Sunday 8 May 2016

The ego is the thinker, not the act of thinking

In a comment on my previous article, The person we seem to be is a form composed of five sheaths, a friend called Ann Onymous wrote, ‘Ego is the very thinking that there is, or even seems to be an ego’, but this is confusing an action with the actor, mistaking the former (the thinking) to be the latter (the thinker). Thinking that there is an ego or that there is no ego, that it actually exists or just seems to exist, or thinking any other thought about it or about anything else cannot be the ego, because thinking is an action, whereas the ego is the thinker, the one who does that action.

If the ego were the act of thinking, we could investigate it simply by observing our thinking, which is obviously not the case. To investigate this ego we must ignore all thinking and observe only the thinker, the one who is aware of thinking and of the thoughts produced by thinking. Therefore it is necessary for us to clearly distinguish the thinker from its thinking, and also from whatever it thinks.

The thinker, its thinking and its thoughts together form a tripuṭi, a triad consisting of the three factors entailed in any form of objective (or transitive) knowledge or experience, namely the subject, the object and whatever action connects these two. Other examples of a tripuṭi include the knower, its knowing and whatever it knows; the experiencer, its experiencing and whatever it experiences; and the perceiver, its perceiving and whatever it perceives. In all these cases the subject — the one who is thinking, knowing, experiencing or perceiving — is the ego; the object is whatever it thinks, knows, experiences or perceives; and the action that connects these two is the subject’s thinking, knowing, experiencing or perceiving.

The one constant factor in all such tripuṭis is the ego or subject, because it is always the same ego and is essentially unchanging, whereas what it thinks, knows, experiences or perceives changes from moment to moment, and its actions of thinking, knowing, experiencing or perceiving therefore change along with whatever objects it is thinking about, knowing, experiencing or perceiving. The ego is therefore the root, foundation and support of every tripuṭi, as Bhagavan points out in verse 9 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu:
இரட்டைகண் முப்புடிக ளென்றுமொன்று பற்றி
யிருப்பவா மவ்வொன்றே தென்று — கருத்தினுட்
கண்டாற் கழலுமவை கண்டவ ரேயுண்மை
கண்டார் கலங்காரே காண்.

iraṭṭaigaṇ muppuḍiga ḷeṉḏṟumoṉḏṟu paṯṟi
yiruppavā mavvoṉḏṟē teṉḏṟu — karuttiṉuṭ
kaṇḍāṯ kaṙalumavai kaṇḍava rēyuṇmai
kaṇḍār kalaṅgārē kāṇ

பதச்சேதம்: இரட்டைகள் முப்புடிகள் என்றும் ஒன்று பற்றி இருப்பவாம். அவ் ஒன்று ஏது என்று கருத்தின் உள் கண்டால், கழலும் அவை. கண்டவரே உண்மை கண்டார்; கலங்காரே. காண்.

Padacchēdam (word-separation): iraṭṭaigaḷ muppuḍigaḷ eṉḏṟum oṉḏṟu paṯṟi iruppavām. a-vv-oṉḏṟu ēdu eṉḏṟu karuttiṉ-uḷ kaṇḍāl, kaṙalum avai. kaṇḍavarē uṇmai kaṇḍār; kalaṅgārē. kāṇ.

அன்வயம்: இரட்டைகள் முப்புடிகள் என்றும் ஒன்று பற்றி இருப்பவாம். அவ் ஒன்று ஏது என்று கருத்தின் உள் கண்டால், அவை கழலும். கண்டவரே உண்மை கண்டார்; கலங்காரே. காண்.

Anvayam (words rearranged in natural prose order): iraṭṭaigaḷ muppuḍigaḷ eṉḏṟum oṉḏṟu paṯṟi iruppavām. a-vv-oṉḏṟu ēdu eṉḏṟu karuttiṉ-uḷ kaṇḍāl, avai kaṙalum. kaṇḍavarē uṇmai kaṇḍār; kalaṅgārē. kāṇ.

English translation: Dyads and triads exist [by] clinging always to one. If one looks within the mind [to see] what that one is, they will cease to exist. Only those who have seen [this] have seen the reality. See, they will not be confused.
‘இரட்டை’ (iraṭṭai) means a pair, couple, dyad or any set of two things, but in this context it refers specifically to any pair of opposites (called dvaṁdva or dvandva in Sanskrit), such as knowledge and ignorance, awareness and non-awareness, existence and non-existence, reality and illusion, happiness and unhappiness, or bondage and liberation. ‘முப்புடி’ (muppuḍi) is adapted from the Sanskrit term त्रिपुटि (tripuṭi), which as I explained above means a triad in the sense of the three factors entailed in any form of objective knowledge or experience, namely the subject, the object and whatever action connects these two. As Bhagavan says in this verse, all such dyads and triads exist only by always clinging to or depending upon ‘ஒன்று’ (oṉḏṟu), which means ‘one’, but which in this context refers specifically to the ego, because all phenomena such as these dyads and triads seem to exist only in the view of this ego, so they seem to exist only when we seem to be this ego, as in waking or dream, and they cease to exist as soon as this ego subsides, as in sleep.

Therefore, since this ego seems to exist only when we do not look at it carefully, and since it will therefore cease to exist if we keenly observe it, in the second sentence of this verse Bhagavan says if one looks within one’s mind to see what this ego actually is, the dyads and triads will cease to exist. The verb he uses here is கழல் (kaṙal), which literally means to become loose, unfastened, untied, disentangled or dislocated, to slip off, to run away, to pass away or to disappear, but which in this context implies to cease to exist.

We become aware of phenomena such as dyads and triads only when we experience ourself as this object-knowing ego, and when we experience ourself as such we are not experiencing ourself as we actually are. Therefore our rising as this ego is what obscures our clear awareness of ourself as we really are, so in the third sentence of this verse Bhagavan says, ‘கண்டவரே உண்மை கண்டார்’ (kaṇḍavarē uṇmai kaṇḍār), which literally means ‘Only those who have seen have seen the reality’ but which in this context implies ‘Only those who have seen [that the ego (together with all its progeny) does not exist] have seen the reality’.

So long as we mistake a rope to be a snake, we do not see the rope as it is, but if we look very carefully at what seems to be a snake we will see that it is not actually a snake but only a rope. Likewise, so long as we mistake ourself to be this ego, we do not see ourself as we actually are, but if we look very carefully at what seems to be this ego we will see that it is not actually an ego but only the pure, infinite and intransitive self-awareness that we really are. Therefore seeing the non-existence of the ego is seeing what alone is real, namely our own infinite self. If we see thus, we will never again be confused, perturbed, intimidated or saddened, because we will never again see any phenomena or mistake ourself to be any phenomena, which is what Bhagavan implies by saying, ‘கலங்காரே’ (kalaṅgārē), which means ‘they will not be confused [perturbed, intimidated or saddened]’.

Being aware of ourself alone is pure intransitive awareness, because what we actually are is not an object but just awareness, and the nature of awareness is to be always aware of itself, so pure self-awareness does not entail even the slightest subject-object relationship. It just entails ourself being aware of ourself, as we always are. Being aware of any phenomena, on the other hand, does entail a subject-object relationship, so it is transitive awareness, which is what Bhagavan calls ‘சுட்டறிவு’ (suṭṭaṟivu), which literally means ‘pointing awareness’ or ‘showing awareness’, and which implies awareness that is directed at or that shows anything other than ourself (that is, any object or phenomenon).

Since transitive awareness entails a subject (our ego) being aware of an object (any kind of phenomenon), in every form of transitive awareness there is a tripuṭi, a triad consisting of these three factors: the subject, an object and the subject’s act of being aware of that object (which entails it pointing its awareness at that object). One example of this is the process of thinking, which entails a subject (our ego, which is the thinker), an object (a thought, which is whatever this ego happens to be thinking of) and this ego’s act of thinking (which entails forming or projecting that thought and simultaneously being aware of it).

When Ann Onymous wrote, ‘Ego is the very thinking that there is, or even seems to be an ego’, the ‘very thinking’ she referred to is the action that links the thinker to its thoughts, namely the act of projecting and simultaneously being aware of whatever it is thinking. This action of thinking is done by whom? Only by ourself as this ego, which is the primal thought and the thinker of all other thoughts. Therefore our ego is not the ‘very thinking’ but the very thinker who is doing that thinking.

Both thinking and whatever thoughts are produced by thinking seem to exist only because we as this ego seem to be thinking and thereby producing thoughts. Therefore as Bhagavan implies in the above-cited verse of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, they both seem to exist only by depending upon this ego. Thinking entails being aware of something other than ourself, and whenever we are aware of anything other than ourself we are aware of ourself as this ego. Therefore thinking depends upon us being aware of ourself as this ego, the one who is thinking.


celio leite said...

Thanks Michaelji!

So clear and always pointing to the very root of all thoughts: the I-thought or ego. All thoughts depend on it.

With Love,

gary said...

Thank you Michael

adjunct-free self-awareness said...

"...but this is confusing an action with the actor, mistaking the former(the thinking) to be the latter(the thinker)."
Does not the action of thinking require - as prerequisite - the existence of one thinking subject (a thinker) ? If yes, has not so the thinker to be called 'the former' and the thinking 'the latter' ?

Michael James said...

Adjunct-free Self-awareness, when the terms ‘the former’ and ‘the latter’ are used together as a pair, ‘the former’ means the first mentioned and ‘the latter’ means the last mentioned, so when I wrote ‘but this is confusing an action with the actor, mistaking the former (the thinking) to be the latter (the thinker)’, ‘the former’ refers to ‘an action’, which I mentioned first, whereas ‘the latter’ refers to ‘the actor’, which I mentioned last.

However you are of course correct in saying the thinking subject (our ego) is prerequisite for thinking, because there could be no thinking if there were not someone who is thinking, so in logical and chronological terms the thinker must precede its thinking (though the first thought that it thinks on rising from sleep occurs simultaneously with its rising, because it cannot rise without thinking, which is what Bhagavan refers to as ‘grasping form’ in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu).

adjunct-free self-awareness said...

Thank you, Michael, for clearing up my misunderstanding of the used terms 'the former' and 'the latter'.

Sanjay Lohia said...

This world is a dream; no it is real...We have been arguing, off and on, on this subject. Many of us are of the opinion that this world is a dream but many feel otherwise, because this world is far too real to be dismissed as a mere dream. With valuable inputs from Bhagavan's writings and a small transcript of Michael's talk, I share my reflections on this topic:

Bhagavan says in paragraph 14 of Nan Yar?:

'What is called the world is only thought [because like the ‘world’ that we experience in a dream, all that we experience as the ‘world’ in this waking state is nothing but a series of mental images, ideas or thoughts that we have formed in our mind by our power of imagination]. When the world disappears, that is, when thought ceases, [our] mind experiences happiness; when the world appears, it experiences unhappiness'.

If this mind is a fleeting, insubstantial and flimsy entity, then this world cannot but be a fleeting, insubstantial and flimsy entity. Bhagavan says in the above quote of his, 'what you called the world is only thought', so can this unreal thought produce a real world? It seems unlikely. Therefore, this world cannot but be a dream. To further understand this point, let us read what Michael says in one of his recent videos (dated 23-4-2016, 2:10):

Michael [replying to a question]: Now we think we are experiencing this world; actually we not experiencing any world. What we are experiencing is some thought perceptions, and perceptions are all mental phenomena. So the idea that there is a world out there, and I see some pictures on the wall out there [is not correct] . . . Actually those pictures are just a perception in my own mind, so there is no world out there.

It may be difficult to digest what Michael says here, but if this world is a dream, then what he says here has to be true. Michael uses the word 'perceptions' twice in this quote, but what does 'perceptions' exactly mean? As per Oxford Dictionary it means: The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses. If I have understood correctly, as and when we think thoughts, these thoughts create some perceptions or images in our mind. These perceptions or images exist just in our mind, but we erroneously take these perceptions or images to be the world existing outside and independent of us. See the power of maya!

thought thinker said...

"To investigate this ego we must ignore all thinking and observe only the thinker, the one who is aware of thinking and of the thoughts produced by thinking."
Is not that amount of active attentiveness which is necessarily to be expended for managing the act of 'ignoring (of all thinking)' itself (also) a thought ?
The same can be asked/said about 'observing only the thinker'.
Does/will the ego force itself to do this work of ignoring its own products and observing itself ?

Sanjay Lohia said...

I had confusion about the terms 'person' and 'ego', that is, in which they are similar or in which way they differ and so on. Michael tried to explain this through his various comments on this blog, and also via one or two articles. In addition, he recently spoke on this topic (on 23-4-2016, 0:25) at a meeting of RMF, London. The following is an excerpt from this video:

Devotee: [question not clear]
Michael: . . . We all now experience ourself as this person, but that which experiences ourself as a person is the ego. We are not this person, because before this person was born it did not exist, and after it dies it is not going to exist, so we cannot be this person we take ourself to be. . . . When this dream comes to an end another dream will start, and our ego will project another person and again experience it as ourself, and we will go through the same thing again and again.

The person is basically a package of all the upadhis, all the adjuncts with which the ego identifies itself currently. All these uphadis are centred around the body, so the person is the body, the mind and all associating attributes. If the body is sitting, I am sitting; if the mind is thinking, I am thinking. . . . We experience our mind as if it is centred in the body, as if all our thinking is going on in a certain place within our head. This is the illusion that we now experience, so the whole package of a body, a mind and all the attributes of the mind makes up the person which we now seem to be.

This person is externally visible, other people see it as a person. When we try to attend to ourself, we should not attend to the person, but we should try to attend to who is the one who is experiencing this person as 'I'. That is what we are trying to investigate, that is the ego. The person is all the jada portion; what we really are is the chit portion, and the ego is the knot that binds these two together.

(to be continued)

Sanjay Lohia said...

in continuation my comment on the subject of 'ego' and 'person'

When these two [chit and jada] are separated as in sleep, there is no ego. The ego has no independent existence. As soon as the ego comes into existence, the whole set of adjuncts come into existence. The person is the widow through which we project and see the world; however, this world is all in our mind. All that we experience of this world are sights, sounds, tastes, smells and tactile sensations, but we take it to be something outside, independent of ourself, but in fact it is all within our mind. The ego expands as the mind; mind expands as this person; and the person expands as this world. The person is the window through which this whole world is expands as this world.

This person is innocent, Bhagavan uses to say. People who do severe tapas, severe physical austerities, is like beating the chair on which the criminal is sitting. It is not the chair which is at fault, it is the ego which is at fault and therefore the culprit. It is ego which has robbed us of the wealth of what we really are, whereas the person is innocent. The one who takes the person as itself is the guilty party. If we investigate this ego we will find that it does not exist, and our problems will all be over.

Devotee: Does it means that after the ego dies the person continues to exist?
Michael: In whose view? After you get up from dream, does the dream person continues to exist? In dream we rise and project a person, and we go through so many experiences in that dream world. However as soon as the dream comes to an end, the person ceases to exist, the world ceases to exist, everything ceases to exist.

That is why Bhagavan says that if the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence, when the ego doesn't exist, nothing else exists, so everything is just an expansion of the ego. The root of this vast universe is only this ego. [May sound incredible and even absurd to many of us, but according to Bhavagan this is the truth]

final aim said...

some sober and plain ideas occurred to me:
The ego is not too bad because it can hardly be avoided in our world. Kept under control it enables us to lead a nearly complete blameless life or at least to behave well. To annihilate this ego totally that is too much to expect.
To put the people through the severe test of self-chastisement will not work.
The humanity completely fixed in its body-awareness will never shake off its attachment to this possessing egocentricity.

Anonymous said...


I think you have mentioned once that urge to breath also occurs from ego. Is that right? If so, Looks like, in order for us to have keen self attentiveness, we have to get rid of the urge to breath , just like how we have to ignore other thoughts . But that doesn't make sense . So i am little confused here.

Sivanarul said...

Final aim,

The spiritual literature agrees with you. Dhammapada 182’nd verse says:

“It is hard to obtain human birth,
harder to live like a human being,
harder to still understand the dharma,
but hardest of all to attain nirvana”

As you say, keeping it under control (abiding in Dharma, to the best of one’s abilities) will one day or in some lifetime, provide the courage, strength and conviction to walk deeper in the path.

Renouncing the renouncer (aka annihilating the ego) is not easily achieved without first renouncing things with the ego intact (but weakened). Spiritual literature is full of examples of Sadhakas who first renounced things with the ego intact (albeit weakened) in earlier lifetimes, which paved the way to the renouncing of the renouncer.

Sivanarul said...

Misconceptions about advaita – By Sri David Frawley

A related misconception is that Advaita is against other spiritual and yogic practices like mantra, pranayama, puja and bhakti, which from its point of view are regarded as of little value and only serve to condition the mind further. Even a number of traditional Advaitic texts speak of setting all such other yogic practices aside as useless. Many neo-Advaitins emphasize such advanced teachings. They may tell even beginning students to give up all other practices and discourage them from doing mantras, pranayama or other yoga techniques. We could call this ‘Advaita without Yoga’.

Ramana, though he emphasized Self-inquiry, never rejected the value of other yogic practices. He commonly extolled such practices as chanting the name of God, chanting Om and doing pranayama. He had regular Vedic chanting and pujas done at the ashram which continue today.

Advaitic aspirants may not be attracted to all such Yoga practices and need not be, but they should not therefore regard them as of no value or discourage others from doing them. Until the mind is fully ripe or sattvic, such practices have their value, though we should use them as a means to Self-inquiry, not in exclusion of it. Advaita without Yoga, like Advaita without Vedanta often leaves the student without the proper tools to aid them along their sometimes long and difficult path.

The spiritual path is different for every individual. A true teacher teaches each student differently according to their unique nature. A true teacher will not necessarily teach Advaita to everyone, at all times or in the same manner. If we look at great gurus, their disciples are not simply imitations of them, but retain their own individuality. Note Ramana’s main disciples Muruganar and Ganapati Muni in this regard.

True Advaita is not a teaching than can be given uniformly to people of all temperaments. It is often best pursued in solitude, silence and retreat and can never become a thing of the marketplace.

Certainly Advaita Vedanta is bound to continue as an important influence in not only individual sadhana but also in world thought. But it has many depths and subtleties that require great concentration and dedication in order to understand. Our initial goal should be steadiness in practice along with equanimity of mind, even in the absence of any great dramatic results, not quick enlightenment in the absence of practice!

Anonymous said...


In my comment i have misspelled the word breathe. I meant 'urge to breathe' .

Sanjay Lohia said...

As usual, my typos continue (in my last comment I wrote):

That is why Bhagavan says that if the ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence, when the ego doesn't exist, nothing else exists, so everything is just an expansion of the ego. The root of this vast universe is only this ego. [May sound incredible and even absurd to many of us, but according to Bhavagan this is the truth]

I wrote Bhagavan as 'Bhavagan'. Why do I tend to mistype Bhagavan's and Arunachala's names? May be Bhagavan is drawing my attention towards himself and Arunachala, and It seems he is trying to say, 'Enough of attending to your thoughts and this world; now start attending to me only'.

Mouna said...

Your typos have a fresh human element embedded into them, when done
in a candid way bring a smile in the heart, not a spank in the but! :-)

As for Bhavagan or Bhagavan or Bhangavan a poet once said: "A rose under another name smells just the same!


Bob - P said...

It is a shame there is no spell check on the comments as I too oftem mnake mistakes
In apprecaition.

Bob - P said...

By the way I have just noticed after I posted my last comment that there were spelling mistakes in it, I wasn't trying to be funny I honestly made them.

I am a terrible typer, all fingers and thumbs.
Warmest regards.

non-swimming seafarer said...

when I noticed your "scandalous" typos in just your comment at 09:33 I thought you were always ready for a laugh. So pull yourself together !

dedicated roadsweeper said...

the smell is the same
what stinks is the name.

final aim said...

as you say and experience shows: even if we are ready for take-off for most of us renouncing the renouncer is not the suitable launch pad.

Noob said...

The subject is the ego, the thinking is the action of the subject to be aware of something (directing attention) and the object appears when the attention is directed away from the subject. Thus it is necessary to try relentlessly to keep attention at the subject to avoid creation of the mental phenomena, no matter how hard it is and wish for the grace to give us strength to keep attention focused on the subject and give us peace.

all is within me said...

yes, let us firmly and unceasingly carry on meditation on the self meaning to attend to our own true nature.
Therefore let us aquire the power of endurance and thereby know the knower.

red-hot charcoal said...

Can anybody tell me how to avoid thinking ?

barfooted cevotee said...

red-hot charcoal,
be what you really are.
If you do not know who you really are then try to find it.
Kind regards

red-hot charcoal said...

barfooted devotee,
do you know at all what you are speaking about ?

barfooted devotee said...

red-hot charcoal,
sorry sir or madam,
I know it only from hearsay. But I cannot think of a better answer.

red-hot charcoal said...

barfooted devotee,
if you do not have any knowledge about the asked subject through own experience then do not shoot your mouth off.

barfooted devotee said...

red-hot charcoal,
okay, I wish you a happy day.
Hopefully you will get the requested information hoped-for.
Is there anything else you require ?

Viveka Vairagya said...

Sri Ramana Maharshi's Advice

(as quoted in Sri Ramana Jyothi, a monthly magazine of Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad, India)

"One should, with faith, hand over to Iswara all of the burdens, such as the family and the body, which naturally appear, and then remain without anxiety. Otherwise one cannot perform, with a one-pointed mind, either devotion or self-enquiry."---Sri Ramana Maharshi

keen onlooker said...

Viveka Vairagya,
how to hand over to Iswara all my burdens when I have never been in contact with Iswara ? I never have been conscious of Iswara. How could that (highly) recommended occurrence of handing over pass off ?

Bob - P said...

Dear non-swimming seafarer.
Thank you for your reply I have double checked this comment(lol)!!!
I think I will start writing in word and then pasting my comment in the comment box so I can use the spell check built into word!

I should of been doing this since the start, can't believe I just thought of it now!
All the best to you.

non-swimming seafarer said...

good idea.
Also all the best to you.

Since I just read the beautiful verses (8),(9),(10),(11),(12) and (13)from
Sarva Jnanottaram-Atma Sakshatkara Prakaranam
((Rendered into Tamil by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi)
"Sarva Jnanottara is an ancient text from the Sanskrit Saiva Agamas, and contains the Atma Sakshatkara Prakaranam, where spiritual instruction is imparted to Guha(Subrahmanya) by Iswara (Siva) Himself.
Sri Bhagavan rendered this prakaranam into Tamil verse(in venba metre) in the present Ashram some years after his similar versification of Devikalottara-Jnanachara Vichara Patalam(another Agamic text) during his Virupaksha days.

We are now happy to publish Atma Sakshatkaram(contained in Sarva Jnanottara) with the orinal Sanskrit text in Sri Bhagavan's hand writing.
... May Sri Bhagavan shower his blessings on us all. May the readers benefit from the practice of the subtle sadhana in this rare text.
Sri Ramanasramam, 14 th April 1999." :
....(1) till (7)

That Supreme divinity, Siva, indeed am I,
of the nature of all the mantras,
And transcending all the mantras,
Devoid of dissolution and creation. (8)

What is visible, what is invisible,
the moving and the stationary,
all these are pervaded by me.
I am the Lord of this universe,
All shine because of me. (9)

Filled with a variety of forms,
one different from the other,
Filled with a galaxy of worlds,
All this universe, from Siva down to the earth,
Are all established in me. (10)

Whatever is seen in this world,
Whatever is heard in this world,
Whatever shines, conceptualised as inside and outside,
All these are pervaded by me,
the all-pervading One,
Realise this. (11)

Though considering himself the Self,
He desires to attain That Siva, the Supreme Self,
as one apart.
Whoever contemplates on Siva thus in delusion,
Will not attain Siva-hood
by such contemplation - know this. (12)

"Siva is other than me, I am other than Siva" -
Uproot this attitude of differentiation.
"I indeed am that Siva" -
This conviction that is non-dual, ever practise. (13)


barfooted devotee said...

"Therefore seeing the non-existence of the ego is seeing what alone is real, namely our own infinite self."
This thus seeing is really worth striving for.

"Being aware of ourself alone is pure intransitive awareness, because what we actually are is not an object but just awareness, and the nature of awareness is to be always aware of itself, so pure self-awareness does not entail even the slightest subject –object relationship. It just entails ourself being aware of ourself, as we always are."
But how to remove my troubles ? How to destroy and scatter the illusion and thereby make me dwelling in the cavity of my heart ?

From "Like Gold" (Ponnaiyotta Pattu):

verse 2. The primeval brahmin incarnated as Love !
Lord who came down to Sona[giri] the great Hill of Light !
Gracious Master Ramana ! Untainted one !
Whisper in my ear the way to liberation !

From "Ramana Sadguru":

Verse 21. Make me your own by overpowering the spectre of my mind struggling in the open jaws of the cunning senses with their evil propensities.

Verse 22. With the sword of pure knowledge strike down the cruel demon of ignorance now ruling as ego in the body. Oh, Self-effulgent Gem !

May I beseech with humility ? :"Lord Ramana, Great Master, ever abiding silent on and in Arunachala, grant me your grace !"

Noob said...

To stop thinking, hold attention within

red-hot charcoal said...

to turn attention 'within' means ignore outward things or external appearances. It means further to direct the attention inwardly. But to which exactly, what object, thing or entity (deep) inside shall I draw my attention ? What is in my deep down inside or in my heart of hearts ? If only I knew what's going on inside. Just the inwardness of my being is enigmatic and mysterious to me.

Sivanarul said...

From the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

MASTER: "That is why I say that work is necessary. It will not do to say that God exists and then idle away your time. You must reach God somehow or other. Call on Him in solitude and pray to Him, 'O Lord! reveal Thyself to me.' Weep for Him with a longing heart. You roam about in search of 'woman and gold' like a madman; now be a little mad for God. Let people say, 'This man has lost his head for God.' Why not renounce everything for a few days and call on God in solitude?

"What will you achieve by simply saying that God exists and doing nothing about it? There are big fish in the Haldarpukur; but can you catch them by merely sitting idly on the bank? Prepare some spiced bait and throw it into the lake. Then the fish will come from the deep water and you will see ripples. That will make you happy. Perhaps a fish will jump with a splash and you will get a glimpse of it. Then you will be so glad!

"Milk must be turned to curd and the curd must be churned. Only then will you get butter. (To Mahima) What a nuisance! Someone must show God to a man, while he himself sits idly by all the while! Someone must extract the butter and hold it in front of his mouth! (All laugh.) What a bother! Someone else must catch the fish and give it to him!

"A man wanted to see the king. The king lived in the inner court of the palace, beyond seven gates. No sooner did the man pass the first gate than he exclaimed, 'Oh, where is the king?' But there were seven gates, and he must pass them one after another before he could see the king."

MASTER: "The jnanis regard everything as illusory, like a dream; but the bhaktas accept all the states. The milk flows only in dribblets from the jnani. (All laugh.) There are some cows that pick and choose their fodder; hence their milk flows only in dribblets. But cows that don't discriminate so much, and eat whatever they get, give milk in torrents. A superior devotee of God accepts both the Absolute and the Relative; therefore he is able to enjoy the Divine even when his mind comes down from the Absolute. Such a devotee is like the cows that give milk in torrents." (All laugh.)

MASTER (in the ecstatic mood): "There is no one else here; so I am telling you this. He who from the depth of his soul seeks to know God will certainly realize Him. He must. He alone who is restless for God and seeks nothing but Him will certainly realize Him.

"Why doesn't man's mind dwell on God? You see, more powerful than God is His Mahamaya, His Power of Illusion. More powerful than the judge is his orderly. (All laugh.)

red-hot charcoal said...

what is the inner part of our personality ?
How can we get in touch with the center of our inner city (true self) ?
How to enter our inner temple ? Is the inner space/sanctum at all accessible to our consciousness ? What is the necessary means to get in the source of consciousness ?

Sivanarul said...

More from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

MASTER: "As Radha advanced toward Krishna, she could smell more and more of the sweet fragrance of His body. The nearer you approach to God, the more you feel His love. As the river approaches the ocean it increasingly feels the flow of the tides.

"The jnani experiences God-Consciousness within himself; it is like the upper Ganges, flowing in only one direction. To him the whole universe is illusory, like a dream; he is always established in the Reality of Self. But with the lover of God the case is different. His feeling does not flow in only one direction. He feels both the ebb-tide and the flood-tide of divine emotion. He laughs and weeps and dances and sings in the ecstasy of God. The lover of God likes to sport with Him. In the Ocean of God-Consciousness he sometimes swims, sometimes goes down, and sometimes rises to the surface — like pieces of ice in the water. (Laughter.)

"The jnani seeks to realize Brahman. But the ideal of the bhakta is the Personal God — a God endowed with omnipotence and with the six treasures. Yet Brahman and Sakti are, in fact, not different. That which is the Blissful Mother is, again, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. They are like the gem and its lustre. When one speaks of the lustre of the gem, one thinks of the gem; and again, when one speaks of the gem, one refers to its lustre. One cannot conceive of the lustre of the gem without thinking of the gem, and one cannot conceive of the gem without thinking of its lustre.

"Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute is one, and one only. But It is associated with different limiting adjuncts on account of the different degrees of Its manifestation. That is why one finds various forms of God. The devotee sings, "O my Divine Mother, Thou art all these!' Wherever you see actions, like creation, preservation, and dissolution, there is the manifestation of Sakti. Water is water whether it is calm or full of waves and bubbles. The Absolute alone is the Primordial Energy, which creates, preserves, and destroys. Thus it is the same 'Captain', whether he remains inactive or performs his worship or pays a visit to the Governor General. Only we designate him by different names at different times."

"This Primal Power, Mahamaya, has covered Brahman. As soon as the covering is withdrawn, one realizes: 'I am what I was before', 'I am Thou; Thou art I'.

"As long as that covering remains, the Vedantic formula 'I am He', that is, man is the Supreme Brahman, does not rightly apply. The wave is part of the water, but the water is not part of the wave. As long as that covering remains, one should call on God as Mother. Addressing God, the devotee should say, 'Thou art the Mother and I am Thy child; Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' It is good to have the attitude of the servant toward the master. From this relationship of master and servant spring up other attitudes: the attitude of serene love for God, the attitude of friend toward friend, and so forth. When the master loves his servant, he may say to him, 'Come, sit by my side; there is no difference between you and me.' But if the servant comes forward of his own will to sit by the master, will not the master be angry?

barfooted devotee said...

You light (which is) manifested in Arunagiri,
would you not take your look of grace at us and cut off the impurities of our imaginary individuality ? Is it hopeless to unite the individual self and the Supreme Self ?

Viveka Vairagya said...

keen onlooker,

You ask "how to hand over to Iswara all my burdens when I have never been in contact with Iswara ? I never have been conscious of Iswara. How could that (highly) recommended occurrence of handing over pass off ?"

Well then, you have been in contact with Bhagavan Ramana. Hand over all your burdens to Bhagavan. As Bhagavan said, God, Guru, and Self are one and the same and not different.

Noob said...

to red-hot charcoal:

we should all turn our attention to the feeling of "I", the very consciousness that denotes our self, that is the subject. The more we try to keep our attention on "I", the stronger our focus should become. Our attention is fleeting, we should train it to become and stay focused. Sooner or later we may succeed regardless of what we think now. The closest things that may lead there are the five sheaths that are covering "I", those Michael has described in his previous article. That is why for some people ashtanga yoga is helpful, it trains the mind to stay focused on body at first, then breath and thus is the aid to train the mind to become focused.But the final goal is to sink our attention in ourselves.

keen onlooker said...

Viveka Vairagya,
yes, of course, I unfortunately forgot that Bhagavan is all together and one and the same.
Thank you for giving me that reminder what Bhagavan has said.

red-hot charcoal said...

many thanks for your explanatory notes.

Bob - P said...

Thank you non-swimming seafarer
Warmest regards

red-hot charcoal said...

obviously I put myself in the position of being partly responsible for having not prohibited the covering of Brahman by Mahamaya, his terrifying Power of Illusion. Therefore I became guilty of complicity in that covering. Oh Divine Mother Sakti, would you not intend to manage the withdrawal the covering ? Oh Blissful Mother, do you not feel pity for us (illusory creatures) ?

Garba Griha said...

would you allow some questions without reference to this article but regarding your person ?
Obviously you are British citizen and came to Tiruvannamalai in 1976.
Sadhu Om passed away in March 1985.
You ended up living there after twenty years, so till 1995.
1.)Did you return directly to UK in 1995 ?
2.)Did you ever physically come back to Tiruvannamalai since then ?
3.)Did you ever stay (accommodated) in Sri Ramanasramam ?
4.)Are you no more interested in or attracted to the physical presence of Arunachala (Hill) ?
5.)Is participation in a future 2 days retreat for Ramana devotees possible for me as a non British person ?

venkat said...

Sivanarul, as you write of bhakti yoga, permit me to share this snipper on a life lived with an attitude of karma yoga. It is from a rather decent man who died recently in New York, at the ripe old age of 95. He was a Jesuit priest, Rev Daniel Berrigan, a peace activist ever since the Vietnam war.

“The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere,” he told me. “I believe if it is done in that spirit it will go somewhere, but I don’t know where. I don’t think the Bible grants us to know where goodness goes, what direction, what force. I have never been seriously interested in the outcome. I was interested in trying to do it humanely and carefully and nonviolently and let it go.”

be was been said...

I have discovered to my regret that I am nothing but a deployment area of unsatisfied
sensual desires.
Hey all you gods, would you not accept this written invitation and send armed forces with weapons of annihilation for the sake of inflicting a crushing defeat on the enemies ?
Arunachala, why do you let me down and leave me rushing headlong towards ruin ?
You seem to have lost your lusting for battle. Should you not really be ashamed of yourself when you hand over me without a fight. You seemingly became firmly convinced that you are in a much better position without me. But you will have your good reason for your decision. Thank you for all your help up to now. Nevertheless I promise to mend my ways next time.

full moon worshipper said...

be was been,
do not worry about it.
I too missed to penetrate to my inmost depth. Therefore uncertainty and doubt follow my footsteps throughout my life. So let us catch up on what we have failed to do.

Sivanarul said...


Very nicely said by Rev Daniel Berrigan. Talk about synchronicty, I was just listening to an excellent speech by Swami Sarvapriyananda of the Ramakrishna mission, where the Swami was explaining Karma Yoga done by an elder Swami of the order and the Karma Yoga of Mahatma Gandhiji.

The swami was also explaining the importance of seeing God in everyone and every work we do. For those of us who are not able to or who do not want to see the world as an illusion, both Bhakthi yoga and Karma yoga are very essential. In a way, Bhakthi yoga is optional. Karma yoga is not optional. Without love for fellow sentient beings, one cannot truly love God.

“The good is to be done because it is good, not because it goes somewhere,”

How simple but profound at the same time.!

Sivanarul said...

Saint Pattinathar Songs:

- பட்டினத்துப் பிள்ளையார்

Oh mind! Reach out and always keep referring to the
Floral Feet of the Lord of Thiruvannamalai
Who has the valorous shoulders!
(Because) In this world, what for is the vicious wealth?
What for is the toiled-earned-kept secret riches?
Not even a broken needle will come along on the last journey!

- பட்டிணத்துப் பிள்ளையார்

Hand doing something; Eye seeking something;
Mind thinking something; Deceitful tongue saying something;
Flesh stinking body relying on something; Ears listening to something;
How will you accept my eager Puja? Oh the One Who nullified my karma!

உடை கோவணமுண்டு உறங்கப் புறந்திண்ணையுண்டு உணவு இங்கு
அடை காய் இலை உண்டு அருந்தத் தண்ணீர் உண்டு அருந்துணைக்கே
விடையேறும் ஈசர் திருநாமம் உண்டு இந்த மேதினியில்
வடகோடு உயர்ந்தென்ன தென்கோடு சாய்ந்தென்ன வான்பிறைக்கே
- பட்டிணத்துப் பிள்ளையார்

Piece of cloth is there for wearing;
Outer verandah is there for sleeping;
Fruits and leaves that drop are there for eating;
Water is there for drinking;
The Name of the Lord, Who rides the bull, is there for the great company;
How does it matter in this world,
whether the northern edge is raised
or the southern edge is depressed for the moon!

ABC said...

The one who is aware of thinking and of the thoughts produced by thinking, it's THINKING.
The thinker doesn't exist as an unchanging object, it's a thought.
You can't ignore thoughts and only observe the thinker, because the thinker is just a thought.

All these distinction M.J. keeps doing are philosophical mind games, made by his non-existing ego, and keeps feeding its existence.

Certainly his job as a transaltor is extremely valuable, but I hope genuine seekers take these writings on Ramana with a grain of salt, since M.J. declares in his "satsangs" he has been failing for 40 years. Being a teacher is different than being a translator and a devotee.

mind controller said...

to be aware of thinking and of thoughts cannot be "THINKING" but the thinker which is the ego.
What is a "transaltor" ?
Please give us some grain of salt.
40 years of making efforts is not an exorbitantly long period of time as you seemingly assume.
Michael James does not claim himself to be a teacher.
By the way : Greetings to Ann Onymous.

ABC said...

Sorry, I didn't express my self very well...

Investigating thoughts and thinking,
is also part of the process that brings one to isolate the root I-thought (or the thinker), and watching it until it subsides.

If you isolate the I-thought through a mechanical discarding of thoughts/thinking, this is going to become a process of concentration.
While self-enquiry is a process of investigation.

Who is that needs to realize?
Who is suffering?
Who is enquiring?
To whom is this happening?...

These questions are an essential part of the process and of the spirit of self-enquiry,
and imply a certain degree of "alive" investigation of thinking.

Otherwise it just becomes a process of concentration, and the thinker would never be seen as the false subject, or as "just a thought".
(It would actually be reinforced by the effort of a mental process who is activated to reach a goal).

thought thinker said...

regrettably Michael James replied only to one comment. Obviously he did not find time or did not tend to reply to many comments on that article. Let us hope that Michael will have a look on at least some comments and would comment eventually.
Your recent comment would require some further clarification about the raised questions.

mind controller said...

in the mean time you may read/study Michael's article of 25 May 2016 How to attend to ourself ?

Asun said...

The author says:

The ego is the thinker, not the act of thinking. His quote.

Okay, then what is or who is the act of thinking thoughts or doing things if they are not part and parcel of the ego itself which seems to do them? It is basic common sense that the the ego is its thoughts as well, the thinker is the thoughts also. How can you separate them?

Asun said...

Topic: The ego is the thinker, not the act of thinking.

The article was posted by ego (I-thought) with the help of brain( act of thinking) and by the help of a body (called Michael James).

Are all the above three or triputis or traids not ego? Why should only one of the triputis or triads be ego?

anadi-ananta said...

correctly the mentioned triad is to be considered as:
thinker , thinking and thought(s).

anadi-ananta said...

if you would read the article carefully you soon would find the answer to your question.

Asun said...

As per J. Krishnamurti:

The Book of Life, September 11, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995.

The thinker is the thought.

Is it not necessary to understand the thinker, the doer, the actor, since his thought, his deed, his action cannot be separated from him? The thinker is the thought, the doer is the deed, the actor is the action. In his thought the thinker is revealed. The thinker through his actions creates his own misery, his ignorance, his strife. The painter paints this picture of passing happiness, of sorrow, of confusion. Why does he produce this painful picture?

Surely, this is the problem that must be studied, understood and dissolved. Why does the thinker think his thoughts, from which flow all his actions? This is the rock wall against which you have been battering your head, is it not? If the thinker can transcend himself, then all conflict will cease: and to transcend he must know himself. What is known and understood, what is fulfilled and completed does not repeat itself. It is repetition that gives continuity to the thinker.

J. Krishnamurti.

anadi-ananta said...

அருணாசல அக்ஷரமணமாலை,
is that a clear teaching ?

. . said...

Anadi-ananta, looking at the many, many requests for clarification it looks like that the teachings of the Maharshi are also not clear. For me Ulladu Narpadu is as unclear as that comment by Krishnamurti and if I understand Mr. James correctly, it needs refinement to understand.

anadi-ananta said...

you can and should ask Michael for clarifying of any text of 'Ulladu Narpadu' or any other teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi which is unclear for you.

Regarding "refinement": do you mean refinement of teaching or of (y)our understanding ?

Asun said...

Here is another comment by the renowned teacher J.Krishnamurti (since he has been mentioned here by another guest) which also bears relevance to this topic posted by Michael James. "The ego is the thinker, not the act of thinking".


"Thought creates the thinker".

The Book of Life, August 16, HarperSanFrancisco, 1995

Thought is verbalized sensation; thought is the response of memory, the word, the experience, the image. Thought is transient, changing, impermanent, and it is seeking permanency. So thought creates the thinker, who then becomes the permanent; he assumes the role of the censor, the guide, the controller, the molder of thought. This illusory permanent entity is the product of thought, of the transient. This entity is thought; without thought he is not. The thinker is made up of qualities; his qualities cannot be separated from himself. The controller is the controlled, he is merely playing a deceptive game with himself. Till the false is seen as the false, truth is not.


Asun said...

This is for any guest who is only really interested in this topic of "thinker and thinking thoughts" posted Micheal James.

You can search for this article in google.

the system of thought
FEB 12. 2016

by The negative Psychologist.

anadi-ananta said...

"So thought creates the thinker,...".
In my opinion this statement is simply wrong because the object cannot be seriously considered as subject.

. . said...

Anadi-ananta, most of the clarifications by Michael did not reach my mind and it feels it is the same for others since I see many requests for clarifications who ask to clarify what has been clarified before (I am lurking for many months). At least from what I can tell. To your other question, I did not mean refinement of Ulladu Narpadu. Could that actually be refined? How could the Maharshi's teaching be refined, it seems highly refined by me.

What is clear to me is to look from where thoughts appear and that is experimentally for me nothing, an empty space of some sorts. Now it is said that this cannot be empty and I have to take that on faith value since my experience is as long as there is no thought there is nothing. That's where my experience stops, and anything more - than emptiness - requires the activity of my mind which would ruin that emptiness and I am back to what most non-aspirants do, following the thoughts and ideas of the mind. So if there is more than emptiness it comes only as a thought or memory.

Do you experience something different than emptiness and what would that be?

anadi-ananta said...

instead of looking from where thoughts or memory appear try to investigate/scrutinize from where the thinker of thoughts rises. At least that is what Bhagavan taught us.

Asun said...


Where is the person who calls himself anadi-anantha without thoughts or without the action of thinking or say in deep sleep? There is no such person called anadi-anantha in deep sleep state which is "without" any thoughts but YOU as the very nature of deep sleep and pure awareness are very much there as only bliss and pure existence. Only the act of thinking thoughts, simultaneously gives rise to the assumption and reality of the "person called anadi-anatha"as though he is actually very real and really existing.

anadi-ananta said...

you certainly do not deny that in order to perform at all an act of thinking (thoughts) there must logically be a thinker or a thinking awareness. As you seem to imply awareness is always there if thinking or not.

Purification of mind does NOT reflect on one’s outward behavior, a purified mind is no mind and any perceived behavior is illusion said...

Anadi-ananta, I cannot see a practical difference between looking from where thoughts arise or from where the thinker arises. It is the same for me. So do you have a different experience?

And you have not answered my question, do you experience emptiness doing inquiry or also something else, if at all?

Rajat said...

According to Bhagavan’s teachings, the whole world is just thought.
But in the 6th paragraph of Nan Yar, Bhagavan says, "However many thoughts rise, what [does it matter]? As soon as each thought appears, if one vigilantly investigates to whom it has occurred, it will be clear: to me."
In the above quote, the word thought seems to refer not to the whole world, but to the conventional sense of the term, as thought waves or noise in the mind, because of the phrase 'many thoughts', and also the phrase, 'as soon as each thought appears', because the world appears as soon as we wake up, and thereafter what appear and disappear are only many conventional thoughts in the mind. The world seems to be there unchangingly. How to understand the statement 'as soon as each thought appears'? Is the moment of waking from sleep being referred to here? Or the arising of thoughts and ideas in the mind throughout the day?

Michael James said...

Rajat, when Bhagavan says that what is called world is nothing but thought, he implies that all phenomena are just thoughts. Therefore when he says in the sixth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, ‘பிற வெண்ணங்க ளெழுந்தா லவற்றைப் பூர்த்தி பண்ணுவதற்கு எத்தனியாமல் அவை யாருக் குண்டாயின என்று விசாரிக்க வேண்டும். எத்தனை எண்ணங்க ளெழினு மென்ன? ஜாக்கிரதையாய் ஒவ்வோ ரெண்ணமும் கிளம்பும்போதே இது யாருக்குண்டாயிற்று என்று விசாரித்தால் எனக்கென்று தோன்றும். நானார் என்று விசாரித்தால் மனம் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற்குத் திரும்பிவிடும்; எழுந்த வெண்ணமு மடங்கிவிடும்’ (piṟa v-eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙundāl avaṯṟai-p pūrtti paṇṇuvadaṟku ettaṉiyāmal avai yārukku uṇḍāyiṉa eṉḏṟu vicārikka vēṇḍum. ettaṉai eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙiṉum eṉṉa? jāggirataiyāy ovvōr eṇṇamum kiḷambum-pōdē idu yārukku uṇḍāyiṯṟu eṉḏṟu vicārittāl eṉakkeṉḏṟu tōṉḏṟum. nāṉ-ār eṉḏṟu vicārittāl maṉam taṉ piṟappiḍattiṟku-t tirumbi-viḍum; eṙunda v-eṇṇamum aḍaṅgi-viḍum), ‘If other thoughts rise, without trying to complete them it is necessary to investigate to whom they have occurred. However many thoughts rise, what [does it matter]? As soon as each thought appears, if one vigilantly investigates to whom it has occurred, it will be clear: to me. If one [thus] investigates who am I, the mind will return to its birthplace [oneself, the source from which it arose]; [and since one thereby refrains from attending to it] the thought which had risen will also cease’, we can paraphrase the meaning of this passage as follows:

If any phenomena appear, instead of nourishing their appearance with one’s attention it is necessary for one to investigate to whom they have appeared. However many phenomena appear, what does it matter? As soon as each phenomenon appears, if one vigilantly investigates to whom it has appeared, it will be clear: to me. If one thus investigates who am I, the mind will return [or turn back] to the source from which it arose, namely oneself; [and since one thereby refrains from attending to it] the phenomenon which had appeared will also disappear.

That is, the appearance of any phenomenon in our awareness shows that our attention has been distracted away from ourself, so instead of attending to that phenomenon we should try to turn our attention back towards ourself. To the extent that we attend to ourself, our attention will thereby be withdrawn from other things, so other things (phenomena) will then recede into the background of our awareness. If we manage to turn our entire attention back to ourself, we will cease to be aware of any phenomena, and thus we will be aware of ourself as we actually are.

Ideally we should try to turn our attention back to ourself whenever we become aware of anything other than ourself from the moment we wake up till the moment we fall asleep, but because we lack sufficient bhakti and vairāgya, for most of us it is not possible to do so all the time. We can only begin from where we now stand, so what is necessary is that we try to be self-attentive as much as possible, because if we persevere in this practice we will gradually gain the strength of bhakti and vairāgya that will enable us to cling fast to self-attentiveness more and more, as Bhagavan says in the next sentence of the same paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?: ‘இப்படிப் பழகப் பழக மனத்திற்குத் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற் றங்கி நிற்கும் சக்தி யதிகரிக்கின்றது’ (ippaḍi-p paṙaga-p paṙaga maṉattiṟku-t taṉ piṟappiḍattil taṅgi niṟgum śakti y-adhikarikkiṉḏṟadu), ‘When one practises and practises in this manner, to the mind the power to stand firmly established in its birthplace will increase’.

anadi-ananta said...

my experience is that the thinker is "located" much deeper than his thoughts which remain mostly on the surface of mind.
In answer to your question whether I experience emptiness doing inquiry or also something else, if at all, I honestly have to admit: at my attempts to be self-attentive I am far away from having gained the required strength of bhakti and vairāgya that would enable me to cling fast to self-attentiveness. Therefore unfortunately my inner field of vision is seldom free of thoughts. Even sometimes fierce fighting is necessary to continue my self-scrutiny. So at present my self-investigation is not exactly crowned with much success.

. . said...

It is said that one is supposed to not have just long periods of vichara but to have more a deeper and intense awareness of I with less and less awareness of anything else.

How is that possibly done, to ever more decrease the awareness of everything else? How does that differ from just being? What exactly makes that change of apparent quality? Is not being just being? What sees the differences in that being and is that seer not the cause of not being aware of just self? The seer would kill himself at the point of total unawareness of the phenomenal world. But can the seer deliberately annihilate himself? How would the seer what equals to the 'first thought I' do that? It cannot annihilate that what makes it exist in the first place.

That 'first thought I' can only think thoughts, how could it kill itself in not thinking thoughts? That would be the equivalent of the sun stop shining. Can the ego facilitate its own demise? I cannot believe it could.

. . said...

Anadi-ananta, yes, the thinker appears more hidden than the thoughts, however what has that to do with from where all that arises? There are many clues, one can look at the gap between two thoughts what equals the source of the thinker and its thoughts. Again, practically in the act of inquiry, it is not important if one looks where thoughts come from or the thinker of thoughts, it is the same.

Now if you like to make distinctions on an abstract level you can do that, but how would that change the practice of being/vichara? In fact, talking about thinker and thoughts and how that possibly relates to each other makes things more unclear than clear for me. It would take me into the area of speculation since it is not in alignment with my practical experience.

anadi-ananta said...

because you insist stating "Again, practically in the act of inquiry, it is not important if one looks where thoughts come from or the thinker of thoughts, it is the same." you may consider carefully what Michael wrote just in the second paragraph of this article:

"If the ego were the act of thinking, we could investigate it simply by observing our thinking, which is obviously not the case. To investigate this ego we must ignore all thinking and observe only the thinker, the one who is aware of thinking and of the thoughts produced by thinking. Therefore it is necessary for us to clearly distinguish the thinker from its thinking, and also from whatever it thinks."

Certainly you would highly benefit from studying the entire article of 8 th May 2016 The ego is the thinker, not the act of thinking. Then you might address further comments and questions directly to Michael himself.

. . said...

Anadi-ananta, for to look from where what arises one can use the Maharshi's term of aham-vritti instead of thinker or thoughts, I suppose that would be the proper talk for the specialists. But then one has to read more about what that actually exactly means and then I get lost in the jungle of mental speculations.

So to look for the origin of thoughts may not satisfy the specialists but as a clue it is quite satisfactory for me. My goal is just to uphold that practice and see where it leads to. I fired quite a few questions in my previous comment and I apologize, I am not really seeking the answers for that, it would just create more food for speculation. But anybody can share their opinions if they like.

anadi-ananta said...

"...proper talk for the specialists. But then one has to read more about what that actually exactly means and then I get lost in the jungle of mental speculations."
Yes, we should try to do everything possible to get a clear picture of Bhagavan's teaching and of what is really going on. Therefore in that sense we may even try to become "specialists".
Otherwise we run the risk to remain crawling in vague conceptions (as you call "speculation").
However, in any case it's also good "just to uphold that practice and see where it leads to".

Purification of mind does NOT reflect on one’s outward behavior, a purified mind is no mind and any perceived behavior is illusion said...

Anadi-ananta, as I said before, there is no practical difference for me between where the thinker and where thoughts are coming from. That article might be right and very likely is, but with inquiry it doesn't matter for me, being is being.

Since you said that you struggle with inquiry, I am surprised that you are so persistent on this particular point. It must give your mind comfort. Is that your way of inquiry?

Anyway I am glad you are enjoying your mental exercises.

. . said...

Anadi-ananta, you talked about vague conceptions, you are aware that even this article is a speculation by default until it is practically experienced? Your mind decided to believe that and added it to the many concepts you chose to believe. But it is merely a belief until it is experienced as it happened with the Maharshi.

That is true for any belief. My priest says that Jesus is the only Son of God and therefore only Jesus can bring salvation, not the Buddha, not the Maharshi nor any other religious figure. As proof he quotes the New Testament, mainly the Gospel of John.

Now for you it may sound preposterous and you are convinced that what you have chosen is the correct belief. But how do you really know? On what grounds?

Unless you are practically experiencing it it is a speculation of mind. Even if it comes from the Maharshi or any other figure like the Buddha or Jesus Christ.

. . said...

It makes sense for me if one wants to do properly inquiry the goal must be the total exclusion of the phenomenal world. As long as the slightest and most subtle object is still perceived the ego is still alive. Realization has been compared with the state of deep sleep and it seems a plausible description but is that not just from the viewpoint of the ego? Could we possibly imagine how that transcendental state of turiya looks like? Since we reason from the viewpoint of the mind we certainly cannot. So who knows what a sage is really 'seeing'. It must be a speculation no less.

anadi-ananta said...

Rafael,(or perhaps Salazar ?),
as you imply practically experiencing of what we actually are is certainly the best and most important goal.
Because I don't have the appropriate magic spell for being immediately self-aware I need - for the meantime - to try keenly looking at the thinker which is an other name for ego. On the other hand observing thoughts is easily done but does not lead (me) further.
I do not at all feel tempted to imagine how "that transcendental state of turiya looks like". As you correctly state, such speculation is only mental exercise.
The primary goal of proper inquiry is not the total exclusion of the phenomenal world but the total annihilation of the deceitful mind which is said to veil our real nature. That then the phenomenal world is not seen anymore as such is most likely. Let us see it thereafter. It will prove to be as it is.:-)