Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The jñāni is only pure awareness (prajñāna) and not whatever person it may seem to be

In a series of two comments on one of my recent articles, Is it possible for us to see anything other than ourself as ‘the Self’?, a friend called Ken cited some passages from Maharshi’s Gospel and Day by Day with Bhagavan in support of his view that the jñāni still retains the ego in some form and does action in the world, so this article is my reply to this belief of his.
  1. What Bhagavan replied to questions depended on the willingness and capacity of the questioner to understand and accept whatever he might say
  2. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 15: for the jñāni there is no ego or mind and hence no action
  3. The body and mind that the jñāni seems to be exist only in the outward looking view of the ajñāni
  4. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham verse 32: in the clear view of the jñāni what exists is not waking, dream or sleep but only ‘wakeful sleep’
  5. The ego is dēhātma-buddhi (the awareness or idea that a body is oneself), so it cannot stand without attaching itself to a body
  6. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham verse 31: like someone who is asleep, the jñāni is not at all aware of the body or any other phenomena
1. What Bhagavan replied to questions depended on the willingness and capacity of the questioner to understand and accept whatever he might say

Ken, what Bhagavan replied to questions was according to the needs of the questioner, so it depended on their willingness and capacity to understand and accept whatever he might say. If they were unwilling or unable to accept or understand the basic principles of his teachings, he would have to modify and present his teachings in a manner that they could grasp and accept, so many of his answers recorded in books such as Maharshi’s Gospel, Talks and Day by Day do not represent his pure teachings but are only a diluted form of them.

Therefore we should not take all such answers at face value, but should try to evaluate and understand them in the light of the fundamental principles of his teachings as expressed by him in his own original writings, particularly in Nāṉ Yār?, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu and Upadēśa Undiyār, because if we do not understand at what level he was answering each question, we will end up with a very confused and unclear understanding of his teachings. Moreover, what he said was not recorded verbatim in books such as Maharshi’s Gospel, Talks and Day by Day, because he spoke in Tamil whereas those books were recorded in English, and since they were recorded from memory usually a few hours afterwards, they reflect only what the recorder of them was able to understand and remember.

2. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 15: for the jñāni there is no ego or mind and hence no action

Whatever he may have replied to particular questioners, Bhagavan made it very clear in his original writings that for the jñāni there is absolutely no ego at all, and therefore no one to do any actions. For example, in verse 40 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu he says unequivocally, ‘அகந்தை உரு அழிதல் முத்தி’ (ahandai-uru aṙidal mutti), which means ‘destruction of the ego-form is mukti [liberation]’, thereby implying that we cannot be liberated or merged in ātma-jñāna (awareness of ourself as we actually are) unless our ego has been eradicated; in verse 31 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu he asks, ‘தன்னை அழித்து எழுந்த தன்மயானந்தருக்கு என்னை உளது ஒன்று இயற்றுதற்கு?’ (taṉṉai aṙittu eṙunda taṉmaya-āṉandarukku eṉṉai uḷadu oṉḏṟu iyaṯṟudaṟku?), which means ‘For those who enjoy tanmayānanda [‘bliss composed of that’], which rose [as ‘I am I’] destroying themself [the ego], what one [action] exists for doing?’, thereby implying that for the jñāni there exists no action; and in verse 15 of Upadēśa Undiyār he states this even more explicitly:
மனவுரு மாயமெய்ம் மன்னுமா யோகி
தனக்கோர் செயலிலை யுந்தீபற
     தன்னியல் சார்ந்தன னுந்தீபற.

maṉavuru māyameym maṉṉumā yōgi
taṉakkōr seyalilai yundīpaṟa
     taṉṉiyal sārndaṉa ṉundīpaṟa
.

பதச்சேதம்: மன உரு மாய மெய் மன்னும் மா யோகி தனக்கு ஓர் செயல் இலை. தன் இயல் சார்ந்தனன்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): maṉa uru māya mey maṉṉum mā yōgi taṉakku ōr seyal ilai. taṉ iyal sārndaṉaṉ.

English translation: When the form of the mind is annihilated, for the great yōgi who is [thereby] established as the reality, there is not a single doing [or action], [because] he has attained his [true] nature [which is actionless being].
It is only in the view of the ajñāni (this ego) that the jñāni seems to be a person (a body and mind) and therefore seems to do actions. This is not to say, of course, that the actions done by whatever person the jñāni seems to be are not important, as you say, because for us ajñānis the writings and other words of Bhagavan, for example, are immeasurably important, since they teach us that the root of all our problems is only our own ego and that the means to free ourself from it is to investigate and discover what we actually are. However, though his written and spoken teachings are so important for us, he made it clear to us that their source is only our own self (ātma-svarūpa), which is what he actually is and which is completely devoid of any action, and that the person he seemed to be was just a channel through which these teachings could be presented to our outward-turned minds.

3. The body and mind that the jñāni seems to be exist only in the outward looking view of the ajñāni

Regarding the passages you cite from the fifth chapter Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, pages 27 and 29) and your inference that for the jñāni also there is an ego, but one that ‘does not identify itself with some object simultaneously with its rise’, Bhagavan makes it clear there it is only in outward appearance (that is, in the outward looking view of the ajñāni) that the jñāni seems to be an ego, because he says “in the case of the jnani also, for all outward purposes prarabdha would seem to sustain or keep up the ego, as in the case of the ajnani; but […] in the case of the jnani, on the contrary, the rise or existence of the ego is only apparent, and he enjoys his unbroken, transcendental experience in spite of such apparent rise or existence of the ego, keeping his attention (lakshya) always on the Source. […] By constantly keeping one’s attention on the Source, the ego is dissolved in that Source like a salt-doll in the sea” (2002 edition, pages 28-9).

The attainment of ātma-jñāna entails the permanent dissolution of the ego in its source, like a salt-doll in the sea, so in the view of the ātma-jñāni there is nothing on which the attention could be fixed other than that source, which is just pure self-awareness. Therefore when Bhagavan says that in the case of the jñāni ‘for all outward purposes prarabdha would seem to sustain or keep up the ego’ but that ‘the rise or existence of the ego is only apparent’, we should obviously consider for whom it is apparent. Since the jñāni keeps ‘his attention (lakshya) always on the Source’, no ego can seem to exist in his view, so it is only in in the outward looking view of the ajñāni that there seems to be an ego in the jñāni.

This is explained by Bhagavan in another passage in the final chapter of Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, pages 89-90), in which it is recorded that he said: “The existence of the ego in any form, either in the jnani or ajnani is itself an appearance. But to the ajnani who is deluded into thinking that the waking state and the world are real, the ego also appears to be real. Since he sees the jnani act like other individuals, he feels constrained to posit some notion of individuality with reference to the jnani also”.

After saying this, he was then asked how the ahaṁ-vṛtti (the I-thought or ego) functions in the jñāni, to which he replied: “It does not function in him at all. The jnani’s lakshya is the heart itself, because he is one and identical with that undifferentiated, Pure Consciousness referred to by the Upanishads as the Prajnana [pure awareness]. Prajnana is verily Brahman, the Absolute and there is no Brahman other than Prajnana” (2002 edition, page 90). That is, though in our view the jñāni seems to be an individual (a person with a body and mind), what it actually is is only brahman, which is nothing other than pure awareness (prajñāna).

4. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham verse 32: in the clear view of the jñāni what exists is not waking, dream or sleep but only ‘wakeful sleep’

Most of the questions that people asked Bhagavan about the state or experience of the jñāni were based on their erroneous belief that the jñāni is a person, an individual with a body and mind just like us, so Bhagavan generally answered such questions with reference to the person that the jñāni seems to be rather than with reference to the pure awareness (prajñāna) that it actually is. For example, in another comment you cite a passage from Guru Ramana in which Cohen recorded that when he asked Bhagavan whether the jñāni dreams, he replied: “Yes, he does dream, but he knows it to be a dream, in the same way as he knows the waking state to be a dream. You may call them dream No. 1 and dream No. 2. The Jnani being established in the 4th state — Turiya, the Supreme Reality — he detachedly witnesses the three other states — waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep — as pictures superimposed on it.”

When Bhagavan thus replied to Cohen that the jñāni does dream, what he was referring to as ‘the jñāni’ is obviously not brahman or prajñāna, which is what the jñāni actually is, but only the person that it seems to be (which is what Cohen meant by the term ‘jñāni’ when he asked that question), because any dream is just a projection of the mind, and since the mind is just as illusory shadow, it cannot exist or even seem to exist in the all-pervading and infinitely clear light of pure awareness (prajñāna).

Moreover, even when he explained that since the jñāni is established in turīya (the so-called ‘fourth’ state, which is actually the only state), ‘he detachedly witnesses the three other states […] as pictures superimposed on it’, the ‘he’ that he described as witnessing the other three states is not prajñāna but only the person whom the jñāni seems to be, because in the clear view of prajñāna there is only one state, namely the ‘wakeful sleep’ called turīya or turīyātīta, and hence these three transient states of waking, dream and sleep do not actually exist for it to ‘witness’, as Bhagavan explains unequivocally in verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham:
நனவு கனவுதுயி னாடுவார்க் கப்பா
னனவு துயிற்றுரிய நாமத் — தெனுமத்
துரிய மதேயுளதாற் றோன்றுமூன் றின்றாற்
றுரிய வதீதந் துணி.

naṉavu kaṉavuduyi ṉāḍuvārk kappā
ṉaṉavu tuyiṯṟuriya nāmat — teṉumat
turiya madēyuḷadāṯ ṟōṉḏṟumūṉ ḏṟiṉḏṟāṟ
ṟuriya vatītan tuṇi
.

பதச்சேதம்: நனவு, கனவு, துயில் நாடுவார்க்கு, அப்பால் நனவுதுயில் ‘துரிய’ நாமத்து எனும். அத் துரியம் அதே உளதால், தோன்றும் மூன்று இன்றால், துரிய அதீதம். துணி.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): naṉavu, kaṉavu, tuyil nāḍuvārkku, appal naṉavu-tuyil ‘turiya’ nāmattu eṉum. a-t-turiyam adē uḷadāl, tōṉḏṟum mūṉḏṟu iṉḏṟāl, turiya atītam. tuṇi.

English translation: For those who experience waking, dream and sleep, waking-sleep, [which is] beyond [these three], is called turya [or turīya, the ‘fourth’]. Since that turya alone exists, [and] since the three [states] that appear [or seem to exist] do not exist, be assured [that turya is actually] turya-v-atīta [turīyātīta, beyond the ‘fourth’].
Therefore when Bhagavan answered questions such as the one asked by Cohen, we should understand that what he replied does not represent either his teachings in their pure form or his own actual experience, but was just a concession to the limited understanding of the questioner.

5. The ego is dēhātma-buddhi (the awareness or idea that a body is oneself), so it cannot stand without attaching itself to a body

Returning once again to the two comments in which you cite passages from Maharshi’s Gospel and infer that Bhagavan implied, ‘In the case of the jnani, the ego does not identify itself with some object simultaneously with its rise. It can remain without such association with objects’, the very nature of the ego is ‘grasping form’, as he explains in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, and ‘grasping form’ means attaching itself to objects, so contrary to what you inferred, the ego can never ‘remain without such association with objects’. As Bhagavan says in the fourth paragraph of Nāṉ Yār?, ‘மனம் எப்போதும் ஒரு ஸ்தூலத்தை யனுசரித்தே நிற்கும்; தனியாய் நில்லாது’ (maṉam eppōdum oru sthūlattai y-aṉusarittē niṟkum; taṉiyāy nillādu), which means ‘The mind stands only by always going after [conforming, attaching itself or attending to] a sthūlam [something gross, namely a physical body]; solitarily it does not stand’.

In the same comment you also say, ‘Ramana frequently stated that the only problem is identification with the body/mind, instead of the Self’, and further on you cite a sentence from Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, page 27) in which it is recorded that he said, “The false identification of oneself with the body is dehatma-buddhi or ‘I-am-the-body’-idea”, but who is it who identifies itself with the body and mind? In other words, who is aware of itself as ‘I am this body’? Obviously ‘the Self’ (ourself as we actually are) is never aware of itself as ‘I am this body’, because if it were aware of itself as such, it would not be aware of itself as it actually is, and hence it would not be what we actually are. Therefore what is aware of itself as ‘I am this body’ is only ourself as this ego, so Bhagavan often used to explain that the ego is just this erroneous awareness of ourself as ‘I am this body’, which is what is meant by the term ‘dēhātma-buddhi’ (the awareness or idea that the body is oneself).

Therefore you are not correct in inferring that when Bhagavan said in Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, page 27), ‘In the case of the ajnani, the ego identifies itself with some object simultaneously with its rise. It cannot remain without such association with objects’, he thereby implied, ‘In the case of the jnani, the ego does not identify itself with some object simultaneously with its rise. It can remain without such association with objects’. Since the ego is dēhātma-buddhi, the false awareness that the body is oneself, it can never rise or stand without grasping the form of a body as itself.

Though in our self-ignorant view it may appear that the jñāni is a person who is aware of himself or herself as a body and mind, just as we are, and that therefore even in the case of the jñāni an ego has arisen to be aware of all such things, what the jñāni actually is is just pure awareness (prajñāna), which is aware of nothing other than itself, since it alone is what actually exists.

6. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham verse 31: like someone who is asleep, the jñāni is not at all aware of the body or any other phenomena

In the second of the pair of comments that I referred to at the beginning of this article you also cited a passage from Part One of The Path of Sri Ramana (2005 edition, page 163), namely: “In the body of such a Self-realized One (sahaja jnani), the coursing of the ‘I’-consciousness along the nerves, even after the destruction of the knot of attachment, is like the water on a lotus leaf or like a burnt rope, and thus it cannot cause bondage. Therefore the destruction of the knot of attachment is anyway indispensable for the attainment of the natural state (Sahaja Sthiti), the state of the destruction of the tendencies (vasanakshaya)”.

Though this may seem to suggest that the jñāni is aware of the body, that is not what Sadhu Om intended to imply, because the body of the jñāni seems to exist only in the view of others and not in the view of the jñāni itself, as Bhagavan explains in verse 31 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham:
வண்டிதுயில் வானுக்கவ் வண்டிசெல னிற்றிலொடு
வண்டிதனி யுற்றிடுதன் மானுமே — வண்டியா
மூனவுட லுள்ளே யுறங்குமெய்ஞ் ஞானிக்கு
மானதொழி னிட்டையுறக் கம்.

vaṇḍiduyil vāṉukkav vaṇḍisela ṉiṯṟiloḍu
vaṇḍidaṉi yuṯṟiḍudaṉ māṉumē — vaṇḍiyā
mūṉavuḍa luḷḷē yuṟaṅgumeyñ ñāṉikku
māṉadoṙi ṉiṭṭaiyuṟak kam
.

பதச்சேதம்: வண்டி துயில்வானுக்கு அவ் வண்டி செலல், நிற்றல் ஒடு, வண்டி தனி உற்றிடுதல் மானுமே, வண்டி ஆம் ஊன உடல் உள்ளே உறங்கும் மெய்ஞ்ஞானிக்கும் ஆன தொழில், நிட்டை, உறக்கம்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): vaṇḍi tuyilvāṉukku a-v-vaṇḍi selal, ṉiṯṟil oḍu, vaṇḍi taṉi uṯṟiḍudal māṉumē, vaṇḍi ām ūṉa uḍal uḷḷē uṟaṅgum meyññāṉikkum āṉa toṙil, ṉiṭṭai, uṟakkam.

English translation: To the mey-jñāni [the knower of reality], who is asleep within the fleshy body, which is like a cart, activity [of mind or body], niṣṭhā [steadiness, inactivity or samādhi] and sleep are just like, to a person sleeping in a cart, that cart moving, standing or the cart remaining alone [with the bullocks unyoked].
Just as the various states of a cart are not experienced by a person who is sleeping in it, the various states of body and mind are not experienced by the jñāni, because in the clear and infinite view of prajñāna, which is what the jñāni actually is, there is no body or mind at all. Why then does Sadhu Om say that the flow of ‘I’-consciousness in the body of the jñāni is like water on a lotus leaf or like a burnt rope?

It is like water on a lotus leaf because it is not attached to that body, and it is like a burnt rope because it is not as it seems to be, just as a burnt rope is not actually a rope even though it may seem to be one in the view of anyone who looks at it superficially. That is, in the view of the jñāni self-awareness or ‘I’-consciousness is infinite and indivisible, so it is in no way limited to any finite form such as a body, but in the view of an ajñāni, who mistakes the jñāni to be a particular body, it seems as if the jñāni experiences that body as ‘I’.

As Sadhu Om himself explained to me when I asked him about it, this portion of The Path of Sri Ramana (pages 160-3 and 168-73), in which he explains about consciousness flowing through the nāḍis (the subtle ‘nerves’ or channels through which it spreads throughout the body), is what he had replied to some people who asked him about the connection between the practice of ātma-vicāra and rāja yōga, and he mentioned about consciousness flowing through the nāḍis in the body of the jñāni only because those people had questioned him in a way that showed that they were not yet ready to grasp the fact that the jñāni is not actually whatever body it may seem to be in the deluded view of the ajñāni.

As he explained earlier in this portion (on pages 161-2), ‘Since the source of the mind and the prana is one (the Heart), when the knot of attachment (abhimana-granthi) is severed by the annihilation of the mind through Self-enquiry, the knot of bondage to the nerves (nadi-bandha-granthi) is also severed’, so he told me that from this we should understand that when our mind is annihilated our connection with the nāḍis and hence with the body will be severed completely and permanently. Therefore the consciousness of the jñāni has absolutely no connection with the body, and hence with anything else at all. As Bhagavan says in verse 28 of Upadēśa Undiyār, what the jñāni is aware of is only anādi ananta akhaṇḍa sat-cit-ānanda: beginningless, endless (or infinite) and unbroken existence-awareness-happiness.

Moreover, if the jñāni were aware of the body or of any other phenomena, that would be a viśēṣa anubhava (an experience of something distinctive, special, new or what is not always experienced), and as Sadhu Om explains later in the same chapter (pages 171-2) the experience of true knowledge (jñāna) is nirviśēṣa (completely devoid of anything that is in any way distinctive, special, new or not always experienced). Therefore if we genuinely want to be aware of ourself as we really are and thereby free ourself from this ego that we now seem to be, we need to give up the idea that ātma-jñāna is anything other than pure self-awareness (prajñāna), which being pure is completely devoid of any awareness of anything other than ourself, and which is therefore absolutely intransitive and nirviśēṣa.

46 comments:

nirvisesa said...

Michael,
thank you for clarifyng the terms called the three states and turiya, the so-called 'fourth' state. But what is the reason/need to speak of turiyatita, that which transcends the 'fourth' state as a fifth state, when it is said that in the clear view of prajnana there is only one state ?

Foolish Tenth Man said...

nirvesesa

Guru Vachaka Kovai verses 567(a) and 567(b) from the version translated by Sri Sadhu Om and Sri Michael James:

567. a) The difference between the first three dense states [waking, dream and sleep] and the fourth and fifth states [turiya and turiyatita] are [accepted in sastras] only for those who are not able to tear away the dark ignorance of sleep and to immerse and abide firmly in the effulgent turiya [the state of Self].

567. b) The difference between the first three dense states and the fourth and fifth states are only for those who are not able to immerse and abide firmly in turiya, which shines piercing through the dark ignorance of sleep.

Sadhu Om: The import of this verse is that advanced aspirants should know that all states other than turiya which are mentioned in scriptures [i.e. sleep, waking, dream and turiyatita] are unreal. In order to understand these two verses, 566 and 567, more clearly, let the reader refer to verse 32 of Ulladu Narpadu – Anubandham and also to the last pages of chapter eight of The Path of Sri Ramana – Part One.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish 10 th Man,
thank you for your advise to GVK-verses. I will look for that verses and study them.
Then if necessary I will reply again.
Regards.

Michael James said...

Nirvisesa, the terms turīya (or turya), which means ‘fourth’, and turīyātīta, which means ‘beyond (or transcending) the fourth’, are used in many ancient texts, and since they imply the existence of a fourth and fifth state beyond the three with which we are familiar, they are open to misinterpretation and tend to confuse and mislead people. Therefore what Bhagavan wrote in verse 32 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham (which is a summary of what he had earlier explained orally, as recorded by Muruganar in verses 937-9 of Guru Vācaka Kōvai) was intended to clarify that these two terms are actually misnomers, because what is called turīya or ‘the fourth’ is actually the only state, since waking, dream and sleep do not actually exist, even though they seem to exist (but only in the self-ignorant view of ourself as this ego), and hence this only real state is also what is called turīyātīta or ‘beyond the fourth’. The implication is that it is called ‘beyond the fourth’ (turīyātīta) because the so-called ‘fourth’ (turīya) is not actually a fourth state but the only one.

Since turīya — which is what is often described as ‘wakeful sleep’, since it is the state in which we are clearly awake to (or aware of) our real nature and consequently asleep to (or unaware of) everything else — is the only real state, it is the state that we are actually in even now, as we can see for ourself if we simply refrain from looking at anything else and instead look keenly at ourself to see what we actually are, because we will then see that we are just pure self-awareness, which always shines immutably in ‘wakeful sleep’, and that we have therefore never risen as this ego to experience any other state.

nirvisesa said...

Michael,
many thanks for clarification the terms 'turīya' (or turya) and 'turīyātīta or 'beyond the fourth'.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish 10th Man,
after reading the recommended verses of Sri Muruganar's Guru Vacaka Kovai I meet a contradiction to Michael's article of 11 November 2015 Sleep is our natural state of pure self-awareness:
567. b) "The difference
between the first three dense states
and the fourth and fifth states are only for those who
are not able to immerse and abide firmly in
turiya,
which shines piercing through the dark ignorance of
sleep."
How can sleep be called once (by Muruganar) a dense state of dark ignorance and another time (by Michael J.) a state of pure self-awareness ?
section 10. Sleep is not actually a state of darkness or ignorance but one of pure self-awareness..."While we are actually asleep, we do not experience any darkness or ignorance, because all that we actually experience in sleep is our own self-awareness, and nothing else seems to exist at all."
Maybe my comprehension is too short-sighted or my understanding is going wrong ?



Foolish Tenth Man said...

nirvesesa

You are not alone in being perplexed by the contradictions which beset our ego in trying to understand the state of sleep. Nevertheless, following is my response to your questions.

From the perspective of our ego, sleep seems to be a 'dense state of dark ignorance'. The reason being that we not only not know any thing other than ourself, but also that we seem to not be clearly aware of ourself.

At the same time, sleep is a 'state of pure self-awareness' from the perspective of ourself as we really are, since who was it that experienced what we now call 'sleep'? Obviously, it is not our ego, so the only valid consistent explanation is that it is 'I' that experienced sleep. Since I was aware of myself during sleep, and not aware of anything else whatsoever, we must concur that sleep is a state a pure self-awareness.

Anonymous said...

This is just a puzzle. If a jnani has no ego, in any form or format, how do we explain the seeming differences between different jnanis? There are those who smoke; those who wander the street, unclad; those who give curt online answers; those who give long pravachan etc....

svatma-bhakti said...

Anonymous,
you must sharpen your powers of observation: jnana is only one. Not every smoker is a jnani and not everyone whose behaviour/conduct is anyway strange allows the conclusion to catch sight of a jnani. So we have to be very vigilant for what we believe to see and must learn to look and hear most meticulously. There are more rat-catchers and pied pipers than trustworthy lecturers.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish Tenth Man,
thank you for your comment. What you say is possibly correct. But Michael's explanation would be appreciated.

Michael James said...

Anonymous, you have unwittingly given a clue that provides the answer to your own question, namely ‘the seeming differences’, because whatever differences we may see are only seeming, since they exist only in our view and not in the clear view of the jñāni, who is just pure awareness (prajñāna). In our self-ignorant view there may appear to be many jñānis, but since the jñāni is nothing other than prajñāna, which is one and indivisible, there is only one jñāni, and that jñāni is not any person that we see outside ourself but is just our own actual self (ātma-svarūpa), which alone is what actually exists.

However, because we see ourself as a person consisting of a body and mind, we mistake even the one infinite jñāni to be a finite person just like us. This is a result of our own self-ignorance, so if we want to see the real nature of the jñāni we must look within to see what we ourself actually are.

svatma-bhakti said...

Michael,
with your reply to the question of Anonymous regarding 'seeming differences',spoken in soccer terms, you just scored prettily the presented penalty.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Avasthatraya Analysis

Check out the Appendix to Mandukya Upanishad by Swami Nikhilananda here on p. 373 - http://estudantedavedanta.net/Swami%20Nikhilananda%20-%20Upanishads%20II%20-%20Svetasvatara,%20Prasna%20and%20Mandukya%20with%20Gaudapada's%20Karika%20[English].pdf

which analyzes Avasthatraya, or the three states of Waking, Dreaming and Deep Sleep.


D Samarender Reddy said...

Ramana Maharshi on Karma Yoga

(Source: David Godman, Be As You Are, Chapter 13 Yoga, pp. 149-50)

Question : The Gita seems to emphasise karma yoga, for Arjuna is persuaded to fight. Sri Krishna himself set the example by an active life of great exploits.
Ramana Maharshi : The Gita starts by saying that you are not the body and that you are not therefore the karta [the doer].

Question : What is the significance?
Ramana Maharshi : It means that one should act without thinking that oneself is the actor. Actions will go on even in the egoless state. Each person has come into manifestation for a certain purpose and that purpose will be accomplished whether he considers himself to be the actor or not.

Question : What is karma yoga? Is it non-attachment to karma [action] or its fruit?
Ramana Maharshi : Karma yoga is that yoga in which the person does not arrogate to himself the function of being the actor. All actions go on automatically.

Question : Is it non-attachment to the fruits of actions?
Ramana Maharshi : The question arises only if there is the actor. It is said in all the scriptures that you should not consider yourself to be the actor.

Question : So karma yoga is `kartritva buddhi rahita karma' - action without the sense of doership.
Ramana Maharshi : Yes. Quite so.

Question : The Gita teaches that one should have an active life from beginning to end.
Ramana Maharshi :Yes, the actorless action.

Question : If one remains quiet how is action to go on? Where is the place for karma yoga?
Ramana Maharshi : Let us first understand what karma is, whose karma it is and who is the doer. Analysing them and enquiring into their truth, one is obliged to remain as the Self in peace. Nevertheless even in that state the actions will go on.

Question : How will the actions go on if I do not act?
Ramana Maharshi : Who asks this question? Is it the Self or another? Is the Self concerned with actions?

Question : No, not the Self. It is another, different from the Self.
Ramana Maharshi : So it is plain that the Self is not concerned with actions and so the question does not arise.

Question : I want to do karma yoga. How can I help others?
Ramana Maharshi : Who is there for you to help? Who is the `I' that is going to help others? First clear up that point and then everything will settle itself.

Question : That means `realize the Self.' Does my realization help others?
Ramana Maharshi : Yes, and it is the best help that you can possibly render to others. But really there are no others to be helped. For the realized being sees only the Self, just as the goldsmith sees only the gold while valuing it in various jewels made of gold. When you identify yourself with the body, name and form are there. But when you transcend the body-consciousness, the others also disappear. The realized one does not see the world as different from himself.

turiya avastha said...

D Samarender Reddy,
would you please summarize the gist of that mentioned Avasthatraya Analysis.

Michael James said...

Nirvisesa, the answer that ‘Foolish Tenth Man’ gave to your question about how sleep can be called both a ‘dense state of dark ignorance’ and a ‘state of pure self-awareness’ is correct. That is, from the perspective of ourself as this ego sleep seems to be a state of darkness, ignorance or lack of any awareness, but according to Bhagavan it is actually a state of pure self-awareness, as he says, for example, in a reply recorded in the first chapter of Maharshi’s Gospel (2002 edition, page 9):

‘Sleep is not ignorance, it is one’s pure state; wakefulness is not knowledge, it is ignorance. There is full awareness in sleep and total ignorance in waking.’

The pure self-awareness that we experience in sleep is our real nature, but though as we actually are we experience ourself as this pure self-awareness eternally and without a break, as this ego we do not experience ourself as such, because we experience ourself instead as a confused mixture of pure self-awareness and awareness of other things that we mistake to be ourself, such as this body and mind. In other words, we experience our fundamental self-awareness contaminated with awareness of adjuncts, which, though transitory, we experience as if they were ourself.

Since we (as this ego) do not experience our real self-awareness in its pure condition in waking and dream, we cannot now recall having experienced it as it actually is in sleep, when this ego was absent. Only when we turn our entire attention back towards ourself and thereby experience ourself as pure self-awareness in either waking or dream will we recognise that we are always nothing other than pure self-awareness, and that pure self-awareness alone was what was shining not only in sleep but also in waking and dream. In other words, when we experience ourself as the pure self-awareness that we actually are, all difference between waking, dream and sleep will dissolve and what will then remain is only the one real and ever-uninterrupted state of pure self-awareness, which is what is called ‘wakeful sleep’, turīya or turīyātīta.

nirvisesa said...

Michael,
thank you for making clear what sleep is from both of our perspectives (ego and pure self-awareness). Thank you also for your additional explanation that when we experience ourself as the pure self-awareness all difference between the 'three states' of waking, dream and sleep will dissolve.
Because we cannot call the pure self-awareness that we are or experience in sleep as a sleeper, would it meet your approval when I conclude from the above that in reality is only a 'wakeful sleeper' and no real sleeper in the conventional sense of the illusory three states ?

turiya avastha said...

D Samarender Reddy,
thanks for your comment quoting Ramana Maharshi on Karma Yoga.
When it is said that "one should act without thinking that oneself is the actor. Actions will go on even in the egoless state." would you please state who then is the real actor of actions ?

D Samarender Reddy said...

Turiya Avastha,

Difficult to give the gist of the Avasthatraya Analysis because Swami Nikhilkananda gives 10 different reasons as to why waking state is on par with the dream state. He also goes on to show that deep sleep is one where we exist as consciousness in the absence of the body/mind, so our true identity cannot be the mind or body.

Regarding "who then is the real actor of actions", clearly it is the body-mind complex which is the actor or you could say we put on the make-up of body-mind and play whatever role is assigned to us, and we are not the body-mind complex but the Self itself, the consciousness behind the body-mind complex.

D Samarender Reddy said...

The Invariable in all the Three States of Experience
by D. Venugopal
(from www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/venugopal/venugopal25.html)

Every day, we pass through the different states of the waker, the dreamer and the sleeper. Nevertheless, we take ourselves to be essentially the waker who sleeps regularly and dreams frequently. Çästra enquires into this assumption by employing the principle of anvaya-vyatireka. Anvaya is invariable concomitance or co-existence of two or more things. If one is there, the others are also there. Vyatireka is invariable co-absence. If one is not there, the others are also not there. Through this test, we determine what is intrinsic and what is incidental in an entity. What is intrinsic should have both anvaya and vyatireka with the entity. For example, in the case of gold ornament, let us see whether being the ornament is intrinsic to gold. When the gold ornament is there, gold is always there since the ornament is made of gold. Therefore, there is anvaya. As for vyatireka, however, if the gold ornament is not there, gold can exist in forms other than an ornament like, a mere lump, or a bangle, or a ring. So the vyatikreka test fails. Since both conditions are not fulfilled, being an ornament is not intrinsic to gold.

Let us apply the above reasoning to see as to which of our three states, waking, dreaming and sleeping is intrinsic to ourselves. As for invariable co-presence, when we as the waker are there, we as the dreamer and the sleeper are not there. When we as the dreamer are there, we as the waker and the sleeper are not there. When we as the sleeper are there, we as the waker and the dreamer are not there. So there is no invariable co-existence or anvaya between ourselves in any one of the three states and ourselves in the other states. As for invariable co-absence, when we as the waker are not there, we as either the dreamer or the sleeper are there. When we as the dreamer are not there, we as either the waker or the sleeper are there. When we as the sleeper are not there, we as either the waker or the dreamer are there. So there is no invariable co-absence or vyatireka also between ourselves in any of the three states with ourselves in the other states. Therefore, both tests fail in respect of ourselves as the waker, dreamer or sleeper. So, we are intrinsically neither the waker nor the dreamer nor the sleeper. The failure of both tests also indicates that we were analyzing an entirely untenable proposition.


Coming back to the rule, what is it that is present in all the three states? If we were asked, “Are you conscious?” we do not have to check, as we have no doubt whatever that we are aware. That we hear the very question is because we are conscious. That we think is because we are. Before a thought arises, we are. When the thought is there, we are. After the thought has gone, we are. Therefore, consciousness is there before the thought, during the thought and after the thought. In the same way, consciousness is the awareness in the waking state, the dream state and in the deep sleep state. A doubt may arise in respect of the presence of consciousness in the deep sleep state; but it is because of consciousness we were aware that we were blissfully ignorant of everything while we were asleep. It is owing to consciousness that the experience of three different states is recognized as the varying experience of the same person. So, what is invariably present in all the three states is consciousness that witnesses all of them. As for invariable co-absence, if consciousness were not there, the three different states cannot be there, as without consciousness nothing can be known to exist. So there is invariable co-absence of consciousness in all the three states. Since both tests of anvaya vyatireka reasoning are successful, we can conclude that what is intrinsic in all the states of experience is consciousness.

Michael James said...

Nirvisesa, yes, as you say in your latest comment, rather than describing pure self-awareness as the ‘sleeper’, it would be more accurate to describe it as the ‘wakeful sleeper’, because it is eternally awake to itself, though asleep to the illusory appearance of everything else (including the ego that we now seem to be), as we shall discover for ourself if we investigate ourself keenly enough to see that what we actually are is nothing but that infinite, immutable and eternally awake pure self-awareness, other than which there is nothing.

nirvisesa said...

Michael,
thank you again for expounding the nature of pure self-awareness (as being eternally awake to itself and simultaneously not awake('asleep') to the ego and its adjuncts). Mere in order to satisfy the categorizing mind, could we call the ego as sleeper ?
Yes, as you say we should not miss to investigate ourself keenly enough to see what we really are.

turiya avastha said...

D Samarender Reddy,
thanks for your answer.
Bhagavan answered in context with the question : 'How will the actions go on if I do not act?' finally that...'it is plain that the Self is not concerned with actions and...'
However, your statement 'Regarding "who then is the real actor of actions", clearly it is the body-mind complex which is the actor' does not agree with what you quoted as replies of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi for example:
1. 'The Gita starts by saying that you are not the body and that you are not therefore the karta [the doer].'
2. 'It means that one should act without thinking that oneself is the actor. Actions will go on even in the egoless state. Each person has come into manifestation for a certain purpose and that purpose will be accomplished whether he considers himself to be the actor or not.'
3. 'Karma yoga is that yoga in which the person does not arrogate to himself the function of being the actor. All actions go on automatically.'
4. 'The question arises only if there is the actor. It is said in all the scriptures that you should not consider yourself to be the actor.'
5. 'Question : So karma yoga is `kartritva buddhi rahita karma' - action without the sense of doership.
Ramana Maharshi : Yes. Quite so.'
6. 'Question : The Gita teaches that one should have an active life from beginning to end.
Ramana Maharshi :Yes, the actorless action.'

Ken said...

turiya avastha -

Ramana said: " There is only one consciousness which, manifesting as ‘I’-thought, identifies itself with the body ".

That mistaken identification with the body, the "I am the body" thought, is called the "ego".

The one consciousness - called Brahman - is the same as Atman, in English "The Self".

Suppose you are walking down the street, and suddenly, on the other side of the street, another man jumps out and attacks a woman and takes her money and runs off.

If you said "Oh no, I just attacked that woman!" - that would be a mistaken thought. However, if you did not have that thought (as would be normal), the lack of the mistaken thought would not mean that the woman is not attacked - merely that you would not think that you had done it. The attack would go on, just as billions of things occur in the universe every day.

In a similar way, Advaita Vedanta says that when your body-mind does something, "you" do not actually do anything, because you are actually The Self. Your body-mind does things regardless, just as the other seven billion people do things regardless of what we may think they should do.

And, in fact, this is everyone's experience already. We never say "I think I will now pump some blood to my legs and arms" - instead, it happens regardless of whether or not we "decide" to do so.

In the West, there is a phrase "act of God" that refers to an action that is not intended by a human being, for example, when a tornado destroys a house.

My impression of Ramana's teachings on this subject is that all actions of one's body-mind are to be considered "acts of God".

For a thorough discussion of the issues of identity, action, karma, choice and free will, see the following link to a page on David Godman's blog:

http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.in/2008/04/god-scriptwriter.html

turiya avastha said...

Ken,
thanks for your comment.
I would prefer a simple answer to the question: If not the self is concerned with actions who then is the real actor of actions ?
By the way, on which continent do you live ?

turiya avastha said...

D Samarender Reddy,
regarding the given treatise of D. Venugopal on The Invariable in all the Three States of Experience I cannot comprehend the penultimate sentence:
'So there is invariable co-absence of consciousness in all the three states.'
Was not said three lines above:"So, what is invariably present in all the three states is consciousness that witnesses all of them. (As for invariable co-absence)..., if consciousness were not there, the three different states cannot be there, as without consciousness nothing can be known to exist."
Is that not a total contradiction in terms ?

D Samarender Reddy said...

Turiya Avastha,

What it is saying is that vyatireka holds true because if consciousness is absent then the three states also cannot exist, so there is invariable co-absence.

D Samarender Reddy said...

Ramana Maharshi on Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana

(from www.arunachala.org/newsletters/2010/nov-dec - The Sri Ramana Gita of BV Narasimha Swami, Chapter XV)

Kavyakantha: Pray Sir, what are Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana?

Maharshi: These terms have several meanings – each to some extent derived from or connected with the other.

Take Sravana first: According to some, it is only the hearing of Scriptural texts (Veda vakya) with adequate explanation (Vyakhyana) from a Guru, which constitutes Sravana. But others disregard this and say even if what is taught is not the text from the Vedas or a comment thereon, but is couched in the vernacular, it is still Sravanam if (1) the Guru that imparts instruction is himself Self-realised, and (2) if his words throw light, i.e., teach Self-realisation.

You may take it that (a) whether listening to the Guru's recital of scriptural texts or to the Guru's own words, or otherwise, by merit acquired in previous births, (b) or if the voice is heard within and an idea is formed in your mind that the underlying truth or root of the 'I-idea', or idea of personality, is not the body, then truly you have had Sravanam. Above all, note the fact that Sravanam is not the mere falling of sound on the ears. It involves paying attention to Atma Vichara, enquiry into the Self.

Then let us take Manana:

Some say Manana is Sastrartha Vichara, or enquiry into the import or effect of Sastras (scripture). Well, it is more correct to note what is essential and say that Manana is devoting the mind to Atma Vichara, i.e., enquiry into the Self.

Finally let us consider what is Nididhyasana:

Some say that a thorough knowledge of Brahman or Atman is Nididhyasana, provided only that that knowledge be free from doubt and not conflict with the Sastras.

This definition, however, will fit in even for a bare intellectual grasp of the subject mentioned, even though it may be unattended by Realisation. Mere study of the unity of jiva and Iswara from the Sastras does not ensure Realisation, even if it be free from doubt or delusions such as 'I am the body and these phenomena are real, etc.' The mere study of hundreds of Sastras will not remove doubt and delusion. No doubt these Sastras, studied with faith, do remove such doubt and delusion, but such removal is not permanent, as faith often weakens and the man begins to waver. It is only Realisation that can ensure a rooting out, i.e., the permanent removal of these obstacles of doubt and delusion.

When the mind or jiva goes through various outside experiences, even by exploring hundreds of Sastras, without realising and staying in the Atman, one does not obtain what is styled Aparoksha Jnana, i.e., Self-Illumination directly realised. If, however, one has obtained such Realisation, then one gets Sakshatkara, or immediate knowledge of the Self, and that is Moksha — that is the highest Nishta.

Michael James said...

Nirvisesa, in answer to your reply to my previous comment, the ego is what experiences waking and dream, but it does not experience sleep, because it has then subsided completely in its source, which is the pure self-awareness that we actually are and that shines alone in sleep. Therefore the ego is not the ‘sleeper’ in the sense of what experiences sleep, but it is the ‘sleeper’ in the sense that it is asleep to what is real, namely our self-awareness in its pure, adjunct-free condition.

Just as pure self-awareness is eternally awake to itself but asleep to the illusory appearance of everything else, the ego is asleep to its own real nature (namely pure self-awareness) but awake to the illusory appearance of everything else. This is what is implied by Bhagavad Gītā 2.69, which means:

‘What is night to all living beings [namely egos], to that the well restrained [namely the jñāni, who is nothing but pure self-awareness] is awake; what living beings are awake to, that is night for the muni who sees [what is real].’

Mouna said...

Dear friends,

There is a wonderful new talk by Nochur Sri Venkataranaman on Aksharamanamalai (continuation of his previous talks) where discussing its stanzas he develops various themes in Bhagavan's teachings (like the importance of understanding deep sleep, the word "I", etc...)
He has this ability to merge devotion and knowledge (although they are never separate!) in a very distinctive way.
Usually is a series that goes on for six or seven days, and there is the possibility of watching them live as streaming video from Ramanasramam website.
A gem.

You may acces it by clicking here

Ken said...

So you are suggesting what looks like 10 hours of lectures ? (And it looks like just one of many 10 hour series.)

Only a few posts up, one of the readers commented that my reply of only a few paragraphs was too long, and wanted it condensed into one sentence (let alone reading the excellent link I provided).

Mouna said...

yes Ken, it's an hour and a half a day for I think six or seven days.
It is already I believe three years that Mr Nochur has been doing this usually at the beginning of the year for seven or so days.
If you live in Tiru, is a talk in the morning with big attendance of visitors from all venues (even locals) to the ashram.
He is about the 28th verse at the moment, in previous years he started at number one.
All is in YouTube.

As you suggested, not for "fast lane" seekers.
For those, the first Mangalam of Ulladu Narpadu will do to self-realize, if understood correctly of course!
and for the Triple A personality ones that can't even hold their attention on the whole Mangalam without being bored, then the ultrafast "summa iru" while abiding in oneself will also do... ;-)

happy new year my friend.

Ken said...

A short post of mine that I thought might be helpful to readers of this blog. It is just my opinion (and much or all of it may be obvious to many readers):

The following practices are helpful both for spiritual practice AND worldly life:

* Simplification

This means removing from your life those activities which are low priority.

For worldly life, it will give you more time and energy for your higher priority activities.

And not only will it give you more time and energy for your spiritual practice as well, but it also lessens the number of distracting thoughts (because those thoughts usually are concerned with recent subjects of attention).

* Gently reduce the number of thoughts that are not absolutely necessary.

The first suggestion above is about removing entire aspects of your life (such as a pointless hobby), this is about noticing thoughts and gently allowing them to drop away. (If you do not know how to do this, there are lots of web sites about it.)

When your mind is not involved with thoughts, you can perform better at whatever you are doing right now, whether spiritual or worldly.

* Being present here and now.

This is often cited as an important aspect of spirituality, but it is also helpful in worldly life. If you are working, then you do a better job if focused on the task, rather than on the coming weekend or what happened yesterday. If you are not working, it allows you to more fully enjoy what you are doing, whether eating a meal or watching a movie.

Michael has described an aspect of the Self as "the presentness of the present moment", so when we are "present", we are closer to being aware of the Self.

* Positive thinking

In a worldly sense, this means not worrying - which is an activity that has no benefit (because the future worrisome event is not yet here) and is thus a waste of our time and energy. Also, being positive is more attractive to others, so both social and work activities go better as well.

In a spiritual sense, Ramana Maharshi has said "The subconscious of man is a warehouse of good and bad karma. Iswara chooses from this warehouse what he sees will best suit the spiritual evolution at the time of each man, whether pleasant or painful." Therefore, the circumstances of your life are chosen to lead to your spiritual success.

Ramana Maharshi also said: "You are the Self; you are already That." and "Realization is for everyone; Realization makes no difference between the aspirants." and "This very doubt, whether you can realise, and the notion ‘I-have-not-realised’ are themselves the obstacles." So, being positive is also a great help in spiritual practice as well.

Ken said...

Oh - and one helpful aspect of these practices is that a little will work somewhat and more will work better - so you don't have to master anything to get a benefit.

Sivanarul said...

Regarding Ken's note on practices:

Finally something that Ken wrote, that I can read, not ignore and also find helpful :-) Just kidding! Very well written and down to earth.

One other thing I would add, is daily contemplation of physical death. This is also helpful both for spiritual and worldy pursuits. In the worldly realm, being cognizant of physical death, will help in better prioritizing activities, better planning and not worry much of failures or get overboard on success. In the spiritual pursuit realm, it will hone in the fact that precious time is passing away pretty fast and slacking in Sadhana will result in facing death with an empty hand to show for.
In the Buddhist tradition, there is a nine-point contemplation of physical death that can be useful.

Another thing is renunciation of all unnecessary things. Ken touched upon this in "removing from your life those activities which are low priority". Each one of us has to decide for ourselves what is necessary and unnecessary. Contemplation of physical death will greatly help in renunciation of unnecessary things. Let us say, by waving a magic wand, we come to know that we have only one week left on earth. All unnecessary things will drop in a split second. We will be at least very sincerely "trying really hard" to do what we think are the best things in those 7 days.

Finally for those who are on the Bhakthi path and have unwavering devotion to God/Ishvara, reciting his mantra mentally or verbally (OM Namah Sivaya, Arunachala Siva, OM Namo Narayana, Ram Ram etc) and thinking of the holy form of SivaLinga, Nataraja, Arunachala, Bhagavan or any other Guru is very helpful to tame the mind. If you know Tamil and know the Saivite scriptures then singing Thevaram, Thiruvasagam, Thirupugazh, Kandar Anuboothi, Aksharamanamalai etc keeps the mind in Sattva.

nirvisesa said...

Michael,
many thanks for your further elucidation of the term 'sleep'.
But I cannot refrain from my wish to understand the matter in greater detail and asking : If neither the ego nor pure self-awareness is the experiencer of sleep, who or what then is experiencing sleep or in other words: Who is the sleeper then ?
Or can nothing at all be called a sleeper ?

Foolish Tenth Man said...

nirvesesa

A 'sleeper' exists only as an idea of the ego during waking or dream, in order to account for the continuance of self-awareness that exists in sleep. The ego, whose very nature is to be self-ignorant and to consequently appropriate as itself what is other than itself, has appropriated self-awareness and conflated it with awareness of otherness (forms or phenomena). Thus, it clings to the idea that in sleep (when awareness of otherness did not exist), it did exist in some form as the sleeper, thereby continuing to conflate self-awareness with forms and phenomena.

The ego can never truly know what it now calls 'sleep', but can only merge into it completely. And if we so do, then according to Bhagavan, what will remain will be beginingless endless unbroken existence consciousness bliss.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish 10th Man,
thank you for your comment.
You reach a conclusion saying that a sleeper does not really exist. To what you describe as the ego's nature and actions("appropriation and conflation") I have to say in reply that the ego too does not really exist. But that leads to nothing because now in (my) waking I don't have no other skill than the ego. If I were actually a jnani I would not need any teaching at all.
Of course it is an absolute disgrace to be not a jnani but only "the ego during waking or dream".
But even if I would stand on my head I could not eliminate the innate ignorance.
Therefore the ego wants to understand also the mystery of sleep. If there is no sleep at all then consequently exists no sleeper. On the level/ in the view of the ego there seems to exist also sleep.
But possibly what you wrote is just an other "idea of the ego during waking or dream" or is quite correct.
However that may be, kind regards.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish 10th Man,
I will now and in the next days begin to study all 63 posts(articles) with label "sleep" and if necessary all the 127 sites where "asleep" is found on this entire blog happinessofbeing.blogspot.com. Then I will ask some more questions if required. By for now.

Foolish Tenth Man said...

I wish to refine and clarify a part of my previous comment.

I wrote: The ego, whose very nature is to be self-ignorant and to consequently appropriate as itself what is other than itself, has appropriated self-awareness and conflated it with awareness of otherness (forms or phenomena).

Here, the self-awareness which the ego has appropriated is actually the essential nature of the ego. Thus to be precise, it is only forms and phenomena that the ego appropriates as itself and conflates with self-awareness.

nirvisesa said...

Foolish Tenth Man,
the refined version sounds better as the former remark. But you express only what seems to happen in the view of this ignorant ego. Actually thank Heavensthe ego cannot at all appropriate our pure self-awareness.

turiya avastha said...

D Samarender Reddy,
you never spoke a truer word; without awareness we cannot even recognize the absence of any thing.

gargoyle said...

Greetings to all from Maryland USA

Michael, and others

In Sadhanai Saram, The Essence of Spiritual Practice some of the verses have me confused.

verse 51: page 19…..Moreover, since those great aspirants (Sadhus) who have realized Self, the reality, cannot be other than Self, they too are the reality itself. Therefore, approach such Self-realized Ones (Sadhus) and remain with them as their devoted slave.

verse 56: page 20…..Note: Compare verse 2 of Supplement to Reality in Forty Verses, in which Sri Bhagavan says, “that supreme state (of liberation) that is praised (by all the scriptures) and that is attained here (in this very life) by the clear Inquiry (vichara) that arises in the heart when one gains association with a sage (Sadhu), is impossible to attain by (listening to) preachers, by (studying and learning) the meaning of the scriptures, by (doing) virtuous deeds or by any other means”.

I tried to underline and/or bold some text in question but can't figure out how to do such.

Of question is Sadhu's referred to as sages and Self-realized Ones (Sadhus) and remain with them as their devoted slave

Of course I am often confused, and just as ignorant (ignorant times 100 is more accurate).
Who is confused, who is ignorant? That darn ego is, but not to worry.

I generally ignore anything I read that conflicts with Bhagavan’s teachings but these verses have me stumped and I would appreciate some clarification.

I apologize in advance for taking up your time on something I should ignore anyway.

Of course, anyone on this blog is free to help me understand these verses.

Best Regards to One and All

Sanjay Lohia said...

Gargoyle, when Sadhu Om says that we should approach ‘self-realised’ sadhus and remain with them as their devoted slave, he is using the term ‘devoted slave’ as a metaphor. Obviously, he is not indicating that we should become like their domestic servants, and obey all their menial commands.

We should become ‘slaves’ to their teachings – that is, we should try and walk the path shown by them, by following their teachings as religiously and faithfully as possible. In this context, we can refer to paragraph 12 of Nan Yar?, where Bhagavan says:

God and guru are in truth not different. Just as what has been caught in the jaws of a tiger will not return, so those who have been caught in the glance of guru’s grace will surely be saved by him and will never instead be forsaken; nevertheless, it is necessary to walk unfailingly along the path that guru has shown.

Therefore, if we are willing ‘to walk unfailingly along the path that guru has shown’, we become ‘devoted slaves’ to that guru, and we need not be in guru’s physical presence to become his ‘devoted slave’.

Of course, if we are in the physical presence of our sadguru, we should also try to serve him/her physically in whatever way we can, but this is not what Sadhu Om is trying to teach us through verse 51 of Sadhanai Saram.





gargoyle said...

Sanjay

I understand the part about not being a slave to anyone but more to the point about the use of the word 'sadhu'.
All the people who were with Bhagavan over the years during his life, many of them were known as 'sadhus'.
example; major chadwick would be called a sadhu, does this imply he is/was a janai?

The use of the word probably depends on the context

It's nothing to be concerned about, just trying to figure out who or what a sadhu is.
when i see the word used for janai's as well as those who are not janai's it confused me.
Who is confused, just this stupid ego.

no need to reply, I'm going to drop the subject and carry on.

thanks for your time

Salazar said...

A sadhu is usually not a Jnani but a seeker. Most sadhus are not Jnanis, however a sadhu can become a Jnani but then that term could be dropped to distinguish between a mere devotee and a Jnani, Sadhu Om didn't what is fine. Calling someone a sadhu does not imply any spiritual attainment per se.