Sunday, 31 March 2019

Whatever jñāna we believe we see in anyone else is false

In the introduction to my previous article, Is it possible to have a ‘direct but temporary experience of the self’ or to watch the disappearance of the I-thought?, I had written that in my next article I would discuss the idea that Poonja could somehow give people an experience that bypassed the need for ‘a rather intense, vigilant practice that took place over a long period of time’, but I have not yet finished writing that article, and in the meanwhile I have written this article in response to one of the comments on my previous article, so I am posting this one now and and will post the other one later.

So far in none of the comments on my previous article has anyone challenged any of the arguments I made in it or explained what they consider to be the errors in my arguments, but several of the comments implied that I was wrong even to question the validity of any of Poonja’s ideas, beliefs or teachings, and the only reason they offered for their belief that I was wrong is that Poonja (or ‘Papaji’, as his followers call him) is believed by many to be self-realised, so his teachings must be correct and beyond question. Not only did such comments imply that I was wrong even to question or critique his ideas, beliefs or teachings, but some of them implied that my doing so amounted to personal criticism of him. In reply to one such comment I wrote a comment saying:
You also complain that I criticise ‘[e]very disciple of Bhagavan’, but I have not actually criticised any of his disciples. In this article and a few others I have discussed certain ideas expressed by some of his devotees and explained how some such ideas are contrary to the fundamental principles of his teachings. If you disagree with any of my explanations in this regard, you should explain why you believe my explanations are not correct, rather than accusing me of criticising those who have expressed such ideas.

Who am I to criticise anyone, and why should I want to do so? When I critique questionable ideas, that is not intended to be a criticism of the personality or integrity of anyone who believes or expresses those ideas. My only concern is Bhagavan’s teachings, so when people point out to me any misinterpretations or misrepresentations of his teachings, I do not think it is wrong for me to explain why I consider them to be contrary to what he actually taught us in his own original writings. Therefore let us discuss only his teachings and ideas related to them, rather than misinterpreting such a discussion to be personal criticism.
In reply to this another friend, Salazar, wrote a comment in which he argued that many people consider Poonja to be self-realised, so ‘since he’s a Jnani, his teachings are and must be impeccable’; that any arguments that point out contradictions between his teachings and Bhagavan’s ‘can only work when one considers Papaji as an impostor and liar, since anybody who has read Papaji’s biography must come to the conclusion that Papaji is Self-realized. Or Papaji lied to David Godman and David was duped by a liar and impostor’; that ‘it is not just pure concepts, which are any way limited by an ignorant ego, it is entirely who we consider as a sage and their impeccable teachings’; that ‘that’s why it is important who we accept as a sage and who not’; and that to decide who is a sage we cannot trust our ‘ignorant ego’ but ‘can only rely on our intuition what is a fruition of Self’. Therefore this article is my reply to these arguments of Salazar.

Salazar, in the comment I refer to above you seem to be arguing that it is wrong and ‘very disrespectful’ for anyone to question Poonja’s teachings because he himself claimed himself to be self-realised, and the teachings of anyone who is self-realised must be impeccable. By that logic, if I were to claim myself to be self-realised, it would be wrong and ‘very disrespectful’ for you or anyone else to question anything I write, which would obviously be absurd. Just because someone claims themself to be self-realised, and even if others also believe them to be so, does not mean either that everyone else must unquestioningly accept them to be self-realised or that whatever they say should be immune from being questioned.

You imply that Poonja claimed himself to be self-realised, and you argue that therefore if I question his teachings I am thereby implying that he was ‘an impostor and liar’, but that does not follow, because he may have sincerely believed himself to be self-realised, but may nevertheless have been wrong in his belief. If a person says what they genuinely believe, that does not make them a liar, even if what they believe and say is not correct.

You also imply that we should not critique or even question the teachings of anyone who is believed to be self-realised, a sage or jñāni, because the teachings of a jñāni ‘are and must be impeccable’, but there are two problems with this view: firstly, how are we to judge who is a jñāni, and secondly, even if we believe someone to be a jñāni, should we not nevertheless critically consider and question whatever they may have taught us? I will first consider the second of these two questions.

Let us take the teachings of Bhagavan as an example. Would he have wanted or expected us to accept them blindly without critically considering and deeply questioning them? How could we truly assimilate his teachings and understand them deeply and clearly without careful and repeated manana, and does not manana entail critically considering and deeply questioning what we have learnt by śravaṇa (hearing or reading what we have taught)?

Bhagavan did not just give us teachings, but also explained why it is perfectly reasonable for us to accept them. Some of the reasons he gave are logically extremely compelling, such as that we cannot be the body that we now seem to be, because we are aware of ourself even when we are not aware of this body, as in dream and sleep. Other reasons he gave are not so compelling, but are nevertheless perfectly plausible, such as that our present state, which we now take to be waking, is actually just a dream, and that therefore nothing that we perceive exists independent of our perception of it. In other words, wherever possible he used deductive logic to prove the truth of what he taught us, and wherever it was not possible to prove a truth by deductive logic, he used inductive logic to make a strong case for believing it.

Most importantly, he also used logic to explain in various ways why self-attentiveness is the only means to eradicate ego. Three such explanations are as follows: Firstly, ego is an erroneous form of self-awareness, an awareness of ourself as something other than what we actually are, so it can be annihilated only by correct self-awareness, awareness of ourself as we actually are, and to see what we actually are we need to attend to ourself very keenly. Secondly, the nature of what we actually are is to be aware of nothing other than ourself, whereas the nature of ego is to be always aware of things other than itself, so by being aware of anything other than ourself we are nourishing and sustaining ego, and hence we can eradicate ego only by trying to be aware of ourself alone. Thirdly, we rise, stand and flourish as ego by being aware of forms, which are things other than ourself, as he implies in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, so ego will subside and dissolve back into our real nature, its source, only to the extent that we attend to ourself, thereby withdrawing our attention from all other things.

When we carefully and critically consider all the fundamental principles of Bhagavan’s teachings, we can appreciate not only how coherent they are but also how logically robust they are when taken together as a single coherent whole, so by such deep and thorough manana we gain a firm conviction that all these principles are indeed correct and consequently a strong motivation to put them into practice. Having gained a deep and clear understanding of these principles both by such manana and by consequent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender, we are able to critically evaluate and assess any other spiritual teachings. When we do so, we can find shortcomings in almost all other spiritual teachings, but this does not mean that those other teachings are necessarily wrong, because different levels of teaching are required for people of different levels of spiritual development. Even Bhagavan gave teachings of different levels to suit people who were not yet willing to accept his deeper teachings, so many of the more superficial teachings that he gave to suit such people are not entirely consistent with the fundamental principles of his core teachings as expressed in works such as Nāṉ Ār?, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu and Upadēśa Undiyār, but the fundamental principles themselves are perfectly consistent and coherent.

Since it is necessary for us to consider and question Bhagavan’s teachings very carefully and critically in order to understand them clearly, coherently and deeply, whenever we come across any other teachings it is surely not wrong for us to consider them in an equally careful and critical manner, particularly when those other teachings are either claimed to be the same as his or are given by people who claim to be his followers. Considering and questioning any teaching in such a manner is not being disrespectful, as you imply when you say that I ‘have criticized Papaji in a very disrespectful way’, but is necessary in order for us to safeguard ourself against the possibility of our being confused and misled by any teachings that are contrary to the fundamental principles that Bhagavan has taught us.

Now let us consider the first of the two questions that I raised concerning your view that we should not question the teachings of anyone who is believed to be a jñāni because the teachings of a jñāni ‘are and must be impeccable’, namely: how are we to judge who is a jñāni? You yourself admit in your comment that it is true that only a sage can recognise a sage, and you imply that we cannot trust our ‘ignorant ego’ to recognise a sage, but then you claim: ‘We can only rely on our intuition what is a fruition of Self’. When you say ‘our intuition’, ‘our’ can only mean ego’s, because intuition in this sense is the ability of the mind to intuit or feel strongly (whether correctly or incorrectly) that something is the case even without evidence or reason, and an intuition in the sense of what is intuited is a hunch or ‘gut feeling’, which is a kind of a mental impression, so if we rely on any intuition we are thereby trusting not only ego but also one of its hunches.

You say that our intuition ‘is a fruition of Self’, but what do you mean by that? Presumably what you mean by ‘Self’ is our real nature (ātma-svarūpa), but our real nature is pure awareness, which is what alone actually exists, so it has no ‘fruition’ and cannot be held responsible for whatever we may intuit. If all intuitions came directly from our real nature, without any interference from our ego or mind, whatever intuition different people may have about any given subject would be the same, whereas in fact different people often have different and even contradictory intuitions on the same subject, so it is clear that all or at least many intuitions are influenced by the mind in which they arise.

Moreover, intuitions arising in the same mind are sometimes correct and sometimes wrong, so they are not reliable. Nobody can reasonably claim that all their intuitions are correct and infallible. Whatever intuitions we have may be either correct or incorrect, so we should not place too much trust in them, and we should try to find some more reliable means of assessing whether or not each one of them is correct. If we blindly and uncritically believe all our intuitions, we will as often as not be misled by them.

Therefore we do not have any reliable means of knowing who is or is not self-realised, so it seems futile, foolish and rather childish to base our judgement of any person’s ideas, beliefs or teachings on whether we believe that they are self-realised or not. The belief that some people are jñānis (self-realised people) and the majority are ajñānis (people who are not self-realised) can arise only in the state of ajñāna, because as Bhgavan said in verse 13 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu: ‘நானாவாம் ஞானம் அஞ்ஞானம் ஆம்’ (nāṉā-v-ām ñāṉam aññāṉam ām), ‘Awareness that is manifold is ajñāna’.

‘நானாவாம் ஞானம்’ (nāṉā-v-ām ñāṉam) literally means ‘jñāna [awareness or knowledge] that is nānā [manifold, diverse, various, distinct, different, separate or many]’, and in his first draft of this verse, which is now verse 12 of Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ, he expressed it as ‘நானாவாய் காண்கின்ற ஞானம்’ (nāṉā-v-āy kāṇgiṉḏṟa ñāṉam), ‘awareness that sees as many’, so ‘நானாவாம் ஞானம்’ (nāṉā-v-ām ñāṉam) implies awareness of multiplicity. Therefore so long as we see many people we are seeing from the perspective of ajñāna, so regarding some people as jñānis and others as ajñānis is ajñāna. From the perspective of jñāna, there are no jñānis or ajñānis; there is only jñāna.

That is why in the first sentence of this verse Bhagavan says: ‘ஞானம் ஆம் தானே மெய்’ (ñāṉam ām tāṉē mey), ‘Oneself, who is jñāna, alone is real’. So long as we look outwards, away from ourself, we see many people, some of whom we may suppose to be jñānis and others of whom we may suppose to be ajñānis, but if we look back at ourself keenly enough, we will see that there is actually nothing other than ourself and that we are just pure awareness (jñāna).

According to Bhagavan our present state and any other state in which we perceive anything other than ourself is just a dream, so all the people we see here, including whatever person we seem to be, are no more real than any of the people we see in a dream. All people without any exception are just our own mental projection, so how can any such mental projection be a jñāni?

Therefore as spiritual aspirants we have to go beyond the false belief that some people are jñānis and others are ajñānis, and to understand instead that what is real is only jñāna, which is ourself. So long as we believe in the existence of jñānis and ajñānis, our understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings is still relatively superficial, and if we judge any ideas, beliefs or teachings on the basis of whether we suppose the person who has expressed them to be a jñāni or not, we are allowing ourself to be guided by beliefs that not only cannot be substantiated but that are actually false according to the deeper teachings of Bhagavan.

This is why he always discouraged speculation about who is or is not a jñāni, and why he sometimes said, ‘There is only one jñāni, and that is you’. When he says, ‘ஞானம் ஆம் தானே மெய். நானாவாம் ஞானம் அஞ்ஞானம் ஆம்’ (ñāṉam ām tāṉē mey. nāṉā-v-ām ñāṉam aññāṉam ām), ‘Oneself, who is awareness (jñāna), alone is real. Awareness that is manifold is ajñāna’, we should understand that jñāna exists and can be found only within ourself, and that our belief or supposition that it exists and can be found outside ourself in some other person is a product of our own ajñāna.

Why should we be concerned about whether Poonja considered himself to be a jñāni or whether anyone else considers him to be so? When we do not see that we ourself are jñāna, whatever jñāna we believe we see in anyone else is false. Therefore rather than allowing ourself to be swayed by such false beliefs, let us judge all ideas, beliefs and teachings on their own merits. What reason do we have to believe them, and are any reasons we have for believing them actually sound and coherent? As Bhagavan often used to say, ‘Do not believe what you do not know’, so let us be very cautious about what we believe, and let us withhold our belief from anything that we do not have indubitable or at least very strong reasons to believe.

151 comments:

Abhishek S said...

Michael, you really shook EGOs of many of commentators in prev article, especially Krishna Santh.
I also commented there that i love Papaji as well Annamalai Swami (not so much Lakshmana Swami) still doubt their teaching, if not their Realized status.(paradoxically, i meditate at Annamalai's shrine). It would be Ego, fakeness not criticising what you think is wrong teaching at cost of appearing saintly, humble, nice. (Even i disliked once your comment on politics of Tamil purity, but that's your right of opinion. I observed many don't take you nicely when you criticise traditional 'vedic' practices/philosophies)
Michael you are doing perfectly fine focusing on teaching rather than personalities or their state, EGO-lessness etc. Like it's said RamaNama/Ram-mantra/Holy-Name is greater than Lord Ram himself similarly Bhagawan's teaching is more relevant, True than his bodily form.
I usually don't care commenting or getting involved in VERBOSE of simple teaching, but thought of doing so for token of appreciation towards your dedication for Teachings.

Dean Paradise said...

Thanks for writing this, dear Michael. It is a trap that many of us can easily fall into when not vigilant, that is using the ego to label people and objects as good, bad, self-realized, not self-realized etc.

Aham said...

.


The offender is unaware they are engaging in logical fallacies Mr James. As such your sound reasoning will likely be wasted.

That said, your patient and even-keeled approach is a testimony to the efficacy of vichara.


.

Krishna Santh said...

abhishek / aham

the sound of your Manjira is intense....

please ask why michael james is avoiding answering my questions on sadhu om's devotional poems where there is no trace of self enquiry tips....

why selective in choosing only jnana aspects of the works -- both from sadhu om and sri ramana

why to call arunachala hill giripradakshina and dualistic devotion as mere aids to self enquiry?

why to take each and every bhakthi verses of sri ramana maharishee to arunachala and artificially convert them into self enquiry interpretations?

why be selectively silent on the liberation episode of mother alagammal -- the open statements of maharishee who accepted that he intervened in the last few moments to burn the remaining karma? same case with cow lakshmi.. did lakshmi study any books and understood self enquiry as exactly like michael james?

why silent on maharishee installing the sri chakra and encouraging the weekly worhsip?



Salazar said...

"The offender", wow - I am just wondering, why are people here so defensive re. my musings and different viewpoints of Bhagavan's teachings?

I love especially when people are mentioning traps what is an irony since that judgment (I guess must be then their egos too) comes directly from the dark pitfalls they have fallen into.

Everybody here but Michael is not really responding to my viewpoints, they just make subtle ad homimem attacks, and joyfully cheer to the responses of Michael as any brave follower must certainly do :-)

You guys have cut yourself out a nice special niche of Bhagavan's teaching and damnation to all who do not agree with it (I have seen derogatory comments about David Godman on this blog). Especially the so often evoked notion of "logic" is you guys downfall.

I really do not see my previous points properly addressed by anyone, especially Mouna's quite strange comments were disappointing to say the least.

Josef Bruckner said...

Michael,
"Thirdly, we rise, stand and flourish as ego by being aware of forms, which are things other than ourself, as he implies in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, so ego will subside and dissolve back into our real nature, its source, only to the extent that we attend to ourself, thereby withdrawing our attention from all other things."
In order to avoid being aware of forms, which are things other than ourself, by withdrawing our attention from all other things one could have the idea that it would enough to simply close ones eyes and to take a carefully deep nap. Thereby the effort of a laborious self-investigation could be economized.

Josef Bruckner said...

Michael,
At present I cannot confirm that "All people without any exception are just our own mental projection".
So in this regard at the current level of my spiritual development I can only resort to what Bhagavan often used to say, ‘Do not believe what you do not know’.

Josef Bruckner said...

As Bhagavan said "‘Oneself, who is awareness (jñāna), alone is real. Awareness that is manifold is ajñāna’, we should understand that jñāna exists and can be found only within ourself, and that our belief or supposition that it exists and can be found outside ourself in some other person is a product of our own ajñāna."

Yes.

Salazar said...

"It can be only found within ourself, and not in some other person."

If that is all so clear cut, why then coming to this blog and look for "explanations" of Jnana with the "other person" Michael James? IT CAN ONLY BE FOUND WITHIN. I guess it's different with Michael then, no? :-)

???????????

Mouna said...

"I really do not see my previous points properly addressed by anyone, especially Mouna's quite strange comments were disappointing to say the least.”

Salazar, the feeling is mutual, I didn’t know you had me on such high esteem before, than now my new comments don’t match your standards. Will you be willing to have a conversation “off-blog” since what I have to say is personal and directed to you as a person? (otherwise the usual trolls will be happy and the normal attendance will be bored...)

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Agnostic said...

Josef Bruckner said...1 April 2019 at 19:45

In order to avoid being aware of forms, which are things other than ourself, by withdrawing our attention from all other things one could have the idea that it would (be) enough to simply close ones eyes and to take a carefully deep nap. Thereby the effort of a laborious self-investigation could be economized.

AND

At present I cannot confirm that "All people without any exception are just our own mental projection". So in this regard at the current level of my spiritual development I can only resort to what Bhagavan often used to say, ‘Do not believe what you do not know’.

1 April 2019 at 20:09

-----------------------------

I believe that Joseph Bruckner is the closest to jnana on this board...thanks for the brilliant insights. I will do my best to understand and follow your example.

Krishna Santh said...

Salazar -- not only that whenever i refer to Mother Alagammal episode, her last 8 hours, how Bhagavan sat by her side with hand in chest, how Bhagavan declared she was liberated after his Grace intervened etc. for all of this Michael James will adopt a mysterious silence.

when i refer to sadhu om bhakthi poems to arunachala and sri ramana, Michael James will be selectively silent.

When i point out why arunachala hill worship is just a additional aid and why he interprets each and every devotional verse as pointing to self eqnuiry, MJ will be silent.

and his followers are just like ISCKON followers. fully narrow minded.

probably they are waiting for "self enquiry as it is" just like how swami prabhupad brought this 'bhagavad gita as it is"

and more importantly all disciples of sri ramana must get a self enquiry completion certificate from MJ to be called self realized.

someone has already gone one step further, saying teachings of sri ramana are more important than bhagavan himself.

this blog has lost its shine and noting more than mere intellectual jugglery. i doubt if they cared to really practice self enquiry, you and I would not have existed so tangibly in their dream.

jacques franck said...

Part 1

Sundar said: I don't think Bhagavan ever put down other paths but he encouraged whatever path each one wanted to follow emphasizing that all the path ends in the disappearance of ‘I’. Infact all masters including Ramakrishna, Ananadamayi Ma say that. But how they get to the point where the mind becomes absolutely still in order to drop the ‘I’ may vary from person to person. Some may do Japa, some meditation, some prāṇāyāma and other methods. Even though I practice self inquiry, I don't believe that if for instance a person practices self inquiry from the beginning and another practices Japa or concentration on Name and Form, the one practicing self inquiry will necessarily realize his self any sooner than the other because his vāsanās simply will not allow him to turn 180 degrees that Sadhu Om refers to.
Also, If you look at all the written material available about Bhagavan like Talks, Day by day with Bhagavan, Letters from Ramana ashram, these only span 8 years of his total of 54 years at Tiruvannamalai. Talks from 1935-39, Day by day and letters from 1946-1951 So one can imagine how much of what Bhagavan said went unrecorded in the remaining 46 years. Even in talks its barely a 5 minute talk one day. My point being that the assumption that this is the only thing Bhagavan taught can be way off. A Jñāni's teaching is always specific to the disciple. As Nochur Venkataraman says, A jñāni does not answer the question, he answers the questioner, so the answers we read are just words, the actual conversation between Bhagavan and questioner happened in the silence between them.
The other thing is not all of Bhagavan's devotee hodl the same view that Bhgavan only emphasized self inquiry. If you read Sadhu Om's work you will get the idea that he placed emphasis on self inquiry but if you read Kunjuswami's reminiscences, he says that was not the case. Sadhu Om was with Bhagavan for 5 years while Kunju swami was with him for 32 years. Kunjuswami infact quotes many instances where Bhagavan never asked some of his main devotees to even do self inquiry.
Ultimately I guess one should do what is comfortable for oneself without saying this method is best or that method is. It is usually the followers themselves of all Gurus that say this. No Master ever says this.
~~~
Michael James said: Sundar, regarding your remark (in this comment), ‘If you read Sadhu Om's work you will get the idea that he [Bhagavan] placed emphasis on self-inquiry’, it is true that in many of his writings Sadhu Om did explain very clearly why Bhagavan placed so much emphasis on self-investigation (ātma-vicāra) as the only direct means by which we can experience ourself as we actually are and thereby destroy our ego, but he certainly did not do so to the exclusion or detriment of bhakti.

jacques franck said...

Part 2

In the supplementary part of ஸ்ரீ ரமண வழி (The Path of Sri Ramana) Sadhu Om wrote a long chapter analysing all the different types and stages of bhakti and showing how ātma-vicāra is the culmination of all of them, and if you have the impression that he undervalued bhakti in any way, you have obviously not read any of his heart-melting poetic writings such as his songs in ஸ்ரீ ரமண கீதம் (Śrī Ramaṇa Gītam) and ஸ்ரீ ரமண வர்ணங்கள் (Śrī Ramaṇa Varṇaṅgaḷ) or his verses in numerous other devotional works such as ஸ்ரீ ரமண ஸஹஸ்ரம் (Śrī Ramaṇa Sahasram), ஸ்ரீ ரமண வருகை (Śrī Ramaṇa Varuhai), ஸ்ரீ ரமண குருவருளந்தாதி (Śrī Ramaṇa Guruvaruḷantādi) and ஸ்ரீ அருணாசல வெண்பா (Śrī Aruṇācala Veṇbā).
The richness, depth and variety of his devotional outpourings certainly place Sri Sadhu Om (like Sri Muruganar) among the very foremost poet-saints in the age-old bhakti tradition of India, but (again like Sri Muruganar) his heart-melting devotion to the name and form of his sadguru, Bhagavan Sri Ramana, did not in any way detract from his equally heart-melting devotion to his teachings, the essence of which is the path of ātma-vicāra, because what he prays for in so many ways in his verses is only to be established firmly by Bhagavan's grace in the egoless goal of ātma-vicāra. In the poetry of both Sri Muruganar and Sri Sadhu Om we can clearly see the oneness and inseparability of the purest form of bhakti and ātma-vicāra.
Incidentally, before the long discussion here about the relative merits of bhakti and ātma-vicāra had started, in response to an earlier comment on another article I had already began to draft an article on the relationship between bhakti and ātma-vicāra, which I hope to complete and post here within a week or so, so I hope that what I write in it may help at least to some extent to resolve some of the differences of opinion or viewpoint expressed in this discussion.

I think that Michael has answered almost everything if not everything.... but we have to make some search in the blog.... and to say that Michael and to say :
when i refer to sadhu om bhakthi poems to arunachala and sri ramana, Michael James will be selectively silent.
Personnally I do not really agree about that....

:)

J.F.


jacques franck said...

And also this one :

Can we experience what we actually are by following the path of devotion (bhakti mārga)? - Saturday, 18 July 2015

1. The diversity within bhakti mārga, the path of devotion
2. The distinction between kāmya bhakti and niṣkāmya bhakti
3. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 2: no action or karma can give liberation
4. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 3: niṣkāmya karma done with love for God will show the way to liberation
5. Why is purification of mind necessary?
5a. Śrī Aruṇācala Pañcaratnam verse 3: only by a pure mind can we know what we really are
5b. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 18: our ego is the root of all our mental impurities
6. We can free ourself from our ego only by self-investigation
6a. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 25: by attending to anything other than ourself we are sustaining our ego
6b. Nāṉ Yār? Paragraph 13: by attending to ourself we are surrendering ourself to God
6c. Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ verse 15: self-investigation is supreme devotion to God
6d. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu Anubandham verse 14: self-investigation is karma, bhakti, yōga and jñāna
7. The relative efficacy of niṣkāmya karmas done by body, speech and mind
7a. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 4: dhyāna is more effective than japa, which is more effective than pūjā
7b. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 5: anything can be worshipped as God
7c. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 6: the relative efficacy of different modes of japa
7d. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 7: uninterrupted meditation is superior to interrupted meditation
8. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 8: meditating on nothing other than ourself is ‘the best among all’
9. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 9: by meditating on ourself we will subside in our real state of being
10. Upadēśa Undiyār verse 10: subsiding and being in our source is karma, bhakti, yōga and jñāna
11. Analysis of the various types of bhakti
11a. Sadhu Om's analysis of bhakti
11b. Anya bhakti and ananya bhakti can be mutually supportive practices
11c. What is prayer?
11d. Nāṉ Yār? Paragraph 12: we must without fail follow the path taught by our guru
12. Is self-surrender an alternative to self-investigation?
12a. Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verse 26: we cannot surrender our ego so long as we are aware of anything other than ourself
12b. Partial surrender will gradually lead to complete surrender
12c. Nāṉ Yār? Paragraph 13: the significance of the last three sentences
13. Conclusion

Josef Bruckner said...

Agnostic,
thanks for inserting the missing "be" in my comment. Further it should have been 'close one's eyes'.
Considering me 'close to jnana' you must be joking (making a belated April fool) or are you having me on ?
Kind regards.

Josef Bruckner said...

Michael,
"How could we truly assimilate his teachings and understand them deeply and clearly without careful and repeated manana, and does not manana entail critically considering and deeply questioning what we have learnt by śravaṇa (hearing or reading what we have taught)?"
I would like to be Bhagavan immediately - without eradicating all the visaya vasanas.
But my wish cannot come true just by the seeming power of those vasanas whose density also prevents me from truly assimilating his teachings and understanding them deeply and clearly.

Salazar said...

Mouna, I posted my email address at the previous thread on the request of Palani.

Salazar said...

Unknown on 2 April 2019 at 01:16 made a very valid point and I concur.

Krishna Santh, I concur, teachings are teachings, if one wants to discard the sage then one needs to discard the teachings too. Otherwise one breaks one's own credo of "outward projection". As others noted, some doctrines peddled here are taken inconsequentially by all, those who peddle it and those who buy it.

krish said...

michael james

please answer my questions on sadhu om's deovtional poems to arunachala and sri ramana in tamil. why are you not speaking about them or referring them?

how do you view the liberation episode of mother algammal and maharishi's intervention at the last hour of mother's life ? please provide your opinion on the same and also that of cow lakshmi liberation.

anadi-ananta said...

THOUGH I AM INFINITE LOVE - I am greedy for the world.
>>> Hey ego, to hell with you !

anadi-ananta said...

Ego is the experiencer of waking and dream. But who is the sleeper ?

anadi-ananta said...

According Bhagavan we wrongly assume that our present state (of waking) is not a dream because we have no evidence for that assumption. Why taking a negation instead of the well acquainted waking state as our starting point ? Does such consideration not equal putting the cart before the horse ?
Similarly there is not the slightest reason to try to provide prove of the fact that we are not a rhinoceros instead of simply being aware that we first are human beings.

anadi-ananta said...

Just I am thinking
1. whether the body consists of five sheaths/five koshas or the person.
2. Is our dream body one of the five sheaths ?
3. I assume that the dream body is only a subtle version of the gross body that we experience in waking. Does also the dream body consist of five sheaths ?
4. Empirically in dream we never see our dream body but are only aware of such one.
5. Is there a correct concept in this regard ?

Unknown said...
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anadi-ananta said...

Unknown,
trying to mentally understand of what we really are and in this connex particularly the extreme viewpoints of drsti-srsti-vada seems to be useful.
Believing that one is "now only an imaginary ghost inhabiting an imaginary ghostly body" is perhaps wrong but until the contrary is not a proven fact to me "such conceptual information" is quite an useful starting point.
Or would you as "Unknown" claim to exist already as nothing but pure jnana ?
By the way what is unknown to you ? Even your real nature ?

Salazar said...

What does it matter if the “body” consists of five sheaths or 100 sheaths or no sheath at all?

What does it matter if the dream body is one of the sheaths (it is according to the sastras)?

Question 3. is quite confused.

There is no “empirically”, that is an imagination of mind, a chain of concepts.

Is there a correct concept not only in this regard but at all? Absolutely not. Concepts are pointers at best. To indulge in them is not useful at all.

For many the best remedy is to burn all books and texts and delete all blogs.

Where is all that in silence?

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar, you are happily praising silence which is said to be our real nature.
As you imply all my questions are irrelevant to one who is dwelling in silence.
But as a spiritual novice I am far away of experiencing silence. Instead of bathing in frustration about having not found any silence I therefore must console myself with gaining some objective knowledge for instance about the concept of the five sheaths.
Of course you are free to use the mentioned remedy to you.
However I have to object that burning all books and texts and deleting all blogs are equally nothing in silence.
Yes, concepts are pointers at best. But let a beginner look first where they are pointing; thereafter we may reject them.
With "empirically" I meant 'in my experience' or 'in my perception' which has nothing to do with "a chain of concepts".

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, all right then, 'in my perception' is a chain of concepts nonetheless :-)

'In MY experience' is a chain of concepts too. Whose experience? All that is imagination.

What is worthwhile to pursue is to lose kartrutva, then concepts are irrelevant and redundant. Why take the detour of concepts?

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
on my level you can pursue the loss of the sense of doership not immediately but at most gradually. Visaya vasanas prevent me from taking a great leap forward. That brahman alone exists is for me at present just pure theory. Anyway thanks for your well-meaning advise.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, on what level? Who makes that judgment? Your mind likes to dupe you in being "modest" and seemingly perceive obstacles and then the vasanas have to be the "bad" guys who keep us trapped.

I say discard the concept of vasanas, what good does it do to name a seemingly cause of friction? The concept and belief in vasanas makes it more difficult. Fine, the sages have named vasanas, blablabla, and now the mind can drop that "hot info" :-)

That Brahman only exists is theory for EVERYBODY but sages, so join the club. Don't let your mind fool you with the diatribe of "big obstacles". DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR MIND, vasanas are an IMAGINATION.

Just be quiet. [Of course you very likely do not want to believe that. Okay, then just be stuck where you are.]

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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anadi-ananta said...

Salazar, if I could I would like just being quiet. But silence did not really take place in me. My feeling as a separate person never ceased. It's not a matter of "the concept and belief in vasanas". It is rather a fact that I am urged by them much more than I like it.
On the other hand the good is that - in spite of all my frustration and disillusionment - I have no other choice but to try to improve the quality and depth of my self-investigation again and again. In any case I can pray to brahman to make me ready to pay any price for becoming in the position to just be quiet.
Thanks again for giving your view and hints.

anadi-ananta said...

Unknown, I do merely hope for being "already and actually" what my user-name stands for.

anadi-ananta said...

Unknown,
undoubtedly intensive self-investigation should be our main task.
Though conceptual knowledge of the five sheaths may not immediately help anyone in their pursuit and task of Self-realization, getting some amount of "conceptual knowledge" does certainly not do any harm or bring disadvantage. Actually I do not have thirst for more ignorance (ajnana).

Because I failed to manage the "extinction of all such questions (ajnana) and the imaginary questioner (ajnana) itself" I take the remaining time to understand also the underlying philosophy. Since in Michael James's articles often is referred to the dream state and its peculiarities (for instance dream body projected/created and simultaneously perceived by ego's ability of projection) I have interest to mentally understand at least the basics of that teaching. Your warning of indulging myself in foolish endeavours comes for the present somehow rashly and excessively.
By the way, is not self ever and already realized ?
What answer to the primary and only question Who am I? did you get if any ?

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, I understand what you are saying. Silence is not continuous for most aspirants including myself. There are regularly seemingly disturbing influences which come up, we just have to let them come up and let pass.

Do not try to find a solution for any of that. Do not envision some "state" or end-result you'd like to be in. You already are, it is the mind which is not. As long as you believe the musings of your mind it will be hard to notice what you truly are.

Re. concepts, eventually you'll realize that they seem interesting and promising first but ultimately do not change anything. What believes what seemingly has changed is the mind. But we do not want to change the mind, we want to realize that it never has existed in the first place.

That's it for me.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
when you say that "Silence is not continuous for most aspirants..." I for the momnet would already be satisfied with temporary silence.
Realization that the mind "never has existed in the first place" can presumably only occur by a sudden total reverse or coup/explosion or implosion of our previous way of thinking, perceiving and feeling or by sustainable transcending of the mind itself which is possible only by our all-embracing pure consciousness. What else in us can notice what we truly are ? Is it not said that there are not two selves ?
Thanks again.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, no change or reverse of 'thinking' is necessary, that what believes that is the mind, it cannot change its own habits [not directly]. Any attempts for 'change' just perpetuate your train of thoughts.

There is really nothing "in us", where would that be? Being or consciousness is just the absence of thoughts.

Looking at your exclamation of frustration and apparent lack of peace, for me personally that only happens when the interest is focused on all kind of things but on Self. Like you are not feeling well and your mind tries to find a solution to fix that. That has to stop. no looking for solutions whatsoever. Your mind may wonder if it can pay the rent. That has to go, any wondering and planning must go. And so on.

Your body will do what it is supposed to do if you think or not think about it. So why then think about it? That thinking is delusion, it needs to go. It is good to get in the habit to discard ANY thoughts which come up. But first you have to go into the habit to even NOTICE how habitually your mind falls into these train of thoughts and considers that as 'me'.

That is the very first step. Catching and noticing your train of thoughts and stop them cold as soon as you notice it.

And NEVER 'try' to find Self, with that action you objectify Self. Self cannot be found or perceived.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
thanks again for your replies which are rather too much information at once for me. You seem to be experienced in this issue. However, I first must get my bearings. As I said I am not at all well up in self-investigation or turning the mind within. At best I am a beginner on this path.
Even noticing the "train of thoughts" takes me much time, effort and patience let alone stopping thoughts "cold as soon as I notice" their rising. Moreover I feel some aversion to busy myself with or to attend to (my) thoughts because I am far away from successfully discarding any thoughts which come up. Perhaps I am an antitalent for meditation, self-investigation etc. Though over/for the years owing to having little success of self-investigation I often lost patience with trying persistently turning within I nevertheless always again restarted some form of looking within to find my way. In spite of everything apparently there is some spiritual 'blood in my veins'.
Your statement that "Being or consciousness is just the absence of thoughts" sounds very plausible to me.
Kind regards

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, what is the saying, a [seemingly] long trip starts with a 'first step'.

IMO your interest in that matter and making yourself familiar with some basic concepts will lead to more. That spiritual blood in your veins will keep things moving along in your own pace :-)

Kind regards and be well.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anadi-ananta said...

Unknown,
that self is ever and already realized is not nonsense but the basic truth and teaching. How then could ego at all appear and identify itself with any person ? Is it not said that ego can and does operate only by the borrowed light of the self ? Even ego's seeming existence is supported by self only which we assume as ever realized pure and unlimited consciousness. Of course as a person with its limited and false awareness I cannot be aware of the ever realized self as my "own direct experience. According Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi the functions of brain and sense organs cannot work without the light of the omnipresent self-consciousness.
Therefore in that sense only even I could claim to have own direct experience of the ever and always realised self. Or is that too bizarre ?

Mouna said...

Sweet Bhagavan, teacher, guide, father, mother... friend... you lured me once with the words of your wisdom, nectar of gods. I took them willingly, inebriated for so many years... but now they seem empty, like carcasses of meaning... is it because you gave me a taste of what lies beyond those forms, those sounds?..
But sweet beloved of mine, it doesn’t seem to be enough, a drop of your grace cannot quench the bottomless thirst... why keep telling me that the burden of proof is on my shoulders when it is so clear that there is only you, and nothing but you?... what a riddle!

anadi-ananta said...

Mouna, will the riddle remain a mystery to the poet or will it be solved (by you) ? :-)

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,
relating to your far-sighted and fundamental article of Sunday, 30 December 2018 Which is a more reasonable and useful explanation: dṛṣṭi-sṛṣṭi-vāda or sṛṣṭi-dṛṣṭi-vāda? section 18. Since ego and phenomena do not actually exist but merely seem to exist, what does actually exist?

"Ego is the rising and subsiding (or appearing and disappearing) awareness that Bhagavan refers to in verse 7 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, whereas pure awareness is what he describes as ‘only that which is whole, which shines without appearing or disappearing as the place for the appearing and disappearing of the world and awareness’".

From the above one could conclude that we ourself as the pure, infinite and immutable awareness exist ultimately for the only purpose of appearing and disappearing of the world and the ego-awareness. But I cannot seriously believe that.

Salazar said...

"Why should we be concerned about whether Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi considered himself to be a jñāni or whether anyone else considers him to be so? When we do not see that we ourself are jñāna, whatever jñāna we believe we see in anyone else is false. Therefore rather than allowing ourself to be swayed by such false beliefs, let us judge all ideas, beliefs and teachings on their own merits. What reason do we have to believe them, and are any reasons we have for believing them actually sound and coherent?"

I took the quote above from Michael's article and changed 'Poonja' with 'Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi'. What is declared as true with 'Poonja' must be equally 'true' with Sri Ramana. If not then the author made a fallacious error in logical deduction.

Michael's "logic" suffers from a "circular reference", well-known by any Excel (spreadsheet) users. He proposes to only judge all ideas and teachings on their own merits, however who is and can only be the judge than the ignorant mind/ego? So to put Ulladu Narpadu (and other texts) on a pedestal and declaring that as the ONLY TRUTH is based on the assumption that Michael's [ignorant] mind really can comprehend the Jnana he likes to find in Ulladu Narpadu. Can he? Absolutely not!!! And, since we are supposed to judge teachings by their own merits, it is irrelevant if UN was written by Bhagavan. (But is it really? Let's burn then all pictures of Bhagavan and annihilate any reference to him at all - it is irrelevant according to Michael.)

Without direct experience his mind dreams about logic and the concepts espoused in Ulladu Narpadu and Nan Yar.

I.e. how can Michael know that we are not the body, not the mind, not the senses, etc. as Bhagavan wrote in Nan Yar? He absolutely cannot without direct experience!
His mind simply agrees with that concept based on what? How could his mind know and accept that it does not exist? IT CANNOT but as an imagination or fantasy in different words.

And with that Michael's whole "core argument" has crumbled like a paper tiger, his "sound and coherent" concepts are nothing but a belief, an idea, an assumption to be correct. Is it? That can only be known by direct experience! That's why Bhagavan (who is that guy? He's not real, not Jnana, just a projection, to hell with him ...) constantly preached to look for that who believes in "sound and coherent concepts" and "superior texts".

And now we come to what really is the case and that is that Michael has put his faith and belief into Bhagavan and from that he postulates anything else. Yet that faith is and cannot be "sound and coherent" but is beyond the mere reasoning of a deluded mind. Faith is surly more important than any intellectual prowess of a mind.

Sorry Michael, but I believe that you have a huge blind spot with that particular argument of yours which you obviously indiscriminately use with the lack of actual Jnana.


krish said...

dear michael james

please answer my points on mother alagammal liberation episode and how the grace of maharshi intervened in her last moments. the fact was authentic and Maharshi himself has accepted the records that he placed his hands on her body and helped her burn her remaining vasanas and karma. what do you say on that? are you going to dismiss entire Mother Alagammal liberation event as mere fiction?

and what about sadhu om addressing arunachala and sri ramana in pure dualistc mode in many of his poems.

please answer these 2 questions. why selective amnesia? please speak on all events of Bhagavan Ramana life. if you are not able to reconcile with your narrowed view also, please come out and provide your comments on these events.

Noob said...

Is there any evidence that Bhagavan has ever proclaimed himself to be a jnani or a saint?

Salazar said...

What does it matter if someone called himself Jnani? Unless one buys Michael's dogma that a sage would never call himself a sage because there is nobody who could claim that fact since there is only Jnana. But that is nonsense, sages have always talked within the reference of a dual world and from "body to body".

Only ajnanis need to insist on these [fantasy] "rules" what would be proper or not. Well, I can only say as soon as a mind is strongly convinced to have "figured it out" and then uses as support certain texts like UN it has gone astray.

Even though it may believe it has understood it cannot. It can only within a dual reference, since all sages point beyond duality that understanding will always be flawed and incomplete.

To base one's concepts on that sandy foundation as Michael does is futile. In fact any belief or conviction about certain concepts are impediments. That cannot be more strongly stressed. That image or belief in one's mind is an obstacle, in fact it keeps the mind and ego alive and strong. ANY belief in concepts MUST go.

Michael talked about "going deeper". Well, with these concepts his mind has attached itself to it surly cannot go deep at all, it surly can imagine though "it goes deep" :-)

Salazar said...

The mind can only be consumed by the Self when it is totally empty of all concepts and other interests! In fact, in order to realize the mind must leave all anchors and crutches (concepts or teachings etc.) and leave all familiar ground. That is total surrender.

Salazar said...

The story with Arjuna on the battlefield is to convey the functioning of prarabdha karma or 'divine will'. Even though there was the illusion that Arjuna had to make a decision, that decision was not his (but as an imagination), his enemies were already slain before he even made the decision to fight.

That story was supposed to illustrate to not be concerned with outward actions and instead to not identify with that body but with Self.

Many here probably still believe that when they are angry it is them who is angry. Not really, that anger is not me or us, it is a functioning of prarabdha karma and the usual notion "oh, 'I' am angry, I better work on that" is the habitual identification with the body and mind. What we are did not get angry, it was that false identification with the ghost ego.

Any attempts to be "not angry" anymore just keeps the illusion of a mind and body going. It is not about being "angry", it is about abiding in Self.

One can abide in Self and simultaneously the body/mind seems to be angry. The sage does not identify with that anger, the ajnani does. That is the only difference between these two concepts of Jnani and ajnani.

Most, of course, cannot fathom that because the identification with the body and mind is so strong that any anger must be "my" anger :-)

How can we transcend anger and other emotions or phenomena when we cling at the belief on a particular way of behavior? Like a sage could never be angry or aggressive.

A minds attachment to ANY concept and how things are supposed to be is an obstacle to realization.


Unknown said...

Salazar, at one point you are saying that mind "must" do something in order to attain "something". And then claim that "Sage" can be angry but not identify with this "anger", i.e. it is possible according to you to be the Self and at the same time to have a body with all corresponding adjuncts. Of course it conflicts with what Michael pointed out. According to Michael, we should only stop dreaming...

What you are saying is equal to my desire "sometimes" to keep watching a nice dream in the morning while at the same time be at my office and do what I do during my waking time. I could never achieve it, it is either a dream or a waking state. Although they are not very much different.

Salazar said...

So what makes Bhagavan's teaching true?

Who makes that decision or who comes to that conclusion?

It is the mind/ego of course.

That is the case when one just focuses on the teachings alone [what is a flawed concept, IMO]. Any concept has temporary value anyway.

But it's the ignorant mind for Pete's sake. It proudly adopts "ajata", "eka-jiva" and what not and it beliefs it now knows how actually to directly experience it. Not so I am afraid.

So anybody here is convinced Bhagavan's teachings are true. Are they really? How do YOU truly know I may ask? And please do not come with some concepts copied from somewhere, the "wisdom" of others (who do not exist according to eka-jiva) but from YOUR own experience.

Alright, no Jnana can be found here so what then are we talking about? The interpretations of certain concepts which have been declared to be true?

Mr. Franck quotes Sri "so and so" and another Sri "so and so" and declares them as "poet saints". Is that his direct experience or just an imagination and belief of his mind? I'd say the latter. So it's all superstition and fantasy backed up by nothing.

What are "poet saints"? According to eka-jiva there are fantasy products of mind.

I hope at least a few can see the schizoid approach here.

I rest my case. Not really a case, it is not really that important. However I feel compelled to write this and so I do.

Salazar said...

Unknown, I certainly have not said that “the mind must do something” in order “to attain something”. The mind cannot attain anything [real].

The mind must not do anything. It seemingly needs to recall Being. That’s it.

And yes, I say it is possible to be Self and at the same time have a body with all corresponding adjuncts. Of course the Self does not “have” a body (and there is nobody who would “be Self”), it is just an appearance within Self, and there is no distinction between a body and Self. That distinction is only perceived by mind which makes that distinction within Self and seemingly sees objects. All adjuncts are Self too, it couldn’t be any different.

The paradox is that there are objects/adjuncts and there are no objects/adjuncts. Mind can maybe understand that as an abstract concept, however as Bhagavan liked to say, let’s see who needs to know (the phantom mind who will vanish after scrutiny) and then all questions and concepts will be irrelevant.

Of course that is as much a concept as Michael’s, however both concepts are irrelevant, they cannot be helpful for realization. IMO they rather are an obstacle. The mind needs to be empty of all concepts.

Unknown said...

Quote: In fact, in order to realize the mind must leave all anchors and crutches (concepts or teachings etc.) and leave all familiar ground.

You are implying that mind has a certain power to achieve anything, even the emptiness that you seem to think will lead to "realization". Is there a mind without body? What if an empty mind will just remain empty until it starts "dreaming" again?


If I ask myself, why am I acting like this, the only reasonable answer seems to be "because I "woke up" this morning....

Sanjay Lohia said...

The same story repeats again and again but still we do not learn lessons from such repetitions

Next week my daughter is getting married. Can her married life be any different from any other married life? It cannot be. The same story will repeat itself – she will get married, and she will have to try to adjust in her new house. She will face her own set of problems in her new environment. There will be the same types of joys and sorrows as in most married lives. Sooner or later she will have children and will have to take care of them and so on. So she will face almost the same set of issues as in other marriages.

So even though we are feeling that something special is happening, but her married life will be no different from other married lives. So why give this occasion so much importance? Why not go about it is a detached manner? Bhagavan is taking care of everything according to our destiny. We need to just relax and surrender to his will.


Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

To Whom feel concerned The Spritual Ego is The most dangerous thing On The Path. Did you detect iit when you need to correct others not only for clarify?

Salazar said...

Unknown, that was a figure of speech, a pointer in a sense. Yes, the "mind" must leave all anchors and crutches .... but that doesn't imply a "marching order" for the mind. I assumed that would be clear and there is no need to clarify.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo, you obviously are a ardent follower of Michael and as such you need to post a comment like that. Here is an excerpt of Michael's introduction of this blog:

"If you disagree with anything I have written, please do not hesitate to say why you disagree with me and, if you so choose, to ask for further clarification."

Huh? So one can disagree but Michael automatically implies with that statement that anybody who disagrees must be wrong, otherwise why the need to ask for further clarification? Maybe Michael needs further clarification from someone like David Godman perhaps?

Talking about spiritual ego, what hubris to see oneself in the position to give "clarification" to anybody who disagrees [with Michael].

Of course "Yo soy", like most followers of Michael you have selected perception. Michael doesn't have an ego, he is MATURE :-) so whatever he says is exempt from judgment.

Yo Soy Tu Mismo said...

The fact that he points out that the spiritual ego can adopt defensive or pro-posture does not imply that 'someone' is a follower, which is a tremendous error since only the Real Self is worthy of such attention; On the other hand, my reflection was only an invitation to the self-reflection of those who, by an act of genuine humility, could clearly see the attempt to be right in themselves, given the dynamics that objectively and without being a follower of anyone, It can be clearly seen.

Salazar said...

Unknown, there is no mind. "Empty mind" is a figure of speech too, in fact there is no empty or full mind.

What gives that impression are thoughts coming up into awareness (Self). These thoughts are not our thoughts, mind just believes that and one may argue (as Michael does) that they are created by the ego but then we are in the process of "annihilating" [figure of speech] the ego so why entertaining that additional imagination? We are not that ego, were never that ego. It is an imagination.

Bhagavan suggested to look where thoughts come from, Michael insists it is only the first thought "I", while I interpret it differently and go further that the first thought "I" is coming from Self (as does Annamalai Swami and others). Michael cannot accept that because he believes that Self is "pure" and no phenomena can exist in Self.

But Self cannot be devoid of adjuncts, that would suggest a separation of the phenomenal world and Self - that is impossible. Yes, the phenomenal world is perceived and seen simultaneously by the mind and not SEEN by Self, however it IS Self [too].
I am not sure why Michael cannot accept that, probably because it is logically (from the viewpoint of the mind) impossible. Because of that Bhagavan suggested to figure that out by direct experience and not waste time with idle speculations like that.

Salazar said...

"Yo Soy", part of your last comment: "[...] of those who, by an act of genuine humility, could clearly see the attempt to be right in themselves, [...]"

Yes, I concur. Now where is that happening in Michael when he insists to be right compared to people like Papaji, Annamalai Swami, Nisargadatta Maharaj and others?

Did it occur to you to make the same invitation to Michael? Of course not. Instead you are inventing pseudo-spiritual cop-out arguments.

I have never seen that comment from you before. Therefore you must be fine with Michael's insistence to be right. Or is that different with him? What nice rationalization is your mind coming up to keep you in denial?

Unknown said...

Salazar, you are just creating another form of religion. I know from my experience that there are 3 states of my awareness: 1) Waking 2) Dreaming 3) Manolaya. I have experience of all 3 states. From my experience states 1 and 2 are very close to each other with distinct "I" awareness and accompanying adjuncts, though I would call "waking" state as sinking into a deeper "hole" comparing to "dreaming", while Manolya does not seem to have any adjuncts at all, but it also seems that "I" is there too since "something" is aware that there is "nothing".

Of course, In all these 3 states there is only one awareness and everything there is made of it, including this post. According to my experience it is impossible to be in 2 or all 3 of these states at the same time. What was the 1st state "I" found "myself" in? That a good question, I do not have any recollection of it.

The question is, do we have to dream?

Salazar said...

Unknown, you only experience these three states because you identify with your body. You say “I know from my experience”, but that “experience” is just the sensory input from your body which in turn is interpreted by the mind. That is not the reality according to Bhagavan.

These three states only exist as an imagination of mind; they do not exist for a Jnani. And yet these three stages appear on Self and disappear. So the body of a Jnani may sleep, but that’s just the body, and only from the perspective of an ajnani who projects that body. So seemingly the body of a Jnani goes through these three stages, but that is only from the viewpoint of the ajnani.

The Jnani is all of that, turya or the background and, as a body projected by mind, these three alternating states. The Jnani does not see the body [and other phenomena] and yet there is awareness of it.

The Jnani is not confused by appearing and disappearing phenomena since he IS these phenomena too like pain or even manolaya. However since there is no identification with this phenomena whatsoever they do not have an effect, they are like clouds passing through the air. That is the paradox, Self seemingly “creates” mind, mind perceives objects and multitudes and, with the power of Self, projects phenomena and gets lost into these phenomena believing in its reality. Then mind reverses the process and after imaginary and seeming ordeals and “efforts” it returns to Self. That whole process only happens from the viewpoint of the mind, for Self “nothing ever has happened”/ajata.
Impossible to accept or comprehend by the mind and either you believe a sage who said that or you do not.

To your question, “do we have to dream?” Yes, the mind has to dream (and go through these three stages) since it is identifying with the body. But we are not the mind/body and Bhagavan told us to look for it what will reveal its non-existence.



Salazar said...

Unknown, my 'religion' is to not cling or adhere to any concepts including religion :-)

Unknown said...

Salazar, what is your experience?

Unknown said...

Also, Salazar, the mind has the command of the following senses:
1) Eyesight
2) Hearing
3) Touch
4) Smell
5) Taste
Which senses must the Mind to employ to look for the Self?

Unknown said...

Quote: you only experience these three states because you identify with your body. You say “I know from my experience”, but that “experience” is just the sensory input from your body which in turn is interpreted by the mind

In my dreams I have another body :)
Probably I should ask this question in my dream, because you exist only in this "waking" state.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajat Sancheti said...

Unknown, regarding your comment, "What was the 1st state "I" found "myself" in?" Is it even possible to find the start of a dream? I used to try but I always just found myself dreaming but never could I succeed in catching the moment it started.

Salazar said...

Self is not an object, as such it cannot be seen, felt, heard, touched, smelled, nor tasted.

When dreaming the body which is experienced is the same “body” as in the waking state, it’s just a different sheath.

I, as in the body/mind or object (that's what you are referring to, the non-existing entity), do not exist in the waking state too; your mind projects that the same way as in the dreaming state.

What is my experience? Whose experience? All that what is “experienced” is an imagination of mind and not real, contrary to “direct experience” which is not really an experience since there is no experience(er).

Agnostic said...

Drshti Srshti Vada...

The mind can invite only its own self-projection, the known. There cannot be the experiencing of the unknown until the mind ceases to experience. Thought is the expression of experience; thought is a response of memory; and as long as thinking intervenes, there can be no experiencing. There is no means, no method to put an end to experience; for the very means is a hindrance to experiencing. To know the end is to know continuity, and to have a means to the end is to sustain the known. The desire for achievement must fade away; it is this desire that creates the means and the end. Humility is essential for experiencing. But how eager is the mind to absorb the experiencing into experience! How swift it is to think about the new and thus make of it the old! So it establishes the experiencer and the experienced, which gives birth to the conflict of duality.

In the state of experiencing, there is neither the experiencer nor the experienced. The tree, the dog and the evening star are not to be experienced by the experiencer; they are the very movement of experiencing. There is no gap between the observer and the observed; there is no time, no spatial interval for thought to identify itself. Thought is utterly absent, but there is being. This state of being cannot be thought of or meditated upon, it is not a thing to be achieved. The experiencer must cease to experience, and only then is there being. In the tranquillity of its movement is the timeless.
---------
Commentaries on Living Series I Chapter 12 'Experiencing'

To whom? To me. Who am I? said...

Is it ultimately meaningless to dwell over or be bothered with things such as the image of a black hole, a beautiful flower, politics, art, society, capitalism, etc? If we try to see the world as a dream, then other concerns must naturally wither away because a dream is only a mental projection. But then even to think that other people's excitement is meaningless, would be wrong, because these other people are also part of the dream that I'm dreaming. So the whole responsibility to clear this illusion is of myself, this insincere, conceited, fearful desiring ego alone!!

Sanjay Lohia said...

Bhagavan is fulfilling his role as guru in a very silent, secretive and stealthy manner - Sri Sadhu Om

Sadhu Om one said, ‘Bhagavan is fulfilling his role as guru in a very silent, secretive and stealthy manner’. Likewise, a true disciple of Bhagavan will try to practise self-investigation in a very silent, secretive and stealthy manner. We should not make a show of our spiritual inclinations. Our practice of self-investigation is our secret love-affair between Bhagavan and us. Our practices should not attract undue attention.

That is, outwardly we should try to live a normal life, but inwardly we should try and remain detached from everything – seemingly connected to everything but actually attached to nothing. This is how we should operate in society.

venkat said...

This is a superb talk, by a young Ramakrishna monk, on Advaita vedanta's differentiation (viveka) between the Jnani and ajnani - Brahman and jiva / Jagat. In the first 6 minutes, he gives a lovely story of the response of a 98 year old past president of the Ramakrishna Order on how a jnani sees:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QefiN1Hss58&list=PLBh-iYJ1Q_hRn-1WgwiBj7CfasK6TOqG5&index=11

He also gave a talk at the Arunachala Ashram in the New York on the role of knowledge, meditation and karma yoga, and puts into the traditional vedanta context, Bhagavan's Atman vichara:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2rfZ1ytWD8



Sanjay Lohia said...

Sri Sadhu Om once said, ‘We need to give up all our beliefs, opinions, ideas, memories, hopes, aims, aspirations, desires, fears, likes, dislikes and so on, because all these have been learnt in waking and dream, and none of them exists in sleep, so they are alien to our real nature, and we can exist, be aware and be happy without any of them’. Yes, as Sri Sadhu Om says, all these things are alien to us, so if we want to experience ourself as we really are, we need to give these up. But does it not seem to be a daunting task to gives all these up? It does, so what is the solution?

If we just give up ego, we will give up all our beliefs, opinions, ideas, memories, hopes, aims, aspirations, desires, fears, likes, dislikes and so on in one go. And we give up ego only by looking at it very very closely.

Salazar said...

It is certainly a mistake "to try to see the world as a dream". What benefit would anybody gain from that? The dreamer tries to see his own dream as a dream? Huh?

Another question along this line of reasoning: How can the projector (or mind) "un-project" the dream? It impossibly can't. The dream and mind are co-concurrent. The dream simultaneously vanishes with the realization of the mind's non-existence. And that realization is NOT by the mind, the mind will never ever realize anything.

It is simply Being without any attachment to adjuncts.

Agnostic said...

Venkat:

... In the first 6 minutes, he gives a lovely story of the response of a 98 year old past president of the Ramakrishna Order on how a jnani sees:...

I think the President of the Mission was pointing in the same direction as the Kena Upanishad. (below).

--------------------------------------------------

I. By whom commanded and directed does the mind go towards its objects? Commanded by whom does the life-force, the first (cause), move? At whose will do men utter speech? What power directs the eye and the ear?

II. It is the ear of the ear, the mind of the mind, the speech of the speech, the life of the life, the eye of the eye. The wise, freed (from the senses and from mortal desires), after leaving this world, become immortal.

III. There the eye does not go, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know That; we do not understand how It can be taught. It is distinct from the known and also It is beyond the unknown. Thus we have heard from the ancient (teachers) who told us about It.

--------------

This is mysticism of a very high order, a la Ramana, Krishnamurti (as above), etc, etc.

No amount of "Self Enquiry" as recommended by Ramana (God bless his heart) is going to help unless you are born with it, ALL IMHO, kindly note.

Michael James said...

Salazar, when the friend using the pseudonym ‘To whom? To me. Who am I?’ wrote a comment saying ‘If we try to see the world as a dream, then other concerns must naturally wither away because a dream is only a mental projection’, it seems that what he or she meant by ‘try to see’ is try to look upon, regard or consider, since we obviously cannot literally ‘see’ the world as a dream, because whatever world we perceive while dreaming seems to be as real as our present world now seems to be, so in appearance both worlds look alike. Only after waking from a dream do we clearly recognise that the world we perceived in it was just our own mental projection.

Though we cannot literally ‘see’ the world as a dream, we can consider it to be just a dream, and as that friend implies, if we do so, ‘then other concerns must naturally wither away because a dream is only a mental projection’. However, in reply to that comment you wrote a comment saying ‘It is certainly a mistake “to try to see the world as a dream”’, which in the context seems to imply that it is a mistake to try to consider the world to be a dream. If that is your view, how would you explain what Bhagavan teaches us in the final sentence of the seventeenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, namely: ‘பிரபஞ்சத்தை ஒரு சொப்பனத்தைப்போ லெண்ணிக்கொள்ள வேண்டும்’ (pirapañcattai oru soppaṉattai-p-pōl eṇṇi-k-koḷḷa vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary to consider the world like a dream’?

If we consider the entire world (prapañca) to be just like a dream, as Bhagavan recommends, then all that ‘To whom? To me. Who am I?’ inferred in his or her comment is certainly correct. As he or she wrote, it is ultimately meaningless to dwell upon or be bothered by anything in this world, and responsibility to put an end to this dream does indeed lie with ourself, this ego. Why then do you imply that the premise on which he or she based those logical inferences, namely that we should consider the world to be a dream, is ‘certainly a mistake’?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael James said...

In a comment on one of my recent videos, 2019-04-03 Forum Humanum, Helsinki: Michael James discusses self-investigation as the way to love, a friend called Moesy Pittounikos asked: “Can I ask a question on the ‘I am’? Many times Michael says the ‘I’ is the root of the ego. But then he says I am being I am god.... Does this mean when I say ‘I am’ I am meaning my ego or the atman? Thank you”. In reply to this I wrote:

Moesy, when we say ‘I am’ we are just expressing our fundamental awareness of our existence. In its pure form, that is, without any adjuncts, that awareness is the real nature of ourself (ātma-svarūpa), but when it is mixed and confused with adjuncts such as a body called Moesy or Michael, the resulting mixed awareness ‘I am this body’, ‘I am Moesy’ or ‘I am Michael’ is ego.

Therefore, ego is an unreal mixture of pure awareness, ‘I am’, and a body, which is non-aware, and hence Bhagavan often referred to it as cit-jaḍa-granthi, the knot (granthi) formed by the entanglement of awareness (cit) with what is non-aware (jaḍa), binding them together as if they were one. However, though this mixture is unreal, it contains an element of reality, namely the pure awareness ‘I am’, which is never actually bound, because in its clear view it is never mixed with anything. This mixture occurs only in the view of ego, because ego alone is what is aware of itself as ‘I am this body’.

Since ego contains this element of reality, if it focuses its attention on its fundamental self-awareness, ‘I am’, so keenly that it thereby ceases to be aware of anything else, its adjuncts will dissolve and thus it will merge back forever into and as the source from which it appeared, namely the pure awareness ‘I am’.

By the way, Bhagavan did not say that ‘I’ is the root of ego but that ego is the root of everything else. That is, ‘I’ as pure awareness is the source from which ego appears, whereas ‘I’ as ego is the source or root from which everything else sprouts, because everything else seems to exist only in the distorted view of ego and not in the clear view of pure awareness.

Salazar said...

Michael, in order to comprehend what I was saying one must take both sentences and not only the first one. So I said, “It is certainly a mistake to try to see the world as a dream", but then I added, “The dreamer tries to see his own dream as a dream?”

With that second sentence I as a matter of fact stated that there is only a dream for the mind and with that the fact of a dream (as Bhagavan taught) was affirmed and not discarded as you seem to believe.

I said it is a mistake to try to see the world as a dream because it is ridiculous for the dreamer to “try” because that very attempt is part of the dream too. There is no qualitative difference between, i.e., trying to move the Kundalini up the spine and trying to see the world as a dream. Both are, according to Bhagavan, a subject-object relationship and it perpetuates Maya and can never transcend it.

We want to transcend the dream, not adding more scenes to it :-)

Michael James said...

Salazar, you have not answered the main question I asked you, namely: “If that is your view [that it is a mistake to try to consider the world to be a dream], how would you explain what Bhagavan teaches us in the final sentence of the seventeenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, namely: ‘பிரபஞ்சத்தை ஒரு சொப்பனத்தைப்போ லெண்ணிக்கொள்ள வேண்டும்’ (pirapañcattai oru soppaṉattai-p-pōl eṇṇi-k-koḷḷa vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary to consider the world like a dream’?”

Your central argument seems to be, ‘it is a mistake to try to see the world as a dream because it is ridiculous for the dreamer to “try” because that very attempt is part of the dream too’, but by that logic it would be a mistake for us to do any spiritual practice, including self-investigation and self-surrender, because whatever spiritual practice we may do is a part of whatever dream we are currently experiencing. The reason Bhagavan advised us to practise self-investigation and self-surrender is that they are the only means by which we can wake up not only from this dream but from the underlying sleep of self-ignorance, in which all dreams occur.

According to Bhagavan any state in which we are aware of anything other than ourself is just a dream, so we can practise self-investigation and self-surrender only in a dream, but that does not mean that it is a mistake for us to try to practise them. Quite the contrary, it would be a mistake for us not to try to practise them, because if we do not try to do so how can we wake up from this sleep of self-ignorance?

Salazar said...

Yes, Bhagavan said in Nan Yar, paragraph 17, "It is necessary to consider the
world like a dream."

That goes hand in hand with my statement, "The dreamer tries to see his own dream as a dream?”

When Bhagavan said to consider the world like a dream he didn't mean that as an invitation for a practice to somehow consider the world as a dream within the mental realm but he said that to be aware that this phenomenal world is not real and that reality (Self) is found elsewhere.

Of course Self-Inquiry is a necessary tool to realize Self. I said many times that Self-Inquiry is essential, why do I have to repeat myself constantly as if you, Michael, seem to assume that I find Self-Inquiry not necessary what I never said, quite the contrary. So from now on always consider with my statements that the practice of Self-Inquiry is always implied.

On the other hand, any means - other than Self-Inquiry/surrender - to TRY to see the world as a dream is perpetuating the dream. In fact Self-Inquiry is not at all a "try" to see the world as a dream, it is going directly beyond any notions of "dream, phenomenal world" and intentional "trials".

Mouna said...

The dream concept applied to our waking life reduces attachments to phenomena and weakens the will, the doer, ergo short-circuits ego, even if it is for a short while. Peace and a sense of freedom derives from this understanding, a taste of the ultimate.

It is as simple as that.

Mouna said...

By the way, for those admirers of Swami Sarvapriyananda, of whom I also am from a certain angle since he is so articulate in teaching traditional Vedanta, he almost dismisses, as does Vedanta in general, two main ideas that Bhagavan hold very close to his deeper teachings, the eka-jiva and ajata. I said "almost dismisses" because although he is knowledgeable enough to talk about them and explain those points of view (from the Vedanta viewpoint), it seems he does not attribute the same importance as Bhagavan did. Eka-jiva vada is viewed just as a solipsistic idea (these days solipcism seems to b a bad word for certain vedantins and non-duals that put all kinds of solipcisms in one bag) and ajata is a theoretical point of view from the absolute stand.

Advaita Vedanta as taught these days seems to fall short as a method to “attain" the highest ultimate truth according to Bhagavan, meaning ajata.
Ajata goes beyond the apparent dichotomy of duality and non-duality.

Michael James said...

Salazar, from what you replied in your latest comment it seems that you do after all agree with what Bhagavan said in the final sentence of the seventeenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, namely: ‘பிரபஞ்சத்தை ஒரு சொப்பனத்தைப்போ லெண்ணிக்கொள்ள வேண்டும்’ (pirapañcattai oru soppaṉattai-p-pōl eṇṇi-k-koḷḷa vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary to consider the world like a dream’. Why then did you write in one of your earlier comments: ‘It is certainly a mistake “to try to see the world as a dream”’?

What you wrote in that earlier comment was in reply to a comment written by ‘To whom? To me. Who am I?’, in which he or she had drawn certain practical inferences from this teaching that we should consider the world to be just like a dream, so when you replied ‘It is certainly a mistake “to try to see the world as a dream”. What benefit would anybody gain from that?’, you thereby implied not only that the premise from which he or she drew those inferences is certainly a mistake, but also that there is no benefit to be gained from drawing such inferences. Since you now agree with the premise, namely that we should consider the world to be just like a dream, do you also agree with those inferences, and do you agree that drawing such inferences is a benefit that will help us in our practice of self-investigation and self-surrender?

anadi-ananta said...

In any case - if you consider the world like a dream or not - we have to try to find the best way of becoming aware what we really are by seeing clearly what it's really all about and simultaneously seeing through all wrong ways of living.

Salazar said...

Mouna you said and I quote, "The dream concept applied to our waking life reduces attachments to phenomena and weakens the will, the doer, ergo short-circuits ego, even if it is for a short while. Peace and a sense of freedom derives from this understanding, a taste of the ultimate."

I do not concur. Peace and and a sense of freedom cannot be derived from "applying" this concept. Whatever you believe what you experienced is an imagination of mind, it certainly did not come from any application of a concept.

A "taste of the ultimate" can only be a temporary experience of Self, and that does not come ever from any applied concepts!

Salazar said...

Michael, such inferences serve as an aid for the mind but can be easily become an obstacle, depending on the aspirant. I maintain that for proper Self-Inquiry, no inferences whatsoever are necessary. Bhagavan himself mentioned on several occasions that in order to know oneself no concepts are necessary.

"Study, reflection, etc.", the standard Vedanta spiel is fine for a beginner, someone who feels the need for some conceptual knowledge. But usually that gets often out-of-hand especially for intellectual aspirants who feel more comfortable the more conceptual knowledge their mind has accumulated. At that point these concepts become more an obstacle than an aid.

Contrary to you, I value intuition much higher than the conceptual prowess of the mind. Since you made disparaging comments about intuition you have not been a benefactor of it. Intuition, aka direct non-conceptual knowledge, is instant, instantly clear, and needs no "reflection" or "thinking" of the mind because it comes from and stays beyond the mind.

Mouna said...

Salazar,

You said: "Peace and and a sense of freedom cannot be derived from "applying" this concept.”
Evidently, you never tried it, otherwise you would understand what I am trying to say.
“Waking life is also a dream like dreaming while sleeping” is another tool to be applied, not to be discussed about it, or believe it blindly or intellectualized about it.

"Whatever you believe what you experienced is an imagination of mind, it certainly did not come from any application of a concept.”
How can you be so sure about this statement of what Mouna experienced?
When you apply a tool several times you gather results, like if you start meditating (vipasana or samatha or other) you will immediately see results that are not “imaginations of the mind” as far as we are talking in vyavaharic functional reality terms. Now, if what you are trying to say is that “everything” is an imagination of mind (the absolute point of view) I couldn’t agree more, but when it comes to a relative functional conversation there is no doubt that ceratin tools provoke very specific results. The “waking dream” is one of them.

"A "taste of the ultimate" can only be a temporary experience of Self, and that does not come ever from any applied concepts!”
There are no “temporary experiences of Self” as Michael demonstrated in this article above (that yet nobody didn’t or couldn’t challenge his point of view addressing his points). The closest approximation of an “experience of self (what an oxymoron! since self is not an object...) is deep sleep (peace and freedom from limitations), that actually is not really an "experience of Self “ but rather absence of ego.

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, a little caveat to your last comment. "We have to try to find the best way" is implying that the mind is supposed to do that task. It can't and there should be never notions of "trying to find" etc., the only way to be increasingly more aware is the practice of Self-Inquiry. That practice goes beyond the realm of mind.

In the beginning Self-Inquiry may seem crude, short, and unsatisfactory. But by simply being patient and persistent that will change. So the "best way" is by simply staying with Self-Inquiry as often and as long as possible. Any mental activity is an obstacle, it rather spoils atma-vichara than improving it.

I believe the biggest obstacle for beginners is to "locate" the sense of "I am". Since it is very obvious the mind is overlooking it and looks for something fancier and usually object-like. That is the initial hurdle for many.

The sense of "I am" doesn't need any special concentration or "effort", the effort is to hold the mind back from chiming in with confused concepts and beliefs.Nothing is easier than to be or "I am". Only the mind may object to that.

Salazar said...

Mouna, your comment that there is "no temporary experience of Self" is a concept or belief and it certainly was not proved by Michael. What proof? His ego's particular interpretation of a text? No, that is and cannot be proof!

And that you parrot that is quite poor I may add.

Whatever you, Mouna, is experiencing is an imagination of mind. I do not need to know what you are experiencing to know it is an imagination. Unless it is a direct experience it is simply Maya.

Michael James said...

Salazar, regarding what you wrote in your latest reply to me, whether you choose to believe it or not, the simple logical inferences that we can and should draw from Bhagavan’s teachings are much more reliable that our intuitions. Intuitions may sometimes be correct, but often they are wrong, so they are not a reliable source of knowledge. If they were reliable, we would all have the same intuitions about each subject, but people have widely differing and often contradictory intuitions about any given subject, so they cannot all be correct, and hence intuition is far from being infallible.

Perhaps you believe that your intuitions are more reliable than ours or other people’s, but since an intuition is by definition what seems to us to be correct even though we do not have any adequate evidence or other reason to support our belief that it is correct, unless we are inclined (as any spiritual aspirant should be) to critically questioning and assessing our own beliefs, assumptions and intuitions, it is natural for us to believe that our own intuitions are reliable. It takes a certain degree of humility and intellectual honesty for one to recognise that one’s own intuitions may well be mistaken and are therefore not entirely reliable.

So long as our mind is still filled with impurities in the form of strong likes, dislikes, desires, attachments, hopes, fears and so on, our power of judgement or vivēka will be clouded by such impurities, so our intuitions with regard to spiritual matters are very likely to be mistaken. However, the more our mind is purified and thereby gains vairāgya (freedom from such strong passions), the clearer our vivēka will become, and hence our intuitions with regard to spiritual matters will be correspondingly more likely to be correct. Therefore the reliability of such intuitions will depend upon the relative degree of purification of our mind (citta-śuddhi).

Therefore if we pride ourself on the supposed reliability of our intuitions with regard to spiritual matters, we are indirectly priding ourself on our purity of mind and our consequent clarity of vivēka, but so long as we have such pride, that is a clear sign that our mind is still relatively impure and our vivēka is consequently still clouded and therefore lacks the clarity required to judge whether our intuitions are actually as reliable as we would like to believe they are.

We all have intuitions and follow them to a greater or lesser extent, but knowing that they cannot be entirely reliable, we should always do our best to find some independent and more reliable means of verifying them. We are fortunate to have the simple, clear and coherent teachings of Bhagavan, so we should use them to check whether or not our intuitions are in accordance with them. Many of the ideas you express in your comments are in direct conflict with some of the clear and unambiguous teachings that Bhagavan has given us (such as your idea that ‘It is certainly a mistake “to try to see the world as a dream”. What benefit would anybody gain from that?’, which is contrary to his teaching that ‘It is necessary to consider the world like a dream’), so when your intuitions conflict with his teachings in this way, which should you rely upon: your intuitions or his teachings?

venkat said...

Mouna

Your interpretation of ajata vada is simply following Michael's interpretation of Bhagavan's works. As I have set out previously this is not the only interpretation. To say that traditional vedanta dismisses ajata vada, is just silly.

So no, it would not be correct to say that Swami Sarvapriyananda and others "nowadays" do not teach the absolute truth.

It would be correct to say that Michael's interpretation of Bhagavan's teaching is at odds with "traditional" Advaita Vedanta, and that of Gaudapada and Sankara . . . as is evident from this Swami's talks, but also from any reading of the upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Brahma Sutras or Sankara's Upadesha Sahashri.

Mouna said...

Salazar,

You also parrot your beliefs without any logic foundation, based on your imaginary picture you have of yourself and what you know...

You can’t know others “direct experience”, you can’t know what I experienced as I experience it, so please keep your imagination about others for your own discrimination. You seem to have this ability to put down people with terms like “parroting” (at least now you improved from cursing and bullying people around with cynic remarks like you used in the past).

Michael “proved” that statement about “experiencing self” wrong based on Bhagavan's teachings and the way he understands them, but to understand that, you need to read the whole article and then “disprove” his logic on the same plane of discussion, not by “intuition” or “gut feeling” that someone is wrong. That cop out is really subjective.

Salazar said...

Michael, I do not see a conflict between Bhagavan's teaching (as in the example, ‘It is certainly a mistake “to try to see the world as a dream”) and what I've said. That particular comment is also not a product of intuition (not directly) but my conceptual understanding.

Your attachment to certain concepts from Bhagavan is clouding your judgment. The sage Nisargadatta Maharaj would have had huge fun with you in his flat, dismantling all of your concepts and leaving you with "nothing".

IMO, it is rather immature to cling to that particular way of conceptual interpretation of Bhagavan's teaching. The longer I read your comments addressed to me the more I am convinced of your immaturity.

venkat said...

Mouna

One other reflection. I am not sure why you talk about "tools" of treating the world as a dream, and of the taste of peace and freedom that that gives you.

Advaita Vedanta says very clearly that there is no way you can experience the Self, because you are the Self. All that can happen is that ignorance - the identification with the body-mind drops away.

A feeling of peace from attributing the world to be a dream can never be a taste of Brahman; rather that peace is the result of a stoic attitude to life - a very good attitude no doubt: not to take the world seriously. But that is not the import of Bhagavan's teaching or of vedanta; they go further than stoicism, and the peace of stoicism should not be misunderstood as a taste of liberation.

anadi-ananta said...

If we are lucky then we will clearly recognize whether our mind is still impure and our vivēka is consequently still clouded and therefore lacks the clarity required to judge. Otherwise our intuitions are actually not so reliable as we would like to believe they are.

Mouna said...

Venkat

"Your interpretation of ajata vada is simply following Michael's interpretation of Bhagavan's works. As I have set out previously this is not the only interpretation. To say that traditional vedanta dismisses ajata vada, is just silly.”

Go to any lecture of advaita vedanta teachings and ask about ajata vada and see what you get. The answer you get is “that is the point of view of the ultimate reality” (or something like that), almost implying that you don’t need to be concerned with that. In the hundreds of talks I heard from Swami Paramarthananda and other vedantic swamis, including Swami Sarvapriyananda, the ultimate goal seems to be arriving at the “conclusion” You are That.

Also, I didn’t say it dismisses, I said it “almost dismisses" because although he is knowledgeable enough to talk about them and explain those points of view (from the Vedanta viewpoint), it seems he does not attribute the same importance as Bhagavan did. Big difference. The same happens with eka-jiva.

Vedanta maintains that realization is in the intellect when the “knowledge” of your ultimate nature really sinks in, makes you a jnani still roaming around having perceptions, but “knowing” you are “one with everything”...etc… I call that “awakening to the dream", like lucid dreaming is to dreaming at night.

The question is, what would be awakening from the dream of life? To start answering that question you need first to verify that this waking state is also a dream. I see the objection coming that there is no need to awake from this dream once you realize the non-dual in yourself (gold/ornaments, etc…), the thing is that any kind of conceptual frame work is still maintained from within the dream so already crooked from the start.

(I'll address your second comment to me in a separate post)

Mouna said...

Venkat

"I am not sure why you talk about "tools" of treating the world as a dream”
All what real teachers gave us are tools of exploration conceived from their own experience. Self-investigation, meditation, yoga postures, shastras, etc… all tools, if you don’t see them as tools, I call that blind faith.

"Advaita Vedanta says very clearly that there is no way you can experience the Self, because you are the Self.”
At last someone summarizes Michael’s article above! Couldn’t agree more, but some people believe that we can “experience” self even if it is for a few seconds or minutes or hours.

"A feeling of peace from attributing the world to be a dream can never be a taste of Brahman”
Why not Venkat? I said taste, not really experience the absolute because as you rightly say, is not an object! Also, we already experience a taste of the Ultimate when we sleep profoundly… and Bhagavan says that is the ultimate reality (which goes against vedanta traditional teachings, which consider sushupti to be just another state of the mind), so… put one and two together. It is possible to experience deep sleep while awake (Bhagavan’s words) and the “attitude” of considering life as a dream took me to some of that understanding. If you don’t have that experience please don’t make assertions based on your interpretation of scriptures and Bhagavan’s teachings.

By the way, it’s funny that many criticize Michael for his interpretation of Bhagavan’s teachings saying that they are “his” interpretations and you yourself write phrases like: "that is not the import of Bhagavan's teaching or of vedanta” as if you know the real import of Bhagavan’s teachings and the whole truth.

Aham said...

.

So long as our mind is still filled with impurities in the form of strong likes, dislikes, desires, attachments, hopes, fears and so on, our power of judgement or vivēka will be clouded by such impurities, so our intuitions with regard to spiritual matters are very likely to be mistaken. However, the more our mind is purified and thereby gains vairāgya (freedom from such strong passions), the clearer our vivēka will become, and hence our intuitions with regard to spiritual matters will be correspondingly more likely to be correct. Therefore the reliability of such intuitions will depend upon the relative degree of purification of our mind (citta-śuddhi).



You are a refreshing voice of reason amongst the bulk of the commentators Mr James. Thank you.

Salazar, try to hear what Mr James is saying, his understanding is far superior to yours.

You can best achieve this by remaining silent.

.

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venkat said...

Mouna

1. As I have noted previously, Michael and you seem to believe that ajata vada means that on liberation the 'dream' ends - correct me if I'm wrong. I do not believe that this is what Bhagavan taught, and I have previously pointed to Muruganar's writings on GVK and to Annamalai Swami's interview and writings that indicate consonance with traditional Advaita Vedanta.

2. No translator or commentator on Gaudapada and Sankara assert that by ajata vada that the dream ends - it is just seen as a dream and ignored. Sankara's comment on Gaudapada's famous karika on ajata vada (2.32) explains "when duality is perceived to be illusory and Atman alone in known as the sole reality, then it is clearly established that all our experiences verily pertain to the domain of ignorance. Then one perceives there is no dissolution, no birth, no one in bondage, no one freed from bondage . . . There is no duality at any time".
Advaita accepts the fact that there is sat-chit (existence-conciousness) which is a FACT of our experience, but challenges the nama-rupa (name-form) that we attribute to our experience of the body-mind-world, which we then separate out as distinct entities. Advaita says this separation is an illusion - that everything is Braham, and tat twam asi (that thou art). Buddhism says something similar by asking if anything has inherent (independent) existence - and the answer is no, which leaves only the substratum (which buddhists call emptiness).

3. So the whole thesis of Gaudapada's karikas is to show that a separately existing / created world and born / dead / bound / free jivas is an illusion, not real. That's all. In closely subsequent verses Gaudapada writes:
2.34: This manifold does not exist as identical with Atman nor does it stand independent by itself. It is neither separate from Brahman nor is it non-separate. This is the statement of the wise.
2.36: Therefore knowing the Atman to be such fix your attention on nonduality. Having realised non-duality, behave in the world like an insensible object.

4. Therefore I would posit that your interpretation of ajata vada is not in consonance with Sankara's Advaita Vedanta, rather than traditional teachers not understanding or dismissing ajata vada. Think about it: nonduality can ONLY mean no birth, no death, etc, etc - because there can be no two. However as indicated in 2.34, that does not mean that an illusion of multiplicity may be there; an illusion is not logically inconsistent with no birth / death.

5. You wrote: "you yourself write phrases like: "that is not the import of Bhagavan's teaching or of vedanta” as if you know the real import of Bhagavan’s teachings and the whole truth."
Lets be clear - I very carefully referred to Michael and your interpretation and that I interpreted Bhagavan differently. You quote me out of context, when I was saying that stoicism is not the import of Bhagavan's teachings. I don't think you or anyone would disagree with that? If you do, please say why. Otherwise it is an unfair criticism of the comments that I made to you.

venkat said...

Mouna

Sorry I overlooked answering your point that sushupti is just another state of mind in traditional advaita teachings. In a way you are right - Gaudapada and Sankara also do imply this.

However they also say, Sankara notably in Brhad Up, that sleep is essentially equivalent to Brahman the substratum that we always are. The issue in advaita is that in the waking state, we focus on the perceived objects and are unaware of the substratum. So it is to bring that awareness of the sleep substratum into the waking state; and to pay no attention to the subject and objects that are experienced in the waking state. Which I think is what is meant by waking sleep.

Unknown said...

Since the well known Swami Sarvapriyananda is mentioned here in the comments, he inspite of his wide range of knowledge of advaita vedanta says something very different from what Sri Ramana and Mr. James are saying. Maybe he has misunderstood the great Sri Gaudapada, I am not quite sure about it. Anyway what he says does not make sense to an ardent student of Sri Ramana.

This is found in the video on You Tube titled "Quenching The Firebrand by Swami Sarvapriyananda" from 27.50 to 28.23.

To quote Swami's own words of what Sri Gaudapada said in this video: Sri Sarvapriya says of what Sri Gaudpada said:

This world or the waking state is not a projection of the mind as is the dreams of sleep or the dream state. The waking state or the this world is imagined in Consciousness just as the dreams are imagined only on our minds. Only dreams are projection of the mind. The world or waking state is experienced in Consciousness and not apart from the Consciousness.

Quote from Swami Sarvapriya as to what Sri Gaudapada said.

Swami Sarvapriya has also mentioned the same difference in one of his other videos saying only the dreams of sleep are projections of the mind and the world we see upon waking are not projections of the mind but actually experienced in Consciousness.

But this not what Sri Ramana said or what Mr. James has been saying all along. Sri Ramana has told us that both the waking and dream states are both projections and imaginations of the same mind because in susupti or deep sleep which is pure or absolute consciousness the worlds which are seen and experienced in waking and dreams are not seen, projected or experienced in sushupti.

It is kind of silly for Swami Sarvapriya to say that the pure or absolute Consciousness actually imagines, projects and experiences the world of forms and objects of the waking state. Such projections are done only by the mind which (the mind) is dissolved in pure or absolute Consciousness or sushupti. I don't in the least suspect that such nonsense was said by the great Sri Gaudapada.

anadi-ananta said...

Is not seeing clearly the most valuable treasure one could ever gain ?

MW said...

Hello!
I will try to keep it short. I read this post and just wrote on impulse.
I have been having transcendental experiences (for calling it something) since I was around 6-7 years old. What sparked it was doing self-inquiry as a child. I was just very, very curiuos about the me. Why was it that I was this I and not someone else? I focused on this very me up to a point where I and everything in my perceptive world dissolved into a boundless being. I kept doing this lots of times due to its extremely nice feeling. Then as an adolscent the "state" begun to appear of it self out of the blue, and now I had the feeling of that it might be a state of madness so I suppressed it as soon as I could sense the coming of it. I became very good at it so it almost disappeared.

About this time I got very interested in cosmology, physics, philosophy, religions like buddhism, taoism (not hindusim though) etc. This has been going on, more or less, for the last 50 years. But, never ever did I connect my experience with my interests until I read about Ramana Maharshi a couple of years ago. There it was. Now I understood that I, as a young child, had done my own self-inquiry without knowing anything about teachings of any kind. I have now been reading Ramana, (and others) for amusement and for persuation of not going to be mad (which is almost lost by now). I have no doubts any more but my mature age have left much in my mind so I tend to eat the cake and having it saved at the same time. This can be misinterpreted, so I leave it there. The only thing I can say, from my experience, is that it is extremely difficult to read teachings and depend on sages to see what really is. In my case the opposite is true.

So, for me a natural inner urge is not only crucial, but also the only thing that will make the attention shift to the moste intimate. And this has nothing to do with anything else, what so ever. Just your feeling of your self and what you really are. Nothing more.

I am not used to do comments on forums and such, so I hope I not offended anyone in any kind.

venkat said...

Unknown

From Sankara’s introductory commentary to mandukya up:

May that Turlya that, (through Maya ) having identi-
fied itself as the entire universe, experiences (in the waking
) the manifold gross objects of enjoyment through
ignorance and attachment, that again during the dream
state, experiences, being enlightened by its own light, the
subtle objects of enjoyment, the objects that are brought
into existence by its own internal organ, and which,
lastly, in dreamless sleep withdraws all objects (subtle
as well as gross) within itself and thus becomes free from
all distinctions and differences.

venkat said...

Unknown

You wrote: “It is kind of silly for Swami Sarvapriya to say that the pure or absolute Consciousness actually imagines, projects and experiences the world of forms and objects of the waking state . . . I don't in the least suspect that such nonsense was said by the great Sri Gaudapada.”

In addition to Sankara’s intro to mandukya up that I quoted above, consider also that Gaudapada wrote:

2.12: Atman, the self-luminous, through the power of
his own Maya, imagines in himself by himself ( all the
objects that the subject experiences within or without). He
alone is the cognizer of the objects (so created). This is
the decision of the Vedanta.

venkat said...

Carlos

In chapter 3, Gaudapada explains that by birthless and deathless ajatavada is meant that separation is illusory and not real. And so liberation is to realise that what we see as separate, independent existences is an illusion, the nature of a dream; and what we are is the substratum, the Turiyananda, underlying the dream. So no creation, no destruction is saying that this is all a dream existence, which as such cannot be born or die; and as the Jiva is equally a dream, he also cannot be in bondage or liberated, because he doesn’t exist.

III-2. Therefore, I shall describe that (Brahman) which is free from limitation, is unborn and is ever the same. Listen how nothing whatsoever is born, though it appears to be born in all respects.
III-3. The self is said to be existing in the form of Jivas (individual souls), just as (the infinite) ether exists in the form of ether confined within jars. Similarly, It is said to be existing as the aggregate of bodies, even as ether exists like jars etc. This is the illustration with regard to birth.
III-4. Just as when the jars etc., cease to exist, the ether etc., confined within them become merged in the infinite ether, so also the individual souls become merged in the Self here.
III-5. Just as when the ether confined within a particular jar contains dust and smoke, that is not the case with all jars, in the same way, all the individual souls are not associated with happiness etc.
III-6. Though forms, functions and names differ here and there (in respect of the ether contained by jars etc.,), yet this causes no differences in the ether. Similar is the conclusion with regard to individual souls.
III-7. As the ether within a jar is not a modification nor a part of the (infinite) ether, so an individual soul is never a modification nor a part of the (supreme) Self.
III-8. Just as to the children the sky becomes soiled by dirt, so too, to the unwise the Self becomes tainted by impurities.
III-9. The Self, in regard to Its death and birth, going and coming, and Its existence in all the bodies, is not dissimilar to ether.

anadi-ananta said...

venkat, why is the term 'turiya' written as 'TurIya' ?

Salazar said...

venkat, as usual great posts and yes, Self imagines to be mind and it is also an imagination that mind has (or could) to realize Self. Did Sankara anywhere talk about "impurities" of mind? I cannot imagine he did since impurities are an imagination and Maya too. Why getting lost in this irrelevant concept?

In fact to dwell on these things as a quasi "temporary" state of mind is delusional. There is no purification of mind, it is a fantasy of mind, nothing else. Why is this fantasy be taken for real and worthwhile by many here? How but a confused understanding could be the cause. That's the danger when certain statements by Bhagavan are taken literally.

Mind does not exist. How then could there be impurities but as a fantasy? Sankara, and Bhagavan, were aware of that and when Bhagavan talked about the concept of 'purity of mind' he was catering to certain questions of individuals. There he lowered the 'beam' to help out these immature ones.

To dwell on purity and impurity is Maya and an impediment! That is and must be obvious. If not then Bhagavan, and many other sages, have not been understood.

Salazar said...

An impurity is part of the dream. It seems real but when the dream stops the impurity is gone. How inane would it be then to declare that impurity as real? It might be seen as real before waking up from the dream but that is not an excuse or reason to affirm that imagined reality. Because only the belief or affirmation of mind gives it any reality as does any conceptual consideration, reflection etc.

Reflecting and pondering about impurities (or any other concept) gives it the reality. Impurity, purity, emotions, virtues, bad habits, etc. are also projections of the mind. Why dwell in these projections and concepts? Because they are Bhagavan's concepts? His concepts are as much projected by mind as any other concept. They are not better or worse. They are POINTERS!

Pointers are supposed to lead away from any concepts and mental activity. If these pointers are taken literally and rigidly as an unimpeachable text then these pointers have lost their original meaning. I.e. Ulladu Narpadu was never intended from Bhagavan to take is as a Bible or ultimate reference of some sorts. That particular use is an abomination.

venkat said...

Hi Salazar

I found this very cogent quote from Sankara in Brhad Up, which you may appreciate:

“The self is the last word of it all, arrived at by the process of ‘not this, not this’, and nothing else is perceived either through reasoning or through scriptural statement; therefore the knowledge of this self by the process of ‘not this, not this’, and the renunciation of everything are the only means of attaining immortality”

Mouna said...

Venkat,

All the quotes you provided I definitely concur with, absolutely, how couldn’t I do otherwise?.

My point is that it is not the final final stage, the ultimate truth, and it couldn’t be because it is framed from within the dream that actually is not real, moreover, it is completely empty. It is the waking up “to” the dream, not “from” it.
Even ajata is not the final truth, but it is the most accurate pointer to the falsity of everything.

From one point of view, the final stage declaring that after realization there is no more perception or phenomena (nibbana) is very hard to swallow from a social cohesive point of view, let us remember that all these eastern philosophies thay have also a social content, like a school where you teach first 1 + 1 = 2 to arrive the final quantum physics theories where preceptual forms are no longer valid because what all there is are “patterns of probabilities”, no matter no forms no names, etc…

If our mind travels into a quantum field or falls into these days very popular black hole (the best approximation in this dream to what ajata means to me!) where is the place to consider “all one with Brahman”?

When you see, I mean really see at plain daylight that the snake is actually a rope, you not only understand your error but most importantly one does not see the snake anymore. I challenge everyone to tell me that after seeing that it is a rope you continue seeing the snake! (Actually, in one of his videos, Swami Sarvapriyananda said exactly that, that one continues to see the snake after you realize it was a rope) How could you?

So continue seeing the “mirage water” or the”sun rising and setting” or “the blue sky”, etc… after you realized the visual illusory phenomena is just a stage, that is what those analogies demonstrate. But the analogy of the snake is a completely different ball game. I know, it could be objected that it was created only to reveal ignorance of the substratum, but I take the analogy further.

In any case, I do really appreciate your comments Venkat, they are always very civil and knowledgeable.
Thanks for that.

To be continued…

Mouna said...

Venkat,
It goes against what I said, but I agree also!:

Talk 315. One of the attendants asked: Sri Bhagavan has said: ‘Reality and myth are both the same'. How is it so?

M.: The tantriks and others of the kind condemn Sri Sankara's philosophy as maya vada without understanding him aright. What does he say? He says: (1) Brahman is real; (2) the universe is a myth; (3) Brahman is the universe. 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 Thank one and the same.

Unknown said...
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anadi-ananta said...

"I.e. Ulladu Narpadu was never intended from Bhagavan to take is as a Bible or ultimate reference of some sorts. That particular use is an abomination."

Should we not first try to abominate the actual abominations of any misinterpretations of Bhagavan's teaching ? Of course we are able to recognize the real meaning of them by highly developed viveka only. However, such required viveka can and will open up and act only in a sufficiently purified mind.

Noob said...

Maybe, just maybe all spiritual efforts in a dream (or reality) are just signs that the dream is entering into a new fase, the script is running and the efforts themselves are not bringing anything new but rather are signs and are not the course but rather a consequence of an approaching (hopefully) finale.

Salazar said...

"To challenge if one still can see the snake" :-)

That's a good example how an intellectual mind perverts pointers of sages.

Salazar said...

venkat, thank you for that quote. Sankara = Bhagavan, he spoke the same in different words. Only certain mind aspects (better than the term 'immature mind'? :-) look and seemingly notice differences.

As much as there are no pure and impure minds there are no mature and immature minds nor maturity or immaturity.

P.S. For Self there is no difference between the rope and the snake. "Prove it!" - LOL

Mouna said...

“That's a good example how an intellectual mind perverts pointers of sages.”

That's a good example how an intellectual mind perverts others’ points of view different from one’s own without addressing the question. :-)

Salazar said...

venkat, oh my God, Sankara said in your quote, "the process of not this, not this". That must be wrong :-), how can a mental affirmation like this result into realization?

Let's look into the holy Bhagavan Bible and find a quote which contradicts the above and keep arguing about the child of the barren woman. Sigh.

Can anybody 'prove' to me the existence of the child of a barren woman? ;-)

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, you keep "purifying" your mind, friend. ;-)

Who is doing the purification? A bunch of thoughts, what else? Imagination on top of imagination ..... LMAO

Salazar said...

venkat, I want to thank you for always being civil compared to the other rascals who are not behaving as I'd like they'd do. Now I like to keep complaining about my own projections of the incivility of my projections, but my mind needs to sort out if I now adhere to eka-jiva or not. Now mind insists on the 'reality' of eka-jiva but it also likes to insists on seeing objects who seem to behave not accordingly to my expectations. Now that this is itself quite delusional must escape me because my projections are more important than Self. ;-)

Salazar said...

venkat, I forgot to add that I like to keep trained the power of imagination of my mind and that's why I am not only holding grudges, but also like to dwell in the past and reaffirm all these past fantasies [of others].

Do they have any reality but as an imagination of mind? No. But that doesn't matter, mind needs to assert itself and simultaneously forgetting, AGAIN as so often, Self ;-)

Salazar said...

Mouna, I am afraid it's beyond the capacity of your mind why there is no "addressing" of your minds sophistry with concepts.

Why people here do not get that that what is relevant is beyond the mind? It's beyond any concepts including Bhagavan's teaching. Any notions of "addressing" and "proving" are delusional, immature, beginner stuff, plain fantasy.

Where is all that in holding to "I am"? Since it is not there it is not relevant. For some reason it seems to bypass [certain] mind[s].

No reply needed, my interest in your comments went down to zero. Actually that's true for most comments here.

Salazar said...

venkat, in one of your comments you said, "[...] So it is to bring that awareness of the sleep substratum into the waking state; and to pay no attention to the subject and objects that are experienced in the waking state. Which I think is what is meant by waking sleep."

My take is that nobody brings that awareness of the sleep substratum into the waking state, awareness always stays the same. There are no states for awareness. What changes is the mind's perception via its attachment to the body.

So how to apply that then?

To hold to "I am" and to not pay attention to the action of the body. The body does not need the input of the mind to function. Mind is not necessary at all in our daily life. But to come to that as an actual practical experience the mind needs to surrender its ignorant notion of being the do-er, even to be the do-er of any meditation or other "approved" activities. Meditation [as in sitting down and attempting a practice] (or any other activity) either happens or it happens not, but that is all independent from holding to "I am".

There is no connection between holding to "I am" and the activity of mind. So one can hold to 'I am' even when talking to people or doing any activity. Because holding to "I am" is independent from mind and body and its activities.

That's also called waking sleep.

Mouna said...

Salazar,

"No reply needed, my interest in your comments went down to zero.”

Mutual perception


"I am afraid it's beyond the capacity of your mind why there is no "addressing" of your minds sophistry with concepts.”

?????... really cryptic intellectual emptiness


"Actually that's true for most comments here."

One can’t judge a comment unless reading it.
What a waste of one’s life spending time attending to things one is not interested in...

And no need to reply also, in any case I am also taking a vacation from comments.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
you say "There is no connection between holding to "I am" and the activity of mind. So one can hold to 'I am' even when talking to people or doing any activity. Because holding to "I am" is independent from mind and body and its activities."

Is not holding to "I am" done just by the mind ?
It seems that holding to "I am" is easily confused with holding to one's ego or mind.

anadi-ananta said...

Does simple serving up with truisms give ground to claim having left behind "beginner stuff" ?

To whom? To me. Who am I? said...

I found a video on Bhagavan's teachings by a certain very popular so-called religious guru in my YouTube recommendations with over 100,000 views, channel having over a million subscribers. Videos on the Sri Ramana Teachings channel however, usually have much lesser views. I'm not saying that this statistic is in any way important, but I am reminded of something David Godman narrated in one of his videos. In a conference on Bhagavan's teachings, one of the speakers emphatically spoke about how he would like to take Bhagavan's teachings to millions of people (or something to that effect). The next speaker came and said that to the extent that someone managed to popularise Bhagavan's teachings to that extent they have diluted them. I think that the new age guru with a million subscribers, tells people what people usually like to hear, so no wonder he's so popular. I doubt he would ever discuss a verse from Ulladu Narpadu or other original works of Bhagavan.
It is so much more palatable to be told that we have to do nothing, and how to live happily in this world, etc, than it is to even begin to consider that I am not this person, that everything that is going to happen is predetermined, that this world is a dream, that there is only one ego, that persevering in self-attentiveness is the key to ending this dream, etc.

anadi-ananta said...

Michael,

"All people without any exception are just our own mental projection, so how can any such mental projection be a jñāni?"

How is it then when one has seen Bhagavan ('s body) for instance while Bhagavan was still alive ?
How can (the state of) being a jnani depend from the onlooker's projection ?

Michael James said...

Anadi-ananta, as I have often pointed out, Bhagavan explained that the human form of guru and his teachings are like a lion that appears in the dream of an elephant. Elephants are believed to be so terrified of lions that the shock of seeing one in a dream wakes it up. The lion is unreal, being just a mental projection, but the waking it causes is (relatively speaking) real. Likewise the human form of guru and his teachings are unreal, being just a part of this dream, but by turning our attention back towards ourself, they cause us to wake up from the sleep of self-ignorance to the state of pure awareness, which alone is real.

venkat said...

Salazar,

I agree with your comment to me on holding on to the I am, and not needing to bring the sleep substratum into the waking state. That is the problem with words.

I also interpret holding onto the I am to be equivalent to neti neti & renunciation.

Salazar said...

Holding to "I am" is not done with the mind. Not with the mind as Bhagavan characterized it as in "a bunch of thoughts" or the mind which is attached to all kind of objects.

That mind does not exist and that breakdown of the mind with its "aspects" [chit, knot etc.] are concepts which have no more reality than the blueness of the sky. These esoteric concepts are useless for realization. Because concepts will always be just thoughts which in turn prevent clarity. Clarity is not coming from concepts and thoughts. It never will.

venkat, I always enjoyed your open mindedness and being non-judgmental.

anadi-ananta said...

Thank you Michael for your reply and the given links. Sorry, that even Bhagavan's form and teachings are unreal I comprehended evidently only by closer looking at that statement a second time.

anadi-ananta said...

It is said that the world being just a mental projection and the sleep of self-ignorance are not real. Can we be sure that pure awareness is not also just an idea - a mental projection of mind ? If mind can project even world and universe why not also pure awareness ? Damn it all, my self-ignorance almost stops me from breathing.

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
if mind does not exist what then is holding to "I am" ? Perhaps something like 'pure mind' or 'clarity' if you concede the existence of them ? Or is it already pure awareness which holds to itself ?

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, there is no "pure" awareness, only awareness. There are no two or several awareness' with different qualities, only one.

If you assume purity and impurity you enter duality and delusion.

And who cares "who" is doing atma-vichara? Why not just doing it and then figure it out by direct experience? All these notions of why and how, blablabla, are just a procrastination of mind.

Of course one has to do atma-vichara properly without a subject-object relationship. There is no 'doer', even now, only in imagination. Who then could do atma-vichara but an imaginative entity? But is it? If yes then that is not atma-vichara but an imagination imagining. Like eating an apple. That action (and any other action as a 'doer') is entirely an imagination. How could that transcend duality?

Bhagavan declared, atma-vichara is the path and the goal. That means there is no difference between atma-vichara and Self. It is the subject without any object interfering.

Unknown said...
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anadi-ananta said...

Unknown,
what you "nicely see" as what I have chosen is a typical case of a nasty eye disease. You should urgently see your eye specialist.:-)

anadi-ananta said...

Salazar,
thanks for your advice. But I do not think that eating an apple could ever prevent (me) transcending duality.:-)

Salazar said...

anadi-ananta, I like apples too and I do not worry about that eating one would prevent me of transcendence. Atma-vichara will take care of that and all desires will drop on their own accord, there is no thought necessary for that. So one still may eat an apple, but any desire for it has disappeared as well as the taste of it :-)

I share my opinions and viewpoints of Bhagavan's teachings, they are not necessarily advice, see it as an offering one may consider or not. Either way is fine.

Michael James said...

Venkat, I have replied to your comment of 16 April 2019 at 20:16 in a separate article, The ultimate truth is ajāta, but because we seem to have risen as ego and consequently perceive a world, Bhagavan, Gaudapada and Sankara teach us primarily from the perspective of vivarta vāda.