awareness. As you see, they are one and the same, as Bhagavan says in Nan Yar?.

As far Sadhu Natanananda, I have not read him much. Also he has not written much. That is the only reason I am reluctant to discuss him. If I am not sufficiently familiar, I may be commenting only on some isolated quotes from an author, which may not be justified. Sarma’s case, in contrast, is different. I have read almost all his books and I have a fair idea of his understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings.

Wittgenstein said...

Sanjay,

Thanks for your comments on 6 June 2016 at 08:28. I appreciate what you wrote in sharing your attitude towards the triple texts.

Bob - P said...

In the past I read more widely and was always searching. I thought the guru was other than me and he/she/it was still aware of the world like me. But they saw it with a different perception and were living in a much happier state. This belief was nice and safe for me as ego experiencing itself as Bob.

I think this outlook was due to fear on my part because I knew if I experienced the same state as the guru I would be happy and the world would still be mine. Looking back now I see I believed this because I was scared of losing the world and all its contents including Bob the person.

If I believed everything during waking and dream was an illusion projected from within and when I experience myself as I really am the ego dissolves in love and with it also Bob the person / personality and everything Bob experiences like the world and all its contents (all thoughts) it was too scary.

However now I am not as afraid and have stopped reading other teachings. I am just so content with Bhagavan. So I also echo what Wittgenstein an Sanjay say.

If like me you accept that when the ego goes everything goes it can be a very hard thing to accept, it is scary maybe this is why believing Bhagavan still did see the illusion helps or reduces the fear of losing everything we now seem to be.

To say I am now happy to lose everything would be a lie as I am still here as Bob the person experienced by the ego. If I was happy to surrender completely and had no interest in the world I would be gone.

But until then I am personally happy to accept that when I experience myself as I really am / Bhagavan all I will experience is myself (non duality) compared to still being aware of the world (duality). Even if I saw it as a false or I knew it was a mirage I would still be experiencing duality.

In appreciation.
Bob

Wittgenstein said...

Venkat,

Every disciple of Bhagavan would write something as Bhagavan’s teaching and at the same time believe it to be exactly what Bhagavan said. This is inevitable. A white light (the original teaching, silence) if intercepted by a prism (mind) disperses it into various colors. If we need no dispersion, there should not be any prism. As long as a prism is there, there is going to be some dispersion. Nevertheless, the extent of deviation for each of the emerging colors is different. The minimum deviation, in my view is in Ulladu Narpadu, with eka jiva vada as the main component. There are other ‘colors’ too, with aneka jiva vada as the main component (as in the interpretation of Kapali Sastry). This is not new, as we find such deviations even in the interpretation of mahavakyas from Upanishads by various acharayas.

It is inevitable to have desires till we experience ourself as this ego. To experience ourself as this ego and at the same not to have any desire would be a pretension. Therefore, in view of this ego, yes, we do have a goal. However, as we progress towards the goal, unlike other goals, the ego thins down, and ultimately disappears, as taught by Bhagavan. That is the difference between any worldly goals (which always fatten up the ego) and the goal in atma vichara. Of course there is nothing new, as we remain as pure awareness in sleep everyday. Unfortunately, sleep gets mixed with other-awareness now. If the mixing is (relatively) less, we can (relatively) clearly experience sleep even now, as sadhakas. The desire then is to experience sleep absolutely clearly even now. So, there is nothing new, as there is nothing new in self-awareness.

Even a least amount of ‘mixing’ shows we are not sufficiently brave and indicates (relative) existence of desires contrary to the desire to experience pure awareness. Complete desirelessness should be towards not experiencing other-awareness. However, complete desire is required to experience pure-awareness. As you see, they are one and the same, as Bhagavan says in Nan Yar?.

As far Sadhu Natanananda, I have not read him much. Also he has not written much. That is the only reason I am reluctant to discuss him. If I am not sufficiently familiar, I may be commenting only on some isolated quotes from an author, which may not be justified. Sarma’s case, in contrast, is different. I have read almost all his books and I have a fair idea of his understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings. Therefore, even if some quote is slightly off the track, I know what he (Sarma) would say if pressed for an explanation.

Wittgenstein said...

We should not feel Bhagavan is not there with us now. Probably we mean his physical frame. Even if we Bhagavan were with us right now in his physical frame, our understanding of his teachings would be exactly as it is now. Even those who lived in the vicinity of Bhagavan while he was in his physical frame have understood only according to their capacity. For the sincere devotee this need not be a constraint. Bhagavan is supposed to have told, “Where am I going? I am here”, while leaving his physical frame (perhaps not the exact words).

Ann Onymous said...

"We should not feel Bhagavan is not there with us now."

Bhagavan is us now.

Bhagavan sees everything because there is only one thing to see.

He and We are That.

Where can We go? We are Here.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bob-P, you wrote in your comment of 6 June 2016 at 11:13: 'I am just so content with Bhagavan'.

According to me, we can judge our progress in Bhagavan's path of self-investigation in two ways: One, as Michael has been reiterating, is by our perseverance in practising self-investigation. Two, is by our total faith in Bhagavan and his teachings. If our interests and inclinations pull us towards different teachings, our energies and interests will not remain focused.

As Bhagavan clearly stated in paragraph eleven of Nan Yar: 'If one clings fast to uninterrupted svarūpa-smaraṇa [self-remembrance] until one attains svarūpa [one’s own actual self], that alone [will be] sufficient'. In order to attain our goal, do we really need to mix other sadhanas with our practice of atma-vichara? Bhagavan says that srarupa smarana alone is sufficient to enable us to attain svarupa; therefore, as Bhagavan's devotees, we can simply stick to investigating ourself alone, and 'that alone will be sufficient' to take us to our goal.

Yes, as you imply, we are all scared of losing the world and all its contents, including the person we take to be ourself. Someone once questioned Bhagavan to the effect: 'Bhagavan, if I discover my true nature, will I not lose myself?'. Bhagavan: 'No, rather you will find yourself'. What we will lose is this world and all its contents, but anyway these do not really exist but just seem to exist. Therefore, if at all we will lose anything it will be our self-ignorance, and this we should look forward to.

Michael recently said in of his videos to the effect:

A person (say John) is standing on the ground and also holding a branch of the tree above. A passer-by asks him 'why are you holding the branch of the tree?' John replies, 'I will fall if I do not hold it'. The passer-by explains him, 'where or how can you fall, when you are already standing on the ground?'. However, John is not convinced and continues holding on to the branch.

We are like this John. We are afraid to let go of all our attachments, because we assume that if we let go of these we will lose everything which is now dear to us, and our life will become devoid of all its purpose and meaning. In fact, it is just the opposite: if we let go of all our attachments, we will become established in our anadi ananta akhanda base or ground - and only this is of real value and meaning.

Mouna said...

Bhagavan’s teachings and all interpretations possible, along with shastras, myths and stories of any kind of saintly and not so saintly individuals in any religion are still paroksha jnana and the kind of knowledge that ultimately we need to let go in the end. It is said that the tendencies created by our love for realization (and our guru) are the most subtle, pure and difficult to let go off, our golden and most priceless chains if I must put it in other words. Absolutely necessary, I think we all agree with that, at any stage we will find ourselves to be, but indirect and objectified knowledge of what is real nevertheless. 

The danger of taking positions, even if our “knowledge” is sustained by solid “logic” arguments or by a firm faith, is when “identity” begins forming around those conceptual points of view and we view them as real and concrete representations of what is true.

Sravana, manana and nididhyasana are fundamentally essential  for any process of learning something, not only in the spiritual realm but in any field of human knowledge, but the danger always lie in getting stuck along the way in any of the first two. We all know that the process of the three is simultaneous and any of them helps to build understanding of the other two and vice versa.

This type of discussion is something that comes up all the time in advaita circles and denotes the inability to grasp, at a fundamental level, what is beyond the capacity of mind to grasp. If there is something to be learn about it is precisely that limitation and the necessity to let go of concepts, no matter how valuable for our small egoic bubble and focus entirely on the root of the problem. Isn’t that odd that we are discussing non-duality within a strange array of,  and even sometimes opposite, diversified points of view? Again, that certainly proves the fragmented nature of ego in all its forms, specially if we adhere to the eka jiva vada! There is no Mr X or Y or Z, there is only “I” here, discussing among myself (sorry for the grammar imposibility) on the nature of myself and what will happen according to someone else’s myself(!!!) view on the matter once myself I’ll disappear! Sounds more like a comedy of errors than serious meta-(and intra!)-physical investigation!

In any case, all good the way it is because it is that way it is.
Is Maya here to stay? even if we are not there (or here) to perceive it? 
Is someone realized aware of his/her realization? Some said yes, like Annamalai Swami, some others say it’s not possible to know because there is no more “I” to know about it.

In the very end, there is only one way to find out, by becoming “it”.
And at the same time  we are already it!
See the circular nature of this whole game?… the never ending, samsaric story of the dream?…

Imagine you are in an enclosed room with no windows and no doors. How do you get out?

...
… stop imagining.

venkat said...

I don't think eka jiva vada necessarily requires the world to disappear on realisation.

I don't mean to belabour this discussion, but I said I would post an excerpt from Day by Day, 6-3-46:

There is a screen. On that screen first a figure appears. Before that figure, on the same screen, other pictures appear and the first figure goes on watching the other pictures. If you are the screen and know yourself to be the screen, is it necessary not to see the first figure and the subsequent pictures? When you don't know the screen you think the figure and pictures to be real. But when you know the screen and realise it is the only reality on which as substratum the shadows of the figure and pictures have been cast, you know these to be mere shadows. You may see the shadows, knowing them to be such and knowing yourself to be the screen which is the basis for them all.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mouna wrote a comment on 6 June 2016 at 15:57, in which he asked a few questions. I would like to share my reflections on these questions. It may be simply treated as my reflections.

Mouna writes, 'Is Maya here to stay? even if we are not there (or here) to perceive it?' Maya is neither here nor there, because it simply does not exist. We assume a snake to be a rope, but where will this snake go when we are able to see the rope as it really is? This snake never existed, is not existing and will never exist. Similar is the case with maya - it does not exist even now, so how can it exist when we do not experience it?

Mouna also asks, 'Is someone realized aware of his/her realization? Some said yes, like Annamalai Swami, some others say it’s not possible to know because there is no more “I” to know about it'. Yes, no ego or 'I' will remain to claim that one has
'realised', but when once somebody asked a similar question to Bhagavan, he answered, if I remember correctly, to the effect: 'Yes, when you experience yourself as you really are, you will know because it is clear and unmistakable experience'. Presently, we cannot capture the experience of atma-jnana, because our words or even in our thoughts cannot conceive the reality of atma-anubhava.

In the end Mouna says, 'Imagine you are in an enclosed room with no windows and no doors. How do you get out? stop imagining'. Yes, this could be true in this example. However, this entire world-picture projected by us cannot disappear simply by our ceasing to imagine it. As long as our ego exists we will continue to imagine one way or another. We may stop one set of imaginations; however, another set of imaginations will start soon. Therefore, the only way to stop all our imaginations is to destroy the imaginer (ego); and we can destroy the ego only by our persistent effort to be attentively self-aware.




Mouna said...

Sanjay,
I appreciate your answers to my questions, but they were rhetorical ones.

Thanks

Ann Onymous said...

I promise I'm not posting these links with the intention of continuing the previous discussion. It's just something I came across which I had never seen before, and thought it might be of interest to some of you. Here's a teaser from near the end of the second article:

Sri Bhagavan spoke to me and explained how his spontaneous Self-realisation had by-passed all the usual stages that seekers are enjoined to pass through.

‘Some people,’ he said, ‘start off by studying literature in their youth. Then they indulge in the pleasures of the world until they are fed up with them. Next, when they are at an advanced age, they turn to books on Vedanta. They go to a guru and get initiated by him and then start the process of sravana, manana and nididhyasana, which finally culminates in samadhi. This is the normal and standard way of approaching liberation. It is called krama mukti [gradual liberation]. But I was overtaken by akrama mukti [sudden liberation] before I passed through any of the above-mentioned stages.’

Sri Bhagavan laughed and added, ‘So now when thoughts of these things come to me, I don’t know what to do with them’. (The Power of the Presence, part three, p. 132)

http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/2008/05/bhagavans-death-experience.html

http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.com/2008/06/more-on-bhagavans-death-experience.html

Sandhya said...

Sivanarul

I got interested in knowing more about the yogi Ram Bahadhur and googled about him. There has been many accusations of him having abused some devotees. It could very well be true. I was involved in a spiritual organization for 2 years sometime back. I believed everything everyone said about the Guru until i saw darker side of one of the so called devotee. I then realized how dirty an organization can get for the sake of power and money. Since we are already in a delusion, creating more delusions out of delusions should not be that difficult. So even though a person may seem to have yogic powers until he is realized he is no different than the ordinary souls.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Mouna,


Mouna says:
This type of discussion is something that comes up all the time in advaita circles and denotes the inability to grasp, at a fundamental level, what is beyond the capacity of mind to grasp. ...

Imagine you are in an enclosed room with no windows and no doors. How do you get out? ...


This room (room #1) that you are describing appears to be the room of identification with thought and emotion. Thoughts about non-duality and indirect knowledge are still just thoughts (or projection of ego). Endless speculation about advaita still fails to break out of the room. The walls seem stronger than steel.

But there is another room, a much more comfortable waiting room #2 which is characterized by inner stillness.
The apparently inescapable barrier of room #1 is just the attachment and identification with thought and emotion. And release from this room #1 is attained though inner stillness. It could be attained and described in a number of ways: rapt inner attention stronger than the outward impulse of thought & emotion, it could be through the silent and profound innate curiosity of "who am I?" or the deepest loving devotion (perhaps to the Lord), or attention to the energy body or kundalini etc...

Quotes about Room #2:

Just sit and know that 'you are' the 'I am' without words, nothing else has to be done; shortly you will arrive to your natural Absolute state. Nisargadatta Maharaj

Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in. Nisargadatta Maharaj



29: ... The practitioner should uninterruptedly spend his time in these six kinds of samadhi.
30: As a result of the constant practice of samadhi, described above, it subsequently becomes quite natural and spontaneous. Then the seeker realized Brahman everywhere. [Drg Drsya Viveka, Nikhilananda]

Mandukyopanisad iii.45 comments further:

45: (The mind) should not be allowed to enjoy the bliss that arises out of the condition of Samadhi. It should be freed from attachment to such happiness through the exercise of discrimination...
46: When the mind does not merge in the inactivity of oblivion, or become distracted by desires, that is to say, when the mind becomes quiescent and does not give rise to appearances, it verily becomes Brahman.

Mouna said...

Hi Roger,

I certainly agree with all quotes you quoted, and the choice of bold letters you pointed out.

The room analogy, for me, is related to those same quotes. I try to keep it simple and not develop it further in different kind of rooms. But that is my take on it.
As long as we feel being inside a room (no matter how still and calm it is), that room is imagined.

M

Sivanarul said...

Mounaji,

There is a room #3, to which you are qualified to enter and that room is named “Call off the Search”. You have climbed the mystic ladder far and high. The Search itself is the obstacle now.

Once you call off the search, here are some nice things to do during the California Summer:
1. Have a quart of vanilla ice-cream.
2. Hop on a Harley Davidson and ride the great Pacific Coast Highway.
3. Visit Hollywood and mingle with the stars.

You may actually end up realizing that you had got Samsara completely wrong! Remember the snake appeared as a rope for a reason. Brahman wanted to (without wanting) appear (without appearing) to have fun (without actually having fun) :-)

Sivanarul said...

i meant to write rope appeared as a snake instead of snake appeared as a rope. But on second thoughts, considering you have climbed the mystic ladder far thinking that the snake is rope, what i first wrote is correct! It was really the snake all along. It knew you were disillusioned with it and it tricked you by appearing as a rope. Now that you see the futility of the search, it has gone back to being a snake :-)

Mouna said...

Sivanarulji,

I always liked your style. I think I mentioned that before.

That “Call off the Search” idea is interesting because it has many sides or levels.
For a long time we all search a guru, a yoga, a map, a guide that will eventually makes us get out of the room (for me there is only one room). I believe for many of us, that search is over. we found it. The elephant in the lion’s dream! :-)

What happens next is not really a search, it is going back to that place where there is no room, while being in the room… weird experience since the room, remember, doesn’t have any doors or windows.

I really appreciate the advice of things to do during this Calfornia Summer, they are not so different of what I usually do while out of the room:
1. Instead of vanilla ice-cream I eat mango sorbet, dairy is not good for me.
2. I don’t ride a bike, so I jump into my car and drive to the coast/beach. And then jump into the wavy ocean.
3. I watch the NBA Finals and jump/shout each time Curry or Thompson (Warriors) mark a three-pointer!

Absolutely agree, I got Samsara wrong! in vyavahara is much much better (and healthy) to mistake a rope for a snake than a snake for a rope!!!

be well friend.

Mouna said...

(coda)
Quotes for Sivanarulji to decipher:

1. Someone who takes him or herself seriously, is not taking him or herself seriously.

2. My future is behind me.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Mouna,

Mouna says: As long as we feel being inside a room (no matter how still and calm it is), that room is imagined.


Mandukyopanisad with Gaudapada's Karika and Sankara's commentary:

III.44:
If the mind becomes inactive in a state of oblivion awaken it again. If it is distracted, bring it back to the state of tranquillity. (In the intermidiary state) know the mind containing within its desires in potential form. If the mind has attained to be state of equilibrium, then do not disturb it again. [sic]


(Venkat recommended quoting shankara, I'm just following instructions.)

This describes my practice (from a perspective and certainly yours will be different and I honor that). So when you say "that room is imagined". When my life circumstances are challenging and I am stuck in identification with emotion (Room #1) then, although the situation may be "imagined" in a way... it is very real for me (a few choice expletives about the "realness" might be appropriate!) and I have the opportunity to bring my situation, my mind, back to tranquility.

And... if I am abiding in alert vigilant stillness prior to thought (Room #2)... then my mind is not entertaining ideas about any illusions or anything else at all. Perhaps someday grace may take me beyond this temporary waiting room... but my challenging job (as best as I understand it) is to simply abide in tranquility without other speculation.

I don't know you. Perhaps "that room is imagined" is a deep meditation on the underlying truths of reality. Or.. it could also be a mental projection. I am often suspicious of the word "imagined" or "illusion" in eastern teachings because often it seems just like an assumed attitude.

Roger Isaacs said...


Sivanarul says: “Call off the Search”


How is abiding in stillness a "search" ? There is no activity in it. Abiding in stillness inwardly certainly would not interfere with any of the activities suggested (ice cream, sorbet, etc...)

Another quote: "don't take life so seriously... you're never going to get out of it alive." (or perhaps you are)

Venkat said...

The difficulty with advaita is that conceptually it is not that difficult to understand. And we can trick ourselves into believing that we have understood and that we have some level of stillness and peace. And so we can call off the search and just coast as awareness. That is often the feel good premise of neo-advaita, and funnily enough, also that of the sw Dayananda school. The advaita path truly is a razors edge.

The Bhagavad Gita contained from the outset a clear warning from Krishna to Arjuna, that he was not yet qualified to be a sanyasin, that he was fooling himself, and that he still needed to eradicate his attachments through karma yoga. It also said only a rare one becomes a seeker, and only a rare seeker really understands and becomes a jnani. Gaudapada and Sankara emphasised a degree of renunciation of the traditional pleasures and goals (ice cream, driving the Pacific highway, mingling with "stars") that logically is the culmination of not identifying yourself with your particular body-mind, and it's pleasures/fears.

Hence why Bhagavan never had the urge to move from Arunachala, to travel the country, have any possessions, and would have been wholly satisfied with living off whatever bhiksa came his way. His life was lived for others: even when he was suffering from cancer, he made himself available for darshan as much as possible.

Nisargadatta said "be nothing, know nothing, have nothing" and that a jnani just cannot be selfish, or what amounts to the same, he is equally selfish for every being in the world.

VS Iyer said that the test of your understanding of advaita is the extent to which another's suffering is of the same importance as your own.

The gist of this is unmistakeable and a wholly logical conclusion that follows from really understanding that the ego is not real, that you are the whole and non-separate, and that you are not the body-mind (which is the prerequisite relinquishment).

Most of us (our minds) are not really ready for this radical death, so our minds tell us that yes we are this awareness, and yes we just need to keep focusing attention on it, and then the grace of God will descend, and hey presto we will be realised. But we are not really ready to give up anything. And we are still seeking ananda for 'ourselves'. Hence Krishna's warning to Arjuna.

Ann Onymous said...

"...we can trick ourselves into believing that we have understood and that we have some level of stillness and peace."

We have already tricked ourselves into believing we are something other than what we are, and we continue to trick ourselves by thinking we can do anything about it other than trying to understand our predicament and be still.

Sivanarul said...

I was only half-joking regarding the "Calling off the Search" comment. Since there has been some serious posts on that, I guess I have no career in part time comedy :-)

Now for a serious comment on that.

Venkat:
"Gaudapada and Sankara emphasised a degree of renunciation of the traditional pleasures and goals (ice cream, driving the Pacific highway, mingling with "stars") that logically is the culmination of not identifying yourself with your particular body-mind, and it's pleasures/fears."

It is fair to say that most traditions emphasise a degree of renunciation including the renunciation of mundane pleasures like ice cream.I think that Roger's comment "Abiding in stillness inwardly certainly would not interfere with any of the activities suggested (ice cream, sorbet, etc...) applies only to Jnani's or very highly advanced aspirants. For those who haven't travelled much on the path, I don't think stillness is possible when the mind is involved in a pleasurable acitivity (or painful activity for that matter).

Anyway, I can say for sure, when I eat an icecream, the Self is out the window :-)

Venkat:
"Most of us (our minds) are not really ready for this radical death, so our minds tell us that yes we are this awareness,"

Before one is ready for radical death, the craving for pleasure and running away from pain needs to end. I think this is where most of us (including me) have trouble. While Samsara has beaten us enough to provide the impetus to end it, it has also given and continues to give enough carrots, to keep the craving going on. Until craving is there, there is not going to be much progress. Craving can subside for a duration of time. But it eventually returns and the wheel of samsara keeps going.

I don't think any serious sadhaka should ever call of the search, even if they fail a trillion times or they experience perfect stillness.
The search will automatically end when the search results in calling On the sadhaka.

Ann Onymous said...

"We have already tricked ourselves into believing we are something other than what we are..."

...and the very next comment provides a perfect example:

"...when I eat an icecream, the Self is out the window"

:-)

Sivanarul said...

Ann Onymous,

"We have already tricked ourselves into believing we are something other than what we are..."

An intellectual understanding of the above does not prevent the immediacy of the sense pleasures from taking over. Hence my comment that the Self is out the window when one eats an ice cream.

Without a deliberate period of intense sadhana, craving does not cease. There are no Shortcuts.

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/book/living-with-siva/201

LESSON 303
There Are No Shortcuts

The idea of a shortcut that transcends religion and brings one quickly to the peak is a fallacy. We hear and read many stories of sages who have seemingly leapt from the valley to the peak on the power of tremendous austerities or rigorous mental control. Some of us may have heard of Ramana Maharshi or Rama Tirtha, great sages of India’s recent past. We may recall that both of them climbed to the heights of Vedāntic truths while young, apparently unencumbered by traditional religious performance. Or at least this is the way we hear of them. True, they were both young when they reached great spiritual illumination. But their relationship with traditional religion needs clarification. In fact, each of these sages passed through religion, not around it.

For the would-be Vedāntin to shirk his religion, thinking he is following Ramana Maharshi or Rama Tirtha, is like the college dropout thinking that he is following the example of a graduate. The dropout and the graduate are similar in that they both have left college. But whereas the dropout was unable to absorb and fulfill the teachings of a college, and is unfit for anything that requires more than a high school diploma, the graduate has not only mastered the teachings but is the living fulfillment of the teachings. We could say that both Ramana Maharshi and Rama Tirtha were “A” students of the Hindu religion. How many people, as a fifteen-year-old child, like Ramana Maharshi, would walk each day to their village temple and prostrate before the image of God, weeping for the Lord’s grace that he be able to live a pure and spiritual life as exemplified by his religion? How many of us could, as Rama Tirtha did from his earliest years, daily attend temple services, chant incessantly the holy words of his religion, read fervently his scriptures, become so enraptured with love of God that his pillow each morning would be soaking wet from tears of devotion inspired by his silent prayers? These are men of religion who dove so deeply into their religion that they became the very fulfillment, the very proof, of the power of religion.

And so it is with all the world’s religions and the saints they have produced. There is no true path that leads away from religion. Hard work, diligence and perseverance in religious practices will be found as the spiritual foundation in the lives of all the world’s great saints. In Hinduism, the word we use to denote religion, its theology and practices, is Siddhānta. Siddhānta is the path that one follows which leads to the mystic vision of Vedānta. When we read of the yogas of bhakti, karma and rāja, discipleship to a guru, the fulfillment of spiritual dharma and temple worship, these are all part of the path, part of Siddhānta.

Ann Onymous said...

Sivanarul -

I didn't say that we don't need to un-trick ourselves.

Sivanarul said...

The following does not apply to advanced or non-religious aspirants. So please ignore. But if you are religious and beginner, these are real words of wisdom.

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/book/living-with-siva/201

LESSON 304
Vedānta and Religious Unity

In the West, we first received from India the philosophical teachings of Vedānta as if they exist separate from religion. There were, of course, some religious practices of Hinduism spoken of as methods to reach the Vedānta realizations. But it was all very low key, presented in a way that would not seem challenging or offensive to Western religions. This was fine and as it should be. But it also created misconceptions in the minds of those who earnestly did want to reach toward the Vedāntic truths. The West was given the impression that Vedānta was a mystic path which was independent of religion.

Yoga was the word used to describe this “trans-religious” spiritual path to God. And this yoga could be adopted by anyone regardless of former or current religious involvement. The problem lies in the fact that many were left with the misconception that religion was unnecessary and perhaps unenlightened; whereas, in truth, yoga is an integral part of our ancient religious tradition. It is not now, nor was it ever, separate from the religious tradition that gave birth to it. Yoga is an advanced part of the Hindu religion, a religion which sees realization of the Vedāntic truths as the goal of man. There is an important reason why many in the West were attracted to yoga and Vedānta philosophy. The idea of a spiritual path separate from religion comes very close to an ideal that many were, and still are today, seeking. This ideal is unity of world religions.

This ideal is promoted by many swāmīs who declare that there is much in common between all religions, that there is, in fact, a meeting ground where all agree on certain basic spiritual truths. So, it would seem that the less important areas of difference could be overlooked and the commonly accepted truths proclaimed in unison. Yoga and Vedānta are said to be the answer, the meeting ground. But in the final analysis, a spiritual path separate from religion neither fulfills the ideal of religious unity, nor is it really a spiritual path. It remains only a philosophy, a mental concept. Why? Because, for one, each religion knows all too well the true importance of the many seemingly less significant practices and rituals of their religion. They know that for most people the dutiful performance of these practices helps stabilize them in their spiritual lives.

For some, any type of theology or philosophy, let alone mysticism, is beyond their realm of thinking. But what they can do, and need to do, are simple religious performances, the fruits of which will, later in life or in future lives, uplift them into deeper stages of spiritual life. To set aside this aspect of religion would be to destroy the religious life of millions. Secondly, even those who are seemingly beyond the need for external religious practice, who would be inclined to accept a nonreligious spiritual path as their way, will eventually find themselves on unstable ground, and for many reasons.

Each religion has a hierarchy of saints, angels and archangels which assist all of its followers from the inner planes, helping them through their difficult times, answering their prayers and supplications. When we leave the fold of religion, we remove ourselves from the benign influence of these great beings and actually open ourselves to much lesser, base influences which can disrupt our lives. Spiritual life, especially as one progresses into stages of mystical experience, is a very delicate process. Powerful forces are awakened in us that we may or may not always be able to perfectly control.

Sivanarul said...

LESSON 305
Unity at the Mountaintop

If we return to our analogy of the mountain peak, the path to it, religion, would be likened to a well-trodden trail. There are many people all along the way to assist in times of need. There are also those few in each religion who have walked the entire path, reached the summit and can lead others along the way. Those pursuing yoga, philosophy or mysticism separate from the foundation of day-to-day religion are like lone climbers treading through unknown territory, up unknown slopes. Theoretically they too can reach the summit. But realistically they do not. Mountain storms, unforeseen precipices, dead ends and untold other dangers and detours eventually claim such would-be seekers. Many fall into the crevice of intellectual rigidity and arrogant argumentativeness.

The path of dharma, which is India’s word for religion, is the sure and proven path. They call it the eternal path, Sanātana Dharma. True religion does not discount mystic experience.

Every true religion has produced its mystics. And it is here where religious unity is realized. The Zen master, Christian mystic, master of Kabala, Sufi mystic, Shinto shaman, Hindu sage and Taoist recluse can all speak of unity. They can all look into each others’ eyes and see no differences, but only oneness of spirit. For there is but one mountain peak that rises above the clouds. And all true seekers, regardless of their religion, must find their way to this one summit within themselves, sometimes transcending the religion of their birth. In mystic experience lies the unity of all religions.

Vedānta is an attempt to describe the experiences of the mystic. But how many actually attain to these final heights of realization? Many speak of them, but in the final analysis, too few ever reach them, for very few are willing to go through the rigorous efforts of purification. Few are willing to face each fault and weakness in their nature. Few are willing to take their scriptures, their spiritual leader’s words and their own intuitive knowing to heart and apply and practice their religion every day, every hour, every minute. But this is what it takes. It takes this kind of dedication, this kind of unrelenting effort.

The mystic whom we see poised on the peak of God Realization is the man who once faced each experience that you now do. He didn’t skip them or go around them. He had to deal with the same doubts, the same fears and the same confusions. He had those same experiences where all seems against you, and you seem so alone and ask, “Why am I the one who has these unsolvable problems, these totally confusing situations?” He didn’t give in to that abyss of doubt. He threw himself at the feet of God when all seemed beyond hope. And hope appeared. He persevered, tried his best, made the decisions that made the most sense in spite of unclarity—and all the while continued his sādhana, continued his spiritual practices, until one by one the veils of confusion faded and clarity became constant. He is the man who strived so hard on the little things in life, as well as on the great challenges. He simply did—not spoke of, but did—what you know you should do. We are the carvers of our own future. God’s grace, His love, is always blessing us in our efforts.

Roger Isaacs said...

"...when I eat an icecream, the Self is out the window"

If you love your icecream... then wouldn't you want to be conscious while eating it?

One of the 112 techniques given by Lord Shiva:

When eating or drinking, become the taste of the food or drink, and be filled

We go on eating things; we cannot live without them. But we eat them very unconsciously, automatically, robot-like. If the taste is not lived, you are just stuffing. Go slow, and be aware of the taste. And only when you go slow can you be aware. Do not just go on swallowing things. Taste them unhurriedly and become the taste.When you feel sweetness, become that sweetness. And then it can be felt all over the body — not just in the mouth, not just on the tongue, it can be felt all over the body! A certain sweetness — or anything else — is spreading in ripples. Whatsoever you are eating, feel the taste and become the taste.

continued at http://www.meditationiseasy.com/meditation-techniques/vigyan-bhairav-tantra-meditation-technique-no-52/

Ann Onymous said...

"Most of us (our minds) are not really ready for this radical death, so our minds tell us that yes we are this awareness, and yes we just need to keep focusing attention on it, and then the grace of God will descend, and hey presto we will be realised."

Suicide by Stillness.

Ann Onymous said...

I watched the following video for the first time, this morning. At the beginning he talks about how rare is the knowledge imparted, and as I was watching, I noticed that the video had 390 views. There are what, 7,000,000,000,000 or so people in the world? And this video had 390 views.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwtQP7vEKLY

Darko Vuckovic said...

Dear All,

Having read this blog I can only conclude the following 'facts':
- each of us is reading this for his/her own account, though actually it is only me who exists and reads this,
- all of you do not really exists, actually I have made you up in my mind,
- accordingly I am writing this to myself right now, but I am expecting answers from imaginary forms of yours which I have invented to serve on my path,
- if I ever 'wake up' and get realized, you will all disappear as well as anything else I have known to exist in this 'dream',
- I will continue my Self existence in a deep dreamless state of eternal peace and happiness, and shall never ever come back into such dreams as a known form of life.

And then what ? That's it ?
There are no further levels to reach, to achieve ?

Its a fine approach for people who do not lead happy lives, but what about the one who lives a happy life full of joys and doesn't want to wake up ?
Am I now placing a question to myself only, to my ego ?

If the above is correct then I see it more as a sadly event than eternal happiness.
To remain in a deep dreamless sleep sounds horrifying to me frankly speaking, because this life as I know it is so beautiful and I am thankful for each new day, despite all miseries I've been facing....

And the last comment,
If this world is illusory and represents my dream, then I should have a power to change the colors of my 'reality', correct ? I could then use the mind and focus at any goal and the goal should manifest in this dream if I am persistent enough ?

Your answers are highly appreciated (I hope it is not my Self who will create your answers to me:) )

Thank you

Darko Vuckovic said...

sorry one more thing,
does this mean that whoever I want to share with or talk to about the Self and the false perception we have, would actually be useless because it is actually me who exists and talking to others is in vain, particularly because many of them would not understand me or think I am completely mad - as they are all imaginary forms resulting from my mind ?

Ken said...

Darko -

Those issues discussed in Michael's article at:

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.com/2014/09/metaphysical-solipsism-idealism-and.html

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thank you Ken,
It does partially answers on what I need, particularly Michael's reply to Ramana_devotee.
However I can not get rid of the thought that if I am my own creator it is still such a sad fact. Ok the ego may now talk here and evaluate, but obviously I have created the people I love or hate, my physical body and all aspects of life.....

One more question, if on my further path I meet anyone or witness anyone I know being realized, how does that fit into the overall picture since he/she would have obviously been an illusory form ?

Thanks

Ken said...

Ramana has commented that while we are in this "dream", all of the conditions of the "dream" apply. Most notably is that until we are realised, which itself requires 100% mental detachment from our dream life, then we will only be in a position to do spiritual practice, e.g. self-investigation, when we are incarnated as a human being.

So, if you conceptually say to yourself "there is only the Self, all this is a dream" but do not do self-investigation practice, then you will still be attached to the dream, and when you die, you will be reborn in the dream again.

Thus, merely having the conceptual understanding is not enough.

Darko Vuckovic said...

But I can't agree that the waking state is comparable to the dream. Dreams are warped, volatile, you rarely dream the same dream twice, whatever...while the waking state remains persistent and clear, its a totally different quality of being. If all the people are illusory forms why would I then call them sentient beings, or refrain from any sinful acts, why would I strive to save this world, animals, plants,....If at the end this world and people in it are only the products of my mind and I am all alone in this whole project ?
As soon as I realize myself I shall physically die, correct ?
So there is actually none to love or hate, to talk to, to have any relations with, but the Self.
If the waking state is a sort of a dream I could change my reality. Is that feasible through the mind ?
If you lack a courage to penetrate deeper, but scratch the surface and unable to transcend, only that layer of realization could make you go mad eventually, correct ?

There are so many questions.....
Anyway thanks for your answers so far

Foolish Tenth Man said...

Darko Vuckovic

The following article by Sri Michael James may address your questions regarding waking and dream.
Is there any real difference between waking and dream?

The article Why are compassion and ahiṁsā necessary in a dream? deals with your question regarding morality and compassion.

According to Sri Ramana, whatever we as a body-bound ego have to experience in this lifetime is pre-ordained, and nothing we can do will ever change what is destined to happen. However, our desires, aspirations, and volition will certainly create fresh karma which will get stored up along with other past karmas, and we would experience their resulting fruits in some future lifetime. For a detailed study, you may peruse The karma theory as taught by Sri Ramana.

As to whether we would die physically when we know ourself as we really are, all this world and the body that we take as ourself will surely perish in the clear light of pure self awareness. However, since there will be no identification with this body, it seems logically certain that we would not feel as if 'we' have died, and there would be no body or world for us to worry about afterwards.

All the arguments in the previous paragraph are true only from our current deluded perspective. According to ajata siddhanta, which all sages declare as their own experience, no world or body or duality has ever even seemed to exist, and what only exists exists always, unchanging, unbroken, and infinite.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thank you dear,
it was indeed helpful.
quote
When [one] investigates the form of the mind without forgetting, anything called ‘mind’ does not exist. For everyone this is the direct [straight, proper, correct or true] path.
unquote

Why then at all teachings it is used the word "everyone" ? That's what I have noticed.
I am apparently the creator of all this, I want all the scripts, books, videos, etc. say "you", not "everyone" or so.
I just can not accept that I am all on my own, simply I can not.
Second, the spiritual enquiry 'Who am I', very powerful though, would fit more to people unhappy with their lives, miserable, ill, etc., absolutely not to those who are happy, even if 50% happy, they'd love this life too much, whatever is invented there ie. kids, parent, family, friends, jobs......why should they quit on that by enquiring who am I and just end up this illusory world ?
quote
If the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if the ego does not exist, everything does not exist. [Hence] the ego itself is everything. Therefore, know that investigating what this [ego] is alone is giving up everything.
unquote
but also this:
quote
If you want to terminate this dream earlier than that — and at the same time to terminate the sleep in which it and all your other dreams occur — you must investigate who am I who now experience myself as Jim.
unquote

I think I am not ready to terminate this dream earlier, as I really enjoy it, but ! I may come back to it when I in 20 years time or so, when I am ready.

What if my wife, who as per this teaching should be an illusory form, starts 'waking up', getting realized, how should I cope with it and do we both merge at some point ?

Regards

Ken said...

Darko -

You stated: "As soon as I realize myself I shall physically die, correct ?"

No.

"Q: It is said that the shock of realization is so great that the body cannot survive it.

Ramana: There are various controversies or schools of thought as to whether a jnani can continue to live in his physical body after realization. Some hold that one who dies cannot be a jnani because his body must vanish into air, or some such thing. They put forward all sorts of funny notions. If a man must at once leave his body when he realises the Self, I wonder how any knowledge of the Self or the state of realization can come down to other men. And that would mean that all those who have given us the fruits of their Self-realization in books cannot be considered jnanis because they went on living after realization. And if it is held that a man cannot be considered a jnani so long as he performs actions in the world (and action is impossible without the mind), then not only the great sages who carried on various kinds of work after attaining jnana must be considered ajnanis but the gods also, and Iswara [the supreme personal God of Hinduism] himself, since he continues looking after the world. The fact is that any amount of action can be performed, and performed quite well, by the jnani, without his identifying himself with it in any way or ever imagining that he is the doer."

And see the current discussion on this topic on another thread here at:

http://happinessofbeing.blogspot.com/2016/10/an-explanation-of-first-ten-verses-of.html?showComment=1477774968768#c3228552608077785211

and especially Venkat's quotes after that.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thank you Ken,
but this is rather confusing because he says:
quote
....If a man must at once leave his body when he realises the Self, I wonder how any knowledge of the Self or the state of realization can come down to other men....
unquote

and if I am the creator (or my mind) of this whole world, people and objects, then what other men we are talking about once I am awaken ?

Ken said...

One must not fall into the error of "either-or" thinking.

Your mind creates your whole world.... and .... other people do exist.

See:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks
Unfortunately it still confuses me,
Foolish Tenth Man has said:
"As to whether we would die physically when we know ourself as we really are, all this world and the body that we take as ourself will surely perish in the clear light of pure self awareness."
and you have said:
"and .... other people do exist."

Ken said...

That must be why he is "foolish". :)

If the physical body dies, then who is this Ramana Maharshi guy we see in the videos?

Darko Vuckovic said...

He is the product of my own mind, just as any other person, any other aspect of life...
but thats more or less what Michael says too,
if I am the Self or my own creator and there is none or nothing beyond me, then even this correspondence here is the product only of my mind where you exist as long as my false identity exists. Ok that even sounds logical.
thats why Ive said for those who suffer in this worldly life awakening is a desirable condition, but for the others, who are in love with this worldly life, awakening might be suffering.

Foolish Tenth Man said...

Darko Vuckovic

I wish to further clarify my statement As to whether we would die physically when we know ourself as we really are, all this world and the body that we take as ourself will surely perish in the clear light of pure self awareness.

It is our daily experience of dreamless sleep that this world, this body, and other people all cease their seeming existence when only self awareness remains. Thus, there is strong grounds for believing, based on this experience, that when we experience ourself as we really are, all duality ceases. However, because we come out of sleep, we have to agree that it is still an imperfect state, and that in the state of pure self awareness, the lack of clarity of self experience in sleep would vanish, and only pristine self awareness will remain shining.

Apropos your statement thats why Ive said for those who suffer in this worldly life awakening is a desirable condition, but for the others, who are in love with this worldly life, awakening might be suffering, it is true that those who are currently finding this world and this bounded existence pleasurable (or even tolerable), advaita, seems like a dull and unpleasant state. But those who acutely recognise the misery that this worldly life is, and who consequently develop a deep desire to find lasting happiness, will find refuge in their immutable self shining self awareness. Thus, we unripe fruits would do well not refer to those ripe fruits as "those who suffer in this worldly life", but should rather more accurately refer to them as "those who realise the suffering immanent in this worldly life".

Foolish Tenth Man said...

A part of my previous comment was not posted. I reproduce the entire comment below.

Darko Vuckovic

I wish to further clarify my statement As to whether we would die physically when we know ourself as we really are, all this world and the body that we take as ourself will surely perish in the clear light of pure self awareness.

It is our daily experience of dreamless sleep that this world, this body, and other people all cease their seeming existence when only self awareness remains. Thus, there is strong grounds for believing, based on this experience, that when we experience ourself as we really are, all duality ceases. However, because we come out of sleep, we have to agree that it is still an imperfect state, and that in the state of pure self awareness, the lack of clarity of self experience in sleep would vanish, and only pristine self awareness will remain shining.

However, the body and mind can continue to function from the point of view of others, and this accounts for the bodily existence and activity of all illustrious sages from all times. But, their existence seems to be true so long as we seem to be this ego, and this uncritical acceptance of the ego as ourself is the fundamental assumption which those embodied sages have come to make us question. As an aspirant and student, we need to be conceptually clear that no body or world will exist when pure self awareness remains shining.

Apropos your statement thats why Ive said for those who suffer in this worldly life awakening is a desirable condition, but for the others, who are in love with this worldly life, awakening might be suffering, it is true that those who are currently finding this world and this bounded existence pleasurable (or even tolerable), advaita, seems like a dull and unpleasant state. But those who acutely recognise the misery that this worldly life is, and who consequently develop a deep desire to find lasting happiness, will find refuge in their immutable self shining self awareness. Thus, we unripe fruits would do well not refer to those ripe fruits as "those who suffer in this worldly life", but should rather more accurately refer to them as "those who realise the suffering immanent in this worldly life".

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thank you.
I can agree to that.
So you say that other people in my life do not exist and are just products of my mind, ego.

What's the purpose of dreaming as a state ?
If Ramana's teachings are correct and true, then dreaming as a state of being apart from deep sleep and waking is useless.
Whats your opinion there ?

Darko Vuckovic said...

I haven't found any answer to this question at another page:
quote
Anonymous said...
In a wet-dream , a dream-body engages in sexual activity , yet semen is ejaculated from the waking-state body , which was apparently sleeping on a bed bereft of sexual stimulus. If waking and dream are indeed two different and independent states , then how to account for such nocturnal emissions?

Thus , we have another reason to doubt whether there is indeed any difference between waking and dream.
Unquote

tane tan said...

Darko,
neither waking nor dream are "independent states".
Both are only seeming occurences in the view of this ego because it is said that our real nature is infinite, unbroken, and undivided or indivisible.
Who is the sleeper of sleep ?
In my opinion only the ego is "sleeping" in deep sleep state.
I think the apparently sleeping gross body is only resting during dream and deep sleep - if I am not in error.

Darko Vuckovic said...

So far these are my thoughts:
- obviously this worldly life is an illusion or maya, one of the 'layers' of our consciousness
- our consciousness or awareness is a part of one global or super consciousness/awareness
- other people do exists, both as illusory forms in this worldly life and as separate individual consciousnesses being a part of the super consciousness
- for some reason there are points of meeting each other in the forms of parents, cousins, spouses or husbands, friends, associates, etc. where our consciousnesses merge somehow and we start sharing the same worldly life perceptions however with some differences in the layers through our five senses
- once we physically die our mind subsides and our consciousness dissolves in the one super consciousness where the feeling should be like 'I'm back home' sort of
- the awakening or realization is a desirable condition for those people who are aware of this worldly life as suffering, as the source of all miseries, whose ego or the mind prevails over their consciousness or awareness and who can not cope with it any longer
- for others who do tolerate or adore this worldly life, the awakening is a condition which may seriously harm their mind or ego and produce a possible damage to their brain or intellectual properties - perhaps this may last till the illusion of a physical body or worldly life lasts and then after the true realization of that awakening happens
- I just can not accept one of the scenarios that I am the Self, all of around me is an illusion including other people too, that there are no other soul mates or consciousnesses except my own consciousness. That would be so bizarre.

Ken said...

Darko wrote:
"- once we physically die our mind subsides and our consciousness dissolves in the one super consciousness where the feeling should be like 'I'm back home' sort of"

This is not the teaching of Ramana.

He says that, just like when we are in deep sleep or samadhi, the samskaras or vasanas cause the mind to return, similarly after we die, they cause us to take another body.

In Path of Sri Ramana Part One, Sadhu Om writes:

"In deep sleep, the ego (ahankara - the mind in the form of attachments) is still alive in the very subtle form of tendencies (vasanas); it is this form which is that base and cause for the rising of the subtle and gross bodies, and
therefore it is called the causal body. Even in death, it is in this causal body that we exist. This causal body is not destroyed by the death of the gross body. The reason for asserting that even this causal body is not '1', is that we exist there to know even that state to be alien to us. There, our
existence alone is real, and we cannot be the form [darkness or ignorance) which we assume there. Just as we rejected the gross body of the waking state as 'I am not this body', even though it appeared to be 'I', and just as for the same reason we rejected the subtle body of the dream state as 'not
1', let us now also reject this causal body (darkness or ignorance) of deep sleep as 'not I', since it is only a form which comes on us and goes. Therefore, having firmly eliminated all these three bodics as 'not I, not I', what then remains, that knowledge, the consciousness (chit) of our
existence (sat), alone is '1'."

(You can download a free copy of Path of Ramana Part One, and Part Two at http://happinessofbeing.com/books.html#sadhu_om_english)

tane tan said...

Darko,
- " I just can not accept one of the scenarios that I am the Self, all of around me is an illusion including other people too, that there are no other soul mates or consciousnesses except my own consciousness. That would be so bizarre."
You are expressing here the view of your ego. We are now experiencing ourself - due our veiled/obscured perception - wrongly as a seemingly separated person, although we are actually the one absolute reality called brahman. In this point our everyday consciousness of our ephemeral ego is different from truth. So long as we are aware of ourself as separated beings it will do us no harm in seeing others. Most of us cannot enter immediately in the state of jnana only by our wanting. First we have to investigate the source of our ego as carefully and persistently as possible. Than it is said will remain self-knowledge in the sense of pure self-awareness which is our true nature.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks Ken, it is helpful in a way, but reading the book you recommended I've come to the following:

quote
He still
went to school, but simply to please others. Even the taste
for games, which once appealed to Him so much,
disappeared entirely from His mind. The love and
attachments towards friends and relatives also faded away,
as did the interest in food and mundane activities. He who
in the past had aIways fought for the right, now became
indifferent and no longer reacted in any way towards any
kind of wrong or right. His previous nature of responding
with severe blows if anyone scolded Him changed, and now
a sweet smile of forgiveness and indifference would appear
on His face as a reply!
What a wonderful change!
The Self-experience
transformed Him into a perfect Sadhu. Love, non-violence,
patience, compassion, forgiveness, control over the senses,
humility, fearlessness – all such divine qualities settled in
Him naturally and in full, not due to practice but as a result
of Self-experience. To Him a life of worldly activities was
now meaningless, dry and unreal, just as a dream is useless,

unquote

Isn't this contradictory a bit ? at least as per our worldly criteria
What's the purpose of being in this world if whatever you'd eventually do is now meaningless ? Sounds like a depressive state of being, or a numb state of being with the attitude 'whatever occurs is an irrelevant matter', then after some years realizing he can't escape his destiny to remain in this world till something else decides different, the decision to share his experiences came up and finally he has determined and defined his call of duty during living among us, which indeed is nice (because many of us can't define for ourselves).
But it is 'his experiences' only, and the arguments for his truth are given carefully with a certain logic that I can accept and adopt, but I can not take it all as granted 100%.
If I am already at this dream and I do not suffer in my dream called life why should I waste years and years exploring this truth and distance myself from everything and everyone I love in this dream, because isolation is inevitable - and then during the isolation I may find others of the same afinities as mine whom I may start loving as I have loved others before getting isolated (As Ramana obviously loved his closest disciples).
It is ridiculous.
I shall approach this matter either if I am a sufferer whose dream seems to be a very unfortunate destiny at this worldly life, or when I get to an old age and should get ready for goodbyes, provided of course that my consciousness is at such a level to fuel such exploration and the interest in it before all.

However as I have written above, some of the proposals I did find here, I can accept as the only logical so far, though the life itself is an absurd.

I have appreciated a lot the work left by Osho Rajnesh who did not give up on worldly affairs, but whose points were very clear and immensely helpful.
And he was damn right pointing out that this worldly life is something we are to live as fully as children and at no fear and that meditative questioning will always guide you of what is good and what is bad to act upon,.....
Surely Ramana's teachings go much deeper and are of a complexing character, but at the same time for some of us some of those teachings are sometimes too terrifying to accept.
Ok you may call it ignorance, let it be so.

I certainly won't be sitting and waiting for my judgment day with a great happiness and understanding, but will move as the life flows, downstream, thankful for each given day and whatever knowledge I can pick up on the way that shall not raise a bizarre feeling inside me I'll gladly do.
If and once my karma becomes overweight, I'll think about going deeper with Ramana's alternatives.

Rgds


Darko Vuckovic said...

Tane tan thanks for your answer,
I really do understand that my Ego speaks for myself,
but you tell me please
do other people exist separately of myself ? Once my body dies will you still be existing?
Thanks

tane tan said...

Darko,
we must distinguish our mind-bound (based on our sense-perception) experience of separated beings from the one supreme infinite whole reality. Other people seem to exist only in the view of our ego. That means that other people exist only as long as we imagine and experience ourself as this ego-phantom, the body-mind construct. Because our ego is merely a seeming appearance and does not actually exist, the illusory ego's view cannot be real but only temporary and illusory. According the outstanding teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana death of the gross body does not affect our real nature of pure self-awareness.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks, but it doesn't really answer my question.
Who invented this whole world, its history, its future, all bio-chemical processes including those in the body, birth, death, countries, nations, humans, etc........ ?
It is impossible that my Ego did it. At least I can't believe so.

tane tan said...

Darko,
according Bhagavan's assurance this whole world is only an imagination of the mind.
The world's history, future, bio-chemical processes including all other you mention were never invented and are only mind-bound concepts/thoughts, imaginations, mental crteations, illusions or illusory appearances/impositions. The world is nothing but sense-perceptions.
However, only if the source of the 'I'-thought or ego is sufficiently investigated than the perception of the world ends and remains only full self-awareness of the substance that is oneself. This ego is not at all a substantial reality but only a mistaken identity, a distorted awareness og ourself.
Alone atma-svarupa is what exists.
There is nothing other than self - because self is all.
What is one cannot necessarily have any second.
We imaginarily separated ourself from our own infinite power.
We are immortal brahman.
Therefore we should eschew unreality and eradicate this ego - our false consciousness 'I am this body' - by 'goiing' back into our source.

Ken said...

Here are some of Ramana's thoughts on creation:

Q: Is not the Self the cause of this world we see around us?

Ramana: Self itself appears as the world of diverse names and forms. However, Self does not act as the efficient cause [nimitta karana], creating, sustaining and destroying it. Do not ask ‘Why does the confusion of Self, not knowing the truth that it itself appears as the world, arise?’ If instead you enquire ‘To whom does this confusion occur?’, it will be discovered that no such confusion ever existed for Self.

Q: You seem to be an exponent of ajata doctrine of advaita vedanta.

Ramana: I do not teach only the ajata doctrine. I approve of all schools. The same truth has to be expressed in different ways to suit the capacity of the hearer. The ajata doctrine says, ‘Nothing exists except the one reality. There is no birth or death, no projection or drawing in, no seeker, no bondage, no liberation. The one unity alone exists.’ To such as find it difficult to grasp this truth and who ask, ‘How can we ignore this solid world we see all around us?’, the dream experience is pointed out and they are told, ‘All that you see depends on the seer. Apart from the seer, there is no seen.’ This is called the drishti-srishti vada or the argument that one first creates out of one’s mind and then sees what one’s mind itself has created. Some people cannot grasp even this and they continue to argue in the following terms:
‘The dream experience is so short, while the world always exists. The dream experience was limited to me. But the world is felt and seen not only by me, but by so many others. We cannot call such a world non-existent.’ When people argue in this way they can be given a srishti-drishti theory, for example, ‘God first created such and such a thing, out of such and such an element, and then something else was created, and so on.’ That alone will satisfy this class. Their minds are otherwise not satisfied and they ask themselves, ‘How can all geography, all maps, all sciences, stars, planets and the rules governing or relating to them and all knowledge be totally untrue?’ To such it is best to say, ‘Yes, God created all this and so you see it.’

Q: But all these cannot be true. Only one doctrine can be true.

Ramana: All these theories are only to suit the capacity of the learner. The absolute can only be one. The vedanta says that the cosmos springs into view simultaneously with the seer and that there is no detailed process of creation. This is said to be yugapat-srishti [instantaneous creation]. It is quite similar to the creations in dream where the experiencer springs up simultaneously with the objects of experience. When this is told, some people are not satisfied for they are deeply rooted in objective knowledge. They seek to find out how there can be sudden creation. They argue that an effect must be preceded by a cause. In short, they desire an explanation for the existence of the world which they see around them. Then the srutis [scriptures] try to satisfy their curiosity by theories of creation. This method of dealing with the subject of creation is called krama-srishti [gradual creation]. But the true seeker can be content with yugapat-srishti, instantaneous creation.

(continued in next message)

Ken said...

(continued from previous message)

Q: What is the purpose of creation?

Ramana: It is to give rise to this question. Investigate the answer to this question, and finally abide in the supreme or rather the primal source of all, the Self. The investigation will resolve itself into a quest for the Self and it will cease only after the non-Self is sifted away and the Self realized in its purity and glory.
There may be any number of theories of creation. All of them extend outwardly. There will be no limit to them because time and space are unlimited. They are however only in the mind. If you see the mind, time and space are transcended and the Self is realized.
Creation is explained scientifically or logically to one’s own satisfaction. But is there any finality about it? Such explanations are called krama-srishti [gradual creation]. On the other hand, drishti-srishti [simultaneous creation] is yugapat-srishti. Without the seer there are no objects seen.
Find the seer and the creation is comprised in him. Why look outward and go on explaining the phenomena which are endless?"

These are from "Be As You Are" by David Godman, which is very helpful because he groups all the answers by subject matter.

Ken said...

Concerning the earlier issue of why to do spiritual practice at all, Ramana stated in Nan Yar:

"Ramana Maharshi: What is called happiness is merely the nature of the Self[one's basic thought-free Awareness]. Happiness and the Self are not different. The happiness of the Self alone exists; that alone is real. There is no happiness at all in even a single one of the [many] things in the world. We believe that we derive happiness from them on account of aviveka [a lack of discrimination, an inability to ascertain what is correct]. When the mind is externalised, it experiences misery. The truth is, whenever our thoughts [that is, our desires] get fulfilled, the mind turns back to its source and experiences Self-happiness alone. In this way the mind wanders without rest, emerging and abandoning the Self and [later] returning within. The shade under a tree is very pleasant. Away from it the sun’s heat is scorching. A person who is wandering around outside reaches the shade and is cooled. After a while he goes out again, but unable to bear the scorching heat, returns to the tree. In this way he is engaged in going from the shade into the hot sunshine and in coming back from the hot sunshine into the shade. A person who acts like this is an aviveki [someone who lacks discrimination], for a discriminating person would never leave the shade. By analogy, the mind of a jnani[wise man] never leaves Brahman[the Absolute Ground of all Being], whereas the mind of someone who has not realised the Self is such that it suffers by wandering in the world before turning back to Brahman for a while to enjoy happiness. What is called ‘the world’ is only thoughts. When the world disappears, that is, when there are no thoughts, the mind experiences bliss; when the world appears, it experiences suffering."

====

Concerning the person who feels that they are happy, and don't want their current life and world to go away:

The problem is that it will certainly go away. And everything which our ego has done in this life will also go away. This is the lesson one should take from the example of a dream - when it is over, the dream, its whole world, and its accomplishments go away.

Some sages say that a human birth is rare, and we should take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded to understand teachings and do practice.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks to all, I highly appreciate your efforts to assist,
I think Im just not ready yet, perhaps the lack of courage or a clear perception.
This is perfect to prepare someone for his/her death to face, otherwise I like the way it is happening now, even if its just a dream, though I must admit that more I read Ramana's teaching, more I feel dizzy and shaken inside.
That could be a sign that it penetrates deeper than it should.
I'll take a rest for a while.
Cheers

tane tan said...

Darko,
yes, take your time to study Bhagavan's incomparable teaching and develop your ability to comprehensive understanding.
Gradual improvement of your understanding is better than sudden but not deep and lasting.
You would get much benefit from careful studying of Michael's articles and comments starting with 2006.
Best wishes.

Ken said...

Darko wrote:

"...I must admit that more I read Ramana's teaching, more I feel dizzy and shaken inside."

I confess that does not make sense to me... I assume that you must be missing some piece of the puzzle.

When I first read Ramana's teaching (which was the part I posted just above, that starts "What is called happiness ..."), I thought "Finally someone who makes sense!" - because nothing that other human beings said made any sense...

tane tan said...

Ken,
the reason for Darko's dizziness and inner shake is of course his mind which is preoccupied with other concepts. Deep down in his innermost soul (heart) he now may feel that his previous belief in possibly questionable ideas does not satisfy his yearning for the truth completely.
We should not forget that our own history of 'understanding' consists also only of serial imaginary hypotheses.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks,
Tane tan you might probably be right.
I believe the reason is at the inner core of my being I may presume that what I read could be the truth actually and I don't want to face it. Actually I feel if I focus my attention long enough I could shortly get into a psychotic or hypnotic state of being, thus I can't stay focused for too long.

But, if I am Brahman, is the only function of mine, of my entire existence, to ego-dream on various worldly lives, with the task to eventually wake up one day and then what.....? What happens next ? I rest in a void ?

tane tan said...

Darko,
as Sri Ramana told us: to be what we REALLY are is not a void but only the happiness of being which is our real nature. You can leave it confidently and safely to brahman alone. As soon as our wrong feeling as a separated ego is eradicated forever we are merged eternally with brahman. Our seemingly ego has then ceased to exist and has no function anymore at all. When the waters of the river flow in the ocean they have lost their own existence. The wrong awareness having a seemingly existence as a separated wave of the entire ocean will cease to appear. Our real nature is surely devoid of any limit. You may have total confidence in the teaching of Bhagavan: The whole reality of pure self-awareness is nothing but the waveless ocean of grace.

Darko Vuckovic said...

Thanks,
Ok even if so, why this worldly life takes place at all then ? Why from the very beginning I am not melted into eternal happiness or better to say I do not remain in it ? Why should I leave it for some worldly life which seems so poor comparing to it ? What's the point of tasting the worldly life as a dream ?

Ken said...

Darko,

In another thread on this blog, venkat recently posted the following quote:

"From Guru Vachaka Kovai (David Godman's version) on ajata vada:

44: The world does not exist in the state of ultimate truth. Its appearance, its apparently existing nature in maya, is like the imagined appearance of a snake in a rope, a thief in a wooden post, and water in a mirage. Their essential nature is delusion.

1119:Though the mind that has been captivated and held under the sway of the shining of pure being may move away to sense objects that are seen, heard, eaten, smelt and touched, as in the past, its knot has definitely been severed through perfect, firm, vichara.

Murugunar: There is no rule that the mind whose knot has been cut should not operate among the sense objects. Through strength of practice, it can remain without kartrutva [sense of doership], the suttarivu [the false consciousness that divides itself into someone who sees and objects that are seen], and it can operate among them [the sense objects] wholly as the Self, but it will not in the least become bound by them."

Ken said...

David Godman once wrote in this blog:

"In everyday English the word ‘real’ generally denotes something that can be perceived by the senses. As such, it is a misleading translation of the Sanskrit word ‘sat’, which is often rendered in English as ‘being’ or ‘reality’. Bhagavan, along with many other Indian spiritual teachers, had a completely different definition of reality:

Bhagavan: What is the standard of reality? That alone is real which exists by itself, which reveals itself by itself and which is eternal and unchanging. (Maharshi’s Gospel, p. 61)

In Indian philosophy reality is not determined by perceptibility but by permanence, unchangeability and self-luminosity. This important definition is elaborated on in the dialogue from which the above quotation has been taken...As for the word ‘world’, Muruganar points out in his comments to verses 63 and 64 that the Sanskrit word for world, ‘loka’, literally means ‘that which is seen’.

If one combines this definition of the word ‘world’ with the standard of reality set by Bhagavan, the question, ‘Is the world real?’ becomes an enquiry about the abiding reality of what is perceived: ‘Do things that are perceived have permanence, unchangeability and self-luminosity?’ The answer to that question is clearly ‘no’. The names and forms perceived by a seer do not meet the standard of reality defined by Bhagavan, and as such they are dismissed as ‘unreal’.

According to Bhagavan these names and forms appear in Brahman, the underlying substratum. Brahman does meet the stringent test for reality outlined above since it, and it alone, is permanent, unchanging and self-luminous. If one accepts these definitions, it follows that Brahman is real, whereas the world (the collection of perceived names and forms) is unreal. This formulation,
‘Brahman is real; the world is unreal’ is a standard and recurring statement in vedantic philosophy.

Vedanta is the philosophy that is derived from the Upanishads, the final portions of the Vedas, and the subdivision of it that tallies with Bhagavan’s teachings is known as ‘advaita’, which translates as ‘not two’. ‘Not two’ means, among other things, that there are not two separate entities, Brahman and the world; all is one indivisible whole. This point is important to remember since it is at the crux of the apparently paradoxical statements that Bhagavan made on the nature and reality of the world and its substratum. Since there is nothing that is separate from Brahman, it follows that the names and forms that appear and manifest within it partake of its reality. This means that when the world is known and directly experienced to be a mere appearance in the underlying Brahman, it can be accepted as real, since it is no longer perceived as a separate entity. If one knows oneself to be Brahman, one knows that the world is real because it is indistinguishable from one’s own Self. However, if one merely perceives external names and forms, without experiencing that substratum, those forms have to be dismissed as unreal since they do not meet the strict definition of reality.

Bhagavan summarised this position in the following reply:

Shankara [a ninth century sage and philosopher who was the principal populariser of advaita Vedanta] was criticised for his views on maya without understanding him. He said that (1) Brahman is real, (2) The universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe. He did not stop at the second, because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self, and unreal if perceived apart from the Self. Hence maya and reality are one and the same. (Guru Ramana, p. 65)"

anadi-ananta said...

Ken,
your quote supplies really useful information.
But could you please explain Bhagavan's summarised position with the rules of logic: How can Brahman as being said real be simultaneously the universe which is said to be unreal ? That seems to burst even the extraordinary limits of paradox.

Mouna said...

Ken and friends,

This quote from Guru Ramana (Pg 65) and Talks #315 (that actually even in english are translated different):

”...He said [talking about Shankara] that (1) Brahman is real, (2) The universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe…” (Guru Ramana Pg 65) [braquets are my note]
”...He says: (1) Brahman is real; (2) the universe is a myth; (3) Brahman is the universe.” (Talk #315)

was always a doubtful paragraph in Talks for me. First of all because the words “unreal” and “myth” don’t really define the full spectrum of the sanskrit word “mithya” (that really means what seems to exist but it doesn’t) and secondly because Bhagavan quotes Shankara but actually Shankara put it completely differently:
"Brahma satya, jagat mithya, jivo brahmaiva naparah” that in other words means Brahman is real, the world seems to be real but it’s not, Brahman and the individual soul (diva) are in essence one and the same.

It is not that Bhagavan was misinformed, I think again it is a personal translator glossing over a concept, but if he actually said that, it has to be viewed in a different light than saying that “Brahman is the universe” ascribes any idea of reality, even as an illusion, to the universe. Although Bhagavan kept on going with his interpretation of this three statements (again, if he said this):
"He does not stop at the second statement but continues to supplement it with the third. What does it signify? The Universe is conceived to be apart from Brahman and that perception is wrong. The antagonists point to his illustration of rajju sarpa (rope snake). This is unconditioned superimposition. After the truth of the rope is known, the illusion of snake is removed once for all. But they should take the conditioned superimposition also into consideration, e.g., marumarichika or mrigatrishna (water of mirage). The mirage does not disappear even after knowing it to be a mirage. The vision is there but the man does not run to it for water. Sri Sankara must be understood in the light of both the illustrations. The world is a myth. Even after knowing it, it continues to appear. It must be known to be Brahman and not apart. If the world appears, yet to whom does it appear, he asks. What is your reply? You must say the Self. If not, will the world appear in the absence of the cognising Self? Therefore the Self is the reality.
That is his conclusion. The phenomena are real as the Self and are myths apart from the Self.
Now, what do the tantriks, etc., say? They say that the phenomena are real because they are part of the Reality in which they appear. Are not these two statements the same? That is what I meant by reality and falsehood being one and the same. The antagonists continue: With the conditioned as well as the unconditioned illusions considered, the phenomenon of water in mirage is purely illusory because that water cannot be used for any
purpose. Whereas the phenomenon of the world is different, for it is purposeful. How then does the latter stand on a par with the former?
creations are purposeful; they serve the dream-purpose. The dream water quenches dream thirst. The dream creation is however contradicted in the waking state. The waking creation is contradicted in the other two states. What is not continuous cannot be real. If real, the thing must ever be real - and not real for a short time and unreal at other times. So it is with magical creations. They appear real and are yet illusory.
Similarly the universe cannot be real of itself - that is to say, apart from the underlying Reality.”


As we can see, Bhagavan tests our capacity to fuse opposites together, the snake/rope analogy (ajata analogy where the world can’t be seen if we see only oneself) and the water mirage analogy (vivarta analogy where the world will continue to appear even after the knowledge of Brahman has been revealed).

Verse 40 of Ulladu Narpadu summarizes well this apparent contradiction, it’s all ego anyways.

Mouna said...

(continues from lat posting)

Another way to understand "Brahman is the universe" is to say "the rope is the snake that you are mistakenly perceiving.

Mouna said...

(correction to original posting)

Please read "jiva" instead of "diva".

Bob - P said...

Thanks for your above posts Mouna
Best wishes
Bob

anadi-ananta said...

Mouna,
keep your feet on the ground:
in which way should the mistaken perception of a rope as a seemingly snake provide another way of understanding "Brahman is the universe" ?
Would you give an explanatory note ?
Also a Hollywood diva is a jiva. Smile.

Mouna said...

anadi-ananta,

Let me see... yes my feet are on the ground, then:
The rope is real, the snake seems to exist but it doesn't, actually the rope is that snake you so vehemently seem to see and fear.

All jivas are divas to and for themselves.

;)

Ken said...

Actually, the editor of Talks made the following to be "316" after "315" but it is the same day and seems to be the same conversation. Ramana continues:

[Talk 316.]

There is fire on the screen in a cinema show. Does it burn the screen? There is a cascade of water. Does it wet the screen? There are tools. Do they damage the screen?
That is why it is said achchedyoyam, adahyoyam, akledhyoyam, etc.
Fire, water, etc. are phenomena on the screen of Brahman (i.e., the Self) and they do not affect It.

Mouna said...

well said.

The screen is real, the film seems to be real but it's not, the screen is the film, albeit not connected with (specially if it is a plasma screen) and from the onlooker's point of view.

One more for the road, quite similar in spirit with Bhagavan's alleged quote:
Krishna, Gita Ch9-4 (since I don't know sanskrit, I shall paraphrase from what I understand):
In my unmanifested form I pervade the universe. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.

Ken said...

Talk 317 has two interesting subjects which are related to these and other discussions. The first one:

"D.: Are the Self-realised persons reborn? e.g., Vamadeva, Jada Bharata, etc.

Ramana: The Realised ones cannot be reborn. Rebirth is due to vasanas which are binding. But they are destroyed in the state of Self-realisation.

D.: Are we to take it that they had gone to the stage of kevala nirvikalpa but not to sahaja nirvikalpa?

Ramana: Yes"

Elsewhere Ramana had mentioned that sages in nirvikalpa samadhi were not yet realized, giving the example of the sage who asks for water, goes into nirvikalpa samadhi for a long time and then awakens and asks "where is the water I requested?".

Here he seems to ratify a theory of a devotee that some sages who are said to have been reborn to continue their work, were actually not 100% liberated before they died the previous time.

Mouna said...

Matches the bodhisattva principle in Mahayana buddhism. No "final" nirvana until the last sentient being is liberated.

Ken said...

The second thread in Talk #317 brings up an idea that I did not know existed, that there are two types of vasanas:

"Another devotee: Can there be Self-Realisation before the vasanas [mental tendencies] are entirely destroyed?

Ramana: There are two kinds of vasanas: (1) bandha hetuh, causing bondage for the ignorant, and (2) bhoga hetuh, giving enjoyment for the wise. The latter do not obstruct realisation.

D.: If only vasanas for enjoyment do not obstruct the state of realisation and if one can look upon the events of the world without his state of bliss being disturbed, it means that attachment alone is bondage. Am I right?

Ramana: Yes, quite. Attachment is bondage. Attachment disappears with
the elimination of the ego."

anadi-ananta said...

Mouna,
ah, you seem to use Brahman by way of comparison with the rope and the snake with the universe. To me that comparability is not unavoidable. I know the rope-snake analogy only applicable to the wrong perception of the ego's view to be a separate being. But that your comparison is possibly yet conclusive too in respect of reality or unreality of the perceived universe , at least for jivas and divas. Smile, please !

Mouna said...

anadi-ananta,

could you translate what you just said in simple language?, I am very simple-minded...
(I'm smiling, and you?)

Snake is universe, mouna, anadi-ananta, god, separate self, and all the etcaeteras imaginable and not, ad infinitum.
Rope is none of the above, only Brahman, nothing less, nothing more.

;)

anadi-ananta said...

Mouna,
ah yes, now I understand how you are looking at the topic.
Therefore the rope-snake-analogy fits well on the mentioned terms and etcetera.
So let us smile a friendly smile.

Mouna said...

:)

anadi-ananta said...

:), :), :).